Why I’m looking forward to January 20th(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here to admit I’m getting excited for tomorrow(the 20th).  It’s a really important and historically significant day for America.  YES!  I don’t think I’ve been this eager to see a day come in a long while.  We should stand up and celebrate this wonderful event.  YES!  Of course, I’m referring to the debut of Season 2 of Netflix’s “Voltron:  Legendary Defender.”

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What’s do damned hard about driving in the snow?(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here to rant a bit about a social phenomenon that exasperates me every winter:  Idiots who lose all common sense behind the wheel when it snows.  And it never fails, either.  I’m living in North Carolina where it snows every single year at least 6-8 inches with black ice on the pavement.  You’d think that those locals would’ve figured out how to drive in it since it happens every year, right?…apparently not, it turns out.  On the way to work, I spotted no less that 14 cars crashed and/or abandoned on the side of the road!

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The coolest music video group I’ve ever seen(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here to share a recent discovery that, frankly made me nostalgic and blew my mind simultaneously.  It happened as a Youtube commercial that preceded another video I was going to watch.  It was a music video promotion for Morton Salt for a charity event called Walk Her Walk( MortonSalt/WalkHerWalk.com ).  Normally, I cancel pre video ads as soon as it’s possible, but this time, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen for what IS the coolest music video I’ve ever seen(And that includes “Thriller” and “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson, “Sledge Hammer” by Peter Gabriel and “Ghost on a Canvas” by Glen Campbell).  That’s the level of awesome creativity and imagination that went into it.  They also have technical mastery to do these videos as one single take and build eye-popping physical props that do amazing things in these videos.

 

The band is called OK Go

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They’re an American Band originally from Chicago formed in 1998 that now operate out of Los Angeles.  If I had to categorize their music, I’d say heavy 1980’s rock influence with 1990’s rhythmic sensibilities.  They’re like a cross between Depeche Mode, Modern English, Weezer and Coldplay.  I do like their music a lot, but it’s their music videos that make this group stand alone.  This group harkens back to a time when MTV first came along and music videos were KING!  This is a group that really knows how to get the most out of a music video.

 

But enough of my telling you about how great this group is.  Let me share some of their videos and you can decide for yourself.

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I got trolled in real life last Saturday(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to share a real life troll story. Sure, we’ve all gotten caught up in internet flame battles before. Since the ‘net leaves the commenters anonymous, the most childishly cruel and stupid remarks have been hurled at complete strangers. The sort of things that people would never say to another face to face since they’d get punched for it. For a long time now, we’ve all learned to never “Feed the Trolls,” since they’re beyond reasoning, decency or logic.

 

Well…I had a troll experience in real life last Saturday. For those of you who might not know, I’m a dueling piano player by profession. I take requests and play the piano and sing to entertain. People write the requests on pre-printed forms and bring them up(tips with them get them performed sooner). Well, someone took the request forms and wrote me some “love letters” instead of song requests. I’ll paraphrase for time efficiency… Read more

I wish I were Ash as the zombies draw near-Secret Santa work of fiction for House(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here to contribute to the Manic Expression Secret Santa project.  And HUZZAH!  I drew House as my gift recipient-WOOT!  Seeing how he’s done some amazing zombie fiction and zombie let’s play action videos, I decided to try my hand at a zombie fiction chapter.  @House I hope you enjoy this, my friend.

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Chapter 5:  I wish I were Ash Williams….

 

“Alright, buddy….You just overstayed your welcome!” I declared 2 seconds before pulling the trigger on the ‘ol boomstick and disconnecting the deaddite’s head from his body. BOOOM!!!!!!! Large bloodsplatter hit me and everything 4 feet from the point of impact. I gave the riffle my customary 2 spins around my finger and repositioned it over my shoulder in the back holster. Read more

4 years dead(by Les)

4 years since the faceless killer struck

Somehow life went on like the cliches regarding life going on after death.

The pain of loss lingered too, but somehow softened by time.

How does that work?  How could I begin to let go of the heartache and continue on with my own life?

Who knows?  It just happens all on its own.

The memories remain.  The love remains.  I close my eyes and I can still see my Father standing there.

I can still hear him telling his stories and cracking his jokes.  I can still taste his cooking.  200 cheesecakes.  300 creme brûlées.  350 meat loafs.  60 rack of lambs.  405 cookies.  MMMMMMMM.

I can still remember the brave man reduced to a brittle scarecrow stubbornly clinging to life on that bed.

I’ll be that man someday.  Will I have half my Father’s tenacity and dignity?  Will I leave behind a family that mourns my loss?  Will my legacy justify my existence in the first place?  Sigh!

4 years later and I still miss him.

 

RIP Dad.

The Top 21 Saddest Moments from the modern “Doctor Who”(By Les and Pretty Boy)

Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to continue with the Whovian tears. Last blog, Pretty Boy and I talked about the top 20 saddest moments of Classic Doctor Who(Doctors 1-8)

The Top 20 Saddest moments of Classic Doctor Who(With Pretty Boy)

Today we’re going to discuss the 21 saddest moments of the Modern Doctor Who(Doctors 9-12) Why 21, when we did 20 for the Classic Doctor Who sad moments?….because we miscounted when we were compelling the new list for the Modern Doctor Who sad moments…and I’M NOT LOSING ONE OF THEM, AS THEY’RE ALL AMAZINGLY TRAUMATIC(plus…the 21st one is a 12th Doctor pick…and he’s the exception to the “only 12 regenerations for a Timelord” rule), THAT’S WHY!

 

LES: Now, where is that boy?…

 

*desperate knocking coming from a cellar door

 

LES: Pretty Boy? Are you in there?

 

Pretty Boy: Yeah, I’m locked in!

 

LES: Hang on…

 

*produces a sonic screwdriver and waves it at the door, which unlocks with a click

 

LES: Alright! Are you ready to continue our 2 parter on the saddest Doctor Who moments for the Modern Series?

 

Pretty Boy:  Yes, let’s continue with the traumatic Doctor Who.

 

Warning: Spoilers and Wibbly, Wobbly, Timey, Wimey Tears ahead…

 

And, just to clarify, these aren’t ranked, but chronological like the first list was done.

 

#1. The last Dalek dies(Series 1, episode #6”Dalek”)

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Happy Birthday to me(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here to ponder 48.  48…..48……………Fourty………Eight.

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Nope….can’t wrap my brain around it….I’ll be 50 in two years.  My life can’t have gone by THAT FAST, could it?  Just yesterday I was riding my bike all over creation, playing with my friends and not worrying about a damned thing.

 

Then I blinked and I was in High School, driving and courting girls and being so excited about my life finally starting.

 

Then I blinked and I was out of school and supporting myself as a piano player/singer.  I had my own apartment, and the freedom to do as I pleased without anyone looking over my shoulder.  It felt damned good to stand on my own two feet for the first time in my life.  I played in piano bars, in bands, and did cruise ships.  I was seeing the world through my work. Read more

The Top 20 Saddest Moments of Classic “Doctor Who”(with Pretty Boy)

Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to finally make good on a promise in the comments of my blog about sharing the emotionally tragic Doctor Who with my daughter in which I made a plan to do a top 18 saddest moments in Doctor Who…and Pretty Boy chimed in and I invited him to collaborate it with me. We’ve talked and decided to do 20 picks each. Pretty Boy will pick his top 20 saddest moments in the Classic Doctor Who(1963-1989), and I will pick my top 20 saddest moments in the Modern Doctor Who(2005-2015). Being as this will likely be the longest blogs I’ve been involved with since teaming up with Fusionater to cover all the Superman actors, we’re going to make this one a 2-parter. We’ll start with Pretty Boy’s part of the list….

 

*looks around, and doesn’t see Pretty Boy anywhere.

 

LES: Hmmm he should be here….I wonder….

 

*TARDIS chimes faintly and grows stronger as a Big Blue Police Box from 1963 materializes by Les. The door opens and Pretty Boy steps out Read more

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Paint a Picture No. 49

Faith, fierce of any known king rises from the deep. Read more

A Blanket Apology to the site, and a promise(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here to follow up on my extremely controversial last blog about President Donald Trump and the upcoming apocalypse.  It is abundantly clear to me that I not only didn’t convey the message I’d intended, but I insulted and hurt the feelings of a lot of my friends here at Manic Expression.  So, let me begin by asking your forgiveness for doing that.  No political viewpoint or attempt at writing about politics should be worth the price of friendship.

 

It’s odd that @House would in many respects voice what I’d actually wanted to say down in the comments section about keeping calm, keeping reason and approaching the Trump Presidency with a proactive attitude to attempt to influence his policies in a peaceful manner instead of going all anarchy in the USA(insert Sex Pistol’s guitar riffs here….).  In the digital age where a video that goes viral can reach millions of viewers, it seems to me that a united front on the ‘net can do quite a lot to convince politicians about what the public actually wants.  Now, I’ll freely admit that I did want to get a little bit of revenge for the way some of you belittled and laughed at me way back when Obama was running for President.  That was childish of me, so I’m really sorry I regressed back to a Kindergatener for that part.

 

Which brings me to my promise.  I hereby avow to never write a political blog on Manic Expression again.  Instead, I will continue to post my passions for art, entertainment, music and all things nerdy and geekdom encompassing.  I’d rather have some fun and, hopefully, post stuff you’ll enjoy reading/watching.  I’ll use the site as the escape it should be, rather than start any more shitstorms about the horrors of politics today.  I’ll leave that to the news.

 

I hope that those of you I offended can find it in your hearts to accept my apology and to give our friendship another chance.  I would be grateful, and if you don’t, I’ll dearly miss you, my friends.  Peace.

My opinion on President Donald Trump, and the upcoming apocalypse(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  So…how was YOUR Tuesday?……Me?….I’m feeling great about it since I didn’t want Hillary Clinton to win the Election.  Seriously?, you’re thinking….Les, why on God’s green Earth would you want to see Donald Trump in the White House?….Don’t you know he’ll put all the minorities in concentration camps, steal our Social Security, repeal the 13th, 19th and 26th Amendments to the Constitution and shoot every 5th baby to control the population?…..ok, maybe I’m being just a little ludicrous there…but to listen to people bemoan the fate of America now that the Donald has won the election sure SOUNDS like that’s what everyone is expecting to happen.  There are more hate filled rallies burning Trump in effigy right now that I can ever remember a despised celebrity endure.  AND HE HASN’T EVEN ASSUMED THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY YET!

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SO, I’ve got a question for you all: Read more

What would I do if I won the Lottery?(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here today to dream big. You know the one…”What would I do if I won an obscenely huge Lottery prize?” Awhile back the Powerball had reached 1.2 BILLION dollars, and for a lark, I bought a ticket(And, for the record, I NEVER buy Lottery tickets, as the odds of winning ‘em are so remote, I’d have better luck giving a command performance piano concert for Winston Churchill, Adolph Hitler, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Queen Mia Rinaldi-despite 3 of them being dead and the 4th being completely fictional and then having a 4-way with the Kardashians(that one’s not going to happen, not because of the odds, but because they disgust me, but I digress…))-the point is, it’s practically impossible). And, as predicted, I didn’t match even one number and 2 other guys won the prize. However, I did have an irrational daydream about what I’d do if I won it. Haven’t you ever done that? Haven’t you ever had a spending spree on the most insanely ludicrous items in your mind? Well I have, and so I’ve decided to have some fun with the concept. What would I do if money wasn’t even remotely an option?

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Warning: Some greed and financial superfluously ahead…. Read more

My Top 50 Favorite Things in Star Trek(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to bring my 40 years of experience to the 50th Anniversary of “Star Trek.” What can you say about such a groundbreaking and inspirational show that spawned actual advances in real-world technology, and millions of fans to go into fields of science? Everyone talks about it’s optimistic views of the future where, instead of destroying ourselves, we learned to live and work together in peace and forge a Federation with more worlds in the galaxy to further our knowledge of it and mutual protection. Everyone talks about the iconic characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the Starship Enterprise and how they came on week after week to analyze the human condition while saving the galaxy time and time again. Everyone talks about how this B-Movie budget cult classic spawned a mighty empire of spinoff shows, cartoons, comic books, novels, fan-made productions and one of the highest grossing film series ever made.

 

Me? I’m simply going to list my top 50 favorite things about “Star Trek.”

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Why 50? Because it’s turning 50, my friends, and I can’t limit my list to my customary 12, LOL!

Also, I have no wish to put these picks in order, as I consider all of them to be utterly fascinating.  The numbers are to keep track of a count to 50. Read more

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A Look at Disney Month of The Mansion: The Haunted Mansion (2003)(with Les and The Creature)(31 Days of Halloween)

 

 

Moviefan12: Ah dear readers, we have reached the final review on this Hallow’s Eve and I fear that today I am the foolish one as I dare to take on the most horrifying thing from the Mansion’s 47 year history as I dare to take on the 2003 movie adaption.  But I will not be going alone as I have dragged Les and The Creature in with me to take on this beast.

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My really cool lion portrait in acrylic(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here to bring something different to the table.  After 27 years, I picked up a paintbrush and did a large canvas art piece to decorate my daughter’s room.  I’ve gotta say…I forgot how much fun it is to paint and be creative.  I thought I’d post it here for your amusement, too.  Enjoy, my friends.  Peace.

 

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Les Plays Guitar #4: Zombie Zoo for the 31 Days of Halloween for Manic Expression(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here with my final entry for this year’s 31 Days of Halloween for Manic Expression

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I present an unappreciated rock song that can be considered a “Halloween” themed song.  Written by Tom Petty and performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on the album “Half Moon Fever,” It’s just a really fun song about a goth girl who just wants to dance at a macabre themed club.  Simple, catchy and really enjoyable to sing and play.  For the purposes of these videos, I recorded 2 cuts:  one of me on guitar singing the lead line, and another of me playing the keyboards and singing the backup.  Thanks to House, both cuts were blended together to produce the following videos.  And, not to be outdone, he then went ahead and added a really cool black and white pulse effect with a dancing skeleton on a second version of the video.  I’m giving you both so you can appreciate his hard work.  Thank you, House for doing another brilliant job making my videos a whole lot better than they’d be without your awesome mixing.  And thank you, Manic fans for taking time to watch these videos.  Happy Halloween, my friends.  Peace.

Version 1 above:  simple mix.

Version 2 below:  House’s psychedelic version.

My Top 12 Favorite Great, Or POTENTIALLY Great Science Fiction Television Shows that were screwed over by a network(By Les)

Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here today to reflect on science fiction television shows that never quite made it-either by not living up to their potential or by being awesome, but getting cancelled by the network. Let’s face it. Some shows have a great cast, or a great premise and ideas, but the execution or production isn’t up to par. Other shows are fantastic, but network politics snuff them before their time. And so, here’s my top 12 favorite science fiction shows that could’ve been SOOOOOO much more that they were. These are not ranked. All of them deserved better in one way or another.

 

Warning: Spoilers and unfulfilled science fiction dreams ahead…

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Star Trek TOS(1966-1968)NBC

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I know what you’re thinking….how can this be considered a failure? It spawned 5 spin offs and 13 films and earned Paramount billions of dollars, right? True, however in its first television run, Star Trek barely made it to syndication(taking an unprecedented letter writing campaign from the fandom), and was severely dissed by the network for the 3rd season, changing the airtime to prime time Friday night when the target audience wouldn’t be watching television and cutting the budget by half. It took 20 years before this franchise would see television again with Star Trek TNG. That’s the testament to how great the science fiction concept of Star Trek was…but in its day, it wasn’t very successful….I mean, think about it….It had 3 seasons….”Enterprise” had 4!…’nuff said.

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Tricks, Treats and Old Memories of Halloween Glory for the 31 Days of Halloween for Manic Expression(By Les)

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Dark clouds lazily drifted overhead pierced by a silvery moon striving to light windswept lanes littered by the fallen leaves of crimson, orange and yellow. Even now, the wind traveled the streets like a lost spirit searching for a host to inhabit for a spell. There was a chill that hinted of the Winter just around the corner turning the breath of those foolish to be outside into wisps of fog, ghostlike spirits of life clinging on to exist briefly before fading away to a mere memory.

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A Look at Disney Month of The Mansion: Meet & Greet: Ghost Host (with Les)

 

 

Moviefan12: Ah, I see that you’ve returned once more foolish mortals.  As we continue our journey through Gracey Manor, we shall be making contact with perhaps the most iconic ghost of the Mansion as we greet the Ghost Host.  The one that serves as the narrator for our happy haunt through Gracey Manor. He is the one that always welcomes you foolish mortals. And once again here to join me is Les.

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