Saturday Morning Brain Drain [2/12/23]

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What I Watched: Renfield, as recommended by many of you fine DeadSplinteries! It was fun! I thought the codependent group was an excellent plot device, and enjoyed the modernization of the story. Here is what thought:

Nicolas Cage as Dracula is exactly as delightfully, deliriously over-the-top as you’d want him to be in “Renfield.” After decades of metaphorically chewing the scenery, Cage gets to sink his teeth in quite literally as the preening Prince of Darkness. His wild-eyed delivery is full of startling outbursts and unexpected inflection, with sprinklings of charm to keep us off-guard. It’s a natural evolution 35 years after “Vampire’s Kiss,” as he’s now fully wallowing in this mythological monster’s unquenchable thirst.

As Renfield, Nicholas Hoult serves as an amusing straight man: adorably flustered in a vintage Hugh Grant sort of way, with flashes of assertiveness when his character is called upon to kick ass. And he has to do that a lot: “Renfield” mixes understated comedy with insanely graphic violence in a way that’s too cartoonish to be shocking or scary. We’re talking severed limbs, exploding heads, and gushing torrents of blood. For the most part, this combination works, inspiring laughs and gasps in equal measure.


What I Read: The three-book Galactic Love series by Ann Aguirre.  Book one is Strange Love: An Alien Abduction Romance; book two is Love Code: An AI + Alien romance; and book three is Renegade Love: An Alien Bounty Hunter Romance. I liked these quirky, odd books . . . they do a superior job of conveying alien-human sexuality. Ms. Aguirre makes scales seem beautiful. Here are the blubs:

Strange Love: An Alien Abduction Romance: He’s awkward. He’s adorable. He’s alien as hell. Zylar of Kith B’alak is a four-time loser in the annual Choosing. If he fails to find a nest guardian this time, he’ll lose his chance to have a mate for all time. Desperation drives him to try a matching service but due to a freak solar flare and a severely malfunctioning ship AI, things go way off course. This ‘human being’ is not the Tiralan match he was looking for.

Love Code: An AI + Alien romance: He’s cute. He’s cranky. His code is sleek as hell.What’s an amnesiac AI doing in a place like this? Helix has no idea. He knows he planned to build a life for himself on Gravas Station, but he has no clue what he’s been doing for the last half cycle. Nor does he understand why his ship crashed. A genius Tiralan scientist saved him by copying his code into an organic host, and after meeting her meddling mothers, it seems like his problems have only just begun…She’s clever. She’s creative. She claims that he’s her mate.Qalu has no interest in relationships. She’d much rather be working in her lab, innovating instead of socializing. Problem is, the Tiralan believe that one cannot be happy alone.

Renegade Love: An Alien Bounty Hunter Romance: He’s relentless. He’s aggressive. His armor is scarred to hell. Toth Krag is infamous among bounty hunters. Nobody has ever seen his face and lived to tell the tale. He doesn’t fail. He doesn’t quit. And he doesn’t take prisoners. But maybe he’s getting soft. For once, he showed mercy, and no good deed goes unpunished, so now he’s tracking the deadbeats who run Volant’s Fabulous Spectacle. She’s casual. She’s spontaneous. She never liked Earth that much anyway. Yara Duncan is always at the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s how she wound up as the human attraction in a space circus. Frankly, it’s the best gig she’s ever had. Aliens pay to watch her eat and do puzzles, and she gets to see the galaxy free of charge. She’s enjoying the adventure, until the scariest hunter in the universe shows up. For some reason, he thinks she’s in charge, and he’s determined to drag her back to face his employers.

What I Listened To: The Legendary Tigerman – Ghost Rider, Good Girl, and Fix of Rock n Roll.

Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, dearest ones? Darling DeadSplinterites, what’s going on? Please do share with us!

About Elliecoo 493 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. I really enjoyed Renfield too.  I watched it on the plane during my work trip a few weeks back, which was a great way to ignore the fact that I was in a metal tube hurtling through the air at 30,000 feet.

    Watched:  Babylon.  That was three hours of my life I’m never getting back.

    Listened:  Sun on Shade.  Ellie, if you haven’t heard this before, I think it might be right up your alley.


  2. I watched the Love Has Won documentary on Max. I can’t understand how this group would appeal to anyone. Aside from the usual abuse and grift that are cult standards, they are so obnoxious. Given a choice between eternal life with them and eternal damnation, I’d take hell any day.

    I’ve given up trying to read anything. I can’t focus. Instead, I’m playing Smushi Come Home. It’s easy, quiet and sweet. As soon as I finish my Saturday chores I intend to curl up on my sofa and spend the day getting the little mushroom home.

    I’m listening to the new Kurt Vile Back to Moon Beach

    Another Good Year For the Roses


    And the Sharon van Etten & Courtney Barnett  track from The Buccaneers soundtrack



    • I’ll see you in the DeadSplinter corner of hell, we will be in very good company!

      I saw Kurt Vile live in an indoor un-airconditioned small venue in 100 degree heat. It was a sauna, but worth it. He is a Philly guy, so it was an one venue night for him.

      And as I  read your comment, I saw “mushroom” and thought, “oh, is Hannibal microdosing? I hear it is excellent for concentration and mental health.”

    • That documentary was wild.

      I think there’s a couple of things going on with how they managed to pull people in to their cult.

      1. probably love-bombing a bunch of vulnerable people

      2. that severe caloric restriction. I don’t know how many people here have ever had disordered eating in the restrictive sense, but I veered real close to bulimia in my early college years and fullstop mental processing is not at 100% when there’s regular restriction like that. Too much of my brain was fixated on a daily basis on what my next food would be (oh, I can have a handful of raw broccoli for lunch and a low-fat strawberry yogurt cup) and things definitely did not matter as much as they should have because of how my attention was so fixated on my “health.”

      I think that was also part of how the douchebags with Nxvium or however you spell it controlled so many women.

  3. I’ve been reading whilst at “work”…and I was going to wait until I finish book 9 of the Expanse series before I comment on it here but I’ve temporarily opted out of reading it. The first 8 were great.


    I also read Brian Burke’s book: Burke’s Law: A Life in Hockey. It’s worth the read…and I like the part at the end in which he basically admits that he doesn’t care if the book makes people like him so long as they enjoyed the book. I think that point sums it up well enough on its own.

    I’m going to need book recommendations soon.


    More importantly, and OT, if Arizona wins today…which they definitely will…and become the number one ranked team…which they definitely should…I’m going to need one of you of my ‘Murican friends to send me up a blue L or XL AZ hoodie because LOL at one existing anywhere here in Canadumb.


    Have a great weekend, all.

  4. I…I have so much to say but it should probably be a separate media-related post. Which, I think I lost my content-creating posting abilities, but can comment.

    I’ll give you a taste of this.

    What I watched: During my weeks of confinement in the hospital and the phys rehab center I was subjected to round-the-clock TV viewing from my various roommates. Mostly sports, which was like me showing up in the “Star Wars” bar and trying to figure out what the Wookie was saying to me. (I didn’t turn my TV on, because competing noise vomited from a roommate is bad enough, but when it comes from a broadcaster it’s unforgivable, I think.) Do people not have phones, books, literacy?

    But one of my roommates tuned into a Spanish-speaking channel (there were two, in the closed limited-channel service) and it was some kind of extensive lifestyle/chat show à la GMA, but more worthy of the hours and hours and lots of Mexico City content. The city looks fabulous. The people are so chic. When BH came to visit me later that day I said, “We have to move to Mexico City. I’ve always loved it every time we’ve gone, friends of mine live there, we can live in—”

    “I brought you a book.” It was a social history of Victorian Britain, so I was then distracted.

      • BH most certainly does, and if I’m honest with myself I will admit that unless I were very posh I doubt I would enjoy living in late-19th-century Britain. And the chances of that birthright are slim.

      • It goes by in the blink of an eye, believe me. And they (the hospital and the rehab place) wanted to keep me even longer but I had done this exact same thing 3 1/2 years ago. Same hospital, same rehab facility. But not the same reason(s) for institutionalization. So I was able to say to the hospital staff, “Move this along. You’re paid to be here, and I’m not.” And then, after a series of alarming mishaps, I got to rehab and I said, once again, “You know, I’ve been here before, I just need to be reminded of below-the-waist exercises.” [I lost my ability to walk, again.]

        But again, this might need to be its own separate post, but I can only comment at this point.

        • @MatthewCrawley, I missed your comments earlier this weekend, but–like the others, wanted to say I’ve MISSED you, am SO glad you’re well again, and am incredibly relieved & happy that you’re back!!!😃😁💖🤗

          • That’s very flattering. If you want a big black dog, you can adopt mine. I AM ONLY KIDDING, HE IS MY FAITHFUL HOUND. But when you’re convalescing or just trying to sleep in and your Faithful Hound is a few fries short of a Happy Meal and up in bed with you and wondering if you’re finally dead and the only way to tell is to hurl yourself butt first against a kidney…I’m sure it’s a time-honored practice.

    • Also, re Spanish language, we watch some Freevee and have been getting commercials in Spanish. Next, my Kindle Fire started to have Spanish language screensaver adverts. I figure I might learn something, (I remember how to say my name, ask if they want to drink beer, and ask if they want to get high . . . upper school Spanish was a very long time ago).

  5. I saw the new Doctor Who and really liked it.

    It’s a classic example of how the show likes to blow up old rules and just say nevermind. And it reset the tone from dull incoherence to incoherent fun.

  6. I haven’t watched Netflix in a long time & logged on the other night and “Old Dads” came up as a 98% match.  I have never been a huge Bill Burr fan, my friend keeps telling me to watch his comedy specials and I usually don’t find them that funny.  Anyways, I gave it a shot, it had a few relatable funny moments but mostly it was a mess.

    I’m listening to ISTA:

    Reading about how 2 of my favorite breweries are fighting & hoping they don’t kill each other!


  7. I watched Candy Cane Lane on Amazon Prime, it’s a new Christmas movie with Eddie Murphy and Tracee Ellis Ross. It was a good one, I’d watch again. Premise is that their neighborhood has a competition each year for who has the best Christmas decorations and this year there’s a sponsored contest and the winner gets 100k, so Eddie Murphy’s character goes all out at some sketchy decorations store. Hijinks ensue. Managed not to be overly sappy and had some good laughs. What carries the movie is that the cast is completely believeable as a family.

  8. i got an email from amazon saying my prime membership costs changed the other day

    took me by surprise that did…….didnt know i had a membership

    i assume it came with some order i placed whilst being less than legal to drive….welp… was about to cancel it when this trailer fell into my lap

    guess ill catch up on the boys and whatnot till april……dont break my heart amazon…

    reading wise ive restarted leviathan falls…bout halfway through it now…started it before summer put a halt to my reading…so…kinda figured…better read that before i get started on anything else…..not much to say about it tho…if you like book 1 of the expanse…your gonna like all of them….the quality does not drop….kinda dont want to finish it…as this ones the last (not counting spin offs)

    and listening to carcinogen daily…from tulsa…mostly coz they popped up into my feed earlier today and i kinda like their sound

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