Totally Geeked is a monthly feature at Professional Geek Podcast's blog where you'll get an inside look at what our staff are geeking out about today.
Blaire Knight-Graves, Host & Executive Producer
My taste in music mostly originated in the realm of goth, metal, and industrial. For the last few years, though, I took a detour through indie, electronic, and pop music - all of which are well and good; I had a wonderful time becoming acquainted with Taylor Swift. But this month, I am so thrilled to be getting back into metal music. I’m a regular at many goth and industrial events in my hometown of Chicago, but Metal was a scene I have mostly observed at a distance despite being fond of it. At least until now.
Whether it’s attending Legions of Metal at Reggie’s Rock Club (I had the opportunity to see Diamond Head live, which is really just a big treat) or becoming acquainted with the bands Khemmis, Ensiferum (video to the right), and Pallbearer, it’s a really exciting time for my music exploration. I initially got into the genre during the era when you could only find Metal at CD/Vinyl stores that specialized in specific genres (RIP Metal Haven), so exploring the vast subgenres in the era of Spotify Premium just makes me feel like i’m in a melodic candy store, and the experience feels different and new.
Mark Beers, Host & Guest Manager
We always find in our interviews that there are certain franchises that us geeks gravitate towards. One of the most popular geeky influences among our panelists is the Alien franchise. The series has struggled to return to the heights established by the series iconic first two entries, marred by low points like the disappointing mess, Prometheus. Alien: Covenant falls in the middle of these two extremes, and thankfully leans more in the direction of the series highs as opposed to it’s head scratching lows. My personal ranking would be: 1) Aliens, 2) Alien, 3) Alien: Covenant, 4) Alien 3, 5) Alien: Resurrection, and 6) Prometheus
The Alien franchise has it’s roots in the horror genre, and to me, the terror of the series has always been in the idea of “the worst day of work ever.” In horror, the less you know the better, and nothing can top the terror of a person doing their job and suddenly having to deal with murderous monsters. It is on this level where Alien: Covenant shines the brightest, perhaps because it falls back on the comfortable tropes of the series; long term space flight, responding to a garbled distress signal, violating quarantine policies etc. Our crew awakens from hypersleep to deal with sever damage to their ship, before they are led down a path that sees many of them brutally dispatched by the series titular monsters.
There is real pathos for the characters as they deal with the loss of loved ones and leaders, and find themselves thrust into roles they are not prepared for (including dealing with the ferocious beasts stalking them at every turn.) The cast’s performances shoulder these personal burdens quite well. Danny McBride as Tennessee was an especially welcome surprise. His typical boorish, loud, manchild behavior that usually turns me off to him was not present at all, and I really enjoyed his time on screen.
Unfortunately, the film is saddled with the additional baggage of being a follow up to the the dreadful Prometheus, and it is this baggage that causes the film to stumble. The film catches us up with Michael Fassbender’s android David has been up to since Prometheus, and continues the awkward attempts to explain the origin of the Xenomorphs as a rumination on the meaning of existence.
In horror, as I’ve said, knowing too much undermines the terror. Here, once again the movie tries to answer questions that quite frankly I don’t think we ever needed answers to in ways that drastically alter the earlier films. (It’s not Midichlorian bad, but it is in the same ballpark.) So while this does not make for a front to back solid movie, there certainly enough positives in the plight of the crew of the Covenant to make this film worth your time.
Zach Weiss, Blog Manager
This one feels like a little bit of a cop-out for me, since I wrote a blog post about this already this month, but the reason I wrote about it was because I’m way geeked about it, in a ridiculous way.
May has been a month of managing information. This month I was turned onto using headings and document outline format in Google Docs, and I’ve been taking full advantage of how easy it makes it to organize everything from blogs to research. Even the document that we’re all writing our Totally Geeked posts in is in that format!
I also touched on Bullet Journal in my post about backing up your memory. I started my first Bullet Journal about a year ago, and, at first, it was difficult to keep up with it, but this month especially, I’ve been making sure to use it every single day. I have a daily log of everything I want to get done and bullet points of what I actually did do in my back pocket. There’s recommendations about movies, whiskey, and events scattered, in an organized way, in my back pocket at all times!
But the real Pièce De Résistance in my information logging life would have to be my movie spreadsheet. At the beginning of May, I went to see Kong: Skull Island and wanted to record that I had seen it somewhere, as well as all the movies I’ve seen this year. And, because I am who I am, one thing lead to another, and I spent two whole days going through IMDb’s lists of most popular movies from each year, logging in all the movies that I had seen. I’m sure I missed a few, but now I know that I’ve seen at least 965 movies, and the year which the majority of my viewed movies were released was 2003. I was trying to give each movie a number rating and a short review, as well, but I stopped doing that for every movie once I had logged about 150 movies. I still have my work cut out for me; I’ve been adding ratings and reviews consistently since I completed the list of movie names, and I have 594 left to rate. God help me.
Logging information has really changed the way I see and organize my life. For example, I know I’ve seen a lot of movies, but now I can confidently tell someone that I’ve seen almost 1,000 movies. I also can do a research project in a much more organized fashion. And when someone recommends something to me, it gets filed into the notebook in my pocket. The thing I’m most excited about is that my Totally Geeked this month is something that I can use every day, for the rest of my life!