Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why, Robert Chambers? Why?

Me: Hmm, I should probably read something instead of rewatching Marble Hornets. Oh look, I have The King In Yellow by Robert Chambers! That certainly isn't...

"In The Court of the Dragon": *is about a slim, pale man in a black suit relentlessly stalking the protagonist*

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This Is A Blog For Mom

It is Mom's Birthday. Therefore, I am writing a blog for Mom.

Happy Birthday Mom.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Definitions for the Day

While doing a bit of research for an English paper, I came across the Agitator blog. The blog itself isn't that bad. It's ranting, just as mine is. But the comments are a hoot, especially when discussing police officers: Truly an evil conspiracy.

To sum up the comments, police officers are all sociopaths who only become cops to act out their horrible ways, and they are planning to eat your soul. OMNOMNOM.

Sweeping Generalization-A sweeping generalisation applies a general statement too broadly. If one takes a general rule, and applies it to a case to which, due to the specific features of the case, the rule does not apply, then one commits the sweeping generalisation fallacy.-Logical Fallacies

Paranoia-a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a

Clearly all cops are exactly like this.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review: The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

Sometimes a book comes along where I feel strange about it. Not good, not bad, not even indifferent. Strange. And this book did that to me.

The Crossing Places is focused around two kidnappings, one older and one recent, both related to old Druidic practices. Our heroine is Ruth Galloway, a professor of archaeology. One day she is summoned by DCI Harry Nelson to the marshes near her home. They have found a child's bones and he believes they belong to a little girl named Lucy who disappeared ten years earlier. They don't, but that doesn't stop another girl from disappearing, and Ruth from deciphering the cryptic notes Harry has been receiving for the last ten years. Time is of the essence if they are to save the recently kidnapped girl-and possibly Lucy as well.

I was rather torn about this book. On the one hand, I liked both the setting and the basic storyline. We're in the foggy marshes of England, rather isolated from regular civilization. We find evidence of old human sacrifice, and possibly new sacrifice. We have cryptic letters filled with babble about religion and Druidism and magic. It sounds like a smashing good tale. But so much of it was taken up with Ruth's neuroses and grumblings about Christianity that the story fell somewhat flat.

First off, she wrote in the present tense. THE WHOLE TIME. While interesting, it wound up being distracting on the whole.

I really didn't like Galloway as a character. She was sort of bland, almost a stereotype mixture of "curious scholar" and "fat woman"-because we don't stop hearing her talk about her weight, trust me. We don't really get to know her, not as a person. We know her as a series of characteristics. She is divorced. She is annoyed by her Christian parents (oh, we don't stop hearing about that either). She likes her cats but IS NOT, I REPEAT IS NOT a crazy cat lady. She likes archaeology. She likes living vicariously through her friend who constantly complains about men using her, even as she tries desperately to attract their attention. The author tries to interject her with emotion, but I wasn't feeling it. We're supposed to believe she and Harry are attracted to one another, but I couldn't believe it from the first. Harry had a little more depth as a character, but not much. We know him mainly as "tough cop/adulterer-if-he-gets-the-opportunity", and "guy who apparently never paid attention to his own culture", as I knew more about what was going on than he did. And Ruth's mentor and the local Druid both scream "WE ARE HIPPIES".

It was an odd mixture of "let's try to write a scary mystery" and "woman wants to lose weight in the middle of solving mysteries" (no, seriously, there are books out there like that). It seemed like the author was trying to give Ruth some character development by the end (she understands her own hypocrisy, she comes to appreciate her parents while disagreeing with their religion) but it was rather forced. It feels like it could have been done so well, but it went so wrong.

Its redeeming factor, apart from the set-up, was the ending. I have to say, that ending was fantastic and heart-pounding.

If only the rest had been the same way.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Entry Countdown Begins

"Going back to Rosswood with Tim on Sunday."-Jay, announcing his movements to the world even as he attempts to hide.

Oh, Jay.

How did they come to this decision? I'm going to assume alcohol was involved. I could post a list, I could post a "I bet this is what will happen" and make an obligatory "Tim tackles things" joke, but instead, I'll just post this.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pop open a cold one, people

Got this from WOC 1420's Facebook.

Beware alcohol poisoning if you try this.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Film Review: The African Queen

I can’t recall where precisely I read it, but at one point I read something by Dr. Laura in which she described “The African Queen” as the ultimate date movie. Being a Bogart fan, and with an anniversary close, I had the perfect time to give it a try.

Best idea ever. “The African Queen” is truly one of the classics everyone should see. It has everything in it: humor, romance, action, edge-of-your-seat tension. Not to mention a strong, capable heroine that doesn’t have to wear tight leather and do roundhouse kicks to prove herself.

The story begins in a small African village, where Rose Sayer and her brother Samuel are in charge of a small missions church, isolated from the outside world except for occasional mail delivery by Charlie Allnut, captain of The African Queen. But their peaceful world is interrupted when World War I breaks out and the Germans burn the village, forcing the villagers to fight for them. Broken by grief and despair, Samuel catches a fever and dies, leaving Rose and Charlie to find their way down the treacherous river and past the German’s prize battleship, the Louisa.

While the movie isn’t precisely non-stop action, there are enough tense moments to keep the viewer engaged. The interaction between the proper Rose and coarse Charlie are both amusing and sweet, and their romance is surprisingly realistic. It takes them a while to warm up to one another, and Charlie, while rough around the edges, is still a genuinely decent and caring person. Rose, though she is proper, is still a woman who moved to the African jungle and has lived there for some time, and she shows herself quite capable of handling herself in a crisis and has no problem with being dirty. (And unlike the heroines of many modern movies where their hair and clothes, despite everything, somehow remains close to perfect with only a few attractive smudges and flaws here and there, poor Rose starts genuinely looking like she’s been soaked, mud-splattered, and unable to bathe for days.) In fact, it is the character of Rose that fascinates me most. Despite seeming almost prissy, her first act of heroism is to plan to blow up a ship. And to do that, she has no problem boating down the Ulanga River, helping Charlie make repairs to the boat, steering the boat while under fire from Germans, and pulling and shoving it through a muddy bog to make it to a lake. The only time we see her really lose it is when they’re swarmed by African flies, and to be fair, Charlie has a freak out when he gets covered in leeches, so they get equal wimp time.

By the time we got to the end, both Dale and I were sitting forward in our seats, waiting breathlessly to see if they would succeed. This movie really is the perfect date movie.

I give it a 5/5.