Saturday, August 30, 2014

Photo Saturday: SO MUCH GREEN



Here we are in the throes of summer, and while another nice, cool picture might help, let's just enjoy summer while it lasts.

Summer is very, very green. Incredibly green. You just won't believe how unbelievably green summer is.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: A Storm of Swords

     Meanwhile, in the Game of Thrones universe…



   

     Okay, it was only three weddings, and lots more funerals, because this is Westeros, and not even refusing to wear a red shirt will save you.

     In this, King’s Landing is recovering from Stannis’ attack, while Stannis nurses his wounded ego and Melisandre continues to be vague and cryptic. It’s pretty clear she’s playing Stannis like a fiddle, but the only person who even kind of sort of says something like this is the ex-smuggler. Also, she wants some dragons too. Everyone wants dragons. Dragons are awesome, of course they want them. Oh, yes, and apparently there’s some war with the Others, a.k.a. zombie-Nazghul-Ithaqua people, and fire would help...



     Lots of people are preparing to get married. Three guesses how that all ends.

     Bran continues his search for the three-eyed crow (because in this world, three-eyed crows could totally exist and no one seems to think it makes anything less than perfect sense), while helpfully telling us more and more of the legends and origins of Westeros.

     Jon Snow has worked his way into the wildling army as a SPY, but alas...



     Arya continues to be shuffled about hither and thither, regularly injuring people in the process and paring down her kill list. (Yes, the ten year old has a kill list. If you lived in Westeros, you’d probably have a kill list too.)

     Across the sea, Dany gets sidetracked by her decision to FREE ALL THE THINGS, all while navigating increasingly complicated personal relationships. The dragons continue to be awesome, because they’re dragons, and that’s what they do.

     I can neither confirm nor deny that I never left my childhood dragon phase.

     All in all, it appears that the universe of Game of Thrones is possibly the last place you would ever want to be ever, but darn if it isn’t entertaining. Martin gives us an unexpected point-of-view character, one who becomes increasingly sympathetic as time goes on. No one is what they seem, and everyone, villain and hero, has numerous facets not always shown. (Except Joffrey. Joffrey is still an evil git.)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Review: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

   It is the middle of the Civil War, and the women of the March family are holding the home front while Mr. March is away as chaplain in the war. Mrs. March is a sensible and loving woman who occasionally lets her girls make mistakes so they can learn the lessons they need. Meg is the eldest girl, lovely and prone to vanity but also intelligent and able to keep order amongst her younger sisters. Jo is the second girl, brash and boyish, with a fiery temper and a fierce love for her sisters. Beth is the third girl, gentle and calm, drifting through the world yet somehow quietly leaving her influence on everyone. Amy is the youngest, a bit spoiled and vain, but kept in check by Meg’s more level-headed behavior.

     These characters could have become clichés, but Alcott managed to make them real in their own right. They all have their virtues and flaws, and the way those play out are quite real. The novel isn’t so much one continuous plot as numerous episodes in the daily life of the March household. Some are hilarious, and some are quite sad, but all show an understanding of just how complicated life can get, even when living a fairly simple life.

     Two things seem to always come up when discussing this book. The first is the belief that Jo and Laurie should have married. Apart from the fact that they have no chemistry together, I would also point out that Jo spends most of her time nagging Laurie about something. He didn’t want a wife; he wanted a mother-figure to coddle him and scold him. His choosing Amy comes at a point when he stops moping about his own life and is only concerned for her emotional pain. He matures and learns to be selfless, and it happens to coincide with Amy’s own similar journey.

     The second is that “BETH IS ZOMGBORING”. My only comment here is that Beth is sort of the glue that holds everyone together. She is quiet, drifting through the background and taking care of a thousand little things, that no one notices until they stop getting done. While I understand the complain that she isn’t a “dynamic” character-she doesn’t have any particular character arc of her own-the complaints usually extend to her being “saccharine” and “too good”. I’ve gone on an extended rant about these kinds of complaints, which I will post later. Suffice to say, I think Beth is awesome, deal with it.

     

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

100 Themes Challenge: Expectations

     Anticipation, they say, is the worst part of death. The old man suspected “they” said that because they had not experienced death. This, then, was his purpose, his reason. It was an old reason; a thousand people had tried this before, and he was certain a thousand more would try this again. But he had to know.
     His assistant was a gawkish young woman, large glasses, hair cut short and professional. She was supposed to be a nurse, a healer. But that was not her purpose now. She was as fascinated as he, but he saw fear dancing in her eyes.
     “Dr. Joshi, are you…are you sure you want to…?” She glanced at the lab table, sterile, cold. The old man nodded, then laid himself down on the table.
     “The restraints, Jane. Lest I become violent afterward.” Her hands shook as she strapped his arms and legs down. He hoped she would overcome her fear and be able to conduct the experiment properly.
     “Now, attach the nodes. Just there, to my temples.” He had shaved off his thick white hair in anticipation of the experiment. He felt the latex gloves on his forehead. They were not shaking so much. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her preparing the IV.
     “You must write down everything, Jane. Everything. The readings from my brain, anything I might say while I am in this state. You must record my movements, in detail.”
     “I will, Dr. Joshi.”
     She inserted the IV, her hands deft. She had done this numerous times, but not for so dark a purpose.
     “Do you have the needle prepared?”
     “I do.”
     “Then begin. Remember, only ten minutes. After that, start the IV drip to revive me.”
     She nodded silently, and he watched as she inserted the needle into the IV cord.

     He felt his functions begin to slow. His heart, his brain. The world became fuzzy, and then dark. Even the sounds of Jane scribbling furiously on her notepad faded to nothingness. Then, quite suddenly, the light began.
     It was blinding. He had heard people tell of such a thing, but he had discounted all the tales as nonsense or false memories. They had not gone in to their deaths with the purpose of observing.
     The light continued to shine all around him, but he saw a darkness at the center, as though he was looking straight into a solar eclipse. Ah, the inverse of what all had said. See what one noticed when one truly looked? He thought of moving himself forward, and like that, he did. It took a mere thought. How powerful one was here!
     As he drew closer to the dark center, he saw faces, some strange and some familiar, gesturing at him wildly. Ah, the relatives come to greet him! But no…this was another inverse. They were making shooing motions, telling him to go back. What nonsense! Where was the warm greeting to the afterlife that he expected? Their faces were fearful, their eyes wide. But when he tried to turn to speak, he felt himself being pulled inexorably to the center. He was not moving of his own volition anymore.
     He entered the darkness. Yet it was not darkness as he knew it. It was a luminescent darkness. He didn’t know how to describe it. It was not that his eyes had adjusted. It was simply the dark…that glowed.
     Figures stood around, surrounding the epicenter. He was conducted there, and there he stood. At first, he could not see who or what they were, because the glow from the dark was so bright here. But here and there, he began to distinguish features. A creature with some sort of dog-like head…a morose man in dark, with a beautiful fearsome woman seated on a throne next to him…a robed figure, skeletal hands gripping a scythe…
     Death. They were all death. Abhay Joshi, medical doctor, seeker after strange things, was looking at Death in all its varied forms, and Death was looking back at him with cold, unrelenting eyes.
     And suddenly, he was very afraid.
     The air filled with a strange murmuring, and he saw all those figures looking and gesturing at each other, and then at him. In his peripheral vision, he saw a man sitting astride a large buffalo, but dare not look closer; all the stories from his long ago childhood suddenly returned to him. Strange little imps surrounded him, and a suddenly a humanoid being leapt down from the height, black wings spread around it, beautiful and terrible.
     “Only one has the power to draw a man from the Halls of Death back into life,” the creature proclaimed.
     “I only wanted to know…!” Dr. Joshi cried, but his voice was drowned out by the murmuring.
     “You know. And you must stay here, and continue to know.”
     The old man cried aloud, hoping that his voice would somehow reach the lab and Jane...
     And there she was. She stepped forward, but she was wrapped in a black robe, and in her hand she carried a broom.
     “There is no Jane, and there is none to bring you back. You violated the natural order, that which only one may do. Here you are, and here you stay.”
     Dr. Joshi did not make a sound this time as darkness absorbed him.

A/N: Yeah, this was shamelessly inspired by Borderland.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review: The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson



     Two friends decide to go on a camping trip in Ireland. Now, in some cases this can lead to wacky hijinks and Irish jokes. In a horror book, it leads to terrible, terrible things. While out walking, they find an abandoned garden and, farther on, the ruins of a house sitting  on the edge of a large crater. There, they find an old journal, get the creeps, and run back to camp.

     The journal is of the unnamed owner of the house, who lives in the isolated spot with only his sister and his dog for company. He begins experiencing strange phenomena, from strange lights in the house to being somehow transported to a strange other dimension, where his house sits in a large crater and a huge pig-being looms overhead…

     Next thing the poor guy knows, his dog is injured, his house is attacked by pig creatures (presumably from Amnesia), his sister is terrified of him, and his trips to the “outside” become stranger and stranger…

     This was a very weird book. Nothing is particularly explained. We, like the poor narrators and the poor victims, have no clue what is going on, and can only sit back helplessly and watch as events unfold. It’s also an extreme case of an unreliable narrator-when the house is attacked, the man cannot find the bodies of the pig creatures he killed, but he sees evidence of damage. It is strongly implied that his sister doesn’t even see the damage in the house, and from her perspective she is watching her brother lose his mind. (The fellows over at HPLLPS speculated that she too was experiencing weird phenomena that her brother did not-they were isolated from each other by their widely different experiences.)

     There is a sense of loss and melancholy throughout the entire book (particularly when the man seemingly witnesses the end of the entire universe), and it isn’t exactly a pleasant read, but it is a very interesting one.

Monday, August 25, 2014

ClassicWho Reviews: The Dalek Invasion of Earth

     DALEKS ARE NAZIS! DALEKS ARE NAZIS! DALEKS ARE NAZIS!

     ….

     HAVE WE MENTIONED DALEKS ARE NAZIS? BECAUSE DALEKS ARE TOTALLY NAZIS.

     I’m being facetious, but the World War II parallels are quite blatant in this serial.

     The crew land in a future of Earth, where it becomes swiftly evident that the Daleks have—you guessed it—taken over the world!



     While Barbara and Susan become involved in the local resistance movement (in Britain-because everything happens in Britain), the Doctor and Ian are taken captive by the Daleks, who are forcing humans to work in the mines for reasons unknown, and converting anyone who tries to escape into Robomen, who are nothing like Robocop. Also, the Black Dalek has a pet snake-thing, which makes about as much sense as everything else did in the Sixties.

     This is one of my favorite serials, partly because Daleks, and partly because of the World War II references. Earth has become Vichy France, complete with a daring Resistánce, as well as desperate locals who would sell them out for a bit of food. Also, the Daleks are totally Nazi-saluting with their plungers, and it is hilarious.

Also, Daleks are Space Nazis. In case we didn't make that very clear.


     One can presume the idea of moving Earth hither and thither through space was totally stolen from Yog-Sothoth, who had some sort of vague similar plan in Dunwich Horror, but given how busy he is kept throughout the run of Doctor Who I guess we’ll never know what he thought of the matter.

     Most disappointing is the conclusion to Susan’s story arc. The actress chose to leave because the writers kept abandoning character development in favor of having reasons for her to scream really loudly. She randomly falls in love with a Resistance member, and the Doctor seems fine with his beloved granddaughter marrying a man she just met. He says his goodbyes and leaves her to her happy life. (Which, if what I hear of the audio plays is true, was not really that happy, what with vengeful Daleks and all that…) To be fair, the scene is quite heartwrenching, but it is just the first in a series of unsatisfactory conclusions for female companions.

     Overall, however, it’s an excellent serial, and definitely set up the Daleks as one of the Doctor’s most dangerous enemies. (Which is promptly undone in The Chase.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Oh look, a new vlog!







And in our first episode, Not!Igor manages to kill himself. (He gets better.)



Clearly this is going to end wonderfully.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Photo Saturday: House on the Non-Haunted Hill

At least, I presume it is not haunted. It looks far too pleasant. I'm genre-savvy about these things, you know.


Friday, August 22, 2014

ClassicWho Reviews: Planet of Giants

     “Honey, I Shrunk the TARDIS Crew!”

     That says all you need to know about this serial. Our heroes arrive on Earth, as Ian and Barbara have hoped, but they are very tiny. As soon as they step outside, they see a giant earthworm—which promptly dies. As they explore their suddenly giant surroundings, they start finding evidence of something science-y going down; an Evil BusinessmanTM has manufactured an insecticide that is too deadly to be authorized! Wait, Barbara, did you just stick your hand in an unknown substance…?

     After the Evil Businessman murders the government scientist who has denounced his insecticide, the Doctor and Co. work separately along with Evil Businessman’s aide to stop him from distributing the Not!DDT to the world.


     It isn’t the best of serials, but it’s mildly entertaining, in a “giant bugs” way. Unfortunately none of them found a discarded oatmeal cream pie to snack on in the interim, more’s the pity.

Is it weird that I always crave an oatmeal cream pie after watching this scene?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Parody 5: S2, E3: The Non-Euclidean Geometry of Shadows

Babylon 5 is epic, in case no one was aware.

MEDLAB

Garibaldi: I don’t know about this new captain. He seems too…happy.

Franklin: Why don’t you want to go back to work?

Garibaldi: My second-in-command was a traitor! That sucks.

Megatron: TELL ME ABOUT IT.


OH LOOK YET ANOTHER CONSPIRACY

Refa: We were impressed by your insane ability to take care of Quadrant 37. How did you do it?

Londo: Oh things…and stuff…and no spiders whatsoever…

Refa: And luckily we didn’t have to surrender or anything. Our emperor is a total idiot with his desire to not be blowing up Narns all the time. But once he kicks the bucket we’ll take over.

Londo: Isn’t this like treason or something?

Refa: Oh come on! Peer pressure!


Vir: 



WE FOUND THE PLOT!

Drazi: HEY YOU GUYS LET’S FIGHT OVER OUR PRETTY COLORED SCARVES!

They do so.


IT’S ALMOST AS BAD AS A FIELD PROMOTION

Ivanova: So apparently every five years the Drazi fight each other for power.

Sheridan: This might be a good idea, actually. You can learn diplomacy.

Ivanova: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN I DON’T HAVE DIPLOMACY?

Sheridan: Also you get a promotion. Here’s orange juice, since I’m obsessed with it.

Ivanova: I…but…promotion…commander….AWESOME.

Sheridan: Now go deal with those crazy Drazi. I’m going to go see Garibaldi.

Ivanova watches the screen of brawling Drazi.

Ivanova: *cries*


SIGN OF THE TIMES

Londo: Three techno-mages gave the first emperor their blessing. I could totally do this too as a sign. Go talk to those technomages that just showed up.

Vir: *cries*


IN WHICH REAL LIFE WRITES THE PLOT

Ivanova: You guys are idiots. Most of us would be okay if you killed each other, but we want a peaceful way to deal with this. What’s your issues?

Drazi: He’s purple, and I’m green.

Ivanova: Who gets to wear which?

Drazi: We draw them out of a box.

Ivanova: WHAT. Hey, you two, come here a minute.

Ivanova takes a purple scarf and puts it on a green Drazi. The other greens immediately attack him. Ivanova falls down. (And breaks a leg.)


FORESHADOWING!

Vir: I’m Vir and I work for Londo…the people running away screaming in terror said you were here…?

Monster: *growls*

Vir: I’M VIR PLEASE DON’T EAT ME

Elric: Huh, you don’t get too scared of my fake monsters.

Vir: I work for Londo.

Elric: …appropriate. What’s he want?

Vir: He wants to talk to you.

Elric: We don’t talk to anyone. We’re going far far away. We may even go to Taco Bell.

Vir: I’ll be in very bad trouble.

Elric: And if you bother us more you’ll be in very worse trouble. Also, meddle not in the affairs of wizards.

Gandalf: *fistbump*


PLOT COMPLICATION!

Commlink: Hey Ivanova, I know your leg is broken and all, but the Drazi have started actually murdering one another.

Ivanova: Violence, on my station? I’LL KILL THEM ALL.


LONDO ACTS SKETCHY

Elric: We’re just hanging out for a bit. You know, like Woodstock, with less drugs.

Sheridan: But I have to figure out why. There’s like 100 of you. Isn’t that a bad omen?

Elric: We don’t have to tell anyone where we’re going.

Londo: Oh hey, let me sit my drink here sketchily. You guys look like you’re having so much fun.

Elric: I see what you do there Londo. He keeps trying to bother me. Look at my awesome special effects of Babbling!Vir.

Londo: He recorded my conversation, but I’ll forgive him. Let’s offer hands of friendship.

Elric explodes the recording device.

Elric: I WILL END YOU.

Sheridan: LONDO…I AM DISAPOINT. But seriously, what’s going on Elric?

Elric: Do you believe in magic?

Sheridan: …friendship and oranges?

Elric: Riiight. We’ll go with that. Anyways, point being, we know really awesome secrets. We have to preserve them from THE EVIL DARKNESS OF DOOM. We can’t tell you where we’re going though. Here, have this magic…orange blossom. Of friendship.

Sheridan: …


EVEN THE DRAZIS LIKE CONSPIRACIES

Ivanova: I want to talk to your leader.

Drazi: Go for it.

Drazi Leader: You can tell the purple Drazi to go into a certain room, and when they get there we lock them in and open the airlocks! IT’LL BE FUN!

Ivanova: ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR DAMN MIND?

Other Drazis: *ambush*


HALLWAY

Welch: We have a Drazi meeting, Ivanova texted it while hanging with Drazis. Totally legit, I’m sure.

Garibaldi: MY SKETCHY SENSES ARE TINGLING.


GARIBALDI MAKES ANOTHER REFERENCE

Ivanova: You’re all idiots, just to let you know.

*doorknock*

Garibaldi: Hey, hey, I got a great Acme product, let me demonstrate, just a moment, Warner Bros. doesn’t have to know. Anyone need help?

Ivanova: I’LL TAKE IT!

Garibaldi beats up all the Drazi. I mean every single one in the whole room. It’s AWESOME.


MY LITTLE TECHNOMAGE: TROLLING IS MAGIC

Narn opera screeches in the background while a holo-demon attacks Londo’s computer like Agent Smith on crack and buys him 2000 shares in a spoo farm.

Londo: I don’t know what to do!

Vir: You could apologize.

Londo: NEVER!

Computer: Also, you own 500,000 shares in fireflies.

Owl City: =D


LOOPHOLES ARE ALSO MAGIC

Ivanova: You know what? Screw it. Give me that stupid scarf.

Drazi: You’re green leader now!

Ivanova: Really? Wow, that…was surprisingly easy. ALL RIGHT EVERYONE, WAR’S OVER.


TROLLOLOL

Londo: Ummm…hi? What I did was kind of a not perfectly good idea. The concealed camera was a silly idea.

Monster: *GROWLS*

Londo: I’M SORRY DON’T EAT ME.

Monster: K.

Londo: Err…thanks. Umm…bye. Maybe we can talk some other time? Yeah…bye.

Demon Thing: NEXT WE SHALL REPLACE ALL HIS UNDERWEAR WITH PAPER BAGS. LAWLZ.


TIME FOR THE PLOT DISCUSSION WRAP-UP!

Garibaldi: I figured out I basically know everything about everyone. Also, I don’t trust anyone either.

Franklin: Perfect as the security chief. And the paranoia will not have any bearing on future plots, or lead to a devastating betrayal.

Sheridan: I’m going to say goodbye to the technomages. Garibaldi, we’re bros for life now. I’m sure that will not lead to any Biblical references at all.


AND NOW TIME FOR YOUR WEEKLY CRYPTIC PROPHECY

Londo: That was not fun. Those demon things. Will they go away when you leave?

Elric: Already got rid of them. But you are becoming evil. I see a hand, reaching from the stars, and it’s because you’re a Greater Jerk. Good luck with that.

Londo: D-:


C&C

Sheridan: Goodbye, technomages. Part of me says we’ll not see their like again.

Corwin: Sir? Are you talking to yourself?

Sheridan: Yes. Stop listening to other people’s conversations.

Corwin: Yes sir.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Flat Pendergast Does a Dramatic Reading

My fellow asylum inmates on Team Pendergast have started a Flat Pendergast campaign. It's like Flat Stanley, except about a thousand times cooler.

This happened.



He's much better at pronouncing those big words than I am.

Happy Birthday, Howie P.!

That...that is an appropriate nickname, right?


...never mind.



That's right, kids! This is the day the creepy uncle of horror was born! Everyone celebrate!

Let the good times roll...

Really, for all his pseudo-nihilistic beliefs, Lovecraft seemed to be a stand-up guy. Neurotic, nerdy, and a huge cat fan, he would've fit right in with the rest of the Internet. While he didn't quite start the weird fiction/cosmic horror genre, he certainly brought it to the attention of the rest of the world, resulting in a modern-day cult. I mean fanbase. Fanbase.

So what can we say about Lovecraft's writings? Some were amazing, hitting that right note of creepy and otherworldly, while some were...shall we say...a bit overblown.

Lovecraft liked using really big words that send everyone scurrying for their dictionaries, but that's okay. Books that have lessons in them are good too.

But what are the absolute best Lovecraft stories out there? Well, here is my top ten. Happy reading, and please...don't turn out the lights.

Cthulhu hates stumbling through a room to find a light switch. You should be more considerate next time.



10. Cool Air

     Our unnamed protagonist befriends his neighbor upstairs, a doctor who uses this newfangled thing called an "air conditioner" to keep his apartment unnaturally cold. Oddly enough, this doctor is not in fact my mother, despite evidence to the contrary. But why must the doctor keep his apartment so cool? And why is he so obsessed with prolonging life...?
     Fairly short, but it keeps up the tension and has a great ending.


9. Pickman's Model

     Our unnamed protagonist befriends a famous macabre artist known for his life-like paintings of monsters. Pickman is obsessed with the occult activity of the olden days, and prowls the streets at night, searching for inspiration. The protagonist is determined to see the building where Pickman does his most secret work. Again, a bit short, and a mildly cheesy ending, but it sort of highlights Lovecraft's own obsession with older times.


8. The Music of Erich Zann

     Our unnamed protagonist befriends a neighbor in his apartment building that plays the violin at night. And I promise that is the last time I will use the phrase "unnamed protagonist". Erich Zann keeps the curtains to his window shut tight, and says he must play the violin.Why does he do this? Why does the protagonist care? Is it true that the building is in fact Cthulhu's iPod? The world may never know.


7. The Dreams in the Witch House

     A young student at Miskatonic University, Walter Gilman, has been studying higher mathematics and physics, and concluded magic is actually done by the manipulation of these two subjects. For proof, he takes the top room in an old boarding house that once belonged to a witch Keziah Mason, who disappeared from her prison cell along with her man-faced rat Brown Jenkins. He believes the legends of her still existing are nonsense, but when he starts hearing footsteps in his room at night, and when he starts having waking dreams where he walks through other worlds, things get dangerous. As May Eve approaches, poor Gilman finds more proof than he ever wanted.
     I can neither confirm nor deny that this book gave me a nightmare in which Nyarlathotep was hovering at the end of my bed.


6. The Colour Out of Space

     Lovecraft liked the British way of spelling things. A strange meteor lands in a farmer's yard, and at first, the whole town is excited about the attention it has brought. But when everything around the farmer's land begins slowly turning gray and dying, excitement turns to horror. Investigators from Misk. U. arrive, but they may be too late.
     Part of what freaked me out so much was the clear analogue to nuclear fall-out. The possibility of nuclear weapons was being discussed almost as soon as Marie Curie discovered the effects of radiation. Lovecraft wasn't the first to consider the dark possibilities of a nuclear weapon, and he certainly wasn't the last.

5. The Cats of Ulthar

     Lovecraft really loved cats.


Like the rest of us, he thought people who hurt cats deserved to be eaten alive by them. So he wrote a story about it. The end.


4. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

     Charles Dexter Ward's psychiatrist is trying to explain exactly why the young man was insane. As it turns out, there was very good reason for it. From old stories of a sorcerous ancestor to strange doings in modern times, Dr. Willett begins to uncover a dark plot that stretches back to the time of the witch trials.
     It's Lovecraft's best attempt at a novel, and I suspect if he had lived longer he would have perfected the technique. Also, Carrie Bebris totally used the plot in Suspense and Sensibility!


3. The Call of Cthulhu

     I bet you were expecting this to be number one, weren't you? Well, no. It's one of his best, but not the best, in my opinion. It's a bit rambly, so the story isn't as tight as it could be. The story follows four different threads, all connected to an ugly little idol of a weird squiddy-dragon god. Our unnamed protagonist (PSYCH!) is researching how his uncle's death is connected to all this, and uncovers dark cults under our very noses.
     Obviously, the origin of all things blobby and tentacled these days.

Picture by this incredible genius on deviantART called LuckyFK. (You read that the same way I did, didn't you?)


2. The Dunwich Horror

     Dunwich has had the misfortune of being a source of really weird things. As such, they almost aren't affected when Lavinia Whately gives birth to a weird-looking kid, and her and her crazy father start herding cows to the top floor of their house. It appears Yog-Sothoth has taken a break from trolling the Doctor to start mucking about in rural New England, and it's up to an old guy from Misk. U. to save the day!
     Has some genuinely creepy moments (the part where everyone on a party line hears a family get devoured is notable), as well as giving Lovecraft his own name for his mythos: "Yog-Sothothery".

1. The Haunter in the Dark

     This is the other reason you shouldn't turn off the light. Robert Bloch Blake is a weird fiction writer who lives in a nice boarding house with lots of cats. However, his eye is constantly drawn to the strange chapel on the other side of the city, whose steeple the birds seem to avoid. When he goes there, he starts having strange dreams, and becomes obsessed with "the haunter in the dark".
     Not only is this a creepy and well-written book, but it was also written specifically because Robert Bloch killed Lovecraft off in one of his stories, so Lovecraft decided to return the favor. (Bloch later had the last laugh by writing a third story in which Nyarlathotep helps humanity invent nuclear weapons.)

Eerie Steeple: Curse Sold Separately.

Now, these are not his only good stories. Nyarlathotep is his best super-short story. Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath is amazing simply because it is so over the top bizarre, and also the cats of Ulthar fly to the moon and back. The Battle That Ended the Century is good because Lovecraft (or "Hateart", as he is called in the story) took all of his writer friends and put them in a fictional gladiatorial ring, just for the lulz. It's a very silly story from someone best known for horror.


So, there ya have it. The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast has some free readings of a few of these at their website. They're done by the amazing Andrew Leman. Turn down the lights (but not all the way-Cthulhu hates stubbing his toes, you know), pull up a chair, and have a listen.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

100 Themes Challenge: Stars

     The wise men of the village said that centuries ago, a great wizard purposed to count all the stars in the sky. He had packed nothing, only lifted up a walking stick and began making his slow, deliberate way toward the mountain that towered over the village. He intended to seat himself upon the peak and count and name every star that could be seen from that height. He said in this way he would know all there is to know about the universe and return as the wisest man in the world.
     Years passed, and because it was a small village, people continued to talk of the old ambitious wizard. The tale was passed on, first to the children of those that watched the man leave, then to their children’s children. It was one of these grandchildren then that took it upon himself to discover what happened to the old wizard. His elders scoffed at him.
     “Depend upon it, the old man went to the peak and died. He took no food, and as you see, the vegetation is quite sparse there.”
     “But did not my father see a great light upon the hill five years ago?” asked the young man.
     “Your father was drunk, lad. Do not do this mad thing. Stay here, safe in the village, and do not chase after legends as the old wizard did.”
     But the young man would not be deterred. Unlike the wizard, he took a pack of food, and no walking stick. He left the village, promising he would be back within a month with news of what he found on the peak.
     The people shook their heads, and consoled themselves that as the boy was already an orphan there would be less harm in losing him.
     The lad took the shortest path to the mountain, by traveling through the great forest. It was thick with creatures, and he left his rations alone as he was able to catch many deer for his meals. Once he began climbing, however, the trees became thinner, and the animals remained below, except for a few hardy goats that hopped from rock to rock, deftly avoiding his attempts at catching them. The mountain became steeper, and soon the lad was climbing hand over hand along the rocks, feeling cuts form as he clung to the side.
     Soon, he hoisted himself onto a small narrow path, which led up to the tall rock on the peak of the mountain. He followed this, nearly crawling on his hands and knees from exhaustion. When he reached the top, for a moment he lay there on the bare rock, relief spreading through him. But as he lay there, a strange light hit his eyelids, and he opened them and stood.
     Before him stood a woman, beautiful and strange. Her hair was of purest gold, her skin a shining silver. Her eyes were black as the night sky, and just as cold and remote. The young man became afraid, but could not move.
     “Why do you come here, to this accursed place?” she demanded, and her voice seemed to come from some faraway place that he could not reach.
     “I come to find out the fate of the old wizard who journeyed to this spot to count the stars.”
     “You see his fate before you,” the woman said, and she gestured to the ground.
     Before the rock was thick ash, as though from a volcano; but the young man knew what it was. He started back, nearly toppling off the edge of that peak.
     “He tried to tame that which cannot be tamed,” the woman said. “He paid the price for seeking to control what was greater than himself. Shall you do the same?”
     The young man ran down the narrow path, and hastily climbed to the bottom of the mountain.

    When he stumbled into the village a week later, he was starved and exhausted. When the elders asked him what he saw, he could only babble incoherently. He was an idiot thereafter, and thereafter, no one tried to climb the peak of that accursed mountain, because of the wizard’s pride.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: Heidi by Johanna Spyri

A/N: My apologies for the bouts of insanity yesterday. They're a common side effect from reading the GoT series, and generally fade with time. Or at least until George R. R. "Punch-You-In-The-Feels" Martin kills someone else.



     I remember watching the 1937 Heidi a lot when I was a kid. After reading the book, I know why I did. It’s such a pleasant, gentle story that I can’t help but love it.

     The book begins with the titular Heidi’s aunt taking her to live with her estranged grandfather. The old man lives in seclusion in the alps, embittered against both God and people. Aunt Dete is clearly eager to get the little girl off her hands, and leaves quickly before the old man can protest. Resentment soon melts away in the face of Heidi’s eager curiosity and loving nature. She charms everyone around her, and when Dete takes her away to live as companion to a wealthy, invalid girl, she brings life back to the staid household.

     Johanna Spyri weaves beautiful descriptions of the alps into the story. They are almost another character, and their effect on people seems to mirror Heidi’s own influence. This is a sweet little tale, and one I definitely will return to again and again.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Storm of Swords: Wedding Reactions

Sansa's Wedding:







The Red Wedding:






Joffrey's Wedding:


Nope, can't find a single f*#% to give.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Twitterature August 2014: I Am Still Reading A Storm of Swords!!!

Here we are again, back to Twitterature. Once again I have several different books going on.

1.) A Storm of Swords by George R.R. "Kill 'Em All" Martin

   
So that happened.

Worst. Wedding. Ever.



2.) The Midnight Folk by John Masefield



     Young Kay is a very normal British child, living with his odious guardian and dealing with boring schoolwork. But when his dreams blend into reality and lead him on a quest for the treasure lost by his ancestor, Captain Harker. On the way, he has to contend with a sneaky cat, evil witches, and your run-of-the-mill criminals. Some people are really dreadful at capturing how children actually think and behave, but John Masefield does it superbly. Kay's meandering daydreams remind me of my own imaginary adventures as a child.


3.) Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea



     So I started this. But I think I'm going to give up on it. For one thing, it started out in precisely the way that annoys me most. I go in hoping to read a horror novel. The prologue is intriguing, horrifying, and gives just enough to make you want to hear more. The next chapter is dedicated to setting up how normal the protagonist's life is-which involves really really detailed sex. Yes, sex happens. But I really don't want to hear about other people's sex lives, fictional or not. And then, of course, the protagonist's tragic back story involves an argument about "sex interrupted by crying baby and sheer exhaustion" right before his wife mysteriously dies. Oh boy, I really feel like he's relatable now! Oh, wait, no I don't. That was a turn-off right there. (Pun totally intended.)
     I genuinely disliked the guy, and no amount of the author saying "Look! Look how he loves his child! Isn't he wonderful, WHY DON'T YOU THINK HE'S WONDERFUL" helped. Then, the build-up to the protagonist becoming part of the actual plot was so meandering and boring that I gave up before it even happened. I'm sure something scary and exciting happens later on, but you killed it. You killed it more efficiently than a Game of Thrones character.


A/N: Looks like Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy has her post up! Go check out all the recommendations there!

Feastday of the Dormition of the Theotokos

Today is a really big feast day in the Orthodox church. It is the day we celebrate the falling asleep of Mary, the Theotokos. Why would we celebrate someone's death? Because of the circumstances surrounding it, and because of the fact that Mary's soul was received into heaven by Christ her son.

Explanation of the Dormition Icon

In some ways, we have bookends to Mary's role within the Gospel. Once again an angel brings a message to her, and once again she goes into the hills. (In this case, she went to the Mount of Olives, following in her son's footsteps.) After her preparations were complete, the Apostles were taken from their various missions in foreign lands to attend her. (Except for Thomas-he was always late, it seems. Poor fellow.)

During the funeral procession, one of the locals tried to knock over her funeral dais. Upon which the Archangel Michael sliced off his hand. He promptly said he was very sorry (possibly shouted it, actually) and his hand was promptly restored. We hear nothing else of him, but presumably he became a very active member in the church after that incident. (The icon in Assumption Church in East Moline always amuses me. In it, the Archangel Michael is gesturing emphatically to the heavens, so one can assume that the little man was getting an earful at the same time.)

Three days later, Thomas finally arrives from India and wishes to pay his respects. However, they opened her tomb and found her body gone, assumed into heaven. (Thus the zillion churches all called "Assumption").

The Church believes that Mary prays for us as her own children, and numerous miracles have occurred with regards to her.

Also, snakes arrive at this church in Greece to venerate the icons and celebrate with the other Orthodox.

No, seriously.

This is more a case of the snakes handling the people, really.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

ClassicWho Reviews: The Sensorites

     In this episode of Doctor Who, we have a Very Important Aesop on foreign policy.

     Okay, well…that was basically what it was about.

    The Doctor et. al. arrive on a ship, only to find the crew seemingly dead. However, they are able to revive a couple of them, who give some plot exposition. They were sent explore the Sense Sphere, but the Sensorites keep knocking them out, I guess with roofies or something, and will not let them leave. Right on cue, a Sensorite floats up in front of the window, in what is actually kind of a creepy moment, even though in a mundane situation the costumes are laughable.

     The TARDIS crew meet John, whose mind has been almost totally broken by the Sensorites, and Susan’s telepathy tells her that Sensorites are acting out of fear. It appears John has discovered the Sense Sphere has a very valuable mineral on the planet, and the Sensorites fear the humans will go full on Avatar on them. The Doctor arranges things so that the Sensorites and humans can negotiate, but some corrupt political figures on the planet scheme to keep the two parties distrustful, which is made easier by the fact that Sensorites cannot even distinguish between themselves without wearing identifying clothing.
"...Bob?"
"I...I'm your brother. You know, Gary?"
"Oh yeah, Gary!"


     This was just the beginning of the “societal problems IN SPACE” episodes that Doctor Who has given us. While arguably they are more often than not beating the message in our heads, one can also argue that some of the messages really do need to be beaten in people’s heads. Prejudice people generally don’t realize they’re jerks with subtle hints.

     This was also a good episode for Susan, as she starts displaying signs of independence and making decisions without the Doctor’s input. Also, her and Barbara’s encouragement of John to fight against his mental conditioning was a very intense scene.

     Overall, it was a good episode that gave each of our characters ways to shine.

"Let me guess...you're sensing hostility."
"How did you know?"
"It's sort of par for the course on a sci-fi show."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

100 Themes Challenge: Hold My Hand

     “Daddy, hold my hand!” Janey’s soft voice reached his ears, and in a moment he was there at the balance beam, taking her little hand in his as she made her way up. She was rather timid about heights, but seemed to be comfortable as long as there was someone around to catch her, “just in case”.
     Dan had made her a solemn promise just that morning, right before they drove to the park.
     “Janey,” he said, “I promise you I will always be there to catch you. Cross my heart hope to die.”
     “I know you will, Daddy!” she said, her face lighting up. They had played hard all that afternoon. Some other parents gave them weird looks. The kind of parents that didn’t have anything to do with their kids unless they had to, then wondered why their kids never cared about them. Dan swore he would never be that parent.
     So they played tag, then he pushed her on the swings, hearing her shrieks divided between fear and delight. He led her to the top of the slide, then ran back to the bottom to wait for her. He held her up as she crossed the monkey bars, and then they came to the balance beam. He heard it was good for kids to get a good sense of balance while they were young, so he had her walk as far as she could before she finally reached out for his hand.
     It was a long day, but a good one, and when the sun started going down, it was time to go for ice cream.

     Sandra watched the man cross the playground with distaste.
     “What is wrong with him?” she asked her friend Beth quietly.
     “It was terrible,” she said. “He brought his daughter to the park a couple weeks ago, but he got distracted by a phone call from work. He left her on the balance beam and she fell off and broke her neck.” Beth sighed. “Something must have snapped in him. He’s been here every day, acting like he’s playing with her again. Poor man.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

     A Clash of Kings opens up with someone dying. This pretty much says all you need to know about the series.

     Robb Stark has been proclaimed King of the North; Stannis Baratheon is claiming himself the rightful heir to the Iron Throne; younger brother Renly is claiming it, because “well we usurped the last rulers, so why can’t I usurp people?”. Balon Greyjoy has suddenly decided he should be king as well; the Wildlings are starting to gather an army beyond the Wall, and poor Dany is wandering around, trying to convince people that she needs an army, and no, they can’t have her dragons.

     Also, Joffrey still exists, which basically sucks for everyone.

     Martin does an excellent job of weaving in action with political and underlying religious conflict. The northmen worship the old gods; the majority of Westeros have temples set up to the seven; and Stannis has converted to the worship of R’Holl, god of light, to gain help from the sorceress Melisandre. Once again, the characters simply leap off the pages, and Martin knows just how to divide your loyalties. After all, it’s easy to find yourself rooting for the Starks, particularly Bran; but Tyrion is a likeable jerk, and Dany just wants to get her throne back and be a good queen to her people. (And dragons. She has dragons. That’s a big thing, dragons.) And the entire time I read, in the back of my mind, I can’t help but think, “Yeah, but the crazy horrible people are going to win, aren’t they? It’s going to be that kind of series, isn’t it?”


     Who knows? George R. R. Martin, but he’s too busy being a literary hitman to tell us right now.

Monday, August 11, 2014

ClassicWho Review-The Keys of Marinus

     Every now and then, the Doctor likes to go on video game-style quests. His first time doing this was in The Keys of Marinus. Marinus is a planet where morality is entirely regulated by a machine that eliminates all evil thoughts from people’s heads…except for Yartek and his alien minions the Voord, who may or may not be wearing Venom-like symbiotes. Arbitan, keeper of the Conscience, scattered the keys to the machine across the planet to keep Yartek from using the machine for his own purposes. Being the nice keeper of morality that he is, he holds the TARDIS hostage so the Doctor and his companions will find the keys.

     This was a rather long, convoluted serial, comprising as it did several quest-style storylines. In fact, they discover several places where everyone is just as horrible. You have Morphoton, where everyone is hypnotized into believing they live in utter luxury (the Doctor is promised a highly advanced lab where he can science to his heart’s content); Barbara is able to break free and find Arbitan’s missing daughter, and the key. The adventurers split up after this, finding a jungle that affects telepaths (such as Susan) and also where plants want to kill you (such as Audrey II), an icy land where Vasor creates a trope, and Millenius, where you can’t help but wonder if the writers were just plain making fun of the British court system at that point.

     I can’t help but feel this was just the way to show off the various locations the creators can come up with. Some of the special effects were remarkably well done for the time.

     Some...not so much.

Best. Special effect. EVER.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dorian Gray is Blond You Idiots (A Rant)

Why? Why does everyone depict Dorian Gray with black hair? The book clearly states he is blond haired, and this is emphasized by his looks being described as "angelic beauty". While I prefer the "wheels upon wheels" angel depictions (hooray for mind-blasting*!), traditionally angels are depicted as blond haired.

I was telling this to Dale, and he told me I should draw Dorian Gray, so I did.



Clearly I am as inspired as Basil.**

*Mind-blasting is not recommended for any mortal ever, and one should not take Frank Peretti's depictions of angels as realistic.

**Picture and rant may or may not have been completed while under influence of alcohol.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Photo Saturday: I Made A Friend One Winter But He Flew Away


Dude just perched there while I inched ever closer. Ruffled his feathers maybe once. I don't know if it was the cold, or if he's secretly a falcon celebrity and is used to paparazzi. Something.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

ClassicWho Review: The Edge of Destruction

A/N: So this should have come before The Aztecs. Clearly the hypnotic powers of the Great and Powerful Barbara blinded me to my buffer order.



     If The Daleks showed a softer side of the Doctor, The Edge of Destruction forced him to undergo some character development.

     When the Doctor tries to fix the TARDIS so he can properly navigate it, an explosion happens, knocking out the crew. When they awake, Susan and Ian are suffering amnesia, and the Doctor starts accusing Barbara and Ian of sabotaging the ship.

     Meanwhile, the TARDIS starts acting very odd, blinking lights, turning the monitors on and off, and a broken clock that causes everyone to scream in horror for some reason. The Doctor decides to drug Ian and Barbara, Susan starts stabbing things with scissors and screaming, and it’s clear something is very, very wrong.

     This serial felt very claustrophobic, for good reason. It takes place entirely on the TARDIS, and with all manner of paranoia going on. It’s also a good excuse to show off just how awesome Barbara is (TV Tropes suggest that the first several seasons could have been called the “Why Barbara Is Awesome” show and no one would have minded). She is the only one that really keeps a clear mind, noticing the actual warnings behind the strange things that TARDIS is doing. She also makes the Doctor do the one thing he hates doing-apologizing.

     This was an interesting serial after the last two, which explored the ancient past and a different planet, respectively. Instead, we see a bit of the TARDIS workings, and how our protagonists react under pressure.


You don't want to know their reaction to Salvador's art...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Movie Review: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (1967)

     There once was a time when people thought that someone with dark skin was somehow inferior and less human.

     Wait…

I was going to put up an actual picture of the Klan, but they don't deserve that kind of consideration. So instead have this Blazing Saddles reference.


     Well, yes, racism is still very much a thing, which is why this movie is still so very relevant. Coming out right in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, it rustled jimmies. It rustled many, many jimmies, and is in fact often uncomfortable to watch, not only because the attitudes seem so foreign to many people, but also because it reveals some wrong assumptions we all make.

     In this film, Matt Drayton and his wife get the surprise of their life when their daughter returns from Hawaii with a fiancé; a successful, charming doctor…who happens to be black. The double shock of this and the swiftness of the engagement floors them both. The couple fell in love at first sight, with the widowed and bereft Dr. Prentice clearly charmed and almost overwhelmed by Joey’s sunny and energetic disposition, who floats through the movie in a romantic haze (to use Matt Drayton’s phrasing).  Joey wants her parents’ blessing right away so she can fly to Geneva with Dr. Prentice. As the day goes on, with the Draytons trying to wrap their minds around what’s happening, everyone’s assumptions and beliefs, about others and themselves, are laid bare.

     Matt Drayton’s character is very intriguing. He is a Civil Rights Crusader, but he is also very aware of the immense difficulties the couple will face from society. Underneath all that are hidden racist tendencies that he knows are wrong, but arise subconsciously. I’ve heard it said that we unintentionally absorb messages from the society around us. Consciously, we may know what is right and may even give ourselves a congratulatory pat on the back, but sometimes assumptions run like a script through our minds. At one point in the film, after accidentally hitting a kid’s car, Drayton complains that he never saw so many black people in the city until that day! It is part of his character arc that he confronts those issues in his mind and wrestles with them (with the help of the possibly-drunk Irish priest). Similarly, at the end we suspect Dr. Prentice’s father will be undergoing the same struggle.

     That is another point in the movie that shows the complexity of these issues. Racism goes both ways, and not only is Mr. Prentice adamantly opposed to the match, so is the Draytons’ housekeeper. She is kind and loving toward Joey, but thinks Dr. Prentice is “getting above himself” in marrying her. She has absorbed society’s message that she is a lesser person, and looks on in disgust at both the main couple and at her assistant, who goes dancing out the door with the (white) delivery boy.

Very. Silly. Dancing.



     In the end, the two mothers, Mrs. Drayton and Mrs. Prentice, give voice to what people often forget. If Joey and Dr. Prentice truly love one another, they will be able to support each other through the most difficult times. Mrs. Prentice accuses Drayton of forgetting what it was like to be in love, and this is what brings him back to himself. In the end, the movie is not wholly happy-Mr. Prentice’s mustache still looks very disapproving, and all have acknowledged both the couple and any children they have are in for a fight; but they are ready for that fight.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Parody 5: S2, E2: The Plot of This Season

SPACE THE FINAL FRONTIER

We are in the meeting room for the League of Idiots, where Londo is, of course, complaining.

Londo: Where is everyone? Why do I not have my coffee? WHO WRITES THIS CRAP?

Lennier: Delenn is indisposed.

Londo: SHE’S IN A COCOON. Where’s G’Kar?

Na’Toth: *glare*

Londo: So G’Kar disappears and Delenn becomes a butterfly? This sucks, don’t you agree Kosh?

Kosh: *huffs*

Sheridan: Looks like you’ve even managed to annoy the Vorlon. I’m out.

Londo: So where is G’Kar?

Na’Toth: He checked on what happened at Quadrant 37, where our colony was mysteriously destroyed by some unknown race of DOOM.


FRANKLING REMEMBERS A PLOTPOINT

Sheridan: Hey Franklin, how’s it going?

Franklin: Garibaldi’s half dead.

Sheridan: …that sucks.

Franklin: Nothing helps, but I do have an unauthorized plotpoint from Season 1.

Sheridan: What is the plotpoint?

Franklin: It drains people’s life force and gives it to someone else.

Sheridan: Well, that does suck. Go for it, don’t hurt anyone.


Sister Lizzie Sheridan arrives, in her cheerful, perky manner, with cheerful, perky hair even.

Sheridan: I totally lost control over the vegetable garden.

Lizzie: How did you gain weight eating vegetables?

Sheridan: …


I GUESS THIS IS A GARDEN OF EDEN METAPHOR, OR SOMETHING?

Morden walks in, smiling like a salesman as usual.

Londo: So this whole “destroy Quadrant 37” won’t be connected to me?

Morden: Beyond a shadow of a doubt. GEDDITGEDDITSHADOW?

*The Shadows giggle*

Morden: Everything is going as planned. We can destroy more things for you.

Londo: Why don’t you just destroy Narn?

Morden: Give it time, give it time.

Londo: …

Morden: Oh, and, ah, let me know if you hear about any unauthorized visits to the Rim, will you? For…reasons.



DINNER CONVERSATION FOR DUMMIES

Sheridan: Work. Also work. Oh, and then there’s work. Did I mention I work?

Lizzie: STFU ABOUT WORK.

Sheridan: But I have bad unhappy memories of my wife dying mysteriously close to the Rim.

Lizzie: I have bad unhappy memories too. But if she were here she would yell at you for your angst. Or possibly convince you to go to a planet of doom, it was hard to tell with her.


ENERGY TRANSFERRAL!

Sheridan: So, let’s play with this mysteriously dangerous alien device. I go first.

Franklin: I…but…you can’t…how did…that’s not…WHAT?

Sheridan: If you do this all on your own you could, you know, die, and before it happens declare your love for Garibaldi.

Franklin: WHAT??

Sheridan: Wrong season, wrong couple. Whoops.

Franklin: …since when am I and Garibaldi a couple?

Sheridan: Fanfiction, dear Franklin. Fanfiction.


HAVE I MENTIONED EVERYONE IS DOOMED?

G’Kar: WE ARE ALL DOOMED!!!

Na’Toth: …uhhhhh….

G’Kar: G’Quan said a very bad evil scary enemy of DOOM lived at the Rim. I SAW EVIL SCARY THINGS AT THE RIM, PLOTTING EVIL DESTRUCTION! WE’RE DOOOOOOMED!!!!!!!

Na’Toth: …do you need a drink?


GARIBALDI MAKES A REFERENCE

Garibaldi: What’s up doc?

Warner Bros.: WE LOVE YOU GARIBALDI!

Garibaldi: They’re going to kill the president!

Ivanova: It worked.

Garibaldi: And where is Sinclair?

Franklin: He fell into a trapdoor.

Sheridan: I’m Sheridan! How’s it hanging, bro?

Garibaldi: …why is he so happy?

Ivanova: Who shot you?

Evil Second in Command: *reaches for gun VERY PUBLICLY*

Garibaldi: Dunno.

Evil Second in Command: *replaces gun VERY PUBLICLY*

Garibaldi: I’m certain, however, it was not my second-in-command, who was acting incredibly suspicious just now.


METAMORPHOSIS!

Cocoon: EMPTY!

Lennier: GASP!

Delenn: Ughhhthissucksthissuckswhydididothissuchabadideaowwieowwie…

Franklin arrives.

Lennier: Say nothing. Or I’ll have to kill you.

Franklin: You could kill me? LOL.

Lennier: …you have no idea.


BACKSTORY!

Sheridan: DID I MENTION WORK?

Lizzie: …he’s doing it again….why does he make noise now…

Sheridan: But really, I do miss Anna.

Lizzie: But her deep-space vessel exploded. On the mysterious Rim of doom, of course.

Sheridan: But if we had celebrated our anniversary and if I had said I love you at the end of our conversation and if I had read that Babylon 5 novel before any of that…

Lizzie: CHILL.


BEING THE CHOSEN ONE SUCKS

Franklin: Dude it’s like the crusty thing on a butterfly. Is it supposed to come off then?

Delenn: Idon’tevenknowthishurtsowwie…

Franklin then lifts her hood to find…

Franklin: OH MY GOD YOU TURNED INTO MUMM’RA!


LEAGUE OF ARBITRARY SKEPTICISM

G’Kar: The ancient race is back! We’re all doomed!

Sheridan: What if those dead worlds were colonized by someone else?

G’Kar: The ships looked just like the ancient race.

Sheridan: But Narn homeworld hasn’t said anything.

G’Kar: They will. I’ve sent a ship to Z’Ha’Dum, the place where evil terrible things dwell and long-range survey ships explode.


THAT’S A RATHER SPECIFIC DENIAL

Londo: Narns are going to Z’Ha’Dum. You know it, do you?

Morden: Just in passing, never been there, don’t have hair gel there, don’t drink tea with old men there…


SCANNING!

Talia: You realize scanning you will hurt really bad and it won’t do anything in court.

Garibaldi: But I have to remember or I’ll angst.


THEY HAVE A PLAN!

Japanese Guy: Ambassador Delenn turned into a butterfly!

Evil Second-in-Command: I’VE GOT TO SEE THIS!

He is promptly ambushed.

Welch the Bald Guy: Go ahead, punk. MAKE MY DAY.

Evil Second-in-Command: OH GOD HE’S QUOTING CLINT SOMEONE SAVE ME.

Welch: Can we punch him more?

Sheridan: Well, mayb—no, no don’t do that.


ARCPOINTS, ARCPOINTS EVERYWHERE

Garibaldi: YOU WERE MY BROTHER ANAKIN JACK. Who told you to do this?

Evil Second-in-Command: The people who will win. TROLLOLOL!

Audience Who Has Seen the Series: NOT LIKELY TROLLOLOL.

Evil Second-in-Command: You don’t know who’s really behind this, do you? Or even who’s REALLY REALLY behind this?

Garibaldi: Which I’m sure has nothing whatsoever to do with Death Spiders. You do realize you’re going to be spaced, right? JUST LIKE METALLICA, RIGHT?

Evil Second-in-Command: Look at this cool wave Bester taught me!

Garibaldi: …what.


TOTALLY LEGIT ORDERS

New Bald President Clark: Sheridan, friend, great awesome job finding the evil conspirator who murdered Santiago. Send him to Earth!

Sheridan: …but…what…I…

Clark: This can’t be, you know, mishandled in any way or like the guy escapes and also send all the transcripts and everything else about it and don’t tell anyone. That sounds legit, right?

Sheridan: …oh, this is not good.


Z’HA’DOOM

Shadows: OHAI NARNS.

Narns: NOPE


LEAGUE OF SUSPICIOUS COINCIDENCES

Na’Toth: They totally got blown up. Accident with the jump engines. And they can’t send any more ships.

G’Kar: But how could the Death Spiders have found out about the attack, no one knew but…

Sheridan: Are you implying Londo, who acts shady enough as it is, is in league with Evil Death Spiders?

G’Kar: *sigh*

Lennier: Ambassador Delenn is back.

Sheridan: Awesome. Let her in!

Delenn walks in wearing a giant hood over her face. She lifts the hood to reveal SHE IS NOW HOT.

Sheridan: *goofy grin*

Londo: WHAT.

G’Kar: HELLOOOO NURSE!

Delenn: Since Sinclair is our homeboy and all, I changed into a part human so we can all be friends and not blow each other up anymore.

Sheridan: *continues to stare goofily*

Kosh: Lol.


EVEN MORE BACKSTORY

Sheridan: My jaw fell, and I think G’Kar was drooling.

Lizzie: SWEET.

Sheridan: This day has been crazy.

Lizzie: It’s going to get crazier. I brought a message Anna had sent me. It will help with your angst problem.

In the message, Anna looks like she has come straight out of Southern 80’s Hell. She becomes very very different looking by Season 3, most likely due to Shadow interference, or something.

Anna: I had already decided to take this job on the Icarus so it’s all good. Also, this creepy guy with a salesman grin said something about “love knows no borders”. Totally not related, I’m sure.


LOOK MORE CONSPIRACIES

Ivanova: BTW the Evil Second-in-Command was transferred to an Earthforce ship that isn’t registered. Also Clark isn’t taking any calls for some mysteriously evil reason.

Sheridan: Oh, come on, I just got here! Can’t I have one day without a conspiracy? Seriously?