23 July 2014


Early Edition: Shooting Accident

This episode gives us one of the more interesting challenges of Season 1. A child shoots his brother with a gun that his mother has been keeping because she fears (with very good reason) that their estranged father will return and try to kill her. What is one who hears the news in advance to do?

As if he heard today's question back in 1995, Gary Hobson says, "I get the gun. I'm in. I'm out." But is it really that simple?

20 July 2014


Children's Programme "Fake" Band Smackdown, Final Winner!!!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2 Round 3A, the Intermission, Round 3B, and Round 4)

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem!

What a band, aye? =D I am always in awe of what Jim Henson and his colleagues were able to create on The Muppet Show and their other projects. Of all the "fake" bands in this smackdown, they are the realest because they were so from the beginning. The Monkees may have surprised everyone by becoming real after their first season, but The Electric Mayhem and all the other Muppets topped them by being real in their very first show.  

There's also the winner of the June/July Giveaway to announce. But first, the conclusion to my thoughts on Fred Rogers's belief that it is wrong to blur the lines between fantasy and reality when dealing with children, which I didn't include at the end of last week's post for reasons that I hope will be obvious in a few seconds . . .

19 July 2014


Locus Focus: Take One Hundred and Six!

Whenever I do a themed series for Locus Focus, I try to find four settings for each theme--and for the most part, I succeed. This June and July, I played tour guide in an ancient barrio, a sordid slum, and a modern suburb . . . but I'm afraid that it for the Filipino settings.

I did thing about featuring something from a Filipino movie (as I did last year, in Take Ninety-Seven). But then it dawned on me that there is another "video" setting that I've been appreciating for weeks. It may not fit one theme I've been working, but it totally fits another.

17 July 2014


Theme Thursday 12

The last time I did a Theme Thursday post, I also tried to visit all the bloggers who had participated in it three years ago. Some of the blogs were no longer active, but I left comments for all those which were. It was nice to be reminded of the reason I started doing Theme Thursday posts back then: the show-and-tell aspect of everyone reaching into his current read and pulling out something both similar and different. But it was also a little sad to give old posts some comment love; I felt as if I were writing letters to people whose old diaries I had come across in an attic.

Since I'll be doing that again this week, for the theme from 9 May 2011, I'm bracing myself right now.

This Week's Theme:

12 July 2014


Children's Programme "Fake" Band Smackdown, Round 4
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2 Round 3A, the Intermission, and Round 3B)

Now we come to everyone's favourite part of my smackdowns: the part where I run out of things to say. =P I'll just officially declare that Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution were the winners of the last little face-off, and then turn the final vote for the greatest Children's Programme "Fake" Band over to you. So which shall it be?

Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem
The Monkees

Both bands put up such a good fight in every round that I think this is too close to call. The last time we had a race this tight, we were "watching" the finals of the Weird "Al" Yankovic Song smackdown. I kind of wish we could call this a tie! (Actually, no I don't. LOL!) While I do have a favourite between them, I leave the final decision up to you. Let me know in the combox which "fake" band from TV deserves the Shredded Cheddar crown.

Those who are voting for June/July Giveaway entries already know that the Rafflecopter is after the jump. But what you don't know is that I have one more surprise . . .

11 July 2014


Option #30:"Gotita de Dragon" and Other Stories by Nick Joaquin
(Scroll down for the Rafflecopter and see the Giveaways page for more information)

There lived a poet in Pasig for whom twilight sometimes gathered while the sun was still a-nooning. When that happened, he could understand the language of animals, and also of flowers, kettles, and chairs.

One day he was having a pre-lunch aperitif when what should drop into his drink but a lizard. It was a baby lizard no bigger than a pin, and not yet expert at cruising ceilings. "Crawling upside down takes a lot of practice," its mother had said, "so we'll begin with something easier, like crawling down walls." Which was what she had been training her baby to do, every evening, at the sound of the Angelus, when, as we know, good house lizards kiss the ground in homage to the Virgin . . .

-- from "Gotita de Dragon"

The last time I read a Nick Joaquin story for children, I was a child myself. I especially loved one Western faerie tale that he retold in a "groovy" Philippine setting . . . but it's not in this collection and may not be reprinted for many years yet. On the other hand, I'm pleased to report that at least one more faerie tale once passed through the prism of his imagination, that we will find it here, and that it also happens to be the faerie tale that spilled its secrets to me this Giveaway season. Don't you love it when stories do that?

Joaquin's style is very uneven--almost rough--in his novels, but he always has just the right touch in his shorter pieces. Here are my even shorter reviews for all five stories in this book . . .

08 July 2014


Book Blogger Buzzkills

This Week's Topic:
Book Blogger Confessions

Sometimes I know well in advance what my blog's week is going to look like, and sometimes posts just write themselves. I may have drafted this on the spur of the moment, but I've been thinking about many of the issues in it for years. And while they aren't really secrets--because I'm open about them when anyone asks--I get the sense that some of them shouldn't be brought up in mixed company.

But The Broke and the Bookish is actually inviting people to share not one . . . not two . . . but ten of our "deepest, darkest confessions" today, and it's only the perfect time to pull them all out! So here we go . . .

A Tenner:
What I Secretly Think of the Book Blogging Community