31 October 2013


Thirteen Things about Bad Moon

13. My quest to find family-friendly Horror movies continues. Bad Moon makes the list if you start screening it for the little impressionables during the opening credits. The scene right before that, in which one of the main characters and his lover are attacked by a werewolf, is not just a cheap excuse to include some sex but also the equivalent of revealing [Spoiler (ironically?) redacted] at the start of a Detective Story.

12. The opening credits are flashed over an aerial view of a road winding through a heavily wooded area until it comes to a nice but secluded family home. I don't know about you, but I was instantly reminded of the Creed family's house in Stephen King's Pet Sematary, which we read in the "Two or Three" Book Club just last year! If you've read it, too, then you know what I mean when I say that the difference between it and Blue Moon is the difference between a malignant threat in the woods and evil in the heart of a family.

11. I'm not sure at what point I asked, exactly like Anne Hathaway at the Oscars, "Where's the Dad???"--but it turned out to be the right question. Living in the house by the woods are a power-suit sporting mother, her young son, their trusty German shepherd . . . and no dad.

No clues, either. Whether the mother is widowed or divorced is peripheral; the point about her, as we are told by both her first outfit and a fawning script, is that she is a full-time lawyer and a full-time mother who fulfills both roles perfectly well. And with a fierce guard dog that understands that she is the family alpha, who dares suggest she might need a man? 

But then some guy she has history with and real affection for shows up out of nowhere . . .

29 October 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 74

First of all, I'm sorry for having taken so long to get this post up. But I'm afraid that I can't be sorry that I listened to this latest radio play when I did, because right after I heard the part where one character sees a shadowy form in her doorway, my bedroom door creaked open and I saw a shadowy form in mine. You can't buy synchronicity like this!!!

If you haven't listened to today's play yet, I hope that you get lucky with a scare of your own when you do it now. =)

26 October 2013


Reading Diary: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

"Is that--" [Becky] ventured, looking longingly at the rose-colored frock . . . "Is that there your best?"

"It is one of my dancing-frocks," answered Sara. "I like it, don't you?"

For a few seconds Becky was almost speechless with admiration. Then she said in an awed voice, "Onct I see a princess. I was standin' in the street with the crowd outside Covin' Garden, watchin' the swells go inter the operer. An' there was one everyone stared at most. They ses to each other, `That's the princess.' She was a growed-up young lady, but she was pink all over--gownd an' cloak, an' flowers an' all. I called her to mind the minnit I see you, sittin' there on the table, miss. You looked like her."

"I've often thought," said Sara, in her reflecting voice, "that I should like to be a princess; I wonder what it feels like. I believe I will begin pretending I am one."

Although Sara Crewe's story was a childhood favourite of mine, I haven't revisited her in years. I'm afraid that after I became fully acquainted with Jane Eyre, dear Sara didn't stand a chance. And yet now that I think it over, A Little Princess served as "training wheels" for great books to come later and was the perfect prelude to Charlotte Bronte's beloved (especially by me) novel.

I decided to brush the dust off this one after Melanie said that she had started reading it to her eldest daughter, who had a very strong reaction to what is arguably the saddest part. But it was when I got to that part myself that I realised the real connection was to one of Melanie's earlier posts, on a faerie tale some now consider "inappropriate" for children.

23 October 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 73

Would you like some Lipton Tea before we call the latest meeting to order? How about some Lipton Soup? =)

Inner Sanctum Mystery was not part of my first proposed lineup of Horror radio plays, but since I started this "listenalong" as a learner rather than an expert, I've been open to recommendations from anyone who knows better. So this is another post I have to thank Brandon for!

21 October 2013


Trainer Tales, Volume 2

Me: Have you seen the video Young and Unemployed?

Colleague: The French one? Yes, it's a big hit with the trainees.

Me: I meant the British one.

Colleague: No, not yet. Why?

Me: I assigned it as homework the other night and noticed something about the NEETS . . .

20 October 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 72

Once again, my crazy timetable meant I had to listen to another radio play in the office, at the end of my shift. This time, I waited until the "witching hour" was almost over . . . 

Listen to "Under the Hull Tree"
from Beyond Midnight

UPDATE: You can also try the recording in the Matinee Classics archive (Thanks, Brandon!)

17 October 2013


The Coconut Nut

Da Theme Song of This Post

When I last blogged about that utterly fascinating issue that is my hair, I left everyone with the impression that I had been putting nothing on it but water, raw honey and L'Oreal's Mythic Oil (Did you guess the brand?) for three weeks. But there was one night in the middle of the second week when I forgot the oil, leading me to wake up the next morning with unmanageable "flyaway" ends. And that changed things a bit.

Now, a sensible person would simply remember the oil next time and go on as usual. But Yours Truly started thinking . . . and thinking . . . and thinking . . . and finally concluded that if a little bit of oil can make such a big difference, then a whole lot of oil must be the jackpot. 

This time, I decided to keep a diary . . .

15 October 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 71

This time, I wanted to put a twist in my listening, so I tried enjoying our next radio play with a hearty midnight snack. That is, with the lights on, my eyes open and a distraction in the room. And I might have a full report on how that went, too, if my player hadn't frozen up right before the scene with the dynamite. If you don't know what I mean, here's your chance to, before the discussion . . .

14 October 2013


Sliders: Small Town San Francisco

Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable when a lottery plays a part in a plot? Reading Shirley Jackson's famous short story as a child must have something to do with it, though I think Jackson simply tapped into something that has always been a little scary. Luck is so capricious that we often fear, with good reason, that it comes with a sting in its tail.

So where do we find our sliders this time?

12 October 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 70

It was either the best thing I could have done or the worst thing I could have done . . . As usual, I was the last person to leave the office last night, and I decided to take advantage of the solitude by turning nearly all the lights off and listening to the next radio episode on our schedule--a play which was quite freaky. When I was finally done, I looked up and saw that I had less than twenty minutes before 3:00 am. And my mother's warning never to travel during "the witching hour" seeped into my memory like the [Spoiler redacted] which the characters see coming out of their [Spoiler redacted] in our latest radio play. To understand why the taxi ride home was the most harrowing I've ever had, you have to hear the episode as well . . .

10 October 2013


Honey My . . . Hair?

My cousin makes sweet and pretty accessories for her own "Honey My Heart" brand. If my blog were more aware of visual beauty, this post would be about her merchandise, but right now I'm just going to link to her Etsy store.

What this post is about is the latest alternative "no poo" regimen I've stumbled across. But before I talk about that, I really should discuss the "poo" first.

08 October 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 69

How do you like to listen to radio dramas? I turn off the lights, close my eyes, and let my ears and my imagination do all the work. It seems only appropriate for Horror radio--and especially so for today's special feature.

This meeting is about the Lights Out episode "The Dark". If you haven't listened to it yet, here's your last chance.

07 October 2013


Thirteen Things about Sharknado

13. There's a reason why every mention of Sharknado that takes longer than ten seconds also brings up Twitter. It's not because the former just happened to shock everyone by trending worldwide on the latter, but because there is no parallel universe in which the same thing did not also happen. This includes those parallel universes in which Twitter does not exist. =P 

I realised that when I finally sat down to watch it, having consciously decided not to livetweet it. What a surprisingly bad idea! LOL!

12. Had I been tweeting, there would have been one in my feed that went like this . . .

Those flooded streets aren't in Los Angeles! They're in the Philippines! #Sharknado #OndoyMemories

Don't you think I'd recognise stock footage of streets in my own city? Silly Sharknado crew.

11. But there is one American home which gets flooded--and I'll leave the residents of Beverly Hills to judge the accuracy of the art direction of that set.

05 October 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 68

Who says a book club can't branch out into radio once in a while? Let's think of these classic plays as the first audiobooks and dive right in! =)

If you haven't listened to The Thing on the Fourble Board yet, here's your last chance before the discussion!

03 October 2013


Sliders: The Mindgame Court

There may just be a TV-within-your-TV in every single Sliders episode. Why has Marshall McLuhan not called me yet???

Today I write about my favourite Season 1 episode, hands down. It has the best story, in the sense of completeness, fantasy, plausibility, complexity, and emotional impact. And my favourite part of it is Mindgame . . .

02 October 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 67

And the winner is . . .

Radio = 9 votes
Television = 1 vote

Are you surprised? I am! I had really thought that TV was going to win, but I guess I'm just the last person alive to rediscover these classic radio dramas.

And now can I admit that I had also really wanted radio to win? Thanks, voters! ;-)

Let's start with something everyone in the know seems to consider a classic: The Thing on the Fourble Board from Quiet, Please. You can download it from QuietPlease.org or play it on the Internet Archive, Relic Radio, and of course YouTube. I'll get my post up on Friday or Saturday and we can discuss it then.

Happy October! =)

Image Source: 1940s radio