Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Taking a break

Along with many other book review blogs, I'll be taking a break from reviewing books until at least Nov. 1, and possibly beyond then. I need to rethink what I'll be reviewing, and it's possible I won't be doing any new releases. I won't be accepting ARCs in the future. 

I'll be back sometime in November with lots and lots of Stine recaps and whatever else catches my attention.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Or, How I spent my summer vacation.

I was going to recap Party Games, which I read last week in a gleeful haze of nostalgia while my children were (conveniently) on a field trip to the local pumpkin patch. And I will recap it, probably later this week, but first I want to do Lights Out.

Because Party Games is eerily familiar in that "oh right, these are all alike" way, so now I'm working my way through a stack of battered paperbacks. Apparently "these are all alike" means "and I am compelled to REREAD THEM ALL." I don't know. These books have a Pringles effect.

Title: Lights Out
Author: R.L.Stine OBVIOUSLY, yeesh.
Setting/Vacation: Summer camp, in the woods. There are snakes. Which reminds me, I've also been rereading Trixie Belden.
Connection to Fear Street: The Fear Street books that aren't on Fear Street always confuse me. Is the Fear Street curse so bad it follows residents around even when they leave Shadyside?

So. Holly Flynn lives on Fear Street, but she agrees to spend the summer at Camp Nightwing because it belongs to her Uncle Bill and he desperately needs counselors. He's already had several failed businesses, and it looked like this summer camp might finally be the one that succeeded, but then last summer a camper was killed in a boating accident which makes it hard to get bank loans, apparently. I kind of side with the bank here.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's do this in order.

Chapter One: is 92 words long, and consists entirely of a letter from one of Camp Nightwing's counselor's to someone called "Chief," promising to "make them pay." Dun dun DUNNNNNN. Seriously though, 92 words? Is this

Chapter Two: Holly is at camp, being scared by a spider. We get the explanation about Uncle Bill, failing business, blah blah blah. Her friend Thea shows up and mentions that last summer she had fun with another counselor named John Hardesty; I guess it was the kind of "fun" that only ever takes place off-screen in these books. Their conversation is interrupted by a "frantic, terrified voice" calling for help.

Chapter Three: The voice is Uncle Bill's; a huge metal cabinet of sports equipment has worked itself lose from the wall and fallen on him. Dork. He's unhurt, but Holly finds a red feather behind the cabinet. Thea tells her this means nothing, because camp is full of feathers (for, like, crafts), and then mentions that Geri Marcus is also a counselor. Holly reacts dramatastically:
"No!" Holly cried. "Oh no! Not here! It can't be!"
Chapter Four: Sadly, this is not because Geri is a known serial killer or Holly's lesbian ex who hates her now. She's just a former friend who, two years ago, was sneaking around with some guy her parents didn't approve of, and Holly--who had already told Geri she wouldn't lie for her--didn't manage to lie smoothly enough when Geri's mother called her house one night. So Geri got grounded and still hates Holly over this.
Although Holly's interior monologue on seeing Geri makes me start making up my own, more interesting, doomed-love-affair backstory:
Watching Geri's easy stride, her perfect, blunt-cut strawberry-bond hair, dazzling smile, and creamy skin, Holly felt a mixture of emotions--warmth for the friendship she and Geri once had, and sadness and anger for the way that that friendship had ended.
Oh yeah, Holly also meets her senior counselor, Debra, who seems to dislike her for no reason.
Holly just stared. She thought the girl was incredibly attractive. No. Holly thought she was perfect.
I'm having a really hard time not reading anything into that.

There's also Mick, a counselor who "looked like the actor Kevin Bacon" but later on the same page "there was something a little dangerous looking about him." I'm having a really, really hard time picturing that. Mick is writing a letter. Mick writes a lot of letters in the first week, he claims, and then mails them home one at a time throughout the summer.

Chapter Five: Last chapter's cliffhanger was Holly going back to her cabin and something swooping at her. It was a bat, and she scares the poor little thing by chasing it ineffectually with a paddle, until Debra comes back and competently uses a broom to usher it out of the cabin. Debra is impatient and harsh with Holly, and I don't actually blame her. If you hate the woods and everything in it, maybe being a counselor will not, in fact, help Uncle Bill make a go of the whole camp thing.
Anyway. There's a campfire so Uncle Bill can get the counselors to introduce themselves. Mick enthuses about the Friday the Thirteenth movies, and then a guy in a hockey mask steps out of the dark woods carrying a hatchet.

Chapter Six: It's one of the counselors, a doofus named Kit. R.L.Stine frequently has a guy like this in his books: sort of geeky, tries too hard to be funny, not a hit with girls. My theory is they're self-inserts for "Jovial Bob Stine," sort of variations on his younger self.
Thea exposits that Kit is crazy about Geri, but Geri is Not Interested.
Someone named Sandy Wayne is one of the new counselors, and he's wearing two hundred dollar sunglasses and is tall and handsome.
John Hardesty, in whom Thea is very interested, is ignoring her and sitting alone, tying knots in a rope.
Uncle Bill warns them that counselors are not allowed to date campers.
Geri glares unblinkingly at Holly for a while.

Chapter Seven: is another half-page letter to Chief, this time confessing to removing the bolts from the wall and causing the cabinet to fall, and hinting that more accidents will happen.

Chapter Eight: Holly wakes to birdsong, goes for a swim, is warned about leeches by Sandy, and makes a mental note to get to know him better. Because of his great smile, not because of the thing with the leeches. At the dock she runs into Mick, who starts to tell her that the lake used to be called Feather Lake, and his grandfather told him something about that. But before he can tell her what, they discover all but one of the canoes have been sunk. There are holes drilled into the sides, and when Holly helps Mick drag the canoes ashore she finds a red feather in one.
Debra is peeved because she's been gone from the cabin. The campers have arrived, and as they're getting settled in there's a creaking noise and a crash.

Chapter Nine: One of the bunk beds has collapsed, almost but not actually hurting a camper. Everyone is startled and the campers are crying, and Debra comes back into the cabin and screams at Holly and blames her for...I don't even know. Not being calm enough? Also there's a red feather taped to the broken slat. Also Geri is there, "smiling strangely," and Uncle Bill shows up, but doesn't do anything particularly useful.
Holly tries to tell Uncle Bill about the red feathers, but he won't listen. Then she tries to ask Debra not to yell at her in front of their campers, and Debra gets mad at her for even asking. I would quit at this point. I can't wait for people to start dying.
In the mess hall, Kit shows up and throws a huge snake on the table.

Chapter Ten: It was a rubber snake. Also, Debra gets mad at Holly for being scared of it, even though Debra was as well. What a pointless bitch.
After lights out Holly goes out and meets Thea, who tells her Geri and Debra are good friends. That explains the pointless bitchery, I guess, though personally I draw the line at grudge-hating a friend's enemy for anything that happened two full years ago. I mean, I would have to be secondhand-mad at everyone in the world for all sorts of stupid shit if I didn't set limits, you know?
Thea is also sad because John is ignoring her.
On her way back to the cabin Holly hears footsteps.

Chapter Eleven: It's two of the older camper, Courtney Blair and Cyndi. I just want you to pause and savour the 80s perfection of those names.
Okay, so Holly escorts them back to their cabin and runs into Mick, who tells her he wants to get to know her better. She thinks he's coming on strong and wonders why, and he grabs her by the arm when she tells him she doesn't want to go for a walk with him, but then he storms off. Creepy.
Then she runs into Sandy (does no one in this damned camp go to bed at night?) and thinks she saw him sneaking out of her cabin, but he says he wasn't. He's kind about the whole Debra thing, asks about her camping experience, and sadly mentions he has no brothers or sisters. She tells him he's "restored her faith in human nature," which is a bit over the top but I guess when you're surrounded by creepers and mean people you overreact to kindness.
She goes inside and there's a snake on her pillow.

Chapter Twelve: She screams and Debra shows up, identifies it as a harmless garter snake, and tosses it. Then she calls Holly "worse than useless" for scaring the campers.
The next day Holly tries to talk to Uncle Bill AGAIN and he's impatient and dismissive. Seriously, I would quit. She hates camp, Debra is a bitch, and the person who begged her to do this as a favour to him won't listen to her. You are at a SUMMER CAMP with ACCIDENTS and MYSTERIOUS CLUES, Uncle Bill, how have you not figured out that you are in an R.L.Stine novel and need to be careful?

Chapter Thirteen: is another letter too Chief, promising that someone is going to die. HURRY UP ALREADY.

Chapter Fourteen: Holly feels better because she's made the decision to find out what's happening at camp. She decides it has to be one of the counselors and therefore she has to get to know them all better. She goes to "the big softball game" between Camp Nightwing and another camp, and spends so much time staring at the counselors that Mick invites her to "do some more staring--up close and personal" at the lake that night, because she's been watching him all day and he thinks she's interested. Ha. She agrees. At the lake that night he's strange and grabby, and she pushes him off the dock and he gets mad, and then Geri pops out of the bushes to yell at Holly for "trying to steal Mick" from her, which...he's a person, Geri, not a trinket someone can walk off with. Go yell at him if you think he's unfaithful.

Chapter Fifteen: Holly is nearly hit by a softball on her way to breakfast, and Sandy checks to make sure she's okay. She confides in him about the accidents and the feathers, because she has never read one of these books and doesn't know how dangerous that is. Sandy mentions that he's leading a wilderness trip for a few of the older campers and she's one of the counselors that Uncle Bill has chosen to go on the trip. Right, because Holly will be such an asset out in the wilderness. I'm beginning to see why all Uncle Bill's businesses fail: he's an idiot.
Then Kit and Mick and Geri drag Holly into the woods and threaten her with a bucket of leeches.

Chapter Sixteen: Geri threatens Holly for a while, sticks some leeches on her, and finally Mick gets her to knock it off because she's starting to sound like she's going to escalate from bullying to murder. Holly thinks at one point she sees Sandy watching, but he doesn't come to her rescue when she calls for help.
On her way back to the cabin Holly hears someone yelling "No! Please, no!"

Chapter Seventeen: Holly follows the scream but finds only John, standing against a tree and concealing something behind his back. He accuses her of spying on him and she gets mad and leaves. Then Sandy almost runs into her while she's stomping back to the cabin and SERIOUSLY, IS ANYONE ACTUALLY WATCHING THE CAMPERS? Because most of the counselors are just running around in the bushes.
Holly checks the list of people going on the overnight wilderness thing and finds that in addition to her and Sandy, there's Geri, Mick, and Kit. And someone named Stewart Winchester. I have no idea who he is.

Chapter Eighteen: At dinner, Kit is dressed like a gorilla and swinging from the rafters while Geri ignores him. Debra is late, so Holly goes to the crafts cabin to get her, and finds her corpse slumped over the pottery wheel, which is rubbing the bitchface right off of her.

Chapter Nineteen: Holly stares at the corpse for a while and notices that Debra's owl pendant must have gotten caught in the wheel. John shows up and tells her to stay with the body while he goes to get Uncle Bill. Nice. While he's gone Holly notices a red feather caught in the wheel.

Chapter Twenty: is another letter.

Chapter Twenty-One: Geri accuses Holly of being glad now that Debra's dead. The police listen to Holly when she tells them about the accidents and the red feathers but she can tell they don't believe her. Uncle Bill gets MAD AT HER when she tries to talk to him again. Also he's assigned GERI to be her new senior counselor. I hope he's the next victim.

Chapter Twenty-Two: Holly sneaks into Kit and John's cabin while everyone else is telling ghost stories around the campfire. She's surprised to find Kit's stuff is neat and organized. She finds a locked box in John's stuff, and then he walks in.

Chapter Twenty-Three: John gets mad at her for going through his stuff. I can't say I blame him. She tells him all about the red feathers and whatever, and he accuses her of thinking she's Nancy Drew.
On her way back to the campfire she looks into Mick and Stewart's cabin,  and sees Mick writing a letter. On the wall over his head are a set of Native American rattles, each one of which has a band of red feathers on the handle.

Chapter Twenty-Four: is another letter to Chief, to make us think that Mick is the one writing them. The letter writer, who can't be Mick because that would be too obvious, says one of the counselors is getting too curious and she'll have to be the next to die.

Chapter Twenty-Five: Uncle Bill calls a special meeting to tell them that if anything else goes wrong the camp will be shut down, so he really needs them to work together as a team. Uh, I doubt it was lack of teamwork that's led to two people dying at your stupid camp, Bill. After the meeting Holly brings Uncle Bill a coffee, because she feels sorry for him, and he's nice to her but tells her not to go looking for trouble.

Chapter Twenty-Six: The wilderness trip is still on, of course, because Uncle Bill is an idiot. John, Kit, and Mick are all not talking to Holly. She's sharing a canoe with Mick. That night she hears someone crying in the woods so she follows the sound, because of course she does. She finds John, and he's holding a knife.

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Courtney Blair, who you might remember is one of the campers, emerges from behind a tree and makes John stop vaguely threatening Holly with the knife. It turns out they're secretly dating, which is forbidden at camp, and they're also not allowed to date at home because of the three-year age difference. Holly agrees not to tell anyone they're dating. So would I, probably, but I WOULD tell someone that John's a creepy idiot who threatened me with a knife.

Chapter Twenty-Eight: I have to quote the first line of this chapter because I love it.
Holly awoke from a warm and cozy dream about shopping at the Division Street Mall back in Shadyside to find herself wet and cold and sleeping outdoors.
You know camp sucks when you're having happy dreams about being back in Shadyside.
Anyway, sandy is waking her up to go on an early-morning canoe ride. YOU GUYS, I KNOW WHO THE MURDERER IS.
Holly doesn't, though, even when she catches him referring to his brother who went to Nightwing Camp last year and remembers he'd said he was an only child. He tells her she's been careless: she didn't tell anyone she was going on the river with him. Uh-oh.

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Sandy raves a bit about his brother, Seth, who hated his name so Sandy always called him Chief. Seth died at camp last year because "Debra was careless on a canoe trip." Sandy pulls a red feather out of his pocket and says "This was his sign," and I don't even know what that means. Do other people have physical objects that are their "sign"? Instead of signing stuff did Seth just tape a feather to the page?

Chapter Thirty: Sandy becomes crazy and murder-y (more so) and tries to take them both over the rapids.

Chapter Thirty-One: Holly knocks him in the head with a paddle, then falls out of the canoe herself, and starts to swim to shore. A tree nearly hits her.

Chapter Thirty-Two: But it doesn't. She dives under the tree. LAMEST of cliffhangers.
She makes it to shore and starts trying to walk back to camp, and Sandy shows up in front of her. I guess he wasn't really unconscious.

Chapter Thirty-Three: Holly runs from him and climbs a steep hill, planning to hide in a cave. Just inside the cave entrance she finds a nest of snakes.
I know it looks like I'm slacking, but these chapters are only about three pages each.

Chapter Thirty-Four: Holly throws a snake in Sandy's face and he falls down the hill. This time he really is unconscious, though still breathing, and his arm is broken. Why do books always say "his arm was twisted unnaturally beneath him" or "twisted at an unnatural angle"? That isn't unnatural; it is completely natural for your arm to twist once it's broken and you've fallen off a cliff and landed on it.

Anyway. Mick shows up and Holly falls into his arms, because he's not a murderer, yay! An ambulance takes Sandy away to "get the help he needs" (no, really, Uncle Bill tells Holly that when she gets back to camp).
Then she tells Mick she's okay thanks to him, and it's official, I want to choke everyone in this book. MICK SHOWED UP AFTER YOU DEFEATED THE KILLER, HOLLY. HE DOESN'T GET CREDIT FOR THAT.
She casually picks up a snake to demonstrate How Much She's Changed, and Mick condescendingly tells her that she's "starting to catch on to this place."
You don't deserve to look like Kevin Bacon, Mick.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hearts Still Broken

Back to my recap of R. L. Stine's Broken Hearts. The first half of the recap is here.

Title: Broken Hearts
Fear Street Super Chiller #4

Part Two: February, One Year Later
Melissa is now dating Luke. You remember Luke: he was the devoted boyfriend to Rachel-who-fell-on-her-head. Melissa has had a letter from Dave, who is in "some military-style boarding upstate." Wait, what?

But the police investigation couldn't link Dave to Josie's murder. And Erica never pressed charges, never accused him of stabbing her. "It was too dark," she had told police. "And I was attacked from behind. I never saw who did it." (location 1471)
I'm pretty sure that in places other than Shadyside, the police thoroughly investigate stabbings whether or not the victim wants to press charges. But these guys can probably barely keep on top of the actual murders and pet killings, so I'll cut them some slack.
"Do you know about the skating party?" Luke asked. "On Valentine's Day? At Fear Lake?" (location 1507)
Seriously, guys? Seriously? I'm glad Luke is moving on with his life and all, but what kind of teenage sociopaths hold a Valentine's Day ice-skating party a year to the day after some girl was stabbed in the back with an ice skate? Also, no event for teenagers should ever be held at a place called Fear Lake.

Maybe Fear Street is in an alternate universe, and horror movies haven't been invented there.

Anyhow. Melissa tells him she's a poor skater with weak ankles, but he wants them to go to the party anyway. Then she finds a card in the mail addressed to her:
Roses are red, Violets are blue, On Valentine's Day, You'll be dead too. (location 1517)
Googling "ice skating accident" brings up this sort of thing.
Meanwhile Erica is brushing Rachel's long red hair, and Rachel is angrily destroying a teddy bear Luke gave her last year, and screaming about how she hates Melissa. Uh oh.  Steve (remember Steve?He dating Josie?) calls and invites Erica to the ice skating party. Hey, going skating with your dead girlfriend's younger sister is the way to spend the anniversary of the night she got stabbed with a skate!

She turns him down because she has to look after Rachel, and also because ick.

Rachel gets out of the house and goes into the front yard, and a big deal is made over this. I get why plot-wise: it proves she does go out alone. But...she cannot actually spend her life in one room, Erica.

Melissa gets another card. Luke AND her parents dismiss these as jokes. Seriously? You live ACROSS THE STREET from where part one happened, remember?

In a startling moment of intelligence Luke gets Melissa to compare the handwriting on Dave's letter to the threatening valentines, and they're a match. Also Dave's mom calls to tell Melissa Dave's run away from his school.

Melissa goes across the street to tell Erica all of this.

Later that night I develop a full-on hatred of Erica's mother:
Rachel took up so much of her time these days, Erica thought with a bitter sigh.
She waited until Rachel had slipped under the covers, said good night, and turned  off the light. Then she headed downstairs to see if her mother needed anything before she started her homework.
Mrs. McClain was about to go out. "Your aunt Beth asked me to come over and look at some fabric samples," she explained.... (location 1697)
It's all getting a bit full-blown Cinderella at the McClain house. Erica and her mother share a laugh over how they've forgotten what Mr. McClain loos like, so it's a good thing he's coming home tomorrow. Is running hardware stores really all that intensive and hands-on? Surgeons spend more time at home than this guy.

Luke sneaks into their house that night to leave a valentine for Rachel, which I think is touching, but makes Erica scream at him because he's dating Melissa now. Um, does she think he should spend his life with Rachel, who will never recover, just because they dated in high school?

I hate Melissa's father too:
"That's not why you're losing, Beanpole. You're losing because I'm a good defensive player. You have to have a strong defense in Scrabble."
"Don't call me beanpole," Melissa grumbled. "You know I hate it." She shoved her letters around on the holder, frowning. "Want me to call you Fatso?"
Mr. Davis raised his head abruptly. "Don't you dare."  He was a big bear of a man, weighing around two hundred  pounds, and was very sensitive about his weight. (location 1742)
But not sensitive about other people, including his own daughter? Also, what kind of raging blowhard boasts about his prowess at SCRABBLE?

Dave breaks into Erica's room, assures her he didn't kill Josie or stab Erica, looks at the cards she's gotten, declares that now he knows who the killer is, and leaves without telling her.

The next day (I think) Melissa looks after Rachel while Erica is attending rehearsals of a play. So...Erica has MORE free time now that Josie is dead? Also, Melissa plays outdoors with Rachel. They jump in a leaf pile. Maybe the family could hire Melissa part-time or something? It seems like that would work well for everyone. When Erica gets home Melissa tells her about the conversation with Dave.

Later that night Melissa hears a prowler, and sees a girl with long red hair running away. Melissa's parents, having heard the prowler, call the police. So either they care more about their garbage can getting knocked over than they do about their daughter getting death threats, or they secretly are actually worried about the death threats.

The police show up and inform them there's a dead guy in the driveway. It's Dave, of course.

Across the street Erica is awake, and exhausted; Rachel is awake, energetic, and wants her hair brushed;  and their mother gets woken up when the police arrive to question Rachel about Luke's murder (because of Melissa's claim about seeing a red-haired girl).

The scene on the cover happens.
This cover.

FINALLY it's the night of the skating party. Chapter 30 is called "The Party" and we're at the 90% mark according to kindle, so the killer had better show up promptly.

Melissa falls a couple of times to demonstrate that she's a poor skater, and some guy warns her and Luke that the ice is cracking "over there," so naturally Luke takes her further out on the ice, away from other people and also away from the lights, for a "private skating lesson." Of course he does. She can actually HEAR the ice cracking.

He grabs her, because an evolutionary adaptation to life in Shadyside means that guys from there are sexually aroused by the threat of death. At least, that's my theory. She--understandably--mistakes his lunge for a different more murderous type of attack, and he gets OFFENDED and then LEAVES HER THERE.




I actually tensed up reading this. How embarrassing. But, see, an evolutionary adaptation to life in Canada makes me hypo-alert to ice skating accidents, particularly at places called Fear Lake.

After Luke is gone, a girl with long red hair shows up, wielding a knife. I'm disappointed it isn't a letter opener. In true Fear Street "thrilling twist" style it looks like Rachel is the killer for ABOUT TWO SECONDS before Melissa knocks the red wig off and IT'S ERICA. She thinks she's been avenging Rachel by killing Josie and now going after Melissa. But Erica? Stabbing yourself and killing Dave were things you did to cover your tracks, so you aren't as self-sacrificing a psycho as you claim.

Erica goes through the ice. So does Melissa, but Luke shows up to rescue her. Why doesn't he rescue Erica? Well. According to Luke, Erica is staring up at them from under the [thin] ice because she doesn't  want to come up.

Seriously? Not because, like, she's expecting you to BREAK THE ICE and rescue her, or because she's afraid if she swims she'll get further away from the hole and it'll be harder to get her out? Maybe? Possibly?

Oh my God they're all idiots. Anyway, Erica drowns.

In the last chapter it's three weeks later, and Melissa and Luke visit Rachel, who says she's going to get better and go outside by herself. I honestly don't know if that's meant to be hopeful, or meant to be so obviously not-going-to-happen that we should all feel depressed.

(Next I'm reading THE DEAD LIFEGUARD which I'm actually expecting will be less depressing.)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

So I'm spending the week after my birthday just like you'd expect.


Which right now is taking the specific form of "rereading R. L. Stine."

Title: Broken Hearts
Fear Street Super Chiller #4

Before I started this I had a vague memory that in Fear Street books, the parents aren't around a lot. Which makes sense: it's hard to be menaced if your mother is right there with you. But the parents in this book are infuriating along with being mostly absent. Is that a thing in these? FURTHER INVESTIGATION IS REQUIRED.
You can tell it's an older book because it doesn't say "ur ded."

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Broken Hearts begins with three sisters and one other girl going horse riding, and I had no idea who was who for ages, so I had to keep flipping back and forth. For you, a cheat sheet:

Erica = youngest sister, 14; non-athletic, boyfriendless, about to start her first year of highschool (grade 9).
Josie = one of the twins, 16; goes through boyfriends rapidly. Dark hair and eyes.
Rachel = the other twin, 16; red-haired, gorgeous, and kind to Erica.
Melissa = the girl from across the street. 16.

So, the prologue opens with them going to Shadyside Riding Club, which has to be a bad idea. Josie chickens out and refuses to ride. Rachel gets Josie to help her saddle the horse, which Josie does by loosening it, and if you don't see where this is going you don't belong on Fear Street.
"Did I do Rachel's saddle right, Melissa?" 
Melissa had already led her horse outside and mounted it. It was a dappled white and brown Appaloosa with a weary expression. (location 122)
You and me both, horse.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lucan the Wolf-Boy?

I was LOOKING for a Love's Baby Soft commercial (and I did in fact find one. Oh boy. The seventies were not even a little bit subtle about telling girls how to behave).
But I ended up being way way more interested in the tiny snippet of an ad for "Lucan the Wolf-Boy" that appears at the end.
You know, it's mildly disconcerting to realize that if I had access to time travel, one of the things I would feel DRIVEN to do is visit the 1970s and watch their strange, strange television. (And also steal as many of their romance novels as I could carry...)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Mystery of Why I'm Watching this Show

Last night I watched the first episode of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, as one does, and I am unable to resist the urge to share it. In the form of a recap, I mean, though if you really want to see the whole thing in all its seventies' glory I think it's on YouTube.

The first episode is called "The Mystery of the Haunted House," and that title is a complete rip-off, because there's no haunted house in the show, just a nightclub/restaurant/wood-panelled hellhole named The Haunted House. This is kind of a thing in this series: the titles all sound like something supernatural might be going on, and instead it turns out to be smugglers or spies. It's like Scooby Doo with more hair.

About the hair. I know it was the seventies, but these boys have a lot of hair. Sort of...feathery, fluffy hair. I think the hair might be why they were considered attractive. It's the only reason I can come up with, because the guy playing Frank Hardy has a pointy chin and smirks a lot, looking uncannily like John Travolta (only, hold on, I just realized this was the same era in which Travolta was also considered good looking, so I guess pointy-chinned smirkers were in style then?); the younger brother, Joe, is played by Shaun Cassidy and looks like a nervous hamster. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.
That's Hamster on the left and Travolta-ish on the right.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's April. Why is it snowing?

I am so done with winter. Sadly, winter does not appear to be done with me.

I am impatient for spring; I have all these spring activities planned, but the new swingset is sitting in its box being lightly snowed on at the moment, and none of my eagerly awaited plants can ship from Vesey's Seeds yet because the people who run Vesey's seeds, wisely, know enough not to send things out until the ground has thawed.
'tis the season to drool over seed catalogues.

I have things I should be working on (mostly a Secret Project which is actually just a gift for a friend), but instead I keep pacing impatiently past the windows as though spring might arrive all at once while I'm hitting refresh on my facebook page or something.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I shall be productive. (Ha.)