A Brief Summary of The Brian Monster Face

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Sometimes you don’t write things for a very very long time.

Then, when you try to write something REALLY significant, you end up writing amusing articles about your boyfriend

…being discovered as a rare species of Monster Face.

Here is one of those articles.

Personally, I think more people should be warned about these terrifying threats to the human race. Don’t you?

Let’s all have a party.

I mean…start a campaign…

GIVE ME YOUR PASTRIES.

GIVE ME YOUR PASTRIES.

A Brief Summary of

The Brian Monster Face

 

Over the years, the general description of the Brian Monster Face has become somewhat misleading through several layers of urban legend and heaps of exaggeration by certain public servants. Below is a direct quote from a private citizen with first hand experience of the creature.

“Don’t get me started on this Brian Monster Face chap, he’s rather a silly creature. He can go eat the most vile, vomit inducing worms out of the cold hard ground. He is a menace to society and must be stopped. No bakery within 10 miles of him is safe.”[1]

As far as the human race knows, there is only one of the species in existence. He has the complexion of a wild boar in spring time and often times, in the personal opinion of this reporter, the temperament of an angry beaver.

A strange, baffling creature with many flaws to note that impair the quality of life for those around him, the Brian Monster Face is known for his thieving and scalwaggery which he (quite disgustingly) practices openly against the general public. However, scientists have argued for years that the Brian Monster Face is one of the most docile creatures on planet earth. If you should ever find yourself face to face with a charging, semi-irate Brian Monster Face all that is required to subdue this raging hormonal beast is a well timed scratch behind the ears or a well aimed chocolate projectile.

Despite his coarse nature the Brian Monster Face has fascinated zoologists and scientists with his ability to adapt to most harsh environments. Like a snake in the Sahara, the Brian Monster Face will shed his skin for another more befitting of the climate, or to protect itself from vicious enemies (such as Steve Dragons or Film Critics). This reporter has personally seen him don scales, porcupine spikes, fur, and crystal skin.

However awesome this ability may be, this prevents the Brian Monster Face from enjoying most physical contact from humans and even animals. People have been left scarred by simple hugs, bunnies and kittens flee from the prospect of his touch. It is a lonely life for the Brian Monster Face.

Another amazing feature of the Brian Monster Face, as well as his ability to adapt, is his general rapidly changing physiology. The Brian Monster Face is prone to almost instant evolution whenever it feels up to it really. This has resulted in some fascinating features that have left wildlife photographers dumbfounded. For example; some say the Brian Monster Face once had a pair of magnificent deer horns on his head which subsequently rotted away to give ample balance for two large bat wings on either side of his face.

It has also been rumoured that his teeth are made of an unbreakable stone, apparently set by a tribe of mountain trolls after an altercation with a Minotaur caused him to lose the original ones (allegedly he lost them during after losing a vicious game of scrabble but at present there are no witness accounts of the ordeal to prove this to be true).

There has been photographic evidence of a tail, once the most famous trait of the Brian Monster Face. It was reported to be about 5 feet tall, the colour of moss and as bushy as something incredibly bushy. As magnificent as it may sound, the tail was actually a haven for termites, lice and the occasional garden snake. In fact, some rumours on the tail have suggested there was a thriving society of woodland creatures living within its furry tresses that eventually migrated to the beard region of the Brian Monster Face.

The tail also had a pungent tip which we believe was originally intended to paralyze enemies of the Brian Monster Face although this never really proved to be an effective weapon. Witness accounts have revealed that the spores on the tail’s tip only released a mild stimulant that smelled vaguely of marshmallows[2], all it really did was attract bears. Eventually the tail wore itself down and all that remains of it is a small tuft of mossy fur just above the fearsome buttocks of the Brian Monster Face.

Specialists at the Centre for Strange and Freaky Animals are still trying to pin down all of the physiological and emotional traits of the Brian Monster Face. However, studies have abruptly stopped due to his recent escape from an isolated prison off the coast of Alaska.

It is the hope of all of us hard working people at the CSFA that the Brian Monster Face will be caught, brought to justice for the 237 worldwide cookie thefts and studied further for hardcore science-y reasons[3]

So, what other mysteries will this strange beast reveal to us? What unearthly, bewildering act will he horrify the world with next?

Only time will tell.

[1] Stephen Hill, Interview with a Stephen, 2014

[2] The Brian Monster Face is said to live only on processed food and baked goods and uses the scents of them, we assume, for hunting purposes. We are unsure if he is aware that this comes across as very silly.

[3] Sir Elderdandy Stranglefoot the Third, Founding Member of the CSFA, 2014

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10 Reasons Why You Should Watch ‘Psych’

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And on the Seventh Day,

Superman created James Roday’s face

And upon seeing the almighty power of his deductive squint,

Did cast him in an awesome TV show. 

And people did rejoice with pineapples and proclaimed to all around them:

‘You know that’s right.’ 

It’s no trick title, folks. Does exactly what it says on the tin. As a person who only recently discovered and became seriously emotionally invested in the show this year, I cannot just sit idly by and watch people live without this joyous piece of quality detective drama comedy. I must unleash a can of reason listing whoop ass upon thine eyes and tell you exactly what you are missing… without revealing any major spoilers of course.

Psych is a delightful show that follows the life of professional layabout Shawn Spencer, a wonderfully immature scallywag, as he sets up a psychic detective agency. Shawn convinces the police that he is a Psychic by using his exceptional deduction skills and eidetic memory (which were honed and developed when he was a kid by his strict, police officer father, Henry Spencer) in order to get him out of trouble. He drags his best friend and reluctant partner, Burton ‘Gus’ Guster into his scheme and together, they become a hilarious crime fighting duo and invaluable “psychic” consultants for the Santa Barbara police force.

BEHOLD, THIS SHOW MAY BE THE KEY TO YOUR PROLONGED HAPPINESS!

'All of the Law, none of the Order.'

‘All of the Law, none of the Order.’

1) The Adorable Episode Intros

At the start of every episode we get a flashback to Shawn’s frustrating childhood living under the thumb of his strict father, Henry Spencer, who insists that he constantly practices his deductive skills. These openings usually show little Shawn and little Gus doing something ridiculous, getting into trouble and learning a valuable lesson from Shawn’s father, which sets up the theme of the episode. In the present day of the show Shawn and his dad have a pretty turbulent relationship. Shawn often finds himself asking for help from Henry, now retired from the Santa Barbara Police force. This aspect makes the intros quite warm and fuzzy to watch. They’re a really great element in the show.

2) James Roday’s Face as Shawn Spencer

For all his marvelous deduction work, Shawn is a ridiculous, hilarious character who rarely takes anything seriously. It’s like Sherlock Holmes met a bankrupt Richard Castle and had a man baby (the actual creation details are sketchy, but I’m pretty sure it involved a lot of shouting and obscure 80’s references). And then, of course there is his face. It needs to be a national monument, protected by many laws and patents. Not only is it pretty but he can do wonderful things with it. Observe:

I rest my case.

3) Guster Burton

Ah, Gus. The ‘straight man’ in the midst of Shawn’s shenanigans. Paranoid and always wanting to play it safe, Gus often shakes his shiny, shiny head and attempts to act like a professional adult. This is made kind of redundant seeing as Shawn is constantly getting him into trouble. When it comes down to brass tacks though, Gus ends up getting heavily involved in the excessive snacking, gallivanting and ridiculous undercover case work alongside his friend.

Shawn and Gus.

Their love is pure and full of silly dancing.. and jerk chicken.

Of course, they do have a serious side to their relationship, you get glimpses of it…

for like…5 seconds and then BOOM!

4) Gus’ Hilarious Aliases

This is wonderful. Whenever Shawn introduces Gus to another person he usually introduces him under a very silly alias, to which Gus will usually play along with for a while, depending on who the person is. The names vary from the silly to the ridiculous, and I am ALL about the ridiculous. There are also MULTITUDES of them, you’ll never be bored watching a witness get questioned ever again. Some of my personal favorites are Chocolate Columbo, Fellatio Del Toro, Miss Whittlebury and of course the ever popular Control Alt Delete.

5) The Quotes & Catchphrases

As Gus would say: “COME ON SON! You KNOW that’s right.” Any good show has them, and this one is loaded with memorable word-gasms. Gus’ have a simple yet effective delivery while Shawn has a tendency to hear everything ‘both ways’ and constantly compares Gus’ behavior to incredibly random things when he gets irritable. Here are some exceedingly funny examples:

“Gus, don’t be an incorrigible Eskimo Pie with a caramel ribbon.”

“Gus, don’t be your jury summons I accidentally threw away last month along with something called a W-2.”

“Relax, Gus. Don’t be Nick Cage’s accent from Con Air.”

“Gus, don’t be this crevice in my arm.”

…and so on. Doesn’t appeal to you? Come now, Unicornlings, don’t be Fine Young Cannibals version of Suspicious Minds. Watch the show. Your peers will love you and your vocabulary and conversation skills will thank you.

6) Detectives Juliet O’Hara & Carlton Lassiter

The savvy cop duo from the Santa Barbara Police department Detectives O’Hara and Lassiter. These two are the ones who end up working with Shawn and Gus on the cases they get hired for (or gate crash investigate without permission). The lovely, super cute Juliet is quite open minded and very tolerant to Shawn’s antics and general presence in the police department. If you hadn’t guessed by now, Juliet is also a primary love interest for Shawn who insists from the very start that: “She is an enigma wrapped in a little blonde riddle.”

Lassie & Jules

Lassie & Jules

On the other hand Carlton Lassiter (who looks EXACTLY like the grumpy penguin from Happy Feet..when you look close enough) is a hard nosed detective who has a tendency to take everything a little to seriously. A slave to his job, upholding the law and his gun, Lassie (as the boys affectionately call him) doesn’t see what Shawn and Gus do as ‘real’ police work and despises Shawn for his ability to one up his own detective work at the SBPD. His simmering hatred makes for some wonderfully amusing conflict with the Psych boys.

Carlton Lassiter.

MEOW.

7) The Pineapple

There is a Pineapple in every episode. There is no reason behind the Pineapple. There is no mystery behind the Pineapple. It is just a Pineapple. But there is always a Pineapple. Always. It could be the least pineapple related scene, set in an alternate world where Pineapples do not exist. It matters not. The Psych team will still find a way for there to be a Pineapple. Fact.

8) The Awesome Guest Stars

George Takei, Jane Lynch, Corey Feldman, Kristy Swanson, William Shatner, Cary Elwes, Kevin Sorbo, Ally Sheedy, Tim Curry, Paul Weller, Molly Ringwald and Curt Smith from Tears For Fears…to name but a few.

9) The Psych Outs

Let’s face it, everybody loves a show with a good, sturdy gag reel. You think the laugh is over when the season finishes? You are so very, very wrong. The Psych team are only just getting warmed up, prepare to have your face melted with quivering fits laughter and delight.

10) The General Amazing Ridiculousness 

“Oh, you mean my pilot’s license? That’s out back in the Cessna. Or perhaps you’re refering to my license to kill. Revoked. Trouble at the Kazakhstan border. I could give you the details but then I’d have to kill you, which I can’t do because my license to kill has been revoked.”

– Shawn evades a question about his “Private Eye License”

I could go into serious amounts of detail on how wonderful Shawn and Gus’ antics are… but I don’t want to give too much away and ruin the magic for the beautiful people that have to watch this show. And If the gifs haven’t been helpful enough…well then you should probably get your eye-brains checked for new laugh receptors. All that aside, not only is Psych a great comedy, it’s grounded in some really solid characters and their relationships. So. Here is my official recommendation, if you are partial to some good Crime drama…

and can appreciate some quality silliness…

…then Psych is definitely something that’s worth investing some time in.

You will love to love it.

That’s all she wrote for today my little Unicornlings. I would also like to note that, should you choose to follow my awesome advice and watch the show, I refuse to be held accountable for any subconscious excessive Pineapple consumption you may suffer from after viewing. Take it up with Steve Franks.

Peace Out.

And Then There Was Blog.

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After much deliberation, 

I have decided to type more things on the Internet.

Oh HO! What a fun few months it has been. This week, my tantalizingly interesting obsessions are full of Magic, SASQUATCH ZOMBIES and of course, flying anime cats.

Ladies and Gentlemen… and all the pretty Unicorns,

There comes a time in a humans life where they become overwhelmed with the logistics and complications of reality and retire into dark corners to consume copious amounts of jello and sprinkles and cry over semi-dramatic television shows for weeks on end. Then there comes the time AFTER that time for the human to wake up and smell ALL of the life and realize that the Internet must know everything about it. This is that time. This is that human. And THIS is what I have realized:

1) So Much Film Disappoint:

Okay. So I haven’t had a lot of time to go to the cinema recently… BUT when I have gone, it’s just been generally disappointing. Elysium was disappoint. Man of Steel was disappoint. ALSO, not enough people are excited for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug film and not enough people are SUPER UBER DISAPPOINTED in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film. And that is pretty damn disappointing. I need more access to more clips of Benedict Cumberbatch’s dragon voice and more people to give out about the horrible screenwriting tragedy that was the City of Bones movie.  I have a lot of friends who are screenwriters and film editors. I think them to be quite noble professions. Even some of the worst films I’ve seen have at least been edited to a watchable degree. I do not know how the editor for City of Bones has survived this long after the initial release. I would have thought Cassandra Clare herself would have launched a hurricane of verbal ninja throwing stars…alas, it seems to have a money-making magic spell on most of the younger readers. Way to go guys. I just restored my faith in the YA fantasy genre and you go and make it into the laughing stock of all the genres… again.

YES!

YES!

City of DISAPPOINTING Bones.

City of DISAPPOINTING Bones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie:

No nonsense, straight up fantasy adventure that’s seriously rough around the edges, in the best way of course! With characters that you love to hate and hate to love, this Abercrombie man knows how to work his characters to the bone. I severely recommend these books if you have not already had the pleasure of reading them.  Logen Ninefingers is my new role model. I was considering breaking my own nose as a testament to his awesome-ness. I decided against it. Say one thing for Aisling Lynch, say she’s a coward.

There are also awesome graphic novels of the books, if you are more inclined to want awesome violent artwork to go with Abercrombie’s epic printed words.

SO. AWESOME.

SO. AWESOME.

3) Clive Barker’s Books of Abarat Series : 

Think ethereal and terrible magnificence all squished into one world. Think Squid goggles. Think evil men wielding Nightmare juice. Think Alice in Wonderland meets…well, Clive Barker really.  I already love the Hellbound Heart and Cabal but learning that a Young Adult series written by Clive Barker existed was just far too much for my imagination to cope with.  There was much squee-ing.

Candy Quackenbush (a most memorable name for a literary protagonist) is a young girl sick of life in her extremely dull hometown of Chickentown, Minnesota. Which is, of course, famous for chicken produce, and a girl can only take so much chicken. On a particularly irksome day past the Chickentown limits Candy runs into the very courteous master thief, John Mischief (who has antlers and SEVEN HEADS) he entangles her in a merry chase involving a game of light (it’s the easiest one in the world, y’know) and ultimately leads her to the mysterious parallel world of Abarat. Abarat has twenty five islands, and each of them occupy a different hour of the day. How handy would that be? A world where there is technically no such thing as ‘being late’ or ‘being on time’! It’s confusing! It’s chaotic diversity! I love it.

Of course, Candy acquires a very important key and becomes embroiled in the local chaos which takes her from island to island.  Whilst Befriending fish people, tarrie cats and a Geshrat called Malingo Candy also becomes a target of interest for the Master of the Midnight Hour, Christopher Carrion and the sinister industrialist Rojo Pixler. Both evil to boot and seriously intent on dominating the Abarat Archipelago.

This book is amazing. Read it. And then give it it to your children (if you have any) so they can read it. I guarantee that you will have your mind opened, blown up from the inside and then put back together by happy little mind monsters.

Abarat: Because Magic is better than Chickens.

Abarat: Because Magic is better than Chickens.

4) Fairy Tail: 

WIZARDS! MAGIC! SASSY SPIRITS! ADORABLE FLYING CATS! After hearing so many positive reviews I FINALLY got around to watching this super cute fun punch of an anime series.  I’m hooked.

In the magical kingdom of Fiore we meet Lucy Heartfilia, a budding wizard that specializes in celestial magic, who runs away from home to join the legendary wizards guild Fairy Tail. I know. I was kind of put off by the name too. And yes, the name of the guild is actually based on the fact that nobody really knows whether fairies existed and had tails or not. I think the show states at some point that it’s supposed to imply mystery and adventure. Well. Colour me mystified.

But seriously, this is SUCH a fun show. Lucy is introduced to the guild by fire mage and Dragon Slayer Natsu Dragneel and his talking flying cat, Happy (who is easily the most wonderfully adorable bad ass character EVER).

Happy, the Flying Cat

Happy, the Flying Cat

SO like any decent anime series we get a host of colorful wizard protagonists who earn their keep using magic. Not a bad job to have really. Natsu and Lucy also team up with an Ice Wizard called Gray Fullbuster, who has a penchant for casually stripping in public, and the SERIOUSLY INTENSE Erza Scarlet whose magic allows her to summon ALL the weapons and change into all these super hot armor outfits.

Erza Scarlet: Because Magic is better than a wardrobe.

Erza Scarlet: Because Magic is better than a wardrobe.

And not only do we have an array of awesome wizards to keep our imaginations happy, the guild actually sounds like a place I would actually want to hang out in. In between all of the epic adventures and battles against evil-doers and plot twists and speeches about living and fighting for your best friends… all of these people just hang out at the guild, drink beer and start brawls.  MAGICAL BRAWLS. That sounds like the BEST JOB EVER.  I could go into more of the details on how awesome and funny the characters are but I would seriously be here for another 2,000 words or quite possibly more. So for all of my fellow anime freaks, just take my word for it. Please do your life a favor and make this show a part of it.

FAIRY TAIL

FAIRY TAIL

5) The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest:

Last month I went to America. The land of opportunity and large, greasy cinnamon things. On my way back to Ireland I had to suffer through a 7 hour layover in Washington and, much to my horror, I finished all of the books I had brought. So I wandered into the nearest book post, rifled through the fiction and came out with THIS bad boy. A wonderfully crafted steampunk adventure from the gritty and witty Cherie Priest. The novel is set in an alternate version of Seattle in the 1800’s, many years after an earth shattering incident with a machine called the Boneshaker has left the city to ruin and unleashed a subterranean vein of a deadly toxic gas called Blight. Not only does it kill but it also turns the corpses into zombies, how fun!

The book follows Rector ‘Wreck’em’ Sherman, a drug addict orphaned by the Blight as he leaves his orphanage to seek out a dead friend (who isn’t actually quite as dead as he thinks) in the underground society of a ruined Seattle.  As he adjusts to life in a gas-mask, he discovers that there are new perils within the city that are worse than the un-dead that are quite alive and not human at all…they are simply known to the city dwellers as ‘The Inexplicables’.

Cherie has given us all the trimmings of an underground society fighting for survival. Rector makes for a pretty good narrator character. He’s disillusioned and sarcastic, the perfect candidate to be thrown head first into the deep end of the tense societal politics, a territorial battle and drug war whilst trying to evade giant sasquatch zombies and accidentally breathing in his death. Oh, and he’s also fighting a serious drug addiction. Just to make things more interesting for you.

Overall, quite an enjoyable read I only wish I’d figured out sooner that it was actually the fourth book in a series called The Clockwork Century. It’s still quite a good stand alone tale though! I have no regrets. Never have regrets when it comes to Steampunk.

It gets explained, eventually.

It gets explained, eventually.

6) The Republic of Thieves – by Scott Lynch

FINALLY. It is mine! I own it! And I shall devour it with my eyes and tell you ALL about it. That is all. The cover is SO PRETTY. I like to think that the big one is Jean and then that’s our lovely Locke Lamora in the dress.  ALL IN GOOD TIME, UNICORNLINGS. All in good time…

The Republic of Thieves.

The Republic of Thieves.

And there ends this long anticipated adventure blog. I hope you had as much fun reading about all my ridiculous loves as I did ranting about them. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go attach wings to my entire stuffed animal collection, pour myself a rum, pretend it’s Austershalin Brandy and read this awesome book.

Peace Out.

A Quick Rant For Your Reading Pleasure/Displeasure

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Folks, it’s time to get a little angry.

Don’t worry, you’ll like me when I’m angry.

No, really.

Here, have a flower.

It occurred to me recently that this blog has become somewhat of a utopia for nerdgasms and things that I feel incredibly passionate and happy about. Like television, literature cake and very very small shiny things that you can stick to stuff. It also occurred to me recently that something I have to see and deal with during my regular working day has been making me very, very angry.   So I decided it’s time to get the proverbial claws out and tear this thing up a little bit because it has been nibbling away at my peace of mind like a lab rat on diet pills.

First of all I should mention that my not-so-new pet hate is intrinsically linked to the significant rise in popularity of erotic romance books. Now, let me be very clear here, I have absolutely no problem with the writing and reading of Erotic fiction. Personally the likes of E.L James, Vina Jackson and Sylvia Day are really not my cup of tea. I have not and most likely will never read them and seeing the ever growing stock of books they publish DOES give me headaches to some extent but that is just my own big fat opinion. I am currently in a state of acceptance with the fact that at the moment these books are in demand. People are going to read whatever the fuck they want to read and that’s just fine (sort of).

HOWEVER, due to recent sightings in my local book haunts, I’m beginning to feel that certain lines need to be drawn. Lines that have a lot to do with the restructuring of beloved classic novels that are now in the Public Domain such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Picture of Dorian Gray to suit the genre of erotic fiction. Key titles I’ve seen so far have been the nefarious Jane Eyre Laid bare and of course the one that irks me so horribly with its awful pun-like title, 50 Shades of Dorian Gray.

I should also cite here that I am all for many ideas of the postmodern parody, re-representations, pastiche works or whatever you want to call them with regards to these stories. I loved Frank Beddor’s Looking Glass Wars Trilogy (a re-working of Alice in Wonderland which I SINCERELY recommend) and I have yet to sink my teeth into Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters or Android Karenina but I’m sure I’d enjoy them too.

I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it was AWESOME. Elizabeth Bennett totally ruled as a kick ass Zombie hunter. Honestly, much of the social and cultural context of the text wasn’t changed much…apart from the zombies and many of the female characters being well trained in Karate and Kung Fu and what have you. In summary, yes the zombies were awesome and badass and it was good to see Mr. Darcy get kicked by Elizabeth but I was happy that was all that changed. Ultimately, the relationships between the main characters is what drives these novels. I felt that the developments in character relationships in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies were still somewhat effective because they still very much kept tuned to the manners and codes of society of the landed gentry in early 19th Century England. Apart from when Elizabeth the zombie hunter kicks Darcy in the stomach. That wasn’t landed very gentry (HARHARHAR).

But you see what I’m getting at, right? No? Okay. I may have wandered off topic. Zombies put to one side for now, my main problem with these restructured versions of 19th Century Romance Novels with ‘Erotic Twists’ is this: These ever so important relationships and romances in books like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and the drama and tension they bring will suffer a lot. Ergo, the story in general will suffer.

These stories were constructed in a social and cultural context where romance was a pretty damn strict code, so sure there will be that temptation to break the code and let all hell break loose, but then where would ALL that dramatic social tension go? If Jane Bennett slept with Mr. Bingley at some point behind a closed door and very much out of wed-lock (which is only how I’m assuming it would be written into an erotic version of the tale) that’s a good chunk of the romantic tension between them gone. Maybe I’m being a snob. Maybe I’m being overtly critical. But I really love these books. I loved that they were written so well into their own social systems. Romance worked so well back then because all the frilly manners and social codes just drew it out. And I feel I MUST defend them.  From formal introductions to courtships and everything in between, it just worked for these stories because a lot of that stuff developed relations and kept us in that suspended happy romantic tension place where our brains can think things like:

‘OH MY GOODNESS HE PICKED UP HER GLOVE AND GAVE IT TO HER AND THEN TALKED ABOUT THE WEATHER HE IS TOTALLY INTO HER I HOPE HE DANCES WITH HER LATER AT THE BALL.’

For some reason, all that stuff would kinda just disappear if there was an illicit sexual encounter involved and the whole world of the text would just be crushed for me. I don’t WANT Jane Eyre to have sex with Mr. Rochester because I WANT there to be drama and quiet suffering and tension because, for me that makes everything a lot more interesting. That and it just DOES NOT fit into the social and cultural context. It would just feel so alien in that circumstance. Plus Rochester does NOT deserve an additional plot hook featuring physical satisfaction from that girl, some of the shit he puts her though? He can fucking WAIT.  I don’t care if you lost a hand and most of your eyesight, Edward. That’s what you get for locking your crazy wife in the attic.

So when I saw that there was a mashup novel of 50 Shades of Gray and The Picture of Dorian Gray…I kind of wanted to kick something. Okay, so yes The Picture of Dorian Gray does have that underlying Faustian theme of dealing with the devil and giving into temptation…but…but again with the social values kind of being key features that are important to me! Gah! And you can’t just TAKE the character of Basil Hallward and turn him into a woman! YOU JUST CAN’T.

NO FOREVER.

NO. JUST NO.

My other fear is that the staggering popularity of erotic fiction will cause people to surpass the ACTUAL BOOKS and go straight for the smut. I think if you ARE going to read 50 Shades of Dorian Gray or Jane Eyre Laid Bare, as much as I recommend you NOT to…you should at least see how wonderful the original is before you read the desecrated version!

ANYWAY, in conclusion to this already way too long rant.  Bodice ripping is just fine. Just, please keep it away from classic books that I love. You can add ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT. Aliens, Zombies, Vampires, Mutant Squirrels, Ninja Tiger People, Cthulu ANYTHING…just PLEASE keep the characters out of each others pants.

Thank you.

After all this anger, I think I feel the need for another Anime Happiness Splurge.

Peace Out.

The Birth of…Something.

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Sometimes there are awesome ideas that you think up with your very own brain & you do a metaphysical victory dance and reward it with a Cookie.  

Sometimes there are ideas that are REALLY awesome. Like… Giant Crystal Panda Alien awesome. And it gets to the point where you are SO intimidated by the idea that you run away and hide your brain under a big, slimy rock.

You see, I’ve always had this notion that someday I’ll make something of a certain Giant Crystal Panda Alien that’s been living in my head for a while. You know, something along the lines of a tome of some sort where you turn the pages and follow a narrative. I hear they’re all the rage these days.

In recent days (I’m about to get mushy so if you can’t handle the mush please stop reading at once.) I have been having this serious bout of  ’20 foot wall Syndrome’ with the whole thing. I’d like to say that the syndrome was brought on by a reason that doesn’t concern me. Like… I was a surviving victim in a landslide accident at space ski resort that kept me buried under a mountain of Candy Floss for weeks. Or a telepathic Buffalo in high heels invaded my mind and physically built the wall himself with the help of his entire extended family who only talk about crackers.

Obviously, the crushing reality is that I’ve just been engaging with an inferiority complex and totally over-analyzing the entire ordeal of actually writing this Giant Panda Alien. Oh, and I’ve also been really fucking lazy.

But I have these really sparkly people in my life that keep telling me to do things. One of them gave me an assignment. I know. I nearly fainted. He asked me to write a character outline and story arcs…but when I sat down to write it. The following madness came out.

It’s not a actually character outline, or a story arc.

I think it’s a small story about thinking about writing about brainstorming a character outline and story arcs.

Actually, I’m not entirely sure what it is.

But the person in question read it and really liked it. In any case, it seems I really needed to get it out of my system. Because I’ve actually started writing things down! Proper things! On real paper! So I’ve decided to share this story about thinking about stories with you guys. Because I like ya.

Peace Out.

A pretty picture. Because I'm a grown up and can do what I want.

A pretty picture. Because I’m a grown up and can do what I want.

The Birth

It was as if something had stopped inside of her head. Consciousness flowed still and yet when she put pen to paper there was nothing. Nothing to put down on a page that she felt needed to be there.

This was strange because her hand gave off signs of an addicts need. It quivered around the biro. Her grip pulsating with a cramped tightness in one moment…and then slacking for mere seconds before she almost thought of something. Something. Something.

Something worthy.

Something valuable.

A sentence that could change the world.

A proverb that could shape a life or a thousand lives.

A story that would be told forever.

Castles danced on cow legs in her head, led by winged spoons to marvellous crystallised feasts that glittered in an alien world filled with tribes that worshipped fingernails. People walked with their eyes and saw with their feet. The universe became a snooker table for gambling gods. Fields became battlegrounds for constantly sparring Wraithwits and their senile foes the Palyx.

Wait…

Hadn’t she heard this story somewhere before?

The imagination was, in one sense of the word, functioning. But something still lacked…spirit. Something still lacked… strength. There was no energy within her simple, weak human form that could withstand the power of such vast and exquisite creation.

A dot of ink and a cramped wrist, nothing more. What could be wrong with this supposed ‘craft’ of hers? Why would it not show itself when so many felt she was reasonably good at it? Everything else was functioning perfectly, right?

Maybe this was the penalty for having a normal life.

The penalty for not living in time when society was a prison that needed to be broken out of, when reason needed to be highly unreasonable, before the bar was raised so very, very high above her tiny pathetic head.

So she dropped her pen, in a mild shame. The sound it made shook her to the marrow.

The bump of steel on soft white.

It overwhelmed her.

It made her afraid.

And she was, once more, discomforted by her staggering sense of humanity.

Why did she have to be so aware?

Why did she have to be so lazy?

The mind can be a cage. It can rattle and moan with what grows within. Sometimes it could get so hungry you may just forget yourself. She shivered at the presence of this thought. And squeezed her eyes shut to prevent it from prodding any further.

Yet, she shivered still.

She shivered, opened her eyes and decided to think.

Properly and without distraction.

Just to think would be a wonder, would it not?

It would probably not be a very pretty, shiny thought.

But it would have to do for now.

It began with a series of questions that bubbled forth like a simmering broth.

What if it was the future?

What if the world thought like her just now?

What if the world was aware…hyper aware?

What if a man in a big, important hat decided that nothing was new?

What if this world was incredibly sensitive to the notion of recycled ideas?

What if it longed for a truly new, unique and original thought?

What if it tried to achieve this by the base human action of sheer force?

What if descendants of visionary artists, revolutionary scientists and dreaming poets were kept in cages and asylums?

What if they were monitored everyday?

What if their brains were constantly scanned?

What if they’re minds were constantly psychoanalysed?

What would that do to them?

Who would they become?

Who would they be seen as?

How would they deal with this situation?

How would they react?

She pushed the thought a little further and realised something.

Their reaction might have been quite similar to her own reaction earlier. That’s what happens when you put a high price on human thought and creativity…isn’t it?

A value… an icky, sticky number that glares at you from the labels of un-bought books and works of art.

It was just then that she made another very conscious decision.

She was selfish to act and think in such ways.

She was not Bronte. Or Carroll. Or Tolkien. Or Kafka. Or Anderson.

But she would settle for what she already knew.

She would work with the dot on the blank page.

It could get bigger.

Maybe, it would never be profound. But she would make it bigger, and longer.

She would pour herself into it.

Why?

Because these people who did wonderful things, made her an oddity unto herself.

She became inspired and motivated.

She became stuck and confused.

She would inevitably become a question in a glass case.

And people would stare at this creation. They would recognise something. They had to. They were like her. And then they will say, ‘Oh’ and walk onwards.

And she would be happy.

To be so removed and yet so familiar.

To be… a small curio in a maze of so many wonderful things.

So she decided to stop being so morally pedantic and read the questions that were written on the piece of paper in front of her.

Even though she was not entirely aware of how they appeared there.

Much Ado About Nothing: Adapted For Film by Joss Whedon (Includes The Story of A Fangirl Losing Her Cool)

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There are some things in life that cannot be missed:

Sunsets, rainbows, birthdays, awesome features of human progression and achievement, Jeff Goldblum in a Cowboy suit, frogs attempting to hug frustrated bunnies. The list is endless.

Then there are some other unmissable things that are in a class of their own entirely. These will be different for every person in the world we know and they have the incredible capability to change a persons life forever.

Wow. I really have been watching way too much ‘coming of age’ anime shows recently. Anyway, to cut to my main point, I believe just such an event in my life occurred the other day when I watched a beautiful adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing by Joss Whedon… while he was in the same room.

Yes indeed, my fair unicornlings. The man himself was in Dublin, for the first time ever I believe, and he brought an amazing film with him to the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. It was a cold two hours of waiting in the snow, but my cohorts and I landed front row seats, clad in our best nerd attire and had our tiny, fangirl/fanboy retinas melted.

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Noting, and Nothing...

Much Ado About Noting, and Nothing…

When I had first heard about this film, I was incredibly excited. Not just because I’m a big fan of pretty much everything Joss has done as a writer and director, but also because I absolutely love this play. It’s been close to my heart ever since I studied it as a wee college student of English, Media & Culture. During my studies I was also introduced to the Kenneth Brannagh film adaptation (1993). I found this to have some questionable casting choices but as a Shakespeare adaptation, it is immensely entertaining none the less. That is, if you enjoy the sight of a topless Keanu Reeves covered in chicken grease. I did.

Much Ado About Nothing is THE classic romantic comedy. Unrequited love, scandal, lies, deception and the humor that knots the eccentrically dramatic plot together makes it a quality piece for the stage. Sure, it’s a little over the top but that’s renaissance playwrights for you, isn’t it? It really is the kind of Shakespeare play that I can imagine a theatrical director or a filmmaker having an awful lot of fun with today. So of course when Joss stepped up to the plate I was pleasantly surprised. As a writer with a talent for well timed comedy and humor as well as drama, Much Ado About Nothing seemed like a perfect project for Whedon.

The film was shot at Whedon’s house, in black and white with a VERY familiar cast. Of course, I would expect nothing less from Joss. The man knows who he works best with. That’s a point he’s proven more than once. In this case, the casting choices worked out quite well. At first, it was hard not to get rid of the ‘star factor’. The first few scenes with Clark Gregg were a little tough to digest with the voice in my head screaming “AGENT COLSON”. However, Clark Gregg being as awesome as he is, he really got his proverbial ‘acting teeth’ into Leonato.

The same can be said for an awful lot of the cast, some  in particular just seemed to belong in their roles the minute they hit the screen. Sean Maher was no exception as Don John. And to think I never would have believed he had a dark side. He just ooozed villainy. Like a big vat of villain ooze (which needs to be a real product).  Nathan Fillion as the ever entertaining, bumbling policeman Dogberry was also a performance to mark. Of course, his immediate entrance on screen was a little hard to focus on due to the HUGE RESOUNDING APPLAUSE and screams that filled the cinema when people laid eyes on him. But Nathan was just perfect for that role. I believe I saw some elements of Richard Castle’s goofy side, as well as some of that hilarious dead pan delivery we know him so well for. He and Tom Lenke worked magically together as a cop duo. I think they may have set the bar for Whedon to write them a spin-off short film. Or even better, a SERIES of spin-off short films (No pressure, Joss).

The only performance it took me longer than ten minutes to warm up to was Fran Kranz as Claudio. This could stem from the fact that I’ve always HATED Claudio with a fiery passion. He’s just a detestable character for modern woman such as I. Why? Observe the simplified version:

Claudio: Oooh look at me, I’m Claudio. I loved you, Hero but I think I maybe might have seen you sleep with another guy so even though I’m not 97% sure and everything I know about it comes from a bastard that I know to be an outright villain I am going to publicly humiliate you, reject you and call you a whore. Oh wait, I was wrong please take me back.

Hero: Okay.

What a fucking Jerk.

However, I think Fran Kranz did the part justice in his own way towards the end. I think the still of him in the pool with a snorkel on and a cocktail in one hand sealed the deal for me. The modern approach of ‘Ex Frat Boy Idiot’ for Claudio was seemingly a fitting one.

Of course, the star factor faded and Shakespeare worked his magic with a lot of help from Joss Whedon. And the audience really got into the heart of the film, it’s plot strings and its humor. The ‘deception’ scenes for Beatrice and Benedick were choreographed REALLY well. Some great slapstick reactions from Alex Denishoff and Amy Acker, who worked awesomely as the headstrong duo. Ah, Beatrice & Benedick. Constantly knocking heads and eventually buckling under the pressure of their real emotions. This relationship is one of the reasons why I love this play, and I think Joss worked with it very well and gave it a really good modern twist with the addition of some very interesting and plot-altering footage concerning the two characters.

Overall, as a modern Shakespeare adaptation, I thought the film really was something special. The imagery, the actions and the performances really got through to what I think is an important thing to take from the play, the many social constructs of romance and how human behavior strives to cope with it’s true understanding and it consequences. I believe there’s a quote from Joss that expands on this point:

“I fixated on this notion that our ideas of romantic love are created for us by the society around us, and then escape from that is grown-up love, is marriage, is mature love, to escape the ideals of love that we’re supposed to follow.” – Joss Whedon

I can relate, Joss. I can relate. Obviously, y’know, there’s the whole ‘don’t bring your villainous bastard brother into your friends house without expecting something bad to happen’ thing, but the other thing is more important…I think.

This was an incredibly enjoyable, elegantly shot film that will make you laugh and give you all the warm and fuzzy feelings at the end. Even despite the Claudio/Hero fiasco, there’s quite a significant message on modern love.  And if you don’t have the fuzzy feelings after seeing Fred & Wesley reunited onscreen as two of Shakespeare’s most entertaining characters…well you’re not much of a person, are you? But it’s okay. We’re all friends here. I won’t hold that against you. Okay, I lied. I totally will.   Of course, if you’re a hardcore Whedonite, then the knock-out performances from the familiar faces you see I think will be adequate enough.

On a side note, I only realized after the Q&A for the film that I had a burning question for Joss regarding the character Beatrice. Amy Acker did a really amazing job, but I’d love to know about any more of ‘Shakespeare’s women’ he’d like to work with down the line and who he might cast for them. Seeing that he’s already got a pretty good repertoire for strong female characters, I figure he might have some exciting ideas. I also made chocolate chip cookies that I was all set to offer him. However, I got very chilly feet. The Q&A experience was a little overwhelming. I was so excited I was entirely unsettled and so I second guessed my entire existence and kept my quivering fangirl mouth shut in case I said something stupid. Oh well. It was still an awesome evening and I have no regrets.

So thank you, Joss. For bringing yet another cinematic delight into the world. Please come back and visit us again sometime.

That, I think, will be quite enough for now, unicornlings. I must go lie down and contemplate life in space and how I shall someday manufacture and sell a game changing energy drink: Villain Ooze. (For the bad guy on the go! Unleash your utmost evil!)

I shall leave you with an awesome Joss moment to brighten your day. (Prithee,  watch at your peril. Contains Monsters)

Peace Out.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

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There will be no witty intro.

Why?

Because this book has left a genuine hole in my heart from loving it too much.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am absolutely distraught. Recently I got to meet a rather fabulous author named Ruth Frances Long. Her work has been recommended to me before, only now have I had a chance to sample it. So I started reading her most recent book The Treachery of Beautiful Things…and a terrible thing happened.

I finished it.

It ended.

Now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the feeling of reading a wonderfully crafted, heart wrenchingly gripping book for the first time. The last page is a personal torment for me, when it comes to books like these. Reading that final section is like having an itty bitty piece of your heart carefully dissected and stapled, very neatly, onto that page. On several occasions I said to myself, ‘I’ll stop reading now and save some for later.’ as if the book was some kind of gourmet dessert I could only have after roast dinners on Sunday. Of course, I didn’t stop. I couldn’t put it down. I actually finished it on my lunch break in work today. All time leading up to that break was spent trying to make time, somehow, GO FASTER. And afterwards… well I’m pretty sure that some people in work were wondering how I had suddenly transformed from this ball of pure energy into a less vocal version of Moaning Myrtle. Moping over her un-priced stock and occasionally sighing dreamily into the Bestseller Shelves.

If you hadn’t noticed already, I rather loved this book. I’m just going to launch into my frantic squeal-like review now. I am still barely managing trying to get my brain to describe my experience of reading this book without it creating a giant lump in my throat:

 The Treachery of Beautiful Things

“The trees swallowed her brother whole. And Jenny was there to see it.”

The Treachery of Beautiful Things: My body is still recovering.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things: My body is still recovering.

Devastated and emotionally scarred by the strange abduction of her brother seven years ago, seventeen year old Jenny returns to confront the place that took her brother. Of course, instead of a getting some sense of resolution for her suffering she wanders in to the suspenseful grip of the most beautifully terrifying world, hidden in plain sight from her for so many years. A curiously stunning Realm of the Fearie. And so, determined to seek out her brother (now held captive as a Piper for the Fey Queen Titania) Jenny is guided through the labyrinth of an enchanted forest, full of flourishing beauty and stinging deception, by an  Jack o’ the Forest (whose name -of course- is Jack and whose motives are just as questionable as the dark little creatures that lurk in the forest).

Initially I didn’t expect the transcendence of worlds to happen the way that it did, but the technique employed really allows Ruth Frances Long to really immerse you into the mischief and magic that courses through the veins of the story. Poor Jenny has a tough start (Folletti and Pixies and Redcaps, Oh My!) and the line between trust and treachery is always slightly blurred. In the true spirit of a faerie story, everything down to the food she craves has the potential to doom our heroine. Needless to say, her journey was captivating to read. Ruth’s depictions of the fey are beautifully ornate in their language and just as bitter in the moment of their unveiled darkness.  This is where the story’s title rings an absolute, resounding truth in it’s nature.  The Realm is rife with a complex web of lies and mixed loyalties, the turmoil of which is shown mostly through the guiding characters of Jack (OH, Jack…) and Puck (a hobgoblin). Of course, the overbearingly beautiful and dangerous Queen Titania and King Oberon eerily stalk the narrative, as soon as Jenny is thrown into their world. Always testing the strength of Jenny’s will as well as the kindness of her heart (something that is apparently lacking in the faerie realm) until Jenny is pushed to make some devastating choices towards her journey’s end.

Overall… I loved LOTS of things about this book. I loved the Ruth’s depiction of the Realm. A beautiful, addictive world shadowed by lies and sacrifice. Not being an expert on faerie lore, I was really fascinated by some of the creatures introduced and their connection to the story, particularly the Kobold (also, DRAGONS!) opened up an entirely new perspective for me. I also really loved the story’s acknowledgment of intertwining lores and mythical characters. Ruth, you’re a girl after my own heart.

As well as the actual fantasy world being awesome, the descriptions and tone of the language flowed perfectly with the atmosphere of the realm. I don’t think I can use the word ‘beautiful’ enough to describe language and descriptions in this book. Which is funny, in that the title suggests I really shouldn’t rely on that particular feature…

However, underneath all of the exquisite faerie madness is a pretty good story about a young, rather naive girl learning to conquer her fears, whatever form they might take (Like a baby Leczi. I now really want a pet baby Leczi). Sure, she’s frustrating at first. But, Jenny sure as hell comes into her own through all of the treachery and pain. And there’s quite a lot of that, the source of which is mostly Jack. Ah, Jack o’ the Forest. He proved to be a really strong character. Steadfast in his position as an oath bound guardian while also maintaining a less stable role as a perfectly quirky and confusing love interest for a romance that was weaned quite carefully into this well woven fantasy story. Loved it.

All things considered I found this book quite a dream to read. It is a magnetically magical, stand alone story that really holds its own. If you’re a fan of fantasy romance, please do yourself a favour and read this book. Ruth Frances Long has created something amazing. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the world of Young Adult Fantasy and I certainly look forward to reading more of her work.

In addition to The Treachery of Beautiful Things rocking my world, I will probably find myself wandering out to the tiny patch of trees at the end of my garden to wait for something to guide me to a magical faerie realm. Thanks to this book, I’d like to think that I’ve graduated from ‘Survival Guide to Fairyland 101’.

In other words, I’m totally ready Titania. Bring it.

Ahem. Please excuse me while I go throw myself into a Clive Barker novella in order to mourn my finishing of this book and to quell my fragile nerves.

Goodnight Unicornlings.

Peace Out.