Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas

What a great Christmas present! Don't Ask Don't Tell finally got repealed! I hope it gets implemented soon.

Anyway, on to more frivolous things. I got a new job and bought myself a Tivo to keep up with my TV shows when I'm working. (I didn't want to have to sign up for a cable or satellite service, and I'm satisfied with free antenna TV.) The Tivo has helped me discover some new shows as well, though its suggestions are not always perfect. I've been watching Burn Notice lately. (Not new episodes, but stuff from season 2 I think.)

Burn Notice is like what I used to love about The A-Team in the 1980s. There's an interesting job every week, often helping people who are defenceless or in trouble, and the team creatively solves the problem without involving the police. But like the A-Team always had to escape the military police who pursued them, there's an ongoing plot about Michael having to pursue the people who "burned" him, (blacklisted him from the spy agencies). I'm not sure I'm following the show's arc that well, but I'm getting into it. It's almost as engrossing as The Good Wife.


I just saw a TV commercial for something called "Medi-Share", a healthcare/insurance thingy "for Christians." What the fuck is that? I'm aware that some Christians feel the need to do business with other Christians, but what the fuck kind of company will discriminate against customers based on religion? And if that weren't enough, the spokeswoman then went into a spiel about how joining the Medi-Share will exempt customers from the costs of the new healthcare reform laws. Stupid idiots serving up right-wing politics with your medical coverage. God, it's so disgusting. I find the world very irrational and scary lately.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wilmer's RETI and LADY

These are the last two episodes in the series starring Douglas Wilmer as Holmes, which makes for 11 episodes in total. It should be noted that neither this series, nor the following year starring Peter Cushing, felt any need to adapt SCAN. See, TV shows based on the Holmes canon are in no way obligated to feature Irene Adler, no matter how much her character has been inflated out of proportion to her story.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mark Gatiss loves PLoSH

Well I knew that Gatiss & Moffat based their version of Mycroft on Christopher Lee in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, but to hear Gatiss say that the film changed his life, is heartwarming. He too thinks Holmes was in love with Watson, with all that latent slashiness. Obviously I do too. Will have to find time to continue their honeymoon in my PLoSH fic.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not Blue Yet

Well, so the elections are over once again. I'm very disappointed in the Texas results. I guess we have to try again to turn this state blue. There are significant parts that are plenty blue already; they just get swamped by the rest of the red counties. If that weren't upsetting, enough, I saw Kinky Friedman on one news station giving commentary about how Democrats should have embraced the Tea Party as defenders of the Constitution. Good lord!

And to think, I once voted for Kinky for Governor. How naive and stupid I was. If only that year's election wasn't so crowded with candidates. Maybe we could have defeated Rick Perry years ago. Instead we're stuck with him again, as he goes on his book tour and his likely bid for a Presidential campaign. So sickening.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wilmer's TWIS, BERY, and CHAS

These episodes are on the first side of the second disc in this set. Watson still seems to be unmarried and living with Holmes in Baker Street, so the writers have eliminated the scenes about Isa Whitney the opium addict in TWIS. However, one of Kate Whitney's lines is given to Mrs. St. Clair in another context.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Magic Number

Awesome! On Feedbooks, my Prelude ebook has now been downloaded 1887 times. 1887 is the year that A Study in Scarlet was first published! Silly milestone, I know, but it made me smile.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Other News on PBS

In other news on PBS, it looks like PBS World is once again getting a head start on Native American History Month, with repeats of We Shall Remain, and related documentaries about tribes like the Seminoles and the Blackfeet.

Also, Nova is airing a special about the Chilean miners on Tuesday, which seems to be a quick turn around. But then again, the story has been ongoing for two months now, so they probably had stuff prepared in advance. Not sure if I will watch it, though I did enjoy seeing the rescues.

(Nova and other specials irritate me lately because they include commercials from ExxonMobil that pretend to be all concerned about global warming. When you know they wouldn't have done any better than BP about the oil spill, and have resisted moving the economy off fossil fuels for years.) The David H. Koch foundation is also a sponsor. Still, I don't blame PBS for it because they've been losing federal funding for years and need the money. You also see left-wing websites accepting such advertising dollars too, so I guess there's nothing untainted these days.

Sublime Sherlocks

Wired has an article featuring their choice of the best Sherlock Holmes adaptations, but they loosely include other characters that are only derived from Holmes. This is good in the instance of Justin Playfair in They Might Be Giants, but is less so in the case of Batman. I only complain because it would have provided more room to include other Holmes adaptations like the Russian TV series or the Ronald Howard Holmes.

Alan Sepinwall also has a review of Sherlock, and he also mentions other modern derivative TV detectives. I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy this show after the long wait for it to get to America.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Asexual Sherlock

In case you haven't seen it yet, there is a community for asexual Holmes fic (set in the BBC Sherlock universe). It includes this awesome story by Tuesdays with Moriarty. I highly recommend it, because it features post-retirement scenes, including Sherlock investigating the colony collapse disorder for bees. Really great!

I have tried writing an asexual Holmes story in the past, though set in the Victorian canon. It's somewhat more depressing so far, though I intend it to have a happy ending. Lately I tried to make some more progress on the fic, but remain undecided about whether to include a love triangle where Watson is tempted to "cheat" on Holmes.

Some Hope

Well apparently I spoke too soon about the dismal news. Not only did Ft. Worth councilman Joel Burns put out an encouraging message for gay teens, but the Chile mine rescue went remarkably smoothly.

Burns's emotional speech was really moving, and I'm glad that the video garnered national attention. It gives me hope that other bullied teens will be able to live happy lives if they find sufficient support and love.

Not that everything's magically fixed now, or anything. We still plod on with the insanity of the midterm election campaign, and the frustrating Don't Ask, Don't Tell fight. The stupid news cycle gets so ugly sometimes, that it's a relief when you do come across inspirational moments.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No bright spots

How depressing news has been lately, what with all the gay teen suicides all in a row. I can't stand to think of them all suffering so much bullying and feeling so much despair that they can't go on. It's horrible.

The only encouraging thing lately seems to be that the civilian terrorism trials are going smoothly. Although I'll always have doubts about any evidence obtained through torture, and I'll always wonder if there's ever going to be a not guilty verdict. Or even if there is a guilty verdict each time, will the sentence ever be less than life in prison? And will the prisoner really be released at the end of his sentence, or will the government again decline to release them?

I was feeling more hopeful about the local elections in Texas for a while, but then I saw this depressing image of how red Texas and surrounding areas have become. Fuck.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dogs That Changed the World

You may have seen on TV lately that PBS re-aired one of their Nature programs from 2008. "Dogs That Changed the World" is a two-part special about people's ancient symbiotic relationship with dogs. The first episode, "The Rise of the Dog" focuses mainly on how dogs evolved from wolves 15,000 years ago.

It reminded me tangentially of Christine O'Donnell wondering why monkeys aren't still evolving into humans. Most people have responded that evolution doesn't happen quickly, but actually it does sometimes happen in quick leaps, as mentioned in this Nature episode. (It's just difficult to document in the fossil record if you can't find transitional forms.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wilmer's COPP, REDH, and SIXN

These three episodes are on the second side of the first disc. It appears throughout that Watson is living in Baker Street, because there's no mention of his having a wife. However, there is a mention of Watson's practice in REDH, which sort of suggests that he lives or works elsewhere. But that dialogue is taken straight from the story, in which Watson says that he lives in Kensington.

The script writers also add more background information to the stories, such as how John Clay found out about the bank's French gold in REDH. Holmes also occasionally tries to prompt Watson to figure out details of the mysteries for himself, and he does manage it sometimes. Lestrade makes his first appearance in this TV series in SIXN, which is full of comical characters. But let's begin with COPP.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wilmer's SPEC, ILLU, and DEVI

So these three episodes are the first side of a double-sided DVD. (The set is two discs, and 11 episodes total.) I'm still disappointed that the BBC didn't have a clearer source tape for SPEC, but at least all the rest of the episodes looked much better. I wish they had filmed it in color too, but they didn't make that change until the next year when Peter Cushing replaced Douglas Wilmer.

One pleasant surprise in this 1964 series is that we see a few actors who later went on to do Doctor Who. There's Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, and Roger Delgado, the first Master. Additionally, Jennie Linden, who plays Violet de Merville, was the Doctor's companion Barbara in the film starring Peter Cushing. It's cool to see how much overlap there is of British TV actors.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Douglas Wilmer as Holmes

I've got the newly released DVDs of the 1964 BBC Holmes series starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock. They're all in black in white, unlike the series the next year featuring Peter Cushing in Wilmer's place.

There are two double-sided discs, and the first one comes with a long advertisement for other BBC Mystery shows. The pilot episode is SPEC, but unfortunately it seems to be in poorer condition than the later episodes. At first I thought it was just that my widescreen TV was stretching the picture, but even when I changed the aspect ratio to 4:3, the picture still looked poor. The later episodes look clearer and sharper though, so it's not a complete loss. Still, I thought that SPEC would look a little cleaned up from the version that's on Hulu. I guess they couldn't find a better source tape.

So far I've watched the first disc, featuring SPEC, ILLU, DEVI, COPP, REDH, and SIXN. I'll probably write up reviews of the episodes later, but maybe I'll wait until I've seen both discs.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Useless News

I was stunned that all this weekend, many (left-wing) political blogs reported obsessively on Glenn Beck's rally, as if they were salivating at the spectacle. But why devote multiple stories, pictures, and videos to this one topic? Why not have room to cover the 5th anniversary of Katrina as well, or the current Pakistan floods? Why wasn't Daily Kos doing any damn fundraising like they did for Haiti or any other disaster? It's like they only care about their own "pie fights" among themselves and with their enemies.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Prop 8 Saga Continues

So, the appeals court imposed a stay on Judge Walker's decision, meaning that no same-sex marriages can resume in California until at least December. I'm disappointed that couples will have to wait months (or maybe longer) for all these appeals to go through before they can get their rights. This case will eventually wind up at the Supreme Court, although perhaps the Prop 8 Proponents will be unable to appeal because they don't have the legal standing to do so. At least I hope the Ninth Circuit judges will rule that way.

This is why I was hesitant to celebrate when Judge Walker's decision was first reported, because nobody could give a straight answer at first on whether Judge Walker was going to stay his decision or not. And then he did stay it, to let the Prop 8-ers file a motion with the higher court. And now the Ninth Circuit court has stayed it, and no matter what they decide, another stay could be imposed by the Supreme Court. On and on. It's just so many hurdles to get over, but history tells us that no battle for equal rights has ever gone smoothly and quickly. I'm trying to be patient.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Crucifer of Blood

I went to see the play tonight, and was surprised to see that the Holmes character looked and behaved like RDJ's Holmes. From the way he dressed--a rumpled suit, loosely knotted tie, and dark glasses--to his mannerisms, he was definitely patterned after the Downey version of Holmes rather than Rathbone or Brett. I hadn't expected Downey to be so influential so soon; granted, he didn't go all out with crawling on the floor or boxing anybody, but it was clear enough. No deerstalker or inverness in sight, either, which I am always grateful for. (Update: here's a professional review of the play, along with pictures.)

Edit: apparently I've been misspelling "crucifer" as "crucifier" and now can't change my titles without changing the blog urls. Urgh! I liked it, though I did still have flashes to the Charlton Heston movie, which was confusing. I wonder what new Holmes portrayals Benedict Cumberbatch will inspire after his show airs here in America.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Private Life, part 9

Holmes and Watson are still in Paris, but I hope in the next chapter to move them quickly to Geneva and into Italy next. Holmes wants to experiment more with sex now. Also, recall that in part 6, Watson thought that maybe Holmes really didn't want to be on bottom.

More on BBC Sherlock

This very long article about the BBC Sherlock series begins by discussing Holmes adaptations in general, even mentioning such animated fare as Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century and Sherlock Hound (which I recently discovered from links on Hulu). The article is full of insights and Sherlockian trivia needing footnotes. :) Then in the last portion he compares "Study in Pink" directly with STUD, in canon-specific detail. (He also discusses the 1968 Peter Cushing version that I reviewed before.) He points out several improvements to the plot, such as omitting the Mormon backstory and fixing the problematic capture of Jefferson Hope. The guy even includes a long P.S. about Doctor Who's connections with the Sherlock Holmes universe. I find the author rambling at times, and too fond of dashes, but otherwise it's a good read so long as you don't mind MAJOR SPOILERS for the TV show. It's best that you've already watched "Study in Pink" first.

Another good read is this lovely fic called Reasons, which is the most convincing of all the BBC Sherlock fics I have read so far. I recommend it highly, but warn that it has spoilers for the first two episodes of the series.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Private Life, part 8

Here's a new chapter of my Private Life fic, where Holmes and Watson officially begin their honeymoon trip. On the train they also discuss some of Holmes's history with women. In the movie, Holmes tells the story about his fiancée, the daughter of his violin teacher, and about "the most affectionate woman I ever knew," but on the DVD, the deleted scenes have a contradictory backstory. In the "Dumbfounded Detective" flashback, Holmes speaks of the daughter of his tobacconist instead, and confesses that he fell in love with a girl while at Oxford, only to discover that she was a prostitute. I've chosen to go with the first backstory, and I have named the women Violet and Ada. (In the movie, Holmes also lists several more affairs with kleptomaniacs, pyromaniacs, etc. but I'm choosing to think he was being sarcastic with Gabrielle at that point.)

Plus I made a map of the approximate route of Holmes and Watson's honeymoon. (It's from a modern map, so the political boundaries may not be historically accurate for 1887, not that the movie itself is historically accurate.) More on the map below.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bulldog blues

This week on PBS I saw a UK documentary called Pedigree Dogs Exposed. It was all about how dog breeding, most specifically in the UK since Victorian times, has created dogs that are incredibly inbred and unhealthy. I've heard of this issue before and felt guilty for liking the cute bulldogs in the 2009 movie (and in the Russian Holmes series), because I know that bulldogs have been bred to have such large heads that the females can't give birth naturally, and routinely have Caesarian sections. They and other flat-faced breeds have trouble breathing as well. In this show, it was rather chilling to see animations of how different dogs skulls have been altered by breeding.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Without a Clue fic

I'm really getting excited about the new BBC Sherlock, though PBS is still giving no information about when it will air here, and the BBC website is region-restricting their videos. They must be getting revenge for all the Hulu videos that they can't see over there. ;)

Anyway, I've written a fic inspired by the recent drabble called "I Am an Actor After All." Without a Clue is one of my favorite movies, but I have previously not seen slashiness coming off Reginald Kincaid or his awesome John Watson. But I found the inspiration and decided to do it, but it's going to be a one-off only. I probably won't continue it like my Private Life fic. I'm not sure I really captured Kincaid's voice here, but I thought I'd try it.

SPOILERS for the movie below:

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Nook

I did return the Astak Mentor for a refund, and got a Nook WiFi instead. I don't like the case as much, and there are no folders for me to organize my books, so I'll have to be careful how much I load on here. But for the most part I am satisfied. While I was writing more of my Madness story, it was very handy for me to be able to look up canon quotations on my Nook instead of having to drag out my Annotated volumes. I'd still use the Annotated if I needed to look up some notes about a story, instead of the story text itself.

If I can find time, I may try to make a bunch of screensavers or wallpapers for the Nook out of the Sidney Paget illustrations. I tried scanning them in from my Annotated, but they came out wrong because most of the pictures were too close to the spine of the book, making it hard to get them flat against the scanner. I had to use the pics at Camden House instead because they were both darker and clearer.

In other news, Prelude is now being translated into Chinese. I can't read it (other than the English names in the text) but based on the footnotes, it appears that Amy has finished Chapter 4 so far.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Today I saw the acclaimed 1992 movie Thunderheart. I already liked Val Kilmer from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and wanted to see his earlier work. The subject matter also attracted me, after seeing We Shall Remain and other films about Native Americans last year. Though fictional, the film is inspired by real events in South Dakota in the 1970s, and Wikipedia points to the story of Leonard Peltier in particular. I think one of the FBI agents even obliquely refers to it when mentioning two other agents who had been killed.

Friday, June 25, 2010


What the fuck? I thought the ereader I bought supported MP3 files for music or audiobooks. After all it has a jack for headphones, albeit a 2.5 mm jack instead of the normal 3.5 mm one. However, when I loaded audio files onto the device, they refused to play. I went on the Astak website, and found this on their FAQ:

Q: Does the MENTOR support MP3 files?
A: No, currently the MENTOR does not support MP3 files or audiobooks.

Cushing's SIGN and BLUE

This version of SIGN was dramatized by the Sherlockians Michael and Mollie Hardwick. The episode begins with Bartholomew Sholto dead, holding a Sign of Four paper in his lap. Next, Mrs. Hudson announces Mary Morstan in Baker Street. (Thereby cutting out the cocaine scene, as well as the deductions from Watson's watch.) Oddly, Miss Morstan says that she is a companion, not a governess, for Mrs. Cecil Forrester. She is also dressed rather too garishly, in my opinion.

Mary Morstan explains about her father's disappearance first and then shows them the pearls. Her letter is dated November 7th, defying both the July and September dates. Instead of meeting at the Lyceum, the carriage picks them up at Mrs. Forrester's house. During the carriage ride, we see Watson begin telling the story of the double-barrelled tiger cub, but he is so lovestruck that he zones out in the middle of it. Holmes visibly rolls his eyes, and is glad when they arrive.

Cushing's STUD and BOSC

Now I have watched the Peter Cushing versions of STUD and BOSC, which both coincidentally feature women named Alice. STUD is dramatized by Hugh Leonard. Because it is not the first episode in the 1968 TV series, and the actors are not young, this version omits the scenes with Stamford, and the case is not treated as an origin story about how Holmes and Watson met.

The episode begins with Lucy Ferrier's open coffin, and a man takes the ring off her finger. After the credits, we see Drebber and Stangerson checking into Halliday's hotel after missing their train. They argue, then Drebber returns to the Charpentier boarding house.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Whitechapel Vampire and Two Hounds

I watched the other two Matt Frewer films I have, The Whitechapel Vampire and The Hound of the Baskervilles. Then I watched the Peter Cushing version of HOUN for contrast. This is not the 1959 Hammer film with Christopher Lee as Sir Henry; this is the BBC TV version from 1968, where Cushing replaced Douglas Wilmer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crucifer of Blood and The Royal Scandal

Now there have been 1000 downloads of Prelude on Feedbooks. Even with the available statistics, there's no way for me to know who downloaded the 1000th ebook, but thanks, whoever you are. If I had used a pay book service instead, I might have made some money off this, but it doesn't matter. My goal was not to make a profit; I just wanted to see slash be available even in the ebook world. I wonder if Rohase Piercy or anyone who's ever been published in print, will ever go digital? They're probably holding off because of DRM issues. I'm just glad that my ebook has been downloaded at an average rate of 5-6 downloads a day for months now. Now if somebody on Feedbooks would just leave a comment about it, I'd know how it was viewed by mainstream fans who are presumably not Sherlockians.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Got an E-Reader

Well dang it! I'd heard rumors that Barnes & Noble was going to release a WiFi only Nook this summer, but what I heard from Engadget made it sound like this Nook lite wouldn't be out until July or August, and that it would cost $199.

That's why I recently pulled the trigger and bought an Astak Mentor reader for $129, in an unusual, out-of-the-blue sale at Newegg. The price difference just looked to be so large, and I was sick of waiting. But then B&N just had to release the WiFi only Nook for $149, and now I'm upset. I have to keep telling myself, though, that the Nook doesn't come with a case at that price, and I'd still wind up spending at least $179. Plus the Nook doesn't support organizing your books into folders, as far as I know. So I'll just have to be happy with what I got until I can save up enough money for a new e-reader. But maybe by then the color e-ink screens will finally be out. I don't know.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A-Team movie

In other news, I saw the A-Team movie, and was quite disappointed. And yet I so loved seeing Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, and Sharlto Copley playing their characters. The first half hour or so was enjoyable, and I got a wave of excitement and nostalgia every time I heard the old TV theme song. So what was wrong? I think it's the fact that the action sequences were so confusingly cut that I couldn't tell what was going on. Also, I couldn't hear a lot of the dialogue because of the various explosions and other sound effects, so that limited my ability to pick up the jokes or to fully understand the plot.

I think I may enjoy the movie more on DVD, if it's sufficiently subtitled, and I can fast-forward through some of the endless CGI sequences. But I'm not sure.

Fanfic recommend: Fragility

Wow, this story by Enkidu has a really great Mycroft. Fragility is a ten-part fic based on the 2009 movie. It skillfully weaves in missing scenes that show off Mycroft, Constable Clark, as well as the Irregulars. Irene Adler is treated somewhat harshly, though the story does provide some information on her last husband (not Godfrey Norton) whom she divorced.

I really like this story, even though it's so angsty and sad. I hope there's a sequel that covers what happens in FINA and EMPT, but maybe Enkidu will wait until the second movie to see how Guy Ritchie handles everything.

Friday, June 18, 2010

STUD comic

Here's a short comic by feriowind based on Chapter one of A Study in Scarlet. Unfortunately, the artist won't be able to continue with the whole book, but it's nice to see young Holmes and Watson meeting.

comic - Mr. Sherlock Holmes

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Feedbooks and Holmes sketch

I've been checking the downloads for Prelude on Feedbooks, and I've got over 900 downloads now. Feedbooks also has a new feature for authors called Analytics, which gives you various statistics about your book. I'm not surprised that two-thirds of my downloads are from the US, but I am surprised that a small percentage are downloaded from far away places like Malaysia and Ukraine. It's nice to see that there are Holmes slash fans all over the world.

I also saw a prompt on the SHkinkmeme for a Holmes/Watson retirement fic, so I thought I'd post a relevant sketch that I wrote last month.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Private Life, part 7

Okay, here's another chapter of the Private Life "Love Story" fic. We begin with the same hip bath that was seen in the movie. It appears that they don't have any running water in the house.

Mrs. Hudson really should have servants, you know, to do heavy lifting jobs. Yet none are seen in the movie. Maybe they got rid of any servants because they installed the dumb-waiter, and she didn't need any help now? I don't know. More reason to update their plumbing, huh?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sick of Israel

Well, so the Rachel Corrie was seized without violence and is being towed to Ashdod. So that's somewhat of a relief, but Israel still refuses to end the blockade, and we don't know that they'll actually let all of the aid through. What's annoying and petty of them is that they kept calling the Rachel Corrie by its former name of Linda. Why be so trivial? Does it harm you to acknowledge that they named the ship after an American protester who died?

Really, it's ironic that this was an Irish ship, given the long history of civil war and "Troubles" that Northern Ireland went through. If they could resolve their differences, in spite of acts of terrorism, why can't Israel?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Juan Cole on the Hypocrisy

Really great article on Israel, and how they broadly paint everyone as terrorists. He also points out that some of the released photos have been debunked as having been from years ago.

The Israeli spin about how the flotilla was provocative is terrible. It's like the Southern racists during the Civil Rights movement saying that the activists who did the Freedom Rides, sit-ins, and marches were being provocative, and so deserved to be knocked down by water hoses and such.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Flotilla passengers

This post on Daily Kos seems to gather together the accounts of several of the Flotilla passengers who were released. I mean, if one of the Israeli parliament members says that the ships were fired on before the soldiers boarded, how can Israel seriously keep up their self-defense claim?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel attacking the flotilla

I don't understand. I just don't understand. When will this madness end? How can the Israeli government claim that the humanitarians were deliberately plotting to attack, when the violence only happened on one ship? Wouldn't true terrorists have armed all the ships of the flotilla, and with more formidable weapons than just "switchblade knives, slingshots, metal balls, and bats"? Wouldn't they have all resisted on all the ships? And by the soldiers' own account, the Turkish civilians got the guns from the soldiers themselves. So they wouldn't have got any guns if the soldiers hadn't boarded. Why didn't they stay aboard the Israeli military ship and just fucking radio to the flotilla that they had to turn back, or else be escorted to Ashdod? Storming aboard from helicopters before dawn is plenty provocative, and frightening enough to make people resist.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Private Life, part 6

Hey, it's more of my Private Life fic. This time we have some sexy romantic fluff to make up for the previous angst. I'm describing Watson and Holmes as they appeared in the movie, so that's why I speak of Watson's dark wavy hair. Holmes said that Watson called him six foot four in the stories, when in reality he is "barely six foot one." So that's what he means when he says he's shorter than expected; he is not shorter than Watson.

Also I went back and added some notes on the Russian words in
Part 1. I put in one Russian word here, in the Romanized spelling from the DVD, but the Cyrillic version is проказник. I decided to make the Upside-Down Room Case two weeks ago, because I love throwing around the word "fortnight", and I revised the earlier chapter to reflect that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

BBC Radio box set

Hey, I just realized that the movie characters Godfrey and Irene have the same first names as Godfrey Norton and Irene Adler from SCAN. Ha! Everything relates to Sherlock Holmes somehow.

Other News

In other news, today's Cinco de Mayo, and the world seems to be getting worse every day, what with the Arizona immigration law, the horrendous oil spill, and the attempted bombing in Times Square. I can't believe that Louisiana is going to suffer more. I remember seeing BP's greenwashing ads a couple years ago, claiming they were "beyond petroleum" and thinking, "Come on! Like I'm supposed to believe that an oil company sincerely wants us to move to clean energy?" They damn well better clean up this mess.

My Man Godfrey

Today I happened to catch the 1936 movie My Man Godfrey on my local TV station. It was a colorized version, and that was initially why I watched it, mesmerized by a silver-blue dress that Cornelia was wearing while she was threatening the butler. But I soon became engrossed by the plot itself and went googling the movie to try to learn about the beginning plot that I had missed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Private Life, part 5

Here's more of my "Love Story" fic. I decided to go angsty for this chapter because I couldn't let Holmes get away with his deception during the "Case of the Upside-Down Room." (That's one of the Deleted Sequences from the DVD.)

Also, I make references to the stories TWIS and YELL, even though they take place during Watson's marriage. The movie itself is very wonky on chronology, referring to cases like REDH and HOUN that should not have occurred yet, let alone been published. Not to mention that there was no Strand magazine in 1887, and there was no Russian ballet performance of Swan Lake in London before 1934. So to me this movie-verse is an alternate version of both the canon and real life history; here, there is no Mary Morstan, and she's either not mentioned in the cases, or Watson found some reason to make her up when fictionalizing the stories. So assume that Watson knows Isa Whitney only as a patient, not through Mary's friendship with Kate Whitney.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama wants something new

And here I was worried that with this busy week that Obama would just go back to business as usual with Israel. But it appears that no, he's not backed down and let Netanyahu refuse to freeze the settlements. Obama apparently walked out of a meeting, to let the Israelis mull over the demands, and the Israelis decided to return home in a huff. They even overreact in their press and describe the incident as a "hazing." I don't want this to merely turn into a back and forth of "your country humiliated my country," but it is satisfying to see something other than the same old "Israel's our great ally" rhetoric. They need some dressing down and some perspective.

The British version of the incident (linked from that Huffpost article) even described that Netanyahu showed up with some stupid flowchart explaining why the settlement announcement happened when it did. When will that jackass realize that the problem is not with WHEN he announced the settlements? It's the fact that they are continuing the settlements at all, ruining chances for peace. I'm glad that Obama was unimpressed by the flowchart.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Private Life, part 4

This is a continuation of the fic I was writing based on Billy Wilder's 1970 movie. ("A Love Story Between Two Men" Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)

I had the perfect opening since in the film Watson really does run into the house without shutting the street door, and the credit sequence really does show a monogrammed ring in Watson's tin dispatch box. Though we never see Holmes using the ring's compass, both he and Watson wear large rings on their right pinkies throughout the movie. The fic is also influenced by the deleted sequences on the DVD, particularly The Case of the Upside-Down Room, and the lost scene of Rogozhin returning to give Holmes the Stradivarius.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Watson's Last Case

I read this book by Ian Charnock, who is evidently a British Sherlockian, or "Holmesian" as they call themselves. He's previously published a book called The Elementary Cases of Sherlock Holmes , narrated by Stamford; it tells of various unpublished cases that occurred before Watson met Holmes. Stamford explains that he did actually know of Holmes's profession, but was merely being mysterious in STUD to encourage Watson's interest in Holmes. I've never read the earlier work, and am not sure whether I should have before I read this one. Perhaps it would have explained things early, such as the fact that Stamford had a cocaine addiction. Or maybe that was only revealed in this book? I don't know.

In Watson's Last Case, Stamford reunites with Watson during Armistice Day, 1918, and they get to talking. In Part 1, Watson confesses a recent mission that Mycroft sent him on during the War, and he gives to Stamford the twelve Casebook stories. In Part 2, Stamford learns of the "last case" of the title; Mycroft sent Watson on an earlier mission when Holmes was preoccupied with another case. In Part 3, Stamford rambles on in a disordered manner about Sherlock Holmes's youth, as well as his own life. It's not a cohesive story as much as a bunch of sketches; they really should have been Sherlockian articles on chronology instead of part of this book, because he keeps starting and stopping, using different narrators who often overlap and cover the same events. Stamford is also oddly frustrating, unwilling to reveal his own first name or the name of his sister even after revealing that she is one of the characters in the canon.

Sherlockian Map

I was checking out some old links on CNN about the Sherlock Holmes movie, and among them was this useful map, pinpointing various locations mentioned in the canon. But only the ones in London; you won't find HOUN's Dartmoor, for example, or even Surrey locations like Reigate. I'm pleased that it shows Harrow, however, which is where Helen's aunt Honoria Westphail lives. With this map and Walkit, I have determined that Harrow is merely 10 miles northwest of Baker Street.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Israel Crisis

I can't figure out if the dispute with Israel will lead to any progress on actually stopping the new settlements or not. And I don't know if it will make any difference to the Palestinians suffering in the West Bank and Gaza. I liked the idea that Secretary of State Clinton harangued them for 45 minutes on the phone, but I don't know if I like the focus on how the announcement "embarrassed" the US. Like, selfish, huh? But then again, too many people in the US are all about, "Israel's our ally. We should do everything possible to protect them, even if it's against our interests!" Even if Israel is capable of protecting itself. I've seen some journalists suggest that Americans won't care enough about Israel oppressing Palestinians unless we frame it in terms of Israel spiting our interests. Israeli hardliners always claim that they are for the peace process, yet they directly sabotage it because they think we won't call them on it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Correcting Afghanistan

I used to have so much trust in Watson that I accepted anything he said as true, until it became clear that his incoherent muddle of dates meant that he must be lying. I should have thought to question his geography, though. In STUD, Holmes deduces that Watson was in Afghanistan, and he claims that it's in the tropics. Watson doesn't correct him, and so I never doubted him. But when you look at the map, both the modern one and the historical one, Afghanistan is not in the tropics at all.

So here I have written a new scene in which Watson does correct Holmes's blunder, while also angsting a bit about his war wound. I've also decided to arbitrarily correct STUD's chronology problem by saying that Holmes and Watson had the "Book of Life" conversation on Friday, March 4, 1881, but did not start the Brixton Mystery (Jefferson Hope case) until Monday the 7th. I mean, after all, it's a little convenient for a case to drop into Holmes's lap right after he told Watson about his profession, isn't it?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Texas State Board of Dumbasses

Reading the news about the Texas State Board of Education lately is so disheartening and surreal. The idiots don't want to support separation of church and state, minorities, or even Thomas Jefferson as an Enlightenment thinker! He's a freaking founding father! The words of the Declaration of Independence have resonated and influenced the world for centuries. (Even if he and the other slaveholding founders were being hypocritical about the "all men are created equal" bit, it was an ideal that ultimately became the basis of other revolutions and civil rights movements.)

The worst part is that for the past few months, my local news station (an ABC affiliate, even!) was acting as if it got its marching orders from FOX news. They kept falsely depicting the controversy about the TSBOE as being that liberals were trying to remove Christmas and the founding fathers from the textbook standards, when the reality is just the opposite; conservatives were trying to edit the standards to glorify Gingrich and the like. Ugh! The time for public comment on this can't come fast enough.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Plaidder's musings

I see that Plaidder aka the Plaid Adder has written a couple of livejournal entries about Sherlock Holmes lately. Too bad that she doesn't want to see the film, though.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

SPEC rewrite with Mycroft

I've managed to add onto my third-person rewrite of SPEC again, but it's just how Roylott bruises Helen Stoner's wrist. This scene bridges between Helen packing her bags and Holmes knocking up Watson.

I also wrote a post-SPEC sketch in which Mycroft discourages Sherlock's interest in Helen Stoner. Sorry that I couldn't fit any slash with Watson this time around.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Private Life DVD

It was totally worth it for me to buy the DVD version of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. The special features include Deleted Sequences from the film, as well as interviews, and still pictures from the set.

The film editor Ernest Walter tells many interesting facts about Wilder and the filming. He says that Billy Wilder's co-writer "Izzy" Diamond was often on set to correct the actors if they deviated from the scripted dialogue. About twenty minutes into Walter's interview, he tells about an intriguing cut scene: the ballet director Nikolai Rogozhin comes to Baker Street to give Holmes the Stradivarius violin, and to give flowers to Watson. The implication being that Rogozhin is gay as well, and is seeking to romance Watson while distracting Holmes from any possible jealousy. Walter thought it would be a funny and upbeat ending, if this were the final scene of the movie, but Wilder was dead set against it. I wish this extra scene was on the DVD, but they unfortunately didn't have it.

I've only found a version of this scene in the novelization of the movie by Michael and Mollie Hardwick, and who knows how accurate they are? Several times in the ballerina scenes they write Rogozhin as if he were a sinister and flaming queer, when I always saw him as reserved, stuffy, and ambiguous in the film. The Hardwicks' version says that Madame Petrova is now in Venice with Toulouse-Latrec, and she's generously giving Holmes the violin anyway, despite his not earning it. While Holmes is busy tuning and trying out the violin, Rogozhin presents a bouquet to Watson and whispers to him to meet him for a date at the Savoy Grill. Rogozhin leaves before Watson can reply, and then Watson supposedly breaks into a furious torrent of cussing while Holmes doesn't care one whit about him, just playing his violin. I was rather disappointed with how homophobic the book read, because I would have imagined that the film Watson would have blushed in embarrassment, then laughed it off, as he ultimately laughed off the whole gay rumor as ridiculous. But that's damn Sherlockians for you, overreacting to any gay stuff.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

John MF Watson

I discovered this hilarious parody of A Study in Scarlet, starring a foul-mouthed, badass Watson. Behold:

A Study in Motherfucking Scarlet

The writer hasn't finished the whole novel yet, but what's there already had me giggling maniacally at everything Watson had to say. Best of all are the illustrations altered and included in the chapters.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Brett's Holmes

Tonight I happened to catch an airing of "The Master Blackmailer" episode starring Jeremy Brett. I haven't seen it in ages and it was somewhat better than I remembered. Robert Hardy indeed makes a perfect Charles Augustus Milverton. I wasn't as annoyed by Aggie's romance with "Ralph Escott" this time, but I was still upset that there was no followup after she recognized him as Sherlock Holmes. Sure we saw Holmes apparently close to tears about it at the end, but we didn't see her viewpoint afterward. I found all the extra characters in the episode pointless, especially that Bertrand guy who wanted to buy a statue of Athena but we never found out why.

It really bothered me how much the writers changed the CHAS story. This and subsequent shows like "The Last Vampyre" and "The Eligible Bachelor" were the beginning of my disappointment with the Granada TV version of Holmes. As much as I was a fan in the beginning, I began to feel that maybe they should just stop trying to film more series, since Brett's health was so bad. Leave the other stories alone instead of mangling them beyond recognition.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Canon Chronology

We've had a bunch of snow in our area today, so I spent some time taking pictures of my efforts at chronology. I've only gone through a few of the stories so far, but I hope to find time to continue through all sixty Holmes stories.

I mentioned before that I needed to do a chronology of the canon, because I can't find a chronologist that I agree with. Even though I do have perpetual calendars to look up days of the week, I find that I need to visually see the months and years in question, so I have begun charting them out using a Post-It Note calendar. Basically I choose a month and year that seems suggested by the story, then I find the starting day on my perpetual calendar, and fill in the month on the Post-It Note calendar. After that, I reread the story and take notes, placing them in appropriate places on the page. Some stories require more than one page to work out all the possibilities.

I started with SPEC first, since it's the story I know the best, and it has so much information that I needed to organize. There's not only what happens in April 1883 to keep track of, but also Julia's death two years ago, their mother's death eight years ago, and the family history in India. We can only guess at how long Roylott was in prison for killing his butler, but Helen Stoner makes it sound like it must have been several years.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes

Yay! I have a guest post on Veinglory's Gay Sherlock Holmes blog. It's a longer movie review than I posted in December.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Private Life, part 3

And now part 3, and what happens on the morning after. This is the final part. Update: actually, here's Part 4.

Private Life, part 2

And now part 2, where Watson comes home, and I begin to depart from what happened in the 1970 movie.

Private Life, part 1

Since I recently rewatched Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes I've wondered what would have happened if the Russian Ballerina scenes had ended differently. You see, to get out of sex with the Russian ballerina Madame Petrova, Holmes lies and claims that he and Watson are lovers. Later Watson hears this story from the director of the ballet, and he confronts Holmes angrily. This plot happens within the first 35 minutes of the film, and is the basis for Watson wondering if Holmes has ever had any female lovers or not. The rest of the movie is hetero.

Well, this story is based on that movie, but with an alternate outcome, where the movie actually is "a love story between two men" as it was promoted. The scene of Holmes bathing while Watson breakfasts is in the movie, and also, Mycroft and Sherlock do not have a friendly relationship.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Prelude revised

Today I fixed some typos and other minor stuff on the Prelude ebook, and I republished it on Feedbooks. You probably won't notice any difference. So far the ebook seems to be doing well, with 192 downloads (one of which was me) in about a month's time.

It's at the same link as before: Prelude to a Partnership

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chapter 8 of DIM

I haven't posted many details about Chapter 8 yet, except as described in my Helen notes, so I'll post a sketch here. This is where we first meet Irene Adler in the book, and Holmes hardly notices her, because he's focused on Helen at the time.

I previously posted a version of this on my Geocities website, but I've added onto it with stuff about Irene Adler and later Percy Armitage. Generally trying to fill in more details from the outline.

I should revise it a little more to include Helen Stoner having a maid or something. Even though she learned to be quite independent in Stoke Moran, it still would not seem very respectable for her to travel to America and rent a house all by herself, let alone have a male guest. Perhaps instead Holmes intended to stay with Hargreave or the Pinkertons, but something or other came up and he took the spare room.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Return from the dead

This is a sketch of how Holmes returns to Watson in DIM, after three years. That would make it Chapter 20 in the DIM outline. Part of this sketch was previously posted on Holmesslash in answer to a story challenge for Holmes's point of view in EMPT. In that version, Mary was not alive, and Watson made up with Holmes rather unrealistically and quickly.

This version is more about slashy angst, because Holmes still loves Watson, but knows that Watson is married. I've decided for now to keep the Ronald Adair mystery in the story. Please forgive my slipping in and out of present tense, as I often do in my sketches.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

This 1970 movie by Billy Wilder is currently available on Hulu. Although it features a hetero plot, there is a suggestion of slash in the first half hour or so. A Russian ballerina wants Holmes to father her baby, and he puts her off by telling her that he and Watson are lovers. Watson is not happy about it, but there are a few nice jokes.