shadydave: (do not taunt the octopus)
Last night, we went to see my cousin in the MTS production of The Thirteenth Chair. It's not a bad story -- a locked room mystery where the man holding a seance to find out who murdered his friend gets murdered himself while the lights are out, and the medium has to figure out whodunnit to clear her daughter -- but the execution was TERRIBLE. (Err, writing-wise, not acting-wise. Err, well, my COUSIN was good, anyway.)

Some tips for mystery writing:

-- Suspects: you should have more than one. And you can't just TELL us someone is a suspect without any evidence to that end. It's no good having a red herring if they couldn't possibly have done it!

-- Motives: suspects should have them. Also, you should inform the audience that the suspects have them, oh, before they actually confess.

-- Plotting: it's generally nice to let the audience know what's going on -- for example, revealing how a character knew what happened in a scene he wasn't present for, or how the murderer killed someone when they were allegedly unable to move. In fact, revealing information in general at a steady rate, as opposed to having the last two acts devoted to "Youdunnit!" "Nuh uh!" and infodumping at the very end to explain everything IN RETROSPECT.

-- Mystery Science Theater 3000: technically not the playwrite's fault, but The Dead Talk Back is totally ripped off from this play, which didn't really help with the quality control.

-- The butler: he should have done it, dammit. He had access to the locked room, freedom to move at the time of the murder, a motive, AND an ominous scene with a protagonist! This is four times as much evidence as we were provided for the actual murderer.

EXTRA CREDIT: Read The Thirteenth Chair on Project Gutenberg. In how many ways does this play go wrong? What would you do to fix it?
shadydave: (peace out)
Ray Winstone to Play William Blake




Sure, why not?

I've got an idea for a movie, too! )
shadydave: (do not taunt the octopus)
Sitting in a Starbucks reading Crime and Punishment.

Daily Pretentiousness Quotient: Achieved.
shadydave: (poisoning pigeons in the park)
Thanks to a chance remark from mea soror, we went on an impromptu web quest to decipher THE SAGA OF PERCY SHELLEY'S HEART. Somehow, I am not surprised that of all the literary movements, it's the Romantics who end up playing Hot Potato with dead people's organs.

Time Magazine, 1933:
Romantic to the end was the heart of Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who drowned in the Gulf of Spezia in 1822. Italian sanitary laws then required the immediate cremation of a drowned corpse. Those who disposed of Shelley's corpse were Poet Leigh Hunt (who wrote a nerve-wracking description of the event), Poet George Gordon Lord Byron, and Adventurer Edward John Trelawny. As Shelley's incinerating ribs fell apart on their pyre of driftwood, adventurous Trelawny, a lion of a man, thrust in his brawny arm, snatched out the simmering heart. Cried Lord Byron: "Don't repeat this with me. Let my carcass rot where it falls!"

2) What are the qualifications for listing your profession as 'Adventurer'?
3) When Byron gets weirded out, you've crossed a line.


NYTimes, 1995:
After Shelley's death by drowning, his body was cremated in the presence of his friends Edward Trelawny and Leigh Hunt. Strangely, Shelley's heart did not burn and was retrieved from the fire by Trelawny, who gave the heart to Hunt, who ultimately gave it to Shelley's wife, Mary. The heart was finally buried in 1889, 67 years after Shelley's death, with the body of his son Sir Percy Florence Shelley. In a 1955 article in The Journal of the History of Medicine, Arthur Norman suggested that Shelley may have suffered from "a progressively calcifying heart . . . which indeed would have resisted cremation as readily as a skull, a jaw or fragments of bone."


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. Because as one can imagine, once you have the slightly charred and potentially petrified heart of a guy like Shelley, you're not gonna want to give that up. According to some dude on the Internet, once Trelawny the Adventurer desecrated his buddy's corpse, "...there than followed an unseemly tussle between Mary Shelley and Leigh Hunt, who had acquired the heart. Mary finally obtained custody. She secreted the heart in a copy of "Adonais", which she kept under her pillow."

1) Ewwwwwww
2) Yes, she's the one who wrote Frankenstein. (Years before this, incidentally.)

Of course, she might not have ACTUALLY kept it under her pillow; it's possible she just "carried it with her in a silken shroud everywhere she went for the rest of her life" (someone else on the internet). As one does.

In conclusion: WTF.
shadydave: (do not taunt the octopus)
Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan:

British comedian David Mitchell:

I'm just sayin'.
shadydave: (rock on)

All hail the mighty zombie arm of Horatio Nelson!
shadydave: (Default)
Today's Dinosaur Comic is UNFORTUNATELY RELEVANT to my life.
Dude, why would you replace the coolest license plates ever? Heh.

ETA: I also love the extreme paranoia of "20 internet acronyms all parents should know". My favorite is NIFOC, because my first thought was "Dude, you wouldn't have to read your teenager's IM conversations to figure that one out!"
shadydave: (Default)
After much thought, I have concluded that the only thing that can make Torchwood as awesome as it should be is lots and lots of alcohol. Thus, I have created... THE TORCHWOOD DRINKING GAME DUN DUN DUN!!!!!

Torchwood: the show that requires beer goggles.

This is for Kirstin, to help her through her period of affliction )

According to IMDB, the keywords for Torchwood are MONSTER RENEGADE WALES BISEXUAL INVESTIGATION. Huh.

So I'm watching The Dukes of Hazzard, which totally reminds me that when Mal and I were at the movies, someone definitely drove by and had a horn that honked Dixie. It was pretty much the most awesome thing ever.

In conclusion: Bo Duke? Hot.
shadydave: (Do not set yourself on fire)
Well, ASE is over. Surprisingly enough, all my belongings still fit into one suitcase, one duffel, and one backpack, currently stored at the YMCA which actually has a pretty decent hostel. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with Katie and her mom, watching the FA cup at a pub (and PS: Man U's passing game SUCKS OUT LOUD. They totally deserved to lose after that performance), but the rest of the time I've spent wandering around. Currently, I'm in Cafe Nero, paying an arm and a leg for internet, but at least I get it until tomorrow. This would be much more pleasant if I didn't feel so ill. Stupid cramps.

pride, fall

May. 4th, 2007 01:15 pm
shadydave: (Default)
From teh BBC:

"Afterwards, [the Queen] will visit the nearby College of William and Mary before leaving for Kentucky, where she will fulfil a lifelong dream by attending the Kentucky Derby at the Churchill Downs racetrack."

We're second banana to a horse race, guys.
shadydave: (Do not set yourself on fire)
...why is my brother watching 13 Going On 30 of his own volition?

So, it turns out there's nothing like driving to work in the morning listening to reports of renegade school buses on the radio, then pulling into the parking lot of the high school where you are gainfully employed and attempting to park in your spot right next to the bus lane. It's almost as much fun as staying up until 2:30 AM to write a story about zombies rampaging through a house, and then having to go upstairs in the dark alone. Yup.

I got a new phone yesterday! It is shiny and black and flippy and basically the same size as my old phone, which entertains me somewhat, as that one is 3 years, 6 months, and... 7 days old. It was retro! Hopefully this one will last as long.

I celebrated MLK day by hanging out with the lovely Laura. She was intrigued by SPooN, so we watched an episode, but she concluded that such a show was too much for her nerves, alas. I think she and Katherine should start a Facebook group entitled "I don't actually watch Supernatural but I've heard that it's awesome." You can be SPooN groupies! Dooooooo iiiiiiiiiiiit. Anyways, then we watched Sharpe's Rifles because Sean Bean is the awesome. "Chosen men, eh? Well, I didn't choose you." Possibly the best part of owning a Sharpe movie on DVD is that I get the awesome introduction. "I don't know where he is now, but he'll always be in my heart." Genius.

Speaking of SPooN, I had a dream last night where Ash was playing the guitar for a small adorable child. ????? Then I had to save the world from some deadly spore released by a disgruntled employee. There also might have been a part that was like a cross between "Heroes" and Harry Potter. Possibly I am watching too much television.

In conclusion, I think I am going to visit school next week! I'll probably get there on Monday and stay until Thursday, when my dad will pick me up and also bring down the refrigerator. Huzzah! Meera, if you are still alive, when are you coming down? Cause you should do that. And also not be dead.
shadydave: (Do not set yourself on fire)
Found in my father's mailbox at UDHS:

PA high school principals and counselors,

Some Penn State University athletic coaches, faculty, athletes, students and alumni have been involved with occult demonstrations, physical and sexual assaults, electronic harassment and other illegal activities that have harmed students of area high schools and universities. Abusive occult demonstrations have occured at Penn State near State College, PA since the 1970s at sports events, on the campus and in university classrooms, at local restaurants and bars, at parties and special activities, at alumni meetings, and at outdoor fairs and festivals. Groups of young adults and older adults were instructed in PSU educational and athletic facilities to be occult theatrical performers, to use illegal psychotronic sensing technology, to perform magic, and to teach mind control, witchcraft and the occult sciences.

Regional television and radio celebrities along with some Penn State officials and employees have coerced some students of area high schools and universities to be involved with their occult demonstrations, magic performances physical assaults, drug use, and electronic harassment using advanced technology and satellite communications. Several celebrities and technicians from ESPN and CNN have also been involved with these occult performances and electronic harassment.

The current president of Penn State travels around the northeast US with theatrical performers and the PSU Performing Magicians. Since 2001, he has also been promoting information about the occult through the Paranormal Research Center at Penn State. In recent years at the occult demonstrations and abusive parties, high school and university students were physically and sexually assaulted. Penn State athletes and others impersonating them were often at these abusive performances. Several professors from the PSU meteorology department were often observed using electronic and satellite harassment technology at these events.

Several Penn State faculty and former students have tried to involve young people from other high schools and universities in occult demonstrations, electronic harassment, physical assaults and other illegal activites. If you see or hear about this occurring, please contact the local and regional authorities for the protection of young adults and others of your area.

Dear concerned citizen:

I am almost certain that availing yourself to the substances mentioned HERE will solve most, if not all, of these problems. In the meantime, I would like to complement you on your very nice handwriting.

In Other News:

::doo doo-da-doo!:: I HAVE NO HAIR! Well, I have less of it, anyways. Now it is shoulder-length!

Thoughts about Spoon )
shadydave: (Default)
Zombie dinosaurs are yet another thing I would like to appear on SPooN. However, given the fact that they apparently didn't have a big enough budget to show a human zombie army larger than nine, I suspect this will happen approximately never.

Actually, dinosaurs of any type would be awesome.

In other news, I have determined that should the school turn into a pirate ship (รก la "The Crimson Permanent Assurance"), or encounter any other type of situation requiring makeshift weaponry, the blade from the paper slicer would make a totally badass saber. It's already got a handle and everything.

Quote o' the Day

According to a carefully handwritten and photocopied public service announcement found in my dad's mailbox today...

"Groups of young adults and older adults were instructed in PSU educational and athletic facilities to be occult theatrical performers, to use illegal psychotronic sensing technology, to perform magic, and to teach mind control, witchcraft and the occult sciences."

Why doesn't WM offer courses in the occult sciences? Seriously.

This might be the best letter ever. It's even got a ridiculous number of words underlined for emphasis. Crazy people are funny.
shadydave: (Default)
I've often felt that the wee hours of the morning were excellent times to ponder deep questions, such as, Why are we here? Who am I really? What am I going to do with my life? Why does my wireless internet only work at 4:30 in the morning? Where is my roommate? Why does my hall smell like fish?

Anyways, been packing. Dad is coming at some ungodly hour to take my stuff home. I hate packing. Also, I am slow. At packing, that is.

So, I'm watching "Crouton" "Croatian" "Croatoan" after reading some whining criticism on it. After intense meditation, I think I've discovered how it was supposed to go:

The Making of Croatoan )

Bed time. Ubi est mea amica cubiculae?
shadydave: (poisoning pigeons in the park)
So, my attempts to accomplish lots of work this weekend were thwarted AGAIN. Saturday was to be devoted to finishing my Generative Syntax (or Degenerative Syntax, if you're Katherine) problem set, which I had already started, and to work on my oral presentation on severed heads for Early Celtic Narrative. However, this did not work because it took me 5 HOURS to finish my problem set. 5 HOURS. AND I HAD STARTED IT. AND I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TIME TO TYPE UP THE EXTRA CREDIT PROBLEM WHICH I HAD ALREADY DONE. This makes me very sad. Also, I better get a good grade, because seriously? 5 HOURS.

Yesterday I didn't do very much work because I went to Grand Illumination with Laura and Katherine and Alice. I have decided that you're not close enough to the fireworks unless pieces of ash fall on you and you smell like sulfur afterwards*. Then we went to the Wesley house for soup and sandwiches, and I stayed far too long singing Christmas carols with Meera and Murph and Alice on the piano. Then I came back and lamented how I got no work done.

I did go bowling on Friday with Women's Chorus. I broke a hundred and won the first game! Then I got a 69, which was bad but at least made me laugh.

My Schedule for Your Pitying Pleasure:
Tuesday: Handbells Concert
Wednesday: Oral Presentation on The Cult of the Severed Head
Thursday: Developmental Psychology Journal and accompanying paper due
Friday: Old English project due.

In conclusion, this reminds me of Natasha, and BSG Fight Club was AWESOME in a SPooNish way.

* I kept hoping Sam and Dean would show up to exorcise me, but alas, this did not occur
shadydave: (dean needs more cowbell)
So, just got back from rehearsal with the Williamsburg Choral Guild and the Kwah. 2.5 hour rehearsals = sucks out louds. We, however, did not suck out loud. "Crying for My Dignity a Dream" remains the cheesiest set of songs ever. Furthermore, I have come up with another quibble with it. I assume the concert kind of has a Thanksgiving-y theme, what with "The Promise of Living" and all the Yay America! type songs and whatnot. So why are we singing a piece about the Lakota Sioux? Undoubtably they are just as cool as all the other American Indians, but 1) they live in Dakota territory, far away from the original colonies, and 2) of the many encounters with the American government, most were along the lines of the Battle of Little Bighorn. So yeah, not exactly a Yay America! association with the fighting and land-snatching and all. I'm annoyed that whoever picked this piece probably didn't bother to think beyond "Hey, Indians go with Thanksgiving!" and didn't bother to find any Wampanoag songs or anything. It's like singing in Spanish instead of Polish, cause hey, they're both in Europe.

Also, I will never be able to take it seriously. There is meaningful narration and multiple rainsticks. The people who wrote Pocahontas would go "Say, this is a bit much".

In other news, I made more SPooN icons! 'In My Time of Dying' Iconses )
shadydave: (by logicandchaos)
Whilst researching for my psych paper, I came across the U.S. Embassy's guidelines for driving in Ankara, Turkey. Some excerpts:

- Drive defensively, defensively, defensively
- Expect the unexpected.
- Drive each day as though you were on a mission, the goal of which is not to be involved in an accident, cause an accident, or strike a pedestrian.
- Watch out for trucks and buses that take the right-of-way without signaling, whether they are entitled to it or not.
- Assume nothing. Make no assumptions about what another driver may do or how they will react in a situation.
- If confronted by another driver, stay in your car, lock the doors, and use your cell phone to call the police.

Common hazards in Turkey:
- Pedestrians walking or running in front of vehicles to cross streets and main highways, oblivious to oncoming traffic.
- Inattentive drivers.
- Unskilled drivers.
- Vehicles with faulty brakes.
- Unlit tractors, horsecarts and farm vehicles traveling on highways at slow speed.
- In the countryside accidents, breakdowns, and road work areas marked by stones rather than warning signs.
- Vehicles reversing on exit ramps and on main highways.
- In the countryside, herds of sheep, goats and other animals on roads.
- Driving in the middle of the road and not yielding.
- Dangerous or destructive potholes.

Here's a taxi safety tip: Always ride in the rear of a taxi, never in the front. In the event of an accident, the risk of serious injury is generally reduced by more than 50% for those in the back.

I'd say never go driving in Turkey, but apparently the pedestrians have an incredibly high accident rate as well.
shadydave: (dean needs more cowbell)
A Word of Advice: Do not attempt to swing arms briskly forward when there is a desk in the way. This only leads to pain and reduced use of your right hand index and middle fingers. Ouchies.

Another Word of Advice: Be really careful about your segueways whilst IMing people.

In which I apparently admitted I have Fal-diddle-i-urum Dysfunction )

In other news, I have not been overwhelmed by homework. Huzzah! My classes are pretty awesome too, as are my professors, so all is well in the academic world. Also, I've come up with a tentative idea for my Monroe Scholar's project that would incorporate a touring the British Isles with Katherine, which is also pretty awesome and a Load Off My Mind. Being pressured to find something to do with $3000 can be stressful, you know.

In the entertainment portion of tonight's program my life, last night we watched Erik the Viking and Kronk's New Groove. Erik the Viking was originally a Monty Python thing, and then it did end up with Monty Python people in it, but alas, it is not up to Monty Python caliber. It was, however, on lots of crack. Percy/Darling from Blackadder was in it as Sven the Berserk, so that was fun. In conclusion: Tim Robbins often looks like a girl. Kronk's New Groove was of course not nearly as good as the original, but it was pretty funny. However, it was also deeply, deeply disturbing. Definitely not required viewing. In conclusion: Pancake Junction!

We also went to the IT (Improv Theater) show, and guess what! They're actually funny again! Huzzah!

Because I am, in fact, too hip for the educational institute, I made another spoon icon:

Carry on, wayward icon )

And, finally, I present to you the Bad Goth Poetry Generator!. If only Natasha were here.


shadydave: (Default)

December 2012

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