Archive for September, 2016

Okay, it’s not Halloween yet, but in every way that matters autumn has come to Arnor. The geese and cranes are migrating, the leaves have turned gold and are starting to fall, the evening darkness falls sooner and lasts longer, the harvest is starting to come in, the fog settles in until the sun burns it off ….In short, a perfect time to enjoy a few Halloween-related songs.

Starting us off is the theme song, “This is Halloween”,  from Tim Burton’s claymation musical Nightmare Before Christmas. The marching beat is particularly fun.


Following that is the mashup between the opening songs of “Hamilton” and “Sweeney Todd”. Yes, prepare yourself for “Hamiltodd”.

What, er, kills me about “Hamiltodd” is how much the cast of Hamilton enjoys rapping the story of Sweeney–and cutting throats.


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A couple of days  ago, I stopped by my neighborhood coffee shack in search of a refreshing beverage, only to find the barista and the shack under attack by winged marauders. A small swarm (about 10) honeybees–and yes, they seemed to be actual bees as opposed to wasps, hornets, or yellowjackets–had driven out the barista and were making free with the syrup bottles. Emboldened by the warm fall weather and probably look to lay in a little more sugar water for winter after a cool, rainy summer, the bees had developed a taste for the sweet stuff that only Torani Italian soda syrups could satisfy.

The barista told me that she had called upon her boss to disperse the horde. In what can only be described as a Guy Move, he showed up with–wait for it–a bright pink tennis racquet which he proceeded  to wave about at the bees. The customers found it hilarious and the bees probably did, too. After watching this ineffectual display for a bit, she told her boss to clear off and settled for keeping the window screens on the coffee shack closed as much as possible.

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Nothing makes you feel as junior-high-jealous as when another woman has your man, even a man who totally didn’t know that he was yours to begin with.

Let’s be upfront here: Tom Hiddleston and I were never exclusive. I was always going to see other actors; he had his harem of female Twitter fans. We were true to each other in a communal, non-binding sort of way.

Then Tom had the nerve to fall for an actual available female just because she was bright, gifted, beautiful, and funny. Tom, you fool, how could you jeopardize all we had that way?

Now TayTay and I had a deal: she was welcome to date all the other singers and actors that I didn’t know and didn’t care about. All I asked was that she leave a few–ideally the British ones–for the rest of us. I can’t fault Taylor for crushing on Tom. I mean, the guy is tall, handsome, talented, and has a great sense of humor. Together Tom and Taylor could have produced a bevy of genetically perfect children, proving that America and Britain really do have a Special Relationship.

Still, even as I fantasized about pulling Taylor’s cute blond braids, I knew in my heart their love couldn’t last. Hint: any time the press comes up with a cutesy nickname for the couple *coughHiddleswiftcough* you know that the Relationship Apocalypse is nigh. And, sure enough, today the Internet and I received word that the duo is quits.

Welcome back to our virtual arms, Tom! And farewell, Taylor–player’s got to play, play, play. And we and the Internet are just going to shake it off, shake it off.


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Gary Corby Singer From Memphis

No, Gary Corby’s latest historical mystery isn’t about Elvis, but strangely enough a king–or more precisely, a pharoah–is involved. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Both Nicodemus and Diotima find themselves up to their rears in alligators–both real and metaphorical–when Nicodemus signs on as tour guide to the scholar, Herodotus. Herodotus wants to write an account of the war going on between the rebelling Egyptians and their Persian overlords which means a fact-finding trip to the Egyptian war zone. Meanwhile, Inarus, leader of the Egyptian rebels, needs a good man for a delicate task and Pericles, Nicodemus’s boss, wants to discomfort Athen’s enemy, the Persian Empire.

It’s international intrigue and adventure on the high seas as Nicodemus, Diotima, and Herodotus find themselves in search of a pharoah’s buried treasure. Can they survive pirates, sandstorms, and Persian assassins long enough to succeed?

Another well-crafted and historically intriguing book in Corby’s Athenian Mystery series.


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