Monday, December 8, 2014


That feels like such a weird title to say on today, of all days. I'm a huge Beatles fan, and anyone else who is knows why this day absolutely sucks for Beatles fans. It's the day John Lennon was murdered outside the Dakota by Mark David Chapman thirty four years ago.

However, this day was absolutely awesome, because I went into Manhattan and got to meet up with the one and only R.L. Stine for an interview. I haven't transcribed it yet, so it's not going up on the blog right now; however, I will tell about the experience.

First, he'd suggested three pm, so I planned on getting into town with enough time to go to a couple stores, then get to him. Unfortunately, I read the bus schedule wrong, and had to catch a bus an hour later than I planned. No big deal, though, it still gave me an hour to get to him, I'd just go to the stores afterward. So that's exactly what I did. I got there early by some miracle, so waited for a bit, then was invited up.

That's right. Invited up. The interview took place in R.L. Stine's apartment. IN HIS APARTMENT. Not only that, but he'd gotten a package delivered just after I came in, so when he called down to the doorman to send me up, the doorman asked if he wanted me to bring the package up with me and he said yes! So I got to bring R.L. Stine's mail up to him!

I had a slight Fangirl breakdown in the elevator.

Then it opened, and there he was, because unlike apartments that I'm used to where the elevator opens into a hallway and there are the individual doors to the different apartments, the elevator here just opened straight to where he and his wife live. And their dog, who was all barky at first, but adorable, just the same.

My mom made some cookies over the weekend, so she made a small box for me to take to him, so that's the first thing I handed him when I set my stuff down and took off my coat. Then, I gave him my early Christmas gift to him, which was a DVD of the Vincent Price version of House of Wax, which he then told me he'd seen with his brother in the movie theater in 3D.

Anyway, long story short, we had a great talk, and I'll come back soon with the transcribed notes from my tape recorder. All in all, though, today was awesome.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Okay, so I'm back after another hiatus. I lost the password for this blog and had some major troubles getting back into it. While I haven't worked on anything Holmes-related in several months, save for several days when I looked over the Ripper novel, I have had a rather exciting past couple of weeks. On October 1st, I went to a signing given by R.L. Stine at the Union Square Barnes and Noble in Manhattan. He was there to advertise the release of his new Fear Street book, Party Games, the first new one in almost twenty years.

Now, I started reading Fear Street back in 1995, when I was twelve years old. I've always loved reading, and back in middle school, there were always those tissue-paper thin, four page book "catalogues" that would get handed out in homeroom or whenever. Well, I would always see two books in particular. Call Waiting, by R.L. Stine, and The Whisperer, one of the Nightmare Hall books by Diane Hoh, and I was really interested in reading them. I never got to order them from that catalogue, but I found them one time I was at the local Barnes and Noble. The Nightmare Hall one was good, but the R.L. Stine one reeled me in. I read several other standalones of his, then found the Fear Street series. I think the first one of that I read was Switched. Anyway, I read Fear Street through seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth grade. I think it was the summer between tenth and eleventh that they stopped being released. They were getting rather formulaic by that point, but I was still sad to see them come to an end. I have a complete collection, except for about eight of the Graduation books, and two of the Fear Street Saga ones.

Fast forward to 2001, Halloween night. My aunt told me that R.L. Stine was doing a talk and signing at the Menlo Park mall. She brought me and my cousin there and I got not only his autograph in The New Year's Party, but a photo with him. :)

Fast forward again to October 1st, this year. I figured hey, why not get his autograph again, and it'd be nice to see him again and maybe get some more pictures. I went, and wound up meeting this really cool and funny person named Stephanie who goes to every signing of his she can. And I found out from her that R.L. Stine was going to be at Comic Con this year. The same day I was going. So I happily spazzed, and was even more excited when I found out Stephanie would be there Thursday as well. We agreed to meet up, which we eventually did, and amidst the other stuff I was doing and panels she wanted to go to, we found ourselves on line for R.L. Stine's autograph. I had him sign my Fear Street Diary, and I'd found out his birthday is October 8th, so I got him a couple cards, and several Tales from the Crypt reprint comics of stories from the fifties that he liked reading. One thing that I put in the card is that I'd love to be able to talk writing stuff with him, or at the very least interview him for this blog. So I've been obsessively checking my email since the day after Comic Con, even though logic told me it would take time for him to write back. But I went online tonight, and at 2:58 pm, he wrote back to me! He said he could give me the interview after all the Halloween craziness, and to email him in mid-November.

So, hopefully, the next time I write, it'll be to feature an interview with the one and only R.L. Stine!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

So The Hearse Was Empty. But How Did He Escape???

As with The Sign of Three, this is NOT a spoiler-free review, so if you have somehow not seen The Empty Hearse, Season Three's first episode, and would like to remain in the dark, do not read on.  You have been warned.

As I've mentioned previously, I have a friend who is very good with computers, and finding TV shows streamed online and such.  I am no such computer whiz, and in fact, accidentally gave my computer a virus while trying to make the link for The Empty Hearse work.  Heh . . .  I wish I was joking about that.  Unfortunately . . .

Anyway, enough about my ineptitude with technology.  He showed me the proper thing to click, and I was able to see the episode.  I loved how it began with a teaser "explanation" of how Sherlock did it.  I didn't completely buy into it, because A) I was watching The Reichenbach Fall as I was starting The Empty Hearse, and B) Sherlock never would have truly kissed Molly like that, so as much as I loved seeing it, I had my suspicions on whether or not it was real.  And of course, soon enough, Lestrade breaks in to Anderson's "explanation" and we find out the entire thing is a fabrication.

Now, I have to interrupt myself here and explain that the same night as my technological snafu, I was only able to watch the first minute or so of the episode, and so only saw Anderson's explanation, but didn't quite get to it being his own creation.  I got sick of the pauses and loading screen right after Sherlock kissed Molly.  So, I went to work the next day and saw my friend who gave me the link.  He had been able to watch the entire episode, and enjoyed tormenting me with bits of information.  I'd decided early in the day that I just wanted to ask three questions about the episode, and that would be it.  My first one was, "Does Sherlock reveal himself to John?"  Yes.  Okay.  "Does Sherlock get punched when he does the reveal?"  (Remembering Scandal, there.  "Punch me in the face."  "What?"  "Didn't you hear me?  I said punch me in the face."  "I always hear punch me in the face when you're speaking, but it's usually subtext.")  Not punched, but John does attack him on three separate occasions.  Lol, okay.  Damn, he's pissed.

And he told me about the random disguise thing Sherlock does at the restaurant, that yes, Mycroft was in the episode, and that he was in on the fake death, and he told me there was one thing they find that I would totally spazz about.  That he was warning me not to, but that I completely would.  (I actually didn't spazz at anything in the episode.  There were "Squee!!!" worthy moments, sure, but nothing I felt was actually spazz-worthy.  He was referring, I found out later, to the Jack the Ripper thing.  He knows that's what the third Holmes novel I will eventually get back to writing is about, and he knows I've learned all the different stuff about the killer and victims and such.)  Oh, and I almost forgot about this little tidbit, I began watching the show after closing at work, because I had my laptop there so he could show me the correct link to click on.  Well, I saw Watson, and I'd forgotten about that awful mustache, and made some kind of comment about how bad it was.  My friend kinda laughed and said yeah, it was a point of contention for pretty much everyone in the episode.

Anyway, when I was finally able, that night, to sit down and watch the episode, I loved John attacking Sherlock.  Headbutting him the third time, and it just cuts to Sherlock with a bloody nose.

The whole terrorist thing, as I believe Charlotte Anne Walters said, was such a throwback to V for Vendetta, I almost expected Hugo Weaving to pop up in the train car, and for that classical music when Parliament blows up in V to begin playing.  I actually stared at my laptop and said, "Really?  This is straight out of V for Vendetta!  Seriously?"  And that, after the beginning of the episode when Sherlock pulls off his waiter disguise, and I felt it was just like the scene in the RDJ movie where RDJ grabs random items and makes a disguise to approach a hansom cab.  Though I felt Sherlock did it much better, but two throwbacks to two movies in the same episode?  Really, guys?

And while I enjoyed the fantasy sequences of 'how he did it,' it still bugs me that they haven't revealed how he really did do it.  Though I have a theory on that.  Let's face it.  Just about anyone who's read the Canon believes that Sherlock lied to John, probably not only about where he was the three years John thought he was dead, but also about how he survived in the first place.  I think Moffat and Gatiss had a lot of fun at our expense, reading the different, and sometimes far-fetched and insane, theories that were out there.  I also think that from the beginning, they had no intention of explaining it to us, because of what they know about the Canon, and how they set up John's character.  That line John says about, "I don't care HOW you did it, I want to know why."  I literally said to my laptop, "But the REST of us do!!!"  But John, he wouldn't.  It would be more important to him why Sherlock did it.  Because John was more of a victim than anyone in that whole scenario because he was the one Sherlock talked to while he was up on the roof.

Honestly, I wish they would explain it, but I don't think we'll ever actually know the truth.  We just have to accept that 'why' is more important than 'how,' and that Sherlock is sorry.

And because he is Sherlock, we will forgive him and keep watching.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Help. Baker St. Now. (BBC's The Sign of Three.)

I watched The Empty Hearse several days ago, and I will come back on here and give a review of it, but just today, I saw The Sign of Three, and I knew I had to write a review of it immediately.  I read another blog by Charlotte Anne Walters before seeing this episode, and she seems rather lukewarm about it.  Not enough mystery, doesn't seem very Holmes-ish, and the way she describes it, I completely see it.  However, when I actually sat down and watched the episode, (I love my friend who gives me links to TV shows streamed online,) I was laughing, becoming emotional, and just all-in-all, greatly enjoying the ride.

As Ms Walters said, the show begins (and please, if you want a spoiler-free review, this is not it, so stop reading now if you don't want to know things that go on in the episode,) with Lestrade about to make a crucial arrest when he gets texts from Sherlock asking for help.  Lestrade drops everything and calls for maximum back up to Baker Street, and when he gets there, finds out Sherlock's crisis was in writing a best man speech. The end of the scene is positively brilliant.  As is the scene where Sherlock is recalling John asking him to be his best man.  Sherlock, just standing there, completely dumbfounded, and John's eventual reaction: "Now it's getting a bit scary," almost had me on the floor laughing.  And the fact that Sherlock actually showed humility, kindness, and love in parts of his speech were terrific to see.  It was . . . it was a way of making Sherlock Holmes, the deductive, analytical machine into someone human.  Someone who recognized his own character and personability flaws, yet knew that to someone else, he held such great value, and not because he was a consulting detective, but because he was that someone's best friend.

To be honest, I can't praise this episode enough.  Some may feel that the mystery was slapdash, or seemed like an afterthought, or that it was too focused on Mary and John, too focused on the wedding, etc, but I don't see it that way.  I feel BBC did it right with this one.  (And come on, who didn't get a grin out of Mycroft on a treadmill, and then seeing his bare stomach?)  This episode, since they decided they were going to show John and Mary's wedding, was more about the characters' interactions than anything else.  How they get along, how the others see them, how even with all of Sherlock's deductive powers to figure out so much about a person from a single glance, someone like Molly can still figure out how Sherlock would react to a best man speech.  And not only the speech.  (I'll only say one word here: telegrams.  Okay, and I'll say that I loved the scene with John walking in on Mrs. Hudson just laughing hysterically.)

Of the eight episodes I've seen, The Sign of Three is my favorite.  Don't get me wrong, I love the other ones.  However, this one just has something for me that the others don't.  And this, I believe, is a rarity for me where these episodes are concerned.  Season one, I wasn't wild about the Blind Banker.  I liked it, yeah, but not as much as the first and third episodes.  Same with Season two.  I felt Hounds of Baskerville was the weakest of the three.  And I admit, part of that may be because it didn't take place in or anywhere near Baker Street.  It was in a foreign place, and therefore may have just felt foreign to me.  I'm not sure.  I'll have to watch the episode again and really go in-depth with myself.  However, this season so far, The Sign of Three is my favorite.  I can't wait to see what the third episode holds, and I look forward to writing a review of the Empty Hearse soon, because I have a ton of thoughts on it.