A busy, busy October!

Let’s see, so far this month there has been:

A visit to the Covered Bridge Festival in Indiana with Heather where we bought the most awesome hats ever!

Pumpkin carving! (Heather’s grumpy pumpkin makes me laugh, but I’m still quite proud of mine – he has teeth!)

A night out all dressed up for Halloween! We had a bearded lady, rockstar Abraham Lincoln, a Lady GaGa, a pirate, a “rational consumer,” a different Lady GaGa, Waldo, a strumpet, Daphne Blake, and a devil.

I think we made quite a snazzy group!

And I think the rest of October was taken up with trips to Ikea, but more about that later…


Sorting myself out finally!

Oh, my goodness, faithful readers, I have really let my bloggers’ ennui get the better of me this time! I’ve just been very busy this month (as you’ll soon find out) and have temporarily abandoned you. But that’s about to change! I’ve put on Shaun of the Dead and and curled up with the cats on my new sofa (more on that soon!) and I’m ready to type my brains out.

Uh, but I have a feeling that the Sherlock Holmes Book Club is on hiatus until further notice. I promise I’ll finish that project, I just need some time off from it for a little bit to get excited about it again.

“The Adventure of the Three Students” Or, I’ll keep it short because I keep getting distracted by QI!

Aha! The Strand has finally caught up with Collier’s! They got it first this time, publishing “The Adventure of the Three Students” in June 1904 and those slowpokes over at Collier’s didn’t publish it until September 24. So well done Strand! “The Adventure of the Three Students” takes place, according to Baring-Gould,

Sounds like most of the discussion surrounding this short story is about whether or not it took place in Oxford or Cambridge and, based on that, whether Holmes went to school at Cambridge or Oxford and, surprise, surprise, there is no consensus among the Holmesians!

Holmes is quite grumpy throughout, beginning with his “ungracious acquiescence” of Soames’ case, which Ronald Knox points out, is rather out of character for Holmes. He uses this to support his theory that all of Watson’s post-Reichenbach stories are made up (NA, 1066). But he is very cruel to Watson, too!

  • “Not one of your cases, Watson–mental, not physical.” (NA, 1070)
  • When Soames fails to follow Holmes’ deductions about the pencil found in his rooms: “Watson, I have always done you an injustice. There are others.” (NA, 1070)

But! More interestingly, I think, is the theory that Watson made the entire case up in an attempt to distract Holmes from his seven percent solution! But the Holmesians say he hasn’t done a good job of it and there is much doubt about whether or not Watson is a) clever enough to pull it off and b) a good enough of an actor to pull it off.

Grrr, I’m in quite a Holmesian slump – I’m just not feeling inspired and witty about my write-ups. I’m going to be strong and carry on, though, and hope for bluer skies once we get to The Hound of the Baskervilles… Next week, it’s time for “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez.”

*Most of my notes, I think, come from the New Annotated simply because I find its format easier to work through and it is, therefore, the version that I’m reading first (I’m only reading the notes in the Baring-Gould). Much of the information is doubled up, but there is some that is unique to either volume, so if you see NA, that’s the Baring-Gould edition and BG is the New Annotated. No, I’m totally kidding – it’s the other way (the logical way) round.

In which awesome concert is AWESOME!

The last time Muse came anywhere near here, I was in Hawaii at one of my friend’s wedding. When Liz and I heard they were coming through Milwaukee (which was the closest – get your act together, Muse, and go to Indianapolis next time!)…on a Wednesday…we immediately bought tickets! (Okay, we hesitated a little bit, but hardly even worth mentioning.)


We drove up to Chicago first where we met Liz’s friend Nichole who then drove up the rest of the way to Milwaukee.

A group I’d never heard of called Passion Pit was the opening act and I thought they were really good – sort of Arcade Fire-y, but with the love child of the lead singers from The Music and the band whose name I can’t think of but their lead singer has a super-high voice and they have a song with the word hurricane in it. You know the one I mean.

And then it was time for the main event!

(Oh, lame, I have to remember to always turn Richard landscape to record video in the future. Boo!) ETA: Oh! I think I was actually clever and managed to crop it better!

Their set was amazing! Those three pillars rose up and down, so they could be on the stage or in the air at varying heights and for a lot of the time they left the drummer up a bit so we could see him. Matt Bellamy had a super-fun reflective guitar – a spotlight would shine on it and he would direct the beam around the audience and they had a TON of lights and lasers going on.

Seriously impressive!

Oh, and did I forget to mention his AWESOME PIANO?!?!?! I don’t have a picture of it because I couldn’t get a clear one, but it has a glass top and there are lights sort of embedded in the top that light up corresponding to what he’s playing. It doesn’t sound that exciting when I describe it, but trust me, it is. Back me up here, Liz!

The venue was a LOT smaller than I was expecting – I know Liz and Nichole saw them at the United Center in Chicago which seems much more appropriate, but this place was only maybe half again as big as where I saw Kylie. To be fair, the place is actually quite big, but they hadn’t sold the third tier of seats. Have confidence in yourselves, Muse!

Am I forgetting anything, Liz?!

Note: On our way home, it soon became apparent that civil war had broken out between Wisconsin and Illinois while we’d been in the concert. We seriously hit the most bizarre construction I think I’ve ever seen and the most UNhelpful detour signs I KNOW I’ve ever seen. All I have to say is well done to Nichole for somehow getting us back to Chicago safe and sound. If it had been me on my own, the fourth time I passed the Hospitality Inn, I would have said ‘Screw it, I’ll figure it out in the morning.’ 😉

ETA2: I did take another clip of video and I forgot that this one shows off his spotlight guitar! And since Liz wanted to see it, here it is:

(Seeing them now, I wish I’d let Richard run a bit longer, but at the time I really wanted to see everything for myself…)

“The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, Or it’s so boring I seem to have misplaced an entire week!

Okay, I could have tried to brazen things out and pretended that I didn’t actually miss a week of my Sherlock Holmes Book Club or I could have tried to convince you that you were crazy and that you actually just forgot that you’d read all about “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons,” but instead, I didn’t. I was honest with you. And I think that should earn me a bit of a free pass. Also, I was super-busy at work last week and the last thing I felt like doing when I got home was sitting on the computer for even an hour longer. Also, despite Leslie’s claim that this is a “favourite of readers” (NA, 1033), I find “The Six Napoleons” to be mind-numbingly boring! So those are my excuses. Also, it’s my blog and if I want to be lazy, I can. So there.

“The Adventure of the Six Napoleons” was first published in April of 1904 (once again The Strand gets in there ahead of Collier’s) and takes place, according to Baring-Gould, Friday, June 8 to Sunday, June 10, 1900.

And, embarrassingly enough, I actually don’t have any fun notes to share with you! Which means I totally could have posted about this last week if this particular short story hadn’t lulled me into a coma. Sorry, ACD, but it’s just not one of my favorites! Don’t judge me!

Tune in next week when things will hopefully be a little more exciting than this week with “The Adventure of the Three Students.” I foresee a lively discussion of which university Holmes attended, Oxford or Cambridge, at the very least!

*Most of my notes, I think, come from the New Annotated simply because I find its format easier to work through and it is, therefore, the version that I’m reading first (I’m only reading the notes in the Baring-Gould). Much of the information is doubled up, but there is some that is unique to either volume, so if you see NA, that’s the Baring-Gould edition and BG is the New Annotated. No, I’m totally kidding – it’s the other way (the logical way) round.

Not very pretty, but very tasty!

Well, at least for now. I realized the other day that it’s been absolutely AGES since I’ve cooked or baked anything new – I’ve basically been living off of tuna pasta and bean burgers lately. And it was sapping my will to live. So! I got my act in gear in finally, FINALLY made a recipe that I’ve been buying the ingredients for and then throwing away since before Claire was here for her visit. Dhaniya Anda Curry (egg curry)!

Having made only one other curry recipe before, I was surprised at the sheer volume of ingredients this took, but it was worth it!

It wasn’t hard to put together, though there was a lot of chopping involved, but I think I might not add quite so much water next time – I’m not sure how watery the curry is supposed to be, but it seemed a littler soupier than I was expecting, despite letting it all simmer for a bit longer than the recipe called for.

It looks a bit runny and mushy, but trust me, it’s very tasty!

A perfectly acceptable fluffy comedy!

I thought this looked cute enough – and I like everyone in it (well, I don’t know who Odette Yustman is) – but then I started reading the reviews. They were terrible! Apparently everyone else hated this movie? I just kept telling myself that most of those critics didn’t hate Leap Year and should have, so it was entirely possible that they were wrong about this movie, too.

And they were! I mean, nobody’s going to win an Oscar for it, but everyone’s very likable (except when they’re not supposed to be), there are some pretty cute moments, and everything ends up happily. So go see it – it’s not going to change your life, but it’s a perfectly fun way to spend an afternoon.

New TV: Thursday (and I’m only a week and a half late!)

Community (7:00, NBC)

Gah! Hands down, very nearly the best, wittiest, funniest show on TV (it’s closing in quickly on 30 Rock). Nothing else to say.

My rating: You should be watching this show. NOW.

The Big Bang Theory (7:00, CBS)

It’s predictable, but I keep coming back! Sheldon is his hilarious self and this time he’s got Amy potentially by his side (Mayim Bialik holding her own in the cast). There’s not much to say, it’s the same-old, same-old, but I love it – if I can remember to watch it later since it’s on up against Community and, as I’ve said before, nothing trumps my Thursday night comedies.

My rating: Sheldon rocks!

30 Rock (7:30, NBC)

Okay. I’ll admit that, despite adoring this show and it STILL being the best show on TV (though Community is giving it a run for is money), I thought last season wasn’t its best. But Liz and co. are back at the top of their game! Liz is dating Carol (hilariously played by Matt Damon – seriously, he’s fantastic!), Jack is expecting a baby with Avery, and everyone else has their usual hijinks afoot. Not much to say except is it Thursday yet!

My rating: How is this show so fantastic?!

The Office (8:00, NBC)

I think The Office may be losing its sparkle. The last couple episodes have been a bit of hit or miss – there are funny or interesting plot lines and moments (Pam’s lie about being Office Administrator, Toby and Michael’s therapy sessions, the results of Kelly’s management training, Erin’s bit about disposable cameras), but there are others that just aren’t quite pulling their own weight (Dwight’s Pretty Woman story line, Erin and GABE?!) and I just can’t see where they’re going to go without Steve Carrell after this season (I mean, it’s either going to be someone doing a Michael impression or the dynamic will change entirely).

My rating: I’m invested in the characters, so I’ll keep watching, but mostly at this point on Thursday nights, I’ll be wondering when Parks and Recreation will be starting up again…