Saturday, September 27, 2008

Looking for the Goatman

So, naturally, our favorite season is coming, and I got a little headstart on the fun. Tonight, I was a Very Special Guest at the dress rehearsal for Goatman Hollow, a haunted attraction in Riverdale, MD. Goatman Hollow is not just another haunted house, with guys in black hoodies and dime store masks snarling at you or waving an axe with a visible Home Depot sticker, or indifferent ghosts who turn in your direction and intone, "Oh yeah. Boo." GH is a real theatrical experience, with great makeup and costumes, a storyline, and effects that are, well, effective.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This is a difficult review to write. I've met Daniel Stashower a few times. He's a local, he's a terribly nice guy, he's cute as a button, and some of his other works are grand. THE ADVENTURE OF THE ECTOPLASMIC MAN is a great romp featuring Sherlock Holmes teaming up with Harry Houdini. TELLER OF TALES is a well-regarded biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, and THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL is a very good analysis of the real-life mystery that inspired Poe's "The Mystery of Marie Roget."

But THE DIME MUSEUM MURDERS just doesn't work for me.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Quick Look at Anthony Eglin

After a wild week getting my first bifocals and being looked over by an ophthalmologist (yup, glaucoma all right, and I'm on two different eye drops, one in the morning and one at night), and hurricane Hannah passing through yesterday (albeit rather unimpressively), I'm finally relaxing on Sunday night with a glass of a sprightly Gascon white by the laptop, Bartok on the stereo, and windows open to the buzz of crickets outside.

I don't garden. It's hard, having a small urban apartment, to garden, and even if I had a house, would I? I don't know. I slaved away quite a bit in my parents' garden, taking care of vegetables I didn't eat (I still abhor okra and bell peppers) or flowers I didn't care about (for a while, my mother had a passion for gloriosa daisies, a flower I found quite unattractive and still do). I do enjoy strolling through other gardens locally, like lovely National Arboretum, or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, or nearby Brookside Gardens. A few years ago a friend and I had a great time visiting Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, and I keep meaning to go back at some point. I'm enchanted with the the idea of a garden, but I'm not sure I want all the work that goes with it. And currently there's no way in hell I could afford a gardener, even if I had the space.

Monday, September 1, 2008

More Smith and other stuff

For September, I'm getting back on the review wagon...

I finally, FINALLY finished the stories in Clark Ashton Smith's ZOTHIQUE collection. Nothing was up to the level of "The Dark Eidolon" or "Morthylla," but all were enjoyable.