Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August Miscellany

Some smaller things...
Le Fanu

  • Today is the 199th birthday of J. Sheridan Le Fanu and the 264th birthday of Goethe, so go read "Carmilla" and "The Erl-King" to honor them. Or listen to an audio version. Or just have a drink. That's what I'm doing.
  • I'm stressed out as hell; I'm hunting for a new lair in Baltimore and my father is having some fairly icky health problems, in the form of a benign brain tumor that's pressing on his motor centers and making him limp, as well as causing occasional seizures. He's on a stack of meds but this seriously blows. And my birthday is Saturday and I have mixed feeling about being 48. But I guess still being alive and kicking is something to celebrate. And if someone knows of a reasonably-priced two-bedroom place with a nice kitchen and near a light rail station in Baltimore, please get in touch.
  • A new genre of podcast has arisen, where hosts go through an author's work story by story and analyze it, and so far it seems focused on weird fiction...or at least as far as I can tell. And I think it's cool. The grandaddy of them is The H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, and in its wake are The Double Shadow (dedicated to the fiction of Clark Ashton Smith) and A Podcast to the Curious (dedicated to M. R. James). Now a brand-new one has arisen, and just in time: the Edgar Allan Poecast. Just one episode so far, where they dissect "Meztengerstein", but it's a corker. I anticipate good stuff from them. And what's next? The Nathaniel Hawthorne Guiltcast? The Robert E. Howard Bicepcast? Fitz-James O'Brien's Podcast Bohemia? If someone decides to kick off a J. Sheridan Le Fanucast without me I'll be peeved.
  • A friend observed my fondness for Japanese ghost stories and taste for J-horror, and asked if I was into manga and anime. And, well, I'm not. I've found most anime to be incomprehensible, and sometimes pretty vile, although I think I've just had the bad luck to be shown some of the more extreme variations. Manga just doesn't appeal to me. If it's your thing, go for it, but it's not mine. My mental image of Japan is more the land of Lafcadio Hearn and Akira Kurosawa than Sailor Moon and  Kekko Kaman or anything else...I know, hardly up to date, but that's the way it is. And I'm not likely to visit any time soon anyway...
  • I have found my dream car: the 1938 Phantom Corsair. Too bad for me only one was ever made. Who wants to build up a team to steal it? (NOTE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL: Yeah, right. Like I could afford the gas that thing would require. It's mere a silly daydream.)    

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