Call the Midwife

October 27th, 2019

I watched the first season of Call The Midwife when it was first made available in the US, on PBS I think? I enjoyed it then and recently I noticed several more seasons were available on Netflix so I’ve been binging then. It’s a truly excellent show utterly unlike anything I’ve ever seen on American television. It is almost completely divorced from the usual tropes of TV drama, perhaps because it’s based very closely on the real memoirs of Jennifer Worth.
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Watchmen Post Episode 1

October 26th, 2019

I had very mixed reactions to the Watchmen premier on HBO last week. On the one hand, it’s incredibly well done and I can’t stop thinking about it, much like I was obsessed with the original comic book when it first came out in the 1980s. On the other hand, I absolutely despise every single character in this show. No one, so far, is likable or sympathetic except for the family in the opening scene; and based on the closing scene I’m not sure they’ll stay that way in the present day. In the comic book Rorschach, Nite Owl, Dr. Manhattan, Laurie Jupiter, and Veidt were all interesting people with some good qualities. Yes, they were all deeply flawed in different ways, but I didn’t detest any of them (except the Comedian, and he was meant to be detestable). Watchmen was a story about good versus good, not good versus evil. Everyone in that story was trying to do what they truly believed was the right thing, and that was the horror of it all.

So far in the TV series, it’s the opposite. I detest everyone. This is a story about evil versus evil. There are no good people, just less bad people or people who are bad in different ways. It’s really hard to root for anyone.

That said, episode 1 answered a few questions I had about HBO’s sequel and opened a few more. In no particular order:
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On Summoning Demons

January 23rd, 2019 has published my epistolary horror short story, “On Summoning Demons”.

Extra credit question #1: Who is the “B.F.” referenced in the story?

Extra credit question #2: What other famous horror short story does “B.F.” appear in?

2018 The Year in Birds

January 5th, 2019

eBird tells me I saw a reasonable 404 species last year. There are probably a few here and there I didn’t report. 146 of those were in Kings County. Thanks to trips to California, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, Vancouver, Portugal, and Morocco I managed a respectable 20 life birds including one in Brooklyn and one in Central Park:

  • Spotless Starling A1, Casablanca-Settat, MA (33.033, -8.533) MA-10 02 Dec 2018
  • Brown-necked Raven Essaouira Lodge MA-11 01 Dec 2018
  • Sardinian Warbler Essaouira Lodge MA-11 01 Dec 2018
  • Moussier’s Redstart Essaouira Lodge MA-11 01 Dec 2018
  • Corn Bunting Essaouira Lodge MA-11 01 Dec 2018
  • Maghreb Magpie Boulevard Mohamed VI, Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, MA (31.61, -8.003) MA-11 30 Nov 2018
  • House Bunting Jemaa el-Fnaa MA-11 26 Nov 2018
  • Common Bulbul Avenue du 7ème Art, Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, MA (31.594, -7.99) MA-11 25 Nov 2018
  • White Stork Avenue du 7ème Art, Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, MA (31.594, -7.99) MA-11 25 Nov 2018
  • Northwestern Crow Vancouver–Harbour Green Park CA-BC 28 Aug 2018
  • Black Rail Alviso Marina County Park US-CA 16 Aug 2018
  • Dusky Grouse Elliot Barker Trailhead US-NM 25 Jun 2018
  • Brewer’s Sparrow Eagle Nest SP – Moreno Day Use Area US-NM 23 Jun 2018
  • Lewis’s Woodpecker Angel Fire Resort US-NM 22 Jun 2018
  • Black-billed Magpie Randall Davey Audubon Center US-NM 16 Jun 2018
  • Scaled Quail Embudito Canyon US-NM 15 Jun 2018
  • Black-chinned Sparrow Embudito Canyon US-NM 15 Jun 2018
  • Kirtland’s Warbler Central Park–Reservoir US-NY 12 May 2018
  • Bachman’s Sparrow Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park US-FL 18 Mar 2018
  • Rough-legged Hawk Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park US-NY 20 Jan 2018

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A Tale of Two Teen Dramas

December 30th, 2018

I binged two teen-focused series while visiting my brother’s house this Christmas, Riverdale and Runaways. The difference was striking. Runaways is everything Riverdale isn’t. Complex, conflicted, imperfect characters who aren’t stereotypes in dramatic, not melodramatic, situations. It almost completely avoids monologuing. (Frank Dean does monologue his motivations at one point early in Season 2, a scene that is jarring only because it’s so out of place with the subtext and show-don’t-tell that reveals the other characters in the series.)

In many ways this show surpasses the comic book series it’s based on, especially when it comes to the parents, who were a little cardboard in the original. This show alone will get me to sign up for Hulu at least long enough to finish watching Season 2.
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What Does a Time Machine Cost?

March 15th, 2018

Abyss & Apex has published my latest science fiction short story, “What Does a Time Machine Cost?” in their March issue.

This story will also be reprinted in the Timeshift anthology later this year. (Kickstarter now live.)

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