Come Try My Hellmouth On




I've been remiss in posting about Nikki Stafford's imminent Great Buffy Rewatch.

Both here and on her blog, Nik at Nite, I'd made the odd remark that when Lost wrapped up we should try to keep the gang there together because the community of commenters that built up around that show was sensational. A new favorite or favorites might pop up, sure, but Nikki — whose blog was an outgrowth of her popular Finding 'Lost' books — had earlier penned episode guides to Alias, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Buffy spinoff Angel, all of which seemed like ripe candidates for a comprehensive rewatch; as a bonus, Nikki would make some extra coin from those of us who didn't yet own the books. Almost as soon as I (and others) began suggesting it, I started twitching at the likely time commitment, but here we are with the project a reality and I can't
wait to dive in.

Down for the Count


Perhaps my first lasting Internet connection in days should be spent on something important. ["Ha! Too late!" say the gods of cyberspace.] Maybe this is close enough. ["Maybe not!"] While I reload open pages in the browser to catch up on various blogs during the next inevitable connection fail ["Psyche!"], I also want to publish at least a brief post here because I know that folks can get pretty sick of looking at Santa Claus once Christmas has come and gone.

Photo of ball covered in crystals for New Year's Eve countdown in Times Square

So here are my contributions to this week's online Late Show with David Letterman Top Ten contest [dead link], complete with nods as usual to the show's own running jokes, in the category...

Top Nine Things Overheard During New Year's Eve in Times Square

9. "Excuse me... You're stepping on Mayor Bloomberg."

8. "It's really more of an irregular polygon with poorly defined borders."

7. "You think this is a lot of drunk people with time to kill? I was in the audience for Letterman last week."

6. "My balls drop every year too."

Nick of Time


Norman Rockwell painting of jolly Santa Claus holding a letter from Tommy and a small drum

I met Santa Claus last night.

Really, I did; I'll tell you about it. And the timing was perfect, as the lights have not been in my favor this season.

Oh, I Sleigh Me


Last week's Top Ten contest [dead link] at the Late Show with David Letterman website was even more inspiring than usual. If you don't know the drill you can check out the first post in this category, so without further ado here are...

My Top Ten Little-Known Facts about Santa Claus

10. Born Seymour Klausmann, Brooklyn, 1926

9. Will get you on the "nice" list for twenty bucks and/or a bottle of Jim Beam

8. Goes down more than just the chimney, ladies

7. Eleven months out of the year, crash diets and works as Dumbledore at the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando

6. Holly Jolly Christmas: To you, it's the name of a Burl Ives classic; to Santa, it's the name of the gal who takes care of him in the VIP suite at North Pole Dancers

Braids of Glory


Cover to 'Hereville' with a girl, sword in hand, dancing on air right above a giant ball of yarn

My niece E and her cousin L, both 8 years old, each received a copy of Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword for Chanukah — but not before Uncle Brian read it... twice.

The graphic novel — about, to quote the cover copy, "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl" — is a fun, touching yarn no matter your age, gender, or heritage. Author Barry Deutsch, who produced Hereville as a webcomic (and self-published a paper version as well) before Abrams released a hardcover edition through its Amulet Books imprint [$15.95 US; ISBN 978-0-8109-8422-6], is after all no more writing about or exclusively for himself than most authors of children's and young-
adult fiction, nor is the best of such fiction restricted to that nominal target audience.

A Body Eclectic


I'm always excited by additions to Mike Mignola's body of work. And while that honestly wasn't meant as a pun, this post exists to sing the praises of a delightful fugue composed by the creator of Hellboy known as The Amazing Screw-On Head. It began life several years ago as a one-shot comic book; now, its titular story has finally been reissued with like material by Dark Horse in a $17.99 hardcover [ISBN 978-1-59582-501-8].

Front of the 'Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects' hardcover, with title character standing amongst a variety of items esoteric and mundane

For a long time, I despaired of ever seeing such a collection or, indeed, much "like material" at all despite the (very) occasional Mignola efforts along similar lines in terms of tone if not detail.

Deception


'Bill strolling against gray background, then in crowd scene
the Following poster

When exploring its twists and inspirations online after viewing, I was quickly dis-abused of the notion that Inception was Christopher Nolan's sixth feature. His career, early shorts aside, did not begin with Memento. It launched with a 70-minute, "no-budget" film called Following released in 1999.

While the movie doesn't, to me, provide any of the clues to Inception's potential interpretation that certain sly comments about it suggested, it's definitely worth a look if you're a Nolan admirer or merely curious. You can place it in the context of his oeuvre's ruminations on the nature of identity, unreliable narrators/narratives, and often idiosyncratic approaches to storytelling. Or you can just watch it as the work of a talented new filmmaker making the most of his limited resources, a decade before The Dark Knight would become an international, critically acclaimed franchise smash (despite not being very good; I await your letters). Either way, the thing itself is compelling enough that it's hardly time wasted.

Holiday Meaning


Wreath adorned with various items

This post is currently down for maintenance.

On a Boat


I'm sure that everyone and their furry blue brother have successfully viralized it by
now, but just to do my part here's Grover with a preposition for you.

Grover wrapped in a towel standing in front of a bathtub

Sesame Street keeps up with pop culture admirably in spots like this one (riffing on
the instant-classic Old Spice ad starring Isaiah Mustafa) as well as through of-the-moment goofs and guest spots on the show itself — even if once in a great big while they go awry. [Update: I should have warned folks that my last link is to the infamous spot with Elmo and Katy Perry yanked by Sesame Workshop after outcry that her outfit was inappropriate.]



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