Thorne Smith on the Silver Screen

Thorne Smith wrote a slew of light fantasy novels in the 1920s and 1930s.  Topper with Cary Grant and Constance Bennett as an irreverent ghostly couple is the most famous adaptation of his novels.

Other adaptations are a TV series called Turnabout – an early body-swapping comedy; Passionate Witch – prototype for Bewitched ; the Stray Lamb – a man named Lamb transforms into different animals; Skin and Bones – a man and his dog turn into walking skeletons frightening all but those who truly see them; and the Glorious Pool – a fountain of youth in a swimming pool.

And then Night Life of the Gods in which a man can make stone into living creatures and heads off the the Metropolitan Museum of Art to turn the Greek Gods alive. They wreck funny havoc.

But coming soon is a fantasy movie, Gods Behaving Badly with Alicia Silverstone. It doesn’t say so but you bet your boots it’s inspired by Thorne Smith.

So many of our light fantasy films owe him much.

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PIPA (the bill) and Piglet (me)

piglet

OK. *gulp*

So, I am a U.S. citizen.  I vote.  I pay my taxes.  I use my turn indicator at 4-way stops when no one is around.  I give blood (not germane but virtuous).

All my life, I have been a Piglet.  For the most part, I feel small and squeaky.  To this day, when I have politely-worded arguments, I feel trembly.

Politics are full of Heffalumps and Tiggers.  Neither type seems to enjoy quietness and small days as much I do.  I leave the blustering and the bouncing to them.

There are all kinds of big threats to liberty to protest.  But there are Christopher Robins and Rabbits who very capably Know What to Do in These Cases.

In my case, there are very little and mostly silent things to do:  giving of small monies and helping Winnie the Pooh fix things up and bringing to notice those whose pain has not been noticed.

While I don’t have much of a voice, it’s due to temperament.  It’s not due to anyone forcing me to be quiet, to not be there.

I think that’s why the PIPA and SOPA issue upsets me so.

I don’t like rich and powerful Heffalumps telling other forest creatures to shush.  I don’t think the Tiggers are the only voices which should be heard.  I don’t think the practical Rabbits and benign Christopher Robins should be sent out of the forest and barbed wire wound around the tree trunks shutting them out.

I especially think us Piglets should be let to poke about in the Hundred Acre Wood.  We are small and of no importance but we have a right to be here.

I have, for the first time in my life, contacted my senator.  My voice definitely squeaked but I said my say.

If you are a Piglet too, please step up and please speak up.

Because if we can’t speak, we can’t speak for anyone who has been hushed.

Book Log for 2011

books I read last year…

Adult Fiction

  1. Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson (fun, I want to find the others)
  2. Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne (good series, best of the lot)
  3. Tales of the Black  Widowers by Isaac Asimov (disappointed)
  4. Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (excellent)
  5. Nightseer by Laurell K. Hamilton (I forget how good her early stuff is)
  6. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris (still loving series)
  7. Fired Up by Jayne Krentz
  8. Good Girls Do by Cathie Linz (enjoyable)
  9. My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne

Graphic Novels

  1. Lone Goat and Kid by Stan Sakai (excellent)
  2. Tramps Like Us vol. 11 by Yayoi Ogawa (addictive)
  3. Skim by Mariko Tamaki (found the teacher utterly distasteful)
  4. Prince Needs a Princess  by Barbara McMahon & Reiko Kishida (so bad! I loved it!)
  5. Old Man’s Cave by Jeff Smith
  6. Kilala Princess vol. 4 (adored it but I think there are no more)
  7. Shinobi Life vol. 3 by Shoko Konami (really like this series)
  8. Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci
  9. Tramps Like Us vol. 10 by Yayoi Ogawa
  10. Ghost Circles by Jeff Smith
  11. Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Young Adult Fiction

  1. Hunger Games by Susanne Collins (clearly I much enjoyed it)
  2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  3. Beet Fields by Gary Paulsen
  4. Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber
  5. Night of the Living Rerun by Arthur Byron

Nonfiction

  1. Totally Charmed: Demons, Whitelighters And the Power of Three (Smart Pop series)
  2. Got Issues Much by Randi Reisfeld (hilariously dated but well meaning)
  3. Joy of Writing Sex by Elizabeth Benedict (philosophical)
  4. Serenity Found by Jane Espenson  (Joss Whedon’s Firefly & Serenity)
  5. Tough Guide to Fantasy Land by Diana Wynne Jones  (satirical guide book to fantasy cliches)
  6. Teenage Guy’s Survival Guide by Jeremy Daldry
  7. Deal With It (from Scarleteen.com)

Kat’s ABC of Fun

Kat’s been working hard on her posts

M is for Music

There is nothing quite like getting your groove on to some sick beats.

N is for Nail Polish

painting nails at a slumber party is definitely my speed

O is for Ocean

finding new and amazing stuff that lives in ridiculous extreme underwater environements.

P is for Picnic

Picnics, much like solitaire, can be done however the attendees wish.

Irena Sendler – Woman of Worth

Irena Sendler was a social worker who resisted the Nazi occupation of Poland.

She first worked independently with Matylda Getter, and later joined the Zegota.  They smuggled infants and toddlers from the Warsaw Ghetto and gave them new identities and new families.  She carried out the children in toolboxes, potato sacks and body bags.  She wrote their real names in code and put the information in jars which she buried in her neighbor’s yard.

In 1943, they arrested her and, during her interrogation, they broke her legs and arms.  The Zegota bribed the guards with a bag of money to spare her life and she was left unconscious by the side of the road.

Sendler later uncovered the jars and tried to reunite the children with their families.  There were few survivors.

In 1965, Yad Vashem recognized Irena Sendler as Righteous Among the Nations.

In 2003, Poland awarded Sendler its highest distinction, the Order of White Eagle.

She was also nominated for awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.  However, she was not given that honor.  She died in 2008.

She saved 2,500 lives.

Children of the Night – a Halloween playlist

My Halloween playlist is meant for atmosphere, not dancing.

I call it Children of the Night.  See?  You had to finish the quotation didn’t you?

I didn’t put in Thriller or Monster Mash, although I like those songs. I did put in Steven Wonder’s Superstitious ’cause it’s too good not to.  Here’s hoping you’ll find at least one new song to add to your own playlist.

Welcome to My Nightmare – Alice Cooper.

Cooper offers a charming invitation and kind of a nice way to ease into the seasonal mood.  Earworm:  “A nocturnal vacation/unnecessary sedation”

All You Zombies – The Hooters

Not about Halloween but it’s a catchy anti-zombie anthem.  Earworm:  “holy Moses on the mountain/high above the golden calf”

Wolf Moon – Type O Negative

Creepy song with spooky lyrics.  Earworm:  “unholy water/sanguine addiction”

Bloodletting – Concrete Blonde

It just sounds so jaded.  Earworm: ” you were a vampire/and baby I’m walking dead”

Whispers in the Dark – Skillet

Not about Halloween but I like it and the lyrics sound a little creepy if you are perverse about it.  Mostly I like the NOOOOO! part.  Earworm: “my love is a burning/consuming fire”

Blood, Milk and Sky – White Zombies

Excellent disturbing  song. Earworm:  [I can’t figure out what they’re saying.]

This is Halloween – Marilyn Manson

Even you’re a purist, you’ve got to like this version a bit.  It’s so jolly.  Earworm:  [whole thing]

Vampire with a Healthy Appetite – Steve Hackett

I’m puzzled by this song.  Does serial killing make him sleepy?  Anyway, the gravely refrain is fine holiday fun. Earworm: “You stay awake half the night”

Shivers Down My Spine – King Khan and the Shrines

Goofy –  😀   Earworm: “She bites me square on the back waaaaooh!/I said hey baby what the hell”

I Put a Spell on You – Jay Hawkins

I got the 2 minute version where he does this growling, snorting thing at the end.  It cracks me up.  Earworm: “And I don’t care/If you don’t want me/I’m yours/right now”

Superstition – Stevie Wonder

A classic. Earworm: “Very superstitious/wash your face and hands”

Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard – Tom Waits

Gleefully obscure.  Earworm:  “and i busted up a chifforobe/way out by the cocomo”

Bad Moon Rising – Credence Clearwater Revival

Real life horror never sounded so great.  Earworm: “Hope you got your things together/hope you are prepared to die”

Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo

Featured in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Chuck.  Good stuff.  Earworm: “Walkin’ with a dead man/Waitin’ for an invitation to arrive”

Witchy Woman – The Eagles

Pretty song and quite misogynistic. Earworm:  “let me tell you brother/she’s been sleeping in the Devil’s bed”

Rain on the Scarecrow – John Mellencamp

Not Halloweeny but I imagine a rustic horror story with the scarecrow’s rain-tears and the bloody plow.  Earworm: “well there’s 97 crosses planted in the courthouse yard/97 families who lost 97 farms”

O Death – Ralph Stanley

This is really too eerie for a party but at this point, you should be having too much fun to notice.  Earworm: “Time and mercy is out of your reach”

P. S.  Are there songs I should add to this list?