Random Thursday: Bagels, Brainstorming, and Belgian Jazz

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā):  the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s gathered during the week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as actually sitting down and creating real content.

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With Friends Like These, Who Needs Pigeons?

This morning, a friend sent me an e-mail with Pigeon Impossible in the subject line.

For the record, this is a terrible thing to do to someone who just sent you a synopsis draft for a novel with Pigeon in the title.

When I finally opened the e-mail, I found a video link and a brief note saying, “Relax, I haven’t read it yet.  Paranoid much?”

With friends like this, do you blame me?

It’s almost as bad as having this guy in charge of the nuclear suitcase:

Thanks for the vid, Kev.  You stinker.

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 Save Sarah’s Sanity

Okay, seriously people—despite your dubious taste in blogs*, I know you’re all brilliant in ways I am not and it’s brainstorming time:

How can I catch the new Sherlock episodes on BBC One online without paying for an exorbitantly expensive service for a year—good God, what’s happened to the exchange rate—or without buying a plane ticket from Illinois to England  and throwing my obsessed self on poor Sarah P.’s mercy (I can cover a plane seat or a hotel, not both), since the Canadian Duchess has gone temporarily AWOL?

Sherlock isn’t arriving in the States until May.  May.  I can’t wait five months.  I’ll go insane** and take every single one of you with me.   By mid-March, I’ll be stationed below the virtual bedroom window of the whole Internet screaming “SherrrrLLLLOOOOCK!!!” in my second*** best Marlon Brando Streetcar impression.

“Scandal in Belgravia” starts at 8:10 pm on New Year’s Day, so we’ve got until 2 am EST on Monday (think Chicago), or a reasonable amount of time afterward (think hours, not months, pretty please) to make this work.

Comment below or e-mail me your ideas—I’d prefer not to risk being arrested or fined (the exchange rate again) or cash in my meager retirement fund to finance it.  And if it involves a procedure more complicated than plug-and-play, you’re going to have to dumb the instructions waaaaay down.

One of you must have an in with Stephen Moffat or Mark Thompson’s personal marker or something like that, right?  Anyone a friend of a school friend of a friend of the key grip?

Anyone?  Anything?

Don’t make me do the pouty Brando puppy eyes.  No one wants that.

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Docteur Qui?

One of the miracles of Boxing Day was the addition of BBCAmerica to our local cable provider’s offerings.

So even though BBCAmerica didn’t buy the rights to Sherlock, ^ at least I have Doctor Who, though a day too late for the Christmas Special—but a day’s delay for the rerun beats waiting for the DVD set (insert pause for pointed silence here).

And speaking of the good Doctor, and the length of time it takes to import BBC shows^^ I was watching Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra^^^ the other day, and fell in love with his version of the Doctor Who theme, which also has Lyra’s stamp of approval:

Grace, you lived in Belgium for a while, right?  What’s the verdict?

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*Hi, there.

**Hush.  Y’all ain’t seen nothing, yet.

***Because I will be keeping my shirt on, thanks very much.  Even insanity has its limits.

^What were they thinking?  Is their marketshare so high that they can dismiss all the non-British fans of the show?  You can’t tell me it’s too expensive—PBS bought it, for heaven’s sake.  At a delay discount, sure, but c’mon.

^^ And clumsy segues, while we’re at it . . .

^^^Bill Bailey is nine kinds of cool and this program displays at least eight of those.  You can view it on YouTube here.  If you don’t have an hour to spare, you can’t miss to the explanation of the bassoon, which is two kinds all by itself.

Random Thursday: Scattershorts

Janie recorded the Hannah Montana Movie a week or two ago and has been replaying the “Hoedown Throwdown” segment until I found myself chanting the lyrics, or a version of the lyrics, this morning at work.  All morning.

I’m still doing it—not even R.E.M.’s  “Stand”—the universal earworm eradicator—is shifting this one:

Pop it, lock it, polka dot it
Countrify it, then hip hop it
Put your hawk in the sky, move side to side
Jump to the left, stick it, slide.

I know it’s a wholesome, fun song with no profanity or suggestive imagery, but won’t someone please think of the parents?

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My copies of R.E.D. and the first season of the BBC’s Sherlock arrived yesterday, but I remained strong and stuck to my writing schedule instead of opening them—which, considering standard DVD packaging, would have taken most of my evening, anyway.

I did position the latter so that I could gaze at Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman every so often, as a reward.*  Neither are actually my usual physical type—as my husband pointed out—but this does not appear to pose a problem.

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Yet another newly-discovered time suck!**

Daily Routines explores  the ways well-known writers, architects, painters, politicians, and other individuals of note get, or got, through the day.

These examples can be either comforting or a little frightening, depending on the quirks you share and with whom you share them.

Just remember:  famous people are eccentric.  The rest of us are still plain weird.

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Genevieve Valentine’s take on Oscar Red Carpet fashions was marvelous, as always.

Can’t say I agree with her assessment of Cate Blanchett, who appeared to be wearing an embroidered peekaboo tabard, but I always enjoy Ms. Valentine’s posts. And her short stories, too!

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Gary Corby has a fascinating post about ancient Greek tax laws over on his blog.

No, seriously.

We have to try this system over here in the States—Televised.

Heck, if the IRS  made it pay-per-view, we could settle the National Debt.

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*My adoration of John Malkovich is slightly more cerebral, though not by much.

**I’m going to have to start a new link list for these.

I am in love with Sherlock.

Thanks to my Saturday co-worker Amber, who snagged it for me, I was finally able to check out the first season of the BBC’s new(ish) Sherlock series, which sets the consulting detective and his friend, Dr. John Watson, in twenty-first century London.

Sherlock Holmes with a cell phone.  John Watson with a blog.

I am in love.

I’m in love with the dynamic and the story and all the translated details of the re-interpretations of my beloved stories as imagined by the superlatively talented Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.*

Not to mention Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock —those eyes, those cheekbones. That voice. There’s just something about a tall, dark, high-functioning sociopath, isn’t there?  Did I mention the cheekbones? But there’s more to this Sherlock than looks . . . there’s a grating brilliance and an almost pathological aversion to being bored.  And there’s fallibility,  too—this Sherlock is missing pieces, inside, and knows it.

I can’t fault the new interpretation of John Watson, either.  He’s finally an equal partner, rather than the bumbling, naive foil we’re used to—like Jude Law’s version in the recent Hollywood movie, you can imagine Martin Freeman’s Watson as a real soldier, maybe even a bit of an adrenaline addict in his own right.  Anyone who can call Sherlock Holmes an idiot, and mean it, and make Sherlock laugh about it, is okay in my book.

And I truly love the friendship between Holmes and Watson—it’s believable that these two men are partners and, in many ways, the saving of each other.

I’m going to watch the first episode again tonight, or at least watch my husband watch it . . .  no, I won’t lie—I’ll pretty much be watching Benedict Cumberbatch all the way through.

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*Who are two of the geniuses behind the successful re-launch of Dr. Who and half of my favorite BBC offerings.  If a show is from the UK and I love it, one or both of these gentlemen is usually involved.