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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. Your library board and architects were prescient! I know drive-up windows have been a thing with bigger systems for some years now; others also offer pick-up *lockers* where patrons can pick up their preselected items after hours. We are an urban location and for a variety of reasons, neither of these is feasible for us. We don't have the space to add either of these features which are very nice but have to be added at the construction stage. Also 'urban' is synonymous with crime and undesirable elements loitering around the library already and we don't need to give them more incentive. We had to remove our public pay phone some years back due to vandalism and several threats of mayhem to local schools called in on that phone. Anyplace where the public could have access to lockers after hours would be problematic for us. We are across the street from a bank and a gas station, both of which have had robberies in the past. We are fortunate that we've never had that sort of violence in our building but I wonder if a drive-thru window might encourage something like that. This is how we have to think in a 'downtown' library. But I imagine that drive-through facilities will be a part of all new construction going forward, or existing buildings that can adapt to one will. Thanks to corona, I think our curbside and virtual services are here to stay because people have gotten used to them and we are able to reach more people this way. But right now, our staff has to go outside to deliver items to cars and a drive-thru would be a lot more comfortable for everyone concerned.
  2. We can't compete with Minnesota, but we have our moments. The salient difference is, Upper Midwesterners know to dress for the cold. You don't mess around; I bet you've got the chains on your tires by November 1st. Ohio winters can be severe, but more Ohioans seem to live in denial that winter is *going* to happen, no matter how little we do to prepare. We cannot hope it out of existence by driving on bald tires and wearing flip-flops in the snow. But still, we try. Seasonal denial is most often practiced by males, who might condescend to don a hoodie over their basketballl shorts and flip-flops as they are shoveling the driveway with their inadequate shovel. Girls are more apt to at least wear some form of coat, even if it's too short and kept open to show off the cute shirt underneath. It's amazing more of us don't die from hypothermia each year.
  3. My dropping by this board has been very sporadic over the last year, so I missed this whole discussion. Welcome daffodilkhan, if you are still around! Love the juxtaposition of soft & hard in your username. I too am a public children's librarian, now in my 21st year of this glorious employment, and four weeks away from my first anniversary of Covid protocols. It's been tres fun (not). I actually find that we are nearly as busy as we were, pre-pandemic. Our busyness has shifted a bit to different formats . . we are not wrangling in person toddler storytimes or running herd on mobs of after school tween gamers starting fights on the computers (and can I say I don't miss that at ALL . .?) . .but the types of mental/planning work we have always done vis. programming, analyzing library trends, ordering books, etc. still goes on. If anything, ramped up because we've had whole other skill sets to learn, like mastering picture book reading and singing via Facebook Live & setting up thematic Google Classroom virtual platforms. Our story times and other programming is all virtual, but our DIY craft kits to go are monster hits. It takes a lot more time to assemble monthly craft kits for 50 than it did to do an hour-long library program for half that number. We are still finding/fetching books for people; it's just about 50/50, in person vs. curbside delivery and some of our patrons enjoy the convenience of curbside pickup just a tad too much. That will be permanent and and I have a feeling that some of them are never coming back inside. Why should they, when we've made it so easy to stay in the car and get all their needs delivered to them? We should start up a pizza business while we're at it as a fund-raiser. I would have pegged the reference librarians for being the diehard Star Trek fans since the hardcore sci-fi fanatics seem to congregate there. It's not that the children's librarians have more time, definitely not. I find the reference librarians tend to have quite rigidly codified duties and schedules to the point where they know exactly when they are eating their lunch every day from now til retirement. If I have to hazard a guess, I'd say that children's librarians are drawn to the profession and to chatrooms because we view reading as a means to adventures of the imagination, and we learn to view fictional characters as friends. So chatrooms devoted to our favorite book characters will attract those characters' fans. As a group, I'd say the reference librarians also read a lot, but they are not reading for imaginative escape so much as for *information/facts*. One guy I know who worked in reference for years is a die-hard George R.R. Martin fan and theatre nerd . .but I don't think he is *really* a reference type; he just needed a job. I had a past colleague (she lasted for two years) who was so introverted/afraid of the patrons and their demands that she'd move her chair as far away from the desk as she could get it while still being in the designated area and, for want of a better description, do her best to pretend that she was invisible. She'd curl herself into a ball in the chair and pointedly ignore people while reading a book. Not great customer service. We thought she was just terribly unfriendly and hated children, but she confessed later (after she'd left) that she suffered from crippling social anxiety and was actually terrified that she'd be asked something she didn't know. She had a degree in elementary education and interviewed really well, but she just couldn't sustain the daily grind. I tend to be introverted too, but to a large degree I have had to get over it, or at least fake being over it to do any sort of employment, really. There is a supreme irony in the fact that so many librarians are introverts and yet are expected to be the fount of all knowledge and lead tour groups or do press interviews at the drop of a hat, sometimes with zero warning. For several hours each day, we have to project being 'on'--outgoing, helpful, there to serve, and camera-ready as required. Our Facebook Live story times go out to audiences of hundreds, sometimes thousands--Live!--If you find out later you had something in your teeth the whole time, you can't do anything about it. My journey from hard-core introvert to Less So, Outgoing on Occasion, has been basically learning to live with embarrassment. You WILL screw up, that's inevitable. The trick is to stop caring (much). Nobody but you is likely to remember any screwups the next day. As Artemis pointed out, our top questions are not brain trust material. Where's the bathroom? was leading, pre-pandemic. Now the top contenders are: Do you have a FAX? Are you open? and Do you have tax forms? A reference librarian friend of mine said ruefully that she'd spent $20,000 on her masters' degree in library science and what she does with it mostly is help homeless guys get on the computer. Yep, that's pretty much it. And sign people up for the mobile hotspots. And pass out tax forms. Someone queried on the next page I think, what makes people gravitate to this career? For me it was an entirely lateral move. I was an unemployed English teacher and I needed a job with benefits that was not retail. There are transferrable skills. I love books . . I just never thought that this would end up being my career. It was going to be a way station. I had a 5-year plan. But in any given year there are still a glut of English graduates for available jobs and so, here I still am. In my 21st year I have to admit that for better or worse, this IS my career.
  4. View Halloa, everybody, from the frozen Midwest of America. 10 inches yesterday and negative windchills today, but still, the public library must be kept open! (There is no one here but us church mice as I write this). It has been quite some time since I have revisited Sherlock Holmes, either in the canon or in pastiche, but I remember the heady days of my most recent Sherlock-mania (circa 2017 - 18) with nostalgia. Only three years, but it seems like a lifetime ago, as everything pre-pandemic seems to. I'm trying to romanticize my current situation of social isolation, distrust and suspicion of my fellow man and the government at large and two-pronged difficulty in getting supplies in the midst of a pandemic Arctic winter like I'm living out a scene of 'Doctor Zhivago' but so far I'm not convincing myself terribly well. I don't know if this constitutes a strict adherence to 'books about the Canon' but one of my very favorite pastiche authors is Donald Thomas. Mr. Thomas's ouevre is quite slender, consisting of only three or four book-length collections, but I think his influence on the genre of Sherlock Holmes has been profound. His books are marketed as novels but are in fact collections of several novellas in each volume, which is titled after a story in each. This can be a little confusing to the collector. I found this on Amazon, which I did not purchase, having already bought the collected stories in three different volumes. But if you are looking for more stories featuring Sherlock Holmes which are faithful to ACD's creation while amplifying his available adventures, try these. Collected as 'The Lost Casebooks of Sherlock Holmes' by Donald Thomas In these sixteen tales of intellectual derring-do, Sherlock Holmes is shown at the height of his powers: He co-operates with a young Winston Churchill in the famed siege of Sydney Street; helps defeat a plan for a German invasion outlined in the Zimmerman Telegram; establishes a link between two missing lighthouse keepers and the royal treasures of King John; contends with a supernatural curse placed upon an eccentric aristocrat; and discovers a lost epic poem of Lord Byron. Everywhere in these finely wrought tales, encompassing the critically acclaimed The Execution of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes and the King’s Evil, and Sherlock Holmes and the Ghosts of Bly, riddles and mystery hover in the air. But they are not beyond the grasp of the incomparable Sherlock Holmes. Mr. Thomas imagines Sherlock Holmes's encounters with real historical personages, or cleverly inserts SH into other well-known literary adventures, adding to the Great Detective's aura of realism. I particularly enjoyed Sherlock Holmes & the Ghosts of Bly, in which the Great Detective sets out to get to to the bottom of one of literature's great mysteries, set by Henry James in The Turn of the Screw: Are the ghosts of Bly House, which drive governesses mad, real manifestations of evil spirits? The ravings of a madwoman and some seriously disturbed children? Or is it all an elaborate prank? Who better to solve this mystery than Sherlock Holmes? I highly recommend all of Mr. Thomas's books.
  5. It might have been very interesting to see Chris play Holmes in a less lurid case. On the whole, MbD is very well done and I liked the partner dynamic between the two gents. Chris was a very handsome 50 here, even though Holmes was technically still in his thirties in 1888. The character of the psychic, Robert Lees, played by Donald Sutherland is problematic. At first, it seems that Lees looks good for the villain, due to DT's otherworldly stare and strange manner. But when Holmes starts to actually give credence to these 'visions', that was decidedly out of character for him. CP was so twinkly, so kind, so jovial . .it was a bit disconcerting. He needed to inject a touch more of the Captain von Trapp into his Holmes, because his SH isn't nearly acerbic enough. He would have been delightful in more adventures with Mr. Mason. I took the news of his passing very hard, because it was so sudden and tragic. He'd was still working up til the end, but apparently he suffered a fall at home and died of his injuries. Not the way a proud man like him would have wanted to go. A first-rate storyteller and artist who should have had an even bigger career.
  6. House is a very flawed character, which incorporates both good and bad. The first four seasons were the high point; after that, as too often happens with medical dramas (cf. ER; Grey's Anatomy) most of the original cast had departed, to be replaced with 'younger, hotter' interns, whose hooking up and romance soap operas overrode the medical drama which was the ostensible reason for the show in the first place. Addicts also become very tedious after a while with their antisocial behaviors. After House went off the air, the baton for self-destructive addict-centric dramedy was picked up by Showtime's Nurse Jackie, starring Edie Falco, a sort of female House, albeit she's a nurse. A nurse in a busy Manhattan ER with unfettered access to really good drugs. Her Achilles heel is the same as House's, an addiction to pain narcotics initially taken to manage a real medical issue. House is worth a view to see how thoroughly a very skilled actor can become a completely different person. I actually had not seen of any of Hugh Laurie's work prior to House and so I had no difficulty at all accepting him as a doctor from New Jersey. He's brilliant, and the role has a bit of everything, including physical humor. It's realistic to a point, though it's really astounding how many extremely rare (like in, never before seen in humankind) diseases wind up in House's diagnostic unit. The comparison to Sherlock Holmes is apt because until the show started losing its focus around about Season 4, the 'medical mystery solving' aspect was front and center. Hugh would make a fantastic Victorian era Holmes, but this was the next best thing. Hard to believe that it's been 17 years since the show started.
  7. David Morse shot to fame in the 1980s medical drama St. Elsewhere. Maybe you saw him in The Crossing Guard (with Jack Nicholson); 12 Monkeys or The Green Mile? 16 Blocks, Disturbia or The Hurt Locker? David is one of those actors, like Anton Lesser, a supporting actor who has been in a million projects, a face that people recognize but don't necessarily remember his name. I hadn't seen him in anything lately so I looked up his resume and was surprised that it was so long. I'd seen several of his movies and forgotten that he was in them. Not an easy feat for a guy who is 6'4" to fly so under the radar and be unmemorable, but he manages it. And then you watch him at work and wonder--why doesn't everyone know this guy's name? When speaking of his role as Gen. Washington in John Adams, he said he didn't feel his face projected enough authority, so he suggested a prosthetic nose and that did the trick. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Morse Last night I watched the 'House meets his nemesis' scene on YouTube, and laughed all over again. Tripping a guy with a cane isn't very nice, but House had it coming. House does not respond well at all to other alpha males, and only marginally better to alpha females like Cuddy. He is a tiny bit nicer to people with boobs, but only if they are strong. If they are weak like Cameron he will make them cry at any opportunity. Wilson is more like a woman in his demeanor and knows his place in the hierarchy of their relationship. This cop was too much of a threat to House's sense of himself so he was on his extra-crappy behavior. When DM pulls House over and physically whips him around to be cuffed, the expression of shock on Hugh's face was worth an Emmy by itself.
  8. Have you finished Series 3 yet? That was a very good season, but it is also the one in which House starts to cease being a loveable curmudgeon and quirky bad boy of the hospital and starts doing unredeemable things as the hardcore drug addict that he is. Brilliantly played by Hugh, of course . . but what House does to his loyal friend Wilson ventures, for me, into the 'unforgiveable' territory. If I were Wilson, I could not continue to be friends with a guy who nearly costs me my career and gets me sent to prison. Of course Wilson had to eventually forgive House or else the series couldn't go on with its 'Watson'--but if it were me? I would most likely change hospitals, get a restraining order, if not other means of legal recourse for defamation and I would never speak to the a****** again. My heart would be broken but it would have to be done. Many times throughout the series, I wanted to kick Wilson for being so weak. That's what addicts do--they exploit personal relationships as far and as often as they can, because unless they can successfully seek treatment, *nothing* is more important to them than their next high. 'Kindness' is not really recognized by them as anything but opportunity. That's David Morse as the cop . .one of our finest actors. I love this character as one of the few individuals on Earth who House cannot browbeat, charm or bully. He's not having any of it. Anyone who could make Greg House afraid is a formidable being. And David has a way of being super-menacing with this silky-smooth tone that never raises the volume. He's played villains and good guys about equally--he played the father of the United States in John Adams, and the resemblance is astounding. I don't view this cop as vindictive though, really--he is dedicated to upholding the law, and he is committed to making the miscreant answer for breaking the law. House is so brazenly unrepentant that it maybe gets a little personal . .must rewatch! . . but actually--even though House is our antihero and we've been smiling at his antics . . we don't want him to get away with it this time. Was this before or after House pretends to have brain cancer so he can get free drugs for a clinical trial? His team thinks he's dying and all the while he has stolen another patient's x-rays and is using an alias. Addicts are extremely inventive and House is a genius-level addict.
  9. Yes, I have, and I agree that they would make for wonderful film adaptations. Lots of action and humor. Kurland's Moriarty is definitely not Conan Doyle's Moriarty, so it's bound to put some purists off. Having a villain who is 'pure evil' as ACD wrote him is pretty boring and one-dimensional. Nobody is 'nothing but evil'--even Hitler was a talented artist who loved his dogs. The key to a sympathetic villain is recognizing that no one is purely bad in his own eyes--he may acknowledge bad acts, but according to one's own internal motivations and reasons, they can believe they are operating for noble purposes. Such is the case with Kurland's antihero, whose criminal enterprises fund his scientific endeavors which are very expensive. Conan Doyle's Moriarty seems to be in the business of robbery and terrorism strictly to create mayhem and get rich for himself. Kurland's Moriarty views himself as something of a mathematical Robin Hood, stealing from the rich, whose gains are ill-gotten anyway and stolen from others (like the treasure of Indian jewels he heists in one episode). He's stealing from the stealers in the interests of science. I don't recall exactly, but it doesn't seem like the body count is very high either . . there may be a few unfortunates here or there, but this Moriarty is not interested in terrorism or global domination--he only wants to pay for his observatory .. and continue his very nice lifestyle and creature comforts. A successful consulting criminal also has a lot of underlings to pay and keep happy. Kurland writes Moriarty as Sherlock Holmes likely would have been if SH had chosen to be a consultant criminal rather than a consulting detective. He's got a 'Boswell'/friend who is a writer; he's got a loyal staff and a devoted cadre of Irregulars. He's got a singular address, a signature dressing gown and all his little habits. It's particularly amusing when he stands at his sitting room window and amuses himself with observing a certain consulting detective who is observing *him* from the street in a variety of disguises which do not fool the target. In Kurland's world, SH is a bit of a buffoon. That would make for some pretty good comedy relief. Who do you see as our cast of characters? RDJ, Jude Law and Jared Harris probably can't appear since they 'belong' to the Guy Ritchie franchise. I think to do all the books Kurland wrote justice, this would have to be a series project on a streaming platform. 'Enola Holmes' was so successful for Netflix, more than I would have thought. It's a nice thought but it probably will never happen. Those books date back to the mid-1970s. Too bad Hollywood didn't offer Mr. Kurland a contract back then; so many Sherlock projects were being made: The Seven Percent Solution; Murder by Decree; the Granada Brett series . . it may have been market saturation. Kurland's books are some of my very favorite pastiches . . even if SH comes off as something of a buffoon.
  10. Herl, Glad you have discovered "House". I bought the box set some years ago now and it's time for a revisit. Mr. Laurie was of course one of Britain's famous comic actors prior to taking on the lead in this American TV show. Untold numbers of Americans may have experienced a stroke upon first hearing 'Greg House' speaking like a toff, so brilliantly does Hugh embody 'American'. Obviously Cameron is the likeable one who gets criticised by House for caring. This is a direct pointer to Holmes dispassionate method of dealing with a case of course where clients are just part of a problem to be solved then it’s time to move on. I guess Cuddy is a sort of/ kind of Mycroft figure? Perhaps more like the Gatiss Mycroft treating House like a wayward pupil but without the added brilliance. She’s an authority figure who has invested in House but I think she has a similar attitude to Wilson although she probably wouldn’t admit to admiring House. I thought that Vogler was our Moriarty but he’s gone and I don’t think he returns? I had never really thought of House's team of junior researchers as 'the Irregulars' before, but they do function as his go-to assistants, doing the scut work he does not condescend to do himself, so I think that comparison is brilliant. They are not illiterate street urchins and are the top young doctors in their respective fields, so the comparison doesn't hold 100% But as to their function, they are the regular Irregulars. It would have been really funny if House had engaged some candy stripers to be his irregular Irregulars--those are usually high school kids. Cameron and Chase have more of a hero-worship thing for their mentor. Dr. Forman is maybe more akin to an Athelney Jones or a Tobias Gregson--an up-and-comer who often challenges 'the Great Brain', having a rather giant ego of his own. Forman is a good doctor, and Omar Epps is, of that group, the one who is most convincing as a doctor. The other two seem too lightweight and juvenile to really be the tops in such a competitive field. They look like what they are--young actors in their 20s portraying doctors on a television show. In Season 4, House cleans house and fires all of his regular Irregulars, launching a 'Survivor' style elimination tournament from a huge group of young residents to choose the replacements. I always thought of Cuddy as the 'Lestrade', being as she is the official voice of authority within the institutional structure and is actually House's boss, though he really pushes the envelope there. There is also a long-running mutual attraction between these two, briefly acted upon, IIRC, but mostly kept as a subtext/fantasy element. So Cuddy could also be 'The Woman'. There is another relationship in House's life later on with one of his interns that doesn't end well . . .I think maybe she was intended to be The Woman, but I do not like her at all, so I'm sticking with Cuddy. As for the 'Moriarty'--I don't think it's a person. 'Moriarty' for this Holmes is his pernicious addiction to narcotics & the pain that caused it. It is the only thing that can destroy him and at several points, it nearly succeeds. The various diseases that House and his team battle to diagnose each week are the minor villains.
  11. Maybe Mr. Fry was offered Mycroft as a sort of consolation prize, seeing as the vaunted Holmes-Watson project never got off the ground. His portrayal of Mycroft is one of the highlights of Game of Shadows, the other being Jared Harris as Moriarty. SF was not always as portly as he is now, but he's never ever had the rail-thin physique associated with Holmes, nor, I should think, his rather manic energy. He played Jeeves, the steady, calming bedrock butler to Hugh Laurie's Bertie Wooster, a daffy, not-bright and decidedly nervy aristocrat. I can't really envision Mr. Laurie as Doctor Watson, and see him more as a Holmes. SF could certainly embody certain features of Holmes--the erudition, the snottiness, the black moods--it's the extremely physical litheness & indefatigable energy of Holmes that seems missing there. He is perfect for Mycroft. I love his Mycroft so much, I want a whole Mycroft movie, with 'Sherlie' and Dr. Watson as supporting comedy relief. At best, Fry & Laurie present us with two Holmeses and we are still short a Watson. Dr. Watson extends his hand upon meeting his flatmate's even more singular elder brother. MH: No! (walks away) SH: He doesn't.
  12. Thanks for that interesting factoid. The English-language cast pronounces it as it looks, but 'HOO-leh' would have added more authentic flavor. I imagine that the great majority of English-speaking readers who have only read Jo Nesbo in translation have been calling his hero 'Hole' for years and would have been confused if he'd been addressed as Detective Inspector HOO-leh in the movie. I haven't read any Jo Nesbo, though I have a few of his books languishing in my TBR pile, including Snowman, I think. Nordic noir has just mushroomed as a genre since Steig Larsson scored such a hit with his series. Before Lisbeth Salander, we had Kurt Wallander, who is another Scandi detective I am more familiar with onscreen, having watched all three of the television Wallanders do their take on the role. I've got Henning Mankell's novels in a pile as well. I don't know if it's a lost-in-translation thing or is an accurate reflection of the Scandinavian mindset, but I find Scandi prose for the most part extremely heavy and slow. Very wordy, as it seems to be a custom to refer to their sprawling casts of characters by their full given and surnames each time, and as a group they seem to dive deep into incredibly detailed, mind-numbingly so, descriptions of various interiors of a house, the brand-name furnishings, the designer labels being worn by the characters or descriptions of restaurant decors and meals that go on for pages. As a travelogue of Scandinavian design aesthetic, it is interesting, but it tends to take the air right out of a dramatic narrative *action* story. So, despite the best of intentions, and having enjoyed many film adaptations of these works ('enjoyed' seems a bit wrong to use when the content can be very grisly), I've yet to slog though a lot of these Nordic noir bestsellers. I would like to read Nesbo, to see if I can detect a difference in attitude between a Norwegian author and the Swedish ones I have read more of. Swedish authors seem to insert a lot of references to class--which suspects or colleagues hail from 'aristocratic' families, and how much money they have and what their standard of living is like. The Swedes at any rate seem to really enjoy expensive things and can be positively rhapsodic about food. It is said that Norwegians & Danes think that Swedes are stuck up. Swedes and Danes think that Norwegians are dumb, and Norwegians and Swedes think that Danes are frivolous. I wonder if these stereotypes are reflected in their fiction.
  13. Last night I revisited a seasonally appropriate entry, The Snowman. A Nordic noir piece based on the international bestseller by Jo Nesbo, featuring his signature boozehound detective, Harry Hole. This name makes me smile every time I read it; apparently there are no smutty associations with this alliterate moniker in Norwegian, though it certainly doesn't sound indigenous to Norway, either. Rather like a Norwegian author's attempt at an American-style gumshoe detective like Philip Marlowe. After a harrowing opening setpiece in which a young boy watches his mother commit suicide by driving her car onto a frozen lake, almost taking her with him, we pick up with our protagonist, Harry, who is significantly the worse for wear and seems to have slept in a bus shelter overnight despite being a high ranking detective with the Oslo police force. A junior colleague transferred in from Bergen (Rebecca Ferguson) is assigned to work with Harry on a potential serial killer case. Several years ago, a young mother in Bergen disappeared without a trace, and her body was found later on a mountaintop, being eaten by birds. Now another mother of a young child has gone missing from her home, and the tie to the earlier case was a snowman in the yards at both homes, peering into the windows. The young daughter at the current scene says she did not do it. This movie got panned by critics who thought that a snowman wasn't intrinsically creepy as the calling card for a killer. I beg to differ. This snowman is like a frozen 3-D version of the taunting Smiley Face left in blood on the walls of crime scenes by the homicidal maniac called Red John in The Mentalist. These are not happy, smiling snowmen wearing carrot noses, top hats and red knitted mufflers. These are nihilistic frozen-in-place White Walkers with vacant eye holes. Creepy, you bet. Not the shining moment in anyone's career here, but a surprisingly A-list cast and director (Tomas Alfredson, who helmed one of my favorite thrillers, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) The production doesn't lack for talent. I like to tailor my movie viewing to the season, and when there's snow on the ground, like now, I like to watch snowy movies. This one is a little short on hygge (Danish, but trendy) but if it's snow you want, this movie has it in spades. Also, Michael Fassbender is not too hard on the eyes, even in a 'rough' state.
  14. As Carol mentioned above . . .Entailment laws which are based entirely on primogeniture. Ie. The firstborn son gets everything--title, estates and fortune. If there are no sons to inherit, or they do not survive, the estates pass down the line to the nearest eligible male relative, no matter how distant, rather than to any female heirs. That was the entire basis for Downton Abbey. Matthew Crawley was a distant cousin three times removed, but he was male, so he trumped three daughters. Things may have changed in the 21st century (though it's still alive and well for the royals) but this would have been the Victorian era. The only way for younger siblings to benefit from the the family wealth was for their eldest brother to be a kind and generous person. He could make provisions for them, but by law he had control of every single thing. That's why marriage and securing one's heirs was a full-time occupation.
  15. Agreed there. That is the fault of Sir Arthur. He really just couldn't be buggered with deep analysis of backstory. He has Holmes dismiss three entire years with "I was at Llasa." He could be quite fanciful on occasion, such as when Sherlock Holmes stands at a window and philosophizes over a rose--but most of the time he was too keen to get to the action to be bothered about personal details. The most mundane explanation is that Sir Arthur just threw those bits in in a flash of momentary inspiration, but didn't develop them any further because landed squires and French impressionist painters were completely out of the purview of a doctor who grew up in grinding poverty as the son of an alcoholic. Doyle, Sr. did seem to have a bit of artistic ability. Not very good, but he did try. Sherlock Holmes never mentions his parents at all. There is only the reference to the landed squires and his maternal great grandmother being a sister of Vernet. Obviously the readers, then and now, are keen to know what accounts for the Holmes' boys' singular talents. What kind of nature/nurture environment conspired to produce such extraordinary children? The parents themselves must have been pretty special, too. There may be one savant produced in an otherwise ordinary family--but two? Not likely at all. I think Conan Doyle avoided references to Holmes' parentage and childhood because those were very painful subjects for him personally, of which he did not care to be reminded. He preferred to have the Great Detective sprung forth fully realized like Venus from the head of Zeus . . no awkward childhood failures or family dramas. It was left to writers who came after to fill in some of the copious blanks of Sherlock's past--the whole thing is nearly a blank slate. So many writers have gotten a lot of entertaining mileage out of imagining childhood/university or otherwise off-canon exploits for Sherl. I don't think it would have occurred to Sir Arthur to imagine a scenario in which Mother and Father Holmes had intentionally misled the boys about their background. What is more likely: Sherlock Holmes made it up, as a lark, and to appease Watson with a few crumbs to put in his scribblings. I guess it depends on one's interpretation of SH's character. We know he is fully capable of assuming disguises and telling tales in pursuit of a case. It's entirely possible then that he continued such embroidery into his personal life with Watson, just for amusement, or to throw his friend off the scent. Watson hero-worships his friend and his stories are intended to be laudatory about the methods of his exceptional friend. Watson is far more likely to be impressed by a flatmate who is the scion of aristocrats and artists than one who, say, had an alcoholic father who deserted the family, leaving his mother to scrape by taking in washing and running a boarding house in Clapham. Dr. Watson is a Romantic, and SH, a born actor, plays to his audience. That's my interpretation. I think the truth is that Conan Doyle just threw in some random bits and pieces and moved on. He didn't care about Sherlock Holmes an iota as much as his readers do. He'd no doubt be gobsmacked at the worldwide industry in Sherlock Holmes that remains vital nearly 100 years since his death, or that entire doctoral theses have been written about "Sherlock Holmes: His Origins in the French Impressionist Movement". True fundamentalists take every single word on every single page as Holy Writ. If Sherlock Holmes said it or did it or said he did it, it must be true . . .even if there are no corroborating details at all.
  16. The Gypsy childhood was Baring-Gould's own invention, to explain why the sons of 'landed squires' and descended from French artists on the maternal side have come to have the adult professions they do. If their ancestors had an estate equivalent to Downton Abbey, where is it? If Sherlock is an aristocrat, why does he have to share digs on Baker Street? Conan-Doyle provided almost no background information on his signature detective because he just wasn't that interested to. Holmes was a moneymaker , and the case at hand is what most people wanted to read. But the little breadcrumbs Sir Arthur strew here and there have proved irresistible for Sherlockians to weave a life narrative from, and Mr. B-G is 'the' preeminent Sherlockian. He's their Moses. 😛
  17. According to preeminent Sherlock scholar, William S. Baring-Gould, Mycroft's standing as the firstborn son is inherent in his singular name. The Holmeses were descended from 'landed squires' (Mr. B-G favors Yorkshire). "Croft" is a Northern name (Northumbria-Scotland, particularly) for 'homestead'/cottage/family house. "My + Croft' seems to designate that Big Myc was born the heir of the family. However, the Holmeses appear to have become 'genteel poor' having lost the family croft, lands and wealth. Holmes pere (Siger?) had a great wanderlust, and raised his family on the move throughout Europe all through the boys' childhoods. A bohemian, continental and adventurous upbringing, fertile fuel for a future consulting detective and a future super spy--an international outlook and exposure to many foreign languages and customs, at which both Holmes boys excel. Mycroft has a comprehensive world view thanks to this singular childhood, but discovered that he much prefers a predictable, comfortable routine. Having had more than enough of being forced to be constantly on the move like a rolling stone as a child, as an adult, Big Myc proposes to move as little as possible. Sherlock's restless energy continues into adulthood. He likes his domesticity at Baker Street, but has to break it up with frequent adventures away from home. Mycroft would never sleep rough. He'd have great difficulty getting up from the ground. With no family estates to inherit, and with a natural aptitude for government service and intrigue, M found his niche in Her Majesty's secret service.
  18. Herl, The other night I re-watched Murder by Decree (1979). I like it on the whole, but I have a few quibbles. The 'frightened psychic' character, Robert Lees (played by Donald Sutherland, looking like a more demented Willy Wonka) is entirely out of place. Holmes visits with him several times and even gives credence to what this man is saying. Lees is sincere (and apparently, a real psychic), but in the early going, he certainly seems like he could be a suspect. I just don't get this silly part being stuck in, and it wasn't worthy of Sutherland's stature, either. James Mason is quite delightful as a mature Doctor Watson. I think he hits the esprit of the character perfectly, albeit he's a lot older than his Holmes. Christopher Plummer, who played Captain von Trapp in a wolfish and vaguely leering manner that is unsettling, is here, as the famously misanthropic Holmes, so twinkly and good-humored. It's quite startling. This Holmes is positively cuddly! But really, the Inverness cape and deerstalker *at the opera*, Bob Clark? Sherlock would never be so gauche. Excellent job of playing 'the Chimney sweep' though--one of SH's favorite disguises.
  19. I requested my absentee ballot back in August, when Trump was threatening to dismantle the Post Office and received it the first week in October. I mailed it on October 6 and via TrackMyVote.com, I saw that it was processed by my board of elections on October 13th. For the last 2-3 weeks, I have received *daily* multiple texts of 'BALLOT NOT RECEIVED!' and also flyers in my mailbox proclaiming same. (Addressed to me OR 'Current Occupant', lol). Still, if I were a senior citizen with memory issues, these would be upsetting because I might think they were real. I have been voting absentee regularly for about 10 years now. My work schedule makes it challenging to get to the polls and my precinct has moved 3 times since then. I have NEVER received any 'reminders' like this about my non-counted ballot before, never mind several a a week over the period of weeks. I ignore everything and pitch/delete. The stench of desperation from both sides is sickening . . .but bullying citizens like this is inexcusable. We do not live in a state-controlled regime but it's moving that way. The Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves.
  20. From a very interesting blog page: https://bakerstreet.fandom.com/wiki/St_Bartholomew's_Hospital 'Barts' is the oldest hospital in London and the oldest in the United Kingdom which still occupies its original site. Standing in the same spot since 1123! Dr. Watson gives it its informal moniker on the first page of ASiS, recounting the fateful day he met Sherlock Holmes. Seems like the 'St' (no period) is bestowed by civilians while medical professionals 'in the know', particularly ones who work or have worked there drop it. No apostrophe, either. Americans apparently like to overpunctuate, where Britons do not. Never any period at the end of an honorific like 'Mr' or 'St'. This looks unfinished to my Yank eye, and I confess, as an English teacher the 'Barts' bothers me, because it 'should' be in, but it's one of those charming idiosyncrasies that a city as old as London must be rife with. On the very day that I had come to this conclusion, I was standing at the Criterion Bar, when some one tapped me on the shoulder, and turning round I recognized young Stamford, who had been a dresser under me at Barts. As to Molly's position, I think in the beginning, when she was only intended to be a comic relief character in a couple of scenes in the first episode, they were content to call her a lab assistant. She and Sherlock have a pre-existing acquaintance, seeing as she allows him access to the morgue to flog unsuspecting bodies. In the next episode, he's exploiting her again to give him access to the two dead men with tattoos on their feet. By the time we get to the Reichenbach Fall, Sherlock is asking Molly for an incredibly huge, and possibly career-ending favor, if she's detected--not only has she altered official medical and legal records, but she's actively complicit in the abuse of a corpse, at the very least. What kind of strings did she have to pull to obtain a body that resembled Sherlock enough at a distance, and with his body type to dress in his clothes and toss out of an upper-storey window? That's a bit beyond the purview of a mere lab assistant, meaning that she must have the authority to have access to all this stuff and be able to direct staff. Molly downplays her accomplishments and hides her competitiveness, but we saw the inner heart of 'Dr Hooper' in 'The Abominable Bride'. Molly hides her light under a bushel so much, it didn't really occur to anyone before then that she is a doctor. So, with an M.D. in forensic medicine, she is elevated to a junior staff pathologist, qualified to conduct postmortems on her own, reporting to the head of the department. She's a bit young still to have full charge of somewhere like Barts; it's likely her senior supervisor has a 'Sir' before his name. But if she's been a qualified pathologist for 10 years, with experience at such an esteemed hospital, I think she'd be ready to be promoted. If she relocated to a rural county, she could be 'the' pathologist for the entire district. If she's as ambitious as her 'Bride' alter ego was, I think she'd go for it, and she wouldn't have to pretend to be a man, either.
  21. I don't really have that difficulty . . it seems that Molly lives for her work mostly and spends the majority of her time in the lab. She does not seem plugged into the London social scene. Not for lack of trying, she's not been able to get a relationship to stick. She likes the gang that congregates around Sherlock, but not intimately. She is only connected to the likes of John, Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson through working with Sherlock at St. Barts, and they aren't super close. We hear nothing about Molly's family, so I always envisioned her as a transplant to London from elsewhere--for university and medical school and then she just stayed on after getting a good job in her field. The morgue, her flat and her cat--that's what she's got in London, a city which can be exciting but also is full of some pretty bitter memories for Molly. She did date 'Jim from IT' . . then there was the failed relationship with 'Tom'. She might be open to a fresh start in another city, particularly if it entails a promotion. As it stands at St. Barts, she's very junior but she might get more responsibility in a smaller jurisdiction. DCI Vera Stanhope up in Newcastle seems to run through pathologists at a clip, lol.
  22. Presumably even though you had fond memories of your high school crush, and you could think of him with nostalgia, you weren't nursing hopes that you and he would get together eventually, which allowed you to develop a relationship with your husband. Molly's fixation on Sherlock is more than a crush; she's so obsessed by him that she finds a man as close to his identical image that she can--this was subconsciously done, because she seems oblivious to how much Tom apes Sherlock in his appearance, even though it's obvious to everyone else, even Sherlock himself. Molly thinks she's 'moved on' but she winds up finding Tom unsatisfactory because he is 'not' Sherlock, despite all her efforts to make him into an SH-substitute. One of my favorite bits in my favorite episode is the 'Christmas Drinkies' portion in which Molly is humiliated in front of all her and Sherl's mutual friends when he mocks her attempts to be alluring. He seems to not realize that all her efforts are for his benefit until he opens her Christmas gift . . a little disingenuous on the part of Mofftiss because Sherl in other places is very aware of Molly's susceptibility to his . .er, charms, and exploits it shamelessly to get cooperation out of her . .complimenting her hairstyle for example. He is very cruelly dismissive of her other attributes, in their very first interaction and in this drinkies scene--really, one of Sherlock's going for the jugular moments--and she calls him out on it. But even after that humiliation, and, adding insult to injury, the revelation that Sherlock has had intimate knowledge of another woman (implied) based on his familiarity with 'not her face', she still nurses that crazy passion for her elusive crush object who has been quite frankly abusive. I think things between them changed a bit after Reichenbach . . maybe Molly assumed that such loyalty would be rewarded when Sherl came back . . and she was disappointed again, hence, Tom. I think Mols could move on, but it might require removing herself from SH's orbit since he's like her drug. I like the idea of her with Lestrade, but that would still have her working very closely with Sherl. And a harried Inspector with the Met is going to have to work too much. Perhaps our Molly will take a Home Office transfer to Northumberland and meet a nice, uncomplicated Northern bloke. Someone not into the sciences or police work. Then her all-encompassing crush on Sherlock Holmes could recede to a safe distance.
  23. One of the highlights of 'The Empty Hearse' episode is when Molly joins Sherlock for the day on his investigation into 'Jack the Ripper'. Molly comports herself very well as the Watson stand-in, even stirring Sherl's jealousy a bit when she exercises her forensic acumen which is a bit superior to his, seeing as she is a forensic pathologist. Molly earns herself an invitation to the chippie, which she does not accept, on account of Tom waiting at home, but as the two part, she cries while watching Sherlock walk away. Poor Tom never stood a chance; he was only the Sherlock substitute. For SH, of course, there can be no substitutes. For a highly competent professional woman, Molly was like a besotted junior high school girl around Sherl. I think the events of S4 did finally grow Molly up in terms of her feelings for Sherlock. She loses the hero worship once she recognizes how he has manipulated her since they met. Could a collegial friendship survive between them after what he has put her, and himself (and John) through? Unclear. I don't think it will ever be the same between Sherlock and any of the people in his life after S4. Molly might have to transfer hospitals, if seeing Sherlock on a daily basis becomes too painful. For a woman who made her living cutting up dead people, Molly was a refreshingly innocent spirit, with an intrinsic girlish optimism. She's lost that innocence and optimism and is now going to be a lot more cynical and cautious going forward. One thinks, not just with Sherl, but with everyone. She will be examining this unhealthy romantic fixation on an elusive man who keeps hurting her and questioning her own judgement . . but somewhere deep inside, I think she will always carry the torch for him. Will she end up spending her life alone, since she can't have him and he's ruined all other men for her? I hope not, but it seems more likely than her being able to find a man who eclipses SH in her heart.
  24. Lots of good commentary here. Notwithstanding that 'A Scandal in Belgravia' is my favorite episode . . . it's hard for me to see what Mofftiss turned Irene Adler into. I am a devoted stan of the original Sherlock-Irene ship first launched in "A Scandal in Bohemia". The Woman that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote is the Woman I would want for Holmes in any era. She is daring for her time, in that she is a woman on her own in a time dominated by men. She makes her own way as an artist of a very high caliber. She defies convention, as Sherlock himself does--the stifling convention of the Victorian era that had very narrow parameters of behavior for a female. Living outside the protection (ie, under the control) of a man as Irene does gets her labeled 'an adventuress'--code for a lady of lax moral behavior. The Woman takes a chance on love with an undeserving, brutal man, and fearing for her safety, she takes measures that could be construed as blackmail. But she's not doing it for money or for kicks, rather self-preservation. As long as she has possession of the compromising photograph that she safeguards, no harm will come to her. BBC's Irene is a lot more mercenary. She sells sex. She sells information. She works for Moriarty and she does it for the thrill of being bad as much as for the financial rewards. She's exciting--but she's not trustworthy, and she's not worthy of Sherlock, seeing as she is absolutely corrupted. The darkness in her speaks to Sherlock's own dark side--she represents what he might have become, if he'd decided to not be on the side of the angels. The original Adler is a refined and loyal, loving person who is resourceful enough to best Sherlock Holmes at his own game (twice). She was badly used by a bad man, but she is not herself bad, just bold enough to save herself. Also, Sherlock Holmes is the one guilty of criminal acts where she is concerned, not she--after all, he breaks into her home on more than one occasion and induces panic by having Watson throw a homemade smoke bomb into the street. A number of felonies. Adler is only guilty of wanting to protect her good name and her life from a powerful man who could easily have her killed. Her brains and courage, as much as her beauty and artistic accomplishment impress SH deeply, probably more. For him she is 'the One'--or as close as he ever comes to it. These two are easy to ship, and legend has it that SH and Adler meet again circa 1891 and make a child together. Works for me! Dr. Watson writes of The Woman as if he remains forever more than a little jealous of her--the one Woman who matched wits with SH and won, and that, for Sherlock Holmes is foreplay that endures forever. Modern Irene is very problematic as a partner for SH. She might stir his loins (if we can Go There)--but he'd never be able to trust her. He saves her life, but the prospect of her reverting to her old habits would be just too strong to ignore. Molly would be a much better match in terms of an actual day-to-day domestic arrangement, BUT whereas she's got a grande passion for Sherlock, I think he regards her as more like a little sister/assistant/whipping post. Essentially, Molly is Watson in female form. He relies on her and must grudgingly respect her skills to have entrusted her with the whole Reichenbach deception. She is loyal and he prizes that highly. Does he have the hots for her? . . . I have to say no, manifestly not. What he feels for her is platonic. As a Watson stand-in, they make a good team, professionally--and Molly is his equal in chemistry, which certainly has its uses. But Sherl would never be able to give Molly what she craves: a normal and fulfilling love life. For that, she needs to look at Greg. Lestrade is totally into her, and he's available in all senses, which Sherlock never will be .. it's not the way he's wired. The Sherlolly fan vids are really cute and seem to focus on Sherlock constantly getting Molly with child. I just can't go there with these two .. Sherlock would find such domesticity stifling and he would take it out on her and start being a butthead again. Molly deserves a more fully-rounded, emotionally adjusted man who is drama-free--Lestrade. Something in Molly is drawn to exactly those qualities in Sherl that make her the most unhappy. She's got a deep masochistic streak, does our Molly. Sherlock is not the guy to give her peace of mind or a fulfilling family life. She really needs to give the Inspector a ride on her merry-go-round. I think that would cure her of needing Sherl's romantic attentions and she could focus on being his friend/Watson stand-in. Sherlock likes working with her and isn't adverse to going out for chips . . but he would never submit to being her ''boyfriend". She's got to accept this if she wants a happy life.
  25. That would age anybody, yeah! Not to mention the shock of Holmes suddenly appearing from the dead. SH underestimated the effect that would have on a grieving friend. He might have given Watson a heart attack. Edward Hardwicke's Watson was considerably more forgiving than Martin Freeman's. When we reconvene with the RDJ-JL pair, I imagine some fisticuffs will ensue.
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