An Insane Doctor, A Hysterical Herbalist, and Murder in a Magician’s Mansion + A Possible Persuasion Reference?

Ready for any case

So this year’s theme is “mysteries” in honor of Agatha Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles turning 100 years old. To really have this theme be present I decided to review a mystery every month…somehow and ideally connecting it to Jane Austen.

Mystery, you say?

In January, I wasn’t sure what to do when I received a goblin in my mailbox.

It turned out to be a a mysterious package from The Mysterious Package Company

Ah, mysterious

So the last package seemed to be saying that there is something wrong with 27 East Heath Road

Haunted house!

The architect, Henry Griggs, had been going crazy trying to finish building the house, after his wife died-using all his money. He even felt as if something was there making him continue, something altering his plans, something controlling him.

The house was almost complete, but Griggs has descended into some kind of madness.

“The madness in the walls must not escape…I fear I shall be gone altogether…I fear harm may come to her [Lizzy]  if she is not sent to safety.”

He ends up putting his daughter in an orphanage and Griggs disappears, presumed dead.

Or is it?!

This package contained a lot of items and goes on a bit:

  • 1 Deed
  • 1 Letter from Dr. Jack S. Aigner
  • 4 Small Memorandum/ Doctor’s notes from Dr. William Elliot
  • Arsenic Druggist Note
  • A Page from Baldwin’s Physician’s Guide
  • 1 Large Memorandum/ Doctor’s notes from Dr. William Elliot
  • Dr. Elliott’s Tincture Receipt
  • 1 Poster for The Great Goodyear
  • 1 Great Goodyear flip book that showcases two of his illusions
  • Garden Diary of Héléne Ashworth
  • Elise Face Cosmetiques Label
  • Newspaper Clipping
  • A page from Charles Dickens’ The Chimes

So first of all, I saw Dr. Walter Elliott on the letters:

And as a Jane Austen fan my mind went:

This is 1888, I am going to believe this is Mr. Elliot’s great or great-great grandson, named after Sir Walter. I mean I don’t know if he married Mrs. Clay, but I do know that eventually he would have to secure his family line and inheritance.

So Dr. Walter Elliot, descendent of Mr. Elliot, has purchased 27 East Heath Road and everything inside the building for £420 sterling. I think he will regret this…

So Dr. Elliot has a conservatory and grows herbs but according to his former instructor Dr. Jack S. Aigner, Dr. Elliot is sensitive, insecure of whether or not he is a good doctor, creates different tonics and medicines; AND medicates/tests himself. Uh, oh. Oh no, that does not sound good.

Dr. Aiger mentions the room he is using to treat patients and that it holds a mirror, but it is placed strange on the wrong wall. It should be behind the patient, not in front, but it will be good if he wants to try self-hypnosis. There is a young girl he is trying to help that is an interesting case. Hmm…could it be Elizabeth Griggs?

Then we have Dr. Elliot’s notes on the patient, although not all of them. He mysteriously chose to remove the notes in his patient from September 1889-October 1891, us picking it up in October 1891.

His patient is interesting…she wants to be in the room alone and when he stepped out as she said she heard footfalls in hallway, she moved the flowers in the office, why?

She likes the tincture he gave her, which pleases him as he is really getting the use out of his conservatory.

The next notes are from February 1889, and we are given that the name is on Beth Siggers 15 years old. The DOB is inked out, but we know it is 1874. Could this be Elizabeth Griggs? Just her name changed so the Doctor doesn’t connect it to the architect if the house?

Hmm…

Beth comes to see Dr. Elliot because she is suffering headaches and shortness of breath, but when she came in she would not sit, instead touching and knocking into everything-walls, tables, the mirror, etc. Searching…but for what? He thinks she faked the illness but why? He gives her some tincture and she leaves.

Weird…

March 1889

Beth continues to return to the Doctor’s office, but every time she has a different ailment. Obviously she is suffering from a mental issue rather than a physical ones, but what and why?

She returns another time and says she left her bag behind, but when he finds her he sees she isn’t in the reception area but on the main staircase as she got “turned around”. Strange behavior, the doctor prescribes tonic.

Hmmm…

April 1889

She seems much better, although she is fixated on the mirror. The doctor looked at it and thought he saw a face in it, but that is just nonsense. He gives her 1/2 bottle of tonic.

She returns later complaining the tonic is too strong, and Dr. Elliot watered it down and 1/2 the dose-1/4 tonic. It’s strange, he notices the hallway door is ajar. That keeps happening every time Beth comes to his office.

Spooky…

May 1889

Beth returns, upset and acting strange: pulse elevated and pupils dilated. Dr. Elliot thinks it is just “spring fever” and gives previous mixture and dosage.

Hmm…strange

June 1889

Beth has been by again and Dr. Eliot thinks he saw a figure in the mirror, again. He has always hated the way the mirror was fixed in the wall. He searches, but there is nothing there. Dr. Elliot begins to worry that maybe the tincture he took and tested on himself might be giving him hallucinations.

July 1889

Dr. Elliot has decided to no longer see Beth. He tells her and later that evening he discovers she has hid in the parlour…weird why? She begs him to let her come back and he agrees for one more time.

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!! Something is wrong with this girl-you need to get way from her.

January 1892

Dr. Elliot feels watched and puzzles over the patient. Maybe he should stop seeing her, nothing seems to be changing.

YES!!! STOP SEEING HER SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT!! But of course he won’t listen. He will continue and things are going to go wrong.

February 1892

Things are getting worse. After Beth comes poking on walls, knocking here and there, looking in corners, seeing things that aren’t there, Dr. Elliot too starts to feel as if there are spirits, ghosts, or something in the house. He tries to talk himself out of it but wonders.

He continues his experiments and taking the tincture. Oh no Dr. Elliot, don’t test on yourself!

In another set of letters from February 1892 to Jack, Dr. Elliot mentions a page with ciphers from Baldwin’s Physcian’s Guide. The page is included with these lines underlined:

“…what can be gained from inclusive speculation on the subject?”

“…physiognomy is mere judgement, assumption, and, in some cases, coincidence.”

On the back is an image that looks out of the Grimm texts and has some strange ciphers on it.

In his letter he has figured out what two of the symbols mean, an E & R.

Meanwhile, Griggs’ daughter, Beth, continues to see the doctor and every visit something odd happens. The flowers espechially always seem to be moved.

Beth keeps talking about something she sees under hypnosis so Dr. Elliot decides to test it and takes extra tincture.

Don’t Do it!!! Stop!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

There is a receipt for his tincture and on the back it says:

“You’ve got the right bottle, doctor.” With a bunch of symbols.

DON’T DO IT!!!!!

Dr. Elliot gets some cramps but about 30 mins in, he sees a figure in the mirror, or looking to come out of the mirror…

He leans toward the mirror and the figure was gone. He searched the house for it and found the dispensary unlocked, even though he always locks it.

He decides to increase the dose and do it again, adding to his letter later-he does and it says:

“I see it! It comes…”

And that is the end of Dr. Elliot. I’m assuming he died. Poor guy, you shouldn’t have tested on yourself-you shouldn’t have delved into the unknown, espechially on your own.

You’re crazy!
Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

There is no more correspondence, we then switch to the second half of the package.

Time to get on the case!

The next item in the package is the garden diary of Héléne Ashworth.

June 1892

The house has been sold to the Great Goodyear, Claude Goodyear, and his muse, assistant, and wife Héléne Ashworth. The name sounds familiar, but I’m not sure why.

Where have I read or seen that name before?

Their friend, Lilibeth, let them know about 27 East Heath Road becoming available after the doctor died. It seems he accidentally took too much of his medicine, although some whisper it was a suicide.

Claude loves the room with the mirror in it, as it can help him to practice his tricks and Héléne loves having the conservatory as she is a gardener. She has taken inventory about the plants and discovered hemlock. Hemlock? Why would a doctor need that?

Strange…

Claude jokes about ghosts in the walls as the house does make noise, but Héléne is not afraid. She loves her new house.

Ghosts?

July 1893

Héléne’s garden is doing well except for the calla lilies and forget-me-nots she planted. Instead the hyacinth, lavender, and dragonwort are doing extremely well-even though she did not plant them. There is no way Claude did so where did they come from?

At 27 East Heath Road.

Héléne believes in the language of flowers and these ones that mysteriously appeared mean constancy, devotion, and twice twisted. Hmm…maybe it means something twice twisted in the house? Devoted to it?

Hmm…

Let’s see-hemlock was poisonous, are these too? Let me look…yes, hyacinth bulbs are poisonous and touching them causes skin irritation. So lavender is used in food and perfumes so it is okay to take, but it can cause constipation, headache, and skin irritation in some people. Dragonwort is used to stop bleeding. So again, doesn’t seem too bad.

Hmmm…

There are a lot of strange herbs Héléne doesn’t know growing as well. She also discovers two more letters of the cipher-M & Y.

Another entry:

Claude is doing extremely well and even gets to perform at the famous Egyptian Hall. Héléne is so excited to perform, but Claude wants her to quit now that they are married. Hmmm…

Meanwhile, Héléne feels watched in the house. She wants to mention it to her husband, but decides not to worry him before a big show. On a sad note all the Calla lilies died, just like their hopes for a baby.

May 1895

Héléne is no longer allowed to perform, Claude thinking that is what caused them to have a miscarriage. Try as she might the yellow hyacinth (jealousy) keeps growing, and Héléne is convinced there is a curse on this house-a curse keeping a cild from being born, her nice and kind flowers from growing, and the hyacinth strong.

Later entry:

Héléne finds more and more deadly plants-nightshade and monkshood. She also sees the gruesome figure from her nightmares. She tries to tell her husband but he doesn’t listen, saying the illusions have turned her head.

June 1895

Claude has refused two engagements and is very upset. He is convinced spies are coming into the halls and watching/copying his ideas. He continues to practice in the room with the mirror and won’t let anyone into it, not even Héléne.

Héléne is very hurt and upset as she and Claude grow farther and farther apart. Sometimes Héléne pus on the old costumes and performs in front of the plants-wishing she could still be on the stage.

Lilibet has grown worried about Héléne and has taken up spiritualism and becoming a very famous medium. Lilibet and Héléne have known each other since girlhood and Héléne decides to throw a get together and help Lilibet. I’m starting to think Lilibet is Elizabeth “Beth” Griggs. Maybe Héléne was in the orphanage? I’ll check. The records say she is, ah “…the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life” (A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) is Elizabeth Griggs.

And it is “…our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.” (A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Mystery, you say?

September 1895

Liliibet otherwise known as Mrs. Alizbeta Divak has asked Hélene to join in. Helene has created the character Madame Solandra, wears black bombazine, and pale makeup that comes from the Elise makeup company. There is a label from Elise Cosmetiques and it has a message on the back:

“YOU THINK TO HIDE YOURSELF FROM ME?”

Followed by the ciphers.

Claude does not approve of spiritualism, Helene has to hide it from him.

November 1896

They held the seance but things did not go as planned, A real spirit came from the mirror shouting at them “interlopers! Be gone!”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

When Héléne did the automatic writing it was if someone else was controlling her. Helene faints and when she awakens, it is Lilibet giving her smelling salts.

Oh no, the smelling salts were poisoned with the Doctor’s medicine.

Nooo

Lilibet preetends it didn’t happen, but Héléne knows it was real. She however feels very sick.

December 1896

Helene is still sick and supposed to be in bed, but has found a strange hidden doorway and secret hidden rooms in the house  But is it real? She is fading in and out and unsure.

But no! She found it! She has found a secret door in the conservatory, as soon as she is stronger she will investigate it!

Time to get on the case!

January 1897

Helene’s passage is a strange one. She believes the phantom is walking the house and Claude has all but disappeared. Is there a spirit in her home? A man? Or is her husband gaslighting her?

Gaslight (1944)

And all her flowers were ripped up? Why would the phantom want to do that?Why put dirt on her hands after?

Claude is yelling and locking Helene in her room refusing Lilibet to come in. But she has found a way out. She will follow the wallpaper and escape that way…

That is the last entry in the journal.

This felt a lot like The Yellow Wallpaper, the short story where the lady goes mad and her husband locks her up (or did her husband lock her up and then she went mad?)

Hmmm…is there a phantom or just an evil husband?

Gaslight (1944)

Next we have a newspaper clipping “Murder at the Mad Magician’s Mansion”. 

The wife of The Great Goodyear, Claude Goodyear, has been found dead in her home, found by her husband when he returned from performing.

Héléne’s face was frozen in terror and the inquest found that she had been poisoned-even though she was alone in the house and it was locked up tight. But by who? And how?

Of course authorities looked at the husband first, but it was impossible for him to slip away as he was performing and his every moment had witnesses.

Hmmm…

Her body was strangely found, it looked as if she was trying to crawl out of a small under-stairs cupboard with her face frozen, and hair turned white.

It appears Claude has lost his mind at his wife’s death. He warns people of a gruesome phantom moving in his house, warning people to stay far away.

After two incidents, one of him claiming a police constable to be a monster, he was relocated to the Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Aw, that’s sad.

And last a page ripped out of Charles Dicken’s The Chimes with the following words underlined:

“Monsters uncouth and wild, arise in premature, imperfect resurrection; the several parts and shapes of different things are joined and mixed by chance..”

“Haunt and hunt him…”

“Bleak his slumbers…”

“he saw this WITH Goblin sight…”

“…saw these creatures, not only among sleeping men but waking also…”

There are more marks of the secret language written in the margin.

Hmmm…

I have been working on decoding it, and I think I’ve figures out a few letters based on what they gave me and just common sense of filling in the blanks, but there are some I am just not sure of.

Hmm…

So I am getting a Phantom of the Opera vibe from this (I love The Phantom of the Opera)

So in the original story of The Phantom of the Opera, one of Erik’s (the phantom’s) many talents was architecture and he builds the opera house-creating his secret home and all the passages, using the mirror as a door to bring Christine to his lair.

I think Henry Griggs is alive! And living in the house he built, probably a secret passage in the mirror. I’m just not sure if he is killing people because he us possessed by something or because he thinks if he does he will have his house back. I’ll have to wait and see.

Hmmm…

A lot of stuff came in this package and I did my best to try and put it all in one picture:

For more from The Mysterious Package Company, go to A Goblin in My Mailbox

For more insane doctors, go to Mr. Hyde Versus the Werewolf: Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

For more Persuasion, go to The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

For more mysteries, go to I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

For more ghosts, go to North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley)

An Invisible Man Can Rule the World. Nobody Will See Him Come, Nobody Will See Him Go…He Can Rob, and Wreck, and Kill!: The Invisible Man (1933)

 

An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come, nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob, and wreck, and kill!

Choosing a movie to open and close is hard-very, very hard. My drama teacher always told us the opening, before intermission, after intermission, and the closing are the most important-basically the opening and closing are what people remember. If you goof, make a mistake, or something doesn’t quite go right-they will forgive. As long as the begining is good and the end is powerful. That’s a lot of pressure.

Hmmm…

I was very unsure what to do-

Hmmm….

But then I had an idea. I read the book The Invisible Man and did not like it. I had never seen the film-in fact it is the only classic Universal Film I have yet to review.

Idea!

That being the case, it is the perfect one to end on. Will it be as good as the other classic films? Will it be better than the book? Will it be worse? Hmmm…?

On with the review!

When screenwriter R.C. Sherriff came to Hollywood to write this film, he asked the staff at Universal for a copy of the H.G. Wells novel he was supposed to be adapting. They didn’t have one; all they had were 14 “treatments” done by previous writers on the project, including one set in Czarist Russia and another set on Mars. Sherriff eventually found a copy of the novel in a secondhand bookstore, read it, thought it would make an excellent picture as it stood, and wrote a script that was a closer adaptation of the book.

What?

But there is one thing they did to help-they gave him a girlfriend. Having a girlfriend is very important to this character who otherwise is crazy, cruel, maniacal, evil, etc. The girlfriend humanizes him-when they are together we see there is more to him-another softer side, he isn’t just a monster.

So everyone wanted Boris Karloff to play the lead-but he turned it down as the character isn’t really on screen. The director overheard Claude Rains auditioning for another part and thought he was perfect. Rains had never been in a film before this, only stage acting, and did it perfectly as his voice was clear-even in all the costuming.

So let’s do the review:

A stranger arrives in the snow to the small village of Iping. All stop when they see how strange he looks-dressed in much heavier clothing than one would even in the cold. He wants a room.

They are more of a summer place, but agree to give him a room to sleep and an extra room-for his experiments.

The townspeople are wary of him-after all what innocent person covers themselves and tries to obscure thier identity. When the owner’s wife brings Griffin his dinner she sees that half of Griffin’s face is GONE!!

They didn’t have the technology we have today, so in order to make Rains invisible they dressed him in a full black bodysuit and placed him in front of a black screen.

Elsewhere, Dr. Cranley (Henry Travers) is woking in his laboratory. Dr. Cranely is Griffin’s mentor and his daughter Flora (Gloria Stuart) was engaged to him. Both are puzzled by his disappearance, and Flora is extremely worried about him, as she hasn’t heard from him in over a month. Dr. Arthur Kemp-Griffin’s friend and the other worker in Dr. Cranely’s lab, has also had zero word. And because Griffin was always working in secret, none know even what he was doing, so no clues where to find him.

A week later, Griffin is still at the inn working trying to find his way “back”. The only one who goes into the rooms is Jenny, the innkeeper’s wife. She doesn’t want Grifffin here-she wants him gone as his rooms are a mess, he is incredibly mean, and just creepy.

When they try to get him out, Griffin refuses and tosses the innkeeper down the stairs. They call the police. Constable Jaffers (E.E. Clive) comes to arrest him, but then Griffin does what no one expected.

Griffin attacks the men guarding the door and then takes off.

So this where I have a problem in the book. All the other classic monsters had something that made you feel for them. The Phantom? Thrown out because disfigured, abused, mistreated, used, and people have tried to kill him because he is ugly. Finds a girl who he thinks loves him but doesn’t care a fig about him-you understand why he goes all crazy. Dr. Frankenstein wants to help humanity, believes he knows better than God, but learns his harsh lesson. His monster is just trying t make it but people are afraid and trying to kill him. In Bride of Frankenstein? Frankenstein wants to live his life but blackmailed into creating another monster. Frankenstein’s monster just wants love. The Mummy is crazy and bad, but his main goal is to bring his love back to life. Dracula is an evil monster, but very charming. The Wolf man, poor guy just trying to reconnect with his dad, grieve his brother, and take over family business-wrong place wrong time. The Creature from the Black Lagoon? Just wants love.

Griffin is not charming, he’s not trying to help people, he’s not looking for love. He’s a wackadoo murderer-evil, insane, cold, etc.

Dr. Cranely and Kemp go through Griffin’s stuff to try and find clues to where he is. They do find a list of drugs, one being monocaine, which destroys everything and turns whatever creature that gets into it-insane.

You’re crazy!
Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

Griffin goes to Kemp as he needs help. He threatens him and blackmails him into being his errand boy. Griffin and Kemp discuss what happened and Griffin tells him he started working his experiments five years ago. He threatens Kemp to get his notes for him so that he can create the antidote.

The Chief Detective starts investigating and questioning people. Meanwhile, Kemp and Griffin head to the inn to get the notes. Griffin gets his stuff and attacks the Detective, killing him. This causes more panic and hysteria.

The police murder has lit a fire under them and they begin searching for Griffin. They start looking 20 miles in all directions and more and more volunteers join in. At 10:30pm  radio broadcast goes out and warns everyone that it isn’t a hoax. A reward for £1000.00 is offered.

Dr. Kemp is worried and calls Dr. Cranely to tell him about Griffin and warns him that Griffin has gone crazy. Dr. Cranely tells Kemp to take care to keep him there and that he will be there the next day. Kemp calls the police to tell them Griffin is in his house. Griffin becomes enraged at him for telling in him.

Flora goes to see Griffin and here we have a shred of humanity as he softens toward her and we see a sliver of the man he was-the one Flora fell in love with. But then he is gone and only the crazed killer remains.

One who has created this invisibility and wants to auction it off to the highest bidder.

While they are talking the police arrive. Griffin escapes and flees, but not before he tells Kemp he will murder him at 10:00 pm. The police come up with a plan as to how they will catch him. They will use Kemp as bait, but Kemp doesn’t like that idea. He takes off in his car but Griffin is already waiting there. He ties him up and pushes Kemp and the car off the cliff.

Griffin stays in a barn that night and a farmer spots the hay moving and calls the police. They decide to burn down the barn and follow the Invisible Man’s footprints on the snow to take aim. He’s hit and as he does his body is revealed slowly.

I thought it was pretty good, but let’s be honest it wouldn’t be nearly as good if it wasn’t for Claude Rains.

The thing that is mindblowing is the special effects. Really good for 1933. So there we go I have reviewed all of the Universal Classic Monster Films!

There we go. All 31 posts finished! Yay!

I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Halloween!

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Mr. Hyde Versus the Werewolf: Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

For more Claude Rains, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

For more mad scientists, go to Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

I’m On a Boat

So today marks a very special day here at Jane Austen Runs My Life. It is our fifth anniversary of blogging!

Yay!

Thank you all who have been a part

So I was trying to think of something for the fifth year-the traditional gift being wood.

I thought and I thought…and I had nothing.

All I could think of is what Nick says in Gone Girl:

“There’s no good gift for wood.”

So I started doing another post and when I was looking through my pics and I saw this:


Persuasion

And it hit me! Boats are made out of wood! Why not give myself a boat for my anniversary.

I thought I could do a little boat like in The Phantom of the Opera

And I didn’t want one that would sink like in The Little Mermaid.

I want something strong and sturdy. Something that has the ability to wage through every storm, obstacle, or army navy that comes my way. I want Captain Wentworth’s boat.

And if you give the girl a boat, chances are, she’s going to want a captain to go with it. And not just any captain, oh no, I want this one:

Yep, I want him with his broodiness, good humor, and amazing writing skills/romantic heart. How can you resist such words?

I only have one reply:

*swoon*

So thanks for the past five years of awesomeness, and here’s to many more!

For more of my anniversary posts, go to Here’s to Another Year

For more Persuasion, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more anniversary celebrations, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

President of the “I Don’t Like Raoul Fanclub”

RaulStupidHead

So I really don’t like Raoul from The Phantom of the Opera.

I love the book The Phantom of the Opera.

But for me it is all about the Phantom, Erik

And one character I really do not like is Raoul.

Hate him

Now I’m going off the Raul in the book, I know they changed his character for the play, but I don’t really give a care about that. I like to stick with the original source material.

Raul is a pansy. I’m totally throwing that out there. He is a little wimp. He was raised by his aunts and older brother who catered to his every whim and never made him have to work for anything. Therefore he comes off a lot of time as sounding like a naive and silly little boy.

NO You Don’t

He and Christine knew each other as children, which I don’t think is a good idea to try and base a relationship on. I mean people change, they become different people. You can’t just walk into someone’s life and be like “I love you” outta nowhere like that.

Plus for a Mr. I love you so much, he sure doesn’t trust Christine Daaé. After she is spirited away by the Phantom (her own choice), Raul goes searching for her trying to find her. He goes to her old music teacher and companion Madame Valérius. She tells him that Christine has gone off with her music teacher, to study. At least that’s what she assumes, as she doesn’t even know where Christine is. And instead of Raul waiting to hear her side of the story or trusting her, he immediately thinks that she’s a slut.

“Oh what a miserable, little, insignificant, silly young man was M. le Vicomte de Chagny! thought Raoul furiously. And she, what a bold and d***able sly creature!” (pg. 87)

He’s just as bad as Christian in Moulin RougeI mean, yeah it doesn’t look good for her, but still when you truly love someone you trust and give them the benefit of the doubt. Especially someone who has never given you a reason to doubt. Jeez! Jerk!

Jerk

He then decides he is going to go out on the town and prove that he doesn’t need her and can do better. What a loser. Why would anyone want this guy?

How rude

I mean he is sooooo full of himself. Christine asks him to meet her at the ball and he does. She tries to tell him what is up, but he keeps interrupting her and going on about her infidelities. She decides to leave as he is being a blockhead.

hmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

Raul follows her and overhears her pitying Erik, the Phantom. She keeps saying poor Erik over and over. And you know what Raul does? He keeps going on about himself and how he’s the victim.

“Why was she pitying Erik when Raoul was so unhappy?” (pg. 97)

boohoo_zps058c9fe1

I don’t think the two are in actual “Love”, I always believed that they were playing at it. Mostly because they are so young and that Raul doesn’t really know what romantic love consists of.

“They kissed like a despairing brother and sister who has been smitten with a common loss and who meet to mourn a dead parent.” (pg. 108)

That does not sound like love to me.

This is how it ends in my mind.

PhantomoftheOpera&Raoul

For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

For more book-filled posts, go to Book Club Picks: The Secret Of Chimneys

Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

Day 20) T is for Translated: Choose a book that was Translated from one language to English

PhantomoftheOpera

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Yes, I know I said I wouldn’t talk about this book. However, as I was trying to think of books I like that were originally in another language, I couldn’t think of anything but this book and Jules Verne’s novels.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

I already reviewed two Verne books, so with nothing else coming to mind, I decided to review The Phantom of the Opera.

phantom of the opera underground lair water boat

Gaston Leroux studied to be a lawyer, but when his father died, he found himself a millionaire. He immediately quit school and went on a big spending/gambling spree losing everything.

tomorrowisanotherdaygonewiththewind

Afterwards, he began to work for a newspaper, doubling as a court reporter and a drama critic. As he toured the opera, ballets, plays, etc.; and heard different stories about what went on in the theaters, it gave him an idea.

ooh!

With that he published The Phantom of the Opera as a serial from 1909-1910, being translated and published in English in 1911. The story is told from the viewpoint of an interviewer as he researches his subject and tries to tell the history of this Phantom.

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Growing up I just loved this book so much. I used to check out the children’s version again and again; graduating to the unabridged when I grew older.

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So here I am going to do a slightly different post, I am going to focus on one character: the Phantom.

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I just love him:

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Erik is a wanderer. After being hurt by so many he no longer considers him as having an nationality or family.

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His pain originates from when he was a child and his own parents were too disgusted to see his “true form.”

“When my own father never saw me and when my mother, so as not to see me, made me a present of my first mask.” (pg. 130)

Aw, man.

Aw, man.

He is so often used to being considered as death, that he has even prepared him room as such. All in black and even sleeps in a coffin. How sad is that? Poor guy!

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But even in that ugliness and sadness there is beauty. He is a musical genius with a voice like no other.

“He heard a very captivating voice…Raoul had never heard anything more absolutely and heroically sweet, more gloriously insidious, more delicate, more powerful, in short, more irresistibly triumphant…nothing could describe the passion with which the voice sang…” (pg. 98)

Erik is very intelligent and has done many things before coming to the opera house and meeting Christine.

“You must not think, Raoul, that he [Erik] is simply a man who amuses himself by living underground. He does things that no man could do; he knows things which nobody in the world knows.” (pg. 135)

I mean he built THAT opera house and created numerous trap doors, spring sets, his own secret underground home. And that’s not the only thing he has created. He built palaces for Sultans and Kings; but always being betrayed by them as they want him dead so that they alone can posses his genius.

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One day the Phantom comes upon Christine and decides to help assist her to become a fantastic singer.

“From that time onward, the voice and I became great friends.” (pg. 116)

They spend years together as the Phantom puts his all into teaching her and helping her. Then one day Christine spots Raoul and tells the phantom all about seeing him. And the voice disappears. Christine is anxious and scared. She knows she is nothing without him, she will shrivel up into a has-been.

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The next day the Phantom comes and tells her he has to leave her.

“The voice was there, spoke to me with great sadness and told me plainly that, if I must bestow my heart on earth, there was nothing for the voice to do but go back to heaven.” (pg. 117)

You see, no threats. No harsh words. The Phantom would have simply backed off if she loved another. He would be heartbroken, but that would be the end of it. Except…

“I swore to the voice that you were no more than a brother to me nor ever would be and that my heart was incapable of any earthly love.” (pg. 117)

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You see that!!!! You see that!!! She purposely leads on the Phantom because she just wants to use him. She doesn’t love him, she doesn’t care for him, as she has stated before:

“[to Raoul] And that, dear, first revealed to me that I loved you.” (pg. 117)

you're evil

She knew, but she had a good thing and didn’t want to see it disappear. Now she tells Raoul that she “lied only because she thought she had no chance with Raoul.” But is that even the truth? She already admitted to playing the Phantom, she’s probably playing Raoul too. He’s rich and interested, and now she’s going to play the little helpless victim to catch him.

hate her

So you know what, I never feel sorry for her. She created this whole mess as she only cared about herself and not what her false declarations did to people. She almost kills hundreds because of her selfishness. I feel bad for the Phantom. Poor guy, who is completely crushed by her. He picked the wrong woman.

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Then the Phantom carries her off underground into his home.

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Now I admit, his carrying her off wasn’t the right thing to do. He should have asked her instead of just carrying her like that. But what does he do next? He confesses that he isn’t an angel or teacher but that he is the Phantom of the Opera, its architect, etc.

“He [Erik] feels me with horror and I do not hate him. How can I hate him Raoul? Think of Erik at my feet…he accuses himself, he curses himself, he implores my forgiveness!…He loves me! He lays at my feet an immense and tragic love…He has carried me off for love!” (pg. 125)

iLoveyou

He treats her wonderfully. He respects her as a thing of beauty and doesn’t harm her or touch her. And when she is upset and wants to leave?

“And, when I stood up, Raoul, and told him that I could only despise him if he did not, then and there, give me my liberty…he offered it…” (pg. 125)

See he isn’t a crazy killer or psychotic (yet). He loves her and respects her wishes. She’s the viper, she’s evil as she chooses to stay there even though she doesn’t love him, she just wants to use him.

“For he sang. And I listened…and stayed!” (pg. 125)

She falls asleep and then wakes up in a whole different room, properly freaked. BUT then spots a note left to her by the Phantom.

“My dear Christine, you need have no concern as to your fate. You have no better nor more respectful friend in the world than myself.” (pg. 126)

He just let her alone, as he sees her as the kindest and most divine woman; respecting her. He also purchases tons of things for her in order to make the place truly home.

How sweet!

How sweet!

But Christine is not happy. She wants out. She is angry with the Phantom, even though he has given her everything! All she wants is to see his face as “no honest man would wear a mask.” But that is the one place Erik won’t give.

No thank youhowaboutno

Then Erik mentions how most of her time with him will be musical practice. She is angry as he wants her to stay five days, then he will let her go again as she will either love him (hope) or pity him. But Christine is now upset that he won’t let her go now, but hey he offered you before.

She cannot make up her mind.

She cannot make up her mind.

The real issue Christine has with the Phantom is his skull-like face. This is what breaks her and makes her horrified and disgusted. She can’t leave well enough alone, and asks him to play for her, plotting her deception. When he is too worked up in the music she snatches the mask off.

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Now she thinks he is disgusting, and here is where he makes his first incredibly bad decision.

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He tells Christine that he can’t let her go. He knows that she sees him only as a monster, and if returned to the surface would tell others of the “monster”, causing them to be riled up, create a mob, and set out to kill him.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Christine, the little actress she is, starts playing to the areas he has been insecure. She tells him that he is genius, his music causes her to forget his looks. She even burns his mask to symbolize that she is “above” such things. In reality she is playing him  from every angle, earning his trust so that he is willing to believe she actually loves him and won’t harm him. Letting her go.

you're evil

Christine acts as if he is a true monster, but the Phantom has a compassionate heart. She asks if she can pretend to “be engaged”, playacting, with Raoul and the Phantom agrees.

“He said, ‘I trust you, Christine. M. de Chagny [Raoul] is in love with you and going abroad. Before he goes, I want him to be as happy as I am.” (pg. 134)

How can someone be unfeeling when they consider what their arch rival’s feelings?

How sweet!

How sweet!

Eventually, the Phantom figures out the truth, that this was all a set up and steals Christine away; that final act of betrayal being the straw that broke the camels back.

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I mean he really believed that someone had fallen in love with him.

“It is my wish…my wish to let her go; and she will come again…for she loves me!…All this will end in marriage…” (pg. 206)

He thinks his dream and true love is in his grasp!

“…Now I want to live like everybody else. I want a wife like everybody else and to take her out on Sundays. I have invented a mask that makes me look like anybody…All I have ever wanted was to be loved for myself…” (214)

The thing I really hate about the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is how the changed the relationship between Christine and the Phantom with her thinking if him as her father and making Raoul less of the pansy he was. But most of all they make the Phantom a total psychi and murderer. He doesn’t really kill people in the book, unless it is for self-preservation. We only witness three: two were out trying to get him, and the third he accidentally kills Raoul’s brother, who when searching for him falls into a trap. The Phantom really regrets having killed him. And he also does bring the chandelier down, which injures and kills. How many, we don’t know.

Phantom of the Opera chandelier

He then gives Christina an option. She can choose Raoul and the Opera house will be blown up (as Erik has hidden dynamite under the floor when he built it) or she can choose him and save everyone. I have to admit that forcing her to choose marrying him was not right or what she should do, but people who have been betrayed often do not think logically but just want to heart the person who hurt them.

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But in the end he let’s Christine go, because she finally gave him the one thing he has most wanted: companionship and love:

“I tell you I kissed her just like that, on her forehead…and she did not draw back her forehead from my lips! (pg. 247)

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Poor Erik!

“Poor, unhappy Erik! Shall we pity him? Shall we curse him? He asked only to be “some one,” like everybody else. But he was too ugly! And he had to hide his genius or use it to play tricks with, when, with an ordinary face, he would have been one of the most distinguished of mankind! He had a heart that could have held the empire of the world; and, in the end, he had to content himself with a cellar. Ah, yes, we must pity the opera ghost.” (pg. 259)

Leave me alone so I can cry over the death of my fictional characters

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 I think what resonates the most with this story is how relatable the Phantom was. Who of us hasn’t at one time hated how we looked?

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Had our heart broken:

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Been betrayed by someone we thought cared about us?

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Or felt we hadn’t received the recognition we deserved?

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What else can I say?

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Why yes I do!

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Starting in 2015, I decided to dress up “Jane Austen” in Halloween costumes. Check her out as the Bride of Frankenstein.

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Stupid Not to Read Jane Austen Quote

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

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For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to How to Meet the Perfect Guy

For more on Gaston Leroux, go to Fantom of the Opera

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Silverstein, go to The End by Silverstein

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Today’s carol is The First White Christmas from the claymation, The First Christmas:The Story of the First Christmas Snow.

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I couldn’t find any info on the song, but they play it in the opening and ending credits. I always thought it was cute, and it tends to get stuck in my head.

I couldn’t find a video unfortunately, or a good link to watch the film (as they took down the best one).

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For more on The First Christmas:The Story of the First Christmas Snow, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

For more Christmas Carols, go to She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

How To Survive A Horror Film

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With Halloween approaching and the number of Horror films increasing, I thought it would be a good time to write a post on how to survive a horror film, just in case you happen upon this situation 😉 . Most of us have heard of the “Randy Rules” in Scream (1996), but in this we are going to look a bit more in depth in how to successfully survive a horror film.

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1) Do Not Try Out Witchcraft, Ouija Boards, or any of the Occult for “Fun.” You Will Be Messing with Forces You Have No Control Over

It is never good to mess with the occult, play around with witchcraft, or use the ouija board. When you do such things you are opening a door to a lot of stuff you don’t want to mess with. Often you open yourself or others to demon possession or evil spirits. It is best to just stay far away from such things.

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2) Do Not Make Deals With the Devil, Demons, or Other Supernatural Beings

Never, ever make a deal with the devil. It is like trying to mess with the occult or witchcraft, you are opening yourself up to serious trouble, and the devil will not like to loose his quarry. Besides, the deals/wishes you make never turn out exactly as you hope.

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3) Anything and Everything Can be a Weapon

One of the things that bothers me the most is when people are surrounded by potential weapons and don’t use them. I mean look at Scream (1996), when Tatum is in the garage and attacked by Ghostface, she tries to squeeze herself through a tiny hole to escape rather then use something, anything in the garage. I mean she is in a GARAGE!!! There are hundreds of potential weapons! USE THEM!!! That is one example, but seriously, use anything and everything.

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4) Don’t Stop Assaulting Your Attacker Until You are Sure They Are Not Going to Get Up

Now this is huge. In horror movies, if the person is able to outwit the killer and knock them out, they usually just leave it at that and take off. DON’T! You knock that sucker out until you are sure they are no longer going to try to injure you. Break their legs if necessary. Because if you don’t, they are just going to recover and come after you.

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5) If Someone Gives You a Protective Charm Do Not Give It Away

I have mentioned this in Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941), Scream 2 (1997), and many more. If someone gives you some kind of charm that is supposed to help you and only work for you, DO NOT GIVE IT AWAY!!!! It will only work FOR YOU!!!! That is why it was given TO YOU!! And if you give it away you are just going to get yourself and the person you were trying to help in serious trouble. Keep it and protect yourself so that you can actually help others, instead of accidentally killing them.

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6) Sex = Death

As Randy says in Scream, Sex = Death. Never overlook the purity angle, it is like a protective charm. If you don’t do it, you are less likely to die.

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7) Doctors are Almost Always Evil

Sometimes Doctors can be good people, but if you are in a horror film, forget it; they are usually evil. Such as Dr. Hartz from The Lady Vanishes (1938), he seems kindly and trying to help, but in reality just wants the main character to think they are going crazy! Same thing in Dr. Hollingshead from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). Then you have doctors who commit horrible things in the name of science; like We have Dr. Frankenstein (from any Frankenstein film) who tries to create life and can’t control his monster. Or  there is Dr. Arthur Carrington from The Thing From Another World (1951), who almost kills everyone as he doesn’t care about human life but scientific discovery is what matters. Not to mention Dr. Alfred Brandon from I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), who experiments on teenage boy. And lets not forget Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who eats people. I could go on, but there are too many examples to choose from.

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8) Do Not Spend the Night in an Abandoned or Haunted House, Psychiatric Hospital, or Carnival

I mean seriously. Just do not go there. Nothing good will ever, ever, ever come of it! I mean look at The Uninvited (1944), House on Haunted Hill (1959), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Hunting (1963), The Haunting (1999), etc. I could go on and on, but let’s continue with our list.

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9) If There is a Curse on Something Do Not Touch It

I know curses, many laugh at them; but of you are in a horror film and you see something that says it is cursed DON’T TOUCH IT! It is better to live another day then to have yourself face all kinds of horrors.

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10) Do Not Drink Any Potions or Test An Experiment On Yourself

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER test a potion or try an experiment on yourself. It always ends badly! I mean you have Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Fly, Batman’s Man-Bat he had to fight, even Goosebumps did an episode where the dad ended up creating a plant clone of himself. I know many don’t like animal testing or get under the stress of trying to accomplish something; but just stop! Don’t test yourself or else something bad will be created.

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11) If There is a Murderer Running Around, Do Not Go Out and Party

This drives me crazy! A murderer is running around killing people and people decide to: 1) not take any precautions; 2) go about their lives like nothing is different; and 3) party. If there is a murderer running around, yes it is good to be in a group (rule 12 & 17) but you shouldn’t be out partying, drinking (rule 13) or putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

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12) Never Split Up

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NEVER, EVER, EVER go anywhere by yourself. There is power in numbers! As a group you could take a killer down, versus as a couple or single. When you split up, all you do us make it easier for someone to kill you.

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13) Do Not Do Drugs or Drink

While some of you might enjoy that type of thing it is never a good idea in a horror film. Anytime you try something that will keep you from thinking clearly, you are in serious trouble as you are likely to make bad decisions that will lead to your death. It is better to just say no.

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14) Always Call the Police

If you are being attacked, threatened, harassed, etc.; call the police. Don’t try and take care of it yourself, don’t try to investigate, call FOR BACKUP! That’s their job!!! They have guns and can make an arrest!

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15) Never Say “I’ll Be Right Back”

Unlike the Terminator here, you won’t be back. Uttering these words is signing a death warrant, as soon as they leave your lips you become next on the killer/creature’s hit list.

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16) Never Say “Who’s There?”

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Never say “who’s there”. If the person was a friend, they wouldn’t be skulking around your house in the first place, trying to scare you. Instead they would knock, ring the doorbell, or call out to you. The only type of person who would be creeping in your house is one who intends on harming you. And if you call out “who’s there”, you’re just helping them find and kill you faster.

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17) Do Not Go Out to Investigate a Strange Noise

When you hear something strange outside, do not go out and look into it. You should wait for assistance or call in the police. If you try looking yourself, you are going to end up in a trap set by a monster, psychopath, murderer, etc. Besides, why unlock the door or turn off the alarm; allowing whatever is watching you the opportunity to come in and attack? Just stay inside snug like a bug.

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18) Do Not Use the Bathroom

Have you ever though of how vulnerable you are in the bathroom? Most have no windows to flee from or they aren’t the most accessible. Some do, but for most the only easy way out is the door, which is where most attackers will come through. Plus the reason you would be in the bathroom; shower or toilet, you won’t have any weapons to help you and it would be extremely easy to kill you. If you are in a horror film, just hold it or stay stinky. You are more likely to live that way.

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19) Never Go Off By Yourself

Like I said before, the less people around you, the easier you are to kill. If you go off on your own to investigate, look around, run away; you are just putting a giant target on your back. Stay together, it is safer.

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20) Always Look Behind You and Above You

Always take a 360 degree look around you. They may be behind, they may be in front, they may even be above you. Search every angle!!!

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21) Be Nice, A Person Scorned or Mistreated Can Do Horror-ble Things

In horror movies, there are lots of people who have been bullied so much and hurt by others they end up becoming homicidal maniacs. And who do they tend to attack first? The last person to hurt them. Look at The Phantom of the Opera (any version), Carrie (1976), Hangman’s Curse (2003), Heathers (1985), etc. So if you don’t want to end up being first on the hit list be kind to those you meet.

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22) If You Are a Girl Or Not White, Be Extra Cautious

Psychopaths and monsters love to kill/eat women and minorities. Because of this if you are either, or both; take extra steps to protect yourself. Be like Ben in Night of the Living Dead.

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23) Don’t Trust Anyone, They Are All Suspects

People can tell you all kinds of things, but that doesn’t mean they are telling the truth. If you find yourself in a horror film, don’t trust anyone. And I mean ANYONE!

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24) Never Judge a Book By its Cover

Never judge a book by its cover. Someone who seems sweet, innocent, impossible to commit cruel acts, etc; could secretly have evil intentions lurking under the adorable facade. Always be watchful and once again, trust NO ONE!

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25) Children can Be Evil too, Never Rule Them Out

When trying to figure out who the murderer is, never overlook kids. I mean sure some will be obvious in their creepiness, such as the one pictured above, but there are many who look innocent and sweet but are actually evil. Don’t be fooled!

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26) Never Try to Create Life

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER try to create Life. It just does not go the way you plan. You can’t control the beasts you create and they just run amuck everywhere. I mean look at FrankensteinBride of Frankenstein, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Alien: Resurrection, the list goes on but I’ll stop here.

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27) Never Try to Control a Monster

In any horror film, whenever they create  life they always think they have complete control over it. Well, that never works out. You see, just because you made it doesn’t mean it will listen to you; every parent knows that. And more often than not, those creations will try and kill you.

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28) If Someone Tries to Make a Deal with You to Kill Someone, Do Not Think it is a Joke

Joking around with the idea of murder might be something you would do with a friend, but be careful, you never know how far they might take it.

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29) Listen to Urban Myths, They Tend to be Right

We all like to hear scary stories around a campfire and about areas. But if you are in a horror film, play very close attention as more often than not, the myths and legends turn out to be true or someone is copying them and making them true. It is always good to pay attention and know the details, it just might save your life.

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30) Never Think You Have Destroyed a Monster, They Always Find a Way to Come Back

You try to kill them and you think you do, but they always come back. Always make sure you keep an eye out for the sequel and their return.

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31) Don’t Be an Idiot

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Be smart! Don’t be stupid and do stupid things. Use your common sense! Bimbos and Mimbos are almost always the first to die.

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So there we are, 31 tips to help you survive a horror film. I hope they help you survive October.

This post is brought to you by a

horrornerd

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

Keep tuned for more horror film reviews!

Monster Mash

So during Horrorfest, there comes a time when my non-blogging life gets full and I just don’t have time to write a full film or TV episode review. There’s just not enough hours in the day. If only I had a time machine.

Back to the future Doc Marty Dolorean time machine

The first year I did a post where I dressed up the actors who played Austen Heroes in costumes.

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To read go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men.

In Horrorfest II, a did a post on an artist who mixed classic horror films with Disney characters.

Finally a mate that can live with me in my lagoon.

Finally a mate that can live with me in my lagoon.

To read that, go to Disnified Horror.

In Horrorfest III I did a post on 100 of my favorite lines from horror films.

Horror Films

To read that, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die!

And this is this year’s post.

Now I know what you are thinking? So early in Horrorfest? Well, yes. You see I was going to review all the films in a series on the last four Thursdays in October, but I changed my mind. So while I’m tweaking Horrorfest IV, I leave you with this awesome, non-film/TV episode review post.

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So I was in Barnes and Nobles, looking in their non-book film, board games, toys, etc. section when I spotted this:

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I was sooooo excited! CLASSIC HORROR FILM ACTION FIGURES!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I was so stoked that I spent like an hour combing through and looking at every doll they had, trying to make a complete set.

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So we have the monster from Frankenstein,

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And how could he be complete without his bride?

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I kept searching for the Phantom or the Wolf Man but couldn’t seem to find them.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

It seemed like a majority of their horror figures were Frankenstein’s monster and his bride. But then I finally found this:

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And the King of the Horror flicks himself,

Dracula

But still no Phantom or Wolf Man.

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I was ready to call it quits. I mean I had been searching for them in a cloud of Frankenstein related monsters. A crowd was watching me thinking I was crazy as I exclaimed in delight over my action figures. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Noo!

Noo!

But then I spotted him:

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No Wolf Man though. But how awesome are these?

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I know super awesome! I just love them.

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So I know, different from our usual posting, tomorrow we will be back on schedule. I promise. And just because it totally goes and I absolutely love this song, I’m going to end on this:

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes On There: Jamaica Inn (1935)

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To read my review of Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, it’s ALIVE!: Frankenstein (1931)

For my review of The Bride of Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

For my review of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, go to There are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

For my review of Dracula, go to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

And for my review of The Phantom of the Opera, go to Feast Your Eyes on My Accursed Ugliness: The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

One of Many

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24) A Book You Love

[Sorry, I’m late again!]

So this was a hard thing to do. Pick one of my favorite books? So impossible.

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So I thought on this and decided that I wouldn’t talk about Jane Austen. I’m pretty sure you already know how much I love Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion.

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Then I thought, well I can’t do The Phantom of the Opera either as I have already done two posts on how much I love that book.

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So then I thought, what is a book I really, really liked as a child; and still love today?

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Then I thought:

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I first read this book as a kid when I was going through the Great Illustrated Classics at the library. It was my first introduction to English 19th century fiction.

I love this book a lot. I just loved Heathcliff.

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You feel for this orphan man, always mistreated with everyone who ever loved him dying or betraying him. Yep, you know my type:

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So in the story we are given the picture of a cruel man, and then go through the rest of his journey in a flashback. He was orphaned with no name and speaking some other language. Mr. Earnshaw found him on his trip to London, and brought him back to his home. He had bratty two children: Hindley and Catherine, who are cruel to Heathcliff. Hindley hates him because his dad likes him better than him. Catherine hates everything, but to her and everyone’s surprise she and Heathcliff become best friends.

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When Mr. Earnshaw dies, Hindley becomes man of the house and is incredibly cruel to Heathcliff, demoting him to dog status. He and Catherine fall in love, but she marries the wealthy Edgar Linton, as Heathcliff is too lowborn.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Breaking Heathcliff’s heart.

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He leaves, bent on becoming rich and getting his revenge.

So I won’t ruin the rest of the story as it is dramatic, gothic, supernatural, and thoroughly amazing.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

And as the extremely handsome Laurence Olivier player Heathcliff in the movie, as you read the book imagine a man just as handsome as him…or him. 🙂

Laurence Olivier Mr. Darcy

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Be It Ever So Humble

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For more Wuthering Heights, go to Smells S’Wonderful

For more bookish posts, go to You Weirdo

For more on Tall, Dark, & Brooding Men; go to Old Fandoms and New Fancies

For more Neil Gaiman, go to Heaven on Earth

How to Meet the Perfect Guy

It’s actually much easier than you thought. Here’s all you have to do.

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Because if this happens, you know he is perfect.

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Think of all the phan-tastical fun we would have!

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For more Phantom of the Opera, go to Fantom of the Opera

For more on looking for the perfect guy, go to It Doesn’t Exist

Fantom of the Opera

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Yep, here we go with another one of my fangirl lists. Read it and enjoy! 🙂 After all one of a fangirls favorite thing to do is share their loves with others.

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Beach Party Series

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I grew up watching these Beach Party films when I was a kid. My sister and I used to try and copy the dances and learn how to move just like them! These films were silly and loads of fun, the perfect films to watch for a good time. It starred Frankie Avalon as “Frankie” surfer and singer staying at the beach for a good time. His girlfriend Dolores aka Dee Dee, was played by Annette Funicello, came along with all the friends. They would hang out and have fun, getting into a fight and breaking up, but always reuniting at the end. There was also Bonehead (called Deadhead in the first film) who was kinda dumb and never understanding that the ladies wanted him. The group also always ran into a motorcycle gang called “The Ratz” or “The Rat Pack” that were lead by Eric Von Zipper. These were also musicals and had amazing songs + dancing.

In Beach Party, Frankie, Annette, and the gang are hanging out at the beach. Anthropologist, Dr. Robert Orville Sutwell, played by Robert Cummings, is studying the sex lives of Southern California surfing teens. He saves Dolores from Eric Von Zipper, paralyzing him with an “African” Vulcan touch, and Dolores develops a crush on him. This makes Frankie jealous, who starts flirting with a Hungarian waitress. Dr. Sutwell’s assistant Marianne has been in love with him for a long time and tries hard to win him over. The whole crew sing, dance, and have a groovy time. Also keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by Vincent Price.

In Muscle Beach Party, the sequel, the gang is back only to discover their beach is getting taken over by body builders? Will they be able to get rid of them and get their spot back? Also, an Italian contessa is after Frankie, and he seems to be enjoying it. Is this the end for Frankie & Dee Dee?

In Bikini Beach, the teens are back on the beach only to face a new threat! Millionaire Harvey Huntington Honeywagon III is going to try to turn it into senior citizens. He also thinks that the teens are no better than animals. Frankie and Dee Dee also face a threat to their relationship, when British rocker “The Potato Bug”, Peter Royce Bailey (played by Frankie Avalon and a parody of the British rockers coming to America) is interested in Dee Dee and she seems to like him back.

Pajama Party was a bit different from the other films in the series. Frankie Avalon wanted more money and the studio replaced him with Tommy Kirk. In this Annette plays “Connie”, once girlfriend to Big Lunk {Deadhead in the other films} but realizes that his lack of brains and romance means it is time to move on. She meets Gogo, Tommy Kirk, who unbeknowest to her is actually a teenage martian preparing an invasion to Earth. Aunt Wendy (Elsa Lancaster) is an eccentric and rich woman, aunt to Big Lunk and always opening her house to teens. Her neighbor, J. Sinister Hulk; and his minions, Chief Rotten Eagle and Swedish Helga, are trying to con her out of her cash.

In Beach Blanket Bingo, Frankie and Dee Dee are back. In this they are at the beach and run into the singer Sugar Kane skydiving. Frankie saves her life when she falls into the ocean and starts falling for her charm. In reality this isn’t Sugar Kane, but her stunt double Bonnie. Bonnie is upset that her boyfriend Steve isn’t more interested and uses Frankie to up his jealousy. The Ratz are back and Eric Von Zipper falls for Sugar wanting her as his own. Also Deadhead falls for a mermaid. Another zany summer at the beach!

So when Teen Beach Movie came out by Disney, I had to watch it. I loved it as it was the perfect homage to the series I grew up with.

For more on Beach Films, go to Friday Night Fun

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Brotherly Love

Do any of you know the Lawrence Brothers?

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What a group of good-looking men. I was such huge fans of them all, following their careers very closely. I had a super huge crush on all three of them growing up. My love of Lawrence Brothers first started with their TV show, Brotherly Love

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Brotherly Love took place in Philidelphia, “the city of brotherly love”, and follows the trials of a blended family. This series starred the Lawrence brothers, but only lasted two seasons, I’m unsure as to why. I remember it being awesome!

Anyways, Joe Roman (Joey Lawrence) parents are divorced and he moves away with his mom. His dad remarries a woman, Claire, and they have two children; Matt (Matthew Lawrence) and Andy (Andrew Lawrence). Their dad is a race car driver and owns a garage. When he dies in an accident while racing, Joe returns home to take over the garage. A now 20-year old Joe tries to work with the family, being a father figure for Matt and Andy. He is cocky and arrogant, but an all around good person.

Matt is 15, and a bit of a nerd. He is a germophobe and a neat freak and has trouble with girls. Andy is mischeveuos and a cute little kid.

The series is rounded out by Lloyd, ex-coast guard and fellow mechanic, and Louise, female mechanic and ultimately the love of Joey.

This series was adorable and fun. I miss it. 😦

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The Office

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Remember when this TV show came out? At first I didn’t watch it as I didn’t understand what it was about. A bunch of people working in an office that produces paper? Sounds boring to me. BUT, I had a friend who absolutely loved it. He wouldn’t stop talking about it so I decided to check it out, and loved it too. It is absolutely hilarious.

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Michael Scott is the head of that division, and played by Steve Carroll. He is so silly. I just love how much he hates Toby, this guy that works with him.

Then there was Dwight, the brownnoser who was always sucking up to Michael and trying to control everyone else. He was so strange and hilarious.

And the handsome, prankster, Jim played by the handsome John Krasinski

One great show.

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Once Upon a Time

ONCE UPON A TIME - ABC's "Once Upon a Time" stars Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Jared Gilmore as Henry, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret and Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/John Doe. Jamie Dornan (middle) guest stars as Sheriff Graham. (ABC/KHAREN HILL)

Now I know how obssesed everyone is about this show, but I only loved the first season. The second season opening moved really slow and I had a difficult time finding a way to watch it online (as I don’t have cable or netflix). Oh, well. The first season was amazing, and I had to watch every single episode asap.

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So the plot of Once Upon a Time, is that all the fairytales by the Brothers Grimm are all connected and exist in a parallel universe. Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming have sent their child Emma, to our world in order to save her from the Evil Queen. Emma was raised as Emma Swan in foster care.

On her 28th birthday, Emma arrives home to find a little boy named Henry. He tells her that he is the son she gave up ten years ago, and according to his book of fairy tales, Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming and the only one who could save the people of his hometown in Storybrooke, Maine.

She returns him to Stoneybrooke and stays in the town becoming sheriff. Her appearance causes the town clock to strike, which it had never done before, fulfilling a prophesy that on Emma’s 28th birthday she will begin the final battle, and return the fairy tale characters memories. These memories had been wiped by the Evil Queen, known as Regina Mills in the “real world”, the mayor and adoptive mother of Henry. Yeah things get complicated really fast!

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I loved the story as it was written extremely well. Ginnifer Goodwin is perfect as Snow White as she is just so adorable.

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Rumplestilskin was absolutely perfect and one of my favorite characters as well. I espechially loved the Belle and Beast storyline, with Rumplestilskin being the beast.

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And let’s not forget Sebastian Stan as the Mad Hatter. Oh, that storyline was just heartbreaking.

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Whether the rest are as good, I can’t say, but that first season was an absolute winner!

For more Once Upon a Time, go to I Left My Car in San Francisco
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The Phantom of the Opera

Three Musketeers

I love this book so much that words fail to express how I feel.

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It all started one day at the library. I was about six years old and complaining to my mother that I couldn’t find any books to read. Nothing just felt right. You know what I mean, when a book synopsis just connects to you, and you know you need to take it home to read?

So my mother eager to get home, pulls a book off the shelf and suggests that I read it. Instead of paying attention to whatever novel she had in her hand, I saw the one behind it. It was The Phantom of the Opera; a slender, abriged, children’s version.


It became my new favorite book and I would check it out all the time, completely annoying my mother.

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Later on I read the original, whole  version; which I also love. It is written so well, if you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it.

So the story is written as a history/biography of the “ghost of the opera house.” It recounts the story of poor Erik. Born deformed, sent to live with gypsies, becoming an architect; but never finding love or support. He finds a young girl who he trains to be a singer, only to find her love false, therefore evoking in some very bad decisions. But he’s not evil, just misunderstood.

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At least that’s my take on it.

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I just connected with this poor man. He was bullied and betrayed because he was disfigured. No one paid attention to his genius in building and composing. He was living a life alone in isolation. I wanted to go underground with him.

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I would have gone off with him and loved him unlike Christine Daaé, she’s a total jerk and loser.

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I also really, really love the 1925 film.


The film was not only horrtastic, but simply, and honestly amazing! It also stayed very close to the book, making only a few changes, and doing a much better job than some other versions (the 1943 one, so bad 😦 ). In fact this year marks it’s 90th anniversary!

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Not to mention the amazing make up job that Lon Chaney did that just creeped you out. Absolutely amazing!

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And the fabulous masquerade scene that is one of the first color shots in the history of film.

Erik: [at the Bal Masque as "The Red Death"] Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!

Erik: [at the Bal Masque as “The Red Death”] Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!

Now I know that silent film isn’t for everyone, but I suggest that you check out my review, Feast Your Eyes on My Accursed Ugliness for yourself.

Now I have mixed feelings about the 2004 film starring Gerard Butler. I won’t go too into it as I plan to review it for Horrorfest IV. I did love Gerard Butler and his singing.

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But I didn’t like the way they tried to make it that Christine saw him as a father figure. My biggest issue however was the way he looked. Only half his face was disfigured! Why couldn’t Christine just sit on one side of him? I mean otherwise the Phantom was a really attractive guy.

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Anyways, however he is shown I love Erik, the Phantom. I defintely would have picked him over stinky Raoul.

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I’m writing a series of posts on the book that will be coming in the future. If you love anything Phantom, follow me and keep your eyes peeled.

For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to How I Differ From Others

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NotaPsychopathFangirl

 

So that’s it for this installment. There will be plenty more next week.

For the previous post, go to Old Fandoms and New Fancies

Stay tuned for part 14

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In other news, this post brings us to 500! In about 6 months, I’ve written 100 posts! Wow!

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For post 400, go to The After Party

For post 300, go to That’s What You Get