October 23rd, 2008


"Oh, Whistle..."

Last night I went with ellen_datlow and a bunch of other folks -- twelve of us in all! -- to see Robert Lloyd Parry's one-man M.R. James show Oh, Whistle... What an amazing show! Parry doesn't exactly act out James' stories, nor are they strictly readings. Instead, he becomes James himself, masterfully, and tells the stories to you exactly as James himself might have done at Christmastime at King's College. In fact, the set was James' study at King's College in Cambridge, and the intimacy of the "black box" theater -- the 78th Street Theater Lab holds only thirty or so audience members -- is perfect for the occasion. You really do feel like you're sitting with M.R. James in his study while he tells you his weird, macabre tales by candlelight. (For the record, the stories are "The Ash Tree" and "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad," which is perhaps James' best known tale, and the source material for the 1957 Jacques Tourneur film Night of the Demon.)

As a pleasant surprise, because it was opening night of Parry's three-week run there was a wine reception right afterward where we got to chat with him and the co-producer (and mystery and horror writer) Marvin Kaye.

I can't recommend Oh, Whistle... enough. It's an absolutely stunning piece of theater, and Parry does an unbelievable job bringing the stories -- and M.R. James himself -- to life before your eyes. It actually made me long for the day when people just sat around telling each other ghost stories. If you have a chance to see the show, don't pass it up!

Caption Contest Results

Caption contests are my new favorite thing ever! Here are the results from Sunday's contest. As always, it was tough picking a favorite from all the great captions you guys provided.

"She mocked me, that lousy blonde rapper --
And those pigs in the audience clapped her!
If I'd just had a copter
And a gun I'd've dropped her --
Worth my polls going right down the crapper."
- realthog, who gets extra points for his use of limerick

"These two will be the first against the wall." - tremblor

"And as an added bonus, Governor Palin will bare her breasts in...one...two..." - jeffpalmatier

Congratulations, realthog, on providing the best caption! Enjoy your first place prize: a brand new holding cell in beautiful Guantanamo Bay, Cuba!

Halloween Costume

I just finished putting the finishing touches on this year's Halloween costume. Now I just have to wait for it to dry.

Yeah, that's right. Dry.

I can't wait for people to see this one!