Ashes, Ashes we all fall down

“Daddy why can’t I go in too?” she could overhear Cristy asking her dad as she cautiously walked up what was left of the stairs. The physical structure of the house was fine, the contents, not so much. It had been a few days since the fire and it still smelled like it could rekindle any moment. She stopped at the top of the stairs to looked at the once pristine family photo. The glass had warped and rippled fusing the picture to it and distorting the faces. Miraculously though, her mother’s face was left untarnished. Comforted the girl carefully made her way to her bedroom to grab what she could before they would leave for Aunt Michelle’s home. As she approached her room she was stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of the blackened door. She was right to have gone out the window, attempting escape through this ash would have been a death sentence. Taking a deep breath she pushed the door open and beheld what was left of her room. She bent down the crusted bed and felt around until she felt the waxy plastic of the case. Pulling it towards her a half charred notebook came sliding along the floor with it. With a pang she flipped the remaining half open. The edges cracked off as she held it but still there were half finished sentences and bits of photographs of her friends. Remembering her other journals she walked to the closet and was relieved to find that although the box was singed and burnt the contents inside had been, for the most part, spared. Her thoughts and memories were intact and safe. Looking back at the bed she realized the case was so mangled that she’d have to break in to it to see what state her beloved violin was in. Her eyes gloss over her desk, where all that remains of her drawings are ashes . Likewise her pencils have been reduced to mere cinders. She doesn’t even recognize her book shelf, mistaking the rubble on the floor for some part of the wall or ceiling that must have fallen down. Sighing she returned her focus to the closet and opened the bag her father had sent up with her and started packing what clothes she could. A few minutes later with a nearly empty duffel she headed out of the room with the box of journals under one arm and the case in the other.


Remember yesterday, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

I have lots of trinkets here and there around the apartment:

  • A chess set one of my sister’s gave me
  • a box of journals (from college only really, I’ve never been much of a journal-er)
  • art projects from school
  • a painting from a friend
  • guitar
  • notebooks of ideas

any of which I would be quite sad to see burnt to a crisp. I’m sure there are other things I’d miss but only going through the experience would tell me, and I’ll pass if I can. Kind of like in A Scandal in Bohemia (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) when Sherlock stages a fire to discover where Miss Adler has hidden some blackmail items, her most treasured belonging at the time. Foolishly she gives away the location but before homes can retrieve the photos she realizes what has happened and removes them. Apparently fire reveals what we value the most. Oh, click here for yesterday’s entry.

I was fifteen when I first met Sherlock Holmes…

fifteen years old with my nose in a book as I walked the Sussex Downs, and nearly stepped on him. I was a particularly clumsy adolescent. That was the year I also broke my foot while playing dodge ball. By adding the dodge ball bit it makes it sound less pathetic then it truly was. It happened in PE and at the time of the break class had been dismissed to change clothes. However that didn’t stop me and my friend. We still had a little bit of fight left in us and were messing around. I was retreating and going to head to the locker room as he hunted me down.

I would like to say the backward duck that turned into a backwards trip that landed me on my butt by the bleachers was planned. It wasn’t and it hurt. Not my backside though, oh no, some how my foot twisted and I was in utter agony. He and I official stopped playing then. Being the clutz I was I didn’t think it was anything major, I’d rolled my ankle before and all I could really tell was that my foot area hurt. When it hurt so bad I didn’t want to put my shoe back on that should have been a bigger clue. I carried it down the hall with me as I limped off to English. My teacher was not overly impressed, but after having me for the entire year she’d learned that ‘random’ is my modus operandi.

I cringed down the pain for the last two periods before heading to the office to ask my dad to drive me home. He came out of the office, took one look at my pained expression and said, “You didn’t have to wait until school was out, I would have taken you home earlier.”

Although I really appreciate the sentiment of that statement it was not welcomed at the time. My foot hurt and I’d just sat through a couple hours of lecture. I was not amused and just hobbled my way out to the car. Now here is the thing you should know about me. I choose the most random times to get stubborn. I believe that day was one of them. My father offered to go get the car and pull it around to the circle drive so I didn’t have to walk to the lot. Very kind, and I should have taken him up on it. However my dad was always the first one to the building, save for the janitor who did beat him in. This meant he always had a phenomenal parking spot and the lot and drive were right next to each other. Rather than wait for the car I dug in my heals and hobbled over the grass to the car myself. Never underestimate the power of stupidity.

After icing it for a few hours that night and the swelling not going down, my parents too thought it was an ankle issue, we finally made a doctor’s appointment the next day. That’s when we learned that I broke the smallest bone in the foot, which also has the added benefit of taking the longest to heal. How that works, I’m not sure, but that was super fun.

That was the summer I broke my right foot. That was also the summer I turned 16. Lucky for me I had a boot cast so I was able to take it off while I took the driving test. Walking to the DMV without it (only about two weeks in on the healing process) was a longer walk then I remembered when I had gone in for my permit. However in the end I did get my license, my foot did heal (although to this day it occasionally twinges), and I was officially cleared of having to wear my boot the day before I had to get on a plane and leave for a national convention. Timing is everything.

The Beekeepers ApprenticeThanks DP for the interesting starter! The opening line was from my favorite book The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie R King. That book has been a constant friend of mine (my copy has several tickets tucked into it from where I’d brought it along to keep me from getting bored during intermission or during the game etc), although as previously posted I met Sherlock long before the tender age of fifteen. However I had only had glimpses of retired Sherlock (which is his age in the series by King. After I read the prompt I nearly panicked when I went to my book case (just to make sure I quoted it correctly) and it was missing! Then I found the vertical stack of ten more books and was assured it was on the top of that stack. Crisis averted.

In regards to the quote itself it’s quite fitting for me. ‘…years old with my nose in a book as I walked…and nearly stepped on him…’ later on the paragraph continues ‘…probably would not have noticed the sea until I stepped off one of the chalk cliffs into it.” Books do that to me as well. Which is probably why I like the books so much, I can identify with Russel. My boss still makes fun of me for the time it was practically a monsoon when a couple of us were going out for happy hour. They were going to pick me up and my phone was still on silent from work. This forced my boss to get out of her car and head up to my apartment. She was not amused when I answered the door, finger still holding the place in the book I was reading (A Study in Scarlet as coincidence would have it). However she was/is much more amused whenever she retells the story. It’s now looked on as a ‘Classic Jamie’.

LOEB: Young ________

It’s that time again – the League has called.

In the spirit of Young Indiana Jones, Young Frankenstein, or Young Einstein, come up with a “Young ___” prequel or series.

I know you’ll be shocked to hear the first thing that popped into my head was a “Young Holmes” series. Can you imagine what life was like growing up with Mycroft and Sherlock. You, as a parent, wouldn’t be able to get anything past them.

“Oh look Sherlock, the tooth fairy came and dropped off a bag full of coins!”
“Mother, I felt you slip them under my pillow when you came in to wake us.”
“No, Sherlock, that must have been the fairy scurrying away.”
“Oh mother,” Mycroft butts in, “the coins were jingling in your pocket as the door opened.”

Contrarily imagine the childhood you’d have to survive to become the way the two brothers are:

“Mycroft, come come, best be eliminating the inert ingredients if you hope to figure out what you were poisoned with.”
“What! Dad, it’s Christmas, you promised not today!”
“Sherlock,” Mr. Holmes would switch focus, “based on your brother’s symptoms, when, during dinner, was he dosed?”

Whether or not their parents were fiendishly clever or not, think of the spy vs spy mischief the two would get into.

“Sherlock, really, the water over the door trick. When, in any stretch of the imagination, would that work on me.”
“Oh Mycroft to true, tell me, has your hand done something agregious or are you just scratching it for fun.”
“Of course it’s not for fun, but I’ve got an itch that I just can’t- Oh. Oh you’re a dead man.”
“You may want to go wash before you spread it around to much.”
“I’d run if I were you.”
“Why, are you going to roll me over?”

BUT seeing as how that is already a thing apparently (I haven’t seen it, but according to IMDB it does) my second choice would then have to be the Young Marauders.

Dear old J.K. has teased with a few back stories of the four friends, but what was life actually like at Hogwarts in their day? How much did Lily really despise James and how did he really turn it around? What did James look like when he screwed up his transformation and had little antlers poking out of his head the next day (did Snape see – of course)?

I envision James and Sirius being in constant friendly competition to see who could pull the bigger prank, sneak out the latest or in general cause tom foolery. Mean while Peter and Remus might compete over the Rolaids in reaction to some of the more extreme stunts. However I think the spectrum would most likely settle out to be Sirius-James-Remus-Peter.

Check the League’s main post to see updates to the prompt all week, or you can head on over to other members to see The Young Dukes of Hazzard, Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles, or a Prequel (young) Monster vs. Aliens.

Until next time~Q

LOEB Assignment: Summer’s over, it’s time to go back to school!

This week the league has cooked up an open ended prompt: Summer’s over, it’s time to go back to school!

What does this mean? Oh so much. In the past it would be the time when I’d go shopping for new supplies (always composition notebooks and pens. I still have a soft spot for those notebooks but have over a dozen blank ones on my shelf right now). Also new clothes. I remember back in elementary school laying out my clothes for the first day. Some years I went so far as to have the first week’s outfits all folded and sorted by day. I was such a nerd. Then there was the first day itself. Getting up a pinch earlier so we could go out on the deck with our stuffed to the gils backpacks and take first day of school pictures. Those days are long gone for me. What does the end of summer mean for others? Well, if you are still doing education (highschool, college, continuing education what have you) obviously you are going to school. That includes (usually) having to do homework. If you have a family you may have various practices to schedule.

What it means for me? Books, theater, and TV shows that I wont really watch now anyway. Back to school means my waiting for the new Rick Riordan book, The Mark of Athena, is that much closer to being over (comes out in October).

If you’re into sports, football madness is in full swing and will be all semester.

If you like TV the prime time shows will be returning shortly (if they haven’t already). I like TV but it’s too hard to keep up with them ‘live’. More than likely I save them up and just watch them once they’re out on disc (or on netflix). Here’s a rundown of what I’d watch if that wouldn’t mean me living on the couch every night:

Sunday – Once Upon a Time or The Mentalist.
Monday – Bones
Tuesday – NCIS, NCIS:LA or New Girl
Thursday –  Big Bang Theory, Elementary or Parks & Rec
Friday – Community, Grimm, Fringe or Haven

Other things I look forward too for back to school? The beginning of the new Performing Arts series at the various places I frequent. I’m looking forward to seeing Les Miserables, War Horse, Jekyll & Hyde and Million Dollar Quartet at the civic center. Other things I may see are Pride & Prejudice, Shrek, Biloxi Blues, Blue Man Group, Noises Off, Alice in Wonderland, The Three Musketeers or A Streetcar Named Desire. So yeah, I love the start of school. It means the waiting of summer is over (even though summer fun in the sun is an excellent way to pass the time).

Curious how other members interpreted this week’s assignment? Go to the League’s main page for a list of everyone or you can check out some of these:
Monster Cafe
hung out in New York
Memories of Toymorrow always had birthday blues
Good Will Hunting 4 Geeks puts together his educating team
while Under Scoop Fire assembles a different kind of team
and Jannghi discusses new supplies

That’s it I suppose (below is just filler about the TV lineups and why I like certain shows) until next time ~ Q

Once Upon a Time: I really enjoyed this show and did actually watch it (although that usually meant missing several weeks and then having a hulu marathon). I’ve yet to watch the last two episodes, but now that the season will start soon maybe I can. I hate how shows always end with cliff hangers and then you have to wait months for it to be resolved. So to avoid this I just didn’t watch it.

The Mentalist: Not a show I’ve ever watched live but I like the premise. When I do see the odd episode I always enjoy it.

Bones: I have a love hate releationship with Bones. I loved where the show was going and then a couple seasons ago it was they decided that Bones might be getting too normal and BAM they made her back into a person that didn’t get normal people. If they would have made it gradual I might have been okay with it but it was so all of a sudden. I did have to take a break from the show for awhile, but I just love the sciency bits so much that it keeps calling me back.

NCIS & NCIS:LA: I love both of these. Part of the appeal is that they are both something our entire family enjoys wo when we get together and USA has one of their marathons it’s easy enough to agree what we should watch. The characters are interesting and loveable. There has to be something good going on if a spinoff series not only does well but then, in turn, gets its own spinoff. Excellent. Just excellent. I also like how you don’t have to see every episode to keep up with it, not the case for some shows (like Fringe).

New Girl: Zooey Deschanel is brilliant and I love this ensemble. Although like the trend in comedy nowadays sometimes the bits cross over into the territory of being so painfully awkward. I’m hoping they don’t prolong the Jess & Nick thing for much longer, that too is painfully obvious.

The Big Bang Theory: Another one the family enjoys.

Elementary: Going in the same vein that I love all things Sherlokian I’ll at least look into this new show. I’ve heard mixed reviews of this, so we’ll see. I have hopes, making Watson a woman is intriguing at the very least. I also very much enjoy Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about this one.

Parks & Rec: Amy Poehler, enough said.

Community: I don’t follow this the most but ts always good for a laugh though. It’s a fun premise. Almost like a highschool drama, only you get a more amusing mix since you have the random old person (Pierce).

Grimm: I’m always confused when two different studios put out seemingly similar shows. When I heard both Grimm and Once Upon a Time were premiering last year I wasn’t sure if they’d be the same thing or not. I’m glad that despite both involving fairytales they are very different shows and enjoyable for very different reasons.

Fringe: Although it’s kind of getting trippy I can’t wait to see how it ends. This year marks it’s last year and will have a half season to finish the story line.

Haven: I love this show. If I watch anything ‘live’ this will be the one. I’m seriously in love with everything about this show. Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour have amazing chemistry as Audrey Parker, Nathan Wuornos and Duke Crocker. My friend once described it as the love child of Fringe and Once Upon a Time, interesting thought.

Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss vs Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Comparing A Study in Scarlet and A Study in Pink

So since I apparently can’t have enough posts on the subject I have one last thing for now. While I was reading the book I kept running into similarities in the show Sherlock. I figured since the book was fresh (and I just watched Sherlock while writing this) I’d do it now. So I whipped up a venn diagram comparing the two. As a designer I probably should have made it look, well designed, but I feel I’ve already spent to much time on it. There’s lots of writing so you should click on the image if you want to see it clearly. Also I’m positive there are more things that could be added to all lists, but like I said, too much time. Hope you enjoy, until next time~Q.

*Update* thanks to rozzychan for reminding me that in the ending bit of dialouge between Sherlock & Watson in Moffat’s recreation they chat about him being hurt in the shoulder as well. The diagram has been fixed to reflect this.

My Love affair with Sherlock Holmes

I have been a fan of the brain child of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle since before I can remember. You may think this to be hyperbole but in my instance it’s true. I clearly remember a time before I was even in school listening to my dad’s tapes. That’s right cassette tapes. My dad, somehow, had gotten his hands on the tapes of the old radio series that played during world war II. (This performance will be transferred by short wave to our men and women over seas is a clear statement that still rings in my head from the tapes. I remember as a child not really understanding what that meant.) As a kid those were the stories I fell asleep listening to, occasionally an episode of Have Gun will Travel or The Saint would slip in, but my favorites were always The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Especially the ones staring Basel Rathbone and Nigel Bruce-which were most of them. Oddly enough, I have yet to actually watch anything with those two in them, because I love the audio version so much…something I may need to alter. I have seen Basil Rathbone in movies (the main one that comes to mind is The Court Jester with Danny Kaye) and thought he was brilliant.

Then when I was in middle school I found an audiobook called The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (also on cassette tape) and was introduced to a new Sherlock. Years later, after thinking perhaps I had made the book up because I couldn’t recall the books name, I refound the book. (One of the best parts of reading the book over the audiobook from the library was that I hadn’t realized it had been abridged. So I had bonus story and cases to read about-BEST SURPRISE EVER!) In quick secession I devoured the series until I finished it and although The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is still my favorite in the series (arguably it is actually my favorite book) I love the dynamic between Russell and Holmes. Even if Holmes isn’t quite the same man that Doyle created he is still his brilliant deductive self. If King would have turned Sherlock into a hopeless romantic or something it would not have worked. She presents the two characters in such a way that even the reader can see that there actions truly are what makes the most logical sense, and in that way I think it honors Doyle’s original character. But as usual I digress.

Recently, it seems, Sherlock has been revived once again, and both in his original home of the late 1800’s and in more modern way in the 2000’s. Where we’re use to him being first. When I found out that there would be a new movie of Sherlock I was quite ecstatic. Perhaps the fact that I had been studying abroad since the August before its release helped. It certainly came as a shock, I get back to the State mid-December and BAM a new Sherlock story. That it came out around Christmas was an added bonus – it could be a family activity. My family, like all families, doesn’t always agree. One thing we do all agree on are the Sherlock stories. It is one thing that the entire family enjoys. So although some of us didn’t see the movie until the following Christmas when it was out on DVD it was quite an enjoyable and a ‘bonding’ experience of sorts. Likewise I can’t remember the last time my mother and I went to a movie together in the theater. I can no longer say that now, as you know she and I went to Mirror, Mirror together. A month before that though, or so, we had gone to the second Sherlock movie, A Game of Shadows. A movie (like the former) that had a great balance between action/serious moments/comedic relief. Very enjoyable.

Now (well last year or so) the BBC has developed a modern series called simply Sherlock, and simply put I think it’s brilliant.  The second series just aired on PBS. The thing I like about this ‘system’ is that it aired in the UK on the BBC back in December. Why the lag between airing in the US and the UK I don’t know but coming full circle is that what I like about this system is that the second season has just been released onto DVD (yesterday, after the final episode in the series aired on Sunday). Guess what my birthday present to myself is this year. The writers of the show create such interesting twists from the originals, they really have made it their own (The Geek Interpreter vs The Greek Interpreter – love it!). Oh, I also love the dynamic between Sherlock and Mycroft. It makes it seems as a more adversarial relationship. Where clearly there is lots of left over baggage from a childhood of growing up far to bright for either of the brother’s own good . Before I had looked at the relationship as more one of mutual respect/acceptance. One where the two brothers, although both brilliant, don’t have scads in common so it’s just easier for the family dynamic to leave each other be, unless seeing each other is logical or necessary. In the Sherlock series they don’t call on one another unless necessary (that’s still the same) but when they do meet there is always an undercurrent of annoyance and arguing between the two. Which may be why Mycroft is always making John be the liaison between the two-which also adds to the comedy.

This has gotten quite lengthy, but I guess something that will always be true of me (if it has endured for the first 25 years of my life surely it will stay for the next 25 and more) is that I love Sherlock. Important that, I suppose? Until next time~Q