tealin: (Default)
If you look for proof of something, you're likely to find it.

Pay close attention to what you're looking to prove. Why do you want it to be true? Will proof of it affect you for better or for worse?
tealin: (Default)
As I'm sure I have stated with enthusiasm here before, one of the highlights of my teaching in Denmark is this particular type of bread they have at the local supermarket bakery. I found it by accident the first time, and ever since, the first thing I do when I get into town is go buy some bread and butter and stuff myself on it, and the last thing I do is get a loaf or two and freeze them so they'd survive the trip in my luggage, and I can have that wonderful pampasbrød for a couple weeks back in England.

The last time I went, they'd stopped making the loaf – it was available in baguette and bun form, but the texture of those is quite different and neither really captured the joy of the original. Luckily, I'd saved the ingredients list – one of the reasons I started learning how to make bread was to recreate this at home – and while it doesn't list proportions, I hope at some point my experience in baking (such as it is) and memory of the Real Thing might combine to get me at least most of the way there.

The little ingredients tag has been floating around my room for long enough, so in my lifelong fight with little bits of paper, I'm copying out the ingredients list here for future reference. If you like baking and want to give it a go, by all means feel free to do so! If pampasbrød could spread around the world, that might be one small counter to all the awfulness these days.

tealin: (Default)
Well, someone's been busy today ...

I've set up a Patreon account, mainly to have some backup income between freelance gigs, but the psychological benefit of having real live strangers paying to see me make progress is a big, big thing, a really big thing, like a massive thing.

I'm planning an official release/announcement day in May, but as you lot have been my loyal community for longer than anyone, I thought I should let you have a first look and have your say:


What do you think of the tiers? Am I being too generous or not enough? What sort of content would you be interested in, if you were a subscriber?

Coming from a background of Can't Afford It, I feel rather ambivalent about charging anything for my web presence – 14-year-old me would have felt so excluded if one of my favourite artists suddenly went behind a paywall, and I've never quite got past being 14. However, if I'm going to devote serious time to something that is paying me nothing now and might never do so in a meaningful way, it helps to have an income stream that allows me to focus on it, rather than take time out to earn rent and groceries. And I can assuage my conscience by letting the free platforms (here and Tumblr, principally) be like second-run theatres, so the modern analogues of 14-year-old me won't miss out on too much in the big picture.

As you can see in the rewards, I'm also opening some online shops, though they don't have anything in them yet. If you have ever bought any merchandise from online type arty people, on places like Society6, RedBubble, InPrint, etc., what are your thoughts on that? Which of those sites is nicest from a buyer perspective? Any ideas for things you'd like to see from me?
tealin: (Default)

My sister and I grew up without any extended family nearby, but we had these two cats who kind of filled that role in a funny way. We both remember them more as family members than pets, and like to call them our gay uncles.* I sometimes wonder if I've got cat faces mapped onto the part of my brain which is supposed to read human faces – at least, I have a much easier time relating to cats than people, generally; the role these two played in our emotional lives probably has a lot to do with that.

A friend has recently lost her childhood pet, who was also more than a pet to her, which got me thinking about the place these cats have in my life, and decided it was finally time to draw them as the people they were to us, inside. RIP Bushy and Tao; I'm glad we got to know you.

*They weren't actually gay – they were both neutered (if anything, one of them was a towel-sexual) – but they were bachelors living together with some affection, which makes them gay in the eyes of the Internet.
tealin: (4addict)
As you may have noticed from previous posts, I'm back on the French-language radio these days. However, I have been busy with the sort of work that needs a side serving of radio to get done, and there are only so many Montreal traffic reports one can stomach in a day, so occasionally I dip back into familiar territory. The list below contains some shows I've listened to, and some I would like to listen to if I find the time, but there's no reason I can't forward them to you. Enjoy!

Be Like the Fox - A parallel history of Medici-era Florence and the famous Machiavelli, ostensibly giving insight into his great work of political cynicism The Prince. It's also interesting to consider re: Cassio in Othello, if this was the baggage that came with being a Florentine...
Subversion: West - Russia's alleged and actual interference in British and American politics. East is vice versa.
The Origins of the American Dream - A social history of the US, specifically trying to find the origins of the notion now labelled "The American Dream." It's not what you might think.
Lent Talks - A series of essays on the theme of Destiny, from a variety of thinkers.
AL Kennedy's Migraine - It's a well-known fact that all the best and coolest people suffer migraines. AL Kennedy is one of them, and she spends half an hour here looking into them, almost literally.
CBC Ideas - As always, it's all good – you can throw a dart at that webpage and whatever you listen to will satisfy – but I'd like to draw particular attention to the Ireland 1916 episode, which is three parts awesome, from the on-site walk-through with an Irish historian, to discussions of modern Ireland, to the fiery gay senator who doesn't give a flying flip what anyone thinks.

Revelation - A serial killer with a fixation on Revelation is on the loose in Tudor London.
King Solomon's Mines - Rider Haggard doing what he does, i.e. swashbuckling Imperial adventure, high stakes, stuffy Victorians letting rip, I say, wot wot. I get the impression the producers of the radio play tried really hard to, um, 'update' some of the biases in the text, but ... well, you'll hear what I'm talking about.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth - A new adaptation of the Jules Verne book, which is a good fun romp through geology and imagination, even if it makes you question yet again how Disney could have got Atlantis wrong ...
The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde's famous comedy of manners gets an all-star radio treatment to celebrate its hundredth anniversary (rerun from 1995)
Falco: Shadows in Bronze - Anton Lesser playing a historical detective, again, this time in ancient Rome rather than alternate-history Germany.
David Copperfield - in 10 parts. I haven't listened yet, but it's been getting heaps of praise on Twitter, and my radio canary is in it, so it must be good.

A Normal Life - Henry Normal's new show, with poems silly and serious, linked with heartfelt prose, about life, his autistic son, arguments (or lack thereof), churches, Brian Cox, and other things.
A Trespasser's Guide to the Classics - What happens when minor characters get hold of classic works of literature?
The Unbelievable Truth - Radio Balderdash is back, kicking things off with a long ramble about sheep from John Finnemore (always a good way to start).
The Now Show - Radio 4's Friday night topical comedies are always worth listening to, but this is a particularly good episode of The Now Show. Just thought I should point it out.
tealin: (introspect)
You can build a new heart
And a new house
Gonna take some time, but
When you come out
So much of everything will be waiting for you.

I've had those lines running through my head for four days now, so ... OK, maybe her new album does have something to tell me.
tealin: (actually)
Someone on Tumblr asked me about how to get your foot in the door in the animation industry, getting your portfolio looked at, and whether these days jobs have to come to you more than you going in search of them. I thought I'd copy my response here, as Tumblr is so frustratingly ephemeral ...

What follows is entirely my two cents and based solely on personal experience, which is limited and somewhat unusual. But I give it anyway, just in case it’s helpful.

I have had the pleasure, in at least two of my jobs, to end up friends with the person who takes the portfolios, and the cold calls from prospective job applicants. Based on that, I don’t believe studios have ever been enthusiastic to look at portfolios out of the blue, or take cold callers seriously, at least not in the 17 years I’ve known them. When portfolios came in, they’d go straight in the Portfolio File, which was only delved into when there was a job opening that couldn’t be filled by a past employee or a recommendation. Cold callers, having nothing to show for themselves over the phone, got even less consideration (email is better; you can attach images). Between years of school, I turned up at studios in town in person to ask about interning, and got politely turned away; at one of them the receptionist all but laughed in my face. So yes, it’s like that, but it’s not a new thing. It probably isn’t helped these days by the increased volume of art school grads, but it’s not new.

So, what advice do I have? Again, this is highly subjective and based on limited personal experience, but:

1. Don’t be annoying. A respectful attitude gets noticed: you are taking up a busy person’s time and attention, and if you can signal that you’re aware of this and grateful for the moment they can spend on you (and only make it a moment) they are less likely to brush you off. They may, still, but you’re lowering it from a guarantee to a probability.

Points 2 to 5 below... )

I’ve had art online for 18 years and never once has someone offered me a (real) job purely through that: every job has come through personal contacts and past work. I know the story is different for other people, but that is how it’s been for me. I feel that nowadays there’s this expectation that if you just keep feeding your blog with the sort of art that gets likes, you’ll get ‘discovered’, but that’s not the way it is. Maybe some Hollywood starlets really did get ‘discovered’ waiting tables at Schwab’s, too, but that’s generally not how it goes. The first job is the hardest one to get, but it can be done, eventually, if you put in the shoe leather.
tealin: (introspect)
Disclaimer: I am writing this between long, decongestant-ridden naps. I cannot pretend it will be coherent or, or, anything. So there you are.

Sarah Slean's new album is out at last, and you can listen to it streaming here:

CBC Music First Play: Metaphysics

... until April 7th, when it comes available to buy. (I have already bought it.)

It was ten years ago almost exactly that I heard Slean for the first time on one of the CBC's Saturday morning shows, singing "Lucky Me", prompting me to find her Myspace page (MySpace!) and listen to it on repeat for literally the rest of the day. 2007 was a pivotal year for me, and the refrain of that song played no small part in my taking the opportunities that arose in it:
And you're sad, and you're sorry,
Let it all out – what are you running for?
This is your chance, be ready –
I'm taking my seat ... Oh, lucky me!
Bla bla blah ... )
tealin: (terranova)

I started this as a demo for my animation class, but it really needed the second scene, so I threw that together tonight. A week, in bits, for the first part, about 4 hours for the second! I'm determined not to get too precious with it – I have a dozen other things making demands on this week – but at some point in the future may add a bit more wind effects to Cherry to tie him in a bit better. And, you know, finish the drawings, or something. But right now my wrist is saying "You did WHAT??" so it's time to call it a night.

A very happy, supremely satisfied night.

(Of course they would not be out on a windy hillside without their hats, especially in August when this is supposed to take place! But I needed practice drawing them hatless, so have fudged meteorology and human physiology for the purposes of aesthetic. I'll just ... pack my bags for when the history police get here.)
tealin: (CBC)
I'm in one of those phases again, where I'm listening to Radio-Canada (francophone CBC) to improve my ear. Sometimes I can follow things pretty well, and sometimes it just bounces off my eardrum, but this evening I ran into some programming so baffling I can only assume there was a bad combination of incomprehension and cultural disconnect.

In half an hour from about 1pm Montreal time, apparently part of the same programme but with no obvious connection, we got:
- Performance poetry(?)
- Someone making distressed animal noises
- The shooting of an elephant
- A rap about Aeroplan (the Canadian frequent flier/credit card points scheme)

Any answers, Quebec?

I'm really going to confuse the locals at Annecy when I turn up with my bad French in an accent that's mostly English but slightly Quebecois. The best animation school in France has a name that will really let the twang out to play; it should be said Go-blo(n) but in Quebecois it's Go-blai(n) and no matter how hard I concentrate, that's going to come out. Je m'escuse...

UPDATE: All previous bafflement made up for by the rap about Mardi Gras over this Acadian trad track that just played. I wonder if I'll ever manage to hear that again ...
tealin: (terranova)

This has been bumping around in my brain for seven years; I’ve only just summoned the nerve to get it down on paper. Apologies to Lewis Carroll, who I’m sure would never have imagined his harmless verse being put to such purpose. And for those who feel the need to inform me just how sick and wrong it is: I know. That's why it's taken seven years. (Though at least a year has probably been tacked onto that span by the idea that I ought to do it Tenniel-style or not at all ... thanks for that helpful suggestion, brain.)

Bill was pretty well acquainted with death; he had serious tuberculosis in his 20s and scurvy on the Discovery expedition, with numerous other close shaves and accidents along the way, so would have looked death in the face a few times, and that brings a person to come to terms with mortality. His thoughts on faith, fate, life, and death are unorthodox but worth reading, if you are into that sort of thing – I was collecting them for a while on ourdailybill.tumblr.com, but Cheltenham in Antarctica, and for a deeper exploration, The Faith of Edward Wilson, are much more organised sources.

In my head, the words go like this. (I doubt Lewis Carroll would have been able to imagine ... that ... either.)


Mar. 13th, 2017 07:30 pm
tealin: (Default)
I am back teaching in Viborg, and while my supposed-to-be-ten-day class is once again cut down to eight, this time it's not a national holiday or a school function but because we have a fabulous guest speaker for two days, and as I'm here I get to benefit from it too.

This afternoon he showed the classic short film Father and Daughter (warning: tears) which gave me a surprise of the kind I've come to find familiar when revisiting European things I haven't seen since moving to Europe. At about 6 minutes in, you hear a skylark, and you know that what was once water has been drained and is a field, even before you see it, because you only get skylarks singing above open fields – and this is not a happy accident, because at 6:15 you see the skylark doing its thing, so it's a decision made by someone who knows the associations of the bird.

I've always been a bit into birds – more than a bit, at some times – but I have to say European birds are a different ball game when it comes to what they tell you about the world, when you're familiar with them. I can think of a few North American birds with which I have seasonal associations: mockingbirds in the spring and summer in California, prominently, and the sing-song spring song of the chickadee; when I hear a particular regional variant of the white-crowned sparrow in a film, I know it's shot in BC. But it hardly compares to the richness of communication in European birdlife, which can put you in a place and season and even time of day more effectively than any title card. The song of a blackbird carries all the promise and fulfillment of burgeoning summer, even when they start singing in February. The wing slaps of fighting woodpigeons puts you in tall trees with fresh young leaves, the trilling of long-tailed tits in a winter hedgerow, a cuckoo into bright flowery woodland, the chucks of jackdaws down an old city street with eclectic chimney pots, and the screams of swifts belong in the bright blue summer sky with puffy clouds turning to thunderheads. (Britain's relationship with the robin warrants an entire post of its own ... )

And the thing is, European filmmakers (and radio producers) know this, and use it, because it means something to their audience, even if the audience doesn't realise it. I find it hard to imagine an LA filmmaker using a mockingbird's song to elicit the atmosphere of a warm jasmine-scented night, though it's as much a part of that as anything else. The white-crowned sparrow mentioned above is usually accidental, as the thing shot in BC is almost never supposed to be set there. But then, why should they use communicative bird sounds when their audience isn't going to get the cue either? The long-term urbanisation and population density of Europe means its people rub shoulders more comfortably with their wildlife than Americans/Canadians do with theirs, and are more perceptive of its habits; it helps, too, that European birds have such distinctive characteristics that they're more identifiable than, say, the umpteen variations on "brown thing that goes 'chirp'" which are resident in LA. But it'd still be nice to see more of that sort of attention paid to what makes up one's surroundings, and less in the vein of the quacking Canada goose in Source Code. It's not something you notice being absent from your entertainment until it becomes commonplace ...

FURTHER FEATHERED FILM FACT: I'm almost entirely certain that whatever bird sound was used for the flightless cormorant in Master and Commander was also used for an orc or orc-like creature in Return of the King, something which threw me when I saw the latter. It sounds a bit like the shag, if you want to try spotting it yourself.

Bill, again

Mar. 9th, 2017 05:59 pm
tealin: (terranova)
For the next couple weeks* I'm going to be teaching the brightest of bright young things how to animate dialogue. From my own personal experience, all the lectures about theory can't stack up against watching an actual animator actually animate an actual scene, so I like to have a demo to walk the class through, on which to demonstrate what I'm talking about, and the stages of animating a scene. It also happens to be a great way to work out a design. Last year I did this with Oates; this year I felt Wilson was in most need of the animation-test treatment. Remembering what a fight I had to get anything halfway decent out of him at the end of last year, I girded my loins for battle, but the minute I sat down to draw him he just ... turned up.

So, this should be fun ...

And now I've got him pretty much figured out (knock on wood), I have no excuse to put off any further the re-interpretative illustration of Victorian verse which I've had on my mental back burner for SEVEN YEARS now. Just in time for it, too – it should go up March 18th, or not at all. [slinks off mysteriously]

*When not stuffing my face with pickled herring and the world's best bread, which everyone knows are the real reasons I travel to Denmark
tealin: (terranova)

Next up on the design block is Tryggve Gran. Gran was a lieutenant in the Norwegian navy, as well as one of the first professional skiers. He was hired onto the expedition to teach the British how to ski – the sport was only just becoming popular in the mainstream, and while those who had been on the Discovery expedition had had practice with one-stick skiing, the two-stick cross-country skiing we’re familiar with today was an innovation in 1910.

I’ve only just started reading his published journals, but so far they’re confirming my impression of his being the Legolas of the expedition. His uncanny ease at gliding along on top of the snow only helps with the image.

Gran was enthusiastic about being part of this great undertaking, and optimistic about being chosen to go for the Pole, but things got awkward when Amundsen put his oar in, and for understandable reasons (as he admitted at the time) he had to be eliminated from consideration. Gran was loyal to Scott all his life, which was a long one – he died in 1980.

T. Griffith Taylor led a geological side-expedition to the Western Mountains on which Gran assisted, and in his official report (??!) which was published in Scott's Last Expedition: Vol. II he's hidden this little Easter egg, a ditty written for Gran's 23rd birthday: Read more... ) One is left to wonder just how 'unmoral' he might have been ... (Seriously, the official report, Griff?)
tealin: (Default)
A few years ago, when the BBC reran the radio dramatisation of The Worst Journey in the World which got me into this whole Scott thing, I made a small comic about the journey I've been on since being introduced to these amazing people and their story. A little while ago, a small gallery in Minneapolis with which I've had some dealings put out a call for art illustrating one's personal story and 'what makes you tick,' which seemed like the perfect excuse to bring the story up to the present and make something of it.

The continuation picks up in 2012, with the culmination of Centenary Fever, and the overseas trip which tipped the balance on my personal status quo:

... and goes three more pages through the changes both internal and external, my shift in perspective and priorities, and acceptance of a particular direction for my life.

Plus three more pages to bring it home, a small but hugely significant passage from Worst Journey (quoted with permission!), and a short suggested reading list should anyone have their curiosity piqued and be heedless of my warning that such material may change their life, too.

Said comic and text have been compiled into a small booklet, which is currently available from the gallery's shop should you wish to acquire one.* The site doesn't say so, but they are all signed!

This foray into self-publishing has been ... "an adventure" ... but I think I might be tempted to do a little more, if there's a market for it. It's strange to think anyone would smile on buying my artwork when I've been feeding the Internet for free lo these many years, but other people seem to manage it, so ...? Any advice on this, or suggestions for what sort of things you'd like to see, would be very gratefully received. With any luck I'll figure out something for North American distribution which will spare you paying through the nose for overseas shipping, something that couldn't get sorted out before the gallery show. (Sorry about that, but the profit margin is tiny on those little books, believe it or not.)

*Given that these booklets have had to cross the Atlantic once already, I'd advise Europeans to hold off for a few weeks and let those on the other side pick up the gallery copies – I aim to have some more local distribution set up in April or so.


Feb. 7th, 2017 10:09 am
tealin: (Default)
I have loads of packing and pre-travel stuff to do, but my brain won't leave me alone about these things I've been wanting to blog about for years, so I'm giving it one hour to say what it wants to say and stop bothering me. These were going to be big long thinky-posts, but I'm forcing myself to keep them to one paragraph.

Media piracy is a big deal, both for content producers (such as myself) and the consuming public, but I don't feel the current conversation is the one we need to be having. There are many grey areas in which limited theft ends up being for the greater good – essentially free marketing – but money has to be part of the equation at some point. The counter-piracy argument is always presented as 'if you don't pay for this film, you're stealing from the people who made it.' That is, essentially, untrue, as very few people who work on the film get any residuals from its profits. What you are doing is preventing things from getting made in the future. The rise of the box set has seen some fantastic television being produced, but it is being produced on the prospect that people will buy the box set, or digital equivalent thereof. Studios budget future projects based on what past ones have made, so if profits from Film B are down from Film A, they have less to give Film C, or decide that they can only make Film E, instead of Films D, E, and F as planned. I have been in meetings where the effects of this cycle are presented very matter-of-factly. When you pirate films, you are stealing from yourself, because your lack of monetary input means YOU will get fewer and lower-quality things to watch in future.

People argue endlessly about which approach to government is correct. There is no correct. There is only what best reflects your priorities. Everyone has a reason for believing what they believe. You can find statistics and studies to back up any argument you want to make, on any side. What it comes down to is a matter of choice. What kind of country do you want to live in? What kind of society? What do you want to put up on a pedestal as being the #1 Important Thing? A nation's government, in a way, projects back to the nation what it values. What values do you want those to be? What sort of people do you want to be allied with, or opposed to? What consequences are you willing to take? What sort of person does that make you? Are you OK with that?


Feb. 5th, 2017 08:58 am
tealin: (4addict)
Barely 24 hours after I post those thoughts about how A Series of Unfortunate Events challenges us to stand up for the Baudelaires around us, Radio 4 has broadcast programmes asking us "Which character in the story are you?" and referring to Yeats' "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."

I joke that I'm married to Radio 4 (and Cambridge, the physical embodiment thereof), but I'm starting to wonder if the fraying of reality is making that more true than I thought possible...
tealin: (writing)
Some fandoms are pretty universally popular, and some are so niche they barely qualify as fandoms at all. Snicket fandom falls somewhere in between. Some people are passionate fans, but quite a few dislike the books or 'don't get' them; it's interesting to figure out what it is in a person that clicks with A Series of Unfortunate Events; who ends up liking them and who not.

After much mental chewing on my own small sample group, the best conclusion I've reached on the subject is this: You are more likely to enjoy Lemony Snicket if you are aware of the darker side of life – not necessarily accepting of the darkness, but accepting the awareness of it. If you haven't suffered loss, or been uprooted, or been disappointed in someone you were counting on, or simply prefer not to think about depressing things like these, you are more likely not to 'get' these books and wonder why anyone does. But if you know that, at any moment, your life might be turned upside down and everything you take for granted – even abstract things like kindness, truth, and justice – cast into doubt, you are more likely to look at these maudlin tales of misfortune and have something in you say 'yes, that's how it is.' Overblown and dressed up in a silly costume, yes, but with a kernel of truth, around which the absurdity and poignancy and tongue-in-cheek narration are built up like layers on a gobstopper.

What We 'Get' About Them )

Now we find ourselves in a world where, on an abstract level, these ridiculous tales are suddenly not so far off the mark. This series was written mainly during the G.W. Bush administration, when the culture wars were already well underway, and the idea of educated, cultured urban sophisticates being locked in life-or-death conflict with ignorant and crude but more ruthless people was an entertaining hyperbole of the contemporary climate. Now we've had a US election where those wishing to stick it to 'the elites' have won, and similar forces are in the ascendency across the Eurocentric world. Last week I flicked between the Netflix series and Twitter, with its steady stream of outrage at the smash-and-grab first week of the Trump administration, contingency plans to save libraries, and this classic: “America is a tire fire. The resistance is led by Teen Vogue, Badlands National Park, and the Merriam-Webster dictionary.” ... and I thought, good grief, the ridiculous is now.

We Are All The Baudelaires )

It's not too hard to find a modern parallel for Count Olaf, the egotistical entertainer who will get what he wants by any means necessary, or for those who hitch a ride on his ambition. But is that where we should be looking? )


This popped up from my favourite singer/songwriter today, which seemed relevant:

There is a kind of elegant, uncomfortable wisdom to these times too, no? We are shocked and horrified by the uncovering of hidden hatred, but dormant love and generosity and courage are also coming out of hiding. I think we are all in some version of “hiding", more or less, and in this world it’s becoming harder and harder to hide. Maybe that’s a good thing?
tealin: (catharsis)
This is the exact moment I knew I was in big trouble:

On one hand, I don't know how I'd've gotten through last week without this show ... on the other I can literally (literally!) feel the dopamine coursing through my veins when I'm watching it, which ... is a little alarming?

Back on the first hand, it's good to have something to take the stress off and bring on the happy, even if it's a neurochemical kind of happy (though, what isn't?). But on the other hand again, maybe actual coping strategies are of more long-term value than hitting the escapism again? But then, on a foot, this is, in a bizarre way, helping me process things? (More on that later.)

Other foot as yet unclaimed by a rhetorical standpoint. Stay tuned.
tealin: (catharsis)
For a few minutes, let's escape to a completely fictional universe where kind, noble, intelligent people are pressed by conviction and circumstance to make a stand against violent, greedy, ignorant ones.

I've been a fan of Lemony Snicket most of my adult life, but never imagined his books would help me parse current events. How lucky we are the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events should come along just when it should be so bafflingly relevant.

A Little Background )

I wasn't immediately excited when I heard Netflix was going to do a serial adaptation of the books. The 2004 movie got some things right, but some more important things wrong, and having worked in high-profile mainstream entertainment in the meantime, I didn't believe they'd be allowed to film the books in a manner faithful to both story and tone. Too indefinable! Too idiosyncratic! Too intelligentsia! But when the first promotional material for the show came out, they seemed to know exactly what they were doing – more came out and I lost hope again – then at last I semi-reluctantly gave the first episode a try, and within ten minutes was completely sold on it and reverted to the giddy early-twenty-something who ran around Vancouver taking blurry black-and-white photos and cracking up at apparently random things.

I'm not going to go into a point-by-point of likes and dislikes, as that will take all afternoon, and the only person interested in it is me. Instead, here are some general statements from an avowed fan and someone far more familiar with the audiobooks than any adult ought to be: Items. )

If this series has been your introduction to Lemony Snicket, then sleep easy – it's been a good one. If you like it, you'll probably like the books. Might I also heartily recommend the audiobooks, for long car journeys, or non-word-related workdays, or just a bit of company as you unwind from a day of fighting injustice and bad taste in your off-the-grid safehouse far up in the mountains. You can probably find a few of them at a local public library. Support your library!


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