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"The Vacation's Revenge"

Kittens, this is what happens when you break up with a vacation. It exhibits a flare for vindictiveness by seeing to it that, on the eve of New Year's Eve, I catch a mild intestinal bug, just enough to make me utterly miserable for a good twenty-four hours, and see that Spooky catches it just as I start recovering, so another twenty-four hours will be disrupted and more misery will be spread. So, warning: do not interrupt vacations.

But comment. I'll have the iPad with me in bed.

I spent most of yesterday lying on the chaise in the middle parlour, sleeping and moaning, except when I was...no, I'll be discrete, yes? Yes. I did read Laird Barron's "Old Virginia" and Steve Duffy's "The Oram County Whoosit," the latter of which was not only quite good, but rather interesting. In that it covered some of the ground I covered in "In the Water Works (Birmingham, Alabama 1888)" and "The Colliers' Venus (1893)." Also, it put me in mind, a bit, of Carpenter's The Thing (1982). But I don't mean to say that it felt derivative (though it is a "Mythos tale"). You can find "The Oram County Whoosit" in New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, and I recommend it. This was the first story by Duffy I'd read.

Last night, as the crud struck Spooky, we watched Julie Delpy's The Countess (2009). And it really is Delpy's film as she wrote, directed, scored, and played the title role in the film. It's neglect of historicity aside, it's a fine film. Erzebet Bathory's story becomes both a fairy tale and a tragedy about a strong, intelligent (if psychotically, murderously neurotic) woman caught in an age when strong, intelligent women were generally deemed, at best, a nuisance. I especially approve of this latter theme, as it certainly did play a role in the downfall of the real Countess Bathory, between the enormous debt owed her by Hungary's King Matthias and the hatred she engendered from the Roman Catholic Church. Whatever else may or may not be true of her, having researched her life, there can be little doubt she ran afoul of a conspiracy and was an easy target. Anyway, I'd have liked a wilder, more explicit film, but The Countess is impressive, nonetheless (ignore the IMDb rating of 6.2; that's fucking poppycock). See it.

But what really saved the day yesterday was that the mail brought a gift from Neil, a personalized copy of the numbered edition of The Little Golden Book of Ghastly Stuff, from Borderlands Press. Spooky read a bit of it to me and the platypus. I was especially pleased with "Entitlement Issues" (you can read it online, just follow the link), which calls out all those fools who think authors owe them anything at all and who place stock in that "reader/writer contract" crap.

Ah, I'm running out of what little steam I had in me. So, I shall leave you with two things: Firstly, a promise that Sirenia Digest #73 will be out sometime in the next week or so, and, secondly, I leave you with this rare photo of me and the platypus together (we were fading fast):

On the Mend,
Aunt Beast


( 14 comments — Have your say! )
Dec. 31st, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
Wishing a speedy recovery to you both. (And the platypus is very cute. :-)

May 2012 bring every thing you want it to.
Dec. 31st, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
who think authors owe them anything at all and who place stock in that "reader/writer contract" crap

..and like a lot of people, no one actually reads the fine print, and just assumes.. which leads to a lot of disappointments, on both sides.
Scott Connors
Dec. 31st, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
Drink plenty of fluids if you're having GI issues. Orange juice is great. Think BRAT: bananas-rice-applesauce-tea. Best diet for the tummy trots.

There is a Czech film, called BATHORY, starring Anna F riel and Franco Nero, that presents a fairly sympathetic portrait of Countess Erzebet. I think I saw a trailer for it recently (IIRC, on one of the DVDs for the Swedish "Girl in the Dragon Tattoo" films), but so far it has not had a US or UK release. I do have a Thai DVD with English language track (no Czech, though) and subtitles (the Czech DVD does not have subtitles). It's NTSC but Region 3.

Steve Duffy is a talented British writer who usually writes in a Jamesian (M. R., not Henry) tradition. Ash-Tree Press has published three volumes of his work, two of which are now available as eBooks.
Dec. 31st, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
I heard Bathory praised a few years ago, so I've been waiting for it to make it to the US to make a double-feature with The Countess.
Dec. 31st, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
in an age when strong, intelligent women were generally deemed, at best, a nuisance
I tend to believe this is an attitude which still holds sway but perhaps somewhat less so than previous centuries.
Dec. 31st, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I had that last night. One day of sleeping, moaning and trotting and a second day of not being able to stand the smell or thought of food. But, The Countess sounds wonderful.
Dec. 31st, 2011 09:56 pm (UTC)
As someone who went through their own intestinal miseries after Thanksgiving, I sympathize with you both...
Dec. 31st, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
I'll pretend that I did my blood donation today in your honor. In happy geekery, the blood drive was Star Trek/Star Wars themed. I designated my blood for the Klingons. I figured clones have their own way to get blood.

...Okay, I'm not sure how much sense this comment makes out of context, but! If you need blood, let us know. You'd probably like mine. It's O-Negative blood that anyone can use. Except maybe as a...no, I'm not going to be gross. *grins*

Also? Argh about the bug.

Feeling better? On the way to better?
Dec. 31st, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)
This is quite the year for various forms of creeping crud to strike— lots of people are calling to say they’ll skip our usual New Year’s gathering. I hope you recover swiftly.
Jan. 1st, 2012 02:42 am (UTC)
I like your juxtaposition of "fucking" and "poppycock."

I'm still eagerly anticipating the coming of the Tilda Swinton Bathory film, but the Delpy one sounds like something to be looked forward to as well... must find the time to watch it sometime soon!

Hope your and Spooky's recovery goes well! A plague upon illnesses.
Jan. 1st, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Nice picture, and platypus. It's unfortunate to hear about the bug you caught, but hopefully this is the last of it. Happy New Year.

I will have to put The Countess on my To Watch list. Thanks for the rec.
Jan. 1st, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)
Anyway, I'd have liked a wilder, more explicit film

That's what I'm hoping Tilda Swinton in Die Blutgräfin will be for.

but The Countess is impressive, nonetheless (ignore the IMDb rating of 6.2; that's fucking poppycock).


Happy New Year!
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:12 am (UTC)

Best wishes for the New Year for you and Spooky. I hope the year starts out better than it ended (after getting the intestinal nasties, everything's gotta be better, right?).
Jan. 2nd, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
Noooooo! Don't let the stomach flu make you discrete -- stay unified and whole! ;)
( 14 comments — Have your say! )


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