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I Can Talk All I Want Because I'm a Kid - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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August 17th, 2012


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10:26 am - I Can Talk All I Want Because I'm a Kid
Step 1: Attend a Dating for Nerds event where you discuss nerdy things and play board games.
Step 2: Be touched on the elbow by a cute girl, chat her up, walk her out, give her your contact information.
Step 3: Seize the opportunity to continue conversing when she sends an e-mail with everyone's contact information.
Step 4: Ask her if she wants to meet for pie that weekend.
Step 5: Let the weekend pass with no response.
Step 6: Perceive a lack of interest in a date but some interest in putting together a game night with other attendees.
Step 7: ???

Dating is stupid, but I guess I'm finally kind of trying or whatever.



I remember reading the Bunnicula books as a kid, so when I saw that I could experience The Bunnicula Collection, by James Howe and Deborah Howe, as read by Victor Garber, how could I say no? All I really remembered about the series was that it was about a vampire bunny that sucks the juice out of vegetables, turning them white. What I somehow failed to remember is that the books are NARRATED BY A DOG. You guys, it's kind of brilliant. As a narrator, Harold is perfectly naive and completely lovable, providing a great contrast to Chester the cat, who is sophisticated and intelligent—perhaps a little too intelligent. What's wonderful about the books is that Harold is gullible because he's dumb and Chester is gullible because he's smart.

In Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery, the world's greatest vampire bunny is introduced to the world. The entire plot consists of Harold and Chester investigating Bunnicula, but Bunnicula is, for some reason, the only animal in any of these books that never talks (maybe only dogs and cats talk). I was rather surprised and impressed by how incredibly good this book is, largely because of the way Harold's narration is written. It's lively and fun, and everything is taken so seriously by the characters that it's incredibly funny to us, and it all just works.

Howliday Inn hardly features Bunnicula at all, instead focusing on Harold and Chester's stay at Chateau Bow Wow, where Chester has moved on from vampires to...werewolves! But then they have to investigate a murder. The longest book of the first three, it has a more complex plot and a large cast of characters, all distinct.

The Celery Stalks at Midnight is the weakest of the three, perhaps because of the introduction of Howie, an annoying little dachshund Garber sort of voices like Scrappy Doo. Bunnicula has disappeared, and our pet heroes are afraid he's out engaging in vampire bunny mischief!

These books are very enjoyable and fiendishly clever, and Garber is a great reader. It's like SpyDaddy is reading you a bedtime story!



I listened to The Spiderwick Chronicles, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, purely because it was read by Mark Hamill, as I knew nothing else about it but that it was a children's fantasy series that had been turned into a movie. Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace move into an old house after their father leaves them because he's a jerkface or something. And then they discover a Field Guide and find out that fairies are real! And so there are brownies and sprites and goblins and other such denizens of the Faerie realm.

Unfortunately, the series is rather unexceptional. The children do encounter these fairy creatures, but I didn't really find them to be that distinct or interesting, especially after having read depictions of Faerie in Sandman and the Toby Daye books. The whole series is basically like, "Yep, here are some creatures. They exist." A plot emerges concerning the Field Guide and its author, Arthur Spiderwick, and it is a mildly interesting idea, but there isn't a huge sense of narrative momentum. The climax and denouement are rather satisfying, though, for the most part.

The most frustrating aspect of the series is that it shouldn't be a series. Each book is incredibly short, and each one ends on a "cliffhanger" that isn't really a cliffhanger because the next book doesn't jump off from that point at all, so instead each book feels like it just ends randomly in the middle of the book. As a result, the pacing is entirely wonky, and the series would have been much stronger if it had just been one long book.

I was initially disappointed that Mark Hamill wasn't using interesting voices for the main characters, but then he brought his talents to the fore with the various fairy creatures. So even though the books weren't amazing, it was fun to be read them by the Joker.
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
Current Music: Grouplove - Tongue Tied

(18 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:skjaere
Date:August 17th, 2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Do I need to re-read the Bunnicula books? They were big favourites when I was in about the third grade, and used to hide in my closet and read with a flashlight. Those and Astrid Lindgren's books (Pippi Longstocking, etc...). I just couldn't get enough. I've been meaning to re-read Ronia the Robber's Daughter for ages now. Before there was Alanna of Trebond and Arya Stark, there was Ronia, and I adored her.

(That woman was clearly a fool and not worth your time and you can do so much better. The right woman will recognise how fabulous you are.)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 17th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
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Do I need to re-read the Bunnicula books?
YES! At least the first two. They hold up really well.

(That woman was clearly a fool and not worth your time and you can do so much better. The right woman will recognise how fabulous you are.)
Lots of women recognize how fabulous I am! They just don't want to date me.
[User Picture]
From:skjaere
Date:August 17th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
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Or live too damn far away....

(Sorry; that was forward of me. I don't mean to be an internet stalker.)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 18th, 2012 03:04 am (UTC)
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I know! I didn't even know the other three existed!
[User Picture]
From:spadada
Date:August 18th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
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Dating is so tough. KEEP AT IT! Sounds like you are onto something.

BUNNICULA!!!!!!! I can not wait to get it for my niece (and read it first).
[User Picture]
From:thetheatremouse
Date:August 18th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
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A: Now I want pie.
B: That made me remember I just found out I'll be in your area next summer for a work thing, and maybe we could get pie then?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 18th, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
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Yes!! ALL THE PIE AND ICE CREAM.
[User Picture]
From:thetheatremouse
Date:August 19th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
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I like the way you think, sir.
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From:vixyish
Date:August 19th, 2012 05:41 am (UTC)
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I remember being rather indignant as a teenager when I first heard that there were SEQUELS to Bunnicula. Sacrilege! Because Bunnicula came out when I was actually a kid, and the rest didn't come out 'til I was in high school and beyond, and well... there was only one REAL Bunnicula for me! :)
[User Picture]
From:ashfae
Date:August 20th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
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BUNNICULA!!! I love that book. Never liked the rest of the series, but that one? Beautiful.

Also, dating *is* stupid.
[User Picture]
From:tophatter2
Date:August 21st, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)

Vampire bunny?

(Link)
Millie has one question: Who told????
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2740/5704187172_dded69198a_z.jpg

Putting something out there and never hearing back is the worst. At least "no" lets you get on with other things, instead of hoping something's going to work out.
[User Picture]
From:ambyr
Date:August 23rd, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
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Can I recommend that you not give up on Holly Black as an author? I thought her Curse Workers series was leaps and bounds above of all her earlier books.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 23rd, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
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I'll keep that in mind, thanks!
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From:duchessdogberry
Date:August 28th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
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Aw, Bunnicula! There were SO MANY arguments on my elementary school bus about how to pronounce "Bunnicula". Seriously. Like, at least 3 shouty arguments a year from second grade through fifth grade and more than 10 when I was in 3rd grade and actually read it for the first time.

The only book title(s) I got more indignant about pronouncing was "Amelia Bedelia" because I didn't understand how people couldn't realize THAT IT RHYMES.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 28th, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
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I always pronounced the second syllable to rhyme with "duck." Victor Garber pronounces it to rhyme with "dick."

...How the hell else would you pronounce "Amelia Bedelia"?
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 6th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
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Tales told by dogs are TIMELESS, clearly.

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