Saturday Morning Brain Drain [19/3/22]

A place to let it all out.

Image via Ultimate Classic Rock

What I watched:  Continuing the re-watching of old, good movies during breaks from The Murdoch Mysteries (he invented Legos, the dishwasher, and the “lap top” the other evening). This week I present Pulp Fiction. Of course, you have seen this movie! But do you remember how shocking the Overdose Needle Scene was? How about the iconic dance scene? The shooting scenes?

Here’s the trailer:

What I read: A House of Ghosts by W. C. Ryan. This is a new author to me, heavier on the haunting and lighter on the romance. I really liked the pacing and the realism of the hauntings.

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, at Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, armaments manufacturer Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons, both of whom died at the front. Among the guests, two have been secretly dispatched from the intelligence service. When a storm descends, they find themselves trapped on the island. Soon one of their number will die. For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one. An unrelenting, gripping mystery, packed with twists and turns and a kindling of romance, A House of Ghosts is the perfect cold-weather read.

Opening Gambit, Book 1: Tournament of Shadows, by Tilly Wallace of Monsters and Manners fame. This book is the story of Seraphina and Hugh Miles, the parents of the heroine from the Manners and Monsters series. It is far to good to be called a backstory.

She’s been a pawn for too long. It’s time to take control of the game… The first female magic user to reach adulthood in centuries, Seraphina Winyard is viewed as a freakish chattel by some… and as a danger to erase from history by others. Held captive and humiliated like a performing animal, she cannot dream of a future, and has no hope in the present. Until she escapes.

And, The Broken Cage by Sarah Painter, the seventh book in her Crow Investigations series. I’ve fan girled about this before on these pages.

Finally, I finished all eleven books of fantasist Charlotte E English’s Modern Magick series. So good. I may have mentioned it already…

In 2017, little remains of magick save scattered, beleaguered pockets of magickal community and scholarship – and a vast, but rapidly decaying, heritage. How can any of it survive the pace of modern life? As an agent of the Society for Magickal Heritage, Cordelia “Ves” Vesper has an important job: to track down and rescue endangered magickal creatures, artefacts, books and spells wherever they are to be found. It’s a duty that takes her the length and breadth of Britain, and frequently gets her into trouble. But somebody’s got to keep magick alive in the modern world, and Ves is more than equal to the job.

What I listened to this week: Swim Deep – Big Green Apple; Delv!s – Money; and Art d’Ecco – Palm Slave.

So, dearest DeadSplinterites, how are you? What’s going on? What have you watched, read, or listened to? Please check in, tell us how you are, and share what you are up to!

About Elliecoo 459 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. Hello All, sorry about the trailer. I am away from home and unable to fix it. We will be gone about 3 hours; we have all eight pounds of Lilly Belle in an xpen with the “mouse cam” from this winter trained on her. Her level of “wreck the joint” far exceeded my expectations last weekend. Have a lovely Saturday!

  2. …don’t think I’m all the way caught up with discovery/picard but I did finally get around to watching the most recent season of succession…which, for a show in which there’s pretty much never anyone you entirely feel deserves you rooting for them remains curiously compelling…despite which I hadn’t got around to watching until I had a couple of long journeys to while away

    …& I’ve also only recently caught on to the fact that raised by wolves has a second season running…so I aim to find time for that at some stage…anybody hereabouts been watching that one?

          • …it’s sort of an odd mixture of stuff that endeared it to me but I do sort of recall the start of the first season not selling me on it right away…but even if it was mostly curiosity that kept me watching the first season I’m getting the feeling that the second is potentially where it might hit its stride?

            …& I think at this point having a flawed first season is sort of a traditional rite of passage for star trek…so I guess I’d understand if it wasn’t some people’s idea of a good thing but it works for me

              • It did start slowly — I remember thinking that at the time. I think it was aiming for a more “cerebral” Trek. The cameos kept me coming back — I really wanted to see some of the Next Gen cast again, and it didn’t disappoint me. However, once it got going it really moved. And they avoided the “slow” mistake with Season 2. It’s been a roller coaster from the jump.

  3. Watched:  Lions for Lambs, which was made during Dubya’s administration as a very pointed “fuck you” to all of the right wingers who glorified the wars.  I couldn’t actually remember if I had seen it before–which should tell you all you need to know–and couldn’t be sure about it until I was probably a half hour in.

    Read: A Belief in Meritocracy Is Not Only False: It’s Bad for You, which is another “no shit, Sherlock” article from my perspective, but at the very least it seems that more people are talking about these rather obvious societal fallacies more often and more publicly now.

    Listened:  Our latest stop on the best engineered albums of all time brings us to Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.  Engineered by Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut, this is probably the most widely recognized album from the band, and I think the best selling.  What really makes this album stand out is the fact that it should have sounded terrible.  It was recorded in a studio that was not designed well, the tapes from that studio were damaged and had to be restored and then overdubbed elsewhere, the band was completely loaded on drugs and alcohol, and everyone was fucking everyone else.  But, the sound that came from that album is undeniable.

    Songbird was recorded at an auditorium at Berkley because Caillat felt that it needed a concert hall sound.


  4. On St. Patricks I saw Boondock Saints which was clearly heavily in debt to Pulp Fiction. It’s a huge mess, but Willem Dafoe did his best as the over the top FBI agent on the case of the killers.

  5. Watched: Is It Cake?, which is some doofy Netflix show where the contestants have to identify if it is, for instance, an actual burger or a cake made to look like a burger. And then, they have to bake their own cake that looks like a burger or tacos or a sack full of money or what-have-you. We only watched the first episode last night… it was funny, but I feel like the jokes are going to wear thin after a fairly short time.

    Other than that, the usual array of Disney movies and Stargate and other background noise type stuff.


    Reading: I found the Eva Devon books @elliecoo recommended on Kindle Unlimited and read the first 2… The Beast’s Bride and The Beast’s Bluestocking. Not bad, but, damn… somebody needs a better editor!! Is he the Duke of Blacktower or Blackstone? Also, “his boots shown like black glass”… *head explodes*

    Finished Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir, book 2 of her Six Tudor Queens series. Well written and historically accurate because, well, Alison Weir!

    A Visitor’s Guide to Georgian England by Monica Hall, which was a pretty good overview of the era, although nothing special.

    Audiobook: Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Victoria Hamilton, read by Danielle Cohen. Gothic mystery complete with rainy moors, a dark and brooding master of the house, and a possible werewolf on the loose. I loved it. I also love the reader, because she does voices enough so you can tell who’s talking, but not so much that it’s hammy and overdone. Definitely going to look for more that she’s done!

      • @elliecoo Forgot to mention that my current book is a Signet Regency Romance from 1980… A Kind of Honor by Joan Wolf. I collect these sort of cheap paperback romances from the ’60’s, ’70’s, and ’80’s at library sales and thrift stores. If I ever get a scanner again, I intend to add some of the more difficult to find ones to

        Also… added Manners and Monsters on my Hoopla account! Thanks!

    • …the typos in ebooks annoy me perhaps more than is reasonable (so about as much as the ones I fail to catch in my posts/comments when I notice those?) but I once had a conversation with someone who produced ebooks for a living & asked if my tinfoil-hat theory about them was crazy…& it turns out that at least some of them actually are deliberate in order to “fingerprint” them…if a pirated copy shares the same set of typos they know where it got lifted from

      …which part of me can sort of understand…but surely there must be ways to digitally watermark those files without breaking the reader out of the thing by pushing that button in particular?

    • Rare leaving-of-the-house continued report: foods at the table; shrimp cocktail, roasted Brussels sprouts with crabmeat, soppressata pizza, poutine, raspberry creme brulee, chocolate decadence, cocktails, beers, and Irish coffees. Naps in the future.

  6. Still out, people watching hour two! I love people watching. The restaurant is decorated as spring (@MegMegMcGee the upstairs of where we went) and we must have seen 20+ pregnant ladies at market, this truely the season of birth. Lilley Belle continues to bark…which is troublesome as she does not bark when I  am home.

  7. i watched bigbug

    it was bizarre…but not great

    wierd enough to keep you watching…but never quite lives up to the awesome you might expect from the trailer

    caveat there tho….i suspect i lost some good stuff in translation as my french is not good enough to get by without subtitles….little snarks and jokes probably went over my head

    its the kinda thing that makes or breaks a largely chat driven movie…i reckon

  8. Watched the first 2 episodes of Minx on HBOMax, entirely because I loved Jake Johnson when he was on New Girl.

    Plot is that annoying upper class white woman feminist wants to start a magazine for women called “The Matriarchy Awakens” that’s entirely about women’s rights, etc, and ends up working with Johnson’s character to make a nude men’s magazine for women.

    I guess I’ll keep watching for a few more episodes? Honestly the lead character is just so underwhelming. I know the role was written to be tone deaf and annoying, but the actress isn’t bringing enough to make the role engaging despite that. I don’t know, it’s too over the top for how she gets annoyed about things not going her way for her magazine idea. Like hello she’s a woman alive in the 1970s, she has to understand things better than she seems to.

    FYI, episode 1 has a lot of dick and balls in it, because they’re doing a casting call for the male centerfold. Luckily I watched the show last night when there weren’t kids outside because I really don’t want to cause a situation of people walking by and a child seeing a giant image of genitals through the window.

  9. I finished Ridgeline and would highly recommend it for anyone who likes historical fiction. The author also wrote The Revenant, which was the much talked-about movie with DiCaprio several years ago. Like The Revenant, this is set in the US West, but centers around the Indian Wars in Wyoming’s Powder River Valley.

    I make that recommendation despite the fact that I often avoid reading about the US West because I live in that region, and a lot of Old West themes and iconography get used here to support really outdated ideas and beliefs (that’s my nice way of saying that cowboys are all sorts of bullshit out here).

Leave a Reply