Posting History for Ellid
|Books So Bad They're Good: A Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Summer in Badbookistan
'Tis summer, and time for a middle aged woman's fancies to turn to thoughts of bad books. Not only bad books, of course. I picked up several excellent books at Kalamazoo last week, two of which I'...
|Medieval Studies Rewind: I'm Still A Gal in Kalamazoo
Tonight, I come to you from the past. Partially this is due to where I am: the Kalamazoo Medieval Studies Congress at Western Michigan University. This annual conference, which brings together ...
|Research Rewind: How Not To Draw Comics The R____ L____ Way
One more week. That's all that's left of this spring's Research Rewind slate, good gentles all. I'm in the home stretch on my paper, which I'll be delivering next Saturday afternoon to the great ...
|Research Rewind: Forward, Boy Commandos!
The end is near. By this I mean that I'm entering the home stretch of this year's six week long experiment in reprinting old diaries as I lurch grimly toward Kalamazoo. The paper is partially done,
|Research Rewind: Around the World With Clueless Tourists
A month from now, my captivity will all be over. That's because I'll have, God willing, finished my paper, driven out to Kalamazoo with Ysabel, delivered my paper, become part of the new troika in ...
|Research Rewind: The Vikings of Rhode Island
I'm still not free. Those of you who read my diary a couple of weeks ago know that I'm basically in Stealth Mode from now until May 16th, when I'll emerge like a butterfly, wet and dripping and ...
|Research Rewind: What Not To Wear, Historic Edition
A few weekends ago I was a star. It was only for a few hours, in a couple of places, but man oh man was it fun. I had people take my picture, I had people shout at me from across the road, and I ...
|Question on hand surgery
I was just diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome after years of occasional numbness and tingling, particularly on the left. I went to a neurologist last week and was told that the nerves themselves ...
|Research Rewind: Back to the Kitchen, Modern Jezebel!
This weekend is my last taste of freedom. Before anyone panics, I'm not going to jail. As those of you who read these weekly excursions into life, Badbookistan, and everything have probably guessed,
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Roots of Controversy, Part 2
I grew up believing an untruth, and it was all my grandmother’s fault. Not my mother’s mother, who’d raised six boys (Julius, Oscar, Charlie, Louie, Dan, and Bob), one girl (Mum), and one ...
|I was wrong about the source of the Globe's editorial on Warren
And am publicly apologizing for misattributing the source of the editorial urging her to run for President. I saw it very late at night when I had a toothache, and I am sorry for my assertions in ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Roots of Controversy, Part I
My family came from The Garden of Wales. This may surprise long-time readers of these diaries, many of which begin with a story about my upbringing in the less than bucolic suburbs of Pittsburgh, ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: I Did Warn You
I warned you this might happen. I'm not talking about anything truly bad, like annoying co-workers, undrinkable coffee, kaiju larvae boiling out through your plumbing system, wildfires fueled by ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Animal Lovers Who Love Way, Way Too Much
I once had a dog with a musical ear. His name was Toto, aka Toto Barbarossa, aka Totempole, aka Totie, and he was a dark brindle Cairn terrier who was the light of our lives for sixteen years. We ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Mourning Rewind
Yesterday I lost one of the most important men in my life. It wasn't a relative, or a boyfriend, or a buddy. It wasn't even someone I'd actually met, and I very much doubt that he'd ever heard of ...
|A Death in the (Future Extended) Family
I fell in love for the first time when I was thirteen. My love was older than I was, a grown man and not a little girl. Handsome, brilliant, and articulate, he was quiet where I was a loud, ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Four Weird Years! Four Weird Years!
I have a confession to make: I almost forgot our anniversary. Not a wedding or romantic anniversary, oh no. Being dumped for someone half my age the day after returning from a romantic vacation ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Greetings From Scenic Graustark!
I once gave my best friend an obscene postcard. This was not necessarily my intent when I flipped through the racks of postcards in the little souvenir stand near the Mercato Nuovo in Florence. I'...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Snowstorm Rewind
It's snowed a lot in these parts lately. First came the Blizzard of '15, which dropped a comparatively tame four inches on the Last Homely Shack while burying much of the rest of the Commonwealth ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Tut, tut, Mr. Tutt!
I used to read my uncle Oscar’s mail. This may sound problematic, but it was actually quite innocent. My mother and I would come home from the high school where she taught and I allegedly learned,
|Books So Bad They're Good: Dining with Dr. Lecter
The most disturbing Christmas gift I've ever received was a set of trading cards. The problem was not trading cards in and of themselves. Souvenirs that signify one's love of athletes, fictional ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: A Field Guide to These Diaries; or, Meet the Family (and pets and....)
Tonight's diary is short but necessary. It's short because I have once again ventured to the wilds of Boston for my annual pilgrimage to Arisia, the mid-January SF/fantasy/gaming/costuming/what-...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Absolutely Untrue Partly Fictionalized 100% Forged Diaries of Mr. A.
A while back I told the story of my father's experiences in World War II . This saga, which was lavishly illustrated with Dad's own photographs during his time as an employee of the United States ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: A New Year, A New Spirit, and New Horrors! New Horrors! For the New Year!
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack. As I detailed last month, I found myself with a severe case of the Wintertime Blahs as 2014 segued into 2015. This condition, which is not to be confused with the Summertime ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Silver Chalice and the Robe (Redux)
Tonight I come to you from the past. As you all know by now, I'm taking the last two weekends of 2014 to rest, recover, and regain my mojo after a severe attack of the Midwinter Blahs. This dread ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Happy Life Day! Have Another Wookiee Ookiee
As you all know, I'm taking this week off due to a severe case of the Midwinter Blahs. This condition, which is hitting with unusual force this holiday season, has stripped me of my writing mojo ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: A Decision and a Request Walk Into a Bar....
This has been a rough fall for me. This is true both in terms of work - one of my colleagues was out for the better part of a month, and guess who had to pick up a lot of the slack? - and in terms ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Ellid's Infinite (Non)Netflix Queue
I love going to the movies on Christmas Day. I first went many years ago, when I had a four-pack of movie passes to the Heck Piazza Dodecaplex and nowhere to go on December 25th. I called up three ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Cherry Picking the Groves of Academe
I once came very close to breaking a young girl's heart. Before you jump to conclusions, no, I am not a wicked, wicked villain who twirls a thick black mustache whilst cackling evilly about ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Thanksgiving Rewind
It's two days after Thanksgiving, and I'm still recovering. I didn't eat too much; I was deliberately fairly moderate in my Thanksgiving indulgence, even if my friend Theresa's mother makes the ...
|Tonight in Northampton, Massachusetts
I was on my way home from work tonight when I saw the demonstration against the refusal of the grand jury in St. Louis to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. I took these photos with ...
|Gifts So Good They're Presentable: 2014 Holiday Recs
My aunt Betty was a fashionista. This should not surprise anyone who’s read these diaries; I’ve described Betty as a “Midwestern Republican Auntie Mame,” and by and large this was true. ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Poppin' and Stylin' and Terpin' the Night Away
I once found a rare and precious treasure at a baby shower. The shower was for my former sister-in-law Violet, wife of Wingding's brother Pete. They were good people, solid and smart and kind, and ...
|Cover Art So Bad It's Good: A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
It hasn't been a good week. I'm not talking simply about the elections, although those were pretty brutal; when the closest a party can come to triumphant vindication is Tom Corbett being given his ...
|I apologize for my ignorance
I received some news that upset me, and I in turn upset others. I will try to remedy my ignorance and do better in the future.
|Books So Bad They're Good: Mr. Monk's Gothick Tale of Screaming Horrors
My worst nightmare came true. It was an odd little dream, short and simple and not very horrifying at all whenever I described it to friends. Not that I talked about it much, mind; it was the sort ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: October Rewind
I am a late bloomer. I don't mean that I resemble a delicate and winsome autumn flower - good God, I'm about as winsome as battered four-door sedan, not to mention that the only thing autumnal ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Forward, Boy Commandos!
I always wanted a posse. I don't mean that I wanted to be part of a collection of grim, lean, hard-bitten cowboys ridin' the range lookin' for some damn varmint who'd robbed the bank/smashed up the ...
|Books (and other things) So Good They're Seasonal: Leaf Peeping, Shop Hopping, and Other Delights
I once owned a cat that was obsessed with acorns. The beast in question was my late and much-loved Siren Stumptail. I've written about her love of fresh fruit elsewhere in these diaries, but there ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Ancient Egyptian Idiocies
I once took on a panelist at a science fiction convention. It was an Arisia a few years ago, when a popular fantasy writer was the Guest of Honor. I was taking classes at Hartford Seminary, ...
|Books So Bad They Aren't: Bye-Bye September
I come to you tonight with bad news: I ran out of time. It's my own fault, too. I honestly thought that I could write a fabulous, fabulous diary about Bad Books About Mysterious Egypt, work about ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Vice President's Wife and the Evil Dictator
I always wanted a sister. I’m not sure why. Most of the time I was perfectly content as an only child, and if my parents had ever wanted to make me an older sister they hid it exceedingly well. ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Horsing Around
I nearly lost an eye when I was a kid, and it was all because of a horse. The horse in question was Mr. Ed, the year was 1964, and thanks to me having all the grace and style of a dead bristlecone ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Fall Lineup
This week I'm jumping the gun. I wasn't planning to unveil the fall/early winter lineup for another couple of weeks, but the weather at the Last Homely Shack has been so splendid that I've been ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Fans Are(n't) Slan
I am a eugenicist's dream. Eugenics, a little-remembered and not particularly lamented movement, arose in the mid-19th century to advocate for the improvement of humanity through the breeding of "...
|Books So Bad They Aren 't: Overtime Blues and August Rewind
I owe you all an apology. I really thought I'd be able to put together a decent diary for tonight. I truly did. I have the books, I have the intro, I have the hooks and the jokes and everything ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Orientalism and Identities
The 1920’s were a decade of chaos. One never would have guessed this from my family’s surviving photographs. My paternal grandfather, who was in his mid-30’s when the War To End All Wars ...
|A Bookstore Full of Treasures: My Weekend in New York
So I went to New York last weekend. This is not a particularly unusual occurrence. I live only three hours away from the Queen of Cities by car, bus, or train, after all, and it’s easy enough to ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: By-By-Bye Week
I did warn you about this. I said a few weeks, when going through the summer schedule, that I might well be taking this week off for various and sundry reasons that ranged from a Kaiju attack upon ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Possibly Forged Maps and Impossibly Virile Vikings
We all wear masks. Oh, don't deny it. You know as well as I do that all of us, every single one, dons disguise whenever we log onto a web site. Our on-line selves may have some aspects of our ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Objectifying the Apocalypse
Recently I saw a movie about a train. I almost didn’t see it at all – it never played at the Heck Piazza Dodecaplex, and advertising has been all but non-existent – but through some miracle ...
|Steampunk So Good It's Mesmerizing: Elements of Mind
Tonight you get an extra-special super-duper bonus diary: a book review. That's right. Tonight, my friends and faithful readers, I bring you not just Bad Books, or Condensed Books, or even the ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Joys of Condensed Literature
My aunt Betty loved to read. This should not be a surprise to anyone – I’ve already written about her love for mysteries, some of them surprisingly racy – but looking back it’s something of ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Scheduling Change
This is just a quick housekeeping note to inform my faithful and demented readers of the following changes to the previously announced schedule: - July 19th, which was originally supposed to be "...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Misogynistic Aardvark, Part 2
Last Friday night I took your advice, and it seems to have worked. As you may recall, I was scheduled to appear at PI-Con, a small science fiction convention near my home. I had arranged to read ...
|BREAKING: SCOTUS rules for Hobby Lobby
Here's the Liveblog: SCOTUS blog. I feel sick to my stomach.
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Misogynistic Aardvark, Part I
I come to you this week from a tiny, airless room at a small hotel in Enfield, Connecticut. Normally this is not the case. Normally I write my diaries either in the magnificently appointed Master ...
|BREAKING: Massachusetts buffer zone law struck down
The thirty-five foot buffer zone around Massachusetts abortion clinics was struck down by Roberts and the four liberal justices. As awful as this is, it could have been much, much worse. The ...
|BREAKING: SCOTUS backs Congress over recess appointments 9-0
This just hit the wires, but it looks like Obama's appointments to the NLRB are all out, and the rulings they made are at risk: Supreme Court unanimously rules against Obama's recess appointments ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime!
I won't be here next weekend, and it's all your fault. That's right. I'll be away next weekend in large part to you - yes, you , don't even try to deny it - friends, fellow travelers, and ...
|Movies So Bad They're Good: Modesty Blaise Is Not A Blonde!
I love terrible movies. This shouldn't be a surprise - look at what I write about, week after week! - but honestly, how can you not love something as mindbendingly stupid as The Giant Claw , which ...
|Museums So Good They're Worth Visiting: Dreams From My Mother
I am living my mother's dream because she couldn't. Not her every dream, of course. Who could and still have dreams of their own? Mum was her own person, with her own talents, only some of which I�
|Books So Bad They're Good: What Do You Want From Me?
Tonight I need your help. Alert readers will remember that tonight was supposed to be an evisceration examination of the novels/master’s theses that candidates for the MFA in Creative Writing ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Lo! Wild Talents!
I was almost conceived in a haunted house in New Jersey. This was not because my parents had a fetish for ghost hunting, strange old buildings, or wild, knock-over-the-lamps-and-pitch-your-underwear-
|We are experiencing technical difficulties....
So this week's installment of Books So Bad They're Good will appear at 9:30 pm, not 9:00. Thanks for your understanding. See you then! Peace, ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Summer Cover Art Edition
There are few things I love more than museums. First are art museums, of course. I’ve loved these magnificent repositories of our cultural heritage ever since the day my first grade class viewed ...
|Research So Fun It's a Guilty Pleasure: Guest Blog by E.C. Ambrose
And now, for something completely different. As is my custom each May, this weekend I'm at Western Michigan University, attending the annual Kalamazoo International Medieval Studies Congress. This ...
|Books So Good They're Educational: Medievalism for the Masses
There are many strange books in the bowels of Neilson Library. I first realized this in college, yea these many years ago, when I happened upon the Women's Studies section on one of the lower levels.
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Poetry of Cheese
I once owned a cat that ate strawberries. Some of you may remember my farewell to my beloved tiger cat, Siren Stumptail. She was a sleek, opinionated beauty with vivid green eyes, elegant lines ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Manic Pixie Girl of My Dreams, You're Annoying!
My Aunt Betty once sent my father on a wild goose chase. Not literally, of course. The only hunting my father ever did was going after Nazi soldiers early in 1945, which really doesn't count ...
|Comic Book Characters So Good They're Political: Captain America, Socialist Scum!
It's hard to be a patriot these days. I'm not being sarcastic, o my faithful and best beloved readers. Above and beyond all those pesky, problematic flaws in our national narrative like racism, ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Bad Books that Bloom in the Spring, Tra-la!
I have just finished up a week of EPIC GEEKINESS. There are some who would maintain that my entire life is one of epic geekiness, beginning with the fact that four of the six cats I've owned over ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Fifty Shades of Stupidity, Part II
I have tasted hell, and it tastes like chemicals. It seemed innocuous - a bag of potato chips can't possibly be that bad, can it? - so I dipped my hand into the bag, extracted what appeared to be a ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Fifty Shades of Stupidity, Part One
I once met a monster in a cheap hotel in New York City. The year was 1979, the month was January, and I was part of a small group from the Five Colleges that made the perilous journey on Amtrak ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Chevalier of Schlock
I was late to my own peerage ceremony. Readers who are familiar with the Society for Creative Anachronism, where this little faux pas took place, will understand just what a profound breach of ...
|Books So Bad They Need Sources: But Where Are The Used Bookstores of Yesteryear?
I once had the opportunity to buy a truly rare comic book, and I blew it. The opportunity came in a tiny used bookstore on Lower Main Street in Northampton, Massachusetts. The store was quite ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Their Plagiarized Materials
ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! Back in January, I attended Arisia, the annual science fiction convention at the Westin Waterfront Hotel. I was on several panels, including one about the proper uses of ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Naked Nomads and the New Gilded Age
Last fall I visited the former home of a cult. It was a beautiful fall day such as we only get in the Berkshires: clear skies, brilliant sunshine, warm by the afternoon but bitingly cold when the ...
|Advice needed on telephone
Oh all-wise community, I come in search of your collective wisdom! Pray, assist a total and utter Luddite technology-challenged seeker with a very tight budget!
|Books So Good They're Worth Reading: Ten Books About the Past
It's been a snowy winter here in New England. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's been following the news; the entire East has been getting hammered by severe cold weather (don't even ask ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Go Ask Anonymous
I did not have an easy time of it in high school. This should not surprise anyone. Even if I hadn't been a mouthy, overly bright, nearsighted nerd with a crush on Mr. Spock and a penchant for ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Vikings of Rhode Island
My first visit to a museum changed my life. I couldn't have been more than four or five when my parents decided it was time to start exposing me to Culture and Knowledge. They'd already been ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: The Germans Are Coming! The Germans Are Coming!
I've always been a collector. This is entirely my uncle Oscar's fault. After my father died in 1975, Oscar took it upon himself to be the Man of the Family for his widowed sister and teenage niece,
|Books So Bad They're Good: January Repeat (aka, "Can You Hear the Peeps Screaming, Clarice?"
I am writing this diary at a science fiction convention. That's right. Instead of being at the Garret listening to the pitter patter of the rain upon the roof, or at the Last Homely Shack with a ...
|Books So Memorable They're Good: Phrases and Fables
I am a woman out of time. Before you ask, no, this doesn't mean I've been whisked away from my humdrum and boring existence as a 23rd century algae farmer by a man in a blue police box. Nor does ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: A Baker's Dozen to Welcome the New Year!
I once spent part of New Year's Eve with an astrologically-inclined hedgehog. Now, before the smutty-minded among us get the wrong idea, please be assured that I didn't do anything contrary to the ...
|Books So Bad They're Good (Rewind December): Happy New Year, Carbon Units!
Next year will be will the thirtieth-fifth anniversary of my single greatest contribution to my alma mater: I co-founded SSFFS, the Smith College Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. "What!" you ...
|Books So Bad They're Good (Rewind December): Gather 'Round the Solstice Fire
I joined a church when I was in college, and my mother thought I'd become a Moonie. Why she thought this is still unclear; she'd raised me, after all, and she knew that I was stubborn, opinionated, ...
|Books So Bad They're Good (Rewind December): Mysteries Galore!
It's no secret that I love mysteries. This is largely due to the influence of my late and much lamented Aunt Betty, whose interests included (in no particular order), shopping, jewelry, getting out ...
|Books So Bad They're Good (Rewind December): Remember Pearl Harbor!
Tonight's diary is something of an experiment. As I said in last week's BSBTG diary, I've picked up a real! genuine! job! doing what I love best. I'm not at liberty to reveal all the details quite ...
|Can I pick 'em or what?
Remember how last Saturday I had my holiday recs for Books So Good They're Giftable? Well guess what - ONE OF MY PICKS MADE NPR'S BEST OF THE YEAR!
|Books So Good They're Giftable: Housekeeping, and Holiday Shopping Recs
I'm writing this on the day before Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for many, many things this year. I'm alive and well, which would not necessarily be the case if I didn't have health insurance that ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Beardstown Ladies Sing This Song, Doo-Da, Doo-Da!
My uncle Oscar was a scrupulously honest man. I mean that quite literally. Oscar, an accountant by trade, was a quiet, dignified, self-made man who in certain crucial ways resembled the movie star ...
|Advice needed on medication
As everyone knows, I had my gallbladder out in late June. Because of this, I had to limit my intake of fats quite a bit to avoid what I like to call an Unpleasant Digestive Episode. This means ...
|Breaking: Creigh Deeds was attacked in his home
No details, but I just saw word on CNN.com that former Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia Creigh Deeds was attacked in his home and is in critical condition. A second person present in ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Erudition and Obelisks, Parts I and II
Here at last is the complete diary that was supposed to have gone live a few weeks ago. I hope it was worth the wait! %%%%% My first scholarly attempt at describing medieval patchwork a few ...
|Once more unto the breach, dear friends....
This year has not been a good one for my health. Between the Great Gally Adventure last June and July, a few nasty colds, and last week's Medication Reaction of Doom, I've missed more than my share ...
|Books So Bad They're Good: Erudition and Obelisks, Part I
Tonight was supposed to be a single diary. As some of my alert readers may recall, I had to bail on my Labor Day diary due to a hard deadline on a book review. This book review, my very first for ...
|No Books Tonight; or, Why I am a Democrat
The first sign of my future political leanings came when I was about four. I was in the waiting room at my pediatrician's office, with my parents. It was after dark - how far, I'm not sure, since ...
|Comic Strips So Good They're Hilarious: "The Last Time I Hit 'Save' was Wednesday!"
I once spent a night in hell. Before I go any further, let me assure you that I don't mean I went on a date with Mr. Scratch to the Ninth Circle DIScotheque on Ice so we could enjoy the tuneful ...
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