Friday, October 3, 2014

September movie night

I'm a bit late on posting this one, but I assure you...the movie night happened!
We all gathered at my college's lecture hall to watch the movies on the big screen.
Four of us were there at the September movie night, which made for a nice, intimate party.

We had a variety of food, which included popcorn, lemonade, water, cookies, grapes, and cheese puffs. Not very Sherlockian, but still delicious.

We started off by watching Sherlock Hound, episode 1: A Small Client. Sherlock Hound is a Hayao Miyazaki adaptation of the Holmes stories. You can watch it on youtube.

Pictured to the left is the small client and Scottish Terrier Watson.

You may notice that the plot bears a great deal of resemblance to the story, The Engineer's Thumb. These stories are all so amusing that even if they don't follow the stories that you can still see the influence and enjoy them. This adaptation gets Lestrade absolutely right.

The other movie we chose to watch is Scarlet Claw (1944). Rathbone is personally my favorite Holmes because he is so dreamy. Seriously, all of these Holmes movies just have this dreamy, surreal- almost nightmarish feeling. We all enjoyed this one. It was as spooky as the devil.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unnecessary worries

I was thinking about making shirts for us local Sherlockians, since it is a key anniversary for a couple of the scions in St. Louis.

I was thinking about getting some artwork made that looks like a parody of the Cardinals logo ( but the birds would be dressed as Holmes and Watson. Instead of the bat, it would be a Victorian walking stick that the birds would be perched on. The letters beneath would say "Sherlock Holmes" or something of that nature. 
 The shirts would be jersey style, and then on the back we could have whatever you want on it. I think it would be neat if the letters on the back had the affiliated scion and then the number of years in St. Louis, but that can be whatever one wants.

 To recoup the cost of the artwork, the shirts would be sold for ~$20-30 per shirt, depending on how many people decide to order one.

 I've attached a rough sketch of what I'd like it to look like. What do you think? Maybe I could have a couple of versions made? one for just St. Louis people and one for everyone else?

What do you think, dear reader?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

If you weren't envious of us before, you will be soon.

I was the happiest person this weekend. In case you haven't noticed, I've changed our profile picture for the blog. I was using the one from the 1990's which I took from the Big Sleep Books bookstore website. For the sake of putting a picture to the blog, I used it- but I'm not one to dwell on the past. Your faithful blogger yanked people from conversations and half-finished cake to corner members into taking pictures.

You're welcome.

Anyhow, I had the opportunity to do this because some of us got the marvelous opportunity to attend the Gillette to Brett IV conference organized by the great Steven Doyle. The entire conference was on the stony grounds of the beautiful Indiana University campus that supplied us with a steady stream of Starbucks coffee and room to discuss Sherlockiana with like-minded folk.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I've never seen any Sherlockian stationery goods, have you?

I'm a stationery fanatic so of course it makes sense to combine two of my obsessions in life to find Sherlock Holmes themed stationery goods. Since I can't seem to find any Sherlockian themed get-well cards, I made my own for Microsoft Publisher. It uses copyrighted images, so feel free to download this one for free.

 I made this one because one of my Sherlockian friends in my scion had been receiving serious medical treatment. Feel free to send prayers and good wishes his way.

You can download my card by clicking on this sentence!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday special

So usually I keep my posts to scion meetings and Sherlockian gatherings, because this is a gossip blog, after all. However, I felt encouraged to post this after some discussion and it's something I plan to present to the real-life (as opposed to virtual) public sometime this fall.

It's sort of an essay/script I wrote about Sherlock Holmes and medicine, or more specifically, Holmesian methods as applied to pharmacy.

Read under the cut!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The best plans of Mr. Sherlock Holmes were beaten by a woman's wit.

Some of the best evenings have uneventful beginnings, no? One similarity between SCAN, our month's story, and the evening, was that it started out as a typical series of events. Three members had already arrived. Your faithful chronicler was running late to dinner because she decided to take a cardboard cutout of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the restaurant before the meeting started. It started pouring rain outside the moment my foot got in the door, so it was fortunate that we got our usual spot inside the restaurant rather than outside on the patio.

Conversation was abuzz with excitement about what Sherlockian events are coming up. For the first time in ten years, the Silver Blaze race sponsored by the Noble Bachelors is going to be held again! Also coming up is the Gillette to Brett IV conference in Indianopolis, and the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the St. Louis Science Center in October. Also, I will be at the Archon 38 for the Parallel Case table in Collinsville this October so be sure to stop by and say hello if you will be there as well!

By the end of dinner, we had seven members, and two more met us at Big Sleep Books, where we usually meet. As usual, we discussed upcoming local Sherlockian events, and then moved onto the story.

Now this is a controversial one, because we receive an introduction to the (in)famous Ms. Adler, with whom even the great Sherlock Holmes is impressed. In the Canon, she is a quick-thinking, decisive woman who wishes to move on with her new husband and new life, done with the pompous King of Bohemia. In fanon, she has taken many faces. She has become a wife, a companion, a friend, and a nemesis to Holmes, and sometimes more than one of these at the same time. Pastiches write her in roles more close to the canon, such as actress, singer, and courtesan, to roles such as thief and professional spy.

Naturally, our first topic was to discuss why we are so fascinated with her. We didn't arrive at a conclusion, but we discussed many other things by way of this thread. Perhaps Holmes had a bad experience with women, and his distaste for them stemmed from that, despite his calculating and logical exterior (as per Watson).

We discussed what could have been in the picture that was so controversial that the king needed for it to be destroyed. Could it have been pornographic? We doubt it, since someone else would have needed to be there in order to take the picture. They say two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead. So that wasn't too likely. Someone had a theory that the picture was of Adler wearing the crown jewels, implying royalty. This would have certainly incited gossip and profound royal chaos.

Mycroft and Moriarty also came up in conversation. In pastiche it seems like when the two are the main focus of the story, they are more or less alternate versions of Sherlock Holmes. Moriarty is the evil version, and Mycroft is the fatter, less ambitious version. We all have our likes and dislikes.

We discussed more pastiches as well. I rarely read them myself, having vowed to accumulate as little as possible. However, there were some interesting ones that people were reading.

At last, the evening was winding down. I left Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the window of Big Sleep Books. If you are ever in the Central West End, do give him a visit- and perhaps, your patronage.

Website update!

I have some very exciting news today. The leader of the Parallel Case of St. Louis, Joe Eckrich, generously gave me a copy of the 1999 publication of the Parallelogram, which I have uploaded onto our website! I have also added a history and timeline of our Sherlockian journey, so please look!

You can see the publication under the "Past Newsletters" tab, and the history under the "Parallel Case: A History" tab.

Click me!

Friday, May 16, 2014

It's my party and I dance if I want.

Today's kind of a special post because usually I keep activity to what happens in the Parallel Case meetings. However, you're in for a special treat because I went to the Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn meeting and I got to lead!

Be forewarned, I get to color this one

Read more under the cut!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

An apology

I must apologize for my post on the 221 B Con Friday report.

 It came to my attention that I had written a reference to some "dinosaurs in tuxedos".  I had truly meant to call attention to the costumes of my talented table mates, rather than as a derogatory reference, which was awful.

Anyhow, I have now added clarification to the text and added pictures. With hope, I say that it now reads much better and is much less mean-spirited. I have much respect for my fellow Sherlockians, and do hope that the post did not cause too much offense.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Sign of Five

Yesterday the Parallel Case of St. Louis met for the April meeting. This month, the story we discussed was the one for which we are named, The Sign of Four.

The weather was so mild and sunny that we decided to sit out on the patio and watch clouds go by as we ate. It was a small group today, just five people who met at Dressel's Pub. Later on, we headed to Big Sleep Books as per usual and started out our discussion.

In this story, Watson finds a wife while on the case with Holmes. The case involves two puzzles. A young woman, Mary Morstan, had been receiving fine pearls from a mysterious benefactor once a year after answering an anonymous query in the newspaper asking for her identity. Secondly, her father had mysteriously vanished one day after telegraphing her of his return to London after being stationed in India. Next, a letter arrives telling her that she has been wronged and has requested a meeting.

Relating to the Sign of Four we discussed what the canon would be like if Watson had never found a wife. Joe brought up that there's something special in the opening moments of each story where the two are lounging around in friendly company, discussing anything and everything. In these scenes we get to see glimpses of Holmes' multi-dimensional character rather than the calculating detective that clients see.

This story is one of the more action-packed ones with the chase through the Thames and Toby sniffing around for clues. This would have been one story that Gatiss and Moffat wouldn't have had trouble adapting, what with all of the running around in Doctor Who. And it's the only story that Watson directly kills someone.

We also discussed whether Watson was actually a good physician. I think that he probably wasn't, what with prescribing brandy for just about everything. Also, he seems to have awful bed side manner by the way he treats Thaddeus Sholto by calling him a hypochondriac and keeps getting annoyed at him.

And then we had to discuss our reactions to Series 3. We were all baffled by the revelation of Mary's true character (which I will not spoil.)

We did something a bit differently today. I had made up a quiz to pass out at my Moriarty panel, which our leader asked me to bring. I brought these posters as prizes, both ones that I got from 221B Con.

Joe gave us all magnets from the last Sherlock Holmes conference that the Parallel Case did in 2005 called "Holmes under the Arch". Here's a picture of it.

And Gordon gave us the most clever presents. We each received Five Orange....Peeps. (The Five Orange Pips). I'd never actually eaten peeps before in my life before this.

Some of us plan to drive to the conference in Bloomington, IN called "From Gillette to Brett" on September 12-14 , so if you're in the area and you want a ride, let us know!

I also have another movie night planned for Friday, April 18th.

I've been putting our events as well as other local ones on our Sherlockian calendar: LINK
and I've put up some useful links up on the webpage so we can all entertain ourselves while the next season of Sherlock comes out: LINK

With that, the meeting adjourned.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

221B Con report- Saturday

Most of my time on Saturday was spent in the dealer's room and talking to other people, so I didn't get to go to many panels. It was so much rewarding getting to meet both new friends and see old ones. I saw a lot more older Sherlockians this year as opposed to last year. It's a great thing that people who love Holmes range from all ages and walks of life.

221B Con report- Friday

This past weekend I went to the Sherlock Holmes fan convention, 221B Con in sunny Atlanta, Georgia.

Sherlock Holmes viewing party

A few weeks ago in March, I hosted a Sherlock Holmes viewing party! We were fortunate enough to watch the movies on a large projection screen.

Eleven members were in attendance, with members from both the Parallel Case and the Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn.

The food was all Sherlock Holmes themed with the following:
Diogenes Club Sandwiches (turkey club sandwiches)
Piecroft Holmes (blueberry and lemon mini-tarts)
Iced Moriar-tea (iced sweet tea)
Harpooners of the Sea popcorn (popcorn)
Parallel Crisps of St. Louis (Pringles, because they are parallel crisps)

We put it up to a vote as to which movie we would watch, and we decided to see "The Last Vampyre"

I don't think we liked this one very much. Poor Brett was quite ill and the whole time I know I was thinking about that.

In this mystery, Holmes is hired to find out the real truth behind two mysterious women, a man too deep into the occult, and a crippled young boy.

And also, "Sherlock Holmes Faces Death"

This film is a loose, "modernized" adaptation of the Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual. Overall, we liked this one the best. Basil Rathbone is just too smooth.

Our next movie night will be on Friday, April 18th at the last location. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It was not Holmes's nature to take an aimless holiday (but it is in mine!) (FINA)

I've finally had a break between exams and work to post about this thing I did about a month ago. I mentioned it tangentially in another post, but I got a couple of emails asking me about how I made Valentines for my scion societies as well as some progress pictures. So I thought I'd post them here.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

There are always some lunatics about. The world would be utterly dull without them.

Today is a cause for celebration for the first blog post of the Parallel Case of Saint Louis, our BSI scion society. For fifteen years, we have gone without an updated internet presence and at last we start anew.

December of 2013 marked our 25th year of activity, and we look forward to many more.

Conveniently enough for the occasion, we discussed A Study In Scarlet on our first meeting of the year. Six members were in attendance despite the chilling weather, iced roads, and the promise of snow on the dark and lonely drive home.

We began our meeting with dinner at Dressel's Pub in the Central West End of Saint Louis. There, we welcomed a new member, Mia, to our society.

At the last meeting in December, we actually had a previous discussion about the Mormons and other aspects of the story. Prejudice against Mormons during the Victorian era was a topic that we discussed at length, and we discussed similarities of Mormon stereotypes both in the United States and England during that time. Additionally, the modern BBC Sherlock was a hot topic of discussion, so we compared how the show made references to the canon in interesting ways- for example, the canon RACHE scratched into the wall was mistaken to be an unfinished version of "Rachel" only for Holmes to set things straight that it could only be German for "revenge". In "A Study in Pink", it happens the exact opposite way, and the key to solving that case is Miss Rachel indeed!

But enough about the December meeting. At Big Sleep Books, we opened up discussion with other Sherlockian events going on, such as the Noble Bachelor's annual meeting coming up this next weekend! (Will I see you there?)

Topics that we discussed included how much was Watson's salary exactly upon military discharge, and whether it was comfortable enough for him to have lived in a hotel for a week. We all agree that it was not an uncomfortable existence, but how much would it have amounted to? We are still waiting with bated breath waiting for new information from another member to come through.

Additionally, we discussed Holmes' methods of deduction- looking at facts before forming theory, and not falling into the traps of tunnel vision that ensare most of us when solving a mystery (like where my trash bag vouchers are, for example...). And if Watson's impressions of Holmes were accurate from the beginning. (Nope.)

As per the occasion, Gordon and Joe handed round heart shaped boxes of chocolates guarded by Snoopy, the Sherlock Holmes of love. And I, your faithful chronicler, had Valentines from the "Adventure of the Cardboard Box", complete with chocolate ears, ill-trained handwriting, packed in salt for completeness sake.