Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Walkthroughs of 2014 - 10 through 6

Here are my top ten walkthroughs for 2014!

10. Princess Isabella: A Witch's Curse

I did this walkthrough with my fiancée Katie and her daughter Mary. For that reason alone, I had a lot of fun doing it.

9. Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion

Nancy Drew #30! Sonny Joon! I usually enjoy adventure games, so I liked this one where Nancy competes in a reality TV show in New Zealand. Sadly, I think most Nancy Drew fans have forgotten everything about this game, besides for the fun parts with Sonny Joon.

8. Death and Betrayal in Romania: A Dana Knightstone Novel

I liked this game a touch better than its predecessor, Death at Cape Porto: A Dana Knightstone Novel. Dana goes to Romania, where she must solve a murder mystery. Granted, the mystery isn't hard to figure out--the evil-looking person did it--but they did a good job of gradually unfolding the mystery. I also liked how the murder victim looked just like Dana.

7. Grim Facade: The Cost of Jealousy

I like melodramas, and this game is basically a melodrama. It's a murder mystery, with a unique setting and over-the-top scenes. Maybe they made this game just for me.

6. Dark Parables: The Final Cinderella

I liked doing this walkthrough, because I did a silly detective voice the entire time. Also, the confusing story gave me lots of comedic fodder. Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide was also good.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Walkthroughs

I did 29 walkthroughs this year! Wow. Here's the list, from most recent to least recent.

Twilight Phenomena: Strange Menagerie
Left in the Dark: No One on Board
Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide
Grim Facade: The Cost of Jealousy
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies - Episode 5
Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies
Haunted Halls: Nightmare Dwellers
Living Legends: Ice Rose
Death and Betrayal in Romania: A Dana Knightstone Novel
Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo
Reveries: Sisterly Love
Nick Chase: A Detective Story
Princess Isabella: A Witch's Curse
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies - Episode 4
Living Legends: Frozen Beauty
Lost Lands: Dark Overlord
Awakening: The Skyward Castle
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion Walkthrough
Midnight Mysteries: Witches of Abraham Lincoln
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies - Episode 3
Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies - Episode 2
Dark Parables: The Final Cinderella
Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren's Call
Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart
World Mosaics
Death at Cape Porto: A Dana Knightstone Novel

Since it's the end of the year, I think I'll do a TOP TEN COUNTDOWN. What were my favorite games of the year? Check back tomorrow and the next day to find out!

Also, I did a bunch of book reviews. I'm pretty amazed at how the book review thing took off.

Hardy Boys Casefiles
Nancy Drew Game Reviews
Nancy Drew: Girl Detective
The Baby-Sitters Club
Nancy Drew Notebooks
Nancy Drew Hardy Boys Supermystery
1995 Nancy Drew TV Series
Nancy Drew Files
Nancy Drew Diaries
Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

Monday, December 29, 2014

Latin Months

If the months of the year had Latin names, they'd look like this:

Unusber
Duober
Tresember
Quattober
Quinquember
Sextober
September
October
November
December

Huh. Those last four months look familiar.

Months 11 and 12 would be Undecember and Duodecember, but since we're playing the "months with Latin names" game, I'm going to say the last two months are January and February. Or we could imitate the Romans and name those months after their holidays, which would make them Gratesber and Natalusber ("month of Thanksgiving" and "month of Christmas").

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Star Trek: The Next Generation

I finally got to watch some episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The show was made about 20 years after the original Star Trek series.

My main problem with Star Trek was the main character, Captain Kirk. Kirk is kind of awful at his job. He spends most of his time chasing after women, he destroys/ruins a large number of alien civilizations during his peaceful missions, and he rarely listens to anyone besides himself. His only redeeming quality, as a captain, is his ability to come up with creative solutions to tough problems.

I think The Next Generation is an improvement, in terms of the captain. Picard is an older, seasoned captain, so his leadership style is different from Kirk the young hotshot. Picard isn't a womanizer, and he doesn't make as many impulsive decisions that almost get everyone killed.

I didn't see much of Captain Picard in the four episodes I saw, which I think is another improvement. Not every single episode is about the captain. I liked that because, hey, the other characters are interesting, too!

Commander Riker and his awesome beard stood out as the best character, in the episodes I saw. He fought Klingons, he protected his friends, and he forced everyone to watch clips from old episodes. Um...that last one wasn't so good, but the rest of his screentime wasn't so bad.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book Reviews

I finished another set of book reviews!









(The last video is the one that the videogame is based on.)

Nancy Drew books 4 and 5 are odd ducks. Each book has an original version and a rewrite, and they have almost nothing in common with each other. When the original story is good, it's kind of sad to see it get thrown out and replaced, for no discernible reason.

Question: Should I always do a separate video for the original and the rewrite? It makes sense when they're vastly different like today's books. When the books are similar, maybe it doesn't make sense.

The next set of books I'm scheduled to do are Girl Detective books and Files books (2000's and 1980's Nancy Drew, respectively). I was going to do some Hardy Boys after that, but they have proven to be pretty unpopular. I think I'll kick them off the list and replace them with the "Nancy Drew Goes to College, Where Boy Drama Is More Important Than Mysteries" series.

Wait, scratch that. The next reviews I'm doing are Nancy Drew: The Message in a Haunted Mansion and Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower. I will review both the books AND the games.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Twilight Phenomena

I'm all caught up with the Twilight Phenomena series now! Here is Game #1:



And this is the equally-crazy sequel:



And I played the demo they have for Game #3! The game is still in the process of being made.



Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! My Christmas gift to you is a video, for My Nigerian Prince! You know, the game that I made! I'm still kind of amazed that the silly idea became a full-fledged game.



[Edit: My parents' response to the game was to make fun of the artwork, because Caitlin looks "too much like a man". Thanks, Mom and Dad!]

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Priest Shortage

Recently, there has been some speculation into what will happen to the Catholic Church, once the priest shortage hits. Right now, the priest shortage is bad, but it's only going to get worse when our elderly priests begin dying. Currently, the average age of a priest in the United States is 63. Statistics say that by 2020, half of the priests who work now will be eligible for retirement.

A lot of places are trying the "one priest is in charge of multiple churches" technique. That can work, but it's not an ideal solution. You're going to run into problems, especially with masses that must be at a specific time. If I was a priest in that situation, I think the time constraints would force me to do some things from the older mass. For example, have a one-line introit in place of an opening song, say the prayers in the (shorter) Latin language, and use a communion rail, since that's at least 33% faster than having a bunch of Eucharistic ministers. Also, only the priest gets to drink the wine, because that's also 33% faster than having a bunch of Eucharistic ministers.

One person suggested going back to "each church is responsible for their own priest". That is, if no one from your church has become a priest in the past 30 years, your church does not get a priest. I think that would be an interesting solution, but it's hard to imagine a scenario where the number of priests and churches line up perfectly.

Either way, I think the issue is somewhat moot, for the United States. If the statistics are right, the priest shortage is going to hit Ireland and Europe about ten years before it hits us. Let's see how they handle it, first.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wedding Cake

We have our wedding cake figured out! That was easy. We went in to the bakery and got a cake testing, of about 12 different kinds. It was yummy.

We're going with a triple decker cake, with each layer being a square. The top level is saved for the couple, so we went with a mango cake. The other two levels are going to be white cake with Oreo filling.

As for decorations, there will be two stripes, which are side-by-side. They go from the bottom of one side of the cake, up to the top, and down to the other side. Also, there will be a star on the stripes. It's a very simple design. I think that pleased the cake-maker.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Left in the Dark: No One on Board

Here's my walkthrough for Left in the Dark: No One on Board.











Sunday, December 21, 2014

My Nigerian Prince

My friend Paul and I made a videogame! No joke. I wrote and drew the game, while he programmed it.

It's called My Nigerian Prince, and it's about a girl who gets junk mail.

Katie came up with the premise, and she still thinks it's weird that I made a full game out of it. Katie and Paul helped with the script/ideas. (Sample idea: "Make the kidnappers ninjas!"). For a deliberately short game, it's pretty good!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nancy Drew

Now that I think about it, it's amazing that 1980's Nancy Drew ended up the way she did.

In the early 1980's, there was a huge legal battle over who owned the rights to Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and other book series. During the trial, it was revealed that Mildred Wirt Benson was the author of Nancy Drew; she wrote 23 of the first 30 books. She stopped writing books for the Nancy Drew publishers in 1954, but she still wrote for a living. Mostly newspaper stuff.

You know what I would have done, if I won the lawsuit? I would have immediately offered Mildred Wirt Benson a lucrative contract. Think about it. This was their big chance to get the original Nancy Drew author, back in the book-writing business! Also, it would have been extremely timely, as her secret identity as Caroyln Keene had just been revealed.

But, no. They decide to reboot the Nancy Drew franchise. And for whatever reason, Simon and Schuster hired a different company (Mega-Books) to do all the writing. You think they would have been more involved in milking their new cash cow, but no.

Today, none of the 1980's Nancy Drew books are in print. All of Mildred Wirt's Nancy Drew books are in print.

Friday, December 19, 2014

iPhone Question

Question: Does anyone know how to change the predictive text feature, on the iPhone?

My problem: I wrote "A&W root beer" once. Once. Now "A&W" always shows up as a suggested word, when I type a word that starts with "a". I think it's because "&" is a special character.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cooking

Katie and I went through the entire Nancy Drew Cookbook, and we found fourteen recipes worth trying out. I figured we could make all the dishes over a couple of months.

Recipe #1: Hollow Oak Nest Eggs.

Katie says nest eggs are a standard breakfast dish, but I honestly never heard of them before. The way it works is that you cut a hole in toast and put an egg inside, so it looks like an egg in a bird's nest. It looks cute if you can make it correctly.

I cooked this with Mary, and we dropped an egg on the floor. Not the best way to start my cooking experiment. Anyway, nest eggs might be good if they're cooked correctly, but this recipe is bad and leaves everything severely undercooked.

Recipe #2: Ned's potato pancakes.

You grate potatoes, then mix them with an egg, flower and salt. Cook them in a frying pan, and done! For some reason, my potatoes changed color from white to reddish/brown. Is that normal? Anyway, these aren't the fancy latkes they serve in restaurants, but I like them, because I can cook them without much work. "A lot of work" is how I would describe...

Recipe #3: Emerson Cookout Potatoes.

The recipe starts with frying bacon, and already I'm lost, because I don't know how to cook bacon. After that, you slice potatoes and onions into thin pieces. I can't do that without cutting my fingers off, so I used large slices. You smother the vegetables with the bacon, and half a pound of cheese and butter. Wrap it up in aluminum foil and cook for an hour on a barbecue grill. I used the oven, myself.

So, um, I changed about half of the steps, because I'm not a good cook. Maybe that's why this recipe didn't turn out so well. I mean, it wasn't BAD, but it's basically scalloped potatoes with bacon. I didn't like it, because all the cheese was stuck the aluminum foil.

I want to try making the meal again, but next time, I'll cook it in a casserole dish. More like traditional scalloped potatoes. Because everything else aside, adding bacon to scalloped potatoes was a great idea. It really changes the taste.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Schedule

Here's the schedule for my YouTube Channel!

  • This week is Twilight Phenomena: Strange Menagerie. I'll release videos at the rate of two per day.
  • On Sunday, I'll play the demo of Twilight Phenomena 3. It makes sense to play that right after the second one, right?
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday (December 23rd and 24th), I will do book reviews! I'll review both versions of Nancy Drew: The Mystery at Lilac Inn and Nancy Drew: Secret of Shadow Ranch.
  • On Friday the 26th, I'll do Botanica: Into the Unknown. I'll release videos at a rate of two per day.
  • But as a New Year's special, I want to play My Nigerian Prince, the game that I helped make. Fun!
After that, the list of games I'm going to play looks like this. I will definitely make changes to this list at some point, because I want to do Nancy Drew game reviews and speedruns. Also, I will probably buy some games during end-of-year sales.

  • Princess Isabella 2
  • Shadow Wolf 1 & 2
  • Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull
  • Spirits of Mystery: The Dark Minotaur
  • Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride
  • Unfinished Tales
  • Awakening 5-7
  • Haunted Legends 1 & 2
  • Awakening Kingdoms
  • Redemption Cemetery
  • Engimatis 2
  • Otherworld 1 and 2
  • Dark Tales: Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of Red Death
  • Princess Isabella 3
  • Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate
  • Sable Maze

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Walkthrough Sequels

I went through the list of videogames that I've done walkthroughs for. Many of them have sequels. In fact, here's a list of the sequels that are on my radar:

  • Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Super Mario Galaxy
  • Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright
  • Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney 2
  • Azada 3
  • Beauty Lawyer Victoria 2
  • Princess Isabella 2 and 3
  • Nick Chase 2
  • Reveries: Soul Collector

Let me know if you want me to play any of those games.

In addition to sequels, there are also various series that I've played. Part of me wants to play them, and another part of me says, "Wow, they have over 10 Mystery Case Files games. I have no idea where to start." Should I expand my horizons a bit and look into other games from these series?

  • Samantha Swift
  • Awakening
  • Mystery Case Files
  • Dark Parables
  • Grim Facade
  • Midnight Mysteries
  • Putt-Putt the Car

Monday, December 15, 2014

Animals in Heaven

Pope Francis gives a weekly speech on Wednesdays. Last week, the news media went into a frenzy, after Pope Francis confirmed that animals go to Heaven. Specifically, he said, "One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all God’s creatures." You'll recognize that the first sentence comes directly from the Bible. It's the part where Saint Paul comforts a boy, after his dog died.

Two problems with this news story:

Problem #1: Saint Paul never said that.
Problem #2: Pope Francis never said that.

You can watch or read the Pope's speech. You can also read the Bible to confirm that the "Saint Paul comforts a crying boy" passage is made up. What we have here is a fake quotation, in a fake quotation.

Still, do animals go to Heaven? The Catholic Church has no official answer on the topic. People easily agree that animal souls are different from human souls, but people disagree if animal souls survive, after they die. I prefer the theory that says it's possible for animals to exist in Heaven, but they are most likely different animals from the ones that died on Earth.

Some people give the sentimental argument that pets must exist in Heaven, because otherwise, they would be sad. That's theologically inaccurate, since it gives more importance to animals than God. If your happiness depends on a pet, then you are not in Heaven. If your happiness depends on God, then you are in Heaven.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Movies

Movies did badly this summer. In terms of how much money was made, it was the worst summer since 1997. Sales dropped by 30%, and no movie made more than $300 million in the US.

As a compensation, the average price of movie tickets increased to $8.33. I want to know which theaters are keeping the average down, because none of the theaters where I live charge under $10.

I've mentioned this before, but I don't understand the economics behind this. I was told "high demand = higher prices", "low demand = lower prices". But this is a case of "low demand = higher prices". And besides, won't people be less likely to visit theaters, due to higher ticket prices?

Some critics are accusing the ads that theaters play in front of movies. Yes, it is annoying that you have to sit through a half hour of advertisements, before the previews start. And since previews are glorified ads, it can be something like an hour of ads before the movie begins. But that's been happening for years at this point, so I don't know why it would turn people off of movies right now.

People are also accusing online streaming / DVDs. It used to be that the home edition of movies came out 9 months after the movie did. That waiting time has been shortened to about 3-4 months, in order to cut down on piracy. But now that there's a shorter waiting period, people are more likely to skip seeing the movie in theaters, in favor of getting it when it comes out on DVD or Netflix.

What do you readers think? I didn't watch any movies this summer, besides Hercules. That's because there were no movies I wanted to see. I guess you could say I was motivated by lack of interest.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

GameCola

My friends at GameCola.net are hiring! They're a videogame website that talks about games (like Nancy Drew) which get ignored by the mainstream videogame sites, like IGN and Kotaku. I never liked how the mainstream sites tend to ignore all videogames that were made over five years ago.

I've been writing for them, for several years now. Mostly, I write about doing videogame walkthroughs. So check them out!

Friday, December 12, 2014

News

The news this week has been extremely harsh.

The Michael Brown and Eric Gardner cases have been dominating the news; both of them were black men who were murdered by policemen. One case was in Missouri, and one was in New York. In both cases, no one was charged with murder. This is extremely unjust, especially since there is undeniable video footage of Eric's death.

Also in the news was an investigation into the CIA, which has been torturing people for the past thirteen years. It does not seem that they informed either President Bush or President Obama of their activities, nor does it seem that they have stopped. Torture is always wrong, but it is even worse in the cases where the CIA tortures innocent people.

There was also a lot of budget work being done. As of my writing this [Thursday, 10:10 AM], no deal has been reached. If a budget isn't passed by midnight on Thursday, the government shuts down. My fiancée works for the IRS, so that means she will be out of the job until a financial deal is made. Hopefully, the deal will be a new, full-blown budget, and not just a temporary extension of the previous budget.

[Edit: The government gave itself two extra days to get the budget passed. The currently-proposed budget is unpopular.]

The IRS building is a government office, right next to the federal courthouse. Katie has reported that there have been a steady stream of protesters, who are against CIA torture and police murdering innocents. The protesters are generally peaceful, but when night falls, anarchists try to hijack the big crowd and start a riot. Once, Katie was sent home early, to avoid being attacked by angry protestors. (The protestors don't know she's an IRS employee who has nothing at all to do with the CIA or the police.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fact VS Opinion

I have a hard time believing this, but schools are using my "Professor Garfield: Fact VS Opinion" video in classes.



It's extra-weird, because I completely disagree with most of what Garfield says, and I use this as a springboard to debunk modern epistemology. That is, I make fun of these two definitions:

Fact: Something that can be PROVEN true.
Opinion: Something that CANNOT be proven true or false.

Those are bad definitions, for several reasons.

1. What do you call something that can be proven false?

2. The definition of "opinion" is wrong. Opinions CAN be true or false. For example, I am of the opinion that Barrack Obama is the President of the United States, and my fiancé's grandmother is of the opinion that I am a dunderhead.

3. The definitions want proof to be the main criteria for determining if something is fact or opinion. I agree that facts should be proven. But since "proof" is not properly defined, these definitions don't help anyone.

You see this on the Internet a lot. No one agrees on what "proof" is. And so their working definitions of "fact" and "opinion" morph into "what I like" and "what I dislike". Take the video for example! The author dislikes Wikipedia, and even though Wikipedia has tons of true facts, it is dismissed as being an opinion site.

4. If you apply the definitions to themselves, the definition of "fact" falls under the category of "opinion". That is, the definition is the OPINION of whoever wrote the piece.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

George

People sometimes find it weird that Nancy Drew has a female friend, whose name is George.

George (and her cousin Elizabeth) first appear in Book 5, The Secret of Shadow Ranch. George explains that her name is not short for Georgia. Instead, she was named after her grandfather. The book goes on to have a flirty rivalry between George and cowboy George Miller. He calls her by her last name, because he says he's the only one who can be named "George".

When the Nancy Drew books switched publishers in the 1980's, they decided that George is short for Georgia. Even though her name was George for over 50 years and 60 books. That seems like a weird decision to make. It's sort of like the Nancy Drew movies, where her boyfriend's name is changed from "Ned" to "Ted", for no apparent reason.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nancy Drew Cookbook, Part 2

Someone (Graeme) suggested that Her Interactive make their own Nancy Drew cookbook. It could have recipes for the foods that appear in the videogames. Also, foods inspired by the games!

  • Mr. September's Remastered Dates
  • Stay Tuned for Bangers
  • Haunted Mansion Fortune Cookies (Complete with message)
  • Royal Tower Royal Icing
  • Final Scene Popcorn Balls
  • Scarlet Hand Lady Fingers
  • Moon Lake Ghost Dogs
  • Haunted Carousel Cotton Candy
  • Holt Scotto's Deception Island Daiquiris
  • Shorty's Shadow Ranch Shortcake
  • Blackmoor Manor Loop de loop, Bangers and Mash; Pinky and Perky, and Dogs Eye, in a Penvellyn Sauce
  • Old Clock Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Time
  • Blue Moon Canyon Lincoln (Fudge) Logs
  • Minette's Mango Marmalade
  • Kapu Kave Karamel
  • Icicle Creek Popsicles
  • Crystal Skull Head Cheese
  • Venetian Vanilla Phantom Pudding
  • Castle Malloy's Jetpack Jambalaya
  • Seven Ships Sunken Souffle
  • Waverly Wafers
  • Twister Breadcrumb Trail (Submitted by Hansel & Gretel)
  • Yumi's Yummy Bento Box
  • Captive Curse Cappucino
  • Alibi in Aspic
  • Nefertari's Pyramid Scheme Punch
  • The Deadly Danish
  • Harper's Kooky Cookies
  • Silent Spy Secret Sauce
  • Pacific Run Pancakes
  • Labyrinth of Fries
  • And of course, the generic but popular Culprit Casserole.
It sounds better than the official Nancy Drew cookbook, where the food names are mostly unrelated to the dish.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Immaculate Conception

Today, Catholics celebrate the Immaculate Conception. That's when the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin, inside her mother's womb. It is not to be confused with the Virgin Mary getting pregnant.



Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary getting pregnant, on March 25th. That's exactly nine months before Christmas. It makes sense to have a nine month gap between "Mary gets pregnant" and "Mary gives birth", you know?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hardy Boys Reviews

Here are the three Hardy Boys reviews I did this week!









I'm scheduled to do some more Hardy Boys reviews eventually, but since these weren't too popular, I'm a little hesitant to do so. I figure I'll check back on these reviews later and see if they've gotten more views.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Nancy Drew Cookbook

My library has a copy of the The Nancy Drew Cookbook, made in 1973. It's actually a 2005 reprint. They rearranged the recipe list and changed the pictures, but other than that, it's basically the same book.

I went through the book with Katie, and we found fourteen recipes which we'll try out. Here's the list. Please ignore the inconsistent capitalization:

  • Hollow Oak Nest Eggs
  • Bess' Ridiculously Unhealthy Chocolate Waffles, with ICE CREAM
  • Ned's potato pancakes
  • Detective Burgers
  • Burt's Pizza
  • Cookout potatoes
  • Cauliflower meatballs ("The Cousin's Special Cauliflower")
  • Jewel Box Easter Eggs
  • English pork chops
  • Hannah's Cheese puffs
  • Bungalow Mystery Salad
  • Dave's Deviled potatoes
  • Crooked Bannister Cornbread
  • Mrs. Fayne's Famous Rice

I figure I will take pictures of the food, and we'll rate each dish out of ten. The overall score will determine the book's score. I already made the Hollow Oak Nest Eggs, which were kind of yucky.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Blackmoor Manor Rumor

I heard this rumor about Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor: "If you back away from the puzzle at Jane's door ten times the puzzle solves itself except for one piece which you move up."

True or not true? I tried it, and it didn't work. Maybe I did it wrong.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Three Things - Wedding Problems

My parents are in town this week, and I'm expecting lots of fights about wedding stuff. Basically, Mom and Dad want me to do x, y, and z, because "it's tradition". I honestly don't care about American wedding traditions. At best, they seem stupid and pointless. At worst, they seem sexist and showoff.

1. My parents want the big parade at the start of the wedding, where all the bridesmaids and the groomsmen strut down the aisle like peacocks. (I suspect my parents want this, because they get to be part of the parade.) I don't want this, because I don't see the point. None of these people are part of the wedding ceremony, so why do they get a grand entrance? No sir, I'm sticking with the Catholic tradition, where only people who are part of the wedding get to be in the procession.

I think a possible compromise is to do a procession with all the unnecessary people, five minutes before the mass starts. That way, they can walk down the aisle, but they don't interfere with the real procession.

2. My parents want us to follow the superstition of "the bride can't see the groom until after the wedding had started". I don't see any room for compromise here; Katie and I are vetoing that option, outright. We want to walk down the aisle together, which I think is more romantic than us going down the aisle separately.

Also, I still like the idea of Katie and me greeting people as they come into the church. Why should we foist this job off onto random ushers? It's nice to say hello to everyone who's attending the wedding.

3. My parents don't want a Litany of Saints at the wedding, because the one time they heard a Litany of Saints, it was super long and boring. Okay, now I'm starting to think that all of their wedding complaints are just a clash between American tradition and Catholic tradition.

Anyway, this compromise is easy. We'll do a different Litany of Saints. In fact, I already did that. Booyeah.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Secret of the Old Clock Review

My review for the original edition of Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock goes up today! After reading everyone's comments from yesterday, I decided to not mention the fact that the black character speaks with a stereotypical accent.



Tomorrow and the next day, there will be two Hardy Boys book reviews.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Racism

When I was growing up, I was taught that it was racist to treat other people differently, because everyone is equal. And so I learned to treat black people the same way I treat white people.

My fiancée Katie says that Portland school district has a different race education program, called "Courageous Conversations". They believe the "treat everyone the same way" strategy is racist, because it ignores the differences and unique gifts that certain races have to offer. And so kids are taught not to treat other people the same way, but to recognize the differences between the various races.

One result of this is that white children are encouraged to talk to black children in ebonics, because that is more accepting of black culture, compared to forcing all black children to talk like white children.

I bring this up, because I'm reading the original Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock, and there is a chunk where Nancy meets a black man who talks in ebonics. For example, when he notices the house has been robbed, he tells Nancy, "Say, white gu'l, you tell me wheah all dis heah fu'niture is at!". Pretty much everyone has accused the book of being racist at this point. Not just because the black man talks in a stereotypical way, but because he's foolish, lazy, and drunk the entire time.

What do you readers think? Is it less racist, or more racist, that Carolyn Keene had her black characters talk differently from the white characters?