Why is this night different from all other nights?

1. In for a Penny is now available as a B&N ebook and a Kindle book! I haven’t seen it on FictionWise or AllRomance yet, but I’m sure it will be up in the next few days.

2. My friend Sonia and I watched High Plains Invaders, the SciFi original movie set in a little Western town where James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) is a train robber who fights Uranium-eating aliens.

Overall, it was an extremely satisfying movie-watching experience. The visual western/alien stuff was cool, the actors were charming (I was especially fond of the overly-aggressive lady bounty hunter), and nobody acted like an idiot who wasn’t supposed to.

The film was shot in Romania so the movie didn’t have that bright sunlight that’s such an important convention of the Western, but I sort of liked the foggy atmosphere.

The historical stuff could have been better–everyone’s gun seemed to have way more shots and be more advanced than I was expecting, and a geeky Amazon review confirmed my instincts (“Several characters carry double-action Smith & Wesson revolvers that hadn’t even been invented by 1892. A number of revolvers used in the film (King Cobra, etc) aren’t in sync with the time period, most of townsmen and bounty hunters alike would have been carrying a single-action Colt Peacemaker”).

It was also inexplicable to me why one of the characters was mining uranium in such large quantities in 1892. According to Wikipedia, it was used for tinting in pottery and glass, and also in early photography, but that’s about it. The character even SAYS “there’s no established market for it,” but never explains what he wants it for. Maybe to add to his rare minerals collection? He also knew it was radioactive despite that not being discovered until 1896.

(Also, I’m pretty offended by the Amazon product description of James Marsters’s character as an “honorable Indian-fighter,” but don’t worry, it’s completely inaccurate. Yes, he has PTSD from the French and Indian Wars which led to him robbing trains “just to feel alive” (!), but it’s because of having to follow dishonorable orders from his superior officers, possibly involving torture? Nothing to do with evil Indians or anything.)

The ending was a little anti-climactic, probably because they didn’t have the budget for a really good effect. Still, I totally recommend it to anyone who likes costume drama monster movies, and I will definitely be giving away a DVD copy in a contest at some point.

3. Happy Passover, everyone! Tonight is the first night, and I have friends coming over for a seder (the Passover ceremony and meal). My flanken (beef short ribs) soup is on the stove, smelling delicious. This is my first year hosting a seder, and I’m pretty excited. Here’s my family’s version of the prayer that’s said over the matzoh at Passover.

This is the bread of affliction
which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.
All who are hungry, let them come and eat.
All who are in want, let them come and celebrate Passover with us.
Once we were slaves; now we are free.
This year there are still slaves and oppressed people in the world.
Next year, may we all be free.

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