...No? Just me? Okay then. Well, just be grateful you're not working with Newcomers; in addition to the usual state-mandated testing, they also "get" to do an extra four-part standardized test designed specifically for English language learners every year. Because nothing helps kids catch up on their language skills like taking extra time out to give them tests. Can you tell this isn't my favorite thing in the world?
Oh well; those are the cards we're dealt. So instead of bellyaching any further, let's get on with the mini-reviews! Below the break, as always.
A Survey of the Work of Vinyl Scratch (Abbreviated), by Meta Four
Zero-ish spoiler summary: A collection of reviews of Vinyl Scratches EPs, which perhaps cast more light on the reviewer than his subject matter. And not a particularly flattering light, for that matter.
A few thoughts: This is a fun, fun read. It's (mostly) a collection of in-universe writings/reviews, and the real brilliance here is in how they aren't just bad reviews, but realistically bad reviews. The author links to a blog in which notes the numerous real-life inspirations for certain bits of pedantry, missing-the-point, irrelevant digression, pointless name-dropping, and so forth, but even without seeing them firsthand, the sense of verisimilitude comes through clearly. I doubly appreciated this story because it is simultaneously about a reviewer of the kind I aspire not to be, yet is still sympathetic to the practice itself. It ends on a wonderful note, too; vaguely sweet, yet still arrogantly, blindly pompous.
Recommendation: If you want to see a pure distillation of the most conceited reviewership possible, look no further! And even if you don't, this is an easy story to recommend for fans of steady humor and in-universe writing.
It's Not About the Bobby Pin, by Nugget
Zero-ish spoiler summary: This, but with ponies.
A few thoughts: Unfortunately, I'd already seen that video I liked to in the summary; the fic itself is a literal retelling of that scene, except with Twilight and Rarity. To be fair to the author, s/he makes no attempt to hide what this story is. Still, I'm struggling to find anything creative about this work. It's not an adaptation or parody or anything; it's just a nearly word-for-word written version of that video, with ponies.
Recommendation: I guess if you're of the "everything's better with ponies" perspective, this might tickle your fancy. But for most everyone else, I think you're better off just watching the video.
Diamond Tiara Is: The Gator Grappler, by Your Antagonist
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Diamond Tiara grapples a gator. Gorilly.
A few thoughts: That's "gorilly" as in "in a gory manner;" it turns out that it isn't a real word, so I had to improvise the spelling. I did the best I could, but I'm not altogether satisfied with how it turned out. Anyway! I picked this fic because I wanted something short and silly, and that's exactly what I got. Unfortunately, the fic is rather poorly edited, and it more "stops" than "ends."
Recommendation: This is one you can accurately judge from the title; it delivers the kind of story you expect, without any unexpected depth or cleverness. So: if "Diamond Tiara Is: The Gator Grappler" sounds funny to you, by all means give it a shot. If it doesn't, you won't be missing anything.