Earlier in the year, with some of the money from her "the company she works for has floated on the stock exchange and all employees get stocks & shares or cash equivalent," Sarah got me a MacBook; then more recently, with some of the gift vouchers from her "fifteen years long service (you get less for murder)," she got me an iPad. These, between them, were my birthday & Christmas present, and I wasn't expecting anything else. (Yes, we went to see The Hobbit, but the timing of that was coincidence.)
So imagine my very pleasant surprise to be given this a few minutes ago:
(Believe it or not, I've never seen it. Something I intend to put right asap now.)
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*For given values of "festive spirit". And definitely nothing to do with the vodka Sarah'll be downing as a reward for getting to Christmas without assassinating any of her co-workers...
There was a man in town with owls. Lots of them. Rescue animals, apparently. Beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful creatures. Yes, they could probably have my eye out if I wasn't careful, and according to Sarah they're thick as two short planks despite the things about them being wise (I'm so glad she didn't say that whilst one of them was in earshot...), but nevertheless, beautiful.
Here is one of them. ( Read more... )
Back in "the day" ("the day," in this case, being May - June 1997) I recorded the Cosgrove Hall animation of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. I've now got it out of the box in the attic it was stored in, only to discover that three episodes (numbers 2, 3 & 4) are missing (what can I say, it was a busy, hectic time of my life; I obviously forgot to set the timer, or something). I'd like to try to get hold of those three missing episodes.
Now, technically, I already have them, as Sarah has the whole series on DVD. Trouble is, the DVD is one of those things that fell out of favour in Doctor Who fandom back in the early '90s - a compilation of all six episodes strung together as one movie. Me no likey. (Yes, I know I shouldn't be so darned pedantic/borderline OCD, but there y'go. I'd like it in its original format, not some compilation thingy.) And sadly, my, erm, usual sources for such things are letting me down - they all present it as either a one-part movie or as two episodes. (Indeed, the only source that acknowledges it was ever broadcast as six episodes is the ever-useful BFI Film & TV Database).
So I was just wondering, seeing as I have a fair few geeky friends who are likely to have recorded it and not missed those crucial episodes - can anyone help me fill in the blanks? If you've got them on a VHS that I can borrow, awesome. If you've already backed them up to some form of digital format, even awesomer.
Hopeful thanks in advance,
Doctor Who, as always.
Your favourite film you watched this year?
To give it its UK title, Avengers Assemble. With The Hobbit running it a close second but missing out because it wasn't quite 100% perfect and also I've only seen it twice so far.
Your favourite book read this year?
With the usual caveat (i.e., I've not read many books this year...bad me), I think I'd go for Kate Griffin's The Neon Court.
Your favourite album or song to listen to this year?
Tough call. Very hard to make. Well, album's well nigh impossible - I listen to so many, particularly as I've been doing the "replacing worn out audio tapes with dirt cheap CDs" thing, and normally listening to the CDs as soon as they arrive. Song's easier - I always default to Pet Shop Boys' Always on my mind.
Your favourite tv show of the year?
Doctor Who, obviously. Misfits and the revived Red Dwarf were both enjoyable too. And Sherlock, although that was so long ago it hardly seems believable that it was this year.
Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
Haven't really made one. I mean, Elementary has its moments, but that aside... Mind you, it's not actually a fandom per se, but one particular aspect of a fandom that I adore is being able to buy downloads of Big Finish's audio plays. I doubt I'll be making a habit of it, but it's nice to know that the option is there if one of their plays sounds particularly appealing.
Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
Well, there's the whole Elementary not being as good as Sherlock thing. ^_^ Also, fandom itself has had its moments of "you make me despair" - death threats against Steven Moffat, fake twitter accounts, etc... Mind you, the bits of fandom I connect with tend to be sane. For, obviously, given values of "sane".
Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
Oh, the Doctor.
Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
I think I have a major crush on Clara. And she hasn't even been in an episode that's screened yet. (Mind you, that Oswin was a bit of a dish.)
Your biggest squee moment of the year?
Meeting Kate Griffin (admittedly for the second time). Seeing Avengers Assemble for the first time, not knowing what to expect, and finding it was fantastic. Seeing The Hobbit (part I) and finding it was wonderfully epic.
The most missed of your old fandoms?
This year, Chuck. Although I also miss Quantum Leap on regular occasions and think a full series rewatch is called for.
The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
I have Stargate SG-1 and Farscape on my Amazon wishlist. More realistically, Warehouse 13 (someone has at least bought me series 1).
Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
Gotta be the Doctor Who 50th anniversary, with everything that will bring. Iron Man 3 and The Hobbit part II will also be exciting. Pet Shop Boys gig to look forward to in June (I think, or July), although why they decided to return to the O2 is a source of mystery and frustration (its sheer size renders it one of the least intimate venues to go to, and I've still no idea where the stage door is...). Oh, and the second round of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy live kicks off in September and, if the first round was anything to go by, should be splendid. Also, at some point, I'd like to settle down with the TV and a free weekend or two and finish off Merlin, Fringe, and Leverage.
I don't think I've ever really acknowledged that before. I mean, I miss her, obviously, and I've sometimes felt that her death, happening when it did, almost certainly exacerbated the depression that had hit in when Jane left me, but I'm not sure I've ever really come out and said that I loved her, and still do in a way. And somehow being able to just actually say that seems to be...helpful.
Here is a picture of it:
It's not perfect. I've said ever since Doctor Who returned to our screens back in 2005 that what I really wanted to see was something that had the look and feel of the classic control room - the white walls and roundels - but something of the epic scale and feel of, say the TV Movie one. The coral TARDIS never really did it for me, and nor did the most recent one. This, though...there's something about it that, while it doesn't quite have the design aesthetic I'm eager for, is a step in the right direction - i.e., it feels very retro. What we can see of the console itself, particularly, seems very old skool - appropriately, as we approach the 50th anniversary. The little pedestal at the base is a nice touch, similar to the floor design that was present back in An Unearthly Child (that can't be an accident...). The...what looks like glass panelled walls around it look variously like some of the platforms on the Jubilee line (which I've always thought had a TARDIS-inspired look to them anyway, so presumably this is DW repaying the debt) with a dollop of the Longleat exhibition thrown in for good measure.
Of course, a picture's one thing - seeing it in action is going to be something else entirely. But I've got a good feeling about this.
Oh, and the Doctor's new costume? Me likey. :-) One day I'm going to cosplay eleven...
Anyway, the Hobbit wasn't the actual point of this post. The point was this:
There are adverts for the Fifty Shades of Grey books saying, "give her what she wants this Christmas." I'm going to leave aside, for the time being, that it seems to be phrased to suggest a wee bit of sexual innuendo, and the fact that it's a bit sexist to presume that only women will be interested in the books, shall instead say that quite frankly if anyone I know, man or woman, wants those books for Christmas, I think I'd disown them...you want badly written fanfic porn, there are several LJ comms that collect the stuff, never mind the ones where it gets posted in the belief that it's actually good... ^_^