Tag Archives: 2014

Reacting to “Last Christmas” *Spoilers*

First of all, let me apologize for not posting this sooner. You see, I got books for Christmas. And I’m on my Christmas break. This means I had nothing to stop me from going into full-blown bibliopire mode (bibliopires, in case you are unaware, are like vampires, but instead of feasting upon humans, bibliopires latch onto books and drain them dry. I unashamedly admit that I invented this term, or at least I’ve never heard anyone else use it, so I’m claiming credit for it). However, I have managed to put the books down for a little bit in order to provide you with a review for the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas special, “Last Christmas”.

Where to begin, where to begin? I’ve seen it compared to Inception, but that falls a bit short of describing the whole dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams-within-even-more-dreams scenario that played out over the course of an hour. Also, Inception did not have giant disembodied hands that grabbed your face and put you in a coma while it slowly ate your brain. Man, does Moffat know how to write a cheery Christmas episode, or what?

To be fair, though, Moffat wasn’t entirely cruel to the fans this year. He packed in so many twists and turns and ups and downs that it came close to matching the emotional roller coaster that was last year’s “The Time of the Doctor”–it didn’t quite match it, though; it’s hard to rival the emotional intensity of a regeneration episode–but he didn’t let us down; he gave it a happy ending!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Clara will be back aboard the TARDIS for season 9 next year. I know Clara isn’t necessarily popular with the fans, but I still call it a happy ending because of the Doctor’s joy. Twelve has been more grumpy than his predecessors, but for the Christmas special, we got to see him smile and laugh…and the way his face lit up when Clara said she would come back was priceless.

Speaking of which, I must say that I really do love the chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. Twelve and Clara are the best Doctor/companion duo we’ve seen since Ten and Donna, and I look forward to many more seasons with the two of them.

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Getting Ready for Santa Claus

Santa Claus is scheduled to leave the North Pole tomorrow night and deliver toys to all the children of the world. But do you really know Santa? Really? The Red Green Show suggests that there may be more to Santa than meets the eye…and maybe he’s more real than we think.

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A Reflection on Christmas Lights

Ready or not, Christmas is this week. The people in my neighborhood are certainly ready; lights and decorations are proudly displayed, and you can tell a lot of love went into the decorating process. Granted, a few people may have gotten too enthusiastic, but they still meant well.

Surveying all the lights whenever I’ve had to go somewhere at night, though, got me thinking–and when I think, a post here usually follows. The contrast of the brightly colored lights shining out in the darkness reminded me in a roundabout way about how Christ is the Light of the world, the Light that shines in the Darkness (and the Darkness did not comprehend it). December can be a dark, cold, dreary month, but the lights with which we festoon our houses at Christmas bring us happiness and hope and help to push back the dark just a little bit. So, too, does Christ shine out in the darkness of the world and our lives, bringing us hope and showing us a path that leads out of the darkness. So stringing Christmas lights seems appropriate when you think about it; the lights we put on display are a reminder of the Light that came into the world.

“Gee, Emerald,” you’re probably thinking, “how do you manage to turn such seemingly random things into a reference to Catholicism?” The answer: half the time I don’t know where I come up with this stuff. But I do a lot of thinking, and stuff pops into my head, and if I think it’s coherent enough, I’ll post it on here.

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Something a Little Different for the Feast of St. Nicholas…

By now most of you are aware of one of my favorite St. Nicholas stories out there, the story of how he punched Arius at the Council of Nicea (cliffnotes version of the story is below).

At the aforementioned Council of Nicea, St. Nicholas punched Arius, founder of the Arian Heresy, for denying the Divinity of Christ. This naturally caused a shock–whether he was a heretic or not, you simply didn’t punch people at ecumenical councils. The other bishops at the council stripped Nicholas of his bishop’s garments and had him thrown in jail for assault.

“But how did he go on to become Santa Claus?” you’re probably asking at this point. Well, that night the Lord and the Blessed Virgin visited St. Nicholas in his cell, and when asked why he was in jail, the bishop responded that it was for love of his Lord. This response pleased Christ, and he gave St. Nicholas a book of the Gospels; the Blessed Virgin gave him a stole that represented his status as a bishop.

Here’s where it gets really interesting–the emperor and the bishop who was presiding over the council both saw this visit in their dreams that night, and in the morning they went to visit St. Nicholas to determine if what they had seen was real. When they saw his reading the book he had received from Our Lord the night before and wearing the stole that Our Lady had given him, they were convinced. St. Nicholas was released from jail and returned to the council.

This year I decided to go with something a little different for this feast. Today I bring you “Not-so-jolly Nicholas”, a parody of “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” which I think has a few more awesomeness points than the original.

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The St. Andrew Christmas Novena

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the start of a new liturgical year, and I am out of clever and insightful things to say about it this year. Maybe next year I’ll have better luck for a good post about it. In the meantime, though, I thought it would be a good idea to direct your attention to the St. Andrew Christmas Novena.

A novena is usually a prayer said once a day for nine days, and we get the nine days tradition from the Apostles, who spent nine days in the upper room waiting for the Holy Ghost. The St. Andrew Christmas Novena (which I’ll hereby be abbreviating as SACN) is different, though–it’s said fifteen times a day from November 30 (the feast of St. Andrew) to December 24. That’s a lot longer than nine days, so I don’t know how they can still call it a novena, but I don’t make the rules; I just report the facts.

http://www.fisheaters.com/customsadvent7.html

There’s another Christmas novena that’s recited once a day for the traditional nine days, going from December 16 to the 25.

http://www.fisheaters.com/customsadvent8.html

It’s been a long time since I’ve done the SACN–mainly because I lost my copy of the prayer–but I’m glad I found it again. I hope you find it beneficial if you decide to pray it.

 

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Thanksgiving 2014

It’s that time of year again, the time when we take a break from our busy lives and give thanks for everything in our lives. I’ve got some pretty cool stuff to be thankful for this year, like getting to see The Phantom of the Opera in person, building my own violin (an exciting escapade that will have its own post a little later), and, more recently, that I back up my computer files on an external hard drive–I turned my computer on this morning, and my files were gone. Then they came back after I uninstalled my antivirus. Antivirus is back on my computer now; everything is still there, so that’s a crisis I’m thankful is averted. Let this be a lesson to you all–back up your files!

One of the things I am grateful for, today and every day, is that you people out there in the land of memes and GIFs continue to read and subscribe to my blog. It’s a blog about nothing in particular and yet seems to incorporate a little bit of everything. It brings me great pleasure to know that there are people out there who enjoy visiting my little corner of randomness.

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what you’re grateful for at Thanksgiving. To help with that, I turn to the fine people at Blimey Cow.

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Promo Pics for the “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” Christmas Specials

Normally I’m a stickler for not celebrating Christmas until we’re closer to the actual holiday, but this is cause for celebration–we have promo pictures for the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas special and the 2015 Sherlock Christmas special. Well, maybe celebrating the Sherlock special is a bit premature since the powers-that-be have said it might not actually air at Christmas, but, hey, Sherlock is Sherlock.

First up we have the Doctor Who Christmas special. The title is “Last Christmas”, which, of course, is leading to wild speculation as to whether or not Jenna Coleman is returning in season 9.

The Doctor, Clara, and Santa Claus in

We also have a clip that was released during the Children in Need charity special:

Now, as for Sherlock–we have no title and no real guarantee that it will actually air on Christmas Day 2015, but we have this:

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Victorian-era Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Watsonstache lives again! Also, I am getting serious Jeremy Brett vibes from this picture. Who cares how they end up in the Victorian era; we just know it’s happening!

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