Tag Archives: 2015

The End of 2015

Here we are again, bidding one year farewell and saying hello to a new one. I hope you accomplished everything in 2015 that you wanted–and if you didn’t, well, that’s what 2016 is for (seriously, I know the feeling. There’s stuff I wanted to do this year that didn’t happen because of life).

Like I did last year, I wanted to share my stats report with the rest of you because you are ultimately the ones who make this blog worthwhile.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

My views went down from last year, but views do fluctuate from time to time, so that’s not really an issue. I did write more posts, which was one of my goals for this year, but it wasn’t by all that much–last year’s total was 66; this year’s was 69. So I suppose I can say I met that goal. Sort of.

Before I sign off for 2015, I want to provide you with the link for the Patron Saint Name Generator again: http://saintsnamegenerator.com/#.UrhbhLTHlEk. My patron saint for 2016 is St. John of Damascus (aka St. John Damascene), patron saint of pharmacists, icon painters, and theology students…of which I am none. Still, he’s a Doctor of the Church, so it can’t hurt to have one of those interceding for you during the year.

Happy End of 2015!

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Doctor Who Review: The Husbands of River Song *Contains Spoilers*

Well, folks, here we are with the final Doctor Who review of 2015. I wasn’t able to tear myself away from my books yesterday to write this, so you’re getting it today. Moffat promised us a cheery romp for this year’s Christmas special, and he certainly delivered one. Of course, there were also poignant moments of sadness because this was, after all, written by Steven Moffat, who feasts on the sorrow of Whovians.

In a case of mistaken identity, the Doctor gets swept along into a scheme to remove the head of King Hydroflax, a scheme masterminded by none other than Hydroflax’s wife River Song–the same River Song who is supposed to be married to the Doctor. The Doctor is just as confused as the rest of us, and River doesn’t recognize this incarnation. In a sense this is really River’s adventure, and the Doctor is just along for the ride. He doesn’t particularly mind–he gets to do his own version of the iconic “It’s bigger on the inside!” reactions–but it is difficult for him not to have his wife recognize who he is. In fact, when River remarks to him that the easiest way to manipulate a man is to tell him you love him, you can see the little wheels turning–he’s wondering if River lied to him the entire time.

Of course, we later learn that River was never lying; she has always loved the Doctor–but she doesn’t believe that the Doctor loves her. It’s the curse of their timey-wimey relationship; they’re never on the same page. Once the adventure is over, the Doctor decides to take River someplace where they can talk everything through–how he really feels about her, her concerns that her diary is running out of pages, how many times she’s borrowed the TARDIS without his realizing it…he takes her to the Singing Towers of Darillium.

And then he gives her the sonic screwdriver she uses in “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead”. And suddenly Christmas is a lot more depressing. But it is Christmas, so Moffat doesn’t make it too depressing. When we first met River, she told the Doctor that the last time she saw him, they spent their evening at the Singing Towers…and a single night on Darillium, we learn today, lasts 24 years.

Will this be the last we see of River Song? Who knows. But it was nice to see that before she sacrifices her life for a Doctor who barely knew her, she had a chance to spend 24 years with a Doctor who knew everything about her and loved her dearly for it.

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Christmas Proclamation

Well, Christmas Eve is here once again, and I sure hope everyone is ready! I’ve got a special feature for all of you this year, a clip of the Christmas Proclamation from the Vigil Mass for Christmas. At least, I think it’s from the Christmas Vigil. I’ve never heard this sung at Midnight Mass, and the Christmas Vigils I’ve attended in the past have been Low Masses, which means no singing. Either way, it’s cool, and I hope some year I can hear it sung live.

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Doctor Who Review: Hell Bent *Contains Spoilers*

I apologize in advance if this review isn’t entirely coherent. A lot, and I mean a lot, of stuff happened in this episode, and I’m still trying to process everything that happened. There was trauma and tears and loathing of Moffat, and Doctor Who will not be the same show after this.

Clara’s alive–sort of. After the Doctor emerged from the confession dial, the Time Lords kept pressuring him to reveal what he knew about the Hybrid, and he told them that they would have to bring Clara back if they wanted him to talk. So they all went to the extraction chamber to extract Clara from her time stream in the second before her death in “Face the Raven”. She’s essentially frozen in the space between one heartbeat and the next, but the Doctor wants her heart to start beating again. He wants Clara back, which is why he told the Time Lords she had information about the Hybrid–he knew they would be willing to retrieve Clara from the moment of her death to get what they wanted.

He steals another TARDIS–shoutout to the classic white control room!–and takes Clara away from Gallifrey, thinking that escaping the Gallifreyan time zone will restart her heart. But Clara’s death is fixed in time, and the Time Lords will not let them escape. The only way they can walk away is if one of them forgets…

This was a true emotional roller coaster of an episode. The Doctor’s back on Gallifrey! Clara’s not dead! Ashildr’s still here! We have round things! The Doctor’s playing Clara’s theme on his guitar, but he doesn’t remember her, and, Moffat, what have we ever done to you that you are doing this to us!? It really was heartbreaking that the Doctor was the one who had to forget his companion–I thought it would be hard to have Clara forget the Doctor the way Donna had to, but to have the Doctor forget–that was cruel, Moffat, just cruel.

Despite the sadness, the season still feels as though it ended on a high note–Clara can continue to travel, just with Ashildr instead of the Doctor, and the Doctor himself seemed to find a modicum of peace at the end. One thing’s for certain–any companion they choose will have humongous shoes to fill.

Although this was the season finale, we still have one more episode left before the end of the year, the Christmas special “The Husbands of River Song”! I, for one, am really looking forward to how River interacts with Twelve.

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Advent is a Time of Grace

Advent started on Sunday, and I’ll be honest–I wasn’t ready for it to begin. Seeing Advent begin again was a reminder that another year of my life is on its way out, and I wasn’t ready for it to go, and I just haven’t got the energy to be festive this year.

My attitude changed after I went to Mass on Sunday, and it was due to the sermon the priest delivered. He drew parallels between the first coming of Christ at Christmas and the second coming at the end of the world and how remembering the first Advent helps us in our second Advent, but that wasn’t what got my attention. What got my attention was his statement of how lucky we are to live in the time we do. Why? Because we’ve got the sacraments! We’ve got sanctifying grace! Sometimes we take stuff like that for granted, but the priest made me realize that, yeah, sanctifying grace is kind of a big deal. He also talked about since Advent is the start of the new liturgical year, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the opportunities for grace we are given each day and those we receive in the sacraments.

Suffice it to say, his sermon inspired me to make the most of Advent’s preparatory time. And that, I believe, is what a good sermon is supposed to do–inspire you to do better.

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Doctor Who Review: Heaven Sent *Contains Spoilers*

We are on mauve alert here, Whovians, mauve alert! This latest episode of Doctor Who changes everything we knew about the Doctor and about the show, and Moffat gave us some of his best writing, and Capaldi is the bestest Doctor ever, and, and, and…

Sorry about that. I got a bit carried away. “Heaven Sent” really was a phenomenal piece of work–when Moffat puts his mind to it, he can really write a solid story. This one was full of everything that makes his Doctor Who stories so memorable, full of terror and puzzlers and timey-wimey stuff. His twist of the Doctor’s cycle of death and revival was quite the shocker to me and one of the best twists he’s pulled on the show in years. Well done, Moffat.

What to say about Peter Capaldi? He was on fire in this week’s episode; everything about his Doctor was perfect–especially his dealings with Clara’s death. The way he continues to talk to her, forgetting that she’s not there anymore, reminds me of 2008’s “Partners in Crime” when we see the Tenth Doctor happily chatting away in the TARDIS before remembering that he’s alone.

And I’d just like to say that it was so nice to hear an explanation for the Doctor’s whole story of running from Gallifrey because he was bored. In this episode he admits that was a lie, which was always my theory about it. When we first met the Doctor and Susan in “An Unearthly Child”, the Doctor implied that they are in exile and could not return. When faced with the realization that he must contact Gallifrey in “The War Games”, the Doctor is terrified for his life. So there were always hints that there was something more sinister about his departure from Gallifrey than we saw on TV.

What about his claim of being the Hybrid? I see this going one of two ways: either it’s a reference to his statement of being half-human in the 1996 TV movie, or it’s a reference to Rusty’s statement from “Into the Dalek” about how the Doctor is a good Dalek. Either way, “Hell Bent” is shaping up to be one of the most exciting season finales ever!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, Thanksgiving is upon us once more, and it’s important to take the time to be thankful for all the good things in our lives. Or maybe there are some not-so-good things in your life, but you can always be thankful that it won’t last forever–something has to change. It may take awhile, but it will end. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.

As always, I am thankful for my family and the wonderful friends God has placed into my life. And I am also thankful for you, my loyal readers, for making this blog so much fun to write.

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