argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
[personal profile] argurotoxos
Christmas didn't feel as much like Christmas this year. We didn't put our tree, lights, or any ornaments up. My grandparents sent us a lovely wreath and centrepiece from L. L. Bean, so we moved the outdoor wreath indoors and put all the presents under that. We had no snow Christmas Day, and the weather was warm but windy -- nice enough to sit outside without a coat. I also worked both the day before and the day after Christmas.

Wednesday night we each opened one present, as per our Christmas Eve tradition. We also watched the first hour of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. (More on the movie later.)

We had a late lunch Christmas Day, picked up from a restaurant the day before: prime rib, asparagus, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, Caesar salad, and Italian cookies (including my favourite, cannoli). Opening presents took up the next hour or two; it was fun and quiet, with most gifts from each other or relatives, plus Kun and Sarah. (I had gotten together with my three local friends earlier in the month.) We saw the rest of The Hobbit (Part 2), and ended the evening playing Apples to Apples (which I bought on Black Friday) and Star Fluxx (one of my gift requests). It's been quite a while since we had new games to play, or played board/card games together in general.

My mom, the only one of us who has read The Hobbit, did not like The Desolation of Smaug at all. She felt it altered too much from the book and the only thing she did like was Smaug himself, both aurally and visually. I felt that, in the efforts to tie The Hobbit back into The Lord of the Rings and make it more action-oriented, Bilbo was left with hardly anything to do. Even though I thought the first Hobbit film was too long and repetitious, the scene with Gollum was excellent at showing Bilbo's skill with words and wits (which seems to be his main talent in the book) rather than fighting. The Necromancer/Sauron storyline overshadows that of the dwarves' (one city or a whole world?) and pushes the film into a darker tone. The Orcs are simply fodder for the heroes, Legolas is pure fanservice, and most of the fighting technique is totally ridiculous.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and a happy 2015.


This year flew by, especially the last two months. One of my biggest struggles continues to be how to balance things in my life: work, family, my somewhat new and still surprising social life with friends, belly dancing, chores around the house, alone/relaxation time, and other desires (like looking for a new job, answering emails, and dealing with paperwork with deadlines). For most of December I worked overtime with only one day off a week. There's just so many things I want to get done and I don't have the time or energy to do them, which often leads to me stressing myself out, feeling guilty, and/or criticizing myself.

On the other hand, I think I like myself more as a person now than I have for several (many?) years. I'm more active and have been developing and enjoying many diverse interests that I don't think are that common, especially combined: belly dancing, corseting, reading (especially non-fiction), reptiles (especially lizards). I'm still interested in comics, Thief, science fiction, and other, older mainstays, but not to the extent I used to be. In short, I've noticed these changes more acutely this year and think I look forward to seeing the person I become, hopefully possessed of both more knowledge and more kindness. (I don't believe in fate, destiny, karma, or the like, but I do believe in being influenced by your experiences, environment, acquaintances, and memories.)

Below is a short look back at 2014, or at least the multimedia side, with a bias toward the latter part of the year.

Favourite book: Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Best show of 2014: Would I Lie To You?, a BBC panel-based game show [My dad and I watched this all in a few months.]

Favourite new podcast: Infants on Thrones

Best new YouTube channel: Lindybeige

Best fanfiction: Wild Ambition Fortune's Ice Prefers by amberfox17

Number of dance classes taken: 20, with three different teachers/locations

Songs/Lyrics of the year: "Sin Skinner" by Diary of Dreams
("Keep my integrity intact,
I want to base my life on facts.
Whatever comes, I never know,
but life will ultimately show."
)

and "Former Me" by Neuroticfish
("You are possessed,
By what the people say or do,
With every step,
You know it never suits you.
You think you're dirt,
And everybody hates it,
Rewind, don't tell me that you're wasted."
)
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argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
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March 2016

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