I was a blogger once, until Skyrim came along and put a twisted, game-addiction version of Cupid's infamous arrows into me. Probably not my knee as I can still walk...when I'm not sitting at my computer and playing the aforementioned computer game.
It goes largely without saying that I've been neglecting my updating of this blog for a good long while. Mostly Skyrim, but that pesky little bastard known as Life also shares some blame here. Strangely enough, Life is going to be something of the running theme of this post. Well, Life in the context of the events of 2012.
That's right, kids. It's the Year in Review blog entry. It had to be done.
Well, I wanted to one. So there.
Of course, a lot of 2012's major events have been thoroughly catalogued in the thirty-four preceding entries. But I'm going to ramble on anyway, maybe filling in some gaps that I left. But we'll see about that.
Logically, we start at the beginning January 2012. The landmark of January, aside from starting up this blog, was seeing The Artist. Anyone paying attention to film news and the Oscars, etc., knows that The Artist received many accolades. And in my humble opinion, quite rightly so.
Being, I hope, dear and loyal readers of this blog, you might not think that The Artist was my kind of movie. If you take a look at the cinema tickets stuck to my wall...well, this year's rogues gallery includes Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, Avengers (obviously), The Dark Knight Rises (again with the obvious), Brave and Skyfall. I'm also half-watching the 2009 Star Trek movie as I'm writing this and Spock just said "Set phasers to stun." I felt this required comment.
So, The Artist doesn't seem like my usual thing. But I absolutely loved it. It was a beautiful, brilliantly realised work of cinema and quite deserving of all its praise. But I will say (and Phoenix, my friend I went to see the movie with, agrees), it's a movie to watch as a group and preferably in a cinema/cinema-like environment. It's just...it's a necessary part of the experience.
Staying on the track of movies, this year has seen some brilliant gems. In spite of the opinions of the readers of The LA Times, I don't feel Avengers was overrated. I had this conversation with a colleague and he drew comparison to The Shawshank Redemption. I'll admit, I have not seen this movie. I imagine that is some kind of cinematic atrocity, given the high regard it is held in. And while I have no illusions that you could compare Shawshank Redemption and Avengers and come out smelling of roses. I will simply state that I love Avengers. It's my favourite movie of the year and probably in my top ten/top five movies of all time.
Looking to future with movies and backtracking to the mention of Star Trek, I am very, very much looking forward to the cinematic year. We have Star Trek: Into Darkness, where we can finally find out just who the Seven Hells Benedict Cumberbatch is playing! Smart money so far is on either Khan or Gary Mitchell. I'm not betting on either of them just yet. Merely looking very forward to the movie.
Then...Iron Man 3.
I've been thinking a lot about movie trilogies lately. Generally the trend is that the first or second movies are the best, the third often falls down a bit. But this is Marvel. This is Iron Man. The first was awesome. The second was awesome. And I have every confidence that Robert Downey Jr will make the third instalment just as amazing as one and two.
On the subject of trilogies, The World's End, the finale in the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy from Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost will be coming out this year. I'll be honest, it's taken them long enough! But nonetheless, I am looking forward to this as well as. So far, Hot Fuzz trumps Shaun of the Dead as my favourite of those movies. We'll see what happens with movie number three.
Still on the subject of trilogies, I finally watched all three Lord of the Rings movies. Yes, I know, being a twenty-four year old self-professed geek having not seen these movies up until now is pretty much tantamount to treason in geek circles. But better late than never. Overwhelmingly, The Two Towers is my favourite. I fully intend to acquire these movies on DVD, but so far the 'Verse is spurning me, hiking the prices of the boxset of the Extended Editions wherever I look. So it may be a while. But as I've shown, I get there in the end.
Onwards (well, more backwards really) to other events in 2012. Or one event in particular. Well, now that I think about it, I can make this a ramble about a tenuously interconnected series of events that can be brought under the same heading. It's the subject of friendship. Now this is going to be the shamefully sentimental part of things.
First of all, there's my dearest Oracle. She started out as one of my regular customers at work and has grown into being one of my closest and dearest friends. She's a fellow Marvel nerd, but her knowledge of the comics far exceeds mine. Which makes for some interesting discussions as I remain blissfully ignorant of the things that aren't quite right with the movies. But nonetheless, she has become very dear to me and, in keeping with her callsign, possesses much wisdom that she is more often than not called upon to impart.
Secondly, there's Kraken. Again, someone I met through work. A charming American girl with intriguing tattoos and a bag with a steampunk-y octopus on it. Hence her callsign became Kraken. That and she resides in an area of the United States where she is surrounded by water. It was a curious friendship that developed...I innocently commented on the awesomeness of her tattoos and her bag, she was sufficiently impressed by our conversations that day that Facebook connections were established and a brilliant trans-Atlantic friendship has developed.
Finally, but in no way an afterthought, there is Thief. The Rhaegar Targaryen to my Lyanna Stark. Because it has been firmly established that I am the girl in our dynamic. I have no shame in this. It's a complicated tango we dance and I do not regret a second of it. Thief, so named for her desire to steal my replica of Malcolm Reynolds' pistol, is an exceptionally brilliant and beautiful lady. I'm just a gushing, sentimental fool. Nonetheless...I met her on the same day I met someone else awesome - the GRRM Reaper, George R.R. Martin. Though, in true sentimental fool style, meeting her was much more awesome. For one thing, she's stuck around and said more than three words to me!
I'm getting so much more than an arrow to the knee for this. Regardless, these three are just the latest addition to my rogues gallery of amazing friends. I love you all, you incredible, complicated and beautiful people.
On the subject of meeting authors, this year I had the privilege to meet British science-fiction author Peter F. Hamilton. Whenever I go into a bookshop, I inevitably gravitate towards the science-fiction section. In fact, whenever I meet up with my friend Phoenix, our usual meeting point is the sci-fi section. So naturally, I'm always browsing the books and, as I mentioned when I reviewed A Quantum Murder, my eyes continually rested upon Hamilton's books. In honour of the release of his latest book, Great North Road, he came to Bath to do a talk and book signing. So in addition to buying the tome-like Great North Road, I brought along the Greg Mandel Series and had them all signed.
But the most brilliant thing for me was getting to talk to Hamilton. When meeting the GRRM Reaper...well, it was a packed-out church with an estimated...three hundred people in attendance. The event for Peter F. Hamilton was a lot smaller, allowing for more books to be signed and a little more idle chit-chat. During his talk, Hamilton mentioned an incident where he was in a taxi with his friends (while he was writing Great North Road, set in Newcastle) and idly noted that he needed to go to Newcastle to find somewhere he could dump a body in the Tyne. His friends had to assure the taxi driver that he wasn't a murderer, just a writer. Very much similar to incident with me. I was on the bus back from uni, discussing my novel with one of my classmates. At one point, I was talking about blowing up a research facility with orbital railguns, potentially killing hundreds. I turned to the girl sitting next to my classmate and sheepishly explained that I was just a writer. It was...well, somewhat comforting to find that I'm not the only writer this has happened to. Odds probably always said I wouldn't be the only one, but it's nice to have proof.
By and large, what is there to say about 2012? It's been an incredibly intriguing year. Complicated, like all things in life. But it's been one of those years that has shown how much I have to learn about the worlds. I've learned much about myself, the most important thing being a revelation I had about happiness. It's put me on a long road, a road under the glare of an unforgiving sun, where each step lasts an eternity. The horizon shimmers, my destination shrouded in heat haze, but one way or another, it is there. But by all the gods in Asgard and Olympus, there isn't a power in this 'Verse that can stop me from getting there.
Yikes. I do seem to get carried away when being all crazy and emotional. But oh well. Sometimes you just need to.
As for 2013, it's started off...well, mixed really. I discovered that my PayPal account was hacked and £600 spent, which was pretty annoying and forced a major overhaul of my passwords, but I still have hope for this year. Thirteen is a greatly misunderstood number, but I have hope for it. Come 2014, I hope to be posting another one of these reflections. Hopefully a great deal more....positive. Not that this isn't positive. Like all things in the worlds, it's complicated. But complicated isn't necessarily a bad thing.
I feel there's so many more things to say, but I think I'm running out of space and this may just be the longest entry I've ever posted. And the most dangerous. But that remains to be seen. But there we have it. 2012. You were a good, complicated year. Here's hoping for a frakking great, Tyrionically complicated year for 2013.