Posts Tagged ‘Happy Holidays’

Hearth Day

December 19, 2020

The snow fell in huge flakes outside of Garrion Castle and it should have been warm inside but the castle had been abandoned recently. When Milla Coalberry and Guy Nightscar pushed their way through the front door, they were wearing thick furs. They had needed to board the horses at the stable first and that meant trudging across the snowy grounds in almost waist-deep snow. Guy hurried across the entry hall and hurriedly worked to start a fire. Milla threw off her fur cloak and grabbed her bow, nocked an arrow, and readied herself for any threats. She checked each entrance one by one and then repeated the cycle. Her attention was only momentarily drawn by the sparks and embers from Guy’s attempts.

“You didn’t even look around before you crossed the threshold, Guy,” Milla said. “There could have been any number of threats for each step you took.”

“If I had to choose between freezing outside for one more moment or getting maimed in here, I know what I’d choose and I chose it,” Guy said, shedding his own furs. “You could be a bit nicer seeing as how it is Hearth Day Eve.”

“If you didn’t want to go on this holiday mission, I could have gone on my own,” Milla said. “I just thought since neither of us has family we could do this together.” The two were the only orphans of their little group but could not be more different most of the time.

“Which is why I came,” Guy said. “besides, you would be lost without the greatest swordsman in the western continent.” He took a pull from his flask but only to warm himself or so he told himself.

“The self-proclaimed greatest swordsman,” Milla said, relaxing her bow when nothing immediately sprang from the darkness to maul them to death. “I’m constantly pulling your behind out of danger.”

“I’ve saved you just as much,” Guy said. “Maybe one or two fewer times.” One should not lie so close to Hearth Day.

“You’re reckless and undisciplined in any activity that does not include a bladed weapon,” Milla said. “but I’m happy you’re here. I’m happy not to be alone.”

“It wouldn’t make much tactical sense to tackle this one on your own, huh?” Guy asked with a smirk. “You’re far smarter than that.”

“Yes but I’m allowed to want company on a holiday,” Milla said. “I also didn’t want to be alone.”

“You’re always going off alone,” Guy said, raising an eyebrow. “The hermit monk only comes out of her hole when justice must be served.”

“Maybe I’m tired of being a hermit,” Milla said. “Maybe I want to be in the world now.” She walked over to the closest door and started hammering a metal spike under it to force it shut.

“Says the woman who decided to travel out to this manor in the middle of nowhere,” Guy said with a laugh. “Mixed messages there.”

“I’m serious,” Milla said with a frown. “When my parents and siblings died, I threw myself into my training at the monastery. I didn’t think I wanted to live anymore. I wanted to be a weapon for justice. When it turned out the monastery had duplicitous motives, I was lost again. Now I’m just trying to figure it all out.”

For once, Guy was shocked into silence for a bit. Milla had never said any of this in his presence before and was somewhat of a mystery to their little adventurer collective even though she was the de facto leader. “Well, you know we’re all here for you,” he finally said. “I’m free to talk whenever you want. I’ll buy you a drink sometime when we’re not in imminent danger.”

“I don’t drink,” Milla said. “but you know that. I can certainly just watch you drink as long as you promise not to be so disgusting.”

“No promises,” Guy said with a grin. “but we should probably start hunting ghouls. They really should have warded the family graveyard properly.”

“Not so fast, Guy,” Milla said. “We’ll have to start in the morning. Without a cleric along, we’ll have to start the hunt while they’re dormant.”

“Rina would have never gotten through the snow,” Guy said. “I barely did. Frankly, this won’t be my strangest Hearth Day morning.” He had never really had the traditional experience, adventuring, and carousing during most holidays.

“Nor will it be mine,” Milla said with a shrug and a smile. “It won’t even be my most violent.” Guy could imagine how she must have spent previous Hearth Days and knew that they were probably soaked in the blood of evildoers.

“That’s strange and possibly a bit said, Milla,” Guy said. “We’ll have to raid the larder after we finish to celebrate. I’ll brave the wine cellar on my own, don’t worry.”

“My hero,” Milla said, voice dripping with sarcasm but then she legitimately laughed.

“Happy Hearth Day, Milla,” Guy said.

“And to you, Guy,” Milla said with a smile. “Help me secure the doors.”

Media Update 12/21/17

December 21, 2017


The Christmas Prince

The movie that caused a flurry of tweets after Netflix announced that several people were watching this movie daily. I had already wanted to check this movie out but that weird public shaming convinced me for sure. I wanted to see it anyway because it stars Rose McIver, the star of iZombie. This will apparently start a new tradition of me watching random Christmas movies starring genre television stars. (See last year’s Dear Santa viewing). Anyway, the movie follows a reporter who goes undercover to investigate the royal family of the fictional country of Aldovia. It’s basically England without all of the baggage. The movie is cheesy but also very sweet and it has a coherent and good story for the holidays. Since I have been watching Season 2 of The Crown this week, this movie definitely resonated with me. McIver is great as the young, hungry reporter who figures out there is more to the story and her story than she thought. The child actress, Honor Kneafsey, did a great job at playing a much more complex character than most of the cast. Ben Lamb, who played the titular prince, also did a good job of being an interesting person and not the usual cookie cutter prince we see in these movies. I am so glad that Netflix produced this instead of it ending up on Lifetime or Hallmark where it would have been both inane and forgotten. While it is not a perfect movie, I found myself laughing and smiling and even shouting at the screen (in a good way) all through the movie. I definitely recommend it for those looking for a holiday movie that is light on an actual holiday.


Psych: The Movie

This movie is a Christmas gift from the old gang to all the Psych fans. While the Christmas season does not really affect the plot at all, the movie soundtrack does include several Christmas songs. Really, this movie is the long-awaited closure that was not needed but I definitely welcomed. The end of the series was kind of playfully open-ended but you could kind of guess what happened next. However, when I heard about this movie I was all in. The character of Shawn Spencer was a guy who I loved from the beginning but at one point, I believe that the writers let him stagnate a bit and not grow up. This movie works to fix that a little bit. But more than that, it was absolutely a love letter to the loyal fans that have stuck with this show for so long. There were cameos from some of the greatest guest stars and the whole cast from the series returned. On top of that, one of the cameos was from WWE superstars John Cena and there was a bigger part for Charlotte Flair (Wooo!). They brought back a lot of the old running jokes but they definitely played with them, as the characters have always been pretty self-aware about those bits of comedy. This was a fun romp through the new setting of San Francisco and we got to see some growth from the beloved characters. I am happy to hear that creator Steve Franks has four other stand-alone movies planned as this movie felt kind of like a new beginning of sorts. I recommend it to fans of the original series and if you have not watched Psych go track it down.


A Christmas Together/Rocky Mountain Holiday

These are the two holiday specials that John Denver did with The Muppets at a time when I was not born/a baby and when the original cast was still alive. I am not knocking the new cast at all but it was the original cast that first captured my attention. John Denver also has a special place in my heart because of his relationship with the Baltimore Orioles when I was a little kid. I knew there was at least one John Denver album done with the muppets but I had never known there were actually two television specials. A Christmas Together is a show about John and the Muppets trying to put together a Christmas special and, like an episode of the Muppets, it has both backstage and performance pieces. The performance visuals can be a bit trippy which matches Denver’s warbling vocals. The special ends with the story of Jesus’ birth with puppetry cute enough for me not to complain.  The second special has a lot more lively music and there is more Muppets-style humor.  It also has way more Muppets puppetry (muppetry?).  I prefer the second one since I like upbeat music more but both are pleasant and nostalgic.  Of course, only the first is actually a Christmas special which I did not realize until I cued the second special. I guess it’s just a summer holiday special.  I recommend them both.

Music of the Week:
Dru Hill – This Christmas

Joyce Chu – Merry Cold Christmas

Billy Idol – Yellin’ At the Xmas Tree

Ariana Grande – Wit It This Christmas

Amon Amarth – Viking Christmas

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Fun Christmas”
– I started watching Longmire Season 3
– I started watching The Crown Season 2
– I kept watching Blue Exorcist
– I watched more Fate/Apocrypha
– I watched a lot of GTLive and Game Grumps
– Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope that you find some peace this week

Coulrophobia

December 16, 2017

Good morning!  I have a bunch of stuff partly written but I have been feeling kind of run down and sick this week.  Also, the Christmas-esque holidays always kind of rattle my brain a little.  I am hoping to spend a little time over the weekend getting things together so I can enjoy Xmas without worrying about posting but still meeting my deadlines here.  In the meantime, few things could make me miss a deadline so I present to you another video project that I have been working on to continue to learn video editing.  It sprang from a discussion at my weekly Craft Night and a friend’s mother’s collection of clown paintings.  This is just a small sampling of why we are afraid of clowns.  Don’t look behind you…

 

Christmas Interview Questions

December 25, 2016

Since it is Christmas, I thought I would break my normal update schedule and post today. While it has been over a decade since I have attended church, I still celebrate Christmas with my family. My stepfather’s family actually gives and receives gifts tomorrow morning which extends our Christmas tradition a little more. Anyway, here are a few Christmas interview questions to celebrate this day of giving.


Do you prefer to give gifts or receive them?

When I was little, I was all about receiving things. However, as I got older and older, receiving became less and less important. I struggled to actually add things to my Christmas list because things became less important to me. Action figures just took up space so I started to float toward comic books, books, video games and movies which are all objects that give you an experience and serve a specific purpose. I still find it hard to ask for anything since I already have mostly everything I need and most of what I might want is boring and cheap. At the same time, giving gifts has become a more rewarding experience. I struggled to pick good gifts for the people I love. I was always desperate for a gift to give because it was required. Now, I have become better at reading people and drawing on my personal connections to them to pick a good gift. Nothing I give is boring or impersonal, it always carries memories of a bit of fiction we both liked or a memory we shared. Now I prefer giving gifts so I can see the reaction and the feeling that I really know that person.


What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

This is a huge running thing on the Internet and among my friends and family. The most popular answer that I have heard is Die Hard as it is loudly proclaimed by my brother. While I love Die Hard, I cannot pick it because it is not actually a Christmas movie. The same goes for my joke answer which is Batman Returns which involves Batman saving Christmas. One of my favorite movies, A Nightmare Before Christmas, has officially been labeled a Halloween movie so that does not count either. I feel the same should be said of Gremlins. I think I would actually go with White Christmas which I finally saw for the first time last year. It starts with singing Christmas songs to the troops in the middle of a really bad war zone. It ends with the main characters putting on a show to save a failing business. It stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye among others and has the old Christmas standard White Christmas (of course). It is a kind-hearted movie but it does not fall into the trap of getting too sappy, too sarcastic or too sugary sweet. It has a lot of humor but it also has a lot of touching moments and conflict which, to me, is what the holidays are all about.


What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Musically, I would have to go with the song I posted on Thursday, All I Want for Christmas is You by Vince Vance and the Valiants. Lisa Layne is one heck of a singer and I like the pleading nature of the song a lot along with some jazzy backup from the band. However, it is not a message that resonates with me. I have never had a special somebody during Christmas that I was missing and needed desperately to be with. It felt a little right that one Christmas I was working on A Christmas Carol and could not come home to my family for Christmas but that is not what I want from Christmas. I would have to go with Santa Baby simply because it embodies what I want from Christmas. I want playfulness, I want happiness, I want good music and good secular fun. Obviously, my heart goes out to the Eartha Kitt version because she was Catwoman and that ties into the whole Batman thing from earlier. She also really does well walking the line between playfulness, flirtatiousness and holiday cheer.

And how about a few gifts?

From the WWE for fans of Why I Love Pro-Wrestling:

A little Heavy Metal in honor of my new Dungeons and Dragons character:

And a look at why Home Alone may not be the best holiday film:


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