December 2007 Archives

So another Christmas has come and gone, spent as usual with my brother, his girlfriend, and my parents at their house.  Now, while I'm admittedly not exactly the target market for this holiday, I don't think you need to be Christian to be able to appreciate a time like this, where you can gather with family and celebrate the fact that everyone's made it through another year, enjoy some good food and good company, and just generally have a good time.  Christmas is probably the time of year when I most feel at home with my parents, when my house feels the most empty.  Sitting on the couch at my parents' house, in front of a roaring fire, with the Christmas tree decorated and everyone there, together, that's a feeling of contentment I get far too little.  It's a sense of connection to my past, and when I move away, as I know I will eventually, that's going to be one of the hardest things to adjust to if I can't come home for Christmas.

This year was a little odd, since my mom had surgery on her wrist in October and as a result hasn't been able to really decorate the house as she usually does; her Halloween Department 56 miniatures are still up for instance, which is a bit weird.  Still, I think it may have actually been good for her because she wasn't stressed out about getting everything up and making it perfect, which I know can have a tendency to creep up on her sometimes.  My dad did more of the cooking this year than he usually does (which is saying a lot, since this is the time of year he does most of his baking) and despite his cinnamon rolls not turning out quite like he wanted, he really outdid himself.  I think the eggnog this year was the best it's ever been, the smoked ham we had yesterday was amazing, and everything was just really good.  The food at my folks' is one of those things I always look forward to, especially on the holidays, and I definitely wasn't disappointed.  The only thing that really bothered me is that I wasn't able to help as much as I would have liked because I was waiting for the mail to arrive here at my house on Monday, because a few of my presents still hadn't arrived yet (they made it, finally, at 5:00).

And of course, there's the presents.  This is always kind of an iffy thing for me, because my mom, as much as I love her, still hasn't really quite figured out what I like even after thirty years, and my transition has only made that worse in some ways I think.  While I can usually appreciate the sentiment (except the year she gave me the gift of cleaning implements, which I interpreted as "your bathroom needs to be cleaned better"), it's often stuff I am never going to use.  My dad usually does better, but I think it's hard for either of them to really bridge the generation gap sometimes.  However, overall, this year, they really outdid themselves for the most part.

Definitely the highlight of the day was the Blade Runner Ultimate Collector's Edition, which is, quite frankly, the best single-movie boxed set I've ever seen.  Not only does it have the new "Final Cut," which is still pretty close to the 1992 Director's Cut with cleaned up effects and a significantly better transfer, it has the 1992 Director's Cut, the US theatrical release, the international theatrical release, and the previously unreleased workprint that was circulated as a bootleg for a while I guess.  But that's not all, oh no.  For me, the highlight of this boxed set is the three and a half hour making-of documentary Dangerous Days.  We watched the Final Cut and this documentary yesterday, and frankly, it just blew me away.  Seeing how they did all those effects and how they built those amazing sets, all the wrangling over the script, and all the other growing pains that that movie went through, you really get a sense for how much people just poured into this movie to make it as good as it is.  Honestly, I don't know if I will ever see another movie made in my lifetime that will reach the scope and vision that Blade Runner achieved; I don't think it's out of the question to put it there with movies like Citizen Kane as a triumph of cinema.  In addition to the monstrous documentary, there's a number of other featurettes I haven't had time to watch yet.  If you're a true fan, this five disc set is a must-buy, especially at only 55 bucks from Amazon.  Considering the last Limited Edition didn't last in stock too long, you might want to grab it while you have a chance.

I got plenty of other goodies too, of course; the Serenity Collector's Edition, a few Call of Cthulhu books (which will be handy for working on Cthulhu Rising), Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!), a collection of t-shirts and posters from the Valve Store from my brother (sadly, he wasn't able to get one of the plush headcrabs, a deficiency I took care of last night myself), one of Johnny Cash's American Recordings CDs and Santana's Abraxas from my dad, in an effort to expand my musical tastes (I suspect inspired by Guitar Hero), and vast array of other assorted knickknacks.

As far as the title for this entry goes, it was my brother's girlfriend's question to my mom about the fact that her nativity scene does in fact have four wise men.  Evidently this is something she inherited from her mother and no, she has no idea where the fourth (very out-of-place looking) wise man comes from.  It's not a Catholic thing, it's....a my family is a little odd thing, as if that should be a surprise to anyone at this point. :)

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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