Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in review





This year's ceremony will be rather rushed due to lack of time. Most of it is rushing away through the hole that Continuity Girl obviously bodged when attempting to repair it. Still, I'll make a quick start on what's happened here at Castle DeVice throughout 2008, beginning with the first three months of the year, then the Host will take over for the actual awards. Here we go:

January: French & Saunders go to the movies; A Jake Gyllenhaal interlude; MJ temporarily closed (not her legs or her gob); Six quirks were disclosed.

February: Beaky prepares for 'relations'; Snaps were given at a rubbish award ceremony; Valentines day was spent over the Cusp with Timothy Scissorhands; Chocolate snot; A miserable meme; Broom was temporarily replaced with a Poppins-a-like umbrella; Earthquake!

March: Juno at the cinema; A very disappointing Flash; Rear window jungle; Royal status confirmed; The beginning of Books; Visiting Cybertron; Sleeping Beauty over the Cusp.



The nominees for the most engaging film are: Cloverfield, Juno, Iron Man, X-Files: I Want To Believe and Wall-E. I'm giving this award to Cloverfield as it really drew me in. The shaky, hand-held camera work, the fleeting glimpses of the monster, the sense of fear and panic - All these things really made me believe I was there in New York as the monster went on the rampage.




Oh dear. These films really did nothing for me: Alien vs Predator: Requiem, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Dark Knight. AvP:R started off promisingly with an annoying kid getting impregnated by a face-hugger, but it all went downhill from there. Still, it was good for a laugh. However, the most disappointing film was The Dark Knight. I found it too dark and bleak with a convoluted plot and not enough of Arron Eckhart ( * ahhhhh * ) as Two-Face. Plus, what was with Batman's ridiculous voice?




My favourite TV show out of the few I've watched this year: Heroes, Grey's Anatomy, Pushing Daisies, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty, goes to Pushing Daisies. It was a refreshing, funny, sweet and stylish show. Such a shame that the first season was cut short by the writers strike and that it has now been cancelled after the second season. I'm hoping that creator/producer Bryan Fuller is able to make a movie to resolve the plotlines.




April: A personal Q&A; Choosing a new Demon Box; April update after Demon Box traumas.

May: Invasion by the bestriped Yorkshire Poofs; A books read update; 'Five things' meme; Little cakes; Beakzilla!

June: The Frog Prince - Over The Cusp for T-Bird's birthday; Movie meme; A service for Broom.



My favourite book contenders are: Star Trek: Destiny series by David Mack, Star Trek Terok Nor series by James Swallow and S. D. Perry & Britta Dennison, and MODE - The Ugly Betty book by Ann Donahue. I have read an awful lot of Star Trek books this year, so it's no surprise to see that they form the majority of this catagory. The Ugly Betty book is a last minute entry from Christmas, but isn't good enough to see off the winner: The Star Trek Terok Nor series. I wanted Destiny to win, but I haven't received, never mind read, the final book yet.





I've only bought two albums (that I can remember) this year, so it makes choosing my favourite a lot easier. Between Seventh Tree by Goldfrapp and Out of Control by Girls Aloud, Seventh Tree gets it. It has a beautiful, modern folk-esque sound which I think will endure longer than Girls Aloud's sophisticated and feisty pop.





The best rediscoveries this year include: Hue & Cry and The Eels, both found on YouTube, and Most Haunted - with the spectacularly crap-haired Yvette Fielding - as reintroduced to me by SP. Hue & Cry have to be my favourites because I bought their 'best of' album.




July: Office dares; 400th post - A postcard from MJ; Growing dragons; More books read updates; Norwich - An actual city; The infamous orange T-Shirt.

August: Gorgeous gingers; Hot older men; Shopping with The Wiggler; How many Civil Servants does it take to answer a phone?; A week at the cinema; Have you seen this Blackbird?; A certain librarian's birthday over The Cusp; Male synchronised swimming.

September: Coven origins; Attack of the giant spider; TV as watched by IDV; Heavenly music; Another book update.



This was going to be the Sexiest Actor category, but Eric Dane would have won (again) easily, so I changed it to Most fanciable Male. The nominees are: Eric Dane (Dr Mark "McSteamy" Sloan in Grey's Anatomy), Zachary Quinto (Gabriel "Sylar" Grey in Heroes), Lee Pace (Ned the Pie Maker in Pushing Daisies) and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark, aka Iron Man). As you have probably guessed, the winner isn't Eric Dane, but Lee Pace!





Best actress nominees are: Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully in X-Files), Jennifer Garner (Vanessa Loring in Juno), Anna Friel (Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in Pushing Daisies) and Chandra Wilson (Dr. Miranda Bailey in Grey's Anatomy). The winner - just pipping Gillain Anderson to the top spot - is Chandra Wilson for her feisty, commanding, yet sensitive, turn as Dr. Bailey in Grey's Anatomy.




October: Tour of Castle DeVice; How the witch became; Wonky-mouthed Beaky; Items of Interest; Margaret 2.0 - The cheeseplant from Hell.

November: The Princess and the Pee; Top Secret Tim - Dreamy in Speedos; 6 weird thing6; Mrs Beaky - The pest of a thousand decibels; Attack of the Smug Marrieds.

December: Explanation of the Sex Pest; Piloting with Goldfrapp; Elephants and a Phoenix; Introducing Audrey; Final book update.



The Hottest Sci-Figure for the third year running is Connor Trinneer (He's still appearing in crappy old Stargate: Atlantis as Michael Kenmore. I haven't watched it, but I don't need to - I know what he looks like)!




And that's it for another year! I hope you all enjoyed it? I've certainly had fun poking around your blogs this year, even if, for the past two months, my new status as a Smug Married hasn't enabled me to visit or comment as often as I used to. I'm sure this will wear off soon, and things will be back to normal in 2009.

Happy new year everyone! See you in 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bookmatic


I thought I'd better post one last book-themed entry now that the year is nearly out. Up until September, I'd managed to read a paltry 17.5 books this year.

I haven't really got a great deal to add, and I certainly can't be arsed to write proper reviews (not that any of the previous reviews were in any way 'proper'). Instead, you can just read the links if you're really that interested. So, on with the show:

18 - Fearful Symmetry, by Olivia Woods.

This book is a flip-book: The first half deals with part of Kira Nerys's life, and the second half - for which one has to flip the book over and start from the back cover as if it's the front - deals with her alien double's during the same time frame. It was supposed to be released last year but was delayed until spring of this year, then delayed again until summer. The UK was supposed to get it in August or September, but I didn't manage to get hold of a copy until October! During the final delay, I'd read some reviews that praised the first half but weren't so keen on the second. If memory serves, most reviewers mentioned that Iliana's story was rushed compared to Kira's. I'd like to report that I found the second half far more interesting than the first - Not that Kira's story was dull. Far from it. It's just that I'm already familiar with Kira's life from watching Deep Space Nine, so her Cardassian doppelganger's story was all new and thoroughly engaging. However, I do think it could have done with being a little more detailed, but that's the price one pays for having only half a book dedicated to each story.


19 - Gods of Night, the first Star Trek: Destiny novel by David Mack.

David Mack is my favourite Star Trek author which is the primary reason why I bought this book (and the following two in the trilogy). You see, the Destiny series also features the Borg - A vastly overused and, up until now, unconvincing foe for the Federation Starfleet and our heroes aboard the Enterprise-E. Luckily, the author has turned the Borg into the almost unstoppable threat that they once were in The Next Generation episode "Q Who." The second (and only other) reason for this purchase, was my curiosity about Ezri Dax's promotion to Captain of the USS Aventine. The last time we heard about her was 'back' in 2378 when she was second officer of Deep Space Nine, under Captain Kira and Commander Vaughn. The Destiny series is set three years later in 2381, bringing DS9 up to the same time frame as the TNG and Voyager novels.


20 - Mere Mortals, the second of the Destiny trilogy by David Mack.

Oh. My. Gods! The Borg are pant-shittingly terrifying. I've never been so caught up in narrative before that has made me so apprehensive and nervous. I simply can't imagine how Starfleet and the other races are going to survive following the cliffhanger ending.
I can barely wait for the final book to be delivered early next month.


21 - Mode, by Ann Donahue.

After the horror of the Borg, this magazine-like book (a Christmas present from SP) that accompanies the Ugly Betty TV series is a refreshing bit of fluff. It's packed with information about the show, the characters, quotes and more. Highly entertaining and a recommended read for Ugly Betty fans.


.5 - Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson.

I've just begun re-reading the entire comic strip again, starting with the first collection. The reason for this is that SP hadn't heard of Calvin & Hobbes, so I thought I'd introduce him to it, but what actually happened was that he couldn't tear himself away from the TV, so I started reading it out of boredom (he was watching something crap). I've only read half of this book so far, but at least it means I can add it to the half of Marshmallows For Breakfast that I read earlier in the year making a whole book.
So, I've managed to read the tidy sum of 22 books in 2008, which is much better than the few I managed in 2007.


And that's your lot. I'm going to have a quick skid around Blogland before dinner, to catch up with what you've all been doing, seeing as I haven't been around for the past week or so. Hopefully, I'll have time to compose the annual 'Coven Awards' review for the 31st, but don't hold your collective breaths.

Um... Happy new year just in case I don't get back here before January.

Monday, December 22, 2008

AWOL




I shall be elsewhere for Crimbleene, probably over the Cusp, so I shall have to tell you all about it when I return. Presuming I'm able to return, that is.

I'm sorry I haven't had time to get around to everyone's blogs lately - I may be able to squeeze in a quick lurk here and there before the 25th, but don't count on a witty, topical comment. So, for those who do: Merry Christmas! For those who don't: Bah! Humbug! And for those who have yet to make up their minds: Meh.



For anyone who is confused by the leopard print swimsuit, I shall direct you to MJ's. Please click here and scroll down.

Friday, December 19, 2008

An unexpected 'guest'


I've been trying to keep Witchface from SP - diverting all my mental energies to keep IDV and the SubCs under wraps. After all, I don't want to scare him off. However, a heretofor supressed SubC has come to the fore, taking advantage of my distraction.

Her name is Audrey.

She's a frightful snob and almost everything makes her pull a face. I can only describe her as a cross between Hyacinth Bucket and Margo Leadbetter. SP knows when she's about to make an appearance because I, the Host, become silent and a faint sneer appears. Audrey materialises in sneer-form first which lets SP know to change his behaviour.
For instance, last night, SP came home late* from a work party.


* cue wobbly soap opera-style flashback *


"Hello, my boyfriend" I greeted him.

"Aah, hello, my boyfriend.** Sorry I'm an hour or so late."

"Don't worry. I'm just pleased you had a great time - I really thought you'd be bored senseless after last night's work do."

"Not at all. The clients are so much more fun than the stupid work colleagues. I'm so hungry - I had to stop off on the way home and get some food."
Involuntarily, my hand reached out for the bag and pulled out a frozen pizza and a massive bag of chilli Doritos.
"Don't look at the ingredients!" SP almost shouted in a panic. But it was too late. I had been silenced and Audrey's sneer had arrived, followed by a gasp of horror.

"You can't eat these! The ingredients reads like a who's who of the periodic table, plus all their offspring and incestuous cousins." Audrey was aghast. Even more so when she clocked the E-numbers. "And look at those Es, SP - There're enough to supply an illegal rave!" At that, she promptly pulled out a doily, placed it on a chair and sat down, fanning herself.


* wobbly flashback wobbles out of existance *


I hope she's not planning on staying.



* We're not living together. Yet. I was looking after his dog.
** Feel free to vomit.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Hot chocolate


Remember that phoenix egg I acquired a while back? And those tiny hot-footed elephants?

No. Neither did I until this morning. I'd gone outside to put some sultanas out for poor Beaky, not realising that I'd left the back door open. It seems the elephants - who'd set up a little colony amongst my plant pots - decided that this was their chance to get inside and hibernate in the warm.
I got back inside and discovered them kicking the phoenix egg around with their red-hot little feet. They'd found the egg in the nook by the radiator in the dining room, obviously deciding that the nook was where they were going to hibernate, and were attempting to kick it out of their way. The egg was covered with lots of hot little footprints and was glowing quite brightly.
Before I could stop them, there was an ominous cracking sound and a flash of light.

* WHOOOMPH! *

Drat. There go my eyebrows again. And half the dining room.

Now I have a massive, charred and blackened hole in the wall with a pool of molten radiator beneath it. To top it all off, somewhat more worryingly, the newly hatched phoenix flew off towards the gasworks at the end of the road. So, if you don't hear from me in a little while, it'll be because half of Norwich has been blasted off the face of the planet! On the plus side, I didn't have to make any sandwiches to take to work - I had crispy fried elephant.

- - -

And now for a Tim-style aside. Although, it's more like an end*...

For the last couple of days, I've had Kylie's Chocolate floating around my brain. I blame CyberPetra. You know how I like to share, so, here it is for your delectation:




* Not his end, unfortunately...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Henpecked


The other day, I was playing a game of Word Twist on Face Book and listening to a bit of Goldfrapp, when something caught my ear. A kind of clucking, chirping noise sounded regularly between the phrases of Ride A White Horse. I thought my ancient CD player had finally given up the ghost (I'm desperately waiting for it to break so I can get a new one), but then I realised that the sound wasn't coming from the stereo, but from somewhere else. It almost sounded like it was outside the back door.
I heaved myself off my arse, switched off the stereo and had a look out of the dining room window. There below me, perched on the path facing the back door, was Beaky. It was him chirping away plaintively, knowing I was in having seen the light on.
I'd already chopped up some sultanas and half unlocked the back door before I realised what I was doing. Beaky obviously had me in some kind of thrall using his insidious mind powers. Ah, well, I thought, I was up now. So I opened the door and dropped the dried fruit just outside in front of the diabolical bird. He started pecking up the succulent morsels as soon as they hit the ground, but didn't get through half of them before he, and I, were rudely interrupted.
Mrs Beaky came tearing up, screeching and wailing - If she had teeth, I'm sure she'd have been gnashing them. A small whirlwind of feathers, beaks and claws almost took out my ferns before Beaky departed, harried on by his shrill wife. She quickly scoffed the remaining sultanas, glared at me (I did my very best not to flinch), then tore off after him.

Poor Beaky. I'm almost of the opinion that I should have let him in the house to be out of her reach...



Tuesday, December 09, 2008

We're pilots





I want a coat like Alison Goldfrapp's.

That's all.


Oh, and the the gloves.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Sex Pest


Yes, the initials SP stand for Sex Pest. I'm going out with a sex pest. But a very lovely and attentive one.

While no one guessed correctly, there were two entries that were close: Snooze's Sexual Predator, and W*P*D's Sex Pervert.

W*P*D also came up with the superhero Silver Penis - Think an anatomically correct Silver Surfer. And the less said about Snooze's Sweet Pussy guess, the better!

It seems the green-eyed monster took hold of Tim once he realised my attentions were directed elsewhere, as he came up with the preposterous and insulting Sian Phillips and Sarah (Jessica) Parker respectively. And also, the bizarre Sexual Harassment Panda from South Park. Thanks for that, Tim.

Eros had me wanting my pipes seeing to by his Scandinavian Plumber, and a special delivery from his Swarthy Postman.

And finally, T-Bird, darling T-Bird, left the peculiar, but highly entertaining, Sexual Potato.

Thank you to everyone who took time out of their hectic schedules to guess what SP stood for (with the possible exception of BEAST and his disgusting Suppurating Piles).
Snooze and W*P*D: If you email me your addresses, I'll find a suitable something and send it your way. If you'd prefer not to disclose your addresses, I'll try and create a post just for you. You can email me here: ixxcat at gmail dot com