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15 July 2017 @ 06:03 pm
28. Read 5 Torchwood novels I haven’t read yet

I enjoyed Skypoint (Torchwood #8) by Phil Ford. I think these "full Torchwood cast" novels are going to be my favorites. Though the authors don't always balance time among the characters, they do manage to write books that really feel like Torchwood adventures.

Loved: Owen coping with being undead and using it as an advantage against the big bad. Jack trying to remember how many times he'd died and come back to life (and then using it to his advantage). Tosh doing serious, brave investigative work. Gwen and Rhys wanting to make a life for themselves as a married couple. Ianto the action hero. Oh, and Tosh and Owen with feelings about pretending to be a couple to figure out what was going on in the building.

There were lots of tense moments and quite a body count by the end. But I think they did a great job saving the day, as always.

Progress: 5/5
13 July 2017 @ 08:37 pm
21. Each summer, pick a classic or book I have been hesitant to read and give it a try

This year I read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I chose this one partly because it's one everyone seems to have read except for me (in my high school advanced classes, we were specifically not allowed to read the "easy Steinbeck" like this) and partly because I was pretty sure I knew what I was in for. Countless shows, books, and movies reference this work or parody it, and I wanted to be "in" on the joke finally. Turns out that Highlander episode was pretty darn spot-on with its interpretation of it.

Thing I didn't like: I had an idea that there might be a bit of a body count racked up in this one, and I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for were all of the animal deaths. There were SO MANY dead animals. I had a hard time with that emotionally. People dying I can deal with. But animals... that's harder for me.

Thing I liked: Steinbeck's setting descriptions in this book are my new favorite. There are only a few times he goes into the details about setting, but every single time he does, he not only paints a clear picture but does so in a way that makes every single detail ALSO somehow relevant to the story or character development at the same time. It was magical the way he moved us forward on multiple levels at once, with no throw away words. His character voices were also fantastic--each unique and strong. But the setting descriptions... I can't get over how he did that.

I don't know if "enjoy" is the right word to use, but I did like the book. It packs a strong punch but also captures human nature well--the good and the bad. I'm glad I finally read it.
13 July 2017 @ 08:25 pm
64. Rewatch all of Forever Knight

Three properly long seasons later, I have rewatched this show that I loved when I was younger. Two of my three DVD sets were still in plastic, so I'm glad I made this one of my things, because this show used to have so much of my heart and deserved a rewatch.

I still love it now, even though I will admit it's kind of terrible. I still felt myself completely sweapt up in Nick's struggle for mortality and in everyone's struggle for morality, justice, and love. It was sensual, emotional, and thought-provoking. There were episodes I'd watched so many times when I was younger that I could recite lines with the cast. There were commentaries and interviews I'd waited over 20 years to watch. There were also GIANT CELL PHONES and huge computers with tiny screens. I was also amazed to see so many familiar actors in roles like Thea Gill, David Hewlett, Amanda Tapping, and Carlo Rota. I laughed. I cried. I really enjoyed this trip into my past TV show obsession.

22 June 2017 @ 05:38 pm
81. Put money into a CD

After getting a leave payout from work yesterday, I have enough of a safety net that I feel comfortable throwing some into an untouchable CD. I ended up setting up a 5-year ladder of CDs. And even though I didn't put much money into each of them, they'll still earn more than they were making in my savings account, and that's what's important.

19 June 2017 @ 11:18 pm
28. Read 5 Torchwood novels I haven’t read yet

I've finished two Torchwood novels this month so far:

Something in the Water (Torchwood, 4)I had a tough time getting through Something in the Water (Torchwood 4) by Trevor Baxendale. There were some excellent moments, and the story was intense and terrifying. The problem was, it was too intense and terrifying. If I were watching this happen on the screen, there were moments when I would have looked away or covered my eyes. You can't do that when you're reading printed words on a page! I thought the idea was clever and the execution definitely fit well for Torchwood. But, oh, there were so many icky moments and so many horrifying moments! I loved seeing Owen start to get at the problem but having Tosh figure it out in the end. But it truly took all of them to stop the horror.

Pack Animals (Torchwood, 7)I really enjoyed Pack Animals (Torchwood 7) by Peter Anghelides. My friend gave me a copy and left a note in the book, saying it was her favorite of the ones she gave me, and I can definitely see why. It was a tense story but a fun read. And who doesn't love an Invisible Ianto? (He would SO win in a game of Naked Hide & Seek) It was great to get a little further into the series but still have that team dynamic, with Ianto & Jack definitely as an item and Owen dead and Gwen & Rhys about to be married, it was a fun time to watch everything in Cardiff go crazy. Monsters from a card deck start becoming real and killing people. Weather and plants start springing up out of nowhere. And everybody from zookeepers to reporters are clueless. But Torchwood, as always, gets to the bottom of it and saves the day! It was also great to get a nice description of what it's like for Jack coming back from the dead.

Progress: 4/5
19 June 2017 @ 11:01 pm
59. Watch all of the Seventh Doctor’s episodes

It is bittersweet to finally finish this thing. After more than 700 episodes, it's sad to see the classic doctors' time come to an end. I absolutely loved Sylvester McCoy's doctor (especially his wordplay) and Ace as well, so it was a great note to end with. I only wish his time as the doctor had gone on much longer, of course. It's been so great getting to know the Doctor for the first 30 years he was around, getting to see his history with all sorts of people and aliens, getting to know his different personalities, getting to meet his various companions. I feel I have a much more complex and complete knowledge of it all now. It's also been wonderful fun :-)

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04 June 2017 @ 05:59 pm
58. Watch all of the Sixth Doctor’s episodes

I tried very hard to convince myself that these episodes weren't a disjointed mess. It wasn't his fault. And there were definitely some interesting and excellent moments. But I wasn't feeling these episodes for the most part. I found the Sixth Doctor to be a bit of a jerk, belittling Earthlings instead of finding them fascinating the way previous doctors did, and insulting his companion, who was kind of whiney and probably had it coming, but still. He didn't seem to take things seriously enough; I think maybe he was internalizing emotions a little too much; I'm used to doctors who are easier to read. Many times, he reminded me of Matt Smith's early days. Lots of "Just trust me" instead of explaining. I did grow to like the Sixth Doctor in the end, and there were certainly moments where he was genuinely worried about his companion. It was also great to see Cybermen, Daleks, and even the Master show up again. And more of Galefrey is always great, but an entire series that feels like clip shows is a little hard to handle format-wise. I did love the "A Fix With Sontarans" special. And "The Two Doctors" was excellent and fun!

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28 May 2017 @ 10:23 pm
57. Watch all of the Fifth Doctor’s episodes

This weekend, in my hotel room at the convention I was attending and while I was sewing a Torchwood stuffie, I finished up the Fifth Doctor's episodes. It took me a good while to not think All Creatures Great and Small when I watched him, and his beginning was a little funky. But I do love when companions have to help out their newly regenerated doctor. I can't say I adored all his companions, but I liked the mix, and having one that was working undercover and trying to kill him was an interesting twist indeed. I thought he was great--very curious but calm and a little cheeky under pressure. He's also just as loyal to his companions as his companions were to him. Definitely enjoyed his run, vegetable and all.

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13 May 2017 @ 08:28 pm
56. Watch all of the Fourth Doctor’s episodes

Yesterday I finally finished the Fourth Doctor's episodes. I really thought I would get through them in April, but that wasn't to be. I can see why a lot of people consider him their favorite. He was funny and delivered puns perfectly. I was surprised that Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 never had any screen time together. I wasn't a huge fan of the whole Key to Time search, nor the voice and personality changes to K-9, but I loved Leela. I had a very hard time not thinking of Puddleglum the marshwiggle for a very long time while making my way through these episodes, because that's what I know Tom Baker best as and a lot of the vocalizations and gestures are the same. But, like the others before him, I was sad to see him go when it was time to regenerate. I was glad that it was another big, dramatic reason.

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07 May 2017 @ 03:18 pm
77. Save money and make an extra mortgage payment every May

I had a little extra in my account, so I made another nice round payment this year.