South Park Self

we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit

I didn't do the official year retrospective post last year, possibly as a result of the major fit of pique which resulted from those bastards nicking the television last New Year's Eve while we were off partying. Since it's quite a nice exercise in stock-taking I am hereby resuscitating the retrospective tradition, pausing only to note with some pleasure that no actual bastards robbed the house last night while we were off having civilised six-course dinners for eleven at jo&stv's. (Memo to self, post that recipe I invented for the mushroom salad thingy). I shall also, by way of comparison, briefly survey 2012, because the gap is irritating me like a missing tooth. Can you tell that I'm the kind of computer gamer who absolutely has to visit every corner of a map and pick up all the loot? You probably can.

Weirdly enough given that this year was characterised by a giant month-long depressive slump somewhere in the middle of it, I think it's generally been a more positive than negative year in my personal universe. It's been mostly blissfully free of massive personal or medical disasters, and I'm certainly feeling more functional and on-track in basic life issues than I was a year ago - some unresolved things that were hanging over my head have finally been resolved, like cars and house agents. There's some evidence that fairly intense therapy may actually have some utility: while I can't say I've solved all my self-sabotaging tendencies, I'm far more aware of them than I was, and generally less likely to be destructively hard on myself. I feel slightly more confident, slightly more open, and rather more likely to do things I want and need to do without feeling that other people's needs should come first. Yay therapy.

  • Things achieved by me this year: The writing up and submission of two papers, plus various encyclopaedia entry updates and a couple of new ones (one submitted already, the other to be submitted really soon now since the final deadline was yesterday). An invitation to contribute a chapter to a rather prestigious fairy-tale film anthology. A driver's licence and a spanky new car. The start of an actual exercise routine, in a small but so far reasonably consistent way. A sense of improved management of fatigue and associated bodily ills. The gradual re-focus of my job towards more interesting policy-setting rather than administrivia. General validation of my work achievements by various Deans and other superiors. Ongoing relationships with lovely and essential friends.
    (Things achieved in 2012: more international travel on (a) my Cherished Institution's dime (two fairy-tale conferences) and (b) as a keynote speaker partially funded by the conference (that Harry Potter one). After really rather a lot of HR wrangling, the upgrading of my post and job description to bump it up a payclass and include a 10% research/teaching component. A learner's licence. A new agent for the French house. A therapist.)

  • Things discovered by me this year: Ipads, Nimona, truffle oil, the reality of depression, taxis, fresh broad beans, Blu-Ray, subject line footnote refs, Sherlock fanfic, evening constitutionals, Captain Marvel, mole mapping, freeform LARP-writing, social self-preservation, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vampire Weekend.
    (Things discovered by me in 2012: Veronica Mars, Tamora Pierce, Tumblr, Goats, WordPress, subject line reference posts, Phryne Fisher, Avengers fanfic, Kingdoms of Amalur, Scotland, the Lake District, Ghent, Kristen Cashore, madly ordering internet art, Chrome, Kickstarter, Sherlock.)

  • Things achieved by other people this year which affect me: the Evil Landlord's acquisition of a girlfriend.

  • Things not achieved by me: as usual, fleeing the country, crushing academia beneath my booted heel, enough writing, enough exercise. Although I think I have failed to meet many of these goals rather less catastrophically than some previous years.

  • Resolutions for the new year: continue upward trends wherever possible in writing, exercising, socialising, self-management. Try to move out of ruts and comfort zones. Be, wherever possible, happy.


A ceremonial happy new year to all of you lot. I hope it exceeds all positive expectations.

Subject line from "Auld lang syne", for fairly obvious reasons.
Glad you had a good year. Hope 2014 is even better.

Had the first episode of the new series Sherlock here (Britain), would be interested to hear your opinion as & when you get to see it - TV & all etc.

I thought it suffered rather from the usual Moffat/Gatis thing (particularly annoying in Dr Who) - 'in one bound he was free' in the final quarter of an hour. Like all terrorist bombs have off switches! Ok, correct me if I'm wrong.
I watched it this morning, having evilly and successfully installed the browser thingies which persuade the BBC that I'm a legitbrit. It was sheer self-defence, as I rather enjoy reading my Tumblr feed and don't want to have to do so with my eyes shut for the foreseeable future :>.

I probably need to re-watch and think about the episode a bit, but first impressions: ye gods, fan service. Actually rather a clever and self-aware episode on a narrative level, in that it recognises and incorporates a bucketload of the madly proliferating fan theories which have been circulating for two years. (The aborted Sherlock/Moriarty kiss killed me - basically Gatiss is taunting us, but very good-humouredly). Honestly, the whole terrorist bomb plot was almost arbitrary: the important thing was the character interactions, which could have been hung onto anything, and I think your irritation at the conclusion reflects how spurious the actual conspiracy was. Loved Mary Morstan, although I don't trust her an inch. Was cautiously interested in the emotional stuff around the Sherlock/John reunion: it felt too easy and slightly empty, but in tune with the renewed emphasis on Sherlock's emotional limitations, and as though they might come back to it in future episodes. Sherlock remains a complete bastard, which is, I think, one of the ways they're deliberately playing down the slashy Sherlock/John subtext. I have to say, though, if Lord Moran is all we're getting of Sebastian Moran, Moriarty's sidekick, I am going to be narked beyond belief. He's too rich a character to gloss over in passing.

Which was probably more than you actually wanted of my first impressions :>. A happy new year to you too!