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Scooby Gang For Life

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Advent Thanksgiving: Why I love Twitter

serenity joss whedon

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

Imaginary friends (& Joss Whedon)

I had a Twitter account last year, but this is the year that I finally ‘got it’. The biggest change came when I was watching Serenity on tv and couldn’t help but ecstatically tweet some lines from the film. Other people replied. People I didn’t know! What?

Until this point I was following some names I knew from blogs, a handful of comedians, the Guardian’s books feed and the few web-friendly mates I had who also had Twitter accounts. I didn’t really know how to find anyone else. But one search for #Serenity brought up loads of other people who were also watching the film and spreading the Whedon love. I said hello. They said hello back, and we all swooned over Nathan Fillion. This was fun!

I searched for #Whedon, #Buffy and #Firefly and discovered hordes more people with similar tastes as me. This wasn’t an exercise in getting more followers, this was me falling down the rabbit hole and finding twitter streams full of links and jokes that led me to more people, more sites, more blogs. Twitter started to be a whole lot more fun.

Never bored

I expanded my search and started finding people who were into #scifi, #fantasy, pop culture and music. Lots of them, all with something to say. Now all I have to do if I’m bored (or procrastinating) is open up Twitter and my imaginary friends suggest pages and pages of content from all over the web that I can spend all day reading if I’m not strict with myself.

Writing opportunities

The 3 main things I’ve been writing this year (apart from my novel) have been reviews for Slacker Heroes, The British Fantasy Society and my blog. None of these would have happened without Twitter. It was a tweet from @BritFantasySoc that told me they were looking for book reviewers. And a day or so after I watched Serenity with my gang of new friends, Jen from @Slackerheroes tweeted that she was looking for a book reviewer for her site. I’d found her on Twitter because she loves Joss Whedon possibly even more than me. I replied, she said yes, and now I love being part of her team. And my blog? I have no idea how I would let people know about it without Twitter. I might have still been writing for it, but no one would have known. How could they?

If you don’t ‘get’ Twitter yet, try searching for things you are interested in. Someone else will definitely like the same stuff as you, and if you’re lucky they are as interesting, funny and friendly as they people I’ve met online. Then have a look at who they follow, and who follows them. Say hello. Be nice. Have fun. Add me.

count von count sesame street

Just because the Count loves to count, doesn't mean you have to.

Stop counting

It’s not a game of numbers – Twitter will only ever be a chore if you think that it matters how many followers you have, or someone else has. It’s about finding people who also think the cancellation of Eureka is enough of A Bad Thing to tweet about it. Who are as excited as you about baking bread, or knitting. Who always find funny Star Wars articles and share them, so you don’t have to go looking. Who can recommend books you might like, and warn you away from the bad ones. You know how Facebook and Amazon are always trying to suggest things or people you might like, but get it so embarrassingly wrong? Your Twitter feed can be an auto-suggest that works, a constantly updating list of things you will like, hand picked for you by people who like those things too. Pretty cool, huh?

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Advent Thanksgiving: cool kitchenalia

grr argh buffy whedon apronMy Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – and today, novelty kitchenware.

Firstly, if you’re going to be preparing food then you’d best wear an apron. What better way to express your love for all things Whedon than with this jaunty ‘Grr Argh’ apron from Cafepress? They also have a ‘Browncoat’ apron, which would be brilliant if only it were brown. Call me OCD but I couldn’t wear a lemon yellow apron with the word brown on it, though I would like to see someone try to get Jayne Cobb wearing one. Shiny.

star trek enterprise pizza cutter think geek

Suitably apronned, you may now adopt a devil-may-care approach to cutting pizza, perhaps using this AMAZING Enterprise pizza wheel. I would have to hum the Star Trek music while slicing, and I just know I’m going to think of the clever pizza/Picard pun that’s eluding me *after* I publish this.

r2d2 peppermill think geekPizza too bland? Not enough spice? R2D2 to the rescue, in the form of this peppermill. It probably doesn’t beep and warble when it grinds – but it should. death star cookie jar think geek

Two Star Wars options for dessert – you know the Empire would have the best sweets, full of delicious, nasty sugar and over-processed flour. Remember the edible clone troopers I linked to before? Darth was breathless and puffy from diabetes, not evil. Whereas the rebels would be all hemp and granola, not a snickerdoodle in sight. Here’s a Death Star Cookie Jar from thinkgeek, and a Darth Cake tray from Incredible Things. Luke, I am your baker.

darth vader cake tin

Lastly, somewhere to stash any leftovers. Bento boxes aren’t really my thing, as they seem to only be for tiny portions, not the Bowley-sized hunks of food I prefer. Anything from Studio Ghibli is always good, though, and this Ponyo bento box is super kawaii. I’d have difficulty eating anything fishy from it, though, without feeling like I was eating one of Ponyo’s sisters. Vegan treats only.

ponyo ghibli bento box

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Advent Thanksgiving: Lost Girl

lost girl tv show

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea..

I’m going to kick off with ‘Lost Girl‘. The first series ended last Thursday (in the UK), which means I have nothing to watch tonight. Pout. Missing a tv programme is a sure sign it’s doing something right.

The show is not without flaws. It is very light, and there are often gaps or contradictions in the narrative. Characters and plotlines get dropped without notice or explanation, and even at its climax, last week’s season finale, there was hardly any tension. But I don’t care. It’s actually a welcome change to watch something that doesn’t wrench my heart and/or guts every week. Buffy broke my heart every few episodes, I rarely got through an episode of Walking Dead‘s first season without weeping, and Lost chewed me up and spat me out with no regard for my sanity. Even Eureka, previously my go-to tv for soft sci-fi storylines, stressed me out this season. Whereas Lost Girl just makes me happy.

What’s that? There’s something weird happening, beyond human ken? Does something appear to be eating people? Worry not. Let Bo, slinky succubus turned P.I., help you out. I’m sure that her wise-cracking, uber-kohled sidekick Kenzi will assist, and if they get in trouble her brooding, sexy-as-hell werewolf policeman lover is sure to help them out. 45 minutes later, case solved, all is well in fae-land, and I am struck down once more with raging lust for Dyson, the aforementioned werewolf-policeman.Though I dismissed him during the pilot as a dull Chris Martin look-alike named after a vacuum cleaner, I have since developed Strong Feelings for Mr Holden-Ried and would like him to call me. Or even just show up at my door unannounced, I’d be cool with that. Please.

dyson lost girl kris holden-ried

I'm sorry I said you looked like Chris Martin. Please call me.

Women more your thing? You’re spoiled for choice. Lost Girl has a slew of strong, interesting female characters.Lauren, Bo’s other love interest, has made a lot of LGBT viewers happy by providing a f/f storyline that rivals that of Bo and Dyson, and I predict more of that after the way Season 1 ended. Bo herself is an alright character, naive and selfish but kickass and likeable enough. The main star, though, is Kenzi. She’s Bo’s side kick and the funniest non-Whedon character I’ve seen in a while. Most episodes find an excuse to put her in a ridiculous outfit, kinda like Alias did with Sydney, and every episode gives her the best lines.

Kenzi Ksenia Solo Lost Girl

Kenzi

I haven’t yet praised the Siren, who’s a whistling black guy rather than a slutty mermaid, or how most of the stories start in the pub, like a Fae version of Eastenders. I could go on. I won’t. I have to go play Skyrim now (a post in itself, coming later this month). Here are two youtube videos for you instead – a great mashup of highlights from the first season, and Kenzi at a speed dating event quoting Ludacris. Enjoy.

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