Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Rav's Review of the Year 2016

A lot of bloggers have been writing about their past year and their new gaming goals and I love reading those posts! I wanted to join in the fun and do something similar, but I'm not one for gaming goals: planning how to have fun makes my hobby feel like a job. But then I read Kay's post Bye-bye, 2016 and discovered the Review of the year tag by Princess Deia (how could I have missed a blog with such a title?!). I liked it so much that I decided to do my own version! So here is my year reviewed in her nine categories. Warning: there is little gaming involved; this is mostly an off-topic personal reflection of 2016. There are plenty of geeky and nerdy elements, but you're safe from the mushrooms. Promise.

Alright, here we go.

Highlight: drawing routine

One great thing that happened to me
The first category is hard, because 2016 was a tough year for me. But I'm really happy that I made my goal of starting to draw regularly. The drawing diaries helped a ton: you guys' feedback makes me look at things differently and I definitely feel more confident about the stuff I make. Perhaps I even improved a bit! (A girl can dream.)

Surprised: En man som heter Ove

Something that impressed me
I rarely go out, but somehow I ended up watching the rather unknown Swedish movie En man som heter Ove (A man called Ove in English) in the theatre with Conrad and I was blown away. I cannot recommend this movie enough: it will make you laugh and cry at the same time and touches upon many different themes. I loved the uncommon type of protagonist (an old man, brilliantly acted by Rolf Lassgård), the absence of Hollywood seasoning and the amazing Swedish humour. I have not read the book the movie is based upon; perhaps I will when my Swedish gets a bit better.

The character Chiana from Farscape, by Craig Barton

New fandom: Farscape

A new obsession
Obsession is taking it a bit far, but I had an absolute blast watching the science fiction series Farscape. I read about it ages ago on Ashlee's blog (although I can't seem to find back the actual post) and had since planned to watch it someday. Thank you so much, Ashlee, for bringing this into my life! The series has unconventional and loveable characters and doesn't bother with political correctness, painting a more believable (although less idealistic) future than Star Trek - and this is coming from a devoted trekkie. The episodes are also unusually consistent in quality and are absolutely thrilling. Highly recommended for sci fi fans.

The comeback kid: Fantastic Beasts

A fandom that was rebooted, re-released or reimagined
This is without doubt J.K. Rowling's wizard world with Fantastic Beasts, in which Eddie Redmayne steals the show as adorable animal nerd. The fantastic beasts are beautifully done and super cute; I drew a lot of nifflers when I got home. The movie was great, although I found myself thinking when leaving the theatre: if only Rowling would have written this as an actual book! I enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, but I loved the books so much more. I miss reading those whimsical details that give the wizarding world its depth, and Rowling's style is such a joy to read. I shouldn't complain, though: at least we'll have something new to look out for the coming years, and as long as Rowling is actively involved, it's bound to be good.

A niffler in Fantastic Beasts - my heart melts

Still going strong: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

A series with a strong release this year
I guess this one's meant for people that loyally watch series for years as they come out? I don't watch a lot of series that are still ongoing, but one that does that I did is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It's nice to get a 'non-superhero' perspective of things in the Marvel universe (although the last seasons turned away from that with the inhumans) and I liked that it's lighter of tone than some of the other things I watch. The episodes are of consistent quality (I'm a fan of this) and I'm sad that I'll have to wait a year before we'll be able to see the next one.

Biggest disappointment of the year: medical stuff

Probably not what the tag is aiming at, but this would be the two medical treatments I tried. Although they (apparently) help the vast majority of people, for me it only made things worse. The past half year I've had so much pain and fatigue that I couldn't sport, I gained five kilos and I'm continuously both mentally and physically exhausted. It was awful, but I had to give it a try in the off chance that it would be an improvement (which every doctor optimistically seemed to think). I guess at least I can strike through "using morphine" on my bucket list. Yay?

Event of the year: Sweden

This was without doubt my time in Uppsala, Sweden, which I somehow managed to do in the time described above. I loved seeing my friend so happy with her PhD, it was amazing to see so many international friends together, and it felt great to be in Sweden again.

What I am looking forward to: podcasting

First off, sending my new year's cards! Yes, I finally finished them and will be posting them this week. Then, I'm also looking forward to recording more episodes with Corellian Run Radio, the SWTOR podcast that I was asked to join earlier this year. It's super scary to do the live broadcasting (especially being accompanied by two native speakers), but I've had positive reactions and I'm learning a lot. Regularly talking about SWTOR with two well-informed individuals has certainly revitalized my interest in the game, even though it's not in the best state for raiders at the moment. However, I'm looking forward most to the moment that I've done it so often that I'm no longer terrified at the prospect!

Quick fire round

Movie of the year: Rogue One
One of the best Star Wars movies ever; I'd even recommend it to non fans.
Game of the year: Pokémon Go
It has its flaws, but I haven't been this enthralled with a game since years.
Book of the year: The Japanese lover by Isabel Allende (2015)
Not from 2016 but it's one of the few books I read this year, and I quite liked it.
Performance of the year: The Nibelungenlied by Ensemble Leones 
I was super impressed with the (as far as possible) authentic musical performance of this old German medieval epic poem.

Finally, thank you for putting up with my stuff! Although 2016 was a tough year for me personally, this blog has been a great outlet for all the things that make life fun. Talking about my fandoms with you in the comments section and social media has been an honour and gave me positive energy. Those were all nine categories. Over to you!


  1. Seems like your year had a lot of good highlights. :)

    As always, the drawing on top of this post is pretty cool! Speaking of which, I do think you have been improving on your drawings, if not that, at least you are definitely seem more comfortable in sharing them.

    I wish I could watch that movie you recommended and Farscape. Unfortunately the Netflix here doesn't have neither. Alas!

    As for Agents of Shield I like it too (but have to wait for the last season to show up on Netflix). But I don't see it as from the point of view of non-super-heroes. Not with all the super-science and espionage there that could give James Bond a run for his money.

    For me to feel like it is from the point of view of someone outside the super-heroing scene, it would have to be something like a comic series called "Marvels". That series is told from the point of view of a reporter who sees the appearance of super-beings in the Marvel Universe and follows him through the decades as he witnesses (and reports) some of the major events that went on. All the while he tries to figure out how he feels about all those people in bright colored costumes fighting each other and how they affect the lives of the more common folk.

    Sorry to hear about your medical treatments not working. :( Hopefully something will come up soon that will actually help.

    As for everything else, interesting answers there.

    I hope your 2017 turns out to be even better than the previous year! :)

    1. The year certainly feels better when you look back at it through these glasses ! Which is probably why I did it.

      Sorry to hear you can't watch them. I think you'd love Farscape, especially! I understand what you mean with that the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are so powerful that they're almost supernatural themselves. Regardless, I still enjoy the series a lot (Fitz-Simmons is the cutest ship!).

      All the best to you in 2017, too!

  2. Eep, love your header drawing, and that drawing at the bottom of your post is SO GORGEOUS! I'm so happy you fell in love with Farscape, and I'm super flattered that I'm the one who convinced you to watch it:P Who knows where that post got off to though, now that I've switched my blog hosting so many times I've lost a bunch of stuff. I'm sorry the medical stuff sucked! But hopefully this year is better, and how exciting that you'll be podcasting!!

    1. Aww, thank you so much! The header was just a sketch on bad paper that I had lying around when I needed a picture. An upside of spending too much time sketching.

      I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost posts during your transitions. It was one of those 5 Fandom Friday posts - I think it was called favourite aliens or something along those lines. But at least your blog looks totally badass now!

      I wish you all the best for 2017!

  3. I'm so glad you included that nibbler picture further down the post, because I was looking at the header drawing and wondering why the hell it featured what looks like a platypus attached to a Christmas bauble! I haven't seen Fantastic Beasts myself and heard some reviews say that it was pretty "meh" but now you have me reconsidering... we did get a fresh batch of cinema vouchers for Christmas after all.

    Using morphine, blergh... hopefully the doctors will come up with something better for you this year!

    As for myself, I actually did a more in-depth write-up of my year in review for myself so I don't feel the need to redo it all, but since you basically asked us to chime in as well, here are a few bullet points about my own year:

    Best thing in personal life: Got a promotion and a pay raise at work, yay!

    Worst thing in personal life: Brexit, as I still don't know how it will affect my ability to continue to live and work in the UK. Everyone's sort of pretending it's not happening right now since the process is so long and drawn-out, but eventually the hammer will come down in some shape or form.

    New fandom: The Temeraire series of books by Naomi Novik. It's fantasy set in the Napoleonic era in an alternate universe where dragons exist and are used in warfare. It's not the best thing ever but I really like the author's creativity in regards to how dragons would affect human society and she keeps coming up with all kinds of fun adventures for the main protagonists. I'm on book 7 now...

    Book of the year: Uprooted, also by the above mentioned Naomi Novik, which is how I found her in the first place. This is a standalone fantasy novel that I actually saw recommended by Syp from Bio Break and I loved it so much I just could not put it down until I was done.

    Otherwise I always feel a bit lost with these fandom questions as I tend to stick with the same things for a very long time and haven't watched any television in years...

    1. Wow, thanks for the detailed response, Shintar!

      The nifflers (corrected by Calphy, see below) love shiny stuff, which they accumulate in a special marsupial (like a kangaroo with its child). So I figured the first thing one would do when set lose in my house would be to go for the Christmas tree!

      I feel so sorry for all the young people in the UK that have to suffer through Brexit; you in particular, as you're not a citizen. As someone that's in an international relationship myself, I can imagine the stress that might give.

      On more positive news: congratulations on your promotion! That's awesome!

      Fantasy books aren't my forte, unfortunately. Even though I enjoy the genre in movies, for books I'm very particular in my taste. I love everything by J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis and Diana Wynne Jones, but that's about it. Everything else I don't like the writing style of, or it's ridden with stereotypes. But I will give Naomi Novik a try if I get the chance.

      Nevertheless, I'm happy for you that you found a new fandom! For me that doesn't happen all that much either (contrary to popular belief), so it's great when it does happen.

  4. Sorry to be a pedantic nitpicker (yet again!), but it's a Niffler, not a Nibbler.

    Regardless, sorry to hear about your healthcare issues, and I sincerely hope that 2017 turns out much better in the long-run for you. :)

    1. Thanks, can't have me miseducating the masses! Think my subconscious must've mixed it up with the Futurama character while typing.

  5. Got a lot of catching up to do, although I used to watch Farscape avidly. Oh and we don't talk about my health as nobody wants my disease. Wishing you all the best for 2017 and look forward to your posts.

    1. Heh, didn't intend this post as giving you more stuff to do, but if there's something that sounds interesting to you, well, that's just really cool. I hope your health will be as good as can be under the circumstances and wish you all the best in 2017 (card should arrive soon)!

  6. My wife read A Man Named Ove, and loved it so much she gave copies of the book as presents. Good to hear that the movie version turned out well!

    Hmm... I think I might have to hunt down Corellian Run Radio. I know at least one of the podcasts I have on PC is going to go away soon, so I need more replacements. And besides, I'll be able to hear another of my blogger friends in a podcast!

    A year in which you have friends and the companionship of others is, on the whole, a good year. See you this year!

    1. If you like podcasts, Corellian Run Radio might be something for you (uh yeah, "we from Corellian Run Radio recommend Corellian Run Radio!", ahum). It has been running since SWTOR's launch; I joined in the autumn with episode 170. We should have our latest episode, 176, online by Tuesday. In that episode we're joined by Shintar, so that's TWO blogger friends - you truly have no excuse now to skip! :P

      Blatant advertisement aside, writing this post definitely helped me look at 2016 a bit more from the bright side. And you're right, I've met lovely new and old people that made it good. To 2017!

    2. I can't upvote your comment enough, Rav. ;-)

  7. Love your wrap-up and I am so glad you're drawing so much again. That is fantastic!

    Also, I am ECSTATIC that you have discovered Farscape!! Farscape is my all time favorite sci-fi show, as well as one of my favorite shows in general, ever. It's just so lovely. I hope you had a chance to see The Peacekeeper Wars! They made that little mini series years after the show (unexpectedly ended) and though it isn't perfect, it gives closure to the characters and storylines, and has a lot of great moments. Definitely worth seeing if you haven't!

    1. Thank you! I'm enjoying drawing regularly so much, even though there still is a threshold to take each time I start. Hopefully I'll find some time for your plant drawing challenge this month!

      Farscape indeed just is fantastic. One of the better buried secrets of sci fi. That said, I'd have missed Firefly as well if it wasn't for bloggers writing about it.

      I did see the Peacekeeper Wars! A bit of mixed feelings, as the characters were done by different make up artists (and what happened to Sikozu - really?!) and it all looked a bit off. But overall, I'm really thankful the series got the closure it so deserved.


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