Okay guys, so this is going to be a long one. It's the final Christmas Haul wrap-up, and I've got some ground to cover. I want to high-light the cream of the crop of the gifts I received this year.
First up I'll start with some of the gifts I got from my wife. This new belt for one. It is kickin' and it juuuust fits me, and clamping shut around my girth instead of buckling like a traditional belt. It's made of seat-belt material and it is incredible. The 6 Marvel greats are all in attendance, including Thor, Wolverine, Iron Man, Cap America, Hulk and Spider-Man.
Next up is this beautiful "Crows of 2013" calendar. I am a big blackbird fan, and my wife surprised me with this collection of gorgeous shots of crows throughout the 12 months of the year.
No Christmas is complete without the arbitrary DVDs found at Black Friday. These were all movies I told my wife she ought to pick up if she found them on the cheapie-cheap while she was out that infamous morning.
This one was all her idea. Now I'm torn: Do I buy season 2 on DVD to have the whole collection? Or do I just skip it and wait for season 3 to come out? What would you do?
This set of Toy Story Hotwheels cars will make a nice addition to my wall of pop-culture cars. I really like the ones where the packaging features the large, blown-up pictures of the characters. I need to see if I can find a Buzz Lightyear somewhere.
Next up are the gifts I was given by my wife's cousin and her husband. They are the closest family we have on my wife's side, and we always do a Christmas-after-Christmas with them. This skeleton couple cuddling is and awesome addition to the cave. They also gave me a bobbling "dashboard zombie" too but I couldn't seem to find it in time to get a good photo. Odds are its in a box somewhere waiting for me to set it loose on an unsuspecting Geek Cave.
Back in 2010 io9.com chose Cherie Priest's steampunk zombie thriller "Boneshaker" as their Book Club choice for June. This Christmas, 2012, I finally held a copy of this book in my hands. I'm reading it now, and it's been great so far. Full of zombies and zeppelins, the story is so character driven it never feels like the author is going: "Hey look! Steampunk! Gears and stuff!" or "Hey look! Zombie book! Grr! Argh!" It's been a genuinely good read. What's funny is how it almost reads like a post-apocalypse story in the Civil War era. Can't wait to see how it ends.
Another gift from my wife is a Blu ray player I still haven't taken out of the box. I'm slowly succumbing to the pressure to convert... and admittedly she only bought it for me because I dropped a few hints here and there that I wanted one... and it will play my DVDs so I don't know what my problem is. I'm just dragging my feet. But the only Blu ray movie I received for Christmas was... kind of ironically I feel... V/H/S. It is a great movie, and I actually look forward to it being my first Blu-ray experience.
Of course one of the best gifts I received this Christmas was this 23 disc collection containing all ten seasons of the classic TMNT cartoon series, plus a butt-load of special features, obviously including THE KICK-ASS VAN THEY COME IN!!! I don't really need to over-talk this one, do I? Probably not. Moving on.
From my Aunt, I received a passel of cool gifts as well. This Jack Skellington statue completes my Halloween Shelf in a way I have always wanted it to:
If you have not read Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist series... stop what you are doing, and go out and buy the first three books, and lock yourself in your home until they are all read. This is the third one in the series, "The Isle of Blood". What's incredible about these books is how one moment you can be marveling over the gore and questioning the nature of monsters vs. the nature of humanity... and the next you are swept up in the human emotions and relationships that build the true foundation of this series. It details the cases investigated by a Jack-the-Ripper era (this is semi-significant) Massachusetts scientist who hunts monsters, and his young... ward? apprentice? assistant? live-in slave? surrogate son? It's one of the most important questions of the books.
A few DVDs from my Aunt as well. After I saw Jaime over at ShezCrafti feature a DVD collection of Roseanne Halloween specials this past Halloween season, I decided I had to have one. But I now notice that mine has 8 episodes, where hers had 7 (not that I'm counting). I'm not sure how to reconcile this. Apparently mine has the episode "Satan, Darling". So mine is obviously better than hers. I got Child's Play because I didn't own it yet, and I wanted it... so now I have it.
Heinberg's Young Avengers were at one time, one of my favorite new Marvel books. his return to his creation was a bit of a disappointment, though I did enjoy it for the most part. This was mostly Heinberg being tasked with undoing the Scarlet Witch's villainous House of M debacle. But there were some fun moments, and a character I liked who lost his powers during the decimation finally got them back. I just wish a couple of my other favorites had slipped under the wire at the same time. Overall I don't hate this book, but I'm glad I received it as a gift and didn't spend my own money on it.
This amazingly cute little guy was swimming around in my Christmas stocking. He's real tuff.
My daughter shopped her school penny sale for my gifts, and she did all right by me. First up is this Christmas Story night-light. For... a penny. Isn't it great? Look at the craftsmanship!
She also gave me this incredible rubber monster. It is honestly another of my absolute favorite gifts this year. He's glorious. He's magnificent. LOOK AT HIM.
Here he is with the other gift my daughter got me... an almost complete set of Scooby Gang action figures. I'm going to track down a Shaggy to round them out. They are obviously feeling the menace roiling off of the rubber beastie to their right (our left).
And finally... the BEST gift I received this Christmas, is the new iPod 4 I got from my wife. I can now snap surreptitious photos at Goodwill when there are items I want to share without actually bringing them home. I. Can't. Wait. This iPod is my new eye-stealing life sucker too. There on the screen you may notice my new favorite game, "Knights of Pen and Paper" which has taken over most of my free time.
Phew. That's it. It's over. That's what I got for Christmas. What do you think? I think I was spoiled out of my mind... and I think I am a very lucky man to have family and friends that care enough to get me such great loot and put it under the tree.
Anyway... Christmas is now done. No more Christmas on this blog until next Christmas. Which is a while off yet. In the meantime, I'll be back soon with more Goodwill Goodies. Until then, Happy Hunting!