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Gearing up for the New Year

So I missed posting yesterday. Will have to resort to another old picture:

This is from last February, when it was warm in Phoenix:

Today it's too cold to go take pictures (yes, I am a total wuss). I was trying to take a picture of me with the little "gingerbread man" a friend sent us for his son's collage project (take a picture of yourself with "Flat Fred" in front of something unique to your town), but it was too windy to hold Flat Fred steady AND take a picture which would get me, the Tovrea Castle, AND Flat Fred into frame. I gave up and will try later this weekend.

I was pondering to myself why it was that I love, love, loved this year's Christmas special so much more than the entire last "season of specials," despite its obvious flaws. Sure, it's not great art (although Michael Gambon + flying shark + The Doctor = FTW), but what I realized what I liked best about it was that we get a special where we see the Doctor behaving LIKE THE DOCTOR. (The first, really, since "Runaway Bride." I enjoyed "Voyage of the Damned" but the Doctor-as-God imagery was REALLY disturbing. And one need never mention "The End of Time.")

In "A Christmas Carol," The Doctor does what needs to be done not for himself, but to save others -- and not just because Amy and Rory are aboard the about-to-be-crashing ship. He's doing it for all of the passengers aboard that ship, and he's also doing it for Kazran, whom he sees as having the potential to be a better person. For just a moment, he's full-on still "no second chances," and makes his usual warning to Kazran, but then -- he sees. There might be a second chance for this man. So he tries.

He doesn't worry about the weight of all the worlds resting on his godly shoulders, he just does what The Doctor has always done best: Saved the day. He doesn't whine, he doesn't mope, he doesn't suddenly realize He's Had The Power All Along, he doesn't dwell on his own losses, he just... does it. (And without a choir of angels.) He stumbles along the way, makes mistakes, acknowledges them, brushes himself off, and keeps on trying, trying until he succeeds. Because he is The Doctor, not "The Last Of The Timelords" or Because He Has Been Hurt or OMG THE DRAMA. He's just The Doctor, and The Doctor takes care of people.

Period. That's all. It was not overwrought, it was not "wring emotions out of the viewer at the cost of the story," and it was not OMG THE DRAMA. It was a nice little fairytale Christmas story with some sorrow, some joy, some last-minute daring rescues, and other fun things the Doctor has always been good at.

It's why I like the Doctor. He cares about EVERYONE. And he's never cared a wit about any of the politics of it -- people need saving, and he's there to save them. He may not always succeed, but he ALWAYS tries.

Heard today on NPR that the woman who inadvertently inspired this image has passed away. (It's also on the NBC Evening News.) She didn't even find out her picture had inspired the painting until many years later! And it wasn't originally "Rosie the Riveter," either; that tag was added later, on the popularity of the song.

Okay, it really IS cold here. I know some of you have it WAY worse, but an overnight low of 18 degrees in Phoenix is really something, especially since our heater kicked out. Brrrr. There's even snow flurries in northern/higher parts of the valley. (It's funny to hear people say it like "It's snowing in ARIZONA!" Um, it snows a lot in Arizona. It's just Phoenix where it's rare.)

Oh, yeah, a picture for today.

And snow is often up there, as these peaks are 13,000 feet:


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 31st, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
Hee. I can't see Phoenix's "peaks" (our high point is Camelback Mountain, 2800 feet), Humphrey's Peak there is just north of Flagstaff -- and Tucson has real mountains, too. But Camelback should have snow after this storm!

Happy New Year!
Dec. 31st, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
We've been getting rain for the last few days. Had a couple of cold days, now today we're back in the 70s. Which mountains are those? I also love when people are all "OMG ARIZONA IS COVERED IN SNOW." Ride anywhere north of Phoenix, people. It's like they don't get that northern AZ is in the mountains and thus much colder and susceptible to snow.

What the hell is that in your picture? And, was that taken at the Desert Botanical Gardens? (I have WAY too many pictures of cacti from my trips there.)

I hope you and Barb, and all the pets, have a wonderful new year.
Dec. 31st, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
It poured rain all day yesterday (and into this morning)! It's supposed to clear out and cool down significantly.

Dale Chihuly is a glass sculptor, and he specializes in strange, alien-looking sculptures such as the one pictured. Last year they had a show set up at, yes, the Botanical Gardens. I took about a million shots that day we went, although more of the Chihulys than the cactus!

Happy New Year!
Dec. 31st, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
18 and no heat? I'd be freezing, too! Stay warm and Happy New Year!
Dec. 31st, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
We have space heaters, at least! (Drying out my sinuses...) And a LOT of blankets on the bed!

(That was only one projected low I heard; some other news reports didn't get us QUITE that low! It was a mere 46 earlier.)
Dec. 31st, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
pretty and i see the Chihuly thing from the Columbus conservancy has escaped cross country

excellent point about the christmas special

eta 18 IS cold no matter where you are.It was like that last week, turned the temp up to 64 in the house for that one

Edited at 2010-12-31 03:27 am (UTC)
Dec. 31st, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
Heh. His stuff is pretty recognizable!

The HIGH today is supposed to be 47. It was still in the 30's when Barb and I were out this morning.
Dec. 31st, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
it is

ha! It was 63 here. WTF?
Jan. 1st, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
We're getting another hard freeze tonight. There was ice in the back yard this morning, probably will be again tomorrow!

Jan. 1st, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)
oh my. i came to granny's at 1 AM and i still didn't more than a tshirt. it's freaky
Jan. 1st, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
On Christmas Day I was out there hanging clothes in a t-shirt, but today it's once again at least jacket-cold out there during the day. There was ice on all our bins (from the rain water) that had to be broken off before we could pack up all the Christmas stuff!
Jan. 1st, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
it was 60 again today but the normal weather is returning
Dec. 31st, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)
Heh. You know, I followed the link here directly from Facebook, so I didn't see the cut-tag comments on LJ... and the first thing I thought was "Wow! That looks like a Chihuly sculpture in the desert!"

It's funny to hear people say it like "It's snowing in ARIZONA!" Um, it snows a lot in Arizona. It's just Phoenix where it's rare.)

Oh yeah... we were (briefly) considering the idea of heading down that way in February/March but decided to hold off. The next time we go to Arizona I want to be able to visit the Grand Canyon, it'll still be snowed in then!
Dec. 31st, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
Hee hee hee! Well, that's exactly what it is! (The Botanical Gardens had a Chihuly exhibit last year; I took about a million pictures!)

Yep, usually still snow up there in February, although Barb and I went one year for Valentine's Day and it was certainly not impassable, just cold! We took the train from Winslow up to the Canyon. Fun!
Dec. 31st, 2010 11:17 am (UTC)
Hugs for the cold, and cheers for your Doctor thoughts.
Dec. 31st, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
{Hugs!} to you and the SMO! Have a safe and Happy New Year!
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 31st, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
We have a couple of space heaters going (and it was a trick, making sure they could BOTH go on without them tripping the breakers!), so we're doing all right. And LOTS of blankets on the bed! I don't think it got quite that cold here in the center of town, but it's sure still cold out there! Barely over 40 now, and it's past noon!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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