Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving a Little Thanks

by the Ladies of Stellar Four

We at Stellar Four are thankful for lots of things: family, friends, superheroes, Nathan Fillion, Etsy, dwarves, elves, dragons, Firefly, witches, vampires, airships, gadgets, Neil Gaiman, awesome crafty things, and of course all of you lovely readers.

Read on after the jump for a few other things we're thankful for this year and share yours in the comments.

Kathy F.

In a few hours, I will be stuffing myself with turkey, mashed potatoes, assorted side dishes, pie, and enjoying my in-laws wine collection. But first, here are a couple of things I am thankful for this year:

Brave on DVD

Brave is so awesome, Stellar Four had a whole week to celebrate. Now, just in time for cold, rainy days, Brave is out on DVD/Blu-Ray/Instant Video/etc. YES! A movie the whole family enjoys. Since the kiddos got into archery this year, they are very excited to see a character who is really good at it. The story and animation are good too, of course.

Katya's World

It's a young adult sci fi that has no romance. I thought they might be extinct, but no, they do exist. Set on a water-filled planet, there are subs, a sentient AI killing machine, and did I mention subs? Not that I want an end to the romance, but it is nice to have a little balance on the bookshelves.

Less than a month to The Hobbit in theaters

Oh my dear gods yes! Here, we can watch the trailer together and revel in the countdown.

Sara N.

So much is good in my life that it's hard to single out a few. But here are some of the geekier things I'm thankful for:

Long-running book series that maintain their quality

It's awfully common for a book series to start degrading after one or two or five strong entries. For example, Anita Blake is no longer a conflicted, penguin-loving necromancer. Sookie Stackhouse isn't the misunderstood underdog waitress anymore. George R.R. Martin's characters are stuck wandering aimlessly through Westeros with no discernable goals, agendas or motivations beyond turtle-watching.

So you can understand how grateful I am that Toby Daye is still scrappy and struggling, Harry Dresden is still in the game in an interesting way, Mercy Thompson's resolved romantic life hasn't blunted her feisty manner, and Quentin Coldwater is still an angry, superior, frustrating mess (in the very best way). Bring on the next books, authors!

"Les Miserables" the movie

The 13-year-old musical theater geek in me is bouncing up and down and clapping her hands in glee over this movie, out on Christmas Day. It looks impeccably cast, costumed, staged and sung. How many more days before I can go see Wolverine, Catwoman and Bellatrix Lestrange emoting the crap out of the French Revolution?

The continued existence of "Once More, with Feeling"

I don't even want to speculate on the number of times I've watched this episodes, listened to the soundtrack, or sung the songs unaccompanied in my car, kitchen and office. I'm eternally grateful for this 44 minutes of television perfection. Gun to my head, I could never pick my favorite song because they're all my favorites. All of them. Even the one with Dawn.

Meghan B.


I refuse to grow up, so I am thankful for the multitudes of cartoons out there that refuse to grow up with me. There is no greater joy than a fun cartoon to watch. Screw the haters, cartoons are where it's AT.


I know, I know, this is a given for me, but I love books and I can't imagine my life without them. I am so thankful I live in a world where I have been taught to read, even though I am a woman, and I have the discretionary income to purchase as many books as I like. Being thankful for books makes me want to help those who aren't so lucky, so I am also thankful that I can donate money to charities that promote literacy. Books for all!

My iPhone

My preciiiiiious... 

The Internet

God bless you, series of tubes. I literally do not know what I would do without you.

Fuzzy pajama pants

Seriously, you can't survive a winter without these. You can't. I don't care how they make me look. The fuzzier the better. You see those? They have OWLS on them. And they're FUZZY. And I am thankful for them.

On a serious note, my friends and family

I know I'm pretty snarky and flippant, but I am really thankful for my friends and family. No joke. Sure, they're all basically out of their minds and drive me crazy, but I love each and every one of them. I have the most awesome friends in the known universe and my family is, if nothing else, hilarious.

Asher P.

A lot of what I have to be thankful for this year centers around the fact that about six months ago, I moved away from a major city — where I could see friends, get a cup of coffee, buy a new pair of pants and then go out to the movies and have dinner, all within a half mile radius — to an extremely rural area you can easily just call  "Bum#$%! Nowhere" where the nearest movie theatre is 50 miles away, and no, you cannot walk to go get a sandwich. So it's mostly the little things that keep me in contact with the rest of society and nerd culture as well as keep me from having a complete mental breakdown.

Like the kind of mental breakdown where I'm found 15 miles away in a lettuce field, without any clothes on, talking to a ground squirrel.

Netflix is amazing. Particularly when you live in an area where there is quite literally nothing to do. But if Netflix doesn't have it and it's a new release, I have learned that Redbox probably does have it. And believe it or not, there's a Redbox out in Bum#$%! Nowhere (you still have to drive to it, though, but's it's only a four minute drive). It is beautiful and cheap and the indie movies like Safety Not Guaranteed and Hysteria are always in stock because in Bum#$%! Nowhere the only thing the others want to watch is The Expendables 2. Thank you, Redbox, because I don't have to spend $10 in gas on top of a $12 ticket to see a movie that's a fairly recent flick. And thank you, Netflix, for being there when I do want to watch a documentary on the reincarnation of Buddhist lamas (the Unmistaken Child, which is fantastic. It will particularly blow your mind if you are an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan) or just, you know, work to 10 hours of 30 Rock.


My car's name is Starbuck. She's awesome on gas, goes very fast, is extremely tough with all-wheel drive, and I won't say any more or else this'll just become a Subaru ad. But most importantly, she gets me out of Bum#$%! Nowhere. With Starbuck, I can go buy comics and drink coffee and not exist entirely in the singular room I am living in. For this I am eternally grateful.

Social Media/Networking

This had made moving easier, although in a bittersweet way. My homesickness for SF is curbed by my ability to converse about anything from The Hobbit to 8-Bit Music to burritos with my friends 350 miles away. Or, you know, just put up videos of baby red pandas on a friend's wall whilst knowing they'll be struck with a cuteness overload. Thank you, Twitter and Facebook, for keeping us connected, because all of us are terrible at checking email.

The Lads

I had one kitty, and then a couple of months ago I was adopted against my will by another, smaller, one. They are awesome and keep things interesting out here where there's nothing but flat land dotted by farmhouses. So thanks Levi (big kitty) and Sullivan (little kitty) for keeping me entertained and snuggling when I feel homesick.

Surviving Bathocalypse 2012

Bathocalypse was the annual bathing of Levi. But now that there is Sullivan, it is the bathing of the cats. This is dangerous for me and humiliating for them, and each cat comes with it's own set of challenges. The big kitty is a 20-pound Maine Coon alpha male in peak shape, which is like angering a very strong, very small lion. The little kitty is like trying to hold a ferret while your hands are covered in Crisco. So it's not just one approach to get them both sudsed up. But I am proud to say I have once again survived bathocalypse with simply a scratch to the wrist as my red badge of courage (it was the ferrety one), that the lads have survived and are as I type this soothing their wounded egos on top of a pile of hot-out-of-the-dryer laundry. I thank Bastet for allowing me to endure.

Megan S.

via Natmandu

Oh what wonderful institutions libraries are!  They allow you to borrow as many cheesy YA dystopia books as you can possibly want and you don't have to pay a dime, the librarians don't pass judgement when you check out a book titled Team Human, and the shelves are bursting with little known gems.  They're my home away from home.  There's always a dusty nook somewhere I can curl up with a good book and while away the hours.  I've wandered into libraries all over the country and have never felt out of place. 

Park and Recreation's Leslie Knope

Leslie's a bit of mess.  She's goofy, overly fond of waffles, and often awkward in social situations.  Leslie's also the most incredible leading lady on TV.  She always follows her heart, works nonstop to better her community, inspires greatness in others, is a true friend, wears her heart on her sleeve, and demonstrates what's so awesome and important about local government.  Leslie's kinda my hero, and my definitely thankful for Amy Poehler's portrayal of her.
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