Well, technically, it's still 8pm here in frozen Minnesota, but I'm pretty much trapped in the middle of nowhere without any escape, so it's back to workin' on the keyboard for a little while longer.
It's been a terrific year, everyone. I've had a pretty productive 2007, thanks largely to my discovery of vinyl records and the beloved portable turntable. Seriously, kids, that's the best toy I ever had. At least, until next year, when I finally break down and get that HDTV and Blu-Ray player.
Now that it's time for making those promises we never intend to keep, I suppose I should offer up my own wishlist for 2K8. Ugh, how'd it get to 2K8 all of a sudden? Last thing I remember, I was getting drunk and filling up on custom-built pizzas at the Dinkytown Pizza Hut, playing NFL2K1 until dawn. This decade sucks.
Anyway, here are my (barely) blog-related goals for the new year:
Ghibli Podcast: I haven't thought seriously about doing a Conversations on Ghibli podcast for a while, but I've got the bug again. My inspiration largely comes from the fact that I could make a show as short as 20 or 30 minutes. That seems to be the trend in podcasts, away from the monstrously long marathon sessions. I'm not Terence McKenna. I can't do those weekend-long raps.
As always, and help or pointers would be appreciated.
DVD Releases: Perhaps a bit more ambitious, but I want to be involved in seeing the DVD releases for many of these great productions that continue to evade the Americas. Why has there been no serious push for these films and television shows? Horus, Prince of the Sun. Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. Little Boy and the Magic Serpent. Lupin the Third: Series One. Future Boy Conan. Heidi Marco Anne.
Am I missing something here? Mind Game is still not available on Region 1 DVD. What's wrong with this damn picture? Who the bloody hell knows some investors? Let's bring out the start-up.
Fewer blogging breaks (preferrably none): Okay, I can't promise I'll try. But I'll try to try. Maybe I'll even reach 100 daily visitors. Whee. Now you know why I get so discouraged about these things.
Publish a Book: This is something I've promised for the past year or so, but I haven't been satisfied enough with what I've written to make the final push. I'm still crazy enough to go the Lulu.com route, if only to gain some extra exposure before being picked up by someone respectable. But mostly I just like the idea of being a published author, and Lulu at least allows you to score that all-important ISBN for inclusion to Amazon.
Right now, I'm thinking of publishing the videogames writings, either from DanielThomas.org or my Videogames of the Damned blog. Probably just call it VotD. There's some good writing there, even if the subject matter is below trivial. I really should be doing something more legit.
Movie Screenings: This is something I've been trying to do 'round these parts for years. It's still a slim hope at best, since there's no real fan support beyond the snobbish anime fan circles. This is where I really wish I was taking film studies classes at the University of Minnesota.
Finish My DVD Collection: Did I even buy anything this year? 2008 is the year where I finally fill in all the cracks, including Japanese DVD's for the Studio Ghibli films, the earlier Toei Doga pictures like Magic Serpent and Ali Baba, and all those extra discs on the Ghibli ga Ippai label.
The anime DVD you most desperately want but don't know? Mind Game. Of course. It's time I traded the fansub for the import.
Widescreen TV and Blu-Ray: I very nearly jumped this Christmas, coming dangerously close to that new LCD/plasma, but I'll continue to wait just a little longer. I'll be happy with a 42" or 46", but larger would be better. Just as long as the picture quality of my standard DVDs looks fine. This is the one major issue that held me back this season.
Standard television looks horrible on an HDTV. Just hideous. HD broadcasts are fantastic, of course, but I was left very worried about how my standard DVDs would look. I don't want to go back to the muddy, blurry days of videotapes. Perhaps a BR player can help with its upscaling, but I don't know how effective that is. Perhaps you readers have some insights?
Despite all the hype, the next-gen format wars appear to be over. Blu-Ray has held a steady 2:1 ratio over HD DVD, and in Japan the contest was dead in the water. My only major holdouts are, predictably, Studio Ghibli and Criterion Collection. Ghibli (and Buena Vista) are firmly in the BR camp, and that just leaves my prized DVDs of Seven Samurai and The Third Man.
And, finally, the most important event of 2008 that we're all looking forward to:
Firing Bush and Cheney! Kick these rotten Republicans to the curb and take this country back. Because, let's face it, the Democrats are never gonna do it. Why do I have to do everything myself?! It's become my mantra.