LISTS: NERDING OUT ABOUT….March 2016

…listening to…

  • Criminal– A podcast about true crime. The stories are from a variety of perspectives, so each episode is a but different.

…playing…

  • Stardew Valley– Of course! My husband and I are taking turns playing it on my laptop. We decided to spend the $15 as a treat after last week, and to give us something to look forward to in the evenings. It is SO worth it. I LOVE this game and I can’t get enough.

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…watching…

  • Doc Martin (season 5)- This is my second run through with the Doc. I originally watched it when I was living alone back in Toledo. Now, I am making Jimmy watch it with me. It’s a British medical comedy drama about a curmugeondly surgeon from London become the a GP in a tiny town in the country. It’s become one of my all time favorite shows. I love the characters.
  • The X-Files (season 5)- We had started re-watching The X-Files from the beginning last year, but stopped. After watching the recent revival season, we decided to take up watching it again.

…obsessing over..

  • Stardew Valley- AGAIN….it qualifies as both a game and an obsession for me. Seriosuly, folks.
  • Tsum Tsums

…learning…

  • Programming- My programming class was challenging and took up a lot of time, but it was fun! I plan on continuing to learn how to code in Python by using free exercises online.
  • Beading- I’m making beaded bracelets for my mom’s butterfly habitat that are inspired by the colors of native species of butterflies. I’m learning a lot about beadwork.
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Lists: Nerding Out About….January 2016

…listening to…

  • No Sleep Podcast– I’m still in love with the No Sleep podcast…much to my surprise…I didn’t realize I could be a fan of horror.
  • Gimlet Media- Also, still love anything made by Gimlet media…and they have new shows on the way.
  • Serial– Serial is back with season 2. Of course I am listening to that!
  • Undisclosed– If you listened and enjoyed the last season of Serial, you might be interested in Undisclosed. It continues following the case, discusses it in more depth, and gives lots of legal perspective. It’s not fleshed out in the nice story style of Serial, and the production isn’t as good. However, if you compare it to similarly not-as-well-funded podcasts, it’s on par. And it’s interesting to see how the case develops.

…playing…

  • Her Story– Her Story has been sitting in my Steam queue for a little while, so I decided to check it off the list. It’s a very unique game with simple mechanics and a complicated story. You are sitting at a computer from the 90s, and you are trying to learn about a particular case from a poorly organized police database of videos. You can only pull up 5 search results of short video clips using a search bar and keywords. So, the game plays as such: search a word you think may be involved (starting very general and moving towards specific), watch all the video clips, take notes, try to piece together what is happening, write down any words you could possibly search that were mentioned in the clip, repeat with one of your new search terms. It’s pretty fun, and it won’t take you too much time to complete.
  • Journal– I picked this up for super cheap during a recent Steam sale (actually, I had a gift card so it was free to me). It’s a casual point n’click with a touching story. It was very quick to complete. It reminded me of Gone Home.
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales– I’m currently playing this adorable and well-executed point n’ click adventure that is full of comedy and references (to LOTR, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, D&D). It’s fun and adorable.

…reading…

…watching…

  • Person of Interest (season 2)- I previously had no interest in this show, but Supernatural taught me that you sometimes need to watch a full season or 2 before you find a gem…POI was like that for me. Now that we are on the second season, I’ve become attached to the characters.
  • Broadchurch (season 2)- I love David Tennant, British shows, and detective shows…so I adore Broadchurch.

…obsessing over..

  • Tsum Tsums– Sadly can’t afford to buy any, but I play the game and love the ones I have.

…learning…

  • To Code- I’m taking an online course to learn how to code because it seems like a useful skill to have for any science field. It’s taking up more of my time than expected. It’s also quite frustrating at times, but also very rewarding when actually get the darn code to work!

Books on My Nightstand

Here’s what is currently in my to-be-read stack next to my bed:

Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke (DZP book challenge)

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (DZP book challenge)

Claws & Effect by Rita Mae Brown

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Zombies of the Gene Pool by Sharyn McCrumb

Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

The Mystery Box (Collection of stories from Mystery Writers of America)

I need to find more time in my life to read!!!

Lists: What’s on my MP3 player

Here’s a list of what is on my MP3 player at this moment (spoiler: ALL podcasts, of course):

  1. 2 Sides of WDW
  2. 99% Invisible
  3. Be Our Guests WDW
  4. Communicore Weekly
  5. Creepy Kingdom
  6. Criminal
  7. Disney Hipster Podcast
  8. Gamers with Jobs
  9. Lisa’s WDW Podcast
  10. Love & Radio
  11. Mystery Show
  12. PassPorter’s Disney & Beyond
  13. Planet Money
  14. Radio Harambe
  15. Reply All
  16. ResortLoop.com
  17. Science Vs. (I think this is only a sample of the upcoming show)
  18. Selected Shorts
  19. Serial
  20. Song of the Day
  21. The DISDads
  22. The Moth
  23. The Nerdist
  24. The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe
  25. The Sporkful
  26. The State of Games
  27. The Story Collider
  28. Undisclosed
  29. Walt Disney World Northeast
  30. WDW Today
  31. Welcome to Night Vale

I cannot endorse all these podcasts, as some I am just testing out for the first time! As always, I welcome comments with podcast recommendations in the comments. If you like any of the above pods, please comment on that too!

Lists: My Essential Christmas Classics

Here is a list of the top ten Christmas specials I most want to watch every year. I’ve left off feature-length movies as I’m not interested in watching those every year…it’d take up too much time! I love Santa Claus: The Movie, The Bishop’s Wife and Love Actually as much as I love some of the shows below, but I only watch a couple holiday movies per year. A nice Christmas special, however, you can watch as background while wrapping or during dinner.

Here are my Christmas essentials:

10. The Little Drummer Boy- Often included as an addon episode when you buy another holiday classic, I feel the Little Drummer Boy can stand on its own. I’m not religious, but I very much enjoy this cartoon that gives another Christmas story besides one involving Santa or family gatherings (as much as I love both). It’s a touching tale and always has a spot on my list. I couldn’t find a clip of this on Youtube that doesn’t spoil the ending, so there’s no clip with this one.

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9. Twas the Night Before Christmas- My mother’s favorite, Twas the Night Before Christmas is inspired by the poem, but is a full-length story with mice. It’s cute, Christmassy, and has some excellent music. Here’s a clip from the middle that really tells you what the story is about and has a great song.

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8. A Wish That Changed Christmas- This deserves a spot on my list because I have fond memories of watching this with my sister. We still say “Do you want a balloon?” to each other (a line from the movie). It’s cute and heartwarming. Here’s the first couple minutes.

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7. Opus: A Wish for Wings That Work- Funny and slightly more adult than other Christmas specials, I feel this one is often overlooked. The ending is still heartwarming and has the Christmas spirit. This click is Opus’s Therapy Session.

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6. A Claymation Christmas- Claymation is amazing to watch. Claymation Christmas is also funny and educational (sort of) as it does have references to traditions and classic Christmas music. It’s got a lot of puns, wordplay, and jokes more on the clever side. Here’s a clip of the Carol of the Bells.

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5. A Muppet Family Christmas- ALL THE MUPPETS….even Fraggles and the Sesame Street. I love how they are all shoved into one house! Did you hear about the church that burned down? Holy Smokes! Here’s a clip of Big Bird and the Swedish Chef.

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4. A Charlie Brown Christmas- Of course the Peanuts have to make it on the list. I love Charlie Brown’s tree, and the speech Linus gives. And I love the music.

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3. A Garfield Christmas Special- I think it’s one of the best Garfield shows I’ve seen. I love the emotional scene with Grandma. I also love how much food they make and how it seems like a normal family…loving, but with their flaws. It makes me feel at home.

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2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town- It has Fred Astaire. As a kid, I loved the Fred and Ginger movies and I think my love for Fred is what made me adore this movie. I love all the characters, actually, and I like how it is an origin story. This link will show you a clip of Fred Astaire’s character.

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1. Year Without a Santa Claus- This special had a slight edge over the others in the list because it has one of my favorite Christmas songs. No, it’s not the Heat/Snow Miser song (though that’s a fun one), it’s “I Believe in Santa Claus“. It has always spoken to me. I love Santa and I still “believe”. Christmas magic is very important to me, and this song embodies that idea. I’m listening now and tearing up, LOL. The link will take you to the clip with the song.

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Honorable Mentions: Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Jack Frost.

Lists: Nerding Out About…November 2015

Here’s what I am…

…listening to…

  • No Sleep Podcast– A podcast of well-produced, voice-acted short horror fiction stories. I’m not a huge fan of horror (actually, I pretty much ignore the genre altogether usually), but these tales are more creepy and mysterious than gruesome. I really like it, definitely a new favorite.
  • Gimlet Media- I adore Gimlet and listen to any podcasts Gimlet creates. My favorite is Mystery Show followed closely by Reply All and Startup.  Surprisingly Awesome is just okay, so far. I’m anxiously awaiting the second season of Mystery Show as well as new podcasts that are on the horizon.
  • The Truth Podcast– Described as “movies for your ears”. The Truth is another well-produced, voice-acted fiction podcast. The Truth stories are compelling and all very different from each other. You never know exactly where the story is going.

…playing…

  • Right now, I’m all about the Sims 4! I’m playing two separate challenges both with reader-inspired/created characters. I have a Bachelor challenge, and my Community Town challenge.
  • I also recently completed the Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which I plan to do a short review of some point soon.

…reading…

…watching…

  • Supernatural (season 9)
  • Person of Interest (season 1)
  • Death in Paradise (season 1)

…obsessing over..

  • Disney pins!
  • My Lego Christmas village

Lists: What’s On My Work Table

My work table at my house is in my living room, and is where I keep my laptop as well as other things that I’m currently using. It shows nicely what I’m focusing my spare time on.

What’s on my work table today:

  • My penpal folder- need to catch up on responding to my penpal letters. If you want to give penpalling a shot, you should go to IGGPPC.
  • My Sims 4 Index Card Box
  • A stack of BoomBoom cards
  • Harry Potter Cookbook– planning on pulling a few recipes out of this
  • My embroidery floss box
  • Beads! Lots of beads. I’m working on some projects for my mom’s shop.
  • My recent NatureBox. I had paused Naturebox for awhiel during the move, but I restarted it partly due to the lack of variety at our new grocery store.
  • A cat (variable)- sometimes there is a cat on my table…most often Fred or Harree, but sometimes Lefty or Miss Melody.