Craft time – Desktop Gremlins

@desktopgremlins Buddy the Elf and Santa #christmas #crafts

I participated in the Kickstarter for the Desktop Gremlins Inventors book. I got my reward earlier this week, a PDF copy of the book that I can print out and make my own craft. It’s awesome! Today I made a Buddy the Elf, Santa, and Finn the Human (I’m a little obsessed with Adventure Time right now, okay???)

Find out more about this awesome craft here! David Landis usually posts free Gremlins on the site, right now there is a Steampunk Santa. You can also buy a copy of the Desktop Gremlins books.

Christmas Eve viewing

During the month of December, I have a collection of movies and TV show episodes I have to watch to get me into the spirit of the season. Most of them I scatter through-out, watching before I go to bed or while munching on milk and cookies. Such favorites like 30 Rock’s “Ludachristmas”, Doctor Who “A Christmas Carol”, and Muppet Family Christmas. This year we added the Psych holiday episodes, Phineas & Ferb, and Big Bang Theory’s “Bath Item Hypothesis” to the mix. But there are three movies that I have to watch on Christmas Eve and I only watch on Christmas Eve, to help me make it through the night without messing with the presents under the tree.

A Christmas Story — I’m pretty sure most of us can quote Ralphie’s antics by heart. Even before TBS started running it for 24 hours this was a standard in my family. It is probably my most favorite Christmas movie and that is why I save it for Christmas Eve, when my excitement is at it’s peak!!!

Bad Santa — A movie with a lot of heart, even if that heart is a lump of coal. It’s so gloriously WRONG that it’s right. I’m sorta nervous about the prospect of Bad Santa 2, which they have been talking about for the past few years, I’m not sure if there is anything more that can/should be done with this character who is supposed to have sorta, kinda learned his lesson by the end of the movie. But that’s a post for another day.

Love Actually — Apparently there is a lot of ranting about this movie this year? I had no idea until I saw on the NPR story going around tumblr. I won’t deny that this movie is cheesy, over-the-top, mushy, aggravating, ridiculous…and I can really only watch it at Christmas time. I don’t think it would work for me any other time of the year, but on December 24th, I put on my eggnog goggles and I adore this movie for all the reasons that I would hate it any other time of the year. I watch it after Bad Santa, the sweetness of the stories washing out the flavor of those fucking sandwiches. This is the movie that usually gets me to midnight and I’m ready to crawl into bed afterwards and sleep until it’s Christmas morning.

What do you have in the queue for Christmas Eve?

orangerful’s favorite things 2013

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Who doesn’t love a good list?

2013 was a year of good finds, though many of them were just things I had been missing out on, at least I am in the loop now!

So for my own amusement and also to help others find these awesome things before it’s too late, I give you:

the list

Books:
Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks — My favorite thing by Faith Erin Hicks so far. I love her style and sense of humor. This book is a collection of strips she did for her local paper about Superhero Girl who deals with the perils of being both a superhero and a girl on a daily basis.

Sweet Tooth: Wild Game by Jeff Lemire – The finale to this epic series, a graphic novel series that had me saying “WTF!” more than once. Beautiful and fitting end. Now I can safely say that, yes, you should read the Sweet Tooth series.

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Donner Party by Nathan Hale – awesome graphic novel series geared towards middle schoolers but great for those of us that want to brush up on our history and have a sense of humor.

A Billion Wicked Thoughts by Ogi Ogas, Sai Gaddam – Fascinating study of sex, sexuality, gender and The Internet. This book made my list mostly because of the impact it had on my relationship. We listened to this on a drive up to New England and every few discs we would stop and discuss the assumptions being made and that would naturally lead to us discussing ourselves.

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi – EPIC graphic novel series, gears towards kids but there’s enough going on that adults will enjoy it too (think Bone but with a little more sci-fi mixed into the fantasy).

You’re All Just Jealous of my Jetpack by Tom Gauld – HILARIOUS collection of comic strips, most of the jokes are intellecutal and literary so you feel smart while laughing.

Saga by Brian K Vaughan – Volume 2 really pulled me in and the story has developed beyond all the set-up. Just beware of the giant penis monster…especially if you read during your lunch break at work (true story of red faced me)

Other books I read this year

Movies:
Mud – Fantastic movie that I am sure will become a classic. Everyone was amazing, but the young boy who was the head hit it out of the park.

Searching for Sugarman – A documentary about a story that…well, if it wasn’t true you wouldn’t believe it. It’s about the power of music and the life it takes of it’s own long after it has left the recording studio.

Hunger Games: Catching Fire – SO good, so much better than the first movie. Plus, OMG THE MARRIOTT IN ATLANTA! I’ve been there. It was both awesome and weird to see it on the big screen.

Much Ado About Nothing – Joss Whedon directing my favorite Shakespeare comedy. I loved it, so much fun to watch.

Other movies I watched in 2013

Television:
American Horror Story: Coven – I was hesitant to tune in after the disappointment that was Asylum but wow, Coven has brought back that great combination of weird but Weird to make the story work. LOVE IT. Knock out cast of badass women.

Adventure Time – How did I just find out about this show now? I can’t even remember what drew me to it but thank god for Netflix streaming and vodka cranberry drinks. Seriously though, it is one of the best shows, and it may be one of my favorite shows of all time (after the Whedons, of course)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – I scoffed at this reboot at first but after watching the first season and a half, I sorta kinda love it. TMNT was one of my first fandoms as a kid and I think this new series is great. I love the animation, the voice acting, and the stories that have some depth to them. BOOYAKASHA!

Idea Channel – This is somehow connected to PBS so I’m lumping it in with TV, because I watched my first episode on my TV via the Xbox Live app. Mike gives you one random idea, discusses it for 8 minutes and then lets you think on it. Everything from space, science, math, and fandoms too. Plus, I think it is the most accurate representation of how my brain works.

Video Games:
Bioshock Infinite – My most anticipated game and it did not disappoint. I loved every minute and I missed Elizabeth so much I bought her as an action figure.

Assassin’s Creed II – this was a free game for Gold members, and it was SO much better than AC1, which I had tried and given up on. Ezio is just a more engaging character with a better story. It makes me want to go to Italy, climb buildings and swan dive into haystacks.

LEGO Lord of the Rings – I have a love/hate relationship with this game but after getting 100% on LEGO Harry Potter, I spent a LONG time playing this game, trying to do the same. I’m over 50% done. I just wish they hadn’t insisted on using the movie dialogue in the game. Slows down the action and takes away the humor. But still fun once you’re in it.

Forza Horizon – I got this for Christmas 2012 so it was one of the first things I played this year. I love racing games and this one was really fun. It was different than most Forza games, which have you race on tracks – Horizon was out on open roads and lots of street racing. But it was fun and I also found some good music while listening to the “radio”.

Walking Dead – I rented this game in January and played through the whole thing in a single day. I really loved it, I love adventure games and Telltale’s animation style. I’ll probably wait for Season 2 to go on sale and do the same thing next year.

Fairway Solitaire – Probably my favorite game on my iPad. It was a freebie offered through Penny Arcade so I grabbed it and I was hooked. I have always loved solitaire and somehow the golf addition actually…works. I think I also was hooked because it wasn’t another farming or collecting then wait 24 hours and come back later game. It’s just a card game.

other games I played in 2013

Music:
Paramore – Paramore – SO GOOD. Brand New Eyes is still my favorite, but this is my second favorite Paramore album for sure. And it was probably my album of the year. Loved the mix of styles and Hayley is just such a powerful vocalist. And then I got to see them live in a semi-small venue which apart from the drunk assholes in front of us was AWESOME.

Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die – Panic at the Disco – My other highly anticipated album of the year. It really grew on me after a few listens and I get to see them live in January!

+ – Ed Sheeran – I listened to this like crazy on Spotify and finally bought it on Amazon mp3 for $5. I really like Sheeran’s voice and sometimes you need an acoustic guitar in the mix. Looking forward to hearing more from him.

My most-listened to albums of 2013

[Holiday Viewing] Psych: The Polarizing Express

It used to be that I saved all of my holiday tv shows, specials, and movies for the day before Christmas, but now I’ve amassed such a collection of shows that I feel the need to start watching a bit earlier. Tonight, we watched one of my new favorites from Psych, Season 5, episode 14 – The Polarizing Express.

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If you’ve never watched Psych, go on Netflix right now and start…I will wait…**hums theme song**

Seriously though, it’s a fantastic show with a great cast that is a perfect blend of comedy and mystery, with more random 80s/90s references than you can shake a fake psychic detective at. It may not be high art, but it’s quality television that you could eat a bowl of popcorn (or a pineapple) while watching and feel good about yourself afterwards.

In this episode, Shawn has managed to mess up and has been caught on film while searching a suspects house without a warrant (or police knowledge). While at home, wallowing in his embarrassment (though still pretending to not care), he falls asleep in front of the TV and soon finds himself in a dreamland where he imagines what life would be like in Santa Barbara if he had never come back. Aaaand since he just watched “Bad Santa” the night before, his dream guide is Tony Cox (“Marcus”) which makes it all just that much funnier.

It’s actually a really clever episode and I found both the silly “It’s a Wonderful Life” homage and the actual mystery engaging. It’s a good one to watch early, before we’re in the thick of the holiday, since the whole mystery aspect isn’t as Christmas-y as most shows.

Guess my obsession in 8th grade?

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My Dad just texted me this photo of the clock I made in Middle School shop class. As you can probably guess, this was the height of my Douglas Adams obsession.

Sad part is that this image is no longer on the cover of the book. The reprints have these weird colored marbles floating of a space landscape. So unless you have a copy of one of the first few editions, this smart-ass planet mocking you from a distance doesn’t really invoke the classic novel.

Douglas Adams, and in particular ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ were one of the first books to make me laugh out loud. It is probably one of the few books I have read multiple times. I can quote huge portions of it, though that is mostly because the miniseries and radio drama were so close to the text and I pretty much watched or listened to them on a daily basis for a long long time.

But I am trying to purge my stash of random things and, really, this was a cool project but I am not going to hang it up on my apartment now. So I am making this post to say goodbye awesome wall clock – you got me my A+ and kept time for many years but it’s now time to let you go.

Don’t Panic!