I’m going to.. handwave away the personal recap of 2017, because it’s just too much to think about/write/read. SO. Here’s STUFFS WHAT I LIKED, 2017 EDITION!!! And yeah, there’s a couple of days left in the year. But let’s be real. This is close enough.
I’ve seen 46 movies this year. I’d hoped to break 50. Being with Evan has meant a shift back to watching more movies (and really, just as much TV), which has been great – being in a long distance relationship sucks, but it’s great to be able to watch movies with each other over that distance. As far as new releases, we didn’t see a lot together, but there were some great movies out in cinemas this year. Highlights for me: The Big Sick, Get Out, The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnorak, Logan, The Shape of Water. I think I need to revisit Blade Runner: 2049, but it might be on that list, too. Recent stuff that’s come out that I want to see, but am waiting for streaming release? Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri are up there! I really did a lot more watching of 2016 and older stuff out of the batch of viewings this year. Best non-2017 one I saw? Probably Hush, or the Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
This was the year of new Twin Peaks, so that’s got to be my first mention out of the gate. Oh how I had waited – most of the time, not knowing it’d come. Some of the time itching to have it here. It was a strange ride, full of mystery and horror and humour and nostalgia and straight up weird shit. Can’t wait to go back and rewatch. PS. Thanks for being the reason I got to know Evan better.
Notable ongoing fave: Brooklyn 99. I binged because I couldn’t stop: The Good Place. I watched it all and I’m still not sure how I feel about: The Leftovers. My trashy watch: Riverdale. Oh no I need to catch up on: Mr Robot, Orphan Black. Started, and excited to watch more into the new year: Atlanta. Can’t wait for the new episodes of: Black Mirror, the X-Files!
I struggled to hit my goal of 40 books read this year. I just lost steam in the summertime, and it has been tough to get it back. I have tried to do a bit of reading to chat about with Evan – he encouraged me to read the Southern Reach trilogy (so far it’s just been Annihilation, but I’ll get there), plus we got to read Twin Peaks: the Final Dossier to talk about together! Overall, I think Annihilation was my favourite novel read, and as far as comics, Paper Girls was my new favourite read. Onto my backlog now, I guess! Which is full of great recommendations from Liz, whose Science Fiction Double Feature podcast has been a great source of nerding and great sounding books.
GAMEZ OF BOARD AND VID
Let’s get the easy one out of the way first, because I don’t play a lot of video games compared to board games! Much of my time has been all about Stardew Valley and the Sims 4, not to mention recently with Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. You may sense a theme.. Meanwhile, I really need to get back to the Witness for puzzly goodness. And with the new season of the X-Files looming, dive back into my investigation in Thimbleweed Park. I think if I can chip away at what’s in my Steam library after that, it’ll be a 2018 miracle! I was very good and did not bend to the Steam sales, pals.
As far as games go, well. Here’s a big ol’ article I wrote about this year in games. Bärenpark and Sagrada are my top picks if you don’t feel like clicking through, but there’s lots of stuff in there in many categories. I think my top 10 would be: Bärenpark, Sagrada, Castles of Burgundy Dice, Word Slam, Azul, Avenue/Kokoro, Favelas, NMBR 9, Fox in the Forest, Century Spice Road – Golem edition. What a great year of games. Meanwhile in pure lovely numbers (oh thank you Board Game Stats!):
- Games played, total: 546
- Games played, unique titles: 256
- Games played, new to me: 126
That’s pretty great for me! Plus I got to playtest a number of really great things, including legacy games which I’ve had enormous fun with.
Not to mention, conventions attended: Breakout Con, the Gathering of Friends, Origins Game Fair, Dice Tower Con, SHUX, Fan Expo, BGGcon, ummmm. Wow. That’s ridiculous. 2018 is going to be scaled back a BUNCH.. Actually, that’s a big fat lie. But at least a bunch of these are local or close to local? Flying to the US for cons is so hecking expensive, so that’s going to scale things back.
Because of Twin Peaks, I sought out a few related podcasts – ‘Diane‘ was one of the best. Articulate and intelligent, lots of amazing discussion and insights. Plus I love the ongoing series they’re doing now called the “Shadow Trap” all about monsters and whatnot. Good stuff. I have been super enjoying Tanis as always, for more spookies, and 99% Invisible plus Reply All remain general faves. I’ve also just begun listening to Ologies at the recommendation of my friend and co-host Erin, and it’s been a delight. Nerding out about sciences and disciplines is awesome, and the host is fun and has quirky asides and comes at it all with a fabulous attitude and humour. Also I love all of my own podcast’s network pals, so check ’em out: Inside Voices network.
After a few weeks of knowing I’ll be getting my permanent residency but ridiculous bureaucracy and dumb delays in their responses to me holding up getting my paperwork, I have many many reasons to focus on the positive today! Also, hello again – I was away in Winnipeg for 10 days with Adam visiting his family and friends. I didn’t have a lot of time or a real computer to sit at to cobble together my TILT or Digital Dozen posts (it’s hard to put together posts with more than one image/link in the WordPress app!).
SO! Breaking Bad is back and I love it. I flail with anxiety/excitement/omgwtf as we get closer and closer to the end of it all. Which reminds me, I gotta watch the Mythbusters Breaking Bad special!
I follow this Instagram account, which is just photos of women’s legs. It sounds weird, but I love it so much! You see such a variety of shapes/sizes and fashion, it’s wonderful. A strange kind of art. I suggest you check it out.
This weekend i’m going to a wedding and I need a dress appropriate for larking about in a garden party reception. There’s been a recent addition on Bloor in my neighbourhood – Kind Exchange (who have a number of other locations) – which is a second-hand clothing store with hand-picked stuff. I got two dresses for under $30! Wonderful. I love finding great new stores to visit in my ‘hood.
Getting crafty! I’ve started crocheting dishclothes which is easy and fun and enormously satisfying. While visiting in Winnipeg I was inspired by our friend Charlene’s transformation of pins/buttons into magnets – I grabbed some cheap magnets and tried it out with some of my reserve of pins (soooo many), and I’m so pleased with it! I’m gonna churn out loads more.
Normally I freak out having to sit in the window seat on flights (I’m an aisle person), but that’s where I got sat because we took Jake on the flight with us. It helped having Adam next to me too, in the middle seat. So I dealt okay and loved getting to see a great view from the plane!
I loved getting to see Jake get to have some backyard time when we were in Winnipeg staying with Adam’s parents. Rollin’ around in the grass, sniffing things, sneaking raspberries & chasing Adam. So wonderful.
Short ‘n’ sweet!
Firefly is one of my TV loves. Board games is another. Bring the two together and SMASH – Firefly: Out to the Black. I played a prototype of this at the Gathering of Friends earlier this year and it was a fun, challenging co-op with the theme really richly integrated. Great card game. I suggest you get your greedy hands on it as they’re Kickstarting it now! Good luck to Ed Bryan 🙂
And speaking of TV.. I still love Spaced so much, even after many rewatchings. I have seen a lot of Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright on Twitter lately as they’re promoting The World’s End, so I burned through half the first season of Spaced this afternoon and was so great.
When I hear about friends making big life decisions and doing awesome things, it makes me happy. I love that our friend Kris is gearing up to move home to Halifax to open up a board game cafe. Obviously it sucks our friend is leaving, but he has so many exciting adventures ahead of him with this business – I think he’s a smart and lovely dude and will do well with it. Plus, it gives us a nice excuse to head out east sometime!
I love making treats for friends and having them work out nicely and seeing everyone be so excited to enjoy them. So good! These were a hit with my fellow boot campers after our last class of the month yesterday evening. I’m looking forward to making them again and throwing in some variations for flavours.
And finally, I love not moving house. I know it’s kinda esoteric for this list, but at the start of the month when I see folks struggling in and out of our apartment building, trying to get everything into the elevators and just knowing all the extended stress involved with moving.. I’m just really glad to have been settled in one place for a little while. I know it’ll happen again sometime but having had this place with Adam as my home base for nearly two years has been the longest I’ve been in any one home since I left Australia back in 2007!
Enjoy your Thursday evenings, folks!
Thursday’s upon us again, let’s get lovin’. It’s a particularly rambly TILT this week 🙂
Let’s get this out of the way: I love the portable air conditioning unit we have in our room. I spent many a non-air-conditioned summer back home in northern-NSW/Brisbane, and I somehow survived. But having this creature comfort has been so nice even in this short summer, and it makes me feel much better about the comfort of Jake when we’re not home!
We got an Aeropress a while back (fun fact: it was invented by the same guy who invented the Aerobie frisbee!), and it’s our preferred coffee brew method at home. (Until we get a nice pourover setup, sometime. Mmm.) Adam gets a chance to work with them a lot at work too, and he’s shown me the ‘inverted’ method for brewing. Although the regular method is great, the inverted method allows better control over the process (no dripping before you create the seal, like with the regular method). I love the inverted method, so much. I tried to make a short video on Instagram showing the superficial differences, but this is a much clearer & more precise tutorial.
Delicious summer eats! One Love Vegetarian is a delicious Caribbean vegan cafe in the Annex – I love their corn soup/stew, and their roti – but the BBQ tofu stirfry (especially smattered with the scotch bonnet hotsauce) is the one I LOVE LOVE LOVE. Especially with the fried plantain and avocado slices topping it off. Mmm.
Back when I was first getting into horror films, I very quickly became a fan of Peter Jackson’s work pre-LOTR. Braindead is still one of my all-time favourite indie horror flicks, and it certainly gave me an appreciation of horror-comedy, as well as the Evil Dead films. It was very easy for me to fall in love with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg & Nick Frost’s efforts with Sean of the Dead (especially being a Spaced fan) considering all this, and I especially enjoyed their follow up Hot Fuzz. I’m very excited for their finale in the ‘Cornetto trilogy’, the World’s End – so when you take all of this preamble you’ll understand why I love this video of Peter Jackon interviewing the Wright/Pegg/Frost trio about The World’s End.
Adam had been telling me about a show he watched a few years ago called Saving Grace, and we have been watching it through on Netflix together – just finished season 2 last night. It is honestly the kind of show I’m surprised I love, but Holly Hunter as Grace is just so bloody great that i’m compelled to keep watching. I’m no woman of faith, but it’s definitely been an enjoyable series to watch.
And finally, catching some shade with this dude:
- When I meet people, I feel like sometimes when they’re introducing themselves someone’s immersed my head underwater. I always mis-hear or just accidentally ignore people’s names (or forget quickly), so this ‘Bad With Names‘ comic from Doghouse Diaries just tickles me!
- Hey, have some Game of Thrones nuggets! These terrific reimaginings of GOT TV series characters in an 80s/90s style are beyond compare: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6. Pretty sure I’m in love with Khal Drogo from part 5. And if you like something a little more ‘realistic’, the Iron Throne as George RR Martin envisions it:
- You’ll notice that Comic Sans isn’t on this lovely infographic of the psychology of font choices. Yep. (I’m sans serif all the way, man.)
- I can’t go a week without an Adventure Time mention! This time around, ART! These pieces highlighted from an art show currently on in Austin TX, and this awesome ‘The Creation of Adam’ with Adventure Time characters. Lemongrab as Adam and PB as his creator is not only canonical but just looks surrealistically cool.
- Fun fact: Twin Peaks is my favourite TV show ever! I love it so much that once I had a marathon viewing and I had french presses of coffee flowing & I even made a couple of cherry pies. (I also did the same a few years later but with a huge box of vegan donuts instead of pie. I have a problem, yes.) I usually don’t bother with supercuts, but when it’s a supercut of all the pie and coffee from Twin Peaks, you bet i’m on board. I love the pie chat (hahaha) at the source, too.
- We’re having a lot of rain this summer in Toronto, which makes plonking down in the park for a picnic a moister-than-usual affair. I would love to hook us all up with these great grassy picnic tables. Civilized dining without wet bums.
- I’ve been following the ‘topleftpixel’ photo blog for many years, it’s been a beautiful slice of Toronto (mostly, and also other spots when he travels) every day. He’s wrapping up the daily posting, which is sad, but will continue posting photos & also blogging about photography, which I’ll be keeping an eye on – even though I don’t (yet) have a digital SLR, it’s all good information to soak in even if you’re just using a manual setting on a regular digital camera.
- It terrifies me that this is an actual real thing (the soccer hooligan fight), but it’s also morbidly hilarious that someone’s laid over a nature documentary-esque narration from David Attenborough.
- Back when I first discovered it, I spent many feverish hours on GeoGuessr trying to figure out where in the world I was on Google street view. (My proudest moment was being 8km off a spot in Cornwall). Now I’ve been reminded of it, I’ll likely wake up in 12 hours time slumped at my desk, somewhere in the middle of a deserted highway. You try it!
- 3D printing is AMAZING, you guys! This prototype for a cast would be such an incredible boon to the healthcare industry. And I dare you to not be amazed by this duck who got a replacement foot that was 3D printed! Aaah! (Even better is the man with the southern accent shouting out the duck’s name – Buttercup)
- Goldie Blox is a toy aimed at young girls to get them interested in engineering. I love that the creator was inspired [vid] to do something about the lack of women in her field by targeting younger kids with a toy package that looks like so much fun – and by not discounting all the other toys in the girl’s aisle, but saying this belongs there too. I played with SO MUCH Lego when I was a kid, i’d have been all over Goldie Blox. It’s amazing she’s in Toys R Us, I hope the product sells well!
- Via Reddit: after all the fireworks going on this month with Canada Day & Independence Day, i’m glad someone caught an amazing photo that wasn’t just a regular “ooooh, pretty” type. I’m sure you’ll agree!
Have a good weekend, all! Don’t spend all of it on GeoGuessr..