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.
Tofurky pockets! Dude, they’re vegan hot pockets. Oh man, so good. I have these ones and they’re handy for a quick work lunch snack.
I got myself a new water bottle recently, and I’m finding it is actually helping me drink more throughout the day! It comes with me to work, and the gym, and if i’m out for the day too. Solid!
I’m very fond of Isa Does It, and we’ve still got so many things to try. Right now our constant go to is her “lentil-a-roni” dish, which I LOVE and is so freakin’ quick to put together and you can tinker it if you really like. We use GF pasta, and usually throw in some kale or spinach at the end. It’s a treat with some almond parm on top! I don’t want to link to the recipe where I’m not sure it’s reproduced with permission, so get your hands on the book! It’s worth it.
I’ve started rewatching Twin Peaks (my shiny blu-ray set!) in advance of a trivia night at the start of Feb. I love this show so damn much. And I about flew out of my seat when I heard the news Kyle McLachlan will be back for the new episodes. COOP.
Book club! My friend MeShell started up the Toronto Veg Book Club, and I love it because it (a) gives me a chance to read books I might not normally think to and (b) I get to get together and hang out with lovely vegan folks and eat delicious food while we chat about the books! This weekend we’ll be chatting about the Lucky Ones, which I just wrote about. And eating all the things at Bloomer’s. CANNOT WAIT.
How’s your Thursday, folks?
I know it wasn’t that long ago I TILTed, but it feels like forever. Despite the damp weather out there in Toronto, I shan’t be dissuaded from finding things to be positive about! Like how, despite the rain, it’s been pretty lovely to stroll around as it tries its hardest to Spring here.
My last couple of weeks at my current job are upon me, as my contract ends at the person on mat leave comes back – I’ll be sad to go! But it’s been a terrific place to work. I have a couple of interviews lined up next week (yay!) for places that I am similarly enthused about, so that’s something to love.
While I chug through the last of my organizing and to-do lists here at the office, I’ve been relying on Google Play Music to serve up tunes for me as I work. Despite a couple of holes in very indie Australian music (understandable) and an almost complete lack of Bikini Kill (unaccepable), it’s been fairly good! I’m hoping it will get me listening to more music, I’ve been terrible at it over the last few years. In fact, I rarely listen to a whole album at a time any more. I’m currently spinning Fugazi’s The Argument in the background, and holy smokes I bloody love this album.
Did you know that my favourite TV show is Twin Peaks? You do now! (You may have thought it was Firefly. Close, but no Serenity.) I love that damn show as much as Agent Cooper loves black coffee and cherry pie. I have had not one, but two, viewing parties at which I have ensured there has been either cherry pie or donuts on hand, and a big whopping french press of damn hot coffee. So I’m pretty excited about the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the show (yes, I love both seasons, shut up!) and all the goodies therein. The only issue I can see is the lack of Blu-Ray player once we’re no longer living with someone who owns a PS3.. hmmm…
Last of all, I love people being awesome, especially when it comes to calling bullshit in the world. At a school with a completely shitty and misogynist dress code, a young woman made some terrific signs to hang up that very clearly pointed it out. The best! Keep it awesome, whoever you are!
What are you into today, internet?
- This time of year has already kicked off with the buying-buying-buying frenzy. Consider a charitable donation, too? Boing Boing have an awesome, huge list of recommended charities.
- I am so in love with these surreal photos of everyday objects floating in landscapes. I want ’em all.
- What’s more hilarious than bloopers? A trailer for a movie cut together with said bloopers!
- This is some beautiful photography – ‘Touching Strangers‘ – which I’ve had saved for ages. I don’t know why I haven’t shared until now.
- I love parents and kids being creative together. This dad does colouring on his kids’ sketches and the results are super cool.
- What’s the biggest organism on earth? This is an interesting look at a variety of ’em.
- If you enjoy advent calendars, and nerdy information, then this is the website for you! They’re posting a nugget of sciencey goodness tinged with humour every day til the 25th.
- Speaking of feeling festive and nerdy, how about some Game of Thrones house snowflakes? I’m already thinking about where I can hang some.
- Mental Floss cover a bunch of common idioms and their origins:
- Pretty in love with this Twin Peaks-inspired clothing line, especially this Welcome to Twin Peaks dress. Oh, for the figure that fits in a dress and looks good..
- NPR put together a sort of ‘concierge’ for the best books of 2013, and oh boy do I need to read more! Jeez. Perhaps I should also check out the Sci-fi picks on Goodreads.
- Let’s leave on this sweet note of Theo & his puppy napping. I wanna be like Theo.
- 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..