Fri-yay!: April 5th, 2019

Happy (1)So here we are, one week closer to spring break!  Oh my God, guys, can we get there??

Bear got yet another bout of the stomach bug — this one was luckily very, very short lived, but now I seem to have picked it up — literally half my coworkers are sick, my sister is sick, and what the hell is with the cold/flu season???   Can it just… be over, please?

Anyway, for your consumption this week:

Have I mentioned I love Spongebob Squarepants?  I was kind of the generation that made that show, like, a cultural phenomenon instead of just a kid’s show; I was a high school Senior when the show premiered, and a college freshman when it really took off, and it took off in a big way among my age group.  I haven’t watched many episodes past the fourth season, but those first four seasons hold a special place in my heart.  It’s probably not a surprise then that I really get a kick out of the Spongebob musical, the soundtrack for which is currently on YouTube and available for listening (I’ve had “No Control”in my head for, no joke, like a week).

This also isn’t a new discovery — I return to it kind of cyclically — but I love hearing things in their native languages.  Despite not speaking it, one of my favorite recordings of Les Miserables is the French Original Concept Album, and on and off for the last year, the soundtrack to Moana in Māori.  I don’t speak Māori, but I love listening to the songs in the language.  I’ve been streaming this on YouTube, as well.

Also not new, but I’ve been getting back into escape games, and have been revisiting Detarou escapes, which are among the most bizarre and entertaining in the room escape genre.  I include a link to the Jay Is Games’ Detarou tag instead of directly to Detarou’s site in case you want to read about the individual games, check content, or have the walkthrough available to you.  I believe he has games not covered on JiG, and I’m willing to bet they are just as worthy of being checked out.

That’s it for me this week.  Fellow NaPoWriMo-ers, how is it going?!  (and have you checked out my writing blog yet)?  Camp NaNoers, hanging in there?  A-to-Zers, still caught up?  Awesome!

Let me know what’s kept you going this week!

Fri-yay: March 29th, 2019

Happy (1)Ok, so it’s Saturday again.  At least I made a conscious decision last night (around 8:30) that I’d put off posting until today.  I’m a little regretful that I haven’t managed to make a post this week, but I’ve been busy trying to get a queue set up for #AtoZChallenge when I’ve been on, and I think I’ve got the first week basically sorted, and even some stuff for beyond that.

Anyway, this week:

I was bitten by the nostalgia bug and was hit, suddenly and without provocation, by the need to find a particular song I was obsessed with about a decade ago.  I finally found it, and along with it came a swell of nostalgia for an old Adidas marketing campaign called Adicolors, for which a series of short films was produced.  My friend Lance and I had a short but intense period of fannishness over these ads.

You can find a link to a playlist for five of the ads here.  The song I was searching for is available in full (on YouTube, which is where I listen to music) and is called “Made,” by Greg Weeks, and is used in a truncated format in the video for “Pink.”

Next, according to Simu’s Insta, Kim’s Convenience Season Three will be available to stream on Netflix on April 3rd, the day after the final episode airs on the CBC.  Which is actually pretty great because 1.) Wednesday’s are typically stressful days for me, and it’ll be nice to have something to relax and enjoy once I’m over that hump, and 2.) I really expected to have to wait a lot longer after the original air date to be able to watch it in the States, so it’s cool they’re putting it up so soon.

Oh, and, uh, you should also check out Simu’s Insta for a few other reasons.

Short one this week, because I deffo haven’t been indulging in self-care the way I should be, but hey, sometimes it be like that.

What’s been keeping you afloat this week?

“Fri-yay:” March 22nd, 2019

Happy (1)Is… is everyone out there okay?  Y’all all right?  You sure?

Guys, I don’t know what it is, but this week was friggin’ banana sandwich, I kid you not.  Friday alone was a complete circus, and, as you can see, I didn’t even manage to get this post out actually on Friday.  Hello, Sunday morning.  Better late than never, though, right?

This weekend, the plan was: chores, painting (as in art, not household touch-ups), queuing up more posts for A-to-Z Challenge, and generally chilling (because I’ve earned it, dammit).  So far I’ve stuck to that plan, though I still have a hell of a lot more chores to get through today.

This week, I’ve been using my well-earned chill time to sit back and enjoy:

My son’s recently developed obsession with Sia and her side project, LSD They’ve released a few singles – we’ve been grooving to Thunderclouds, Mountains, Audio, and my personal favorite, Genius:

I have legitimately had this song stuck in my head for three days, and I’m  not complaining.

I am also super late in the game in terms of checking out the new Queer Eye – no, not the new season, just the show itself.  I was a devout follower of the original show when I was young, and was excited to hear they were coming back with a reboot, but then just… never got around to catching it (consuming new media is hard for me… I will probably have to write about that at some point).  Guys – the, like, three of you out there who also haven’t seen it – it is so good.  It is just such a positive, happy, hopeful show.  They are all about what works, what’s good about a person, and about accentuating and highlighting what’s already there – it’s basically less about a “makeover” and more about the “glo up,” you know?

For those of you who have seen Season 3 (which is what Netflix started me with; I’ve since put S3 on pause and gone back to Season 1), maybe y’all should order a bottle of Jone’s Sisters BBQ Sauce.  That episode made me ugly cry.

Also, in what seems like the obligatory Dollar Tree entry: I’m a sucker for summer (reduced work schedule, warm weather, and both my birthday and anniversary!), margaritas, and cute glasses.  So I loved seeing that DT was carrying these cactus-themed margarita glasses.  They are adorable.  If you’re into cactuses, this is actually a great time to check out DT; my thing lately has been mermaids (see: my downstairs bathroom), but I do have a soft spot for cacti, as well.  DT has pencil holders, dish towels, and trinket trays.

I think that’s it for this week.  Man, I need to be more on the ball about getting these out of Friday.  Somehow, talking about all this on Sunday has just amplified my end-of-weekend-blues.  Sigh.  19 days until Spring Break  (15 days of actual work)?  That’s something, right?

What’s keeping you afloat this week?

Friyay!: March 8th, 2019

Happy (1) Happy Friday!  This has been quite a week; to sum up how the last few days have been, coworkers and I took time out today to look up the lunar calendar and the as-of-late phases of the moon in a last ditch effort to assign some rationale to the unending chaos of the week.

With the being said, the week is over (just over a month until my Spring Break!), and I’m hoping for some restorative sleep this weekend, a good house cleaning, and some down time to, among other things, catch a showing of Captain Marvel and do some painting.

Things that have buoyed me along this week:

First off:  Today we took the kid’s on a community trip to the library, and I was reminded of something that I’d known about and thought was awesome (but never made mention of) called The Library of Things.  I’ve known about it for a while, but it was news to several coworkers, so in case you are unaware of it, I would recommend you Google “(your local library) library of things” and see what comes up.  The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional material and equipment available for loan at your library.  At the library in the town that I work in, for example, this includes an applique kit, binoculars, a cordless scanner, a ghost-hunting kit, a knitting kit, a keybooard (as in the musical instrument), a Playstation 4, a telescope, and a ukelele – and this is a partial list.  Google it and see what cool things you can borrow with your library card!

Secondly, several upcoming challenges have recently opened sign-ups, and I – on an ADHD fueled rampage – signed up for all of them.  I’ve gotta say, though, April feels like a good month to get creatively energized, because (at least up here near Boston) it’s the first month where the weather begins to become pleasant with fair consistency, and the days start getting longer and sunnier – it’s really the first time during the year when I feel like the general atmosphere around me radiates energy instead of drains it.  Anyway, for those interested, the three challenges I am participating in (and which are currently taking sign-ups) are Blogging A-to-Z, Camp NaNoWriMo, and National Poetry Writing Month.

Third, you all know I’m a little bit crazy for Dollar Tree, right?  Well, did you also know that (a.) my downstairs bathroom in mermaid-themed (because of course it is), and (b.) Dollar Tree is killing it in the mermaid department lately?  I’m on the lookout for a few classic products as well as some brand new stuff, like this mermaid shadowbox/plaque, ceramic mermaid tail plates, decorative mermaid tails, these mermaid wall stickers, and these mermaid tail candles.

Finally, I was a big fan of Pentatonix for a long time, but after Avi left, I sort of fell away from the group for a bit, only recently returning to listen to some of their newer stuff and man – I will always love and miss Avi, but this does not disappoint.  I’ve listened to the Pentatonix cover of “The Sound of Silence” about fifty times in the last three days.

Anyway, that’s about it for today.  What’s kept your spirits up or brightened your days this week?

Friyay!: March 1st, 2019

Happy (1)Holy hell, this has been… a week, let me tell you.  Partial derailment of my household (that I opted to let wait until I could clean tomorrow, so I can’t whine too much about that), absolute chaos at work, and what seems to be the resurgence of the cold that knocked me on my ass just before vacation.

That being said, I am positively ecstatic that it’s the weekend.

This week’s Friyays!

I don’t know why I didn’t mention this weeks ago (oh, wait, it’s because I basically abandoned this blog for like a month), but Andy and I watched Kim’s Convenience on Netflix.  While it’s not a new show on Netflix – it debuted in July 2018 – the fact that literally no fan works for it exists suggests that it’s definitely not known as widely as maybe it should be.   Since I’m notoriously long-winded, here’s the IMDB summary: The misadventures of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store. Kim’s Convenience tells the funny and heartfelt story of the Kim family. Mr. and Mrs. Kim are Korean Canadian convenience store owners who have worked hard to give their now-twenty-something children, Janet and Jung, a better life in Canada.  It is well-worth checking out for funny and surprisingly sweet and wholesome (but not hokey or saccharine) comedy, and there’s some nice eye candy to be had as well (Simu Liu, I’m looking at you.  Like, a lot.  Especially on Instagram).  The first two seasons are available on Netflix, with the third currently airing on CBC in Canada, and a fourth already in the works.

I am no where near Chicago, but just hearing about the existence of The Catcade makes me happy.  They are an arcade-themed cat rescue that simulates an “at home” environment, so instead of being kept in cages or crates, the cats roam free and interact with patrons.  There is a cafe and lounge, free arcade games (and Mario Kart), free Wi-Fi, and the opportunity for “cat yoga” classes!  I would be happy just chilling with the kitties, but being able to play some games and have a cup of coffee with them is pretty great.  If you get real attached to a particular kitty, they are available for adoption!

The Oatmeal is once again dipping into gaming, this time with Throw Throw Burrito, which I love mostly because of the card art (Meow Cow?  Barky Sharky?  COME ON!) and the fact that I like throwing things at people.  I feel like it’s a game that is easy to learn and that would be pretty accessible even to pretty young kids, which makes it a good Family Game Night option (I think Bear is still a little too young, but be next year, definitely).  It’s still being KickStarted, but check in out if you like Matt’s art, family-friendly games, or chucking things at people you love.

What’s keeping you cheerful this week?

(PS:  Yes, it’s Saturday.  I started this entry before I put my son to bed last night, and wound up falling asleep with him.  So, here).

Happy Friyay!: February 22, 2019

Happy (1) Hey, Happy Friyay!  I’m back on the positivity train, after a pretty long time away (I kind of still can’t believe I had an entire month of radio silence post-convention), and it’s fitting that it’s the last official day of my winter break – when I kind of need a bit of a pick-me-up before jumping head first back into the daily grind.

Things that are perking me up this week:

So, I’m a huge fan of animation, and I recently discovered PhantomStrider’s YouTube channel, where he present Top 3/5/10 lists on topics like Darkest Cartoon Network Episodes, Best and Worst Cartoon Reboots, and Creepiest Spongebob Episodes.  I spent an inordinately long time on TVTropes looking up some of the entries on his Worst Cartoons of All Time list (OMG, NutshackNutshack.  Whyyy??), and it was so bad, but so entertaining.  His commentary is thoughtful, and honestly, I find his voice generally pretty soothing and easy to listen to.  He also warns if the footage he’s using is going to be disturbing, which was good for when Bear was in the room, so I could either skip it or distract him.  Anyway, if you’re an animation fan, I recommend.  I’ve spent a lot of time on his channel the last two days.

We’re going to see Captain Marvel on March 9th!  I enjoy reading comics and graphic novels, but most of my familiarity is with properties from Image Comics (with one or two notable properties from Vertigo); I’ve always been intimidated by the more famous/prominent Marvel properties because of the overwhelming number of reboots and alternate universes, so I have very, very little prior knowledge of Captain Marvel – but my feminist, comic-book-loving friends are super psyched, and I totally love the MCU, so I’m excited to be seeing this one on opening weekend (especially since I doubt that I’d be able to avoid spoilers on either Tumblr or Facebook for very long).

I set a goal at the beginning of the month of complete 10 “pieces of art” (defined however I saw fit) in February, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve completed five, with a sixth and seventh underway.  I may not actually make it to ten, but hooooly hell, do you know how much of a productivity boost this is from last year?  From the last several years?  I completed two pieces in January, bring my year-to-date total up seven, currently, which is more than I’ve done in most years past.  And it’s February.

It’s a short one this week, possibly because I’ve just been mostly chilling and hanging out with my family – not consuming a ton of media or doing a ton of interesting things (I mean, I’ve had fun, but April Break is really the “fun” one, when I get out and do things.  Andy worked this week and it’s been snowing; by April, it’ll be warm, and he has the week off, so I’m greatly looking forward to that).

What has been buoying you along this week?

Friday, Friyay: January 4th

& (1)I think with it being a new year and all, I might be due for a new Friday Friyay image.  I’m not in love with it, and if I’ve been learning anything recently, it’s that I should only keep around things that spark joy.

So, welcome to the new year!  It’s probably a shock seeing something from me three days in a row, but you know that “new year, new me” energy that buoys you up for the first two weeks or so of January, right?  I’m just bursting with that at the moment.  My house is clean, I have ideas for things I want to make, and I feel good about things.

Things that have been making me feel good:

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which premiered on Netflix on January 1st.  I’ve only watched the first couple of episodes, but I would kill, I think, to be as organized and cheery as Marie Kondo is.  I think her methodology is a little intense, but I also don’t disagree with it – I don’t want to even talk about the amount of stuff I got rid of in the week prior to the new year, and it wasn’t even a matter of that stuff not “sparking joy.”  It was stuff I didn’t use, couldn’t remember why I had, or was legit just broken.  So why was I hanging on to it?  I love home transformation shows, and this one so far has been super relatable, in that it’s mostly just people going, “I have no concept of  how to organize/conquer this myself.”  It speaks to  my little executive dysfunctioning-heart on a deep, visceral level.

We submitted our son’s application to charter school’s kindergarten lottery!  I can’t believe Bear is old enough for us to even be thinking about kindergarten, let alone applying, but if all goes well, he’ll be enrolled for the 2019/2020 school year.  I think my mom is already mourning the loss of seeing him everyday, but I think overall it will be better for the both of them; she’s getting older, and while she adores him, I know he wears her out.

As a holiday treat to ourselves, my husband and I bought this wall-mounted, magnetic Scrabble board It’s been great to take turns at our leisure, and I think it’ll be a fun talking point when guests come over.  It reminds me of the quiet leisure activities my husband and I used to do together before we had a pet or a kid, like 500 piece puzzles – the kind of thing you can sit and consider in quiet contemplation together for hours, or pop a piece into place while you’re waiting for dinner to cook.  Sadly, with a four-year-old and a cat, puzzles are off the table (literally; that’s the problem), and this is a nice alternative.

We’ve been getting new Steven Universe episodes weekly since Christmas Eve, and will have new episodes until January 21st (we don’t speak of what may come after that).  I have said and continue to say that it feels dangerously close to endgame, given the current plotline, and while I would love for SU to continue indefinitely, I don’t want it to grow tired with endless attempts to “top” itself (…looking at you, Supernatural).  Still, this past season (which ends with the episode on the 21st) has been intense.  If Season Six is in fact the last one, I am hopeful it will go out with a fittingly epic finale.

I have so much to do on this blog!  I’m still moving over all my OctPoWriMo posts to a side blog that will, from now on, host all my attempts at writing challenges and other creative writing endeavors, and I’m working on some organizational planner sheets/checklists/layout both for my own life and for sharing with you all.

I hope you all have had a hopeful, happy start to the new year, and I look forward to sharing 2019 with you all!