Saturday, December 21, 2013

New York City

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The following post may contain spoilers!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Holiday Favourites

I finally feel safe celebrating the holiday season in public! I've been listening to Christmas music since October, but people have such strong opinions about waiting until after Thanksgiving that I've held onto this post for a few weeks before posting. Here are some of my favourite holiday movies, albums, and songs.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Day of the Doctor

WARNING: The following section contains spoilers!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2013 | October Favourites

Movie - There were two: Much Ado About Nothing (2013 version) and The Fall

Much Ado About Nothing: Joss Whedon created this Shakespeare adaptation and filmed it over a week-long period while also shooting The Avengers. The film is in black & white and is very simplistic, setting it apart from other adaptations. I was worried it wouldn't be as good as Kenneth Branagh's version from the 90s, but the two are so different that I love them both for different reasons. I had been wanting to see it ever since its production was announced, but it only went to one theater in my area and I was never able to see it until it was released to Redbox. I highly recommend this movie to fellow Whedonites, Shakespeare fans, and anyone who enjoys a good movie (everyone, really).

The Fall: I remember seeing this movie on Netflix Instant Play and thinking the cover was interesting, but I never felt the urge to see it until I learned that Lee Pace was the co-lead (everyone's favourite Piemaker from Pushing Daisies and elf king from The Hobbit trilogy). I wish I hadn't waited so long to see it because it was one of the most beautiful, emotional movies I have ever seen. The movie is set in a hospital in the early 1900s and centers around a young girl named Alexandria, a grove worker who broke her arm due to falling from an orange tree, and stuntsman named Roy, a man who broke his legs during a stunt trying to win back his girlfriend and is now suicidal. Alexandria befriends Roy and he tells her a fantastic story of five men banding together to exact revenge on the villain who ruined them all. The story itself, while not following much of a concrete plotline, was portrayed so perfectly by the cast. The dialogue was realistic, especially regarding the age and language differences between Alexandria and Roy, and the final half hour had me crying (and I rarely get emotional over movies). The film was beautifully done - the sets were rich colours and, weird as this seems, the sound editor was incredible. The way certain noises were made more noticeable than is usual for a film really made it sound authentic. This is not a movie I would expect most people to enjoy, but if you love emotional, beautiful films, I would highly recommend it.

TV show - The Blacklist. I'd been hearing such good things about NBC's newest crime thriller that I made time to watch the first two episodes. From what I've seen so far, it lives up to its high ratings. The show is about a former government agent named Raymond Reddington who, despite now being #4 on the FBI's Most Wanted List, inexplicably surrenders to the Bureau and offers to help them catch terrorists under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth Keen, the Bureau's newest profiler. Reddington's motives are unknown at this point and there are several other mysteries presented in the first episode that give the show several options to go in the future. I've enjoyed what I've seen so far and I've almost forgiven NBC for canceling Smash, my ultimate guilty pleasure show over the past year.

Album - Wrapped In Red by Kelly Clarkson. As I'm sure everyone knows by now, I am a massive Kelly Clarkson fan, so my recommending this should come as no surprise and will be completely biased. I was concerned that it would have too much of a country sound to it, but I needn't have worried. This is one of the best Christmas albums I've heard and I foresee myself adding it to my holiday playlists for years to come. It has a perfect mix of all different styles - some classic Christmas, some blues, some jazz, some pop - it has something for everyone. As always, Clarkson's vocals are spot on. I'm completely in love with this album and I highly recommend it to all holiday music lovers.

Artist - Active Child. I had previously heard of Active Child through Ellie Goulding's cover of their song "Hanging On," but it wasn't until Ellie was featured on their newest song "Silhouette" that I began looking through the band's music. They have a laidback, ethereal quality to their music that makes it perfect for listening to while studying. I personally enjoy their newest EP Rapor and their original version of "Hanging On."

book - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. As this was the only book I read this month, this is really the only one I can mention. I would recommend it only as a perspective-changer as it's not one you can enjoy reading over and over again. The book is Walls' memoir of her childhood up through early adulthood. She grew up in a poor family that travelled constantly due to her dad's inability to hold a job longer than a few months. I found it a fascinating read, but it's only for those not expecting something lighthearted and fun; it has some very heavy moments.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

College | 10 Things I've Learned

The semester is more than halfway over, which means I have now acquired ~valuable~ knowledge that may (or may not) be helpful for those going to college in the near future.

1. Invest in plenty of microwave mac & cheese. It's a lifesaver when you don't have time to go to the dining hall.

2. If you're ever trying to avoid homework but still want to (pretend to) be productive, clean stuff. I only ever clean my desk when I'm trying to avoid homework.

3. Never go to on-campus coffee shops right after class ends. The lines are horrifyingly long.

4. The Venn diagram of people who have bad taste in music and people who play their music out loud in the shower is a circle.

5. Always remember to take your room key with you when you leave your room, otherwise you will end up locked out of your room at midnight in your pajamas and wet shower flip-flops and have to sign out a temporary key and fob to get back into the building. I certainly don't know this is from personal experience.

6. Do all the free/cheap events that you can. Last weekend I attended a chorus concert, an internationally acclaimed one-man play/puppet show, a haunted hall, and the state fair, all of which were low to no cost because I had a student ID. Where I live, you can also get a free bus pass with a valid student ID which comes in handy when you don't bring your car on campus with you.

7. If your campus offers any sort of LaundryView website, USE IT. It will save you multiple unnecessary trips up and down four flights of stairs... not that I speak from experience about this either.

8. If a new restaurant on campus opens, don't go for the first 1-3 days. Even when you go at a time that you think it won't be busy. Because it will be. Guaranteed.

9. Prioritize your clothing. You really can't fit as much in your dorm room as you think you can.

10. Use Rate My Professor. It will save you countless amounts of time and frustration if you look up professors ahead of time and avoid taking classes from the bad ones.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

2013 | September Favourites

 movie - Annie Hall. A friend of mine recommended this movie on Twitter, and, as she nearly always has good taste in films, I trusted her judgment and rented it from my university's library. My only previous experience with Woody Allen's work was one of his most recent, Midnight In Paris, which I absolutely loved. Annie Hall is even more incredible. It fit my "perfect movie criteria" - the plot was character driven, the personality changes were believable, the scenery was well shot and matched the story, and it kept my attention the entire way through. The story follows a pessimistic New York comedian, Alvy Singer (Woody Allen), who falls in love with a ditsy girl, Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). The film follows their relationship from the moment they first meet and chronicles their difficulties that are mostly due to their conflicting personalities. If you're a fan of unique or quirky films, this is a good one.

books - "Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them" by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling). I'm sure most people have already heard about J.K. Rowling's screenwriting debut turning this book into a movie. Regrettably I had never read this little gem until this past month, but as soon as I heard about its future movie adaptation I knew I had to read it ASAP. It's a very short book, only 42 pages long, set up like one of Harry Potter's wizard textbooks for Hogwarts, complete with "handwritten" notes in the margins from Harry and his friends. It details many of the magical beasts in the wizarding world, some mentioned in the HP series but most not. While I enjoyed flipping through it and reading about all the creatures, I would only recommend this to fellow Harry Potter fans as an ordinary reader might find it a bit dull.

 TV show - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Before I saw the pilot, I had mixed feelings about this show. After seeing the pilot, I still have mixed feelings about this show. While I love Joss Whedon's work and I love all of Marvel's superhero movies, I was worried this show would be too campy for me to really enjoy. The pilot did a great job of introducing the characters, their roles, and their relationships with each other, as well as offering some good special effects with the high tech equipment used by the agency, but I still am not quite convinced that I will be sticking with this show all the way through. I really like the idea of the show, however, so I am looking forward to how it progresses and evolves throughout the season.

artist / album - there are 4, actually. September was a good music month.

 ReVamp. As I may have mentioned before, despite my generally more indie-themed music taste, my favourite music genre is actually female-fronted symphonic metal. I was introduced to this band through Nightwish's facebook page, as Floor, the lead singer of ReVamp, stepped in for Anette, Nightwish's lead singer, during Nightwish's 2012 tour. I fell in love with Floor's unique vocal capabilities as they combine what I love best about both of Nightwish's lead singers. ReVamp has made two albums, the most recent of which, Wild Card, released earlier this month. The band stays a little more on the metal side of the genre, but the tinges of chorus/symphony in the background combine beautifully with Floor's vocals to pull it all together. I recommend this band to anyone who enjoys the symphonic metal genre or female-fronted rock bands.

 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones score. Technically, this album released in August, but I didn't pay any attention to it until I saw the movie over Labor Day weekend. Although I felt the movie fell short of its potential, the score is incredible. I've listened to it way more times than I care to share, and it's currently tied with Klaus Badelt's score to the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie as my favourite movie score. It has an incredible blend of frantic moments and slower melodies, and the choral work is superb. A definite must for anyone who enjoys fast-paced instrumental music.

 AM by the Arctic Monkeys. I never paid attention to the Arctic Monkeys before, but I heard such good things about their newest release that I decided to give it a listen. From the moment I first heard the single "Do I Wanna Know?" my opinion on them had changed. There are few records where I like every song, but this is one of them. This album has the perfect indie rock sound that I love - I'll definitely be playing it throughout the fall season.

 Pure Heroine by Lorde. The album had a Monday release day so this just barely makes it into this month's favourites. First, let me just say that if you haven't heard anything by Lorde yet, you are missing out. This girl is phenomenal. It's hard to believe she's only 16 and writes her own music because it is so much better than most of the other music played on mainstream music these days. The album includes two songs from previous EPs, her famous single "Royals" and a more recent single entitled "Tennis Courts." The remainder of the album embodies the same general sounds and sentiments as the already released songs, giving the record as a whole an urban sound.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Week of Concerts

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013 | August Favourites

TV show - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I had intended all summer to start watching it, but it wasn't until the week before school started that I finally began the first season. The first episode wasn't too impressive but it had a lot of potential, so I kept watching and ended up finishing the first season within a few days. I'm now halfway through season 2 and completely hooked. My favourite character is either Cordelia because she's so ridiculous or Xander because he's like a teenage version of Friends' Chandler. It has a perfect balance of humour and horror, happy and sad moments, friendship and romance - my only real complaint is that the Master in the first season was kind of a weak villain, but the show was just getting its start so I can forgive that.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

College | Initial Impressions

As of the time I'm writing this, I've been at college for 10 days. Thus far, it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I could go on and on and on about it, but that would probably bore everyone so I'll stick with a summary.

I moved in a day earlier than most other dorms on campus because I live in the Honors Quad and the honors program was hosting an event, CORE, for students to get to know each other and the campus better. CORE was the best decision I've made here so far because I met so many new people and made so many new friends just in one day. Most of them live on my hall which is nice because then it's easy to, say, all crowd into someone's dorm room with pillows and junk food and watch Pitch Perfect. Living in the Quad is one of my favourite things here so far. I love living on a hall for the close community aspect, and the Quad is like its own little village of people that care about academics and are dedicated to learning.

Classes started on Wednesday, which meant we had 6 days of doing whatever we wanted. The university hosted many, many events involving free food and other goodies, so we (my hallmates and I) went to most of those. It also gave us plenty of time to get to know other people on campus. I discovered, to my great pleasure and not-really-surprise, that the majority of the people in my hall are massive Harry Potter nerds with quite a few Sherlockians and Whovians mixed in (as well as another girl who watches Buffy and a fellow Richard Armitage fan - best hall ever).

As much fun as the past week had been, I was ready to start classes when Wednesday came around. I'm taking 6 this semester: German II, Nutrition, FYC, Intro to Shakespeare, Metamorphosis & Metaphor, and soil science. I was happy with all of my classes except for soil science, but even that one doesn't seem too bad as he's not giving us a final. The first words out of my German professor's mouth on the first day of class were, in German, telling us that most of the class would be conducted in German - exciting yet terrifying for my first class of the year. But it's actually really fun so it's working out well so far. All my other professors are nice/normal as well, except my Shakespeare professor who is a little nutty and rather sarcastic, but not entirely in a bad way ("interesting" is the best word to describe him).

As far as living on my own and being independent: I love it. I never minded living at home and my parents and I got along really well, but over the past calendar year I'd been really ready to live on my own. I've always been a bit more of an independent person - I've never in my life gotten homesick - so I knew I would enjoy moving out, but so far it's been even better than I imagined. I haven't done anything really differently than when I lived at home, but it's more of the thought that I'm completely in charge of my own actions and happenings that makes it so exciting.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Not So Funny

About a week ago, my sister, a few friends, and I went to see The Great Gatsby at the local $2 theater. While I enjoyed the lavish, artistic and thematic elements of the film, I had the same problem with the characters that I did while reading the book - I hate all of them. Though I know this is somewhat the point of the tale, I couldn't enjoy the rest of the movie because of it.

But Fitzgerald's famous tale is not the only one with which I've had this problem.

Lately, I've found it incredibly hard to get into any comedy shows. In the past few years, American sitcoms in particular seem to have shifted their base of humour from jokes in dialogue to awkward/uncomfortable interactions between eccentric characters. One such show is The Office. I used to love The Office. I watched the first four seasons within a few weeks. But I eventually stopped enjoying it because I noticed that in order for the show to keep going, the characters had to become more and more quirky and the situations more and more awkward to the point that everyone was just flat out obnoxious to each other all the time. I noticed that I was no longer rooting for any of the characters because I didn't like any of them anymore.

I had the same problem with Arrested Development and Mad Men (not a comedy I know, but the same issue). I only managed a few episodes of each show before giving up on them both because I couldn't find enough admirable qualities in any of the characters to like any of them.

Why the shift in television designs? What was wrong with the normal sitcom storylines like in Friends and How I Met Your Mother? All the characters had their own little idiosyncrasies, but they were good characters. You could identify with them and cheer them on because they were multifaceted. Even the "players" were likeable because they had personalities outside of that stereotype. The humour, while sometimes based on conflicting personalities, was also used through dialogue and situations. The shows were much more relaxing and enjoyable to watch because you weren't constantly frustrated with the characters.

I'm not entirely against awkward humour - I still love watching old episodes of The Office and I like when the technique is used in small amounts. But the increasing number of shows that include this kind of theme are making it harder and harder for me to enjoy watching new television shows and is turning me off of "humourous" shows in general. Until, if ever, more shows contain better entertainment, I'll be avoiding modern comedies.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013


Friday, June 21, 2013

2013 | Summer Bucket List

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Good Old Days... Maybe

This past week, I've been increasing hit by bouts of nostalgia. Not the normal kind you'd expect from someone who just graduated high school, but weird longings for random events. For instance, I was looking through my photo roll on my phone a few days ago and found some pictures from my trip to Universal Studios in Florida a few months ago. Ever since I saw those pictures again, I have felt this strong urge to pack a suitcase and travel to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I look at the photos and all I want to do is walk through Diagon Alley and sit in front of Hogwarts and drink Pumpkin Juice and ride a Hippogriff again.

On a more regular basis, nostalgia will hit me when I rewatch a movie that I used to watch constantly. Monsters Inc. was my absolute favourite movie when I was seven, and a few weeks ago I watched it again in honour of the upcoming sequel. I remembered every single line and laughed at all the same jokes, plus I understood the adult humour that completely went over my head as a child. That movie represents a section of my childhood that I probably wouldn't remember as well otherwise.

But the biggest source of nostalgia for me is music. I am one of those people who never leaves the house without my iPod. There are certain bands and even complete genres of music that I only listen to during certain seasons of the year. Because of this, I often go through a sort of "journey through my past" whenever I hear a song that reminds me of a certain time in my life. This occurred a few days ago when I listened to a few songs from Ellie Goulding's Halcyon album released last fall. I listened to that album every single day for two months driving to and from my community college campus, and to this day, every time I listen to it, I visualize spicy chai lattes and cold, cloudy weather and school and long car drives.

But nostalgia, as nice as it is sometimes, can be tricky. Usually when I'm reminiscing about the past, I don't remember the not-so-good details. While Ellie Goulding may remind me of my favourite parts of last fall, her music rarely brings back memories of how challenging last fall was for me while I was trying to juggle school and a job. And of course, we all know what it's like to look back on our childhoods - we didn't realize how easy we had it until it was gone. We as humans have always had a problem with glamorizing or mis-remembering the past, sometimes with not-so-great results. So while it's fun to remember the past and look back fondly on old memories, I also have to remind myself to learn from the negative aspects of my past.

"There's a certain nostalgia and romance in a place you left behind." - David Guterson

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Although I'd heard of this story ever since the movie came out in 2008, I had never read it or watched the film, so on Wednesday I checked it out from the library. The book, written by John Boyne, is about the friendship between a German boy named Bruno and a Jewish boy named Shmuel (who lives on the other side of the fence in a concentration camp) and the unexpected consequence of their friendship. In the book, Bruno is not aware of the global situation at that time period nor the German prejudice against Jews even though he is the son of an important Nazi Commandant. He befriends Shmuel with no thought to the danger that could arise or the complications of their relationship. I found the story very engaging, although the ending was tragic (I came very close to crying). In a way it was sweet that Bruno and Shmuel were together to the end, but the actual events that brought about the ending were tragic.

Thursday night after work, I decided to watch the movie version. I'm always a little skeptical of book adaptions, but this one was rather well done. They changed the order of a few events, but otherwise it was a decent adaption of the storyline. The thing that really differed, though, was the knowledge of the characters. In the movie, everyone was more aware of what was going on than they were in the book. Bruno's parents knew that he could see the camp from his window, Bruno knew who the Jews were and their significance to Germans, and most importantly, everyone was aware of what happened at the end. In the book, no one notices that Bruno had disappeared and it takes them a year to figure out what happened. In the movie, a few soldiers and his family almost immediately realize he's gone and figure out what has happened soon after it occurred, making the last scene devastating to both them and the audience (I did cry that time).

To me, the movie is much more emotionally moving than the book. The book was written from Bruno's perspective, and so there are things left out because he doesn't understand them. In the movie, the audience is given the full view of things, and, as an older viewer, I was able to completely understand what was going on. I had the same reaction after watching the movie that I have every time I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom - the depths to which humanity can sink when unchecked is indescribably horrible. The soldiers in the movie truly believed that Jews were inferior humans, perhaps not even human, and so didn't even blink an eye when a soldier beat up a Jew in front of his children for no reason. 

At the end of the film, Bruno's parents realize that they've made it to the camp too late - Bruno is already gone. His mother immediately breaks down and starts crying and screaming, but his father just stands there, stunned at what has happened. Perhaps that was the first moment he realized the atrocity of his political party, or maybe he was just in shock over what had happened and how his own actions led to it. And perhaps that is the most tragic event in this story - to watch a family get ripped apart by a horrible realization that their actions led to this terrible consequence.

 “. . .only the victims and survivors can truly comprehend the awfulness of that time and place; the rest of us live on the other side of the fence, staring through from our own comfortable place, trying in our own clumsy ways to make sense of it all.” - John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nights (And Days) in Rodanthe | Part 2

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Doctor's Grave and the Tragic Novelist

As mentioned in this post, I decided to write a separate piece for my opinions/thoughts on the Doctor Who S7 finale and "The Great Gatsby" (book, not movie) because I wanted to express my thoughts on both. The following section may contain spoilers!

First of all - Doctor Who. My thought process after watching it? what...Steven Moffat... what are you doing... how long have you planned this... what just happened... did River know the whole time... ahhhhhh Clara... what's with John Hurt... it goes on. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Everything came together so well and brilliantly and, as ever, I love and hate Moffat at the same time. I loved that they brought River back and ended her storyline well. And the way they explained Clara and tied her ever popular "Run, you clever boy, and remember me!" saying into the story was incredible. I'll admit that I geeked out a bit when they showed all the other Doctors and Gallifrey. The whole thing with John Hurt as The-Doctor-but-not-really, the whole "name" conversation, is what really has me confused (you can watch the scene here). I'm very excited to see what they'll do with that storyline in the 50th anniversary. The only bad thing I have to say about the episode isn't really bad, just interesting - the TARDIS on Trenzalore had the current TARDIS interior. Does this mean that the TARDIS never changes again? Or does the Doctor get an entirely new TARDIS later for some reason? Or was it just convenient for the set designers to use a pre-existing idea and has no significance whatsoever?

As for The Great Gatsby... This was the second time I've read it - the first was in 10th grade for literature class. I hated the book then because I found all the characters despicable. They were extremely flawed to the point that I was incapable of feeling pity for any of them. This second read-through, I still felt the same way about the characters, but I could better appreciate the book for its artistic qualities. I know more about F. Scott Fitzgerald now than I did when first reading GG, so I have a better sense of where the author was when he wrote it and how he viewed the people around him. I've also read more of his writings and can see the common threads that link them all. Because of this, I no longer despise the book. I still dislike the characters, but I enjoy the writing style and elements from his own life that he used. The book's real saving grace, to me, is its length. It's long enough to tell a complete story, but short enough for me to not get completely disgusted with the characters and give up reading.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nights (And Days) In Rodanthe | Part 1

Monday, May 13, 2013

High School? Been There, Done That.

Monday, April 22, 2013

First Impressions

I'm in love with words. To say I'm obsessed with them would not be much of an overstatement. Whenever I'm reading a book or a poem and I come across a sentence or a paragraph that is exquisitely phrased, I jot it down so I can remember it and look back at it later. I keep all my favourites in a notebook and occasionally I'll read them and fall in love all over again.

This evening I was looking through the notebook's pages and I was again struck by how much I identify with Jane Austen. Most of the her quotes that I've written down are focused on her love of literature and words, but there are also a few witty, sarcastic remarks belonging to her characters in one of my most favourite books, Pride & Prejudice. I've read it seven times and every time I finish it I'm again in amazement of how incredible it is.

The story itself is humourous and witty, but I've always found myself drawn to this story in particular because of its protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet (so much so, in fact, that I wrote my college application essay on her). Even though she's only a fictional character, we are very much alike. We both hold a more cynical view of romance and people's motives and generally the world at large than the people around us. Once found on our bad side, it's difficult to get back in our good graces. We both are quick to make up our minds and do not easily change our opinions. When I read P&P, it's a bit like looking at my personality in a mirror.

I am very easily drawn to literary characters and excellent prose, which is why I like rereading books so often. Whenever I come across a character that I can easily identify with, it makes the book that much more enjoyable for me. Pride & Prejudice captured my attention from the first time I read it and continues to be a favourite of mine through its satirical wit and relatable characters.

"'Nay,' said Elizabeth... 'There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be places on the appearance of merit or sense.'"

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Doctor Who | Season 7

Friday, March 29, 2013


Whenever I tell people I watch a great deal of British shows on Netflix, they always ask me which ones. So, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites that you may (or may not) know.
Sherlock - If you know me in person or follow me on Tumblr, you've heard me talk about this one a lot. This is one of the BBC's most popular shows right now, and for good reason. It's a modern retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, with Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch and John Watson played by Martin Freeman (the very same from The Hobbit). It is by far one of the most well-made shows I've ever seen - superb casting, story retellings, setting, cinematography, and chemistry. When people ask me for new things to watch, I always point them to this first.

Doctor Who - Most people have probably heard of this one as it's another one of the BBC's - and possibly the entirety of Britain's - most popular shows. It's a sci-fi/drama centered around a Time Lord who calls himself "The Doctor" (no one knows his real name, hence the title). He travels through time and space with companions in a spaceship that looks like a blue phone box called the TARDIS. It's hard to describe the show without it sounding completely mental, but it's actually quite good. I don't usualy like sci-fi but I love this one. Because it's been running since the 1960s, The Doctor has been played by 11 people thus far. It's not a show for everyone, but if you like sci-fi or good character chemistry, it's worth a try.

The IT Crowd - This was the show that started my love of British television. It's a comedy about a fictitious company's IT department, comprised of three members - a grumpy Irishman named Roy, an over-the-top nerd named Moss, and a technology-clueless woman named Jen - and the shenanigans they find themselves in at work. If you like British comedy, this is a good one.

Black Books - My friend introduced me to this one, and I have no idea how she found it, but it's another good quirky British comedy. Dylan Moran plays a cantankerous bookshop owner named Bernard whose favorite activities are smoking, drinking, and complaining about others. His hopelessly useless assistant, Manny, and his fellow alcoholic friend, Fran, round out the rest of the main characters. The plot mainly focuses the bookshop running into some sort of trouble and the hilarity that ensues from it. It's a bit odd, but I really enjoyed watching it.

Robin Hood -  This is a really cheesy family show based on Robin Hood and his band of men (and woman), but I still love it for some reason. The main draws of this show to me were the banter between the members, particularly with Robin's servant and everyone he encountered, and Richard Armitage. It was the first thing I had ever seen Armitage in so I like going back and watching old episodes and seeing how much his roles have changed since then. If you're into corny dramas and/or family shows, I recommend this one (Merlin is the same sort of show if you want to check that one out as well).

Spooks - All you need to know about this show is that you should not pick a favorite character because 95% of the time they die. It's an espionage thriller about a group of people working in Section D of MI-5 (the equivalent of the USA's FBI). It's full of famous British faces, including Matthew McFadyen, Raza Jaffrey, Peter Firth, Lara Pulver, David Oyelowo, Anna Chancellor, Keeley Hawes, and of course my favorite cast member, Richard Armitage. Any lover of crime shows will probably like this one.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Place to Collect My Thoughts

I've been going back and forth for years trying to decide whether I wanted a blog or not. My conclusion had always been that I wouldn't post enough on it to bother making one, and anything I did want to say could be put more easily on a different social network. These past few days, however, I've realized that I want a place that I can write out all my long thought processes in a place that's entirely my own. I'm rubbish at remembering to write in a physical journal and I've gotten used to writing everything on a computer, so I'm hoping I'll remember to write something on here every once in a while. My idea is to use this as sort of a public journal that I can then go back and read in a few months and see how my life has changed and how things are better/worse. I'm writing this all for myself so I'm fine if I'm the only one who ever reads it, but if anyone else ever reads it and has opinions or thoughts of their own they'd like to share, I'm all for it.

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