Author Archives: Julia

What’s Streaming July 2016

As we expand, it’s time for a few changes. I’ll no longer just be highlighting the goodies coming to Netflix for the month, but will also cover what’s coming to Amazon Instant Video and HBO Go/Now. As they all compete we’re beginning to see a lot of interesting changes, including entire franchises throwing their weight behind one streaming service (like what will happen with Marvel and Disney later this year on Netflix).

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American Gothic – First Impressions

American Gothic premiered last night on CBS, and after seeing a bit about it I decided to give it a shot. I’ve been watching Parks and Rec and Archer on Netflix a lot lately, and wanted something fresh. It looked intriguing, and so I figured, why not? The worst part would be the commercials, since I haven’t watched a show play live on TV in ages.

American Gothic centers on the well-to-do Hawthorne family, and begins its introduction to the family members in the midst of getting ready for the eldest sister’s family portrait and interview. She is running for office, and is already an established and well-liked city councilor. As the youngest sister, Tess, and her husband are heading to the family home, part of a tunnel collapses behind them on top of a car. As we are introduced to the other family members, we see that in the debris of the tunnel a belt is found, which it is discovered is linked to a notorious serial killer. The Silver Bell Killer, who was never apprehended and who left behind no evidence, except for a silver hand bell, strangled his victims, and it is believed the belt may have been a murder weapon. It is found in concrete supplied by the Hawthorne family.

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The Benefits of Escapism

Sometimes, the world really sucks. It’s beginning to feel like every time we start to heal and move on from one tragedy or disaster, another strikes. Last week I was dealing with flooding in our area, and the persistent threat of tornadoes, but all of that faded into the background with what happened in Orlando.

This is by no means a post rehashing the news, or remarking on the politics now surrounding it. I’m in dire need of a break from it all, just as I’m sure you all are, no matter your personal affiliations. It’s times like these that I really do marvel at the beauty of literature, music, and films to take one’s mind off of things. This is when I’m most in need of all guilty pleasures, no matter how small. Red wine and some cookie dough ice cream while watching Netflix? Yep, I’m there.

One of my personal favorite guilty pleasures is historical romance novels. For a bit of light reading full of lush clothing and descriptive language, it can be interesting enough to keep my attention and absorb me so that I forget the awfulness of the world around me. Plus, it has the benefit of being comfortingly predictable; as a reader, you know exactly where the story is heading. Love will triumph and the hero and heroine will ride off into the sunset together. It’s incredibly reassuring and serves its purpose wonderfully: escapism.

Everyone has their own form of escapism. Literature is a fantastic one, because you can honestly imagine yourself in the shoes of a heroine and lose yourself in a new world that you create in your mind. Geek culture is full of ways to indulge in escapism. Science fiction and fantasy novels can be brilliant, richly detailed escapism. The multitude of geek-central television shows we currently have, whether presently airing or available on Netflix (Firefly, anyone?) are a fantastic source of comfort right now. Plus with all of the great movies coming out this year, there has to be one or another that you can check out in the weeks to come.

The Nine Alignments of Firefly

Editor: There we go. Firefly, Good, and Evil, all in one image.

I’ve talked before about how I use the phrase “popcorn movie” as a positive phrase because there is something so deliciously wonderful about being able to absorb myself in a film for two hours, whether or not the movie is full of substance. Popcorn movies are perfect for times like these, when all we really want is to munch some popcorn in a dark theatre and “ooo” and “ahhh” over some really cool graphics and Good vs. Evil stories. Especially because popcorn movies, like historical romance novels, give us the sense that good/love can and will win.

So I say make sure to indulge in some escapism this weekend, in whatever awesomely geeky way you want. And then Monday, pick yourself back up and face the world and do your best to emulate the heroes in the fandom you indulged in and try to make sure that good will win, even in our presently sucky world. Whether by speaking out against hate, donating time, money, or blood, writing to your lawmakers or voting, or even reaching out to your friends and family and letting them know you love them. Use your geeky escapism to bolster your spirits and refresh yourself so that you can help tackle the problems we all face.

Sims 4 Get to Work Review

I’ve held off on writing a review of the Sims 4 expansion Get to Work for a few reasons. I needed to give myself some time to really try out all of the features, and also time to decide whether I hated it, loved it, or was really “meh” with it.

I’ve talked about it before, but one of the main reasons I like The Sims is for use as brainstorming for writing. So when I saw that I could actually simulate being a detective in Get to Work, I got excited since I’ve been working on a mystery.

As far as added features go, besides adding additional character creator pieces-parts and household items, the expansion adds extra jobs and the ability to own a business. The three professions are Detective, Doctor, and Scientist, and the businesses you can run are retail-oriented, so that you can sell goods that your Sim creates.

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My Adopt Don’t Shop Story

So even though X-Men Apocalypse was the one movie I’ve really been looking forward to this year, I have a confession…

I haven’t seen it yet. P and I instead spent the weekend making a big life-changing decision.

We rescued a dog. We’ve been talking about getting a dog together for most of our relationship, and it was finally a good time to do so. I brought a lovebird into our relationship, but we really wanted a dog too, and so he’s now older brother to our rescue, Frankie (Frank the Tank).

20160318_191851Looking sassy post-bath

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