On TV

Even though I haven’t had copious amounts of time for knitting and relaxing, there is always an episode or two of TV that sneaks in when cooking dinner or labeling yarn. We have begun falling behind on a lot of crucial shows like Castle, Agents of Shield, Outlander, etc. The list really does go on and on and on.

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I am going to talk about a new show today! Paul and I just started watching Daredevil on Netflix. This show is a Netflix original so I don’t believe it is being shown anywhere else. If you don’t know the premise of Daredevil, it is a Marvel comic about a blind man who is a lawyer by day and vigilante by night.

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I don’t really read up on that many comic books, so I cannot attest to how closely the TV show sticks to the comics, but the story has always fascinated me. The main character, Matt Murdock, lost his sight as a young boy. Since he lost his sight, Murdock’ other senses are heightened to compensate for this. As a result he is able to do incredible things, such as fight crime.

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I did see the Daredevil movie when it came out in 2003 and I liked how they showed Murdock’s interaction with everyday life. The movie used ghostly images to show how sound could translate to a type of sight. I really liked that effect because it allowed you to see some of the problems he dealt with as well as how he was able to do some of the incredible things he was doing.

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In the TV series, so far, they give a little less explanation about how Murdock is able to jump around and fight 9 thugs at the same time. Since I’ve seen the movie, I know he is using small sounds and smells to figure things out, but if I didn’t know these details, it would seem a lot more supernatural.
We are a few episodes in and I really like it so far. I have the urge to throw off work entirely and marathon the episodes that are on Netfix and knit my problems away.

A Book!!

I haven’t talked about books in so long! It’s actually been a while since I was really into listening to all the book series I am into. Usually once I listen to an entire series and get really into it, I can’t wait for the next book to come out. Then I have to wait, and patience is not really my forte. I was out of touch so long I didn’t realize a book was coming out in a couple days.

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I don’t think I have mentioned any of Patricia Briggs series, she has two, but this one is very sweet. The Alpha and Omega series technically starts in an anthology called On the Prowl with a short story called Alpha and Omega. Usually this is referred to as book 0.5 since it is the start of the story and not technically a side story.

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The short story is not absolutely necessary to the plot of book number one, but I think it is a really great lead in and explains the relationship between the two main characters.

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This series parallels Patricia Briggs’ other series, the Mercedes Thompson books; which are also excellent! I read both series and love the little tie-in’s here and there. You also get a little bit more back story about characters that are central to the Mercedes Thomspson book, but play a more ‘off stage’ role.

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If the book covers didn’t give it away, these books are an urban fantasy about werewolves. Of all the werewolf books I’ve read, these ones are my favourite. When people transform they turn into actual wolves, rather than the creepy half wolf half human renditions that are so popular in movies.

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There is magic and a whole slew of other supernatural beings that come into the plot lines for this series, and keep it interesting. I attempt to talk everyone I meet into reading these books. There is a strong female lead in the Mercedes Thompson books, so they are naturally a little more appealing to a female audience, but the Alpha and Omega series centers on both Charles and Anna as main characters. Depending on your preferences, I strongly recommend you read all the books. ALLLL OF THEM!!!

You’re Welcome Citizen!

This is the designated time when I usually talk about the books I’ve been reading and listening to, but I am still lost down the podcast hole! The latest one I have been listening to is called Knit 1 Geek 2. They’re a podcast based in Canada; they’re practically my neighbours!!

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I really love all the podcasts I’ve come across, but it is especially great to find one that is local to me. Usually when podcaster’s talk about their LYS or events that are local to them, I desperately want to go check them out. The last couple I’ve listened to have been in California; that compared with the weather we’ve been having… I was almost ready to move.
Maggie and Karen talk about all things that have to do with geekery! They talk about movies and tv shows; review ones currently out and keep everyone up to date with news about upcoming features!
These ladies absolutely slay me; they’re so funny. Their podcast has the explicit tag because there is a little swearing and they get a little excited when they talk about some of the male characters; but it’s nothing untoward.
I’ve listened to the most recent couple episodes, and now I am working my way back. It’s actually really really fun to go back and listen to older episodes about movies that have already come out. Everyone makes predictions about movies and tv shows and theirs are really quite accurate. Sometimes I am bursting with glee because I know the movie coming out is going to totally BLOW THEIR EXPECTATIONS OUT OF THE WATER!!
I haven’t been listening that long, but I absolutely love their podcast!! Trust me and go listen!

On a Bender

I’ve really been totally and completely out of control. Apparently I can’t just pick up a podcast and listen to it like a normal person, I have to listen to all the past episodes all the way to the current one. Just recently I got caught up on the Knitmore Girls and realized I had to pick a new one to listen to! As I was listening to the Knitmore Girls, I would subscribe to podcasts they recommended and any whose promo tickled my fancy.
Now I have a good list of approximately 47 podcasts lined up; you would think it would be impossible to choose what to listen to next, you would THINK. Not for me, I immediately dove into Dr Gemma’s Cogknitive podcast. Not surprisingly it is about psychology and knitting; not the psychology of knitting, but psychology in general.

Cogknitive

A typical episode consists of what Dr. Gemma is knitting, spinning or crocheting, something that makes her happy, a life strategy and a section called ‘blather’. The strategy and blather are the more technical and psychology based parts. I find it completely fascinating.
When I first went to university, I had planned on becoming a psychologist. I absolutely LOVED the classes, and found them very interesting. Unfortunately, the head of the Psychology Department was some kind of multiple choice exam wizard. He was especially good at weeding out the weaker of the heard. It might shock you to know that I am better a written answers better than multiple choice, so I naturally excelled in English Lit. Thus the direction of my life was decided and changed forever! I digress though.
The psychology I took in school was very different from what I hear about on Dr. Gemma’s podcast. I think this is the distinction of cognitive psychology; it’s useful. The strategies she dishes out are amazingly useful on a day-to-day basis. She talks about a wide range of things from dealing with passive aggressive people all the way to a terminally ailing parent. She goes over techniques for coping with anger, depression or anxiety and has made me see some things in a very different light.
A few weeks ago was Bell Let’s Talk Day and there were hundreds of things flying around the Internet about supporting mental health and encouraging understanding of mental health issues. This comic was particularly striking because it really does hit the nail on the head.

Mental Health Physical

This ties in with Cogknitive because of the way Dr. Gemma describes things. She really has a gift for explaining things from the other side. I am not really sure how to describe it, except to give an example. I’ve listened to an episode where she talks about depression and I felt like anyone would be able to understand what that person is going through. It’s a lot more than saying ‘they’re sad’. Obviously her amazing powers of description are not contagious because I am definitely not doing her justice!
The only thing that might put you off is the sound quality. I know I was a little unsure about it at first, but this podcast is so interesting I guarantee you will be so engrossed in what you are listening to, you’re not going to worry about a bit of car noise in the back ground.
Take my word for it and just go listen to this podcast. I’ve already put quite a few friends onto it because Dr. Gemma is funny, witty and I firmly believe her podcasts will teach you something valuable.

Turning a Page

I am going to push back the one-month post wedding post because our photographer is still putting the finishing touches on all our photos. I am really excited to see them, but the anticipation is killing me. I also feel like the wedding isn’t really over until we have gotten the photos so I am kind of glad we haven’t gotten them yet, in a strange way. I digress; today’s post will be about what I have been reading!!

Outlander TV

I am back onto audio books now and I’ve picked up Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series again. A friend recommended them to me, and I absolutely devoured the first one. I ripped through that audio book so fast I don’t think I ever stopped listening to it. It is a particularly long book as well so this was no small feat.

Outlander

The first book in the series is actually a TV show that has just started (and is excellent as well). I get this strange feeling while I am watching the TV show that I am reading the book, I just expect it to keep going and I am always jarred when the episode ends. I may or may not get slightly upset about having to wait another week for the next episode. I think right now it is on hiatus, which I am ever so patiently waiting for it to be over.
I started the second book of the Outlander series right after I finished the first; the second book is called Dragonfly in Amber. I was really distraught that the second book takes place 20 YEARS AFTER THE FIRST!! There was a lot of cursing, and a fit might have been thrown; I don’t really want to talk about it.

Dragonfly in Amber

It did eventually pick up where the last book left off and it ended up not being a complete and total deal breaker for me. I just felt like people should have sufficient warning so they don’t loose their minds… like I did. Now that everyone is sufficiently forewarned, I will also mention that it gets a little slow if you’re not really into the politics of the time period. I am not much for history, but this book is peppered with historical figures and intrigue. Around the middle, the history gets a bit thicker and the romantic plot doesn’t progress a whole lot, so I found myself losing interest.
A week ago when I decided I needed something to listen to, I realized I had it on my phone and still had not managed to finish the book. I started listening and luckily I was almost at the end of the political intrigue and back to the meat of the book, or what passes for the meat with me.
The third book, entitled Voyager picks up immediately where the second one ended so there are no surprises there. I was slightly concerned it was going to pull another, XX amount of years later, with me. As I pressed play, I raised an eyebrow at my phone as if daring it to pull such a stunt. My phone was sufficient terrified by my death glare to make sure the story cooperated with my whim. So far I am enjoying Voyager but I am not half way through the book.

Voyager

These books are very long and when I looked them up, I realized the first three came out in quick succession, only one year apart. The next five books took three to five years in between, the most recent one came out this June. This makes me a little bit nervous about the wait time till the next novel, but I am sure it will take me a few months to get through the remaining books as they get progressively larger as they go on.

Newest Addition to the Bookshelf

It is that time of the month again… Let’s talk about books!! The last book to actually come out was Deborah Harness’ Book of Life, which I talked about last time. We are entering that period of the year where there are fewer and fewer book releases so I can’t continue with the series that I love. This is the perfect time to start a new one!

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While wandering at the book store with my friend Megan a couple months ago, she suggested I read the series called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I took a picture of the cover, because who buys books in the moment anyway, and decided to look into it at home. I have a constant and healthy caution for bad books. As an English major I was forced to read some truly awful literature and I was gifted with an appreciation of great books. While I was looking at the Outlander books I noticed that it was going to be a TV series. Normally I would purposefully NOT read a book because it was about to be on TV or if a book is really REALLY popular. It’s a bandwagon thing; I dislike jumping on the bandwagon because whenever I see endcaps of books filled with that series, I feel like I sold out. I have no idea where this psychological damage stems from, but it could just be me wanting to blaze my own trail.

I am really not sure what possessed me with this book, but I hardly even read the back of the book, I got it on audio and just started listening. I must have felt like living on the edge that day or something, but I am glad I did. I really enjoyed listening to Outlander and have actually started watching the TV show as well. The TV show is relatively true to the book, a couple things have been changed, but I can see why those changes were made and agree with the underlying purpose.

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I started on the second book, Dragonfly in Amber, but it has a much slower pace than the first book and it felt like more work to listen to. I am going to try to muscle through it because apparently it only gets better. Then again, this is why I carefully choose my own books.

I listened to the whole S.J. Harper book titled Curse. It is about a siren living in the modern day world. I don’t remember what prompted me to get ahold of this book, but I really liked it. I was looking under every rock for the next book before I realized it wasn’t out yet. I try to pick out new series with a few books out so it will keep me busy for a little while, if there is just one book, I want to keep listening, but there is no next book out yet.

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Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts again; mostly the Knitmore Girls. In my mind podcasts are like a story, the narrator’s story, and as you listen to these people you hear about their lives and knitting. There is the same emotional investment I get with books. I remember I took a break from podcasts because it felt more daunting then anything to try to catch up with so many. I start at the very beginning and work my way to the current episode, but every now and again, I get a comment or think I should join a group or enter a contest; then I remember that it happened four years ago.

I am on their Ravelry group so there are some spoilers, but I am really enjoying the journey. It is really getting me excited about knitting too. Somewhere along the way, with all the stress and whatnot, knitting began to feel like work. This is never a good thing, it’s like knitting on a deadline all the time. Listening to other people talk about their knitting and getting so excited about knitting something in particular is really good for the soul. I am going to continue to listen to these podcasts and find more books in order to be much more interesting for my next On the Bookshelf post.