Currently Consuming: Escape to the Country

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ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY

Those Beams!

About: Escape to the Country is a BBC produced reality TV show like no other! Well okay, it is very similar to lots of other reality realty shows that are currently available to watch but unlike those other shows, Escape to the Country features the British countryside!

The basic premise of the show is that two people (usually a newly retired married couple who have sold their city homes for a stack of cash) are shown three houses in an area of the British countryside where they are interested in moving. Two of the houses fit the couples ideals, with a third ‘mystery’ house pushing the comfort zone of the pair.

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Currently Consuming: the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur

(Inter)national Poetry Month

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sunandherflowers

So painful and real – so beautiful.

About: the sun and her flowers is the second poetry book by Rupi Kaur and it is just as good as her first. Similar to Milk and Honey, this book is contains some painful and emotional moments from Kaur’s life.

The book is broken up into five sections:
wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. The book seems to follow the journey of a flower, and tends to have a focus on love, emotional well being, and healing, all the while intersecting the work with pain.

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Currently Consuming: The Good Place

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Welcome to the Good Place, where everything is amazing!

About: Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) is a bad person who, when she died, accidentally ended up in the good place. The Good Place follows the story of Eleanor as she tries to hide from Michael (Ted Danson), the architect of the good place, and do whatever she has to to stay out of the bad place.

With the help of Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), Eleanor tries to learn ethics and become a better person, all the while coming to terms with the terrible person she was when she was still alive. The show is a dark comedy that explores the human psyche and what it means to be a good/bad person.

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Currently Consuming: Hustle Cat

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A sweet, kick-started, gender fluid, cat themed, dating sim that will melt your heart.

About: Hustle Cat is a dating sim created by the team at Date Nighto. Originally on Kickstarter, the game is one that pushes past gender binaries and provides male, female, and trans pronouns for the main character. In addition to this there are two custom characters that you can select from which, once again, allow you to select from neutral representations and racial characteristics.

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Currently Consuming: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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They’re so bad, it’s good.SunnyCover

About: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is an American television show that follows the lives and misadventures of terrible five people as they run a bar and, put simply, are horrible to each other. The draw card of this show is the truly awkward and cringe worthy moments that litter the show. With episode titles such as ‘Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire,’ ‘Who pooped the bed?’ and ‘The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby,’ the show seems to tackle every taboo, off colour, uncomfortable topic and just run with it.

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Currently Consuming: BoJack Horseman

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So depressingly enthralling I can’t look away. Must. Binge. Watch.

About: A Netflix original, BoJack Horseman is an animated show about the life of anthropomorphic horse BoJack as he struggles to live his life after the success of his 1980s television sitcom. Voiced by Will Arnett, Bojack is a cynical, narcissistic, sarcastic, self-obsessed, wreck of a horse whose life always seems to be on the verge of falling apart. The story of the show is one that revolves around the writing, release, and aftermath of a ghost written BoJack biography.

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Currently Consuming: The Thick of It

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thick of itSwearing, confusion, back stabbing, power plays, an angry doctor, what more could you want in a show?

About: The Thick of It is a 2005-2012 show that follows the lives of the people who run the Social Affairs and Citizenship office of the British government. Characters that make an appearance range from ministers, personal assistants, civil servants, journalists, policy advisers, and the scene stealing Director of Communications, Malcolm Tucker.

Produced by the BBC, the show is an excellent mix of political intrigue, departmental stress and chaos. Actor, Peter Capaladi, known as the twelfth and current Doctor from Doctor Who, absolutely shines in the show. The show has since its inception spanned over four seasons and a movie, the HOB show Veep is even set within the The Thick of It world.

Why: The show has always been on my ‘To Watch’ list but the trail of Stan had the show, so I thought I would give it ago.thick_of_it_malcolm

Best Bits: Malcolm Tucker. Literally every scene he is in is a gem.

Thoughts so far: Due of the show being based on British politics, I feel that a fair amount goes over my head, especially in regards to slang and cultural knowledge, however I am loving the political intrigue and twists and turns of the show.

I have just finished Part 1 of the specials and cannot wait to start Part 2!

Currently Consuming : Theme Hospital

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theme hospital

Curing people one terribly managed hospital at a time.

About: Theme Hospital is a hospital management, simulation game. Players are given objectives and have to cure, manage, and make enough money to pass each level.

The game lets you mange a hospital by creating rooms, hiring employees, researching disorders, making money, and most of all, curing patients. The game has a fixed view camera that sometimes is an issue to navigate around but the seemingly simple game is very fun.

Why: Origin has the game as a free download for all PC gamers.*

Best Bits: The Bullfrog Productions developed game is indicative of the EA brand, that is, it is full of weird humour. Most of this humour can be found in the descriptions of disorders, employee descriptions, and the PA announcements.

T930.0x524.0houghts so far: While the game has the simple graphics from 1997, the game play is what keeps me coming back. Although it may be a tad off putting with the blocky graphics, it is still nevertheless entertaining.

I am enjoying the challenge of of trying to beat my ten year old self and get past the earthquake stage.

 


*As of writing this post.

Currently Consuming: Megan Derr’s ‘The Lost Gods’

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An epic series that combines fantasy and gay romance in a way that is just as likely to melt your heart as break it.

About: The blurb of Megan Derr‘s The Lost Gods series describes the overarching plot of the books as:

“Nine gods ruled the world, until the ultimate betrayal resulted in their destruction. Now, the world is dying and only by restoring the Lost Gods can it be saved.”

The Lost Gods series follows the lives of a number of characters across five books. Each book details the story of how each of the five countries try to restore the ‘Lost Gods’ of the world.

With each book a new set of characters are introduced, however as the larger storyline of the series unfolds, you start to meet a few of the previous characters. Each book and each ‘God’ explores a number of different themes and story lines; topics such as love, forgiveness, sacrifice, suicide, power, destiny, death, and rebirth are all explored throughout the series.

Why: I am a massive fan of Megan Derr and felt it was time to tackle one her lengthier series. I am currently up to the third book in the series, ‘Stone Rose,’ and am, as ever, enamoured with the characters and the almost effortless storytelling.

Best Bits: The way that Derr mixes tragic themes with romance is nothing short of genius. Over the course of two books I have, with an almost bittersweet sense, watched numbers of characters face hardships and terrible choices with a smile and watery eyes.

As with any of Derr’s novels, they are extremely well written with an amazing cast of believable characters. One thing that I have noticed about Derr is her amazing world creation ability. The worlds that her characters occupy are incredibly detailed and each as multi-faceted as the last.  The sheer range that Derr can write makes each book a very different experience from the last.

Thoughts so far: So far the books have proven to be both character driven and story heavy, but with just the right amount of romance thrown in to keep me reading. Being only half way through ‘Stone Rose,’ I cannot wait to continue to read the series and watch as the larger narrative starts to unfold even further.

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If you are interested in reading the series, please check out the Less Than Three Press website, where each book has a small extract available.

Currently Consuming: The Sims 4

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The_Sims_4_Box_ArtA graphic step up, The Sims 4 is a mish-mash of elements from all previous versions of the game.

About: EA’s fourth installment of the life simulation game is one that allows players to create, shape, play, and control the lives of their ‘Sims.’ The Sims 4 sees the inclusion of emotions into the lives of your Sims, affecting both their mood, work, and family life.

Why: Origin had a half-price sale and despite my misgivings about the new installment, the cheap price tag called to me. It called! Beckoned, really.

Best Bits: The graphics are a step up from The Sims 3 with the character creation section allowing you to ‘click and drag’ your Sim’s bodies into any shape you want (within reason, of course). This function allows you to easily create a wider range of characters than previous games, I myself have been relishing the function by creating characters with incredibly unusual noses.

Also please refer to the image on the left. You can take an angry poop in The Sims 4. That is all

Thoughts so far: The game is good, however unlike its predecessors, The Sims 4 doesn’t have me sitting in front of the computer for hours on end. I can spend a few hours but this is nothing like the marathons I am use to pulling. I feel that currently I am unable to create as interesting stories and narratives for my Sims; I do think that this will change with the (currently unannounced) expansion packs.

At the moment I am still switching between the The Sims 3 and 4, however this does not detract from any enjoyment I have playing The Sims 4.