Written by Shae Rufe
Yesterday, I talked about the difference between nerds and geeks. I determined that there is none and we are all one giant happy family. Because, I'm Shae and I get to do magical things like that. So, today, I wanted to talk about all those shows we love and what makes them geeky. Many of the shows out there we consider to be in the geek or nerd realm fall into two categories; the popular and the obscure. Either one has their followings of nerds and non-nerds alike, but what is the difference? Mainly, what we make of it.
Take Firefly for example. A space-cowboy adventure with monsters and oppressive governments with a ragtag crew we fell in love with. The cult following this show gained was so powerful that the canceled show was given a movie as closure to the die-hard fans. Was it the fact that the show was based heavily in science fiction? Was in the characters? Or was it the right combination of the two that solidified its place in Geekdom for all eternity? There are a plethora of science fiction shows that have woven themselves deeply into nerd culture, and it could be argued that these shows are the foundation of all things geek. After all, many a nerd thing was influenced by shows of the past. Star Trek paved the way for many geeky shows, comics, and even games. As did Flash Gordon. From the very dawn of the first comic, we have done nothing but crave more.
Nerds haven't been able to stay away from anything remotely geeky. But as I browse the net (I almost said interwebs) I am always curious to see the array of shows we consider geeky, and those we don't. Sherlock is my favorite example of this. The show isn't remotely science fiction or even really fantasy, yet it has such a huge fan following that it's considered a geeky thing. As a literary nerd, I have to admit that it's a good show and I'm proud to see this incarnation of it so popular. Yet I have to wonder what makes it so stuck in geek culture that nearly all of us have at least heard about it.
Perhaps it is all a matter of geeky acceptance that we bring various fandoms in under the umbrella of geeky nerdom and own them. Several films that have their own cult following, like Boondock Saints, are just part of the wonderful geeky world we live in. Shows, are so widely spread and diverse that it might be possible we count anything as geeky. Some may argue against it, but I find that to be true. Archer, a cartoon meant for adults, is one of those shows that has become popular within the geek community and even outside of it.
Whatever it is that determines whether a show is ‘geeky’ enough or not may never be known. But it is something fun to think about.
Written by Shae Rufe
Is there really a difference between geeks and nerds? Some say yes, I say no! How can there be? After all, aren't the two names interchangeable? One would think. Yet, to this day, there seems to be this debate on which is which and what means what. While I'm hardly ever one to fact check, I will share with you my opinion on both names.
Now, growing up there wasn't really a distinction between the two names. Both meant you didn't fit in with the popular crowed, and you were shunned by the majority of your peers. Believe me, I wasn't winning any popularity contests, and it was all because I loved things like Pokémon, Sailor Moon, and Gundam. There is, oddly, such a thing as being an anime nerd. So, what's the difference between nerds and geeks? When you boil it down, nothing. We're passionate about things main stream society doesn't care for. And we show that love in any way we can. If we're to get technical, I suppose that nerds are more science based. But, wait, don't we have science geeks too?
Of course we do! I'm one of them, I'm just really not good at it. The term nerd is defined, roughly, as someone who is highly intellectual. So, I guess if you got really good grades at things and are super smart, that makes you a nerd. While geek means someone, who is strange and doesn't fit in. Modern terminology has made the two synonyms, so either word fits either case. Is that true today? Some may argue yes, some may argue no. To me, nerds like science things, were really good at studying, and were good at math. Geeks, on the other hand, played trading card games on their lunch break and had romantic relationships with fictional characters. Yet, now, I see things differently. Not all nerds have chemistry sets in their basements and not all geeks have a Pokémon card collection. Though, really, if you never collected a Pokémon card, or caught a school lab on fire, are you really living?
Thankfully, we now live in a world where it doesn't matter which category you claim to be a part of. While we can switch the names around, they both have the same meaning of basically ‘outcast’. Now, however, in 2017, that meaning has changed entirely. We're not the outcasts, we're the envy of all. Being into comics has become cool and accepted, even admired, while movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers rule the box offices and have non-nerd and geeks alike clamoring for more. There are so many science documentaries on TV now, I have to choose between them, and anime is so popular it gets its own time slots. Our definitions of what wasn't cool have now changed in such a way that it's almost unacceptable to not be into a fandom.
This movement is probably in part of us growing up and spreading our awesome. Even at conventions, the nerd and geek lines are so blurred that none of us know where we belong and we all just accept that. Greater debates are to be had amongst us, I suppose, like which is better, Star Trek or Star Wars, but there is no definition of Nerd or Geek amongst us. But there are some who solidly support the older definitions. With varied interests, if you ask me, you can be both, and either, and even neither! Whatever you claim to be, though, wear that label proudly. Because we're all just a bit different, and that just makes us more awesome.
Written by Winsome Lewis
Living in Colorado has never been easier with the well-established and ever growing beer industry. In Colorado, distance from the city does not mean distance from good beer. Steamboat Springs is one small town with a big beer taste. The three breweries in the area (Butcherknife Brewing Company, Storm Peak Brewing Company, and Mahogany Ridge Brewery) are unique, providing locals and guests alike a small town feel with big taste brews. These breweries, though, are not all the town has to offer in terms of good drinkery. The Tap House on main street Steamboat Springs in addition to the BrauHaus (located conveniently near the ski slopes) provide a multitude of drinking decisions spanning across Colorado and the world. We’ll start on tap and move toward our brewery-specific experiences whilst in Steamboat Springs.
Upon entering the BrauHaus, guests are greeted with a four-page, front and back (to be read in Ross’ voice from Friends when describing Rachel’s extremely long letter about Ross’ need to take responsibility for what happened while the couple was ‘on a break’), stapled, columned, user-friendly guide to the impressive 45 beers on tap. Organized in an easy-to-read fashion, by beer type (wheat, lagers, ambers, fruit beers, ciders, pales, etc.) beer enthusiasts have a very helpful way to make the hard decision of what to drink. The menu is very detailed with brief descriptions of flavors and hops found in each beer. The $2 tasters make it impossible to order a beer you won’t get along with.
The Brau Haus has Colorado proud breweries (including those from Denver, Aurora, Boulder, Cedaredge, Buena Vista, Fort Collins, Longmont, Edwards, Palisade, Loveland, Eagle, Colorado Springs), nationwide breweries (including those from Illinois, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware), German drafts, and international brews (including Quebec, Canada; Dublin, Ireland; and Akureyri, Iceland). Drinking around the world was made easy; the decision of what to drink was not. I hung out in the wheat section of the menu and ordered 2 beers (one from Einstock Beer Company in Akureyri, Iceland and one from my hometown Aurora, Colorado: Dry Dock Brewing Company).
The experience of trying a white ale was authentic and one I will not soon forget. The subtle coriander paired with orange peel and mild hops made for a refreshing beer that was super easy to drink (if you could get past the Paulander pilsner glass). Paired with a cheese soaked pretzel, the evening couldn’t get much better; that was until the German sausage platter and the Dry Dock wheat. The Aurora brewery is commonly known for its Apricot Blonde. I, myself, am not a huge fan of the brew (I would much prefer the apricot ale from Pyramid Brewery in Seattle, Washington); though it was listed on the menu, I ventured for the Sommer Weizenbock, a Colorado take on a German wheat which stimulated the taste buds and the taste buzz as the traditional banana flavor mixed well with vanilla, clove, and citrus. The 6.8% ABV will leave you a bit cloudy at an elevation of 6,700 feet. As always, when in Colorado you must hydrate while enjoying the delicious beers the state has to offer.
The breweries in Steamboat Springs did not disappoint in keeping with the ‘Colorado has the best beers’ mantra. The ‘rundown automobile repair shop’ aesthetic common in Colorado breweries extends beyond the city, over Rabbit Ears pass, to the rocky expanse of Steamboat Springs.
My first visit was to Storm Peak Brewing Company, located just off the main street. The single-bartended brewery was home to nine taps that evening. An atmosphere of ease and conversation was evident through the open spaced seating, the small televisions (so often we find televisions overpowering restaurants; the modest 32 inch screens were clearly not the focal point of the room), board games, and popcorn machine. Sampling a flight and a pint of their CitraLawnmower Cream Ale, I fell immediately in love with this brewery.
The combination of citra hops and a cream ale mindset left me unprepared for the bite of the ale, followed by the cream ale smooth finish. This beer was definitely in the lighter genre, but gave you the sense of drinking something heavier through the use of these hops. A sample of their Kolsch demonstrated the craft of the brewery as this golden pilsner malt beer made famous in Germany quite contrasted the IPAs, gose, and sours brewed there. The spectrum of beers and hops used here allow a flavor for everyone in your party, including delicious cream sodas for your designated driver and/or kids.
Butcherknife Brewing Company was my next stop and the highlight of my beer experience in Steamboat Springs. Their beers are featured at Falling Rock Tap House near Coors Field in Denver and this is where I first experienced my favorite Heifenweizen. Knowing the banana goodness in store for me, I trucked the 4 miles to Butcherknife, a quaint brewery complete with patio and sliding glass garage doors; the telltale red “f” flags you from the street, and their giant chicken stands as a beacon to greet you. The brewery is a local favorite for sure (almost all guests knew the brewmaster by name and had their growlers (yes plural) filled.
A growler pour gets you a free pint while you wait, bringing locals back, giving them an opportunity to sample new beers while filling up an old favorite. With German beers in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to see Irish ideals (black and tan with Butcherknife’s Amputator and Rob’s Blonde), Denver crossovers (the Hoppen-Weizen was created by Butcherknife brewmaster Rob Swarz and Tivoli Brewmaster) with the intent of bringing the mountain town to the city and vice versa (you can find Butcherknife’s brews on tap at the Tivoli Brewery and Tap House in Denver), double IPAs, and new takes on old favorites (the Mango Heifenweizen combined my favorite banana wheat with mango juice and generated my new ‘tastes like summer’ beer set to give Leinenkugel’s summer and grapefruit shandies a run for their money).
The brewery provides a variety of beer tasting options with flights from four to eight beers (which, considering they had nine beers on tap when I visited, you can taste their whole gamut of beer in an inexpensive fashion) served to you on endearing cleaver shaped flight trays. The well-educated bar attendants made my drinking experience richer as they informed me of their brew process which generated their various beer flavors. Various incentivizing deals make it easy to support this local brewery (if you buy a shirt or a hat, you get a free beer) and bike-to-brew promotions left you feeling proud to support a bike-friendly, eco-minded brewery. Local art was displayed with articles and summaries about the artist, completely immersing you in the craft culture of Steamboat Springs.
I didn't make it out to Mahogany Ridge Brewing Company and Grill. Their full menu and beer list of beers ranging from honey wheat to cherry to stout make me regret not making the drive out, but it does incentivize me to return to Steamboat Springs (like I need more reasons to go back). The mountain town provides a landscape not hard to fall in love with. Immense campgrounds, pristine lakes for fishing and watersports, hiking with waterfalls, winter and summer sports (including skiing, alpine slides, and tubing), the hot springs, and great beer define this town as a must visit for Colorado natives and out-of-towners alike. Low cell service does not equate to low beer quality. Cheers! #DrinkColorado #DrinkTheBoat
Written by Shae Rufe
With the recent rediscovery of Netflix on my part, I thought it was long overdue for another fun edition of, Guilty Pleasures! That, and hey, the Internet is a vast place with all kinds of things. Most of which I can thank YouTube for. And, well, a long list of sites. Anyway!
One of my recent guilty pleasures has come out of a Disney produced movie. Unlike the ‘straight to video’ movies we got as kids, these movies have captured my attention. I vaguely remember watching a few with my sister Jadyn as she grew up, but it wasn't until I was on Netflix the other day scrolling through that I watched these on my own. Tinkerbell was a feisty fairy from Peter Pan when I was growing up. While she's got some sass to her now, she's also got a home and a lot of fairy friends that I didn't know about. I'm not saying I watched all of the movies related to this. I'm just saying that I have a new-found appreciation for this particular series. These movies are adorable, and while they have their cheese factor, they bring a certain something that everyone can enjoy. They're set before our little blonde meets the infamous leader of the Lost Boys, and it's all about the fairies and their various jobs in Pixie Hallow. I know, I know, but listen. They're cute.
Speaking of children and childhood, does anyone else miss Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers? Because I do. They had a DVD compilation of some episodes at Target a bit ago, and it took all I had not to buy it. Well, truthfully, I would have, but I'm going to have to wait until after bills. This show was my absolute favorite. I am not even going to pretend I still wouldn't watch it obsessively, because I would watch this show obsessively if I had every episode. Gadget was a perfect role model for us kids. Can mice be role models? Yes. Yes, they can. And they are. I can remember the majority of the plot to that show still, and I really wanted to be a blonde, just like Gadget. Sadly, I didn't become a mechanic, or a mouse, but that's alright. I guess some life goals are best set for later. Also on the side of childhood shows I have been dying to see, Rocky and Bullwinkle. I think it's all the references to that show in Supernatural, but I miss this show. While I haven't seen the Sherman and Mr. Peabody film, yet, I have been searching YouTube for clips of that show. Some may argue that it was before my time, but Rocky and Bullwinkle reruns used to air when I was still a kid. The show was memorable and I geek out when references are made. Hey, my first hamster (or the first I remember) was named Rocky!
As if that doesn't make anyone feel old, another series I've been looking up is The Flintstones. This was another childhood favorite of mine, and so were The Jetsons! I still remember the crossover episode they did. That was purely monumental. Forget the Family Guy and Simpsons crossover. And The Simpsons and Futurama had NOTHING on when the Jetsons met the Flintstones. I've been hunting that down for a while now. Let's just not pay attention to the 90's live action movie that featured Fred and Barney. There were more episodes than I thought of the show, or originally saw when I was younger. I'm okay with this! It's like a new discovery!
What lies beyond today for the new discoveries? Or old ones? Guess we'll find out together.
Written by Shae Rufe
We’re talked about Heroes, so let's talk about Villains, shall we? After all, what is a hero without a villain? With so many villains out there it’s truly hard to pick the best, but we all have our favorites. We also have something to learn from each one!
The number one lesson we can all take away from every villain, no matter how cheesy they are, is that monologues are bad. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a good monologue! Especially in certain plays and movies and shows and such. But if you’re a bad guy, and you have the good guy trapped. Don’t sit there and monologue. That’s when they escape! Nobody needs to know the evil plan! We don’t care how or why! You have the good guy trapped, just get rid of him and call it a day! The only thing a monologue does is inform the audience of the plan. Granted, that’s not a bad thing, but it always gives the hero that extra time needed to form an escape plan.
The life of a villain is not cheap. Along with heroes, a villain must be able to afford a secret lair, a bunch of henchmen, and a ton of gadgets. Of course, there are exceptions to this, as there always are. Plus, if you think about it, villains do need money for all of these things, because taking over the world is a big investment. If you’re really going all out, then you also probably have plans of a way to contain the hero you’re trying to capture. And that's another dollar spent…
And style. Let’s talk about that a second, shall we! Being a villain isn’t cheap on the wardrobe either! For one, you need to look good. Come on, villains always are sharply dressed. Why? Well, what’s more powerful than a nice suit? Plus, they’re intimidating! Granted, the Joker’s tastes are a little…batty, but the suit thing does work! There’s nothing cheap about suits. Ever. Especially if you have them tailored to fit, like most of them appear to be. Granted, a lot of the villains are fictional. It’s easy to own nice things when your whole world is made up. That doesn’t excuse it though! Many villains worked their way from the bottom to the very top of a company. Or maybe they’re part of the mob. I don’t pretend to know all villain back stories. I just know that if you’re going to be one, you have to have money. Money’s just nice in general.
The most admirable thing (if that's possible) about villains is their conviction to their cause. All villains are dedicated to their life path. Whether it’s to take over the world, defeat the hero, or avenge a loved one, they are always super strong in what they believe in. Sometimes more so than the hero! Villains believe they’re doing the right thing, regardless of how the hero or story sees things. That’s perhaps one of the most compelling things that draws me to villains; the utter belief that they’re right regardless of anything presented to them. It’s admittedly crushing to see a villain fail sometimes; to see their world collapse and the death of their dream.
No plan is hero proof. Ever. Let’s just accept this. Heroes always find a way to thwart plans of a villain any day of the week. That’s just how this goes. Some villains get close to succeeding, sometimes really close. Yet, it is the hero who always wins. Which is probably why the hero is the favored one of the two. Or maybe you prefer the villain to the hero. I don’t presume to know your life choices! For me, it depends on the villain.
The Joker taught me that even chaos has a plan, whether we see that or not. Lex Luthor taught me that vengeance is a powerful driving force to getting things done. Perhaps the saddest of them all, is Magneto, who taught me that fighting for your beliefs against all odds is right. Even if it’s an unpopular opinion. Magneto’s back story, and life, lead to believe that a hero truly is a matter of perspective. Despite what side he seems to be on, his path isn’t wrong. Perhaps how he goes about it is, but that’s another blog for another day…
Written by Shae Rufe
As I sit and write this blog, I’m realizing that there are very few things that I can’t say I haven’t learned from nerdy media. The things that all come to mind just happen to be in the same categories, and remind me of just how truly geeky I am. That being said, today we’re going to explore the life lessons learned from the short lived, and utterly awesome show, Firefly.
I didn’t have the chance to watch this when it first aired, but I did get to see it later. Sadly, my first exposure to the series was from the movie Serenity so it was very confusing. After seeing the movie, I was drawn to find and watch the series in one sitting. Which I did! First lesson I learned was Firefly was a crucial one. Don’t mess around with Mal’s ship. It’s a bit of a true statement. Granted, there’s no way for me to do such a thing, but a life lesson is a life lesson. Also, if you suspect a passenger you just brought on board of trying to betray you, it’s okay to punch them. It’s also okay to smuggle people as cargo. I should give a disclaimer here that it’s not really okay to actually smuggle people through large crates. But in a pinch, that’s something that’s okay. Also, did anyone notice Simon’s really cool glasses in the pilot episode? Because I did and I wouldn’t mind having a pair; it’s just a matter of finding them.
Firefly also taught me that if your government is oppressive and evil, and you don’t like their politics, it’s totally okay to be an outlaw. After all, nothing says ‘sticking it to the man’ like smuggling an entire herd of cows across the galaxy. Speaking of, Firefly wasn’t the first sci-fi series to suggest terraforming other planets as a possibility, but it did prove that various other worlds in a new solar system could totally be made to be mini-earths. Including moons, and even around stars that shouldn’t be able to really support life. Science means nothing! I do have to say, I really enjoy the idea that if you experiment on someone’s brain, you can make them a super-secret assassin. Physical training has little to do with it, just cut into someone’s brain and BOOM! Instant killing machine. With all the questionable things going on in the show, I cannot forget to mention the fact that Companion was an actual job choice.
Not only did Companions make a respectable living, they were high in the societal food chain, and a high paying career choice. Despite the fact that Mal calls Inara a ‘whore’ all the time; she makes more money than he does. Let’s also just take a moment to talk about Wash, shall we? The plucky comic relief that showed even in the most dire of circumstances, a sense of humor never hurts. Which is totally something I can relate to. (Except for the fact that I just said totally.) Being in the Firefly-verse gives an insight into a possible outcome of humanity. Including the evolution in language. Brushing up on Chinese isn’t easy, but Firefly taught me to say some fun key phrases that are not always swears. Thankfully, the internet is a wondrous place, and directories of these amazing phrases, how to say them, and what they mean, can be found online! There was a time where I tried memorizing all of them.
As any good life lessons go, those worth learning stick with you. Just like Supernatural, Firefly has its own way of showing what a family is. Life bonds aren’t always by blood, as we’ve seen in countless shows, movies, games, and maybe even life experiences (this just got deep!). Firefly really worked to encompass that ideal with one particular episode: Ariel. Here we see Simon getting the crew to break into a core planet hospital in order to steal drugs, while he gets a chance to scan River’s brain and see the full extent of the torture done to her. When everything seems to go fine, we get our true sense of betrayal as Jayne calls the feds; planning to turn in the fugitive siblings for some cash. While I never fully looked at Jayne the same again, Mal took matters into his own hands to let Jayne know just what crew meant. Proving that family is what you make it.
Lastly, Firefly and (mostly) Serenity taught me that being emotionally attached to characters is not the best course of action. Especially in the world of Joss Whedon. He will kill everything and everyone you love. It will be the saddest deaths ever. And you will never fully recover. That’s why in the world of Shae, Serenity never happened.
Written by Shae Rufe
Hey everybody! It’s time to do a follow up list of my Guilty YouTube Pleasures! Admittedly, I did not just spend a lot of time sitting on the internet, watching YouTube before writing this. And now that I've finished typing that, I'll let you guys know that the Real Housewives of New York City, is totally playing in the background. I don't know, maybe you want a reference of time when this was written, maybe you needed to know what I was watching, or mostly I just wanted to share with you guys the things I watch while writing! Not gonna lie, it's probably the latter. But that's not talking about the things I watch on YouTube, so let's get to that, shall we? First up, how amazing is YouTube? Especially late at night, when you're too wired to sleep, and so you get on and search for things. Next thing you know it's two hours later and you've literally watched every weird Japanese commercial that exists. True story! Sadly, today I don't have any of those to recommend, but I do have some fun Channels with some videos that can be easily watched over and over again.
First and foremost, is Geek & Sundry. If you're a fan of Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, and shenanigans, then this is the Channel for you! Geek & Sundry has many shows, such as Table Top, and Let's Play (where Felicia and a guest play video games). My absolute favorite that they do, though, is The Guild. There are DVD's of The Guild, yet there's something special about watching it as it was originally intended; on the internet. The Guild is the fascinating tale of online gaming friends that end up meeting in person and forming a different level of friendship as they tackle some pretty hard topics. Like dealing with over protective mothers, finding jobs, and going to conventions. If you haven't seen it, I whole heartedly recommend you stop reading this right now and go watch it. Do it. I'm not going anywhere. I'll even wait. Did you go watch it? It's hilarious and reminds me of my friends. Only we don't do online gaming…but we do go to conventions…
MyHarto is a Channel that is near and dear to my heart. Not only is Hannah funny, entertaining, and brilliant. She also gets drunk and cooks! Granted, I don't think that's such a good idea, but it's certainly amazing to watch. She makes nerdy references, bad puns, and above all, her cooking looks like mine by the end of it! And she causes less fires than I do. What started out as something she posted for a friend (making cookies while drunk), has turned into something that's beyond amazing. Hannah has had many a guest star on her channel, including Felicia Day. Sipping cocktails and making food always sounds fun, but Hannah makes it work with My Drunk Kitchen. If you're a fan of food, EpicMealTime also has a lot of food! The team at EpicMealTime has gone above and beyond when it comes to making extravagantly large portions of food. And eating them. These guys taught me that you could cook bacon in the oven! And that making a lasagna out of cheese burgers and chicken nuggets is totally a normal thing to do.
In honor of all things Marvel I can't not mention WorldofHeroes (on Marvelous TV), particularly Stan's Rants, where the Stan Lee sits down and rants about things that annoy him. How can you not love anything the Generalisimo does!? Granted, I didn't find this channel, I was sent the link to one of Stan's Rants one day, and the rest is history. They've always got amazing Comic and Geek news. This is also the site where Bad Days got its start. Bad Days follows the lives of various superheroes and shows that, just because they're awesome, doesn't mean they don't have off days. Currently, Bad Days has been moved to its new home with its original creator on the channel CineFix. Here, you can also find the latest news in all things geek, like coverage from cons, and other various things. Either way, every single episode of Bad Days is worth seeing!
If you're looking for animated hilarity over the latest movies, check out How It Should Have Ended. Their animated shorts are not only entertaining, but shed a new light of ideas on the latest movies. How It Should Have Ended has plenty to choose from. These guys are probably responsible for many a lost hour and many of the quotes that happen in my life. Their one on The Lego Movie is a must see from me, and even has a few fun songs! If you're looking for something a little more review-ish with a touch of humor, then Screen Junkies is the Channel for you. Screen Junkies have a few series going themselves, but the one that most interests me is their Honest Trailers. These previews of movies, shows, and even video games, offer a humorous takedown of things we love and adore. With a very fantastic voice I might add. While I try to always put a positive spin on things, sometimes it's just fun to pick apart a movie. CinemaSins does that exact thing! Pointing out the bad, or wrong, or even things that shouldn't have happened, in a movie is their forte. And boy, do they do it well. It's not for everyone, but for me, it's something fun to watch and giggle at. CinemaSins points out the things in movies we've all thought about. It's not done in a mean way, they just call it like they see it.
Well guys, that's it for today! Let me know what your favorite YouTube Channels are!
Written by Shae Rufe
Admittedly, YouTube is the place to go when one is bored, procrastinating, or looking for something hilarious. I'll even go so far to say that it is my top place to go when I'm having trouble writing. Along my journey through the world of YouTube I have seen some pretty interesting things. Some good, some bad, and some things…just…shouldn't be seen. We all have our 'subscribed' lists of people we follow religiously. Well, today I'm here to share with you some of the amazing things I've found on YouTube, and the amazing people I follow! Why? Because out of all the nerdy things that go on around here, YouTube has its moments.
First, is my go to YouTube Channel, Simon's Cat. Maybe you guys have seen these animated shorts done, in black and white, about this adorable little cat that gets into all kinds of shenanigans. If you haven't, you really should. I found these videos a few years ago and have been addicted to them ever since. First, the cat in general reminds me of my two brats. The hilarious antics that Simon's Cat does is so typical of all cats, it’s perfect. These shorts aren't terribly long, generally under two minutes. I can watch all of them within one sitting and giggle insanely. I've even gotten my family addicted to watching them. When a new one comes out, I can bet money on how fast my mom posts it to my Facebook wall, or texts it to me. Of course, there's more than just Simon and his cat. There's also additions, such as a new kitten, a hedgehog, a garden gnome, and of course some birds. These videos are something that every cat person will adore! And if you just happen to have cats, you'll sympathize entirely. This has expanded to include a line of books about the many adventures of Simon's Cat. Simon, in question, bases these shorts off of the many inspirational moments with his own felines. There's little to no talking in these videos, but there is a lot of meowing. What I truly love is that everything is drawn panel by panel, before it's animated and then he does the voice over. That's a bit backwards, but all sounds are made by the creator.
I have a love of people who make parodies of things. I don't know why, it's just something that amuses me greatly, and something I think a lot of us share an interest in. Enter Smosh. I first got interested in them when they did a parody rap to Legend of Zelda. At first, I was a little more than giddy that someone had actually done something like this. However, the dedication that went into making that video, and of course their costumes, was something that got me hooked into watching a lot of their other stuff. Since, Smosh has gone on to do a lot. They have their own site SmothPit.com, a magazine, and several shows they do on YouTube. What I admire about their videos most, is their ability to take great humor in a lot of situations. They've done several 'What if_______ was real?' videos, like Pokémon, which are my favorite, and made fun of all kinds of things. I love their 'Expectation VS Reality' shorts the best. Of course, they don't take much of anything serious, they do swear a lot (which is somehow fitting), and they always manage to make fantastic behind the scenes videos. If you're looking to lose at least an hour of your day, Smosh is easy to get sucked into. They also play a lot of games, give great commentary, and do some guest appearances elsewhere. It's always fun when YouTube personalities come together.
How can I make this blog and not mention College Humor? This site has been around for quite some time, but their YouTube channel was new to me. Mostly because I never thought to look them up on YouTube. I'm willing to bet that their humor is more than just for college students, but hey, it's a catchy name! I found them on accident while searching for some random things on YouTube one day, and the rest is history. They're fake advertisements, parodies of serious videos, and original content are all something that is easily enjoyed. There's something for everyone, and even some things that have full on disturbed me. Yes, I'm talking about their Fury Force videos. Even then, it was funny. With a brand of humor that spans every taste, it's hard not to find something to like about them. That being said, my very favorite series of theirs started as just a single video. If you've not seen their 'If Google was a guy' series you really should stop reading this and go look them up right now. I mean it! Go! I'll wait…………………………………………………………….See! They're hilarious! I've seen all of them about a thousand times. I don't know why I find them utterly addicting, but I do.
How could I make this blog and not talk about ERB, also known as Epic Rap Battles of History? Back when I first ran into them (through a friend), they were just on season 1, but they are now on season 5, so they are still going strong. Some pretty amazing battles have taken place, I have learned a few of the songs and happen to sing them randomly. It's saved me from boredom many times. Before writing this blog, I went back and watched all of season 3, just because I could and it’s also my favorite. They've had several fellow YouTubers on as well as some pretty famous guests, and there are so many episodes that I love. Facing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles against the famous artists they're named after was amazing. While that was awesome to watch, my favorite, however, just happens to be Edgar Allan Poe VS Stephen King. Shae Fact, I am a Poe fanatic. My dad was really into Poe's works, and thus, so am I. I spent much of my college career writing about Poe, and to see him face off against Stephen King was partly a dream come true. I highly recommend them. Especially since their battles can be downloaded on iTunes, and many other places (I'm sure).
What's your favorite YouTube Channel? What do you like to search for when you're bored?
Written by Shae Rufe
Have I done a video game edition of this yet? Yes? No? You know what guys, I probably haven't. I've mentioned video games before, but I doubt I've ever had a full blog dedicated to the awesome games that have captured my attention over the years. Well, it is summer, and I've got some more free time than I used to. Or maybe I have less free time? That's the confusing part here, now isn't it? Man, being an adult is hard! Let's all play games and nap!
Like many, my first exposure to video games was that of the awesome and amazing Mario games. Now, many had an NES first. But my mom wasn't big into gaming. Honestly, neither was my dad, but he had an NES and an SNES! Super Mario World was my childhood. To this day, I can play that game for hours on end. Though, I'm lacking in owning an NES, but I do have the wonders of the internet. Okay, they also have transfigured that game into DS versions and I've just happened to own and play them at various other points in my life. Super Mario World was something I loved to play, and watch my dad play. We'd often play together. While I was always Luigi, it was still fun. Even when I would get stuck on certain levels, I would still adore it. Actually, I used to make my dad finish the entire game, except for the last castle, so I could go through and freely play all the stages without having to worry about passing them or not. Sadly, now as an adult I don't have the fortune of making my dad finish levels for me. Even so, we also owned the original Super Mario game on the NES. You know, the one that came with Duck Hunt. Now that game, was one of pure awesomeness.
As awesome as Mario was, Mortal Kombat was even more awesome. Dad and I had the first, second, and third game on the SNES and we used to play them constantly! It was so fun being able to fight one another. Granted, dad never let me win, but I eventually learned (years later) how to kick his butt. Eventually the movie came out…and it was awesome. I must have watched that a billion times. So much, in fact, I think I wore out the tape…anyway! The games have continued to come out. From the N64 to the PS3, I've always loved playing Mortal Kombat. Granted, the games have always been filled with blood and gore, but that's the fun in them. Especially when they were on the SNES! What's more fun than fighting each other and watching two-dimensional blood splatter everywhere in its 16bit glory?
Now, you've heard (read?) me rant endlessly about my love of Assassin's Creed, so I won't bore you with that again here. Just know that the Ezio trilogy is my top favorite game of recent years. But, it's not the only favorite game. In my list of top games, of course, is Kingdom Hearts. This series came out when I was in high school, and I begged so much for a PS2. Well, just as the game came out my parents got me a PS2 and the first ever Kingdom Hearts game for Christmas. I was so excited. The story line of Sora searching for his friend Kairi, while his friend Riku battles with the darkness inside of him was captivating. The fact that you got to visit various Disney themed worlds, like Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland was something completely mind blowing. My favorite, however, was going to Nightmare Before Christmas world and playing endlessly. Mostly because the character's changed to fit the world, mostly. Which meant Sora got a really awesome look. You also got to fight alongside Goofy and Donald Duck, which was cool. When KH2 came out, I didn't do anything productive for two weeks straight. Literally, I stopped what I was doing and played that game endlessly until I beat it. Kingdom Hearts is the only game series where I have bought specific gaming platforms in order to play it. Like for Birth by Sleep, which is technically a prequel, I went and got a PSP just to play that game. I have played all the KH games so far, and while some were not as amazing as others, they are all worth playing at least once.
Now, you know I can't talk about video games and not mention Final Fantasy VII. That's like the game of all games! Okay, maybe not. Some people do not care for this game as much as I do. Now, I have owned a copy of it since my dad brought it and an original PS1 back from England. Yes, England, but they were both US compatible (he bought them while there for work…for 4 months). I played it a bit, but for whatever reason, it didn't stick with my younger self. However, the older I got, the more appealing RPG's became, and one day, boom. I played from start to finish. All three discs. This game has it all, mystery, character death, surprise finishes, and quirky sidekicks. What I love is how you can swap out who's fighting with you. That was pretty awesome. One of the best spin off games was Crisis Core. Also, a prequel, we got to learn about the origin of Cloud's sword, who Zack Fair was, and possibly the single, most heart wrenching, and saddest game ending in the history of game endings. I cried like a baby when I finished this game. I'm talking, heart wrenching sobs! Guys, this game really just…broke a part of my heart that will never be the same. As did Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, which was fantastic in and of itself. It's needless to say, that FFVII was one of the best games I've ever played. I even made my sister Cosplay with me once. She was Cloud and I was Reno. It was utterly ridiculous and not a lot of photographic evidence exists of that period in my life. Thankfully, though, the game has nestled into my heart. I also eventually discovered Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. I had not known about this until years after it came out. But when I found it, I played it. I finished it in two days. And I played it again. Now, I've heard mixed reviews on this game, but really, you get to play a game as Vincent Valentine, and discover his story in depth. There's nothing I hate about this first-person shooter. Even if I am terrible at first person shooters. If you're a Vincent fan, then you'll love this game.
Well guys, that's it for now. If you've got any games you majorly love, please tweet them to me @SoraLostSoul (which was not remotely inspired by Kingdom Hearts). Or drop a comment down below! As always, I love hearing from you guys and I am always excited to geek out over video games.
Written by Shae Rufe
Now, I don't know how many of you have actually seen Torchwood, so for those of you who haven't it is a spin off and anagram of Doctor Who. This show follows Captain Jack Harkness after the Doctor left him, and after Rose brought him back. Jack can't die; well, rephrase, he can die, just not permanently. The Torchwood Institute was founded after the Doctor and Rose kind of messed some things up. Its purpose is to protect the earth from aliens and what not.
Jack kind of gets roped into being a part of it on accident, and then ends up running his own branch of it. The series opens with two full seasons, followed by Children of Earth and then Miracle Day. If you haven't seen it, you should. At least the first two seasons. I'm on the fence about the mini-series, for some very personal reasons. So, spoilers?
The first thing Torchwood taught me was how amazing of a character Captain Jack really is. I loved him in Doctor Who, but getting his own show to play with was something else entirely. Captain Jack was more than just this fun, flirty, character that he was originally brought on as. Turns out, he's a whole bag of things. And his life is anything but ordinary. Being from the 51st century might do that to a guy. Jack, however, would be an interesting boss to work for. Maybe that's why I relate to him in a way; he's very flirty, I'm very flirty, it's a whole bonding with a fictional character thing. In that though, John Barrowman is a very flirty person too. And of course, an actor who is so committed to the role that they believe they're the character, makes the audience believe it that much more. This does make Jack utterly fantastic. Beyond being relatable in different aspects though, Jack has a darker side to him. Regardless of the things that have happened, he knows how to get business done when it needs to be done. The big lesson, is that I truly underestimated Jack's character.
I also learned that coffee is a very important part of any business. Even one dedicated to eliminating alien threats. If you're drinking good coffee, you're more apt to do a better job fighting aliens. That's just basic human logic right there. Or, not? Tea is just as important. Personally, I prefer tea over coffee any day. Unless it's a horrible hour of the morning. In which case, just let me sleep. I'm not a morning person. What that has to do with Torchwood, I don't know. But hey! Random Shae Fact! Also, don't underestimate the guy that's making the tea/coffee. He's probably not as mean as he seems. Plus, Ianto was just pretty. And turned out to be handy. Speaking of Ianto, always make an effort to get to know your co-workers and be nice to them. Because you never know if they're secretly hiding a half converted Cyberman (woman?) in the office basement. And, really, you shouldn't do that because it's not a polite thing to do.
I mean, not all of us have co-workers we like (unlike me, mine are all wonderful), but you shouldn't put them in life threatening danger. Cybermen just shouldn't be messed with period. End of story. If your partner was being turned into one, and you saved them halfway through, it's like a little too late. Just let them go. That's so heartless and I'm sure easier said than done. There's no reasoning with Cybermen though. It's why they're terrifying. Just, avoid Cybermen attacks and you won't be put in that situation.
Torchwood also taught me that you should never sleep with your co-workers. Unless you're Ianto and Jack, because that worked out okay. But if you're like Gwen and Owen, just don't do it. It won't end well, everyone will be sad, and angry, and all kinds of things. So just avoid that situation all together. Especially if you have a fiancé and cheat on them. Unless you have Retcon. Then you can just tell them you cheated, and erase their memories. Retcon in general is pretty cool. Talk about a get-out-of-anything card. I guess Torchwood taught me that I need to be a chemist and make a pill that erases the last 24 hours of someone’s memory. That's completely okay to use on anyone, with no negative side effects. Unless you give it to them constantly and train them to have certain 'kill' commands like Suzy did. That's just mean. But also, effective.
If you're an alien, and you come to earth to check things out, chances are you will most likely get shot. Or shagged. Depending on Jack's mood, there's no telling which could happen. Maybe even both, in a different order. If you're a human possessed by an alien, there's an 85% chance of you dying. And if you're an alien unaware that you're an alien, you're definitely, probably, going to die. And giant bee/wasp/bugs are not okay. Ever. Under any circumstance. Just ask Martha.
Torchwood was far darker than Doctor Who in many aspects, and it taught me, above all, that even main characters are not safe from the cold, icy, grip of death. Before Game of Thrones existed, Torchwood was ripping my heart in half, stomping on it, and eating the remains. I love this series, don't get me wrong, but dude…it hurt me in ways I didn't know I could be hurt in. Supernatural did the same thing, only worse, it gave me hope. Torchwood took that hope away and took me down a darker road. But the biggest life lesson that Torchwood taught me, was that humans are the most dangerous beings in the universe. One episode, my personal favorite of the entire series, features humans trapping, killing, and eating innocent tourists. Not because of anything alien, not because anything forced them to, but because they could. And that, my fellow fans, was something that has struck me to the very core. I get chills every time I watch that episode. Then again, Torchwood also made me want a Pterodactyl as the office pet...I might have to convince John and the others.