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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Thank God It's Date Night



This podcast started as a joke.

Actually, no, this started as a way of talking about movies without actually talking about movies. I wanted to do a shorter podcast. I only had time to do a shorter one. I can't really talk about movies with any sort of knowledge about them despite going to a college known for its film program.

I'd already been marked a person that liked "quirky love movies" and I honestly couldn't tell if that was being insightful or insulting.

But I like what I like.

So TGI Date Night was born.

Way back when in the Dave and Diana dating machine, we used to rent a ridiculous amount of movies. We'd get 3+ movies on a Friday, order 2 pizzas (one for each of us, duh!) and just veg out all weekend.

I'd escape into the suburbs and forget my academic life existed. The only way to reach me was by a corded phone in my dorm room or through AIM. This was 2004. I was disconnected and it was truly blissful.

Now Hollywood Video is closed. So is Mike's and Fred's and all of my favorite movie places. There's Netflix or nothing. (Okay, fine...or Hulu or Amazon or Redbox...)

But for 15-30 minutes every other week, you can join us in our time machine and eat an imaginary pizza with us. It's like being on a date with TGIF Arcade, but you're not a third wheel because this is a monster truck-bus and we're rolling into Date Town with our silly but hopefully thoughtful and helpful ideas for a kickass date!

Now, please pass the popcorn!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The End of the Year

Instead of looking at a list of resolutions I didn't write, I'm going to write about all of the things that I liked & did this year that kicked ass.
  • I ate a lot of BBQ sauce.
  • I streamed a lot of video games on Twitch. It was a really good year for TGIF Arcade.
  • I went to San Francisco and stayed in a fancy hotel and got to meet a friend from the internet that I've known for over 10 years. 
  • I listened to a lot of music on Spotify this year, but I fell in love with one album. I was going to try and write an entire music-related year in review, but it would have just been me gushing about how great Built to Spill's Untethered Moon is and if you need more convincing, just go look at the cover, which has a cat on it.
  • I finally got to go to Cedar Point, which is an amusement park in Ohio that my mom told me about when I was a kid and yeah, that's how I spent my Halloween!
  • I started wearing eyeliner. I really only wear it on the bottom, because my hands are too shaky for proper application on the top lid. I feel so awesome when I wear makeup. I used to wear makeup everyday when I was 19, but it wasn't really the makeup that I wanted to wear and now I finally feel like I'm wearing the things and becoming the person I've always wanted to be and if you've ever felt like you were hiding your real self from the world, you know how big of a deal that is to feel like a whole person and your best self when you walk out the door. I even feel good when I'm not wearing makeup, too, which fuckin' rocks!
  • I spent a lot of time playing video games this year considering I have an entire Patreon focused on it. Some of my favorites were Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360), Kingdoms of Amalur (Xbox 360/PC), Nintendo Badge Arcade (3DS) (don't play this if you have poor impulse control, because you will want to spend money on it), Style Savvy: Trendsetters (3DS) and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS). 
  • So about a year ago, we played Mass Effect, then spent the entire month of December 2014 playing Mass Effect 2 and finally finished up Mass Effect 3 in 2015. (If you've never played the Mass Effect series, it has such a great story and even though the third game is controversial, I'd say go play all of it right now!) We really liked our Commander Shepard. Her name is Gigi Shepard. She really likes dresses and has a ridiculous backstory. We started creating Gigis in every game that allowed custom character creation. We were so enamored with our Commander that we adopted a cat named Gigi. She is really skittish, but loves playing with toys and pretty much just sleeps in her bed all day, which is a big improvement over sleeping behind the couch all day. Guys, cats are the best!
I know a missed a lot of things I did, because I didn't write about them anywhere and some things that happened this year really sucked. I really wanted to focus on the chewy, soft doughy bits instead of the glaze on the top. Wait, is the icing the good part? I don't know. All of it makes a big, gooey life donut and I'll take the bad with the good. I plan to write a lot more this year, but I make that plan every year. Let me know about your year in the comments!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gracelessly Aging and That's Okay

I will never be young again and I am thankful. I'm happy to live in my world of nostalgia reliving 16 over and over again. My college years I revisit on occasion. I time travel back listening to the same music on repeat. I go back to what it felt like to be 4 years old and in love with Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It" and feel powerful. I think about dancing to Milli Vanilli in my living room. My parents feigning enthusiasm for my running man.

I feel old and stereotypically it's hard for me to embrace what's happening around me right now. It's not moving too fast, per se, but I miss what was happening on the internet in 2002. I lived in a time where blog posts were vulnerable. People shared their deepest darkest secrets via words. No photos. No gifs. Your parents weren't on Facebook. There was no facebook. No twitter. No fucking YouTube. Porn was a hassle. It was simpler and we were hidden and we found each other somehow. Then you shared each other with your friends.

My longest relationships are from over 10 years ago. People that lived no where near me. The connection we felt with each other because we IMed nonstop.

I know I'm guilty of holding onto the past, but some people are just that way. I will always prefer handwriting to typing. Mailing letters to emails. Mixtapes to mix CDs. Don't even get me started on MP3s, I skipped over them and went straight to streaming.

Truly minimalists, we store everything on our laptops, kindles and cloud drives. What does it feel like to print your own photos in a dark room? You may never know. I do. I am thankful for that.

I'm thankful to be old. Not even old. I'm 34. That might feel forever years old to a 22 year old. I know because of one brief encounter I had when I was in college. I met an artist and I thought, "He's an adult. What is he doing with his life?" as he skateboarded next to me as we lazily commuted back to South Station. Now here I am: his age. What am I doing with my life? I'm playing video games. I'm doing a podcast

I guess what I'm saying is that everything you believed you would be like when you're older is a lie. I'm not wiser. I'm still a fuck-up. I still listen to the same music. I have changed as I've experienced new things. I understand the world differently. It's like unfolding a paper crane to find out how its made and realizing how delicate and complex everything is and that I didn't really understand it at all, but it comes together so simply and quickly. You won't be able to tell when you get old. It just happens. Slowly. Embrace it. Don't miss your youth. It was wasted already being an asshole and making mistakes and never learning from them. Eventually, you do.

Eventually you realize you knew what you wanted all along.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Track Fours



The first time I noticed the power of track four was in 2001. Weezer's green album had just come out and my mom was obsessed with "Island in the Sun" but instead of asking to play it by name, she'd just say "track four" and we'd be on our 15th listen of the day. (BTW, that song is not on this list, because I think we're all tired of hearing it by now.)

Back before my husband was my husband, Dave brought it up again. He made an entire mix CD of Track Fours. He had an entire theory that track fours were the best songs on any album.

It's April. The fourth month. It's nearly warm outside. I decided to revisit my favorite track fours in honor of spring.

"Climbing the Walls" by TMBG -- I was listening to a lot of TMBG in 2007, specifically "Ana Ng," and was really into this song even though I had never listened to any of the other songs on this album. I guess it was just luck that it was track 4. Nonetheless, it's an underrated song, kinda like how no one seems to take TMBG seriously. These guys have some seriously wonderful and delightful songs and have the energy and silliness to turn bad days into good ones!

"Zero" by Smashing Pumpkins -- If you know me at all, you'll know that I still claim Smashing Pumpkins is my favorite band. They're not really anymore, but they had an huge impact on my life. I still care about them. This is one of my favorite songs from them. The video is so dark and creepy. The one song I'd love to karaoke.

"In Repair" by Our Lady Peace -- Guys, guys -- this is my favorite concept album ever. This is probably in my top 10 favorite albums ever. I always go back and listen to it and it's still really great. This is before the lead singer had to change the way he sang to save his voice. I totally get that, but I'll always still be in love with this era OLP.

"Persuasive is Her Name" by The Deathray Davies -- The Day of the Ray is the only reason I know Dave. Think about that. Dave and I have been together 11+ years and it's all because of this band. I picked this album up on a whim in a used record store in Cambridge, MA. I thought I recognized the name. I lived in Dallas before moving to Boston and often would read the free alt weeklies and I'm sure I picked up their name from there. I was very into local Dallas alt music scene despite being underage with no driver's license, I somehow was still in the loop thanks to prolific reading and listening to The Adventure Club.

"Inspector of Inspectors" by Driftless Pony Club -- Go listen to everything DPC right now! Please! Also, check out Wheezy Waiter -- aka Craig Benzine, he's the lead singer --  because there are some hilarious "on tour" videos with the entire band and his channel is super creative!  If you're in Boston, you'll see me rocking out to them on April 25 at The Middle East!

"The High Party" by Ted Leo/The Pharmacists -- Honestly, everyone should be listening to Ted Leo. I know, I know...but this is one of my favorite songs...period. In college, the only thing I ever won was a signed poster by Ted Leo from OUC. If you know what OUC is, I'm really embarrassed now.

"Rococo" by Arcade Fire -- I really love songs about hipster kids. Like 2003 elitist hipster indie rock kids. Not the 2007 shutter shades kinds. I also really like listening to "My Coco" by Stellastarr* right after it. Guess what? "My Coco" is a track four. You see what I mean?

What are your favorites?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Winter of Discontent



































I’m discontented.

What made a lot of sense a month ago makes no sense right now. 

Is it depression?
Is it S.A.D.? 

This oppressive winter weather is having its way with me and no matter what I do, I can’t beat it. 

The subway is a miserable mess, so it simply doesn’t feel worth leaving the house. The snow continues to get taller with no end in sight. 

I don’t know what I’m waiting for at this point.

I know that this same winter gloom settles in my bones every year and I’ll be happy when we get that first sunny day.

It just seems so far away.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2014

It's almost February, but I'm not going to let that stop me from writing about 2014. A year of haiku nearly over and a new one beginning, I got so used to writing twenty fourteen that writing twenty fifteen seems strange. Everyone makes those jokes about writing the wrong year on checks, but who even writes checks anymore? I'm starting to forget my own handwriting and sadly it's getting harder and harder to force myself to drag pen against paper. No amount of pretty paper journals is going to make it any easier. And while we're saying goodbye to paper and pens, let's lower our heads for mixtapes and mix CDS and look forward to the playlist.

I feel lazy and sad for enjoying streaming music. I never had an mp3 player. I was still using a clunky portable CD player when people were using iPods. Then my ears started ringing and I just sort of gave up the idea that I'd be the next Rob Gordon. I loved music, but I kinda forget till I started using Turntable.fm again in 2013 and then that stopped being a thing just like every else I love dearly. 

So instead of being sad, I'm here to share some new and old favorites that summed up 2014 for me. 12 songs for 12 months.

Some interesting tidbits:

"Gimme Something Good" by Ryan Adams -- This album came out on my birthday. I feel like that's reason enough to include it on my list, but let's face it, I can't quit him. He's just someone I want to be friends with. Seriously.

"Brilliant Disguise" by Bruce Springstreen -- Okay, okay...I loved this song when I was a little girl and I honestly thought I didn't like a single Bruce Springsteen song up to this point. I was wrong. I was really, really wrong.

"Unity" by Reel Big Fish -- I got this song stuck in my head because I was playing Mass Effect 2. Then I realized I missed ska. I'm eagerly awaiting for ska to make a big comeback in 2015. In any case, it's making a big comeback in my life.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nothing

I'm not good at writing about things. I tried to make this into a blog about a thing. Sometime after I stopped updating the now defunct Hipster Brigade, blogs became more than personal online diaries and became these crazy niche machines about all sorts of things. I love things. I use things. I'm a monster consumer much to my chagrin and I love reading about makeup and watching haul videos, but I'm not that kind of person. I don't write about those things.

I love food and photos of food, but not enough to write about them.

I write about me.
I write about nothing.

I haven't watched enough Seinfeld to make a reference to that show, so I won't. But I guess I kinda just did. Whoops.

I think my biggest problem lately is that I think I'm boring, but people are not boring. I love reading about people. I love reading about real lives. I love reading personal things.

So I'm bringing it back.

Hello, I'm Diana Reagan. I'm a writer of short fiction and haiku. I play video games. Maybe you like those things and want to support me. I'd appreciate that.

This turned into an ad. But it was about me. So it's okay.

This is a blog about me.
This is a blog about nothing.

I hope you'll stay for a bit. Maybe we can get coffee sometime. I'd like that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Slowly, I'm dusting myself off
and readying myself to start writing here
again
but for now
I'm claiming this blog
as mine
But mostly this is just reminding me of True Blood
but way less sexy
and bloody

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Car Wash

When I was a little girl, my mom would drive to the DIY car wash and make a day of it. I was in charge of quarters and would rush up to the coin slot right in the nick of time to get our next 7 minutes before we'd have to pay double for the cycle to begin again. When I wasn't manning the quarters, I'd run from one side of the open garage to the other and feel the mist of the hose on my skin, always soothing on a hot summer day. Sometimes my mom would play along, soaking me till I was dripping and I was gripping my sides to contain the giggles. Other times, I'd occupy myself by throwing rocks on the train tracks that neighbored the car wash or explore the adjoining empty lot, overgrown with dandelions, making wishes and pretending I was in a totally different world. Then we'd vacuum out the car, tossing out petrified french fries, saving nickles and dimes and admiring a job well done. Afterwards, maybe we'd go straight home or she'd treat me to an ice cream cone. Nothing reminds me of hot days more than a trip to the car wash.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What I'm Watching Currently

Image

  • Red Dwarf, Season 5 ^^^
  • Sherlock, Season 3
  • Downtown Abbey, Season 4

I discovered I can take screenshots on my phone while watching Netflix. So my life is forever changed. I'm also overdosing on British television.

I'm also watching State of Decay Full Plays & Supernatural, but they're not very British, so they're barely worth mentioning. Oh, well...this was a little British.