2017 has, at times, felt like the world was one big, never ending dumpster fire that would never be put out. But, as all years tend to do, it is quickly coming to an end. As we enter the holiday season, and look forward to the new year, it’s time to look back on some of the good things this year has given us and explore what we are grateful to have had during these sometimes exhausting times.
Reading While Driving
Yes, you read that right, and hopefully you’re not driving right now because that’s dangerous. So Here’s the thing: these days it’s so easy to feel like you’re falling behind on life. There are so many awesome TV shows and movies to watch, so many games to play, and oh so many incredible books to read. If you’re a bibliophile but aren’t a particularly fast reader, sometimes it seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day for your love of books. That’s why, this Thanksgiving we should all give thanks for audiobooks.
Okay, we get it– technically with audiobooks it’s a listening activity and not a reading activity. Whichever way you think of it, audiobooks are such an amazing thing! Some of the narrators really are quite talented people, and besides, who wouldn’t love listening to Casanova narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch?! There are plenty of apps that have tons of free audiobooks if you enjoy more classic literature, but if you’re willing to pay for a subscription, audible really is the best. And to top it all off, especially if you’re a SoCal resident, listening to a great audiobook can take the edge off of an otherwise awful commute. And for that, we can all be thankful!
For years, online shoppers have been able to take advantage of the ever expanding field of Ecommerce. Though shopping online isn’t anything new, technology in recent years has made it possible for shoppers to get almost instant gratification. This year, Amazon implemented its Prime Now service which guarantees delivery of goods within a few hours. Shoppers can order anything from a PlayStation 4 to a frozen pizza, making it unnecessary to venture out to buy almost any product.
Amazon also launched Amazon Fresh this year, allowing consumers to have fresh groceries delivered to their door. With many grocery stores now offering delivery and meal kit services such as HelloFresh and Blue Apron on the rise, it seems like anyone can have all of their basic needs met without ever stepping foot out of the house. This is a handy service for people with little time, such as full time working parents, but the people who should really be excited about this are the lethargic and the socially reserved. Lazy introverts rejoice: your dream has come true!
A Baker’s Delight
This year, we have tried to step up our game with baking and cooking. What has helped immensely is the abundance of cooking and baking videos we have at our disposal! We now have cooking channels on YouTube, recipe videos from Buzzfeed and Tastemade, and even shows like the Great British Bake Off. We have found so many afternoons spent binge watching the GBBO (we’re such anglophiles). We have watched so much, that we’ve even become a little too critical of pizza (hmm, “soggy bottom, not enough proofing”).
One of our newer favorites has been the YouTube channel, Binging with Babish. Amateur chef, Andrew Rea (reddit user OliverBabish), breaks down recipes from our favorite TV shows or movies. He’s done Pumpkin Pasties (Harry Potter), Charlie Kelly’s Milksteak–over hard (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and even Rachel Green’s Thanksgiving Trifle (Friends). “Babish” first attempts follow the recipes from the show or movie he’s referencing. Then, he often recreates a dish using spices and ingredients that not only make more sense but are often very delicious. Really, YouTube has become a goldmine for those who grew up with Food Network always on in the background!
More Of The Things We Love
Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out next month, and they have recently announced plans for a live action show and another trilogy that doesn’t involve the Skywalkers. It is truly a wonderful time for a nerd to be alive. One criticism that’s heard is that Disney is taking advantage of the fans by churning out all this new content – but who doesn’t want more of a thing you love? Seriously. Do you complain about having too many donuts? (If you do, don’t tell us.)
The hype for The Last Jedi has gotten a lot of us even more excited for the holiday season, which Thanksgiving kicks off. Though we’ve only seen the trailer (over and over again), some of us very excited about the Porgs, the adorable bird creatures that are like Ewoks for the next generation. The merch for Porgs has already taken a lot of our money, and it’s refreshing to see Star Wars products having more of a range as well. Seeing endcaps devoted to Star Wars fans who are girls warms our hearts and makes us grateful … though our wallets aren’t thanking us.
One of the best things in modern history has to be streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. There is nothing better than getting home and putting on Star Trek: The Next Generation for the umpteenth time and just zoning out for a few episodes. T.V. shows and the characters in them bring comfort. Having the ability to instantly pull them up is very satisfying. Whole seasons can be binged in a matter of days without having to wait for the newest episode to air. Sometimes we do need to wait for a new season, but then they launch it all in one go!
There are also the amazing originals that have been developing over the last few years. Netflix and Hulu have really stepped up their game with their original content including The Handmaid’s Tale and Black Mirror. They have also done great kindness to fans by picking up shows that have been dropped by their networks. Another great benefit is the cost – if you have all three of the major streaming services, you will be paying half of a normal cable bill. Through these services we get thousands of shows, movies, and documentaries that we do not need to record or worry about missing an episode.
True Crime Errthang
True crime is getting its time in the spotlight right now, and we seriously couldn’t be more thankful for it. For years we had to hide our “weird” obsession with murder, murderers, and all things crime related. It’s suddenly okay to start a conversation about a recent murder you had just read about or share utterly useless knowledge about serial killers with people you’ve just met. People are actually asking and talking about murder! It’s like Christmas every day.
Podcasts like My Favorite Murder, True Crime Garage, and All Killa No Filla have brought true crime into the mainstream, and FB fan groups have made it easy for “murderinos” to get in contact with other like-minded individuals. Our entire FB feeds are either cats (join us over at the Meowderino fan page, guys!) or murder, and we are living for it. Through these pages, people have been able to speak freely about true crime, murder, and cats to their heart’s desire without fear of judgement or the oh so familiar “what is wrong with you?” looks one gets so used to getting whenever the taboo subject is brought up. What a time to be alive!