Gift chains like this don’t always work, that’s true. But sometimes – often, in my experience, they work WONDERFULLY. One of my friends recently let me know she received 7 new books this way.
Evenif it hits a dead end, we have the joy of sending someone a book they will enjoy! And it’s likely you’ll delight in the joy of being gifted new books (you can choose to have the gifter choose something from your list or surprise you). Happy reading!
I’m sliding into early February to share with you some TV shows (& a few Movies) I watched in 2020. This is “Part 1: Comedies and Competition Shows.” (To be clear, these are shows I personally WATCHED in 2020 that I recommend.)
Some of these titles might feel familiar and some might be new to you! Since I haven’t linked to streaming platforms, you can use justwatch.com to find where they are streaming. The majority of these shows are on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+.
COMEDIES (or at least made ME laugh)
Flo and Joan. I want everyone to watch this comedy special! They’re goofy and witty and playful and sometimes acerbic. Comedy song writers. Like Garfunkle and Oats or Flight of the Concords, but different because they are different people. I’m already ready to rewatch this special. (It’s on Amazon Prime). It might be a bit over the top for some audiences (some adult content) but I’m guessing most of you will like it.
The Good Place. One of the best comedic shows ever! It took a few episodes for me to bite but this show gets better and better. Goofy, quirky, heartfelt, and a very satisfying series end. This show feels like a hug from a close friend.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Clever concept. Characters burst into (awesome) song and dance. The “tech” writing is bad but the character of Zoey’s neighbor Mo (played by Alex Newell) is SO good. Some tear-jerker moments but it still falls under comedy in my mind. I’ll likely go back and watch some of the group dance numbers again – a nice variety of cover songs and great choreography!
I’m Sorry. I share this show with a strong “not for the easily offended” disclaimer. I mean it! That said, I have rarely laughed out loud so much at a show. I had seen this show before but watched it again in 2020 (done via netflixparty/teleparty with a friend) and it was just as funny a second time. I’m wrecked that the third season was written and ready for production but was canceled due to Covid. Andrea Savage is one of the funniest people I have ever watched and the supporting cast is phenomenal. Hulu or Netflix would be smart to pick up season 3. But if you are offended by the show, you didn’t hear about it from me.
Palm Springs. A very funny and sweet movie. Rom Com with a focus on the Com.
The Great. This period piece (18th century Russia)’s tag line is “An occasionally true story.” I don’t usually like raunchy comedies but I like period pieces so I’m guessing that’s part of what swayed me on this one. Not for the easily offended.
Middleditch & Schwartz. Clever and unique long form improv show featuring two dudes. Self-referential. Wacky. Fast paced. I’m a big fan.
Some Good News. I sure was disappointed when this show was sold-and-then-pretty-much-cancelled. It’s likely the episodes don’t hold up now but they were really helpful for those of us who watched them while going through the early days of the Covid19 Pandemic. They came back for a 2020 Holiday special. I would totally forgive them for pausing for so long if they came back this year! 🙂
Dead to Me. Wow these ladies have great chemistry together. The writing, the timing, the weirdness of this show. I was sad when we ran out of episodes!
Upload. This was lighthearted, cute, and a cool concept. While I wasn’t super happy with how it ended (no spoilers, I promise), it was still a fun watch. I’d like a season 2!
Nate Bargatze, The Tennesee Kid. I remember liking this comedy special more than I expected to. I don’t remember details but I marked a star next to it in my journal which means I’m recommending it to you now. Maybe I’ll rewatch it and laugh all over again? 🙂
Douglas by Hannah Gadsby. Her work is amazing. Watch Nanette (her other special) first. It’s BEYOND comedy and she’s one of the best writer/performers of our time. I have watched Nanette twice and will likely watch both Nanette and Douglas again. WOW.
Noelle. This relatively new holiday movie was absolutely charming. I expected it to be bearable and was delighted. I am already planning on watching it again Dec 2021.
The Lovebirds. Cute and clever romcom movie. I liked it more than I thought I would. The actors were fun to watch together.
Frozen 2. Might be better than Frozen. There are two scenes in this movie I just adored and the rest of the movie was very good.
Sing On. Just pure, silly fun with pop and rock songs. If you like watching really good karaoke performers, this is a good show for you. No snarky judges, fun sportsmanship, some very talented singers. Fun escapism.
Win the Wilderness. I did not expect to get wrapped up in this show! BBC competition show with very little repetitive shots. Couples face Alaskan wilderness challenges – the prize is the deed to a beautiful house and property deep in Alaska (you FLY in to get there!). Loved the nature shots, the problem solving, and the personalities of the current owners and many of the contestants. It’s a very light watch for being a “wilderness competition show” – likely as it has UK not US origins.
Taskmaster. I rarely laugh so much at any show. Watch this on youtube (be sure to watch the UK version). I think the first few seasons are the best but I’m still making my way through the later seasons. Comedians compete in silly challenges. The co-hosts are hilarious, the challenges are goofy (and sometimes result in very clever solutions from the contestants). Super fun!
Making It! Oh boy, Nick Offerman & Amy Poehler are full of goofy dad jokes in this competition show for makers and crafters. The challenges are fun and the vibe is very Great British Bake Off but with glue guns instead of frosting. Some really awesome crafters are featured, including Jamie from Portland, OR who is part of the duo behind 20leagues.com. They make some of the cutest diorama kits for house plants EVER and I might have geeked out a bit when I met the two of them at a recent Urban Craft Uprising.
Great British Bake Off. You likely know it. You likely love it.
The Final Table. Supportive, interesting food challenge show. I would watch every season if they do more.
There you have it! I’ll be back in a future blog post with my favorite dramedies, dramas, and other categories.
Here are some of my favorite reads of 2020! Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. This year I was lucky enough to have the time to read 35 books/audiobooks. Note: I use the term “reading” and “books” in this post to also include “listening” and “audiobooks.” This year, I used Scribd,* the Libby App & Seattle Public Library, bought a few, and got gifted some as presents and via my local Buy Nothing group.
(Breath, Burnout and Upward Spiral are all books I draw from in my upcoming “Worry Less & Manage Stress” Program. Honorable mentions go to The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel K. van der Kolk and Between the World and Me By Ta-Nehisi Coates)
Happy Holidays! Scattergories via Zoom has been a fun way to connect with family and friends during the Pandemic. In prep for a Christmas when my fam will be celebrating in our own homes on December 24th & 25th I made this “Santagories” holiday version of the beloved game. I hope you enjoy it – simply share the screen on a zoom call with your family, chosen family, or friends.
Update 12/21: The third round!
RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS
Share your screen on zoom, everyone uses their own paper and pencil.
The official rules of Scattergories can be found here.
While they suggest a 3 minute timer, my family has found 4 minutes to be more comfortable and relaxed.
If you don’t have a Scattergories letter dice, you can use the random letter generator on Swellfargo (this is the site we use for most Scattergories games we play, thank you Swellfargo for creating so many lists!)
Enjoy playing those reindeer games, everyone! Sending you love, Keridwyn
P.S. I originally published this post two two rounds, asking for YOUR ideas for the third! Thanks to Amy, Brandon, and Suzie and her gaming buddies for your suggestions to help me fill out the last 12 prompts and for helping spread holiday cheer!
So you’re looking to support a small, local PNW entertainment business and also gift someone the gift of a unique, funny experience? Let me introduce you to Mad Genius! They are based in Portland, Oregon and create vibrant online virtual escape room experiences!
Their current escape room “The Truth about Edith” is “an hour-long, cooperative, timed adventure sprinkled with interactive theater and a good dose of humor! This game is an eccentric mix of a video game, an escape room, and a great who-done-it story.” The team at Mad Genius call their experience “unique, hilarious, and charming, nothing like you’ve seen before.” The game plays 4 people (they can all be in the same house or each on their own screen). Gift certificates are available now.
You may know that my husband, Brandon, is an avid escape room participant and puzzler. He’s attended over 50 in-person and online escape rooms and he has a great eye and understanding for what makes a great escape room or puzzle room experience. “The Truth about Edith” is one of his Top 5 Online Escape Room Experiences and is his top pick for family-friendly escape room experiences.
Brandon writes describes this escape room as “a fun, funny, family-friendly, feline-forward experience with a variety of puzzle types.”
Two of Brandons escape room team members are also friends of mine, so I asked them for their reviews.
Amy writes “I loved how each of the four players had a distinct role in solving certain puzzles – it promotes individual participation as well as teamwork, which is not always an easy combination to achieve.”
Paul writes “Very fun! For 60 minutes I forgot about 2020.”
Hey there, it’s been a bit. Turns out some hobbies are harder during this stage of pandemic. You finding that too? Oof.
Let’s jump in. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:
My friend and colleague Lori Hammond recently introduced me to Stanford professor and neuroscientist Andrew Huberman. I’m now going down a youtube rabbit hole, finding videos from podcasts he’s appeared on this summer. He makes neuroscience approachable and is right up my alley, in connection to my work as a Hypnotherapist. He posts on Instagram at instagram.com/hubermanlab (you can view IG posts online even if you don’t sign up for instagram). For more from him, search his name on your podcast app and of course youtube.
I would love Andrew to be a guest on Brene Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us (my favorite podcast right now).
Unlocking Us is recently back with more episodes, as is another podcast favorite, the funny and interesting pod By the Book with hosts Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer. Funny enough, pre-pandemic they planned this season to have many home-self-help books. AND they just released an episode on one of my favorite books, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (follow her on FB and IG). Everyone in the United States should read this book.
I’m in the middle of reading Kindred (a book written in the 1970s about a black woman who travels back in time to the 1800s during slavery in the United States). It’s good, powerful, interesting writing. You can listen to the audiobook on Scribd, which is like netflix for audiobooks/ebooks/sheet music – use my link HERE to get 2 months free. You can cancel before your trial is up if you don’t love it and you won’t be charged but I personally LOVE this app and use it a bunch. When you get 2 months free, I get a month free, and that makes me really giddy, so thanks!
I’ve also enjoyed the YA books/audiobooks from Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give and On the Come Up. Highly recommended. Check out links to all the books I’ve read this year so far, here. I love Goodreads and following friends on there is a great way to find new-to-you books to love. My most recent online bookclubs were for the books The Power and Circe and I recommend both of those books (though if your nervous system is on overload right now, you may want to skip The Power for now.)
Another thing that’s brought me joy lately, that I think you might like knowing about is: chickpea toast. Out of avocados? Open a can of garbanzo beans, rinse them, add a splash of water, some mayo and mustard, za’atar spice and a dash of salt. You can mix up some chopped bell pepper or add tomato or arugula on top, and put it on toast. Done! My favorite snack.
Some movies I’ve enjoyed lately include:
Eurovision (super goofy, I’m not always a fan of comedies like this but I imagined my dear friend with an infectious laugh next to me and thoroughly enjoyed it)
Moana (rewatch – one of Disney’s best movies ever)
The King of Staten Island (not sure if I would have watched this if I hadn’t heard Judd Apatow’s interview on Unlocking Us, glad I did. It’s heavy but carthartic and also has good laughs)
Hamilton (of course)
Shows I’ve enjoyed lately:
(besides Youtube podcast videos featuring Andrew Huberman)
Love on the Spectrum (I’d love to hear what you thought of this if you are on the autism spectrum or are close with someone who is)
Padma Lakshmi Taste the Nation
There are a few shows I recommend if you are ok with humor that goes way past the line (not for the easily offended or younger watchers). If that interests you, message me on FB or my contact form and I’ll fill you in. 🙂
To find where a show or movie is streaming, visit the terrific website or app, Just Watch. Cool cool cool. Thanks to the folks who created this, you make my life easier.
Oh, and a great website in case you’re curious if a show or movie is appropriate for a younger watcher or a squeamish or easily offended watcher: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/
I’ve enjoyed revisiting Scattergories recently. Great for the whole family or a group of friends and works well via zoom (Send a text of the list you’re using to everyone before you start the timer. If you don’t have a letter dice you can use a site like random.org with the numbers 1 to 26. Or just pick a letter. FYI, the original game’s dice doesn’t include the letters Q, U, V, X, Y, and Z.
So, friend, reader, what have you been reading, watching, playing, listening to, making (simple recipes only, please), supporting?
Half-way through July! I’m finding ways to keep myself active, learning, and content during this stage of the pandemic. I had a bit of a pause on the blog but I’m back now!
Today, I share some ways I’ve been spending my down time, in case you want to join me:
Yoga: you gotta start somewhere
After decades of declaring I wanted to “get into yoga,” the time is finally here. Thanks to the “Yoga & Movement Encouragement Group” I started on Facebook, I can finally say I have a personal yoga practice. I’ve been enjoying Sarah Beth Yoga on Youtube (she’s got a nice list of Beginner yoga videos that are just 10-15 minutes, which is right for me at this time).
I did 21 days in a row then thought I would go to 2-3 days a week and increase the time I spent on my mat on those days. Well, unfortunately that plan didn’t work out: I ended up doing ZERO yoga for nine days in a row. So, now I am back to the mat with a “daily yoga routine.” Even in just nine days without yoga after 21 days with yoga, I noticed my body was a bit more achy and tight, so I’m excited to be back to the mat. This time around, I’m using the mindset of “I do yoga every day” rather than counting days.
Arm Workout: 5 minutes a day
My pal Samantha Lamb, who is part of my movement encouragement group, shared the daily arm workout program she liked . . . now I’m hooked! I’m already noticing a difference. While I’m not a fan of the title of the course (and guessing the site named it, not the teacher, as Sarah Rector has zero body-shaming in her program), the DailyOm 14 day arm challenge offers arm workouts using small weights at just 5 minutes a day. I did the 14 days and the restarted the program and plan on continuing this for the days to come. Being just 5 minutes a day makes it easy to do it and get through it.
What I’ve been watching
Thank you to the creators of Netflix Party! I’ve enjoyed watching shows with friends while staying home and staying safe during the pandemic (connecting via the chat feature while we watch the show together). Some of the shows I’ve enjoyed watching via NP include
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – travel to Italy, Japan, Mexico, and California with the charming and approachable chef and author Samin Nosrat.
Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker “The inspiring story of trailblazing African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker who built a haircare empire that made her America’s first female self-made millionaire.” – IMDB
Hollywood Not for the faint of heart. A wild ride with delightful casting.
Dead To Me (Season 2) Dark, twisty, funny.
When They See Us Intense and based on a true story. This mini-series was recommended to me by multiple antiracist mvoies/shows to watch lists.
Other shows I’m watching or recently have watched that I recommend include:
Dear White People (the series) “At a predominantly white Ivy League college, a group of black students navigate various forms of racial and other types of discrimination.” – IMBD
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (if you haven’t seen Hannah Gadsby: Nanette yet, watch that first). One of the best solo performers of our time, maybe ever.
The Morning Show. Great casting. An inside look at a morning tv show, centering around #MeToo plot lines.
Upload Goofy sci-fi with a fun concept. “A man is able to choose his own afterlife after his untimely death by having his consciousness uploaded into a virtual world.” -IMBD
Palm Springs It’s not often I laugh out loud at movies and shows but this comedy is so good!
Curling up with some good books
I discovered Scribd this year (basically the “netflix” of books/audiobooks/magazines/sheetmusic). I’m hooked! They normally just give 2 weeks for free but if you sign up with my link you get TWO MONTHS free (and if you’re on a budget you can cancel before your two months runs out and you won’t be charged). I love being able to read and listen to my hearts content, rather than subscription plans that allow just one audiobook a month or charge you if you want more. Sign up with my link here: https://www.scribd.com/g/8gjtsr (You get two months free of Scribd and I get one month free!)
I just finished The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (WOW so good!) on Scribd and am now enjoying Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. My mom (Seattle Pockets blogger Jeanne Deller) and dad recently listened to The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia and The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (narrated by national treasure Tom Hanks). They recommend both of these books.
Seattleite I’m inspired by
Journalist Omari Salisbury has been doing an incredible job covering the protests in Seattle, including the experiences at CHOP. His livestreams and replays are an excellent source of news of what is truly happening in Seattle. Check out his links, here.
I’ll be back to blog again soon. Sending love to you, reader! Drop me a line or send me a message if you have suggestions of (safe) entertainment in the coming weeks and months. More about me: linktr.ee/keridwyn – Keridwyn
If you are easily offended, please read up before watching shows, as not all of these are appropriate for kids or easily-offended adults. I use commonsensemedia.com to see if a show is going to be too violent/gory for me. This is a good source for folks who want to keep it PG/PG13.
HERE WE GO…TV SHOWS AND MOVIES I RECOMMEND
Hannah Gadsby – Nanette (stand up show / one person show but deals with heavy subjects also funny and incredible) and Douglas. (Watch Nanette first)
The Good Place (Give it a few episodes)
Neal Brennan – 3 mics (stand up show/one person show but deals with depression. Excellent)
Fleabag (not for the easily offended)
Orphan Black (especially the first season)
Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (people break into song and dance – so fun.)
Upload (a cute guy gets uploaded to the afterlife)
The Kominski Method
Mike Birbiglia – The New One (stand up – his other stand up is good too)
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Grace & Frankie
I’m Sorry (not for the easily offended – I love her)
The comedy central yotube channel is also great and they offer some full standup specials at cc.com
Dry bar standup on YouTube
Onward (Pixar – on Disney+)
Muppet Moments (very short clips – on disney+ and youtube)
Middleditch and Schwartz (really unique improv show with 2 dudes)
Dead to Me
Garfunkle and Oates (youtube videos)
Flo and Joan (similar to Flight of the Concords comedy music but their own unique style and songs)
Eurovision (movie – super goofy. I’m not usually a fan of this type of comedy but this one got me)
Great British Bake Off
Making It (crafting competition show)
Zoey’s Infinite Playlist (dance numbers – yay!)
Some Good News (youtube) – was more relevant in early pandemic days
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Love on the Spectrum
Padma Lakshmi Taste the Nation (Tour the United States with Padma as she experiences food culture of different immigrant groups)
Salt Fat Acid Heat (the host is so delightful – I wish there were more than 4 episodes but every one is a delicious treat.)
Sing On (singing competition without annoying judges – they are based on accuracy of hitting notes like the original singer)
Hollywood (not super accurate, but a fun watch)
This is Us
Law and Order SVU
Black Mirror (not for the easily offended)
Criminal U.K. – each episode exists on their own
When They See Us (based on The Exonerated Five – formerly known as the Central Park Five)
Mindhunter (FBI in the 1970s studying serial killers)
The Handmaid’s Tale
Unbelievable (trigger warning, detectives trying to find a serial rapist. Really well done show though, I was glad I watched it)
This Way Up
Orange is the New Black
Jenny Slate : Stage Fright
Master of None
Living with Yourself
Action / Suspense/Intense – I usually can’t do violence and gore but the quality of these shows made it worth it for me:
The Boys (gory but I love the characters and plot)
Killing Eve (not for the easily offended)
Hunters (Takes place in 1977 of people hunting Nazis living in disguise in America)
(movies I’ve seen from March 2020 on that I recommend)
The King of Staten Island
Palm Springs (I laughed a bunch)
Moana (pretty sure this is my favorite Disney movie)
The Lovebirds (movie – funny/goofy/cute movie with silly action movie plot line)
Eurovision (super goofy but made me laugh)
Bill & Ted Face the Music (does justice to the first movie vibe – light and goofy if you liked the first one)
Have been out for a while but I enjoyed when I watched them:
Six Feet Under
West World (season 1 and 3)
United States of Tara (Toni Collette as a mom with DID/multiple personalities and Brie Larson plays her daughter)
The One I Love (movie – a sort of a Black Mirror-lite story)
BONUS! Podcasts I like:
Unlocking Us (Brene Brown)
By the Book
The Hilarious World of Depression
Good Job Brain (they don’t release new episodes but their old ones are fun – trivia show)
NPR Life Kit
Based on what you see here, let me know if there are shows you recommend I check out!
“In solidarity, we distance,” my friend Angelica Kushi shared in her Facebook Live video today. While we’re physically distancing, this is an opportunity for us to socially connect – online. We’re staying in (unless we are one of the heroes working a front line job to keep the community alive). We’re keeping ourselves 6 feet or more away from others in the necessary times we do go out. We’re discovering new ways to experience life from indoors. We are voicing and naming our feelings, mitigating our stress and anxiety, and finding the “bright spots” where we can.
It is imperative for our wellbeing, for our own self-care and for our ability to show up for others, that we do things to relax and recharge when we can. Reach out to others and offer support. Be a helper. And prioritize your own self-care too. Take time to breathe deep throughout the day. And find ways to play, explore, and experience delight. Your brain needs you to keep these healthy, play-seeking, gratitude-seeking neuropathways going now more than ever.
I wanted to share a few free virtual events and experiences with you today:
Ebooks and Audiobooks from the Library
Got a library card? Download the Libby app and sign up with your card – you’ll be able to check out ebooks and audiobooks for free. If you need help with the technology, reach out to a friend to walk you through it over the phone (or message me if you don’t have someone to turn to and I’ll pair you with a helper).
The Stranger has collected an awesome list of virtual events for us – check out their full list. This page shares virtual events for tonight/Friday/Saturday/Sunday and ongoing dates. You’ll want to subscribe to get future updates from them.
Free Hypnosis Session
Join me Sunday as I host a free hypnosis session online “Mindful Hands: keep your hands comfortably away from your face.” If you can’t make it Sunday, you’ll be able to watch the replay. Join my free Reframe Your Brain Facebook group here for details. (If you aren’t on FB and want access to this recording, drop me a message at keridwyn.com/contact)
Dance it out
Dance Church is offering their next fab-energy dance workout event on March 22 at 10am. Free (donations welcome). Live stream will be here. Learn more about Dance Church here. (I’m going to be in an online class at that time but hope to make the next one – not sure what the dates are yet.) If you attend, I want to hear about it!
Reach out to others
Reach out to friends and even acquaintances that may need more connection. Think about which friends who are “distancing in solidarity” and living solo (or with a roommate situation that is tricky for them). Consider what folks of older ages you know and see how they’re doing (maybe ask if they need any support with learning how to video chat or other tech needs you can walk them through on the phone). Seeing each other’s faces gives us more feelings of connection than just texts or even phone calls. This is the time to connect, as we distance in solidarity.
Angelica Kushi’s Online Yoga Class
My lovely friend Angelica (who I quoted at the top of this post) is hosting a yoga class ($9 suggested or pay what you can) on 3/20 and 3/23 at 9am Pacific Time on Zoom. She’s also offering great rates if you prefer a one-on-one session with her. Details here.