"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Anime Year in Review (Part 3)

Almost done, guys!  I promise!  In fact, I think I'm going to attempt to mash several series into one post this time around for the sake of wrapping this up...

July brought with it one of my all-time favorite anime: Nichijou, which roughly translates to "My Ordinary Life".  This series is anything but ordinary.  I'd try to explain, but I know I'll mess it up, so here are a few video clips to explain what I mean:

And before you say it, no.  This would not make more sense in context.  This is one of those series that even with all the context, it makes just as much sense.  This is of course why I love it to pieces.  I know I was planning on writing about several series at once here, but I think I'll just leave you with this.  Just let this all sink in and I'll talk to you about more anime later ;)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Anime Year in Review (Part 2)

Moving on with my anime viewing...Summer brought up a whole host of great series, including School Rumble, Cowboy Bebop, Nichijou, Pokemon Origins, Spice and Wolf, and Steins;Gate.

School Rumble is one of my all-time favorite anime.  It's one of those series that I could watch again and again, and you get so emotionally involved and attached to the characters.  I was super disappointed to learn that there will not be a third season, not even in Japan, but all the same, I'm glad I watched as much as I did, and I'm looking forward to checking out the manga, so I can complete the story.

This series is a strange love triangle.  Tenma loves Karasuma. Harima loves Tenma.  Karasuma loves curry.  Or, to put it another way: ditsy girl falls for the dullest guy in her class.  The school delinquent falls for her.  And neither dull guy or girl has any idea that someone likes them.  Add in tons of love triangles in the background, a girl who can read the minds of guys who like her, and ridiculously improbable situations, and you have School Rumble.  This is one of those series that is hard to explain in any great detail, because I'll either spoil it for you or introduce you to waaay more information than you were looking for.  But, either way, it is incredibly fun.

Cowboy Bebop is at the other end of the spectrum.  While School Rumble is beyond silly, this series is much more serious.  The tone can get very dark at times, but all in all, this was another engaging series that I really enjoyed watching.  I've just requested a couple copies of the manga from the library, so hopefully, I can go back and revisit this classic series again.

Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein

Cowboy Bebop follows intergalactic bounty-hunter Spike Spiegel and his crew (tough-guy Jet, double-crossing Faye, computer-wiz Ed, and their super-smart dog Ein).  The group has a ton of misadventures and at various points, are forced to confront elements from their pasts.  As I said, it's not all fun and games, but while gritty, this is considered a classic anime, and if you are looking for the classics, then this is one to start with.  Plus, Steve Blum voices Spike in the English dub, and he's one of the best voice actors out there.

Spike and Cowboy Andy
Watching Bebop can be pretty emotional, and even bleak at times, but then you get to an episode like the one starring Cowboy Andy (I will say nothing more on the topic) and then you are so glad that you took the time.

So, sit back, relax, pick up a new anime, and tell me what you think!  And stay tuned, because Part 3 will be coming your way very soon :)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Anime Year in Review (Part 1)

I had considered doing a year in review for all the books I read, too, but if you look at my Goodreads page, I've read 153 books this year.  Then, I considered just writing about the books that got a 5 of 5 stars.  That's still 56 books, which will take up more time than any of us really have to devote to this blog.  So, instead, I'd like to look back on my year of anime series.  At the start of this year, I talked about finishing Death Note and Space Dandy, so I'll be avoiding those two this time around.  But, I'd like to talk about the other titles that I've checked out, both with the Brother and without.  There are some real gems here :)

January brought us on an emotional thrill ride through Death Note and Space Dandy, but then the Brother went back to school.  Left to my own devices, I picked up two anime that seemed like fun at the time: Love Lab and Eccentric Family--and thus, Spring anime season began.

Love Lab is a goofy shoujo about a group of students (from an all-girls high
Riko and Maki (Love Lab)
school) learning how to get the attention of boys.  The story begins when popular, tomboyish Riko catches the student council president, Maki, in the act of making out with a body pillow.  Maki begs her not to tell anyone, since this might ruin her perfect reputation.  Riko makes an off-hand comment that suggests she is popular with boys, so Maki recruits her to teach her how to find a boyfriend.  There are two problems, though.  First, school rules forbid the girls having romantic relationships, and second, Riko doesn't know the first thing about romance!  

Soon, the student council becomes a front for the girls' "love lab" as they test out ways to get attention from boys, such as different hairstyles, conversation topics, and kissing.  The pair are joined by brash Eno, timid Suzu, and conniving Sayo as they attempt to provide answers to their romantically challenged peers, while still performing their student council duties.
Riko, Suzu, and a giant paper fan
From the description, this anime sounds like it might veer into yuri (lesbian) territory, but surprisingly, it stays pretty innocent of anything sexual.  There are a lot of jokes and awkward situations, but for the most part, it is pretty wholesome.  It's a cute series, though.  Not something I would personally watch again (since I just don't go for drippy girly shows), but still an enjoyable way to spend a couple of nights.

Yasaburo (Eccentric Family)
Eccentric family, on the other hand, was a real gem.  This one tells the story of a family of tanuki, or Japanese raccoon dogs.  Just as in the mythology, these tanuki have the power to shape-shift, so they take the form of humans and live among other members of society.  The titular family consists of four brothers: tightly-wound Yaichiro; Yajiro, who turned himself into a frog and can't turn back; irresponsible Yasaburo; and sweet, but timid Yashiro.  Add in a cross-dressing mother; their despicable cousins, the Ebisagawa twins; and a cantankerous old tengu (crow demon) and you have the recipe for a perfect cast!

The story mostly focuses on Yasaburo, and without giving too much away, the
Benten and the Friday Fellows
central theme revolves around the death of the family patriarch.  As he used to be the leader of tanuki society, the rest of the clan is caught up in trying to elect a new leader in his stead.  Meanwhile, Yasaburo finds himself caught up with a mysterious group called the Friday Fellows, who are known for cooking and eating a tanuki every year as part of the New Year's celebration.  When the group's most dangerous member, the lovely Benten sets her sights on Yasaburo, he's in love...and also in great danger.

This is a great series if you're looking for something short, but very engaging.  I found it difficult to stop watching, and was disappointed when it was over.  But, all in all, this is an excellent series, and one which I would contend is one of my all-time favorites!

Stay tuned for Part 2: School Rumble and Cowboy Bebop.  It should be coming your way very soon!


Perhaps one of the best parts of the Brother's return home is that we spend inordinate amounts of time each night watching anime.  My love of anime is quickly becoming a make-or-break relationship point.  I can see turning down a very nice guy because he's not interested in discussing the finer points of Dragon Ball Z, or cosplaying with me at the next anime convention.  I know it sounds silly, but it's a big part of my interests.  Plus, I feel like watching anime and playing video games are social activities that should be shared.  I also love reading (which I'm sure you all know), but that's solitary.  I don't mind reading alone.  But, I want someone to go to all the anime movies with me, and to cry with me during every ridiculously sad character backstory in One Piece.
So, while we're on the topic, the Brother got me the most awesome Christmas gift: a copy of the latest Dragon Ball Z movie: Resurrection "F" on DVD.  We watched it Christmas night, and I'm still feeling the high. While he prefers the 2013 Battle of Gods, there is just something about the devious and highly dangerous Frieza (the "F" in Resurrection "F") that always fascinated me.
Frieza in his "golden form" from Resurrection F
 In addition to this amazing film, the Brother and I have stocked up a list of anime we wanted to watch while he's home for the holidays.  I'm hoping to post about these a bit more as we watch them.  I know last year, I talked about completing a few series which I had been focusing on for months, and how it felt like I had a huge hole in my life after these characters, who had been my constant companions, were gone from my day-to-day.
Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss
Last year was Death Note and Space Dandy.  This year, we have several titles lined up, including Tiger and Bunny; Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple; Mushi-Shi; Samurai Champloo; and possibly some One Piece or Dragon Ball if time allows.  Also, the Brother isn't interested, but I have a shoujo lined up for me: Kamisama Kiss!
I was going to use this space to write all about Tiger and Bunny, but I think I have a better idea.  Instead, I'm going to put together an anime Year and Review, and go over all the anime that I have seen this year.  I hope you guys stop in to check things out :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

That Adult Thing

I think I finally figured out the secret to this whole adult-ing thing.  Basically, being an adult is just like being a kid, except you now have money to buy all that nerd stuff for yourself, and people expect you to act "your age", get up at a reasonable hour, pay the bills, go to work, wear pants around the house--even if no one is home--and do other "mature" things, even if you don't want to.  Basically, being an adult is all about pretending to be the most mature member of your social circle.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm putting on my jammies and crawling into my blanket fort.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Weekend

It has been an interesting weekend.  I got yelled at by three patrons and my boss...and NONE of it was my fault!  So, work was kind of a bust.  And who wants to work on a Saturday, anyway??

On the plus side, I picked up some horror films and anime to watch when I finish homework, and I found a copy of Silas Marner at a used book sale.  Just a bit of background there: when I was in high school, Silas Marner was my jam.  I'm a bit nervous to see if it will hold up to my very fond memories, but either way, it cost me 25 cents, so it was a risk worth taking.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Face

So, I might have already mentioned it, but Christmas is coming, y'all!  I still have a crap-ton of shopping to do....like almost all of it....but I'm watching YouTube videos instead, and posting them here so you can join me in blissful procrastination.  You're welcome :)

Rhett and Link are the best.  Seriously, go watch all of their stuff.  They do sketches, songs, commercials, and even have their own YouTube morning talkshow!  Simply the best.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is coming!  I had intended to do a 25 Days of Christmas series this year, but after I totally couldn't finish my 31 Days of Halloween series, I thought it would be best to just wait until school was over.  Why can't I post all the time?  Grad school.  Yup.  Gotta love it.

On the flipside, I'll be graduating in August.  So, stay tuned for that :)

Click to enlarge
You can find the comic and more by this author on her website for Junior Scientist Power Hour here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #22

Phone Guy: Well, if you're listening to this, it looks like you've survived to night five, so congratuations.  But, this is not the time to celebrate.  There is something VERY important that I have to tell y-- *crash* Wh-what was that?  *footsteps* Who's out there?  Oh, God no!   No! *footsteps coming closer* Stay back!  No!  No!  NOOOOOOOOO! *Sounds of screaming and mechanical movement*

Hello?  Hello?  Eesh.  Well, I guess that's the end of that then.  No more phone calls, no more Five Nights at Freddy's posts.  I promised five and here is post five, so I guess I have no reason to go beyond this last post.

Day 22: FNAF Day 5

The brother is a huge fan of Did You Know Gaming's channel on YouTube, and he knows I've been diving into FNAF lore, so when he found that they had done a Five Nights video, he was quick to send it my way.  That being said, this video is a collaboration with another video game channel I really enjoy: Game Theory.  So, if you like this video, check out both Did You Know Gaming and Game Theory to support two awesome channels!

The video included below is just a bit about the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise, with some of the background details.  Its less about the lore of the game, and more about the history of the game, so if you're not a huge fan of jump scares and horror stories, this might be more your speed.  Also, if you're like me and you just love the heck out of trivia, then this is also the video for you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #20

When I was a kid, I always wanted a cat.  However, I learned at a fateful sleepover that I was horribly, horribly allergic to cats, and having one was just never going to happen without a rigorous series of allergy shots (I once looked into it.  It'll take about 3 to 5 years, which I'm just not willing to do).

Now, I would consider myself more of a dog person.  They're sweet, friendly, and always ready to play.  I feel like cats are a bit more aloof and harder to warm up to.

But, what if there was a cat that acted like a dog?  If I wasn't allergic, this would be an awesome pet.  Want to make it even more "Emmy approved"?  How about making that little dog-cat more...wolflike?  Like, how about a werewolf?  What?  Em, what are you talking about?  Well, there is just such a thing! 

Meet the Lykoi.  This adorable little kitty is also affectionately known as the "wolf cat" or the "werewolf cat".  Their patchy fur was caused by a genetic mutation, and their personalities are incredibly dog-like.  Did I mention they are also rare and expensive?  Some kittens go for more than $2000!

I want one.  I mean, I love werewolves.  I love cats.  And I love how friendly and sweet dogs are.  What is better than a cat that looks like a werewolf and acts like a dog?  I can't think of anything!  (Okay, I take that back.  The ability to fly is way cooler than this cat, but I hardly think that counts).

What do you think of the Lykoi?  I feel like this is a look you either love or hate.  Part of me feels bad that we're purposely breeding cats with patchy fur, kind of like how we breed hairless cats like the Sphinx.  But, that being said, is this cat ugly or cool?  I think cool, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts, too.

Monday, October 19, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #19

There are a lot of great actors in the classic horror genre.  Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney (both Jr. and Sr.), John Carradine, Claude Rains, Lionel Atwill, George Zucco....and perhaps my favorite: Dwight Frye.

Without a doubt, Dwight Frye is one of my all-time favorite actors.  You might know him best as Renfield from the original Bela Lugosi Dracula, or perhaps even as Fritz, the hunchback from the original Boris Karloff Frankenstein.  There is something about Dwight that always sends shivers down my spine.  And yet, at the same time, he creates a very sympathetic character (especially in Renfield; not so much in Fritz).  He's truly a wonderful actor.  If you want to read a bit about his life, I highly recommend this wonderful book.

And now for some free stuff!  I'm going to start things off with perhaps the most famous Dwight Frye song out there: "The Ballad of Dwight Fry" by Alice Cooper.  Yes, I know I left the "e" off in "Frye", but that's how its spelled in the song.
While you're listening to that, why not check out a few of these interesting biographies of Dwight?  They can be found here and here.

Also, here is a wonderful remix song about Renfield from Dracula, called "Now, Now, Renfield".  The link will take you to a page where you can download the song.  And if you wanted a video of the song instead, I'm including that below.

Want more?  Check out some of Dwight's films.  In addition to Frankenstein and Dracula, you can find him in The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Vampire Bat, and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man--just to name a few!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #18

Halloween is fast approaching, my friends, and I am getting more and more excited!  Soon, it will be time for costumes, creatures, and tons and tons of candy!  (The candy is always my favorite part).
But, what do you do while you're snarfing down all that sugary goodness?  How about watch a movie?

Day 18: Horror Films
I have a few links for you today.  The first is a collection of horror films you can watch right on YouTube!  Don't want to buy the film, or feel like going to the library?  Don't have Netflix?  Well, just load up your ad-blocker and check out some of these classics online.  I'll be completely honest and say that I've not heard of most of these titles, so you might be in for what I like to call something of a schlockfest, but all the same, you mind find that hidden gem you can tell all your friends about.
If you're looking for something a bit more scary, then head over to Cracked.com for a list of scary classics.  These aren't your garden variety titles, like Dracula and Frankenstein, but these chillers are certain to leave you all freaked out.
If you're still looking for more, then perhaps this is for you.  WatchMojo created a series of videos detailing the best horror films from each decade.  The list goes all the way through the '80s, but my favorites were all in the first collection (I'm such a traditionalist!) so here are some of the best horror films from the 1920s through the 1950s!
Still looking for more?  WatchMojo also did a video about the best movie monsters.  You can check that one out here:
 Stay tuned for more holiday goodness!  And stay scary, my friends :)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #17

I don't listen to a lot of podcasts.  Not because I have any issues with podcasts, of course--I once tried to spearhead an initiative to create one for our library (but it never took off).  I guess I just haven't listened to too many of them to have much of an opinion.

Then a friend told me about Welcome to Night Vale.  It's a podcast that she describes as NPR meets The Twilight Zone.  Think local radio talk-show where everyday news includes a glowing cloud hovering over city hall, the mysterious doings of the sheriff's secret police, and a indescribable shape that no one will speak of.

The podcast is actually a lot of fun.  Our narrator/DJ, Cecil, is funny, charming, and pleasant to listen to.  The whole thing is very lulling.  I often listen to it before I go to bed as a good way to wind down, instead of reading a book like I normally do.  If you want to listen to Welcome to Night Vale yourself, you can access it for free here.  Even better, the site allows you to download the files (again, for free) so you can listen to it on your iPod, phone, or other mobile device!

I don't have much else to say here, but go check this out.  Its such a quirky piece, and I really hope you like it!  They are already up to about 70 episodes, and the series updates twice a month.

Friday, October 16, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #16

Phone Guy: Hello!  It looks like you've made it to night four.  Good for you.  So, I'm actually supposed to deliver a message for you.  It looks like tonight, instead of spending your fourth day at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzaria, you're going to be doing a different FNAF-style challenge.  This is One Night at Flumpty's.

Markiplier playing "One Night at Flumpty's"

Day 16: One Night at Flumpty's (FNAF Day 4)

What the heck is a Flumpty?  Or, perhaps a better question is what is that adorable egg and how can I get one?  Well, hold your horses there, bud, since this cute little critter is actually the star of a genuinely creepy and difficult Five Nights at Freddy's clone game.  However, instead of Freddy, Foxy, Chica, and Bonnie, you go up against wonderful characters such as Flumpty Bumpty, Birthday Boy Blam, the Red Man, the Beaver, and The Eyesaur.

They may look cute, but this game is a legit challenge, which I think makes it more interesting and fun!  I'm including some videos here of when Markiplier (Again?  Yes, I know...) played the game for the first time.

Don't let the freaky pictures deter you.  At least watch one or two videos.  This game is legit!  (And if you want to play it yourself, you can check it out by clicking on Day 16 above). 

One Night at Flumpty's 1

One Night at Flumpty's 2

One Night at Flumpty's 2: Hard-Boiled Mode

What do you guys think?  Stay tuned for more creepy posts and one more FNAF entry to come!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #15

I love Frankenstein.  The book, the movies, the musical, the character....its a great story with a fascinating figure that really has become a part of popular culture now.  I mean, who doesn't know and love our favorite green-faced electrode-studded monstrosity?

Well, I can bet there is someone out there who loves him even more than you or me.  And that gentleman is Pierre Fournier, the author of another BlogSpot blog dedicated to all things Frankenstein.

This is a blog I've been following for years.  After all, what kind of classic horror fan wouldn't love year-round updates about one of the most enduring monsters in film and literature?

And this blog is awesome, because it includes EVERYTHING Frankenstein!  And I mean everything!  Fan art, movie stills, promotional photos and posters, video clips, toys, history, collectibles...everything you could ever want!  And if you're not a huge Frankenstein fan, but are looking for something fun for the holiday, then take a look at the site.  I'm sure you'll find something to tickle your fancy!

And when you're done there, be sure to check out this other Frankenstein blog.  Gris Grimly's Frankenstein is no longer being updated, but it is still super-cool.  This was the first time I was able to follow an author through the creative process, page by page until the end, and then I went and read the book (which is excellent, by the way!)  I would highly suggest starting from the beginning, and if you like what you see, check out the book.  It was one of the best graphic novel adaptations of a work of classic literature that I have ever seen.  Creepy, atmospheric, slightly reminiscent of Tim Burton, yet completely and wholly original, this is one you just have to check out!  For more information, go to Gris's personal website here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #14

So, I know I had intended to do 5 straight days of Five Nights at Freddy's, but once again, I am running low on material.  So, that being said, I will try to pop in the last few days of FNAF in a few days.  So, stay tuned for those later.  For now, however, I would like to return to our regularly scheduled Halloween posts.

I've featured JonTron in Ramblings posts in the past, but today, I would like to do another bit about him.  As a gamer, I love finding other people who also share an open and honest love of video games (not these pretenders who say they're into games for the attention, or those who are majorly pretentious jerks about it.  JonTron is one of the good ones.

I love watching videos that talk about classic games and hidden gems.  I know that I won't be able to play half of the games I watch videos about, but that's okay.  I'd probably suck at them anyway, and I have enough fun watching someone else play for me.  Monster Party is one that I would be willing to give a try.

Day 14: Monster Party

So, I'm not sure exactly what to say about this video.  My general rule of thumb with JonTron is to just sit back and enjoy the ride.  He's kind of all over the place at times, and he comes across as a big goof, but this guy really knows his stuff.  Even if you're not familiar with the game or the console, you can still have a lot of fun watching his stuff.  Jon is one of a kind!

If you like what you see, please let me know in the comments.  I have a couple more JonTron episodes that I would love to share if people were interested :)

And if video games aren't you cup of tea, never fear!  There was a Rankin-Bass movie that came out years ago with a similar title: Mad Monster Party?.  It's a kids' movie where Dr. Frankenstein announces his plans to retire, and gathers together some familiar faces so that he can appoint his successor.  I'm including the trailer for the film below.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #13

PHONE GUY: Well, it looks like you've made it to your third day.  Good!  Not many people have made it this far.  So, hang in there!  Today, we have a collection of FNAF videos from different parody groups on Newgrounds.  I hope you enjoy watching these and generally have a good (but somewhat scary) time.

Day 13: Five Nights at Freddy's (Day 3)

Night Guard Mike and Toy Bonnie

First up, we have Five Nights at Freddy's: The Prequel.  This is a silly little animation (that I rather enjoyed) which focuses on the infamous "Freddy Head" from the later games.  (The animatronics are trying to find you and stuff you into a costume, so wearing the Freddy head makes them think you're an animatronic, too).  Unfortunately, this doesn't work for all of them.  Foxy still knows that you're the night guard.

This second one is an original animation that takes some of the reactions and comments from Markiplier and arranges them into a story.  Markiplier has done stuff like this on his own channel, but his videos tend to be a collection of moments, like a "best of" gag reel, while this is an actual story (of sorts).  If you would like a straight up "best of," then I suggest checking out my post for Day 11 here.  Just a heads up.  This video is a lot darker than the first one, so be prepared for a jump in mood here.

And finally, this last one is not a video, but a game.  I'm not sure if any of you actually enjoy dating simulators, but I think they can be fun every once in a while.  Also, this one is a lot easier than most of the ones you can find online, which take up a TON of time and yield little results.  If you've ever wondered what life could be like attempting to woo a murderous robot in a animal suit, now you can!  Try to win the heart of Freddy, Foxy, or a surprisingly adorable Springtrap in this Newgrounds game here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #12

I really hope that people enjoyed my last post (about Five Nights at Freddy's), because in the spirit of the game, this is part 2 in a mini-series of FNAF posts.  Think of this as Day 2 of Five Nights.

Day 12: Five Nights at Freddy's (Day 2)
I want to preface this by saying it was not my intention at the outset to do a FNAF series for 31 Days of Halloween.  But, I decided to do it for a couple reasons.  1.) I've just been too busy to put together a good list of ideas, so 2.) I'm running out of topics for posts, and 3.) I've become somewhat obsessed with FNAF since I started looking up videos for the last post.

Anyways, our topic this time around is going to be based on the FNAF musical.  This was put out by the creative minds at Random Encounters, with a little help from my man Markiplier (the King of Five Nights at Freddy's).

Just a quick disclaimer: if you've not played Five Nights, you might not get a lot of the references included.  So, I'll try to sum a few things up.

  • In the game, you play the nightguard who receives increasingly creepy and cryptic messages from "phone guy" who tells you what to what out for and how some others have not fared so well at this job.
  • The animatronics come to life and they think you're a endoskeleton (the metal frame that makes up the animatronics) without your costume on, so that's why they try to stuff you into a costume.
  • "Purple Guy" is a murderer who killed some children and stuffed their bodies into the animatronics, which is why they are now so bloodthirsty.
Okay, so that should be enough to get you started.  If you want more information, be sure to check out the FNAF Wiki here.

Finally, the musical is going to be in five parts (for the five nights), but Random Encounters has only finished parts 1-3 as of right now.  So, if you like what you see, stay tuned for more :)

Stay scary, my friends :)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #11

I'm not a fan of scary games.  Scary movies I can handle because there is a certain element of detachment.  I'm just a viewer.  I'm not in the story.  But, when you play a scary game, you ARE in the story.  You are the one trying to escape the zombie hordes, or the one dodging the stuff of nightmares.

And then we have Five Nights at Freddy's.  I've never played the game myself (I'm too high-strung for that!) but I have fond holiday memories of my younger cousin showing us old-timers how to play it, while we all simultaneously performed the sitting high-jump.

Day 11: Five Nights at Freddy's

I'm sure many of you have already played Five Nights at Freddy's, but for those who haven't, you can read about the game here.  But, the short description is this:  You've been hired to be the night security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza--think a Chuck E. Cheese style place.  All you have to do is hang out at night while the restaurant all night...and make sure the animatronics don't kill you!  While possibly cute during the day (although I doubt it!), at night, Freddy Fazbear and his pals Chica the Chicken, Bonnie the Bunny, and Foxy the...well the Fox wander around the restaurant while you track them on the security cameras.  If they come too close, you can keep them away by closing the doors and turning on the lights.  But, be careful, as this consumes power.  And if the batteries are drained before the night is out, you could find yourself the victim of a grisly murder, just like your predecessor.

The game is full of jump-scares and leaves you feeling on-edge and nervous, since you never know when Freddy or his pals will end up at your door.  There are a series of sequels, too, but I've only ever watched the first one.  Each new game introduces more animatronics for you to hide from, and new perils, as well.  Do you have what it takes to survive Five Nights at Freddy's?

So, in the spirit of the game, I'm including a few related videos, including one of my favorite Rhett and Link music videos.

And while we're at it, here's an animated version of that song.  The main difference here, besides the fact that the one is animated, is that the first features an interview with Markiplier, who does the voice of the man on the phone in the song.  I suggest starting with the first one, and if you liked it, then try the second.

Markiplier is known as "The King of Five Nights at Freddy's...probably for his reaction videos.  Check out this animated video compilation to get a sample.  If you like what you see/hear, check out some of his other videos!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #10

I love documentaries. And honestly, I'll watch them about anything.  Monsters, aliens, mysterious disappearances, social taboos, wildlife, famous people....the list goes on and on.  Mostly, though...I love to watch ones about creepy stuff.  The funny thing is that the creepy stuff leaves me all creeped out.  I'm in a very bad relationship with creepy.  I love it, but I always feel on edge afterwards, like I'm about to jump out of my skin.  Still, like a crack junkie or a chocoholic, I just can't get enough.

A Toynbee Tile

So, this is a list of some creepy documentaries.  Some of you might want to watch, while some might be just a little too creepy.  I feel ya.  I'm not sure if I'll be watching all of these myself, either.

When you're done checking out that list, here are a few more that weren't included that really should have been.  These are two of my favorite creepy documentaries.

This first video is just the trailer, but this is one of my favorite documentaries: Ressurect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles.  What are the Toynbee Tiles?  Well, there's a lot to say about them, so I'll be brief.  They're mysterious tiles that have been appearing in the pavement on roads and crosswalks.  They have haunting, unsettling messages about a plot to resurrect the dead on Jupiter.  It sounds crazy, but this documentary is legitimately unsettling and awesome.  Check it out!

This second one is not nearly as chilling, but still really interesting.  Its about a Bible called "The Devil's Bible" and legend says it was written by one monk in one night after he asked the Devil to save him from being executed.  Chilling, unusual, and interesting, I hope you enjoy this one as well!

Friday, October 9, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #9

I love some good music.  As you've seen in two of my Halloween posts so far this year, I am always on the lookout for good Halloween music.  Of course, I have my classics: "Werewolves of London," "Thriller," "Monster Mash," and anything by Alice Cooper (especially, in these cases "Under the Bed," "Feed My Frankenstein," and "Lullaby").

I don't generally look for lists, however, because they generally just include a songs I've already heard a million times before.

So, when I found this list from Gruemonkey on Facebook, I got really excited.  What's better than a handful of Halloween songs?  Try 60!  I've only heard a few of these, so I'm thrilled to have found a whole collection of titles that I'll have to check out :)

Click on the link above to access the page.  Also, below, I'm including a few of my favorites that haven't made it onto the list (but just a few!)

For this first one, you'll have to wait about a minute and a half for the song to kick in, but I wanted to include the video with original animation.  Besides, most of the versions I was seeing on YouTube were remixes.

And this second one in particular always gives me the chills.  I'm not sure if it's actually meant to be creepy, but I have always thought so.  I first heard it played as background music for the game Alice is Dead.

Well, that's all for today!  Do you have a favorite Halloween song that didn't make it on to the list?  Please let me know in the comments!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #8

As I'm sure most of you are figuring out, I love things that are spooky, creepy, macabre, etc.  Case in point, yesterday's post was about creepypasta.  But, what IS creepy, really?  And I don't mean spiders, snakes, strange old men who talk to themselves or butlers in horror films.  I mean, creepy as a concept--what is it?  What makes things creepy?

Day 8: The Science of Creepy

Okay, I'll admit that little girl is creepy.  And adding the caption on there only makes it worse.  But, why is she creepy?  Why are we "creeped out" by certain things?  Check out this great video from Vsauce for some answers.  Vsauce is one of my favorite channels on YouTube, because they provide answers to all sorts of strange and interesting questions.  If you ever were looking for answers to questions you didn't even know you had, then check them out!

Stay creepy, my friends!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #7

When I was a kid, my friends used to love telling me scary stories because my overactive imagination would keep me up all night thinking about them.  We had your classics like Bloody Mary (say her name three times in the dark and she will cut your face), but there were also a few other chillers, such as the monstrous tree people (they tap on your window at night and when you go to look, they snatch you from your room and presumably eat you), and perhaps the scariest to me, the red eyes of Dawn (a young girl is brutally beaten and locked in a closet by bullies, she eventually dies of starvation, and her ghost haunts bedrooms.  In the dark, if you look up and see her red eyes glowing in the darkness, you know she is coming to kill you).

We didn't really have a name for these tales.  Scary stories?  Sure.  Urban legends?  Maybe.  But, now, it seems that everyone just calls them Creepypasta.

These are the stories that bring us haunting figures such as Slenderman, Jeff the Killer, and the Rake.  And of course, in my favorite creepypasta, we get tales of haunted videogames, such as Pokemon Cursed Black.

Day 7: Creepypasta
Now, I don't know about you, but the above story really gave me chills!  If you're looking for something a little less scary, but want to get the creepypasta experience, try this video below.  It's more of a parody of the classic Pokemon creepypasta, and is one of my personal favorites :)

If you're looking for something a bit scarier, I recommend just checking out YouTube or Google.  I'll be honest, I tried to do some searching myself, but as I said before, I have a super-active imagination and I'm getting myself all freaked out looking at pictures of Jeff the Killer.  So, with that in mind, this is where my searching ends.  I hope you find some good stuff, and feel free to share what you find the comments.  I might add it into another blog post!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #6

I love stories that turn classic tales on their heads.  For example, one of my favorite horror films is Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.  The plot?  Two hillbillies named Tucker and Dale decide to purchase a rundown cabin in the woods, thinking they can build it into the perfect vacation home where they can go hunting and fishing and generally have a good time.  But, at the same time, there are a group of college students camping in the woods.  They've apparently seen enough horror films to be convinced that all hillbillies are backwoods, cannibal, psycho rednecks, and through a series of horrible misunderstandings, come to believe that Tucker and Dale have not only kidnapped their friend, but that they are also trying to kill them!  Ah, horror/comedy at its finest :3

Day 6: Crashervania
I have been listening to this song quite a bit these past few days.  For those of you who have never heard of Castlevania, I'll try to sum up the plot as simply as I can.  Basically, you play Simon Belmont (or one of his family members) and try to destroy Dracula (because he's evil).

This song is part of a series by Starbomb, a musical group that writes songs based on various videogames, including Minecraft, Pac Man, Legend of Zelda, and Super Smash Brothers.  You can find videos done by tons of artists all over YouTube, but the "official" stuff can be found on Egoraptor's channel (he's one of the singers).

A quick disclaimer: I love Starbomb's music, and the vocals are excellent.  But the content can be very dirty--almost uncomfortably so.  But, this is one of those songs that is just good fun without tons of sex jokes.  Now, there are two versions of the song that I just love.  One includes a more "comic book" style (the artist actually drew a comic for it, and copied it into the video).  I'm including the original comic here for you to check out.

This second version is actually animated.  Simon Belmont looks so goofy and cartoonish in this version, but I really liked it.  Actually, if you like the song, I suggest you check out both versions.

Monday, October 5, 2015

31 Days of Halloween #5

If you're like me, then every year, no matter how old you get or what you're doing, you make sure to watch the Peanuts holiday special on TV.  And It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! is an absolute classic!  But, what about those other Halloween specials?  Sure, there's always the one based on the current children's franchise, such as Toy Story, but I'm talking about those off-beat oddies and oldies that no one has heard of.

Day 5: Forgotten Halloween Specials

The titles included in this series by Familiar Faces are strange, quirky, offbeat, and just plain weird.  After watching this, I feel like I have to track down some of these specials myself!

Part 1:

Part 2: