Six shows to binge watch while you’re stuck at home

We’re on day two of our two week stay at home order and with rain in the forecast this weekend, the outside projects that have been keeping me busy and sane will just have to wait. I’ve been re-watching ER and iZombie, but am about to finish up the latter, so I’m definitely on the hunt for something new to watch soon.

Here are a few shows I’d recommend for binge watching to anyone searching for something over the next few weeks as we all try to stay healthy and social distance from the rest of the world.

Younger
I started watching this on a whim and flew through it in no time! If you enjoyed Gilmore Girls, I can almost guarantee you’ll like Younger too. Starring Sutton Foster as Liza Miller, a 40-something mom who looks way younger than she is. Liza works for a publishing company, but hides her real age so she can advance her career, causing some sticky situations and hilarious moments, especially when she falls for a much younger guy who doesn’t know her real age. Hillary Duff also stars.
Where You Can Watch: Hulu

Atypical
This dramedy centers around Sam Gardner and his family as they adjust to his coming of age while living with autism. Change isn’t something Sam deals with very well, so when his parents face marital problems and his sister Casey changes schools, Sam begins his own transition to becoming independent as the world around him shifts. The storyline is supurb on this show and there are so many heartfelt moments mixed with humor. 
Where You Can Watch: Netflix

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Zoey Clark works for a San Francisco tech firm, but when an earthquake happens during an MRI, she can now hear everyone’s private thoughts, but in song form! The first time it happens, Zoey thinks she’s going crazy, but it becomes both a blessing and a curse and a way for her to communicate with her terminally ill father who is unable to talk. Lauren Graham also stars as Zoey’s boss. This one is really new, but if it makes it to a second season, I think it’s one that could really take off like Glee did.
Where You Can Watch: NBC, also streaming the next day on Hulu

Sons of Anarchy
Outlaw motorcycle gangs never looked so sexy. This American crime drama originally aired on FX and follows Jax Teller, the next in line to become president of the motorcycle club, as they fight with each other, law enforcement and rival gangs. You will be sucked in to all the drama, betrayal and plot twists as this seven season show spirals to its heartbreaking, yet fitting end.
Where You Can Watch: Hulu

The Leftovers
Based on the book by Tom Peretta, The Leftovers centers around a community that’s still reeling from a rapture-like event that took over 2% of the world’s population. It can be bleak at times, so if you’re looking for lighter fare, this one may not be for you, but the storytelling is compelling and many critics call it one of the greatest shows of all time. Expect some frustrations since it comes from the minds of the people behind Lost, but it will challenge you to think deeper and look at what changes you need to make in your own life.
Where You Can Watch: HBO

The Mindy Project
After The Office, Mindy Kaling went on to create this gem of a show. Fox canceled it after a few seasons, but praise be to Hulu for picking it back up. Mindy Lahiri is a gynecologist searching for her soul mate, but can’t quite seem to meet Mr. Right. Combine that with the wacky partners and office staff she shares a practice with and you have a brilliant rom-com that (in my opinion) out funnies The Office.
Where You Can Watch: Hulu

 

Kelly Watches ‘The Goonies’

Back in January, I started a blog series where I watch a classic movie that everyone seems to have seen except for me. My first movie was “Top Gun” and today I’m taking on the childhood favorite, “The Goonies.”

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Released in 1985, the movie follows a group of friends on a treasure hunting adventure in a quest to find enough money so one of the boys in the group doesn’t have to move. Things go awry when they run into a family of thieves who are also trying to find the same treasure.

“The Goonies” is definitely a predecessor for more modern day kids on an adventure stories like “Super 8” and “Stranger Things”. Heck, Sean Astin was even in both of those, so there’s that tie too. But how does this cult favorite hold up thirty years later for a first time, adult viewer?

That’s a mixed question.

What I liked about the movie was it could be funny at times and it had a good story at its core. But quite frankly, it was a little boring for me to watch as an adult. I think if I was a kid, I would have LOVED it. But it didn’t have that nostalgia factor, so overall, it’s not something I’d watch again.

And let’s talk about Chunk. He was so incredibly annoying and I felt like he was yelling constantly.

So I guess it boils down to this: 35-year-old me is not the audience for this movie and while it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen, it definitely wasn’t my favorite. Sorry to burst your bubble, “Goonies” fans.

 

Library Card Catalog DIY

Owning a library card catalog has been one of those dreams I’ve had ever since I can remember. The library system I work for sold their four remaining units several years ago to staff, but names got picked out of a hat and sadly, mine wasn’t one of those.

If you’ve never gone hunting for one, you’d probably be surprised to find out that they go for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars depending on size. I didn’t think I’d find one or even be able to afford one if I did. But I got lucky.

Back in May, another member of the Indy Blog Society posted a link her her blog, Two Twenty One, and I was causally scrolling through posts when one about a card catalog stopped me dead in my tracks. I commented on her post in the group and said how jealous I was that she found one on Craigslist for only $85.

Shortly after that, she messaged me and gave me some fabulous news – a friend of hers had one that was just sitting in her garage and she thought she might want to sell it.

OMG.

My librarian heart was exploding.

The friend uncovered it in her garage and sent pictures. Then, silence. I kept asking, but couldn’t really get a response about price or if I could come get it. Months went by and finally, at the beginning of Sept. as we were about to close on our new house, I sent one last message and FINALLY got confirmation that she’d sell it to me for $100. I immediately went up to her house and somehow got it in my car and up the apartment stairs (these things are heavy, people).

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It didn’t have a top or a side and wasn’t on a stand. So it needed some work, but I knew I could handle it. My brother-in-law brought up the sander and we got the frame done in about an hour, then went to Home Depot to get some boards cut.

Let me tell you, that was the worst part of this whole experience. No one would wait on us. We literally stood around for 30 minutes waiting on an employee to finish a personal conversation with some people in the store before going to find someone else that could possibly cut some boards for us. When we finally did, they were rude and for some reason thought I was trying to build the thing from scratch even though I clearly told them what I needed. The boards finally got cut and guess what? The top wasn’t right. So Andrew took it back home with him to get a friend from work fix it so we could put the top on it. And guess what? It STILL didn’t fit. So back to Home Depot we went (because Menards didn’t cut wood) and this time found a piece that was the exact size we needed.

In the meantime, I sanded all the drawers, which took a lot longer than one would expect. There were eighteen in all and the drawer nobs also had to be taken out. I worked on it when I could and did most of it in the garage on a warmer winter day.

Then came the staining. I opted for a darker walnut color and put three coats on the entire piece. It really brought out the wood grain and looks absolutely stunning!

Once everything was stained, I sealed with a semi-gloss poly coating to protect the wood, then put the hardware back on. Here where I ran into another problem – there weren’t enough screws for the hardware! Thankfully, the hardware store had some that were pretty close to what came with the unit. I’m not sure where the remaining screws went since the drawer pulls weren’t on it at the time I acquired it so I’m wondering if they just got lost somewhere.

Doesn’t this just look stunning?

Then the only thing left to do was put on the legs. I bought black hairpin legs off Amazon that I thought would look nice – they were around $50 for a set of four 28” legs. Since I’m using the card catalog as an accent table, I wanted some that were a little taller and these were just the right height.

We started to drill the screws in without pre-drilling the holes and that was a no go. After pre-drilling all of them, it was really easy to just use a screw driver and attach the legs that way. If you try this yourself, I recommend pre-drilling to make it so much easier.

Once the legs were on, I just had to stain that final top piece and coat it with poly and the project was finished! It looks beautiful in the space and I’m so happy with how it turned out. It’s just the way I envisioned it.

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Kelly Watches Top Gun

There are so many movies that I’ve never watched that everyone else has and when it comes up in conversation that I’ve never seen ______, I always astound people with my response. A few days ago, I decided to bring Top Gun home from the library because there’s a new installment coming out this summer that looks good and I figured I needed to see the original before watching any sort of sequel.

I posted about it on Instagram and got some responses that I should do a review and tell people what I thought, which led me to an idea: what if I watch some of those iconic movies I’ve never seen and then chat about my experience on my blog?

In all honesty, it would probably make a cool YouTube series, but I’m better with words than video, so here we are. I hope you’ll enjoy this little diversion from books, travel, food and lifestyle from time to time.

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So let’s get into it! What did I think about Top Gun?

Honestly? I was pleasantly surprised! For a film that was released in 1986, it holds up pretty well cinematically and it was probably a maverick (see what I did there?) of its time with the type of aerial shots and stunts they filmed for the movie.

If you know nothing about the plot like I did, here’s a quick synopsis for you: Tom Cruise (Maverick) stars in this action/drama about a group of Navy fighter pilots as they attend an elite school to hone in on their flying skills. Maverick, falls for his instructor Charlie (Kelly McGillis) along the way. Anthony Edwards (Goose) and Val Kilmer (Iceman) also star.

For most of the first half of the movie, I couldn’t figure out if I was watching a chick flick or an action film. We’ve got romance, forbidden love and hot sweaty men in towels in locker rooms, yet there’s all the action going on with the fighter pilots up in the air, so it kind of bends genres.

I’d also never seen Anthony Edwards with hair before. Hello, Dr. Greene from ER! Sorry that you seem to always die in everything you star in. RIP Goose.

And something else I noticed – everyone except Charlie is SO SWEATY. All the dang time. I get why the fighter pilots might be sweating it out up in the air, but why are you all sitting around sweating in the classroom? Haha.

Then there’s the soundtrack. 80s music at it’s finest folks! “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin even won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Here are some interesting facts about the movie, via Mental Floss.

1. IT’S BASED ON A REAL SCHOOL.

2. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HELPED FINANCE THE FILM.

3. THE NAVY USED THE FILM AS A RECRUITING TOOL.

4. KELLY MCGILLIS’ CHARACTER IS BASED ON A REAL-LIFE NAVY EMPLOYEE.

5. THE FILM’S SOUNDTRACK SOLD NINE MILLION COPIES

So, the verdict? This was a fun movie that I enjoyed way more than I thought I would. If you haven’t seen it, add it to your “to-watch” list!