This is Halloween & Top 5 Spooky Podcasts!

This is Halloween & Top 5 Spooky Podcasts!

Hey, everyone!  Thanks for putting up with my short hiatus.  Guys, I’m really hoping that time was enough to get things back on track for this blog.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to start posting weekly again, as well as include more “thoughts” posts about gaming and myself!

But first, I promised you all some very special stuff for October.  And that starts with this post right here.  You see, I may seem like a cute little food blogger with a nerdy twist and an extremely geeky lifestyle.  And you would be right.  But I also have a pretty strong dark side.  I love to be afraid.  I’m addicted (in a good, non-harmful way) to the thrill and adrenaline rush that comes with being scared.  I love reading, watching, and listening to horror.  I love haunted houses, both real and the ones created for entertainment.  I enjoy dark, slightly twisted tabletop games and have even dabbled slightly in horror video games.

This is halloween

But, in tandem with my very eclectic tastes in desserts (for example, I don’t like frosting… or cake, really), I’m pretty picky about what I like to scare me.  I’m not a fan of slasher films or games.  Not a huge fan of violence for violence’s sake or sexual violence as a medium for horror.  And definitely don’t enjoy things that play around with demons and demonic possession.  So, you ask, what does a girl who doesn’t enjoy half the horror genre actually like?  That’s easy.  It’s ghosts, paranormal activity, unexplained disappearances in mysterious circumstances, haunted houses, graveyards and crypts, the dark, monsters, and just about everything else.

As a lover of Halloween and this spooky time of year, I’m going to release a Top Spooky Things list each week until Halloween!  Each week will have a theme: movies, books, podcasts, songs, and games. I’ll also be posting one of the 5 Monster recipes from Breath of the Wild each week.  There may also be, thanks to some encouragement from Kim over at Later Levels, be a special fiction short story released on Halloween!  I’ve never tried a short story before, but I’m genuinely curious if I can do it.  Guys, this October is going to be amazing!

And now, without further ado, let’s talk about my Top 5 Spooky Podcasts.

I’m actually kinda picky about my podcasts, and particularly from the horror genre.  Those “call in” podcasts where people tell their own stories don’t always seem believable to me and usually have a hodge-podge format I struggle to pay attention to.  And, as a bit of a skeptic, I don’t always enjoy “tell your own paranormal encounter” stories.  I’m also pretty picky about the quality of the story.  Even Lore nearly didn’t make the cut because I’ve started to hate shows that sound too fabricated; puns that feel too forced, writing that seems too obvious, and podcasts that don’t understand how to tell a story without being overly descriptive, a quality that diminishes my immersion in the horror.

The magnus archives

The Magnus Archives: Rusty Quill

This is easily the best horror podcast on the market.  And, in my opinion, one of the best podcasts ever!  Writer Jonny Simms and producer Alexander Newell, are a dynamic duo who understand writing for an audio audience, allowing the listening to fully immerse without falling into so many of the mistakes other podcasts don’t even understand they’re making.  Combine that with an intriguing overarching story and genuinely frightening episodes, The Magnus Archives is my favorite podcast to date and well worth listening to, even if you don’t love horror.  Definitely start from the beginning on this one, as the story unfolds over the course of the 3 seasons currently available!

unexplainedUnexplained: Richard MacLean Smith

Unexplained is, by far, my favorite non-fiction horror podcast.  Delving not only into scary stories, this podcast explores any event without any final explanation, including treasure hunting and reincarnation.  Richard MacLean Smith has thoroughly researched each story he tells, with a wealth of information and un-embellished details that help you understand the truth of what really happened and what we really don’t know.  Some of his episodes are interesting and some just downright frightening.  Go ahead and listen to this one out of order, but some stories are broken up over several episodes, so make sure to hear those in order!

spookedSpooked: Snap Judgment and WNYC

Spooked is my favorite of the “real life” horror podcasts.  The stories aren’t simply “call in”, with terrible quality and no editing to ensure they make sense.  They are people sharing real stories in a documentary format, which means the stories are rounded and coherent, putting this podcast number one in this genre.  Some of the stories aren’t frightening, merely interesting.  Some are downright unbelievable.  But then you get the few that are genuinely terrifying.  Definitely worth a listen to if you’re into that kind of thing!  The biggest downside is the long, overly-dramatic introduction.  The host, though possessing a nice, smooth voice, is a bit over-the-top for me.  It definitely detracts from the podcast for me, so I usually just skip forward to the stories.

loreLore: Aaron Mahnke

As the podcast that introduced me to audio horror, Lore will always be on my list, and I’ll probably always listen to it.  The stories are interesting, most of them stories I’ve never heard before.  Some are funny, others interesting, and the rare episode a bit frightening.  This podcast focuses on legends, even the legends surrounding true historical events.  And while this gives him an enormous amount of creative license, which enhances some aspects of the stories, it can be a bit distracting when he’s telling a story you actually know and gets some of the facts wrong… His way of storytelling can also be a bit off-putting, with seriously forced puns that he pretends aren’t and a stilted way of speaking that can, on occasion, grate on your nerves.  In general, however, I’ve listened to every single one of Lore’s episodes, and I do enjoy them.  So if terrifying isn’t your thing, gives this podcast a listen to!  It’s spooky without being frightening.

the horrorThe Horror: Relic Radio

This podcast makes the list, but it’s definitely last on it.  In The Horror, host Jim Paul releases actual radio show epsidoes from the 1920s-1960s, the golden age of radio.  Each episode is, essentially, a rebroadcast of a stand-alone radio show episode.  The quality, because these are digital copies of recorded radio, can sometimes make it difficult to understand the show, and the content can sometimes be more funny than scary, and the episodes are definitely hit and miss.  Some are well worth your time, others are just… not.  So while I enjoy this one, it’s hard to say definitively that I recommend it.  But, if you’re ever in the mood for some “old-fashioned horror”, it’s worth a shot!




Blog Awards Galore!!

Blog Awards Galore!!

Guys, I’m super overwhelmed right now.  I’ve just been nominated for my third blogger award in a month.  As a girl who has some very tough opinions about herself, the outpouring of love, friendship, and fun that ensues from this blogging community can be… undeniably uplifting.  In the spirit of answering all the questions, but not overwhelming people with too many posts, get ready for an episode of:


In this version I will be answering all  the questions posed to me from all three bloggers.  Some are personal, so get ready to get to know me better, and some are wacky, so get ready to feel the lackluster powers of my wit.

First up, Gritty Momma nominated me for a Liebster Award.  What’s that, you ask?  It’s an award from The Global Aussie in an effort to promote new bloggers.  This neat little lady writes about motherhood, dealing with psychological issues, and the troubles of being human.  It’s a nice read and definitely worth looking into if you have/experience any of those issues.

First things first for this award: 10 random things about me.  For the sake of an actual, readable and not-too-long post, I’ll only list 5…

  1. I am born on leap year.  That makes me a solid 7 1/2.
  2. I hate frosting, pudding, pastry cream, chocolate cake and donuts, pie, and most whipped cream.  For someone very into desserts, that’s a lot of hates.
  3. I can’t regulate my body temperature very well.  This means even in the middle of the heat of the summer I wear sweatshirts.
  4. I prefer rainy days to sunny days
  5. I own every novel in the Redwall (Brian Jacques) series

And now for the questions:

What is your go-to technique for calming nerves–your own or others–in stressful situations?

I stress clean and stress bake during intense situations, like Overwatch League matches, baseball games, and fights.  During the world series a few years ago I made three batches of scones during a single game.  In situations outside the home I tend to pick at my nails and nail beds until they bleed.  It makes my fingers look terrible, but it helps.

What is your favorite food?

Chinese food.  Hands down.  I could eat my mothers chinese food every day of my life.  But a specific food changes on my mood.  Right now it’s a toss up between walnut brownies and sarsaparilla floats.

Do you prefer academia or practical skills?

Academia for me.  If I could be a student as a career, I would do so.  I love learning and obsessively research new topics until I feel I’m deeply conversational in them.

Current favorite TV show?

Brooklyn 99

If you could change one thing about the world you live in, what would it be?

I wish people were more tolerant toward others.  More kind about their differences, less judgmental about their choices, more accepting of others in spite of their unique qualities.

Pet peeve?

I hate it when people try to either blame others for their own failings or take credit for things they didn’t do.

How do you cultivate empathy in your relationships?

I try to see things from their perspective.  I’m not very good at it, but I try.

Dream job?

Hemorrhagic fever virus hunter for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease.  Ever read The Hot Zone?  Yeah, that’s what I want to do.

Go-to catch phrase when you’re pleased with something:

Oh sweet.

What do you want to be remembered for?

Kindness.  I want people to go to my funeral and say “she was so kind to everyone”

Who do you most want to read your blog?

Anyone interested in either food or gaming.  Or both!  I want people to know that gaming is for everyone and, as our friend Remy the Rat learned, anyone can cook.

Next up was NekoJonez, kindly nominating me for a Sunshine Award!  This guy is always winning awards and is a bedrock member of my community.  Always there for people, always pushing for new and interesting game reviews, always supportive when you need it.

Here are the questions, and here are the answers.  P.S: I fully expect ALL of you to participate in questions 2 in the comments.  I wanna know if you can guess!

Explain as poorly as you can how either Minecraft or Pokémon works.

Minecraft is a a thing people do, I guess, on, like, computers and stuff, where you make things and, like, everything looks like squares and people watch you make things and it’s mostly kids, or whatever.

Explain a game cryptically and let your readers guess which game or game series it is.

This game involves traveling through different levels where you collect items.  Those items are used at the end of the level to build other things, which can help make the game more customizable.  During the process of traveling your character is joined by another character, who give your character extra abilities in order to collect more of these items.  In the end your character defeats an evil sorcerer and restores peace to his colorful world.

Do you sell games you have completed/beaten or do you keep them in a collection?

Nope!  I’m a collector, baby.  I don’t have a big collection but I couldn’t imagine getting rid of a game.  I tend to only buy games I know I’ll love and I really enjoy replaying them.

Which game/genre does interest you quite a lot but you are unable to get into the actual game/genre?

Multiplayer games like Battlefront interest me a great deal but I can’t seem to get into them.  I play Overwatch on PC but that’s it.  I just can’t seems to force myself to play them enough to get good enough to enjoy them.

Do you think it’s possible that there will be every an amazing video game movie?

I… no.  And here’s why: people will always compare a game to a movie and vice versa.  The problem with turning books and games into movies is that people want the game/book in a movie form.  While the limitations of filmmaking and the need to make money ensure that a perfect copy of the game/book can’t be made.  It’s like Ready Player One.  If you haven’t read the book I bet you’ll love the movie.  If you have, you’ll probably be sorely disappointed.  Same with a game.  They can’t simply turn LoZ into a movie.  I would probably hate it because it could never live up to the game.

Would you ever consider blogging full time as a job?

Yes and no!  When I started this blog it was my dream to be able to make this a full-time gig with an officially published cookbook and everything.  It’s still the dream, but with a nearly-full-time job, a kid, and adult responsibilities, as well as trying to squeeze in time for hobbies still, it’s hard to be consistent enough to get there.  If I could quit and focus on this and make it a full-time deal, that would be ideal.  But putting in the effort to getting to the point where I could simply quit and it already was a full-time deal is probably not possible.

I haven’t gotten a Switch yet! Quickly, recommend me a game.

Breath of the Wild.  Done.

If you had to choose between Sony, PC or Nintendo platforms and emulation DIDN’T exist, which platform would you choose and why?

Nintendo.  I’m very close to playing Nintendo exclusively anyway so making that an actual, permanent thing wouldn’t be that hard.

What is the platform you grew up on and tell us some fond memories.

I grew up on a few platforms, but Nintendo was my favorite.  I used to play Ocarina of Time over and over and over again until I had every temple and every puzzle memorized.  I could beat it in my sleep.  And it never got old.  No matter how many times I would boot it up I never got bored.  And I used to sneak downstairs and watch my dad play Pokemon Puzzle League on the 64.  He’d play from the time we were put to bed until 3-4 am.  He still has the high score and he’s the only person I know who has beaten it on Super Hard.

Tell here a random story you want to share with your readers.

I had this boyfriend in college and his roommates and I would sit around and play Super Smash on his GameCube for hours.  I, nearly every game, would beat them.  Not because I’m good at it or anything, because I’m not.  I would play Yoshi and I would button mash.  So either they were very bad at Super Smash or I have a magical button mashing gift.

And last, but not least, my latest nomination, Matt from Normal Happenings nominated me for his Super Specific Sunshine Award!  This guy is a recent find but I already love his blog.  I will be participating in another massive Zelda collaboration put together by him and anyone who loves Zelda as much as me is an automatic friend!  So let’s answer his questions, which are seriously unexpected!

A new island chain suddenly forms in the south Pacific. Scientists, in the spirit of serendipity, need a name for the archipelago, so they run outside and grab the first person they see walking by. That person is you. What do you name the islands?

The first thing that came to my mind was Francisella tularensis tularensis, the genus and species name for Rabbit Fever… Somehow I don’t think they’d do that so let’s go with Eventide Islands

Find any grocery list you’ve ever written – on a post-in note, on your phone, in the trash can. What is the third item on that list?

From my shopping list this week: Bubble Bath

Go to any mirror – doesn’t matter if there’s people around – and look at the bottom of your tongue. What is your immediate emotional reaction?

I think the bottom of a tongue looks like a link sausage.  So I guess the reaction is “no wonder people eat animal tongues”.

Let’s say you could suddenly make all the cable news stations cover animals with the same intensity they covered politics – all animals all the time! Which animal would you want them to focus exclusively on?

My favorite animal, of course, the White Siberian Tiger.

What is a random 11-letter word? I’ve already said mine – archipelago.


I’m still not particularly happy with my computer wallpaper. What should I change it to?

napoleon bonaparte as cat

If you could only eat breakfast foods for lunch and lunch foods for breakfast, what would be your go-to breakfast? Your go-to lunch?

Well I eat breakfast food for lunch already, so does that mean I get to keep my pancakes and my eggs, bacon, and toast?  Really, why would anyone eat anything other than breakfast food anyway?

A bedbug bite forces you to have one of these the useless superpowers.
Which of the following useless superpowers would choose and why?
– The ability to make only office supplies levitate.
– The ability to be invisible – but only inside a volcano.
– The ability to, at will, swap any picture on a billboard to a pumpkin.

Make office supplies levitate, obviously!  Do you know how awesome it would be to make the supply I’m always missing simply float up in an easy-to-reach fashion?  Are your tools buried in the bottom of your drawer?  Never fear!  The Supply Finder is here to save the day again!

Do you hate your initials? If you could have any initials, what would they be and why?

Nope!  I LOVE my initials.  As the head of the TB department having the initials TB is pretty awesome.  Just think about it – I get to sign all TB paperwork as TB… It’s the little things, guys.  Let me have this.

What is the most recent gum you chewed? Extrapolate a short story of five sentences or less with that gum as a central plot mechanic.

“So you think you can continue to dispose of us, do you” the wrapper thought as he slowly crept toward the sleeping girl.  “Simply chew us until the flavor is gone and then throw us, used, beaten, and torn, into some hell-hole, never to see the light of day again?  Not this time.  Not anymore.”  And with careful delicacy the wrapper slid over the girl’s mouth while his brother slid over her nose, stifling the sound of her breathing, the red Juicy Fruit label splashed across it’s front barely visible as night closed in around her.

Now, in the spirit of answering so many questions, I won’t be writing my own or doing my own nominations.  I think that would make this post a tad too much.  So instead, let’s play a new game.  If you read this article it’s now your job to choose 10 of these questions at random and answer them on your site.  Leave me a comment and let me know where to find your responses so I can go read and enjoy the hilarity that will undoubtedly ensue!