When real life takes over (in a good way!)

So you may have been wondering where I am – and that’d be a fair question.  My hosting renews every August, and this year, I really debated whether to continue paying for self-hosted, or indeed, to keep blogging at all.  I’m in a very different place from where I was when I started this blog more than 5 years ago as a student with ~20 hours of lectures a week.  I’ve talked before about having less free time to spare, and feeling like blogging and reading have taken over my other hobbies.  I feel like I’ve got into a rut with my post types, and I miss the “I-just-had-an-awesome-blog-idea-and-I-can’t-wait-to-write-it” feeling I got with posts like seeking originality, increasing your NetGalley ratio, using a filofax for studying or anything to do with Harry Potter Month!  I guess generally I’ve been feeling a little lost with blogging which is why I wasn’t sure whether renewing my hosting was the right decision.

On top of all of that, some big (and good and exciting!) offline stuff has been going on too.  I deliberately keep my personal life and my blogging very separate – no one from my offline life knows this blog exists and I like to keep it that way! – but since all of this is having a big impact on the blog, I’m sharing a few personal life details for a change.  The first thing is that I got engaged (!) and we’re now planning our wedding (which will be next summer, so plenty to organise in a fairly short time).  The second thing is that I’m contemplating a total career change, which would involve going back to study and a truly massive workload for a while.  Finally, we’re looking at hopefully trying to buy our first house too, so things are unsurprisingly fairly mad around here right now, which means that I’ve been away from my keyboard and my books a bit more than usual [By all means, if you’d like to know any more details on the personal stuff, I’m happy to discuss by DM on twitter or email!]

Now given that you’re reading this on my blog, which is still here, you can tell I obviously did decide to renew my hosting (which I hope makes somebody out there happy, but it certainly makes me happy!).  I love connecting with other bloggers, I love sharing our passion for books and I just generally love having this little space on the internet.  I want to keep posting, keep connecting, keep commenting, and of course keep reading. Sure I want to diversify my blogging a bit, mix some new stuff in with the books, maybe give instagram a proper go (who knows, there’ll be some experimenting).  It’ll probably take me a little while to figure out all the details, but I still love blogging, I still love connecting with you guys, and I’m really hoping you’ll bear with me while I figure everything out!

Binge Watchers #2: Greys Anatomy S6 & 7

What I was binging last time…

Attack on Titan season 2.

In six words or less: Humanity is threatened by people-eating Titans.

Progress since last time: Episodes 2-6.  I used to always watch anime subbed, but then I figured that if I watched it dubbed I could multitask, drafting blog posts or blog commenting or twittering at the same time, and I’ve since gotten lazy. When I was watching Attack on Titan Season 2, only up to episode 6 had been released dubbed, so I came to a stop with my binge watch…I should really check and see if anymore dubbed episodes are available (or just take a little bit of time out to watch it without multitasking!)


Currently Binging

Grey’s Anatomy.

In six words or less: Medical drama filled with twisty relationships.

Why I’m watching it: I used to watch Grey’s when the first few seasons were on TV, but I missed the episode after a big cliffhanger (S6, E23) and didn’t want to jump back in further ahead, so I just stopped watching. I’ve now started again from the beginning and am totally addicted.

Where I’ve got to so far

As of our last binge-watching update, I was coming up to season 6… I’m now halfway through Season 8. I’m still pretty addicted to it to be honest!

But I want more! [Related stuff and similar shows]

For more Grey’s Anatomy….There’s a spin-off show focusing around Addison (who I quite like) but I’m not sure I fancy it – I’m invested in Grey’s because I’ve already got this far and got hooked, but I’m not sure I want to get hooked on something else so similar! I also know there’s an upcoming spin-off based around the firefighters – maybe by the time that gets here I’ll be ready to get sucked back into Seattle!

For more Shonda Rhimes… Getting Away with Murder – I’ve actually already seen the first two seasons of this with my family. First season was awesome, second season slightly less so.  I hear good things about Scandal but no luck talking the family into it, and I already have plenty of shows lined up on my to-binge-on-my-own list, so I don’t know if I’ll ever get to this.

What’s up next?

Since my last update, I’ve finished Pretty Little Liars, and caught up to date with Agents of SHIELD & Doctor Who. Next up will be The Defenders for sure.

Currently watching but not binging: Nashville

Binge Watchers #1: Attack on Titan Season 2

Currently Binging

Attack on Titan season 2.

In six words or less: Humanity is threatened by people-eating Titans.

Why I’m watching it: I can’t remember when or why Attack on Titan appeared on my radar – was it the manga or the anime that came first?! I watched the first series last year, and I really enjoyed it but also felt like I just wanted something more out of it – I’m not sure what, but I just didn’t love it as much as I expected to.  I’m hoping season 2 is going to be even better than the first and boost it to a firm favourite.

Where I’ve got to so far

I’ve so far watched the first two episodes, but then our internet went down so I haven’t had chance to watch any more yet! There are only twelve episodes this season so I’m hoping I’ll be finished by the time the next Binge Watchers rolls around 😉 So far I’m hooked!

But I want more! [Related stuff and similar shows]

For more Attack on Titan….I might pick up the original manga series, because although I’ve read some of the Before the Fall series – set before the events of the anime – I’ve never read the orignal series, and it might help fill the gap left by finishing the anime.

For more apocalyptic drama/horror…I guess The Walking Dead is an obvious choice (titans and zombies aren’t that far apart after all) but I think I’m too much of a wimp!  The 100 is an option – I started it before and didn’t get hooked but maybe I’ll give it another go.

For more anime… Avatar: The Last Airbender isn’t actually an anime but it has a similar feel so I’m counting it! I finished Season 1 recently so I already know I like it.  I’ve already seen (and loved) Sword Art Online season 1, so Season 2 of that would be an option, or I could start Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, one of the most popular anime shows but one I’ve not seen any of!

What’s up next?

I’m not sure!  Possible contenders include Grey’s Anatomy Season 6, The Vampire Diaries season 7, Orphan Black Season 5, Avatar: The Last Airbender Season 2, Sword Art Online season 2 or American Gods Season 1.

Currently watching but not binging: Nashville | Agents of SHIELD | Pretty Little Liars | Doctor Who

TV Tournament (1)

TV tournament is a new fortnightly feature here at Geeky Zoo Girl.  Since I was on the hunt for a new TV show to watch, I asked you for recommendations.  I’m now working through those recommendations and pitting the shows against each other!

So, the voting is closed and I’ve now got 16 TV shows recommended by you guys.  I’ve tried to divide those up into vaguely matching pairs, and the final tournament brackets can be seen below.  I’ve (roughly speaking) divided them into contemporary (left hand side) and SFF (right hand side).

The rules I’ll be sticking to:

  • Each round will last for 2 weeks.
  • Within each round, I will watch at least 3 episodes of each show, ideally more.
  • Every other Wednesday I will update with my feelings on episodes watched, and which show was eliminated.  [Alternatively, if I have lots of comments/you guys prefer, I may do a weekly update with mini-reviews and then a fortnightly elimination update.]
  • If I can’t make a decision within that two weeks, the round may continue running alongside the next show, but only until that stage ends (i.e. all quarter-finals decisions must be made before semi-finals and so on).
  • If I really hate a show: I have 2 back up shows (1 for the left hand half of the board, 1 for the right) – if these are used, it must be in the initial round, before the quarter finals.
  • Between levels (after rounds 1-8, after the quarter-finals, after semi-finals), there may be a break of no more than two weeks if needed to catch up!

TV Tournament

TV Tournament Brackets in my bullet journal!

In case you can’t see the image, the rounds are:

Grey’s Anatomy v Hart of Dixie
Pretty Little Liars v Friday Night Lights
New Girl v How I Met Your Mother
Homeland v Sons of Anarchy

The Flash v Arrow
Gotham v Supernatural
iZombie v The Walking Dead
Agent Carter v Supergirl

For round 1, thanks to random number magic, I will be starting with Grey’s Anatomy and Hart of Dixie.  Pop back in two weeks for my thoughts so far!

New Feature: TV tournament!

I’ve been thinking a lot about TV recently, specifically about shows I want to watch or think I might want to watch.  There just aren’t enough hours to watch everything I think I might want to, and while I love the idea of trying out lots of shows but only sticking with the ones I really like, I’m not very good at giving up on TV.  Plus, since I can’t really read or blog while watching TV, I tend to feel guilty for not doing something more ‘productive’ (even though we all know relaxing is important!).

Inspired by Lauren, who is asking for help picking which show to binge next, I spent a few days trying to come up with a way to…
– find a new show to watch
– find a way to blog about it (since I want to branch out more with blogging and to reduce feeling guilty for TV time)
– come up with a system for ditching shows I’m not loving.

Finally, I think I’ve come up with a plan….A TV tournament!

The idea is simple (although it’s taken me an embarrassingly long time to try and think through the logistics!) – using your votes, I’ll be choosing 8 (or possibly 16, yet to be determined) tv shows to start watching, and I’ll slowly be eliminating them based on what I’m enjoying to end up with an overall winner.

This is where you come in: please, please, please, recommend your favourite shows below! You can leave a comment with shows you love, or vote using the form below (it has 8 fields but you can complete it multiple times if you want to).  Voting will be open until the 16th of May to give me time to decide which shows are battling each other before starting on May 18th.  I have access to Amazon Prime, Now TV and Netflix UK but I’m also happy to ask around and see if I can borrow boxsets from friends.

In case you’re curious about my TV habits so far, I’ve included below shows I’ve watched, and some shows I think I might want to watch.

Shows I’ve watched/am currently watching (favourites in bold):

Attack on Titan ~ Buffy the Vampire Slayer  ~ Cardcaptors ~ Doctor Who ~ Game of Thrones ~ Glee ~ Gossip Girl ~ House ~ How to Get Away with Murder ~ Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ~ Marvel’s Jessica Jones ~ Nashville ~ Once Upon a Time ~ Orange Is The New Black ~ Orphan Black ~ Pokemon X & Y ~ Sherlock ~ The 100 ~ The Originals ~ True Blood ~ Vampire Diaries

Shows on my radar that I think I might want to watch (you absolutely don’t have to stick to these with your votes!):

Arrow ~ Black Sails ~ Bones ~ Castle ~ Criminal Minds ~ Downton Abbey ~ Gotham ~ Grey’s Anatomy ~ Grimm ~ Hart of Dixie ~ Homeland ~ House of Cards ~ Legends of Tomorrow ~ Marco Polo ~ Mr Robot ~ Outlander ~ Pretty Little Liars ~ Scandal ~ Sleepy Hollow ~ Sons of Anarchy ~ Supergirl ~ Supernatural ~ The Flash ~ The Good Wife ~ The Shannara Chronicles ~ Vikings

Shows that people have voted for so far:

Agent Carter ~ America’s Next Top Model ~ Arrow ~ Being Human ~ Bitten ~ Broadchurch ~ Continuum ~ Criminal Minds ~ Friday Night Lights ~ Fringe ~ From Dusk Til Dawn ~ Gilmore Girls ~ Gotham ~ Grey’s Anatomy ~ Hart of Dixie ~ Homeland ~ House of Cards ~ How I Met Your Mother ~ iZombie ~ Legends of Tomorrow ~ Lost Girl ~ Luther ~ Marco Polo ~ Misfits ~ Mr Robot ~ Murdoch Mysteries ~ New Girl ~ Parenthood ~ Peaky Blinders ~ Pretty Little Liars ~ Prison Break ~ Reign ~ Revenge ~ Ripper Street ~Scandal ~ Sleepy Hollow ~ Sons of Anarchy ~ Suits ~ Supergirl ~ Supernatural ~ The Flash ~ The Royals ~ The Walking Dead ~ The West Wing ~ Ugly Betty ~ Vikings ~ White Collar ~ Witches of East End ~ Younger

Voting is now closed – thank you!