Game of Thrones

Mark your calendars! Game of Thrones is returning for its final season (8) on April 14th on HBO. In case you’re wondering, nothing else on TV even comes CLOSE to the brilliant nature of this series. Get ready for six 90-minute episodes that are sure to be jaw dropping, just like the trailer below! ūüėĪ

In the meantime, I will be binge watching the first seven (7) seasons and picking up some fancy gear from HBO’s shop. I included a few of my favorite picks below.

The Ultimate Entertainment Package

Today I’m reviewing my ultimate entertainment package – a list of my must have services to keep you going while you wait, when you’re in between tasks or just when you need something to do! There are a lot of things I could have added, one-offs like TED Talks, but this list includes only things I do on a very regularly bases. In no particular order:

InstagramTHE¬†best place to view (pretty) pictures. I mostly follow people who buy/display pretty things: handbags, shoes, jewelry, other accounts that post funny videos and travel-related things. I’m not on¬†it to gain followers or friends. I also don’t care about likes.

TwitterMy goto for trending topics. At any given moment I can see the top 10 things the country/world is talking about. I also regularly use it when I’m watching shows/sporting events to see what other people are saying about the topic.

SpotifyMust have music streaming service. The music industry is becoming more and more fragmented everyday. From Beyonce (Tidal) to Drake (Apple Music), Chance the Rapper (Apple Music), Kanye¬†(Tidal)¬†and others¬†– artists¬†are striking¬†deals that make their music available solely on one music service and not the others. But be patient¬†grasshoppers, eventually their music¬†will¬†be available¬†on your preferred music streaming service (usually ~2 weeks later) and you’ll be able to freely partake without spending¬†more $. Until then, there’s always¬†YouTube and VEVO. BTW: Mondays are for DiscoverWeekly¬†and always Spotify while you shower.

Netflix¬†–¬†THE best movie streaming service. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and MANY more. There’s not much more to say other than it’s awesome. (I also have access to¬†Amazon Prime Video; but that’s only an added bonus of my Prime membership).

Overcast – This one is fairly new for me; but, I’m loving it! It’s the very best way to listen to podcasts on your iPhone. So far I’m into: The Read, Keepin it 1600 and Watching Thrones. I’m sure I’ll add others over time. Listen while you cook, clean, work or commute!

HBO –¬†I love HBO. OMG, I can’t tell you how many great shows, (original) series and documentaries they have. Game of Thrones, Real Time with Bill Mahr, Silicon Valley, …. I could go on and on! In the past few days I’ve even been thinking about buying some stock. ūü§Ď

Feedly – I’ve told you about this one before. It’s basically a news aggregator¬†of things I like to read. Instead of having multiple sites (Lifehacker, The Every Girl, Mashable, etc.) flood your inbox with emails¬†everyday, you can subscribe to their articles/posts and read them using the Feedly app – on/at your own time. Feedly creates of a pull situation – I have to physically go retrieve items when I want to read them – vs. a push situation where you are automatically notified/sent updates. Now, I do like the push approach¬†for music i.e. when artists I follow release a new album, just not for news.

I know some of you may be thinking Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook are missing but honestly I’m just not into those that much. I do use them, just¬†not on a regular basis. Also chat services like GroupMe and What’s App are not on my list. Yes, I have accounts with those an the apps are on my phone; but, I honestly don’t use them that much and I’m NOT a fan of group texts. I also sometimes will check Pinterest and We Heart It but those have also worn off over time… do what works for you!

So, here’s the thing: all of the services on my list are super convenient, easy to access and very affordable. Feedly,¬†Overcast, Instagram and Twitter are free and you can get Spotify, Netflix and HBO for about $10-$15/month each$35/month gets you all in.¬†I’d never have cable if my husband didn’t pay for it. Actually the extent of my relationship with Comcast would be internet service (that is, until Google Fiber comes to town). Happy Entertaining!!!

My Home Screen = Most Important Screen

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2016 TV Time

o-HBO-STREAMING-facebookA few weeks ago one of my co-workers told me she doesn’t watch tv, like ever. When I first heard this I was kind of shocked. Why? She says it’s because¬†she’s always on her computer (i.e. The Internet). She also said when the cable man comes, The Internet¬†is THE¬†only thing she really cares about – in essence,¬†WiFi is her most important at-home entertaining asset¬†– she really could care less about the TV.

So today, I am sitting here thinking about my own tv-watching habits. If I had to summarize my week with the shows that are absolutely required for me to watch, it would go something like this:

  • Sunday: NFL (weeks¬†when the Steelers are playing and when we get the game in Atlanta, which is not very often) + Game of Thrones & Silicon Valley on HBO.
  • Monday:¬†NFL¬†(same as above).
  • Tuesday: None.
  • Wednesday: None.
  • Thursday: TGIT on ABC:¬†How to Get Away with Murder + Scandal
  • Friday: Real Time with Bill Mahr +¬†VICE News on HBO
  • Saturday: College Football (always when Alabama is playing or other good games from time to time, mostly SEC schools).

But there’s one more thing I need to mention that’s not tied to a particular night or channel: House of Cards and Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Netflix is a MUST HAVE, just like HBO.

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abccom_logoAfter writing what I consider to be my must-have shows, something occurs to me – I watch way more tv than¬†that each week!! So what gives?¬†MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, I PASS THE TIME¬†WITH HGTV, FAMILY FEUD AND LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT.¬†So, back to the original comment about watching TV and thinking about how I will spend my time in 2016 – this is not a New Year’s Resolution – it’s a:

2015 realization that I waste too much of my time watching things / entertaining myself / doing things that bring me little to no satisfaction or value to my life.

One may argue the shows I listed above are in the same category and that may certainly be true – for you. So what does this mean for me? It means I need to find something more constructive to do with my spare time and spend time watching only the short list of shows on my must watch list.¬†I can also limit my tv-watching time to “high impact days”: Sunday, Thursday, Friday – that’s three days out of the week (now that college football is mostly over). What things could I do with all this newly-found¬†free time?? I have a few ideas; but, that is the very question I will ponder over the next few days! #moretocome

newyearnewyou

Evolve

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grow

The Valley on HBO

Last night, HBO premiered a new series called Silicon Valley. In case you’re not familiar what that part of the country, perusing the headlines the morning after will give you a flavor for what the show is about:

  • HBO’s Silicon Valley: Did It Byte? ¬†(TV Line)

  • HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Is a Nerdy ‘Entourage’ Nailing Tech Culture (Mashable)

  • HBO‚Äôs ‚ÄėSilicon Valley‚Äô Duels ‚ÄėGame of Thrones‚Äô for Geeks (Bloomberg)

  • ‚ÄėSilicon Valley‚Äô: Welcome to the Valley of Insecurity (Wall Street Journal)

  • HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ is full of funny, clever peaks (USA Today)

  • Silicon Valley’ on HBO: Tech Culture Gets The Comedy It Deserves (Huff Post)

I must admit the show was pretty funny! Unless you understand, work or participate in the tech world (beyond using your iPhone), you may not necessarily get some of the jokes. I followed the comments from the show on Twitter (a true sign of a fan) that were marked with #SiliconValleyHBO.¬†One of the most memorable lines of the show was about a¬†founder who cashed out early and wears T-Shirts that say HTML… no not Hyper-Text Mockup Language,¬†How To Meet Ladies. Wait for it….¬†

You can watch the debut episode, Minimum Viable Product, and the trailer for episode 2 online. Both are free (for now).