Pop Culture Things Making Me Happy Volume 1


One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, because if you didn't know yet, I'm a pop culture junkie. Every week, they have this segment called "What's making me happy this week" where they share all their little pop culture discoveries. I've always said to myself, I should do this on my blog too, since a lot (and I mean 2 or 3) of people always ask me for recommendations. 

So, right, here's this week's edition and my very first!



I only listen to 3-5 podcasts, and all of them are non-fiction and pop culture related. But around 3 weeks ago, on a road trip to Zambales, my good friend and officemate Stef "forced" us to listen to the fiction podcasts she listens to. And that is the beginning of the end.

While Welcome to Nightvale was absurdly hilarious, what hooked me was The Black Tapes podcast. How to describe it? X-Files meets Serial is the simple explanation. The basic premise is a journalist exploring paranormal mysteries and then focusing on a man who has made it his life's work to disprove all these "ghost stories". And if you've seen me post how I've fallen in love with a fictional podcast character, Dr. Richard Strand, you have to listen to this serialized podcast to understand why.

 Alex Reagan and Richard Strand, the two main characters from The Black Tapes

Alex Reagan and Richard Strand, the two main characters from The Black Tapes


And then when I ran out of episodes (it's once every two weeks only), I started with Tanis, a spin-off of The Black Tapes which tackles mysterious events (some based on real characters or events) that may or may not be related to this search for a place called Tanis that may or may not exist.

Then I also got hooked on Lore, which is not fictional, but an exploration of the "frightening history behind common folklore". If you scare easily, these podcasts may not be for you. But if you like scary, spooky stuff, give them a try! 



If you don't know what Instafreebie is, it's an online tool that you can use to give rewards and freebies to fans and social media followers. While I've used this tool for a while for work, I only just recently discovered the joys of actually downloading the free ebooks that they offer. It's a great way to discover, uhm, undiscovered authors. Just go to blog.instafreebie.com to see some of these titles. 

And I'm super happy and proud that our very own Justine Hail got her Shy Shelly short story featured in the Staff Picks. You can still get the free ebook here. Oh and Book Two of the Shy Shelly series is out now




An all female Ghostbusters may sound either awesome or hokey, depending on how you view remakes and reimagining of things you love. When they announced the casting, I was already sold: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones are some of the funniest women around. And when the final trailer came out, I couldn't help but feel giddy. Here's hoping that the actual movie is gonna be as awesome as advertised.



Other things that made me happy

  • Mad Max: Fury Road getting a lot of technical love at the Oscars
  • This week's Law and Order SVU episode was all kinds of awesome and sad
  • The season finale of Agent Carter. In fact, the entire second season. Hopefully, they get a 3rd season, although it's highly unlikley.
  • Wanderland 2016, the music in particular. Separate blog post soon.


Things that didn't make me so happy

  • Mad Max: Fury Road not getting Best Picture (not to take anything away from Spotlight which is a gem of a movie)
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt walking away from the Sandman movie
  • Still no word whether Galavant will get a 3rd season.
  • Harlequin books not available anymore on Scribd :( 
  • Wanderland 2016, the crowd. Well, at least, some of them.