Tag Archives: audiobooks

Wildcard Wednesday: My new phone

I finally got sick of having the world’s dumbest smart phone. Ok, that’s probably not completely fair or completely true, but calling it a piece of junk was being kind.

It’s my own fault. In an attempt not to spend an arm and a leg on a new phone, I opted for one of the cheapest smart phones out there. The phone itself was fine. The problem was that it only had 8 GB of storage on it and a little over half of that storage was used for all sorts of system files I had no control over and could not delete. Even though I bought a 16 GB SD card, it hardly helped. Only some of my apps could be saved to the SD card, so I was constantly getting the message that my phone was at low storage and updates could not be made.

Every photo or video I took had to immediately be uploaded to my Google account. I constantly had to delete my internet cache. I also had to uninstall updates for all of the apps that came preloaded onto my phone (like Google Drive, Hangouts, YouTube, Amazon, T-Mobile, etc).

It wasn’t horrible when this was something I had to do once every couple of weeks. I could even deal with it when I was doing it weekly. However, when it got to the point that I was getting that message every other day, I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I gave in and drove myself to the T-Mobile store.

While I did not go crazy and get a top of the line phone, I did make sure that this new one had plenty of storage. That was really my only must have.

My new phone has 32GB and even adding tons of apps directly onto my phone has left me with 16 GB left. And I haven’t even put my memory card into this phone yet. I can’t. I mean, it fits and everything and would give me 16 additional GB of space, but for some reason that no one at the T-Mobile store can figure out, my new phone will not recognize the audiobooks I have downloaded to the memory card. My new phone has Overdrive and has played every book I’ve downloaded from my local library, but for some reason it does not want to acknowledge the existence of the two dozen or so audiobooks I have on my memory card.

For now I am leaving the card in my old phone. I figure I can use it like an iPod and just play the books when I want to hear them. As soon as I finish them, I can delete them from my memory card and stick it in the new phone.

Aside from this strange snafu with the memory card, I really like my new phone. It’s still nothing overly fancy, but it does exactly what I need and didn’t cost more than my mortgage payment, so I’m cool with it.

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Free Reading Friday: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost)

Never weird on internetI feel the need to be perfectly candid about something upfront in this review: I love Felicia Day. Although not a “gamer girl” myself, I have been immersed in geek culture my entire life, so I relate to her in so many ways. It probably also doesn’t hurt that she was on one of my all time favorite TV shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, AND in my favorite web min-series Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, AND my favorite web series, The Guild. Although I was not overly enamored of her awkward character Vi in Buffy, I simply adored her as Penny and Codex/Syd. I’ve also loved seeing her on Supernatural.

So when I saw her memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) in the display window of my school library, I texted our librarian (school was over at the time) and told her I wanted it first thing the next morning. By the time I’d hit my car though, I was searching the online public library to see if maybe, just maybe, there was an audiobook.

There was. And even better, Day reads the audiobook! I LOVE when author’s read their own works. You get so much more than their stories when they do. You get the emotions that go along with those stories. In a way, it’s like listening to a good friend tell their personal stories. Because the author gets to relive the experience, so does the listener. Not that voice actors can’t do amazing jobs reading audiobooks. I’ve hears some spectacular performances, but an author reading their own work always excites me.

Hearing Day’s stories in her own voice was brilliant. She made me feel just as awkward and quirky and uncomfortable as she felt in so many of her childhood stories. And that was perfect, because I could relate. While I was not home schooled, I grew up in a very strange household myself and I found myself connecting on a very real level with her tales of social anxiety and awkwardness. It probably helps that Day and I are almost the same age, so many of her childhood and teen obsessions were also mine.

I still remember my step-dad bringing home our first computer when I was in 5th grade and the hours and hours and hours I spent playing video games on it. It was so much easier to play those games than it was to deal with real people sometimes. Especially when I was getting ready to start my 5th school in 6 years. Computers were far kinder to new kids than the other students were. Especially when those new kids were a bit chubby, had glasses and were insanely good at school (and serious, serious teacher pleasers to boot).

As an avid attendee of events like Comic Con, I loved Day’s stories of meeting other celebrities because they are so relatable. It’s lovely to see someone I look up to and know I would get a little tongue-tied to meet have the same problems. Her story about going out of her way to buy donuts so she could offer one to Matt Smith (of Dr. Who fame) was hysterical. Considering that until I was in my late 20’s I was the only Dr. Who fan (aside from my dad) I knew, I could see myself doing something similar. Heck, when I met John Barrowman I almost lost my mind. I loved hearing that Day did the same.

I also truly enjoyed reading about Day’s process of staying true to her inner geek by creating her own web series and then her own geek company. I particularly found her message to young, geeky girls inspiring. I wish I’d had someone like her to look up to when I was the only one in my 7th grade homeroom who had seen every episode of Dr. Who and could name all of his companions in order of their appearance on the show. It would have been nice to be able to feel proud of that instead of worried someone would find out just how odd I was. It also would have been lovely to know someone else was writing Fan Fic before there was a word for it. Yep, that’s right, I had notebooks full of Dr. Who Fan Fic back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s!

One of the most interesting and important parts of the book is Day’s account of her experiences during Gamer Gate. After hearing stories like Day’s it is hard to believe anyone could possibly still believe Gamer Gate was not sexism at its ugliest.

I am so glad I read this book and have already recommended it to several of my students, added it to my AP non-fiction list and look forward to talking to students about it.

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