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So here’s how this works: I’ll start us off with some things I think are great, things I want you to know about, and then you have at it in the comments. Got a blog/project/box of kittens you want people to know about? Great! BUT. You have to share something totally unrelated to you, first. Someone else’s blog, someone else’s project, someone else’s box of kittens. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

First off, I have to get the word out on my awesome buddy who does amazing things in the world, Matt Paxton. (Yeah, the Flat Cat Matt of A&E Hoarders fame!) Read on!

 

Rec #1: Matt Paxton

If you had issues with watching Hoarders, I get it. It’s rough stuff. But it isn’t rubbernecker TV like so many of those shows are. Matt is a Grief Counselor and comes from a tough background himself. BUT HE’S ALSO HILARIOUS. Did you know he’s branched out with his own FREE Podcast? They’re fantastic, it’s him and his longtime work buddy Caleb talking about crazy things they’ve seen, and they’re FREE. (Matt is like me: we have dirty mouths. No pearl clutchers, okay?)

Did you know he has his own product line? Clutter Cleaner. If this guy says it cleans, it cleans.  He has books, too. I’m in the middle of one right now, in fact. If you’re digging his blog/podcast, you’ll like the book. And every year at Christmas, he sells golden ornaments shaped like poop. Don’t even act like you don’t want one of those.

He’s a great guy, he does great good, and I’ve got my fingers crossed A&E will bring Hoarders back. (If you’re curious about that show and why I’m invested, I used to write about it.)

Rec #2 – Yen Tan

Oh, my friends who love beautiful cinema… If you’ve not heard of Yen, you’re going to. Yen is a friend of mine here in Texas who creates the most achingly beautiful, intelligent, emotional films.  In fact, the film I recommend in particular, Pit Stop, was named one of the best films of 2013 and wasn’t in wide release. It was a festival darling, but we all know that if you don’t have big Hollywood backing you, it’s hard to get people to see your movie.

Well let me help. It’s on Netflix, Instant Watcher, and Amazon. As a gay man himself, Yen has crafted a quiet, emotional film about a closeted man falling for someone who is out – and they’re in Texas. In small town Texas. It’s painfully accurate, passionate, and just unflinchingly romantic. I can’t recommend it enough. (And if you’re a straight dude worrying that this is about gay guys, cut that out. This is a movie for people who love beautiful cinematography and fine acting. You like that stuff, you’ll like this.)

He and I have worked on a few movies together and he’s so damn funny – so dry you need a drink after talking to him. Give his earlier (award winning as well) film Ciao a try, too! Support independent film and LGBT film, too!

Rec #3 – Chuck Wendig

Are you a writerly type? You probably know Chuck. If you don’t, I question your writerliness. Chuck, aka The Beardly One, is an old LJ pal who has taken off in the past few years, and with good reason: he’s a freaking great writer and all-around good-dude.

You like old school gamers with new visions? BAM. How about guys who get stuff done and tell you how to get stuff done? BROOP! Say you want someone who appreciates a fine whiskey and plate o’grub? KABLOWEE. Or how about someone who is writing some of the most cutting edge urban fantasy books to date? POW. Miriam effin’ Black. If you don’t like people who cuss, you’re missing out on great websites like Chuck’s.

Again. If you’re a writer (or a wannabe writer) and you’re not following his blog, you are missing out on advice (funny, erudite advice) from one of the busiest guys in the biz. He’s on Twitter and Tumblr, as well.

Rec #4 – WinterisComing.net

So, if you’re not here because I dragged you over from the Game of Thrones forums/Hey, Don’t Judge Me, then you might not know that I’m a massive fantasy-fiction geek. Love it. Can’t get enough of it. BUT. Let me preface this with that in regards to GoT, I am 100% spoiler free, and only rude people with scales on their butts would want to ruin that for me, right? Right! Which leads me to WiC.net

They have it all- book readers, “Unsullied” (me) and safe spaces for both of us to geek out over what is arguably one of the best shows on TV, especially now that the brilliant Breaking Bad is over. You want to talk behind the scenes? They got it. Speculation on what’s to come? They got it. You want exclusive interviews? They got ’em. You want a roundup of intelligent folk talking about the show? Yep, that too. They are amazing at monitoring their boards, so the douchebro/neckbeard behavior gets shut down. Well, it does in the places I hang out (Unsullied recaps/roundups).

And they are year-round, not just when the show airs. They have exclusive interviews, behind the scenes stuff, and it never ends. G’bless you, WiC.net. *clings embarrassingly*

You guys have no idea how badly I wanted to sing “I came in like a Rec’cing Ball!” That was a lot from me, but I had to get the ball rolling.

Okay! [rubs hands] Whatcha got for me? Are you working on a project that’s awesome? Know someone else’s amazing project/something? LINK AWAY!

(Remember that my food/wine/music recs are coming later in the week!)

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