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About me!

Hello, I'm Rachel Bell, and this is my website. Herbalcell is actually just an anagram of my name. I liked it because I like nature — tasty herbs and living cells. My site is a place for me to share my hobbies and some articles on various topics.

First and foremost: I love video games. My favorites are the Legend of Zelda series, and point-and-click adventure games like Myst. I want to create video games almost as much as I love to play them. I've recently started work on a point-and-click game which will be part of a series using the free Wintermute game engine.

I also love to listen to my favorite video game music (particularly that composed by Koji Kondo), as well as making video game sheet music for piano. I also learn to play some of it, but I don't consider myself a pianist because I can't sight-read sheet music.

Some of my favorite things are forests, cloudy skies, trains, and mysteries.

I enjoy teaching myself 3D modeling and animation. I've been using Blender, a powerful free and open source program, for a few years. I also like to work on my high-res texture pack for Majora's Mask.

I like to draw and paint digitally with my pen tablet and Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter. I also use Photoshop to restore old photographs. I like looking at other people's art as well. I tend toward the dark, mysterious, eerie types that evoke strong feelings, whether it be a painting or photograph.

I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and love to write code. Most of my experience is in web development. I designed, coded, and maintain this website. My favorite language is Python, and I like to use the Django web framework. I have pretty extensive HTML and CSS experience, and a bit of Java experience as well.

I'm an atheist, a rationalist, a scientist, a skeptic, a geek / nerd, a minimalist, a feminist, and political views that I haven't really found an appropriate label for yet.

My intellectual heroes are Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sam Harris, and Noam Chomsky, among others. Listening to them talk makes me want to give each of them a speechless hug.

I was born and raised in Texas — now back in the homeland, ready to settle down after living in Maine for a couple years, then traveling around the north and west part of the US for about 4 months. We like trying new things!

I'm a big fan of Japan and Japanese culture. I like anime and Japanese films. My husband and I dream of taking trips to Japan and possibly living there for a while someday.

I also like photography. We have a Nikon D5100. I put some of my best photos on DeviantArt.

Favorite Movies:

Clue, Haunted Honeymoon, Lord of the Rings, Home Alone, Twilight, Star Wars, Napoleon Dynamite, Train Man

Favorite Shows:

Parks and Recreation, The Office, Arrested Development, Frasier, King of the Hill, Futurama, Poirot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Breaking Bad, Veronica Mars, House, Nova Science Now, Witch Hunter Robin, Samurai Champloo

Favorite Music:

In short: I like music that moves me. I like music that doesn't sound like anything I've heard before. I like music that is interesting. If it can bring me to tears from the sheer volume of emotions it evokes, mega bonus points. I like music that is an experience — where I can forget about the world for a few moments and experience something beautiful. I don't listen to music all the time or even that often, but when I do I like to make it worth my time. I usually listen with headphones to get the most impact, although if I had a nice sound system I would use that.

I have favorite songs but I don't like an artist with any kind of loyalty (not since my die-hard Incubus fan phase in high school). The way I see it, it's hard to be perfect all the time but once in a while you get lucky and create something masterful. The groups that I probably like most consistently are Green Day, Radiohead, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, and Incubus, in that there are multiple songs from them that I like a lot.I often use rateyourmusic.com to find highly rated (not highly purchased) singles when I am in the mood for something new. I've found most of my favorite songs this way. These are currently my favorite songs. And these have been in the past.

Contact me

Feel free to contact me about anything at all — herbalcell@gmail.com.