Five Good Things for 12/4/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

Friday again! I hope everyone has some awesome weekend plans. Mine include more holiday markets than you can shake a stick at. I’m most looking forward to the annual Christkindlmarkt and watching the parade of St. Nicholas while sipping on some European-style hot chocolate. In the meantime, here are some other items to brighten the end of your week.

download (7)1) Without a doubt, Octavia Butler’s sci-fi masterpiece, the Xenogenesis Trilogy, is the best work of speculative fiction I’ve read in years. Butler is truly one of the greatest writers of the last century, and this work is the pinnacle of her talents, creating a moving picture of the end of Earth while exploring issues of what it means to be human, sexuality, race, gender, and so much more. Beautiful and haunting I’ve never read anything quite like it.

JJ02c2) The Mary Sue has a thoughtful discussion of the Kilgrave fandom (from Marvel’s Jessica Jones) which I was very impressed by. The comment section is worth a read too.  I would add to all that sometimes grown, healthy adults with no history of trauma find themselves really turned on by something kind of terrible, while fully aware that it is terrible and with no intention of pursuing it in the real world. That’s what fantasy is for and that’s why fandom should be safe space where we don’t concern troll other over their fantasy lives.

download (8)3) I came late to appreciation of Rise of the Guardians, Dreamworks’ bonkers animated movie about Jack Frost, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and other legends protecting children from the boogeyman. Partially because the ads for it just made it look stupid. But now it’s become a treasured part of my Christmas move rotation (even if it technically takes place over Easter). It’s a sweet film and I enjoy the off-the-wall attitude even as it makes a well-worn point about the importance of childhood belief and wonder. A toothfairy that looks like a hummingbird? Sure! A jacked Australian Easter Bunny with footed egg-helpers and an outpost on Easter Island? Why not. The Man in the Moon is the big guy in the sky in charge of it all? Absolutely. And Russian Santa with Naughty/Nice tattoos and yeti helpers is just the best. Open your heart to the weirdness.

Peach-54297881a5c284) In my never-ending search for high-protein snacks to help me stay asleep through the night, I recently encountered Icelandic skyr-style yogurt and I think I love it. I picked up a couple containers of Siggi’s brand, which has way more protein, way less sugar, and three more culture strains than your average yogurt. Now, it is very strong and sour so that took a little getting used to, but the flavor is pleasant and it’s very thick, creamy, and satisfying. No weird ingredients either – just milk, a little agave, a little fruit, and five active cultures. I think this is my new breakfast.

EASP05H_wassail_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape5) Ready to go wassailing and mumming this holiday season, but have no idea what wassail is? It’s a delicious mulled cider/wine that people used to give out to the players who would come to their door. Alton Brown, reliable as always, has a great recipe for it. Go forth and be merry!




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