Five Good Things for 12/8/2015

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.

It’s time for the annual end-of-year onset anxiety, complete with a constant nervous feeling, too much work to do, and even more disrupted sleep than usual. I’m going to try to keep up at least with a daily links post, but I don’t know how much else I will get done until the New Year. Then everything will be shiny and new and different and I’ll sleep like a baby and find keeping up with work and writing a total breeze… right? Oh well, till then, enjoy some awesomeness from the internet.

giphy (2)1) Rare Exports might be my new favorite Christmas movie. I don’t want to say too much and spoil anything, but it’s a Finnish horror movie about the horrors experienced in a small town when the real Santa Claus is unearthed from his tomb. Hilarious, scary, and just plan weird if you haven’t experienced it, you need to.

56197-Oh-I-Cant-Believe-My-Eyes2) PBS has a video of a live from Lincoln Center performance of some of Danny Elfman’s most memorable music scores, including some from the Nightmare Before Christmas, featuring Elfman singing. It’s a great retrospective on a long, iconic career, and so much fun to hear Jack Skellington come to life.

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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.

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Five Good Things for 12/01/2015

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.

I am in denial about it being the first of December. Partially because I’m still in denial about it being 2015, much less nearly 2016. But there’s no denying the holiday season is in full swing now. May your December be merry and bright… or at least a booze and sugar-fueled approximation thereof.

1) SyFy has posted the first episode of their upcoming science ficton series set in actual space, for free online. The Expanse is set in the future, when the Asteroid Belt has been colonized and an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a young heiress sets off a series of events that will “change humanity”. I have not watched this yet, but it’s great they’ve posted it for free, the trailer looks good and it’s nice to see a hard sci-fi show making a debut on the once-eponymous channel. Let me know what you think!

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Undercover Heathen: Tales from a Baptist Christmas Party

first_baptist_church_lakeside_city

“You should pull up your top, you’re showing too much cleavage,” my mom said, eyeing me critically.

I knew then I’d made a huge mistake. But it was too late. I’d been trapped. I was was on my way to a party at a Baptist church dressed, apparently, like a small-time prostitute.

The hook had been baited earlier that week when my mom suggested we should have a girls’ night together soon. So I’d invited to her over for Sunday evening to watch Inside Out and eat sandwiches, since my husband was out of town and my father would be completely unable to comprehend an animated movie starring anthropomorphic versions of a young girl’s emotions. It sounded about as relaxing as an evening with my mother could possibly be, and like the introvert I am, I planned on making it an early night and probably not changing out of my pajamas the entire day. Well, except to change into fresh pajamas after my bath – I’m not a barbarian.

Two hours before our movie date, my mother called.

“Hi, honey! I’m so sorry but I completely forgot that I had a work party scheduled for tonight, since we hit all our sales goals for the last six months.”

My mother works at an evangelical Christian bookstore, a job for which she is more than suited. In fact, it might be the only job for which she is suited, since she would be immediately fired from any other sort of employment for rabid proselytizing.

“Oh. Okay, well we can watch the movie anoth-”

“I’d like you to come with me and meet my coworkers.”

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Five Good Things for 11/13/2015

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.

This week definitely didn’t go as planned. Does it ever? My weird work schedule made it feel like instead of Sunday-Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday I had Monday-Tuesday-Friday-Saturday-Monday-Friday. Isn’t it funny how days of the week are so defined by what we do on them? Anyways, hopefully my weekend will include writing a ton, making my house not smell like cat, and maybe going outside. What’s up for you this weekend?

417cMKeDTxL1) My bedroom is freezing. It was built as a separate building at a different time from the rest of the house and connected later. Which means instead of thick, insulating Victorian walls, it has basically a single layer of brick between me and the outside world. So currently my favorite thing in the entire world right now are electric blankets. Seriously. Climbing into a pre-warmed bed is like heaven. Sometimes I go in there just to feel to happy and safe. If you’ve never experienced the miracle of electric blankets you are missing out. And if you sleep with a partner, do yourself a favor and get the kind that lets you adjust each side to the temp you prefer.

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