Five Good Things for 11/23/2015

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’m a little late getting this up, but I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I had a very relaxing one myself – saw friends, went to the farm market, binged watched all of Jessica Jones… Of course all my relaxation was erased by waking up at 3 am this morning after sleeping perfectly well Friday and Saturday nights. But that’s just how I roll. Here’s some goodness to ease you into your (abbreviated) week!

31) Horseback riding and fishing may not seem like related activities, except maybe if you ride a horse to your favorite fishing spot. But these fishing horses of Belgium do much more than just provide transport – they help trawl and haul in the catch. What cool and strong animals!

download (2)2) Arrested Development might be the funniest sitcom ever made and is certainly queen of the running gag. The gags are so on-going and complex, in fact, that you might despair of ever catching all of them. NPR has a solution for this – they’ve developed an interactive chart of all the repeating gags and how they relate to each other over the course of all four seasons. Impressive. I think my favorite running joke, though, is that Tobias is actually a Black man.

Continue reading “Five Good Things for 11/23/2015”

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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.”

Continue reading “Undercover Heathen: Tales from a Baptist Christmas Party”

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.

Continue reading “Five Good Things for 11/13/2015”

Five Good Things for 11/12/2015

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 didn’t have to work yesterday and the best of intentions to write all day. Instead I slept all day. That’s the same thing, right? But I must have needed it because I feel about a million times better today. So I guess that’s… something.

591) I love that even after an actor’s run as the Doctor ends, that Doctor’s story can continue on in audio plays, novels, and especially comics! Titan just announced a 4th Doctor miniseries coming in March. Tom Baker was such a classic Doctor and I’m glad his spirit will continue in new adventures.

15143346792267246422) This beautiful sci-fi short film, Exode, imagines what it would be like if a civilization formed on the back of a living creature. And what would happen if that creature died. It’s such a perfect, moving little story and the art is like being in a dream.

Continue reading “Five Good Things for 11/12/2015”

Five Good Things for 11/6/2015

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.

tumblr_mft4d6Wwyc1qg1mbqo1_500Happy Friday, ya’ll! Allow me assist with your end-of-week goofing off. We had our first snow here today, which means I feel like I shouldn’t have to do anything because snow day. Yes, it was less than an inch and melted immediately. Still, I’m more than ready for the weekend, which for me holds the first winter market of the year, helping my parents move, and recording a podcast. Hope all your weekend plans are fun and safe from snow – let me know in the comments!

9601) Adventure Time episode “Varmints“. I’m just gonna go ahead and assume if you are reading this blog, that you watch and love Adventure Time already, because that’s just the kind of charitable human being I am. Tuesday night’s episode, “Varmints” was one of the best of the series and warmed the cockles of my little Bubbline-shipping heart. Even if that’s the most we ever get between Marcie and Bubblegum, I’m pretty happy. And aside from affirming my worldview, it was just a really sweet episode about what makes PB tick, about a really long and meaningful friendship, and about kicking Alien…er… Varmint Queen arse! All in a 11 tidy minutes.

IMG_29182) So I have a big black dog, with big black toenails. They were kind of long when I got him, as he wasn’t being properly taken care of but was walking on pavement a lot, but the fact that he hates having them trimmed, is extremely strong, and that I cut the quick last time I trimmed them because he had a weird shaped nail means that they have got out of control. At home I feel like I’m being stalked by 8 tiny supermodels in high heels as he clicks across my floors. I’m working on remedying the situation and found this guide to trimming dog nails really helpful, particularly if the quick has grown longer than it should.

tumblr_myh23wzVBA1qljdepo5_4003) I am one of the few Whovians, I think, who loves literally all of the 13 Doctors almost equally. Of course I have a special bond with Ten, because he was my first Doctor, but really… they’re all pretty great! However, I’ve been really enjoying Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor lately so I was excited to hear him speak out about ageism and misogyny on TV and in movies. The industry really needs a reality check, and who better than the Doctor… even if the character does rather gravitate to quite young companions. I mean, a 2000-year age gap is ridiculous even for Hollywood! 😉

1-Lapsang-Souchong_front-on4) One of the things about being a tea person is that once other people know this about you, they will get you tea. All the time. One of the other things about being a tea person is that you will never, ever get tired of this. At work alone I have special loose leaf teas from my trip the UK, from my husband, from a close friend here, and from my BFF. Every time I drink one of them I think of who and where it came from and it brightens my day. Today, I’m drinking a single origin Lapsang Souchong I got at the historic Twinings Shop in London. The strong, smoky flavor isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect to buck me up on our first wintry day and brings back memories of roaming the streets of London this spring while fighting off The Worst Cold Ever.

Tea Tin herb Garden5) Since I drink and receive so much tea, I have a surplus of beautiful tea tins that I’m absolutely incapable of throwing away. I think I might have to try this project (plus the wine cork labels) and turn them into a kitchen herb garden. Just as soon as I build a shelf in my kitchen…

Five Good Things for 10/21/2015

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.

download1) Happy Back to the Future Day! Today is the day Marty McFly visited in Back to the Future II. After today, pretty much anything could happen – we’re in uncharted territory. The Guardian is running a live blog of all things Back to the Future, and if you want to honor the day properly, check out one of the many Back to the Future Trilogy marathons at theaters around the country. I only wish I’d had time to get a costume together!

biggerBIGcu2) Fall is scarf season! If you’re a knitter, check out this gorgeous TARDIS scarf pattern, “Bigger On The Inside” from the Knitty. I love it because it’s very subtle and you get away with wearing it more formal/dressy situations. I haven’t got the nerve to try it yet but it’s on my list!

3) If you’re like me, you may be good for scarves but at a loss for how to wear them beyond “wrap around neck”. This helpful instructional videos shows a bunch of ways to wear scarves for those of us who never got the cool girl (or guy) memo.

eggs4) Having a Halloween party and want up the creepy level on your snacks? Here’s a list of fifty Halloween themed recipes that will make your party memorable. Some of these are truly inspired! I think the rotten wasabi deviled eggs are my favorite though!

5) It’s new comic book day! I really need to update my pull list after abandoning much of it in disgust over Secret Wars messing up my timelines. But there’s tons non-big two offerings. My picks this week are Giant Days #7, Lumberjanes #19, and Bob’s Burgers #3. I’ve also been hearing good buzz about Cognetic from Boom Studios, premiering this week, so I might check that out as well.

Five Good Things 10/06/2015

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.

BIGHARD1_263_4021) Sex Criminals. If you’re not reading this series by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdansky, you should be. I just finished Volume 2. It’s hard to say anything about the premise without spoiling it, but trust me, it’s better to be surprised. What I will say is it’s a sci-fi story that explores sexuality, sexual shame, relationships, depression, and a whole host of other sticky (yes, I know) topics in an incredibly frank and bittersweet way. Also there’s chases and fights and a lot of genitalia. Issue #13 comes out this week.

30866_d2) Strawberry Blush Rose Oolong Tea from Teavana. I got some for my birthday and I’m loving it. It’s an incredibly dainty, floral tea with all kinds of fruit and rosebuds in it. It honestly looks more like potpourri than tea but it tastes delightful. It makes me feel like I should be wearing a gown and discussing the prospects of the new bachelor at Netherfield Park. I’m going to drink it while I watch Downtown Abbey and wear a giant hat.

download (3)3) The Cosplanner App. This is my new favorite app. It lets you easily organize all the cosplays you want to do and keep track of your progress.You can store reference photos, things to make or buy, a task list, upcoming events, and even create a timeline and budget. It’s a free app, although you can upgrade for more storage/fewer ads. I whip it out any time I have an idea for a project even if I don’t know when I’m going to do it, because then I don’t forget and I can keep my eye out for things to pick up for it as I come across them. I also use it for non-cosplay craft projects. Yes, those exist.

lego-who5-480x4804) The Doctor Who Lego Set. It’s finally here!! I think this one pretty much speaks for itself, but I have to say I love that it’s not solely NuWho based. Hopefully one day we’ll get all the Doctors/companions to go with. But this is a great start. Do I have it? No. Do I lust after it? Yes. Do I want it more or less than I want this BB8 toy? Some secrets shall never be revealed.

dimetrodon5: The paleoart of Simon Stalenhag. Amazing, vivid paintings of lost worlds, dinosaurs, fish, reptiles, and birds. A lot of modern Paleoart is hyper-realistic, trying for an almost photographic feel, but Stalenhag’s is softer around the edges and more reminiscent of works painted of living wildlife. Somehow, this style makes these extinct animals and landscapes feel more real.