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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Five Good Things for 11/30/2015

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.

Oh, the cruelty of the Monday after a four day weekend! Although I shouldn’t complain, as many people (particularly those in retail) did not get a four day weekend or even a weekend at all. And mine was delightful and relaxing, although that does make coming back to work all the more jarring. If you’re feeling the same, here are some pleasant diversions to ease you back into the routine.

1 & 2) This weekend I was introduced to two amazing webcomics I just have to share, both by trans artists/writers. The first, The Satrians, is about a family of telepathic aliens who adopts a human child. Humans aren’t telepathic, so in their world the child is disabled. Super cute and using all gender-neutral pronouns (Satrians have no concept of gender) it’s both entertaining and a real interesting perspective on gender and disability. Star Trip is an adventure comic about a girl traveling the galaxy with a shapeshifting companion, which is gender and race inclusive as well as just plain fun.

MV5BMTg2NjI2MTMzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTcwODIwNjE@._V1._CR80,50,1280,1800_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_3) Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows fame) has a new movie, available on Netflix, called People, Places, Things. I watched it last week and really enjoyed it. It’s a small indie romantic comedy about love, family, and divorce, with a very sweet heart. Funny and cute, but not saccharine, it’s a great pick if you’re in the mood for something lighter but not devoid of meaning.

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Five Good Things for 11/19/2015

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.

Last night we went out to an amazing little restaurant called The Tin Angel and splurged. We got a bunch of small plates and an entree each and cocktails. So that’s our eating out budget for the next three months, but it was totally worth it. The highlights were the pork empanada with harissa sauce, the calamari with bread to dip in the juices, and the speck-wrapped shrimp. If you’re in the area, definitely go try The Tin Angel.  But for now, here are some less edible but still wonderful things for your day.

FIGA960H.png1) Like most of America, I will be seeing the final installment of the Hunger Games movies this weekend. I’m really excited for it. Cracked has a great, if poorly titled, article about themes in the movies: “6 Bizarre Messages You Didn’t Notice In ‘The Hunger Games'”. It really should be called “6 Ways Themes in Dystopian Science Fiction Have Changed Over Time and What It Can Tell Us About Our Collective Psyche”. Definitely worth a read if you’re a sci-fi and/or Hunger Games fan.

2) I love this Toys R Us commercial featuring a father and daughter bonding over Star Wars fandom. So cute, and so nice to see a store admit that girls like Star Wars. Like, a lot of us. Hopefully things like this will lead to more Star Wars female characters in toys and on merchandise, which is currently lacking.

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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 10/28/2015

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

supergirl-poster1) Supergirl! If you haven’t seen the premiere of the new CBS show yet, go watch it. It’s not perfect, it suffers from pilotitis (having to serve as a first episode as well as a pitch for the network and therefore cramming in way too much exposition/plot because network executives are stupid and have no imagination). But it sets a beautiful, adventurous, optimistic tone for the series. Melissa Benoist is perfect as Kara – bubbly and likeable, but stron – and the supporting cast put in excellent first performances as well. It’s wonderful to have a superhero show that’s led by a woman and also isn’t so grimdark as many recent entries. I kind of already ship Kara with Barry Allen from The Flash. And I want her boots. I can’t wait to see where this show goes once it can stretch its wings.

2) My social anxiety isn’t terrible, but it’s definitely there. Interactions are draining. These cartoons made me smile, particularly the one showing an empty bed as, basically, paradise. Continue reading “Five Good Things for 10/28/2015”

Five Good Things for 10/23/2015

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.

1) Carol Rossetti, an artist from Bazil, has done a large series of posters about women, affirming all kinds of women and all kinds of choices they can make. It’s some really excellent feminism that’s inspiring and encouraging to women of all races, creeds, orientations, and types. Her posters are simple but powerful and she makes them personal. I can’t choose a favorite, but one I saw today that I like says “Susan wears a hijab out of choice but many say she is just another woman ‘oppressed by Islam’. Susan, what you wear is your personal decision and the real oppression would be to strip you of your freedom to choose!”. Go check them out and support Carol’s work!

download (1)2) Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert is a simply adorable children’s picture book about a cat in ancient Egypt who was buried with his queen and now wakes up every 100 years to see if she’s come back for him yet. It’s cute, spooky, a little sad, and full of facts about life in ancient Egypt. A perfect Halloween book for your little budding Egyptologist. Continue reading “Five Good Things for 10/23/2015”