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 – Thanksgiving Food Edition

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.

Thanksgiving draws nigh, so I thought instead of my usual round-up of links from the dark corners of the net, I’d share some of my best Turkey Day recipes instead. If you’re in need of inspiration, look no further!

20121108-spatchcock-turkey-food-lab-121) Spatchcocked turkey. To be fair, I’m only trying this for the first time this year but I’m excited and Alton Brown has never steered me wrong once. The final product may look funny and the name may make you giggle, but I have on good authority that a dry-brined, spatchcocked turkey is the best way to go. Serious Eats has a great instructional video if you’re unclear on how this works.

IMG_0606-560x8402) These rolls are my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I would just eat them forever. They are flakey and buttery and miles beyond store bought, or even any other crescent rolls I’ve made before. Yes, they’re a bit of work but you can do the cold dough a day in advance and then shape and let rise on Thanksgiving itself. Definitely worth it.

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Five Good Things for 11/20/2015

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.

monica-doing-turkey-dance-o.gifWell, we made it to the end of another work week. And next week is Thanksgiving, believe it or not. I happen to love Thanksgiving, mostly because I like to cook big meals, have people give me compliments, and then live off leftovers for a week. And also because I never have to travel for it. I’ve got my turkey ordered and have planned way too much food considering there will probably only be four of us. Saturday is our winter farm market, so I’ll be heading there to get my local ingredients and then off to see Mockingjay, Part 2. What are your weekend plans?

1) Weird Al’s parodies are hilarious on their own, but I love it when someone takes them to the next level. Here’s a montage of people in movies eating, to the soundtrack of Weird Al’s “Beat It” parody, “Eat It”.  Also now eating seems weird.

2) Thanksgiving can be fun, but it can also be super stressful, and the source of tension and fights for years to come. If you think everyone at your table just needs to chill the fuck out, here’s a video that shows you how to marinate a turkey in marijuana. Actually, it’s perfect if you think about it – when everyone gets the munchies, there will already be tons of food around.

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Five Good Things for 11/17/2015

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.

giphyI was a bit of a nervous wreck last night, as my husband was driving back from California through central Utah, in the middle of a blizzard, with a broken phone. So I had no way to communicate with him. I became a little anxious, to put it mildly, once he was over two hours late (although watching The Rescuers helped), but he made it back and only spun off the road once (!!). All is well and we still had some evening left to enjoy. Here are your very relieved Good Things for today.

78701) One of my favorite comfort foods is curry puffs from our local Thai restaurant. I may have indulged while I was home alone this weekend, although I’ve always wanted to make them at home. The sweet cucumber dipping sauce goes incredibly well with the rich puff pastry and curried potato filling. So satisfying!

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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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Five Good Things for 11/5/2015

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.

4fabb1873570a6b1b4a1976fe1d33d1fToday is grey, rainy, cold, and slow at my job. It’s too early to start the weekend but I’m so over this work week. I’m really feeling Arthur Dent’s famous sentiment. Thankfully, I’ve got some great diversions to get us through this one.

Screen-Shot-2015-05-29-at-10.22.54-AM1) Okay, this is local news but I’m still excited and I think it’s relevant nationally. It looks like Salt Lake City has elected a new mayor, Jackie Biskupski, who is only the second woman to hold the position, and the first openly gay (and first single mother) mayor in our city’s history. Those of you who haven’t spent much time in SLC are probably shocked by this, but despite the often rightfully deserved conservative and bigoted reputation of the state of Utah, SLC actually is very welcoming to the LGBT community. And while I’m excited Jackie is making history here, outsiders will also be surprised to learn how little of a deal her orientation was in the campaign. I think that’s the best part of all – we didn’t elect a lesbian mayor, we elected a mayor who just happens to be a lesbian.

2) I feel totally vindicated by this Aeon Magazine article about how the indecisive often make better decisions that those who choose immediately. I’m notoriously indecisive and I always want more data to be sure I’m picking The Best Thing, whether it’s an entree or an apartment. The few times I have made a spur-of-the-moment decision on a big purchase (my last car and my last computer) I regretted it. So stop getting annoyed with me at restaurants, already!

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