It’s the end of the semester, and you know what that means: the chances of getting a coherent post right now are pretty slim. But thank God for LISTS. No matter the cacophony in my brain, I can always put together a damn good list. They give my life structure, meaning, and a light in the darkness that is my brain. Even better than regular lists are lists about THINGS: books, music, websites, ideas, people. You hardly have to think and you have an excuse to enthuse about whatever floats your goat.
So SADDLE UP (hopefully not on horses named Sassy) for a December smorgasbord of happy stuff.
- And Now the Weather – Colm Mac Con Iomaire
If you are stressed–and it’s the holidays, so that is definitely the case, dear reader–listen to this. It literally melts away tension. And there are so many other reasons to love this album: lilting Celtic melodies, song titles that reference Sherlock Holmes stories, cover art of a golden boat that’s similar to another great collection of Irish art, and even a lovely little piece called “Mood Alabama.”https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3XwS35qZRhZw5GAhAA0mnM2. A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
Speaking of moods in Alabama, mine is joyous and so are those of a lot of people there because FUCK YEAH DOUG JONES. I try not to swear on this blog because my mom reads it sometimes, but once in a while it’s merited. And also HELL YES BLACK WOMEN. You absolutely must read/watch this story about an amazing warrior who drives people to the polls. I’m so thankful for her, and all the other people who voted against hate and for progress and light.
A friend just shared this absurdist site which writes and re-writes stories, history, and ads using a predictive keyboard. I laughed so hard I couldn’t read. I laughed out at least a month’s worth of dark, sludgy anxiety. It felt good, y’all. Here’s an excerpt from Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash:“If you two can’t clump happily, I’m going to get aggressive,” confessed the reasonable Hermione.
“What about Ron magic?” offered Ron. To Harry, Ron was a loud, slow, and soft bird. Harry did not like to think about birds.
“Death Eaters are on top of the castle!” Ron bleated, quivering. Ron was going to be spiders. He just was. He wasn’t proud of that, but it was going to be hard to not have spiders all over his body after all was said and done.
The one about Thanksgiving is a gem as well.
4. Not explaining myself.
I nearly had a whole post written out that tried to explain some things. But then I realized: I don’t have to explain or justify anything. I don’t say that in a defensive way, but in a sigh-of-relief way. Why waste time worrying about what others think? Deleting that post was dropping a responsibility that isn’t mine to fulfill.
5. The Kingkiller Chronicles.
Okay, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this one–I don’t usually go in much for fantasy (Harry Potter being the golden exception to the rule. Also Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys series. And K.E. Ormsbee’s The Water and the Wild. And Neil Gaiman. And self-awareness is hard).
But . . . I like this series. It’s a little bit Harry Potter, a little bit Lord of the Rings, a lot addictive. I’m listening to the second book on Audible and it made a 6 hour drive go by real fast. It’s also great for putting on at night, and enjoying the luxury of falling asleep to a bedtime story.
6. Paris at Christmas.
We have just three days here, so I’m not trying to cram everything in–there will be time for more Paris in the future. But the time we have, I’m enjoying enormously. So far it’s included Centre Pompidou, the Christmas Tree by Notre Dame, cafes, Shakespeare and Company, holiday shopping, exploring all on my own for a few hours, and an ungodly amount of pastries (I have a pretty great tour guide as well). I already can’t wait to come back to this beautiful city.