26 November 2014

My Favorite Things, November 2014

Happy almost-Thanksgiving, dear readers! Whether you’re brave enough to travel today or already at your Thanksgiving celebration destination, I hope you get to enjoy a day off today in anticipation of the holiday tomorrow! And that would mean you’d have a bit of free time to check out all of my favorite things from the last month. It’s not quite the mammoth post that October was (I swear, the internet was out of control that month), but I loved them all the same.

From last year, but today looks remarkably similar, apron and all.

So a big HIGH FIVE this month...

... for NPR

If you didn’t get obsessed with Serial last month – as I did, and also my boss and coworkers and basically the entire internet – it’s not too late to start. And then you can develop your own opinions on the story. Mine are something like this, which I found on this discussion thread (yes, I dipped my toes in the Serial Podcast Reddit ocean).

And then there are these charts for people obsessed with Serial. “The Deal with Jay” made me guffaw.

Those charts, by the by, introduced me to This American Chart, a whole Twitter account devoted to – what else – charts based on episodes of This American Life. Lately there are Serial charts mixed in, but scrolling through the feed reminds me of past episodes and makes me smile.

And finally, I am extremely impressed at how much the editorial staff at The Onion knows about This American Life. Lots of fantastically arcane references, but this was perhaps the best part:

"...I was tinkering around with a new voice that had a hint of a Southern drawl and a slight lisp. But it wasn’t until I raised the pitch, modified the inflection, added a self-deprecating delivery, and devised a background about growing up in a large Greek family in North Carolina that I had this great, urbane humorist character.”

... for ladies

Dooce revealed this month what her mother has been going through. Remember, pink-ribbon-onslaught month is over, but medical interventions and research must continue year round. Don’t just don a ribbon – help yourself with mammograms if recommended by your doctor, and help others with a donation.

The BBC wrote up an interesting history of last names, though couched in a debate over what married women should do. In my circle of friends and family, about half the women who have married changed their name and half didn’t. We each had our own reasons, so I can’t ever engage with a debate about why all women should or shouldn’t change their last name. Mostly I just think, holy moly, isn’t it neat that getting married gives you a choice of last name? Still, the history is interesting!

Amazon made a bit of a fool of itself selling this “Sexy Ph.D.” Halloween costume. Even Nature weighed in on the ridiculousness (humorlessly, unfortunately). At least the commenters put this product in its rightful place:

And finally, my response to my (female) boss’s comment that, because I prefer manhattans and G&Ts, I “drink like a man”:

... for maps

It wouldn’t be my favorite things without a map, right? I’ve only got one this month, but it’s a fun one based on this article from Business Insider (oddly, as it has nothing to do with being inside business): the most famous movie set in each state. Mental Floss made it into a map!

... for home and design

Another thing I seem to feature each month: a list of things you should purge from your home, this month from Apartment Therapy. I patted myself on the back through first seven (and have proof of some, here and here) but the eighth made me hang my head in shame. Someday?

While avocado season has mostly come and gone, I want guacamole year-round. This video from Slate helps you identify a good avocado in these off months.

Lastly, here’s some pretty wallpaper for your computer or phone. Though I kinda wish this were available for actual walls... and that I lived in a non-rented place where I could put it up. Hmm.

... for Cumberbatch

Good ol’ Sherlock himself is making the rounds this month as I believe he has an engagement movie to promote. Something about imitations? Good enough for me.

(Jokes aside, he’s always seemed like such a nice, classy guy who spoke of a desire to get married, so kudos to him!)

And even though the Sherlock Christmas special isn’t due out for ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR OMG, here’s a fairly-recent list to remind you why you should be catching up on the previous three seasons. (Also, playing the “Welcome to London” soundtrack demonstrated that most of the music from the show is sampled from one single song. I had no idea.)

... for animals

When I’m cranky, Mr. P sends me photos of animals to make me smile. This has to be in the top ten reasons why I married him. And this tweet is one of my most recent favorites.

This collection of hybrid animal images, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. They’re so well-done, and yet so bizarre. It’s odd to feel simultaneously delighted and disconcerted.

And finally, in time for tomorrow: A TINY HAMSTER THANKSGIVING.

... for caring about others

Maybe I’m just full of mom hormones nowadays, but this post from Dooce (yup, twice this month) was just beautiful. I wish I had the balls to walk a confused neighbor back home at 4am instead of pretending I can’t help.

And on a somewhat lighter note (“somewhat” because yeah, this also makes me tear up), I really love hockey fans. You think they’re obnoxious drunks out for a fight, but in my experience, hockey fans are big-hearted, awesome people.

New life goal (especially as those are fans of a team playing against my beloved Nashville Predators): learn more than the first and last lines of "O Canada" on the infinitesimal chance that I will ever have the chance to return the favor.

And finally, a big high five...

... for making me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants

One of my usual blogger reads tried to take a photo of her kids in the snow. The result is hilarious. Biggest kid is all “ok, fine, I will try to play along even though my eyes are watering from the cold.” Baby is clearly “noooooooo.” And middle kid is just “MOM WTF.”

I apologize in advance to Mr. P for sharing the same sense of humor as our future twelve-year-old boy. If he did this I’d probably give him a high five.

Best for last. As Mr. P said, these screenshots of the greatest things that ever happened on tumblr made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe. I’m particularly fond of #19:

And, somewhat inexplicably, #22:

Though #16 seems particularly appropriate for today:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!