Last Post of 2015! A Few More Favorites

This time of year is the perfect excuse to make favorites lists, isn’t it?  I can’t help it – it’s in the Blogger’s Code, Article 12.31, Year-End List Regulations.

My Favorite Songs in 2015

I have a playlist in iTunes where I toss new music or whatever songs I feel like listening to, especially while working at a coffee shop with my earbuds in.  Over time I take out what I’m tired of and add whatever’s new.  Some songs, however, stay in for long periods of time.  Here are the songs that have stayed in the Right Now Playlist the longest in 2015.

(Said songs aren’t all from 2015.  They run the gamut from brand new to old and dusty. They’re also not in any particular order except “this should go here.”)

  1. Alessia Cara – Here
  2. Zella Day – Hypnotic
  3. Rudimental ft. Ed Sheeran – Lay it All on Me
  4. Shawn Mendes – Stitches
  5. Amy Stroup – It Must’ve Been Love
  6. Lorde – Tennis Court
  7. Emily Hearn – Volcano
  8. The Strange Familiar – Painkiller
  9. Elle King – Ex’s and Oh’s
  10. Lena Fayre – This World
  11. Blake Perlman – Chameleon
  12. Rachel Platten – Fight Song
  13. The Chainsmokers – Roses
  14. Taylor Swift – Style
  15. Lea Michele – Cue the Rain
  16. Ed Sheeran – Make it Rain

Favorite Books Read in 2015

I read a lot this year – way more than I have in recent years.  I even read some fiction, which, if you’ve been around a while you know I don’t normally do.  I’m not going to go into detail on these – just assume that whatever it’s about, I thought it was awesome.  I’m planning to do a reading challenge this coming year that looks like a lot of fun.  I’m serious enough about it that I made a page in my planner for it.  *laugh* We shall see.

(In no particular order)

On the Threshold: Home, Heartwood, and Holiness by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm**
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir by Ellen Forney
Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future by Elizabeth Esther
Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons
Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day by Gene Baur

Favorite TV Shows in 2015

You might be surprised at what’s on this list as well as what’s not on it.  Amazing how just in a few years almost my entire favorites list has turned over.

1.  Arrow
2.  The Flash
3.  iZombie
4.  Elementary
5.  Grimm
6.  Hannibal
7.  SyFy’s Face Off
8.  Marvel’s Agent Carter

(I’m planning to start Jessica Jones as soon as I catch up on the four or five shows I’m way behind on – honestly, I only got two eps in on The Vampire Diaries before I wanted to gouge my eyes out, but I’m planning to watch the rest before the season starts up again. I can’t give up on it yet. I just can’t.)

And with that, my dear readers, I leave you until 2016 – in fact there will be a Planner Friday post tomorrow, but I probably won’t keep up posting four times a week after that.  I do however have a lot of thoughts in my brain-go-round, and quite a few things to talk about, which of course makes me think of this, the best way to end anything:

** – Obviously a book about the Holocaust doesn’t really qualify as a “favorite,” but it was definitely one of the best books I read this year.

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10 Things I Loved in 2015

Well, as I said, 2015 was not my best year ever – but that doesn’t mean I didn’t see some good movies, hear some great music, and even make some cool stuff.  I couldn’t let the tail end of December go by without my annual list of things that didn’t suck.

It’s probably telling that it took me all day to come up with ten.  I think part of that is because of my warped grasp of the passage of time. Anyway:

1 – Favorite New Art/Craft Supply:  Distress MicroGlaze

I sang the praises of this stuff a while back, but it bears repeating.  This little pot of waxy goodness protects inks, stains, pencils, and more without smearing or changing the color beneath it.  It might seem pricey for such a little tub (I think it’s like $6) but I’ve been using mine for several months and have barely made a dent in the stuff.  In fact, using more than teeny bit isn’t a good thing, because it’ll take days to soak in and dry.  I find it especially useful in my shrines, both on interior elements and the outside decor itself, as paper is really easy to scuff or get dirty and needs all the protection it can get, but traditional polyurethanes always end up ugly .

2 – Favorite Book from that Genre I Keep Trying to Pretend I Don’t Like:  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Imagine my delight when I found out this weird novel is being turned into a movie that I hope is equally weird.  It’ll be out in December 2016 and features such fringe unknown actors as Samuel L. Jackson, Allison Janney, Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Eva Green, and Asa Butterfield (I’m not entirely sure who he is but as I understand it that’s cool.).

3 – Favorite Silly Digital Thing I Made: Little-Known Facts

These were just too fun.  I’m working on the next in the series – Miranda’s – although it’s not as entertaining to list facts about someone who’s only been alive 30 years or so.  The older vamps are way more interesting.  In case you missed them, click on the wee image to see it up close:

little known ds  lkfdb

4 – Favorite Meaningful Digital Thing I Made: Seven Secrets to Body Positivity

I realize that my interests, and therefore the things I blog about, are kind of all over the place.  They say you should pick a subject, or a theme, and go with it most of the time for coherency and to attract more readers; I’ve tried, and just never figured out where I fit.  I don’t talk about writing enough to be a writing blogger; I’m not out there promoting my work like I’m supposed to be (apparently), so this isn’t a promotional author blog; I can’t focus on any one art form long enough to make it The Thing; and my ability to stay passionate about anything is kind of…well, bipolar.  I can, however, say that body image issues will always be important to me – as long as I’m living in a body that society wants to write off as aberrant and unhealthy just by looking at me, and wants me to give up control of my body to big corporations and a media gone insane, I’ll write for body positivity at least once in a while.  The linked list is a free printable, so, have at it!

5 – Favorite Not-Planner-Related Etsy Purchase:  Printable “I Have Loved the Stars” Quote from ClementineCreative

As I’ve said, this is one of my favorite quotes of all time, and the watercolor and lettering are gorgeous.  I’m particularly pleased at the correct attribution.  I’ll go to my grave yelling “GALILEO DIDN’T SAY THAT!”  Best of all, since it’s a printable, it was cheaper than a physical print, and I got it instantly.  Since the shop is in South Africa that’s nothing to sneeze at.

6 – Favorite Extremely Useful Website: Wordmark

What would I do without this site?  Wordmark is a simple tool, but powerful for a person with tons of fonts with subtle differences. You just type in a bit of text, tell Wordmark if you want it capitalized, all caps, or lowercase; pick positive or negative background; and go! It loads that text in every font you own so you can see which one works best.  You can switch specifications and sizes at any point.  You can also select a group of fonts to compare on their own page if you find several are close to what you’re looking for.

7 – Favorite Random Thing I Can’t Stop Giggling At:  This gif.

8 – Favorite Album:  Ed Sheeran, X

(It’s written as X, but you say it Multiply.  I have no idea why you’d do that to people.) I don’t know what I love more about Ed Sheeran – his 100+ tattoos, his scruffy ginger adorableness, his clever lyricism, or the fact that he’s pretty much a one-man band.  But I judge a favorite album by how many songs I want to skip – can I just put the album on and let it play without scrambling for the remote four or five times?  There were two albums this year that fit that criterion; the other was Taylor Swift’s 1989, which you may have heard of.  Hey, I never said I had sophisticated musical taste.  (I realize this album came out a while back, but I didn’t really get into it until this year.)

A clip from his sold-out performances at Wembley Stadium in London (first solo artist to ever play there, let alone sell out 3 shows of 80,000 people each):

9 – Favorite Celebrity Crush: Tom Hiddleston

With Benedict Cumberbatch off having babies and out of the spotlight, I found myself increasingly hot for another sex-voiced young Brit.

T. Hiddleston as Henry V in The Hollow Crown
T. Hiddleston as Henry V in The Hollow Crown

He’s kind of everywhere these days – and as for me personally this year was the first time I’d seen The Hollow Crown, showcasing Tom at his royal Shakespearean finest.  That’s not even mentioning the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he plays everyone’s favorite sassy screwed-up villain.  And did I mention last year he played a vampire?  Add to that a role in Guillermo DelToro’s gorgeously creepy Crimson Peak, and, well…this particular girl didn’t stand a chance, especially since in interviews he comes off as an erudite, polite, genuinely nice guy, which we Scorpios like to refer to as “lunch.”

10 – Favorite Movie I First Saw This Year:  Big Hero 6

Technically BH6 came out in November of 2014, but I didn’t see it until it hit DVD in February.  It’s also technically part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since it’s based on a Marvel comic series of the same name. It drew broad acclaim and was quite successful, but I’d never even heard of it until a friend recommended it.  Not only is it insanely funny, it’s a very warm and loving movie; the plot twist wasn’t exactly hard to figure out, but a movie like this is about the characters.  I want my own Baymax, and not just because he’s good for laughs – I don’t like being touched by most people, but sometimes even I need a hug.  My own Baymax could do that for me without that whole personal space squick thing I get with real humans.  If Baymax is programmed with mental health protocols for, say, bipolar, he’d be even more awesome.

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Ten Things I Love: Midwinter Edition

1 ~ I love, love, love Pink’s new single, “F*ckin’ Perfect,” and I also love the video. It’s so rare to hear a female artist sing about self-love outside the particular context of a relationship with a man; usually it’s all about how “my ex boyfriend made me hate myself, but you’re such a great guy you totally make my life worth living, which I could NEVER DO alone.”  “F*ckin’ Perfect” is about the way we treat ourselves, and it brings me to tears almost every time I hear it.  Here’s the video and an excerpt from the lyrics:

(WARNING: Video may be triggery for those with self-harm issues or eating disorders. May also make you bawl like a freaking baby.)

You’re so mean when you talk
About yourself – you are wrong
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead
So complicated – look happy, you’ll make it
Filled with so much hatred – such a tired game
It’s enough, I’ve done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons – let’s see you do the same

Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel
Like you’re less than fuckin’ perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel
Like you’re nothing
You’re fucking perfect to me…

(If you prefer a profanity-free sort of perfection, the radio edit is clean.)

2 ~ I love fingertip-less gloves. Although I love cold weather, my hands tend to freeze even when the rest of me is toasty warm.  Regular gloves, of course, are impossible to type in, but the rising popularity of the fingerless variety has been a godsend to me.  I seem to have lost most of my gloves but I do still have one brown pair, which you can see in my Twitter userpic if you’re so inclined.  After the lovely snow that happened here in Austin this past week I’m going to put in a big order to SockDreams for more knee socks and some more gloves so that next time I’ll be set.

3 ~ I love not being bothered by Valentine’s Day this year. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s a crass commercialized bid to reinforce heterosexual norms and make single people feel like crap, but it’s just not making me angry this year the way it used to.  I think it’s because of my declaration of celibacy, as I wrote about a while back; my outlook has shifted from “nobody will ever looooooooove me” to “thank Goddess I’m single!” Removing myself from the mainstream viewpoint on relationships, much like stepping back from fat-phobia, has been a tremendous relief.

4 ~ I love that Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero are working on an entire cookbook about vegan pie, and that Hannah Kaminsky has another cookbook coming out this year.  Woohoo!

5 ~ I love that, though I’ve fallen short of all my health goals in the past…well, ever, I’ve learned so much about my body that now I’m self-aware enough to really feel the difference that little changes make. I think that all my flitting about from branch to branch has helped get me to a place where when I do make those changes, they’ll stick, because I know how I tick, I know what to expect, and I know I have to be patient.  I’ve been off caffeine for a week, for example, and I’ve noticed quite a few positive alterations in how my body and mind feel without the spike-and-dip of energy during the day.  I honestly expected to have more trouble with it this week, but I’ve felt great, and that encourages me to take additional steps…one at a time.

6 ~ I love my car. Strange thing to say, I know, but it’s true.  I drive a 2006 Pontiac Vibe (same color as in the pic) named Nani (Hawaiian for “beautiful”), and I’ve enjoyed her so much.  She gets 32 MPG (about 30 in the city) and has been virtually headache free aside from the usual brakes, tires, and oil changes that everyone has.  (Knock wood.) The Vibe is actually a Toyota Matrix with a different outside, so she’ll probably last a million years, and even though Pontiac has ceased production finding parts won’t ever be a problem.  Having had cars fall apart on me over the years it’s so nice to have one that I can depend on.

7 ~ I love this article at Fat Nutritionist. The author is a sensible, practical gal with a  refreshingly sane approach to food and fat, and with all the DEATHFAT! hype drenching our culture it’s a relief to know there are at least a few health professionals who are more concerned with real health than ass size.

8 ~ I love the look of incredulity I get from normal people when I have no idea who’s playing in the Superbowl.  It’s the Padres and the Knicks, right?  *laugh*

9 ~ I love this Zen kitty:

10 ~ I love crossword puzzles. Screw Sudoku; I want good old-fashioned New York Times Sunday edition crosswords.  One of my greatest pleasures is a brand new book of puzzles, especially if I find it at Half Price Books where they’re only a couple of dollars for days of happy dorky fun.

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Throwback Thursday: Ten…er, Fifteen Lines I Love

I’m one of those people that goes back to see a movie three times (if I can afford it).  I watch my favorites over and over again, and have the dialogue of most of them memorized.  Thus I am really, really good at guessing the origins of movie quotes, which is surprisingly useful.  It’s gotten me free ice cream toppings at Amy’s more than once.

Here are my all-time favorites.  What are yours?

Mr. Darcy: So what do you recommend, to encourage affection?
Elizabeth:  Dancing…even if one’s partner is barely tolerable.
~ Pride and Prejudice

Ray…when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!
~ Winston Zeddmore,
Ghostbusters

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
~ Inigo Montoya,
The Princess Bride

Human beings have neither the aural nor the psychological capacity to withstand the awesome power of God’s true voice. Were you to hear it, your mind would cave in and your heart would explode within your chest. We went through five Adams before we figured that one out.
~ The Metatron,
Dogma

Bridget: Wait a minute…nice boys don’t kiss like that.
Mark: Oh yes they fucking do.
~ Bridget Jones’s Diary

Them sy-reens did this to Pete! They loved him up and turned him into a horny toad!
~Delmar O’Donnell,
O Brother! Where Art Thou?

Witch King:  You fool…no man can kill me.
Eowyn:  (stabs him) I am no man.
~ Return of the King

Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free.
~ Valerie,
V for Vendetta

So no more running.  I aim to misbehave.
~ Captain Mal Reynolds,
Serenity

Oracle: You’re cuter than I thought. I can see why she likes you.
Neo: Who?
Oracle: Not too bright, though.
~ The Matrix

Fish are friends.  Not food.
~ Bruce the shark,
Finding Nemo

Countess:  Jacqueline…I hate to think you had anything to do with this.
Jacqueline:  Of course not, Mother.  I’m only here for the food.
~ Ever After

Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.
~ Dr. Ian Malcolm,
The Lost World: Jurassic Park

She’s safe, just like I promised. She’s all set to marry Norrington, just like she promised, and you get to die for her, just like you promised. So we’re all men of our word, really.  Except Elizabeth, who is, in fact, a woman.
~ Captain Jack Sparrow,
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

There’s so few nice surprises in life. Seems to me that it’d be kind of a shame to squander one of them, don’t ya think?
~ Jim,
Big Eden

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