Favorite Things, December 42nd

I’m not the first to make the observation that it hasn’t really felt like a new year (see the not-very-original “December 42nd” joke in today’s title). Everything in day-to-day life has been the same as it was before January 1, and the world certainly isn’t looking improved or new in many ways yet. However, though this last week was incredibly discouraging, there were some great things too. To mark the new year, I wanted to start compiling my favorite things from each week–a sort of exercise in gratitude, since that’s supposed to help keep depression at bay–and it actually wasn’t that hard to come up with a list of good things from last week.

For instance, in BOOKS, there was the release of Volume 4 of Beth Brower’s Emma M Lion series. It’s a historical speculative fiction series, set up as the journal entries of a young woman in a somewhat fantastical and utterly charming (fictional) neighborhood in London in 1883. Intriguing gentlemen and rogues abound.

(Cover of Beth Brower’s book THE UNSELECTED JOURNALS OF EMMA M. LION: VOL. 4. Title is printed on a background of red, bordered by a floral decal in each corner.)

There was also Girl Gone Viral, one of Alisha Rai’s Modern Love romances which was the perfect mind cleanser after such an intense week.

(Cover of Alisha Rai’s book GIRL GONE VIRAL. Title printed large over a background of seafoam green with an illustration of a phone screen showing an Instagram post of a man and a woman together.)

In MUSIC, I fed my ears with Yaeji’s “Raingurl” (brought to my attention by my husband).

(Musician Yaeji stands, looking toward the left, wearing a transparent raincoat and holding a transparent umbrella that is lit up with LED lights. Screenshot captured from her music video “Raingurl.”)

And Boy Pablo’s “Hey Girl” (recommended by a friend).

(Boy Pablo sits on soccer/football field and stares off into distance. Screenshot captured from the music video for his song “Hey Girl”)

In TV, I’m currently a little obsessed with the HBO show Insecure. It’s witty, and engaging, and painful in the best way. Also, I love Issa Rae’s makeup and clothes and basically everything about her.

(Creator and producer of HBO’s INSECURE Issa Rae looks to camera. Photo credit Michael Owen Baker for the New York Times.)

Other things I’m loving this week:
– Not being a white supremacist
– The officers who put their lives on the line to keep people safe at the Capitol
– The political leaders who value our constitution over their own political goals
– GEORGIA! And all the people that did so much hard work to get the votes for Warnock and Ossoff so that we can hopefully have some progress in our legislature instead of the maddening standstill that’s been going on for so many years.

(Founder of Fair Fight Action Stacey Abrams elbow-bumping Senator-Elect Raphael Warnock. Both wearing cloth masks over their mouths and noses. Photo credit Stacey Abrams’ Instagram account.)
(Founder of Fair Fight Action Stacey Abrams elbow-bumping Senator-Elect Jon Ossoff. Both wearing cloth masks over their mouths and noses. Photo credit Stacey Abrams’ Instagram account.)


Bragging About My Sister. (Shhh. Don’t tell her.)

Do you know what it’s like to live your whole life with an older sister who is CONSTANTLY being way cool, way talented, and way pretty? Actually, it’s really awesome. It means that you get to be constantly way proud and a lot cooler yourself, just by association. I know this by experience because I have multiple of these types of sisters.

My one sister—the one I’m bragging about today—is über talented in lots of ways. One of the coolest ways, though, is her music. Which is why I’m SO excited that she has started a Kickstarter project to raise funds to record some of her songs in a professional studio. (Check out her project here: Riot Upstairs debut EP.)

My sister's soon-to-be album cover. She did the artwork.

My sister’s soon-to-be album cover. She did the artwork.

She’s been writing music for almost as long as I can remember, recording it all herself on whatever she could get her hands on. She’s always wanted to record professionally but things always got in the way.

So this Kickstarter project is like a fulfillment of one of her lifelong dreams. It is so awesome to see my older sister working hard at something she cares about, and I want this to happen for her SO BADLY.

So everyone—and I mean EVERYONE—should go to her Kickstarter page and donate even a dollar or something. (She’s got some great incentives for people who contribute.) And if her music isn’t up your alley, maybe you should still spread the word because I’m sure it will be up someone else’s.

Do it! DO IT! 

(You know you want to.)