Monday, June 17, 2013

Ten points if you get that reference.

1. I also hate mayonnaise, and i can't wait to make this potato salad! (Side note: i have a bizarre desire to make my own mayonnaise some day. I don't understand why. Though i've been told that comparing homemade mayo to store bought is like comparing homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch to stale sugar-free store-brand chocolate-flavored chip cookies.)

2. I waffle a little with Sarah Bessey. She has amazing stories to tell, and you can't deny her talent, her voice. But sometimes she's a little too sappy and feelings-y for me. Just personal taste.

Other times, however, that sappy feelings-y nonsense taps deep into something unexpected, and i find myself sitting at my desk, holding back tears. This is one of those.

"What is there to say? What can we do but huddle into rows of chairs, and clutch our hearts, and sob into our shredded balled-up tissues? What can we do but stand around and drink juice, red-eyed and hicupping? We'll sign up for a few meals when what we really want to do is lay out on the floor, beside you, and cry until we're empty because what else? There aren't old stories to tell, no laughter breaking through the sorrow. This is lamentation. I am fumbling for hope. Is there really comfort in the idea of a baby in the arms of Jesus when all we want is for that baby to be in the arms of his broken mama? . . .

God has asked too much of us."

3. So i've been on this whole get healthy kick this year, right? I want to be less jiggly, and have more energy, and generally feel happier and healthier in my skin, right? And then i read this article on Cracked, and i remember that terrible quote (i think from Kate Moss?): Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. And i think, skinny can't possibly feel good enough to make any of that go down easily. Also, bacon. It's just not worth it.

4. I'm a white woman, so i can't really comment meaningfully on the Black Male Code, but i thought that this was a fascinating read. And, based on stories i've read and people i've talked to, this sounds like depressingly good advice.

"I thought my son would be much older before I had to tell him about the Black Male Code. He's only 12, still sleeping with stuffed animals, still afraid of the dark. But after the Trayvon Martin tragedy, I needed to explain to my child that soon people might be afraid of him.

I was far from alone in laying out these instructions. Across the country this week, parents were talking to their children, especially their black sons, about the Code. It's a talk the black community has passed down for generations, an evolving oral tradition from the days when an errant remark could easily cost black people their job, their freedom, or sometimes their life."

5. Patton Oswalt is freaking amazing. I've been thinking about this letter all weekend and will likely continue to ponder it for a long time.

6. Okay, seriously, Hayley Campbell? I love her.

"I think Pumping Iron -- and I don't think I'm alone here -- is one of the greatest films you can watch in nine parts on YouTube. For starters there's Arnold Schwarzenegger, all smiles and absurd accent, being genuinely charming but mostly weird in tiny underpants."

Humorous writing, just like all other forms of artistic expression, is partly art and partly science. The science part -- knowing how to set up a joke, knowing how to structure the punch line, knowing what should follow the punch line? Hayley has a Ph.D. in that science. She also has the raw talent to pull of the "art" part. And she apparently lives a life of absurdity and adventure (and normal, banal things like going to the gym) which is rife with material. I seriously love her. Hard.

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