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5.5

Wow, I guess I'm down to posting here once a year. I still read your posts nearly daily, and comment when I'm moved to do so, but have been stalled on posting myself. And it's not like I've been posting elsewhere--I'm nearly as bad at updating on FB as here. *shrugs somewhat sheepishly*

Eeeenyway, what I'm posting for is to celebrate and cheer for reaching 5 and a half years of togetherness through thick and thin with my Awesome GF, the Intrepid Arachnid herself! We had no idea at the time that our half-versary would fall on VDay, which is a good joke on us both as we're hardly the most romantic and smoopy of couples. But hey, when the Universe gives you a sign, you take it!

I still haz a u, Baby!! \o/




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He's Alive!

Believe it or not, I'm still here despite the relative inactivity in my own journal. I regularly read my Flist/Circle and comment occasionally, but my journal's been quiet due to all the busy. Specifically, I haven't been posting lately because I've recently rejoined the ranks of the full-time employed, hooray!!

Dear friends, I am pleased to announce that I'm now the Operations Manager at MassEquality! *bows*

This is my first non-volunteer nonprofit job since I used to canvass for social change organizations way back in my early post-college days, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I've got great co-workers, an awesome boss, a nice office environment, and a manageable commute via public transit. I also get to Do All The Things To Make The Office Go, which is pretty exciting.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I've been re-reading Charitable Getting by the awesome copperbadge. The book is even more entertaining now that I work for a nonprofit. At least we don't have a gong in the office.

Congratulations also to browngirl on her new job! Perhaps we should celebrate together over a platter of tasty bivalves sometime soon...

While I'm at it, I'd like to wish a Happyhappy Birthday to the wonderful tigerbright! May your year ahead be full of blessings and all good things!

May all of us receive good news, positive changes, and interesting opportunities this year...

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Happyhappy Birthday to Meeee!

Hard to believe it's been another whole trip around the Sun again! You'd think I'd be used to it by now, after my 50th time doing it. :)

I went to bed last night with the first of many "Happy Birthday"s from a sleepy Intrepid Arachnid, and woke up to a pile of birthday greetings on Facebook (thanks, friends!) and a wee box full of tiny Doctors sitting on my keyboard! I think they're stitch markers (always handy around here), but they could be charms, I suppose. Either way, they're awesome!

Today's birthday plans include a short shift at one of my joblets, followed by a hot tub soak at the glorious Inman Oasis and late lunch at the S&S Deli with my Awesome GF, and then a Solstice ritual with friends. Then on Solstice Proper, we're attending a wedding *waves at femmequixotic and noeon* and then I'll be making mac and cheese to take to our friends' annual Yule party for evening revelry and feasting.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and Bright Solstice Blessings to those who mark the occasion!

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Stuff I've been reading and watching

Hiya kids, it's tab-closing time! Here, have a look at some of the interesting and amusing things that have crossed my path recently...

This post has been making the rounds recently, and I love it.

That's one very talented spleen!

Here's some fine advice from our friends at Malaprop's Bookstore.

Thanks to Ivan Day of the Food History Jottings blog, I've spent a fair amount of time this afternoon watching videos of table automata doing their thing. Truly impressive and delightful! For comparison, here's a video of a 200 year old Japanese automaton in action. It's simpler and much less ornate than the European examples, but its movements are more lifelike and sophisticated.

Internet linguistics, you can has them!

Join me in sighing over these beautiful Art Nouveau images of Studio Ghibli films. Thanks to [personal profile] torachan for the linkola over on Tumblr!

Take a look at this amazing theatre-turned-church in Queens... incredible! One of the many reasons I love Scouting New York. Check out the archives while you're there.

Arguably NSFW, but hilarious series of tweets started by comic artist Jess Fink.

Speaking of hilarious tweets, surely you've seen #BisexualFacts by now, right?

I hope those of you who are, like me, trapped in range of the Great Northeastern U.S. Snowzilla of 12/13 are staying warm and dry, and have plenty of French toast ingredients on hand!

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Signal Boosting and Tab Closing

After a long day wandering around the North Shore with the Awesome GF and eating All The Things, I've got some tabs to close and links to share, so here you go...

Signal Boosts

A friend of mine in fandom is fundraising to save her family's home. You can read the latest news on her Tumblr (that post also contains links to previous posts on the situation) or go directly to the GoFundMe page for this fundraising campaign. I know Cee from Dragon*Con and Torchwood/Doctor Who fandom. She's an excellent cosplayer, good writer, fun con companion, and an all-around cool person who can use some help getting herself and her family through this mess. She's also selling some items from her brilliantly geeky Etsy shop and other nifty things as well. You may have heard about this on other folks' blogs, but since it looks like the GoFundMe donations have dropped off, I figure I'd try to help spread the word in addition to donating.

Also, the child of another friend of mine is currently fundraising to cover living expenses, the costs of applying for grad school to pursue their academic interests in (a)sexuality and gender identity, and to prepare their undergraduate thesis for publication. So if you've ever considered contributing to the education and early career of an aspiring academic who studies stuff that could use more serious attention in psychological research, here's your opportunity to do so!

Linkola

Some brilliant person has replaced Peanuts cartoon dialog with lyrics from The Smiths' songs. I can only approve and weep into my coffee.

Surely by now everyone has seen the latest Google Earth Easter Egg, right?

One of my FB friends posted a link to this interesting post musing on the inner meaning and energy of Lammas. It also reminded me of this article from the hallowed pages of Harvest, an awesome New England Pagan zine that ceased publication many years ago.

Here's something evil. And by "evil", I mean awesome. And do read the comments.

This looks like a really helpful, free online resource for doing what it says on the tin.

More awesomeness at the Smithsonian!

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Fab Four

Four years ago I went out on a dinner date with a new RL friend and ended up with an Intrepid Arachnid deeply ensconced in my life. Baby, you're my best girl, my Awesome GF, my partner in ADVENTUR! Let's keep doing this, okay?

Happy Anniversary, Baby!! I love you so much!

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WE CAN HAZ A CROPS

Well, it's been just under 2 months since our wee seedlings were planted in their straw bales, and somewhat miraculously, the plants have been doing pretty well and are actually producing! Photographic evidence follows...

This way to the garden...Collapse )

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It's Showtime, Folks!

About three weeks ago, I got a PM from bettyw passing along a call for a drummer to fill in for an upcoming production of The Bacchae in Cambridge. So I responded and ended up getting the gig, w00t! Today was my first rehearsal, and it went quite well. So those of you in range of Harvard Square who are also fans of ancient Greek tragedy should definitely come out and see the show!

Tickets are on sale now! http://bit.ly/D10NY5V5

Show times:
Thursday July 11 - 8pm
Friday July 12 - 8pm and 10:30 pm performance *with afterparty!*
Sunday July 14 - 9pm at the Outside the Box Festival! Info here: http://tinyurl.com/BacchaeOTB
Thursday July 18 - 8pm
Friday July 19 - 8pm and 10:30pm *with afterparty!*

More info is also available on the show's Facebook page.

I hope to see you there! Evohe Iacchus!

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Our Own Farmville

Suitably miniaturized for our humble needs and small area of nearly-full sun. Ladies, Gentlemen, and variations thereupon, I'm pleased to introduce Summanulla's first straw bale and container garden!

The photographic evidence:

Garden1

Left Bale: Cukes and Pepper plant. Right Bale: Tomatoes and Pea plant. Left Box: Thyme, Lemon Balm, Oregano. Right Box: Lettuces. Containers: Dill (L) and Valerian (R).

Garden3

Same plants, but from the right side, showing the Basil plants as well as the rest.

Garden5

Close-up of the Left Bale, with hardy Sage plant in the background. Note also the home-made bamboo trellis.

Garden6

Close-up of the Right Bale.


After last year's gardening attempt, which started too late in the season and only resulted in the culinary herbs actually growing, we decided to do things differently and hopefully better this time. We got seeds started and seedlings purchased earlier, kept them inside longer, and instead of fighting with the prevailing poor soil conditions, we decided to try the Straw Bale Gardening method after first spotting the book at the Boston Flower Show and then finding a NYT article on the subject. Our good friend Roxanne, who is an avid gardener, was also intrigued by the straw bale thing, so we went in on it together and shared fertilizer, bales, and moral support.

Earlier this week, we noticed that the bales were warm and moist inside (and growing grass and tiny mushrooms) while the seedlings we'd bought and sprouted were looking a bit wan and unhappy in their too-small original containers. So when today's work plans got canceled and the weather cleared up, we decided to take advantage of the prevailing conditions and put the plants in the bales and transplant the ones that didn't fit on the available bale surface.

We've got several tomato plants, some pickling cukes (the Intrepid Arachnid loves pickles and had successfully home-pickled her own last summer), a red bell pepper, a pea vine (more peas had sprouted, but Phoenix nommed them once she noticed they were within reach), lettuces, basil, oregano, rosemary (not shown), dill, valerian, lemon balm, a very hardy sage plant that overwintered surprisingly well in the garden from last summer's attempt, and a pot full of mixed salad greens that managed to flower before we noticed. There's also a pot of loofah seedlings that a good friend of mine gave me to grow in memory of my mother, who had hippy tendencies.

Don't be surprised to see occasional garden updates here. We're cautiously optimistic that we'll get more than herbs out of the garden this year--fingers crossed!

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Greetings from Lovely North Carolina!

Once again, it's been about a month since I last posted--mea culpa! As usual, I'm either too busy with stuff to post, or too tired to post from all the busy-ness. Such is life.

I'm posting this from my cousin's computer in beautiful Raleigh, NC, where I arrived this morning underslept and very hungry. A trip to the Waffle House was the perfect cure for the latter, followed by a long nap once we returned to cousin's house. I'm here to help celebrate my second cousin's 70th birthday, which will be filled with family members who I haven't seen in years (with the exception of the Birthday Girl's sister, who I saw briefly last summer as she and her family had a layover in Boston on their way to Ireland on holiday).

This is also the first time I've flown since December, 2008, when I took a long trip to England to surprise cheshcat for her birthday and to celebrate my own 45th birthday and observe Yule in style with not just one but two Pantos (the first starring the oh-so-shiny John Barrowman) and a very early morning trip to Stonehenge. Very tight finances are mostly to blame, and also some concern about potential security theatre shenanigans at the airport. I'm happy to say that the security screening was close to the same as I remembered from the last time I flew, and as uneventful. So that's one more area of anxiety about travel conquered!

I'm expecting that there will be much fun, food, drink, and that I'll be hoarse from talking to so many people by the time I head back to the airport. And that I'll continue to be sleep-deprived for much of the weekend, but hopefully I'll be punchy and amused instead of cranky about it.

In other news, our lovely Sulis has now joined Diana in being 8 years old. She's become even more of an ADVENTUR-CAT than she was previously, and can often be found walking along the top of the deck room curtains, scaling the bookshelves, and making mighty leaps to and from the tops of the kitchen cabinets.

I have a bunch of tabs open with cool stuff to share with y'all, but it'll have to wait until I get back home and regain enough brain cells to deal with the massive linkola. I hope you're all having a good weekend and staying comfortable and safe in whatever weather you may be experiencing in your neck of the woods. Catch you all on the flip side!

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Meowy Belated Birthday!

In the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty of last week, I failed to note here that April 15th was HRH Diana, Princess of Wails' 8th birthday (observed), followed a day later by our Not-So-Tiny Feline Overlord Lakshmi's 5th birthday. So please join me in raising a pinch of nip and a bowl of tunafish water to the birthday girls!

In other news, thanks to the Awesome GF, I've been introduced to Crash Course. And thanks to episode 3 of Crash Course World History, I've been earwormed with this classic.

Otherwise, it's been a fairly quiet weekend. The Awesome GF and I watched Doctor Who last night (our verdict: fun and cool and certainly better than the previous couple of eps), and today I got to have brunch and hang out with an old friend who is visiting Boston and a half dozen other friends as well. Here's hoping that this coming week is much quieter, calmer, and more productive than last week turned out to be!

P.S. This? Is awesome! And so is this but in a different way!

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Still Alive

For those of you watching the unfolding drama, we're all still here and safe at Summanulla, and we intend to have a quietly productive day far from the geographical locus of said drama.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of the MIT campus police officer who was killed, and I send out my prayers for the safety of the people of Watertown and surrounding communities.

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Reporting in safe

In case you haven't heard, there were two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon today around 3 pm, with numerous people injured and reports of 2 casualties. The Awesome GF and I were safely ensconced at Summanulla when we learned about this incident. Boston area friends, please check in!

My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy.

Latest news is available via this link -- Boston.com is apparently unreachable due to being swamped by Web requests.

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Tab-Closing Friday

Welcome to what passes for Spring in New England! The bulbs are sprouting and blooming, the peepers are peeping, and earlier today there was sleet amidst the pouring rain.

As often happens, I've been either too busy or recovering from being too busy to post lately, but I do have a rather impressive collection of open tabs, so without further ado, have some fresh hot linkola!


+ I'm really looking forward to this awesome anthology comic of bi/pan/omni/multi/non-binary/yadayadasexual stories now that their Kickstarter has been doubly funded! The promo video is great, and so is the video of a panel on the subject from this year's Emerald City Comic-Con that's linked near the bottom of the Kickstarter page.

+ Speaking of Kickstarter, friends of mine of a certain age and mindset will surely cheer at the news of a Dr. Demento documentary, Under The Smogberry Trees, that is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise pre-production and production funds for the film. My childhood Saturday nights were usually spent glued to the radio when the good doctor would spin awesomely weird, wacky, and wonderful songs for Dementians and Dementites everywhere, so I'm looking forward to this one getting funded as well.

+ In non-Kickstarter fundraising news, the donation campaign to fund Kate Bornstein's treatment-related expenses as she battles cancer has topped $100K! Kate's writing has touched a lot of people and literally saved some lives, and I'm glad her friends and supporters have stepped up to help her get the treatment she needs and cover her living expenses during that time. The campaign is still going, so if you feel moved to contribute, please do.

+ Anderson Cooper is holding (and smooching) Grumpy Cat. Your argument is invalid. (Thanks to the indomitable cow for the linkola. Also, OMG, she is so tiny! A wee little ball of furry hate!)

+ Here's a timely article from The New Yorker on trans rights at the height of the marriage equality debate. Includes links to two good articles on why a number of people I know didn't change their Facebook pics late last month when the SCOTUS heard arguments on Prop 8 and DOMA despite supporting same-sex marriage. FWIW, I both hate the HRC and support same-sex marriage as a matter of basic fairness and equality. These things are not mutually exclusive.

+ This music and dance genre mashup is simply gorgeous:




Have a great weekend, y'all!

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Time keeps on slipping...

I don't know what's up with 2013--It's simply zooming along, or at least it seems that way to me. January rushed by, and February did a decent job of keeping up the pace despite all the snow that it dumped on us. So here we are in March already, and I'm wondering where all those days went and hoping that this month slows down a bit so I can enjoy it.

I will note that I have been fairly busy lately, which makes the days go by faster. The joblets are certainly keeping me occupied, as is helping to plan logistics for RootsCamp MA, which happens in about a month. It's gonna be an awesome event, and I hope that I'll see many of my local progressive activist friends there! I've also been teaching a beginner's drumming class. It's a shorter session than usual, only 6 weeks, but I've enjoyed it and my students had fun (the class just ended this week), which is all I ask for. And among the high points of last month, the Awesome GF and I got to see Eddie Izzard accept the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism at Harvard. It was cold as balls that night, and the organizers made everyone stand outside even though we'd gotten there early enough to be near the front of the queue. But I was able to slip away and get some coffee and noms while the Awesome GF held my place in line, so it could've been worse. And I got to see the wonderful trinsf there, so that was cool.

In other exciting news, the street medic group that emerged from the Occupy Boston Medical Team has won an auction to purchase a former bookmobile to use as a free mobile health clinic that will offer primary and complementary care to people in Cambridge and Boston. Thanks to the generosity of two anonymous donors, we won the bookmobile auction, and will be fundraising soon to reimburse one donor and to establish an operating fund to get the mobile clinic off the ground. For more information on this project, check out the Mutual Aid Street Clinic blog!

Here's some nifty linkola for you all this weekend. Enjoy!

In honor of International Women's Day, have a kick-ass women's postal battalion. Check out the rest of the Cool Chicks From History Tumblr for more of such awesomeness!

You go, brothers of Phi Alpha Tau!

Awesome yarn-bombing!

Here's a photoset of whimsical, magical installations by Norwegian artist Rune Guneriussen, amidst some inspiring quotes on Terri Windling's blog.

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I have survived

the Great Shoveling of February, 2013! Late yesterday, C. and I cleared the top of the Driveway Of DOOOOOOM as we listened jealously to the sound of neighborhood snow blowers clearing other people's driveways and walks. We finished the job this afternoon with the help of a neighbor who has a truck and snow plow who shoved the waist-high berm at the bottom of the DOD into submission. All Praise the Neighbor With His Mighty Plow!

With the lower quarter of the DOD cleared, we were able to handle the rest with the Wovel and regular shovel in about 3 and a half hours with breaks for rest, rehydration, and changing our sweat-soaked duds. And, in my case, eating breakfast, since I'd headed out to shovel with only a mug of coffee in me. After declaring victory, I staggered back inside, downed more water and two Tylenol, and took a hot shower. I'm now re-clothed, have been fed, and am feeling moderately human again. My left hand now has three small blisters, my right thumb joint lets me know I've done something wrong to it, and I'm pretty sure I'll be pretty achy tomorrow. But hey, at least we stand a good chance of being able to get down the hill without getting stuck part-way. All that's left to do is finish clearing snow off the cars.

I call it a win.

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Post-Snowzilla Update

Snowy Summanulla, while still quite snowy (the Dept. of Public Works says my town got 26.5" of snow in this storm), is warm, cozy, caffeinated, fed with French toast (gotta put all that milk, eggs, and bread to use now, don't we?), and not in a great hurry to dig out since we're pretty well set up here for the weekend. For pics of our yard and deck, see the Awesome GF's post. My previous weekend plans have been canceled by the organizers (minus one, but given that there's still a driving ban on, I don't think I'm gonna make it to E's birthday party tonight, sadly), so we've got nowhere to go for a while. So I'm knitting, reading, writing, and enjoying the extended Snow Day.

Many of my IRL friends on Facebook are similarly snacking on sweets (mostly pancakes and waffles rather than French toast, though) and shoveling snow today. We're letting the wind do as much of the snow-blowing as possible, and waiting to see if the Phantom Snow-blower shows up to clear the driveway as he often does. If not, the Wovel still works just fine. Our main concern, as always, is slick ice on the Driveway O' Doooooom under the snow, but that's what Yaktrax are for.

I hope you're all enjoying your Saturday, snowy or otherwise, and that you stay warm and well!

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Snow Day

Hello the Internets!

I'm all hunkered down for the latest episode of SnOMG: New England in my warm flannel kitty pants, thick socks, and my ancient "We're Here, We're Queer, We Have E-Mail" t-shirt, drinking coffee and being mobbed by cats who love me for my body heat and mad cat-petting skillz. So far, the snow is nothing to freak out about, but the wind is definitely picking up. However, we have dry wood by the fireplace, candles all about, the aforementioned cats, and plenty of food so I think we'll survive just fine. So I'm lounging around, catching up on reading, viewing, and knitting, and getting a load of laundry done while I'm at it. I'm also sending good birthing vibes across the Atlantic to [personal profile] nanaya and [personal profile] alextiefling. Welcome to the world, Babby!!

So, here are a few Snow Day links for you...

One of the items on my viewing list for today is this episode of Pioneers of Television, because who didn't love the campy antics of 1960s Batman??

Those of you who are Jenny and Vastra fans will no doubt appreciate this gorgeous piece of fan art.

I've recently discovered the vidblog The Perennial Plate, which has short episodes on sustainable food and adventurous eating. The current series is on international food and travel.

Always apropos for weather like this: Cast On episode 1.5

ETA: Hello Kitty... IN SPAAAAAAACE!!!

Aaaand

How to make guacamole... in the awesomest way possible!

Stay warm, dry, and safe, my fellow denizens of the Frozen North! *salutes*

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Well played, BBCA!



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Saturday Linkola

Hey, where the hell did January go?? It got washed away in a whirlwind of activity, apparently: New Year's stuff, a visit to the Boston Athenaeum, the SoJust Visioning Retreat, a visit to the ER for tests to diagnose some upper GI issues, a new 6-week beginner drumming class to teach, volunteering at First Event, and lots of time spent on my various joblets. Because it's been, oh, a month since I posted anything, and because I have a ton of tabs open in my browser that I've been meaning to share with y'all, I'm declaring today a Linkdump Day, along with a few bits of signal-boosting and such. So, onward!

• Happy Candlemas/Imbolc to those what celebrates it, and Happy Groundhog Day to those what don't! I plan to join the usual suspects tonight in our undisclosed location for a lovely seasonal ritual and comfort foods feast. (The back of Winter may be broken, but that doesn't mean it ain't still cold out there!)

• An overdue signal boost: My good friend and awesome performer, playwright, and purveyor of spontaneous sidewalk smut, Cameryn Moore, has been running an Indiegogo campaign to help fund her participation in this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She's been touring the North American Fringe circuit and extended venues throughout the U.S. and Canada for the past couple of years, and is ready to take her show across the Atlantic. Please help her get there by donating what you can!

• Watch This Space! RootsCamp MA is coming soon to an awesome location in the Greater Boston area! RootsCamp is an "unconference" for progressive and social justice activists, started and supported by the New Organizing Institute and organized this year by Socializing for Justice. I'm part of the organizing committee for this year's event, so I'll be posting more information about the event here in the near future. We're looking at the first weekend in April for our date (to be confirmed once we've locked in our venue), so save those dates on your calendar!

Fun and Cool Stuff!

• Check out this awesome music video, created with roughly two thousand plastic plates cut using computer guidance! Thanks to Jamie Noguchi of Yellow Peril for the link!

• Here's some great advice for putting those annoying job recruiting e-mails to use for good causes. Tip o' the pixels to trinsf for the link (via Facebook)!

• FYI for my academic friends: The MLA has devised an official format for citing Tweets in academic papers. Link via the Zagg Pepper blog on Warby Parker's Web site (a great source for inexpensive-yet-cool eyewear--they even sell monocles!)

• What happens when a pop culture blog covers a major knitting convention? You learn about 18 amusing knitting-related things.

• Listen up! Boston feminist activist Jaclyn Friedman has an awesome interview with author and independent scholar Hanne Blank on her podcast, "Fucking While Feminist" (which is worth listening to in general, IMO). Jaclyn and Hanne discuss Hanne's latest book, The Unapologetic Fat Girls’ Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts and related subjects, and answer a listener question about getting back to being sexually active after struggling with depression. NSFW, as you can probably tell from the podcast name, but highly recommended!

• And speaking of Hanne Blank, she is inviting the Internets to join her in an experiment of adding a new daily--or at least regular--body practice (that is, any activity that is intended to improve one's physical health and well-being, so you could choose to exercise in some way, brush your teeth every day/night, start a meditation practice, get x hours of sleep on a regular basis, or whatever you feel you need) for the next 100 days, to be done at least every other day. This might be a good way to build a new healthy habit for 2013 without all the stress and recriminations that often accompany New Year's resolutions.

• From the You Can't Make This Shit Up, Historical Facts Bureau: Who had two thumbs and fought his way through WWII with a broadsword? This guy! Thanks to cow for the linkola (via Tumblr).

• Ever longed for Lemony Snicket to give you love advice? HuffPo grants your wish!

• Found: The world's most relaxing song! Listen to it in one tab while Rainy Mood is open in another tab for a super-relaxing audio experience.

• This may be the awesomest necktie knot ever!

• Here's a video of Canadian comedienne Mae Martin performing on BBC Three's "Russell Howard's Good News". Somewhat NSFW but hilarious, especially for the folk songs about erotic HP fanfic and the zombie apocalypse. What's not to love?

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