Mint M&Ms

Part of what makes the holiday season so great is the seasonal treats. It’s also something that we can all delight in, regardless of beliefs or crotchetiness (which, wow, is totally a word, huh.) levels. I’m sure there is someone out there who detests gingerbread houses and pumpkin lattes, but our paths have thankfully not yet crossed.

The treat I’m most looking forward to this season is the glorious Mint M&M… or more accurately, 492804325 of them, which is how many I consumed last year. Incredibly, I didn’t even know about their existence before last year, so I’m really just making up for lost time here. I’m pretty sure they’ve begun stocking these in the stores now, so here’s hoping that Evan is really into ladies with an extra 10 pounds and extremely fresh breath!

In a similar mint-chocolate vein, I picked up a box of these gorgeous treats at TJs the other day — no Mint M&M or anything, but they’re still pretty irresistible.

What other holiday indulgences should be on my list?

(Top photo courtesy of The Stephen Mosher Blog, bottom photo courtesy of Chow Chaser)

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Happy Schmoopy Christmas: Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler

Hooray, it’s the holiday season! I’ve never been a Scrooge — anything that involves celebrating, presents, singing, and lights is going to be all right by me, plus I’m a total sucker for the idea of magic-in-the-air scenarios. It’s more than a bit embarrassing, but I’ve long ago decided to just own it and try not to notice anyone’s (yes, I mean you!) eyerolls.

So with glorious Thanksgiving over, I’m in FULL ON CHRISTMAS CHEER mode now, and thus go all my obsessions lately. Today, the one that’s been dominating my Spotify account: Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler’s This is Christmas.

I’m a longtime Ash fan, but have bemoaned the fact that Ash doesn’t seem to be actively making new music. I had heard inklings of Tim (Ash’s lead singer) making music with someone else a while ago, but didn’t pay it much attention till I saw recently that he was touring in December in support of the Christmas album that he and that someone else, Emmy the Great, released last year. Ever since I started listening to it, it’s been jangling nonstop in my head and ears, because it’s really damned catchy.

But beyond that, I’m truly obsessed because it not only celebrates but gleefully rolls around in the infectious sparkly magic (I told you I liked Christmas!) unique to this time of year. Emmy and Tim are also an item, a fact that’s actually relevant, as almost every song is a paean to Christmas romance: to having a special someone to walk with in the snow, drink mugs of hot cocoa with, and snuggle down with in front of a brick fireplace. It’s the tritest of cliches, but you know that I don’t care, and neither do they. Outside of a brief flirtation with sarcasm in my teen years, I’ve never been a lover of irony and too-hip-for-thou-ness, and the sheer enthusiasm and sincerity with which Emmy and Tim embark on their celebration of Christmas love is guaranteed to put a smile on all but the dourest of faces.

As I’ve noted, it’s available on Spotify, but a small taste of my favorite tracks:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URCNMEbgd_w%5D [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beBSv40QjkA%5D

And bonus Emmy & Tim adorableness (even for those of you who primarily celebrate this time of year as Alcohol Time):
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYo-D2bb2nQ%5D

(Image courtesy of Jeff Shanberg and My Czech Republic)

Key & Peele

Think back to the 2008 election. Even before we knew who was going to win the presidential election, there was a weird, kinda fickle, but very real worry about the exit of President Bush.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO COMEDY???

Specifically, I remember lots of musing about what the hell Jon Stewart would talk about any more, as if the only use our modern mirror on the ridiculousness of US politics and news media had was as a foil for George W. Bush.

So that worry never really panned out: partly because there’s still ridiculous shit happening every day in both politics and news media, as there will be till the end of time, and partly because, though good comedy often seems effortless, there actually is professional skill involved in being funny.

As we all wake up today — either excited or disappointed, but hopefully eager to move on from a divisive election season — let’s just remember that political comedy? It’ll be all right.

Especially as long as my third- and fourth-favorite* biracial folks, Key & Peele, exist:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX8tL3PMj7o%5D

HAMMER DANCE!

* Evan noted last night how happy he is that Zoe (favorite) will be old enough to remember Barack (second-favorite) as president. I believe so strongly in the importance of my girl seeing someone who has a similar mixed-race and mixed-culture background represented in our country’s highest office. Thanks, America.

(Photo courtesy of People)

90 Days, 90 (well, 94) Reasons

 

I am finally emerging from the maelstrom of activity that has made up my last three weeks: I’m sitting in a different house now, on the other side of the (successful, thank god) conference that has consumed my last two months, and trying to reconcile the huge child that lives in my new house with the still-babyish girl we left with grandma a week ago. I stared at Zoe intently this morning, trying feverishly to memorize her new curves and angles, while expressions wholly foreign to me passed over her face (those two above? I’d never seen them before this morning!). C’mon, seriously? It was only A WEEK. I feel like I’m on a roller coaster ride in the dark, and this was a huge, stomach-churning drop.

Of course, while I’ve been reflecting on my new little world, we are also in a time of giant change in our greater world. Hurricane Sandy has brought many lessons to the forefront, and will continue to do so as we slowly begin to gain some perspective on it. For me, what it has illustrated is how vulnerable we truly are in our little homes, our little power grids, our little cars. But I don’t find that individual vulnerability particularly alarming; instead, I take it as a reminder of how much we all really need one another. In the last week, I’ve been so heartened to see and hear how folks everywhere have been stepping up to help and support one another. We forget this in our busy individual lives, but we all depend in some way on the goodness of other people in our communities, in our country, and in our world.

I can’t stop time for Zoe, and I can’t deny this: every day, she grows incrementally less a part of me, and more a part of the world. All I can try to do is my part in ensuring that it’s a world where decision-making is rooted in the values of helping out the less fortunate, respecting others’ personal decisions, and freely pursuing knowledge. That’s the world I want to raise my girl to be a part of, and that’s my reason for voting for Barack Obama. What’s yours?