It’s been a week. [Idea: create a universal hot key that lets you add that sentence to every written document for the foreseeable future]. It’s been cold AF here in Austin, so I’ve spent my week working by the fireplace and staring wistfully out the window, dreaming of innocent days gone by. Days when I didn’t have to read explicit details of celebrity sexual encounters and their subsequent Five. Thousand. Goddamn. Hot. Takes. (I’m not linking to a single thing related to that mess.) Days when subscribing to a newspaper didn’t require an examination of your moral conscience. Days when having a conversation about current events with someone didn’t feel like the early warning signs of a heart attack. Days when Monday through Friday actually felt like five days.

I’m healing my soul in the real world with some healthy eating, more exercise, frequent face-time with girlfriends, and playing board games with my daughters. I recommend all of the above wholeheartedly. And whiskey.

This one has a delightful finish and is very reasonably priced.

 

When you’re online though, it can be hard to find comfort. But it’s important that you do. Ten minutes spent reading McMansion Hell can deftly derail the panic that sets in when you accidentally hear King Turd speak on an auto-play video (happens to me almost daily). This gem was my favorite from her latest post.

Image courtesy of Kate at McMansion Hell

 

Or go super retro and spend some time gazing at pictures of laughingly gross food of the Eisenhower era.

McCall’s Pattern Behavior is solid comedy, once you scroll past the blitz of book promotion that recently occurred (not that I blame them, way to be published!)

Image courtesy of McCall’s Pattern Behavior

 

And the homepage of Digg always has at least one interesting long read and one cute animal video. Just exile the news articles to your peripheral vision and you’re good.

Here’s some other stuff for when you need a diversion:

20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years
Some pretty great lines in here.

“Anyone who really, sincerely loves Franzen’s writing has also probably really, sincerely told someone that “learn to code” was the solution to all their problems.”

Skyler White: the Breaking Bad underdog who set the template for TV’s antiheroine
This one surprised me. I’ve watched the show twice now and thought I’d read every angle possible on Anna Gunn’s brilliant portrayal of Skyler. Turns out I hadn’t.

“She represents the dull domesticity that the antihero must reject in order to set the thrilling events of the narrative in motion, but she also acts as a lightning rod for negative emotions, thus allowing the audience to get thoroughly, guiltlessly swept up in Walt’s story.”

Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories
I know, I know. I scrolled past it too. Until so many of the curators I follow recommended it that I gave up and clicked. The pictures are great but the writing is just beautiful.

“In an era of infinite screens, the humble pencil feels revolutionarily direct: It does exactly what it does, when it does it, right in front of you.”

Last but not least, there is the gift from heaven that is R. Eric Thomas. I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing when I first discovered his work on Elle.com. It may have been his piece on the non-trifling-ness of Rep. Maxine Waters. But trust me when I say that, when humor is needed, there is none so pointed, shady, and goddamn hilarious as Our Eric. Go read everything he ever wrote. Starting with today’s piece on the Fake News awards.

“How many times do I have submit my name for this thing? Apparently the answer is “more than zero.” Shocking. I thought that the Fakies were like voting in that you don’t have to do anything to register and someone in a MAGA hat comes to your door to personally collect your ballot. Color me educated.”

Stay strong friends. We’re here for you.

 

Lead art photo by Kerry Joyce, Skullduggery Studios