Three Things

I’ve been busily working on a couple of different projects — Christmas presents! Bridesmaid dress! Halloween costume! — but haven’t stopped to take pictures of any of them yet (and probably can’t share any on the Christmas present front, anyway). I hope to have get a couple of shots of the finished bridesmaid dress, as well as the Halloween costume, but until I do…here’s some blog filler!

Three Things I’m Watching
Parks and Rec – Technically, I’m re-watching this, but I can’t help it. It’s my go-to filler for when I need to have something on in the background, but it can’t be too distracting. Plus, it hilariously captures what it is like to work for a park and, now that I’m no longer working at said park, I can watch it as much as I want without being filled with a feeling of immense sadness and defeat.
The Cleverman – There are so few opportunities to watch films and shows that have an indigenous bent — even fewer that fall into the sci-fi/fantasy realm. This one is from Australia, so it deals with a completely different indigenous group than mine, but I’ll take what I can. It’s available on Netflix, and I highly recommend it.
The Great War – My undergraduate thesis class was all about WWI, and I tend to be a little more intrigued by this period in time than others. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S.’s entrance into the war, and PBS put out a six-hour documentary to mark the occasion. I know that documentaries aren’t everyone’s cup of tea…clearly, they are mine. (Interesting side note: a lot of my large papers to fulfill history major requirements centered around military history, which is not where my typical interests lie).

Three Things I’m Listening To (Podcasts)
Lore – I am relatively new to the world of podcasts, but this one tops my list. As a folklorist, I’m absolutely thrilled to see my field at the heart of such a popular podcast! Go folklore! When I leave work, I generally plug in my headphones and start an episode on my half-mile walk back to the garage, and then transfer to the sound system in said car. I can generally get through two episodes on my walk-and-drive home.
Fashion History with American Duchess – There aren’t many episodes here yet, and I’ve already listened to them all, but I’m eagerly awaiting more. There are few sound problems throughout — I really wish they would learn to laugh away from the microphone! — but there’s also some really good history and information here.
Welcome to Night Vale – I kept seeing references to this on some of the geeky sites that I visit regularly, so I decided to give it a listen…and I’m hooked! It’s silly, and original, and just plain weird, and I love it. I played it in the car when I was driving my oldest nephew up for a concert, and he got a kick out of it, as well.
**Bonus Podcast: Blúiríní Béaloidis – Because one folklore podcast just isn’t enough, I thought I’d recommend this one as well (to be honest, it’s one of four folklore-centric podcasts I listen to…I might have a problem). It’s entirely based around Irish (and, to a lesser degree, other European groups) folklore, and hosts Jonny Dillon and Claire Doohan pull from the archives at the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin. They really know their stuff, the production values are great (no problems modulating sound), and – for an American ear – it’s a nice change of pace to listen to Irish accents.

I do, actually. Burn on me, Simpsons.

Three Things I’m Reading
At any given time, I’ve got at least three books going, so this is a  completely random sampling of what I’m reading:
A Play of Shadow, by Julie Czerneda – Julie usually writes science fiction with a nice emphasis on biological sciences, which I love. This series is her first entry into fantasy.
Congo, by Michael Crichton – My reading theme this fall seems to be “The Great Crichton Re-Read.” It started with Jurassic Park, and is swiftly moving through Crichton’s work. I read all of these books a lifetime ago when I was in middle school (jeez…middle school!) and decided it was time to revisit them.
Secondhand Souls, by Christopher Moore – I never know how to classify Christopher Moore’s books. They’re really funny, but also have the capacity to be deeply moving. This is the sequel to Moore’s book A Dirty Job, and delves into similar territory with Moore’s characteristic wit. For a comedy, the two-book series deals with some hefty topics like death and grief.

Three Random Things That Totally Make My Day 

  • Scottish Breakfast Tea – Did you know that there’s a Scottish Breakfast tea? I didn’t until about three years ago. It’s pretty easy to get English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast around here (in the States), but I had never seen Scottish Breakfast on the shelves. When I first heard about it through a tea article — yes, I read articles about tea…what of it? — I knew I had to track some down and sample it. Thank goodness for Amazon! They helped me out with my first batch, and I’ve since located three places sort of near me that sell it (Rodman’s in DC, Fresh Market in Vienna/Alexandria, and a tea shop in Fredericksburg). It’s the strongest of the three breakfast teas, meant to take advantage of Scotland’s notoriously soft water. I recommend Taylors of Harrogate for all your Scottish Breakfast needs.
  • Sheepskin Rug – I pet these at every sheep and wool festival I go to, and finally bought one at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year. It’s on my floor right beside my bed, so it’s the first thing I feel when my feet hit the floor in the morning. Robert has been known to get out of bed on my side, to take advantage of the soft rug.
  • Puffs Plus Lotion with Vicks – I got slammed with a brief but lousy cold last week, and wound up stopping at CVS to pick up more tissues (I had already gone through an entire box). All of the skin on my nose felt like it had been burned, due to heavy use of scratchy tissues, so I was on the look-out for the lotion ones. I know, they make my nose sweat, too, but when given the choice between nose sweat or sandpapering my nose with dry tissues I’ll opt for the nose sweat. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I discovered that Puffs makes a tissue that not only has lotion, but also smells like Vicks! I am SOLD on this idea! It’s not for everyone, but I absolutely love the fact that grabbing a tissue clears my head like an inch-thick coat of Vicks Vapo-Rub. Added bonus: my car smells like eucalyptus now.

Me, enjoying the scent of Puffs Plus Lotion with Vicks.

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