Good Stuff!

Hey, it's Daylight Savings today! We've sprung forward! Spring is springing and, although the windy Seattle deluge might hide this fact, it can't stop it entirely! So let's celebrate the Earth's rebirth with a flourish of Good Stuff!

We begin!

1. Last summer I obsessively, compulsively devoured both Mermaid in Chelsea Creek and Girl at the Bottom of the Sea by Michelle Tea. Comprising the first 2/3 of the Chelsea Trilogy, these dark fantasy stories do everything I hope for good fiction to do: revolve around strong female protagonists, play with gender, complicate good and evil with generous helpings of empathy and ambivalence, feature found and chosen families, and have tiny pet octopuses. I mean, these are just about perfect novels, and I am vibrating with excitement in anticipation of the third and final installment, Castle on the River Vistula. WRITE FASTER, MICHELLE TEA! WRITE FASTER!

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2. Tacocat does the new Powerpuff Girls theme, and it is awesome. Behold! I never was a huge fan of the Powerpuff Girls back in the day, but I'm willing to let the Smartlings give them a try just so I can hear this song over and over again. Win-win!

3. The biggest lie of all in NYC-based romantic comedies: The rents. Listen, if you want to watch a good rom-com and enjoy the ridiculous improbability of the meet-cutes (meets-cute?), benign obstacles overcome, and wacky love-struck hijinks, be my guest. Your escapism is fine by me. But don't you dare, DON'T YOU DARE, think that any of it is financially possible for a single second. It is far more likely that you, say, wish to be big at a carnival and turn into Tom Hanks than you are able to afford the loft he lives in (even with some kind of executive pay for testing toys) in Big. Nope, people. Nope.

A waitress and a chef cannot afford this, and neither can you. (Image Source)

4. I've been looking for years for my "Forever Chili," and this might just be it. I make this recipe at least twice a month. This chili is delectable, and BONUS!, it cooks all day in a slow cooker and requires very little in the way of effort. It is wonderful eaten with this cornbread, which, while not sweet at all, is so delicious that the Smartlings requested it for dessert the other night. (Any and all links to other potential Forever Chili recipes welcomed in the comments below. I love this recipe, but I'm in no way finished searching for my holy chili grail.)

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5. A few years ago I was lucky to be able to participate in an online bookgroup reading Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance (facilitated by Body Positive Yoga's Amber Karnes) that included participation with the book's author, Rosie Molinary. It was a transformative experience, and this is a fabulous book. Beautiful You includes 365 different daily essays on self-acceptance (tough shit, leap years!), each with its own related suggested action. Topics range from the prosaic (Get your ill-fitting clothes tailored!) to the political (Be an ally and intervene on someone else's behalf to resist discrimination) to the intensely personal (tons of introspective journaling and reflection). On tough days sometimes all it takes is for me to read a few days' essays and proposed practices to reset and recenter. This book is a great means of bringing self-acceptance, self-celebration, and general positivity into your life.

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May this budding spring bring you nothing but Good Stuff, Smarties! Enjoy!