Note: I’m starting a new thing. Each Friday, I’ll be writing a list detailing why I love something in life I find really awesome. Sometimes it will be about big things, sometimes it will be about small things. Sometimes it will be about really frivolous things. Sometimes it will be about really serious important things. I just want to remind me and you how much cool stuff there is in this world.

Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper

Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) – Mad Men – Season 6, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Ron Jaffe/AMC

Mad Men is back this Sunday, and I could not be happier. I’ve always had a thing for character-driven dramas and I have to say that Mad Men is one of the best I have ever seen. Here’s why it’s one of my favorite shows (It goes without saying that there are spoilers to follow):

1. I love the way that each episode stands alone and works as a short story, but that they come together to tell a larger story overall. The show is particularly masterful in the way it tells the story. Small details suddenly become very important. People you thought were gone for good pop up unexpectedly. Plot threads get dropped for years sometimes, only to be picked up again in ways you least expect.

2. I love the way the small world of Sterling-Cooper(-Draper-Pryce) is a microcosm for the sweeping changes taking place in society at large. And I love how the changes that happen at SC(DP) never happen because the powers that be decide that it’s simply the right thing to do. They don’t think “Peggy is really talented so of course she should be a copywriter” or “Joan has been instrumental to this business from the beginning so it makes sense that she becomes a partner” or “Yeah, cigarettes really aren’t great for you so maybe we shouldn’t be helping them sell” or “You know, it is about time we stop being such a white-washed company; let’s embrace equal opportunity hiring.” No, they always move ahead because someone is trying to spite someone else or play someone else. I like that because it makes the characters much more real and nothing feels like an after school special where everyone learns a very important lesson about equality.

3. I love that the characters are so well-drawn. They aren’t saints; they aren’t monsters; they are complex and fallible human beings who have complicated motivations for the things they do. I especially like that the show allows the women characters to be just as messed up and wrong and complicated as the men. They aren’t ciphers; they have their own motivations and get to be the center of the story. And the show does not shy away from letting things get very messy and complicated and letting beloved characters do things that are absolutely wrong and despicable sometimes.

4. I love that there is such attention to detail, especially with the costuming. I love vintage wear, and this show is just full of wonderful costuming. And they have really done their research with how fashions changed throughout the sixties and how the different age groups would style themselves. It makes it so much fun to watch.

As you can see, I highly recommend the show. All five seasons are on Netflix, and season six starts on Sunday. Will you be watching? Do you love the show as much as I do? Or do you not like it? Let me know in the comments.


This is a catch-all post, wherein I will (finally!) tie up all the Liebster Award loose ends and share some good news.

So it took a couple of weeks, but I finally have my Liebster nominees! They are just a sampling of the small blogs I read, but all three of them are bloggers I appreciate and enjoy immensely. Go check them out!

In no particular order, I nominate

1. Jasmin of Better Than Yarn
2. Meg of Knit+Frills+Food=Love
3. Caitlin of All She Wants to Do Is Knit

Each blogger must post 11 random facts about themselves, nominate three to five other non-mainstream blogs that they appreciate, and they must respond to the following eleven questions (I use must here loosely. They must if they want to play and keep the recognition chain going):

1. What is your absolute favorite thing you’ve ever created?
2. Chocolate or vanilla?
3. Describe your ideal day.
4. What inspires you most?
5. How do you de-stress?
6. If you could give advice to yourself ten years ago, what would you say?
7. Which weight of yarn is your favorite?
8. What do you wish you could do that you currently can’t do?
9. What are your top five favorite movies?
10. What is your favorite kind of cake?
11. If you had to commit to one knitwear designer and could only knit his or her patterns for the rest of your life (no patterns designed by anyone else, EVER), which one would you pick?

And now, to finish up my Liebster experience, here are eleven random facts about me:

1. I love the ocean. If given my choice, I will never live more than an hour away from the ocean.
2. I always thought I hated running until I learned how to breathe properly. I learned to use my singer training to breathe when I run, and I’m a little ashamed that it took me nearly thirty years of life to figure it out.
3. Speaking of thirty, I am alternately kind of freaking out about and completely apathetic about my upcoming thirtieth birthday.
4. I really, really, really miss being in school. I particularly miss literature classes; I love reading books and discussing them.
5. I don’t wear jewelry or makeup, except my teeny nose stud. (I do wear makeup on stage).
6. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
7. I want to dye my hair pink or black and cherry red. Alas, my job precludes me having cool hair.
8. When I was eleven, I first read the book Contact and it had an inordinate influence on me. I still dream about going back to school to study astronomy. I have a biochemistry degree, so it’s not like it’s a huge career change. I had a subscription to Odyssey Magazine and an itty bitty telescope, that’s how much I loved space back then.
9. Sometimes I really miss the 90’s. I relive them by wearing skirts with Doc Martens.
10. I make awesome polenta. (Also, apparently Firefox spell check does not recognize “polenta” as a word).
11. I love good world building in a video game or science fiction/fantasy series. I will forgive a lot of issues with gameplay, plotting, or characterization if things are taking place in a world that I find fascinating. (I’m a geek and I won’t apologize.)

And finally, a quick tidbit of good news. My Celestarium was chosen to be featured in the Twist Collective March 2013 Newsletter. (Mine is number one in the collage of pictures). It makes me feel really good to be appreciated.

This is a really late review, I know, because it became a big tretise on how I’m feeling about Doctor Who in general lately. Spoilers for Seasons 6, 7, and the Christmas special ahead. (Also, oddly, spoilers for Six Feet Under, because that’s how I roll.)