Wednesday, June 7, 2017

News and Things: May Favorites

No, you do not have to tell me this post is approximately a week late. I know, okay? I know. And I've been trying. Really hard!

With everything from my younger siblings wrapping up their respective school years, to a weekend trip to Portland (Powells!), to working on a newsletter for the University of Washington Tacoma's Institute of Technology, I've been a little too busy to upload this admittedly lengthy post.

So I woke up before 7am this morning to make sure it got done! Because sometimes, the only thing you need is a little earlier of an alarm clock... and, of course, to have finished up all of those other projects that were preventing me from getting to this part.

Regardless, May is over, June is here, and it's only getting better. In the past month, there have been some News, and there have been some Things. Without further ado, here's May's installment of "News and Things"!

A few years ago, my younger sister and I both realized we had developed a fascination with the same serial killer: the prolific and menacing H. H. Holmes, the figure at the heart of Erik Larson's Devil in the White City. So of course, when news broke earlier last month that his body was going to be exhumed in Chicago, she was the first person I sent the article to!

No matter how many Oscar-caliber stars you jam into one Twitter photo, it's nothing compared to the sheer star power of one Nevada teen who just really wanted some nuggets. Wendy's has committed to their promise of one year of free chicken nuggets in exchange for 18 million retweets... and in a world of viral marketing, I feel like that's a fine trade off!

It's one kind of heartbreak to have your valuables stolen... and it's quite another if it includes a handwritten Harry Potter prequel vignette, straight from J. K. Rowling herself.

Whether you're on the side that seeks to free information for public use, or to restrict literary obtainment as much within the grounds of copyright as possible (both are fair arguments), the elimination of the massive Google Books library marks a significant moment for both. 

Also courtesy of The Atlantic, is a story about one family's modern-day slave, which went viral on my Facebook feed. The idea that there are still countries of the world that engage in slave labor is a harsh reality, when added to the fact that America has always been a country of immigrants... a large population of which were brought over in pain, and unable to ever return home.

So, yeah, I'm a Nancy Drew fan. Did you know that the idea of the girl detective has been around since the first World War? In a culture where Middle Grade reading is still pretty ridiculously pink, I'd like to remind everyone that young female readers have never needed their books dumbed down for them (and that boys read girl detective books, too!).

If we've got any vegetarians in the audience, you probably shouldn't watch this video. But this Bon Appetit breakdown of every single cut of meat from a full side of steer had me aghast from start to finish. The amount of material that is fully used - to the very odds and ends of the fat, which even have their own value - is remarkable... and a great argument to purchase cuts from hometown butchers, instead of wasteful mass-market meats.

Another year, another set of graduates making their way out of universities around the world. Cup of Jo talks about some of her favorite moments from celebrity-given commencement speeches this year, and even includes some old favorites from years past, as well.

In my ever-present quest for snacks that don't make me feel so bogged down, I recently stumbled upon the versatile and delicious world of roasted chickpeas. This Pinterest favorite is incredibly easy and completely customizable... I like to underbake mine a little bit so they're still a little crunchy, but still a little dense. Yum! 

Guess who's got two thumbs and is definitely jumping on board the kombucha crazy train? Me! I don't think I'll ever get to the point of brewing the confusing concoction myself, but I'm more than happy to pick up some of the Brew Dr. Kombucha's Superberry flavor as an afternoon pick-me-up. 

We've always had overripe bananas on-hand at my house, but up until this point, I've not had any really great banana bread recipes to use them in. Until I ditched the idea of banana bread, and started making cute little banana bundts instead! 

Rounding out my personal list of monthly food favorites, has to include my recent artichoke episode. After getting interested in them while watching one of my favorite YouTuber's "What I Eat in a Day" video, I decided to try my hand at the prickly snacks myself, picking up a set of 4 globe artichokes and accompanying garlic spread from Trader Joe's. Long story short: my world will never be the same! 

Saturday Night Live recently wrapped what I think has been one of their most politically charged seasons yet, involving brilliant celebrity cameos, jaw-dropping impersonations, and not one, but two renditions of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The Hollywood Reporter sat down with some of the show's shining stars, to find how the whole circus came together. 

Well, we're officially a PNW family: two of my younger siblings and I are now all the owners of identical Starbucks venti clear tumblers. The only way to make sure we're not mixing them up, is with the addition of these fantastic plastic straws! 

I've recently been diversifying my podcast listening habits, and have absolutely found a friend in Pod Save America. A political podcast hosted by White House familiars from the Obama administration, this liberal, hilarious take down of all of Tr*mp's recent antics has been a lifesaver this past month. 

And of course, I'd be absolutely remiss without giving a shoutout to the absolute awesomeness that is our backyard right now. With the advent of warm Spring weather again - the literal only bright side to the nightmare hellscape that our current President is confident in resigning us to - we've been able to pull out the grill multiple times this month already. So, we're all gonna roast, but at least we can roast some veggie kabobs first. 

What have been some of your favorite News and Things this past month? What are you looking forward to in June? Let me know, in the comments below!

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