Hi, I'm Karen but I'm better known around the web as Sassymonkey. Most days you can find me on Twitter and at BlogHer.com where I am a Community Moderator. Find out more.

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Friday Links January 23

It's been a long week. A really long week. Go read some things.

Friday Links January 23 | Sassymonkey.ca

"On The Fetishisation of Gay Men by Women in the Slash Community," from The Mary Sue. "Specifically, these men indicated that straight or bisexual women had repeatedly asked overly personal questions about their sex lives, treated them like adorable puppies instead of humans, and attempted to co-opt the gay male experience or even elevate allies over actual gay men." Don't do that.

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," from Modern Mrs. Darcy. I keep finding people talking about Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it fascinates and scares me in equal measure. Maybe one of these days I'll actually pick up the book, though it seems unlikely right now. It might be worth it if I could figure out how the heck to organize my dresser drawers in a way that actually works.

"Before They Were Scientists: Emily Graslie," from Your Wild Life. One of the things I appreciate about Emily is her honesty, which shines through in this interview. That isn't to say her life is an open book, but when she's asked a question she answers it honestly. But my favourite thing in this interview is actually something she quotes Hank Green as saying. I hadn't seen it before, which is surprising given how well Tumblred Hank tends to be. "You don’t owe your former self anything, you’re not that person anymore." I think maybe I needed to hear that right now.

"Please Don't Punish Yourself" from Danielle LaPorte. Someone shared this on a day when I needed to read it. "It’s gruelling enough to be betrayed when you have been over-loyal; to feel like an imposter at the pretty party; to be seemingly alone in your looping fixations (you’re never alone); to feel like the star ship flew off and orphaned you in a cabbage patch of zygotes to be adopted by humans who can’t understand you. This stuff of earth, you know, it’s a lot of things, but it’s anything but easy."

"The Sunday Home," from WhatWouldGwynethDo. We've sort of being doing this for years. We don't do great at the unplugging thing but we try to make weekend more "Internet-lite." A couple of weeks ago we did all the all cleaning, meal planning and shopping on Saturday and we had nothing at all that needed to be done on Sunday. It was weird and wonderful in equal measure.


Meal Plan Monday January 19

Our oven is broken. Well, to be specific the bottom element in our oven died. The good news is we knew it was dying and had already order a new one. The bad news is that it hasn't arrived yet. This put a damper on some of our meal plans. Our new oven element is slowly making its way to our home but we have no idea when it will be here.

Meal Plan Monday January 19 | Sassymonkey.ca

It seems a dead oven element killed my ability to plan. We vaguely know what we are eating this week. Kind of. Maybe.

Sunday: Beef stirfry.

Monday: Chicken thighs. No idea how I'm cooking them. I have bacon in the fridge so it's likely there will be bacon involved. And probably sautéed spinach.

Tuesday: Pork chops. Again, no idea how we are cooking them or what we are eating with them.

Wednesday: Pasta.

Thursday: I'm hoping for pasta leftovers.

Friday: Pizza. I'm hoping for homemade because that would mean the oven is fixed. If not, take out.

Saturday: To be determined. It will be our last dinner together for ten whole days. That's kind of blowing my mind. More on that later.


Friday Links January 16

Every week I say that I'm going to bring back Friday links. I love reading other people's Friday links post because I always discover the best stuff. And well, a big part of my job is reading all the things. I'm sure it seems like to many people that results in sharing all the things on social media. It does... sometimes. 

Friday Links January 16 | Sassymonkey.ca

Here are some things that I've read this week. 



Meal Plan January 12 

I am looking forward to getting back into the kitchen. Right before the new year I got hit with a stupid cold and Lee volunteered to do the bulk of the cooking for awhile. It was nice and I could tell I was starting to feel better when I voice in my head was screaming "Must! Cook! Things!"

Meal Plan Monday January 12 | Sassymonkey.ca

Sunday: Steak nachos (in front of the television, while watching the Golden Globes, of course).

Monday: Lentil and mushroom ragu

Tuesday: Chicken curry quinoa bowls

Wednesday: Pork chops and potatoes and roasted onions

Thursday: I don't know. It's Lee's job to figure out because his plans shifted.

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Apricot mustard chicken


Make. Do. Play. 

"I don't resolutions." That's what I said when I saw people posting their resolutions.

"I don't choose words." That's what I said when I saw people posting their word(s) for 2015.

Both statements are mostly true. I've tried resolutions. I've tried choosing a word. Neither has worked very well for me in the past. I just wasn't feeling any of it.

I thought a lot about 2014. I lost my way midway through the year and it's easier to remember that than many of the good things that happened. But looking back -- at the good and bad -- made me want to look forward.

Looking forward is hard. 2015, perhaps more than most recent years, feels like it's going to be a year of change. It feels like I'm looking out over a sea of uncertainties. I choose to believe any changes on the horizon are as likely to be good as not.

I didn't want to make a resolution. I didn't want to choose words. But three words kept floating through my head.

Make. Do. Play.

Make. Do. Play. | Sassymonkey.ca

I want to make things in 2015. Yes, physical things like knitted socks and shawls. I want to work with my hands. But I also want to make plans while knowing that circumstances can change those plans. I want to make lists and check things off.

I want to do things in 2015. We talk about doing things all the time but often those things do not become actions. I make lists but nothing will get crossed off unless I do it. I want stop thinking about all the things I want to do at some point in the foggy future and start doing some of them. Heck, even one of them.

I want to play. Play is something that gets left behind so often in our adult lives. Lee and I went on real vacations last year. While we travel a lot, over the past five or six years most of that travel has been tied to business travel. We have a day or two of fun but we're always connected. We disconnected last year and it was exactly what we needed. We may not get to do that this year but it taught us how to play again and, more importantly, why play is important. That's big play but I also want to do game nights and take out my colouring books and play with my chalkboard wall. Play is important.

That's what I want to do in 2015. Make. Do. Play.