My joy is a cycle. I run through a thing until I’m sick of it, then I circle back to it after a little bit of time has passed and forget that I was ever sick of it at all. I never really let go of anything, which means that you might find me sticking around longer than you’d thought — whether that applies to a TV show or a well-loved book or even a podcast like this one. I find that there is never one thing that is giving me more joy than others, so I couldn’t pick just one thing. I did manage to narrow it down to four, but there were some tough choices (and a few dice rolls) involved.
I rediscovered my love of crafting in 2017, specifically with something my mother taught me in my early teen years (when I lacked the patience for this particular craft’s time commitment). You could probably still find my lackluster attempts at cross stitch somewhere in a box tucked away in the depths of the attic of my childhood home, but never mind the dusty corners. I recently bought about a dozen patterns, and most of my friends are now expecting Christmas gifts. They probably won’t receive them until April, but I’m doing my best! Repetitive stitches make the hours fly by, and give my hands something to do while I’m enjoying the next thing on my list.
Dungeons and Dragons
This past year I discovered two very popular online D&D things: Critical Role and The Adventure Zone. One’s a weekly livestream event, and the other is a podcast; both are amazing examples of the craft and community of D&D and have pulled me into a community of love and fun. In the new year, I’ll be running my own campaign with some friends to help get us through our last semester of undergrad. If you’re looking for something to bring you closer as friends, D&D might be just the thing for you.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
I’m going to let you in on a secret: a little family recipe for chocolate chip cookies that has beaten every recipe I’ve ever come across. It’s not gluten-free, but I beg your indulgence: this cookie has saved many a long night from being dull and boring, and saved many a tear from being shed. If baked correctly, they’ll stay soft for over a week, and the recipe is super simple! Each batch makes about 12 good size cookies.
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups of flour
- ¾ to 1 cup of chocolate chips, depending on preference.
- Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit.
- Melt butter in microwave for 40 seconds. Cream together with white and brown sugar. Add vanilla and egg — be sure not to overwork the egg! Try not to mix for more than ten seconds.
- Add baking soda, salt, and flour. Make sure to add all the flour at once, or your dough will spread when baking.
- Add chocolate chips to preference.
- Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes. Cookies may look underdone, but be careful! If you overbake them, they will harden quickly.
Skiffy and Fanty
Yes, yes, it’s kind of cheesy. But these people, and this simple podcast and blog, have changed my life. I was an intern for just a few months, but I got to meet the most amazing people, watch awful movies just to complain about them later, and discover new and amazing things in SFF. So, many thanks to Jen, who read an email a week before classes started at my university and agreed to take a chance on a college student who was offering free labor. These people brought me so much joy and many new friends, and will continue to do so. I can’t wait.