Racing toward the holidays (& Friday links)


I took the kids to the new Golden One Center last month to see Disney on Ice and to check out Sacramento’s new downtown arena for the first time. Only afterward, when Hudson didn’t believe me that the characters had been ice skating (“but it wasn’t cold”) did I realize I’d probably been more prepared to show them the new venue than to drum up excitement about what we were going to see there! Whoops! It is such an awesome addition to the city, and there’s just a ton of great stuff moving in around it. I included a few more photos below.

It feels like that was already ages ago as we race toward the holidays. (It feels like it was, in fact, a world away.) We started opening up the drawers in the advent calendar yesterday, kicking off the month with a children’s parade and tree lighting downtown! The marching band plays, The Grinch shows for free at The Varsity, and there are horse-drawn carriage rides. It’s pretty sweet. Today I’ll take the kids to the Art Center where they get to shop with a helper for us, in a secret no-parents-allowed room!

So. Here we go!

As I try to wrap my head around this, some links of note… 

The New York Times narrows the best books of the year list down to ten. Anything you would add?

Now that I’m listening to more music in the morning, I’m going to give this a try: A three-minute morning music routine. 

A pretty wood-bead garland to make. 

These pros came up with a year-long photography class: create a year of memories while learning how your camera works.

“Bitter Victory.” Thoughts on OJ: Made in America.

This is hillarious! I want to wrap everything in these. (Via Joanna)

Jane Campion’s Top Ten on Criterion.

You might also like… from the editors at NPR.

We are surrounded by walnut farmers, so I’m intrigued by this recipe for Coffee and Walnut cake, apparently a classic English teatime favorite. (Er, favourite.)

Will everything be recorded one day? “The people’s Panoptican?”

Essays by Toni Morrison, Atul Gawande, Hilary Mantel, George Packer, Jane Mayer, Jeffrey Toobin, Junot Díaz, and more, on Trump’s America in The New Yorker.

Gerrymandering and political moneyball. (The video on gerrymandering is such a good illustration if you need a primer on the practice.)

A beautiful photograph, and all profits go to the ACLU.

How to make a mix tape for a year in your life. (By the way, wouldn’t this make a fun gift? Put all the songs for a meaningful year for someone onto a retro mixtape cassette/USB.)

Another great podcast from ProPublica (an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest): how journalists need to begin imagining the unimaginable and telling the truth versus reporting the facts.

A book for helping children understand climate change through empathy. (Thanks, Erin)

A new Wes Anderson short (in fact an ad for H&M, but still worth watching)

Finally, the NYT sendup of the Gilmore Girls revival made me laugh: it’s so critical and then ends (ellipses to remove any hint of spoilers) “But I enjoyed this revival so much, too. … I liked being back in the Stars Hollow world… And now I want to go back to Stars Hollow again…” And it was probably the review that I agreed with most. I had so many complaints! But ultimately I was just happy to see everyone again and I’d watch another meetup in a heartbeat. (Also, a great discussion of the last four words—which only leaves out the detail about the Carole King song.)

Have a great weekend! Thank you for the nice comments on all the gift guides this week!





We got to check out the show with the help of Sacramento Regional Transit, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, and Unseen Heroes, who are promoting the Park. Play. Ride. campaign—a city-wide initiative to inspire people to ride public transit when going to events at the Golden One Center. For more information on Station Pre-Parties and events, please visit Thank you! 


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