stuff i liked recently

a picture of ash as a baby in a walker with their tongue hanging out and a potted pothos nearby

Rereading the Captive Prince series – These were a great time the first time around and even without a family emergency making me desperate for a distraction, they were great the second time around as well. These books understand the beats they need to hit and they hit the absolute shit out of them.

Tunes: The Last Dinner Party’s Prelude to Ecstasy, The Decemberists’ Hazards of Love, Momzer’s “Coyotes and Snakes” (this is an old grad school professor’s band! lmao), Green Day’s Saviors, Kim Petras’ “Head Head Honcho”, “16 Carriages” (duh), French 79, and an ever growing playlist of stuff I listened to in my youth.

Also as inspired by a longtime internet friend, I have been listening to a new song every day and a lot of those have been winners.

The 2024 NHL All Star Festivities, my annual love, but in particular the Skills Competition.

Okay, that’s all I got for today! Love you!

totally top five: 2021

It really seemed like things were getting better there for a minute, didn’t it?

Anyway! In the spaces between my brain going, “We :) are :) living :) through :) a :) plague :),” I have tried to compile some of the stuff I loved best this year! I did a lot of music listening and a lot of reading and not a lot of much else, so let’s see where 2021 shook out!

I didn’t read my first KJ Charles this year, but I did get very into Spectred Isle and Slippery Creatures which I did read in 2021. Charles has a masterful way with both worldbuilding — something I don’t usually care about since I’m not a supernatural/historical/scifi/fantasy person! — and romantic tension, but also manages dialogue that’s fun and snappy without feeling forced between characters that are likable and interesting.

My most listened to artist according to Spotify this year was The Tragically Hip which is absolutely true, and I got into quite a few other artists this year — Goat Girl, Deaf Poets, Father John Misty, Shakey Graves, Tyler Childers, Meg Myers — but I think the album I listened to most — and often started over from the beginning as soon as it ended — was Miya Folick’s Premonitions. Every song is great and the album as a whole works incredibly well and I couldn’t be more grateful to the algorithm serving it to me, even if it was a couple years late. I’d be remiss not to shoutout the live version of “Thingamajig” which puts me through an emotional blender every. single. time.

My favorite book this year was Elif Batuman’s The Idiot which took me almost two years to finish, but only due to a mix of personal problems and the whole world going to hell. It’s an exceptional book, somehow about nothing and everything simultaneously, funny and really heartfelt, thoughtful about the experiences of a young adulthood that looked nothing like mine and yet still managed to be incredibly relatable. As previously noted on Twitter, I cannot properly express how hard or how many times I’ve laughed at, “Dracula had a totally different experience at the zoo from that of other people.”

I read a ton of queer sports romances this year, both while on my Unlimited Summer 2021 journey and not, and though most of them were fine to very bad, I did read quite a few that were great.


Rachel Reid’s books are all very solid, but I was particularly fond of Heated Rivalry and Role Model and I think Ilya Rozanov is going to go down as one of my favorite characters in the last five years, easily. A.L. Heard’s Hockey Bois was the best book with a bad title I read this year, charming and sweet and very much about the romance of adult domesticity. Ashlyn Kane and Morgan James’ Winging It was also really charming with a fun cast and some good hockey cameos. Cait Nary’s Season’s Change was a dream, one of my favorite reads this year, full of characters I loved and cared about and with sharp writing better than basically everything else I’ve seen in the genre. Sorry you have to wait ’til February to read it!

Some other stuff I’ve loved this year, both new and more deeply: this vertical mouse, All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs, these maxi dresses, sitting the fuck down whenever humanly possible, these food storage containers, Flipped, this goofy light, baseball — particularly the Dodgers and the Padres, Kringle Cream, Fear Street: 1994, these reusable water bottles, Walking Alice on YouTube, sleeping under this weighted blanket, laying down on the floor in a pile of pillows, Paramount+, these sweaters and these cropped hoodies from Target, and the Minnesota Wild.

Happy almost New Year! Here’s to high hopes and low expectations for 2022! I hope this year treats you kinder than the last and I hope you’re kinder to yourself than you ever have been before. I love you! Be safe! ♥

totally top five: 2020

You ever spend at least five or six minutes a day staring into the middle distance and trying to process that we’re all living through like, three to five global catastrophes simultaneously? And then get up and put your clothes on and go to work anyway? Oh yeah of course you have that’s what 2020 was all about.

I know that, functionally and realistically, absolutely nothing is going to change between December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021, but holy shit am I be glad to close the door on this shitshow of a year regardless.

My attention span went to hell this year, amongst other attributes, and I pretty much ceased watching or reading anything after about… August? I did continue to listen to new music as without it I die, but everything else was just a barren field of nothingness. My Goodreads year-end roundup felt particularly pointed this year, but what can you do, right?

ANYWAY, here’s my top five for the year. Just the one list, categories be damned.

Orville Peck was my most listened-to artist this year. Crystal gave me Pony at the start of the year when she did her annual comb-through of all the year-end lists; I was hooked from the jump and I stand by everything I said about it in January. Peck’s voice is so easy to listen to even though it’s deeply emotional and there’s something really magical about his arrangements. I’ve loved everything he’s done this year as well — the cover of “Smalltown Boy” is one of my favorite pieces of music from 2020 and “No Glory in the West” just absolutely kicked my ass across the prairie — and I also have to blame and thank him for really opening me up to country music this year. I had, obviously, moved away from my youthful “everything but country” attitude to music, but the algorithm responded to my listening habits and offered up a ton of new music I wouldn’t have necessarily been interested in before because it was country or country adjacent including some new legit favorites like Colter Wall and Evil and Sunny War.

Sarah Henstra’s We Contain Multitudes is still really the only piece of media I consumed this year that really fucked me up emotionally in exactly the way I like to be fucked up emotionally. My Goodreads review is still right on and what I said in May here still stands as well. This is just a really lovely story with characters it’s easy to care about and get invested in with complex life experiences that complicate how they relate to one another. I’ve bought, I think, almost ten copies of this book for other people since I finished reading it and if that’s not a ringing recommendation, I don’t know what possibly could be.

I joked earlier this year that since Crystal had decided to attempt to claim her Canadian citizenship, I was going to try to get into The Tragically Hip so that I could be adequately prepared for whatever it meant to live with a Canadian, but it turns out that they’re great and I was just missing out all these years. (Not that I necessarily assumed they weren’t good but like, you know… Canadians, right?) I would start listing the favorites I’ve accumulated here, but there are just too many to be honest. I do have a favorites playlist but it is incomplete, so tread with that in mind. Truly, RIP Gord Downie, and thanks for the boss tunes.

Letterkenny ended up being one of the only media experiences we had this year and I still stand by every word I said about it in March. Just thinking about it can make me laugh and we’ve held off on watching the new episodes specifically because we want to have something to look forward to. Crystal and I had a long conversation the other day that meandered over a bunch of media and it ultimately came down to the idea that not enough weird shit is getting made. Everything is a remake or re-adaptation or a sequel and I know we’ve all been screaming about that for more than a decade at this point, but it’s nice to watch something like Letterkenny that is weird and funny and has a big heart too.

As previously discussed at length (kinda), I watch hockey now! Again! Regularly for the first time since I was a youth. This was an exceptionally weird season in which to get invested in sports of any kind and by the end of it I had attached myself to thirteen teams (seven “primaries and six “auxiliaries” because I certainly cannot do anything normally) and several of those teams went to the playoffs, some of them deep, and one of them all the way to the Cup final! Which was rad, but also sucked because they lost, though it was tempered by my enthusiasm for the finals being between teams from non-traditional hockey markets! Anyway, I think cishet men should be banned from talking about sports where other people can see it, but otherwise I’ve been having a spectacular time and can’t wait for the new season even though having it happen under the current conditions of the world also terrifies me. The grueling mechanism of capitalism, etc etc.


Happy New Year! Here’s to high hopes and low expectations for 2021! I hope this year treats you kinder than the last and I hope you’re kinder to yourself than you ever have been before. I love you! Be safe!

totally top three: february 2020

I turned 35 this month! That’s pretty cool! I spent absolutely the entire month doing nothing but watching hockey! But here we are anyway!

I somehow missed the Mitski train when everyone went buck wild for Be the Cowboy last year, but because The Algorithm, as always, serves me well, I got served a bunch of her stuff whenever Orville Peck’s Pony finishes and I started paying attention. I’ve listened to most of her stuff now and I like it all, but Bury Me at Makeout Creek is the standout for me. I’m obsessed with “Townie” (the vocal warbles!) and “Jobless Monday” (sounds like Clara Rockmore!) and “Drunk Walk Home” (that big angry instrumental crescendo!) and the album as a whole just works and feels super soniccally and emotionally resonant.

I have such good luck with the algorithm, seriously, and I think serpentwithfeet is going to be my algorithmic find of the year. This album is so beautiful, musically and lyrically, haunting and thoughtful and romantic and so god damn artful I kind of lose my mind. Spotify gave me “whisper” and I immediately listened to the entire album and got obsessed with “mourning song” and “wrong tree” and “seedless” and “waft” and “slow syrup” which contains the lyrics “when you made a chorus of your painful things / didn’t know it was a song you hated to sing” and “I longed for the rapture between your knees / you need the calm, I need the world to end inside of me” which just absolutely knocked me on my ass in the best way.

I watch hockey now! Well, okay, I watch hockey again, but I’ve spent enough time rambling about my ~sports history~ on Twitter to do that here, so instead: I watch hockey now! A lot of it. Like, at least a half-dozen games a week, but usually way more. I follow seven teams and not all of them because they’re hot. My attention span has just been deeply non-existent lately and instead of trying to force myself to watch something and then getting frustrated when I can’t get through it, I just put hockey on which is both exciting and soothing simultaneously. I can look away and do something else and still follow commentary audibly and because I am not competitive and always hope that both teams have fun, I don’t get stressed out about it the way I think way too many sports fans do. It’s been so so so fun and will be genuinely sad when the season is over.

And three to look forward to…

roswell, new mexico season 2   one day at a time season 4   the hunt

hockey is for (objectifying) everyone

It’s been a long time since I’ve done just a straight-up horny-as-hell post here. I think the last one was about like, Jesse Eisenberg? Which is, uh, still pretty true except he’s married and admitted in an interview that he married a woman just like his mother because of his Oedipal Complex and you know what, I will never judge anyone for living and speaking their truth, but there are… perhaps… some things… we should not say… aloud. No, I will absolutely not be taking my own advice at this time.

I want to preface this with the fact that I don’t really know anything about any of these dudes. Not in like, a disclaimer way where the dumb bullshit I spout shouldn’t be taken as fact (though that’s also true), but in a way where like, I have mostly no idea if they’re married, prone to criminal behavior, or complete and utter pieces of shit. I assume all men, especially in sports, are bad.

That said, I’m going to talk about banging hockey players now. Sorry if that’s weird for you. Also, if you somehow ended up here and your name is on this list… I’m only kind of sorry, but I do hope you’re having a good season/off-season/retirement/life/etc. If you’re here because your friend and/or teammate is on this list… Please, please chirp him for me.

Also, if you’re a man who has ever had or read and agreed with the thought that women only watch hockey because the men are hot… 1. I’m not a woman; 2. You’re an idiot; 3. If we wanted to watch sports for hot men, we’d watch basketball where the men are actually hot and wear way less clothing; 4. an average soccer player has more teeth in their head than any entire NHL franchise; 5. Shut the fuck up, no one cares.

Using Hockey Is For Everyone for my joke title is probably in bad taste, but because the NHL has so clearly never meant it, I don’t feel terrible about it. Hockey should be for everyone; lots of white men have gone out of their way to make sure that it isn’t. We can and should keep demanding better.

I am limiting this selection of the ten hottest hockey players to the seven teams I ~care~ about – the Winnipeg Jets (Closest Franchise to My Current Home), the Minnesota Wild (Second Closest to My Current Home), the Carolina Hurricanes (Bunch of Jerks/Storm Surge Very Appealing), the Dallas Stars (Fuckable), the Las Vegas Golden Knights (Home Away from Home), the Anaheim Ducks (Home-ish and Childhood, obviously.), and the Los Angeles Kings (HOME). Perhaps in time I will plow the field of all 31 NHL teams and objectify the entire sport properly, but for now. We are here.

Adam Henrique is thick-necked, sharp-jawed, dark-haired babe that plays for the Ducks who by nature of my having grown up in the era in which they were born and living a whopping twenty minutes from the Pond, I must love. He has a great smile that turns smarmy in a way I am deeply embarrassingly into. He looks like a dickhead Young Republican and no woman who has ever had sex with him has really enjoyed it, but it is fun to point him out to their new boyfriends and expound on just how bad it was for laughs. Has absolutely sent unsolicited dick pics.

Shea Theodore is your scruffy grad school boyfriend who’s missing an eyetooth because he got in a wrestling match with a frat brother before he left the frat life behind him entirely because he couldn’t handle the constant casual misogyny. He’s got a coffee problem and he’s happy to grab you a drink, but he always has to text and ask what you want, not because he can’t remember but because he always wants you to have the opportunity to try something new, if you’re feeling it. Were it not for being forced into them as part of his job, you would never, ever see him in a suit. Will tell you how beautiful you are when you look like shit.

Adam Lowry is, despite and perhaps in spite of, being ginger, very, very handsome. He plays for the Jets and fights like a gentleman. He’s 6’5″. He looks like the guy Disney would have cast for Charlie Conway OR Adam Banks in a Mighty Ducks the Where Are They Now? Epilogue. He looks like he smells good. Charmingly doofy, has a good sense of humor. He’d cook you dinner and then not let you help clean up afterward. Owns an apron and a nice vacuum cleaner, but probably doesn’t use either. Praises you for trying when you’re bad at video games and remembers your parents’ and siblings’ names. Probably the best kisser you’ve ever been with. He’s been out on IR for a while and at the start of every Jets game I ask Crystal, “When will my husband return from the war and punch a guy for my amusement?”

Look, at the time I started writing this, Jason Zucker was still on the Minnesota Wild, so I’m fucking keeping him, even if he abandoned us for the Pens. If he didn’t want to be objectified by a random horndog in North Dakota, he should’ve gotten traded sooner. Jason Zucker is from California, so is both a rarity and a gift to the hockey world. He has an unbelievable smile and great taste in suits and I mean, he’s pretty good at hockey, I guess. He will absolutely do some sort of pretty solid seductive move in public to get your interest, put his hand at the small of your back once you’ve given him the signal that it’s cool to do it, and then lean in and say something absurdly funny instead of smooth. It’s up to you to decide whether it was intentional and being confused about whether a hot person is dumb is actually very horny.

Jordan Greenway is 6’6″. That should be the end of the list, but it’s not. He’s got a Gordie Howe hat trick. He’s hot as hell. He says it takes a lot to make him angry enough to fight, so instead he just compulsively grins at dudes on the ice, even after he loses a fight. It is a spectacular smile. He was the first Black US Olympic hockey player (which, Hockey Is So Deeply Racist, jesus) but also the first player in the Olympic Games, an NCAA tournament, and the Stanley Cup playoffs in the same season. Did I mention he’s extremely hot? And 6’6″? He was an adorable kid. Picks up after himself even when he’s exhausted– You know how you like, walk away from the dirty plate and empty seltzer can and beer bottle on your coffee table, but then you like, stop and sigh deeply and turn back around to grab them? Like that. Definitely smells good, will have exceptionally good taste once he’s not 23 anymore. No one has good taste when they’re 23.

Look this is my list and I will get horned up about WHOMEVER I CHOOSE in whatever order I deem appropriate and accurate, thank you very much. Anze Kopitar is a big boy who has been playing with the Kings since I was in college. The fact that he looks perpetually exhausted is deeply arousing to me. He plays golf with Wayne Gretzky, which is probably very complimentary if you ignore Gretzky’s politics and most of the words that come out of his mouth. He probably tells great stories about his childhood that don’t involve hockey and leans in close to your ear in a crowd to make weird little wry jokes that you never see coming.

I need to note, now, that I did extensive research to write this. I put down the guys I knew I wanted to bone-down on first, then looked through all seven official NHL rosters with their accompanying headshots and added the most promising names to the list. Then I Google image searched the shit out of all 27 of them and narrowed down the list accordingly. The issue here, which I did not anticipate, is that the longer you stare at the kind of men who play hockey, the more of an upheaval you experience in the things you’re attracted to. My two braincells want to be extremely horny about hyper-masculine men right now and frankly I’m going to let them do their thing lest they revolt. Hockey has even deeply changed my very gay wife.

Mathieu Perreault is another Jet (Who knew Winnipeg could collect?) and a standout because he is one of the few hockey players who I wouldn’t describe as even approximating clean-cut. His hair alone is killer, but then there are the tattoos and the beard plus the big dark eyes and the great smile that turns smarmy in a hot way. It’s a very, very nice-looking package. Matthieu Perreault knows how you’re supposed to light someone else’s cigarette when you’re lighting your own. He’s the kind of guy you bring home and make use your mouthwash before you’ll have sex with him. Also, you maybe ask him to give his dick a cursory clean-up first. He makes sure it’s worth it.

Laurent Brossoit is another Jet ginger and the only goalie on this list. He’s got a killer jaw and beautiful eyes, often the facial hair of the bard-y dude in a puffy shirt in ‘period’ movies and a sweet-as-hell laugh. Laurent Brossoit color-codes his closet and donates the stuff he’s bored of to a place that isn’t the Salvation Army. He’s fastidiously clean, always smells good, and is middling-to-decent in bed. He has an online shopping problem, but in a like, charming way. He sends his mom a big expensive arrangement of flowers on her birthday and holidays. He has neither a ‘personal life’ or ‘legal troubles’ section on his Wiki, which is a sign of someone who knows better than to cause trouble and that is very sexy of him. I saw Laurent Brossoit shirtless earlier this month and I dropped my phone because I wasn’t prepared. He is not willing to try out your adventurous ideas in bed.

The Dallas Stars are, by force of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin alone, the most fuckable team in the NHL. Stephen Johns, Roman Polak, and Jamie Oleksiak (He’s 6’7″!! His nickname is BIG RIG!! He doesn’t have a boring black & grey tattoos!!) don’t hurt and five good-looking guys on an NHL team is, truly, A Lot. (Only the Golden Knights do better, but none of them are as hot as either Tyler Seguin or Jamie Benn.) As noted above, I have chosen to support the Dallas Stars solely for their fuckability and if they don’t like it, well. Go back and change thousands of years of misogyny and then come talk to me. You’ll survive a little good-natured objectification. Cry into your money about it.

Tyler Seguin is very hot. He has a nauseatingly good body and he seems allergic to shirts. He was in the ESPN body issue and there are so many (SO MANY) great gifs of him sitting on a Zamboni naked and eating a rocket pop. He seems extremely charming in a way that makes me want to punch him. He has the best looking laugh in the NHL and is also Brutally Cute. All evidence points to him either being an absolute dumbass, too dumb to adequately formulate a homophobic joke or trying desperately to come out via metaphor since the Bruins shunted him to Dallas. I want to destroy him sexually and emotionally. I’d like to see him cry. Tyler Seguin seems like he’d pick up at a bar and then be bad in bed, but he’s actually very considerate and takes direction well and isn’t exactly hopeless without it. His hair is very soft and he smells good in a non-cologne way. Can’t cook, doesn’t really pick up after himself, but knows your coffee order AND how you like it at home. He will not remember your birthday, but his sheets are almost always clean. He likes to play the dirtbag, but he’d definitely take care of your dogs for you while you were on a trip if he could.

There is nothing particularly special about Jamie Benn looks-wise. With a good haircut, decent facial hair grooming, and off the ice, he looks like the smarmy, work-obsessed big city boyfriend in a Hallmark Christmas movie. Jamie Benn has big time Fat In High School energy and people are mean about his body because he looks like an athlete instead of a model, which is still nothing like a regular human man. His nickname is Chubbs. He has never spoken a single clear, coherent, un-mumbled sentence in his entire life. Tyler Seguin is, probably, better looking objectively depending on how swayed you are by willingness to be publicly naked. Nevertheless, Jamie Benn makes my fucking dumb-ass brain stop working entirely from Horny Disease. Jamie Benn looks like a big, low-rent Gabriel Macht and yet when I see him I go into that idiotic daze that nerds in 80s movies get when they see a boob. On-ice, without a helmet, I absolutely lose my shit. If I saw him in real life, I’d probably embarrass myself by going absolutely fucking feral. This fight makes me feel fucking faint. (Shoutout to my big boy Joe Thornton as well. Credit where credit is due.) Jamie Benn’s neck makes me feel, I imagine, the way those grotesque 90s morning DJ men felt when they were knee-deep in some deranged fantasy about a Playboy Playmate. If you give him a blowjob, you have to look over at this fucking thing. He has classically bad hockey hair in this picture and 1. I find it endearing and 2. I gasp-screamed and had to look away from my laptop when it came up in a Google image search. Jamie Benn has never successfully made a woman come. I have never, ever wanted to have sex with a man more.

MITCH MARNER – My enemy, a Maple Leaf, but also the reason for this dumb fucking post. His jaw makes me furious and nothing motivates me like anger. He looks like he would have bullied me in middle school for being fat.

LEON DRAISAITL – Sometimes looks like a smarmy bully in an 80s movie who would happily give you an STD, sometimes looks a little bit like a Disney prince and apparently that’s a mix that I find very fuckable.

ANTHONY DUCLAIR – So, so, soooo handsome. Way too handsome for hockey. An unbelievable smile and great facial hair.

MATHEW BARZAL – Looks like Nico Tortorella got bodied face first. Every time I see him I call him a little rat-faced bitch. No, I don’t know why that does it for me.

KRIS LETANG – Looks like Milo Ventimiglia in a mug shot. He’s a Pen, so he’s a dweeb, but I’ve been attracted to worse things.

BRADEN HOLTBY – Absolutely looks like he’d murder you in a parking lot until he smiles. Very big, very good boy just trying his best.

EVANDER KANE – Killer smile, great hair, great facial hair, beautiful eyes.

JUUSE SAROS – Lost his helmet in a game Crystal and I had turned on for five minutes the other night and we both yelled, “Oh NOOOOOOO” in harmonic unison. It’s an Erik Von Detten in Brink! situation, so you either get it or you’re wrong.

JUJHAR KHAIRA – Quite easily the handsomest man in hockey, hands-down. Phenomenal facial hair, amazing bone structure, 6’4″ and seems very willing to throw a punch when it needs to be thrown.

SIDNEY CROSBY – Look, I do NOT want to talk about it; no, I will NOT be taking questions at this time, and if you can look at Sidney Crosby’s mouth and feel even a tiny inkling of self-restraint or one single pure thought, you are surely a better man than me.