Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

June 3, 2012

Five Things That Never Fail to Make Twistie Happy

Filed under: Accessories,Books,Food,Hats,Media — Twistie @ 11:36 am

Every now and again it’s good to sit down and think about the good things in life. The following is a list of things that delight me consistently.

Lenny Henry’s comedy. It should come as no surprise that I’m a huge fan of the series Chef. After all, it’s a combination of spectacular food porn and blistering sarcasm, two things I love deeply. But this is not all he’s done that makes me happy. He also used to have a variety show, The Lenny Henry Show, which featured sketch comedy and his wickedly spot on impressions. Check out this clip of his Prince parody. Pity about the quality of the transfer, but it’s still funny.

Homemade birthday cake. Whether I’m baking it or eating one someone else baked, birthday cake is entirely happy for me. Then again, so are most homemade baked goods. Still, there’s something special about a birthday cake to me. I guess I’m just a sucker for a good celebration.

FBI Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds. Not only is Kirsten Vangsness a fabulously talented actor whose warmth leaps off the screen and directly into my heart, she’s also clearly multiple sizes larger than any other woman in the cast, but never the butt of jokes for it. She’s not merely competent, she’s exceptionally brilliant and talented. She has a sex life. She has good relationships with everyone on the team, but each one is unique. In short, other than the fact that her computer skills are sometimes (okay, most of the time) beyond the scope of mere mortal ability so that the story can be wrapped up within the hour, she’s a real, three-dimensional human being kind of a character.

On any other show, Kirsten would probably be relegated to the ‘funny fat friend’ gulag of constant diet gags and body shame. Three cheers for the writers of Criminal Minds who never, ever once have done that to her!

Independent bookstores. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem going to Barnes and Noble, and Amazon has gotten my money quite a few times, too, but when possible, I’d rather give my money to the little guy. The particular independent bookstore shown above, incidentally, is one of my favorites: Green Apple Bookstore in San Francisco. They carry both new, used, and collectible books. They even sell ebooks which will work on Android, iPad, any computer, iPhone, and Kindle Fire.

Fabulous hats. There are people who have known me literally for years who have never seen the top of my unadorned head. If I go outside my own door further than the mailbox, chances are I’m wearing a hat. I find that hats add a touch of whimsey to nearly any outfit. Whether I’m headed for the grocery store, a concert, dinner on the town, or a formal wedding, I’m going to be wearing a hat. Oh, and if you like the one you see in the illustration above, it’s the work of custom milliner Janet Sidewater. Her hats are blocked and sewn entirely by hand, and all feathers are gathered via the art of falconry. Yes, she does that herself, too.

So there are some things that make me happy. What about all of you? What floats your boat no matter what?


  1. Er, if anyone’s interested, I just got engaged. That makes me happy. *giggles*

    Also, I hate referring to women as “actors”. If you want to make something gender neutral, why always go for the male word? Why aren’t we referring to George Clooney as an “actress”?

    I too love Criminal Minds.

    Comment by Liz — June 3, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  2. @Liz: congratulations! Yes, that is a very happy thing :).

    Penguins. You cannot look at penguins and remain unhappy. Ok, at least I cannot.

    Strawberry shortcake. I’ve declared strawberry shortcake an honorary chocolate because it’s just that good. Homemade crumbly shortcake biscuits, lots and lots of dead ripe strawberries (macerated in rum and orange curacao optional), and real whipped cream. Mom’s Peach Blueberry Cobbler is a close runner up.

    Bill Cosby, Himself. I’ve long since lost count of how many times I’ve watched and rewatched that routine, and I still laugh. Sometimes to the point of tears. It’s sheer genius besides being ridiculously funny.

    Cheering at a baseball game. When someone (on our team) hits a home run or makes a spectacular catch and I’m on my feet clapping and making joyful noise, in that moment I’m happy. I just wish they were doing better this year so there would be more moments like that.

    Comment by TropicalChrome — June 4, 2012 @ 12:48 am

  3. PG Wodehouse, Wooster & Jeeves either in the books or in the Stephen Fry/ Hugh Laurie TV series. My mom is visiting while I recover from surgery and we’ve been doing a Wooster & Jeeves marathon. We laughed so hard we were coughing!

    Also, my mom. Nothing like your mom when you’re sick!

    Comment by barbara — June 4, 2012 @ 1:17 am

  4. I LOVE LENNY HENRY. The clip of Chef going bananas over a patron asking for salt is my all-time favorite. I feel like showing that clip to my friends who ask for buffalo sauce or ketchup or A1 when I’ve prepared a meal with a lot of time, effort and thought towards the flavors. IT ISN’T TO BE DOUSED….sorry, I get carried away, but it’s my biggest pet peeve.

    My cats make me happy. My boyfriend is deployed and we’ll still be long distance for awhile even when he gets back, so I adopted them last year and they are little furry gifts. Whether wrapped around my neck or acting like fuzzy terrorists at 3 AM, I adore them.

    Gin makes me happy. It’s a glorious spirit.

    Being half English makes me happy. Especially today. Congratulations to the Queen! See happy-maker #2 for what I toasted Her Majesty with this evening. :D

    Comment by teteatete — June 4, 2012 @ 1:47 am

  5. OOOH! Hats! My mother bought me a hat with a wide, upturned brim that was meant to be worn with a green satin, box pleat skirted dress that she made me when I was about 4 yars old, and I have been in love with hats ever since (along with the whole concept of accessories). She may have sewn the dress for me, which was nice, but the big fun was in the stuff she picked out to go with it–shoes, hat, purse (that had a little north/east/west/south detail on it, wish I still had it!) and gloves.

    And Lenny Henry is fantastic. Thank you for reminding me of Chef!

    Comment by ChaChaHeels — June 4, 2012 @ 7:44 am

  6. Polka dots, a cheerful bus driver, cheese curds packed in my lunch, Kate Spade sample sales, and a really fantastic canteloupe.

    Comment by Thinposter — June 4, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  7. Bernard and the Genie starring Lennie Henry and Alan Cumming is one of my favorite holiday tv specials. Also, Jeeves and Wooster is the best! and I always find new jokes every time I watch.

    Comment by mimi — June 4, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  8. You know what makes me happy? When I try to help a friend with her body image issues and she tells me that I’m an inspiration and that her therapist says that I’m good for her and when she says she wants to be just like me. That makes me feel DARNED good. And it just happened today so I’m sorta on cloud 9.

    Also, when I’m teaching a sweater-knitting class and the woman in class who’s never worn anything that wasn’t baggy realizes that she can wear a fitted sweater and look awesome (cuz I’m sneaky and load my classes with as much body-acceptance as I can manage).

    And shoes. Shoes make me delightedly happy.

    Comment by ZaftigWendy — June 5, 2012 @ 2:17 am

  9. Lenny Henry is also a marvelous writer. Very very funny.

    Re: independent bookstores. For years, I’ve maintained that Amazon was going to hurt B & N and Borders much more than independents. Independents are about a lot more than the books–they’re about place and leisure and experience (and books). When you just need a specific book, you can download the ebook. When you want a coffee and a chat and a chance to browse, the independent.

    Tea makes me happy. Fabulous haircuts. Unscheduled days. Moonlight. Gardens.

    Getting engaged! Congratulations Liz!!

    Comment by Lisa in SoCal — June 5, 2012 @ 9:27 am

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