January 19, 2023
LET ME IN THE DIRT
Well, guess what. I did set up that herb lamp. And then I read all about the herb lamp. And then I ran out of things to read about the herb lamp.
So then I thought, okay, now that I know what I can and CAN'T grow in the herb lamp... What do I do now. The herb lamp is handy for growing through winter, but Aerogarden pods aren't super cheap, and they're a lot of plastic waste... wouldn't it be cheaper to just plant the old-fashioned way?
So um. Now I'm subscribed to 5 gardening subreddits that I wasn't before. And I know a lot more about gardening than I did last month. And I bought a seedling starter kit and a grow lamp and some seeds. And a lot of dirt.
Colin says it kickstarted a benign gardening cancer in my brain. I think I've been waiting for this.
I always figured growing plants was kind of a lost cause in this house, since our windows don't let in a ton of light and Annabelle ate my whole god-damned sweat pea plant. It doesn't help that outdoor gardening has like 50 different considerations to mind-- full/part sun, hardiness zones, pests, fungus, pollination, first/last frost dates, all the Farmer's Almanac shit that makes my eyes glaze over. Not to mention the poor souls I've forgotten to water over the years, who struggle against neglect only to get trashed by accident when someone mistakes my desiccated buddy for a dead twig.
It's not that I have no experience with plants. It's that I couldn't find a way to get enraptured. UNTIL NOW.
The Aerogarden feels like a remedial home-ec class for plants. You really just... stick stuff in there, and it grows. It seems almost idiot-proof and it's ridiculously easy to troubleshoot. This feels like virtally the same amount of risk as caring for a flour sack baby. And nobody's even going to give me an F if my lettuce bolts.
Got basil, arugula, and parsley cooking right now. They don't look like much but they're growing p. fast!
The plan for OUTDOORS this year is to try growing bell peppers, poblanos, and cilantro from seed. Maybe some alliums and peas if all goes well. We also finally made a compost bin, so we can recycle the waste and make new nutrients for next year!
But here's my problem: I CAN'T PLANT ANYTHING YET. The recommended time to start seedlings indoors is mid-February.
I'm going crazy staring at these empty plots. That's why I'm writing this, to cope. 30 days... I don't know if I'm gonna make it, guys. Some gardeners are already starting to get a jump start on the season in case things get too hot too soon, and I might break and join them. (Thank you, global warming.) Just... not tonight. Imagine having to admit your garden started not only a month early, but also on a Thursday.
LISTENING TO: Some The Hives B-sides I dug up. Their teensy Timbaland collab is such a bizarre mashup it still makes me smile.
January 1, 2023
Thanks 2022, I'll take it from here
IT'S A NEW YEAR, BABY and I'm very proud to say I closed out the last one with huge experiential gains. That shit was NOT wasted.
Things that made 2022 particularly awesome:
⭑ TRAVEL!!! I went to Connecticut, Oregon, West Virginia, Michigan, Florida, and briefly Pennsylvania a couple times. That's more than I usually do in 5 years! It was fucking awesome and unfortunately I have no idea how to top it. This also meant a lot of quality time with quality people (and a few unpleasant ones, for texture!) so I feel... extra-loved.
⭑ GERMAN!!! Since starting Duolingo in September 2021, I'm currently at a 480-day streak. Language learning wasn't always my front-and-center interest-- but it's held strong as a daily habit, and when I'm into it, I'm REALLY into it. I love how German looks and sounds, and it's so rewarding to notice that stuff I struggled reading a year ago is now super simple!
⭑ I GOT MARRIED!!! That was more of a formality, but still. Our party was frickin' awesome. (I want a cotton candy machine at my funeral. Consider this my written statement on that.)
⭑ I experienced zero SADs this winter. I just smothered it in good sleep hygiene and Christmas stuff, haha. Did you know Trader Joe's sells little gingerbread men that hang off the side of your cocoa mug...
One thing I'm taking serious note of: Multiple times this year I would be having an amazing week, like... FULLY immersed in learning and music and creativity, feeling like I'm living the perfect life. That enthusiasm would lead me to finish a drawing, and I'd post it to open a conversation about what I'm excited about, like usual. But then it would flop (by my usual standards) which made me feel kinda silly about being excited. It's official: social media and I are not good collaborators at the moment.
In the process of turning those sour grapes into sexy, delicious wine, I stopped crossposting art to Twitter a few months ago and I've honestly felt a lot better? Not to be the guy who leaves social media and then won't stop talking about leaving social media, but gawd. That is NOT how artists were meant to live. Even the gossip is boring when there's 50 fights a day about the dumbest things imaginable. I liked Twitter for the fast-paced banter, but in order to do that I have to join all the people I love and respect in begging to be noticed, and I'm like... this suuuuucks. It's wild how fast indie art empowerment turned into a miserable job.
Detaching also made Twitter's 2022 misfortunes VERY FUNNY. They could blast the servers into space at this point and I think most people would be secretly relieved. RIP bird Facebook. (That's me manifesting for next year.)
Speaking of next year! New Year's resolutions are a recipe for disaster, but there's already a few options I can choose from to make 2023 worth the while.
⭑ I wanna work on art, obvs. Not necessarily posting, just working on it.
⭑ Less screen time.
⭑ Building Al and Fiend gallery pages!
⭑ Make a fucking zine.
⭑ Clear off the dining room table and use the herb lamp thing from Christmas.
⭑ More experimentation! I have so much unused equipment sitting around like bored girls at prom. Let's see who I dance with this year...
I'm going to go finish off the furry con posts soon and backdate them for 2022. Then... oh man, I'm going to get SO organized.
LISTENING TO: Peter Schilling, Nena and Falco! Deutsch versions, natürlich-- I'm currently sniffing out 80s German pop hits to fill out my writing mood playlist. I'm also enjoying Alphaville and Karat, and I'm working on finding Udo Jürgens's disco album. 1950s+ historians who focus on the UK and America have it so easy...
ListMy browser bookmarks are a black hole. Stuff I wanna check up on later:
Between Two Fires by Christopher buehlmann
Dissipatio H.G. (The Vanishing) by Guido Morselli