September 9, 2021
being a citizen
A few years ago, I bought a soap from Lush called a Snow Apple. It's apple-shaped soap, ostensibly green inside, and covered in so much silver glitter that it's basically a mirror. I pulled it out of my dresser the other day and figured the glitter would all wash off the soap in one shower. But I was wrong. So wrong.
NOTHING was coming off. I was just washing my body with a straight-up centimeter of glitter. I don't know what they were thinking with this thing. I had to give up and use a different soap. And even then, I was COVERED in silver specks for the rest of the day, just glinting in every direction. I felt like an EBM festival dancer in the middle of the German restaurant last night.
So obviously I wish I'd bought 5.
In the spirit of web community, I've whipped up a classic 88x31 button for the site, as well as a square ad to throw at Neolink. (That is, in case the guy who operates Neolink logs in again.) Let's get this weasel all around the web. >:3c
Watching: Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil. “It’s like Gone with the Wind on mescaline. They’re all drunk and heavily armed. They walk invisible dogs here... New York is boring.”
August x, 2021
August x, 2021
September 5, 2021
WE FOUND THEM
(Fixed some errors in the last post's movie list, oops.)
Columbus has a "Gallery Hop" event every month in the summer, encouraging people to walk the arts district and patronize the local businesses. There aren't as many galleries as there used to be because the area is being slowly sold off to be converted into shitty apartment buildings and whatnot, but it's still a pretty cool place to visit. We haven't gotten to do this in a long time because Colin typically works weekends.
We heard there would be a furry meet at the same time, and Colin was excited to gawk and get pictures. So he insisted on showing up to their meeting spot WAY too early, and naturally we couldn't find anybody. We checked back later at the correct time, and all we found was a kid with a tail and his mom asking "do you see any furries yet?" (Aww. Love supportive parents.)
In the meantime, we checked out what was new in the galleries. Here's some shots from our favorite one.
We also stopped by the vintage/toy store, where I found a bunch of old MAD Magazine books! I picked out the two with the most illustrations. The cashier must have been young as hell because when I complimented the store's book finds, they told me "oh yeah, I had a teacher who worked on MadTV. They work with such cool people!" Different thing, but I getcha.
I mean, I did hold myself back from talking about Corky & the Juice Pigs. But I suspect they meant more prominent celebrities, haha.
We finally returned to our car around 6, tired and ready to go home, only to see on the horizon...
SOME BIG FLUFFY FURSUIT HEADS.
We called it a sunset-- a perfect end to the narrative arc of the day.
Colin asked to take a picture with them and they immediately agreed. But I think they thought he was one of their own, haha. Which in a way he is, because he finally made me break down and draw him a frickin' fursona last month.
(He took a quiz that told him he's a raccoon.) And he's cleaning up, because he's already got art from one of his friends and one of my friends.
Watching: Trucker Youtube. Guys sitting in their cabs lecturing me. I'm pretty wiped out mentally and need a distraction.
August 13, 2021
Accomplished: Kicked Artfight's ass-- well, compared to last year. 9:36 in 2021 certainly looks better than 5:51 in 2019. People are so generous to me that it makes me emotional (and gives me lots of options for my phone background). I tried to make a list of my top favorite art received, but that felt wrong, so just look at the coolest thing I got.
I had a slow start but really started to enjoy it in the second half of the month, and I'm surprisingly very happy with the pieces I did! I ended AF feeling energized about drawing, exactly as I'd hoped. Drew a lot of great characters, scored a lot of points.
And it's not about winning, at the end of the day. But if Steampunk doesn't win I'm going to yell.
ALSO I got new glasses for the first time since high school. They're cute dark-green frames and hopefully soon the fishbowl effect will wear off so I don't feel nauseous wearing them. It's not that I mind things being slightly blurry, but these will supposedly also help with eye strain, which I deal with a lot lately. Apparently it happens when your eyes drift apart a bit? But there are also corrective "classes" you can take. School for your eyes, sure. Sounds like part of a syllabus for a Goop camp.
In progress: Model cars! I want to build a tiny replica of Al's truck for drawing reference. For practice, I got a Deora model kit from Model Roundup. So far I'm still in the painting and sanding stage. It's tedious, but I like tedious. It's way better than hard. I'm a little anxious about the gluing stage and putting it off as long as possible.
Enjoying: People?!? Everyone seems extra friendly lately, don't know if it's my imagination. I'm taking up invitations to start voice chatting, I'm getting gifts in the mail, even regular old friends seem to be reaching out more. Is it the weather, somehow? Am I giving something off? Am I glowing?? Oh no, am I pregnant.
Reading: After finishing McSweeney's 62, I've been checking out more short fiction by Bridget Brewer. Their work is very easy to read form-wise, but requires your full attention. It's sparse and utilitarian and poetic-- some lines I don't understand on first read, but I always understand them on the second. It's unpretentious and weirdly gross. I'm disgusted, but also a fan.
Watching: Crime Scene Kitchen. I swear I watch a lot more dramas-- currently Halston, though it reeks of low-tier Ryan Murphy. But I really like a reality show concept where the contestants have to be both artists and have common sense. I have no idea what half the things they make are. Some of the best moments are when some contestants have no idea, either.
WatchED: We've been seeing a ton of movies, mostly at the Gateway because the Gateway was closed all last year and we love to support the Gateway.
A QUIET PLACE PART 2: ⭑⭑⭑⭑ Soooo fun, feels like we got our money's worth. Not sure how long they can keep up the "this family is so cute and special and plot-untouchable" thing though, especially when they introduce so many other characters who can't make it 5 minutes. The seams are showing in the shoehorned-in tension, too.
THE CARNIVORES: ⭑⭑⭑ Lesbians, jealousy, meat. Not overly obvious. I think I might get it?
HOW AMERICA KILLED MY MOTHER: ⭑⭑⭑ Already wrote about this "investigative documentary". Funny and sweet but kinda aimless considering the concept.
PIG: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ Direct, simple, craftful story. Made both of us cry a little bit.
OLD: ⭑⭑ Badly-structured, badly-written, a miserable slog. I don't regret seeing it one bit. Based on a comic called Sandcastle, which I read afterward and realized M. Night let its commentary on the shortness of life fall too far to the side. I was expecting fucked-up and he gave me fucked-up, but I hated waiting for the film to pick off characters in such an insultingly formulaic way so it could hurry up and get to the "twist". I'm fascinated by how unpleasant this was. Also by the theme of every character announcing their profession. I can't tell if that's an artsy acknowledgement of how our jobs define us, or just deeply cynical scripting.
MANDIBLES: ⭑⭑⭑⭑ Sort of a desert road trip movie! This was absolutely endearing, a couple French scumbag dumbasses getting into trouble. Like a gentle Always Sunny episode, but surreal on account of the giant pet housefly.
THE GREEN KNIGHT: ⭑⭑⭑⭑ Not much to say, that was just awesome. A reluctant journey of vignettes told with rich, beautiful hand-crafted imagery. Colin says the original story mostly only covered the hunter's house, so that's cool. Technically a Christmas movie.
SUICIDE SQUAD: ⭑⭑⭑⭑ SOOO FUN. I liked Idris Elba getting flustered, John Cena being 'murican, Harley Quinn being used judiciously... Finally, a superhero movie where it even kinda matters who's there. I went in expecting something like a Deadpool movie, and while it wasn't that level of funny, it did feel good-humored and like the stakes were real and not like we were following a bunch of spandex cops who could turn back time whenever. Big fan of how the Starro problem got solved. Hideous.
July 17, 2021
Not even slightly roughing it
This week we were lucky enough to be invited to Copper Harbor, Michigan! Colin's brother Sam works at this colorful small-town campground and was happy to show us around. I hear it's a very artsy and left-leaning slice of the U.P., and it shows in all the colorful well-kept cabins, gorgeous hand-painted signs, and cheerful people.
Traveling with Colin's family is always interesting. They're way more outgoing than mine and seem to make fast friends everywhere they go. HOWEVER, Colin is easily the most responsible person in his immediate family. His mom is basically a teenager in a 50-year-old's body, so with her plans tend to be a bit scatterbrained. When we met her for our connecting flight (which she did not inform us would be happening), we boarded a small plane via a tiny bridge several feet in the air, and when it was my turn, she thought it would be hilarious to grab my shoulders and start screaming my name.
Lucky for her, my "fuck off"s come faster than my right hook does. (Not that I have a right hook.) But yeah, that kinda set the tone for what we could depend on her for for the rest of the trip. Though Colin is exceedingly good at taking on the brunt of it. I may owe her for his impish, self-directed sense of humor.
One thing he couldn't mitigate was her telling Sam to pick us up an hour later than we arrived at the airport, but we didn't die of hunger waiting. ALMOST, but didn't.
When we first arrived at camp and got signed in, I hung out outside and enjoyed the scenery. Next to where we parked, one of the other camp employees had a whole-ass spider web on his mirror. Talk about a relaxed atmosphere.
There was also this giant chair. I still don't know why. I think this photo in particular is what made my dad text back "It looks like you're in the Twilight Zone".
I gotta give it to 'em, that was some good breathin'.
Then we checked out some cute shops along the street! There was a very well-stocked general store that had grocery options ten times better than my college did, which I found galling considering how much I paid in tuition. Apparently they pick what to stock by taking requests, which is a policy that seems to be working out beautifully. They had red pears! I don't even know if those are better than regular pears. And there was a jar of the biggest pickles I've ever seen.
The shop with dinosaurs out front had A POSTER OF A MARK TEXIERA PAINTING OF SABRETOOTH ON SALE... A bizarre thing to find on a campground but I WAS HONESTLY FUCKING TEMPTED because I love Texiera's take, except where would I put that. The other thing I was tempted by was what appeared to be an old ID pin for a copper miner, black and white photo and big black type. Kinda kicking myself for not picking that up, but again. What would I do with that. It was just beautiful.
Got complimented on my military-inspired olive drab romper, which I bought at Target. The ol' Target romper always impresses.
There was another shop with more touristy stuff, like stickers and shirts and local art. Some biologically-upsetting fairy/mushroom hybrid sculptures. Lots of flannel. AND FISH CARVINGS!!! FOR YOUR CEILING, OR SOMETHING! Colin got a solid copper die and a pin of a loon-- the edgy sparkledog of the northern American avian world.
We also checked out the candy store! You could tell there was a lot of love and antiquery put into the whole place. Outdoor seating with markers and coloring books, the prettiest flower beds on the whole road, and it was so dark inside it felt like a subterranean zoo exhibit about moles. Good way to save on lightbulbs, or to avoid having to dust. And all they sold was penny candy. I'd love to see their monthly expenses laid out.
I got a box of D+P Rock Candy Crystals, which isn't inherently exciting except I hadn't seen them since I was like 10... the box art that makes it look like road salt hadn't even been updated! Colin got a box of Botan candy, which he could get at home for cheaper, but it's his favorite and he wanted to let his mom try. The lady checking us out said "this is new from Japan!" and he was happy to fill her in on the details.
It was then that I noticed that behind her was just... a wall of portraits of George Washington. Sailing the Delaware, sitting and signing stuff, even a bust. There were a few Lincolns thrown in there, too. That's the fun part of owning a shop with broad appeal, I think-- shoving your own tertiary interests as a theme. Now I'm all gateway drug'd to the founding fathers.
When we sat outside, I noticed a bee flying between the window and the flower bed carrying pieces of mulch. Nesting bee?? Cutest thing I've ever seen.
We're not big outdoor sports people, so we kinda ignored the lake and hung out in the room for a bit. Colin put on Dr. Phil AGAIN. I think I made a monster in West Virginia. It was his favorite thing to put on the TV for the rest of the trip. I could feel my soul leaving my body with each stupid staged family drama.
As it got darker, we wandered around and heard about a statue of Mary that currently had bloody hands. Now, in my reformed Catholic opinion, it's not stigmata. She's just a messy raspberry eater.
Felt sweaty and disheveled, but cute.
The next morning, a gal named Emily took us to the beach and showed us that you can just dig into the beach with your hands and find all sorts of colorful stones. Her family bought the local rock shop a few years ago, so she was mainly hunting for agates to sell. Colin's mom found one a bit bigger than my thumbnail, which allegedly goes for like $10.
I don't really get the point of precious stones-- I can find other paperweights with more emotional resonance-- so I just made a pile of whatever I found that looked interesting and left it for the tide to wash away. Check out how clear the water is, though! I can't remember the last time I saw a lake I could see the bottom of.
At one point Sam pulled me aside and said "I gotta say, I love your style. The sunglasses you were wearing yesterday..." and I told him "I'm wearing them on the top of my head right now." Fair! They're good glasses! I got them on Dollskill (he called them "guitar pick" shape)-- I like that they're generally utilitarian with a delicate feminine twist.
Anyway, my favorite rocks I found were the green ones. Nobody could tell me if those were anything special, though. Copper Harbor specializes in absurd chunks of blue-green COPPER, thankyouverymuch.
Sam drove us up the mountain to a little bakery shop called the Jampot where the guys were all dressed like monastic monks. They sell jams and little cakes soaked with booze, but what everyone kept walking in for was THIMBLEBERRY JAM.
Which they were completely out of. Apparently the harvest is gonna be shit this year. We had gotten a little taste of thimbleberry frosting on some donuts earlier, and I mean. It was nice! Berry-like! But it got comical sitting outside the shop and watching herds of tourists come out complaining that there was no point in being there unless there were thimbleberries.
Sam said "I know where we can go tomorrow to pick some right off the bush", but alas, as much as I love a harmless fruit misadventure, we flew out in the morning. But yeah, wow. Good as gold up there, apparently.
Colin and I went walking around a bit, just checking out the trails. Found some horses, plenty of locusts and whatnot, a mountain-scaling boardwalk trail called THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN that we smartly decided not to finish once things got too steep (BUT THAT APPARENTLY PEOPLE GO UP ON THEIR BIKES... NO), and a little bookshop hidden in the fields called Grandpa's Barn.
I picked up a gently-silly essay book about Yooper life (anecdotal Czar research) and a booklet about identifying Great Lakes earthworms (NONE of which are actually native to the Great Lakes) and realized I forgot my wallet, so Colin bought them for me.
Back at the cabin, the Dr. Phil marathon finally fucking ended, so I persuaded Colin to put on Murder She Wrote. Detox and healing ahead.
At dinner we got to meet up with RAYMOND AND ROSALIE, two of our favorite people in the world! They're Colin's great aunt and uncle.
Raymond is a retired military pilot so they've been alllll over the world. I've been to their house twice-- it's a fortune of artifacts and souvenirs, art and maps and rugs. They're both in their 80s, so it's also very sincere and old-peopley. Raymond is one of those guys who commands respect without having to, with a tall stature and a deep voice you only hear when he truly has something to say. (And to your relief, it's usually something smart and charming.) Rosalie is as pear-shaped as it gets and moves heartbreakingly slow, but she's honestly a sharper version of my own grandma. I have a natural affinity toward her and I catch myself giving her my undivided attention when she speaks.
Rosalie brought us all absurdly huge cinnamon rolls. I'm talking the size of a dinosaur egg. That's the size of my head. My entire brain, tongue, and eyeballs could fit in this thing and still have room left over to breathe. Just one of these would work as a modest birthday cake. Possibly only-as, because we're kinda anxious about ours going stale before we can finish it.
Apparently whatever bakery she went to let her order "a dozen" and did not think to clarify that she'd need 3 large shopping bags to take them all home in. I'm currently tucking into a slice of ours as I type this. Pretty good. I was worried it'd be all show and no flavor at the bottom, but the cinnamon is fairly evenly-distributed.
Rosalie always has fun "well-traveled housewife" stories. At dinner later, she told us about going to a schmancy restaurant where the food was criminally underseasoned-- so she asked for salt, got a reportedly disgusted look from the waiter, and was presented with a salt shaker the size of a thimble. Later when the check came, she was charged $0.35 for seasoning. "I took it out of his tip," she quipped.
My theory on this is that the head chef was still of the antiquated "taste the quality of the ingredients, not the spices" school and wanted to discourage anyone from interfering with his vision. I figure that, as the server, you gotta either suffer in silence or join the cult for a bit.
The meal was amazing, I had flank steak and rice and everyone kept coming up and talking about how cool Sam is. Later we hung out in his cabin and bitched a bit while he and his friends vaped. It was really nice feeling like everybody genuinely knew and liked each other up there.
Getting off the flight home, a girl told me I look "so cool". I wasn't wearing anything special. But in retrospect, I think I should have given her my hair secrets. I just said "That's an incredibly nice thing to say to a stranger", which I'm worried made me sound like I was congratulating a kindergartener.
A+++ good reset, met a lot of people and dogs, saw a lot of nature and cute buildings, heart is full, would do again. Maybe with planning, even.
July 3, 2021
Feeling good about this month! It's my birthday month, more little trips are ahead, and a client from work was so thankful for my mediocre graphic design skills that he sent me a $100 Amazon gift card that I probably won't use up for years because I'm too cool to shop at Amazon.
We bought a bag of farm-grade duck food and have been going to the lakes to feed the wildlife (shh!) on occasion. We went to the college lake yesterday and the ducks were sleeping and ignored us. But we did hang out a bit to watch a sparrow fledgling hopping around and exchanging tweets with its parents. Teenage birds and their frog mouths... I love how baby birds are so much uglier than the adults. So few species have that luxury. Luckily, humans do.
I'm on day 8437456375 of feeling discouraged about my art. But here's the weird thing: if I look at anyone else's art and pretend I made it, I'm not satisfied with it either. So clearly I'm just nuts and need to work on enjoying the process more. No prob.
Artfight could be good for that, but I can't decide if I want to experiment a LOT or not at all! I feel like a lot of my experiments become embarrassing failures. When all else fails, I'll settle for trying to be funny. It's always nice to feel like somebody understands a character enough to joke about them.
Last night was kinda fun. We checked out a screening of a 40-minute documentary called HOW AMERICA KILLED MY MOTHER-- basically, a comedian uncovers his mom's debts when she dies, and he goes around asking low-level customer service employees how she was allowed to get predatory credit cards and overdraft fees. It was funny and heartbreaking, but not exactly empowering and it didn't offer any solutions. The Q&A afterward wasn't too enlightening, mostly just everyone commiserating about how everything sucks and how they have no idea what to do about things that should be illegal, but make too much money to be allowed to become such.
There was a candidate from the last local election as part of the panel, though, and she was sharp as hell. A Warrenite in both allegiance and energy, which isn't always bad! She talked a mile a minute and knew her shit. I felt like I was in good hands with her, even though Colin said she got less than 30% of the vote.
It was a local indie theater and a lot of the audience was crew, friends and family. We unfortunately sat right next to a couple of gals who... okay, one of them seemed to think she was in her living room. Or had some kind of cluster B thing going on. I'm talking answering the screen, laughing the loudest, sniffling (SNIFFLING), laughing the loudest again 2 seconds later, and when the guy in the film said "I hope mom would be proud of me" she answered "she IS!"... I was thinking she's exactly who I'd want at a standup performance, haha.
Anyway, I hope Colin doesn't hate me too much for suggesting it. It was just another adventure! And a glimpse into the local art scene. And I'm just now realizing I think I left my M&Ms in the car. I hope they aren't melted.
June 25, 2021
West Virginia, "Almost Heaven"
Welp, this blog is shaping up to be where I dump my mini-vacation photos. This time, we went out cos Colin got excited finding out about all these neat little historical sites concentrated in that weird little gerrymander skin tag at the top of West Virginia. Moundsville is just a couple hours away from where we live, so a 2-day car trip was well within our schedule.
THE MOUND ⭑⭑⭑⭑
The Grave Creek Mound is a big ol' burial mound. If I understood the placards inside correctly, the Adena people would stack new bodies on top of each other in little chambers, plus offerings and/or the person's personal effects. This struck me as an oddly beautiful way to bury people. It feels like a timeline, a monument, and a ladder to the sky all in one. And I imagine the eco-friendly materials, decay, and forces of wind and rainfall keep it at a manageable height and low carbon footprint. I wouldn't mind at all if modern society transitioned back to the burial mound style.
The mound, pictured with an ant hill we found on the sidewalk nearby.
Apparently you USED to be able to go inside the mound, but we only had the privilege of walking up it. Pretty cool, though! We were alone, so it felt like a nice tranquil hill to hang out and read or study on. It also offered a great view of the surrounding town, including the penitentary, which we had tickets to see later that day.
The spiral path to get up here was just big, wear-sloped stone steps and no railings. I kept wondering how much it would hurt to roll down the side of the hill on a dare. (Thankfully I was wearing a nice white shirt that day, so I wasn't dealing with too much temptation.)
As soon as we walked inside the main building, we were greeted by the sweetest caricature of an old lady docent, Nancy, who shoved a bunch of brochures in our hands (including a way-too-fancy 50-page booklet about southern WV, which we were nowhere near) and eagerly and enthusiastically showed us around the exhibits.
The Marx toy company museum had closed down a few years prior (breaking Colin's heart) but there was a bit of the collection on display there. Mainly tin and plastic toys from the 60s and 70s. I was weirded out by having very tactile memories of the trees that came with some of the playsets-- probably from the toy bins my grandmas had used to keep me entertained as a kid.
There was also a display for Marble King and a glassware manufactuerer, plus a ceramic plate company. All proud exports of West Virginia, unlike Charles Manson. I also got a shot of Colin in a replica canoe, but that's none of your business.
Early human settlements were always my favorite part of history class, primarily because of the DIORAMAS... I should have taken more pictures of the ones at the mound, but I was too fully-entranced by the miniature cross-sections of structures and the li'l figurines slinging counterweighted spears at deer.
We were pretty surprised by how much effort was put into this little tourist spot. We learned a lot! They even had a few garden plots for native plants that would have been around when the Adena were getting into agriculture. One way I would have improved it would be to show what all the plants looked like at the early stages of domestication, like how corn used to be smaller and fruit used to have more seeds. I kept remarking to Colin that I bet the sunflowers they farmed used to have much less yield, compared to the classic farm sunflowers that get so tall and bloated that they fall over halfway through the summer.
On our way out, I was tempted by the crafts table, but also tired cos I'd gotten up at 6AM by mistake. The gift shop had a surprisingly good variety of kitsch and candy. I bought a mug! Love a good mug.
We got some nice, tangy pulled pork sandwiches in town, and walked along a street with local shops. The town was a little dead, mostly salons and shabby farm chic/antique stores. I've told everyone who'll listen about the one that had a whole rack of baby clothes that were dyed brown and intended to be hung on a line like dirty laundry. Pinterest gone disgusting, perhaps. I think if you're genuinely a farmer you shouldn't have to affect the look of having a filthy child, but you do you.
Then we went back to our motel room to watch Dr. Phil coerce a young woman to flick a holo-rainbow knife and claim that she has intrusive thoughs about killing her parents. Colin remarked that he thought he remembered this show being more realistic, but this episode felt about par. Daytime TV has always painted a ghoulish nonsense view of the world.
THE PENITENTARY ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ (FAVE)
The West Virginia Penitentary housed prisoners for more than 100 years before being closed in the '90s for cruel and unusual punishment. Apparently it had overcrowding, various pest control issues that culminated in maggots raining down on inmates while they ate, and it had no heating or air conditioning. Temperatures inside reached 140F, so the inmates would break the windows to circulate air-- and the maintenance guys got so tired of replacing them that they resolved to only do it once in the spring, and then left them broken in the winter so that inmates were covered in snow.
There was also supposedly a torture dungeon, presumably walled off in the 1800s and never found due to the lack of architectural records. Tons of completely evil stuff went down in this building, including an outdoor cellar that guards refused to go into because inmates did the worst things to each other in there.
Uhhhhh, beautiful building, though!
The mini-museum at the front elicited some seriously mixed feelings. The wall of executed men (after the prison started keeping records in the early 1900s, that is) is haunting and sad. You have to wonder how many of these men actually deserved it. I'm always struck by how beautiful mugshot photography was back then, too. The crisp lines of their irregular ears, the near-perfect black-and-white contrast. They look like different animals than what I'm used to, except their eyes. Their eyes look defiant and tired.
A lot of them were also quite handsome, with cool haircuts. Notably, two men executed on the same day wore the same polka-dotted tie. Were these suits on loan from the prison? I did not think to ask.
There were displays of souvenirs from the film Fools' Parade; a death cast of a doctor that worked there, as well as his also-doctor son (??); newspaper stories about a particularly brutal riot that lasted over 2 days and involved the torture-murders of unpopular inmates; a letter from Charles Manson asking to be transferred from a California prison to his hometown (he was denied); and crafts and makeshift weapons made by inmates (they were apparently entrusted with real silverware).
Unfortunately I was so busy listening to our tour guide, Becky, that I didn't think to take a lot of photos inside the prison. Even though she encouraged us to try to catch ghosts on film. I don't think either of us believe in ghosts, but both Colin and I got excited hearing about the nighttime supernatural tours. Maybe we'll bring friends or family back sometime?? They also do a somewhat legendary haunted house in the fall. Colin thinks that "cheapens" it, haha.
Becky had a lot of great stories, both about the ghosts (hearing cell doors slam while working alone in the morning; a coworker seeing a dark figure at the end of the hall; a guest seeing "demon eyes" in the rafters and it turning out to be a racooon) and about growing up around here (she even briefly dated the son of a notorious prisoner, until he had her followed and intimidated into not spending time outdoors). And she seemed to legit care about the place!
The only other group on the tour with us was a spry older woman, her 9-year-old grandson, and her boyfriend. They were all familiar with the area and the boyfriend had even come to the prison to play baseball against the inmates in the 70s! He said they would call you by saying "hey, Outside" and ask if you brought any tobacco products to trade. Apparently prison plug sucked, haha.
Another fun thing was that the prison was entirely self-sufficient, including jobs in the garden, kitchen, crafts for fundraising, and THE PRISON'S OWN PRIVATE COAL MINE...? If you're looking for extracurriculars to impress Yale, this was the place to be.
Apparently the guys who worked on making the state's license plates used to pee in the white paint. Good for them.
There was also a surprising amount of classy prisoner art on the walls. The contact visitation room had a bunch of charming murals and cartoon characters, to make the kids feel at home. There were a lot of eye-height paintings of waterfalls and trees and forest animals, almost like framed art. And there was one guy who was REALLY into Guns N' Roses and had covered his cell in lyrics. He, uh... also had a triangular glory hole cut into the next cell. Ow?
We got to look all over the bottom level of the prison. Upstairs, sadly, was water-damaged down to the floorboards and cost more to restore than the penitentary could afford. Overall, I'd say the high security end of the building was my "favorite". I know it was hell on the dudes in there (23 hours in a cell, and strip searches to do anything else) and you were surrounded by what Becky called "the worst of the worst"... but it was also oddly cozy, with the chain-link ceilings and razor-wired section of playground. I dunno, sometimes prison seems fun. For a week.
The warden's chamber door was a rotating cage that was operated from inside, which was an EXTREMELY cool security measure, and apparently only the second of its kind! I literally can't imagine why that style of door isn't more popular. I'd want one for my room...
They even offer to lock you up, but I didn't wanna take the chance, haha. One of the cells opened a little slower than the others, anyway. And I don't see any ghosts in the pictures I took, do you? But this place has plenty of revisit value, so I imagine we'll be back here again sometime.
We went back to the room and found out that John McAfee died! Likely right before our tour. Bummer. I saw someone brilliantly remark that he had a "triangle brain", which will be missed.
The next morning, we got up early and watched C-Span. US politics were exhausting, as usual. Representatives pounded out stupid partisan talking points that have nothing to do with getting anything done, and people called in to ask stupid partisan questions like "what are you going to do about Biden?"
Then we went to a Huddle House, which is basically just Waffle House but not. I'm not huge on breakfast food, but I do love me some fat, moist restaurant pancakes with butter and bacon. The milk had a weird aftertaste that made me wonder if they'd left cleaning products in the dispenser, but I figure cleaning products only smell like fruit, not taste like them. In either case, I lived.
Throughout the trip, we were talked to, waited on, and served by almost exclusively women. I wouldn't have noticed except so many of them made an impression on me as giving off a very sincere small-town kindness. It felt like they actually saw us as individuals. Colin says that's something he wants to eventually leave the city for, but it seems exhausting. I get the appeal of knowing your neighbors, but one of the nicest things about cities is how easily you can become invisible on an off day. Not to mention the complete lack of alt- or queer-presenting people in Moundsville. And where were all the guys? Off at the lumberyard or something?? Anyway.
On a winding, scenic, enviously-populated road up the mountain, we finally made it to...
THE PALACE OF GOLD ⭑⭑⭑ (JUST OKAY, TO ME)
New Vrindaban is a settlement based on the teachings of a Hari Krishna teacher who wanted to bring his take on god and the cool stuff about (old) Vrindaban to the west. Apparently one of the things he liked most about growing up in India was being a cowherd, so one of the 5 stated goals of NV was "Cow Protection". Sounds like my kinda guy.
Now, in the parking lot I realized I'd lost my favorite face mask somewhere around Huddle House. And it wasn't necessarily replaceable. We even went back and searched the car, and I figured it was gone forever. So admittedly, I walked in there while trying to fight off some low spirits.
First, we rushed to the temple, which closed in a few hours. And it was just lovely! Taking a cue from the experienced Krishna kids in front of us, we took off our shoes and walked in to check out the different... displays? Shrines, I think? They all had figures or life casts of gods or historical leaders, covered in color and flowers and peacock feathers and offering plates. Most of them had helpful placards filling us in on the significance of the figures.
We were especially taken with the tapestry art:
Apparently the first one is about how Krishna had every cow as a pet, knew all their names, and could summon them with individual flute notes. Again, awesome. I can totally relate.
The other one was about lifting a mountain to protect from a storm, and the local people coming to help hold it up, thereby proving how inspiring this dude was. Also, there was a 7-trunked elephant.
We did peek in the gift shop, but for the most part we had no idea what we were looking at. Overall I was left thinking, "I need to read more Krishna stories". Though if you know what to do with ghee, I bet a jar of Krishna ghee is just lovely.
Y'know what has no cultural barrier, though. Free-roaming animals. We could hear peacock calls all throughout our visit! In the rose garden (which was absolutely amazing and fragrant, by the way) a gardener told us to watch for an albino peacock who likes hanging out by the road.
There he is. Why did he do that? Is he trying to get himself seen, hurt, or just catch a ride?
We also got to see some COOOOOWWS! They were so god damn pretty!
We found some in a shady spot with a window for petting. Colin said "I don't imagine you want to go in the barn" but joke's on him, cos I actually like the smell of farm animal shit. Inside was a row of milking stations with the girls' names on them, ahhh... SO CUTE...
The plaque outside read weird to me, though. You're telling me this guy didn't hang out with this cow once in more than 5 years? Rude.
There was some construction going on, not sure on exactly what but it seemed to be done by outside contractors. We headed down the peacock path and saw some peahens and blue guys. Nobody spread tail for us, though. I guess we weren't hot enough. There was also a boathouse with a swan boat. What does it take to get on the swan boat??
Wish we knew who these ladies by the peahouse were!
Back at the penitentary, Becky and the lady tourist both talked about how growing up, there was a cruel rumor that the members would try to recruit you and stop you from leaving. Obviously the devotees didn't actually give a shit and were happy to wave hello and go on their merry way.
We got a tour of the Swami's house, which the guide said was built by devotees who had little to no construction experience and learned from books at the library. The whole place was very solid and beautiful, with stained glass, crystal chandeliers, and lots of intricately-carved imported teakwood furniture. Very 60s-70s, brimming with that characteristic balance of quality workmanship and sentimental laminated kitsch. It was both unnerving and deeply familiar and comfortable.
Colin bought a homemade candle that smells faintly of some kind of incense, which came with a DVD I'm looking forward to checking out. He's already started burning it! The candle, not the DVD.
The only reason I rate Vrindaban third place out of all the things we saw is just that it wasn't sufficiently educational for me. It's still an absolutely gorgeous and welcoming place, and I'm very happy for the people who've made a home there, but I felt like there was some sugarcoating going on. Which makes sense, since it's the only stop we went to where the proper owners were still around to tell the story. We were in their house, not a museum!
Afterward, we rushed down the mountain back to Huddle House to look for my mask. I assumed it was a lost cause, but as soon as we asked, OUR WAITRESS PRODUCED IT. I was so happy I tipped her a few bucks. She said thank you but looked a little pained, but maybe that was just her face.
Then we drove home and caught Werewolves Within at the Gateway. We liked it a lot! Not to spoil anything, I'll just say it's full of delightfully dislikable characters.
TOTAL THINGS CONSUMED:
McDonald's hotcakes (with milk)
Chocolate peanut butter pretzel rods by a local chocolatier (I assume) (with milk)
Pulled pork and chips (with Gatorade)
Peach rings (3 total; the rest went inside Colin)
Huddle House pancakes and bacon (with milk (unfortunately))
A lot of Vrindaban water cooler water
Gas station apple juice
Half a pizza from a place called Nana's Pizza & Pie, which we went to because it was called Nana's Pizza & Pie. (With water.)
June 2, 2021
My favorite type of person II
I'm realizing that it's probably better to put into words what you appreciate about someone while they're still alive (or while you're still talking to them.) You know who else I'm glad I met? Colin.
I've known Colin for more than a decade at this point, so it's impossible to cover everything. But I'll give you the highlights.
I met Colin on Deviantart, about 4 years after meeting Sean. Colin wasn't an "artist" in the conventional sense, but he talked to artists I vibed with, and he seemed thoughtful, and also jocular and irreverent. I earmarked him as someone to get to know.
He didn't have a persona to hide behind-- I think his username was his initials, actually. Being a non-artist among artists, he distinguished himself as less histrionic, less self-centered, and less wrapped up in status games than the rest of us. He was just here to talk, because, as he tells it, he just assumes everyone is his friend.
This is a lovely quality, obviously. But it's a little grating when he's not picking up on signals that you're used to hyper-sensitive types taking as a threat of judgment. Colin is great at projecting confidence, but a lot of his humor hinges on playful antagonism. Which is fun enough, but he wasn't like Sean. He didn't get that you were supposed to "lose" sometimes.
Eventually, Sean and I admitted... Dude, you're kinda annoying. But remarkably, he took this very constructively. The way he approached me instantly turned more sensitive. He made lists throughout the day of questions he wanted to ask me after school. He paid attention to my interests and offered to write me letters with pictures of local ducks attached, and he burned me CDs of his favorite music. (Trampled By Turtles, The Kinks, The Pine Box Boys, Man Man, Cat Empire, The Mountain Goats. He was very into bluegrass and jump-blues singers like Roy Brown and Wynonie Harris.) In iTunes, I named the discs "From Colin, Ostensibly With Love".
But I was most impressed by the first thing, that he listened to criticism at all. That earned my trust and confidence in the most sincere way that a teenage boy possibly could.
Listening and responsiveness is a huge theme with Colin. He's not perfect at it-- only a doormat would be-- but he's always been open to new and difficult information. He takes pride in being dependable, as he was taught a man should be. The guy was was simply raised right. Well, in base values. There were some views toward women and the use of "gamer words" that I had to get in there and fix myself.
He's adapted to a lot of my weirdness over the years in a way that I experience as indistinguishable from unconditional love. He figured out how to cope with (and even appreciate) my aversion to romantic affection. He lets me do the decorating, but still seems eager to talk with me about homemaking. He remembers my restaurant orders and favorite treats. He keeps things cool and sweet when I want to fight someone, but commiserates with me in private. He knows things about me that he won't ever admit to because he knows they'd embarrass me. He's patient and forgiving with me even though I've been an utter flaming bitch.
Like... I don't know where I'd be without this dude. I mean, I can guess, but it's not great.
And despite this, he still has a strong personality. Colin is silly and opinionated and insightful and surprisingly stubborn. He's loud about his love for Zsa Zsa ("it's a good thing she'll never die, or I'd kill myself") and, lately, how frustrated he is about world politics. Colin makes fun of himself with power and triumph, like he's making fun of you for caring about how you're perceived. Colin loves to strike up conversations with strangers, especially older people. He has stories I've heard him tell a hundred times about growing up around racehorses, or his mother's brief career with Disney parks, or the weird facts he's learned studying history. Colin is a natural teacher, getting up from his computer several times a day to say "I learned something:" and describing the story he just read in charismatic detail. Colin is deeply, shockingly dependable. When Colin says he wants to do something, it's going to happen. (He has sleep problems partially because his mind won't stop calculating and planning. His head is about 20% grey hairs.) Colin researches everything before he does it, and uses this knowledge for Pokemon EVs, trading games, survival gadgets, fantasizing about solar power, and seeing how much our home is worth. Colin's vigilance is why we're debt-free.
In return, I try to provide materially. The emotional aspect is harder to grasp, especially since he tends to put his needs under mine. But I've figured out certain displays of affection (shouting "He's home!" when he comes in the door) make him feel appreciated more than I realize at first. He notices when I stop doing them, so...
And Colin's friends! It's no wonder he's so amiable. I never realized they actually made friend groups like this outside of TV shows. People who've known each other since high school, talented and active, deeply nerdy but fairly attractive, co-ed and not (always) trying to fuck each other... And when they met me for the first time? When I opened my mouth, they stopped talking and looked at me like they expected me to say something interesting. It wasn't just to be polite. It was because they were actually interested. That was when I was like, holy shit, I'm entering a whole new phase of life, here. I have to start thinking of interesting things to say!
Colin also listens attentively. Being around Colin taught me that it's okay to ramble and not have my thoughts together, because he'll wait for me to finish anyway. I know I've taught him things, too. On the rare occasions that we've discussed our worth to each other, the thing that stuck out in my mind is that he doesn't think he could find someone else who challenges him like I do. Which I take as a gigantic fucking compliment. Especially considering I have trouble reading 3 paragraphs in one sitting without getting twitchy.
But yeah, really lucky to have this guy. He's exceedingly good to me, and FOR me, and I honestly just kinda stumbled into him. I wish more people had a Colin to lean on. He's a gem, and I need to make sure he knows it.
May 31, 2021
My favorite type of person
I was just in the shower thinking about how on the old web, it was like a secret club. Like homemade zines, it was fairly cheap to participate, but you had to know some arcane knowledge that not everyone was motivated to learn. This lack of accessibility meant that a lot of highly driven, creative, weird-as-fuck people learned how to Be Online first. Of course you would, because that's where the people who understood you could be hanging out!
People who were content with offline life tended to think this was a silly thing to do. Understandably, I guess. They said things like "the internet is for nerds", or "it's not like real life". Even though (and probably for the last time, too,) it was populated entirely by real-life people!
(I mean, yeah, the old adage "there are no girls on the internet" was kinda true for awhile. And if a woman did show up, she got attention she didn't necessarily want. But I was a LITTLE girl on the internet! Those aren't sexy, those are just annoying!)
Eventually early-adopters had the last laugh when MySpace and Facebook made it easier for the average person to spend time online. These new users didn't feel the need to reach out to strangers with unique interests, though-- they just wanted to talk to their existing friends more often. And on their way in, they left the door open for corporate interests. And with that came a corporatized civilian culture of "building a personal brand" and pandering everything they do to clicks, sales, likes, The Algorithm, and most hideously, the lowest common denominator.
But before all that, I made a friend who made me love uniqueness.
I first met Sean on a website called TremorsFan. This was a moderately-active fansite and forum for people who wanted to talk about the Tremors franchise, especially since a new movie and a series were being released. I was really happy to find this because I'd just caught the movies on the Sci-Fi (now Syfy) Channel and wanted to read everything I could about Caederus Americana.
Now, if I met Sean today, I would not have believed he was actually 13 years old. I only believe it now because I met him, and his parents, and saw his bedroom. The only other reason I would have to believe he was 13 is that he thought he was way funnier than he was. He posted on the forum under a ninja persona. (This was back when MONKEYS VS. NINJAS VS. ROBOT PIRATES was the height of random comedy.) His was more fully-formed and slightly less annoying than my previous personas. Older kids hadn't liked when I tried to be funny, and the adults on the forum didn't seem to regard him highly, either. They were here to talk seriously, about serious Tremors things.
But when I initiated banter with him, he responded in kind. He'd let me "win" if it was funnier that way, which was an EXCEPTIONALLY rare quality to find online at the time. He was safe and interested and interesting. We just kinda clicked, like we "got" each other. I think that was the first time I ever felt understood.
Sean was a portal into a world of weird, wacky stuff that blew my mind as an Ohio teen. Sean read Wikipedia pages for fun. Sean told me about Douglas Adams and SomethingAwful ("Are you a furry? Because SomethingAwful says they're bad.") and Bob Dobbs and David Bowie and Cthulhu (okay, I already kinda knew about that one) and Weekly World News and Irritating Rainbow and his big-chinned hero, Bruce Campbell. Sean watched MST3K and Godzilla movies. Sean got an internship working for a public access channel and adored the weirdness there. Sean read tons of books I'd never heard of. Sean had insane ideas for offbeat horror-comedy comics that he wanted me to help him make someday, and he drew anxious talking vegetables with white cartoon gloves. Sean only ate hamburgers and only drank Coke. Sean was, unfortunately, horny. Sean and I would joke around and it would turn into improv roleplay where we'd try to out-funny the other. Sean was comfortable being critical, competitive, and absurd. Sean was the biggest dork, and also the coolest person I'd ever met.
I like to think I taught him some stuff, too, like introducing him to The Aquabats! (which he initially said sounded dumb, but came around on). But mostly it was just amazing listening to him talk about the stuff he was into. I suspect that pontificating to a dorky high school girl was good for making a dorky high school boy feel important. I mean, I hope it did!
As hormones and college and other romantic interests came into view, we had less to talk about and fell off. Typical of teenagers, especially boys. I never took that personally.
I try never to downplay how important he was as my first real friend, though. That dude opened my mind, made me more curious, and overall made me so much cooler. I still have no idea how he became that cool. I assumed he was the norm, and that if I got to know other people better I would discover a lot of humor, creativity, and niche knowledge. But it turns out, most people aren't very adventurous at all! A lot of them don't know how to reach up the asshole of culture and pull out something not already packaged for consumption. They eat what's in front of them, and that's it. They don't read Wikipedia pages.
Sean was weird. And I'm so glad I met him. I think I would be a much sadder and more directionless person if I hadn't.
I've met a couple other people with that level of imagination and curiosity and humor, and I'm glad I met them, too. I've gotten a bit of a sense for 'em. It's easiest to find in artists, because obviously they're the ones who draw original ideas. And I collect and hold on to those people, testing them to see if they'll play with me, because one of them could be the next Sean.
And I hope for somebody, I might kind of fill that role, too?
Fig. 1 Me.
May 27, 2021
Yesterday we left the city to go check out Battelle Darby Creek bison!
I felt like a kid on a zoo trip, haha. We didn't get to see much. There were two layers of fence (homestyle and electric) between us and them, plus it was raining. And I very badly need to get new glasses. But what we could make out on the horizon was SOOOO CUTE. I guess they're part of a project to reintroduce prairie plants and fauna to the area after agriculture decimated it all. The bison seem to be doing a swell job, because there are calves now!
I need to stop taking videos, because I don't know how to upload them at a decent quality. But see that light-brown blob? THAT'S A BABY RUNNIN'. I love the contrast of giant brown meatloaf adults with zoomy little kiddos. What happens to make them stop prancing...
We walked around a bit, Colin saw me scare off a snake, and as we looked closer at the grass...
C I C A D A S
Oh my god, they must have just popped out of the ground only a day or two ago. There were so many shed shells clinging to the grass along the road, plus some fresh live black ones still waiting for their wings to dry. Colin started scooping those guys up and putting them on trees, and they started REALLY moving... I guess to get to the top? Oops. Sorry if that just gave them more work to do.
We were worried we weren't going to see any cicadas in the city, so this was very cool to randomly come across. We're gonna have to come back soon. (With food for us, and after checking the fucking weather first.)
I have so many ideas for things to do with the site, but I just can't afford to fixate on code right now. SOON. ISH.
Reading: McSweeney's Quarterly #62. #63 already came, so I'm a bit behind. I loved #61, but #62 is only just starting to pick up for me in the second half. I think it's because it's the "Queer Fiction Issue", which means every story has to involve romantic relationships and/or a specific way of approaching identity. I'm usually looking to read about more individualized/unique experiences.
There's still a lot of variety, though! I just had a really good streak after picking it up again:
One story about a woman dealing with rage issues late at night in a gas station, and reflecting on how her father's relationship with her mother mirrors her own relationship with her wife.
One from the perspective of a guy who makes mouth-watering dinners for cute guys, and then uhhh eats the guys.
One detailing all the ways a young under-socialized guy puts himself into debt while trying to stave off loneliness. (I loved how directly it confronted the fact that he learned how people work through product advertising, like fantasizing about starting a party by opening a can of pop, or showing off an espresso machine that George Clooney also has.)
One about a plant whisperer whose plants start suddenly dying just as her girlfriend starts acting weird... Ohohohoooo...
I HUGELY recommend a McSweeney's Quarterly subscription-- it's gotten me excited about reading again! The stories tend to be more literary and open-ended as opposed to action-packed escapism, but they're definitely not stodgy and old-fashioned. Hell, #61 has a folklore-style story about a lady fucking a talking wolf.
May 19, 2021
Comin' at you straight from a world of pain
Oh man, the Janssen vaccine knocked me on my ass. I did pretty okay for about 8 hours..! Just a little fatigue and lightheadedness and some muscle tingles I could pretend were going to be the worst of my body trying to kill me. But once it got dark out, I was just about howling. It was like period cramps, but all over. It was like I'd actually done exercise.
First there were shivers. Later on Colin kept remarking that I was shockingly warm, considering I "usually feel like a corpse". It didn't help the appearance of things that humming and moaning made me feel better-- I guess because of the vibrations distracting me? Distraction is great. I propose that the nicest thing you can offer someone in that kind of pain is a feather-light massage and some conversation. (TV doesn't work when you're simultaneously engrossed in a plot and trying to fall asleep.)
I woke up this morning with considerably more ownership of my body sensations (I guess my li'l cells won the battle) but I probably didn't do me any favors by babying myself and staying in bed. At least I had a torturous stream of work emails to keep me lucid.
Anyway, I guess that's my little taste of what having Covid is like. Would not recommend! Not even for the chance to win a million dollars!
Colin did a bit better, AND a bit worse-- needles make him faint. Every time. It's actually kinda funny how unprepared everyone is, except this time he hit his head on the way down. The real funny part is that everyone thinks he's joking until he sends them photos of his banged-up eyebrow. But hey, it'll leave a cool scar! One he can show to future nurses as proof that he really needs to lie down next time.
I'm still kinda in the muck deadline-wise, but I can see the light. I'm knocking work-work tasks out easy, got a big illustration due in a week or so, and... an interesting commission proposal. More on that later, probably, since I may not want to post it on social media.
It occurred to me this morning that I never added FMBW to the Story Directory, so I guess I'll go work on that now.
Eating: Salmon nigiri Colin bought for me because he's a big fuckin' sweetie.
May 1, 2021
Ayyy, the house just got dealt another fatal blow of TLC! An electrician apprentice friend kindly replaced all our loose 2-prong outlets with tight, sexy modern 3-prongeds. Imagine a world where you have 3 cats, and if any of them even kinda touches a cord, the plug falls out of the wall. We no longer live in that world. We've packed our bags and hopped on the first helicopter outta there. God bless America, land of the free (except for all these gosh-frick-darned zoning and construction regulations!!!!!!)!
The new Pokemon Snap got released this week, and Colin was sweet enough to buy it for me/us/mostly me. It remains probs one of the best implementations of the whole "Pokemon" concept. So far nobody I've talked to remembers when you could take your N64 cartridge to Blockbuster and get stickers printed of your pictures! Psst, Nintendo, I'm just saying: if you did that today, I'd be in trouble. I have my own money now.
I'm only a few hours in, but I swear it captures a lot of what I liked about the original. This one seems to have MORE content per track, too, with so many things changing on replay that it's hard to keep up with it all.
One thing: I could really do without the excessive tutorials/characters. I don't need a backstory for this. I don't need little kid characters to squeal about Pokemon for me. I am the kid. And I've yet to understand why a game about wildlife photography needs 4 NPCs. Pokemon please, you don't need more NPCs. We can tell you ran out of unique hairstyles years ago. The female version of the player character has a ponytail AND a braid. WHO GETS UP IN THE MORNING AND DOES THAT TO THEMSELVES.
It's late, but in the morning I'll see if I can't update this entry with shots of a Magikarp eating an apple.
GOT IT, look at this slut:
April 30, 2021
We've been doing some improvements around the house this week! Got a set of drawers to keep [most of my] art supplies together, then some hardware store stuff to make the crust-encrusted black hole that is our bathroom a bit more sufferable. Our house is an old prefab that's been through a lot of renovations, mostly by amateur handymen (us included!). So we didn't replace the cracked linoleum, but we DID cover the part of the floor that didn't have any on it anymore with strips of vinyl... That's something, right?
We deliberated on colors (Colin likes salmon, I feel safest with teal) before sighing with relief that we both are fine with white. Painting rooms is hard, man. I'd much rather have a blank canvas and fill it with colorful stuff that matters to me.
Don't ask how that philosophy applies to the bathroom.
More generally: The previous owner had fun taste in switchplates and had added a couple polished brass ones, which I found very inspiring. I think that metallic gold looks extra schmancy on matte white walls, so I have a full set on the way. VERY tempted to spraypaint the vent in the bathroom the same color. I get the feeling Colin thinks that's too much, but I bet I can sway him.
Oh my god my back hurts.
Watching: THE CIRCLE season 2... I'm so glad Netflix realized this was a winner, it's the best reality show concept I've ever heard of. Social engineering attempts "online"??? I could watch roughly a gajillion hours of that. One of these days I'm gonna check out the ones set in other countries.
I do have my quibbles: For one, I hhhhate the excessive hashtags. #HateTheHashtagsNotTheGame. But my theory is that it's suggested practice to make sure everyone understands intent over text. I would like to see a version of this idea that's less edited/scripted-- it feels like the producers probably ask the participants a lot of leading questions to get them to do certain things. But alas, that's what makes it so fast-paced and entertaining.
Everyone is so cute and it's fun watching them think they're playing each other. The best footage imo is of them messing around in the apartment where it looks like they genuinely forgot they're being recorded. OH, AND THE INTERIOR DESIGNERS CLEARLY ENJOYED THEMSELVES. Sometimes I get mad just because someone with a nicer room gets blocked, haha.
Also: I could never make it in this show. Having to start conversations all the time? Having to slide into a bunch of DMs and win favor in just a few weeks? Impossible. These people are superhuman.
(Currently, I love Khat and "John" and want Courtney OUT... PLEASE... HE'S LIKABLE ENOUGH BUT SO EVIL. ACTUALLY THAT JUST MAKES HIM MORE EVIL.)
April 23, 2021
oh my god.
Here's how stupid being a picky eater is. The dinner I made tonight involved sliced red onion and poblano peppers. I love poblanos (mostly just because greens make me feel accomplished at eating healthy). Onions, not so much. I am only rarely in the mood to bite down on crisp, watery onion.
So I'm moving stuff around my plate, trying to avoid slivers of onion, and I realize I'm... actually not sure how thoroughly I checked the forkful I just put in my mouth. Is this an onion? I can't taste the difference. I can't feel the difference, either. All the slivers are the same shape and the same texture, cooked for the same amount of time and tossed in the same sauce. So I take it out of my mouth to check. Okay, nice, that's a green poblano. S'all good.
And then I crunch down on it. And I'm forced to acknowledge that this whole time, the only culinary difference between onions and peppers was fucking visual.
Got a few new site ideas (that I'm willing to mention):
1. I want to make a little Art Telephone page for people to check the status of the games on. I think it would be good to keep players informed without having to check with me. It could also add some urgency for whoever currently has the art. I've got a layout I like, but I'm not sure about the colors/styling yet. I want it to be clear and friendly and welcoming to check on. And... warm? Maybe warm.
2. Might mess around with MySpace93? Based around a character, not myself. There's a lot of really young people on there, so I don't imagine I'll be very active on it. Just seems like a cool thing to have. For a DFS character, perhaps.
I had a MySpace back in the day, but I didn't like that it was focused around talking about yourself instead of showing off what you were making. Plus, honestly... the layouts may have been awesome at being customizable, but it wasn't great to begin with (the contact buttons never formatted right) and so many crimes against good, legible, non-eyeburny design were perpetrated on those haunted grounds. So many weed leaf graphics. I cannot pretend to miss Juggalo maximalism.
Also, I forget if anyone ever WASN'T "in your extended network". What would it take to be excluded? That would mean being banished to the Shadow Realm, right?
3. I wonder if I should start building an art gallery here? Tumblr is fantastic, and I love how dates and asks and comments provide context on my ideas as well as me as a person. I'm just... mmmmmnmngnmnmmm. I have no reason to think the company that owns Wordpress will dump it anytime soon. Maybe I'm just being a control freak.
April 22, 2021
A Visit to Blacklight Planet
There's this local attraction we've been meaning to check out called OtherWorld. It's billed as an ~art experience~ and I always wondered if such a nebulous concept was going to survive Covid. Well, I'm happy to report that it's still kicking!
I admit I was a little concerned when the GPS took us to an abandoned strip mall that, from the looks of it, had fallen so far from grace that it couldn't even sustain a Target anymore. But that's... actually the perfect place for an art installation. Low-valued property means basement-level rent, baby! And at $22 per adult, they're not exactly making chump change.
So, what's inside it? Lots of blacklights. The interior is a dim maze of bizarre themed rooms that strive to disorient and make you feel like you're on another planet. It's a stimulating multimedia extravaganza. Plaster bugs and alien plants, interactive projections, walls covered in sculpted pleather and neon fur, repurposed junk, functional computers that Rickrolled you if you pressed something wrong, some of the coolest chairs I've ever sat in, and so, so many weird lamps. There's a loose ARG-esque concept tying everything together, but Colin didn't feel like taking the time to read the lore in the wrecked professor's office, haha. I don't think it was essential, just an "ooh noo we opened an interdimensional portal" kinda justification for all the cool shit hanging around.
Video of Mirror FX Until I Figure Out How To Embed Multiple Videos On This Page
Columbus has no shortage of artists and art students whose creativity isn't being put to its fullest potential, and it looks like their ideas were EXTREMELY appreciated here. I'm honestly jealous. This visit was really inspiring, and has made me look at everything as a potential art project. And/or lamp.
This barnacled-up nativity cracked me up.
My photos don't do any of this exhibit justice, sorry. I try to avoid living through my camera lens. For more, check out their Insta!
The vibe is like an alien version of an escape room, but without any obvious goals or puzzles-- I was reminded of Mystery Town USA in Mackinaw City, Michigan. Some rooms seemed unfinished, like the honeycomb-themed room with just some empty shelves and a small cabinet that opened to a mirror. I wonder if some props were taken out so people wouldn't get their grubby virus-encrusted hands all over them? They were very good about providing sanitizer in almost every room, which I gotta say actually deepened the illusion of exploring someplace uncharted with orange mold monsters on the ceiling. The maybe-missing stuff is just another reason to check back in a few months, perhaps with friends or family. Supposedly some exhibits change out over time.
And that's why I'm heartbroken that I did a recording button fail in my MOST FAVORITE ROOM, the lab with all the specimen drawers. I did get a shot of our favorite bug, though. (I did not want to open the botton drawer again. The thing in there was too dang freaky for me. Dentures were involved.)
And I really liked that parts of it freaked me out, especially the bedroom with the monster coming though the walls. Crawling under the bed, there were some creepy little things hiding there with us, along with a voice recording of a woman talking about her kid's nightmares. I think. I was too wigged out by the child-sized thing in pyjamas next to me to stick around and listen. From there, we crawled into a different monster's mouth, and WHEN I SAW COLIN DISAPPEAR INTO THE DARKNESS OF THE THROAT, OH GOD... Speaking of, there was one point where we walked up some steps and backwards into a giant mouth. (I laughed out loud to find Colin playing with the uvula.)
Overall it was a great way to spend an hour, and I'm proud to have something this cool in my city. Today we also bought a big ol' thing of soy sauce. And right after that, I copped the socks from today's Boot Boyz drop just as they uploaded it to the website. ON MY PHONE, IN THE PARKING LOT, because I am a SAVANT when it comes to PRESSING THE REFRESH BUTTON. Great day.
Watching: Sweet Home on Netflix, which has awesome stop-motiony mutant zombie effects. Lovin' it so far. The girl who plays bass and the Yakuza guy who can kick people to death are devastatingly cool.
April 16, 2021
That's not flop sweat, that's uhhh April showers
Been a minute! With the warm weather and vaccines rolling out, my job (designing for outdoor advertising) has picked up suddenly and I've had lots of stuff hanging over my head and closing the walls in on the rest of me. I'm pretty much feeling the imminent doom of a toothpaste tube.
However! One fun thing I managed to do recently is my second-ever attempt at tabletop RP. We did a session of Humblewood, which is, like... beleaguered little forest animals, with an emphasis on birds. It was WAYYYY better than my try at DnD in 2014, which was with drunk friends and made me decide I hate tabletop.
Well, partly. The other problem with me and RP is: I am not a good actor. I am most comfortable when I can break character and poke fun at pretense. Being around a bunch of people playing parts brings out the squirmy little kid in me that likes to point at the naked emperor and laugh at his invisible LARP gear.
Look, sometimes I shock even myself with my own rudeness. But I gotta say, everyone else did a great job making my second attempt enjoyable. Our GM (my buddy Liam) was enthusiastic and pared the journey down to only the snappiest elements. The other players were alert, creative, supportive, and comparatively expert. And most importantly: sober! Who knew. It also helped that my li'l owl character had a strong build and rolled very well.
I had a hell of a hard time building my character, though. Vibe-wise, I basically settled into a bland diluted owl version of Fiend, which makes me wonder if I'm 1) born to play brats or 2) just better with characters I've already established.
Anyway, I GUESSSSS I could consider trying more TTRPG in the future. But with a lot of caveats that I'm annoying as hell, haha.
On a more productive front, I've been thinking a lot about Fritz and Zariya lately. Expect some art to come down the pipe when I'm further ahead on my other responsibilities~ ...and when I remember how I used to do their glowy eye effects~~~
March 25, 2021
I woke up really pissy today, but then I remembered that last night I found out about Mr. Moonie dolls. Look at these things. For a toy that's about antagonizing other drivers, they're strangely adorable.
If these came out at any point after the 80s, the mold would've been of, like, a gremlin with a backwards cap and its tongue out. But no. This is the eighties. Fresh off of flower power and a global recession, you get a pudgy little man doing a gentle public indecency prank.
I especially love this guy and his tiny eyebrows. An impotent personage made even cuter by the "fuck you" glinting in those beady eyes. "Yeah, dat's right. Dat's my butt."
Another nice thing that happened last night: Colin started playing Persona 5 Royal. I love the art of the Persona games, especially the crisp, detailed cel shading. Being a colorist on the Persona team looks VERY FUN...
ANOTHER NICE THING is that there's a Kickstarter for a collection of Douglas Adams letters that I'm almost certainly going to pledge to. Not that I need more books in my to-read stack, but. C'mon. The colorful artbook look reminds me of my copy of the 25th Anniversary HHG2TG illustrated edition (which, upon looking it up, is reviewed lastly by someone saying "I didn't get it. Let me start by saying that I LOVED the movie...") so it'll at least match nicely for the few years before I sit down with it... Also, he was just a damned funny guy. I wanna learn more about him and maybe some jokes in the process.
One of my recurring worries is that people (and by extension, me) got dumber, simpler, and less interesting over the course of my life. This obviously isn't true-- people have always been all of those things-- but with less time to think things over alone, our ideas are now shaped by receiving feedback at hyper-speed. The nice thing about Adams is that he predates this. It's very comforting to spend time with a mind who has been forced for thousands of hours to sit on a train and do nothing but think.
March 21, 2021
Now that I'm in a "WEB-MASTER, MASTER OF THE WEB" kinda mood, I finally bit the bullet and switched back to Firefox. As the kids say, fuck Google. I won't love moving all my passwords over, but it's worth it for my online hygiene. I enjoy how much simpler the settings are-- no mess of new features and toggles to learn every time a company that sells my information shuffles stuff around so they can find a new legal loophole with which to, well, sell my information.
One thing I don't like: The blunter-edged design. And the fact that I can't do a bootleg zoom-in by pulling two fingers apart on my trackpad anymore... Gonna miss that dearly. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT: I forgot Firefox lets you put separators between bookmarks.
Browsing non-centralized internet is a job in itself. I was already the kind of person to keep 40 tabs open for 3 months. It seems like a given site reproduces asexually by multiples of five-- five outgoing links, five journal pages or manifestos I want to read later, five page sources open to see how they accomplished a cool effect.
With infinite things to discover, it's very easy to forget there's a bustlinger part of the internet. It's also very easy to make my browser cross with me.
As I near completion on V1 of this site, I'm already thinking it's not wild and advanced enough. I might want to redo the whole thing with heavy CSS, just for a challenge. Or to incorporate more columns (I enjoy the chaotic look some people pull off) and photo textures. But I think as-is, this site embodies my ideal style: a functional canvas that prioritizes the content over the frame. I have always designed like this. Hell, I guess count yourself lucky I didn't leave it all white this time!
Every furry website worth its salt back in the day had a line like this:
It was all about chainsaws, cookies, flamethrowers, and talking about yourself like a wild animal. Just girly things!
March 21, 2021
Drinking milk reminds me of time. Every expiration date points to the next week or so, and it makes me wonder: am I going to accomplish something between now and then? What will I learn or make? Will any of my relationships get closer? Will anybody show up to teach me something new about human nature? How many gallons of milk will it take for me to finish my next goddamn comic page?
I drink a ton of milk, so there's usually two gallons in the fridge. I drink it so fast that it's rare to have to worry about the expiration date in a practical sense. Milk is a must for eating bakery, spicy things, and instant ramen. I like to think it's the main reason my anemic-complexioned body is still going, as well as the main reason I still get shoulder pimples in my late twenties. I love the neutral, complimentary taste of milk. It goes with almost everything!
Still, I can't help but feel like people who drink soda have fewer existential reminders. Unless they also buy yogurt...
Watching: SHAKMA, a 1990 film about LARPing lab students and a killer baboon. I'm enjoying it (mainly the establishing scenes), but it's really not scary at all. The baboon is adorable, like a pomeranian with hands.
March 17, 2021
I think I draw great for someone who doesn't know how to draw!
That said, I don't really like drawing lately. None of it looks good or satisfying to me. I think it's a lack of things to say. My art has always been about satisfying myself and making purposefully questionable draftsmanship decisions, so I expect this feeling to pass when my confidence reinflates. Unfortunately I HAVE THINGS I'M SUPPOSED TO DRAW, so I better stop being a diva soon.
Waffling between: Scripting DFS, thumbnailing FE, feeling guilty about art, changing tiny things on the website, reading various open tabs and papers, catching up on Search Party
March 16, 2021
Skipping around websites, I came across this blog by a woman who seems intelligent and witty, but her latest post is a rambling thing about how giving her son weed helped with his Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (?? interesting), big pharma doesn't want us to find the natural cures to what ails us (uhhh maybe, but that implies that naturopaths aren't scammers in their own right), Covid was a ruse to keep people in line (HAHA yeah, cos nothing keeps people quiet better than dramatically limiting their movement and threatening their livelihoods and letting them go homeless) and that seeing people wear masks while excercising "triggers" her (don't like don't look!!), and that, of course, her friends and family just don't understand. She sees the truth. She did the research. She bears the burden of this knowledge that others simply cannot accept, cos they don't read YourBabiesAreBeingPoisoned.facts.com.
Usually when I see someone like that, I start running a simulation in my head looking for what would be the most incisive or insightful thing I could say to that kind of person. But it doesn't feel worth it. This woman has 3 kids who she says have seizures. She talks about her life being full of trauma and disappointment. She's a perfect candidate for someone who needs meaning, an uncomplicated bad guy, or a reason to feel special.
Being mean enough to disabuse her is one thing, but the idea that it would actually work? Hmhmhm.
Especially because if you criticize something, people have been trained to automatically assume you hold the opposite view. I can believe there's value in alternative medicine! I wouldn't bet my cancer on essential oils and ecinacea, but I can believe there are rocks that experts aren't prioritizing looking under. Those rocks aren't going to be flipped by a single mom giving her son a joint, though. I don't think every illness is just part of a match-the-problem-to-the-solution game with plants. If that was the case, I feel like we would have found all the cures in the crisper before having to resort to CRISPR, heyooooo.
I did snoop out a (deleted) post about her autistic daughter going hard for Trump back in 2016, presumably for teenage rebellion reasons. It's hard not to be a little charmed by this family dynamic. This is what you gotta love about blogs. There's so much interest and dimension here, I can't stay mad. You can get a much better idea of what someone thinks of themselves, what their daily challenges are, and what's pushing them into the void of madness. I hope mom's life gets easier so she can cut the stupid shit out.
It's always a painful seeing people come so close to acknowledging systemic issues but instead swerving to "and here's what I should buy instead!". Pop- and celebrity culture is vapid? You aren't doing better by replacing it with a blinding pile of kitsch from the hundreds of movies, games, and TV shows you do like. Racism and sexism? Nobody is soothed by the "white male tears" mug you got next-day from Amazon. The government is being paid off by big interests to sell you overpriced medicine but is still hemming and hawing about a livable wage or a one-time cheque? Don't come calling mask culture "muzzles", dumbass. Besides, we as a society should have adopted that practice from Asian countries decades ago.
OH HA, and in double-checking that claim to make sure it's accurate... I found this article from 2014.
It's all just about the government controlling us, alright. Nothing to do with how hard it was to contain and understand Covid. That's why they also seized the opportunity to issue stay-home orders over SARS, swine flu, Ebola, bird flu, every e. coli outbreak at Chipotle.....
March 11, 2021
Still chugging away at the site. Very proud of what I've done with Fiend's shrine-- it makes perfect sense that the unhinged DIY feel of Web 1.0 would be easy to replicate, but it still amazes me to see it all come together. It feels like pinning something on the wall and then taking the blindfold off. "Huh, that came together nicely."
One thing I've re-realized trawling through mirrors of old Geocities sites is that while decentralized internet excelled at sincerity, it could still be very, very boring. It's still a little disappointing finding a beautiful landing page and seeing that it contains nothing but a short greeting, unremarkable family photos, some charity page links, and a 9/11 rememberance graphic of an eagle crying a glitter tear. And that's cool I guess, I bet a lot of Facebook profiles look like that nowadays.
As a kid, I looked at the miracle of Web 1.0 and thought... dang, a lot of people just don't have much to say!
Of course, the only things I was interested in were Pokemon, animal art, and searching "chupacabra" multiple times a week to see if anyone had photographed a real one yet. I didn't care about anime or vampires or video games, but I was interested in being better at socializing, and people were just leaving all these object studies everywhere, like droppings...
One big development with the revival movement is that almost everyone in it has something to say! The problem is that they all kinda say the same thing, which is that they miss old decentralized internet. But what do you miss doing with it. If you were transported back to 2003, what kind of site would you be making? That's what I wanna see. More sites where the statements are way beyond "remember that time??"
But the movement is struggling and small, and it is kinda important to me. And there IS a cool page about that, soooooo: https://sadgrl.online/newoldweb/manifesto.html
(Will I ever change the link color to something more reasonable? MAYBE.)
Favorite Geocities mirror at the moment: Carol's Space.
Favorite Web 1.0-principles-in-modern-times concept at the moment: The /Now Page.
March 7, 2021
Perfume Thoughts (Updated Indefinitely)
Since I started working from home, I very transparently became a restless housewife stereotype. When I'm a little down or bored, I find something to research and obsess over. When I'm really down, I start online shopping.
The indie perfume scene is an affordable way to mess around with personal smells, but more importantly, it's CREATIVE AS FUCK. People base their perfumes on witchy shit, their favorite TV shows and movies, myths and folklore, abstract concepts, and specific experiences. Think "rain in a flowering cactus desert", or "surprise birthday party in a vampire's castle".
I tend to like: light florals, realistic greens, lemongrass, rose, marshmallow, fire/smoke accords, peach, jasmine, coconut
I think I hate: cologne smells, anise, cola, licorice, anything boozy
I cannot figure out: wood, citrus, why I only appreciate pine in the summer, what "musk" even is
Below, I'll keep a running list of scents that have made a big impression on me.
BPAL isn't exactly my style. They're pretty goth, in the Gen-X "they actually have a Neil Gaiman collection" way. They've sent me 8 free sample vials with my orders, most of which were too pungent and incensey for me. But man, they don't kid around on the quality. A little dab is enough for a whole day.
Dead Leaves, Marshmallow, and Pistachio "Dead Leaves" is what BPAL calls their cologney note made from real fallen leaves. The nut is most present here, doused in "dead leaves" and maybe sweetened just a bit. It's like a dessert I don't feel completely safe eating. And yet... some days, I crave it?
Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning PEACH! HAY! "OPALESCENT MUSK"! SOME FLOWERS! Holy hell I love this. It's like 60/40 flowers/peach. I only hope the peach comes out more as it ages.
Waiting 2020 Coffee, hot chocolate, and pumpkin gingerbread waffles. This one ultimately dries as a bready breakfast smell. Definitely the vibe of a diner in the morning.
Lakeside Atmosphere Spray Squirted this on the couch ONCE and it lasted the whole day and then some. So uh, thank god I love it! I'm not sure how to describe it except "happy", "juicy", and "wet", but it does have that creamy-fresh element I like in orange blossom, so I'm guessing it's the daffodil?
Muddy Armadillo was created to raise funds for the Texas power disaster in February. I love the idea of cacao made bitter by things like coffee, or as it's done here, wood and tobacco. Very entranced by this masculine-leaning gourmand. Very glad I snagged a sample from Ajevie. Miiiight grab a full-size bottle before it's gone.
Brood X celebrates the cicadas! It boasts natural notes like leaves and roots, plus some spices and "17-year-aged patchouli". I find it warm, earthy, and wet, like a humid day, but also with a little spicy sweetness. It's complicated, but not obnoxious-- more understated and cozy, sorta like leaves decaying on a hot forest floor.
SMELL BENT is totally my style! Colorful and witty branding, playful-but-accessible scents. They do alcohol perfumes (EDPs) instead of oils, so I can spray them on my clothes. I've ordered two sample packs from them and I like almost everything so far.
Hot House is meant to evoke a wet greenhouse, and I think it does that. This is very much a feeling I want to carry around with me, so I bought a full-size bottle during the last sale.
Florist's Fridge is another one I might want to full-size someday. It smells like fresh-cut flowers! And I mean you can smell the stems.
ALKEMIA is supposed to be the ideal indie perfumer for beginners. They have a big variety and an easily-searchable site. However, they also recommend the longest rest period after the samples get shaken up in the mail. I've got two sample packs from them that I'm still experimenting with. They tend to transform on me, starting out astringent and becoming sweeter/softer-- possibly top notes evaporating?
The First Dandelion smells like a fucking dandelion. Incredible. Perfect. Sold.
The Magpie's Rhyme is supposed to be cozy animal crackers and milk. And sweet merciful fuck, it is. I was worried when it started out a little anise-y, but it's much more accurate after like 20 minutes. Light as fuck, though. I'll be looking for more lightly-sweet oaty or milky gourmands like this. (ETA: I got this as an EDP and sometimes spray it on my pillow. Fucking delicious.)
A Roll In The Hay was why I originally ordered, because I'm interested in straw/hay/grass scents. I starts out sharply green, but after wearing for a while it takes on a very edible sweetness that I think is the vanilla grass note. I love the idea of combining those!
Acadia is a driftwood coastal fog scent. It smells beachy... but it's a rocky beach, without any of the coconut sunscreen smell. I sense a little... bacon? Though? Probably the wood? That makes it weird to me.
County Fair I got on a whim and, like... oh my god I can't stop huffing it. It smells like hot, heavy fair air. I mainly get popcorn and cotton candy, I think, with a definite smear of food grease. AND I DID NOT EXPECT TO LIKE THAT? Normally I avoid candy smells, but the butter and salt rounds it out into something very interesting.
Industrial Sabotage is gunpowder and metal, and while I wouldn't call it "pleasant" per se, it is hitting something nostalgic in me. Reminds me of a mechanic's shop and, oddly, memories of visits to a pediatrician near a bus garage. If it had a big diesel note, hoo boy I'd be in trouble.
Mist Becoming Rain is the first Alkemia scent I've gotten a full bottle of. It's a damp green rainy day scent that always hits the spot, for me. I love wearing it layered with sweet or floral things like D&F's Swamp Elixir!
DEATH AND FLORAL has FANTASTIC style, with their Panic! At The Disco-style overlong perfume names and ultra-cool labels. Unfortunately their oil formula doesn't last very long on me. I might spring for an EDP someday.
Ant & Tiramisu is everything I wanted it to be. It smells just like my favorite sweet coffee dessert. I want to bathe in AND eat this. I just wish I didn't have to constantly reapply it!
Swamp Elixir smells like sugary lemonade, and reminds me hardcore of a LUSH store. Supposedly there's honeysuckle in there, but I'm not sure what that smells like.
The Library, Burning Down With Us is supposed to be burning books and wood and gasoline. I was so excited to see what that smells like. You know what it smells like to me? A full Indian dinner. It smells like a savory, lovingly-seasoned meal. With naan. I do not WANT TO SMELL LIKE NAAN. What am I missing?? I'm giving this away to the first person who tells me they smell something badass and atmospheric.
ASTRID doesn't sell samples! Frick!
Pink Flamingo Garden hooked me with the combination of tropical florals, pink grapefruit and angel food cake?? I had to see how that would turn out. Fresh from the mail, it smells like a combination of all those things. I don't know what I expected. After a week's rest, it mellows into the tropical scent I sometimes buy trash bags in. Which would be great if I didn't associate it with trash bags.
SIXTEEN92 is well-regarded for intense and unusual concept perfumes. They seem to have pretty good formulas, but I've yet to have any real winners from the 2 sample packs I bought. I've described their formulations as smelling partly like ink, as if they came out of a pen-- heady and mature in an unsettling, genderless, medicinal-witchy way. I suspect I just don't vibe with this perfumer's nose. I like light and fresh, while these lean dank and deep.
The Salem collection is a wash for me, I reckon. I don't find them terribly varied or appealing.
The Forbidden Arts collection is WAY more fun to experiment with. I can tell Aeromancy is powdery, Pyromancy is spicy, and Hydromancy is blue and wet, though more in a "dyed blue putt-putt course river" way than in a "salty oceanic" way.
The Resurrection event was a window to order discontinued perfumes in February. My order got here in June, and I gotta say, I still don't "get" this brand. I Wanna Be An Airborne Ranger was supposed to be coffee and marshmallow cereal, but I just get almond. The others seem nice and light and as-expected, but they still smell like that darned inky base.
Non-indie perfumes I've got: LUSH Grass (oil), LUSH Love, LUSH Yog Nog, Maison Margiela By The Fireplace, Harvey Prince Hello
March 7, 2021
I swiped this blog layout from a gentle-sounding person who appears to be in college. As I'm fond of saying lately: The kids are alright. Thank you, "Turd". I built most of this site by sticking to HTML and have leveled up quite a bit with it in the process, so reverse-engineering the more advanced code was a welcome challenge. Though that means this page will be the first to break if any of them do. Ha...
There's no guarantee I'll use this blog much, but I hope I think of it when I want to ramble about things I'm into and not feel like I'm bothering people. Tumblr was okay for this, but there's still the pressure to make your thoughts consumable. Twitter... Well, it's hard to remain charming for long on there. I know I'm not. And I never got into keeping a paper diary because I'm a bit of an attention whore. I never saw the point of directly writing down my thoughts unless I was trying to reach outside myself.
Anyway, this seems like a swell way to hide out for a bit. I don't get overwhelmed easily, but I'm reaching the point of my social growth where it's obvious that, like... the defense mechanisms may be working too well. These kinds of revelations are emotionally tiring and they make me really goddamn cranky. Which I don't like to see myself being! I take pride in being an emotional blank slate, hard to truly upset. I've felt "off" for awhile now, but hopefully retreating into personal projects will bring me back to my nigh-euphoric self.
We installed some extra shelves on the walls for my runoff of comic books I haven't finished yet, and having them everywhere really motivates me to stop what I'm doing and read. I, uh, coded this whole damn site (mostly) from scratch. And I started learning about indie perfumes this year! Actually, fuck, lemme make a blog post about that--
Listening to: Ben Folds and Amanda Palmer albums. I need to find more emotional-verbose-sarcastic piano people. I love Sean Nelson. But Tim Minchin is too detached!
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