April Newsletter (2021)

I'm sorry that this newsletter is late, and that it's going to be such a short one.

[Medical Stuff]

I went in for gallbladder removal surgery last Monday in what was supposed to be a routine procedure: a couple little laparoscopic scars no longer than an inch, and I'd go home that night. Kissmate already had the same surgery a couple weeks before, so it was just a repeat of what we already knew. Easy-peasy.

Instead, we ended up with some major weird complications. My gallbladder was apparently covered in little gangrene spots and falling apart to the touch. The surgeon eventually just had to cut me open a full six-inches and pull everything out the old-fashioned way. Now I have a groovy long scar full of staples (25!) and I sleep 20 hours a day.

[/Medical Stuff]

I do have posts to post, but the tricky thing is being awake enough to post them and also upright: these two things are very hard to do right now. The good news is that I'm not really in very much pain; I'm just very tired all the time. That's supposed to be my body healing.

I promise that posts will return soon and I'm so sorry for this unexpected delay. I feel just awful about it, and I will get better as fast as I can.

Open Thread: Random Fractal

Random Fractal

This was made using the 2d portion of MandelBulb 3d.  It's from a Julia set of a three dimensional fractal discovered by M Benesi, which is closely related to both the Burning Ship fractal and the Mandelbrot Set.

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Friday Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Sonic

Sonic the Hedgehog

Kissmate says: Good Evening, Everyone! I figure I'm overdue for a #Kissmatewatches, so let's get one started with Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)! I first saw the announcement and was excited! Then the first trailer came out. After the BLOW-UP of hatred, they fixed Sonic. I've heard nothing since.  I'm no stranger to Sonic, nor his fans. I've seen some of the best of this hero. And I've seen the worst, too. Maybe this won't be so bad?

It's got Jim Carrey in it? Oh, that's... Um... Hmm. Paramount opened with golden rings instead of stars for their logo. It looks BAD. San Fran is the unfortunate host for the battle between Sonic and Dr Robotnik. We nearly get a record-scratch intro before being thrown back in time. Because Sonic always goes too fast for us. So he started the story in the middle. GeT iT?!

Open Thread: Ice, Wood, and Water

Ice, Wood, and Water

Picture taken by Lonespark; looks like it was in early January.  I apologize for going so long without an open thread.
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Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so almost over, but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Lego Batman

Lego Batman

Kissmate is really sick tonight (which is scary, but we're pretty sure it's a stomach flu?) so we're going to try to watch something fun: his copy of LEGO BATMAN, which I've never seen. He warned me not to expect, uh, edgy coke-classic Batman, but I'm familiar with the Lego Batman character through various trailers and I remember liking him a lot, so I think we'll be fine. (Why never a live-action version of the Lego Batman? He's fun!)

We're informed in an edgy deep voice that: "...Black. All really important films start with a black screen. And logos." Snerk. "DC. The house that Batman built. Yeah, what Superman? Come at me, bro." HOWLING. "Batman is very wise. I also have huge pecs and a nine-pack. Yeah, I've got an extra ab." ASJDLAKJSDLJ

An airplane from "McGuffin Airlines" radios to ask permission to fly over the most crime-infested city in the world. They're carrying every explosive known to mankind (including "150 cute little classic bomb-type bombs") and "two best friends". Oh my god. Gotham air control feels good about this plan, "as long as they're best friends!" OH MY GOD.

March Newsletter (2021)

Once again, I find myself apologizing that this newsletter is late and I'm so sorry. February ended up being a real kick in the teeth in terms of healthcare; Kissmate needed to go to the Emergency Room again for a second time and we learned that he probably needs his gallbladder out. He's been unable to work for almost 5 weeks now, which has been several layers of stressful.

This and the upcoming "Pandemic Anniversary" of the last time we left the house without masks has caused me to have a depression flare the likes of which I don't remember experiencing before. Mostly I just want to lie in bed and give up because everything seems so very overwhelming, and then I feel guilty for feeling that way (especially when "everyone else" seems fine). I know all those things are brain-lies, but they're very seductive brain-lies if that makes sense.

I am excited about the content I have for patreon this month: there are three fairy tale retellings going up and they're all very queer and very trans. I hope you like them as much as I do. Alex, my artist for this project, is very excited about starting on two of them because they're old favorites of his, and I just know that this is going to be wonderful when it all pulls together at the end.

I know I say this every time, but thank you for being here with me. It means the world to me and really keeps me going when it feels like the sky is pressing down.

Links
My Patreon: Here.
@KissmateKittens: Here.
My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here.
My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.
My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.

Film Corner: Jurassic Games

Jurassic Games

I need to get rid of all the emotions the Good Place finale gave me, so Kissmate says we can live-watch a really terrible movie on Amazon Prime tonight. Amazon Prime has served up "The Jurassic Games", which is... The Hunger Games and Jurassic Park. I believe it's the same genre of movies as Velocipastor. The trick will be seeing how far we get before we have to bail. "Every year, 10 of the world's most lethal death row criminals are chosen to compete for freedom in The Jurassic Games, a television show where contestants must survive against a variety of dinosaurs."

We open with a George Carlin quote that probably isn't really George Carlin but one never can be quite sure about these things without pausing, and the gist is that capital punishment should be more entertaining to the masses. We see a lot of future tech touch screens and I'm surprised to see that this is apparently trying to be a... real movie? Not an obvious silly parody, really?

A man on death row is invited to be part of the Jurassic Games, and we see a bunch of folks with VR headsets in a room. So the "games" are going to be in a virtual reality world, and it's presumably a Matrixy "the mind makes it real" situation? WHO KNOWS. NOT ME. There's a host in a sharp black suit and a black helmet that is BOTH a dinosaur AND a saber-tooth tiger somehow. Yes, he's explaining that the world is real for the contestants.

Film Corner: I, Frankenstein

I, Frankenstein

I haven't done a live-watch in forever for a lot of reasons, but tonight we've pulled up the Amazon Prime offerings and found that "I, FRANKENSTEIN" is available. Imagine my glee. "Two hundred years after his shocking creation, Dr. Frankenstein's creature, Adam, still walks the earth. But when he finds himself in the middle of a war over the fate of humanity, Adam discovers he holds the key that could destroy humankind." So, NOT the book.

Kissmate, beside me and very tired after a long Monday: "Did they make him hot? Why is he hot? Who is Aaron Eckhart? Why am I okay with them making him hot?" We get to re-use our favorite MST3K line during the opening credits: "Passed from studio to studio in a desperate attempt to save it."

The opening narration is kinda cool. "I was cast into being in 1795, a living corpse without a soul." That's a solid character introduction, I'll give them that. Adam gives us a quick rundown of that whole book thing. He says he's immune to cold, which I can't remember if that's canon or not.

Open Thread: Ice Needles

Pine needles shrouded in ice

Picture taken by Lonespark last week.  Sorry this is late again.

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Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so almost over, but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Streaked Stone

Streaked Stone

Picture taken by Lonespark in late November.

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Friday Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Twisted Vines

Two thick wooden vines on a tree, which twisted around each other in a double helix.

This picture was provided by Lonespark, who seems to have taken it last November.  Lonespark is also the one who reminded me to make an open thread this weekend.

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Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so buy you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: The Hunt

The Hunt

Alright, here's the deal:

- I am still sick.
- My work computer is still sick.
- Kissmate has to work and can't spend the day cuddling me while I whimper because I'm a total baby when I'm sick.

SO YOU'RE GETTING ANOTHER BAD MOVIE WATCH. Today's movie is special because:

a) I've never seen it before.
b) I was hyped to see it when the trailers came out.
c) Then conservatives outrage-cancelled it.
d) Then it was released during the pandemic to critical yawns.
e) I found it in an Amazon clearance bin.

Yes, it's THE HUNT. Which looked like The Purge meets Hunger Games, but a bunch of conservatives threw an outrage fit because they didn't realize that "red state people are hunted by rich people" meant they were the protagonists. Like Katniss is, you know, the protag. (Though it was kinda funny to see conservatives admit they were more likely to be the rich assholes doing the hunting than the impoverished red staters being hunted.)

Narnia: Waiting For A Hero

[Narnia Content Note: Ableist Language]

Narnia Recap: Digory and Polly have returned home, but have accidentally brought Queen Jadis with them. She has ordered Uncle Andrew to procure means of transportation so she can begin her world conquest.

The Magician's Nephew, Chapter 7: What Happened at the Front Door

When we last left off, Uncle Andrew was trying to hit up his sister for money so that he could take Jadis out on the town. This was a highly awkward conversation to have because Andrew mismanaged all of Letty's money in the semi-distant past, which is possibly the most interesting detail in this novel so far to me and I'm sorry Lewis just passed right over it as adult and uninteresting. While Andrew and Letty were discussing all this, Jadis decided to enter the room.

   “NOW, SLAVE, HOW LONG AM I TO WAIT for my chariot?” thundered the Witch. Uncle Andrew cowered away from her. Now that she was really present, all the silly thoughts he had had while looking at himself in the glass were oozing out of him. But Aunt Letty at once got up from her knees and came over to the center of the room.
   “And who is this young person, Andrew, may I ask?” said Aunt Letty in icy tones.
   “Distinguished foreigner—v-very important p-person,” he stammered.
   “Rubbish!” said Aunt Letty, and then, turning to the Witch, “Get out of my house this moment, you shameless hussy, or I’ll send for the police.” She thought the Witch must be someone out of a circus and she did not approve of bare arms.

February Newsletter (2021)

I'm sorry the newsletter is late this week. Kissmate has been very ill for over a week now. What started as an upset stomach last Monday morning grew into him having to take a week off of work and culminated in us going to the Emergency Room on Sunday night. Which was very scary, of course.

[Medical Stuff] At the ER, they said his stomach lymph nodes are very swollen. They aren't sure why; the most likely cause is an infection, but it could be viral or bacterial. They gave him a covid test (negative!) and antibiotics, but they warned that the antibiotics may not do anything if the illness is viral. They were very nice and said to come back if he gets worse or doesn't improve, but American ER visits are very expensive, so we probably won't unless we absolutely have to.

[Medical Stuff] Worst of all, they can't give him any pain medications because apparently anything really serious about medicating pain will have a side-effect of constipation and they said that's the last thing you want when you have swollen lymph nodes in your digestive system. So all he can do is try to sleep through the pain. He's been miserable and of course I'm sick with worry. So I'm writing this in the dark while he sleeps next to me.

Prayers and thoughts are very welcome. I'm not used to taking care of sick people--I'm usually the sick one--so all this is very scary and I just want to make him all better. I wish I could, like, volunteer to be sick in his place.

Regarding posting: I have another queer Grimms retelling up on my Patreon! I hope you like it; I had a lot of fun writing it, though I had to edit a lot more heavily than some of the other pieces in order to keep a consistent flow. There are also three film live-watches that will be going up on Patreon this month, and I hope to get some more in; Kissmate likes watching silly-bad films while he's not feeling well. I love you all and I hope you're safe and well. Thank you for being here with me.

Links
@KissmateKittens: Here.
My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here.
My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.
My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.

Open Thread: Purple, Green, and Off-White

A purple flower in front of out of focus green stems and leaves

Picture taken June 15th, 2018.

I'm trying to get back to having open threads every week; we'll see how that goes.

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Friday Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Dracula Untold

Dracula Untold

Ok, so here's the deal:

- My work computer is broken.
- Tech support is massaging it with healing oils or something.
- I have to "stand by" to reboot it when they ask but otherwise stay out of their way.

So you're getting an #AnaWatches. This *particular* live-watch is very dear to me because it's of a movie I was very excited to see and then spent the entire film shrieking "I'M SORRY WHAT" at the screen in increasingly louder volumes, and it's dedicated to @liminalfruitbat because you always hurt the ones you love, etc.

What is this movie, tantalizingly teased? DRACULA UNTOLD: "the origin story of the man who became Dracula." I want to stress before we start that I have very low standards for Dracula movies. I like the Keanu Reeves one. I like Dracula 2000, which involves a plane crash and Mardi Gras. I like Van Helsing, because I am hopelessly gay. Et cetera. I am not hard to please.

Open Thread: Weathered Hood Ornament

Weathered Hood Ornament

Picture taken June 8th, 2017, in a parking lot in South Portland, Maine.  In addition to the stylish hood ornament, there were also fuzzy dice hanging from the car's rearview mirror.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: Those Who Take and Never Give

[Narnia Content Note: Misogyny]

Narnia Recap: Digory and Polly have returned home, but have accidentally brought Queen Jadis with them. She has ordered Uncle Andrew to procure means of transportation so she can begin her world conquest.

The Magician's Nephew, Chapter 6: The Beginning of Uncle Andrew's Troubles

(I'm back? Not sure what to say about that! Hi! The new Blogger interface is awful!)

   The old man went out, looking like a dog with its tail between its legs.
   The children were now afraid that Jadis would have something to say to them about what had happened in the wood. As it turned out, however, she never mentioned it either then or afterward. I think (and Digory thinks too) that her mind was of a sort which cannot remember that quiet place at all, and however often you took her there and however long you left her there, she would still know nothing about it.

One of the reasons I wanted to do the Narnia series in publishing order rather than the in-universe "chronological" order is that it matters to me how the tone and style of Lewis' writing changed over time. We've gone from a relatively straightforward approach which was tinted with cozy elements (here thinking of the sewing machine in the Beavers' home) to the more dreamy style which I think Lewis preferred in his later writings and which I'm very much not a fan of, at least in his hands. I think this passage is a good example of this tonal shift: instead of Jadis having a logical reason for not confronting the children over their attempt to leave her in the Woods, Lewis postulates that she's just...forgotten about the place. Indeed, that she is entirely incapable of remembering it, no matter how long she is there.

I'm sure there's some religious parallel he's trying for here, but I will admit I don't understand it. The peaceful Woods both hurts and harms her (it seemed to be tortuously draining the life out of her!) yet she can't remember the place even enough to avoid returning to the torture? The two seem almost mutually exclusive; I can almost believe the Woods would be torture for Jadis, and can almost believe she can't remember being there, but trying to believe both at the same time throws an Out Of Cheese error in my brain.

Open Thread: Rhododendron

Rhododendron Engulfing a Chain Link Fence

Sorry it's been almost a month since the last open thread.  Picture taken June 8th 2017.

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Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so almost over, but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

January Newsletter (2021)

Oh my gosh, it's a new year. I want to tentatively poke at it. 2020 was painful and spiky in a lot of ways and I really do hope that 2021 is gentler and more loving, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I woke up trembling like a newborn lamb and I haven't quite gotten my legs under me yet.

But! Regular posting will resume this month, both here and on my Patreon! I have an absolutely lovely Grimms fairy tell retelling (or perhaps I should say queertelling? no? I'll workshop it a little.) for my patrons, as well as two dreadfully awful movies that were painful to watch but which I hope resulted in pleasant live-watching material for you all.

I hope you're all well and safe as we step into the new year. Please don't feel you have to be bright and cheerful here if you aren't feeling it (this isn't the instagrams!) as this is a safe space for people who are scared out of their wits like me. All my love to you. ♡

Links
@KissmateKittens: Here.
My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here.
My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.
My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.