Friday, May 26, 2017

I love you all over again.


Trixie Mattel's country folk album came out at the beginning of the month.

98% of the music I listen to these days is Kpop. Barely listen to American music anymore. But when I did previously, it was mostly heavy rock and a bit of hip-hop. I can enjoy just about any kind of music. The one exception I've always had was for country.

I have a really hard time listening to country. It's the twang. In the vocal. Sometimes in the instrumentation even. That twang has always been nails on a chalkboard to me. Like when you have to take cough syrup as a kid and you get the full body shudder from the taste.
I can't deal.

But not all country has a strong twang and I can typically tolerate the genre fine when it isn't present.

I wasn't initially aware that Trixie was so musically inclined from watching Drag Race and other media stuff. But she started incorporating singing and guitar relatively recently along with her standup. Stuff that she had been doing pre-drag.

Late last year I stumbled onto this video.



And I turned into a bit of a sobbing mess.

Brian has a lovely voice. It's not particularly unique or spectacular. There's something about a simple, clean, warm, vocal performance, cutting away any frills or crazy production, that's so damn nice.
And really no twang. Only the occasional tease of one, which I don't mind.

Also an incredibly sad song. Oh heavens. The travelling artist's woes of their personal life being abandoned or falling apart for the sake of their job and what they love to do. Not uncommon. But the lyrics cut straight to the heart of it. Forthright and accessible in such an effective and heartbreaking way.
It hurts.

But I need to go off on a semi-related tangent first after the jump.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Place...

Individually you can create something.

Together you can create something more.


I appreciate when the internet gets playful and creative for April Fools' Day.
Reddit has been doing projects for years that typically are a combination of testing the maximum server burden, demographics, and/or new potential functions for the site.

I've participated in each year since the OrangeRed vs. Periwinkle battle of 2013. Hats hats hats.
I stayed gray for The Button as a part of the waiting Red Guard.
In Robin last year, I helped grow with several huge chats and ended up in the final merged chat before it all crashed. Those of us who lasted to the 17th tier (about 3,000 people) have a private subreddit named after the chat's final merged names /r/ccKufiPrFaSh... 

This year was /r/place. Reddit users could place one pixel at a time on a single, shared blank canvas. You would then wait a set period of time to place your next pixel. The time varied, starting at 20 minutes, but eventually dropping to 5.

The result after three days is what you see above. Well, not exactly. There was a huge follow-up effort to clean up stray pixels and restore certain areas that had been swallowed by the Void. But the actual final piece isn't much different from this. There are dozens of articles around the net about how this all went down, so I won't go into that sort of thing here.


The timelapses and heat maps are absolutely brilliant to watch. The most spectacular follow-up is The /r/place Atlas. A detailed, crowd-sourced, map to every little thing on the canvas, complete with thorough explanations.


It's this kind of thing that reminds me how much I love the internet for the incredible cooperation that is possible. /r/place is a manifestation of that in general. There were probably a lot of expectations of it being a vile trainwreck of bigotry and hate symbols. Turned out to be quite the opposite.

It was damned heartwarming.

I just have a few things to say about my individual contribution after the jump.

Monday, May 8, 2017

*ding*


The winter rains in California are proving their worth in full. Baboon flower in vibrant bloom.
Spearmint. Luxuriant.
Three cheers for that.

31.

I just jumped through my last five birthday entries. All variations of 'I'm a miserable mess, trying to get by, relying on the little things'.

Yup.
Same.

Doing art when I can. Working on Project for Awesome stuff to donate at the end of the year and a similar charity/auction thing in the summer. That'll go to London. I'll probably be posting some of that soon-ish.

I have things to say about reddit's /r/place April Fools shindig from this year.
Also Trixie Mattel's folk album. Future posts.

Day to day, it's getting enough food in me, getting some exercise, chores while listening to podcasts, feeding the birds, reading a bit (currently the Kingkiller Chronicle), keeping up with Kpop posts on my blog and Essential, a little tinkering with my KPOPPY re-coding project, watching a few shows and my youtube subscriptions, art when my fingers are feeling good, and sleep. Rinse. Repeat.

With a steadier constitution I think more on some blunt realities.
For example, I haven't left this city in five years, but I don't know what it looks like. I know my street and the park a bit (PokemonGo), but...
Took a drive with Ma not long ago. Hadn't been in a car in all that time. Incredibly disorienting. She didn't go far. Just beyond the neighborhood. But it was hard for me.
Disorienting... yeah.
Vertigo almost.
Vertiginous is the word.
Not just the movement of the car. But the reality of viewing an area that I've been inside of continuously, but haven't been witness to. My house is a time machine. My life for five years is a blur within it. Everywhere else is changed.

It was overwhelming and hard enough for me to live out in the world when I was running at peak capability. Even as I get better, it's beyond daunting to think about re-entering it when my illness is still so present. It's fair to say the illness was always there, but I had only been white-knuckling it all along. Couldn't ever form a contingency plan. So when my hands metaphorically ripped off, I went flying. And now I don't have anything to reliably hold on with.

Just left looking for my hands.
Not sure if that's even what I should be doing.
White-knuckling is clearly not sustainable.

There's a certain healing comfort to the routine I'm in now. But the awareness that I'm a hair's breadth from doom at any time is always there. If something happened to my folks. If I got sick in a more emergent way. Shit happening in general. deep breath
And always the friends and family who I am utterly isolated from, unable to see or support.
I have a niece I've only really met through screens.

The positive up-tick in things of late considered... that kinda thing fucks me up on the daily.

Gotta take a towel to my cheeks and go watch the birds.

Mysteriously busted my calf muscle a couple weeks ago. Almost thought I had a blood clot or something. Incredibly sore and painful, but didn't know how I had done it. No swelling or bruising while it was excruciating. Magically disappeared after a few days. Some bruising showed up days later. Strange.

Maybe I'm reaching an age where that kind of thing hits harder and more randomly. My body has always been pretty resilient and un-pained. Remarkably so with 10 years of ballet, including pointe. Or un-remarkably? Hard to say.

Little things.
An American Gods TV series started on Starz. First two episodes were pretty fantastic. As much as the penultimate plotline in the book was difficult for me for personal reasons, the mythology referenced is a delight. My favorite reading material growing up. Greek, Norse, Egyptian, a multitude of others. Significantly responsible for my de-conversion from Christianity and arrival at agnostic atheism. Pure fun to see these characters brought to life on screen. Done very well too. Not for the prudish or faint of heart to watch, but worth it so far.

Also watching the new season of Produce101 in the Kpop realm. All boys this time. We're calling it Broduce101. The first big cut brought it from 101 to 60. I lost 4 dudes I was checking for in it. About 15 others I'm still rooting for. Mnet is sticking to the season 1 format pretty closely, which I'm pleased about.

On the note of competition shows, spoilery RuPaul's Drag Race update after the cut.
But first, a relevant Saturday Night Live sketch that just aired:


DRAG WILL NEVER BE MAINSTREAM.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Post-Verbal Show...

My physical health has improved significantly over the last handful of months. Being able to eat full meals, exercise, and have no panic attacks really does wonders.
I'm pretty numb to the politics now.
The women's march after the inauguration made me feel a little better. A growing (young) undercurrent bending towards justice. On that note...

Let's have a fun post.
A timely post.
A post-verbal post.

I drew a couple of my favorite looks from UNHhhh's 1st 'season'.

Last year, with my body being more resilient, I still felt like I was in a dark fog. The future was a black hole. Still is. I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

However, it just so happened that I got around to watching RuPaul's Drag Race again. Lots of seasons to catch up with. I just hadn't managed to get to it after many years.
It's one hell of a show. It's like taking American Idol, X Factor, Project Runway, Face Off, So You Think You Can Dance, a comedy roast, and SNL and putting them in a blender.

Wouldn't recommend it if you're uncomfortable seeing people cross-dressing or gender roles getting scrambled. And if that's the case, what's wrong with you? How's your head? Lel. :P

At any rate, it's glorious.
Season 9 is starting on Friday the 24th on VH1. WATCH IT!

I got through seasons 5, 6, and 7 in rapid succession and watched 8 as it aired.
Season 7 was particularly enchanting due to a certain Russian hooker (season 7 spoilers) with a crippling anxiety disorder, who openly expressed that struggle along with the intense challenge of being a somewhat recently sober drug addict in the sequestered crucible of recording this insane show.

This would be a good time to warn that there's NSFW material ahead.
Drag queens, gay men, and the kinds of things that drag queens and gay men find amusing, especially one who was a sex worker/drug addict. You've been warned.
Time for a cut...