Putting Lipstick on Pigs

Here’s what you need to know about me: I love putting lipstick on pigs.

It was about four years ago when I was first introduced to Tara Gilesbie’s My Immortal. If you’ve never heard of it, allow me to clue you in. My Immortal is widely considered the worst piece of fanfiction ever written. Ostensibly set in the Harry Potter universe, it follows Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way, an anti-establishment vampire witch, as she adventures at Hogwarts and uncovers dark forces at work.  At least, that’s what the summary would sound like if the fanfiction were actually any good. A more honest synopsis is “she wears such gothic clothes and looks so hot and goes to a million My Chemical Romance concerts and has to seduce Voldemort and everyone loves her”.

It’s so bad. I thought I was ready for its level of badness when I began reading it, but I was wrong. I don’t think anyone can be prepared for its level of badness. My Immortal is an affront to decency. It’s abhorrent.

Which is why, as soon as I’d finished reading it, I wanted nothing more than to put it on my Kindle. Continue reading

Checkered finish flag

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #19 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

With this post, I’m declaring the August 2014 blogathon over. I could probably try to squeeze in another hasty post, but you know what? It’s vacation, I’m in Moab, and it’s time to finish things up.

Naturally, I want to take a look at how this crazy experiment turned out. Continue reading

Confederate flag

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #18 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

[Content note: Racism, slavery, Nazism]

Why… Why would someone choose to hang a Confederate flag across the rear window of their truck (safety concerns aside)? Aside from total obliviousness or outright racism, do you think there is any sort of justification for displaying one’s pride in the ideals of the South that could possibly outweigh the blatant discomfort caused in others by their (justified?) associations with that display?

Lynyrd

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…

Nooooooo Continue reading

Blog blog blog

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #17 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

Hello! I got linked to your blog post on KoL by my girlfriend. I very much related to the mentality you share, like expecting free content online, and the sadness of the demise of something you tacitly took for a constant in a universe of variables.

Something I struggle with on my blog (enduringbeta.com) is who the audience is. What the focus should be. I’m curious if that’s a concern for you!

Ross

Continue reading

Lousy Japan photos

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #16 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

When I lived in Japan, I took a lot of pictures. Over 5,000. Then, when I returned home, I did what everyone with a digital camera does these days–put them all on my external hard drive and forgot about them.

There are some really great memories in there, but there are also a bunch of pictures that I have absolutely no reason to keep, and have just kept around anyway. I’ll pull out the great photos and share their stories some other time, but today, I want to look at a small portion of the goofy, pointless, or just plain inexplicable photos from my time in Japan. Continue reading

Space Colonization

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #15 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

Which do you feel is more important for the future of humanity: the colonization of Mars or eliminating poverty?

bluespacething

Space colonization–in fact, interstellar travel–is one of those areas where I have to keep my views pretty close to the chest, in case the Nerd Police catch wind and strip me of my license. Unlike most folks I know who grew up on science fiction and love fantasizing about the new worlds, even galaxies, we may eventually reach as our understanding of the universe expands, I remain utterly apathetic to the idea of colonizing space. Continue reading

Depression Header

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #14 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

[Content note: depression, anxiety, mental illness, suicide, disordered eating]

Depression/Anxiety is a normal thing. You don’t need to medicate it. It’s part of life and a beautiful part at that. There are circumstances in our world that are extremely sad and depressing. As a human, it’s an honorable thing to allow oneself to feel that.
The Polish Ambassador

No.

No, I’m sorry, I can’t let this be.

A friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook the other day. It comes from The Polish Ambassador, an electronic musician also known as David Sugalski. Over the years, I’ve lost much of my interest in bickering on Facebook, so I didn’t raise my objections there, but I have serious problems with this quote, and I can’t just let them go unvoiced. Continue reading

Kitchen Anecdotes

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #13 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

Two anecdotal glimpses into my kitchen tonight.

Anecdote #1: Life Hack

If you, like me, are better stocked for bartending than baking; and if you, also like me, love eating biscuits, you may one day find yourself in the difficult position of needing to cut biscuits from a sheet of dough but lacking a biscuit cutter.1At least, I assume I’m not the only person in the world to face this dilemma. Perhaps I’m wrong.

Provided you have a Cobbler shaker, there’s a simple solution at hand:

Shaker lid as biscuit cutter

Anecdote #2: Recipes

R and I cook in very different ways. One of us follows recipes to the letter, carefully measuring every ingredient and following every step in the directions. The other is far more improvisational, throwing ingredients in here and there and referring to recipes with nothing more than a cursory glance–if at all.

You get three guesses which one I am, and the first two don’t count.

The biscuit recipe I was following tonight said, for some reason, to grease a baking sheet and then sprinkle two tablespoons each of flour and cornmeal over the sheet, so I faithfully did that. I was running around trying to pull dinner together, so I didn’t stop to think about what a terrible idea this was.

Approximately 52 seconds after I stuck the biscuits, on the thoroughly floured and cornmealed sheet, into the oven, my kitchen was filled with smoke, and at that point, I began to consider that the recipe may have been slightly incorrect.

 

In Defense of Fuck

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #11 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

The diner was cozy, with brightly colored walls and shelves of knick-knacks between the tables. Behind us, an elderly couple griped about Obamacare over waffles. After placing our order with a waitress who (of course) called each of us “hon”, we turned our conversation to the subject of the last night’s concert.

We were in Eugene. R and I had traveled eight hours from Walla Walla in the middle of July–braving an un-air-conditioned car and hours, plural, of traffic’s glacial crawl–for a concert. This is not the sort of thing I typically do. In college, friends would rocket off on weekend trips to Portland or Seattle just to attend  concert, a notion I never quite understood. Barring a Carrie Underwood concert last year (which, really, was R’s idea), the last concert I’d gone to was The Decemberists, back in high school. Before that was Captain Bogg and Salty.

But this concert in Eugene was something special. The headlining act was the Goo Goo Dolls, who had provided musical accompaniment for the teenage years of not only me and not only R, but, I’m fairly certain, at least every suburban American kid born in the ’90s. Not everyone’s a fan, of course, and even I’d backed down from the days of Goo Goo Dolls on endless repeat, but the band nonetheless held enough cultural sway to draw us, a few members of R’s family, and thousands of others to their concert in this Eugene amphitheatre.

We were only a few words into our concert debrief when one of R’s relatives made the quip, “I sure wish he hadn’t said–” here she dropped her voice to a whisper–“fuck so much.” “He,” in this case, was frontman John Rzeznik, who, in true rock star fashion, had liberally peppered his between-song banter and anecdotes with the word.

R’s relative continued, dropping her voice to the point of being inaudible whenever she uttered the swear. “It was ‘fuck this’ and ‘fuck that’ and ‘fucking’… couldn’t he just use some different words? Expand your vocabulary!”

This is not about John Rzeznik, who, I’m sure, gives zero fucks. Nor is it about R’s relative, who’s only one of the many people I’ve witnessed expressing this complaint. This is about the unfairly maligned “fuck”, and the people who can’t fucking stand it. Continue reading

KoL, Content, and the End of Things

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #9 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

This isn’t what I wanted to write about today. I started a post called “In Defense of Fuck” about swearing, and I really wanted to sit down after work and finish it up. But “In Defense of Fuck” will have to wait, I suppose, ’cause there’s something else on my mind today.

That something is this:
Kingdom of Loathing letter about ads

Continue reading