Noa's Diary: Blog Posts, Essays, and Musings

MAY 2023

5/28/23 - Blehhhh

I’ve been in kind of a weird place regarding blogging
lately- or any productive creative output. Which kind
of sucks!!! I like making little updates about my life but
everything feels very rote and mundane lately.
I like making money but damn I miss
being unemployed...

So I’m kind of thinking about shifting
the focus of the blog away from IRL stuff unless something
super interesting happens, I guess? Maybe I’ll post about movies or
games more often. (Still loving Tears of the Kingdom, btw! I
did fully upgrade my horse, and now my main focus is on
building a house... I just need 2 more rooms to complete my layout :D)

I also wish I had more cool ideas for
pages on my site. It feels like it’s been a while since I made
a huger substantial update (and the total loss of my music page
makes me really sad. SCMPlayer, RIP...)
but at the same time I kind of like the state it’s
in currently. I won’t try to force it, but it’s just part
of how I feel so restless and shitty when I’m not
making some kind of art project. Oh well.

My main hope is that once I get used to
the work schedule I’ll get back into the swing
of things. I don’t know how younger me even managed to
squeeze in art in the middle of a school week lol.

5/17/23 - First Day of Work

Honestly? Wasn’t that bad. Making subs
is actually kind of fun. I do well at tasks that involve clear
instructions and completing tasks.
So, I have made quite a few subs and got
hands on experience; I feel comfortable driving in my car
and just generally feel hopeful about my future.

Oh yeah AND... I got Tears of the Kingdom.
Fun game! I love BOTW and I was so happy that
my trusted horse Dandelion could come along
in the sequel. I am a bit of a horse girl at heart
so my main priorities with this game are finding all the
stables, getting every pony point reward, getting
Malanya to upgrade all of Dandelion’s stats, etc...
Plot stuff can wait! This is more important!

5/12/23 - An Eventful Week

It’s been a while, huh! I told myself I would hold off
on writing another post until the week was over
since basically everything was happening.
First: Sunday. I test-drove the car, was pretty satisfied with it.

Monday: I watched movies with my girlfriend.

Tuesday: I went to go do paperwork for my job, had lunch
with my girlfriend afterward at the park. Then in the
evening I went to an 100 Gecs concert,
which I totally thought was later in the month lol.
It was a ton of fun. It was in the same place I saw Molchat
Doma, and someone gave me a cute beaded bracelet.
I have strangely little to say about it, but trust me it was awesome.

Wednesday: Taking the car home! And paperwork at the
DMV. That went pretty smoothly.

Thursday: My first real drive in my new car.
I went to my volunteer work at the stables in it
and got boba on the way home. I haven’t
practiced driving alone in a while but I
think I did pretty well.

And finally... Friday. I had my online orientation for
my job. Which was pretty laid back and simple,
plus I’m getting paid to attend it.
But the bad news is that my car somehow
got stuck on anti-theft immobility
when I tried to take it for a drive today.
There are ways to fix it of course and I suspect
that it’s a result of how old it is, some parts
could be worn out, if the answers I found online are to be
believed. I also have to redo my drug test- not because
of any drugs or anything, something just went wrong with
it, apparently. So, that’s tomorrow.
At least all my problems right now are pretty
fixable (I hope! I really hope the car problem isn’t too major.)
And for the most part everything is looking up.

Edit 5/15/23- the car problem has been fixed pretty easily
and I did retake the drug test. Wish me luck
on my first day on wednesday :)


WELL! I did a second job interview at another location of the same
grocery store. And they gave me a job offer right away. What
luck! I’m going to be a deli worker, with a nice $17 per hour to start with...
I’m a little nervous since I haven’t seriously worked
before but I’m optimistic. My tarot reading this month told me
to trust in fate and that I’ll need to adjust to a new normal-
and opportunity and success may be in my future.
So! That seems promising.

I’m also finally test driving a car later today :)
The previous car owner who was offering one to me
kind of flaked out in the end likely due to the condition
of the car (Not Very Good). But with any luck
the one I’m trying out today will be mine shortly.

Lots of good news today! I’ll keep you posted.


Just in case anyone hasn’t heard, Dracula Daily has begun!
Basically, this is a way to follow the various journal entries and letters
sent in the book in real time, as it’s an epistolary novel. I greatly enjoy following
the story this way last year and definitely intend to do it again.

This year, though, I’m following the new audio adaptation Re:Dracula.
I’ve always been a fan of audio books and audio plays and it will
be a fun way to re-experience everything in a new way.
Definitely subscribe if you haven’t yet... I’ve added links to
Dracula Daily and Re:Dracula to the Cool Links page.

APRIL 2023

4/28/23 - 500 Visitors

Not a huge update, but I am quite pleased to notice
that I now have more than 500 individual visitors to my website!
I’ve only had this place for a little over two months, but
it’s already come so far :)

Thanks everyone!

Also, I got a piclog account.
I currently have it displayed in my Treasure Chest, but
I’m wondering if there’s a better place for it.
I’ll figure something out eventually lol.

EDIT: Piclog is now on my homepage.
I thought it made the most sense in
the "status" section.


I'm a bit late to the party since the movie came out a while ago,
but I greatly enjoyed Renfield. It's a goofy romp with fun lighting, lots
of references to Dracula media, and most importantly
it is a camp masterpiece.

The horror elements are fun, and the gore is video game
levels of absurd. Heads exploding, arms ripped or sliced off,
all sorts of things. Nic Cage as Dracula is surprisingly great (nothing dethrones
Christopher Lee in my heart though). I'm not a huge comedy fan but
the jokes were also good! It surprised me (“Thank you Wiccan Tumblr!”
killed me). Renfield himself is an endearing character. By the time
he was finally standing up to Dracula, I was really cheering for him.
I think it was interesting how since the setting is very modernized, instead
of in a mental asylum he goes to a therapy group instead, an interesting reflection of
how much psychiatry and representation of mentally ill characters has changed (don't love how
narcissist is used as a synonym for abuser but that's its own
conversation- not all progress is linear). I was much less keen on the vampire
hunting cop Rebecca Quincey but the crime and drama aspects of the movie were entertaining
enough and the fight scenes, again, had very fun gore and action. It's definitely
a movie you should see with a friend or companion though, it elevates the
experience. (I got the treat of getting a whole empty theatre to watch it in
with my girlfriend! It’s a movie perfect for riffing on)
I think generally there’s a niche for fun mid-budget films that hasn’t been filled,
and Renfield could have fit into that niche- a shame it seems to have bombed :(

So like... 4 out of 5 stars, I think.

Super excited to see The Last Voyage of the Demeter in August as
well. 2023, like every year, is the year of DRACULA!!!! But especially so
since we have two movies this year focusing on the story from mostly unexplored
perspectives. I'm eager to see how it goes. Also, I have a job interview
today... Let’s see how that goes, too.

Also, I'm considering phasing out the "Essays" page and
just posting everything on here instead...?
IDK, I feel more inclined to post on one large BLOG PAGE!!!
than make individual pages for everything that's slightly longish.

EDIT: I have done this. Also finished my interview. Fingers crossed!

4/23/23 - Lots of good news :)

Wow, it’s been a whole week since I posted something.
Is it just me or did my luck turn around quite suddenly?
First I finally get selected for a job interview (wish me luck, it’s on thursday!)
Then a family friend offers to inexpensively sell me a car.
I had been wanting a car for a while so this is super exciting.
Then my uncle offered to gift me a laptop, which I had also been needing.
Especially since my current computer is a shared desktop. All of this is
hugely beneficial in working towards my goal to move out at some point
in the near future.

I also finally went to the goth club again. It was even more fun
the second time. While we were in line someone from security pulled me
and my girlfriend aside and let us in early through another entrance
because we were a party of two, which was cool. And she complimented
my outfit! So that definitely put a smile on my face last night...
People were also small-talking to us more than they did last time.
I feel like that’s how you eventually make friends, right? lol

AND, one last thing: after seeing Nuovo Testamento
open for Molchat Doma, I then found out they’re coming back to my area
in several months- for a whole goth/darkwave music festival!!!!
Isn’t that amazing? I already have my tickets for all
three days. So I definitely have a lot to
look forward to.

4/16/23 - Experiencing Post-Concert Euphoria

If you recall back in February I mentioned getting tickets
to see Molchat Doma in concert- that was last night! And it
was awesome. I’m not a huge concert-goer but I had a great time
and danced a lot, and regret wearing heels (yes, again ;^_^)

The opener was very good- I hadn’t heard of them
before, they’re a band called Nuovo Testamento. Would recommend
looking into them, because oh my god they were amazing.
The venue was outdoors which was kind of cool because
it almost felt like a secret party tucked away in an alleyway,
or something. I don’t know, there was just kind of an
atmosphere going on.

Anyway, does anyone else think the people who do lighting
for live events deserve more recognition? I certainly think
so. It really elevated the experience.

4/11/23 - Yesterday was nice

I'm in a great mood because I had such a good
day yesterday! I went to get lunch at a ramen place with my girlfriend
and even though we shared one bowl we had enough to each take
home leftovers, so that's lunch for today, haha. The spicy broth is
so tasty. I also tried takoyaki for the first time, and we got
Thai tea and boba.

After lunch we went to a local park, and got to see
their rehabilitated birds of prey and we also fed the turtles in their
pond :) It's a place I always used to visit when I was younger but
I hadn't been in a while, so it was nice to just go walking
together and see everything.

I'm still not having any luck with finding jobs I can
apply for offline, but I guess I'll have to suck it up eventually.
I just don't like how I only get radio silence.<.p>

In better news I finished up the birthday present
for my girlfriend. It's a secret though!

4/6/23 – Job Venting

Bleh. I kind of hate how every job expects you to apply online
and wade through a bunch of broken links on their websites. I’d prefer
just to fill out a paper form if anything. Every online application I
send gets ghosted and it’s really demoralizing that I don’t even get a response.

It feels so intimidating to actually try to get in anywhere, meanwhile
the employers are probably the same people who complain about how no
one wants to work these days. (in one particular example there was literally
nowhere TO apply on the website they directed me towards…)

I mean, at least respond to my e-mails. It just feels like there’s nothing
to be done and I don’t like it at all. And then people get on your case
about being unemployed (I literally do volunteer work and I do TRY so
it’s not like I’m just lazy…)

I guess I’ll figure something out eventually but
it really did dampen a lot of my optimism.

4/1/23 – Thoughts on fate

Happy April! Can guarantee there will be no April Fools
jokes on my website, because I simply don’t have any ideas :P

For today’s blog post I decided I should probably discuss my thoughts
on the concepts of fate and destiny, since I finally made an About Me page recently
and listed tarot as one of my “likes”. I’m generally a skeptic when it comes to paranormal
things (for example, I don’t believe in ghosts, or most things like that) so
my recent interest in tarot/divination can seem incongruous with that.
My interest began in part because I got a deck and a guide book as gifts,
but also because I find it helpful for making decisions.
(plus, let’s be realistic: everyone thinks that doing magic is kind of cool.)

I don’t think tarot cards literally can tell the future. However, I do
think that they can get me in the right mindset to face it, and “equip” me
for what’s to come. When I do readings (which I try to remember to do before
every new month begins) I usually find whatever’s on my mind or has me
feeling conflicted reflected back at me. For example, if I feel hesitant
to do something I know I might enjoy, I usually end up pulling a card
that is telling me not to hesitate, and to move forward (this is actually
what convinced me to stop putting off going to a club for the first time lol…
but it sounds so silly when I write it here!). It’s fairly consistent, and I think in
part that’s because the meanings are just vague-specific enough to apply to whatever
I’m dealing with. So, it’s sort of like a “focus” to me. I’m not literally telling
the future, but rather by pondering it, it helps me to choose the most
beneficial path. Like, say, I’m not sure if I should apply to a specific job, and
then I get a reading that tells me I’m at a crossroads but there
could be prosperity in my future… It’s easy to glean a meaning from
that and make a choice based on the information provided.

So, yeah. I guess I just find it helpful? Almost as a psychological tool.

Also, some more general life updates:
I deleted the Tumblr app from my phone. I explained this on Tumblr itself:
this was merely a way to break the
infinite-scrolling hypnosis of the app, lol.
I’ll still be using the website, of course.
I also started reading The Vampire Lestat since I finished Interview
With The Vampire
some weeks ago.

MARCH 2023

3/25/23 – First time at a goth club!

I’ve finally visited my local goth club and I had a great time :D I had been wanting to for a while
but I think it’s easy to get in your own head about things. I was worried about dancing with a
bunch of other people, worried about the long drive over, worried about if I’d enjoy myself…
But once I got on the dancefloor everything just slipped away and I had a great time dancing with my girlfriend.

We did hit the unfortunate snag of arriving in the area about an hour before opening time lol.
I won’t doxx myself or anything but the club is in a city with some interesting historic displays
and stuff, so we looked around for a bit before lining up. Like I said, I was nervous as I went in…
Just soaking up the ambiance helped alleviate that a lot, not to mention a lot of danceable music. It was
mostly on the darkwave and industial side of things which is about what I expected. (Also love the high amount of
comfy chairs they had in the corner lol). It was just really nice being “in the moment” and
not really thinking about anything other than what I was experiencing.

TL;DR I had a great time and would go again.

Also, my OOE shrine page is nearly done, I just need to get the dialogue page all up and running
which is going to take forever, so I'm holding off until I have a whole day to myself to work on that.

3/20/23 - Back from spring break.

Alright, so the most exciting thing that happened to me on spring break was actually shortly before I left-
managed to secure tickets to see The Cure on their new US tour- and it seems like I was just about the only
person who had any luck dealing with the arcane mystery that is Ticketmaster's website, lol. If you haven't been following the
whole Robert Smith vs. Ticketmaster debacle, I will just say it is quite something. I spent some time with my grandmother
like I usually do this time of year, and it was nice (and I saw some manatees!), but other than that there's not much
to write about. I've been itching to get back to posting things on my site,
as well as get working on an Order of Ecclesia shrine page that I've been dreaming up for the past week or so. No promises on when
that will be finished, but I am working on making all the text content I want
to put on there before I start actually coding the pages ;)

3/12/23 - 100 Visitors!

100 visitors to my humble homepage! I’m so happy.
Though I probably won’t ever know the true number of visitors to my
page, seeing as my site was already in full swing before I added FC2
counter to my page, the fact that 100 different people have already visited my
little personal site is really lovely. I hope everyone enjoyed their
visit and will continue to check back.

Thank you :D

3/8/23- Scratch: Revisiting My First Social Media
(Moved from now-defunt essays section, so it's kind of long sorry)

So, I got thinking about Scratch again.

I guess in the last couple of months something I’ve been thinking about is how there are
less kid-oriented spaces online. The best example I’ve seen passed around is how the Barbie website
used to have games and activities for their target demographic
and now redirects to a product page. “Kids’ spaces online” is a concept
very near and dear to my heart, since I was someone who played those MMOs like Animal Jam and Pixie Hollow and so on.

But there was another place targeted at kids, one I spent most of my afternoons browsing and one that a lot
of people don't remember. That was Scratch, a simple programming platform created by MIT.
I have so many memories on there. I wasn’t allowed to have headphones so I
remember staying up till my parents fell asleep so I could sneak on the computer and watch
all those Warrior Cats AMVs and games- with sound!! It felt so impressive
at the time, with my cheap speakers at about 1% volume just in case my parents were woken up by a
super-compressed version of Numb by Linkin Park (if you know that Scourge AMV, you know). I spent years as an active user
on there when I was very young, and I remember creating my own ambitious
games back in the day. I shared lots of art on there, too, since I was scared off by
deviantArt’s age restrictions.

I haven’t set foot there in years.

I guess I just kind of outgrew it, it is a website for kids after all, and also just...
Still being active on an account where things you made when you were 9 or so feels kind of weird just in general, lol. But nostalgia
is a funny thing. I wanted to go back, just one more time. Maybe it’s because I’m now
active on a different programming platform with an orange cat as a mascot lmao, but something got me thinking
about those days on Scratch, when there was truly nothing holding back my creativity. I didn’t know what cringe meant.
I could just be myself. Make my silly OCs and animations and attempts at “multiplayer wolf games” that never really ended
up working, but were fun just the same. It was my first exposure to real online friends, or anything like social media.

Truly, when I got into middle school and someone told me what a “Mary Sue” was, it kind of killed all that.
Making OCs and not really knowing what being “cringe” meant, I mean. I remember putting my main Warriors OC into that one
Springhole Mary Sue quiz and I was never that unrestrained again. Even now, I feel hounded by my own shame when I create some particularly indulgent things.
I’m not blaming the IRL friend who told me, because even if we knew each other for a year they were a
very important friend in my life, and I would have found out about Mary Sues eventually- I’m blaming the concept.

I guess what I’m saying is I’m nostalgic for before I felt any shame for harmless bad art. I miss that bygone era.

But Scratch still exists. Why not revisit it?

So my goals for this little nostalgia project are this:

1. Revisit my old self.
2. Revisit the projects by others of my era that I remember finding so impressive.
3. Find out what the Scratch users of today are creating.
4. Create something new on the site, even if it's simple.


So, the first thing I did was search up my old username. Every project I ever made was preserved as though
in amber. Though the UI of the website’s homepage is different, I was extremely pleased to see that the top
bar is mostly the same.

One of my first projects I revisited was a “fake multiplayer” game about wolves who put out fires.
Rather than doing evil black magic to get past Scratch’s limitations, I created NPC
wolves who would move around the game world at random and use
the fake “chat” function.

This is kind of impressive, actually? Like, don’t get me wrong, the gameplay is kind
of nothing- you just touch water to collect it, and if a
fire shows up and you have water, touching it will put the water out. There’s a death system
that temporarily turns you into a ghost if you lose your health.
Half the time the “other players” get to the fire before you do, though. Still, I remember being really proud
of it at the time and spent some time playing my own game just for fun.

A lot of the most memorable things I remember creating are wolf adventuring games, though I also created similar
games about lions, cats, and so on. Often there was an emphasis on sating your character’s hunger
and thirst, and interacting with other NPCs.

I also had a lot of OCs. Like, a looooot of them.

I guess I kind of expected when I looked at my old stuff, to find some sort of revelation. But a lot of the games
and art I created were just... okay. I mean, obviously, I was like 9 years old. But for a 9 year old it wasn’t too bad, and I kind of miss
being able to create art like that without really thinking about it. I don’t make OCs anymore, really.
I have only one of them, and I’m already sort of done with her story.

Still, the warm memories were there, of having the Scratch website open on
Firefox and having my schoolwork open on Internet Explorer during class so i could easily switch and
not get caught, of whispering over that cool Warriors AMV my friend and I had watched
the previous afternoon at home, of posting obsessively on the Scratch forums. Of finding out about games like WolfQuest
and Warriors Untold Tales via other Scratch users and deeply craving to play them
but being too much of a weenie to try and download something without my parents’ permission.
(I still play WolfQuest, and am eagerly awaiting Falconstar's next game...)
Of roleplaying in the comments of “Studios”. Of making janky animations set to iNSaNiTY by Circus-P.

Something that does kind of sadden me, though, is I stopped making games around the same time that I
first internalized the idea of cringe. Gradually my Scratch account became mostly a vehicle for posting art, before I abandoned it entirely.
I mean, that’s kind of sad, right? It’s a programming website. If I had stuck with it,
maybe I would have gotten into HTML and other programming skills a lot earlier than I had. I mean, not that Scratch’s building
blocks are necessarily effective at teaching you other programming languages, they’re pretty basic... But I still wonder.

And like... Looking at my old projects, I found a bunch of comments from my own account on some of my old games,
saying “wow, I was so cringe when I made this” or “This is edgy” and stuff like that. It’s kind of weird to think about but I absolutely hated
myself as a preteen and would deface my old artwork in my notebooks and stuff. It wasn’t really
healthy. A lot of this behavior also started when I got diagnosed with autism... I don’t think I
ever consciously thought that I had to “stop being cringe” to compensate for my neurodivergence, but it sure feels
like that’s what it was. Around that time I had started wading into other corners of the internet, and
this was an era where “lol autism lol autistic screeching” was considered to be comedic genius.

I don’t know. It’s just sad. And what broke my heart the most was coming back and seeing people in the comments
of my original page wondering what happened to me, where I had gone. I had left part of myself behind.


Once I had been finished with that little trip down memory lane, though, it was
time to look up other people’s projects, and that’s where I hit my first obstacle.

There’s no way to search based on date. Additionally, the search function is infinite scroll. *Brilliant.* Ideally
I would’ve liked to have some kind of “before:2015” search so I could easily find old stuff I remembered, but such is life.
But then I remembered the “favorites” page on my account. This is like, a huge list of every project you “favorite”, then featured and linked on
your own account. If there was a surefire way to find things I used to enjoy, this was it. And it worked! I found
all the weird lolsorandom spoofs I remember quoting constantly with my friends back in the day, every AMV by a particular animator
I idolized at the time, all the amateur games I found endlessly entertaining.
I’m still impressed to this day, honestly. A lot of these people were barely any older than I was.

I saw someone comment that an animation made in 2012 that I had watched back then
was “made two years before they were born”, and that was when I felt truly old.

But something else caught my attention. People were commenting on old projects calling them “cringe”. Like, really recently. The same projects
I thought were so brilliantly made, the same I had aspired to create. The things I idolized, created by fellow children. They were cringe now. That’s when
I felt truly ancient. A lot of older inactive accounts had descriptions like “Hey, this account is dead now and it’s super cringe don’t look at it”...

Just like me.

Another thing that saddened me was that some things were just lost to time. The projects wouldn’t load when I tried to play them. This was kind
of rare, but a few times it happened to things I had very vivid memories of, which was disappointing.
Still, for the most part, it was just as I left it, like a little time capsule.

So that’s the Scratch of then, the Scratch I remember, a place filled with lolsorandom Warrior Cats
and wolves and unrestrained creativity, all made by children. What is it like today?


So, the next question is how I’m going to gauge the atmosphere of current-day Scratch if I myself am not an
active user. The easiest way would be to probably take a look through the featured
projects on the homepage.

The first one was a wolf-themed dress-up game. It was a little small and simple but the art looked exactly like
something I could have seen back in the day, all pixelly and anime-inspired. There was also a Kiki’s Delivery Service
themed point-and-click game. The artwork was extremely polished, but the gameplay was more simple
than I would have liked. Thirdly, there was another game about a bug climbing ropes,
which I also found pretty fun.

I also took a look at the “what the community is loving” tab. I played one of these popular
games and enjoyed it, but was kind of surprised by the prevalence of a large animation that played in the corner
showing the viewer how to like and favorite the project.

I mean... That’s kind of weird isn’t it? Advertising, I mean. I never remembered that
being much of a thing other than creators saying “please favorite this if you liked it” in the instructions. Anyway,
these popular projects seemed to get somewhere between 50k-100k views.

I once again kind of wish I could search by most recent, so I could get an idea of how Warriors fans use Scratch, since that’s been almost a throughline
of this little diary entry. But then it hit me- search a character who’s a more recent addition to the series. I opted to look for Shadowsight and Bristlefrost, two of the
main characters of The Broken Code. And I got results. There were MAPs being hosted, animations and drawings being made- except nowadays it was all to popular TikTok songs
instead of Linkin Park and Evanescence. The newer art is also a lot less anime-esque, and there’s a lot less crazy emo hair now.
There are also a lot more MAP projects being made than full blown AMVs by one person, which I also think is
reflected by the wider Warriors community on youtube as well, same with the stylistic shift. I think it’s kind of cool,
actually, how you can just tell how things changed over the years.

I guess I’m just glad people are still active and kids are still making stuff. If there’s really any conclusions to be drawn here,
it’s that you should be kind to people who are just now dabbling in creative artwork, and you should be kind to yourself-
even the most “cringe” parts of you. Furthermore, it’s that online spaces for children to be themselves should always
exist, no matter what, and I’m glad Scratch is still alive and kicking.


My first roadblock came when I realized I had no way to make Scratch’s sprite editor work
with my drawing tablet. An ominous omen to be sure. My second roadblock was that it had been
a few hours since I had set up my account and I still hadn’t been given my verification email,
which was necessary to share projects. Foreboding!

Still, I buckled in and animated something by mouse. What I made was a redesigned version of my original OC,
henceforth named Moonspectrum. She is honestly even more of a sparklecat than the original OC
was, but that’s sort of what she represents. Eventually my account was confirmed, too.

I wanted to make something that the old me would be over the moon about,
complete with corny nightcore rock music. So I did.


3/2/23 – Some Half-Formed Thoughts About Reading and Attention Span

So, for a few years on Tumblr, I’ve seen a lot of posts to the effect of “I used to read a lot
as a kid but now I can barely sit down to read a chapter” passed around as jokes. I laughed
along at first but the more time passes the more it discomforts me that
I relate to this sentiment. It checks out, though, since apparently statistically people are reading less and have
shorter attention spans. I recognize myself in these jokes and it worries me, especially since
reading is such an important skill...

Obviously I do still read books- two years ago I reread the entire main Warriors series
around the beginning of summer and I was averaging about two books a day, and then the year
after I did a similar project rereading Guardians of Ga’hoole, but lately
I’ve developed a particular habit of picking up a book and getting halfway through before dropping it… To say nothing of how the books
I do tend to finish being written with preteens in mind. (What can I say? The allure of children’s
xenofiction is strong!) Pretty recently I tried to pick up Gideon the Ninth since I heard good things about it, but
I kind of bounced off of it after a few chapters. Now, this isn’t only
because of my attention span being shorter- I wasn’t really clicking with the snarky
tone- but it isn’t the only book I dropped recently.

I’m trying to pick up reading again, and a few days ago I downloaded a PDF (pirated , sorry :P)
of Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice and I’ve been trying to read around 50 pages of the PDF per day. Can I just say what a relief
it is that I HAVEN’T been struggling with hitting that goal!? I had been intrigued with the idea of reading it
due to having enjoyed the movie adaptation and I’m surprised at just how much was kept faithful
between the two versions- while also getting nice surprises that weren’t adapted to film, like the encounters with the more genre-typical
“old world vampires”, which I greatly enjoyed reading as a fan of vampire fiction in general... My last
stopping point was after Louis and Claudia attended the vampire theatre- it feels so nice to be reading and engaging with
something again without feeling like it’s an uphill battle to
finish my goal for the day.

I don’t really have any specific conclusions or a stylish wrap-up or anything to draw from this other than the
hope that I keep regaining my love of reading. I remember I got in trouble for reading TOO MUCH in class when I was younger and didn’t
have social media or a phone to distract me... Oh, how the mighty fell, lol. As an aside, if anyone
has any suggestion for books with animal protagonists aimed at an older audience than stuff like
Warriors, Guardians of Ga’hoole, Watership Down, etc… Please let me know, I’d absolutely be all over it.

3/2/23 – Some Favorite Movies

I felt the urge to update my blog a bit but I have work later
so I decided to bang out a quick, unorganized list of movies
I really like. You know, for anyone curious about that kind of thing.

Adolescence of Utena (1999) - My favorite movie ever (don’t watch this one without
the context of the original show though, because you kind of need to to understand
the symbolic language it’s using). I was grinning so hard when I watched
it the first time, it’s so cathartic and beautiful and needs to be experienced by everyone.
Every time I think I have it figured out, there’s something else I notice
about it, and my appreciation for it only deepens.

Suspiria (1977) - I had the pleasure of watching this one in my local historic theatre
that regularly does showings of older movies (it was built in ’26!) and let me tell
you, watching this one on the upper balcony of an old picture palace really
enhances the atmosphere of it, it just immediately hooked me. I love
how this movie uses color and ambiance and oh my god the SOUNDTRACK!!!
It’s so vibrant and beautiful and utterly terrifying (shoutout to the scene
where the guide dog was barking at nothing in that massive plaza, paranoia-based
horror always gets me). A must-watch. I haven’t seen the remake yet.

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) - My favorite Hammer Dracula film (yes, really!).
It’s like, exactly the high level of camp I love. Lots of fake blood
and silly 70s “how do you do fellow kids” dialogue and questionable outfit
decisions and a guy called Johnny Alucard. There’s a scene where Peter Cushing
is like, slowly rearranging the letters of “Alucard” to form “Dracula”
in the most overly serious way possible. It’s wonderful.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) - OKAY HEAR ME OUT I know this is kind of an
awful adaptation of the book and the way it treats its female characters Isn’t Great
and it’s the origin point of everyone thinking Mina and Dracula were in love,
but like… It’s such a stylish movie. The costuming and effects and everything
make it a fun enough watch for me to forgive that :P

Nope (2022) - You’ve probably already heard all the overwhelming praise for
this one- it’s all true. This movie is incredible. I mentioned before that
paranoia-based horror always gets to me, and this is no exception.
I love how it uses fear of open spaces and broad daylight. The themes of
exploitation and spectacle are also very well implemented. Also can I
just say that kitschy theme parks are such an underrated
horror setting? More of that PLEASE.

The Thing (1982) - My girlfriend’s favorite movie :3 I’m kind of obsessed with
how the movie stays so terrifying while also breaking the “don’t show the
monster too quickly” rule, you know? Also the practical effects are
awesome. You’ve probably already watched this one but it’s good.

Vampyros Lesbos (1971) - Another one I’d say is more appealing for its
atmosphere than its plot. Also warning this is one of those like, overly horny
gay vampire movies from the 70s (with all that implies).

The Vampire Lovers (1970) - See above. This one is Hammer’s Carmilla adaptation.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - One of the best silent horror films.
I absolutely love the set design.

Filibus (1915) – Another silent film, this one is about a jewel-thief who
is a master of disguise- including gender. A surprisingly good-for-its-time
adventure movie that has a crossdressing lesbian villain-protagonist
who is a pirate who pilots an airship. IT RULES.

Hopefully you enjoy one of these on your next movie night.


2/24/23 – Dead Cells DLC + a new forum

Wow! I mean, wow! In case you didn’t see, there was a new trailer for the Dead Cells Return To Castlevania crossover and I’m so
excited because we got a pretty big confirmation: SHANOA WILL BE IN IT. Maria, too, and certainly other characters
are soon to follow. But I wasn’t expecting Shanoa at all, I’m so happy. I think of note are two things: Shanoa has access to Acerbatus and Torpor,
which are two of Albus’s signature glyphs, and she also has a statue of Albus in the room she’s in. Which implies that she’s post-OOE,
which will be super exciting to see. I hope they do some interesting things with her characterization
since we haven’t really seen that before unless you count GOS, and I consider GOS Shanoa
to be her own person separate from Original Flavor Shanoa, sort of. For lore reasons.

Another exciting thing is that I have finally realized a little dream of mine and started my own
Castlevania forum, called Forgemasters. Hopefully this will be a welcoming place for all sorts
of fans of the games ^_^ I’m a bit nervous because I’ve never run a forum before but it’s really exciting.

2/21/23 – Birthday

It’s my birthday! Or, it was, on the 19th. I waited until now to post anything
about it since on the 20th I had plans to hang out with my girlfriend,
thus extending the celebration a little bit :)

I had a delicious tres leche cake, and a lovely dinner at a local restaurant, and some of my
cooler gifts include a large Breyer model of a Clydesdale horse that looks just like a horse I work with IRL;
Tinderbox by Siouxsie and the Banshees on a vinyl record (so good!); a ticket to a Molchat Doma
concert (technically unrelated to my birthday but just happened to be a gift I received near my birthday… lol), as well as a
Revolutionary Girl Utena soundtrack CD and a fancy collar from my gf. SO! all in all I would call it a pretty good birthday.
We went thrifting, too, even though we didn’t find much it was nice.

This past year has been a pretty good one all things considered, since I broke a lot of my worst depressive habits,
started volunteering, cleaned my room in its entirety for the first time in years, got more into fashion,
makeup and expressing myself, confronted some unresolved trauma, and dabbled in a lot of
different creative hobbies (website design being my latest pet project…) Just a lot of little things
that add up to a lot. I’m a happier person than I was last year.

So… Yeah. Here’s to another year!

2/16/23- Christening

Hmm. I think it’s only fair that the first post on my new website should be
about the website itself, and the circumstances of its creation.

First things first, I’ve been a Tumblr user for nearly half my life. A lot of people hail Tumblr as one of the last bastions of a “bygone era”
of the internet- no algorithms, no obnoxious monetization, no tracking, etc. However, Tumblr has gradually been introducing a lot of features that go
against what the userbase values so much. Monetized post promotion, a “For-You Page”, and obnoxious “live” banner that you can’t permanently
opt out of taking up the top of your screen, replacing the button to see your own blog with one for their merch store on the app, the “Tumblr TV” thing I’ve seen described
as “TikTok but for images”, and more and more questionable decisions. I don’t think I’ll ever stop using Tumblr entirely, but the writing is on the wall-
not even your “last bastion” is safe. I’m sure a lot of more knowledgeable people could write about the pitfalls of the “centralized internet”,
but I am not those knowledgeable people, so I’ll leave it to the experts. The fact of the matter is that the more I thought about it,
the more I realized I didn’t want to rely on some company with their own interests for my place on the vastness of the internet.

I had seen a post circulated on Tumblr about Neocities, that had linked a bunch of tutorial pages for HTML and such, but every time I saw it
I had kind of thought- “no, I wouldn’t be able to do that”. I had dabbled a bit in HTML during high school but it all was lost on me. It’s very easy
for me to be easily intimidated by new things, even if when I eventually try them I end up enjoying them. And I did!
When I finally signed up for Neocities just to poke around and try it out, I ended up loving it. Designing a website,
it turns out, is a lot of fun! It’s like moving into a cute little apartment, or writing in a diary.

So, yeah, I think I’m here to stay. And I hope this makes anyone else reading it who’s thought about making a website gain the confidence
to make the leap. I’d also like to thank the website, where I found a lot of the tutorials that helped me design my website as it is now.

Thanks for reading!