About Me

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I am the creator of steampunk reviews, a woman in love with history, mystery, and the fine things of life, though not necessarily in that order. As a self-styled aristocrat, I've aimed to cultivate an old world (real or constructed via movies being irrelevant to me) sense of elegance and taste, and have been going to great lengths to fulfill that goal. It is my aim to live a life that is enjoyable, rather than one obsessed with being 'perfectly good for me in every way'.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Bevy of Steampunk Beverages

I am not ashamed to say that I love a good drink.  With few exceptions, I have found most wines, beers, and hard liquor in all its varied forms to be wonderful, wonderful things.  Of course that train of thought has led me to eventually seek out the best and the brightest – as well as the strangest – in the realms of alcohol.  So, for your delectation and delight, some examples of beer, wine, and general booze that I classify as steampunk!

1.        Kraken Rum:  This probably goes without saying, all things considered.  The label/bottle alone are extremely good reasons to buy it.  The rum itself, however, may take some getting used to for those more accustomed to Captain Morgan and Bacardi.  It packs a serious, burning punch when you drink it straight (as myself and some of my more adventurous friends have been known to do.) In mixed drinks it loses that nasty/lovely caustic element and goes down nice and smooth.  The flavor is heavy on vanilla, with other spices like cinnamon and cloves acting as ‘backup dancers’, if you will.  (Please note, you must say ‘Release the Kraken’ when you open it.  It’s the law.)

2.       Steam Whistle Beer:  I mentioned this umpteen blog posts ago, but Steam Whistle, if you can get it, is an excellent, light, Canadian pilsner, eminently drinkable.  It goes great with luncheon type food and is very refreshing.  The label itself is what causes me to class it as steampunk, and the brilliant green bottle is also very pretty to look at.  One small problem; I haven’t been able to find it in the US, despite much scowering. 

3.       Ichabod ale:  From the New Holland brewery, this is a wonderful seasonal beer.  They use pumpkins in the mix (which I cannot taste) and spices (which I most definitely can).  The end result is one of the few dark-er beers that I actually enjoy.  (As a rule of thumb I almost always drink IPAs, partially because I love how they taste but also because most people don’t like them and therefore won’t steal mine.)

4.       Midas Touch:  Derived from the chemical sampling of the inside of an ancient, cauldron, this stuff is apparently pretty damn close to what ancient people used to get sloshed on.  It’s good, albeit pricey (saffron is used in the brewing process), middle of the range on the sliding scale of pale to dark beers, and while I don’t know that it’s one of my favorites, it’s still a great way to strike up conversation at parties.

5.       Biere de Mars:  An awesome Belgian beer, this stuff comes in an ENORMOUS bottle, and you will be tempted to drink it all in one go.  And in this case, you can give in to temptation.  The stuff is amazing -light, bubbly, and otherworldly.  It makes me want to climb aboard the Enterprise or the TARDIS and go whizzing through space.

I have not, however, been able to find a steampunk gin.  Any suggestions on that front are welcome. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

When a film fan becomes a film fail

I love art films. That’s just a given. I adore Pan’s Labyrinth, the 1979 Nosferatu, the short films of the Brothers Quay, and Koyaanisqatsi, amongst many other films of that ilk. Often, the weirder and more disturbing the movie is, the more likely it is that I am all over it like ants on a sugar heap. I really and truly love when films push my boundaries and expect me to think for myself. This, however, does not prevent me from enjoying more mainstream works. I adored Priest, Thor, Cowboys and Aliens, and the Hangover 2, and that’s just this summer’s roster of movies that I saw. Did I consider any of them to be extremely deep or meaningful? No, not really, but they entertained me, made me roll with laughter, hold my breath with suspense, and generally have a grand time with a bucket of popcorn on my lap.
So now, I offer a heartfelt rant to the world. All you snobby film viewers who insist on criticizing any film that doesn’t fit your concept of high cinema, please remove your collective head from your collective ass. I had to put up with one of your kind, a self-centered hipster who refused to give any credit to the actors (in her eyes everything was due to the magic of the director) or to speculate on the meanings of particularly arcane movies. She drove me crazy. All she ever did was quote essays about the films in question, never once producing an independent thought of her own.
Obviously, it was this hipster who fueled my outright hatred of film snobbery, but I feel everyone, especially those of us who love art films, should take this sort of behavior into consideration before you open your trap to lambast a film. Now of course I’m not saying that you shouldn’t criticize a movie you dislike (I’d be out of a job then), but I do suggest that you consider whether the film was really and truly *bad*, rather than it just didn’t make the cut for the Cannes Film Festival. And there are, in fact, plenty of films that are really and truly bad, (The Last Airbender, DEAR GOD, THE LAST AIRBENDER) and ripe for the shredding. In other words, here are some good, non-subjective reasons for disliking a movie: Wooden script, abysmal acting across the board, abuse of special affects for no good reason, and enormous plotholes. Here are reasons that may mean the world to you, but are in fact subjective and it may be better to keep to yourself: The film wasn’t directed by your favorite director, it was made by a big Hollywood studio, it was designed to entertain rather than to inspire nirvana….etcetera.
Also respect other’s right to dislike *your* movies. I don’t look down people because they didn’t like Black Swan or Inglourious Basterds. And I (and many others besides myself) would take it as a kindness that we be allowed to dislike movies regardless of the film’s perceived merit. As per example Citizen Kane just plain bores me to tears. Yes I know it’s supposed to be a classic, but I’d rather watch Attack of the Killer Tomatoes than be forced to contemplate Rosebud one more time. Or hear a hipster dissect the symbolism of Rosebud one more time. In other words; film likes and dislikes are subjective, and disliking a film is not automatically a sign that one is an uncouth yokel.
Finally, one does not have to have read every book on film or seen every arthouse flick to have an opinion on a movie. I love Nosferatu for its powerful Memento Mori attitudes, and I do not give a specific DAMN about the New German Cinema style that produced it or its goals, nor do I feel any need to. Directors, after all, may make a film in a certain way and hope to send a certain message, but everyone will walk away with differing opinions. People filter what they see through their own experiences and perspectives, and if you find yourself filtering your films entirely through the lenses of others, you will end up like the hipster I mentioned earlier: a squawking parrot with no opinion of your own.
In summary, watch the movies you love, debate about them politely while keeping the subjective elements in mind, respect the likes and dislikes of others, and never feel obligated to watch a film you hate/have no interest in.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Great Purse Dilemma

This is one area that continues to daunt me in my Steampunk wardrove. Despite a closet full of Victorian clothes and shoes, a jewelry box brimming with pretties made of old watch pieces, and a vast selection of other props ranging from parasols to goggles to gasmasks, I’m still out of luck in the purse department.

Most of this issue boils down to the fact that my purse needs be, out of necessity, a veritable black hole. My current bag of holding has a couple dozen pockets and compartments, allowing me to carry virtually anything, which I usually do. Like Mary Poppins, I can produce pens, paper, motrin, food, money, makeup, a selection of tools, and all the varied gear required in my day to day life with its bizarre occurrences and teeth rattling near misses. All the Steampunk purses I’ve seen, however, tend to be large but lack any compartments or organization worth writing home about. Up with this, obviously, I will not put, and I have remained sans-Steampunk-carrying device, though I have still not given up hope that such a purse exists.

So I’m putting out a call here: If anyone knows of a place or a website where I can get a decent (and stylish) Steampunk purse/bag/WHATEVER of sufficient capacity, I would be eternally grateful.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

World Steam Expo 2011

I’m sorry about the delay in delivering this entry. I’ve been waiting to see if more photos of myself cropped up in the World Steam Expo Flickr account (http://www.flickr.com/groups/world_steam_expo/pool/), which, ironically, yielded several photos of me from the 2010 Expo, but very few of me this time round, save a couple shots that featured me in the background. Which is odd, since I know from the many times I was asked to pose that there are plenty of pictures from the 2011 Expo out there.


This year’s Expo was an improvement in every way possible. The schedule was better put together and had many awesome events (I rappelled from the ceiling in six inch heels!  And there *are* pics of it somewhere, though I haven't been able to find them), the dealer room had many more sellers and a broader selection of merchandise (I bought a TON of stuff :D), and as a rule of thumb things worked better all the way around. The only major issues were mechanical ones, which I forgive readily in that *something* has to go wrong to appease Murphy’s Law. Better that it’s the microphone refusing to work than something really catastrophic occurring. Also I was recognized by several people for my show, including the people at Brute Force Studios, G. D. Falksen, and Frenchie and the Punk. OH, THE AWESOME. *rolls around in glee*

And now on to the photos!


That's the rappelling tower.  I jumped off that in six inch heels.  You do the math.

I love the anachronistic nature of this photo.

At an Aegis presentation. Also, dreadlocks.

These next two photos were taken at the SmarterPics booth in the dealers room and involved a green screen, hence the awesome background.  This was my outfit on the first day.

Outfit on day two.  This is also my new profile pic, and during the Expo my unique shade of lipstick earned me the title of 'blue lips'.  That is my beloved modded nerf gun in front, which I geekily named 'Not My Funeral' in honor of Gwynn from the Etched City's sword.

These two photos were actually taken in 2010, but I figure they're still awesome and therefore sharable.

I love the way the front of my skirt has folded itself in this shot.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dorian Gray Corner 1: Designing an outfit

I’ve been asked several times how I go about putting together my Steampunk clothing ensembles: Where exactly do I get my ideas, how do I bring them to fruition, etcetera. So I’m going to let you, my dear readers, in on my various secrets in this series of articles, named after one of the most appearance obsessed book characters of all time.

First of all, one important thing to bear in mind is that anyone attempting to put together an outfit of any sort needs to rely on their sense of taste and style. Taste, of course, can be a rather subjective concept, and if one feels that one’s own sense isn’t up to par, it’s advisable to involve someone else in the proceedings if for nothing else than a second opinion. Indeed, even if you normally feel your fashion abilities surpass those of everyone around you, it’s still advisable to ask someone else what they think before you go traipsing out the door wearing some bizarre concoction of clothes. (Note: This rule is negated if the central conceit of your outfit is of a grand enough scale. Or if you are Lady Gaga.)
Now, on to the actual designing of an outfit. When I begin the process of coming up with some new Steampunk get up I always start off with some sort of inspiration. As per example, the idea for the ensemble I wear during my Steampunk makeup and clothing tutorial on my youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/yankee999?feature=mhee#p/u/3/BhaS9VcE560) was derived from the character Grell a la the manga Black Butler. I started by pinpointing Grell’s central color scheme of black, white, and bright red (black, white, and red is also arguably Sebastian’s color scheme, but his red is more a shade of maroon or claret while Grell’s is more in line with the color of blood or roses.) From there I assessed what clothes I had that fit that schematic, as well as the general visual tone of the manga (clean lines, minimal visual foofrah) and from there weeded out any excessively lacey or gauzy pieces of clothing. What was left was a pinstriped skirt made from black suiting, a black blouse, black-red-and-white corset, black boots, and black bustle coat. I assembled this, then added a silver pendant strung on a red ribbon, garnet earrings, and some makeup. Ta-dah! Outfit complete.
This same process can be followed by anyone. Pick a starting point for inspiration, assess the color and style of the inspiration, find clothes + jewelry + makeup that match that style, then put it all together and out the door you go.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Branching out

So it has occurred to me that while this is supposed to be a Steampunk blog, I tend to spend far too much time talking about my personal life and issues. Given that fact, I’ve decided to outsource my personal problems to a new blog. Said new blog is called the Nyarlathotep Files, and here’s the appropriate link: http://nyarlathotepfiles.blogspot.com/. So if you like hearing me rant on and on (and ON) about life at Miskatonic and the insanity here, subscribe over there. From now on this blog will be strictly focused on Steampunk, how to incorporate it into one’s life, and other gear related topics. 
And in other news, I now have my very own theme song for my reviews, another one of which should be gracing us in the near future.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Peacock Queen Reborn

So, if you follow my twitter (it’s in the blog sidebar! Go follow me now!) you know I lost out for the position of president of the Miskatonic Film Society. To say I’m still sore on the subject is an understatement, but I can say that I’m no longer heartbroken. I’ve learned some valuable lessons, primarily that I am no more meant to meddle in politics than I am meant to grow wings and fly to the moon. And after three months of dying to myself, I am free. Free not only to return to my Felix Harrowgate-esque self, but also to start a club of my own – the Miskatonic Scifi and Fantasy Club. No, one does not exist already, to my utter bafflement.

I am not, however, free of anger in regards to my being beaten for the position. Most of my rage derives from the fact that my opponent rigged the voting, and given that he was in a relationship with the current president at the time I should have known I was over a barrel the minute the sides were lined up. I took my defeat as gracefully as I could, of course, as an aristocrat should, but that does not seem to be enough for the new president. At this juncture I have even gone so far as to offer the hand of friendship to get dialogue going with him – a rather important gesture, given that I was elected vice president and we have to WORK TOGETHER – but thus far no luck. If he keeps it up things are going to become REALLY unpleasant in our near future.

Thankfully, now I’m back after three months of living in a coffin of my own misguided ambition for all the wrong things. So strap on your goggles, friends, and hold on. I suspect things are going to get a mite wild.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Etch-e-sketch of the Elder Gods

Well spring seems to be clawing its way into the cold heart of Miskatonic for the first time in months. And as is the custom of Miskatonic spring, it heralds its arrival with some of the most bizarre shifts in weather imaginable. Over the course of one weekend, I was privileged to be pelted with rain, snow, sleet, and hail, with periodic moments of sunlight. The reason for the ridiculous weather is often blamed on everything from the hilly land to the nearby lakes or what have you, but as far as I’m concerned Miskatonic has its insane weather because we happen to exist in the elder god’s weather based etch-e-sketch, which Yog Sothoth enjoys shaking spastically whenever spring rolls around.

Moving on.
A new review will be up by the weekend. I swear to god. I know I’ve been extremely delayed in my updating, but things have been pretty hairy over here, in one way or another. The friend based drama continues and it has seriously taxed my emotional wherewithal. This in turn makes me anxious and prone to freak outs on a grand scale (as an aristocrat, I never do anything in halves. If I’m going to lose my mind, I’m going to lose ALL of it.)

This makes it very hard to get anything except the most basic requirements of school done. I am pleased to report, however, that I seem to be climbing back out of the pit of despair, and hopefully I can stay out of it permanently this time.
Finally, I’m fully prepared for the World Steam Expo. Outfits are prepped, registrations are purchased, friends are roped in, and I am super excited. Is anyone else coming? Post in the comments

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Current interests, part 2

Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne. This anime looks like a total mind screw, on so many separate levels. From what I've gathered about it, it is most certainly not for the faint of heart, and anyone who's interested in watching it should go in fully aware that it is for the mature crowd in every sense of the word. I still plan on seeing it, though. I've yet to meet any book/film/tv series/anime that could freak me out enough to make me totally flip my wig. I have, on the other hand, encountered just the *descriptions* of a few internet memes that did just that. Draw your own conclusions as to which ones they were.

Cooking and Indian food. I've recently gone off on a huge cooking jag, and have been absorbing recipes right left and center. I don't think we'll be treated to my turning into Julie from Julie and Julia but I think you can all certainly expect to hear about my cooking endeavors, experiments, and abject failures. I am currently focusing my attentions on Indian cuisine, mostly due to the fact that volume four of Black Butler featured copious references to curry and piqued my interest. I also have been drinking more chai tea, specifically a new flavor from Teavana known as Maharaja Chai Oolong. Oh my word, it's spectacular!

The Secret History. This has always been one of my favorite books, but I've recently been re-reading it (or at least re-reading specific passages). The plot, which features a group of sophisticated classics students who get sucked into their own modern version of a Greek tragedy, is gripping in the extreme. The book is notable for its amazing characterization and superb (albeit deliciously dysfunctional) group dynamics, and I've always been fond of two of the lead characters: Henry Winter, a Mycroft Holmes-esque polymath with ice in his veins and a nasty attitude, and Francis Abernathy, an aristocratic drama king whose shoes I often seem to find myself in when I'm at Miskatonic. (Feelings on that subject: THANK GOD I'M HOME.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Etiquette: You are not exempt from it.

I suspect I am not the only person this has happened to. Tell me when this starts sounding familiar: You spend the first decade or so under the careful tutelage of your parents, who do their absolute damnedest to instill good manners and etiquette in you, their offspring. If your upbringing was similar to mine, this also involved being taken to various formal events where it was an unspoken fact that bad behavior would be eliminated with extreme prejudice, further cementing the behavior. You may not think of yourself as egregiously polite or well mannered, but that’s primarily because you spend most of your time in contact with those who hold themselves to a similar standard, whether any of you know it or not. Everything is dandy.
Then one day you find yourself in an environment where none of this holds true. This may or may not occur when one is in any level of grade school. For myself, I certainly experienced less than pleasant exchanges with many of my fellow students in high school, but I usually chalked that up to their dislike of me, rather than their having been raised in a barn. My big awakening occurred at Miskatonic. ANYWAY, you have been dropped on your ass amongst a bunch of cretins who don’t say please, thank you, or bother with utensils. Usually, I find, this inspires rage and frustration in the subject, and, if you’re Hannibal Lecter, psychopathic behavior. For me, it certainly entrenched my misanthropic view of humanity even deeper.

So let’s get something straight here: MANNERS ARE NOT OPTIONAL, FOR ANYONE. They provide orchestration and direction that prevents idiotic mishaps. Perfect example: Last week I was going down a narrow, crowded stair case. I kept to the right, AS YOU SHOULD, and so did most people. A few jackasses, however, decided that the line wasn’t moving fast enough, went into the ‘oncoming’ lane, and tried to make a break for it…only to have people need to get past them on their way up. Cue massive pile-up and delay. And for those who say that manners are sexist, I have this reply: They shouldn’t be. Just as an example, everyone should hold doors for everyone else, gender being utterly besides the point, and those having doors held for them should thank the holder. (As a side note, I find most women to be far ruder than men. They don’t bother to hold doors, smack people with their purses, and act infuriatingly entitled in every damn way you can imagine. NOT ACCEPTABLE, FELLOW FEMALES.)
Finally, there comes a point where things just go to far and, in my opinion, the only correct response to such blatant rudeness is to throw it back in the face of its progenitor. To illustrate: The Miskatonic café has limited seating. Around lunch time, when I am usually there, the seating becomes even more limited when scores of troglodytes troupe in, drop their bags and coats on every table in sight, and then go to lunch, leaving their things, supposedly secure in the knowledge that the table in question is ‘saved’ for them and rendering people like me, who can’t get there till class lets out, SOL if they want to sit down to eat a meal like a civilized human being. After a few weeks of this, I lost my temper and decided to play their game. So if there is nowhere to sit in the café I MAKE a place, shoving people’s stuff to the side or transferring them to another table and taking what wasn’t theirs to begin with. Obviously I’ve received blowback for doing so, but in every case I’ve been able to use a combination of good manners and a pointedly worded explanation that should make the idiot brigade in question think twice before usurping a table they won’t even be using. 
As an added bonus, manners are far more productive than *eating* someone, fava beans or no. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dress has always been my strongest suit

Recently, while thinking about the impending Steam Expo, I was struck by a bolt of clothing related terror. All my outfits seemed shabby, most certainly unfit for an aristocrat intending to make her obligatory splash at a big Steampunk con. I frantically began searching the internet for some new outfits but - Quelle horreur! - all were so expensive and I needed that cash to purchase a mask for the masked ball! I was in a state of full blown hysterics when I actually bothered to start digging through my closet. That's when I realized that there was nothing wrong with my wardrobe - only with my perception of it. I had plenty of outfits, but lack of reason to get dressy had stunted my memory. So I began a delighted reunion with my varied bustles, corsets, and bloomers, and came to an understanding. Simply put: A wardrobe renovation need not require breaking the bank.

Step 1: If you feel your clothing habits have stagnated, it's best to ask yourself why. In my case, being shut up in Misktonic without any real reason to get dressed up had driven a couple nails into the coffin of my struggling fashion sense, aided by the fact that the bitterly cold winter precluded anything less than the sturdiest outfits. Jeans were the only reasonable leg-wear, coats were mandatory, and the threat of frostbite was certainly enough to keep me out of my silks and lace in favor of down and canvas (the winter did, however, provide a good reason to wear fur).

Step 2: Begin any potential renovating by getting reacquainted with your various clothes. Go through drawers. Dig through closets. As soon as I began to do this I discovered I had plenty of perfectly wonderful outfits just waiting to happen. Remember that both closets and drawers (as well as hat boxes, bureaus, chifforobes, laundry bags, wardrobes, attics, and what have you) are sneaky bastards who tend to skew your opinion of the state of your clothing affairs. Act accordingly.

Step 3: If you feel the need, remove any worn out clothes/clothes you just have absolutely no use for whatsoever. It may occur that your drawers are packed full of perfectly awesome day and night wear, but all that has been buried under ugly but well intentioned sweaters from Aunt Millie or t-shirts your co-workers/fellow students/WHOEVER keep giving you. Get rid of these. Give them away, re-gift them, turn them into quilts, use them as cat beds, stuff them under the door to prevent drafts, just get them the hell out of your wardrobe.

Step 4: Assess what is left behind. Is your selection of clothing satisfying? Do you feel you have too much of one thing and too little of another? Here is where you begin planning - if you find the need - to go shopping for fresh clothes. Be strategic. Don't just go out any buy a whole bunch of stuff because 'you need something new'. Instead, decide that, for example, you could use more leg wear and carefully select three pairs of new trousers that you can match to almost anything. Hell, if you can afford it go out and get three pairs of all purpose trousers tailor made for you. Using forethought in wardrobe renovation means you should have fewer things to buy and, as consequence, allows you to spend more money on them to make sure they last.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Current interests, part 1

The Kowloon Walled City: I hadn't heard of this place (it is no longer in existence, for better or worse) till today, and quite honestly I'm fascinated. Virtually any fan of Sci Fi, Fantasy, and, of course, Steampunk, is well acquainted with the trope of a slum, often walled off from an otherwise perfectly respectable city, where the buildings have grown so out of control that people walking around at the ground level can't actually see the sky, where police refuse to go into unless
in force, and wbere one can go from one side of the place to the other without ever needing to touch the ground. Whether it's the Narrows of Batman Begins, the Infinite Fortress from Getbackers, or the Raft from Snow Crash, the trope is EVERYWHERE. And, as I discovered today, there was, once upon a time, just such a place in reality. That place was the Kowloon Walled City. Look it up. It's kinda weirdly awesome.

Merimask: Expo time is creeping up on me again, and as such it's time for me to buy a new mask for the masquerade ball. So, as I have in the past, I turn to Merimask. This supremely talented mask-maker has been putting out some truly gorgeous new designs, including this particularly lovely specimen that I'm salivating over. The mask was inspired by the Greek god Hermes. And is uber expensive. But, my god, I just may starve myself so that I can buy it.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Yeah, I know. Me and everyone else. Honestly, though, if you get into the book or see the (ORIGINAL SWEDISH) movie, and cannot be just a *little* enamored of Lisbeth Salander and the sheer level of badass she embodies, I suggest you go hide under whatever sheltered rock you came out from under and stay there.
Rasputina: This band has obviously been around for quite a long time, and I’d heard about them in passing, but only recently did I start listening to them, and I’ve become very fond of the music.
Red Riding Hood: Yes, it’s directed by the same woman who did Twilight, but it looks so pretty….and it has Gary Oldman….and whatever you say about the Twilight films, the issue with them is more inherent in the source material than the actual direction. That and Kristen Stewart seriously needs to wake up fully before she opens her mouth. And Robert Pattinson needs a bath.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Breakups, Switzerland, and a whopping case of drama

As those who follow my twitter know, I recently broke up with my boyfriend. Or not so recently. Time these days has become intensely subjective due to the snow-darkened day-to-day routine of life at Miskatonic. Events that actually happened a month ago can feel like just yesterday, and one's recent midday meal may seem to have occurred in another millennia altogether. It's not easy to deal with. At any rate, I am single again. It wasn't a necessarily easy decision, but it *was* one that had to happen. Due to a multitude of issues (my grandfather, who inspired me to pursue my study of history, died, and I've been sick a great deal, with both of those problems compounded by the fact that I've been ass-deep in work), I'm not in a place where I can deal with a relationship. I have to get back on my feet as a daring and decadent aristocrat before I can even consider romance, and even when I do I know I'm not interested in hopping back in the saddle of love. After all, I have, in theory, a limited amount of time to enjoy a single life, uncomplicated by the responsibilities of a significant other. So I'm going to enjoy it, put my energies into my studies, both in school and personally (I'm teaching myself Sumerian and studying mycology when I have a moment), and have the time of my single life.

My friends, however, are having a considerably rougher experience where Cupid and his thoughtless arrows are concerned. Simply put, two of my friends who were dating each other broke up, in one of the more spectacularly melodramatic ways possible, made worse by the fact that they had been cohabitating at the time. As a consequence, sides were drawn up, banners were raised, and what amounts to World War III broke out among mes amies. The worst aspect of all this? I'm the only neutral party in the group. So, like poor Switzerland, I'm forced to watch every move I make lest I find myself bombed (metaphorically speaking) off the face of the earth by either party. The stress is horrendous, and I'm thoroughly sick of it all, but as yet I have found no way to extricate myself from the proceedings. It's at times like these that I wish I could break up with *friends* as well as with lovers, because if any paramour of mine ever gave me this much trouble I'd have kicked them to the curb long ago. Nyarlathotep on a unicycle, what I do for friendship, let alone love....

At any rate, a new review should appear in a week. Presuming I don't just spontaneously combust and end all the drama in one fell swoop.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow Madness

Last night, when I went to sleep, the ground was clear and clean. A week of fine weather had blessed the Miskatonic campus with the sight of dead grass for the first time since sometime in November. The mood was joyous, with everyone hoping that while more snow might come, it would not fall as thickly or viciously as it had in the weeks prior.

This morning I woke up to the reality in the pictures I've posted here. And not only did it snow last night, oh no. Miskatonic was pelted by FREEZING RAIN that has ripped down tree branches and taken out campus power like the hand of some malevolent elder god. Questions abound as to how classes will be carried on, as it seems the weather will not get anywhere near melting till Thursday. Maybe. And that's if we keep our fingers crossed and possibly throw in a few unholy rites for added effect.

I, meanwhile, am ensconsed in my dorm and am able to blythely ignore the weather for the time being. Like the diligent ant, I have food packed away that will feed me through this deluge while my grasshopper companions are forced to trek up hill in search of a meal. I'm also using the time to write a new review script, and hopefully will have it done and ready to turn into a video in the next week or so. And while I'm on that topic, I'm happy to announce that I will soon have my own personal theme music! Yay! Now I just need a logo..........

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In which I am deported back to Miskatonic

Well, after yet another long absence, I'm back. Back to writing (hopefully), back to studying (reluctantly), and back to school (unwillingly). After four weeks of rest and recuperation with my family, being dropped back at Miskatonic is like being dragged out of the Ritz Carlton and thrown in a dumpster more generally used by a hospital, a lab for the study of nuclear isotopes, and a Chinese restaurant. The temperature is miserable out here, as is to be expected, and I am in so many ways not enjoying my sans-boxsprings bed, which makes my lower spine want to pack its bags and leave me for a more caring human being. Feelings on the subject: Annoyed
The social scene is also far from enthralling at this juncture. There was a point for me where partying seemed like the be-all and end-all of social life at Miskatonic, but after attending a Ke$ha themed party at a friend's house yesterday I was left thoroughly disenchanted with the whole process. The only way to enjoy oneself was to get falling-down drunk, something that has ceased to appeal to me in the slightest. After watching the mess of people in the living room attempt to dance (those who were still sober or only slightly buzzed wobbling back and forth uncertainly, while the thoroughly smashed specimens often just gave up their hold on being vertical and let gravity do the work), I opted to head outside to converse with the would-be intellectuals standing on the stoop smoking their pipes and cigarettes and arguing about Nietzsche. This, however, proved detrimental on two fronts: For one, it became abundantly clear that all anyone wanted to do was impress each other rather than discuss anything (and my being one of the few if not the only female there at any given time, this meant that all the straight men just HAD to do their damnedest to impress me above all else. Victoria was decidely less than awed by their supposed epiphanies and infallible arguments.) For two, the smoke got in my eyes and mouth and just generally made me feel gross. So it was back inside, where I got cornered by an old aquaintance who attempted to give me profound life advice that might have been relevant to him but when applied to me was like trying to convince a shark to become a vegetarian for the good of its soul. At this point I vacated the party as fast as I could and walked home. Or attempted to walk. While I had been trying to enjoy myself while wearing too much eye makeup, the heavens had opened and unleashed freezing rain, which coated everything and led me to slip and slide most of the way home. Feelings on the subject: Disgusted

So now I'm sitting in my dorm room, suffering withdrawal from functional civilization. I'm also a tad depressed on account of the fact that the awesome book I was reading - Snow Crash - finally came to an end, and though I absolutely adored it start to finish I now cannot find anything else that I want to read. I JUST WANT MORE SNOW CRASH, DAMMIT. Feelings on the subject: Morose

And I have to do my laundry. Feelings on the subject: !@#QR(*U*(#T&*(QA#RPU ARGH