Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Content Dump: Artists and Scammers

 Short and sweet post to dump some links to things I've written lately.

First, a brief profile / press release about watercolor artist Scott Campbell.  Scott made it onto my radar from Umbrella Academy, where he did a quick 8-panel illustration for a flashback scene.  The style of the scene immediately charmed me, and gave me an overwhelming sense of déjà vu for reasons I couldn't quiet put my finger on.

After a bit of research I discovered it was because I had seen the art style, after all.  Scott Campbell was one of the art directors for the video game Psychonauts, which I spent several years completely fixated on, and which was one of my first cosplays.  (I won't say which character but I think anyone who knows me can guess.)  To this day, I have Psychonauts camp patches stuck to my laptop bag, and a few purple arrowhead necklaces floating around the house.

The second article is simply a listicle of seven common Facebook scams.  I wrote it up because of the prevalence of these scams; I see them in the Umbrella Academy group I moderate and I see my less-savvy friends fall for them repeatedly.  (Shame me once...)

Things I'm looking forward to this coming month are happily offline events.  I'm vaxxed, waxed, and ready to get my social mingle on.  I got tickets for Labyrinth of Jareth, which unfortunately falls on the same weekend as DomCon.  I'd much prefer to go to the masquerade, though.  The week prior there's the first in-person LARP for my Vampire: The Masquerade group, so I can get some practice in on my costuming!

Also I'm happy to report that my friend who refused to get the vaccine (and personally insulted me in the process) is slowly coming around.  Our relationship remains rocky but we're speaking, and she told me she'd get the vaccine once it was fully FDA approved.  This gives me hope; I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her safety (and the safety of those around her).  

Anyway, my apologies for a lazy and phoned-in blog post, but it is very hot and I am very tired, and I have a backlog of commissions to work on.  So, blog, I will leave you with these pictures of my plants and of my son enjoying his first slice of pizza, and see you in another week or two, probably with my thoughts on how I hated the season 1 finale of Loki.

My desert rose is finally blooming!
New lizard!
Help me, I have too many not enough terraria!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Black Widow Review

As we move into July, things are getting sorta-kinda back to normal!

Being an extrovert with social anxiety makes the mathematics of social "value" complicated, but I'm pretty pleased with myself for finding the balance on either side of the equal sign. After the mess that was 2020, I've sworn I'll never take social outings for granted again.  (Prediction: this feeling will last less than two years.)

One of the things I've been looking forward to the most over the last few months was going to see a movie in theaters again.  Specifically, a Marvel movie!

Well, I went and saw Black Widow at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown with my friends.  We didn't cosplay this one, but the novelty of being back in a movie theater alone made it a wonderful time.

As far as the movie goes, I would give it a solid A- and say that while it's not in my top 5, it could probably snag #6 or #7 on my list of Marvel movies.

Read my review here.

Also, Black Widow had enough archery references to remind me to go try archery.  I got a recurve bow back in 2017 but had never used it, fearing failure.  Ryan took me out to the archery range and it turns out I'm not half bad!  Archery is a sport that is easy to learn but difficult to master, making it an incredibly fun sport!  A piece of advice, though: wear armguards.  
Nice tight cluster.

One week later, healing nicely.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

2021 Hobbies: Gains and Losses

2020 took its toll on just about everyone, but the fallout is still being felt in 2021.

One of the only good elements of the pandemic and the political upheaval was that it separated the wheat from the chaff in terms of what's worth expending mental energy on.

Being at home all the time allowed me to hone in on which hobbies and habits were the healthiest for me.  For example, I was able to lean in to my writing, particularly my fiction.  Andrew set up up a Fiverr account for commissioned fanfiction, which you can find here.

Another hobby I rediscovered a passion for was RedditGifts, which I'd been involved in since 2013 or 2014, but stopped participating in because of the new baby.

Sadly,  RedditGifts is going to wrap up (pun intended) this year.  I wrote an article about the significance of RedditGifts both within its community and for me personally, and what the "sunsetting" of RedditGifts will look like.  (See the link below.)

In a time when generosity is needed more than ever, I don't really fully understand why RedditGifts is being shuttered, but I have hopes that something new will rise from the ashes.  To be honest that's been my attitude toward most things over the last six months or so.  "I'm sure it will get better and this will act as a springboard for positive change."  2021 has truly been a year of silver linings and making-the-best-of-bad-situations.  

Well, at least it's not 2020, right?

Saying Goodbye to RedditGifts