( cut for spoilers )
( cut for spoilers )
"I can't believe you didn't think it was worth telling me that we're living inside a game," Jedao was saying.
Cheris sighed. "I didn't tell you," she said, "because you wouldn't be able to shut up about it, and it's hard being a good playtest character when someone keeps ranting." ( cut for Ninefox spoilers, I guess? )
(Dammit, I like life drawing, even if I'm too n00b to be good at it. Joe says I have been getting better since I started a few years back though.)
Pen: Pelikan M205 Aqumarine (F nib)
Ink: Diamine Eclipse
( Moving on from heads to eyes and lips? )
I haven't gotten back to Ctrl+Paint because life has been busy, but yesterday my art accountability was working on a Thing in Photoshop, mainly blocking in values.
1 second interview
This summer was way more frustrating about teaching jobs than it has been in the past, in no small part because I really truly was doing an awesome job of applying places. I thought I was doing relatively well at interviewing. Maybe my references weren't as good as they could be, but in general, I was really putting myself out there and trying...and still getting nothing.
On Wednesday the 23rd of August, I got a call --would you be willing to come in?
On Thursday the 24th of August, I had an interview.
On Friday the 25th of August, I got a call.
On Monday the 28th of August, my perfect birthday, I woke up unbearably early and biked to school. Monday and Tuesday were teacher days, Wednesday was the first day with students. It's now partway through the fourth week of school, and I have finally gotten the HR bullshit sorted out and a paycheck into my bank account and that means it's really truly officially real.
I am a professional high school mathematics teacher.
For the whole year, from the beginning. At a public high school, with all the diversity and benefits that implies. With five classes and about eighty students (a frankly amazing average ratio) and oh my _dear sweet weeping gods_.
I am fully, blessedly, employed, in a place I love, doing exactly the thing I want to be doing with my life. Yes, it's frustrating that all my work searching this summer was for naught, but I can forgive the universe its machinations.
I've been sitting tight on announcing this until it was real, and it's been killing me. No matter how much I will complain over the next ten months about the early mornings and endless prep work, I am so so unbelievably very happy.
On Monday, August 28th, I celebrated my perfect birthday by starting at my perfect job.
FAQs: No I won't tell you where specifically online. Algebra 1, Discrete Math, and Calculus. Some 9th graders, mostly 12th graders. Yes the commute sucks less than the private school one. Yes the pay is better --I'm making a bit over $50k this year. Yes, I am so so so so happy.
 I had this great idea about the heptarchate's founding but.
NOTE: I make no guarantees.
What *existing* characters would you like to see more stories about?
mystery POV #1 from Revenant Gun that Yoon evilly refuses to divulge
servitor POV #2 from Revenant Gun
someone else that I will mention in comments
ticky the tookie tocky
Thank you for the copy of All Systems Red, which I am really stoked about getting to read. (For the curious, my local bookstores didn't stock it.)
I have turned on anonymous comments for the moment, which are screened. If you'd like me to write you a thank-you flashfic, please feel free to leave a comment to this post. I'm probably going to turn off anonymous comments by week's end (sooner if I start having problems with spam comments).
Back near the start of June, Captain Awkward1 posted a link to the Ingrid Michaelson video "Girls Chase Boys". I'd seen it before, but not in a while, so hell yeah it was time for a rewatch.
And somewhere in the thirty or fifty rewatches I've done this summer, I came to a really striking realization about my sexuality. I feel queer2 or straight entirely independent of the gender of the person I am being attracted towards.
Like, this is probably a pretty logical end result of not having a gender myself. I can't be a lesbian if I'm not a woman3, but I'm also not able to be het with a woman if I'm not a man. Bisexual has served me fine as a term for years now (and queer even moreso). I am content and secure in my attractions4.
But it was a weird moment of clarity when I realized that the attraction I feel for the men in that video is decidedly queer attraction. And weirder still to realize that I can, and often do, feel straight attraction towards men. And continually weird to realize that my attraction towards women can be either queer or straight as well. Like, these are two markedly different feelings for me, apparently. They both have the same root (I want to get romantic and-or sexual with this person because I am aesthetically or otherwise pleased by them) but they feel different.
After some soul-searching5, I determined that a big part of what makes me feel queer vs straight attraction is whether the person I am attracted to is giving out queer vs straight signals. These can be either gender-queer or sexuality-queer, but apparently I save my straight attraction for the hets.
I don't know what to do with all this information. Hell, I don't even know if it's useful information to have, or if the back of my brain has latent transphobia in this regard (many of the attractive trans women I know are some variation of enby, almost all of them are sexuality-queer --I don't tend to feel straight attraction to people who I don't perceive as relatively straight, but would I automatically feel queer attraction to any trans woman, even a straight one?)
But it's a thing my brain is doing, and I like paying attention to those.
1: Captain Awkward is probably the single best advice blog on the internet, and I highly recommend pawing through her archives occasionally. She is better at teaching people how to be adults than just about anyone else, and I try very very hard to behave as would make her happy.
2: "Gay" would also be accurate here, but I very much prefer queer.
3: TRANS LESBIANS ARE LESBIANS. TERFS CAN FUCK OFF.
4: This is absolutely not true, I'm into a lot of straight men for an enby. The fact that I'm demonstrably more androsexual than gynosexual freaks me out on the regular, because boy howdy, is it hard to actually be "bisexual". But for the sake of this post, let's pretend I feel not-weird about myself.
5: Translation: Looking at a lot of different attractive people for science.
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.
It's another "Third Sunday Throwback" when our featured cover comes to you from the 20th century. Sometime in the 80's I was given a mix tape with this cover on it and it has since been one of my all time favorites. Oddly, I never actually recognized it as a cover until this year, either because it is so different from the original or I'm just not that versed in "the Experience.":
The Cure - Foxy Lady (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, led by the psychedelic-rock legend Jimi Hendrix, released their debut album Are You Experienced in May 1967. Foxy Lady was the third single released from the LP. It was titled Foxey Lady in some markets (U.S.) though the exact reason for that is unclear. Various accounts indicate that the song was either about Kathy Etchingham (Hendrix's girlfriend at the time,) Lithofayne Pridgon (a previous girlfriend,) Heather Taylor (Roger Daltry's second wife), or another of many inspirations. Whomever inspired it, Hendrix had stated that this track was one of the only "happy songs" he had written and had typically not felt much happiness writing songs.
It's that which makes it all the more interesting that Jimi Hendrix is one of Robert Smith's favorite musicians and also that this is the track he'd choose to cover, when you consider The Cure is known for a significantly moody style, especially in their early catalog. Smith, along with those members of the band when they performing under their previous name,"Easy Cure," were playing Foxy Lady as a standard at live shows along with their original material and a few other covers. When they evolved into calling themselves just "The Cure" and began putting together their first album, Smith says their producer, Chris Parry, told them to "record every song" they had and they''d "work out what went on the album afterwards." During a soundcheck for those recordings, bassist Michael Dempsey sang lead vocals on their punkish cover of Foxy Lady, which made it past the final cut to end up on the band's 1979 debut album, Three Imaginary Boys. Some versions of the release however excluded this track. Dempsey, who left the band soon after the record, was baffled that the song made it to press, admitting, "it's not one of our better songs." Smith seemed to feel some betrayal of trust for Parry putting it on the album, saying he hated the track as it was "diabolical" and "the dregs of what [they] were doing" that should have only been a b-side at most.
The Cure eventually did a cover of Hendrix's Purple Haze they may be most pleased with, but Foxy Lady will forever be their first recorded cover and one of the most disparate and unique versions of the track ever, marking the first and only time any recording of anyone other than Smith singing for The Cure has been released.
(Hendrix's original album version has proven not so easy to find on any legitimate source I can embed here. Since I didn't discover that obstacle until it was too late to research another cover for this feature, I'm instead embedding the live recording from the 1968 Miami Pop Festival, which was released posthumously as an album and video in 2013. Should IP holders make the original available from the same source, I will likely swap it out then.)
While everyone's talking about "IT," obviously I'm going to be oh so different over here talking about a dancy darkwave tribute which shares the name of another of Stephen King's titles and might actually be related.
Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!
(You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)
One last gig for September, two upcoming in October! You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^
Explore the darkness,
Sep 10 - The Echoing Green - Voices Carry ('til tuesday)
Sep 03 - Gaywire - Nazi Goths Fuck Off (Originally Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys)
Aug 27 - Clan of Xymox - Venus (Shocking Blue)
Aug 20 - Dead or Alive - That's the Way I Like It (KC and the Sunshine Band)
Aug 13 - Beseech - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight] (ABBA)
Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
Next Excess is Halloween season, third Friday in October! Dirge says, "get skeletal!" I say, "any undead'll do!" Either way, we'll unveil some news that you will not want to miss! No spoilers... ◔‿◔
I've been linking any cover song on my playlist that I've featured on that dark covers blog, SeeDarkly SundayDisCoveries, for anyone who wants to learn more about them. Enjoy!
Here's what I played at Excess:
Baz Luhrman - Everybody's Free
Bel Canto - Didn't You Know It
VAST - Pretty When You Cry
Vogon Poetry - Mourn
Lenny Kravitz - If You Can't Say No (Ghetto Lounge)
Peter Gabriel - Digging In The Dirt (Rich E)
Cure - Apart (Renholder)
Cibo Mato - Candy Man
Gary Numan - Dark
Peter Murphy - Roll Call
Delirium - Silence
Enigma - Sadeness
Combichrist - Gonna Make You Sweat
Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
Wolfsheim - Once In A Lifetime
La Tour - People Are Still Having Sex
Marilyn Manson - Beautiful People
Rage Against The Machine/Shaggy - Killing Mr. Boombastic
Nine Inch Nails - Closer
Rammstein - Engel
Naughty By Nature - O.P.P.
Soul Coughing - Super Bon Bon
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Kiss Them For Me
Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason (ManicFocus)
Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice
Toadies - Possum Kingdom
Divinyls - I Touch Myself
Salt n' Pepa - Push It (request)
Yesterday's sketches are on the left, in Robert Oster Maroon 1789; today's are on the right, in Platinum Carbon Black. I would have liked to do more but it just wasn't happening today or yesterday.
I am maybe not having the best couple of days ever for reasons I can't yet get into (not health-related) so reassuring comments (not on the art, necessarily, just life in general) and links to cute things would be much appreciated.
There would be something beautiful and healing about this except...this is Louisiana. This entire lake is STANDING STAGNANT WATER. In other words, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. I don't think it was an accident that the entire lake/park was deserted and I was the only one walking around during prime bugs-chow-down-on-humans hour...
- Relearned how to do layer masks, which are a thing I have to look up every damn time.
- Did some sketching for a Thing.
Unrelatedly, in the department of flamewars waiting to happen, the Dragon is reading X-Men but can't tell whether they're DC or Marvel...
Waterman 52V wet noodle, Diamine Eclipse.
Continuing basic face and eye practice. Next up will be reading the two pages of pointers on drawing the eye (eyebrows, eyelashes).
Ctrl+Paint du jour:
- Blending Paint (did worksheet)
- Temp Layers
- Faster Layer Shortcut Keys (now I know how to record Photoshop actions!)
- Brush Technique: Blending
- Blending Practice (worked on worksheet, not done with it)
Eh, I need to work on actualfax symmetry and this is something that will only come with practice and development of hand-eye. Also, I totally do not understand hair--I'm roughing things out based on eyeballing some of the example sketches in Jack Hamm's book but this book is also ©1963. Fortunately somewhere later in this book, if I make it that far, is a section on how to draw hair...
Drawn with a Waterman 52V wet noodle. Ink: Diamine Eclipse.
Today was mostly a loss not because it was a bad day but because my sleep was unavoidably wrecked. Such is life! On the bright side, my cat loves me. :3
I have bipolar disorder, and when I'm depressed it's hard to get out of bed. It's very easy to beat myself up for the days when I don't get a lick of writing done. I can write when depressed. I can usually eke out even 250 words just to have something down, and I won't lie that getting something down makes me feel better in the way that doing the dishes makes me feel better: because I have this thing where I have to be doing something useful or I'm worthless. That's not exactly a mentally healthy place to be and I rather disrecommend it.
It is okay to have off days. To have days where there are things more important than getting the words down. To have days where you just have some tea (or beverage of choice) and be kind to yourself and pet the cat.
Writing can frequently be miserable and neurosis-inducing. Or anyway I often find it so, mainly because it's hard work and I'm already walking around with mental illness. It's hard not to feel that everything has to be brilliant or it's worthless, that I'll never catch up with people who write more than my plodding 2,000 words/day (which I don't even make some days).
But the truth is that writing shouldn't be punishment, and that it's healthy to do things that are not-writing because they make you happy. I can't remember what writer gave this advice but she said to schedule your social activities first, then your writing, because the social activities would keep you grounded and happy--modulo whatever level of introversion you have, I guess. I'm fairly introverted but I do like a certain minimum of getting out of the house and doing things that aren't writing, just because.
Seriously, be kind to yourself. You're the only yourself you have. Writing can happen after.
Watch as I continue to struggle with wavy hair. :p I think tomorrow I may see what's next--I think it's drawing basic eyes, which should be fun.
(I know it's beginner stuff but one has to start somewhere?)
After the Dragon goes to bed I'm going to snatch the tablet and work through the next couple Ctrl+Paint tutorials. :D
Ctrl+Paint du jour:
- Brush and Eraser
(most of this is review but some of the keyboard/mouse shortcuts are things that are useful to refresh and some are just new to me because I am still a Photoshop n00b)
I used to have a lovely set of expensive artist-grade pastels but flood. One of the reasons I don't buy art supplies anymore? It feels like I spent so much money only to never get to use everything. :( Still, I have Photoshop and a tablet and two wet noodle fountain pens, so hey! :3
- In hilarity, I gussied up my ramen-with-egg with additional "Cajun coleslaw," which involved red? purple? cabbage. Y'ALL IT TURNED MY RAMEN BLUE. I was...a little alarmed when the timer went off and I returned to the stove! Tastes like perfectly normal ramen though. *snrk* That'll learn me.
ETA progress report!!!
- I was at this for something like six hours. I don't even feel tired, exhilarated rather. I'm sure it would be different if I had to do this for a living, but writing for six hours usually has me completely wiped even if I last that long. Doing music for six hours has me energized. I wonder if that's a sign I'm in the wrong profession.
Joe has this thing where his lowest energy state is gaming. My lowest energy state is...okay, really it's lying in bed with a purring cat (if the cat deigns to come to me, haha), but the next lowest energy state is making music. Maybe it would also be different if I had to do this to a professional standard as opposed to screwing around (although I do try to improve!). But I don't think there was ever a point in my life where six hours straight (well, modulo food breaks) of writing would be energizing.
(Writers on my reading list [fanfic or other, either way], how do you feel about this? After six hours of writing, do you want to go back for more, or do you want to veg? Am I doing this completely wrong?)
- I can't tell whether it's the patches or Reaper or just my aging system that are buggy but my keyswitches were starting to misbehave after a few hours, which was the point at which I decided to call it a day. Like, if I can't hear the correct articulations then there's no point, you know? I have to judge the actual sound. Although it did give me a story idea, so not all is lost.
- Oh! Komplete 9 provided me with some basic cymbals and I put them in and right there and they sound ACES. =D
- Basic tempo mapping is surprisingly easy, although I record at 70 bpm (because of sixteenth notes vs. my laggy system) and then speed up to 100 bpm, and because I forgot to reset to the proper tempo, my export is borked. I'll fix it next time.
- Admittedly I would be more willing to reboot if it didn't take in excess of twenty minutes to load my project. *sigh*
- In case anyone was looking for a free Kontakt cello--haven't experimented with it yet but will do so tomorrow. If it can do basic legato I'm set for a while. (I don't need virtuoso solo cello for a while.)