May 2018

May went by fast. The new job takes up a lot of my time, but it’s been going well.

I felt like I was neglecting my blog a little after last month, when I had some time off. Now I’ve gotten into a good groove with content creation on the weekends. Grumpy Skin is here to stay!

I can’t kick my watercolor habit, either.
Watercolor painting of flowers.
(If you like my watercolors, there will be an opportunity for you to get a hand-painted postcard soon! If you don’t like them, there’s still an opportunity. Just, you know, you wont care.)

ICYMI/Blog Stuff

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution + 5% EGCG Review
May 2018 Ipsy Bag
Aviary Attorney Review
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Review

Cat @ Welcome to my Messy World tagged me in the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge. I dug through the memo app on my phone to see if I had saved any quotes recently and all I’ve got for you is a quote from Reveal (podcast): “You can get in more trouble for killing wildlife than you can for killing a worker”. I’m fun at parties.

I’ve also gotten a Bloglovin’ account. Give me a follow if you’re over there!
I signed up for Ko-Fi as well. There’s a donation button over on the right hand side of the blog if you’d like to fund a weird face mask.

Podcasts

20180513_183618-01.jpeg
I saw Roman Mars live for the THIRD TIME. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Criminal was there and they’re so lovely live. And Benjamen Walker! And Kurt Kohlstedt too! It was a great time.

It’s fitting that all of my favorite podcast listens this month are Radiotopia.

Liz Phair – Divorce Song by Song Exploder
Marking the start of my Liz Phair obsession.

Immobile Homes (Episode 307) by 99% Invisible
We need to talk about housing.

King’s Candy: A New Orleans Prison Kitchen Vision (Episode 29) by The Kitchen Sisters
Making candy in prison. Of course, there’s more going on in this story than that.

Books

Black Bolt Vol. 1 by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward
I will read absolutely anything that Christian Ward does the art for. Look at this:

Black Bolt, his very large dog, and a child stand in front of a galaxy landscape. Text reads
Image from http://www.multiversitycomics.com/podcasts/comics-syllabus-028-on-black-bolt-by-saladin-ahmed-and-christian-ward-marvel-pull-call/

The story was also spot on, so it looks like I’ll read anything that Saladin Ahmed does now.

Paper Girls Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
The time travel is getting serious. Is it a spoiler that there is time travel? I started this series thinking that it was a cute story about girls on a paper route and THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS STORY IS.

Giant Days Vol 4. by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin
Volumes 2 and 3 didn’t live up to the glory of the first for me. I’m glad I stuck with the series, because volume 4 is gold.
Image of Esther (v goth) hugging Susan and asking

Fruits Basket Vol 3. by Natsuki Takaya
I stopped reading Furuba before the translations made their way over to the US, so I’ve been going back and finishing it. Volume 3 was solid. I was surprised that it’s holding up so well. This means my middle school manga obsession is back in full swing. Rec me some stuff?

I’d ask a more general open ended question here for ~the engagement~, but really, I want manga recommendations.

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April 2018

I did things and liked stuff this month!
The weather is warming up, I’ve been watercoloring (below), and I’m starting a new job.Watercolor painting of red flowers.

Spring is looking up.

ICYMI/Blog stuff

Okay, I’m finally done with The Ordinary
Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask
Don’t Cover Yourself in Glitter and Run Into the Ocean
BLAQ Meteor Shower
April 2018 Ipsy Bag
DearPacker Gold Collagen Eye Mask
Earth Day Reflections

I made a Grumpy Skin twitter! Blogging twitter is actually the nicest twitter. I’m used to comics and science, which is pretty aggressive and not always woman-friendly. Give me a follow and tweet me weird skin stuff!

Awards: Teresa nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award and Mel nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! I’m still not a fan of the question chains, but I do appreciate it.

I also changed my theme to be a little more minimalist. Let me know what you think!

Podcasts

Toxic tech in America by Reveal
The people manufacturing your electronics are dying.

Disposable workers in Asia by Reveal
Samsung in particular has had to compensate people and families for injury and death, but they’re far from the only one.

Lessons from Las Vegas (Episode 302) by 99% Invisible
Denise Scott Brown is fantastic. And some people don’t think Las Vegas is meticulously and purposefully designed?

Tesla and Beyond: Hidden Problems of Silicon Valley by Reveal

Cold Case (Episode 88) by Criminal
Literally a superhero origin story. CASUALLY CRACKING COLD CASES.

Thick Glass by Ear Hustle
Parenting in prison. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Books

GUYS I READ BOOKS THIS MONTH. It’s amazing what quitting your job can give you the time to do.

The Wicked + The Divine Volume 5 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Kevin Wada
Sakhmet from The Wicked + The Divine. Basically Rihanna with some cat aesthetics.
I had a few people ask me what I was reading when I was carrying this around, and it’s a hard one to casually explain. I’m pretty sure Rihanna ate some people in this one. Gods are reincarnated as pop stars and everything is so extra.

The Greatest of Marlys by Lynda Barry
Lynda Barry is a national treasure. This book is a series of shorts of a girl growing up in the 70s. A lot of the books I read as a kid took place in this same time period, so I had some bookworm nostalgia while reading this.

Maus by Art Spiegelman
A book about the Holocaust that was published the year I was born should not feel timely, but here we are in this hellscape of a year.

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

Cover of Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff.

I pre-ordered this book because Trump was mad about it. That’s the type of person that I am. I was excited to read a whole 300 pages that exist in the world solely to cause Trump distress. I can be petty.

This book was so disappointing.

Did you know Trump has the attention span and leadership skills of a four year old? Cool, me too. Do you want to hear that repeated for 300 pages with no in depth discussion about anything else? Yeah, me neither. I finished this book so you don’t have to.

The excerpts that were released beforehand are the best parts. If you read that and have a basic awareness of the last year, you have read this book.

My problems with it:

– The book was clearly rushed to publication without proper editing.

There’s a part in the earlier chapters talking about how Trump couldn’t possibly have colluded with Russia (because he’s too dumb) and that any ties were probably loose, shady business ones. We ‘find out’ later that yes, there were meetings with Russia. Everyone who has been conscious for any part of the last year knows this, so the earlier bit reads REALLY WEIRD. It’s not written well enough to come off as a linear telling of the story with a big Russia reveal.

The tone of the narration is all over the place. Some of it is from a passive observer, most of it is clearly loosely transcribed Steve Bannon. There was so much more of Steve Bannon’s voice and opinion than I have ever wanted.

– There’s nothing new in it.

I have not been following politics as much as I should be. I get my headlines on twitter, and then I get half of a sentence from Jake Tapper once a week before I put my headphones on to drown out the constant despair spiral.

I have apparently been keeping up with the minutia of the government. I learned nothing about the administration. I learned nothing about any of the constant big crises. I wasn’t even aware that I knew what everyone’s jobs were, but it turns out that I know better than the administration. Surprise.

– I don’t want to hear about how rational Ivanka and Jared are.

Complicit.

– It paints Trump as a harmless idiot.

Most of the book talks about how lol dumb Trump is with no discussion of the repercussions. People are being deported. People are losing their jobs. People are having their rights taken away. The Constitution is being shredded. We might find out if you can cause a nuclear winter on Twitter. THERE ARE ACTUAL NAZIS OPENLY ROAMING THE COUNTRY. But really, the book insists, Trump isn’t threatening and no one in the government knows what they’re doing, so no cause for concern.

It’s so bad I’m going to go full conspiracy on you and say that Trump’s puppet masters read this, saw how weak of a criticism it actually was, and decided to draw a lot of attention to it so that we thought these were our actual problems.

It was so mediocre.
I’m not going to tell you to not read it, because I refuse to have a common opinion with white supremacists, but it was a struggle to get through.

December 2017

What’s up, hangovers?
I’m assuming that’s you. I’m spending my second new year in a row convinced that I have the actual plague.

Good riddance to 2017. On to December’s list of neat stuff!

Media

The Good Place
I binged the whole first season on Netflix in one sitting. Kristen Bell accidentally gets into The Good Place when she dies and struggles to blend in.

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Okay, it wasn’t the most groundbreaking book. I skimmed a lot of it..with wine. Still, it was the most palatable white feminist book that I read this year. Worth a look.

Hamilton
We won lottery tickets for Hamilton and got to see it AGAIN FROM THE SECOND ROW. Have you heard that Hamilton is a good show? It’s a good show.

Roadtrip

We drove 1000 miles for the holidays and primarily ate fried food and took naps.

Food that is terrible for you but good for your happiness:
Fatz Cafe
They fry their poppy seed rolls like little donut holes. Menu still seems to be in an active transition, but as long as they have these rolls I will sit and eat an entire basket.

Sheetz
I thought that Sheetz was basically a southern 7-11 for a long time. I was wrong. I’m sorry. Endlessly customize-able fast food menu coffee menu. It’s good if you like your coffee to taste like candy..which I do.

Boiled Peanuts
My mom got me, like, a whole Wal Mart plastic bag of these at the flea market and I left them in her fridge. I am heartbroken. Both because I left my peanuts and because of how southern that sentence was.

Congaree National Park
Swampy image of some trees standing in water at Congaree National Park. The flood line on the trees is a good four feet above the current water line, so I suppose we were there for good weather.
It was too muddy to do anything but the boardwalk, but we saw some neat trees and will be back when it’s not so rainy.

November 2017

I was considering doing some cute end of year top 10 lists for 2017 but they’re all Hamilton. I saw Hamilton. It’s the best everything.

Books

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I’ve read some reviews that claim The Handmaid’s Tale is making a hyperbole of the patriarchy. Those people are wrong. After reading this, I’m having stress dreams about my bank account and name disappearing.

Podcasts

Dollhouses of St Louis (Episode 283) by 99% Invisible
Have you ever seen re-purposed brick and wondered if it was ethically sourced? Now you will.

Secrets and Seances (Episode 79) by Criminal
Was anyone else obsessed with “true” ghost stories as a kid? This episode about a medium in the 1940’s scratched my grown up itch for the genre. Please click the link and look at what was considered believable photographic evidence of ghosts. Now wonder what things we’re going to be laughed at for believing in 60 years.

NYC

Hamilton
Hamilton is the most perfect piece of theater I have ever seen in my life. It is worth the money and the hype. I cried the whole time.

The Met
We spent our whole first day here. Pro tips: 1) Admission is a suggested price. Don’t pay $25 if you don’t have $25. 2) The Memory Palace recorded some really lovely episodes about some of their pieces. I recommend finding someone to run briskly walk through the storage space scavenger hunt with.

Trinity Church
I generally think that graveyards are a waste of space, but Eliza is in this one.
Eliza's grave at Trinity Church. It reads "Eliza daughter of Philip Schuyler widow of Alexander Hamilton born at Albany Aug. 9th 1757 died at Washington Nov. 9th 1854 interred here." People have left her pennies.
(And A. Ham, and Philip, and Angelica, and Hercules Mulligan. Worth a visit.)

September 2017

This post marks twelve months of blogging! That seems wrong, but my wordpress history doesn’t lie. I started this blog to force myself to write ideas out, even if they were just lists (like this one!) of things that I liked the past month. It’s been a good exercise. I’ve branched my posts out to include pop culture commentary and weird skincare reviews. I’ve also started keeping a personal journal for the first time in close to a decade.

10/10 Do recommend blogging. Let’s see what the next year brings.

Books

Cover of Uprooted by Naomi Novik.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I’m not usually here for love stories between an old, emotionally unavailable man and a young woman BUT apparently I AM if you throw in magic and evil woods.
Take notes if you’re tying to get me to ignore my feminism for a little bit, I guess.

Cover of Volume 5 of Ms. Marvel.
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, and Nico Leon
Volume 5 and going strong! I’m also not one for weddings, but there’s a good one in here.

Cover of Volume 2 of Bitch Planet.
Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
Before volume two, my usual summary of Bitch Planet is “what you wanted Orange is the New Black to be, but in space”. This comic so much more than that.

Podcasts

Unwritten and Left Behind by Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle is still killing it. Unwritten tackles rules regarding race in prison. Left Behind discusses how people, particularly those who did not commit a violent crime, deal with life sentences.

Coal Hogs Work Safe (Episode 275) by 99% Invisible
I also love stickers. Maybe I’d make a great coal miner? We’ll never know.

Sawbones by Sydnee and Justin McElroy
Weird old-timey medical stories! Perfect for October!
I’m not listing specific episodes because I’ve listened to about twenty this month. They’re all equally good. I wonder how many episodes I’ll have to listen to before they cover something I haven’t hit in my weird, late night googling.

Lorde – Sober by Song Exploder
I need a miniseries that covers all of Melodrama. It’s such a good album and she put so much thought into it. This Song Exploder episode is perfect.

August 2017

I spent August working on weeding my book collection at home, so this month is short on things that I liked. I got rid of two dozen books and still have stacks of books that don’t fit on the shelves.

This didn’t stop me from buying a new stack or rescuing 20 novels during Allston Christmas. Send help.

Books

Killing Rage by bell hooks
This one is going to get its own post. Required reading for anyone that wonders where all of this talk of white supremacy is coming from. Spoiler: It’s not new. It never went away.

Podcasts

Episode 73: Carry A. Nation by Criminal
I never learned about prohibition in the proper context. I was taught about little old lady prudes, not about women trying to fix a societal problem with men and improve the lives of women.

The Boom Boom Room by Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle is a podcast produced by men incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. This episode stands alone well as look into marriage and intimacy in prison. You should go listen to everything they’ve produced, though.

The Black Tapes Podcast by Pacific Northwest Stories
The Season 3 premiere was underwhelming BUT Season 1 will forever live in my spooky little heart.

Music

Rainbow by Kesha
Have I mentioned that I love Kesha?

Melodrama by Lorde


I’m selling my soul to these acoustic videos.

July 2017

Picture of my mom and I in front of the White House. I'm wearing the purple Bitch Planet leggings and they are awesome.
I took my mom to DC and absolutely wore my Bitch Planet leggings to the White House. It’s the little things.

Books

Squirrel Girl by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Rico Renzi
I’m up to volume 5. Everything about Squirrel Girl is perfect. KICK BUTTS EAT NUTS.

The Kingdom of Gods by NK Jemisin
Usually trickster characters don’t do it for me, but I had so many Sieh feels. This is the last of the Inheritance trilogy, so start with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Podcasts

Wolf 359 is in its final season. Come for the comedic space life vignettes, stay for the huge government conspiracies. I’m sad to see it ending.

59. One To Another by The Allusionist
Helen Zaltzman interviews the man translating The Memory Palace stories into a Portuguese book. I also love The Memory Palace, but I don’t do anything productive with that love. Instead, sometimes I cry a little at work.

Episode 70: The Procedure by Criminal
CHURCHES MADE A NETWORK TO HELP WOMEN GET ABORTIONS WHEN ABORTION WAS ILLEGAL. Uh, spoiler?

265- The Pool and the Stream by 99% Invisible
Skateboarding history. Suburban pool history. Don’t listen to this on a sweaty train, you’ll get really jealous.

266- Repackaging the Pill by 99% Invisible
I need Roman Mars to give me the design history of everything remotely feminist.

Games

Dream Daddy loading screen. It's got a montage of snapshots of the different dads, along with a rotating dad tip. This one reads "Dad Tip #10: If you're parking uphill, be sure to turn your tires toward the street."
Dream Daddy

I’ve been playing this one a little bit. You’re a dad that goes on dates with other dads. You’re nice to your daughter and make dad puns. There are cryptids and dogs!

Music

KESHA IS BACK.
I’m prepared to stockpile glitter the second she announces a tour.

The Long Winters
I’ve been listening to these guys on repeat, too. They have a sad song about astronauts.

June 2017

We’re late this month! I decided to be very patriotic and go to DC for July 4th. It was as busy as you’d expect.

Books

Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
I pulled out of my bad novel slump! This is the first two installments of a trilogy. The first one starts a little rough, but it was her first book. She figures it out.
Mixed race girl saves the world! (Kind of). Fantasy! Magic! Demons! Falling in love with maybe evil incarnate. Yeah, I’m here for it.

Enigma by Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo
I normally cannot deal with the 80s/90s dirty gritty edgy comics because I get really bored when people are irredeemably terrible and I’m supposed to want to read about them. This is my exception. It opens with this:
DBrAC8XXUAI4U4M
Recommended for fans of S-Town.

Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
I’m so happy that coming of age stories about angry goth girls exist now.

Podcasts

Just Girls: The Hidden World of Patti Smith and Judy Linn by The Kitchen Sisters
Really, really listen-able despite the fact that I know almost nothing about Patti Smith.

05 Alessandra: Lips by Mortified
I put off listening to Mortified for a really long time because I cannot. do. secondhand. embarrassment. They somehow keep the secondhand embarrassment to a minimum despite being exclusively embarrassing stories. Girl just wants a boyfriend in this one.

06 Adam: Rhyme or Reason by Mortified
Poetry camp > English teachers.

33 Erin: My Dad Read My Diary! by Mortified
Her dad read her diary, so she gave him something worth reading.

36 Tyler & Janelle: Love, America Online Style by Mortified
Remember saving AIM conversations to read back later? Remember printing out AIM conversations with your crush and then collecting them in a binder to give to them, and then reading them on stage together years later?

41 Jackie: How Not To Be Grateful by Mortified
Extreme TMI scrapbooking.

45 Emma: The Girl Who Cried Y2K by Mortified
I now need a series that explores weird adult doomsday bunker men and their reactions to Y2K. I’m calling Emma if I ever need to survive nuclear war, she was on top of stuff.

58 Forbidden Crushes Part 3: My Secret Gay Crush by Mortified
I’m pretty sure I read this story in at least 8 Xangas growing up. Happy Pride!

Moon Graffiti by The Truth
Short audio fiction exploring what may have happened if Apollo 11 hadn’t made it back home.

Eat Cake by The Truth
A love story that worked for me despite being really creepy if it were real life! Weird.

April 2017

Books

I’m on Goodreads if you want to see the number of one star reviews I give in between liking things. I’m not having great luck with books that don’t have pictures.

Giant Days by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar
I wish college had been like this. Volume 2 was a little rough, but everyone is back to ‘normal’ in Volume 3.

Casanova by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá, and Cris Peters
I almost recommend reading Volume 3 first. All of the bad weirdness starts to get smoothed out there. Now we’re left with good weirdness, time travel, and ukuleles.

Thor by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, and Mark Morales
Movie Thor hasn’t been doing it for me, but this Thor is promising. This picks up after Ragnarok so spoilers for the next movie? Maybe. Who knows what the MCU is doing these days. LADY LOKI, guys.

Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wes Craig
I really need to stop reading this before bed. One of the few ‘dark’ comics that actually reads as dark for me. Volume 1 sets the stage. In volume 2 a class of assassins takes on some rednecks.

One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry
Image from One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry.
You know how some books feel like a friend and when you read them you feel closer to the human race? Yeah, this is one of those.


Podcasts

Photo of my Radiotopia challenge coin in front of the 99% Allusional stage.

I still have a huge Radiotopia problem.
I got to see Roman Mars and Helen Zaltzman in 99% Allusional! It’s everything you’ve ever wanted. (If everything you’ve ever wanted is Roman Mars singing about Rosalind Franklin).

Wishful Thinking (the dislike club part IV) by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
A great overview of Twitter’s troll infestation.

New York After Rent (III of III) by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
Come for the Airbnb discussion, stay for the terrible Rent parody song.

Instaserfs (parts I, II, and III) by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
The problem with Uber (even when it’s not being sexist).

Björk – Stonemilker by Song Exploder
“How It’s Made” but for a Björk song.

CHVRCHES – Clearest Blue by Song Exploder
I’m having a hard time coping with how Chvrches makes songs because it’s the exact opposite of what I would do.

A light touch and a slight nudge by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
CONSPIRACY THEORISTS ARE LAZY.

Honeypot by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
All of these advertising algorithms and they still don’t know that I’m not interested in getting a degree from the school that I already have a degree from.

The Architect of Hollywood (Episode 255) by 99% Invisible
Paul Revere Williams learned to draw upside down so white people wouldn’t feel uncomfortable sitting on the same side of the table as him. Man.

Sounds Natural (Episode 256) by 99% Invisible
Pros of this episode: Talks about how nature documentaries are crafted, and how they can be a little misleading. A cat purrs while Roman Mars talks.
Cons of this episode: They don’t burn down fake documentaries from the Discovery channel, which I have personally had to debunk to people.
Still a good time.

Entrapment by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
Can FBI surveillance cause what it’s trying to detect?

The Album Leaf – The Outer Banks by Song Exploder
I hadn’t heard of The Album Leaf before this episode. I’m into them. There’s a glockenspiel in this song. Is that a selling point for you? It is for me.

The Authority (Episode 54) by The Allusionist
“Sometimes you want to make the dictionary sexy but it’s just not a sexy thing”.

Brian Reitzell – Watch Dogs by Song Exploder
Video game songwriting!

The Long Winters – The Commander Thinks Aloud by Song Exploder
I’ve listened to this episode three times. I’ve listened to the song a lot more. I made a whole playlist of sad astronaut songs because of this song. It’s that good.

International Brotherhood of Mothers (Episode 10) by The Memory Palace
Mother’s day just became my favorite holiday. An origin story after my own heart.

The Brothers Booth (Episode 11) by The Memory Palace
Putting Abraham Lincoln’s assassination into context. It was like Drew Barrymore did it.

Secret Kitty (Episode 16) by The Memory Palace
“They were scientists, not witches.” I want to be a witch scientist and make an army of kitty spies.