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Softly logging back on

Oops, I haven't added much to this site in the last year. I had burnt myself out a bit.

These last 12 months I got into the refreshingly offline hobby of sewing! I even built a site for separate tools and writing on it sewing.clothing.

It's been great spending more of my alone time off of screens than ever before. It's reshing, and it's made sitting at my computer feel exclusively like a thing I do for work rather than the 24/7 human condition.

I want to slowly ease myself back into adding to this site, as I do really like the weird shape its taken and the strange accumulation that it's turned out to be. I'm not sure when that will be though.

In the meantime, I've created a RSS feed for this site. It'll update whenever I infrequently update this site. Check it out! If you don't have an RSS Reader, I use and recommend Fraidycat (on Firefox and Chrome).


Digital déjà vu

Over pandemic I picked up a new hobby of clicking a random spot on google maps, entering streetview, and clicking around as a way to virtually travel.

It's a desperate habit, but I reminded myself that there's at least some precedent. 2010 Tumblr made a game of mapcrunch by trying to inch along their randomized Streetview location to find an airport. Geoguessr streamlined this in 2013 and is having a resurgence thanks to Twitch. There are many long-form YouTube walking videos, and City Guesser also turns them into a Geoguessr-like game.

This hobby can be pretty amusing tbh! One oddity I found is that this island of Spain has all of its gay bars in one mall. Here's a really sad 24/7 livestream of this mall and its minigolf course.

This hobby got weird when I visited a city I had never been to before but still recognized somehow. At first I thought I was just mixing the memory with some similar small town. But once we passed by the bar named "Dad's Change of Pace" I knew for a fact that I had seen this town before, which is was impossible. I kept telling my partner "we've been here!" "nope" "maybe this was in a movie?" "no". I nearly gaslighted myself into thinking I was making it all up, until I finally realized that I had seen this town before, but via streetview crawling. I confirmed this via my screenshots folder for oddities I find when streetviewing.

This déjà vu for somewhere I had never been was pretty distressing tbh! Next time I aimlessly streetview around, I'm going to stick to areas that I am confident I will never find myself in.


Fixation of the week: the band Brazilian Girls

Today my mind decided that a song I had only casually liked before is instead one of the best things I've heard this year. I don't know why, and I don't expect my enthusiasm to translate to others, but the build-up of St. Petersburg by Brazilian Girls is thrilling me.

I love that the final word of each line of the chorus, the part you really want to sing along to, suddenly switches to Russian. You're forced to google the lyrics:

Call me Снегурочка (Snegurochka)

Or Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz)

Hearing other songs furthered my excitement and confusion about the band as the songs mixed many different genres and languages. I was blown away that this album was nominated for a Grammy, and cackled that the Grammy category pitted this little album against the magnum opus of Daft Punk. Then I was even more surprised that this was the very same band that made the Pussy Pussy Pussy Marijuana song.

And finally as I raced to inhale their entirety, I found myself really enchanted by this extremely 2000s dance song of theirs:

This polyglot singer is like a combination of Imogen Heap and Ladyfag.

That's all. It's been a sequence of little surprises my mind has attached itself onto.


Worn down by today’s main character internet

I started this site to celebrate what I love about the (older) internet and to carry that energy forth in the new age so it's not forgotten.

But today's internet is wearing me down so badly. I love to ride the wave and excitement of a fad, but goddamn bean dad and twitter main characters are just so exhausting without the fun of a genuine internet moment.

When all social sites accelerate random inflammatory posts, we need to stop using virality as a substitute for "newsworthiness" or being somethiing that everyone must offer their Stance on.

Widespread internet moments are really fun when they're genuine, but these are random posts manufactured by social network algorithms that force it to become an "internet phenomenon". On any day 1000s of random posts by irrelevant people could reach the same status if Twitter manufactures the virality and spread of it.

I'm over it.


Happy Holidays

I've been working on different site redesigns that I abandon at 80% completion rather than adding new content to this site. But there is one time-sensitive matter to attend to: someone has made 21 Christmas songs about Yaoi.

In the midst of algorithmically-accelerated conspiracy theories spreading on social networks profiting off of the mess they create, it is SO refreshing to see genuine cringey low-stakes videos that could have existed on the internet ten years ago. It's calming to find an internet thing that is weird in a way that's familiar.

Better yet, the person who made this was in the U.S. COVID vaccine trial [proof]. This album creator has contributed more to the public welfare than most elected officials.

So, happy holidays. Try putting this on the background of your friend or family holiday gathering and see how long it goes unnoticed for. If you need a palate cleanser after listening to that, I recommend this pop punk Christmas playlist.

(p.s. credit to @broderick's Garbage Day newsletter for bringing this person to my attention. Repeating finds from this newsletter won't continue to be my Beat, so subscribe to it!)


Throwing myself into the internet bus

Month 7 of quarantine is hitting hard, and I'm getting bored of myself. I've felt too exhausted to do anything that would require mental exertion, and I've watched too many movies. I decided aggressively internetting would be my activity for the night.

I went to my fav source for eccentric internet sites (kickscondor.com), clicked a link, and then that site's links, and so on. Eventually I stumbled on a blog cataloging old toys. This post alerted me that there's still an active community around Sea-Monkeys, the tiny pet marketed aggressively to children in the 70s.

I found the Sea-Monkey subreddit and began imagining the lives of its 693 members. What's the story behind these people who build huge aquariums for microscopic fish and who share heart-felt appreciation about using Sea-Monkeys to cope.

My interest in niche communities as an outsider is sustained by its hobby drama. Thankfully there's plenty of it. Sea-Monkey fans frequently wait 6+ weeks for their order, and they often receive knock-off species. Why are they waiting so long? All orders are solely handled by Yolanda Signorelli, the wife of the original inventor who passed in 2003. Why is she doing it all alone out of her home? Because of ongoing contract disputes with a toy company that have bankrupted her. There's a massive NYT article detailing it 1 and a documentary in production 2. There are some other fun details too, like Yolanda previously being an actress in 70s sexploitation movies. This story really has everything.

Now I was hooked. I went to the official Sea-Monkeys site and was delighted by how their one shirt for sale was kinda outrageous but also kinda fashion.

I was so excited to have found My Internet Thing™️ for the day. It was the total package of a new niche community with an entertaining backstory.

Then I got greedy. I wanted to know if the inventor Harold von Braunhut got up to any other wacky things beyond his managing a street performer who dives from 40 feet high into a kiddie pool watch. Unfortunately it turns out his main shit was being a full-on neo-nazi and major donor to the KKK. He was born Jewish and added the "von" in his name to sound more German. Journalists discovered his affiliation when he was arrested for trying to board an airplane with a spring-loaded baton, which was his own invention made for his hate group pals who were banned from getting gun licenses 3.


This sharp negative twist hurt. I felt the distance between reality and the quirky fascination I wanted this to be. It laid bare my tendency to throw myself into something in hopes of being taken for a wild ride. My manic internet dream got crushed by how hobby history is firmly rooted in the reality I'm trying to mentally escape.

So, I guess I won't be getting that shirt no matter what now 💀



Tonight was the presidential debate and wow the U.S. continues to innovate on how to be increasingly terrifying and disheartening.

In a desperate attempt to escape present reality, I fell down a rabbit hole of 70s-80s experimental music but somehow ended up stumbling on a prolific artist of the last decade.

Grant Macdonald's 500+ songs mostly comprise of repetitive gay erotica lyrics to generic royalty-free metal/disco/country backings. Yes, 500+. And yes, "mostly". His other main topic is about how he was an investment banker in the 80s who orchestrated a company merger with Getty Oil but was never paid his part of the deal, as laid out in many of his songs like Four Billion Bucks. Heavy stuff. Or as best summarized by his fans:

I instantly needed to know everything I could about this person. I couldn't find much by googling him, but there is one youtube video that does an excellent job tracking him down. This video is honestly as exhilarating as the documentary Tickled:

Stumbling onto Grant Macdonald is the shit I live for. This is when I think the internet is good again. I get so energized finding someone who has dedicated so much time to a project not meant to gain attention or money. Learning that someone has spent ten years making hundreds of songs about gay erotica and oil mergers genuinely inspires me to appreciate humanity and how different others' lives can be. Discovering him put me into a euphoric state where I appreciate the absurdity of life and want to make my own life more absurd.

Grant Macdonald is a gift. He endlessly creates, and we get to just sit back and enjoy this outsider artwork unfolding into the void. And that, like Ram Ranch, really rocks.



Today I aimlessly biked around to explore new areas. I passed a bar named Purgatory that borders a cemetry and has outdoor seating, so naturally I was intrigued. I tried searching on Instagram to figure out its vibe, but instead it pulled up a bar in Croatia that is so otherwordly chaotic that I wish travelling was possible right now.

Behold the cursed magic of Zagreb's @purgatory.bar, which based off its Instagram comprises of 50% sleeping middle-aged men, 20% naked men that are drunk patrons or musical acts, 20% goth bartenders, and 10% miscellaneous wizards. Here were my highlights capturing this range:

The quarantine internet moment

I, along with everyone else on Twitter, am obsessed with Blaseball. Blaseball is an absurdist fantasy sports fan game that plays like Cookie Clicker where you choose your favorite team, bet on hourly games, and vote for weekly rule changes. This article lays out the mechanics well.

The game itself is fine, but the community around it is the main event. The fanbase is queer and full of people who were overjoyed when it was discovered that the source code contains an anticapitalist stat for each player. The community's fervor immediately produced a ton of lore and art:

Logo of the Charleston Shoe Thieves blaseball team Fandom lore: "Nolanestophia Patterson (pronounced “Sophia Parson”, as the n, o, l, a, n, e, t, t, t, and e are all silent) a lineup player for the Seattle Garages." Fan art for Kansas City Breath Mints's player Whit Steakknife

In particular, fans of the Seattle Garages created playlists for each player and created 15+ original songs inspired by their team. (This song is solid standard rock and this song is pleasant City Pop that gets very fun at 4:45). I love how the arbitrary distinction of "Seattle" accidentally created a unique subculture in the fandom geared towards music. Their songs have a homey open mic night vibe that I find deeply comforting, kind of like that great album created about Space Jam.

What I find fascinating is how quarantine has kicked internet fads into hyperspeed. The explosiveness and ephemerality make these trends really accessible. It's easy to join an online community when you know everyone is fresh, and it's easy to devote yourself to it when you know it won't last for long. The whirlwind of rapid growth makes it feel like you're a part of something.

The internet is currently a series of short-lived popup communities, which is perfectly in tune with this lonely and exhausting time. Even as I write this a new one is starting, so I guess I'll see you over on Fall Guys~


Remember the word crunkcore? Remember 30H!3 and Hadouken! ? Well, this song forced them back into my awareness, but thankfully this song is a more palatable and less straight .

I was extremely delighted to learn, after accidentally getting a bit addicted to the song in an earworm-y type of way, that Gupi is Tony Hawk's son. This connection was like the 2000s closed in on itself. Quarantine's been a heavy ride of nostalgia so I'm now mining the worse parts of those times.

I'm not going to act like my experiencing nostalgia is super novel, but what IS exciting are some Gen-Z tiktokers painting the 2000s as an idyllic time that they missed out on.

Here's another video, a tag and another account for falling down this rabbit hole.

Club Quarantine

163 Participants on Club Quarantine's Zoom

In direct contrast to the previous snippet, I joined my largest-yet Zoom and I liked it. Club Quarantine was a riley gay time with DJs, drag performers, and someone who pole danced to FKA twigs' "Cellophane".

It's the best crafted online event I've seen yet. Moderators were responsible and kept the chat lively. The number of people made it comfortable but not overwhelming. You could be on camera, but it wasn't much more than a sign of attendance. If you were spotlighted, you could either dance hard or you could headbop to your computer, and both were respected. It was stunningly approachable.

The night managed to mix giving a small sense of community, offering entertainment and people-watching, and allowing being "alone in public". I realized I felt less awkward being there than being at a packed bar, where I feel bad for taking up space.

The Spatial Web

By this time, we all know that large Saturday night Zooms are torture. They reaffirm the shittiness of the current situation rather than provide relief from it.

I'm inspired by this write-up of a google doc party that enabled floating between social groups by having "rooms". I love how the tendency to hide in a corner at a party carries over to a spreadsheet, where you could hide in a distant cell to have a semi-private conversation while still "being" somewhere. This RPG map chat applies this idea to fix the issue of large Zooms making you speak to all 10+ people at once.

We're starting to catch on to all the ways that places and movement are intrinsically a part of socializing.

Find the early shitty work of people you admire

I've consistently listened to Baths' music ever since I heard Lovely Bloodflow in 2010. I discovered this excellent article where he steps through one song he's made each year from the ages of 14 to 19.

I love this article for shattering my illusion that everyone I look up to has always been exceptional. Instead, I can witness how they've tried and failed, how they've had to push themselves to steadily continue, and how they progress so much more slowly than I would've assumed.

I struggle to follow through with creative ambitions. I'm aware of "the taste gap", but I still trust that this gap wasn't so wide and wasn't closing so slowly for those who I view as successes. I'm glad to have this example point out how unrealistic my expectations are.

Crack Cloud - The Fix

The algorithmic music recommendation gods were kind to me today:

The song starts with a (90s?) british punk delivery that I wasn't immediately sold on, but starting at 1:35 the song transforms into a hypnotic crescendo and a freeing release.

Crack Cloud formed as a group of individuals recovering from addiction, making this song surprisingly personal. They're a live-in multimedia artist collective, so we may see more varied weird things from them soon.

Clarence Clarity

Clarence Clarity, who makes wild songs on their own and produced Rina Sawayama's album, has an enviable reputation:

Clarence Clarity personal life

Minecraft concert

In trying to experience the gamut of novel now-online entertainment, I joined a minecraft concert.

It was chaotic evil. The mixes were hyperspeed and full of joke references to other club music and to 2010s hits like My Jeans. The DJs were armed with impenetrable irony shields, but I think people are actually at the point of being nostalgic for nightcore, and we're approaching the first era of nostalgia for dubstep? I wasn't expecting to have to confront my high school electronica upbringing.

Amidst all of that, I applaud this American Football → Metro Station mix. The full set is a headache-inducer, but it's oddly comforting background music if you're on the verge of a caffeine-overdose panic attack.