I think im going to try and start a new habit of recapping each month- last year I tried writing down what i did each day in a daily planner, rather than using it for scheduling things since, lets face it, despite being perpetually occupied, my actual responsibilities and deadlines are few and far between. Sometimes I would forget and fall asleep, but would play catch up the following day, and I actually managed to stick with it all year. So I have good faith Ill be able to do this here.
The month started with the end of my sweet sunflower sofia's visit to san diego. She's been living in paris to attend fashion school, and this was her first break from her first year of college. shes really become an elegant goose and still, thankfully, one of my best friends. Sofia is my cousin and has been my pal since I taught her how to speak english when she first came to the US in the third grade. I was always a little worried she would turn into a brooding teenager and decide she hates me the way all american children grow up to spontaneously hate the people who care about them most. Luckily that time never came, though she still broods. The good byes were especially tough on her since she's going back to a solo apartment on a continent devoid of any family, but we exchanged them and sent her off to the airport. and then picked her right back up an hour later because her flight was cancelled. the next day was a wash rinse repeat cycle and she finally made it through TSA in a triple XXXL Carhart jacket she bought at the chula vista marshalls to weather the Parisian winter.
The day after that, i interred my body and barely held on to my soul, and finally started walking a few days later. Pressing fast forward i finished two books that i actually enjoyed, cut, bleached and dyed my hair, purchased paint and a programmable keypad i have yet to program, celebrated Chinese New Year and went to marshalls a grip of times. I live up the hill from one, and it happens to be Chola's favorite shopping center to hunt for motorcycles to bark at. I was asked to edit a special issue of the World Futures Review dedicated to art and poetry, which i am looking forward to, and this year I will be in charge of social media for the Love and Sex with Robots conference, which will be meeting in Montreal. Oh yeah, i also had that nice write up for Best Video Essays of 2022 picks from the British Film Institute, which just sounds prestigious as all heck. I drew a little, I wrote a bit.
In terms of being social, the only thing worth mentioning was seeing Nichole after a thousand years, at a lunch date gratefully arranged by Taylor. She has a baby now she calls Egg (based off his initials) and is in the 99th percentile of baby size. Nichole is 6'1", or 5'13" as she sometimes framed it, so this comes as no surprise. She is still as charming as ever, a word i repeatedly used throughout the meal. Am i the only one who does this? Whenever i run in to people i havent seen for awhile, I find myself using one word over and over, like a kid who just learned what accolades means and is trying to sneak it into conversation. then when i notice it theres this temporary split where im hearing myself as the word falls out of my mouth and i cant think of another one to replace it.
At the beginning of the month I had a ton of endeavors I wanted to pursue, a new youtube channel, an online store (dropshipping and otherwise), learning oil painting, start a kind of marketing service using AI. Ive scrapped the last two, and added a few more. im always having ideas for youtube videos but i absolutely hate recording myself, so i should probably let that one go too, as its a huge vacuum of time with very little payoff. Granted, my last venture into videomaking landed me a job and some other nice perks. A few hours ago I set up an online poll on instagram asking whether i should make a youtube channel or online store, and while the former is winning, the people i actually respect the opinions of are pushing for the latter. so i think ill make that my project this month and say it out loud here to see how it goes.
Featured song of the month: Bronco - A Qué Le Tiramos
well that one blew by pretty fast. Haven't had that much time for updates to this site, but I'll try and keep to my monthly wrap-ups, not that it matters one way or another.
Soooo... i guess i'll start with whats kept me so busy. this year I've volunteered to take on managing LSR's social media presence, which in hindsight, is a lot more than i thought it would be. there's just so many platforms, and on top of that there's the website.
On the bright side, I've been given the keys to their youtube channel, which means Im back to making videos baby! so far ive made two, both of which come in under ten minutes and are pretty similar to what the sex robot show was, pairing up some visuals to the audio i have to work with. In this case im pulling the audio from the presentations given at last year's conference. I tell ya, this material is like... taking a very interesting subject, and then making it super boring by placing it in this stiff academic format, and then i have to go back in and rescue the interesting bits and bring it all back to life. in defense of the researchers, its not their job to make the presentations exciting, and imo, people within the field of sex robot research (like futures studies), kind of struggle with wanting to be taken seriously, so they go the extra mile to weave in a lot of empirical analysis, methodology, etc, whereas authors in other fields like the humanities will do the opposite and try to inject humour or natural speech in their shit and try to stand out.
that reminds me, the other day i wanted to look up whether or not trigger warnings are actually effective and i came across this paper titled "Trigger Warning: Empirical Evidence Ahead". that's FUNNY right? get it? they made the title a trigger warning? what a lol. i swear im not being sarcastic it really made me chuckle. though, after becoming more immersed in the world of academic conferences im rapidly realising im probably the only person to not use the "Heres a heavily butchered pun: the subject of my paper" format of titling.
>ANYWAY here are the videos ive whipped together so far ↑ ↑, and i got another one on robotic deities in the works. Im also managing LSR's twitter account, where you can find the latest in sex tech news that i find interesting, like the palpable trauma left in the wake of Replika banning their bots from engaging in erotic role play. that shit got real. not only was r/replika filled with posts by users genuinely mourning the loss of what they considered to be their partners (however artificial), there was a pinned post at the top linking to suicide prevention resources. People really felt like they had lost someone close to them, someone they looked forward to talking to each day. Apparently when the changes went into effect, a lot of people found that interacting with their replika was like talking to someone who had undergone a lobotomy, having lost all of their spark (and proclivity to initiate cybersex). thats right people were really out here cybering like it was 1996 and using asterisks around shit like *this*
(the bots are the one on the left btw)
but enough about smutbots back to me. im going to be heading to taiwan mid-march and im HELLA looking forward to it, daydreaming off and on mostly about what im going to eat when i get there. I have loose plans to paint and maybe do some livestreams to show my friends on instagram what its like so go follow me there i guess if you wanna see what 711 is like when its done right. its really weird not knowing how many or if any people read this, but i kind of like it that way. according to my neocities stats ive tipped past 60k visitors on this site and it cant all be me checking if my updates look right, so thats cool and thank you if you're here and have read this far. i've put a lot into this site over the past year and it is a joy to do so.
what else, what else? oh, so i kind of made an online store, which was my goal at the end of last month. its just a redbubble account with a few designs i uploaded. i think print-on-demand is going to be my first venture into ecommerce and once i get the hang of that i'll make another store for things i make... if i ever, you know, find the time to make stuff to actually sell, that is. I guess thats all for this month, i do have a ton of fun links i came across ill put in a link dump since i havent done one of those for ages and my favorite ebook site z-lib has risen from the dead (see my last post Library Update), so ill be adding more free books to the library in due time.
Featured song of the month: Jenn Carter x TaTa - Just A Lil Bit
did i download every song jenn carter is featured in? possibly. i love women that rap like men and i have a soft spot for girls that tell everyone to go suck their dick. what can i say? a little misogyny will always make for a good rap song and lets face it, violence is fuNn. enjoy it.
I realize im running up against the halfway-point for the month of April to post my monthly recap for march, but at the same time, no one fucking cares, least of all me.
hi guys. it me.
March was an absolute joy, having spent the second half in my personal Oz, Taiwan. Shuttling back and forth on the High Speed Rail between Taipei and Kaohsiung, it was time well spent. I lived in Taiwan from 2017-2020, eating delicious things, prowling night markets, wrecking claw machines and getting my masters degree. This trip was a repeat of that without the getting a degree thing, and a bigger budget for silly shit.
and i want to do a full run down on what a rad time i had on sweet potato island, but the effort forecast to pull it off is quite high, and i dont have too much fuel in me right now. cuz its like i can either not talk about it or go over everything. though. let me tell you two things i learned on the plane. On the way there:
1) This movie is absolutely sick.
not only did i watch it, i watched it twice. Korean sci fi with time travel, guns, and medieval korean sorcerers. so good. so likable. And it does a lot of heavy lifting to make me think asian guys might actually be attractive(‡). Tbh, I think this is what its like for white people when they see marvel movies or lord of the rings shit.* (WATCH TRAILER HERE)
2) On the way back i learned that this guy is absolutely crucial for any flight longer than 6 hours (LAX to TPE 14.5hrs, TPE to LAX 11hrs) **Not sponsored**
Prior to the trip I was able to catch the Anselm Kiefer exhibit at the [insert museum name here]. I havent had the opportunity to see his work since i first discovered him at the SFMoma in [year], and it hit just as hard as the first time. If you've ever seen any of his work you'll realize how utterly hilarious these postage stamp sized representations are that came on the gallery handout. i went with my baby bro, his wife, and clark who had the most thoughtful of birthday gifts for me (a Dr Phil coffee mug). my birthday was on the 17th and i got to have 3 birthday cakes with each member of my immediate family which was really sweet (figuratively, literally, spiritually).
Song of the month:
The Pixies - hey!
right before jumping on the train to LA i watched Grosse Point Blank for the first time and first of all, its an adorable romcom if youve never seen it. Jon Cusack, Dan Akroyd, guns; perfection for what it is. Secondly, it has a super fun and phenomenal soundtrack, and one of the Pixies songs was in my head while leaving, so i downloaded Doolittle and went on my way. Listened to it on the train, the bus, the train again. I forgot just how weird the pixies were/are. like its hard to imagine the songs being written, or birthed. Then when I get on the plane it was one of the few bits of music I actually had stored locally on my phone, and the same while I galavanted around Taiwan. So the whole album is gold and could have been song of the month, however I chose this one in particular because I kept daydreaming little scenarios for who the song is about, from the singer's perpective.
plus, idk if this happens with everyone, but ill pretend it does and use the first, second and third person plural, but we can hear a song a hundred times and its just music playing, but sometimes, some songs will get an accompanying visual memory etched into them and you never know when its coming, or even when its happening. so now im stepping off the MRT at 中山 station going up the escalator, and about to swipe my way through the gate whenever it comes on.
*maybe cuz its a movie filmed in an asian country, unlike things that are produced in the US that have an asian cast, like Crazy Rich Asians or Beef and every non-asian person i know asking if ive seen it. that doesnt feel like representation to me. it feels liek im expected to engage with it because of what they did on their end, but with this i feel happy? proud? to be part of the world that is azn.
‡ ive dated an azn before but its never been me to see an azn guy and think hubba-hubba, much less awooga.
hallo little french fries
Abril has come and gone and it was another good one. The month started with me in Taiwan, alone, which was so so nice. Eating things and picking up magical souveniers for myself and a lucky few back home.
would you look at my lil baby!
I picked up this this guy on my last day in Taipei at a pop-up vintage toy fair at one of the endcaps of the underground mall that runs vertically alongside the subway tunnels between Taipei Main Station and Beimen. Its one of my favorite places in the world and has to be experienced to be understood. It's more than a half km in length, an extra long hallway with outward facing stores lined up in the middle and facing in along the sides. It has different "districts" with claw machine arcades and rows and rows of gatcha machines stacked head high throughout. There's a videogame district where new releases lure in throngs of high school kids, dozens of shops for anime figurines and manga drops resulting in cosplay sundays, and indonesian markets and restaurants in the foodcourt for the south east asian muslim migrant population that come to Taiwan as careworkers. There's blind folks that give deep tissue massage, theres sighted folks that give butcher knife massage, fortune telling, face reading, and a whole lot of bootlegging. ice cream vendors, shoe shops, clothing stores, jewelry stores, phone accessories and a family mart. i love it. i went to the underground mall when it was raining, when it was hot, when i was bored, popping out whenever i needed a smoke break and diving back in to wander the other side.
In terms of work, I put in some hours on two proposals and redid some slides for a truly infernal powerpoint presentation.
I put out another video for LSR (see above) and we settled on the date for this year's event. On the social side, I now have access to the Instagram account, which I will be populating with sexy sex robot art so you can follow that if you want to see some cyborg geishas and mecha art on your feed (at the time of this writing ive only posted one pic to their account, which im sure youll be able to pick out).
I joined a really great community of lovedoll users on a discord server for lovedoll magazine. Im always taken by how kind everyone is and I met my first female lovedoll owner! Its cool to talk shop on the state of sex robots and access to the internal workings of both the industry and the robots themselves
I started listening to a phenomenal audiobook called An Immense World (Ed Yong) while boarding Chola during Israel's trip to Florida*. The book is about how animals perceive the world and how their senses have evolved in different ways to ensure their success. Its a fantastic pairing with Children of Ruin and follow up to Children of Time, a sci-fi series ive been getting into about evolutionarily accelerated octopi and spiders respectively. a lot of the things im learning about in the non-fiction book are lining up with the speculative evolution of the fictional works. Funny enough theres another book about Octopi society which I am also looking forward to (The Mountain and the Sea). And when Im done with Immense World, I have another audiobook to check out about how animals dream. I have found I prefer to listen to nonfiction whenever possible, something about it really lets the facts sink in and im better at recalling concepts since I can pair it with whatever I was doing at the time.. Most of the time its walking chola, so whenever I think about Naomi Kleins shock doctrine I usually picture her little butthole or the handful of times I had my headphones on in sculpture class
I have a few projects lined up for the month coming up, a few of them will be online, and I just now before writing this registered as an LLC and business in the state of california. At least I think I did. Anyway Ill spill a bit more on that if things come together the way I hope they will and of course will update on my digital projects once i get them coded.
i guess thats it. Hope youre all doing well and actually exist
*she nearly wept with joy when we went to pick him up at the airport after a week, and yet when i got back from taiwan after a month she was like whos this bitch standing in the doorway
Sorry, no song this month, ive been on an audiobook kick
July was bulging with creativity from day one, having already started a few projects the last week of June.
Having binged the latest three seasons of project runway allstars on tubi, i was under the incorrect assumption that I too could create a garment in less than 48 hours. What ended up happening was tediously handstiching an entire jacket across two weeks because I was too intimidated to learn how my sewing machine works, on top of lacking an ideal place to set it up.
My goal was to replicate one of my go-to kimono-jackets and upgrade it to include pockets. Armed with this weird clearance fabric I found at Hobby Lobby, a downloaded copy of kimono book cover (hover) and an ironing board, I freestyled my own style of pattern making and got to work.
The final product was mid, and quite frankly hideous on the inside. Im proud of myself for seeing it through, but I havent worn it once and dont think I ever will. This happens with half the clothes I make/alter, and usually Im just satisfied in getting the thing done.
Making the jacket was interspersed with sitting down to paint Ms. Dolly (left) from My 600lb life for Fourth of July. I dont need to point out how patriotic the color palette is, and I like the tongue in cheek subtext of the show’s existence being a very American thing to boot. The painting is done in gouache, which im getting more comfortable with, along with utilizing underpainting.
the second to last weekend of July is always a special time as it coincides with my parent’s anniversary and more importantly COMICCON. Years past, when it was easier to sneak in, the house would be full of friends coming in for the event, while my mom would make gigantic feasts for all the odd characters occupying all the beds. However as security has beefed up and the con simultaneously losing its luster as the scales tip towards all things corporate, it hasn’t been worth the trip down. And while my haul wasn’t the best this year by any stretch (mostly art supplies and sample sets from Holbein) I was able to perfect my method of sneaking in, which i’ve turned into a comprehensive guide you can find below.
This year also marked my folk's 40th spin around the sun tolerating each other's driving, and despite my mom being supremely pissed at my dad over a comment about a chair(?), we had a lovely dinner at Mr. A’s, which I had actually never been to despite its sign being an iconic part of the san diego skyline.
Throughout all of this I was editing a video project that I was sure I was going to finish by the end of the month, but with about four minutes of audio left to set footage to, ive completely ran out of gas, and have set it on pause to code this month’s recap (and the additional bonus goodies). Even explaining the video feels daunting right now, so I’m just going to keep mum about it til its ready for release
Last but not least, Ive grown more comfortable executing projects on the cricut i bought of letgo last year, and am pleased to announce ive made my first merch product for this site, the Humantooth Sticker Sheet.
Made a painting for Fourth of July, featuring Dolly, one of the "guests" on TLC's My 600lb Life. Everytime I look at it I start singing the song from the OG Americas Funniest Home Videos (America, America, this is yoooou)
Starting with a Nike Swim towel, I put together this bag comprised of free and found materials, or stuff I already had lying around. The hardware came from the sporting goods store at the bottom of the hill from my house, with the exception of the Topps bag, which I got from a free giveaway during the last seconds comiccon,.
Then i made this glorious t-shirt having been inspired by this even gloriouser hoodie
Began dipping my toes into the fediverse, in large part due to finally finding an instance i dont mind tying myself to, and discovering firefish, which does away with Mastodon's painfully open-source UX
Its been a pretty lonely experience thus far, though its a super fascinating glimpse into the type of echo-chambers I was always told I'd find on twitter. One user in particular seems to spend their day preemptively arguing to responses she believes her marxist takes will bring, or just writing *shrugs and going off for a couple hundred words and inevitably upsets herself
Despite all this, I kind of have hope for the technology. For those of you who aren't aware the easiest way to explain the fediverse is a collection of social media apps but instead of being ran by the companies fka twitter and facebook, its ran by people operating their own servers, which are called instances. its definitely not for everyone, but I happen to be a part of two groups that could really see some benefit from it, and maybe explaining how might shed some light into how it works.
First there's the Association of Professional Futurists (APF), which has a listserv or email list that gets used daily. Basically anyone who sends an email to the group's email address will send it to all the members. This is cool for sharing articles, events and opportunites, but less cool when youre opening a message that just says "Thanks" because most replies are reply all. So in this case having an instance thats just for APF would look like our own personal twitter, where the feed would show everything the members are posting, without having to actively find and follow each person.
Similarly, but on a wider scale is sextech. Ive been running the social media for Love and Sex with Robots (LSR) and quickly came to find that social media isnt very friendly when it comes to sex related content, even if its far from porn. There's the constant danger of having your account banned, your posts throttled or having to self censor 99% of the time. So running an instance dedicated to sextech would look the same -an industry specific twitter- but serve different purposes. My ambitions for this use case were high enough to where I actually bought the domain name "sextech.social" for 6 bucks earlier in the month, hoping i would figure out how to fet it off the ground once i had some free time (Most instances are "subject.social")
And while ive called them "personal/specific" versions of twitter, whether or not they are open to the public and new members is entirely up to the owner. Personal just means personally owned and moderated. And you can "fedirate" with other instances and have all of their members posts show up in the main feed, and follow members from other instances as well. In the end its neat but i dont recommend it for most folks unless you have a community you want to go in with. or hot takes you want to throw into the void
New Youtube Channel!
OMG I worked really hard on this one. I really thought I would have the video done by the end of July, and when I found out how wrong I was, I ended up taking a week off and made the bag above to help cope.
Following the completion of my video project, i gave myself a new dyejob which came out very fun and pretty
Began reading 'No One is Talking About This' by Patricia Lockwood at the behest of a friend whom Ive already mentioned and very much trust the taste of, and completely forgot the birthday of (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLARK!!). and while I find it a bit too flowery so far (the kind of writing where you picture the author choosing the words rather than generate images of the narrative), i did get a kick out of this passage: