Zee Captain

Urban Exploration Compilation

Cuz I have friends who wanna see pictures. And I have too many albums on facebook to bombard them all with individual links... Here's the collection.

Note about my FB: I only accept friend-requests one month per year (Feb). My profile is public, though, so feel free to follow and comment and stuff :)

Content warning: one of these albums has some scantily-clad pictures of my friend Brendan at the end of the album, and I can't remember which one it is. We went on an adventure, and then went to the goth club afterwards.

Abandoned Subway

Aquaduct and Subway

General Foods Building

Abandoned House

Iola Campus

Rave Tunnel (Iola Campus revisit)

Regal Hotel (didn't have time for actual exploration here, just had time for a quick stop on the roof before we had to bolt)

American Laundry Company (content warning: animal remains in some photos)

Centralia: Population 11

Centralia: Rt. 61

Reading Railroad Train Graveyard

Bethlehem Steel Mill

Commons Basement

Sibley Basement

Older Adventures

Other stufff

City Exploration


A Few Pics of Philadelphia

Train Yard
Gotham - Penguin

White Folks, Take A Seat

I'm not going to go super into the race revolution, because it's more mentally exhausting due to the amount of other stresses I was dealing with when it all hit the fan (which shall be blogged when I have recovered the energy to do so, as it's a personal hit that made the news all over the place and is still not done yet). The short of it is I have friends going out on the line for every protest risking plague and peril, and getting gassed by the fascists trying to take back control. It's upsetting as fuck that this is still a thing in 2020, but hey, America is number 1. In shit-shows.

I just wanted to log a couple of (edit: now a few) exchanges I had with someone who is so fucking white that he has no clue what this is all about. I've had to verbally slap some other folks with "here's why you're being a racist bitch" speeches already that week, but this one took home the gold. He's a really good person at heart with a strong ally-ship to the right side of history (as in not letting outdated biblical or racial morals exile people from being people). I had to strain to keep my temper and I think you could see me losing it in some places. But my friend wanted to read this, so I'm putting them here.

The first one was a post questioning the removal or redesign of Mrs. Butterworth. This is the short one. I know deep down, they may be more likely to just be trying to cash in on the image rebranding PR, but the answer he was looking for relates to it being a possible racial caricature.

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I had to take a beat and circle back when I read "that's not what I'm seeing," because fuck, dude. You're white. It' doesn't matter what you're seeing. What matters is you listen to the experts and accept it. Maybe make a black friend who can explain it to you.

Or maybe just realize that the Corporation of America sees black people fighting for their rights, hears them screaming for equality or just not to fucking die if they take a pen from the post office, and translates that to "let's change some characters on a box of pancake mix." Not even gonna bring up the Land O Lakes butter iconography. Nothing more American than getting rid of the indian and keeping the land.

The next conversation is a bit of an essay. Same guy. Days later. He posted an article about black TV reporters wearing their natural hair on the air, with his comment, "Why do people care so much about hair? I don't think I've ever looked at natural black hairstyles and said "That looks bad" just for being natural."

I let this one stew a minute to see if his other friends could get the ball rolling.
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Could you tell the parts where I started to lose my patience? There's a whole gap of comments where I had to fucking walk away because I wasn't sure if this good guy good ally was some kind of troll in it for the long-con. I wasn't sure anymore if he wasn't sealioning me (see also: the last image in this post). I had to just sit back and read to make sure he wasn't being a bastard and when I jumped back in, I still wasn't sure. He started with why do they think this, and kept asking on a company level, and then switched in the next thread down to wondering about the individual level. Like, dude, go fucking ask an individual, then!

But I think K summed it up in that one comment (about half a mile up the conversation): "simply asking your question shows you how you, a white male, can go your whole life oblivious to a sub-culture of suppression."

Update: 9 October. OMG, HE'S BACK. So, I posted this on my FB:

And he chimes right in.
"At the risk of seeming callous, I'm not sure I'd draw this parallel. Till was murdered in a horrific act of pure racism. Taylor's death, though certainly undeserved, came during a questionable but apparently legal police action. Till's murderers were evil human beings. Taylor's death lays at the feet of the system, not so much individual people. And unlike Till, she wasn't targeted for who she was; her race contributed to her death in a systemic way, but not in a specific personal way. Of course, the coincidence of the dates is somewhat chilling on its own."

And my very fucking angry reply:
"Holy shit. Wow. First, despite what the cops say (you should never believe what cops say to cover their war-criminal asses), what they did to Breonna WAS illegal AND ALSO a horrific act of pure racism. They entered her home without a [credible] warrant or probable cause and EXECUTED a sleeping woman in her bed by shooting her SIX TIMES.
Till's and Breonna's deaths were among the many iconized to draw the public eye to the absolute cancer that is this country's police incompetence and racism. If the fact that Breonna's murderers were police is throwing you away from these parallels, replace the word 'police' with 'murderers' - in the era of Jim Crow, police turn a blind eye to citizens brutalizing and murdering a black person. Now, police turn a blind eye to police brutalizing and murdering a black person."

He then asks for me to clarify about the warrant and probable cause, because apparently, all his sources were right-wing garbage. So I continued. With citation.

"The no-knock warrant wasn’t valid.
First, the no-knock portion was cut-and-pasted from the four other warrants issued in the investigation and offered no details (Washington Post). This is a violation of a requirement set by the Supreme Court. No-knock warrants are only to be granted when police can prove the suspect is a armed or could destroy evidence if they knock and announce. They didn’t do that.
Further, the order on the warrant was changed previous to the raid (to void the no-knock), so they had to knock an announce themselves, because Breonna was considered a “soft target (not a threat)” (which baffles me because YOU said she wasn’t a target at all 😮). Soft targets are not treated the same as Breonna was. In an average soft-target search raid, a SWAT team would surround the place and get on the megaphone. This search no longer even needed to be done at night.
They technically knocked (for a few seconds - not nearly long enough to wake someone up, let them understand what’s happening, and answer a door). The one witness who said he heard them announce themselves ONCE in the middle of the commotion, also said Breonna probably didn’t hear it because of the commotion (NY Times). BUT that witness had stated in two previous interviews that he did NOT hear them announce themselves (CNN), which sounds to me like some witness tampering has happened. Walker himself said he repeatedly asked who was at the door, to no response, and was not charged for shooting at who he believed to be intruders, which speaks volumes against their ‘witness,' considering he didn't miss his target and got an officer in the leg.
As evident in a study of the LPD’s search warrant executions, run by a criminologist from UL - every entry he witnessed not only used a battering ram to enter, but all identifying announcements were delivered deliberately in conjunction with the first hit to muffle their announcement but technically announce (louisville .edu)."

And his blasé response was... sort of acceptance? But still questioning all the credible sources I gave. I'd ask for HIS sources, but I don't fucking care.
"It's a pretty complicated and confusing series of events, and there are a number of competing narratives. It's hard to know what to think. This is the first I've heard the warrant wasn't valid, though.
There's no question the system needs to be reformed. I just haven't seen enough evidence for individual culpability in this specific case."

I ended with a quick, "yeah, at least this case made them finally ban the no-knock warrant."

  • Current Mood
    irritated irritated
MTV - Aeon

The Unearth'd Corpse of Animatic Attack

I scraped up remnants of my old podcast with the help of the Wayback Machine. I don't know exactly why. I'm sadly no longer friends with my co-hosts, and the reason I knew any of them at all is because of someone I'm definitely not friends with anymore. But the podcast is such a wonderful memory, and the whole network it was hosted on (Audioshocker) no longer exists. We only did 11 episodes, ending it six years ago (wow, only six?), but I loved it.

I managed to get the audio for 8 of the 11 episodes, one of which, I wish so much was still available somewhere, as it covers one of my favourite subjects of the show's original premise. And due to my falling out, the entire account where I hosted my own screencaps of things discussed is also permanently gone. But all the episode pages are still able to be found, and I'm going to copy the first five of them here (the first five cover the original topic - Legend of Korra (book 2).

This is just for my own reference. And they're kinda picture-heavy (5 or so images per episode), so they're going under cuts.

Inspired by the debut of The Legend of Korra: Book 2, the AudioShocker launched its podcast series dedicated to animation appreciation in September 2013.

Fawndolyn Valentine, Justique Woolridge, and Nick Marino share a passion for the art of animated storytelling and they bring that love to every exciting installment of Animatic Attack.

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Collapse ) This is the one missing audio :(

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Zee Captain

Covid Update

The weekend before my last full week of in-office work, I had a brief escape to Toronto for a Letterkenny Live show (which was its own awkward mess). The show held 5 THOUSAND patrons, in a casino that was packed with gamblers outside the show area. We read that France had banned people from gatherings of 5k or more, so that was a bit unnerving. Before I left, I stopped off at Meagan's house. She said that if things with the virus went to hell while I was gone, she could grab a work-from-home laptop for me. At this point, we hadn't had any cases yet outside of a couple in NYC, and I thought nothing of it (but my county did end up with one by mid-weekend).

When I returned to work on Monday (I work at a local college), rumors were flying about shutting down the school. People were scrambling to make a plan to move things online, which meant a whole lot of extra work was about to be in store for me, as tech support. This was one and a half weeks before we were all sent home for the foreseeable future.

The day after I got back, Monday, I had a doctor's appointment. That was another disastrous mess I don't want to bring up. Long story short, my doctor started me on a very strict 3-week diet which I later found out comes from a GOOP show consultant (as in Gwenyth "beehive up the vagina" Paltrow), ...and I started my period the same day. I miraculously succeeded at the diet, despite my period's usual usurping of any healthy eating possibilities. And now one week after the diet ends, my period, started again yesterday, rages on, and I'm still trying to stay strong through it, and even added a new exercise routine, since my gym had to close (Chris Hemsworth's fitness company, Centr, which moves far too fast for me, even with beginner levels, to the point where I don't want to continue after the week trial, but then afterward, I feel kinda good about it, so we'll see).

I pretty much threw away my no-buy year by buying a bunch of zines and video games this month. Previous to quarantine, I have only bought zines at one shop in Toronto (who now carry MY zines) and one impulse buy (a new Tank Girl bag, and I love it). I don't regret anything I've gotten so far, and for the zine buys, I'm supporting small-time artists.

I am really pissed off that the game I bought for Charles for his birthday has been pushed back from this month to fucking September, while the game I've been looking forward to for years, FFVIIr has been released today. I got a bunch of other games on sale, and subscribed to Playstation Now, mostly for Charles, because there are a lot of shooters that I think he can play on his computer.

There was an internet Zine Festival called Quaranzinefest. I posted pretty exclusively on Instagram but nothing came of it for me (well, for my own wares). I did buy several zines from folks, though, a mixture of digital downloads and physical mailed copies, and I love them :)

I'm faring well through quarantine, working doubles 3 days a week in front of my window, surrounded by at least 3 computer screens at a time. I'm an introvert at heart, so I am not having any trouble staying far from people, and the internet exists as it always has. I'm working on art and catching up on my "watch later" list on YouTube. The only thing I'm staying far the fuck away from is the news.

I'm trying to check up on friends here and there. My best friend works with me, so I know she's good. My Cup friends are social butterflies, though, so I check up with them. Last night, I said "hey, how's everyone doing?" and the new, socially awkward one just laid into us with a sob story about how this is like when her friend died and they saw him all the time but now they don't see him at all anymore. Like, dude, FACEBOOK. You can still talk to people. Take it from someone who has had a death toll of 3 best friends and 2 boyfriends. You'll see them again, and you can talk to them online or on the phone. And then that spiraled into other sob stories, like, yeeeesh; I had to step away. I try to be a good friend and listen, but my ability stops there - I can't offer support for issues I don't know how to properly handle myself, and empathizing with regaling my own experience and how I dealt is almost always met poorly, so I stick with just listening, but comparing this to the death of a loved one? I did not respond, because I would not have responded well. Others chimed in, though. We've all been meeting occasionally on zoom and are having our next get-together on Saturday.

Things I've started doing since the outbreak:
Learning Swedish
Watering my plants
Organizing one of my studios
Binge-watching the Avatar serials
Watching movies I haven't watched a dozen times
Drawing more
Playing video games (VR owns me, but this weekend, FFVIIr will own me)
Home workouts
Learning how to propagate plants (poorly)
Group movie viewing parties via video chat and Netflix Party

Still haven't put away my laundry, though.

Things canceled or postponed due to the outbreak:
RMSC date with Ron for Vanishing Sun performance
RIT Big Shot (university's night-time illumination of a yearly-chosen historic building)
MK Ultra Fest (local DJ big show)
Free Museum Day
Doctor's appt (rescheduled for video conference at a later date)
Roc City Tattoo Expo (rescheduled for August)
Green Jelly concert (rescheduled - don't remember when)

Still on, but will most likely get canceled or postponed:
Dan Deacon concert (end of this month)
Eye appointment (late mid May), which means I have to order more contacts before my prescript runs out in ten days.

August looks to be filling up though:
OCHO (yearly picnic with friends)
Roc City Tattoo Expo
Oddities & Curiosities Expo (I'll be taking my first taxidermy class!)
Fandemicon! (I've been boothing there the past two years)

No Buy Year

I've just heard of a "No Buy Year" and thought I ought to try it out and see what I come up with.

The rules are simple and a bit complicated.
No buying things. No books, no movies, no morning coffee (if you have a working coffee maker that's collecting dust, time to step up), no apps, no new supplies... you get the idea. The point is to use up what you've got (for someone like me, this will be difficult, yet I have SO much stuff to use up).

Except for:
  • Living expenses (food, bills, rent, etc)
  • Transportation (gas/petrol or a bus pass)*
  • Replacements (like toothpaste, shampoo, cleaning supplies, and anything used up beyond repair)
  • Maintenance and repair (when you can't DIY).
  • Health (maintenance, improvement, and preventative)**
  • Experiences and Education***
  • Gifts for others

*for transportation, I'm going to avoid services like Uber or Lyft (unless Lyft gives me a promo and I'm caught in the rain, which has happened before, but Lyft almost never gives out promos)

**Gym memberships count here, too. Or anything that gets you moving, like a bike-share service or investing in your own equipment (but no buying new workout attire unless you're replacing your worn out attire, unless it's safety equipment you don't have, like a mouth guard for sparring or flip-flops for public showers).

***For education and experiences, there's a wide range of things you can do. You can take classes around town, go to museums, travel abroad, go on a vacation, go to Laser Tag (also might count as exercise), attend a workshop... My next scheduled experience is going to be in an Escape Room!

You're supposed to downsize, as well - bring things down to one or two; simplify things and focus on sustainability, especially during replacement, but use things up completely before replacing things. For instance, if you have ten eyeshadow palettes, bring it down to one or two that you use most often (I donate all my unwanted-but-still-good makeup and clothes to a queer clothing exchange). Only when you're finished can you replace it with a new/better/different one. If you see a new lotion you want to try, you can't get it until you've used up your current lotion.

Secondary exception list should be based on personal value. My secondary exceptions are:

  • Social beverages/treats with friends (I don't have a big social life, so I'm not going to miss out when I get the chance).
  • Repair items to DIY (only if I can't borrow, and only if I know I'll definitely use it again).
  • Quest items (things I've been trying to find for a very long time, though I can't think of anything at the moment)
  • Pre-determined project/investment purchases (things I couldn't previously afford, such as SSD for my computer, RAM for my laptop, or swimming headphones would count as investments, and project material I haven't bought due to poor time management on my part or affordability for projects I've already planned out are pre-determined).
  • Conventions (these could count as experience buys, but cons are notorious money-suckers, and I will consider them birthday presents to myself, as I only go to one or two a year).
  • Support (things like charities, a friend's patreon, kickstarter, or commissions, but no more buying into large-scale kickstarters)
  • Booth fees (because I'm still breaking into my art/zines booth stuff after retiring the jewelry biz a couple years ago)

I'm using January as a buffer period, since I started some new hobbies that need a bit of start-up spending (Charles got me a Cricut for xmas, and holy crap, it comes with jack shit, and you have to buy all their expensive-ass add-on stuff to use it; and I joined a new gym with a pool, so had to buy flip-flops and a locker lock), plus I have my last ever comic book stash to buy from my guy before giving up buying individual comics.
Tank Girl - Introduce Myself


I don't know why I did, but I renewed my LJ paid membership even after my old credit card got denied at first. I think I did it just for the icons, which is stupid. But I love my icons. Maybe I'll just pop 'em all in a folder and just post 'em here instead. I haven't made a post here since January. Not a public one, anyway.
(and I've just saved the icons and canceled auto-renew)

Seems LiveJournal has once again died out, and I honestly doubt it'll be coming back to life again, which is kind of a bummer, since it's kind of the only community-based social media full blogging site, isn't it? If there's another really popular long-form blog, community-based social media site out there, let me know! Meanwhile, I think Januarys are when people come back to try to renew the spirit, so I might post my alternate social media then, too. I actually made a new LJ account back at the beginning of the year (fawndolyn) which I use exclusively to blog about my life, in French (to practice the language, which is a bit of a fun hassle, given that I've been learning French through European AND Canadian means, so there's occasionally a mix of both in there).

That aside, the places around the internet that you can find me are:

Instagram: @fawndolyn (that's for my creative exploration. I've just this week created a new one for personal use - @fawnicus ).

Facebook: I have three 'like' pages: Fawndolyn Art, where I put my artwork, and I Forgot Why I Thought This Would Be Fun, which is a work in progress, but is the site for my zines.
Then there's a shit-posting meme page I contribute to with my friend Dextra, Chocolate in my Cleavage.

And my website, which is just a portfolio that I update quarterly.

That's pretty much it.

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Todd - Shit Rooster

The Friends Only Post (edit: hasn't been f-o in a while, though)

I don't like to lock my journal, but apparently need to, and I don't like exclusive Friends-Only journals with no public posts to sample what I might possibly be adding, so to give you an idea of the stuff I write about, I've left some entries unlocked. Comment to be *possibly* added back (there's a reason I had to lock this journal).
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed
Life is Strange - photo

Start Again

I ended 2018 gorging myself among friends and ending a 3-month garbage-food binge. We talked about our favourite events attended and concerts seen in the year (my answers were Nightwish, TIFF, and Emmett Otter's Live Jug Band (official soundtrack release party)). I asked about everyone's goals (what's one thing you want to accomplish this year?). I enjoyed the personal conversations it induced, but wish I'd not saved it til the end of the night when most people had left.

I have been making strides in my last-minute to-do list, which is a list of all the little shit I've been wanting to get done before 2019 hits. I don't actually count January 1st, because my vacation ends the next day, so I have one more day to get my shit together. One of the things on that list was to get my email inbox down to zero, which I did, and no sooner did it fill with actually valuable stuff.

Aside from the first email I'd gotten, involving my student loans (which I finally made the first steps into getting started), I got an email from WallByrd - the theater company I greatly enjoy and admire, and that I've been trying to get involved with since 2016. In late summer, they finally put an open call to people who want to audition for this season, including requests for crew assistance. Ron and I went in (he for an audition, I for crew). Neither of us heard back, and assumed we weren't wanted. I was surprised they didn't want Ron - he's a fantastic actor and huge supporter of WallByrd, but I was heartbroken that they didn't want me, as the director and assistants had expressed wanting my help when offered in person.

And I mean, I went beyond heartbroken and into full existential crisis, because during a particularly moody cycle, I lamented not fitting in with my friends, because I'm not this and I'm not that, and I don't fit into any group. Ron's group, in particular, who were all involved with RIT (best I had was squatting there during my homeless saga), or music (best I have is a collection of instruments, none of which I can play yet with confidence), or sign language (I'm slowly losing my hearing and have no one to learn/practice with). And performance - and here's where WallByrd lands. I have been called upon for the occasional extra role, sfx consultant, voice-over, or DP, but have never had any kind of IN with that kind of gig, and applying to WallByrd was going to be my way to fit in somehow. It didn't come. Not until the last minute, long after I'd given up ever being in that world. And now I don't know how to feel about it. Maybe I'll feel excited when I can finally volunteer.

But it will definitely get me walking again - WallByrd's studio is a 20 minute walk away.

I also ended my craft jewelry business at the beginning of December in order to focus on my art. It was my most popular boothing experience, but I'm glad to see it go.

I do have resolutions, and I intend to fail at all of them in due time, but if I want to keep them, I should probably go month-by-month instead.

My plan for January is to keep getting shit together (finishing the unfinished and getting into new habits, or getting back into old habits.

1) Finish the temperature blanket I started one year ago. I'm just about done with August and should be able to finish it in a month or so if I knock out a month's worth every week. That might run til February, realistically. It was too hot to crochet over the summer.

2) Make reusable items in a further attempt to reduce my carbon footprint. I got a compost bucket from the Community Compost group and have started being diligent in recycling. Last year, we switched from plastic containers to glass. My next steps are to make mesh produce bags, washable cotton makeup wipes, and beeswax wraps. If you know any other environmentally-friendly steps, please share (note: while I recognize going vegan as a step in reducing my carbon footprint, it is not a realistic option for me due to health and money reasons).

3) The diet-and-exercise plan. I won't bore you with my diet plan. But I do want to mention that I spent the last three months on a binge, from various birthday and Halloween events in October, to THREE Thanksgiving feasts in November, and then a general disregard for paying attention to my health in December, because at that point, fuck it. I accidentally said YES to having a whole bag of my favourite homemade cookies set aside for me tonight, so I eventually tried to eat them all in one sitting because I knew tomorrow I'd be kicking the carbs again. Fuck, I didn't even get a donut. I got an egg-cooker for x-mas, and I'm kinda stoked to use it now.

Anyway, diet aside, I think I've found a plan to start slow on the exercise (while I get back on track with my eating habits) AND knock out some other necessities, which is to pick a couple of cafes in walking distance, but still a distance. I'll pack a bag filled with that afternoon's project (reading, art, writing, needlepoint, whatever) and I'll have a cup of tea while I work on the project, then walk home. I never get walking into my day because I hate going on pointless strolls, but I think if I'm motivated to go to somewhere and do something, it'll help.

4) Finish A Series of Unfortunate Events - this one's actually kind of immediate. I wanted to have the last three books read before January 1st, as that's the day the final season of the show comes out on Netflix, but I have one more to go. I almost don't want it to end, but I can't leave my mind only to the Penultimate ending.

5) Another purge of stuff for donation. I'd ideally like to go through my whole house, but it's not gonna happen in a month.

6) Finally write to Keenan, who I haven't responded to since the summer due to business. Well... busy-ness.

My hopes for the rest of the year are also in no particular order.

Fill a sketchbook per month and get some useful things from them (zines, ideas for bigger art pieces, comics...). I've started preparing for this by getting together all my blank and mostly-empty sketchbooks and covering them the fuck with stickers.

(interjection: speaking of covering things with stickers, I bought myself a regular old, but brand new laptop (a PC - because most of my customer demographic uses them and want to learn how to do things, and I have sure learned a lot) and I'm pretty stoked about it, and just wanted to share).

Learn a bit of music theory (I have many instruments, as stated earlier, but I think without music theory under my grasp of understanding, it's a bit rough to keep anything I've learned about them.
By the way, I bought myself a bass guitar (and amp)!! I'm very excited to learn some tunes.

Learn a 3D program (for 3D printing) and learn to animate (in ToonBoom). I got a big, professional Cintiq (coveted by many digital artists and animators) for my birthday and want to get to using it for evil. I mean, for animation.

Read all the Discworld books. This would be pretty straight-forward, but I actually intend to maximize my multi-tasking by using the audio books instead. There are a LOT of those books!

Booth with my art at least once. I have already been rejected once. I'm hoping to get into at least one convention, and while Utica's pop culture convention was nice, it was attended instead of going to an annual picnic I love, and I don't want to miss it again.

Post only personal shit to my Facebook. No more idly hitting "share." And I guess, use my Instagram more often. Oh, and make videos (not animated, but like, time-lapse work of my art) and post them on YouTube. I tried the Twitch streaming thing, but it is kinda fruitless.

That's enough to get started.

I don't want to do a year's end recap this year, but here's a year's end ART recap:

Starting with the best piece first, and then, cut.

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No wait... I want to make a few honorable mentions instead of a full recap.
2018's high points included the season of concerts (including sneaking pass the guards to get up front at Nightwish), getting a new tattoo, going to Toronto and running into Ron during Toronto International Film Festival (and having breakfast with him each morning at my favourite brekkie place), boothing my artwork for the first time, scooting away to NYC for a day and scoring a pass to NYCC so I could meet one of my friends/heroes in person for the first time, and going to Doc Hammer's gallery opening and networking with a lot of cool people.

I hope the next year will be minimally invasive and mostly pleasurable.
  • Current Music
    Coming Home (Major Tom) by Peter Schilling