safe but extremely rattled

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

As some of you may have heard, the region where I live was hit by tornadoes a few days ago. I’ve had friends from as far as Australia inquire about my well-being. I’m going to write about the events in question a bit; I’m sure it’s going to help (writing has always been a tremendous help to me, my entire life). I’m still suffering from increased PTSD symptoms. The night after these storms, I was so exhausted I slept for close to eleven hours.

I watched the news a bit last night, but had to stop because I began to feel ill.

We’d already been warned about strong storms that would possibly occur on Friday. So, naturally, I was on heightened alert (living with PTSD, I’m always on the verge of high alert; it’s there, dormant, beneath the surface). To top it off, I’ve always had an irrational fear of tornadoes; this natural phenomena is absolutely terrifying to me.

Perhaps this is because it reminds me of sperm donor, a.k.a. the man who terrorized me during my childhood: the kind of thing that strikes out of nowhere, with barely any warning, leaving destruction in its wake.

By the time I drove Mr P to work, even though the skies were still sunny, I saw on my phone that the region was already under a tornado watch, and I had a very bad feeling. Something felt very wrong.

So on the way home, I filled up the car with gas, and as soon as I got home, I began gathering my emergency supplies. One of my bug out bags, the bigger one, was already in the basement—I’d put it there before Mr P and I left, and the cat’s carrying case was ready—and I got my portable radio, extra batteries, flashlights, water, I made sure my phone was fully charged. The sky was changing, it was becoming cloudy and dark.

I set myself up in the basement (I had chair pillows), and kept checking my “local” Twitter feed while I listened to the radio. Suddenly, emergency signals started blaring on the radio, messages from Environment Canada: we were now under tornado warnings and being told to take shelter. The radio said that the storm was going to strike in fifteen to twenty minutes.

I put the (unhappy) cat in his carrying case—I didn’t want him loose in the basement at that point—and felt extremely apprehensive. I was twitching, my hands like ice. I decided to try to calm myself by grabbing two IKEA foam mattresses and making myself a kind of fort. It did help a little bit, as did the BOOM FM fellow on the radio, and my Build A Bear William (while I hastened to gather my supplies earlier, I had him on my back, in his BAB bag, and it’s amazing how much this helped. I don’t call him my therapy bear for nothing). Potion, my cat, had been quite vocal in his displeasure after I put him in his case, but then he was quiet, I had his case squeezed against me, the opening against my thigh so he felt safer, and the combination of my cat, my bear, and the radio/phone helped me keep it together as much as possible under the circumstances, hunkered down with the mattress right on top of me.

Writing about this now, I’m shaking.

The warnings and alarms kept coming. I couldn’t see out of the small basement windows, and didn’t want to either.

I kept hoping I wouldn’t hear that “train” sound they talk about when a tornado is coming.

I checked and checked my Twitter feed. Then they were saying funnel clouds had been seen, that tornadoes had been touching down. I stared at my bear, I touched the cat through the carrying case’s openings. I knew Mr P was likely okay, based on what I was reading on my phone; and he was in the basement part of the stone building.

You get in this surreal state where you’re not in touch with anything somehow.

The alerts kept coming, but the places they mentioned were farther and farther away; warnings for my region ended, but watches remained. I stayed in the basement, hiding, for over an hour, and I was contacted by loved ones via text. I saw that places had been heavily damaged, places all around the area where I was, but we weren’t completely aware of the full extent of the destruction at that point, it had all happened so fast no one had gotten their bearings yet (a power station had been pretty much razed; houses were torn up or even destroyed; later on, as I watched news reports, I saw this poor man sobbing as he described holding on to his daughter’s hand so she wouldn’t be swept away while his third story apartment was being shredded by what turned out to be an F3 tornado, and I shuddered from head to toe. Note: his whole family is okay).

So eventually, I emerged from my mattress fort, and slowly came out of the basement, hypervigilance skyrocketing. Areas that had been heavily damaged were Dunrobin in Ontario; that tornado crossed the river into Quebec, and headed for Mont-Bleu, which is, as I mentioned on Twitter, twenty minutes away from here; another, smaller tornado damaged other places, Nepean, Gatineau, a school had caught fire…

In all my years I’ve never seen anything like this.

I got text messages from Mr P, saying his workplace had lost power; the next day, it was still without power and I was excessively glad he was home with me. We did the food shopping together, and he’s been protectively hovering over me.

I’ve been through some terrible situations in life (such as being afraid, for decades, that a loved one would end up getting killed by a fucking malignant narcissist psycho), and the past year and a half, as some of you know, has been fantastically trying (one situation is not yet fully resolved, but should be soon). I’m worn so thin I don’t want much of anything to do with the outside world right now.

While I was reading about the havoc these storms and tornadoes had wreaked, I saw news about Barrhaven: places had been set up there for people to get food and what have you, because so many areas were out of power. Immediately, I thought about this sweet girl who works at the Build A Bear where I like to shop… My Build A Bear having been so helpful to me during this crisis, I thought of her, because during one of our chats—she’d chatted me up a lot on occasions when I was looking around the store at the new items they’d received, she’s such a fun and friendly person, but then everyone at that store is absolutely lovely, great staff—she told me she was from Barrhaven (I’d asked for directions because Carling Avenue had gotten torn up, road crews were putting in new pavement).

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So I tweeted a short sentence saying that I hoped “the sweet girl who works at the Build A Bear is okay,” because I knew she lived in Barrhaven.

The next thing I know, right when I was shaking and generally under the shock of everything that had happened, severe shock complicated by PTSD, some sad, random fucknut on Twitter takes it upon herself to declare it was the creepiest tweet she’d ever seen, save for things tweeted by the Orange piece of shit I refuse to mention by name.

To say I was floored would be an understatement. I replied that, excuse me, I’m a woman, I shop there, and the person in question is young, and why don’t you see a fucking psychiatrist? In addition, the person about whom I’d dared express concern had been very kind to me, and go fuck yourself.

This wackjob counters with a weak riposte, why did I “single out” one young person who works in a toy store when thousands were affected by the storm (oh look, a humanitarian who thinks strangers need her permission to be concerned about acquaintances, and said wackjob knows neither of us). She added that my Twitter avi was “intentionally lecherous.”

You seriously can’t make shit like this up.

Incidentally, her own avi looks something like this:

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The kind of individual who’d be “creeped out” by a smile, or cake with sprinkles.

She can go right ahead and jump off a fucking cliff.

At that point in the “exchange,” if one may term it that way, I thought, right, we’re done here. I blocked her, deleted my responses—I wanted nothing more to do with this fine specimen of lunacy (thank fuck I hardly ever encounter people like this, oh and please, nobody bother with this individual)—and increased my self-care activities, because as I said, all of this was terrible and my nerves are exposed and raw. I’m functional, but at minimum levels.

So anyway, back in the world of persons who have positive things to contribute, who create, and who enjoy life, I will be resting and recuperating this week, then get back to the Patreon things I was working on Friday morning, before everything went haywire.

Deep gratitude for the support and friendship of everyone who loves me.

Right now, Mr P is making another feast for us, we have cake with buttercream, we’ll drink wine, and I’m going to relax and watch movies and do things that make me happy.

Oh, and happy BiAwareness to all of us who are asexual, genderqueer, and bi-romantic (like I am) or bisexual.

Say cheese.

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sensual, solitary, serene

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

As some of you may have heard (if you follow my Twitter and Instagram accounts, or are Patreon members), my Patreon account is now classified as “adult content” because of “implied nudity” or whatever:

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At any rate, I’ve decided that Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don’t Care. So my Patreon members can look forward to more asexual sensuality…

For instance, that’s what they’ll get when I take portraits featuring this Killstar choker (which I ordered the other day):

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In other Patreon related news, I’m sharing Wolfgang over there with all members (first, second, third tiers).

Statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, located in the Burggarten in Vienna

They say I want to kill him.

I’ve heard the outlandish rumors going around the city like vermin. I can sense the furtive, sidelong glances cast in my direction whenever I attend any function of note lately.

Not that he’s been present at the fine social gatherings where higher classes enjoy being seen. They shun him, those aristocratic bootlickers who sway according to the whims of the Imperial Court, and they have the audacity to believe I’ve harmed the fading prodigy.

People say I’m jealous of him. That I envy his talent, his brilliance. This is, of course, all too accurate.

I did envy him. I still do.

Il maestro divino

For more, join the club.

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Oh, and speaking of Mozart, the red and gold outfit Nezumi is crafting for me will be utterly mind-blowing. It’s getting closer to completion, so, more photographs on the horizon.

I’m posting on Patreon more and more. Yesterday, I shared a photo of the absolutely fantastic milk-themed pencil cases that arrived in the mail that morning. Slices of life while I’m working on various projects and books. October and November will be all about Masterful, which I want to publish before the holiday season. Also, I will be creating stand-alone, highly illustrated exclusive zines for my third tier Patreon members. My regular zine, Stay Home Vagabond, is an ever increasing source of delight to me.

I’ve been greatly enjoying my violin classes, and I want to make macramé again this fall (I’ve missed doing this). I adore my lair, my various collections, my tranquil life.

Say cheese.

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Masterful: Severus and me

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

Summer’s been hot, but I can sense the faint beginning of autumn in the air, and oh yes, I’m more than ready.

I’ve plunged headfirst into my next writing project, which has been long in the making. This book is even more outrageous than Rascal. It’s a continuation of Rascal: A Manifesto, in a way.

This book will be published late this fall (I’m aiming for November). Apart from my Patreon activity, it’s the focus of my attention at the moment. I’ll also continue working (at a slower pace) on Wolfgang, Booklet Two in September.

Here’s what I recently wrote on Patreon about the author photograph I took for Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me.

I wanted this photograph to celebrate my humanity, freedom, vulnerability, and power. For many years, I was Orthodox when I cosplayed Snape, and the costume had monastic connotations to me. This is definitely no longer the case. So I wanted to demonstrate this in the portrait. One of the things I’m going to discuss in the book, which will be mostly about my life experiences in relation to Professor Snape, is how my understanding of him has evolved and helped me in my personal development and emancipation. His strength of character, his ability to stand tall, to stand alone, his abiding mystery… All of this is what’s most appealing to me about him.

Doing this shoot was exhilarating. I took quite a few shots, as usual, because I know that in most cases, minor variations will strike a photograph from the list; this or that isn’t right…

The photo I selected had all the elements I wanted the portrait to have. I wanted it to be fairly androgynous, ultimately I wanted a half coat, half flesh situation, with at least a portion of my Snape ink visible, and with, well, the kind of expression I have in the photo I chose.

I didn’t touch the original shots much. That one, I barely even had to crop, I’m trying to remember! I added a touch of contrast and made the green colors pop more. Because I’m so darn pale, the silver makeup on my eyes, and the glitter on my face and neck, chest, and upper left arm basically look like a shimmering glow in the photo. On the actual cover, I think that some of the glitter will be more visible. I’m happy I picked the silver background, because it looks great in the shot. Throughout the session, the light kept changing because I was using natural light.

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Are you ready for this ride? It’s going to be a wild ride, I tell you.

In other news, I have a Build A Bear named William and it makes me tremendously happy. Working in my 70s lair is a source of continual joy and pleasure to me.

Say cheese.

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saucy and snazzy

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

So I’ve had a lot going on.

Dealt with an ear problem (after weeks of misery, I made an appointment to see my doctor). The combination of narrow, twisted ear canals and eczema is no joke. But the situation is much better now.

I did celebrate my 49th birthday splendidly, though. And took self-portraits to mark the occasion. I wore the disco dress.

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Genderqueer, baby.

I’ve been very busy with my Patreon. Membership is steadily growing, which makes me intensely happy. Patreon has contributed to my life like nothing else since I began writing and independently publishing my work. I’m profoundly grateful to my Patreon members who make me feel like a million bucks and fill my creative tank to overflowing.

I’m creating zines and drawing again (messy drawings, which is new for me, but it feels good); if you’d like access to my zines, exclusive blog posts, and special editions of my books, become a member.

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(detail of the photograph included in issue #1 of my zine, Stay Home Vagabond, in which I magnify and revel in my humanity)

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I was also interviewed by the fabulous and lovely Lauren Hippenstiel; the interview is available on her blog, iamasatanistand.com. You can read it here, and while you’re at it, take a look at her fantastic review of Rascal: A Manifesto (buy your copy today and review it on amazon.com).

Right now, I’m working on Wolfgang Booklet Two, and Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me. I’ll be doing a photo session for the author portrait that’ll go on the back cover of the latter very soon. Watch out! It’s going to sizzle.

Masterful is a phenomenally cathartic book. Writing it is so satisfying.

Here’s a “speak your mind” tea cup and saucer crafted by Miss Havisham’s Curiosities that captures the spirit of said book:

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No, I don’t put up with crap anymore. It’s healthy; I recommend it.

A couple of months ago or so, I had fun taking more Mozart portraits. I got a red velvet coat and snapped away (at some point in the coming months, I’ll be doing this with the red 18h century style Mozart costume).

Note: my Wolfgang story is going to be so wild. And semi-autobiographical in a totally fantastic sense.

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Mozart upon waking, velvet coat in strategic disarray. I’m cheeky these days. I’m sure Wolfgang would appreciate. Leck mich im Arsch, rawr.

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Let me tell you, life is good right now. I’m so much happier than I’ve ever been. And I’m taking excellent care of myself.

I’m really enjoying my violin classes, by the way. I’m currently learning (or should I say re-learning) Bach’s Minuet No. 2.

More photos soon! Green polyester shirt, opened Snape coat, a mass of silver bling.

Say cheese.

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Wolfgang, O my fount of pleasure

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

Yesterday, I published the first Wolfgang booklet, a special edition for my Patreon members, and I couldn’t be happier.

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I have been sucked into the story head first, and the delight it’s been giving me is beyond description. I’ve never had so much fun, tasted such pleasure, working on a story. This story encompasses everything I love, everything that makes me happy and interests me, everything that’s affected me and sustained me in my life. I’ll touch upon subjects that are of great relevance to me, such as the arts, creativity, religious emancipation, self-empowerment. I’ll write about sensuality, decadence, Baroque treasures, Vienna, romance, sacrilege, and celebrating earthly existence.

The characters in this book, and their relationships, will embody my personal struggles and triumphs.

Here’s the blurb for my Wolfgang booklets:

“What need have I of an otherworldly paradise: his music is my heaven.” In this daring supernatural tale of love and emancipation, 18th century composers Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are confronted by a startling new reality that will change the course of their lives. Only by embracing the challenges that lie ahead, only by crossing the forbidden boundary that separates the ordinary world from a secret, passionate realm will they experience joys undreamed of by most mortals and attain ultimate fulfillment.

The regular edition of this booklet will be available to everyone once the second booklet is published for Patreon members. Readers will be able to purchase a copy via a direct access lulu link. Whoever wishes to obtain a copy via different means should contact me, and I’ll do my best to set up alternatives for them.

You can become a member of my Patreon for only twelve dollars a year.

Mozart has been filling my heart and days with joy. So much so that I’ll be taking violin lessons again, starting next week.

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When I opened this case again for the first time in a very long time, my eyes watered. Tears were shed. I began learning when I was around eighteen, and then life intervened; this was the case again when I was in my mid-thirties; but third time’s the charm, right? This has always been my favorite instrument. Nothing beats the violin. And I will play it.

I’m also learning Deutsch auch, because what Wolfgang wants, Wolfgang gets, ja?

The Mozart who’s now residing, who’s now firmly ensconced in my head has also been clamoring for Viennese pork schnitzel and sauerkraut, and he will be getting them.

Along with writing this story, I’ve been taking wig test shots, which has been yet more tremendous fun for me. The photo sessions I’ll be doing in the future will be, in essence, Mozartian author portraits.

In these photos, I was wearing the “if I could pick Mozart’s wigs” blue-grey wig.

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While I’m waiting for the incredible red Mozart suit my talented friend Nezumi is making for me, I’ll be experimenting with more wigs (I have a stack of them), and white shirts, and a red velvet robe (which will look especially fetching with my white, traditional 18th century style wig).

I also had fun creating the first issue of my ultra low-tech zine, Stay Home Vagabond, for my Patreon members. Stapling the two photocopied pages together was fabulously, viscerally enjoyable.

I’ve been doing better these days than I have in years. I feel good. I feel happy.

Yesterday, Mr P and I went to a local flea market, and it was fantastic. I got my hands on cherished records, such as Donna Summer’s Love to Love You Baby, and K-Tel’s 1977 Palmares Comique—an absolute treasure that is Québécois au boutte, ostie.

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And, wonder of wonders, both records are clean, no skipping. I have rescued historical jewels, and I intend to care for them as such.

More flea markets adventures will be happening this summer.

Incidentally, there was a glorious 70s-esque aura to our flea market expedition. Total environment bliss. There was a vibe to the place that pushed all the right buttons. At one point, I bought a really neat sun/moon necklace with wooden beads. The man at the table told me that his daughter (whom I’d spoken to not long after Mr P arrived at the flea market and began exploring) wasn’t there, she’d gone to get herself some fries. But he took the price tag off the necklace and said (in French), “Turn around, I’ll put it around your neck,” what was left of his cigarette tucked in the corner of his mouth as he did so, and it was just so damn awesome. I was in my element.

Live your life.

Say cheese.

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Underworld Amusements and other news

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

I’m working on a number of writing projects (as usual), and there will be new portraits soon.

It’s with a tremendous amount of joy and pride that I make the following announcement: Rascal: A Manifesto is now available on the website of the excellent small press Underworld Amusements.

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Underworld Amusements publisher Kevin I. Slaughter is a fantastic individual and I can’t thank him enough for adding my book to the unique selection of devious titles on his website. While you grab a copy of Rascal, do add a few more books to your cart! You won’t regret it.

I haven’t been using the new platform MeWe as much as I thought I would, because for some reason it’s messing up my browser and slowing down my computer. So… I’m here, on Patreon (become a member for twelve dollars a year—buy me a couple of drinks—and have access to an increasing number of exclusive goodies, such as an upcoming blog post about the joy of using real dictionaries), Twitter, and Instagram.

In other news, I’m looking forward to contributing to upcoming Reprobate publications. Have you gotten your copy of Satan Superstar yet?

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My next book, as I’ve previously mentioned, will be my ode to solitude and how I revel in indulging my solitary disposition:

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And this summer, my focus will be this book, and it’s going to be a deliciously nasty project. I drew inspiration for the cover from one of my favorite films, The Neon Demon.

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Masterful will be like a decadent perfume celebrating the vital self. A rejection of herd thinking, an affirmation of the self-sufficient outsider. I’ll write about why Severus Snape is distrusted by many (and why there is no reason for him to give a rat’s ass about this), about the nature of his distinctive power, a power that made him an unparalleled pivotal figure in Rowling’s universe. Oh, and he wasn’t Dumbledore’s.

My Patreon members will be getting a special edition of this book, with extra content.

After Masterful comes out, I’ll be retiring the first two books of essays I wrote about him.

Say cheese.

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Satan Superstar, Cork Board, zines

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

The other day, I received my copy of the magnificent Satan Superstar, published by The Reprobate.

Here I am, opulently posing with it:

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It’s limited to 666 copies, so get yours while you still can: Satan Superstar

This lavish publication is filled with wild, fascinating articles from start to finish. It includes my own extravagant article, Golden Idol.

I will be participating in more projects published by The Reprobate, which is a huge thrill.

And here is the cover of my April Patreon exclusive booklet, Cork Board:

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I had a blast writing it, and I’m already looking forward to writing this month’s exclusive Patron booklet.

Today, I’m working on my latest book, Reveries of an Improper Solitudinarian, and on my first zine, Stay Home Vagabond #1. I want my zines to be as low-tech as possible, plain black and white photocopies with some colors added by hand, and I must say that this project is an absolute pleasure to me. Stay Home Vagabond will contain handwritten material, as well as artwork.

This spring is so much better than last spring, fuck. In every way.

And my new lair room is a constant source of delight to me.

Say cheese.

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exclusive Patreon booklets, MeWe, spring

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

I’m a page away from completing the April exclusive Patreon booklet Cork Board. These booklets, written in the same vein as Corner Store Epiphany, will only be available to my valued Patreon members.

In these booklets, I’ll write distinctive, vibrant, upbeat stories of survival. I’ll write about how I fought through difficulties, and how I came out on top. About how you can prevail in your own unique way as well. These Patreon booklets will be a buoyant celebration of this life.

Patreon members are getting new rewards, such as my artwork (copies or originals, depending on the membership tier).

The second and third tiers now have a limited membership. The numbers I set may be reduced as I determine what’s manageable.

It’s finally starting to warm up around here, and spring is in the air. Everything is much better than it was last year at this time, I can tell you that. The weather, life in general.

Warmer days will yield new self-portraits.

Yesterday, I joined a fantastic new platform, MeWe.

It’s like a mashup of Twitter and FB, though much more fabulous.

MeWe respects its users’ chosen identity (I’m not “less authentic” there because I prefer using a name that’s not my “real” name), its users’ privacy. It’s desktop friendly, unlike Instagram. It doesn’t censor content the way Twitter and FB do—especially the latter.

I’ve made no secret of the fact I absolutely despise everything about FB. That platform continually reveals itself as utter garbage, and its creator is a lying prick. FB is horrible; it’s always been horrible. I’m thrilled that the younger generation is actively shunning it and its constraints. FB’s gaping maws won’t devour the Internet after all, or wholly succeed in turning it into a dull as shit strip mall where everybody loads their cart with the same “safe,” cookie-cutter, consumer-friendly tripe; a virtual seigneurie where admittance requires you to become an exploitable vassal (Zuckerberg essentially fucking admitted as such). Twitter is fine as long as you avoid much of it (the mob scenes in particular) and don’t suddenly do something it doesn’t like (because of ill-defined, variable reasons). At least Twitter is wilder than FB. But then, anything would be wilder than FB, the mildewed high school yearbook of the Internet. The chaperoned office “party” of the Internet. The obligatory family reunion with people you barely remember of the Internet. The “acceptable,” mandatory uniform Internet. The monitored, take you by the hand Internet.

MeWe is also better than LJ, in my opinion. LJ is another time, long long ago. Another mindset. I’ve moved on from that.

Trailblazers, independently-minded people, eccentrics, join me on MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/logos.pilgrim

Unlike what I’ve done in the past on other platforms, I plan to limit how many contacts I’ll accept on MeWe. Nowadays, I respect myself, my time, my skills, and I prioritize.

In other news, I’ll have photos of my Satan Superstar article soon; my copies are on their way to my mailbox. What a pleasure and honor it was to participate in this project.

Say cheese.

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