April 2018

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

Spring is looking up.

ICYMI/Blog stuff

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

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

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

Tesla and Beyond: Hidden Problems of Silicon Valley by Reveal

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

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

Books

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

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

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

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

March 2018

Now that it’s April it can’t snow any more, right? Right?

ICYMI/Blog Stuff

February 2018
Branding and Growth: Day One
Hard Candy Fierce Effects Plum Diva Lip Gloss in Plum Diva
March 2018 Ipsy Bag
My Current Skincare Routine — March 2018
Sephora Collection Sleeping Mask in Pearl
Discount Codes Page

I was also nominated for the Liebster Award 2 by Hunida and The Sunshine Blogger Award by Anna and Sam. I’m not much into the question chains, but I appreciate it!

Nice Life Things

I finished my class! It was terrible. At some point I’ll detail just how awful for those of you who haven’t heard me complain about it every day for the last five months. I know you love it when I’m cranky. I’m glad I did it because I have a nice little network of friends to go to meetups with now, but man, it was not worth the money.

My friend also snagged me Angela Davis’ autograph after a talk this month. No big deal.

Podcasts

Miss Manhattan (Episode 200) Redux by 99% Invisible
This is a repeat, but I’ve also independently listened to this episode multiple times. The first listen made me cry. My latest (before the re-air) was on a bus on my way to see a sculpture or seven of Miss Manhattan herself.

Statue based on Audrey Munson in front of the library in NYC.My Radiotopia coin in front of the Audrey Munson statue, of course.

Airships and the Future that Never Was (Episode 300!) by 99% Invisible
So yeah, obviously a cool topic. Aside from that, this is somehow the best produced episode of 99pi that I’ve ever heard. That’s a high bar to clear.

Firsts by Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle is back for season two! This podcast is produced by men incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. Every episode we get is a gift. This one covers prison firsts. I cried.

Law and Disorder by Reveal
Segment 3, Dirty Shooting Ranges Poison Police, is what I’ve been thinking about the most in this episode. There’s a hypothesis that the crime rate dropped after lead was removed from gasoline because people were now longer dealing with the effects of lead exposure. Could police aggression be related to dirty ranges? That’s a bit beyond the scope of my blog, but either way people shouldn’t be exposed to lead.

What was your favorite thing about March?

February 2018

Thank you, February, for being like two days long after January lasted for five years.

A Blog Update

I bought a domain! April Speaks is now Grumpy Skin. One of my 2018 goals was to put more effort into my blog. Do you know what motivates you to put more effort into your blog? Spending money on it.

Hopefully this year long subscription is more enjoyable than ipsy.

Nice Life Things

Image of my cat and a bunch of sheet masks on my bed, with the Snapchat caption "Gonna be so fucking hydrated"
My friend in South Korea sent me some nice sheet masks! I’m reviewing all of them. Be patient.

One plate of desserts from our dessert buffet. I've got two things of chocolate mousse, a truffle, a fancy hostess cupcake, and a fancy version of those strawberry shortcake ice creams.

And, I surprised the boy with an anniversary/Valentine’s date to an unlimited dessert buffet. Feminism is really ruining relationships. Look at how much we’re suffering.

Podcasts

Managed Retreat (Episode 293) by 99% Invisible
What do you do with buildings on the coast when the ocean starts eating up the shoreline?

A Very Fatal Murder by The Onion
Start with episode 1. The ultimate true crime podcast.

Episode 84: Masterpiece by Criminal
Do you ever feel like your crime stories need 100% more poodles? Here you go.

The secrets of church, state and business by Reveal
I had somehow missed the Jehovah’s Witness child sex abuse scandal, so I was glad to be going through the Reveal back catalog this week. I’m no longer avoiding eye contact outside of the train station, I’m glaring.

The story about high speed internet is also worth a listen. The situation in my home town is a bit better than it was growing up, but we’re still leaving the south behind.

The Man Who Ate Everything by Sawbones
I am fascinated, upset, and need to read a biography now. My favorite feeling.

Episode 2: Something Large and Wild by This is Love
Have you guys noticed that I love the podcast Criminal? 2018 is looking up because now they’re making a second podcast about love. Please listen to this. It’s beautiful, unexpected, and makes me miss my aquarium so much.

January 2018

Was everyone else’s January really, really long? I sat down to make this list of neat things because it had been SO LONG, of course I had done SO MUCH. No, it has been 30 days and I’ve been reading the same two books, which means that I have finished neither.

Podcasts

Thermal Delight (Episode 291) by 99% Invisible
One of my favorite things is a design story that veers off and slaps you with the realities of climate change. That is not sarcasm.

The Prairie Chicken in Wisconsin: Highlights of a Study of Counts, Behavior, Turnover, Movement, and Habitat (Episode 120) by The Memory Palace
Another one of my favorite things is a good story about an “unladylike” trailblazing lady.

Wolf 359
I put off listening to the Wolf 359 finale for a month. I still wasn’t ready. It was such a good fiction podcast. I cried over an AI so many times. I’m bummed that it’s over, but I’m also really proud of the creators for knowing how to properly end a story instead of letting it become a shell of its original potential.

Sawbones
I don’t even have a specific Sawbones episode to recommend this month. I’ve been powering through old episodes. When I reach the end, I think I’m qualified to be a doctor. Pretty sure.

Games

Fallout 3
Yes, you heard me. Fallout 3 from a decade ago. I didn’t have an Xbox in high school and am catching up now.

Did you like the controls in Skyrim, but really want to play something in a post apocalyptic DC? Want to kill giant bugs and steal the declaration of independence? I do. Also, the bar for video games is so low that I was genuinely thrilled that I got to play as a woman. Bethesda is looking out for me. I’m forgiving that sometimes characters still call me “he”.

November 2017

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

Books

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

Podcasts

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

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

NYC

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

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

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

October 2017

This month’s list of neat things is pretty light (and a little late). I decided it would be fun to go back to school while I’m working full time. I was wrong. It’s not fun. Being smart is, though.

Halloween

For the second year in a row, I really wanted to be Squirrel Girl but could not justify spending money on an elaborate squirrel tail. So, I was Mockingbird. One day Marvel will make a movie about a super hero that I like and people will be able to tell who I am.

That day is in 2019 when Captain Marvel comes out. I have this sweet shirt to hold me over until then.

Image of me in a blonde wig and shirt that says "ASK ME ABOUT MY FEMINIST AGENDA". I'm trying to pose like the Mockingbird cover. Instead of being on a beach, I'm in front of my tropical fish shower curtain. Close, right?Cover for Mockingbird 8, the cover that broke men on Twitter. Mockingbird stands on a beach, shielding her face from the sun. She's wearing a shirt that says "ASK ME ABOUT MY FEMINIST AGENDA"

I also made the prettiest jello shots I’ve ever seen.
Blue jello shot (with a bottom purple layer that's not visible at this angle) covered in pink sugar crystals.
Recipe can be found here.

Apple Picking

Apples hanging on the tree!
I ate basically all of these apples. It was great.

Media

Stardew Valley
Windows lost my cute screenshots, so you’re going to have to trust me that it’s a very nice game.

Oyster-tecture (Episode 282) by 99% Invisible
Climate change! Animal architects! Overfishing! I usually hate listening to podcasts about things that I already know, because I can tell when people did the bare minimum research and are just telling a story instead of understanding it. 99% Invisible doesn’t do that. I spent three years educating the public on the topics covered in this episode and they did a great job with it. (Friendly reminder that their podcast collective, Radiotopia, is in the middle of their fall campaign.)

September 2017

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

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

Books

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

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

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

Podcasts

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

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

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

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