Stuff I liked: June 2018

I almost have some exciting real life news, but I’m going to wait until next month to tell you all. I don’t want to jinx it.

I can tell you that my birthday fundraiser for the ACLU went really well! I raised $200 with an additional $10-30 in late donations. I need to hunt those down. That translates to A LOT of painted postcards. I wasn’t expecting that. He’s two that I’ve mailed out already:

Watercolor painting of Killmonger from Marvel's Black Panther movie. It says "IS THIS YOUR POSTCARD?"
Watercolor painting of a Siamese cat on a blue background.

Only, uh, 20 more to go.

ICYMI/Blog Stuff

Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod Review
The Ordinary Granactive 2% Retinoid Emulsion Review
Birthday Fundraiser for the ACLU! (The fundraiser is over, obviously, but there’s some more art here!)
What Subscription Box Should I Try Next?
June 2018 Ipsy Bag — LAST IPSY BAG!
Beyond Intensive Ampoule Hyaluronic Acid

Podcasts

Reveal I’ve been going through Reveal’s back catalogue. They’re a treasure. They have a really good series on immigration, if you’re not quite sure what’s going on.
ZigZag Radiotopia got new summer shows! This one has women explaining blockchain. I’m two episodes in and it seems like a great podcast.
Ear Hustle Episode 17 – The Row Ear Hustle is on their summer break, so now is a great time to get caught up with them. They interview inmates on death row in this one. An important listen.

I clearly don’t know what fiction podcasts are any more. If you listen to a good one, let me know about it in the comments.

Books

Saga Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, and Fonografiks
Saga is so consistently good. If you’re looking for trans characters and discussions of abortion in your sci-fi/fantasy, this is the volume for you. And yes, I look for those things. I can only read about so many stoic middle aged men in spaceships, okay?

Video Games

That summer Steam sale got me. I bought something like 6 games, hated three of them, returned them, and bought two more. Steam has a nice return policy. “It wasn’t fun” is a valid return reason.

Right now I’m playing Fallout 4 and I love it. It got some bad reviews, so I had stayed away from it. I don’t trust anyone anymore. I’m having a great time with it.

What are you guys doing this summer?

Aviary Attorney Review

I received Aviary Attorney in my March 2018 Humble Bundle. That’s..some words, I know.

Humble Bundle is a monthly game subscription. It’s kind of like ipsy, but for Steam. I subscribed to get a cheap copy of Dark Souls III. Dark Souls is an action role-playing game. You kill things. Well, theoretically. Mostly I die.

Aviary Attorney is a totally different genre, so it was more of a stretch for me to start playing. It’s a visual novel beautifully illustrated with Victorian drawings. You play as a French bird lawyer.

Screenshot of Aviary Attorney. It's a black and white image of two birds dressed in Victorian clothing. The text at the bottom has the main character, Falcon, saying "Ugh. Too early for worms. Pass the Cabernet Sauvignon."

Yeah, you heard me. You’re a lawyer who is a bird, not a lawyer for naughty parakeets.

The game doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s impossible to do with the theme, but it still manages to be full of plot and oddly compelling. A full play through took me about two hours. Most people would probably take longer. I, uh, hate reading in video games.

It’s a visual novel. I know. I was trying to branch out.

I got a terrible ending the first time through and was a little tempted to go back and fix it, so there is some opportunity for meaningful replay. And there are a lot of puns. That either adds a star to the rating or detracts one. I’m still not quite sure.

This game gets a solid meh (3/5) from me based on the type of game that it is alone, but check it out if you’re into the read-and-click style of games.

Bird. Lawyers.

I have a referral link for Humble Bundle here. Unlike ipsy, they are a great deal. I subscribe when there’s a game I want. The rest of the year they leave me alone.

 

July 2017

Picture of my mom and I in front of the White House. I'm wearing the purple Bitch Planet leggings and they are awesome.
I took my mom to DC and absolutely wore my Bitch Planet leggings to the White House. It’s the little things.

Books

Squirrel Girl by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Rico Renzi
I’m up to volume 5. Everything about Squirrel Girl is perfect. KICK BUTTS EAT NUTS.

The Kingdom of Gods by NK Jemisin
Usually trickster characters don’t do it for me, but I had so many Sieh feels. This is the last of the Inheritance trilogy, so start with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Podcasts

Wolf 359 is in its final season. Come for the comedic space life vignettes, stay for the huge government conspiracies. I’m sad to see it ending.

59. One To Another by The Allusionist
Helen Zaltzman interviews the man translating The Memory Palace stories into a Portuguese book. I also love The Memory Palace, but I don’t do anything productive with that love. Instead, sometimes I cry a little at work.

Episode 70: The Procedure by Criminal
CHURCHES MADE A NETWORK TO HELP WOMEN GET ABORTIONS WHEN ABORTION WAS ILLEGAL. Uh, spoiler?

265- The Pool and the Stream by 99% Invisible
Skateboarding history. Suburban pool history. Don’t listen to this on a sweaty train, you’ll get really jealous.

266- Repackaging the Pill by 99% Invisible
I need Roman Mars to give me the design history of everything remotely feminist.

Games

Dream Daddy loading screen. It's got a montage of snapshots of the different dads, along with a rotating dad tip. This one reads "Dad Tip #10: If you're parking uphill, be sure to turn your tires toward the street."
Dream Daddy

I’ve been playing this one a little bit. You’re a dad that goes on dates with other dads. You’re nice to your daughter and make dad puns. There are cryptids and dogs!

Music

KESHA IS BACK.
I’m prepared to stockpile glitter the second she announces a tour.

The Long Winters
I’ve been listening to these guys on repeat, too. They have a sad song about astronauts.

I can’t stop playing that ridiculous Dream Daddy game

Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator was released on Steam last week. You play a single dad that has moved to a cul-de-sac that is inexplicably inhabited by exclusively single dads. You date them. You make dad jokes. I love it, and am going to tell you why. But first, I need to be a buzzkill.

I’m uncomfortable with the fact that this is a game played, at least in my twitter feed, by mostly women. I have the same issues with it as I do slash fiction being written by women. These things tend to be more fetishizing than normalizing and supportive. And in fandom, I think that slash is so popular due in part to a large heaping of internalized misogyny. There was a good essay I read on this that I cannot find to save my life, but I can’t mention loving this game on the internet without a casual reminder to treat all people like people and not weird caricatures of relationships.

Although, if we’re going to fetishize dads having healthy, supportive relationships with their children, I AM HERE FOR IT.

Secondly, I’m upset with the game creators for not making a Linux version and then ignoring inquiries about it. You can tell me Linux is too hard. It’s cool.

I got it to work in Steam through PlayOnLinux.

ANYWAY
Dream Daddy loading screen. It's got a montage of snapshots of the different dads, along with a rotating dad tip. This one reads "Dad Tip #10: If you're parking uphill, be sure to turn your tires toward the street."

You build your character (there are binder body types!) and have the option to wander the neighborhood with your daughter. If you’re feeling antisocial you end up meeting all your single dad neighbors at a barbecue. Your dating life is facilitated by Dadbook, obviously.

The Dadbook page for Robert Small. It's an OKCupid style questionaire. My favorite one is "What are your turn ons? don't talk to me"The Dadbook page for Joseph Christiansen. He seems SO PURE. He lists his turn-ons as "My loving wife"The Dadbook page for Mat Sella. He wanted to be a barista when he grew up and now he is. Living the dream!

And yes, there are some weird things going on with Youth Pastor Joseph.

Sweet, wholesome Joseph standing at his church event. One of the kids has made a sign that says "JESUS IS CUMING"

You help him fix the banner because you’re a nice dad. Or you don’t. He’s got a hidden achievement that may or may not be bugged and it is my current mission to live on his yacht with him. There is something weird going on in this man’s life.

Somehow all of the other characters have equally compelling story lines.

Your dad is faced with two attractive men. The narration appropriately exclaims that "YOUR UNENDING THIRST WILL BE YOUR ULTIMATE DOWNFALL"

But what they all have in common is the ultimate fantasy of a dad with a healthy, supportive relationship with his teen daughter.

Image of your dad presenting his daughter with a cake that says "SORRY YOU'RE SAD BUT I SUPPORT YOU 100%

Dial the fantasy back some, wow.

Can anyone else top me for judgement inducing Steam purchases? Or have I peaked?