I Identify As Kraftwerk's Ninth Studio Album

Hi Blogger. My strange friend. One of a million interfaces, and orange like a jaffa cake. So I guess I'll write a post. One of those posts where I type some kind of DIRECT BRAIN COMMUNICATIONS, y'know, without even a picture lined up (woah). Today I've been looking at old last.fm stuff. Yeah, that site. Did you ever have a profile? Do you still scrobble? Well, it seems I took around a year out from scrobbling. It felt liberating to just listen to stuff without thinking of the statistics. I'd used last.fm since 2008. Two different accounts, however, because you can't change your username so I decided to finally make a new one in 2013. It felt like my music tastes and attitudes had changed a lot between 2008 and 2013. I listen to stuff more from a perspective of base enjoyment these days rather than the intellectual curiosity that drove a lot of listening habits previously. I don't know, I like cheesy stuff and pop nonsense and all manner of kinda odd things and I've embraced that more and more. That doesn't mean Depeche Mode and Split Enz won't be my top artists again, but y'know, things are just different. More carefree. I like that.

My last.fm profile today.

Anyway, so I ended up not scrobbling my listens for a while, and during that time I had around 6 months of listening to pretty much only kpop - from when I discovered SHINee's 1 of 1 in October 2016. And then this month I suddenly re-discovered last.fm. I felt really nostalgic for it and decided, yeah okay, let's use this thing again. It's inspiring me to listen to new music a lot more and to really actively enjoy music discovery and playlist building again. All that good stuff. I'd totally forgotten how last.fm shaped my music listening habits. The changes to the site hasn't changed that primary impact, so for now, I'm deciding to make it a thing again. I'm going to listen a lot, and try to talk to people there too (I might need to learn Portuguese, since the site seems to be used mostly by Brazilians these days).


Today I found records of my old last.fm profile. Snapshots of it from all the way back in 2008, 2009, 2010, and it made me feel kinda sad. It's weird to look on your past self, and somehow I felt melancholy that I'm not 2009 me any more. I mean, who even was that person? It almost feels like recording myself is pointless, because truly as soon as something is recorded I'm not that person any more. I don't really relate to my memories of a child me, or a teenage me, or even a me from a few years ago. It feels sometimes like I'm an alien within myself. I'm not sure if my sense of self is somehow warped. I mean, when I look at those old records of what I was listening to during a specific month years ago, yes, it does feel like me. It does feel representative of who I am. But I feel segmented, like a big orange, into all these different pieces. And I know that we are all just jumbled up collections of stuff, but sometimes I want this cohesive whole. I guess that's one reason people love horoscopes. You can just say, well, I'm an Aquarius. I mean, hey, I know I'm a Ravenclaw, and that my favourite video game genre is JRPGS, and that my favourite music genres are synth pop and post punk new wavey stuff and 1980s Japanese electronic - and that I prefer a slightly industrial infused brand of synth pop (Depeche Mode, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, and Kraftwerk's Electric Café album).

My top artists, 29th December 2009.

This all feeds into my thoughts about being places online as well. It's like we're segmenting ourselves even further to place ourselves neatly into different services and sites. Does my username describe me better or worse than my legal name? Photographs don't feel like they capture me either. The only thing that really feels like me is my physical self. My body is me. So why be online at all when my body can't be there? Take my body and throw it into a big pile of synths and have John Barnes rap next to it like in that New Order football song.

11th April, 2010.

Diary: Skeleton Crime Drama


It's been some time again since I've really been writing diary entries, but I was looking at my notebooks and I thought it was about time for some more.


This notebook I'm currently using was originally a language book. I wrote some translation notes and small word lists in there (for Korean and Japanese). But I decided to paint in it because it's kinda small and weird. It just felt like the right one to put some stuff in.


As you can ascertain from these diary entries, I have mostly been playing video games and wearing shorts. It's all I'm capable of when it gets hot and my brain turns to mush. I've had a few games on my list of games I have to play soon (as is always the case, really) and Grim Fandango was one of them. A truly enjoyable skeleton crime drama.


I also spent some time making gifs with SNOW filters again. They are strangely mesmerising.


I Like Shorts, They're Comfy & Easy To Wear


Hello. I am here to promote shorts. There's nothing like releasing your legs into the wild of a summer. They deserve it. Quite frankly, without shorts I'm not sure how I would survive. These ones are particularly excellent because they have really nice pockets. They're from Uniqlo, which is a place I've become very interested in lately (just my kind of cute, casual clothes that feel as close to pyjamas as possible but look quite neat).


That's really all I have to say. The shorts are good, and I love them.


Scanner Adventures: Dual


These are two different scanner picture sets from different times, and I brought them together by accident of laziness (I meant to post the first set a little while ago but I just didn't feel quite in the mood). I'm glad though, because I think they kind of create a nice whole together, a nice little set of contrasting elements. Two little time periods brought together. And after all, my scans are a whole project together that's all about bringing several different time periods together over several years, so it makes sense naturally.


I always like the colour tones that come out in these, but they also have such a nice depth in black and white, and I guess by combining several of both kinds of scans it can bring the best of those two worlds together.


Sometimes when I switch back and forth between the coloured and uncoloured scans it's because it feels like instantly stripping back or enhancing the feel of the images. I want them all to be simple representations of myself, but at the same time I want to play around with them and add little pieces of personality here and there.


I guess that's the biggest reason that I also scan myself with other elements included, or embellish scans sometimes. It's a sprawling project anyway, so it feels natural to mess around with it and add strange things, warped elements, or additional items.


Besides which, it's just therapeutic and nice to draw on top of them.


I made a little gif this time as well, and that was fun.


Roses & Rivers


I've been taking more photos lately, just in moments, nice distributions of light, or times when a mysterious bird appears. I've missed taking blurry pictures of happy little things. Last weekend I took these. A perfect sunset appeared.


I don't know, I like trying to take pretty pictures (and looking at lots of photographic inspiration), but I always love taking candid pictures, blurry pictures, overexposed pictures, and those pictures that capture a strange yet perfect moment. Some of the best ones I'll keep to myself, because the picture itself is ugly or maybe just a bit too personal to share (I love getting pictures of people falling over or making ugly faces or holding a big pizza slice).

Actually, I recently took a picture of my grandma to use a SNOW app filter on her (probably to give her some bunny ears or something) and she quickly told me to delete it. I actually already had, because I knew she would want me to, and it wasn't really an interesting picture anyway, but I think it would be great if we could all be less concerned with looking ugly and be happier laughing at and enjoying those kinds of photos of ourselves. I'll have to include a weird photo of myself in this post now that I've said that... (look at the last photo in this post and laugh at me as much as you want)


Blur is particularly great though because it shows the motion of life. We can never truly be still, because we're always breathing and moving hormones around and stuff like that. So it's fitting that some of the most beautiful pictures have that wispy residue of movement. It's good.



This cat is a mean cat who will fight you. He has kind of a scary meow. He might be a demon.



I saw this on a canal boat and had to take a picture.


We went on a river picnic and found a heron, which just stood there quite happily. I've probably never been so close to a heron before.


And who is this person? Seems like a ghost who works in an office briefly stole my camera.

16-3-28

This text is an old document from when I was trying "morning pages" - writing when I woke up, just whatever came into my head. Sometimes fiction, or just thoughts. This one is from March last year. I always like the typos, so I've left them as they are.


The light pooled at my feet, catlike, and almost purring. The kitchen was a mess, but not the kind of mess that was hideous. The perfect kind of mess, just messy enough to be really satisfying to clean, but not so messy as to make me feel overwhelmed and trapped. I love cleaning up spaces like this. So this Sunday morning, it was my time.

First, I shifted all the bowls and other dishes that needed washing. They got nice and clean and sparkly, dried, and put in their places. Nice. Looking neat already. Then rearranging all the items that have been used and never put back or cleaned up properly. Cleaning coffee stains and flour off the table, and then some dusting and hoovering to get rid of any crumbs and tiny silts of things just resting on the floor. Goodbye, folks. Soon enough the whole kitchen was bright, organised, decluttered, and generally happy-looking. But for one small plant pot I now noticed, upturned between two baskets.

You’re a turnip
In the dark
Unexpected
What I needed
Apparently
But actulal

Got a lot of feelings all turning around in the fan and whizzing back out, sleeping, asliding,
Across the sloep and crying, little rabbits crawlin, not hopping, n

never saw your heart until it poked through your jumper all sharp
sticky sugar crystals in blood red
and the raw onion slices all tumbled to the kitchen floor
and the stinging tears came and shattered
a sticky, acid mess



Bigger


Newspapers as collage material sources always feel especially messy. The print rubs off on your hands or your glue stick, the flimsy paper is easy to accidentally tear, and all the pictures have a weird grain to them that make it look a bit like you've taken a photo of an old CRT screen.

This makes it the perfect material for Tim Farron's face.


There's something especially nice about sticking down newspaper cuttings. I think it's just because the paper's so thin that it adheres nicely to the page. Anyway, I'd quite like to make some more kind of abstract political collages. Just put Jeremy Corbyn's head near an orange. No reason why. Just do it.

I found a nice picture of Depeche Mode, so I had to include that. I love how they're always trying to look a bit moody in some sunglasses. I put them next to some nice fruit as well.


I've been trying to use my new tape, but it's quite fiddly. Still, I like the scrapbook type of look it gives. Further tape tests are required. I'll wrap some of it round my arms to create a new fashion trend.

Diary: Operation Use More Art Supplies


Well, I've been busy lately. I went to Scotland for a week to visit my family and as many highland cows as possible, and apparently the sun came on holiday with me. Except the two times when the rain went into full terror mode and crashed down from the sky like a big wet sheet of anger directed at the ground (and, specifically, my trousers).

Anyway so here are some lonely diary entries from just before that.


I have a plan at the moment to do some pages or paintings or collages or whatever just about daily again. I've been doing things as and when I feel like it since stopping my daily blog posts, and that's been perfect for me since I naturally end up making things a lot with such a loose structure (or no structure), but right now I miss being purposefully experimental and making myself use all my stuff. So it's time for OPERATION USE MORE ART SUPPLIES! A completely unimaginative title for what will effectively be me lying in a pile of pens with a thousand sticky notes attached to my body. A whirlwind of Doing Some Things. Or at least I hope so.

Dog Restaurant: Blippo Surprise Stationery Bag ♡ Review & Giveaway


✶✵ This post contains items gifted to me for review purposes. ✵✶

The kind folks at Blippo have sent me an experimental new thing to try out - a mysterious selection of fun bits of stationery assembled into their Surprise Stationery Bag. I was pretty excited to hear about this, since I'm a big stationery enthusiast and some of my favourite pieces from their previous Kawaii Box packages have been nice stationery items.


The Surprise Stationery Bag seems to be modelled on fukubukuro lucky bags that many Japanese stores sell, and there are quite a few different ones to choose from on Blippo's website (click here to see all of them). I'm quite tempted by the Surprise Japanese Magazine Pack, actually (I love to flip through magazines forever).


The first thing to note about this bag is that it really is quite crammed full of stuff! I wasn't expected so much to be in here, so I was surprised. Here is a list of the contents of my bag:
  1. A pack of 6 cat magnetic bookmarks.
  2. Carrot erasers.
  3. Hello Kitty bow-shaped pencil sharpener.
  4. Deco tape set of 9 deco tape rolls and 3 dispensers.
  5. Nora Band set of 5 highlighters.
  6. Ghost Family pen.
  7. Lenticular panda card.
  8. Mohamm Cat Claws sticky notes.
  9. Bear pencil set.
  10. Jewel stickers.
  11. Bird sticky notes.
  12. 4 sheets of stickers: dog restaurant, ribbons, and 2 different food sets.


All of these things are really cool, but I think my favourites are the cat claw sticky notes and the stickers featuring two dogs running a restaurant (a beautiful concept that we can all respect and admire).


I was impressed by the amount of stickers (5 sheets in total, including the 4 pictured above as well as the jewel set) and I'm pretty much going to have to put stickers on everything now. Blippo have forced me into this position. Don't come to my house unless you want to be adorned with ribbons.


I filmed a little unboxing (or, uh, unbagging), which you can watch in the video below. Otherwise, please scroll down to the giveaway!



If you would like to win a Blippo Surprise Stationery Bag of your own, please enter via the widget below. Entry is open worldwide, prize contents may vary, and the competition closing date is 2nd July. Good luck!

✶✵ The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Alexandra! (●`・(エ)・´●) ノ* ✵✶

Cool Idea: Animate Everything


It's time for some small animations. Here are some of me, just having a nice time making videos (I do recommend always making an appearance with a small lamb or other cute stuffed animal).


The truth is, making videos is just my elaborate way of making cute gifs. The gifs are the true outcome. Actually, that made me wonder - are there photo frames that display gifs? Is that a thing? I would like to display many cute cat gifs around my home, please. Perhaps a smiling dog gif above the kettle. I don't think there can be any home decor better!


I have been playing a bit of Animal Crossing (the original game) lately, so here are a couple of gifs I made from that. I named my town "Hell" because I am very original and thoughtful, you see.


There's something about this door closing animation that is somehow extremely #relatable.

Fruit Dream


My face is still here, so I have scanned it again. Sometimes I wonder if a stranger looking at my face can tell what I'm thinking. As if it's a big transparent window you can look through and see all the chicken videos currently twirling around my brain. It's nonsensical, but sometimes it feels as if everything must be visible how. Everyone can surely sense that I am thinking about buying a big punnet of grapes and lying down in my pyjamas to eat them.


But it's not true, my face doesn't betray any of those intense fruit-based fantasies. No one ever knows how ardently I am focusing my attention on grapes. It's kind of a shame, in a way.


Anyway, I love grapes.

Casual Collages


I have done some collages. Here they are, slapped down in a kind of hurried but sparse way. It's nice to have a few journal pages full of collage. Full of glossy, crinkly magazine clippings featuring pristine blue skies and women's eyes always looking a bit suspicious (they are all obviously looking at a big jewel just out of frame that they are going to steal and use to cast a spell).


Also, here's me after doing a collage: