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Tag Archives: is this real life

I finally bought a stainless steel wok (which was on sale for like half price.) But do you know how hard it is to remove that “non toxic outer coating” that most commercial steel woks you buy in the store nowadays come with so you can season it and actually cook with it? OMG YOU GUYS.

1. Soak wok in warm soapy water for 30 minutes, then scrub with non-scratching scouring pad until coating is removed. OK. Except it’s not really making a dent.

2. Spread cooking oil inside wok and heat on medium, and, using an implement like a spatula, scrub with steel wool pad soaked in cooking oil until the coating starts to flake off. Turn off heat, let cool to room temperature, then repeat the process once more before seasoning. This is what finally worked, but damn. All the while I was hearing a little voice that kept saying “just put it in the dishwasher” which I tried to ignore, because the packaging it came with urged “NEVER PUT IT IN THE DISHWASHER.” IDK.

Also, Future Roommate came over last night and we were hammering out our plans for actually getting shit together and moving in about six weeks, when I had the worst pain spike that I’ve had in months. I had Ibuprofen and cranberry juice and CBD oil on hand, and it basically took all that stuff, after which I really wasn’t in a good state to be making future plans.

My doctor wanted the hysterectomy done already, but life hasn’t been cooperating. I have realized that it may be getting to the point where all our stopgap measures are no longer stopping the gap, and I may have to just go do this thing.

I’m seeing Aquaman again later, for what may be the last time until it goes to the dollar theater/home media. As I stated before in the previous post, it’s waking up all my old dormant Watchmen feels.

So yeah.

I’m basically facing up to all the issues I had with the film when it came out in 2009 that I either wanted to repress because I hoped it would do well, or that I couldn’t quite put into words at the time.

I mean, we all kind of groused about the scene where Dan and Laurie basically mutilate an alley full of Knot-Tops, after having spent the whole narrative up until then criticizing Rorschach for being a violent psychopath. It happens so quickly that it may be hard to register, but it takes a scenario of “beat up the muggers so they run away” and turns it into something that looks like it belongs in Panos Cosmatos’s Mandy.

But I honestly didn’t register the Ayn Randian Objectivist undercurrent until later (and until I had seen Batman Vs Superman, and yeah.) The Watchmen characters are expys of Steve Ditko’s Charlton Comics characters, and Alan Moore originally wrote Watchmen to be a criticism of Steve Ditko’s Objectivist beliefs. When Zack Snyder, another Objectivist, adapted his comic and turned it into a showcase of slick setpieces with an undercurrent about how “exceptional” people should be allowed to do whatever they want because exceptionalism, I imagine it may have felt to Alan Moore like a worst-case scenario. This video perhaps explains it best: “Watchmen Doesn’t Get Watchmen.

That said, I like it anyway – but I will always like the comic it was adapted from more. The comic literally changed how we think about comics as an art form and as literature. The movie came out, and then faded back into the pop culture landscape.

Yes, Zack Snyder filmed the unfilmable comic, and it is a decent film. I still watch it from time to time. The actors’ performances were stellar. Jackie Earle Haley and Patrick Wilson and Malin Ackerman are just the best. (I caped for Malin Ackerman when bashing her was still the en vogue thing to do. I think she has a great sense of humor and comedic timing, and Zack Snyder should have incorporated this more into her scenes and dialogue – Comic!Laurie has some great snark lines, which are completely absent from the film.)

But if anything, it’s relevant because it got people talking about the comic, and introduced the comic to a generation that may not have been aware of it yet.

And it got me involved with an online community that produced some of the best writing and fanworks that I have seen in my entire 20+ year involvement in online fandom.

current mood:

So, IKEA was something I was not aware of as a place I could actually go to until around 2007-2008. When I first saw Fight Club in late 2001, I assumed Jack/Tyler had ordered all that Swedish furniture directly from Sweden.

I didn’t know yet that IKEA existed as a brick-and-mortar store in the US – or that IKEA products were stigmatized as stuff bought on the cheap to quickly furnish dorm apartments and the homes of bachelors (like Jack/Tyler in the movie,) and not “good furniture,” especially at the prosperous tail-end of the 1990s and early 2000s.

To me, the idea of Jack/Tyler ordering a Yin/Yang coffee table directly from Sweden seemed like yet another symptom of his isolated, materialistic life.

In 2005-2006, IKEA was a four-letter word that Draven/Fake Internet Neo used to vilify anyone who didn’t acknowledge him as a messiah – which he had in fact appropriated from Fight Club. So when I learned, post Matrix-cult, in 2007 that IKEA did in fact have brick-and-mortar stores in the USA, and that they had just built one in the nearby town of Frisco, I just had to go check it out.

I wasn’t a real adult in 2007. (I don’t think I actually began to qualify as one until three years later.) I’d never bought my own furniture before that – everything had come down to me from my grandparents, recovered from storage when I moved out.

I’d never even bought my own sheets before that. I got all my Grandfather’s linens after he died. It wasn’t until I was trying to put the twin extra long sheets from his old bed on the standard twin bed that I ended up with the next time I moved that I realized there were even different sizes of twin mattresses that required differently-sized sheets. I was nearly 31 when this happened.

I didn’t have an aesthetic then, or an idea of one. I didn’t know Boho from Industrial from Mid-Century Modern. My first apartments in the late 90s and early 2000s were combinations of my grandparent’s hand-me-down chintz and gingham sensibilities with my fandom memorabilia, and cheap plastic garage shelves to hold all my books.

I was also forming a philosophy about art, and it’s this; art in a capitalistic culture may be subservient to profit and capital – but that doesn’t make it not art, if that makes sense. People who design furniture do so for it to serve a purpose, but also as a form of expression, and for the people who buy it to serve as a form of expression, even if that expression is, “I am living from paycheck to paycheck, but I still want furniture that looks nice.”

My first IKEA purchases near the end of 2007 were actually cookware and bath towels, then eventually curtains and curtain hardware. By 2010-2011, I was aware that my aesthetic skews somewhere between Boho and Mid-century Modern, particularly that stuff from the 70s that looks like it should belong to outer-space pimps, or on the the set of a Panos Cosmatos film, or in 2001: A Space Odyssey.


(My apartment bedroom circa 2011)

In 2013, I built a queen-sized bedframe out of lumber from plans on the internet. Then I gave that one away and built another one. Woodworking was a skill I really wanted to hone. That bedframe warped to shit because I didn’t finish the wood quickly enough, and Texas in the summer is hot and humid.

After three moves, I was never able to get it back together again correctly, and I didn’t have the space or the tools or the time or the money to make replacement pieces (I still have the pieces that didn’t warp, and I might do that someday.)

I’m currently using a perfectly serviceable metal bed base I bought off of Amazon right now. But sometimes, as I walk through the IKEA showroom, I’m tempted.

One thing that bothers me about the 2018-2019 line is that there is suddenly a focus on soft, cute pastels (which pretty much flies in the face of everything I believe in) as well as the chintzes and ginghams that my grandparents favored. One look through the current online catalog bears this out.

A friend pointed out that pastels tend to be popular during tense, dark times. Pastels were all the rage during the Reagan administration, after all. I miss some of their more daring, bold designs from around 2010-2012. I pieced together two twin duvet covers into a queen duvet cover in 2013, because they didn’t sell that design in a queen bed size, and I wanted one. Here it is.

Anyway, Draven’s scoffing at IKEA was, ironically, hilariously elitist as fuck; he was mocking something that was not a marker of wealth and status as he also erroneously perceived it at the time, but something seen as readily affordable and accessible to the hoi polloi. And it was stupid, because IKEA is fucking awesome. And I wouldn’t know this if I hadn’t gone out of a sense of rebellion after his trifling ass skipped town and was out of my life for good. So, thanks asshole!