PTAC improvement, Part 2.

June 16th, 2021

Okay! I went to the local hardware store (support your local hardware store) and got that foam filler as well as white silicone glop. I cut all the foam to fill in all the gaps. Look at that love, that care.

Then I cleaned off the housing and good Lordt, the grime. Look at these swiffers.

Now, because removing the caulk ripped off a lot of layers of wall, I took small bits of paper and put it back with glue so I’ll have a relatively flat surface to spackle on. Remember, we’re not going for flawless, we’re going for not so wretched that it catches your eye.

Next I do a little spackle-y spackle-y, and little sand-y sand-y, a little paint-y paint-y and then the silicone glop. We should be good then.

Home improvements! A thing that I do! Part 1.

June 11th, 2021

A few years back I had the PTAC replaced in my bedroom. A PTAC, in case you don’t know, is a heating and cooling unit that hangs out under a window. Hotels have them.

Unfortunately, they do not come in a variety of flavors and colors. They’re all pretty much the same.

Beige, beige, dirty eggshell, beige and, for a change, beige. I wasn’t in my apartment when the people installed mine so when I got home I was appalled by the workmanship. I’ve never seen a more “Here’s your stupid appliance now shut the hell up” job in my life.

I mean, look at how they slathered the silicone. Did they use a spoon? It’s an actual tragedy.

Anyway, after angrily staring at this for years, I decided to finally do something about it. I chose to pull off the silicone and reapply it with care and also to paint the plastic housing so it’s white and matches the wall. I started with the left-hand corner.

I learned that the installers stuffed this foam filler in the space so when I go to the hardware store I need to buy something similar.

And then I realized I needed to pull the front of the PTAC off to remove all the silicone.

Do I know how to put it back? No, I very much do not. But I’ll figure it out, and in the meantime I can clean off all the dusty crusty whatnot that’s been there for I don’t know how long. I’ll keep everyone posted on how this goes. Thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers.

Why I should not be in control of my finances, #643.

June 1st, 2021

I recently learned the most interesting piece of information: Bone Music.

The short version is after WWII Western music was banned in the USSR (no surprises there). But the cool kids desperately wanted to hear this music. One guy snuck in a bunch of records but there was no vinyl or petroleum or any material to copy the records. Then someone had a brilliant idea – use all the discarded X-rays from the hospitals. That’s how this got the name Bone Music. Here’s some additional information from Wikipedia:

Medical X-rays, purchased or picked out of the trash from hospitals and clinics, were used to create the recordings. The X-rays were cut into 7-inch discs and the center hole was burned into the disc with a cigarette. According to Russian music critic and rock journalist Artemy Troitsky, “grooves were cut [at 78rpm] with the help of special machines (made, they say, from old phonographs by skilled conspiratorial hands)”; he added that the “quality was awful, but the price was low, a ruble or a ruble and a half.” The disks could be played five to ten times…. The clandestine approach to circulating banned popular foreign music eventually led to a law being passed in 1958 that forbade the home-production of recordings of “a criminally hooligan trend”. The “hooligan trend” refers to the stilyagi (from the word stil’ meaning style in Russian), a Soviet youth subculture known for embracing Western styles of dress and dance.

Which is how I ended up on eBay and now own a bone record of “Beer Barrel Polka” on a pelvis.

Artists I am feeling right now.

May 16th, 2021

Heather Penn. If you ask me you will learn that I can draw many things, and many things very well, but I can’t draw rocks. Cliffs, piles of rocks, I suck at them. I mean, I can draw them, they just don’t look like rocks. Sometimes they look like pillows, sometimes they look like potatoes, it varies. Therefore I am smitten and not a small bit envious of Heather Penn. Look at her lush artwork. It draws you in.

Heather sells calendars and is starting to get into 3D, I think she’s creating a game studio. https://www.instagram.com/heatpenn/?hl=en

 

Kazuma Nagai.  I first learned of this Japanese artist when I saw the silver slugs.

I dug a little deeper into his work and he gets weird. I love it.

I don’t where he sells his work but you can follow him on his instagram as well. https://www.instagram.com/slughorse/?hl=en

Sometimes I worry about Japan.

May 5th, 2021

I keep getting ads for a place called Sugoi Mart. They seem fine, normal, mentally sound.

But now I get different ads. Disturbing. Concerning. Off-putting.

Hey, Sugoi Mart, you okay? Do you need someone to come get you? Let me know if you need a hand there.

 

Addendum – 5/16/2021: That have posted additional products. My concern has not ebbed.

Randomry you didn’t know you needed, but you do.

May 1st, 2021

1. Mirabelle the Snail by Snuff Puppets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAQSNBNsUOY

The music really compliments the video. If I saw that crossing the road I would need an asthma inhaler, I’d be laughing so hard.

 

2. There’s an episode of the older Ducktales (I still know all the words to the theme song for some reason) where, in the back, the eye chart says “Ask about the Illuminati.” I’m sure conspiracy theorists got all manner of excited about that.

 

3. Did not know about this creepy-as-hell mask women used to wear. You would have to hold it in place using your teeth. I imagine your jaw would get really tired being clamped like that. Never mind the potential for drooling.

 

4. I love this. There’s a commercial for a birth control product called Paragard. The commercial has smiling dancing people. However, as the commercial ends, it is clear the director called cut and the actors were like “whatever, just give me my paycheck already.” I guess that was supposed to be edited out but it was not. The tall dude in the middle actually checks his watch. But my favorite is the curly-haired blonde on the left.

 

5. I was working at an advertising agency when I noticed a rainbow on the wall. The sun was hitting something and throwing up that rainbow. Before it was gone I ran to the window and it was an crystal award shaped like a pyramid! Pink Floyd!

 

6. I saw a sculpture that I assumed was a joke. It is not a joke. It’s a legit sculpture. With dick grabby-grabby.

The story has man-eating horses. Trust the Greek gods to be absolute lunatics.

I tried to find this sculpture as a lawn ornament but the tallest version I found was 14 inches and like $100. If anyone finds it in lawn ornament size and at a reasonable price, please let me know.

You know what soothes the soul in times of strife? Charts.

April 18th, 2021

Y’all met Pixel the Demon Cat? You should.

March 27th, 2021

There’s this cat named Pixel. He’s a lovely Cornish Rex, a breed known for being slim and alien-looking with pretty curled fur like ramen noodles. Pixel will do this thing where he curls the corners of his mouth like he’s smiling. This caused concern for some lady and she felt compelled to comment.

I saw this and was like “Hey hey now, I’m sure he’s a fine little weird-looking cat,” but I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong and I am. This cat, on occasion, looks freaky as hell.

Let’s start with some easy ones. Pixel looks a bit intense but still super-cute. And you can appreciate the curly fur.

Sassy. That’s fine.

Now we take the turn.

Oh no.

JESUS CHRIST.

That last pic, it haunts my dreams. I love little Pixel though. He’s a wee monster. Here’s a picture of him with his owner.

And here’s a picture of him as a baby.

Despite the “grinning” I love him and I hope he only ever gets hugs and cuddles from everyone he meets.

 

Addendum: I saw pictures of Pixel from the side. I have such confusing feelings.

Covid shot #1 done.

March 21st, 2021

I went and got my first vaccine shot and it was a super-weird experience. I don’t know what it’s been like where you live but here it’s been a real Walmart-on-Black-Friday situation to get an appointment. You get on the New York site at 6:00am and vigorously hit refresh because new locations appear every day. One day I saw there was a spot available at the Westchester County Center a mile from my house so I sat on hold for one hour, one full hour, to be told the spot was gone. It’s been like that since vaccines became available. My sister K loves a challenge so she wrestled with the website for two days and got me a shot at the Javitz Convention Center in Manhattan which is very much not a mile from my house but this is not the time to be picky. I went down to the Javitz in an Uber. It was a rainy misty day so everything looked monotone and gray, that’s an important detail. I went in and that’s when the dystopia really kicked in. The Javitz is all glass and silver metal, and that combined with the misty skyscrapers made it look like the world was in black and white. Plus there are no trees up against the river so one could imagine that all plant life was gone. I took photos. I did not doctor these in any way.

Why did they cover the giant TV screens like it’s a Jewish memorial? That is really not helping the vibe. The National Guard in their camo uniforms checked everyone’s paperwork and IDs and organized them into lines. I felt like it was 1938 and I had to pack up everything and flee Poland.

To add to the vaguely nightmarish element there was the Soothing Lady On The Loudspeaker saying things like “We have been verified to have the best cleaning protocol” and “If you feel ill, have a fever or are coughing, please go home and reschedule” and the most creeptacular “Remember, we’re all in this together.”

Luckily everything moved as smoothly as anything. I was shocked. Considering how long they had to pull this together it was amazing. I was in and out of there in under a 1/2 hour and that’s including the fifteen minutes I had to sit in the observation area. We’ll get there.

First, before I went downstairs I was taunted by this closed food kiosk in the lobby. That’s like all my favorite foods in one and it’s not open. Cruel.

From this point I wasn’t allowed to take pictures so these are other people’s shots I found on the internet. You waited in long lines separated by stanchions in rooms so big army people come up to the line to walk you to the next available table. Each table has a cheap floor lamp and when the table is available the person working there turns on their light. It’s the only way to communicate in a room that big. In case you’ve never been in the Javitz Center, the rooms are astonishingly large. This is a pic from Comic-Con. Look at the room. It goes on forever.

So that room has about 100 tables with lamps and you get escorted to one. That person checks your printout that says today is the day to get your shot and you show your driver’s license to prove you live in New York and then you go to the next gigantic room. More stanchions and then you go to your table where you get your shot. This is nice – as you’re getting your shot in your chosen arm, there’s someone else at the table filling out that card everyone has taken photos of on social media. So the second you’re done you can leave. So, so well-organized.

Here’s where the bad choice came in. You then go to an observation area where you sit in chairs for fifteen minutes in case you have an allergic reaction. They, quite graciously, had musicians playing off to the side. HOWEVER, it was a string quartet and they were playing soft gentle dirge-type music which gave strong Titanic-going-down energy which is not at all the emotion you want. You can’t leave for fifteen minutes, you’re waiting to see if your throat closes and there’s this gloomy “Gentlemen, it has been an honor” thing going on. But then you’re done! And they automatically schedule you for your follow-up shot. When I went back yesterday I took surreptitious photos. Here are the tables with the lamps.

And here is the observation area. This time there was a harp, a flute and a viola. Really lovely.

Now my arm is really hot and ouchy but that’s good because that means my body is fighting. Hopefully this works and I can hug people again.

New Jessica Describes Stuff! This time, Mulan.

March 10th, 2021

Here’s my latest video, a review of the animated film Mulan. There’s some of my glorious singing in the middle there, be sure to enjoy that.