Check-In: March 30

It’s been almost exactly a month since I did a general “hey, what’s happenin'” post, so here we go!

0330

What I’ve been working on: Nothing concrete yet, but I taught myself a new trick. I can now make some super intricate patterns like the one above! That one’s literally the first one I’ve done so it’s kind of unbalanced and a little all over the place, style-wise. But I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do more damask-style patterns and a way to kind of “draw as I go” inside a pattern, rather than combining elements. So I finally cracked the code (turns out you just Google “damask pattern tutorial illustrator”) and now I’m excited about what I can do with it.

What I’ve been reading: I picked up a couple of true crime-themed books from the library this month. I got Alan Moore’s From Hell, a decision inspired by Last Podcast on the Left‘s Jack the Ripper series. I never paid much attention to the Jack the Ripper story, despite my favorite kind of true crime being more historical true crime. I’ve finished the actual story and I’m just reading the back matter now. Alan Moore really pulled together the threads of so many theories and actual people and events in to a very compelling story. I don’t recommend reading it before bed, though. Dreams get weird.

I’m also reading Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, some Edwardian-era true crime to follow up the Victorian-era. The book itself is a little bit meandering for me to really get caught up in the story as intensely as I think I’d like, but it does a good job of telling the story of a both really interesting lady I’d never heard of and the story of a missing girl she investigated.

What I’ve been watching: I’ve actually been watching a couple of reality shows. Which is odd for me, because I kind of hate any reality show that isn’t RuPaul’s Drag Race. But, they’re very different from the usual reality show. First is The Great British Baking Show, which everyone loves and for good reason. It’s a competition show without any manufactured tension or drama. There’s tension and a little drama, but it’s actually real. There’s no obnoxious feuds or coaxed confessionals. The people on the show seem to genuinely like each other and feel genuinely upset when someone has to leave. And the setting is pleasant and there’s lots of good looking desserts and breads and it’s just a happy place. (And it really has me wanting to do more baking.)

The other show is Terrace House, which I’ve seen described as the Japanese Real World. And that’s kind of what it is. Six young people live in a nice house and just interact with each other. I just started watching it because you don’t see much live action Japanese television here, much less reality television. And again, I was surprised at how real it was.  But Justin McElroy explains why this show is so interesting better than I can.

What I’ve been listening to: I devoured S-Town in a couple days. If I didn’t have a job, I would have knocked it out in one. I won’t say too much because I don’t want to give anything away. But it’s by the Serial and This American Life people, and it’s a perfect blend of both. It’s a Southern Gothic audio drama but it’s all real. So good. I think I liked it more than Serial. Definitely more than Serial season 2.

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