the garden

This page is a collection of smaller thoughts and ideas. It's inspired by a similar page on biko batanari's site.

Each thought is tagged, use your browser's search function to look through related thoughts.

#art #friends #observation #web


What the garden is

I quit using basically all social media over the past year. I’m off of TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I’m still on Tumblr, but I don’t do a lot of posting myself, mostly just reblogging and the occasional shitpost. Even if I did post more, Tumblr doesn’t feel like a place for me to post anything thoughtful, for me, it’s more about goofs.

So I want somewhere I can post bite-size thoughtful text, something that’s got some substance, but isn’t really worth making a whole blog post over. I know I don't want to get back on Twitter, and I tried the fediverse, but that didn't feel right either. Then I saw biko batanari’s digital garden and realized that’s exactly what I’m looking for, so I made my own version here. I hope they don’t mind, but I think it’s sort of in the culture of Neocities (and frankly, creativity in general) to be inspired by other people’s sites and create similar things that fit what you’re trying to do. Calling it “the garden” is temporary, until I can think of a metaphor that feels more meaningful to me.

This section won’t update daily, and it may not even update often. I’ll update it when I have something on my mind to post, and some of that will stay here forever, and some of it will re-appear in other things if I find it useful. We’ll see.

07/29/2022 #art

Mediums and Messages

Compared to other forms of entertainment: TV shows, internet videos, podcasts, video games; books and movies really stand apart for me, especially books. When I finish engaging with those other mediums, I often feel like I’ve wasted time, or like I was just taking part in self-distraction from reality. With books and movies, that’s rarely the case. It’s more likely to happen with movies than books, but I think that’s just because there are a lot more soulless cash-grab movies than there are books, since unfortunately, there’s not a lot of money in literature these days.

On the other side of the coin, I find video games and internet videos to be especially vapid to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these mediums, and think there’s a lot of good in all of them. I think the reason I find myself less interested in games and internet videos though, is because they’re often “of themselves”, for lack of a better term. A TikTok video is made to make a reference to TikTok itself, to engage in the thing that is TikToking. Many video games are designed to be functionally identical to casino games, to give you a sense of accomplishment or of winning, but that accomplishment is only feels like one because it has defined itself as such, it doesn’t actually exist. Books and movies, by comparison, are far more likely to have a reason to be, a thing to say outside of the format itself.

07/21/2022 #observation

Subtitles and language

I was watching Better Call Saul the other day, and of course, characters in that show frequently speak Spanish, and they put subtitles for people who don't speak it. And normally, I'd consider myself someone who doesn't speak Spanish, because I'm nowhere near fluent. But then, one character told another, "siéntate", and the other character said "gracias". This was subtitled as "Have a seat" and "Thank you", which is right. But the fact that it was subtitled at all took me out of the show for a moment, because it was so weird to me that you'd ever need to translate that for people. It was then that I realized just how much growing up in Arizona has impacted the way I speak. For me and most of the people around me, mixing bits of Spanish into English is normal, that's just how we talk. It never really occurred to me that it isn't like that everywhere.

07/21/2022 #art

my shitty site

In their post shitty blogs are back, m;b said:

I'm using "shitty" as a term of art. I'm reclaiming it. Sort of. We should be allowed to make stuff without needing to make it perfect. We should be allowed to be messy and make mistakes and be vulnerable and human. We shouldn't need a reason to express ourselves. We shouldn't feel like everything we write needs to be polished and professional

And I love that. I love creating things and making art, and allowing it to be imperfect, and I think intentionally calling it shitty can be a useful way to make it feel more approachable. "shitty" art is beautiful and amazing, and I think we should celebrate it.

So this,, is my shitty site, where I will post my shitty art and my shitty writing. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you make shitty things too.

07/21/2022 #friends

My friends, the art collective

When I was a kid, I always dreamed of a future where I was part of some sort of cool collective of weird, funny, creative people. Some group that didn’t really care what other people thought and did things together because they loved it, loved each other, and were having fun making and doing things with each other. In my head it was some sort of Proper Collective or movement, like Warhol’s factory, the Inklings, or the French Existentialists. But I realized recently that 1) none of those groups feel like Proper Groups when they’re happening, and 2) I have that now.

All of the people in my friend groups are artists in some way. Many of us are writers, a bunch are illustrators, a few of us make music, several do game development, a couple are photographers. Whenever we get together, there’s a 70% chance it will turn into a bunch of people jamming on music together or building something. We’re all varying levels of skill, but that’s never once mattered. We all come together, share, and teach each other. I remember when I first started learning to make music, and the only song I knew on the keyboard was Mary Had A Little Lamb. So as a joke, I started playing it at a party. Within a minute, we had a four piece band playing it together, because it was fun.

I think young me would be overjoyed to see the friends I have today. I certainly am.