Productivity

Today’s been sort of odd for me.

I woke up early and, to my credit, actually remained awake. From 8:25AM on, I have been up and doing things. First, I had my breakfast and coffee, plus I took my pills like a big boy. After that, I went into the craft room, figured a few things out for some patterns I am putting together, as well as unboxed some stock dolls for upcoming projects. Then I took a nice shower and did my face routine (homemade coffee and sugar scrub for the win), got dressed, had a bit more coffee, and got a few things together for crafting later.

It was around this time that my niece’s mother texted me. I invited her over (she lives just down the street) and we visited for a bit; Covey was awake at this point. Now we’re ordering some lunch while Covey plays one of her newer PS4 games (Forager). It’s a nice day out (despite some snow earlier), so we have a few of the windows open in the apartment.

Only now that I’m taking a short break do I realize how much I actually got done this morning. This makes me feel good, but at the same time, it worries me. Why can’t I be this productive all of the time? Why does it only come in bursts? Also–why am I most productive when my head is killing me? It’s a bit upsetting, honestly.

Anyway, after we eat (and depending on if our guest returns after she’s thrown her clothing in the dryer), I’m going to disappear into the craft room again I thing. I really would like to start sculpting some of the parts for the dolls I am working on. To do that, I first need to Dremel the legs and feet apart!

(For Muffy and Etoile, I am giving them a slight bend in their legs, digitigrade style. They will be getting cute little hooves as well, and of course, horns! Nox and Balt will be getting horns as well, with Nox’s feet being changed to fit high-heeled shoes. Grell’s base will have something similar done with her feet.)

Speaking of Grell…a lot of her official merchandise has spelled her name “Grelle,” as the English language manga uses. It’s…weird to me? Not that I’m against her changing the spelling of her name to have a more feminine flair, if that’s what she wants. It’s just…everything prior had her name spelled “Grell.” It’s what I’m used to, but even Yana Toboso, the creator/mangaka, has been spelling it “Grelle” as of late.

Ah. Well. Whatever works, I suppose. It’s not like I have much room to talk, really, considering I am legally changing my own name from Kimberly to Devyn.

I realized today that, if I am making a doll of Rumarus, I should probably make Thomas as well. Rum-Rum is my personal character, of course, as is Thomas. They are basically inseparable. Thomas acts as Rum’s servant, but he is also usually the voice of reason. He tends to do Rum’s dirty work outside of the castle, simply because the curse placed upon his master does not work on him. I will probably add him to the line up at some point. I just have to find the right kind of fabric for his suit and for his cloak (his clothing is very otherworldly and shimmery; it’s often compared to the colors of dragonfly wings if they were pressed up against black wool).

Lunch needs to hurry up and get here. I’m freaking hungry. My stomach keeps growling very loudly! We are being bad today and getting pizza. Yum.

Face Masks

The other night, Covey and I spent at least six and a half hours making a crap ton of face masks for friends and family. Thankfully, I have a few mostly made up. They just need elastic in them, and to be finished off. I say thankfully because more and more people are asking for them! I don’t mind, of course. It gives me something to do. It’s just that it freaking takes forever to make a batch of them.

I found a pattern online that I use.

To this, I added nose wire to provide a better fit and seal. I use a thick cotton, usually quilter’s fabric. I guess the masks aren’t the best, but they are far better than nothing at this point. Plus, I get to use cute and cool patterns. For example, my soon-to-be step-dad wanted camouflage! I had some fabric that fit the bill, so he’s good.

After dinner, I’ll jump into the craft room and just…sew. Sew and make and make and sew. Maybe I’ll cut out a few more pieces for other masks, just to have a ton on hand…

I also need to wind a bunch of bobbins, which is easily my least favorite part of sewing. I just don’t like the sound my machine makes. Plus, it just feels like it takes a very long time for something that should only take a few moments.

Aside from sewing, I will be working on dolls tonight I believe! I have a bunch of doll bases coming in the mail soon enough (I ordered a lot of the BTS dolls by Mattel; they are super cheap right now on Amazon.com as well as on Fingerhut.com. They are just taking forever to ship). For other bases, I’m looking into getting more Disney’s Descendants dolls, as well as some WWE Superstars dolls. Both have their pros and cons. The Disney dolls are adorable, with slightly larger heads than what would be realistic, but they are much less stylized than Monster High dolls. The WWE dolls are more realistic but more muscular than your ‘average’ female doll. I kind of like that! I also really like working with the older version of the DC Superhero Girls dolls; the newer versions are far too stylized for my purposes.

As you can probably tell, I am trying to stay away from using classic dolls; no Monster High, no Ever After High, etc. Though I really enjoyed working with them at one point in time, I feel like I have outgrown that style. There is only so much I can do with, say, a Draculaura without completely resculpting her. At that point, it would make more sense to just make my own doll from scratch (which I will do, some day!).

Doll Plans to Keep Me Sane

Despite my best efforts, lately, I have found myself becoming very irritated. Everything is pissing me off–people, videos, myself… I just want things to go back to normal. I am trying so hard to not yell at everyone and take it out on them. I’m trying so hard to find my peace, to calm my mind and the agitation I feel in my body. I just have to stop being a bitch.

I took it out today on my poor Gram. I feel like such an ass. She said she had an appointment at two thirty PM, and my mind instantly thought the worst. I freaked out, asking her what was going on, where she was going, who she was going to see… She wasn’t outright with me, which made me think she was hiding something from me (she does that sometimes). Instead of being calm about it, or just dropping it, I kept pressing and pressing and pressing, getting angrier and angrier with every word. In the end, I pretty much exploded at her before going into the store.

Once inside, Covey looked at me and laid me out. I was being snappy and bitchy; everything was bothering me. I needed to chill, to find my center again. So, with her help, I did. I felt like such an ass after (I still do), so I apologized to them both. We ended up getting pizza and chatting in the car for a bit.

What the fuck is wrong with me.

We are home now. It’s windy and rainy out, just gross. I think we’re going to just relax for the rest of the day–watch some YouTube videos, hang out on the couch, maybe role-play a bit. There are things I would like to get done, but it might be for the best to just…chill.

The other day/night/morning, Covey and I worked on a bunch of face masks. My mom had asked me to make a ton for this lady that she knows who needs some for her elderly father. I agreed. Between the two of us, we ended up making around thirty. Mom took eight for the lady and her dad, then four for herself and for for my soon-to-be step-father. The rest we gave to my grandma and to my aunt Wendy. I think we’re going to be putting some more together as needed. Thank goodness I have a stash of wire, elastic, and quilter’s cotton fabric. Plus…it gives me something to do.

Other than masks, I really want to work on a few quilts, maybe some clothing (shorts for Covey, since she doesn’t really have any and summer is coming up pretty soon…), as well as a few other sewn things. Mainly, though, I will be working on new dolls.

I have a few planned out.

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Rumarus Zhou–one of my original characters. He’s half magpie, but is convinced he is the reincarnation of the Phoenix King (one of the Gods of Creation in his world). He is also the Prince of his Kingdom, though due to a curse he has never left his castle. Many of his powers are transformation and fire based; he can take small creatures and make them human-ish. He has a servant named Thomas who was once a pill bug.


Etoile and Muffy (from Animal Crossing)–two lovely sheep ladies. In my mind/head-canon, they started out as neighbors, then friends, then evolved into lovers and finally got married under a lovely tree in the center of town. The doll versions of them are going to be lolita-fashion styles–gothic for Muffy and for Etoile, she’ll be like, dolly-pastel? I’m still figuring it out. I also want to edit the dolls to make their feet into hooves.

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Vexen (Kingdom Hearts)–because I love this fucker. I’m not sure if I’ll make his shield, too. Maybe at one point? I really would like to make him and do him justice. He basically was the hidden hero of KH3 anyway. He needs more love.


Grell Sutcliff–again, because I fucking love her. I might make two versions– ‘Butler’ Grell and how she regularly appears. This is kind of funny, as when I first started to make dolls, she was the entire reason I wanted to start. I wanted to make a doll of her. Honestly, I started one once but I didn’t like it, so this year, I’ve decided to start again.


Nox and Balt Honeytongue–Playable/Original Characters for our Dungeons and Dragons campaign. I play Nox, and Covey plays Balt. They are twins, Nox being a Sorcerer and an entertainer who is slightly obsessed with sex; Balt is a Bard with Sorcerer origins and is really sweet, naive, and a lover of animals (even though he really annoys most of those that he speaks with). At the moment, they’ve helped to take over a giant fortress that is on the back of a huge tortoise! Nox has gone ahead to the next town to let them know not to attack…all the while, they are on the look out for lycanthropes.

So…yeah. There are probably a few other dolls I would like to make, but for now? those are the ones I’m working on/planning out. Whee.

I Want To Break Free

Life fucking sucks.

My grandpa’s ashes are coming home on Monday. I want to go with her, but she doesn’t want me to go. I’m a little torn. I want to be there for her, and to welcome my grandfather back. She, however, is afraid that I would break down. Alright. I know I am not the most stable person all of the time. But I’m not glass, either.

Added to that, my body is pissing me off. I hate myself. I hate everything about me. I always have. I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m trapped in this body that I hate for more than just a few reasons. As I continue to explore who I am, I’m also starting to wonder if I’m not gender-fluid, but rather, male. Not the most commonly thought of type of male.

I don’t know how to explain it.

I want to wear dresses and be pretty and lean and cute, but I also want a penis. I don’t want breasts, I don’t want a vagina. I’m so freaking confused. I don’t know who to talk to, I don’t know what to do. I just…I’m existing right now, and I don’t know what the fuck to do about it.

These are hard times for everyone. I know that. It just feels like everything is coming to a head. Everything around me is crushing me, pulling me, ripping me up. I want to scream. I want to fucking cry and kick and scream and punch and break things that are breaking me. But I can’t. I fucking can’t.

I want my grandpa back. I want him healthy and alive. I want my gram to have the money and time she needs to get her hips and knees fixed. I want them to be together, and happy, and I just fucking want things to be normal again, whatever ‘normal’ means.

Does it ever end?

I Would Like to RAGE

I’ve been sewing. I have found that it helps to get my mind off of things. The pain as the pins poke into my skin helps, too. I promise, I’m not trying to harm myself. It’s sort of just an added bonus. Pain has always been a sort of relief for me. My therapist said it is something that can be potentially hardwired into people, as it gives off some sort of numbing chemical in the brain.

Anyway, I pretty much started to sew the night after my Grandfather’s death, and I didn’t stop until early this morning. There are more things that I made–another Ita bag for my wife and another handful of face masks–but I either haven’t taken pictures of them or they are modeled on my spouse’s face. I would rather not put her on this blog unless she gives the okay. I’m not bothering her at the moment, though, as she’s going through some shit right now, too.

So, for those of you who have been following my lovely little blog for the last however long it’s been running (I doubt you exist but let’s pretend), you’ll probably remember that both my spouse and I have social anxiety. It’s worse for her, as going out into public can cause massive panic attacks. Mine is slowly getting better. Sometimes, though, I still have a hard time breathing in tight spaces with lots of people in it. Anyway, our main form of social interaction actually comes over the internet. We both find it super easy to communicate with others through either text or video chats instead of actually being face to face with them.

Of course, with everything that’s been going on, we’ve also been socially distancing ourselves from people anyway. However! This means more time online, using the internet to chat and play games.

This is where the issue comes in–our internet has started to really, really suck.

As of yesterday, our ‘net speed is literally 1/10th the speed it should be. What does this mean? Nothing will load for us. The fact that I am able to post to this blog at all is a simple miracle. Neither of us can play any of our online games. Playing Dungeons and Dragons last night was a fucking nightmare, seeing as our internet could only support one computer being on it. It did cut out a few times as well. Ugh!

I did call the customer service line about it. I got a technician. He ran me through a few tests over the phone, and concluded that something is physically wrong with our connection–meaning that, in our apartment, something is wrong. Someone is meant to call to set up an appointment to come over. As of yet, no one has.

If we lose internet completely, I don’t know what we’ll do.

Manga Review: “Black Butler, Chapter 107.5: Those Six Devils, Putting Rank Aside” by Yana Toboso

Black Butler, Chapter 107.5 Side Story (Black Butler Serial)Black Butler, Chapter 107.5 Side Story by Yana Toboso
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let’s be clear on one thing at the moment–Black Butler by Yana Toboso is absolutely my favorite on-going manga at this time. I love the characters (Especially Grell–she is my freakin’ hero), the art is splendid and only gets better with time, and the story line is dark and depressing while also having moments of hilarity and fun. Overall, it’s just fantastic.

Better known as Kuroshitsuji in Japan, Black Butler follows the story of a young teenage Earl named Ciel Phantomhive and his demonic butler, Sebastian. Together, they basically solve mysteries and get into loads of trouble. There are a ton of lovable and despicable side characters, including the staff of the Phantomhive manor, the Queen of England herself, many Grim Reapers, love interests, and friends/enemies.

In this side chapter of the manga, the characters were ranked by fans, with Sebastian leading at number one, Ciel as number two, Undertaker as number three, Grell as number four (which is hilarious and very appropriate; Grell being a Grim Reaper and, in Japan, four being the number of death), Vincent (Ciel’s deceased father) as number five, and Charles Grey as number six. The ranking continues, of course, going down the line into the forties. As sort of a joke in the chapter, any character that did not have a ranking or ranked too low was not ‘allowed’ to be shown or drawn within the panels of the manga.

The Viscount Druitt, having ranked number sixteen, decides to throw a lavish party for all of those who ranked well enough to be seen within the manga. However, he has his reasons for wanting to gather everyone within one place–to kill them and take their ranks! Plenty of fighting and hijinks ensue as the party members all fight for number one. It’s up to Sebastian to keep his master safe and win the day as everything falls into chaos around them.

After what happened to me yesterday (my grandfather passed away), I needed something to make me laugh. This did it, thankfully, though I will warn that the ending is a bit depressing in my mind. I love Toboso’s work. I am even plotting a tattoo of Grell somewhere on my person at some point. Honestly, if I could rate this side chapter higher than a five, I would.

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I’m Crumbling.

This year has been shit. Today only served as a punctuation of this statement. I have never felt so hollow, so alone. Once gust of wind will cause me to crumble into myself and blow away.

My grandfather, James Colburn, aged 82, passed away this afternoon at approximately 2:00pm EST. We do not yet know the exact cause of death, other than he just…he stopped breathing. My grandmother was in the other room, getting his bed ready so he could take a nap. When she came out of his room, he made a noise and then…nothing. He was gone.

Of course, my grandmother attempted to resuscitate him herself. When she couldn’t get him to breathe, she called 911. The paramedics were unable to revive him as well.

I honestly do not know what to do without him. I’m broken. I’m sick. I want to curl up and somehow make it better. Fuck. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know.

Today was the third time in my life that I saw my grandmother cry. Once, when my Uncle Scott passed away. Once, when my cousin Cassie passed, and now today as she said goodbye to my grandpa as the coroner wheeled him out of the house. Her words to him will always haunt me, from now until my own death.

“You weren’t supposed to leave yet. What am I going to do without you? Why did He take you so soon?”

Even as I type this out, I am silently crying. I’ve shed so many tears since I first found out. I don’t want to cry anymore. I don’t want this. I don’t.

I want to break everything around me. I want to break myself. I want that pain. I want that physical pain to drive away the things in my head and heart. I want to break. What do I do? What the fuck will make this better? Give me fucking strength before I smash my head or hand against the wall. Help me.

I’m not okay.

Jasper, my cat, is so confused right now. She doesn’t understand why I am so upset. Why I keep breaking down into fits of sobbing and cursing. My poor spouse is trying to hold me together. It’s not fair. She’s breaking, too. Grandpa loved both of us. He loved everyone.

I love him. I always will.

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

The Coronavirus sure is a thing, isn’t it? Even here, in little ol’ buttfuck nowhere New Hampshire, people are panicking. We went into WalMart the other day. A lot of the shelves were empty, especially of soaps, water, toilet paper, and disinfectant wipes. Luckily, we managed to snag a thing of toilet paper before they were completely sold out; they still had the cheap brand that we use, and in the mega rolls no less. We should be fine if we have to be quarantined. I doubt that is going to happen, anyway.

What worries more than getting sick is the mass panic that this is causing, along with the economic collapse that will more than likely happen due to this. I am also a bit worried about my family–my grandparents are old, obviously; my cousins are young; and my uncle is HIV positive. Though I will probably survive should I get sick, there is a very good chance that they won’t. The fear of accidentally getting them ill makes me nervous.

In an attempt to make myself not worry about what might happen, I have decided to take up drawing again. My parents bought me a Wacom Bamboo tablet about four or five years ago. I haven’t really used it, as I thought it was not compatible with Windows 10 computers, as that is what I have had for a little while now. However! Thanks to Reddit, I found a driver that makes it work with my laptop. Huzzah! In addition to that, I downloaded a program called Krita, which is a free-to-use digital painting program. It looks like it is pretty simple to use, so I’ll be getting used to that.

The first piece that I would like to make is a group-shot of the characters in the Dungeons and Dragons campaign I am currently apart of. I hope I can match the energy that each of the players give their characters; I know that it might be difficult for me to do. I’m kinda rusty when it comes to drawing! Especially with a tablet!

Dungeons and Dragons has sort of become something I really, really look forward to each week. Thursdays are amazing nights. I am so happy to be playing with a group that is so nice and funny. Not to mention that I get to play off of my spouse’s character a lot, as we are playing twin Tieflings.

It’s gotten to be so much fun that I really would rather not leave the world that our DM has created at times. To further help me lose myself in the universe of Dungeons and Dragons, I have purchased a few books that are based on the game. I can’t wait to read them.

Manga Review: “The Carp on the Chopping Block Jumps Twice (The Game of Cat and Mouse, vol. 2)” by Setona Mizushiro

The Carp on the Chopping Block Jumps TwiceThe Carp on the Chopping Block Jumps Twice by Setona Mizushiro
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It should be noted that, for the longest time, mangaka Setona Mizushiro was my favorite manga artist and writer. I fell in love first when the manga “X-Day, vol. 2” as it had a short one-shot story in the back of the volume that I adored. Since then, I have been attempting to slowly read the rest of her works–though it can be very difficult, as much of it has not been released in America (I can’t read Japanese, though I’m working on it).

Imagine my delight when I came across the English release of Mizushiro’s first yaoi-related manga, “The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese,” and the sequel, “The Carp on the Chopping Block Jumps Twice.” I was so happy that I devoured the first volume immediately. Sadly, I was disappointed in the first volume of this series. The second volume did not fair very well, either.

Although the art for this series is beautiful and odd, very typical of Mizushiro’s work, the plot was horrid. It’s little more than a story of forced, toxic relationships and people who should not be trusted. The main character, Kyouichi (better known as Kyou), is a man who constantly cheats on whomever he is with–be it his wife, his forced-lover Imagase, or any number of the women he ends up hooking up with. Imagase is a stalker and a border-line rapist. He forces Kyou into a gay relationship, sex included, when Kyou is (mostly) straight.

There is very little chemistry between Kyou and Imagase, aside from a bunch of sex-fueled angst. I simply did not click with any of the characters or with the plot at all. Again, the art was nice, but it couldn’t make up for the horrible, cringe-worthy story line. I’m so sorry, Setona Mizushiro, but this manga is simply not for me.

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Manga Review: “The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese (The Game of Cat and Mouse, vol. 1)” by Setona Mizushiro

The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese (The Game of Cat and Mouse, #1)The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese by Setona Mizushiro
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It should be noted that, for the longest time, mangaka Setona Mizushiro was my favorite manga artist and writer. I fell in love first when the manga “X-Day, vol. 2” as it had a short one-shot story in the back of the volume that I adored. Since then, I have been attempting to slowly read the rest of her works–though it can be very difficult, as much of it has not been released in America (I can’t read Japanese, though I’m working on it).

Imagine my delight when I came across the English release of Mizushiro’s first yaoi-related manga, “The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese,” and the sequel, “The Carp on the Chopping Block Jumps Twice.” I was so happy that I devoured the first volume immediately.

However, my pleasure and joy was short lived. “The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese” is a disappointment. While the art is beautiful in typical Mizushiro style, the plot is a cringe-fest.

Kyouichi Ootomo’s wife suspects him of cheating on her. Because of this, she hires a detective who specializes in this sort of thing. Unfortunately, the detective, a man named Wataru Imagase, has had an interest in Kyou since they were classmates in college. As it turns out, Imagase is gay, a stalker, and becomes obsessed with Kyou–to the point that he blackmails him and more or less forces him into sex.

Eventually, Kyou’s wife does divorce him, but only because she has fallen in love with someone else and can no longer stay in her marriage. This leaves Kyou alone. He moves into his own apartment, where Imagase tracks him down. They begin to have a sort of relationship, though it is very rocky throughout. Kyou does not know if he is gay, straight, or bisexual; he begins to fall in love with his stalker, but often dreams of him as a woman. They have sexual intercourse regularly, and Kyou also sees various women on the side.

I have a major problem with this plot. First of all–it paints homosexuals in a bad light. I, myself, am gay. I guess I was sort of offended by how Imagase is portrayed. He is a sex-crazed man that stalks the man he supposedly loves and attempts to ‘turn him gay.’ He goes so far as to check Kyou’s phone and email conversations, as well as his search history. It’s disgusting and frightening. Imagase turns possessive in some parts.

Secondly, though I do like the theme of experimenting with sexuality to find one’s true self…It feels like Kyou is not gay. He may have homosexual tendencies, but I feel like he’s not really into male bodies. Personalities, perhaps? There is something between him and Imagase, but I do not feel as though it’s really enough to warrant any sort of healthy relationship. He might be bisexual, of course, which is completely valid as well. It’s just upsetting that he’s been forced into this situation. It’s uncomfortable–that’s how I felt through reading this volume.

Will I read the next volume? Perhaps. I sort of want to see what will happen, but at the same time, I really just want Kyou to wash his hands of his stalker/boyfriend, find someone who will truly love him, and have a healthy relationship instead of this toxic one he is currently in.

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