5 Favorite Photographs of 2016

In 2017, I want to take photography more seriously.

My Instagram, though bitchin’, isn’t exactly a shrine to nuanced composition — but I still took a lot of snaps I loved in 2016.

Here are my top 5:

1. Love graffiti. I found this waterproof optimism just when I needed it.

2. Washington, D.C. The Mansion on O Street‘s hyper-saturated gallery walls give me life.

3. Cute cat + retro tile. The star of this photo is Loki. He’s a Stage Five Clinger.

4. Black Dog Salvage, Roanoke, VA. This salvage store and flea market has gorgeous stained glass.

5. An obligatory Willie photo. My muse is a hilarious disaster.

What skills do you want to improve on in 2017, Internet?







5 Dreadful Decorating Choices In This Cabin

My New Years experience was lovely: friends, board games, alcohol, taking turns making delicious home-cooked meals.

The only (slight) party-dampener was how fugly our cabin was. To say nothing of the musty smell or the plethora of itchy bug-bites I now possess.

Let’s investigate the worst design choices.

1. Sticks on the wall

“The cabin is in the outdoors, so I guess ‘outdoors’ will be my motif. I’m not one of those sheeple who spends money at big box stores. I’m going to ‘shop my backyard.'”

It’s possible for this to work!

… Or one can opt to simply hammer branches and twigs to the walls. In every room of one’s home.

2. A sad magnet situation

There were two magnets: one that said to clean up, and one that was an image of a television.

The television is unfathomable to me. If there are only two magnets, and the TV is one of them, it must mean something right? But what?

Oh My!

Today I hugged former lizard monster, gay rights activist, Japanese Internship historical awareness raiser, and overall fab dude George Takei.


He had on a soft sweater and drank tea.

He told the con-goers about how, when he was in the Japanese Internment camps during WWII, he saw Disney’s Snow White. For a few hours, he was transported into the whimsical world of charming dwarf names, gorgeous ebony-clad villainy, and crashes of lightning and thunder. Behind the barbed barricades, a love of entertainment was born.

Years later, he used people’s love of escapism to draw them in. He used his social media platforms to entertain people, and, once he had their attention, to tell them things they needed to know. To talk about human rights, gay rights, equality for all.

I love him very much. I also adore his husband, with whom I got into a conversation about Space Cases.

It was lovely to meet someone who knows about the pop culture blip that transformed my entire life.

If there were a way to coordinate a 20-year reunion con, my heart would explode and I would die, so it’s probably for the best that that doesn’t come to pass.


Me: “What are you?”
Monster on left: “I’m from your childhood. You’ve repressed me.
Me: (laughing)
Monster on left: “I’m from Zelda.”


On the far right are… Dreamfinder and Figment from EPCOT. I basically chased them down screaming. I’m an embarrassing Disney-head. My family were card-carrying members of the Disney Vacation Club (actually a thing). I went every year for at least a decade.

For reference:


Their ride has been drastically changed.

I feel that my blog is an appropriate place to tell you:

The new ride sucks, Disney.

Change it back.

MTV Unplugged Presents: Super Starling’s weekend!

One day, the Starling got home from her job and, instead of going inside to play on her computer, she took a walk outside. She linked arms with her husband, a tall man with the face of an elegant ferret. Her spare arm clutched a thick black leash attached to a monochrome hound.

They walked in the dying light to a park.

She climbed high on the rarely-used playground equipment. She called to the pooch below. He looked up, worry in his brown eyes, fear speckling his face. His mother was so high, so far away. The dog knew that she was a klutz, and could tumble down.

Perhaps directly onto him.


Meanwhile, the Robot Overlords who owned the Matrix or what-have-you were displeased.

“Why has she not returned to us?” they chirped in their fuzzy dial-up-modem language. “Have we not offered up a veritable feast of Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon, and more? What else could this hussy possibly desire?”

Then the girl and her husband ordered in Chinese. When it arrived, they ate at at the table instead of in front of the television.

They spent the rest of the evening hanging a gallery wall of the artwork they had collected during their 12 years together.


The Robot Overlords gnashed their teeth, chipping them into a gritty spray if ones and zeroes.

“What can we do to bring her back?”

The following morning, Starling went to brunch with visiting friends.


At an antiques store, all photos and paintings were analog.


The Overlords screamed. The Internet trembled.


Dinner was flatbread pizza, wings, locally-sourced rum, independent soda, and craft beer. The Starling and her unfeathered flock toasted to an upcoming wedding. The lady fiancées held hands, not phones.

Exhausted, they went home, made dessert from scratch, and discussed a lavender-grey-black literary color scheme.

The morning came, and Starling heard the call of the Internet. She went back to it, like an old friend. In the time apart, she and the Robot Overlords’ relationship didn’t feel the same.

Some parts of the Internet felt good. Starling liked sharing photos and stories. She liked looking at images of smiling people she knew with their pets and children. She relished the unearthing of a new font, discovering an artist with a fresh vision, reading a news story with a happy ending.

The Overlords had gifts for her. And she had scraps of herself to give to it in return.

But they would have to spend time apart occasionally.

She had to speak with her voice, not her fingertips, sometimes. She had to smell food instead of looking at pixel depictions of it. She had to let the sun dye her skin while she walked; and ink dye her palms while she drew. Books begged to be read. Flowers longed to be planted. Sneakers and whiskered friends called out for dirt, grass, and pavement.

It was time to leave. Not forever. But now and again.

The blog post is wrapping up, and it’s time to go outside.