Blue Mountain Bronx – Cocktail of the Night

(Quick and dirty logo)

A while ago I got a book called The Bartender’s Best Friend by Mardee Haidin Regan, because I’ve always wanted to learn more about mixing drinks, and find some things I liked, but I’m too cheap and anti-social to go to bars. (My parents don’t really drink. My mom doesn’t drink at all. My dad likes cheap beer and really sweet wine, but will drink almost anything. So I have no standards of quality to go off of. )

Continue reading “Blue Mountain Bronx – Cocktail of the Night”

Commentary for Detective Comics #27 (Ben-Day Shots)

And now it’s time for the return of Ben-Day Shots. It’s going to take a bit to get the old ones up here (need to find a blogging client that I like, which should make it easier). Anyway, let’s get to it.

Detective Comics #27

1939 May, Golden Age
Cover Price: 10 cents

The Case of the Chemical Syndicate

Characters: Bruce Wayne / Batman (first appearance, as ‘Bat-Man’), Commissioner Gordon (first appearance)

Well, it’s Batman. It’s not fair to judge anything by it’s first issue. It’s not fantastic, it’s not quite on character yet, but it’s Batman.

Anyway, it starts in media res with Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon talking at Gordon’s home. They’re apparently old friends. At this point, Bruce Wayne is a pipe-smoking layabout that somehow still manages to get invited on police investigations (was this okay in the 40s? Seriously?) Gordon is a white-haired cigarette / cigar-smoking (I can’t quite tell) man with a tiny mustache and a tacky suit (well, I’m sure it was fine in the 40s). Actually Bruce’s isn’t that great either.

So anyway, Commissioner Gordon lets ‘young socialite’ Bruce Wayne come along to investigate Lambert, the Chemical King’s, death. Including being there as they question his son.

OK, seriously either police procedure in the 40s was very very lax, or the Gotham police just suck. Who the hell mentions that a victim was killed to just anybody who calls? Bruce’s reaction is just adorable. And slap-worthy (see below.)

(slightly edited for ease of reading)

So the man that called gets whacked, but the Bat-man shows up to beat up the perps. He doesn’t look that bad, although the purple gloves are ridiculous (or possibly fabulous. It rather depends on whether you care about fun or plausible crime-fighting).

 

It should be noted that the Bat-Man is also wanted by the police. And he drives a red, non-bat-in-any-way, car, which I quite like.

Again, edited for conciseness.

So Rogers (one of dead Lambert’s partners) goes to see Alfred Stryker, who, notably, is the only one to get a first name in a caption (the other names are mentioned by young Lambert). Stryker is the last partner and apparently employs an evil chemist named Jennings. Jennings knocks out Rogers and then prepares to gas him. You know he’s evil because he’s continually going ‘heh! heh!’.

In case you thought I was kidding.

Naturally Batman shows up just in the nick of time to save Rogers, keep Jennings from shooting anyway (because if you have a gun you should only try to kill people with it after the hero shows up.) And naturally this wakes up Stryker who tries to kill Rogers some more. The Bat-Man explains everything to Rogers, while holding Stryker with one hand (which is apparently enough to immobilize a person until they get pissed off). Stryker gets mad, the Bat-Man hits him and he falls into the acid tank, which naturally any chemist has. And the Bat-Man does nothing.

Well, basically nothing.

And the story ends with this:

Because your bedroom closet is the perfect place to store your vigilante costume.

Icons:

 

 

 

(Icons may be used or modified wherever, with credit to DC comics)

See Dial B For Blog #389 – 391 for how Batman was created (and things that DC will never tell you) (there’s some in the final installment that I personally think is a stretch, but judge for yourself)

Credits: (uncredited & details) Rob’t Kane (that is, Bob Kane. Pencils, inks, letters) (script: Bill Finger)

Nano progress

(Trigger Warnings: Claustrophobia, horror, injury, mental illness)

I know I said I’d post some writing, and here you go. This is from November when I was trying to mostly work on a comic series called The White Knight.

This was a bit of a character study. Eric Ryddatz, aka Techrat, has some serious mental problems. When I get around to finishing stuff with him, I’ll get an actual computer guy to double check the error messages Eric throws up when he’s freaked out.

Eric frowned, a slight tightening of the corners of his mouth. He could see the key just through the hole in the wall. He was not going to fail HER (they had asked why she was female if he thought women were illogical, but she was mother, lover, guardian. He could make her perfect if he tried hard enough and she could make the world perfect.) His breath was faster, his heartbeat skipping, his palms sweaty, his stomach lurched. Fear. (Alexithymia, they called it, an inability to distinguish emotions, and they made him learn symptoms, like the glitches and error codes he learned to make HER perfect, but he couldn’t remove them, not as long as he was subject to hormones and glands.)

He tried to control his breathing, envisioning neat rows of zeroes and ones. He was afraid. It was nothing; an irrational phobia, but it was just a hole, not one of the cuffs locking down on his wrists, grinding flesh against bone.

Zeroes and ones. Beautiful, logical, perfect.

He stuck his hand through. He could reach the key that would let him out. Let him back to HER.

He did not scream when the wall closed on his wrist. Others would have. He did not curse or struggle wildly, like others, less rational people would have. His eyes widened and he broke into a sweat, his heart pounding like a walking tape drive. He tried to pull his arm free, squeezing his hand as small as he could. He could hear the key drop to the floor over the pounding in his ears. Biology, weak and imperfect.

He made no noise, but his lips were moving, reciting commands like prayers.

System Error. Abort, Retry, Fail? Retry.
I/O Error. Abort, Retry, Fail? Retry.
GPF. Abort, Retry, Fail? Retry.
C-x C-e
Buffer Overflow. Abort, Retry, Fail?

His eyes were burning. Sweat in his eyes. He could feel his skin tearing as he tried to free his hand. Contaminants. Weakness that could fail HER.

Kernel Panic.
HCB.

The lights went out and the neat white on black letters behind his eyes broke into neon blurs.

He was not like others. He did not scream. He did not swear. If it was because his throat locked down so he could hardly breathe, that was irrelevant. If his methodical attempts to escape had changed to frenzied thrashings that pounded bone against concrete, he did not notice because that was when the sounds began.

Chittering dry sounds, that crackled like static.

He did not scream, but his computer prayers changed to purely human pleas to HER, as he collapsed, his biology too weak to even hold him up.

Week 3 – Shopping

I didn’t do much the third week, so this’ll be a short entry.

First was actually something my awesome dad did. I didn’t show you a picture, but my closet is very small, narrow, and not really enough to store all my various junk and my clothes. Therefore, Dad did this:

As you saw before, there’s a little room between the main room and the bathroom. On one side of that is the door to the main room, on the other is the closet (I’m standing in the bathroom to take the picture). Originally I was just going to put up two clothes rods, but there were no studs available, so Dad built a free-standing thing that was then secured to the wall. So this is my ‘dressing room’. (It has clothes on it now).

Next, I finally got a microwave.

Yeah, that was terribly exciting, but incredibly necessary.

I also got a sideboard to hold my table linens, bathroom supplies, and whatever else ends up in there. I got it from a great vintage shop in Ventura called Attaboy Vintage. Two of my awesome coworkers helped me get in my place.

Apparently at one point it was painted white, and then stripped before Attaboy got it. You can still see white paint in the crevices, as well as inside behind the drawers. They only refinished the top. I’ve oiled it and it looks really nice now (although it could probably use more oil). I should probably get a piece of glass for the top (it’s got some scratches and a gouge, but it looks nice).

That’s it for the week. Next week will be light as well. Things are slowing down. I’ll have to get on making some other content for the site!

Arranging – Week 2

I’m going to get right into it. This week involved a lot of unpacking, picking up packages from the post office, rearranging, organizing, and a trip to Ikea! Thanks to my mom for the copious amounts of help.

A hint of things to come:

 New thing #1: 1950s pole lamp! A gift from my parents.

It’s brighter now, since I’ve put new fluorescent bulbs in. It bathes the whole room in a warm red glow. It’s made of four sections of metal tubing. I ended up having to take a section out because complete it was too tall for my ceiling. Once I put it up on the bench it was just about perfect (here it’s got some fabric folded underneath. I’ve since gotten a wooden stand that I still need to paint black.)

Since we’re in the main room, let’s continue there.

As you can see I moved my dress form up onto the bench. The dress form was originally bought to display kimono, and now that my kimono wardrobe is here I can do that! (And I have now). Also new are my folding kitchen chairs. I only have three, and they need some work, but they’re comfortable.

But what’s that piece hiding behind the coffee table?

If you know Mid-century stuff at all, you probably recognize the manufacturer. It’s Heywood-Wakefield. I couldn’t find a stamp on this piece, so it’s conceivable it’s not. I think I’ve posted about it on Facebook. Anyway, I got it for $100. Someone had started to strip it and gave up when they couldn’t figure out how to get the shelves out (it’s not that hard, but you have to take the pegs out). Dad and I refinished it using reproduction stain (we both stripped it, he did all the staining). Unfortunately I only had three original pegs, so they aren’t the same. But doesn’t it look awesome? I may use the extra stain on the kitchen chairs when I get to fixing them up.

Other main room details:

 

Detail of the bookcase all cleaned up.

With stuff in it (and dust in front). Yes, I’ve got a wide range of decades there. A Megabloks ice dragon, a tiger from GI Joe Sigma 6, a Sky BAT from the same line (you can hardly see him) all from about 2007. A Thundercats bank (now full of money) and below it, the Tongue-a-saurus. A norfin troll from around 1990 and a Radix Adventures ogre from around 2005.

The top of my coffee table. Under the glass is a furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) that we got from one of our Japanese exchange students when I was a kid. I’m thinking of replacing it with another one, but I’m not sure I have any more that are the right size.

Slightly better pictures of the front of my desk.

It needs to be cleaned and oiled and it’s even more cluttered now. But I’m getting there. On the right is a file drawer. On the left is two drawers.

That pretty much covers the main room. Why don’t we move the the bathroom real quick?

You can see my new 1950s trash can.

Isn’t it cool?

Two not Mid-century things.

The wash cloth was a gift from my parents (with towels, obviously). It’s about the only pink thing I have in the bathroom so far. As far as the towel rack, I originally wanted a 1950s tension rod one, but I couldn’t find one for less than $100 (except for the first one I saw, which I let get away). This one is from Ikea and folds up compactly, so it works quite well.

I know you all want to see the cool medicine cabinet, so here it is.

The door is really heavy duty. Look at that hinge on top! The glass shelves are supposedly adjustable, but it’s been painted too many times and I can’t get the brackets out (bummer). And as you can see, it has the slit for old razor blades! (The cup is just there because it’s cool. Yes, that’s my bathroom cup. It came with some bento box stuff my sister gave me one Christmas. You can’t see it, but the manufacturer is ‘Lube Sheep.’ I am not kidding.)

There’s one new thing in the dressing area.

1950s nightstand. At first I thought it might be Heywood-Wakefield, but it’s not. It was apparently made in Japan, from reclaimed wood. The underside of one of the drawers has a stamp from a shipping crate or something (I don’t remember exactly.) There was another one that was in worse shape.

Why is the Lego Batman shirt there? What does that have to do with the 50s? Well, Lego Batman is awesome. The 1950s are awesome. Therefore it’s totally relevant.

This is getting really long and I still have a bunch of kitchen pictures to show, so I’m going to split that off to a different post.

Kitchen – Week 2

All right, if I did that much in the apartment, what did I do to the kitchen? Well, Mom and I took a trip to Ikea (as you already saw in the bathroom). That combined with some stuff from Target, my stuff, and my mom’s organizing skills led to this:

(Click to see bigger)

Commentary:

Obviously, the wooden kitchen cart is new. It folds. I haven’t need it to fold yet, but it can. It was also somewhat of a pain to assemble, but only because I was by myself. The trashcan is from Target. We switched the dishes and pantry items. Pantry stuff is in the cabinets in turquoise baskets from Target.  You can’t see it, but because the lip of my sink is so high, I stick a saucer under the end of the drainer so it’ll actually drain. And I have a bad tendency to let dishes pile up before I wash them, so the glasses go on a towel on the counter.

The rails and stuff are a combination of Bygel and Grundtal from Ikea. Nice. My silverware is all mismatched stuff from thrift stores. I love it. The knife bar is also from Ikea and I’ve since moved the steak knives to a drawer so you can get to the outlet more easily. I mean to paint the wood bar teal, but I want to paint those baskets too. But I can’t find a spray paint in the right color, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

I have a lot of colanders and strainers. I’m not entirely sure how that happened. I also need to get a few more Pyrex casseroles in middle sizes. That cardboard box in the cabinets has been replaced. My extra dishes (and I have a lot) are in the dead space in the corner. I don’t know when I got the Ritz and Saltine tins. The Ritz one is full. And there’s the cork for the ‘cookie’ jar on the stove.

I only have one of those cherry blossom mugs. I love it. And I’ll probably never fill the teal salt and pepper shakers because they’re huge. I put the salt in one of the blue ones, and I have a pepper grinder so I’m not using the other one. What else starts with P and S that I could put in the teal ones?

Those red tins can also be found in yellow. They’re really awesome for crackers and cereal, because they really do keep it crisp. You do have to bake the knob often though. It doesn’t really turn ‘pink’ over time. It’s the color they are now. When they’re baked they’re bright blue.

Things I still need to do in the kitchen? Besides fill the few holes, get out my Swanky Swigs (I have the wildlife ones. I’m sorry I can’t find an informative link.) I have another Bygel bar to get up, and I need to get a basket for it like the one holding the salt and pepper shakers. And the general reorganizing, cleaning, etc.

Moving In – Week 1

Now it’s time to see some of my actual stuff. I’m only taking pictures at the end of the week, so we’ve skipped over the piles and piles of boxes, the furniture in really strange spots, and other such amusements.

First, some details I didn’t photograph the previous week:

The closet / dressing room door. I need to find an appropriate skeleton key.

Isn’t that drain cute? It looks like a daisy.

And on to the meat of the post: Continue reading “Moving In – Week 1”

Moving – Week 0

I’ve actually been there almost two weeks now, but I’m doing this in order, dammit! =^_^=

So, I moved into my first apartment completely by myself, completely from the beginning. It’s in Ventura in an building that was apparently built in 1907 (according to the sign that I still need to get a picture of).

I looked at another apartment in the building that had a lot of cute mid-century touches (like black and white checkerboard linoleum in the kitchen and bathroom, and peach tile in the bathroom). But I couldn’t afford that one. I got one that is half below ground and very private, except for the laundry room right next door (which is cool). It doesn’t have the same cute touches, but it’s nice. So, to the tour!

Continue reading “Moving – Week 0”

Howdy

Welcome to the new version of Curiously Lydean. When I get everything properly set up, all posts here will be mirrored at my livejournal and dreamwidth as well.

I’m going to start by talking about my new home and the process of decorating it with a Mid-Century influence. Then I’ll be bringing back Ben-Day Spots with more comic commentaries, as well other stuff that I had planned that I never got to.

My hope is to update at least once a week. We’ll see how well that holds up.