8 Feb

I am back on my cake-a-month nonsense! This time around, I am baking exclusively from Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Cakes. A recipe from this book–though I didn’t know it was from this book– was recommended to me last year: the powdered donut cake, and so far, that one, plus the espresso chocolate chip cake, above, as well as the All The Spices Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze that I made in January, have all been winners.

I have become delightfully obsessed with Lauren Rad’s elegant sock designs, and the oatmeal-colored Cromulent socks are the second pattern I have knit up! The first pair were the plummy Tiramisu socks, which I photographed blocking on what I later realized was an inadvertent altar to Arachne! You can’t see all of the spider art on this purple wall, but in addition to the spider cauldron embroidery, there is a whole wall to the right, just out of the frame, with 5 or 6 spider-centric artworks! Now that I’ve realized this, I need to make a more intentional little space here for my knits to stretch and shape themselves in a more sacred, symbolic way (but still lowkey because I am lazily ritual-averse!)

We are to the time of year where, even though I know it is only 50 degrees out, I am just freezing cold all the time. So I wear layers upon layers of clothing. I thought I might share a few of my current over-layers that I’m piling on right now.

–this gorgeous embroidered robe from Seventies Soul
–hoodie from Camille Chew
–cocoon cardigan from Jennie Kayne (try and find it on a re-sale site, though)
–lightweight pima cotton cardi from Universal Standard
–this perfect goth muppet cardigan from Sophie Reaptress
–oversized cultist hoodie from Ovate

I am currently wrapped up in Silvia Moreno Garcia’s Silver Nitrate, which is scratching my itch for characters who are deeply immersed in some sort of obsession (film or art, usually) and then there’s a connected occult or supernatural element. If you enjoyed Gemma File’s Experimental Film or Archive 81 on Netflix, you might dig Silver Nitrate.

I have also just finished an audiobook version of Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died and Josh Winning’s Burn the Negative, one being a nonfiction memoir about a former child star, and the other, a book of horror fiction about the present-day gruesome murders surrounding a former child star. I read these both at the same time without really knowing what either was about, and there were some interesting and surprising parallels. I love it when this happens, and it happens far more frequently than you might think! What was the last instance you experienced of this type of book selection synchronicity?

…and in terms of goals, I have now read 25/200 books for the year!

Time to marinate! Every month I’m selecting a quartet of fragrances from my collection cabinet and giving them a primo spot on my vanity so I can clearly see them vying for my attention! This month’s lineup includes:

Diptique Fleur de Peau  (Sarah Waters sapphic Victorian ghost lovers)
Frederic Malle Synthetic Jungle  (rubbery raincoat verdant jungle painting Stendahl Syndrome weirdness)
Nobile 1942 Malia  (a Belladonna of sadness standup comedy special scored by Grimes)
Kiehl’s Musk  (the world’s skankiest, nastiest musk, or at least a contender for the title)

And finally, I am revisiting what was probably my favorite album of 2016, the darkly euphoric electronica of HÆLOS’ Full Circle. I don’t write many album reviews here on the blog, but I was moved to write about this one; it made me feel WAYS. If a whole album feels too much to dive into, start with “Dust.

“There is a surreal stretch at the end of an evening of good times that have carried on perhaps an album’s length or a bottle too long. A half-lit, fuzzy spell between two and three in the morning where … You’re in the cramped backseat of a car, cocktail-fevered forehead resting against the cool glass of the passenger side window, your reflection too dark to see. The palm trees are towering overhead–mesmerizing, celestial giants as far away as the distant planets–and the glimmering streetlights are stars that stretch and fade to the edges of your vision like you’re jumping into hyperspace. You want to laugh at the absurdity of the imagery, but all of a sudden, and from out of nowhere, this late night is on the other side of too late. This beautiful, astronomical onslaught is too much; it’s triggering memories more terrestrial and summoning that nostalgic, aching void that’s perpetually lurking at the edges of your experience.

I overheard a conversation recently in which it was mentioned that oftentimes one forgets that words ending in “-algia” indicate some sort of pain. So while we frequently refer to nostalgia in terms of sentimental longing or wistful affection, we cannot deny the twist of the heart that accompanies it, the grief and distress that tinges it. The pain that gives definition to these wispy, amorphous moments, this euphoria we summon and cling to for far too long on evenings like this.”


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