• Martha Iserman

March Stuffs

Did you guys know that February was last month!!!??!!! Of this year!!!???!!!



Seriously though, the Tool concert feels like it was 2018. A month ago feels like a simpler time, because it was! I still want to share some of the things I've experienced in March, though most of it is from the comfort of my studio surfing the world wide web.


Dive in kids! The water's fine....


We're all stuck inside and trying to find things to pass our time, so here are some of the things I've been messing with.


Books


We were talking about disappointing Scifi movies while hiking with our guests last month and the movie Annihilation came up. The movie isn't terrible, it just seemed to have a lot of elements that never really paid off. They suggested the Southern Reach book series by Jeff VanderMeer that the movie is based on and oh man, I'm glad they did.

A strange landscape has appeared on the coastline, separated from the rest of the world by an unexplainable barrier. An organization called The Southern Reach is tasked with exploring this area and determining is origins, and over decades has been sending multiple expeditions into Area X, to varying degrees of success.

I can't say much more about the books, not really due to spoilers, but more because it's just so hard to describe. VanderMeer takes some big leaps with these books, especially when he gets to Acceptance, and I loved every page. If you're a fan of grounded Scifi with a human center, or even just magical realism (with a touch of Lovecraftian world-building) you'll enjoy this story. I read all three in a week. I also can't decide which book cover designs I like best!



YouTubers



These two are my comfort food. I can put this channel on when I'm feeling down (or anxious because we're devolving into a dystopia) and they'll cheer me up. They're the two best friends they don't know I have. They're drag queens Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova and their youtube show UNHhhh.


They're loud, honest, and hilarious. Definitely Not Safe For Work content, but to me, it's chicken soup for the soul. Each episode they ramble about a topic (Hair, Fame, High School, Food etc) and the result is 10-15 minutes of randomness, kinetic editing, props, and free-association. The content can turn pretty raunchy, so if you're homophobic... then stop reading my blogs and get a life honestly it's 2020 I don't know what to tell you, grow the f up and evolve already...



Both queens are originally from RuPaul's Drag Race, but I think they really shine in their projects together. Trixie is the self-proclaimed 'Skinny Legend' who's all about makeup, the color pink, and country (she's a very accomplished folk musician)...

And Katya (aka The Only High-Class Russian Whore), is a mountain biking vampire witch from the future.

Their chemistry is amazing and they work off of each other perfectly. Trixie has a documentary (Moving Parts now on Netflix!) that covers the year she wins Drag Race Allstars and tours with her new country album, but it also features the day that Katya spirals into a drug relapse and almost ruins their partnership and friendship. It's a heartbreaking and honest portrayal of their struggles that will tear at your heartstrings.

"sobbing..."

Spoiler: They makeup in the end and are back at it with new episodes on Youtube! If you want to start with a slightly tame version, they also have a youtube show called "I Like To Watch" where they review Netflix shows. Both are great, and both bring me a little bit of sunlight during these dark times. (Try this recent episode about Nature first if you're new to them.)



Podcast


I've mentioned them before, but The Daily Zeitgeist is the first podcast I listen to every morning.

It's a simple premise. Jack O'Brian (the former founder of Cracked.com) and Miles Gray go over what's trending in America's hive mind.

America's Dads

Each episode includes a summary of the day's news, with commentary by a guest comedian. Lately, due to the apocalypse, they've been recording via skype from home and have had on my favorite 'Girl Whom Is Boss' Jamie Loftus.

Mensa's nightmare

Side Story: I was introduced to Jamie via the Daily Z when she was talking about her pet leeches and Miles asked her how many she owns and she replied "I have as many leeches as times 50 Cent got shot" and from then on I was hers.


Anywho, they have great takes on politics, pop culture, music, and MLMs and they also have the most FIRE akas in the game. If you're getting tired of the news, but still want to know what's happening in the world without pressing an ice pic to your temple... try The Daily Z.


Music


I don't have a particular musician that I'm listening to right now, but I have noticed a theme to what I'm putting on repeat on Spotify. It's generally upbeat, kinda world-music inspired, and usually a little groovy. Here's a list. Maybe you'll like some of it?



Nircisc0 by Rina Mushonga

Get Free by Major Lazor

Frontier by Holly Herndon

Paspatou by Parra for Cuva

Purple Hat by Sofi Tukker

Nausicaa by Fakear


It's not the deepest music list I've made, but I think I just need some beats that are easy to listen to and make me feel good right now. If you feel the same check them and out! Also, share with me... I need new tunes!!!

Projects


And Finally, I'm going to humblebrag about a project I just finished. I decided to try painting one of my detailed insect watercolors, this time at a much larger scale. Last night I finished this Purple Winged Grasshopper after about 65 hours.


It's about 20in x 17in which makes it the biggest bug I've ever painted and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'm planning on doing other insect specimens in a similar way. First I'm going to have a drink and let my eyes rest for a day or two....




So that's March 2020, the year alien historians will be studying in the future as the month everything got real. Please share any music, books, podcasts or other content that you think I might like. We need to be sharing people!!!


See you next month (hopefully)




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