• Bridget From Guilty Gear is Trans
    It came out of nowhere, the reveal that Bridget from Guilty Gear is transgender. One of the most famous “femboy” characters in video games suddenly has gone through an actual gender transition, and y’know what? That’s kind of swell. Obviously, I always want games to strive for LGBT representation, so this makes me pretty happy. Nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering. It’s a little disappointing that the only characters who actually gender transition in video games seem to be the ones who were already androgynous or had other gender issues around them for years. It’s honestly probably guilt on the part of
  • A Moody Gay Spotify Playlist For You
    OK google, play me like she did… The title of a Spotify playlist I made a couple months ago and continually add to. Whoever knew making moody angsty music mixes would be so much fun? This is probably an utterly milquetoast blog post to discuss a random playlist I made once. But I guess it’s different for me, because I’m a weirdo who barely ever engages with popular music. We’ve been over this before. So it’s even less of a surprise that I have hardly any Spotify playlists that were “built” in the same way as “OK google, play me
  • I Admit It… I Love Cinnamoroll
    Cinnamoroll is adorable and great. I refuse to be ashamed about this from now on, so I will announce it loud to the world around me. I love Cinnamoroll! In some circles, I would be called a heathen. Or, as Sanrio Characters fans call us, a cinner. But I don’t care. I am a basic bitch, and I am proud to be one. Especially because I fell in love with this stupid dog rabbit thing purely by accident. See, I had a nice Catbug wallet I got on clearance from We Love Fine (now By Fans For Fans), and that
  • Nintendo Power Metroid Covers
    Now it’s time for a very short post on Nintendo Power Metroid covers. My last post was all about Nintendo Power as a whole, but now I want to get more specific, and feature all the Nintendo Power Metroid covers. No commentary, really. I just thought it would be a nice way to show how the magazine’s style changed over 25 years. How American pop culture changed, really. So let’s look at all the Nintendo Power Metroid covers. As always, check out Retromags for all the covers and full magazine downloads. Did you enjoy seeing all these Nintendo Power Metroid
  • Nintendo Power Ends [2012]
    I really miss Nintendo Power. It’s almost entirely just nostalgia for the magazine era, but I don’t care. I can have nostalgia when I want, and nobody can tell me otherwise! Sure, Nintendo Power got replaced by Nintendo Directs, just as newspapers got replaced by sanity-destroying-algorithm-based social media feeds. Instant, easy access to information is generally just better than waiting a month for a rumor mill update that already passed by anyway. But just… I don’t know. Getting monthly installments and articles to pour over is part of my ultimate lifeblood. The fun columns, the curated features, the reviews, the
  • Adobe Acrobat is Evil
    I probably don’t need to tell people that Adobe Acrobat is evil, but I’ll tell you anyway. Adobe Acrobat is evil! So I needed to sign a very important document, just needed to edit a single document. PDFs already are a bad format that I dislike a lot, but they’re so ubiquitous that I can’t do anything about that. Editing them should be as simple as anything else, and yet… that’s not how the world works, so you have to get specialized software. I didn’t happen to have anything installed, so I went and tried to get the most common
  • My New 2022 Blog Posting Schedule
    I’m going to revamp my 2022 blog posting schedule. There’s nothing any of us can do about it, least of all me. Although, first, I have to openly admit that I’ve got to stretch this thing. SEO really prefers if posts are 300+ words long, and I’ll get nowhere near that without a lot of finessing, finessing of the highest caliber I might add. So, as I prepare to tell you my 2022 blog posting schedule, I’ll leave you to wonder: What might my post’s focus keyphrase be? The SEO will be very strong with my 2022 blog posting schedule,
  • Decluttering: How Do I Actually Do It?
    I have always been bad at decluttering. I am, in fact, a bit of a pack rat. It’s a family trait passed down through the generations, and one I find impressively difficult to manage in myself sometimes. But now, as I’m preparing to move to new housing within the next month, I am forced to face the truth: If I don’t do decluttering very soon, I’m screwed. As of yesterday, I had to move out of my home I’ve lived in for two years, and the city where I’ve lived for four. Add in the stuff I inherited from predecessors,
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi Review
    Obi-Wan Kenobi review time, here we go. (I also wrote this on Letterboxd. Please follow me on Letterboxd! I have cool lists!) I have very mixed feelings about Obi-Wan, and there’s so much about it that doesn’t work, that irks me, that I’m not sure I can give a full thesis behind why I didn’t love it. I didn’t love it; I barely even liked it, as a whole. That’s crazy! This is me we’re talking about, the person who loved Book of Boba Fett, and nobody in hell loved that show besides me.  There were points in Obi-Wan when I
  • Karaage Pepsi… Hmmmm
    Karaage Pepsi is the newest thing in Japan. I love gimmicky limited time drinks. A combination made in heaven, and of course great fodder for clicks on my blog thanks to powerful SEO from people who desperately need to know: What the heck is karaage pepsi? Pepsi has had many limited time flavors in Japan over the years. But what about this one? Indeed, I am still unsure about what exactly is karaage Pepsi even now. Well, anyway, I drank several bottles in order to taste test all this… FOR YOU, dear reader. Yep, it’s perfectly clear all right. How
  • I Am So Utterly Busy
    I am so utterly busy indeed. It’s been crazy these last couple months. I’ve had probably 3 days with no errands, no meetings, and nothing scheduled… since early May! What with moving preparations, with my last weeks at all my schools, with job search and interviews and financial struggles, with meeting up with friends and going to my last social events in Aomori… It’s just too much for my little brain to handle. Normally, I cook at least one big meal a week, usually curry, and save it to eat the rest of the week whenever I don’t want to
  • Tanabata School Lunch
    Today was a good old holiday, and at work we ate Tanabata school lunch. It’s the same thing as every year, but this is the first year where I’m imminently leaving my job while eating it. So it’s a lot more memorable than usual. I haven’t posted a lot about my job on my blog. Until now, it’s mostly just been when I travel to weird places in Japan. Part of that is for privacy reasons, both for myself and of course for my workplaces. I’ll post a little bit more after I’m well and moved, but for now, we
  • Just to Let You Know I Have an Akari Figurine Hidden in My House
    Followup to my previous post about Akari & Me, this time about my Akari figurine. An omake blog post, if that makes any sense. I’ll do bonuses sometimes! Back when I studied in Nagoya for a year, I bought a few cheap anime figurines from Off House, the local secondhand store. One of those was an Akari figurine! Nothing special, just one of those ten dollar little plastic things you win at the arcade. However, there was something special about the dorm I lived in–I was not alone. There were a few other YuruYuri fans here too! Unlike my university
  • Akaza Akari & Me
    It took me a long time to realize why I always felt a great connection to Akaza Akari. But I think I’ve finally accepted the truth: I don’t have very much presence most of the time. WTF is YuruYuri? Before my self-reflective rambles, I guess you’re wondering who Akaza Akari is, because you aren’t a weeaboo dork like me. Well, she’s ostensibly the protagonist of the anime and manga YuruYuri, an ostensibly lesbian anime about middle schoolers who ostensibly run a club together. Basically a cute and wacky comedy story about dumb kids. But in the show’s cruelest joke, the
  • Clay Models in Video Game Promo Art
    Clay models in video game promo art. I love this stuff. Isn’t it great? It’s honestly pretty silly looking back that you have these simplistic 8-bit or 16-bit graphics, and the way you think you can accurately represent that in marketing is by making some clay models of the characters. It’s surely expensive enough that 2D art, or even live-action actors, surely would have been a more sensible option. But all these years later, and I look at the clay promo art for video games as some of the coolest stuff ever. Just look at all of this:
  • Let’s Celebrate Pride Month 2022…?
    Pride Month 2022 is supposed to be a great time all throughout June. But how well can we celebrate it this year? Has the cynicism and corporatism finally caught up to the biggest celebration of LGBTQ+ rights in the world? I don’t know. Probably? I sure don’t feel in the mood like 2 years ago, when I premiered that whole crossover comic strip. (You should read it.) I feel more in the mood that Pride Month is just another shopping holiday for companies to market themselves without making real statements. Like, remember Disney? The company that did jack about the
  • I Didn’t Post in April…
    For the first time in my blog’s entire history, I didn’t post for the entire month of April 2022. Gosh, that sucks. Lately, it’s been a single post every month, though, so it’s not like it’s been active anyway. But now thanks to strange creative burnout and a busy schedule, I finally missed my first month. I’d say sorry but I don’t think there are exactly avid readers of every blog post I make, so the only person I am sorry to is myself for not getting to post new reflections and rambles. Anyway, how are you? I’m good. My
  • Riposte [GL Reviews #3]
    [GL Reviews #2, for Riposte. Check out all my other GL Reviews here!] [There’s a Spoiler Discussion section at the bottom of the review; other than that, the review will be spoiler-free.] Believe it or not, this is my first Etzoli fiction. I’ve been on Royal Road for something like three years now, and it took me all the way until 2022 to finish any of her stories! Obviously I’m going to read a whole lot more, though, because Riposte seriously made me happy every time I read it. An underrated gem you need to try out immediately! I’ve said
  • Rainbow Destructor, Now on Amazon
    Hey y’all, my old web serial from 2017’s been edited and released on Amazon all of a sudden! Buy Rainbow Destructor or read it on Kindle Unlimited! If you didn’t get a chance to read this one before, now’s a better time than ever. If you enjoyed Thedude445 books like Her Golemancer Girlfriend, Systemless, or The Gay Gatsby, then Rainbow Destructor will absolutely be for you as well. If you did get a chance to read this before, please leave a review on Amazon! It helps tremendously. Seriously, reviews have massive impact, which also makes me realize I probably should have put this up for preorder for a couple
  • Gay Gatsby Audiobook!
    Now there is a Gay Gatsby audiobook for you to devour immediately! Go buy it and share it with your friends! I really hope this reaches a lot more readers now that it’s in a brand-new medium. With the Gay Gatsby audiobook, there’s a whole new swath of people that can experience Nick Carraway’s story, and I’m really excited about it. The audiobook is narrated by Keith Yeager, who is already world-famous for such works as Experimental Wuxia Novel. Please buy, please enjoy, and please spread the word. And while you’re at it…
  • On Creative Burnout
    I’d felt creative burnout before, but never like this. Never the feeling of mental exhaustion and absolute doneness that I’ve had since around October. It’s definitely Golemancer that I’ve burned out on; turns out posting chapters daily for almost 3 months and the story falling way short of expectations can hurt. But it’s not just Golemancer; it’s practically anything creative at all that my brain’s just been annoyed to think about the past few months. I haven’t written any decent blog posts since mid-October except the Katalepsis review, which admittedly was pretty awesome actually. I haven’t written any Systemless even
  • Katalepsis [GL Reviews #2]
    [GL Reviews #2. Check out all my other GL Reviews here!] [This review contains spoilers below the “SPOILERS AHOY” section—all chapters up to 15.2. If you want to stay completely safe from spoilers, read the unspoilered version of the review here.] Overview Katalepsis is the best web serial going on today. End of review. Wait, don’t actually go! You don’t even get to see the Best Girl tier list! Okay, anyway. Yes. Katalepsis is a fantastic, astounding, stupendous, wonderful, sublime, eye-popping, wowzers-level good story. It’s recommended to almost any audience, almost any web fiction reader—ESPECIALLY if you’re into the whole
  • Deleting My Tweets
    Today I’m copying Ryan North and deleting my tweets. As a sentimental crotchety hoarder, I always hate the prospect of scrubbing stuff online. I like being able to search parts of my life at any given moment, and giving future generations a chance to stalk me and develop an amazing parasocial relationship with me. But with Twitter? Nah. I’m deleting my tweets because unfortunately that stuff matters. People get fired over tweets they made many years ago. Public images are formed over this kind of stuff. And I tweeted just enough not to know what stuff was in that account.
  • Ambitious Farmhand: Secret Non-Binary MTG Card
    I don’t know much about Magic: The Gathering Lore, but I know one thing for certain: Ambitious Farmhand is totally non-binary. Just look at this card! Ambitious Farmhand! And on its other side, it transforms into… It’s.. This random decent uncommon from the newest Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is something nobody is talking about. It’s good for draft, and maybe for budget human tribal decks, but it’s extremely unflashy. A small, mildly useful effect, then a transformation into a mildly useful creature. It’ll probably get used in like, 500 EDHRec decks and get reprinted in Triple Masters XXL 2025. But I
  • ATL is Finished (Temporarily)
    ATL is over, and I won’t write it again for a while. (Please fill out the reader survey.) A tougher decision than I’ve ever had to make as an author. I love this series, and I love Morgan Harding, and I know there are some dedicated readers out there for the series. It was barely 1/4 of the way done, too. But.. ATL can’t continue in its current state. As much as I love it, there’s just some really big problems that need to be fixed. Number one, readership plummeted to near-zero. Thanks to long hiatuses and inconsistent posting, most
  • The Saintess and the Villainess [GL Reviews #1]
    Like I said in my previous post, I’m doing GL reviews now whenever I finish stuff and want to write about it. Please check out every story I feature here if they catch your interest! The first book is, of course, The Saintess and the Villainess by Teddy Asplund. — [GL Reviews #1] The Saintess and the Villainess Review We get a familiar setup: A lonely young adult, Anne, meets Truck-kun and enters a brand-new world… Or, rather, the world of the book she was in the middle of reading. Only this time, our lead is a butch lesbian who’s
  • I’m Non-Binary
    I’m non-binary. Today is October 11th, National Coming Out Day, and I wanted to celebrate it by talking about my gender identity openly for the first time. Until now, I’ve never come out publicly. It’s a very private thing for me and I’ve been uncomfortable talking about it, but recently I’ve come to realize that I absolutely need to. The world deserves more people discussing their experiences, so I’ll add to the list.
  • GL Will Be More Popular. Someday.
    A short ramble about the fact that GL will be more popular. Someday. Definitely. I was just looking at Tapas and found that, currently, if you list their free novels by popularity… Well, 41 of the Top 50 are BL or M/M. Dudes who kiss other dudes is ridiculously popular on the internet as a whole, because more women read web novels than men. Heterosexual romance is popular too, especially on Wattpad. That, then, leaves GL as the smallest and least popular type of romance.* (*Romance with nonbinary characters, or polyamorous relationships, that kind of thing are even more niche,
  • Bowsette Reader Survey
    Hey, it’s long time no see for an update on this fiction. The Glory of Bowsette reader survey I hope you’re still in the Bowsette world, three years since the meme took the internet by storm. The way this story exploded was so intense it still feels like a blur to me, and this wasn’t even a fraction of the popularity that other Bowsette fan material got. It was just THAT big a deal in September and October 2018. Over the years, a lot of people have asked for a Glory of Bowsette sequel, and I can neither confirm nor
  • Just Love Me
    I remember the first time you disappeared. The sun crept through the blinds—you know, those blinds I said I’d replace for two years—and speckles of light beamed against the bed, across your back. I pulled up the sheets to get myself in a comfier position and wrapped my arms around you. You let out a purr-like sigh. Whether or not you were awake, I didn’t know. As long as I had you in my grasp, that was all that mattered to me. The fluff of the pillow against my ear. The blue light of the TV we forgot to turn
  • 2010s Retrospective Update
    It’s been almost a whole damn year since my last time dong a 2010s Retrospectives Update. Guess what? I’m still not done with these silly blogs. The previous blog post said that I’d try to finish things up by December 31st, 2020. Clearly, that didn’t happen because I still have a ton of blog posts left to write and release. This isn’t an apology, of course; I just like writing these for fun, and more content is better for readers anyway. But it’s still kinda quintessentially Thedudeian that I started making these blog posts as a short project, and it
  • Cultivine Retrospective
    Man, Cultivine was a story, wasn’t it? It really was a story, that’s all I’ll say. It transcended its badness to become something that was stupidly enjoyable to most readers, and gained way more success than anything of its caliber deserved. Even though it finished way back in March, I still wanted to give a little bit of insight and honesty into its extremely stupid existence. Let’s reminisce about that time when the vine invasion of Royal Road had just begun…
  • Her Golemancer Girlfriend – Now Posting!
    My newest web serial, Her Golemancer Girlfriend, is now available for you to read on several different websites. Here’s the synopsis: Visit Fleettwixt! Enjoy its state-of-the-art mana trains, its sky-high towers, its diverse cultures, and of course its countless golems waiting to do your every bidding. Life in the capital city is a paradise… …But that paradise comes at a great cost. Enter Amelia Bluewood. Half-human, half-golem. All fury. A hometown in ruins, a girlfriend missing without a trace, a system malfunctioning. She’s lost everything, but now, in Fleettwixt, she has a chance for revenge, a chance for answers, a
  • Skaianet Systems Incorporated – Humor Changes [2019]
    In Janaury 2019, Skaianet Systems Incorporated launched. Homestuck’s tenth anniversary was coming up, and so was its infamous epilogue, which meant some viral marketing was in order. Enter the Skaianet website. Things went awry, as they always do when it comes to What Pumpkin. The website is still accessible, as of this writing, but now it It’s a cheeky callback to the original comic and its early days, before the dream bubbles and God Tiers and teen relationship dramas. It’s nice but small. Secretly, though, the site was filled with easter eggs, including some extensive, insane backstory kept secret from
  • Martin Shkreli, America’s Villain [2015-2018]
    There were a couple nice years where the entire United States had a public enemy number one: Martin Shkreli. His company jacked up the price of HIV drugs by thousands of percent, and when questioned about it he basically laughed it off. Instead, he went on social media and became a shitpost memelord king. There’s nobody in the world more universally hated, who also got so wide a platform to project his views. I mean, this dude got summoned to Congress for a publicity stunt for politicians trying to get reelected in 2016. Then it backfired spectacularly when Martin Shkreli
  • Web Content Creators & The Sound of Silence
    There’s that wall web content creators know all too well: The engagement void. You’ve posted your first song, your first chapter, your first art, and it gets a resounding nothing. You keep posting, and start wondering if there’s anyone out there enjoying your work. Maybe you’ve got friends or family, but is anyone, ANYONE discovering it, discovering you?
  • Who Is My Blog Audience?
    Huh, I wonder who my blog audience is with all these posts. I’m approaching 150 posts written for my Thedude3445 website. Some of those are story updates, but most are blog posts. Random topics covered in my usual rambling style and then given an obligatory SEO-friendly gloss of paint to make sure they show up on Google and Bing and whatever. (On that note, let me say “blog audience” again since that’s the keyword here.) Why do I write them?
  • Learning About Buses
    It took until 2017 for me to actually understand buses. I don’t know; there just weren’t buses anywhere I lived, not in any relevant capacity. I rode the school bus for 10 years and then took the university bus one year at college, but that was basically it. Even when I studied abroad in Nagoya, I only used one specific bus route; I got on at the first stop and got off at the last. So until I moved to Seattle in 2017, there wasn’t really a chance for me to get to know the dang things.
  • Web Fiction Woes
    I’ve certainly been feeling the web fiction woes lately, I must admit. Writing itself hasn’t become the issue, definitely not. I wrote over 30,000 words of fiction in June, and I feel great about it. I’ve got two ongoing web serials, plus a new one coming extremely soon. I’ve published over 1,000,000 words in the past three years, and that’s something I try to never forget. It’s really cool! But even so, I’m stuck in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction. Part of it I can’t control, and the other part I maybe can, but at a cost.
  • Dredd 2 Never Got Made [2012]
    Dredd 2 is dead. It was never even a real possibility, as much as we campaigned for it. But the first Dredd movie released in 2012 was such a phenomenal smash that it’s almost criminal that we never got one. What everyone thought would be some low-scale, low-budget, low-effort sci-fi B-Movie turned out so much better! Dredd was a pretty standard buddy cop-esque affair, with Judge Dredd and his new rookie partner getting trapped in an apartment complex and forced to fight their way out. It was a mix of Die Hard and The Raid, so you generally knew what
  • The Curtains Were Blue For a Reason
    I’ve always hated that “curtains are blue” meme. You know the one, or else you can see it in the featured image above. It was a really popular little quote a few years ago. It reached the point where, when people learned of my Writing major, they’d reference the meme to my face! And it still happens occasionally. And the worst part about it is that the meme is complete garbage. The Curtains Were Blue Indeed It’s sort of annoying on its own, just as something reposted endlessly as a sort of sage knowledge. But the fact that it’s blatantly
  • Nintendo Direct: A Sinister Formula
    I watched the 2021 Nintendo Direct from E3 today. Despite rock-bottom expectations and a waning interest in the gaming hype machine, I still woke up early to see what Nintendo would announce. My expectations were still not met. Why did I wake up early and bother to watch this? I knew it was going to suck, and it really did. It’s not as bad as the disastrous E3 2008, but it’s worse than the infamous 2015 Nintendo Direct (at least that showed new games!). In a way, it’s probably nostalgia for those years of my life where E3 was like
  • My Smartphones [2011-2018]
    I’ve had a lot of smartphones and mobile devices over the past decade. For some reason, I’m going to list them to you so you can kind of see a sort of snapshot of how my life progressed as technology changed (and as I ran into some quite odd situations). Surprisingly, I didn’t break most of these! I mean, I didn’t break most of these.
  • Moviepass: A Temporary Bliss [2017-2018]
    Remember when Moviepass existed? How awesome was that! If you don’t remember or are reading from the future, Moviepass was a movie subscription model. Only, it worked, like, incorrectly. The model worked like this: You pay a monthly fee to get a special credit card. You apply on the app to see a movie at a certain theater, then buy the ticket with that card. Then bam, it’s free. One movie a day, so up to 30 movies a month if you’re tenacious. At first the price was steep, over $40 a month. But something happened in 2017—the price dropped.
  • I Pronounce Prose Incorrectly
    Prose. Today I learned something very important about this very important word: The S is voiced. Pronounced like a Z. It’s [pɹoʊz,] not [pɹoʊs] like I’ve said it basically my entire life. I feel like a major, massive idiot, especially when I’m a writer. When I have a degree in Writing & Linguistics. When I’ve gone to writing conferences, and when I teach English. Somehow, throughout literal decades of using and discussing this word, I have completely overlooked the fact that the word rhymes with hose, not morose. And I’ve got to say, I’m feeling pretty morose right now, myself.
  • To All the Friends I Never Talk To
    A short letter to the people I never talk to anymore: It’s a real bummer. I’m not very good at keeping friends for a long time, and I know it’s my fault. Sometimes I just spend all the mental energy I could be putting into long-term friendships and instead put it into, I don’t know, memorizing Star Wars planet names. One second, I’m talking to someone all the time, and then the next second I realize I haven’t heard from them in months. I’m really bad at this… In the age of instant messaging, it should be easier than ever
  • Angel Beats… Why Was This Crap Popular? [2010]
    Angel Beats sucks. Like, it’s really awful. A 3/10 trainwreck and that’s if I’m being generous with my scores. Nothing makes sense in this stupid show, all the characters are one-note stereotypes, and the attempts at tragedy are so over-the-top they make me literally laugh out loud. Anyone watching the show in 2021 would surely say the same. Just recently I watched Angel Beats with friends, one episode a week for a couple months, and we had a riot just riffing on every groan-worthy attempt at emotion and every idiotic plot twist. I recommend it for all those who seek
  • Thedude3445’s New Posting Schedule
    Thanks to The Gay Gatsby, a few unreleased/unannounced projects in the works, and real life issues, my posting schedule has been erratic so far in 2021. Sorry about that! That’s all about to change. I’ve finally crafted a whole new posting schedule, and hopefully it will last the rest of 2021. I’m taking my work slow, and I think that might annoy some people, but it’s the best way, I think:
  • Zack Synder Trilogy Marathon Reviews
    I watched the Zack Snyder Trilogy of DC movies back at the end of March, and I thought I’d share my reviews for all three here. Normally, I post my reviews to my Letterboxd diary instead of my blog, but these ended up super long. So I’m posting them here too:
  • The April 27th, 2011 Tornadoes [2011]
    On April 27th, 2011, my town of Ringgold, Georgia was destroyed by tornadoes. Ten years ago this week. I was sixteen. Close friends had houses destroyed, and several classmates lost their lives. It’s hard to understand the kinds of tragedies that befall communities until they happen to yours, and even now I’m not sure I’ve fully processed it. My high school was heavily damaged. My old middle school was mostly destroyed. The very places where I spent most of my teenage years no longer existed at all. Even the local diner named Chow Time got wiped out. Nobody was prepared
  • Tower of Arnold: New Fan Fiction
    I’ve written a new short fan fiction called “Tower of Arnold.” It’s a satire story about everyone’s most despised character from the hit Royal Road serial Tower of Somnus by CoCoP. Arnold Jacques is a young, pretty rich young man with a really big heart and an even bigger libido, and he’s not afraid to show it. The original story is a cyberpunk action story about an intergalactic VRMMO. This story is a drama about one really nice guy who just can’t get all the girls to see him. I must warn you, though; this story does have some elements
  • RSS Feeds: Let’s Defeat the Algorithm [2010s]
    Automated curation sucks; let’s replace it with RSS feeds. Yeah, I’m saying we should bring back a protocol so outdated and underused that Google shut down its own service for it back in 2013. I’m saying that we desperately need to switch to a less elegant, less convenient system, because social media is poisoning our lives. (Yeah, that’s an over-simplification of a big degree, but it’s not like people are really disagreeing here…)
  • Earthbound Goods: A Collector’s Dilemma
    These Earthbound goods are torturing me… For the 30th anniversary of the Mother series, Itoi Shigesato and his notebook company Hobonichi have been releasing tons and tons of merchandise! I use Hobonichi Planners every year already, so when it was time to order a new one for the new (Japanese) year on April 1st, I couldn’t help myself… I bought a bunch of merchandise! There’s just so much of it. Some of it’s stationery-related, like calendars and paper presses and stuff:
  • Cultivine is Now Out
    I have a brand-new web serial that’s sure to be blowing your universe the heck up: Cultivine. I wrote the entire thing as part of a Vine Challenge among authors on Royal Road: Write as many words as possible in 24 hours, and center the story around vines. I wrote Cultivine in two sessions, and got about 16,000 words each time. It’s really bad. Phenomenally terrible in every way. And if you enjoy my more, um, performatively lazy fiction, you will LOVE this one. Cultivine is a xianxia cultivation progression fantasy based on Chinese web novels, with one twist: I’ve
  • Last Chance to Read Gay Gatsby on Kindle Unlimited
    Heya, just a quick news update about The Gay Gatsby and Kindle Unlimited. It’s been out for a little over two months now; while it still gets a few purchases every week, attention has mostly trailed off by now. One experiment I ran, though, is now coming to an end–I won’t renew The Gay Gatsby’s enrollment in Kindle Select, which means the book will no longer be available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. It ends March 31st! If you don’t know, Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service for Amazon users that gives access to countless thousands of ebooks to
  • If I Made A Thedude3445 Star Wars Trilogy
    Sometimes I like to wonder, what if I made a Thedude3445 Star Wars Trilogy? If I were given full creative control over my favorite popular franchise, what would I do? This is all purely hypothetical since it would never, ever happen, but I like to imagine it anyway. Let me take you on the journey of a hypothetical Thedude3445 Star Wars Trilogy I proposed in 2019, and hopefully win you over a bit: The Gist of the Thedude3445 Star Wars Trilogy So the main concept for me is the idea of a generational saga.
  • Web Fiction Sites: The Mega List Directory
    Hey, want to find some web fiction sites? Last year during the early days of the pandemic I made a list of as many web fiction sites as I could find, to help readers find new stories to read (and to help writers find new places to post). Now that it’s 2021 and the scene has changed a bit, it’s time for an update! I’ll be defining “web fiction” broadly here. It includes prose stories, webcomics, and interactive browser-based fiction. As long as it’s available via a web browser or app, it’s not solely 18+, and it’s got lots of
  • The Gay Gatsby Round-Up: The First Month
    The Gay Gatsby is now one month old; let’s do a Gay Gatsby Round-Up. Yay! Thanks to all of y’all at the #GatsbyArmy, the book has sold over 65 copies in its first month. That’s an astounding success for an indie book with no real marketing and that was kept a secret all the way up until days before release. It even got mentioned in the friggin’ New York Times! Holy crap! It’s also got a couple really amazing reviews already that warm my heart to read. Look at some of the compliments the book’s received so far:
  • What Happened to Midnight Releases? [2010-2013]
    Midnight releases were a hallmark of nerd culture. Besides Black Friday sales, what parts of the non-nerd world cared about midnight releases? Pretty much nobody. As I covered vaguely in my post about camping out for the Wii U, I used to love this stuff. The shared sense of excitement and fandom for stuff that everyone loves. The staying up late pointlessly and getting kinda sleepy. The chance to be one of the first people in the world to experience something.
  • Goodbye, Tumblr [2018]
    Tumblr died in the stupidest way possible: Porn. I really just don’t get it. I didn’t use the site much, but it was doing fine. Then they banned adult content and just like that, the entire community vanished in an instant. I know about the app’s imminent de-listing from Apple and Google’s app stores due to restrictive policies. I also think that that’s a huge, major issue with mobile devices that we’ll need to seriously discuss in the 20s. But it still had a website; it was idiotic to fundamentally change the “free speech heavy” aspect of the site just
  • Death Waltz (UN Owen Was Her) [2010-2011]
    The Death Waltz… was NOT the Death Waltz. This debacle was one of the dumbest things to ever come into internet lore. One of my favorite examples of the stupid viral memetics of our fast-paced culture over the past ten years. Have you heard of the Tragedy of Flandre Scarlet the Wise? It’s a story the mainstream media wouldn’t tell you… mostly because it’s really stupid. But your decadal guide Thedude3445 shall tell it to you. First, it started with weird Japanese shit.
  • Greg Orman Dashing My Faint Hopes of Independent Candidates [2014]
    It’s probably that I was just a naive child, but I was really rooting for Greg Orman in 2014. Here he was, an independent candidate with a real fighting chance against Pat Roberts, an emblem of the swampy D.C. establishment, primed to become our third independent Senator after Bernie Sanders and Angus King. The polls were favorable for him, and the Democrat dropped out of the race altogether. Greg Orman was a pretty interesting candidate at the time, not beholden to either major party and campaigning on platforms that people would actually support, rather than on whatever the national party
  • The MSPA IRC [2011-2013]
    One of the weirdest things in my entire life is that, for something like two years of my life, I was active on IRC message boards—the MSPA IRC. In the 2010s! (For the youngsters: IRC is “Internet Relay Chat” which means, basically, Discord/Slack chats except way clunkier and low-tech.)
  • Marvel’s Heroic Age [2010]
    Right as the decade began, Marvel Comics’s most ambitious storyline to date (and possibly ever) came to its epic conclusion. The Heroic Age was upon us. And I truly mean epic in the literary sense. This story has no specific name but I’ll call it the Marvel Dark Age. It spanned six years, with a dozen or more crossover events and hundreds upon hundreds of comics. It took the Avengers from a dying brand, soon to be replaced by the Ultimates, into a modern superhero team. And just in time, too! Because Disney had literally just purchased Marvel Comics months
  • Waiting for the Wii U [2012]
    Sometimes I did some pretty crazy stuff as a kid… such as camping out for the Wii U. Yes, I was That Person who camped out for video game consoles—two of them, in fact. The Nintendo Wii in 2006, and the Nintendo Wii U in 2012. The latter one’s what we’ll be focusing on here; honestly, the experience was one of my main transitions into adulthood.
  • Bowsette: The Wholesome, Adult Internet Phenomenon [2018]
    I may be biased, but I love Bowsette. (Featured image taken from here) The character, the meme, the stories made… Bowsette was and is one of the best pieces of internet culture created in the entire 2010s. It combines a weird self-parodying sense of irony with nostalgic silliness with queer positivity with fetishizing suggestivity… So many factors all swirled up into someone who is likely the #1 most famous fan character ever created. Despite the massive deluge of porn and the innate sex appeal of the character, I’d honestly call Bowsette one of the most wholesome and friendly internet phenomenons
  • Home Clipart Animal Deer [2015-2016]
    Sometimes I forget that, before the Quinlan Circle, I ran a web fiction website for almost an entire year: Home Clipart Animal Deer: Where Literature Goes to Die. And, certainly one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had.
  • Happy 2021! The Gay Gatsby is now released.
    Howdy to you, and happy 2021 (in most time zones at least), the Year of Our Lord In Which The Gay Gatsby Finally Comes Out. This is going to be a brand new great year that will almost 100% be way better than the quite awful last twelve months. I’m pretty optimistic about it! And even if the year ends up being less than stellar, at least we’ve got a spiffy new book coming out right on January 1st, which is to say right this instant: The Gay Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal classic goes public domain at this exact
  • My Favorite Music of 2020
    Here’s a list of my favorite music of 2020! 2020’s been a rough year for a lot of pop culture, but the music has been pretty great. I’ve found a few key albums that have really blown me away this year, so I’d like to talk about seven of my favorite albums of the year. Like my Best of the 2010s article, I will keep this limited to some select criteria: 1. Full albums/EPs only, no singles (sorry Michael) 2. No soundtracks (sorry Eirik) 3. Only one album per artist/group. (sorry PROTODOME) With that out of the way, let’s dive
  • One Year With Beatrice & Emi
    It’s been one year since Hands Held in the Snow began serializing on the internet. One year since Emi and Beatrice first laid eyes on one another and our beloved narrator asked us, was it love at first sight? It feels like an eternity ago. That’s kind of what 2020 was generally like, though. I started writing the book over three years ago, and now it’s finally out for everyone to see, for the world to read and hopefully fall in love with just like I did writing it.
  • The Obamacare Pajama Boy Poster [2013]
    The Pajama Boy is back. Look how far the world has come in seven years… I bet you completely forgot about the “Pajama Boy” hubbub and I’m very sorry for reminding you about it. But some things must be drudged up for us to lament on our far-too-recent past. All that happened was an Obamacare-affiliated organization tweeted out this picture saying it was cool and acceptable to talk about and sign up for health care this Christmas season, back in 2013. Just some jolly, vaguely-hisptery dude enjoying himself. And people were PISSED OFF.
  • Scary Games for Kids (Creepy!) [2010s]
    Before Tiktok, before Fortnite, before anything else that our our Generation Z siblings got super into that is hard for me to understand, came the rise of scary games. It’s not that I don’t understand horror video games or creepypastas for anything like that. It’s just that the culture surrounding them, the fandom and shipping and overall obsession, baffles me completely. Scary games for kids, which absolutely exploded throughout the 2010s, are really the first true evidence of a generational gap between Millennial and Generation Z, and I don’t think it has been explored nearly enough so far.
  • The Internet is Not Permanent [2010s]
    They say what you post will last forever, but it’s not true: the internet is not permanent. It’s weird when I think back to the fact that a large portion of my youth has been erased. Only scattered snapshots and faded memories remain. Well, I understand that for generations past, this is pretty normal stuff. You grow up. Your life changes. Then there isn’t much frame of reference for your younger years except when you meet people who lived it too. But it’s all the opposite of what they said back when the internet age first started: everything you
  • YOLO, Shutter Shades, and Rapid Pop Culture Shifts [2012]
    Man… pop culture has changed a lot since the YOLO Swag days. LMFAO was a big deal. Shutter shades actually existed. Jersey Shore was a big deal. American culture was, for a brief period, transfixed strongly on the obnoxious spray tan Miami beach white rapper excess aesthetic. It was the most ridiculous period ever. Or was it? Was this whole cultural period ever embraced with any true sincerity? Or was it all done with a sense of irony and silliness?
  • The Poison of Easy Research – My First Smartphone [2011]
    I received my first smartphone in July of 2011. Everything changed. My First Smartphone My family had just received a large windfall of money from the government, so I got a top-of-the-line LG Revolution (it was pretty bad) and got a hand-me-down car after I passed my driver’s test shortly afterwards. In just a couple weeks’ time, my whole life had changed. But only in retrospect do I realize that. It’s flabbergasting to think that, ten years ago, smartphones were not actually that popular yet, and the technology was still in its infancy with slow 3G speeds and clunky apps.
  • McKay’s, Cheap DVDs, and My Path to Becoming a Film Lover [2013-2015]
    For decades of my life, Mckay’s (also known as McKay Used Books & CDs) was my home away from home. The best spot in all of Chattanooga, Tennessee. For as long as I can remember, the bulk of my entertainment goods came from this store, a place that sells books, comics, video games, music, board games, figurines, and practically everything you can think of that qualifies as vaguely nerdy. The vast majority of my books came from either McKay’s or the Scholastic Book Fair, and it was mostly the former anyway. First, It Was Video Games
  • Walt: In Memory of My 1987 Oldsmobile [2013-2018]
    This post is dedicated to Walt, my second car. (A 1987 Cutlass Ciera Oldsmobile, if you wanted to know.) The History of Walt: My Oldsmobile My first car was some 2001 Nissan Spectra or something like that. Nothing special, just a very old car with a billion miles on it and the kind of thing a poor kid gets when they get their license and the family really needs them to be able to run errands. But after a couple years, it was clear that we didn’t have enough vehicles at home. My grandfather had a van to use, my
  • One Year of 2010s Retrospectives
    It’s been an entire year since I first started the 2010s Retrospectives Series. There’s already been nearly 70 different posts in that time, covering topics as varied as my teenage histrionics, to queer representation in media, to the web fiction community, to Jeb! Bush, to bizarre internet urban legends. I hope you’ve enjoyed them so far! I certainly didn’t expect for the series to last as long as it did. But I kept getting more and more ideas for posts, and I wanted to share my reflections with the world. We sure did a lot of stuff in the 2010s,
  • The Ever-Present Life of the Monogatari Series [2009-2019]
    Okay, including the Monogatari series in my 2010s Retrospectives is kinda cheating, since the books started in 2006 and the anime started in 2009. But it was a phenomenal success that shaped the entire anime industry throughout the 2010s. And it’s worth mentioning when we look back at the decade. It was REALLY influential! The premise of the entire series is simple: Characters’ mental illnesses manifest in supernatural form. And each story plays like a weird teen mystery novel. Simple, but ripe for a billion entries in this extremely long series. (Extremely long and extremely strange to follow through: Use
  • Content Creators I Stopped Following [2010s]
    There are a lot of web content creators I used to follow. Back when I was younger and had more time to devote to passively keeping up with internet celebrities and pop culture websites and all of that. With declining free time and increasing standards, there are several places and people I followed quite regularly that I’ve completely abandoned over the last ten years. Here’s a few of them, and you might notice a common theme…
  • Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Alita Battle Angel [2019]
    Alita: Battle Angel rules. It’s a great movie! The story is ridiculously silly and moves along at an exhausting pace as it attempts to cram twelve TV episodes’ worth of content into two hours. The world is gorgeous and textured, while the action sequences are top-notch. And Alita herself is one of my favorite action movie protagonists in a long time! It may be hard to keep up with sometimes, but Alita is absolutely worth your time. The movie ended up losing money at the box office, but it performed at a best-case scenario for a February release for a
  • Ranked Choice Vote Works! Maine 2018
    Finally, finally, a success for Ranked Choice Vote in the United States. After decades of struggling against the disastrous first-past-the-post voting system, we finally get a real step towards voting that actually works. (Seriously, first past the post is horrible, and stuff like the 1998 Minnesota Governor Election shows exactly why. Only five states—Washington, California, Louisiana, Georgia (<3), and Maine—avoid this massive problem that has plagued the country for ages.) Finally, in 2016, Maine approved instant runoff voting for all its statewide elections—or, in other words, Ranked Choice Voting. And in 2018, we finally saw it in action for the
  • Artificial Shortages of Every Single Nintendo Product Ever Made [2012-2019]
    Here is a brief history of Nintendo’s undying love for artificial shortages. Nintendo got cocky from the Wii. It sold out really badly in its first Christmas season; nobody could get one, and everyone wanted one. It created a fire that fueled the console’s amazing success in the years to follow. Possibly thanks to its incredible scarcity, the Wii quickly took off to become the second-best-selling console of all-time. So when the Wii U stalled out of the gate and did NOT sell out in Holiday 2012, Nintendo apparently took the lessons of the Wii’s success, assumed that scarcity was
  • Living in Florida: The Month of S [2018]
    I didn’t plan on living in Florida, but somehow it happened. If you want to talk about really badly planned events that went extremely well, you want to talk about the time in 2018 when I moved to Florida for a couple months. Waiting for JET Because I had just gone and assumed I’d be accepted for the JET Program after applying in 2017, I decided not to renew my lease in Seattle. I would quit my job at the end of May 2018, then spend time with my Dad’s side of the family, then my Mom’s side of the
  • Perhaps You Should Donate on Patreon
    Did you know that I have a Patreon? Or, rather, the Quinlan Circle, of which I am a member, has a Patreon? Maybe not, and if you didn’t, let me tell you the reasons you should donate some of your money to the cause (because there are a great many): The Quinlan Circle provides hundreds of hours of free content every single year, in every medium and genre imaginable. Whether it’s teen romance or dry comedy or thriller, whether it’s web novels or webcomics or blogs or music albums, you can expect tons of Quinlan Circle stories. Every donation we
  • Jim Henson’s Accidental Farewell: Secrets of the Muppets
    I finished The Jim Henson Hour the other day, and came across one of the final episodes, a mini-documentary titled Secrets of the Muppets. It’s not likely you’ve seen this show. It’s not even that likely you’ve even heard of it. It aired in 1989, billed as a true successor show to The Muppet Show a decade later, and lasted just one season. Twelve episodes were produced, but only nine actually made it to air in the United States as scheduled. And due to rights issues stemming from the sale of the Muppets to Disney, much of this series will
  • The Making of Barty Anderson 4 [2015]
    Many years late, here’s a making-of look at Barty Anderson 4. More than anything I have made thus far in my life as a storyteller, Barty’s Brew-Ha-Ha 4: Tale of the Legend of the Crystal Chubacabra [sic] is the thing I am most proud of. My masterpiece, one that debuted five years ago today. (first off, if you want to read further, you should probably watch the original Barty Anderson movies by the Brothers Hussie, Byron and Andrew. I’ll embed the entire series playlist below.) And then Barty 4 itself can be watched here:
  • I Went to Jesus Christ’s Grave (in Japan)
    So, bored one weekend recently, and forced to social distance and go only to the least-popular attractions in my region, some friends and I decided to travel to one of the most odd spots in the entire world… Jesus Christ’s Grave, in Shingo, Aomori. You may recall I once went to the Kogarashi Shrine in Shizuoka last year and had a very interesting experience with an odd, out of the way, beautiful location. Well, this one was a pretty similar experience, but for different reasons. It’s… a pretty interesting place. Wikipedia tells all (but so will I later in the
  • Fixing Rise of Skywalker – I Love It, But I’d Change It [2019]
    Today, I’m going to be writing about fixing Rise of Skywalker. This post may make me disliked from multiple different corners of Star Wars fandom at once, but here it goes. Aside from the perfectly-passable-but-weightless Solo, it’s not a tough statement to say that The Rise of Skywalker is the worst (live-action, theatrical) Star Wars film. Maybe Attack of the Clones or The Force Awakens are kinda close, but it’s pretty clear to me that Episode IX is the least artistically accomplished, most flawed of the Skywalker Saga. But I still love it anyway. Rewatching the movie in preparation for
  • Star Wars Episode VII Actually Exists… Think About That [2015]
    We live in an era where Star Wars Episode VII actually exists. It’s hard to imagine now that, at the beginning of the decade, that wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind that that would ever come to pass. Okay, maybe the absolute biggest turbo-nerds had kept track of all those offhand comments by Mark Hamill where he said George Lucas once wanted him to play the old man mentor character in a new Star Wars movie decades in the future. But for 99% of the population, Star Wars was a finished franchise, at least until the inevitable remake sometime
  • Fant4stic Goes to… (pfft) Denny’s [2015]
    Remember Fant4stic? No? Meh. They don’t really do fast food and junk food tie-ins with big blockbuster movies that much anymore. That was very much a product of the 90s and 00s, and after the first Avengers movie in 2012, you hardly saw it outside the inevitable Star Wars brand tie-ins, which are universal constant. I’ve always wondered why exactly that is, but then I remember how Fant4stic went. Their tie-in with Denny’s was just… Geez…
  • Obama x Romney Fan Fiction: The Nostalgic World [2012]
    Oh boy, a post about Obama x Romney fan fiction! I wonder how big the target audience for a post like this will be. I can’t believe how much simpler a time it was for politics back in 2012. It felt like there was really something boiling under the lid, something about to spill over and really harm the country. Of course, that feeling ended up proving true in 2016, when the forces under the surface of the prior election cycle became the ultimate symbol of chaos and division for the United States. But in 2012, it was kind of
  • Super Mario Bros Z Episode 9, and the Slow, Tortuous Death of Fan Projects [2012]
    Nerds of a certain age are highly likely to have seen Super Mario Bros Z. If you liked video games and had internet access between the years of 2006 and 2009, you either watched Super Mario Bros Z, or at the very least heard about it. There is very little on this Earth that exemplifies the late 00s more than a Newgrounds flash animation crossover of Mario and Sonic filled with anime fight scenes and chugga chugga guitar tracks. However, this isn’t an 00s Retrospective series; this is about the 10s. And the only relationship with the 10s Super Mario
  • [2013] An Attempt at Summer Internet Seclusion
    Did you know I took the Summer of 2013 off the internet? An internet seclusion, one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish in the modern age. I don’t know why you would know that… It’d be kind of weird if you did. But, and this is extremely weird to say, but after I graduated high school I made the firm decision to avoid the internet for a whole two months because I thought it would help me spend a lot more time with friends and family before I went off to college. My High School Summers I spent most
  • Hibike Euphonium and Actual Anxiety over Queer Baiting [2016]
    I hate queer baiting. I hate it even more when good shows do it, and Hibike Euphonium baited like a champion. What I’ll talk about here has already been covered very well by other authors and summarized quite succinctly in some quite biting memes, so I’ll be somewhat brief about my feelings on Hibike! Euphonium and what its decision to queer bait the audience meant to me. I think Kyoto Animation is for sure one of the best animation studios in the world today. Even when they make work far below their usual standard, it’s still mediocre at worst. To
  • Spaceballs
    As part of the Quinlan Circle’s first DVD Challenge (Sign up for our Patreon to vote for movies to make us watch!!), I watched Spaceballs, an old childhood favorite of mine for a couple years. (Here is Joi Massat’s own write-up on the movie.) I hadn’t seen it since something like 2005, so it was a very odd experience revisiting it for how well I remembered almost every single scene. It played out exactly how I remembered. Actually, aside from understanding all the sex jokes and making me realize I was not old enough to watch this movie at all,
  • Super Mario Dance Bros., Irony, and My First Semester of College [2012-2013]
    This is not a 2010s video. In fact, everything about it reeks 00s—All-American Rejects, Windows Movie Maker, 3D modelling and animation done by a teen in the pre-Gmod, pre-Blender era, and that overall since that a video like this could only ever have been created while George W. Bush presided over the U.S. But Super Mario Dance Bros., one of the all-time greatest videos on Youtube, is part of the 2010s Retrospectives Series not because its own creation but because of what it created in me. Watch the video for yourself and watch what happens to the rest of your
  • ATL Season 2 + Pride Month Celebrations
    Two big updates: ATL Season 2 has started!!! The ninth story, The Dial-Up Demon, is now out, all thirteen chapters. The posting schedule for this season is going to be a bit different than Season 1’s three-times-a-week clockwork style, which I hope will be better for y’all binging types. You can start reading here! Chapters are gonna be… vaguely monthly. I’m only going to release updates when they are ready, and when there’s a sizeable enough chunk that it’ll be worth it. I stole this idea from Alexander Wales and I hope it helps. Second news… Pride Month is underway!!!
  • The Beginning of Lord of the Rings
    I started listening to the audiobook for the first Lord of the Rings book this morning, marking the first time I’ve ever read (?) this extremely famous book trilogy. And aside from watching half of Fellowship in 2011, I haven’t seen any of the movies since probably 2004. So this is an extremely fresh experience to me! It’s also bizarrely, uh, not widely appealing in the beginning, to put it politely. The first forty-plus minutes of this book, and it’s still in the Shire with Bilbo’s party and all his relatives. Bilbo just disappeared right when I stopped the book.
  • Story Status Updates + Info
    I realized it’s been a while since I made a blog post, let alone one that gave an update on what I’ve been up to. So I thought I’d make a brief summary of some of the things you might not be aware of in the world of Thedude3445: First of all, ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture Season 2 is starting very soon! On June 16th, to be exact. If you haven’t caught up on the adventures of Morgan Harding and friends, now is the perfect time. I don’t think I mentioned it on this blog before, but as a
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