Regretsy 2018, First Edition

Note: This is a piece originally read aloud in May of 2018. This will be an interesting experiment to see if my writing is does justice to my delivery, which actually went over okay.

Regretsy was a site run by April Winchell that is now defunct and I miss it so I was kind of filling a void, as well.


 

For those unaware, Etsy is a site where makers of things like jewelry and other types of crafts can create their own “shops” from which to sell them. Anyone can do this and they can essentially sell anything. My descent into Etsy’s true meaning of everything has cast a dark shadow on the rest of my life. I present this to you under the name of a defunct site I miss very badly: Regretsy.

The following excerpts are based on search terms given to me by friends, who always seem to come through when I ask for stupid shit. So in a way, this says something about all of us. About the human condition. About the internet.

Teeth

A woman makes her living off of the least intriguing part of the human skeleton. I find this when I’m searching for a present for a friend, a tooth necklace, and am not nearly specific enough in my search terms. I meant shark, or tiger, or alligator—anything that would’ve kept me from seeing a full set of human teeth held together with a string. I can’t differentiate between baby and adult fully because something in my brain alerted my thumb that it needed to scroll, NOW, but I do know that she has — or at least claims to have — far too many human teeth in her possession to sell for profit.

toothnecklace

“Next time got to Jared, George, what the fuck?

 

Coconut

Nature’s true perfect resource. A short list of all of the things people can and will make out of the humble coconut

  • Bath bombs
  • Lotion
  • Homemade bar soap
  • Bowls
  • Bowls but also with cutlery
  • Buttons
  • More buttons
  • A surprising amount of intricately crafted coconut husk buttons
  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Homemade soap but made to look like seashells this time, for the guest bathroom you never use
  • Certified totally organic coconut oil “mixture” ORIGINAL RECIPE DO NOT STEAL
  • More bath bombs but this time in a set with other types of bath bombs
  • Candles
  • Aromatherapy oils
  • Vintage looking 70s coconut fiber chair and ottoman SOLD OUT
  • Coconut bras
  • Beads
  • Mock coconut bowling balls but with holes carved too large for any human hand and in a way that it looks like it is screaming at you
  • I cannot express enough the level of perfection the complete lack of any punctuation in this product description is elevated to:
  • Coconut pie recipe this is my grandmother’s but she is dead and it is delicious.

 

Bus

There’s a seller just selling sets of twenty or so vintage British bus tickets. I am ashamed of how badly I wanted to buy them. I even tried for a few minutes to convince myself that I could be a scrapbooking person, just to justify buying those goddamn bus tickets. I could pretend I’ve been places, they were so colorful—I could flash them to people and make them wonder how I was in London in the year 1979 and then just walk away.

 

Splenda

A cursory search revealed more results than expected, but taught me nothing except for the fact that if I ever hear someone refer to anyone as a “Splenda daddy” I think a vein or something will burst in my head and I hope my death is painless

“She thought she got herself a sugar daddy, but when he rolled up in his Subaru she realized she’d gotten a Splenda daddy instead.”

 

Spoon

I was going to say “it’s amazing what people will solder into spoons if you pay them enough money” but I asked the shopkeeper if they would write “fuck your cornflakes” and they said “we run a wholesome business.”

That said, a “related shop” to this wholesome business was someone selling their honeymoon bedsheets, bloodstains and all, and the product description left out WHY which is the most important part of this listing.

It was after this point that every push notification lightning up my screen that said “recommendations just for you” made my life flash before my eyes.

teaspoon

Yeah, okay, fuck off.

 

Wings

It IS amazing that there is a shop that specializes in making fake angel wings you can put on your newborn for photos that you think your family wants to see, and that you’ll never use again.

I don’t want to provide pictures of other people’s exploited newborns and you can’t possibly find this idea interesting enough to argue with me.

 

Potato

There’s a felt potato plushie that literally looks like it could be anything. The pessimist in me wants to say it looks like a piece of shit but I can also argue it could be an off-color pinto bean. Either way, it has anime eyes and little pink blush stickers and the product description has the word kawaii in it twice and also, upon first seeing it, I wanted it more than I have ever wanted anything in my life. It would be here with me today if I had the money to get it shipped from it’s dubious point of origin—a one-woman business somewhere in Italy.

(Impulse control was also a part of me not buying the anime potato, I spent a night awake asking myself how far I was willing to go for the sake of a bit, and the answer was “not to Italy.”)

I regret to inform you all of the following: in my quest to find my potato friend, I’ve come to the conclusion that he has been sold. 

sadkermit

 

Dragon

The end of my journey takes me into the realm mythical reptile we all secretly want. After all of this time looking at the multiple aforementioned abominations, this hidden realm of Etsy to which I should have never strayed, these crafts that god forgot, the only thing striking me about this search entry is that too many people who claim to be real fans of Dreamworks’ 2010 animated masterpiece How to Train Your Dragon do not know which tailfin Toothless is missing it is the LEFT ONE you AMATEURS, it’s SYMBOLISM and a key part of a fucking emotional journey, just go back to harvesting teeth

 

The Maggot Incident: The Tell-All No One Wanted

So, this isn’t about serial killers like I promised last week. It involves a mass killing of small organisms though.

In my very first post on this blog, I mentioned my two-year stint of living with the Worst Roommates Ever, as though it was a big deal. Big enough for me to mention among various other life events in my attempt to make myself seem interesting. But I must’ve been grasping at straws – it couldn’t have been that bad, right?

Well, now that I am completely moved out of that hovel, and am feeling a little spicy, I’ve decided its time for a tell-all. Even though I’m pretty sure the only people reading this blog have already heard these stories in person.

T and L, as we’ll call them, were a couple who sought roommates in 2016, and I had just gotten accepted into an MFA program in the same city. The apartment was close to campus. Good. It was furnished. Great—who the fuck wants to lug furniture from southern New Mexico to Minnesota?—so I signed.

The apartment smelled when I arrived, and every cabinet was full of T and L’s stuff already, I had to ask for half a cabinet. I realized within a few days that the pungent smell was from their cooking full dinners at 10 o’clock at night—I don’t know the dishes exactly, but they apparently required enough red onions to bother my eyes all the way from my bedroom—and proceeding to leave them out al night, put them in the fridge, and then eventually throw the remaining food away because they always made too much.

I just want to mention that we had a working garbage disposal but T, the girlfriend, regularly poured leftover soup into the garbage bag that was already full to bursting. And they never took it out – I did when I couldn’t take it anymore, and I suppose that made them think it was my job.

I don’t know what they thought their jobs were to this day.

Other grievances arose – they invited their friends over late on weeknights, where they regularly woke me up from how loud they were giggling and aggressively playing Uno. I was working at Walmart at the time and was suffering serious imposter syndrome so sometimes, with my mind clouded by sleep, I would consider what I had to lose if I got arrested for doing stuff like throwing their potted plants off the balcony.

I came back from a trip one summer to dozens of fully intact fish in the freezer. L liked fishing, but neither he nor his girlfriend liked eating fish. While trying to figure out if I should try and teach a grown man the concept of catch-and-release, they eventually tossed the fish, because apparently they didn’t know you had to gut them before you could put them in the freezer.

Also they once kept on defrosting in the sink and I screamed when I came home almost wasted to find fucking Billy Bass’ dead-eyed stare.

But the maggot incident. That was what made me nearly hurl myself over the balcony.

If you weren’t already aware, know that Minnesota summers are notably bug-heavy, as are most summers everywhere else. But it’s also gross and humid, so it’s somehow worse.

I don’t know how to deep dive into this, so I’m just going to throw a simple equation at you:

humid summer + leaving the porch door open + throwing your rotting food in the garbage = ?

Add in the variable of the only roommate who ever takes out the garbage not taking out the garbage because it’s very heavy and you kids need to learn, and you get three bags of piled garbage in the kitchen. I get sick of the stalemate and pick up one of the bags, leaking some kind of concoction from the top, and what I think are grains of rice are disturbed and fall to the ground.

They were…not grains of rice. And they were everywhere.

I’d started some kind of revolution. We went from not knowing of our little maggot nest to them crawling up the walls, across the kitchen, toward our rooms. I tried everything the internet said – salt. Bleach. I wanted to pour hot water on them but was worried what it may do to the floor. I called maintenance and got quite the lecture for that, for reasons I still can’t fucking comprehend:

Photo Aug 01, 9 14 12 PM

(yeah I was little heated but in my defense, what the fuck)

I was scraping them off the wall with an expired AAA card, stepping on as many as I could – I almost accidentally create toxic fumes because in my desperation I nearly added an ammonia-based cleaner to the kitchen floor I’d already reduced to a puddle of bleach and water. They were climbing up the handle of the mop. I was ready to fucking die.

After a day of joining forces to fix a problem they caused and I unknowingly contributed to, I managed to get to sleep. A few weeks later, spraying the dozens of surviving flies right out of the air with Raid became almost a fun game. The circle of life is fascinating.

It was complaining loudly about this horror show that got me in the room in which I am writing this blog post. No one thought I deserved to live like that, even if they suspected I was exaggerating. I guess this is the part where I turn around and thank the maggots for giving me a new lease on life but fuck you that not how this ends. Fuck those tiny squirmy bastards, I’d kill you all again if I could.

G’night.

Guilty Pleasures: Just Do the Thing, Please

Earlier in 2018, Disney Channel released Z-O-M-B-I-E-S, a musical about a cheerleader who falls in love with a zombie. A neon pink and green, Disneyfied Warm Bodies, complete with the obvious thematic naming convention of its main character – R and and Julia, meet Addison and Zed. It is poppy, upbeat, and definitely cringey. I loved every fucking second.

This probably sounds like a post about me finding my own “guilty pleasure,” unexpected gold. No. I love Disney Channel original movies. I always have. I floated the idea of a podcast reviewing them before realizing no one else my age seems to like them. You will find very few DCOMs I don’t like – and the same goes with anything in the same style. The reason for this has been something I’ve been trying to dig up for some time.

So here’s a cool segue: I am clinically depressed. I have been since I was around twelve, which was also when I was diagnosed as autistic, and a couple of years before any doctor would admit that, after many incidents hiding in school supply closets and vomiting before tests, that I might have an anxiety disorder. Regardless of the varying range of diagnoses, rest assured that I have been a disaster for pretty much my entire life.

Because I was being consumed by my own malfunctioning brain from a very young age, I realized after a while – perhaps after a few too many first-day “icebreakers” and “how would you describe yourself?” – that I…didn’t really know what kind of person I was. I didn’t know what write down as my “likes”  – I didn’t like anything. I didn’t know how to describe what made me happy – nothing made me happy. I didn’t even have a comprehensive list of things I didn’t like, because a lot of times depression isn’t the same as hating the world – for me at least, it was completely lacking any desire to be a part of it.

I’ll bury my first theory deep in here: maybe my interests are so “immature” because I didn’t enjoy them when it was appropriate, and now I need to explore this because I didn’t think I’d make it this far.

Or because a I fucking love musicals.

I really do. My family was huge on them – my brother and I wore out a cassette tape of selections from Cats, allegedly, though I think my dad probably chucked it out the window. My brother was in most school plays in some form. I tried out for Les Miz my junior year and did not get any part at all. I have an entire playlist of soundtracks from stage and screen musicals. Mostly pedestrian stuff, Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen and Be More Chill, like all the kids. But it’s fucking great. The soundtrack to Mean Girls? Iconic.

But listen – a lot of those Broadway musicals, the ones that win Tony after Tony? They’re bummers. Man, Les Miz is a bummer. Evan Hansen does not get the girl. The SQUIP might still be active and take over the world. High school still sucks. Alexander Hamilton has been dead for 200 slutty, slutty years.

And listen – I’m all for great narratives, I hope I’m writing them. I admire good pacing and exposition, I live for well thought out plots and characters. But sometimes I just don’t need ‘em. Let my brain hibernate, entertained by pretty colors and catchy songs. Let me fall asleep to the High School Musical trilogy. Let me sink into that early-2000s abyss of glitter and Grease rip-offs.

As much as I want to think they’re getting “better,” whatever that means, Disney Channel movies, especially the musicals, follow a standard beat sheet. Usually very heteronormative and mostly about high school popularity. And that’s business, I guess. Know your audience. I am part of your audience, Disney, and it’s somehow still working on me so serve it up. The only ones I can think of that really stray are Lemonade Mouth (which is based on a book I was thrilled to hear there would be a movie about) and aforementioned Z-O-M-B-I-E-S. The former has the benefit of pre-written source material to grab from, while the latter just pleases me by having the main couple actually communicate and be supportive of one another, and not relying on a big misunderstanding or lie as the hinge that holds the movie together.

Would I have liked it better if it was a little gayer? Yes, but I can say that about a lot of things. I could write a full dissertation on why everything could be a little gayer, that doesn’t make this musical zombie romance less enjoyable.

Nothing is really holding it together, to be honest, it’s a mess, but I will defend it with my dying breath.

Formula does not have to be bad. I stand by that. If  you like it, like it with reckless abandon.

We, as human beings, all have a comfort zone, and sometimes retreating into that zone for a little while (say about 90 minutes) is okay. You should obviously be striving toward self-improvement, be working hard, but dude you can’t be always on. I would not have survived my first two years as an MFA student if I had to act like I wasn’t a fucking weirdo, if I hadn’t begun starting conversations at parties with “hi, I’m socially anxious but I need to branch out, how are you? I’m terrified right now.”

Be true to yourself, because in the end you’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your damn life. Are you going to be sitting in your easy chair at 70 wishing you’d analyzed the HSM trilogy a little better? Or are you going to just know that Ryan is definitely gay, and that they only paired him with Kelsi in the third movie is because people kept saying either that or that he and Sharpay banged on the reg, and that he should have ended up with Chad, but you also like Taylor so there should be some healthy polyamory going on but everyone in 2006-2009 was a fucking coward? Those are the stories you pass on to the grandkids.

Anyway, that’s kinda it. My next post, after I move, will probably be about serial killers or something.

–Brynn

The Journey Begins

I can’t decide if “journey” is an over- or understatement. I’ll leave it up there. Its ambiguity kind of makes it art.

I’m Brynn. I’m a fiction writer, monster enthusiast, and the girl at the party who’s not even two drinks in and already wants to talk to you about serial killers. I’m a queer disabled woman who should, at this point, have a unique perspective of the world, but I’m still adjusting the lens and can’t get it to focus. Until I fix that, I’ll blog.

Listen, I haven’t blogged since Xanga was a thing. If you think I haven’t scoured the internet for a way to implement a cursor that leaves a trail of sparkles as you rush to turn off the cranked up anime theme* I’d definitely set up just to knock your eardrums back into 2006, you’re only half wrong — I googled it, but was too lazy to do anything requiring more brain power than copy and pasting. Guys, I didn’t even change the default title of this post, you need to be aware of the kind of vibe I’m going for here. Keep your expectations low and we’ll all have a good time.

I’m in grad school, writing, adulting, dating, and all this mess needed was a website. I have wisdom to share. I have ranked every coffee shop in Mankato, Minnesota by the flavor profile of their chai tea lattes. I’ve suffered through two solid years of the worst roommates ever. I had a three day adventure with a found cat. I grew up in the goddamn desert. I have moderate knowledge of how html works. I can pay four dollars a month.

…Wow, that paragraph makes it sound like I actually do quite a bit with my life. Can my first order of business be to send this to my mom?**

Anyway, it’s 12:30 AM. And I made a website. My bedtime is never.

Later days,

–Brynn


*The anime theme would be Houkiboshi by Younha, the 3rd ending theme from Bleach.
**This is a joke please god don’t send anything I write on the internet to my mother