Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Welcome to Dunwich

I’m currently perched in my favorite chair at home, which is upholstered in tapestry fabric with dragon heads carved as the finials on the arms, my laptop balanced on one knee and a teacup balanced on the other, and to say that I am happy to be home is the understatement of the damned century. My home town, Dunwich, is a gorgeous place at this time of year. When I came home to visit during the winter, the trees were unwelcoming skeletons. Now they’re fully clad in leaves so green it makes the mind spin and the mouth water. This is the place where I grew up for the most part, and just the smell of sun warmed chlorophyll sends my mind rocketing back to a childhood spent playing in and amongst the estates and the mysteries that dot Dunwich.

It’s a place with more than its fair share of eldritch secrets. Wandering in the woods can and will lead the intrepid into the amazing and the bizarre. There is the sensation that one has walked out of reality and into some parallel dimension, like the realm Ofelia supposedly hails from in Pan’s Labyrinth. Old manor houses, beautiful gardens, statues abandoned in the darkness of the woods, all can be found if one knows the way in and knows where to look. And like Ofelia or the girl from Arthur Machen’s The White People, I know the way in and have known since my childhood. Running wild in those woods provided me with a plethora of strange stories. None of them are fantastic or beyond the bounds of reality, but when you grow up with what amounts to a fairy tale world for your backyard it can be taken for granted that you will come out with some odd tales. And from those weird experiences grew the roots of my interests in so many areas, from my desire to become a museum curate to my obsession with Mycenaean Greece and the Minoan Empire.

And with that, I welcome you to Dunwich. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Next week I’m going to Innsmouth for several days before heading to the World Steam Expo. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue posting, but Innsmouth internet access can be a tad unpredictable, so don’t be surprised if there’s a brief lull in activity.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The last push for freedom

The Miskatonic school year is almost done, and I’m already starting to tear my room apart in an effort to be ready to get the hell out of dodge. Ironically enough, however, this is the one time of year when attending Miskatonic is actually really pleasant, at least in terms of climate. Spring/summer has hit like a ton of bricks, and with it comes flowers, and grass, and frogs singing at night. This place, which is such hell to live in during the winter, did a quick change into heaven in a matter of days, just in time for everyone to go home. I, for one, am not amused by the irony.

In the meantime, when I’m not packing or admiring the fine weather, I oscillate between studying diligently and watching the freakiest horror films I can get my hands on. Why horror you ask? Mostly because the jump scares and general terror in the films wears me out, providing me with an adrenaline rush that fades and leaves me thoroughly knackered. Without that exhaustion I sleep fitfully at best, and usually not at all, winding up staring at the ceiling, my brain roiling with thoughts of exams and all the information I’ve been studying. 

And in other news, I was recently deliberately not invited to a party by one of the graduating seniors. This same senior, who I will refer to as Hatsumomo, for the purposes of anonymity, was the old president of Miskatonic Film Society. She also apparently has had something against me for quite awhile according to various sources, though what exactly that something is remains rather vague. From my own perspective, I was initially very fond of her and sought her approval. This fondness quickly faded as all my attempts to build bridges met with wintry disdain on her end. Now, apparently, she has opted to exercise her waning power by snubbing me in various ways. And while I won’t say I’m not angry about it, I’m refraining from a response. If I was Maleficent, I would have the option of cursing her first born with a spindle-induced coma. If I was Iago, I could arrange a Shakespearian plot. But I am neither of those fictional characters, and I find my best weapon is just not paying it any mind. After all, she’ll be gone soon. Why waste the effort?

Finally, my exams themselves, thus far, have been some of the better ones I’ve ever taken. A student’s life is made so much easier when professors are clear in their instructions on the final and stick to these guidelines. The subject matter itself hasn’t been easy, mind you, but knowing what to study has eased a lot of the exam anxiety I usually suffer from.

So, how does anyone like the new blog? Have I made a good choice in separating my day-to-day life from my Steampunk info blog? Tell me what you think!