Crawling out from under my rock

A dewberry flower, five petals, white with pale pink accents
Dewberry flower

The dewberry vines are flowering in the ditch, so it must be spring. A little early, it’s still February (because it’s leap year) but I’m not going to complain. My peach tree is also starting to bloom, pictures to come. Hopefully this stupid cold front doesn’t blow off all the flowers.

So the bupropion/buspirone combo is not working as needed, and I have made the decision to discontinue the bupropion for now. This leaves my ADHD untreated, but I’m going to have to prioritize my mental health for the time being and stay on the anti-anxiety medication until I have the spoons to make an appointment with the new brain doc at my doctor’s office. My physical health appears to be good, all my labs came back with decent numbers for once, which is a load off my mind. I’m still attempting to crawl out from under my current…episode, seasonal affective disorder, whatever it was. Feeling better, enough to have dived right into my usual spring fever, been seed prepping since last Friday. Logging my farm progress over at the site. As I tanked my progress pretty hard on that front, I’ve decided to go a bit slower at it, not intending to renew my nursery license until next year at the earliest, just gonna focus on getting plants going, setting up the beds and trellises and things, repairing the greenhouses (the wind today blew out another panel, which I found in the ditch while walking Ben Ben), soil enrichment, trying to germinate seeds that are a bit past their prime. Slowly rebuilding my succulent collection. (Very slowly, sigh. I still can’t think about all the plants I lost without getting discouraged; cleaning out the small greenhouse is going to be tough.)

Things are still creeping along on the creative front. Tor 2 is still not done, still can’t read anything, not even the slightest pretension to art stuff. It’s frustrating.

Those annoying updates…

So I have been writing on my phone for years. It started when my laptop began to succumb to old age, which meant I started using my iPad to write, and then Pages became standard on iOS, which made it very easy to switch between iPad and iPhone via iCloud, and now at least half my writing is done on my phone. I had finally got every setting at optimum for my extremely bad typing, the system was working, and though I had a few issues that bothered me, I was more or less content with the experience.

Then there was a fucking update. At first it seemed like a good update. Some of the more bonkers autocorrect quirks got ironed out, which was one of my main gripes. Like. I write mostly fantasy, and it would take entirely too long for the autocorrect to realize that yes, I am in fact typing sorcerix, and aera, and all those other weird, made-up words deliberately, and yes, I do want to use the British spelling for colour, thanks, and why are you correcting this word, a real actual word, the one I meant, even, for another similarly spelled word that is completely nonsensical in context? Like, I know track record is bad because my typing is Bad, because there is an intersection of ADHD and dyspraxia and I got stuck at a red light there twenty years ago and I’M STILL THERE GODDAMMIT but please give me tiny soupçon of credit please because I do have a decent vocabulary and pretty good spelling most of the time. So that was a fairly useful improvement, as updates go.

But ye gods. The way they handle autocorrecting now. Used to, if you backspaced after an autocorrect, it would just bring up a little pop-up with the original thing you’d typed, which you could just ignore and type in the comma, plural, quotation marks, etc etc. But now, backspacing into the autocorrected word HIGHLIGHTS the fucking word and you have to tap the screen in the text to unselect it, and if you don’t, because you are used to just ignoring the pop-up with the misspelled word, it will just fucking delete the autocorrected word/s and I fucking hate it. Fortunately for my sanity, it only does this on iPhone, but since I still do a ton of writing on my phone, it’s become a huge damned annoyance. I scoured the settings, trying to find a way to turn this off, but it doesn’t seem possible and I’m just really irritated about it.

Jelly Belly Boba Milk Tea Jelly Beans

I was shopping with my mother the other day and I found these.

A package of Jelly Belly brand jelly beans, boba milk tea flavored.

And, like many of the specialty flavors of Jelly Bellies, they were Not Good.

As follows:

Strawberry: I love strawberry flavored anything, but this tastes like they saved the strawberries in the back of a closet for a few years before they used them. Pass

Mango: I have never liked mangos. Mango flavor it depends, but like, every single mango I ever ate tasted like Pine Sol. These taste like Pine Sol by way of the mustiest corner they used the Pine Sol to clean.

Taro: I have never eaten anything taro before, but I would hope they don’t taste like purple dust.

Matcha: these were the least offensive, but as an aficionado of matcha candies, I am Not Impressed.

Thai Tea: True story, Celestial Seasonings used to make a Decaf Coconut Chai (Thai Style*) that was my favorite tea in the bag. It has been discontinued since about around Covid and I am sad. The flavor of these beans just makes me more sad, because it has none of the spiciness I remember enjoying at all. It just tastes like disappointment.

Check Your Sources, Bruh

So…I was a fan of James Somerton. If you don’t know who that is, he was a video essayist on YouTube who discussed queer media, mostly movies and television but with a few detours into comics, heavy on the history of queer folks in Hollywood.

I say was because Harry Brewis, known on YouTube as Hbomberguy, dropped a video yesterday utterly obliterating any semblance of credibility Somerton might have had. It was revealed that Somerton had heavily plagiarized nearly all his scripts from other, lesser known authors.

I was horrified. I had been following Somerton’s channel for over a year at this point. I had considered him a useful source of information, even if sometime he said things that made me kind of side eye my screen sometimes. But I try not to expect people to be perfect. I have my limits, but the older I get, the more I realize how complicated the world really is, and how some people deserve the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. I would hope other people offer me the same latitude when I fuck up, because I do. I have decades of fundamentalist upbringing that I’m still trying to overcome. Sometimes I speak before I think.

But something like this…this is not misspeaking, it’s not someone trying to unlearn our societal conditioning. It was exploitation, plain and simple, by someone who knew what he was doing. Within hours of Brewis’ video releasing, Somerton had nuked his socials, deleted his discord and Patreon, and removed commenting from all the remaining videos on his channel. Those are not the actions of someone who made an innocent mistake. The sheer volume of what he stole from other, lesser known queer writers and activists speaks quite clearly of his intentions.

The worst part of it is: this was apparently not the first time Somerton had been called out for plagiarism. It simply took someone with a better YouTube pedigree and a bigger following to make people actually listen.

It’s a terrible situation, but not a surprising one. We are all laboring under capitalism, and that means we don’t have the benefit of uncritically consuming anything, not even free media analysis on the internet. The Algorithm rewards quantity over quality every time, and we have seen time and again how people will do anything to game that system.

If there is a takeaway from this, it should be: always check the sources. In the current political climate, we do not have the luxury of accepting anything that is served to us on a digital platter as truth. Don’t be an unwitting perpetrator of misinformation and exploitation.

It fucking sucks to have to do that. I know. But if we do not hold the people who are disseminating our stories, our perspectives, and our history to a higher standard, we will continue to have people willing to bypass any standards at all in favor of slick production values, ad revenue, and societal capital.

Someone on Tumblr helpfully put together a list of the people and sources Somerton plagiarized. I reblogged it here. Brewis also posted a playlist of queer creators, at least one of whom was affected by Somerton’s plagiarism.


Took a couple days to go visit my oldest friend with my sister. We don’t get to see each other much on account of the distance, but we always have a nice, relaxing time and a lot of good food. I was worried my appetite would be too bad to enjoy that part, but I ate without any problems, so I’m starin to think my stomach issue might be partially environmental. I’ve been having issues with my fridge so that’s currently my main suspect. I’ll have to wait and see how the next couple days go.

On the writing front, I’m so close to being done with the the current project. Building up to the climax, so just another chapter or so, then the epilogue so it doesn’t end on a total cliffhanger. Despite some of the shit I put these characters through, I’m not *quite* that evil. XD