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All these places I’ve been December 3, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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Nova wanted a post about the places I’ve lived! So here’s the executive summary. (Hopefully vagued-up enough to avoid identity theft.)

I was born in…


…where my parents lived for the next three years. I don’t remember any of it, but I do blame its influence for the fact that I really, really like cheese.

Then Dad got a job in…


Mom worked for a while too, but my understanding is that Dad’s job was the driving factor. He’s the one still working at the same place.

A couple of apartments, one of which I have the faintest memories of, then the house in the suburbs where my parents live to this day. Nothing too elaborate (if you remember the neighborhood from Desperate Housewives…yeah, all those houses are at least twice the size of ours), but nice and stable.

Lived there until…


Four years spent mostly in middle-of-nowhere rural MA. Interspersed with a semester abroad in the outskirts of Canterbury, New Zealand, which was great.

After graduation, a friend who was studying in Boston needed a housemate (shoutout to Katy), so I packed up all my stuff for good and moved to…


Spent the next eight years going through a string of apartments, and housemates, and low-paying temp jobs, in the Boston area. (In the middle of this I went to grad school, though you wouldn’t know it from my employment history.)

For the most part I deeply enjoyed it! Met awesome people, followed cool opportunities, felt generally comfortable in the culture.

But the rents kept rising, while my income kept…not. Then 2016 happened, when my vote (among three million others) didn’t matter because of where I lived. And, you know. That sucked.

I considered moving back to Wisconsin. It’s a swing state, there would be a nice feeling of coming-full-circle about it, and I would get to personally vote against Paul Ryan. But then came offers of support from family members, which were pretty hard to turn down. Which is why now I’m in…


As of this writing, still crashing at my aunt’s place. A planned short-term stay turned (by mutual agreement) into a medium-term stay. I’ve officially shifted into apartment-hunting mode, though! This post will be officially out-of-date by some time in January. (Barring any unforeseen complications. Knock wood.)

(December talking meme.)


*massive sigh of post-moving-to-Cleveland relief* May 31, 2018

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I made it!

Staying at my aunt’s apartment in Cleveland, which is in a building tall enough that I can see Lake Erie from the window. All the boxes I shipped ahead of time have arrived — they make a surprisingly small pile in the corner of one room.

My parents showed up for the last few days in Boston, so everything I own that isn’t here is in the trunk of their car. Another couple trunkfuls of stuff went out on the front curb — books, dishes, still-half-full bottles of shampoo and body wash, lamps, fans, two entire cupboards’ worth of unbrewed tea.

All the furniture also went. For a while I was thinking about hiring movers for a few things, but finally decided to let it all go, including the couch I brought all the way from Baltimore and have been napping on since middle school. (It’s the one all the cats have sat on.)

The next-door neighbor complained about all this stuff being outside “when trash pickup isn’t even until next week.” Meanwhile, a regular stream of people came by and took things they wanted. (Guess what race/gender the neighbor was. Guess what race/gender most of the picker-uppers were not.)

My two housemates each cleaned their own rooms, but, for various reasons, made no effort to help with the kitchen or bathroom. (Or return rental equipment, or put general-house-use items on Craigslist, or…I could go on.) So, while Mom focused on helping me pack the last round of boxes, Dad basically scrubbed the whole apartment. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them.

And then…at last…to the airport! It had one stop after Boston before continuing on to Cleveland — same plane, just a new flight number — but I guess the computer hadn’t figured that out, because I had to haul my stuff off, get my boarding pass re-scanned, then turn around and haul it right back on.

Didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. Didn’t get any sleep on the plane, either. Every time I closed my eyes I saw half-packed boxes.

But now I have slept! And eaten. And restocked on conditioner/deodorant/etc from the local CVS. And programmed my webcomics to allow admin access from this IP address.

So far…so good. (Knock wood.)

Book Giveaway, Part 2 April 29, 2018

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It’s another round of “multiple people are moving and need to downsize in a hurry” book giveaways! All you have to do is cover the cost of shipping. (They ship from within the US, so bear that in mind if you’re not.)

Comment to claim the title(s) you want, and you can send me a shipping address by email or PM.

Giveaway will close on May 6, at which point I’ll donate whatever’s left.


The Grace of Kings – Ken Liu (autographed!)
The Snow Queen – Joan D. Vinge
The Pains – John Damien Sundman
Mindscape – Andrea Hairston
Misery – Stephen King (well-loved)
Venus, Inc. – Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth (ditto) (hardcover)
Off Limits: Tails of Alien Sex – anthology (hardcover)
Four Ways to Forgiveness – Ursula K. LeGuin (hardcover)

Children’s Fiction

The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish – Neil Gaiman
The Wolves in the Walls – Neil Gaiman
Crazy Hair – Neil Gaiman


All The Fishes Come Home To Roost – Rachel Manija Brown
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Introducing Psychology: A Graphic Guide
Standing Alone In Mecca – Asra Q. Nomani


Art and Artists: New Yorker Cartoons from the Melvin R. Seiden Collection
The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, volumes 1-3

How to Draw Manga

From the (translated) Japanese series. Lots of good tips and reference poses.

Getting Started
Illustrating Battles
Colorful Costumes
Bishoujo Around The World
Dressing Your Characters in Casual Wear

Book giveaway? Book giveaway! March 23, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom.
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Same deal as the previous post — comment if you want anything, cover the cost of shipping, and it’s yours!

Everything is paperback, and in nice condition, unless otherwise noted. If you have questions or want a photo of something specific, just ask. I’m not planning to leave this open for long (no later than March 31) before passing on everything that hasn’t been asked about, so make it fast.

And please share this post around for other people who might be interested!

Neil Gaiman

Mirrormask (w/Dave McKean) (hardcover)
Black Orchid, volumes 1-3 (w/Dave McKean)
Sandman: The Dream Hunters (w/Yoshitaka Amano)
Creatures of the Night (w/Michael Zulli) (hardcover)

Kendra L. Saunders

The Unlove Spell
Dating an Alien Popstar
Inanimate Objects

How to Draw Manga

From the (translated) Japanese series, don’t worry. Lots of good tips and reference poses.

Getting Started
Illustrating Battles
Colorful Costumes
Bishoujo Around The World
Dressing Your Characters in Casual Wear

Misc. Fiction

Misery – Stephen King (well-loved)
An Abundance of Katherines – John Green (ditto)
The Skies of Pern – Anne McCaffrey

Misc. Nonfiction

Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher
The Psychology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained – DK (hardcover)
Alex & Eliza: A Love Story – Melissa de la Cruz (hardcover)

Misc. Comics

Steven Universe – Volume 1
Steven Universe – Too Cool For School
Lenore (Roman Dirge) – issues 1-4
Lenore (Roman Dirge) – issues 5-8
Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall


Sailor Moon dolls & merchandise giveaway March 22, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom.
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Giving away a bunch of Sailor Moon dolls and figures! I’m gearing up to move cross-country (for the second time), so I’m trying to downsize.

Here’s who I have:

…You can tell I wasn’t exactly a dedicated collector, huh.

See your favorite character here? Need one more figure to round off a set? Just feel like some subset of these will make your life brighter? They’re all free to whoever calls dibs on them first.

(All I ask is that you cover the cost of shipping.)

Chibi figures: Serenity, Endymion, Naru, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Usagi, Sailor Moon. Some are a bit scuffed, but they’re all really adorable.

US Bandai 6″ dolls: Princess Serenity, Sailor Chibi-moon (wand & Luna-P), Sailor Neptune (wand & mirror), Sailor Pluto (wand & Garnet Rod), Sailor Moon.

Japanese plastic figures: Sailors Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Moon, and Mercury. Unfortunately, Jupiter’s left arm has not been seen for more than 10 years. I might still have the original packaging for these five in a drawer somewhere — let me know if you’re interested and I’ll try to dig them up.

Pin set: Sailor Moon face, Season 1 brooch. These are actually good as new! Never removed from the packaging.

ETA: Almost everything from the original post is claimed! So I hastily pulled together the rest of what I have around the house, and here it is…


Wallscrolls – Inner Senshi, blue background and pink background. As long as you don’t mind them being a bit wrinkled.

Lunch box – Fair warning, this is very scuffed. I used it for the intended purpose for at least a year in middle school.

Trading Cards – Inner Senshi, first-season forms. Take the set!

Plastic figure – she’s not from Sailor Moon, she’s a lone item from Victorian Romance Emma who snuck in. Feel free to claim her, though.

Sailor Chibimoon poster – Not shown because it’s actually wrapped up somewhere well-packed. It’s the Eternal Chibimoon pose from the cover of the manga rerelease, and it’s a little smaller than the wallscrolls.

Package backing – in the upper right. I fully expect to end up recycling them, but hey, maybe someone wants a set of cute bookmarks.

Notepads – Starlights/Inners, Super Moon, and Super/Eternal Inners.


Comment with whoever you’re interested in!

(…and to the people saying “everything”, you gotta be more specific. Sorry I didn’t say that upfront. The problem with only doing this once every 5 years is that I’m not great at being organized about it.)

You can send your shipping address by email, sailorptah at yahoo dot com.

I’m also giving away a bunch of books, so take a look through those while you’re here!

bits and bobs September 12, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup, Personal.
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Speaking of girly series: there’s a legitimate stream of Marimite season 1 being uploaded on YouTube. Go; look!

In slightly belated memoriam: the failmeme has a thread for 9/11 fandom memories. (Sidenote to those of you only reading the blog: I’ve been collecting interesting threads from this anonmeme on my journal for a while, all tagged under the fail is marching on.) Which in turn included a link to Salon’s “spectrum of improper responses”, a compelling read.

RL update: Have applied for one job, and found four places that aren’t hiring. IKEA furniture is all built, and walls are starting to be decorated. A few of my posters are displeased with the situation; they keep trying to roll back up, ripping themselves off the wall in the process. Have been eating mostly out of cans and boxes, with the occasional Proper Meal as prepared by roommate. Plan for tomorrow: attempt actual cooking.

Moving: tomorrow. August 25, 2010

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Is there a new trend of twentysomethings having trouble breaking away from their parents, settling down, and starting careers?

Is taking it slow after college and dabbling around a bit a longstanding tradition which today’s fast-paced graduates might benefit from appreciating?

The lease on this apartment is a year long. Am I going to be able to hack it on my own-ish?

Why can’t I have one big nervous breakdown and get it over with, instead of this long grinding slog of background anxiety?

Am I going to get “Oh Bright New Day” unstuck from my head any time soon?

ONCE MORE WITH FEELING (Free Music Edition) August 20, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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Final ETA: Claiming is now closed.

One more round of giveaways, this time CDs. Same deal as before: pay shipping, they’re yours; call dibs by Tuesday, or they’re gone; first come, first serve.

Here’s the list!

Backstreet Boys, Backstreet Boys
Backstreet Boys, Millennium
Barenaked Ladies, Born On A Pirate Ship

Britney Spears, Oops!…I Did It Again (I REGRET NOTHING)
Chris Cagle, Chris Cagle
Clay Aiken, Measure Of A Man
Evanescence, Fallen (I STILL REGRET NOTHING)
Goo Goo Dolls, Gutterflower

Jo Dee Messina, Greatest Hits
Relient K, The Anatomy Of The Tongue In Cheek
R.E.M., In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1999-2003

RENT: Original Broadway Cast Recording (2-disc set)
Rod Stewart, The Very Best Of Rod Stewart
Shania Twain, Come On Over
Van Halen, The Best Of Both Worlds

Wicked: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Wildest Dreams, On Our Way (Christian; I have no idea how I ended up with it)

Final ETA: Claiming is now closed.

Cue the opening chords of “Happy Working Song” here August 17, 2010

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My entire preparation-for-moving room-cleaning-out everything-must-get-dug-out-and-boxed-up process can be distilled as follows:

1. Why do I even have that?
2. But it’s so pretty…
3. (repeat ad nauseum)

(No, that isn’t the end of the post. I have more thoughts anyway.)

~Anybody have ideas for who would be interested in a (mostly-)complete collection of Time magazine going back several years? My library’s said they would just recycle them. I object.

~The sheer amount of dust on my display shelf (it wraps around three walls of the room, about a foot from the ceiling) boggles the mind. It coats everything; it wafts off in drifts. My Sailor Mercury doll came away with two-toned hair, blue at the bottom, grey at the top.

~I’ve added a few more books to the big list of giveaways. New section is at the bottom. As before, if you’ll pay for shipping, they’re all yours.

~A box under my bed contained several Very Important Folders…of college admissions paperwork. It’s not the last untouched-for-years box I have to sort through. I predict the recycling is going to be overflowing this week.

~I sure hope this all fits in the truck.

Books! (Limited time offer; act now!) August 14, 2010

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Final ETA: Claiming is now closed.

I’m in the process of clearing out my room (in preparation for Actually Moving, for the first time since I was three, to an Actual Apartment), and have a whole bunch of books to get rid of. So I’m offering them up, for the low, low price of…basically, if you’re willing to pay postage, they’re yours.

Claiming is first-come, first-serve. Condition ranges from “new” to “relatively good”; if you want details, just ask. Anything that hasn’t been snagged after a week will be hauled off to the library or The Book Thing, depending on where I feel like driving that day.

Leave a comment here or shoot me an email to stake your claim. (You’ll probably be emailing me at some point anyway, as I’ll need an address.)

The list: