Letters from Somnolescent

 

Author: mariteaux


December 6, 2019

A Year Under the Bulb: An Ode to DreamHost

mariteaux

As you might be aware, when Somnolescent first got a web presence, it did so under a little site called Neocities. (No link, doesn’t deserve it.) As casual web hosting, it’s…fine. It’s hard to get excited about its lack of features, its style-over-substance presentation, how broken it really is, the abysmal Supporter’s plan, and especially its community, but for just getting a website online, it’s okay.

For our needs, Neocities wasn’t about to satisfy. We needed something sturdier, something with a better featureset, better support, and people who give a shit at the helm. The search didn’t last long, and the choice for us was pretty clear: only DreamHost would do. And we love it.

Over the past year, we’ve had nothing but good things to say about DreamHost. It’s been able to support nearly every little venture and idea we’ve had so far, and we’ve had many. Frankly, for what we get, it makes Supporter’s look like a ripoff. Come, as I rave about getting far more than you pay for.


November 23, 2019

End it Someday: Looking Back on With the Lights Out

mariteaux

With the Lights Out

It’s been 25 years, 7 months, and 19 days since the death of Kurt Cobain. You might remember him as the singer and guitarist for Nirvana, who later ended up trying pellet-flavored Pez in his greenhouse. He’s pretty much been canonized as the last great rockstar, and eh—I don’t care. I love Nirvana, but I don’t care.

It’s also been 15 years since the release of a little three-CD-one-DVD Nirvana treasure trove of B-sides, live tapes, and rehearsals came into the world. With the Lights Out was the first official look into the home demos and leftovers that went into producing Nirvana’s three proper records. It’s a fascinating little document with a lot of history—and a lot of flaws.

Join me as I ramble about my history with the boxset, its highs, its lows, and where I think it sits in the Greater Nirvana Canon as a Sacred Text or something.


November 2, 2019

How the Goldfish Man Changed My Life

mariteaux

The day I swapped my album for two goldfish

My stepmom had a bookshelf CD collection when I was little. Young spergs have active imaginations, and I was no exception; album art was everything to me at 5. I probably spent more time staring at the cracked out, surrealist album covers and being confused, fascinated, and terrified than I did listening to anything at that age. (Redman’s Malpractice, whose blobbily-proportioned cover guy is still unsettling to look at, is a prime example of the weirdness I found in there.)

Of course, I knew just enough about CDs to know what they were for, and just enough about our family’s Athlon-based Windows XP machine to be able to listen to the odd album or two. Somewhere down the line, Counting Crows’ This Desert Life fell into my lap. It was bound to catch my attention; it had a man with a fishbowl for a head on the cover, how could it not? What wasn’t bound to happen was how important the album would become to me; in fact, it’s the first album I ever truly loved.

That album turns 20 today, and I’m feeling sentimental. No one else is looking back on it, so I’m going to.


September 7, 2019

How the Feed Killed Creation

mariteaux

Let’s start with a premise. We have a creator. She’s a writer, maybe, or maybe a visual artist. Maybe dabbles in animation. She’s got big ideas and the drive to see them to fruition. Might even be months into a grand project right now. Yet, she’ll post her stuff online or in a Discord server, and no one gives a shit.

The internet’s built on user-generated content, stuff ordinary people (people like you, perhaps!) create. And yet, with all these sites for it, where’s the support? Let’s talk about the feed and how it’s killed independent content.

Tags: internet,

July 13, 2019

Cammy vs. the PhotoCam

mariteaux

The AOL PhotoCam

I’ve long liked early digital cameras. There’s a really specific era of 95-98 or so where digital cameras were, by some measures, atrocious, and by others, absolutely fantastic. Their bad CCDs, chunky design, and inconsistent featureset makes them fascinating and a topic of my obsession for a few months now. I would absolutely take pictures […]

Tags: technology,

July 4, 2019

Somnoville

mariteaux

Somnoville landscape

I can remember the last time I had a proper Minecraft server with a group of friends. It was in 2012 or so, when a close friend of mine bought me the game and invited me onto his little public server. (Naturally, since we were spergy kids, I was a co-admin. Too many roles and […]

Tags: Somnocraft,

June 3, 2019

On Purpose

mariteaux

Less a rant and more musings about the pitfalls of storytelling without a goal for your characters, something I see a lot from amateur artists online.


May 9, 2019

The Web is a Shitty App Platform

mariteaux

I’m a big believer in implementing as little as possible to get the task at hand done. I’m as minimalist as it gets. Proprietary, open source—ultimately doesn’t matter to me so long as it gets the job done as simply as it can.

So why in fuck’s name did we give everything away to the web?


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