Ipsy Glam Bag: tried and cancelled

Monthly “box” subscriptions are all the rage now. You pay some relatively moderate fixed price, and every month you get a box of items or samples or whatever related to your interest. I used to subscribe to Birchbox, which was supposed to mostly be makeup/skincare/fragrance, or so I thought. I cancelled when they sent me laundry detergent. LAUNDRY DETERGENT! Listen, Birchbox, I don’t need you to remind me how I spend every damn weekend.

A few months ago I subscribed to Ipsy. It seemed better – the products I got in my first few boxes were pretty cool, and each box came with a (usually) cute makeup bag. However, after opening my Ipsy box today, I cancelled them too. Yet ANOTHER hair conditioning product that I will never use. Yet ANOTHER generic eye liner pencil that I will never use. Yet ANOTHER lip gloss from a brand I’ve never heard of in a boring, bland color. No thanks!

About the only subscriptions I’ve been happy with are Sock Panda and Lootcrate. I heartily recommend them. In fact, I gave a year of Sock Panda to my best friend for Xmas last year, because they’re just that awesome. Subscribe here and tell them groovymarlin “at” gmail “dot” com sent you. (Figure out how to make that into a real email address. You can do it!)

If you want to subscribe to Lootcrate (recommended!), click this link to use my referral code.

Here’s some of the awesome stuff I’ve gotten in past crates:

IMG_1538 IMG_1485 IMG_1487 IMG_1490 IMG_1493

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

The video game that I’m wasting time on lately is Diablo 3. I started playing regularly again when the Reaper of Souls expansion came out, and I managed to play an hour or two most days.

Reaper of Souls added the Crusader class, which is pretty fun. I like it because you can play it straight melee, like a Barbarian, or you can use the many ranged abilities and play more like a smite cleric wearing plate armor. But generally, I still lean towards the Wizard, and more recently, the Witch Doctor.

I overheard this conversation in the hardcore community channel the other day:

Player 1: What’s a good wizard build for high damage?
Player 2: Witch Doctor.


dogs laughingAnyway, it’s funny because it’s true. I’m not sure what the best wizard build is, to be honest. Since the recent patch (2.1), fire seems more viable and so does lightning. Before the patch I had fun running a combination Tal Rasha/Vyr’s build, but you can only take it so far because the meteors just don’t hit hard enough.

But then I discovered the Witch Doctor Grin Reaper build, via BadKarma’s excellent guide. This build is SO MUCH FUN. Viable in hardcore, softcore, T1 through at least T4. It’s like the pet doctor concept except for lazy people. All I do is basically click for my primary attack, and then my mimics, clones, giant pet, and fetishes do the rest of the work.

My pre-season softcore WD had a pretty much perfect set-up, except I was never able to find a Tall Man’s Finger for her. My hardcore season WD, on the other hand, found a TMF almost immediately. She’s just getting started, but already looks pretty good.

Now if I can just manage not to get killed by the random and annoying lag.

gold everywhere


Stay Calm

Oh, hi there. Yeah, it’s been almost two and a half years since I posted anything. Now I save all my juicy stuff for Facebook! (That’s a joke…it’s not really that juicy.)

Anyway, I’m back, and I’m probably not going to post THAT MUCH, but I will post occasionally. Mostly to show off all the stuff I’ve crocheted or knit, and cute pictures of my dog. Oh yeah – we got a dog! Here’s Chandler:


He’s about two and a half years old but we’ve only had him for a year. We adopted him from A Forever Home Animal Rescue, which is a terrific organization and please support them if you’re so inclined. He’s a chihuahua mix, which is all anybody knows for sure, and he looks much like a chihuahua, but bigger. Our vet thinks he’s probably part chi and part Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He’s adorable, and now that we’ve finally started obedience training, he’s fun too! Here’s another gratuitous picture of our adorable canine, with his mom (me!):

Groovymarlin and dog

That’s our little fuzzball. Now that Veronica is in third grade (OMG how did that happen), he’s all I have left to baby and cuddle. She generally gets pretty impatient with the cuddling now, although I still try! Time marches on.

More updates in the days to come, but don’t hold your breath or anything.


Categories of Strange Dreams

Do you dream? I dream often and vividly. In fact, I sometimes scream, yell, laugh and cry in my sleep. I have never gotten up and walked around, though…at least not yet.

Frequent Dream Categories

Back to School:

- I sign up for a (college) course, forget to attend, and then it’s the day of the final.
- I go back to school to get another master’s or a PhD, and as I’m moving my stuff into my apartment in Bowling Green (for some reason I always go back to BGSU), I start to remember that I have a job, and a kid, and a bunch of other stuff.
- I am going to high school and I can’t find my locker (never happened IRL).
- I am going to high school and can’t get my locker open (happened frequently IRL).
- I’m back in college and can’t find my dorm room/my mailbox/the showers/whatever.

Bathroom Blues:

- I need to pee and can’t find a bathroom, or all the bathrooms I find have filthy and/or non-functioning toilets.
- I need to take a shower and can’t find the showers (seems like a dorm type setting, or possibly a health club).
- I go to the restroom and the dividers are all so low that you can see everyone from the neck up when they’re sitting on the toilet.
- I’m visiting someone’s home and inadvertently break or somehow screw up their toilet, shower, plumbing, etc.
- I’m back in my childhood home trying to use the bathroom, but the lights won’t come on, or the lights are very dim.

Personal Trauma:

- Some or all of my teeth fall out.
- Someone stabs me.
- Something is wrong with my legs and I can’t stand up straight/can’t walk/can’t run/etc.

Weird Nostalgia:

- I’m back in my grandparents’ home on the East Side of Cleveland (I haven’t been in this house in more than 20 years, but it’s still very vivid in my memory).
- I’m back in elementary school.
- I’m back in my childhood home.

Strange Discoveries:

- I move into a new house and find that it’s falling apart inside.
- I go into the basement of my childhood home and find an entrance to a series of tunnels that lead to some deep, cavernous lost city (very Lovecraftian).
- I’m living in a house I used to rent in Columbus, and I find a secret passage (this almost sort of happened IRL).
What do YOU dream about?

Really? REALLY?

I had to un-friend someone on Facebook today. Then I had to block him. I don’t like having to do stuff like that, but there’s no room for ignorance and hatred in my life, and it all started because this person became a born-again Christian.

I have nothing against Christians, born-again or otherwise. If it makes you happy, brings you comfort, or helps you make sense of the world, then bully for you. Just don’t try to force your religion on me or anyone else (obviously), and we’ll get along fine. So when this friend started posting frequent updates mentioning “Praise Jesus” or whatever, I kind of smiled and didn’t think about them too much. I usually look at religiosity like that as a sort of hobby – some people are into things like knitting, and post lots of updates about their knitting projects, and some people are into their church, and that’s what their updates are usually about. Fine, whatever.

Then today, this dude posts this long diatribe about the “two evils” that are currently vying to “destroy our society.” Can you guess what the two big, scary evils were? I bet you can. They were: Islam, and “the homosexual agenda.” I don’t like to think about it in detail, because it just makes me want to pour some bleach in my ear to wash my brain, but basically the premise was: “Islam is not just a religion, it’s a movement to destroy the world, and also, gays = gross and why are they everywhere in our faces with their icky gayness?”

News flash, religious and non-religious people alike: it’s not OK to hate on a whole group of people because their religion is different from yours, or their sexuality is different from yours, any more than it’s OK to hate on a group of people because their skin color/race/sex/job/hobbies/political affiliation/whatever is different than yours. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

By the way, it is very hard for me to write about this in a calm manner, without using profanity, and that’s why I un-friended and blocked that former friend on Facebook. I have enough stress in my life without dealing with that sort of ignorant, obnoxious hate-mongering. It’s useless to try to argue with a person like that, because he’s made up his mind, and isn’t thinking rationally anyway. I guess that’s the negative side of religion – when it makes people become irrational. I’m not religious now, but I was raised Catholic, and I read plenty of the New Testament growing up. I’m pretty sure Jesus’s whole thing was “love one another,” and he was the guy who was always respecting the folks who didn’t get any respect (prostitutes, lepers, beggars). Why can’t some of these people who claim to love Jesus so much practice what he preached?