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Questionable artwork and pedantic miscellany
October 11, 2017
In cabinets many cheese logs I pile!

Hilary Branske is dead. It is very relevant to me, and also to this website! Some of what follows is roundabout and redundant, but I had difficulty organizing my thoughts on the matter, so watch out. Also, it is roundabout.


I knew Hilary since 1999. She was the closest thing to an “idol” that I had at a crucial point in my life, and unlike the others that came before and later, she was and remained a friend. I liked knowing that even though we were not currently conversing, she was always possible to reach out to, and would have a unique and sincere thing to say. Outside my immediate family, I have not known, that I was able to stay in contact with to any degree, anybody longer than Hilary, and she had a profound impact on me as a consequence. Every year I remembered her birthday. I could not even reliably predict my mother’s birthday until fairly recently. Which I assure you is not a slight against my or anybody else’s mother.


I never was much able to keep up with ANYbody over facebook, where our primary contact was after a certain period, and I wish sincerely that I had worked harder at making that possible, with Hilary and the people I knew through her; this here would be a more informed piece, and less fixated on what I assume is a fairly narrow aspect of Hilary’s personality, and I might have fewer regrets overall, but nonetheless what I DID experience was very important to me. Most of what I know goes back quite a while, back to when I insisted on calling myself “roneldo,” which I assure you is not something I would ever like to be called again, but Hilary was welcome to call me that. I also took turns at being volcabbage, transfestunerix and eels macinstrudel when I knew Hilary, but she was always Hilary, with one L, from New Lenox with one N.

There were online nicknames like “spam,” (a hilarious word in the mid-90s) “Krunk” (which predates and is dissimilar to the contemporary conception of “crunk”) and “Annie Lennox” with (two Ns) but she was not hiding from or afraid of anybody.


Hilary had a a way of thinking about things, and of speaking, and a gift for functionally absurd statements that I had up to that point not seen from anybody else. For example, an instruction page for creating a soft drink called “Froofy” directed readers foremost to “Find and capture a wild santa claus.” Yes whatever it looks stupid HERE, but I didn’t realize that sort of statement EXISTED. I could not fathom it.
And Hilary had refreshing sort of darkness, a dissatisfaction with the insincere, commercialized happy face put on by the dominant culture. I had never known anybody who openly criticized the religion-based social conventions I had always struggled with. She also always wrote little messages on pictures, that you could only see by hovering your mouse cursor over them. There would be a picture of a largely incidental person holding up a piece of cheese and the hidden text would say “this cheese is on sale.” So stupid, and yet to me that was just perfect. I still do that. I might be the last person on the internet who does. And those are often the best part of my pages! Of course having said that, the one on the next picture is lame so this is a bad time to start looking for them.”


I didn’t know anybody else who watched Conan O’Brien’s program either (I possibly learned of her existence via her old website about the topic) so that might speak more to my not knowing many people, but what is important is that I shared interest with Hilary that I was not able to share with others who were not on the internet. And in those days, a lot of people were not on the internet!


I wanted to have a website because of Hilary’s websites, The Spam Headwound, primarily, with such a ludicrous title that very much appealed to the me of the period, across its various urls, nlenx.com/spam, twne.com/spam, spam.towne.net, and gigglebounce.com. There was also lincolnway.com, which she registered specifically to annoy the Lincoln Way high school she had attended, after having been punished for other students loading her relatively outrageous personal website on school computers. As best I can figure out. I still use html code that I copied and eventually memorized off of her pages more than half my life ago. Most of the old, admittedly nonsensical pages are still acknowledged at the gigglebounce vault but some do not work quite properly, and many are simply not there at all! The archive.org version unfortunately got confused by the netscape-style frames and only has a single page saved multiple times, with none of the frame data. But I will always remember.

Also: from june 25 1999, this watery screenshot of the site not displaying correctly in America Online, from a thankfully brief period during which I thought it was a good idea to save my screenshots as jpegs.

In fact, my oldest “normal” website entries here are ripped directly from the source of gigglebounce.com during a period when Hilary granted myself and a few others the ability to place updates on the website, and it appears that the earliest dated one has a picture of Hilary in it, which I had quite forgotten about. Likewise I cannot remember how long that version of gigglebounce lasted, but I, plainly, kept going, without much considering why I did. Records indicate I may even have been the last person doing so. This does not get me money or recognition, but I like making these things, and Hilary got me started. But I am here to talk about the GOOD things she did.


I didn’t know art people growing up, or until quite after I was mostly grown. Between those points I apparently found something of a muse in Hilary’s uncompromising distinctness. I did not develop my technical skill much but I think the ideas are more important, even if they are very stupid. Hilary helped me want to be stupid in a new way.


I believe this was her livejournal avatar, derived from an inexplicable default mouse cursor in certain versions of windows, fighting the Yellow Ant from the computer game Simant, which I must have made a big deal about at some point. Neither is being considerate of the environment.


I still use phrases that Hilary used, probably only once, that I thought were funny, such as “thank you for your time and consideration in these matters” “yes, very much so, “mein augen” and “laeta bovis.” One of the characters that I draw is even named “laeta,” based on that, if not pronounced the same way. I still think the name “Gretchen” is funny. It seemed to be a recurring element, quite apart from that picture I just showed. For example, there was a page titled “temporary gretchen fix” with just a picture of notebook paper from what looked to be a high school writing assignment, with a teacher-written criticism of “inappropriate sentences.” I apparently transcribed it, because it was hard to read, and still have THAT, though the original image seems to be lost.

1. Aegis – protection, sponsorship
Gretchen was happy Lincoln-way was the Aegis for the Nazi dance.
2. Amazon – A female warrior
Gretchen was proud to be an Amazon.
3. Aurora – The dawn or similar luminousity
Gretchen took many pictures of the aurora borealis.
4. Odyssey – Extended journey
Gretchen packed some digestive bisquits for her odyssey
5. Paean – Song of thanksgiving
Peetah sang a paean about the Spanish Inquisition.
6. Palladium – Safeguard
Gretchen kept a statue of a Palladium next to her bed.
7. Plutocrat – A wealthy person
Bill Gates is a plutocrat and Gretchen isn’t.
8. Siren – A bewitching or irresistable women, fascinating
Gretchen acted as a siren by luring the small children to the fire.
9. Valhalla – hall of feasting heroes
Gretchen was not invited to the Valhalla.
10. Ambrosial – fragrant
Peetah could smell the Ambrosial children boiling.

And now it will have to be a permanent Gretchen fix.

Gretchen was also the name of the lion tamer in “The Spam Story,” which I also cannot now locate. Although I learned that as of 2007 Hilary had been a vegetarian for a year, which is almost as impressive as convincing lions to do your bidding.

I started writing this without even realizing that my facebook name IS Gretchen. That is how deeply ingrained Hilary’s influence is. And I used gretchen as a sound effect in a completely unrelated long-standing unreleased project of mine. Certainly I would have liked to be influenced by the later, responsible Hilary who examined patents in her spare time and achieved a G-13 pay scale according to federalpay.org and perhaps have made something more of myself.


Although threatening people’s sparkle dots amidst serious (ninjas notwithstanding) results for your life as a Washington DC national government employee is Hilary Classic on a grander scale.


She had ferrets as pets; I believe this is based on a photograph of one, and the wood sprite that I opened this site entry with.
we never talked as much as I wanted to afterward. I never showed her much of my artwork but she was always supportive when I did. Again, I didn’t have many people to show it to, and was slow to develop what skill I had. In a very rare gesture, in December of 2007, I mailed a pencil drawing strikingly similar to the one near the top of this entry, that I made of/based on Hilary to her home address, and several times afterward, without my having mentioned it, she claimed to still have the dumb thing, having put it in a frame, even, and I wish I could have sent something better, later! I made up one of my crummy holiday cards more recently, and included some tiny bizarre drawings whose inspiration I can no longer recall, but never got around to sending it. And maybe I should hold on to it, since it is the only physical space souvenir I have that is Hilary-related (also, I eh lost it again). She had mentioned across a few years having a box that she meant to send to me but could never get around to it. I wish I had asked what was in the box!

I keep showing these things. On Hilary’s website there was a “webcam” page, but the image only updated once a week or so, and generally showed a staged viewpoint. I saved a bunch of them, I wish I had saved more! Maybe it makes me seem like a creep, but in fact the more I have worried about coming across as creepy, the fewer friends I have had.

Right, just what I was saying.

I believe at one point three other people named Timmy, Lars and Jose also had similar webcameras featured on the page, plus the webcam of the not-yet published icon to misogynists who didn’t realize he was kidding Maddox, hotlinked off his own website, until I think he specifically disabled that on his end.


before I had my run-in with the Shipyard Brewing Company, Hilary had viewed and commented on the original version of the troublesome article, and I had meant to ask if she had for some reason preserved the pictures I deleted in a paranoid panic after the cease and desist letter, as if other people did that. Parts of that experience made me question if my work had any real value, but anything I did that Hilary liked was something I had done right. She was also the first person to sign my orenthal, even though it was a ripoff of her elf.

From 2000 to 2002, maybe, Hilary ran a message forum “The Blabby Board,” and I can honestly say that was my most positive and probably longest consistent internet message board experience. It was not without complicated points and eventually ceased operation, but I had always wanted to have something like that again.
The last time we were both available for what could be considered a conversation, which sadly was in April 2016, I mentioned some of the screwy things that have been in MY life and the sort of people I dealt with since the two of us had been regularly acquainted. And Hilary LAUGHED (in a typing sort of way). She didn’t get worried and declare in seriousness that I should give up and get away from everything, or get bothered and set to justifying every other parties’ actions, like I am a puzzlewit with no empathy. She knew why I complained the way I did. Sometimes life is just frustrating and ridiculous, and you want to share that with somebody who sees it for what it is. With Hilary, I momentarily went from being the only person who had a problem to one of an uncommon few who did not.

We were “planning” to make a video game together. I do not know when; one of us was always too busy. It was already eating me inside that I had not done real work on it beyond sketches and descriptions of circumstances, just for myself, but now I need to, for both of us. Right? If that helps me get it done, sure. I pledge to give it a much better gretchen sound effect.

I was always looking forward to a hypothetical point in the future when we could exchange ideas freely. I wish I could asked about more of the circumstances that inspired the strange things she wrote about. I did not realize how much time had passed until I started writing all this. 1999 to 2003 seemed like a huge expanse of time, then 2003 to 2007 was another, and suddenly I misplaced a whole decade without noticing. I wanted to resume what we had. Or more likely, start over entirely. Hilary always lived in an interesting way, and fixating on what had already occurred was unnecessary.

We never met, unfortunately. We came tantalizingly close, but to be brief, for once, since it hurts just a scrap too much, a meeting was not feasible. I was quite sad, in fact sadder than I expected to be. But I imagined there would be plenty of opportunities to arrange a proper meeting. I ought to have tried to arrange a visit earlier but for many years I was not very mobile. Was this a form of love, perhaps? I think it was, and I wish that I had expressed it. I did not think I was worthy, perhaps. I certainly was somewhat to highly jealous of any more forward or proximal person that she seemed to hold in favor at any point across a longer span of time than is usual. I loved dumb old science fox but do I care who he likes now? Probably, a little bit, but I am not going out of my way to find out. Not far at all. I am glad that I was able to tell him how I felt so that he could do something to no longer deserve it.
Hilary would have been the first person that I really developed that for. “crushes” I might have had momentarily in grade school were based on nothing more than me seeing tv shows and thinking I was supposed to do that.


Hilary was engaging, mentally, and I think I wanted to look like her. I still want to look like her. Not like a but to be elegant without making a forced show of it.


Could I pull that off? Absolutely not. Yes, otay, this is from 2007. I don’t feel like I am entitled to show pictures that I only saw years after they were taken or uploaded, by people who might not necessarily have any clue who I am. I barely have any clue who I am so it is not like I could introduce myself.


Alright, here is one from 2015 taken by Hilary’s close companion Bobbert Hyman, don’t tell. Yes, I would very much like to meet the person in this photograph. Also, I consider little bowls of rice and beans to be people, but I would also like to meet the person eating the other person.

I have had such a mental connection with somebody, or thought I had, perhaps nine times, and as I became older it seemed more like love. And love is good, supposedly. This was a very difficult thing to write, especially so soon after the last one, (aw BEANS look at the line I ended that with, I had no idea) but I suppose this is preferable to my being indifferent and not wishing to write anything. In fact this was more difficult to write, in a way, because while I have more regrets about my father’s final years than I can list, I believe that he forgave me for my role in that, and I knew where I stood with him, and I was able to get some degree of closure. And also he was 65, not 34. Hilary liked a few things I did, but did she like me, as a person? When she laughed at my tragic adventures in fuzzyland, was she really laughing at ME? When she said I made her terrible day ten times better, did she mean ten times better at being terrible? I will quite possibly never know. I even just said I wanted to look like her, for beets freeps. That might have been deemed a hilarious notion. But I would take it, if she wanted to give it.

Oh well that’s just rude!



December 31, 2008
Uncle Ho’s Hamburgers


In memiriam



“Laeta,” the uninspired small smiling imp, violently, horrifically decapitated at the moment of its much awaited debut.

O Laeta Dies

Contributing factors may have included its inability to focus its thoughts during situations of great magnitude and my not insisting on my own involvement in the printing process which evidently involved uploading a file smaller than the one I supplied to some website which [I discovered on my own] pretty much guarantees the edges will be chopped off if you go to the trouble of finding where it says so, and then telling me “they came out great” but not letting me see them for a month-and-a-harf by which point a bunch had already been made and sold, when in fact several Soviet Republics worth of red flags had been raised before the printing even happened, and I wouldn’t have complained if I’d had to make another couple thousand pixels of sky, really. But I’m not bitter. I am glad there are people who want to make or buy greeting cards bearing my idiotic, incorrectly oriented pictures. I just have a marvelous talent for coming up with bitter-sounding ways of saying things and I hate to see talent go to waste.

As to why, if the website knows the edges will be chopped off and precisely how much of them, it does not make a bigger point of informing the non-paranoid non-artists using its site of things like this, or why it can’t factor the chop space it knows to within less than an inch into what size stuff is printed at, eliminating the need for every user ever to deal with it, rather than just making some lazy psd file with a red border that nobody is told about unless they ask, it’s because business. This website is advertised in tiny little letters on every one of my cards.

I complain, but I’m sure when this is all over it will take its rightful place as another popular entry in the ever growing list of sorry Vistas.


Though never myself a great proponent of its merits, I was disappointed at “laeta’s” misfortune. However much punishment the creature may have deserved, this was too much. A lethal injection would have sufficed. Another injustice: the blue dope toward the picture’s center came out totally unharmed.

2000-2008

Uninspired small smiling imp, though you are now dead you will not be forgotten until later. Hopefully for you your death will be forgotten first and you find yourself drawn again in time to be remembered. You don’t get a glowing white border because when people do that to pictures of death converts they’re trying to suggest heavenliness or something and you’re obviously a mass-sinning beast fit only to suffer eternally forevermore. So watch out.

In other news, some amount of years ago, a mysterious human known now only as Uncle Uterus told me, concealed amongst other bits of helpful information, that “laeta bovis” was the Latin way of saying “happy oxen.” (this was back when “Latin” was a dead language spoken by dead Romans and not a marketing buzzword to make Spanish people think The Media at large gives a chimichanga who’s in their murals so that they buy tacky de-harmony’ed sped up remixes of Train singles) I assumed the first half was pronounced “lay eat uh” and that it would make a good name for a perpetually happy thing but it seems to me now that is probably incorrect, so it is for the best of us all the creature is deceased. There is no other way this name which I have never actually applied to it but in my mind and sometimes not even then could have been amended.

And that is it! It is that! I am done for the year! I look forward to several hours of rest.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Yes, well, we must be getting back to business soon.



Nobody I know has a website anymore

Mr. Sr. Mxy
Nowhere
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pc72
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video game music database
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them`s fightin` woids: December 17, 2017
Purplespace sez:
The elpse is very happy to be zapped!
December 15, 2017
Charmlatan sez:
The Super Mario Club will hear of this!
December 14, 2017
Frimpinheap sez:
The most recent new non-remake I have fiddled with was released sixteen years ago so there...
December 14, 2017
Indighost sez:
I never knew you were such a big Final Fantasy fan.
December 5, 2017
Charmlatan sez:
Golly, I didn’t want to think about that.
December 5, 2017
Frimpinheap sez:
None of them is wearing a bow tie so I doubt it.
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