Watch out, this plant noob has started growing a succulent army.

Watch out, I have started growing a succulent army. || Illustration by Asti @ bit.l/yatypicalnarrative

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, this plant noob has started growing a succulent army to take over the world. Oh, don’t run away just yet! It’ll take about 800 years before she can propagate enough to do anything so treacherous. Take a seat and read this post and all will be fine (for now).

I’m really a succulent noob.

Let’s just get this out-of-the-way: I’m a succulent plant noob. My family has never been the kind to have plants around the house and I’ve always preferred to dedicate my nurturing skills towards raising my blind bitch and handsome snot dog instead. I figured animals are okay because they can tell you when you’re doing a bad job. A plant though? Once I received the “you’re a bad mom” memo they’d be dead.

It wasn’t until my mom bought me a couple of succulents that I transformed into this plant-moving Poison Ivy monster.

What started as three little innocent succulent plants in tiny two pots turned into a massive propagation experiment in which I googled all the things, impulsively bought many succulents, and obsessively watched all the detached leaves for any sign that a new plant was forming. That illustration above? I wouldn’t say it’s that much of an exaggeration. Every morning I would literally go upstairs and just stare at these suckers waiting for something to happen and if I saw the slightest hint of growth I would take a picture and praise the plant gods and do a little plant happy dance.

Noobness = life and death.

There’s just something so fascinating about watching a plant come to life. There’s beauty in the way that a succulent can be ruined by over-watering or lack of sunlight and yet still persevere if separated from that toxicity and given a chance. I don’t know if it’s just my experience with depression that makes me value these little guys so much, but boy do I root for every little leaf to grow into its own beautiful plant.

That being said, there have been a few casualties in my succulent army. I’d say only half of the adult plants I’ve started with are actually still alive today because most have rotten to death thanks to my inability to conquer proper watering. It’s gotten to the point where I even have a cemetery bowl next to my army where my poor over-watered plants are placed once I realized the harm I’ve done. RIP my over-watered friends. The sacrifice you made to educate me about succulents’ thirst has not gone unnoticed.

Oh, and that army thing.

Today, I now have over 50 succulent plants I’m trying to take care of and I’m really excited to see how they’ll look when August comes around. Why? Well, while I may have claimed that this succulent army is destined to take over the world, in reality its main purpose is to take part in my wedding. I will be using these little guys to decorate the reception and, if any are big enough, to create my bouquet. (I may even have them available as favors, though that’d be more likely for the big family celebration as most of our wedding guests are from London and it’d be a bit complicated to fly them back.) I’m really excited because my little army adds another personal touch to the wedding and, dammit, they’re just so cute. Let’s hope they all survive the plant cemetery until then…

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Your turn! Anyone else a succulent lover? Have you ever tried taking care of any on your own? Or even a different type of plant? I’d love to hear if anyone else has experience with obsessively stalking their growth or mourning a plant cemetery.

When your future mother-in-law uses your toothbrush to clean the bird cage.

Looking for your toothbrush? Maybe check to see if your future mother-in-law is using it to clean the bird cage. || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Illustration based on a true incident the last time I visited Dave in London. Because my life is blessed like that.

Alright boys and girls, gather around. Today I’m going to talk about that time when my future mother-in-law used my toothbrush to clean the bird-cage. (Yup, that definitely happened.)

It all took place during my last visit to London in September. As I have lived with Dave’s family in the past, I am always quick to make myself at home once I arrive. I put my toiletries in their bathroom, unpack all my belongings into Dave’s room, and slip into my pajamas as that’s my favorite look to rock around the house. (If his family was hoping for some stylish put-together girl for him to marry, they must be quite sad because comfort ftw.)

And that was fine. I did all those things as usual and thought nothing of it. Things went smoothly for that first week, as they usually do.

And then… my toothbrush went missing.

Do you know how confusing it is to be confident in the location of your belongings but for them to not actually be there? Like, since when do your things just get up and walk the heck away? I know my dental hygiene has had its moments in the past (damn irresponsible younger self), but I swear I’m on top of it these days so there is no real reason for my toothbrush to just bail on me like that.

So after checking, and double checking, and triple checking that my toothbrush wasn’t in any logical place where it should be, I yelled at Dave to find out what the heck was going on. He also had no clue what happened to my toothbrush. He asked me what it looked like, checked the toothbrush holder one more time (because obviously my glasses show that I am a blind fool that requires double-checking) and then went to ask his family if they had seen it.

And guess what? His mother had. Because it was in her hands. And she was using it. To scrub bird shit. Off the bird-cage.

Wow, thanks mother-in-law.

Of course she apologized once she realized her mistake and assured me it was unintentional. She claimed that she went through the toothbrushes in the cup and with some sort of deductive reasoning involving its color, size, and other such nonsense determined that my toothbrush was the unused one that was up for the job of cleaning the bird-cage. (Erm, thanks?)

She didn’t even think to ask if it was mine because what sort of reasonable person does that?

Luckily there was another unused packaged toothbrush in their cupboard so I was still able to brush my teeth the rest of that trip, but boy did I learn a few lessons from that experience:

  1. Don’t get too comfortable in other people’s homes. It may backfire. In a very unpleasant way.
  2. Maybe Dave’s mom doesn’t love me as much as she claims.
  3. The toothbrushes I prefer are great for cleaning shitty bird cages.

And there you have it, that one time my future mother-in-law used my toothbrush to clean her bird’s cage. Because that’s my life.

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Alright, does anyone have any sort of similar experience they want to share to make me feel better? Something where a family member has stolen something, whether intentional or not, and used it for less-than-lovely purposes? If not, could you at least spare some pity for me because these kind of things are my unavoidable reality? I’d greatly appreciate it. 

Fantastic Beasts, boys, and magic… It doesn’t take much to win me over.

Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Illustration Reference: Photograph by Annie Leibovitz from the Dec 2016 ed of Vogue (p 248)

Hey, remember that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie? I somewhat do. I mean, I really enjoyed it when I saw it in theaters and drew the image above thinking it’d be nice to talk about on the blog. But then I waited a couple of months to actually write the content of the post and forgot what I wanted to say and had to borrow the DVD from the library to refresh my mind.

I don’t know what that says about how good this film actually is, but hey, it doesn’t take much to please me as you’ll soon find out.

Fantastic Beasts

As this blog was originally titled atypicalmonster, I think it’s fair to say that I love monsters, beasts, and creatures of any kind. Anything fantastical that we don’t get in this world (or don’t have confirmation of), I love, love, love. This film sold me prior to seeing it because it had Fantastic Beasts in the title, and I’m happy to report that there were a few new creatures introduced in the film that we didn’t get to experience in the Harry Potter world before.

I think the Niffler, the long-snouted creature attracted to shiny things, is the favorite of most viewers of this film, but I actually loved Pickett the most. Pickett is a Bowtruckle (or green little plant dude) that Newt carries around with him and I couldn’t help but fall for his sweet and sensitive demeanor. There’s a scene in which it looks like something might happen to him and ah, my heart. I want a little Bowtruckle to carry around in my pocket.

And let’s not forget the Erumpent, the rhinoceros looking beast. I don’t know much about it other than it was horny in this particular film, but I have to wonder if I’m part-Erumpent because that mating dance Newt performed for it won me over too. (Haha.)

Seriously though, fantastic beasts for the win. If nothing else I’ll watch all the sequels in hopes for more creatures being introduced.

Fantastic Boys

Yes, I’m really getting that shallow here. The inclusion of fantastic beasts wasn’t the only thing that sold me on this film before I saw it… Eddie Redmayne did too. 

I don’t know what it is but I LOVE Eddie Redmayne. I think the first film I saw of his was The Theory of Everything and even with him drooling and stumbling and all those things I couldn’t help but fall in love. Those cheekbones! That goofy demeanor! That smile! I AM NOT WORTHY!

But, I was actually surprised because as I watched the film I found myself captivated by another fantastic boy: Ezra Miller, the actor who played Credence. Not only did I think he did an amazing job playing Credence (because he really did, I was totally intrigued by the character), but he also has great cheekbones.

And then there was another actor who I used to be obsessed with who also had great cheekbones. I mean, just all the boys and all the cheekbones. That’s all this pathetic heart needs.

Oh, and the Wizarding World

Oh, and let’s not forget that this film is connected to the Harry Potter films and therefore has MAGIC! (Anyone who claims to not love magic is a liar and should be shunned. It automatically makes every story better.) The nice thing about Fantastic Beasts is that we get a lot of magic we’re used to from the Harry Potter films, but also get a little glimpse of how the magic world varies in different parts of the world. There’s different slang, government systems, rules. It’s all the same but not quite and while I know it wasn’t enough for some diehard fans, it was enough for this casual bum.

Brb, hiding in Newt Scamander's magical suitcase || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Yes, if I were in this magical wizarding world, I would definitely be the one sneaking into Newt Scamander’s suitcase. Fantastic beasts, boys, and magic for the win.

So there you have it! Those are my thoughts on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. As you can see, the story itself isn’t that remarkable. It’s actually a bit messy as it tries to focus both on the Obscurus situation along with Newt’s runaway beasts. And while some of the relationships formed in the story were quite lovely (Queenie and Jacob being by far the best), I can’t say I’ll be overly distraught if they aren’t carried over into the sequels. No, the film was great for me purely for what I knew was coming thanks to the trailers: beasts, boys, and magic. If that makes me a bad film person, I apologize. But hey, everything is a bit more enjoyable when you take it less seriously.

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Have you seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? If so, what were your thoughts? Were you sold prior to seeing it like I was? Or did you have high expectations that weren’t quite met? And for those who haven’t seen it, do you think you ever will?