On presenting

A long time ago I decided I was never going to put an attributed photo of my face online. On the one hand, I have a very ambivalent relationship with how I look — sometimes, I feel halfway cute, but most of the time I’m… a lot less charitable. I also really like the idea that everyone can have a different idea of what I look like. I find it really, really fascinating. And the fact is, once you see something, you can’t un-see it. There’s something really final about a flesh-and-blood photo, like the end of a great experiment. Forever afterwards, anyone dealing with me would be doing it through the lens of a concrete image, and I didn’t find that appealing.

Only this week, in a fit of madness, I actually replaced all my profile pics online with a shot of my actual face. For roughly thirty minutes at one site, it was even completely unprocessed. I recovered long enough to kill that with fire — I mean, I still need some level of plausible deniability, but what remains is, if stylized, still the same photo.

Why did I do it? Well, interacting with the world through a mask is just really, really lonely. And even though I’m probably a lot more open about myself online than I am in the flesh, and I have so many lovely friends here, not having a face is just as much a mask as wearing somebody else’s. And, well, I’m trying to be a lot more honest, to myself at the very least. Having my face stare back at me is startling. It’s terrifying. I hope it will be inspiring.

Imagining it staring at you is somewhat scarier. This isn’t regret (yet), but I’m locked in now. I don’t know how many wonderful, beautiful (or heck, tawdry, ugly) versions of myself were blown away by this act. At times I’m unbearably sad about it. And I don’t know if people will be different now. I hope not. That would be even more tragic.

I know this all sounds really crazy, but having hidden for so long I’m really kind of freaking out. It was easier being the person you imagined me to be. I could be that without even knowing who that was. Now I have to be the one doing the imagining.



Incidentally, I just noticed that in thumbnail I look like an anime character now. Or, to put it another way, Life goal #33 ACCOMPLISHED.


Azuki Sando KitKats

Back to the Motherlode! I’ve been sick the last couple weeks so I didn’t trust my taste buds, but I think it’s time.


Azuki Sando KitKats

Red bean sandwiches! I didn’t even know these were a thing, but the idea sounds amazing, especially grilled in butter, piping hot, maybe a pot of oolong standing by. Maybe that’s not how it’s done, but the picture on the package suggests it, and really, how else would you do it?

These bars were in the Tōkai drawer of the box. I’ve had red bean-based KitKats before, but unfortunately that was before I did more detailed write-ups, so I’m not sure I can compare. I think there are oshiruko bars further down in the motherlode, so we’ll get a chance to revisit them, I hope. But really, these azuki sando KitKats aren’t kidding around — they taste exactly like red bean. I don’t even know if there is milk chocolate in the coating, as the bean flavor is so strong. There’s an initial hit of sugar, but overall it’s more muted. There may be a hint of salt in there too. It’s a nice, balanced sweetness.

What I do miss is any hint of “sandwich.” Maybe not being so sweet is supposed to evoke white bread? It’s a stretch, but that wouldn’t actually be far off from the effect. The real problem is that there’s neither a hint of butter or smoke to evoke toasting or grilling, which I was really looking forward to. Without the picture on front or the name, this is really a solid and unusual KitKat, but I can’t help feeling a little let down.

Still! Any KitKat day is a good day, right?

More KitKats


Hazelnut Cream KitKats



Hazelnut Cream KitKats

Holy moly, we’ve got KitKats from Bulgaria! This is a “Nestle Travel Exclusive” pack, presumably only available in airports, containing six individually-wrapped Bar-sized KitKats, picked up for me by a lovely lady at Prague Airport. Yes, I know Prague is not in Bulgaria — to clarify, these were made in Bulgaria & bought in the Czech Republic.

To aid in testing, I also forced myself to eat a Ferrero Rocher. The things I do in the name of Science!

The milk chocolate coating is very creamy, chocolatey and sweet, made more so by the thickness of the bar. The creaminess was a nice change and I think characteristic of western-style KitKats, as we saw in the World Variety bars. Inside, here’s a thick layer of hazelnut cream between the wafers, also sweet but distinctly nutty. It’s more like a frosting than a nut butter, and not salty at all — it’s quite clear this is positioned firmly as a confection.

A friend described the overall flavor of the bar as Nutella-like, which I think is a positive review. I liked it, but, well, let’s just say Ferrero would win this contest every time for me. Still, it’s very nice to have an uncomplicated but new flavor to try. Would you believe 75+ varieties and I still haven’t seen something as obvious as a peanut butter KitKat?

More KitKats

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