who?

wtf is a cyberbaby?

i guess that’s me. i feel like we all have an online persona, a sort of digital face we show the e-world. in a way, it’s a form of self-branding. which aesthetic choices, which online conversations do we want to be associated with? i like to use lower-case letters, and usually my punctuation is more interpretive than scholarly. 

it’s hard to explain who i am on an internet-based platform without distinguishing between my online and offline self. i suppose my internet identity curation began on tumblr around 2011 or 2012. since then, i’ve become a real citizen of the internet. it’s complicated and simple, the worldwide web. i tried to encapsulate this sentiment in a song i wrote in june of 2018 called “cyberbaby” about a semi-requited online love interest:

“online, we run a fine line / between escape and trap / headline, i spend the daytime / wondering if this could last”

the internet is escapist, constrained, free, institutionally regulated, creative, destructive, and everything above and below. it can be like another world, and there, i’m cyberbaby!

cyberbaby

tom

a child of the internet <3

astro pt. 2

mercury, venus, mars, and the ascendant

mercury rules communication and the natural thought process. how do you process information, navigate new modes of thinking, and express yourself?

the scorpio mercury is an thorough, deep thinker. scorpio is a destructive sign, tearing apart clues, leaving no stone unturned, no matter the ugly truth that lies beneath. scorpio values truth above comfort, making the scorpio mercury able to look at things that others won’t, eager to explore the unknown or shred the unquestioned. intuition and paranoia blend to create this placement, which I’ve heard described as the “human surveillance camera.” they're known for directness and expressive body language.

venus rules attraction, love, affinity for beauty, materialism, and magnetism.

the scorpio venus is not casual. they are obsessive lovers, loyal friends, and protective family members. they search for a love devoid of boundaries; if there’s not a deep soul connection, what’s the point? romance is strongly tied to sexuality, as scorpio rules the transformative moments of birth, sex, and death. their love for others is dramatic and hot-and-cold. if they love you, they’ll protect you, be there for you, and fight for you more than they would for themselves. however, if they find you to be false, harmful, or unworthy of their intensity, you’ll fall to the wayside. 

mars rules work, drive, ambition, primal energy, and intense physicality. it is a deep power that points you to what you want. mars can come out in moments of high physical demand – stress, sex, and anger.

the virgo mars is precise, perfectionist, clean, thoughtful, and cerebral. they’re not going to do something stupid because of silly emotions. they are planners. virgo’s quality is mutable, and its element is earth, making it a flexible sign able to bend material approaches to reach an ultimate goal. the goal is far more important than the method, and if they’re going to commit to something, it’s going to be good. when angered, their tongue is their most deadly weapon. virgo is ruled by mercury, and communicative powers are heightened in times of distress.

the ascendant or rising sign is, in a way, your social role. it’s the image or persona you want to externalize to the world. 

virgo risings want to pick at all the problems of the world. large or small, institutional or personal, they find faults and aim to fix them. this acute awareness can make them a bit cautious in social situations. they are socially versatile, acting as leaders or followers whenever and wherever they’re needed, but what they won't be is the problem.

astrology

maybe the universe does revolve around me!

i love astrology. some people call it pseudoscience, some people believe, some don’t. i don’t really care. to me, it’s fun, meaningful, and powerful. it also helps me accept others for who they are. 

i’ll break down my own natal chart – a mapping of the position of the planets, the sun, and the moon at the time of my birth – to reveal how astrology pertains to my own sense of self. i’ll leave a lot of information out, focusing on my sun, moon, mercury, venus, mars, and ascendant placements.

sun & moon

the sun is your basic personality. It’s what most people refer to as your zodiac sign. it’s you on the average day, in the normal scenario. it’s your generalized self.

scorpio suns are intense, loyal, empathetic, emotionally driven, and suspicious. their quality is fixed – rooted in their ways – and their element is water – governed by intuition and inexplicable feeling. this makes them invested in depth, constant change, and powerful emotion and experience. scorpio is ruled by pluto, making scorpio suns relatively comfortable with and interested in dark motives and realities. it is also ruled by mars, making the emotions of a scorpio manifest very physically, thus earning the stereotype of lustfulness.

the moon represents your “inner” self. when people really get to know you, they see your moon sign more. it can provide the emotional drive behind the behaviors of your sun sign. 

aquarius moons are observant, humanitarian, unconventional, and highly opinionated. they are prone to intellectualizing emotions, which can leave them feeling detached from reality or “messy” emotions. aquarius is fixed in quality and air in element. air rules the connections between people, the intellectualism passed through conversation, the content that humans produce. therefore, the aquarius moon finds it easy to relate to others and feels most comfortable observing others, enjoying human creations such as art, and visualizing the future.

photos!

(by me)

i honestly feel more represented by the photos i take than the ones i'm in. i just got a film camera. here are some pictures i recently got developed!

this is at sands beach near my house. the more often i look at the ocean, the more i like my life.

this is an LA pride float for the show pose! i love queer excellence!

this is my friend shannon and her sister, whose name i forgot. her sister was having a rough day, but i'm happy i caught this snippet of joy.

this is also near sands beach. the biodiversity in santa barbara is insane. i love being outside!

here we see shannon, saj, and vicky (left to right). this night was when vicky got hit by a bike. her concussion continues to excuse many of her bad decisions.

playlist of my life

400 lux

lorde

this song reminds me of high school, of the fresh excitement of driving around the suburbs of LA with friends, of late-night conversations before my curfew. “you pick me up and take me home again,” besides being one of the prettiest melodies on pure heroine, brings me back to the cyclical joy of teenage friendship. we meet up, do the same things we always do, and go home again. “you drape your wrists over the steering wheel / pulses can drive from here,” is still one of my favorite lyrics of all time. the clever connection between the human pulse and the youthful thrill of impulse? brilliant! i would add every song in lorde’s discography to this list if I could.

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you know i'm no good

amy winehouse

let me set the scene. we’re leaving my uncle’s house, but before we go, he stops us and makes us watch his niece from his wife’s side sing karaoke. we’re like, ok, so we watch, and he plays this song. it was the karaoke version, so i just stared at the lyrics, and, for some reason, “i cheated myself,” stuck out in my brain. i’ve always been fascinated by self-destructive, you-played-yourself situations. also, that uncle’s wife’s sister’s daughter? excellent vocalist. really did the song justice. shoutout to ori. anyway, i fell in love with the song’s writing before i even heard amy singing on it, and once i heard that, it was a done deal. her music always makes me think of my friend julia. to this day, miss winehouse is one of my largest artistic inspirations; her relationship with music was so pure. also, she was jewish and cool, which meant maybe i, too, can be jewish and cool and edgy and rebellious. interesting.

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somewhere only we know

keane

my friend layla and i are linked through escapism. in our second year of college, neither of us got along with our roommates too well, and so we lived most nights out on the land between the ocean and lagoon on campus. we seemed to be consistently going through it, so we hid away from real life under the coastal trees. she and i love this song, and we really love covers of this song. we recently got into the kacey musgraves cover, and we also really like the lily allen and glee renditions.

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black beauty

lana del rey

this song is about loving someone who can’t love anything. it’s like looking for someone who is lost. i internally sing it to myself when i’m feeling depressed and desensitized. it’s like i feel bad for myself from the outside. “life is beautiful, but you don’t have a clue.” 

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in the morning

nao

i guess i’m a heartbreaker or whatever. this song describes the pain of leaving someone who loves you. the production floods in, and the lyrics strike cold. you wake up and something has shifted. the unnamed spark is muted and dull, and you can’t force yourself to feel the way you once did. i hate hurting people! but i guess if i’m not happy, i’m not happy. 

somewhere else

rainsford

oh my god. i once described this song as perfectly engineered to my tastes. the low femme vocals, the off-kilter melody, the synths. even just the part when she sings, “residual desire for you,” is truly stunning on its own. it reminds me of my friend vicky because she loves it too – a friend with taste! i love when she sings, “i see you in a dream.” anything about dreams instantly appeals to me. 

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i care

beyoncé

i care about a lot. that’s what my first therapist, meg, said. i suppose i have a lot of feelings. i care about people i've never met and stories i can’t relate to. also, i love beyoncé. like, i love beyoncé. love her. that’s it. 

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cycles

tove lo

it's that feeling of, oh shit, i'm back where i started. i often feel like my life is a movie, and like any good movie, it has running motifs. i see myself falling into the same patterns again and again. when I broke up with my first boyfriend, i had a bad experience with him at extravaganza, didn’t talk to him for six days, and then ended things. when i broke up with my second boyfriend, i had a bad experience with him at extravaganza, didn’t talk to him for six days, and then ended things. i also feel very connected to tove lo. we share a birthday – us, winona ryder, and bob ross.

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monsoon

amber mark

i sing this song for everyone no longer in my life. they could be dead, dead to me, or maybe we just don’t talk anymore. sometimes you have to mourn the “things we’ve grown up to / and how much I love[d] you every way.”

little bytes of me

an existential crisis

working on this, i really had to confront the question, what makes me me? who am i, in essence? 

i came to realize that knowing someone is just gathering little bits on information about them & understanding their perspective

therefore, this may not be the perfect representation of me, or the online me, but it's a start!

i keep a list of advice i've given myself. when i come out the other side of an emotional situation with more clarity, i jot down something i learned from the experience. here's what i've learned over the past few months:

- slow down and actually hear your thoughts

- words are awesome; the way you describe how you feel or what you think makes an impact

- be grateful for the people you love

- it’s cool to learn what you like and dislike

- when faced with a task, measure its difficulty

- be honest about limitations; they don’t have to be permanent 

- “because you’re so adaptable, you can switch focus with ease” — the pattern 04/29

- “i appreciate your intensity” — sophia

- your time is valuable 

- it’s not too much to ask someone to consider your feelings 

- you love learning about and helping other people

- it doesn’t all have to be black and white 

- yes, and

- in this moment you are ok

- focus on the notes instead how it sounds

- is it going to help or hurt you?

- “consider the possibility of an honest mess” — co-star 06/10

- you’re your truest self when you’re caught up in the moment

- “stop explaining yourself” — co-star 06/20

- you can be tired and happy

- you really do like the things you like

- “you're always changing and adapting to your surroundings, and that's something that makes you special” — @solisortis 02/18 

- the past and future aren’t really as interesting

- focus on the people who actually want to be here

- “let your past accomplishments inspire you” — co-star 07/13

- you’re working on it!

- “is it worth it?” is a valid question

- sometimes it’s better to think less

- you really have the time to imagine what others think of you?

- don’t be so scared of how you feel

- you didn’t ask for this shit; just go with it

- so it takes you a bit to get comfortable in social situations. and?

- “i don’t owe you a label” — me

- “the first casualty of any war is truth" — u/modern_quil 

- “you’re not for everyone” — co-star

- instead of trying to prove something, just have fun

- serve what you were given

- when confronted by your faults, fight with your strengths 

- other people’s problems don’t have to be your problems 

- “surrender to the moment” — rob lockart

- you’re in your early 20s. let’s relax

that's all!

cyberbaby tom

thanks for exploring my bright, chatty e-world!

see you l8r!

cyberbaby tom

   © 2019 cyberbaby tom. created with Wix.com

art, excluding photos! page and my photobooth picture, is from pixel-soup.tumblr.com

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