I meant to write and post this yesterday (July 19th) but it was a long day and I was extremely tired and I didn’t get very far in my reading. I had a job test early in the day and was social all evening, which was tiring as an introvert, but it was good.

A couple friends and I have a tradition where, when we need an excuse to go and eat Korean food (a personal favorite) we pester each other to go eat together. Sometimes these meetings are years apart (covid) and so far in 2023 we’ve already met up twice, which I think is a record for us. We’ve been friends since high school and now that we’re in our 30s, we just drift easily in and out of each other’s circles without stress. Luckily, none of us have kids, so we don’t have to compete with that.

Girl eating some kind of hearty red stew

While waiting for the last arrival, I spoke to Tim—shout out if you’re reading this—ended up talking briefly about Dracula. Tim is a chronic movie lover and is the primary reason I saw any movies in my 20s. (Caily, Korean Food Enjoyer #3, was delayed after seeing Across the Spider-verse for the fourth time.) There was a moment where, discussing Dracula, Tim and I were frozen not knowing which of us knew what about the story, and which of it was a spoiler.

“I thought that as a bonus for my blog, I’d watch and talk about Renfield.”

Renfield was so good! It’s basically a movie about a bad boss.”

“…Renfield? Do you know who Renfield is?”

Cue a long moment of confused silence. A little later, Tim goes on.

“Then there’s The Last Voyage of the Dementor. Or wait… Is it Demeter? Dementor is a Harry Potter thing.”

“The what?”

“Did you get to the part yet where they’re on the boat?”

“In Dracula?”

I hope this goes to show how little I know about Dracula and also movies. Apparently The Last Voyage of the Demeter comes out in August and presumably does not star Nic Cage, so I’m not sure I care about it. It was fun though to follow up this conversation with the following July 18th entry.


July 18

Dracula Daily is giving me sections from a journal that I absolutely did not account for in my planner. Whitby’s log has its own series of dates but I figured that it was too complicated to add to Dracula Daily and it would all come in August, when Mina pastes it into her journal. But DD has other ideas.

With no context at all, we open with July 18th notes, written from “Varna to Whitby.” He (?) writes that the log is to keep track of some weird shit happening on board.

July 6th, they took on some cargo and embarked, but no note from where. They have five hands, two mates, cook, and the captain who is writing. On July 11th they enter the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey and are boarded by officials. The log writes simply, “Backsheesh,” which is apparently a bribe. They embark again by 4pm, passing Istanbul and leaving the Black Sea behind for the Sea of Marmara. They enter the Dardanelles Strait that goes to the Aegean Sea on July 12th, and have to bribe more customs people.

On July 13th they pass Cape Matapan, which is on the southern end of Greece, on the eastern side, bringing them out into the Mediterranean. Our captain notes that the crew seems scared, but say nothing. The tension continues to July 14th when the mate slaps some dude around and the crew just takes it instead of starting shit. Surely there’s something wrong if your crew doesn’t take every opportunity to start shit.

July 16th, one of the crew goes missing—Petrofsky (rip). He was relieved of duty but disappeared somewhere between port and bunk. The crew is spooked but cagey and won’t say much, just that they expected it.

July 17th, a crewmate named Olgaren confides in the captain that he saw some dude hanging around the deck, someone certainly not on the crew. Olgaren is so spooked that the captain swears to scour the ship, and, later that day, tells them so in a meeting. The first mate is pissed and thinks they’re full of shit, but the captain makes him take the helm goes over the ship with the crew. After checking under the bed with the kids, the men are satisfied and chill out, but the first mate is still pissed. The only thing on the ship are these weird wooden boxes!

I can absolutely see why this would make a good movie on its own.


That’s enough of Whitby and co for now as we teleport back to London to see Dr. Lobotomy and his gay lover Renfield’s sexy RP.

July 19th, Renfield now has a “whole colony” of sparrows and the flies and spiders are dwindling. When Dr. Lobotomy visits, Renfield runs to him and asks for a favor, “and as he spoke he fawned on me like a dog.”

Person in a puppy mask pretends to lick the camera

This RP is pretty good!

Renfield begs Dr. Lobotomy for a kitten. Dr. Lobotomy isn’t so thrilled to kill the sparrows as quickly as the flies and spiders. Predicting the food chain he asks Renfield if he’d rather have a full-grown cat, and Renfield admits he does. He thought the request for a kitten would be more successful. Dr. Lobotomy admits he isn’t optimistic, but he’ll see what he can do.

His face fell, and I could see a warning of danger in it, for there was a sudden fierce, sidelong look which meant killing. The man is an undeveloped homicidal maniac. I shall test him with his present craving and see how it will work out; then I shall know more.

This shit is why I call him Dr. Lobotomy! But I guess it makes sense that he would also try to fool around a bit in this weird sexy RP they have going on.

Dr. Lobotomy visits Renfield again in the evening and finds him sulking. Renfield begs him for a cat and Dr. Lobotomy shoots him down without mercy, saying it won’t happen. Cats need homes, prick!


July 20th

We’re finally back on time with these entries. Dr. Lobotomy checks in on Renfield in the wee hours of the morning. He finds Renfield putting out sugar to attract flies to his window, the birds nowhere to be found. Dr. Lobotomy asks what he did with them and Renfield says they flew away, but Dr. Lobotomy spots a bit of blood and feathers about the room. He asks the nurse to let him know if Renfield does anything weird. Later on a nurse finds Dr. Lobotomy and tells him that Renfield is sick and barfed up a bunch of feathers. They believe that Renfield ate his birds, raw.

That night (tonight?) Dr. Lobotomy drugs Renfield to make him sleep and steals his diary.

My homicidal maniac is of a peculiar kind. I shall have to invent a new classification for him, and call him a zoöphagous (life-eating) maniac; what he desires is to absorb as many lives as he can, and he has laid himself out to achieve it in a cumulative way. He gave many flies to one spider and many spiders to one bird, and then wanted a cat to eat the many birds. What would have been his later steps?

Maybe it’s for the best that he didn’t get a cat.

Dr. Lobotomy is tickled by this and considers what a shame it is that he can’t crack open Renfield’s brain and look at it, showing me that my nickname to him is maybe not as unkind as I wondered it would be.

Men sneered at vivisection, and yet look at its results to-day! Why not advance science in its most difficult and vital aspect—the knowledge of the brain? Had I even the secret of one such mind—did I hold the key to the fancy of even one lunatic—I might advance my own branch of science to a pitch compared with which Burdon-Sanderson’s physiology or Ferrier’s brain-knowledge would be as nothing. If only there were a sufficient cause! I must not think too much of this, or I may be tempted; a good cause might turn the scale with me, for may not I too be of an exceptional brain, congenitally?

Wow, I really hate this guy!

Apparently Burden-Sanderson is the dude who discovered the power of penicillin, and Ferrier did brain experiments on animals that helped build the modern roadmap of the brain. The two of them were apparently the subject of a lot of anger at the time at the growing movement against cruelty to animals. Since Dracula was published in 1897, this is probably fresh and annoying meddling of the government in science to Dr. Lobotomy. I still can’t manage to feel sorry for him.

Dr. Lobotomy sees that Renfield, by eating all his sparrows, has closed out one experiment and started another with his new fly bait project. He envies that Renfield has such a cool scientific project to devote himself to. While he himself is heartbroken he would like something in which to lose himself.

How well the man reasoned; lunatics always do within their own scope. I wonder at how many lives he values a man, or if at only one.

I wonder what he means by this. I suppose he wonders if Renfield considers all lives equal or not?

Oh, Lucy, Lucy, I cannot be angry with you, nor can I be angry with my friend whose happiness is yours; but I must only wait on hopeless and work. Work! work!

I’m not looking forward to spending the rest of the novel with this son of a bitch. Get a hobby bro!

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