Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Strong like bull!

I'm back from working out!  Sure enough, I was a little bit hungry and draggy by the time I even arrived at the gym, but I still managed to do all the different exercises I'd planned to.  And I even walked home afterwards (a distance of...three or four miles, maybe?).

Even though weight training is hard work, I love how I feel right afterward.  My muscles are making little inaudible "pings" now like a car engine cooling down...they're exhausted and wrung out, but happy.

p.s. The new running shoes I bought are ludicrously huge and white.

Sadly, I know that at some point in the next two days my bodily euphoria will wear off.

I'm gonna try to stave off the worst of it by taking a hot bath and making sure I get lots of sleep tonight.  I also have a supplement called glutamine that helps muscles heal faster, but the best-before date is years past.  I think supplements simply become less effective once they've expired, but what if I'm wrong and I take some of the ancient glutamine and it makes me grow a third arm out of my chest?  I'd probably better just stick with hot baths and sleep.

Food and exercise

I am borderline hypoglycemic.  In practical terms, this means that my body doesn't know how to store up energy from food and dole it out gradually (like everyone else's does).  I'm like a wind-up toy: eating "winds me up" and gives me energy...

...and then as I digest my food, I "wind down" until finally I am both extremely hungry and pretty much unable to function as a human being.

I have to "recharge" myself with frequent meals.*

Also, I have to be careful of sugar because it hits me all at once.  Apparently, eating a popsicle or cookie gives "normal" people a bit of a buzz for a few hours as their pancreas(?) rations out the sugar a bit at a time; I get high as a freaking kite for 20 minutes**. 

It's actually pretty fun...until the inevitable crash.
I bring this up because I'm going to the gym today for the first time in years and I'm nervous as hell.  I love(d) weight training, but it's always so hard to time it know, to contrive to be at the gym during that fifteen minutes between when I feel "too full" and "too hungry" to lift weights.  I do have some pills that help even out my blood sugar, but I went off them for a while and just started up again yesterday so probably they haven't kicked in yet (they're called Multi Glyco, if you're wondering. The brand name is Genestra).  But I did make sure to eat frequent, balanced, low-carb meals yesterday and today in preparation, so that's something.

I've got a friend going with me to the gym, by the way.  I've never had a "gym buddy" before, and I'm totally psyched - the social aspect of the workouts will give me something to look forward to no matter now I'm feeling, plus I'm way less likely to weasel out of working out if there's someone to hold me accountable.  Still...I'm afraid I'll have an energy crash today and not be able to do much of anything, and I'll feel like a loser.  Plus, I think at this point I've surpassed "out of shape" and gone straight into "seriously atrophied" so even if my energy holds up, my performance will be...embarrassing.  To me, anyway.

I seriously do turn this red when I exert myself.  Other gym-goers have stopped to ask me if I'm okay.

Wish me luck.

*At my old job, they once took us to lunch at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant.  Later that day, a coworker saw me eating a salad at my desk and said, "How can you be eating?!  We had such a huge lunch!" and I replied, "Dude, that was like two hours ago!" and she looked at me like I was weird.

**Even a piece of fruit can give me a buzz and a crash if I eat it on its own, without some protein to help absorb the natural sugars.  Yes, my life sucks.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Caturday: Random Birchitude

Sometimes, Birch gets eye crusties.  You know, like the crud we humans all have in the corners of our eyes when we first wake up...except Birch's eye crud is black.  The wax that I occasionally swab gently out of his ears is also black.  I'm pretty sure the fact that my cat's head secretes mysterious black ooze constitutes scientific proof, once and for all, that he is evil.

...Although my first clue should have been the goatee.  Everyone (or at least every Trekker) knows that goatees=evil.

On a different note, I was brushing Birch last week and decided to try rolling his loose fur into balls, like this lady does (she sells necklaces made from her cat's hair!  For over $200 each!).  I discovered that if I roll a pouf of fur gently between my cupped hands for a few seconds, it makes a big squishy ball that's densely matted together on the outside but hollow on the inside.  I don't understand how this happens, but it does.

If I keep rolling for another minute or so - carefully making sure that the fur between my hands is actually rolling around in all directions and not forming a big gross matted worm - it slowly collapses into itself to form a solid ball like the necklace lady uses...except not pure white because Birch's various colours all mix together.

I cal this colour "antique underpants."

Then I tried brushing just Birch's tail so I could get only dark fur, for contrast.  The tail-fur didn't roll up as nicely as the body-fur ones did, though, I think the hairs are a bit longer and coarser.

Yeah...that middle one just looks itchy.
So, yeah...I'm thinking about making myself a Birch-fur necklace.  Probably with a small portrait of him hanging from it.  I figure I don't really look enough like a crazy cat lady yet so I should go ahead and hang a big ol' shrine around my neck. 

Speaking of tributes to our furry friends, I once found pics on the internet of a guy with a beautiful tattooed portrait of his recently deceased-of-old-age cat on his arm - and the cat's ashes were mixed into the ink!  Some might find this idea kind of ghoulish (and I can understand that) but I love it.  Of course, I'll never have the opportunity to get a tattoo like that myself because Merle and Birch are both going to die at the exact same time as me.  What's that?  You don't think it's possible for a cat or dog to live for fifty-odd years?  LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA.

Do you guys have clothes or jewelry or tattoos in honour of a pet?  Would you ever want some?

If you're new here, please check out the paintings in my online gallery and "like" me on Facebook.  Thanks!

An ode to playing dress-up!

I've been thinking a lot about identity lately...things like how people tend to put on different personae depending on who they're talking to, and how fun it is to wear costumes, and how looking different can make you feel different.  These thoughts drove me to paint a pic of Godzilla in a pink bunny suit last week, and I've continued exploring the theme of identities/disguises today by making a set of 5 paintings of wigs on stands.

I CANNOT take a non-blurry photo lately to save my life.  Not sure what's up with that.

I totally want a red beehive wig now!  And I'd totally wear the black and pink one, too.

It should come as no surprise (to fans of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, anyway) that the following song was stuck in my head the whole time I was painting:

Anyhoo, if you enjoyed my cute paintings of wigs, please check out more of my work in my online gallery and "like" me on Facebook (if you haven't already)!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I made a necklace today!

I'm not just a painter...I also sew (kind of), knit (square or rectangular items), and make jewelry, among other things.  Sometimes* I want a particular kind of accessory or clothing item and can't find it in stores, so I gotta make it happen under my own power, y'know?
Anyhoo, today I made a cute li'l choker and I thought I'd show you guys.

The cartoonish quality of that skull bead makes me keeps the goth-ness of the necklace from taking itself too seriously, which is exactly what I was going for.  If my sense of style could talk, it would say "whoooOOOooooOOooo, spooky!" in a sarcastic voice and then giggle.

*"Sometimes" is a pretty vast understatement.  Every time I try to shop for clothes lately, I feel like I am being offered two stylistic options: 1) underage gothic whore or 2) middle-aged legal secretary.  The age-appropriate clothes bore me to tears, the funky clothes literally don't even cover my whole ass, and there's no midground whatsoever.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

And ANOTHER painting!

Sorry for the bad photo quality (again) but I couldn't wait to show you guys what I made today!  As you can see, I'm still on a giant-lizard-monster kick...

...This 5"x7" canvas depicts a Godzilla-esque creature who's dressed in a bunny suit and is admiring him- or herself in an ornate Victorian mirror.

The mirror alone took hours to paint, what with all the swirls and reflections and shadows and whatnot.  Also, I typically paint hunched over like Gollum, so now my back is a bit wonky.  But I feel terribly pleased with myself for being so prolific lately! :)


Like what you've seen here?  Please check out my gallery and like me on Facebook, if you haven't already!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Behold: a new painting!

I haven't painted in a while, because, well...this.  And this.

But yesterday I broke through my mental block and painted this 5"x7" canvas of a Godzilla-esque lizard beast who's fallen in love with a tall building.  (Sorry for the iffy photo quality...I seem to be having a shaky-hands day and this was the best I managed to get.)

I love how peaceful/glowy/dreamlike this one turned out.  Makes me a little sad that the monster's love is doomed to be unrequited, though.

Wanna see more of my art?  Please check out my gallery (which you can also access from the link on the right side of your screen, under the heading "Pages").  Or you can click on the "art" tag for all my blog posts about art, many of which feature photos of my stuff. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Caturday: Cats are People, Too.

People who aren't into pets, and have none of their own, have no idea how human cats and dogs can be (and maybe other animals, too, but my experience is limited to cats and dogs).

Cats and dogs have personalities.  They have favourite foods and favourite ways to be petted.  They have random days when they feel insecure and need extra hugs, and random days when they feel cranky and act like jerks.  Birch is basically just a small, furry roommate.

Recently, I've noticed that whenever The Boy beats Birch at wrestling or chastises him for doing something bad, Birch spends the next half hour or so storming around the apartment in a huff and attacking random objects.  He'll, like, grab a plastic bag, pretend it's The Boy, and be all "Who's not allowed on the kitchen counter now, bitch?!"  *KICK*KICK*KICK*BITE*KICK*.  If he were a human, these fits of rage would of course be frightening and inappropriate.  But he's not a human; he's a fluffy widdle kitty.  So it's hilarious!

The last time Birch got mad like that, I swooped him up in my arms and petted and kissed him, and after a few minutes he relaxed and started to purr.  By the time I put him back down on the floor, he was mellow again.  I'm glad I was able to get him out of his rotten mood; I wasn't sure if cuddle therapy would work on cats.

In other news, we watched Charlotte's Web tonight (the 2006 version with Dakota Fanning) and during a scene with Templeton the rat, The Boy nudged me and whispered, "Birch is watching the movie!" ...And he was!  He was all alert and interested and his head swiveled around to follow Templeton's movements.  We've never seen him pay attention to the tv before.  He remained mesmerized for that entire rat-intensive scene, then lost interest when the other characters came back on the screen.  Could Birch have recognized that Templeton was a rodent?  Was he like, "Hey, there's a great big mousie on tv!" and only watched the movie for the great-big-mousie parts Are cat brains that sophistimacated?

I'm thinking probably not...but it's interesting to ponder.  Maybe we'll rent Ratatouille sometime and see if it happens again.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Diary of a Trailblazer: Update

Not gonna lie, I've been in kind of a cycle of panic and procrastination for the past month or more.  There are like twenty things I need to do to get my art career off the ground, and each thing is huge and time-consuming and no one thing is more important than any of the others.

Some people, when faced with this sort of challenge, automatically pick one task at random and start beavering away at it; when the first task is finished, they'll move on to the next, and so forth, until everything is done.  Personally, my default reaction to multiple responsibilities is to spend all day in a coma of indecision while getting nothing done at all.

And the voice in my head goes, "JUST PICK SOMETHING AND GO WITH IT!  ANYTHING AT ALL!  YOUR SAVINGS ARE TRICKLING AWAY MORE AND MORE WITH EVERY PASSING MOMENT!!!" and I go "STOP YELLING AT ME, VOICE IN MY HEAD!  ARRRGH!" and then I'm so desperate to escape this endless internal dialog that I abandon all of the super-important tasks and make a blog post about humping my dog instead.  This provides a pleasant distraction that drowns out the Mean Voice in My Head.  So does looking at humour websites, watching DVDs, or anything else that keeps me from thinking too much.  Unfortunately, the moment I stop distracting myself (read: when I'm lying in bed trying to sleep), the Mean Voice returns with a vengeance.

It's been a rough time.

Mind you, posting here is a good thing; it keeps me connected to the fans of my art and maybe attracts new ones.  But I still feel guilty for doing the fun stuff (hangin' out online with you guys) when I should be doing the scary/tedious/difficult stuff (taking/formatting/uploading literally hundreds of photos; researching search engine optimization so my listings are more likely to come up in searches; etc.).  I feel even guiltier about some of the other stuff I've done recently, like stumbling across a cute BDSM-themed web comic and reading the entire archives in one checking my blog stats every five minutes to see if I've suddenly become famous (answer: no). 

Good news, though: after weeks of constantly telling myself to JUST START DOING SOMETHING DAMMIT...I actually have!  This seems to be a feature of all my anxiety cycles: at some point I just get sick of my own mental twirlies, decide that enough's enough, and do the pick-something-at-random-and-work-through-it thing that other people would've done in the first place.  The other day I made a whole bunch of new Artfire listings; the store has 23 items now!  I'm not going to link you just yet - I'm waiting to do a big splashy Grand Opening post once more stuff is up - but I'm sure an enterprising person could find the store and see how it's shaping up if they really wanted to.  You know my store name and you know which site it's on, so...yeah.

Hopefully I can keep on powering through all the boring administrative stuff and GET MY ART OUT THERE!  Once the Artfire and Zazzle stores are fully stocked, my main tasks will be to promote the stores and to make more stuff to put in them - two things that I love doing.  It's just a matter of getting over the hump.  I have to eat my metaphorical veggies before I can have my proverbial dessert.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Earskins are the best thing ever!

So back in March I made some random post about my gauged ears.  That post now has over 1,500 views, almost all of them from people who Googled phrases like "what do size 6 ear gauges look like?" Apparently people really, really want to see pictures of stretched earlobes.

You want pictures of gauged ears?  You got 'em!  Don't say I never do anything for you. :)

Heyyyy, baby!  Check out my stretched-out holes!

This is my right ear, currently stretched to a size 2.  On the left, we see what it looks like totally nekkid - curiously, the hole seems to collapse in on itself and look smaller when there's no jewelry in it.  On the right, we see how the same exact hole looks with a transparent Kaos brand earskin in it.

Earskins are thin, flexible silicone tubes with a flare on each end, and they are fantastic. My previous ear jewelry was a pair of single-flare metal eyelets, and although I loved how they looked, they were too long and tended to poke into the side of my head.  Earskins, however, are short and squishy and therefore totally comfortable, even to sleep in.  They stay in place, look awesome, and for some reason (TMI ALERT!) I produce way less "ear cheese" with them than I do with metal jewelry.

Earskins can be tricky to get in...I fold each one in half to get it through my ear, and once it's in it never opens up all the way and I have to mess with it to get the wrinkles out.  I have discovered an awesome trick for this, though: pushing a Q-tip into the middle of the earskin!  My size 2 holes are a snug fit for a cotton swab so it pops the earskin right open in one shot.

Let's take another look at the clear earskin from a slightly more direct angle, shall we?

My earlobe is angry with me because I'd just put the earskin in.  It stopped being so red later on.

I love how at first glance it looks like I'm not wearing an earring of any kind, and yet the hole in my lobe is perfectly round and the edges of it look all smooth and shiny.  It's like someone made the hole with a power drill and then polished the inside of it.  Trippy!

Anyhoo, my lovely body-modding friends, that's all I have to say about ear-gauging for now...but if you happen to like comic-style paintings and/or awkward real-life anecdotes, you should stick around!  This blog has both of those things.  Click here to see a bunch of art that I've made (many of my paintings feature people with piercings and/or tattoos and/or brightly coloured might like 'em!).  Or, browse my other blog entries for stories about art, crossdressing, kitties, and much more!

Also, if you enjoy my paintings you should probably click here and "like" my Facebook fan page 'cause sometimes I give away free art there. 

Cheers. :)

If I were the head of a television network...

I have decided that there needs to be a game show where blindfolded contestants try to identify a small object (bottle cap, Lego brick, baby porcupine, etc.) by touch alone.  Whoever gets the most right answers is the winner*.

The twist?  Male "assistants" lay the items on a table and drape their ball sacs over them before allowing the contestants to come and touch.   I think the blanket of scrotal skin would make it much more challenging to figure out what, exactly, you're touching.

The name of the show would be...

Wait for it...


Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if the show already existed in Japan.  Probably with a name like Super Fun Sweaty Abdominal Mitten Time.

*The grand prize would be $5,000.00.  The runners-up would win a lifetime supply of hand sanitizer.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Caturday: Parlez-Vous "Chien"?

Whenever possible, I'll try to communicate with animals in their own "language" (usually by using body language, but sometimes sounds).

So, for instance, I read somewhere that a mother cat will give her kittens a little shake by the scruff of the neck when they're being bad; I do the same to Birch.*  I figure it's the fastest and easiest way to let him know I'm angry.  Telling him he's a bad kitty would require him to translate my words before he could understand my point...if he ever did understand it.  It's like the difference between some guy yelling at you angrily in German (assuming German is not your first language) vs. giving you the finger: you might be able to piece together the rapid-fire guttural ranting and figure out what's wrong, but the obscene gesture gets the point across immediately.

This reminds me of an anecdote from a bunch of years ago.  It's a dog story, but I'm posting it here anyway because a) there's no canine equivalent to Caturday.** and b) it's a pet story, so close enough.

Okay, so anyway, when I was married my husband and I got a puppy together.  We named him Merle.

Merle is an Australian shepherd cross.  He's wicked smart and generally very eager-to-please, but when he was a "teenager" he went through a phase of testing our limits.  One time, he was being a brat - I can't remember exactly how.  I knew I had to put him back in line somehow, and I'd read that dogs will hump each other as a display of dominance (if you've ever seen a female dog hump another dog, that's why; it's not a sex thing, it's the dog going "Who's the bitch now?!").

So, long story short, I grabbed Merle and punished him for his insolence in a way he'd understand. Just maybe three hip thrusts - BAM BAM BAM - to show him who's boss.  But while I was doing husband walked in.  

Let's take a moment to picture what this tableau must have looked like to an outside observer, shall we?  Imagine innocently puttering around the house, going about your day, when suddenly you enter a room and are confronted with this:

Yeah.  Awkward.

In case you were wondering, the divorce happened many years later and had nothing to do with my pelvic-slamming the family dog.  My ex listened to my embarrassed explanation of The Humping, rolled his eyes at my overly literal approach to interspecies communication, and pretty much forgot the whole thing (or...blocked it out.  Whatever.).  I'm just telling you this story because I think it's funny.

Merle went to live with my ex after the divorce, but we still hang out sometimes.  Here's a pic my ex took of us in High Park circa 2007:

OH GOD I just realized this picture looks vaguely humpy, too.  But there's nothing untoward going on.  Merle just happens to be sitting between my legs and I'm holding him still for the photograph, that's all.  Shut up.

*I don't lift him right up in the air or anything; the weight of his fat ass would just stretch his neck flab like a bungee cord until he was sitting on the floor again.  But I lift him enough that his front toes are in air.

**But there should be.  Mutt-day?  Curs-day?  I don't know.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Conversational Snippet #16: Mein BAMF*

Boy: I like living with you, but sometimes I miss the days when I lived with a string of various roommates.  It was kinda cool having different people around all the time.

Me: If you need variety, I can try to provide that for you...

Boy: No, that's okay.

Me: I can wear a fake mustache on occasion!

Boy: Um, no thank you.

Me: I SWEAR TO GOD I'LL FUCKIN' DO IT!  A fake mustache!  Randomly!  You'll think I'm a whole other person.  Try me!

Boy: No.

Me: Vat if I vas German from time to time?  Vould you enjoy zat?

Boy: ......Kind of.

*BadAss MotherFucker.