Friday, 29 August 2014

How many tattoos do you have? Part eleven - my right knee

Photos taken from Gerry's instagram the day I got tattooed. 

I'm just going to go ahead and apologize in advance for the various photo sizes in this post, I took all the pictures from different sources and  it's just too much work to change them all at this point. No thanks. So yeah, onto the tattoo post.

I really wanted knee roses, asked my boss Gerry if I could get them and he said yes. My plan at first was to get them both done on the same day. 

Um. No.

Not a chance in hell.

You know what's really cool and weird about a kneecap tattoo? It stretches a LOT when you bend your leg. So something like this rose, for example. When my leg is straight it looks like it would take maybe an hour and a half tops to do, it's a bit larger than palm-sized. But bend my knee and suddenly it's a three and a half hour tattoo. It's huge! And it did end up taking three and a half hours.

It hurt a lot at some points. Not where you'd think though. The actual kneecap bits weren't that bad, the worst was the leaves on the sides. They killed! The kneecap bit was weird, I could feel it moving around in there as he stretched the skin, yuck. And my leg wasn't cooperating in the staying still department. Every once in a while I'd find it automatically straightening itself out. I blamed the reflex reaction to being touched in that spot under the knee but who knows. 

So I made it through the tattoo ... but what you never think about is the healing. Word to the wise: if you're planning on tattooing your knees you should take a couple days off work afterward.

Dear lord this was the worst thing to heal. It swelled up insanely huge. To the point where I couldn't sleep and when I stood up in the morning and all the blood rushed into it I cried. And oh boy did it bruise. I'm a big bruiser when it comes to tattoos in general so it's no surprise. But still. 

Here are some photos from the day I got this tattoo. 

I got home and took some ibuprofin and kept my leg up for a few hours still wrapped up. 


 


You can see the swelling starting up in the next couple photos. These were taken just after I showered and got all the plasma and crud off the tattoo.





 And here are some from the next day. Check out the difference in knee size! Yikes.




And a nice one of it a few days later, all dry and gross for good measure. Getting tattooed is not pretty.




And you probably have seen 45 million photos of this thing healed, I absolutely love my knee tattoos. I'll show you the other one next week.


Link up your tattoo posts here: 



Tuesday, 26 August 2014

August Links 7



---



---

Thanks


---
And to end it on a high note, here's the Parks and Recreation season six gag reel.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Mental Illness Happy Hour



I know there are other things I've been meaning to write about but nothing is coming to me. The past few days I've been struggling through one of those fogs. Those grey days which I am only now, at 31 years of age, able to characterize as a part of the bigger issue.

That's right, it's another post about ANXIETY.

I've been having  a lot of feelings of, and I don't know how else to characterize this so bear with me, floating out of my body.  Apparently this is a really common feeling related to anxiety. You can't focus, everything seems surreal. You literally feel like you're not in your own mind.

It's insanely frustrating when you know it's happening and you're trying to, oh, I don't know, live your life normally.

Sometimes when I feel this way it's so bad that I can't even finish a sentence. I will start saying something with confidence and midway through I space out. Then I panic, my heart starts racing because what was I trying to say???? It feels as scary as giving a speech in front of twenty people and forgetting your next line.

I wake up in the middle of the night with the weirdest thoughts. Last night I was pretty sure I was dying of a dry throat (??) and the night before that I woke up to the sound of a bathroom door and when I closed my eyes I could see spinny things on the backs of my eyelids, like I was dizzy while lying down and I thought that was going to kill me too.

Look out for the fatal spinny dizzy eyelids!!

I am not surprised that I'm having a hard time. I mean, in the past few weeks the dog has been through a lot which is extremely stressful, both seeing him in pain, feeling helpless and um yeah, let's talk about vet bills because I don't usually have an extra three thousand dollars hidden under my mattress.

I also started a brand new position at the college, crash-course style, and am now responsible for huge amounts of money and thousands of students getting their textbooks.

On top of that, I am working day 21 of 22 in a row. For an introvert, being around people this much is absolutely unacceptable. I need to recharge! My batteries are drained! *insert other internet introvert catch phrase here*

I also haven't been exercising much or eating super well lately.

The frustrating thing for me is that none of these things are that bad. Tank is getting better by the day. I'm enjoying the new challenges at work and I love the paychecks (that are all going to the vet bills, but still ... ). Working every day is draining but at least it's at different locations all the time, so it doesn't feel like I'm doing the same day over and over again.

So intellectually, I am fine. Nearly content.

But physically ... my body wants me to slow down.

I can't.

So the stress is beginning to manifest itself in these odd ways.

The floating feelings. Random tight chest/can't breathe feelings. Being tired enough to go to bed at 8pm. Barely being able to hold a conversation. Avoiding any social situation out of a feeling of mental/social exhaustion.

---

Any of this sounding familiar to anyone out there? Good times, right?

I found a (new to me) podcast archive on iTunes that you should absolutely check out if you've got symptoms of depression or anxiety called The Mental Illness Happy Hour.

http://mentalpod.com/


It's a series of hour long interviews with celebrities and comedians about their mental illnesses. It's super candid and really refreshing to hear all these successful and gregarious seeming people talk about the same things you're feeling.

As of today there's 187 episodes out so there's a lot of catching up to do. I totally recommend this if you're feeling like a crazy person or like nobody really gets the feelings you've been having.

So yeah, on that note I have to hurry up and get ready for work now, typing this has really cut into my coffee and breakfast time.


Saturday, 23 August 2014

August Links 6


Dog reacts to dial-up modem sounds.

---




---


Thanks Victoria & Alycia 


Friday, 22 August 2014

How many tattoos do you have? Part ten - rib dots and patterns

Another recent one! 




I'm counting this all as one huge tattoo rather than three separate tattoos because it's all connected now. 

---


A while ago now my boss mister Gerry Kramer, tattoo champion, agreed to give me a mandala tattoo made completely of black dots. At first I thought I'd get it on my elbow or around some of my arm tattoos to kind of fill in some space. But then I thought "hey, what about my entire side instead?"

And somehow he said yes to that idea. And this piece came about.


---


We did the upper under-boob mandala bit first. It took somewhere around an hour and a half or two hours I think? I don't quite remember because it hurt so bad I must have completely blocked it from my memory. Seriously.

I have seen probably two hundred or more people get their ribs tattooed over the years. I knew what I was getting myself into. But at the same time I thought pretty highly of myself and my pain tolerance.

Yeah. I ... was wrong. It's like no other tattoo I've ever gotten. But afterwards I was sooooo happy with the way it turned out. It's beautiful and frames everything so nicely. And dots heal super easily too so that was a bonus.


---

Part 2 happened in two sessions. It's HUGE.

The first sitting was around three hours and the second was around two I think. For the most part it was just normal-tattoo painful, but I have a lot of stretchmarks in that area which I think made Gerry's job more difficult than it normally would have been, and it definitely hurt a fuckload more getting those bits tattooed. I'm not sure about the science behind it but getting tattooed over scar tissue and stretchmarks just KILLS.

Here I am showing it off like a weirdo.  It's a full circle that goes right down all the way to the top of my thigh.
 

---

I ended up putting off the third installment of this tattoo for a few months because I was having health issues in my stomach/abdomen area and honestly I don't trust the cleanliness of doctors' offices and hospitals. So I didn't want to have some nurse prodding around a fresh tattoo, potentially infecting me with who knows what.

I finally booked myself in for this past Tuesday afternoon. And wow. Um, this thing hurt worse than any other tattoo I've ever gotten. And it took us four hours to get through it. Four intense crazy hours.

I definitely lost my cool at the end of it all, I was swearing, sighing, breathing loudly, whining ... and then apologizing for it. Yeah. Not my proudest moment, that's for sure. Luckily Gerry is so good at blocking it all out. I think he called it "sociopathing through it", meaning he just acts like he doesn't care how much he's hurting somebody and just gets it done. Which, as the person being tattooed, I really appreciate. If he had stopped every time I said anything it would have taken like 89 hours to finish.

The moment it was done I looked in the mirror and said "It was so worth it!"

Isn't it beautiful???


I'm sooooo into it. There are a couple things Gerry said he'd like to do, like adding some black shading behind the lower mandala and maybe some other things, but we will have to wait until I'm brave enough to get back into it.

As painful as it was, I love the way it looks so much I'll probably do the other side at some point.


Any of you have your ribs tattooed? How was it for you?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Monday, 18 August 2014

Reading in 2014 - Book 26 - Sleepwalk With Me by Mike Birbiglia


I found out who Mike Birbiglia was through the Nerdist Podcast. He's a hilarious comedian and, as it turns out, an equally hilarious writer. And this is a book of short (and funny) anecdotes about awkward times in Mike's life.

The only thing I would caution is the writing style comes off as sort of simplistic. But that was remedied by imagining it all being read out loud in his voice and that made it so much better. For me it was a really quick and pleasant read and I would recommend it.

7.5/10 on the nova book scale. It wasn't life-changing or anything but I liked it.