Monday, 1 September 2014

It's catching up to me/ life lately / liebster.




Hellooooo from the dog couch! You can't see it from this angle but there's a bulldog using my leg as a chin rest as I type. He's doing ... okay. No longer crying when he does anything, and he is sleeping and eating and pooping like a normal Tank again. But he's got a serious limp in his front end that makes me sad.

Still a long way to go before I'd call him better.



Me? Well I woke up this morning with that "you might be getting sick" feeling in my sinuses after literally hours of stress dreams about my college job. Oh my god I can't remember how to check my voicemails, I'm running out of time to do my work, the computer is on fire, why is Ross Gellar helping me with this technical issue, I ate a regular hamburger by accident and I'm a vegetarian, I have to pee but there's nowhere in this college to go to the bathroom, everyone's getting mad at me for not getting my work done but I can't find the computer etc etc etc etc

I do have a right to be stressed though, these coming two weeks are going to be insane. College bookstores during rush are just crazy.

But you know what?

Money.

So yeah.


But for today I'm taking it easy on the dog couch.

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Lately I've been ...

Reading: BJ Novak's book One More Thing. It's waaaay better than I expected. I thought it was going to be another Mindy Kaling disaster celebrity book but it's actually a collection of really great fiction stories. I'll tell you more about it when I finish it.

Watching: Orphan Black. Change "watching" to "binge watching like a crazy person". Ryan and I have been putting away 2-3 episodes a day of this show. 

Feeling: So much stress and weird floaty-ness. I'm not meant to be around people as much as I have been the past few weeks, it's throwing me right off, I'm tired and not myself. I'm hoping after rush I can get into a more comfortable schedule.

Eating: Not so great. I'm not being ridiculous but I recently discovered a bakery near the tattoo shop has fresh soft pretzels and ... yeah. I had three in a span of four days. And they're basically gigantic balls of dough and salt. But soooooooooo gooooood.

Drinking: coffee, water and then more coffee. Probably not the best for my stomach but sometimes when you're only halfway through a 14 hour day you just need to cling to something to get you motivated.


I notice that I'm sounding rather pessimistic and that I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself.

Oh woe is me, I have too many jobs! Boo hoo.

You know what I was doing before I had too many jobs? Crying about how I had no jobs. So I don't know. I guess I just need to find the right balance.

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I'm totally craving one of those pretzels right now. *sighs and eats a grape*


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Last but not least (in fact it took me like an hour to complete), here's the LIEBSTER blog meme. 



I got tagged in a thing by like 45 million other bloggers and I'm starting to feel like such an asshole for not playing along. I've got the time today. Here we go!!


(1) Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
(2) Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
(3) Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
(4) Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
(4) Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
(5) Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
(6) List these rules in your post.

Okay so thanks goes to Suzy of Eeep I'm a Blogger, she's the most recent one to nominate me for this dealy. 

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Here are the questions she asked:


1. If you could only choose one item from your bucket list, which would it be? 

I actually don't have a bucket list but I really want to go check out Northern Europe and Germany. There's something about the cold aloofness, the homeland of black metal and the beautiful landscapes that is very appealing to me. Most people want to vacation "somewhere hot", not this girl. 

2. What makes a good blog, in your opinion? 

Someone who writes truthfully, from the heart, and remembers there is an audience (meaning, doesn't write a super boring journal about the "cool" people they hung out with) makes a good blogger in my opinion. 

I'm better at telling you what I hate about bloggers so let's do that: unattainable lifestyles, outfit posts with no interesting content, obvious sell-out posts that are written in stilted prose with the blogger trying to sound as though they were naturally writing about swiffer mops or whatever, a million pictures of your friends or kids. Center-justified text.I could go on but you get the point. I'm kind of a judgmental jerk.

3. Where is your favourite place to be on a rainy Sunday afternoon? 

I work Sundays so ... yeah. But I get what the question is asking. Who is going to answer anything but "at home snuggling with a hot beverage/reading/watching a movie/romantic thing"?  Nobody. I'd probably be wearing my hood up and doing something super reclusive like, oh I don't know, answering a blog quiz thing.

4. If you could meet up with any blogger who would it be and why? 

Probably Caitlin. Although I am always WAY too awkward/weird when I meet bloggers, it feels so wrong to meet the actual person in real life. 

5. Best book you've ever read? 

How on earth can I choose one? I can't. You can't make me. 

6. Are you a gambler or a take the money kind of person? 

Absolutely a take-the-money person. If I had set aside specific gambling money I'd use that for a bit, but I just can't justify throwing money away for sport. 

7. Which actor would play you in a biopic of your life? 

I have heard that Peggy the secretary in the first few episodes of Mad Men reminded people of me. She kind of looks like me too. 



8. What do you get up to when nobody is around/when nobody is watching? 

I sing to the dog a lot. I don't really do anything scandalous, as douchey and hippy dippy as this sounds I am a lot freer with artistic expression when I'm home alone. I'll try a lot of new things when I know absolutely nobody will walk in on me and see the hideous thing I've made. 

I also enjoy cleaning the house a lot more when I'm home alone. There's something about cleaning up after people that makes me ridiculously angry, so I guess when I'm home alone I feel like it's me against the mess, not me against all the lazy people in the next room whose mess I'm cleaning when they should clean it themselves.

9. If you could choose one talent to possess that you don't already have, what would it be? 

PAINTING. Uuuuugh I wish I knew how.

10. What is an interesting fact about the town/city you live in? 

Victoria has the narrowest alley in Canada in our Chinatown. It's called Fan Tan Alley. Here's my sister checking it out.



11. What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep at night? 

Once I'm lying in bed I usually read a chapter or so of a book, set my alarm, take out my plugs (because they hurt my jaw if I sleep on them wrong), take off my glasses, turn off my bedside lamp and I'm usually asleep in like two minutes. 

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Now here are the 11 "random" facts about me.

1. I was in university for 7 years, graduated with a Bachelor's degree and I have never, I repeat, NEVER checked a book out of a school library. In my life. Something about the act of finding a book and taking it out of the library caused me so much anxiety that I always found a way to do research online. 

2. When people whistle indoors it causes me to feel the rage of 1000 suns. Not sure how you measure the rage of a sun but I imagine it's a lot per sun. 

3. I can say "I don't speak French" in French, "I don't speak Italian" in Italian, "I don't speak Russian" in Russian, "I don't speak Mandarin" in Mandarin, "I don't speak German" in German and "I don't speak Spanish" in Spanish. Although that last one is a lie. 

4. I can't look at the night sky for long without getting completely freaked out about the vastness of outer space. 

5. I haven't had a drink of alcohol in nearly six months. When I say that it sounds like I'm in AA or something, I'm not, I just think that mixing a depressant with my anti-depressants is counter-intuitive.

6. I think "what-ifs" about each person (and dog) in my house dying every single day.What if I open the bedroom door and he's not breathing, what if the dog is having a seizure instead of a nightmare, etc etc etc. I scare myself all the time. It SUCKS.

7. I will literally eat cherries until I get horrible diarrhea. It's so worth it.

8. I have worked in customer service for 14 years. I hate working with the public.

9. I am allergic to Vans sneakers. If I go barefoot in them even for a minute I will have a rash for weeks, and it's so bad it blisters. I buy them anyway.

10. If I sleep in on my day off I feel like I've wasted it. Must. Spend. All the time. Conscious.

11. I've recently noticed that all the songs I consider the "prettiest" all feature piano music. Guess I like pianos.





Here are my questions for you kids. 

1. What is your morning routine like?
2. Where do you feel most creative? 
3. What is a good piece of advice/words of wisdom you'd like to share with your readers?
4. Describe your blog in ten words or less. 
5. What is a controversial opinion you hold? 
6. If you could learn everything there is to know about one subject what would it be? 
7. If reincarnation was the true reality, what would you hope to come back as? 
8. Have you ever played on a sports team? If so, what was the experience like? If not, what is your relationship like with sports?
9. Are you addicted to anything? 
10. What are some of your favorite books? (I am always looking for recommendations!)
11. How do you feel about getting older?


Absolutely do not feel obligated to do this, but if you do let me know in the comments so I can totally stalk you and your answers to my amazing questions.   


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p.s. 

Here's a pretty song with a piano in it. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Blog Collage (links)



Ryan: What are you working on?
Me: Uh ... (typing) ... one sec.
Ryan: Are you making one of those ... blog collage things?
Me: Blog collage?
Ryan: I don't know what they're called!
Me: No, yeah, they're called "blog collage" now!


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The more I look at this photo the more incredible it is. This is Roland the sea elephant (aka elephant seal) getting snow put on his tummy in the Berlin zoo in the 1920s. He lived until the '60s and when I was looking up elephant seals I found that he was actually kind of a small one, males generally grow up to 18 feet long. See more old zoo pictures on The Elephant Gate.

Thanks Messy Nessy - Caitlin  - Kaelah - Danielle - Gala


* For example, the diner people. Who goes all the way to freaking burning man, builds this functioning restaurant and then spends their time ... making grilled cheese and being a waitress? How is that ... fun?  I don't get it, guys.

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



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Thanks


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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.


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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.


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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.
 

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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?