December 27, 2008

Art Post!

Goodness but I'm in a 3-D mood lately.

WIP: Bust of Queen Tcaolin

I'm really happy with how my first bust came out. Beginner's luck maybe.

Petrified Mermaid

And of course, more crystal porn. I've got some serious plans for this geosculpture technique.

December 23, 2008

Fairy Wings

When it dried all the way the crystals were whiter, but the effect is actually much nicer. I'm told if I leave the solution alone and don't touch it at all they'll be clearer in future.

Need to find a source for insect specimens. I have Plans.

I'm thinking about spending some of my carefully hoarded savings on rocks. It's all I really want for X-Mas and I've been ever so good this year. I reckon it depends on whether I can talk myself into it considering how broke I am. Do I want that Cintiq as bad as I thought I did before I got that 30% coupon in the mail for ZRS Fossils? Aye, there's the rub.

December 20, 2008

Updating In A Winter Wonderland

Finally got off my ass and finished the next pages. It wasn't as hard as I imagined, getting back into the groove. I hate losing momentum because suddenly every hour of coloring feels like an hour instead of five minutes, and I'm tempted to take breaks way more often than my wrist requires. Such a slacker.

This bitch-ass virus is still kicking my ass, but at least I've got most of my energy back. It adds more oomph to my morning coughing fits, but shoveling a foot of fine powdery snow off the front walk wasn't the thrill-ride of the century that it normally is. Alas.

It snowed like an albino suicide bomber all day today. I wish I could go sledding or something, but apparently I have actual work to do. And no sled. Instead, I will read Calvin & Hobbes in the comfy chair, and that will be just as much fun without the unsettling extremity damage of frostbite.

Tomorrow is expected to be between -15 and 0 degrees at the highest. I can already tell this winter is going to rock.

December 18, 2008

Weather or Not II


Well played, Disney.

I wonder if anyone else who watched Tinker Bell has noticed a reference to the controversial deleted Fantasia character Sunflower.

Much as I dislike the corporation's historical mishandling of race and gender issues, I am still enough of an optimist to interpret giving a dignified black female character a sunflower theme as a baby step forward for Disney. I could just be seeing a link that isn't there, but I hope it is.

Also I really dig Iridessa. She friggin' makes rainbows, plus she's hotter than all two of the other Disney animated heroines of color put together!

(Well no, I exaggerate. Nothing is hotter than two women put together, if you get my drift. AND I THINK YOU DO.)

December 11, 2008

More Medical Fun

The other day I spent 3 hours driving around in blowing snow with maybe 200 feet of visibility in order to find the dentist who takes Medicaid. Mapquest fucked me right in the sigmoid colon and then turned around and didn't pay. You know how sometimes numbered streets also have names? Yeah. They gave the street's name but not its number, and the signs showed the number but not the name. Also, "Highway 5" is not the same thing as "County Road 5" except that it actually is.

Also, going 35 on the interstate is for stupids.

At the end of it all, I got my teeth cleaned and the dentist told me I need fillings. Either I developed three cavities in six months or the last guy missed them on my previous visit. Ah well, I can always use more needles in my gums.

Then today I saw the podiatrist about my arch pain and toe numbness when walking. He said I have good arches but they don't have much support, and slapped some wet plaster socks on my feet to make orthotic inserts. They'll come in the mail next week and then I have to break them in over a week or so. It sounds a bit draconian but whatevs, as long as I can look forward to someday being able to jog and walk without my shins catching fire I'll be a happy guy and suffer minor annoyances.

Next week I see a nurse-practitioner who has allergies training about my eye. I've been getting a firespot in the exact same place every other day for a week or more. Feels like grit is caught under the lid, but there isn't anything there. What really causes the sensation is chemosis--the conjunctiva swelling up in a bright red lump like an itchy, burning nipple on my freakin' eyeball. No idea what causes it but I have had it happen before when I lived in my sister's backyard party house. Dusty place, maybe that's the connection? We shall see.

I inked the pages today and went on to pencil another one. Why not? I'm slacking at the computer so I might as well catch up with pen and paper. I don't like how the art came out (forced my way through a block and it shows) but probably a bit of digital touching up will at least bring it up to standards. I can't worry too much about it because in the end it's only 2 out of 700+ pages, which brings the grand total of pages I can't stand to admit to drawing in my comic to 4. I'm a picky motherfucker, so that's actually not a bad track record at all.

The Zoloft seems to make me sleepy, but I need extra rest anyway. This cold is still kicking my ass. I've gone into the "dry hacking" phase, and it's so uncomfortable I've begun to almost long for those long nights where I would wake up with my entire body cocooned beneath a brittle crust of leaking snot. Fuck, but that's grim.

First Eyeroll of the Day

Hahaha, oh god. All the main characters in the Avatar movie are going to be played by white people. Because there just aren't enough roles available already for young attractive caucasians.

Well done, Hollywood, well done. The internet will run on this wank for at least a year.

December 10, 2008

Wake Up

I had been putting my life on hold.

I was a terrible student. People said I was smart, told me I was going to be somebody, urged me to live up to my potential, but I skipped school as often as I could get away with starting from the seventh grade. I didn't do my homework, which stacked up. I started missing crucial stuff in math class, earned a reputation as the weird kid, made enemies and alienated potential friends. I fell behind. I gave up. I dropped out.

Then college happened, and for one semester I felt like I was really going to accomplish my goal of getting a degree and leaving my shitty life behind. My anxiety got in the way--I didn't have a pen, but I couldn't bring myself to approach the nice girl sitting next to me and ask to borrow one of hers. I didn't have a study partner because I was terrified of strangers. The professor had a thick Korean accent and his descriptions of Venn diagrams would have gone right over my math-deficient head anyway. I skipped all study groups to avoid talking to people. I flunked the class, gave up on college and switched to part-time at a different school. I used my scholarship to take Japanese and Composition instead. Then I "took a semester off" because I finally realized I was having too many issues to focus on schoolwork.

For the next five years, I maintained a holding pattern. Work on the comic, do the art, hide in the bedroom, shelve the books. My only social communication was with my few friends or the people I helped at work. We moved out of the apartment where my Mom and I had weathered 9/11, and I retreated into my one-room hovel in my sister's backyard, shrugged off the lack of running water and heat, wondered if I might be autistic, came out as transgendered, dissociated and ranted on the internet and injured myself for kicks. I remember it as good times but it was really kind of pathetic. All alone in a little party house with my bad music and the undefined substances crusted into the carpet. Chest strapped flat, nails through my ears while my right eyeball flared up red and swollen every day from the layers of dust I swam through. Family drama alienated me from all relatives except my Mom. I kept in touch with the world outside through my modem.

I started going to cons. Met Seebs, Rah and Jesse for the first time at Anime Central 2004. I had been planning to stay with Rah, but when we all started talking at the tables it was nakama at first sight and we stayed in the same hotel room for the rest of the weekend. I didn't buy my next $80 bus ticket to Canada; instead Jess and Seebs brought me home from the convention to stay at their place in Saint Paul. They extended pseudopods and replaced my plans to go back to Nebraska with the urge to go native, which I did. Told my Mom I wasn't coming home except to pack my shit. She was sad, but my brother was getting out and she wanted to live with him anyway. I gleefully jettisoned my home life and never looked back. I didn't call her enough. I still feel sad that I didn't call her enough, but I just forgot. I knew I'd regret it very soon but I forgot.

Then Mom died. I went back to Nebraska to be with her during the end, got sick, came home, went back but I was too late. She died the night before I returned, and I was on the phone as it happened. The funerals weren't bad. She was polyfaithful so there were two, plus the wake where I wore an offensive T-Shirt to piss off the relatives who didn't like me anyway. My brother and I made up and I gave him a wad of money from comic fan donations to pay the funeral director for one pitiful box of ashes with a side of shitty attitude.

Now I had no connection to my past. Now I've been kissing-close to death and I realized I was wasting my life. Everything I felt was now under scrutiny as suspected bullshit. Two months later I had a petty disagreement with my childhood friend and he dumped me. I couldn't muster the willpower to apologize first like I always did, and because he never learned how to apologize at all we ended up never speaking again. One more piece of my old life fell away. Rain moved to North Carolina a few months after that, and I got depressed. I adopted a dog to force myself out of my head and being responsible for him got me through the worst of the sadness. Dogs and cats do their best to cure the blues by being small and pettable and needy, and in return we make sure their bellies stay full. It's a good trade.

The household moved to a small town where the atmosphere is much more laid-back. There are two colleges here, and I started thinking about going back to school. Thinking I didn't have what it takes to be a student, I was too old, too dumb, too anxious.

Then the accident happened, and I guess almost dying must have knocked some sense into me. Suddenly I was making plans instead of daydreaming about them. Small plans at first--see a dentist, find a good vet in town--and then larger ones followed from that. I got a therapist and a psychiatrist because I was overwhelmed, instead of hiding in my room and hoping the world would forget about me. The therapist hooked me up with health care and pointed me at assistance programs. Things became possible.

I re-established contact with my Dad, and we're slowly getting to know each other again. I really love the guy, but we've got to tread lightly for a while at least. I've always hated the idea of wasting my life, but now I feel more like there's something I can do about it. Medication helps with a lot of this, but some of it was just plain good luck.

So where am I now? Making plans. Establishing normal living activities like schedules and chores. Learning to work with the ADHD meds, and I've just started Zoloft for the social anxiety and OCD. I'm creating a new routine to replace the flawed one that was more of a prison than a refuge. There is comfort in routine, and just lately mine's been changing quite a bit and creativity has taken a backseat to the real world. I figure it's now or never--I either ride this wave or spend more years in the holding pattern. I'm impatient to get back to the old habits that I enjoy--comics and writing being the two major ones--but so far they haven't found where they fit in my new life. Creativity is kind of like a cat that will curl up in your lap if you stay put, but if you move around too much it gets pissed and wanders off for a while. Luckily creativity and cats are also sort of stupid, and will eventually come back for another try.

Hopefully within the next month or so I'll wake up with that cat back on my lap so I don't have to go chase it down like I've been doing. My comic is about to go awesome places and I'm getting annoyed by how slowly it's unfolding compared to the four-pages-a-week powerhouse of yesteryear.

Things go well at home. The Captain's nose is turning pink at the base. I still haven't mailed off the buttons for the folks who donated to get his vitiligo diagnosed, but I've got all the info here and will be getting to it as soon as I can. This damn cold isn't helping much, but it's slowly getting better.

Also, I've begun to think about college again. Scary stuff, but why not? "Too old" is bullshit anyway. I feel certain I'd make a better student in my 30s than I ever was in my teens.

That's it for now. Musings on a quiet Wednesday morning while the sky is gray and the snow is a few layers thicker than it was last time I blogged. Hope you're all well.

December 3, 2008

Someone Didn't Do The Reading

Noted white supremacist forum StormFront has a thread about how left wing, race-mixing liberals who run the US school system no longer teach Helen Keller in schools because she's white.

I notice that they failed completely to mention the other leading cause of Keller being glossed over in history books for children: she was a radical socialist. She campaigned for women's suffrage, gave speeches at labor strikes and anti-war protests, fought for race equality, wrote a bunch of books pointing out how the only reason she was able to overcome her considerable disabilities was that she was white and privileged, oh yeah and helped create the ACLU and the NAACP.


Yeeeeaaaaah, somehow I don't think StormFront thought this whole mascot plan all the way through.

December 2, 2008

It's The Reason For The Season

I don't think I should be allowed to play with computers when I'm sick.

Meanwhile, the ARG I was posting about the other day has blossomed nicely and I've gotten my first-ever email from a character. I feel special!

And hurty. Goddamn it, me, recover already!

December 1, 2008

This Is My Milwaukee

Ho damn I'm sick. Head pounding, dizzy, eyes and body aching. I'm weak and out of breath over little things like climbing the stairs or bending over, and my tonsils are so swollen that when I try to swallow they get in the way and sort of squish around painfully. Pleasant.

After the first half-hour of being awake, I feel better, but after a while I get drowsy and the symptoms come back, so I go back to sleep. Very vivid dreams, mostly of the disturbing variety, but I'm OK with that.

With what little of my time remains to me after sleeping and whimpering, I am following an ARG. It's the second time in my life I've come across one when it was just getting started, and the first time (I Love Bees) I didn't know what it was and wandered off long before any of the good stuff showed up.

If you're into this stuff, here's the website that starts it off, and here's a thread where clues and possible leads are being posted.