Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Florida Bound

No, I didn't tie up Florida in some bondage-themed attempt to swindle the mob.

T minus tomorrow and I'll be in Florida spending Christmas and New Year's with the family. I'm looking forward to it of course, but for some reason I'm horribly depressed. I think it's because there's so much to do here, so many bills that need paying, and I'm going to have to ask my dad to pay my rent, again.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Involuntary vegetarian

The ears are ringing pretty hard tonight. More like a shrill air raid than the easier-to-ignore cicadas. I was hoping this would improve, but like my saliva glands, no such luck. I actually almost choked on some chicken like damn Mama Cass today. Actually, I did choke, just not as badly as I could have. Chicken is by far the most difficult meat to eat. I'm becoming an involuntary vegetarian.

Regardless of how juicy it is, any meat product has a certain dryness to it, more inherent to the texture than the actual moisture present. Chicken is less fatty so there is little oil to help it along down the gullet. It tends to want to hang on to the back of the tongue like my taste buds are cloth to its velcro.

I did make a nice stuffed chicken. I'm a little perplexed actually. I was going to make something out of the cut-up pieces of the a whole chicken. I bought one specifically for this purpose. The problem is, the last time I bought a "roaster" chicken, I planned to roast it and if possible, stuff it. Look in the bird, no giblets. So today I get a "fryer", the kind of chicken one assumes will be cut up, since you can't fry a chicken whole, at least not without propane and a large burner. I take the bird out of the package - giblets almost pouring out of it. Extra giblets, in fact. There ain't no two-hearted chickens. I hope. I don't know too many people who serve fried chicken with fried liver and hearts and neck.

I made homemade stuffing out of white bread, mushrooms, shallots and red peppers. The red peppers made it sweeter than I would have liked, but otherwise it came out great. As long as you like chicken giblets in your stuffing, that is. I always add them. I'm selfish that way.

Once that was done and we ate, I took the carcass and made stock and then soup. Came out pretty good, but the veggies were all canned, so less than perfect.

Earlier today I designed a couple of logos for George Takei's Facebook contest.

Basically, he's trying to use crowdsourcing to get a free logo, which I have no problem with. Some people are very much against it, as it diminishes the artist's worth in the marketplace. While I don't disagree, I also don't have a lot of worth in the so-called marketplace and getting my work seen any way possible is a plus.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lethal Injection

I have a question that's been bugging me for a while:

Why is it that in order to execute someone we need to give them a lethal injection? I understand that's the way the law is written to insure a humane execution (not even gonna talk about those who say it's anything but humane), but why does it have to be done that way at all?

Simply poke the same type of IV you would have used for the lethal drug cocktail (which is apparently expensive, hmm), but instead of injecting the drugs, just run the IV tube into a drain or some biohazard collection thing for safety and let them bleed out. As far as I know, opening your veins has been used as a method of dying for millenia. It's essentially painless and nearly free. All you gotta pay for is a needle and a nurse.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christopher Hitchens Has Passed Away

I just found out a few minutes ago that Christopher Hitchens has died. I've always been a fan of his writing, and as someone swaying on the edge of atheism and agnosticism, what he had to say on that particular subject was of interest to me.

By Gasper Tringale.

What makes his death even more 'of interest' to me is the fact that he died of complications from Esophageal cancer, which is one of the many types of Head and Neck Cancer. I wish I had known about this earlier or I would have followed his journal more closely, but now that he's passed away, maybe that was a blessing for me. Reading his thoughts on his treatment is only a little bit disturbing in it's similarities, now that I'm out of the woods. If I had been in the middle of my treatment, I would have been a bit more disturbed. I did really identify with his thoughts on pain and the inability to convey it's intensity or even accurately describe it.

I will say that the last few weeks have taught me one thing - that my future is kind of set. I may be out of the woods as far as the tumors and the radiation side effects, specifically the side effects that make pneumonia a real issue. I've resigned myself to the fact that, barring a return of the cancer, I'll likely meet a similar end, though hopefully far down the line.

The issue is the swallowing. Since ending my treatment, my ability to swallow has come back to a certain degree, though the muscles doing the work are all confused and screwed up, making each swallow somewhat less than a sure thing. The risk is always there that the muscles will fire wrong and I'll send whatever I'm eating or drinking into my lungs, adding to the risk that I'll develop pneumonia. I imagine that the older I get, the more the swallowing issues will become a problem.

I had originally titled this entry "RIP Christopher Hitchens", and while there's nothing religious about that sentiment, it somehow seems out of place.

Social Media Marketing

Stupid Arguments

Thanks to Lemuel Craft

I love my husband a lot, but I don’t understand why he has resisted changing over to satellite TV for so long. I really think it’s because he knows I want to, and he doesn’t want to admit that I’m right about something. Satellite definitely has better sports programming and better deals. I’ve been trying to convince him to let us make the switch at our house. Yesterday I went to www.cleartvbundle.com and called him over to sit down next to me at the computer and see for himself. I explained that I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to make our lives easier by getting a bundle that was definitely better quality and cheaper than the package we have. All I wanted to do was get our phone, satellite TV, and internet all together so that we didn’t have to pay three bills every month when we could just be making one, lower payment. He resisted for a while but then finally admitted that I made sense. Sometimes I think he just argues with me for fun. I guess I can get used to it as long as he lets me win in the end!

Still Not Alive Yet

Truly a zombie shop. I'm impatient. Made all these awesome sneakers and none of them show up in the store. Or they show up and then disappear. Whatever.

Here are some direct links.

Traffic Hi Tops
Yeah, they're loud.

Smaller, quieter

A Wall of Skulls

White Skull
Bone skins

Bone Skulls Hi Top
Now in bone color!

Smaller and meaner

Redblack Skulls
Two Tone Boneyard

Khaki Skulls
Apropos Grey Green

Tagged Hi Tops
Graffiti inspired goodness

Graffiti inspired goodness

One for the girly girls

So Jealous!

Nah, just being dramatic. I've been trying to come up with a way to incorporate the same pixelated effect seen here. I'd seen another artist who does whole paintings as pixelated images, usually porn, to extend the 'anonymous' metaphor.

Apparently Banksy dropped by the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England and left a present. According to Juxtapoz magazine, Banksy remarked, "I guess you could call it a Christmas present."

There's a bit more information in the BBC's piece on it. The Juxtapoz article doesn't answer the question of whether this piece is another bit of guerrilla art or whether Banksy is working with the gallery. According to the BBC, Banksy approached the gallery, which gladly accepted. The artist insisted that the sculpture be placed among pieces of the same period as the replica 18th century sculpture that the artist used as a base for his work.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Undead Shop

No, there are no undead shoes here. Yes, I might make a zombie sneaker.

The shop just isn't live yet, but the individual items are available:

Cuz that's what it looks like.
Retro kicks so old they look like your Gramma's sofa.

Gramma's Sofa
Speaking of which...
In lady's style!

Brimming with Baroque badassery

Filligree II
Same badassery, different style

Hide in plain site!
Or stand out if you're not prone to roaming the Savanna. 

Giraffe Hi Top
Hide in plain site!
Now higher up! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Signs and Wonders

Still more uncertainty.

My oncologist's office called today. That's my chemotherapy oncologist. She wants to schedule a PETscan this week. My surgical oncologist had said that it was too soon since my last scan and that "if he were an insurance company, he'd deny it." I don't know how to take that. I don't know if he's saying he'd deny it because it's frivolous or he'd deny it solely out of keeping costs down. I know I'm going to need one sooner or later. Numerous ones.

So they want me to get another scan in before their contract with my insurance is done, which happens to be the 19th. I still have no idea if that means I'm done with Ironwood or not. I also don't know if they want me to have the scan because they feel it's important to have it under their care till the end, concern for my well-being and all, or if they want to get one more expensive insurance charge in before I'm no longer their patient. The equipment is in their facility, after all.

So now I don't know what to do. I really don't want more radiation if I can help it, especially if it's just to line someone else's wallet, but I don't want to pass up a scan because of penny-pinching either.


These are the links to my newest shops at Zazzle. Every time I see that I think of Metalocalypse. Zazz.

This first shop is strictly for sneakers. Zazzle offers custom made Keds.
Unfortunately, the designs are still being approved, so the shop is empty.
Most likely it will be live by tomorrow.

This is a storefront for prints of my dog paintings.
I'm hoping to use it as a jumping off point to getting dog (or cat)
portraits going. Still filling this up at the moment.

My gallery for prints of my paintings.
If I understand the Zazzle set-up correctly, I've let users
have full control  over paper and canvas choice as well as size.
Be careful to proof what you set up carefully.
My shop for clothing and other items like mugs and cards.

Shirts and mugs for those big damn heroes at Pajiba.


After becoming a bit disillusioned with Cafepress (though I'm still working with it), I decided to migrate most of my stuff for sale over to Zazzle. This includes prints and giclees as well as tshirts and sneakers.

Yeah, I'm all over the place. Anyway, here's the gallery, and as always, it's a work in progress. New stuff will be added, hopefully on a regular basis, as with the other shops as well.

Griffins, Griffons, Gryphons.

Or as my ex's kid used to phonetically say "Gryfonz".

I drew this laying down, which helped with the foreshortening.

The classic panther tattoo 'Griffined'

Doin some sketches for a tattoo design for someone. Would rather not be offering my images for someone to place on their bodies for ever. For ever. I hate some of my stuff.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hungry Hungry Hippocrates

I am forced to concur.
This is not my design, btw, I just Googled it.
It is for sale though.
I had three doctor's appointments scheduled today. One, with my otolaryngology oncological surgeon, another with my general practitioner, and finally the weekly physical therapist visit.

Except the physical therapist wasn't today. I forgot we're skipping a week now.

My family doctor was talkative. A lot. Said he wasn't confident he could get a speech therapist for me. It wasn't that he didn't think I would benefit from one, it was that he didn't think it would get approved. I talked to him a little about the problems I'm having with Ironwood and United. He knew a good bit about it. Then he went on to explain how a certain healthcare organization out here was bent on becoming the Kaiser Permanente of the Southwest and they were pitting health service groups - like Ironwood - against each other and pretty much using the insurance company as muscle. One of my Ironwood oncologists had suggested that I try to get Access to switch me to Mercy Care. I wasn't about to call them. I'm not even going to give them a reason to look my way, for fear they'll do something random.

My surgeon is the opposite, bizzaro version of my family doctor. He says almost nothing, and when he does, it's not clear what he means because his face is a blank. I can't tell if he's passive or pissed or asleep. He asks how you are and then just listens. No follow-up questions, really, he just moves on to the next thing. Looked in my mouth and the back of my throat and said everything looks good. Felt the nodes and such and said everything looked good. We talked about the upcoming PETscan and he said 2 months is too soon after the last one. He added, if he were an insurance company, he'd deny it. I'm not sure how to take that part. I can think of a few reasons, but only one that's bad for me. I don't want any more rads than I need, but I also don't want to skip a scan because it's beaucoup cash. In the end, I understand that I'm on welfare, so I'm not likely to be getting the best of care. Doesn't mean I gotta be happy with that, though I have to say, even though I have a lot of minor, daily complaints, I can't complain about the overall care I've gotten.
Side note: A few years ago it was pointed out that the true symbol
of Hippocrates and physicians was not the Caduceus but the Asclepius, which is
basically just a stick with a bent tip, not a bad-ass sceptre of winged power.
The world said no.

I don't have to see him again until April. I also found out that my surgeon doesn't take Mercy Care.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

New New Grand Opening

Trying to transfer my designs over to Zazzle. Two outlets are better than one and some people prefer Zazzle for some reason. The interface is definitely worse and the wait to go live is annoying, but other than that, it seems like a decent shop site.

Plus they have this neat little thing: