Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tattoo Meanings, Water and Fire

When I was about twenty I decided I wanted to get tattooed. Maybe it was my best friend, the fabulously tattooed Margaret Flood. Maybe it was just because I wanted something on the outside that told a story of something on the inside.

I wanted bands of fire and water around my biceps, fire on my right, waves of water on my left. Initially I wanted them because they told the story of how it feels to be biracial, two seemingly opposing sides, both with their own unique power. I wanted the duality of myself to be right there in every one's face. I wanted to show how it was a constant struggle to find the balance between races.

When I was 24 I was hospitalized for a psychotic episode. During my research into manic depression, I came across a comment by the esteemed psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamieson about how manic depressives often draw images of water and fire during psychotic and manic episodes. These two elements are hardwired into our brains as symbology which explains our illness to others.

It struck a chord within me. The angry waves of water which now adorn my left bicep represent the seemingly innocuous (compared to high mania) of depression, the fear of drowning in sadness, the danger of suicide. On the other side, my flames of mania threaten to consume me in convoluted thought, rash actions, high energy burning up my seratonin and dopamine. ACTIVE, and also very dangerous.

These are the two forces I have to reconcile within myself, and having them etched into my skin makes me feel proud. Proud for surviving those dark nights when I wasn't sure if I would live to see morning, proud for living through a really horrific hospitalization and being able to recreate myself, to put myself back together into someone I can live with.

And yes, my own feelings about my race continue to live on through my tats.

I have some further tattoo work I want to complete sometime in the near future. I want some old school stars on my forearms. The next really complex work will be a Virgin of Guadalupe on my chest which will be drawn to resemble even more a vulva. That's kind of my nod to accepting and transforming Christian iconography into a more sexual celebration. Personally I have never felt more spiritual than when I am having sex with a woman I really love, and so I want to honour that. Plus I rarely ever show off my cleavage, so it's not going to be a very public tattoo. I have a few more ideas, but before I decide on a tattoo I want it to have a really deep meaning for myself.

Some people say "But what about when you're old and wrinkly and it all looks weird!" Hey, all of me will be old and wrinkly, and look weird. Why deprive myself of images I feel are beautiful on my body just because I'll look strange when I'm in the old folks home?

Besides, hopefully by then there will be an old folks home for queer perverts like me, in which case saggy tattoos will be quite common place.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Snow Legs

Not snow crab legs. I mean trudging through ice and snowbanks on wobbly legs with muscles I haven't used for ages since it rarely ever snows in Vancouver. I had a ridiculously long walk home from work because I got on the number 6 instead of the number 6A. Rode it up past my old high school (hello Aden Bowman!), got off at what I thought was the curling rink but in fact was an old age home (I swear the building looked the same!). Walked blocks and blocks in moderately cold temperatures, my calves aching. Then all I had energy to make for dinner was beans and weiners.

Good thing I had my ipod with me to keep me company.

My ipod advice for the day:
If you're a Mac user and you're looking for a good copy program to get your files off of your ipod onto your computer (because Itunes won't let you do this), the best free program out there is Senuti.

Apparently two of my boxes went missing in the move, and I am hoping to god it's not the one with the dildos or the two hundred dollar whip. I'm not really going to know WHAT's missing until I unpack everything, maybe there isn't even anything missing at all, just some stickers fell off. I've looked over my boxes and while I thought I knew what they look like, I honestly can't remember. Oh, I hope it's not the chip box filled with shoes and boots, because some of those are like, at least 600 bucks worth of fluvogs. I have all my porn comix, because I lent them to Velveeta and she gave them back just before I left.

Yeah, that whole last paragraph was just a weird display of my skewed priorities. I mean, it could be a couple boxes of expensive academic books, and that would break my heart too.

If it was some dishes I wouldn't mind.

If my top hat's missing I'll cry.

Some jerk kept trying to get me to sell him my top hat. Fuck off!! It's MY TOP HAT! I mean, how many places can you get a top hat these days?

Tomorrow I get to price Time Base Correctors and racks, I like my job.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Chain drinking Sodapop

Mmm, do I ever love pop. It's my main vice. Anyone who tries to come between me and bubbling sweetness of cola is in for trouble. Why anyone whould want to stop me from drinking cola is beyond me, it's such an innocent vice.

Well, today was my Sunday, so mom and I went apartment hunting and looked at a really REALLY cute one bedroom in an old character building downtown. It has nice hardwood floors, a nice kitchen, cute bathroom, some good windows. It's about a hundred bucks more than I was willing to shell out, but that includes heat and hot water, and apparently electricity isn't that much a month.

I am very into living in character buildings, not sure why, I think it's their aesthetics. Modern buildings seem very cold.

It looks like I'll get this place too, which would be great. It's close to work, sort of. It's a bit of a walk but not too bad, and maybe it will help me get my weight down a wee bit.

Here's something strange:

Since getting diagnosed manic depressive and going on a cocktail of Epival, Zyprexa, and Celexa, my weight ballooned up so rapidly that I was riddled with red angry stretch marks. I never lost any weight until I got really sick after new years. I quite literally didn't eat for a whole week, I just felt too miserable to cook or even get out of the house for something to munch on. So I went out to get boxes when I felt better and I had lost so much weight that my pants were falling right off my butt.

It really panicked me. For once I was desperate to get some of my weight BACK, even though technically it pushes me into the obese range.

The fact is, I look really good naked. I wear my blub quite well, in all sorts of nice places. Finally, after three years, I like being a fat girl. It's sexy in a ridiculous way.

Someone told me if I quit drinking soda pop I could probably lose a lot of weight. I thought it was the most inappropriate rude comment I'd heard in ages. I think I told her to fuck off. Fuck off is the best phrase for us fat girls to use.

Mmm, gonna get me another soda pop, watch election coverage with my mom, and get together a list of references.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Well, here I am! I'm sure you've been wondering if I would ever write in here again, and so here it is! I've had about a month of massive changes going on in my life, including leaving Vancouver for Saskatoon, where I now work at paved Art + New Media as the Production Coordinator, so if you're in Saskatoon and you're making media art, you'll probably be dealing with me.

I got dreadfully ill just after new years and was pretty much housebound for over a week, while also assessing the immense mess of my home and trying to figure out how to pack it all up. It was a bit of a nightmare. Thank god packing and moving is over, now I just have to find a reasonably priced one bedroom which will let me have a weiner dog, and unpack all my stuff which is enroute.

I've been pretty busy here since I got back, in addition to starting my new job. There seems to be a lot going on here, which in some ways is good. But in other ways, I dunno, I am a bit of a hermit. Which is why living with my mom and cousin right now is a bit stressful, I like having time to be alone, to not feel so weird or pressured to perform. I value my down time. I've heard it said that writers and thinkers need a lot of leisure time compared to other people, and that it is in fact a part of the creative process. That is definately true in my case. I've even been told that I'm lazy and unmotivated and hate to work (which trust me, is not true). But the fact is, I need alone time to listen to music and gather information on the world and have conversations in my head between fictional characters who may or may not ever see the light of day. It is work.

Tonight I'm off to an opening, but god, it feels like I've been busy ever since I got here, and all I really want to do is have a night of slacking off. Just watching television, eating ice cream, and chatting on the phone to various long distance friends. dfffffffff cat did it. Now here's curling up on my shoulders. I have to go pet him.

See, no slacker time for me!