Monthly Archives: November 2006

Tired out

Sorry ModBlog is running a little slow right now… That Misfits skull facial tattoo is freaking out the interweb and getting linked like crazy. Since people have mentioned the photo manipulation on ModBlog before, I thought I'd show an example of the types of changes I make. This is a more blatant example involving heavy background removal — most photos are just level corrected.

Thanks to bofh for that photo by the way, from day two of Awesomecon in Queensland, Australia.

I had a funny conversation with my sister (whose site is being affected by the megalinkage) about the tumor in my leg (the same general type that Terry Fox had, so I guess it's the first form of cancer that most Canadian kids know about). I don't remember it exactly but I think it went something like this:

Shannon: So I think it's probably benign because it's been there so long, and if that's the case, it shouldn't be a big deal.

Ashleigh: When will they know if it's benign or malignent?

Shannon: By the end of the year I think.

Ashleigh: Is there any chance you could find out sooner?

Shannon: Sure, if I die!


Anyway, logically I think I'm in one of the lowest risk groups in terms of surviving — and even if I wasn't, there's nothing gained from worry — but I'm just getting my emotions aligned with my intellect right now… I think right now my brain is looking for things to “feel scared of” or something — is my right shin always itchy because there's cancer all through it? Do I get bruises on my right knee because the tumor is damaging surrounding tissue? Etc!

When I was at the gym earlier today I wasn't so much getting tired or sick or anything like that as just feeling emotionally exhausted… Like when your problems seem so giant you just want to collapse and let them wash over you. So instead of feeling tired, I think the best way to describe how I felt was that feeling you get right before you cry? I'm sure I'll feel better in a couple of days, because I feel like a dope being down about it.

Tom's going to help me deal with this new corrupted magnet in my hand soon… Having that burst magnet out will also help lower my stress level as well (as will Rachel having finished won her über-dangerous race through Mexico). I walked around the house feeling all the different EM fields… I'm definitely going to miss the magnets. The application has some major flaws, but on a conceptual/experiential level, I just loved it…


You know, they really need to get doctors and techs on the same page. Because it's a little disconcerting when a tech goes over your forms and then asks you, “so, what treatment have you started for your cancer?”, when your doctor hasn't mentioned that to you.

Anyway, I had my bone density scan today, so they shot me full of something radioactive and stuck me in the machine above, which was monstrously painful because I had to hold my leg still for about fifteen minutes. Unfortunately the battery on the camera died so I wasn't able to get a photo of the scan itself, but it was pretty disturbing — there's an intense black (on the imaging, not IRL) mass that's signficantly different in intensity than anything else in my body (they did both closeup scans and a full-body scan). I mean, I know it's there, and I've seen it x-rayed, but it's still kind of freaky to see it all in context.

I'm not particularly worried because bone tumors tends to be relatively safe — if I'm to believe Wikipedia on osteosarcomas, I have a 66% chance of survival, although I think my changes are way way way way better than that because I'm young and healthy still*. But, I have to admit that it raises my stress levels and makes me feel a little lonely. I think that's just that psychosomatic thing where you want someone to kiss it better even if the relief is just from knowing there's someone holding your hand, you know?

The schedule got messed up for the MRI portion — I guess the hospital somehow lost the forms, so I suppose I have to go back for that later in the week or next week or something.

* And because I'm 99% sure it's been there for a long time.

Lucky Number 13

Well, tomorrow I spend the day waiting between MRI scans on my bone tumor thing. My prediction? Extreme boredom… I have to be there first thing in the morning, get something done, then I have to wait for half the day, and then whatever the second half is… I don't know if that's because I have multiple tests, or if it's because I have to ingest some sort of imaging agent…

I really hope I don't forget to bring something to read…

BME/HARD Chestpiece

So yesterday Shane Faulkner (King of Fools, Toronto) laid down the first sitting of my chestpiece and I'm very happy with it. We did the whole outline and had time to start calligriphying some of it. I really think it's going to be incredible when it's finished — it's primarily lit from the barn door, and the combination of that dramatic lighting and the perspective will be great… And of course you can't go wrong with the subject matter! I think I'll enter it at NIX this summer and see what kind of response it gets, ha…

Click for explicit detail

(Sorry, it's hard to take a picture of your own chest without distorting it a little… and thanks to Roo for leaving his camera for me to use.)

I know this tattoo will end up on a lot of those “worst tattoos” sites and so on because I don't think most people understand why a straight guy would get this tattoo, and why someone would enjoy the subject matter in the first place. I'm not convinced anyone ever has to answer a “why” question on something like this except to themselves, but I do know the answers to those questions, and I'll include them in the experience…

Two more days are scheduled to finish the black and then the color goes over… It blends perfectly into my existing sleeve (the other shoulder hasn't been drawn up as high so we can do the same blend on the other arm), and does a really nice job covering up the old tribal mess…

(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*

A full day scheduled for tomorrow

Wow, a bunch of unpleasant stuff today that I don't want to write about. Anyway… My camera phone appears to suck more and more every day, but here's a rough of the stencil for the tattoo we're starting tomorrow. It's a full color Tom of Finland meets BME/HARD (including some artwork and artwork based on stuff from those galleries) piece in full color with lots of blood. I can't wait!!!!

The picture does not at all do it justice… The layout looks really great at full size and detail, and the planned lighting scheme is excellent. I've seen a number of tattoos with similar themes, but — no offense or insult intended — I really think that this is going to turn out to be the best one (in part because I think it can be difficult to find artists for unusual tattoos like this). And yes, those are my arms, obviously. Laugh it up, now I will have a tattoo of myself on myself.

Rachel has our battery charger but I'll try and squeeze one last shot out of my camera tomorrow so I can show the progress and the actual tattoo…

Other than that, when I went to the gym earlier (and seriously, the bigger the weights get, the more I love it there), I met a friendly but kind of sketchy looking older guy on the street when I was parking:

Dude: Is that a Porsche?

Me: Yeah, it is.

Dude: Why would you camo a Porsche?

Me: Mostly because I have a sense of humor.

Dude: (laughs) Hey, are you a tattoo artist?

Me: No, I get all my tattoos at King of Fools at Yonge and Wellesley.

Dude: Yeah, I got all my tattoos in the Federal Pennitentiary.

Me: Cool, well at least you got them somewhere.

Dude: (laughs and heads off on his way).

You know, doing “crazy” stuff like painting the car camo, getting tattoos on your face, getting an explicit tattoo, whatever the hell you want, is unbelievably freeing and stress reducing. As I've mentioned before, I've been poor and I've been rich, and I'd rather be poor and myself than a rich slave any day.