Seeing my monster of a brother (see the picture in the entry below) really makes me miss being in shape and wish I had some possibility of getting in shape again. Unfortunately, using my muscles accelerates my disease, so I am caught in the not-so-enviable position of having to either do too little and have my muscles atrophy (and my ass expand, haha) or do too much and have my muscles appear to stay the same size but in fact lose them to calcification (ie. the muscle doesn’t appear to atrophy to the eye, but when you look at it on a CT scan you can see that the muscle is gone and replaced with a calcium grid somewhat analogous to junk connective tissue). In fact, there’s a very good chance that I actually kicked my condition into high gear by spending so much time at the gym when I got back from Mexico. I never got “cut” or anything, but I was really happy with what I did achieve. Zoomable photo.
Quite a bit different from my current hobo-meets-Rasputin look, don’t you think?
Speaking of the body, I made another 2ga pocketing in my right ankle/leg, above the other one, using an identical procedure of making an incision, very quickly stretching it up over 36-48 hours using a combination of wooden and silicone jewelry, and then placing the final silicone jewelry when the final size is reached. But I think that I’m going to convert it into a piercing by cutting between the two subdermally. I made my first design of the jewelry, which you could argue is a third generation surface bar — large gauge posts, flat connecting bar, all cast out of silicone, and beads can be fitted over the ends via pressure-fit. Here’s a rough cast of it and the clay master that I used for making the mold. I’m just using food-grade silicone, which is essentially the same stuff as “implant grade”, but manufactured under different tolerances. And since my shop is so damn dirty, there wouldn’t be any point in spending the extra money anyway since I’m only making this stuff for myself, not the public, and I know what my body does and doesn’t respond to — and it doesn’t respond to this at all.
That’s just a rough test by the way, not suitable for the body yet! Also, the connecting bar is much thinner than it looks in the photo because of the angle/lighting. I also still need to build an insertion tool, which will probably be a combination of spatula (skin separator/elevator) and taper that I can use to lead the jewelry through the tissue… Procedure wise it will be analogous to some of the techniques that Brian Decker and others played with about ten years ago, inserting surface bars using dermal punches to do the holes and a small spatula to create the tunnel. It’s just complicated in this case by the fact that the jewelry is so soft and flexible.
Other than that, I finally finished off my Robocop stash pendants. You can click the picture to jump to it on my Etsy store if you want. I made three, one is spoken for, so there are two available. I don’t plan on making any more because the mold was made before I had my vacuum chamber and I am not happy with the quality (lots of little imperfections — you can see them in the pictures which are on the product page at much higher resolution) so that’s all there is.
I’m waffling right now on largely phasing out my Etsy store just because it’s getting so hard to make the stuff with my hands failing. I would rather stop making jewelry than push myself and lose the ability to type sooner than I would otherwise… It’s going to be very hard for me when that happens. If I do phase out the store I’ll have a killer sale first, so if you want something, but aren’t too stressed if it sells and you lose your opportunity, it might be worth waiting to see if this happens.
Speaking of typing, I have to admit that I have been talking and writing more (on Facebook for example) about body modification and I sure do miss it in a way. At this point (well, in a month or so technically speaking if I remember right) I no longer have legal restrictions on me banning me from running a body modification site, so I am free to do what I want, but as much as I miss it I think I would have very mixed feelings about competing with BME, largely because attacking my daughter’s mother is a real scummy thing to do. So I don’t know. But if I’ve been chatting with you about the subject — even if we’ve argued — you’ve brightened my day a little. And of course it was a real pleasure having the suspension party here a few weeks ago. I thought for a while that I’d said everything I wanted and needed to say on the subject, but having mostly stayed out of it for four years, I’m feeling like maybe I still have some things I need to communicate, and feel like my voice and ideas could be a positive force.
Anyway. In a couple days I get another session of tattooing on my leg sleeve, and more importantly, I grab Nefarious at the airport (that same evening — what a great day!) and we have her here for a week-plus because it’s her spring/Easter break at her Virginia school. It should be another great visit. To be morbid, a year ago I never thought I was going to make it to this spring (I was quite certain that I’d be dead by Christmas), and I think I can say with certainty that a big part of the reason I am still here is from desire to be with and support from Caitlin and Nefarious, and obviously my father as well.