Monday, April 30, 2012

Links for the hell of it

No one should be punished for living in a body that fails to meet certain cultural standards, and no one should be rewarded for living in a body that does.

  • Bullied 'more prone to self-harm' – I would say that I was definitely bullied by friends in elementary school. There’s definitely a fine line between friendly teasing back and forth, and inappropriate semi-hostile teasing (better called “hazing”) that’s fairly one-sided. I found myself “pushed over” by multiple friends at the same time, and later by one over-bearing friends, over and over throughout my childhood. This is something I hope to be more attentive to with my own children someday.
  • Loves me a good Derby – There are always some fun t-shirt designs here. Check ‘em out!

Edited to add:

  • Dr. Bacon is awesome – Paleo curing diabetes? I think so.
  • Paleo curing Autism? F-yes – This dude is awesome. Go read him being awesome. I am a firm believer that autism and many other mental and mood disorders can be attributed to poor gut health. Experiment with yourself, what have you got to lose except a bad attitude?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Becoming who I wanted to be

Have I written about this before? Sometimes I swear I have, but I don’t see anything to that effect when I go hunting around the ol’ blog…

I can recall so many of my dreams since my mid-teenage years and all of them are related to appearance. Appearance to me is rather personal and so I try to be careful when I comment on others’, though I can’t say the same courtesy has always been applied to me. I like to think that the way I appear reflects a lot about my personality, or things I wish to be or be perceived as.

Hey where'd my eyebrow go...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday ramblings

Tattoo

My tattoo is coming along beautifully. The outline healed with no trouble, it was done peeling within a week. I went in to get some shading & “gray” (watered down black with white, I had fun watching Elize mix the ink and load up the needles) done. The depth that was added just from gray is absolutely amazing. I keep going in with really no idea what it’s going to look like, and then I’m blown away at how beautiful my tattoo is and how talented my artist is! I have to say, getting it filled was MUCH more painful than the outline. Someone suggested this might be that, when outline and filler are done in one sitting, filling is much less painful because your skin has time to release endorphins, but filling on its own is a lot of swapping around to different areas. I’m not sure how accurate that is scientifically, but it’s not deterring me from toughing it out and finishing up this beauty! I’m on day 3 of healing and the shaded areas are still very red and sore, much like a sun burn. I wonder how soon it will start to peel.

I am definitely considering covering up my first tattoo sometime this year, but there are a lot of other things I need to dedicate my income to once this is done, so I will have to use a lot of will-power to not schedule another appointment until at least after September! Realistically, I should wait at least a year after this one is done before I get another. As much as I want both of my tattoos to be beautiful, I really need that money sooner rather than later, and I don’t even know what I want to cover “hope” with anyway. All I know is it will probably be a flower (TBD) and I think I would like to include some dew drops and a honey bee on/flying to it. I’d like to leave it open enough that it could work into a chest piece, if I decide to get one someday (would require me picking some kind of theme I think, though I immediately think of skeleton keys).

Kitty!

I have a cat, but she doesn’t live with us, she’s been living with my parents (and their cat and dog). Her name is Fae, and she’s a super fat calico, and terribly affectionate. After doing some reading on feeding domestic cats a raw meat-based diet, I’ve decided that it’s time to take that kitty in and put her on a diet! Of course, this isn’t going to be your usual weight-control kibble diet. I can’t afford to feed her raw, and that requires a fair amount of transition, money, and attention to detail (making sure she gets enough offal as well as muscle meat and bone), so for now I’m going to swap her to grain-free kibble, and eventually, grain-free wet food. This will be as close as I can get her to an all-meat diet. Why standard cat food contains veggies, fruits, and grains, is beyond me. “Chicken dinner” flavored cans of cat food drive me nuts: they’re not people! They are cats! Last year, at her annual vaccination, she weighed in at a healthy 13 lbs. The vet noted that she has a lot of muscle (has been an indoor/outdoor cat since we got her 8 years ago), but I’m pretty sure she’s a lot fatter this year (check-up is on Thursday so I’ll find out soon). My land-lady has requested that she be on flea control (Frontline or something similar) all-year round and remain an indoor cat, so as soon as I can set aside the money for some basic essentials (food, litter, litterbox with cover because she kicks it all over the place, scoop, bowl, flea control, scratching post or strip of carpet or something), she’s coming to the apartment! It will be nice to have a cat presence around again, I have missed that.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Links for thought

  • What’s the point of getting out of debt anyway? – This post served as a much-needed reminder for why I am being anal retentive about my budget. It’s been a tough month for me, and for Mr. Boyfriend, and I ended up having to say goodbye to my normal budgeting practices to make ends meet, and then some. I am incredibly lucky to have savings bonds (series EE), purchased by my grandparents when I was very young, and so most of them are near maturity by now (most have had at least 10 years added to the maturity dates due to discontinuation). I have a lot of things to look forward to, short term and long term, so making mental lists of these things on occasion helps me get past the spending urges. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as stead-fast this past month, ordering dinner out too often, buying a game I haven’t played much, and am now paying for it, literally. As always, “tomorrow will be different” and I keep ploughing ahead.
  • 5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies (and What To Do About Them) – Supplementing Vitamin D over the recommended daily amount (400-4000 IU), at 10,000 IU per day, allowed me to get through Winter without any seasonal depression and has continued to help me get through rainy days with little mood trouble. The nutrients listed in the article are fairly easy to get tested at your doctor’s office, though a thorough thyroid test (not just the TSH or T3) may take some more finagling. I think it’s important for everyone to at least have a baseline for their own health by getting these tests. I had a very low level of Vitamin D when last tested, in July of 2011, and am going to re-test for my annual physical this year. I have high hopes!
  • A Beer Drinker’s Primal Story – I love me a good success story, especially for middle-aged folks. It makes me hopeful that someday my parents will see the light and give this way of eating a shot.
  • Admitting defeat – Yesterday, I had a bad day. I was feeling depressed and very frustrated about a lot of things. I started to feel better once I admitted defeat! Yeah, yesterday sucked, but since there’s nothing I can do about it, there’s no point worrying. Sometimes a good night’s sleep is all I need to get over a bad mood, but yesterday I just needed to remember that I was going to feel better by the morning, so I might as well quit griping now. I’m not always that lucky, sometimes I am too wrapped up in the bad mood to quit it, but it worked it well for me today :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Forecast: optimistic.

Upcoming events that I’m looking forward to

  • April 13 – Pay day! Because that’s always worth looking forward to.
  • April 14 – a couple of birthdays for people close to me (one I will be seeing…the other is my grandmother, who I will call)
  • April 15 – Orthodox Easter! I will be eating lots of meat and drinking some booze over at my parents’ house. It’s usually a good time :)
  • April 21 – First filling appointment for my tattoo. We’ll be starting with the gray and muted tones. The last appointment (after this one) will be for the highlights (some reds & golds). My last appointment will probably be around May 12th.
  • April 27 – another pay day! This one is important because it helps me determine my budgeting for the next month (because I’ll know for sure how much $ I have at the end of the month).
  • May 4 – My aunt is getting married down in Maryland so Boyfriend and I will be making the long trek down. it should be a nice weekend, visiting with cousins & their kids, whom I’ve never met!
After that is nothing too exciting (aside from finishing my tattoo) except for following-up with my allergist, a wedding on June 9, and my birthday June 18. I’ll have to come up with some plans so I have more to be excited about!

    Monday, April 09, 2012

    Coconut oil during tattoo healing process

    Today I’m feeding my earthy-crunchy (if “crunch” can be nuts instead of grains, or 90% dark chocolate bars) side and rambling about coconut oil.

    Many of us have read about the insane supposed health benefits of coconut oil, which is a medium-chain fatty acid (a really good kind of fat!). I have found it to be pretty beneficial in treating my always-dry winter skin (my skin wasn’t dry upon waking after putting it on before bed – a first), chapped lips, and even my oily face (as long as there’s no existing acne, I never break out and it keeps my skin smoother longer). I decided that since I’d had no bad reactions with it so far, except for that one time I ate too much (stomach not used to it = escape from all entrances, ease your way up, folks!), I’d use it instead of your average, chemical-laden, unscented moisturizer for healing my tattoo, especially since it’s completely natural.

    It’s been 9 days since I got the outline done on my tattoo. I have been using coconut oil as a moisturizer almost exclusively since I came home and washed it for the first time. At first, I used way too much, and a pimple started growing in a blank space in the middle of the tattoo, so I lightened up on my application. The first few days, I applied up to 3 times a day to keep it well moisturized. It soaked up the coconut oil pretty quickly, so it was necessary that I re-apply that often. After 3-4 days, the sunburn feeling was gone and the flaking had begun. I was able to get by just moisturizing in the morning and the evening, but was still applying a little more oil when I got home from work, but didn’t need to apply mid-day anymore. Around that time, I tried a lotion instead, but it was not unscented, and I had to rush home to wash my arm of the burning lotion! This past weekend, I used a lightly scented lotion because I had no coconut oil with me and was out overnight unexpectedly. The itching was unbearable! But as of today, there’s only a slight itch that I can easily ignore, the flaking is almost done (probably be done by tomorrow), and the lines are only slightly raised.

    So maybe it is not a miracle oil, I don’t know, but it helps my skin stay hydrated for longer than your average lotion, so I will continue to use it throughout my tattooing process (next appointment, to begin coloring, is on the 21st). I’ll be curious to see if it helps along the healing process of the filled in sections when we get to that, but since I have no prior experience, I won’t really know :) My only tattoo experience prior to this is a small, only black tattoo, and I don’t really remember the healing process. I know that I learned bigger tattoos are easier to handle, pain-wise, since you actually have time for your skin to adjust and release some endorphins. Go big, or go home! My tattoo artist has some information of the healing process and what to expect on her FAQ page.

    Pictures, when it’s done & healed, I promise.