i didn't know what was going on or the precise guest list, but i knew there'd be a gathering, food, & cake, & that's all that really mattered. arriving to the apartment were sic737, girlgoth & magnus, travis, christopher, nei_tan & trevor, robinhoodvandal & impatient_hands.
we walked to annapurna, where i hadn't been before. instead of an appetizer, i ordered a virgin piña colada-type drink: strawberry & pineapple juice with a splash of cream; & the tandoori clay oven lamb with grilled vegetables & mint chutney. the lamb was lovely & all my meat had piercings. :D the drink was DELICIOUS but a huge mistake - i almost never drink calories, & a few bites into the meal, 12oz of the sweetest juice around hit me & i felt completely ill.
i feared i'd end up missing out on my own cake, but fortunately, the cold walk home helped me to recover. joe & i extended our walk a few extra blocks, & my blood sugar stabilized enough to return to the apartment without feeling like wilford brimley was knocking down my door.
so i'd been told mid-week that joe had acquired a "cake backer" - immediately i suspected testing4l (& found out on the day that i was right). joe asked for my cake requests, & ended up getting my top choice: a black forest cake from b&o espresso. i fucking love b&o - you'll pay $8 for a slice of cake or pie there, but it's sooo worth it. i've often taken friends for dessert & i occasionally stop in on my way home from work, too. black forest is easily my favorite cake, but theirs is soaked in kirsch (cherry brandy) so i've never had it. ordering a whole cake, though, they were able to do without the alcohol component, & this made it even more special.
i took photos of the glory before we hacked into it. note that there's no frosting, just whipped cream, dark chocolate cake, & dark cherries. it wasn't too sweet at all, which was a huge relief after le juice regret. THE CAKE:
holy shit, it was SO good. also HUGE. there was plenty for everybody, several people took a slice or two home, i put a big hunk in the freezer for phil's upcoming visit next month, *&* we still had a couple of slices left for the next day. that was one hell of a cake.
after cake came presents, & a surprising number at that! molly gave me a card with a small square of knitting stapled to it, in my favorite colors, & said i'd be receiving a warm present as soon as she had time to finish it. X) will & james gave me a pony express belt buckle, for which i'll need joe to cut me a new belt. joe's present was awesome - a black fleece blanket that PLUGS INTO A CIGARETTE LIGHTER. YES! it'll be perfect for our upcoming trip to victoria BC for grammy's birthday, especially if joe decides to stop & hike anywhere.
it also must be noted that james is hilarious. please look upon the packaging for the blanket:
what the fuck. as james pointed out, that guy is a CONSTRUCTION WORKER. he has NEVER BEEN COLD IN HIS LIFE. he's obviously on the phone ORDERING THE BLANKET for his COLD GIRLFIREND, laughing about how she'll have no good excuse to put her ICE FEET on him anymore. haha i'm still mystified as to why a beefy dude who works outdoors was chosen as their product mascot - but hey, i'm not in marketing.
so there was one more present, which gives me reason to put a jewelry post directly in the middle of this write-up, because lily is fucking awesome.
you will not believe this - http://stretched.livejournal.com/5613635.html:
little did i know when girlgoth made this post that she was TOTALLY BAITING ME.
when i first hit 3/4", i bought a pair of "bug plugs" with real scorpions in them (thus a misnomer, as scorpions aren't bugs) - but they were way too depressing to ever wear. i love these animals & couldn't bear having their corpses in my ears, killed solely for fashion. i'm not going to get into the ethics of the fur trade, but at least a fur coat also provides warmth, you know? i quickly resold the plugs & never saw anything else similar that wasn't stupid cheesy.
somehow lily remembered what i'd posted about the bug plugs, & she identified with it, as people are often pointing her to taxidermy sites with bats. she may be goth, but that doesn't mean she wants to surround herself with dead specimens of her favorite creatures.
now harken back to gorthok's recent birthday, for which i commissioned three gorgeous portraits from lily. around the time they were finished, she started making some miniature (~2"x3") bat portraits in acrylic, then a new media for her. i had exclaimed about them, obviously, & how remarkable it is to me that she could go from drawing to painting like that. (i can paint a good 4ga match, sure, but i can't paint large scale or draw for shit, & people who do things i decidedly cannot will always impress me.) i'd asked about a scorpion painting, & lily was open to giving it a shot.
i got caught up with other things, & admittedly forgot about it, as the art i commission for myself these days tends to be only for my earlobes. but lily didn't forget, & she used my birthday as a great time to try something new...
that's right. she painted scorpions for me.
she also sent procedurals! first her digital mockup:
here's how she envisioned them in my ears (which is exactly how i positioned them when i first unwrapped them, hehe):
the original plugs & new backgrounds:
lily's working area. note the doodles of my ear & her notes culled directly from my own comments:
progress! the scorps' base coats. you also see what she was first planning for the 4ga:
slowly they come to life, & lily decided (to my delight) to make the 4ga a full scorpion:
a play-by-play of the 4ga:
the 4ga is based off of this guy:
finished & protected with clear coat:
she signed all the backs:
of course i had to take some of my own pics, too:
i counted the segments - she even gave them the right amount of body sections through to the tails! at first i was scared they were six-legged scorpions (an incredibly common mistake seen regularly in tattoos - they're arachnids, not insects!) but in clooooose examination you can see the frontmost pairs hidden next to their pedipalps. i emailed lily this after my birthday party, & she replied, "I knew you would know if they weren't scorpions so I took the time to make sure they had all their parts. ;)"
she also added, "Also, just so you know, all of the scorpions I used for reference for your plugs were alive in the photos. lol. It was a little harder to find good ones that way, but I thought using dead/displayed ones was kind of defeating the intent." i really appreciate this; i love when art means more than it seems. plus she used black emperors for the 3/4" plugs - the same species as the one who lives on my ribs.
& as if all of the above weren't awesome enough, they fluoresce like real scorpions.
yeah. lily finished them with UV paint.
for those not versed with scorpions, they all glow under blacklight. here are the reference pics lily used for the UV paint:
& macro shots because omg:
in-ears, of COURSE:
glowing in-ears too :)
& i took a little video of them:
i've been told i'm precise to six decimal places. so you can just imagine how much this present suited, surprised, & enchanted me. they're going to live in my jewelry box next to the teeth plugs lindsay made for me. yes, this makes sense.
lily, thank you so, so much. i love them. :)
so yeah, that was my birthday, & it was excellent.
also, i bought another one of these. THEY'RE SO SPOTTY! SO SPOTTY! ^_^ now back to the usual stuff you get.
peppered rockfish with an entire garlic marjoram zucchini. :D 247 cal, 14g carb, 41g protein, 4g fiber.
the remains from yesterday's rockfish & some steamed cabbage. i'd forgotten just how good cabbage is when steamed simply & not overcooked into slop. 224 cal, 7g carb, 40g protein, 1100mg potassium.
corvina tonight, seared with 20 cal worth of bacon bits (real ones) & served with fresh organic string beans. i wanted to have a tomato with this too, but we were out; just as well since i'd had a late lunch & wasn't that hungry. 228 cal, 6g carb, 39g protein.
meals for the week! chicken apple sausage, organic eggplant, carrots (basil), yellow squash (garlic & cardamom), zucchini (garlic & coriander), shiitakes, sweet onion, string beans, cabbage, & one packet of craisins split across all 10 servings. i steamed the eggplant this time & then finished it in the pan - i think this is the quickest way to handle it. & i'm definitely putting more cabbage in these meals since i remembered how good it is simply steamed!
420 grams is 199 calories, 23g carb, 20g protein, 7.5g fiber, 134% A & 67% C & 762mg potassium. i'm glad our CSAs have helped to keep these meals varied enough that i haven't even started to become bored with them - the carrots, zucchini, string beans, & cabbage all came to my door.
3oz of sea bass over garlic & basil zucchini with just a touch of balsamic. i had a heavy lunch, so this was perfect. 130 calories, 7g carb, 22g protein.
i tried spice-rubbing ahi tuna. it worked okay - i think tuna needs more oil than i was willing to give it, so i might try a rub on swordfish or something fattier next time. & then it was so soft that it cut really poorly & somehow ended up looking like a bunch of bacon, haha. it was tasty with a bit of horseradish, though. this is paprika, cumin, tumeric, ginger, & cinnamon on ahi, & i made a salad of organic romaine, celery, carrot, & mushroom with oregano to go with it. 223 cal, 11g carb, 40g protein, 5g fiber & tons of vitamin A.
greenland nuummite - http://stretched.livejournal.com/5607980.html:
oh right, so middlewoodland couldn't let me go even ONE MONTH with an accurate collection post, nooooo, he just HAD to run right out & find something ELSE amazing & flashy that no one's ever made into plugs before, & he just HAD to make it into my sizes before even ASKING me if i wanted it because WELL HE JUST KNOWS EVERYTHING, DOESN'T HE.
*shaking head* couldn't let my stone drawer sit with eight pairs from relic & only six pairs from himself. mm-hmm, i see how it is. what a complete brat!
I MEAN, REALLY. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TOLERATE THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOR... without throwing bunches of money at him. :)
so these are nuummite, also called "the magician's stone", because people who like stones are either hippies or wizards. google says it's known as the oldest mineral in existence, about three billion years old, & is volcanically formed from two other minerals: anthophyllite & gedrite (Mg7(Si8O22)(OH)2 & Mg5Al2(Si6Al2O22)(OH)2, respectively, so it seems there's nothing bio-scary there). i say it's fucking awesome.
the way it flashes is truly unique - almost like seeing bright spots appear on an LCD screen. unlike labradorite, which usually has one specific angle to see the flash, these light up all over the place as they move. it's like someone dropped a sheet of labradorite & it shattered. here're montages of each plug at different angles:
this site describes it the best: nuummite has "a mixture of elongated crystals, often in sheaf-like groups. in the transition between the individual crystals (& especially the thin ones), an optical effect is created causing a special "inner" golden brown glow. this effect is also called iridescence, & is especially distinct on polished surfaces. the result is that the crystals appear as bright lamellae, almost like flames in a fire. the colors vary somewhat between reddish, greenish, & bluish hues, sometimes even within the same lamella."
after a description like that, i couldn't deny you a video:
gorthok was fascinated, & started researching it himself. he quickly found some amusing tidbits:
[20:10] <gorthok> "With its strong electro-magnetic field, Nuummite quickly restores energy and power that has been depleted by karmic debts, or other causes, severing entanglements that stem from past karma."
[20:10] <gorthok> lulz oh no
[20:11] <gorthok> "It can be used to increase psychic abilities and intuition."
[20:11] <gorthok> just what the world needs, lish with more intuition
[20:11] <gorthok> NO DON'T EMPOWER THE SNARK OF LISH!
here are the in-ears. they're pretty lousy considering that nuummite's joy is in its motion, but i did the best i could:
& from the front:
as if my video weren't enough, brian took one of his own - & this is what he used to lull me into logging into paypal. :D
first pair of greenland nuummite in existence, he says. *shaking head*
OH BRIAN, YOU INCORRIGIBLE GENIUS.
hawk update, 3 months:
so kwanie recommended i try this company's calendula salve for the oversensitivity, & i ordered it on 11-6-11. apparently it works so well that i only needed to THINK about it, because 11-8 was the first day i noticed a real decrease in shirt (rubbing-related) pain. i was able to stay clothed all day without suffering, & have since. :D
ok, so it wasn't magic salve; i'd done three rounds of hard massage in the worst areas (10 minutes per day using an excess of cocoa butter & a small vibrator purchased for this trial) on november 1-3. the scar seemed to get more sensitive after each round, so i stopped & returned to coconut oil... but the change was so apparent by 11-8 that i think the hard massage, after a "bounceback period", is what really did the trick.
or it could just be time.
either way, here are some three month pics. there wasn't much visual change from month 2 to 3, so i may skip month 4 pics depending on how it looks then.
so yah, i'm feeling much better. it still has to be stretched, but that part's been steadily improving since day one, so it doesn't worry me. it's also moved well into the "itchy as shit" phase, & acts very similar to a mosquito bite, especially at the tips of each feather. fortunately, the calendula balm is great for this (& much more portable than coconut oil), so i didn't actually waste $16 shipped in picking it up.
i've FINALLY gone back to pants this week, figuring that: a) anything still unstable about the scar is probably going to be just as affected now as it would be in another three months, so i may as well accept it; & 2) the tail has flattened from sleeping on it anyhow, & that was the bit i was fighting the hardest to keep raised. oh well! all my pants sit just below the wing, which is the most important part to keep, so i'm glad that won't be affected by the wardrobe change. here you can see how he peeks out in a typical pair of jeans:
& when i'm sitting:
it's like he tucks his beak into my waistband to sleep. :)
i've been enjoying wearing shirts without pain, but i'll return to a few more rounds of massage when i can fathom potentially upsetting it again, probably at the end of the month after my birthday.
also, it should be noted that this happens with all of ryan ouellette's work:
i should learn to play, or maybe i can get a video of a friend playing it. X)
thanks for reading this extra long entry!
speaking of, i found ryan's been posting some of my pics :) :) it's neat to randomly happen upon internet strangers complimenting you. one, two, three.
& my dreads celebrated their fourth birthday on 10-29, so i posted a shitton of new pics & a timeline here. there are also additional hair-relevant posts here, here, & here. you probably can't see that last one, but you can email me if you think you deserve it.
OK BYE FOR NOW LJ, TTY IN DECEMBER