jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Tattoo photo (warning: fb), taken on Friday shortly after the autostick-saran-wrap came off. The background isn't finished and the whole wants another going-over, but it's there.

I'm reasonably happy with it. I'd been thinking of the background as much more line-art sketched-in, but I like the detail work. And I'm exceptionally pleased with how the hawk came out.

It doesn't yet feel like a part of me. Probably gonna take awhile for that to settle in.
jazzfish: artist painting a bird, looking at an egg for reference (Clairvoyance)
Erin's staying with me for the week, which is lovely. She got in on Friday afternoon, and we've spent the extended-weekend snuggling and cooking and talking and running errands. It's been well over a decade since I've had a partner come to stay with me for longer than an afternoon, excepting Emily for the couple of years we were in DC and not living together. (And this past Xmas, I guess, though that was its own kettle of awkwardfish.) It's worked out rather well.

We went and got most of the Cargo furniture on Saturday, and it fits into the space pretty well though not quite as easily as I'd hoped. Gonna take a bit more rearranging to get it the way I want. Also, I'd like to get some art hung up sooner than later, in the hope that that'll help it feel more ... more real, more mine, something. I'm really good at getting my space about 80% of the way there, and then just not bothering with that last 20%.

Trips to the old condo are now most definitely Difficult, emotionally. Emily's solidly settled in and she's made the space her own. It's good to see her doing well. It's also rough to surround myself with... with how effectively I've been removed from something that used to be shared. There are still a couple more things that I need to do there: sorting artwork, for one. Maybe if I know / admit in advance that it's gonna be rough it'll be easier. Maybe.

I said "extended weekend" and I meant it. I took yesterday off work to get my second tattoo.

I've gone into extended detail about my first. This one took much less dithering and deliberating. A couple of weeks ago I went in and spoke with Rachel Lige, an artist that Erin recommended, and tried to describe the idea I'd had in my head. She made approving noises and asked a few questions and used words like "negative space" that I hadn't had the vocabulary to put into my description and quickly sketched something that looked like it might conceivably approximate what I was thinking of. I put down a deposit and made a tentative appointment for, well, yesterday, and emailed her some reference material that afternoon (a few silhouettes, plus the Le Guin and the Richard Siken poems), and tried to think no more about it.

Until last week when she sent me a preliminary design, and it was just about perfect. As an added bonus, seeing it, rather than trying to visualise, gave me the ability to describe it. "On my left pec, a silhouette of a hawk in flight, dark purple and filled with stars, over a dark grey sketched-in landscape." I wrote back to her with a couple of minor suggestions and confirmed Tuesday.

The whole experience was markedly more pleasant than the previous one. Some of that's having Erin there for much of the time (she ducked out for an hour or so to run a few errands), some of it's feeling more comfortable with Rachel than with Gilda, some of it's just having been here before and knowing a bit better what to expect. It took, mm, somewhere between three and four hours. Much of it was painful but not so bad: bits directly over ribs or sternum pinched unpleasantly, and the area down towards my armpit was just plain more sensitive. Then the last half-hour to forty-five minutes, in a combination of 'going over parts that have already been poked raw two or three times' and 'body is just Done', were sheer unpleasant agony. So we got most of it done, and I'll be back in a month or so for touchup and to finish some of the outside bits.

It looks lovely, though right now it's more red than I'd like. One expects that that will improve as it heals. The landscape's more detailed than I'd expected, and maybe darker, but I'm happy with it. I'm particularly pleased with how the stars in the hawk came out.

I was distinctly lightheaded when I sat up: not just a standard low-blood-pressure thing, but a very specific floatiness and absence of conscious thought. It's neat. I'm glad Erin was there: she fed me half a litre of chocolate milk and guided me to the Ethiopian place on the Drive where we ate raw cow and spicy lentils, and then took me home and generally kept track of me. So that was lovely, too.

I've already got vague ideas for next/additional pieces. The first tattoo I ever considered, back when I was still in engineering, was an electrical ground symbol on my Achilles tendon, and I still (or maybe again?) think that's relevant. I've recently kicked around the idea of a tiny orange, though that might be a passing fancy. And I've a mental image of a larger, brighter, piece on my right shoulder and upper arm. No sense of what it is, just that it... ought to be there, somehow.

In the meantime, I can focus on healing up from this one.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
And I'm still here.

Way back in the mists of time my then-girlfriend Steph made me a mix tape with, among other things, David Mallett's sublime folksong "Arthur". And Arthur, where are you now, we need you / We've been much too long without a leader. It took me an unconscionably long time to get around to picking up anything more by him.

I always thought of "Inches and Miles" as the quintessential Dave Mallett breakup song, and I guess it still is. And all things have endings, and beggars have their pride. For my money, though, "Fire" captures the end of a long relationship perfectly. But time here is frozen, the clock ticks no more / Just the ashes and cinders and smell.

Still biking, still getting out to yoga between four and six mornings a week when I'm in town. Prayer-twists are now absolute hell on my upper thighs, likely as a result of biking uphill to yoga. On the bright side I'm enough of a regular now that the teachers think it's worth their time to offer corrections. My flows and backbends seem to be working better. (It's hard to think of it as "worth correcting" when my traitor brain insists on interpreting it as "having been noticed doing something wrong." Always more internal work to be done, I expect.)

I'm still enjoying biking. I'm slower than most of the cyclists I encounter, which is okay with me, and I'm nervous on busy roads. But I like the wind on my face and I like getting where I want to go faster than waiting for a bus and faster than walking. I don't like overheating and feeling like I'm swimming in my shirt. July and more so August are going to be awful for that, I expect. But then it'll be fall again and things will be better.

I went to see a physiotherapist about my weird hip problem while biking. It seems to be a natural consequence of having favoured my right leg for ages, due to a long-standing hip ... "injury" isn't really right, but it's close enough, I guess. So I'm finally getting that taken care of, all manner of fun stretches and pokings and proddings and foldings.

Been starting to think more seriously about tattoos, again. Two data points doth not a trend make but this does seem to towards the end of a significant relationship. I think this time it's more to do with seeing all the gorgeously inked folks at yoga every day.

I can't remember how old I was when I visited Grandmother Taylor's old hometown, and the house on top of Crow Mountain where she grew up and, more relevantly, the cemetary. Must have been high school, but I remember it as being summer weather, which doesn't track with any time in high school. Maybe it was just winter in the south being as bright and warm as it is. Anyway, I've got a distinct memory of looking at gravestones of people I'm distantly related to and deciding simultaneously: that I wanted to be cremated and not left behind; and if I was going to have a markerstone I wanted it to have the epitaph from Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea on it:
Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.
That and bits of Richard Siken's Love Song of the Square Root of Minus One (especially blackbird over the dark field but I am invisible) have been rattling around in my head for months. I suspect they signify. I've got what might be an image in my mind, but no ability to describe it yet. Contacted one highly-recommended local artist; not yet heard back from her.

Taking a look at a potential place this evening. It's a shared basement, but it's in a great location (Cambie and King Ed), and it's cheap-ish and supposedly big-ish. The roommate seems alright if a bit more social/talkative than I like. She's also connected with several of the local communities that I'd like to tap into. It is possible that this will be exactly what I need and have been looking for.

It's much more likely that it will drive me nuts and I'll desperately need to find my own place in short order, but this will give me a couple of months to catch my breath anyhow. Not that there's likely to be anything findable. This fucken town.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Resolved: Stop Blaming the Pancake: "I'll go further and say that the repeated compulsion to resolve and resolve and resolve is actually a terrific marker that you're not really ready to change anything in a grownup and sustainable way. You probably just want another magic wand." Ow. (Metaphor quibble: for me the first pancake is no better or worse than the rest of the batch. The first crepe is consistently awful and has to be scraped off into the sink, though.)

Chip Delany, Part 2: The Miracle of Dhalgren. Pohl's whole blog is worth reading if you've any interest in the history of US SF in the twentieth century; this particular post is noteworthy for the people that show up in the comments.

Wednesday already. Where does the time go.

(Recap: on Friday I got a tattoo or two, depending on how one counts. It's a taijitu, empty half on the inside left wrist/forearm, dark half on the inside right wrist/forearm. Inspiration from UKL's "Light is the left hand of darkness, and darkness the right hand of light," among other things.)

I spent all weekend in the apartment, cleaning and doing chores and writing and generally Not Doing A Damn Thing unless I felt like it. There was de-Xmasing and vacuuming and cooking, but mostly there was lying on the couch reading or talking or mucking with the computer. Very pleasant.

Monday was my first day in public, and hence the day of regrets: how could I do this? It's Unprofessional. I'll be looked at funny, or given a Talking To, or fired. I made it through mostly by reminding myself that a) I'll get used to it, and b) there's no going back, in any case, so I may as well get used to it. The only person who actually said anything was a complimentary coworker: we chatted briefly on the way back from a meeting.

I guess that was enough to get used to it, because yesterday was the day of I Screwed This Up Somehow. The left side looks fine. It's the right that's causing me all the grief. As the dead skin flakes off, it's revealing a tattoo that's exceedingly patchy and not nearly as dark as I'd wanted. Did I do something wrong? Not moisturize it enough, moisturize it too much, leave it wrapped too long, not wrap it well enough? I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING AND THEREFORE MUST BE DOING IT WRONG.

Today I'm a bit calmer about the whole thing. The studio offers free touch-ups (as they bloody well should, at their prices) so once it's done healing I'll go back in and have it repaired. And maybe more of the ink will stay in place this time: I started noticing the 'patchy' on Satyrday, but was hoping it was just an artifact of the healing process.

At this point I'm reasonably happy with how it will eventually turn out. And with the technicolor cloud cover out my window.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
So, that was a fairly exhausting half-day. Good, but exhausting.

Because my boss is pretty much awesome, I could take Friday afternoon off for various "appointments." I left work shortly before noon and stopped in at B&N to see if they had Jo Walton's latest. They did, so I put half my gift card to good use.

I then met [personal profile] uilos for lunch (conveyor-belt sushi FTW) and we tried to buy silk long underwear (stupid Bean) and succeeded at buying jewelry from my favorite store in Tysons. We then popped up to Rockville to complete the paper portion of Not-So-Secret Project Paper, which was a lot less hassle than I'd been afraid it would be. Afterwards we drove home and I napped for half an hour or so, and then we headed out to Dupont Circle so I could get myself my NaNoWriMo prize.

We had some amazing cupcakes at Hello Cupcake, and then stopped in at Kramer Books fully intending to just look around. I think we ended up spending around $50 each. At least I now have a copy of A.J. Ayer's Language, Truth, and Logic, which more or less demolishes pie-in-the-sky metaphysical arguments, and a history of the Bach cello suites, among other things. Dinner was at the attached cafe, and made my mouth very happy indeed.

I then paid an awful lot of money and spent an hour or so in agony, and then we went home and collapsed. So what happened? )


Dec. 3rd, 2010 09:54 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
So there's this thing going around DW/LJ, where you post what you'd like for Winter and then check around and see if anyone you know wants something you can provide. It seems like a fine and nifty thing to do, on both counts.
WHISTLER: I want peace on earth and goodwill towards men.

ABBOTT: We're the United States government. We don't do that sort of thing.
I don't need or want much in the way of Stuff: first, if I want something I can and generally do buy it for myself; and second, if I get Stuff I'll just have to move it, or rather pay to have someone else move it. Hence, roughly ordered by likelihood:

The possible

1) Something you think I ought to have.

2) Physical letters, or postcards, or packages, or whatnot. (My address.)

3) Ongoing encouragement to Keep Writing.

4) Recommendations for a good (preferably local) tattoo artist.

The unlikely

5) Kisses.

6) A GM. More specifically, a GM and two or three other players for a game every Tuesday or Wednesday night, one high in characterization and intrigue and low in number-crunching and die-rattling. (I expect I shall have to provide this myself. Oh well.)

7) Awesome Vancouverites.

The nigh-impossible

8) Criterion Collection DVDs of John Woo's The Killer or Carol Reed's The Third Man.

9) Kink.

10) Aspects: A Novel with Sorcery. (Though I'd be just as happy with The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities.)

What do you want?

ETA: failed xpost last night. stupid lj maintenance.


Oct. 31st, 2010 11:30 pm
jazzfish: artist painting a bird, looking at an egg for reference (Clairvoyance)
Because I am a) a crazy person who b) wants to become more acquainted with his new computer in a trial by fire and is c) in desperate need of something to distract his brain, I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year for the first time.

This is madness for any number of reasons, but mostly because the only time I've ever written more than 1,667 words of fiction in a day, it wiped me out for several hours. 50,000 words is an order of magnitude longer than anything I've ever written. It may be more words than all the fiction I've written so far put together. Honestly, the only reason I think this is even possible is that I had several thousand-plus wordcount days in a row the last time I was writing anything, back in July.

(Also, I figure that if I get something else written, that'll give me the distance I need to go back and revise the space story.)

I've taken a couple days off from work in the middle of the month, and a couple more at the end, so in theory I'll have a chance to catch up when (not if) I fall behind on word count.

I have no intention of posting daily word counts here, no worries. I'll probably gripe about it here once a week or so, and give the same vague story info you've come to know and love from other things I've been working on. If you're actually interested I'll be keeping a running wordcount at the NaNo website. I'm jazzfish over there as well.

I fully expect to crash and burn with this but it'll be interesting to see how far I get at least. And yes, I do have a personal bribe waiting for me at the end of it, beyond just bragging rights.

(I'm using the special NaNo edition of Scrivener to write this thing, plus of course Neo for writing on my lunch break etc.)


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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