When the day is slow, the play is slow.

Man, I wish I was playing video games. Says the person who isn’t a gamer.

Spending hours at the mall sure is something. I talk to people who come from hours away to get things, I talk to locals, I see the same people and have the same conversations, and I’m seeing what the small differences are.

It’s social. I feel like I’m a member of a community much more than when I was living in Seattle. But I guess I didn’t have the kind of access to the world back in the past that I do now as an adult. Perspective. I’m talking to people nearly nonstop at work when they are here, and I have to adjust a lot of communication skills for each conversation. Some of it is tricky, some of it is instinctual, and some of it is downright confusing. Needless to say, I now have some pretty good emotional and social barriers I can put up in defense if anything goes south. Although all of this is super distracting, and my head is swirling with people and lights and pop music by the end of each day. Except slow days like this.

But yeah. I have some art work to do. I just moved my studio from a cramped corner so perhaps tonight I will engage in some….. Artistic Making. Just pump some tunes and spend time with the iPad, the sketchbook, maybe even the music. We’ll see. I may move my desk over somewhere else. It too, is cramped.

Besides that, I have to start eating better. Now that things are settled down I gotta work on my diet and exercise. The two best prescriptions besides sleep. Meal prep is going to be interesting. That means I gotta clear room in my fridge.

Or maybe I’ll just paint my nails and call it good.

Double Weekend Time!!

Good morning! It’s about 10 am on a Saturday, I hope things are going well with you.

Today, I can hopefully move my craft and illustration desk over to the room left by former roommates. Then I will be much more focused in a work room of my own instead of scattered around the general living space.

Dayjob went well, this is the seccond of my two day weekend I get. It was Thurs and Sat off this week.

I have an outstanding commisison to work on today. My goal is to have it completed, so I’m going to try to stay as focused on that one thing as much as I can! I have the whole day for it 😀

New Job New Times

The routine is as follows:

Wake up

?? (Breakfast, clean dishes, sometimes a shower)

Work at the mall

Get out somewhere between 4pm and 6pm

?? (Go get groceries on the way home)

Get home, disrobe

??????? (Make dinner, videogames, drawing, going on a walk in the woods)

Watch Youtube

Go to Bed..

So far… it’s pretty okay. Staying busy, but I need to carve out more time in between stuff to grab the iPad and get into it. I have all that I need, now I just need to be there.

PS: Bonus sketch of me fixing phones!

Chasing Rent

Day Job … most of my time.Chores and eating chores and eating.

Small social events, except for that one big one I had been saving up for. Saying hi to friends. Getting time in with loved ones.

Right now, projects are in the freezer, but some have been brought out to thaw.

Check the instagram for more recent work.

2 Jobs – Strained my arm real bad!

It’s almost healed, but about 4 days ago I went into the clinic for my arm not being able to lift things without experiencing a deep sharp elbow pain.

I chalk this up to working 2 jobs at once, pulling 10 hour days, and getting really really crappy sleep. 4 or 6 hours is not enough healing time!! Also, washing dishes for an entire restaurant AND doing delivery at the same time….. That’s…. after working that for a year, I’m seeing more and more how that is messed up and a lot of stress. I’m in the middle of having my 2 weeks peter out between changing jobs, and it’s been a lot.

Tendinopathy I guess (sp?) and it really sucked. Getting out of my bedsheets was difficult. Lifting coffee cups hurt. Lifting receipts up to shoulder hight to adjust the tips on them hurt. My whole arm felt bruised. I couldn’t wash dishes or lift things into delivery bags without pain. Any leverage on my elbow hurt very bad.

A couple days into a sling and icing it and ibuprofen has helped immensely, although it’s been frustrating having your own arm twinge while trying to put your own pants on… :\ makes me feel unable in very basic ways.

I’ve been resting and trying not to do too much. It’s paid off! Hopefully after today, where I plan to sleep immense hours, it will be healed enough in time for…. going back to both my jobs tomorrow. This is why I’ve been lapse at art, updating here, and such. BUT I have good news about a couple other projects that are slowly but surely getting developed. Look forward to it!

Weekly Schedule: Fluxuating

It could range from Wednesday and Thursday, to Wednesday and Friday and Sunday, or perhaps Saturday and Sunday, I could have any combination of two or three of these days off. This week, it is Thursday and Friday, hence my posting today.

Hoo boy I wish I could have a schedule that didn’t change for the entire month, so I could plan for more long-form works. I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants. But my pants are pretty okay! Actually, I’m wearing my summer shorts today because I can, even though yesterday was the post-zenith hot day of the week. These summer shorts… They are old cut-off stretch jeans yet with each stretch they still rip upwards, directly up the thigh. Like zombie daisy dukes. So comfortable but so revealing!

Lately I’ve settled down in my mental coordination. A couple mixed cycles within a larger depressive wheel have rolled through to the other side, with the seasons, with economic recovery, and with the completion of Sage’s school year. Mental coordination like the ability to move my arms and legs to where I direct them, I have been lacking in this for a few reasons. Some internal some external.

Getting over things I can’t do anything about is a big one. It means dealing with myself and building my own resilience.
Getting through things I can do things about is the next one. It means looking at my fear and doing things anyways.

Sticking with it requires integrity. I’m working on it. I went to the gym 3 times this week, maybe 2 times and once wasn’t a full workout. Cleaned my fish tank. Haven’t cooked a lot of meals at home. And forgiving myself for not getting it exactly right this time around. The upkeep of the lifestyle I want to live is something I have to work up towards, and I can’t beat myself up over every mistake or failure (holler at my 13 year old self, deeply depressed, nihilistic and pessimistic, accepting of nothing short of exquisite detail, you can relax. Some things take sacrifices to look that good, and sometimes those sacrifices are unhealthy as hell).

Mood: Wrecked

So I have been trying to get up each morning and go to the gym, with varying degrees of success.

I got really really down at myself about not making it, and a friend was going to meet me at the gym and was already there, and I felt like I let them AND MYSELF down. They are cool and very nice about it and are actively encouraging me to forgive myself and make a mistake… Woew… Whaht a concepbt…

It took a while to get back up to speed. Automatic Negative Thoughts are rampant today. Couch is island, floor is lava. Sat on the porch and put sun on just my feet. It’s going to be warm this week.

Spent some time on a drawing, worked through lots of mental machinations about it. I just want to go back to sleep. Plans interrupted are so hard. Planning itself is so hard. Mostly about caring about the plans that I make myself is hard. I’m realizing that I really need others to help keep me accountable.

Negativity sucks. Getting out of it is tough.

Bwah!

I’m feeling like breaking the cycle! Not every post needs to be super elaborate or meaningful! Just typing here to say I’m alive, and that my life is more than producing commodities! Sometimes I like just doing things! What even is the meaning of life?

To reduce suffering. ✌?

Journey Tip: physically invest in yourself

Going back to working out after two weeks of not doing so, feels good. Especially since the second week was the worst, where my knees hurt even worse than they had last year. Turns out it feels just as good to alleviate all that soreness, even if it is a psychic journey. Really though, there was no choice. My back started bending out, and theres a place in my spine that is newly strained and can’t stop locking up. Time to revisit the self maintenance routines! Every time I get started on work, I feel my body and everything becomes a distraction, because I cannot escape even when I shut my eyes and put in earplugs. So I just deal with it first.

Sitting at a desk, table, or step is difficult, and if it is done enough, can indeed constitute work. Many people work for 8 hours a day sitting down. Why wouldn’t it be a workout in its own way? If those muscles and tendons and ligaments get swoll, I gotta get the rest of me swoll. That’s how I’m looking at it. Some parts of me are too swoll, because I’ve been over-reliant on them: my adductors, neck muscles, armpit pecs, jaw/tongue, eyes, ears, sacral muscles, and the tensor fasciae latae (TFL, which sounds like a great drink name). Let’s have a morning engagement with the body.

~

Here, a primer on the TFL. Studied it a bit in my dance class. Very useful for anyone who puts their body in a 90° L-shape while working (everyone sitting down, most people driving, most operating machinery, and even those who crouch and squat to lift and navigate terrain.

The Tensor fasciae latae Wikipedia page, with all its glory.

Courtesy of Wikipedia commons

This bad boy over there, the TFL, has the nasty habit of trying to do the work for the other parts of the lower leg. If you sit down and wear pants with a thick waistband over your hips (anything below your pelvic bone), you are cutting off nerve and blood flow to all of your legs. Not my knowledge, just passing down what I’ve learned and experienced. My feet are cold, I can’t feel my legs all the way, and my sacrum clicks. I need to remedy all of that even if I am “so spry” and “have little trouble moving around.” That psoas major and illacus, talked about in tandem as the illio-psoas grouping are some of the tightest and hardest to stretch. They are your core. Your abs are… I’m sorry…. superficial. The lats really do a lot of work (also atrophied on my poor fleshmachine) in unison with the psoas to twist, turn, balance, and hold the body steady so the limbs can extend. If you sit down and reach your arms forward, the leverage offset by your arm and shoulder weight is not being balanced by your full leg and pelvis muscles, it is being balanced by your lats and this muscle; it must stretch afterwords, or it will continue to tighten and cramp. No joke. “My back hurts, I’ve been sitting down too much,” comes from this muscle tightening up and pulling the spine away from back support. Using the legs feels like using the ass, and when sitting down the ass is immobilized and difficult to engage. And then… my adductors are just too tight. Too tight! Not enough stretching! Believe it or not, my back will not loosen up until my legs loosen up. Go figure! Full figure.

~

Here’s a primer on the Neck Zone, a place where things can actually get dangerous pretty quickly. I did not study it in my dance class, but have been using the same resources and explorative techniques, as well as researching on my own.

The Neck Wikipedia page, in all its glory and more specifically the Scalene muscles’ Wikipedia page, in all its glory.

This SCM is right in front of everything, hogging the show...
Courtesy of Wikipedia commons
Courtesy of Wikipedia commons

That Hyoid bone is a good landmark for self-massaging out jaw tension. A neck bone just floating under your chin and above your throat box. Under the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) is where the real complexity and troubles happen in the neck. There are two obvious boys here, the SCM muscles that cross from your ear to your collarbone, but these are simply the attention hogs of the neck. While they are important and help mobility, they can cover up or impede on the other muscle’s fluidity. Stretch them, then get underneath them to the Scalene muscles. If you look in one direction for your job, sitting down OR standing up, you are using these muscles. The most surprising thing about these muscles is the ability to breathe that I did not know I had before massaging them. They lift your first rib at least, and while are not responsible for passive breathing, they can get in the way of full flow breath, and tighten up. Even by myself I can trigger point them and eventually when they stretch I can hear fascia and tendon creaking and opening up, and I feel air in a place I did not know it could go!

One of the things about necks that can get dangerous are all the tubes. They go in between muscles, and around them, and through bone loops. These tubes are nerves, lymphatic vessels, blood vessels, the esophagus, the windpipe, and all the tubes related to your ears and sinuses. The upper hyoid muscles are closer to the ear tubes, but the lower hyoid muscles and SCM and scalenes can restrict the area around your thyroid gland, making every tube work harder than it needs to, putting stress on a vital part of your body. The thyroid regulates metabolism. If your neck is tight, it might be impacting more than you think. All those nerves get desensitized when they are strained and under prolonged engagement. Over-engaging the neck with craning and holding still for hours at a time becomes normalized, accustomed, resulting in a lack of sensation. Massage the front of the neck gently, many light strokes over a longer period of time. Trigger pointing the scalenes down by the collarbone can be done, but I would not recommend trigger pointing anything else besides those SCM, and only then I would do so right underneath the ear. Safety first, kids!

~

So I’m trying to disengage some overly-tense muscles. The best way to do this is actually the opposite of what one might instinctively think. You gotta engage that same muscle. Yes, more work for the same spot! Tiring! Of course! The issue with why the muscle is sore now even when it hasn’t worked out is complicated as well. It is ridiculously difficult to track how each muscle of your body engages, and how long throughout the entire day. Minutes add up. A one-hour workout can alleviate stress built up over hours during the week or previous day, because the muscles being used are now working 75-99% output for bursts of 5 minutes, rather than at say, 50-70% for oh I dunno… 5 hours. Slow accumulated stress pulls the body apart the same way that working out does, but it is far more sinister. The body gets used to that stuff. Uncommon is the individual who has gotten used to going to the gym, but maybe that’s my experience. Those who go to the gym regularly seem to be aware of how much it is necessary and still go through the physical stress and anxieties and discomforts the same as irregulars. The difference seems to be mental. I think I’m getting there. I hope this was a helpful personal experience jam for y’all!

Slide right on in…!

Spring’s been interesting. Change is indeed possible.

Working through things that seem like small roadblocks turned into whirlpools of detail. Most of my artistic development currently has to do with whether or not I can STOP doing an activity. Yes, seems trivial to some people. This is mostly about decision making, and deciding which moment to call it good. Big problems here, that are getting solved bit by bit.

A commissioner had to be brutally honest with me, and that helped a ton. Learning not to overwork my ink stage, and just let things be. Which is hard when you’re the only one behind the wheel! Still, it is about discipline and that is the thing I am trying to foster here. Not exorbitant subjects or strange concepts, just. Some consistency.

I need to data document, I am sorry I haven’t been as visually present here. I have lots of pictures and videos from journeys and explorations that I want to share properly! You have probably heard this before…