sgian_dubh: (Default)

Yes! It’s done now. :) I am now 3 weeks and two days post-op and am recovering well at home. Took the surgical tape off 3 days ago, the scars look pretty good – cleaner than I’d imagined. The last time I’d seen them was at 6 days after the surgery, and they were pretty bloody then still. I have this Bio-oil stuff to massage into the scars twice a day, to assist the healing and stimulate nerve endings I guess.  It feels really odd – numb with an undercurrent of sharpish pain, I’m not sure how to describe it better? It’s a vaugely nauseating feeling. The compression vest irritates the new skin, and it’s a pain to sleep in. It’s a thin, white, synthetic mesh material with a thicker row of loop and eye closures running down the front, and Velcro shoulder adjuster tabs. It rubs underneath the arms , and try as I might, I can’t seem to get a good position for the shoulder tabs. I shift around a bit when I get into bed each night, trying to find a comfortable way for the vest to sit. Poor Es – I try not to disturb her! I have to sleep on my back still, can’t wait until it’s comfortable enough to sleep on my side.

I’ve been instructed to keep wearing the vest for another 4 weeks, as much as possible. I’ve only washed it (well, got someone else to wash it!) once, and it’s probably due for another wash. I do have a few small pimples on the left side of my chest, washing it might help them settle. (edit: hand washed it again today – hooray!)

I’m pretty happy with the how my chest looks so far. The left side is spectacular – just perfect, couldn’t ask for better. :) The right side I am a little concerned with – the area around the nipple looks hollower and there is a swell of fatty tissue below it, which I’m hoping will even out in time. I keep telling myself that it’s only 3 weeks after all, and I just have to give it time to heal up. It’s certainly too soon to be thinking about revisions, right?

Typing on the computer isn’t easy yet, everything keeps pulling in odd ways so I’ll keep it short for now. I’m hoping that the prickly sensations of the scars and healing tissue against the compression vest will resolve quickly and I’ll be able to get back into normal activities soon. :)

I'll write about the whole fun trip up to Qld and stuff over the next week or so - take it bit by bit i think. I'll post some pics of my chest soon too, for those who are interested. :)


Jul. 28th, 2010 12:35 pm
sgian_dubh: (Tightrope)
If i've been seeming more flaky than usual for the last few weeks, it's because i am. Sorry to anyone i've stuffed about because of it. :( I haven't been doing that well lately, to be honest, but i'm working on it.
sgian_dubh: (Default)
Wow, what a difference a day makes! Yesterday i had no inkling of the spill that engulfed the ALP, woke up this morning and hey presto! We've got Julia Gillard as PM!! I've just been watching her first press conference as PM and i have to say, i'm so impressed. I really, really hope that the spill doesn't hurt the ALP too much at the upcoming election, i reckon that if anyone could right the ship, she could. So yeah! Go Julia Gillard, and go the Greens!

ps. I still can't beleive that ANYONE sees The mad monk as a viable alternitive PM, but apparently the Libs are a threat. :(( Seriously, wtf Australia? You really would elect a sick joke like that? Sometimes i really think the entire country has short-term memory loss.


In less momentous news, i passed my Ba gua grading last weekend. Scraped in with my form (Old 8 palms) - just. I just got nervous, and then made one stuff-up and continued to make small errors all through the middle section. :( I did recover to bring it home though. I needed a minimum score of 7.6, and i scored 7.7 - phew! And i did stomp all my martial applications from the form and self-defence tecniques, so that was pleasing. The presentation was pretty lol - my teacher presented me with my sash, and then gave me my level badges seperately, saying that i should "congratulate myself as i sew them on"! XD

I would also give you a cute photo of some grass parrots, but flickr is changing a bunch of stuff atm and the linking thingie doesn't seem to work yet, so you are spared. FOR NOW. ;)
sgian_dubh: (Default)
So, putting the advice of this book into practice lately, i've been painting a bit more. I've been working on a few different things over the last month or so, but in the last couple of weeks i've settled down to the old Shack painting from, um, 2008! Yes, i'm going to finish it this time! XD I've been aiming for an average of 2 hours a day, which is 14 hours a week, but haven't been making an effort to not get down on myself when i don't make it. Last week i did 11 hours. This week hasn't been so good, with only 5 hours so far, but i'm planning to get at least 3 hours done today. :) I'm trying to work in smaller blocks of time too - about an hour to 90 minutes, rather than the 2 hour blocks i've done in the past. It means teaching myself to take shorter breaks, which i'm not so good at, but when i do get it right, i can appreciate how  much more efficiently i work.

Anyway, here is where i am with it atm:

And this is where i was with it a couple of weeks ago:

So yeah, a major overhaul! I'm really pleased with how it's going so far - there is a lot more atmosphere and relationship of the buildings to their surroundings now, even if the light on the hotel is still rather problematic. (tackling that next!)

I've been listening to ABC classics whilst i've been painting, i find it very soothing and conducive to concentration. And educational! They played John Antill's ballet suite "Corroboree", which is apparently a landmark Australian piece, although i can't help thinking how appropriative of indigenous storytelling it is. The fact that it's meant to be performed as a ballet makes it that much worse, i think. :/ He based his composition on a Sydney corroboree which he witnessed in 1912, as a boy of 9 yrs old. I can't seem to find any information about whether or not he recieved sanction from the appropriate indigenous elders to perform the work. ://

On a more positive note, i've been learning about some amazing performers as well! Pekka Kuusisto, the Finnish violinist who embraces jazz and folk music as much as classical texts, and the amazing Phillipe Jaroussky, the French counter tenor who won an award in 2007 for "best French lyrical artist". Such an unearthly voice! And i love how much fun everyone is having in this clip too. :)

Fuck yeah baroque music. >:D

A few other things going on in my life (dot points):

- I'm going for my pre 2nd Dan grading for Ba gua zhang tomorrow, wish me luck! I'll be fine with the forms and the self defence components, but the applications from the forms i don't think i've trained enough. D: Oh well, i guess i'll just have to wing it.

- My Ba gua teacher wants me to enter the Australiasian Kung fu-Wushu championships this October, performing my deer hook knife form. I asked him last night if there would be any problem with me entering in the open mens division, he thinks not. And he's the Secretary for the AKWF, so i guess he'd know. Yay! And also scary! 

- I recieved an involuntary manipulation from my teacher last night - he pulled hard on one of my arms during a demonstration and my neck and shoulders gave out a massive crack. It freaked me out. He wanted to crack my other side, but i was too freaked out to let him do it, and now i feel all unbalanced. :( Argh, why am i such a massive wuss when it comes to ppl cracking my joints?? He is a qualified therpist, after all. :((

- My mood has been suffering the last month or so, and i've been finding it hard to keep up with ppl and be sociable. :( My dearest is in the throes of job hunting, which is stressful for us both, and I don't think the shorter, colder days help much either. But i'm working on keeping on an even keel.

sgian_dubh: (Default)
So, anyway, onto something a little more positive. One of the things that i've really been appreciating about my new camera is how awesome it is for high speed photography! And what with the massive sensor, 15MP and reasonable zoom, this means that i can finally take decent photos of birds. :) Yes, i've become a twitcher! (A filthy twitcher, some might say. I may have to buy an anorak)

One of the things that's been fascinating me recently is how many different kinds of birds there are to be seen in metro Melbourne. There are the usual exotic pests such as pigeons and starlings and Indian mynahs, and plenty of the familar urban natives - magpies, crows, noisy miners etc, but also birds that i'm constantly running to my field guide for - puple swamphens and white-plumed honeyeaters and red rumped grass parrots! It's pretty awesome. And finding out where various birds are likely to be spotted is another way of reconnecting with Melbourne for me - seeing the ways that life will adapt to different environments, and the ways in which urban does not nessacerily equal tame.

Tl;dr, here are some pretty pictures i've been taking )


Yes! It's a motherfucking Peregrine falcon! :D (Again around Trin Warren Tam-boore)

sgian_dubh: (Default)
Ok, i've got something to get off my chest. My partners boss is a total bitch and honestly, if i ever met her i'd be mighty tempted to bawl her out over the way she's been bullying and mistreating her staff. Good thing i don't know what she looks like. >:( Seriously, the amount of shit i hear about her yelling at ppl for being sick, not giving ppl proper breaks, micro-managing senior staff that she really ought to trust and generally being super-unpleasant to be around, it's ridiculous. Nobody deserves to come home from work feeling helpless, ground down and dispirited. Noone deserves to have their confidence in themselves squashed again and again. It's fucked.

I wish i could help my sweetie more to deal with this and get away from this toxic work environment. I feel quite helpless and a little overwhelmed, partly because i'm trying to get into a rhythm of creating for myself, and a huge part of me feels super guilty about not putting all my energy into trying to find a paying job so that she can quit. I can recognize the many fallacies in this kind of thinking, but that's how i feel. :(
sgian_dubh: (Default)
I was going to write this over on my LJ, but since thier recent fuckup over the writers block prompt, i no longer feel like i want to use that space. Honestly, conflating transness and criminality? Get fucked, LJ. >:( Plus, i feel like i ought to support DW more than i do, and this is a good opportunity to make a re-start.

So. Bumps and bulges is what i want to briefly write about today. I realised the other day that it's nearly been a year since i started taking testosterone injections. A year! And although i really like having testosterone in my body, and although i am scared about the prospect that i might not be able to take it in the future (for whatever reason, health, money issues, drug becomes unavailable etc), i really, really, really wish i'd been able to get top surgery first, cause my dysphoria about my chest is getting markedly worse (and has been for a while). I feel lumpy, misshapen, and i don't like having my breasts, or even nipples touched atm. (i used to be able to have my nipples touched in isolation - i could pretend that they were divorced from the surrounding tissue somehow) It makes me feel exposed and ugly and worse than that, just plain wrong. It's like my body is developing through a bottleneck and i'm coming out all squashed up somehow. It's fucking with my libido, feeling like this. Mind you, trans ppl aren't supposed to even like sex anyway, so i'm sure the doctors and psychs don't see a problem there, but i am realy resenting the 9 months i have to put up with this queasy fear and uncertainty before i can get my chest fixed. The worst thing is, i called this back before i started taking T! I knew that this is not the way i should be developing! I just hope that after the surgery i won't find out that i've "unfolded" all wrong - that the mental and emotional scars from being forced to wear tits for a couple of years longer than i had to haven't been too scarring.

In conclusion - fuck you, medical establishment. Fuck you, dividing treatment up into "reversable" and "non-reversable". Fuck you and yr fucked up idea that my breasts are "healthy tissue". What, you'd rather a messed up person had "healthy tissue", rather than a healthy person didn't?? Screw that. Fuck you for not listening to me, for not believing me when i'm TELLING YOU WHAT I NEED.

Yeah, i'll take yr hormones and i'll like them too. I'll be grateful, don't worry. But still, fuck you.
sgian_dubh: (Default)

Oh dear. Well, there are a lot of problems with this picture, but i guess it fulfills the conditions of the commission, so i'll let it go for now. Still trying the wrestle with the problems of fantasy art in general and faun anatomy in particular. Not sure that i've got the proportions spot on here, but Henderson always did strike me as rather short-legged. The tentacle/horns annoy me the most, although i did experiment with several differet horn styles and this seemed the best. I do need to find more source material for spiral and curving horns! The hands suck, but hey, so what else is new. Actually, the whole groin area is fairly crudely done, pardon the pun! :P

Oh well. I hope it suffices for now. Larger size is on flickr, if anyone is interested.

Thinking whilst drawing last night, it came to me why Gandalf couldn't have used Gwaihir to airlift the ring to Mt. Doom in the first place... it has to do with the tactics of war. If, at the time of the council of Elrond, Sauron was still gathering his strength, Mordor would have been in a defensive formation, with a strong watch on all routes, including the air. We know that Mordor did have aerial capability, through the mounted Nazgul, as well as smaller birds that were used as spies. A large eagle would have been quite conspicuous. The only reason why Frodo and Sam were able to get to Mt Doom at all was because Mordor shifted to an offensive formation and they were able to sneak behind the lines, as it were. Although, i guess that still doesn't explain why they didn't fly them down to somewhere close to Mordor and then continue on foot, or paratroop them in once the battle on the Pellennor fields was joined. Hmm.

sgian_dubh: (Default)
Alright, my first DW post! Better make it about something good. And, by coincidence (ok, not quite) good things happened yesterday!

Backing up a bit, for the last couple of weeks i've been meaning to reconnnect with my home up here - not just Castlemaine, but the surrounding countryside and towns. So, one of the things i'm doing is riding my bicycle out to the furthest points in my home (Mt Alexander) shire... nice long rides, reaquainting myself with the hills, the rocks, the trees, and the joy of having enough space to breathe.

Yesterday, it was Maldon. I'd ridden that way before, but gotten myself horribly lost near the Red, White and Blue mine, and had to rejoin the Castlemaine-Maldon Rd. This time, my plan was to stick to the railway line and follow it nearly up to Porcupine Flats and then turn back toward Maldon. It worked well, although there were a couple of occasions where i had to amend my topo map where the tracks deviated from what was shown. Also, i ran over a hidden section of fallen barbed wire fence near the railway crossing, and had to hold my breath whilst i checked my tires for punctures! D: (I did have a spare tyre and puncture kit, but i've had a run of flat tyres lately and the last thing i wanted was another one) Something else to mark on the map.

Oh, and on the way out there, i saw a brown goshawk! It just flashed across the path about 50M in front of me, chasing another bird, i think. Hard to see, but no other bird that size that i know of behaves like that - charging through densely wooded areas with absolutely no regard for life or limb. The crazy cousin of the raptor family! XD

So i got to Maldon about 2pm, where i broke for lunch and spent a pleasant hour reading. On the way back i swung by the Maldon dredge line to see what the water line was like. Sadly, it was bone dry... still! We desperately need some late autumn rain. :( The dredge line has been a bit of an obsession with me over the years i've lived up here... the idea of a lake, slowly moving along the landscape, devouring the earth, drinking gold and spewing out the entrails - it's kind of like a sea monster that has to create it's own sea. The engineering facinates me as much as the igeniousness of man in pursuit of wealth appalls me. I often go out there when i have something to mull over in private, and i've done a few drawings out there too... but somehow the spirit of the rusted metal hulk still eludes me. *sigh* Another half-finished project...

After leaving the dredge line, i rode back through the Porcupine tourist villiage. This is actually quite a creepy place - there is never anyone there, and everything is slowly falling into decay. Think Soverign Hill @ Ballarat crossed with "28 Days Later"!

And so i turned towards home again. This time i stayed on the opposite side of the railway track all the way to the corner of the Maldon reserve, and then took a detour along the southern border of the reserve, heading towards Muckleford. This part of my map turned out to be much more unreliable. I wonder how they decide what is a track and what is an erosion line, or a quartz seam or something? Trying to look for local features that could pass for the tracks that simply weren't there amused me for a while. Needless to say, the correction pen came out a far bit again!

Eventually i came out again at a farm track - and another mystery! In this dry as dust landscape, the track was all churned with wet mud! It was riven with the tracks of heavy equipment, which made it rough going on the bike. Somehow i slipped and slid (without incident, although it was a near thing once or twice!) the couple of km's before i came to a roadworks sign and the vehicular culprits. God, the amount of water on that track... it was enough to make me cry. I hope it was recycled water or something.

This was the view from the waterlogged track. It was about 4.30pm by then, and oh god, the light! I love that time of day. :)

Once i was back on the ashphalt, i had about 11km to put in before i reached home and afternoon tea. Not that i wasn't enjoying myself still, but after tearing along rough donkey tracks and sliding down muddy laneways, it all seemed a bit tame. Plus, there were cars. Lots of cars, cause it was in shift changeover time at the Castlemaine bacon factory. Urgh - i have to time this better next time.

So yeah - home at 5.15pm, 41.1 kms completed. Afternoon tea never tasted so good. :) I've been planning more longish rides for the next few weeks, i figure about one a week? Next one is to Malmsbury i think - along Sugarbag Tx and the the Old Taradale-Drummond road, which is a twisting, turning, *corker* of a ride - i've done it on the big (motor) bike and i was a little scared in places - going to be fun to rip through it on the little bike! :D


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