Archive for November, 2012

29/11/2012

Video Blog delayed…instead have a look at the future.

As you probably/maybe/could possibly know my video blog goes up the last Thursday of each month. Well with how sick I’ve been for the past fortnight I simply haven’t been well enough to do it. Staying out of bed for more than a few hours at a time has been a struggle much less writing, recording, and editing a video blog.

So this means you’re going to get two vlogs next month instead, just as soon as I can wave goodbye to by current best porcelain friend.

Anyway in the mean time to hold you over I thought I would share some of the unfinished art from my upcoming webcomic AcidGirl. My future webcomic is the one thing I have been able to work on has been this long running, and repeatedly delayed project. But right now I’m finally finding myself on top of it. Please bear in mind that these are  just my sketch pad rough ups, they have zero shading, or other refinements done. In fact these have yet to be scanned, or worked through my PC.

The roughed out first appearance of the character Carl (Knower) Orton. Hope you like it Sean, and yes, I’m sorry but he’s bald.

I’ve used the extra time I took to work on my drawing, as an opportunity to work on the story as well, and I’m pretty happy with the resulting outline. I have the first 18 months planned out, and as things stand I hope to have two pages per week, One on Wednesday, one on Friday.

The very first panel I ever drew…

Anyway I hope you enjoyed the artwork, and I’ll see you all again on Saturday for our regular dose of randomness.

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27/11/2012

Poverty. Happiness. Nice things. A side of transphobia (of course).

Poverty. Happiness. Nice things. A side of transphobia (of course)..

Read this, one of the most thoughtful and well written on the shitty ends of being Trans, and/or poor.

27/11/2012

Looking to the positive.

For the past ten days I’ve been trapped in a physical hell. My body, which is never exactly robust, has failed me in some particularly unpleasant ways. To put it one way, I’m not entirely sure that I haven’t flushed half my body weight, and 75% of my brains down the toilet. This period in my life has come with all the usual additional nastiness. Severe weakness, bad smells, mind bending levels of pain, joints which don’t want to move properly, and so on. But as bad all those are, it’s the emotional baggage that comes with this type of episode which causes the most damage.

Guilt is the largest part of it. The sicker I feel, the more worthless I feel, simply because those small things I can usually manage to do; light cleaning, bad cooking, making the bed, are now almost impossible. It takes away the little sense of pulling my own weight that I usually struggle to hold on to in day-to-day life. We won’t even get in to how utterly inadequate I feel when I’m struck with a total inability to have any kind of physical relationship.

But, as easy as it is to dwell on the crap that goes with episodes like this, it’s far more important to keep in mind the ways in which life smiles on me.

It’s easy to dwell on the fact that my video blog won’t be up on time, because I physically can’t sit at my PC for long enough to record the video, but less edit it.

But I should be dwelling on the fact that I have the first week of my webcomic drawn, and storyboards done for the next 5. I should be dwelling on the fact that after delays in abundance, I am now on course to finally launch it in the New Year.

It’s so easy to become disheartened when I think of how I’ll probably never get to work with other people again.

On the other hand, here I sit with one novel written, a second on the way. With some 300 articles on this blog, with the are bones of a future video blog series started. So I am hardly idle.

It’s easy to dwell on the fact that I’m too unwell to have a social life of any kind.

I should be keeping in mind that I have great friends, who I know will forgive my absence from life. And I should remember that even as sick as I am, I will get to see my mom on Friday, because my Partner in Crime is driving me down to her.

The easiest of all to dwell on is that I feel lonely right now.

But I keep in mind that when I’m this sick being around people often makes me feel far worse than mere loneliness. Why? Because I feel that I smell, I feel unattractive, and incapable. So being around people in the prime of their lives…well it can hurt. But what really makes it okay is when I remember that I own two very loving, very cuddly puppies.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the key to not ending up in a black pit of depression when you’re sick for prolonged periods of time, is to stick to the positive. And with that I mind, enjoy…

24/11/2012

Little Ruminations on Movies – DVD collecting.

I’m a collector, I love to gather collections of things. Though my Partner in Crime would probably describe me more as a hoarder, or a packrat. (remember those words the next time I save one of her family from being without the internet with my collection of spare PC parts.) In the past I collected books.

Yes, honest to goodness paper books. The kind that people seem to have decided should be replaced with digital copies.  *sigh* But this post isn’t about my strong feelings on that particular topic. Anyway, I used to collect books, and after I moved to my current home, I realised that I had to have a clear out. I went from about 650 books to just over 100. It killed me. I loved my books, a lot of them had been with me for most of my adult life, and not a few for my entire childhood as well.

But it was a salve to my collectors soul that my DVD movie collection was still intact, still mine, and still very, very portable.

I have about 120 movies in my collection, but in addition to these I have a box set collection, including Babylon 5, The West Wing, and Andromeda to name a few. It represents a couple of thousand hours of televisual entertainment. It covers everything from political satire, to war movies, to horror, hell there may even be a romantic comedy in there somewhere. It’s a pretty decent collection for a girl who refuses point blank to pay full price for any DVD.

Of course it does come with one big problem. I’ve watched every single last one of them. And while my joyful, OCD riddled heart is normally delighted to watch the same stuff over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and *deeeeeep breath* over again, right now it’s not. I’m feeling truly awful these days, an since that means I’m pretty much housebound I feel a really serious need for new things to watch…

Yeah, that’s not happening. Guess I’ll watch Lord of the Rings again.

20/11/2012

Little Ruminations – 5 Random Things.

Since last Tuesday my stomach problems have been excruciatingly bad. This means that I’ve done little or no writing in a week. It also means that  I’ve run out of the spare articles which I write to stay ahead of myself. That being the case, and my concentration being roughly the same as the average 6 week old puppy, I’m going to be inflicting a series of “Little Ruminations” on you until this period of bad health finally eases off.

Starting today with five random things which I haven’t been able to fit into other posts in the past, and kind of doubt I’ll fit into posts in the future.

  • Do you remember Technical Lego? The stuff from the 90’s for making machines with? You know, back before Lego became dumbed down to a ridiculous degree?Well anyway, as it turns out, that stuff is great for making prototypes. You know for when you need something easy, and quick to assemble, just so you can test a concept. So ya, if you have a big bucket of it somewhere, and you’re the kind of person who builds their own tools, you just might want to hold on to it.
  • It’s surprisingly difficult to learn how to walk in platforms again, when you’ve had a break of two years. This came as a potentially very painful shock to me in the last week. The key seems to be reminding yourself constantly that if you don’t keep your feet facing dead straight ahead, you’ll end up flat on your ass in the street.
  • Apparently a lot of puppies eat other dogs poop. No-one really knows why they do this, but thankfully they see to outgrow it in time. Weird, disgusting, but weird.
  • Crazy Color, the semi-permanent hair dye which I’m addicted to, seem to have changed their recipe. It used to remind me of really weirdly coloured custard. Now it reminds me more of really weirdly coloured semen. Oh, and the colours seem to have been tweaked as well, they’re not quite what they used to be, the Violette for example is a much darker shade.Either that or last time I got a bad batch. Not complaining though my hair looks Funky, the capital “F” is definitely a good thing.

    See? I did say Funky!

  • To my utter shock, airsofters don’t seem to build their own guns, ever. By this I don’t mean that they don’t buy specific internals and casings and put them together to form reasonably unique setups. I mean they don’t seem to build their own externals.As a long time model maker, and someone who has a great love of making props for my own use, this sort of addles me. Anyway, guess whatone of my first projects will be next year? Yup, you guessed it, dieselpunk airsoft rifle!
17/11/2012

So what do you do when you’ve had a week from Hell?

Why you put a linkstorm…well link-shower really. My tummy has been truly awful for the past few days so my concentration has been, kind of suitably, shot straight to Hell. Anyway I’ll be leaving you today with links to my three favourite webcomics. Enjoy.

Starting with the wonderful Girls with Slingshots. A romantic comic, with lots of laughs, a sexy shop, florist, dominatrix, and even a talking cactus.

Having run for the guts of a decade now, Questionable Content, is very much the comic which I have found myself measuring my own work against, admittedly not particularly favourably, but still…

Finally we come to Looking For Group. When this comic started I thought I was reading another World of Warcraft based comic. I was so wrong, with hilarious characters, beautiful artwork, exciting stories, and Richard, Looking for Group is easily in the top ten comics I’ve ever read on or offline.

Oh and who’s Richard? Why he’s this guy…evil has never sounded so good

13/11/2012

Little Ruminations on Homekeeping – Decorating

Well I’ve decided that there is in fact something I hate more than soap operas. Painting living rooms. Yes, that’s right Amanda, spent the past two days cleaning, and painting her living room. Two whole days sticking of emulsion, and gloss paint, straining muscles moving furniture that should just be left where it lies ’til the end of time. In short, the past two days have been a frikkin’ nightmare.

That said, it’s hard to choose what I hate the most about decorating.
It could be the smells. The slightly sour smell of the emulsion, the nose searing scent of white spirits. Or the cloying nastiness of the gloss paint you spent the past two hours using on the skirting boards and doors.

I could, I suppose, be the knowledge that you have to first empty the room. Then shift around heavy furniture. Only to have to rebuild the room ten hours later when the gloss has finally dried.

But really I think the worst part of it all is when everything’s done. It’s the following morning, and you come down stairs rubbing sleep from your eyes. You walk in to your living room, switch on the lights, and there it all is.

FUUUUUUUUU*K!

Everywhere uneven spots on the messed up 300-year-old walls, shed hairs from the paint brushes forever embedded in the paint. And worst of all, dog hairs giving the whole room that attractive, slightly fuzzy look.

Yes the worst part of decorating isn’t the decorating. It’s the fact that no matter how hard you try, that bloody room will never be quite right.

10/11/2012

I cry a lot.

I cry an awful lot. Well at least I think that it’s an awful lot, it may actually be a very normal amount for any human being. So maybe it would be more accurate to say that from my point of view I cry a lot. And I cry for all sorts of reasons.

I cry because I’m happy.

I cry because I’m sad.

I cry because I lonely.

I cry because there’s no milk, and I really want a glass of milk.

That’s the thing, it’s not rational, or even all that predictable. And that annoys the frikkin’ hell out of me. But this week I’ve cried so much I’m starting to wonder just how many tears a body can hold. Even a body as large as mine. I keep thinking there has to be a limit, there has to be a point where my body will just stop. It never happens though.

Why this week? Well in a life that has always been filled with pain, and illness I’ve had a week from hell. For four days I managed to keep down a couple of spoonfuls of food a day. While my bum did an even better than normal impression of an inverted chocolate fountain, and let me tell you, that takes some doing. Rooms have spun, headaches have been experienced. And through it all I’ve been upset because my Partner in Crime has had the dubious pleasures of living with me at my physical worst, without the benefits of my being at my kinky worst.

The latter is what upsets me the most.

I have always believed that a human being without the sexual expression which is appropriate to them (lesbian, gay, asexual, furry, whatever expression of your particular flavour might be), is probably not really entirely sane. At the very least it can’t be healthy. And yet there’s this sexually appealing, and expressive woman who I know adores me, and all my get up and go, has got up and gone. It upsets me, it makes me feel horribly guilty. And I think that’s what people who aren’t permanently sick, or otherwise physically challenged often don’t understand.

The guilt.

The unending feeling that the person, or persons (for those poly-folk lucky enough to have another partner) that you don’t deserve them, and that they are wasting their lives with you. That they are wasting their (relative) youth on someone who might in some ways be far too old, far too young.

I’m a deeply sexual person. I think there may be 30 seconds in a row when sex doesn’t cross my mind in some form. I can’t be certain of it, but there might be. But I have a pretty limited sex life, simply because so much of the time I’m physically unable. For example, it’s been four years and three months since I was shown my place by my Miss in that delightful BDSM way, because my body can’t take it. Which leaves me continuously walking around with two questions chasing each others tails in my mind.

Why in the hell is she still interested in me at all? Yes, I know love. But contrary to what The Beatles had to say ont he subject, love is not all you need.

And.

When will I lose her? Yes I know on 99% of the levels of my mind that I won’t. But try telling that to the 1% that’s a frightened 12-year-old huddled in the corner wondering when the one person who makes her feel safe is going to say “Go away, I don’t love you, you’ve been replaced.” Go on, try to, ’cause believe me I’ve tried, and she ain’t listening.

Of course the stress from that feeds into the other stresses in your life, and that makes you feel sicker, and that stresses you more, so sicker, and so on, and so forth. Until the day when your body liquefies and you end up flushing down the toilet with the rest of the effluence.

I don’t know if there is a solution to this. Crying helps while it’s happening. But the guilt, and the fears are still there when I stop, they’re only overwhelmed by the physical sensation of crying, not healed. Talking about it…not so much, there’s only so many times you can be told that you’re silly before it stops helping, and that time is long past. In the end like so many other things in a persons life, it’s just another cross to bear. Just another trial to overcome.

I just wish for once that something would be easy.

06/11/2012

It’s cold outside, lighting a log burner.

Just recently I had a log burner installed in my house, and I have to say it was one of the best decisions ever made by myself or my Partner in Crime. Our living room is positively toasty when it’s burning well, and the heat is intense enough that it even penetrates to other areas of the house, making them if not hot, then at the very least, not cold. But that said the first two weeks of owning it were occupied by a pretty steep learning curve.

You’d think that running one would be much like lighting any fire, and to a certain extent that is true. You still start off your fire with paper or firelighters, kindling, and all the rest. But there are a few differences from just throwing down a fire in an open fireplace.

– If you have a cheaper burner, and we do, the two vents built into it are essentially ornamentation.

The first week we had ours was mostly spent in frustration trying to keep the damned thing burning. It quenched itself constantly, in no small part because those two vents. The vents, one beneath the fire-grate and one well above the fire itself, are meant to allow you to keep up a draft inside the burner, allowing more or less oxygen to get to the flames and thus getting you more heat, but a shorter burn time, or the reverse. Well on ours they do nothing much. So when we need some extra air in there we just open up the little door that’s meant for cleaning out ashes.

– Log burners are made up of a LOT of cold metal.

This is sort of an important consideration when you’re impatiently waiting for your fire to really take off, because frankly until that metal has gotten hot enough it’s just not going to. Think of it this way, when you preheat an oven before putting in a roast it takes times, then you put in a big hunk of very cold meat, on a very cold metal tray, and the oven temperature drops like a stone until at least some of that material has heated up as well. And it turns out that’s kind of how log burners behave as well. So that being the case, we’ve taken to using scrap material for the first while until the burner itself is far too hot to touch. Then when you put in heavier logs, and more solid fuel it takes a flame very quickly, meaning you don’t have to keep a draft going through it for very long, and you get more burn time for your fuel.

– If you open the bottom door even a tiny bit for the first minute or two of a new fire, you won’t spend ages on your knees blowing on embers later.

Kind of self-explanatory really. But we have found that if you make sure that for those first couple of minutes there’s a good strong draft in the burner, the fuel really takes off well. And it’s so much easier to make sure the fire is burning well at the beginning than trying to dismantle it later, and relight it.

– Log burners are dangerous for your skin.

Log burners, once they’re up to temperature, are monstrously hot. To the point that it can actually be very uncomfortable, even with tongs and heavy gloves, when you have to lay a new log into them. That heat is a godsend in cold weather, but it’s definitely contraindicated to make direct physical contact with one. I am typing this piece with more burns on my hands than I’ve had at anytime in my life, including when I was in the scouts and pretty much permanently had cuts and burns on them. All it takes is one moment when your concentration is lacking, or instant of distraction (like a puppy deciding your ears need a good cleaning) and, SIZZLE! And you better believe it makes that noise. So wear those bloody gloves, and use the tongs, your skin will thank you for it.

Oh, and unless you like serious pain don’t forget yourself and grab the handle of the main door with your bare hand. It hurts, a lot.

– “Log Burner’s” burn pretty much anything.

If it’ll take a flame, it will burn in a log burner. Which is good news if you have access to things like old pallets, or other scrap wood, as it makes it those first two fires each day a lot cheaper. How so? Well instead of chopping perfectly good logs down small, you get to use scrap wood, and keep the good stuff for when it’ll burn properly.

– Cigarette lighters really shouldn’t be  left on top of the log burner.

I did. My right ear was still ringing three days later. And I had to change my underwear. I got lucky, it also flung shrapnel in every direction and I could have been hit by molten plastic, or sharp pieces. Don’t do that. Also don’t leave anything small and flammable on there either. It’s a little scary when the spare piece of kindling you forgot was up there, decides to burst into flames.

– Pay attention to how you stack the wood inside.

If burners have one draw back, it’s that door in the front. Yeah it’s great in many ways, but when the wood burns down and the embers come to rest against the glass…that can be trouble. A lap full of red-hot embers type trouble. You can mostly avoid this by thinking for a few moments as you lay the next fire, and placing the fuel in the right way so that it burns down evenly.

– Does you log have spiky bits.?

If it does chop them off. Seriously, take a hatchet and cut those buggers off. They can punch through the fire-glass in the front of your burners door, leaving you with an often unusable burner, and a hefty bill from glazier’s.

– Clean the ashes out every day.

This one is sort of debated, some people think that it makes the fuel last longer if you don’t clean it out too often. But personally I haven’t noticed any real difference, except that when you don’t clean it out, you spend a lot more time trying to relight it.

– Clean the glass with vinegar.

Yes it does sound like a tip from a really bad reality television show, but it really does work, and nothing beats looking in and watching those flames dance. Especially when it gets so hot inside the firebox that those flames are almost, but not quite, invisible. Gorgeous.

And that’s pretty much it. They are a great way to heat your house. Efficient, actually quite easily managed, economical to run. But to get to the point where they really star to pay off, you have to take a little time, a little care, and get to know your burner. Then it’ll give you sterling service, and keep you warm all Winter long.

03/11/2012

Little Ruminations on BDSM – Latex Allergies.

When I started out in my BDSM lifestyle latex was one of my great joys. After all I was slim (still am, well in a more average sort of way than back then), tall (ditto), and (weirdly) even when I was pretending to be a boy it looked pretty damned good on me.

These days I’m still more or less slim (what I said above), and tall. I have a killer ass, and not just because of the tummy problems either, and of course I’m busty as hell. I like to think that I would look absolutely amazing in latex. And you’d think that as a Domina, or a Slavegirl I’d be spending 90% of my time in latex wouldn’t you?

Ya, I wish. Remember on Tuesday when I mentioned a latex hood?

Let me tell you a little story. It’s all set in that mythical era of X years ago. A, somewhat, younger Amanda was hanging from a door having the ever-living shite beaten out of her. She was working, occasionally, as a professional Domina at the time, and so could for the first time afford to buy small pieces of latex. In this case a reasonably pretty hood.

Well anyway, what Amanda didn’t realise until that night was that while her skin is perfectly happy wearing latex, the inside of her mouth, and throat really aren’t. And of course they just had to inform her in the most definitive terms, by making her almost pass out.

This makes for a very sad Amanda.

I mean sure I can still wear latex clothing, as long as it’s kept well away from my face. But if I want something tight, restrictive, and sort of shiny to wear, that’s what my leather is for.

But what does it leave for my head? There simply are no pretty leather masks or hoods. They all just look so clunky, or harsh. Which is fine for those who like that. But I liked how I look in a latex hood, especially pretty ones, that are perfectly tailored to my head, have well thought out contrast color patches, and attached ponytails. No other piece of fetish clothing can enhance my sense of power, or powerlessness quite so much (all dependant on which role I’m fulfilling at the time).

So to the point of this piece, if you good reader are a kinky individual, and are lucky enough to not have a respiratory allergy to latex, please spare a thought for those who are less fortunate. Those poor unfortunate souls who will never again feel the delicious, and wonderous caress of latex on their faces, followed by that delightful feeling of all over constriction as their hood is zipped/laced shut.

Think of us, and maybe bitch at your local fet-shop about them getting in some spandex? It’s not the same but when it’s a choice between good spandex, or bad leather, is there a choice really?

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