How I Beat Molluscum Contagiosum

Most people have never heard of this virus, unless you’ve been infected.  And once you are, it can be nerve-wrackingly awful, as it deprives you of precious self-esteem and even your sex life.  There’s a lot of articles on blogs out there about how people dealt with this, and a lot of forum posts (on spammy, ad-riddled sites).  I’d like to tell my story of how I got it and dealt with it.

There WILL be pictures, way at the bottom of this article, way after the jump.  It’s technically SFW (safe for work) but there will be close ups of molluscum.  I took some pictures myself to keep track of how they looked and where they were, for my own knowledge.  Which was great because I did forget where one of them was at a certain point, because it had healed and disappeared.

Now let’s start this off with…. Continue reading

Life Update

A frozen sheet of water in Prospect Park....back in February, I think.

A frozen sheet of water in Prospect Park….back in February, I think.

It’s been a hectic year, so I thought a catch up post was in order!

I lost my job in January.  Technically, I hadn’t worked since end of December, but the parent company decided they didn’t want to keep our studio open anymore.  So my “usual spot” was gone, “effective immediately”.  After the slow January I had, things went in to overdrive. I worked every one of those 28 days of February, and a good portion of March. It could’ve been the entire March, but I was starting to go crazy…this past weekend was the first two consecutive days I had off in a long time! So I’m looking forward to taking things easy and catching up on a lot of life stuff that I haven’t been able to do. Like…MY TAXES!!

One major thing of note: I’m moving in with my boyfriend in May! One of his roommates is leaving – moving in with her own boyfriend – which means the two of us will have three connecting rooms to ourselves. These are small rooms for sure, but it’ll be nice not to need to exit the apartment to get to the bathroom.

I drew a not-to-scale floor plan below, so you can see what I mean.

Floor plan to boyfriend's apartment.  Made it really quick in Illustrator so the sizing is a bit off...I think you get the general idea!

Floor plan to boyfriend’s apartment. Made it really quick in Illustrator so the sizing is a bit off…I think you get the general idea!

So we’ll have the Office, Bedroom 1, and soon, Bedroom 2.  The lazy roommate is in Bedroom 3.  The living room needs serious reorganizing, and the kitchen is much narrower than it looks…once you consider the counters and cabinets.

Continue reading

Quick Sketch: Woman in Leather Armor

Photoshop, Intuos 5, 30 minutes.

Photoshop, Intuos 5, 30 minutes.

I purposefully wanted her to be on the androgynous side, but I think it’s a little TOO androgynous :P  Did a quick sketch in Photoshop while trying to figure out a leather armor outfit.  It’s not quite there yet.  But figured I should share the results so the world knows I’m not slacking off here!

Would You Ever Go To A Cuddle Party?

Today, I learned that “Cuddle Parties” exist.  And I also learned that I’m totally late to the game because, according to their official website, they’ve been around for 11 years!  I couldn’t write an un-biased summary of it so here’s the blurb from their site:

You can come to a Cuddle Party to meet new people, to enjoy amazing conversations, to touch, to be touched, to have fun, to practice asking for what you want, to practice saying “no” to what you don’t want — all in a setting structured to be a safe place for exploration and enjoyment. Shucks, you can even come to a Cuddle Party just to cuddle!

Cuddle Party is not a sexual event! It’s not a hook-up or dating scene. It’s common to make new friends, and occasionally people have met dating partners, but mostly it’s about friendship and learning nurturing touch.

I dove in to the internet rabbit hole and set out to read the experiences of people who’ve been to an actual Cuddle Party; one good resource was this Reddit AMA of a Cuddle Party Attendee, with over 800 comments.

Continue reading

The Robot Slave is Misbehaving!

The red couch was filled to capacity; me on my boyfriend’s lap, my boyfriend sitting on one cushion.  The dog taking up the rest of the space.  Suddenly…

Beep beep!

BOYFRIEND: “Oh, I think your butt just activated Voice Control on my phone.”

We took it out and stared at his phone.  The screen glowed blue, and a white line throbbed and oscillated as we talked over it.

BOYFRIEND:  “I didn’t think this was even activated, this is creepy…”

iPhone: “Dialing, Lisa xxxxxx”

BOYFRIEND:  “NOOOO!! STOP! CALLING!! STAAAHHHP!!!!”

iPhone ended the call.

BOYFRIEND: “God, what a nightmare. We are NOT calling my ex-girlfriend from college…!!!!”

I laughed at him for about 5 full minutes, which is just enough time to make an already embarrassing situation even more embarrassing. :)

Sketch: Grisly Old Man

Photoshop + Intuos tablet, as usual.  Click to make it bigger.

Do you ever get the urge to draw a grisly old man?  To trace the wrinkles on his face, and the darkness on his skin?  The mood struck me today.  It’s been a long while since the last time I drew and this felt really good.  He’s actually one of the slave abusers from Django Unchained, though I forget his name.  I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, especially since my warm-up figure drawing before the portrait were absolutely awful.  I felt like I was drawing with my foot!  Clearly, I’m out of practice.

WPC: “Window”

Window atop the arches in the Old City Hall station, NYC.  Canon Rebel T2i, 24mm lens.

Window atop the arches in the Old City Hall station, NYC. Canon Rebel T2i, 24mm lens. Click for Hi-Res.

Built at the turn of the 20th Century, the Old City Hall Station was designed by the same architects who assembled the beautiful Grand Central Station…and it shows.  I’ve been waiting my whole life to tour this station, and have peeked at it through the dark windows of the 6 train during its turn-around.  Finally got my chance at the end of 2013 to visit the station in person, with my sister.  Even more exciting, Guillermo del Toro’s book, The Strain, has a scene here.  They’re going to film the movie soon, and I have no idea whether they will actually come to that station or not.  But the mood and its vintage dereliction would be perfect for a vampire story.

Part of that black stuff you see on the window is from WWII, when all windows had to be blacked out.

More of my photos at the Old City Hall Station can be found in my Flickr Set.

To see more entries for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows, click here.

“Wanna Watch Me Beat Super Mario 3D World?”

He got all the green stars.  He got all the gold flags and all the stamps in all the other levels.  Now all that was left was to complete the ultimate platformer level in the secret, final “Crown World” in Super Mario 3D World.  My boyfriend had been at it for weeks; you had to essentially commit the level to muscle memory and time everything just so, or you fall to your doom and die.  You have to have full understanding of how long and how far and how fast your character (Mario, in his case) jumps and runs…because that changes everything.

My boyfriend played the final level A LOT.  He even grabbed hundreds of lives to have near-infinite tries:

…And has a specific way to hold the GamePad when his timing starts getting too rushed:

The last time I saw him try to clear this level, he could only get up to the 2nd area and would curse incessantly at the TV with every death.  And then, just the other night, this transpired…

BOYFRIEND: “After playing this Mario level like 475 times, I don’t get pissed anymore.  I just take the failure and brush it off.”

ME: “Really?  No more cursing?”

BOYFRIEND: “Nah, I’m over it.”

He played the level, screwed up, and died.

BOYFRIEND: “FUUUUUUUUUUUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!!!!”

I stared at him.

BOYFRIEND: “….I think my testosterone goes up when I’m around you….”

Testosterone or Pride?  Hahaha.  This isn’t the first time something like this has happened!  I guess it’s cute, he was trying to show off his skills.  About 50 lives later…he really did beat the level, for the first time ever!  We’ve been playing it together since then, going through all the levels and clearing them with every character.  It’s pretty fun, but I’m new to the whole 3D-genre of Mario…soooo I’m not accustomed to having this squat-jump thing yet.  He tells me it’s from the N64 Mario game, which is a console I completely skipped over while growing up :(  Why couldn’t we be friends in middle school!

AWAWPC: “Gap”

While it is the most unflattering image of myself, it’s almost one of my favorites from my recent trip to the Philippines.

RAWR!  Click for Hi-Res!

RAWR! Click for Hi-Res!

Island hopping in the El Nido area is something I cannot stop gushing about.  It was life changing, it was beautiful, it was the most adventure I’ve had on a vacation, ever.  Some of the islands had simple names like “Secret Beach” or “Secret Lagoon”.  This was taken on one such island.  The small boat, called a banca (which resembles a waterbug, in my eyes) drops anchor in front of a tall, sheer island with no visible entrance.  You jump in to the water, swim towards the rock face….and just around the bend, there is a small gap in the rugged, grey cliff face.  It’s about half as tall as a man, and one must crawl on their hands and knees to get through.  But once you’re through….you see most turquoise water that ever existed.  Sea so blue you’d think it was photoshopped.  Coral everywhere, fish from every part of the rainbow there.  Trees, sand, a beach.  Another, deeper cave that you must swim to like you’re in a Tomb Raider game.

To say I loved it feels like an understatement.

See more entries to Sue’s “A Word A Week Photography Challenge: Gap” here.