Monday, April 15, 2013

Mirror Mice

I have been experimenting with some of my photos in photoshop, and ended up creating some interesting images focusing on my mice. 

This first one is focused on T'Mol-kom, but also has my iris and pupil in the center:

This second one focuses on T'Sochya (outside) and T'Vet (inside). I don't like this one as much as the first:

I ended up creating a lot of images similar to these, but I was not very fond of them and they are now in the trash.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


In my last post I mentioned my collection of books and textbooks. Because I feel highly uncomfortable in public places (although I often find myself longing for companionship) and value the written word above most all else, I began building my own library from which I could pull a book from almost any topic - and it is still growing. 

Unfortunately, I share a small room with my sister and thus have little room. I recently rearranged everything so that more would fit, but I am still running out of book space. I am going to need to begin tetris-ing my books soon, which poses an organizational problem. At the moment all of my books are in a very specific order and in specific categories. 

About four shelves are taken up by textbooks, and two shelving units are taken up by Star Trek books. I have a shelf for comic books (and a bin, and a box) and a shelf dedicated to fashion, music, and culture. The remaining shelves are dedicated to literature (three of which hold only the classics).

I also have a lot of DVDs and VHSs,most of which (the ones that are not Star Trek/Doctor Who/Nimoy/Shatner/Kelley related) I keep on a small shelving unit in my closet.

For those who do not have the space or the funds to build their own mini-library, the public library is the most wonderful place on earth. In fact, even I find it to be the most wonderful place on earth - when I actually make it there (which I hope to begin doing soon, but most likely will not be able to because of my anxiety and tourettes).

Everybody should have free access to information - and where the libraries and the internet exist, are accessible, and are allowed, it is free to all.


There is a difference between knowledge and intelligence. I strive for both, but I don't feel that intelligence can be measured accurately - and the more that one knows, the more one realizes that they know nothing. Whenever I gain knowledge, I feel like I am actually regressing.

Nevertheless, I continue to study. I finished High School, but I have not yet enrolled in any post-secondary courses. I do have an extensive collection of literature and textbooks, and information is easily accessible to me (an most other humans) at any time thanks to the internet (although it is important when using the internet to compile information from as many sources as possible and to check those sources).

I do a lot of research, and I tend to multitask and have hundreds of tabs and windows open at a time - usually while I am watching a movie, Supernatural, Star Trek, a documentary, etc like so:

Some of my favorite topics to research right now are hydrocephaly, fatal familial insomnia, parasitism, abnormal psychology, Arthur Rimbaud, Dante's Divine Comedy, mythology, entomology, and body modification. I have multiple books on most of these subjects, and use the internet to do additional research on those topics and on those which I do not yet have books for. Libraries are great as well, but I'm not too keen on leaving my room.

I plan on enrolling in some science courses at university next year, assuming that I am able to pay for the classes and books and that I am able to control my anxiety levels.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jelly Babies

Being a huge fan of Classic Doctor Who, I always wanted to try Jelly Babies. The problem was that - as far as I knew - they were only sold in the UK. It's been years now, and I finally came across some that were being sold at a Bulk Barn in Winnipeg. I was so excited that I could hardly wait until I got paid so that I could buy a bag.

I don't even like candy, generally. But I do like Doctor Who, and fandom can drive a person to do many things.

I finally got myself a bag today (only one because I didn't know if I would like them) and brought them home for a private unveiling. And then I became confused by the state of this popular British candy.

I had never actually seen a Jelly Baby close up. They feel really strange, and they are covered in some sort of powder which I read online was icing sugar.

I tentatively tried one, and was delightfully surprised by the texture - I didn't even know that it was possible for sweets to have a texture like these do. I kept eating them for the texture, and they taste was alright as well - but they are so sweet. Apparently they all have names, and also play instruments. They are strange in every sense - at least I think so. My favorites are the black ones, but there were only two in my package.

It's no wonder the Doctor is so fond of these - although did anybody else notice that when he offers a Jelly Baby in Image of the Fendahl that it is another candy entirely offered to the skull - I think a liquorice allsort? In the Sun Makers as well, to Cordo. I was so confused when I first saw it, but I suppose that could have been the point - a distraction to buy a second more of time. Cordo was human, so he would be more likely than a non-human to know what a Jelly Baby actually was.

(This post also exists on my Doctor Who and Star Trek blog)

Infliction (The Romance of Self Harm)

Self harm is more recognized now than ever. It seems to me that it used to be a secret thing, but now it is almost glamorized on websites like Instagram and tumblr. I'm not saying that everybody glamorizes it, but as a whole it is simply a fact.

It is tagged as depression, as anxiety, as hell. I'm sure that the people posting pictures of their self inflicted wounds in black and white would not wish their suffering upon anybody. That does not mean that it is not still romanticized.

Here's how it works: One sees films, read books, and listen to songs about the hells of depression, anxiety, and self harm. When they begin harming themselves, it seems as if they are in that same situation and that same atmosphere surrounds them. There is nothing more romantic than seeing yourself in a film - like you are part of the story and you are simply watching a recreation of yourself - reading a book which projects your own story. Bringing these acts into the real world creates more dimensions to the film, the story. Suddenly more people are involved and contributing to the script.

At least, that is how it was for me when I slipped into a major depression for years.

I didn't begin injuring myself because of my mental state, however - It began when I was in grade seven and was sitting in a classroom with white lights, white walls, and echoes. I found out that I didn't quite feel pain like others seemed to, and it was more about a fascination with the and with the layers of my own anatomy. It was not until years later when I used self injury to cope with my depression and anxiety, and felt that romantic dissociation. I remember the everything as if it were laid out in a script, and as if I were merely watching it from deep within my mind.

I have scars, and they tell a story - a romantic story, which I may replay in my head whenever I please. A story involving tears, anger, hospitals, stitches, institutions, and fear.

Now that my hell is over (thanks to the right medication and a lot of hard work) I still scratch at my hands - my arms - my face. I bite my hands. It's back to the way it was before I even knew what depression or self harm was. It's back to being a morbid fascination, a stim. It now has more to do with Aspergers and sensory issues than with anything else.

I am free from the hell that I once fell into, but I will never truly be free from self inflicted injury.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I have often found myself to be fascinated with hands - the way that the skin stretches over knuckles, and the movement of the tendons. The lines on the palm and across the fingers. The way the skin folds and the joints move. A lot of the photography I have done is focused on hands - usually my own.

One of my favorite photographs is one that I took of my hands after I had been painting:

Another one of my favorites is focused more on the knuckles, and contrasts the photograph above in focus, in mood, and in color:

The last photograph that I chose to include here is of the back of my left hand, showing the tendons that push through the skin:

I also enjoy looking at other people's hands, and observing the differences between their's and mine. I am particularly interested in the hands of those with Marfan Syndrome.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Gorgeous and Graceful - My Children - My Mice

A few years ago, I came home with two mice. Half a year or so later, I came home with two more. A couple died from old age, and I replaced them with others that I had fallen in love with. My mice are my children, and I love everything about them.

Mice really are like children - they throw tantrums, they talk back, they're picky eaters, they argue, and they fight. They even play tricks on each other. There is a video where tricks are played here.

One of my first mice was T'Mol-kom ("of serenity" in Golic Vulcan). She lived for more than two years, so I have a lot of photos of her. I tried to pick only the best.

Here she is after I first brought her home:

More than a year and a half later, she was dying. She was stiff, and hardly breathing. I came home from work to find my mother holding her in her hands and she was totally unresponsive. I picked her up and held her - I leaned in toward her and said - "hello baby". Suddenly, she perked up and looked at me. She lived for a few more months after that - getting better, getting worse. I rubbed vitamin e oil on her skin because it was dry and flaky and I spoon fed her baby food and oatmeal a few times every day. 

When it was warm outside, I would take her out onto the balcony and she would relax and lay on a scarf I laid out in front of me. I would often lay my hand beside her and she would move over to hold me as she laid there.

One time when she was very ill and unable to even walk, I found her curled up and caked in blood. It turned out to be a small cut from where she scratched her face, and I gave her a warm bath to get rid of the blood. After I was finished, she relaxed in my hand and I held her in the sun for a minute.

When I finally found the towel and dried her off, I wrapped her up and she looked like a little burrito.

She actually made a full recovery after that, and was reunited with the other mice (she even ran on the wheel again, despite her arthritis) before eventually worsening again and passing.

The other mouse that I first brought home was T'Vet (meaning "of doubt" in Golic Vulcan - also the name of the ancient Vulcan goddess of War).  T'Vet and T'Mol-kom were sisters, and they often slept and ate with the sides of their faces pressed together.

T'Vet was obsessed with her wheel. She would run on it for hours, and fight to keep it to herself. Because of this, I got a second wheel for the cage.

One time all of my mice got mites, and so I brought them to the vet and got some drops for them. Unfortunately, T'Vet had an uncommon reaction and the drops affected her neurologically. She could hardly eat, and her limbs seemed to move on their own. I had to hold her firmly because she would suddenly jerk and jump to the side. When her body did settle down, she seemed exhausted.

She returned to normal after a week or so, and lived a happy and healthy life. In fact, she didn't even seem ill before she died - I simply found her buried in the cardboard shavings one morning, and it looked like she was sleeping.

About half a year after I got T'Vet and T'Mol-kom, I brought home two other mice. When I was buying mouse food one day, I saw some live feeder mice on the other side of some glass, right beside the reptiles. I ended up bringing home two of those feeder mice - a mother and her daughter. The mother I named T'Sochya (of peace in Golic Vulcan):

And her baby I named T'El'es (of freedom in Golic Vulcan):

It took months for T’Sochya to feel at ease and safe again, and she would panic as soon as she was separated from her daughter for months more before learning to trust me and her surroundings. 

I remember when I first brought them home - T’El’es was so tiny that she could just walk straight through the holes in the bars. I never had to worry about her escaping and getting lost, however, because T’Sochya was always there protecting her - I recall seeing her smack her daughter whenever she started to leave the cage.

Both T'Sochya and T'El'es ended up getting a face/eye infection which I had to treat (a couple of times) with antibiotics. I still treat T'El'es every few months because the abscess on her face keeps returning. The veterinarian thinks that it is a tooth - if that is the cause, then there is very little that can be done. I begin giving her antibiotics now as soon as the side of her face starts growing, and it has never gotten this bad again:

one morning when I was looking in on the mother (T'Sochya), I found the other three mice (T'El'es, T'Vla-spen, and T'Spatchka) sleeping with her dead body. It was actually difficult for me to separate them - T'Sochya was very important to the three of them, because she was a mother to all of them. She protected them when they were new and being bullied, took care of them, and was the first to meet them when they came home for the very first time.

When T'Vet died, I ended up bring home another mouse whom I named T'Vla-spen (of the side-jump in Golic Vulcan because of the way she would jump around):

T'Vla-spen is actually the largest of all of my mice at the moment, and sometimes I'm amazed that she can even get around like she does - jumping and climbing upside down.

After T'Vet passed (about half a year after her sister T'Mol-kom did), I brought home a beautiful and skittery mouse whom I named T'Spatchka (a combination of Vulcan name convention and the Nadsat word for "sleep". When I got her, she already had a small tear in her ear, which I think looks cute:

She was a very nervous mouse, which was not helped by the fact that she was picked on by T’Vla-spen. T’Vla-spen was (and still is) a very emotional mouse, and was not taking the transfer/sharing of attention well. T’Sochya kept her safe, though - and slept with her so that T’Vla-spen couldn’t hurt her. Whenever T’Spatchka heard a noise or felt something that scared her, she would run to T’Sochya and T’Sochya would protect her.

After T'Sochya passed, I brought home T'Rukh (named after Vulcan's sister planet) - with T'Sochya gone, however, the other mice found themselves without a mother/authority figure/leader. T'Vla-spen and T'Spatchka attacked each other, but they ganged up on T'Rukh and injured her quite badly one night (T'El'es was neutral, keeping to herself). Her feet were swollen and bleeding, she had cuts, and one of her toes was broken. She was afraid to come down from the very top of the cage, where she clung to the bars in the corner. I ended up putting her in her own cage as soon as I saw this and went to get one of her old cage-mates from the pet store so that when the time came to try and put them all together again, she would have another mouse on her side. 

When I was on the way back with T'Rukh and the friend I picked out for her, I noticed that she had lice - and quite badly. I brought the two of them straight to the vet and the veterinarian managed to make time for us. It also turned out that T'Rukh had a respiratory infection, for which she was prescribed antibiotics.

All of the lice are now gone, and T'Rukh is infection free. 

The friend that I got for T'Rukh was the black one that I almost got in the first place - I named her T'Vaksur (of beauty in Golic Vulcan), a name that I had been saving for years for a black mouse.

With the lice and infections gone, I attempted to reintroduce the mice. All five of them get along amazingly now.

Now, because I have taken a lot of photos and couldn't narrow them down any more, here are a few photos of some of the mice together:

T'Mol-kom (A few hours after a vitamin e rub) with T'Sochya (T'Sochya got darker and very large as she got older)

T'Mol-kom and T'Vet, with a young T'Sochya in the back.
T'Vet with T'Sochya (the mother) and T'El'es (her baby)
T'Vla-spen, T'El'es, T'Sochya, and T'Vet at the Vet.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

F is for Friends who do stuff together.

I met my very best friend in junior high, more than eight years ago. We've been through a lot together, but we always came through stronger and closer. Now that we are older and have more responsibilities (and a significant other on her side) we spend less time together - but we work in the same building now and I will always feel closest to her out of everybody.

I remember her showing up to visit me a few times when I was in the psych ward - she would bring Pokemon playing cards and we would play go-fish until she had to leave.

I remember how cool we thought we were when we wore spikes and chains, rebelling against authority and against our classmates. We look back on those days with embarrassment and humor - mostly embarrassment.

I remember when my mother wouldn't let me see her because she was a "bad influence" on me - I would leave an hour early and trek through the snow in -50c weather to get to her house so that we could walk to school together.

I remember laughing when she threw a juice box at me while I was getting stung by wasps after I stepped on a nest because she didn't know what to do.

I remember making her cry when I was taken to the mental hospital, and being unable to comfort her.

I remember times when we were each other's only comfort.

To be honest, I wasn't always a very good friend. During grade ten I was very depressed, very impulsive, and sometimes very mean. We ended up not talking for months in High School - I waited for her to forgive me. I'm glad that she did.

She is one of most supportive people in my life, and I feel that she has been one of the most positive influences on me overall. We have changed a lot in the last eight or nine years, but still click instantly when we're together.

Fun fact: she even threatens to feed me pork rinds when I stop eating. In fact, she drew me a picture to remind me - I keep it on my bedroom wall:

I love you, Kaitie. Thank you for everything.

Friday, April 5, 2013


I have had quite a few hair styles, a few hair colors, and a few shapes within the last few years. A while ago, I started keeping track of my changing appearance. I've had a pixie cut, a bowl cut, a shag, a chelsea mullet, a mohawk, a shaved head, and a couple if other hair cuts. I've worn wigs, and dyed my hair pink, blue, turquoise, orange, red, blonde, black, and  brown. I've had dark eyebrows, bleached eyebrows, and Vulcan eyebrows. I've been 130 pounds (after treatment), 98 pounds (when my eating disorder was at it's worst), and various weights in between.

Click image to enlarge.
I find it very interesting, seeing the evolution of my style laid out like this. I also find it very interesting how apparent it is when I am struggling with my eating disorder. I plan to continue adding photos to this image for at least a few more years.


If you recognize that something is a delusion - is it still a delusion?

I know it is a delusion because it is illogical, but I cannot help but believe it. Because it is true - I am sure of it.

I have no brain.

Sometimes this fact bothers me more than others - sometimes it causes a great deal of anxiety. Most of the time it does not affect me at all. Basically my skull is hollow but for a membrane attached to the inside walls. There are points along the membrane and these points transfer electrical impulses between each other across the void. Sometimes I can feel it happening, and it feels and sounds like static.

A drawing I did of my brain and stomach.
I once had an EEG done, and they found some abnormalities which may or may not have been caused by the medication I was on. I am getting an MRI done of my "brain" within the next year before I can be diagnosed with tourettes (as the as tourettes is diagnosed through the elimination of other causes), and I am going to request that I see the results. If I do see a brain there, I'm not sure how I will feel - or even if I will be able to believe it. I haven't been able to for maybe five years now.