Friday, March 26, 2010

Bye bye, mole.

Stitches look gnarly. There's still some lidocaine working its magic, but man, this feels funky! I got three stitches to close up the ellipse they cut out of me. My doctor is a great guy. Kept a good sense of humor throughout the whole thing and talked to me about his experiences with photography and photoshop. He told me he had the eye for composing pictures but anything more complicated than that (depth of field, etc) made his eyes spin. I'm willing to bet it's something he knows but doesn't know that he knows. The worst part was the lidocaine injection. It's a combination between a sting and feeling like a hair is getting pulled. No, not even the injection. The worst part is the waiting. In the days leading up to the biopsy I was starting to panic, feeling that good old anxiety creep back. Once I realized exactly how little (i.e., nothing) I was feeling after the injection I started to relax.
I told myself "don't look, don't look" when he began to cut around the mole but curiosity prevailed. And really... it wasn't bad. Watching him cut out the mole and pull it out with forceps was a little more crawlies-inducing. Right now it's looking like it belongs on a Silent Hill monster. My arm is a little sore from the tension from the stitches. Playing Silent Hill: Shattered Memories was not the best idea when I got home. My band-aid quickly detached itself from my arm and to my laptop. Cleaning neosporin off my beautiful shiny machine was not what I had in mind.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Biopsy Day

Monday I went to the doctor. The first thing he said when he saw my mole was "I don't like it."

I like to reimagine him saying it like Mr. Horse from Ren and Stimpy.

So, what's not to like about my li'l mole? Well, everything. color, shape, size, pain, mutation... fun times!

I go in Friday.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fuse is short and getting shorter.

Photography rage. Yesterday night I went to the darkroom to print some pictures. Let me start with everything that went wrong.
1. I couldn't find the light switch. There were two that I couldn't figure out what the hell they did. For a good amount of time I worked in the frustratingly dark studio.
2. Because I couldn't find the damn lights I messed up my locker combination god knows how many times.
3. Somebody left a leaky fixer container dripping away.
4. Somebody left beer on the floor.
5. Guess who cleaned up 3 and 4?
6. I printed the wrong picture.

Well, I can't complain. I did get one nice print and worked pretty much alone. I eventually found the right lightswitch and once I got the darkroom cleaned up I wasn't slipping all over the place any more.

I dreamed I had a job last night. Perhaps that was the worst part of my day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I think I am fairly patient but today I felt it wearing thin. I love photography but sometimes I forget I am in the beginning class. I was told I could have easily gotten into photo II but there were too many conflicts and honestly, there's nothing wrong with getting a refresher. Today I found myself foaming at the mouth as people asked questions to answers we were just told, or over what kind of shutter speed does what.
I need to remember that I too was once a beginner.

Monday, March 8, 2010


After a friendly sharpied reminder on my hand, I finally remembered to call the doctor. Appointments this week are impossible... f'n midterms. Perhaps the best part about this call was explaining why I needed an appointment.
"My mole mutated and fell off my arm again."
I'm pretty sure I spoke loudly and clearly, but I like to imagine the receptionist got the mental image of a mole hopping up and running away. Unfortunately, the soonest appointment I could get is March 22nd, a whole two weeks from now. Please don't pack up and leave on me again, Mole.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Time to say "ouch"

As a kid, the betrayal of doctors angered me. It still does. I appreciated their honesty in affirming my fears that the shot would hurt. After all, it is a needle getting jabbed into your skin. But when they'd say "You won't even have time to say ouch!" forget it. Of course there's time to say ouch. They seemed to reserve that for only the biggest, most painful shots out there.

I didn't realize how important the tip of my thumb was until I burnt it. Every minute I was running from my enlarger to plunge by hand in a drinking fountain or sink. For now it has hardened into a lump, awaiting its opportunity to burst at an inopportune moment.

I don't think doctors lie as much as you get older. When my second ovarian cyst ruptured February of last year, I got a very big needle full of antibiotics. I knew exactly where it was going to go. More than a little high from painkillers and slightly delusional from the pain I asked "Is this going to hurt?"
Knowing grin. "Turn over."
Needle, meet buttcheek. Yet, for some reason, it didn't hurt. It tingled and my whole leg went numb. The next day was a different story. My French class (at my suggestion) had a hot date at the de Young to look at the Yves Saint Laurent collection. The whole drive from Marin I was balanced on my right side, wincing whenever we turned. I was still a little loopy from all the painkillers I'd been stuffed with and a little woozy from the big dose of antibiotics. I took all the clothing in with wonderment as I shuffled more than a little lopsided in my worn Louboutin flats. This experience later manifested itself in one of my last art projects of senior year. In it, condoms and syringes rain down from above. Balloons fly up into the sky. Rings and hearts cascade down as tacos and ice cream cones take flight across the sky. Silhouettes of the shoes I wore flap into the breeze.

I've come a long way in dealing with needles. Perhaps it's the piercings or the tattoo. But now there's a new contender.

The mole. This mole and I have been locked in a stalemate all my life. When I was 8 (and compulsively picking at my skin) I picked it until it bled. A year or two ago it started itching and bleeding. One night I was in the shower and it simply fell right off. I watched the little spot circle the drain in horror. I picked it up and slapped it back on my arm. It promptly slid off and slipped down the drain. My mole! My precious mole! Why did you leave me?!
Oh wait, you regrew. And mutated. Again. Just last week you pulled the same stunt. Not cool. You and me are going to the doctor.

And part of me still hopes there's no time to say ouch.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Sometimes I'm amazed at my drive to continue photography no matter what it does to me. Freshman year, my papercut hands met with a spilled tray of fixer. I don't think they ever quite healed right because they scarred over like hell. Countless times I've pinched my fingers in an enlarger. I've been stuck in the head with rusty nails while crawling through an abandoned building. Today may just take the stupidity cake. While balancing a messenger bag, camera, and coffee I decided I HAD to get a cool picture of smoke blowing in the wind. So from my nearly 3 year old pack of Lucky Strikes I lit one. Well, lit isn't quite the right word. I fought the lighter. I have never been good with Bic lighters, especially since I accidentally got high in science class in 6th grade when the flint wouldn't strike. The flame finally popped out and promptly blew over my thumb. I have a nice round blister on the very tip. Oh my god, it hurts. But given the choice of a superficial burn versus burning out, I'll take the skin damage any day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Majesty of Colors

I've been writing a journal assignment for my art history class. Yesterday's lecture covered theosophy and Kandinsky, closely intertwined with color and feelings. A few weeks ago I bought a Missoni scarf at Crossroads Trading. It's in dark colors--black, blues, and purple. The schizophrenic zig-zag pattern combined with the colors led me to dub it "The Scarf of Nightmares."

When I was young I had a few very memorable, very artistic dreams. There was one done in a flipbook/sketch kind of view, one done in some kind of chalk flipbook style on black paper (it involved me opening up kitchen cabinets trying to find popcorn, but I found this evil blue box that grew and shot popcorn everywhere), and one that involved an evil bowling pin terrorizing a claymation town.

I had interesting dreams as a kid.

If you haven't heard of "The Majesty of Colors" I suggest you give it a play.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Like Tempest

Sometimes, given how connected we are on the internet, cutting someone off completely is like playing a high-level game of Tempest. You know, that Atari one. You spend all this time shooting down flippers, tankers, and the like (ie, blocking someone from your networks) and then you finally warp down the tube.

Except you gotta watch for spikes (those alts/networks you kinda forgot about) or you'll hit them and explode in a blaze of lines. It's frustrating, but I think I've got them all. I'm warping down that tube and continuing on with my life. No negativity, no more bringing me down.

In other news, I have a job interview tomorrow with the financial center on campus. They're also looking for someone who can work through the summer... which I can. Keep your fingers crossed.