Ow!  Motherfucker!!

So I did end up going under the needle yesterday, and man is my leg sore!! Holy fuckballz it hurt. 

I remembered (from the first time) that the back of the calf was an extremely sensitive area– I just didn’t remember how sensitive. And where was all the work done last night?

Back of my calf. 

I will say that the design was vastly different that what I had started off envisioning. I’ve had a spiral of Hindu text on my leg for years (gayaatri mantra) but wanted to fill it out some. Add background detail. Etc. All in keeping with my eastern theme. 

Originally I just figured on some clouds and shading. Something basic. Something simple. But as everything in my life goes, the simple quickly morphs and mutates into… Not a monster, but definitely “more”.

So instead of fluffy, curlicue clouds, I got….

  

(It’s still a bit gooey and owie today.)

Shane tilted and offset this ginormous mandala to work with the spiral tattoo. He also didn’t mark over the text so that will still be visible (it’ll probably need some touch up).

And then we’ll probably add a smaller mandala on the front side– then cloud work to fill in the rest.  And my leg will then be sleeved out. 

So my little “just add some clouds” idea has built into a Texas-sized storm. And therefore I am not done, much to my dismay. And discomfort.

I am definitely pretty sure that I like it. It is much different than my original concept and I do worry that the spiral text gets too lost (at least at present). But I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. It may be ok that the mantra weaves between forefront and background. 

I’m still trying to process it all. 

Regardless, I’ll now be scheduling another appointment– probably another few (four?) months out. Which is soon enough, given the pain factor last night.

Seriously. Motherfuck!!

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Tattoo You. 

I’m scheduled to get some new ink tonight and I’m nervous as fuck. 

I have exactly three tattoos, all of which have been agonizingly chosen over the course of many years, with much internal debate and deliberation. 

The ink tonight will be added to the existing tattoo on my right calf/lower leg. And it is the first time I did not actively choose the design. 

Hence my nerves. 

I am working with the tattoo artist (the guy who did my forearm) to design an underpattern for my leg ink. I wanted to add depth and dimension– smoke or clouds or a pattern, just to flesh out the original design a bit. 

And tonight is the night I’m scheduled to go under the needle.  

The thing is– I haven’t seen the design yet. I met with the artist months ago and we went through potential design choices and aesthetics. But that’s it. I basically left him to his artistic devices. 

This artist is also so in demand and so busy that I’ve had this appointment scheduled since February. And if for some reason the design is a no-go, I have no idea when I will be able to reschedule with him.

And so I’m a bit nervous. 

Plus there’s the whole pain aspect, as the back of my calf was indeed a sensitive area and not a lot of fun the first time around. 

Wish me luck!

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Nick Cannon(dale) Is Back!

My baby Nick is back in da house!

 

I tend to name my vehicles (yes, even my bikes) and this one is named after Nick Cannon. The porn star, not Mariah’s wife. Given the oversized tubing, I felt it appropriate. 

I actually picked him up at Venture North Bike and Coffee Shop on Saturday. They did great work and didn’t rip me off. Unlike the local chain “Erik’s” which was telling me I needed a bunch of unnecessary new stuff.

Plus, read the link about Venture North. They are a local, small business and they actually teach repair skills to at-risk youth in the community, refurbish used bikes and sell them, etc. All good stuff.

Anyway, I rode Nick a little this weekend, and then rode to work yesterday and today (we’ve had lots of rain and shitty cold temps so….).  He’s riding so smooth now and the dérailleur is hitting all gears and the new brake is working awesomely.

Even though we are supposed to get storms this weekend (natch, cuz it’s a holiday) I plan to ride him a lot until we’re both worn out and dripping. 

Just like I would do to his namesake. 

P.S. It pretty much rained all weekend. And is still raining today. 

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Boy Update

Sigh.

As you may recall, the boy at the gym was “supposed” to be at the gym on Friday.  He did say that he would see me there and I was so excited!  I looked forward to it all day on Friday. 

He didn’t show.

I didn’t see him in Sunday either. But then yesterday, he was there. And he’d mostly shaved his glorious, auburn beard off!!

Damnit. 

I was hoping he’d stop by my elliptical and chat me up– but no. He was just in his own little world, doing his workout. Not noticing me. 

He’s just not that into you.

So I made a point of going up to him and standing with my arms folded. He turned and flashed me a huge smile. 

“Hey!  I thought about you on Sunday– as I was shaving my beard.”

I told him I was very disappointed, and that he should keep the beard.  Always. He promised me it was coming back. 

Then he asked about my weekend and Art a Whirl and seemed all interested in me. And then I heard it. 

He said “we”.

As in, not-he-and-I “we”, but he-and-someone-else “we”.

He just said it once, but… Damn.  It sure sounds like he is partnered. Which would totally be my luck.

Why not just drop the “we” thing way earlier though?  Like last week when we were chatting about the weekend just say something like “I don’t know what our plans are currently– maybe hitting happy hour.”  Something. Anything. 

This was was just rather cruel. 

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Even More Art!

really have a problem with art. As in it’s hard for me not to buy things I like when I see them. Much to the dismay of my bank account. 

I honestly have no idea where I got this from, other than there are several artistic people in my family. But it isn’t like we had tons of art on walls when I was growing up or anything. We had the same watercolors and prints on the same walls for my entire childhood.

Except the macramé stuff. That came down eventually.

This weekend was “Art a Whirl” in Minneapolis– which is basically a giant, sprawl of an art crawl which shows the wares of all the local artists. It was all over the Arts District in NE Minneapolis, which was recently rated one of the best art scenes in the country. 

Anyway, I saw lots of cool things and discovered some new artists that I quite like. But I also saw my favorite local artist– and ended up buying something.  It’s called “Teaspoon Tempest”.

 

He does a lot of this type of “moderate” surrealism which plays right into what I enjoy from a subject/whimsy standpoint.  I also think his work has an element of Magritte to it.

Here are some zoomed in pics so you can see the detail-

   

 

I love the light and shadow interplay of the stormy day, the light flare on the boat’s hull, the details in the waves, the reflections in the spoon…. Gah!!

Here it is, taking center stage on my gallery wall. It should probably be by itself, but for now it’s here. 

 

Yeah, I have a problem.  And it’s more than just not enough wall space.

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The Boy At The Gym

I finally bit the bullet and struck up a conversation with a cute guy at my gym. And he didn’t blow me off!!!

The older I get, the more difficult it is becoming for me to meet people. And by “people” I mean “prospective dates”.  Part of it is Minneapolis/Minnesota, and part of it is just the awkwardness of it. People are so social media focused these days that it’s hard to meet in real time. 

Besides, social media just leads to hookups, not meaningful encounters. 

So I’ve been hoping (for quite some time) to meet a guy in band, or choir, or volleyball, or the gym.  But alas– no luck to date. Invariably when I put myself out there, I quickly learn the guy is already attached. Or not interested.  Or really weird.  

Or straight. (Whoops.)

Anyway, the gym seems to be where I develop most of my crushes. And even though none have panned out– I keep trying. 

Like with Gordy. 

I’ve seed him at the gym for months now. Many months. Sometimes bearded.  Sometimes clean shaven. Floppy, auburn hair and blue eyes.  Same Florida state workout shirt.

I always stare a bit too much and hope that he’ll catch me staring and state back. Mostly he’s engrossed in his workout and has his earbuds in. So my staring goes unrequited. 

Until last night. 

He caught me looking and he smiled and nodded. I nodded back. 

And then I walked up and talked to him. 

My opening line was “I’m glad to see your beard is finally coming back. You should keep it– it’s a good look.”

And from there we talked about beards and trimming and why he cut his off (for a wedding– not his). He assured me it was back to stay.  At least for a good while. 

We also chatted a bit about biking and places to ride. I mentioned that we should go for a ride sometime.  And we also talked a bit about beer and weekend plans. He said he’s trying to cut back because he is finally losing weight– 20 lbs so far. I told him I’d noticed and that he was looking good. (A smile and a thank you.)

When we parted, he asked if I was going to be at the gym tomorrow.  I told him that I was. He said “Good!  I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

While it wasn’t 100% encouraging, it wasn’t 100% discouraging either. I floated the idea about a bike ride, and alluded to grabbing a beer– all with no commitment. But he wasn’t dismissive either.  And he was friendly and engaged and knows my name and did say that he is pretty free and unscheduled on the weekends. 

So, I guess I’ll see him tonight. And we’ll see what happens. 

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I Love Eric Whitacre

Last Friday I went to the Minnesota Orchestra concert which featured several works by Eric Whitacre– including 3 orchestral premiers!  This is him:

  

  

I’m hopelessly in love with him. 

Not so much for the blonde tresses and smirkiness, but he’s just cool. And his music is nothing short of amazing. 

He may look kind of douchey, but he’s really not. He’s totally a rock star in the world of modern composition and young conductors, which would normally go to a person’s head.  But he’s actually super genuine and down to earth. And friendly! 

He loves working with the Minnesota Orchestra (actually premiering works here!) he hosts q&a sessions before concerts, and does meet-n-greets in the lobby after his concerts where he stays until everyone in the line has a chance with him (selfies included!)

  

And most of all he’s whimsical and fun!  He’s a very animated conductor, and anyone who composes a piece called “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” and then scores it for full orchestra and chorus is someone that bears watching.

He’s mostly known as a choral composer, and his choral works are lush and emotional and angsty and thick and ethereal and… GAHHHH! So gorgeous.

His stuff was actually the catalyst behind me trying to compose my own stuff. 

He was also a pioneer in the whole “virtual choir” movement, where people from all over the world connect via electronic devices to sing as one in a performance.  

The big premier of the evening was his brand new work written as an homage to one of the Hubble Telescope’s images of a previously dark and absolutely minuscule region of the night sky. The telescope was set to a long exposure over 10 days, and the dark region was actually found to be full of 3000+ galaxy’s and objects from the furthest reaches in our universe.

  

He was so moved and awed by the image and the science that he wrote a piece called “Deep Field” for large orchestra, chorus, and app.

Yes, app. 

The audience was to download an app, and then press play when given a cue. Everyone’s phone would then play this ethereal, shimmery music and display images from the Hubble Telescope and the symphonic work drew to a close. 

In theory this is an awesome blend of classic and modern, with an audience participatory twist.  Unfortunately people are stupid so there were numerous glitches– including someone’s phone ringing just as the piece started. 

I also wish the app thing wasn’t included as it really took me out of the beauty of the performance. 

Still… The music was sumptuous. I want a recording of it, LIKE NAO!  And if possible, I love him even more.  

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Songs from the Heart

The small vocal ensemble that I have been singing with (OutLoud!) is officially done for the year. We sang on Saturday evening during  the “Songs from the Heart” fundraiser.  And for the most part, it went fairly well. 

The fund raiser was not only for the chorus, but also a community partner– this year it was Clair Housing which is a service which provides housing to people living with HIV/AIDS. 

There was a live auction as well as many silent auction items on which to bid. And food. And drink. Plus, there was the entertainment provided by “us”.

It was also hosted by two local gay TV celebs.

Overall I think the evening was a success, and we ended our season on a “good note” (pun intended).

It should also be noted that the assistant conductor (and director of OutLoud!) Won’t be returning next year.  I don’t know yet of this impacts my decision to leave the group after this year or not. 

It was a lot of work for very little reward. We’ll see though. A different director could make a world of difference. 

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Bike Hospital

i went for a couple long bike rides this weekend because the weather was absolutely gorgeous!  Here are a couple selfies:

   

 

My ride on Sunday, however, featured a snapped rear brake cable, which necessitated a trip to the bike hospital on Monday. 

Not only do I have a rear brake issue, but I also need pads AND my rear rim is cracked!!  So Nick Cannondale will be in for surgery the rest of this week. 

To top it off, my backup bike had a flat. And a rim issue. So that one is also our of commission. 

Thank god we’re getting rain for the next couple of days. It makes me feel less guilty for not riding to work. 

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The end of OutLoud!

As I have mentioned before, I am singing in a small ensemble from the gay chorus called OutLoud!  It’s a twelve man ensemble that I auditioned for at the beginning of the year. It was supposed to be “the elite” from the choir and a real honor. 

And while we did perform well as an ensemble and sound pretty darn good in the concerts, the season has been rather… challenging… To say the least.

Mostly the challenges were with the new assistant conductor who was the director/head of OutLoud!  His musical selections for us to sing were not very hard and downright boring. Which, as a musician, makes it hard to stay excited and engaged in the music.

Plus his personality was a bit difficult to work with and it created some friction.  I think his approach would be better suited to middle schoolers, rather than adults. (So you can just imagine the environment).

There have been some other challenges throughout the year, with choral management, rehearsal times, etc. 

Anyway, the long and short of it is: OutLoud! had a meeting with the director of the full chorus where it was decided that after we complete our fundraising gig in two week’s time, OutLoud! will be done for the season. 

I’m actually relieved. 

Singing in the group made me a better performer as it made me face my fears about singing in a more exposed ensemble.  But there was absolutely no joy for me. It was more a chore. 

And when music becomes a chore, that’s when it’s time to cal it quits. 

Which we did. 

You know what the worst part is?  The audition at the beginning of the year was for both OutLoud! and the chamber singers (a 24 man ensemble).  And the chamber singers got to do some awesome music– the kind of stuff I love to sing.

I’m so jealous. 

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