Boring Health Update
I really don't like the gym... or exercise in general. I'd really be really hard pressed to think of something I dislike doing even more than working out at the gym. While at the gym, Ashley would ask me "Do you have any New Year's resolutions?" to which I would answer "Work on my comics more, I feel like there is never enough time in the day to get what I want done." She would then reply "Well, what could you change in order to get more art done?" The answer seems obvious: "Stop going to the gym." I go there almost every day. I know that working out helps (a little) with my spine. When left to my own devices, I will stand, sit, or lay to work on comics for about 12 hours a day (sometimes more). This will usually land me in a position where my lower back turns into an unmovable brick of pain. This is something that has started happening to me within the past year (congratulations, you are old now!). This pain is not the same as the chronic pain I have in my mid back all the time. So, I have the choice of going to the gym and having much less time to work on comics (the gym really only requires about 2 hours of time, but leaves me feeling unmotivated to do anything else for the rest of the day) or staying home and getting a ton of work done, but having 2 parts of my body in constant pain instead of one. (Side note: I saw some show on Investigation Discovery where investigators were trying to find a serial killer by studying the letters he wrote, they noted that he would use the numeric and word form of numbers within the same sentence, which they claimed was extremely rare... it's something I've always done as you can see in my previous sentence about the gym, and now I am hyper aware of it and wondering if I'm secretly a serial killer...). It should also be noted that helping a little with my lower back is the only benefit I see from going to the gym. My weight is exactly the same, my energy level has always been good so that is also unchanged. I wake up pretty early, I go to sleep fairly late. I don't sleep a lot, I don't take naps. I am rarely tired. A lot of the time I feel like I am having to make the choice between my health and my career, both of which are extremely important to me. I feel like there is some balance I need to figure out where I am able to work out every day AND get a lot of art done, but I haven't found it yet. I just wish I didn't LOATHE working out. It's boring, tedious, and it doesn't make me feel awesome like it does to other people. I don't know where I'm going with this, haha. I guess I'm just venting my frustration with the situation... anyway...
In other health related news, Ashley and I are enrolling in CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) on the 27th. It's a whole foods plant based diet which shouldn't be too terrible for us since we're already vegan anyway (although I do find that the only things I ever really want to eat are fries covered in chocolate or something like that, which is likely not on the diet). We went to an info session about it last week, I didn't get too familiar with the recipes in the cookbook yet so I don't know exactly what's in store for us. There's other stuff involved than just weight loss (like lowering blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc. They'll be monitoring all that) but I am mostly interested in the weight loss part. If I had a top 10 list of things I love, fat people would probably be pretty high on the list, but I don't love fat on myself. I don't know if that makes me a hypocrite or not, haha. My weight has been 205 lbs for a really long time. We've been steady going to the gym for at least a year... I think it's even longer than that actually and I have lost 0 pounds. I'm hoping this program will help. The group meets twice a week so at least there's some motivation to stay on track. The doctors running it are named Dr. Gobble and Dr. Hoover which is just hilarious, haha.
I did manage to somehow avoid the gym for about a week (before I got pulled back in today). So that left me with enough free time to ink and color 2 comic pages and pencil two more. I talked to Jake (and some other folks) after his book signing about forming another comic meeting group, one that's a little more friendly and casual and a lot less critical. Personally, I need some acountabila-buddies. I've been updating my comics bi-weekly for several months now I am really want to pick up the pace. Knowing I need to get two pages pencilled for a meeting every week is good incentive to stay on track and also get some feedback. I am hoping to get my Ocarina of Time comic going, I know I keep saying that but I just haven't had the time to work on it. Plus I really need to come up with a title. Nothing good has come to me yet, well that's hasn't been claimed already that is. There's a lot of LOZ fan stuff out there, haha.
I have one more page left of Chapter 1 of Devil Spy. I have been thinking about the title page for Chapter 1 a lot lately. Back when I drew it, I had no idea how long it was going to take me to eventually introduce the other main character in the series; Wyatt. Which is one of the reasons I chose to put him on the title page. Also because I wanted people to be aware that there would be another character in the series. But as the chapter drew out, and Wyatt was nowhere to be seen, I'd wished that I'd saved that illustration for the title page of Chapter 2. After mulling it over for a while I decided that I will indeed use the illustration for Chapter 2, since I would eventually like to print the series and I want it to be as 'perfect' as it can be. I'll be drawing a new illustration for the Chapter 1 title page and listing an explanation on the title page for Chapter 2. Hopefully everyone will be cool with that.
Another thing that's been taking up a lot of my time (and money) is my guinea pig Spice. She's been sick for a while, she had surgery a few weeks ago to remove some really large stones from her bladder and urethra. Ever since then, her health has been up and down and up and down... She stopped eating after the surgery to I have had to syringe feed her Critical Care food every two hours, guinea pigs have a tendency to go downhill really quickly if they don't eat. If their guts shut down, that's it for them. No second chance, no recovery. While this was going on, she somehow got a big gash in her side. The only thing I can't think is maybe she scraped her body on the side of her little 'house' running in it, because she has been unable to walk normally since before her surgery (the reason I knew something was wrong with her in the first place was because she became unable to walk). So she needed to be on pain medication and antibiotics, which made her groggy and have diarrhea. In turn she's been dirty; I can bathe her because she has this gash down her side. She got really ill one night, she was swaying around and eventually collapsed and I had to bring her to the emergency vet where they gave her IV fluids, medication, and a warm bottle in order to keep her comfortable and stable long enough to bring her to her regular vet in the morning. With medication, reheating her warm bottle, and Critical Care, she seems now to finally be on the upswing. Then she scratched and ulcerated her eye, which is now white. She's been back and forth to the vet 5 or 6 times in the past month. She seems okay as of the past two days. She's been eating a good amount of veggies and eating and drinking mostly on her own. Hopefully she continues to improve. She is currently happily munching on some red leaf lettuce and radicchio that I smeared some of her Critical Care food on.
I'm pretty far deep in credit card debt so I really hope I manage to make some money this year at conventions or maybe even successfully get a Willem book funded. I can't thank you guys enough for supporting me on Patreon and commissioning me, it all helps! The past month has been stressful and rough but I have high hopes for this being a really good year. I want to get a lot of art done, I want to travel more. I want to get to talk to and meet some of you. It will be a good time.