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burning my face off

Posted by Anj Marth on 12/23/2013

full (16)I love fire. I was afraid of it as a child, but as I grew older and began to challenge myself to other new and frightening experiences, I decided it was time to meet flame and make a connection with it.

A few years ago, in the middle of a bad relationship, I watched my lover breathe a huge fireball. In a very unsafe and exaggerated manner. But Oh! it was beautiful, billowing out of his mouth. I was hooked. I learned through friends who had been doing it more carefully-to look up into the sky and send the breath with the flame, to sputter just right so as not to splatter, to use the right fluids…to wet down my hair and tie it back, to clear the area first…all the standard precautions. I began to breathe fire often, at most occasions, dancing under fireballs at parties, on the beach, even alone, in the desert, on a solitary road trip. Just to see it dancing. Just to feel the glare on my face.

I love fire.

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Posted in brag, health and safety, interview with the artist, journal, oregon living, personal, pictures, questions, true stories | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

I am crazy wild this minute- excerpt from essay on the experience of mental illness, by Lara Jefferson, 1948

Posted by Anj Marth on 11/15/2013

This, and the previous excerpt I posted, are small selections from the book “The Inner World of Mental Illness”, published by Harper & Row in 1964. It’s one of my favorite books, written by a variety of people in very different circumstances and with very different afflictions; all the stories have the same undertone of fear, grieving, and pragmatism.

I’ve read this book to shreds, literally.

Most of the chapters in it are excerpts from longer books written by the mentally ill, but some are merely short pieces, collected by doctors or nurses. I’ll post more of these if enough of you want more of them.

The book includes a variety of mental illnesses, so if you’d like an excerpt dealing with some other disorder, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best.

This excerpt is from “I am crazy wild this minute”, written by Lara Jefferson in the 40s. It was written on scrap paper and wrapping paper in a state hospital.

When her writing was discovered by staff, she was given a typewriter and encouraged to continue. Hospitals at that time were much more chaotic, and psychosis was not treated with as much compassion or medical understanding as it is today.

Had I been born in the age and time when the world dealt in a straightforward manner with misfits as could not meet the requirements of living, I would not have been much of a problem to my contemporaries. They would have said that I was “Possessed of the Devil” and promptly stoned me to death- or else disposed of me in some other equally effective manner.

I know I cannot think straight- but the conclusions I arrive at are very convincing to me and I still think the whole system is a regular Hades itself. …

I cannot conduct myself as the rules set forth because something has broken loose within me and I am insane- and differ from these others to the extent that I still have sense enough to know it; which is a mark of spectacular intelligence- so they tell me.

Here I sit- mad as the hatter- with nothing to do but either become madder and madder- or else recover enough of my sanity to be allowed to go back to the life which drove me mad.

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Posted in authors, deep thoughts, health and safety, interview with the artist, personal, pictures, posts with links in them, true stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

something else I made today- and a quick up for PV using instead of smoking.

Posted by Anj Marth on 03/26/2013

I haven’t smoked in two days, and I’ve smoked a single pack of cigarettes in the past week. I finally got good gear for PV/ecig use, so I haven’t felt the urge to smoke.

I can also see this becoming an all-consuming side hobby for me. I made these little desk-props for my pvs today out of polyclay. I plan to paint them (one’s a dick, one’s tits, and one is an eye)…maybe I’ll make a few more too, that are a little more interesting or fleshed-out.

PV e-cig desk prop or holders

Posted in brag, DIY, geek, health and safety, personal, pictures, true stories | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Instructions for preparing certain specimens safely.

Posted by Anj Marth on 08/01/2012

How to clean animal remains you find that still have a bit of meat on them:

 Wear disposable gloves.

  • Put them on a piece of window screen that is twice their size, and wrap them up in it. Fold over the edges to close it like a pocket, leaving a one inch opening on one end for flies and other insects to get in.
  • DO NOT BOIL OR SIMMER BONES. Cooked bones can and will ROT! Boiling breaks the fibers that hold bone together, making them brittle, and thinning them. Let nature do the work for you! (and keep the stink outside!)
  • Hang the corpse-pocket up outside. You want it up out of reach of cats and dogs, but low enough that you can reach it. I hang remains from a tree limb near my house. You can also wrap the corpse this was and then bury it a foot deep or less. Either way, insects will do the cleaning for you. This will not work in winter though.
  • wait a few weeks, less if it is hot/humid. check on your developments. at some point the bones will be fully exposed, and all meat will have been picked away by insects.
  • soak the bones in HOT water and blue Dawn dish detergent. Change out the water/detergent mix every day. It can cool off overnight, just use hot water to refill it each day. Use about two cups of Dawn per gallon of water. Do this until the bones are not yellowish with fat anymore.
  • Scrub the bones in cold water with more dish soap. Then soak again in HOT water, mixed 1:1 with regular old store-type peroxide. YOU DON’T NEED BLEACH; BLEACH WILL MAKE THE BONE CRUMBLY AND WEAK, AND SOFTEN IT. Peroxide and hot water will disinfect just as well, when used in conjunction with the soap soak. refill/continue soaking until the bone is as white as you’d like. I find that it usually takes three water changes to get the ivory-cream tone I prefer.
  • Dry the bones thoroughly, NOT IN THE SUN. Then spray with a coat of matte UV protectant. Sun exposure, like bleach, degrades and weakens bone.
  • The best way to hang a skull is to string it on thick, soft twine through the orbital bones, then hang that on a hook on a mountboard. I like to attach the jaw as well, and pose and articulate bones- I’ll go over that stuff in a later post.

TEAL DEER: 

DON’T FUCKING BOIL OR BLEACH BONES! IT DESTROYS THEM!

How to disinfect feathers (legal ones- domestic and game birds)

Wear disposable gloves.

  • Figure out if it is a land or water bird. Water birds have oil in their feathers, land birds do not.
  • Spray with alcohol(land bird) or tea tree oil (water bird) and let dry.
  • Soak a paper towel with full-strength hand sanitizer, and wipe feather gently, in the direction of growth. Soak the feather well.
  • Let stand overnight.
  • Using hot water, wipe the feather down again. Let dry. Use oil or a damp cloth to smooth the feather to shape it again.
  • VOILA.
  • To dye land-bird feathers, use translucent, lightfast inks (FW, or the like) and wipe ink onto feather surfaces in the pattern you want. let it stand until the ink has dried, then wipe gently with a damp rag.
  • I’ll go into dying waterbird feathers in a later post, there are more steps required (oil-based, remember!)

TEAL DEER? MOST FEATHERS ARE ILLEGAL, DON’T BE A DUMBASS.

Posted in art, caveman art, DIY, health and safety, how-to, morbid art, oregon living, pictures, posts with lists in them, questions, step by step, taxidermy | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

excerpt from “through the looking glass”, an article by Mary Cecil about her experience with psychosis and commitment

Posted by Anj Marth on 06/24/2012

Mary Cecil voluntarily committed herself to an institution in the early 1950s. This account was published in its entirety in Encounter, in 1956. Again, the article is excerpted from the book “The Inner World of Mental Illness”.

(for other excerpts, see here, or here)

After a fortnight in a sort of reception ward in the mental hospital, I complained to the doctor that nothing was being done. They didn’t appear to appreciate the urgency of the position. There was I, helpless in the hands of a fiend from Hell and anything might happen any minute. (Ms. Cecil believes that a hallucinated voice is the Devil, sent to harass her.) The Hospital ambled through its days, sweeping us off to Occupational Therapy or out to grass, as the mood took it. One might be suddenly singled out and, eager with hope, be subjected to a blood test or some flippancy like that.

“Ah, but we’re doing so much for you,” the doctor said earnestly…”In fact,” the doctor continued fatly, “we’re going to give you some injections. You’ll be moved to another ward.”

I’d learned already that it was a waste of time asking questions. Psychiatrists thrive on their air of mystery. Anyway, the fact of strange surroundings was enough. In this ward there had been some outbursts from explosive patients. …I noticed that the more obstreperous patients were dragged off, protesting violently, to some outer dungeon spoken of in whispers as the Villa. I added that to my fears and redoubled my attempts to appear totally harmless.

She discusses insulin treatment she received after being transferred to the next ward- a treatment used commonly at that time.

After tea I saw a lady doctor who said I was to have some injections. I saw myself ablaze with vitamins in next to no time. At bedtime the men disappeared into one dormitory and we women into another, so that was all right. Just as I was getting into bed I noticed a sheet marked the Villa. There was a curious taste in my mouth, had I been tricked into the place? Heart thudding, I gazed out the window and saw a small building by itself. “That’s the Villa,” breathed the woman in the next bed.

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Posted in deep thoughts, ethics, health and safety, learning, true stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

daily dose.

Posted by Anj Marth on 06/18/2012

Thought I’d join in on a twitter thing I saw, and post my daily dose of medicines.

In the morning, I take the top row of pills, all of them, everyday.

That’s two 200mg seroquel, and two 40mg prozac capsules. And to the right, Chantix.
I take this as soon as I open my eyes. Sometimes (almost always) I stay in bed or maybe even go back to sleep for a bit; but it’s the first thing I do in the morning.

At night, I take one of the leftmost pills on the bottom row- I alternate them. One is lunesta, one is ambien, one is temazepam. I take a different one each night so they all keep working. And, along with that, I take my second chantix.

I’ve had insomnia as long as I can remember. The last year or so with these medicines, I have been able to fall asleep far easier and more consistently than ever before. Not that I don’t still sleep in, because I do. But at least I don’t stay up all night then sleep an hour or two- or sleep ALL day everyday.

Also, I’ve been smoking a pack a day every day for 28 years. I’ve gone through one pack in the last two days…so the chantix is helping. I still don’t know if it will work, if I will be able to quit completely, yet- but I am hopeful.

Posted in deep thoughts, health and safety, interview with the artist, personal, pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

an excerpt from “living with schizophrenia”, by Norma Macdonald

Posted by Anj Marth on 05/22/2012

Excerpt from an essay published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, ca. 1963. Written by Norma Macdonald, a woman who had been re-admitted multiple times for recurring schizophrenia and aggression.

Another excerpt from the same source, written by a different woman, is available here.

            I began to see that in schizophrenia I had much more than a handicap, I had a tool and a potential. This sort of mind, controlled and used, has a far-reaching imaginative power, a sharp instinctual awareness, and the ability to understand a wide span of emotional and intellectual experiences. Perhaps in 10 or 20 more years I will be able to control it much better than I do now, and then perhaps it will be more use to me. (…) So far few of my conclusions seem to be practical.

.
Simplest of all is perhaps the knowledge that this illness rests very definitely upon physical factors. …if I hoped to remain well I must have three square meals, my necessary nutrients, and at least eight hours’ sleep nightly. I know that by going without food for a day or two or by missing sleep two or three nights in a row I could (and do) lapse into a state where dreams worry my mind at night, fatigue sets in, voices begin to pester me, and suspicion of the motives of even my best friends rises up to turn my life into a living hell.

.

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Posted in deep thoughts, health and safety, interview with the artist, true stories | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

home tattooing, round 13,879

Posted by Anj Marth on 05/21/2012

C;lick any of the text to read the full article, with step-by-step guidelines. 

I’ve seen many people who are interested in learning the trade. I’ve also seen many make the mistake of trying to take a shortcut to becoming a tattoo artist at home, or as a hobby.

If you are planning to tattoo “for fun” or as a hobby, you should know that in most states this is illegal. The biggest, and most serious reason, is for the health and safety of your (potential) clients. Tattooing in a bacteria-ridden space, with unsterilized equipment, or even worse, non-disposable equipment, is extremely risky.

Needlestick injuries, are also a consideration. 

The risks associated with home tattooing start with minor Staph infections and end with septicemia (which can be fatal) and transmission of serious, life-threatening viruses. Also, using your home as a tattoo studio puts you and your family at extreme risk of infections and diseases. Simply put, this is not safe, and is most likely against the law.

 Learning on your own will not allow you the ability to use modern techniques and equipment, since most retailers will not sell professional-grade equipment to amateurs. Despite what you may have read on the internet, there are NO books that will teach you everything you need to know to be a tattoo artist. These will only give you bits of information, and without good, working equipment and true, complete information, you just can’t tattoo all that well.

If you’re planning on doing this for fun, don’t bother. It is an actual, honest-to-god, real-life career, and should be approached as one.

Posted in apprenticeships, complaints, deep thoughts, DIY, dos and donts, ethics, health and safety, how-to, learning, love, old school, questions, step by step, tattooing | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

on learning to tattoo.

Posted by Anj Marth on 01/06/2012

owl tattoo brown tattoos on hipI get a lot of people asking me how to get started, wanting to show their art and find out if they should try to be tattoo artists.

They will ask about apprenticeships, teaching, equipment, schools, kits, “practicing at home”, “teaching themselves”, and all kinds of other stuff. I took the time a while ago to write up an article explaining how to get into tattooing the right way, how to learn without fucking people up, and how to find a decent place to learn from.

I hope this helps someone decide to go the right path to tattooing, and helps others decide it’s just not worth that much to them.

If you really are dedicated and persistent, if you really, really mean it, then you will eventually get there.

Unless you take shortcuts. Don’t take those. Do it the right way, even though it’s harder at the start.

I don’t review portfolios or teach anyone; but if you have more questions after reading this article, feel free to email me.

click the text below to read the whole article.

 I’ve seen many people who are interested in learning the trade. I’ve also seen many make the mistake of trying to take a shortcut to becoming a tattoo artist at home, or as a hobby.

If you are planning to tattoo “for fun” or as a hobby, you should know that in most states this is illegal. The biggest, and most serious reason, is for the health and safety of your (potential) clients. Tattooing in a bacteria-ridden space, with unsterilized equipment, or even worse, non-disposable equipment, is extremely risky.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in apprenticeships, deep thoughts, DIY, dos and donts, ethics, female tattoo artist, health and safety, how-to, learning, questions, step by step, tat zap wizard, Tattoo, tattooing, tech, you | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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