Monday, June 29, 2009

Job: I has one

First off, I have got a job doing designs for The company is really new, but I look forward to using this opportunity to make more varied designs and improve my skills. Anyways feel free to check out the site and see what's on there. It's a little rugged right now, but it's due up for a revamp sometime this week, which will include the addition of my work. I find it a very unique experience getting to work so closely with the person who runs the company and we talk often about future changes. It's a very cool mutual learning experience.

Oh, if you like the art or fancy yourself a designer/artist, we are looking for people to do some more work at so send me a note or email and I can forward you to my boss.

Secondly, with this work being in Simcoe, I'm moving back to my folks' place. I was originally upset I had to move away from my network of friends, but I know I can drive up and see you all for special occasions. Being at home with the trees and simple lifestyle is refreshing and seeing the backyard in the summer is always a treat. I will be up shortly to grab my stuff and move out so I hope I can see some folks so they don't wonder where I disappeared to.

Finally, a quick note. I'm still working on being an animator... I really don't think I can give that up, but I sure am being slowed down a lot by this new job. Hopefully I will have a new demo reel done for September.

Hope everyone else has found something fun to do for the summer or as a spring board for their future careers!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Hey all,

Yesterday I started to indulge in a rather informative gluten free diet book. I know that sounds corny, but as any of you many friends would know, I have a allergy to gluten. As I read through this book I realized that maybe I should be explaining my condition better to everyone around me so I don't have to feel so awkward when declining food from other people; sometimes I have to be quite picky.

My condition is called Dermatitis Herpetiformis and it's a form of gluten intolerance that manifests itself in the skin in the form of severe itchiness and blistering.

Now how about some more information on just what gluten is to help all you bakers out there. I am learning some new things from reading this book and I plan to be more strict on my diet in the future so don't be surprised if I turn down some things I have accepted from you before. Sorry.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye contaminated oats (oats that have been grown, harvests, or processed in a gluten-containing facility), and a bunch of other products I'll try and mention later. So basically, gluten is the substance that gives breads and pastas their elasticity and texture. Now because gluten is a stabilizer and thickener, manufacturers add it to a wide range of consumer products. Medication, marinades, condiments, coffees, packaged spices, envelop seals, lipstick, hair sprays, and even daily multivitamins can contain gluten.

Now before your collective heads starts spinning, remember there are things I can still eat. There are some things that are naturally gluten free and I'll list them below for quick reference and reassurance:

  • Quinoa
  • buckwheat
  • corn
  • millet
  • arrowroot
  • many types of rice
  • and many others
Meat (untreated)
Spices in their pure form

To jump back to the matter of things I shouldn't be eating, there are many foods that I have to watch out for that have more hidden sources of gluten. By that I mean, the labelling of the ingredients are not so clear as to label them with wheat or other allergens in them. In these cases, reading the ingreients is the best idea so when I'm out don't be surprised if I avoid a lot of things. A lot of foods I have to be weary of include:

Bacon Bits
Blue cheese
Brown Rice Syrup (this syrup usually has malt in it)
Dairy Substitute
Deli meats (sausages, hotdogs salami especially)
Imitation seafood
Salad dressings
Seasoning and spices (labelled to have declumping agents or are "ground spices")
Soy sauce
Soup bases

Now I want to make a little mention of cross contamination while I have your attention (if I still do). I had never thought about it much before, but avoiding using the same spacula or pot that has had a glutenous product in it and has not yet been washed is also important. This is just a an obvious example, but the more you think about all the things something with gluten could touch and then be used for something gluten free, well, it can get a little scary. Now this is something new for me, I want to try harder on watching out for cross contamination in the future so I'd love some help and understanding from all of you to get onto this more diligently. This being said, don't expect me to ask a lot of questions while we are out at restaurants, I know how dumb the general populace is so I won't waste my time explaining myself to every waiter that comes in contact with me. I'll likely eat out less often and frequent places that serve more gluten free foods, like Thai and sushi. It beats eating at a fast food joint any day so I'm not complaining.

As a final note, anyone who stumbles onto restaurants that serve gluten free foods, please let me know. I appreciate having a wider variety of places to eat out. Now I try and frequent (though I do it poorly right now) this blog called for my information on places to eat in Toronto and area. The blog is really nice and the person who runs it is obviously dedicated so anyone who wants to eat out sometime with me, just remind me of this list and let's try something. It will be an adventure!

I'll keep reading and the more I learn, the more I can hopefully teach you so dealing with me should become even easier.

About Me

An animator who loves drawing. Feel free to contact me. See more art at