Category Archives: tattoo

Welcome. Now leave.

Messy Stuff: My life is a bit upside-down right now. That’s all you need to know, but it’s why I’ve been generally absent from all of my usual online activities. And from a bunch of in-person stuff too. Now go away.

Oh, wait. I invited you here by writing this. Okay. Well, then. Umm…

One Thing: The catalog project that a friend and I have been contracted for is finally reaching the point where enough copy is written and photography is completed that the thing is starting to look darn good, if I may say so. Many-many-many thanks to my partner-slash-boss, who is so very skilled at Tetris-ing seemingly impossible demands into visually stimulating layouts. Also, we did three straight days of studio photography with about 300 babies/toddlers (okay, more like 19) and I didn’t break out in hives. Also, I learned that I am damn good at putting together flat-pack furniture. I suppose it comes from years of decorating my living spaces on a college student’s budget, which was all I had to work with even many years out of college. Perhaps my next tattoo should be of a set of Allen wrenches (hex keys to some of you).

Another Thing: I’m still toying with the idea of selling off my shop‘s inventory to any interested vintage vendors. Or of hoarding what I have, buying (with what money?) as much as I can get my hands on, and opening a brick-and-mortar location (also, with what money?). Which is 13 shades of crazy, but finding meaningful full-time employment working for someone else has been, let’s be generous and say: difficult. What I would love is to work at a vintage store, if it would pay enough to cover my living expenses. Which are pretty low, if I don’t maintain a savings account or 401k or, you know, eat.*

Also: I promise that I have more fun stuff to list in the shop as soon as I am no longer Trapped Under Something Heavy. Thank you for your patience, and let me know if you’re looking for anything specific. I may have it in my unlisted inventory, you never know. Well, you know when you ask.

And Then: I never intended to leave Twitter for so long, but I was surprised by how much I don’t miss it. I still plan to come back, but with a greatly thinned Follow list. As soon as I figure out how to do that, because I only follow accounts that I actually care about in the first place. Some of you need to shut the hell up a bit, though. A good copy writer once told me, “pretend every word costs a dime.” Which is a bit of advice that, if you read my blog posts (and you do, obviously, because you’re reading this) you know that I myself often ignore.

For Drewseph: Hi! Halloween is coming. Which means that Halloween Costuming Blog Posts are coming. Plotting is afoot, and a couple of preliminary purchases have been made, but that particular plan may be out the window already. Time will tell.

When All Of A Sudden: It is entirely likely that a certain red (mostly) headed friend will come over today to help me re-dye my horrifically ignored hair, which has been neither cut nor colored since my beloved Lacey worked her magic on me for Viva. Which, if you don’t recall, was the first weekend in April. Do the math. It’s not pretty.

Th-th-th-that’s all Folks. See you soon. Maybe.

____________

*Cheese, I love cheese, rahhlly I do. And I love cheese that costs $24.99/lb. although I don’t BUY cheese that costs $24.99/lb. Not while I’m so precariously underemployed, I don’t.

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Filed under food, friends, Halloween, tattoo

Ah, Bucket

I don’t read Maggie Mason. Do you hear that, Universe? Here is a crafty, educated, independent, liberal woman who DOESN’T READ MIGHTY GIRL. I have nothing against Maggie, it’s just that, in an ever-increasing world of Well-Written Blogs, I can’t read everyone. And, since I don’t have a 2-year-old or live in San Francisco, Mighty Girl is not always relevant to my life.

Why the preamble? Because I only stumbled upon Maggie’s list of 100 Things To Do a freaking year after she’d written it. And I thought about making a list for myself, but Item Number One would have to be “Make list of 100 things to do before I die” and I’d probably never get around to crossing that one off. Besides, I’ve already been feeling a bit “what’s my point” lately, so I’ve decided to come about this from the opposite direction:

25 Things I Would Already Have Crossed Off My List If I’d Bothered With A List In The First Place (in no particular order, other than the order I remembered them in, and some of them happened more by chance than desire, but we can’t always pick our good fortune.)

1. Live in NYC
2. Get tattooed
3. Visit Europe (I can now cross through that three times, and I promise I’m not done)
4. Pick up and move halfway (actually, more) across the country with no friends, family, or job waiting for me
5. Buy a new car, like NEW new, not new-to-me new
6a. Go to art school
6b. Actually make my living at it
7. Own a computer, and a COLOR monitor (I am old enough for this to have been, at one time, pure science fiction)
8. Fly in a Cessna
9. Eat a crêpe in Paris
10. Watch the sun set at Cape May
11. Visit the Statue of Liberty
12. Go to the observation deck at the World Trade Center
13. Learn to play an instrument (I never claimed to play it well)
14. Stand underneath the Eiffel Tower
15. Drink a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Amsterdam
16. Take a Duck tour through Boston
17. Buy Sky Sox season tickets
18. Make a decent pie crust from scratch
19. Watch the vintage car races at Lime Rock
20. Zoom through Harriman State Park in a Mercedes 190SL with the top down (bonus points to the cop who pulled us over for NOT ticketing us, although we were very much speeding, and the FAIRLY EXPENSIVE car was not registered in either of our names)
21. Dip my toes in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
22. Shop at Harrod’s
23. Tour a real castle (I’ve done this a few times, actually)
24. Eat a slice of Black Forest cake IN the Black Forest
25. Watch a ballgame at Fenway Park

In keeping with the theme of the anti-meme, you are hereby not allowed to post your own list. Ha! But I encourage everyone to think about all the things you’ve accomplished that other people may only dream of.

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Filed under cars, diner pie, family, food, friends, nostalgia, tattoo, vacation

Mrs. Blandings

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is not my favorite movie. It’s not included in my admittedly small personal library. But there is one scene which, due in no small part to the nature of my “day job,” is very near and dear to my heart.

Jim Blandings, feeling the constraits of a small, New York City apartment on his growing young family, decides to move them all to a more spacious spread in rural Connecticut. Jim’s wife, Muriel, is in charge of the decorating.

In my favorite scene, Muriel Blandings is discussing with the painter her color choices for the walls, as workers scurry about in the background. This is the dialog between Mrs. Blandings, the painting contractor, Mr. PeDelford, and his painter, Charlie:

Mrs. Blandings – Now, Mr. PeDelford, we’ll discuss painting.

Mr. PeDelford – Okay.

Mrs. Blandings – I had some samples. Here we are. Now, first, the living room. I want it to be a soft green. Not as blue-green as a robin’s egg.

Mr. PeDelford – No.

Mrs. Blandings – But not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow. But don’t let whoever does it get it too blue.

Mr. PeDelford – No.

Mrs. Blandings – It should be a sort of grayish yellow-green. Now the dining room, I’d like yellow. Not just yellow. A very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshiny. I tell you, if you’ll send one of your workmen to the grocer for a pound of their best butter and match that exactly, you can’t go wrong.

This is the paper we’ll use in the hall. It’s flowered. But I don’t want the ceiling to match any colors of the flowers. There are some little dots in the background, and it’s these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now, the kitchen’s to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic, hospital white.

Mr. PeDelford – No.

Mrs. Blandings – A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now, for the powder room in here, I want you to match this thread. And don’t lose it. It’s the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it. As you can see, it’s practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy Winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me. (leaves to speak to another contractor)

Mr. PeDelford – You got that, Charlie?

Charlie – Red, green, blue, yellow, white.

On every one of the press checks I go to, it’s my job to KNOW color. I have been playing with Color-Aid swatches and Pantone books since I was a toddler. So, when I order a RED dress from eBay and it shows up RUBY, don’t think I won’t say something. When my beautiful, Stealth Gray Pearl car is repainted some custom mix that a lazy painter thought would be close enough… it isn’t. When my Persimmon and Periwinkle tattoo comes out Persimmon and Blue, I’m going to bitch about it. The differences might be subtle to most people, but to me, it’s like night and day. This isn’t to say that I’m GOOD at color. If I don’t have my swatch in front of me, it can be a nightmare for me to match it. Some folks have a real knack for putting a color to memory, but I’m the sort who is STILL trying to find “the right pink” to match a dress I bought a year ago. And while, in many cases, “close enough” is, it isn’t where that dress is concerned. In this case, I’m trying to learn a lesson oft repeated to me by my friend Mary Jo: “It doesn’t have to match, it just has to go.” (Meanwhile, people stop me on the street when I’m “daring” enough to wear yellow shoes with an all black-and-white outfit.)

So, what goes with this lovely new vintage number that I brought home, again at half-price, from the thrift store yesterday? It’s what I’d call a Sky Blue; not as green as a Robin’s Egg…

As usual, more info if you follow the link.

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Filed under collections, fashion, jewelry, shoes, shopping, tattoo, the office, vintage

Craptastic Weekend

Yeah, yeah, yeah, what about the Boston photos? Well, I kinda took the weekend off, and am only getting around to uploading them now. Soon, kids.

So, this weekend. Yeah. Well. It starts with my friends, Dave and Jessi, who have been planning on moving to Chicago this summer. “This summer” very suddenly became “Friday” due to an unexpected interview opportunity. So, along with the masses, I got up at 4:30 am on Friday so that I could spend some quality time with Dave, waiting in line* so he could buy a new iPhone. He and Jessi left for Chicago, with my goddog, Oscar, and Oscar’s “sister,” Maddie, shortly after we returned home.

On Friday afternoon, I visited Greg over at Tribal Rites so he could try to fix the color on my tattoo. An hour later, covered with a layer of the lilac it should have been in the first place, it was looking a lot less blue. It still wasn’t the color I had originally intended, of course, but a good improvement. Jay and Alison saw it Friday night at a screening of Hellboy II, and gave their nod of approval.

Saturday morning, and the color was right back to where it started. I’m not real familiar with tattoo ink, but I didn’t think that was possible. Alison and Jay saw it again on Saturday, and were as surprised as I was by the shift. I guess it really wants to be blue. Which is too bad, because I HATE IT. HATE. I spent a YEAR obsessing about this art before committing it to my flesh, and teal blue was NEVER part of the plan. I am too upset to even think about what to do at this point. Saturday didn’t start off on the best note, and then:

The rest of the day was filled with laughter and tears as the remaining crew got together to help load up Erin and Tim’s belongings into their moving truck. I was given the oh-so-important task of holding the Door Open button on the elevator, while a flurry of people efficiently moved boxes and furniture from the third-floor apartment into the giant Penske truck waiting below. We all shuffled out in the afternoon, and Tim and Erin hit the road to Oklahoma a short time later. The only thing keeping me together is the promise of a visit from them at Halloween, our most favoritest of costumed holidays. I spent the afternoon trolling around online for costume accessories for a variety of ideas. I wonder which one will pan out!

Sunday was spent hanging out with Timber, driving around and visiting a (small!) car show and hitting up REI (we both bought nothing, but interestingly, ran into Alison and Jay). I bought a cute little vintage hat at Flossie McGrew’s. I tried and failed to troubleshoot Timber’s newest computer, an old iMac G4 which he found, fittingly, abandoned near a Dumpster. The monitor wasn’t coming on, and I don’t think the hard drive was spinning up (the fan was working fine, though!). He replaced the air filter in my car in the time it took me to make three trips into the basement looking for assorted cables and connectors as I attempted to hook the iMac up to either my MacBook or an LCD monitor to see if I could access the drive. No luck. I am troubled at my failure to diagnose and fix the problem. At least I have a bright, clean new air filter. :D

Four more days at the office, and then I get to fly out to see MANDY, which will help take the edge off. Even if all we do is hang out on the sofa and catch up on DVDs (with the occasional foray to Sebastian Joe’s for a scoop of something interesting, and Edina Grill for pierogis. And the St. Clair Broiler for the great signage and a good malt!), just being able to spend some time with Mandy will be a much-needed weekend.

Tomorrow: Boston. I promise.

*I have been reminded that the rest of the world waits IN line for things. Only New Yorkers wait ON line. I confused a friend, who thought I was talking about buying the iPhone online. I shall henceforth try to amend my communication.

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Filed under friends, tattoo, vacation

sore and achey and cheap

SORE AND ACHEY: I was able to see a massage therapist on Tuesday, and she was great, but there is still residual neck pain. Add to that the muscle tensing involved in getting a new tattoo Tuesday night, as well as the lingering sting from being poked with needles 80-gazillion times, and you will understand why I’m so looking forward to, say, three days from now. By then, my neck should be healed, my muscles relaxed, and all that will remain will be the freshly itchy, healing skin. Woo. Party time. Big shout out to Nova for bravely baring her ankles to the tattoo artist’s gun. So brave, in fact, in spite of a last-minute swap of artists. Her appointment was originally with Dean, who was called away on an emergency, and Dan filled in (no pun intended) with no notice. Such an unexpected snag would have thrown me for a loop, but she took it in stride. Also, many thanks to Greg for chatting with me the whole time about art school and ’rods. Mostly ’rods. And a few spare thank-yous to Mike (no page link) for repeatedly referring to me as “Miss” instead of “Ma’am.” You are a gentlemen, sir.

CHEAP: A large car show that I mentioned in an earlier post is scheduled for this weekend. I was looking forward to it, until I found out that admission tickets cost $15 $17 dollars. SEVENTEEN doll-hairs. If that admission ticket is good for all three days (and it could very well take three days to admire the rumored 2,500 cars), then it’s not a bad deal. But for those of us who only have one day to spare, it’s a bit steep. Even if I can nose out a coupon, it will likely only knock off a couple of dollars. That show may be a no-go, yo.

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Filed under cars, friends, tattoo

feeling unprepared

Tuesday is the big day. The day of my next tattoo. The one that I’ve been planning in my head for a bit over a year, and planning on “paper” for the last week or so. I had asked two different pros for help with the artwork; but both flaked on me, leaving me to create it on my own. I am now breaking two of my own tattoo rules: nothing on my back where I have to contort to see it, and nothing I’ve drawn myself.

I expect that the final design, as applied, will be imperfect. Tattoos are done by hand, after all. As is the hot-rod pinstriping that this tattoo is based on, so the imperfection is something I can live with. But… I want the art to be as perfect as possible going in, so that the tattoo artist has a good foundation from which to deviate. And I’m obsessing. It will be permanent, after all. I am so glad that I’m putting it on my back, so that I can’t easily see it and be haunted by changes I would make were I to look at it every day. Because every day, I have been moving the lines around. Every. Single. Day. While I’m writing this, in fact. Tuesday evening, the madness has to stop.

I might be on Vicodin during the tattoo after all, because I horked my neck Sunday morning. I’m starting to think that this is some old teenage headbanging injury that I keep aggravating. I few times a year, I am nearly immobilized by making some minor move that winds up royally jacking me up. Sunday, I stretched. Yep, that’s right. I stretched. Your average, everyday, just-got-out-of-bed stretch. PING! Can’t move my head. I spent most of the day on the couch with my microwave heating pad, alternating between Advil and Vicodin. Monday was an improvement, but I still feel pretty beat up. I don’t know if I’ll be able to run over to my massage therapy office on Tuesday, but I hope to get this worked out a bit before I have to sit in the tattoo artist’s chair for an hour. I’ll be tense enough during that, thankyouverymuch, without the additional muscle spasms.

The evil morning stretch preceded a wonderful breakfast prepared by Joe for those of us who spent the night after Nova‘s birthday/Paris party. French toast, of course, and granola and yogurt and berries. Oh my! I would have posted the photos sooner, but really, I was that laid out. Besides, the photos coming from Phoenix are much more interesting! MARS, people. Fekkin’ Mars.

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Filed under friends, tattoo

Perspective

Terminal illness. Family deaths. Looming divorce. The swift and unexpected wreckage left behind by a tornado, which killed at least one person and destroyed crops, homes, and businesses in a community about 60 50 miles north of me on Thursday.

None of it makes my own problems go away, but it sure makes me feel like a heel for getting worked up over them.

David: …well this is thoroughly depressing.
Nigel: It really puts perspective on things, though, doesn’t it?
David: Too much, there’s too much fucking perspective now.

So I’ll take a deep breath, I’ll put on a smile, I’ll enjoy the time I have with my friends. A Friday night showing of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. A belated birthday party. A barbecue at a friend’s house. Maybe a barbecue at my house, to celebrate my new patio umbrella (lunatic squirrels finally ate through the old one). A moment remembering my grandfather, who served in the Army during WWII, and thinking about my great uncle Harry, who was killed in service. A lot of time devoted to perfecting the artwork I’ll be having permanently embedded under my epidermis on Tuesday night. Not at all anxious about that, no.

Best wishes for a weekend spent with those you love, and who love you.

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Filed under family, friends, holidays, romance, relationships, tattoo