Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dying for a Tattoo?

Its hilarious to hear the old folks (my husband) go on and on about "these kids today and their tattoos" and "they'll be sorry when they're old, fat, and saggy."  True, they will.  But what about carpediem? Haven't you ever been dying to get a tattoo?

If you haven't dropped down into the deep smelly well of websites dedicated to regrettable tattoos, you're missing an opportunity to feel grateful.  I gleefully leer at the grotesque portrait tattoos and silly misspelled personal mantras and I think how lucky I am.  When I was 15, my best friend Lisa and I heard about 'a guy' who was doing tattoos out of his bedroom.  He was fresh out of prison where we assumed he had acquired some acquired talent so we ignored the common sense that most human beings are blessed with, got stoned, and went to his house located in a neighborhood known for its gang crime.

Richmond was land of lowrider gangs in the '70s.  It was popular, if not predictable, for a girl to have a rose on their ankle.  So I designed a long stem red rose with "Touch of Class" in calligraphy scrolled beneath for placement on my skinny little white ankle.  I handed my tattoo artist the sketch and sat down on his dirty mattress that sat on the floor and watched him flick his prison style tattoo gun on and off, on and off, and finally it whizzed off forever before he could scratch one dot on my virgin skin.  Through celestial grace, I was spared a lifetime of regret and possibly Hepititus.

Back then I felt accomplished when it came to drawing heavily shaded roses.  Many friends adored my roses and in fact, one guy asked me to memorialize one in a tattoo.  Scott from up the street was a beautiful blonde bad boy.  I was in heavy painful thick love with him and even travelled over two hours in the car with his silently disappointed parents to visit him in juvenile hall.  We would write steamy love letters and on the envelope write SWAK (sealed with a kiss) or SWAML4E (Sealed with all my love forever)  I would draw him pictures of roses with scrolls that would say "S + S 4 Ever"  while I laid on my waterbed and stain my satin pillow cases with tears of teenage drama. We were doing "it" so ya, it was the real deal back then.

After a months of dutiful letter writing and silent stuffy drives with his parents to visit, Scott was finally released.  We returned to our routine of hanging out at my house, drinking beer, smoking weed, and listening to records.  He was a masterful air guitarist.  I would do almost anything for Scott and his friends.  I cooked food to satisfy their munchies, I cut there hair, feathered to be exact, and one day I gave Scott his first tattoo.

I had this Sharpie pen that was the exact color of a tattoo, so I drew all over myself and Scott.  Utilizing my well honed skills, I created a fully bloomed rose on his upper arm, about 2" wide.  When I was done, everyone marveled at its beauty and depth.  "Let's make it permanent!" Said anyone.  Now this is well before any internet provided tutorials so I based all of my expertise on watching TV and talking to fellow troublemakers.  I told Scott to walk up the hill to 7-11 and steal some India Ink while I went next door to Denise's house.  She was a diabetic who would gladly provide me wth a couple of hypodetermic needles to get the job done.  When Scott returned, he provided the obvious discovery that 7-11 does not carry India Ink, so he stole some black shoe polish instead.

In order to withstand the pain, Scott and to get extra high.  I got a little extra high too. I started in with great determination and focus that would not last long.  I used the first hypodermic needle to scrape each petal and each shading line as deep as I could.  It was hard to see the original Sharpee lines through the blood and the mental haze from being high.  Much detail was lost.  Then with the second needle, I drew up the black liquid shoe polish and injected black into my carvings.  The blood was kicking out most of the ink, so I had to go deeper.  This human craft project was one of those times when I thought it would be easier, quicker, and more gratifying than it was.  It took a lot of wherewithal to finish and when I did, it was monstrous.

To no surprise, the tattoo became infected but it eventually scabbed over and then, because when you're 15 you're unkillable, it healed.  All of the shoe polish had been rejected, leaving nothing but a 2" round scribble scar.  A scar that will always remind him of me 4-ever.  It was the last tattoo I ever gave.

I would like to catch up with Scott now, 40 years later, and ask him if he ever got a regrettable tattoo.  Perhaps the scar has faded along with his memories of our young love.  Maybe he regrets his days in juvie and the brain damage we inflicted on ourselves.  Perhaps he would do things differently if he could do them again.  But who knows, maybe he’s playing air guitar from a jail cell somewhere with a body full of authentic prison tats?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"To Do" or "To Don't"

List making is a medley of procrastinating and high-efficiency.  I have ongoing categorical lists on my iPhone. I use the kids' binder paper for the temporary lists.  Then I have the lists in my head. They are shorter and have things like "eat" and "keegal" on them.

As important as the Holiday "To Do" list is, perhaps a "To Don't"  list is even better because it is a preventative against all that ruins your holiday season.

To Don't

  • Talk to people about their conspiracy theories
  • Cancel any personal appointments for the sake of the family (i.e., hair, exercise, girls night)
  • Start a candied yam fire in the oven. Again
  • Expect to receive great presents that reflect the inner you 
  • Take a break from your anxiety or depression medications to "see how it goes"
  • Try on a swimsuit
  • Break the Santa News to your kids
  • Tell your husband that you don't even want a present this year because you already have everything. Family. And that's what really matters most
  • Quit Weight Watchers because they changed their point system and it's too hard now
  • Invite tons of people over for a Holiday Extravaganza while you have PMS
  • Plan a sober caroling party
  • Make brownies for other people
  • Buy interior paint with naive optimism
 I think I've covered it all. I guess I can check that off my list.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Catering and Party Throwing for Poor People

For my surprise birthday party, I bought myself Amy Sedaris' Simple Times, Crafting for Poor People. It was an incredibly thoughtful present from me.

Her newest book is crammed with good ideas for us all. Here are some of my favorites:

Dropout Crab Claw Roach Clip, in the Nature's Way chapter
Rusty Nail Wind Chime, in the Bipolar Disorder section of the Handicraftable chapter
Glitter Halo, in the Crafting for Jesus chapter

I've been inspired to create a new sideline for myself:  Introducing ...

Catering and Party Throwing for Poor People

Here's a sample menu from the Trailer Park Memorial Service that I'm planning for Ain't Diane this December:

Ketchup Packet Tomato Soup

Backyard Greens Salad

Vegan Swiss Meatballs
(Wonderbread balls in vegetarian gravy)

Top Ramen Explosion
(Special blend of Pork, Chicken, and Shrimp flavor packets)

Dessert is up in the air.  That's not a creation name, I'm telling you that I haven't been inspired yet.  I'll have something to you soon. 

Until then, please note that I have joined Amazon Associates.  This is a special tool that is now included on Bloggerqueen so that I can become rich (and famous).  If you decide to buy any products from Amazon. Enter from here and I make a LITTLE cash.  Don't worry, I'll keep reminding you, as I have many suggestions to make you a little more wicked and a lot more sarcastic!

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to Throw A Party For Yourself

Giving someone a giftcard is like saying "Here. Buy your own fucking present." This year, I'm going a step further and I'm throwing my own fucking party too.

Every Friday night I get together with the Country Club Girls. We bring appetizers, desserts, drinks, laughter, concern, consoling, and all other things womanly. My husband calls it "Melanie's Birthday" each week. But his Friday we will be celebrating someone else's birthday, mine!

I'm turning 46 next week and I need a little party and some presents but I hate to be a burden to my friends during such dire times. That's the kind of thoughtfulness we're talking about here folks.

In order to appease my need for presents and be humble and unselfish, I have purchased the presents for myself, and a little chocolate cake filled with coconut, and the card. This is an anti-obligatory party. The best kind.

Last year they passed around a sad little birthday card and signed with the usual "Happy Birthday!!!" People: Extra exclamation marks are lazy and pointless!!! Perhaps they were shouting their standard birthday wish. The signatures were messy and unreadable. I rejected this pathetic attempt and passed around the card again and this time I told them what to say:

Lynn - Tell me that I'm a good person
Catherine - Tell me that you respect my mind
Robin - Tell me I'm your best friend ever
Cathy - Tell me how funny I am

and so on. Needless to say, it was the best birthday card I have ever received.

This year I've purchased a fitting birthday card and filled it out for them. All they have to do is sign their names on the wish they'd like to give me. Here are their choices:

Congratulations on finishing the Triathlon - You Go T.W.A.T.
I wish I was more like you
Are you getting skinnier and smarter?
Clear your calendar - I'm taking you out to lunch!
During my quiet moments, I sometimes think of your smile
It's too bad we're not lesbians, because I would totally be into you

I have also purchased three presents for them to give me. One is very thoughtful, one is predictable, and one is cheap and insulting. I am having them wrapped professionally by my nine-year old.

Happy Birthday To Me!

[In a non-passive/aggressive kind of way. To which no guilt should be sustained by the readers' forgetfulness of this event this year, or hence-forward.]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hot Weather Dinner - Salad Bar Tonight?

Too hot to cook. Almost too hot to eat. But since I'm the cook/nutritionist for my family, I'm not going to just throw in the towel. I'm planning on a salad bar tonight. I'll prep the ingredients and they can throw it all together. However, we always include The Big Three (Carbohydrate, Protein, Earth)

Tonight I'll be making BLT SALAD

Romaine Lettuce
Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes
Thick Cut Bacon, all torn-up
Sourdough Croutons
Dressing: Newmans Light Balsamic Vinaigrette

Here are some items you have laying around the kitchen. Pull some out and have a Salad Bar Night!

Leftover Cold Pasta
Crunchy Chow Mien Noodles
Cooked Quinoa
Crumbled Tortilla Chips
Corn (the grain most likely to be mistaken for a vegetable)

Canned Kidney Beans
Hard Boiled Egg (see my video!)
Garbanzo Beans
Black Beans
Cheese (grated, so we don't go crazy)
Sunflower Seeds
Tofu (Extra Firm, diced)
Edamame (cooked and shelled)
Frozen Peas
White Chunk Tuna (canned, drained)

Lettuce (Exception: Iceberg has no nutritional value)
Baby Spinach Leaves
Sliced red peppers
mandarin orange slices

After dinner, head out to frozen yogurt, then they can really build a delicious creation!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Get Ready for the Next Potato Famine

"Saints be gloried, we haven't had such as a wee crumb in a month, Sharon. Tis a blessed ting that the good Lord provided us with your fat wings to sustain us through this wretched Potato Famine".

I'm a perfect amalgamation of German and Irish that equates into an amazing ability to store fat. I'm a little French too but I didn't get any of that lovely olive skin, delicate features, nor the tousled hair. Just some b.o.

It doesn't matter how much I exercise and diet I will always have some tummy fat and, of course, my lovable fat wings. The Italians have the ass fat and, as much as they'd like to complain about it, it's way better than tummy fat. Nobody's writing rap about lovin' the big bellies.

Getting in shape for the next triathlon requires me to exert myself. I must run, ride, and swim. And I do. I have been changing my eating patterns thanks to Weight Watchers - I love it - but I started to gain weight. I had lost over 17 pounds since October and then it started to come back again, like an ex-boyfriend that just won't go away, no matter how many times you don't return his calls because he has the sex appeal of your Uncle George who doesn't clip his toenails and when he walks on the wood floor it sounds like castanets.

I complained to Thomas, he's my pit crew for the upcoming triathlon, and he asked me if I've been tired lately. "Oh my God, how did you know?" I had been sleeping 9-11 hours a night and practically falling asleep in the afternoon. Then he said something that made me happy and afraid all at once: "You are [suffering*] from overtraining. You need to increase your calories and decrease your exercise."

This assignment is not as easy as it sounds. After all the hard work I've done, it's a big risk to start eating more and decrease exercise. It's downright counter-intuitive. But I had tried everything else and I just kept gaining weight, feeling sleepy, and wanting to give up the whole Weight Watchers thing. Fuck it.

I read this article and decided to give it a try. Since then, I lost 1.2 pounds the first week and 1.6 the second week. The weight is still coming off, I feel great, look pretty good, and have a ton of energy for exercising. Now, if I could just do something about my cheap Irish skin.

* I think he should have said "suffering" so I added it here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marathon 5k ... is that an oxymoron?

I ran in the Windsor Green Half Marathon last weekend but I didn't qualify for the hat or shirt because I didn't register for the race until the day before. It's important to have a hat or shirt because when you wear it you feel better than other people. Which you are, because you were in a marathon. So what if you only ran the 5K (3.1 miles for all the Americans unable to grasp metrics). It sounds like a really big deal anyway, doesn't it? Try it out:

"Ya, I ran the 5K this weekend. What did you do? What's that? Oh, you went to the Outlet Mall? Well good for you."
See, doesn't that sound superior?

On the up-side of registering late, I got a reduced entrance fee of only $35 plus a pancake breakfast served by the Windsor Fire Department. Naturally it was important for the Fire Department to pose in a picture with me. They are trying to improve their public image. After much begging, I acquiesced. "Just one picture, fella."

I was running with my friend Kelly who pushed her infant in a stroller while her kindergartner held on to a strap attached to the handle. "Walkers on the right!" I'd yell at the crowd of wanderers spread out like lost cats on the course. The ones that heard me moved over and looked at me with a sort of terror and some said "Oh, thank you. I'm sorry." I have quite an air of authority, but that all comes from being tall and bossy.

About halfway through the 5k, Kelly's son was running serpentine and I had my head turned for just a second when whafamm! I tripped up the little guy and he went down like a flying squirrel on a low branch, all spread out and trying to grasp at nothing. Schlice! went his little kindergarten knees on the concrete. So I quickly picked him up by the armpits and screamed "You almost made me fall!" No, just kidding. We scooped him up and, to his credit, he didn't even cry. I almost did though. We kept cheering him on and telling him how awesome he was. "Next year I'm running the 10k!" he proclaimed.

Meanwhile, we passed an angry mom and her son. She was whining in her best awful mom voice "Come on! I Want to Finish This Race!" and I thought she was the worst motivational speaker ever.

When you run to the finish line, no matter what, you feel like a winner because, if for no other reason, you finished something today. I can't say the same for the breakfast. I couldn't finish it because Kelly's husband Roy held up the sausage and said "You could run the whole course and burn off this one sausage." True. I ate the eggs.

Thanks in part to Thomas and his Body Mechanical know-how I finished 10th in my age group! Outstanding result considering I spent a good amount of time tripping little children, handling traffic control issues, and contemplating the vast superiority of Kelly's mothering skills compared to the rest of these chicks.

I took some pictures for Blogger Queen that I thought you'd enjoy. This one is my favorite. Here's an innocent woman trying to get off the grass and I'm such a big asshole that I thought it would be a pretty funny picture. I'm the shadow standing there unapologetically.

The Best Part of the Race: Kelly picked a hat up off the ground and said "looks like someone lost their hat." I grabbed it and happily put it on my head. "This one fits just right" said Goldilocks. I only felt a tiny drip of guilt. It wasn't until I wrote this post and looked at this poor lady's picture that I realized exactly where that hat came from. See it? It's laying there on the ground, right next to the shadow of my head. It seems that the destiny of this hat was to be on my head. If she ever sees this post, I'm in trouble.