Monday, April 14, 2008

Fresh Ink

I did my state taxes during a conference call today. Sometimes I have no right to complain.

So I got my second tattoo last week. Well, in actuality, I got my second and third tattoos last week. A lot of thought went into it. And some pain. But that came later. But I got it and I'm extraordinarily happy with it. And I've tried to take pictures of it without totally succeeding. Anyway...you'll see it on here.

This is my first "public" tattoo. I have another on my back that only makes appearances in the swimsuit season...and sometimes not even then. I got it when I was 19 and it's my homage to Egyptian mythology. It's lovely but I always swore it would be the only one I would ever have. I liked that it could be hidden and it's situated just so, so that in the event of sudden mass obesity...it won't stretch into Jaba the Hut. All things I thought important at the time.

Then 9 years passed. I changed a bit. My body...my job...my perspective...all changed. I used to be so concerned about maintaining a certain standard when it came to my skin. I'd look at chicks with tattoos on their stomachs, legs...the fleshy part of the arm and I'd think, "when they get old that's gonna look like a rubbery turtle". But then I thought about getting old...something I don't generally like to think about, given my hatred of all things elderly, and I realized, what the fuck do I care if I look like a rubbery turtle? Your skin rots right off you're body when you age. Who cares if it's less than peach? What am I preserving it for? It's not like I'll be sporting a bikini...and if I try to, I invite anyone with a permit to take me down on site.

So what I'm saying here is, I decided to get a second tattoo...and in that same little internal planning session...I decided to allow it to be visible. Now I have it. And it currently itches like a motherfucker.

I enjoy that my generation is such a fan of the ink. This social acceptance allows me to have a corporate job and wear and look how I want without any fear of losing my position. In fact...I have several colleagues who are much more colorful than I. And I enjoy it. Not so of my parent's time. Sucked to be you, parents.

The pictures aren't very clear...but no one else was here to take them so it's all you get.They're a stylized adaptation of a swallow brooch from the 1950s. According to people who may or may not know what they're talking about (in other words...lore) sailors would get a tattoo of a swallow for every 5,000 nautical miles traveled. There's more to it than that, but I've grown weary of typing and you all know how to use google...or a library. Anyway, I've traveled enough that I should've gotten something like ten...but in case I didn't mention it before, tattoos fucking hurt...so two it is. And this picture's just kind of awesome because the blurriness gives them a 'mid-flight' appearance.

21 keep(s) me blogging:

froelica said...

Cuuute. That's a lot of u's for one word, isn't it?

I know about the itchiness... And the nauseating smell of baby butt-rash lotion that you're supposed to reapply multiple times, daily. The smell that all moms-of-the-earth LOVE, but makes me retch? Or perhaps you've discovered some less-sensory offensive way to keep your new tattoo healthy for the meanwhile?

In any case, I'm rambling and I'm always mid-tattoo. Its gotta be this summer, its just gotta.

Congrats!

Gorilla Bananas said...

the blurriness gives them a 'mid-flight' appearance .

And also a resemblance to Morticia Addams. The next man lucky enough to kiss your shoulders will be giving Morticia head.

Mary Witzl said...

I'd be covered with swallows right now if I'd this custom.

We had a tattoo parlor in this town, run by a very nice man. Sadly, he went out of business. We're a little short on 20- and 30-somethings, and I hesitated to tell him, but I think he would have done better opening up one of those beauty shops where you give ladies facials and pedicures.

Orhan Kahn said...

Awesome ink. Props and whatnot on you.

Sarah said...

Love it. I'm working on my first (and probably only) tattoo. I have an idea in my head, but haven't been able to materialize it yet. We'll see. It took me 6 years to get my nose pierced...
Lunch this week, for reals.

Kara said...

fro - in my humble opinion...it's just the right amount of 'u's. so well done.

goranas - you're on crack. they don't look a thing like morticia addams. i'd hate to see what you come up with if you got a hold of one of those magic eye books.

mary - he could've combined his talents and given them 'permanent' manicures and pedicures. just get rid of the nails all together and ink them on in whatever color the lady desires.

or - i'm especially touched by the 'whatnot'.

sarah - is it a super secret? cuz i wanna know what you're thinking. and if it's something like the faces of your kids...i will veto. i will physically veto. that involves sitting on you.

AxAtlas said...

Badass tats...so 2 questions:
1) Do your swallows each have a name
2) Are you trying to convey with the tat that you are the wind beneath your swallows' wings?

Jahooni said...

I LOVE THEM! I have one on my ankle that i got when i turned 30. a butterfly that is really too little and really not that great and i need to ad more to it. okay this has motivated me.
love them! ;)~

thethinker said...

I'm too much of a wimp to get a tattoo even though I want one. It has nothing to do with a future of rubbery turtle-ness. I'm afraid of the pain.

The Future said...

They look even better in person, maybe you can get a cameo on L. A. Ink, all you'll need is a long black wig and tight leather leggings. Actually, they really are tastefully done.

Cathy said...

Are they on your shoulder and over you collarbone? That must've hurt like a bitch! You're braver than I.

theWaif said...

I too have seen them in person. And I approve. You're a braver woman than I. I couldn't do it. Too hurty. I know, it shouldn't matter since I've given birth and all (yes, I win), but it's different. I guess I'd get one if they gave me an epidural.

Sarah said...

God no. I'm not tattooing my kids' faces. No need to sit on me. (Unless we're on a crowded bus or max and it would be the obvious solution. I'm much bigger than ye)
I want to do something with honeysuckle, but not a typical chain around my ankle or something. I HAVE had three kids, so the entire midsection of my body is a no-no. Maybe something on my back? I dunno.

Stinkypaw said...

Nice! It must have hurt a lot on your collarbone area, ouch!

I've been thinking of getting another one - I think there must be something in the ink to make it addictive or something - but I want it like the first one, not really visible, and with a meaning.

Rachel said...

At first I thought I was looking at your naked hips and was like "Nice! Finally getting to see some ass!" then I realized it was just your bony-ass neckline.

The tats look good! It would be kinda cool to see more, going round to the other side, like a flock of swallows as a necklace.

Congrats. :)
Makes me wish I wanted tattoos.

Jackie said...

I love it. No lie, my next tattoo (which has been in the works for a while) may have a similar looking bird. I haven't figured it all yet though.

I heart ink

Sam, Problemchildbride said...

They're sweet and I like the story behind them - the tattoo artist did a great job.

And you're braver than I am. The collar bone - ouchie oooyah!

Kara said...

ax - 1. no names...i like them that way
2. shut up. it's not like that at all

jahooni - i'm glad i've motivated! i think a tasteful, well placed tattoo is as essential is jewelry or the perfect pair of shoes.

thinker - it's really not bed. didn't shed a tear. anyway...if you ever do it (after the age of 21), i'll buy you a celebratory "you're a big girl now" drink!

future - i'm so glad you like them. i've never seen any of those Miami Ink shows. any good?

cathy - the collarbone didn't hurt as much as the back of the shoulder did. bone's all did but muscle is alive in kicking it would seem.

waif - you can deaden the pain with booze, i'm sure

sarah - well you must go to this woman. i'll give you her info when you're ready. she's amazing.

stinkypaw - as much as i'd like to say this is my last one...well, we'll see. it's the deciding on the subject (and the money) that hold me back.

rachel - nobody wants to see my ass right now. i've got some relationship weight to get rid of.i was thinking of adding to them later, but wouldn't want anything to appear cluttered.

jackie - you a fan of the swallow too, eh? they can be popular

sam - thanks sam! and i don't know that i'm braver than you. if, say, one day i found out i was having twins...i'd probably say "no thanks, take them back"

C said...

Funny, I got my tat at 19 as well. And it is also in a place that you can't really see unless I bare it which usually occurs during the summer. Maybe we really are the same person?

I was supposed to get a Kramer's Blue Morpho on my back, but I ended up with a generic blue butterfly because my friend said it was the only time he could take me to the tattoo parlor (and I really wanted someone with me and I wasn't able to drive afterwards, but that's a story for another day). He's also one of those friends that makes you do things--not through his actions, it's just something about him. So I ended up with my tat which is alright, but nothing I'm enamoured with.

Susie Q said...

Beautiful tat Kara, I love the swallows!
We used to live in San Juan Capistrano, of swallow fame, and I still have a soft spot for the noisy little buggers.

nic said...

they are beeeeautiful!

I wouldn't mind getting some but I haven't found a design I like. But I like yours. But I'm not crazy enough to be all

...we both like lavender... we should have the same tat because we're soul sisters...

see? that's just creepy.

So I'm not going to say anything to that effect. But I might ask you for some ideas. Cuz it appears you have some great ones. :)