60 days until my birthday. 25 years ago, in honor of my sobriety, I got this tattoo. It was my first one. In Madison, WI, it was all the trend to get a tiny quarter-sized tattoo on your shoulder. Drinking is self-destructive. I wanted to something that was symbolically the opposite. The tattooist said, “You think this is all you’ll ever get, but you’ll be back.” I said, “naw…..”

From session #2 with Kristen at Art Addictions The session lasted three hours. Kristen filled in most of the color except for one corner. She also still needs to do the leaves on the tree and the rest of the ripping skin. This one hurt. My limit was definitely two and a half hours, and I gritted my teeth during the last thirty minutes. There’s conflicting opinions on aftercare, but icing my arm down made a huge difference reducing the pain and swelling. By the next morning, most of the tenderness was gone. I still have two smaller pieces planned for the other side ofRead More →

I am in the process of getting a new tattoo. The image is a “bio-mech” tattoo in which the skin is ripping open to reveal a circuit board beneath it. The skin is tearing because the tree of life, which is growing behind the circuit board, is bursting through. It’s an especially splendid idea. The design reflects a nearly life-long fascination with the dualism of nature vs. technology. This particular fascination probably began with Star Trek, and and got nurtured through old sci fi like Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, Ursula LeGuin. Of course, in learning about feminism, I discovered the gendering of this dualism (alongRead More →

I’ve seen two really good movies this weekend. In the Valley of Elah and Eastern Promises. In the Valley of Elah, directed by Paul Haggis, was very moving and disturbing to me. Much more so than the movie Crash, which I felt ended up reinforcing white privilege as much as challenging racism. One review called the movie “lacerating.” That’s a great word to describe it. I can’t say much about the film because just describing it will give too many spoilers. Apparently, it is based on a true story, however. One of the themes of the film is how the young soldiers in Iraq dealRead More →

I ran into someone today online who goes by the handle Ixchel. Ixchel is the Mayan moon goddess, which I have tattooed on my left forearm. But for some reason, this person didn’t know about the name, so I did a quick Google search and found a neat Wikipedia entry on it.