Friday, January 30, 2009

Even More Excitement

So when I checked my emails this afternoon, I saw one from Russ Abbott. I'd previously contacted him about doing one of the Mucha girls. Well, he said he wanted to meet me in person and do a consult. I called and we set it up. He sounds really nice. So depending on when he decides to take me on, I need to contact Memorial and tell Phil he only needs to do the one on the left. That's going to look really cool. So I'm going Tuesday night to consult with him.

Still excited about the possibility of working for Mark. I was talking to the manager of Memorial and she said they all loved him. I'm hoping I don't chicken out and not bring it up. This is my shot and if I don't take it, I'll probably spend a long time kicking myself. I guess the easiest thing to do is ask if he was serious about and, if so, I want to work something out ASAP. I'm trying to figure out a way to explain how much I want to do something like this and not sound like an obsessed fruitcake. I'll probably sound slightly obsessed and fruitcake-y, but it's a hazard of the trade. I've been pretty ballsy about stuff like this lately, so maybe I can keep the trend going. *deep breath*

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh Em Gees, Kids

So I called Mark, as I said I was going to. A girl answers the phone and when I get Mark on I asked who she was. He said she was his newest "counter girl" who does all the bitch work that he doesn't like to do (answer phones, greet people, get coffee, clean things, etc). I jokingly said "Why haven't you asked me to do that yet?" and he was like "Well, you never came to mind because you already have 2 jobs". I told him that I would make something like that work because it was important to me. He said if I was really interested in it we could talk about it later. I told him he didn't even have to pay me, but I'd work out some kind of barter system. He seemed pretty amenable to the idea and consented that I hang around the shop so much, I have a decent amount of "shop experience".

If this actually pans out, I may cry from happiness. I'd pretty much given up on any hope of working in a shop. Ever. If I can make this work, I really don't think I'd know what to do with myself. I'm already good at dealing with people, I'm used to doing bitch work, and I get to hang out with two of the coolest people I know. I wouldn't even care that I was doing it for free. I suppose I could bring it up again on Sunday and see what he says. As with all "dream jobs", I'm afraid he wasn't serious or I was dreaming or some combination of the two. I want this so badly it almost hurts. I don't think I've wanted anything this much since I wanted a pony when I was little. Now I just have to figure out how not to sound like a babbling idiot when I try to bring it up again on Sunday.


More Potential Retirements and General Updates

Haven't heard back from Malia, but I really wasn't expecting to. The shop manager messaged me and said she should be getting back to me in a few days. It's not like there's a rush on it.

I need to call Mark this afternoon. I'll probably do it as I go to work out. I could probably do it from my desk, but honestly, I like to keep those kinds of conversations as private as possible. Some things I'm fine with talking about in earshot of others, but my tattoos (and money) are not on the list.

Apparently Christina has taken over ownership of Piercing Experience and she's working on making it a friendlier place. I'm pretty happy about that. She's a cool chick and I think she can get people who are equally cool. She was about the only one who wouldn't talk down to you or sound like she was talking down to you. I hope she succeeds and if so, I might consider going back there again. This is helped by the fact that Melanie is out of town until further notice. Of course, I'm not really in a piercing kind of mood. I'm even considering taking some out. My VCH has been bugging the crap out of me, especially since I've had the worst period in recent memory this week. My nipples still haven't healed after a YEAR. I like my navel piercing, so I'll probably keep it and I like the stuff in my ears. I don't think I'm going to redo my tragii. I may get an inner conch done. I hear those can be tempermental, but since I have the H20cean now, I'm a bit more optimistic on that front.

I whacked my nose stud at least 3 times in my sleep. It's all red and irritated today. It got a good cleaning and I took some Advil, so I hope that will help calm it down. The chest dermal is happy as well. It's been the best behaved of all my piercings, interestingly enough. I really don't have any trouble with it. I just keep an eye on it when I'm pulling off certain kinds of shirts.

Not really getting excited about Lola yet. Probably because I've been spacey, tired, crabby, and overworked this past week. I haven't really been able to focus on it. Instead I've been focusing on how crappy a period I've been on and I can't seem to keep anything in my head for more than 10 minutes. *sigh*

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Number Crunching

After spending 40 minutes crunching numbers at work instead of doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I think I've figured out how to pay Phil. Essentially, I have to spend nothing except what it costs to pay my bills. I probably should've been doing something along those lines anyway, so it might be good practice. I didn't take into account any other "extra" income like helping out at Palate on Valentine's day, any tax refund I may get, and my birthday money from my grandparents that's already almost a month late.I can get an idea of my tax refund once I get my W-2's, but that won't be until next week or so. I tried to just guess and that didn't work at all. I ended up owing the state $300, but getting $1200 back from the Feds. So...yeah...I don't think that's correct.

I've also firmed up a few ideas for my left arm. I think I want to extend the roses up the back (avoiding moles, of course) and have them loosely frame the puppet. There are a few snags in this plan. One, Dustin did the original work. Now, if he happens to come back to Atlanta, it's no problem. However, if he doesn't, then I'm going to have to get his permission to let someone else work on it. It's a huge faux pas to have another artist work on something without the original's permission. This is an extenuating circumstance, but it's still polite to ask. For the moment, we'll assume he's not coming back into town. Then I still have to find someone to do the puppet. I'm debating on when to contact Malia for a consult. I don't want to get things going too soon because I wouldn't want this done until early-mid May (while I know I still have a job). At the same time, I know I'm going to be super picky about how it looks. Plus, she's going to have to come up with the design from scratch. I'm going to try to be as detailed as possible, but I can only communicate so much verbally. I may just send her a quick email explaining my situation up front and seeing what she wants to do about it.

I also need to call Mark and confirm my cost for Sunday. Compared to what he charged me for Mae and the fact that Lola's a good 30% smaller, I think it's fair. Of course, it's not like he'll refuse to do it. :P

This is what I sent to Malia.

I'd like to preface this by saying I'm getting in touch with you way in advance of when I want to actually get tattooed. The reason being I'm booked in with Phil for 3 sessions starting in March and April and I want to get those healed up before I attempt something else. I'm also working within a (somewhat) limited budget. Now that I've gotten that out of the way...

My idea is to get a gothic style female puppet on the inside of my left upper arm. I'd like her to be something of a hybrid of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and Emily the Strange:

I'm not crazy about the Corpse Bride's face, but I like the style of her body and I think it suits a puppet really well. I like the color scheme of Emily and the more "pop art" feel to her design. As for the puppet's face, I want it to be pretty, but in a more dark way. Overall, I'd want the tattoo to have a gothic and slightly dark feel without being overly creepy or not aesthetically pleasing.

I hope some of that made sense outside my head. If this doesn't sound like something you'd want to take on, I totally understand. I really loved your portfolio, especially your color work. If I haven't made your head spin, I'd love to meet in person some point for a consult and any necessary clarification of my idea.

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More Ideas, Just What I Need...

Currently I'm getting more ideas than I have skin for. Just for sheer visual effect (and the amusement of my beloved readers) here's a compilation of ideas I've had over the past few months.

Finishing Lola (Feb. 1)
Peacock faux half sleeve on right arm (Feb. 21)
Mucha girls (Mar. 22, Apr.5, and possibly Apr. 19)

*Another pin up on my right thigh
*Flowers representing the month each of my immediate family members was born on my left ankle
*The Cheshire Cat on my left ankle
*Somehow adding to my left foot probably in the form of flowers and maybe a ladybug
*Nautical stars on my right foot or my left hip
*Old school cherries behind my right ear
*An old school diamond on my left hand between my thumb and index finger (aka the "ballsy" tat)
*"Tough bitch" on my right lower back when I reach my weight loss goal (maybe?)
*A gothic style female puppet on the inside of my left arm

The last idea, the puppet, is the point of the post. I've been interested in puppets and puppetry for a long time. Hell, half the things I learned when I was a kid was from the Muppets. One of my friends, who's in the process of shopping for an artist for her second tat, mentioned that she wanted something "creepy" as well. I'd never really thought about having a "creepy" tattoo, though I've seen more than my fair share browsing through portfolios. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. All my tattoos are pretty and girly, which is very much who I am. However, there's also a part of me that isn't so pretty and girly. I don't feed gerbils through salad shooters for fun, but like all people, there's more to me than just fancy purses, waxing, and reading Go Fug Yourself religiously.

My current vision for this piece would be somewhat of a hybrid between the Corpse Bride, who is also apparently named Emily, and Emily the Strange. I don't want her too creepy or I'll freak myself out. I want more of a gothic feel than a gross feel. Obviously she still has to look like a puppet. I want her to still be aesthetically pleasing, just in a more dark way. I've done a preliminary search for artists and the two I think would be best suited for the job are both women, interestingly enough. I really liked Malia at Memorial and Danielle at 13 Roses. Malia also used to work at Ink & Dagger, so I know I can trust the quality of her work. A co-worker of mine from BBW recently had work done at 13 Roses and seemed satisfied, though she didn't have it done by Danielle. I would definitely want to meet both of them and see what kind of vibes I get. Currently, I'm leaning toward Malia because I feel her portfolio is a little stronger and I've already visited the shop once.

I could scrap the idea in a month and call myself crazy or I could stick with it. As I was writing down the list of ideas I've had over the past few months, I found myself going "eh" to several of them. It's going to be put on hold at least until after I'm done with the Muchas. Both financially and physically, I'm going to need a bit of a break. And I may not even have a job after late May, so who knows?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Public Service Announcement: Tattoos and Antibiotics

This is something that's somehow managed to get overlooked. As I mentioned, I was put on antibiotics about the same time I was tattooed. I figured I would be okay because antibiotics help with healing, right? Wrong!

The antibiotics attacked my tattoo. My whole upper arm was swollen and the tattoo itself was very hot to the touch. It scabbed up within 24 hours of being tattooed. The swelling and pain would only decrease when the antibiotic had left my system. So, every time I took another pill, I was enduring the swelling and pain.

Since antibiotics are so common these days, I thought I'd warn my fellow modders. If you're on antibiotics and looking to get tattooed, wait until you're done with the course. Ideally, wait a day or two after you're done with the course to ensure it's no longer in your system. You don't want to risk what happened to me. The tattoo didn't fall out, but I'm still dealing with scabbing and it will probably need a touch up.

Happy inking, but make sure it's antibiotic free!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Memorial Tattoo 2 and Mucha Girls

So today was the day to visit Memorial 2. Lee, the manager, messaged me that she wouldn't be there, but told me that Phil and Jason would be expecting me. I found the shop fine and it looked pretty quiet. Jason had stepped out and Phil was tattooing, but talked to me anyway. He asked to see the ink I already had, probably to get a feel for my tastes. I didn't have the pictures of what I wanted because our printer is out of ink. When Jason got back, he helped me get pictures of what I wanted. I showed Phil and he seemed down with it. He said he'd done stuff like that before. They're going to have to be fairly sizable to look good. They may end up going pretty far down my back.

He went ahead and booked me in right there. Apparently, he's so in demand, he's booked 2 months out. The earliest he could take me was March 22. It's good because it gives me time to save up. He charges $150/hr and I didn't want to haggle. It's one thing to approach an artist and be like "Look, this is my budget", it's another to be like "I'm shopping around and looking to collect". If you're looking to collect, you work with their pricing, not the other way around. When you get to the level that you're booked 2 months out, you can name your price. So now I just have to figure out how to squirrel away roughly $1500. He booked me for 3 sessions at 3 hours each. He thinks he can get them done faster than that, but since he's so busy, it's best to pounce on a time slot when you can.

Now off to Yelp to review my initial experience with the shop.

She's going on the left:

And she's going on the right:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weddings and other Inkless Social Events

It had to happen eventually. It would appear that 2009 is the year of the marriage for my circle of friends. I'm in 3 and attending a 4th. For me, that means figuring out a way to cover my ink. I already have some makeup on hand, but for something the size of my peacock or the rose, I think it's going to end up being airbrushing. Fortunately one of my fellow bridesmaids is a model and has a visible tattoo, so she recommended a product to me. Once everything is healed, I'm going to have to start practicing covering it up. In my mind (though my brides may disagree) it really only needs to be covered for the pictures and ceremony itself. If I suffer makeup meltdown during the reception, it's no big. At least not to me. I love my friends and respect their wishes for their vision of their wedding days and photos for years to come.

Of course, it also makes me think about how there's still a long way to go before tattoos are a non-issue. It's pretty much expected that my tattoos be covered in a lot of situations. Work, weddings, and really any event that may result in my grandparents giving my parents hell about the fact I'm a walking art gallery. I'd like to think I'm slowly changing peoples' minds about what it means to be modded. I'm definitely not the kind of person to stand out on the street corner with a sign saying "Modded People are People, Too". I'm the kind of person who goes through life being confident and capable. I'll always be intimidating, but I was intimidating before I had any ink at all. ;) I like to spread the gospel of ink in my own way. I answer most questions people ask me, even if it's the dumbest thing I've heard all day. I make sure people know what they're getting into if they ask me for advice.

I was brought up to look past superficial differences among people. If I don't like you, odds are I don't like you because of who you are as a person, not because of your ethnicity or the fact you had a nose job. It becomes even more acute when you're on the receiving end of people judging you based solely on your looks. Most of the people I deal with on a daily basis either don't care or are supportive. I don't usually get people who are outright rude or judgmental. When it happens, I simply shame them on a public forum such as this one.

Lastly, a list of stupid questions that you shouldn't ask a modded person:

*Why would you do that to yourself?
This is probably the fastest way to get yourself slapped. It's implying the person is engaging in some sort of bizarre self mutilation.

*What do they mean?
Usually nothing. You're either going to be ignored or you're going to get some cock & bull story. I prefer the latter myself.

*Did it hurt?
Umm, yeah. There were needles involved.

*And for the love of God, DO NOT touch them without their permission.
I can't tell you how many times someone has grabbed me, poked me, or moved my clothing to get a better look at my ink. I don't care if you're my best friend or someone I just met. HANDS OFF! This is my biggest pet peeve. Unless I tell you it's okay to touch me, don't do it.

And that's all for my waxing philosophical and trying to help all the little people out there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Some Surprises

So I posted on Yelp a few days ago for suggestions for artists to do my peacock. I got a bit of a lukewarm response and struck out on my own. Obviously, I found Kurt and really connected with his work. As a result of the Yelp post, I got invited by the manager of Memorial Tattoo to come by for a visit, meet her, and get a consultation with one of the artists. I told her I'd be by on Sunday. I figure I'll be up front about the fact I've found someone to do the peacock, but I definitely have plans for more. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of having two Mucha (art nouveau) pieces on either side of my spine below my current back piece. I already pitched one to Russ and got put on hold. So I figure I might as well check out Memorial. I really love Dave's work, so it would be good to meet him and talk with him a bit. I don't want it until the spring, which I'll also be up front about. So that's on the agenda before work on Sunday.

In other news, Kurt asked me to plug him because he's never been to I&D before (though possibly has been to Atlanta before). I agreed because I'd already posted his website here, so I plugged him on LJ and FB. I didn't do anything on MySpace because I know Shane checks it. I guess part of me still doesn't want them to know what I'm up to until I'm ready to confess. I mean, I won't have a choice when I get Lola finished. Mark's going to see my rose. I guess at that point I'll tell him about the peacock. I mean, he's still going to get plenty of work from me. He's gonna fix my foot and do the pin up girl on my thigh. If/when I decide to extend the pieces on my forearms, he'll do that as well.

I guess I will eventually end up mostly covered. Oh well. ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Butterflies, Peacocks, and Wolverine(s)

It's official! Kurt emailed me back last night and confirmed my appointment. I'll be going at noon on Feb. 21. He said to expect to sit for anywhere from 4-6 hours. Oh my! The longest I've ever sat is 3.5 and that was on my ribs. I think I can handle it, though. Biceps are some of the least painful places to ink and I sit like a champ. I might ought to bring something to snack on or drink because I know after a few hours, I'm gonna have a blood sugar drop. I've now been told that by 2 tattooists and random guy at I&D. Mark made some comment about how another girl sat really well for a rib piece and I was like "Are you saying I'm not a good sitter?" and he was like "Please, you're one of my best". I feel so smug. I don't get to feel smug about much.

I keep forgetting to mention that I saw the cutest tattoo when I was at I&D. This girl came in with her boyfriend and they were talking to Dustin. She mentioned something about how her stomach was rough to tattoo. Naturally, I asked what she'd had done there. She pulled up her shirt and she had butterflies flying diagonally up her stomach. She said "Yeah, I always have butterflies in my stomach!". I thought that was so freaking cute. Of course, if I ever did something like that, it would be after I have kids. I don't really much care if the shamrock gets distorted, but I'd definitely care if something that pretty got screwed up becaue of babies.

For those who are interested in Kurt's work, he has his own website. and it has all his best work up. I particularly like the Wolverine/Sabertooth side piece. Made me a bit nostaligic for college.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Retirement

I just retired my right tragus piercing. I was kinda bored with it and it wasn't healing really well. So I decided just to get rid of it. At least I'm even again in my ears.

Speaking of ears, my left one feels totally fine. I haven't taken any antibiotics today yet. I'll probably take it right before I go to bed so I can sleep through the inevitable swelling and pain. I figure I needed to give my arm a break. I've been treating my ear with topical antibiotics just to be sure it's not left totally to its own devices. My arm is still sore, but maybe this will help. When I washed it in the shower this morning, a little bit of the scabbing came off. I'm just gonna keep it moist and keep praying. I'm going to get Dustin to check out my arm on Thursday. He'll be able to give me a much better idea of what, if anything, is going to happen to it.

I may get Dave (the other artist whose portfolio I fell in love with) to do an art nouveau piece for me. I asked Russ to do one so I'm going to wait to hear back from him on that. I keep telling myself I'm going to slow down and then I don't. I think after I get my faux peacock half sleeve, I really will cut back. I'm gonna wait to hear back from Russ. It could be at any time. He said he usually starts a piece a month or so after a consult. Ideally, I'd love to have it done at the convention, but I won't be heartbroken if that doesn't happen. I'll know more when they release the information. It is still 5 months away after all.

And because I love lists, the updated tentative schedule:

Feb 1-Finish Lola
Feb 21-Peacock faux half sleeve
Mid-April-Art Nouveau piece done by Dave
June-Second art nouveau piece done by Russ (ideally)
July-Nautical stars on left hip during the "Tribute to Tradition" done by whoever isn't busy

I'll get my weight loss tat whenever I reach my goal. At this rate, it's looking like mid-March. Which reminds me, I need to print out motivational pictures and post them in a prominent place.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Major Exciting News!

Oh. My. God.

I'm so excited right now I can barely sit still. I started shopping around for artists to do my peacock faux half sleeve. I really fell in love with another guest artist at Ink & Dagger. His work is really realistic and just flat out beautiful. He also has a really great range. I went out on a limb and emailed him. I explained my idea and then said up front I had a very limited budget. I knew it was a gamble and I was fully prepared for him to say no. He emailed me back in less than half an hour with this:

Hey Emily,

A large Peacock tattoo sounds awesome. Absolutely something I would enjoy working on...[the price I named] is a pretty tight budget for a large tattoo especially if you are looking to get a detailed piece more on the "realistic" side. I would say depending on size you could be looking at 4- 6 hrs worth of work. But seeing that you've got such a cool idea.. I know I would have fun doing it. I'll find a way to work with that budget. I am tattooing in norway right now.. I can make an apointment for you in february though. I'll be at ink and dagger by the 15th. What days are good for you?


I emailed him back immediately with the date I wanted. Of course, seeing as he's in Norway, I probably won't hear back until sometime tomorrow. If everything falls into place, I'll have a fabulous peacock by the end of February. *squee!* It just goes to show that having the guts to ask can actually get you somewhere.

Now I'm browsing the portfolios of other artists to see what's out there. I emailed Russ back thanking him and telling him that I was happy to wait until he was free. He also thanked me for giving them a positive review on Yelp. So yay. There's another artist who I really like. I just have to decide what I want him to do for me and where! I'm running out of space! Apparently this particular artist is booked 2-3 weeks out so I have time.

In Demand

Well, I sent Russ an email last night about doing a piece with him. I got the usual form letter back saying he was too busy at this time, but he would file it away and keep me in mind. I flat out said that I didn't want it done immediately and I was willing to wait until such time when he could work with me. So, yeah, I wonder when he'll actually look at it and not just the auto-reply. :P I figured I'd probably get something like that. I guess if I decide I really want it, I'll go into the shop well before the convention and see what he says in person. Everyone says he's a really nice guy, so I know it's not just him being a prima donna.

I gave Dustin a glowing review on Yelp since I'm not friends with any of them on MySpace. I know Russ reads it because he's got a little banner on the front page that says "Five star reviews on Yelp" and keeps track of them. So hopefully they'll see how much I enjoyed working with him.

I haven't taken my antibiotics yet today. The swelling is totally gone in my arm, but I know it's just gonna pop right back up when I take one. Ugh. Not great motivation to take them, aye? Oh well. I guess it's that or get another infection in my ear which would be deeply unpleasant.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Old School Rose Experience

A little backstory first...

There's another tattoo shop that I've been stalking for a while. I believe I've mentioned them in here before. I found them on Yelp and they had tons of really positive reviews. They're the shop that does the Tribute to Tradition on the 4th of July among other things. Russ (the owner) opened the shop about 2 years ago. I figured it couldn't have been long because I went to college less than a mile away and if there was a tattoo shop within walking distance, I would've known about it. Anyway, Russ' big thing is to cater to the "collectors" in the tattoo world. As a result, he has a ton of visiting artists come through the shop. I browsed their portfolios and never really connected to any of them except Russ. Finally, I found one I liked. On impulse, I called the shop the day he arrived for a consult. I wasn't really sure what I wanted, but I knew I wanted to be tattooed by Dustin. I decided on something simple that suited my tastes, an old school inspired rose on the back of my left upper arm right above my elbow. Dustin was up for it and we set the time for yesterday (Saturday) afternoon.

I arrived at about 1:30 and the shop was pretty quiet. Dustin came out and introduced himself. He was sporting a handlebar mustache and a prominent Wisconsin accent. I knew things were going to work out just fine. He showed me the sketch, matched it to my arm, and went back to get started. I went through the usual ritual of paperwork and checking ID. We went back to the tattooing room and he put the stencil on. It was bigger than I'd envisioned but still great placement. Jason (one of the other tattooists) called it weird, but it suits me just fine. Once he got started, I was glad I'd decided against a matching set. He was incredibly meticulous and it took a total of 2.5 hours for just the one. I even impressed the two other guys being tattooed. In the time it took Dustin just to work on me, they were both almost done.

We talked about all manner of things including the differences between weather in Georgia and Wisconsin, our families, rednecks, and various trends in the tattooing world. He was a really cool guy and I liked him a lot. It almost makes me a bit sad that he'll be headed back north and I may or may not see him again. I think I'm going to swing by on Thursday and let him check up on me which brings me to...

My antibiotics are attacking the new tattoo. As Shane predicted, they're pretty vicious. My left upper arm is swollen and sore. I've been taking Advil like it's my job and I'm in the process of icing it to take away some of the heat and swelling. It's already trying to scab. I'm upset, but not hugely concerned. I've had tattoos scab really badly before and turn out just fine. Britney and Christina were scabby as hell and turned out totally fine. They're maybe not as vibrant as I'd like, but still look good. So I figure if I keep the rose moist and clean, it should be okay. I've come out on top of scabbing before and I can do it again.

I do have a picture, but I'm afraid it's not a very good one. Dustin took several for his portfolio (yay!) and I had his permission to take them when he posted them. So for those who are curious, here's the one I do have:



Well, I broke down and went to the doctor Friday night. Sure enough, it was infected. Of course, being doctors, they freaked out that my ear was going to fall off or something. They not only gave me a shot of antibiotics in the ass, but a tetnus shot. I was due for one anyway, but the implication that my jewelry was going to give me tetnus pissed me off more than a little bit. So now I'm on a 10 day course of antibiotics. The swelling is almost entirely gone, I'm pain free except for if I knock it or something, and it just generally feels better all around. And that's after essentially 5 doses of the stuff.

I also got inked yesterday and it was an amazing experience. However, I think it deserves its own entry and I have to shower and get to work. I'll give it the due time it deserves when I get home.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sore and Cranky Mods Part Deux

I think my left rook might be infected. It's red, hot to the touch, swollen to almost twice the size of my other ear, and when I cleaned it, blood and a bit of brownish yellow gunk came off. The pain is a little better now. Obviously our expired Advil still had a little kick to it. Fortunately, there's some good stuff at the office, so I hoarded a bunch. I'm gonna take more in about an hour and I need to examine the swelling when I get the chance. I have no idea what could've caused it, but who knows? I'm debating over going to the doctor. I guess I'll see how it looks/feels this afternoon. If it's still bad, I'll suck it up and get some antibiotics.

In other news, I think I'm finally going to go over to Ink & Dagger and introduce myself. They've got a guest artist there who is offering work at a "significant" discount because he's only in town for a week or so and is apparently not well known in these parts. They do a lot of old school stuff and, I admit, I don't know much about old school tattoos. I'm slowly learning, but most (if not all) of mine are new school. Of course, if I have an infection, any kind of inking is out of the question for a while. I'd be just finishing up my antibiotics course by the time it was time to finish Lola. Euch.

Since I keep getting interrupted, I'll blog more later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sore and Cranky Mods

Lola's very sore today. It's not very comfortable to turn to either side. I also can't get half the tape gunk off and it's been 3 days. As if my skin didn't like the tape to begin with, it had to stick around for a while. She'll be finished (ideally) in 12 days. It depends on two things. If I'm the only one he has on the schedule that day, then we can go as long as I can hang in there. If he's got someone else coming in that day, then it's a matter of how much we can get done in the time he allotted. Three to three and a half hours seems to be my limit, but unlike last time, her face isn't already done. That alone takes a good hour to 90 minutes. She is considerably smaller than her sister, so it's possible she could be done in that time frame. For those keeping score at home, Mae goes from about 1.5 inches below my armpit to about 3.5 inches above my hip bone. Lola is about even with Mae on the bottom, but her head stops right below my bra line.

The nose is doing pretty well. It's still a little red, but not painful. I'm loving the H20cean. How did I not know about this stuff before? It's perfect for someone like me who's pretty darn lazy. I'm even using it on some of my older piercings to see if that helps them along. My left rook has been sore for no apparent reason, so I gave it a good cleaning this morning and took some Advil.

My chest dermal is happy as can be. The bruising is gone. It's still flush into my skin. I spray it 2-3 times a day and it's good. It was itching a little this morning, so hopefully that means healing is well underway. It may be the easiest piercing to heal so far. Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lola Part 1

Quote of the Day:
Mark (to me): You're starting to look like a tattooed person!
Shane: Don't tell her that! Then she'll start to think she knows something about tattoos.

Shane then clarified saying I actually do know something about good tattoos because I've been going to Mark for so long. I told him I just admire and only know what I absorb going to see them.

She ended up being smaller than anticipated. When Mark fit the sketch against my side, her foot would've been right on my boob. We both looked at each other and went "Nah". So he shrunk her down and placed her lower. Her foot is now right under my boob and her head is right below my bra line. It will definitely make healing easier. He wasn't totally happy with having to make her smaller, but I still have good symmetry when you see me from the front. I teased him that meant I had space to put something up under my bra. He just rolled his eyes.

Today was a tough session. The shop was super busy. People kept walking in and distracting Mark more than usual. I don't think we even got started until 2:40 or so. Shane made a privacy screen so there were no free shows this time. It was kinda nice. I told Mark I always have the urge to throw random undergarments in the air when I'm behind one of those. He got a good laugh out of that.

He got interrupted at least 4 times while he was working on me. First he had to get a second machine ready because he needed two different sized needles. Then the phone rang. Then he ran out of ink and I actually got up and stretched my legs during that point. Then the phone rang again. By the fourth time, he was a swearing mess. I'm really the best person to deal with these situations because I'm totally chill. It sucked that he had to keep stopping, but I just hung in there. Even if he'd planned to do something other than the outline, he had another client waiting and we needed to get moving. I'm getting her finished off on Sunday the 25th. Hopefully we'll get her finished. I'll do a third session if necessary, but the idea doesn't really thrill me much.

While I was there, I got Jason to check out my nose. As it turns out, it wasn't really swollen at all. I had all this stuff stuck on the bottom of the stud. That was pulling the stud into the hole. Once he'd cleaned it off, it popped right back up. I finally picked up the H2Ocean. I'm going to go with the max recommended treatments for the next few days to help it settle down. He admired my chest dermal. Melanie wanted to get another picture, but when she left, I was in the middle of getting inked. She works Sundays, so we'll probably just do it when I go back to get Lola finished. My nose feels a ton better already after being cleaned.

I'm so happy to have her started. I think she's going to be even better than Mae. I just hope she doesn't get too upset that she's shorter than her sister. ;)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting Rid of Stress

I'm going to put myself out of this ridiculous stress over how much Lola is going to cost tomorrow. I'm just going to call Mark later today and say how much I can afford. It's still on par with what he's charged in the past, so I don't feel like I'm a cheap bitch because of it. It doesn't look like my birthday money is going to arrive on time, so I just have to make due with what I have. I know I'll feel much better when there's a set price.

The nose was swollen pretty badly this morning. I know I whacked it at least once when I was asleep. It was the worst I've seen it. I did the usual routine and iced it twice using my water bottle. I'll probably do it again when I get a refill. I don't know if any of the swelling has gone down, but there isn't really much more I can do. I can't drink at my party tonight because I've taken so much Advil. I'd like to keep my kidneys and liver functioning beyond my 24th birthday. :P Oh the sacrifices I make for my mods...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another Goal...

In addition to getting a tattoo when I reach my weight loss goal (and as a constant reminder to stay fit and sexy), I might get an inverse navel piercing or a dermal anchor. My stomach and hips are easily the parts of my body I hate the most. And it's inevitably the last part to change. I'm not 100% sure I'm suited to an inverse navel because of how the top part is pierced. If not, then I'll just get a dermal there. I want to eventually be proud of that area and show it off. It'll be even better if it's nice and sparkly.

Who knows how long it will take, but a minimum of 6 weeks. And that's losing at the rate of 2 lbs a week. So at the earliest, the end of February. I also need to focus on the toning. I should be doing Pilates 4-5 days a week and situps with the medicine ball 3 days a week. Having the weight come off is only have the battle. I need to make sure I'm toned up to take advantage of getting all the flab off. ;)

I'm absolutely not going to let myself jump the gun and get them early. That's why it's a goal. My weight loss site recommends making a collage of "goal pictures" and posting it somewhere prominent. I'm beginning to think it might actually help. If I'm constantly keeping my eye on the prize, so to speak, then it's all the more motivation to get out there and work hard to take the last 13 or so pounds off. I've let myself backslide and I'm hoping I haven't done too much damage. I'm weighing in tomorrow morning and from there, I'll know just what I need to do. I'm really hoping I can finally beat this mental plateau and begin maintaining a healthy and happy way of life.

Into Reality

In two days Lola will finally be a reality. I'm so excited. I've wanted her for at least a year. I'm practically giddy, I'm so excited. I can't wait to get there and get started. I figure it'll be another 3-3.5 hour sitting. I'd like to get her done in 2 sessions, but if necessary, we'll do a third. I don't anticipate needing to change my appointment times, so that should help. When I opted to change my second session of Mae, that's what threw a wrench into the works. He had to squeeze me in and that's not an ideal situation for a piece that needs as much attention to detail as a pin up girl.

Hopefully I can get a decent picture of Mae as well. I took down the one I had up because it wasn't as good as it could be. I'm sure between the two of us, Mark and I will figure out exactly what position is the ideal picture. I know I have a habit of leaning when I try to take pictures of myself and that distorts her quite a bit. I'd like to have a good picture of her to post and I'm sure he would, too. She was a lot of work and she deserves to be seen. I was afraid her face was going to be too dark, but it lightened up nicely after it finished peeling. Further proof that I should just have faith.

Now back to being giddy...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Little Irritating Things

Mark never called me back with a quote on Lola. I'm really not surprised. Typical male, never calls when he says he's going to. :P What probably happened is he didn't get around to sketching and, thus, doesn't know how big she is. Since size is probably the single biggest factor in pricing, I'm just going to go with what he charged me for Mae. I know he wants to have them roughly the same size. Same size = same amount of work = same price. It would just be kind of a pisser to not have the cash on hand. Meh. I let the stupidest things bug me sometimes.

The nose is still swollen. I may have gotten a little better, but it definitely hasn't gotten worse. I can say that much at least. This morning it got a rinse, a soak, and I took a vitamin, drank a big glass of orange juice, and took 2 Advil. Now all I have to do is wait for it to decide it doesn't want to be swollen anymore. I'll probably ice it at least once when I get home. My chest is doing great. It feels secure and it's not really crusty. The bruising is still there, but that's going to take at least another 3-4 days to clear up.

I was browsing the portfolios of some of the guys at the shop that does the "tribute to tradition". A lot of stuff they had up wasn't really my taste, but it was solid work. I was really impressed with the owner's portfolio. Apparently, he's very much in demand and it's hard to get an appointment with him. I can see why looking at the work he does. I bet he's ridiculously expensive, too. That's usually how it goes with the uber talented and in demand. Ideally, I'd like to get inked by him at the convention if he's there. I was thinking if he is going to be there, I might try to introduce myself beforehand. At this point, it's all just hypothetical.

Only 2 more days of getting up early, then it's 3 days of celebrating the anniversary of my birth. Well, I guess 4 since I'm taking Monday off to recover. ;)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Fought The Law

I'm so frustrated right now. I made the mistake of telling the truth and got deferred from giving blood. I'd made such an effort to make sure I wouldn't get deferred and they turn me away because my state doesn't regulate tattooing or piercing procedures. Seriously? I even checked the website in advance, but they didn't list states that regulate, just how many. I figured with all the red tape I go through every single time I get inked or pierced, we had to be on the list. Wrong. The only statewide regulation is you have to be over 18. Other than that, it's up to each county to impose regulations.

This has pissed me off enough, I'm seriously considering contacting someone in the state government (Not sure who. Representative maybe?) and making my displeasure known. I shouldn't have to lie to do a good thing. Plus, it's hurting the Red Cross because they have to turn away an otherwise ideal donor. I know in the old days there were issues with blood diseases, but not anymore. Things have improved a lot even in just the past 10 years. I even rattled off a few things that I know one country requires and the nurse said I'd just rattled off all Florida's requirements. *facepalm* The rules are really damned simple and I don't know why Georgia hasn't bothered to do it. Half of it is common sense.

*Needles should be sterile and single use. All used needles should be disposed of in a sharps container.
*The artist/piercer should be wearing gloves at all times during the procedure and, ideally, any time they're in contact with the client's skin.
*Any non disposable tools should be sterilized in an on site autoclave.
*Ink should be put into single use ink caps and disposed of after the tattoo is complete. It should never be returned to a universal container.

And if you wanted to get a little more strict, you could add that artist/piercer be vaccinated against Hep B. It's fairly common anyway and Hep B happens to be the biggest concern when collecting blood. It was on my list of required shots before I went to college.

I know it's not a big pork project or whatever they call it in politics, but it's definitely something that should be addressed. When something like 40% of people have tattoos, making even a small percentage of that wait just seems unfair and unhelpful. Everybody wins in this situation. Most counties do this stuff anyway, so why would it be such a big leap for the state to put it all in writing? I'm sure they've already got people from the health department inspecting and whatnot.

So I guess that's my rant for the day. Off to start composing my strongly worded letter to whoever represents me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pain in the Nose

My nose is seriously sore. It's not swollen, just red and sore. I took some Advil this morning, but it's worn off. I tried to put my drink on it to cool it off a bit, but my glasses get in the way. So I guess I'm just going to have to tough it out until I can get home and ice it properly.

The chest dermal is fine. No new bruising and it's sitting just as happy as it was before. Hopefully it'll be easier to massage in the shower tonight. It'll look really great when the bruising clears up. I can't wait to show Jason and tell him how well Melanie did. I'm recommending her to everyone. I'm trying to figure out the best way to plug them on Yelp. I guess I could edit my review to include my experience.

In other news, my job is secure for now. I was talking to one of my co-workers who keeps in touch with the receptionist and she said the receptionist isn't coming back. A brief history for those who might not know, I was moved from being an assistant to the front desk. The receptionist fell before Halloween and dislocated her shoulder. They had to surgically put it back in. She's also well into her 70's. She was absolutely sure she'd be coming back, so I was concerned when she did come back, I would lose my job. However, it's almost certain she won't be coming back, so I'm safe. This a huge relief. I'm not crazy about this job, but it pays the bills. I may even finally get paid a decent wage as well. It's probably not going to be an amazing salary, but it's definitely better than what I'm getting right now.

And this is relevant because it means I no longer have to stress over how/if I'm going to be able to pay Mark for Lola. I still want to pay as much as I can up front, so we'll see. I'm gonna call him after I get off work so we can chat. So excited!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

No Witty Title Today...

More bruising today on my chest. I'm not surprised. It wasn't too pleasant to give it a massage in the shower, but I did a little bit. It feels perfectly secure. I think the L shaped jewelry made it much happier. I was actually worried because it didn't hurt when I woke up this morning and I was like "is it still there?". It was and just as happy and flat against my skin as before. So yay for that. It'll probably still look kinda gross on Saturday when I go back. Apparently Jason will want to inspect it. I'm fine with that.

Speaking of Saturday, I'm calling Mark tomorrow to confirm everything. As I mentioned in my previous entry, we didn't really get to talk so I said I'd just call. I guess I could've called today, but I had to work and I figured give him a day or so to look her over and ponder how to make it work. That being said, she will be on my right side. For a brief time I thought about putting her on my thigh, but after inspecting the mole situation (absolutely not allowed to tattoo over known moles), I decided something more linear would be better in that spot.

As for the payment situation, I think I'm going get together as much cash as I can and pay him as much as I can up front. I'll try to explain the situation on the phone tomorrow. I can afford a $300-$350 piece. I generally don't like carrying that much cash, but if I get it the day of then it shouldn't be too bad. Plus, by then all my other bills will have come out so I'll know how much I can take out. Go me.

I've only whacked my nose stud a few times today so maybe my brain is getting the hint that there's something there. Now that I've said that I'll probably whack it 8 times in 2 minutes. :P

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dermals oh my!





Melanie is great. She's super nice and explains everything she's doing. I was kinda freaking out a bit before she did the dermal. Once I settled down, she pierced me and it didn't really hurt at all. The problem came in when she tried to get the jewelry in. There are 2 kinds of jewelry that can be used for dermals. One kind is the solid piece and another basically has 2 loops for the foot and heel. She prefers the two loop kind, but it refused to go into my skin. She actually took it out several times and repierced me at least once to try and get it in. Finally after about 15 minutes of fiddling, she decided to try the other jewelry. It went in seamlessly. We were like "Seriously?". It was kinda funny.

I was glad I was wearing my glasses today. When we did my nostril, my eye watered really badly. Had I been wearing my contacts, it probably would've come out. Less good.

I gave the shirt to Mark and we're tentatively set for a week from today. He was preparing for clients so I didn't really get to talk about any details. I'm gonna call him on Monday and we're going to sort out the rest of the details on the phone and the official appointment time.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Body Mod "Schedule"

Just because I'm obsessive like that.

Jan 3-Nostril and/or chest dermal (all depends on if Melanie is there)

Jan 10-Session one of Lola

Jan 25-Session two of Lola

Feb 8-Session three of Lola (if necessary)

Mar 7-Weight loss tattoo (assuming I've met my weight goal ;) )

Jun 12-14-Get something fabulous during the convention

Jul 4-Get something equally fabulous at I & D's Tribute to Tradition

Fixing up my foot, getting my tragus repierced, getting my conchs pierced, and Beverly (my last pin up) will all happen when they happen, I suppose. I'm really excited about getting tattooed at a convention. I'll probably drive poor Shane nuts tomorrow picking his brains about it.

Getting Inked in Public aka Tattoo Conventions

So apparently the crowd at Sacred Heart is responsible for organizing the tattoo convention here every year. I actually found an article from '06 quoting Shane about the event. When I'm there next weekend, I'll ask if they're planning on doing another one this year. I would assume so as last year was the 12th annual or so the flyer said. I was considering going to Miami that weekend, but I may put it off to convention it up. So much excitement in the next 6 months tattoo-wise. Allegedly Ink & Dagger is doing their $50-$100 tattoos every Sunday in March (as yet unconfirmed), then the convention in June, and I&D's 4th of July "tribute to tradition". That's in addition to whatever hot messes I decide to get myself into outside of that.

I'm waffling about several other things. I may or may not get a chest dermal. I may or may not get my nose repierced. I may or may not do both. I may place Lola somewhere else. I may not. I may pay Mark up front for part of Lola in case I get downsized/laid off/insert corporate jargon for "no longer employed" here. I hate to ask him about pricing because I feel it's rude, but I'm going to need a hard and fast number. Alternately, I could pick something smaller and more affordable and save up for Lola the old fashioned way. She's going to be at least as expensive as Mae. I figure I'll be honest about the situation. I don't know what's going to happen, but I don't want to be running around with a half finished tattoo because I couldn't afford to pay for the second half (or third as the case may be).

Overall I really dislike discussing price because half the time I think he just pulls it out of his ass. I underestimated Britney & Christina by $70, but I overestimated Butch by $40. It's all fine and dandy when I overestimate, but it's a bit of a pain in the ass when I fall short. I like to plan for all contingencies, so best case I don't get laid off and I can pay for everything no problem. Worst case, I'm laid off and only managed to pay for half or 2/3 of it. The reality usually lies somewhere in the middle. What will probably happen is I'll get laid off, get the check I'm owed, and that would allow me to finish paying her off. Meh. I should stop thinking about this. It's stressing me out.