Crab Rangoon

Finally!  A website that translates all those silly Chinese/Japanese character tattoos.  I spent the better part of the afternoon (between running routines, of course) reading through the idiocy some people put on their bodies!

Are you sure your tattoo says what you think it does?  It could very well read “Moo Goo Gai Pan!”

I recently had this discussion at work.  Why would you put a foreign language on your body?  If you want the word “Strength”, find a great font and write “Strength”  in English.  Having a tattoo in Arabic or Chinese or Japanese doesn’t make you look deep or mysterious.  Try being a little creative with what you want permanently on your body instead of picking something dubious off the wall at the tattoo parlor.

Hanzi Smatter dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture.  Thanks, Tian, for the entertainment.

The Kid Is Alright

“How’s Dad doing?” “How’s your father holding up?”

I get these questions often. We celebrated my niece Lily’s 3rd birthday today. During the party, my in-laws asked me how Dad was. Last Friday at our monthly meeting, I haven’t seen my friend Toufek in a while. I was training him to work in one of my buildings while Mom was at the end of her fight with cancer and the doctors had told her they can’t do anything for her. I spent the majority of the time on the phone with Dad crying and then apologizing afterwards for not working. He understood and left me a very heartfelt phone message after Mom passed. Friday he considerately asked me how my Dad was doing.
How is my Dad doing? I’m sure he has his moments and times where he gets sad, but honestly? I think Dad is doing freaking great!
Dad reads my blog. (Hi Dad!) He discovered it when I sent him an email- the blog address is in my signature. I was a little chagrined that my DAD was reading all my inner thoughts and crap that I deem important. (GOD- did he read the bloody Diva cup post? I sincerely hoped he skipped that one.) A quick glance at my blog list- nah, there’s nothing in there (except the Diva cup post) that would make me a little squirmish when I saw Dad.
So because today is his birthday, I want to dedicate this post to him to tell him how proud I am of him. He’s doing all the things Mom did all those years- shopping, banking, paying bills. He buys birthday gifts for the family. He found a new insurance company for the house. He pimped out his truck- ghostly flames and LED lights. He tried Thai food.
Last Saturday, he goes with me and gets this:

Yes, Dad got inked.

So did I. Dad’s heart tattoo honors my Mom and my brother, tricked out with blue flames to match his truck. I finally got my poison ivy tattoo- my little talisman against getting poison ivy every year. Mine also honors Mom and my brother, Robbie, as well as our friend J. Can you see the initials in the vines? While mine hurt like hell, Dad didn’t flinch, he claims it didn’t hurt at all. I wish I had his nerve endings. He’s already planning on going back this week to add more to his tat! Someone’s addicted!

I’ve been inked with my daughter, now I got inked with my dad. The guys at Sparrow Tattoo in West Hempstead said they’ve never had that combination before.

Then today, I get the surprise of my life-an email requesting me as a Facebook friend…from Dad!

My Dad is on Facebook. He wanted to find some long lost friends, so he signed up. At 74, he got a tattoo and signed onto Facebook.

My daddy rocks.

Happy Birthday, Dad! Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be fine!

I love you.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I had a minor scare this morning. You know the feeling- when you see something terrifying and your heart speeds up, your body goes cold but you start to sweat and you feel like you need to pee. All in a split second. That’s how I felt this morning.

Everyone has a morning routine. Basically, potty, shower, dress, brush. Add a few more for those energetic morning people- coffee, exercise, read the paper, sex, put on makeup, feed the pets, do a load of laundry. Yes, I do some of those additional things. But only on Tuesday and Thursday. When I go to exercise. At the gym.

Part of my morning routine is my examination. After I potty, then weigh myself, I examine my big bad self in the full length mirror while I wait for the shower to heat up. When the mirror fogs over, I’m done. Usually I want the mirror to fog over quickly. Very quickly. But I can usually get done what needs to get done in before that happens. Everything that needs to be plucked, squeezed, scratched, popped and flossed gets done before I head into the shower. And as my family can attest, I love to examine. Not a pimple goes unpopped. Not a blackhead goes unsqueezed. Not a flap of skin gets unpicked. (Grossed out yet?) I even have a face for it. My kids call it my “picky face”. Don’t ask me to do it, I can’t on demand. But give me a splinter to pick out or a toenail to cut and you’ll see it. There is a psychological name for my disorder, but I’m not going to look it up because then that’s diagnosing and that means I need more therapy. So I’ll just keep my picking and prodding and poking to myself. And I guess with you.

Anywho, I was doing my examination this morning and I turned around so I could look at my back. I felt something there when I was sleeping and the thought of popping a zit on my back was exciting. (I know….) I looked up my back and for a split second saw something dark and sinister. My first thought? A skin cancerous lesion. I went cold and hot and my heart sped up and stopped all in a moment before I realized what I was looking at.

My tattoo. I had forgotten it was back there. For a second I thought I was looking at cancer. For a split second my death loomed up at me.

I guess it’s a good thing my tat is where it’s at. It would give me one more thing to obsess over.

Yesterday my morning routine was rudely interrupted. Potty, weigh, examine, (so far, so good)shower, throw up. Didn’t even make it to “dry off.”

I got a migraine in the shower and by the time I was done, it was full blown. Usually it takes a half an hour to blossom into a full blown migraine. This was less than 10 minutes. I tried taking my pills and got partially dressed before I threw up the pills, so I went back to bed and stayed there all day. Watching back-to-back episodes of Tabitha’s Salon Takeover. And catnapping when the family and dogs allowed. I’ve still got the remnants of a headache and general wooziness but I’m going to the chiropractor after work for an adjustment. I hope that helps and knocks this one out.

Tell me about your morning routines. Anything interesting? Make me jealous.

The Most Awesomest Giveaway!

In August, I hit my 100th post. I was on vacation that week, and promptly forgot to do anything about it!

I’ve since hit my 150th post with that last one, Dreamscape #2.

So in honor on my two readers many, many readers and all those who come here looking for tattoo pictures, I’ve decided to do a giveaway.

Hmmm. What to give away? The iTunes Gift Card didn’t go over well. I don’t want to give away something I made since I would ACTUALLY HAVE TO MAKE it. And I don’t have time for that. I want to give away something that people would enjoy and actually want to comment instead of lurking behind the scenes (feedback, people! I need feedback!) Plus the gift has to have meaning, a purpose. A Wal-Mart gift card is too impersonal, too plastic.

So I turn to my source of inspiration- the whole reason I created this blog. My Favorites list. Where, in my internet travels, I drop interesting things I may want to visit/buy/play someday in the future. I turn to my “Stuff to Buy” folder…

Okay, I’m pretty sure no one is going to be interested in Lumicor Resin Panels (even though they’d look nice in my bathroom.) PJ Greetings is cute- my SIL bought Zombiegirl these notecards a few Christmases ago- but how many notecards does one need? Y’all know how I feel about the Diva Cup…. I should delete that…I already bought it. I’m not sure how many of you want the new Fiesta color (isn’t it pretty?) Or a Rain Barrel. They’re on my wish list on the sidebar. What about something from this store? I love their stuff. And it’s sustainable. But…

No. I got it. When my church, St. Andrew’s, had their Alternative Giving fairs right before Christmas, I would purchase items from this company. Wait- what’s an Alternative Giving Fair you ask? Since the majority of us have way too much stuff already, the Alternative Giving Fair gave you other options for gift giving. Give a cow or some ducks from Heifer International. Adopt a virtual turtle. Give a gift to the church in your recipient’s name. While there “shopping” you could also purchase items from, a nonprofit company that works “to eradicate poverty through our direct connections with low-income artisans and farmers.” They buy their unique crafts and food items and “help them grow and embrace the future.”

Their stuff is beautiful and unique. Jewelry, home and holiday decor, scarves, tea and coffee- there’s something for everyone.

Now here’s the good part. I’m giving away a $100 gift certificate to Okay- say it with me…”Ooooh! Aaaah!” I’ll hold the random drawing Tuesday night- October 27th- after all my sad stuff is done (you’ll find out) from everyone who comments on ANY of my postings between now and Tuesday, 9:00 pm EST. For every post, you’ll get an entry into our magic hat. Mention this giveaway on your blog, or Facebook (prove it- send me the link and/or be my “friend”) and you’ll get an additional entry for each. Follow my rants and ravings (“follow blog” on the Nav Bar) and you’ll get another entry. Comment on Hubby’s blog that you came from here and earn another entry! Family members may participate provided you use the gift certificate to buy something for ME! Please be sure to include your e-mail or have it in your profile so I can contact you if you win. Good luck and thanks for commenting!

Check out Strengthening our Global Community!

NaBloPoMo #11- Mama/Daughter Day


Hey all you tattoo fans! Check out my most awesomest giveaway! Tell me you came here for the tattoo, win a chance at a $100 gift certificate….

My little brother got his first tattoo after his surgery to remove the first cancerous tumor. He was always little rebellious- he had me bleach and perm his hair once. This was the 80’s- hair Bands rocked the day! My parents were totally against his getting a tattoo. They threatened to kick him out or disown him. All the nice things parents say when they don’t want you to do something.

He comes home with his first tattoo- a blue rose with a banner that says “MOM” on one side and “DAD” on the other.

Mom melted.

He sure knew how to play them! After that, he got two more tattoos- a tiger on his leg and the grim reaper on his shoulder. The rose was on his arm. They were beautiful tattoos. When he passed away from his second round of tumors, we dressed him in a tank top so that his tattoos would show at the funeral. He was 25 years old.

My mom and my brother celebrated their birthdays almost two weeks apart in February. Their birthstones were amethyst. That’s why when Beena and I got our tattoos honoring my mom/her grandmother and my brother/her godfather, we requested the cancer ribbon be purple.

We got them last night at Peter Tat2 in West Hempstead on Hempstead Turnpike. John, the Assistant Manager was very patient with us, being virgins and all. Beena chose her inside leg, right above her ankle and I wanted it on my back because if I look at it too much, I’ll get sad.

Beena went first, shaking like a leaf. She held my hand and sucked her Jolly Rangers (thanks for the tip, Paula!) It hurt, but my big girl didn’t cry! I was so proud of her. I was joking around trying to take her mind off the pain. Halfway through I told her I changed my mind- I wasn’t going to get one. She almost jumped out of the chair to strangle me! Twenty minutes later, she was done, wrapped up in a garbage bag (bandage.) My turn. Gulp!

I’m not going to lie and say it didn’t hurt. It did and it was like no other pain I ever felt. I gave birth to BIG babies, with no drugs, so I figured I had a high tolerance for pain. Getting this tattoo was like having my skin flayed off. Slowly. With a hot, rusty knife. Well, not rusty- you can’t feel rusty, right? I sucked it up and went into my “happy place” (no, Beena, not the hallway, even though the color does make me happy…) While I was concentrating on the wall patterns, I thought to myself that Mom would’ve been proud of us. As I think this thought, a tiny, pointy oval of light flickers onto the wall. Two or three seconds and it blinks out. It wasn’t a reflection from anything- we were in the back room. I thought maybe John had a laser light on his needle machine, but my body and head would’ve blocked any light from behind where he was sitting. So I’ll just take it as my Mom showed up and gave us her approval. I hope we melted her heart in heaven as well.

So bond with your children. If they tell you they want to get a tattoo instead of threatening to throw them out, go with them! lol! Love you, Beena!