Friday, April 11, 2008

OT: Spare the Rod...

Have any of you read this story? It's disturbing. Apparently, eight Polk County, FL teens, ages 14 to 18, were arrested for luring a former friend into a house and beating her senseless. Oh yeah, and while they ganged up on her, they videotaped it. They filmed everything but the two guys standing outside playing look-out. The victim, 17 year old Victoria Lindsay, had apparently badmouthed the girls on Myspace. To seek their revenge, the girls lured her into the Mulberry, FL home she was temporarily living in (which is where the story gets even more twisted) and beat her for 30 minutes so that they could post it on Youtube. That'll teach her!

The beating took place in the home of Mercedes Nichols, one of the attackers. Lindsay had been staying with Nichols for about a week because Lindsay had been having problems with her parents. Nichols' mom, Christina Garcia, has done several interviews since the attack, and claims that her daughter tried to warn Lindsay, and that an adult neighbor heard the warning. But during the 30 minute beating, neither Nichols nor the unidentified adult witness called the police.

This crime is disturbing. It hits close to home for me, because I live in Polk County. My siblings grew up in Mulberry. Oh, and one of the little twits is my cousin's ex-girlfriend (I tried to tell him she was trouble).

All eight were arrested and will be tried as adults. After the girls were arrested, they were LAUGHING ABOUT IT, and joking that they wouldn't be going to the beach for spring break after all. Twisted, very twisted.

I just watched an interview with Lindsay's parents. Lindsay is not in critical condition, but she definitely suffered major damages. She is recovering from a concussion, and has yet to regain hearing or vision on her left side. She also suffered several cuts and bruises. Meanwhile, her parents are blaming the Internet.

"For whatever reason, this Myspace, Youtube... It's gone too far. And what it's doing to our kid's... It's too much," said Talisa Lindsay.

"These websites that are creating a space for violent activity... As far as I am concerned, MySpace is the anti-Christ for children," claimed Patrick Lindsay.

The situation is awful. But is the Internet to blame? Is Myspace the anti-Christ? If so, does that mean I am satanic for having a Myspace account?

I would really like to see someone step up and tell parents everywhere to wake up and smell the freakin' coffee. Do you want to know why your kids are beating the crap out of each other? Because that's how they see you solve problems. Do you want to know why your kids are getting into trouble? Maybe it is because you don't keep decent tabs on them to know what they're doing. Where did these eight sets of parents think their kids were when this happened?

I'm not a parent yet, so it may be unfair for me to toss around these kinds of accusations. But I do know that when I have children, I will know where they are and who they are with, for the most part. And no, I will not spare the rod...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

What Were They Thinking? 4/5/08

I regret to admit that I have been slacking. I have ignored my responsibility to bring you a new, crazy, WWTT tattoo each week. In fact, it has been something like 3 weeks. So to make up for it, I have 3 new goodies for you! I'll start with my personal favorite faux pas.

#1 Elmer Fudd

Okay, the obvious issue with this ink is the gross-factor of the plumber's crack. Or the sillyness of the cartoon character tforever engraved on one's body. But there is something else that really irks me about this tattoo. Remember this post? I get very irked by spelling errors. Especially when they are permanent. It shouldn't be "your," it should be "YOU'RE!" Geez. For the love of ink...

#2 Hogan Knows Best

Hulk Hogan is an icon. And watching his show, Hogan Knows Best, is one of my guilty pleasures. But this fan took it a little too far. Still, I think the Hulk would probably love it! "That's one handsome tat, BROTHER!"

#3 In Terrifying Memory

Oh, man. This is more of a reflection on the tattooist. What were THEY thinking??? This is really one of the worst tattoos I have ever seen. As a tattoo artist, if you can't do portraits, just steer clear of them. I would be really upset if someone butchered my tattoo like this, especially one with such sentiment attached.
Shoulda gone to Kat Von D!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

One More Step in the "Disney-fication" of America the Naive

"You Americans think everything is freakin' Disneyland!"

As I chatted with a friend of mine the other day, we discussed how foreigners view Americans. The above is a quote her Puerto Rican friend used to describe us.

It's so true. In America, we like for things to appear wholesome and pure. Everything has a moral and a purpose-- our purpose. Everything makes sense-- to us. It's one endless stroll through "It's a Small World."

Life is not like a Disney movie. But we Americans are sure trying to make it that way. There are towns across the country based on this philosophy. The one that comes to my mind is called Celebration, a town near Disney World in Osceola County, FL. Their motto is "You've Got To See This Place!" No kidding.

In Annapolis, there are people wanting their own little Celebration. There are certain 'town centers' in the works that have the same wholesome (I use this term loosely) look and feel. The people here want to ban tattoo parlours, among other things.

Mr. Middlebrooks, at the request of the Glen Burnie Town Center
AdvisoryCommittee, introduced a measure last month that would ban new tattoo
parlors, billiard halls, arcades and fortune tellers (psychics, palm or tarot
cardreaders and the like) from the county's three town centers.

Apparently, they want to maintain a wholesome, family-friendly image. But as the author of the article asks, who gets to determine what is or isn't wholesome?

Why aren't tattoo parlours wholesome? Look around. 10 to 1, your teacher, your doctor, your lawyer and the lady sitting next to you in church are all sporting tattoos. It is becoming a huge part of culture, and tattoos are being widely accepted. They aren't just for bikers, sailors and convicts anymore.

"You Americans think everything is freakin' Disneyland!"

Well said.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Meagan's First Tattoo!

Today, the stars aligned. The tattoo starts were finally in our favor.

I was looking forward to the evening from the minute I woke up! I knew that Meagan was getting her tattoo tonight. I knew it was going to be awesome, and I knew you would all be so happy to hear about it (right?!).

5.40pm – I arrive at Peter-Tat-2. I’m really early, but I wasn’t sure how traffic would be during rush hour. I text Meagan, and within minutes, she arrives.

5.46pm – We walk into the tattoo parlor. Meagan is “ready as she’ll ever be.” Tony greets us, and ducks back into the room for some paperwork. He shows Meagan what he has drawn up to make sure she approves. She drew a shamrock with Celtic knotting to show Tony what she wanted. He has simply reworked her design to make it cleaner.

5.47pm – Meagan presents her ID and begins filling out paperwork. She can remember her information, so that’s a good sign she’s not too nervous!

6.02pm – Tony calls us into his room, and Meagan stretches out on the tattoo chair. It has the feel of a dentist’s office. It smells as clean as it did on Thursday, so we’re pretty comfortable with it.

6.04pm – Tony has placed the stencil on Meagan’s back and she’s happy with the placement. To ease her into the tattoo, he begins with just a short piece of the outline. There’s no turning back now, but Meagan doesn’t want to anyway.

6.09pm – The first phase is underway. Tony starts by tracing the outline of the shamrock with a thin black line. Meagan’s taking it like a trooper. She flinches every once in a while, but nothing more. We are even carrying on a conversation without skipping a beat. You would think she was lying out at the pool, not being needled. I am impressed!

6.17pm – The tattoo machine is right at Meagan’s right ear, and she twists her neck a little, wishing she could see what is going on. I have the unfair advantage of watching every step, but at least I am recording it. If all goes as planned, she will be a Youtube celebrity by sunrise.

6.20pm – “You’re finished with the outline,” I told her. “The first part, anyway,” Tony corrected. Oops. Sorry, Meagan. Still no obvious signs of pain, though. Her face is calm for the most part, and her fingers are absently drumming the end of her chair.

6.23pm – Tony is needling away on phase 2 of the outline, a thicker, darker black line around the outside. I am snapping a picture when my screen goes black. Replace Batteries. Uh oh…

6.24pm – I rush out to my car, hoping I can find something to steal 2 AA batteries from. As I approach my car, the alarm goes off for no apparent reason. I’m convinced my car is possessed. I rummage around, steal the batteries from an emergency phone charger, and run back inside.

6.26pm – These batteries don’t work either. Crap.
6.30pm – The owner of the studio peeks in. “Is she still alive,” he asks with a grin. We all giggle a little (but not to much, Meagan doesn’t want in crooked lines permanently etched into her back), and begin discussing female pain tolerance. Not that I’m poking fun at men, but women just seem to deal with pain better. Even the male owner agrees.

6.38pm – The thick outline is almost complete, and Tony will soon begin to color in the shamrock with a bright green ink. In my opinion, coloring is more agitating than the outline, but I decide not to tell Meagan that until after the fact. Judgment call. Meagan is still doing great! She sheds no tears, never screams, and barely winces.

6.42pm – The coloring begins, and I watch Meagan’s face and listen to her voice for hints of pain. None whatsoever. What a trooper!

6.58pm – The color is now finished, and Tony inspects his work to make sure he hasn’t overlooked anything. He seems happy with it, and wipes the tattoo down with Vaseline. It is important to care for tattoos correctly, or else they can dry out or get infected.

7.00pm – Meagan stands up, and admits that her abs are sore from holding her breath. She inspects the tattoo and smiles. It’s over, it looks great, and she’s happy she did it.

7.01pm – Tony tells Meagan how to care for her tattoo, explains that the shop offers a lifetime guarantee, and tells her the tattoo costs $80. Not too bad at all.

7.03pm – After some quick chatter in the parking lot, Meagan and I part ways. I can’t wait to get home and post about the experience.

I love tattoos, and tonight just reminded me of how much. Now I can’t wait for my third… Maybe I’ll live blog my tattoo next!

Thanks to Meagan for letting me tag along, video the process and post about it for the entire Internet world to read!

Also- I am working on the video, in the meantime, here are just a few photos to tease you.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Tattoo Stars Are Not In Our Favor... Yet

Okay, I'm very disappointed that I am not sitting down to fill you in on all the details of Meagan's tattoo. I was so pumped about the whole ordeal. I was waiting all day... no, all WEEK!

6:57pm. Meagan and I arrive at the tattoo parlour. She's admittedly more than a little nervous. It's her first tattoo, and fear of the unknown is to be expected. After all, someone will soon be poking her with a tiny needle over and over and ove again. It's a little scary.

7:01pm. We walk into Peter-Tat-2, the studio on US-41 Meagan has chosen. The air is thick with anticipation, excitement, and sterilization. It smells a bit like a hospital. That's generaly a good sign. On a side note, if you ever walk into a tattoo parlour that is not as clean as a doctor's office, get out. Choose another studio that IS clean. This is really important. If your instinct tells you it's not up to par, leave. You can easily contract an infection (or MUCH worse) in an unclean tattoo parlour.

7:03pm. We are greeted by a short guy with at least several dozen tattoos. That makes sense. "Can I help you?" Meagan explains that she wants a tattoo, and hands him the paper with her own personal artwork. "This is what I want."

"Okay. The earliest I can do it will be tomorrow."

What?! But we want it NOW! We have fought anticipation and anxiety. We've been looking forward to this. You can't just copy that baby and slap it on a stencil?!

Apparently not.

7:04pm. We decide Monday evening will work best for both of us. Meagan sets the appointment and we walk out, heads and shoulders drooping in disappointment.

We chat for a moment, then part ways. At least Monday works. Now we just have to wait a few more days...

Bear with me. Monday evening at 6pm, we will be back at Peter-Tat-2. If all goes well, Meagan will get her tattoo then, and I will video it for your viewing pleasure. Check back Monday evening for all the details-- hopefully live!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Update: Tonight's Live Blog

I am going to attempt to find a Wifi signal at the tattoo parlour. Fingers crossed, because if I do, I will be able to bring you live updates of Meagan's tattoo.I don't know if I will be able to get any wireless access, but I'm going to try.

If you are interested, you might want to check in around 7:15 tonight. If I haven't posted by then (or 7:30 at the latest), it will not be as live as I had hoped. Either way, it will be posted as soon as possible.

I hope at least some of my readers are anticipating this event as much as I am. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing, and I know Meagan is, too!

Have a great evening, I'll post ASAP!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What Were They Thinking?! 3/19/08

Okay, this one pretty much speaks for itself. I don't know why someone would want the mating rituals of mythical creatures inked on their back for all eternity, but the story might possibly begin with, "Wow, I was sooo drunk that night!"

What were they thinking?!

An Invitation To My Readers...

One of the most interesting elements of a tattoo is the story behind it. I love seeing someone's tattoo and asking them to tell me about it. I get strange looks sometimes, but other times I hear some really cool tales.

So I would like to extend an invitation to all of you. Do you have a tattoo? Would you like to tell us the story behind it? Also, if you don't have a tattoo, have you ever considered getting one? If so, what would you get and why?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Coming Soon: Live Tattoo Blog

Have you ever read a live blog? If not, here's a pretty good example, courtesy of Andrew Sullivan. Basically, a live blog chronicles an event by posting an update every few minutes or so.

I am very pleased to announce that Upon A Living Canvas will feature its very first live blog tomorrow.

Meagan has been wanting to get her first tattoo for quite some time now. Thursday evening, she will finally fulfill the wish. I am so excited that Meagan has invited me to tag along, and also agreed to let me live blog and share her experience with my readers.

Unfortunatly, there is no Wifi in the tattoo parlour, but I will take notes, and post the blog as soon as I get home. I had hoped there would be Wifi so I could truly post as it happened, but this will have to do.

Check back Thursday evening for the step by step explanation of Meagan's first tattoo! Maybe even pictures and video...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

An Update on My Missions...

As I mentioned in my last post, I am on two missions.

So far, I am on my way to fulfilling both.

Mission #1- Post regularly. Well, this is the second day this week.

Mission #2- I'm all set to live blog about someone getting a tattoo. Meagan Mason has graciously agreed to let me tag along for her very first tattoo. How exciting is that?! First tattoos are so much fun, and I'm thrilled to be a part of the experience. It will be a week or so, but bear with me. I hope everyone else is as excited about this as I am!

Happy Thursday!