Add One to the List of Things I Thought I’d Never Do

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This is not my belly button area.

There are a few things that I thought I would never do in this life.  Some of them I’m pretty confident will never come to pass, such as climbing Mt. Everest or running a marathon, but I never thought I would (considering the dim view I take on tacky ones) get a tattoo.

I’m the first one to mock bad tats, and I’ll never forget the reason why my grandfather wore long-sleeved Oxford shirts with the button sleeves buttoned at the wrists every day of his life until he was dying in the nursing home.  Grandpa had some horrifically badly done tats on his forearms dating back to when he served in the Navy in 1943.  They did not improve with age.

I generally have a loathing for the “tramp stamp” or any other tats on a woman in places that are way too close to her naughty bits.  The idea of having an artist drawing on my cleavage, butt crack or any other area normally covered by clothing in polite company is a rather unsavory one.  I don’t want to subject anyone to that visual.

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Not my back or my “tramp stamp” area!  Especially not Jabba the Hut, considering that from reliable reports he bears more than a passing resemblance to my ex.

Even so, I have toyed on and off with the idea of a tasteful tat of a black cat on a non-naughty bit part of my anatomy for a long time. Weirdly enough, Steve-o was sort of behind me actually doing it rather than just continually mulling it over.

Steve-o is deathly afraid of needles, so much so, that last year when he had to have a routine blood draw I told him to grab my hand and look the other way.  I thought he was going to rip my hand off and jump up through the ceiling.  So when he said he was going to get a couple of tats, I said, yeah, right.  I didn’t think he had the balls, and I reminded him, in spite of his swagger, of his very unmanly drama with the phlebotomist in the ER, and that only involved one needle stick.

I told him that I’d go with him, and if he went through with it I’d get one too.  Part of me figured he would wuss out, but if he did it, then I was obligated.  The nice part about doing this with Steve-o, is that as in everything he had done his research and found a facility with stellar reviews, autoclave sterilization and talented artists.  He is so paranoid about needles and the prospect of blood-borne pathogens that he’s going to choose someplace that’s scrupulously clean.

Either way, no real big deal.  I am not freaked out by needles.  My pain threshold is much higher than it probably should be, so either way, I was cool with it, and I’d been toying around with the black cat idea anyway.

When I saw the designs he came up with I almost had to laugh, but hey, he’s over 21.  At least no cartoon characters were lampooned in the making of his tats.

The one he had put on his shoulder is in German and roughly translated means: We Must Live Until We Die.

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The other one is way too close to naughty bits to show the actual picture of the tat, but let’s just say it’s an instructional diagram:

shift pattern

The motorhead crowd would know this (above) is the shift pattern for 4-speed manual Volkswagens, i.e. like his rail buggy.  In Toyotas and other civilized vehicles, (below) reverse is directly below 5th, but VW to this day still insists on that funky dog-leg reverse pattern.  It screws me up every time I drive one if I don’t consciously think about it, since I am used to driving the Toyota every day.

5speed Toyota

This one makes more sense to me.

The other bet Steve-o and I had was which one of us would be discovered first.  Since his are on his shoulder and in the nether region covered by boxers, and mine is on my calf, the Warden (Steve-o calls my Mom the Warden, which in some ways is sort of apropos) will probably notice mine first, being that it’s the season for wearing capris.  So I’m thinking the next time I go up there either I wear a skirt or long pants if I want to avoid the drama.  Unless of course, she already knows.  Mom will of course have a major tizzy fit when (or if) she finds out, because she thinks any tattoo is automatically tacky.  She may be right, but I’m 44 years old, and if I feel like getting a black cat inked on my calf I’m going to.  You only live once.   It’s not as if it’s on my face or hands or naughty bits.

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For what it’s worth, I think it’s cool, and right now I’m the only one I really care about impressing.

I’ve heard people say getting a tat is insanely painful.  It probably depends on where you get it and who you are, but at the very worst- for me anyway- it only felt like a minor sunburn.  The more that I thought about black cats in art, the Chat Noir illustrations by Théophile Steinlen stood out in my mind as being the coolest black cat icons I could find, though I did take liberty with the hot pink eyes.

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I do draw the line on a great number of things as far as tats go- where they can be, what they can depict and so forth to be considered tasteful.  Names are out of the question, as I remember all too well my best friend in high school having her boyfriend’s name- RAY- tattooed across her back.  When she and RAY predictably broke up, she was stuck with his name in three inch tall letters across her back.  I got smacked when I suggested she put BESTOS underneath RAY and get a job advertising brake pads.  There are just some things that aren’t meant to be illustrated on the human body, like this:

tattoo lenin head

Don’t be a Lenin-head!

Dubious Distinctions, Freud Would Have a Field Day, and It’s Cougar Pool Time Again

I have not set up the Cougar Pool again, but I have everything ready to go- chlorine, shock, a brand new floatie, and a new filter kit.  I do not swim – at least I don’t dare dunk my head- in unchlorinated water.  I learned the lesson long, long ago when I got a wicked as hell ear infection from swimming at one of the reservoirs.   I should be thankful the water in the reservoirs is chlorinated before it ends up coming through my faucet if it’s that filthy.  I might go to a public beach at the reservoir, and I may consider wading, but I sure as hell am not dunking my head.  Never again.  I like the Cougar Pool water to be crystal clear and Ph perfect.  That way if I do want to dunk my head- or if I fall off the floatie- it’s all cool.  I shouldn’t catch any diseases at least.

So as soon as I clean off the back patio and make sure Jerry hasn’t left anything sharp lying around, it will be ready to go. I should know that Central Ohio in May is generally still Monsoon Season, and that the temperature still hasn’t quite stabilized at Stygian Heat yet.  We don’t put in vegetable plants until those two weeks or so between May 15 and Memorial Day for that reason.  It can snow in May.  Jerry will be a busy little camper with planting next week, but this week it’s supposed to rain and temperatures will only be in the 70’s at best.

Highs at 80° and above (somewhat consistently) are required to use the Cougar Pool.  There’s no heater, so if temperatures dip into the 50s at night, that will be one frigid pool the next day even with the greenhouse effect of the sun and the pool cover.

Isabel is 5# of all black feline sweetness- when she’s not being evil, that is.

I have to wonder about some of my dreams lately.  I think that I’m going to have to close the bedroom door so I don’t wake up to Isabel chewing on my hair again.  I don’t know why she does that, but it’s highly annoying.  Generally Clara and/or Lilo, and all the cats are quite welcome on the bed.  Sheena doesn’t attempt to get on the beds because her bad hips do not allow her to jump high enough, which is fine with me, because she lacks the precise motor skills the other dogs have.

Maybe Sheena’s a total klutz because she has no hip sockets, and the ball portions of her femurs just sort of free-float.

Even if it’s not painful- and it probably is- such a condition can’t allow for terribly fluid movement, but Sheena is what Sheena is.  Sheena usually simply flops at the side of the bed and splays out on the floor, occasionally grunting and snoring, but she’s a sound sleeper.  Clara and Lilo both are attentive to every little noise, and sleep very lightly, but when Sheena’s out, she’s out.  The cats usually simply curl up and purr and sleep and don’t give me any trouble.  Usually when the cats get annoying at night, it’s because their food bowl is empty, but I had filled the cats’ food bowl and the water bowl before I went to bed.  So who knows what Isabel’s problem was last night, but I really don’t need to have dreams of assorted men-I-think-are-hot chewing on my hair.

I really don’t think (at least I hope not) that Neal Schon would really want to chew on my hair (ewwwww) and spy on me in the shower.  I really don’t think any man alive would really want to do either of those things, (and one that would want to do either of those things would scare the hell out of me,) but dreams are weird.  When the old man puts a bottle nipple on a Heineken so he can drink beer whilst horizontal, well, that’s scary too.  Fortunately that too was a dream.  Jerry would never dream of drinking anything more highbrow than Bud Light, he doesn’t like beer in the bottle anyway, and if he could remain horizontal whilst drinking beer, he’d never leave the bed.

I was thinking about it this morning and realized I have the most bizarre luck.  It’s not necessarily bad, it’s not necessarily good- but my life seems to be an ode to Murphy’s Law.

1.  If I am “lucky” enough to get the last of a highly sought item, it will either be broken, missing pieces, or entirely not the thing pictured on the box.  I really couldn’t use *and should have checked, shame on me* the “last” pair of  size 7 sandals, on the clearance rack that I really wanted, only to get home and discover that there was one 7 and one 9 in the box.   I may be ill-proportioned, and the instep on my right foot is slightly higher than the left, but both feet are generally happy in a size 7.  9 is way the fark too big even for my higher-instepped right foot.   Bastards.  But, I should have checked.

2. If I remember to bring the DS when I have something boring to do that potentially involves sitting and waiting, I get right in.  If I forget the DS, I will encounter every imaginable delay and will get to spend an eternity either immersed in the abyss of daytime TV or buried in vapid, aged, so-called women’s magazines.   I don’t really get into too many periodicals.  At least the Vet has some good ones- Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, and various scientific and veterinary journals and such.  But I really can’t take Glamour, People, Good Housekeeping or any of those “parenting” magazines.   That crud makes me want to vomit.   The good gossip rags ended when they stopped printing the Weekly World News.   That was Great-Grandma’s favorite gossip paper, even though she subscribed to them all for the entertainment value, and for the hope that they would lampoon Ted Kennedy yet again.  She really despised Ted Kennedy. WWN is still available online, but you have to have Internet access, and most Dr.s offices and such do not have free wi-fi.  It is nice to know, however, that someone is keeping track of who has the World’s Biggest Butt.  That piece of knowledge could be important.

3. I probably have more medical anomalies than 99% of the population.  While this makes me really popular when I’m in a medical setting, it can make my healthcare become a real circus.  I have had medical students, nursing students, ophthalmology students, phlebotomy students, you name it, get to observe my bizarre body as a instructional exercise.  Usually I don’t mind, because hey, maybe something about my bizarreness might benefit the cause of science, but sometimes it’s a bit off-putting.  The medical student who freaked out at being shown my CT scan before I had sinus surgery was priceless.  He stood there next to my family Dr., wide eyed, simply saying, “OH MY GOD, how does this poor woman stay standing???”  Not very well, I assure you.  It was even more fun when I went to the cardiologist for an echocardiogram several years ago, and of course, it was his day for the medical students.  They glared  at my beating heart on the monitor (which was kind of cool to watch,) as the Dr. (who seemed as excited as a kid in a candy store,) informed them, “This is classic rheumatic heart disease.  You usually don’t get to see this outside of the third world,”  as he pointed out my two damaged heart valves.  Special.  He also said that I probably won’t need them replaced until I’m 75 or so.  If I live that long, that is.  This doctor obviously didn’t know that for all intents and purposes I did grow up in the third world.   Just like Deliverance, only without the benefit of mountains or banjos.

Now, class, don’t put ’em in the bed like this. They might snap their necks, and that would make us look bad.