Friday Favorites: Tattoos

As a child and teen I loved to draw on myself. I’ve always been pale so everything shows up really well on me, and I took advantage of it. As a teen I not only drew and wrote on myself, but volunteered with some children’s ministries and every fall festival I got to be the face (and hand, and arm) painter and draw on other people too. As such, I’ve always loved tattoos. I’ve pretty much wanted a tattoo since I was a kid. What I want to get changed a lot until the past 5 or so years where the old ideas have stayed the same and each new idea hasn’t changed once I conceived it.

A few of my friends have been inked more than once, but most of the people I know dislike tattoos because of their permanence and because “so many tattoos are ugly”.

The idea of permanence is actually one of the things that appeals to me. Perhaps those who have old ink would not have chosen that art at this point in their lives, but having it from the past tells who they were or how they’ve changed, and I think that’s cool. Plus, the problem with drawing on your skin with a Sharpie or face paint or even henna is that no matter how cool your design, it washes off eventually. If something is beautiful and took a lot of time or effort to get it on my skin, I want it to last. This is especially true since I’m very much a researcher and planner and when I do something it is very rarely a rash decision.

As for the apparent frequency of ugly tattoos, obviously there are some objectively bad and/or ugly tattoos, but I have a theory about why we harsh-judge so many tattoos as ugly: we see them out of context. If you see a picture on the internet or even a tattoo in person on a stranger, it is completely removed from its context; you don’t know the person who chose to have it permanently etched on their skin, so you don’t know that it might actually suit them perfectly. Just as I see some crazy print jacket in a store and think it’s appalling, I know that there’s definitely someone out there who could rock it. (If no one else, there’s always Lady Gaga, right?) A tattoo one considers ugly out of context may also have a great story or meaning behind it, which is another thing I love about tattoos. I love when they mean something to the person who got them. Although, to be honest I also just like tats that were done that are just pretty or coollooking.

Getting one of the five tattoos I’ve wanted for a few years was on my 30 x 30 list (as yet unposted) and, granted, it took me three months after my birthday to do it, but, friends – I did it. Tonight I finally got a tattoo.

I love it.

I love it more than I thought I would. I love it so much. It’s beautiful, it’s purple, and despite my words to the contrary as it felt like the artist was carving my foot with a knife*, it was worth it. I don’t expect those of you who have a general dislike of tattoos to like mine, so don’t lie and say you do, but I think those of you who know me well will see that in the context of me, it’s perfect.

Best Friday Favorite ever.

*Seriously, it hurt so much. That’s what I get for choosing one of the most painful body parts to get my first tattoo on. I think I about squeezed my husband’s fingers off and also made very unflattering faces and noises and swore off every other tattoo and wondered why on earth people get addicted. Then it was finally done (actually it only took maybe 10 very very long minutes) and it was so pretty and another artist in the shop came over to look at it and realized it was my first tat and said, “Wow, you did good for your first tattoo, and on your foot too! There’s not much that hurts worse than a foot!” I said to him and the artist who did mine, “Let me tell you the other places I want tattoos and you tell me how much they hurt.” I did, and they said the foot is like a 5-star pain and the other places I want are 1-star and 2-star. The internets confirm this. So who knows?


Friday Favorites: Black Bean, Rice, and Feta Salad

This isn’t a food blog, but it hasn’t really been an anything blog for a while – so, why not continue Friday Favorites with a recipe I’ve been enjoying?

Summer is the best time to enjoy salads of all sorts thanks to fresh vegetables from your garden – if you don’t have a black thumb like I do – or the farmer’s market. Plus, a cool entree is so pleasing when it’s hot outside. Pasta salads and variations upon them are something I only recently started liking, so I’m always on the lookout for a new and interesting option. A friend made this for a potluck dinner and I loved it. By using quinoa, as I did, or brown rice, it is really quite healthy – and it is delicious!


Black Bean, Rice (or Quinoa), and Feta Salad

  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 ½ c. chopped tomatoes
  • 1 ½ c. cooked rice (or quinoa)
  • 1 4 oz. pkg. crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ c. chopped green onion
  • ½ c. chopped celery (I left this out because I didn’t have any)
  • ½ c. Italian dressing (could use less)
  • 2 T chopped fresh cilantro (could substitute parsley)

Mix all, refrigerate, and enjoy! Makes about four generous servings.

I can also picture broccoli or avocado being good in this – but not both together – if it is likely to be eaten quickly and not enjoyed by one person *coughmecough* over the course of a few days.

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What is one of your favorite salad recipes?

Thirty and flirty and thriving.

I turned thirty a few days ago. It was surprisingly and, if I’m being honest, disappointingly low-key. I wanted to have a party but we don’t have a good house for a good party, and there were other logistics messing with things anyway. So I just had a friend over and we watched 13 Going on 30 because it’s such a great movie. I will say, though, that my 30th didn’t disappoint by way of presents so that makes up for the lack of celebration.

Unlike most people my age, but somewhat similarly to Jenna Rink in that movie, I’ve been looking forward to turning 30 since I was a kid. Unlike Jenna, I haven’t wished I was there already, but anticipated it with excitement, not trepidation, because as a kid I once asked my mom if she could go back to one time of her life, what would she choose and why? Her answer was that she would go back to her thirties. She said that in addition to having all of her kids by her mid-thirties, and she kind of likes us, she felt like that’s when people finally started listening to her both professionally and personally. She said that even though she had been an adult for nearly half her life before her thirties, it wasn’t until then that adults older than she was started viewing her as their equal. Oh, that did appeal to me as a middle child! As an adult who eventually developed into a mostly-NTJ personality it appeals to me even more now, because while no one likes to be ignored or discounted, it’s even worse for those of us who think we’re smarter, more logical, or more objective than other people. Plus, we’re usually right about those things. 😉

Basically, if people older than I am don’t start listening to me and finally treating me like an equal, I’m going to be very disappointed.

And start looking forward to my forties.

Women who wear size 10½ shoes – rejoice!

Now stop rejoicing for a reason you don’t know yet (you people are sheep) so you can go to Target and buy a million pairs of the Merona Madge ballet flats in size 11. They run a half size too small, which means they fit the feet of those of us who are typically ignored by makers of cute, cheap shoes. And did I mention they’re cute and cheap? And Buy One Get One 50% off right now? And comfy too? And that I have five different colors? And that Target isn’t paying me to write this but they should at least give me a pair in gray or yellow in exchange for this post?

I can’t remember the last time I bought shoes from Target. They, like most, skip straight from size 10 to size 11. If you search Zappos, 7,374 items turn up for size 10½. That sounds like a lot until you realize that they have 23,171 items in size 10 and 16,368 items in size 11. The half-size disparity gets much worse as you go up.

Are shoe makers of the opinion that if your feet are that big accurate sizing doesn’t matter? Or are there really that few of us who wear large half sizes? I know at least two women who have the size 10½ dilemma and shared the frustration with me, and once a complete stranger in the Kohl’s shoe department brought it up with me, so we can’t be that unusual!

What do we want? More size 10½ shoes that aren’t for old ladies!

When do we want it? Now!

(Or at least with free two-day shipping.)

Claire + Dharma = Me

My husband and I recently watched some episodes of Modern Family that we had missed. While watching, we both found ourselves snickering at Claire Dunphy, because she is so like me. She’s logical, realistic, intelligent, a planner, and often a bit of a know-it-all (because she’s always right!).

That is quite bizarre because the only other TV character we have heartily agreed that I’m just like is Dharma Montgomery, of the late, great sitcom, Dharma & Greg. Dharma is easygoing, very goofy, spontaneous, confident, and kind-hearted.

Those two are nothing alike. Nothing. So how can I be so like both of them?!

Claire Dunphy and Dharma Montgomery!

I…. make no sense at all.