30 May 2007

ooookay, I'm a leetle embarrassed

Just today I realised that I've had comments sitting on my blog for, oh, a while now. Which I never read. Because I hadn't enabled new comments to pop up or get emailed to me or anything like that. Doh! I'm so high tech, huh?

Never mind, I'm human too. And humbled now. Sooooo, sorry 'bout that and I promise to actually read and reply to comments in future.

I will leave you with the knocked up babymaker. I made one of Inty and Zoe (spayed females who hate one another, but I didn't let that stop me.) also, FYI, this little tool is for some dumb movie with Kate Hudson, I think, but I skipped all that stuff and went straight for the throat.

Here's Inty:
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(black cats are hard to take pictures of, okay?)

here's Zoe:
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You thumbs fucking suck and I hope you die soon so I can eat your face

and here is their terrifying putative impossible offspring:
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I think I just hurt myself laughing.

29 May 2007

The algorithm is sexist

Check out the results I got when I typed in Twisty's question, define "woman". Thinking about the recent furor stir in the blogosphere when a Digg user pointed out that when you do a Google search for "she invented", the auto-correct asks, "Did you mean, 'he invented'?". Google has since altered the results of that particular search.*

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A quick, very basic primer on how Google's algorithm works and how it sorts its search results. It sorts by relevance, taking into account the content on a particular page (i.e., how many times your search keywords were used) as well as things like how many other pages have linked to a page (if a page is worth linking to, goes the thinking, it must have valuable content - these links to a page are known as "incoming links") and how many times the site gets linked to and from what sources - if the New York Times links to your article on horse farming with a related article, that will count for more - because the Times is a trusted source that gets linked to many times itself - than if a site with few readers/incoming links and an unrelated article (such as my site) links. Basically, it's keyword content + popularity (just like high school!) that makes a page relevant, and likely. Additionally, Google has now added further sorting to its search so that, depending on your query, you get what Google suggests are more relevant answers - such as the handy-dandy "Web definitions" results at the top of my screenshot.

I know, that was boring when what you wanted was for me to rip Google a new one, but patience, my pretties. I'll get back to the algorithm presently - it matters. Basically, it's relying on a mathematical formula and user data to decide what is the best (most relevant) answer.

Let's see, the top result is from something called wordnet.princeton.edu/ I haven't actually checked the veracity of the domain but princeton.edu suggests to me that this is probably really a Princeton project. Emphasis below is all mine.

Web definitions for woman
an adult female person (as opposed to a man); "the woman kept house while the man hunted"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn - Definition in context

Of course. Because women ARE defined as opposed to men, not as beings in their own right. Because women keep house while men hunt. Fabulous, gender stereotyping and reductionism in the very first, most trusted answer!

But wait - maybe it was a blip. Let's look at some of the other results, shall we?

Okay, the next two results are from About.com articles, and the second article actually talks some about the realities of gender and social constructs thereof, one article focusing on abortion and the other on gay marriage. I might not agree with every premise put forth in either of those articles, but I'll give 'em a pass.

Next up: wikipedia. Mmm, okay, it's a vapid and useless article (women are females!) but not particularly offensive.

For the fifth search result, though, we have another weiner:

Careers And Marriage - Forbes.com
Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career. .... But rather than rush to blame the woman, let's not overlook the other key variable: What is ...

And the link is to a terrifyingly sexist article based on the premise of Jimmy Soul's song: happiness comes from marrying women who will be grateful to the man (nope, we're not getting into any transgender discussions here) for marrying her and will therefore cater to his every whim. Because ... that's what will make "you" happy (a man, remember, is the default "you" ... established not only in the song, in the article itself "whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career...", and don't forget about the princeton definition). Because women exist to make men happy, right? Otherwise why would anyone bother with them? Please excuse me while I get back in touch with my first husband, who would have agreed wholeheartedly with the author of the article.

There's a weak refutation of the original article (which is also about 30 percent shorter) which says, based on the author's anecdotal experience (it doesn't even go to the trouble of citing any outside sources), that two-career marriages can work. The solution to the housework when both the man and the woman work outside the home? Hire someone! It won't make a dent in your two-income household! That's right, women can pay someone (probably another woman) to take on the traditional female roles. Awesome. I'm extra glad that the refutation challenged none of the explicit or implicit gender role assumptions, but answered any complaints with "practical" solutions like the housekeeping one above, thus giving credibility to the original vomitous premise but not refuting the logical fallacies.

Two of the top 5 results are about marriage. That's 40 percent. The very first result gives as an example of common usage that the woman "keeps the home". One of the articles is about childbearing.

This is so fucking DISAPPOINTING. Christ on a crutch, it's 2007 and women are still being defined in terms of marriage and housekeeping and having children.

Tell me, am I wrong for feeling outraged?

And before anyone tells me that the algorithm is just a mathematical equation and doesn't really care and isn't being sexist on purpose, let me point out that the algorithm is written by people - who, intentionally or not, have an agenda. The other part of the equation is that the algorithm's results are coming up based on what's most popular - that fantastic definitions from the kind fellows at princeton, the kidders at Forbes. Which I suppose, depressingly, means that the world is more full of recidivist dickheads than I'd previously realised. I think I need a drink. Preferably cyanide. Since I'm a career woman and don't have kids and all, and share the housework with my partner (he's my fiance, though, does that make me worthwhile?) ... I should probably just end it now and clean up the gene pool for everyone.

Final note: HAHAHAHAHA MOTHERFUCKERS, I am writing this blog outing Google on Google's free blogware! I am so subversive! (Okay not really since they're getting my user data in return and I doubt they give a shit about this blog, but hey.)

*I'm not picking on Google in particular here; what I've got to say applies to all the search engines.

drinking and cooking: two great tastes

This weekend, among other things, I made Smitten Kitchen's black bean confetti salad. With a few changes - I only had one can of black beans so I used that and threw in a can of small white as well; I didn't have 4 bell peppers (only one red bell, getting sad and wrinkly) so I used some on-their-way-out green beans and frozen corn instead. (I also didn't have cayenne so I substituted hot pepper flakes. Cayenne would have been better, though, since I didn't bother grinding the pepper flakes and thus didn't get terrific heat distribution.) I also doubled the dressing called for but it still wasn't quite enough when finally plated (I tossed some of the bean salad with romaine.)Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Never mind. It was a delicious adventure in food photography - I learned that the flash on my camera is not my friend:
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(it makes food look yellow)
but that taking pictures without flash works fine:
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(food looks more appetizing, or at least more real)
as long as you're still capable of holding your hand steady for long enough:
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the dissolute cook
On the other hand, the blurriness of that photo means it's hard to tell quite how bad my hair looks, and you can't see that I'm all broken out from wearing sunscreen on saturday. (Honestly, why do I have to be allergic to sunscreen? Aren't there enough things wrong with me already?)

Picture taking + drinking: these hobbies were born to be together.
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or not.
note rotten photo composition and prominent, nearly empty wine glass

Other weekend events:
Zoe had her first bath and was surprisingly good natured about it:
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I'm vewy mad at ou

Dave and I hung out a lot:
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(my hand was partially over the flash here which accounts for the dumbass lighting effects.)

I made the first batch of salsa of the year: I blitzed it too long in the food processor so the texture is more, uh, frothy than I love (also too early for local tomatoes) but man, it was good and I'm working on refining the order in which the ingredients need to go into the blender. (Garlic, jalapenos, olive oil and balsamic first, then onions and tomatoes and coriander, pulsed, then salt. Pulse again. That's how I should have done it, anyway.)

We went to the WBOS EarthFest, which was HEAVING with people - it was really hot and crowded but we eventually elbowed our way onto some grassy riverbank:
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You can see in my haunted eyes that the crowd experience was traumatic. Also you can see some people passing by behind us.

And we checked out the Somerville memorial day parade, which I did not take any pictures of (but I really don't think I could have done the oddities justice anyway.) Man, those shriners went on forEVER (I swear to god, one of them was riding a converted lawn mower). The cars just kept getting smaller. They had shriner clowns, too. (One clown was on a chopper bike.) Shriners are fucked up, is all I can say. The somerville dog owners' association was a little disappointing (last year it was the highlight) - not many dogs, although there was one crazy springer spaniel mix that kept running circles around her owner, in typical springer style.(I think she'd been trained to do the running-in-circles trick but only a springer would keep it up nonstop for a 3 mile parade.)

Also, many many marching bands - mostly school kids or people loosely associated with the military - and all the tuba players were wilting with heat. Just like last year, we were across the street from the nun encampment. There were also nuns in the parade, I forget why.

We missed most of the politicians (okay by me) since we missed the first half hour.We let when eleven screaming fire trucks and abulances (I think there were more than 11, actually) came up the street to blow our ears out.

Inty and Dave took a nap together:
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And that's my weekend round-up.

24 May 2007

Shortbus movie review which gets sort of derailed into a feminist tirade. You’ve been warned.

We watched Shortbus a couple of nights ago, which was, as one of my internet friends said, verrrry sweet. Almost cloying, at the end - very rose-tinted glasses. Dave didn't like it as much as me, and I thought the film kind of skimmed over some really hard questions (like the potential aftereffects of dedicating a film of your suicide to your boyfriend) - it's a leetle more complicated than the easy reunion at the end suggests.

For a movie that, on the surface, is all about sex and sexuality, (the movie’s website describes it as “a mad nexus of art, music, politics and polysexual carnality”) it’s awfully non-titillating – much more interested in love and romance. As far as sex goes, it’s kind of an analytical look at it – which interested me since most of the time in real life, sex works better when you turn your higher cognitive functions off.

BUT - one of the things I found totally refreshing about the movie was that, for all the cocks and shoulders and sixpacks being fetishized, there was hardly any long loving looks at the female body - if anything, it was almost ignored, except for a couple of pairs of nice (non-implanted) boobs. There was barely a cooter shot in the whole movie, but millions and millions of cocks.

Without having done any research, I suspect that speaks more to what the director/photographer was interested in looking at but seriously, I felt like I was in a movie where everything you normally see - the breathless overglamourization and heavy emphasis on the female body as objet d'art and d'obsession was completely missing and instead the female body was, oh my god, really about women learning to take pleasure in their own bodies. For themselves, not for anyone else. It's practically fucking revolutionary.

It was a nice palliative to all those dickheads who think women wearing short skirts or dressing stylishly are asking to be raped, or at very least "should have expected some attention, dressing that way" - like catcalls from across the street, say.

Of course, I’m constantly enraged that when I wear a tight tank top and tight jeans and Docs and walk down the street, I'll get leers and whistles. When my boyfriend wears the identical outfit (in his size) he gets ... silence. Not leers, not whistles, not catcalls. Possibly a couple of funny looks, but no one is propositioning his or telling him to "show off that pretty smile, honey!" Because it's okay for men to show off their bodies and enjoy the beauty of their bodies purely for themselves, but when a woman does it ... well, geez, there's no way I could wear an outfit like that without hoping to attract some male attention, right? So I either suck it up and ignore the assholes or dress so as not to attract attention. Yay. Why don't I put on a fucking burka and have done with it?

(I know, street harassment – or any kind of sexual harassment - isn’t really about finding someone attractive, it’s about exerting your dominance over someone else. So a burka wouldn’t help. It still fucking sucks. )

23 May 2007

Summer Slack

I hate punny titles but the flesh is weak sometimes, you know?

So yesterday Mom was in Boston for a big flower arranger’s convention (if you have to ask … you probably don’t want to know. But I linked it anyway, just for the hell or it.) And since Mom’s not in Boston that often these days, we decided to get together for dinner. Her choice, since it was her treat, and she wanted to go to Jasper White’s Summer Shack..

Okay, I’d been there before – at the Cambridge one (it’s a chain) with Dave and we thought the food was good and the seafood fresh but it was pretty damn pricey, considering what you got. I shared these concerns with Mom but whatever, fried oysters are one of her favorite things and the Summer Shack almost always has them – plus, did I mention she was the one paying? So I was kind of psyched, actually, since the Summer Shacks get a lot of press locally and are generally regarded in a pretty favorable light. I was hoping that Dave’s and my slightly disappointing experience was because we were eating out when we couldn’t afford to, which colored our experience, rather than the place itself being sucky.


I wouldn’t say it was a disaster, but I sure as hell wouldn’t go back there, even if it is on someone else’s tab.

For starters, the service was friendly and prompt. This is good, right?

Well, not so much when they are so eager to clear the table that the busboy has your plates in their hands before you’ve answered.

“Hey, I’m not done yet!” I said, and he reluctantly took his hands off my plate. (I wanted to eat my fucking corn on the cob, for chrissakes.) So the busboy went to clear Mom’s plate.

“Hey, I’m not done eating her fries yet!”

Granted, that one might have been a little counter-intuitive, and I think he did wait to see Mom nod before he had her plate, and it’s probably not a comment I could have gotten away with at all if I wasn’t a skinny bitch
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but … dude had the plate in the air and his back to me when I said something. Which, given my protest from a moment earlier AND the fact that Mom’s plate was still pretty full, seems like it’s a habitual offense and not so much a one-off.

It’s not like it was a Friday night pre or post Red Sox game and the joint was hopping and they need the table; it was a Tuesday and I don’t think the restaurant was even half full – we’d been seated for probably 40 minutes, which I don’t think is unreasonable for a two-top.

Also, I wasn’t super pleased that when my lobster arrived, I had to flag someone down and ask for a bib (c’mon… I’m wearing a cashmere sweater and work clothes. How hard is it to think that maybe I want a bib? Lobsters spurt everywhere when you open them up – insert early ejaculation joke here – most people who’re lobster-experienced know this.)

Although, props to Jasper White’s for thinking ahead, since when the bib arrived it also came with a nutcracker (no, not the kind that’s like the bearded dude from the ballet) – which was good, since the “claws which come cracked for you”, as the waitress assured me, arrived sporting a delicate hairline crack across the top. And like many New Englanders, I like to enjoy my lobster – ALL of it. It’s sofa king expensive, how could you not? And the bib also had a couple of wet naps for cleanup afterwards, which was a nice gesture, although no substitute for going to the ladies’ and properly washing my hands.

So the lobster itself was nice and fresh, not particularly sweet but fine, I’m happy as long as the claws aren’t all horrible and shrunken and floppy. (Lobsters held in a tank for a long time will eventually lose weight and the claw meat will shrink.) And the corn was fine too, and my mom’s fries were more than fine, they were delicious. Good thing I made that busboy leave the plate behind. As were her fried oysters (although I still miss the big fat fried oysters I used to get in New Zealand. At, I believe, Ponsonby Fish and Chips. Somewhere on Ponsonby road, anyway.)

I can’t speak to Mom’s wine but the Australian Cockatoo chardonnay I had was not bad – and for 6 bucks a glass, not bad for a restaurant price, either. We each had two glasses, so I think Mom’s pinot grigio was also probably acceptable.

Also, okay, in a place called a shack I’m not expecting much in the way of ambiance, and I can’t say I was bothered or put out to see the giant fry-o-later ventilation ducting criss-crossing the ceiling or the painted walls. But: place is giant, like a cave, and with all the echoey acoustics of a natural ampitheatre. Would it be too much damn trouble for them to carpet the ceiling or something – it’s not like it’ll ruin the décor - to try to deaden the sound a little? We were yelling at each other all through dinner, although unfortunately not loud enough to drown the hoots and hollers from the group of bike couriers 40 feet away at the bar.

(Psychodrama aside: You know that as soon as Mom shouted, “You look so thin! Your face is gaunt!”, I started eating like I’d seen the locust cloud on the horizon and needed to fatten up for the coming famine.)

For dessert, I had something called Tollhouse pie, which was about what you’d expect: a big slab of undercooked cookie-dough-ish stuff inside a leaden pastry crust, topped with “chocolate sauce” – you know that weird black, almost gritty hot fudge sauce you see at make-your-own-sundae bars at hotel restaurants at brunch? That stuff. It came with “icecream” which, I foolishly, thought might be a scoop of vanilla. Nope, it was a big pile of soft serve, complete with little funnels from the machine. Ah, just like TCBY. I ate it anyway.

Mom had rhubarb-strawberry pie for dessert, which looked a little pale and gummy to me (for me, when I use rhubard and strawberries together, half the joy is seeing those fantastic garnet-colored juices bubble up) but she said it was good, although she left the pastry untouched as it wasn’t worth it.

Anyway. I probably wouldn’t have actually bothered to write all this up and trash the restaurant online if we hadn’t had one final insult added to injury. Upon receipt of the check, mom realized her reading glasses were missing, and, thinking back, thought that the too-eager busboy had probably rolled them up with the napkins and disposed of them. So she caught our waitress and asked her to have someone take a look. Waitress was back at our table in a remarkably short amount of time saying, “I looked in every trash can and there was nothing!” Uh huh. She wasn’t even gone long enough to locate the trash can, much less bother to look anywhere. So, fine, Mom should keep better track of her glasses, right, and not presume to, say, leave them on the side of the table we weren’t using?

Guess who also discovered this morning that her sunglasses were missing? I, too, had foolishly placed them within the busboy’s reach next to my purse on the table. Which, taken along with all the other things, made me think … yeach. Maybe it was just the fault of a shitty, hurried busboy. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to be working that night or had been screwed with double shifts three days in a row. Maybe the waitress really did look for Mom’s glasses. Even so … all of this together did not add up to my idea of a hundred dollar dinner. Even if it wasn’t my hundred dollars.

The breakdown of the bill, if you’re curious and still reading (hahahaha, I make myself laugh):
$80.33 on the bill plus $16 for the waitress. All for a one pound lobster, a fried oyster dinner, four glasses of wine and two desserts.

Summer Shack will henceforth, in my mind, be known as the Summer Suck. The Overrated Summer Suck. I have no idea how Jasper White acquired his reputation but dang, it ain't deserved.

17 May 2007

other people's brilliance

If you haven't read the Salon interview with Tinky Winky about Jerry Falwell's death, do so now.

I always dismiss Salon in my head because, speaking of ambitious failures, Salon is one. But every once in a while, they have some damned awesome content and I remember why people still pay attention to them.

I hope that link stays free and doesn't go behind the annoying watch-the-commercial free one-day-pass. If I realise that's happened later, I'll try to find a permalink which doesn't require registration, money or commercial watching. Because that's what we internet marketers do: circumvent the legitimate revenue streams of websites wishing to make a buck off great content. Who said an uncontrolled free market was immoral? Not I, for sure.

Also, in other Thursday news, it's been raining for two days now and I've got a migraine to prove it. Motherfucking stupid blood vessels feeding fucking brain and affected by the environment. Why can't I be more climate-insensitive and less inclined to listen to Al Gore? (That is a really ugly flash-filled website, sorry. Dude invented the internet - okay, not quite, okayed major funding for the invention of the internet - but still, can't he have a decent website design?)

Mirrormask .... kind of a failure. But in a thought-provoking way.

We watched Mirrormask last night - my Netflix pick - and Dave was hugely unimpressed (no surprise there - he dislikes written fantasy and watching anything animated, so a Gaiman/McKean outing was hardly going to be his thing.) Since it was released in 2005, I'm not going to be bothering to warn about spoilers below, I'll just head right into them.

I wanted to like it, I really did.

I love the written Gaiman/McKean book collaborations, and the individual work of each. But ... I know why the movie wasn't a commercial success (I was living in New Zealand when it was released, so I have no idea/recollection of what the critics said.)

The pacing sucks, and the storyline is too intricate. I thought, over and over again, that it would be perfect and clever a book but as a movie ... it moved too fast for me to be able to register most of the visual clues and many of the clever lines were thrown away, without appropriate pauses to process the joke.

Was it just me, or were the actors mostly talking really fast? I felt like I was watching Shakespeare for the first ten minutes, then I settled into the rhythym of the speech patterns and accents and could comprehend. I suspect part of my problem with the dialogue was the sound mixing, either on my tv or as it was translated to DVD or just badly mixed in the first place - I had no trouble hearing the music (which was partly unfortunate, since a lot of it sounded like an extended Dave Matthews band jam) but the speech wasn't crisp enough.

That plus the overly complex plot (for a movie that I complained above moved too fast and finished in well under 2 hours, it sure was draggy: okay, evil black queen versus enchanted white one, just like the socks at the beginning, I get it already) made me have to strain to pay attention just to be sure I was following the storyline. Let's just say I was glad I was stone cold sober.

On the plus side: I watched the entire movie in one sitting and did not fall asleep. (This is rare for me.) Visually, it was often brilliant - I thought the realisation of McKean's characteristic artwork into masks was fucking genius, and it was a little CGI-heavy - I felt like sometimes the movie used CGI for special effects as a shortcut to a more interesting visual narrative, which is a personal pet peeve - but seriously, if there was ever a movie designed to be paired with judicious use of CGI, this (and the live-action version of James and the Giant Peach) was it. And my complaint about the dialogue wasn't that it sucked - I suspect it was probably a lot funnier and smarter than I could quite follow, since it moved too damn fast. (Yes, I am a fogey. And possibly a fogey that's been spoiled by too many Monsters, Inc and Labyrinth sorts of movies.)

On the acting, I have no real complaints - I thought the mum, daughter (helena) and father (who was underutilized - Rob Brydon was brilliant in Marion and Geoff but I think is largely unknown outside the UK) and the fairy-tale-ish parts were appropriately overplayed.

One thing I did really appreciate about the movie was its acknowledgement of the struggle between parent and child at adolescence. Although Helena was a bit too perfectly mannered to be a believeable teenager, always recanting before it's too late with things like, "I'm sorry I said that [wished for your death], Mum" when her mother first goes into hospital - doesn't everyone know that she's not supposed to apologize until AFTER she's saved her mother from death? It's part of the dramatic arc! Although at the same time, while it removed emotional tension it was nice not to see a teenager being a total asshole all the time. It reminded me that Gaiman's daughter was in her late teens while he was writing the film, and I wondered if some of the insights came from that. It also nicely avoided the trap of making Helena's comrade, Valentine, either perfect or a love interest - I was pleased to see that.

This was a really interesting failure. As an internet friend of mine always says, ambitious failures are more interesting than bland successes. I think, given some of my complaints above, that this is a movie which would reward repeated viewings so I could get more of the jokes, at least ... except it wasn't compelling enough for me to want to watch it again, ever.

15 May 2007

Things I want: a(nother) cutting board

Introducing a new area to my blog, kind of a long wishlist all in one place. I'm taking a leaf from my coveteous friend's book. It's not that I can't afford any individual item (well ... some things I really can't afford), it's just that my reach exceeds my grasp. Or my greed exceeds my checking account. However you want to look at it.

Despite having the most beautiful butcher-block kitchen island in the world (built for us by my dad), I still find myself wishing for a really huge cutting board. Because I always use cutting boards on top of the island (it makes cleanup easier) and my prepped food, especially if I'm making a stir-fry or something, tends to overflow off the cutting board.

The picture above is called the Overboard, which is a 20-inch by 20-inch cutting board of end-grain wood. For $40! That's right, forty bucks! This thing is like, criminally cheap compared to the prices you see on most end grain butcher's block stuff.

And yet ... I have three cutting boards which are perfectly good (although one of the two larger ones is warped, but still - you can cut just fine on it!) plus the aforementioned glorious butcher's block kitchen island so I really can't justify this purchase in any way. I guess I just like to exercise my salivary glands regularly, otherwise I wouldn't torment myself with longing for excess or upgrades when I've got plenty - more than plenty - of perfectly good, nice stuff already.

Le sigh.

08 May 2007

Hi mom and dad, if you're reading this, surprise! I have a giant new tattoo. Please don't disinherit me!

For all of you (I'm sure there are HANDFULS of faithful readers*) who have ever wondered what it was like to get a really big tattoo on an ouchie place on your body...

Here it is, in its current incarnation - only 2+ more hours to go on shading around the waves

I waited almost a year for these appointments and spent a ton of money. It was totally worth it.

Step 1: Outline only, not even scales yet. Check out how the skin around is all raised on the black parts where the needle's been. The purple stuff is the ink the tattoo artist uses to transfer the deisgn onto thte skin. Sort of like transfer paper. My tattoo was done at Fat Ram's Pumpkin tattoo. (by Fat Ram himself- he's not fat at all, actually)

Another angle of the outlined piece

yet another shot of the outline. I think it's the angle I'm twisted at here but it looks like I am in dire need of a couple of sandwiches.

starting on the color ... those are red ink smears, not blood (mostly. There's probably a little blood in there.)

Close-up of the needle applying red ink. This is the color it is in real life.

Complete outlined fish with red fins. It hurt so much I cried.
You can see my eye makeup is kind of smeary. This picture is one of the few I retouched and the color of the fins is accurate, at least if your monitor settings are close to mine. A really dark rich red.

The final fish; getting this color was only sitting that was relatively easy for me. Color hurts less than outline, in my experience, but it varies from person to person.

a close-up (sort of) of the whole thing

A detail of the dragonfly that Ram retouched - I wish I'd thought to take a before shot. He did a gorgeous job on the smeary, fuzzy original. (Got back in the old days - before tattoos were legal.) By the time he got around to touching up dragonfly I was so tired from two consecutive nights of being tattooed I was hyperventilating by the end and needed some sugar. Everyone was very kind and pretended not to be annoyed when I showed them my blue fingers and fed me Tootsie Rolls. At least I didn't cry.

And here we are back at the start, with a slightly different angle.

Fat Ram's is also on myspace. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to recommend Ram's work or anyone in the shop - they are all terrific artists and, you know, nice. Because if someone is going to be inflicting pain on you for several hours (or even just one!) you want them to be nice, especially when you're whining about the self-inflicted pain. Darlene did Dave's feet.

Also, lots of people have been curious about how much it hurts. Again, your mileage may vary, but for me the pain is about equivalent to getting an eyebrow wax - so, it doesn't hurt that much, actually, tattoos are just hard because they go on for a lot longer than a waxing. (Sorry, boys, I don't have a good male experience equivalent.)

* actually, that's pure hyperbole, I know from my analytics program that there are NONES of you out there .... but on the internet no one has to know you're unpopular. It might help if I posted more than once a month, too.