Friday, October 16, 2009

Nothing's Shawking

Inspired by Rich Bachelor's last post, specifically one comment he made, here is a bad tattoo gallery:

For starters, there's this guy:

And here are a few more permanent misspellings:


A Beautiful Mess might've been easier to spell.

Another misspelled tattoo. How the hell did this guy not notice this? It's obviously a mirror shot; is he so self-absorbed that he didn't bother learning how to spell? :

And finally, the thing that was mentioned in Rich's post, the face tattoo:

This is extraordinary. I mean, you can't really do a cover-up on a face tattoo like this. Cover-ups usually involve the tattoo artist finding a creative way to turn one's homemade tattoo of Popeye the Sailor Man gulping down a can of spinach into something like a mandala. But here, where would a tattooist go from here? He/she couldn't make this look like a tribal design or a kanji script. You'd need laser-removal surgery, and that would probably really fuck your face up. Probably a whole lot of scar tissue, probably some sort of cobble-stone effect. So there's that.

The face tattoo always reminds me of a time that a friend and I went to a show at the now-defunct Portland club Blackbird. It was a packed show, I believe the show was either Michael Gira (solo) or Angels of Light, and my friend and I were sitting at a table near the entrance. And at some point, in comes a guy with a thick-banded tribal tattoo design all over his face (by the way, tattooing one's face was a relatively new thing at this point. You didn't see many people with the full facial). It's noticeable of course, so we stared for a second. Later on, in comes a girl with a completely separate entourage, with the same fucking face tattoo, basically. My friend quipped: "That's a great way to avoid that pesky job-market." And what I thought was funny was that they both probably assumed that they were going to be the boldest in the crowd that night. The bravest soul willing to permanently alter his face for the sake of art, or rebellion. From what I observed, they didn't know each other, and they walked by each other a fair amount since it was a small club. I wonder what they were thinking at that point: "Yeah, whatever,...I got this shit first," or "Whoever did your tattoo fucked it up, it looks fucking stupid,...asshole."

This sort of reminds me of when I had my tongue pierced. I was 15, and felt pretty damn proud about it since I was under-aged and had to go to this meth'd-out biker tattooist for the piercing. Dangerous stuff I tell ya, dangerous stuff. It was fun at the time because there were only 2 other people in my town that had them, and so we were the crazy ones -- the  exreme ones. And I had it for a couple of years, but I had multiple problems because of it, mainly because I reject oral piercings. For some reason, they just don't work for me.

By the time I started working at the head shop, I had taken my piercing out. And this is when I started seeing numerous customers coming in with tongue piercings, complete with speech impediments. I think the clincher was when I saw a couple come into the shop and flash their tongues out at me, before they even said hello, to show their piercings off. Aside from that action being strange, I was really disgusted by the idea of couples piercings. I have no idea if they really got them at the same time, but by their synchronized tongue-wagging declaration, I wonder. His and Hers matching tongue piercings, I thought to myself.

It truly is an endless battle trying to one-up each other in the realm of shock. The area of shock? The arena of shock? Shocksville? You have to be a trend-watcher, essentially. And the reductionist approach to staying ahead of the pack can really start to make people look goofy and insecure: bravo, you've now created an outfit made out of scrap metal, or you have spikes implanted in your head, or worse yet, you've undergone reconstructive surgery so that you can have the same physical jaw structure as a lizard. I feel it's a good thing that I got a lot of shit done and out of the way when I was young. Doubtful that I would've wanted to look like a lizard-human, but nevertheless.

Well, that's it for now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I would like it medium-rare please.

Alright. All of my homework, for the time being, is finished, and since I'm not feeling so hot, I decided to have an evening of rest-n-relaxation. I don't know what the hell is going on with me, but it seems like irritable bowel syndrome. I guess if I were to abbreviate that I could spare myself some embarrassment, with only the IBS clan getting the wink. Nah, of course I'm not embarrassed. Hell, I'm declaring it here on this public forum. Things are not working right downstairs and out the back door, if ya know what'm sayin'......AND,I think you do.

So, I have a little time to blog now, and I wanted to blog about something other than school. I'm sure that this will become harder to do as the term progresses, so I wanted to take advantage of a little time. But where do I start?

Good ol' Pa. How 'bout with him? I have been telling Rich Bachelor that I was gonna write about my father one of these days, and I guess this is a good opportunity to do so. I probably wouldn't have thought about it for this post because an attempt to describe my father can be complicated, but tonight I gave a call to the parents, and upon hearing that I was sick, my dad relayed a message to me via my mother: stop eating all of that rare meat! I couldn't resist.

This is as good of an introduction to my father as any. Adamant, stern, determined to make causal links where there are none, etc... I could go on with that list, but I got plenty of blog-space, and in the coming times he's sure to get more than a once-over.

Growing up as kids, we weren't so much not allowed to eat pink meat as we were just not exposed to it. My father is definitely not unusual in his meat-cookery; plenty of people out in the sticks, in this case a small Southern Oregon town, cook a steak till it's textured like a leather shoe. I believe I was 18 years old before I had a steak that was cooked medium, and I'm sure most of my friends were too. In my father's case though, maltreatment of a steak is a consequence of an ever-expansive paranoia, rather than out of hillbilly neglect. Each time I see him he's found another thing that causes cancer, and suggests that I join him in his boycott. Has he told me that eating rare steaks causes cancer? Not exactly, but he's told me my toothpaste, my earrings, and my soap are poisoning me. Sushi is gonna give you a parasite, and dairy products are "about the worst thing you can put in your body." On that last part, I thought that he was being rather progressive, standing up for vegans and shit. But no, he hates 'hippies.' And one time, over a Thanksgiving dinner when I was 16 and vegetarian, he let me know that vegetarianism was the worst diet for my poor cardiovascular system. Mind you, there was some explanation behind all of these things, but they struck me as the kind of logical inferences that come from knowing half the story. I think it follows that when he's boycotted anything, it's purely ideologically driven and a bit exaggerated: he can't merely dislike the taste of a grape -- grapes are either poisoning you or trying to overthrow the government. Yes, this includes the whole spectrum: from undercooked meats to hygiene products to Hollywood actors. Though my father hasn't yet told me if watching Sean Penn will give you cancer, he sure does hate him.

And oh, by the way,...."you'll see the end times in your lifetime." He chose to use this phrase to interrupt the pleasant-until-then conversation on Christmas day, years ago. I guess the occasion had stirred him so, and he felt a monologue was in need. This is not surprising. He is notorious for killing a conversation while alienating those involved in said conversation. According to my mother, the last time this happened was when they had dinner guests over. Dinner guests are republican, but not willing to go as far as my father, apparently, or maybe not wanting to talk politics at the dinner table. I wasn't told what my father actually said, all I was told was that their guests really wanted to change the subject, felt uncomfortable, and left early.

Yeah, as you can tell, I think that my father can be pretty silly at times. This post really just grazes; there is a lot more to ground to cover, and at some point later I will (damn, this sounds like some sort of agricultural pun). My father's interest in essential oils could be another topic to explore. Or I could talk about his newly acquired machine that delivers low-level, yet cancer-curing electric shocks to one's system...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rant, undefined

Yesterday I wrote a blog post before I went to class, and for some fucking reason the PCC internet connection seemed to cut out on me at some point in the middle of my post. I was unaware of this till this morning. I thought about trying to fill in the blanks from memory, but that would be kinda pointless, since I would have to pretend that I was sitting back in the computer lab at PCC, filled with the same gripes as yesterday. It's a shame, because it was cut-off where my rant was building up its steam. So, here is what remains of that post:

[ I'm currently sitting here at the Sylvania Campus and have some time before class, so I thought a quickie might do me good. I'm not sure if a whole hell of a lot has happened to me in the time since the last post, but campus life is pretty entertaining. It would provide me with so many precious quotables if I had the mind to write 'em down quick enough. There were a few moments in my Russian History class that were eye-rollers, and I have them written down somewhere in a notebook. Alas, I don't have this notebook with me right now. Stay tuned for that shit.

Though I will be doing a character study of some of my classmates in my Russian History class, it's enjoyable for the most part. The class I'm having the hardest time sitting through is tomorrow's Drama class. If the play Fences is worth a three hour deconstruction, I can only imagine how much class time we'll spend on Oedipus the King, which we just read this weekend. The play that spawned a complex that created the psychoanalytical term "Oedipal." I'm sure the discussion will be just as boundary-less as the previous one. I'm sure some will think I'm naive when hearing my complaints: what did you expect of a Drama as Literature class? Nevertheless, it's worth mentioning how silly this whole process of unlimited, infinite deconstruction is. It's one thing to explore the historical context of the story, or the author's intentions, political affiliations, and cultural experiences that he brings to it. These are all apt explorations. However, if given enough time, the process will go on a downward spiral. The story will clearly be turned on its head just for the sake of, the poles will reverse, and the end product is a protagonist who is actually a supporting character, who is actually an antagonist and, I don't know, isn't a human being after all -- he's a demon, disguised as the moral backbone of the story. Hell, why not? One is allowed, and often encouraged, to be far-fetched when given the microphone. Then they can go to work on a string of non-sequiturs, and free association, uninterrupted, since this is a class where everyone's opinion is valid. This is welcoming thought, I'm sure, for deconstructionists and postmodernists, but it sort of takes the life out of a story for me. Can't we appreciate that some author's actually have a fucking point they're trying to convey? Or is the slave really the free man if we just shut our eyes and think hard enough?]

There you have it. 

Maybe I'll continue this on another post, since today is the day of the Oedipus conversation in my literature class.