Friday, August 24, 2012

#74 He Has Tattoos

While yes, my hubby does have tattoos, and yes, I find that properly placed tattoos on a man add an extra 10% hotness factor, this blog is not about my hubby's tattoos.  It's about mine.

How To Get Your First Tattoo

Getting a tattoo is a major choice in life.  Especially your first one.  First, before ever even considering getting a tattoo, comes the decision if you are okay with tattoos or not.  When you realize, "Hmm, I think I'm okay with tattoos," then comes the thought that perhaps you might actually want one someday.  This is followed by hesitation.  Little old you?  Get a tattoo?  You start to entertain the idea and then think, "What on earth would I get?".  This is when the advice of your friends and family who do not like tattoos comes in handy, or not. 

Among many thoughts to ponder, here are the most popular: 
"It's there for life"  
"It'll be there when you're old and wrinkly" 
"How will you get a job with that?" 

After all of that, if you're still thinking about getting a tattoo, you might just actually be ready.

Have a friend who is really excited about getting one too.  When they decide that they are definitely going to get one, tell them you'll come along for moral support.

Consider the possibility of also getting your tattoo at the same time as your friend.  When they say, "You should get one too", say, "I'll think about it."

If you are really thinking about it, don't let the thought make you wimp out.  Instead, start really considering that butterfly tattoo that you thought you always wanted.  

Then think again about your second and third tattoo choices.

When you finally arrive at the tattoo parlor, browse around the standard tattoo selections that they have, but commit yourself inside to wanting that one of a kind tattoo that's always been imprinted in your brain.  It's at that point that you'll feel a little safe and secure, thinking that the tattoo artist won't possibly have time to give both of you a tattoo today.

While your friend is getting his/her tattoo you have to balance doing two things.  First, you have to be there for your friend.  If they want to squeeze your hand, let them.  But, second, you also have to make fun of your friend.  Their initial look of terror should be video recorded or at least a picture or two should be taken.  Continue kidding your friend about how much longer they have to go until their tattoo will be finished.

When your friend's tattoo is finished, don't listen to a word he/she says about how it felt.  Tell the tattoo artist what you were thinking about getting, but warn him/her that you aren't positive that you are ready to go through with it. 

At this point, you'll probably become short of breath and have a mixture of worried and excited feelings.  

Let the tattoo artist put the stencil on you and think about whether you love it or hate it.  If you love it, say yes, and get your first tattoo started.  If you hate it, walk out the door as quickly as possible.

Don't let your friend who was just wincing while getting his/her tattoo make fun of you as you begin to get yours.  Take deep breaths and just pretend that there are bees stinging you over and over again in one concentrated area of your body.  If possible, close your eyes and try to take a nap.

Realize when your tattoo is finished that it wasn't as big a deal as you originally thought.  Then, especially if you are a girl, go out and buy clothing that will flaunt your tattoo tastefully.

Bonus Tip
Try to make your tattoo have meaning that will carry with you through the ages.  As a violinist, I knew I wanted a treble clef, however, the deeper meaning is in the four notes.  My brother, Jonathan, has called me Gaga for his entire life.  Doesn't matter that he can pronounce Jessica now, he still calls me Gaga.  The four notes in my tattoo spell out my special name from Jonathan. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

#73 He Doesn't Disney

I have two stories to tell.

Story Number One:

When I was growing up, my family didn't vacation in the way that typical American families vacation.  We took one trip per year and it was always to Lancaster, PA.  Almost every time we went we stayed at Willow Valley, the most wonderful hotel ever.  (For a kid like me that meant it had an awesome pool).

By the way, do you say "Lanc-US-ter" or "Lan-CAS-ter"?

Lancaster, PA is about a two-hour car ride from our home.  We would leave on a Friday afternoon whenever my dad got done work and get home Sunday afternoon.  One time we broke the pattern and went to Washington, DC with family friends.

And that's about as extravagant as our vacations ever got.  

Story Number Two:

In the earlier years while I was growing up and vacationing in Lancaster, PA my parents gave life to the possibility that we might one day go to Disney World.  They said the money needed to be saved up first...because that's how my parents were.  They didn't take us on any trips or buy anything that they didn't have the money for.  Interesting concept, right?

I recall there being an old coffee can that my brother and I used to put our own savings in for the Disney trip.  Somehow, it ended up only ever having a few pennies and nickels at the bottom.

During this time, we got a Disney Vacation Planning video in the mail.  This was an approximately 30 minute video that covered the complete essence of Disney World from the parks to the wide variety of accommodations available.

Watching that video was my vacation to Disney World.  It was how I spelled fun on a school night.  I was amazed at how vast Disney was.  How it was literally a world of its own.

But then, we never went.  Story number one became my reality and as time went on my brothers and I stopped asking when we would be going to Disney World.  (Okay, we didn't really stop, but we stopped the frequency that we asked to the point that it had gone from a loud shout of asking to a small whisper).

Story Number Three
*Got you!  And you thought there would only be two...

In later years I'd learn that my mom had actually saved up the money for Disney World and that my father in the end opposed the idea.  They had gone themselves long before having kids and he didn't see the sense in the long drive, the large cost for only one trip, and a few other personal issues.  So instead, they used that money to pay for all our short trips to Lancaster over the years.

The me of story number one and two certainly wouldn't be able to understand the logic for why we never went.  Yet, the me of today does and is glad.  In never going to Disney World I've learned a lot.  First and foremost, I've learned a definition of vacation most unlike what others consider a vacation to be.  To me, a vacation is time off from work.  It doesn't require that I go somewhere far away and exotic.  It doesn't require that I spend loads of money.  It is a time of relaxation, anywhere.

I've learned that vacations are not deserved. If you need food on your table, or have massive debt, you probably shouldn't go on a vacation.  Working hard all year does not entitle you to anything except your paycheck.

I've learned to be grateful for the vacations I do get, no matter how short, no matter how close to home.

Lastly, nothing against Disney, but I have learned that I don't want to be defined in life by experiences that are the norm.  I want to be defined by experiences that are unique to me and have helped to sculpt me into the distinctive individual that I am.

Monday, August 6, 2012

#72 He is a Day Tripper

Other than our impromptu visit to Niagara Falls, hubby and I haven't really been anywhere this summer.  In fact, we only went to the beach once, and we didn't even go on the beach.  I guess we've gotten old when slot machines seem more exciting than laying in the sun...and getting hot...and sweaty...and sandy.

Or, maybe we've just gotten smarter.

I've learned I much prefer lounging on a chair by a pool than face down in the sand by the ocean.  But that's just me.

Since we had been spending our weekends playing the Jungle Book vultures' game of, "What we gonna do," "I dunno, what you wanna do", and getting no where, midweek I scheduled with hubby a Saturday adventure in downtown Princeton.

As fate would have it, the minute after we'd walked 50 feet from our car it began to rain.

So we stood under a wine colored overhang for about ten minutes wondering if the rain would ever stop or if we would instead become permanent fixtures to the oh so fascinating office store whose windows my bottom kept pressing up against.  And at the same time I wondered to myself why we couldn't have possibly been in front of a clothing store when it began to rain.

We eventually dashed across the street to an overhang in front of a liquor store.  That led to a speedy dash to Jane Consignment Shop which offered much more to look at than office supplies or booze.

The rain stopped and we were off.  Our first stop, correction, our first planned stop was "The Bent Spoon".  Delicious ice cream was quickly eaten, yet, I found myself comparing their ice cream to Halo Farm/Pub.  I decided I should never ever cheat on Halo Farm again.  This time I promise!

I saw this in a window and was so excited I considered knocking very hard on the door and asking if the owner of the sticker might happen to have anymore that he would be interested in donating to me.

In case you have no clue what this sticker means (other than a very blatant suggestion to disobey) watch the movie V for Vendetta.

After ice cream, shopping, and dinner we decided to walk around Princeton University and dream that we could live there.

I just hope all the fortunate college students who live there this upcoming semester appreciate the buildings they see daily as much as we did.

Of course we needed coffee, because we had plans to also get cupcakes.

That makes sense, I promise.

I typically will try to patron a non-chain coffee place if it is available.  Therefore, we ignored the Starbucks around the corner (despite hubby's later disappointment) and purchased a mocha something-or-other-cold and an iced latte.

Two packs of sugar later, I found my iced latte to be as refreshing as I hoped.  However, hubby's mocha something-or-other-cold was overly frothy and tasteless.

Oh well.

We headed for the House of Cupcakes to find out why they were awesome enough to win the Food Network's Cupcake Wars.  After purchasing half a dozen cupcakes for two people, we started towards our car.

I was pulled a block further from our destination by the sound of a violin.

And this is the scene we came upon.

I was very confused and excited, both at the same time.

It turned out that this was the thirty-seventh annual tour of the American Travelling Morrice.

If that doesn't help you, don't worry, it didn't help me much either.

But a little brochure that I found on the bench next to me did.  Apparently, Morris Dancing is a tradition of dance and music that can be found in England.  The dancers wear traditional "whites" to represent springtime.  However, being that it is summer, I was a little confused.

Some Americans enjoyed Morris dancing so much that they started the American Travelling Morrice in 1976.

And there you have it...

Morris Dancing.

I felt guilty for having so much fun that day, especially after I got the surprise of watching these men dance.  We headed home just after all the dancers danced their way into an ally next to this store.

And we ate cupcakes.

Delicious, chocolate cupcakes.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

#71 He Wears Red, White, and Blue

This week I have felt very American.  My hubby is always very American (perhaps not everyone's definition of very American, but very American regardless.).  When we were first married, I had to learn how to ever so kindly express that I didn't particularly care for political discussions at 11:30 pm as I was trying to fall asleep.

Alright, in all honesty, I don't often care for political discussions at 11:30 am either.  While I do enjoy the occasional political discussion, they seem to get out of hand and carried out to a point where I'm simply exhausted in thinking about them.

But this week I have felt inspired by many situations that surround me and participating in them, in the little ways that I can, has helped make me feel very American.

The tragedy in Colorado has made me embrace my fifth amendment rights with a much greater stronghold than I had before.  It doesn't give me a fear of firearms, but a fear of not being able to be armed wherever I go.  I stress, wherever I go.  It gives me a mistrust for anyone who would suggest the idea of limiting purchases of firearms and/or ammunition to taxpaying, law following Americans.

The controversial issue of Dan Cathy's personal belief comments and the persecution of Chick-Fil-A has made me get involved by standing up for my first amendment rights through silent protest.  Eating a chicken sandwich has never felt so good.  This incident has brought to light how so many Americans can tout double standards and speak out about tolerance when clearly in their ignorance they are lacking an understanding of the definition of tolerance.

On a lighter note, the Olympics have made me feel very American as I sit in bed late at night cheering for people whose names I just learned last week.  We share a common bond, we are all Americans.  I'm filled with pride as I see America coming in second with the greatest number of medals awarded.  And on a personal level I'm inspired to strive for physical fitness in my own life.

The best part of all this is that because I live in America, I'm allowed to have my opinion of what I consider to be American pride.  And to me, nothing beats embracing constitutional rights and cheering for the red, white, and blue.