Jun. 28th, 2008


Jun. 28th, 2008 09:23 am
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Whelp, I'm off to get a tattoo! BYYYYEEEEEE!
tania: (Default)
Once upon a time there was a serious girl who hadn't had any ink injected into her flesh at all.

(Photo actually unrelated. That's me at the Botanical Gardens a couple of weeks ago, with Joe's feet. I can only take his feet along to things like that, the rest of him is too badly behaved.

So by now it should be obvious that the Exciting Thing Hammond and I had planned for today was... tattoos! I've been planning to get an Adinkra (West African) symbol tattooed onto me for some time, and my choice was always Nkyinkyim - 'Life is a twisting road.' With turns and forks symbolizing the unexpected directions your life can lead, and the choices you have to make along the way, Nkyinkyim represents adaptability, versatility and an ability to take life's surprises in your stride - all attributes which I wish to posses in greater quantity.

Joe is getting an Adinkra symbol on the same wrist sometime soon, and Kelly is getting one too - each of us having selected one that is somehow representative of something that we are, or strive to be.

I now take you to Hammond's Flickr photo-stream for this exclusive story. ;)

We booked our appointments so that Hammond, who already has three tattoos, would go first, followed by me - the newbie. Of course, things never work out the way they're supposed to when Fate spots an opportunity to throw Tania in the deep end (ask me about the school camp Ultimate Flying Fox sometime) and I wound up going first, as my symbol was the smaller and simpler of the two. This is my tattooist, Bob (who is full of awesome and resembles Ozzie Osbourne in many amusing ways) showing me the photo he took of his finished work for the books.

A quick note about pain: it's painful, but not as bad as I'd braced myself for. It feels like (Hammond and I went wild with analogies here):

1. A cat scratch in slow motion;
2. The corner of a metal ruler being drawn hard along your skin;
3. A blunt razor blade making a shallow cut;
4. The sting of an immunisation injection right before the burning sensation of the medicine entering your body.

None of those are exactly dead on, and the pain varied (less when an area went numb, more when the needle went over one of those pesky tendons inside the wrist) but was never enough that I had to go 'ow' - I think I sweated lightly though. Bob said that girls usually take to tattoos with more composure than guys, and in thirty years he's never seen a girl faint but has watched plenty of men do so. Bob and I agreed this is because women need a higher pain tolerance for childbirth, but Hammond came in with some fancy-schmancy sciencey theory about smaller body mass and better blood flow. Pfft. Science. ;)

Slightly off-topic, but that's one of my awesome new bunny-eared knit sweater-dresses in that picture. How sweet is that?? Thanks Ebay, Thebay.

A Beatle is licking my arm! Help! (ahaahaahaaa, see what I did there?)

Hammond's turn - oh the suspense!

Bob springs into action!

Slightly blurry pic of the finished tattoos: Hammond's Nea Onnim and my Nkyinkyim. That's Joe's face in the background. No, don't ask me, I don't know. :D

With our powers combined, we are Captain Whitey! The irony of having West African symbols on our ghostly flesh does not escape Hammond and I. Actually we like to make fun of ourselves for it at every turn, which is more than I can say for those Kanji-toting whiteys. ;) Seriously, though, Adinkra is a beautiful visual language. The symbols were primarily used as cloth decoration originally, and each is a tiny proverb wrapped up into one powerful, designers-dream visual package. You can find a small selection of the hundreds of existing Adinkra symbols here, on my all-time fave Adinkra site, which I've been stalking for about four years now (I thought long and hard about this tattoo): http://www.welltempered.net/adinkra

Obey Pustulio the bunny!

In case all that isn't thrills enough for you, here's me and Hammond drinking tea at Batavia (another day, another bunny jumper...)

...and Sawyer heading off for another long day at the office.


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Tania Walker

August 2008

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