Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Throwback! Salem Tattoo Convention: 2014

PLEASE NOTE: I wrote this post shortly after visiting the tattoo convention on May 30th, 2014. Life has gotten hectic since then, and the post slipped my mind...until I opened the Blogger app and saw the post still sitting there, unpublished. Sorry about that! Better late than never....


The Male Unit and I love tattoo conventions. He had a rare Friday off work (after being named Employee of the Month!), so yesterday we headed out to Salem, the capital of Oregon, and the first Salem Tattoo Convention.

The convention was held at the Oregon State Fairgrounds building. Parking was close by, and at $3, a fair price. In addition, the convention featured many classic cars which were fun to explore and admire.

It was a pretty good turnout, with artists from Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Manchester, England. The emcee was entertaining, the contests were enjoyable and the company was fantastic. A local roller derby was on hand (and on skates) to help give out prizes to the winners. 

My only complaint was the complete lack of air conditioning...not a good thing for heat-reactive me. I made a rookie mistake by not calling ahead of time. It was made worse by my choosing to take a cane and leaving my wheelchair at home. My feet & legs are so sore...but it was so worth it.

I have a convention tradition: I always get a butterfly tattoo. I'd like someday to be able to count how many conventions I've attended by counting butterflies! And yesterday was no exception. My other butterflies are on my legs, and are blue & purple. This time, I wanted a Monarch in all its orange & black beauty. I also decided on a different body placement: my first chest tattoo. 

After making the rounds and going through many photo books, I happened upon local Portland artist AJ. I love supporting female artists and was glad to come across one with exceptional skill. I was quite surprised to learn she'd only been tattooing for three years. Her level of proficiency usually takes years and years to achieve. And then I saw in her book a tattoo of morning glories. For years, the plan has been to have morning glories on vines on my left leg from foot to hip (I have them on my foot and ankle thus far.) AJ's morning glories were amazing. I was sold. 

was immediately at ease with AJ and truly enjoyed talking with her. She reminds me of Joan Jett: a kickass, take-no-prisoners rawk empress. She has lovely tattoos along her jawline, and an impressive portrait of the late Amy Winehouse on her leg. 

It wasn't just ink talk: AJ's had an eventful life! I enjoyed hearing her talk about her days in the military and life in a post-Katrina Louisiana gulf coast town. I had read how the small towns and cities devastated by the hurricane were ignored in favor of rebuilding New Orleans, but it was interesting (and poignant) to hear it from someone who lived it first-hand. 

While doing the prep work for my butterfly, I talked ink with AJ's assistant. At one point, I mentioned that I intended to get a treble clef on the knuckle of my right ring finger in honor of my orchestra teacher in elementary school, Mrs. Oldham. To my surprise they offered to throw that one in! I had not intended to get that particular design today, but thought, "What the hell. Sounds like fun!" 

So for the first time at a convention, I obtained two tattoos instead of one (not to mention a design that was not a butterfly.) 

Speaking of the Male Unit...while I was getting prepped for my chest butterfly (which kinda sounds like a bad late-70's prog rock band), Jonathan was getting some ink of his own, courtesy of Lance from Aardvark Tattoo (also a local PDX shop.) 

For years, he has wanted to get tattoos in honor of our three kids. He finally began to work towards that goal, with a fiery forearm tattoo to symbolize our firstborn, Phoenix. 

When he finished, he came by AJ's booth and watched as she was putting the finishing touches on my butterfly. Because of its location, this meant Jonathan saw my new tattoo before I did. The look on his face told me all I needed to know: it was fabulous. 

When I got to look at last, I had to agree: it truly is beautiful. I love it, and can't wait to get more ink from AJ! 

A funny realization hit my husband on the drive back to Portland: for the first time in our loooooong relationship, I now have more tattoos than he does! As far as I am concerned, this means he needs a new tattoo for Father's Day...in the spirit of fairness & equality. 

Thanks to everyone who made this convention possible, and a special thanks to AJ and Lance! You both ROCK!

Labels: , ,


I am going to mama-brag for a moment, and as a result I will no doubt embarrass my daughter, Serenity Singer. But I am her mother, and it's my prerogative. 

She reminds me so much of my own mother, whom I lost to breast cancer when Wren was just a toddler. She inherited my mom's gorgeous, dark green Irish eyes. Wren does exceed my mom's eyes in one aspect: the naturally dark, curly lashes she gets from her father. They remind me a bit of Elizabeth Taylor's. 

She also inherited my mother's elegant hands. When I was a child, I would watch my mom write and just be fascinated by her hands: long, graceful fingers and natural French-tip nails that many women would (and do) pay a small fortune for! I am so glad to get to see those hands again, in her granddaughter. 

But those are just the externals. Where my daughter really takes after my mother is in her nature: kind-hearted, a loyal friend, a sardonic sense of humor, a love of cats and books and tea. And above all, her sensitivity, her generosity, and her strong sense of empathy. 

Sometimes, it's like a piece of my mom remains here, in her granddaughter. And I am thankful to G-d for it. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

No Words

Sunday, August 28, 2016

In Response AND Silver Linings: Drive-Ins & Their Legacy


Cracked.com's "6 Reasons Why Drive-In Theaters Are Never Coming Back" by Evan V. Symon:

I am a big fan of Cracked magazine's website. I have their app on my iPad, and while it does have room for improvement,  it's one of a short list of sites I read regularly as a result of what I call my "Insomnia Internetting." I also frequently view their uploads on YouTube (including a dissection of a "music video" starring the Dreaded Feldman*)


This article originally made me quite nostalgic...some of my happiest childhood memories were made at the Dixie Drive-In in Northridge, Ohio. 

My dad lived nearby, and both A) loved movies and B) hated indoor theaters. I've seen dozens and dozens of movies with my dad, and not a single one of them were viewed in a Cineplex. 

Vivid and precious are my memories of the Dixie, and so very treasured in my heart. As a result, I plan to get a memorial tattoo for my father (who died in 2010), and it is based on the shooting star from the Dixie's iconic mezzanine:

The very first movie I remember seeing was at the Dixie: "Sleeping Beauty." Later, I would see the movie that changed my life there: Disney's "Sword in the Stone."

Reading this article was bittersweet: sweet because of all the cherished movies, and bitter that future generations won't know how wonderful the drive-in theater experience really is.


After that wave of powerful memories with a twinge of regret, I suddenly switched gears entirely: I started laughing. 

Why? I realized that, thanks to my electric wheelchair/scooter that I rely on for mobility...every movie I see is a drive-in movie! 

And that includes last week's trip with my daughters and their father, making yet another movie memory themselves: "Suicide Squad."

I wonder how they will look back on our favorite theater, the Bagdad, and how different the movie-viewing experience will be when they are making memories with their own children. 

am kind of hoping for a Holodeck-type system...preferably with fewer glitches than the "Next Generation" had to deal with.

I'm sure using the Holodeck won't be cheap, but if I can get a program to take my future grandchildren to experience watching a movie at the Dixie...it would be worth every dime.

I can close my eyes, and picture it so clearly: driving in as the sun goes down ($5 a car, please) on a warm July night, with fireflies dotting the air and the smell of popcorn and hot dogs all around, laying out a picnic blanket, turning on the speaker, and watching a screen as big as a house come to life. 

do hope it's a Disney movie that maybe, just maybe, will inspire dreams in those little ones...just like Disney and the Dixie did for me. 

Until next time...

*Here's the link, and I strongly recommend it. You'll laugh, or I'll eat my hat, rope and all! https://youtu.be/Hu60qikT0ks

Labels: , , ,

Friday, July 01, 2016

Two Kinds of "Star Trek" Fans...

I'm battling insomnia and a kidney stone; fortunately, I have tons of photo apps to keep my mind off of the pain. I thought I'd share this meme I just made here. And FTR: I'm a Salt Vampire fan myself! 

Labels: ,

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dear Sheila E...

See the tribute here:


Sunday, April 24, 2016

The 25 Best Songs to Mourn Prince

On April 21st, 2016, the musical universe lost one of its brightest stars: Prince Rogers Nelson, known all over the world simply as Prince. 

One of the reasons I adore* Prince's music, is that it is so diverse and covers such a wide range of topics. In his long career, he crafted songs about nuclear holocaust, music critics, sex tapes, religious awakenings, and more. No matter what your mood, your situation, your wants or your needs...there's likely a Prince song or two to help you celebrate, purge, guide, uplift, and grieve. 

And so, as we adjust to a world without the unique brilliance of Prince Rogers Nelson, naturally, we turn to his music to celebrate his life and mourn his loss. 

Whether you are a lifelong fan like yours truly...or are only now, after his death, learning why Prince is so cherished by so many, here's a list of the 25 Prince songs best suited for mourning this true musical genius who left us far too soon. And just as his music was diverse, so is this list: these songs run the gamut between heartfelt ballads to club hits and almost everything in between. 

25) Welcome 2 the Dawn ("The Truth," 1998) 

24) Starfish & Coffee ("Sign o' the Times," 1987) 

23) Love ("3121," 2006) 

22) My Love is Forever ("For You," 1978)

21) The Love We Make  ("Emancipation," 1996) 

20) Into the Light ("Chaos and Disorder," 1996) 

19) The Arms of Orion ("Batman," 1989) 

18) The Ladder ("Around the World In a Day," 1985) 

17) Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do ("Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic," 1999) 

16) Cream ("Diamonds and Pearls," 1991) 

15) It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night ("Sign o' the Times," 1987) 

14) The Cross ("Sign o' the Times," 1987)

13) Anna Stesia ("Lovesexy," 1988) 

12) Future Soul Song ("20Ten," 2010) 

11) Let's Go Crazy ("Purple Rain," 1984) 

10) Money Don't Matter 2 Night ("Diamonds and Pearls," 1991)

9) Call My Name ("Musicology," 2004)

8) Everywhere ("The Rainbow Children," 2001) 

7) Beautiful, Loved & Blessed ("3121," 2006) 

6) Free ("1999," 1982) 

5) Still Would Stand All Time ("Graffiti Bridge," 1990) 

4) Gold ("The Gold Experience," 1995) 

3) Purple Rain ("Purple Rain," 1984) 

2) I Wish U Heaven ("Lovesexy," 1988) 

There is a particular sad irony in the #1 spot: this song is all about the death of a friend and the profound emotions that accompany such a terrible loss. I have used this song for years & years to help me get through the deaths of those near & dear to me...and never in a million years did I think that Prince's death would occur in the same month as the subject of this song. Like the true showman he was, he got his curtain call at exactly the right time. Although this song isn't one of his most popular or well-known tunes, it was the clear choice for #1: 

1) Sometimes it Snows in April ("Parade," 1986) 


*no pun intended