Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Notes from the inferno

First and foremost I apologize for the extended delay, it's been a crazy couple of weeks over here in Natesylvania (a.k.a. California). With so much to catch up on I think we're going to have to go outline style. I also feel like Venn diagrams are in order, which by the way are clearly the greatest type of diagram, but since I can't draw one here you're just going to have to imagine.

In which disaster stikes - in the most mundane way possible
So for a little while there a solid portion of my part of the country was on fire. Now there was nothing to worry about, the closest the fire came to us was Malibu, but in all seriousness the smoke was so thick in the air it was noticeably harder to breathe. Still, I didn't realize how bad things were until the impossibly-handsome CNN anchor Anderson Cooper showed up. Cooper only bothers to show up for real tragedies, he almost trampled other reporters in his hurry to get to New Orleans and "feel the pain" of Katrina survivors, so when he showed up in Southern California I got legitimately worried. As the fire grew cops were telling people to leave their homes, and many understandably refused - they should have send Cooper. That would have done it for me:
Fireman: Sir, you're going to have to evacuate your home.
Me: No way, I'll stay and fight the flames myself, my life is inside that home.
Anderson Cooper: Sir, if you're going to stay and battle this fire do you mind if I do a quick interview?
Me: Honey get the kids! Fucking Anderson Cooper is here, things must be even worse than I thought, we're all gonna die! Get out of my way Cooper! I'm outta here!

The point is that even thought I lived just a few miles from some of the fires it was more of a media event than anything, for the most part my life was completely unaffected...except my cell phone service! Apparently the fires knocked out cell phone towers, and with so many calls going through fewer and fewer towers service was terrible. I called T-Mobile to see what the deal was and they assured me that, and I quote, "we've got a team reconstructing and rerouting the towers now." So what, I'm supposed to believe that there's some sort of T-Mobile firefighting swat teams that rushes into blazing infernos so I can check my voicemail? If they're really that good I'd frankly rather have them, I don't know, saving people's lives for example. Thousands of people lost thier homes, I lost the ability to text message. Still, as long as Andeson Cooper doesn't show up I'll be fine.

In which I mingle with celebrities - kind of
This being the city it is I've had a few paparazzi worthy moments in the past few weeks, most of which were of course completely devoid of paparazzi.
The Rakim Episode - So I went to a concert for a little musical enjoyment and the chance to talk to Rakim, the man widely regarded by hip-hop lovers as the greatest rapper to ever live. He was incredibly intelligent and nice, everything I could have hoped for, and then at the exact second that I managed to finagle a photo op his security guard decided to step in front of the camera (see above). So it's me, Rakim, and this guy's red shirt. Thanks a lot security guy, I will hate you forever.
The Stone Cold Steve Austin Episode - For those not in the know, and I barely am, until relatively recently Stone Cold Steve Austin was the most famous wrestler in the country, a man famous for beating the bejeezus out of opponents and then pouring beer over their prone bodies. He also apparently likes to wait in front of me in airport security lines. For a solid fifteen minutes we did they “can you believe some people still don’t know they have to take their shoes off” thing as we waited. At one point an elderly woman has forgotten to empty her water bottle and he turned to me, “Fuckin amateur hour today.”
“Amateur hour,” I agreed, silently hoping he take the offending grandma into some kind of choke hold. Not that I advocate anti-grandma violence, it just occurred to me that would literally be the most interesting I’d ever see. Needless to say he did not body slam the woman. Pity. And that my friends is the story of me and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The Andre 3000 Episode – I really wish this were a cooler story, but in many ways it’s the epitome of West Hollywood life. I was coming down the escalator, up comes Andre 3000, the unbelievably talented Outkast member and burgeoning actor, presumably to watch a movie at the independent theater I had just come from. Unable to help myself I completely turned to follow him as we passed each other on the escalators. For a moment I was seriously considering running up the down escalator after him, but luckily that struck me as a very creepy maneuver, which it would have been. That’s West Hollywood for you; you won’t meet famous people, but you’ll pass by them on the escalator and immediately lose all sense of self-respect and dignity. Home sweet home.

In which my employment status improves notably
The primary reason I’ve been so slow on the blogging is believe it or not I finagled some poor unsuspecting publication into making me an associate editor, which means I’ve finally joined the fully 9-5 working world. Praise jesus I don’t work in a cubicle, but on your average day I might indeed engage in “talk” around the water cooler and unreasonably flip out when someone doesn’t change the filter in the coffee machine. How fucking hard is it to change a filter! I’ll end there at the risk of turning this into a Dilbert cartoon. The point is the new job is good times and now that I’m no longer going the extra mile to stop being “the new guy” I can start slacking again and writing blog entries. More to follow, I promise, or may Anderson Cooper rip out my still beating heart.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cops: West Hollywood editon

So first things first; I've been working on adding some video to the ol' Republic of Blogistan for a little while. This is obvioulsy my first go around, so I apologize in advance for any technical problems. If for whatever reason you can't watch this let me know, I should have it down pat in no time. As always, feel free to call Time Warner Cable's customer support line for assistance. They'll be just as capabe of fixing my blog as they are my televsion, meaning not at all.

Now that we've got the niceites out of the way...if you see West Hollywood on television or the movies (highly likely, ask any Entourage or TMZ viewer) you'd think the worst problem we have around her is 75 pound models running over children and puppies in their BMWs. Most of the time you'd be right, but there's something else brewing just below the surface. Ninety percent of the time my neighborhood is calm and nice, then suddenly it's flooded with police. Flooded I tell you! Once a week the police shut down the street for some major operation, but nothing ever happens. Last week nine squad cars blocked off my street, stormed into the apartment building next door, and spent the next two hours hanging out and playing Jenga on their squad cars. Despite all this action nothing ever happens. I'm contantly running out of my apartment to watch some swat team shoot out, then thirty minutes later the cops get in their cars and leave with nary a beaten black guy in sight. What the hell is up with my neighborhood? You'd think there was some international drug smuggling ring going on. Nope. My imagination/paranoia is starting to run wild so I've decided to share it with you, in what could very well become a weekly column, the Random Fairfax Ave. Arrest of the Week!

This one followed the most anti-climactic chase ever. The gentlemen being arrested was booking it down the street like he'd just shot the president, and then the moment the squad pulled up alongside him he completely gave up. Just stopped dead in his tracks and laid down in the street. I'm sure police officers reading this (unlikely) won't be happy with me but i feel like if you're going to run, then run! It's a sad sign of our times that people just can't seem to commit to anything anymore, even evading the cops.

What did he do? Your guess is as good as mine. The guy in the green shirt seems to hold the key but I'm just not a good enough sleuth to figure it out. I welcome, highly welcome, suggestions as to what this guy did to get himself arrested. I've though eveything, from shoplifting to assasination of a foreign diplomat. On a side note, what is the deal with that one cop's hair? It's like some sort of circular mohawk, frankly I've never seen anything like it. Is there a name for that paticular hairstyle. He looks vaguely like an egret. So enjoy the video (I hope) and successive ones hereafter, maybe together we can figure out just what the hell is going on in my neighborhood. Strange things are afoot in WeHo my friends, strange things.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hater Nation Part 2

I’m sure somewhere a puppy is frolicking through a field of buttercups while blue jays hover around his adorable head, but right now I have the flu. My head feels like a recycled tire so I see no reason why anyone else should be happy. You’re welcome. So what better time for another edition of Hater Nation, my little list of things that are currently deserving of my ire? Let’s not wait around any longer.

Western medicine – So let me get this straight; you can clone a person but you can’t cure the flu? Now granted I’m no doctor (though I have played one in the privacy of my own home), but that doesn’t make any fucking sense. How hard can it be to cure the flu? Pharmaceutical companies have taken care of balding men who can’t get erections just fine. Going to the doctor and being told to drink plenty of liquids is like going to a restaurant and the chef telling you he can’t boil water, but he’d be glad to serve you some foie gras. Screw you western medicine.

Jose Mota – Mota’s doing the sideline reporting for the Boston Red Sox playoffs. If the only requirement this job was the ability to breathe he’d suffocate. His report on pitcher Josh Beckett’s blister problems just went like this: “Florida hot so Josh Beckett pitcher problems blister have improved in Boston.” This guy makes the cast of The Hills look like Rhodes scholars.

Time Warner Cable – It’s as if Satan and Hitler had a baby, dipped it in tar and broken glass, and gave it control over most of Los Angeles’ televisions. I would seriously rather watch the Britney Spears performance on a continuous loop then call their customer service. Their favorite move is to offer you a $5 discount for service problems. Guess what Time Warner, $5 off crap is still crap. How about you just fix my reception instead.

John Cougar Mellencamp – I know what you’re thinking, how could I possibly hate anyone with the middle name Cougar? Good question, I do respect his parents for having the guts to name their child after a mammal of the Felidae family, but I’ve been forced to listen to that “this is our country” song approximately 74,000 times. I know Chevy’s demographics favor the Midwest, but the commercials show legions of white people hopping off tractors while eating apple pie and watching 4th of July fireworks explode in the background. It’s like Field of Dreams, except James Earl Jones isn’t invited. Yeah, that’s absolutely nothing like my country. My country mostly consists of riding the bus with Guatemalan gardeners on their way to Beverly Hills landscaping jobs. How about it Chevy?

People who hit the elevator button repeatedly – Not to sound like a Seinfeld stand up routine, but if you come up to an elevator, and I’m standing there, and the elevator button is light up, but you decide to press it again just in case I’m so retarded I can’t properly push a button, I will break you kneecap. Also deserving consideration is the guy who pushes the crosswalk button 47 times. You can press it all you want, the first time was enough, the light’s not going to change any faster. The elevator/green light is coming, if you can’t wait with the rest of us I’m going to call my friends down at Animal Planet and have them shoot a tranquilizer dart into your neck from a helicopter like you’re an injured gazelle. Got it? Speaking of which...

People with tasers – They’ve given security guards tasers on a pretty consistent basis now and they seemingly can’t stop electrocuting people. The John Kerry campaign tasered the bejeezus out a guy who’s only crime was being incredibly annoying. Infinitely worse and closer to home was the UCLA incident when a student was tasered six times for failing to show ID in the library. It’s simple human nature; when you give someone the ability to electrocute anyone who aggravates them, they’re going to light people up like a Christmas tree. That’s why I don’t own a taser gun. I’m not necessarily against police having them, but at UCLA it was the library security guards. Have you ever seen library guards? If there was ever a group of people who shouldn’t be allowed to carry tasers it’s them. If they had guns students would be getting shot left and right for overdue books.

We’re only scratching the surface of the things I hate list but if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go enjoy the hallucinations my fever is bringing on. I’m sure by this point you’re wondering about the picture above. Well my father, in his infinite wisdom, threw me a Care Bear birthday party. He then made me pose with said Care Bear paraphernalia and has been hating on me ever since, saying I’m not man enough to post a picture online featuring me and a stuffed animal with a cupcake on it’s stomach. You can stop hating now dad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Hipsters Are Coming!

There are a lot of things wrong with this country. Domino’s Oreo Pizza (a.k.a. diabetes in a box) comes to mind, along with the 101 highway in Los Angeles, which was recently closed down because a house got trapped under an overpass. Seriously, a fucking house. But I feel it’s my duty as a reporter to alert my readers to the latest plague sweeping the nation, hipsters. Those of you in San Francisco know exactly what I’m talking about, but the rest of the country needs to be adequately prepared for the throngs of skinny white kids that will soon be bombarding their streets, leaving a trail of ironic destruction in their wake. I know you’re probably filled with fear right now but don’t worry, I’m here to answer all your questions.

What are hipsters?
Hipsters are a relatively new phenomenon, only gaining serious traction in the last five years or so. Mostly white, mostly middle class, hipsters have dedicated their lives to invading and subsequently ruining every respectably cool neighborhood, restaurant, and concert you’ve ever been to.

What are hipsters about?
Hipsters operate under the premise that they’re cooler, nay hipper, than you. Whoever you are. These are kids who for the most part grew up in middle class neighborhoods but are determined not to be associated with the privileges they’ve been given. They attempt to distance themselves from their decidedly uncool suburban past by adopting certain elements of lower class culture, while simultaneously maintaining their superiority over people who are actually lower class. Basically they want to have the “authenticity” of poor people without any of the problems, like not being able to use your lawyer dad’s credit card to buy shoes.

How can I recognize a hipster?
Just look for anything that smacks of irony. The most ready example is the trucker hat. Hipsters wore these mesh chapeaus as a nod to perhaps the least hip profession in the country, truckers. Trucker hats were about as uncool as you could get, therefore hipsters thought they were incredibly cool. Then trucker hats become widely popular, meaning hipsters could no longer wear because people who pretend to own John Deere tractors are lame, as opposed to when hipsters first did it as an ironic statement. Confused? You’re not the only one. Let’s keep going. What’s the official beer of the working class? It’s undoubtedly Pabst Blue Ribbon, so hipsters drink it by the gallon, the idea being they can’t afford any “fancier” beers, though they’ve conveniently overlooked the fact the bar they’re in is next to a sushi restaurant and not a Midwest steel factory. And they’re all incredibly skinny. Poor people are the most obese population in America largely because the only nutrition they have access too is fast food. But fat people aren’t particularly cool, so hipsters go to their local Whole Foods, buy organic seaweed, and watch the pounds melt off. If you’ve ever spent $200 on a pair of white jeans designed to look like you bought them at a thrift store, you’re a hipster.

Why should I hate them?
God there are so many reasons. The detached air of superiority drives me insane, I just have a hard time being called a sell-out by someone who’s parents spent $10,000 a year to place them in a private school for kindergarten. But it’s mostly the attempt to live in this netherworld between middle class privilege and lower class hardship. Sorry, you just don’t get to have it both ways. Either use your parents’ credit card and admit your mom drove you to soccer practice in a Dodge Grand Caravan , or actually work for a living and realize being poor sucks. You’ve got to pick one and go with it like the rest of us. Fair warning to any hipsters out there; I’m about ready to snap. If one more of you aviator glasses-wearing motherfuckers asks me for spare change I’m going rip that Virginia is for Lovers t-shirt off your back and strangle you with it.

I don’t care where you live, hipsters are coming for you. I’ve seen them walking around suburban malls; because only cool people go to the mall, which would make people at malls actually uncool, which would in turn make a hipster (who makes the uncool cool through irony) at the mall cool. It’s so mind boggling ridiculous I can’t handle it. So there, you’ve been warned. I’m highly encouraging everyone to band together and fight this threat. Start neighborhood watch groups, send in pictures of hipsters around your neighborhood so we can identify them, do whatever you have to do. Together we can stop hipsterism from spreading.

Still not sure what a hipster is? Watch this video.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Nothing Realy Matters

The world’s spinning so fast I’m nauseous. Today General Petraeus testified to Congress about the situation in Iraq (downgraded from apocalyptic to atrocious), rebels bombed gas lines throughout Mexico, and exiled Pakistani prime-minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested and deported to Saudi Arabia. Big freakin deal, Britney Spears made her public performance return last night. Thinking about the world’s problems make me depressed, the type of depression that only eating frosting straight out the container can cure. So before I get so fat I have to scratch my back with a stick, let’s just focus on all stories out there that don’t really matter. They’re the best kind anyway, beginning with…

The aforementioned Ms. Spears performed last night at the MTV awards and I’m still busy scrubbing my retinas with a toothbrush to try to erase the image. I hoped for the best while preparing for the worst, but sweet jesus on a bicycle that was awful. She looked like a 40 year old stripper in some nightclub in Nebraska; squeezed into a regrettably scandalous outfit and only occasionally remembering she was supposed to look like she was enjoying herself. She was clearly just waiting until it was over so she could go smoke a pack of Newports and down a couple Coors Lights. Fame has chewed her up and spit her out, no one looks good covered in fame-y saliva.

President/dictator/ Hugo Chavez is pushing legislation through the Venezuelan legislature that would make crazy names illegal. The law lists 100 names that parents will no longer be able to name their children, including Hengelberth, Maolenin, Kerbert Krishnamerk, Githanjaly, Yornaichel, and Nixon. Venezuela has an international reputation as the world’s insane name capital and it would be a real shame to see them lose their status. Plus, it seems like a completely unenforceable law, there are simply too many name possibilities to ever eradicate the problem. Sure you can outlaw Hengelberth, but what’s to stop me from naming my son Holmes Air Purifier Slavik? Actually, that’s not only the first thing I saw when I looked around the room, but actually kind of a cool name. I wouldn’t name my first born child that, but if I convert to fundamental Mormonism and have somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 kids, number 101 is gonna be named Holmes Air Purifier Slavik. That’s a promise.

Kanye West and 50 Cent both have albums coming out tomorrow and the kinda-coincidence has been turned into a marketing/media frenzy. The cover of Rolling Stone has them face-to-face like rival boxers. Who’s going to sell more albums? Who’s the biggest name in hip-hop? Who fucking cares, and why does this kind of thing only happen in hip-hop? If Maroon 5 and Nickelback had albums coming out on the same day they’d probably send each other good luck cards and a cheese platter. It’s a sign of how desperate artists and labels have become in the face of lagging sales that they have to resort to this kind of chicanery. For the record lesbian folk heroine Ani DiFranco has an album coming out on the same day too. Hear that 50? Ani’s coming for you homeboy. Oh, it’s on.

Another hilarious moment from the MTV Awards: Justin Timberlake tells MTV to stop running reality show crap and get back to showing music videos while the cast of The Hills stands mere feet away. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about let me think of an appropriate analogy. Ok, it would be like a doctor telling an obese man that if he’s doesn’t stop eating fried chicken he’s going to die, only the man is Colonel Sanders. Now replace the doctor with Justin Timberlake, fried chicken with reality shows, and Colonel Sanders with a collection of rich girls from Hollywood that have to wear flip-flops because they get confused by shoelaces. Got it?

Are you sick of talking about Sen. Craig’s arrest for soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom? I’m not. So far his excuses have been painfully lame, it would appear the man just likes him some airport lovin. If I was doing spin control here’s some excuses I would have written up: Craig is a former Broadway tap dancer who was merely practicing his routine, not tapping out a code asking an undercover cop to take off his pants. Actually, Broadway tap dancer sounds pretty gay too. What if he has a very rhythmic form of Tourettes? Or he was simply out of toilet paper and trying to see if the guy in the next stall had any. Bingo, that’s it. It’s not very dignified, but neither is getting arrested in an airport bathroom. I really feel like “ran out of toilet paper” is the way to go. Someone get Craig on the phone, I think I just found my calling.

San Francisco City Supervisor Ed Jew is currently being investigated for lying about his residency. It turns out he doesn’t live in San Francisco at all, a federal crime for someone who filed candidacy papers attesting otherwise. That’s not funny. What is humorous is the media coverage. It’s newspaper protocol to only refer to a person by their last name, almost never including their first. So the headline would be “Bush says troops will stay in Iraq until Baghdad is as safe as Detroit” not “George Bush says…” Of course it’s a whole different ballgame is your last name happens to be Jew. The San Francisco Chronicle’s editors are understandably uneasy about headlines like “Jew wanted for questioning” and so have decided to only refer to him as Ed Jew. Plus last night a homeless mayoral candidate named Grasshopper Kaplan was arrested for trespassing at Ed Jew’s home, meaning that for the first time in history we could have legitimately read the headline, “Grasshopper arrested for stalking Jew.” Which is all just further proof that San Francisco is indeed the craziest city in America. God I love that place.

What was the point of today’s article? I don’t really know. How’s this: no matter how screwed up your life is, you’ll still look like Mr. Rogers compared to Britney Spears. I should have that embroidered on a pillow. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a tub of frosting waiting for me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lost and Found: Hollywood Editon

This is Hollywood baby. Actually, it’s West Hollywood. Hollywood is full of was museums, tourists, and junkies. West Hollywood is the home of exclusive nightclubs, power lunches, and actresses so thin they might as well be junkies. If you’ve ever spent any time in WeHo (as us locals call West Hollywood, much to my amusement) you know it’s only a matter of time before a waiter pushes a movie script into your hands and whispers, “are you in the industry?” Well, exactly such a script has fallen into my hands, seriously. If I was going to make up a fake movie script I would call it If Tomorrow Never Comes, this one is titled The Promethean by Paul Lingas. So for everyone out there who will never have the pleasure of reading a verifiable aspiring movie script, I though I’d give you a little preview. Feel free to come over to my apartment and read it in its entirety, in the meantime you’ll have to settle for my notes. And Paul, if you’re reading this, which you almost certainly aren’t, just stay open to some of the changes I’ve proposed.

*How are you going to pitch this? I would use something along the lines of, “think Minority Report meets Field of Dreams.” Or maybe just, “it’s like The Matrix, only not nearly as well thought out.”
*Let’s brainstorm other title ideas. If I didn’t know anything about the film and someone said to me, “hey, want to go see The Promethean?” I’d say, “no. What the hell is The Promethean?” As a general rule people don’t like movie titles dependant on knowledge of Greek mythology. Here’s my suggestion; Daylight. Think about it. It’s catchy and more subtly appropriate.
*Do you really want to go with the wristwatch communicator? Talking into your watch makes me think of Dick Tracy. Why would people in the future combine watches and cell phones when people now use their cell phones as watches? I’d go with a Bluetooth-esque device.
*I like the use of “organic plants” as a valuable commodity in a place with a potentially poisonous atmosphere. It makes sense that only the powerful would have vegetation.
*Here’s my biggest problem. I know it’s an apocalyptic future but would all art and music really disappear? Isn’t some aspect of music almost innate? I’m of course referring to Carter’s absolute shock when he hears someone hum. Really? I just feel like even in a bleak and barren wasteland people wouldn’t lose the ability or desire to hum/whistle/doodle etc.
*Carter goes too quickly from a snitch to a full-fledged member of the resistance. You need to either show his more gradual transition or include some sort of epiphany. What if he and Penelope have sex on top of the conveyer belt, someone walks in, and in their rush they duck inside one of the crates? Of course they stumble on the smuggled artifacts from the outside world and Carter realizes the resistance is right. Plus you need a sex scene, that’s two birds with one stone right there.
*Marshall seems completely unaffected by Marie’s death. One of his fellow revolutionaries is kidnapped and beaten to death and his reaction is basically, “she had it coming”? If I was considering joining the revolution I wouldn’t want my leader to be a guy who doesn’t give a crap if the overlords are whooping me with night sticks, or what ever future police use to beat future people.
*Leboutillier needs a new name. He’s supposed to be a hated villain but his name sounds like some sort of French pastry, or flower, maybe a combination pastry/flower. It just doesn’t seem at all menacing. What about Vince, or Tony or something? No, that’s too mafia. I can’t think of anything good. Regardless, Leboutillier needs to go.
*[Spoiler alert] So Carter finds out he was born in the outside world and is indeed the prophesied Promethean who has come to lead the people. I know it’s kind of a central point in the plot, but you might as well have Keanu Reeves start kung-fu fighting clones in a black trench coat. Ok, so Hollywood’s not real big on originality but goddamn man, I might as well just go rent The Matrix at this point.
*[even more spoiler alert]When the resistance group finally reaches the outside world and sees the sun for the first time they’re a little nonchalant. What, people don’t swear in the future. If I was locked in a bleak metallic factory my entire life and told by overlords that the Earth was fatally radioactive, and then I open a door and stumbled out into fresh air, I think at the very least an “oh shit” would be in order. Even a “wow.” Come on, something.

There you go people. I can’t go any further without giving the whole thing away, and then why would you pay your hard earned money to watch The Promethean? Or if I have my way, Daylight. Seriously Paul, cut me in. We can make this thing a blockbuster. Thousands of people lined up to watch Norbit, we got at least a fighting chance. And if any NoChancers have any film suggestions for the problems I’ve raised (good villain name for example) I’m sure we can get you a producer credit. Hell, hand out some sandwiches on set and you’ll get a producer credit. It's the least I can do.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Guide To Tattoos, Part 2

I’ve written about tattooing before, mostly in an attempt to stop people from asking me stupid questions. Well, it didn’t work. And although I am tempted to lash out at the girl who wants to talk about her “ink” with me (a.k.a. a two inch fairy on her ankle) I’m instead going to double my education efforts. Think about it like sex ed in school, only instead of how babies are made we’re going to talk about tattoos, and instead of a mentally challenged gym teacher you get me. Oh, and you won’t throw up in your mouth after watching a video of a baby squeezing through a vagina. Or was that just my sex ed?
I’ll do my best to answer some basic questions, but I’ll probably get sidetracked along the way by random stories. Which reminds me…

If you’re an obese woman getting a portrait of her cat tattooed on your leg, it’s not necessary to explain how you, your husband and your two children spend most of your time naked. First, you and your husband are both wearing sweatpants, which for children is practical and for adults is gross. Second, don’t tell me and everyone else in the shop your ten and eight-year-old kids don’t wear clothes, I think that may be child abuse. It’s one thing to be a hippie family frolicking through a field naked while whittling sea creatures out of bamboo, but I’m picturing your family watching Japanese cartoons and downing whole downing bags of Cool Ranch Doritos naked. And for that picture I will forever be angry. What’s that have to do with tattoos? Not much except I was forced to listen to it in a tattoo shop and I felt the need to share. How about this; don’t get a portrait of your cat tattooed on you, but if you’re even considering it you’ve got bigger problems than I can address here.
I’m always getting warned that when I’m old my tattoos will just be giant ink blobs and I’ll regret it. First that’s not true, you’re thinking about the faded navy tattoos you’ve seen on grizzled old men. Ink quality has come a long way since the 50s. It’s roughly the equivalent of sucking a lime a day because you’re worried about contracting scurvy, it’s just not a legitimate concern anymore. Unless you get your tattoo done by your cousin Rick in his basement, but then you’ll probably be praying it fades. Plus, when I’m 90 not only will it be great to intimidate the other geezers on the shuffleboard court with my ink, but I’ll be more worried about not peeing my pants every hour than how I look.
Wait, this thing is really permanent? Yeah, actually it is. Make sure your tattoo is something you’ll be happy with for as long as you live, or as long as you have that body part. For example, I once knew a guy with a huge tattoo of a crying clown covering his leg. Unless his dad was a clown who died while being suffocated during a “lots of clown in a tiny car” stunt gone horribly wrong, which I doubt, the tattoo will get old quick. Seriously, a crying clown? Was he a clown who was ironically scared of other clowns? Is that why he’s crying? It’s been almost five years since I first saw it and the tattoo still befuddles me. Which brings me to regret. You can now get tattoos lasered off, only it hurts like hell and is pretty expensive, so have fun with that. You can also get it covered up, meaning a skilled artist can, for example, incorporate a crappy tattoo of a panther (a la cousin Rick) into the black flowing hair of a pin-up girl. The only way to cover up a tattoo is with a larger tattoo, so if your entire calf is covered with a crying clown, just to pick something at random, you’re screwed. And they’re tattoo artists, not Jesus (unless maybe if you’re getting tattooed in Mexico), they may not be able to magically turn your tattoo of Calvin peeing on a truck into a Monet painting. To use my favorite Southern saying, you can’t put lipstick on a pig. Well, you can, but the point is it’s still a pig, and someone should call PETA.
Let’s end with a real-life exploration. As I write this there’s a gentleman with a tattoo on the back of his arm that reads Born In Idaho. I can’t decide if it’s a great tattoo or a terrible one. I think it may say more about the state of Idaho than him as a person. People from the Potato State (or whatever their motto is) are so rare its citizens feel compelled to tell the world. And plenty of people get tattoos about where they’re from; a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge means you’re from San Francisco or a Red Sox logo means you’re from Boston. If you’re from Idaho your options are pretty limited, I guess all you can do is write “Born in Idaho.” What else is there to say really? You know what, good for him. Say it loud, I’m Idahoan/Idahoese/an Idahoite and I’m proud! Which proves the ultimate point, as long as it something that truly comes from your heart it can only be good, no matter what malicious bloggers may write.
Hope that made things a little clearer. More likely than not it just enveloped you further in a deep cloud of confusion, you’re welcome. Feel free to write in with any other questions, I’ll answer them all in another article. And just so you can take some shots of me that’s a picture of the back of my right arm, the tattoo is based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Why? Because I like Tibet, and books, though I’m not really a big fan of being dead. Hey it could have been worse. It could have been a portrait of my cat, dressed up like a clown, crying. Yeah, that would have definitely been worse.