Friday, July 28, 2006


So this is the tattoo I got Tuesday night. It is exactly what I wanted and couldn't have turned out better. Lucas at Electra Art did an awesome job. It is also the cause of the worst birthday I have had in my 28 years. Allow me to explain.

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I have planned on getting this tat for months. Tiff and I decided to make it my birthday present to me. Tiff has three tats of her own and it was high time I got at least one. We took our time finding the right artist and finally scheduled it for Tuesday night. I counted the seconds.

Tuesday morning Tiff was too sick to go to work and went to the doctor. She had somehow contracted the worst case of Texas quick-step ever. The doctor hooked her up with some drugs and as far as I knew, the problem had ebbed. I was set to drop Jasmine with her mom for visitation.

Tattoo time rolls around and I am headed to drop off Jasmine. I was stoked like you would not believe. I called Tiff to ask if she was ready and she drops a bombshell. She said something to the effect of, "I can't go tonight, can you re-schedule?"

My week was already booked solid so it would have to be next Monday at earliest. I had cash for the tat but the way things work in our house I couldn't entirely trust that would be the case for long. So I made a judgment call. Some might say bad call and you may be right. I went anyway and got the tat. To be entirely honest I really didn't want anyone there looking over my shoulder when I got it. I was mildly relieved that no one was coming along.

I knew Tiff really wanted to be there and knew I would catch some flak for going alone. For me it was a birthday destroyer no matter which way I went. I could please Tiff by re-scheduling and run the risk of not getting the tat at all or be a little selfish and get my gift to me on my own terms. Right or wrong, I thought I deserved a little leeway seeing as it was my birthday and I rarely do anything that is just for me. I rationalized that Tiff goes to the spa and otherwise does things for herself on special occasions, why can't I do this one thing to celebrate a year of such great change for me? I deserve to be a little bit selfish without major retribution, right?

Apparently not. Apparently spoiling myself without permission is an offence worthy of the silent bitchy treatment, even on my birthday. In fact the only conversations I had with my wife on my birthday ended in "You're such an asshole." I was wished a happy birthday by everyone but my wife. I spent the evening of my birthday home alone with only a bottle of Cuervo Especial, some beer, and Spike TV to keep me company. Happy fucking birthday to me. Whether or not I deserved it I will leave my readers to decide.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On pins and needles

I am getting my tattoo tonight, hence the witty title. Tonight the mark of the wolf graces my shoulder forever. I am totally psyched.

My birthday is in two days and that has made me a bit reflective. I remember all of those old career days at school where teachers would ask, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" 10 years ago I was a horny 18 year old college freshman looking forward to my next bottle of Jack Daniels. My 28th birthday was like a lifetime away. I was lucky to have plans for Saturday, much less a decade later. I don't think I would have ever put myself here in my 10 year vision statement. Hell, I wouldn't have put myself here a year ago.

The whole ritual of celebrating being one year closer to worm food makes us take stock in where we are. This year I am 28 and for the first time really feel like myself. I don't have to conform to any one world view and can let myself be who I am without fear of disappointing anyone. Where will I be in 10 years? Ask me when I'm 38.

Mark Twain once said "Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned." I couldn't agree more. My longtime readers (and anyone who reads my archives) have seen my own process of unlearning the conservative Christian dogma. Today I feel a level of freedom in seeing old delusions for what they are.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Metalhead's lullaby

Next week is my 28th birthday so Big John and I had a guy's day out. We spent the day at Sounds of the Underground, which by the way I highly recommend to anyone looking for nine hours of metal madness. I am now burnt to a crisp from the Texas sun which was running about 2.5 million degrees today, have a headache the size of Wisconsin, and am sore from head to toe. When I say head to toe I mean even the muscles that control my eyes hurt. Yet in my ears I hear the metalhead lullaby. For my readers who have never experienced the pure rush that is the pit of a large metal show, allow me to explain a bit about pit dynamics.

Pit formation is a glorious thing to watch. First a space opens in the press of bodies that is a concert crowd. Then one or two slam dancers enter the space, rhythmically punching and kicking in a way that vaguely resembles having a gran mal seizure. These posers are soon crushed by the moshers in a violent orgy of rhythmic smashing each other the fuck down. The driving rhythm of the drums, the roar of the lead singer and the scream of the guitar whips the mass of hair and banging heads to a frenzy, ending only when the music stops.

Tonight I came to the realization I am getting old. About sundown I had to sit on the grass hill off to the side of the pit area. I laid back and felt the ground rumble beneath me. I stared up at the stars as the band "As I Lay Dying" powered through their metal anthems I was at one with the universe. Even now I can feel the rumble and hear the screaming guitars. This is the metalhead's lullaby.

In any case, it was an awesome day overall. Now I am going to sleep for about a week.