Tuesday, February 10, 2009

taboo tattoo

I've always wanted a tattoo. I sketched out a few designs from celtic knots when I was in high school and had around 9 that I wanted, just didn't know where I could put them on my body since I wanted in discreet places that could be shown if I wanted to (example on the thigh or between the shoulder blades) and not on the lower back above the butt crack or the wrist as are popular places nowadays.

I was determined in my early college years to get one since I was already 18, but found that piercings were 1. cheaper, and 2. not as permanent. I got a few piercings (all of which were easily spotted when looking at me, nothing hidden in crazy places) and dyed my hair funky colours.

I'm still determined to get that tattoo at some point or another, but depending upon who I talk to about it, I get different responses. I did research on the historical meanings behind body piercing and alterations, and there's many fascinating aspects to both that may be unknown to most people... at least that I know.

Tattoos have been around for centuries and used for many different reasons from documenting spiritual journeys to simple adornment. Sometimes, like in old Japan, it was a symbol of a gangster - a trouble maker that was part of a feared clan, but these tattoos were under the clothes, restricted to below the neck, wrists, and above the ankles. They left such an impression so that even in modern Japan tattoo's are looked down upon. There are public places that don't allow tattooed people into pools or public baths still.

Other tattoos cite rites of passage amongst their clansmen, like entering manhood or a marriage. Some cultures women get facial tattoos to make them more appealing to a prospective husband, where we in a Western culture would find them to be ugly and appaling.

Henna is a form of temporary tattooing that is commonly found in Indian culture and used to make women more appealing and decorated for their wedding day and other important occasions. When I bought a henna kit and did some on myself, I recall my mother, a baby boomer, exclaimed "what's that dirt all over your hands?" I guess that gives another meaning to one man's trash is another man's treasure... one man's beauty is another man's scar...

So tattoos have come from the taboo mark of "the heavy-metal rockers, bikers, criminals and the social outcast" (http://www.biblebelievers.com/watkins_tattoos/intro.html) to pop culture that even Barbie has decided to join the fun. Everyone has a reason for or against tattooing, like this guy or these people, but always have a good reason behind what you believe before getting in argument with someone about their tattoos, especially these guys. It's understandable that they can be rather intimidating, since most tattoos are associated with the "scum of the earth" and the "bad guys", like in prison , but there are calmer and more demure reasons as well.

In my opinion, tattoos are an interesting way to show your love of your culture or background (all my designs are of celtic descent, as am I), memorialize a loved one who's passed away, or just adorn the blank slate that is human flesh. Whatever your opinion, it's out there and it's unavoidable. Every tattoo has a story, all you have to do is ask.

Monday, February 9, 2009


In retrospect I decided to introduce myself by proclaiming 15 different things about myself. this is by no means a personal confession or dirty secrets nor a list of things like a diary, just everyday quirkiness that we all posses to a certain degree. these happen to make up the manifesto that is myself:

1. I'm a paradox: i like coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, but would drink coffee all day if i could

2. even tho i quit smoking over a year ago, i still have cravings. then i pass people walking by that smell like stale, cheap cigarettes and b.o. and remember why i quit.

3. speaking of smells, I have to smell "good" at all times. i'm always conscious of how i smell.

4. punctuation in assignments and letters are imperative to everything that makes us human and civilized, but in blogs and online conversations it's not necessary at all.

5. i love to read for leisure but never find enough time to do so. my favourite author is Wilbur Smith and he engulfs my world with his works.

6. I'm a daddy's girl and suck up to my mother all the time. I love making my parents happy still and can remember (almost) every separate time they've told me they're genuinely proud of me.

7. i'm the youngest of 4 children, all my elder siblings are brothers. apparently this makes me spoiled, but i tend to disagree.

8. educating yourself and expanding your knowledge base makes you a more interesting person. i can't stand people who are proud of the fact that the last book they read was in high school because "I had to for a class".

9. i can get a slight sunburn in 5 minutes standing outside, especially in the summer at noontime. damn this cancer-free paleness.

10. i've always wanted to be a ballerina and when i was a kid i took dance classes for 14 years and achieved that dream, then i just quit. i've always wanted to go back and continue classes but can't find the time/money.

11. i hate it when taller people come up to me and place their arm on top of my head and lean on me. it's one thing that really irritates me.

12. i have a temper but only a handful (literally) of people have ever seen it rear it's ugly head. i tend to be more moderate in my moods than most theatre and sensitive people i know.

13. i have forward emails and surveys, altho this sure seems like one....

14. i have a secret love for justin timberlake's music. it's addicting and my closet fetish.

15. if there was one thing i could drink the rest of my life it would be V8 fusion pomegranate blueberry juice. it tastes wonderful and it's good for you... how can you go wrong?!

any questions, feel free to ask or contribute your own divulgences.

Monday, February 2, 2009

in the beginning...

I named this blog the corner chair seat because that's where I prefer to sit when choosing a place to be in a restaurant or crowded area. This presents the best situation for observing other people that come and go, and also prevents waiters from hitting my back with a tray full of drinks. Just blending in with the wallpaper like a painting on the wall you may notice, admire for a moment, then continue with whatever you were doing. I am that painting... you may notice me, but only for a moment and only when I want to be noticed.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy attention when the timing is appropriate. On the stage, for example, is a wonderful spotlight to have. There was one show that fulfilled a dream that many people have, where I was acting as a jazz singer. I felt like Ella Fitzgerald and every other no-name singer who's ever sang in a smoky bar with the spotlight so bright you can't see anything but the microphone and the melody ringing in your ears. It was a beautiful feeling, but only temporary and for a select few... even actors have their day someday...

There's also an connotation associated with a corner chair as well... the naughty place to be sent for punishment; facing the wall in contrition until you're ready to be redeemed. Also being "shoved in a corner" insinuating being put there against your will... but what about being sent there by your own devise? It's a great vantage point to observe humanity in all its splendor and queerness.

This is where I sit to judge and be judged. We all judge people, whether we're conscious of it or not. We see a homeless man sitting on the street and immediately make assumptions about his life and who he is. We see a priest and make assumptions about either him being holy and contrite or perverse. Women are especially guilty of this; scrutinizing one another ruthlessly to try to make ourselves feel better (or worse) for our own enjoyment and torture. I'm just more open and have accepted this niche I have in my own world.

I like imagining what other people are thinking about while sitting and watching them go about their lives... What is that man researching on his laptop so intently? What conversation in whispers is going on between two friends sitting close as conspirators? What newspaper articles catch the attention of the elderly man, dressed so keenly in his 3-piece suit? I like filling in the blanks with my own imagination and being happily surprised at the truth (the few times I do discover it for myself).

Sometimes what I witness is comical... sometimes it's heartbreaking... such is life as we know it. If you dare, come and join me in a conversation... or just a game of scrabble.