comic con (photos from last july)

i was just looking at the sdcc website for this upcoming summer and i am excited. i don't like comics, and i don't like toys but i do love spending a week in san diego at a beautiful hotel with lots of places to shop! haha. we have gone for three years and last year was the first year i only went to one day rather than go with hank the whole time. one day is perfect- i check out all of the new movies coming up, see exclusive stuff on certain tv shows (lost for instance), and be entertained by all the amazing costumes! hank stays mainly in the vinyl toy area and somehow manages to enjoy himself the whole time. all of his "toy" friends from all over the world meet up and there are all these exclusive releases, etc. he has the time of his life! i usually spend my time working out in the hotel gym, swimming and sunning (with 45spf hah), and lots of shopping. can't wait!

first day
hank is so excited!

after a long day of shopping! sweaty, gross.
sooo tired after a long day of shopping

on the bus!
my arm is the star of the show

before dinner at sipz, mmm
not so crazy eyed hank

toys @ gargamel

scott and hank
scott and hank

at pokez
mmm soyrizo...

darth vader ;)
darth vader the pedestrian, totally normal

another morning

moving is the pits.

we're moving right now. well, actually hank and dustin moved us all day while i was at work and now i am sitting here trying to avoid having to go out in the cold! i haven't been spending a lot of time online so i haven't had a chance to update in awhile. my dad is doing wonderfully, he had a triple bypass and is already home and moving around. i am so relieved and proud of his strength. hank is finishing up school this semester. he is having to take an emt class to gain the knowledge he'll need for the company- his mom believes it is best if he understands all facets of the industry and i totally agree. he hates blood and anything injury related though so this semester definitely won't be his favorite. as for me, i am just really excited to already be halfway through the 3rd quarter at work and i am already focusing on the spring and summer coming up. i am living in the moment, but i am still counting down until sundresses and bikes can come out and we can spend the summer traveling and having fun. i suppose i should get a move on (literally, ha ha) and pack my clothes into my car to transport. i'll post pics of our new home later.

A Tropical Tattoo on a Cold Winter's Day

While making a quick pass through Penn Station at lunch, I spotted this sweet tattoo on a guy waiting for his train:

Steph is a student out on Long Island who designs and draws up his tattoos and then has them inked.

The piece featured above was the first one that I spotted on him (he has eight in all), and he was willing to share it here.

Perched on his left bicep, It depicts a tropical setting, with bamboo and a panther, the main element in the tattoo.

This particular design was inked about two years ago by Chris at Tattooing by Richie in Elmont, Long Island.

Previous work from the shop has appeared here.

Thanks to Steph for sharing his self-designed body art with us here on Tattoosday!

The EMC is the Only EMC

I met Eric in Penn Station as I was headed back to work during lunch.

His sole tattoo on his right forearm reads "THE EMC". The EMC refers to his initals, his full name being Eric Manuel Concepcion.

He prefaced his initials with the article "the" so he can set himself apart. It's an manifestation of his individuality.

He wants to have "great significance in life" and has a larger piece in mind to build around this tattoo.

"Only one person can be me," he says, and this exemplifies his conviction that he will be great at being who he is, and that "no one will copy" him.

I've invited Eric to submit more photos as the piece evolves.

The tattoo was inked at Funcity Tattoos in Manhattan. Other work from Funcity has previously appeared here.

Thanks to Eric for sharing his personal tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Renee's Expression of Hope and Joy In Ink: The Presidential Tattoo

Before I proceed with this tattoo, let me plaster a disclaimer on the wall. Although my politics are hardly a secret to people I know, I do my darnedest to keep them out of my blogs. People are passionate about politics, and I have seen rifts in friendships and other relationships turn into chasms of anger and resentment over a difference in politics.

By posting the following, I am neither endorsing nor espousing any cultural, political or religious views. The views expressed are those of the owner of this tattoo. I have made small edits to the statement that Renee sent along with her photos, but it remains, for the most part, in tact. My edits are marked by ellipsis (...). This photo and description represent a landmark moment in United States history. So without further ado, let the bars of "Hail to the Tattoo" begin.

Renee from Brooklyn e-mailed me this very new tattoo:

It was inked by Big Steve at Daredevil Tattoo in Manhattan.

Renee offers a lengthy explanation:

Why an Obama Tattoo?
"You don't even know if he will be a good President." "Why would you put a politician's name and face on your body?" "You are going to hell for all those tattoos." "Renee, have u lost your mind?" "Are u f*cking serious?" "Woooooow!" "This is on ULTRA!" "That is a bit much!" "That is HOT!" "Are you insane?" "OMG!" "Good shit!" "That's very nice!" "You're a dumb ass!" "How utterly stupid!" "I love you; U rock!"
Those are just some of the comments I read and heard. Some from closest friends; others from total strangers, but most were typical responses. I didn't expect a warm welcome to the idea. Yet, I am not second-guessing my decision because one of the precious gifts we have is freedom of choice. Additionally, it's a permanent tattoo so I better grill it up and eat it because it's here until death do us part.

However, I ... did not get this tattoo as a dare, as some proclaimed; or as a way to get press coverage for personal gain. Yet, I am thankful for that which I received because all publicity, whether negative or positive, is good publicity and keeps your name in the mix. I dig being in the mix; always have.

Unlike many people, I do exactly what I want to do. There are two kinds of people in this world; those who talk the talk and those who demonstrate the talk. Blame my mother, as this burning desire to walk to the beat of my own drum no matter how extreme to some, stems from her blood which runs free within me. Shout out to my mother (who doesn't have any tattoos, in case you are wondering).

For the last ten years, I have demonstrated the talk. Moved to New York as I said I would do at age 12, mingled with celebrities, did some broadcast and touched people with thought-provoking topics; wrote articles that changed perceptions and sparked controversy; been in love and failed with great stories to tell; had my name in magazines and even remain a staple on Internet search engines; been on television (Hey Amanda Lewis); was homeless, but flew out of it like a bat out of hell; held down some decent jobs and even got a better job during a...recession...performed twice in Time Square; had lunch with Secretary of State elect, Hillary Rodham Clinton; modeled when people laughed and said I was too short, too tatted; too fat, too boyish, too awkward; can’t walk in heels; too over the top; and this is only a fraction of the accomplishments.

Be it right or wrong, I've seized the moment to aspire to great heights despite the whispers from those who thought they knew what was best for me. If I lived my life based on their theories of what is just and unjust, how would I be able to call myself an individual? Along with that I am passionate on a lot of things; one of which is the state of our country.

...I have eight tattoos, with the President Obama caricature tribute being the ninth. I made the decision to get this tattoo a while ago but never acted on it. I toyed with the idea in my head and dismissed it as something I wouldn't do. When the inauguration came, I got that feeling again. The same feeling I got when Obama won the democratic nomination. The same feeling I got when Obama won the presidential election. It was a feeling of VICTORY!

President Obama didn't win alone; WE WON! We, being our ancestors who endured the brunt of slavery; our youth who have witnessed what was once said to be impossible; people everywhere of all shades of pigmentation who believed in the dream of equality and democracy; Rosa Parks who sat down and refused to comply; the joy in my grandmother's voice; and the gleam in the eyes of many. Now that I think of it, I can't remember a time I have been so in awe, so proud to stand up and support a movement; because President Barack Obama is a movement. Whether you acknowledge it or not, it is evident.

From the chants of "Obama" all across Washington, D.C. to they dirt roads of Kenya, people believed! I believe! We believe! And though my mother, father, and sister attended the inauguration, as I watched on a television at my job in New York, my feet stuck in one place, mouth open in amazement; I've never seen anything so beautiful and powerful. Something gripped my soul and hollered, "YES WE DID!"

When we got cast our ballots on Election Day, you could feel the power then. It was in some ways indescribable. I felt like I was voting for family. The interactions with President Obama and his family; Michelle's glow of intelligence and nurturing to her children; the innocence and curiosity of Sasha and Malia...

I was moved; simple and plain. I remained moved and encouraged. Others would agree with me but still say, "Did you really have to get a tattoo?" Yes! Every tattoo I've gotten has meaning and a greater significance. Some people express themselves through conversation, the arts, clothing, etc. I chose to document history by inking it on my arm as a constant reminder that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Of course I knew this before President Obama was elected but his perseverance and the drive of the American people made it full circle for me. When I think back to my childhood and an incident that occurred in Florida, when my aunt and I went fishing, I know the dream has been fulfilled.
We were traveling to the 7 mile bridge that leads to Key West to go fishing. We stopped at a small convenience store because we both needed to go to the bathroom. As a Caucasian man left the single stall bathroom he carried a key and handed it to the older Caucasian woman behind the counter. When my aunt asked to retrieve the key so we could use the restroom, she informed her that they didn’t have a bathroom. When my aunt pointed to where the sign read, "rest room,” the lady then said it was out of order. But we just saw a man leave from it who even said "thank you" upon exiting the store. This was the first time in my life I felt so insecure about my skin color. I never want ANYONE to feel that way. I never want to feel as though I would be denied anything because I am a brown. This happened in 1992, which isn’t that far back, so it shows us that some people still hold on to those discriminatory practices.

Will the world be changed overnight because Obama is in office? No. Will racism end based on his win? No. Will we still endure hardships? Absolutely. Yet, we have made SIGNIFICANT progress thus far, which only lets me know we are able to make so much more. President Obama didn't start the movement; he answered the call of the movement. He answered the call of the dream so that the children I will have someday will really be able to say, "I want to be president," and no one will see it as far-fetched. We are a million steps closer.

He is the first politician who said things I actually felt in my soul. This isn’t some cult or impulsive craze; this is HISTORY. If it’s not something you would do, I understand but in the words of Jay-Z, “Can’t Knock the Hustle.” President Obama is MOTIVATION! And if I am a fool for believing in someone who acknowledges we need change in our schools, economy, government, lifestyles, and so much more but has the power to work for that, than so be it. I'm guilty, standing tall, standing proud, boldly drenched in ink for our 44th President of the United States.

Sho Nuff!
I want to thank Renee for considering sending her tattoo photo and accompanying statement to us here at Tattoosday. Regardless of one's politics, it is difficult to convincingly argue that the election of Barack Obama was not an historic moment. I was happy to share Renee's joy here on Tattoosday.

A Weird Day

Here’s a new one for you. A straight narrative, speckled with ink references, which eventually resembled a “traditional” Tattoosday post. It certainly takes the cake as one of the most unusual encounters. I’ve significantly edited it down for space considerations.

I've also waited a week (this is back-dated) to see how it would play out.

Today was a gloomy, sleety, cold New York City day and I decided to go out at lunch, despite the rain.

After an unsuccessful circuit through the Chelsea Whole Foods, I hit the Muhlenberg branch of the New York Public Library and pick up a few CDs (The Black Parade is Dead! by My Chemical Romance, Lost Highway by Bon Jovi, and Rock My World by Bret Michaels) and some books What Is This Thing Called Love by inked poet Kim Addonizio,

Sailor Jerry Collins: American Tattoo Master

and Tattoo Nation: Portraits of Celebrity Body Art.

I head back toward work and stop under the overhang outside of Fashion Institute of Technology to take a break from the freezing rain.

I decide to talk to two students who are talking outside, smoking. I introduce myself and explain the blog and one of them is un-inked and has agreed to participate in the Unin(k)itiated survey. I’m about to talk to ask the first question when a guy comes up to us to ask a question.

Here’s where the abridging of the conversation begins.

Initially, he is looking to get directions to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue. He is visiting from San Francisco and needs to pick up a PC from there. He speaks very fast. He has been a web designer since the early 90’s. He rattles off several websites he has built for various companies. He refers to himself as “Apple Pirate,” and he mentions an Apple tattoo.

My interest is piqued. “You have tattoos?” “Four,” he replies. But he is covered in clothing and is visibly cold in the non-San Francisco weather. I don’t expect him to show me anything. I mention the blog, but he is dismissive. He makes a comment about not having time for websites that are small. I am not offended, though I could take issue with what could be perceived as a sleight. But Tattoosday is still a little baby blog, and I’m a small fish in a big blogospheric ocean, despite the occasional delusion of grandeur.

The conversation is all over the place, with Chris leading most of the discussion. Among the topics: where the nearest bike shop is, how he’s been crashing on the floor at The Hotel Chelsea because he doesn’t have the credit card he used to make the reservation at the W Hotel (he was mugged in Baltimore), the quality of F.I.T. as a school, and why the Baltimore School for the Arts is losing students to F.I.T. Also discussed is the weather, some SF vs. NYC banter, technology, design, and more on tattoos.

We drift back to his ink and he has decided that he will show me one of his pieces. Here is where this starts looking like a normal Tattoosday post. This is the tattoo on Chris’ left elbow:

That’s the Apple Pirate logo.

Chris kept talking and I continued standing with the two F.I.T. students, whose names I never got. My lunch was over and I needed to get back to work. However, both women have my card, and will hopefully contact me so I can finish the story.

They never did. Nor did Martin.

It was a truly bizarre little encounter, one which may still be unfolding in the days and weeks to come.

There was actually more to this post. Chris credited his tattoo to a well-known tattoo artist in another state. The original post discussed this artist, along with his shop, and the fact that I tracked down the artist to verify if this tattoo could be attributed to him. Ultimately, the tattooist has no recollection of the piece or the individual.

Another day in the life of the tattoo blogger!

Five Questions for the Unin(k)itiated: Nate's Hobbesian Dilemma

It was another cold day, so I cut through Penn Station on my way to the bank. It appeared as if it was going to be another tattoo-less sub-30-degree day in the Big City, so I stopped and chatted with a nice couple from Washington D.C. about their lack of tattoos.

So begins another chapter of “Five Questions for the Unin(k)itiated.” Today’s installment was better than the premiere one on the previous day.

Name: Nate

Q: Do you have any tattoos?

A: No

Q: Why not?

A: They’re expensive and I can never decide what to get.

Q: So you have considered getting a tattoo?

A: Yes, off and on for about four to five years.

Q: If yes, what would you have inked, where, and why?

A: Hobbes [The comic strip stuffed tiger from Calvin & Hobbes] on my right shoulder. I love Calvin & Hobbes, and Hobbes is the best comic strip character.

Q: If you could be a tattoo on any famous person, what would you be, on whom would you be, and why?

A: I’d be a Hobbes tattoo on Angelina Jolie’s lower back because she’s hot.

On an interesting side note, check out a photo of Angelina Jolie’s back, for real:

She already has a tiger tattoo there! Is it me, or was Nate’s response, uninformed by what Jolie has inked already, incredibly funny, considering?

Thanks to Nate for chatting with us here on Tattoosday!

Introducing: The Unin(k)itiated

What’s a tattoo blogger to do?

Or, more specifically, what’s a Northeastern tattoo blogger to do?

Sure, this is a site dedicated to tattoos, but there’s a central character here, as well, which is the city of New York. And whereas there’s a vast array of visible ink from May through September, and occasional sightings in the late Fall and early Spring, December through February are tough times for those of us in colder climates that thrive on the public spotting of a well-crafted, nay, any tattoo.

Just to illustrate my dilemma, since December 24, I have posted 21 items, only 5 of which were tattoos from people I had never met before, and all of them were initially noticed inside a building.

Anticipating this seasonal slow-down, I had been batting around some ideas on how to expand the format of Tattoosday to pique interest during the colder months. One such idea came to fruition today in a segment I will be calling “Five Questions for the Unin(k)itiated.” That is, a series of questions for people who do not have tattoos. And if you think its tough asking strangers about their ink, try asking strangers about their lack thereof.

Astonishingly, the first person I asked was happy to oblige. It was 23 degrees outside when I stopped to talk to a young woman out on Penn Plaza.

So, without further ado, here is the premiere installment of Five Questions for the Unin(k)itiated:

Name: Anna

Q: Do you have any tattoos?

A: No

Q: Why not?

A: I don’t want one.

Q: Have you ever considered getting a tattoo?

A: No

Q: Is there a specific factor that causes you to feel that way? For example, religious, cultural, etc.?

A: It’s a personal preference

[Okay, I’m going to interject something into the discussion here. Right about now, you’re probably thinking, “Gee, Bill, this is kind of boring. Are you sure this is a good idea?” Remember, folks, this was my maiden effort, and this feature may evolve. Plus, one should keep in mind, if Anna did have a tattoo, voila! Instant Tattoosday Post. Just add Curiosity. But I saved the best question for last.]

Q: If you could be a tattoo on any famous person, what would you be, on whom would you be, and why?

A: I’d be on Johnny Depp, because I like him. And I would be a palm tree on his arm, because it represents where I’m from originally, The Phillipines.

Thanks to Anna for humoring me as I questioned her in the frigid January afternoon on Penn Plaza

Do let me know in the Comments section what you think of this piece. Remember, it’s better than nothing!

sleepy puppy

sleepy puppy, originally uploaded by daniellehampton.

back from a weekend at grandma's and she is pooped! what a cutie!

new week

hank is out with his dad and just called to ask me if i wanted him to bring home any sushi! i am so starving and at the very moment i went to go make some toast i heard my phone ring. praise jesus. sushi is so much better than toast. so obviously we are back in prescott, i am sitting here on the couch about to watch the real world that i dvred last week. i've spent most of my time in the hospital with my dad the past week so i have a million shows to catch up on. and speaking of my dear dad, he is doing so well, out of intensive care and in a regular room. he should be home by saturday. this week will be a good one. hank and i will be moving, my dad is on the road to recovery, and i have a slew of packages arriving filled with various spring time goodies- dresses, shoes, and jewelery. i am counting down the moments until i can ride my bike all around town, wear dresses with no cardigan and tights, and go on morning runs without layer upon layer. prescott is beautiful year round, but the summers are quite amazing. our new home is right downtown by the square and i am so glad to be living back down there. this is our last move before we buy, and i am excited to save our money (we'll be saving almost $800 a month at our new place!). we are going from a 3 story, 3 bed, 4 bath modern townhome to a 1 bed, 1 bath victorian (built in 1909). the only reason we ever moved into this large place was because we lived with one of hank's friends, but when he got back together with his girlfriend he moved out, leaving his with a huge rent payment and way too much space. i am really looking forward to turning in these keys and being done here. our new place is so charming. even though it is a one bedroom, the rooms are quite big, open and airy. i hate moving, but love that we are getting out of here! right now i am going to put away some new clothing i got this weekend when hank took me shopping and then get ready to eat some delicious sushi. then food shopping and bed. i'm excited to welcome in a new week.

life besides life

today was a positive day for me. the entire experience i have gone through with my dad has given me a new outlook on life, as i have had so much time to sit and think while at the hospital for the past five days. we all put so much importance on such silly things, and at first glance it's easy to say those silly things don't matter...but perhaps it's those silly things that make life matter? i don't know if i am making sense. it makes sense in my little head, so i suppose that's all i can hope for. i am in a good place right now mentally, despite the feeling of fear that pops right up in front of my face everytime my mind isn't engaged. when i first heard the news about my dad i felt immediately guilty. if you know me personally, you know that i am very, very close with my parents. i talk to them every day, and visit them almost every weekend, even though i live two hours away. i had an idyllic childhood and basically entire life thanks to them. i'm attached to my mom and dad so strongly, and they are really my best friends. but when i heard the news about my dad i felt like i hadn't done enough. for a weird hour before the news my father was alive was concrete, i realized i had so many things to say to him. so many questions about his life. my father was born and raised in bolivia, traveled all over the world with his family, went to boarding school in south america, and moved to the states when he was 16. he was a nationally recognized wrestler, runner, swimmer, and most notably, soccer player. he played soccer in both n. america and s. america on semi-pro teams. later in life, when we still lived in nj, he traveled all over the world, lived in asia for two weeks at a time, and has been on more adventures than anyone i know. he currently works for the government doing anti-terrorist education and training and is on a 6-person advisory team at the white house in washington, dc. he is also an amazing writer, who is published weekly and is working on a book. throughout his busy life he managed to stay married to my mom, and stay so in love, forty years later. i know all of these broad things, but i don't know every detail. i don't know when he first fell in love, i don't know what he is afraid of, i don't know what his dreams were for himself when he was a child. i want to know so much more. and as hank and i were driving down to phoenix, unsure of my dad's fate, every question i wanted to know, every compliment i wanted to give, every thank you i wanted to express...came to mind. over the past week i have had a chance to spend more time with my amazing father. i have been able to share things with him and talk with him more than i have been able to in the recent past. and it made me realize how sad this life is that it takes a catastrophic event for people to wake up and pay attention to the love around them. i am so thankful my father is alive, and i am so thankful his outcome for the surgery looks to be a positive one. i feel completely changed having gone through the start of this journey into realizing what is important. family is forever. some friends are for life. but all the bullshit, the negativity, it's all so pointless. i want all of the people i love to know i love them. i want to treat every moment as if it is my last. and it is so trite. so, so trite. but it's absolutely true. my dad is getting another chance. i just hope and pray this chance is meant to be longer than this week, and that he pulls through this next step with flying colors. there is just so much more to this life i want to experience with my beautiful dad by my side. i really feel everything will be okay. i know it will.


first of all, thank you all so much for your kind words, positive thoughts, and any version of prayer you sent my father's way. please keep them coming! as of tonight, my dad's bypass is scheduled for friday. it's so scary but i am staying positive and i know everything will be okay.

these pictures of my dad make me so happy :)

the men

daddy and me

daddy, laur, and me


happy graduation sissy!

Liz Presents a Cherry Tattoo

The winter in New York City has not been kind to us here at Tattoosday. Inkspotting is operating at minimum visibility, but we try not to let that discourage us.

This afternoon, passing through Penn Station, I spotted some knuckle tattoos on Liz, who gladly complied with my request to photograph them. Check them out here over on

The drawback of talking to people waiting for the L.I.R.R. is, at some point, their train will flash on the board, and they'll dash off. Cognizant that the departure time of Liz was rapidly approaching, I asked if she had any other tattoos I could feature.

Unfortunately she was bundled up against the cold, and the bulk of her 30-plus tattoos were not easily viewable.

She did present to me, on the left side of her neck, these cherries:

No earth-shattering story here, folks, Liz just likes cherries. She had this inked at Tattoo Mania on Staten Island by an artist named "O'Brien 7," or just "7".

Thanks to Liz for sharing her ink with us here on Tattoosday!
i really hesitated blogging about this because it seems so stupid to even involve the internet but i feel like i need my friends to know what is going on, and this is much easier than calling every person in my life and explaining what happened over and over again. basically to make a long story somehow shorter, my dad collapsed at work on fri, around 4:30pm. when hank and i got the call from my mom, we had no idea what happened, only that my dad had collapsed and was being rushed to the hospital. hank and i immediately got in the car and headed down to phx, having no idea what was going on. it was horribly scary having no information. my mom and sister arrived at the hospital and saw my father on a stretcher going past them into the er. there was a flurry of people and emts and nurses so they only saw him for a moment before they were whisked into a side room, still not knowing what had happened, if he was alive, etc. my mother said when the social worked took her into the room she assumed they were informing her my father died, because they sent a social worker instead of a nurse or doctor, and called her into a private area. the social worker told my mom that my dad had had a massive, massive heart attack while sitting outside at work with a colleague. he fell off the bench and onto his face, hitting his head very hard. his colleague is on the bomb squad and has had lots of training with cpr, and immediately began administrating cpr to my father. he was having trouble because my dad had a blockage in his throat so he was without air for a short while. a woman was walking by and ran to call 911 so the man (josh) could continue cpr. my father was not breathing and had no heart beat/pulse. the ambulance arrived 7 minutes later and found my father, dead. they shocked his heart numerous times and eventually got his heart pumping and him slightly breathing. he was brought to maricopa medical center, which was the closest trauma center. upon arrival my father had gone back to flat-lining and they rushed him into the er. the wonderful doctors and nurses were able to bring my dad back, but he was still unconscious and they weren't sure if they would be able to wake him up. the doctors then realized my dads legs had gone pale with no blood flow or pulse whatsoever, and upon further testing over the next hour while keeping him somewhat stable but in critical condition then were able to see that his leg arteries were completely blocked off. they also initially thought that in addition to all of the major arteries in his heart being blocked, it looked like his aorta was completely severed. they couldn't give him blood thinner to fix his heart because of the severed aorta, and they couldn't fix his aorta without the heart being fixed, so it was a horrible spot and my mom had to sign a paper giving them permission to do the incredibly risky heart procedure. the odds of my dad surviving that procedure was slim to none and as they began this hank and i arrived. we didn't hear back from the doctors for about 2 hours and it was getting terrifying, as we didn't know what was going on. they came out and told us that miraculously my dad's aorta was not severed as initially thought, and they were able to place three stints into his heart, opening up a few of the major blockages. his legs were still not getting any blood and the doctors told us that the possibility of amputating his legs was very great, which was another horrible bit of information to add to everything. after they fixed his heart and got blood flowing though, his leg arteries opened back up, nixing the amputation idea thank god. so at this point my dad is in very critical condition. his head had been completely bashed in via the fall, they did a scan to look for brain bleeding (there was none), but they did inform us that because my dad was without oxygen for so long there was a possibility he may never wake up, and if he did, he would be brain damaged. time goes by, and my dad is put into the icu, not doing very well. he makes it through the night and finally wakes up the next morning (saturday), breathing tube in, neck brace, a million different ivs and monitors, etc. it was the most horrible thing to see my dad like that. his eyes weren't open very much and he just kept shaking his head back and forth and fighting the breathing tube. he was not lucid at all so we began to prepare for him being brain damaged. but as the morning went by he began to try to communicate with us with his hands, spelling things with his fingers, etc. they took the breathing tube out around 4pm on saturday, and my dad began to be able to talk to us. his short term memory was completely gone, and he couldn't remember things we told him 2 minutes prior. over and over again he would touch his head, feel the blood, and ask what was going on, how it happened, where he was. we would tell him that he died and was revived, etc and he would break down. 2 minutes later he would forget and ask again. it was horrible and i felt so bad for my poor daddy having to deal with this. he was so scared and because it was icu he could only have visitors every 3 or 4 hours for 30 minutes at a time so he was alone a lot, confused and scared. my mom, sister, hank and i stayed in the hospital every moment because things were so up and down it was terrifying to leave for even a minute. time went on and he continued to be in the icu. sat night, sun, mon...and as time went on my dad got a bit better. the doctors and nurses at this hospital did a great job saving his life, but the aftercare was atrocious (with the exception of the amazing todd- best nurse ever) and the hospital was absolutely horrible- very dirty. it was the closest hospital to the accident so we had no choice, and once he was there, there was no way to move him in his critical condition. so we were stuck with negligent and inadequate care and it was horrible. my sister's friend is a heart surgeon, in addition to hank's step dad, so we had many opinions that all were alike, but all differed from the state hospital's surgeon. the surgeon at the medical center wanted to push ahead with a risky surgery and it was not a good situation- the staff tried to bully my sweet little mom into making bad decisions and it was not good. monday morning hank's mom came down and assisted us in forcing the hospital to move him to banner baywood, which is the best hospital for his situation and where his doctors are. hank's mom is a very assertive woman who has a major part in arizona's health industry, so she knew exactly what to do and who to call. she arranged everything and when the emts arrived to transfer my father they realized that my dad had no iv in and no oxygen, which is completely illegal and negligent. any time you are a patient in the hospital (especially icu) ivs are necessary in the event they need to administer drugs quickly. so my dad had had no fluids or oxygen, and was having a hard time breathing due to these idiotic, and life-threatening mistakes. the situation was remedied by the wonderful emts and off my dad went to banner. he arrived into the new hospital (which is so much different than that horrible medical center, and a million times better), and he is still there. he is in better shape, and slowly gaining strength. his doctors have decided his best course of action is to do open heart surgery, and get a triple bypass, either this weekend or monday of next week. it is a scary surgery and i am terrified but i know my dad will be okay. i truly thought my dad had died on friday and i can't even explain what we all went through. i feel so fortunate my dad is awake, with no brain damage. his only problem is slight short term memory loss, which is normal for his trauma, but that will go away over time. it's a really hard week for our family. my dad obviously went through this horrible event and is still going through it, and my mom is having a surgery on her colon friday to remove pre-cancerous tumors. if you know my family you know my mom battled breast cancer last year (resulting in beating the cancer but having a double mastectomy) so it's been a rough couple of years. fortunately my sister is able to take my mom to her surgery while my dad is at the hospital friday. i am hoping all of the above makes sense. i really didn't want to post about it, but i wanted to share what is going on with you, my friends. please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers. we are all staying positive and i know we will get through this. the more positive energy and thoughts sent my mom and dad's way the better. and thanks for reading.

The Return of Eryn's Ink: Frankenstein's Monster and the Little Girl

At lunch, I ran into Eryn, whose yarn skull, was one of my favorite posts of 2008.

We've been exchanging messages for a while, and I have been anticipating another sample of her work (she has a lot of tattoos).

She has added to her yarn skull, and her whole right arm is a sleeve-in-progress. We decided to wait and showcase the whole limb when it's complete.

Her January offering was this brilliant portrait from the 1931 classic Frankenstein:

The picture above is the one I took, the one below is from the artist's portfolio:

This tattoo is based on this famous scene from the movie:

That's Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster and Marilyn Harris playing the little girl. The scene is simultaneously poignant and horrifying. It is a commentary on the innocence of childhood and society's destruction of that innocence through its creations. The little girl does not see a monster, but someone with whom to share a beautiful experience.

But the end result is tragic. The monster is even more innocent than the child, until his unintentional curiosity drowns the little girl.

The scene can represent many different concepts. One of which is the way society judges people based on the way they look. Adults see the creation as a monster, whereas the little girl sees him for what he is inside: a child with a curious innocence (soon to be lost).

Eryn has a lot of tributes in ink, commemorating "the darker things [she] loved as a child". This scene is her favorite one in the film, for all the meaning she finds in the brief couple of minutes therein.

The tattoo is inked on the back of her right calf. The detail in the portrait of Karloff as the monster is phenomenal:

The piece was inked by Randy Hall at Hero Tattoo in Conway, South Carolina.

Jeff Cribb, who founded the shop, is credited by Eryn as being the leading force behind the legalization of tattooing in South Carolina.

I also photographed Eryn's knuckle tattoos, which will be appearing in the future on

Thanks again to Eryn for sharing her awesome body art here with us on Tattoosday!

same tea cup, different day

more tea, originally uploaded by daniellehampton.

today was a long day, but a good one. tomorrow is my last teaching day until tuesday because we have an obama/mlk assembly all day friday followed by a three day weekend. i'm literally spending the entire weekend at the gym and doing things for me. i already feel wonderful since getting over my strange illness but i am taking these three days and dedicating them to myself...a massage and spa treatments, lots of running, reading, the same healthy food i always eat stepped up a bit, and time spent outside. yay! i am really looking forward to a much needed "me" weekend. we just got home from grandma's house and hank went to practice. so i am drinking tea, bundled up in bed. i loaded a lot of new music into my ipod so i am really looking forward to the gym tomorrow 5am. hahah. it sounds weird but i really prefer waking up around 4:30, 4:45am. it's good for the soul! so on that note, goodnight!

blurry shirley and me out last sat night

i look like a mouse, or an elf! i love shirl so much.

my favorite water bottle in the whole world

after drinking from the weird mouthpiece for so long i find myself awkwardly drinking regular water bottles, though. weird.

this video makes me laaaugh

she may kill me for posting this, but i'm not sure if she reads it! haha. anyway, this is my sister and her best friend ashley on the light rail on new years eve...with their drinks?!! i haven't been on it yet so this video is all i know. hahahaha! i think ashley thought they were taking still photographs. nope!

New Years Eve on the Light Rail

On the Bookshelves: A Few More at Borders

On Tuesday, I stopped by the nearby Borders and ran into Jill, who referred to this post, about the books on the shelves that are tattoo-related.

She showed me the photography section, where I found three more titles of interest.

The first was this title, Suicide Girls: Beauty Redefined:

For those unfamiliar with Suicide Girls, click the link on the sidebar to get a preview. It's basically a pin-up site, and most of the models are copiously inked. They're a lovely lot.


Jill also pointed out this book, Heroines by Bettina Rheims:

Although not specifically tattoo-related, some of the models in this high-end photography book sport ink.


And the third book I spotted was Celebrity Tattoos: An A-Z of A-List Body Art: 16 Temporary Tattoos to Wear by Chris Martin.

It's been extremely cold this week in New York City, so the inkspotting has been minimal. Bear with us. Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training in less than a month, which means warmer weather is just around the corner!

counting down the days until our summer vacation #1

our flights are booked and everything is set for three wonderful weeks up and down the east coast! these photos are from our last east coast month long extravaganza...we had the best time and i can't wait until may/june. ahhh!

home from work

adorable madeline loves lounging in the sun
little baby in the sun

after work, so glad to be home

this is one of my favorite dresses because it covers up my arm and chest...perfect for work!
oh photobooth

Cat's Ink Pays Homage to Her Experience on the Ocean

Over the last few months, I have reconnected with old friends through Facebook, many of whom I haven't seen in years. In so doing, many have discovered my burgeoning interest in tattoos, and the manifestation of that in Tattoosday. Many of these old friends are inked and I've posted their work here (i.e. this one form Michael).

Today's post comes to us from Catherine, the only person with whom I went to high school and college.

After college, Cat returned to Hawai'i, where she re-connected with the ocean, paddling and, among other things, taking a voyage on the Hōkūle‘a, traversing the sea in the style of the ancient Polynesians who settled on the Hawaiian Islands. That's an oversimplification but, rest assured, the journey is quite different from booking a ticket on a cruise ship.

So, it made perfect sense to me when Cat sent me an e-mail with the subject line "Cat's Tat," accompanied by the photo of her ink:

This amazing tribal piece on her lower back pays homage to her love of the ocean and Polynesian culture. I'll let her explain the rest, in her own words:

I had this done for my birthday a few years ago by Tricia Allen, who is well recognized for her knowledge of Polynesian tattooing. She's pretty much in demand for work, and is often on the BIG big island for jobs and conferences. I had known her a little bit while I was taking classes at UH, and met her again on Rapa Nui - we had a mutual friend there. Anyway, she did it in her living room in Palolo. I was sitting on a stool, bent over, with my face in a pillow. I was beginning to feel somewhat like Pavlov's dog, because ever time the buzz started, I'd get tense. She also seemed to enjoy pointing out where nerve clusters were located (owww).

Here's the story/reasoning/rationale: I had gotten a small one after our canoe club won the state championship in 1993 - my crew won the "blue ribbon" race for women, having been second all season. Anyway, once I really got into sailing, I wanted to design a new one that represented what I had seen and done in terms of canoes (both sailing and paddling). Canoes and canoe related activities have taken me all over the Pacific: The Society Islands (including Tahiti), The Marquesas, Mangareva, Rapa Nui, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji. It took 7 years of my trying out different designs before I found the concept I liked. I went for a consultation with Tricia, who gave me the idea; the Marquesans often use the idea of the human face, where each feature is a symbol in it's own right. Tricia had given me a diamond-shaped example, and from that I immediately saw what I would do.

So - the Marquesan concept, the shape of the hihimanu - ray - represents the twin-peaked mountain of Mangareva. As we approached it from the sea, it looked like a ray emerging from the sea. The eyes are Hawaiian honu - sea turtle, the wings are New Zealand Māori-style naia - dolphins, on the sides of the eyes are Rapa Nui makohe - frigate birds (separate story here - not getting into it), the mouth and nose are a double-hulled canoe and sail, with waves on either side, and the tail is supposed to be moons (for navigation and tides) and fishhooks done in a Tahitian style. Kinda ran out of room at the tail end, though! The whole represents Tangaroa/Kanaloa, who is the Polynesia-wide god of the sea. Not that I've been out there a LOT, but I have been out see the myriad incarnations of Kanaloa: the good, the bad and the truly frightening. I guess the design is in homage of what's out there...

Now I'm contemplating the next one. I have some Cook Island Māori ideas, but I want to go there first. Have also had a few people ask me to design things for them. I have also met maybe three or four others with hihimanu on their lower see LOTS of tattoos at canoe regattas!
Mahaloa nui loa to Cat for sharing this awesome piece with us here on Tattoosday, and for providing such an in-depth explanation. Truly fascinating and inspiring! We're loking forward to seeing the next one!