The Tattooed Poets Project: Jill Alexander Essbaum's Poetic Feet (and Jessica Piazza's Too!)

UPDATED! See below....

I've decided to launch this special National Poetry Month Tattoosday feature with the wonderful tattooed feet of Jill Alexander Essbaum, author of several collections of poetry, the most recent being Harlot.

Although this month I will be featuring tattoos on poets, not every tattoo is poetic, in the literal sense. Jill's inked feet are.

Jill met me in the Starbucks at 7 Penn Plaza on a cold day in February, prior to a reading at the KGB Bar later that evening.

She was one of the first poets who signed on to this project, and she allowed me the honor of taking a clearer picture of her tattoos, even though they appeared here, on the Best American Poetry blog, back in May 2008.

Although the concept may be alien to many, students and purveyors of the art of poetry know that a line of poetry can be broken down into metered verse that is identifiable based on the stress and intonation of the syllables.

People may have heard that most of Shakespeare's work is composed, for example, in iambic pentameter. What that means is that each line is comprised of five parts, or "feet," and each foot is made up of an iamb, or two syllables, the first of which is unstressed, followed by the stressed sound.

The name "Marie" is an iamb, for example, as the stress falls on the second syllable. "Mary," on the other hand, has the stress on the first syllable, and is identified as a "trochee".

There are other types of poetic fragments, such as dactylls and anapests, but the iambic and trochaic feet are the most common.

So what does this have to do with Jill's feet? When poets study and scan a line of verse, they mark it up, identifying the stress marks with the accents (or longums), and the unstressed syllables with a symbol known as a brevis.

Jill's feet are literally with the symbols denoting them as trochee (left) and iamb (right). Pure brilliance, in my opinion.

Jill and her friend Jessica came up with this idea last year and gave it significant thought.

As most poets (with notable exceptions, of course) are also teachers, they thought it would be a great visual aid when educating students on scansion.

Jill spent a weekend sketching and drawing the marks, not as easy a task as one would imagine. How to make the marks look like poetic symbols, and not stray ink marks, or even worse, scars, was a part of the process.

She and Jessica mulled the placement on the body: should they go on their wrists? Jill, a professed punster, then had the revelation: iambs and trochees are poetic feet, the tattoos should go on their own feet.

Trochee went on the right side, because it is a progressive, forward-moving beat. Iamb went on the left, as it is a heartbeat.

She and Jessica both got inked in June 2008, shortly before the West Chester Poetry Conference. What better setting to show off fresh poetry tattoos?

Each tattoo took only 15 minutes, and Jessica placed her ink on the sides of her feet, as opposed to the tops like Jill.

I want to thank Jill Alexander Essbaum for helping launch this special feature here on Tattoosday. I invite you to head over here to BillyBlog and check out one of Jill's poems, along with links to more of her work.

WAIT! There's more.....

Here's a photo of the feet of Jill's friend Jessica Piazza:

As noted before, it's the same tattoo, just oriented differently on the feet. Jessica added:
I figured, since it was my idea in the first place, I should be up on this if I can. Too bad we couldn't find a way to get tattoos that symbolize rhyme. I'm more of the meter dork than Jill, which is why I wanted these in the first place. (In all fairness, doing it on our feet was her stroke of genius!)
And, as Jill noted in the comment section, the tattooist is Chris Torres.

Head on back over to BillyBlog here to see one of Jessica's poems.

The Tattooed Poet's Project: An Introduction

April is National Poetry Month!

In addition to the "regular" Tattoosday features, every day in April will feature a different poet's tattoo(s).

Poets across America have contributed photos of their tattoos for us to enjoy, with each post linking back to BillyBlog, where one of their poems will be posted on the corresponding day.

Not all the poems are tattoo-related, but many are. Please come back every day in April to see the wide range of poetic tattoos!

Tattoorism: Christina's Fleur-de-lys

For those of you visiting Tattoosday for the first time, I refer to posts based on reader submissions as Tattoorism. That is, tattoos from out of town visiting us here in the blogosphere.

There was a pleasant surprise in my in box this morning:

Skeptics may say, "What's the big deal? It's just a fleur-de-lis!" But we here at Tattoosday don't think that way. Tattoos aren't just designs inked into the flesh, they generally carry significance that transcend the skin and touch the soul.

And I'm always interested when someone I've never met takes the time and energy to send me a photo and elaborate on their tattoo. Christina's tattoo, above, is a case in point.

I'll let Christina explain her one and only tattoo:

"Tom Berg at SoCal Tattoo in San Pedro, CA did my ink. He designed the elaborate tattoo for the main character in the tv show "Prison Break," [see below] among others.

My husband works for the show and knows Tom, so he was able to get an appointment in two weeks instead of the one-year waiting list that he normally has. So we had that going for us, which is good.

People ask me all the time if the 4-inch fleur de lys between my shoulders means that I really really love the [New Orleans] Saints, or the Boy Scouts... Nope. The fleur has been popping up in my life for years. I wore a ring with a fleur on it, identical to a ring that my best friend in high school wore, which we got on my first road trip. That relationship was instrumental in breaking me out of my shell in school. I wore the fleur on a necklace through college. Then, I spent a year living in Florence, Italy. The symbol of the city is the Florentine "gigli," or lily, the Italian version of the fleur de lys.

One of my housemates said something that stuck with me. "Florence doesn't change you, it only makes you more like you are."

For me, my tattoo is a symbol of my journey toward becoming who I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to do, living how I am supposed to live. I got it two months after I married the love of my life, my best friend since I was 12."
The Fleur-de-lis (also spelled fleur-de-lys) has appeared on Tattoosday previously here. I'd like to thank Christina for her continued readership and contribution to the blog!

I cannot guarantee that I'll publish every tattoo e-mailed my way, so I don't openly solicit contributions. However, every once in a while, it's a nice change of pace, both for us here at Tattoosday and, I believe, the readers. Thanks again, Christina!

so precious

Waking up to Madeline, originally uploaded by hch3.

hank and madeline, this morning. and yes, hank has his own special star wars pillow that totally clashes with our bedroom. you win some, you lose some... ;)

Jorge's Attabeira Tattoo Pays Tribute to His Puerto Rican Heritage

Last May, I spent a few minutes on the N train talking to a woman named Patricia who had a cool tattoo on the back of her neck (see the post here). She disembarked before I was able to get all the facts on the piece, but I still posted the blurry photo.

No, I didn't run into her again. But I did meet Jorge, who had a similar piece on his inner left forearm based on the fertility goddess Atabey, or Attabeira, the goddess of fertility in the Taíno culture of Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean:

The piece runs the length of his inner arm, and took 2 sittings and 6 hours to complete.

He had this tattooed by Byron Velasquez, then at Rising Dragon Tattoos in 2001. Byron now tattoos out of Abstract Black NYC. Jorge chose this image as an icon to represent his Puerto Rican heritage. This is one of his three tattoos.

Check out other work from Rising Dragon previously appearing on Tattoosday here.

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

Xrin Arms Explains His Tattoos

I ran into Anthony after work while passing through the Amtrak section of Penn Station.

He was in town to perform in Brooklyn and was waiting for his ride. He performs under the name "Xrin Arms," which he pronounced as "Your-in-arms". He's a techno punk musician currently on tour. Here's the flier for the gig he was playing that night:

He had an unusual series of tattoos which he allowed me to photograph, after he explained them to me.

The tattoos cover a significant part of his upper right arm, as well as one side of his forearm.

First and foremost, as a writer, he had his pen inked on his arm.

He always uses a Pilot Precise V5, he said,

and he produced one to show me, holding it up to the piece to show me that it was tattooed to scale.

The next element of his inked arm is a legion of sperm directed at his elbow. Some of the sperm are traveling from the pen, representing the knowledge that flows from the written word.

At the center of the elbow is a moth in a circle. He said that it represents a "moth in a beehive". When I questioned that image, he acknowledged that that was how he feels a lot of the time.

If you picture a moth in a beehive, you envision many things: solitude and violence. Of beauty and alienation. The sperm heading toward this image reinforce that the creative experience is a birthing process fraught with danger.

Lastly, on the back of the bicep, is an owl with its wings outstretched.

The owl represents to him that he is noctural, and stays up all night.

He has 2 other tattoos but we stuck with these because they played off one another.

They were tattooed by Chris Bragg when he was working out of Hammer's Tattoo & Body Piercing in Canton, Ohio.

Please check out Xrin Arms myspace page here. There's also a cool interview with Anthony over on the blog Digital Liver here.

Thanks again to for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday.

As an added extra, here's a video of Xrin Arms song "Feather Mask":

Two Tattooed Tourists on a Tuesday

Sometimes the hand of Fate guides the Tattoosday blogger as he journeys through the streets of New York. At lunch, a change in traffic signals prompted me to veer East, sending me into a bank vestibule that I rarely, if ever, frequent.

I could have ventured into a dozen branches or drug stores to do my business but this is where I ended up on a day that started frigid, but was still in the blustery high 30's at noon.

I finished my ATM transaction and exited, not even glancing at the two people to my left, jacketed and weighed down with large backpacks.

I hit the sidewalk, peering into a side window bordering the vestibule. I did a quick about-face and headed back into the bank. Despite the coats, hats, and long pants, I could tell the two men I had been next to had significant ink.

And, once back inside, I was delighted to find them both willing to talk tattoos.

Both men were visiting tourists from England. The first one I spoke to was Jethro "Jeff" Wood, a tattoo artist who works out of The SkynYard in Southend-on-Sea (in Essex County, 40 miles East of central London). I spoke to Jeff first, while his friend Sam worked the ATM machine.

Jeff estimates that his body is 30% covered in ink. He offered up this neck piece:

I apologize for the angle, but one can see that it's a pretty nice grim reaper tattoo. You also get a view of the small skull and crossbones behind Jeff's left ear.

He had been hanging out with another tattooer and "got drunk and tatted my neck". The artist was Dan Sims at Life Family Tattoo in Sevenoaks, Kent, in England.

Not to be outdone, Jeff's friend Sam had an amazing pirate-themed neck piece, with a "Do or Die" banner, courtesy of Jeff:

The two visitors seemed to enjoy showing their tattoos and were soon rolling up pant legs to show me what Jeff's apprentice, Charlie, had tattooed on the back of Sam's left leg:

That is the mask of The Ultimate Warrior.

Sam also showed me some work on his right leg, also credited to Charlie, featuring a mythical creature, "The Rare Horned Dolfin," stuffed and mounted by a taxidermist:

Granted, it's a funny tattoo, but I believe there was an element I was missing (perhaps a key facet of an inside joke). Sam and Jeff laughed heartily while showing me the piece, along with another gag tattoo on Sam's right calf, a D.L.T. sandwich:

In a DLT sandwich, the bacon is replaced by, you guessed it, tiny smiling dolphins!

I also get a kick out of the "I love frogs" scribbled above the D.L.T. Note the S is reversed. Sam indicated that Charlie had done some of these, but he had also inked a few himself, on an experimental basis.

Both men also have knuckle tattoos, and pictures of their knuckle are posted here at

Thanks again to Sam and Jeff for sharing their tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

back to work I go

Today was my first day back at work after spring break, which should be a pretty loathsome day but surprisingly I had a great time. I started my day off on the right foot and woke up at 4:45am and got to the gym by 5am when it opened. I did my cardio and came home to a great homemade protein shake. It's seriously the best, and so, so good for you. Here's the recipe:

1 cup almond milk
1 scoop protein powder (I use whey protein)
1 teaspoon bee pollen (I'll go into this in a minute)
1 teaspoon finely ground flax
frozen organic mixed berries
frozen organic peaches
fresh org strawberries!

Add it all in a blender and there you go! It's the most delicious, nutritious start way to your day. Combining the complex carbs and protein is the best thing you can do, and it's great for after a workout. You can vary the fruit and even do a banana/almond butter smoothie, just peaches, etc. The aforementioned fruit is just what I had in the house today so that's what I used.

Bee pollen is a super amazing supplement that has a lot of health benefits. It's toted as a "super food" because it has all of the complete nutrition you'd need for one day. It is a veritable alphabet of vitamins, tons of trace minerals, it's a natural appetite suppressant, it contains "more protein by weight than beef," and it smells and tastes yummy. It also is a great topper on your oatmeal in the morning or even dissolved in hot water if you're not wanting to eat. I really recommend it!

In other news, I am looking forward to heading down to Phoenix again this weekend to attend Run With the Hunted CD release show, and to see Sarah's new band, Ready Resist! Then the following week I get tattooed...awesome. I have a million things planned and I'm excited to get to work on them. The high school's prom is in a week too and Hank and I are chaperoning! Haha! It should be adorable.

Soo, tonight is a totally relaxing night, I cooked dinner and now Hank is watching the Suns game in the living room and I am about to watch "Let the Right One In." I hope it's good!

almost over

What a spring break! I am heading to sleep early, even though this is kind of my last night of vacation. I am so exhausted! This weekend has been wonderful. Last night we celebrated Zoe's (and Nick's) birthday with a vegan pizza party and then went to see "I Love You Man," which was so delightful! I laughed almost the whole way through and I am usually not a huge fan of comedy movies. Afterwards we all went back to the O'Hagans and hung out, it was such a fun night. Annnd, today was such a lovely day too! Since I didn't get to sleep until very late Friday night I ended up sleeping in until 10am or so (yuck) this morning and then went out to Tempe to hang out with Sarah. Our original plan was to eat lunch at Green, but with Rural's closing we chose Pita Jungle instead. I got my usual Macro Platter and it was delicious and it was so so nice to spend time with one of my closest friends. She warms my heart and I am still basking in the little afterglow of seeing her, funny as it sounds! Afterwards I headed over to Erin's and we had a little bbq for her parents, so I got to spend time with more great friends. We hung out and of course ended up playing Catch Phrase. I was going to hang out with Shirley tonight after the bbq but she had to push our plans until tomorrow so that's one more thing to look forward to! I am just feeling so thankful for my friends and all of their wonderfulness... it's been an amazing weekend thanks to them!

I am really happy right now because I feel like I am actually following through with the changes I wanted to make about myself. It's really just the beginning of that journey to bettering myself in a positive way, but I have made a lot of headway and I feel really satisfied with my progress. It's a good feeling to recognize an area of improvement and then actually feel yourself moving forward.

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days when I am in Mesa because I do an early gym with my parents and sis, then go to coffee (I drink water, I can't stand coffee or caffiene in general) and we go food shopping at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Trader Joe's. Yes, my parents insist on going to all three places because there are things they need at each place. My Mom is THE healthiest eater I have ever known and she makes all kinds of natural concoctions so she buys a lot of specialty items at each place. She is a huge reason/inspiration why I eat the way I do, and I really enjoy going with them and getting new ideas for meals and what not.

So, back to work I go on Monday. I am actually looking forward to it, which is a weird feeling. I miss my work girls a lot and I am looking forward to catching up with them, and seeing my kids! It's funny, but I do miss them.

And for now, sweet dreaming time...

our silhouettes from disneyland

Only God Can Judge Him

A nice surprise last night when, out of the blue, a previous Tattoosday subject, John, sent me his latest tattoo.

I met John initially at the 3rd Avenue Festival in Bay Ridge, back in the earlier days of the blog, where he displayed a leg piece in progress here.

He later had the piece finished and we featured it, in all its glory, here. In addition, he sent me photos of his other three tattoos here.

But here is something new from John, who I haven't seen in a while. He explained this new tattoo via e-mail:

[It] says "Solo Dio Puo Giudicarmi" ... which means [in Italian] "Only God Can Judge Me"... I got the tattoo for religious reasons and for another one ... nowadays people give a shit too much about what other people think and try to conform to be like everyone else just to blend in. [The tattoo] is a reminder to me and to all that read it, regardless of belief: just be who you are. Because, in the end, it does not matter what anyone else think of you, but you.
Thanks again to John for sending this my way! We always appreciate return visits from previous Tattoosday subjects!


...reblogged from a blog that was recommended to me last week by Tea, that I have already been reading for awhile!

Click HERE to visit Galadarling's blog, she is amazing and so entertaining to read. I wanted to share this long entry of hers (again, I did not write this, I am simply reblogging her post because I want to share it), because I think a lot of it can hit home with a lot of people I know. It's a great, inspiring read, and it makes me feel so happy that I have wonderful girlfriends. Maybe you have struggled with this kind of thing in the past, or maybe you currently are, but it's always good to read some positive words and this blog especially reminds us why we (as females) should all get past our hang ups and support each other! In the past I have dealt with both sides of the fence, when I was younger I'm sure I dealt with feelings of jealousy towards people and in the past I have definitely dealt with girls disliking me for whatever reasons they made up in their heads about my life, without even knowing me. I am just very lucky to have always been surrounded by girlfriends, and that's never changed. Female friendship is a super interesting topic for me, and I wish more girls could experience really having great girls to be around. From dance and sports growing up, to my sorority, I have always gravitated more towards girls for friends than guys. But I know many are not the same way and look to females as being the enemy. That makes me so sad. Jealousy is such a waste of time, and it's all just so silly. This blog really touches on some awesome points and I know every girl could get something out of it! I truly enjoyed this read, and I hope you do too. And be sure to add Galadarling to your blog reading list.

“Being a sexy & powerful female is one of the most subversive projects of all. (We are the priestesses of a new kind of power oh yeah.) We know we are not like this due to any weird gene formation or luck or trick. We are how we are from working together with our eyes open & having experiences & getting help from our moms & friends. We vow to struggle against the “j” word (jealousy) the killer of GIRL LOVE. We are not special, anyone can do it. ENCOURAGEMENT IN THE FACE OF INSECURITY is a slogan of the revolution.” (Introduction from Bikini Kill: A Color + Activity Book // source)

Why do girls dislike other girls — or find it almost impossible to make a female friend that they can stick to for a while? Well, let’s test something out. Raise your hand if you have ever thought any of the following things.

She’s so much prettier than me. I wish I had thighs like that. Why is her complexion so flawless? Man, she’s so outgoing. She seems really popular. I bet she never feels lonely like I do. I never know what to say & she always has the perfect comeback. So many guys like her. Why doesn’t anyone look at me like that? How come I never get any attention the way she does? How come she doesn’t have to work as hard as I do? Why does everything seem to happen so easily for her? She is so beautiful. I wonder if she’s had surgery. I bet she has an eating disorder. What’s her flaw? Why does he like her & not me? Why does she always get invited out & not me? She’s so talented. I can’t do anything as well as she can. How can she live a lifestyle like that? I bet some dude pays for everything. How come I don’t have that arrangement? I hate her. I hate myself. Why do I suck so much?

...Yeah, me too. So what do the sentences above have in common?

  1. They all involve competition or us comparing ourselves to someone else
  2. They always assume that we come up short, or as the “loser”
  3. They all invalidate us
  4. They assume that we know the full story
  5. They all have jealousy as a root cause

As the old cliché goes, the grass is always greener, & it’s easy to look at someone else’s life & feel like you don’t measure up — or to assume that their life is perfect, flawless, a field of daisies at all times. No one’s life is perfect, which is not to say that we shouldn’t do our best to improve ourselves, but it’s worth remembering. Everyone has their own pain, no matter how beautiful, wealthy, famous or talented they are — & everyone gets jealous sometimes! You are not a weird freak. I promise.

So many of us are raised to believe that other women are competition, that we are locked into a constant game of who-is-prettier, who-can-get-the-dude, who-has-a-better-job, who-can-lose-their-baby-weight-fastest, etc., & IT IS ALL NONSENSE. WHO CARES. IT IS NOT IMPORTANT. Trust me on that one. Sure, you can indulge in that if you want, but there is always going to be someone hotter, faster, smarter, more cunning than you. Those victories — the Prettiest Girl Cup, the Billionaire-Boning Medal, the Well-Paid Wonderwoman Triathlon — if you ever have them, are short-lived & empty, because then you actually have to get on with living your life, & truthfully, no one is really watching you anyway. They are too concerned with their own thing. Stop living your life for an imaginary audience & make yourself happy!

One thing I’ve noticed over the last few years is that if you’re really happy with yourself & your life, or if you become that way after years of self-loathing or misery, the way that you interact with other people & the world around you completely changes. For example, a few years ago I disliked humanity so much that I would practically go around daring people to prove my assumptions right. I think I probably had a laundry list of people I hated. I would meet up with my friends & we would gossip & talk shit about the people we had met who had managed to evoke our ire (not a difficult task at the time, I was really looking for any excuse to be pissed off). I loathed my job(s). All my friends hated their jobs too. I felt stuck, I had very low self-esteem, & my only friends were really people I drank with on the weekends. It never ran any deeper than that, which I resented, too. I would read the blogs of people I disliked & leave scathing anonymous comments. I complained about everything. Long story short, I was an epic drag to be around.

So how did I manage to flip my perspective on girl friendships? I don’t have a step-by-step for you, unfortunately, but even if I did, we all have our own processes. It seemed like it just happened, but really it didn’t. It was an unexpected bonus of having done so much work on myself. If you think of your beliefs & values, all that stuff that makes you you, & envision it as a big rug, well, I had been hanging that rug outside for two years, beating it mercilessly to make room for new stuff in my life. I had been using EFT & healing techniques & combing over all my beliefs, deciding to change all the things which didn’t serve me any more. It probably had something to do with the fact that now I felt like I was worthy of having real friends, too. So one day, I woke up & realised I had a bunch of really incredible female friends. Bonus.

Similar to the way in which if you’re happy with yourself & your life, you don’t trawl the internet being nasty, if you’re happy & have good self-esteem, you don’t view other girls as competition any more either. As with anything, when you notice a problematic pattern which keeps repeating itself, it’s time to look at what you’re doing to contribute to it. After all, the only constant is you…

One thing that can be useful is to grab a pen & paper & write down the exact reasons why you’re jealous of this girl or that one. Be really honest. Even if the reason is something totally shallow like, “Her thighs don’t touch & mine do”. Put it down. THEN, & here’s the key, look at that thing & work out why you place so much value on it. Think about your life & where this belief that that particular thing is important came from. If you don’t like Meredith because she gets attention from guys wherever she goes, work out why you feel like you need that. Did you always want love you never got from your father or some other male role model? Consider these things & process them. Often when you dissect it down to the bare bones, you’ll realise that it’s actually kind of a nothing reason, just something you have an emotional attachment to or involvement with. Knowing yourself is important — it’s powerful. You can then take that information & let go of it however you want: meditation, EFT, rituals, or just deciding that it doesn’t serve you any more & letting it go.

When you’re happy with who you are & you feel a lot of love in your everyday life, which, by the way — if it isn’t a reality for you already — is totally possible & achievable, it’s much easier to turn those little snarls of jealousy into something positive. For example, I used to feel really threatened by beautiful girls, & sometimes I still am. I have a teeny tiny freak-out in my head, like, “Man, if I’m standing around with them, I am totally going to be the ugly friend...”, but then I take a deep breath, & I let it go. I spin it around, & remember how much I love them as people, how much fun it is to look at them across a table, & what great additions they make to photos!

I suppose if my super-pretty friends acted like super-turds, it would he harder to flip my view, so maybe that’s something to keep in mind! Hunt out people who are fun, pleasant & act with integrity! They’re much more likeable by default & you won’t be constantly trying to dig up their positive attributes to balance out your jealousy about the shape of their eyes, size of their hips, number of active suitors, etc.

One of the keys to this whole thing is learning to appreciate other people for who they are. Van Gogh was probably a better painter than you are, but are you jealous of him? I doubt it. It’s much more likely that you think he’s brilliant, & if you ever got to hang out with him, you’d tell him how much you liked his work, & maybe you’d try to learn something from him. I think we need to approach friendships the same way. Be incredulous & impressed & unattached. Other people feel like that about you too, you know.

Another thing to bear in mind is that you can build really true, strong friendships if you shift your focus to the positive when you’re together. Instead of meeting up & plotting ways to destroy other people’s relationships — or whatever it is you do — talk about your goals for the future, describe who you’re in love with, speak about beautiful things. No truly happy girl is going to want to be friends with someone who talks badly about everyone they know. (I have met plenty of people in the last couple of years, which has been amazing, but even when it comes to good, well-intentioned people, if I notice that they gossip a lot or talk about other people all the time, I just don’t get that close to them…)

As for actually making friends, I strongly believe that once you have your attitude & beliefs about friendships lined up, it will just happen. But if you want some clues, here are mine: Make yourself available to people (but don’t harass anyone). Be friendly. Smile. Ask questions. Make yourself useful. Help out. Laugh. Do adventurous things together — it bonds you more than just getting coffee, & gives you something to talk about later. Trust that it will all work out — the best friendships don’t require constant maintenance or fretting! & if something amazing happens to your friend, don’t be afraid to say to them, “I’M SO JEALOUS!”. Being open about it & actually expressing that to them takes a lot of the weight off.

Don’t be intimidated by other women — we are here to help one another. We all want more friends, we all want cute phone-calls, we all want hugs & kisses & ridiculously fun photo opportunities. None of us are perfect, & that’s cool, & our preoccupations with our own flaws don’t have to control us.

Have you had to deal with jealousy in a friendship? What did you do about it?

Hyper-love & bunny kisses,
Miss Gala Darling


What a week! Tomorrow morning we are finally heading home to Prescott, and I am so, so sad to leave my best friend. It's hard to have Autumn and her family live all the way out here but within a year she will be back in Arizona, thank goodness. I am way too tired to go into all the details of our trip right now but here are some random photos from the rest of the week:

Chloe and me this morning

entering Disneyland yesterday
more us

leaving the Disney Railroad!
leaving the disney railroad

Hank and his ice cream
ice cream

Hank looks amazing here!
hank is priceless here, you can kind of see me!


Autumn and J at Bill's accordion concert!
the loops!

downtown with hank

cupcakes from Frosted on 2nd Street
frosted cupcakery. hank's butterfinger cupcake is in this good.

Chloe already loving Marc ;)
chloe already loves marc!

Long Beach, in front of Autumn's house
long beach

at the beach on Monday
beautiful day today


Uncle Hank teaching Chloe all about Apples.
Uncle Hank teaching Chloe important stuff ;)

at Yogurtland!
Hanky and Autumn

castle photo

castle photo, originally uploaded by daniellehampton.

Tattoorism: Joltin' Joe Swings for the Fences

A couple weeks back, I posted a really cool Marilyn Monroe tattoo with a New York Yankees spin.

To give Joe DiMaggio his proper due, we have this leg piece above, sent to us by Craig, who explains:

"[Had] this tattoo done last February. I am a big Yankee fan .... [I] like watching all the old timers on TV anytime I can. Wanted something different.....something that stood for what baseball was, back in the day. Had it done by a local shop, Hard Core Ink in Catasauqua, PA. Jon was the artist. The guy does not know how good he really is! I have the next one lined up .... going to have [Mickey] Mantle kneeling in the on deck circle at The Stadium put on my right leg."

Craig's piece is a great replica of this famous photo:

As baseball season approaches, we here at Tattoosday thank Craig for sending us his awesome tattoo of "The Yankee Clipper," and look forward to seeing what Jon at Hard Core Ink can do with Mickey Mantle.

Thanks Craig!

Megan's Numeric Neck tattoo

On a day when my wife was tattooed with a lucky "13," it seemed fortuitous when our waitress at dinner unveiled her numeric tattoo:

Born on April 7, Megan had these hash marks inked onto the back left side of her neck.

Because of the numbers 4 and 7 being significant in her life (aside from their analagousness to the seventh of April), she chose a rather unorthodox forty-seven lines, inked up like a scorecard.

This was tattooed at New York Adorned.

Thanks to Megan for baring her neck in the line of duty and sharing with us here on Tattoosday!

Tehila's Amazing Tattoos Rest Deep in Her Faith

After my wife got her "13" tattoo (story here), we had some time to kill before our dinner reservations at 7:00 pm. So, we headed to Chelsea, then walked down 23rd Street to the Housing Works Thrift Shop.

It was there, while browsing, that I met Tehila, who was visiting from Washington, D.C. It was this tattoo that jumped out at me:

Quite an elaborate neck tattoo, which was in part designed by her mother, from her birth announcement. The quote, "Do justly, walk humbly, love mercy," is from the book of Micah (Chapter 6, Verse 8) in the Old Testament.

The complete passage from the King James Version is

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Tehila, however, had another tattoo to show me. She took off her jacket and rolled up her right sleeve.

On her inner forearm was this amazing hamsa tattoo:

Unfortunately, the photo doesn't do the piece justice, as the prayers, in Hebrew, circle the arm completely. One of the prayers is from the Amidah. I generally shy away from taking pictures of pieces that wrap around the arms, for fear of not being able to capture the full spirit of the tattoo. But in this case, the work was so lovely, I couldn't resist.

Tattoos with Hebrew writing have appeared previously on Tattoosday here. I have featured a hamsa tattoo previously here.

The pieces are credited to Imaani K. Brown and Chris Menhah at Pinz-N-Needlez in D.C. Chris inked the Hamsah and Imaani is responsible for the neck piece and the Hebrew text the wraps around the forearm.

Wondrous thanks to Tehila for sharing these beautiful tattoos here on Tattoosday!