Ups and downs

Today was such a weird day. I had a very strange emotional night last night, to the point of almost crying myself to sleep with Hank holding me! Gag. I hate feeling that way...and really for no reason! I just felt stressed out and full of anxiety and when I get that way there's usually not a reason for it, it's just a feeling in me and once I get through it I am fine. But while it's there, it's bad. So anyway I went to bed feeling not so well, and I woke up feeling not so well either. This carried throughout my day, and whether it was my mood, or my kids just being jerky, it wasn't a good day in my classroom. I got home and fell asleep on the couch, basically feeling hopeless and just very sad overall. I woke myself up because I had a gym date with my friend Robyn (I ended up waking up too late and miss the "Pump Iron" class, boo), but I made it to Spin class. The class was just what I needed, and 60 very hard minutes later I was covered in sweat and everything negative in my body had left. I came home feeling great and when Hank got home from practice he could tell I was back to normal.

I spent the rest of the night making a little video (below) to announce the winner of the giveaway- yay Chelsea- and then hanging out with Lance and Hank for awhile. I'm whitening my teeth right now and then I am hitting the hay. Tomorrow I am determined to have an amazing, positive day no matter what. After work Robyn and I have a long run planned through downtown and I am really looking forward to that. She's an awesome workout partner and I feel very fortunate to be able to have a friend to share my fitness adventures with!

So, that's it for now. I hope all of you also choose to have a wonderful, positive day. It's easier said than done, but it really is a choice, and no matter how you feel right now, you can choose to wake up tomorrow and make the best of it.

Here's to a great day! And a goodnight... :)

Congratulations Chelsea!

Oh, hi!, originally uploaded by Chelseabirdd.

You are the winner of the nail polish giveaway! :)

Here's a video about it that I just took- PLEASE excuse my gross hair/everything. I just got home from a really, really hard 60 minute spin class and I'm super sweaty w/no makeup but I really wanted to a take a little video of me picking the winner! So, you get to view me in all my glory, bang-pushing out of the way, sniffly nose self! haha.

So again, congrats to Chelsea! All of you should add her adorable blog too-

A Word of Thanks.....

With the onset of Fall, I compose this note as the month of September is coming to an end.

I look around sadly at the long pants, long sleeves, and covered frames that, just a few weeks ago, were so much more interesting to behold.

I am filled with sadness.

The past month has been a record-breaker for Tattoosday. When we first spun off from BillyBlog, we garnered 120 hits in the first three weeks of our infancy.

Last year, I was amazed by my progress, in September '08 we racked up 13,351 hits.

And this September, when I anticipated a drop off from a record August, Tattoosday soared into uncharted territory, on pace to top 38, 000 hits on the last day of the month. This may not seem like a big deal, but blogging is often lonely, and the number of hits is often the only measure of recognition we receive.

So, the summer ink is running dry, but despair not, I will continue to spot tattoos, although perhaps not at the dizzying rate of the past few months.

I have a backlog of posts and a head full of ideas to keep us entertained as the leaner months loom.

I thank you all for your continued readership and participation. I am very appreciative of your support!

Bill Cohen

Little Dead Riding Hood

I met Amy in Penn Station earlier this month and she agreed to share this, one of her eight tattoos:

Actually, she has since e-mailed me about her ninth, and I am waiting for a photo.

This tattoo represents an undead version of Little Red Riding Hood, which is Amy's favorite fairy tale.

She also likes zombies, so it seemed like a good match.

This tattoo was inked by T.J. Mcinnis at Mcinnis Tattoo Company in Providence, Rhode Island.

Thanks to Amy for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Zack's Spectacular Foot Tattoos

I met Zack earlier this month as he was walking north on Broadway. But, like many Tattoosday encounters, the ink I spotted (on his leg) was not what ended up here on the blog.

Behold, Zack's feet:

These incredible foot tattoos were created by Beef Stu at Bleed Blue Tattoo in Lexington, Kentucky. Zack recently moved to New York from the Bluegrass state.

Zack told me that the idea for these tattoos came to him in a vision. His right foot tattoo is comprised of a DNA strand, the key to life.
And the left foot. with the skull, represents death.

The word "LIVE" is spelled out above the pieces, with "LI" on the right foot and "VE" on the left. The tattoos, together, Zack told me, serve as a "reminder not to get caught up in the shit" and to "make the most of what you can between life and death".

It took three or four sessions (the feet are not easily inked) for these tattoos.

Thanks to Zack for sharing his amazing foot tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Other modes...

Do any of you wonderful people have a twitter? Or a facebook?

Let's be friends!



Being an English major in college, and an English teacher now, of course I love poetry. I used to be very, very into borderline obsessed with Sylvia Plath when I was about 15 and obsessed with Bukowski and Anne Sexton and all the rest of those amazing confessional poets throughout my adolescent and teen years. And hell, I'm still obsessed with my darling Plath and read the others as much as possible. I think reading that insane poetry made me a little odd growing up. I still can't figure out and remember how exactly I got into all of it, but I was terribly emo way before that silly term even existed, and I used to write insanely dark poetry quite often. It's funny because I think I always appeared happy but I had this weird little dark side to me that I reveled in. Now that I'm so happy most of the time, grown up and out of my coming-of-age emotions, it's hard for me to really sit down and write like I used to. I still do, but not as frequently. I read for at least two hours everyday though, and today I rediscovered this poem and it made me really happy, and sad, and feel weird. It reminds me of something from a long time ago.

Do you have a favorite poet? I'd love to hear who you love.

I'll leave with the poem I stumbled upon-

some dogs who sleep at night
must dream of bones
and I remember your bones
in flesh
and best
in that dark green dress
and those high-heeled bright
black shoes,
you always cursed when you drank,
your hair coming down you
wanted to explode out of
what was holding you:
rotten memories of a
past, and
you finally got
by dying,
leaving me with the
you’ve been dead
28 years
yet I remember you
better than any of
the rest;
you were the only one
who understood
the futility of the
arrangement of
all the others were only
displeased with
trivial segments,
nonsensically about
Jane, you were
killed by
knowing too much.
here’s a drink
to your bones
this dog
dreams about.

-Charles Bukowski

Stephanie's חַי

It was a string of elephants marching above Stephanie's right ankle that first made me stop and talk to her, but she offered up this, her first tattoo, as well:

She started with the Chai at the top of her left breast. At the time, Stephanie was dating a guy who was covered in tattoos., She was 35, uninked, and going through a mid-life crisis. The shop was in Brattleboro, Vermont, but it has been gone for years.

She liked the tattoo so much, she later added the Star of David and the leaves. The Jewish theme was a tribute to her cultural identity as a Jew.

It somehow seemed both suiting and slightly inappropriate to post these tattoos on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year on the Jewish calendar.

I am waiting to hear back from Stephanie for clarification on her string of elephant tattoos. But, in the mean time, I thank her for sharing this deeply personal tattoo with us here on Tattoosday.

Lovely Sunday

Today was Dogtober Fest, so once we were up and at 'em, we headed downtown with Madeline. My old friend Tim was in town with the Raw Spirit Vegan festival that took place this weekend, so Hank and I got to spend the afternoon with him, which was awesome. I've been friends with Tim for many, many years and it's always good to reconnect with him and catch up. I first met him when his band played in Phoenix about 5 years ago maybe and we've kept in touch, on and off, ever since. He's a great guy.

So anyway, downtown was super crowded, but the best kind of crowded- puppies and dogs everywhere! Big dogs, small dogs, fluffy dogs, dogs with hats, dogs with boots, seriously millions of dogs! Madeline loves people and pups, so she was in heaven.

Since Tim was working at the vegan fest he brought some awesome, delicious food with him to share with us, and I have to make note of the raw, vegan chocolate mousse pie he brought. It was one of the best pieces of pie I've ever had in my life and I was completely blown away by it. It came from a raw "bakery" in Sedona and I can't wait to take a weekend trip with Hank over there and enjoy some more.

While downtown we ran into various friends and their dogs, so it was a very fun day and the weather was to die for! Seriously perfection.

Here are some photos:

walking down our street
afternoon walk

my feet in the green, green grass in our front yard
green grass in our front yard

happy Madeline!
Happy Madeline!

Robyn and Bodhi
Robyn and Bodhi

Dogtober Fest, downtown Prescott


Madeline loves vegan food

beautiful, beautiful day
picture perfect day

Tim and Hank
Tim and Hank

Tim and Ashley's dog, Nipper - "his name makes me nervous..."
Tim and Ashley's dog, Nipper

regal Maddie

Dad? Pick me up?

Greyhounds that need rescuing, they were so beautiful!
Greyhounds for adoption/rescue

THE pie!

Amazing pie, happy me!
See? Delicious pie, happy me!

Tim and me :) :)
my dear friend Tim and me

Madeline and Mom

a little closer, I can't decide which one I like better :)
adorable little pup

family photo
family photo

Afterward we came back home and Robyn and I hit the gym, I did some grocery shopping, edited HOTW's new album's lyrics, and now I am here in bed, thinking about going to sleep! I'm very excited for this week, for no reason in particular but I feel it will be a good one!

Happy Sunday night everyone! And don't forget to enter my nail polish giveaway below. xoxo

Nail polish giveaway

Videos always make me feel a little awkward but still fun to switch it up a bit! Don't forget to leave your name and email so I can contact you if your number is chosen. Even if you don't usually comment I would love for you to maybe win! :) Happy Sunday! We are off to the square for Dogtober Fest. Pictures later, I'm sure.

Also, feel free to reblog this if you'd like! <3

J.R.'s Five Elements

At the end of August, I spent a couple of minutes on the R train with J.R., who has quite a few tattoos. I didn't have time to take notes, just photos, and I hoped that she would e-mail me with all the details of her work. Fortunately, she did. So, what follows is her explanation of the tattoos, with a little bit of friendly editing.

"My left arm? Dedicated to the five I see them to be. Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Friendship.

The ants (done by Roni from Hidden Hand Tattoo in Seattle) represent Earth.

Ants are the closest social structure to mirror humans. They have no real strength individually, but together can achieve so much. As a human, I feel it is destined to feel lonely and when I got the tattoo, I came to terms with that and even found beauty in it. I want to feel less like an ant in the sense that there is something that I'm "supposed" to do and if I don't do it I'll be punished or kicked out of the colony, so to say. I want to feel more that there is a greater purpose for my life (or at least one that reflects me as an individual and not what society tells me to be) and that with the help of others I can realize that to it's fullest potential.

The clouds and birds (done by Jeff Cornell owner/artist at Hidden Hand Tattoo) represent Air.

There is a Leonard Cohen song called "Bird on the Wire" that I think is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I feel the lyrics of the song so deeply and feel that they express such a core sense of who I am. Always, trying to be free. I aspire to someday be free instead of always trying and the tattoo is an attempt to remind myself that the feeling of trying is also a choice just as easy as the feeling of being free is a choice. The past tense nature of the words remind me to be light and free as a bird...

The blue tattoo on my inner arm (done by a girl in her apartment 10 years ago and I can't even remember her name) represents Water.

It is a play on yin and yang as well as a the symbol for Cancer, which is my astrological moon sign. Cancer is ruled by the moon and your moon signs make up your emotional nature. So, I feel this sign very strongly and luckily balances my Leo sun sign which I will get to more later. The symbol has stars instead of circles like a traditional yin yang because I wanted it to represent the universe within myself versus me questioning the universe around me. I got the box around it to express the feeling of being limited due to the human mind. I wanted to remind myself that any limitations are just an illusion and the healthy balance is one in which I'm learning from my experiences but also pushing my own boundaries.

The red and orange tattoo on my outer arm was done by the same forgotten artist though I will mention I was one of her first clients and that she was the perfect person for the job due to her own self-exploratory nature. She provided a healing space in which I was able to have an out of body experience.

The tattoo represents Fire. It captures my before mentioned fire sign of Leo, which is ruled by the sun. It is also Buddhist themed using a Tibetan mantra Om Mani Padme Hum which roughly translates to "the jewel is in the lotus," which to me is a beautiful way to live life. The lotus roots reach far into the muck and swamp but emerge with a beautiful flower on top. The tattoo is an attempt to capture the notion of living in the world yet being separate from it, as to not get burned or be consumed by it. The circle in the tattoo represents the sun and myself and the red is the part of myself that struggles to find my way in the world.

The beehive (done by Louis Barak here in NYC) is a tribute to Emer and Naomi, two best friends of mine, and the tattoo as a whole captures what I consider to be the fifth element, Friendship...It bears the lyrics of The Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends." We lived together in Seattle and called our lovely house the Beehive. We used to listen to The Beatles A LOT...though now I'm more of a Stones fan.

There are two bees buzzing to represent them

and the three forget-me-not flowers represent each of us. Emer and Naomi have known me the longest and have seen me through thick and thin. They mean the world to me and I love them both like sisters. I know in my heart that we will know each other forever."

A big thanks to J.R. for sharing her tattoos with me on the subway and then writing so eloquently about them for us to read here on Tattoosday!

My night in: candy corn, Mad Men, and a comfy bed...perfect!

Friday night

After we opened our amazing presents from Alex, Hank had two shows to play downtown. He is now playing bass in Hot Skin, so they played an all-ages show at Calavera (I love that venue so much) and then a 21+ show at Sundance's.

But let me rewind for a moment since I haven't really posted very much this week! The past few days have been a treat. The weather has been to die for, my students have been in the best moods (two weeks until Fall Break, so of course they are!), and I've spent quite a bit of time with both Hank and friends. I posted about Thursday two entries back, but after work I went and had a peel on my face and I am currently paying for it with the entire first layer of my facial skin peeling off. It's so gross but it really does wonders for my skin. I love my dermatologist, he's more of a cosmetic derm so everything he does is on the spa side, but is covered by insurance. I get peels because I have some scarring on my face from past breakouts. Nothing major at all, but since I'm so pale if I ever get a zit it will leave a faint red dot, which I hate. The peels are totally getting rid of them and I couldn't be happier. Plus, they make my skin feel really nice and glowy. So that was Thursday. On Friday after work Robyn and I took a horribly/wonderfully hard spin class called TGISpin. It's really, really cheesy and they put on party music and disco lights the whole time. Let me tell you, nothing can make that class fun. It's torture, but in a good way I guess. Following class I went over to Calavera to watch Hank play his first show with Hot Skin, then home for a bit, then over to Sundance's. The rest of the night was spent running around downtown, being silly with friends, singing along to Billy Joel songs at the piano bar, running into a million people we knew, and just having a grand ole time. I woke up this morning and headed down to Phoenix so Rhonda could do my hair and I was so happy to spend time with her catching up. It was the highlight of my day! I was going to stay down in Mesa for the evening and go out with my sister, Suki, and friends, but I started to feel a little blah when I got home and decided it would probably be best if I just came back up here and laid low. I'm already feeling better and I'm so, so glad I decided to take it easy. Right now Hank and Matt are having a little sleepover, which is hilarious. I'm talking PJ pants, candy in bowls, and SNL-watching. It's cracking me up. So that's today. And tomorrow, wonderful Sunday, will either be a jam-packed day, or a relaxing day, depending on how I feel. Ideally Hank and I will take Madeline down to Dogtober Fest, which is a big party for dogs down on the Square. Then my friend Tim from CA, who is working the Raw Spirit Vegan Festival that's touring through town this weekend will be coming over to hang out for an hour or two. I'm really looking forward to catching up with him. Then gym, classroom time, and sleep! If I feel shitty though, I'll just see rest all day. Here's to feeling well! I'll leave you with some photos -

my nails are STILL perfect, a week later! I love this polish...and stay posted for a giveaway that I'll post tomorrow that has soooomething to do with this! ;)
Three days later, still perfect. Awesome nail polish!

Madeline suckling her bed as she naps, it's very weird and very cute!
This is how Madeline sleeps

Hank tuning his bass at Calavera

playing at Sundance's later in the evening
Hot Skin

Robyn (she teaches across the hall from me!) and her friend Jordan
Friday night


Friday night


downtown banjo player
downtown banjo player

Robyn and the piano man
singing along

end of the night...
thinking about starting a Project 365


Hank and I have this wonderful friend Alex, who lives in San Francisco. Here's a photo of Alex and Hank at Comic Con this year so you have a visual:

Happy Friendship Anniversary, you two!

Anyway, the great Alex was kind enough to send us the most amazing housewarming gifts and I just had to share. He sent Hank an unpainted Mummy Boy toy and me TWO Vampire Rose figures, one unpainted and one painted. When I first saw the VR sculpt at SDCC this past summer I just about died from cuteness overload. I am not into toys whatsoever but I loved these little sweeties so, so much...they combine two of my favorite things- vampires and roses! How awesome. So anyway, Alex went ahead and sent these little gems to me and I couldn't be happier, and feel more grateful! THANK YOU ALEX! We can't wait for your visit next month. Here are some photos:

Alex sent me gifts!

Vampire Rose

Alex sent Hank a gift!

from our wonderful friend <3

Cogito Chuck Robbins (Literary Ink)

Sometimes I abbreviate post titles and they seem nonsensical, like one of those captcha messages, or a subject line in a morsel of spam.

So I'm sticking with this title "Cogito Chuck Robbins" because I like the way it sounds. So there. It will all make sense eventually.

I met Chris outside of Penn Station one Friday afternoon, intrigued by his forearm tattoo:

"Cogito ergo sum" is a Latin phrase that means, in English, "I think, therefore, I am." It is attributed to the 17th Century French philosopher René Descartes.

This was the first of Chris' three tattoos. He is a philosophy and creative writing major at SUNY New Paltz. This phrase is the "missing link in a belief system," or, in his words, "what I always knew, but never knew".

The tattoo was done at a shop in East Meadow, New York.

Chris also has this dead bird near his right elbow:

Inked at Skin Deep Tattoo in Levittown, this is inspired by the art on the cover of Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby.

Work from Skin Deep has appeared previously on Tattoosday here. Palahniuk also has quite a cult following, and his work is the most often represented in ink here on Tattoosday. Check out other Palahniuk tattoos here.

And Chris' third tattoo is based on the cover art from one of my favorite authors, Tom Robbins:

This echoes the front of the great book Still Life With Woodpecker, which has made many people a fan of the writer.

The piece, which was inked by Mike Vlad at Triple X Tattoo in Manhattan, is a subtle nod in appreciation of Robbins and his great book. Work from Triple X has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

If you like these pieces, and are a fan of literary tattoos, you should certainly check out Contrariwise, a site dedicated solely to contributors' literary ink.

A hearty thanks to Chris for sharing his tattoos with us here on our site!