The Needs and Needles

Happy August!

I finished getting my tattoo colored. I learned a lot of new things with this tattoo experience as opposed to my first one. They’re pretty much opposite experiences, the former being a black and white script, a small design on my bicep, and the latter being a color piece, a large design on my shoulderblade.

In terms of design, I had designed the first one, since it was just script and symbols, so it was easy. It was copied exactly like I had envisioned. For the second one, I wanted the artist to have more creative freedom and obviously, he knew what would look better in that location, etc. And it turned out so much better than I had hoped!

Overall, the piece took 8 hours. It was roughly 5 hours of outlining and 3 hours of coloring, within 2 sessions. The pain of the outlining was a lot worse than the coloring, though towards the end of the coloring the pain was starting up again. I did more research and discovered a lot about the science behind the pain, though everyone is different. In the first session, it surprised me how much it did hurt (I wasn’t expecting much because my first one was so good, almost massage-like). During the first session, I tried a lot of different tactics to distract myself from the pain. The second session was fine, though I was mostly on social media the whole time.

The healing actually seemed a lot faster than my first one, or maybe I just expected it to be worse because of the size. However, cleaning it was harder since it was on my back. And I’ve been sleeping on my stomach for the past two weeks (and at least for the next two weeks as well). I’ve been doing a lot of YouTube video watching and I listened to two audiobooks. I’ve also fallen asleep a lot on accident in that position. But then I’d wake up a lot in the middle of night because of how itchy it was. I also haven’t been working out because I heard that you shouldn’t be overworking the skin since it’s pretty much an open wound. I’m pretty much slowly decaying and I really miss the gym.

Despite the lingering pain memories, I’m already planning my next tattoo! I will post pictures and discuss the deep spiritual meaning of this piece when it heals more.

I don’t know what hairstyle I want to experiment with next. I think I might do the whole shaved head for a while because it’s so nice. But sometimes, in pictures, I just look like a giant penis. It’s hilarious. Any suggestions are welcome!

I realize that I haven’t been going on as much hikes (or doing much outdoor activities) as I’d like. But it’s just really hot, and there’s a drought so there’s no waterfalls anywhere, and now with this tattoo, I can’t be out in the sun for a while.

Food Lab- haven’t been keeping up with this with every post, so here’s one that sums up the past few months.

  • As previously stated, it’s been a lot of AYCE (Samurai Sushi, Star KBBQ, Zenko Sushi, Fire+Ice, etc. and all that stuff in Portland), so I’m trying to stop; I’ve been wanting to eat healthier again too. Smaller meals, not eating till I’m super full, and more meals throughout the day.
  • I feel like you could do this with any canned fruits, but I like to take the lychee syrup and freeze it a little, then smash it up, and it makes a perfectly good slushy for the summer. Doing it with soda is also good, and then putting ice cream in…so perfect.
  • Getting chicken nachos at Yardhouse is always a wise option (their other food never seems to be that good), even when it’s not half off at happy hour. So, clearly, replacing the nachos with french fries is simply amazing. I forgot what they’re called on the secret menu, but yeah, you can just tell them to substitute it for you.
  • I went to The Counter, more customizable burgers. I would say it’s better than Slater’s 50/50, but haven’t really tried enough to really judge. I just wanted to try it, but we all know In N Out is always the best burger place. I did, however, get a chicken burger (the whole less red meat thing) and it was pretty good. If In N Out had chicken patties, I would die.
  • I’ve been grilling a lot. Contrary to what I just said, but it’s relative, so it’s not like I’m doing it all the time. I’m trying to master the art of grilling a steak, but also come up with my own personal way to do it. It’s a lot of experimentation, which is kind of daunting because it’s a steak and I don’t want to ruin it. But I’ll keep y’all posted.
  • I’m an egg master these days (when I wake up early enough to cook breakfast and I’m not lazy). Scrambled eggs with sour cream makes them really fluffy. Add in some chopped up meats (dat ham, though) and it’s suddenly fancy. Hard-boiled eggs were never really my thing until recently. In all transparency, it’s because I was lazy to do scrambled eggs, but I still wanted eggs. So I looked up the method to get perfect hard-boiled eggs and it works pretty well: eggs in a pot, cover an inch or so of the egg, bring to a boil, turn off heat and cover pot, time for 12 minutes, then run down with cold water.
  • Sandwiches are coming back into my life in a wonderful way. Sometimes, I just get sick of them, so I stop eating for a while. But then I remember how amazing they are because they’re customizable. Here’s a new one for y’all: naan, spinach, jalapenos, chicken breast (or other deli meat), no cheese (though I think some pepperjack would be great here), and then a mashed up blend of avocado and cream cheese for the spread. What a fucking delight.
  • Foodie-related. I’m like one month sober. Even going out to bars and clubs and breweries and parties is easy! Not that I’ve ever given in to peer pressure easily when I decide I don’t want to do something, but it’s an accomplishment nonetheless. I think I’m going to continue this decision throughout August. It’s kind of fun being the sober one watching other people get drunk for a change.

On a serious note.

I went to the library earlier this week and there was a section for news and it was about the drought we’re facing and I picked up some informational packets and also found this guide to changing your lawn. See, I’ve been trying to convince my parents to install fake grass and they’ve been meaning to change the front/backyard in some way. This seemed like a good step because my mom actually thinks it looks pretty- stone, mulch, desert plants, etc.

I’ve been trying to take shorter showers and really keep an eye on water usage at home. Apparently, you shouldn’t be requesting water at restaurants unless you’re not gonna drink it, which sounds obvious and is not really a problem for me because I am a camel (Was that a proper metaphor? Because camels can go a while without drinking, but they also drink A LOT when they can). And of course, less red meat consumption.

It’s surprising how little support I get for trying to do this. I try not to force my ideologies on other people, but I do try to suggest conserving water and people (my friends) scoff, laugh, think I’m annoying and argue that it’s not doing really much. It’s surprising to me, but I shall persevere and drop little hints when opportunities arise because it’s clearly important. I should get new friends, obviously. No, but in all seriousness, I think it’s partly because I never used to care, or at least publicly discuss these kinds of things, so it might be surprising to people that know me well.

Sometime around mid-April was when I started really questioning everything and my view of society became super-cynical. At times, it’s an ongoing joke. But other times, it’s crippling how disturbing our world is and it’s hard to just not think about the injustices happening to people and animals around the world. I told myself I’d try to be more active and vocal about these, so I do bring them up from time to time. Then again, people look at me weird- here we go again, Brian’s being a Debbie Downer. Sometimes, it just seems inappropriate to talk about.

This is why I should move to Costa Rica and work at an ice cream parlor where I can be carefree and ignorantly blissful. It’s too hard trying to be a good person.

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~ by Btab on 2 August 2015.

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