Needle Massage

Rodney Taylor's arm

So both Erica and I have been thinking about getting new tattoos for a while. She’s carrying around a Renee Locks birds design in her wallet, waiting for the right combination of paychecks and time to get it on her shoulders. And I’ve been working on (in a much more of a thinking-about way than a working-the-trackball way) my Great Wave Off Kanagawa design for my right arm. But for me, at least, there’s a dangerously ADHD-sort of desire to just being doing something to my body. And I had been thinking of another design that would simple enough to carry around in my wallet.

(When I get complicated designs I do what I advise other people to do – I carefully design the tattoo and I research the artist and make an appointment. But I have also walked into tattoo shops and said “put this on me.” (I can say, however, that I’ve never really gotten flash inked onto me — all my impulse tattoos are simple stars.))

Anyway, back to this tattoo idea: Erica has a tattoo on her back that’s a five-pointed nautical star, with each of the two-colored points representing her or one of her friends in some complicated system that I don’t even pretend to remember (“this point is Christopher – he’s green=earth and yellow=banana”). Her point is grey and purple (wind… and grapes?) so I decided to get a nautical star that was all grey and purple.

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that getting someone’s name tattooed on you is a pretty easy way to guarantee that something terrible will happen to the relationship fairly quickly (“Wino Forever“, anyone?). But even pessimistic old me feels safe with a star.

And Erica’s dad has just had a permanent colostomy for his colo-rectal cancer, so Erica had decided to get a pink star tattoo (approximately) where her dad’s stoma is as a tribute to him. A stoma-star.

Friday night at the Metblog meetup we both realized that we had that rare thing for theatre people – a weekend night free. So we solicited tattoo shop suggestions from the table. Susan’s tattoo was from Tatu Tattoo, she’d had a good experience, and it was close.

Mini-review! Tatu Tattoo (1754 W North Ave, Chicago – 773-772-TATU). Tatu Tattoo is a bright, clean shop with, the night we were there, about 5 tattoo artists and a piercer working. There’s a large selection of flash mounted on the wall but, unusually, no portfolios laid out for any of the tattooers. Everyone was really polite (they kept calling me ‘sir’) (it seems odd to mention that, but I’ve been in a number of tattoo shops that seem to take a pride in being rude to their customers). Every artist there is an independent contractor, but they do take credit cards.

Anyway, there were two guys free – Nex and Rodney – so Erica and I got our tattoos at the same time (that’s why there are more pictures of me-Erica’s didn’t take very long so she came over and took photos).

Oh yeah, before you go look at the pictures… like I said, we didn’t plan on going and getting tattoos until dinner. I don’t think I would have worn yellow-with-red-stars underwear if I thought anyone was going to see them. But at least I provided plenty of amusement for Tatu Tattoo’s patrons that night.

1 Comment so far

  1. Susan (unregistered) on October 8th, 2004 @ 5:46 pm

    Yay, you did it! They look great guys. Hopefully the margaritas killed the pain somewhat.

    Of course, now that you went to my tattoo parlor, we’re connected for life, like blood brothers. Or blood sisters. Or something like that.

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