Tag Archives: Culture

Confident Ink

I got the tattoo bug about 15 years ago.

I first fell in love with those darling tattoos

Of hearts and butterflies that all the

Women were getting on their lower backs.

You know, the area that showcases those

Beautiful tattoos riding right above the

Bikini line.  It did not take long for them to get a bad

Name by all the tattoo haters, though.  I mean, seriously?

Tramp Stamp??  Come on.  Was that term created

by an overwrought, uptight Mormon?

Well, as it turns out I did not end up getting a

Tramp Stamp after all.

I came up with a cool drawing of a cute  little frog.

Thrilled with my hand drawn design, I took

It to the only tattoo shop I knew about.  It was located

In the local mall.  I presented it to the girl who

greeted me for my appointment.  She eyeballed it

coolly and said she’d have to take it back to the “artist”.

Moments later she returned.  “Naw, he won’t do it.”

Why?” I asked.   And she gave me some hokey explanation

About the lines being too fine and how color tattoos never

Last.  So, sadly, I ended up with some “flash art” flower

That was hanging up on the shop wall because the

“ARTIST” was a no talent hack.  (I am definitely getting

A cover up someday)  Since that time, I have gotten

A few other tattoos, which I also designed or personalized

To make them more “my own”.  Of course, I have them done

at a very excellent tattoo shop, by Actual tattoo “ARTISTS”.

Thanks to my first tattooing experience.  I months

researching the design that I want.

I get the basic concept as close to the way

I want it to look and

The artist helps me with suggestions and  design

work of their own to make it even better!

The moral of the story is before you get

A tattoo, meet the tattoo artist, check out

some of their previous work, and most of all know

What you want in advance.  You cannot expect a tattoo artist

to just come up with something cool for you.

They do not know you that deeply.  Nor are they psychic.

  Do not end up a tattoo fail statistic!

  You should

Feel completely confident with your design and

The person who is going to do the work.  Below is a

Picture of my latest.  Best Wishes on Your Tattoo!!

My Compass

Emoji’s Remind Me How to Smile

Remember the movie the “Terminator” with good ol’ Arnold Schwartzenager?  The premise was that machines were going to take over the world.  Welcome to the real world 2017 where technology is taking over mankind.  Not by way of Cyborgs (YET) but through handheld devices, computers, and gaming systems.  We are at a crossroads of the destiny of mankind at this very moment.  Our children’s welfare and future depend on the choices we are making right now. 

Most Baby Boomers could take or leave the technology that is consuming our children and grandchildren.  We remember the days before this time in history, when we made awesome memories based on our incredible imaginations, which grew bigger and more fantastic every day.  Anything was possible.  We were living life to the fullest, taking in the world around us, having adventures, and making cool stuff with our hands.  If anyone had a problem with us they said it to our face and it somehow got sorted out. 

These days we look around us and shake our heads because so much is being lost.  Our children and grandchildren are being turned into little addicted zombies.  Children are being occupied and soothed with not just television but also by having multimedia devices shoved at them when they get wiggly, complain, or ask too many questions. It’s like “Here you, Hazel, go play with mommy’s phone.” And the child is three years old or younger.  It is hard to watch childrearing being conducted with very little interaction.  Many families spend their evenings and weekends with everyone playing on some kind of electronic device, barely acknowledging each other.

When my kids were growing up (in the 90’s), we spent the evenings talking about our day’s events, playing board games, making crafts, reading books, and even playing imagination games with dolls or toy cars, etc.  Kids under ten nowadays are focused on mindless electronic games, wasting away hours staring at a digital screen.  Today’s teenager is obsessed with social media – what people are saying or not saying to them or whether someone “liked” their status.  Self-love and confidence has been replaced by “selfies” and selfishness.  These poor kids spend so much time with their brains locked into what is going on inside their phones that they do not know how to successfully navigate through basic life situations.  They are even losing their capability to appropriately communicate, interact or even naturally emote.  I suppose emojie’s can help!

In the earlier days of cell phones, maybe ten years ago, it was considered rude for people to talk or text on their phones while in the company of others.  Today, things are different.  I almost find myself apologizing if I am out to lunch chatting with a friend and they have a call or text come in.  “Oh, sorry – go ahead and get that.”  I’ll say, as though it must automatically be very important.  I mean, that smartphone doesn’t just beep for nothing, right.  And then they will completely check out from our real-time conversation to become absorbed by the phone.  I am cool with that when it is an anticipated call or text, or something of importance.  But for a “Hi, how ya doing?” and “Yeah, I’m just out to lunch with a friend.” ?  Come on, people.  Really?

Sadly, our brains are being rewired by the buzz we get from constant stimulation and validation. You can have an interesting time watching people for about 5 or 10 minutes and observing how often they look to their phones for comfort. They are checking for text messages or Facebook and Instagram likes.  Looking for acceptance by their 300 “friends” and their elusive self-esteem.  The truth is social media does have. some positive aspects, but in many ways it can be a real downer.  If people do not like or comment on posts and pictures a person may feel rejected and depressed.  Not receiving responses to text messages easily does the same. We are a society reliant on the input from other people, and the stimulus of nonsensical games and apps. The stimulation our brains receive can be as addicting as drugs.

So, if you think the “Terminator” was too farfetched, consider this: According to a recent news report, Disney has a purchase order in for an untold number of humanlike androids, which will roam their parks and interact with guests sometime in the near future.  I tried to find more information about this on the internet but was unsuccessful.  However, a scary little chill went down my spine when I saw the report last week on the news. “Haste la vista, baby.”

Remember the movie the “Terminator” with good ol’ Arnold Schwartzenager?  The premise was that machines were going to take over the world.  Welcome to the real world 2017 where technology is taking over mankind.  Not by way of Cyborgs (YET) but through handheld devices, computers, and gaming systems.  We are at a crossroads of the destiny of mankind at this very moment.  Our children’s welfare and future depend on the choices we are making right now. 

Most Baby Boomers could take or leave the technology that is consuming our children and grandchildren.  We remember the days before this time in history, when we made awesome memories based on our incredible imaginations, which grew bigger and more fantastic every day.  Anything was possible.  We were living life to the fullest, taking in the world around us, having adventures, and making cool stuff with our hands.  If anyone had a problem with us they said it to our face and it somehow got sorted out. 

These days we look around us and shake our heads because so much is being lost.  Our children and grandchildren are being turned into little addicted zombies.  Children are being occupied and soothed with not just television but also by having multimedia devices shoved at them when they get wiggly, complain, or ask too many questions. It’s like “Here you, Hazel, go play with mommy’s phone.” And the child is three years old or younger.  It is hard to watch childrearing being conducted with very little interaction.  Many families spend their evenings and weekends with everyone playing on some kind of electronic device, barely acknowledging each other.

When my kids were growing up (in the 90’s), we spent the evenings talking about our day’s events, playing board games, making crafts, reading books, and even playing imagination games with dolls or toy cars, etc.  Kids under ten nowadays are focused on mindless electronic games, wasting away hours staring at a digital screen.  Today’s teenager is obsessed with social media – what people are saying or not saying to them or whether someone “liked” their status.  Self-love and confidence has been replaced by “selfies” and selfishness.  These poor kids spend so much time with their brains locked into what is going on inside their phones that they do not know how to successfully navigate through basic life situations.  They are even losing their capability to appropriately communicate, interact or even naturally emote.  I suppose emojie’s can help!

In the earlier days of cell phones, maybe ten years ago, it was considered rude for people to talk or text on their phones while in the company of others.  Today, things are different.  I almost find myself apologizing if I am out to lunch chatting with a friend and they have a call or text come in.  “Oh, sorry – go ahead and get that.”  I’ll say, as though it must automatically be very important.  I mean, that smartphone doesn’t just beep for nothing, right.  And then they will completely check out from our real-time conversation to become absorbed by the phone.  I am cool with that when it is an anticipated call or text, or something of importance.  But for a “Hi, how ya doing?” and “Yeah, I’m just out to lunch with a friend.” ?  Come on, people.  Really?

Sadly, our brains are being rewired by the buzz we get from constant stimulation and validation. You can have an interesting time watching people for about 5 or 10 minutes and observing how often they look to their phones for comfort. They are checking for text messages or Facebook and Instagram likes.  Looking for acceptance by their 300 “friends” and their elusive self-esteem.  The truth is social media does have. some positive aspects, but in many ways it can be a real downer.  If people do not like or comment on posts and pictures a person may feel rejected and depressed.  Not receiving responses to text messages easily does the same. We are a society reliant on the input from other people, and the stimulus of nonsensical games and apps. The stimulation our brains receive can be as addicting as drugs.

So, if you think the “Terminator” movie was too farfetched, consider this: According to a recent news report, Disney has a purchase order in for an untold number of humanlike androids, which will roam their parks and interact with guests sometime in the near future.  I tried to find more information about this on the internet but was unsuccessful.  However, a scary little chill went down my spine when I saw the report last week on the news. “Haste la vista, baby.”

Parting is Such Sweet…Relief!

Saying goodbye to friends can be a very difficult thing to do.  Most often we disconnect from friends because of geographical moves.  As a child, I grew up losing friends all the time because my father was in the military.  It became second nature to me in a sad, but oddly freeing way. We moved all over the world when I was growing up.  We never lived anywhere longer than three years.  It was this way until my father retired from the military when I was 18.  So, obviously, I never stayed anywhere long enough to get to know and develop forever friendships.  Long term friends were alien, yet very appealing, to me.

I wasn’t always unhappy about moving around because my life, during those years, also had a secret door.  An escape hatch, so to speak.  I never had to feel bound to anything, anyone, or anyplace.  So, if the frienship train jumped the track, with whomever I was investing my energy and emotions, I was safe.  I would not be there for long. There was no need to feel too upset.  Soon I would get a new start.

Everywhere I traveled, in those early years, were other “drifters” just like me, but also kids from the local area.  These locals had been born and raised with their friends and they held strong bonds to each other.  I, on the other hand, had no ties but those to my parents.  When I came rolling into a new town I was already with my best friends – Mom and Dad.  They were my life raft in the sea of the unknown.  Since I was an only child, my parents were my world.  Home was my sanctuary.  Still, the neighborhood children drew me to windows of wonder and desire to be a part of their world, too.  Which eventually I would, for a while.

The idea of being friends with a person or a group of people for a long period of time, even a lifetime, is something that has burned in soul my entire adult life.  I often observe others with their close, longtime friends in awe.  That easy camaraderie, the inside jokes, knowing looks and the “no-matter-what” kinship was what I wanted to experience, too.

However, the friendships of my dreams have failed to manifest.  Patterns have emerged from the dust of my past and followed me through adulthood.  I am stuck in the ebb and flow cycle of “take it or leave it” friendships.  It’s like reading the same series of books over and over, only there never is a happy ending, there is only the continuing quest for success.  Three primary issues have worked against me in my quest of achieving the friendships I so coveted:

1)      Penchant for Solitude – Introversion is probably the biggest mountain I climb daily to achieving what my heart most desires.  Introversion goes way beyond being a little shy.  According to the world of psychology, introversion is a trait you are born with.  It does not mean an introverted person is unfriendly, but that we are often anxious or uncomfortable to a varying degree in social situations.  We find social interaction taxing and often have to recharge after hanging out with friends or going to parties.

2)      Zero Siblings – While some might think the lack of siblings would be wonderful fairytale world to live in – much is missed out on.  Having siblings to pick on and to be picked on by has got to be one of the best ways to prepare us for the cruel world that exists beyond the comfort of our family unit.   To navigate life without the interactions with siblings is a loss.   No matter how awful they can be sometimes, those cursed brothers toughen your hide.  Those jerky sisters help you build up an emotional callous and sharpen your comeback skills.  I grew up without a brother or sister calling me names, pinching or punching me, or eating MY donut.  Alas, I am too soft-hearted – the weakling in the herd.

3)      Lack of Social Talent – By this I mean not having the social toolbox available to draw upon in various social situations.  I am pretty down to earth and do not have the desire or skill to participate in put-downs, slams, or snarky conversations. This could be an end product of 1 and 2 above, combined with the lack of opportunity to grow up in one location over the expanse of an entire childhood.  My idea of being a good friend is being kind, listening, and sharing what is going on in our lives.  To me that doesn’t seem unreasonable.  But some groups of people do not trust those who are more reserved and polite.  If you can’t dish it out as good as they can give it – your pecking order drops.

In reflection, I wonder if I am more “alright” than I have given myself credit.  Yes, I have a rough history with friendships.  But truth be told, most of the people I have invested my time and energy in have not been deserving of the kind of friendship I was willing to bring to the table.  I have been betrayed by my “friends” time and again. But do I only have myself to blame?  My biggest failure has been to give my trust too completely.  In return, I have received lies, back stabbing, and disrespect of my feelings.

However, I have not been desperate in keeping toxic friends.  Make no mistake.  What I build in friendship, I easily relinquish in relief, thanks to my upbringing.  I see now that it is a failsafe mechanism built into my nature to protect myself.  While I will continue to enjoy friendships, I will no longer beat myself up if it does not last forever.  I know I am a good person, a quality friend.  Endings are often opportunities for new beginnings.  Onward!