Friday, January 17, 2014

Nerdy Ravings: Labyrinth Tattoo

I finally got another tattoo! Just like I said I would!

I call this one my "nerd stamp." It ended up being sort of a tramp stamp, which was not the original goal, but it's fine. My artist, Sherely, suggested the placement in order to make it flow with the curves of my body. Coincidentally, I have gotten compliments to that effect.

This one got me really nervous because it is my largest one and because its on my trunk instead of my ankle and wrist. Those ones were small and easy to deal with. In addition, I hadn't seen the design until I showed up for the outline.

When she showed it to me, that helped. I loved it. Then I was excited.

It hurt, however. That part wasn't so fun and exciting. And she knew it would be 2+ hours and I knew I couldn't sit that long. So we did the outline in the first sitting.

Working away!

And tada!

The finished outline! I'm sitting so it looks stretched...
Nice right?! Then I had to wait for it to heal, and then I ended up waiting way longer than I needed to. But it healed perfectly.

It took a nearly four months to schedule the sitting for the shading with school and all, but I finally made it.
The finished clock! This was right after the sitting, so it looks dark, but it isn't all black-there is a lot of brown.
After another sitting of over an hour, the clock was done and I was in plenty of pain, so we stopped. AGAIN. I really wanted it finished, but I could not sit long enough to finish the owl. At this point, my lovely tattoo was turning into a longer (and perhaps a little more expensive) than I was originally hoping. I was actually really tender for two or three days after this part was finished.

Despite that, having the clock done made it feel so much more finished. I never would have designed it like this, but I love it. And that is why I am not an artist and I hired a tattooist who is! I never could have thought up something so very pretty! I knew that I wanted the clock, the quote, and the owl. She was the one who thought of putting the quote in the clock. She designed the clock itself. When she asked if I wanted it shaded or colored, I didn't know. She was the one who suggested doing browns, since the owl is usually browns. Brilliant suggestion. See? That's why she's the artist, and I'm not.

To avoid waiting, I made an appointment immediately. I had to wait at least three weeks, so it was perfectly timed to finish it right before I had to return to school. And, just a couple days ago, I had my last sitting.

The finished owl! With "grapefruit" skin, as my artist said.
Here it is a day later when my skin is looking a little less aggravated.

Sorry about the shadow. But my skin is less angry.
I love it! Beautiful, right?!

So why a Labyrinth tattoo?

Well, I am a nerd. And Labyrinth is my favorite movie. I love it so much and I love, love, love David Bowie. I'm sure that knowledge comes as a shock to anyone who has met me... Not...

No matter how many times I watch Labyrinth, I never tire of it. It still holds so much magic for me and so much of it is open to interpretation. There are always new little things to find and notice. I get so happy and giddy when the opening credits roll with that song... And that is kind of magical, right?

I always love movies, shows, books, etc that mess around with time (Doctor Who anyone? That's why "Don't Blink" was one of the best episodes, in my opinion. Or the book "Time Like A River"). In this case, Sarah is in a land where time is different. I have always loved the 13 hour clocks. It seems to embody time oddities. Plus the quote on the inside of the clock says, "It's only forever, not long at all..." which is a song lyric in the opening that always jumped out at me. It goes nicely with the clock. Just hearing that line makes me smile. More magic, I think.

Side note: the time is not directly significant. It is a very rough (and probably very early) estimate of the time that Sarah entered the ballroom. Which is my favorite scene. I thought about the time when she exits the ballroom, which is shown in the movie, but it would have been at 12 o'clock and I didn't want a clock hand to end up covering the 13 at all. I also didn't want to necessarily draw attention to the fact that it is 13 hours. I want it to seem more common place, if that makes sense. Maybe some people with have to look twice to see that it is 13 hours.

The owl is because I happen to love barn owls and Jareth turns into a barn owl. I am too chicken to have a portrait tattoo of Jareth, so the owl is my way of representing him.

So there is my (latest) nerdy tattoo! And I LOVE it! And maybe one day, I will have a whole Labyrinth piece on my back. Who knows? I don't have such plans at this time, but I like having the option.

Also, the gal who designed and did the tattoo is Sherely from Fallen Owl Tattoo. The studio is owned by Adam, the guy who did my first two tattoos. They have earned my loyalty! Very happy with both of my artists! I recommend them to anyone in the Denver area! Thanks Sherely!

Friday, January 10, 2014

An Overdue Look at Frozen

I am a huge Disney fan, which most people who have met me figure out pretty early on. When Frozen was going to be released, of course I wanted to see it (though I feared the snowman would make it stupid). Isaac took me to see it as part of my Christmas present. And I loved it. Even the snowman.

I think I had "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" stuck in my head for days afterwards until I broke down and bought the soundtrack.

Shortly after that, Isaac and I went to see it again (even Isaac liked it enough to want to see it a second time).

As many of you know, Frozen is a little bit different in terms of Disney princess movies. The handsome prince turns out to be the bad guy and there seems to be little, if any, indication that this will happen. You only get two clues (as far as I can tell) that he might not be as wonderful as he seems. One is being the 13th son in a royal family. Historically speaking, this gave him no chance to move up in status anywhere in his own kingdom--so maybe he wants to move up by going elsewhere, right? Plus, the number 13 is generally assumed to be unlucky or bad (Anyone read "The Thirteenth Child? Good book.) The last little hint is during his song with Anna where he sings, "I've been searching my whole life to find my own place... But with you, I've found my place." While she is singing about him and love, he starts out by singing about finding a place to belong.

There has been a lot of controversy about the prince also being the villain. While I understand a little about the argument against, I thought it was a good (and mildly surprising) plot twist. Plus, it has a ring of truth about it that I don't think people like. Sadly, there are people out there who are not what they seem to be and there are people who will try to take advantage of you. People become very speculative about this whole mess. I say that the take home message is simply, "Be careful." The person in question may turn out to be great! Or not. But don't just give up everything right away. That's what I got out of it. And does there really need to be anything else?

Here is a great article on the subject: Does Prince Charming Really Need to Be Reinvented?

Mostly, I feel that the movie has gotten good reviews. I love that it is essentially an animated musical. I love the sisters and the sister story. Plus, the idea the true love doesn't just mean romantic love, but the love that you have for family or friends, is a great one. The non-romantic love stories were strong in this movie. Predominantly, there is the story with Anna and Elsa. The snowman, Olaf, was willing to melt to save Anna. Kristoff and his reindeer also share a bond of love. It was nice to see that romantic love wasn't the only thing to focus on. As the article above states, "The truth, though, is that there is nothing wrong with girls (or boys) dreaming of Prince Charming, as long as it’s not the only dream we give them."

I have a little story to tell before I get into the last point I wanted to touch on.

After I bought the soundtrack, I decided that "Let It Go" was my favorite song. Later, I would catch myself singing "No Good Deed" from the musical Wicked (which I hadn't listened to in months). It took me days to figure out that I was getting that stuck in my head because I was listening to "Let It Go," and another day or so to realize that it was Idina Menzel who *played* Elphaba in the original Wicked who was singing "Let It Go." Duh. I felt dumb. And I still can't figure out why "No Good Deed" got stuck in my head over my favorite "Defying Gravity." Oh well. The message here is that I like her and I love her songs.

Apparently, there are some people who do not like her singing voice. To me, this seems preposterous, but I am not, have never been, and will never be a vocalist. All of the technicalities of the art are entirely beyond me. I just know that I like to listen to her and I love to sing along with her. I have read complaints that, as an alto, she shouldn't be singing "Let It Go," but I can't figure out why. I still think she does it beautifully. And with so much emotion. I have been told (by people who actually understand the technicalities of singing) that I am an alto and I can sing with her. And I enjoy doing so. I guess I just don't know enough to understand what the problem is? Someone could enlighten me. It won't change the fact that I love listening to her, however. Go Idina!

As a side note, my other favorite song just might be "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People."

Without spoiling too much of the story, that is my little review. What did you guys think of the movie?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A David Bowie Birthday

Today is David Bowie's 67th birthday! I always like to acknowledge DB's birthday, being that he is my idol and all that.

I love this picture. It's been on my computer for quite some time-I don't even know where I got it from.

If you remember, on this day last year, DB announced the coming release of his first album in ten years! What an exciting day for his fans!

And while there were jokes made at my expense about his birthday ("Are you going to have a party?" "Are you going to dress up?"), I decided that a little tribute to his last album would be a nice way to go. I did joke about throwing him a party, but I don't think anyone would come celebrate with me...

Moving on.

It took a little while for his latest album, The Next Day, to grow on me. But after many listens (despite being unsure, I couldn't stop listening), I looked forward to the distinctive style of this album and got excited for the songs to pop up on my shuffled David Bowie playlist (which has about 200 songs on it, so it takes a long time to cycle). Here are The Next Day highlights (in my opinion).

I hope you are all familiar with this one, which is my favorite on the album: Where Are We Now? Love it. And isn't English a special language? The line, "The moment you know you know you know" totally makes sense.

This one, like the above, was released early, and there is something about it that I like: The Stars (Are Out Tonight).

The title track! This one was probably the first one to catch my attention after the two above: The Next Day. I realize that this is a bit disturbing, but I LOVE that DB is singing on the stage through all of these blasphemous images. It seems appropriate. I still love the song.

I am not sure when it happened, but this random song became a favorite: Dancing Out in Space. It doesn't have a music video, but it's a great song. I like the beats and the way he sings it. Oh those syncopated beats always get me.

So thank you, DB, and happy birthday!

"As long as there's me. As long as there's you." ~David Bowie "Where Are We Now?"