My Body is My Journal

It’s only his outside; a man can be honest in any sort of skin. ----- Herman Melville -- Moby-Dick

If a man can be honest in any sort of skin, then I choose to be honest in decorated skin that tells the story of my life.  I love the experience of getting a tattoo or a piercing.  I spend a lot of my time dreaming up new ideas for my skin. Every tattoo I have means something to me.

Let's start with my ankle and work our way up.

Tattoo 1: An anchor on my left ankle

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoo: Frank @ Atattooed

This was a tattoo I got with my friend Laura following a secret spontaneous road trip to Texas. It represents our friendship and our typical Friday nights that usually centered around hotel parties with Sailors, because what else is there to do in Gurnee?

Tattoo 2: My Brother's jolly roger on my right calf

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoo: Jim Mohaupt

This was the tattoo my brother David, our friend and "brother" Adam, and myself got for David's 18th birthday.  The saying means Fated Children and the tattoo was designed by my brother.  We're a family of pirate's and we all belong to my brother's crew. 

Tattoo 3: Lotus on my lower back

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoo: Jake Carstens

This tattoo was dreamed up to symbolize me making it through my struggles.  A Lotus fights through the mud and murky water to reach the surface and bloom on top of the water.  Jake designed this for me and it was perfect.  

Tattoo 4: Tails on my left side

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoo: Jake Carstens

This is a tattoo I have with my friend Shaina.  It symbolizes two of our inside jokes, and I just love Tails.  I plan on adding Sonic and Knuckles and several other cartoon characters to this.  We wanted a fox because of one night that we had been sitting in bed joking around and making animals out of our feet and hands.  Then out of nowhere I put my hands on top of my head like fox ears and said "You guys! I've always wanted a pet fox!" However, it was just Shaina and I.  After that, whenever we said something ridiculous we would put our hands up and say "You Guys!" The S and M in the tails are for our names. We had a joke about how we should start a taxi service called S & M transportation because we would make more money than the creepy Jam Van guys.

Tattoo 5: Zodiac Symbol in the middle of my back

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoo: Jake Carstens

This ones pretty self explanatory. I'm a Sagittarius, this is my zodiac symbol and it's pretty.  I don't really believe this whole "the Zodiac changed!" thing so I'm sticking with what I've always been.

Tattoo 6 & 7: La Vie Boheme on left wrist and Doku the Kanji for Poison on my right forearm

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoos: Frank @ Atattooed

I have always been a musical geek and choir kid.  RENT is my favorite musical by far and "La Vie Boheme" is my favorite song in the musical.  It means The Bohemian Life and the lyrics of the song pretty much explain the way I live my life. And it's amazingly fun to sing.  It also reminds me of my Senior prom where our table of mostly GLBT folks sang it rather loudly and shouted "mucho masturbation" for all to hear.  As for Doku, which is the Kanji for Poison (and yes I thoroughly researched this before getting the tattoo), this is for me to remember not to be Poison anymore.  I earned that nickname around the time I turned 18 and I loved living life as Poison for awhile.  I realize that I hurt people and decided to change.  So every time I look down and see this tattoo I am reminded not to be that girl again.  The story of Poison is the basis for my novel that should be completed and available on Amazon in July.

Tattoo 8: Black rose on my left shoulder blade

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoo: Jake Carstens

This was my first tattoo.  I went with Laura for her 18th birthday, 4 months after mine.  I am going to add purple to the petals the next time I go to see Jake, I've planned on doing this since the start.  I've never been much of a rose person, but every Halloween I buy one of the black fabric roses tipped with purple.  They're one of my favorite traditions and I find black roses and dried roses that are so red they look black to be one of the most beautiful things. So that is why I picked this for my first tattoo.

Tattoo 9: Butterfly and Heart on the left side of my chest

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoo: Jake Carstens

This was based of a drawing my brother had done. I asked him to change it to a blue butterfly from the original purple one.  Jake reworked the waves in the wings a bit and changed the thorn coming off the heart.  I had wanted a blue butterfly tattoo in memory of my Nana Marge.  She was the family member I was closest to as a child and her passing away really hit me hard.  At her funeral a blue butterfly landed on my shoulder and then on my dad's and we always thought that it was her saying goodbye to us.  Now every time I see a blue butterfly I think of her.

Tattoo 10: Yellow rose on my right shoulder

Photo Credit: Nick Duncan
Tattoo: Augie Mohaupt

This tattoo is in memory of my Nana Vicki.  She was my grandmother on my father's side.  She was from Texas and that is why I chose a yellow rose.

Tattoo 11:  Cactus in cowboy boot on my left arm

Photo Credit: Will Powers
Tattoo: Amy Zager

This was a tattoo that I conceptualized and the lovely Amy Zager brought to life for me.  My Papa Burt passed away just after I moved to New Orleans and it devastated me.  He grew cacti for as long as I can remember so I knew the tattoo was going to involve a cactus.  I decided to have it planted in a cowboy boot because he had run the stables at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva.  There was always western themed decorations around and I remember him wearing his boots.  My brother David has a pair of his cowboy boots now.  This tattoo was quite the process.  The color didn't take well the first time so I had to get the entire thing re-done when I was in town for the Dedication of his headstone. It turned out great though!

Tattoo 12: Camouflage spider on the right side of my chest

Photo credit: PoisonMegz
Tattoo: Jake Carstens

January 15, 2004 my dear friend Luke Eckebrecht passed away. A year and a week later on January 23, 2005 one of his best friends Rob Meirthew passed away.  This tattoo is in memory of the two of them.  Jake was kind enough to bring my vision to life.  The spider itself is for Rob. I called him my Spiderman because he looked out for me when I had a stalker freshman year and he climbed all over the mall entrance when he lost a hackey sack.  It's camo because Luke wore camo all the time and the spider's eyes are bright icey blue just like Luke's were.

Tattoo 13: Button being sewn into my skin on my left arm

Photo Credit: PoisonMegz
Tattoo: Micah @ Immortal Ink

This past weekend my friend's Kelly and Ashley were in town for a girl's weekend with myself and Julia.  Originally Kelly and Julia were supposed to get a tattoo, but Julia could not.  Kelly had been joking about how she would just get a button randomly and I said "Hey, I'm down, I'll get one too"  So we went on a search for a tattoo shop and landed at Immortal Ink in downtown Bloomington, IL.  Kelly has her own reasoning that I am asking her to share in a comment on this post, but it also means something to me.  My life has been all over the place lately, and I've been bouncing back and forth between several courses.  I've finally decided to get everything back together, find all my missing buttons and sew them back on.  I'm back in IL, back in Bloomington because I am determined to finish my degree and start my adult life. 13 is my lucky number so to me it is perfect that my lucky number 13 tattoo is the one that is representative of me pulling myself back together and getting on the path I've been avoiding for the last few years. It's time to sew my buttons back on and live my life.


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