Enjoy reading, get cake!

There’s a definite difference between a book you simply enjoy and a book that somehow talks to you. It wiggles its way into your mind, your heart or maybe even brings out the devil in you. In those cases, you just want more. More adventure, more action, more love or whatever it is that speaks to you.

For example, you read a book and you enjoy it. Maybe you even love it. But did you turn that last page and immediately run to buy the next book in the series or something else the author has written? I mention this because I read a book a few weeks ago, even blogged about it, and I genuinely enjoyed it. I was completely content with the read. I found it to be a page turner and it left me smiling. I did not, however, rush out to grab the next book. I ended up reading a few books by an author I had read before and enjoyed. After a couple of those, I switched gears and went in search of something new. Finding it, I tackled it and you know what? As soon as I finished that last page I promptly went and bought the next book. It was bedtime so I didn’t crack it open but I made sure I had it for later, no questions asked.

One book may talk to you or be more real or more  something than another. It doesn’t mean one is less than the other, although I am sure that many will disagree, it just means that it didn’t talk to you the same way and deliver whatever it is that you need to smile at the end.

I’ve had two debates recently with people who I feel, frankly, are pretty shallow minded in this regard. They read a book and it either speaks to them or it’s crap. Or in another’s words, a piece of shit. Well, I’ve read some books that I thought were shit. But I don’t share that around because something I don’t like might be enjoyed by someone else and I don’t really think its my place to judge for someone else.

A piece of shit could also mean a million different things. The book didn’t talk to you at all (hello, anyone there?). Or maybe it was so full of typos that you were pulled out of the story too many times and found yourself annoyed.  Or maybe at the end you didn’t get what you were looking for. I don’t like to read dramas, for example. I have my life with its ups and downs and everything that goes with it. I read for pleasure. I read to feel the emotion of the character who overcomes the bad guy, finds love or wins the war. I don’t really want to read about someone ending up with the short end of the stick. I see that in life, my own and others, and I read for the joy. Now that’s me. Others like ‘reality’ books and I’m down with it and I don’t call it shit just because it’s not my thing.

All that said, I like cake.

The co-founder of my writers group and I were talking about a book one day and she commented that she didn’t get pie at the end. I loved the saying and it has since spread through our group like wildfire. I don’t know where she got it from, I’ll have to make a note to ask. The funny thing is that I’m not really fond of pie but I sure do like cake, especially angel food cake. So I just changed up the comment to fit me.

So I like cake. Particularly if it has supernatural features. Read and enjoy whatever it is you like. And do it often. Cheers!

A First

I did something last week that I have never done before. I wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t strapped down on a table screaming. I went on my own volition with a smile tucked away for when I was done.

I got my first tattoo.

There are those out there, like me, who have wanted one for a long time but couldn’t or wouldn’t justify the expense. Or perhaps you’re one of those who have ten tattoos already and are eagerly planning out the next one. And then there are those who look disdainfully at such frivolous spending or maybe consider it a debasement of personal property. I believe it’s a personal thing. As I sit here, my mouth curls at the sides and there’s a happy place in me that is satisfied for having finally done it.

My husband and son gave me the tattoo cash for my birthday knowing that I wouldn’t set aside the money myself (I run the finances in the household and there is always something more important or needed!). My husband told me sternly that it was for my tattoo and asked if he needed to hold the cash for me so that I wouldn’t spend it on something sensible, like groceries. I declined, confident that I could hold onto it as though it was a coupon or gift card.

So  I went in search of the person who would lay ink into me, to my standards, and create the friend who would accompany me through life. I already knew what I wanted, had for years. So the first step was done. I started with referrals. Meeting the artist, showing them what I wanted and seeing what they said.

There were quite a few, here’s a highlight:

Tattoo Artist 1: Liked him immediately. Huge guy, reminded me of a teddy bear, beard and all. Looked through his portfolio. Liked his word but found it ‘soft’. Not very many hard edges though a good artist. He wanted $50 to draw what I wanted which would be part of the fee when done. He wouldn’t quote an actual price until he had a drawing. Left thinking he was a possibility but wasn’t thrilled.

Tattoo Artist 2: Referred by a good friend. He was young, was cocky right off the bat. He said the tattoo couldn’t be smaller than ten inches high due to the detail. Quoted $300. Scoffed at a fee to draw it out. He had all of three pictures of each work in a portfolio. Gave me a website to check out. I left feeling slimed. Went to the website when I got home. Page not found. Checked back a few times. No site. Yeah, big fat no.

After other dissatisfying looks around, I did an online search of local tattoo parlors and checked the reviews. I found Lou’s Tattoo’s which I’ve driven by about a million times. They are the first tattoo shop in Florida. I checked out the online portfolios, all were good. But it was Mike’s that caught my eye. The detail, strong lines, clever shading got my attention. I popped down to meet him and liked him right away. Super mellow, happy to chat and loves tattooing more than anything. It’s something he would do do for free if he didn’t have to eat.

I showed him what I wanted and he quoted me $150, no charge for the drawing. He took no notes and told me he’d have a draft in a week and would give me a call. I left knowing he was the one. True to his word, he called six days later. I went to see the drawing. <Smiling sigh> Two tiny changes and it was perfection. I scheduled on the spot.

The tattoo process
I have a high pain tolerance. I was more worried about the placement than any pain that would be experienced. He prepped my skin up with whatever gobbly gook he uses and placed the stencil. After three tries, we had it. My wonderful husband helped me since, the tattoo being on my back, it was rather hard to see. I was getting excited.

It took roughly two hours. Did getting a tattoo hurt? Hells yes. Was it horrible? Did I have to chew up a chunk of wood to keep from screaming? No. You have to think with the fact that someone is dragging a needle through your skin. For anyone who has sewed, you may recall the feeling of stabbing yourself or accidentally gouging out flesh. That gives you an idea. After a bit, you kind of get used to it as weird as that may sound. I’d say there were 4-5 times when I was saying ‘owwww’ in my head. Otherwise it was tolerable. Mike and I chatted through the whole thing mostly about books and movies. He likes fantasy and sci-fi which is right up my alley, he gave me some book recommendations. I took notes on my phone while he happily stabbed me repeatedly.

A friend at work, who has a few tattoos, told me that it would feel like a bad sunburn for a few days than itch like crazy.  A week later, I absolutely agree that it felt like a bad sunburn for a while.  The day after it felt like road rash. The first two nights my sleep was a bit broken as I woke periodically to tenderly turned over. Then I went through a couple of days where when I put lotion on it, small chunks of skin come off and freaked me out. I found out that’s normal, the scab in the healing process. And now, it doesn’t just itch. It itches like fuck. I am smearing lotion on this thing constantly in a steadfast vow not to scratch.

So in a nutshell, the week after, the care and discipline is more challenging than the process itself. Despite all that, I don’t mind. I am thrilled with my new friend:

Gargoyle Tattoo

Fantastic Fiction Website

A gal who came across my blog turned me on to a great website where you can type in an author’s name and not only see their wares but also see books that they’ve recommended.  It’s impossible to not find something interested (at which point I quickly log onto my library’s website and request it).  The website is bit too bright but gets the job done nicely.

I love the library.  After moving back from Australia a little over a year ago with nothing but our suitcases and under a hundred bucks, we have been rebuilding and are not quite to the point of buying books, leave alone a book shelf.  We’re almost there but until then, the library gives me what I need to fulfill my addiction.

Blog updating

I have come to the conclusion that as much as I like to think I have a lot to share, I seem to come up blank whenever I realize I need to update my blog.  Then of course when I have something burning a hole in my mind to jot down, I am no where near my computer or any computer for that matter or am tucked nicely into bed next to a hotty of a husband and although my notepad is within reach there is no pen in sight.

<sigh>  Ah, life.

If you like it, I probably don’t

I have come to the conclusion that I manage to fall in the low percentile of people when being surveyed.  For example, I love this restaurant called ‘The Ovo’.  They make this awesome appetizer with rolls, some sort of yummy cheese sauce and various types of chopped olives.  They also make pasta pillows; large pasta squares filled with various choices of cheeses and meats covered in different sauces that just melt it your mouth.  Being partial to the olives and also having a slimmer wallet kept me more in the appetizer range but oh did I love it.  When I was pregnant, my husband drove me over 20 miles to get that appetizer.

They closed.  Why else would they close other than not enough business?  Oh, I suppose there could be something else but it’s the most likely reason.  They closed along with The Ritz, Don Pablos and Hops.  I found out later that there is a Don Pablos but it’s a good 45-60 min. drive which kind of takes away from ever getting to eat there.  I just found out a day or so ago that Hops, the one that is about 20-30 min. away has reopened which was great.  I am hoping they haven’t changed their recipes etc.

Anyway, the whole point of that was me wondering WHY do the places I like close?  It doesn’t stop with restaurants either.  Survey me about a band name, a color for the office or a furniture style…I’ll be one of the ones that doesn’t like what everyone else likes. 

Gargoyles.  I love gargoyles.  Now I know that there are a lot of people out there who also love gargoyles but we are definitely on the lower percentile otherwise you would see a lot more of them around.  When it comes to gargoyles, I am pretty specific about the look I like.  I don’t like the ones that look deranged or non-gargoyle like (like they have a ghost head or some other off feature).  I like the more pleasant ones that actually look like a gargoyle as compared to mixed with other beasts BUT if I were to imagine him protecting a home or person – he could look as vicious as he likes.  But then again, I have seen gargoyles that are dragon like that I really like etc. so I guess I’m not that picky.