*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

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This is the post the you're going to read before you harass me with repetitive questions.

TATTOO?! Aren't you aware of what you're doing?!

Yes, I'm aware that tattoos are permanent. Yes, I'm aware that people change and minds change. Yes, I'm aware that skin gets old and wrinkly. Yes, I'm aware that not everyone likes tattoos. Yes, I'm aware that it hurts like all hell (obviously, at this point).

But I thought Tim was such a smart boy! What went wrong?

Nothing went wrong. You don't have to be a miscreant to get a tattoo, and they're not as uncommon as you think. If you're implying it's a foolish choice to get a tattoo, well, just about anyone that has a tattoo will disagree with you. The naysayers are rarely those with tattoos - and in general, those that regret their tattoos got them while completely blasted with their frat buddies. That's a fact.

Where would you get such a stupid idea from?

The same place anyone gets an idea from - other people. Nobody suggested it to me, but two people in my sociology class were discussing their tattoos, and I found myself intrigued and looked into it myself.

How did you decide you wanted a tattoo at all?

I can't really say, it was just something that really interested me. You don't know you want one until you find what you want.

What is that? A flaming wombat?

That's a phoenix.

That's gay. Why would you get a phoenix?

Traditionally, a phoenix represents immortality, regeneration, and rebirth. As I was reading Mere Christianity, it struck me that these are themes heavily carried within my faith, but ill-represented in popular culture and within the faith itself. The phoenix has been occasionally used in early church history, but never made its place as a standard symbol, given its stronger mythological nature that couldn't be altered towards Christianity's needs.

If you don't know, the general idea is that a phoenix will live for several hundred / thousand years (depending on where in the world you are), and at the end of its life cycle, will make itself a death nest (in some lore it would be a nest of cinnamon twigs) and its ashes will produce a phoenix egg, continuing the cycle.

Along with having some very nifty lore that, for whatever reason, manages to stay consistent across many cultures (and indeed it's bizarre that it exists in multiple, independant cultures at all), it also carries a lot of fantasy weight to it. I had considered a dragon, but really, they're overdone and don't represent much. It carries the imaginative weight that other mythological creatures do, but maintains a sense of meaning and purpose to it.

On top of all that, the colors are my favorite. I've had orange on black as my font coloring for years, now. My forum/IM avatars and desktop backgrounds are generally dark, and were for a very long time orange on black (in fact, the fractal I have right now is what I've been using for a very long time). It's just a color scheme I love, and it takes a really wicked and unique form in the shape of a phoenix.

Where'd you get the design?

For those that haven't seen it:

I found it after about three hours of searching the internet. I have no idea who made it, and I tried my best to find out, to no avail.

How much did it hurt, how long did it take?!

A shitload. But, no pain, no gain. If you want some kind of idea of what it feels like, imagine a very precise power sander, or the feeling of a dull knife quickly running across your skin. The artist noted that I chose a pretty intense spot. Portions of the design run across my sternum - which produced some pretty intense pain that I really can't describe, but it sucked major balls. It makes it very hard to breathe and it's impossible not to focus on it. The stuff closer to my armpit hurt more, and as well as the stuff near my collarbone.

Much of the pain was multiplied by the presence of shading. Though the picture makes it hard to see, there are no outlines in my tattoo - it's all done in shades, no hard-set lines anywhere. She did the black first, which wasn't so bad - because there were large amounts of it in each area, and it progressed fairly smoothly, there was something of a numbness to it all. However, when she ran across it in red, she started at the beginning - my skin had gone from numb to raw, and the sporadic nature of the coloring prevented any real numbness. The orange was equally bad. There wasn't too much yellow, thankfully.

I was in the studio for three and a half hours, but the time spent needling was one hour and fifty-five minutes. That's a lot, and I'm not sure I could have lasted much more than two and half hours. I started sweating like nobody's business the minute she started - it was REALLY nasty.

How much did it cost?

$190. A $50 deposit was required when I handed her the design and made the appointment. She charge $100 an hour, but said she'd have capped it at $225. I also left a $20 tip.

Why's it all shiny and crap? It looks messed up.

Tattoos take approximately ten days to heal. Given that the process is essentially leaving a giant, pretty wound on your skin, the first thing that happens is you bleed. Colors will be distorted by the blood and by the irritated/rash appearance of your skin. There's also a lot of excess ink. My tattoo is currently raised off my skin from the excess ink, but as I continue to wash it, that will fade. At the same time, the tattoo will start to scab, as any wound would. This will create a glazed, dull, speckly appearance. Once the scabs fade, the dead skin needs to come off, which will make it appear flaky (and cause it to itch like nobody's business).

That whole process will eventually leave the tattoo looking like it should - but as is, it's a shadow of what it will be.

Where'd you get your tattoo? Why there?

Medusa tattoo, it's a little place run by a rather nice woman. I chose there because she had a really excellent portfolio - her work was pretty awesome, the place was clean, and I felt comfortable. Other places in town didn't look quite as good, and as I learned from guys at work, I made the right choice. Looking at the results has pretty much confirmed this.

What do your parents think?

I don't know. I didn't consult them before making this decision, but I did inform them I was getting one.
posted by MC Froehlich at
Blogger Karen said...
i want a tattoo, personally, but i can never decide on what i want. what kind of reactions have you been getting? are they like the pretend ones you posted?
Anonymous Anonymous said...
oh, that's actually pretty cool. i'm disappointed.
Blogger MC Froehlich said...
most people say exactly what you two just said. they were either expecting a flop and were prepared to laugh, or have been watching me to make their own decision about a tattoo.

haven't had a single negative reaction yet. all of the questions i posted are more or less real, just edited for humor. i went into it expecting a lot more negative reactions, though, as its success isn't determined by what other people think. it's a nice bonus to have people gawk over it.

several of my tattoo-laden comrades have noted that the artist did a really superb job with the coloring, definitely high above par. just something to keep in mind.
Blogger Karen said...
what is the name of where you got it done? there's a place on the commons, or just off it, where the people were really snobby and mean, but your place sounds much nicer. the colors are amazing.
Blogger MC Froehlich said...
this is her myspace

there's a few places in town, all fairly close to each other. I've heard Stiehl's (right near the library) is fairly mediocre, and I wasn't very impressed by their portfolio. not really sure about Sfumato, though their portfolio seemed alright.

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