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Whatta Weekend

Well, I sure had a hell of a weekend, I’ll tell ya. Covered a lot of ground.

On Saturday morning, I stuck close to home and didn’t do anything noisy with the sander or Shop-Vac, since I was awaiting a call from my sister, who was coming into town for a tattooing convention. Dee is not a tattooist, but she is certainly keeping one in business these days, as he is steadily converting her back into a wondrous, vibrant flower garden. In fact, the night before, she had a darling strawberry with a few leaves and blossoms added to the nape of her neck. Anyhow, I met her at the hotel, we went in, we did a lot of people watching, watched artists working on customers, looked through artists photobooks, and generally had an excellent time there. I brought my digital camera, then felt shy about asking people to pose for me, which I know was stupid…everyone there was out to show off their artwork and everyone seemed happy to pose and talk about their tattoos and so on, but I am kind of traumatized against taking people’s pictures, since so many of my friends run off screaming whenever they scent a camera anywhere on my person. Now I think everyone hates having their picture taken. Issues, issues, I know. I didn’t even take a picture of my own sister and her artwork, which was stupid of me, also, because she’s squeeliciously cute and her flowers are stunning. Anyway, there was a lot of phenomenal work on show at the convention, a lot of creativity and talent. There was a girl with a mural across her back of the “Jack The Ripper” scene from one of the Sandman graphic novels, where JtR is silhouetted against a foggy, mysterious, nighttime Victorian London cityscape. There were myriad wearers of entire tattooed sleeves, a girl with some elegant koi carp inscribed on her calves, a man with a 1′ tall Kali dancing on his back amidst a shattered marketplace, and a couple who were having matching scenes of herons dipping and posing in a reedy marsh. The main attraction was the center of the floor, where the artists booths and rigs were set up, where tattooing was going on in the midst of the milling throng. The “krzzzzzzzzt” of the tattoo guns sounds unnervingly similar to the sound of an arc-welder in action, and it was rather hypnotizing to see images take shape within a person’s skin, under the capable hand of the tattooist. I met one of the tattooists who works out of the shop where Dee goes, though the guy she goes to didn’t come to this show. I checked out some more of his work on the shop’s website, and I have to say, wow! His trademark is the extremely vibrant colors and bold color juxtapositions, and he is definitely getting an opportunity to indulge in colorplay with my sister’s project. If you go to the website, and check out the brunette girl with the morning glories all up and down the left side of her back, you will get an idea of what I am talking about. That girl is not my sis, and doesn’t have near the variety of flora on her back that Dee does, but the style of flowers is similar and exquisite—though of course I may be biased—I am nuts about morning glories. Speaking of girls, and indeed of people watching, the convention would have been a girl-watcher’s paradise. There seemed to be an unusually high concentration of beautiful women, mostly wearing very revealing clothing so as to show off all of their artwork, with my background in theatrical costuming and my current moonlighter gig as a custom seamstress, I have a great appreciation for chicks who know how to dress and how to work it. I have pretty catholic definitions of beauty, attractiveness, and fashionability, and I think pretty much every woman has the capacity to look amazing if she does whatever works for her, and I saw a lot of women who had it working for them on Saturday. From a pixieish little gamine with a Twiggy haircut and a sea serpent which streteched across her shoulders in back and coiled around both arms to a weedy, gothy-punk girl with an excellent, dyed-black Mohawk and Shetland-pony bangs and a backless leather bustiere and schoolgirl kilt and striped Alice stockings, to a square-shouldered, boyish, muscular chiquita with more metal dispersed throughout her flesh than I think I have seen on any two or three people combined, to date. I saw a lot of women who were really happy with their bodies and with how they have chosen to modify their bodies, and were working with what they had, and with what they had added. I spent a good couple of hours going, “she’s cute…wearing the hell out of that sundress…woah, that girl has a great haircut…awesome filigree pattern she has tattooed around her neck…that woman is working those stripper boots—nearly nobody could pull those off, but she manages somehow…” It was pretty awesome and we had a good couple of hours just shooting the breeze and people-watching and looking through photobooks and at the various bits and pieces of clothing and stuff on sale around the periphery of the ballroom.So we hung out for a couple of hours, then split to run a couple of errands and do a little shopping. We were bound for Juliekins’s and her sister’s birthday cookout and pool party, so I wanted to pick up some veggie burgers to grill and some sort of something amusing for a birthday gift. I wanted to find some sort of Office Monkey for Julie’s desk at work, but couldn’t really find what I was looking for, which would have been something like a pencil-holder that looked like a monkey or had monkeys on it, or a monkey paperweight…I did see some reading-chimpanzee bookends, but they were very ugly and not amusing-tacky-ugly, like Rob’s fez-wearing-monkey lamp and clock. So I was digging in this bin of little keychains and pocketbooks and hair-clips and other small items of personal frippery, and came upon a little beaded monkeyface keychain that make me crack up chuckling. He just had such an appealing, amusing expression, picked out in rocaille beads that I couldn’t pass him up. When I’m gift shopping, I tend to go for things that just “jump out” and seem only too perfect for the person in question. People on my gift lists are often treated to exceedingly whimsical presents, but I like to hope that my silly gifts keep people amused. I know my dad got a good blast from the past when I rooted up some old Mad Magazines from the early 1960s at a comic shop and sent them to him for his birthday a couple of years ago, and I think Mom is having fun with the set of little flowerpots I sent her along with a selection of exotic houseplant seeds that was her Christmas gift-basket. Anyway, Julie got a laugh out of it, and it seemed she was having a Monkeytastic birthday theme, as one of her friends gave her a Curious George picture-frame and her sister gave her a fleece throw with happy-monkeyfaces all over it. For a bit of background, Julie does have a small (but obviously rapidly growing) collection of monkey-related knick-knacks. Monkeys are cute and make people laugh, so I figured it would be hard to go too far wrong.

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