My Next Tattoo

So I have been itching to get a new tattoo, and it has been a very difficult experience so far.

The last time I got a tat was in Chicago. Both of the shops that I got work done at were very accommodating. Even Jade Dragon which is one of the busiest shops that I have ever been to took care of me the day I came in. That was eight years ago when tattoos were a little less main stream. While some people might disagree with the last statement, I make it because know we have reality TV tattoo shows… and not just one, but several.

While in Michigan I visited a couple of shops, but I did not get a good vibe from either. One of the artists was very talented, I guess the itch was not intense enough back then. A tattoo is something so permanent that you have to trust that your vision and the artist’s talent do match.

I did not expect to walk into a shop here and get a tattoo, I don’t want something that simple. I also know that price has to be figured out once the details of the piece are decided. This is not my first tattoo, but every shop I walk into treats me like a number. I never got a corporate feel from a tattoo shop before, but I am getting that feeling more and more from the shops that I have visited in this city.

I was able to get the name of a couple of artists and I have not had a chance to meet them yet, and maybe that will be my “in.” I almost feel like a weekend warrior on the land of ink. Did everyone getting tats mean that now we are going to have MacTattoo Parlors?

Fourth of July Story

As promised, I have to now tell the Fourth of July story. However, if you still have an extra 5 bucks somewhere in cyberspace, you can still donate and I will not mind we went over the goal amount :)

A couple that we are very good friends with invite us to a BBQ at their house for the Fourth of July. Their identity is going to be protected for various reasons. The promise was an exorbitant amount of fireworks (I am not even exaggerating) that by 10 P.M. was not even half way finished. I mean they have a spreadsheet used as a checklist as to what to buy next year.

We have hanged out with this couple plenty of times. They come over, we go over there and always have an excellent time. We have developed a closeness where we certainly consider us family. We just were not prepared to be considered family as well. I initially thought the party was going to be a big group of friends, and maybe some family… but the ratio was completely opposite.

There is an expression in Colombia about a fly landing in a glass of milk, I think here people say in a bowl of soup. I certainly felt somewhat like that at the beginning of the BBQ. Even though our host introduced us to everyone, I felt awkward breaking the ice. After feeling a little out of place I remember that I am great at breaking the ice, and why not do it with the loudest person at the party.

Since Sally had arrived at the party she had not stopped talking about her sister Susy who was absent from the party. Her tongue was sharp towards her sister so my wife was surprised at my first poke, but I just had to do it… I had to survive… at least until the fireworks and to me it seemed entertaining.

I started to ask about this sister, and if she disliked her so much, why was she talking about her non stop?

Everything stopped and the crickets started their concert. Everyone at once looked at me with big eyes, but at this point I was committed and even after a couple of more colorful comments about her sister, I said tell me more. All the lady wanted was to have someone validate her feelings, it seemed the everyone regardless of the side they took on the situation kind of ignored her.

I wanted to hear her story, I wanted to provide her with an outlet, I wanted to give her a free therapy session… everyone else called this selfless act as me egging her on! can you guys believe that. Ok, maybe I was egging her own for my entertainment, but that is besides the point.

The whole incident started with a 13 year old and her sister Susy who is a grown woman. Susy who is a wiccan seems to be in touch with the universe and willing to educate everyone on its ways, even a 13 year old. I am not sure if she is truly wiccan or not, but I have not met any militant ones, militant atheist, all the time, militant wiccans, no so much.

From what I understood the 13 year old was curious about ghost and other stuff. His inquisitive mind lead him to ask her about the subject of energy and forces. At first Susy welcomed the questions, but then everything went very wrong. The 13 year old made the huge mistake (which I had not been aware of before, and I will take with me as a lesson learned) of using the word paranormal.

Uh Oh, Susy’s main button seems to have been pushed right at that moment. The kid did not know it, but that word brought on the kind of argument that is as important in her life as life and death. Susy proceeded to tell the kid, “THERE IS NO SUCH F#@$ING THING AS PARANORMAL, EVERYTHING IS NORMAL!” Yeap, she yelled, and according to Sally, she continued on to “cuz” the kid out.

Sally told Susy there was no “cuzzing” in her house, Susy initially apologized but later denied the whole incident and the whole family feud had begun. I tried to make the point that she should not be mad at someone that obviously thinks that arguing with a 13 year old is even remotely productive. I explored the anger she felling a little deeper and came to find out that the problems between the sister started a long time ago and all due to a coloring book. I did my best to try to help her overcome her emotions, but I think she is still a little pissed off at Susy.

Help the Children

You all know how against I am the whole asking for money from people thing. There are not many organizations I truly believe on even though I do give money to some of them.

Among other things in this fun filled weekend I agreed to help a friend out with a bowling event for an organization I actually believe on. Big Brothers Big Sisters. So yes, I am going to ask you for money, but it is not for me, it’s to help the children. So go donate!

As soon as my goal of 125 is reached, I will tell a very funny story from the 4th of July BBQ.

FREEDOM

Imagine that the crazy Michigan Militia was not just the bunch of nutbags that produced Timothy McVeigh, but an organized guerrilla group that had taken control over the whole state of Michigan.

Then imagine that a presidential hopeful, and even though I want to use Hilary but I do not find her as eloquent or as loved as maybe Obama is, is kidnapped for 7 years. Then imagine the U.S. military rescuing the presidential candidate along with 14 other people that had been kidnapped without firing a single shot. That is what happened yesterday in Colombia. No big Hollywood production with a Rambo mowing over rebels left and right, just a well planned operation were everyone left alive.

Que Viva Colombia, Que viva la Libertad!

The power of the DMV

The people at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) hold a certain power that they use as a weapon. They know what forms you need. They hold onto that power like it is their sword, and they would never dare to let you know what you need until they have you right in front of them. Why? Well, they want to see your face when they tell you do not have the correct form. That is why they are alive, to see the face of a disappointing person that has to go back to obtain the correct form.

They wear a facade of anger, but internally they are happy, happy that they can tell you no, happy that they have that power, happy that they are making you have to take a little number again and wait for the seemingly random order you are being called on.

That’s right, even to have a question answered you need a number. Why, because again, the interaction that most business have handed to machines to deal with it is still kept alive at the DMV. Instead of being in an endless loop of number pressing, you have a warm body in front of you ready to tell you, get back to the line.

There is simply nothing you can do about it. You need your license or your vehicle titled, you have to go to them. Even though it would seem to be a simpler process handled online, they still want you to come in and bring as many documents as you can so they can have the pleasure to tell you none of the 26 exhibits you have brought are sufficient. And no, it is not allowed to have something faxed, even if it is from another state department, even if will take 3 weeks for it to be obtained by mail, even if you were willing to give a DNA sample.

It is futile to deal with them, it is futile to try to reason, it is futile to try to resist… you don’t even know it, you have already been assimilated.

In other news, I have a Kansas license plate now, YAY, no more dealing with Michigan!

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