New Tattoo

Radar Ralf: I would go with “lung” myself. Usually Kanji are doubled to mean “double XXX” (not x-rated mind you! :)). But, with the complexity of “lung” you might have something a little confusing to read clearly. Are you close to a University? If so, and they have a Chinese program, you might want to talk to a professor who can tell you how to say “twin red dragon” (i assume it would be several hanzi). The way you would express that probably depends on context (which may be why the native speakers you asked are unsure). That is where a Chinese language professor can help. Sorry I can’t help too much, since I am not a student of Chinese, but I have studied a few of the logograms.

Sycorax: Some of my friends are indifferent to tattoos. They neither hate them, nor have a desire to get one. Before I got my tattoos I knew that there would be people who absolutely hate tattoos (and would say something). Again, ok, that’s their opinion, but I’m not going to let them influence my descisions (it’s for me, not for anyone else, which is why it’s not for attention. If it was, I would have worried about what people thought and designed it accordingly). I’m fine with people not liking tattoos, that’s their opinion. I’m also selective about who I show them to. I dont go flashing them to strangers and screaming “Look at my tattoo!”. With the newest being on my leg, it will show when I wear shorts, which is rare for me to do.

‘The beginning calls for courage; the end demands care’

Wow jorge, you replied just before I posted my last post to Sycorax and Radar Ralf. Anyway, I must reply to yours :).

I must look for these resources, thanks Jorge. It’s kind of sad that most of the tribes gave up (or were forced to, more like it) tattooing. Anyway, the alternating triangles is also a common Polynesian motif (sharks teeth). Hawai’ian tattoos I hear, were mostly those. I’m wondering if the radiant sun images were similar to the Bornean “rosette” tattoos that I have seen.

Anyway, I actually was thinking about a design of alternating triangles once (and may think deeply about it again). In fact, in a conculture I created, the people were an “unknown” tribe in the Philippines. As a part of their traditional arts, I included tattooing, and the men had tattoos of three rows of alternating triangles running from shoulder to shoulder.

I saw a picture of a net type dress that some designer from the Philippines made (i saw it in a travel magazine, I think), that was a series of alternating triangles which were isoceles instead of the Polynesian equilateral ones. The caption said the designer was inspired by native tattoo designs.

Yow! That’s similar to what the Mayans (IIRC) used to do. Sounds painful (though they probably had anesthetics from plants).

Nice! I had a friend who wanted a map of the archepelago on his arm with I think the flag as a back ground. I wonder how detailed your friends map tattoo is? I’ve seen pictures of that eagle. Amazingly large too. It would be interesting to see how that tattoo turned out!

Just a first year student, so I can’t translate for you, but anyone getting a Chinese character on your body, even if the tatto artist knows Chinese, HAVE SOMEONE WRITE THE CHARACTER DOWN. You don’t know how to pronounce the tone. And if you screw it up, they will put the wrong character down. And the wrong tone can be literally the difference between “Mom” and “horse”.


Miksch’s Law- It’s better to have a horrible ending than horrors without end.

Perfect outline map (no relief, town, or other markings…) Might go on Mark McGuire’s arm, so I’d stick with the calf or shoulder, though.

Sorry I don’t have a scanner. The pic I’m looking at has that Pan-Polynesian shark-tooth set, with both isoceles and equilateral triangles running the length of the body and limbs, with what indeed looks like a Borneo-type sun depiction: 2 on the chest, 2 on the butt.

The Visayans did not use writing apparently, but there were several differnet alphabets from Bikol to Palawan.

Interestingly, Visayans also practiced penis piercing (like PNG), and skull-shaping (like Mayans).

Good luck finding the texts.

Doobieous: Thanks for the tip about the Chinese department at a university. Maybe University of Alaska - Anchorage has a Chinese department, I’ll check. I agree about the complexity of “lung” - “yen” is much simpler and cleaner; I think a double “yen” would look okay in red. Strangely enough, some of the people I have talked with about these two characters have mixed up the names. And one person told me that both of these images were the same, only in different fonts. Fonts? Ideograms can be written in different fonts? Anyway, I plan to follow your advice about talking to someone at the university, and there is a Chinese restaurant in town called Twin Dragon - I’ll go there and have a beer and try to get some information.

Wow, Omnicient! Way to lump everyone into one mold! Yup, all people with tattoos get them for the same reason, yadda yadda.

I don’t have a tattoo (yet) but my husband and I have been planning to get ours for about 7 years. I know, shortsighted. We’ve just been working out EXACTLY how they should look etc. I’ve known that I wanted a tattoo since I was about 16. I have no idea if they are trendy or not… I don’t follow trends and generally have no clue if something is fashionable or not. Your comment about someone’s tattoo going “out of fashion in 6 months” is prety lame, and indicates that you are someone who puts a lot of importance on waht is “in fashion”. For me, when I get my tattoo, it will be something I’ve designed myself and whether or not it is “in fashion” will be such a non-issue as to be laughable.

The tattoos that my husband and I get will be our personal symbols, btw. Mine on him and his on me.

“Cluemobile? You’ve got a pickup…”
OpalCat’s site:
The Teeming Millions Homepage:

Hmm, maybe they meant style? There are several styles of drawing the characters, which go from very orderly (the block type you see everywhere), to the highly artistic and often illegible (to most people who havent studied the style), grass writing (so named because the fluid curvy lines look like blades of grass).

Anyway, I’m glad the majority of the posts here have been positive. I just wish those who despise tattoos would look past their prejudices and stop judging it all (it just shows they haven’t spent the time to learn anything about it).

You knew I was going to show up in this thread, right?

I started collecting my ink over 10 years ago, like Michelle. Each one of the 17 (yes, 17) is a little piece of history, reminding me of various stages in my life the way other people keep photoalbums.

Very few are actually visible when I’m dressed (or at least in pants, in shorts is another matter) and some are placed so that I can see them and enjoy them. They aren’t there for others. They aren’t some bit of trendy nonsense – when I first started collecting, a woman in a tattoo shop was expected to be with a big biker or a lesbian … or another artist.

Do I regret any of them? Only one (because the ink bled really badly after childbirth), and that one should be easily covered up.

Will I get more? Silly question, tattoos aren’t for kids. Of COURSE I’ll get more, just as soon as hell freezes over and I can afford the three pieces I’ve had designed for over 2 years now.

Come on, Omni, you have such disdain for tattoos. Donate to the cause so you can laugh at me and call me a trendy idiot for enjoying my personal, portable canvas.

First, let me make it crystal clear that I am just sharing my opinions, and not condemning anyone. My feeling on tattoos, while not nearly as inflamed as any of yours, is just an opinion in MPSIMS. If anyone has a hard time with me sharing my feelings on a thread that is not asking for advice, information, or anything in particular other than opinions I presume then you can jam it up your ass. Excuse my french, but this thread is here to solicit responses (the original poster has been quite reasonable and fair, and simply retorted my response and accepted that I had a right to my opinion) and in that vein i shared mine. Sorry this doesn’t mesh with your sensibilities, and the fact you feel such fierce defensiveness on this point strengthens my point and gives creedence to my opinion.

Doob, yeah, I understand that some cultures use ritualized tattooing and it has strong emotions with some. I can accept this of people, but in general I can’t accept it as some highly meaningful, and crucial act to make them who they are. This same arguement is given by the Native Americans who want permission to whale as a rite of passage into adult hood, and for countries to continue bullfighting. My opinion is that lots of old traditions exist, but the fact they are old, and distinctive doesn’t give theme inherent value. I feel this way about ritual tattooing. Your not hurting anyone but yourself, but don’t expect me to maintain respect for you. (Of course my opinion isn’t that important, by I’m entitled to it, and if you bring it up, I’ll tell you how I feel) Put simply, I don’t let the excuse someone uses for doing it affect my opinion of it.

Tattoos are trendy, an individuals reasons for getting one don’t change that fact, unless you can change everyone who gets ones mind. They are threndy, and because of that no one who has one gains anything in my view, your just beginning to look more like the masses. I suppose I could’ve pierced my ear in high school because I really loved that earring, but would that have made me less trendy, I think not.

Tattoos have been viewed as a act of expressing ones individuality, well since everyone has gotten one, that effect is pretty much nil.

By the way, I can’t pretend to know your motives, but a skull and dagger would actually be original now. Every tattoo I see is either some permanent jewelery (bracelets, roses, animals, runes) or some asian or arabic script. Now expressing your heritage is fine, but the fact its a tattoo, flag, or piece of jewelery doesn’t make the chosen medium more or less acceptable.

I have no doubt tht your heratige is wonderful, and you have the highest respect for it. I commend that, but I doubt you were raised in that environment, nor do you ancestors have ritual tattoos. The fact you are choosing that heratige as the art for the tattoo doesn’t make you one with your ancestors. Its similar to a family whose distant ancestors have a tradition of hunting game going out and suddenly buying a rifle and hunting on the premise of it being part of their heritage. Just admit your hunting, its not about your ancestors, its about hunting. (For the record I’m not anti-gun or hunting)

Finally if my opinions offend someone here, why do you read the content on this board? Are you only interested in people who think like you do? If you have no desire to hear critisism or differing opinions, don’t post open statements like this one.

I never generalized and accused you (Doob) of being anything that I described tattooed people as. I simply stated how I prejudge tattooed people I see as. Now to pre-empt any critisism of the fact I prejudge people, lets be honest here. We all make judgements on people we initial see or meet. Its an important filter, and saftey feature in our lives. I will give people a chance in the necessary situations, and am willing to admit I was wrong, but no one has the time to get to know everyone who crosses their path and generalizations are a fact of the human psyche. We all do it, and its a necessary tool to navigate our society. It presume that some guy with a metal band T-shirt and long hair isn’t going to be someone who I get along with. Physical features influence or actions, deal with it. Tattoos are generally gotten by people with a certain attitude, this differs from mine and unless some extraneous circumstances come about we likely won’t become friends. Thats the way I work, and I think everyone does as well, but some fear admitting it becuase its not PC.

Opal, what about my comments say I put a high value on fashion? I am critisizing impulse action of those who follow fashion. Fact is many a tattoo are gotten by people whos idea of what cool changes every 6 months. Not everyone is obviously like that, but generaliztions are a fact of life. I do recall a period where Marvin the Martian, and Taz were quite common tattoos, now these people must feel quite foolish. If you wish to defnd these tattooing brothers of yours feel free, but I think thats the silly thing to do.

You people getting all defensive are really showing your weakness, and need for acceptance. (That should ruffle some feathers) Seriously, why is every acting like I insulted their heritage, or their relationship. I critisized the tattooing, not the thing which it symbolizes, I think you need to learn to separate the two.

It was the way you stated your opinion, not your opinion itself. That got everyone riled up.

Here’s what you said:

I hate tattoos, and think they are patheticly trendy, a cry for attention, and enourmously short sighted.

Most responded that their tattoos were not short sighted, and not a cry for attention.That’s what offended people here (it sounds like you are saying they are considered weak, impulsive and looking for attention).

I will admit, as a medium, tattooing has become trendy, but unlike most trends, people aren’t getting the same exact things (which is what trends usually are, the same thing copied over and over, such as the “George Clooney haircut”). There are many places to read about people’s reasons for tattooing, one being (click the tatooing link, then scroll down to “experiences” and read on).
In your recent post you said:

“The fact you are choosing that heratige as the art for the tattoo doesn’t make you one with your ancestors.”

If i didn’t make myself clear enough, sorry. What I mean is, it’s an expression of my heritage (and when I said it linked me to my ancestors through a common medium, that was done in haste, I admit that).Never the less, It is a visual way to tell my history and have a reminder of it (memory is nice, but then why do people keep photographs?). Never once did I ever think “Wow, i’ll become like my Aklanon ancestors and be just like them!”. Tattooing does not make me who I am, I make me who I am. Tattooing just represents me visually. It is only a symbol, not something that can change who I am.


“Tattoos are generally gotten by people with a certain attitude, this differs from mine and unless some extraneous circumstances come about we likely won’t become friends. Thats the way I work, and I think everyone does as well, but some fear admitting it becuase its not PC.”

Here’s how I work:

I have met many people on campus, and some were good, some not so good. I however didn’t look at them and think: “They look dangerous, better avoid them!”.

I learned a long time ago that I can’t let looks alone keep me from getting to know people. Perhaps being teased as a child for my weight (a visual thing of course) contributed to me seeing everyone as they are first before judging them as someone who is bad by visual clues.

I don’t look at people and think, “Well that guy has a mowhawk and listens to punk so I could never be his friend, because people like that tend to be a certain way”. Believe it or not, i wait until i see what that person is like before deciding if i won’t be friends with them.

I’m thinking about getting inked for Christmas. I’m interested in getting a Three of Swords put somewhere on my body. What would you guys recommend me to do? Where should I put it so it won’t bleed or fade as rapidly? And of course, where would hurt the least?

I’ve wanted this tattoo since I was 14 years old, but I’ve just never taken the step. Advice?

I’m getting a tattoo in a week. I’ve been toying with the idea every since Jerry passed.
It’ll be on the outside of my left shoulder and will be either Steely(the Dead’s Steal Your Face album cover) or the purple dancing bear.
I’m leaning towards Steely right now.
I think the Dead have been around long enough so as not to fall into the same category as Bon Jovi. Plus there’ll be no writing.
Dead Heads’ll know what it means.

Omni, I read your original response and your reprise. They’re both hooey. No matter how much you say that you respect others’ rights and opinions, your posts still come off as condescending and disdainful. Nobody asked for your opinion anyway. And, after the way you expressed it, I think fewer people respected it. So bite me.

Doob – I have three tattoos. The one I like the most is one I designed myself. It’s my son’s initials in an elaborate sort of script. I’ll probably get another someday. You never know.


I have mine on the base of my back just above my pant-line. I like it in that location because I can keep it covered when I have to (I’m a teacher so the thought of the students seeing an evil gargoyle emblazoned on me doesn’t appeal to me), but people can see it if I want them to because it’s not on someplace,like my pecker, that I couldn’t show them. The only drawback is that it hurt like hell because it’s right on my backbone.

Well, technically the skin over my backbone.

Go for the Steal Your Face. I think those stupid dancing bears are lame. Personally, I like the Blues for Allah or the Skeleton w/Roses (which I always associate w/St Stephen for some reason) better than SYF, but hey, each to his own!

I have a Yin/Yang about the size of a dime, which I got in Amsterdam (hear that Coldfire?) in 1985. It wasn’t very trendy then. I did it almost on the spur of the moment, although I had had the idea in the back of my head for a while. It’s a permanent souvenir of my European vacation and of a certain period in my life.

I would get another, if the time was right and the right design struck me. It’s not something I would do lightly. The design would have to have great personal significance to me, since I would be making a permanent addition to my body. Despite the fact that I made a quick decision to get my first one, it wasn’t a choice I took lightly. I’ve never regretted it.

Also, nowadays it’s fun to surprise people when I tell them I have a tattoo and show it too them. I guess it doesn’t mesh with their perception of me very well. Full of surprises, I be.

Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.

Right. Because everyone’s tattoos look exactly the same, you know.

I assume you don’t wear clothes or have a hair style or drive a car either, since everyone does those, and gosh…it’s really trendy.

Didn’t realize you had to accept them. I guess those with tattoos are bansished to the world of being non-human because YOU don’t like their tattoos, eh? Hmm.

So basically you are a prick. You jump to conclusions about someone instantly based on some little notion in your tiny brain. Nice. Glad I don’t know you personally.
You know, I think those short on top, long in the back mens’ hairstyles are really ugly. But I don’t judge the person based on them like you do here with tattoos. Someone’s personal appearance choices are exactly ZERO your business, and it proves you are extemely shallow that you assign so much value to them. Now, sure some things are reasonable… like I judge someone wearing a big pile of fur or carrying a gun as someone I won’t get along with… but tattoos? Jesus, guy, get a life. The fact that they are so prevalent means exactly that you CAN’T make such rash judgement calls about those who have them.

Everything, basically.

Again with the generalizations. Not everyone who gets a tattoo is making an IMPULSE DECISION. I realize that your very limited mind won’t grasp these deep concepts, but I need to state them anyway.

Nobody is saying that every tattoo ever gotten is a worthwhile piece of high art that no one regrets, or that no one ever got a tattoo for a stupid reason. The point is that there are far too many reasons for getting a tattoo, and far too many types of people with tattoos for it to be any kind of reasonable method by which to judge people.

Yes, it is very silly of me to stand up and say what I believe. Idiot.

O p a l C a t

Drain Bead …

Somewhere you don’t tan, for starters. Where the sun hits, ink will fade faster. If you have the placement where clothing will rub, the tat might not have a good chance to heal and can be “rubbed” out of the skin. Avoid places that shed skin quickly (tattoo “rings” usually won’t be guaranteed by the artist, nor will pieces on your feet) or you’ll be in and out of studios regularly to get the ink retouched.

Pain is a personal matter. For me, the buzz of the needle and the throb just puts me to sleep. Shoulderblades are good (slept through all but the one directly over my spine), the hip isn’t bad so long as you aren’t ticklish (I had a tendency to wriggle and laugh when the artist hit new spots that weren’t numb to the needle).

Spots that CAN be bad for some people – directly over major muscles and heavily nerved areas (back of calf, underside of arms, inside of wrist, etc), directly over bone (ankle, spine, fingers, toes, collarbone). It all depends on how you take pain.

Omni – arrogant and judgemental much? Wow, you must have been beaten up a lot as a kid to be this openly hostile to perfect strangers. It’s funny, you go on and on about how you have a perfect right to say whatever you want on the thread, then chastise and dare Opal to do the same and insinuate that she’s wrong. Tsk. Bad form, Peter.

People respond defensively and with hostility because, all in all, you come off as a sanctimonious asshole.

Then again, you probably see that as a compliment.

Doobieous, try this:

I just have a couple things to add. Tatoos on the breast bone hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. No…much worse than that.

Tatoos between your tits…if you are rather large busted…stay sore awhile.

Now with that said, since it was about a year ago and everything is all healed, I love my tattoo. Two hearts, with a whip and handcuffs entwined around them, and the words “Kurt’s Pet” above them. Kurt being my husband, of course.