The Tattooed English Nerd

I finally got my tattoo!

I got it on Friday (coincidentally Friday the 13th), accompanied by my mother and my best friend, and it was actually a pretty nice experience. Granted, the first half hour was not fun, when I realized that the design I had picked out months in advance was going to take over half of my calf and that the tattoo artist couldn’t make it smaller because then the proportions would be wrong.

Fortunately I found another design that I like just as much, and the tattoo artist was very nice about it.

I definitely overestimated how much a tattoo would hurt. I always envisioned the tattoo artist using needles and puncturing my skin, but honestly, it did not hurt that much at all. It was kind of like someone scratching you, sometimes more violently, but never so bad that I screamed out or started crying. And my best friend was with me the whole time (my mother was too queasy to watch) distracting me by talking about Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. It worked. And it also caused my tattoo artist to call us dorks a few times as he listened to his heavy metal with a tattoo gun in his hands. We didn’t care.

The only problem with my tattoo is that, from a certain angle, it can look like a menorah. I guess that just means I have to marry a Jewish guy now.

Overall though, I’m pretty happy. I had a minor stress ball moment at night, during that time when your mind is half asleep and half thinking, when I thought “would it still be alright to have a tattoo when I’m 40 or 50? What will people say?” And then, as if emerging from the murky waters, I suddenly woke up and thought “Who the hell cares?” I felt so clear, so present at the moment, and I knew then that all of the worries I have about my tattoo don’t matter. I like my tattoo, and now, it’s a part of me.

So if people want to think that I’m a biker chick because I have a tattoo, let them. I know that I am a nice, respectable, English nerd, the kind who doesn’t party, drink or do anything that society believes teenagers do. And I have a tattoo. I am a tattooed English nerd, and I love the way I am.

It only took me a tattoo to come to this realization.

 

Back Home!

It was a great 10 days, but boy am I glad to be back home. For one thing, cruise food stops being fabulous after the second day when the surprise of what they offer disappears. And another thing is that my family is just not a cruise family.

We enjoy traveling and seeing the world, but we’re not really people to take part in the cruise activities, and it’s just not fun to only stay in places like Corfu, Greece

or Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

for only four hours, max. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded staying two weeks in each of the cities we visited (and I wouldn’t mind living in Corfu, Greece for the rest of my life), but with the cruise, it’s not possible to do that.

Besides that though, my family and I had an excellent time, and I’m looking forward to the next family vacation (my Dad’s pushing for Singapore in the winter and I have no complaints about that).

But even though I just got back from a fabulous trip, it’s not like I have nothing more to look forward to. For example, tomorrow I am doing something incredibly exciting but also something that every parent dreads and has nightmares about.

Yes, I am getting a tattoo.

I set up my appointment, talked to the tattoo artist, and I’m going to head over there with my mother and my best friend at 6pm tomorrow. I’m just a leetle bit scared so I’m glad that I’ll have some people with me. And the great thing is is that my parents are completely on board! Okay, maybe “completely on board” is going a little too far. Here’s their view on me getting a tattoo:

“We know you’re going off to college and that you’ll be doing things that we have no control over and possibly no idea of. So if you’re going to get a tattoo, we’d rather you got one with our knowledge so we can come with you and make sure everything is alright.”

I have the coolest parents in the world. They were also alright with me skydiving and studying English in college instead of engineering or medicine, which really shatters the perception of Indian parents, doesn’t it?

Hope you guys all had a great 2 weeks, and I can’t wait to get back to blogging 🙂

Jane Austen Fans: Come Hither

I’m not a big Jane Austen fan, but I do love my Pride and Prejudice and when I came across this youtube series, I was captivated. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, just had to watch, which is why it’s a good thing that there are only 22 episodes, each only about 3 minutes long, so my period of sleepless starvation didn’t last too long.

But I highly suggest this to you if you so much as somewhat liked Pride and Prejudice  or if you just want a good distraction from your boring life that doesn’t include rich, arrogant men and annoying, meddlesome mothers.

And if you liked this series, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy the VlogBrothers, if you haven’t already seen their amazing videos. But I’ll save that for another post 🙂

Classical Quandary

My brother asked me a question a few days ago that caught me off guard. He asked, “Hey, do you know any good books I can read?”

Innocuous enough, you might say, but his response when I told him of a few great books was certainly not. I told him he should try reading The Hunger Games, the Pendragon series and Inkheart, but he just shook his head and said,

“No. I meant good books. Classics.”

That stopped me in my tracks. I used to say the same thing, reading books like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and A Tale of Two Cities when I was around the same age as my brother (think middle school) simply because they were called classics. I went so far as to think of books like The Uglies series and even Harry Potter (egads!) as juvenile, something you read late at night when you don’t feel like going to sleep.

But really, what makes these books less wonderful than the classics that everyone’s always speaking so highly about? And, more than that, what makes a classic a classic?

The answer to my first question came to me in the form of a New Yorker article. This article  argued that science fiction was just as worthy of praise as were the classics, and that Agatha Christie was just as skillful a writer as Tolstoy. The writer stated that it takes an immense amount of skill to write well in any kind of genre, and that whether or not it is labelled as classic does not change its value. A good book should make you interested, make you want to pick it up and finish it through to the very end, and make you never want the book to stop, and if a classical book doesn’t do that (Tess of the d’Urbervilles I SEE YOU!!!), then it isn’t as good as that Bossypants book you have lying there on your table (and as an audiobook. I just love Tina Fey.)

And so I nodded in agreement, put down my The Sound and the Fury that I had been slogging through, and picked up an Agatha Christie book.

But when it came to the second question, what makes a classic a classic, I was stumped.

I believe that a classic should make you think, and it also seems to me that all classics have been written a while ago, so there is a requirement of appealing to the masses throughout a long period of time. But there has to be more than to classify a book as a classic. Is it that they improve your mind? Because there are many other books that do that (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Flatlandia, The Tao of Pooh and many, many more non-classics). What are the classifications for a book to become a classic?

And can some comics be called classics? I know Watchmen is a very deep comic book that many people like, and probably will do for years to come. So in twenty years or so, can Watchmen have the stamp of classical approval on it?

And last, but not least, should I tell my brother to read a few classics to improve his mind, or should I tell him to read whatever he likes to increase his enjoyment of literature?

With all of these questions circling around in my head, it’s a wonder I’m even writing this blog 🙂

The Figurine

By D. Lifland from 2River View Magazine

I left the jade, green elephant at her apartment.
She brought it back from a work trip to India as a gift
& I placed it on her dresser that night.
I enjoyed looking at it when I stayed over.

It was a handsome elephant with a strong trunk
& a wonderful color that sparkled
in the lamp light. It had a wise expression
like it knew something about the world.

I’m glad I never took it home.
Given the circumstances, I would’ve
placed it in a box on the second shelf in my closet
with my other things.