Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Tattoos

When I was a teenager I thought it would be a great idea to get tattoos from this guy who lived in one of my friend's apartment complex. What can I say? I was young and dumb and it seemed like a great idea at the time. While I was pretty much unhappy with the results right away, it took me over six years to finally get around to getting them redone. It was worth the wait.

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I can't even explain how it makes me feel to look at my tattoos now. Instead of annoyance, my tattoos make me feel...well beautiful (as cheesy as it sounds). It's like a unicorn rubbed up against me and left an explosion of color just for me. I'm not sure that makes a lot of sense, but I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.

If you're looking for a tattoo artist in Salt Lake, I can't recommend James Patterson at Zen Tattoo enough. He looks a little like a sexy hobbit, but he's the real deal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Love, Life, and Letting Go

It's no secret I love quotes. Here are a few that have inspired me lately. 

“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”
— Gloria Naylor

“If you hold back on the emotions—if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them—you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your heard even, you experience them fully and completely.”
— Mitch Albom

“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.”
— Lisa Kleypas

“Sure, I loved him—too much. And he loved me, only not enough. I just want someone who thinks I’m number one in his life. I’m not willing to accept emotional scraps anymore.”
— Amy Tan

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”
— Sarah Dessen

“Sometimes the love of love makes us completely delusional. We hear what we want, we hold on to “what if”s and “maybe”s and to the desperate belief that we may change a man and his desires. The sad part is, we know deep down that we are forcing a relationship, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and it’s only a matter of time before reality hits you like a ton of bricks. My question is, when we know someone isn’t right for us, yet we love the way they make us feel, even temporarily, do we walk away and avoid heartache? Or do we stick around for the sake of a good time, and because maybe, just maybe, he may change his mind about us?”
— Candice Ses

"How often, you wonder, has the direction of your life been shaped by such misunderstandings? How many opportunities have you been denied—or, for that matter, awarded—because someone failed to see you properly? How many friends have you lost, how many have you gained, because they glimpsed some element of your personality that shone through for only an instant, and in circumstances you could never reproduce? An illusion of water shimmering at the far bend of a highway."
—Kevin Brockmeier

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Week in Review

I need to get back into the habit of taking pictures. I used to photograph something almost everyday, but I fell out of the habit when my life fell apart last year. Since I had such a rockin week though, I thought some random pictures I found on the interwebz would do.


As I said in another post, this was my first week back at school. That means cramped trolleys, uncomfortable desks (not everyone is right handed you know), and lots of reading. Like an insane amount. I love it all.

This week I also tried pho for the first time, went to a burlesque show, and had way too many amfs. Throw in a trip to Ikea and my shiny new concert tickets (The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys) and all in all this week kicked major ass.

2012 is off to a great start.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book Review: A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

Title: A Scanner Darkly
Author: Philip K. Dick
Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Vintage
Publishing Date: August 17, 2006 (first published January 1st 1977)
Paperback: 288 pages

Stand Alone or series: Stand alone

Summary: (from Goodreads)
Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D--which Arctor takes in massive doses--gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.

Caustically funny, eerily accurate in its depiction of junkies, scam artists, and the walking brain-dead, Philip K. Dick's industrial-grade stress test of identity is as unnerving as it is enthralling.
Review:

I can't even begin to explain this story in a tidy little paragraph. Since the book was made adapted into a movie though, I'll let the trailer do the summarizing:



See what I mean? A Scanner Darkly is basically the story of one man, Fred/Bob Archer, and his experiences with Substance D. As Fred dives deeper and deeper into the world of drugs, personal identity and questions of friendship are brought to the forefront.

Apparently all of Philip K. Dick's books are slightly autobiographical and this one gains a lot from the author's personal experiences. It adds a sense of believability to the story which is important with a story as disjointed and exaggerated as this. Even though A Scanner Darkly is a more extreme version of our current drug culture, anyone who's been around drugs will recognize certain characteristics throughout the book. I've really known people who carry around various bicycle parts and books on the most random subjects you can imagine. This becomes one of the few solid points of the story.

I also thought the story was made stronger by the author's note at the end. I couldn't help but relate to where Dick was coming from. Even though I've never been addicted to drugs, the high cost of happiness is something that resonated with me. He says, "If there was any 'sin,' it's that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever..." There comes a time when sometimes the cost of happiness is just too much. When the punishment is too much to bear and there's nothing left to do but move on.

My biggest issue with the story is the ending. Even though I actually enjoyed the way it ended, everything felt rushed and unexamined. The decent into madness was too quick to be completely satisfying and there were some loose threads I would have liked wrapped up. I also think Dick's depiction of women was problematic. There was a sense that women had no genuine role in society and that their only true contribution was as sexual fodder for male characters. All of the characters were kind of depressing though so I'm probably not being entirely fair, but it really stuck out to me. Whenever there was a female character there was usually the threat of sexual violence or violation that was unnecessary.

There's a quote that says you are what you continually do and I think this book sort of reinforces that idea. There's this sense that all the characters are good people, but they continue to do not so good things. Yet the people around them, who don't use drugs, are not so good people who follow all the rules. So the question then becomes, who are the genuinely good people? What makes a man a man? Is it circumstance or something more? I know that seems a bit silly, but the question of personal identity is one Dick toys around with a lot in this story. Fred forgets that sometimes you are what you pretend to be.

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Verdict:

Interesting and worth checking out. You can't really read this book without thinking of Trainspotting (which is actually better in my opinion). I look forward to watching the movie and seeing if the filmmakers were able to actually make Dick's idea a little more orderly.

Rating: 6. Good, but might not be for everyone

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Good Start to the Week

Today was my first day back in school and I finally got to start my classes at the University of Utah. Even though I met a lot of cool people and found my passion at junior college, going to the U makes me feel like a real college student. I know it's silly, but I can't help it. Not only am I excited to have a shiny new I.D. card, but I'm also finally done with my generals so my classes are in a league of their own. Seriously, I've only been to two of my classes and I'm already completely smitten. Not even spending half the day completely lost could bring down my mood. Gender Studies for life!

My little monster also turned six today. I really can't believe how big he is. He's like a real person now (as silly as that sounds!). Today was his first day going to the YMCA after school and even though he was really nervous he handled it like a champ.

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Happy Birthday Holden!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Music Thursday


New Music Thursday is an attempt to keep my goal of listening to some new music alive and kicking. Not all of these bands/artists are new to me, but all of the songs are.

These are the songs I'm diggin this week:

You Da One by Rihanna:



Everyone and their mother has probably seen this already, but I have to post it just in case. Rihanna just keeps getting better and better. I adore her.

Colours by Grouplove:



Messin With My Head by K. Flay:



Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye (ft. Kimbra):



This song creeps up on you. You just got to give it a chance.

Right In The Dark by Fritz Kalkbrenner: