Personal adornment

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Image courtesy of Rachel Kramer. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Last weekend, I got a tattoo. It’s my second—the first is the VFD logo from the Series of Unfortunate Events, which half the world thinks is an Egyptian-inspired Playboy Bunny and has, in recent memory, basically only been correctly identified once, by a sorority sister’s tanked prom date, on a bus back from semi-forma–but the first of any notable size and color.

It took a week from me making the appointment to me being in the chair. In the meantime, I sent the poor man something like seven pictures of cedar waxwings, along with a random assortment of his other tattoos that I like with exciting comments like “I like these colors!” and “These are good lines?” and “I would like this pose unless that’s not possible in which case another pose is good.” For all that I was offended when my corporate personality test showed that I put relatively little consideration into my decisions, this experience does seem to have proved the thing right.

The experience itself was pleasant and relatively pain-free (thanks, insulating layer of arm fat!). I chose the artist because his portfolio book had a coworker’s tattoo in it. I like the tattoo and I like the coworker it’s on, so it seemed like a good omen. When I told this to the artist, he mentioned that he was actually responsible for a whole chunk of the tattoos on my coworkers (we’re a Very Hip Company). Chatting about mutual acquaintances filled up a not-small portion of the hour and a half that it took for the thing to be etched on my person, and helped pass the time. Continue reading

Raising Rates, Weeding Clients, and Internet Coincidences

So, as y’all know if you’ve ever spoken to me in meat space, I am super in to Jen Dziura‘s life/career advice columns up on The Gloss and The Grindstone. The column is both titled and concerns being Bullish, and it is wonderful because it contains lines like:

“I will help you pick a new business right now. Take something exciting that you do actually like, and that many other people also like. Now think of something very scary, difficult, or boring. Merge those things; make your enthusiasm for the fun thing bleed into the scary, difficult, or boring thing; help scared, frustrated, and bored people; become a millionaire.”

– “How to be a Productivity Unicorn

I think pretty much everyone should read her.

Anyway, because her column is targeted primarily at women in the early stages of their careers, she has a particular focus that I like a lot–work-life balance. (Also, “Maybe Work-Life Balance Means You Should Work MORE” is a great column title.) The general idea is that women tend to accept salaries (or ask for rates, if they’re free-lancing) that allow them to get by.

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On Tattoos and Children

I had a quick, bizarre interaction with my middle host niece today. She’s three, and because she is little she has not quite realized that my inability to speak Wolof is indicative of a single missing skill, rather than general idiocy. (Her sister, who is five, has figured out that I understand her beginning French and most hand gestures. We work it out.)

She was sitting on the eating mat and looking at my feet. I figured she was checking out my shoes, since they’re gold. She said something to me in Wolof that I completely did not understand, both because it was exclusively composed of verbs I don’t know and because she’s three and kind of mumbles.

My host dad laughed at what it was that she said, and answered back. They chatted for a minute before he turned to me and (in French) said, “She likes your tattoo.”

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