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Tattoo

Undeniable Recap of 2017

2016 was bad. I felt as if that year couldn’t end soon enough.  But it’s as if 2017 started the year saying, “Hold my beer” and it went downhill from there. I had a lot of challenges this year including reconstruction at Castle Carter after my condo flooded, death of my childhood coach, being in a car accident, studying for the California bar exam, and processing my gender identity.

My jar of happy memories

Thankfully, I started a new tradition of keeping a jar next to my bed where I wrote notes about things that happened in my life that made me happy or giggle. Even on bad days, I could look over at my jar that was filling with notes and be reminded that life doesn’t suck all the time. It was a joy to go through them while I wrote this post. Here are my top 5 events/activities from 2017:

Me and my skateboard

1. I got a Skateboard at CMWorld
Content Marketing World always does an excellent job taking care of its speakers. I look forward to this conference every year and I’m proud to be part of Team Orange. When they announced that Casey Neistat would be one of the keynote speakers, I started tweeting at them that I wanted an orange skateboard as my speaker gift. (They usually get us each a wireless mouse/laser pointer.) Shortly after I checked into my hotel room, the hotel dropped off a big box for me. It was a mini orange skateboard! I love this thing, not just because it’s awesome, but because it made me feel like part of the CMWorld family. Once I finish my marathon in 2018, I’m going to take a skateboarding lesson and learn how to ride it properly.

I love this tattoo

2. “Don’t Be What They Made You” Tattoo
I saw Logan in the theater. When I heard this line, I instantly knew I wanted it tattooed on my wrist. A few months later, Hollis at Iconic Tattoo made it a reality. This is a daily reminder and inspiration for me.

3. “But I’m still your Tranpa”
Accepting that I’m non-binary made me feel like I was a baby queer all over again. I felt especially vulnerable a few months ago and sent an email to trans entertainer and advocate Buck Angel, just an open invitation for lunch the next time he’s in Phoenix. He responded and signed it “Tranpa.” I wrote back and said, age-wise, we’re more like cousins. (We’re only about 7 years apart.) He responded, “Hahaa but I’m still your Tranpa ❤️.”

This warmed my heart. It matters to talk to people who “get it.” Buck is someone I reach out to when I experience dysmorphia or feel like I live in a world that wasn’t made for me.

Still smiling after running 20 miles – and rocking some mad hair

4. Running with David
I’m training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon 2018. After getting a DNF at my last marathon attempt, I decided to hire a coach, David Roher. He lives on the east coast, so we communicate over email, text, and phone. He gives me my assignments and tracks my workouts via Strava, plus we talk about nutrition, stretching, injuries, and life in general.

David always has a word of encouragement when I need it – often to remind me that I have the ability to do any assignment he gives me and not to push myself too hard. When I finished my 20-mile training run a few weeks ago, I was pleased with my pace and by how good I felt at the end of it.

5. Ethics and Ice Cream
I had a flash of brilliance at the beginning of August to do a continuing legal education seminar looking at what Arizona lawyers were being disciplined for during the last few years to look for patterns and commonalities. I pitched the idea to do this for ASU CLE and call it “Ethics and Ice Cream.” They loved it and we scheduled the event for about a month later. I recruited fellow lawyer and comedian, Matt Storrs, and we reviewed all the Lawyer Regulation reports since 2015 and pulled off a successful event.

This event made this list, not because I created a CLE, but because I put this idea into action and made it work.

As I read all the notes in my jar, I noticed there were at least six notes that mentioned hugs or being the “little spoon.” Besides giving me a warm fuzzy trip down memory lane, these notes reminded me how important the people in my life are to me.

Rosie Dog – Go check out her Instagram

Firsts in 2017
Flying in/out of a city in one day (for Ungagged Las Vegas)
Standing ovation for singing “O Holy Night” at the Community Church of Hope Christmas Show
Love and Complements Rally
Interview on The Out House Podcast
Foods: Almond butter (meh), Vegan gourmet shreds (cheese-like, not bad), Cashew milk ice cream (best non-dairy ice cream), Almond milk yogurt (not food), Cashew yogurt (not food), Pumpkin seeds (so good), Spirulina (meh)
Events: ICON, Law Launcher, TBD Law, BlogHer

Minions make me smile

Celebrity Sightings
Tom Green
Joseph Gordon Levitt
Chris Guillebeau
Casey Neistat
Paul Risser
Minions

In Memoriam
George Seivert
Don Rickles
Andrea Esquer
Laurel Graver
Dorian Kreiling

My Tattoo Process

I’m a big proponent of the idea that when you turn 18 you should do something to celebrate the fact that you’re an adult. I went skydiving. I don’t support 18 year-olds getting tattoos as their I’m-18-I-can-do-what-I-want experience. And here’s why -they’re permanent!

Foot tattoos Ruth Carter

My Awesome Tattoos

If I got a tattoo every time I thought I had a good idea for a new piece, I’d be covered in ink and probably regret most of it. A tattoo should be something that you love and holds as much meaning on the day you got it as when you’re 85 years old with saggy skin.

I’ve been tattooed five times and I love my work. But I have a process for getting a tattoo that has to occur before I climb into the tattoo chair.

It’s so important to pick something that is meaningful and timeless so that you’ll love seeing your tattoo every day. I think a lot of people pick something that’s meaningful for a limited time and so over time their tattoo loses value. Once I’ve decided on a design that will be meaningful for the rest of my life, then I have pick a good location for it. This wasn’t a struggle with my foot tattoos, but it has been with my latest idea of getting a variation of the Ignite Phoenix bird tattooed on my body. I initially thought I wanted it between my shoulder blades but now I’m thinking I want it on my left rib cage.

Once I decide on what I want and where I want to put it, then I have to wait for “the sign.” There isn’t one sign but more of a gut feeling that it’s time to get the work done. With my first tattoo – the double shooting star on my right foot – I talked with my artist about my plan and I asked her to give me the weekend to make sure it was time to have the work done. That Saturday I was cater-waitering and I taped up my foot because we were working on rough terrain out in a vineyard. When I took the tape off at the end of the night, a big chunk of skin off the top of my foot came off with it – right where the tattoo was supposed to go. That was a sign that it wasn’t time to get the work done.

The Steam Crow Ignite Phoenix Bird I'm contemplating for my next tattoo

The Steam Crow Ignite Phoenix Bird I’m contemplating for my next tattoo

With my Libra tattoo, I knew it was time to have it done when I put my feet up on the recliner one night and I did a double-take because I didn’t see the tattoo on my foot. My brain had already put the design on my body. I had that tattoo put on my body within a month of getting that sign.

I’m still waiting on the sign to get the Ignite Phoenix tattoo, and my brain is still trying to figure out if I want black and gray with touches of color or full color for this one.

If you’re going to get a tattoo, do your homework on your artist in advance. You’re buying custom artwork so get someone who can execute your idea. Good tattoos are not cheap so plan to drop a buck on the endeavor and tip your artist well. When you go for your first tattoo, make sure the artist understands that it’s your first tattoo so they can walk you through everything that’s going to happen. My artist offered to do the first little line without ink just so I could experience how it feels, which I declined but I appreciated the thought.

And yes, getting a tattoo hurts, especially when tattooing over bone like on your ribs or foot. I got light-headed during my first tattoo session and the artist asked if she should stop. I said, “No. Keep going. It’ll hurt less.” I’ve had five tattoo sessions on my feet, including painful re-coloring, and I only had one time when I had to tell the artist to stop because I needed a few minutes’ break from the pain.

If you’re 18 years old and want to do some type of body modification as a proclamation of your status as an adult, get a piercing. I’ve had fourteen. They’re awesome. And they’re usually cheaper than a tattoo and relatively easy to reverse if you decide you don’t want it anymore.

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