Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tattoo Time

Last night, I got my second tattoo.

I got three stars on my chest about 6 years or so ago, and I had always wanted to get something else, but tattoo decisions are not to be taken lightly.  What image would I want?  And where?

I've always loved the book, "The Little Prince", about a boy from asteroid B-612 who flies off to see the rest of the universe.  It's a beautifully told story, and the illustrations - simple and meaningful - have always been among my favorites.  I'd always thought one of the illustrations would make a great tattoo.

It just so happens that the lead singer of Wakaba - Niioka, or Nini, as he likes to be called - is not only a great bagpipe player, but also a tattoo artist.  I've been talking to him about how I've been wanting to get another tattoo, and I showed him what I wanted.  However, Nini does tattoos the traditional way - as in, no machine.  It's basically a stick with a needle on the end.  I was a little nervous about this, but decided that getting a tattoo done this would make for a great story.  And yes, maybe even make me seem a little tough.

As I layed down to prepare for my tattoo, I kept trying to remember what it had felt like, so I could some what prepare myself.  When the first prick happened, it all came back to me.  Some parts hardly hurt at all - it felt like plucking your eyebrows for the first time.  Others parts definitely felt like I was being poked by a needle repeatedly.  I thought the traditional style would hurt way more, and take forever, but Nini was really fast.

Lots of deep breathing helped through the more painful parts, and as Nini worked on me, I would focus on an object in the room and try not think about the pain.  Nathan and my friend Adrienne came along for support, and although I didn't feel like talking while I was in the laying position, It really helped me to listen to their conversations.

After he finished the outline, we took a little break, which I think we both needed.  I was covered in sweat, and as he smoke a cigarette we talked about work and zombie movies.

Next up, was the color and any other touch-ups.  This again included lots of deep breathing while I listened to Nathan watch "Dawn of the Dead", haha.  My friends who don't have tattoos often ask what it feels like.  It's hard to describe - a pricking sensation that doesn't make you wanna cry, just clench your fists.  Don't get me wrong, it hurts, but in an annoying way.

In the above picture, you can see the tattoo instrument.  He would basically dip the needle part into the ink, then prick my skin.  Much less jarring than the tattoo gun, and I feel like the artist has more control over the ink and design.  See how happy I am that he's almost finished?  Haha!

And the finished product....

Here's the original illustration:

I was so impressed with how beautiful Nini made the tattoo look.  It'll take a few days for the swelling to go down, and probably a few weeks for it to completely heal, and I can't wait to see what it will look like then!

And because I know someone will ask, "Why did you choose this picture to tattoo on you forever?"

Well, this illustration shows the Little Prince tying up a flock of birds, so he can fly away from his tiny home and go off and experience the world.  This has certainly been me these past few years.  Who would've thought I would ever leave little Canyon, Texas and live in Japan?!

Plus, the picture's pretty :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

mother and son night

Last night, while Nathan was hanging out with some friends, Ethan and I had some time together.  We ate junk food, played at the game center, and just hung out with each other.  Now that Ethan no longer plays with toys, special times like this together are few and far between.  Then throw in our iphones and ipads, and we hardly talk to each other even when we're in the same room.  We didn't have any deep conversations, just a few hours of having fun.  A great way to spend a Saturday night!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Out and About

There's never a dull moment with the Robinson clan.  On the weekends, we always seem to be doing one thing or another.  Friday I met up with a friend of mine whose mother was visiting from New Zealand, and we ate at an amazing izakaya and sang karaoke.  I'm always up for karaoke, but I'm treasuring these moments even more because all the girls I went out with that night will be leaving me very soon.  But I don't wanna talk about that.

 On Saturday, however, there was much lounging to be had, and I was intent on not putting on makeup, wearing the most comfy clothes I had, and keeping activities to a minimum (even though we cleaned house, did laundry, went grocery shopping, and I even fit a run in, haha).

On Sunday, we met up with Takuya to go to the Hokkaido University festival.  Lots of food, lots of people, the weather was great, and it was nice to be outside.  Later, we walked over to Odori Park to see the last day of the Yosakoi festival.  I'm kicking myself that I didn't join this year, but really, when would I have had the time?

In other news, Takuya and I have a few gigs coming up this month.  We'll be playing at Bistro DEPOT next Sunday for their 10 year anniversary party.  Bands will be playing from 2pm to 11pm, so drop by if you can.  I'm not sure yet when we'll be playing.

On Tuesday, June 19 at 7;30, we'll be playing a special solo set at Mellow for Candle Night in Sapporo.  We're honored that Mellow has asked us to play again at their place, and they've even asked us to perform monthly! Here's some songs from our first performance there:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Great Outdoors, and other adventures

I love spring and summer in Sapporo.  After the long, hard winter hibernation, everything is now green and the birds are singing and the sun is shining.  I can see why the Japanese school year and business hiring starts in the Spring - everything has such a new feeling.  A new beginning!

Living in Sapporo is great, but we live in beautiful Hokkaido, and Nathan and I decided that last year we hadn't really taken advantage of seeing Hokkaido beyond the city.  This was mainly because we didn't have any friends with cars, and weren't quite sure where to go.  But that's changed this year!

We were able to tag along with some friends of ours to an outdoor excursion to Takino Suzuran Park this past weekend.  It was a beautiful Saturday, and we cooked yaki soba for lunch, walked among the tulips, and played park golf in the afternoon.  In the evening we grilled a multitude of meats (cow stomach and tongue anyone?), and drank and sang the night away.  That's when things got fun!

It was a total blast, and we made new friends with a group of people that reminded me a lot of my actor friends back home - loud, spontaneous, and a little crazy!  My kind of people (and yet quite the opposite of me, haha).

The group amongst the tulips

Gettin our park golf on

We love us some meat!

Everybody having fun

...And then things got crazy.  This was one of the tamest photos I had, haha!

Wigs happened.  Oh yes they did.

Saga.  Livin the life.  And on his 8th beer of the morning, ha!

Our cabin.  Man, I love Japan camping!!
 Good friends and good times.  It can't get any better than that!!