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“We Rough Tattooin’ Up in Here” or The Time I Got a Tattoo in an Apartment in Queens

21 Feb

Tuesday I went to work. That’s what you do on a Tuesday: You go to work, and you sharpen some pencils and point at some graphs (or whatever your boss pays you to do–mine likes me to rhapsodize at length about hammers), and then you go home and make some sort of chicken casserole. Maybe you work out, if you’re some kind of fancy boy fitness buff. If there’s something on HBO, you watch it. That’s a Tuesday.

But apparently I’m bad at Tuesdays, or, at least, maturity, because after I went to work on Tuesday I got a text from Gay Meow Meow (whose real name is Linda, which I guess I can just go ahead and say now that our embarrassing exploits are outside the statute of limitations for Crimes Against Maturity) that said, “hey, maybe we should meet up at this apartment in a part of town you have literally only visited once, 8 years ago, and let some guy you’ve never met stab you with a needle until you have permanent marks on your body.” And I said, “Ok, sure.”

In Queens, they have these addresses with hyphens in them that are Google Maps kryptonite, so after getting off the subway I wander alone among a block or two of warehouses wondering if this particular Tuesday is the Tuesday I finally get my Mugged in NYC card. Then I realize I’m in the wrong section of Astoria, so I walk 10 blocks in the snow to an enormous apartment-manor building. Linda is there, and she waves in the direction of the array of doorbells to indicate that no one is home.

The person I hope will have steady enough hands not to draw wiggly lines all over my abdomen shows up 10 minutes later, holding an enormous basket of laundry, as if that’s a normal thing to be carrying around the streets of New York City in a snowstorm. “He’s kind of crazy, but it’s awesome,” says Linda, as he almost drops his uncovered load of …socks? while waving hello, then gets stuck in the gate and curses.

We enter the apartment, which contains a very friendly cat, lots of scented candles, and dozens of large painted canvases. We all sit in the kitchen and the tattoo artist, whom I will nickname Rolex on account of a story he told about making so much money as a teenage model that he once threw a perfectly good $3,000 watch over the side of a boat, begins asking the appropriate questions about what we want and where we want it. It turns out he’s a former bartending colleague of Linda’s who now works at one of the top tattoo parlors in Manhattan. He’s booked solid for the next month.

The Party Monster shows up in a wide-brim fedora and a layered wrap coat that makes him look like some sort of sexy gay wizard, because that’s how the Party Monster dresses. He points to one of the paintings on the wall, which appears to depict Albert Einstein in a ghetto letterman’s jacket. “Awesome Einstein painting, man,” he says.

“Dude, that’s my grandma,” says Rolex, who is rather large and brandishing a needle gun, and the Party Monster impressively backpedals, citing the similarity of hair and his poor eyesight. “I just, yeah, you know, those ads, with um… the hair…” He trails off.

The Party Monster goes first, getting a quote tattooed across his thigh. He displays impressive stoicism. Rolex makes an impressive number of jokes about being very close to the Party Monster’s impressive junk. Then it’s my turn. I’m getting a star on my ribs, for reasons I will explain momentarily, and Rolex says, “So… I can set up this bench so you can lie down, or you can just lean over the side of this chair here. I’ll be quick.” I look at the chair. “Is that okay? Will it turn out weird?”

Rolex looks at me like I’m a crazy person. “I’m gonna put on a stencil first,” he says.

“Oh, sorry, yeah, I’ll just lean over the chair.”

“Great. We rough tattooin’ up in here!” he says, waving the gun with more excitement than I would maybe like.

So I lean over a chair with my shirt pulled up to my bra, and grit my teeth for 10 minutes while Rolex scrapes my ribs. I only have one other tattoo, but I can confirm that any tattoo on your ribs larger than a half dollar should only be considered by people with brass testicles.

Looks nice though, right? Also, I MAY have taken this photo at work.

Looks nice though, right? Also, I MAY have taken this photo at work.

Linda goes last, and complains so much about how much it hurts that Rolex, sadistically, starts counting every single line he’s making. Hers also turns out great. Then we go to dinner in a 24-hour pan-Asian restaurant with lots of mirrors and vases of eucalyptus branches.

Queens is weird.

EDITED TO ADD: Rolex insists that the watch in question was, in fact, a Breitling. Thank you, Rolex, for your continued contributions to this blog.


Ok, so in explanation for the star, and in fact, for this entire escapade, I have to be temporarily serious. Apologies in advance.

My longtime blog readers will remember my best friend the Bad Idea Bear (Jenna) who was the light of my god damned life. We moved to NYC together and worked together and lived together. She was the closest thing to a sister I’ve ever had. She unfortunately passed away two years ago in what was the single worst summer of my life. I lost an entire month to grief.

The Bad Idea Bear had 5 stars tattooed on her shoulder, one for herself and one for each of her closest friends: Me, Linda, The Party Monster, and a chick named Marne who lives in San Diego and has not appeared much on this blog on account of distance. So when Jenna died, we all made a promise to get tattoos for her. Two years later, we did it the way the Bad Idea Bear would have wanted– with a vaguely dangerous-looking former model in an apartment in Queens.

One Crew. One Love.

One Crew. One Love.


I’m going to Hell and I blame the art department

22 Aug

I haven’t written in awhile, mostly because I was, yanno, flying around the world all celebrity-like, walking 100 kilometers through backwoods England with an old man in Keds and a Piggly Wiggly bag, watching a robot shit in a museum in Tasmania. Stuff like that. (All true).

And then I got a new job, which is great. It’s made me very busy but also very excited. It’s at a place I’ll call Mechanistic Populists. I call it that so that you’ll never EVER guess, mostly, but also to foil Google, which is one of my life goals. (It’s Popular Mechanics).

Wait! Fuck! No!

So Mechanistic Populists is great. I haven’t gotten to see any robots shit in exotic countries yet, but I’m still holding out hope. One thing we DO get to do though is have EXTREMELY glamorous photo shoots in the building, such as the one I had a meeting about today. The photo shoot I met about today is for an article tentatively titled Things You Should Keep in Your Car at All Times in Case of Emergency.

So I have a bunch of things for just such occasions, and I bring them back to the art table and lay them out, and the art director and designer and photo people come over and we all look at the things.

The art director says, “These are all great things to have in your car in an emergency.

I say, “Do you think we need additional things? Smaller things? Such as water and jumper cables and cat litter?”

The art director says, “Cat litter? Do people carry cat litter?”

I explain that some people carry clay cat litter to sprinkle under their tires if they get stuck in the snow. For traction.

“What about a cat?” he says. “We should have a cat.”

The designer seconds that yes, we should include a cat.

So then we look at the items some more and make some decisions, and the art director says, “I can see that a flashlight would be important to have in the event of a winter emergency, and this multitool and shovel. Also, a cat would be, as well.”

I say, “Yes, you could slice open its stomach and warm your hands in it like that tauntaun from Star Wars, but small.”

The art department looks at me as if I am insane.

Then the art director and I look at each other and whisper, simultaneously, “we could call him ‘mittens.'”

And I believe that brings us back to the headline, folks.


Live Blogging: Kombucha

13 Mar

We get a lot of free books sent to my office for review, and every now and again, instead of tossing them in the trash, we schlep a few down the street in a roller suitcase and sell them for cash, which we then toss in the air and/or spend on exorbitantly expensive and totally unnecessary beverages from the neighborhood boutique grocery store before returning to our drab and moneyless lives.


This, for instance.

*ahem* So having sold a few books today, we walked over to this five-and-dime of folly so a coworker of mine could purchase overpriced coffee. I’m hypersensitive to caffeine, for some reason—which is great in the middle of a drinking binge, but less handy in the middle of the workday—so I settled on a jar of kombucha.

Which, I know what you’re thinking here: Kombucha? You mean that ridiculous Gwenyth Paltrow-y beverage that has a lump of mucous that some people with sex and intimacy issues call a “mother” smack in the middle of it?


Yes, that’s exactly what I mean

I’ve had commercially produced kombucha before, and liked it quite a bit. It tastes kind of like the shrubs that everyone’s mixing into cocktails these days—vinegary and sweet—and it makes me just caffeinated enough to bounce around my office like a crazed balloon animal, without convincing me I’m about to have a heart attack. And usually the ones that you can buy in stores have had the gross jellyfish “mother” removed, so I can pretend it’s just slightly fizzy vinegar tea instead of a “living organism that boasts a dynamic, probiotic profile.”

Well, that wasn’t the case this time. I start drinking this cloudy, slightly pink thing, thinking, “Hey, this tastes not bad at all, and my hips are starting to maybe relax a little? Like when I drink booze? And maybe I want to dance a little?”

I dance a little.

“Perhaps I should look this up online and see what awesome benefits I am currently getting from all these dynamical protobiozomes or whatever-the-hell.”

The Mayo Clinic, at this point, basically tells me that the ratio of positive scientific results to adverse reactions to drinking kombucha is so low that I shouldn’t be drinking it at all.

“Ha. Ok. Well, it can’t be worse than some of the things I’ve put in my body in the past ten years.”  *imagines credit card and crushed up pile of Adderalls.*



I decide I am going to drink kombucha every day if it makes me feel this fantastic, science be damned. The end of the beverage is drawing near; I’m closing in on the dregs, and hence, the dreaded “mother” in the bottom of the glass. After every sip, I look quickly at the bottle to make sure I won’t accidentally take a sip of the blobular thing that lies in wait for me.

*Accidentally takes sip of blobular thing that lies in wait for me*

“ACK. Ugh. UGHHHH. *retches* I just. UGHHHH that tasted like a chunk of tripe made out of dirt and wall mold!!!”

The kombucha now sits in the trash. And that’s where you shall stay, kombucha.

FWIW though, kombucha mother is the consistency of really hard jello.

You know you were wondering.


Of course you know, THIS means WAR

30 Nov

Sometimes, I fight with my executive editor.

Planty says…

8 Jul

"I do not approve of that non work-related website."


18 Jun

Also, one of the top searches that land people on this blog, according to my statistics page, is “Shiver Raisin Fuck Face.”  So I got that going for me.

Wednesday Lightning Round!

10 Mar

10 Questions I should have asked Lady Gaga

You know what was one of the scariest things I ever did?  It was interviewing Lady Gaga about her new Viva Glam campaign for my magazine, which I did just a couple of weeks ago.  It was made only slightly less terrifying by the fact that I was only allowed to talk to her about lipstick. Turns out it’s really hard to offend famous people by asking questions like, “What would you wear with this lipstick?” and “Why did you choose a honey beige?” Who knew?  But if I were allowed to ask Lady Gaga 10 ACTUAL questions, this is what I would ask:

1. Are you an alien?

2. Are your clothes made by aliens?

3. Have you ever eaten a man’s whole face? How about a man’s part face?

4. Charlie Sheen. discuss.

5. What is your opinion on star-nosed moles?  They’re fucking weird right? RIGHT?

6. Can you write me a song?  About… pencils?

7. Peanut butter: crunchy or smooth?  (God help you if you say smooth)

8. Did you fart in that egg?  A lot of people fart before performances cause they’re nervous. It’s ok. You can tell me.

9. Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced onety one?

10. Are we best friends now? Can I have your phone number? You like whiskey right? I like whiskey. Let’s hang out. I have a horse!

…ok, no I don’t.

Musical Porns

You know what else is scary?  Porns that have movie titles. Cause what if one day I get an email from the casting director of Iron Man 12 and I’m like, “ohmigod, I’m gonna be faaaaaamous,  y’all!” and then I show up on the first day and Ron Jeremy is there and they like slap my ass and tell me to head off to the fluff room. What if?!

Anyway, I’ve recently realized there are a whole lot of musicals that would make AMAZING PORNS, and such as.

1. Wicked

2. Cats

3. Chicago (seriously, have you ever been there? SLUTTY!)

4. The King and I

5. A Whore-us Line

6. oh, oh, OHKLAHOMA!!

7. a West Side Whorey*

8. My Furr Lady

9. Merry Poppins

10. The Layin’ King


What the fuck is wrong with young people today?

In my recent net trollings, I have discovered the kidz using this:


to denote…surprise?  annoyance?  apathy?  It is frightening to me that I do not know what this new emoticon means. Also, people apparently can vary the length of its mouth to describe different levels of whatever feeling the thing is intended to convey. You know what? In my day, we had REAL emoticons. They looked like faces! And we couldn’t change how long their mouths were.  And none of this automatic rotating bullshit either! We had to turn our heads sideways just to figure out how the hell people felt about things. And even then, sometimes they had SUNGLASSES ON! 😎

Also, I had to walk uphill both ways to the library with no shoes to use a computer. And my parents beat me. And I ate nothing but rice and crunchy peanut butter.



*special thanks to the ha-Canadian for her contributions to musical porn.