In my day tattoos were considered, for lack of a gentler word, disgusting. Welcome to 2008. Julia's goodie-two-shoes, childhood friend Stacey took herself to get a dinner-plate size phoenix tattooed on her back on her 18th birthday. They're all doing it - blonde, pony-tailed soccer girls, jocks, preps, emos, you name it, and, as it turns out, Scientists and 57-year olds.
In August, Kristara and I travelled with Julia to San Francisco to escort her to college. We stayed for a week. It was my birthday and Kristara decided she wanted to give me a tattoo. Our first stop was a tattoo place in the Castro where, it turns out, walk-ins are welcome but there's no time for them. They called their other store on Haight. Sure thing. Rob had time. We drove on over and sat around and waited while Rob ate his burrito and rice in it's Styrofoam take-out container and visited with his girlfriend. He then humored me, this lady old enough to be his grandmother, getting a purple star, no larger than a dime, tattooed on her wrist.
I was flush with pride. Ecstatic. It was only my first. But enough about me.
Ever visit The Loom? It's science writer Carl Zimmer's blog. Among other fascinating things you'll find there is his gallery of Science Tattoos. They're fabulous - organic compounds, mobius, formulas, a microscope, a capsacian molecule, lots more, all with short, interesting explanations. The ruler, pictured above, is that of Mikey Sklar. He says he uses it a lot at Green Acres Hot Springs, described as an environmentally friendly bed and breakfast in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. If you've got a science tattoo yourself, Carl Zimmer welcomes it to his set of 131 and growing.
I'd send pictures of mine but something tells me a dancing Snoopy and befuddled Woodstock just aren't gonna cut it.