Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kürbis und Schneeflöckli

My post yesterday ended with, " I can hear kids below commenting on snow but I don't see any yet"

Well, about twenty minutes after I said that, large flakes started flying from the sky.

Wrrhhhhhrrrrrzumph! They went.
Time to bike in the snow.

As I was heading out, Felicia graciously handed me her chemistry goggles.

Biking the highway to work. Not too much snow, yet.
Looking out of the KHNS studios at the Chilkat Arts Center.

Biking into town wasn't bad at all. The goggles did fog up a bit so I could barely see but it was better than not having them on because then it's like ice keeps getting pelted into your eyes.

Plowing through a few inches of snow does slow me down a bit and I take my time on corners.

It was a short day at work - they canceled a meeting because of snow. I have a feeling this snow isn't really going anywhere. Haines is solid white.

Janine told me of a housesitting gig sort of in town, really close to where me and Andrew lived, so I went to check that out.

Four dogs. Two cats. Six birds. Fish.
And a snake.

That'll be my company for around 10 days.

After that I walked to the school to pick up Bike and then we headed over to Dani & Daniel's. Dani and Ryan were there - fine company, I'd say. I made rice. Lots of rice. I make rice there just about every single day I'm there.

Three brothers (Luke, Daniel, Nik), a Ryan, and a Dani.

I think the highlight, for me, was that they now have an open sleeping bag on the ground. Big open sleeping to be a starfish upon and roll around on.

Luke went outside and came back with yet another sleeping bag full of large lumpy objects -- pumpkins! Now, this October season was complete! He had a carving kit and some knives. With cardboard laid on the floor, we got to work with the Princess Bride playing in the background.

I carved a camel.

I like these people. A lot.

In the past couple months, I've encountered two circles of friends that have been incredible to me. I'm really grateful for them. It feels like the latest group sort of just adopted me in off the street - goodness, they even had a discussion to decide if they accepted me. A dysfunctionally-functional collective of misfits can be a beautiful thing. I can, and do, drop by there at any time. I show up in the morning before work. After work. Between shifts. I'm allowed to just go there, drink water, and write letters. I love my home, but it's a bit out of town so it's nice to have a resting point between work and home to catch my breath (not literally).

I like to be home by 10:30 PM each night so, the trek started home around 10:14 PM. Hooray for more biking in the snow.

I listened to Norwegian Reycling (mash-ups) on the way home.

When I got to the hill I live on, I tried to bike up it but the tires kept on slipping so I had to walk it. At the final stretch, even my feet kept slipping and I would slide down. I eventually ended up hugging the side of the road and slowly shuffling.

All night it continued to snow and storm.

According to the National Weather Service's Alaska Region Headquarters:
 Which I know doesn't sound all too intimidating but the winds were so loud that they kept me awake all night (and I've experienced some pretty windy days and nights in Haines).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

[oenopoetic october] :: Stories and Snapshots From This Month

Welcome to October in Haines. Well, sort of. We've got two days till we get to brace for November's collisional embrace. Ready? Ahh, not yeah. October would had left me reminiscent had it not whizzed by without me even noticing.

One of my favourite people to connect with in Haines in Lori. She had me and some other folks over, the other evening. I talked about it already so this is about all I'll say. I'm grateful for her presence in my life, though. She's a good influence on me and a wise woman to process through things with.

I got myself a new backpack.

As in.. a new backpack. Brand spanking new. No one has used it before.

This is CRAZY!

This is my first totally-new backpack I think I've had since 8th grade (about 2004) and the first totally-new backpack I've ever had.

Stating senior year I used this old REI co-op backpack. Old. Really old thing. Maybe from the 70s. It was great but, being 30+ years old and being dragged around everywhere with me for four years meant it started to get some holes. It was tragic. Then I got the red corduroy backpack second hand. It worked great, but it just doesn't keep my stuff dry.

That's the thing about biking everywhere, your backpack/pannier is your trunk - that's how I get everything from Point A to Point B.

So I started doing research on waterproof backpacks and found this gem.

It's a Chrome Orlov rolltop pack and it is waterproof. The entire thing is lined with truck tarpuline liner with bar wielded seems so, I can dunk it in a bathtub and my Edison'll stay dry. I can pour water inside the pack and it'll never leak out.

I chose this pack over others because it can actually fit my 5' 2.5" frame. There's a lot of these packs that are meant for men, but that doesn't work for me. I need it to fit my shoulders and, most of all, not create a blindspot when it rises over the shoulder.

I've been pleased with it, so far. I can bike around with 30 lbs of crap on my back and it still feels fine.

My client has the coolest bike in town.

Went to a talk on Tlingit law at the library the other night. Pretty interesting. That's Joe, he's the one educating us... until the Juneau people jump in and rant on for 30 minutes and take over. Not cool, Juneau people. Let Joe talk!

I got to help volunteer with a client at the school library. We set up the Scholastic Book Fair! Goodness, I loved the book fair growing up - it was quite the big deal. I would spend my recesses looking at all the books and hoping to get one or two.

In setting up the books, I was given full creative license to organize them as I saw fit. I started to see a trend and brought all of the related books together and was left with...

Dork Diaries.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
The Looser List.

It seems as though the publishing world and writing world have caught on to the "dweeb formula" and are milking it for all it's worth.

This is why this isn't a food blog. That one picture, right there -- doesn't that make you hungry?

I don't know how it got started but the other night I found myself gimping down the highway with Luke with a crazy-pie mission. We wanted to make a horribly wonderful pudding pie. It felt really, really good to galumph down the highway with another human being and laugh abundantly.

First stop was the Mountain Market where we picked up coconut and hemp milk.

Then to IGA where we scoured the pudding section, settling on three choices. Pumpkin spice, chocolate, and banana cream. Three graham cracker crusts were selected with care - legit care. We were not up for a pre-cracked crust.

We got some random toppings and mix-ins and Luke insisted on cream cheese to go with the pudding..

Back home... PIE!

Umm, yeah. We made pie. It was totally opposite of what I'm used to making and of what I normally buy but it was ever-so-beyond satisfying. Just five minutes and you've got this pie-thing. Luke designed the top of the banana cream. I approved.

Took a client to the doll-party and parade at the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center. Lots of little girls and lots of dolls. We had a good time. Puppet shows. Live music. Paper dolls. Dress-up. A tea party.

"You're Still Here?"

"Hey! You're still here?"
"You're still around?"
"I heard you had left."
"How long will you be sticking around?"

That's a phrase I hear about 5 times a week, lately.

I live in a town where leaving is the norm. It's totally expected, especially when you're a young folk.

A large portion of the locals leave each winter for their summer homes in Texas and Oregon or to travel to Hawaii. They just bail on our sweet town when the cold takes over.

Then there are the summer workers who never stay past early October.

I was a young gal who showed up in April so it seemed to only make sense that I would leave in the company of the lads I showed up with. It especially didn't help that I left for Seattle for 3 weeks. Without seeing me around for that much time, they figured I had left until BANG there I am in the library or strolling around town.

"Are you staying for the winter?"

They ask.

"I'm staying until I get too restless. I plan to stay till the last week in January, though."

I need to be back in Seattle by February 1 for "Dancing Fool," a contra dance weekend in Seattle. That's the first date I have down in my calendar for 2013. But, first I need to get in my all four seasons in Haines. I've lived through spring, summer, fall and now onto winter!

I am writing from my bedroom on the third floor of the beautiful family I live with. My window is wide open and I'm cozy in my footie-pyjamas in my large bed, covered up with a sleeping bag, bed spread, blanket, and sheet. I can hear kids below commenting on snow but I don't see any yet.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Where Do They Come From? Letters feat. Kittens

162 pieces of mail.

That's approximately what I've received in the past six months I've spent in Haines. I've only been here around 160 days so that means I've received at least a letter or postcard a day.

The tally doesn't include packages or mail from the bank, just personal letters and postcards.

And where do they all come from?

This list is premature and incomplete, but pretty much covers all of the letters I've received. Each tally mark is in addition to the name. So a name with a tally means I've gotten two letters from that location. Missing from the list are a few letters from Amsterdam and... I'm not sure, those letters are hiding.

The location with the most letters coming from it are those from Lopez Island with 17 pieces of mail! All of those come from my favourite Hannah Ga***a. I know two Hannah Ga***a's so that actually means something.

Hannah loves cats.
Following that is Seattle with 11 and Olympia with 10.

Foreignly, I've gotten mail from the Netherlands, Germany, Taiwan, Finland, Brasil, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Lithuania, Poland, Japan, Canada, France, China, and the Ukraine. 16 countries.

In the states, we have Wisconsin, Maryland, Washington, West Virginia, Texas, California, Illinois, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Washington D.C., Ohio, Alabama, Montana, North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, New Mexico, Georgia, and Alaska. 21 states.

If you want to add to that list, you can get me post at:

Mägi "insert favourite animal" Hubert
General Delivery
Haines, AK 99827

You'll get something back if you include your return address.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Frozen Biking, Deer Consumption, and Corpses Hanging in the Garage

I'm not sure I was anticipating the cold to take over Haines so quickly.

The weather report for the next few days tells me that I'll have a few days where the temperature will range from 0° C to -6° C - never getting above freezing. In my mind, life doesn't really get much colder than this but I have a feeling that my sights will be expanded over time, here.

Since it's a dry cold, it doesn't take altogether too much to stay warm - especially when biking. I protect my core with a long sleeved shirt, a dapper vest, my halibut coat (it's a thick wool coat and I find I can wear just it in the cold on walks and do find in negative temperatures - I think it's technically a Woolrich Stag Shirt), a giant green raincoat I got from a friend in town, and a scarf. I pull on a cap and still deck my face out with sunglasses and am set to go. On the bottom I wear just brown slacks - sometimes I add on rainpants to cut the wind.

I end up looking something like this (actually, I end up looking exactly like this):

If I took off the glasses you'd see me pretty glassy/teary-eyed.  My eyes have been pretty irritated by the dryness.
In the morning, for the first time in my life I get to experience defrosting my bike seat (in Switzerland and Seattle, my bike has consistently been stored inside.
Cruise-shipless cruise-ship dock.
View from the front yard of the Chilkat River.
Welcome to Haines, Alaska.
So, what have I been up to, lately?

We'll just jump at yesterday with words in a bullet point form.

Yesterday I:

  • Woke up at 7:10 AM.
  • Played Legos with the short folk and made a Lego crab, spaceship, and garage.
  • Didn't have breakfast in anticipation of brunch (but was hungry because for lunch and dinner, yesterday, I only had carrots and a roll).
  • Observe that, my oh my, the snow is really creepin' down the mountains.
  • Went to Howser's IGA to pick up a nectarine, peach, and banana.
  • Went to the post-office and received a letter from Aswut (CA), Lisa (VA), and a postcard from the Ukraine.
  • Write a page of letter to Hannah (UK) in the library - taking my shoes off at the door.
    • Loose and find glove.
  • Go to Beth's for waffles with fresh fruit, chocolate chips, and birch syrup.
  • Bike back to the library and write another page to Hannah.
  • Go over to Dani, Libby, and Luke's apartment.
  • Work from 14:00 to 19:00.
    • Run client (literally) over to the school to listen in on 5th grade band.
    • Walk a round school a few times.
    • Loose and find glove.
    • Run home and rock out to songs on my iPod containing the word "dance" (there are over 60 of them).
    • Laugh abundantly.
    • Love lavishly. 
    • Bath.
  • Bike up killer hill (which isn't bad) to Lori's for venison dinner with Lori, Eileen, Keri, Mike, and Bradley.
    • Engaging company.
    • I get to go ice fishing this winter!
    • Headbandz game was played (just like in Switzerland!).
  • Hunt for the Northern Lights.
    • See them, but they're pretty faint.
  • Get a ride back home and, when I get there, see a bunch of dead goats hanging from the ceiling.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Peace, Yo! The Lad, the Future, and the Living Situation

Shot on the ferry from Bellingham, Washington to Haines, Alaska on the first morning on the second day.

I've got about fifty things listed that I could write about, but I want to just get these thoughts out now and skip over what I think I ought to document (blogging's 'bout dat - what I want to write in the moment - ahh, the freedom of writing for something other than an assignment). I am not going to sound noble or brilliant. I'm going to just stream of conscious it out...

Lately, my minds been in a bit of a flip-flop turmoil state. Not too bad - just figuring things out.

Currently I'm back in Haines. I just took a four day ferry ride to get here. It was rad! More on that in another post, I guess.

I had a few areas of my life that were unknowns: living situation, plans for 2013, and the lad. All could take over my mind (and did) for a few hours a day and, as of right now, I feel peaceful about all of them which deserves a few fist pumps. Boo-ha-yay!

the Lad

Let's just make life easy and start with the lad (I'll bold the words "The Future" next if you're sick of any talk of the lad and want to skip it). He's the guy that, in my mind, I refer to as, "The Guy That Hurt Me." It's not like he's evil - naw, he's swell - but, as mentioned a bajillion times, this guy (aka the collaboration of actions of me and him mixed together) really screwed me up and he was the first one I ever let get close enough so that he could actually do some damage. He was the first one and probably the last one for a while. Since that incident, I have found men altogether quite unattractive (no, this doesn't mean I'm now attracted to females).

Our boat was just pulling into Ketchikan on Sunday when he called. He was asking if I wanted to go dancing with him in Seattle. Calling like we're just casual friendly-friends who call each other randomly to hang out. Really? He never called me in Haines. We were not friends. I was not expecting it.

*ring ring*
Me: Hey, this is Magi.
Him: Hey.
Me: Who is this?
Him: *says name*
Me [genuinely]: Who?
Him: *repeats*
Me: Oh...

He seemed surprised when he learned I was headed back to Haines. It felt good to know that he was out of Haines.

At the end I said, "I should hang up before I start talking --- but if you ever want to know why I didn't say, 'no,' if you want to know what was going on in my head, let me know." And that was that.

Later, I did the unthinkable (what all have deemed "not a good idea" and I have avoided doing for a long time) I texted him. I told him what was on my mind. I thought it would make me feel horrible, but I've felt better ever since.

It was like when you have a stomach ache and the only way you can feel better is to throw up.

Texting Vomit

Here is what I said.

"I don't get why you called. I'm really confused.
You never called in Haines.

Even though I ought not, I still want to talk to you. Not to tell you what you did and what I thought of it but to explain my actions.

I do admit, the least attractive thing about you is how unself-aware you are. You may be physically strong but after time away, I could see clearly how unstable you are in a lot of ways.

I'm sorry I thought I could rely on you.

I'm grateful I had [name] to show me how a loving, wise male handles the same situation. He gave me space, didn't try to prevent it, and we're still incredible friends. He made sure I felt loved and that I knew that his love was unconditional. I have no idea what you felt towards me but it was twisted, warped, wrong, and self-centered. I'm glad I'm safe now.

Awe, but at least I know you won't write back.
You never really had anything to say.

But! Good news is, my life is back to being vibrant. Somehow it turned...

Never mind. I'll spare you any more.
Enjoy Seattle. It's a wonderful place!"

That was all on a thoughtless whim and, after it, I feel so free. Nothing to be proud of. But, once again, it was like vomiting - it had to be done and made me feel like a champ for the first time, regarding this situation, in around 4 months.

You know how you think something will be better in the future if or when something else occurs? For me, after thinking that I then realize that it probably won't be that simple and that I'll think it'll get better but it won't.

So. The lad is gone. He's left Haines.
He brought me to Haines. He's gone. I'm still here.

I've been biking around town and, surprisingly (even though it was originally supposed to be unsuprisingly), I feel peaceful. This town is safe now. I can go to the library and not worry about seeing his bike parked there. No more random stomach falls. No more anxiety. Got that? I'm safe.


And this'll slip us soon into the Future. Man. When I go all italics like that, it look like a big-deal film or something? Big-deal film? Naw, silly, dats just mah lahhff!

"Where are you headed next?" I asked him.
"Columbia," he said.
"That's where I'm headed in January..." said I.

The Future

That's right. Columbia.
You know? Columbia. As in - the country.

Well, that was the plan.

Ginger invited me to join her in getting around South America.

So, South America got to join in on the list of things I could do next year. Ready for them?

South America would predominantly involve Columbia (where I could go stay with my dentists family for a bit among other things) and Argentina (living in an ecovillage and learning stuff like earthen house building).

Then there's the Visit Everyone I Said I Would Visit plan (sticking mainly in 'Merica). I've got a long list of folks I always said, "Yeah, I'll come visit you in [insert obscure place here] if I'm ever there."

Well, I want to actually visit those people. A lot of them. And this could take a good year to do.

I would get around via Craigslist Rideshare, hitchhiking, and Amtrak passes.

Last, I have the Go to the Ukraine, Scotland, Switzerland, France, and Netherlands option.

I'm not going to expand on all that good-ness here because, as of now, this is what is going to happen. I'll be buying my ticket in the next week or two.


This Monday, I was really thinking hard about where to go. Ginger was going to buy her ticket in the next week and I figured I should as well. I couldn't start really planning things till I knew that I was going to X or Y or Kalamazoo.

But, well, Columbia sounded good - but it never felt good (despite how good I thought it would feel). It never felt settling. I was excited, though, and making plans. I was ready to go and get that $400 ticket south. I thought that was what I was going to do this week.

Then I heard the lad was going. Lame, I know, to even let that come in to play with my reasoning, but it did. He kinda turns any place sour. I think, in the Ukraine, I picked a place he'll never show up in. I'd be living in Ужгород. Once again - I want to emphasize that if Columbia is really where I thought I ought to go, I wouldn't let that influence me, but I was in a might-influential state and everything contributed to the overall decision making process.

"What? What the Ukraine?"
Chill. All in time. Another post.
This is crazy - I'm talking to no one, right now. Just typing on Edison.

Anyways, I was all "in my head" and thinking about this (South America? Europe? America?) for hours as the boat rocked back and forth about this (rocking out on that four day ferry trip, yo). I woke up and thought about it. Twisted it in my mind as I tried to sleep.

South America was winning in my head. But it was rough - I'd have to leave in January which means I'd have to leave Haines in December and have no time to dance it up in early 2013. Perhaps I just needed to dive in, though...

I got home to Haines and, after a bit, checked that e-mail thing, a peculiar and instant form of communication.

I had been waiting to hear from the folk in the Ukraine I am connecting with. They hadn't written back in over a month. Then, 34 days later, on the exact day I was thinking, "Man, I need to decide pronto - like, today or tomorrow," they wrote me back.

They said this:

You just need to come here, to get yourself here.
April sounds good.

That's all I needed to hear.

The moment I thought, "I am going to the Ukraine. That is where I'm supposed to go," I felt this peace and solidity in my life. It felt right, just like the first time I thought, "I'm going to the Ukraine."

Alaska never felt right in preparing for it - I had second guesses and weird feelings and friends getting crazy dreams.Same with South America (minus the dreams).

I didn't get that with the Ukraine.

Ukraine works great because it is a great way to get to Europe and I have a lot to do over there. Lots of places to see and opportunities to take advantage of. It's all stupendously and easily possible and once I'm over there, might as well milk it for what it's worth.

It feels good knowing what I'll be doing in April. That gives me time to stretch in the lower 48 before packing it up and heading it out for who knows how long (Ukraine - 3 months, Scotland & England - 6 months, Netherlands - 2 months, Switzerland - 1 month = 12 months = 1 year minimum). I can make plans in Europe like a champ.

So. There's peace with that. I feel secure and certain when I say I'm going to the Ukraine. It feels like it's not just me making this happen.

Living Situation

Not going to write much here because it's late and I'm sleepy.

But, pretty much, we didn't discuss expectations when I moved into this house. We've been trying to get on the same page, lately.  I love them so much and am grateful for everything they have done and are doing for me.

I just talked to the the Mother of the household and, oh, so much peace! All is well and we're working it out. I will be gone for a bit in November and other times for housesitting gigs, but they're ok with me leaving my belongings here as I move about. I feel so blessed!

I would write more about my living situation but abstain from it too much out of respect of the privacy of the family. But, just so you know, they're still as rad as ever.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Do I Want to Go Back "Home?"

Awwe, but do I have to go back?

This is not what I expected to feel at the end of this trip to Seattle.

In case you're totally lost and know nothing of my life:
I'm from Seattle but have been living in Haines for around six months.
I came back to Seattle for a few weeks to celebrate my parent's 30th wedding anniversary and get in some dancing. Now it's time for me to go home.

Haines and I have a predominantly loving relationship. I do love that place. I love the mates I have. I beyond-adore my job.


I came home to Seattle and either participate in, or had chances to participate in...

huge parties in an abandoned tunnel, three day dance weekends, dancing every night, sushi night, flash mobs, going to the city and having too many things to do, Taste of Iceland, Croatia Days, Salmon Days, going to REI, the Burke Gilman Trail, Om Fusion, dinner parties, crazy beautiful house concerts, house parties, easy access to Portland and Vancouver, BC...

That's not even the half of it. There is so much to do here! It's incredible. So many opportunities.

Haines kinda makes me feel like a dull uninteresting anti-social person.

Haines brought out the very very absolute worst in me. Sometimes I wonder if people in Haines even ever go to know the real me... I really extensively dislike who I was in June. People in Seattle have never seen that side of me.

But, I just have to remember those wonderful people I love in Haines and that I am lucky to have a job I love.

It's the people I am going back for. I am grateful for people like Alice, Lori, Jenty, Janine, Erik, Carol, Felicia, Ellen, Brooke, Steven, Stacy, Chad, Payson, Sierra, Crystal, Ramona, Byrne, Nicole, Alex, Marlys, Gail, Mary, Ashley, and Beth.

I need to stay in Haines for a while and live cheap so I can go on those adventures I've been planning in my head. I need to live frugally so I can explore. This is a season of life I need to live through.

I get thinking, though, when asked the question (asked by Callie, yesterday), "Are you happy in Haines?"

I actually did have to think through it a bit and make sure I wasn't just answering with the convenient, "Yes." I do know this, though - I like calling Haines home, right now.

Tattoo #1 :: Bear

"Hey I just met you, and this is crazy
But I'm going to tattoo your foot."
-Garrett Beck-

It all started and ended with a whim. Dustin messaged me that he was interesting in picking up Callie from college and heading over for a quick, "Hi." Well, that, "Hi," turned into going to Westport (Pacific Ocean!) which is a good 2.5 hour drive from Seattle.

So we did.

I know Dustin and Callie from my early dancing years in the first years of the 2000s.

After just five minutes into the trip, I realized I wasn't sure I'd make it all the way. I wasn't sure I wanted to be in a car all the way to Westport. I remembered the route and realized we'd be going through Olympia.


Hmmmm. I'd been wanting to get there, somehow, today or tomorrow before I left (I leave tomorrow at 6 PM from Bellingham). I wanted to greet Patrick.

So, I asked Callie and Dustin if it'd be a'ight if they dropped me off in Oly and then picked me back up on their way home. They graciously said, "yes," and dropped me off at the Albertson's at Exit 107 off Interstate 5.

Ohhhh -- but first we stopped by the Emerald Queen Casino. It was my first (and very likely last) casino experience. We went just because we all had to pee and they have bathrooms. It was people looking like lifelessly-lame zombies at machines that were all the same. It was brinking on revolting.

Jesse's car was full of pretty plants.
Anyways, Patrick and Jesse picked me up in the Moonbus (Prius, yo!) and headed to the Co-Op (how I missed thee extensively) and then to Patrick's new home.

There, dinner was made... by Patrick. And I'm grateful to him because it was a lovely, lovely delicious meal.

Meeting his housemates was not only inevitable but wonderful.

One, Garrett, was busy drawing the lion symbol that Rafiki draws from the Lion King on his rib. He was thinking of doing a tattoo of it but couldn't get it right. To be honest, it looked more like a gingerbread version of the lion.

I mentioned that I was thinking of maybe, maybe sort of kinda of getting a tattoo in the future.

I wanted the word, "b e a r," tattooed on my foot.


"Yeah. Bear as in 'barefoot.' Just like I want athlete on my foot someday. 'Athelete's foot.'"

"Well, we could do it now."

And then, the ball was in my court.

He got out a sharpie just to show me what it could look like on my foot.

Seemed like a trust-worthy guy. He wanted a Lion King tattoo. He was playing Phil Collins songs on the piano. Had spaghetti for dinner. Birthday in October. Ummm..... yeah, that's enough to trust someone, in my book.

It took a few tries before it looked how I wanted it to.
A bit higher up.
Less shading.
More spacing between the letters.

And then I had to decide.

On the foot is supposed to be one of the most painful places to get a tattoo.

And, here was the biggest catch - I REALLY REALLY HATE NEEDLES A LOT OK!

But, here was an offer for a free tattoo. I could get it now in this safe place.

Garrett put the Beatles on as the soundtrack and got started.

We did a few test pokes, first, without ink, so I could see if I thought I could actually go through with it. Once again, I hate needles - but I wasn't feeling as jittery about them today. With Patrick by my side, I was set to go. He let me squeeze the guts out of his hands!

Brown ink.


It was a great experience.

I "ARGHED" like a pirate and sing about "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" and rocked out to "Eleanor Rigby." I shook my face. I laughed. I tried to learn to love the pain. I breathed. I massaged Patrick's hand. I relied on Patrick a lot. As long as he was next to me, it was bear-able. Ha. Ha ha.... Oh dear.

And then, 30 minutes later, it was over.

We started at 9:02 PM and were done by 9:26 PM.

I was blissed out by the end. Looking at my foot. Yeah, I like this. A lot. I was really grateful to Garrett and reciprocated the appreciation - I was the first person, besides himself, he'd ever given a tattoo to. I was pleased as punch with his work.

The night was wrapped up with the smelling of dried herbs and plants in Patrick's room and the shortest of mini-jams.

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