My attempts to break into the artistic field included a rather pathetically rendered Easter Egg coloring contest that I was told that “I won” only to then be told when I went to claim my prize “WHOOPS, PSYCH! You didn’t!” and something I liked to call “donuts floating in pee” during my high school years (it was a still life). I may have many talents, like be able to properly blow spit bubbles, but being artistic is not one of them.

So, when I couldn’t find the proper phoenix tattoo years ago, I gave up and waited until I could. I certainly wasn’t going to draw it and because I really didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t know anyone else who could do what I wanted, either. Last I checked, artists weren’t really mind readers.

Imagine my shock when I lazily googled “phoenix” last week, and this popped up (I can’t manage to resize it, sorry):


What makes it weird is that my old design, Notepad Chaos, was based on this design, from Web Designer Wall, which was created by Nick La, who made this design. It seems an odd bit of synchronicity to me. The Internet is a big place and to randomly come across this is just…


My friend, WhyIsDaddyCryin on Twitter recommended a local tattoo artist in Chicago who normally books out 3 months in advance who just happened to have an appointment on Sunday available. Trust me, I was more excited about this than I was about Christmas. Probably because it didn’t involve tearing apart more fucking twist ties and I could sit still without having to get anyone anything for more than 5 minutes at a time.

This is Step 1.

Phoenix Tattoo 1

No, I am not that yellow.

Phoenix Tattoo 2

See, I’m much more pasty than yellow.

Phoenix Tattoo 3

My phoenix. I couldn’t be any happier if it were all done and I wasn’t in pain.

It took an hour and a half of sitting in really odd positions to get this done and it goes most of the way down my back which is MUCH BIGGER than I’d figured that I’d get. But it looks fabulous. Only now I’m all, it needs to have something on the OTHER SIDE to balance it out. What, I don’t know, but something.

And honestly, after the foot tattoo, the pain of this was nothing. Some areas were sensitivER than others but I never wept and I never had to have her stop because I couldn’t tolerate it for another second. Weeping in front of tattoo people is pretty embarrassing even if the tears are just kind of leaking out because, you know, how hardcore can you look when you’re CRYING?

I’m going back in 4 weeks on January 26 (because I know you’ll all want to stalk my ass) to get the color done–all vibrant colors, are you surprised?–and I’m pumped. The tattoo is AMAZING and better than I could have imagined.

I’m in some pain today, especially since it’s January and I can barely wear clothes, but that’s okay. I’ll lovingly caress my Vicodin bottle with my tongue as I tell you my OTHER secret. I got a job blogging for yet ANOTHER site.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to try and find some position to sit in that doesn’t cause me excruciating pain and make out with my Tylenol bottle.

204 thoughts on “Emotional Rescue, or Why I Am Humping My Vicodin Bottle

  1. Ahhhh … it’s BEAUTIFUL! I’m so glad you decided to go bigger to keep the detail and that you didn’t decide to be a tough bitch (not that you aren’t … just sayin’) and get it all done in one sitting.

    1. She didn’t want me to do it in one sitting for some reason which was fine with me. And I loooove it. Good call! I was actually thinking of YOU when I was getting it done because I knew you’d approve of the size.

  2. It’s going to be beautiful! The pain should be worth it in the long run, not that I would know…I’m a chicken and to indecisive to get a tattoo, at least for now.

  3. AB,

    I LOVE it. I am designing my phoenix tattoo RIGHT NOW. Between you and my other blogger friend having them, it sold me on the idea. I’m going to have it as a connection to the blog-o-sphere, as well as a testament to Harry Potter (we knew it was coming some time). Love love love it! Thanks for the inspiration.


  4. That’s some badass ink, Becky. Now, you need a Harley and spiked hair. No reason. You just need those things, I can feel it.

    I can’t wait to see the final project in all its glory. I also can’t wait to get myself some more ink. In the meantime, I’ll watch Sodahead for your updates!


  5. “Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums.” -Bulfinch’s Mythology

    Writing is your art, and the tattoo looks great.

  6. That tattoo is f*cking AWESOME Becky! YAY for whoever recommended the tattoo artist…he did a fabulous job!

    SO JEALOUS!!!!

  7. That looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see it colored in. I have always compared the pain of getting a tattoo to being sawed at with a plastic knife. It’s painful and annoying, and yet, hurts more so afterward than during.

    Feel better, and remember it’s worth it in the end!

  8. Gorgeous!
    Could you share the name of the tattoo artist? My husband has been making noise about getting some ink for a while now, and I’d like to help him out. Because, you know, HOT.

    Also: congratulations on the new gig. So glad the freelancing is building up steam.

      1. Ya know, by the time it gets faded and/or saggy, people are going to expect you to wear clothes anyways. When was the last time you saw an AARP member in a halter top and thought “wow, that’s a great fashion decision”?

  9. You’re SO bad ass! I can’t wait to see it with the colours – it’ll be gorgeous.

    And hey, did the theme on my blog. I thought that artwork looked familiar!

    Congrats on the SodaHead work. I’ll have to check it out.

    1. Good call. A G & T sounds great right about now (as I listen to my poor daughter scream in her crib)(I don’t know why she’s screaming except that she’s overtired and won’t go to sleep with us in the room)(shoot me now).

  10. That is going to be gorgeous when the color hits it!
    I am sorry to be so stupid, but I have stared at that design since you posted it the other day and for the life of me I can not figure out where the head is? Does it have one? Again, sorry to be so dumb, because it really is a beautiful design. I know I am too big of a chicken to get a tatto-needles freak me out!

  11. It’s beautiful already, so I really can’t wait to see what it’s going to emerge as with all the vibrant colors…and color me what you will, because I am without ink, but I think trying to balance out that beauty with something on the other shoulder may take away from what you’ve got there. This though? This I LOVE!

    1. Why thank you, darling. And point duly noted because I’m genuinely not sure what I’d do on the other side anyway. I’m not someone who rushes into shit like this, so I have YEARS to deliberate. By which time my kids may MURDER me before they allow me near a tattoo parlor.

  12. Oh me oh my that is one GORGEOUS piece of ink. And it’s going to look positively lickable with color! It’s awesome when you find just EXACTLY the right design!

    I have 7 smallish tattoos and without a doubt, the two on each of my feet were the ones that made me wonder what the hell I was doing there in the first place, letting someone do this incredibly stupid thing to me. However, they were the easiest to care for, as the ones on my back always required someone else to spread the healing goo and wrap it up in cling film. 😛

      1. The ones on the bottom of the back weren’t so bad, but the one in the middle at and the top tended to make sleeping a little problematic. However, neither of them is nearly as big as your lovely piece, and merely resulted in a bit of greasy goo on the sheets.

        You know on the popular tattoo “reality” shows how no one ever seems to bleed from getting tats? What’s up with that?

  13. I think it’s even more beautiful than the picture. Which is hello? awesome.
    Can’t wait to see the colors added!
    Congrats on the new/additional writing gig…now I can pretend hump you all over the net!

  14. It is gorgeous!! A phoenix is a fabulous idea, I can’t wait to see it with all the color! And you aren’t wanna see pasty, you oughta see me. Ass-white. Seriously. Anyhoo, I love it! ~Susan

  15. Holy shit, girl… is there nothing too cool for you? Okay, stupid question… of course not, you’re Aunt Becky for crying out loud. I’m so, so, so… conventional and you’re so – FREAKIN’ AWESOME. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you… ’cause there is no freaking way I’ll ever get a tat… I’m waaaay too much of a pussy (and I’ve told my kids hell to the no on tats so that would be kind of like all “do as I say, not as I do”). Cannot wait to see the finished product.


  16. Holy shit….it’s huge! You are one brave girlie! I wimper like a crybaby when I get my teeth cleaned, nevermind getting a tattoo to cover half of my back.

    1. Teeth cleanings are more annoying, I think. ESPECIALLY if your dentist is all “so, how ARE you? Really, tell me, how are things?” And you’re going through a wicked bad time with PTSD and really not doing so well so you want to cry and then you DO cry but then his hands are in your mouth? That’s pretty annoying.

  17. That is amazing. You make me want to step up my efforts to finally figure out what I want. I have absolutely NO tatoos and I want one SOO badly but I want to be sure what I want before I do it. Can’t wait to see it as you get it filled in. 🙂

  18. Can’t wait to see the finished product! Do you think it is wrong to want to get another tatoo just so’s I can get me some vicolicious?

  19. Congratulations on the new blog….are you going to leave a small link on this blog for that blog every day you make a post for it……sort of how you do for the Toy With Me blog post?

    Can’t wait to read it~~~

    Oh and …thanks for visiting my blog!! Makes me feel all special and warm and fuzzy inside.

  20. Wow Becks. That is unbelievable. You waste no time, that’s for sure. I am impressed. I don’t have tons of love for tattoos, nor do I dislike them. But that one makes me want to make out with it, you, and the tattoo artist. Damn.

  21. I love this! I’ve been wanting a phoenix for a few years now, but have had trouble finding a design I like. Most of what comes up online are much more masculine than I want, all fire and claws and BEAKS OF DOOM! This is a really pretty interpretation, though! Can’t wait to see it in color!

    1. Exactly!! Every design I could find was all Gothic or like mythical looking (which, duh, I know, I KNOW) and too, uh, sci-fi for me? This, though, it popped up and I was just slack-jawed and drooling. It’s The One.

  22. I love the tattoo! Cant wait to see it in color.

    Also, dude, getting paid to blog? Awesome. When you set out to do something you dont waste any time.

    1. I never waste time fucking around. Dave read this comment and laughed because he’s all “Dude, she has you PEGGED.” No, I am an alcoholic at heart (no, I’m not an alcoholic) who has healthy addictions. To, apparently, writing.

  23. oooh you just triggered my own tattoo itch!!! this is gorgeous and i cant wait to see the colour in it!!!


  24. Aunt Becky I am so full of the jealous! That looks amazing!
    Maybe some flowers or something on the other side, they could be in your bebe’s birthstone colors…

  25. Wow, that phoenix is amazing, I want one too. Very jealous of your tattoo, and I haven’t wanted a tattoo since I was 20 but this one blows my mind. Can’t wait to see the colours, that picture is absolutely gorgeous.

    And well done on the SodaHead gig, what can’t you do? Go Aunty Becky, go!!

      1. As I recall, its the black outline that hurts the worst. The coloring you should fly through.

        When I got my ass tat I was all of 26, with a rockin size 2 body, and a REALLY nice ass. I had booty even though I was small at the time. I think my mom screwed an albino black man to get me. Dude made sure I was down to sweatshirt and thong before he remembered that I had to sign the form. Which was on the other side of the room, and he didnt bring to me, I had to do the thong walk. It still makes me shudder. But then again, if I had that ass again, I would be doing that walk in my OFFICE! But the thong walk is totally embareassing. <<that was on purpose

  26. That is just fan-fucking-tastic! I have been wanting another tat for a while now (just have one teeny one) and decided on a design, but haven’t really done anything about it. Well, you’ve motivated me, woman.

    Congrats on the freelance job. May it be the first of many in 2010!

  27. That is absofreakinlutely awesome, gurl! Can’t wait to see it in glorious living color – does this mean you can rent your back out to NBC, now? Oh, wait. That’s a peacock. Still, you ought to be able to get something for showing off that mother. :-))

    About the cookies – You can have moose. I refuse to decorate another fucking cow. Anyway, I thought you were already my BFF forever? Now I have to bribe you to stay? What’s up with that?!?

    1. Thanks to my son, we missed Christmas cookies this year completely and I looooove sugar cookies. Those look delicious. And of COURSE we were BFF. DUH. I was just, you know, REMINDING you of my love of sugar cookies.

  28. I have never been big on large tattoos on my ladies but I have to say that is beautiful. I am so excited to see it with all of the color. Are you going for the colors in the original pic? I second Amie Simmons on the Rock Star comment. I could never take that pain and I had 2 C-sections!!

    1. It REALLY wasn’t so bad. I’ve had 2 semi-natural births and it wasn’t so bad. This one I can cover up pretty easily by wearing any shirt which rules. I’m not a huge tattoo on ladies person either. In fact, I’m not much of a BACK tattoo person. But this, this I love. Which is good, right? HA.

  29. That looks awesome! I have a tattoo as well (as a “non-conformist” Mormon) but I was too much of a pussy to get anything bigger than the size of a silver dollar. Dammit.

  30. I think I totally need to add this WP Thread Comment Business to my blog. Ok, so were friends on FB and I totally fanned you because obviously, YOU ROCK. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to find you!

    As for the tattoo, better you then me. I can’t stand needles, but it looks awesome!

      1. Flora Fauna and Merryweather are Sleeping Beauty’s 3 fairies and since my name is Aurora I have decided to get all three on my upper right shoulder! They will represent My Mom, My BFF and My Husband as the three people who look out for me! My cousin is a Tattoo artist and is designing me the tattoo. He gets his license in March and I am goign to be his first professional Tattoo!!!! My Mom will be his second! She is getting the rest of her back done as she has half of her spine bones outlined so far. I only have one so far on my lower back. Kanji for Self Respect. Mom has 7 not counting the back piece.

  31. Good Christ are you brave – that thing is huge!! I had to laugh at the symmetrical thing because I would totally be like that.

    What a cool way to start the year!

    1. Bwahahaha! I’m so glad I’m not alone in that. Ha. Symmetry. There’s a reason both of my feet are tattooed and not just because I am a freak-a-leak who apparently thrives on pain.

  32. Ouchie. You’ve got some stamina! I’m glad you like it – wouldn’t it be awful if you went through all that and it didn’t come out right? I’m sure the finished project will be pretty cool…and I don’t even like tattoos.

  33. Kick Ass tattoo…when i got a tattoo on my forarm i too had to fight back A HOLY SHIT THIS HURTS…cause you cant blurt that out apparently….hope the vicodin helps..happy new year zman sends

  34. Oh nice! Incidentally enough, you got it in the same place I have my phoenix tattoo 😛 Small world. Except mine’s on my other shoulder (yea, didn’t hurt at all. I got all the color and outline of mine done at the same time, so it was a solid three hours of sitting…shoulda brought a book. Mine’s not as intricate as yours is though). Dude, you so have to post pictures once you get it colored in – it’s going to look ahmazing!

    Are you going to stick with the original colors, or get it changed?

    And I’m going to haunt you. 🙂

  35. Nice ink Aunt Becky!! I think I may have a tattoo problem myself. Is there a tattoo meeting I can attend? Hi I’m Em (don’t say that part outloud) and I am a tattoo-oholic. Hi Em!! Not nearly as impressive as yours but feel free to check out my new ink, photo just posted on my blog.

  36. LOVE. Love it so much, in fact, I’ll be making the appointment for #5 when I get my hair cut on Wednesday.

    The tattooist works out of the salon. My hair dresser doesn’t tattoo. That I know of. Yet.

    Can’t wait to see more pics!

  37. Oh it’s just GORGEOUS!!! I love love love it!! I totally get what you mean about crying in front of tattoo people. Even when the pain was harsh on the bits of my back where they were jarring my spine, I didn’t cry. I bit my tongue and melted into my music. But I did. Not. Cry.

    Can’t wait to see the colour! And you’re damn right I’ll be stalking your ass til it’s done. And then I’ll stalk you some more because I can.

  38. Becky, it looks freaking AWESOME! I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but my first tattoo was also a phoenix. Not nearly as cool as your phoenix, though. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  39. Aloha from Orchid land –
    Have I mentioned the purple orchid is blooming in the Western yard, under the tree fern? Sorry, you may have lots of snow… yet perhaps many blooms inside your house?

    Anyway, congrats on the new tat. Will you have Dawn put an eye of some kind on the head? Just a dot… it may need to see to protect your back, if you believe in such things. 🙂

    Congrats on the fruits of your writing focus. You are full of da awesome!

  40. That tattoo makes me want to lick your shoulder EVEN MORE than I did before, lover.

    I’m totally jealous, too. I’ve just decided for my birthday I’m finally going to get that big tattoo on my OWN shoulder that I’ve been threatening my husband with for years. Go me!

    P.S. Whn I do, we can lick EACH OTHER’S shoulders. Because what’s more fun than that? Answer = ALMOST NOTHING.

  41. That is just amazing. And the thing is, when someone mentioned a phoenix, I had a completely different image in my head. (Did you ever read “The Phoenix and the Carpet” as a kid? I loved it so much, and however she described it in that book, that’s the image that’s stuck with me forever.) My personal phoenix is this very fiery, yet dignified creature, sort of shooting flames while managing to look unperturbed by everything (the book was from 19th-century England, so…). But yours is just so… you. It makes it really amazing that you could take this idea which might be meaningful to a lot of people and totally make it you. It totally makes me want to add onto my sunflower. I’ve said for years I was going to get my kids’ names around it, and now you make me want to pursue that!

  42. I think it is beautiful and should be exposed as often as possible. The C sections weren’t too bad but I am still kind of a wuss about pain. I really want a small tattoo on my foot. Does it hurt very badly in that area? I’ve heard anywhere bony will end in pain.

  43. Luvs it. I can’t wait to see it all colored in. Too bad you can’t bedazzle it, too.

    Congrats on the new gig. I’m going to have to make a special Aunt Becky folder for all your haunts. I can’t keep up with your prolific ass. (That sounded gross. Sorry.)

  44. Gorgeous. It’s perfect. I really really really want another, but there is no money or time, and I hear I’m supposed to wait until I’m not breastfeeding. Fucking BABIES and their “needs.” Give me a few months, though, and I’m right there with you.

  45. That is so effing awesome Becky! I heart tattoos as well and am planning on getting another one very soon! Merry belated Christmas, and Happy 2010!

  46. Gorgeous!! I LOVE tattoos, especially brightly colored ones, and I know that will end up being (EVEN MORE) amazing!

    I’m totally jealous and really want to get another one now.

  47. I love it! Was thinking about getting an abstract phoenix myself.

    Can you post a pic of it colored? ^_^

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