A week ago if you’d said, “Aunt Becky, are you okay?” I would have happily said, “Fuck yes, I’m full of Awesome!” And I wasn’t lying to you, I was full of Awesome then.

Then Entropy reared her ugly head and smacked her bitch back down with randomness and uncertainty and Aunt Becky fell back down. In information theory, Entropy is a measure of uncertainty and randomness. In social systems, total Entropy is chaos and anarchy. In the body, Entropy the breakdown of all of the different systems as we age.

Entropy. Randomness. Uncertainty.

I’ve struggled with those burdens much of my life and I know that those are the spaces where I will grow and change and be reborn. As many tears as I will shed in the coming weeks; as many nights as I will toss and turn, I will come through the other side stronger and better.

The things I’m struggling with now, they’re not new issues and I’m remiss to even address them because someone will pop up and remind me, “Well ACTUALLY, Aunt Becky, those aren’t such bad problems! You know, there are legless people in Africa who WISH they had those problems.” And then I will be on the defense about why I am upset and that’s not the point.

It’s time to plow my cart and bones over the dead, whip those skeletons back out of my closet and teach them the Foxtrot. It’s time to be reborn again. I can feel it.

It’s fitting too, because today is the day that I’m getting my Phoenix tattoo finished. Of my three tattoos, it’s my favorite. The other two are excellent, of course, as well, but this one, this one is the most beautiful, biggest, most elegant, and most important of them all.

Because out of chaos, order will always emerge. For all of us.


I’ll be back later with more pictures.

Love you, Pranksters.


Why don’t you tell Your Aunt Becky about YOUR tattoos? Do you have any? Do you WANT any?


Over at Toy With Me talking about my Treehouse of Horrors!

172 thoughts on “The Rise of the Phoenix

  1. No tattoos, I am a wuss and think I have MUCH too short an attention span to permanently but something on my body. I mean, I can’t commit to a lipstick for the love of it!
    Can’t wait to see more pics.

  2. I do, I do.

    A ring that encircles the base of my big toe: the word, “Endure” engraved on each step I take.

    I have. I am. I will.

    That’s all I’ve got.

  3. I have….four. They’re terribly addicting.

    I always struggle with the global insignificance of my own problems (children starving SOMEWHERE in the world is way worse than dealing with PTSD, my brain says), but I’ve learned that my own personal struggles, while perhaps not on the basic shelter/food level, are still struggles. No less important, just different.

    Lots of love to my favorite whore.

    1. I think we’d all become paralyzed with grief if we stopped to think about how hard the problems are for other people. We’re selfish because we have to be to survive. PTSD is no joke and no cakewalk. I have it too, and it’s flaring up fiercely.

      xoxo, you sexy whore. I love you madly.

  4. I have quite a few tattoos myself. You can’t see any of them if I am dressed though. I did that on purpose because people will judge you for being inked up. I have a big sunflower on my inner left ankle. I have a sunflower around my belly button with a vine going down my abdomen. There a big vine going across from one hip bone to the other ending with a sunflower on each hip bone (yeah the hipbone tats HURT like a MF’er) then I have my husbands name under the belly vine. I have a big dragonfly on my back with my last name under the dragonfly. I think I am done with the tats. I haven’t wanted another one in a few years so I am thinking I am through. The last one I got on my back hurt pretty bad and I was like WTF ARE YOU DOING dumbass this shit HURTS!!

    1. With the exception of wearing something really strappy, mine are able to be covered up when I get dressed, too. That was important to me. You’re right, people DO judge you for being inked.

  5. No tattoos. And not sure I’ll ever get one as I never like one design for longer than a couple months to be willing to make a lifetime commitment to it. But that phoenix is beautiful!

  6. I also have a phoenix tattooed on myself. Located on my left arm, along with a scorpion on the right arm, an Ouroboros with Egyptian hieroglyphs and a Death’s Head moth all on the back of my left shoulder. Haven’t decided what I want for a fifth. Your phoenix looks lovely.

    Sarted reading your blog recently and am really liking the quality so far. Keep up the great work.

    – hellresidentNY (fellow prankster)

  7. I also have a phoenix tattooed on myself. Located on my left arm, along with a scorpion on the right arm, an Ouroboros with Egyptian hieroglyphs and a Death’s Head moth all on the back of my left shoulder. Haven’t decided what I want for a fifth. Your phoenix looks lovely.

    Started reading your blog recently and am really liking the quality so far. Keep up the great work.

    – hellresidentNY (fellow prankster)

  8. No tattoos, but I daydream about getting one or two. I can just never seem to find one that I feel would be The One, plus I’m leery of getting one and then much later I’ll be like 90 and have this saggy scary Droopy the Dog that used to be a magnificent wolf or something.

  9. Your tattoo is beautiful, but I must admit that I am scared to death of getting one. I’ll lay awake at night knocking myself for some random stupid thing that I said YEARS ago… I’d probably end up slicing my own skin off if I got one and ended up less than 100% happy about it. However I have always said that if for some reason I competed in the Olympics (yeah RIGHT!!) but if I did, I would get the Olympic rings tattooed somewhere. It would have to be something equally huge and life-changing for me. But I looooove henna, and want to get something really intricate this summer!

    Hang in there AB, and draw your comfort from whatever you can. Sure, there are legless kids in Africa dying of AIDS without clean water to drink, but that shouldn’t diminish the emotions that you are feeling. Instead of looking at that sort of idea as taking away from the importance of your own feelings, look at it as a way to try to find some perspective and shift your focus to the wonderful things in your life. You’ll be back on top sooner or later, entropy be damned!

    1. I made sure to TRY and get mine in places that wouldn’t stretch when I had babies. Like, you know, my stomach. Because I didn’t want to get something that would sag and turn hideous when I got pregnant and then NOT pregnant.

  10. I gots me 2 – they are simple, and kinda boring, but they mean things. My first is the word Angel in Japanese on my back (and I’ve checked, it’s right :p) for my daddy who I lost when I was 7. I have a star on my ankle, that was a spur of the moment decision when I finally met my best internet friend in real life and had one of those OHEMGEE we’ve known each other FOREVER kind of connections, and we got matching tattoos. I need a third now, for my mammy who I lost 3 years ago, and still haven’t picked a design for – mainly cos she HATED my tattoos, so maybe my third tattoo is the invisible one for my mammy that she never wanted me to get.

  11. Can’t wait to see the pictures. And I’ll blog about my problems when I can form sentences that don’t go, “and then, and then, and then, and then!” ala, “MARSHA, MARSHA, MARSHA!!”

  12. First of all, just tell whoever says your problems aren’t worthy to go fuck themselves. Legless Africans might want them, but I sure don’t.

    Second of all, I hope you feel better soon. Demon slaying is no fun.

  13. I don’t have one. Yet. I keep chickening out. If I ever get one, it will likely incorporate music somehow. But then I think, I haven’t been playing piano much in recent years so is it that meaningful in my world now? Yes, it is, but is it tattoo worthy? I just don’t know. The other thing I thought about doing was a peach or strawberry or something with Sniff written above it. It’d have to be tiny and somewhere not obvious to anyone. It’s a nickname my best (guy) friend gave me in high school and it’s annoying but it’s special. However, my husband who is every now and then jealous of said best friend would probably shit a brick if I got a tattoo honoring another dude. Best friend or not. LOL

    1. I think when you’re ready, you just know. I knew what I wanted for YEARS before I got ’em. Then again, maybe you just should jump in with both feet! I dunno. Dave was all “eh” and when he went along with me to get my second, he got one. So, it takes all sorts.

      1. Oh and for the record… the “Sniff” thing is in reference to those blonde jokes…. “How do you kill a blonde? Put a scratch and sniff sticker at the bottom of the pool.” Ha. It started out as Scratch and Sniff by him and his dad and was eventually shortened to sniff.

  14. I dont have any tats, and I have commented before about them. They are not for me. BUT that said, I do admire the artistic creativeness that goes into them.

    That is an Awesome tatoo!

  15. hate the entropy. being all over the place and feeling nowhere. last time i had it, i took up boxing to see if i could punch and kick my way to clarity and calm. it helped at first but then i injured my shoulder. wtf.

    maybe i’ll try a nose piercing next. a little diamond chip.

    the phoenix is full of the awesome!

  16. i currently have thirteen tattoos/cauterization and am looking forward to getting my next. rams horns on my head, because obviously, i’m not a sheep, or lamb. the kundalini on left arm for awakening of sexual energy, judy chicago. skeletons bound on their knees on each inner thigh, for the kiss of death, ha. two seperate self portraits on either side of my breastesses, one skeletal, one with cloven hooves and horned, because again, obviously. two matching figurative horses on either hip, they kick my ass. a full back piece that has just too much going on to describe here, winged angel-nude, of course, dragonflies, pixies, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. you get the jist of it. lucky ace everlast on my chest, wanted to have free drinks all night, but worried about nipple chafing.
    my next one will be an outlined portrait of klaus nomi on my abdomen, obviously!
    they all are signifiers of a road less traveled and journeys not yet taken.

      1. i changed my profile pic so you can see the one on my chest, shot prior to doing a susension, hooks are temporary.

  17. I have a pansy on the inside of my left wrist. It’s in the style of traditional Japanese crests, and is there to remind me to not buy other people’s bullshit (the pansy is the flower of freethought). It was really fun to get and didn’t hurt in a bad way. Actually helped me get over my phobia of needles. I’d like to get another one, but it might take me a while to find another design I like so.

  18. I have two. One is now referred to as a tramp stamp by its location (which, at the time, was NOT what it was called) and one on my foot.

    I hate them both.

    But, would like to have more.

    I guess so I can hate them later too.

      1. So… what I hear you saying is that you’ll encourage me to get another one if I get to come your direction in the next couple of weeks? Because, you know, if I do, I’m SO TOTALLY coming over.

  19. No tatts now, but I fantasize about getting a tao symbol someday. Maybe back of neck.

    I’m abiding with you while you’re battling Entropy. No matter how many legs you have, change, randomness and uncertainty can be unsettling.


    Love the image of he phoenix. But I hate spelling it.

    1. What unsettles me about the Phoenix is the UNIVERSITY of Phoenix. I don’t care to be associated with them.

      And as far as entropy goes, frankly, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of carrying burdens, I’m tired of the bright side, and I’m tired of problems. I’m just tired.

  20. No tattoos…don’t want any.

    Have lots and lots of entropy. Have a husband who thinks his entropy is worse than anyone else’s (including the legless,starving, children in Africa). Probably will never win this war…

    Hope the entropy in your universe resolves (or at least changes to something more palatable) soon.

    1. It always changes form, but it’s always there. And that’s okay. Today, yesterday, it seems unbearable, but I know it’s only temporary and that’s how I can get through.

      xoxox. Thank you.

  21. I have 5 tattoos & am planning my 6th now. I got my first when I was 30 & will get my next for my 44th birthday.

    Don’t worry about the legless people & their problems. You have my permission to feel as bad as you want about your problems without giving the legless a single thought.

  22. Wow. So I looked up Entropy and now my head is spinning. I will get a tattoo someday, but I am not really sure what. If I were to do something with my kids names, first letters in order of birth would actually be, S.H. Lame. I know some day it will come to me. I want it to be for ME though and not for who I am to other people. Your Phoenix is perfect. I wish I could think of something that represents the feeling you get when you are in the middle of a whirlwind of life and then you just stop, close your eyes and breathe and shut out all the chaos around you. Whatever that looks like, that’s what I want. I know it’s not Tweety Bird.

      1. Uhhh… fractal? Yeah, you are way too smart for us to hang out. You must be a genius. You can write, add, operate complex mathematical problems and grow orchids. And also have cute babies. At least we do have the sarcasm thing down. Or do we? Good luck with the Entrophic Fractaliciousness. I wish I could understand the vortex of all that is happening, my friend.

  23. I have one tattoo now. It is Cinderella’s castle with 3 mickey ballons flying over the castle with my husband and 2 daughters intials in the ballons with the words “dreams do come true” under the castle in disney script.I am getting my 2nd one for mothers day.

  24. I have one. It’s a somewhat metallic Celtic knot with a navy blue background in the middle of my back. It’s a single continuous line that wraps around in a beautiful and complex form. I hunted for the perfect knot for eons and then made it even more my own before I had it put on my body. It’s probably about 4″ round.

    For the last 6 months or so, I’ve been kicking around the idea of expanding it into a much larger backpiece. I’m going to sit on the idea for quite some time, just like I did before my first tattoo. At this point I haven’t started planning what it would look like exactly, though I have definite ideas.

    For me, my tattoo represents a certain wholeness and unity; a completeness. I don’t want to put anything permanent on my body that doesn’t add to my completeness.

  25. I also have three tattoos. Two I really like and one that I LOVE! I have a dragon down the side of my left thigh. It is my reminder to kick ass! I had a suck-ass divorce and came out of the haze and decided that I needed a reminder for me that I can do it…so I picked a dragon. All back and swoopy (Is swoopy a word?) and I have never cared if anyone else likes it. It’s just for me. Most people don’t get looking for meaning in a tattoo. JERKS!

    Good luck!

  26. OMGosh! i can’t wait to see it when it’s finished. i can tell it’s totally Awesome! i have six…snoopy on my right shoulder, woodstock on the top of my left foot, the republican elephant (now that is full of the AWESOME :O) behind my right ankle, a Jesus fish with my kids initials in it on my left wrist, “a safe life is a wasted life” on top of my right foot, and a cross behind my left ear. Tats are SO addicting! i keep thinkin i might be done but then i see another design and, well, … and i’m totally jonesin your phoenix!!!

    hurry up with the pics…

  27. Fah- reaking beautiful tattoo.
    The phoenix is my most favorite thing ever. It will be a good reminder whenever you need it. And since it looks holy painful- I will just pull up this post whenever I need a reminder.

  28. Goodness me, do I WANT one?

    …Yes, yes I want one.

    I would like a little white bow on my ankle, where a bow would be if I were wearing cute socks. And a cupcake on the inside of my index finger.

    Oh, and were I in any way adventurous, a tree up my side. But let’s just assume I’m never gonna pluck up the courage to do that.

    Can’t wait to see photos of your beautiful phoenix! πŸ™‚

  29. Tattoos are against my religion and my better judgment. And yet, I got one (before I had kids, as my last “crazy” thing before settling down w/a family). It’s dainty and feminine – a little vine of flowers on my low back.

    And, I love it!

  30. Oh lovely tattoo!
    I want one, have for years. A pine tree/tree of life with a crescent moon over my left breast. Just never prioritized the money. Ok and am scared shitless.

  31. It kind of seems like being on a roller coaster. Feeling high and excited then uncertain about the choices you made to get you where you are. Fear of what is to come.

    My husband has 7 and I have none. I’ve been as far as sitting in the shop with the stencil made when the artist discovered there were no glove in the shop. I guess it was fate stepping in, because even though I loved the design for years, now I wouldn’t want it after seeing wings in so many places. Oh…It was supposed to be the word ANGEL written out going down my spine forming the silhouette of a woman’s body with realistic looking wings tucked off the sides.

  32. I have two. My first was a butterfly with scrollies because I like bugs. It’s on my shoulder blade. Then I got a breast cancer ribbon (it’s done in all pink, no black at all) with scrollies that is at the base of my neck. That one is for my mom, who I lost almost 7 years ago (will be at the end of this month.)

    I’m planning my third and will probably do more than that. I tend to space them out time wise so I have time to really think about it before I get another.

    1. I’m very thoughtful about my tattoos, too. And yours sound lovely. I hope to get something together so that we can all share our pictures in one place. I’m DYING to see yours!

  33. Love you dearly. You are amazing. Cannot wait to see the finished product!

    One of these days I want to get a tattoo. Probably something with my daughter’s name or something. But I need to love the idea for a year before I will do it. That and I’m cheap.

    1. I’ve always had the idea looooong before I went in to get the tattoo. Like years before. I’m not exactly impulsive. But now I want my ENTIRE back done, just with what? I DO NOT KNOW.

  34. I have 3. A lady bug I got when I was 26 and away on a work training. It didn’t heal well and, well, it looks like a deformed strawberry. And then in key west I got a bee on the top of my foot. I’m the queen bee of the Kiss Hizza! And last fall, while away on a girl’s trip, I got 2 stars on my left foot. For my kids.

    Your tat is beautiful (looks damn painful!) and I know what it means to you – so find strength in that.

    And a big “fuck you” to the issues. No matter what the issues are, they’re YOUR issues and you do what you gotta do.

  35. I hear you, oh how I do. I go through these awful spells as well, and always about the same stupid stuff. Which is not stupid when other people deal with it. I think it’s impressive that you can tell yourself at the start that this, too, will end.

  36. Amazing tattoo. I dont have any myself and am unlikely to get any either – my skin reacts badly to all things and I cant imagine a tattoo would be tolerated!

  37. I simply can’t decide what to get or where to get it so instead of a tattoo, I went for the nose piercing. Tiny diamond-ish thing. And I love it.

    Dude – hope everything’s okay. Thinking about cha.

  38. I’m 34 and I have ALWAYS wanted a tattoo!!! I never seem to have the money but someday I’m going to get 4 flowers for my 4 boys on my leg. I wanted one on my side but I heard that is a really painful place for a tattoo. I joke on my blog that my stretch marks are as close to tattoos as I’m gonna get;D.

  39. No tats…if I were to get one, I think I’d do it on my left boob. It’s big enough and I could hide it. And since I have considered boob reduction, if I didn’t like the tat – I would have the perfect excuse to have surgery – then I’d have less, more managable, fit-in-cute-bra boobs and be ink-free.

    But all of that is just in my mind, cuz I’m chicken to do both!

    But, I so get the entropy…been there, doing that.

  40. Great tat Becky…I have four tattoos….Embrace the Life in Greek arched over my left hip…my stud husband’s name in a heart in a hot spot under my bikini (that was a suprised for him during his trip home of R & R from Iraq) Warrior Wife in Kanji going down my back…I love this tat, but I am not really happy with the placement of it…I wanted it closer to my spine..she put it closer to my side…and we have our wedding dates tattooed on our left wrist and we are going tomorrow to add below the date
    In this life and all that follow
    ?’ ?????
    Which is I love you in Greek

  41. I have 4 tatts. My favorite is one of cherry blossoms that runs from my hairline on the back of my neck to about a third of the way down my back. I got it at a really painful point in my life, which turned out to be a turning point for me. It’s a reminder that I’m not as tough as I may want to think I am… That I am fragile and can be broken, even if I don’t want to admit it.

    Of course, on a lighter note, I also have a tattoo of Snoopy doing the happy dance on my foot so that, when in need of a smile, I only have to look down.

  42. Full sleeve on my left arm contains circuit boards, spines, DNA, binary, neurons, and other computer components. Also, a half-human, half-robotic hand holding the whole piece together at the top. My reminder that man plays god and won’t stop until he creates machine in his image. Kind of a warning, as well. πŸ™‚

    A small decorative piece at the base of my neck that represents strength and feminity. That’s it!

    You pheonix is very well done. The artist is definitely skilled. Hope you feel less chaotic soon.

    1. Okay, now I want to see this one! I loooove sleeves. I’m too chicken shit to do one, but I looooove them. Like, I see them and I’m all “WANT WANT WANT WANT.” That sounds amazing.

      1. No blog to put them on, but as soon as I upload them somewhere I’ll provide the linkage for you.

  43. First off, your problems are not insignificant just because someone chopped off an African’s leg and beat him with it. Sure it sucks for him, but your problems matter too. Because you are full of the awesome. And deserve your loving!

    Second, I think I have posted this before but I have one on my left butt cheek, a really small wimpy rose with a heart through the stem. The meaning behind it is not to go to Florida with a bunch of your friends when a hurricane hits. You wind up smoking WAY too much dope, and drinking WAY too much alcohol and get all pissed off because if you wanted to spent a LOT of fucking money to go on a vacation that you could have had in your own hometown if you like spending 24/7 in a hotel room that is. In other words, I was bored and not thinking properly. I AM glad I decided against the tazmanian devil cartoon dude though.

  44. I don’t have any tatoos. I don’t want any. I’m with the person who can’t imagine liking one design long enough to commit. I like other people’s tatoos, though.

    Your problems are important. I hate the thought of you shedding tears, but sometimes, well, you know. I hope you keep talking, and I’m pulling for you. xoxo (because I’m mushy like that and if you don’t like it you’ll just have to wipe it off when I’m not looking)

  45. Oh Aunt Becks, I’m so sorry to hear that something has you down. I don’t know what it is, obviously, but if I did, I’d kick its ass for you. Because nobody fucks with my Aunt Becky. I’m sure that it sucks because you’ve never been much of a whiner. But in any case, there’s a whole lot of interwebz out here that loves you and has your back. Feel better AB, and I give you permission to be selfish and do whatever you want to comfort yourself. πŸ™‚


    Every time I see a phoenix I think of Harry Potter. Quite embarrassed of this. BUT they are beautiful nonetheless and represent something lovely.

    I have a cross between a swallow and a sparrow on my side…my cousin drew it up when we were young and we always planned to get them together. He was my best friend and passed away when I was 17. I got it tattooed on myself my first year in college.

    It’s unfortunate that people get so judgey…most tattoos have such a wonderful meaning behind them.

    Oh…and don’t ever let anyone lessen the importance of your life and it’s problems. Because just as the legless African’s may be “worse off” with their problems the “richies” in their mansions having tea and crumpets would cringe at yours>

    1. me too!! i’m planning on getting a phoenix too and i wanted it to look like fawkes. cus i’m a dork.

  47. I don’t have tattoos. I don’t know if I want one, actually, and if I ever did get one, it would be really small, on my right wrist, and probably a word. (Or a Tar Heel.) The thing is, if I ever got a tattoo while my mother is living, and she finds out, I would be disinherited. And that’s actually kind of a big deal, because she owns a multi-million dollar business that she’s fixing to sell. I’m not sure a little tattoo would be worth millions, you know? Right now I’d rather paint whatever it is I need to say. But that’s just me πŸ™‚

  48. I read your bloggy-blog via Google Reader, but this is the first time I clicked out of the reader to see the “real” post. I’m surprised that nearly every comment has a reply! By you! Holy shit!

    The phoenix is very elegant and beautiful and obviously full of meaning. Sometimes I forget about the personal meanings that are attached to people’s tattoos, regardless of their content (especially when I read this: http://ugliesttattoos.com/).

    I have two very small tattoos, one on each shoulder above the collar bone. They’re African hunters/runners, based off prehistoric rock art, complete with tiny penises (my favorite details!) and arms thrown in the air.

  49. Hang in there, girl. You feel what you feel. Hoping the Entropy passes soon. Maybe the endorphins from the tattooing will help. The phoenix is gorgeous. Can’t wait to see the new pics.

    Here’s a post I wrote about my ink last year.

  50. I like tattoos on other people! I DO have two lovely vertical c-section scars right next to each other. They’re very attractive. I guess they’re not very cool though.

  51. I have 2. The first one is a single red rose on the inside of my right ankle. That one is for my hubby, when we met, he informed me that he only wanted to be friends and was never getting married, but when he came over to go do something the first time, he brought me a single red rose and that was about 16 years ago and we have been married over 10 years now.

    My second one is a turtle on my left shoulder. That on is for my mom (my guardian angel) She used to collect turtles and I would send them to her from wherever we traveled. When she passed, my bu*@hole step dad kept the turtle collection even though I heard he sold them at a yard sale. So my turtle is a tribute to my mom.

    I do intend on getting at least one more. My granddaughters name is Lilee and I want a lily of some sort on my right shoulder, and I am still ruminating on what to get to honor my son.

    Te phoenix is beautiful and I love that your tats have special meaning. I think that is more important than just getting them because they are cool.

    I love reading your blog…thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Your tattoos sound beautiful! Seriously beautiful and very sweet. My favorite kind. And if I had another daughter (which I will not), her name would be Lily. Beautiful name.

      1. Thanks. My Lilee is a kick! It is so much funny being a granny. I saw her over spring break and she told me “I love you no matter what gramma”……damn near made me cry.

        Take care

  52. I hate those slumps in spirit that serve only to keep us down. But, as you said, coming through the other side just makes us stronger.

    I want a tattoo SO bad, I have for years, but I can’t settle on a design. I’m thinking when I finally decide I’ll probably hire someone to design it for me. The other problem is I don’t like any of the tattoos I see getting churned out around here. I’d have to find an artist I could trust. Your phoenix is gorgeous! I LOVE the style and whoever did it is awesome!

    1. My tattoo artist is fantastic and famous. You should go to her. People actually fly in to go to her because she is THAT good. THEN you can see ME! I am very self-serving.

  53. 3 tatts, a Chinese symbol for Year of the Dog, an outline of a cat and a unicorn on my lower stomach. The funny thing about the unicorn is that whenever I finally get pregnant, I can take pics of it and watch it expand as the months past. Grandma is betting it turns into a giraffe. My Chinese symbol was a bit of a mistake. You know how in Chinese restaurants they’ll have the different years listed and which animal goes with which year? Yea, well they don’t tell you exactly WHEN that year started for them, since the Chinese New Year starts later then ours does. So my birthday, which falls on January 3rd, was for the Year of the Rooster, NOT the Year of the Dog. I have the wrong symbol on my foot. Makes for a funny, cautionary tale. I’d love to get more tatts in the future.

  54. i’ve got 5 (i ALWAYS want to say 6 but then i realize i don’t have 6, i think that means i need more). the fav is euterpe, the music of music, blowing little inspiration jiggies across my tummy. and my daughter’s name on my back. AND a lil star on my foot that some friends and i got being dumb and random one day (i love them bitches). guess i don’t have a fave.

    life sucks for everyone a good deal of the time. just cus it sucks for other people waaaaay more doesn’t mean that you can’t appreciate your suckiness every now and again.

  55. Love tattoos. But more importantly…..

    I hate the fact that we can’t complain, feel a little sorry for ourselves and just be sad or down for fear that some well intentioned ass will tell us how good we really have it blah blah blah. It sucks that we need to keep this stuff to ourselves so we can own it. Nothing worse than someone telling you that your feelings are not valid cause there is someone else out there feeling worse or has no legs.

    Sorry you are struggling. If it is any consolation, you are a really strong writer with a gift.

    1. You know, hearing that DID make me feel better. Thank you.

      For what it’s worth, I tried to write out what was bothering me and I looked at it and then it looked so stupid and trite. When I can’t explain why it’s so hard, I just don’t bother. Because it won’t make sense to anyone else.


      You’re right. It’s so stupid because we’re ALLOWED bad days. We are. But someone always comes along and is all ‘AT LEAST!!!’ and it ruins it all.


      Today is a better day. Tomorrow should be better than that.

  56. Oh how I can relate to this “The things I’m struggling with now, they’re not new issues and I’m remiss to even address them because someone will pop up and remind me,….” So I just go along and act as if all is ok.

    Your Phoenix is beautiful! When I was younger I hated tattoos and somewhere along the way changed my mind. Two years ago after I had surgery for badass colon cancer I treated myself to one. Even though I am not much into astrology both my boys are Geminis so I had the symbol with their names above and below put on my ankle. I am thinking of getting one more but jury is still out..

  57. I have several…

    A huge bass in the same spot you have your phoenix, stars on the other side, cherry blossoms and an emerald moth and just all sorts of badass harley wings and hearts in an all-too-visible spot on my wrist. Then a few when I was 16 and had this really cool juvie friend of a friend of a friend who made his own tatoo gun!! Yeah. All sorts of awesome in those tattoos.


  58. I have no tattoos, but I do kinda want one, but …

    1. I have NO idea what I’d get, cos I don’t want to pick something I’ll hate, and I also don’t want to pick something out of the artist’s book.

    2. I also have no idea what I want to do with my life, so I’m deathly afraid of getting a huge tattoo on my arm, and then suddenly failing an interview purely because of the tattoo.

    So. Yeah. Such is the life of the indecisive.

      1. I’m like 10 hours deep so far. I have (hopefully only) two more appointments, probably 3ish hours each.
        And mine’s just my upper back, but it’s pretty damn intricate.

  59. YES! Your ink is amazing. I do have a tat, just one so far. It’s a breathtaking watercoloresque work of art. Three butterfly koi on the top of my right foot. I plan on getting quite a bit more ink, but I’m picky. Every one must have meaning and be stunningly gorgeous.

    1. I have tattoos on my feet too! Fucking hurt! My back was much, much less painful, although today I’m in bad shape. Got any narcotics for me?


  60. I have two tattoo and am plotting the third! My siblings and I all have them which leaves my mother all lamenting about what she has done to provoke such behavior. Oh, so much. Haha.
    I enjoy your blog…and you deserve sunshine and happy thoughts!

    1. My mom is the SAME WAY! My brother and I have a ton of tattoos and she HATES them. BEYOND hates them. She’s all, “they’re for SAILORS!” What’s weird is that she’s a hippie and should know better.

      And thank you for your sweet words. You don’t know how they lift me up.


  61. I have no tats.

    PTSD is hard! Please don’t feel like you can’t feel bad. Sometimes I think you have to allow yourself to feel all those nasty feelings so that you can move on and give closure to them. Know that you aren’t alone; your Pranksters are pulling for you!!

  62. I have 7 tats – tiger on right thigh, panther on left, dragon on left shoulder back, leaping panther on right with the Southern Cross in the middle, unicorn on right breast and my sons name with a celtic knot underneath on my right arm. I long to have a large celtic knot across my lower back but haven’t found the right one yet.
    Your phoenix is gorgeous!
    Hang in there Aunt Becky, your are loved!!

  63. I don’t have any now but plan to. I want one for each of my kids. A butterfly for Maddie, a ladybug for Ellie, a bumblebee for Ellie’s twin that we lost and something?? for Owen. I don’t know what to do for his. I have to wait until Ellie weaned. For all the girls I just knew what I wanted, but can’t decide on Owens. I want them pretty little and on my foot.

  64. OMG, 167 comments already? I can’t read them all or we won’t have dinner tonight (it’s 12:49pm right now).

    I have a tattoo & want to share though. It’s the Raiders logo above my left ankle bone with the numbers of my 7 favorite players circling my leg. Hubby & I were just talking about it last night and I very much feel that these guys are big brothers protecting me from… I dunno, me? I love it, but keep it covered up most of the time.

  65. Sorry the entropy is getting to you. I understand the feeling that your problems are really not worth complaining about. And that feeling has to be multiplied when you have an audience of more than a couple of people, so there’s bound to be at least one person in that crowd who wants to remind you that someone has it worse.

    I have one tattoo, a sunflower. I got it because it was sort of a childhood nickname, and I wanted to remind myself of where I came from. I’ve been thinking for years of adding to it, something to do with my kids’ names. I could never get anything attached to my body forever that wasn’t deeply meaningful to me, and the person I was when I started this journey and the people I have helped to create are the most meaningful things I can think of for me.

  66. I have four, with the fifth happening soon.

    The first was a result of my service in the Marines: An Eagle,Globe, and Anchor emblem, on my left shoulder that I got in 1986. The next was a cross of nails on my right shoulder, the third was a Jerusalem Cross between my shoulder blades, and the fourth is an emblem of the Lutheran reformation on the inside of my left forearm.

    See them here: http://gunfighter1.typepad.com/warrior/2009/07/newest-tattoo.html

    and here: http://gunfighter1.typepad.com/warrior/2008/06/tattoo-story.html

  67. hey! that’s your tattoo on the header!

    i have 2 tattoos. a phoenix on my inner left ankle that was from a necklace that was my aunt’s who died. and a sun on my lower back that has something written in it to remind me of her. i want to have someone create a design to cover the inside of the sun.

    i want more. somewhere on my wrist. maybe 6 tally marks for the 6 hooligans in my family. i want it to be simple.

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