My tattoo evolution

30+ years ago, I lost a bet and, while stationed in Denver, CO, I had a small tattoo inked on my back: a butterfly. (I think I paid 35.00 for it) Over the years, I almost forgot about it (except when I was swimming and someone would tell me that I had a bug on my back). In Tacoma, decades later, I had it re-colorized. (65.00) Then, I began to wonder: is one enough? How many tattoos are too much? In New Orleans, I had a small black rose tattoo’d on my thigh. (~120.00 and it hurt like a ….well it hurt). No, I wasn’t drinking and yes, I would recommend getting a large tattoo to begin with! In 2005, I was in NYC with a friend and my youngest daughter for my birthday. As a present, they chipped in to purchase a “tramp stamp” tattoo for me: my star sign (200.00). Then, about 2 years ago, I realized that my original tattoo had “melted” and no longer looked recognizable. So….I decided to have it covered up. Next came a larger aqua chrysathemum which I just love! (200.00) Then…in July, my kidney donor died (of a heart attack, with my kidney still working). In memory, I had a Taiwanese artist create a red rose memorial to add to the flower already on my back. And finally, last December, Mom died suddenly. In her memory I had a lovely little hummingbird and heart added to my growing body art collection. See what you think of it….


“The hummingbird symbolizes many different concepts. Because of its speed, the hummingbird is known as a messenger and stopper of time. It is also a symbol of love, joy, and beauty. The hummingbird is also able to fly backwards, teaching us that we can look back on our past.”


In remembrance of my dear friend Ambrose, I decided to have a local artist create a more lasting momento: a tattoo.

I threw a “Tattoo and Pizza Party” and friends from work brought salad, chicken (for the meat eaters), and cheesecake (I provided the pizza).  Afterwards, we walked over to the tattoo parlor adjacent to the Tong Hua night market where “Queen” sketched up some ideas that would fit my current body art (and would complement it and not be readily visible when I wear a t-shirt). After agreeing on a design, a Taiwanese co-worker haggled with Queen over the price. The final cost: 3000NT (<100USD).  I love the result; see for yourself!

2 hours later…

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…