Gettin’ Ink Done

This was the scene just over a year ago, on Saturday, January 10, 2009. I celebrated birthday #39 by getting a tattoo of a cardinal. It was not a decision I made lightly; I had been considering getting “permanent body art” for several years, and decided to take the plunge for my birthday. The cardinal was an easy choice – some people have a Guardian Angel, I have a Guardian Cardinal.

On that day last year, Brad and I went to Tora Tattoo, here in Uptown Waterloo. This place has a solid reputation, the best in the city. They had been recommended by numerous people, including a couple of friends on the¬†Police Dept. If you can’t trust a police officer, who can you trust!

Bryan was my tattoo artist and I was 100% thrilled with the cardinal design he came up with:

the cardinal

All in all, it was a positive experience all around, and I have not for a minute regretted this choice.

2009: Bryan and the Cardinal

Now let’s fastforward to today, Wednesday February 3, 2010. Another Birthday Tattoo, just a few weeks late this year!

Again, this was not a decision made on a whim. Since last spring I had been contemplating another tattoo. I for sure wanted Bryan to do this tattoo, too, both because of his talent and also so the “artistic style” would match that of Mr Cardinal. I went in to see Bryan a few weeks ago, we discussed my idea, and set the tattoo date.

Whereas last year I had Brad along with me, today I was flying solo. And that was fine – getting a first tattoo is a bit of an unknown, but today I felt confident and comfortable with the process. Bryan had again drawn up a design – we were ready to go!

Bryan at work

I find that the tattoo process really is not painful. If you have ever had your eyebrows waxed (or waxing in any other areas!) or even deep tissue sports massage (yowser!), the pain level of the tattoo is not significant. It truly does just feel like getting scratched with a sharp needle. Today was cool because I could watch the tattoo process. With the cardinal, I was facing the ceiling and could not see a thing.

What I appreciate about Tora is their attention to strict cleanliness and lawful procedure.

the prep area

And the finished product! (The bandage can come off tomorrow – I just did not want to wait to show off Boston Baby!)

to explain: we have the Boston emblem, laurel leaves, and the years I ran the Boston Marathon (with room to add more!)

Am I done? I think so…but then I said that last year, too, after I got the cardinal. Bryan joked, “See you next year” as I was leaving…I don’t think so, but you never know!


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  • AC/EC  On February 3, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Wow, Cathy! I think you may very well just see Bryan again next year … it’s addictive, isn’t it? Can’t wait to see it in person.

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