When you get inked

This, apparently, is what you should wear? I don’t know–I just like taking outfit photos, I never promised clever titles or segues. Two things of note about this outfit, though.

Dress: Romys 6ya | Sweater: Target | Shoes: Payless | Bag: Office Max

Dress: Romys 6ya | Sweater: Target | Shoes: Payless | Bag: Office Max

First, I kept in the age of this dress for a reason, namely that in six years I’ve worn it maybe three times. I remember two off the top of my head, and I’ll assume there’s another time in there as well. Mostly, I never felt like it fit right. In fact, I felt like it made me look a lot bigger than I am, which left me feeling uncomfortable. Apparently the magical recipe is wait six years, let your body gain twenty pounds, and the dress fits like a dream. I was seriously so comfortable. How’s that for irony?

Marci 3-25-13 11

Secondly, though, is this bag. Yes–I bought it at Office Max. It’s technically by the Swiss Army company, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it. I bike everywhere with this bag, I fit my whole life in this bag, and it’s smaller than a backpack. It’s sturdy, durable, and cushioned enough for me to travel with my laptop. Love. Love love love. Even if it’s not a designer handbag. πŸ˜‰

Marci 3-25-13 3This is my before shot for the tattoo! Sometime this weekend I’ll be sure to get an equivalent after shot, although you guys are probably close to being exhausted with photos of my tattoo. At least, you probably are if you’re following me on twitter or instagram. Fair warning, I’m not going to stop showing it off anytime soon. So, you know, there’s that.

Oh and thirdly! I know, I’m a dirty rotten liar, but seriously. Thirdly, this is the first day that I wore bare legs! With no tights! Outside! Without feeling cold! It was magical. Since then it’s been pretty drizzly, so no such luck for a repeat anytime soon, but that’s okay.Β Spring is coming…

The best gift to myself

Tattoo 1

First off, this is the official notice of potential (mild) trigger warnings ahead. Check the tags if you’re someone who might be triggered.

So if you follow me on twitter or instagram (my handle is LikeASmallFire for both platforms), you already know the surprise–I got a tattoo on Monday. This would be my second one, and it’s hilarious how different my whole approach to ink is since my first tattoo, a whopping two years ago. You can read about that approach here. This time, as I described it to my sister laughingly, absolutely no fucks will be given.

Which, for the record, doesn’t mean I didn’t put a lot of thought into the tattoo I wanted. My little pterodactly and I have a two year history, an epic Facebook inside joke, and a lot of laughs together before he ever became a tattoo. Whereas last time I wanted something small, obsessed about the possibilites of hiding it for work and professional settings, and bought a leather cuff that has the same width as my tattoo, this time I just feel like I went balls to the wall. Starting from my elbow, this sucker goes about five inches down my arm, and wraps around over three inches. It’s not monolithic by any standard, but it is definitely not going to be hidden by a cuff. There is no hiding this tattoo, and the best part is, I don’t want to hide it. Not at all.

If you look closely at the photo, that scar there is the answer, every single time, to the question “But what about employment where you can’t display a tattoo?” The truth is, I haven’t worn a short sleeve shirt to work since that scar first made an appearance, and I doubted I ever would.

>>cue pterodactly entrance

Seriously, so much love for that weird creature. And so much gratitude for the very awesome dude that put it there. He was the height of professionalism, and the whole shop was just amazing and clean and comfortable. I had the best experience, and I’m just so happy about my tattoo.

Oh and for your viewing pleasure, the tattoo artist accepted our polite request to take some photos of the process.

Marci Tattoo 3

Don’t be mistaken, tattoos hurt. But eventually the pain numbs & this was at the end

Marci Tattoo 2

Doing some epic shading

Marci Tattoo PainFace

Did you know that tattooing over scar tissue hurts more than normal tattoos? And that he tattooed over an inch of keloid scar tissue?

It sounds like the start of horror movie

I spent the weekend camping in the woods with some friends and even more strangers. Sounds like the potential beginning of a horror movie, I know, and trust me–there were times where it felt like the beginning of a horror movie. Like the late night walk down the road to the beach. But, as it turns out, we all survived unscathed. Even that moment where I stood outside the bathroom waiting for a few minutes after talking in-depth about The Walking Dead. Never have I been so sure that a zombie was about to nom my arm.

Campign 3Camping 3-5

The original purpose of the trip was to celebrate a very good friends’ five year wedding anniversary, but since that is not really my story to tell I’ll stick with one of the smaller take aways I gleaned from this trip. Mostly, that this was the trip where David and I transformed into adults. I feel like there’s always this feeling that everyone else is an adult, and you’re just pretending, and David and I are no exception to the rule. We look at our lives, and we look at the lives of those around us, and we feel like kids playing at being adults.

Camping crab Camping David

As I said, a lot of the people I spent the weekend with were complete strangers to me, or at most I had seen them a couple times over the span of three, four years. Additionally, the age span spread across five decades, with people falling evenly along the spread. Either because of that or in spite of, I’m not sure which, age really wasn’t a factor in the trip at all. I made friends with just about everyone there and it was a really great experience. Oh and so did David–he had an amazing jam session with an accordion player, which pretty made rocked his world. The entire trip was a ton of fun.

Camping 1 Camping 2

There was one youngin’ there, though, somewhere in his early teens, and it was his presence that drove home the “holy crap we’re adults now”. I watched him sitting around the fire, listening to all of our gabbing, and all we did was drink beer and make stupid jokes and crack puns. David said it best–he remembers being that kid, that poor bored kid, watching all the grownups drink beer and sit around, and he remembers thinking “damn, grownups are so boring!”

Campfire CollageCampfire 1

After a couple beers, some good food, and a raunchy game of Cards Against Humanity I’m feeling pretty solid on my decision–being an adult is fun, and a lot like being a kid, only with more freedom. And booze. And curse words.

My head is full of words but no phrases

currently header

reading: ten million books, it feels like, includingMailer’s The Executioner’s Song, a biography of Vincent Van Gogh, an ‘expose’ on Sybil, and a freshly-started book on green energy.

listening: to the sounds of Capcom Arcade Cabinet games on the PS3. David stayed home after throwing his back out, so video game noises fill the room. Also Lyra snoring. She was so excited see us when we picked her up after the weekend. It was adorable and a relief.

thinking: about what the rest of the week needs to look like, and how I’ll fit in all my plans. There are a few art projects that I haven’t made time for but really want to, especially before I have company on Sunday.

feeling: like an adult after spending the weekend camping in the woods with some new friends. The ages ranged from 23 to 63 and literally everywhere in between (literally being at least two people in each decade set). There was also a preteen? Teenager? there and it was the first time David and I felt solidly on the other side–we were definitely on the grown up side, making stupid jokes and drinking beer and being the adults that we have memories of not understanding when we were that age.

excited: for my tattoo! I’m actually planning on writing a whole post on it, and I’ll warn you in advance–it’s going to be deep and fairly personal. But suffice it to say, at least for now, I’M SO FUCKING EXCITED TO GET THIS TATTOO. Even more excited than getting my last tattoo.

IMG_1951

What to Wear: Flower Power!

what to wear

Okay so actually the prompt was a much more demure “florals”, but really–flower power sounds way better. Although I’ll admit my outfit doesn’t deserve that exciting of a tag. To be perfectly honest, this is not what I wore on the first day of spring. Rather, I wore leggings and David’s german beer shirt as I did some unintended but very excessive spring cleaning. As in, I moved every single piece of furniture in the bedroom, save the smallest. And half the furniture in the living room. By myself. (Oh my poor poor back). Yes, mom, that means I did 90% of the work I was asking you to help with for next Wednesday, but don’t worry. I’ll still require a bit of assistance on Wednesday*.

Marci 3-21-13 Full

Shirt Sweater & Dress: Thrifted | Shoes: Payless | Tights: belle

Florals have to be my favorite pattern, in that it is the easiest pattern in my closet for me to play around with. I felt like challenging myself for that five minute window where I walked outside in grown up clothes, so I looked at the metaphorical “back” of my closet. Guys, these clothes go back, like,Β a whole year. Gasp, I know. Okay but seriously these are the clothes that I love, but have no clue how to wear. I noticed that the tiny flowers on the top were more of a lavender color than I had previously realized, which of course means purple floral dress.

floral collage

Am I overdoing it on the collages? It’s okay, guys, saying yes won’t hurt my feelings. Mostly because even if every singly commenter says yes, I probably still won’t stop. Just like I won’t stop reading Animorphs. Horrible seque, yes, but if you want to read a worse one check out this comic. So, see, it could be worse. But as I was saying–finding Animorphs in thrift shops and used bookstores is my most favorite thing to find ever. I think I’ve worked my way through at least a third of the series, maybe even half, this way. It’s really making me want to read the Everworld series. I remember when I was a kid I started to, and my mom immediately swooped in like an overprotective bird “I don’t like you reading these, I think they’re a little grown up”. She lets me do my own thing, though, and probably recieved immense satisfaction in her parenting when two books later I put the series down. “I think this is too grown up for me,” I told her. And then started reading Stephen King. (Well, you can’t win them all.)

Marci 3-21-13 Top Half

If you’re interested in joining out little link up, definitely email me or anyone else participating. Marci.LikeASmallFire at Gmail dot Com. You know what? Go ahead and email me regardless. It’s exciting and I love finding non-junk in my inbox. Our next one is in two weeks and we’re doing what to wear to work. Expect a lot of black from me on that one, but I’ve been working on perfectly my work silhouette! It’s exciting an only took a $12 dress from Old Navy. I know, I leave you with so much suspense.

*Yes, my mom reads my blog. Which I love. My aunt and uncle do, as well, which I think is splendid. Hi guys!

The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross

A few nights ago I got the best text ever from KelsΒ that basically asked how I felt about using up some of her canvases on a Bob Ross adventure. Words can not accurately describe the enthusiasm with which I said yes. So much win. I also don’t know how to express how lucky I am that I have amazing friends who send me texts like that!

Bob Ross Painting 1 collage

Painting with Bob Ross is one of my favorite PBS shows ever. I have this perfect memory of my sister, BIL, David and I after my dad’s wedding a few years back, watching Bob Ross. It had been a super stressful day (as weddings tend to be) and we all just decompressed in the hotel room by watching Bob Ross. I was the only one who had apparently remembered this show, and it held up magnificently to my childhood memories.

Bob Ross Midway Collage

The only hang up was that I don’t have the color paints Bob Ross was using. Our palette was a little… bolder. I love how everything turned out, and think it looked great that we all had such different visions and approaches!

Finished Marci 1

I couldn’t pull off a hipster face–too excited about my picture! I’m also so stoked to finish painting white around the border and filling that in with other details, more in line with my usual style.

Finished Kels 1

“What face does an artist make?” “A hipster face, duh!”

Finished David 1

Hands down my all-time new favorite picture of David. This might get printed out and framed for the wall

 

Oh and PS, I’m totally using Sarah from SillyGrrl‘s photo collage templates. I’m in love with them.Β 

The Gargoyle Memoirs #3

the gargoyle memoirs1

The mortals have been heard claiming to have had a fabulous weekend, although you won’t hear any voice of support from my end of it. It would appear that in light of their excitement for their plans, allowing me to accompany them was a bit of an oversight. I spent the weekend, including a particularly lonely Saturday, from my usual position overlooking the apartment premises. They did of course leave the dog with me on Saturday, so I had that creature’s somewhat pitiful mutterings to provide me with the appropriate background music to accompany my ever-wearying musings.

Their weekend didn’t look particularly exciting to me–all they did was cook, clean, and wiggle those plastic handles attached to wires around. The ones that connect to the television. I was bored enough to chance a sneak peek at the television, and it’s like their primitive hobbies have degenerated into a mess of 8-bit pixelation that even I found surprising. Why would they trade in their vices, currently which are elaborate and plot driven, for a game that I believe was called Pitfall 2. Hopping over frogs? Timing their jumps onto ladders? That’s what the humans have degenerated to?

It is clear that despite a full year in the company of these mortals, I have yet to understand their ways. Perhaps I’ll consider stretching out my study of them for another few months before taking my leave.

The dog park is my happy place

Dog Park 1

 

I seriously can’t think of places that consistently make me as giddy as the dog park. I love making new canine friends, and I love giving Lyra (and her doggie mom Sydney) the chance to run around and have fun new adventures. And since the past few weeks have been too full of posts that are heavy and blah, let’s just enjoy a nice, calm Friday with some cute doggie photos. Sounds nice to me!

Dog Park 2

 

Dog Park 3

 

Dog Park 4

 

Dog Park 5

Nothing good comes from shaming

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ll start with my take away message, so to hopefully mitigate any potential confusion. In my mind, there is no difference between slut shaming and prude shaming. I’m sure arguments can (and have) been made that this one is more damaging than that one, or that one deserves more of a spotlight than this one, but my mind refuses to play favorites. Both attitudes can and have led to rape, which is utterly unacceptable. It is completely inappropriate to shame anyone for their sexual habits and preferences, or pressure any person to do anything sexual that they are uncomfortable with*. A person’s body is their own sacred temple and how, or when, or if they chose to share that temple, or preserve, or maintain, is no one’s business but their own. I think that no matter how you approach sex, there are some universal values–namely, that you enjoy it! If you are asexual, then you should fully enjoy your lifestyle**, and feel fulfilled with it. If you choose to have a fuck-ton*** of sex, then you enjoy every single romp and if you, like millions of others, are somewhere in that middle range, that you enjoy your experiences and are fulfilled by them.

Slut shaming has become a fairly common term to describe any type of bullying or “shaming” behaviors towards predominantly, but not exclusively, women who embrace their sexuality and publicly express their sexuality. This can be through clothing choices, courting behaviors, advocacy, etc. The roots for slut shaming stem from an incredibly sexist and mostly religious reasoning that sex, and more specifically, female sexuality, is something to be ashamed of. Women were commonly considered unforgivable, hell-bound sinners with severe mental problems just for masturbating as recently as thirty years ago–and in some places and religions, even today. Ignoring female sexuality was a useful tool for ignoring women in general, and over the past several decades feminists have made great strides reclaiming not only our rightful place as equals to men, but as sexual creatures with the right to discover and use our bodies however we want.

Those last three words–‘however we want’ was phrased intentionally. Prude shaming has evolved as the sexist backlash of slut shaming and inappropriate expectations and can be just as damaging. The inspiration for this entire piece has its roots with Taylor Swift, and in fact perfectly encapsulates the point I’m (trying) to make.

Me: Here’s Article A on how Taylor Swift slut shames through her lyrics. Not cool, Taylor Swift.
Friend: Definitely not cool, T. Swift. Also, here’s Article B on how T Swift is prude shamed by some of her critics–as in, if she just puts out, she could avoid most of her man-problems. Not cool, some of her critics.
Me: So not cool.

Is it totally lame that Taylor Swift slut shames in her lyrics? My answer is a resounding yes. Is it also totally unacceptable that she is judged for her less-flamboyant sexual choices? Totally. This is where things get interesting, though. Does there need to be a movement and strong advocacy focusing solely on the dangers of prude shaming? My answer is, well, not really. And here’s why.

I feel like there is already a strong basis of suport that advocates a girl’s right to not have sex. In fact, it’s rooted in the same idea that girls shouldn’t have sex. That “good girls don’t like sex,” which has turned into the very dangerous movement of slut shaming. As already mentioned, the movement of support for embracing female sexuality is still very new to our culture, and much less widely accepted. I think the best approach is advocating female empowerment over her own body, and over her ability to share what she wants, when she wants to. To focus specifically on prude shaming runs the risk of losing the original point–that women have the right to be in control of their bodies.

I think my discomfort with supporting prude-shaming advocacy is due largely to the examples I’ve seen used–friends talking about sex with each other, or offering to go lingerie shopping together in no way constitutes prude shaming. I think it is essential, especially in this day and age, for women to be able to have a safe place to turn to for sexual guidance and support. In my experience, as someone who is pretty open about her sexuality****, since that is the only place from which I am qualified to speak, my friends who are more “prudish” are the ones that want the most for me to be open about my experiences, because they aren’t comfortable enough to initiate that dialogue on their own. They’ve been appreciative of my willingness to be open about my own experiences. it creates a safe environment for them to air their own concerns and questions.

That being said, no one should be forced into situations where they’re uncomfortable and would prefer to not be in. I do think that’s the responsibility of the individual to say “Hey, I’m not actually comfortable with this topic,” though, instead of advocating that it’s should just be assumed that those topics can’t be brought up. Which, for the record, I don’t actually think actually think anyone is pushing for. When ‘friends’ choose not to respect that right and continue to push on someone’s comfort zone, then they aren’t being a true friend, and I in no way condone that behavior.

*For the intents of the piece, I’m focusing largely on the friendship aspect, from one friend interacting with another, and leaving out entirely the concept of a person pressuring their partner. There’s enough on that focus to create an entire other essay, but know that my opinion is strictly of “So not okay to pressure a partner or prospective partner. Not okay ever” variety.
**lifestyle, in this sense, is not used to imply that being asexual is a choice, but rather the resulting way a person who is asexual chooses to live their life.
***Definitely an actual measurement that I use frequently, and yes–pun fully intended.
****My mom and sister just snorted when they read that. For the record, I’ve been (lightheartedly) teased as the family prude for over a decade.

The Gargoyle Memoirs #3

the gargoyle memoirs1They brought a dog into this place, a place that was at some point a sanctuary. Any concern I had that I would be reduced to a chew toy has been eased.

Β The mortals continue to baffle me with their irrational behaviors. I stare at them from my new spot above their television and watch them wear those ridiculous glasses. The male seems particularly keep on wearing them constantly while engaged with the television. That is a lot of effort to create three dimensional images when actual dimensions surround them. At leas the canine is baffled by their glasses as well. The female proves entertaining, since she frequently takes her glasses off to focus on an art project. I glance her constantly looking up at the television and squinting in confusion before she remembers to don the strange spectacles again.

Β My new vantage point serves me well, I’ll admit. The additional two feet of heigh is enough to allow me eyes throughout the entire landscape of the apartment. There’s a new cutting board on the counter, I see. I always did wonder how they managed with a little 6″x6″ board.