04 June, 2006

New ink, new milestone

Each of my tattoos has significance.

This is the way it should be, in my opinion. Why get something random that doesn't mean anything to you? That's what t-shirts are for. But your body is.. well, if not for forever, you have to bet on at least a good while longer. Maybe if I were approaching death, I would get fun, stupid things tattooed on me, but probably not.

Age 18: My Aries horns inside of a tribal sun. Very late nineties, picked from off of the wall, done in a hurry by an angry artist, lots of blood and scabbing. But hey, I was finally 18, and that's what that tattoo prooves. My friend Emily was there to videotape, and document the process. What I wouldn't give to see that tape now... I had a play to do that evening, and I remember being in a lot of pain onstage from the giant bandage coming out of the back of my pants.

Age 21: My chalice. Love it. Designed by the amazing Deva, done with loving care by Cain in Boone. A legend, if not self-proclaimed. Modest he is not, but he did a wonderful job with my tattoo, and it was done free-hand, and the circle is perfect. Done at a time of many body-image woes, not only to remind me of my UU faith but to symbolize the bowl as my body and the flame as my inner self, or soul. To tell me, "Jess, you are more than just a body. Remember." And I do. I love wearing dresses that dip down my back so I can show this one off. The stronger my shoulders get, the better it looks. And hey, my soul is pretty hot, too.

Age 25: After two years of being very much in control, very much the director of my life, I am now picking up my feet and floating down the current of my life. I must admit, the views are better this way, and since I'm not struggling against the flow of events, I'm not as worried about drowning. To commemorate this (hopefully permanent) way of being, I have added to my collection of tattoos: enter the beautiful swimming fish, travelling down the top of my right foot as if to point the way downstream. Designed for me by Cara and done on the spur of the moment, this is my favorite tattoo right now. I do have a few worries, like will it immediately start to fade and blur since it's on my foot? I have to say it looks duller already and this is the third day of its existence. I bet it's just getting ready to scab, though. I hope. I hope its not going to be ugly. But you know what? If it is, I will just keep rolling, and the solution will float itself on up beside me, if it's meant to be. So carpe diem: seize the carp. Or is it a beta? Either way, the best part is the bright green eyes.

80 Days To Go

It's my first entry... welcome to my travel diary!

Well, I know it's not time to actually start my travel diary (that sounds so much better than "blog") but I've always started diaries early, i.e., as a pretentious fifth grader I bought a little lock-and-key striped diary from the dollar store and intended to start it on Jan. 1st, 1992, but I couldn't wait, and so my first entry is actually an apology to my future self for jumping the gun. Looks like I've started this one the same way! It might be helpful to know that the one major thing I have accomplished in life is to have succesfully kept a diary (actually, a series of them) since the 5th grade. I can go through them and watch my handwriting change, my thoughts and feelings go through shockwaves, revelations, and repentances, and best of all, see old crushes rise up and live anew. I also have a few scattered online journals, on myspace.com and on fuuse.com. But this one is the dedicated attempt designed specifically for this humongous change of life I am about to embark upon.

Since there are 80 days left in the countdown, I felt this would be a good time to do some pre-trip organizing (which, from what I've heard, can't be done enough if your trip is going to last a whole year and will involve living in SE Asia). So here are some lists, true to old-school diary format.

Things I will definitely need to bring with me in bulk:
-underwear (as they do not make asses my size in Vietnam)
-my favorite face product, mdskincare

Big important things I still need to do or else I can't go:
-get passport back in the mail, email copy to host family
-get visa
-buy plane ticket
-recontact embassy for permission to arrive without return ticket in hand

Things I should definitely do but aren't as important as above:
-start keeping notebook of all the songs/games/stories I can use as nanny fodder
-call health insurance lady, see what's up w/ my current plan
-buy travel health insurance
-keep looking for jobs for Kenny
-keep learning vietnamese

Rosetta Stone makes an amazing product, y'all. I learned so much in 20 minutes just using the demo. Let's see if i can remember anything now, not cheating or looking at the book or anything:

a boy: mot em trai
a girl: mot em gai
a man: mot nguoi dan ong
a woman: mot nguoi dan ba
my name is: Ten toi la...
I am American: Toi la nguoi My
I speak english: Toi tieng Anh

Okay, maybe I haven't retained as much as I think I have. I am, at this point, completely hooked on playing the super fun word matching games that Rosetta Stone includes in their program. If you go to the mall and you see one of their kiosks, ask for one of the demp CDs (you have to tell them you are seriously considering buying a program, though, thbbpt). It is more fun than I can even tell you.

The big hurdles that are coming up soon are:
1. pack up the apartment into boxes so that when Kenny gets back from Corsica there won't be tons to do
2. Make an appointment to get my wisdom teeth removed this summer (not something I want to do in Saigon)
3. Finish the school year!

I'm on Flickr a lot.

Jessica K.. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr