the backstage epiphany

where reality is so subjective it's entirely optional

Monthly Archives: February 2011

Permanent residence

I’m not sure what brought it on: the tendency to get bored quickly, the sudden urge to try something new, or the mounting desire learn to conquer what other people seem to find so easy. In any case, after more than two years of having my blog hosted by WordPress and nearly four years by Xanga, I’m moving yet again to a new website, hopefully for the last time.

It has not been an easy process, and it’s still very much a work in progress, but with Jeremy’s help, WordPress’s extremely user-friendly software, some prior knowledge (i.e. the measly amount that I learned in school) of HTML and PHP scripts, and lots of reading up on other things like databases and cPanel, I’ve finally managed to set up house at a place that allows me to just be a http://www.[domain name].com as opposed to a http://www.[domain name]

That’s right; I’m self-hosted now. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now, but the many attempts at understanding the documentation and processes involved always left me too frustrated and confused to actually set it up. It was only after I realized it would be easier to learn from watching someone do it that I sought Jeremy’s help with setting up the web host and server. Then I paid Namecheap 9.28USD for a year’s registration of my domain name before I could change my mind and chicken out yet again on learning how to manage my own website.

As I’ve mentioned, this is still a work in progress — I have yet to find the perfect theme for the website and manually and painstakingly change ALL the hyperlinks in ALL my posts (right now they ALL redirect to this website) — but from here on out, I will be operating out of


And then there were Nine

Me: Did Jessie get her tattoos here or did she get them all in Australia?
She got them in Australia. Why?
I want to get new ones, so I’m on the hunt for a good artist. I didn’t like the one who did my last tattoo.
What! Why do you want new ones now?
Because I have 7, and my dad says to round them up to 8 because 7 is a bad number for Chinese. And I can’t decide between two new designs so I figured I’d get both and finish off with 9 tattoos. Do you know if 9 is a good number for Chinese?
I think 9 symbolizes completeness.
Oh really? You see — maybe my luck will change once I stop carrying around 7 with me!

It had been a while, longer than I realized, since I last felt it — that urge to get a new tattoo. Looking at my tattoos about 2 weeks ago, I realized I missed the adrenaline rush, the unforgiving screech of the needle, and the excruciating, yet intoxicating pain. And then I realized that I missed all that because I had relapsed into my pain-for-pain pattern, a pattern I haven’t gone through in more than two and a half years, since I got my last tattoo.

So I made an appointment with Julian Oh of Blackcat Tattoo Studio, who had been recommended to me some time ago, to have two new designs stabbed into me this past weekend. I’m not sure if it was because the foot is a much more sensitive part of the body or because I had forgotten how much the process hours, but the pain was blinding. Most of the time I was either sore from sitting with my leg up and foot twisted, or fighting the urge to twitch and kick, so much so that the next tattoo barely hurt in comparison.

I must admit that not since Kate Hellenbrand did my very first tattoo back in 2005 have I met an artist whose work I actually really liked — until now. Julian was extremely patient and allowed me to shift positions and stretch my leg when it was stiff and cramping, and he was nice enough not to tell me I was twitching and close to kicking him in the face. And so, besides being extremely effective in distracting me from all the things I’ve been ceaselessly worrying about over the past couple of weeks, these are the results of my 4-hour session with him:

It may be safe to say my tattoo-acquiring days are really at an end, because I’m of a certain age now and trying to embark on a career that involves people too young to be exposed to things such as tattoos and piercings. And even though I got most of my tattoos for a less-than-conventional reason, each experience was no less unique than the other, and if I could do it all over again, I would.

And here is the final tally of my tattoos, in chronological order: