Saturday Selects: Tattoos becoming “mainstream?”

Photo Credit: Inked Magazine

For all of my newcomers here on my little piece of cyberspace, my Saturday Selects posts occur on the first Saturday of every month and it is the one post that does not discuss books or publishing or anything of the like. These posts allow me to discuss something else for a change. In case you missed it, my first was titled Saturday Selects: Farewell to an all-time great. I talk about what Derek Jeter has done for the game of baseball over the course of his 20 year career.

Today, you all get to read about tattoos.

Before you can even think of the question to ask, yes, I have some of my own. I currently have two. I have every intention of getting several more in 2014, probably five. So if that makes you sick to your stomach or you no longer want to read the blog of someone who has and likes tattoos, then please feel free to leave the post now. And even unfollow if you feel that it’s necessary. But I’ll tell you, this post isn’t about me.

But I would like to share two quick stories with you all before I continue. I got my first tattoo at the age of 18 in August of 2010. I was in my first semester of college at the time and I did my best to hide it from my parents for about a month. When I finally told my dad he thought I was joking and didn’t believe it until he saw with his own eyes. My mom left the room and cried, still don’t understand why that happened. I got my second in May of 2013, only three days after walking across the stage during my university’s graduation. This time, I told my dad where I was going and what I was doing and he didn’t have a second thought about it.

Legal policy?

Anyway, back to the point of the post. One of the things I hear most often from people when I tell them about the tattoos I want to get in the future is, “What about when you look for a job?” This is because at least three of the tattoos I intend to get this year will be on my forearms. It is almost always suggested that having tattoos that are visible somehow makes you less professional looking. And I know for a fact that the Houston Police Department has a policy in which it states that any tattoos or body art that cannot be covered up by the regular duty uniform will eliminate any candidate from consideration for employment. Huh? The department already has VERY low standards for its applicants and it still has this absurd policy in place? How is this not considered discrimination?¬† Age and physical requirements are one thing, but this?! This is just one example of many.

Tattoos becoming mainstream?

Another thing that we hear in the media and many people believe is that tattoos are becoming more “mainstream.” What the heck does that even mean? Seriously. I know that there are a number of TV shows all about tattoos popping up everywhere. Ink Master. Best Ink. Tattoo Nightmares. Tattoos After Dark. Bad Ink. Just to name a few. But has the stigma fully left us as a society? I don’t know if it has. I get compliments on my one visible tattoo just about every week, but I’ve probably had double the number of people give me that look of disgust upon seeing it. AND IT’S AN OPEN BOOK AND QUILL!

If I were ever asked in a condescending manner why I like and have tattoos this would be my response, “Do you like football?” They would most likely answer yes. I’d continue, “Every team in the NFL has players with tattoos. Every one.” They would tell me that that’s different. I’d continue once more. “How so?” That’s when the person asking the question would accept defeat and move on.

I think tattoos are becoming more accepted as time goes on, but let’s not lie to ourselves and say that they are universally accepted. They aren’t and I don’t understand why not.

Finding Time to Write

Photo Credit: Andrew Lazo

Before I begin I would first like to tell you all a little about myself that you may or may not already know. I work 16 hours a week Friday-Sunday. The other four days of the week are supposed to be my ‘writing’ days. Now we can begin.

Generally speaking, we all have a million things going on that always seem to get in the way of our writing time. I’m no different. It just happens that my hours are not spent at a job like I know most of yours are. But I assure you that there are countless things that pull me away from my writing time, because it’s not like we can sit down and write for five minutes and get up. That’s not what I call serious writing. Personally, I can’t write for less than about an hour, and I often write for longer stretches of time than that.

Sleep

But the point of this post is not to tell you how long I write, it’s to tell you why I often find myself not doing so. I hate to say it, but I have an absolutely horrendous sleep schedule. I’ve never put a clock to it, but I figure I sleep somewhere between 10 and 12 hours every 24. Ever since I earned my degree last May I’ve not had that concrete sleep schedule that I had for the previous 16 years of my life when I had to wake up for school everyday. I always find myself napping even after just waking up. I don’t know any other person who sleeps as much as I do. Maybe a baby somewhere?

TV

I’ve reached the point at which I consider myself a TV-holic. Seriously, there aren’t enough hours in the day for the number of TV shows I watch. Here’s what’s currently on.

Monday: The Voice, The Following, Bates Motel, Switched at Birth, The Fosters, Jeopardy!

Tuesday: The Voice, Ink Master, Marvel’s Agents of Shield, Jeopardy!

Wednesday: Nashville, American Idol, Best Ink, The Americans, Jeopardy!

Thursday: The Crazy Ones, American Idol, Jeopardy!

Friday: Jeopardy!

Saturday: Cops

That’s 20 different things waiting for me to watch on my DVR every week! What am I to do with all of that other than watch it?! I have a confession. I usually watch the shows on their original air dates just a short time after they’ve begun so I can skip the commercials. I don’t think any more needs to be said about my TV watching, because I’m sure after looking over that list that it’s apparent I have an obsession.

Gym

I’m a bodybuilder. Truthfully. Even though my training sessions don’t typically last more than about 70 minutes or so, the last thing I want to do after getting home from the gym is sit down and write. I’d rather shower and eat and lie down and watch one of my many TV shows. That isn’t changing. I work much harder than most people in the gym, and frankly, I’m tired afterward. The creative juices just aren’t running.

Reading

I read A LOT. Not so much recently, but I read more than anyone I know personally. I have to, right? Because you can’t be a good writer without having first been a good reader. I love reading just as much as I love writing, but sometimes another author’s book pulls me away from working on my own. It’s a little unfortunate, but my reading is what got me here in the first place. I can’t just give it up.

Just a bunch of excuses

At the end of the day these are all just my excuses not to write, because if I want to write then I will and if I don’t then I won’t. It really is that simple. I may have the next chapter or two or ten played out in my head, but they’re nothing if only rattling around up there. I’m always thinking about my story, but it’s much more difficult for me to sit down and get fingers to keyboard.

So I ask you, what do you do to find time to write?