Category Archives: life

Organic Tattoo


Top 3 reasons I am officially a Bloomington resident:

1. I am getting a tattoo with vegan/organic ink tomorrow
2. I got pulled over (sirens and all!) while riding my bike today
3. I exclusively shop at Bloomingfoods (and schlep my groceries home on my bike!)

Honestly, though, I’m getting a tattoo tomorrow.

I’m nervous/scared/excited/ecstatic.

Why now?

I’ve always wanted one.  forever.  as long as I can remember.  I’m coming off the tail end of a quarter life crisis so, if not now, when?

Why organic ink?

Besides the fact that I have extremely sensitive skin, I’m not a big fan of putting toxic metals in my body.  I checked out the MSDS (material safety data sheet) forms for the dyes and I’m pretty pleased.  I think I have less anxiety knowing my tattoo isn’t going to be comprised of mercury, lead, or chromium (or if it is, it is certifiably less than one part per billion 🙂 )   I did an allergy test…I seem to have a little bit of a reaction to the red color, but apparently that’s pretty normal.  I wasn’t planning any red anyway.

What am I getting?

A neon atom, similar to this, but without the straight lines.

Why the hell am I getting that?

Actually, the more I explain it the more I want to do this.

First of all, my family owns a sign business so I have been surrounded by neon signs my entire life.  This is one of my favorites:

Neon makes me think of my family, particularly my dad.  Being surrounded by the neon signs my whole life made me absolutely mesmerized by the element, and subsequently interested in chemistry.  I remember in 6th grade choosing it for a project and feeling unique since everyone chose gold, silver, or platinum.

If I could choose an element to describe me, I would love to think it would be neon.  I mean, come on, it IS  a noble gas and all 🙂

In reality, though, I love the idea of neon.  It’s inert, meaning it doesn’t need any other element in order to fit in.  It’s independent.  It’s stable.  Alone, it’s colorless, but with a littel bit of love it can be transformed into any beautiful color.  It’s an element that all others below it and a few above it strive to be like.  I went as neon for Halloween once, in what I would like to call a dorkier time in my life, but let’s be honest…I’m freaking writing a soliloquy about an element.

Finally, an atom represents my love of science.   Science itself strives towards the atomic level, but at the same time, atomic is just a theory.  I spend hours upon hours devoting my life to something that is just a theory.  In a sick, sad way, I find that incredibly romantic.

My family doesn’t understand why I would want a tattoo.  Albeit incredibly and astonishingly supportive (as long as it’s small), I know they’re a little bit unhappy about it.

I’m getting it on my left wrist.  My friend put it best to me- it’s the perfect area because it’s vital.  And that’s true.  My family, my odd personifications of my desires, science, romanticism – those are all vital to my life.  People are surprised I’m not getting a running tattoo.  Running is merely an offshoot of everything I have just described, but not the vital life source.  I love the idea of having this tattoo over the vein pumping to my heart.

But, I’m scared.

Of what, I’m not sure.

Regretting it?  I don’t think I have any reason to.  Worst case scenario I have to buy a lot of fabulous bracelets to cover it up.

Pain? nah..

Having a horrible infection and needing my hand amputated?  a little bit.

Mostly, I think I’m nervous that this is a change in me.  A change to my body.  But why should I be afraid of that when in reality, it’s going to become an extension of me and what I am?  Everytime I think I should back down, I explain again to someone why I want this, and what it means to me, and I am reminded again, in a new way, why this is meaningful to me.

I don’t want to talk about it anymore.  I want to do it.  I’ve spent the last 8 years talking about a tattoo.

The greatest mistake in life is continually fearing  you will make one.


How to convince…

your picky 15 year old niece that eating healthy is cool

Solution: honesty.  I was worried when my niece visited over the weekend that she wouldn’t eat anything at my house because, well, I have weird health food.  Want cereal?  Sorry, all I have is toasted millet.  Yogurt?  I hope plain is okay!  When it came time for dinner, I realized I may have made a grave mistake by only picking up tofu the day before.  Instead of just making food and putting it on the table, or being overly apologetic about having weird food, I was very straight forward with her.  I told her what we had and then I took her to the organic grocery store to let her pick out anything she would want (I thought this was a good compromise because I knew pretty much anything she would have chosen would be organic/healthy).  To my absolute astonishment, she said she had been thinking about going vegetarian and would like to try the tofu.  We ended up leaving the story only with strawberries and bananas.  This majorly surprised me because I know she’s used to having fast food/frozen food most of the time.  So, I felt like I had a huge challenge ahead of me to not mess up dinner.  I ended up making her quinoa and barley with pickled tofu, cucumber, and a few other vegetables.  I had a lot of fun teaching her about pickling and the different things ingredients, since she had never heard of most of them.  She ended up loving it (or at least saying she did)- which I kind of believe because I haven’t gotten any messages from my sister yet asking why I made her daughter eat hippie food!  I think with teenagers, the way you approach food is really important.  If I had been apologetic, she probably would have naturally assumed my food was different or gross in some way.  If I had forced it on her, she maybe would have rebelled.  I was honest with her that tofu has a weird texture and plain yogurt tastes funky the first time you tried it.  I think that made her way more willing to at least try it, which was awesome!


Life is Good

A  year ago today I graduated undergrad.

It’s amazing how much my life has changed, and the small changes I’ve made in my life.

Actually, I think it’s the small changes in my life that have brought about the big changes.  It’s crazy how one positive change creates a snowball effect.

Case in point: everything I did today.

A year ago today, I didn’t own a bike.  Today, I biked to and from work and to and from the grocery store.

A year ago today, I would have bought the cheapest cleaning products possible.  Today, my shipment for green cleaning products came that I bought with a groupon.  Paying a little bit extra for these made me feel good.

A year ago today, I wouldn’t have left the grocery store having spent less than $50.  Today, I spent $8 (peanut butter, two bags of cereal,  oatmeal, garlic, and bananas).

A year ago today, I never would have bought grind-your-own peanut butter.  Today I craved it.

A year ago today, my cilantro and parsley plants were dying.  Today Becca and I have a successful container garden (purple bell pepper, swiss chard, heirloom Rutger tomatoes, and parsley).

A year ago today, my half marathon PR was 1:22:40, now it’s 1:18:09!

A year ago today, I questioned whether or not I would succeed in grad school.  Today, I am so proud of my success so far.

A year ago today, I never would have made such as awesome dinner (puffed millet cereal with peanut butter, an apple, raw sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon) (the second bowl had banana 🙂 )

A year ago today, I wasn’t nearly as happy as I am now.