Monday, June 28, 2010

MICMACS: The Film Babble Blog Review

(Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2009)

It's been way too long since French twisted fantasy-centric film maker Jean-Pierre Jeunet (DELICATESSEN, THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, AMELIE) has graced the screen with his uber colorful thrusting imagery. His stunning style is instantly recognizable in the first few frames of MICMACS, his first film since A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (2004).

In the swift motions of a great storyteller we see a soldier being killed in the desert by a landmine, his devastated wife institutionalized, and son
(Noé Boon) sent off to Catholic School before growing up to be a video store clerk (Dany Boon) who can lip-synch every line of THE BIG SLEEP (the dubbed into French version BTW). One night a stray bullet from a drive-by shootout ends up embedded in his skull.

After Boon gets out of the hospital he finds that he has lost his job and apartment so he has to turns to street performance for the pittance of passerby's. Luckily he's a skilled Chaplin-esque showman so he's about to float through a few months until he meets Jean-Pierre Marielle as an ex con vendor. Marielle introduces Boon to his "family" - a rag tag ensemble of scrap heap dwellers who all make magic out of scrap metal.
The trash troop includes Jeunet regular Dominique Pinon who claims to hold the world record as a human cannonball, Julie Ferrier as a contortionist (and love interest for Boon) who can make room in the fridge for, well, herself, Yolande Moreau as the slightly dizzy den mother, and Omar Sy as a crafty ethnographer as well as an accomplished mimic.

Boon has found a home and shortly after happens upon the opulent headquarters of the arms dealers responsible for the death of his father and the bullet in his head. His impossibly elaborate revenge schemes are enacted by his new cohorts in trickery. André Dussolier and Nicolas Marie as the offending snooty villains of the piece are besotted and baffled at every turn with a smorgasbord of well timed and often hilarious obstacles aimed at the butt of their weapons manufacturing empires.

MICMACS is a bit overdone and cutesy at times but has so many ideas and so much going on in nearly every shot that one can let that slide. So much so that I can also let slide the cringe-worthy anti-war bent to the climax. Its ginormous sense of wonder is overwhelming - it's easily the most visually pleasing live action film this year. Jeunet's whimsical approach which was so exhilarating in AMELIE and his work with Marc Caro, is at once both modern and classical. The film is wrapped in the traditional packaging of many TCM staples (the opening elegant credits after the cold opening, the silent film steals, the playful piano plinking, etc.) yet the film utilizes CGI and gives us Jeunet embracing the age of YouTube.

I'd highly recommend seeing MICMACS on the big screen if you can. You really need a large canvas for such a pulsating painting like this.

More later...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tribal Tattoos - The Blending Of Cultures

The New Era Of Tribal Tattoo Designs

A look that seems so simple at times, tribal tattoos have become very fashionable and the trend for getting tribal tattoo designs are more popular then ever. They have edge their way to the top of the body-art world with it's striking bold designs and looks that many find appealing.

modern tribal tattoosTribal Tattoo Designs
Some of the first modernized tribal tattoos designs.

Poly Tribal Tat The first recognized tribal tattoos were those of the south pacific. Polynesian islands such as Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti and others, all had their own culture influence designs. These tattoos had sacred meanings that ran deep in their heritage compared to those you see today. The tribal style seen today was innovated by pacific islander Leo Zulueta who was training under Ed Hardy at the time. He searched and studied the designs of "traditional culture tattoos" and soon came up with his own artwork and bought forth ideas that everyone could use. Since then it has grown into new levels of artistry, that has been taking the tattoo community by storm.

tribal tattoos

Tribal Tattoos, although they may appear to be plain at times, they are without a doubt still one of the most popular designs today. In this article you will find helpful ideas, especially for those of you who are new to this tattoo style. Explore the history of this beautiful art form that has been around for just a couple of decades. Find many helpful ideas to inspire a cool custom design of your own.

Tribal Arm Tattoo
Tribal Arm Tattoo

The majority of tribal tattoos found these days have few similarities to those of the Polynesians who used black lines, shapes, patterns and other geometric designs. To some people they might seem similar but the traditional tribal tattoos of the Polynesians has history and meaningful symbolism behind them.


In 1982, Leo Zulueta under the direction and encouragement of Ed Hardy, they were both responsible for an increasing demand of Tribal Tats in America when they started a tattoo magazine called "Tattoo Time". Featuring native Samoan and Borneo tattoos, from then on this style grew to become one of the most popular tattoos today. Most tattoo enthusiasts have gotten marked with this style of tribal tattoo design, making it one of the top designs at this moment.

tribal tattooAs pointed out above, these modern day tattoos has a connection with natives and tribes from many different parts of the world. It was from them that this style of tattooing has evolved into the modern tribal tattoo designs we see today. Early on there were some tattoo parlors and tattoo artists that would not even touch a tribal design, feeling that they were too simple of a design. But it wouldn't take them much longer to realize that the tribal design required a lot of skills as well as patience to tattoo the intricate designs.

When you decide on getting a tribal tat, you'll discover that there is a huge collection of tribal designs ranging from small and simple to much larger extravagant ones. There's a vast selection of ideas that can be combined with these tattoos. When creating your own, give it a personal touch that you can relate and connect to. Express your individuality and personality. Be daring and get creative as tribal tattoos always portray a side of beauty and are magnificent works of art.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Despite the amazing anomaly that is TOY STORY 3 the summer keeps on suckin'. But if you bypass the multiplex and head to the indie/art theater you may a few interesting diversions. Okay, at least one:

HARRY BROWN (Dir. Daniel Barber, 2010)

Tiny white titles on the side of the screen tell us "Michael Caine is Harry Brown." The lettering is dwarfed by the darkness of the rest of the frame. The title character fares at bit better against the darkness - at least at first. We see Caine waking up in his South London flat to face the grim day. He has his head held high as he walks through his neighborhood on his way to the hospital to visit his dying wife (Liz Daniels). There is a particular noisy graffiti covered underground passageway he hesitantly passes.

After his visit Caine plays chess at a shady pub with a long-time friend (David Bradley) who is also afraid of the gang activity, but to a greater extreme. Bradley has armed himself with a old army bayonet and fully intends to use it against the harassing hoods. In the night Caine's wife dies; he is unable to be with her because of the additional distance he must travel by avoiding the tunnel. The next morning Caine is visited by police detectives (Emily Mortimer and Joseph Gilgun) who inform him that Bradley was murdered - the killing happens off-screen but we do see some of the offending incident leading up to it.

Caine, of course, takes the law into his own hands to avenge his friend's death. He gets in a shoot-out in a drug den; he offs a few of the punked-up thugs, and hunts down the king-pin while the police close in. My wife called it "Gran Torino UK" and, yeah, there is quite a bit of that in play - a pushed to the edge war veteran, who after his wife dies, takes on the gangs that are threatening the well-being of his neighborhood. It's much darker and grittier than Eastwood's film - in fact the stark white faces of the actors
and the washed out look made me think that it could've been just as effectively shot in black and white.

While some sections like a way-too-long montage of police interrogation may be muddled, Caine alone gives the film a hearty gravitas. It's maybe a minor movie but Caine owns the screen in a major way. He's utterly believable in every moment - from his grieving over his wife to his calm intensity when facing down his enemies. HARRY BROWN has a predictable vigilante premise yet it's still satisfying - take away the cell phone camera footage and it's the same kind of claustrophobic thriller that could've been made in any era.

(Dirs. Brian Koppelman & David Levien, 2009)

Once again Michael Douglas plays a crassly ambitious businessman who alienates everybody around him. No wait; this isn't WALL STREET 2: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS - that's not in theaters until September. Here Douglas plays Ben Kalmon - a divorced defrauded former car dealership tycoon who cheats on his girlfriend (Mary Louise-Parker), borrows money from his daughter (Jenna Fischer from The Office), and spouts out existential advice about every topic to whoever will listen to him.

Louise-Parker wants Douglas to accompany her daughter (Imogen Poots) to a college interview at his alma mater. You're right to think that is a bad idea - he's a womanizing sleaze and
despite her youth, Poots is and cynical and promiscuous to match . Jesse Eisenberg (ADVENTURELAND, ZOMBIELAND) shows up as a campus guide who Douglas gives some unheeded romantic guidance to. Where this goes to from here was unpleasant enough to watch; I'd rather not have to describe.

It's hard to decipher what we're supposed to take away from Douglas's character. At first he's a fast talking comic figure who we're supposed to laugh at in a "that old dirty codger" way but as the pitiful dimensions of his unlikability widen each scene adds up to little more than a series of collected cringes. It benefits sporadically from a good cast - Susan Sarandon as Douglas's ex wife appears to delight in her character's confidence,
Fisher has some strong moments standing up to her untrustworthy father, and Poots savvily strides through her cutting scenes. Eisenberg just does his patented nervous kid shtick but it's not his fault - he's not given enough here to do anything else with.

Danny DeVito lightly steals the film as a deli owner who knew Douglas back in his college days. DeVito dispenses the only real wisdom (and some of its only humor) the film has to offer and it's nice to see him on-screen again with Douglas - they were co-stars in ROMANCING THE STONE, THE JEWEL OF THE NILE, and, my favorite, THE WAR OF THE ROSES.
Otherwise the film doesn't have enough of an emotional arc to it. It's well made with convincing dialogue but its tone is too reserved and its narrative lacks drive.

Seeing Douglas interact with college students made me nostalgic for a his much better film that tackled some of the same themes - THE WONDER BOYS. There Douglas's Grady Tripp was a thoughtful yet jaded man truly at a crossroads, here his pathetic character is just a jerk in a large hole he dug himself and I found myself not caring if he ever gets out of it.

More later...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Orchid Tattoo Designs and Meanings

Tattoo Design - What Orchids Mean

Orchid Tattoo DesignsOrchids are a graceful flower, making them an ideal tattoo for many women. Their elegant appearance, attracts many into getting tattoos of orchids. The beauty that belongs to them as an exotic flower kindles a sensation of being pure and innocent. There are many designs of orchids you can select from in making it your own personalized tattoo.

Orchid tattoo designs have many beautiful meanings and is a perfect way of expressing your feelings of love, adoration and respect. Like many other flowers, the orchid has found its way into the world of tattooing for its beauty and its attractiveness. Although the orchid is not as common as the rose tattoo, the orchid stands out more prominent in its originality and design. Making the orchid tattoo very unique and special.

Orchid Tattoos
Orchid Tattoos

Phoenix Bird With Orchid Flower Tattoo
Phoenix Bird With Orchid Flower Tattoo

The meanings of orchids are very symbolic, that being of rare and delicate beauty. There are several meanings that the orchid can be attributed to. It can express the everlasting feelings of love. You can get a orchid tattoo to symbolize the love you have for someone dear to you. Orchids can represent beauty as that in nature and life. In the Chinese culture it is a symbol for "many children."

Orchid Tattoo Orchid tattoos can be placed almost anywhere on the body. The tattoo design can either be large or small in size depending on your preference. Orchids can be done in a large variety of colors, with white being the most popular used, but you may choose your favorite. A personal touch such as a adding a loved ones name to the tattoo design of an orchid holds the meaning closer to its own symbolic roots.

Orchid Tattoo

Just as with other flower designs they are endless possibilities and ideas you can come up with. Create your own tattoo design to satisfy your inner self. Always remember that a tattoo is not just an image, but are symbols that represents special meanings behind them. Feel free to browse some pictures of flower tattoos and other interesting tattoo designs. Hope this article was helpful. Article Source:

Tattoo Aftercare Instructions

Tattoo Aftercare Guide
Author: Alexander
Tattoo Aftercare

How well a tattoo ages and how long the colors remain vibrant are most affected by the first three weeks of aftercare given a new tattoo. That statement implies what often goes unstated in the world of tattooing but what is tacitly understood by all—that tattoos do change over time. Because we know that the skin is constantly changing, we know that the appearance of a tattoo must also change. As skin stretches or shrinks, becomes injured, or simply ages, tattoos also stretch, shrink, and age. In addition, certain colors (red) are more likely to fade than others (blue) and will change more quickly.

This articles describes the changes that the tattooed can expect and how they can help to mitigate unwanted changes with detailed aftercare information and also preventative measures that can be taken during the lifetime of the tattoo.


It's natural to keep looking at your new tattoo in the mirror at this point, so don't feel too narcissistic. People in the shop will no doubt be looking also. Now that the tattoo is complete, your artist will dispose of all the single-use items and remove the tattoo machine for later disassembly so that the tubes and needles can be cleaned and sterilized. The work area will have the Saran wrap removed, if it was used, and then he wiped down, just as when the whole process started.

The healing process begins almost immediately but your best and first layer of protection, your skin, has been penetrated. Your tattoo artist will take immediate steps to address that situation. Your tattoo will be cleaned with alcohol one last time—the cool feeling is a relief to the hot sensation caused by the swelling. A final coat of Vaseline (or other topical ointment of choice) will be applied, and then a bandage. That's right, your brand-new tattoo is going to be hidden for its first several hours. The bandages vary from shop to shop, even from tattoo to tattoo. Sometimes a sterile pad with medical tape is used. Other tattoos, however, like a very large back piece, are impossible to bandage in that way. Instead, Saran wrap alone, held down by medical tape, might be used. The purpose of the bandage is to prevent infection and promote healing. Any sterile bandage material that accomplishes those goals is good for the task. Other options include a nonstick Telfa pad, and even a diaper for an awkward position on the body.

Your tattooist will tell you what to do to care for your new tattoo. These do's and don'ts are the all-important aftercare instructions. The burden of infection prevention now shifts to you. Despite all efforts made on your behalf by the tattoo your artist, assuming that you're happy with your new tattoo and you can afford it. Tip or not, though, if you're happy with your tattoo, you might want to say so before you leave.

Also at this point, tattoo artists sometimes like to snap a quick photo of the piece before you leave. Ideally, they'd like to get a nice photograph for their portfolio or Web site when the tattoo is completely healed. But that would mean that clients would have to come back for the express purpose of providing a photo op—which rarely happens. Instead, most tattoo photos are taken right after the tattoo is done. Occasionally, clients return for more tattoos, providing an opportunity to photograph the healed piece.

Aftercare Calendar

The next couple of weeks are a critical time for you and your new tattoo, which is why tattoo shops will go to the trouble of providing written aftercare instructions for their clients. If you've looked into aftercare at all, though, you quickly realize that these instructions vary from shop to shop, and they have also changed over time. There are a few reasons for that variation. Different products for aftercare are available in different places, even on the same continent.

Tattoo artists may he apprenticed using certain products and may keep using them even when they move off and set up their own shop. Experience and a history with these aftercare products is important in the same way that experience is important for the choice of tattoo inks. Confidence in a product or technique builds over years of working with hundreds if not thousands of clients.

But with all the variation of time, place, and tattooist, there still remain some broad and common themes that run through aftercare instructions. The common denominator is twofold: preventing infection and promoting healing. Add to that a third goal of trying to retain as much ink as possible in the tattoo and you begin to understand the reasoning behind all aftercare instructions. The following is a generic aftercare calendar of what you can expect during the first few weeks with your new tattoo and what you need to do to take care of it.

DAY 1: This is the big day—the day you're tattooed. Although most tattoo artists will instruct you to leave your bandage on for a minimum of two hours and hopefully somewhere between two and twelve hours, what they're really shooting for is that you'll leave it on overnight. You want the tattoo to remain moist and protected for as long as possible. Don't go overboard with this, though. Leaving the bandage on overnight prevents the new tattoo from sticking to your pajamas or sheets on that first night, but the next morning should be considered the upper limit on how long the bandage should stay in place. Ideally then, on Day 1, you will not see, let alone touch, your new tattoo.

DAY 2: Wash your hands! Always, before touching your tattoo, including removing the bandage, wash your hands with an antibacterial soap. Let this become your new ritual, much like the tattoo artists before they put on their gloves. Remove the bandage, slowly, in case it has stuck to the tattoo. If that's happened, then moisten the bandage with warm water (in the shower might be the easiest way) until it comes free without pulling. Gently, oh so gently, wash your new tattoo with a mild soap and warm water. Your goal is to remove any blood, lymph fluid, ink, or Vaseline that was left on the surface of the skin. You don't want to scrub or even use a washcloth. Instead, use your clean hands and gently work off anything that is on the surface. Don't soak your tattoo for the sake of soaking it, though. Once it's clean, stop washing it. Pat it dry with a clean towel, taking care never to rub it. This is probably your first long look at it, all clean and new in its pristine glory. You will not be applying a new bandage.

Exception #1 in the aftercare game: The vast majority of people will not need a second bandage, but occasionally the double bandage is the best course for some people. Folks who are prone to scabbing or thick scabs or who have an impaired ability for the skin to heal itself or whose ink just doesn't seem to stay (which you would only know from past tattoo experi- ence) might try a second bandage—but probably for not more than another twelve hours. After washing as above, apply another clean coat of Vaseline (or whatever product was used) and rebandage (with the same type of dressing as was used initially, or perhaps just Saran wrap and medical tape).

As the skin of the new tattoo heals, you want to keep it moist. How to prevent scabbing, which removes color from the tattoo and which would also create itching and the temptation to touch the tattoo, even scratch it. In order to prevent drying, you'll use a cream to moisturize the tattoo. How often and how much? You want to use enough so that the tattoo doesn't feel tight, dry, or itchy, and you want to achieve a thin coating, since you don't want to clog the pores.

What type of cream or lotion should you use? There are many from which to choose, and every tattooer and artist will recommend something different. What it amounts to, though, is label reading. You want to avoid alcohol since it will dry the skin. At this point, you also want to avoid oil, grease, petrolatum (which is in Vaseline), and lanolin (animal oil extracted from wool) since these will clog pores. You want to avoid fragrance since it doesn't do anything for you and could prove to be an irritant to freshly tattooed skin. What are your choices? They fall into two main categories: products made just for tattoo aftercare and products you can buy at any drugstore, grocery store, or pharmacy.

Specialized tattoo products (Tattoo Goo, Black Cat Super Healing Salve, THC Tattoo Aftercare, etc.) may be no better or worse than regular moisturizers at the supermarket. Again, it amounts to label reading. Some of these specialized products, typically sold in tattoo parlors, contain beeswax or dyes and fragrance. Some contain mixtures of homeopathic herbs, vitamins, and oils. Regular moisturizers and lotions (Curd, Lubriderm, A and D Ointment) are much the same, without the cool packaging and the word "tattoo" in the name. Again, these may contain petrolatum or lanolin and dyes and fragrances. You ideally want something as moist and neutral in terms of its chemical composition as possible.

An antibiotic cream perhaps? Well, here's the deal with that. Many, many, many people use antibiotic creams in the aftercare of their new tattoo (like Neosporin, Polysporin, Bacitracin, Bepanthen, etc.). An antibiotic, however, is for killing bacteria and these may not, hopefully will not, be present. Antibiotic creams do not necessarily promote healing. in addition, in a very small percentage of people who are allergic to certain antibiotics, a relatively high dose through all those punctures in the skin can lead to the ultimate in allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock—a full-body allergic reaction that is characterized by breathing difficulty and plummeting blood pressure. So, while an antibiotic isn't really necessary unless an infection develops, it will do no harm unless you just happen to be allergic to it.

Avoid wearing tight, restrictive clothes—including shoes if your new tattoo is on your foot—right over the top of the new tattoo. Wear clothing that breathes, allowing fresh air to reach the tattoo, cotton being ideal. No nylon stockings, for example, or polyester shirts. They don't breathe, and they can also stick to a new tattoo.

You might also want to avoid hard workouts that flex the new tattoo or cause excessive sweating. Remember that your skin is healing, and these first few weeks are critical to the final look and longevity of your tattoo. A small amount of prevention now is worth untold rewards later.

So, on Day 2, remember to wear appropriate clothing and take your moisturizer with you, along with some antibacterial hand wipes or liquid to wash your hands before you moisturize your tattoo.

DAY 3: Take your shower as normal and do your best not to soak your tattoo, although you can gently wash it as on Day 2. Wash your hands and apply your moisturizer as often as necessary to keep the tattoo from getting dry.

DAYS 4 To 14: Unless you notice signs of an infection or allergic reaction, your tattoo will go through a couple of different phases in this two-week time period. Ideally, your tattoo will not actually scab in the sense that we normally think of it. Instead, the colored and damaged epidermis may simply peel, just like a sunburn, becoming flaky and falling off. Like a sunburn, you don't want to help it. Never scratch or pick at the skin (or scab) of your new tattoo. Never, never, never. The thinner the scab, if there is one, the better, even paper thin. Thick scabs delay healing and can remove color from the new tattoo. Adhere strictly to the "NOs" in the first two weeks. If itching is driving you crazy, you might resort to an antihistamine, but check with your doctor first.

DAYS 15 TO 21: In general, tattoos will he completely healed somewhere between two and three weeks, although most will take only two weeks. Until your tattoo has completely peeled or the scab has completely fallen away, your tattoo is not complete. Even if the peeling has finished or the scab is gone, the new epidermal layer that forms over your tattoo is going to be quite sensitive. By week three, if your tattoo is completely healed, you should still avoid sun, although you can go back to all your other vices—swimming, sauna, etc.

Just as when you sat down for your tattoo and signed your contract, remember that tattoo artists are not medical doctors. The guidelines that they give you and the guidelines given above are just that: generic guidelines which work for the majority of the populace. Only a medical doctor can give you medical advice and he or she is the only person that you should be consulting for such advice. Don't rely on what your friends say or have done. Don't rely on word of mouth. Your primary sources of information are your tattoo artist, in the form of aftercare instructions and based on experience, and your doctor, based on training.

Public Enemy Number One

Once your tattoo has completely healed, feel free to frolic in the hot tub and splash in chlorinated beverages all you like. When it comes to the sun, though, from here on out it is your tattoo's number one enemy--Destroyer of Pigment, Vanquisher of Color, Fader of All Things Once Bright. It's ironic, of course. You want nothing more than for your friends to see your new tattoo. Hell, for strangers to see it too. But tattoo viewings are best left to the great indoors, no matter what the beach at spring break looks like.

You're used to the sun having an effect on your skin. In response to the radiation of the sun, it gets darker. You get a tan. That happens to all skin types, from white to black and everything in between. The pigment is called melanin and it's produced by melanocytes in the epidermis. In darker skin, melanin is in a constant state of production. However, melanin is not produced in response to all radiation; it is specifically counteracting ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The skin produces melanin in response to UV light as a protective mechanism so that the melanin can absorb the UV radiation and protect other cells from UV damage. That's all well and good and right. But consider how a darker epidermis affects the look of your tattoo. In order to see your tattoo, remember, you are looking through the epidermis. The darker the window, the darker the tattoo will look.

Fade Out

Tattoos fade just like all other color that comes under the rays of the sun. The technical term is photodegradation. Like the snapshot that you left on your dashboard for months or the red heart in bumper stickers that say "I [heart symbol] Pain" or whatever it is you love, all pigments fade when exposed to the sun. Both CV and visible sunlight contribute to the process of fading colors, but it's that nasty old UV that is also the culprit in a lot of skin problems. When it comes to color, radiation from the sun attacks the chemical bonds that absorb light. All pigments absorb light as part of their normal function. When you're looking at a red heart, the reason you see red is because the blue and the yellow are being absorbed and only the red reflected. All pigments work this way, including those used for tattoos. They absorb some colors while reflecting others. When the chemical bonds are broken down at the molecular level by the nasty UV radiation (which they also absorb, to their detriment), they lose their ability to absorb and reflect different colors. Less red is reflected and possibly also more blue anti yellow, which used to he absorbed. What we see in the end product is a less intense red. Since tattoos are generally composed of darker colors (outlines of black as just a start), they are clearly absorbing more light than not (since they are reflecting less—this is why black clothes in the summer sun make you feel much more hot than white). If you want to preserve color, then keep it in the dark, like the wall paintings in the tombs of the pharaohs.

Tattoos battle another fading mechanism as well, since they are impregnated in a living organism, also known as our skin. We already know that if the tattoo pigment has not penetrated to the dermis and has instead ended up primarily in the epidermis, then the tattoo will seem to fade as the epidermis routinely sloughs off and rejuvenates itself. The process of forming new epidermal cells that push their way up from the bottom to the top of the epidermis where they are shed, carrying tattoo pigment right along with them, is some thirty-five to forty-five days. In the truest sense, this is not a faded tattoo per se. It's an inferior one, since it never reached the dermis. Even for pigment that reaches the dermis, however, there are still some obstacles to overcome.Until your tattoo pigment has taken up permanent residence within the dermis in a fibroblast (a stringy type of cell that makes up connective tissue), your body will treat it like the foreign body that it is, attempting to capture it for escort out. The immune system tries to engulf the pigment molecule with a type of white blood cell, the largest of which is a macrophage. Sometimes the pigment molecule is ust too big, however (size does count), so the immune system may try to break it down into smaller parts by dissolving i Tattoo pigment doesn't generally just dissolve but nevertheless, over time, your immune system will capture what it can and then transport it away in the lymph system.

If you've been tattooed, the lymph nodes closest to your tattoo likely carry tattoo pigment. After all is said and done, however, the immune system carries away only a small percentage and the remainder is captured in fibroblasts.

Which colors fade the fastest? It depends on the particular molecular composition of the pigment used. Some of the chemical bonds are less stable than others. We've already seen that the ingredients in tattoo pigment are largely unknown and, if known, their composition is sometimes held like a secret. The overwhelming anecdotal evidence for tattoos, however, is that red seems to fade the fastest. In tattoos that are twenty to fifty years old, sometimes the red is completely gone.

Best Defense

The best defense in the skin game is not necessarily a good offense. The best defense in the battle of fading tattoos is to combat tattoo enemy number one, the sun, by running away. The easiest and the most effective thing to do is cover the tattoo with clothing. A tattoo that is done well in the first place, healed properly, and protected from light can remain vibrant for many decades. Ironically, of course, this isn't why many people get a tattoo. They get it to show it. So if you gotta show it, then show it indoors. If you gotta show it outdoors, do it in the winter on a cloudy day. If you gotta show it outdoors in the summer, do it in the early morning or late afternoon. And if you show it outdoors at all, use sunblock, always, always, always, even in winter on a cloudy day.

Sunblock and sunscreen are not created equal. A sunscreen chemically absorbs the UV radiation, not unlike the melanin naturally present in your skin, attempting to prevent as many of the rays from reaching your skin as possible. Sunscreens are generally transparent after they've been rubbed in. A sunhlock actually physically blocks the sun from hitting your skin. You're probably familiar with the white nose treatment that lifeguards and sailing competitors wear. Those are examples of sunblocks, probably white zinc oxide. However, sunblocks don't necessarily need to look like geisha makeup. 'Today they are available in a microbead form that is also transparent. The American Cancer Society recommends a sunscreen or sunblock rated at least SPF 15 in order to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Applying it correctly is also a must as long as you're going to use it: apply twenty minutes before being in the sun, twenty minutes after (think of it as the second coat of paint that gets the thin spots), and every two hours after that. As you may recall, your tattoo resides in your dennis while the cells that create a suntan and natural skin color reside in your epidermis. That means that your tattoo will not protect you from a sunburn in that spot. What's good for your skin is good for your tattoo. Neither is maintenance free when treated right.

Stretch and Shrink

Tattoos will stretch and shrink, but only within limits. Moderate and gradual weight gain or loss will have little effect on a tattoo except to stretch and shrink it accordingly. Think of birthday balloons that are slightly overinflated and underinflated. You can still read "Happy Birthday" pretty easily and the letters maintain their relative spacing and composition. However, other types of rapid weight gain or loss could be another matter. For example, women who are considering having children might want to think twice about an abdominal tattoo placement. Similarly, men who are planning on getting seriously into bodybuilding might want to reconsider their upper armband. Stretch marks (often associated with pregnancy but which can also afflict all women as well as men) can also appear on the arms, thighs, and buttocks and even the hips and lower back.


Tattoos will blur for some of the same reasons that they fade. As the chemical bonds are broken and the molecules begin to break down as a result of exposure to the sun, the body's immune system, always on the prowl, will attempt to take the smaller molecules away. In addition, tattoos on areas of the body that stretch constantly (the elbows, knees, ankles, feet, and even hands) will also blur more easily over time, for all the masons that we've discussed above. Tattoos done in skin that has already been damaged by overexposure to the sun also seem to he more susceptible to blurring, with the skin less able to hold the ink securely in position.


Tattoos change over time but there are simple and commonsense steps that can mitigate unwanted changes, perhaps even preventing them completely. Tattoo artists are loath to give a number on how many years a tattoo will last (which is essentially forever) or how long it will look good (which is so variable that there's no good answer). The way a tattoo holds up over time is so dependent on its initial quality, the healing period, its maintenance, and the variations of people's skins that it is impossible to predict. Even a well-executed, simple, lettered word, for example, placed on the knuckles and never covered in the sun, might begin to blur and fade in its first summer, especially given the stretching of the skin over the joints. The same exact lettering, however, on the back of the shoulder, which healed properly, never saw the light of day, and never suffered excessive stretching or shrinking, might remain nearly as crisp and legible in its second decade as it did in its second week.

Finally, though, let us acknowledge that as the skin naturally ages, the look of our tattoos changes as well. Age spots and wrinkles take their toll on the clarity and pristine color of our tattoos. Given enough time, even the boldest and darkest outline softens, inevitably blurring to a minute extent. The lines appear to grow ever so slightly thicker and the gaps between them seem to narrow, sometimes even disappearing. Shading that was once bright and solid becomes a touch less immediate and vibrant. Pigment is moving imperceptibly over time on a cellular level as the elasticity and resilience of our skin naturally declines. For these changes that come simply as a result of time, there is no escape—for our skins, our tattoos, or ourselves. Instead, only our attitudes toward that process count and dictate whether we see an aging tattoo as attractive or not.

Article Source:
About the Author:
Tattoo Guide, Symbol, Meaning, Photos Images Gallery and Tattoo Culture History around the world

Script and Tattoo Lettering Designs

Meaningful Art Written In Words

Lettering TattooTattoos using letter and script designs became popular in the past with bikers and incarcerated inmates. But today many people of all walks of life are getting this style of tattoo, making it even more popular. Tattoo enthusiasts find a lot of meaningful usage with letters and script in their designs. Individuals usually get letter tattoos to express something they want to say or hold dear to them. Some people like to add names with script or letters because it is a simple way to represent a statement using words instead of a picture design.

Script letters can be eye-catching and hold deep meanings form the words they use. Individuals like to use letters and script tattoos to convey different messages and even dates of many special occasions. Script and letter tattoos can be used in a commemorating tattoo, a memorial tattoo, an anniversary tattoo, a birth of a baby tattoo and many other special moments in life that people want to have close as a keepsake of remembrance. Quote tattoos are in the same realm using both letters and script. Famous verses from the bible are sometimes tattooed. Well known and common saying such as "Only God Can Judge Me" or quotes from a famous poet are some favorites.

Like most other tattoos, personality is always added to the overall design. The size of the tattoo can be simple and small like adding a name to the banner of a heart tattoo or it can be made huge such as adding a name or a quote along the stretch of the back using big letters from shoulder to shoulder. A script or letter tattoo can be blended with many other tattoo designs also. Using letters and script can make a tattoo design more attractive and appealing.

Finding the right style and font can be easily done by just choosing the one you like the best or your letters can be custom made to your taste. A wide variety of fonts can be found online. A good place to start looking online for cool font ideas for a tattoo is DaFont dot com or you can visit your local library. You can also have your tattoo artist design something to your liking using their own talent and skills.

10 most popular letters and script commonly used for tattoos:

  1. Old English

  2. Tribal

  3. Calligraphy

  4. Cursive

  5. Old School

  6. Roman

  7. Gothic

  8. Handwritten

  9. Celtic

  10. Graffiti

Letters and script tattoos can be inked with bold colors or plain black. Good detail shading adds a lot of character and elegance to the letters making them standout more. Letters can also be decorated with fancy scroll-work to enhance them further, the choice is yours. So if your thinking about getting a new tattoo involving letters and script you should spend a little time on your decision about which style of font is a good choice for you and your tattoo design.

Come see the various popular styles of tattoo fonts and discover more ideas for tattoos.

Article Source:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Innovative Ideas for Women Tattoos

Women TattoosTattoos have become very popular and have been embodied by many women in society today. Tattoos for women have brought out a style that has left a statement that entails their personality. Many women flaunt their lifestyle and fashion in their tattoo designs. Decades ago tattoos weren’t very favorable among many and a woman sporting a tattoo wasn’t deemed respectful. Today society has had a change of heart as tattoos are widely accepted and respected for its meanings. Tattoos have now developed into an artistry and culture tradition much like those of native traditional tattoos. Now women adorning tattoos are looked upon as very appealing and elegant.

Women Rose Tattoo Designs
Women Rose Tattoo

Women Tattoo DesignsWomen tattoos are among the prettiest designs compared to men tattoos which are more boldly in design. Women seem to prefer a more delicate and beautiful tattoo designs. Women tattoos also range in many different sizes and colors. Some get tattoos that are small and intricate, while other women desire a large tattoo design that can cover their entire upper back or arm sleeves. Today there are a lot of tattoo designs for women, choosing a design can be made by what you want to interpret or convey in a tattoo. Here are a few tattoo ideas for women that can help you find that perfect tattoo design.

Popular Tattoo Ideas for Women

1. Butterfly tattoos - A simple tattoo and a favorite among women.

2. Tribal tattoos: Women have come to recognize this design as being exotic and alluring.

3. Star tattoos: One of the most recognized symbol of many cultures, stars bear a long history in tattoos.

4. Flower tattoos: Flowers are really precious to a women as they accentuate beauty all by themselves.

5. Zodiac tattoos: The star signs of the zodiac is very popular among both men and woman.

6. Angel tattoos: The protection and comfortable feeling you get when thinking of angels is why so many adopt this spiritual being to tattoos.

7. Heart tattoos: The symbol of life and love, heart tattoos has always been a popular tattoo design.

8. Fairy tattoos: A innocent and mischievous tattoo design is the fairy tattoos.

9. Celtic tattoos: Much like the tribal, Celtic tattoos have become very popular amongst women due to the interweaving or interlocking patterns that make up this sophisticated design.

10. Sun tattoos: One of natures important elements in the sustenance of life is the sun.

Ideas From Tattoo Pictures That Girls Adore

Girls Tattoo Flower Tattoos is a form of art that has made its way from the thought as being a man only thing to becoming equally favorable to both men and females. Girls in today’s society find tattoos as being trendy, hip and very fashionable. They use this form of art as away to express their unique individualism and personality. They get their inspirations from magazines, celebrities or browsing many designs of other girls tattoos on the internet. Girls tattoos are usually dainty and are placed in an area that can be easily concealed, but to some girls, displaying their beautiful design is a show of confidence in the tattoo as well as in themselves.

Tattoo Pictures Many girls search through the vast collections of tattoo pictures that are available on the internet. They are not just trying to find a great design, simply some are looking for tattoo ideas to influence their own custom design. Pictures of tattoos is a distinguished way to visually see what a design can be compromised of. Don’t elect to get the same tattoo you see online but use it as a tool or reference to improve on your own tattoo design. Tattoo pictures will not only open your mind to a new thinking process but it will give you a lot of imaginative tattoo ideas of your own.

"Angel Wings"
Tattoo designs for girls
Tattoo design for girls.

Some of the most considered tattoo designs for girls are the stars, flowers, cute butterfly tattoos and other pretty tattoos. Girls find the lower back tattoos as a way to sensual display their inner beauty. This tattoo is commonly tattooed with tribal as the main focus point of the design or it is used as a accent. Other popular places for a girl to get tattoos are the side ribcage, lower waistline, wrist, behind the neck, foot and ankles.

Girls Tattoo Pictures Some girls elect to get tattoos of animals such as turtles, birds, tigers, lions, dolphins and fishes such as the popular Koi fish tattoos. Tattoo for girls can insist on designs with a fantasy theme associated with them such as unicorns, fairies, dragons, phoenix tattoos and other fantasy creatures. Symbols that have special meanings attracted to them are considered by many girls such as the yin and yang, peace symbol, Celtic triangle and signs of the zodiac.

When choosing a tattoo design, girls should take their time and choose them wisely. Keep in mind that tattoos should associate with something significant in their life. While looking at pictures of tattoos, don't limit yourself to what you see, come up with your own creative tattoo ideas and be original. Cherish your tattoo ideas always, being innovative with the different styles and techniques you will achieve a very meaningful tattoo design.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hey I Finally Saw...TRUE GRIT!

It seemed like a good time to catch up with the 1969 John Wayne western classic for a few crucial reasons. The recent death of Dennis Hopper who has a small, yet memorable role was one, but overwhelmingly it's because the Coen Brothers next project is a remake with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin set to be released later this year. Although the Coens reportedly are aiming for their film to be a more faithful adaptation of Charles Portis's 1968 novel than a strict remake, the original was a milestone movie that won an Oscar for Wayne's performance as Marshall Rooster Cogburn, therefore a must see.

In the late 60's the genre was undoubtedly winding down, but you wouldn't know it from the opening landscape shots of TRUE GRIT in which the wide-screen western still looks alive and kicking. Henry Hathaway had the formula down as he had directed dozens of cowboy pictures, and of course "the Duke" was a hardcore veteran, but this project had a different element to it in the form of a young tomboyish girl named Kim Darby. Darby plays the fiercely determined 14 year old Mattie Ross who recruits the ornery drunken Wayne to help her hunt down her father's murderer (Jeff Corey).

Accompanied by Glen Campbell as a Texas Ranger they ride out through dangerous Indian Territory. They encounter horse thieves, rattlesnakes, and an extremely shady Robert Duvall as Corey's partner in crime "Lucky" Ned Pepper. Wayne says of Duvall: "Short, feisty fella. He's got a messed-up lower lip. I shot him in it."

That's just one of many great line readings the Duke gives in the best performance of his that I've ever seen. Rooster Cogburn is an iconic role and very comic at the same time. In one scene he sees a rat in the corner of the cabin he resides in. Inebriated though still fairly articulate he declares: "Mr. Rat, I have a writ here that says you are to stop eating Chen Lee's cornmeal forthwith. Now, It's a rat writ, writ for a rat, and this is lawful service of same! See? He doesn't pay any attention to me." Then he swiftly shoots the rat.

Later the trio came across a couple of outlaw buddies of the men they're pursuing - Jeremy Slate and Dennis Hopper. Hopper, as a character named Moon that wasn't in the book, took 5 days off from editing EASY RIDER to do the film and appears to have been added as a concession to the kids of the hippie era. Or maybe it's the unsettling "tweaking" manner he's acting in that makes me think that.

Darby is very much the heart of the movie bringing a feminist factor in to re-ignite a timeworn formula. Her poise and "never back down" spirit clashes then mashes with Wayne's rugged demeanor in many amusing blustery exchanges. Sadly as an actor Campbell is not up to par with Darby or "The Duke". He was perhaps the real concession to the times as he had just had a hit single - "Wichita Lineman".

It wasn't the last western that Wayne made - he even returned to the role of Cogburn in a sequel simply entitled ROOSTER COGBURN (1975) - but
TRUE GRIT was perhaps the most notable of his films in his last decade. It's just a notch below the supreme quality of the movies he made with John Ford, yet it's still a towering achievement and an absolutely essential work. Rooster Cogburn deserves further recognition as one of the greatest characters in the history of motion pictures. Can't wait to see what "The Dude" will do with it.

More later...

Friday, June 18, 2010

As Predicted Pixar Saves The Sucky Summer Day

(Dir. Lee Unkrich. 2010)

Like many film folks, in the days before a long awaited sequel in a beloved franchise appears I like to revisit the earlier movies - especially if I haven't seen them in a long time. It's to remind me of the flavor of said films, yet it can also feel like doing homework sometimes. Re-watching the first TOY STORY (1995) and its follow-up TOY STORY 2 (1999) though, wasn't like doing homework at all. The films hold up as immensely enjoyable endlessly inventive masterworks.

The TOY STORY films established Pixar Studios as the leading creators of CGI-animated features that built a beautiful track record of critically acclaimed hits including some of the best films of the last decade - FINDING NEMO, UP, WALL-E, and RATATOUILLE to name a handful. It's easy to be cynical about sequels, but Pixar is a name to be trusted, and you won't go wrong trusting them here. The return of Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and their fellow toy friends is happily up to the high standards of their canon and even more happily its one of the few cinematic saviors of this summer of suck.

It's been over a decade since we've last seen the disparate troop of talking toys and we catch up with them as their now teenage owner Andy (voiced by John Morris) is packing for college. The toys fret over their fate - will they be stored in the attic, sold in a yard sale, or thrown away? To their surprise, Andy picks Woody to take with him to school and puts the others in a garbage bag. Luckily he's just taking them to the attic, but in a moving mix-up they are taken to the curb by Andy's mother (voiced by Laurie Metcalf).

Woody tries to save them, but nearly gets thrown away himself. After freeing themselves from the garbage bag, the toy troop (including the returning voices of John Ratzenburger, Don Rickles, Joan Cusack, Estelle Harris, and Wallace Shawn) realize that their life with Andy is over and that they should collectively climb into a box set to be donated to Sunnyside Daycare. Woody wants them to return home, but his friends immediately take to the lushly lit facility and the warm friendly welcome by the leader of the left behind toys: a pink strawberry teddy bear named "Lotso" - short for Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear (wonderfully voiced by Ned Beatty).

While Woody tries to get back home, the toys find that things aren't what they seem at Sunnyside. I'll hold off on further major story Spoilers!, but I'll just report that there's a romantic subplot sponsored by Mattel in which Barbie (Jodie Benson) meets Ken (Michael Keaton), Buzz Lightyear gets his settings stuck in a Spanish mode, and there's a young girl (Emily Hahn) who Woody is briefly in the custody of that owns a few other new toy characters (voices of Timothy Dalton, Beatrice Miller, Javier Fernandez Pena, and Bud Luckey).

A superlative sequel in which all of the elements of the wealth of close scrapes, captivating chases, and absorbing attention to the exorbitant detail of the TOY STORY world are attended to excellently. It's funny, exciting, and sometimes even scary, yet it will most likely be remembered for its strong emotional pull.
The previous films were well rooted in sentimentality about the innocence and imagination of childhood balanced by the sad acknowledgment that these joys are fleeting, and play-time has to end someday. TOY STORY 3 doesn't shy away from these themes; it enriches them further making it the most thoughtful and touching film of the series.

Pixar (and Disney) did it again. They made a wonderful movie that will take everyone from children to grown adults on a ride from doubling over with laughter to being reduced to tears. They also made so a 40 year old man can admit that, without shame, he can get worked up about a cast of animated plastic playthings accessing their worth. See? It felt good admitting that. Really good.

More later...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ambigram Tattoos

A New Style of Tattoo Lettering

ambigram tattoo hope faithEver wanted a tattoo that was very unique in just a simple twist of words? If you are, this may be your lucky day. Ambigram tattoos are designs that express the same visual aspects turned up or down, or from side to side. Ambigrams can also reference a different meaning when it is flipped or turned around too. The design is great new way of expressing your personality. They are in the same category as lettering tattoos but the artistry and cleverness takes it to a new level. If you are considering on getting a tattoo involving lettering tattoos, using words or names written in the Ambigrams style is a cool way to go.

Ambigram Tattoos
Ambigram Tattoo
Natures Elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water.

There are two variations of the Ambigram style.

Symmetrical Ambigrams designs interprets the word or meaning in the same manner no matter which way it is turned. Words of spiritual and an wise convictions are usually chosen for this type of tattoo such as faith, glory, dream, strength and more.

Semper Fidelis Tattoo
"Semper Fidelis" Ambigram Tattoo.
Symmetrical Example

Asymmetrical Ambigram are the most sought after tattoo style. The designs commonly refers to saying something different when it is flipped. This style usually uses words or phases that are opposite or related to each other such as love and hate, respect and loyalty and so on.

Ambigram Tattoo Respect Loyalty
Ambigram Tattoo "Respect and Loyalty".
Asymmetrical Example

Some Popular Ambigram Tattoo Choices

Hope - Faith

Loyalty - Respect

Family - Forever

Person Names

Dream – Believe

Courage - Strength

Illuminati Tattoo
Illuminati Tattoo

With Ambigrams you can display phrases or quotes, words, and names in a style that is just plain awesome. Using your name, you can have a design that has a connection with someone you love dearly. When turned one way it will depict yours and flipped around it will display theirs. This would be a really cool tattoo to express your love for each other.

Faith Tattoo
"Faith Tattoo Design"

You can portray a lot of meanings in this tattoo style, by using simple words of enlightenment such as courage, life, no regrets, truth, live and many more. The lettering style is unique and elegant and flows with the design very well. You can have it inked in shades of colors or plain black. There are many ways and ideas that can be conjured up when using this design.

Finding designs for Ambigrams can be found by talking with your tattoo artist. He may be able to come up with a design for you or r you can look online at Mark Palmer website WoW Tattoos for designs he created.

Foot Tattoo, Ambigram Tattoo of Dream
Foot tattoo Ambigram Word of Dream

In conclusion, Ambrigrams tattoos are exceptional in how the designs are made. It is a clever way of expressing your mentality in written words. If you want an intriguing and unique tattoo design with letterings, you cant beat the fantastic designs of Ambrigrams tattoo.

UPTOWN: The Film Babble Blog Review

The summer keeps sucking along, but there are a few indie gems out there worth seeking out. Like this one: UPTOWN (Dir. Brian Ackley, 2009) A young couple (Chris Riquinha and Meissa Hampton) sits in a New York restaurant nervously asking each other questions. They are obviously on their first date. 

As they shuffle through the usual "getting to know you" small talk, we learn that Riquinha is an aspiring film maker and thinks Hampton could be a good actress in a new project he's working on. He describes the premise: "It's about this guy who hasn't had a lot of luck with relationships. He's had some relationships and they never work out, he never seems to say the right things, do the right things, and he's just very awkward and that kind of thing. 

So you get a little bit of that first and then he meets this girl...and that would be follows the 2 of them, you know their relationship, of course it doesn't work out 'cause that's what the movie is - it doesn't work out." Is that this movie? Sure looks like it. After dinner Hampton reveals that she is married. Riquinha is a little taken aback, but they continue their date - walking and talking though the noisy streets of the city. It's fairly certain that at the end of their evening our male lead is smitten. Can't quite put a finger on the female lead yet though. She calls him to meet again. She tells him that her husband read the emails between them and got upset. She says they're going to try and work on their marriage. They part. Then she calls Riquinha wanting to meet again. Not much else happens in this extremely low budget film which was shot on digital video in 9 days. It ambles with these characters so realistically that it often feels like we're voyeurs secretly peeping in on real people. Riquinha and Hampton have an uneasy yet powerfully palpable chemistry together; both should have a great acting futures. In the hands of lesser talents such mundane yet tension fueled dialogue would come off stiff and un-involving, but they give it a touching authenticity. UPTOWN is grainy, shaky, and often the dialogue is obscured by street noise - many of the minuses that make up the "mumblecore" movement - but it has a quietly pleasing quality regardless. 

It's the rare film where people actually seem like they are thinking of what they are going to say next instead of just blurting out scripted text. It's a treatise on awkward restrained passion and a very thoughtful work that shows a lot of promise for a first time director. UPTOWN has been making the festival circuit so look out for it if it comes to your area. It also releases on DVD on July 11th. More later...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cherry Blossom Tattoo Meanings

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms

One of the most popular tattoo designs among women today are the cherry blossom tattoos. A flower from nature, the cherry blossom blooms with beauty. Both cultures of the Chinese and Japanese holds the meaning of the cherry blossom very dearly to their spirituality and everyday life.
If your decision is to get one of these designs, you should know the significance and symbolism behind the cherry blossom meanings.

Cherry Blossom TattooThe tattoo of the cherry blossom tattoo is not only beautiful but it holds very special meanings.
Behind every tattoo there is a meaning that should be held dearly to your heart. Take a look at the many possibilities of designing your own cherry blossoms by browsing other designs or artworks that are available to you.

Cherry Blossoms Tattoo
Cherry Blossoms Tattoo

You should also know that the Chinese and Japanese cherry blossoms are very distinct and differ from their symbolic meanings. The symbolism of the Japanese cherry blossom should not be mistaken for the Chinese cherry blossom symbolism, for they each have their own individual take on its meaning.

Cherry Blossoms Tattoo
Cherry Blossoms Tattoo

To the Chinese cherry blossom it is very symbolical of power, feminine beauty or female dominance which frequently applies the idea of great power and the symbolization of love.

In the culture of the Japanese cherry blossoms are established on or around a very strong spiritual belief. That the nature of life is short-lived and it is considered very sensible not to get to close or connected to anything because it will elapse eventually. Primarily conceived to be a feminine design, in Japanese cultures the cherry blossom was an emblem that was carried by warriors by heart as in the Bushido code of loyalty and honor.

Cherry Blossoms Side Tattoo
Cherry Blossoms Side Tattoo

Cherry blossoms” are an idealistic design for both men and women. Both cultures empathize the very powerful significance that this design portrays. So don't feel intimidated if the Japanese or the Chinese symbolism don't really stand for what you would like, you can incorporate your own personalization to the design, hence making it your own. Let something special in your life influence and inspire the ideas for your design.

Friday, June 11, 2010


NOT THE MESSIAH (HE'S A VERY NAUGHTY BOY) (Dir. Aubrey Powell, 2010)

Way before I was a hardcore movie fanatic I was a hardcore Monty Python fanatic - I'm talking when I was a kid in the early '80s here. I went to late shows of their movies, I had all their records and books, I saved up money to buy a VCR solely to record episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus - I had it bad. I still love 'em and go to see revival screenings of MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL and LIFE OF BRIAN whenever they're in my area despite owning the DVDs, so, of course, whenever there's new product such as last year's excellent documentary mini-series "Monty Python: Almost The Truth - The Lawyer's Cut" I'm all over it.

However there is a huge threat to all my nostalgic affection: Eric Idle. The former Python has spent the last decade, in the words of another former Python Terry Jones, "regurgitating Python." Idle has toured playing the songs in a show entitled "Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python", mounted a wildly successful Broadway production based on HOLY GRAIL - "Spamalot", and now has turned to LIFE OF BRIAN for the new musical oratorio NOT THE MESSIAH (HE'S A VERY NAUGHTY BOY). Because I'm a long time fan I just had to see it the second it dropped on Blu ray.

With the help of long-time collaborator/conductor John Du Prez, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and a bunch of trained operatic singers, Idle reduces the savage satire of the classic film into only slightly racy almost family friendly fodder. Appropriating Handel's "Messiah" in misguided attempts to flesh out character threads that were best left as comic asides, we get songs about the Roman Centurion that raped Brian's mother and Idle's beloved bit about an anachronistic wish for a sex change, is now recast as a lame unfunny ballad.

NOT THE MESSIAH basically is "Spamalot 2" though there are a few differences. It's not an in costume performance - though a few performers are outfitted like their characters - it's a filmed live performance for a radio broadcast. There's also that giant orchestra and chorus involved too. But infinitely more important, because it was the 40th anniversary of the group (October of last year) Python members Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones were on hand to reprise their roles or just appear for the sake of good will (like Gilliam appears to). The only other surviving Python, John Cleese, was not present presumably because he was off rolling his eyes somewhere.

It doesn't improve matters that the singers
(William Ferguson and Shannon Mercer) recruited to play the pivotal parts of Brian and Judith, , wonderfully previously portrayed by the late great Python leading man Graham Chapman and Sue Jones-Davies (now Mayor of Aberystwyth, Wales), look and sound more like they should be in a Prince Charles and Lady Diana musical. I was also surprised that Brian's mother Mandy is played by a woman! One of the most hilarious factors of LIFE OF BRIAN was Terry Jones amped-up Pepperpot performance as the protagonist's disapproving ball-busting Mama. Here renowned soprano Rosalind Plowright takes the part, and more than a little of the narrative's point-of-view, and though she's a fine vocalist it's a slap in the face of the brilliant bite of BRIAN. Especially since Jones was there and could have done it. Missed opportunity city.

The music is immaculate in its presentation, but the new songs are repetitive, obvious, and supremely forgettable. The only highlights are the Python cameos - it's funny to see Palin in full Margaret Thatcher-ish drag introduce the show. Palin by contrast is definitely the only Python who has maintained his figure. It's also nice to see Palin in his old Pontius Pilate garb proving he can still pull off the lisp. Jones and Gilliam are just there for glorified cameos neither of which really registers and Idle's hammy line readings seriously grated on me, though the packed Royal Albert Hall audience ate it all up, cheering at every familiar phrase.

The crowd did appear to love it, and maybe I would've too had I been there, but watching it at home, even on a spiffy new Blu ray, was a sad trying experience. Looks like Idle will be singing "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" (which was also in "Spamalot") and "The Lumberjack Song" (here acting as the encore) for the rest of his life. I once considered Idle the greediest Python, now I think of him as the Python who can't move on. In a few years from now when he unveils his inevitable THE MEANING OF LIFE musical I hope that I've moved on enough to skip it. I'd like to think by then that I would have had enough of these warmed over retreads, but then I am a glutton for punishment...

More later...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

10 Popular Lettering Tattoo Fonts

Pictures of Tattoos Featuring Letter and Script Tattoos
letter tattoosMany people are tempted to get tattoos with lettering and script inked into their flesh to display their personality. They also give an expressive meaning in the words that are written themselves. To help you with some ideas for lettering tattoos, here are some pictorial photos of "letter tattoo designs" in 10 of the most popular lettering tattoo fonts.