Go Forth & Nerd! Ep. 21 - My Nerdy Tattooted Heart
My Nerdy Tattooted Heart
Welcome back to Go Forth and Nerd. This is Jesse Bray, also known as Mr. Bray, and I am your resident nerd.
So, today I want to talk about the nerdy tattoo on your heart. Uh, what do I mean by that? Well, now, tattoos have definitely, uh, become very common, um, in basically pop culture and throughout the years and people get tattoos and it’s not really a big deal. Now, what I mean by that, at least where I live, in Portland, it’s normal to have your grocer to have a dozen tattoos. And, in your mind’s eye, maybe you think they look like a, uh, uh, a hardcore biker. But they’re probably the gentlest person you’ll meet. Uh, what is - and this is my question - what is the secret tattoo that you wish you could always get? Something that relates, uh, to a story or narrative, something that, that you really wish you had the guts or the finances…what is that tattoo that expresses your nerdy interests?
Now, my wife is a huge fan of tattoos. Um, she actually has quite a few of them. And, uh, you know, over the years it’s definitely evolved from what a tattoo is considered, uh, basically, that, you know, uh, it’s changed. It’s changed in the past twenty, thirty years where tattoos are no longer just the bikers, no longer the down and out, the hard people trying to prove that they’re tough. Uh, some people, though, but I mean a lot of my closest friends have tons of tattoos and they’re so entertaining to look at. And, I have one tattoo myself, which I’ll get into in a minute.
But, basically, what I love about tattoos, is, is that a tattoo - of course this is a, this is a nerdy story-telling podcast, I’m not saying, you know, if you have aproblem against tattoos, um, just, you know, suspend that for a moment and let me kind of explain why I like tattoos. I like the idea that you want to share something on your body that’s permanent, at least permanent as long as you’re here on this planet. Uh, some people get their tattoos removed for all sorts of reasons. But, I do think a tattoo reflects a love and passion and what I think a nerdy devotion to something. Uh, my wife has some very meaningful tattoos. Uh, one of her tattoos is a fav- a favorite Bible verse, one of her tattoos is, is a really adorable Shaun the Sheep from ?? animation, uh, that shows a little sheep and, and knitting, ‘cause she loves knitting and craft culture. And one of them, one of her tattoos is probably one of the coolest I’ve seen. Um, she, she was, uh, forever ago, when she was, I believe, seven or so, they used to do time capsules at school. And, when you do a little time capsule, uh, I believe we may have done this but I moved around too much to ever come back to a time capsule, uh, as I got older. But, when she was a little kid, they did this little time capsule where you were seven years old and you write a little, uh, basically, write a letter to your future self. And, the future self, uh, was you know basically what she was going, basically she was going to be 18 when she opened it. And, so, she wrote this little letter and, uh, her dad helped her and, at the time, her dad talked about how she, you know, tried to put on all the headbands she owned at the same time, which is 7 year old Katie, pretty cute kid. Anyways, but, in the letter, there’s little signatures by her mom and her dad and so she took those signatures, and she took those signatures to the tattoo artist, and she had the tattoo artist make these really gorgeous little knit, uh, like a hand knit heart. And, inside the little heart, across a banner was “Dad and Mama.” And, it was, it was a really meaningful, precious little story. I think part of her mind’s eye was that she was going to create a tattoo that, for once, maybe her mom and dad weren’t going to be upset about. Because, it was so meaningful.
But, nonetheless, tattoos can be a hot issue for some. But, I actually think that tattoos can be a wonderful way of expressing a love and devotion of something or, or of something very meaningful to you through art. As nerds, I, I would assume we love the visual arts, as well as the written arts and tattoos, uh, a tattoo kind of ties those together. And, uh, what I, what I love about her little piece is that it’s so meaningful. It has, it ties in her, her love for crafts, her love for her parents, uh, it ties in to her past as a child, and it has a story that, that literally has a thread in it. (chuckles) Uh, well, a tattooed, a tattooed-looking thread. And, it’s a great way of connecting from the past to the present. And, she has a few more. I mean, my goodness, if she could have all the tattoos she wants she would be the illustrated woman. But, of course, I have to put the reins because it costs so much.
Uh, also, though, you know, I do think that some people feel that you can’t always be in a profession and have tattoos. You know, the fact is, the world is changing. Uh, um, as an animator and designer, I, honestly, a tattoo would never deter me from, from hiring somebody or working with someone, unless it was, uh, I don’t know, racist or hateful or it was like right on their face and I, I couldn’t stop staring at it. Um, but, nonetheless, I mean, I think it’s, uh, it’s a really cool idea.
I want to ask you this question. I really just want to ask you this question if you’re like me. Is there a tattoo that, uh, you wish you could get? Are, are you, is there some sort of tattoo….What would be the one thing? Maybe it’s private, maybe it’s something you don’t want to share with the world, but it means enough that you want to write it down into your skin, that you feel like, hey, this is something that I’ve always loved, that I would love to have that tattoo. Um, I’ve mentioned this in the past what would it be, if you had a tattoo of your favorite, uh, sci-fi or favorite character or whatever.
There is a tattoo that I, hopefully, will one day get the nerve to have. And that tattoo is, it’s a very specific tattoo that I want to get, it is a tattoo of Bender, the robot, as a captain, or actually more of an admiral of a ship. And, I, I love Bender the Robot, I love his freedom as a character, he just makes me feel, he makes me feel good. He says the things that you want to say, he does the things that sometimes you want to do, at least in your head. Um, he’s kind of like my little, if I could have a spirit animal, (chuckles) it would be, it would be, uh, Bender the Robot. But, as Bender the Robot as a captain, when, uh, if you’re a fan of Futurama, there’s one particular episode, when, I believe it’s, uh, “Beast of a Billion Bags.” And it’s the episode where, uh, they un-, they unlock this portal to another universe and Evo, this kind of weird squid-like creature, comes and, and, comes into our, our world. And, of course, when everyone goes to heaven, which, they call it heaven, robots aren’t allowed into heaven. Well, Bender is jealous. And Bender, Bender decides to get, uh, basically an army of the damned, a bunch of robots from hell. And they decide to storm heaven. It’s, it’s excellent. I mean, I love it. And to me, right there, that, like, it represents how, how, basically, how I feel about, uh, you know, a good science fiction property, a wonderful character. I love the idea of a character that is so selfish and so lo-, it’s like so, it’s like so longing for his friendship he’ll basically, he’ll basically storm heaven. And, and, it just, it just, it entertains me a lot. It’s a happy thought to me. Um, and it’s the one tattoo that I truly want to get some day, is a Captain Bender tattoo.
Most of it is not necessarily finances, though I’m sure it’s not cheap. It’s really the nerve. Um, my, uh, my one tattoo that I have is a Bible verse, it’s from J- it’s from the book, it’s an Old Testament book, Joshua, and I, uh, you know, it’s just, it’s meaningful, but it’s super private and it’s not necessarily, it’s just on my back, like up on my shoulder blade. But, and I, I remember getting the tattoo thinking, you know what, I don’t think I would have ever got this tattoo had I not been, you know, coerced? Heh, um, the story goes, um, I got this tattoo when, um, my wife and I were engaged. And, I’m like, you know, she’s hot, oh this is great, she wants me to get a tattoo, I’ll get a tattoo. And, uh, you do a lot of things when you’re dating. (laughs) And, so, I remember sitting in the chair, getting this tattoo with the needle going just like *buzzzz* over and over and over again, and kind of like, basically, grinding your teeth. It was horribly painful. I mean, like, I’m like, sweating and in pain and anxious and just with my shirt off sweating in the sun, or, well, it was actually, right around my birthday time, about this time, actually, almost nine years ago. And, I remember thinking, like, I don’t ever want to do this again, I don’t ever want to do this again, why did I do this? And, that’s my, that’s my problem, that as much as I, I enjoy the art when I see it, it’s on your back. If I can give you any advice about getting a tattoo, for a person who rarely sees their tattoo, don’t get a tattoo where you never see it. I mean, I get out, I step out of the shower and I occasionally get, like, a view in the mirror, or if I’m at Target trying on a t-shirt, then I’m like, oh, I have a tattoo? Oh, uh, I totally forget that I have a tattoo. And, uh, its meaning and significance is pretty strong and it ties into my past, but it’s not necessarily, like, you know, it’s not, I don’t get to appreciate it because I never get to see it.
Um, that said, that is a very painful, but interesting memory. And that’s what I love about tattoos. I love there’s a story behind every tattoo. Even if you weren’t thinking about it, there’s still a story about it. Uh, and that’s what I’m always looking for. I’m always looking for the narrative in life. And, I think that’s something that draws us together as people, it’s something that makes life more interesting, uh, it’s something I truly want to ask you that question today: What is the tattoo, if you had the nerve or the finances or it didn’t matter where you could put it, what is the tattoo that you wish you could get? What is, what is the property, what is, what is it about? Is it about a loved one? Is it about, uh, about something painful? Something, something humorous? I mean, what is the tattoo that is you? What is the one that you really crave to get?
Uh, um, anyways, I hope that you all doing well, I hope that you’re all just enjoying the summer. It’s been actually a really awesome summer with some really excellent films out. Uh, I’m hoping to check out the new Star Trek movie and nerd it up with you guys. Uh, anyways, hope you’re all doing well. Feel free to email me, twitter me, Facebook, if you want to chat about your favorite tattoo or the one that you want to get or anything nerdy. Um, yeah, hope you’re all doing well. Take care.