That time I got a tattoo.

Sometime in September of 2012, fall of my third and last year of undergrad, things happened that caused a tiny mental break so I decided the best way to cope would be to get a tattoo. Now, I’ve been explicitly forbidden to get a tattoo, by my mother, in a sentence laced with a lot of expletives. Since my mother was 1184 miles away (I checked) and couldn’t get to me for at least a few months (I checked again), I decided now was the time to get a tattoo. I texted Desiree and asked if she wanted to get one too, and initially she said yes, but since her parents were twenty minutes away instead of 20 hours, she didn’t end up getting a tattoo. Sometimes plans are thwarted by big giant plot twists, sometimes by mothers with a big giant paddle.

I made the appointment, and Des agreed to go with me. The studio (Think Ink in Norman, Oklahoma) was nice, painted an interesting shade of green with actual framed art on the walls. The guy doing my tattoo, Brendon, was out front smoking when we got there, and when I said I was mildly allergic to cigarette smoke he put out his cigarette and ran around the parking lot airing out his clothes before he came in he was super sweet during the whole ordeal, even checking like seven times to make sure the needles didn’t have the slightest trace of nickel in them, since that is another thing I’m allergic to.

He started slow, making a few dots that could be cleverly disguised as freckles in case I chickened out, just to let me gauge how bad it was gonna hurt. Not too awful. Not gonna lie, I made Desiree hold my hand. And then when her fingers were bent and bruised, I held her knee. And might have dug my nails in a little. True friends let you claw their skin off when you’re getting ink needled into your skin. It took maybe about an hour total, and afterwards I was a little shaky because I’m a total baby, so Brendon gave me juice and Desiree took me to Orange Leaf to get frozen yogurt.

It didn’t take long to heal, because it was pretty small, and it’s just near my elbow on the inside of my forearm, so unless I’m twisting my arm around, you can’t really see it. Which is great for when aunties are afoot. Half the time I forget I have it, and get startled when I see it out of the corner of my eye, thinking a bug has landed on my arm. I don’t know if I’m going to get another one, but if I do, I’m sure as hell not telling my mother.

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Go through Kat’s stuff

I’m starting a sort of series where basically I ask people to dump out their bags and write about what’s in them. This is from my friend Kat, who I met the first day of living in the dorms in college. She’s a sweetheart. We lived together my last year at OU, and once when I burned my arm on the oven while baking cupcakes, she walked a considerable distance across a field to bring me hydrogel patches because I was carless. Kat is one of the best friends I have, and when I’m freaking out about something in my life, is one of the first to remind me that it’s not as terrible as I think it is, and even if it is exactly that terrible, it’s not going to stay that way forever.

stuff

Hello :>

My name is Kat, and I’m Vrishali’s friend from college!
The items numbered in the photo above are the things I typically have in my bag, save for my laptop.
1. The first thing I’ve numbered is my iPad Mini. I do everything on this device – things ranging from paying the phone bill or rent to playing Clash of Clans. I’ve got my calendar and to-do list synced up to my iPad, iPhone 4s, and Macbook. (My phone is in the picture, but it’s camouflaged by the notebook!) I like to document every-day occurences on Instagram.
2. This is an overpriced notebook from Walmart. It was placed on a $2 tag, but it apparently cost #7 at the counter……… anyway, in it I practice writing in Arabic. I’m not very good at it.
3. This is my wallet. I don’t have much to say about it…I can’t even remember where I got it from.
4. This is a pair of RayBans regifted to me by my father. He got them from a patient who trades these things for medicine, I guess.
5. This is my fake-Lacoste coin purse from the Philippines. I love fake brand stuff.
6. Hair clips for my short hair – in terrible need of a haircut, always.
7. A copy of my favorite prayer by Sta. Teresa de Jesús. The text goes, in Spanish:
Nada te turbe, 

nada te espante,
todo se pasa,
Dios no se muda;
la paciencia
todo lo alcanza;
quien a Dios tiene
nada le falta:
Sólo Dios basta.

Now, in English:
Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
everything passes,
but God stays.
Patience reaches it all;
he who has God
nothing lacks:
God alone suffices.
8. A pair of my favorite Sony earphones, also in black!
9. I’ve got to have something to write with, you know.
Obviously I like things in black and white and gray – I’m into the minimal aesthetic because of its clean feel! I actually only took this picture in grayscale because of the weird lighting in the room. Anyway, there you have it! 🙂
You can follow Kat on Tumblr at rivailev.tumblr.com.
If you’d like to submit your own, email them to thisisnotaquickstory@gmail.com. Include a picture, labelled, and a description of what everything is and why you have it. 

Go through my stuff

I used to have the issue of carrying way way too much stuff in my bags, whether it was a purse or a backpack. But now I’ve downsized a lot, realizing that half the shit I think I should have, I just don’t need. So here’s a recently updated overturning of my school bag.

backpack

Look at that, I’ve even numbered things so nice and neatly. I’m great.

1. The very first thing in my bag is my pen case. It’s a bright purple Steve Madden case meant to hold makeup brushes. I got it at a Nordstrom Rack while out with my mom. It holds a surprising amount of pens. I like keeping a pen case in my backpack, and a jar of pens on my desk, otherwise I forget to bring a pen to class. And I just feel so weird writing with someone else’s pen. Is that a normal thing? I just cannot write with anyone else’s writing implement.

2. My planner. Even though I get syllabi from all my professors that outline exactly what needs to be done and when, I like writing things down for myself, so I’ve got all my assignments in one place, plus to do lists of everything else I need to get done. If I’m not on campus, I keep my planner open to that day on my desk, where I spent the rest of my day,and that way I can just go through and get shit done.

3. My notebook. I still take notes by hand, otherwise I get bored and start daydreaming or fucking around on the internet. I still doodle, but at least with my hands moving I can pay attention a lot better. Once I’ve taken notes, when I get home I just type up my notes into outlines so I have study guides ready to go at exam time. Apparently I am insane for this. Huh.

4. My iPad mini. I got this for Christmas last year from my dad (thanks, dad). I don’t really keep many school related things on here, but I do have a lot of books and music and movies, which is great because half my life seems to be spent in airports.

5. My iPhone. This is my life. It’s ridiculous how much I am on my phone. I have this compulsive need to be in constant contact with my friends and family, and my family seems to have that same compulsion. Heaven forbid I miss one call from either of my parents.

6. Soap & Glory Hand Food. This lotion is AMAZING. It gets really dry in Texas sometimes. Some people claim that Texas winters are wet and rainy, but let’s be real, I grew up in Ohio. They invented wet and rainy up there. This is nothing. And since any other time everyone is blasting the AC or heater and the air is dry, I used this so much throughout the day. It keeps my hands from getting all cracked and scaly and painful.

7. A notepad. For writing things down.

8. My glasses. In theory, I need these to drive at night and to see distances when I’m tired. But the thing is, the prescription is either a little too strong or a little too weak, because I wear them for ten minutes and then get a horrific headache. They’re brand new and really cute too. My brother calls them hipster glasses but they are totally not.

9. This is my makeup bag. It’s a small bag I got in the habit of keeping with me when I was in high school, going between my parents’ houses every day. I’ll make a separate post of what’s in it, but it’s a very basic kit for quick makeup.

10. A coin purse. My wallet (not pictured. Great job, Vrishali. Forgetting the wallet.) is thin and gets lumpy and heavy with coins, so I keep coins separate.

11. Lens wipes. I use these on everything. Laptop, iPad, iPhone, and glasses. They keep things from getting smudgy, and more importantly, get oil off things that are going to touch my face. I have so many issues with my skin, last thing I need is more dirt and oil clogging things up.

That’s all that I haul around in my backpack, which is surprisingly not as heavy as you would think. The only things not pictured are my wallet and whichever textbooks I happen to need that week.

Show me what’s in your bag and I’ll put it on my blog! Email me a picture of what you’ve got in your bags, labelled as I’ve done mine, and a description of what everything is, along with a few sentences about yourself. We can make this a new feature. I think it’s actually super interesting to see all the different things everyone carries around. It varied based on lifestyles and the type of person.

Send submissions/other collab ideas to me at thisisnotaquickstory@gmail.com, follow me on Twitter here, Instagram here, and if you miss me a lot and want funny gifs I didn’t make with captions I did make, Tumblr here.

Tell Me What to Read

The last book I read is called American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History, which comes as no surprise if you know my academic background (Criminology, International Security). It’s exactly what it says, an autobiography of this guy, a Navy SEAL, who was/is a sniper, and got the most kills. Ever. It’s a riveting book and Desiree told me to read it, and I think you should read it too. 

But for real, tell me what to read next, in the comments. 

xoxo

Books You Should Read If You Like Blogs

Guys, I’m all for reading big heavy books and cerebral thrillers and all that stuff your high school AP English teacher spent hours analyzing, but let’s be real, sometimes you need a book that’s just a book. That’s not a bad thing. The best things to read are books. And now, when anyone can get a blog and start writing (like me! Who reads this shit?), books are coming out faster and faster and no one knows where to start.

So, here’s a list of books that you’ll really like if you like reading blogs. Because some of these came from blogs.

1. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.

First off, this chick is on WordPress (one of us, one of us), and her book was born from her blog. She’s ridiculously funny, to the point where I was in tears in my living room, and talks about things like collecting taxidermied animals and functioning as an actual adult. Which is pretty difficult, I might add.

I’d just like to crown her the queen of blogs, so here’s a link to buy her book and another one to her blog, thebloggess.com.

2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling.

If you don’t know who Mindy Kaling is, you’re missing out. She was on The Office, playing Kelly Kapoor, as well as writing episodes. Currently she’s on The Mindy Project, and she’s amazing. I’m partial to this book because she’s Indian, and Indian girls stick together, no matter how famous one of them is.

Her book is an autobiography, and it’s pretty damn funny. Reading it is like texting your best friend. If your best friend could spell and texted back consistently.

3. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

If you’ve been on the internet for longer than a week, you know who Allie Brosh is. She runs the super popular blog Hyperbole and a Half, and has made the blog into book form as well. She writes about a lot of things from her childhood, and also about her struggle with depression, which really got to me.Bonus points, lots of pictures. Which she draws, by hand, on her computer. Since it takes me approximately four hours to make a simple smiley face with my mouse, that’s incredible.

4. Anything by David Sedaris.

I started reading books by David Sedaris long before I knew who David Sedaris was. The very first one I read when I was maybe thirteen, was Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and I thought it was hilarious.

Since I was thirteen and couldn’t quite appreciate it, I didn’t realize how much I liked it and wanted to read more until I tried finding it years later, and it had disappeared into the abyss of my basement. The next David Sedaris book I read was during high school. In my AP English class we had to do non-fiction presentations, and one group presented from a segment of Me Talk Pretty One Day.

I had read exerpts from various places, but the book needs to be read in its entirety. And if you don’t want to buy it off Amazon, or at a bookstore, I’m sure you can find it horrendously marked up at an airport bookshop, which is where I found the next book on my little list, When You Are Engulfed In Flames

Along with the previous two books, this is also a collection of essays by David Sedaris. I can’t contain how awesome this book is in a paragraph, so I’ll let you read it yourself.

5. Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach.

Remember how I just mentioned I had to do a nonfiction English project in high school? My group picked this slightly morbid, seriously entertaining book. Like the title implies, it’s about dead bodies. Specifically, what happens to them when they’re donated to science. Mary Roach wrote for Reader’s Digest for a while, which is how I discovered her, since a good portion of my childhood was spent in doctor’s offices and I felt I had outgrown Highlights Magazine. This is a good book if you’re insanely curious and only a little bit squeamish.

Okay. So this book list is getting kind of long, and I figure I’ll give you a break to catch up on your reading. Let me know what you think, and leave your own recommendations in the comments.