We’re a two-thirds of the way through our Everyday Adventure challenge! This week has been a pretty interesting week, full of new things and things I haven’t done in a very long time.
A special shout out and thank you to my blogging partners on this challenge: Suz from McVagabonds, Lara Krupicka, and Randi from Life’s Simple Adventures. Their bios are on the challenge page (it’s not too late to join!), but you should check out their blogs as well. They’re all doing amazing things and are wonderful people to know!
Day 15: Learn about art form/style new to you
I decide to learn about tattoos, because I think tattooing is an interesting form of expression and I know a lot of people with them. I also think it’s valuable to learn about something that makes me a bit uncomfortable (I really don’t like needles), and it’s on my mind, because I was recently in Hokkaido, where we saw statues and pictures depicting some of the really intricate full-body tattoos and the traditional indigenous tattoos that carried a lot of meaning. The things I read are really interesting – I hadn’t known there was so much involved in tattooing.
I’m sharing what I’ve learned here, but if you don’t want to read about tattoos for two minutes, you can skip to my experience with the Day 16 activity.
The first thing I learn is that there isn’t agreement on whether tattoos should even be considered art, especially fine art.
The Atlantic says some people think tattoos are making their way into the fine arts category because they’re more accepted and also more commonly displayed in fancy establishments like some newer museums.
On the other hand, some tattooists don’t like to display their work as art because they feel it needs to be part of the human body to be appreciated as they intend, and it’s hard to display that way.
Some of the debate is because the tattoo artist doesn’t own the art, instead, the “canvas” owns the art and walks away with it. This means viewership is limited mostly to people who actually know the person with the tattoo, rather than anyone with access to a museum or the artist.
The New York Times had an interesting article that brought up some implications of tattoos being viewed as art. For example, is it better for tattoo artists to learn a wide variety of styles or specialize in developing their own unique style? As it becomes viewed more as art and the tattooists more as artists, the trend is toward unique styles. It also discusses art imitation, with some tattoo artists for it, as long as the second artist is inspired by the design and style and not plagiarizing.
(Also mentioned: skin grafts and preservation… for the purchase of tattoos – yes, people actually buy and display tattoos from other people once they’ve died! 😮 That was pretty shocking to me.)
I read several other articles and perspectives, and even a short story:
- Japan Times interview with master full-body tattoo artist Horiyoshi III
- He says beauty is to “be peeked at, not stared at,” and I realize it’s something I need to improve – both to respect people’s privacy more and not ask about their tattoos peeking out around clothing, and to not try to strive for outward beauty as much as the inward.
- Ink-credible: do tattoos count as art?
- An art critic at The Guardian discusses the history and culture of tattoos, and it reminds me of the traditional and indigenous tattoo designs we saw in Hokkaido.
- Tattoos: Eyecatching – but are they art?
- Another article by the same critic, this time a reflection as he walks through a tattoo convention. He observes that for many, it’s a way of transforming yourself, on becoming something or someone stronger and better. [Horiyoshi III says something similar in his interview above as well]
- Should tattoos be considered art? Are tattooers artists?
- A tattoo artist says not all tattoos are art, and suggests that since there are many things to consider like design, anatomy, light, etc, a tattoo shouldn’t be considered art unless done really well on the body (not just designed as a painting or sketch).
- Roald Dahl’s short story “Skin”
- One of the creepiest short stories I’ve read in a while. Surprisingly, it’s by the author of children’s stories like James and the Giant Peach and the Big Friendly Giant (“Skin” is not a children’s story).
Day 16: Go to bed early today, so you can enjoy tomorrow more
I’m emotionally and mentally exhausted. Even breathing feels like a lot of work. There’s been a lot going on in the last few weeks and I’m really excited to go to bed early. Sleep is so important to enjoying everything else in life. And while it’s actually not that early by the time I’m in bed, it’s still earlier than it would have been if I didn’t try.
Day 17: Organize a theme or costume party (plan it today, party can be a different day)
I pretty much skip this, which is sad because it was one that I was looking forward to – I plan a bit of the party (a stone soup potluck!) but then can’t do anymore. I’m really not feeling like myself, like I’m missing the part of me that makes me, me. I put it on the calendar to do later this week.
Day 18: Pick a new recipe and make it tonight
My Lebanese cookbook that my grandma gave me has a lentil soup recipe, but it barely has any seasoning listed, so I have to combine it with a few other recipes for the final soup.
It comes out pretty good, really flavorful and spicy, but the broth by itself doesn’t taste like anything because the beans soaked up all the flavor. Next time I’ll use some chicken or vegetable broth instead of just water.
It’s fun to cook again. I enjoy trying new recipes and making things up. There’s a type of creativity there that I haven’t found in other creative projects.
Day 19: Have recess. Blow bubbles, hula hoop, run around, play games, etc
I forgot how fun recess was! I play some hopscotch, jump rope, and do a few somersaults.
(Day 17 – party!- catch up on Day 19): I finally plan the Stone Soup party! I make a list of people to invite, ideas of things to bring, ideas of who to ask if I can have it in their house, and put some holds on the various Stone Soup stories at the library so we can have them at the party. It’s super fun to plan because I’ve been thinking about doing this party for a while, but haven’t gotten around to planning it yet. I’m very excited to do it in January! (No official date yet but that’s when I’m planning it for.)
Day 20: Have a friend plan your itinerary of things to do for a day
This is the activity that I’m the most nervous about doing so far! Yesterday I asked my friend L. if she’ll help me, and she said sure. Last night, I forwarded the challenge email to her and told her she’s helping me with Day 20. She needs to plan around church and lunch but has plenty of time to plan activities for 6:30-9:45am and 2:30pm to whenever.
L. quickly gives me my schedule, telling me she feels she has too much power:
- 6:30-7:15 am – Try one of her favorite body weight workouts
- 7:15-8:15 am – Find a new breakfast recipe and make it for breakfast for you and anyone else at home
- 8:15-9:15 am – Read anything
- 9:15-9:45 am – Get ready for church
- 2:30-3:30 pm – Go for a walk
- 3:30-4:30 pm – Go to the library or shop and find a book or item that you normally wouldn’t check-out/buy
- 4:30-5:00 pm – Chat with someone on the phone
- 5:00-7:00 pm – Make/have dinner
I’m nervous because it’s been so long (5 years ago, in college!) since I worked out first thing in the morning (I now exercise in the afternoon). I get my workout clothes ready the night before, so I don’t procrastinate in the morning, and also choose my recipe so I don’t waste time choosing it in the morning.
The exercise video she chose is fun (but also a really hard workout!), it’s nice to make breakfast (the crepes are a success – recipe here), and I finish Hayley Okines’ book that I was reading for this challenge. I feel a big sense of accomplishment from getting that much done before church!
The highlight of the afternoon is the walk + library. I enjoy saying hi to random people as I pass them while walking (something I miss without realizing I miss it when I drive places). In the library I find The History of Jazz (and a random jazz CD to go with it). It turns out that I’m way more interested in this subject than I would’ve thought. Part of it is because learning anything new is interesting, but mostly it’s because it’s a combination of history, culture, and interesting pictures.
Overall, I feel like I’m on a vacation or something. I did a bunch of things I don’t normally think of doing, and I made the most of today. The biggest difference in today compared to other weekend days is that today was very intentional, and I enjoy that feeling.
Day 21: Learn a new dance move
I remember being at my friend’s wedding and the electric slide came on and I couldn’t figure out how everyone knew this dance. Our friend A. was really nice that day and showed me how to do it, but now I can’t remember and want to relearn it. So thanks to YouTube, I can now do the electric slide.
As I mentioned, I have bloggers partnering with me on this challenge – please take a moment to read their challenge updates as well!
Suz shares her experience from Days 13-19 (she’s doing recaps by calendar weeks)
Randi shares her experience from Days 15-21 (she’s doing recaps every 7 days)
Are you participating? What’s been your experience?