Tattoo Nightmares

“…if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy

Reality shows aren’t my thing usually, but I’m hooked on Tattoo Nightmares, which follows Ink Master. Tattoo Nightmares features three clients an episode who need cover-up tattoos, and with reenactments and storytelling, you learn why. If you have 30 minutes, love a good story, and want to laugh, you should check it out.

Here are the best things about the show:

Changing Lives – When most people think about good deeds, they think of volunteer work and monetary donations, but this show proves you can change lives in creative ways. The artists use their gift as tattoo artists to cover up something that causes pain or trouble in someone’s life. Some clients cry, some celebrate, and most episodes end with hugs all around – even the guys. On a recent episode, Jasmine said, “They show us the worst, and we have to do it. We have to do it.” The artists make it their mission to make a difference.

The Stars – Each artist has a distinct style and personality. You can see they really care about their clients and want to do the best they can. The artists are genuine and some of the nicest people I’ve ever seen on T.V. They laugh and have fun, and they interact like a little tattoo shop family. In an age where drama and shock value sells, it’s refreshing to see three people getting along to help others.

Stories – It’s a reality show, so it’s hard to know what’s real and fake. I’d like to think most of the stories are true, but sometimes they’re so unbelievable you shake your head. Some stories can be heavy, and the client needs the cover-up to erase the experience and get a fresh start. Others are believable because some people really are that stupid, and those can be very funny. Personally, the stories have been a great deterrent to getting a tattoo. I’ve learned to never get a tattoo for a significant other, while partying, or to impress friends. It never works out.

Reenactments – The show cuts to reenactments of the clients’ stories. The actors portray an exaggerated version of what happened with some humor added. The reenactments add a special charm to the show because they’re entertaining and tell the story in a fun way.

Art – Even though I don’t have a tattoo, I’ve always liked them and respected good artists. I can’t imagine tattooing someone and the amount of steady, precise skill one needs. The cover-ups these artists create blow my mind, and you can’t see the old one. The artists replace the old one with what the client wants, and they’re truly works of art. It almost makes me want a bad one just so they can cover it up – a small one of course!

The Ice Cream Man: A Quick Study

As I stood in my yard this week, I heard Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer echoing through the neighborhood. At Christmas time, this would not be a problem, however this was a couple of nights ago around 8:30. The music was coming from a decorated white van. It was the ice cream man.

This got me thinking that ice cream men are pretty creepy, and in some cases evil. I asked a few family members and friends about their ice cream-man experiences, and everyone had a story…

Here are the top reasons people think they are creepy:

1. The van. In some places ice cream men drive trucks, but in my neighborhood, it’s a white van that resembles a kidnapper’s van. They’re huge, drive really slow, and all the windows are whited or blacked out. We teach our kids to avoid vehicles such as these, but the ice cream man is okay and kids trust him unconditionally.
2. The music. Before ours played Christmas tunes, I always heard Pop Goes the Weasel, which is an odd choice because of the lyrics and meaning. The last couple years ours play Christmas music year round – Rudolph, Santa’s Coming to Town, Jingle Bells – five or six times a day any day the weather is above 40 degrees. This winter they would cruise through at dusk, hours after school dismissed.
3. Appearance. I’ve never seen an attractive ice cream man. They usually are a little to very overweight (they probably do eat ice cream all day) and pretty sweaty and unshaven, especially in the summer. There’s this guy too!

Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal. Photo by:

4. Solitary lifestyle. They drive around all day alone, listening to peppy, children’s music, waiting for children to come out. You never see two people in a van.
5. Magnetism. This isn’t always a good thing. As my RevPub partner eloquently said, “[they have] a fairytale, witch-like ability to tempt small children.” Little kids can’t help but drop what they are doing the second they hear him coming. He does have sweet delicious treats! The ice cream man may be responsible for beginning addictive behaviors in children.

Here are some stories I gathered:

1. My niece claims the ice cream man stole her friend’s wallet right out of her back pocket.
2. My RevPub partner recalls a time he and his sister went out for ice cream, and the man took off down the street. They chased after him with money, and he never turned around.
3. My hubby remembers going up to the van, and there was a gorgeous girl, not a man. He was so stunned he forgot what he was doing there (see previous number 3).

Of course, we still support the ice cream man and welcome him into our neighborhoods. Here’s to lots of cool treats in the summer, and feel free to share your ice cream man stories in the comments below!

5 Reasons to Play Board Games

“The way a man plays a game shows some of his character. The way he loses shows all of it.” — Unknown

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride













In honor of the second annual International Tabletop Game Day and all the fun we had, here are the top reasons to play board games:

1. Have fun. This is most important. It’s not about winning or ego, and there shouldn’t be any drama. We have a rule in our house: If you start to get upset or cop an attitude, we quit. It keeps things (and people) from getting emotional and ruining a good game.
Examples: Any board game as long as everyone stays cool

2. Get together. Guess what? It’s REALLY hard to play a board game and stay attached to your phone. Board games get everyone off their devices and allow people to spend time together. Many board games involve teams or strategies, so you have to work together to accomplish a goal or win. This may create a bond between people who normally would not connect.
Examples: Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Castle Panic

3. Be mean. This is probably my favorite reason. I LOVE to screw people over in board games. It’s nothing personal, and I expect the same thing in return. Most times, you like the people playing with you, and you wouldn’t try to really hurt them, but sometimes they deserve a game back stab. And most times, they know they do. Harmful vindictiveness can be very therapeutic, too.
Examples: Zombies!, Small World, Sorry!

4. Meet new people. I’ve met at least one person every game day we’ve attended. I may or may not have something in common with them, but it doesn’t matter because we’re just playing the game. You also learn a lot about people while tabletop gaming. You learn their interests, strategies, and weaknesses. People tend to open up a little, which helps you learn about them without the awkwardness.

5. Make memories. We spend so much time documenting every miniscule moment to social media sites, but will your best friend remember what you had for dinner last week? Probably not. Will they remember you sending 20 zombies after them in a game? Oh yeah. Making memories and having a story to tell is what life should be about – not the daily grind.

As far as game titles, play anything you want. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new! The TableTop series produces great videos showing the game play, and you can buy most of the games online.

Feel free to share your favorite games in the comments below!