Tattoos

By: Brady Evans

I am currently holding myself back from getting a tattoo.

I look around and see coworkers, strangers, and people I admire intellectually, professionally, and socially with tattoos.  I watch the news and see tatted skin.  I drive tattoo-1179512through Lexington and into Columbia and pass by at least 6 tattoo establishments.  No one talks about tattoos anymore.  When referencing someone, no one ever says, “AND he had TATTOOS!”  No doubt they are becoming more acceptable and more the norm.

I heard a story on NPR about Ice Man (by the way, I remember when he was found in 1991 – I was just in elementary school but it made a huge impact on me) and I heard that he was tattooed.  Tattoos have been present in our culture for a long time!

So, I am sitting here holding myself back from getting a tattoo.  I already have two.  This surprises most people.  These two stay hidden all of the time – one is on my ribs and the other on my shoulder.  They stay hidden because I am still not sure what people think about them.  I wanted them in a place that was covered day to day.  But then…what’s the point of a tattoo if no one sees it?  Are tattoos for the wearer or the viewer?  A part of me thinks both.

My dog died.  That’s what my new tattoo will be about.  The grief my husband and I have experienced is new to both of us and has surprised us both.  For some reason I think that tattooing her memory on my body will help.  It probably won’t.  It will, however, give me a reason to bring her up (when people ask about the tattoo – if it is not hidden).  I will see it in the mirror and be reminded of her.

What’s your opinion on tattoos?  Tacky?  Unprofessional?  Sweet?  Do you have a tattoo?  Why did you get it?

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Dipping Sauce

By: Brady Evans

I was in a professional development (for teachers) workshop about two years ago and the discussion about tattoos came up. Should teachers have tattoos? What if they aren’t visible? Two different walls of the room represented opposing views and as the discussion developed, people drifted from one side to the other.

I think that as my generation ages, tattoos are becoming so normal. I don’t even get why someone would want a tattoo. Why does a person want something permanently branded on her body?

Even so, I toyed with the idea of a tattoo for maybe 2 years. I couldn’t think of the thing I wanted to forever be a part of me. I felt obligated that it should have something to do with my husband – that’s what you do, right?  But I wasn’t about to get his name, his face, or his initials inked into my skin. So I thought a symbol of our love might be nice. But I didn’t love the idea of making up a symbol for the sole purpose of the tattoo. No tattoo for me, I guessed.

I was in one of those super modern, evangelical Easter services this past year and I was watching the guy up on stage speaking to us and his arms were just blanketed in tattoos.  Imagine that.  A holy man covered in ink.

And then, out of nowhere on that day, an idea for my tattoo sprung into my mind’s eye.  I could not shake it. I mulled over it for months, and discussed it with people I loved and trusted.  My mom.

I didn’t listen to my mom. Getting a tattoo was basically the one thing I wanted to accomplish during my summer off (how immature is that?) and I did.

It is such a relief to have it. It is so perfect. It is so me. I will never regret it; I am sure of it.  Subtle red-brown silhouettes of my favorite things – my dog, my cat, my horse, a runner – quietly resting on my rib cage.  I run my fingers over the ink and realize how lucky I am.  My legs can take me distances I never thought possible. I can communicate with my horse in a language even I don’t understand.  My dog.  Oh, my dog.  And the cat for good measure.  You know cats – they have to be in the middle of everything.

——

This recipe has been floating around the internet for awhile.  It is really, really great. My husband was just blown away – though that might have been because he was coming off a week of eating on the road in Iowa. Meatballs aren’t the most low-maintenance thing to make, but they sure are fun to eat. It is nice to have them with an Asian flare and the lime dipping sauce is NOT optional.

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Dipping Sauce (slightly adapted from Skinny Taste)

Asian Turkey MeatballsIngredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 1-1/4 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 scallion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

For the sauce:

  • 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh scallion

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp oil in a large bowl.
  3. Mix with your hands until combined well.
  4. Shape into a balls about the size of a ping pong ball and transfer to an ungreased baking dish.
  5. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  6. For the dipping sauce, mix all ingredients.
  7. Serve meatballs with drizzled with sauce as desired.