Got a tattoo yesterday.

I have wanted a tattoo for ages, but for a long time I put it behind artificial barriers: “if I achieve this goal, then I’ll allow myself to get a tattoo.” I made it into a reward for myself, and I always found ways to sabotage the goal, and to ensure that I never felt like I deserved it. I do that a lot. I don’t think it was a subconscious signal that I didn’t really want a tattoo; rather that withholding something I really did want was an easy way to punish myself for falling short of my goals. It looked like a carrot, but acted like a stick. It’s a self-destructive streak that I’m working on.

Anyway, last weekend I was in Amsterdam for the afternoon to do some shopping and meet up for a beer with Orde who was in town for the Mobilism conference. I stopped in at the House of Tattoos on the Haarlemmerstraat, and made an appointment for this weekend. (I had done some internet research into Amsterdam tattoo shops already; it wasn’t quite a spur-of-the-moment thing. The House of Tattoos had been an open tab for a while, and when we were walking down the Haarlemmerstraat a couple of weeks ago, I mentally bookmarked its physical location as well.)

Sjap at work

For my first tattoo, the experience could not have been better. Everyone I spoke to there was super nice and welcoming. It was Sjap who did my tattoo. When he called me through from the waiting area he spotted that I was reading Edge magazine, and we basically spent the whole time talking about video and board games. I came in with a prepared design (the Aleona logo that Mark Grossman made for me a few years ago), and Sjap spent a good long time getting it in exactly the right position on my arm, wiping the template off my skin several times before settling on the final, perfect angle. I’m absolutely delighted with the result.

My tattoo