The GGA Project -- Day #106 "New Holes"

Back in 1997 my friend Nicole and I went to visit our other friend Renee, who was studying abroad in England.  A few days into our visit, we decided to head to Scotland for a couple or days, hopping on a bus for Edinburgh. Nothing can create a stunned silence as profound as finding oneself seated across the aisle from a backward facing seat in which this woman, Elaine Davidson, was seated

That's a recent picture.  Back then she looked more like this

It's nothing compared to her 4,500+ piercings today, but back then she was still the world record holder with somewhere between 400-500.  Rather than pass an uncomfortable bus ride trying not to stare, we kicked up a conversation with Ms. Davidson, who was of course very happy to talk about her piercings for more than half the ride (nobody who is averse to attention sets about to set the world record for piercings).  She was a pleasant woman with a good sense of humor, and we were left a little starstruck when she disembarked in Glasgow.

I don't even know where she was getting those crazy face piercings done that long ago...I didn't see that sort of thing mainstream for some time after that.  Needless to say, she left an impression, if only just for the oddity factor.  And while I can't say I'm in love with that number of piercings, I've always liked the look of one or two tasteful, carefully chosen ones.

So I was pretty excited when, a couple of weeks ago, I heard an ad on the radio for a Body Art Expo taking place this weekend in San Francisco.  I thought my friend Brian was probably the best possible person to invite to come with me, and I was happy he was free and down to go.  I've been looking forward to today since then.  Yes, I'd considered getting a tattoo, but I figured out a few days ago that I wasn't going to think of anything I could commit to for life on that short of notice.  But I did know it would be a great place to scope out other piercing possibilities (until now I only had my nose pierced).

Today's New Activity: Embedded Perma-Sparkle

What I really wanted was to get a dermal piercing on my face, near my temple (I didn't know it was called that, I just knew I'd seen one before and I liked it).  The very first booth Brian and I stopped at was manned by a young guy with exactly the piercing I wanted, so we got all the low down from him, but I wasn't ready to commit yet.  Haha, and it turned out nearly EVERY SINGLE TATTOO ARTIST THERE had exactly the piercing I wanted.  Apparently it's a popular thing in the industry.  But I was pretty much talked out of it by the last woman I spoke to about it, since she mentioned that everyone worries about their job when they think of getting that specific piercing done...I remembered that I work in a bank and that I should probably put myself into that category as well.

Still, I love how the dermal piercings look, and she had a bunch of them all over her arm and midriff, which were pretty cool.  I decided to get one on my wrist for the time being, just as a little bit of permanent jewelry-type sparkle.

It really didn't hurt much until she had a hard time getting it to sit right (which she blamed on me since I'd wanted it off-center and she was only accustomed to placing it centered).  The worst part was looking at the face of one of the onlookers, whose contorted expression was so freaked out and disgusted I thought he was gonna puke (and Brian was a sport to take pictures because apparently he is similarly put-off by this sort of thing).  I didn't worry in earnest though until she called in one of her colleagues for help.  At that point the piercing was sticking up in this odd, creepy looking way, and I worried it would end up like that.  But the guy who jumped it set it straight.  Leaving me with a tiny bit of bling that looks like this:

The Monkey likes it.  He's already made a little ritual of pushing on it, which gets him all giggly because I make a "boop" sound every time he does it.  He must just think I grew some kind of soundmaker button overnight.

Really there is no point to it, obviously...it might as well just be something to entertain my son, but I like the way it looks so that's really all there is to it.  When I think about it, that's all any piercing, even the most benign ear piercing, is anyway, so just why not?

Brian's goal for the day was to get a plug in one ear...not anything crazy (meaning he doesn't plan to stretch it in the future).  He went for the 2 gauge right away, and once he's able to remove the silicon starter and replace it with one of the super pretty stones he bought for it, he'll be all set.  

I have to give him props for bravery.  He lay down to be in the right position should he happen to faint, but it turned out to be totally unnecessary.  

He was all pierced up and back on his feet in no time without so much as a swoon, leaving us both feeling successful, all set with new holes :P

We spent the rest of our time there taking in the sights and chatting up the tattoo artists, most of whom where totally down-to-earth and friendly.  It's kind of nice that tattoos and piercings are so mainstream now.  The Expo was full of very normal people who just happen to like to use their bodies as canvases.  There were a surprising number of children there, too.  It was a fascinating family environment.

One of the more interesting things we saw was a traditional Polynesian tattoo technique, which was done using a thickish blade on the end of a dowel, which was pounded repeatedly against the skin using a second dowel.  I don't know if the pain sends people squirming or if it just takes a lot to ensure the lines are made straight, but there were three grown men holding down the leg of the guy who was getting tattooed.

The end result looks pretty cool.  Just thinking of it makes me hurt, though, remembering the process.

The whole experience was a lot of fun.  It was kind of overwhelming, with the constant buzzing of the tattoo needles and the unbelievable number of portfolios to sort through.  I can see now why they were actually selling three-day passes to the event -- it would have taken at least that long to see everything there was to see.  But one day was a good start.  And I even managed to chose a tattoo artist for a possible future GGA activity.  Shhhhhh...   :)

And big thanks to Brian for being great company...it was a great day all the way around.


  1. Good lord, Woman! You DO play piano with those long, elegant fingers, right? And BTW: LOVE the boop button!

  2. awesome, mama! :) you are so brave! :) i love your new piercing. so cute! and i reading about our adventures in england & scotland brought back such pleasant memories! like taking the old people train to old people land!