By Braddah Lance
My Hawaii State ID is expiring.
My driver's license is expiring.
Oh crap. I can't believe it. I'm actually afraid to say it. I really don't like da sound of it and as of 12:00am today, there's no turning back from it.
Today........I hit, *GULP* da mid-thirties.
Sadly, I can say I'm "mid-" and actually mean it. I'm not 34. I'm not 36. I'm exactly in da middle. Goodness gracious, it's only downhill from here.
Even prior to hitting da *gulp* mid-thirties, I've always had a short "bucket list" which hasn't changed since high school:
- Go to Disneyworld
- Go to Japan
- Fly with da Blue Angels and/or Thunderbirds
- Watch da 49ers live.... or win a record tying 6th Super Bowl - both would be nice
- Get a tattoo
I know I'm "young" to have a bucket list but I've always wanted to experience those things before it's "too late".
Well at least I got to scratch one off da list.... and I did it TWICE!
I got tattoos. (Don't tell my mommy)
I've always believed and felt tattoos (tat's) weren't just "art". It's a representation - a lifelong representation - of who you are and what you steadfastly believe in. IMHO, tat's shouldn't be on a whim or some design that isn't even remotely representative of you. Not to single out any particular race, but take for instance people who get Polynesian warrior tattoos who aren't even Polynesian or even understand da significance of the design oddah than it was "cool looking".
And then there's da whole debate of whether non-Asians should be getting any kine of kanji inked on them at all. I'll just leave it at dat.
People get tat's for watevah reasons they may be and it's really no one's business except for da person getting 'em so I followed my heart chosing my designs seriously and done it without an ounce of regret.
Da two tat's I got inked with are THE most important things dat mattah to me: my family and my life.
For me, "family" runs the gamut be it by blood or friends - they are all "Kwons'" to me so I protect everyone of 'em as such. Each of my immediate family members has gone through "above normal" struggles - of which I witnessed even though they tried to "hide" it from me and I hope to God no one goes through dat - but they persevered.
My friends mean a great deal to me as without them, I wouldn't be who I am today either. Even though we may not bear da same last name, they are my ohana and will always be a "Kwon" to me.
"Life" is a hard one to describe in a word or kanji character or singular symbol and made it too broad and almost impossible to "describe" me. Those who regularly read WWD! know dat I've battled/ing adversity for da bettah part of my life. From playing sports to even writing dis blog, I've had to always battle as a "non-favorite" and overlooked in sports due to uh, my size. So what fitting character to represent an underdog than Underdog himself? Plus it's a "funny" which fits me perfectly don't you tink?
Some may tease or laugh but like I said, a tat is a representation of you and if you can't stand up for it and believe in it, you bettah not ink yourself wit it. I got them as "badges" and can live with it.....
You got a bucket list to share? Done anything dat oddahs may look or say is weird but you did cause you believed in it? Ready to get inked?
Don't you just love dis sign at a tattoo parlor?
Let it begin..... can you spot Da Wife?
Does it tickle.... or does it hurt?
Doug has got some real steady hands
One done. On to numbah two.
Man on a mission
Braddah Doug with some after care instructions... some very clear instructions.
Oh yeah baby! Mahalos Braddah Doug!
Braddah Doug also offers a free one-time follow up touch up because during da tattooing process, there are many variables dat can affect da original inking and all bets are off if YOU wen mess up by not following his directions... trust and believe, he going know if you did or not. Check with him and ask au' kine questions, I did.
Hea's da tat's a few days aftah da touch up session.......
Some of you may be wondering why I nevah get "Kwon" in Korean characters. Well I had asked my Mom before I got married, to find a kanji "Kwon" for the very reasons I mentioned above. It's because kanji is "universal" - in all asian languages using characters - and while I may be Korean, my love for ohana stretches far beyond being "just" Korean.
It only took me about 20 years to think of using dis to "represent" me.... and I tink it's perfect. I've gotten a lot of compliments on it.... even Da Wife changed her mind cause she didn't like it at first until she saw da finished product on me.
SHOUT OUT: A huge Maaaaahalos goes out to Doug Wheeler at Hawaiian Tattoo Co. at Pucks Alley-University for doing such a great job! If you guys need a tattoo artist to help represent, see him. He's not only professional but up front and a helluva guy! Check out his website dougtat2.com.
And in case you missed it, he also was da inaugural 808 Pride blog I did last year. It was a video interview so check it out and you'll see he's one cool braddah! Click hea' fo' see da vid!