Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Woohoo! I'm getting a new tattoo!

Oh my God, I'm so excited! After getting my first tattoo 3 years ago, I'm finally getting another one. I won an hour's worth of free tattooing time from my husband's tattooist, Leslie Mah, over at her new tattoo parlor near Oakland Chinatown, called Diving Swallow. Yes, the Leslie Mah who was in Tribe 8, the famous lesbian punk band, years ago.

What I plan to do is to have a milkfish right below my speedo line. The picture will be a bit stylized so at least it won't look like a fucking Japanese koi fish, with a banner around it. I haven't decided what I want to put on the banner, but it'll probably be the word love in Ilokano, my mom's native language. There's going to be lots of cool blue and grayish scales on it, which will be cool since the milkfish is a fairly nondescript fish in real life.

So why a milkfish?

Well, when I was growing up, my mom used to cook milkfish a lot, since it's a fairly common fish that's eaten in the Philippines (and apparently in Taiwan, which I had no idea about, but makes sense given the geography). The word for milkfish in many Filipino languages is "bangus." My mom's familiar name was "Ostang." In my own twisted sense of humor, I would often say, "Ostang is cooking us-bang!" while my mom would laugh or roll her eyes, depending on her mood.

It's a weird way of commemorating my mom, but I think it works. I know my mom is laughing at it even as I type. Given that she passed a couple years ago, I wanted to commemorate her in a tattoo, but in a way that makes sense to me. All the cheesy "mom" tattooes didn't work for me.

I still miss her, especially if I have sinigang na bangus, this sour-tasting stew that's cooked with the milkfish. She used to always go for the portion of the fish with the stomach, since that was her favorite part. Even now, when I eat that portion of the fish on the rare times I order it (ain't no way it tastes better than my mom's version), I think of her.

Dang, I miss her.

1 comment:

:: jozjozjoz :: said...

I'm glad you explained why a milkfish... it's a great way to give tribute to your mom.