So, today just felt too hot to stand over a stove browning beef and onions and sauteing mushrooms, much less baking a Reine de Saba. I therefore decided to honour la santa Julia’s birthday by getting a tattoo. Well, another tattoo–I got one last week, a little late for JK Rowling’s & Harry’s birthdays, but I was working on 31 July. I got 3 tattoos today, actually, and I think I’m done for a couple of months.
I’ve jokingly talked about getting tattooed at work for a few months now, and about a month ago, was talking with one of my managers about it; she’d just gotten some work done, and recommended her tattooist (tattooer, Tatooine??) to me. At the end of July, a group of us were in the kitchen at work, discussing what we might do with our extra money if we bonused for the second quarter. One person was going to buy new shoes, another said she might get a new weave, and I–timidly and meekly suggested I might get a tattoo. Oh, how they laughed. You’d think David Sedaris was sitting in the kitchen with them, trading bon mots.
“I’ll show them!” I thought to myself, and last Monday, I sought out Perri Ink on Melrose. Now, when I type “sought” what I mean is that I neglected to write down the address of the place, and wandered Melrose Ave, until I found it…across the street from where I started.
The shop is a delightful melange of body art and motorcycles, hipster couture, and a curious obsession with Jack Daniels. [There is a wall of dead soldiers and a statue of Mr (Col?) Daniels in the back.) Everyone was so kind and welcoming! I introduced myself to Von Shock, and explained what I wanted done, and he encouragingly acknowledged that he could do it easily. Von’s been tattooing for over 30 years, and apparently, it was very easy to complete that tattoo, as he was done in about 15 minutes, and I suffered no more pain than I have when I get a manicure. He gave me very clear instructions on how to care for the tattoo and made the experience of getting a first tattoo incredibly easy and comfortable. Thus emboldened, I returned today, determined to get the 3 tattoos I needed to balance my arms–another on the forearm, and 2 where my biceps would be, if I had them. Again, I was welcomed with enthusiasm: everyone at PerriInk is so pleasant, and Von evinced genuine excitement at my choices. 3 tattoos is a lot to do at once, though, and I can’t imagine what people who have full sleeves must go through. One of the tattoos I chose was more intricate than the other 2, and took about an hour and a half to complete. That tattoo was my tribute to Jaws, which is also one of Von’s favourite movies. Apparently, my voice goes up an octave when I’m in a little pain, ’cause to my ear, I sounded just like Julia Child when I warbled “It still scares the dickens out of my when Ben Gardner’s head pops out of the boat!” I’m perfectly thrilled with how it turned out, but it’s on my upper arm, and I’m hardly limber enough to photograph it. Again, Von made the experience as easy as possible; if you’re ever in LA and want to get tatted up, I can’t recommend PerriInk too highly. I just adore tattoos! Everyone should have one, and I’m sure that Julia would have, perhaps butchers cuts of beef, pork and poultry down her spine. That’s not a bad idea, actually… Anyway, here’s my tribute to Julia on her centennial:
As it turned out, I was so jazzed by my tattoos that I decided to cook anyway. It was still pretty hot, so I decided to grill. I started out with a Martini made from artisanal California gin (more of that in another post) and grilled a simple steak to serve with braised carrots, creamed corn with Manchego cheese, and grilled asparagus.
So let us raise a glass to Julia… She’s tall, she’s warbly, her brilliance shone for almost one hundred years and, thanks to the media of our time, “age cannot wither her…” When I contemplate Julia Child, I am reminded of the green light Gatsby watched from his dock–unattainable, but at the same time, she is a part of my soul: she will be with me always, every time I think “butter would improve the taste of that” and whenever I take the time to do something right in the kitchen. I don’t believe in heaven, but I believe in Julia: she watches over us all, guiding our whisk, knife, and spoon, continuing the tradition of good food forever.