Inktober Does NOT Mean Tattoo-ober · 1 October 2022

Just in case you were wondering, Inktober is not the month to get 31 tattoos.

Words are funny. You can say one word and conjure up many different meanings. Sometimes those meanings are merely nuances. Connotations. Subtleties. Words like “old” or “different” come to mind. We can use them in conversation to mean subtlety different things depending on the context. Or even on how the speaker says the word. I have been called old and different. Sometimes those words bring the image is of somebody who is mature and unique. But other times the image is of somebody who is decrepit and odd.

While these words with crazy nuances are fun to think about, there are other words that should only have one meaning but for some reason or other have more than one meaning. And some of these words give us vastly different images.

Ink is one of those words.

Ink used to have just one meaning. Ink. The stuff that comes out of pens. The stuff that goes on paper to create words or images. Ink. Simple. But culture has changed the word. Now, ink can mean tattoo.

Culture is an interesting thing. It changes over time. It morphs in subtle and not so subtle ways. And when the culture changes, words change too. Think about it. If you have been around for very long, you remember a time when ink was merely the stuff that put words or images on the page. And then as more people started putting ink under their skin, ink got a new definition. Ink became synonymous with tattoo. (By the way. The same thing can be said of tat. But only the initiated or crossword solvers know that the original meaning of tat is to make lace through some intricate process.)

At any rate.

I did not think of this word and cultural phenomenon until a friend of mine commented on my Inktober piece. R told me that he thought it would be great if we both got tattoos. He would get more ink and I would get my first. Which is not going to happen. I made that clear. No ink, no tattoos, for me.

Still, the notion that words change so drastically is an amazing phenomenon to me. I never would have thought of Inktober as a time to get tattoos. But it was one of R’s first thoughts. “Let’s get tattoos.” It is even more funny because he is an artist and should have thought of ink on the paper when he saw Inktober. What was he thinking?

Then again, he was probably yanking my chain. Regardless of how much of an artist my friend is, R likes to razz me as much as he can. I think he thinks of it as his word art. After all, he knows that as cool as I think his body art is, I do not want any of it. There is just no draw for me. (No pun intended.)

Well, I hope that clears things up. Inktober is a time for drawing. On paper. And it is a time to share those drawings with others. But even if you think of ink as tattoos, remember that Inktober is not the month to get 31 tattoos. At least not for me.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Inktober 2022 Is Nearly Upon Us · 24 September 2022

Whether or not you are an artist, you should know that Inktober is nearly upon us.

I may not be an artist, but I like to be creative. It is in my DNA. Actually, I think creativity is in everybody’s DNA. But if you are like me, you like to have prompts. You want people to tell you what to draw rather than just trying to draw something from your mind. Or maybe that is just me.

It seems that whenever I try to draw something from my brain, it usually ends up with a poor rendition of a Bob Ross painting. I draw a mountain with a lake. Then, I put in some trees and the reflection of those trees. Then, I put in some foreground stuff to make it look more real and to frame the scene. Or something like that. I have never painted like Bob Ross, but I have drawn many of those kinds of scenes.

But I like to get out of my comfort zone. I like to draw people. And I like to draw cars. And I like to draw all sorts of other things. But when I get in front of a blank piece of paper, I do not always know what to draw.

That is where Inktober comes in.

Inktober is really just a set of thirty-one prompts. You draw thirty-one things in thirty-one days. In ink. Oh sure, you can draw them with pencil and then ink them. (That is what I have often done in the past.) But the outcome is supposed to be thirty-one ink drawings. In thirty-one days. Just one drawing each day in October. Supposedly October.

In reality, there are no start or end dates. The website does not say that you ought to do a drawing each day. In fact, their prompts are posted well ahead of time. So people can start drawing whenever they think of going to the site. They can start their gargoyles and bats and eagles whenever they feel like it. They can figure out how to draw scurry and salty and bluff as soon as they go to the site. They are just prompts. No pressure.

Okay. There is a little pressure.

The pressure comes in the sharing. The rules say that you ought to share your art with somebody. Even just posting a picture on the refrigerator. I like that thought. After all, I already said that I think we are all creative. And if we are all creative, we ought to share that creativity with others. Even if those others are just family members who will like whatever we created. Even if those others are those who have always posted our art on their refrigerators regardless of its quality.

(Click the picture to watch my Inktober 2020 video.)

I really like Inktober. It is a great time to show off your stuff. Whether your stuff really merits showing off or not. Which is the whole point. Creativity is always worthwhile to show to others. And if you are like me, Inktober gives you some prompts for your creativity to shine.

So be creative. Join in the fun and creativity that is Inktober. And start whenever you want. There is no rule about when to start or end. (Even though I said in the beginning that Inktober is almost upon us.)

So get drawing. And inking. After all, Inktober is almost upon us.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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The Worst Part of Being Sick · 17 September 2022

The worst part of being sick is well… being sick.

I do not like to complain, but I am going to do it anyway. In a kinda sorta tongue in cheek way.

I recently went through a bout of COVID. Five days of not much fun. Well, technically six days since the first day of symptoms is called day zero. Which is one of the better things about the COVID protocols. Everybody else counts like computer geeks and starts with zero.

At any rate.

The worst part of being sick is the fever. Well, not the fever exactly. The aches that come with the fever. For me, my whole body aches. Like I had been punched on every muscle in my body. Especially, my arms and legs. But worse than that, if I have not been drinking enough fluids, I tend to get cramps too. Usually the muscles in my legs or feet. Those feet cramps are the worst.

But there are other worst effects too.

I tend not to eat much when I get sick. Which is not too bad. You know. Starve a fever. But if I do not eat for too long I get a little light headed when I walk around. That is the worst. Going up and down the stairs to get this or that. Making a misstep or having to grab the hand rail to stay steady. I know. Somebody will surely comment that it is just me getting old, but that is not the cause. And quit calling me Shirley!

But seriously, the worst part of being sick is isolation. At least the worst part of having COVID. You need to stay away from everybody. Don’t be near anybody so you can’t breathe on anybody. Don’t breathe on anybody so you don’t get anybody sick. Which makes sense. It makes even more sense not to breathe at all until you are healthy again. At least if you could survive.

I suppose when it comes down to it, there are many worst parts of being sick. Did I mention the aches? Did I mention fever? Did I mention chapped lips? How about not being able to drink enough water? Or feeling a little light-headed when walking around? Or isolating? Well, I might have missed some, but those are the worst things for me.

I know. They cannot all be the worst part just by definition of worst, but they are.

Well, there is one more worst part of being sick. Not having a clear mind to write. Surely that is a worst thing too. (And no. I didn’t call you Shirley.)

When it comes right down to it, there is really just one worst part of being sick. The worst part of being sick, COVID or otherwise, is just being sick. (Of course, you already knew that.)

Be healthy.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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