Marked Flesh and Media Whores

by JT Ellison

I’ve finally started reading THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.

How I’ve managed to go this long without knowing the actual storyline of the book is remarkable – especially since it was the very first ebook I ever bought. I haven’t read a single review. I don’t know any details at all. I know it swept the world away, but today, 100 pages in, realizing it’s a story about  a missing woman… the set up seems utterly prosaic. Though I am invested in the story, I am afraid to be disappointed by going forward and finding that this is simply a regular tale, one not mythic, not life-changing, not genre-transcending.

All of that is in direct conflict with the books’ backstory, and current about to be a blockbuster movie status. The dead author, one who’s been in turns accused of gross misogyny and tender enlightenment, who witnessed a girl’s rape in his teens and by all accounts spent the next 15 years trying to rid himself of that mental horror. The battle for his estate. The films, heralded, revered, and soon to be released in the US. In all honestly, I didn’t feel there was any way the book could possibly live up to the standards of which the media shrieks set forth.

But how could that be? The idea that this book (these books) aren’t supremely special in some way is anathema to me. There must be more. There has to be something unique and brilliant about them, or else they’re just another mystery and we’ve all bought into the hype and that ultimately lessens the craft.

What, at its most base, is this whole spectacle about?

A story that explores the mystery behind a missing girl.

When I realized that, I went – That’s it?

No way. There is so much more to this story – I can already see that. And as I read, all the bits and pieces from the past few years, the details I’ve purposefully obfuscated, are coming into focus.

I didn’t want to read this book. I’m not sure why. I adore a good thriller. Maybe it’s because I’d just tried and failed with Jo Nesbo’s REDBREAST (just wasn’t in the proper intellectual space at the time) and the whole Scandinavian thing scared me. Or maybe it was the warnings about the financial stuff at the beginning. Being told the first 50 pages of a book are boring, but to stick with it isn’t exactly the way to get me on board.

I’ll be honest, I bought it, and I’ve glanced longingly at the cover several times, but it wasn’t until the US movie casting that I decided I was going to give this a chance. The whole Daniel Craig as Blomkvist is a beautiful thing, but that wasn’t it. It was sweet-faced Rooney Mara, who was asked to transform into hard-edged Lisbeth Salander.

 Before

After

It was that transformative process that got me interested in the story, in actually finding out what all the fuss was about. For at one time, Lisbeth Salander was, on the surface at least, a fresh faced ingénue as well.

The choice to mar flesh is one made for a variety of reasons. I have several piercings and a couple of tattoos. Unlike many babies I see nowadays, I wasn’t allowed to pierce my ears until I was ten – and that event stays firmly lodged in my mind. My hands shaking on the long drive to the store. The smelly black marker, perfectly aligning the spot where the needle would go. The cold alcohol wipe. The sharp snap of the gun shooting the hard metal through my tender lobes. The euphoria when they held up the mirror and the two twin glints peeked from either side of my head. I felt like such a woman walking out of the mall with my small gold studs. I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror. At my birthday present. The marking of my flesh for the first time.

There’s something quite… addictive about it. Ask anyone who’s pierced themselves and they’ll tell you. Tattoos too. It’s strange, really. Incomprehensible to some, yet—dare I say?—a turn on for others.

I didn’t feel the lure to mark myself again until I was in my teens and decided to double pierce my left ear. Not both ears. Just the left one. The asymmetry appealed to me. Unbalanced. Off-kilter. It fit my personality.

The method was exactly the same as six years earlier. I felt that same rush.

My father, on the other hand, had kittens. Several litters, in fact.

Eventually he forgave me, in the form of a gorgeous little diamond. Just one. Only for that spot. I wore that stud in my left ear for years, a secret acceptance from him, the first true acknowledgement of my autonomy, the powerful knowledge that I could be myself and yet still be loved, and was heartbroken when it was stolen, along with the small diamond earrings my grandmother gave me for graduation, on my honeymoon.

I haven’t worn a diamond in its place since.

The next marking came in the form of a triple piercing in that same left ear, which I let close soon after, because it just looked strange to me. But in ’95 I went for something different – a helix, through the cartilage atop my left ear. I still have that piercing, a small silver tension hoop. I’ll never take it out.

The belly button was next – it took separate piercings to get it right, too. Then the tragus – that’s the bit of cartilage in your ear closest to your face. I wanted to do my nose too, but Darling Husband drew the line.

So I started on the tattoos.

Trust me, as good little pearl-ed, bow-ed, preppy college republican was replaced by the hippy Goth artist within—replaced, ha. Eradicated is more like it—the folks around me started to wonder.

Why, exactly, was I doing this?

That is a very hard question to answer.

A, I think it looks cool. B, while having needles poked into your flesh hurts, it’s a different kind of pain. C, there are times you want to make sure you remember. Good times, and bad.

The first tattoo, the Chinese symbol for strength, was designed to give me just that, a tangible, physical, always apparent symbolic reminder to stop, breathe, and remember that my strength comes from within. It was a very serious tattoo. The second, the symbol for rebirth, was inked when I felt I’d achieved that exact moment of true inner strength: the stasis of my life was suddenly over and I was hurtling forward into the world I live in now. It is a joyous mark, and I had no idea until later that the combination of the two meant Phoenix Rising. From the ashes. I couldn’t have picked something more apropos if I tried, and as such it means so much more.

The little purple butterfly I just thought was pretty, but as our Alex pointed out to me years after the fact, apparently my subconscious needed the evidence of that shattered chrysalis in a more permanent form. It is a delicate little fancy.

I was five tattoos in when I realized I may have gone to far. I had wanted an Ichthys on the inside of my foot below my left ankle, but was talked out of it. (Tattoo artist: “I can’t guarantee this won’t rub off eventually.” Me: “Well, then I need to do something different – I want something permanent.”) Idiots, the both of us. He wanted to get paid more and I was too naïve to realize it. I ended up with what was supposed to be a rising sun but instead we referred to as the Death Star – and he did the colors backwards so I had to have it redone. Two layers of ink – one orange, topped with red and yellow.

I chose to remove that one, a process which more than made up for my idiocy by putting me through some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I do hear removal is better now, but at the time, I was a laser stricken guinea pig.

The phantom of that tat lingers on my left ankle. One day I’ll go to a cosmetic tattoo artist and have them ink the areas that hyper pigmented back to a more natural skin tone. But for now, it’s a reminder to me to think things through a little more. To look before I leap, which isn’t the easiest thing for me.

So I’m settled at five and one-half piercings (the tragus I stupidly removed trying to endear myself to some Nashville Junior Leaguers and it closed up, but I’m going to have it redone) and three tattoos – the small butterfly in profile on my left shoulder blade, and the two Chinese symbols on the inside of my right ankle. I adore all three and would never, ever mess with them. The ankle especially.

That doesn’t mean I’m not considering a fourth, one in a slightly less obvious place so I wouldn’t have to show it off if I didn’t want to.

A dragon is always foremost in the considerations.

Which brings me back to Mara Rooney, about to be immortalized as the girl with the dragon tattoo. For the movie, the piercings she did were all real – lip, brow, nose, nipples, four holes in each ear. The tattoos are drawn on, but the piercings – that took some guts. If you don’t have this particular predilection… well, suffice it to say, I’ll be a fan of the movies because of what Rooney did for her art.

Click Photo for full poster (NSFW)

I haven’t finished the book yet. But I already like Lisbeth. I’m rooting for her. And now I’m dying to find out exactly what each of her markings are about.

Have you marked yourself in some way? Do you regret it, or are you glad for it?

Wine of the Week: Snap Dragon Red

24 thoughts on “Marked Flesh and Media Whores

  1. Barbie

    As I started to read this blog post, my jaw just about dropped to to the floor. JT, you have to promise me something. PLEASE, for me, just so my little heat doesn't break in a zillion little pieces and I fall into a dark abyss of I don't even know what, but it'll be horrible. Just PROMISE me, that you'll watch the SWEDISH version of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Mara Rooney??? Dude, you have to see NOOMI RAPACE. The Swedish actress who played Lisbeth! She was so absolutely, completely perfect, that they actually asked her to play again again in the American movies. It was after she rejected that they went after someone else. JT, she's PERFECT! After seeing her, I don't think I'll ever be able to get used to Rooney, as great as she might be. The Swedish version THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO was the most outstanding, breathtaking movie I've seen in years, and it's all because of her. Promise me you'll see it. For me. I swear it's worth it!!!!

    And, ummm, by the way, I haven't read the books. I was going to, but I watched the movies (all three of them) first. And I loved it so much, that I was scared to read the books and that it'd ruin the movies for me, so, I skipped them for now.

    Okay, I've vented. Yes, I've marked myself. I have EIGHT tattoos at 23. I know, right? I wanted 7 total, but I ended up not being able to stop. I'd wanted a tattoo since I saw my mom getting her first, and I got my first one when I was 14, a fairy, sitting on a moon named Crystal, because I always liked fairies. I for my second one at 16, a Butterfly on top of a flower, I named her Misty, short for Mystery, because she's on my back and I can never see her. I got my third one at 18, and, as I always say, you don't choose the tattoo, the tattoo chooses you. And I had a real problem with this one. Because when the darned thing chose me, I just knew I had to get it. But… it was… a fairy, sitting on a moon. Except that I already had one of those. I know, right? So, I looked through hundreds of other pictures, trying to find another, but kept getting back to it. Finally, with my heart heavy, I went to the tattoist and asked what to do. He suggested he changed her into something else. So, she became a little witch sitting on a mushroom. I asked him to add a little black cat, and then were born Allie & Nerf.

    My fourth tattoo was an Elf, a weird little thing my mom saw online and showed me for fun! She cringed when I said "OMG, I have to tattoo that!!!" But, soon, she came to love him. Everyone loves Freek! (Yeah, I name my tattoos!). My fifth tattoos is a Triquetra, a Wicca symbol for equilibrium, which was the symbol for Charmed, and their sisterhood, and it was my favorite show. My sixth tattoo is a four leaf clover, and it means a lot to me. I write this series of short stories since I was 15, it's called The Best Friends Forever Series, and in it, the main characters got a tattoo when they graduated from High School to symbolize their friendship. It's a four leaf clover for luck in life. In each leaf, there's a symbol. A star for Sarah, who's an actress, and was born to shine, a Butterfly for Becca, who's always changing into something beautiful, a flower for Jen, who's as sweet as a rose, and a heart for Meghan, whose name is Meghan Hart. My seventh tattoo is this Bipolar little guy. No explanations available. And my eight tattoo are colorful stars over my shoulder to cover a scar I had.

    And, if you guys want to see pictures, here's a link to them in my blog!!! Sorry this is so long today! Finally a topic I'm passionate about!!!! I love tattoos!!!! http://booksandhugs.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/funky-little-pictures-painted-on-my-body/

  2. Reine

    No. Not me. My girlfriend decorated herself with borderline pain. She cut her arms. Across. Down. Lateral. Deep. Near Plymouth rock her mother asked me what her arms looked like. She saw us talking. I'll swim out she said. I won't come back. I'll die like that in this water. Her slices held me hostage. Her secret decorations. Art just for us. No. I left. Ran far and hid. $182 got me to Los Angeles. Fuck that.

  3. Sarah W

    Two sets of holes in my lobes, three sets up the rims of my ears, each with a story.

    I've been wanting a tattoo for a long time . . . There's a story that I read long, long ago about a small, specialized reference library watched over by an Old School librarian who (less and less patiently) answered a treasure-seeker's (more and more frustrated) questions about the legend of a dragon whose lair — and hoard — was supposedly somewhere nearby. Finally, the library closed and the treasure-hunter stole one of the rare books, assuming it would help him find the hoard . . . and the librarian transformed, swallowed him whole, and carefullly re-shelved the book.

    Ever since, I've wanted a dragon surrounded by a hoard of books, reading one through pince-nez glasses on a chain . . . but I couldn't find the right dragon. My husband's brother and his wife, who have several tats each, recently visited, and I told them this. My BIL held up a finger and left the room. Ten minutes later, he returned with my MIL's early edition copy of The Hobbit and showed me the illustration of Smaug.

    Oh. There you are.

    Now all I need is an artist and an idea of size and placement. Lord knows I have enough blank canvas, but since I'd like to display it and conceal it and maybe look at it myself occasionally, I've got some thinking to do.

  4. JD Rhoades

    No tats, no piercings, although I did wear an earring in college for a brief time until I quit because everyone I knew was wearing one.

    And ditto the sentiment on the Swedish version of TGWTDT. I thought the book cried out for an editor and was rolling my eyes at the transparent Mary Sue-ism. (more explanation in my Goodreads review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/160416616)

    But the movie was great.

  5. Sylvia

    I have not read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I just haven't. I tend to get turned off when a book is so over-hyped. Yes, I'm a snob that way.

    No tattoos unless you count the temporary ones the kids get. Gravity is bad enough on my boobs and butt. I can only imaging how bad things would look if I had a cute anchor tattoo on a young butt only to be touching the back of my knee at 70. Strangely enough, I think they are quite cool on other people!

    My pain of joy (or joy of pain?) comes from pushing myself into an event where only a few are there. It's the thrill of being a little exclusive and absolutely crazy and acting like it is simply normal. It can't involve gravity (see – big fear of gravity) so no base jumping, climbing, sky diving. It can't involve fast moving metal. Give me water, waves and a crazy location.

    Back to TGWTDT – I don't know if I'll read it or even see the movie. Maybe?

  6. David Corbett

    The Girl With the Dragon Wazoo.

    There. Got that out of my system.

    A Lesbian indie rocker named Meg Hentges put out an album in the 90s with a song titled "Tattoo Urge." I've searched the net for the lyrics in vane, but the gist was, there's this waitress who has "Joe" tattooed up and down both arms, both legs, across her ass, her eyelids, etc.

    She was a living breathing testament to
    Her ex-husband Joe.

    They said that it was permanent
    But they lied.

    And that's as much as I can muster on Philosophical Phriday.

  7. Alexandra Sokoloff

    I have read AROUND Dragon Tattoo. I read around all the bloat, and I read around the rape scenes – I made an exception of that book, really, because I usually don't read rape at all. Backstory, yes, actual, no.

    I think the Swedish movie is better because it had editors.

    I never got a tattoo. Every time I thought about it I drew it on my skin and wore it that way for a while and decided I liked my skin better. No piercings, either, they don't go well with dance classes.

  8. Tammy Cravit

    I've been debating a tattoo for some time. Even know what I want – the Hebrew words "chazak v'amatz" in calligraphic Hebrew script. The translation is roughly "be strong and brave", my mantra for life, though the Hebrew connotation of the second word is more along the lines of "resolute" than "courageous". But I haven't done it yet – my spouse is dubious about the idea, and I haven't found an artist yet that I would really trust to execute the vision I have in my head.

    I've seen a lot of people with tattoos (a friend of mine is in a relationship with a tattoo artist) and marvel at how many of them should have listened to Tammy's Rule of Tattoos: If you'll feel stupid explaining it to your grandchildren, it probably isn't a good idea to get it inked into your flesh.

    Haven't read the Lisbeth Salander series yet, even though I have 'em on my Kindle. I've been dubious about the books for no other reason than the massive amount of hype they've received. Perhaps I ought to actually give them a try.

  9. Kay martinez

    Ah, JT, knew I loved more than just your books! A woman after my own heart. I have 3 piercings in my right ear & 7 in my left. I'm thinking I can fit 4 more in that left ear to have a nice row that goes from lobe up through cartlidge. I have only two tattoos, both very meaningful & want more but hubby of 31+ years threatens divorce if I get more. I'll have to think on that. I have a butterfly on the outside of my right ankle. She represents change & growth, I got her upon getting my degree at 40, in 1998. I didn't get to go to college after high school, so went with my daughter after she graduated high school. My other tattoo is yellow & purple roses on outside of left ankle. They were my Mother's Day gift from my daughter in '99. Flowers that won't wilt ๐Ÿ™‚ I treasure those most of all.

    My mom died in '04 & within 18 months I lost two more very important people in my life. At some point I will memorialize all of them with ink. I also want something to represent my Irish heritage. So, I know I'm not done with ink whether hubby likes it or not. Tattoos & piercings are addictive & I'd much rather have that addiction than others.

    I have the Tattoo books on my new Kindle, haven't read them yet, but I do look forward to reading them.

  10. Judy Wirzberger

    I have four tattoos I got when I was 57. They let those who see them know that I am a member of the Sisterhood. They are not splenderiferous, only four tiny dots. Iโ€™ve never spoken to another member of the Sisterhood about them, nor has a Sister spoken to me.

    Some call the group the Sisterhood of Suvivors. I wonโ€™t consider myself a cancer survivor until I die of something else, maybe mugged by a kangaroo in the outback.

  11. Dudley Forster

    J.T.

    Don't give up! The first 150 pages or so are a setup that yes could use an editor. However, the remaining portion of the book builds to a nice twist, not just a missing girl. After the first book the story centers on Lisbeth. She is brilliant, ruthless, has aspergers and hates men who hate women. The second and third books are much better than the first one, I started the series before the second and third books had been released and the firestorm of popularity. I wanted to read THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST so badly I ordered it from Amazon UK because it was released there 9 months before the US release. The story of who wants Salander out of the way and her back story make them a great read.

    I fail to see how Larrson could be accused of misogyny. If you are a misogynist in the books very unpleasant things happen to you. The book is also a commentary about the Swedish Nazi movement & the failure of a social welfare state to protect the those that need protection the most.

    The third book contains IMHO the second most devastating cross examination in fiction. The first being the one in PRESUMED INNOCENT by Scott Turow

    I have to disagree with Dusty on Salander being a Mary Sue. Except, perhaps her hacker abilities, she is far from it. She is victimized and it's only through her ruthlessness and brains is she able to fight off those that want to destroy her.

    I have no tattoos but my two younger daughters do. Lizzy, my youngest, has a picture of her beloved corgi that passed away, on her calf.

  12. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    It's all about Lisbeth. She's the centerpiece of the books. It took me a long time before I read the books – I've read the first two now. I hated those first 100 pages, but I became engaged after that and finally found that I couldn't put the book down. But it's all due to Lisbeth. She's an amazing character. And I'm not a fan of the Swedish films – I don't think they captured her character. They made the film about Bloomqvist. They missed the point. I'm looking forward to the Fincher version – I hope he does it justice.

    I've got my one tattoo, which is very significant. I got it right after I signed my first (so far only) book deal. It is a Polynesianized version of the Tor Forge logo, with the fire of Tor and the forge of, well, Forge, of course. But you'd never know it unless I pointed those logos out . And, within it is a Polynesian-looking Royal typewriter. It's a band on my right arm.

    I'm just about ready for tattoo number two. Band on left arm. The wife wants me to do a Celtic something or other. I still like the Polynesian stuff. No new book deal, so I can't do that. Maybe I'll just do a photo-realistic picture of my Labradoodle, Mollie. We call her Mollie O'Mally. That's Celtic, right?

  13. Louise Ure

    I wear my markings and cuttings on the inside, JT.

    As to TGWTDT, I read it the same way I read Dan Brown's work: disdainful of the writing and plotting, but unable to put it down until the final page.

  14. Alafair Burke

    Yet another vote for the Swedish version of the films.
    I had my right ear double-pierced in the 80's and hung so many enormous bobbles on it, it started to get longer than the left. I was going to get my nose pierced in 1986 but my mother, who had stomached even my Anabella Lwin haircut, absolutely forbade it. I planned on doing it anyway until she wisely pointed out how much it would probably hurt. No more piercings since, and no tats.

  15. JD Rhoades

    Actually, its' Blomkvist I found to be the Mary Sue character. A middle-aged Swedish magazine writer, penned a novel about…a middle-aged Swedish magazine writer. Every woman in the book, including the title character, wants to sleep with him, because he's such a nice guy. He solves a mystery that no one else could. After he solves the mystery, he spends a completely unnecessary 100+ more pages getting his revenge against people who were mean to him at the beginning of the book. And so on. I actually laughed out loud in spots.

  16. JT Ellison

    Barbie, I swear I will watch the Swedish version – and I'll do it before the American version. But I must finish the books first. It was so funny – after I finished this post and got it up I kept reading, and literally the next page started explaining her background. I love that you've named your tats. That is precious. I have a couple of friends who do as well – one is Nemo, which is my favorite tattoo name ever. I love yours though – stars and bipolar are my faves!

    Reine, emotional blackmail through flesh marring isn't cool, not at all. I supose you didn't enjoy Gillian Flynn's SHARP OBJECTS? I thought that was one of the better examinations of cutting I've seen. Sorry to bring up bad memories today : (

    Sarah – Smaug is perfect, isn't he? http://bit.ly/nT8oJh Dragons so often don't look like dragons… I always liked the one Angelina Jolie has too. And yes, you can fit four more. Why not???

    Dusty – I'm not far enough to be able to comment on the Mary Sue thing – but as I've been reading it, I get the sense that Lisbeth is who he imagined the girl he saw raped. The vulnerability in conjunction with the don't take prisoners attitude – I don't know. Will report back. And I will say, it's hard to do a lot of good editing if the author is dead, right? Put that earring back in! Hippy.

    Sylvia, I am very careful to place things in areas that won't sag…. I couldn't agree more. Gravity must be respected when inking yourself. Too bad some of these girls don't think that far ahead. And as far as hyped books – yeah, I'm a bit of a contrarian myself, but this one has me intrigued.

    Corbett, love it. A bit extreme, but yeah, totally the kind of thought that sometimes goes into this. Though as a form of self-punishment, I'm not a fan.

    Alex, my hairdresser sometimes yanks the ball off my hoop, and I always get my navel piercing caught on stuff (it has a dangly on it, not good for clothes) so I totally get that dance would be a problem. And I love the idea of drawing it on – it's such a permanent thing, I would hate to do it and have regrets later – oh… wait… I did that already….

  17. JT Ellison

    Tammy, that's awesome. I love the sentiment, and the double meaning. I hope you find your artist soon! Do comparison shop – they are not all created equal. I went to ones who were artists on canvas as well as on skin, which worked out well.

    Kay – whoops – I got your extra holes mixed up with Sarah's – that didn't sound right at all…… Go for it! I love that you're honoring your loved ones too – very cool. And very necessary. Flowers that won't wilt – nice.

    Judy – we are all so glad you have them, too!

    Dudley, I think we are getting into that territory I bang my drum about, with the victimized heroine, but I'm seeing that in this case, it might be absolutely necessary. I will stick with it – I'm hooked now.

    O'Malley, O'Toole – Stephen, no matter what you choose, it will be special. I love your arm band – it's one of the most creative tats I've seen in a long time.

    Louise – I hear you. On both counts. I was lucky to read DaVinci Code before I was a writer, so I loved it. The story swept me away, and I wasn't versed enough in the craft to know the issues.

    Alafair – my mom isn't a fan either – sometimes, they are right. ; ) But sometimes… my Aunt pierced her nose for her 50th birthday, and I must say… it's cute!

    Ah – Dusty, thanks for the clarification!

  18. Barbie

    JT. thank you, that makes me feel sooo much better knowing you'll watch the Swedish movie. It enchanted me when I watched it — and I know it's a weird choice of word given the subject of the movie and the general atmosphere — but I was just… wowed by everything and after seeing Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander poor skimpy, skinny Mara Rooney doesn't stand a chance ๐Ÿ™ I don't know how you'll do it, but when you watch it, you'll have to tell me! ๐Ÿ˜€

    And, thank you, on the tattoos. Bipolar and stars seem to be a public favorite! I saw my blog views spiked today, hahahaha! You know, Murderati people, I wouldn't have minded a new comment or two, haha! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Oh, I used to have a nose piercing, but, after five years, I thought it'd be safe to change my little rock for a ring. It wasn't and it inflamed and had to take it off ๐Ÿ™

    Oh, and JT, don't you have pictures of your tattoos for us?

  19. Reine

    JT, I live with bad memories. Posts like yours help me deal. Please do not be sorry. Haven't read SHRP OBJECTS . . . so I will consder it a caution. My girlfriend never recovered sufficiently to hold n ordinary job, but she is a fine, yet disturbing artist — or produces disturbing art? She kept in touch with some members of my family over the years, but I never had contact with her again. Now those family members are gone. Many years later I saw her walkng through Harvard Square one day and ran back to the dorm. I would not go out alone for weeks after.

  20. Kay Martinez

    LOL, JT, loved comment on extra holes. In fact, I picked up some stainless studs planning to change out some earrings & the new ones came in a self-piercing kit. I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to just go ahead & pierce some new holes myself or use them as I'd originally planned. I'm not squeamish but am worried I might not get the holes lined up properly. (How's that for using "holes" a lot & making it sound bad? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, I cannot even hang a picture without it being crooked, so not sure whether to attempt it or not. Now, if my daughter lived nearby, would turn her loose to do it in a heartbeat. I have loved reading everyone's comments & experiences. What a fascinating blog post! And to echo someone else's comments, do we get to see your tattoos? You can see mine on fb in my photos. I think you can even seen my earrings if you look for a pic of me holding my grandbabies.

  21. KDJames

    No piercings or tattoos for me. Not opposed to it in theory, just not my thing. Maybe it's the stoic Scandinavian part of me that keeps that stuff on the inside. Or maybe I'm just boring. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Judy, for you, if you haven't seen it. I got a little choked up when I saw it, thinking of my friend Margaret who didn't survive her dots.

    http://xkcd.com/933/

  22. Rob Browne

    I'm coming in here a day late and a dollar short, but I have to agree with Barbie that you absolutely MUST watch the Swedish version of the movie. Noomi Rapace's performance is amazing. I'll reserve judgment on Rooney's version, but I have a hard time believing any actor could take control of a character the way Rapace did.

    I read an interview in which Rapace said that on the last day of shooting the last movie, after the very last shot, she ran into the bathroom and threw up, as if she was purging herself of the character. That's why she decided not to do the American version. The role had thoroughly taken over her life.

    She ALSO went through quite a transformation. Look at some of the before and after photos.

  23. JT Ellison

    Barbie and Kay – I don't have pics of them – I probably should do that sometime.And Kay – I am a big fan of asymmetry, but even, so I'd like someone do it for you. ; )

    Reine, I know where you're coming from. I truly, truly do. Those people come into our life for a reason though it's hard to sometimes understand why. I have one like that – though the cuts are on the inside.

    Rob, I will definitely see both – I am not a huge subtitle fan, so I wanted to wait until I had the lay of the land, so to speak, before I did. I have seen the pics of Noomi – she definitely looks the part. The transformation doesn't seem as stark to me – probably because she was dark-haired to start with – but it is startling. Will report back my thoughts…

  24. Pari Noskin

    I think I might be the only mystery writer/reader who hasn't read it yet. Will someday . . . when I'm feeling a lot stronger.

    No piercings — virgin earlobes, bellybutton etc. No tattoos. I'm mot into pain; that's always been the deterrent for me.

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