Ash Wednesday! GO INK YO’SELF: An Inkdebth Look @ My tattoos and Their Meanings.
Written By: Ash Catcher
Happy Fall! It’s one of my all time favorite times of the year, and I am not talking about pumpkin picking, and rocking hella sweaters, hats, and jackets, I am talking what's underneath all those layers, baby! TATTOO SEASON! So let's begin with a breakdown of all my current, and upcoming tattoos!
WaterColor Mermaid on my left inner arm: This was my first tattoo. It was also one of my graduating art projects in my art class at the time. I was fresh out of college and felt the need to memorialize a piece of my art on my body, self centered? You bet your ass, but I was 22 at the time and already toyed with the idea of a tattoo for a long ass time, I wanted something subtle and looked enough like a watercolor painting.
A Beehive on my Sternum: Not a lot if people know I have this one. It's a bit like a bonus tattoo? Only a select few have seen these bad bois. I love bees because they represent their hard work ethic and sense of community. That is something I live and die by when it comes to my work, it could be a 9 to 5 or just a piece of art work I put in my all, and I don’t stop until everything is finished to my liking.
Russian Nesting Doll on my upper right thigh: Fun fact, I speak Russian and I have for almost 10 years, I am not the best at it but I am very proud of my heritage, and my ability to be semi fluent in another language, I love the food, culture and I really like the fact I have something from my childhood to memorialize my love for all Russian Stuff!
The Cape May Lighthouse on my left shin: I spend a fair amount of time at the beach during the summer, as a result I get mad tan real quick, This light house was super significant to me when I went down to Cape May to spend a long weekend with some family friends, it represents hope, and faith in humanity and more importantly family. Family does not have to be blood, this was not a family family vacation I took to the shore, but at the time I considered them to be some of my closest friends and family. I felt the need to immortalize that. I choose my family now. I see the potential for growth, hence why most of my body is covered in flowers.
A Small Sailboat on the back of my left Ankle: I tend to sail through life. This was my first Friday the 13th tattoo. I try to find something on the flash sheets that resonates with me.
Joshua Tree California on my right shin: This WAS actually a family vacation I took with my family out to California. It was hands down one of my favorite times with my family. I was the happiest I have ever been when I was on the West Coast. I really want to go back soon! I loved the desert, and was so happy to finish up my shins with an East and West coast vibe. It took a lot of work and planning on my tattoo artist's part. He did a phenomenal job!
A Power Up Mushroom From Mario on the back of my right ankle: Another Friday the 13ther, I love video games, I love the art, the puzzles, the challenges, the logic, the spooky ones, the cute ones, the cooking ones, all of it. I just think it's a huge waste of time waster. However a power up mushroom is what I got. I guess it represents growth and the ability to adapt to an unlikely or semi-unadaptable situation. I have had a lot of people doubt me in the past, just to come back and say they were sorry. I grow at my own pace, and if you can't get that, then exit out of my game.
A huge ass Squirrel on my right arm: I am a jittery mother fucker, I just go all over from projects to jobs, to opportunities. I just want to do so much and I never want to say no to anything or anyone. I store a lot of information, things, records, clothes, I am a low key pack rat I guess you can say. If you ever helped me move, you know I got way too many books, and a huge collection of vinyl. I like my shit my way, I protect myself and my things, and I can't sit still for very long. I am just kinda a bit of a squirrel. It’s one of my tattoos that people always seem to exclaim out, “Hey is that a squirrel tattoo?” It's a conversation starter and a half, I even met someone the other day that also has a squirrel tattoo too! Needless to say we had to get a picture together. It is one of my bigger pieces and I love it immensely.
A broken light bulb on my left outer forearm: I had a short period of time in my life last year where light bulbs would break around me, and in my hands. Just suddenly exploded next to me, I did some research on the internet and found some weird ass stuff. Look it up for sure by all means. This was a Friday the 13th flash guy too. I got it back in December, I was going through a hard time, and felt pretty broken, a broken light bulb seems to have no functioning purpose. It represents my seasonal depression, which is something I have quietly struggled with for a long ass time. It makes me feel broken and useless, and I can't be myself when I can't even get out of bed most days. I feel like the broken lightbulb represents my cognitive mental state at times, but things can always heal, grow back and get fixed. Nothing is ever permanent.
A Shell on my inner left arm: I am a cancer, and I am a pretty big believer in horoscopes, astrology, tarot, all that jazz. I got a shell tattoo because I keep up a huge front, I hide myself and my emotions from people in fear of getting hurt. A shell has a hard exterior, but they can be pretty fragile as well. The beach is something I love dearly, good luck getting me out of the water, trust me. I tend to seek out bodies of water in times of distress. There is something super cleansing and serene about being around a body of running water. It’s like an elemental reset. I collect rocks and shells, from all of my adventures. Shells represent protection and I tend to put up a lot of barriers. Plus grind up a shell, it becomes sand, it can transform, and adapt.
A Raven on my outer right wrist: I love poetry, so yea I love Edgar Alan Poe, The Raven is one of my favorite pieces of his. A raven can have dual meaning, it represents death, pain, misery, magic, and secrets. At the same time a raven can also mean protection, inner self, intelligence, memory, and wisdom. I got heck of that too!
Upcoming Tattoo stay tuned for a picture I'll be posting! I’ll give you a hint it's one of my favorite animals ever, and something I am very passionate about.
I’ll catch ya on the flip side!
I, like most 20 somethings, ( I am a cool 28 actually.) have had my fair share of, let's just say, unconventional living situations. Some are worse than others; others were super cool.One of the most recent places I lived was haunted, and my neighbor didn’t even know my apartment was occupied until I was hauling my shit out by myself. There is an awesome story[,] too[,] where I lived on the third floor of a beautiful loft where all of these Russian speaking old ass people lived in this condominium, and ended up living with some random French guy and his “wife”. Just weird fucking shit, I know living situations for millennial are sometimes a bit strange, but I am pretty transient as it is. I just like cheap rent so sue me, and I am willing to live with strangers? I am not necessarily a fan but yo paying under 500 a month for rent is way too appalling. I'll do pretty much and live anywhere within reason.
So I thought I would share some shorter stories with you about some of my more interesting living situations:
When I was 24, Turing 25 I lived above a flower shop in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. It was super cheap rent, probably one of the cheapest I have ever paid in my life, it also didn’t have a kitchen, or a washer, or a dryer, it barely had a real bathroom, it was actually two lawyer offices that were converted to a makeshift “Studio” apartment. It was really convenient tho. I had access to a whole town and could walk around wherever I like, which I am a huge fan of walking around. I also developed like a low key slight alcohol addiction being under .2 miles away from a local bar. Dude I just was all about trivia and red ales at the time, shit can't be helped but man did that get old quick. One of the worst years of my life. Was super thankful to move out and into a much better living situation.
ORRRRRR SO I THOUGHT! Excuse the caps, but maybe not, I moved straight up into a fancy ass post soviet 1450 a month box. It was really pretty and had a wall of windows and some sick porches, I literally had a great time there, I didn’t give a fuck about my crazy ass neighbor after she came into my foyer, I finally had the $$$ to say I had a foyer and some crazy ass Russian lady was berating me for being too loud while moving in. Can anyone even quietly move in? I had some of the biggest parties in that place, once for my 27th birthday, and had some of the best sex of my life in that apartment. PLUS THE DECK! I love my back yard now, but something about a 3rd story porch smoking a cigarette really just appeals to me.
…. and then that possible polyamorous French-Chinese couple moved into my room, when my roommate at the time decided to break her part of the lease. That kinda blew.
I lived with a bunch of other people from all walks of life, in college I lived with 3 sorority girls, believe it or not we all talk to each other still. I have been that girl, the semi-live in girlfriend that goes to their boyfriend's 4 or 5 times a week, because they’re too agoraphobic or is it selfish to leave their own house, mind you I am still paying rent for my place. Shit is so ass backwards. I’ll never do that again. I love my home now and I don’t plan on moving until I want to start a family.
See ya next Wednesday my dudes!
Written by: Ash Catcher
Last week I had a thought, Ash…. What is your bucket concert? Like last wishes final goodbye to the human race and all that is and was music, who would be on that list? Well in the great still very much alive words of Eminem Here is the order of my list:
Opening Band: Tigers Jaw, every time I mention this band I feel like the room splits in two, it's either oh yea I am remembering them from like 2012 I saw them with that one band TitleFight, or I get a what band now kinda response. Think more moody Matt and Kim, or a straight heterosexual Tegan and Sara. They are just all around some feel good tunes, I put them on a lot when I am in the car and driving around.
Why did I choose them? Their music just does something for me, I am not sure how else to describe their sound really. Their music videos are really fun and highlight some local places that I have actually been to, so it's easily super relatable. They seem like someone who would be real genuine friends. Their stage presence is humble, and I am always excited when they do a tour, which is really not that often. It makes it all that more special. I feel like they’re a great opening band, they got the years to prove it and have opened for some cool ass bands in the past. Always going to be a favorite band that I reserve a space for. Plus I got their whole discography on vinyl, translation: I am more of a fan of them then you.
My fondest memory of Tigers Jaw: I’ve seen Tigers Jaw a few times, they had a few different band members, and have really transformed as a band, I am happy to say that I am about supporting more local artists in Philadelphia, I have even managed to run into Ben, one of the band members a few times, when I go out around Northern Liberties. They’re just normal people, and something about that really appeals to me. The last time I saw them back in November was great, it was just kinda weird to go to a concert alone, I had a good time but I know it could have been better with a friend.
#2 Fugazi, I have never seen Fugazi live, but if I did I would insist that they play with Suicidal Tendencies. Fugazi is just one of those bands, I don’t know that like you wouldn’t bring home to meet your parents at least right away, you got to take your time, and feel out that shit. Fugazi was one of those bands that I had to kinda grow to like. I had a lot of friends play their shit when we hung out, and I just about fell for any punk rock guy who can play a bass line or 8. So why did it take me a bit for these guys to grow on me, and my daily playlist.
Why did I choose Fugazi? Because I want to deck the shit out of somebody before I go, and I feel like that if Fugazi is not playing in the background for at least 10 to 15 minutes, well then just take me here. They are like one of the best examples of more avant garde-ish punk, just like them as all. The DIY scene has always been near and dear to my cold dead ass heart, and I am a true believer that it's better to do it yourself, or try to and fail then shell out an arm and a leg for something you can do yourself. Yes I go to expensive ass stores, take pictures of it, think about it really hard, then walk out of the store and do it myself. If you’re not making something, and creating are you really doing anything with your life, or are you just a complaint negative POS?
My fondest memory of Fugazi was in high school, I am talking like 2007 or maybe 08. I was younger and someone put them on while we were in one of my art classes. It stuck, and struck a chord with me I guess. Didn’t help that I was neck deep (lol) in my Hot Topic “phase”. I feel attacked.
#3 My Chemical Romance ( Height of the Black Parade, but I am a huge fan of their first album) My Chem was not only my first Electric Factory show, it was also the first time I was going to a show with a bunch of friends. The impending social pressure when I was 15 was astounding let me tell you. I wouldn’t say I am the poster child for addressing the impending mental illness collapse that was about to ensue. But let's just say I am aware of the stereotype of liking this band. It's just a thing about me idk let me have this shit.
Why did I choose My Chemical Romance? They’re my fucking favorite, when I heard they were having a reunion tour, ummmmmm I am not gonna tell ya what I did.
My fondest memory of My Chemical Romance was when I owned a signed copy of The Umbrella Academy Graphic Novel. Also, lots of late night drives listening to their albums. I love their early stuff. The new stuff is also hard, just okay with me. It's a mixed bag.
#4 The Beach Boys, I have seen 2 of the original Beach Boys, I am kinda proud, and also that's probably not what a lot of people know about me. But wouldn’t it be nice if people did know that Ash. I am always going to the beach, so naturally I play the Beach Boys, I like them a hella more than any boy band in history, they are a huge guilty pleasure of mine.
Why did I choose The Beach Boys? They remind me of my grandpa. He’s still kicking, him and my Grandma are still kicking it and love each other very much, it's a great story of how the two of them met, The Beach Boys have always kind of solidified in that, it's the kinda stuff I imagine playing in like a soda shop or something bizarre and on the west coast at the time. Reminds me of summer, romance, throwing all fucks out the window and breaking from the norm, at the the time the Beach Boys were punk as fuck.
My fondest memory of The Beach Boys: This summer actually, I did the drive from Philly to Belmar in under an hour in 10, a good portion on that ride, the Beach Boys kept me in some much needed company. Shit is the best to cruise to when you're hurling through the Pine Barrens.
#5 Headliner: Coheed and Cambria. I don’t even need to explain myself it is fucking Coheed and Cambria, I have seen them play every summer for almost 10 years, I have seen them on all kinds of stages, on all kinds of substances, with a bunch of different kinds of people.
Why did I choose Coheed and Cambria? This is a band who really helped me thru some tough fucking shit. I am not going to pretend like my life’s not a bit chaotic, that I have trouble maintaining a normal sense of a handle on things, Coheed was just a band that literally floored me with their stage presence. The visuals at their show are awesome, and I am so pissed that this was almost the first summer in just about a decade that I wasn’t going to be seeing them. It felt weird, just saying.
My fondest memory of Coheed and Cambria: When they played with Mastodon and they played Crack The Sky in its entirety from start to finish I was on a tab and a half of acid at the time, and had literally one of the best nights in the pit of my life. It was something I'll never forget.
I am gonna be kinda sorta busying myself with a few photography projects in the next week or so, but I am very excited to post my next piece next week! Big thank you to my editor Todd, he is a great dude!
Ash Wednesday! WAKE & BAKE: Oat [milk] No I didn’t: What's Been Going On Behind The Bar In A Post Covid World.
Written by Ash Catcher.
It's no secret I lack direction, surprise surprise. In this new Covid order what does it take now to secure a job? To my utter shock all it took was answering an instagram story, and well the rest is recent history? It's pretty safe to say quarantine was kinda a drag, and as a result the food and restaurant industry has taken a huge dive, lay offs, full scale big corporate franchises reduced to renting out single space kitchens just to save a few bucks, Yea I am looking at you ghost and cloud kitchens. I still think the very concept to be some sort of pipe dream, but as it I have found myself in the service industry temporarily until school is a bit safer this shit interests me greatly.
So what is it like to serve right now during a worldwide pandemic, and while the whole world seems to be on the up and up when it comes to Covid, America for some reason is falling a bit short? There is a bit of a draw back, people are starting to come out more, and craving a bit of normalcy. So yea I get it treat yourself with a 24oz Cold Brew every once and awhile, but I am seeing the same people every damn day, sometimes multiple times a day. Clearly my town ran out of coffee makers or something because I have apparently been supplying everyone with French Vanilla, Oat Milk Lattes for the past few months.
I have also as always made a few notes about what it's like to be a barista at a local small business, which I am so pleased to see that slowly the town I am living in currently has been slowly opening back up. It was a lot of hiking and bike rides, now that's replaced with picnics and trips to vegan bakers, fuck it if I am gonna die soon I am gonna live it the hell up. Work has kept my mind steadily busy, and a slight sense of normalcy, not that I am craving it but it's nice to get out and get to know more people. I am trying to learn the names of the people that come in regularly and half the time they’re shocked I remember them, along with their drink orders.
So here are some things that I found while at work, prior to this I have had over 2 years of bartending experience, if you think I can't make a cup of coffee or a frappe macchiato bastardization of a traditional espresso, then let's throw down in the kitchen, come at me. At work it gets super busy, and I’ve been sleeping a-lot, like I have been sleeping great! Aside from the growing addiction to espresso I am actually doing pretty well for working 7 days in a row without a day off.
Things I don’t mind when you order:
I'll keep you posted on more to come.
Ash Wednesday! Walk it off: How going out in nature has helped with my sobriety.
Hey, guys! Happy Wednesday! These past few times I've posted I feel personally I haven’t been my 100% present wonderful self, so I wanted to take a movement to just kinda do something a little different today. I am actually writing a post in my living room at the moment, and all I can think about it is, wow, Ash you got a shit ton of art you better hang that all up when you're done girl. MOOOOOOVING on….. >..>
So I guess this would be kinda a not well known fact about me unless you have hung out with me recently at a gathering, don’t worry I am keeping it small with all that COVID shit and all, But 999999999.999999% of the time you're prob gonna see me with my hydro flask in my hand. Sure, it’s black so it matches everything else that I own but what's in it? When I am with other people what's in my flask? It's always water. I am always drinking water, I don’t drink haven[']t in almost 2 years in October, I see nothing wrong with it, it's just not for me anymore, and I am happy it makes others happy but they always either give me that nod of the your cool bro, or they ask me “ So what happened that you don’t drink anymore?” Usually my mechanical response is because there are better ways to get a buzz on, dude, and they usually drop it. But lately things have been kinda shaping up differently I am like kinda sorta just above all of these mind altering things in life. As far as recreational drugs I really don’t even do that anymore unless offered. It's rare.
With the world shutting down, and people turning to alcohol more, and more to cope I see a-lot of my friends either going down two roads: they’re either drinking more then usual to numb out of what's been transpiring these last few months or, they are beginning to abstain from alcohol altogether, and instead take up better habits for their health, like running, or my current favorite has been hiking lately. My brother and I just finished a 10+ mile hike up a mountain and we saw over 20 waterfalls in Ricketts Glen PA. I've wanted to go to this place forever and I have to admit there were times I had to stop and times I got out of breath but we made it through and the car ride home you bet your ass I almost passed out. It felt amazing, it was better than runners high, better than a night out with my girlfriends, and way better than any date I've been on in the past year.
How has hiking helped maintain my sobriety from alcohol? That's an easy one. It's way more feasible for me to spend my time out in nature or even a walk around my neighborhood that sits back and kills a six pack. I feel better the next day knowing I am not going to have a hangover, or the anxiety of driving places impaired. I mean I sort of just keep things more low key now because of Covid. I felt a ton of social pressure to please and be there for everyone, even people who couldn’t really care less about my feelings, or my comforts, or personal beliefs. I don’t have time for anyone who dismisses me like that or doesn’t even show me the courtesy. I cannot stress this enough, something switched in me when I stopped numbing out and just going along with the motions of well pretty much surface level interactions. Now I have a great much smaller group of friends. I don’t post as much as I once did on social media because, except for promoting my art, I have chosen to keep my private life on the super DL..
Ash, c'mon, focus, you always do this so what is it about hiking that I really like? I haven't had proper health insurance in almost 3 years and with the state of things in this country I'll be lucky if I get health insurance by my mid 30s at the latest. But I feel fine, I am sure I have a cavity or two but I am not gonna die any time soon. I like hiking because like yoga and meditation it keeps me in check with my body and It is an easy and often interactive way to spend a proper amount of time outside which I know people my age don't get the allotted amount of vitamin D they should. It boosts my mood, helps my depression when it creeps up from time to time, and resets me for when I do need to switch off and get back to factory settings I guess you can say, I also recently just purchased a Tongue Drum and I can't freaking wait to play in outside when it's nicer out. The weather is still really hot, and I am really looking forward to when it cools off, fall I have a good feeling you have some cool places and people coming my way. Call it intuition. Call it whatever you want. I am happiest when I disappear for a day in nature, as much as a love where I live I love the feeling of having no cell service and literally the feeling that anything can happen to you.
See ya next week I got something cool in store! Like always!
Make sure to visit Ricketts Glen if you haven't already!
Or hit me up and we can go on a hike!