Rings.

I wear one ring and have for almost fourteen years -- that, of course, being my wedding band. I'm not much on jewelry, but today I got three rings in the mail.


BAZGO!!

This got me thinking about the handful of rings I've worn throughout my life -- the first making me slightly nauseous.

Back in the early 80s, my family took a summer trip to Tennessee where a Dukes of Hazzard obsessed child came home with a confederate flag ring from some random souvenir shop. This certainly wasn't a racist thing. It wasn't even a Southern thing. It was a Dukes of Hazzard thing.

As much as I hate the sight of this flag today, I still have the ring buried in a box of random stuff from when I was a kid. I won't dignify its existence with a photo here though.

. . .

Just a year or two later, in 1982, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the World Series. Every Cardinal fan I knew celebrated and everyone else jumped on the bandwagon and celebrated, too. It was around this time that I made one of my first anti-establishment choices and became a Cubs fan...but first I got my hands on a cheap commemorative championship ring.

These days, this thing's long gone and I've scoured the internet looking for an image of it but have come up empty so far. In most cases, I'd just call my brother and get a photo of his as we often ended up with similar souvenirs in cases like this. Unfortunately, this is one case where I actually took better care of my stuff than he did after he left his ring on a sink in a Steak & Shake bathroom.

. . .

In seventh grade -- roughly 1988 -- my school took a Beta Club trip to the SIU campus in Carbondale where we also stopped at the local mall. While I was there, I picked up some new buttons for my Levi's denim jacket, some sunglasses with round lenses so I could look like the Kirk Pengilly from INXS, and a cheap ring with the image of a peace sign.

The ring turned my finger green in less than a day and went in the trash.

. . .

High school rolled around and it became time to place orders for class rings. This one I've still got.


A fake ruby (my birth stone) with a wildcat (my school's mascot) and a cross (I was a pretty good kid).

 

I can't say I wore this one much -- although a girl I dated in high school did wrap yarn around it and wore it for a while.

Jeez. Who did I think I was? Zack freakin' Morris?

. . .

A decade later, I got married and got my hands on a ring that hasn't left my  finger for more than a few minutes in almost fourteen years.


White gold. Inscribed on the inside with "I believe...it will be forever."

These words come from the first song Amy and I danced to at our wedding reception -- Stevie Wonder's I Believe (When I Fall In Love With You It Will Be Forever).


For the record, yes, that's also the song that plays during the credits of High Fidelity.

. . .

Then today. The arrival of three replica rings celebrating the World Series championships of my beloved Chicago Cubs.

1907.


1908.


2016.


. . .

And now is the point where Cardinal fans tell me they don't have enough fingers for all of their rings.

Bling bling.

Cheers.

DAY 80 -- Here we are. The finale of yet another Summer of Tim.

In eighty days I've accomplished plenty as I've amassed a ton of new Hardy Boys books, dollar CDs, and other random junk that continues to fill my shelves.

I was successful in fighting my first battle against poison ivy and also in maneuvering a public bathroom splattered with human feces.

I competed my collection of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes and have set a goal of having all undocumented episodes covered on NeighborhoodArchive.com by the end of 2017.

With the exception of a few large projects, my to do list looks very much like it did at the beginning of the summer (as expected) but I managed to buy my brother's Masters of the Universe collection from him and I saw Ferris Bueller's Day Off on the big screen. Those weren't on my to do list but I did them.

I tracked down the elusive mmmHops beer and also came to the realization that my brother-in-law's band is amazing. Both in the same day.

I've caught up with some old friends and also made some new ones.

I've started wearing earrings again for the first time in over twenty years. But I decided against my first tattoo (for now).

The camping fire was rekindled in me and after a trip to upstate New York I also realized that I actually do like to travel.

In the end, as always, it's been a great summer that I couldn't be happier to have shared with you here. Thanks for joining me along the way!

. . .

And now, I'll close out the 2017 Summer of Tim the best way I know how.


Cheers.

My First Tattoo

DAY 79 -- I've thought for years about getting a tattoo.


I've had ideas and locations in mind but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I started thinking about it with any sincerity. I was browsing random Karate Kid stuff online ... because, you know, sometimes I browse Karate Kid stuff ... and I came across this amazing image.


[Image courtesty of @micheltrip via Instagram]

It was time for me to get a tattoo.

. . .

For those who may not recognize this image, it comes from The Karate Kid (of course it does) -- specifically Daniel's headband.


The plan was to put this image on the inside of my left forearm with only two rows of dots on each side. I thought this over for a few weeks, drawing it on my arm with a Sharpie a few times to be sure I liked the look and feel if it. I found a few other more accurate images of the headband that I would mesh with the original image.


With my summer winding down in a hurry, I decided that on Tuesday (today), I'd close out the summer with a bang and go get my first tattoo.

. . .

I got to the tattoo shop -- a very reputable place in the area which also happens to be where Anna got her ears pierced last spring. I was doing this.

Upon meeting with one of the artists, I learned that this image would need to be a little larger on my arm than I had planned in order for it to "translate" -- not to mention it was going to cost me over double what I was expecting having talked with several friends with tattoos.

The size wasn't a big deal but the cost was harder to swallow.

So for the time being at least, my pure skin prevails.

. . .

One day left, gang...and the Summer of Tim is done.