First things first. To those of you who read my last entry, especially those who commented: Thank you!! Thank you for sticking around. It was really nice to know that my crappy blogging habits have not lost me *all* of my readers.

When my brother Dan and his friend Mike visited last year, Dan and I got matching tattoos. I can't believe it's taken me this long to post a photo, but that's them, above. Rachael took the photo for us when Dan visited again this summer. A year on, we're both still pretty nuts about these tattoos, though we both need touch-ups.

Posting this makes me think of all the tattoos I have that match those on other people. Of the 16 I currently have, 8 have a match that lives on someone else. Of the remaining 8, 3 were acquired as shared experiences with friends or family.

I'll post photos another time, but for now here's what I've got:

1 and 2: Zak and I have matching tattoos on one finger of each hand. The first, on the traditional fingers, are our wedding rings. We call the others (on the index fingers of our right hands) our engagement rings, though we got them over a year after we were married.

3 and 4: My mother, her 2 sisters and I all have a little vine tattooed on a toe. When we got them, I also got the Chinese charater for "family" done on my ankle. My great-aunt went for a tattoo with us, but got a butterfly on her ankle instead. At the beginning of that day, I was the only one in the group of us that had tattoos.

5: My sister and I have little matching blue stars on our stomachs. You will never, never see a photo of my blue star. We got them on the same day I got #6:

6: I have an abstracted cog wheel on my right shoulder, which was designed by my high school friend Chrys, who ended up doing 10 of my tattoos, including our wedding rings and the blue star. He has the same design circling his navel.

7: My aunt Sandy and I have matching maple leaves. Mine is on the inside of my left wrist, hers is on her ankle. My friend Jane went with us and got the same maple leaf, on her upper chest. My friend Sara also joined us, though she got a different tattoo. I've lost touch with both Sara and Jane.

8 and 9 are, of course, the lovely monkeys you see above. They're derived from a joke my brother and I have which falls 100% into the category of you-had-to-be-there. I've now got matching tattoos with everyone in my immediate family except my Dad, who hates tattoos, so I don't think that one will ever happen!

10 and 11: When I visited my friends Amber and Brigitte in Montreal in 2003, Amber and I got tattooed together. She got a fabulous abstracted fish design on her leg. I got a rocket ship on my inner right wrist, and a beautiful moth on my upper right arm. I get more compliments on that moth than on anything else, even from people who profess to dislike tattoos.

That leaves the ones I got alone:

12: A star behind my right ear. I got this in 2000, at the same time as the one that would become the "engagement ring".

13: A frog on my upper back, with the character for "love" by its foot, and with a speech balloon containing the character for "happiness". I got this for our wedding, and had the dress cut to show it.

14. I love the frog tattoo so much I got the exact same frog on my left foot... so I could see it! I had saved the stencil from the first frog.

15: If you have read The Little Prince, you will be familiar with an illustration of a tiny planet ovewhelmed by 3 huge baobab trees. I adapted this illustration for a tattoo on my inner right forearm.

16: I have a large octopus around my right knee. Its body sits on the outside of my leg, with tentacles trailing down my kneecap and the top of my shin, and up the back of my thigh. It hurt like fuck.

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