Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seeking the ink of life

A letter from World-Herald, an apostle of Omaha by the will of the media gods, to the remnant who are still reading, faithful in putting four bits in the newspaper machine every day: grace to you and peace from Terry our Publisher and the members of the Board.

And it came to pass, in the fullness of time and after the injection of gallons of ink, that Kat von D came unto Omaha to preach the gospel of body art amid the moneychangers. There, the multitudes had watched her wondrous deeds on cable TV, and they were amazed.

"Surely, this is the Daughter of Miami Ink," sayeth the many, and the people took counsel in the parking lot. "If only we might put our gaze upon her tats -- TATS, you idiot -- our souls might be healed and our lives find meaning."

VERILY, on the third day of the second week of the second month, the multitude awaiteth the Kat as she trod among the moneychangers. And, yea, the multitudes did verily lay weary eyes upon her glorious tats -- TATS, you idiot -- and were healed.

Or something.

At just after noon, a panicked Julia Carrillo rushed to Border's bookstore.

The parking lot was packed. The store lobby was full and a line was snaking around shelves.

Carrillo, 22, skipped her Tuesday afternoon class at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to meet celeb-tattoo artist Kat Von D.

Who needs a course in sexual development when a real sexy rocker chick is in town?

The "L.A. Ink" reality TV star was signing her new book, "High Voltage Tattoo," No. 5 on the New York Times best-seller list this week.

About 500 people — mostly giggly teens, college kids and middle-aged men — waited for their chance to meet Von D. Some arrived at the 72nd and Dodge Streets store as early as 7 a.m.

ATTENTION BORDER'S SHOPPERS . . . does everybody have a copy of Miss von D's book? She will not be available to tattoo you a quickie teardrop on your butt, but you will be free to latch onto some false sense of intimacy with Kat. Perhaps you'll make some fleeting connection.

That is all.
The star, who wore chic black leather pants and tall stiletto boots, is known for her oversized personality.

"Hey-y-y," she shouted as she stepped out of a private room.

Teary-faced girls shrieked. "Kat, Kat," guys called out. One teen almost fainted.

Von D's coffee table book has been called "a name-dropping goulash" that weaves her autobiography with tattoo wisdom, pictures of her work and a 10-page full-body spread of her in a yellow bikini and seven-inch rhinestone-red stilettos.

Kat Von D got her start on "Miami Ink" and eventually got her own show, "L.A. Ink," which became the highest-rated show on the TLC cable network. While on break from filming, she's visiting a few dozen cities to promote her book.


Ana Frost of Glenwood, Iowa, was first up. She couldn't keep her hands from shaking as she grasped Von D's hand.

"Thanks for waiting for me," Von D told her. "You're the first one."

When it was Carrillo's turn to meet her idol, she choked up. Tears welled.

"Is this for me?" Von D asked as she accepted the jewelry and the letter in a box. "Cool, cool." She then gave Carrillo a hug.

Cameras flashed as fans captured the moment. At times, Von D broke the bookstore's "book signing only" policy and scribbled her name on posters, magazines, T-shirts, arms, wrists and one guy's belly.

"You're so beautiful," Von D told Omahan Hillary Carr, who stood out with her black-and-blonde hair, a punk-gothic black baby-doll dress, dark eye makeup and chunky jewelry.

Carr, 18, burst into tears.

"She called me beautiful. She's my inspiration," Carr explained, saying she's not a typical teen and often doesn't feel pretty.

IMAGINE. SUCKERS LIKE ME have put untold years and untold tears into this Jesus Christ business and this Christianity crap, and all we got was this lousy cross.

Of course, this lousy cross we got stuck with -- in addition to the eternal-life thing -- ought to also empower us as a church to tell young women like Hillary Carr that, yes, we think they're beautiful . . . and that Jesus does, too.

Hey! We can form a diocesan task force on loving castoff teens who don't think they're beautiful! We'll do that just as soon as we wrap up the pending real-estate deals and settle on an architect for the new cathedral visitors' center.

Oh . . . and the annual appeal. That's going to be a toughie this year.

We'll get around to the goth kid after that. I think we can pencil her in sometime in March 2011.

Oh, that's right . . . we have to wait for the committee recommendation on Goth Teen Ministry protocols before we can pencil her in. Tentatively plan on May. May 2012.

Now let's everybody sing a rousing verse and chorus of "They'll Know We Are Christians by Our Luuuuuuuv."

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