Tattoo Redo review – Red Hot Chili Peppers lyrics, be gone!

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“I had a friend who had a tattoo gun …”

“I lost a bet.”

“I was 14.”

“I thought I was in love, y’all!”

So opens Netflix’s daft new reality series, Tattoo Redo, with a montage of reasons from the regretfully inked participants as to why they want their current tattoos covered up with something that doesn’t look like it was done by a drunk person, or represents the stinking carcass of an ex-boyfriend.

They come along in pairs, each person accompanied by a friend or partner who has also had enough of staring at illegible quotes, or Red Hot Chili Peppers lyrics in German, or a lion that looks like a fox with a mullet, or a picture of Michael Jackson’s glove that looks like it was scrawled on with a failing marker pen. Presenter Jessimae Peluso hears their stories, nicely tailors her teasing to the temperament of each individual, and then reveals that they won’t be the ones getting to choose the design with which the offending item will be covered up – their companion will.

Expressions of horror and/or assertions of trust are duly produced and then it’s over to the array of tattoo artists – Tommy Montoya, Miryam Lumpini, Rose Hardy, Twig Sparks, Matt Beckerich – to do their work. The first step is generally to force the person now responsible for the new tattoo to consider the practicalities. Hardy, for example, who has 13 years’ experience in creating beautiful, bold, ornate illustrations on skin, has to explain to client Amber’s sister Ashley that you can’t hope to cover up a black screed of Red Hot Chilli Pepper lyrics with Ashley’s suggestion of “a beach” because it is mostly yellow sand and blue water. She suggests instead a painting-like rendering of their grandma’s eye surrounded by a rococo frame that will disguise the words. The end result, staring out from Amber’s scapula, is so realistic that I haven’t slept since but everyone else seems delighted, so hurrah for that.

The whole thing is ridiculously charming. The artists are all quietly confident and eager to get to work, and their expertise is, as expertise will always be, thrilling to watch. The participants are a miracle of casting. Three sets a show means there is just enough time to fill in their background and get a feel for the dynamics of each pair. They might have been dating for a year, and someone has decided to make either a power move or an epidermal offering to cement the relationship. Or they might, like Kerri and Nadia, have been best friends since elementary school, who now know each other better than they know themselves. But there are also pairings slightly beyond the usual, which gives the nice sense that producers have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their searches, and also provides some unexpectedly moving moments.

Joshlyn and Cherie are middle-aged work colleagues who became friends. Joshlyn now wants to cover up an ill-placed tattoo on her bum that she had done to commemorate her first time with a woman. Cherie, of course, must choose the new design. “She loves me,” says Joshlyn with a grin. “She has my back.” “I got this,” Cherie agrees. She chooses butterflies to represent the freedom her friend has found since coming out properly. Joshlyn loves them.

Similarly, IT support co-workers Sergio and Steve (who has a Satanic symbol from the time he briefly dated a woman who was a witch, which does not sit well with Steve’s defiantly non-Satanic vibe) could, as Peluso notes, give a therapy class in how men can express themselves to each other.

More often than not, these light, slight reality series don’t really work – they are essentially functioning as filler for the streaming platform. The Wedding Coach epitomised all the usual failings – with an overloud, unengaging and unengaged host, a dull set of contestants, and a relentlessly leaden tread through set pieces every episode. Tattoo Redo manages to sidestep the elephant traps and stay light, breezy and really rather endearing, even before you add the joy of watching people create something from nothing. The artists sketch out their ideas on screens, then we watch the bald, characterless outlines of the new tattoos springing to life under the artists’ hands, flushed with colour, filled with life and – so far at least, although I haven’t quite watched to the end of the series – greeted with absolute delight by the recipients at the unveilings. I find my flagging spirits redone.

A time to regather: Photos capture people in a reopened world

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As First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto prepared for a memorial service on July 17, its first indoor gathering since the campus closed 16 months ago, organizers recognized that after more than a year of avoiding large crowds, some people might not know exactly how to greet each other.

So to make things simpler, color-coded stickers and bracelets were handed out to the 85 masked attendees: green for hugs and high fives, yellow for elbow bumps and red for greet from 6 feet — an efficient way to avoid the awkward millisecond in which one person goes in for the handshake while the other goes for the elbow.

The celebration of life ceremony was dedicated to the late Sarah Johnson, a former Palo Alto resident and longtime member of the church who was described as a “gracious Southern lady” with a strong passion for political activism. She died of COVID-19 complications on April 18, 2020. Her family, who flew in from different states, had postponed services until things felt safe.

That Saturday afternoon, Pastor Diana Gibson went up to the lectern in her signature blue clergy shirt and began: “Let us gather in remembrance.”

Though many are reluctant to say the pandemic is over, fear of the coronavirus among the public has simmered down thanks to recent advancements, mainly effective vaccines, which have allowed California to drop most health restrictions and revive once lost and now cherished practices.

Since the state “reopened” on June 15, gatherings have restarted throughout the Midpeninsula. Families from multiple generations are coming together to celebrate 100th birthdays; concerts and other entertainment productions are happening; and people are now flying in from other states and countries to see family and friends as their comfort level increases.

Leah Hwung, founder of Two Perfect Events in Palo Alto, which organizes large and small celebratory gatherings, is on the front lines of the resurgence: Her calendars for this year and the next are now packed with parties — some of which include postponed weddings from the previous year. Her company is booked with around 30 events for the summer and fall, which is typical for a normal year, she said.

At Mitchell Park on July 23, about 160 masked and unmasked parents and children gathered at the Magical Bridge Playground for its second community concert of the summer. Alice Tang, who was visiting from New York, joined her friend and her three kids — comfortable in a low lawn chair and enjoying the outside air without a mask.

“When I’m outdoors I feel very comfortable,” Tang said. “Indoors is when I’m a little bit more cautious.”

At Pioneer Saloon, a longstanding bar in Woodside, most regulars have come back and colleagues from work are filling up the modest-sized space once again for drinks. Recently, the bar also restarted its regular live music showings.

Angeles Valdez, the sole bartender of the establishment, was serving maskless customers indoors on a recent early Thursday evening. Valdez didn’t have a mask herself since most customers at the bar were longtime, trusted regulars, she said. But when the crowds have picked up in recent nights, she’s opted to put on her mask.

“I kept my mask on because I didn’t trust the crowds just yet,” Valdez said.

Some of the hesitancy comes as new cases of the more infectious delta variant are being reported throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, where health officers have said the cases are largely among unvaccinated individuals.

But even as cases increase, an air of cautious optimism remains in the Midpeninsula as Bay Area counties report high vaccination rates: Among people 12 years old and up in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, 75% are fully vaccinated.

“I’m optimistic,” Tang said. “I don’t think we would do well if there was another backward-slide shut down.”

The vaccines have even empowered high-risk facilities such as the Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center, an adult day clinic in Mountain View, to finally reopen.

At the center on July 23, Loretta Austin helped celebrate a 76th birthday by having one of the seniors play a joyful rendition of Happy Birthday on the piano while others at the clinic, still masked, sang along. Celebrating birthdays at Avenidas transitioned to Zoom and phone calls while the facility was closed for 16 months.

On July 12, Avenidas reopened its doors to seniors at 50% capacity after conditions became safer and all staff members were vaccinated.

“Everybody feels like they’re home when they’re here,” said Austin, the activities manager at Avenidas.

Business owners are benefiting from the public’s growing confidence to come back in larger numbers.

At the Mountain View Farmers’ Market on July 18, a river of people flowed in between vendors, making pit stops at fruit and food stands to try free samples — an offering that was only resumed the prior week.

For Patti Knoblich, the “Apricot Queen” of ApricotKing Orchards — which sells dried and fresh fruits, nuts and chocolate covered goods — sales have doubled in recent months, at one point going from $1,000 to $2,000 “easily,” she said.

ApricotKing has had a stand in Mountain View for nearly three decades, during which Knoblich has seen children grow into adults. She cherishes the camaraderie that comes with interacting with customers. But during the pandemic, Knoblich said there were times when the market was a “ghost town.”

“It was no fun,” she said.

Adrienne Rush experienced even more challenging days in the past year at Title Boxing Gym, which she opened in Mountain View in 2015. While some gyms were able to adapt to online and outdoor services, Title Boxing Club confronted more limitations due to its location at Mountain View Shopping Center and because the type of workout it offers, which requires special equipment like heavy bags, doesn’t easily lend itself to online or outdoor classes.

“We were closed with no revenue,” Rush said.

But with capacity restrictions now gone, Rush said she can allow more people into group classes, which is the core product of Title Boxing Club. Vaccinated clients can also now take off their masks as they exercise.

“It’s good to see people taking care of themselves,” Rush said. “So many people have told me that they’re so glad to be back because people have gained weight and were under stress.”

Though people are eager to gather and lives have begun to move forward, the impacts and trauma of the pandemic are still felt today.

Grace Kim, a 17-year-old recent high school graduate, was at Bayer Ballet Academy on July 23 for a six-week summer intensive, as the school was rehearsing for a new production, “The Rose and the Butterfly: A Love Story.”

For several months, the academy held group classes at an outdoor studio, complete with wood floors, mirrors, barres, fans and other fixtures. Some instructors taught remotely, while others taught in-person while significantly adjusting the way they interact with the dancers.

“I think COVID has left that mark on us,” Kim said. “We’re still a little scared to get too close.”

Rehearsals this summer were particularly significant for the academy. The production will be the first live and in-person performance since December 2019, which will open at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Previously the school had resorted to pre-recorded shows online, which stitched together separate recordings of the dancers. According to Christine Wood, Bayer’s administrative assistant, the academy finalized the contract to perform at the Mountain View center a few weeks ago.

At the Palo Alto memorial service, Johnson’s daughter and son, Lynn Hoffman and Stephen Johnson, were thankful to at last join their mom’s closest friends in remembering her vibrant life.

Their mother’s death at the age of 81 came to the family as a shock, Hoffman said. A memorial service, surrounded by loved ones, offered Hoffman some comfort. But before the ceremony, the daughter spoke on the frustrations she still had and continues to push herself through till this day.

“I’m very mad and sad,” said Hoffman, who directs blame toward the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. “It’s one of those things that was just so unnecessary, in my opinion.”

For Hoffman, working through the anger involves delving more into “political activity” like her mom. Recently, she worked on get-out-the-vote campaigns and was proud to share that she helped Andy Kim, a Democratic U.S. representative, get re-elected in New Jersey, where Hoffman currently resides.

But time hasn’t made it easier to cope with her mom’s passing just yet.

“The whole COVID thing is still shocking,” she said.

Thinking about the significance of having in-person services, Pastor Gibson had two perspectives to offer during an interview — one more theological and the other more broadly existential. As Christians, she said, “God comes to us in flesh to one another, just as God came to us in Jesus.”

As humans, Gibson said, there will always be something about in-person interactions that Zoom conferences can never replace.

“Human beings were made so all of our senses want to connect,” she said. “I just think that’s really essential to what it means to be human.”

This Magical Boho-Chic Promise Ridge Elopement Makes Us Want to Escape to the Poconos

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This Magical Boho-Chic Promise Ridge Elopement Makes Us Want to Escape to the Poconos

“We knew we did not want a big, traditional wedding and wanted to write our story, our own way,” says the bride.

Delivering the latest in style, inspiration, helpful tips and tricks, and everything else you need to know to plan the perfect Philly wedding.

If you aren’t already longing for a summer jaunt to the Poconos, then this Promise Ridge wedding will have you looking for any excuse to pack up your car and immerse yourself in nature’s wonders. The serene, woodsy atmosphere is among the reasons why this couple chose the mountaintop venue for their petite boho-chic nuptials, which were photographed by Carolyn Jorgensen and are pictured below.

A standing 3:45 p.m. coffee break over a period of a year was how Melissa Gonzalez and Jaquion Gholston really got to know each other. Jaquion, an associate director of sponsored accounting and cost analysis with Stevens Institute of Technology, had just moved from Syracuse, New York, to Hoboken for the new position. Melissa, the manager of treasury operations, will never forget when he stopped by her cubicle to introduce himself. “He looked me in the eyes with such respect and confidence,” says the Elizabeth native. “I found that extremely attractive and, from there, I wanted to know more.”

So began their coffee klatch, through which a friendship developed and, later, a relationship. Their first date? Dinner after work plus an impromptu visit to a crafts store so Melissa could pick up a few items and they could extend the evening together — they were in the shop till it closed. “To this day, Jaquion says I showed him that arts-and-crafts stores aren’t so bad if you’re with the right person,” says Melissa.

Jaquion popped the question four years later on Christmas morning, a tender moment in their new home in Belleville. They planned to get married a quick five months after that. Because they had been dating for a few years, they didn’t feel a need to have a long engagement. “We knew we did not want a big, traditional wedding and wanted to write our story, our own way,” says Melissa. “We agreed that the most important part of a wedding is the ceremony: It is where marriage begins, breathes life, and takes shape.”

They decided on a small outdoor occasion on June 11, 2020 at Promise Ridge in the Poconos. They chose to invite only their closest friends and family members and, as fate would have it, the pandemic reduced their already small guest list more than initially planned. They ended up with 16 in-person guests and a few Zoom attendees. “In our relationship, we have learned that for every obstacle and challenge we face, sweetness always follows,” says Melissa.

The bride’s favorite detail was their handwritten vows and books. Neither knew what the other wrote and say the experience of hearing those words read aloud was profoundly intimate. “We have them as a physical keepsake for the future to look back on,” she says. “We tease each other from time to time and say, ‘Where are those vow books? Let me remind you what you wrote.’” For the groom, it was being truly present in the moment. “The memory was priceless in every way, shape and form.”

They also credit celebrant Alisa Tongg for their ceremony: “She captured the essence of us and tied in our love story and the meanings and symbolism of the different parts of the ceremony perfectly,” says Melissa. “There was laughter, tears of joy and countless emotions.”

Indeed, there was magic in the air — from the tranquil forest setting amid the mountains to their naturally glam, boho-chic theme. The color scheme of peach, blush and burgundy complemented the abundant plant life, and the string lights seemed to twinkle in unison with the stars. The couple had a champagne toast in the pavilion with their guests, and swayed during their first dance (“So High” by John Legend) on the infinity deck.

Not to be outdone? Melissa and Jaquion released colored smoke bombs on the hilltop and ended their celebration with a sparkler exit, while guests were treated to their own glitz and glitter — bottles of Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses rosé with personalized labels that read, “Cheers to love and happiness.”


Photographer: Carolyn Jorgensen Photography | Venue: Promise Ridge | Planning/Design and Celebrant: Alisa Tongg | Florals: Allium Floral Design | Bride’s Gown: Galina from David’s Bridal | Custom Veil: SignatureBashCouture | Hair: Shannette Pasols | Makeup: Anjeh Bourne | Groom’s Attire: Bar III from Macy’s | Custom Tie Clip: TheWoodApparelCo | Cake: Kitchen Chemistry (loose flowers from Allium) | Invitations: DIYPaperBoutique | Videography: Jonah Paulhamus Media | Personalized Wedding Favor Labels: StudioPlusOne | Broom: JumpBroom | Custom Gown Hanger: Tyuweddinggifts

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