Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Call Me Maeby Edition): Alia Shawkat

AShawkat_Pic04    The re-launch of the cult television hit “Arrested Development” and the release of the hilarious teen comedy “The To-Do List” have heralded the full-fledged return of one of the more promising young actresses of this generation, Alia Shawkat.

AShawkat_Pic07   Acting since the age of 9, the adorable freckled and exotic Shawkat (her father is of Kurdish descent) first made waves as young, wounded daughter of Iraqi resistance fighter, Amir (Cliff Curtis), in 1999’s esoteric Gulf War drama “Three Kings” (also starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg).  Alia followed that auspicious start with her first breakthrough role as Hannah Rayburn, alongside fellow child starlet Mae Whitman, in the Fox Family sitcom “State of Grace”.


    Alia’s comedic timing and natural sarcastic wit scored her the next big role of her career:  that of Maeby Funke, the non-biological cousin of George Michael Bluth (Michael Cera) in Ron Howard’s highly praised, but poorly watched, absurdist comedy “Arrested Development”.  I mention that she is the non-biological cousin of George Michael because their mutual attraction plays for several amusing and awkward scenes on the show.  In addition, she has to shake her head in embarrassment at the antics of her father, Tobias (David Cross) and Lindsay (Portia de Rossi).

 AShawkat_Pic08    “Arrested Development” exited the airwaves in 2006; the victim of low ratings.  But, after a very long campaign by fans and the show’s performers, it returned in 2013 as a Netflix series, with rumors of a feature film still being mentioned.

ashawkat_pic01     At the conclusion of “Arrested Development”‘s first run, Alia sort of disappeared off the radar for a period of time.  She did have a few guest starring roles on a variety of tv shows over the next few years but, by and large, she wasn’t really registering.  Fortunately for Alia’s acolytes, she did return to the wide-release market in 2009 when she starred alongside Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore in the rollerball comedy “Whip It.”

AShawkat_Pic02    Now that Alia was now more fully back in the game, she next appeared in the 2010 biopic about the rebellious teen-girl rock band, “The Runaways”.  She got roles in a several other movies in the ensuing years, including “Cedar Rapids” (with “Hangover” star, Ed Helms) and “That’s What She Said” (with Anne Heche).

ashawkat_pic03      With successful return of “Arrested Development” in 2013, Alia is also generating attention as Fiona, the (allegedly) sexually experienced best friend of Brandy (Aubrey Plaza) in this summer’s new teen comedy hit, “The To-Do List”.  Alia’s razor-sharp attitude helps encourage Brandy to pursue her goal of getting ‘experienced’ by summer’s end.  This film recalls some of the finer moments of the original “American Pie” movie and should help Alia continue to expand her fan base.

AShawkat_Pic05    In the past few years, Alia has also started to show off her love of body art.  At the premiere of “Whip It”, Alia was seen in a stunning orange dress and sporting a script tattoo on her left shoulder that reads ‘Mister Baby’.  It’s a tribute to a character in the 1989 Jim Jarmusch film “Mystery Train”.

AShawkat_Tat05   At that same premiere, Alia’s right forearm also showed off a little doodle tattoo that looks like an acorn inside a triangle.

ashawkat_tat02    Not wanting her left arm to feel neglected, she soon added another doodle (of the ‘mister jones’ animated character) to that forearm.

AShawkat_Tat03     Alia’s appreciation of ‘mister jones’ didn’t stop with her forearm.  More recently she added another doodle of him on the front of her left shoulder.

AShawkat_Tat04     This photo shows the very attractive and grownup Alia Shawkat in a stunning black dress, proudly displaying her doodle tattoos.

AShawkat_Tat01You can find out more about Alia and her artistic endeavors at her official website:


At present, she does not appear to have a Twitter account.


The First Commandment of Getting Inked: NEVER get your significant other’s name or likeness tattooed on you.

This is a post that is likely to be semi-controversial, as there may be some who very vehemently disagree with me.  However, I won’t back down from the belief that one of major cardinal sins of getting tattooed is to have the person you’re romantically involved with inked anywhere on your body.

The impetus for this commentary comes from the recent photos posted by Shenae Grimes showing the newlywed actress altering the script tattoo on rib cage to go from reading ‘Myself and I’ to ‘Myself and Josh’, after husband Josh Beech.


The euphoria of being in love is a powerful one.  It’s one that people want to share and proudly represent in dramatic ways.  So, one of the most common displays is for a couple that is married, or just exclusively dating, to get each others’ names or likeness tattooed on their body (at least one of them chooses to do this).

Unfortunately, many relationships (even marriages) end up not lasting.  But, the person is now left with a very permanent reminder of something was not permanent.  Now, this is not meant as a cynical rant about love, or an attempt to negatively assume that all relationships end.  It’s just an advisory that, if you are going to choose to put something permanent on your body, you should choose something that will always be permanent about you.

Examples of good permanent choices would be tattoos relating to your heritage (all of mine have a Celtic theme, paying tribute to my Irish and Scottish ancestry).  Another good choice (and one that is similar in nature) is the name or likeness of a biological family member, such as a child or a recently passed parent.  The reason these work is because they represent something that will always been a part of that person.

Below are some examples where the excitement of love did not lead to good ink decisions.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is famous for her love of body art (in addition to her acting and humanitarian traits).  She loves the history of tattoos just as much as having them, as witnessed by her travels to get inked in the old-style method on her shoulder.   She has also fallen victim to being caught up in love (or lust) and got her ex-husband’s name, ‘Billy Bob’, tattooed on her left bicep.

This marriage, which took place after the smallest of courtships (Billy Bob Thornton’s ex-fiancee’, Laura Dern, learned that they were no longer together when she read online that he was had married Jolie).  What followed was a short, but tempestuous, marriage, leaving Jolie with a permanent reminder.  She has since had it lasered and covered up with the geographical birth locations of all of her children.


Johnny Depp

During the late 80’s and early 90’s, Hollywood was dominated by a new wave of young and upcoming actors and actresses that were called the ‘Brat Pack’.  Among them were “Edward Scissorhands” lovers, Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder.  At the time, Depp was so taken with Ryder that he had ‘Winona Forever’ tattooed on his right bicep.  Acting as a curse to the relationship, Depp and Ryder broke up not long after he got inked.  He has since had it altered to read ‘Wino Forever’.  I’m certain he finds humor in it now, and he probably does like his wine.  But, it’s a classic example of a really bad idea.


Kat Von D

Someone who should definitely know better is celebrity tattoo artist, Kat Von D (of “L.A. Ink”).  She was so enamored of her fiancee, Jesse James, that she got a portrait of him as a young boy tattooed on her left side.  Given the circumstances involved (that they had only been together briefly before getting engaged… and that Jesse’s track record in relationships, which included humiliating ex-wife Sandra Bullock with his infidelity, was horrid), should have sent up red flags that this was a bad idea.  Well, she got it anyway, and still ended up breaking up with James.

KatVonD_Tat_Name01Chad Johnson

The last example here is courtesy of former NFL wide receiver, Chad Johnson (aka ‘Ocho Cinco’).  In 2012, against the advice of his inner circle of friends, Johnson chose to marry Evelyn Lozada, the highly volatile reality star of shows like “Basketball Wives”.  Needless to say, this didn’t work out.  A little over two months later, amid domestic disputes and accusations of abuse, the couple divorced.  Yet, for some reason, Johnson could not shake his lust for Lozada and kept pining to win her back.  One way that he thought would be a good idea was to get her portrait tattooed on his right calf.  It didn’t work, and now he has this permanent reminder.


There are plenty of great tattoos to get and creative ways to show people how you love them through ink.  But, please don’t break this first commandment when it comes to getting tattooed.

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day: Shenae Grimes

SGrimes_Pic07    One thing you can always count on with networks like the CW constantly churning out one teen drama after another is attractive actresses who embrace a love of body art.  Some of the shows are successful and well-received (like “Pretty Little Liars”); some are horrible and quickly destined for the scrap heap (like the 2009 version of “Melrose Place”); and some are mediocre, but have some staying power (like “90210”).

sgrimes_pic05   Shenae Grimes starred for 5 seasons in “90210”, which fit into the latter of those categories.  In that show (which also gave us a ‘New 2 Tats’ feature on Jessica Stroup), she portrayed Annie Wilson, a transplant from Kansas who is struggling to find her place in the fast-paced Beverly Hills sunshine (mirroring the journey of Brenda and Brandon Walsh from the original series).  While “90210” didn’t particularly impress critics, Shenae did grab a Teen Choice Aware nomination in 2010 for her role.

SGrimes_Pic01    Shenae hails from the talented acting hotbed known as Canada (what’s that all aboot, eh?).  So, it would only make sense that her first acting role would be as the teenage version of Canadian country music star, Shania Twain.  She would have a few guest star roles on forgotten tv series over the next year until she got her first major break in 2006.

SGrimes_Pic03    In 2006, Shenae saw her big break when she took the role of Darcy Edwards in the hugely popular Canadian teen drama, “Degrassi:  The Next Generation”.  This edition of “Degrassi” is a continuation of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s hits “Degrassi High” and “Degrassi Junior High”.  This new iteration is notable for having huge fans in Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith (Jay and Silent Bob), and giving a start to mainstream talents like actresses Nina Dobrev and Cassie Steele, as well as rapper Drake (Aubrey Graham).

SGrimes_Pic04    Shenae continued on “Degrassi: The Next Generation” until 2008, while also continuing to perform the occasional guest role.  2008 saw her next big move when she became Annie Wilson in the “90210” reboot.

SGrimes_Pic02    During her 5-year run on “90210”, Shenae continued to ‘multi-task’.  She directed her own cinematic short, “Myself and I” (the inspiration for one of her tattoos), had a cameo in “Scream 4” (which could have been titled, “Scream: The Next Generation” for consistency’s sake), and starred in the films “Sugar” and “Empire State”.  In that time, Shenae also managed to get married to musician Josh Beech.

SGrimes_Pic06    Shenae has made no secret of her love of body art.  For years on the red carpet, she has worn revealing dresses that show off the script tattoo on her right rib cage that reads “Myself and I” (the title of her cinematic short).

SGrimes_Tat02SGrimes_Tat03More recently, she has been spotted at the beach with what appears to be an adorable heart with Celtic knots on the back of her left thigh (there is another tattoo just above it, but I have not been able to get a clear photo of it).

SGrimes_Tat04SGrimes_Tat05    Shenae has gotten also gotten inked on her left wrist (a popular feminine location).  It is Japanese characters that read “Keep Calm”.

SGrimes_Tat07    She has also embraced the popular trend of behind the ear tattoos by getting a design of Peter Pan’s hat behind her left ear.  It is a reminder to her to stay young and not take life too seriously.  She got it as a memorial to a close friend who passed away.

SGrimes_Tat01SGrimes_Tat06You can get more info and photos of Shenae at her fan web site:


You can follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/shenaegrimes

Featured Tattoo Style of the Day: Spirits (The Beverage Variety)

One of the fun, and creative, aspects of tattoos is how people can use them to tell the world what they like, and also show a humorous side to themselves.  Inspired by a girl I met at an Orioles game who loved Natty Boh beer so much that she got the logo tattooed on her ankle, I present this feature on tattoo lovers who express their love of their favorite alcoholic beverages in a very permanent way.

The “Natty Boh Girl”

NattyBoh_TatPeople who love their wine

Wine_Tat01Wine_Tat02Everyone has a little Captain in them.  This one has a little Captain ON them

CaptainMorgan_TatMy personal favorite spirit:  Johnnie Walker (cue the Scotch Dance)

Johnnie_Walker_Tat01PRB isn’t to everyone’s liking, but this person appears to love it

PBR_TatShowing love for the great Dogfish Head ale

DogFishHead_TatGotta appreciate anyone who loves Guinness enough to get the stout’s harp logo inked on them

Guinness_Tat02I think I will go pour me some Green Label now.

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day: Jena Malone

JMalone_Pic02    It’s always fun to find actresses who have tattoos that you wouldn’t expect to have them.  Jena Malone is one such actress.  Jena started acting as a child at the tender age of 11, with a guest role on “Chicago Hope” and in a powerful role as an abused girl in her cinematic debut, “Bastard Out of Carolina”.

JMalone_Pic01    Not long after that debut, Jena made her first major impression on a large audience by portraying the young Ellie Arroway (played as an adult Jodie Foster) in 1997’s epic science fiction film “Contact” (based on the Carl Sagan book, and putting a much heavier emphasis on the ‘science’ component of science fiction).  Jena struck a chord as a young astronomy lover who coped with the devastating loss of her parents at a young age by throwing herself into the search for life beyond Earth.

JMalone_Pic05   In the next few years, Jena played it safe in a number of by-the-numbers teen roles in films like “Stepmom” (with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon) and “For the Love of the Game” (with Kevin Costner).  Of course, Jena didn’t even wait until she was 17 before she decided to take a dramatic detour into darker films, such as the apocalyptic cult hit “Donnie Darko”.

JMalone_Pic06     After “Donnie Darko”, Jena continued to stay edgy with a variety riskier films.  Among them were “Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” (which reunited her with Jodie Foster), “United States of Leland”, and the controversial, yet entertaining, religious satire “Saved!”.  In “Saved!”, she portrays Mary, a devout, yet naive, Christian high schooler who comes to learn how she is able to maintain her faith in the face of the hypocrisy of organized religion after becoming pregnant.  She became pregnant after sleeping with her boyfriend just once in an attempt to ‘cure’ him of being gay.  Religious critics despised the film, but it helped pull the curtain back, and open the dialogue, on a number of issues that tend to get glossed over.

JMalone_Pic04   Jena continued to perform regularly over the next several years, sort of under the radar,  before she starred in the girl-power, graphic novel style action film, “Sucker Punch” (written and directed by “300” director, Zack Snyder).  This film also starred ‘New 2 Tats’ hotties, Vanessa Hudgens and Emily Browning.  2013 looks to be another major step for Jena, as she portrays to arrogant Johanna Mason in the sequel to “The Hunger Games” titled “Catching Fire”.

JMalone_Pic03    Jena did not wait very long to join the ‘ink club’.  She was spotted at the premier of “Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys”, at the age of 17, with a fairly detailed tattoo on her lower back.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any pictures that give greater clarity to what the design is, but it is impressive and a bold statement for an actress who has made bold career choices.

JMalone_Tat01JMalone_Tat02jmalone_tat03You can find out more about Jena at her fan site:


You can follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/MaloneJena