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Strung up from the sky

May 15, 2012

Yeah, been listening to a lot of Pelican lately and not updating the blog. A while back, I borrowed a great copy of the Popul Vuh and have only just started in on it. You get into the narrative and it’s already so similar to other creation stories, it’s amazing so far. If I don’t end up a bartender for life it’s quite possible I’ll end up buried in books for some sort of comparative religion degree. But we all know I don’t have the attention span for that.

Things to do before the month is out: get a bike, finish some books, figure out if I can get tattooed in SF when we go in September. All good things. Would be fun to do a little writing again, too, we’ll see what happens!

Beer gut go home

February 7, 2012

Got this little/bigger than expected cut-out dagger the other day from Pete Triolo who works out of Built for Speed in Orlando. He did a quick little guest spot at Eight of Swords up here. Always good to see Pete, and it turns out he does killer traditional tattoos if you let him!

Oh, you..

January 30, 2012

‎”I’ll have a cosmo, but can you make it on the weak side?”

“Can I have a vodka water with a splash of lime?”

“Tequila sunrise. Wait –– what’s in that, I mean, can I just have tequila and orange juice without whatever the red stuff is?”

“Do you have a cocktail list?” “I’m in the mood foooooor….something…..sweet. What do you drink?”

I’m happy to serve everyone that comes through the door but some days it’s just funny.

Ears to hear

January 29, 2012

It’s an incredible thing when you (start to) learn how to listen to yourself. It’s so simple but seems that it’s becoming increasingly rare across the board. So many distractions, so many things pulling you in twelve different directions, so many screens to look at. Maybe we can just call that my 2012 resolution, to learn to listen to my self. Those who have ears should hear.. I think I’ve generally tricked myself into believing I knew what the hell I was doing and it’s now that I’m pushing 30 and finally made one huge life choice –– to marry my incredible wife –– that my head and heart have started to open up. And I don’t mean that I’m extra weepy or feely or want to rub anyone’s shoulders, just that I can feel a change in the way I’m perceiving myself and the world as I never have before. It’s not in a selfish way, not in a coddled you-can-be-anything-you-want-even-the-president way that so many parents urge their kids. It’s just the simplest yet most difficult way of listening. The tiniest ray of light but it feels incredible.

And on that note, here’s round one of a tattoo started by Ron Wells the other week at Three Kings. I wimped out big time and had to quit after the outline. Originally, I was thinking it might be a bit bigger and, to be honest, kind of glad it’s not. Fits right in there. Hopefully, we’ll finish this bad boy up in Philly in a couple weeks. Thanks, Ron, sorry to be such a puss-puss.

Have you seen my stapler?

January 5, 2012

Not writing has been the best decision I’ve made in a long time. After getting laid off a while back and trudging through job listings on mediabistro or craigslist or wherever, I realized that in 2007 I’d left one job that was just a job (bartending) for another job that was just a job (copywriting) under the assumption that I was making “moves” for that nebulous thing many of us like to refer to as a career.

The whole idea of a career is pretty brand new for us humans. And even though they can make countless movies about mid-life epiphanies where you dismantle your cubicle and arson up your entire office because none of it makes any sense and all of it’s pointless, the message still seems to get lost that every single job you have will suck. Because we’re not made for it and deep down our souls are screaming at us to stop working for a paycheck just so we can buy more stuff and be a little more comfortable in our designer jeans or floppy combat boots or mustache or whatever the thing to do is. Unless you actually like what you’re doing.

I’m about in the middle. I’m back behind the bar on occasion and I’ve realized that I actually like it and would have no problem running the place. I’ve had a couple ideas kicking around upstairs but I’m only at the stage to start exploring them little by little, instead of making any big leaps. But realization number one: it’s okay to be back at the bar. And it’s also awesome.

All of this is to say, I’m ok where I’m at and it took a long ass time to get here. It’s tough though, since everything around us is telling us to go nuts and keep fighting for those swanky jobs so you can tell people you have a swanky job. Not that I was ever in the running for any kind of swanky job. Especially when I refuse to learn any sort of html or graphic design or pretty much anything you’re gonna need to know how to do on a computer in order to get a well-paying job.

It’s funny when people ask me, “So, what else do you do?” Right now? Nothing. But thanks for insulting me in a round about way. Our own personal timelines have nothing to do with the tracks that most of us are on. And it’s almost painfully difficult to extract yourself from that and start trying to follow that road that you can just barely see in the distance of your own mind. And it’s kind of funny that I had nothing to do with extracting myself from the day-to-day of the ol’ day job. Go figure.

In the meantime, you can all come by High Horse Saloon on Havemeyer and Hope and ask me what else I do. Happy 2012, jerks!


I’ll break the glass, I’ll break it downnn

December 5, 2011

Possibly just as good as the actual tattoo is this little photo the wife snapped as Dave was putting it on. Ouch-Town, USA. Thanks again, Dave Wallin, you are a scholar and a gentleman and a jerk.

Said it’s in my, in my heart

December 2, 2011

It’s funny in car commercials when the car drives through a construction site, sparks flying, mud sloshing around in slow motion, because you can’t just drive through a construction site. Somebody must’ve invented the car-through-the-construction-site shot and I bet that person never got any credit. It’s entirely possible that the individual actually is celebrated in the annals of car commercial history, though it’d be my guess that it was the work of a copywriter or two that tossed it into some script for Chevy or Ford at the last minute after having revised it thirty-seven times just to see what would happen. And they went for it. And now so does every commercial with a truck, or Jeep, or brakes or bumper cameras or flat screens or whatever they put in cars now. And I bet that copywriter is still alive , wishing he could’ve achieved the kind of status attained by the guy who thought to use the karaoke-that-goes-s0-terribly-and-uncomfortably-wrong-that-it’s-endearing scene in RomComs.

Anyway, there’s some decent TV in expensive Mexican hotels.

So, back from Mexico, back from the wedding, back from living a weird reality with a bunch of short haircuts from the Dress Barn corporate event –– which was happening at the hotel the first week we were there. Some incredible specimens parading around the premises..

Lots of upright, brown lizards shuffling around the pool, wrapped up in Lycra and Spandex, or whatever Dress Barn swimsuits are made of, asking for mojitos and cervezas at ten in the morning. Me, I stuck with pina coladas at ten in the morning. And throughout the day. Not sure how that happened, but I drank more pina coladas in a five or six day period than I’ve ever had –– and probably will ever have –– in my entire life.

I sped through The Goliath Bone the first day we were there, one of the two Mickey Spillane novels published posthumously by his buddy and fellow writer Max Allan Collins (who also wrote Road to Perdition.) It was decent enough but didn’t feel like a true Mike Hammer novel. I’m sure Jehova’s Witnesses or the Internet or 9/11 can be blamed for that.  Anyway, the book was good. Then I read Love, Lucy, Lucille Ball’s autobiography that her daughter found, also published posthumously and really, really great. It’s a cheap paperback and really fun and interesting. I’d get a Lucille Ball tattoo if the wife would let me. Spent countless mornings watching I Love Lucy reruns… Read Bossypants because I tried to start Teju Cole’s Open City (which my friend had given me back in New York before he left for London) and couldn’t get through it. So I picked it up again. And put it down again.

I kept stopping after a couple pages, mostly because it didn’t interest me and I resented the writer, but also because my mind kept wandering back to Chichen-Itza.

The place was incredible. The hotel, in comparison, was kind of one big, gaping, white shame on the beach. It was great, but that’s what they all were, that’s the economy, that’s what’s off that strip of the 307 highway. Big, sprawling, all-inclusive resorts where you can live like an asshole for a couple weeks, or a month if you’re Canadian or Australian or English. I just wanted to go back to Chichen-Itza, stare at the ball court, which was ten times the size I’d imagined, and hear stories about Quetzalcoatl and the jaguar gods that escort you around after you die. Obviously, this is a gross oversimplification. More on this later…

Anyway, back to reality. I did finally pick up The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which I started reading yesterday. Glad I started with The Power of Myth, it made for a good introduction. I eventually did get through Open City, I think it just took me a minute to switch paces, mentally. It was a nice book, the guy is thoughtful in the way I feel like I used to be. Maybe that’s why I kept putting it down when I first started reading.

Don’t eat the pan

October 28, 2011

Well, found some old books of mine and went through and salvaged what I thought worth salvaging. Funny enough, it’s mostly drawings and not much writing. Go figure. Not much of a writer and even less of an artist. The best thing is definitely the note my grandma left on what was probably a pan of brownies in the fridge. No idea when that’s from, at least five or six years ago. Most of this stuff is pretty old! And I was obviously buying a fair share of tattoo magazines there for a minute.

Dreaming in America

October 25, 2011

I’m always ambivalent about posting tattoos online, but at this point, I’ve already put up the first phase a few months ago, so I figured what the hell, I might as well post the finished product.

Also, like most tattooers who have a specific style, Mr. B. H. Robinson is often imitated and always imitated poorly. So if part of the worry is someone trying to make a bad copy (inevitable, no matter who you are), I’m pretty comfortable that the ripped off version wouldn’t even come close. Go ahead, put a bunch of gray in there, see what happens..

There’s a skull under there, too, but it was a tough shot to get with the shine on the shin due to the light. The few of you that check this thing, I know you are familiar with his work, but if you’re not, give Bailey’s blog a look here. Can’t wait to add to this guy. Thank you again, Bailey.

I don’t wanna be buried

October 15, 2011

Pet Sematary is on AMC at the moment.

I’ve been pretty terrible at updating this thing. Found a bunch of fun stuff from some old journals of mine, so I’ll probably ’em scanned at some point and you can make fun of my little drawings.

Gettin’ hitched in 3 weeks, suckers!