Notorious B.L.O.G.

February 27, 2010

As we’ve been blogging and doing this whole internexperimental thing, I am often thinking about what I should and shouldn’t blog about. Here are some things that I thought I definitely should NOT blog about and why:

Annoying situations at the shop: Yes, even here in Maine, where life is the way it should be, we have our share of aggravation. I would like to reaffirm the public nature of the internet, however, and remind everyone out there that “online privacy” is an oxymoron. “Online privacy” is as real as leprechauns, unicorns, and bi-partisan Health Care reform. I would hate to have a laugh at the expense of someone at the shop (even in the most innocuous way) only to have them read about it later and feel embarrassed or insulted. It’s just not my style, and that’s not to say that I don’t have a MILLION hilarious stories that I wouldn’t share with you in person, but that’s point – I would share the story in person, and not on the internet for anyone and everyone to read. Originally, in my concept of blogging, I thought we would keep an online journal of all the ridiculous things that are said and seen at the shop, but that’s when we realized that we might unintentionally be mean (for the sake of being funny), and frankly, we would come across like assholes. I know that this is bordering on hypersensitivity, but I will push back against that and say this: we do care about how we make other people feel (intentionally or not), and we hope that this will always be viewed as a strength and not a weakness. The world would be a better place if everyone took other people into account just a little bit more, and I don’t think that anyone would lose any street cred, punk-rock points, or tattoo-cool-guy credit. I would never want anyone to leave the shop thinking “Wow, that guy doesn’t give a fuck. He’s cool.” And I certainly wouldn’t want everyone who comes into the shop to think that they are blog-fodder.

Personal life: I know – as much as you want to know that I ate an orange this morning for breakfast, I just can’t see how that pertains to the shop or the shop’s blog. And I’m trying (in vain, I might add) to keep my professional and personal lives separate. It’s a losing battle since the internets and myfacetwitterspace have turned my every log-on into an opportunity for everyone to promote what they’re selling, promoting, or networking. You know the only place I can log-on in private anymore? The toilet. And I KNOW that none of you want to read a blog about my logs – my log blog. And Lord knows that I would never hear the end of it if I blogged about Sue’s farts. Oops.

Sue’s farts: See the entry above.
[Editor’s Note: Sue does not fart.]

My farts: Until there’s smell-o-vision on the internet, there just no reason to write about my pants-splitters. Your imagination cannot circumscribe the wrath of my colon.

Politics: This comes up at the shop from time to time, and I try to steer clear, because I think that most of the time, people talk about politics like they are trying to win a debate or convince the other person that they are wrong (videlicet: the entire national discourse in the news media). There’s not a lot of listening going on anymore, and while I am excited to hear about other people’s ideas, I cannot refrain when I hear things that I just don’t believe.

So how was that for the meta-blog? The blog entry about what I won’t blog about?

A few nights ago as we were leaving the shop at night, Sue saw a cat crouching on the sidewalk. “Awww… what a huge kittycat!” she exclaimed. As we got closer, we realized that we should start backing away because the kitty was, in fact, a skunk. I thought that skunks hibernated in the winter. Apparently, our skunk did not get the memo, and as we moved away from it, it kept moving towards us instead of reciprocating in retreat. Skunk, what the hell?! Check your email, skunk!

I reached down and made a snowball in time to throw it at skunk. Skunk sprayed (but didn’t get us) and lumbered away before coming back at us once again. Skunk was clearly drunk – hence, the saying, I guess. We ended up crossing the street and swinging around the long way to give skunk wide berth.

For tattoos this week, I made so more progress on a leg piece that I’m doing. Here are some photos of the calf, which has two foo-lions on it.

A quick post-vacation post…

February 22, 2010

Apologies to everyone for the laggard reply…  So right before we took  last week off, I finished up this color koi piece below, and then while I was on vacation, I broke out the charcoal and paper and whipped out a body suit for a former clients in New York.  Ka-pow!  We’ll return with more blather and pseudo-wit later this week…

Sunday, Bloody Sunday…

February 8, 2010

Just a quick photo update of a big thigh/sidepiece that I was working on yesterday.  The image is of Tamatorihime, a well-known figure in Japanese lore and tattooing.  I’ve had the pleasure to doing this story as a sleeve (see the giant orange octopus sleeve on the site), so any time I get to do it again, I get to re-imagine it, re-block the composition, etc.  Nerdy, art fun!  Plus, I love when I tattoo blood and then the blood starts to bleed.  It’s very “meta” to see a tattoo that has a “wound” bleeding real blood…  Makes me feel like I’m in the Matrix.

P.S.  The tentacle does not belong to the girl (just to clarify).  Duh.  Even I know that most girls don’t have tentacles.

If Wednesday is Hump Day, what does that make Thursday or Friday?  What comes after humping day?  The post-coital cuddle days?  Friday is Cuddle Day?  And what of Tuesday or Monday?  But I digress…

So we’ve been contacted by Hard Rock Café to consider doing an event in Boston.  I haven’t gotten the details about it, but my ears and eyes are open to it.  Twenty years ago, my punk rock ethos would have gurgled up in a hot, Sid-Vicious shaped viscera that would have given two fingers and green gobs to any sexy corporate overtures.  You remember punk rock, don’t you?  Me, too- oppositional defiance disorder, dressed up by Reaganized paranoia and the Vergagenheitsbewältigung of not having actually been of age in ’77.  Punk rock was doing-it-yourself (but not really, since no one could make for themselves any of the important uniform staples: leather jacket, vans, Doc Martens, Fred Perry shirts, braces, studs, or t-shirts with the logo of (obscure but not too obscure punk band name here)).  We did make our own music sometimes and put on our own shows, but we were just as exclusive, judgmental, and mean as the preppy kids that we loathed.  They judged us, and in turn, we judged them twice as much and probably thought about them thrice as much.  Viva la 80’s.  Sure, Blaine judged Duckie, but Duckie judged him for judging him.

And eye for an eye, right? Or if you’re punky, I against I, right? We DIYed it, even if it killed us. Live and let DIY.  Live free or DIY.

I bring up the whole punk thing because of the idea of selling out and what it means (or doesn’t mean).  “Sell out” was the ultimate salvo in the integrity war- being called a “sell out” blew up the clay feet of your idols like an IED of ideology. The “old me” would have thought that doing an event at Hard Rock would be a sell-out move.  “Old me” would have thought that a TV show about tattooing was lame and really a sell-out move (even though I have friends on the show and know that they are NOT sell-outs).  But now that I’m “old,” the new “old me” is more open minded, less hypercritical (about some things), and knows that doing new and different things is the key to growing.  And sometimes, those things might lie in a Hard Rock Café somewhere.

This could be a long invective, but I’ll cut it short and say that I am in no position to sit in judgment of anyone else’s integrity.  Yes, I have personal opinions, but the internet is a public space, and as such, I’d rather not air my personal briefs in public (there are fines associated with showing your junk in public).  I’ll shut my trap before I have to gnaw my own paw off to escape it…

How do you keep from being a sell-out?  Why, by keeping it real, of course.  One of the modern day descendents of punk rock DIY ethic is hip-hop’s “keeping it real” tenet.  And no one has better illuminated the ridiculousness of keeping it real than the Chappelle Show.

Here’s a project that I chipped away at last weekend- this is the end of our fourth session- one more to go!  Someone asked me if I ever think, “Oh Lord , ANOTHER DRAGON…  (brains exploding in a fine mist behind my head).”  No.  Way.  That’s like asking me if I ever think, “Oh man, I have to eat MORE PIZZA.”  They may have simple ingredients, but there’s a perfection to drawing and tattooing a dragon that is amazingly rewarding and challenging.  I really do try to push myself to move in two directions:  keeping my dragons identifiably mine while still changing them a bit and evolving them.  So, in short, keep the dragons coming…