My Tattoo is Finished (for now)

I got the rest of my inking done yesterday for my half-sleeve tattoo.  Jason Phillips at FTW Tattoo yet again did a great job.  If you’re in the East Bay and looking for a great artist, can’t recommend him enough.  Proof of his great work I’ve posted below in photographic form.

The inside of my arm wasn’t as painful this time, maybe because I twisted the hell out of my ankle in Indiana my last night there and it’s been throbbing ever since.  X-Rays show it’s not broken thankfully.

I joked with Jason that if I wanted to get a full sleeve the rest would have to be an underwater theme since it’s under the boat.  Awesome idea, but I don’t know if the full sleeve is for me, at least at this point in life.  The other arm is open for anything and of course I’ve always toyed with the idea of getting more stuff on my back other than a robot and demon.

Honestly, I still love my first two tattoos, but almost regret them now because of the arm tattoo.  The two images on my back mean something to me but they’re kinda just floating there all alone.  This arm tattoo just makes me wish I had included them into a mosaic, something bigger than just themselves.  I kinda wish now the arm tattoo was my first one, but I’m hoping I can work the other two into some type of pattern.

Anyways, I can’t make the arm tattoo one big photo like they do in tattoo magazines, so here are just a bunch of shots of it.  Enjoy!

I Hate San Francisco (not really)

There are so many things in the Bay Area that I feel drives divides into our happy little community.  For instance, the subway system (BART) doesn’t run past midnight/midnight-thirty.  This means if you live in Oakland or Berkeley, you either need to leave the bar around 11:30 or so, or scamper to find a bed to sleep in until service resumes at 5am (maybe that ugly lady at the end of the bar might not be too ugly when there’s nowhere to sleep).

Another is the cost of living.  San Francisco may be pretty cool and have a ton of stuff to do, but it all costs an arm and a leg.  Go out to a bar and you might end up aith a $60 bar tab, $100 if you add the sushi you thought was going to be a good idea.  In the East Bay your bar tab will run you about $30 all said and done, and that’s a wild night.  Rent is also about $1,000 cheaper to a comparable place in SF unless you go down to Colma which is full of dead people.

The fact that SF has massive hills also is a knock against it.  I can bike just about anywhere in the East Bay with my single-speed and not hit a hill higher that a few feet.  In SF you’ll need calve muscles that resemble either a grapefruit or a gnarly tumor.  Great workout yeah, but who really wants to do that?  Chances are a cab ride will suffice.  Face it, you have to have a pretty good bankroll in SF.

The reason this is all coming up is because of the fireworks show last night.  I went with some friends up to a hill in the Berkeley Marina to watch the Berkeley fireworks show and as a bonus we could see Oakland’s show at Jack London, SF’s show at Crissy Field, and some of Richmond and Marin off in the distance (there was some low cloud cover which illuminated everything pretty awesomely I have to admit).

sffireworksThe Oakland show was cool, and I’m sure the Berkeley show would have been just as great except that right behind it across the bay was the SF fireworks show.  My god did it look impressive.  From 8 miles away it looked amazing.  They had so many great fireworks, but the kicker was that they had it doubled so that if one firework went off, there was a mirror image of it going off in the other direction.  At first I thought it was the beer I drank or a trick with the distance, but everyone was blown away by it, envious that we didn’t go to SF for the show.

It just made me dislike SF even more, despite having tons of cool stuff.  Other things piss me off too, like how no one in SF knows anything about BART, but us here in the East Bay know it like the back of our hands.

We might not be rich, but the East Bay kicks SF ass.

I’m Getting my Third Tattoo

After wanting one for what seems like forever, I’m going to get my third tattoo.  While my first two are merely images or symbols that I felt meant something to me, this next one is going to be more of the same only way bigger.  In fact, I plan on covering my right shoulder and most of my upper arm.  I wish I could go for a full sleeve, but honestly I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life and it would suck to have to wear long-sleeved shirts forever.

And while a tattoo like the one my friend Gorilla Sushi has seemed pretty interesting, I’ve come up with four images that will be woven together to create a huge mosaic, the theme being nautical.  Here are the images and the explanation behind them (thanks to Google image search which helped out a bunch).

SuperStock_255-36187I decided on a ship for many reasons.  The first being that I rowed for seven years and putting either a rowing shell or oars on my body permanently just seemed retarded.  The second being that my grandpa Hotch, who I idolized as a kid, built Liberty ships in Richmond during WWII and served in the Merchant Marines a spell.  His business before he passed was building ship engine parts, I’m talking HUGE parts, like pistons the size of a Ford Excursion.  They even some engine work on the Jeremiah O’Brien which was brought up  to spec a few decades ago.

On top of all that, masted ships are beautiful.

On the stern of it the name of the ship will be Hotch, sailing away through the storm which in itself could have plenty of meaning.  Him passing away, leaving for good, the storm being the turmoil of his last years with us or even his alcoholism which followed him his entire life.  The ship will be as detailed as possible, since I’m not a fan of the cartoony sailor tattoos you can see up in parlors everywhere.

Compass_RoseThe second image is going to be a compass rose, tying into the whole nautical theme.  I liked this one because not only does it make me think of my love of history what with old maps, but also my love of Northern California.  On top of that, it’s a directional thing as well, finding ones bearing, knowing where you are in life, knowing that no matter what life throws at you, you always have one hand on the tiller and can find the right course at anytime.

PirateGhostThis next image touches on a few different aspects of my life, on top of being really fucking spooky.  I’ve been a fan of the mythical image of pirates since I first saw the movie Cutthroat Island with Geena Davis.  Everyone else thought it was a terrible movie, but I was hooked.  Ever since I’ve been a fan, and just putting a pirate flag on my grandpa’s ship just didn’t seem right.

Secondly, I used this image a lot while in the Peace Corps in Niger.  I was quite famous for throwing pirate parties and even made my own tri-pointed hat out of half a cow of leather in my mud hut.  Heck, I even buried silver all over the town of Zinder and gave out elaborate treasure maps to teams of people.

Also, I dig the image.

feather penLast but not least is the representation of my love of writing.  A pencil just didn’t cut it, and a feather pen just seemed right.  It makes me think of someone sitting down in candlelight, thoughtfully scribbling away on a piece of paper, dabbing a little ink on the tip every so often finally throwing a coating of powder onto it to dry up the ink so it doesn’t smear, folding it up, and sealing it with a wax stamp.  The pen willl look as if it’s drawing the tattoo which I think should blend in nicely.

That’s about it.  The guy over at FTW Tattoo here in the East Bay (Jason) which just so happens to be six blocks from where I live is drawing it up and on the 24th I go under the needle.  Thunder clouds and waves will tie everything together to create one awesome arm tattoo.  I’m going to leave the edges faded for when I extend it down to the rest of my arm maybe a few years from now.  In the running is possibly Thor’s Hammer on my forearm.

Wish me luck!  Pics to follow.

Update: Halfway done, check it out.