1. There seems to have been some invisible line crossed by soul and R and B music around 1978, some slight barely perceptible shift in the sound and feeling. This manifests itself in the form of me wanting to punch the music device I am using if something like Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Mariah Carry, Usher, Boyz2men, or Beyonce pops up. On the other hand, if the song is by Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, or Etta James Im as happy as a baby. There are a few modern day exceptions including Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill, but not that many. Keep in mind that I didn’t listen to any of this stuff til 2 or 3 years ago so it’s not like it’s all a walk down memory lane for me, the old stuff is just plain better to my ears. Maybe its the lack of high-pitched wailing vocal solos. . . .
2. I’ve discovered that the joy I find in attending the Renaissance Festival is directly proportional to the likelihood of me dressing up like a knight and joining the folks working there. When I was in my 20’s I would have seriously considered putting on leather “armor”, a puffy shirt and a sword and talking like a bed Shakespeare company, by my thirties I just sort of considered the puffy shirt, and these days I just want a turkey leg and some comfy shoes.
3. I had not tattooed any sort of biomech thingy for some years before last year and now I find myself doing one or two big pieces a year now. I like them, and I finally have the ability to do something good with the style that I just didn’t have the skill to do before. I suppose this is what it feels like to go back and ski down the first hill you ever ski’ed after you have won a gold medal in downhill slalom. “Hey, this used to be so scary. . . .”
4. There is a very fine tattoo “show” presented by Marcus Kuhn called “The Gypsy Gentleman” . It is living proof that our art-form can indeed be filmed and talked about publicly without coming off like a daytime soap opera for people with small IQ’s and large collections of ICP cd’s. In it you will see tattooers thoughtfully creating tattoos, being inspired by other forms of art, and talking about the varied paths which brought them into this strange lifestyle. You wont see people arguing about who fucked who, you wont see paid actors pretending to be the shop janitor, and you wont see girls in bikinis coming in to discuss the Chinese character for their wrist. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
5. I got my neck tattooed in New York and I plan on going back in 2012 to get my left arm sleeved, after quite a lull it looks like I’m about due for some serious tattooing on my self. Getting tattooed seems to hurt more the older I get, maybe i should hurry up and get my giant belly done before I just can’t take it anymore!!
6. Been getting asked a lot lately about why we named the shop “Black Cat Tattoos”. I started off with all sorts of ideas for Buddha-y names for the shop like “Lotus tattoo” or “Bodhi shop” (seriously, what was the matter with me?) and for a second we considered calling it Sailor Eddies Tattoo (Eddie is my chihuahua) but we liked how Black Cat just sounds like a tattoo shop and was a flexible enough name that if we want to make shirts with skulls and knives it works but if we want to make shirts with peony flowers and Geishas it kinda still works. Also I remember how Brian used to tell me he regretted naming the shop Eye Candy, I asked him what he would have called it if he were naming it again and he said, “Tattoo Shop” (heh heh). So I tried to go with something that I would still like in ten years. I know that’s not a very cool story but if you like you can just pretend that we called it Black Cat because that was the name of our drug/biker/pit fighter gang.
7. I am now doing walk ins on Thursdays, no appointments and no giant sessions. This has worked out great on a couple of levels, for one thing it lets folks who want a small tattoo by me get one without waiting 2 months, for another it gives me a flex day to make up appointments if I’m sick or have a friend in from out-of-town without having to come in on my day off. The proof is in the fact that before we started doing this I came in on one of my days off every week and since we started I havent had to once. Besides all that I like having a day where I can get some drawing done as well, I do draw for customers as ‘homework’ but I prefer to do that at the shop where all my reference and light tables are. So if you want a one session tattoo from me, just show up early on a Thursday!
8. This is my 201st post on WordPress. Everybody says “someday im gonna write a book” and it turns out I kinda already did.