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Final photos, left sleeve

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We mostly finished up my left sleeve in 2008, just a couple of hours of touch-up left which I am getting done next month, but Chris figured we should just take the official photos now.

The Celtic cross is my first tattoo, by Freddy Corbin in 1989. The rest of the sleeve and the touch-up of the cross is by Chris Trevino of Perfection Tattoo in Austin, done between 2006 and 2008.

The cardinals are for my grandmother on my mother's side.

Final tattoo photos, left sleeve

Final tattoo photos, left sleeve

Final tattoo photos, left sleeve

Final tattoo photos, left sleeve

Final tattoo photos, left sleeve

Final tattoo photos, left sleeve

HNT: My second half-sleeve, in progress


I started my second half-sleeve tattoo back around Mardi Gras, and so far I've got about 18 hours of ink invested over two weekend trips to Austin. These are the first pics I've posted.

The theme of this one is an homage to my maternal grandmother, with cardinals flying around the existing Celtic cross tattoo I got from Freddie Corbin back in 1990, and the same lilies in the background as in my other sleeve.

Designed and executed by Horimana, Chris Trevino of Perfection Tattoo in Austin.

Japanese half sleeve, work in progress

Japanese half-sleeve work in progress

Don't tell my mom or my wife, but Chris and I are already talking a little bit about what kind of back piece would work with this. Maybe in a few years.

I also haven't done a Half-Nekkid Thursday in a coons age, but I guess this qualifies.

Happy HNT!

Pain vacation


I just got back from a four-day weekend back in Austin, having Chris Trevino put the first eight hours worth of ink on my other sleeve. This one is cardinals, and will work around the existing celtic cross that Freddy Corbin did for me many years ago. I'll have pictures up by Thursday, hopefully.

I didn't really do much in Austin, other than loiter around the tattoo shop during the day, and lay in my room twitching at night. And eat lots and lots and lots of Mexican food. I told the guys in the tattoo shop that Mexican restaurants in New Orleans charge for chips and salsa, and they all agreed that that there is some fucked up shit. Hiromi showed up to watch on one day so we got to chat for a bit. It's fun watching her and Chris interact; they're both used to being the only person in the room who knows a lot about Japan, and neither has a very high bullshit tolerance, so they circle each other warily in conversation for a while before they figure out the other one is legit and then the conversation starts going way over my head.

I also managed to miss the social event of the season: they finally blew up the Intel building downtown. Intel started construction on their new trendy downtown Austin headquarters during the Internet bubble, and then when the Clinton boom turned into the Bush bust and the Austin economy tanked, Intel just walked away and left a big stinking hunk of blight on the city skyline. Because, you know, they're Intel and they really just don't give a fuck. Somebody took a time lapse of the implosion and has it up in a flickr set here, if you want to make a flip book out of it.

And thus died my dream of turning it into a four-story-tall Liberty Lunch. Sigh.

More work on the tattoo in September. Hopefully I won't have to do that drive again any time soon; anything grueling enough to make the twinkling lights of Kenner actually look good to me can't be emotionally healthy in the long run.

[Peeps me, baby: 25Peeps]

Final tattoo photos


One of the last things I did before I left Austin was to finally get my tattoo finished. I was supposed to get it wrapped up on August 30 of last year, but, well, something came up. You may have read about it in the papers.

Chris Trevino of Perfection Tattoo did the design and execution. These are the "official" photos taken at his shop.

And I'm on his schedule to start the other sleeve in February.

Final tattoo pictures

Final tattoo pictures
Final tattoo pictures
Final tattoo pictures
Final tattoo pictures

Tattoo update: Chris Trevino is The Man


I got more work done on the tattoo last night. Almost 3 hours without a break, but it wasn't so bad, really. I think I must be getting used to it.

These pictures show the color he added to the flowers last time, plus last night's work where he darkened the swan and background and added shadows under the waves.

Side view

Side view

Back view

Swan closeup

Front view

I wish I'd brought my camera last night, because there were two people hanging out in the shop that had the most amazing works in progress by Chris. This guy named Troy who has a large back piece, with some of it done by hand instead of with the machine ("just like shootin' pool", says Chris), and a woman named Marny who has a full body Japanese piece with all carousel animals come to life, in amazingly intricate detail.

It's always nice to have people with such obvious good taste in ink ooohing and aaahing over your own. And Troy is also a hardcore music geek so he helped keep me distracted talking about Albert Ayler and Neu and John Zorn the whole night.

Bob Moreau, who started Perfection Tattoo back in the 70's and taught both Chris and Dave Lum, also popped by for a few minutes and gave my swan a thumbs up.

Next visit is on the 30th and should be the last.

For my next tattoo (oh good lord, I've got the bug bad now), I'm going to get the same half-sleeve design on my left shoulder, but working around the existing stained-glass window ink I've already got. Same lilies, but instead of a black swan it will have a couple of cardinals. That way the left arm will be my mom's side of the family, and the right arm my dad's side. Chris is jazzed about it. Gina is less so (mainly due to money), so it might be a few years before I can manage it.

Tattoo progress


I got work done on Monday adding actual color to the tattoo, instead of just the black and grey that's gone on it up til now. I'll post current pictures when it's stopped peeling, but these pictures here were taken before the most recent session, and are the first pictures to show the black swan which was filled in back on Memorial Day.

The lighting on these is a little wonky, since we took them in the back yard right around sundown and Gina is still getting used to the new camera, but the first one came out pretty clear.

Swan filled in

Swan filled in

Swan filled in

The color on the flowers looks pretty cool (photos soon, I promise), although a little more blue in the petals than I intended. I'm going to see if he can sharpen up the white next time around. He also plans to add a blueish sheen to the swan and also go over the swan outline again to make it stand out more. That and a little touching up of the background and it'll be done.


Tattoo update: Background is finished

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I've had four sessions filling in the water and sky, so the background is pretty much done. Next appointment is in May, when he'll start coloring in the swan.

These pictures were taken an hour after I got home from getting the chest stuff done, so that part is pretty raw, but I like how the big lily on my chest really stands out, even without any color.




Daylight Savings


Most of my life, on the Monday after we changed the clocks in the spring I'd hear people complain about how tired they were in the morning, how their body hadn't adjusted yet, how they should still be in bed.

And I always thought "what a bunch of wusses"". It's only an hour, and you had Sunday to adjust. I never got why people thought their body clock should have such an effect.

Now I know. And now I know why I didn't know then.

See, for most of my life I was a drunk. So on that first Monday morning of daylight savings time, like every other morning of my life, I had only one of two feelings. Either (most likely) I drank too much the night before, and so I was hungover and felt like shit. Or, I didn't drink anything the night before, and so I was feeling all spunky and wonderful like I always did on my rare non-hangover days. (I was also pretty much guaranteed to get good and ripped later that night, seeing as how I would need to celebrate feeling so good.)

The only exception to this rule were the amphetamine years, where of course Monday I felt like anybody would who had been snorting speed instead of sleeping since the previous Thursday.

So you can see why having my wake-up call moved by an hour was only kind of a blip in the full panoply of abuses competing for hunting rights to my brain cells.

This year, booze, no speed, not even any psych meds any more. And you know what? I was sleepy. At 8am standing in the breakfast taco line, I felt like I should still be in bed. I felt like my body hadn't adjusted yet.

Ain't it cool? I'm becoming healthy. I'm becoming a wuss about sleep like the rest of you normies.

In slightly related news, today was session #3 on the tattoo, at 9am. Poor Chris wasn't adjusted to the time change either, so we didn't get rolling until after 10. He filled in more of the waves up the back of my arm and around the back to the inside. I'll post pictures as soon as I can get Gina to take some. The pictures I posted back in February look pretty lousy compared to how it looks now, all cleaned up with some shading in it.

Inside arm view


Here's the inside of my arm and my chest, which combined were the most painful things I've ever felt, apart from the time I broke my elbow.

At the bottom of my arm you can see one of the lilies. The coloring of the outline is different because that one will be partially underwater when it's done. You can also see the biggest lily up on my chest.

DAMN, that hurt!


I finally had my first tattoo session last night with Chris Trevino. I can't say enough nice things about this guy.

We had only talked for a few minutes last summer about what I wanted, but he remembered everything, and had a really firm idea in his head of how he wanted it to look. He spent about 90 minutes drawing the design freehand on my arm with markers, then two hours inking it in. I got two short breaks at the 30 minute and 90 minute marks.

I had forgotten how much this hurts, and I had no idea how much the inside of the arm or the pectoral muscles could hurt. I'm a little nervous now because I have a four hour session booked Thursday to start on the shading, and I'm not really sure I'm up to it unless I can find some good drugs (anybody? anybody? Bueller?). Yeah, yeah, I know.

Anyway, it's beautiful, I love it. Two pictures here. This one shows the swan, wings furled like it's taking off, with that frothy Japanese-style water on the bottom. The pink and purple stuff is not my skin, it's mostly magic marker from his initial sketch that I haven't managed to wash off yet.

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