Monday, February 20, 2006


So, after weeks of planning and design, went in to get my tattoo (if ya remember, I was trying to get it done in New Zealand). Well, didn't happen, and I went in finally to the renowned Sacred Tattoo in Oakland (near Jack London Sq). The first guy I talked to seemed confident, and while I wasn't convinced by his portfolio, I decided to give him a chance. We had a few meetings, talked about the design - wasn't going well, but he scheduled the actual tattoo session, quite premature. I went in not sure, but sure that I wasn't going to start the ink unless I was satisfied. After a half-hour of back & forth, he said it wasn't in a style he could do, and gave my deposit back. Got a call from him the next day that there was an artist there, Oey, who had a good Asian style, and his ancestry was Indonesian. Met with him, and it was pretty clear he understood what I wanted (he even knew more about the legends than me). The designs progressed fantastically, and was finally ready after several weeks.

So, blocked off most of the day, and I admit I wasn't quite prepared for the day, other than reserving the day and having snax on hand. It was a huge piece, probably twice as big as my Maori Tiki on my leg. But how prepared can one be for that? Bonnie (the saint!) and got there at at noon, some prep but it was under way by 12;30, and almost right away, I could tell it would be extreme. Ribs are the most painful places to get (well, ONE of them), and now I believe it. 5 hours later (with a 20-minute break in there, and several 3 to 4 minute respites), it was over. There was a stretch there which was unreal, I was completely out of my head. I've never taken substances, but this was a similar (and probably intense) experience, where I could truly feel the reality in my mind wasn't the reality of my body. I thought, if that sensation persisted, this afternoon was going to be cake, but no.

Anyway, here are the pics, based on wayang kulit. I think it's pretty amazing, quite pleased. Planning on going back for detail& shading work, might still enter it in the SF Tattoo Expo :

Monday, February 06, 2006

New in the New Year

I figured I'd let the new year mature, mellow, marinate to post something more significant. Well, it's been over a month, and I don't have anything earth-shattering or ground breaking or profound. But, since this is supposed to be, at the least, a way for me to keep friends and family up-to-date, and I haven't written much since getting back from New Zealand, so here goes. I realizing I haven't written my 'review' of King Kong, haven't written my journal of the holidays back in Detroit, haven't written my New Years Resolution (lose weight, ha!).
But weighing heavily on my mind is that commute. So much so that I made the leap to get a new car - a Honda Civic hybrid. Cheaper and longer-lasting tank of gas, ability to ride the carpool lane - it wasn't too hard a decision. The process was a bit annoying. Bonnie and I went out on a Sunday, and got the super hard sell from the salesman, and his boss, and HIS boss. The whole thing took up an hour, they must have said "what can we do to get you this car TODAY?" 2 dozen times. Got a trade-in eval on my Volvo - $6500. I laughed at that, almost walked out but they kept the schmoozola on, got it up to $9g's, which was about the KBB value. So, put some distance and some thought and research into it. I was dubious of their push that the hybrids are going so fast, I needed to buy now now now. (They even had another salesman come in and say, "I need to show that car #XXX to some customers." "But, I was selling to this gentleman." ) But I checked a couple places, and they said, "No hybrids in stock." So I decided to make the move. First brand new car I've ever bought. I'll miss the Volvo but this will be better off in the longer run I think, the fact I don't have to buy premium grade petrol is outstanding.