My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Tattoo #49

March 26th, 2011 | Category: Life,Opinions,Tattoos,Thoughts on Music

Tattoo by Fish, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

This is my first foot tattoo, it’s from one of my favorite Elliott Smith songs, Angel in the Snow, off his posthumously released collection, New Moon.

I’d say you make a perfect

Angel in the snow

All crushed out on the way you are

Better stop before it goes too far

Don’t you know that I love you?

Sometimes i feel like only a cold still life

That fell down here to lay beside you

Don’t you know that i love you?

Sometimes I feel like only a cold still life

Only a frozen still life

That fell down here to lay beside you

It’s such a beautiful little song, and sad. Falling so hard, feeding so… apart.

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Tattoo #48

March 25th, 2011 | Category: Life,Tattoos

Tattoo by Colt, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

I got this on my birthday, it’s from Elliott Smith’s song, Pretty (Ugly Before), which is off his sixth record, From a Basement on the Hill.

It’s supposed to remind me not to push someone I love away, just to make sure I’m really wanted, really loved.

Supposed to.

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Tattoo #47

March 24th, 2011 | Category: Life,Tattoos

Tattoo by Colt, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

This one, it’s… for me.

3 comments

Tattoo #46

March 24th, 2011 | Category: Life,Tattoos

Tattoo by Fish, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

This tattoo comes from The Engine Driver by The Decemberists, with an Aimee Mann twist. Aimee covered this song with The Decemberists in concert, I decided to have her wording etched into my chest.

The song itself is simply beautiful, a lush, sweeping narrative about love that might not love you back… Why did I get it? Well, there’s a “long one” in my life, I don’t question if I’d work beside her, I know it with everything in me. That night, a few before last Christmas, I wondered … if she’d ever just stop and let me.

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Thirty: Day 2 – The birthday didn’t suck

January 01st, 2011 | Category: Life

So, when I woke up yesterday I was certain it was going to be a bad day. I had that dream, I was under the impression that my love, Monica, wouldn’t be around for my birthday, I really didn’t think anyone would be around. I was just going to go for the usual birthday dinner, hopefully get a quick tattoo and go home. I was pretty down about the entire affair, I wanted it over. Dinner, tattoo, home, done. Things, however, turned out differently

Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

We get to Ybor (home of Tampa’s fun restaurants, bars and tattoo shops), my mom goes ahead to see if our table’s ready at the Acropolis, this great Greek place. Apparently, the table isn’t ready, so my brother suggests we go get my tattoo real quick. We go next-door to my shop, Doc Dog’s Las Vegas Tattoo, and some things immediately strike me as odd. The front doors are wide open, then nobody comes to say, hi. This is weird because the double-door on the left is always locked, so someone in front sees me coming, they unlock that door, and I always get a “Hey, Mikey!” Generally, I don’t go by “Mikey,” but the way everyone at the shop says it is endearing, it’s not cutesy and weird. The way they say it, it’s like I’m “in,” I belong there. So, no locked door and no “Hey, Mikey!” seemed strange. Then, nobody’s behind the counter, the front of the shop is empty, my brother takes me straight to the back. Again, totally strange, but everything’s happening so fast I really only have time to think, “This is really odd.” Then I see Monica, and balloons, then people yell, “Surprise!” I’m shocked, I was completely had. Seeing Monica first, that makes me light-up inside. After two years, seeing her  after I haven’t, it still always makes my breath catch. She’s so much color, and light, and warmth. I started falling in love the moment I met her, the moment her soft brown eyes met mine, and I just keep falling. My friends who I didn’t think would be around are there, everyone from the shop, even my ENTDoctor Padhya, is there. I feel perfect.

I so didn’t want to be without Monica. If she wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have been there either, not really. I didn’t know her not being able to make it was all part of the surprise, I just knew I felt awful that she wouldn’t. Part of me would have been someplace else otherwise, part of me is always with her. I love her so completely. We talk without words, no knows me so well. As soon as I saw her, I knew the night would be better than good.

Aside from the friends I hadn’t seen in quite awhile, it was really great having Doctor Padhya there. Almost four years ago, I almost died by way of pineapple juice, Doctor Padhya was one of the people who helped save my life. He cut the hole in my throat and he’s taken care of me ever since. I have a weird trachea, I’m not an easy patient, I know this. Whenever I need something, whenever the chips are down, Doctor Padhya makes sure I’m okay. Whenever I need anything, one e-mail to Doctor Padhya and it’s done. I really wouldn’t be thirty without him, so having him at my thirtieth birthday party felt really right. Since the trach, I’ve really needed my doctors. You can tell the ones who genuinely care from the ones who are just collecting a paycheck, Doctor Padhya genuinely cares.

The Las Vegas Tattoo Gang.

Everyone from the shop was great, Doc (the owner), and Belle (Doc’s wife, and the best piercer in town), and Colt (Doc and Belle’s son, my spectacular artist), and Fish (my spectacular backup artist), everyone. I started getting my tattoos there nearly two years ago, Colt has done at least twenty of them. I got two last night, on the house, I’ll write about them soon. They’re just good people, they let us take over the shop on a big holiday, totally welcomed everyone. From my very first tattoo there, they’ve made me feel like I belong.

I expected the night to be astonishingly bad, I just wanted to stay home and stream awful horror movies from Netflix. I’m glad I was wrong, turning thirty ended up being pretty perfect.

I think maybe 2011 might be okay, I want it to be okay. I’m thirty, there are things I want before I disappear. I often feel like such a failure, I worry about time so much, running out of it. I’ve made so many mistakes, I get scared I’ll run out of time before I make up for my mistakes, before I have the things I’ve wanted for so long.

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Tattoo #45

December 11th, 2010 | Category: Life,Opinions,Tattoos,Thoughts on Music

Tattoo by Fish, Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

So, my 600th post is about my 45th, and most recent, tattoo.

These lyrics are from what’s quite possibly my favorite Elliott Smith song, the not-so-known, Some Song. It’s part of a little three track collection, the Needle in the Hay – EP. The first thing that draws me to the song is that it’s written almost entirely in the second-person. If done right, second-person writing is so powerful, it pulls people into the narrative with such intensity. To me, it’s so underrated and under-used, in music and literature. It’s really difficult to pull off, but I think the pay-off is worth trying. The song itself sounds like it’s straight autobiography, Elliott laying out how he saw himself. It’s a very odd mix, he knew he had talent, that he could be who he wanted to be, yet he hated the songs he wrote, hated himself, and he knew he was broken and couldn’t get it together. I understand that odd juxtaposition of feelings toward oneself.

I know I write well, I have skill and my stuff resonates with some people. I know I have a lot of potential to write and do great things, the potential to be the fellow I see in my head. I also hate almost everything I create. I feel like a fuck up, piece of shit failure. I’m just about thirty and I haven’t really accomplished anything important, I’ve screwed stuff up. I’ve wasted chances, ruined things. I’ve made so many bad choices lately. I can’t seem to hold it together enough to be who I want to be. Maybe I’m stuck the way Elliott was stuck. I don’t know.

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Tattoo #44

December 09th, 2010 | Category: Life,Tattoos

Tattoo by James, Stranded Tattoo Studios, Savannah, GA

This tattoo I got in Savannah, GA, the night before my brother’s wedding. Everybody else is off drinking and watching football, I’m getting a tattoo. That really says a lot, I think. At any rate, if you’re ever in Savannah and find that you’re in need of a tattoo, Stranded Tattoo Studios is the place to go. James, the fellow who did my tattoo, was spectacular, and I’ll just go ahead and say it, is probably the best damn tattoo artist in the entire state of Georgia.

As for the tattoo itself, the whats and the whys.. The lyrics are from an Alanis Morissette song, Hand in My Pocket, which is off her North American debut record, Jagged Little Pill. That’s the whats, as for the whys, they’re mine on this one.

(Again, the grammatical error in the tattoo was done to match the way the lyrics are written on Alanis.com.)

1 comment

Tattoo #43

December 09th, 2010 | Category: Life,Opinions,Tattoos,Thoughts on Music

Tattoo by Colt, Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

So, this tattoo is from one of my favorite Nirvana songs, Blew, which is on their first record, Bleach. Nirvana songs don’t necessarily tell a story that goes, and then, and then, and then. Nirvana songs are often a mix of lines that mean something and lines that mean absolutely nothing, so it’s a matter of picking out the important lines and figuring out what they mean as a whole. That’s one reason I love Nirvana so much, every song is sort of a puzzle to solve.

To me, Blew is about being stuck, feeling intensely frustrated, and wanting it to stop. I’ve felt that way for so long… One night a few months ago, I felt like making those feelings something external, marking them as part of the story of me.

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Tattoo #42

December 09th, 2010 | Category: Life,Opinions,Tattoos,Thoughts on Music

Tattoo by Colt, Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

So, this tattoo… The lyrics are from an Aimee Mann song, King of the Jailhouse, which is off her record, my second favorite, The Forgotten Arm. If you listen to the record in order, the songs tell a story about this alcoholic, washed up former boxer, and his girlfriend, and the arc of their relationship from beginning to end. Few albums are perfect, there are always a few songs that are just “meh,” but I think The Forgotten Arm is as close to perfect as an album gets.

As for the tattoo, well, I’ll just say that if I’m stressed enough, and lonely enough, I’m guaranteed to do something stupid. I’ll do the worst, dumbest thing possible, and I don’t know how to fix that about myself.

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Tattoo #41

December 08th, 2010 | Category: Life,Tattoos

So, I got this tattoo some months back, while I was in Cincinnati. I got it my first few hours in town, we arrived and by nightfall I was having these lyrics etched into my leg. The lines are from an Alanis Morissette song, Flinch, off her record, Under Rug Swept. The song is really a story, six minutes of flash writing about this connection between two people, this consuming, unrelenting connection. These two lines, they’re my favorite, I’ve thought similar thoughts so many times.

These lines always remind me of someone, this person who’s always with me, even when she’s not. I was thinking about her that dusk in Cincinnati, thinking about how she has this deep affect on me. It’s like she has a key to everything in me, and I couldn’t change the locks even if I wanted to. The affect is beyond reason, and even when it hurts I cannot make it stop. It’s so like the way breathing affects me, the way a lack of air feels miserable, terrifying, and there’s not a Goddamn fuckin’ thing I can do to quell that lack, or change the way it makes me feel. I missed her so much when I woke up that morning, I missed her before I even left Tampa, and it hit me, it really hit me when Flinch popped up on my iPod just as we crossed that line into Cincinnati, it hit me that this one person means everything to me, that no one else holds so much sway to render me so completely happy, and so perfectly lost and melancholy. It amazes me how lyrics can pull so much out of a person, like some sort of magic spell that make the world clear as a pane of glass.

That’s all I care to say about tattoo #41.

(Oh, the grammatical error in the tattoo was done to match the way the lyrics are written on Alanis.com.)

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