Semi-Charmed Life


Shut Up Alvin!

I've had people tell me that I complain a lot. I don't necessarily disagree with that.

If I'm hungry, I'll make it known that I'm hungry. Sometimes, quite frequently and dramatically. If something bothers me or pisses me off, I'll sound off about that too. Some people don't like this and think it's negativity. I can understand that.

But I think these people might also be missing something else about me. I'm also very vocal when it comes to things that please me. If I find out about a great artist that I think my friends have not heard about, I will rave about to them and try to get them to check it out. Same goes with food, movies and basically just about anything that I come across and love. People have no idea how much I try to get my friends to train in some type of martial art or how much I've been trying to get other people to watch The Wire or getting people to use the RunKeeper app for their runs.

I guess I should be wary of how much I voice negative opinions. After all, I don't want people to perceive me as somebody I'm not. But it's something that my friends will just have to accept at times. I get worked up over things sometimes and will feel compelled to share it. Hopefully I'll have more positive things to share than negative.

But if I'm hungry, you're better off turning on your iPod and tuning me out.

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Getting Inked

After I was done sitting on the chair for my first tattoo, I didn't know if I ever wanted any more tattoos ever again. That shit fucking hurt! People say the back area is not really supposed to hurt that much but I really don't know what the heck they're talking about because I was in agony!

The first hour went by relatively okay. It hurt but it was generally tolerable. Then Loic (the artist) took a break for about 20 minutes. I didn't know if it was because the break or not, but it just started sucking. I kept making retarded grimacing faces and he even asked me if I wanted the "pussy spray," which was some type of painkiller liquid spray. I said no the first few times but as the session went on, when he asked me again I was like fuck yes pour that shit on.

So yeah, I'm a bitch when it comes to pain. I mean I was able to sit there quietly and remained relatively still, but I was dying. If you saw my face you would think the guy was sawing off a limb or something. It hurt that much.

After it was all over, I was so relieved and thought it came out pretty well. Then I thought to myself: What the hell was I thinking, of planning out all these things I wanted to get after this? I'm done!

Well maybe I'm a sucker for pain because a few weeks ago I started to think about what I want for my second one.

I always thought angels were pretty cool but it's hard to do right on a guy. I think it makes men look more effeminate. But one image I had in mind was . . . wait for it . . . from Magic: The Gathering.

It was something I liked a lot in junior high and all through high school. One of the colors I used was white and one card in particular was one of my favorites:

Besides being a reasonably mana-efficient flying badass, her best quality is that she it both an attacker and a defender. Visually speaking, I like how valiant she looks and the glory and majesty she portrays.

My initial idea was to have an artist do an interpretation of that image.

Then I found another image of her fighting a Hypnotic Spectre and I thought holy shit, this is perfect!

Badass drawing and I like the good versus evil depiction. The best part is that good is always going to win because everybody knows a Serra is stronger than a Hypnotic Spectre.

But I've been having a lot of difficulty finding an artist to do that. Going through their portfolios, I haven't really fell in love with any artist. All the artists that I like are not in New York!

Yesterday though, I had another idea for a tattoo. I believe that knowledge is power. That the more you learn, the better you are. Everything is a learning experience and we should be doing our best to just acquire as much knowledge as possible. Everything I do aspires to this idea. Or at least I try to.

I wish I was a good artist so I could sketch it out but the best I can do is verbalize as best I can.

I want a book, or maybe books, with their pages open and the sentences are being lifted off the pages. The sentences are forming a figure of Perseus holding Medusa's head in one hand.

This isn't the exact image I want to use but it gives more or less a good idea:

Well, he won't be having his penis showing or anything, but you can look up more images of him. It's a pretty famous depiction of Perseus.You can read up on him here if you don't know much about him. He's a badass.

I want the image of him to be partially composed of a lot of text and sentences.

The book represents knowledge and and the letters and words forming Perseus represent. If he can throw this in there, I'd be really happy. This is the quote I want to use:

“In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.”

I thought that the artist that worked on my first tattoo would be great for this piece so I impulsively booked an appointment with him for May of next year. He's flying in from France in May and will be a guest artist at Tattoo Culture.

I'm not DEFINITE on this particular design but it's the direction I'm heading in right now.

Wow this post was longer than I wanted it to be!


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Unhealthy Addictions

It's been a while since I've posted, but thanks to those who for whatever reason still read this blog and actually noticed. I remember someone asking me once why I don't post more and the simple truth is that I'm pretty lazy with this stuff and that I actually hate writing. The only reason I have a blog is that I feel it's important and also healthy to express my thoughts like this. I've tried a journal before and also tried writing in Notepad on my computer but it just never worked for me.

Anyway, since my return from Asia I have not really done much. I've been focusing all my free time on grappling and it's at the point where it's become an unhealthy addiction. Unhealthy in the sense that I often choose going to the gym over more healthy, normal human social interactions such as dinner or happy hour.

In the month of December alone I've racked up 10 training days. Today's only the 12th! I actually broke my own record of hitting the mats on a consecutive basis. I trained everyday from Monday right up until today for a total of 7 days, and I'll probably train straight up until Wednesday before my snowboarding trip next weekend.

As with all choices in life, it all boils down to making the best choice possible under a given set of constraints. For me, the constraint has been money. I've been a financial mess ever since my trip to Asia. It didn't help things at all that once I got back, I blew a lot of money on random things I wanted for myself. I guess I was still in vacation spending mode.

Grappling is a sunk cost, so it makes the most sense to me to divert all of my free time towards that instead of other endeavors.

The most unfortunate part about all of this is that for the amount of time I spend training, you would figure that I'd be fucking phenomenal. Nope. I lost out in the genetic lottery pool in the athleticism department and I'm a slow learner to boot.

The bright side of all this is that when I do notice improvements in my game, you can be damn sure that it took a little bit of blood and a lot of sweat to get there. What is actually pretty amazing when I think about is how I'm still managing to find it interesting and enjoyable when it's clear I have no talent for it and I get my ass kicked on the mats more often than not.

When I'm not on the mats, I'm either lifting or running. I don't do either as much as I'd like but given my time constraints, I'm happy that I can even fit it in my schedule.

Sometimes I wonder why the hell I like to keep myself so busy physically. I think I do all this as a way of channeling my self-diagnosed ADD into something positive, but at the same time it's also interesting to note that all the activities I enjoy doing are not generally social activities. Fuck man, I mean if I'm going to be a social misfit at least I'm going to be one that's in shape.

But seriously though, I do think it's unhealthy of me to be so focused on these anti-social hobbies. If anything, I'm at least generally self-aware.

Next weekend will be a nice change of pace from everything though.


I'm going to Killington next weekend and we are rolling DEEP! I love riding with a big group, especially with skilled riders who can keep up.

Until next time . . . PEACE!

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