Seeking Baltimore Area Tattoo Artist

More than a year after the death of my friend and tattoo artist, Gypsy Jill, I find myself really looking for a new artist.  It’s taken me this long to come to grips with the idea of putting my body and my story in the hands of a new person. I’ve realized that I don’t know how interact with a disinterested pro.  Jill and I had a beautiful connection.  She expressed me so well, in her own visions, that my tattoos feel completely integrated into who I am, who I was, and who I want to be.  How does one begin a relationship, from a cold start, that will result in tattoos that do that? This post is going to be long and detailed on the subject of my tattoo history.  Even if not interested in reading the whole story, please consider commenting with names of good tattoo artists in the Baltimore Area.  Checking out my photos and story might help keep the referrals on topic, though, so here goes. Here is my collection so far: The first piece of work I got was the sun/eye on the back of my neck.  It is a symbol of meditation, centering, and cleansing of my mind and energies.  I can get very scattered and have a hard time moving forward down a single path, but a simple “brain flush” type of meditation can often get me moving again.  Problem is that leaves my tension in my neck, and this piece reminds me both to do the meditation and to take care of the spot it marks.  This is not Jill’s work, and it doesn’t show the shading and attention to detail that she is known for.  This was done at Slave to the Needle in Wallingford, Seattle, by an artist who is[…]

Read more

Different Presents

Like I said in my birthday post, my dad bought me an iPad for my birthday and James bought a whole bunch of great accoutrement.  This was fabulous, because James came up with the idea and conspired with Dad to bring me a very cool set of presents.  Problem was, the iPad isn’t the tool I need. If I were a working pro photographer, I’d keep the iPad as a portable near-infinite portfolio.  If I were a non-profit, I would keep it for instant, always-ready presentations.  If I were an e-reader fan, I’d keep it as an increased-functionality version of something I already loved. That’s not me, though.  And the bottom line is that wifi isn’t as common and easy to find as cell signal, and I don’t think the iPad is enough greater than the iPhone, if I’m going to be paying for a data plan anyway. And really, I’m not the cutting edge on that kind of tech.  I plan to write a book and I want to do that on my laptop with my Clear G4 internet connection.  I plan to sail off into the sunrise and I need tools for that. And like the guy at Sears said, the iPad can’t route. Yup.  I returned my iPad with all its goodies.  I’m asking for the presents I really want (though it’s after the fact and certainly won’t be a surprise). James took me birthday present shopping today, and I got a palm router with a great bit set, two new pots to replace my old beat up stuff and give us a larger size (for big egg scrambles), and a square baking sheet for biscuits and soysauge casserole. I’m so happy with this stuff.  It’s really going to make me happier on a near-daily basis for[…]

Read more

Oven Update

We’ve now used the oven twice. This is our second masterpiece. The first pizza on a new boat has been our traditional way of making ourselves at home. This pizza, our first on this boat, is almost two years late, but now, finally, I am at home. James usually makes the pizzas, but I did a pretty good job, Dad.  You would have enjoyed it!  He’s the clock-puncher and I’m the boatwright (focusing on not being the boat-wrong), so I make the meals for now.  Usually.

Read more

Long Awaited Project

James and I have been living on this boat for nearly two years.  We know it pretty damn well, and there aren’t too many problems we haven’t fixed, created a plan for fixing, or decided to live with.  One of the few real irritants has been our oven. A marine propane stove/oven is a fairly simple creature – but it’s so important that things be done right.  For one thing, you can die many horrible deaths if things are done incorrectly.  For another thing, they’re expensive beasts – running over a thousand for an updated version of the model I have – so mistakes can be costly.  Even smallish parts are usually over a hundred dollars.  For yet another thing – death? So yeah. Our oven has never worked.  The stove works great – all three burners – and we have just used the stove for the last two years.  Actually – these horribly hot summers have been mostly cooking-free, but still. I found this troubleshooting guide online, by a Seattle company – go Seattle boating community! – and found it pretty clear.  There’s propane coming in to the oven knob.  When turned to “Pilot”, it allows propane to flow through one copper tube to the pilot light, at which point I can light the gas with a long-nosed lighter.  All good.  When turned to any temperature other than pilot, it allows more propane to flow, creating a “high” pilot.  This flame should now heat a sensing probe that is connected to a mercury control valve.  Registering heat, the valve opens and allows propane to flow into the entire burner and heat the oven.  This valve keeps propane from flowing when there’s no pilot – a safety measure so that you don’t get explosive gasses flowing through the bilges when[…]

Read more

Such a Happy Birthday!

I have had the best birthday week, and I’m going to ignore any pesky ideas that birthdays are supposed to be single day events. The birthday-eve celebration was hosted by Tanya and Rafael on their boat Isabella Grace. Since we could easily fit three of our boat into theirs, it’s a much more suitable party locale.  We ate tremendous amounts of food – roasted shrimp cocktail, lasagna, and two kinds of dessert – and drank and sang and danced and talked…we’re some talented talkers… Here are a few photos: Not-so-early the next morning, James and I did breakfast at Jimmy’s…but I don’t recommend it.  We’ve enjoyed breakfasts-past from there, but these (cause we went again the next day) didn’t treat us so well.  Anyway.  We had thought we could do a big museum trip, but really – who can fit a bunch of museums into a single day?  I mean, maybe if you’re running laps in the place, but that’s not how we roll. On my birthday, we went to the very, very well done National Aquarium.  I loved many of the exhibits, and especially enjoyed the rain forest mock-up.  The birds didn’t look like they’d spent much time beating themselves up trying to escape (I’ve been to a place like that), so I was able to get into it.  The other thing I liked a lot was the design on the smaller tanks, with water partly filling them so that you had multiple habitats in each.  The glass was lensed in such a way that you had a great view of the whole interior without distorting the creatures.  And looking for the frogs was fun! When we left there, it was already well after 3pm.  We wanted to see all four of the historic ships in the inner harbor,[…]

Read more