Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bits O' Music

This song comes from the Exploding Hearts debut album Guitar Romantic. Which perfectly describes this album. It's an unabashedly catchy as hell album seeped in the Buzzcocks, Big Star, The Records, and The Only Ones. There is no "too cool" irony here like the Strokes and other so called NYC bands. This is simply a love for all things power pop. Unfortunately, three fourths of the band died in a car accident July of 2003. Which is a shame because this album definitely showed promise. For those that know me and I've shoved my "Starry Eyes" or "Baby's Coming Back" on you, you'll probably like this. I can't recommend this album enough.

The Exploding Hearts-Throwaway Style-Guitar Romantic

If you are an artist or artist representative being featured on this blog and want me to take down a song, let me know, and it will be removed from the server immediately.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Day In My Life (Told W/ Stikfas)

I come into the office and am greeted by Megan and Tamara

Check phone messages

Give Tamara my lunch order

Do some research for writers

Brian hovers while I work

Have lunch

After lunch smoke

Megan asks if I need help

Have a Pepsi

Megan asks if I need help...again

Arm falls off

Console Brian about his writing

Remember to plug cell phone in

Mourn lost hairs

Have one of Megan's brownies

Afternoon cigarette

Shoot the shit with Krystal and writers

Finish lunch

Last minute research question? Nooooooo!

Go home to start it all over again

The Sacrifices I Make

For you regulars, you might remember my Hall of Fame jar with which I would go to Ryne Sandberg's induction into the Hall of Fame. Well, it turns out two good friends are getting married on back to back weekends, so there went the Hall of Fame. But in this day and age of TV and internet, I can still watch the shebang in the comfort of my apartment, and without the loud shirtless guy with a Rhino holding a glove tattooed on his chest. Copycat!

Baseball Perpares to Honor Legends

Hall didn't call because of Ryno's bat

Thursday, July 28, 2005

My Rock N' Roll Firsts

I’ve been going through more of my CD’s this past week loading them up on the ol' computer. This has been a once a month task for the past year, and I’m about a 3rd of a way through my collection. Going through all these CD’s I was able to see my progression in musical tastes over the years, which got me thinking of my Rock N Roll firsts, which led to this list. One thing that should be stated is that I was a very late bloomer in Rock N’ Roll and not necessarily by choice. I grew up in rather strict environment during my formidable years. The biggest vice on my pop culture intake was attending Bob Jones from 5th grade to 8th. This is where I wasn’t allowed to go see a movie, and where numerous chapel services were on the topic of the evils Rock N’ Roll. And they weren’t talking about Slayer or Iron Maiden, but Amy Grant and Steve Green. Amy Grant was singled out for the breathy way in which she sang. This apparently instigated people to think of sex. Then there was their near racist thinking that rock music was about the devil because it all goes back to African tribes and their beating of the drums was for worshipping the devil and sex. Yet the orchestra I was in could play “old negro spirituals” like “Down by the Riverside.” Of course I got in trouble for bobbing my head to much as I plucked my double bass during said song. It wasn’t really till high school that I could even listen to anything with a beat, and it wasn’t till college that I could listen to anything without the Christian tag on it. But I ramble and rant and make excuses. So here are my Rock N’ Roll firsts- warts and all.

First Rock N’ Roll Memory: Elvis Presley-Hound Dog
When I was a wee pup I would sing this song endlessly often creating a shadow puppet of a dog to sing along with me.

First Album Ever: Weird Al Yankovic-In 3-D
This is also my first secular album. The only way this actually happened is because it’s technically a comedy album, and also my Mom got it for me. I worked overtime in trying to sell the comedy aspect of the album to my Dad. I don’t think he really cared, but I was scared to death. I even scratched out the title of the last track on the album: “Nature Trail to Hell” in case my Grandmother found it.

First Purchased Album(Non-Comedy):
Michael W. Smith- I 2 (EYE)
Yes, this didn’t take place till high school. Yes, it’s a Christian album with a lame title. Yes, that is really sad, but remember I went to Bob Jones. It wasn’t till high school that Christian Rock was even a viable option. This is also my first concert. Later on one of Mr. Smith’s concerts would be my first “date” concert. At that point I had become much more skeptical and knew I was in trouble when the date was bawling while he sang “Friends.” What do you do at that point? Do you console her? Does she need consoling? Why is she crying in the first place? Did she lose a close friend? Is she going to be crying the rest of the night? Can I get ride back to the dorm in another car?

First Secular Album Purchased: Boston-Boston
I bought this used my first year of college (1990). I was rather proud of myself. Of course most kids in college at that time were picking up the Pixies, Social Distortion, or the Cure. Me. I was just beginning, and had a lot of catching up to do.

First Punk Album: One Bad Pig-Smash
Again another Christian album, but it did at least lead me to pick up the Clash, Ramones, and X. This was also the first concert where I actually had fun. Was it really punk? Probably not, but at that time jumping into a pool of ice cream, smashing a guitar, and covering the audience in silly string seemed awfully punk to me.

First Rap Album: Beastie Boys-Licensed to Ill
I’m sure this is true for nearly all white suburbanite kids in the mid-80’s.

First Metal Album: Stryper-Soldiers Under Command
Are you kidding me? This isn’t metal. I know, but at the time this was fastest baddest shit I’d ever heard. Before going into the hospital for back surgery, my friend Jeff slipped this cassette to me. I would hide it under my pillow, pull it out late at night and fall asleep to “The Rock that Makes Me Roll!” Yeah! I suck!

First “Secular” Concert: Firehouse/Tesla Dayton, O'Hara Arena I think I’m more embarrassed by this than anything else. A guy I knew in undergrad had an extra ticket, and it also meant a full weekend out of the college dorm. I would like to think I did this because I was at the height of my all things rebellious, but I think I actually had a Firehouse single at one point. Anyway, I’ve never felt so out of place in my life. Here was a skinny suburban kid surrounded by pseudo metal heads, white trash, and just some seriously scary people. I was certain I would die by either being crushed by the crowd as they rushed the stage, or stabbed with a broken beer bottle when I bumped into the guys fatty of a girlfriend in her frayed hose, and inappropriate short shorts. Shudder.

My First Rock N Roll Swindle
This happened when I went with my Mom and Stepfather to look at their new house. The previous owner had left a bunch of crap in the basement, and they needed help to clear it out. What did I happen to stumble upon but four boxes of LP’s that ranged from The Who’s Tommy to Led Zepplin I to Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde to The Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s. It was nearly every classic album of the 60’s and 70’s. That is the biggest Rock N’ Roll score I’ve ever made. Of course I would eventually sell them to afford the move out to LA. Oh the sacrifice.

My First Important Album: Afghan Whigs-Gentlemen
Up until my Junior year in college my music selections were pretty much determined by my friends and public opinion. I don’t think I bought an album based on my own personal decision till I saw the debut video for the Afghan Whigs song “Gentleman” on 120 Minutes. The next day, I skipped class to go buy the album, and it became my personal Rock N’ Roll treasure. Speaking of 120 Minutes. With the Pixies and other alternative bands reuniting, why hasn’t MTV realized how great it would be to run old 120 Minutes episodes? I would love to watch the 120 minutes ep where the Afghan Whigs took control or when Beck was a complete ass to Kennedy. There were so many great moments.

So there it is. These are the early steps I’ve taken to become the arrogant musical snob I am. Like all Rock N’ Roll snobs, I too have my deep dark secrets. Another prime example being my Journey box set. I'm not the only one, right? Right?

Bits O' Music (For Bob)

So here's the Twilight Singers live track I was going to post yesterday. I'm torn on which one to actually put up, but I'm going with the more significant but not good as quality track. This is "Something Hot" live inNewport, Kentucky for April 6th, 2004. I was going to go with the song "Annie Mae" simply because it rocks so much harder than the album version but I'm going with this for one reason. It's an Afghan Whigs song and Dulli's former bassist with the Whigs, John Curley, shows up to play during the second encore. So it's significant to those Afghan Whigs fans and Twilight Singers fans like me and Bob. If you'd like the DVD, they are available on ebay. Don't bother Bob, I've already got you covered.

Twilight Singers-Something Hot-Live: Newport, Kentucky April 6, 2004

If you are an artist or artist representative being featured on this blog and want me to take down a song, let me know, and it will be removed from the server immediately.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bits O' Music

I was originally planning to put up a live version of Twilight Singers song from the new DVD of theirs I got. Then I came across this blog post. I assumed that Bloc Party was a band that most people who stay current in music have heard of, which is why I never really thought of putting a song of theirs up. I guess they aren't as close to the mainstream border as I thought. So, it's a Bloc Party song today. I apologize now to Bob, since I know he's not a fan of this 80's retro dance rock. To me there is something that I think separates The Bloc Party from the likes of Franz Ferdinand or Interpol and especially The Killers. Perhaps it's the urgency in their music, or that the music leans more on the post-punk side than the dance side. Most likely it's probably just their very good rhythm section. Their drummer is quite good.

Bloc Party-Like Eating Glass-Silent Alarm

If you are an artist or artist representative being featured on this blog and want me to take down a song, let me know, and it will be removed from the server immediately.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mickey Mouse Can Kiss My Ass!

I’ll be the first to admit I can be a Scrooge, miser, or whatever term you want for the guy taking the pin to your happiness balloon, but I don’t think it fits this time. When my sister was visiting this past week, I was asked numerous times if we made plans to go to Disneyland. I emphatically said “No.” This took everyone by surprise that I wouldn’t want to go to Disneyland. I was eventually offered free admission and said “No thanks.” Now I was suddenly viewed as a heartless bastard with no soul. Perhaps I am…sometimes, but I don’t think so in this case.

Disneyland and Disney World basically suck as theme parks. First, their rides are awful, and my primary reason to visit any theme park is the quality of the rides. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled living in a state with both Cedar Point and King’s Island. I also grew up in time when they didn’t have height restrictions on roller coasters. My parents took advantage of this and brought me on The Racer at King’s Island when I was but a wee lad. I guess when your child survives cancer at the age of 3 they probably think you can survive anything. According to their accounts I loved the ride and have been hooked ever since. I admit this makes me somewhat bias, but there is no ride at any Disney park that can compete with any of the rides at Cedar Point or King’s Island.

Secondly, people talk about the experience of Disney. I’m sorry but spending a day walking around in the sun and standing in long lines for “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” is not the experience I’m looking for. Why do I want my picture taken with a guy in a Mickey Mouse suit? Why do I want to learn about different cultures from Mickey Mouse, when I can visit the actual countries? You know I can actually go to Philly or D.C. or wherever, if I want to learn about the Presidents. My point is there is always a better option than Disney. Whatever you can see at Disney you can see it somewhere else that is either equal or better than what Disney is offering.

Thirdly, there was a time that I wanted to go to Disney World. All family plans were thwarted though by some event like family sickness or weather. This happened so many times that Disney World became my lost city of Atlantis, my heaven on earth. Finally the day came when the stars aligned and I was allowed entrance into this Magical Kingdom. An hour later I wanted to go home. The Haunted Mansion? I could build a scary ride with my own hands. Space Mountain? It’s no Beast. Mr. Toad’s Wild Snore? And don’t get me started on the whole “It’s a Small World” shit. The only highlight I can remember is shopping at the magic shop for overpriced cheap gags. All that buildup only to have the air sucked out by cheesy saccharine overloaded mouse.

So, I admit I’m scarred and biased. I also understand that Disney is mainly for children. Yes, I’m not looking forward to the day that my kids (if I ever have any) will beg me to go see Mickey Mouse. But for now I will take solace in the fact that I’m not missing anything by avoiding Disney, no matter what anyone says. Besides, my sister didn’t want to go either, which is another reason I love her. Also, Mickey can’t hold Bug’s jockstrap (even though he probably wants to).

Monday, July 25, 2005

Amanda's First Visit to LA

My youngest sister was kind enough to visit me before she went off to college. (Sigh) They grow up so fast. So, here's a little pictorial of her visit. Perhaps this will help you when you visit LA.

The first few days were uneventful because I had to work. Mandy was left to her own devices in Long Beach. She took advantage of the fact that I am only a few blocks from the beach. She photographed what she thought were oil derricks, but it was actually the Port of Long Beach. It's not really her fault, though. How many towns do you actually have to make that distiction?
We were able to go out to few fun places at night. The favorite being Open Sesame in Long Beach. It's a nice small Mediterranean eatery that I reccomend.

Our big day was Friday. I gave her the CSI: Miami tour. Unfortunately, they are shooting in Miami, so she didn't get to see any Caruso action.

She had her first In n Out burger. We then hung out in Hollywood and I took her to mecca. My purchases: Teenage Fanclub's new album, Mumps restrospective, House of Bamboo DVD, and Notorious Criterion Ed. DVD.
Amoeba can be quite overwhelming on your first visit. After that pilgrimage, we went next door to Arclight Cinemas where we saw "The Island" (not so good) in the Cinerama Dome (so good). To show her that I had friends, we spent the rest of the wonderful evening in conversation with Tim and Bobby.

Saturday was a day of rest after such an eventful Friday. We just mosied around Belmont Shores. We watched my Notorious DVD since she hadn't seen the Hitchcock classic. Sunday, Mandy convinced me to get this thing called a microwave. It apparently cooks food without fire! I also bought pot and pans with which you can cook food IN! Amazing.

Mandy then had her first taste of Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. She admits her life will never be the same after her Carol C. Special. I had the classic Poor Boy.

The rest of the night was spent relaxing, while we watched "that team of mine" play a wild one against the rival Cardinals. "That Team" won with a grand slam in 1oth. Soon she might join me in the misery of being a C- a fan of that team. Also, Mandy thinks Harold Reynolds is cute.
It was a wonderful time spent with a wonderful sister. Soon one of my other sisters tranfers out to Arizona, so I'll finally have a sibling living on this side of the Mississippi River.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Double Shot of Bits O' Music

This is a bit of compare and contrast. First, we have the orginal version of "Too Tough to Die" by Martina Topley-Bird. You might recognize the voice from Tricky's Maxinequay and some of his other work. She has a voice that falls between Billie Holiday and Bjork. It's a dark trip-hop song with middle eastern influences. Though upon first listen I thought of Tom Waits crica the Bone Machine. There is a UK and US version of her debut album. The versions are quite different from sequencing to title. The UK version, titled Quixotic, is the one to get since it has three songs dropped for the US release titled Anything. The second is the twilight singers covering the same song.

Martina Topley-Bird-Too Tough to Die-Quixotic

the twilight singers-Too Tough to Die-She Loves Me

If you are an artist or artist representative being featured on this blog and want me to take down a song, let me know, and it will be removed from the server immediately.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I Hate To Admit It

I admit it. I can be an annoying snob when it comes to movies. But that's not what I hate to admit. Every once in awhile some trailer will come along that will get me excited for a movie that no right thinking aficionado should be excited about. And that has unfortunately happened this summer and it's...The Dukes of Hazzard. Yes. I realize I've just shot to hell any and all credibility I might have had. But, please stay with me on this. There is only one reason I want to see this movie. It's not the comical high jinks of Knoxville and Sean William Scott. It's not Jessica Simpson in skimpy outfits. It's not Burt Reynolds playing Boss Hogg. It's the car stunts. I dig great car chases and stunts, and I'm not talking some CG generated slow mo effect adulterated chase like in the second Matrix. I want my car chases to be real. French Connection...great. Bullitt...outstanding. The Gone in 30 Seconds remake...travesty. The last great car chase on film was in the movie Ronin. In fact I would say it's one of the greatest ever put on film. The final chase in Borne Supremacy was decent but still doesn't come close to Ronin. It is not an easy thing to pull off a great car chase, but the trailer for Dukes gives me hope. Three things in the recent international trailer spark that hope. The first jump is pretty cool. The drift around the circle in town is very cool. That final jump onto the freeway makes me giddy. I get so excited I watch that last jump a few times over. There is still a great chance that I will be greatly disappointed like I was after seeing the Transporter. But we can dream can't we? So there it is. I hate to admit it, but I really want to see the Dukes of Hazzard movie.


Never another word

That's it I'm never complimenting or commenting on the Cubs in this blog till the season is over. I've learned my lesson.

Bits O' Music

In the grand realm of "Classic Rock," I don't think Thin Lizzy and Philip Lynott get enough props. Sure "Boys Are Back in Town" has been played to death on radio and in commercials, but they are so much better than that. This song is one of my personal favorites from their album "Jailbreak." First it's about a cowboy. Second it has two (Count them Two!) great guitar solos. And finally this was my theme song for my old roommate. Here I Go!

Thin Lizzy-Cowboy Song-Jailbreak

If you are an artist or artist representative being featured on this blog and want me to take down a song, let me know, and it will be removed from the server immediately.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

5 Great Things I Never Ate Till I Moved to Los Angeles

5. Crepes as both a meal and dessert in one sitting.

4. Dodger Dogs

3. Fish Tacos/Burrito

2. In N Out Double Double

1. Chicken and Waffles on the same plate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


First of all. I’d like to give a hearty “Bellbottoms!” to Bob the definition of friend.

“Big Ups” to MOL Jr. for actually leaving comments, and for his riling of the Harry Potterettes on his blog. It’s also a nice way to get more hits on your blog.

Congratulations to Rafael Palmeiro on getting his 3,000th hit. I think I still have his Topps “Future Stars” card somewhere. I remember him slapping hits all over the field when he started off with the Cubs. Of course they traded him because they thought he wouldn’t hit for power. What bothers me is this thinking that he doesn’t deserve to be voted into the Hall of Fame. He is one of four to have at least 3,000 hits and 500 HRs. Only four have accomplished this feat in all of baseball. Four! And people don’t think he belongs. For two sides on the Palmeiro issue check out Buster Olney (For the Hall) and Skip Bayless (Against the Hall). I personally side with Buster on this issue. I agree that Palmeiro is not the greatest of his era, and there are players with lesser stats that I would pick over him. But, perhaps that’s our fault. Rather than over estimating his stats, maybe we’ve under estimated Palmeiro in this juiced ball era.

ESPN began there 50 SportsCenters in 50 states Sunday. Fifteen minutes into the first state (Mass.) and I’m already sick of the Bryan Adams song (“Open Road”?) they are using as the theme. Actually I was sick of it, by the second promo I saw. Why they didn’t pick a song for each show that represents that state I will never know.

The Cubs are hitting and pitching well simultaneously. Yes, I’m scared that I just jinxed it with that last sentence. Of course they beat up on the two worst teams in the division, but it’s a start.

It’s tough rooting for the Cards when they play the Astros or Braves or whoever is in contention with the Cubs in the Wild Card race.

The last thing I expected to hear from Tim Brown when he retired was his interest in NASCAR.

Being a cancer survivor myself it’s tough not wanting to root for Armstrong in the Tour de France. But being a kid of divorce, I think him leaving a wife that stuck by his side in the tough times was a punk move.

Yes, I am actually happy that the NHL is back. I really don’t watch much of the regular season, but I do love the playoffs.

Does anyone really care about the ESPY’s? When sports have their own championships why do we even need the ESPY’s? I mean other than Matthew Perry, who was glad to remind the public he still exists.

Has a quote on a bumper sticker ever actually caused someone to change their life?

Where are these women that apparently love bald men?

The greatest TV title sequence is the one for “Rockford Files.”

If you haven’t yet started changed your internet browser from Explorer to Firefox, you seriously need to get with it.

Remember when “Collectibles” simply meant baseball cards and comic books?

Why can’t I find a really good enchilada in LA?

My youngest sister is coming into town tonight. She’s staying for a whole wonderful week, so the posts may be slow in coming this week. I can’t wait to show her the greatest record store in the world: Amoeba.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Apparently it's as Addictive as Crack

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to Pomona for the Body Art (Tattoos) Expo. Now you maybe asking: Why in the hell did you want to do that? Believe me I didn’t. I was sent by CSI: Miami because the CO-EP was certain a story could mined out of my discoveries there. Since I am the researcher and have less of a life than the rest of the writing staff, I was sent on assignment. They hinted that I should go for the whole weekend, but I was certain that one Saturday would be enough. So this is my experience (pictures included)…

Let me get this out first. It’s an hour plus drive from LB to Pomona. I packed four CD’s for the trip. I only needed one. There and back I only listened to The Hold Steady’s Separation Sunday. It is such an outstanding album. With so many new rock bands being of neo-New Wave ilk it’s nice to hear a straight forward rock band. There is no filler to found on this album. The album closer “How a Resurrection Really Feels” being my favorite of the moment. On to the show…

It should be stated that I have no tattoos. I have been tempted twice to actually get one. The last time was to get one when my mother died a couple years ago. I wanted to get something in honor of her. It dawned on me though that my mother would hate it, and therefore it wouldn’t be much of an honor. I envisioned her coming down from heaven and scolding me beginning with the use of my full name middle included. That being said, I was slightly nervous going to a convention for tattoos, when I don’t actually have one. It’d be like me going to a Lamaze class for ethnic lesbians. I’m not going to fit in.

Arriving in Pomona I realized why I moved out of the Valley. Man, it was damn hot, and having to walk a mile to the convention hall didn’t help. After losing five pounds of fluids, I was greeted with this image as I approached the hall.

Yeah, this didn’t ease my fears.

Also, the Reptile Show…not so popular.

Ten minutes of wondering around like a cat in a dog pound, I came across this booth. Apparently this guy is using an ancient technique to tattoo this guy. If you want to do it yourself, go into your yard and find to straight sticks, tie a needle to one end, and find some ink. Then, go wrangle up your friend and use the one stick to tap the needle into his neck like you were drumming out the theme to Hawaii Five-O. Intrigued, I asked the guy at the booth for more detail on this interesting technique. He was kind enough to give me some great information. Unfortunately, I didn’t retain any of it because a guy was having a big ass needle tapped into his neck!

Next there was an announcement that they were having an exhibition where five tattoo artists would start drawing a picture, and then rotate every two minutes to the easel on their right and then work on that picture. I was bored after the first rotation and left when it appeared they would all be pictures of “evil things.”

I then came across a casting booth for a reality TV show. They were only interested in people with tattoos, the bastards! Wouldn’t it be interesting to have the clean skinned guy among all those with ink? It would be like having the gay person or the “virgin” on every other reality show. The running theme would be everyone trying to get me to get a tattoo. I should be running a network.

Here’s a picture to give a slight idea of the size of the Expo. Multiply this by five. Also, I really felt sorry for that tattooist in the foreground. I really hope she wanted a small tattoo. I would find out later she didn’t.

Another part of the Body Art Expo was body modification. This is the thing that really kind of creeped me out. The tattoos, no matter how much or what they covered, actually intrigued me. This freaked me out.

My first response upon seeing this lady was: “What the fauss?” The second was: “Heh. Buttcrack.” Thing is she is really beautiful. You know except for the implanted corset in her back and the blatant exposure of buttcrack.

By this time the artists were done playing musical easels, so I went to view the final masterpieces. Just like I thought. No adorable woodland creatures. So I wandered around and talked to some of the people at the booths. At this point, I started feeling more and more like an outsider as I was asking questions. Every conversation would lead up to the “Do you have any tattoos?” My answer started off as “No.” After a few “You’re a lesser man" looks it eventually mutated into “No. I have a skin condition.” I can’t explain the feeling to make up an excuse. I really do though have a condition. It’s called nerve endings.

This nice lady has been tattooing as long as you would think.

This is the guy in the first picture. He would take breaks to have a smoke while getting his tattoo. Apparently he's very patriotic, or this is the only woman his wife would allow tattooed on his back.

Another ceremonial tattooing. The stick with the needle was a metal instrument this time, which seems so much more sanitary but so much less ceremonial.

The 1,245th use for plastic wrap. Why don’t they advertise to these people?

Taxi Driver’s probably in my top 25 movies of all time, but come on. Where are the Driving Miss Daisy hardcore fans?

I have no idea why these belly dancers were there. They really gave their all to an audience of like three. That is if you count me for the five seconds it took to walk up take a picture and leave.

See what I mean about body modification?

Other things I saw:
10 Pairs of Breasts. Only two pairs belonged to women. You always knew when a girl was getting topless for a tattoo because there would always be a big crowd of wierdos. Hmm. I mean creepy wierdos.

23 People in Wheelchairs. 23! I have never seen so many people in wheelchairs in one place. I don't know what it was, but it turned the rows into the 101/110 interchange.

5 People literally covered head to toe in tattoos.

Unfortunately I saw no tattooed little people.

I ended up being there for a little over seven hours, and then my dogs really started barkin’. I came away realizing that these are simply people that are passionate about something. Most everyone was very nice, and willing to talk about their art. There really was a sense of community around there. Anytime someone would come by sporting a cool tattoo, people wouldn’t hesitate to compliment or ask for a better look. Watching all these people work was very fascinating. These people aren’t exactly about the “cool factor” of tattoos, but the artistry of it. Overhearing one conversation I came to understand a little about the compulsiveness of getting tattoos.

Tattooist: Did you get inked yet?

Tattooed friend: No. I can’t afford it right now.

Tattooist: That’s tough. It’s like being a crack whore with no crack.

Addiction is something I knew about since I went outside to smoke a cigarette.

Finally, I believe I've earned the opportunity to go on assignment when CSI:Miami decides to do a Spring Training story.