First of all I would like to welcome and introduce the newest member of the Vermin family Jocelyn McGregor. We brought Jocelyn aboard to give me a hand with a bunch of the little things that I seem to let slip through the cracks (then bitch about later when they are not done) Things like calling with appointment reminders, schedule juggling, making/framing/shipping prints and carting my stuff in and out of conventions and photographing stuff.
Also one thing that I have asked Jocelyn to do is give me a bit of a hand with this blogging thing. As my official photographer Jocelyn will be documenting my many adventures across country tattooing and painting. So I asked her to join in every now and then to share some of the pics (only the ones that make me look good) and give her side of the story. Just in case I need a witness or alibi. You know how it is :)
Her first trip with us was to the Portland tattoo expo. It's by far one of the slowest conventions that we do but, it is a great place to work on people that I have met in Seattle but do not have the time to tattoo. So, it definitely worked as a good convention to train her at and kind of show her the ropes. I will be sure to post a picture or 2 of Cy training her on how we roll.
I did some super fun pieces at the convention. For the most part it was all photo realistic animals. Three types of bats, a Beetle and an Otter. I managed to keep busy the entire show. Which is a good thing for the girls since I tend to get crabby when I just sit around at these things. That and I was directly across the aisle from one of the few people I absolutely hate in this industry. It made me feel better to be busy when he wasn't. And it did push me to really bring my "A" game. I felt it was a better option than having his presence shake my confidence and have a negative impact on what I was doing.
We spent the day before the convention at Powell's Books and at a variety of food trucks. I would like to give a big thanks to the woman who made for me one of the best BBQ pulled pork sandwiches I have ever eaten. Also a big props to the bartenders at Hubers Cafe. The Spanish coffees were strong, hot and set on fire for our entertainment. And a warm wish to our cab driver (because after purchasing huge bags of books and drinking Spanish coffees we were in no shape/mood to walk back to the hotel) thanks for putting a bird on it for us.
And now finally for the "deep" part of the blog. You can stop reading here if you want. I won't hold it against you. That being said I do have some rather intense stuff to write about...
Some of you may know that my mother has been in and out of the hospital for the past 5 years. She has battled cancer twice and is currently undergoing intensive back surgery because an infection (carried in through one of the ports they put in for the chemo) lodged in her spine and ate away at the vertebrae basically destroying them. On Monday as we were driving like mad to get home she completed the first part of the process. They cut her open from the side, cracked/moved a rib out of there way, moved everything from the inside out and cleaned her spine and set a piece of bone to begin the grafting process. Our huge worry through out was that when the went in they would find cancer. Which would pretty much have been a death sentence. We were immensely relieved when the diagnosis came back all clear. So over the next few days she gets to hang out in the hospital and recover her strength so that they can proceed to part 2.
For part 2 they will go in through the back and fuse and place a rod in her spine. This should repair the damage and give her a better shot at being able to get on the road to recovery/a more pain free life. With any luck this operation will happen at the beginning of next week.
Things have been pretty stressful around here lately. As you can imagine. I have been doing my best to keep my head in the game. This is one of the rare occasions that I enjoy working so much. It keeps me from having to think and focus on the worry. It's a good distraction.
This brings me to my final bit for this blog. Tattoo artists are people too.
As good as my life seems on the surface (traveling all over, eating a ton of yummy food and doing cool projects with friends) often times there is quite a bit of "real world" stuff going on that you just don't see. I get sick, my family gets sick, I have family drama, friends pass away, I work long hours, I own and run a business. Most of those cool projects I do I have to turn around in a weeks time. Not easy when I get called in to work to cover for people or have to go over to my mom's to help out.(Don't stop calling me for those by the way) All that travel, well for the two weeks prior every spare moment is spent in preparation for it and working longer hours at the shop so that I can afford to go out of town.
I do the best I can returning phone calls, showing up to work on time and mentally ready. But unfortunately I am only human. Sometimes I have to call in sick or not fill cancellations to take care of shop and family issues. Sometimes I an exhausted from staying up late to complete a project. Sometimes I am a bit crabby. I do my best.
Remember, everyone you encounter has a life outside of your interaction and you never know what's happening in it.