Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tattoo Me

I grew up thinking tattoos were weird. I even admit to prejudice to the unnaturally adorned. Then, when I was 18, I witnessed a close friend get tattooed in Panama City, Florida. Suddenly, with it front of my face, I became transformed into a fan of body art.

I have 7 tattoos, my left ankle, both hips, both biceps, my left shoulder, and my left pectoral. The story behind a few of them are somewhat interesting. I try not to be boring all the time. Some people tell a story with their designs. I think of my Magnificent 7 as symbols of periods of my life. So here's the rundown in order of application.

In a tattoo shop in Panama City, Florida, in 1993 with a group of just out of college, partying friends. None of us were in our right minds. I sobered quickly when the color was put into the tattoo. It was an ink badge of a high school nickname, Speedy Gonzales. I regret getting it. For one, I don't usually go for for color tattoos; and two, my friends picked it out.

I researched the next one. I am a fan of black and white with some shading designs. So I took my time, planned this tattoo. I got it in New York in 2006. It's an Egyptian Falcon God symbol on my right bicep, that later became a Christian solider image about 2,000 years ago. It means father or protector, which was a representative of my duties as dad.

A year after my right bicep tattoo, I was in Los Angeles and ventured into Kat Von D's High Voltage Tattoo Shop on La Brea. I got a rising phoenix design to signify my rebirth after a divorce and this making me free to take on the next phase of my life. As I was walking into to the place I saw Kat Von D, walking out with the former manager of Guns N Roses, Vicky Hamilton, walking out. That was a double dose of awesome that probably clouded my judgement in paying too much for the tattoo on my left bicep.

I met my wife, the aforeblogged Bobina, six months after the Los Angeles experience. She had never been inked, so when we got married in November of 2008, we decided to get tattooed together in Lawrenceville , Georgia, near where we lived, and went over the top of wedding rings with matching Chinese love symbols on our right hips. I guess, if she ever gets rid of me, I'll have to find someone with the same tattoo or things could get awkward (sarcasm).

A few months later, in 2009, Bobina and I went together to get more work done. This time we tried out a new tattoo shop near our newer house, in Buford, Georgia. She got a multi-colored butterfly deal in the middle of her shoulder blades and I decided to even up my hips with a safe Chinese symbol for strength. I'm aware this is a common tattoo. I was looking for symmetry and to be moral support for my wife as she got something intricately awesome.

Tattoo six came about a year later, 2010, as I wanted to show something symbolic of my other children. I am part Cherokee Indian, so I went with a native american design that meant father, with my daughter's initials T for Tay, L for Lyla (Bug), and C for Carly (Goose). I am not that large of a fan of The Learning Channel or tender loving care. This is probably my favorite tattoo.

The final tattoo was another show of support for The Bobina who was getting her dream body art design of a flower with colors in the middle of her shoulder blades, showing her three kids. I went for an Apache protection arrow on my left pectoral muscle. We used the same local shop. They like us and we like them.

So there you have it. Seven tattoos, showing what's important in my life, with a few almost interesting stories. My wife has three and wants more. Since I seem to get inked when she does, you might see another tattoo post in the future. As always, I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Let me know what you got and why. I like tattoos and really like the stories behind them.

*sidenote* I saw the movie The Fighter tonight. It's outstanding. Mark Wahlberg as boxer Irish Mickey Ward, Christian Bale as his brother Dickie Eckland, Melissa Leo as their mother, and Amy Adams as Mickey Ward's girlfriend, later wife, Charlene are all excellent. Rent it asap. The performances alone are worth it; but the true, unbelievably inspirational story is worthy of your two hours.

Today's song is a recovery from yesterday's break from music snobbery.

It's from The Rolling Stones 1981 album Tattoo You. The lyrics aren't the point here. I wanted something upbeat, good, and from the Tattoo YOU album to go with the Tattoo Me post.

Here's Hang Fire, enjoy Keef's guitar....


  1. I think tattoos are really neat because almost all the time, there is an interesting story behind them. I think that it's true that they are a little addictive because I have one, and would really like another.

    All of yours are really nice, but the phoenix is really brilliant.

  2. I have always wanted a tattoo and in a different reality I am sure I am covered from head to toe in them. I did get pierced though. I love your tats and the symbolism of them.

  3. I love TATTOOS ...I believe and hope that tattoos are a window into who a person is and mean something. My first one however was not. Just a little frog in an inconvenient place. But my next one was the Dave Matthews Band Dancer inbetween my shoulder blades. Yours are great and thank you for sharing this.

  4. That was a fun little tour-o-lance with your tattoo history. Thanks for sharing! I love tattoos and if I had my way, I would have lots. I am one of those weird people that actually love the pain of the process. I have two, one is ok and one I love. I have my daughters name in black script between my shoulder blades. She loves it and so do I. I can't think of a single better thing to have forever inked on my body than love in the form of her name.

  5. Believe it or not, I have none. Most people's eyes kinda get wider when I say that. There is a reason I have none, but I'll keep that to myself. My husband has a huge one on his calf in memory of losing his best friend in Afghanistan several years ago. I am pierced, though. I try to keep it classy. I'm not all into the trashy look like I was in high school. I've really wanted to get a medusa (philtrum piercing), but I haven't decided if it will look trashy or not.

  6. I have to do a tattoo post now, don't I? That was the deal?

    PLUS YOU DID A BOOB (albeit "pecs") SHOT!

    My favorite is the arrow. I don't know. They were all pretty awesome. Even the Speedy Gonzales.

    hed hed above water

  7. I have two and I have never regretted them. I drew them myself (I'm a graphic designer) but the tattoo artists put the final touches on them. One is a black panther whose tail wraps my ankle in a permanent bracelet, signifying silent strength. My second came after two divorces and a miscarriage. A 'tramp stamp' of a dragonfly, but made to look like chrome. It signifies overcoming adversity. I love them both! Cool stories, thanks for sharing.

  8. Splendid.
    I love stories, I love things with meaning.
    I am ink free, but my brother has a bear paw on his delt, as he was attacked by a bear.
    (yeah, he is tough)

  9. I remain unadorned, if only to be able to run from the law easier, should the need arise.



  10. Hey! Thanks for following. I like that your have gone with the consistency in the tats, with the one exception. PR folks are obnoxious with the consistency thing. :-)

    I also liked The Fighter, which I keep calling The Boxer (different movie). Just thinking about Mark Wahlberg distracts me.

    I am tattoo free because I change my mind too easily...and because I am a wimp. The end.

  11. Ink makes me happy, eventually I will be full sleeves (though my chosen profession isn't hip on it( I'll have to keep incognito.

  12. I have 13 tattoos and each one has a story of a phase in my life that I have overcome, come to terms with, or just want to commemorate. I love the feeling of uniqueness they give me. My favorite tattooist is in McDonough, Ga. He's phenomenal, in my opinion.

  13. Awesome! I like seeing other people's tats and learning the stories behind them. Like you, I think my tats are symbols of certain periods in my life. You read about the wedding tattoos that my husband and I got (thanks for dropping by my blog, btw!). Most of my 6 tats were born during a difficult time; my 3 back tats are about freedom and flying, symbolizing my need to escape then.

    I'm all for you and your wife getting more tats. I have at least 3 more designs in mind.

  14. I love how each one has its own story. I am definitely of the school that tattoos should be personal and reflect something meaningful. Very nice =)

  15. Thanks for sharing this post with me Lance! I love the stories that go with each of your tattoos. And I love your phoenix, even if it was pricey — and the Native one with your daughters' initials is simply awesome.

    Now I'll have to find a pic of my phoenix for you... :)

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