Sunday, December 25, 2011

Seventh Phoenix Tattoo Session

We are on the home stretch. Only one more session after this one to finish it all up. This session involved doing the talon and lotus flower on the inside of my arm along with various smoke work around my arm.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sixth Phoenix Tattoo Session

Okay, we are almost done. I have two more sessions scheduled and I should be good to go. In this latest session, we connected the chest piece and the shoulder piece with smoke and flowers. Warning, there is man boob in these pics. ;)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fifth Phoenix Tattoo Session

My tattoo is really starting to come together. I get blown away every time seeing the work of Vic Back at Painted Temple Tattoo in Sugar House, Utah.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I am not welcome there. I do not fit the mold.

There was a recent article in the Deseret News that really infuriated me. I have talked before about why I call myself That Guy with the Hair. I usually wear my hair buzzed on the sides and spiky on top. That has been my look for most of my adult life.

Here is an example of what I am talking about with my hair.

Well, this coming weekend is General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, aka. The Mormons. In the Deseret News (the Mormon Church's newspaper) was this article about Utah County men preparing to sing at the conference.

This is the most infuriating part for me.

Many of them have also lost head and all facial hair, and will be required to lose jewelry and boldly colored or patterned ties as well in exchange for something darker and more subtle.

No music, no backpacks, no phones, iPods or carry-ons, no color in your socks, fresh haircuts and no cologne or spiky hair.

“And we’re glad to do it,” says Joel Baldwin of the Pleasant Grove Utah Timpanogos Stake. “Following a dress and grooming standard set for this choir means that the congregation can focus on the intent of the songs we sing without distraction.”

No spiky hair. That is me. The article goes on to describe men with beards that are not welcome along with anyone with a bad tie or socks with color in them. Everyone needs to look the same with boring haircuts, dark conservative suits, white shirts, and boring, drab ties.

Can there be a more blatant display of the types of people that are not welcome in this church? I have spiky hair; therefore, I am not welcome in this church. I wear earrings sometimes, another strike against me. I have horrible, filthy tattoos; you might as well send me straight to hell right now.

The freedom of expression is not welcome in the Mormon Church. I love people that express themselves. The punk with the purple mohawk. The girl with the short skirt and torn tights. The guy with too many tattoos and piercings. The businesswoman in her dress suit. There are many more examples, but you get the idea. We were not meant to all look like cookie cutter copies of Mormon missionaries.

Why will I never return to this church? The type of person that I am along with others that are like me are not welcome there. I do not fit the boring mold of a man that they require. In fact, Jesus Christ himself would not be welcome in this choir to sing to his own "prophet." His appearance does not fit the standards of this church.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Third Phoenix Tattoo Session

Here are the results of my third tattoo session. My Phoenix continues to rise from the ashes.

The Phoenix head from my second tattoo session healed up really well.

More pictures to come soon from the fourth session.

Monday, August 29, 2011

666, my favorite number.

This made me chuckle today. I checked my blog stats and the number of page views on my blog for last month is 666. My new favorite number. Satan, are you there?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Second Phoenix Tattoo Session

Here is the next part of my tattoo. It hurt like a bitch, but it looks awesome.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My dad's request

I called my dad the other day to see how he is doing. His health has been failing of late. His lungs are giving out on him and his oxygen levels have really started to drop to dangerous levels. I wanted to call and give him my support letting him know that I was thinking about him.

My relationship with my parents has been strained ever since I left the LDS church. I asked if he could do one thing for me. We would like to come down and visit with them in April for spring break so I asked if he could try to keep living until then. He has almost given up on life and he is beginning to think that he may not last much longer. My request was simple, just live.

My dad decided to take this opportunity to ask something of me also. He asked me to stop drinking coffee, drinking booze, getting tattoos, and come back to the church. As if these are the worst things that I could do. "Do you think you can do that for me?" he asked. I said, "I'll keep it under consideration." Wouldn't his request be better if he asked me to pray and try to gain a testimony? Kind of hard to want to stop doing those other "disdainful" activities if I do not have a testimony of Joseph Smith and the restored gospel. He then went on to bear his testimony to me for the millionth time along with how he has and always will love me.

I ask him to live and he asks me to change everything about me because it is not what he wants me to do. The integrity that he raised me with prevents me from doing what he wants. It is plain and simple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not true. The LDS church is not a true church; it is a false church just like all the rest. The Christian god does not exist. There may be a "god" or "creator," but not like what the religions of this world describe. I cannot force myself to go back to church and pretend to believe in the bullshit again. I am a better man than that. Therefore, to answer my dad if I could again, "No, I will not be doing that, I have too much integrity. Can you just try to live for me? I am not asking much."

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Phoenix tattoo rises from the ashes

I have begun my Phoenix tattoo. I will be doing 6 sessions to shade in all the color.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Please allow me to introduce myself.

Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil by oggys

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the Blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
(woo woo, woo woo)

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
(woo woo, woo woo)

I shouted out,
"Who killed the Kennedy's?"
When after all
It was you and me
(who who, who who)

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
(woo woo, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
(who who)
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
(who who, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
(woo woo, who who)

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint
(who who, who who)

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, have some taste
(woo woo)
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mmm yeah
(woo woo, woo woo)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, mmm yeah
(who who)
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, mmm mean it, get down
(woo woo, woo woo)

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
(woo woo)

Tell me baby, what's my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, you're to blame

Oh, who
woo, woo
Woo, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah

What's my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name

Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah
Woo woo
Woo woo

Yep, that is me in that pic. I've been busy, but I'll try to do more blogging. Just call me Lucifer. . . uh, better make that Bowie. ;)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2011, new year, new job.

Well, it has certainly been a while since I last posted to my blog. I did not die from the New Year's Eve festivities; I have just been busy with other items in my life and have not spent much time in the blog world. I will try to get a few posts out that review some of the things that I have been up to.

This year has started out well for me. I have started in a new position at my work and the story behind that is interesting. I have worked at my company for over 3.5 years. During that time, I have travelled regularly doing customer installations of the software product that we provide. In my previous job, I did a similar position of travel and install. Altogether, I have been travelling regularly for 7 years and it has started to wear me down. There have been too many times that I have missed events involving my children because I was out of town.

Back towards the middle of December 2010, a Quality Assurance Analyst position was posted at my work. I was interested because this meant that I would no longer travel. I applied and hoped for the best. Sure enough, I was scheduled for an interview. I felt like the interview went well and was looking forward to a possible promotion. A couple of days later, the manager that I interviewed with (we'll call him Jim) sent me a company instant message asking if I had received a transfer date from my current manager. I told him that I had not and that my current manager was currently out of town. He told me that he would contact him the next week and make arrangements for me to start in the new department. I was ecstatic! Finally, after the years of travel, I would be able to have a normal office job. I was feeling good about this looking forward to the next week for what I thought would be a good week.

I started the week before Christmas and met with my current manager (we'll call him Bob) letting him know that Jim was wanting to meet with him about me transferring to his department. On Tuesday, I checked with Bob and he still had not heard from Jim. I thought this was a little strange, but I was willing to be patient and see what would develop. I am friends with the HR assistant and decided to chat with her to see if she had heard anything. She mentioned that Jim had also interviewed a woman in the customer support department (we'll call her Mary). She told me that Jim had offered the job to Mary. This really concerned me because Jim had told me the week before that he intended to have me transfer to his department. Why would he tell both Mary and me that we had the job?

On Wednesday, I sent a message to Jim asking if he had got in touch with Bob about my transfer date. He replied that he was still interviewing. What the fuck?! Just the week before, he had told me that he wanted me to start in his department, and then he tells Mary that she had the job, and now he gives me the excuse of still interviewing? There may have been some convincing from some of the people in Jim's department to hire Mary. They liked her and were hoping that she could come work with them. This was the week before Christmas, and I knew that nothing was going to get resolved for at least a week or so because of the holidays.

The Sunday after Christmas, I took Blondie and kids on a road trip to my parents' new home. We had a pleasant visit for what it was worth. The great thing was that church and religion was never really brought up, but there is only so much Fox News that I can handle before going insane. During this time, the whole job fiasco was bothering me. I sent an email to the HR Office Manager explaining that I was concerned about the status of the job. He replied letting me know that he would get is resolved.

I started work the week after New Years with the idea that Mary was going to get the position. I had the opportunity to speak to a few friends around work and they had all heard that Mary was planning on moving. I was convinced that I had lost the position for sure. I checked with my current manager Bob again to see if he had heard from Jim. He told me that Jim had been sick and ended up in the hospital; that was definitely concerning. By Wednesday January 5th, Bob gave me some interesting news on the status of the position. He said that since Jim was still sick, the company had decided to have his superior make the decision on the job. This was great news! This woman was not at our local office, she was the head of quality assurance testing for the nationwide company. I ended up doing an interview with her over the phone, I am sure that Mary did too. I felt even better about this interview because she did not know me or Mary, all she had to go on was our experience and qualifications.

By Friday January 7th, I received an official job offer from Jim. I met with him and he was feeling better out of the hospital. He apologized for the miscommunications and gave me a nice job offer. Now, I was very happy and relieved; I pulled this job out of the fire! Unfortunately, Mary took the news pretty hard, which I can understand. She made the mistake of posting about it on Facebook, which someone should never do. I am not friends with her, but other coworkers are. They showed me what she posted and what her mother said. Let's just say that it was very unprofessional and embarrassing; she had the good sense to delete it off of Facebook. Mary also ended up taking a couple of personal days to recuperate from the experience.

Another interesting side effect from all this is what happened to Jim. I started my first week in the new department and we went out for a team lunch. After we got back, no one saw Jim for a while, and then we received word that he had been let go and escorted out of the building. I guess he had made a number of mistakes as manager that the company had counseled him about. After a while, it looks like he made too many and the company decided he needed to go. I feel bad for him and hope that he can find something new.

So, here I am, working as a Quality Assurance Analyst with a small department of good people. I go to work, listen to music or podcasts, and work with software developers. I no longer have to travel or be a company face for our customers. 2011 is looking to be a good year.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Worst Hangover Ever!

Well, New Year's Eve 2010 will go down as very memorable for Blondie and me. We went to a friend's house where he and his wife were hosting a party for many of their friends. The evening started out great; we met many new friends and enjoyed visiting with them. I even played Deadmau5 for the night; I appreciated that our hosts let me play some great dance music for their party.

As with any great party, there was alcohol available so Blondie and I decided to partake for the evening. We brought gin and cranberry juice, which makes for a very tasty drink. Throughout the evening, we made a few of those drinks for ourselves and were feeling pretty good. We ended up sitting at a table with our good friend Urban Koda and his wife along with some other partygoers. As you might expect, drinks and shots started floating around the table. We were trying shots of various alcohols and enjoying the tastes. We even had a shot of authentic tequila from Mexico that had a worm in the bottle.

The last shot that put us out was a straight vodka shot. After this, I hit rock-star status; I could no longer sit upright. I ended up lying down on the dining room floor and I was done! Blondie was able to stay upright and had people asking her if I was okay. Before midnight, I was barely coherent and fortunate enough to have a garbage can nearby because along with being unable to sit up, I puked multiple times into the can. Midnight came, and I remember hearing people saying "Happy New Year" along with party horns, but that is about it.

After a while, Blondie was able to get me to walk up the stairs to a bedroom and I crashed on the mattress. I was able to sleep for a little while, but by morning, the nausea started coming on strong. I had easy access to a bathroom, which enabled me to keep my friend's room clean. After multiple trips to the bathroom for both Blondie and I, we finally felt good enough to say goodbye to our friends and drive home at about 11 am Saturday morning. Even on the drive home, Blondie and I both puked, oh the memories, lol! We came home, immediately went to bed, and slept for the rest of the day before we started to feel better in the evening.

Today, I had the opportunity to tell my friend at work about our experience and he was proud of us. He said that we had certainly hit rock-star status with a party like that. I thought that was pretty funny. I will tell ya though; going through an experience like that makes us not want to drink again for a very long time. Just remembering the drinks and shots while on our way home was nausea inducing.

The funny thing is that we are not the first ones to experience too much drinking and a hangover. I guess we are just the novices. While driving home, we listened to our favorite radio station X96 and they played the perfect song for us. The Offspring with The Worst Hangover Ever.

I think I'll let the rock-stars live the rock-star lifestyle. It was fun to try out, but not something I want do again. Live and learn, right?