Monday, October 25, 2004

Reno Day 3: Trapped in a punk tattoo world.

This was the day we had set aside to get the girls some skin art. We first ate a huge breakfast at the Venetian buffet. Tamara liked this buffet better because they had more fresh fruit. After brunch we drove around Reno looking for the parts of town that have nothing to do with the gambling industry. We drove by the University of Nevada Reno and several strips malls. When we passed Bizarre Guitar I turned around to look at it. They had tons of guitars but the only things that tempted me were the custom flying v ukulele and the “Emily Strange” Epiphone SG. I didn’t buy anything and it was time to drive on down to Pirate Tattoo.

We got there a little before noon. I thought the appointment was for noon (when they were supposed to open) but Joe the tattoo guy wrote it up for 12:30. So when he got there at 12:10 barely shuffling around the shop he pointed out how he wrote it up and they gals vowed to never let me live it down. He started off the day blasting Flogging Molly and moved on to various punk, psychobilly and Enchanted Metal bands throughout the day.

Elisa was up first with her Gumby tattoo. Joe, the ultra-cool, I live the hardcore life punk tattoo artist, didn’t like the design but he put it on her left shoulder anyway. And it looked pretty good. Then Joe took about an hour to have a break and set up for the next victim. This time it was Tamara getting an image of Flaming Carrot (who would have guessed that) on her right hip. Joe seemed skeptical at first but then he got into the shading on the flippers and the shirt and really did a good job on it. Then we had another hour for breaks and set up and it was Deb’s turn. She did an emblem like a yin-yang but divided into three connected teardrop shapes inside the circle. She then had each section filled with a color gradient; red, blue and yellow. This one went very fast but there was still the hour to take a break and set up before Sam’s tattoo. She had a ring of I-Ching symbols with a Lapis Lazuli symbol in the middle. It means something special to her and turned out really good looking. By the end of the day Joe had warmed up to us and we even had a stirring conversation about the time he threw meat and blood on vegetarian protesters outside of an Oklahoma McDonald’s.

We were all pretty hungry by this point and went back to the hotel complex and ate dinner at Brew Brothers. We all had beer, except Tamara. I had a New York steak. I probably wouldn’t have but Elisa was talking about how rarely she ate beef and I thought, "Hey, I haven’t had a honkin' piece of meat in a while." It was pretty good and the flavor matched the dark beer I was drinking.

With dinner over we were looking for cheaper Blackjack. We had our hearts set on the one dollar blackjack at Circus, Circus. When we got there and looked around they had only one table using a six deck shoe that was both full of players and had people watching, no doubt waiting for an opening on the table. Disappointed with the one dollar table we went to Fitzgerald’s across the street and found a three dollar table.

The good thing about Fitzgerald’s is that they have a card you can sign up for. And since we were in a different hotel they have us each five dollars as an incentive to sign up. We all expect tons of junk mail from this but we wanted the money. Since Tamara signed up too I had an extra ten dollars to play with at the Blackjack table. I did pretty well and broke even for the night and still 8 of the 10 free dollars I started out with. So technically I was up 8 dollars.

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