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No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn: A Tattoo Experience

On Sunday I got tattooed in 3 places.

Am I crazy? Yes. But more importantly my artist, Guy Ursitti, is a champion. More on him a little later.

Traveling to get tattooed is something I'm familiar with. Other than my Lyanna Stark tribute on my right arm, which I obtained while the artist and I both lived in San Francisco, I've traveled to every city I've gotten tattooed in. From Boston to Ohio, from Boston to NYC, or New Haven to NYC, I've always been tattooed while on the move.

I think that everyone on Groupthink knows my obsession with A Song Of Ice and Fire. That's why when random burners say that I have a horseface, I don't mind too much: Arya Stark also has been called horseface, even though she resembles her Aunt Lyanna, who was a great beauty. Regardless, I knew that the insides of my arms would have some kind of tribute to the books. So, I decided on a Sansa tribute on my inner right arm, and a Tywin Lannister tribute on my inner left arm.

I can't put enough emphasis on getting a good night's sleep the night before a tattoo.

I didn't do that this time. I got about an hour of shut eye before I had to schlep to the New Haven train station to go to New York. There were lots of Germany fans waiting for the same train, I wished them luck in the World Cup Final. (I had spent a summer in Germany during World Cup time, so when the US is out, that's the team that has my heart).

Riding on Metro North is arduous. There's no other way to put it. Although the railroad has brought in new trains, (previous ones look pretty much the same as the ones featured on Mad Men) the railroad has consistently had trains remain stopped on the tracks for seemingly no reason. Because of this, I always take the train before the one I actually need, to accommodate for any delays.


While on the train, I mulled over what my last date said about my Lyanna Stark arm tattoo.

"The wolf's eyes are staring at me. You're intimidating."

I was a little hurt by that. I didn't tell Gordon Combs, (who now lives and tattoos out of Portland, OR, not San Francisco) to fill the she-wolfs eyes full of scorn.

I've never heard someone say she was staring at them before.

When the train finally pulled into Grand Central, I hopped on the Subway and traversed to Brooklyn, where Guy works at 8 Of Swords Tattoo.

One reason that I like 8 of Swords is that it has a predominately female staff. Although I see Guy because we have an established tattoo relationship, and I followed him to 8 Of Swords from Thicker Than Water, I want to take a moment to emphasize how unique that is in the tattoo world. 8 Of Swords expands on it's inclusion of women in this very judgmental industry by having a "Ladies, Ladies" art show. All the artists in this show were women, and their art was predominately displayed upon the walls. The show itself is ending soon, but was on display for several months.

I would have included photos of the art show itself, however, numerous people were getting tattooed in front of said art, and I didn't want to document/post anyone without asking their consent, nor did I want to interrupt their tattoo experience by asking them for a photo.

I got tattooed in 3 places. The first was to finish up the shading on my inner right arm Sansa Stark piece. The Second was to start and complete my inner left arm for my Tywin Lannister tribute. My third was to touch up my Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog and Holy Hand Grenade. After changing into my tattoo clothes, (I highly recommend people do this, ink can get on your wares during the tattoo process) I was ready to slay.

For those getting their inner arms tattooed: I found that the arm that you write with hurts exponentially more than your non-dominate arm. Guy says I sit well, and even I was cringing. I also noticed that towards the top of the arm pit and near the elbow are the most gnarly spots.

I also want to give credit to Guy. Guy wasn't feeling well (I could feel the fever through his gloves), but because he knew that I traveled, he sat it out. Guy truly is a consummate professional, and a work horse.


After getting wrapped up, and taking the train home, I awoke this morning to remove the bandages and see the efforts of Guy's labors.


Although swollen (which is normal) the tattoos look great. I'm going to have one more sitting on the Sansa Stark piece this fall, to add some background to it.

Until next time, Brooklyn.


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