Big Blue

Immediate post-tattoo photo. I like that you can see the puffy skin and the little trickle of blood. Earning this one, and it is coming along swimmingly!

I leave for Alaska in a week. I swam this morning, a slow 1000 yards that felt good and smooth.

Yesterday I cooked the last of the Alaska fish in the freezer, a nice chunk of halibut, and shared a piece with Steve. I replaced the interior door knobs while listening to arguably the worst Cub game in years. Six errors and no offensive production with poor pitching. Ouch. Ron Santo would have been groaning for about four straight innings before he broke his mic. The house project was one of those that will be hard to see if you aren’t looking, but the old ones were corroded and had been inadvertently painted several paint jobs in the past. I went with the $10 versions, and now that they are installed think I should have gone to the Green Project to get some cool looking ones, or Restoration Hardware for swanky ones. Maybe next year. The interior doors gave me a chance to practice on non-critical locksets before doing the main door today.

I am looking forward to being back in Southeast Alaska, if not the house and boat chores, and to getting back in the weight room. This has been a good break, and I should work on a program for the summer/fall, or just jump back into the familiar schedule as best I can. I will have to decide if I can actually use the kayaks, and if not, sell out of that activity as I did the dive stuff. Hard decisions.

I finished the door project, replacing the entry lock set, and enjoyed a late afternoon dinner in the courtyard. It is awfully pleasant at 65 degrees in the sun. Susie had a day off and spent most of it barhopping before ending up in the courtyard. We chatted for a bit, and then went to dba to see Dinosaurchestra. It was a good show on a mellow night in the club. I walked the street, listening to the street band for a few minutes and seeing some good black and white photography at the art market. I ended up at Checkpoint Charlie for an open mike night for singer songwriters.

It always seems like a good idea to listen to one more set, but it makes swimming in the morning fall off the schedule.

We have a tenant for the summer, a recently divorced woman who is just starting at Johnny White’s. She was recruited fro the restaurant and referred to us by last year’s tenant who was an excellent person to have watch the place. Financially, it would be more lucrative to Airbnb the place, but that would require bending some rules and pissing off the neighbors. I would prefer not to deal with the hassle of being a long distance landlord, and like the privacy of not having a tenant, but being able to help out someone with a below-market rent in exchange for looking after the place through the hot summer months in a compromise I am willing to make. And it might pay for a sailing trip, or….

It was a good day for a tattoo, if not for the walk to the tattoo shop. There was a serious thunderstorm all morning, starting about three followed by a torrential rain. The lightning seemed close, so I skipped my last potential New Orleans swim for the season in favor of not being electrocuted. The news said it rained four inches in 24 hours, and my sweatpants said it took about three minutes to become thoroughly soaked. I stopped t a grocery store to buy a towel to dry off before the work started.

Jamie Ruth pumped me full of blue ink, filling in on my back. The best parts look 3D, and a little more shading ought to really make it pop out. I was in the chair for 5 hours, and she was able to get about a third of what she had planned done. I am learning that this is kind of how it works, and also that the extra time put in makes for a better result. I am glad she is putting the work in.

I got a dramatic histamine reaction, not unexpected, with the skin getting too puffy to work on unless she switched to a different body part. I have heard the tattooing process compared to bee stings, and I think that is accurate, although tattooing pokes you tens of thousands of times it feels like half a dozen bee stings, thankfully not hundreds or thousands. Like a bee sting, the pain goes away with the histamine reaction, leaving a sunburned feeling for a few days.

The reaction settled right back down as I watched the Cubs play at Buffa’s over a cheeseburger. Once again the Aurora Nealand show was SRO, odd to me on a rainy night. She is outgrowing her venues, a good thing I suppose, but hard if you want to sit and listen for a bit.

I made peace with being wet, and wore shorts and flip flops under a rain jacket to walk to the coffee shop, figuring there was no way to be fully clothed and dry. Envie was full of people taking shelter. Hopefully the weather will break for the Chris’ block party Saturday, and so our roofers can get back to work.

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