It may be the dead of winter but don’t get the winter blues…unless you are in the mid-west in which case you are f#%ked and may be frozen solid right this very moment. If that is the case then you may be frustrated to know that Northern California is currently pleasantly sunny and here in Santa Cruz – my temporary home for a few days – it is positively balmy – sunsets on the boardwalk and toes in the sand weather. Sorry.
In fact it is so pleasant it seems like a good time to strip down in public and get tattooed and I know just the place. “The 28th Annual Santa Rosa Tattoos and Blues will be held at The Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California February 22-24, 2019. Three days of live bands, world-renowned tattoo artists, competitions, and contests. Join us in wine country where we’ll host tattoo artists and enthusiasts from across the country and all over the Bay Area.”
The convention is organized and presented by Santa Rosa Tattoo, owned by Daat Kraus (fun fact – Daat tattooed me at the Aces over Eights Suicide Prevention Event) Daat took over the event last year and is bringing a fresh energy, serious tattoo talent, solid bands, and fun contests guaranteed to make this a fantastic convention worth checking out. Plus it is being held at the iconic Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa which makes you feel like you are hanging with the Rat Pack by the lovely pool – martini in hand thank you.
If you can’t make it out to Tattoos and Blues how about a walk through history? (rough transition, I know. Hey I’m on beach time…) Pick up a copy of Painters of the Peculiar – A Guide to Sideshow Banner Artists & Their Respective Work by Michael Papa & Johnny Meah
This unique and fascinating book – loaded with full color images and photographs – tells the enthralling story of sideshow and circus banner artists – the original Mad Men of the marketing world and masters of the viral campaign a few thousands years before Youtube and Instagram.
This book is an absolute love letter to these previously unsung artistic heroes and gives a compelling peek into a world of entertainers, hucksters, hard working men and woman, and the circus “freaks” that made their living displaying their unusual talents to the curious. A fan of folk art and American history? This is a must have for your collection.
Finally, I have a recommendation for a fun read written by a man who wins the award for the most patient person to ever submit something to me to review. I’m looking at you, Juan Butto. Juan reached out to me last year and very nicely asked if I would review his novel – Tattoo The Mark of the Feathered Serpent. I said yes and then he waited. And waited. And waited some more. Tattoo is a fun read that has a great hook (magic tattoo ink!!), interesting characters, lush scenery, the works.
I have a friend who is currently stranded at the Dulles airport in a snowstorm and is texting me pictures like this;
If I could, I would send her Juan’s book so she could happily while away the hours. Wherever this February night finds you I hope you have the chance to cuddle up and stay warm with a good book, maybe a martini, and hopefully some scratch paper to plan out your next tattoo.