Mine didn’t quite translate when I came to the U.S.

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My name is weird. How weird? It’s “Haukur Örn Hauksson.” Yeah. Literally translated, it means “Hawk Eagle Son of Hawk.” I love my parents dearly, but they can be a little bit eccentric sometimes, like when they explained their inspiration was for me to have a “Native American name.”

This is interesting, because I’m not Native American, I’m actually from Iceland, that cold, brutal, volcanic island in the North where Vikings wrestle polar bears, eat sour ram testicles, and have an unorthodox naming culture. See, Icelanders don’t actually have a last name in the traditional sense. Our last names are…

Photo by Daniil Vnoutchkov on Unsplash

Chapter 1: The Fastest Gun in the West

Let’s get something out of the way first. My father has epilepsy, and when a friend suggested he try CBD, dad immediately rejected it. “I don’t want to get high,” my dad said, shaking his head mournfully. He doesn’t even drink alcohol, let alone do the marijuana, the dope. “It’s not for me.”

Spoiler alert: My dad was wrong. Turns out he fell victim to a wide-spread and prevalent misconception. The misconception is this: That all CBD is derived from marijuana, A.K.A. cannabis, weed, the ganja, the chronic.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it’s an open and shut case…

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Have you ever wondered if your writing is any good?

If you haven’t, please take a moment, give thanks to whatever higher power you believe in, your lucky stars, count those blessings. You have been spared a terrible fate. A suffering that eats away at your soul like a fat black rat gnawing on cheese. As a matter of fact, what are you even still doing here? Stop reading, this is not for you. Scoot! Get out of here, you beautiful, calm, happy person. Forget this even happened. Don’t let the start of this dumb article sow any doubts in…

Someone holds something out to you, in the general direction of your face. Sometimes, they don’t say anything. A silent offering. But usually, generally speaking, they say something like, “Smell it.”

And I almost always smile awkwardly, give a little shrug, and say, “I don’t have a sense of smell.”

At which point they inexorably give me a puzzled, guarded expression, and ask me this: “You don’t have a sense of smell? You can’t smell anything?”

“Nope.”

Next, they tend to look around at their surroundings, and pick a random element. “You can’t smell [insert random element]?”

I shake my…

You know me. I’m not one for hyperbole. I keep it real, as they say. But here’s the thing: That was hands down the best episode of Inkmaster I’ve seen in a while. Certainly not because of the quality tattoos, no. We witnessed some truly heinous scribblings, and terrible placements (Turk’s ghoulish abomination on that poor man’s neck still haunts my dreams, and probably will for a while).

Instead of a picture of Turk’s nightmare-fuel, let’s just look at this cute lamb instead.

So yes, the tattoos were mostly crappy, but what truly elevated this episode was all that emotion. Raw, illogical, pure emotion. …

Consistency is key, consistency is consistently the word of the day on this week’s episode of Ink Master: Grudge Match, and you can’t talk about consistency without addressing Dave Navarro. Mr. Navarro was a founding member of Jane’s Addiction, struggled mightily with addiction to alcohol and heroin, and toured the world for decades with notoriously excessive rock bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, and Marilyn Manson. That’s a lot of miles. He’s 51 years old. Oh, and he currently looks like this:

Real men pull off a smokey eye.

You should check out Dave’s Instagram, where you can explore well filtered pictures of him…

Ink master: Grudge match, episode 3 recap.

HOLES.

Holes are interesting, because they’re not an actual thing: They’re an absence of something. Sometimes, this is beneficial. Like when you putt a birdie on a beautiful, sunny day, the golf ball rattling down that little hole.

Other times, holes are not ideal. For example, in an isolated, highly pressurized environment, like an airplane. Or this show.

Paramount Network

Another thing with holes in it this episode was Christian’s strategy, which I was frankly baffled by. Now, before I get into that, let me say this: There is a very real chance that Christian…

Yes, summer is over, but that’s okay because Ink Master Season 11 is finally upon us. This time, we have a very dramatic and descriptive subtitle: “Grudge Match — Cleen vs. Christian.”

Paramount Network

This references hothead Ink Master Finals runner-ups Cleen Rock One and Christian Buckingham seeking to resolve their legendary rivalry, established in Season 7 and escalated in Season 9. Not only that, but they’ll be leading two teams of artists against each other, competing, as usual, for $100,000, a feature in Inked magazine, and the coveted title of Ink Master.

Before we get into this, I just want to…

So I’m assuming, hopefully correctly, that you’ve already familiarized yourself with the rules of the game. You poured your heart out into a work of art, the soft glow of the computer screen in your face all those sleepless nights. You learned that the query letter is the key to publication. You unearthed a rigid, complex set of instructions on how to write it, how to compress your book into 500 words, what must be included and what must not. Word count, genre, all those tedious bells and whistles. Don’t worry, you won’t find any of that s**t here.

Because…

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Humans have been inhaling smoke for a very long time. The Native Americans, stuffing their pipes. A few millennia before that, we had ancient tribes gathering around the fire in the night, throwing herbs on the flames, breathing in, breathing out.

All those shamanic rituals. Getting closer to the gods, and each other.

Most recently, we’ve kind of lost touch with our roots. And our fellow tribe members as well. After all, the modern archetype of the smoker is the Marlboro man. A funhouse mirror held up before the world. “Be like this lonely dude.”

Too bad he died of…

Haukur Örn Hauksson

Writer/basketball lover/semi-professional dog sitter. Born on a savage, volcanic island in the North, currently residing in the Big Apple.

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