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the pandemic and the emergence of the growler: craft beer take out.

Take Out Beer in the Time Of The Pandemic

If there is anything good about this pandemic shut down of 2020 it’s this: to-go craft beer take out. I had noticed that a few select specialty beer bars were still open, like the Tap Room on Garnet Avenue in Pacific beach. It has a sun canopy set up now on the sidewalk in front of the front door so you don’t have to walk inside (they wont let you) and they have some bar table set up between you, when you walk up, and whoever works the window there, so you don’t have too get too close and you can order a “growler” filled up to take home. A growler is a jug. This is new… I think this is totally new in the whole state of California. Being able to fill up your own bottle or jug or whatever in a bar and take it outside used to be totally illegal. I know that for a fact. I remember 20 years ago being scolded about it, about even considering asking if I could take a drink outside. According to the guy at the Tap Room on Garnet all this changed in California when the pandemic shut down came into effect. The laws and regulations changed BAM! so you can now get an order of some fine to-go beer, craft beer, like this Pliny The Elder 8% heavenly concoction that I have in my thermos, all citrusy and pine. Mmmm. Yeah. So maybe something good will come out of this pandemic after all…

#plinythelder #russianriver #craftbeer #taproom #garnetavenue #pacificbeach #pandemicshutdown #sandiego #california #growler #beertogo @ SD TapRoom

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Big City Tattoo Tap Tattooing Polynesian Skin Art Interview


Tap Tattooing at Big City Tattoo: Polynesian Skin Art Interview

The Legend, Sua Suluape Angela

Video interview by Reviewer Rob

Sua Suluape Angela - Tattoo Artist at Big City Tattoo
Sua Suluape Angela – Tattoo Artist at Big City Tattoo

Six years ago, in 2014, Reviewer TV visited Angela at Big City Tattoo (San Diego and possibly California’s finest female tattoo artist/shopkeeper) and she described the proper technique for applying the ancient Polynesian skin art. Watch and be amazed! With your host, Reviewer Rob. Note: we recently transcribed the video to allow readers to see it in print. However, if you like to avoid reading, the video file is embedded at the bottom of this post. ~Editor

Rob: This is reviewer magazine we are here with Angela at Big City Tattoo on University in San Diego, and she is doing the drawing part of the tattoo that she is doing on somebody. This is going to be a Polynesian style tap tattooing – right?

Angela – Hand tap style tattoo. With Samoan it’s, ah…I was traditionally schooled in Samoan style, we are actually doing a blend of Samoan and Tahitian and uh, on Marty here. Hold on..

Rob: That looks like that would be a drawing of some kind of weave or something, I guess..being Polynesian they probably weaved something when it comes to you know, their housing or something, like bamboo.. Er, not bamboo, but whatever.

Angela: This is a flower and this is a representation of the beauty in life and this is actually for his wife. And um, we are going to do some shading in this, and uh, up here is actually um “weaving of the ancestors”.

Rob: Again, so ancestral worship?

Angela: Mhmm

Rob: Okay. So I was going to ask if those were masks or something, but those are representations of ancestors?

Angela: Those are his actually the..Yes, but Tiki is tohu, the tattoo god of Tahiti.. So the tiki faces you can see, they are actually holding hands because this is his wife and his sister.

Rob: Ah! Where did you learn this, Angela?

Angela: Um. I had an opportunity in 2000 to uh, when I was in Tahiti, to study many of the Tahitian styles.. and I met at that time..ah, Sua Suadalupe Ale’avaapatello from Western Samoan. Who after a period of time, asked me to become his student to learn the Samoan style, to become the first woman. We taught the traditional Samoan tattoo and um, so I went to Western Samoan, I lived there for about a year and a half studying the traditional tattoo styles and then I applied what I learned in Tahiti and what I learned in New Zealand.. I still have a lot to learn, though. And uh, I also learned many patterns while I was in Hawaii studying under my teacher there and then, um, recently I’ve been brought into a group that has taught me quite a bit in the Filipino styles as well, the ancient Filipino tattooing that they’ve only recently found mummies in the mountains of the Philippines covered in tattoos.

Rob: Oh, wow! Hey, is there any way we could maybe – just, turn down the music just a little bit? Because I don’t know how much the background noise, er the background music is gonna affect the sound pick up.

Jennifer: Yeah, sure.

Angela: And just to let you know, my name is Suadalupe Angela. I’m actually Samoan chief and when the title was bestowed upon me, it was told to me, my family, and everybody that was there that “Angela” no longer became my first name, it actually became my second name, and Suadalupe became my first name.

Rob: Okay, so to be proper, people should address you as Suadalape or Suadalape Angela.

Angela: Correct.

Rob: Okay. Remember that folks!

Angela: *Laughs*

Rob: And uh – and the name of your mentor, of your teacher, what was his name again?

Angela: Sua Suadalupe Ale’avaapatello

Rob: Okay, so you kind of took on a variation of his name? So like, a familial thing

Angela: It is a family title, yes, the Suadalupe title and it’s also a surname. So it’s both. So like, officially, my teacher would be Sua Suadalupe Ale’avaapatello Suadalupe

Rob: Wow! That’s a mouthful

*Everyone laughs*

Rob: You know, so when I was a kid, I first was learning about Hawaiian culture because I surfed, you know, and there was a lot of articles about Duke Kuhanamoko and um, people would always add, you know, smile when you say that, after you Duke Kuhanahanamoko..I still can’t stay that!


Rob: Duke Kuhanahanahamoko

Angela: It took awhile, yeah!

Rob: But um,it being kind of a uh, a warrior society, was that sort of a sign of distinction in honor, the more tattoos you had?

*Phone rings*

Angela: Excuse me, pardon me… *answers call* Mom, how can I help you? Hi Mom, yes.


Angela: I’m being filmed right now, Mom, how can I help you?

Rob: We’re doing a documentary!

Angela: *in background* Okay, because we were going to come by and talk to um Dave, to come by and do that. Okay? Talk to you later. Okay, then don’t do it – do it later. I love you.

Rob: Have we introduced everybody here? Ooh, well do you want to…well, what’s your name?

-Camera turns right-

Marybeth: My name is Marybeth.

Rob: Marybeth?

Marybeth: Yes, I am Angela’s key stretcher, I’ve been, uh, helping her for eight years.

Rob: Stretcher? What do you stretch?

Marybeth: Ah, stretch the skin. Um, it’s Jen and my job to hold the skin.

Jennifer: Should we even go into nicknames?

*Marybeth and Jennifer laugh*

Marybeth: To hold the skin taught

Rob: Okay, like a canvas?

Marybeth: Yes

Rob: Like a canvas has to be tight

Marybeth: Yeah, so that the comb can go in and out of the skin…can go in and out of the skin without getting caught or..

Rob: The what? The cone?

Marybeth: Comb.

Rob: Comb?

Marybeth: Yeah.

Rob: Okay, got it.

Marybeth: ..that she will be tattooing with, that she puts the ink into. Or, you know, that she dips into the ink.

Rob: Okay. Is that a hard thing – to hold the skin?

Marybeth: Uh, it changes

Jennifer: It can be, yeah, it definitely can be. It can be a little trying. *waves* My name is Jennifer. Um, and it can definitely be a little difficult at times, because we have to hold the stretch and its really.. kind of important not to move because then it can affect the mark that the tool makes..

Rob: Mhmm.

Jennifer: Because, you know, there’s really no eraser in tattooing.

Rob: Right, right. So you get one shot, huh?

Jennifer: Exactly. So it’s very important that we know how to stretch and that we hold the stretch properly and Angela has taught us very well. I’ve been with her for a year less than Marybeth has.

Angela: It’s not just like anybody can just jump in and start stretching.. I mean, if you have an experienced stretcher you may be able to, you know, use somebody if you needed another stretcher and maybe show them a few things, but not for big pieces, not for the really important things. A good stretch is very important to the tattoo. If you don’t have a good stretch, you know and it’s also important in machine tattooing, because when a machine artist.. they’re actually stretching the skin as well, with both of their hands while they’re tattooing. So stretch is important in all the tattoo. Otherwise, you’re just hitting them as hard as you can until you get them into the..get the material that’s in the.. You know, the invasive part, into the skin. Without a good stretch, you can get a lot of problems, and I’ve been very lucky to have two girls that will actually care as much about the tattoo as I do and do a really great job stretching.

Rob: Has there been any recent advancements in the industry when it comes to color? Because I know that used to be kind of a thing, people would lose color in their tattoos after, say, a few years.

Angela: I don’t know if – are you talking about tattoo in general, or about the traditional style?

Rob: You’re right, that isn’t specific to traditional, just in general.

Angela: In general, yes.

Rob: Ya know, in Portland, they’ve got.. the tattooists there use a lot more color than down here. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Angela: In…pigments have advanced, I mean they, but it was also more – not just the pigments advanced in the tattooing industry, but it’s also the technique that’s being applied. I mean, what they used to use is a single – they even actually used to use a single needle tattooing, which is hardly even used anymore because you get it pretty tight and it’s about the same as a single needle, but so it’s how it’s applied, the way it’s applied, and how much it goes into it. And I did an actual proper five year apprenticeship underneath my husband who’s a tattoo master. And there’s people out there who have been tattooing like, six months, and then go out there and start tattooing people and they wonder why the tattoos don’t look as good as somebody who has been doing it for like, fifteen years. It really comes down to the experience, how they were taught, who taught them, and what they were taught. Just because you spent six months under somebody does not mean you’ve learned everything that person can teach you. And the same thing with both modern tattooing and traditional tattooing.

Rob: When did you start tattooing?

Angela: Oh! Oh my god. I started machine tattooing, I believe, in late 2001, almost 2002, and then I started hand tapping in late 2002. It took me longer for the hand tap because uh, I actually could not use the boar’s tusk tools in which I was taught with, that my husband took him about a year and a half to create the surgical stainless steel tools in which I use today. So, that’s the main difference of what I do versus what my teacher does is the surgical stainless steel single use auto-cleavable tools. And then people don’t have to worry about getting a.. Something wrong with their tattoo, like an infection or disease. Unfortunately, with bone tools, you still run that risk, even though..

Rob: Bone tools, is that with uh, the traditional style of Polynesian?

Angela: Yeah, the boar’s tusk tools bone in the Samoan styles are very traditional. I was a person, that when I went to Samoa, I did bring with me the education that I had with blood borne pathogen awareness and I got, uh was very.. er, that’s what I taught to them was keeping it a clean and sanitary environment through my family’s, the people who tattoo over there, other artists who are doing it – I can’t guarantee that because I don’t know how they treat their tools.

Rob: So you contributed a little bit of learning for them. In teaching them a little bit, it sounds like.

Angela: I had to.

Rob: Didn’t Pamela Anderson… didn’t she get uh..

Jennifer: I’ve heard about that, I, I think she..

Marybeth: Japanese style, didn’t she?

Rob: Hepatitis?

Jennifer: No, it was just a, it was just..

Angela: No, I’m sorry, that’s a misnomer. And I have to put my cents in.. You cannot. She supposedly got Hepatitis C through tattoo. I have to put this down right now, I taught the awareness and prevention of blood borne pathogen diseases and in order to catch the H-C, the Hepatitis C virus, you have to swallow a tablespoon of somebody’s blood to get it.

Jennifer: And her tattoo was on her ring finger…

Angela: Her tattoo was this tiny little thing, and no professional artist would re-use the needle twice, that is disgusting and we-

Jennifer: Even with a married couple.

Angela: Even with a married couple, that does not matter.

Jennifer: It does not matter.

Angela: And if she was going to get Hepatitis C, she would have gotten it from other things.

Rob: So, she got it in Tahiti though.

Angela: It doesn’t matter. You have to be able to… the only one you can actually catch readily is the Hepatitis B virus – which is the most contagious disease out there that you can get just by going into water that’s bad with an open wound on your body

Rob: Yeah, I heard you can get it surfing.

Angela: You can get Hep A and Hep B, but Hep B takes .03 cc’s of blood to get into an open wound or orifice on your body, which is your nose, your eyes, your mouth. Hepatitis C takes a tablespoon! A physical tablespoon of somebody’s blood to get it, or through a blood transfusion.

Rob: Hm. So, you heard it here, folks!

Angela: And so that, that is one of the biggest misnomers that upsets the tattoo community.

Jennifer: And you can get vaccinated for A and B, and we are all vaccinated for A and B.

Rob: Cool.

Angela: And all of our children are mandatorily vaccinated for A and B, so all of those adults out there who haven’t had it, you should just go down and get it. It’s just a good idea.

Rob: There’s a lot of good vaccines out there that they are just not really pushing and should, probably.

Angela: So, the only thing you’re going to have a problem with in the Hep B vaccine is if you happen to be one of those rare people that is allergic to eggs, because that’s how they incubate the vaccine.

Rob: Ah.

Angela: Yeah, that Pamela Anderson thing sure did make the tattoo industry in a little bit of a tither.

Rob: Really?

Angela: Oh Yeah.

Jennifer: Didn’t they think she got it because they shared the needle between Tommy and her?

Angela: They shared the needle and at first it wasn’t ..

Jennifer: Wasn’t that it?

Angela: Yes, and at first entirely..

Jennifer: But if you have unprotected sex, you can get it through sexual contact as well, can’t you?

Angela: Exactly, you can get it through sexual contact.

Jennifer: So..

Rob: Tommy and her were sharing a needle?

*Everyone laughs*

Jennifer: I think there’s a video on that, as well! I believe so.

Rob: Yeah, yeah, we have proof of that, there’s a video on it.

Angela: But it was first said that she got it out of a shop in Los Angeles. And then it was said she went out from..

Rob: Wait, so the celebrity that was saying she got it out of Tahiti, then that was..

Angela: Tahiti or Thailand?

Rob: No, it wasn’t Tahiti and wasn’t it.. Um.. Wasn’t it.. Uh, she was married to Brad Pitt.

Marybeth: Angelina Jolie?

Rob: Right! Right, that’s the one.

Angela: They said she has Hep C now?

Rob: Yeah, because it turns out that Brad Pitt got sick after they being married to her for a few months..

Jennifer: Oh, no!

Rob: And he might have gotten, and then there was conjecture that she had it and..

Angela: Well that’s interesting, because according to the doctors that I’ve spoken to- it’s very, very difficult to actually get the H-C virus even sexually.

Rob: Yeah, cause I mean she loves tattoos. She’s got tattoos all over, right?

Angela: Some of her tattoos are beautiful.

Marybeth: Yeah, normally Hep C is from a blood transfusion or uh, like from using IV drug use. Not sharing needles.

Angela: Yeah, the H-C virus is very hard to get, so unless she mis-talked about it and it’s actually Hep B, then that makes more sense…but, not Hep C, that doesn’t make any sense.

Rob: Cause all the, all the tattoo artists, parlors and salons that I’ve been to in San Diego, they all look like doctor’s offices. I mean, I’ve been in doctor’s offices that didn’t have as much sterilization equipment.

Angela: Well, we have a very strong sterilization procedure everything that happens for a , the way we clean down surfaces, surface wipes and everything. It’s very regulated, if you go to a professional – professional being key word there, tattoo shop. We are regulated, we do yearly blood borne pathogen courses, it’s not like something we do once in awhile, it’s actually done every year. And its um, it’s something that is very important to our industry. I’ve been been to the dentists where I’ve made them stop and change their gloves!

Rob: Oh, wow.

Angela: ..because they were going to be touching the trash can and then trying to attempt to come to my mouth, after touching the trash can with those gloves, and I’m like, “Um, excuse me, would you please change those gloves? ‘Cause you’re not touching me with those” *laughs*

Rob: Those were San Diego dentists?

Angela: Oh yeah.

Rob: Okay.

Angela: *laughs* I mean, lots of them..any, unless, I mean I have seen it and it’s one of those things that once I’ve said it, now watch your dentist.. and its, sometimes it’s the nurses, it’s not even the dentists, but they just don’t think about that. “Oh, it’s just a clean trash can..” No, it’s not. Nothing’s clean.

Rob: Alright, so I’m going to clip this now so it’s Youtube length.

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New Year Weed Laws & California Cannabis News


2018 New Year Recreational Cannabis Guide


What’s the difference between cannabis, marijuana, flower and weed?

Nothing! These words are interchangeable, but cannabis is the scientific term. Marijuana, flower, and weed are all used in a variety of conversational situations to refer to cannabis.

Where can I smoke?

Marijuana must be consumed in a private place. Smoking, eating or otherwise using marijuana in public is still illegal.

Is marijuana lab tested?

Testing will be required starting Jan 1, 2018 for any cannabis harvested on/after Jan. 1 or any cannabis product manufactured on/after Jan 1.

I don’t want to get high, but want to use cannabis medicinally, what should I look for?

CBD is a popular option for those looking to get the medical benefits of cannabis without the high. CBD products are available in most cannabis product types, from vape cartridges to topicals.

I don’t want to inhale smoke, but want to enjoy a cannabis high, what should I try?

Vape pens, edibles, drinks and tinctures are a great way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without smoking.

Can I walk into a dispensary on Jan. 1, 2018 and buy marijuana?

Yes, if you’re 21 or 18 you can access cannabis recreationally or medically, respectively. Keep in mind, however, that while marijuana is legal for adults in the state of California, local counties and municipalities also have their own set of rules that regulate how retail businesses operate.

Can I still get Medical Cannabis?

Yes, if you’re over the age of 18 physicians may still recommend medical cannabis. Depending upon the condition, people under 18 can obtain a recommendation with their parent or guardian’s permission. California medical patients will need to obtain an ID card issued by the Department of Health.

[The above copy is from
, 1-4-18. ~Editor]

2028: recreational cannabis is here in California.
2028: recreational cannabis is here in California.
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photolog: Meegan’s Ink

[Skin Art]

Meegan Had Some Sweet New Tattoos

Talking ink: Low Gallery in Barrio Logan at a mid-summer show during ComicCon

by Reviewer Rob

I had both my Nikons hanging on my neck this night with the goal of playing around with their capabilities. The D5200 and D5300 were set on their fastest ISOs for a shoot at Meegan’s art gallery/performance venue Low. I’d come to see a couple of bands play, Lisa Carver’s Suckdog and The Vaginals (Vaginals sounded great, by the way). It had been a couple of years since I’d last seen Meegan and I noticed she’d gotten a couple of new tattoos.

Meegan Nolan is the stylish owner and proprietor of Low Gallery. She’s all about art — the appreciation as well as the business of it — and only now while ‘shopping this pic did it dawn on me that she was wearing a stylin’ cartoon t-shirt (is that the Tazmanian Devil?). Classic, it was, after all, the weekend of the famous San Diego International ComicCon. Yes as a fashionista Meegan is also a triple threat. On this night her shiny gold pants were amazing. But these classic-era style tattoos were what I really liked. The symbolic “Black Rose” is on her right forearm and a standing nude ‘a la Sailor Jerry adorns her left.

I shot this while the bands were setting up for the show and Meegan was standing against the back wall of the space. No flash was used, just ambient light, so it’s grainy. Like I said, I was pushing what the low light ability of the cameras could do. I think at 1/100th of a second it’s pretty decent. Photoshop brought out more contrast and color from the original RAW image.

Image file info:
Nikon D5300
Tamron lens 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 DiII VC PZD B008N
Focal Length 18mm (in 35mm: 27mm)
Exposure: 1/100 sec; f/3.5; ISO 12800; Manual; Pattern Metering
Flash: Did not fire

Meegan Nolan with her new arm ink: a black rose and  nude in the style of Sailor Jerry.
Meegan Nolan with her new arm ink: a black rose and nude in the style of Sailor Jerry. Photo by 2016.
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Elevating Junipero Serra, the man, the mystic and the magic!

Father Serra may not have liked the hokus pokus but he sported a stylin doo.
Father Serra may not have liked the hokus pokus but he sported a stylin doo.

Father Junipero Serra’s work for the Spanish Inquisition

(you may not have expected this)


So it looks like tomorrow Pope Francis will canonize Junipero Serra (born Miquel Joseph Serre, November 24, 1713, Petra, Majorca, Spain) and make him a “saint”. Father Junipero Serra founded many many many Catholic missions in California and Baja. He was HUGE for his time. He was the Donald Trump of the Eighteenth Century. He will soon me elevated to the near-godlike status of Saint by Pope Francis in the neo-pagan ritual of canonization. When I was an altar-boy at Saint Michael’s in the mid-1970’s “canonized” sounded like they’d take your ashes or something and shoot them out of a canon. I was always like, “Oh, cool. I’d like to see that! The following is culled from the internet, lamentably, mostly from Wikipedia. ~Editor

During his 1752 visit to Mexico City, Serra sent a request from the college of San Fernando to the local headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition. He asked that an inquisitor be appointed to preside over the Sierra Gorda. The next day, Inquisition officials appointed Serra himself as inquisitor for the whole region — adding that he could exercise his powers anywhere he did missionary work in New Spain, as long as there was no regular Inquisition official in the region.

In September 1752, Serra filed a report to the Inquisition in Mexico City from Jalpan, on “evidences of witchcraft in the Sierra Gorda missions.” He denounced several Christian non-Indians who lived in and around the mission for “the most detestable and horrible crimes of sorcery, witchcraft and devil worship… If it is necessary to specify one of the persons guilty of such crimes, I accuse by name a certain Melchora de los Reyes Acosta, a married mulattress, an inhabitant of the said mission… In these last days a certain Cayetana, a very clever Mexican woman of said mission, married to one Pérez, a mulatto, has confessed — she, being observed and accused of similar crimes, having been held under arrest by us for some days past — that in the mission there is a large congregation of [Christian non-Indians], although some Indians also join them, and that these persons,…flying through the air at night, are in the habit of meeting in a cave on a hill near a ranch called El Saucillo, in the center of said missions, where they worship and make sacrifice to the demons who appear visibly there in the guise of young goats and various other things of that nature… If such evil is not attacked, the horrible corruption will spread among these poor [Indian] neophytes who are in our charge.”

Junipero Serra founded many Missions in California.
Junipero Serra founded many Missions in California.