New Mexico Ink

I don’t have a Zia tattoo. Nonetheless, I wear New Mexico.

Like many, my teen years were rife with moments I can only cringe at today. Some of my most memorable, brattiest reveries include pouting until I had a pair of Pony sneakers like my idols KoRn. Most notably, however, for months, I sighed and rolled my eyes and scowled because my mother would not allow me to get a tongue piercing.

One day, she offered a compromise:

“Get a tattoo.”

I am not sure why this was a better alternative to her, but I was quick to jump on it.

One Friday night my junior year of high school, she, my sister and I went to the closest shop: Mijo’s New Image, the only one in the northeast heights of Albuquerque at the time. I picked up the nearest magazine and started flipping through the pages. I had never met nor cared to learn about the artist. And I picked this.

New Mexico Dolphin Tattoo
First tattoo in New Mexico

I cannot find it in me to get removed or covered up. It is my genesis.

15 years later, I lose count when I try to tally my current collection.

I have bangers from Friday the 13th block parties that I cherish more for their memories with my friends than their images. I have a piece I got on a sort-of whim amidst the chaos and excitement that was attending my first convention. I am currently undergoing laser removal treatment. I have used the physical pain of getting tattooed as a meditative process to let go of coincidental emotional torment (heartbreak, to be precise). I have about 25 hours of work on my upper right arm. I have a cover-up. I have endured an infection. I have a conglomerate of my mother’s favorite things and therefore what most would accept as the one with the most “meaning.”

I think she assumed I would stop at my first—the one she offered.

“Why can’t you just wear a nice necklace instead?” “You had such beautiful skin.” And the clincher: “Where did my daughter go?”

Notwithstanding my mother’s convictions, my tattoos are my way of claiming my body and proclaiming my sovereignty and my identity. As much as I can be allowed into the tattoo culture despite having absolutely no artistic skill whatsoever, I devour every facet of it.

Nonetheless, all of my ink has one thing in common: all of it was acquired in New Mexico.

I am not a rebel. I am not a member of a subculture. I am not intentionally making a statement against feminine beauty ideals. I am not damaged. Like these pieces reflect….

Knee Tattoos New Mexico - roses and books
My stories.

I am merely a storyteller. One who lives in a wonderful time where I can wear and expose my stories.

While I understand art and one’s body are both extremely subjective realms, I hope to share my experiences here not entirely as a reviewer, but mainly as someone whose stories—those set in this wonderful state—hopefully inspire others to find the best way of telling theirs.

I look forward to sharing my journeys into the diverse, amazing world that is the New Mexico tattoo culture.

Happy inking!


Green Chile Chicken Cheese Enchilada Pot Pie… in cast iron

  • 4 Tbsp butter or EVOO
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup half & half
  • 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup roasted green chile, chopped (or more)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar + 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 pie crusts; I use pilsbury refrigerated ready-made pie crusts
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush bottom & sides of cast iron skillet with vegetable oil.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter or heat EVOO over medium-high heat. Cook the celery, onion, and garlic until they begin to soften
  3. Lower heat to medium. Stir constantly while adding flour. Stir until flour is absorbed and lightly toasted in color.
  4. Gradually stir in chicken broth while whisking to incorporate flour. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Add half and half and stir to combine.
  5. After 3-4 minutes, remove from heat and stir in chopped chicken and green chile.
  6. Unroll one pie crust and place in bottom of the skillet, then pour in the filling.
  7. Spread 1 cup shredded cheddar on top of filling.
  8. Unroll the second crust on top. Seal crusts together by pinching together or pressing with a fork.
  9. Cut vents into the top crust then brush with egg wash. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.
  10. Bake for 50-55 minutes until crust is golden.

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