Laundry Day

Today was perfect for laundry.


Should Be Dishes Day

Too bad Dishwasher Pete wasn't around.

No dishwashing liquid.

Shower Day

Today is the day I take my shower.


__A National Monument__

I inquired about a couple photography jobs today. I am currently at the "Cup O' Noodles" level of poverty. How do you have fun when you're broke you ask? I went down to the fine arts studios and the photography lab at the Corcoran and convinced a couple of friends to walk down to the Declaration of Independence Island and then over to the Washington Monument. The Monument has been boarded up since the end of last summer. I remember when I lived in SW D.C. and walked right underneath the monument every night. I think it's still open during the day.

__A Local Monument__

On my walk home I passed through DuPont Circle. The fountain in the center of the circle is probably one of the most photographed neighborhood monuments. I wasn't taking this photo thinking it was anything original. It's part of my tourist act. It's a performance art.


Crossing Pathes at the Black Cat

Tonight's show at the Black Cat was great. The Les Savvy Favs were the main attraction. They played a long and exciting set. The strange antics of the band brought to mind memories of Coney Island. There were also a couple comedians at the show. One was from Saturday Night Live, funny.

Sometimes I just relax. But before long I feel guilty like I should be taking pictures.


Panning for Gold, Settling for a Station Wagon

I thought class started at 1:30 it started at 5:30, wrong day. That was okay; I had time to post some things on Craig's List to sell. I also sent a courtesy photo of a congressman to a small weekly paper in California. They said they would send me a couple copies of the paper. Although I would like something bigger, they would be beneficial to my portfolio, so I agreed.

In our Decisive Moments Class we went down to the skate rink in Freedom Plaza. There were no skaters so we all took turns running around on the ice. Of course I was the only one injured. While attempting to take a photograph while I slide in front of the entire class, I fell ... with my camera and monopod. My camera still works but I chipped a dial on it. Both of my knees are bruised. Ouch.


-->Similar to the Smell of Napalm in the Morning<--

I was at some friends' house helping them drink a couple bottles of wine. Later, while I was walking home dreaming about the giant slice of pizza I was going to buy in Adams-Morgan. About four blocks from the fire I smelt burning plastic. The smell got stronger and I ran down the street after the firetrucks.

No one was seriously injured. I overheard one of the firemen saying that someone had a couple broken ribs, that's it. They had the flames out in a matter of minutes. But there was one guy there who was pretty traumatized. Everything he had was burnt up in the fire.

[Yuck! I wish the greasy pizza I ate at Pizza Mart had burnt up in the fire.]


Snow Puts a Crux On Workforce, Not Tourists

The snowy weather left a lot of workers at home. The weather caused the cancelation of schools in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. The snow only enhanced a visit to Layfeyette Square made by a bus of Chinese tourists looking at the White House.

I was upset that both the classes I had today were cancelled.


It Feels Like Spring When the Days Get Longer

Third-Year Fine Art Corcoran Students' Show

This is possibly the best show I've seen at the Corcoran. If you are in the White House Area you should stop by and see it. The White Walls Gallery is below the museum's gallery in the school. If you're not a student you'll have to sign in with an I.D. It is better than a visit to the Hirshhorn. If it's not you have my permission to write me a nasty email.

... And It's Winter Again

Practice Portraits

This is Solomon. He stopped by while some other friends came over. Didn't stay long, he D.J.s at the Blue Room in Adams-Morgan. It's not a bad place to hang out. Try not to be bothered by the dancers.

Cooking- An Important Step In Eating

Time to eat.

Time to Chase the Dog

... All Around the House


The Politics of Security

This is Adam, a security guard at the Corcoran College. I talk with him and say hello when I go into the school. Adam came here from Egypt as a political refugee. I joked (hardly) that recently the U.S. itself has it's share of political prisoners. Adam is a good guy nonetheless, and having lived here a number of years he will soon be a U.S. Citizen.

Increase Activity for Warmth

The flock of pigeons in Mt. Pleasant is much more active in the cold weather. I might be more active in the winter sometimes. It's nicer to walk in cold weather because there's less people on the sidewalk.

[Went to the Black Cat music venue tonight to see The Frequency and M.M.R. Decent bands if you're looking to rock with awkward sophistication.]


Immigrant Workers Repair White House Driveway

When I got back from the holidays I noticed that they had put a fence up around the White House. I thought it might have something to do with the Iowa Polls. No reason. Then I thought it might have something to do with the State of the Union Address. Today, an honestly nice Secret Service guy said it was just road work. Well of course there's going to be a facade to the whole operation. Road-worker "guests" from Bush's Immigrant Worker Plan.

I had my second class of the semester today, Video Art for the Visual Artist. Another winner.


Ever Feel Like Crap? ...

This Dead-headed Woodpecker was the first picture I took today. It looks mighty beautiful for a dead bird. And boring. However, what was not boring was my first Action/Sports Photography class tonight. Our professor shoots sports for the Washington Times. It was the best first day of any class I can remember. There are some very interesting techniques in sports photography. I learned a lot in just the first class. And I don't even care about the sports aspect, just the action. Sad thing is, after the email I recieved from my advisor today, I might be forced to drop the rest of the semester (Like this woodpecker dropped out of the sky) because of the personal problems I'll have linked with being treated unfairly and like crap.

My computer has been on the blink. I haven't been able to run Photoshop for almost 2 months. My Instant Messanger went down a couple days ago. And my internet has been acting funny so I haven't been able to check my email the past couple days. Today, my first day of classes this semester, I checked my email. Yesterday, (aka the day before the first day of the semester) the Chair of Photography sent me an email. He was asking me to drop my studio lighting class ... after I have not only invested the $20,000 a semester to go to school, but also the recent Ebay purchase of over $1000 in studio lighting equipment specifically for the class! Upsetting. Very upsetting. It would just be starting off on the wrong foot. I'd have to take a semester off and think about how serious this learning institution actually was towards my education.


_Eerie Beverage_

Didn't do much today. One of those days that feels negative as far as accomplishments. Usually I do something to satisfy my feelings of achievement. Who knows?

The Secret of Life? ... It's there in the smoke. This is an aluminium pitcher of dry ice and hot water. Great for parties.


-=A Representative of the Human Race=-

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The first time I became interested in Martin Luther King was the first year I noticed I occasionally got my birthday off from school because of him. Now I'm an adult and I still haven't read a biography of him yet. However, on Martin Luther King Day there is a compassion in my heart for a great leader.

I imagine the household on my block that keeps a picture of Dr. King on their porch year-round also feel some compassion for him. The Catholic Church should make him a saint.

(A Representative of Another Kingdom)

Took a ride to the mall. My friend Andrew bought a venus fly trap. The girl at the plant shop said if the plant doesn't catch enough flies you can feed it pieces of beef or chicken every couple weeks.


}} Tunnel Under the Graveyard {{

This is a tunnel in Rock Creek Park by the National Zoo. The Smithsonian Institute started buying land for the zoo in the 1880s. Around 1920 they purchased an African American cemetery that this tunnel now bores through. Supposedly the bodies were removed before the last $1000 was paid for the land. (It's more fun to imagine some remains remain.)

[I bet there are a lot of people who like walking through cemeteries at night. It's like going to see a scary movie only cheaper. Or you could watch a scary movie and then walk through the cemetery. Cheap fun.]

)) No Secrets Here ((

I convinced some friends to go see the new Hobbit movie (aka Troll Movie). Seeing it doesn't make anyone a geek. Awesome movie, but I was just as happy to see the forces of good conquor evil as I was to urinate after 3 hours. After the movie I stopped by the Blue Room to see my buddy Solomon spin hip tracks. Watched all the people from Virginia dance around. A blind guy stepped on my foot and I made a joke. The usual.

[I got my new jacket in the mail today, a present from my Mom and brother. To a pedestrian a jacket is similar to a car.]


--->Thanks, Now I'm 26<---

I had a great birthday. It was a get together at Haydee's, a South American eatery in Mt. Pleasant. I drank ginger ale. I am still recovering from the night before. My friend Andrew (pictured below) quoted me saying, "Drinking last night was like my birthday ... it brought me closer to death."

After I left Haydee's a few of my friend's stopped by. I used them to try out my new studio lighting. Shortly after that they got bored and made me plug in the television.


~ One of Those Nights ~

I really didn't expect this. My stomach is still uneasy. I decided to celebrate my birthday a little early. When I woke up this afternoon I noticed that I had taken over 100 photos and I remember taking about 10. This is a picture I don't remember taking of Peabody working the tap at the Xchange on G street.

I guess I should have taken Yanis more seriously when he mentioned I had finished nearly an entire bottle of Vanila Stoli.


Caffine: Not My Cup of Tea

I put together some lighting equipment today. I bought it from Steve Kaeser Backgrounds and Accessories in Ventura, CA. Of course one of the light's barndoors is broke. I called them and they're sending a new one. Scanned the internet for jobs. Is it easy to find a job on the internet? Planning to put a portfolio link up soon.

Went to the Diner in Adams-Morgan with Solomon to get a hamburger. I really wanted to get a coffee, that's what you drink in a diner. Late caffine throws my sleep off .

[Watched Solomon take the trash out, and I watched some High-Definition Comedy Central on his HDTV. The District put salt all over the streets and sidewalks, they're expecting a couple inches of snow by morning.]


Men of Adventure Enjoy a Close Shave

This is the Schick Quattro. A four-bladed shaver. I am looking forward to using it. It's a big step for me though, jumping from two straight to four blades. I have no three-blade experience whatsoever.

Product Review: I imagined the four-bladed Schick Quattro would glide smoothly across my face. It didn't have any less drag than the two-bladed shavers I normally use. I was thinking I had been bamboozled out of my money ... until I rinsed it off. Because their are so many blades this shaver was much easier to rinse than most*. I also noticed that, as Schick claims on the box it took me less time to shave. Then I looked closer in the mirror, I shaved my face off!
*over 50 percent


Spanish Band Plays Tunos

These are members of Tuna de Derecho, tunos musicians from Valladolid, Spain. Their trip from Spain was funded by the University of Pittsburgh's Spanish Department. In their three days not performing at Pitt they have gone from Toronto to Washington, D.C. Peter, a guitarist said that college students in 16th century Spain had very little money and played instruments at local taverns hoping for soup. He said the word tunos is someway derived from a Spanish word that means soupist.

[Worked on my humorous account of San Francisco as a tourist. I'm trying to keep it exciting too. Maybe I can sell it along with some photos for soup. Stopped into the Penn Ave Pour House, formerly the Pittsburgh Pour House, and soon to formerly be the Penn Ave Pour House next week when it turns into something completely different than a Pittsburgh bar.]

St. Meridian

Meridian Park, near 16th and Crescent Pl NW, Washington, D.C.

St. Smithsonian

The National Mall in front of Smithsonian Castle, Washington, D.C.


Cronies Around Bush Residence Halt Dean Supporters

Karen Gasper, D.C. for Dean Ward 1 co-coordinator, makes a call as Secret Service and other uniformed officers swoop in. She is verifying the laws against putting up a Howard Dean sign on a street lamp infront of the White House. The authorities claim she is unable to because it's National Park property.

xxx Cracklin Disgust xxx

I really didn't want to see this day come. The day I can no longer eat Pork Cracklins.

[Those aren't hairs on that Cracklin. No, they're straws. The straws that broke the Cracklin-eating camel's back!]

**Fighting the Coldness**

This is my friend Alex getting a Metro ticket. His little sister is huddling behind the machine to avoid the chilling wind tunnel the escalators create. I, on the other hand, was completely frozen.

[I went with Alex while he escorted his little sister to the other side of Arlington via subway. On the train I picked up a scrap paper with movie listings and decided to go see The Fog of War. It's an Errol Morris film about the life of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Thanks to those that made the film possible. It made me smarter by tightening some loose pieces of the past. I learned how loose the pieces were in the heads of those in charge during the Cold War too. McNamara helped shape today's world, good or bad.]


A Smart Cycle

According to the website Simplitudes.com things like the bones from the chicken wings and the lettuce I took off my chicken and bacon sandwich make up about 10.4 percent of the garbage in our landfills. The beer bottles we drink from and other glass make up around 5.9 percent, the least of all waste materials. And, although paper is the most common material recycled, at 38.1 percent it takes up more landfill space than any other recyclable material.

[If I talk to people all day can I consider that "training?" Or "networking?" The only reason any of us are here is because of the faith others have in us.]


Goodbye, Hello. Hello, Goodbye.

I left San Francisco today. When I look at these pictures I have collected of my friends and family I feel lost sitting in D.C. again. But probably just until tomorrow. Back to the real world. The world that I need to make money in.

[Back to D.C. I flew ATA so I brought food with me. My brother and me walked to this nice place called Rossi's Deli. I got a couple sandwiches, both great. The second one I ate on the plane, along with 3 bottles of Blue Heron Pale Ale. I asked the stewardess for, "Just a cup, please." She put her finger over her mouth and said, "Shhhhhhhhhh. You aren't suppose to bring your own alcohol on the flights." I guess she was lenient with me because I was the only one on my side of the isle.]


/\/\/\ The Mass Underground /\/\/\

I was going to check out the Diane Arbus show at the SFMOMA today with my friend and my brother but the museum is closed on Wednesdays. Called the SFCameraWorks Gallery, they're between exhibits. I asked them to recommend a gallery and they directed me to 49 Geary St, a commune of fine arts and photography galleries. While we were there I discovered that one of the men responsible for the photographic space is Paul Sack, cousin to an idol of mine, John Sack. Also, whom I met personally while visiting John just a couple days before. Small world.

[Riding on the MUNI, there is Yusei in the reflection.]

The galleries at 49 Geary were better than I expected. And though we didn't get to see the Diane Arbus Exhibit at the MOMA, they had a few of her pieces at 49 Geary. But I like the culinary arts too so my favorite part was eating at Henry Hunan's Restaurant. The best Chinese food I've ever had, still. And I've been eating at Hunan's since I was som young guy, like 10.

[This is looking up Stockton St from Market. The tunnel is a great cityscape feature.]

After we ate at Hunan's my brother went to feed my nephew at daycare and Yusei and I went to visit John Sack. He doesn't like getting old very much, but he's doing great. He always has the best conversation and a great sense of humor. Today he gave me his definition of literary-journalism. He also explained how he became known as one of the movement's prominent figures. He told me and Yusei some interesting inside details of his book Dragon Head, a biography personally commissioned by the Godfather of the Chinese Mafia, Johnny Kon.


The Blind Leading the Blind ... Into the Future

Ron Hideshima sits at Judi's Place on Market drinking his Ouzo. He just got off work and is talking to a friend about a trip he is making to Boston tomorrow. Ron is going to speak at Harvard and MIT about a piece of hardware called the DOTVIEW that makes it possible for sightless persons to access email, do web research, learn Japanese and "see" Windows icons through the help of over 1,500 Braille pins that move in and out of the DOTVIEW forming the equivalent of a Braille computer screen. Ron lost his own sight in a car accident when he was 25, and immediately taught himself Braille.

[Ron is an instructor at the Living Skills Center for the Visually Impaired in the East Bay. The center teaches people 18 and older how to live in society while visually impaired. He said they center averages approximately 30 students a year. "Last year we had a student who turned sixty during the program," said Ron. "When he came to the school he was so 'protected' he couldn't even use a phone, now he is emailing." The DOTVIEW is not quite as mainstream as Ron would like it to be. Mostly because of the cost of the retracting Braille pins. The first model with 768 pins was $6,000; the current model Ron uses with twice as many pins is more than twice the price. He said the largest DOTVIEW, with 3,072 pins is used by a NASA scientist in Japan.]

~{# Japanese Friend in Chinatown #}~

I went down to see my friend Yusei today. He lives by Fifth and Market. We were going to go see the Diane Arbus exhibit at the SFMOMA but taking care of our hunger ended up taking more time than expected. "Let's go eat fast food," said Yusei. "Let's go eat in Chinatown," I insisted. "They're infamous for cheap food." We were walking down the street in Chinatown and a girl came up to us showing a menu and offering 20% off. "I'll show you where it is," she said. We followed her around the block to the place. She escorted us in the door, up the stairs, and even seated us. While we were looking at the menu Yusei held his hand up and said, "Is my hand shaking?" I told him it wasn't. It was the entire building, we must be sitting on top of a motor or something. We put our coats back on without eating and left. There's no sense eating in a shaking restaurant.

[We walk up another street to try our luck with cheap food. After Yusei asked someone directions he told me he gets aggravated in Chinatown sometimes. Because he's Japanese people look at him and expect him to speak Chinese. When he continues to speak English the Chinatowners get irritated with him like he is not upholding their traditions. I told him to say, "Can you understand me" in Japanese and they might get the picture. Aside from the Chinese community looking at my Japanese friend like he was the downfall of their culture, everything else went smooth and we ended up eating at a pretty cool place on Stockton St. called New Moon Restaurant.]


A Reflection at the Carousel in Golden Gate Park

I walked through Golden Gate Park today on my way to visit a friend. It's a great atmosphere. Hippies on a bench pounded drums. They gave another park hippy the beat he twirled his staff to. I walked by the closed carousel and noticed someone skating inside. I went down for a closer look and talked to independant film producer David Driver. He is working with students interested in film production. To see some films from the Chase Art Program that also feature the carousel go to chaseartfilm.com.

[After learning that the merry-go-round had first been placed there in 1943, I spent sometime with my nephew. He's nearly a year old. His birthday is Jan 10, mine is the 16th.]


A Quiet Sunday Night

Went to the Mission Tonight. Ate a couple burritos. This place reminds me of the Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant areas of Washington, D.C. -- except way bigger. I stopped at an Irish place called the Dovre on my walk through. The people in there were great. The guy at the end of the bar, Clem, had such a brouge it was hard to understand him. He said that the Mission used to be an Irish area. Every year there are fewer and fewer first-generation Irish there.

[Some places in the Mission have so many signs stacked on top of one another it reminds me of a Brooklyn neighborhood.]


Literary-Journalism Legend, John Sack

I always liked John Sack, since I first met him on a ship in the North Arabian Sea over two years ago. Between that time and now I have been learning more and more about him, the majority through correspondence but also through internet research. His writing style and ideology have had a great influence on my photojournalism.

[I went to visit John Sack, Esquire war correspondent and author of a dozen books. I'm glad he has time to talk. He is a good person to learn from.]

The Tenderloin, The T.L., The 'Loin

If you are looking to get in a fight, stabbed, mugged, shot, raped, killed, crack, pot, San Francisco's Tenderloin District can deliver. This is a shot of crackheads in a board meeting across from the Tenderloin Grocery on Turk and Fifth.

Ching-Ching and Hunter are two dangerous folks. I was hesitant about taking their pictures. "C" summed up their occupations as "Killa-Hustla-Pimps." I believe them. They never mentioned what neighborhood they came from but all the bad dudes show up in the T.L. at some point. They admitted that there are worst neighborhoods but none more infamous.

[The Tenderloin is a dangerous place to have a camera. So don't try it.]


When the Lights Go Out in the City By the Bay ...

I found a great neighborhood. My friend Yusei lives the. It's called the "Tenderloin." This photo was taken in front of the Tenderloin Grocery. I went in there to get a drink while I was trying to get a hold of my friend. When I walked in an undercover officer was busting a lady with about $400 in crack. I quickly discovered the neighborhood was thriving on drugs. I walked a few blocks south and stopped to use the bathroom at a Carl's Jr. Two dudes were trying to get high in the bathroom. I fought with one over our turn on the commode. He was brushing his teeth so I won out. It was terrible ... they both stopped brushing their teeth and scrambled seeking relief from the smell. The men were very seriously as I laughed my way out the door. I went back down to the Turk Street where I meet some dangerous people.

[We went to Hunan's Chinese Restaurant tonight. I have to go there every time I'm in the area. They serve the spiciest food available.]


^/ \^ From the Streets of San Francisco ... ^/ \^

This vintage trolley was built in 1929. It originally ran on the streets of Porto, Portugal. It is now part of the San Francisco Municipal Rail or MUNI. Today the car was part of the F-line that runs from 17th and Castro down Market to Fisherman's Wharf. "No Main Street in America has had rail service longer than San Francisco's Market Street," boasts a MUNI pamphlet I picked up on the car. I picked up this picture at 17th and Noe using a Sears tripod borrowed from my brother. Tonight we all ate homemade raviolis. There was no white flour in the house the night before when the raviolis were started so half of them were made with whole-wheat flour. Everyone said the whole-wheat variety wasn't bad at all. I took their word for it.

[My mom, sister, and niece are flying back to Florida tomorrow. I get a renewed familiarity every time I visit my family. When we part there is a painful feeling of wanting them to be there. If you get that feeling from your family you might consider yourself lucky.]