I woke up with sinus congestion. Yesterday I remember making small talk about the weather. "It's when the weather changes that people get colds," says I. "It's going around," said the stranger. I guess it was beautiful outside today. I took the Metro to Union Station to meet some friends to see the movie The Passion of The Christ. I got there an hour before and informed them it was sold out. They turned their vehicle around and I got right back on the Metro train. I haven't owned a cell phone for more than ten years but already I can't imagine the inconvenience before them. But I guess I could have used even a rotory phone to buy tickets beforehand.
Today had to be the wasrmest day of the year yet. Went to go see an interesting exhibit at the Hirshhorn. The only problem was there were way too many folks there. I saw people I knew I didn't even get a chance to say hi to. Much later, while walking home from a friend's house tonight I saw a man running on the otherside of the street. He ran through part of a yard then i saw him buckle. He ran right into a waist-high metal fence and folded himself in half. I thought he might be impailed for a moment, then he started to move again and slowly got up. He recieved a lot of laughs from passers-by. Don't drink and run. I passed by another incident by my house were a man out of a second story window. He was being questioned in an alley stairwell by the police and paramedics.
My friend "Chef Ryan" called me up to meet him at a bar called Sign of the Whale. He brought some girls who were really great dancers. After a while i had enough of the crowd. I went to a friends until the bars let out, then started my way through D.C. looking for action. I missed the main event by about 10 blocks ... *automatic weapons fire at 10th and Monroe.* To console my regret (sarcasm) I asked the officer whose radio I had overheard in 7eleven, "It could just be firecrackers, right?" "It might be," he said.
Went to see the Walkmen and Weird War play at the 9:30 Club after the Corcoran Fine Arts Photography show tonight. The photo show was awesome. The 9:30 Club was also great. A nice loud performance. I carried a fallen street light around in the parking lot afterward. That didn't get as many cheers as the Walkmen's encore.
I got this shot while waiting impatiently at the bus stop on 16th St. I figured I had about 30 minutes to get to class. The bus finally came. When I got off it near the White House I was certain I would make it on time. When I got to the school I was question by the security guard version of the "Soup Nazi." Loosing time there, I rushed down the steps and through the halls. I knew I had made it on time when I swung open the door ... and saw some other class sitting there. It was even worse that they were in the middle of a presentation. Worse yet, as the gas cylinder of the door closed extremely slowly, I realized I walk in on this class every Wednesday. Oh well, my actual class was only 4 hours away.
"Light skin, can I get fifty cents?" "Sorry dude," I said to the sidewalk man. I stepped into Good Danny's Chinese, American, seafood, pizza joint to get a snack burger for my walk home. Before that I was celebrating Mardi Gras with my friends, Andrew and Maris. It was getting late and I hadn't taken many pictures so I decided to walk home. I found myself criss-crossing around streets following police lights in hopes of a photo. About five people were just routinely pulled over. I walked past a vacant lot and some cops had a prostitute and client held for questioning. By the time I got across town I saw a bunch of cops and emergency vehicles in a usual hot spot, 14th and Park Rd. I started trotting up the hill. When I arrived at the scene there was a man being loaded into an ambulance. Looked like health problems. The cops recognized me from Mt Pleasant. When I got to my neighborhood I joked with the guys at 7eleven that I would have to change my hat so they wouldn't recognize me. They all laugh and I realized my hat fell out of my back pocket. I found it lying on the corner of 14th and Park.
This is Eeyore the K-9. Today his job was easy. There was some suspicious white power found in an office building on 17th St NW by the White House. The biological/chemical team moved in. They checked everything out. Turns out some meat head left protien powder out. At least ol' Eeyore didn't get a nose full of anthrax. The K-9 handler told me Eeyore was purchased from a special training school for $35,000.
I miss having a dishwasher. My hands get all pruney. I guess the good thing is I get to chew the skin off my fingers.
This is one of my old friends Joel Nau (center) in the scullery of the USS Bataan. He was my videographer when I was in the Marines. We all had some extra duties on the ship. I was in charge of the laundry room. I had to visit the laundry room about once every other day and make sure things were running smoothly. I made some extra money too. Others would give me $5 for each set of cammies I had pressed for them. Extra duty pays off.
Dan and Solomon watch some tv while candling. Susan supervises the situation from the couch. Candling is said to help clear the ear canals, and relieve sinus pain. It seems like a every six months the populace gets sick. My friend Chris says his entire family has the "cruise ship virus."
Arrived at the North Mississippi Allstars show at the 9:30 Club a little too late. I had already started my night planning to catch up on some sleep when my friend Jesse called me and talked me into going. I agreed after I heard a sound bite of their music over the phone. I was almost disappointed when we walked up to the closed doors of the club, then I realized how tired I was.
We were the lucky winners of the VIP Black Cat parking, right in front of the door. At the beginning of the show I was a skeptic, but it only took seconds to discover that Hey Mercedes were real entertainers. Hey Mercedes (above) was followed by Wheat. Wheat's great set was followed by me drinking too much.
Studio lighting class was great as usual. This is one of four 2400 watt strobes we used for different lighting situations in tonight's class. Tomorrow is the Photojournalism Senior Show in the Corcoran Gallery's Hemicycle. I heard there are going to be some very interesting displays (great with wine-saturated conversation).
This is my friend Valerie. We took a ride down to the Lincoln Monument to get some photos for a class. She decided to donate money to the Park Police during their U-turn o' thon fund raising drive. For every U-turn you make the Park Police take $25 to feed their horses. If you're an animal lover I imagine it would make you feel good.
"The job of a U.S. Park Policeman is never done." ... They don't really say that. Although it might possibly be the single fraternity of men with whom this motto seems likely. This nameless officer said there are approximately fifty small parks throughout the District that the force patrols through. "Not all in one day," he added. I think the horse was trying to tell me something.
Today I was going through my collection of military rations (MREs). I cooked an ultra-preserved ham slice in the frying pan and ate it with a serving of Bowl Noodles. The ham tasted better than it smelt. I had to use an air freshener around my entire place. Later I went back for some dessert. I found a Snickers Munch Bar, a common piece of many MREs. I took a bit out of it, swallowed it. I took another bit and realized that the peanuts were so old they tasted just like dirt. I have a beer.
Pedro Santos makes arrangements on the phone as his daughter Marina waits to have her picture taken. Marina is celebrating her 15th birthday. He said he invested a little more than usual for her birthday this year. "Do you know the [metaphor] of the budding rose?" he asked. According to Salvadorian tradition, at fifteen his daughter is now a woman.
The National Mall has some creepy looking places. The carousel in front of the Smithsonian Castle is a classic.
How long can one live on Bowl Noodles, McBurgers and hot dog vendors? Answer: Forever! (It has something to do with the perservatives.)
A burst water main on G St NW diverted hundreds of pedestrians in the White House area. Jimmy, owner of the Xchange Saloon (I designed their logo) built a bridge of pallets across the urban rapids. "Come on in and get something to eat," he encouraged the bridge crossers.
Daniel, a historic gas lighting specialist, cruises his Segway down Connecticut Ave. from DuPont Circle on his way to Capitol Hill. He said he's sure everyone will have these remarkable machines when the price drops. I was also amazed that he could look through his pockets for a card while still moving down the sidewalk, no hands.
On my way back from getting 4x5 film for my studio lighting class I saw two bums fighting. A bearded man had knocked another homeless guy to the ground knocking his shoe off. As the bearded man walked away his victim got up, grabbed his shoe, and hit the other bum in the head with it. I ran down the sidewalk and got to them while they were fighting at a park bench in front of the World Bank. I started taking photos waiting for some action and the bearded bum came over and popped me in the head. My immediate reaction brought him to the ground. The other man came back and started yelling. I thought they might start fighting again. Then the man lunged at me again saying he was going to "cut my face off." At first I was a little worried ... until I saw that his knife was a hair comb. I told him I didn't want to hit him again, but again he found himself on the ground. I felt bad the second time and was trying to walk away when the he started walking after me yelling derogatory obscenities. I started throwing snow at him, he kept following me. The last time he charged at me I kicked him on his butt. All for an action photo and I didn't even get one. I did get a decent portrait (not pictured).
Runnin' from the Law
A.J., a fine arts photography student, sometimes finds himself on the wrong side of the law.
I was walking back from doing some work at school and three blocks of Columbia Rd. were taped off. This was very strange because Columbia Rd. is a large traffic artery, even at night. I took an alley to the blocked-off section of street. At the center of the activities were about six police cars, two buses, and a fire truck. I couldn't smell fire. I saw two firemen helping a woman who could barely walk, down some steps and to her walker. She was getting on one of the buses, which I then realized were full of old people. I looked across the street down Ontario St. and saw what looked like utilities workers. Maybe a gas leak. I was too hungry to stop and ask.
This is my friend M.E. Sprengelmeyer. I saw him and a few other people at an opening at Fusebox Gallery tonight near 14th and U St NW. A lot of artsy people showed up. Alas, a wineless reception is no reception for me, so I left.
Everyone has some things that stay in the fridge forever, I am no different. This bottle of Thunderbird citrus wine has probably been in my ice box longer than anything. There's just a little bit left I'm not throwing out. Hey, I paid $2.79 for it.
This is Tang. He is a Fine Arts Senior at the Corcoran. He has a very distinct style of work. His art pieces are iconic and they have blunt social satire. His style is marketable. Well, he does share names with "the beverage of the astronauts".
Houston, I've Landed On Mars
I could fill my pockets with money from the Martian money scheme? Wait! ... I've got it! There must be oil on Mars!
I bought some batteries yesterday walking through the park at the corner of Mt Pleasant and Columbia Rd. Two guys were walking towards me. One had two big packs of batteries in his hand. "Are they having a sale on batteries somewhere?" I asked. He handed the DUELCELLs to me and said, "Give me $5 for both." His friend gave me a bag and said, "Make sure you put them in that bag before you get out of this park." Two 16-packs for $5, not a bad price. I thought I could use them in my flash ... not enough power. They work, but they work like old batteries and it takes the flash a while to warm up. Tonight I was walking through Meridian Park. I like to cut through there every once in a while in hopes that I stumble across a body or something in the labyrinth of stairs. Tonight I was walking up the steps and someone at the top looked at me and stopped. I thought they were selling drugs and said, "I'm cool. I don't need anything." They waited anyway and said hello. I continued to walk up the steps and another dude was urinating or something in a doorway at the next flight. I kept walking. When I got to the top I had to take in the beautiful, panorama of D.C. I looked down and saw the urination man taking a path out through the park wall. I looked down the steps and the other guy was walking up spitting every other step. He said hello again and asked me if I knew what went on in this park. I said I guess some drug dealing and probably some muggings. He said that I was right about the activities and added in more or less words that he was a male prostitute also. Then he turned around and said, "The people." And suddenly I saw about four people in different areas of the park walking toward us. "They are the zombies walking toward me," he said. I didn't want to get in the way of any of the man's business ventures so I said, "Take care, I gotta get going." As I was leaving the park I found a broken CD walkman sitting by the steps. The low-juice batteries I bought are perfect for it.
Scuffle at the Bus Stop
Today I was waiting for the bus making designs in the snow with my feet. I was standing on the crowded sidewalk in front of 7-Eleven. I heard a scuffle. I turned around and saw a kid getting hit in the face. About three other kids were hitting at him and they were trailed by maybe four others. I got my camera out as soon as I could but all I managed was the gang of high schoolers fleeing the scene. One of them yelled, "Hey, that #@#@s got a camera. Beat his @&&!" I thought it was funny. I used foul language to tell him I would most definitely hurt him, and they all proceeded with their initial retreat. They should have waited for the bus because it pulled up right after that. We passed them less than a block away.
I usually only use photos that were taken the day I posted them, this photo is from yesterday. I have been panning everything since I bought a monopod. I thought it would be great to capture someone walking with one of those roller bags. The thought went to the back of my head for a few hours until I was walking with a couple school friends. I don't know anything about fashion ... but to me this photo says a lot about fashion. Joyce's leopard skin jacket represents of the past hundred years of fashion. (The past few thousand years if you count the Flintstones.) The most significant fashion item is Lechaun's carry-on bag. I have a theory that the wheeled carry-on will be the largest fashion trend of Post 9-11. It's similar to the camouflage in fashion. There were travel industry-induced trends in the past. But we live in a time when being a carry-on toting stewardess is as dangerous a job as being a camouflaged soldier in combat. (Well, not quite.) I hope that's behind us now.
I was suppose to have a class tonight but I dropped it before I started. I'm still a full-time student. I was advised against taking it this semester because of the involvement of my other classes.
I've made a couple other photographs of the Columbia Road Discount Center a while back and, Curren, a friend and native of D.C. commented on them. It turns out its Deco overhang was once protected moviegoers from rain while they waited in line for their tickets. She said from 1951 to 1987 the building was a theater. Curren said in the early 80's the theater hosted such musical greats as U2, REM, Simple Minds, Duran Duran, Judas Priest, the Police, Minor Threat, the Ramones and more. She also said she remembers going there to see Purple Rain with her mom when she was young. I have a similar memory of seeing Purple Rain with my Mom, only it was a drive-in theater in Orange County, CA. The very same drive-in that I saw Rambo II and Top Secret in a double feature.
I had my first studio lighting class tonight. I know I'm going to love it. One thing I wasn't expecting was that it is strictly a film class ... back to the darkroom. I was hoping I could avoid was the cost of film and photo paper. Aside from the benefits of learning studio lighting this class will also be my introduction to the 4x5 large format camera.
My neighborhood has a lot of bicyclists, especially in the summer. I'd rather walk than ride a bike when the weather is too cold. I ended up taking the bus home tonight. When I got to Mt Pleasant I did a little grocery shopping. I found a great place to buy the good Bowl 'O Noodles, with the dehydrated vegetables packet and seasoning packet. I use to buy the noodles at 7-Eleven (below). At the Super Save Market three doors down they're half the price.
I met my friend Chris at McDonald's and got a couple hamburgers. After I ate them I was still hungry so I went to the counter to order another. I looked down at the register and saw a roach on the counter. I pointed. The girl at the register was startled. Then she grabbed the counter clothe, swatted the roach to the floor and stomped it. She looked back at me. It was a strange moment. It was repulsive, but it takes more than that for me to loose my appetite.