Father and Friend

This is Brandon and his dad Don. They recently agreed to help me illustrate "an adult yelling at or striking a child (to show an abusive parent) must be MR." I am just beginning to see the fun in this type of text-book editorial photography. My models are professional actors in Shakespeare's play of Life ... "all the world is a stage, and we are all players or actors upon this earth."


Looking for Friends

I have been trying to schedule shoots with a lot of my friends. I am taking a lot of photos for an Allyn & Bacon college text book called Marriage, Family, and Intimate Relationships. They are asking for a variety of scenarios to be illustrated. In this picture my friends Andrew and Maris model a scenario that depicts a woman being stalked by a man.


July 29 2004

My Mom has been fighting with cancer for a while. Her treatment is at a stage where it might be doing more harm than good. Today she told me she might stop her treatment. Of course I want her to do whatever makes her happy.

Starbuck Symbiosis

My friend Casey gave me a ride out of DC to a Target Store today so I could get a shot of the pattern in a children's plastic wading for an elementary math text book. I couldn't find a molded-plastic pool anywhere; they are all blow-up type now. I put a post on Craig's List and got a response pointing me to Target. Casey dropped me off by H St NW and I saw this bird nest in a Starbuck's sign.


Scooter Commuter

This guy was headed down 16th St NW earlier today while I waited for an extremely crowded bus. When he was passing I said, "Be careful." He said, "Hello." I took the bus downtown and went over to the Humane Society's mail room to pick up some copies of Animal Sheltering Magazine. I took the cover photo and about 10 photos inside that illustrate a story about the mental illness of animal hoarders or "cat ladies." Stereotypically, eccentric older women who have a house full of animals they can't take proper care of. If you would like a free sample of my work in Animal Sheltering Magazine go to this link, and type, "Opening the Closed Door."


Day of Rest

This is Princess, my neighbor Spencer's dog. Princess is 8 years old. Spencer has lived in his house on Kilbourne Pl for 34 years; he has lived in Mount Pleasant for nearly 50 years. I am moving off Kilbourne Pl the beginning of August.

Neighbor Band

I really enjoy a live performance over recorded music. I thought the music I was hearing was being played from an album, but it was Frankojazz. Frank on the guitar and his son Julian on the drums. I had to stop and take a couple of pictures when I heard this father/son team jamming on Kilbourne Pl NW. Eight-year-old Julian seems to be a prodigy on the drums ... I imagine he owes it to the musical guidance of his father.


Falun Gong

Protestors supporting the Falun Dafa religion have been demonstrating in DC for the past few days. They say China has been killing members of the new Falun Dafa or Falun Gong religion. They gave me a free DVD and pamphlet. From the first few minutes of the video it looks like the guy who developed Falun Dafa in 1993 held sell-out seminars all over China. The sudden popularity of a man with far-reaching ideas or just thinking differently has always been a good reason for death.


Mount Pleasant Call Box Art

Mike Ross grinds away some rough edges while installing one of nine call box sculptures that tell the story of Mount Pleasant. Good thing someone had the idea to do that with the old police and fire call boxes. The boxes can be found all over DC, so this may lead to the commissioning of other artists to work on call boxes in other DC neighborhoods.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

11am- Unveiling, Hobart and Mount Pleasant Sts NW

12noon-Walking tour starts from Hobart and Mount Pleasant Sts

12-6pm Exhibit and refreshments at 3163 18th St, NW

(202) 460-5569


Babies and Politicians

Ray was probably the reason I joined the Marine Corps. He was my father-figure during 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade when my Mom and he and I were living at 5077 Noble St Riverside, Ca. Ray and his daughter Ayana and fiance Kimberly came to DC today. They stopped by the Rayburn Building to see Congressman Jerry Lewis so he could perform the ceremonial kiss on baby Ayana


Last Train to Clarksville

Have you ever heard the Monkees' song Last Train to Clarksville? It seems like a nice song but it's actually about a last visit at the train station before some guy gets shipped off to Vietnam ... "And I don't know if I'm ever coming home ..." Did you ever hear the M*A*S*H theme song? It is actually a song entitled Suicide is Painless. Did you ever hear the song about the six-pence, pocket full of rye, four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie!?


Billy Bass Car

I was coming out of the National Geographic Building after dropping off some files to print and coming down the street was this "Billy Bass Car." It stopped at the light and a man almost shouted laughing when all the fish (including the lobsters on the roof) started singing and moving.

Wild World of Sports

Many people may not know that there are practically no bowling alleys in all of Washington DC, and those are the people who don't bowl. The big joke is, that the bowling alley in DC is in the White House ... because there is one in there. Me and my fellow photographer friends AJ and Antonio went to Alexandria Lanes instead of the White House. As if bowling isn't a wacky enough sport on it's own, they had to put this place in the basement of a discount supermarket.


Insanely Playful Squirrel

Me and my friend Brandon were sitting on the bench across the street from the DC City Court House when I noticed this squirrel chasing another squirrel. Then I started watching it through my lens ... I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The squirrel was playing with a branch. "Dude, look at this crazy squirrel," I told Brandon. It was soo playful I couldn't believe it. I thought it might have been bitten by a bug or something. It ran up the tree trunk and did a flip landing on its feet and started rolling around with the stick again. Brandon suggested it might have rabies and started making the squirrel sound. I took his suggestion for real and told him to be quite so it didn't attack. While we watched it ball-up and roll down the hill, and repeat this several times. "it might be a government experiment animal," I said. Wouldn't it be cool if they bred park squirrels to do tricks for you while you sat on the bench?


DC Hip Hop Theatre Fest


Vanessa Hidary shouts verses of spoken word poetry focusing on popular social issues.  She has appeared on HBO's Def Comedy Jam.  I was there at Woodrow Wilson Plaza shooting the event for ESPN Magazine, and focusing on the Washington Wizards Basketball player Etan Thomas.  Thomas is also a spoken word artist.  He seems like a really decent person too.  He does a lot of work with the community, and tries to raise young peoples' awarness of the importance of education and making the right decisions with their lives.

Metro Catching

I need to move out of my place at the end of the month.  I found a couple places ... one on Corcoran St., too small though.  It would be nice if I could find a place near a Metro subway, but anywhere in North West or South East close to downtown would be convenient.  If you know of a place please let me know ... thanks.


Catching the Bus

I spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill today. It was my first time ever in the Capitol Building ... a very elaborate castle. I was trying out an internship at The Hill Newspaper. Me and my escort John, Hill photographer, shot a Medicare press conference trying to raise the quality of the Medicare prescription drug program. Then we went and shot the Pro- and Anti-Same Sex Marriage press conference where I saw my good friend M. E. Sprengelmeyer. When it was over I convinced John to take the bus back to the office instead of the subway. As I was editing my photos my cell phone rang and ESPN Magazine assigned me a feature shoot this weekend, 3-5 photo layout. Later, while I was walking home I struck up a conversation with Osmond Sims at the bus stop. I mentioned the wonderful new WWII Monument. Then Sims told me he was a Sailor serving as a radio operator during WWII. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor after the bombing. And he likes the memorial as much as I do. While I was talking to him I missed the bus, but I didn't care.

Sleeping Habits

I've been getting to sleep earlier lately. Because of that I get a lot more done. I think you can get more work done with half the effort before noon.


Summer Tourist Movement

People living somewhere in the middle of Iowa pay taxes, so they have the right to move their sluggish groups up and down the middle of our sidewalks. I became use to them when I lived near the National Mall in South West DC. A bum named Warren once told me the groups of tourists reminded him of amebas moving down the sidewalk like jelly fish.


The National Aquarium DC, $5 Voyage

This is the second time I've come to the National Aquarium this weekend. Although it costs $5 to get in the animals are starting to grow on me. (I already think I deserve to pet the giraffes at the zoo.) I've seen Sea Turtles swimming out in the center of the Atlantic Ocean and wondered what they were doing there. Of course I felt bad when I saw this Logger Head Sea Turtle with no other Sea Turtle or at least a fish to play with, even a dead fish. It sure was interested in my wide-angle lens. He started bumping his nose against the glass and I felt bad, like a fake friend, so I left.

. . .

I don't know much about Alligator Gars, but I now have another reason not walking through any swamps Down South. I do know I like the Gars' fake Cypress Tree swamp habitat at the National Aquarium.


None Shall Pass These Gates

Eric and Alex are going through the security bag check at the Museum of American History. The guys at the bag check were pretty cool but don't mess with the old guys by the metal detectors ... they take their job way too seriously.


Kerry's Vietnam Shipmate?

I was walking home up 16th St NW when a pickup truck on Euclid St backed up to make it easier for me to pass the crosswalk. "It's okay," I said. I turned around to say thanks to the driver while I was walking by and saw an enlisted Department of Defense sticker in the window. That's when the conversation started with me and Glenn Johnson, the truck's owner and passenger-at-the-time ... and also Navy veteran who was shipmates with John Kerry in Vietnam. While he was telling me about the river he and Kerry boated on I asked, "How do you like Kerry." Johnson said, "I love Kerry. He's a real good man."

Bird Fights at Rawlings Park

I hung out in Rawlings Park today with Brandon, an artist I know. We decided to sit on the bench and feed the birds bagels ... we were not ready for the violence we were about to witness! Finches dive bombing ducks, pigeons pecking at finches, and ducks biting each other. "They are attacking each other! Our "everything" bagels have disrupted the Space/Bird Continuum!"

Archibald Willingham Butt Memorial

Archibald Willingham Butt was Theodore Roosevelt's Aide de Campe. I have never noticed this Memorial to Butt, even though it is right by the White House. Butt died on the infamous voyage of the Titanic luxury-liner ship. Just as I was bringing this fountain to my friend Brandon's attention ... the blood relatives of this American hero walked up, also witnessing this memorial for the first time! "Here it is. This is it," said Robert Butt, walking slightly ahead of his brother Alex and his daughter Chloe. Another happy coincidence.


Public Display of Affection

This is actually not a picture of two birds kissing on the sidewalk, if you can believe that. It is a mother finch feeding her baby in front of the post office on Pennsylvania and 17th NW.


Pushing Tin

I know there's a movie (and I think it's a comedy) about air traffic controllers called Pushing Tin. I went with Bill Schumann, FAA Public Affairs, to take some shots of a working air traffic control tower at Dulles International Airport for a text book. I was happy with the photos I took in the approximate half-hour I had to shoot. One of the things I remembered while I was there ... air traffic controllers traditionally dress casually. I remember the air traffic controllers at Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC. The guys in the ATC tower usually worked in their skivvy shirt to be more comfortable. I remember the last Friday of every month they had the option to wear civilian clothes if they put $4 toward the unit's picnic.


Stakeout at the National Zoo

I arrived at the National Zoo around 7:15 am. This was the perfect time to catch one of the Giant Pandas eating it's morning bamboo. I was the only spectator during the Panda's half-hour meal. The entire time his butt sat in one place while he hunched and laid flat on his back as the eating situation called for.

. . .

I was looking at a mother and baby elephant. A loud shrill sounded from the elephants' barn. The mother elephant reacted with a defensive stance and stare. I thought the shrill was an elephant being treated by the vet, then discovered it was a saw cutting through material being used by some construction workers. The mother looked irritated so I left.

. . .

After waiting and watching these two young giraffes eat all morning they finally became full and decided to play ... and I got the photo of necking giraffes I needed. Necking is actually how adult male giraffes fight. These Dr Suess-esque animals look so peaceful it's no wonder people mistake necking for a sign of affection.


Two Big Pains in the Neck

I went to the National Zoo today. I am trying to get a photo that I promised an agency for a text book. They need a photo of two giraffes "necking," that is wrapping their necks around each other to test one anothers' strength. People sometimes mistake it for affection, which it might be when they are young. For adult giraffes, necking is doing battle. The photo I'm trying to take is for a college-level text from McGraw-Hill called Understanding Human Sexuality. Tuesday morning I will be through the Zoo's gates shortly after 6am. Jenny, one of the animal keepers at the zoo told me that the giraffes "neck" anytime they feel rambunctious. Hopefully they'll be a little more active in the coolness of the early morning.

"Smoke-In" Myth Alive, Not Well

Beginning in the late 60s every Fourth of July, people sometimes calling themselves hippies and yippies have gathered near the White House to protest the prohibition of Marijuana. They gather in Lafayette Park around noon to demonstrate and there for a variety of different reasons and causes all relating to the legalization of Marijuana. I heard that sometimes close to a thousand protestors show up. This year about 30 people showed up in the pouring rain, some with shirts from past rallies during the 80s. At 3pm the small crowd set off for the concert site. They didn't actually have the permit to march, but the application for the permit was present. They shouted protest chants like, "Bush is a Dope, Pot is an Herb!" It was hard to believe that this Mounted Park Police lead a parade of 30 people right down Constitution Ave. "Who's Road?!" "Our Road!" "Who's Rights?!" "Our Rights!" "Who's Horse?!" "Our Horse!"


Wild, Wild El West

The Latino/Western clothing store on Mt Pleasant St called El West, has recently started carrying metal, gas-powered, $600 accessories called "pocket-bikes." Pocket-bikes are one of the newest trends in personal mobility. They are currently unregulated by the Department of Transportation in the District. A recent City Paper article responded to the trend and spoke of upcoming city registrations and regulations for all low-powered cycles. I guess until that happens local dealers like El West are going to sell a whole lot of these pint-sized crotch rockets. As I walked up to the shop another happy customer zoomed off the sidewalk and down the street on his new purchase. I don't think I'd be comfortable riding one, but I like seeing these little motorcycles. They are reminiscent of the partial lawlessness of the old "Wild West."

Digging Ditches

These guys are replacing the lead water pipes on Kilbourne Pl NW in Mount Pleasant. The construction is a block up Kilbourne from where I live. The DC water authorities were still nice enough to give me a free Brita pitcher even though it wasn't my turn to receive one. Brita filters are suppose to filter out over 99 percent of lead from water. This feature is helpful in DC where all our water is leady.


Tough Business

Two weeks ago Goldie's Italian Pizza opened up on G St NW. His place was doing awesome business. Everyone in the neighborhood was a critic, with many good and bad reviews. Yesterday, a new Quizno's sandwich shop opened right next to Goldie's and the owner was outside at the door inviting people in for pizza. Some people thought that might be humiliating until I mentioned that Jimmy the owner of the successful Xchange Saloon invites his customers in from the door daily. I think Quizno's is the first time I've seen a door greeter on G St in a costume.