Preparing for Upcoming Classes

Because classes start Wednesday morning, students at the Corcoran College of Art + Design have come back from their summer vacations. This is my friend Andrew Bain. I know a couple other Andrews so I usually refer to Andrew Bain as "Andrew Bain." He agreed to pose for a photo illustrating a student obviously cheating with a computer for a Glencoe textbook called Computer Concepts.


Digital Communications

This is my friend Jenn "with two 'n's." I was talking to her about the photos I needed to do and she agreed to model for a shot I did for a textbook called Digital Communications. This picture might persuade people to see the benefits of digital communication. Plus, Jenn is a great actress (possible Thespian).



This is one of the many, either very politically-motivated or socially-stimulating stencils I see sprayed around Washington, DC., like messages on a bullitin board. I also like the stencils sprayed on the sidewalk asking pedestrians, "How are you?" I took this picture from the base of a lamp post on the way back from Ben's Chilli Bowl with my friend Jesse.

Textbook Photos

I think I need this book for a class I am taking that starts Thursday. All photographers probably dream of someday having their photos in a textbook. I imagine the dream is along the lines of seeing a picture of your own in a text like A World History of Photography. The past few months have been taking a lot of photos to illustrate all types of textbooks ... none of them photography related.


After Breakfast Club

Today I was happy to be back in DC. One of my friends, Theo is leaving town to go back to Durango, Colo., for school. A few of us met up at Swing's Coffee Shop to organize the departure ceremony, French Onion Soup, a pre-season Redskins' loss, and video golf. Three peculiar 80s-like activities.


My Ride Home

This was the plane I caught to DC at Gate 50, at Orlando National Airport. My sister Patti dropped me off and waited there reading a book for two hours until my brother Rog and my nephew Will arrived from San Francisco.


1934, 1956, 1974, 2001

This is my Mom, my sister, my niece, and my great-niece. I have a couple other nieces and another great niece down here in Florida. It's hard to get them all in the same place at the same time.


Osama's Rug

After I got back from Afghanistan a couple years ago I decided it would be a good idea to leave some things at my Mom's. This is an Osama bin Laden turbin still in the package. A woman reporting for NPR gave it to me. The rug in the background I gave to my sister Patti but I am taking it to DC with me to decorate my apartment. There is a book on the rug written by Osama that a photographer from Knight Ridder found in a cave and gave to me.


Dieticians at Work

I took some shots of dieticians working in Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fl., for an illustration in a "Student Discovery" version of World Book Encyclopedia. Luckily I had an excellent model, Nina. Nina has a degree in dietary science and is trying out for American Idol at the end of this week.


My Sister's Daughter's Dog

This is my sister Patti and Roxy at the barn. This dog is beautiful, but is afraid of everything. I can't stand it because everytime it sees me it barks. When it thinks it sees me it barks. It might be a good watch dog. But I'm afraid it's too strong and clumsy around little kids ... and it's only a puppy.


Michelle, Ma Belle

This is my first-ever great niece. I remember back when I was just kicked out of high school (the second time) my niece Taira (who is 6 months senior to me) was going to have a baby. She said the name would either be Michael or Michelle after her boyfriend. Like a lot of high-schoolers since the 60s, I too was a Beatles fan. I really hoped that Taira would have a girl so I could sing her the Beatles song "Michelle." My dream came true, Michelle was born ... I have yet to come through with the singing.


Mount Suribachi -(Hurricane Charley Revision)

Most people know the Joe Rosenthal's photo of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. I know every single Marine combat correspondent and combat photographer knows the story. My buddy Eason (who just got out of a 4-year stint as a combat photographer) took me looking for a shot I need of a Honda jet ski around Daytona Beach today, no luck. But I did get a drive-by shot of these guys planting a palm tree with their heroic green thumbs. What Luck.


Waxing the Board

This is Miller, my other* old photographer from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Eason, and Miller and I all went down to Daytona Beach's beach today. We were all in Kandahar, Afghanistan together shortly after 9-11. Miller has gotten married, picked up sergeant, and re-enlisted since the last time I talked to him. He and Eason went on another float together after I got out and the unit went to Northern Iraq and Liberia. He'll be stationed in Hawaii with his wife Sandy for the next three years.

*see yesterday's post


This is my old friend Eason and his buddy Frank. Eason was one of my photographers while I was in the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Frank was a photographer with Combat Camera at Camp Lejeune. They're both start majoring in photography at Daytona Beach Community College in a couple weeks.


Start My Day with a Bang

Today my sister Patti took me looking for loading dock photos I needed for an illustration in a 2nd grade social studies text. We went to a Cox Lumber in Ocala, Fl. I took a decent shot of their loading docks. We went down the highway a little further until we saw another industrial complex. Inside the office I talked to Ty. He said, "Sure, we can help you out." "What type of distribution center is this again," I asked. "TNT Fireworks," he replied.

Johnny Rocket-Seed

My niece Taira's boyfriend, Johnny, was pulling his Harley Fatboy out for a cruise as soon as we arrived back from the fireworks warehouse. Of course I couldn't ride on the back! ... What kind of man do you think I am!? (Okay, I went for a little ride through the yard.)

Home Clinic

I also needed a photo of disinfectant being sprayed in a clinic or hospital. Because my Mom is fighting cancer she had enough props around the house to play the part of the patient, and to give the kitchen wall the clinical look. My niece Carol (who wishes to pursue a career in the medical profession when she graduates) was getting ready for bed in her scrubs. Perfect.


Beached Ideas

Today I tried to tie together some loose-end photo assignments ... It didn't work. I received permission to shoot a hospital's dietician from their public relations office, but never got a call back from the dietician. Also, I'm in frickin' Florida and I can't find a Honda jet ski anywhere! (It has to be a Honda.)


Punta Gorda vs Hurricane Charley

This in Mr. Burton, resident of Punta Gorda, Fl. Despite the wreckage that lies on top of his car, he considers himself lucky ... to be alive. He parked his car away from his house like many others who expected high waters in their neighborhoods. What he didn't expect was the hotel he parked it next to, to topple over.


The window stickers of a Punta Gorda business were placed neatly on the sidewalk by Hurricane Charley.

No-Car Garage

A car sits on a hydraulic lift, apparently in the middle of an oil change, where there use to be an enclosed garage.

Climate-controlled Laundromat

Twenty-four hour laundry? The Laundry Depot in Punta Gorda is as opened as it ever was.

Beans, Bullets and Bandages

Taking a break at the Ice and Water Distribution Point, Spc. Steven Laney and PFC Bill Booher discuss the wreckage they have witnessed during the relief efforts in Punta Gorda. They and other members of the National Guard's 153rd Combat Engineers came to the rescue from Lake City, 200 miles north.


Nicest Post Office on Earth

Today my niece Carol, who received her drivers license less than a week ago, drove me around all over the place. We were in and out all day. At one point we had to evacuate my mom from her house to my sister's because of local tornado touchdowns. After that, but before we drove to a DSL internet cafe in Ocala I had to send a CD of photos to LA. I called the post office in near-by Belleview. "We close at 1 o'clock," said the lady. When I got there a minute after 1pm she unlocked the door for me.


Friday the 13th Luck

Today we got ready for the storm. Putting things away in sheds, taking lawn ornaments out of the ground, going to buy batteries, water, ice and Mike's Hard Lemonade. In the afternoon me and my older niece Becky decided to go to the liquor store for some beverages. When she got back she fixed herself and her husband Bill a drink. Bill drank about two sips before his cell phone rang ... it was his 1st Sergeant telling him their National Guard unit was activating. Bill is on his way to Orlando to help with looters (if there are any) and clean-up efforts. We are still here drinking beverages.


Hurricane Reba

Hello friends! Today I had a great trip out of DC. Caught a taxi that smelt like urine ... I love those cabs. Had a nice flight down. I arrived just in time to see a good part of the region evacuated. The only hurricane I see here in Summerfield is my great-niece Reba.


Through Hail and Back

Today we saw golf ball-sized hail in some parts of DC. I peeked my head out of Swing's Coffee Shop and saw these loyal customers and some brave Fairfax County school bus driver braving the hail on 17th St NW. These folks didn't actually come into the shop, but a regular wadded in and ordered a cup ... then realized he had forgotten his wallet. He gave the shop a verbal IOU and the sale was settled with the old form of credit, trust. It's nice to see human compassion in these modern days of iced coffee.

The Big Hunt

A long lost friend Paul is back in town. He came here to go to college and when he graduated he moved back to Costa Rica. We met Paul at "The Big Hunt" on Connecticut Ave. Aside from the "good ol' days" the main topic of conversation was how Paul recently broke his arm while surfing in Nicaragua. I had forgotten that Paul surfed. One thing I do remember about hanging out with Paul is that 10 out of 10 times I'll wake up with a hangover.


Bush Opposes Redskins Fans?

I went to watch the pre-season game tonight at my friends' place. Another friend Theo (pronounced Tao) showed up to watch the game. Theo knew I was actually there more for Maris's hot wings and less for the game. Theo wonders why I am not into football much, but especially the Redskins. "You like DC don't you?! I mean, look at your website ... full of DC," he added. I do find it exciting that Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs has come out of retirement to take control of the team he took to the Super Bowl four times, winning three.


Mount Pleasant Street Culture

It seemed like I had moved out of Mount Pleasant during a period when another layer of gentrification was spread over the neighborhood. It has become a bit different place over the past year. But some things don't change so fast, like its Latino and especially Salvadorian culture. My friend Brandon wanted to know if I knew an inexpensive Salvadorian eatery up in Mount Pleasant. I took him to El Polo Sabroso on Mount Pleasant Street. They have the best chicken sandwiches and rotisserie chicken in DC. The summer might be the best time to eat in Mount Pleasant because after lunch you can get a shaved ice. They shave the ice off a giant block in the center of the cart. The flavoring is mixed with condensed milk to make it even sweeter.


Projecting a Weekend at Homes

I stayed at home all day moving my belongings around and figuring out what I need to buy. I have been surviving off a wedge of garlic jack cheese and a variety box of crackers. Tomorrow I have to go to my old apartment and pick up some minor things and throw away a pile of unwanted things I left there. Something I'm glad I brought with me was my very archaic "negative projector." I used it to project this negative I found in one of the Corcoran College's photo labs. It appears to be a caucasian American of possibly "biker/trailer-park culture" sporting the facial hair of a "Chinese wise man."


Movin' On Up

I moved out of my basement apartment today. (A literal hole in the ground.) I now live in a nice apartment building with lots of windows. The move was pretty easy too ... used the freight elevator.


Departing Safari

I haven't left my house once today. I have been packing my belongings in boxes all day. It's near midnight and I'm ready to sleep. Me and my friend Andrew (who has a drivers' license) pick up the UHaul at 8am. I think my stuff is actually going to fill one of the two rooms in my new apartment. Time to start simplifying.

The Building Press Whim

Tonight me and my good friends went to the Black Cat to see Seattle's The Building Press on the "Backstage." They were outstanding ... the best band I've ever went to see on a whim. And they were just the opening band. The main act came out with a Dell laptop and three dudes ... Dells suck and the dudes were nerds (and instrument-less) so we left.


Use Other Door

This is my friend Rocky's barber shop in the Mills Building on 17th and G Sts NW. He is currently remodeling his shop. I was taking some pictures for a Glencoe text called Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. I talked with Rocky for a while about his business. He said he might be looking for a new barber. He specified "barber and not hair stylist." Someone who could talk about sports would be good too. And he said he would like to find a white barber to increase the diversity of the shop. He said white barbers are a rarity in the District. If you go there looking for a job remember to use the door that says "use other door," for some reason the "other door" is always locked.

Mirror Mirror

This is an illustrative photo that I took today. These are my friends Wynonah and John. John is a lawyer and his wife Wynonah works at M. E. Swing's Coffee Shop. They agreed to help me with my photo assignment. I really like this picture, but I'm not quite sure it will illustrate the type of "obsessive love" the publisher is looking for.


Ichi the Appetite Killer

I was doing some research for a photo and one of the DVDs recommended to me by the man at Video Americain was Ichi the Killer. Never watch this movie also known as Koroshiya 1, it is the most repulsive thing you could ever do. It may as well have been a movie about building a giant blender to put people in. Yuck! But I found the best Chinese restaurant in DC ... Blue Diamond Chinese. Next time I'll get the Sesame Chicken minus the demented Japanese horror film.

Capitol Hill Cookout

It was a typically good summer Saturday in DC. I went to my friends' house and ate some good food. Then we all pilled into the Metro train and headed off to the Black Cat to watch every last one of the 10 cover bands. Sometimes it seemed like no one knew who the bands were covering until a couple songs into the set. A very fun show for only $7.