Friday, July 31, 2009

Even though I haven't slept since Tuesday night, I love

Photo: View of downtown Manhattan's skyline and stage left of the Comet build for the All Points West Music and Arts Festival taking place in Liberty State Park on 7/31, 8/1 and 8/2.

my job(s).

Photo: All Points West Main Stage - Build

Thursday, July 30, 2009

(L-R) News anchors Harry Martin (FOX), Arthur Chi'en (PIX) and Chris Wagge (CBS) at a New York "Moves" event on July 29, 2009. This night was hilarious. Ask me what the Beach Boys have to do with it and I will be more than happy to tell you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Naturally, my computer's burner drive isn't compatible with the current CD/DVD media on the market. Naturally, I just found that out as I ran out of my pack of old, slow-burning DVDs. Naturally, I have work to do that involves burning and distributing copies of thousands of images.

Naturally, John brought his souped-up, brand-spankin' new MacBook Pro over from Brooklyn to save my butt, because, well, he is a frickin' great dude.

Little did I know, but should have suspected, that my Monday night was going to turn into a blog. So, Great Dude then says to me, "Hey, Atmosphere is playing in about an hour at Webster Hall... and it's sold out. I don't have tickets - wanna go?"

Go time.

The show was great, but what followed would prove to be yet another stellar, movie-script night.

We set off down my favorite avenue in Manhattan, where the creatures walk tall and the humans crawl. Along the Bowery, you find a variety of life that was, life that is, life that almost was and life that's trying to be all in front of your face on one block. Staggeringly honest, really.

Adventures on the Bowery often lead to an assortment of underground activities, including a tumble into the rabbit hole of a bar that is King's Cross. Who doesn't want an underground labyrinth of an Irish pub on a Monday night?

Post Ireland, the Middle East was our next stop. A falafel shop for a late 1 a.m. dinner on Houston? Delish and delightfully heavy on the hot sauce.

What's next? What's next? Ahhh yess. Dessert. Cha Cha's In Bocca Al Lupo Cafe in Little Italy on our route home.

Let me tell you, there are many ways to end a night wonderfully at 2:30, but a smooth Chianti, a crisp cannoli and a waiter that's kept his smile he had at 6 p.m., is hard to beat.

During our final leg of our walk, my smile was larger than my appetite had been. The key to understanding this city is in listening to it, in moving with it the way it was meant to be moved with. If you are able to do this, it will show you things so gorgeous, you never even had the first clue that beauty like that could exist and I promise you that you will never ever speak of it poorly, ever, ever, ever again. And if you do, you just don't fucking listen.

But that's not its problem, I believe it's yours.

I like to dance all night
And some of the day
That's how I play
That's how I play

I said well who are you

No matter who you are
So we dance all night
And dance all day

"Manhattan" - Kings of Leon

P.S. - point and shoot again .... boo/hiss.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Imagine an NYC apartment in summer without air conditioning. Imagine if Michael Myers was a mosquito. Imagine being trapped in that non-air-con apartment with Michael Myers as a mosquito.

A few nights ago, a new "friend" decided to cohabitate in my bedroom and no, it was not my boyfriend. Now, I don't share well period, let alone my personal space, so having a roommate was not my idea of a good time. Particularly a roommate that bites me.

Making the executive decision that this would not nor could not stand, I closed my door and prepared for battle. Having been diligently trained by Thai mosquito warriors, I was ready. In Thailand, we fought dirty. Guerilla tactics of not only stealth ninja skill, but elaborate traps laced with electric current. Not having the proper weapons, I slipped on my sweat-suit armor, hood and all, and armed myself with a copy of Esquire, Clint Eastwood's edition, of course. I flicked off the lights. Lo and behold, the glow of my Macbook Pro was gloriously irresistible. I stood beside it. And waited.

Soon enough, the little intruder approached. It was done for. Or so I thought...

I pounced and missed it by the slightest tip of Mr. Eastwood's hair. Crap! Would it be tricked again? Ah! AGAIN! HE APPROACHES! FOOL! WHACK!

Silence... waiting...

I sit and wait again, unsure if I've made contact. I go to turn on the lights. Just as I do, I see it departing at eye-level... did it bite me?? I feel my face - nothing. I feel the right side of my neck - nothing. I feel the left side of my neck - itchiness. That bastard bit me on the neck!

Furiously, I leave the lights on this time. It's on now mosquito; you. are. toast.

There it is, there. it. is... Slowly I approach, wind up Clint Eastwood and prepare for impact.

WHACK! Contact is made and the body falls to the ground. Victory is mine!

I take off my hood and bend down with a Kleenex to give it the not-so-proper burial of a worthy opponent - but I look. and look. and look.

No carcass. Myers has vanished...

I consider using myself as bait, rolling up one pant leg and pulling my hood so tight that it leaves one tiny peep hole. Being that it hasn't shown itself for a good 20 minutes now, I quickly reject that idea and decide the coast is probably clear to attempt sleep. I leave my armor on and pull up the covers, Clint Eastwood at my side. I put a pillow on my face for good measure.

Just as I am drifting into a delightful sleep, I hear a buzz by my ear. Horrified, I jump up grab my pillow, my piggy blanket. Waving my white flag, I close my door and retreat to the couch.

Sayonara mosquito. You win.

The story you have just read is titled, "The Night an Insect Kicked Me Out of My Room". We hope you enjoyed it.

Notice to future visitors: we do indeed have an air-conditioning unit now.

I don't know what percentage of this blog's audience was with me during my one-month stint in Bangkok, but if you were, you may recall the Khet Klongtoey Mosquito Offensive of 2007. Close to tragic, really. Nearly wiped out a lovely floating population of Israelis, Romanians, Filipinos and well, one American.

As a preface to my current tale of woe and uncomfortable hilarity and as proof that mosquitoes are no joke over in Thailand, I shall let you ponder the artistic interpretation above. It might as well be a photo.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another long-lost image from The Academy Is... show.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

As I was re-organizing my photo library today, I stumbled upon this shot of William Beckett from The Academy Is... taken sometime back in the fall. Though it still didn't make the portfolio cut, I like it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And now we are observing the female in one of her - oh wait - she's spotted us! Jesus have mercy, I hope she ate today...

Haha, thank you to fellow diver, Joel, for sending me some images.

So you may say, "Hey, wait! Why is Alli by herself?! That seems unsafe..." Well, aspiring divers/curious parents/concerned friends, I'll have you know that, as I was traveling as a solo diver, the dive master was always my dive buddy. This is a good thing for 2 reasons: 1) definitely won't panic in an emergency 2) always knows the location of the cool stuff.

What a silly picture, what silly garb, what a silly, yet incredibly wonderful thing to do...

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's either a blog excerpt from a wonderful friend (no image) or reportage/definition of "shower" from my weekend with Warped Tour (image... ehhhh...). I wisely choose the former:

...and then one day i called him on my way to
montana. he asked where i was and i said, "i'm headed to montana." and he said, "when'd you decide that?" and i said, "yesterday. also, i cut off 13 inches of my hair." and there was a long pause.. which i took as an indication as him wanting an explanation.. so i began:

"see, dad.
dr.riley came up to me and asked me if i'd be willing to leave tomorrow and go to montana and work there for a month or so. so i said, 'sure' and then i needed to cut off my hair because i'm living in a tent for a month and that just made sense. but i donated it to locks of love. so i have that going for me..."

and that was where it hit me. literally, right then and there. and i continued,

"see, father figure (this is what i like to call my dad when he's being snotty), i am not victim to an interventionist god. i may be opinionated and passionate and annoyingly
optimistic and/or depressing -- depending on the day -- but.. i always say yes. that's why i've gotten so many opportunities. cause i work my ass off and then i say yes, even if i know i'm going to fail."

which was when he broke in, "sorry.. i had to click over to the other line. your mother is in the ER because she accidentally cut off two of her fingers with the hedge trimmer. she's okay though. don't worry. have fun in
montana, i've got to run."

that bastard.

but seriously, i think it would be giving myself far too much credit if i said
i've ever had a dream, a vision, or a calling. i also think it's a bit haphazard to say that my life is a product of an interventionist god.

my life is a product of disaster, success, injury, insult, love, passion, wandering around lost, dancing in the rain, falling down a lot, calculated risk, heartache, and hard work. but mostly, my life has come to be the result of me saying yes.

have you ever read the book Being There? it's all about this same concept. it's about 100 pages long too, so no excuses. (play like a champion.)

west wing, my favorite
tv show of all time, ingrained into my head that decisions are made by the people who show up.

i believe my life is a product of showing up.

Ladies and gents, the author of above excerpt is Ms. Caroline Evey and you should know three things: 1) She's known to me simply and only as "Evey" 2) We grew to be great friends in our "Philosophy of Political Liberalism" class (and another "eco" class I choose to forget) freshmen year of college and 3) She's got a lot to say.

Read her blog.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sarah Stiles, one of three stars in the new musical, "The Vanities".

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gorgeous dives... pocket cam shot of part of the reef from the plane. Shockingly enough, I didn't take a camera underwater. Just wanted to spend some QT with the fishes, turtles, squids and sharks.

P.S. - Check out the rain storm on the island.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who: Me
What: Impromptu dive trip
When: 7.10.09 - 7.?.09
Where: Cozumel, Mexico
Why: Clear my mask, mind and regulator

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Holy awesome photo, Batman!

In my search for MJ greats today, I stumbled upon this one after the one previously posted. Needed to get this one up too, because a) it's gorgeous and b) again, portrays the caliber of performer he was.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Over a quick gyro in between assignments yesterday, I caught wind that Michael Jackson's funeral was to be broadcast in Times Square. Now, in my photo career, I was never fortunate enough to have photographed the pop legend, but I figured bebopping a few blocks uptown would be entertaining in its own way. Low and behold, it was indeed. Not only did I run into a friend that shoots for Entertainment Tonight, but I came across a sea of crazies devoting their day to the King of Pop. From signs written in Sharpie to dance circles to group sing to mini-MJ camp sites, it was a sight unlike I've ever seen.

Clearly, the press was loving this dude. He wasn't even that good, but the kid had a heart that was missing MJ like holy cow, I'm going to dance 'til I drop.

As my moments in Times Square progressed, I dared my ET friend, Luke, to get into the circle, but alas he would not. I suppose it's fair though, because he tried to interview me on camera and all I said was "I hate Michael Jackson," which obviously couldn't be farther from the truth, but they can't air that, right?

Good Lord, I wish I had taken this shot. Borrowed from the Morrison Hotel Gallery's collection.

Michael Jackson. I'm pretty sure it's the emotion of this photo that people are mourning.

Monday, July 06, 2009

July 4th, 3:00 a.m. - July 5th, 11:30 p.m.
Locations: Brooklyn, NY, New York, NY, Bradley Beach, NJ, Atlantic City, NJ, Harvey's Lake, PA, Tannersville, PA.

Myth 1: I will get up early after a long night of outdoor dancing, crisp white wines and a plate of falafel in Brooklyn.
Myth 2: The Jersey Shore is terrible.
Myth 3: You cannot get a delicious fish taco on the East Coast.
Myth 4: Watching your friend consume a 3 foot, 5 lbs. burrito is not an adequate substitute to watching fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Myth 5: You cannot drive to Atlantic City from Belmar, NJ without plans or your debit card at 1 a.m.
Myth 6: Playing black jack for 5 hours gets old.
Myth 7: Sunrise in Atlantic City isn't worth it.
Myth 8: Two people cannot drive from Atlantic City to Harvey's Lake (mere coincidence) on no sleep and a tall Gazebo blend coupled with a blueberry scone.
Myth 9: John is an awful wakesurf* teacher. (Well that's not a myth, that's just false.)
Myth 10: You never feel like you are in a Jack Johnson surf doc when in Pennsylvania.
Myth 11: The "Homecut Donut" from Curry Donut and/or Currys Donut is delicious and always fresh.
Myth 12: Rubber-necking a flaming car won't cause 20 miles of traffic.
Myth 13: A soft pretzel with cream cheese, sour cream, monterey jack, imitation crab and cocktail sauce should stay on a menu.
Myth 14: You can't have adventures 24/7.

Rule 1: Always bring your passport.
Rule 2: Always keep excellent company.
Rule 3: Always bring your pants.

I only did one of those three things this July 4th.

*It's hard to find a sweet wakesurf video at this moment in history, but this one has some decent info.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

I'm going to tell all you fine folks a story, regardless of the fact that it's 4 a.m. and a) I have to pack a bag and b) I just danced my butt off... but this story needs to come out of me before I leave. So, Wednesday evening. I find myself sitting on my couch watching Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at about 12:30 a.m. Why was I watching one of the worst films ever made, you ask? Well, very simple. I wanted to hear Jack Sparrow say something, anything really. Just as I remembered that I wasn't at all entertained by this movie in the first place and I had been dumb enough to see it in the theaters, my telephone rang.

Long story short, a very good friend of mine moved to the city recently and we've been borderline inseparable, which lead to the decision to hit the town at around 1 in the morning. Best decision of the week. Involving Jimmy's Corner, Korean food from 2 a.m. - 8 a.m., Astoria, a search of Chinese pet shops for sting rays, getting caught in an umbrella-free down-pour and free-line skating as shown above.

Weekend? Wakesurfing. Happy Fourth!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Rob Thomas and wife Marisol Thomas at the CD release party for his newest album "Cradlesong".

Note: Marisol has my ideal "how I met the dumb lug" story ever. Saw her from the stage. Done. Check please.