…these are now accessible…s  l  o  w  l  y.

(yea, the links are ugly, too bad WP drops when it come to content other than text)

http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP=XSpecific_MAG.AgencyHome_VPage&pid=2K7O3R1VX08V

Magnum Photos, easy to get lost in all sorts of photo goodness, currently the photos from Jacob Aue Sobol are my favorite, showcased since a new book, I Tokyo,  of his work was just released.

http://www.refendi.com/

Xinaliq and Rajasthan portfolio are new(ish), amazing and vivid, but check out Oil and Nightlife for what I think is some of her best B&W work.

http://www.sleepycity.net/

If the new post doesn’t make you want quit your dull cubical job and climb/explore/seek out adrenalin rushes, then nothing will.  Damm just read the whole site and drool over the photography

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in contrast

October 28, 2008

dont read/speak a bit of russian even tho ive tried,

erased flash drive with entire rundown of kiev-moscow since i was using a computer that was only in russian

at this point, i dont give a flying fuck, its gone, *shrug*  dont have time/desire/need for 2nd attempt at writing.

dumb/silly/odd stories from the ‘Baijan will resume.

October 22, 2008

The views, ideas, and positions contained herein are solely those of the author(s), and do not in any way reflect the positions of nor carry approval from the United States Government, the U.S. Peace Corps, or their members or leadership.

smiling

October 22, 2008

..its official, I’m no longer homeless, after almost 2 months of living out of my backpack,splitting time between Baku, Ucar and various houses,I have a flat,for now, with furniture, a few dishes, 2 beds, a fridge, a roach family in the kitchen, a spider family in the shower (they think its funny to drop on me while I’m showering )running water (for a few hours a day)  and a cat who lives in the shoe holder outside my door and doesn’t eat cheese (tried to feed him with the only non fruit item in my fridge) loads better than the completely empty flat I almost moved into (which was about as nice as a moldy abandoned shower stall in a low budget motel), and in a very funny Dickens type moment, a neighbor girl showed up at my door offering to cook/clean/keep me company since my neighbors (both in the apt block and in the houses near by) are not convinced I:

a: know how to cook

b: or how to clean and

c: are languishing miserabely in a state of loneliness after less then 6 hours in the flat.

After 10 min and catching sight of a RollingStones cover (with kidd rock and bikini clad women) and gasmask on my couch, the kind girl made her exit, (thinking lord knows what) to report back to the rest, of the strange “Ingllish Qiz” who not only likes being alone but also likes to clean, cook, run in the morning and yes the rumor is true, she DOES have a fiancee.

in the works is the ‘win over neighbors with chocolate goodness in the form of cake’ plan which will be executed with such stunning perfection that soon the entire apt block will generally be convinced ‘English Girl’ is OK…Inshallah.

Baku…

October 18, 2008

…the way it should be because of a day spent wandering and climbing with Sabastian.

http://www.urban-changes.org/

http://www.freelens.com/sebastian-burger

there is much to climb/see/explore in Baku, provided you know the right people, having just met those people, there was much rejoicing, when my weekend of rather dull grant writing work turned into a day long wandering/climbing/adventure in which Sabastian the German and I took a lift to a high-rise under construction,  (with a kind gentleman who was worried about my shoes getting dirty) photographed a Russian family (the grandma was baking fresh bread!) and found ourselves in the studio of the most alternative/progressive painter in Azerbaijan (and one of the best artist I have meet in a long time) who spent an hour showing us various pieces of work.

return to ISM tomorrow having accomplished non of the work I intended to do…but having instead experienced the best day thus far in Baku. (which makes me hopeful for the spring:)

ps.

October 17, 2008

http://siologen.livejournal.com/

damm funny most recent ‘Random Moments’ post by Siolo

oh yes, i know, click the thumbnail and its huge, was the best i could do given my computer has officially gone to gatway hell :_(

snaps! photos! fresh!

October 17, 2008

blue n red (moscow)

blue n red (moscow)

better at night (moscow)

better at night (moscow)

chillin (moscow)

chillin (moscow)

Jet Li - the early years (moscow)
Jet Li – the early years (moscow)
classy

classy (moscow)

oh what fun it is to ride..
oh what fun it is to ride..
that face looks innocent...

that face looks innocent...

Ne qeshank!

Ne qeshank!

wiplash
Hardcore Eleet!!

Hardcore Eleet!!

Tasty decay
Tasty decay
still life
still life
all dressed up, nowhere to go

all dressed up, nowhere to go

GREEN GRASS!!! (Moscow)

GREEN GRASS!!! (Moscow)

all eyes

all eyes

future models, FLEX YOUR RIGHT BICEP! (moscow)

future models, FLEX YOUR RIGHT BICEP! (moscow)

For your first time:

     Over a breakfast of Siolo munching Snickers, me spazing out over bananas, Qx/Ds eating a strange meat combo, and the nuclear physicists laughing at us all, we collectively decided several things:  Ds/Qx would die cuddling in the Gobi, (Siolo wants the pictures, I want the cams), our hostel beds were stolen from an orphanage, tight red shorts must only be worn by attractive females, and the drinking of tap water straight from the faucet was not a good life choice that would most likely result in the Big D.  With these stunning revelations taken care of and thoroughly discussed we chose, as a nice warm up for the day, the abandoned structure across the street.  Meeting up with the Kiev Crew we gave it an hour in the abandoned hotel/apartment/office building, which was mostly unremarkable, except that it had a small bit of everything: pealing paint (for the noobs), graffiti  (for the artistically angst), fully furnished studio (for the 5 finger discount) and overflowing toilets (for those who need to feel hard core).  Concluding that this place was just too good to keep for ourselves, Qx/Ds were kind enough to share the goodness with the sexually/fashion confused proprietor of out hostel convincing him that chicks really dig hobo squats and dead pigeons.  Whatever they said worked and within 24 hours the confused youngster was clambering around in piles/puddles of stale crap/urine with a girl he’d only just recently met; laughing gleefully at the corrupting of yet another innocent, Ds/Qx, felt their evil deed for the week had been done and retreated, for the moment, into arguing with Siolo about the finer points of things NSFW.

 

Soviet Era Heavy Khemikle Plants

    With the promise of all sorts of drainage/outfall wetness/RCP/Diggers shenanigans once night fell, Siolo agreed to decaying topside fun and after several dodgy street crossings, a trip though the lovely Kiev metro and walking though a sadly decrepit bazaar of faucet products, faux Armani jeans and mysterious belt buckles, we arrived at a vast expanse of awfully gray, awfully ugly structures.  This was acres of industrial at its apocalyptic best, served raw, and bleak with a side of scruffy, crusty scrappers, and roaming dogs the size of small horses. Dodging cussing men, thugs in tinted window cars, and downtrodden workers  (who lounged outside gypsies wagons in Speedo style boxers) we made it through five or six factories, breathing in the leftovers of abandoned labs, khemikle mixers and experiments gone bad.  We saw it all, labs for producing a mutant form of humans, hulking machines for ripping, turbines to brew all sorts of nasssty soviet substances; it was the debris of a clash between humans, khemikles, money and ideals; debris that was beautiful in its mostly washed out hues of blue, grey, yellow and red. (If you ignored the smell, there was nothing beautiful about the smell)  Mid way through our posh VIP tour, we stumbled into a warehouse containing an entire armies worth of gas masks bursting out of stacked crates sitting in the middle of a powdery blue/green mess.  Tossing out any concern of death by powdery blue/green mystery substance, we did our best to stir up clouds of colorful dust while posing for pictures in equally dusty gas masks.  When the dust settled, everyone was 10 points more elite, and could now brag they’d run with the big dawgs and infiltrated the gas mask breading ground; somehow one of these masks jumped into my possession.  (Soviet Era Gas Masks: a bold way to yell IM F@*KING HARDCORE UBERELITE! Pick yours up now before the posers swipe em out from under your blue stained khemikle fingers.)

 

Learn the meaning of ‘Collector’ grasshopper; it’ll get you far in life:

         Tired from rotting our lungs the best we could on khimkiles, we took a few hours rest in the fire hazard hostel, carefully trying to not fall through rickety wooden bed slats that apparently were made to only hold130lbs and were approximately 5 inches too short for Siolo who had to assume the fetal position every night as he climbed…into the top bunk. (This is an elite maneuver that really only Siolo can execute with precision)

Fueled up on a few nasty energy drinks, and maybe a hit (or several) of vodka, we found ourselves in the outfall of one of the most popular drains in Kiev (at least according to the Diggers) with a dozen or so of drain/RCP/outfall/drop shaft/overflow/rickety ladder  loving individuals, AKA ‘Diggers’.  Siolo took one look at the crowd of slightly damp, slightly scruffy and mostly stylish Diggers and knew he was home; with mad abandon he talked ‘drains/cars/b00bies ‘in rapid succession, drawing, along with more vodka hits, a crowd of cheering/laughing friends who taught him that the proper word for Drain is ‘Collector!’ and Sewer is ‘Fecal Collector!”  At some point in the night, sitting on the outfall, Ds/Qx and I gave up, Siolo, bourn on the wings of fire water, outtalked, out BS’ed and out sang us by a good 2 hours and made more friends than any Aussie ever has (or ever will) in one night in the Ukraine.  Eventually we left, to cries of ‘COLLECTOR!’ (which had become, due to libations, the unifying cry for drain lovers across the world…or something like that), and wearily made our way back to the fire hazard hostel, where we appropriately pissed off the owner by our late 12 am arrival.

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