Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel.  Multiple exposures action, Triptych.

Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel.  Multiple exposures action, Triptych.

From the Tower of David, Jerusalem, Israel. Multiple exposures action, Triptych.

Purim: the morning after. Jerusalem, Israel.

Purim: still wandering from the night before. Jerusalem, Israel.

Love Life, indeed!  West Bank.

Alice isn’t in Wonderland. The Wall, West Bank.

Near Damascus Gate, Jerusalem, Israel.

Choice Cuts.  Jerusalem, Israel.

Look up!  Israel.

Western Wall women’s side, Jerusalem, Israel.

Mischief!  Jerusalem, Israel.

Magical GA Holiday…redux?

January 21, 2011

…recovered from the messy hard drive, one last write up from GA. Unfortunately, the obnoxious border crossing, bar brawl (over a pug-in), and the details of pinching a shirt off a hippie male model, did not survive.


Woke up with the anticipation of happiness in near future. Found four 3ltr Beer bottles from last night, remembered clichéd bonding conversation #2, forgot topic of said conversation. Laughed about firemen. Realized we’d never seen AZ fireman, wondered if our regions even had fire stations, decided we didn’t care.

B left early for wild outer lands, wine, hiking, stunning photo ops. Started walk to metro with silly grin on face that may or may not have had to do with a discussion with A about the superior looks of GA men. Managed without fuss to find the vagzal (via metro) for our excursion to Uplstika. The Tbilisi Metro is one of the simplest/smallest metro systems in the world. Simplicity works to the advantage of those such as us, who speak only necessary Georgian -Hello, Goodbye, Thank you, Beer, Wine -and simply count stops-the two lines crossing once, to form an X.

Had usual haggling with taxi/bus drivers, found one monumentally board enough to transport us to The Cave City other wise known as: (Throughly unpronounceable) Rock hewn dwellings were stunning, living up to my grand descriptions from ’08. Scrambled over rocks, consumed bohemian picnic atop temple (dry red wine!),sat on 80 foot cliff edge, daydreamed about inhabiting cave house, (save on air conditioning bills), wove blood red wild poppies through hair. Meditated on highest rock point. Resulting copacetic feelings about life, future, self and the state of small helpless animals were delightful. Figured the 60’s hippies had it right. May have frolicked through wild flowers. Cute little birds probably sang. Driver acquiesced to snap our picture near a munching cow. We were likely dehydrated and drunk. Collectively announced he was the best driver ever and tipped accordingly at Rustiveli St.

Wine shop called, we answered, spent next hour engaged in wine tasting, eye candy, broken English flirting. Dangerous thoughts about the advantages of never returning to AZ danced in our brains. Home run was evident when handsome guy thought seriously for several minutes, announced “I like you!!!” in perfect English, followed by a 20 min lesson on how to say Georgian equivalent. Passable progress was made, wine consumed, carrying a bottle each we were caught up in the Peace Bridge crowd of revelers, swashbuckling pirates, living statues, and 15 year old girls drinking beer. Snapped appropriately dull and touristy photos of bridge + happily seething humanity. Noticed an inordinately high number of couples partaking of the national pastime of making out, resolved to participate before holiday ended. A encouraged this line of thought by demonstrations with C. Found this endlessly funny.

Wandered back to park, landed on bench, proceeded to sedate thrust, found group of weary Polish travelers fresh from ‘Alabama’, swapped stories, realized our common ground was a love of GA street life, but Polish were awkwardly silenced when learning of our extended stay in AZ. Awkward silence not being on our menu for the nights entertainment, we resolved matters by re-locating to a table at a safe distance. Thankfully the ineloquent eastern Europeans quickly/awkwardly vacated park. 5 min later we forgot them, held court with a pair of drunk art students, snapped the required photos, answered questions about art politics, asked questions about art, politics. Found the couple charming, but agreed she could do much better.

Discovered group of mostly good looking males way under 30, used the fail safe grade school technique of throwing peanuts to attract attention, shared libations, slang, scandalous looks, other, and wine induced language lessons covering essential phrases such as: ‘You are beautiful’, ‘I like wine’, and ‘My Name is:’. Fearful of cradle robbing, we vacated park in the wee hours, hastily scrawled numbers, with hearts/X’s in our hands-received merciless teasing from A/C since my paper said ‘Bear’-taxi ride home induced realization that holidays had reduced us all to walking piles of hormones-or maybe it was the wine?

Oldies but Goodies #3

December 7, 2010

Best form of Cheeky!

Made to be climbed!!

Somehow this made it on to UER (wtf?) which is self explanatory on the low content. Anyone want to bump a long, long, mercifully dead thread? Yea didn’t think so. >___<

Inspiration to a horde of noobs and coutchtoppers!

SnotSickle! (from Krazy) Gooey tasty, kiddies!

Mapping Alpha!

Detroit, Hotel.

EastCoast Hospitals attract the best!

Get Some Action! (under the U of M)

Danvers State Hospital (RIP)

Oldies but Goodies #2

October 9, 2010

Remember: Always Practice Safe Sex.

Nothing says ‘sexy’ like sandstone tunnels.

Filming with Melody in Trout Brook.

Posing Mad Style in the KYT Drain!


They hid the bodies in the cellar!

Sandstone! Poop! Tunnels! Caves! What better way to spend university break in the middle of winter? Exactly.

It didn’t happen unless there is a group shot.

KD Station!

The Great Gatsby.

Sheiks: Scum above and below.

Drop Shaft, Amph Drain, when Siolo invaded Mpls.

Oldies but goodies #1

October 5, 2010

Last night in Detroit, Dead Prez Drain. RIP Dev.

Drum Peeing While High.

Beer Command!

Slim Jimmah in for the kill. Mooo. Detroit somwhere.

Ds makes his MN debut…

Freak! DRAIN!!


Summer Drain (Amph or Temple of Drowned Cats?)


August 10, 2010

Baku Queue

Ismailli Storm Light


2009 International Film Festival, Baku

Playground, Baku

End of the Tracks, Mardekend

Mardekend Puppy

Goychy, 6.30AM #2

Goychy, 6.30AM

Sleeping Manhole Cover, Kiev

Cave Monastery, Georgia #3

Cave Monastery, Georgia #2

Cave Monastery, Georgia

Song Zang 2009

Last Run of Lahic Bus

Gozel Salon, Ismailli

The Road Trip Begins!

Holiday in Georgia

June 14, 2010

(From scribbled notes)
Crossed the border in a knock off Mercedes, saw 2 GA men who carried nothing but two 3ltr bottles of GA brew, noted that AZ border guards didn’t seem to care about the booze, but were unnaturally preoccupied with my hair color/passport; breathed sigh of relief on the other side and flashed a smile to the GA guard who was convinced I was Georgian before I spoke. Proceeded into Tbilisi, with a pit stop to buy the mysterious unnamed hanging treats, tried treat and collectively decided they would be called ‘Penis Candies’ due to inside jokes that have nothing to do with the actual male member, and everything to do with awkward pronunciation. Found hotel with little problem, sun broke through clouds, there may have been angels singing too, we didn’t notice, but preformed slow motion hugs. Wasted no time in finding eating establishment and spent the next hour engaged in inhaling eggplant with walnuts, local brew and pickles. Total bill for 4 people came to less than that of what one pays for a Friday night undercooked burger, soggy fries, one Xerdilan and hooker counting at Finnegan’s. Made haste to Vinotheca, took advantage of wine tasting and asked handsome guy all manner of questions about wine, observed said handsome guy was wearing boxers with white hearts on red background, spent next 10 min staring at boxers and cursing the plight of living in AZ. Promised to return for more wine soon. Armed with wine, we moseyed down Rustiveli, making commentary about the passing humanity, fashion and lack of open mouth stares; apparently PC style does little to impress the Georgians. Collectively concluded this revelation was grad. Demonstrating genius, I found ‘Kinkali House’ in under 10 min. (the last visit had been 2 years previous and slightly tipsy) bypassing the underground abandoned metro stop, we descended into the cavernous brothel-turned restaurant to sample GA’s best and cheapest food. Several hours later, we emerged in wine/food induced comas that would become a regular and unfortunate part of each day. Discovered wine bar and partook. Found ourselves at overpriced pool hall and proceeded to make total idiots of ourselves trying to shoot pool. Met Georgian female wrestling champion and her Marine (?) husband with entourage of exceedingly large and mostly battered giants, was scared of getting squished and momentarily felt we were experiencing a collective bad acid trip. Walked home, was challenged by A to pull Boxer Boy, drank more, subsequently had awkward bonding conversations with A/C and finally fell asleep.

Woke up dehydrated, met fellow traveler at breakfast, in the middle of shower realized may have said embarrassing things, resolved to not care and imbibe more water. Walked through more of Tbilisi, had fascinating conversation with B, decided she is hard core, and contemplated the advantages of marrying a woman in GA. Saw good stencil art, couldn’t find tag; to the unknown artist: I give you props, your art is fresh, the scope is grand, carry on! Surprised to find GA has a sense of humor, since the KGB pub is still thumping with life, waiter recognized A, didn’t hover and never bemoan us carrying in bottles. For the record, waiter did wave hello at me! B found travel group for wine tasting/history, and signed up to leave on Thurs. B and I talked about how this will leave me alone to rock the 3rd wheel; think I can rock 3rd wheel style, since there is wine at my fingertips. Returned to basement restaurant of yesterday, consumed more khacapuri, met footballer R, tossed back a few; B and R hit it off, festive group photos were taken, think this group is rather fortunate in the looks department. With assistance of R found Nika Hotel and settled in for a midafternoon nap. Who ever invented such a lovely thing is a deity for sure. A and I decided that while wine and chocolate will continue to be consumed, kachpuri’s 15 minutes of fame was over. We spent the rest of the evening wandering the neighborhood, stumbled upon rugby match hidden in a field overlooked by a crumbling stadium; in the far side of the field, ladies were doing calisthenics; a most scandalous activity, since AZ rumor has it such exertion renders one un-virginal. (Virgin Suicides?) We closed the night by stopping at various pubs, the first one disappointing in the wine department (the first and last time such a thing happened) but the following two establishments were quite nice; In one, a table of 3 older Georgian men, hours into a supera (feast) serenaded us with chanting and melodies and the staff actually…smiled. We marveled on the smiles for a while, while remarking that smiling in general is a rare bird in the AZ.

Had cheese, bread and a banana for breakfast, have decided it’s the best breakfast second only to cereal. The cereal aisle at the market near Nika is quite good but beyond my price; makes me long for the day of paychecks, real jobs and food co-ops. On a quest for gifts of the unusual kind, we stumbled by fortune upon the Dry Bridge-a spread of merchants peddling to those obsessed with soviet junk. Finding a little piece of heaven, we each scattered to pursue the different wares: gas masks, pins, posters, ancient photos, bullets, flags, jewelry. A and I brought rings of the same style, but the win of the day went to B, who, heavily under my influence brought a officers’ gas mask with carrying pouch as a gift for her sister. (Ironically observed that the same gasmask/bag I picked up from the factory in Kiev is hawked for 15 USD.) B also picked up a bomber hat. Have decided she is my style inspiration. In pursuit of interwebs we found ourselves back at KGB later that day, but not before making a stop at our favorite wine shop to purchase more of the delicious liquid, assess the boxer situation of handsome guy (passable) and spend a leisurely few hours in a near by park sipping and talking. Miss parks and not getting harassed. Love people watching. Remembered clumsy pool from Monday and had a good laugh, debated weather or not said wrestling champion was really a female, revisited fear of being squished by giants. Realized that A forgot about visiting the wine bar. Marveled again at how relaxed Tbilisi is. Met up with B and R and M to find more food, invaded restaurant via Hayder Aliyev Park, paused, found we lacked desire to read Azeri inscription, carried on. Odd assortment of foreigners gathered around the table, various topics under discussion, most noteworthy was hearing of M’s round the world tour and time spent in Russia. Made mental note to ask more questions about his adventures, since freedom/salvation/independence is 5 months away and I have yet to solidify plans. 4 bottles of wine in and we passed the gas mask around, with me hoping I’d get at least a few shots to help with the next art project. (I didn’t, the curse of small, easily portable cameras with piss focus) Carried on our separate ways with many a cheer. Festive mood was damped a tad when taxi man dropped us off somewhere not near our metro stop, not to worry, we wandered a bit, fell back on asking the trusty firemen, eventually found Nika, marveled at how much one can say with gestures, fell asleep wishing much kachapuri in the firemen’s future and having a slight understanding why American women over 30 seem to swoon over men in uniform. Though to be fair, this still puzzles me greatly.

In answer to the general question of what the heck I’m doing, find something on this list…I never listed my dream to be doing exactly what I’m doing now, teaching youth photography and living abroad in a crazy country-I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever see that dream realized, everything else seemed easy to accomplish in comparison to what I’m doing now.

The list started in ’06 and carries on to present.

Learn 2 other languages (French, Azeri, Spanish….)

Stay proficient in ASL

Own a DSLR and all related gear

4 gallery shows (at a minimum) of my art (painting, photography, mixed media)

Have my own studio space

BASE jump into Sotano de las Golondrinas

Climb Mt. Fuji

Run the Altitude marathon at Pikes Peak

Make it through the Peace Corps

Own sufficient rock climbing gear

Proficient in swing, salsa, tango and waltz. (Learn to belly dance)

Live in Paris and photograph the hell out of the place

Spend at least 6 months photographing the wild horses in SouthDakota

Burren, Ireland, hiking.

Broadway show of Beauty and the Beast and Phantom.

Hot air balloon ride

Get a tattoo

Be a mentor to a child(s)

Masters/PHD in foreign relations/advocate /photography/communication

Campaign against human trafficking

Deep sea dive (explore an ocean wreck)

Well read in theology of Christianity and other religions

Well read in classical literature.

Flat stomach.

Lead a detoxified, organic, clean lifestyle.

Travel to every continent

Pay Off Student loans

Travel/Boat the Amazon

Travel/Boat the Nile

Rappel out a helicopter

Published photography and writing in National Geographic

Create film/photography documentary on AZBoyz HipHop Group

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