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Baltimore seagull
Woman and seagull, Inner Harbor, Baltimore.
(Aziz Gökdemir, February 14, 1993.)


break

Pembleton, Bayliss, My Office...

I meant to kick this off by talking about the photograph above, but I was overwhelmed by my to-do list as usual, and ended up posting this bit a couple of weeks ago before my unceremonious burial underneath all that:

February 2, 2000: So here's what I need to get done in the next few months: Finish the second book. Slog through others' work to make money. Publish more articles so the pay goes up. Keep working on the Web site. Deal with the portfolio issue for Indiana. Come up with new ways to finance church location shoots. Finish the selection for Armenian Lit mini-anthology for E Magazine (the snow's pretty much melted so I can go to the Library of Congress without slipping on ice and totally destroying my back this time -- though there's still the other stuff that'll come by mail). Do all that without ignoring spouse, friends, and family any more than I already do.
spaceAnd I'm sure I'm forgetting about half of it. It's a bit depressing, really.


Back to our regular programming. I took the photo during my first trip to Baltimore, before I'd heard of the show Homicide, before I even knew there was a neighborhood called Fells Point.
spaceSpouse-to-be and I were pretty green about the city, as we were about the Washington, D.C. area, our new sort-of home. (I think the trauma of settling in DC and attempting to get used to the city's culture and racially charged political discourse deserves an entry of its own.)
spaceWorking in awful jobs, pretty penniless and demoralized at the time, we took the train one cold morning for a day trip. We walked a lot, just wandering aimlessly, turning back at one point when we stumbled onto one of those David Simon corners with the moonscape look. We ate lunch at a nice restaurant in Little Italy and in the course of the day I managed to go through a roll of black and white and another of color, both 400-speed.
spaceHad the worthless Slik tripod with me, and the equally worthless 500 mm. mirror lens I'd bought at Ritz Camera using my serf (I mean, employee) discount. There's not much on the B&W roll (of course, the lab forgot to push it to 800 like I'd told them to) but the mirror lens did catch the photo above when I had the color film in the camera. It looks like a moonlit shot, but it's just late afternoon, intentionally underexposed. Most of the afternoon we lazed around the Inner Harbor; there was a dancing woman in her late 50s, and some kids and grownups who'd stepped out of Barry Levinson's Diner and Avalon.
spaceWe caught one of the last trains home, fretting silently whether we'd spent too much money (it was under $100 for the two of us). Seven years later, things seem a little better now, in some ways -- and a little worse in others.

I think I just remembered why we took the trip on that very day. Which makes me wonder whose brilliant idea it was to place Valentine's Day in February (OK, perhaps the guy whose name it bears has something to with the date)? We should have it in March or April, when you can go out and pick wildflowers instead of submitting to some florist's idea of a bouquet...


February 15, 2000
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