Backlog: 46 States To Go

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Not hearing Newt Gingrich’s name at all last night during the Michigan primary coverage reminded me about these photos. Thanks to a new/Twitter/mutual friend, Melissa Lyttle, I was able to attend Newt’s watch party in Orlando during the Americans Elect bus tour. It was great fun to play double-duty – getting some photos for myself at a political event, and interviewing attendees and supporters for the Crash the Party blog.

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New York, New York. (aka, end of tour.)

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We arrived in New York City the day the Giants were honored for winning the Super Bowl. Jenevieve managed to park the bus near the parade route. It was insane, to say the least.

It’s been almost two weeks since we ended our tour in New York. I think I’m just starting to process everything we did and saw while on the road. Every day felt like four, and it’s really hard to wrap my head around the fact that it really was only three weeks. I met some incredible people and made some wonderful friends [whom I miss a lot already] along the way.

More photos from the adventure to come. Be excited.

Two words: Bus. Tour.

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I’ve been working on the Americans Elect “Crash the Party” bus tour since mid-January, so the ignoring of my blog is unintentional. It was a last minute assignment, and so far, worth every moment. We only have a few days left. I’m sad. I mean – I’m happy to be heading home soon and getting back to real life, but tour life is pretty darn sweet, too. The people I’ve been living and traveling with for the last (almost) three weeks are fantastic, and I am very happy to have met them in this way. If nothing else, these new friends are wonderful.

This frame was one of my favorites from the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa, Florida. Think Mardi Gras on a smaller scale and full of pirates. We were so out of place there, and yet, so perfectly placed. While this is a typical scene for the tour of people signing up to learn more about AE, these kids were likely wasted. Almost all of the people we met that day were wasted.

Long live the pirate. Or whatever they’re dressed as.

Backlog: Longing for beauty; longing for sound

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Scott and I went to the Olympic Peninsula for vacation this past August, just after I finished up my internship at The Seattle Times. I explored the stillness and silence of the single image. Ten weeks of video; I just wanted my photographs to stop talking for a moment.

Today, I worked for a freelance client in a government agency building. There are still four more days to go on this project. It’s good work, but for the silence of the office and isolation of the hallways. I just want to be back here in the world, listening to nature.

(1. The ferry between Edmonds/Kingston. 2. Hiking up Hurricane Ridge. 3. The end of the world, Cape Flattery.)

Long post: The White House Holiday Tweetup

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A few weeks ago, I heard about a White House Tweetup (a gathering of White House Twitter account followers for a specially planned program) from a friend of mine that included talks from some administration officials and then a tour of the White House to see the holiday decorations. I may not celebrate Christmas, but I certainly would not turn down an opportunity to take Scott to see the White House. So I applied. And lucky us – we got selected to go! (So did my friend, Elliot.)

We spent the morning at the presentation, listening to a wide range (very wide) of officials talk – from the First Lady’s chief of staff, to an economic policy guru, to the heads of the technology and public engagement offices, and ending with the White House pastry chef and florist. But I have to say, the highlight of the day was most definitely touring the White House. There are signs everywhere in security that say NO CAMERAS, but for the holidays they waive that rule for visitors.

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Thank you, to whomever made that decision.

York, PA was once the capital of the United States.

It also was once my home – for college.

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Scott and I went up to my old college town to visit our grad school friend Chris Dunn in her new work town. So of course, I had to show them around campus.

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We found this squirrel inside the trashcan. He scared the pants off us at first. Scott put a stick into the lid to keep it open and our little friend eventually made his way out.

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Then we went to see my sorority house, wherein we scared the pants off some of the sisters. When I lived there, every so often we would get some random old-looking alumni poking around the yard and coming to the door to show off the house. We thought it was creepy, yet endearing. I totally earned the “creepy alumni” pearl today.

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We ended up back at Chris’s place and sat around discussing the merits and usage of ‘backs of people’ photographs and other news-y things. This was our ‘campfire.’ Chris is in the middle of a move. I’m just happy to spend time with a friend.

We capped off our evening with glow bowling, but I opted to fully enjoy it* instead of taking photographs.

Funny, in hindsight I wish I hadn’t.

* I have this strange theory that I don’t necessarily ‘fully enjoy’ experiences when I’m behind my camera. Not that I don’t enjoy being behind it – it just changes the way I see the events unfolding. I look for moments before they happen when I’m photographing, hitting that shutter just at the right time to capture something so fleeting. But when I’m just me, no camera in hand, I let time take its own course and I watch moments that could be photographs pass me by. Perhaps the fact that I still recognize those moments is why I feel like I wish I had taken some pictures that night. I see them in my memory, but not on my card. Alas, the perils of attempting to ‘just be normal’ for a moment.

Protesting for their families’ and countrymen’s lives

Protests are nothing new in Washington, DC. Neither are protests at the White House, held in the blocked off section of Pennsylvania Avenue. But this was the first one I’ve seen grow from maybe 50 people to hundreds in a matter of minutes, and the first one where I wished that the President really could hear them (he was out of town) and DO something about it.

Their grievance? The Coptic Christians in Egypt are reportedly being killed by the Egyptian Police and Military in a semi-covert effort to create a Muslim state. Whether this report is true or not, people are dying, and those who gathered on October 19th to shout are hurting.

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Backlog: Beauty in darkness

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Leaving work at 2 or 3am was never that bad in Seattle. To walk outside and see this skyline made every hour worth it. (And of course, the finished products of my efforts.)

I miss Seattle immensely. My job was quite possibly one of the coolest I’ve ever had, and I got to work with brilliant, wonderful people. Being home in DC – freelancing and job searching – has given me some great time to reflect on the experience. Every minute away from home was worth every minute exploring my temporary city. A city that hasn’t quite left my blood.

There are new opportunities on the horizon here, and I am excited to see where they lead. Every step forward is possible because of Seattle. Yes, also because of many, many other things… but Seattle was that last solidifying brick in my foundation.