This is the street in front of the house where my parents lived in 1982 when I was born. It’s in Aspinwall, a borough of Pittsburgh. My Mom was 21, my Dad was 22. My grandparents Ann (Mimi) and Denis (Denny) Dice owned it. Denny does not like to be called Grampa. By the time my parents were 25 they had 3 kids. I remember being on the playground at St. Mary’s Catholic elementary school in Bellevue, Nebraska and telling my friends that my parents were 29. How insane is that?
Eva told me that this shot looks like something out of a Korean Nail Salon, hence the title.
This is from the Seoraksan National Park in Korea. We stayed in a hotel inside the national park with a complete British theme. By complete I mean complete, all encompassing, thorough and over-the-top. Photos of Princess Di everywhere. Family photos of Prince Charles and Princess Di with their sons. Relics once owned by the Royal family. It was just very bizarre and out of place. The only thing missing was a full-scale diorama of a smashed up and smoking Mercedes surrounded by French papparazzi.
This photo is from, as is evident from the title, Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia. There is much dispute in the Cook household as to who actually took this photo. Eva believes she took it. I believe I took it. The mystery remains.
This Hyde Park, contrary to the park in London with the same name, had no visible discarded syringes. This, I believe, was a plus.
It was so weird. I flew to Ireland just to see this castle. Ballina, Ireland in fact, just north of Lough Conn. The gothic structure, built in the 1530′s by expatriated Lithuanian sharecroppers, housed Karl Marx’s estranged daughter from 1869 to 1882. She died March 14th, 1882 (exactly 0ne year before her father) when she was inadvertently killed by small pox transmitted by a supply package of contaminated food sent to her by a subversive Russian group which called itself simply ‘Roch’ and would eventually serve as the model for the KGB. Ironically the outbreak in her castle was simultaneously contained by the inherent secrecy of both her mere existence and location. The flags in this photo were preserved as discovered by the Nazi explorer (and arguable catalyst of two Indiana Jones films) Otto Rahn in 1936. It’s now known Marx’s daughter, (whose name is yet a mystery), was estranged for her refusal to accept the tenants of Communism as well as for her profound love of the faraway fledgling republic of the United States. She never visited the U.S. while alive. Her deathbed wish was granted, however, and she was buried in an unmarked grave under the “US Center Chapel” in Lebanon, Kansas–the geographic center of the United States of America.
This is what happens when the magnificent US Army Abrams main battle tank fires. It’s awesome. Trust me. Well, I guess most of you will have to just trust me. Everyone sees us roll past them at about 30 mph with our heat blasting in December, listening to our iPods over the comm system and is instantaneously jealous. “Why carry a gun when the gun can carry you?” they say. I agree. Except now I’m on Humvees spelled HMMWVs. Bummer.
There is an electronics super mart in a wing of this mall. It has everything imaginable with an on switch. It is magnificent. It is spectacular. It’s like a bowl of angel tears poured into a plastic ice tray and frozen to make angel tear ice cubes to chill glasses of maple syrup from the maple trees which were in the garden of Eden. Still not convinced? Then don’t go. Loser.
First of all, the photo today has less to do with my commentary than it usually does, which is impressive. Eva and I went to 7 Springs Ski Resort in Pennsylvania to ski. It was a lot of fun, except for the fact that I got some kind of hellish flu. 102 degree temperature=horrendous. Anyway, we get to 7 Springs and unpack a little bit and hang out with the family for a bit. It gets late, and since we’re trying to get out skiing early the next morning, we go downstairs to get ready for bed. We were sleeping in bunk beds with my mom and dad. Eva and I were both on top bunks. So we’re getting ready for bed, and we open up my toiletries, and there’s my toothbrush. But not Eva’s. So then Eva says: “Oh man, I can’t believe we forgot my toothbrush.” WE. Makes the flu worth it.
The pic is of my old tank’s track in Korea at the Korean National Training Center.
That’s exactly what this guy was looking at. Nothing. I was there, so, trust me. Now, I realize that most police related reality shows up to and including the one with the redneck leather skin guy that captures criminals for the bounty while riding around with his obese common law wife in unnecessary convoys of black SUVs with Limousine tint windows will probably tell you that eye witness accounts are worthless after he learned it from ‘Law & Order’ just like I did, but that doesn’t apply here.
Sunset on a mountain behind a mountain over a mountain behind me to the furthest mountain with the light from the over the mountain sunset.
This is Wanaka, New Zealand. Eva and I went there in August 2007 while we were living in Korea. New Zealand is, hands down, the most spectacularly scenic and unabashedly naturally beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I highly recommend it. I don’t recommend whacking your shin on an inch thick 100lb glass coffee table thereby devoting your shin bone and bleeding through the jeans you have on. I’ve done both. New Zealand is better.
The squirrel’s in D.C. are quite daring as is evident. This little bugger was snacking on a wayward piece of bread someone had discarded. I saw him snacking away, minding his own business. What was the first thing that came to my mind? Obviously, “Hmm, I wonder how close I can get to that squirrel.” So I crept. Slowly…deftly…silently. He stood fast, snacking and peering at me through his glassy black squirrel eye. I un-shouldered my camera, ever so silently removed the lens cap, focused and snapped. He didn’t move. Neither did I. Could I have gotten closer? Yea, I could have stepped on his face. But I didn’t. There you go… the meaning of life.
I inadvertently snapped this of Eva and I in Vienna, Austria in front of what my Mom would have you believe is Parliament. She told us every ornate building we saw was Parliament. She was wrong. Every time. In Austria we stayed at a B&B run by a woman named Edith. Edith was a holier than thou Austrian nationalist with a deep seeded disdain for all things American, an ability to convince herself that smoking was better for you that chocolate, and a proclivity for making crappy breakfasts and even crappier coffee.
No, no, no… not the terrible and overtly unfunny Sunday cartoon. The picture. It’s my family. In a circle. Well most of ‘em anyhow. No George. *sad emoticon*
Step 1. Go to Germany.
Step 2. Go to the “Glockenspiel.” (read: “giant clock that is supposed to do cool things but doesn’t”)
Step 3. Place camera on ground, lens up, with timer set.
Step 4. Convince unwilling family to get into circle and look down at an inanimate object, with as little explanation as possible, and in less time than you set the timer for.
Step 5. Fin.
You see, intriguing photography really IS easy! And how!
I took this shot in Italy when Eva and I went to Europe after we graduated in May ’08. We went to Germany very briefly, then rented a car and drove to Italy. The drive was spectacular. In Italy we spent 3 days in Vernazza, a small coastal town on the Italian riviera. Vernazza is one of five towns that make up Cinque Terre, a string of five similar coastal towns along Italy’s western coast. I highly recommend it. Don’t, however, eat the sardine “delicacy” they push at the restaurants there. It’s only a delicacy if you think delicacy is synonymous with heinous disgusting putrid foul fish-dish disaster.