Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Photographers Life

Tommy needed a last minute location to do a photo shoot and reluctantly I agreed. I had a full work day scheduled, including a call with Super Dave but he pretty much begged and promised that this was a well-known important model here in Argentina. What could I say?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tango & Cash

So I temporarily adopted a cat, for a week. I reluctantly agreed. His name is Tango and I’m Cash, just for the week. At six weeks old he’s already had it pretty rough. He was ‘rescued’ by a group of very kind and thoughtful (although at times I’m doubtful as to how thought-through they might be – I mean just head over to Parque Lezama down the street here in San Telmo and there are hundreds of cats, whether in need of rescue or not, how one knows I know not) friends and friends of friends. He’s only contagious to other cats, has ringworm – note to self, don’t put hand near face after petting little scrawny kitty - but is fine now. Isn’t he sooo cute? What could I say, especially after half an hour of saying no? OK, I finally said.

Tango likes chicken, but only gets a little bit each day. He’s also gained in strength and learned how to leap into my face while I’m lying on the couch on a cool-down break from the sweltering spring heat. He also figured out that he could jump through the small side windows that run from the ceiling to the floor next to the main door of my loft and out onto the upper balcony to begin exploring the outside world. Even though he’s still a bit skittish he relishes his bouts with the external world, on his way to being a young, healthy and confident Tabby cat and very deserving of a good home.

Tango improved so quickly that sadly, he didn’t even need to stay the week and has returned home to be with the other ‘rescued’ cats now that he is not contagious. Although I’m sorry to see him go, I just can’t make that commitment – to care for an animal - right now. I’m pretty much preoccupied on working on my ‘ole lonesome self. But I wanted to post a few pics of the little Tango for all the cat lovers out there.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ojo for Ojo & Happy Holidays

Well, its been another year, almost. And its the holidays and its summer in the southern hemisphere, always a bit strange for North Americans. But I'm thankful this holiday season. Thanks to all your loyal blog readers from around the world. Thanks to all my friends and family here in BA and back home. Thanks to Ethan and Steele for keeping up on the DWF and I'm thankful to be able to say I've CAUGHT UP with my current photo workload. These pictures below we're all taken yesterday and have been through all sixteen steps on my new workflow check list. I might post that on my website or on another blog to help others with their photo nightmare's also. Or perhaps most people just use iPhoto and don't have a problem... I wonder.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Lightning, Ladies, Lomo & Ricardo

Have been at a loss for words of late with no real interesting photos to share either, at least not publicly. That would be for a real blog that as of now, I'm not prepared to keep. So I was going to briefly comment on yesterday - the third lightening storm we've had in almost a week, ripping through with torrential rains and the loudest of loud thunder - thunder that sounds more like a back lot sound studio re-creation than actual thunder, like how the timpani drum sounds so real during an orchestra performance, making one question the difference between actual real thunder and make believe or movie thunder in Dolby 5.1 surround.

The lomo (tenderloin steak) on the other hand - Oh My God - never ceases to amaze me. So rare, so juicy and just soo damn bloody good, are these steaks. I actually don't eat a ton of meat, or even a lot, but there comes a time when you get that hankerin' for a fat-boy piece of meat and man, they do not screw around with their steaks down here. Ethan got back from a month in Peru and we went out last night for his first real meal (not including Fanta) in the same time period. Man was it incredible, the lomos.

Most might know by now a thing or two about Argentine beef, but for those that don't, a few simple facts.
  • Argentine beef comes from natural, range feed cattle on mostly organic diets of straight-up pampa grass.
  • This means excellent flavor WITHOUT the fancy overnight marinades as there is simply no reason to mask the taste of the actual meat.
  • An asado here, or BBQ, is really about the art of preparing, building and maintaining the fire in the grill. Just add salt and cook. That's it. No reason to ruin an already incredible steak.
  • Al punto or jugoso? Cooked just right or bloody - those are your choices. But beware, al punto is still red, dripping and juicy, juicy, juicy!
Oh... the pictures. Yeah, made it to another 'hot model party', as Tommy pitched it last week. A year end bash for the girl in the white t-shirt. And that's Ricardo Piñero, owner of the top modeling agency here in Argentina. I spent the day at his cat compound last summer in Punta, broke and homeless. Speaking of broke, there's Broke Ass Stuart of SF/LP fame (above in cap).

And of course, least we forget about Tommy, the original porteño. Actually, also wanted to give a shout out to the eNano Peruano tuerto, pictured below, who is now alive, well-enough and kicking himself, screaming (at least he was in the back of the ambulance coming down the Andean mountains in Peru. Welcome back...

Monday, December 11, 2006

La Boca - Pura Vida

More random snaps, these from La Boca, home to the famous Boca Juniors futbol team and to Caminito, current home to street tango, weekend tourists and some of the best sites in BsAs.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dominating the Chaos

A bunch of random photos from June of this year on a road trip to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. A lawless region that borders on Brasil, Argentina and Paraguay, the Triple Fronteria zone is CRAZY!

On the digital workflow front, orgainizing thousands upon thousands of digital images can be daunting, not like the film days - there they are, right there in that binder. I see each one. And when working with very large (13MB) images, its even tougher. These images are low-res jpg previews coming out of iView Media Pro's virtual catalogs. Next step - CAPTIONS embedded into the metadata!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


"When you're lost in the Wild and you're scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you're sore as a boil it's according to Hoyle

To cock your revolver and die.

But the Code of Man says: 'Fight all you can,'
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, its easy to blow...

It's the hell-served-for-breakfast that's hard."

From Robert Service's poem, The Quitter, which is taken from a book I'm currently reading called A Voyage for Madmen, by Peter Nichols, about a race in 1968 to see who could sail around the world first; alone and without stopping. Nine men set sail and only one finishes in this epic tale of the utmost courage and deolute solitude.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Real Departed - Chau Sr. Altman

Robert Altman died last week at age 81, with his boots on, just as he’d hoped. For those that aren’t immediately familiar with that name, log on to Netflix or go to the local video store and rent any of his truly great American masterpiece films, all made with NO traditional Hollywood financial backing - true independent filmmaking at its finest.

Maybe you'd like his first film, the original MASH, or the fantastic The Long Goodbye with Elliot Gould's impeccable portrayal of a modern-day Philip Marlowe, or there's one of the greatest westerns ever made, McCabe & Mrs. Miller with Warren Beaty and Juile Christie, or how about the star-studded 70's mega-musical Nashville, or The Player with Tim Robins, and of course, least we forget one of my top five personal favorite films of all time - Shortcuts - a bitingly dark, brooding and hilarious look at several characters all intermingling with each other in the greater Los Angeles area, based on several short stories by Raymond Carver.

Chiming along with The Social Worker, I also say thanks to you Mr. Altman. Thanks for those memories and for your efforts, all forty or so of them, including the ones I haven’t seen.

Since we're on the topic of movies and Hollywood, had to mention Scorseses’ latest, The Departed, or Los Infiltrados (The Infiltrated in Spanish) (1) that I caught yesterday, escaping gale-force winds from the West for a dark, quite and pleasing Hollywood getaway. OK, I mentioned it... maybe more later, but just to say that "I'm impressed Marty, that you're still able (barely) to pull out the stops, digging deep back to your roots - the streets, the mean ones - giving us an entertaininng, provocative and well-made tough guy film. Nice one Marty and Chau Bob Altman, you and your work will not be forgotten.

1 - Note, the film's running time, listed at 150 minutes, is long. So long that here in Argentina they had to take INTERMISSION! WHAT?! Right in the middle of the film, with no forewarning - CUT!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Barbara Bush Bag Battalion

Despite the US secret services best attempts, and while under heavy Argentine guard and escort, Barbara Bush, age 24 and daughter of US President George Bush, had her handbag snatched from under several watchful eyes while eating with her twin sister Jenna in San Telmo's Plaza Dorrego. Read all about it in the London Guardian.

That's funny, my buddy Jeff visiting from San Francisco, was in the plaza that same afternoon writing. "I didn't see anything either," he simply replied.

Other random happenings and events in the past week or so.
  • Edesur, the main electric company for Buenos Aires (I'm guessing, somehow related to the old man Edison himself if nothing other than in name only) came yesterday morning to rudely awaken me, notifying me that they were going to cut off my power. Then the technician then actually opened the circuit breaker box and literally cut the power wires to my apartment. There was an outstanding bill of a whopping $16AR ($5USD) that had gone unpaid and that was that. No more power.
  • Paid the debt of $16AR and got a stamp on my bill saying as much
  • After several attempts on my laptop, emailing the electric company while thinking the whole while how futile my efforts must be, without the ability to actually call them because my cordless telephone also needs electricity, I begin to realize how much I actually rely on toma corriente.
  • Today at 8:45am there's a loud knock on the door and the bug spray guy is standing there. "Absolutely NOT!" was my simple answer. "OK, we'll catch you the next time. But it was posted outside the door."
  • Then my doorbell rings at 9:30am and its Edesur - "We're here to turn your power back on," says the technician. And just like that, the power goes back on and all is well. Didn't even have anything in the fridge (besides Jeff's leftovers that he ate anyway first thing this morning while I was frantically getting the house in order for the new maid.
  • 11am this morning and the doorbell rings again - its Gladys - my new Peruvian maid. THANKS GLADYS!! (And she's pretty beyond just being pretty handy with the broom and plumero.)
  • 1:30 - meet the graphic designer at the Obelisco
  • 2pm - pick up tiny rental car and head for the gaucho town of San Antonio del Areco and then on to Rosario for another night.
  • Met up with Miss Tango in Her Eyes and Tango Speak for the first time - very cool.
  • Massive karting outing with several rib injuries, none of them sustained by me.
  • Happy Thanksgiving - a day of remembering the thankful Pilgrims and their new native American friends that we later slaughter, just like the buffalo on the open plains of the western United States.
Hope Barbara Bush had tons of money in that purse. Wonder if the robbers even know who she was in hindsight? Probably a couple of pibes from the street that have no idea they are now famous.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Paraná River Delta by Boat

I'm Sooo Thirsty!

Tigre, Shopping and Boca Jrs!

So… I went to Tigre on Saturday with V, at first hesitantly and then with full force vigor – time to get out of my pad, out of the neighborhood, out of the city. The touristy boat ride through the Paraná Delta canals was actually pretty cool and I ended up shooting like 500 images, the first time I've had my camera out in what now seems like moths. Sunday was set aside for a last-ditch effort to get some damn furniture for my empty crib. Bus to subway and then a ten block walk to the Mercado de Pulgas in Palermo. I have this major aversion to buying things, its part of my standard anti-consumerism stand, but I needed a fucking DESK to be able to sit (oh, and a proper chair) and work, instead of trying to lay on my lone couch and fall asleep in the moist tropical afternoon air.

The first thing we see is – a desk - $330AR ($110USD). It’s starting to already add up in my head. “You are soo cheap!” says V. No, just frugal. I want used furniture that is NOT antique, basic, wood and, yeah basic. Nothing fancy, nothing to covet. Then it starts, the dizzying walk up and down the aisles – so many items from so many people’s pasts. Finally V tells me "you’re going to buy that table." But what about my CHAIR? I still need a chair!! One last manic, almost panicked roundabout and I just couldn’t make up my mind. None of the chairs felt comfortable enough for my big precious hairy ass. Let’s go to the ATM and mull on all this.

And then there was this other ‘Country Furniture’ store just down the road, all by its lonesome. The huge red antique wagon wheel out front sold me – where getting stuff here! “You really did grow up on a farm,” V comments. Another hour goes by and I’ve completely exhausted all combinations of chairs, tables and bookshelves. What I really want, now in full retail consumer therapy mode, is that antique POKER TABLE! But its pretty old, a bit wobbly and like $500AR – and it’s not a desk. I pull the trigger and have bought my stuff.

Now I have to hire an old fat guy with a van to cart all my meaningless but necessary possessions and V and I back to San Telmo, where we have to double park because its feria day and truck all the stuff up to my flat, take a quick shower and then Luis shows up with his son Martín. Then his other son Pablo shows up with his buddy from Brazil and then eNano strolls in with his new military summer buzz cut and we’re off to the Cancha del La Boca La Bombanera to see Boca Jrs. play against Quilmes – my second trip to a futbol match here in Argentina. This time, we’ve got killer seats in the privileged sector, not like LAST TIME!

Boca is up 1-0 and there’s a penalty in front of the goal in favor of Boca – free shot on goal which is perfect and now its 2-0. We’re screaming and yelling and jumping up and down. Suddenly Luis gets a phone call – "BOLUDO, put on your best smile because you’re on live TV right now!” We all look at the camera, jumping, screaming and yelling. Boca beats Quilmes and we finally get herded out of the stadium like cattle en route to slaughter. Back on the dark streets of La Boca, Luis gets a text from his woman, “We saw you all on TV and when the broadcast ended, they closed the show out with a tight shot of Grek’s face!”

The last time I saw myself on TV was actually just a few months ago, back in San Francisco at MT’s house. We were watching late night cable and Iron Eagle (1)was playing - a small Hollywood cameo from my youth. MT couldn’t believe it – “that really IS you!” The time before that I think we were shooting an infomercial for prostrate cancer and they needed extra members in the audience. I took off my studio headset and filled in as a concerned male. That was in the 90’s.

1 - Plot Summary for
Iron Eagle (1986) - IMDB

When Doug's father, an Air Force Pilot, is shot down by MiGs belonging to a radical Middle Eastern state, no one seems able to get him out. Doug finds Chappy, an Air Force Colonel who is intrigued by the idea of sending in two fighters piloted by himself and Doug to rescue Doug's father after bombing the MiG base. Their only problems: Borrowing two fighters, getting them from California to the Mediteranean without anyone noticing, and Doug's inability to hit anything unless he has music playing. Then come the minor problems of the state's air defenses.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine Goes to Hooters

Back in California a month or so ago, the American film ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ was all the rage and just about everyone I spoke with, including my trusted Cinephile friends, had nothing but praise for it. So when Pequeña Miss Sunshine showed up here in English with Spanish subtitles, like most foreign films that are shown here in Buenos Aires, I had to go. (Ironically, going to the movies is something I really love but have made virtually no time for here in BA and this may be only the third film I’ve seen in an actual cinema in almost a YEAR)!

Not the greatest film in the world, BUT… extremely well done and very, very funny indeed. So damn funny that I had to go back the next night with some other friends and maybe it was even funnier this time than the first, watching them set up all the scenes and inside jokes within scenes. Deep within a very simple film about a dysfunctional and truly American family; eating giant paper buckets of fried chicken while dealing with life’s hopes and failures, constantly learning about winners and losers from Greg Kinnear, who was pretty damn good actually as the father, ‘Richard’, there is this only-Americans-can-appreciate sense of dark black humor that comes bursting out from the screen into our own very real lives, trashing on every stereotype and Yanki obsession that our televisually-stained culture has picture-perfectly painted for us, sending this viewer for one, howling into fits of uncontrollable laughter along with my American comrades, together laughing to the point of uncontrollable tears, louder than any of the porteños, themselves laughing as well, just not quite as enthusiastically as us.

Afterwards, at midnight, on a Sunday, we stroll down kitchy Puerto Madero’s sort of made-for-strolling walkway. (1) Although not super hungry at this point, especially after whatever ‘super combo’ the concession stands sold us but feeling the need to maybe chat about the film or just enjoy the nighttime air amongst friends, the age old questions rears its ugly head – what to do, where to eat? I’ll spare you all the cheesy and sticky details but needless to say, we had to skip the first place with open outdoor seating - TGI Friday’s – and instead, settled on Hooters!
1 - Puerto Madero is a still-up-and-coming-but-doing-it-very-well-now-after-15-years neighborhood, where expensive eateries and five-star hotels crowd over a stretch of the river made for upscale porteños and tourists alike, including BA’s floating riverboat casino and the Ecological Reserve; a giant spread of nature, made for man and nature – in the middle of the city – with folks from all walks of life coming together, mainly on the weekends in what is an excellent way to spend one's day. Watching nature, mostly birdlife (there are over 400 different species of birds that can be seen thorough binoculars while traversing the reserve) with our families, friends or lovers. One of the best ways to cruise the neighborhood and reserve is on a bicycle that can be rented from La Bicicleta Naranja | The Orange Bicycle, just down the street from me here in San Telmo.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Some Recent Photos

Bumper sticker on little red car.