Monday, May 28, 2012

Mesquite, what I'm eating and with whom

I'm reading, not listening to, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, his account of working at Arches National Park when it was a primitive campground. When i asked Katy if it was lonely and isolated growing up in the remote south eastern corner of Arizona she told me she had interesting friends growing up, like the kid of Edward Abbey. I probably came to this bk 2 late but I am enjoying it. He talks about how he'd like to write a book on Juniper trees. A book on a particular juniper tree. Interesting idea. When one slows down one's life the particular becomes fascinating. I am just now flooding my backyard and side yard with wild birds. I went to Wild Bird on Ft. Lowell and Country Club and the man who won't stop talking told me about this tiny black seed that attracts yellow birds. It does just that and I watch much of the hot days since it is in the shaded area of my breakfast table. The smaller the bird , the more cautious....I think.
As one might guess I have become very interested in trees and as I allow that interest to develop I shoot more and more trees. A friend is battling lung cancer and my intention is to make her a bk of trees.
I am particularly interested in the mesquite tree. "A Pocket Guide To TREES by Rutherford Platt writes :"The most important tree from Texas to southern California". Around Tucson mesquite is well loved for its crushed seed to make pan cake mix (go ask Diane Rhoades what she thinks of mesquite pancakes). I go a woods permit to cut and collect firewood and it was from a mesquite patch up north of Oracle next to the YMCA summer camp. So I am busy studying the mesquite population.




Driving out near where Paul McCartney has a house I found mesquite which lead me to a sign for produce. I followed that to an organic farm and bought squash. (Elderberry farm) Edibles and medicinals.


went home and Peter Crown came over and we cooked his salmon and some sliced oiled squash.






Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Katy Bound, the eclipse of the sun, Breena's fine performance and another cowboy bbq in the sesert

Why is it I keep wanting to shoot Katy. Can it b her 6 ' 3 " frame? Probably is. Trouble is she has a life so I don't always get her when I want her. Your and my lose.
"Katy practicing her face-sitting on a fireman's dummy in the backyard of Eric Kroll's estate"

My friend Maya Estes I first met when she worked at Rory's Ice Cream Parlor. I had just gotten divorced and was co-raising my two daughters Willa, 7, and Leah 12. I immediately asked Maya to marry me. She was 17 yrs old and turned me down. We became friends and would hang out talking God, fatherhood and religion. Once we walked the Grace Church outdoor maze high on wine. She's invite me to her crazy fashion shows of her draped clothes. Once in the St. Francis hotel. Her work reminded me of the freedom found in Andre Walker's fashion of the early 1980's. They were her thoughts draped across a lovely young woman. Sometimes she'd be a part of a complex menage of SF talent in some downtown club after midnite. Then she got hired by Abercombie and Fitch and moved to Ohio! I introduced her to the fine erotic photographer, Chas Rae Krider (I did his bk Motel Fetish for Taschen) and they shot. When I had the Ventana Canyon house as my second home she'd come out and get very drunk and happy and we'd do wild things in public. Now she designs the lingerie for Forever Young and sent me some examples to photo. The work is the opposite from the vintage lingerie I normally shoot with but Katy loves Victoria Secret 



and I had a feeling she'd love Maya's work. She did.



When I was first with Felice after my divorce her 'play' name was Gwen, based by me on John Willie's character Sweet Gwendoline who was always in peril and having to be rescued by a strong and determined brunette. I designed a multi-strap bondage piece and found a leather shop in Petaluma and asked them to make it. I still have the piece.



On my way to follow my friend Carl Hanni's rental back to the airport, Peter reminded me of the total eclipse of the sun and how to make a pinhole camera. Take a shoe box like box and cut a two inch square in one end of the box and cover it with tin foil. Then make a pin hole in the tin foil.


 At the other end of the box should be a white wall. Near that end cut a small hole to watch the eclipse reflected on the white wall. 






I parked across from Carl's house on 4th Ave and 17th st (Armory Park). Shana Zimmerman came by on her way to Marianne Dissard's  birthday party.


Breena raises a 8 yr old girl child, is in a live in relationship, is learning to teach yoga and is a fine pole dancer. Oh and she wrote and starred in a history of cabaret performed this past Saturday next door to
Solar Culture Gallery on Toole. 
























Friday, May 11, 2012

Emma Now and Then

When I worked for TASCHEN I would stop in at Jumbo's Clown room on Hollywood Blvd on my way home to Silver Lake. My master's student, Amy Sampson, from CCA used work there as a waitress. I got to know the talented pole dancers and Emma was an early favorite. She had a verve. Making corsets, doing performance art on stage (I saw her once accidently ingest a gold fish and finish her act). I've been gone form Jumbos over three years and Emma has also moved on. She got her stewardess certification and went back to school in cooking and came away working for a private jet company flying around the US and Europe cooking for executives in the air!
When I shot her in LA her bf at the time suggested I do something outrageous. I dressed her in a full length pvc catsuit and crazy vintage chapeau, bound her wrists behind her, blind-folded her and brought her to the Imperial restaurant on Hillcrest. The Chinese restaurant was used to me and it was slow for lunch and no one minded. On the way home I made her drive Elia Katz, writer, videographer, back to the house NAKED. We laughed alot and still do.
Three years later she is more beautiful. Her Italian blood comes out in the desert



 and Scott, her bf (born and raised in Tucson, is right there with her.
Here's a photo I took at least 4 yrs ago in my house in Silver Lake (LA)

She's always on the go and therefore exhausted and she thinks that she looks terrible everytime we shoot now. I see her soul and she is fine in the most beautiful way

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Luckily, I have your license plate a..hole. You f..ked with the wrong girl





I met her through Hos, a friendship I’ve had for a short time. I had invited him and his photographer friend (and my acquaintance) JR out to `dinner in the desert’, something I REALLY like to do. I was going to par boil then bbq some chicken, salad, a potatoes wrapped in tinfoil. I do this often with friends. Go all the way east on Broadway, make a right on Freeman, follow that all the way to the end, make a left onto Old Spanish Trail go a short distance and make your first left again into Saguaro East. If you have a senior pass like I do you can bring as many “juniors or senior in as fit in your vehicle. Gail came with me and Alahundra showed up last (Mexican concerned photographer doing photos as relates to Hermosillo, her home town). Laura brought Wayne and Carl finished the group out. JR called last minute and said he was going back up to Phoenix to bring back a fabulous redhead.
That was more than annoying since I had borrowed money and spent money according to whom I expected. Annoyed at my reaction, he said something about
“I’ll buy you chicken”.
He called the next day inviting me to dinner wherever I wanted to go, inviting Gail, bringing as his guest JR and the fab redhead. I’m already there when she walks in in a very low cut tight fitting white dress. I’m in fine form and so is a relaxed JR. Most be the girl because in the morning he was very precise and tight and now he was flowing. I tried to be charming but her cleavage was distracting me. I mentioned her breasts and Hos reprimanded me and, I think, JR laughed. She got flaustered and placed two napkins over her freckled breasts. That I liked even better and managed to get her to sign one of the napkins.
At some point over chicken wings and shrimp with noodles she mentioned she wanted to see the Grand Canyon. Personally, it doesn’t do anything for me. Just a big hole in the ground without ruins or many if any pictoglyphs. If the ancient peoples didn’t `see it’, I wasn’t seeing it. I’d rather go to Canyon de Chelly or Monument Valley, BUT a female completes my work, so offered to take her. The two men encouraged her to do it. To have an “adventure”. I should have known then what I know now. To her I was a freak and she wanted something freaky…a career move.

I wasn’t attracted to her and she definitely wasn’t attracted to me or even playing me. Things seemed to be spinning in her head and I suggested JR come along. Hw declined and noted I had no backseat…BUT I do. Then Hos chimed up pointing out that he had paid for JR’s room and JR couldn’t leave. Humm. Two guys and a woman broke and one wealthy dude. It can’t work but I correctly figured there was blog material in the bog of this Cube of 4 “marginal"
adults.

I got up at 5 and washed the car at a car wash. I was supposed to pick her up at 10 but I was running late, Then she called at 9 saying she just woke up. (A bad sign). I assumed she was at Hos’ hotel in the Desert. Nope. After suggesting she come down to Tucson from the Biltmore in Scotsdale and that he would pay for her, knowing she was broke, he unceremiously dropped her at the Hampton Inn and drove away. (Her) Visa to the rescue. I don’t know if there is a syndrome but he had it. Boasting
grand promises, he later reconsiders and doesn't do as he has promised. The finest example I can give is after inviting us all to dinner at a restaurant of my choice and eating enough for two people he lays down a $20 dollar bill on top of the check and sits back smugly like a character in Alice in Wonderland or Star Trek. The other two are stunned. I am not, since I’m 400 dollars overdrawn and have no money to contribute. There is stammering and gasps as JR and Melody dig for money. Finally, feigning disgust, Hos lays down another twenty!

She needs more time…I need more time to fill the truck with vintage Western wear, food and tools to cook with. I start getting alternate calls from JR and Melody. I get a txt from Melody:

Okay I have been waiting outside for awhile. JR is stuck in a weird situation. He says he is going to escape Hos and go to a hotel. Maybe we should drive him.

Only if he doesn’t mind being a hood ornament. The truck is full. He calls and says he is at Hotel Congress.
He suggests that instead of she and I driving north I should take her “to interesting places around town and shoot her”. No thanks I tell him.
I have no interest in being a tour guide. She’s not even my type. She’s not comfortable with nudity or partial nudity and I’m starting to think she’s crazier than a bedbug. Plus I wasn’t able to get a good face shot at the dinner table the nite before. The key to my success is I pick subjects that are photogenic in the manner I like. I told him that I was staying home and pleased to drop the whole proposed trip.

Immediately I get a call from Melody that going with me is more important than a relationship with JR. She likes to have a guy in every city but this (me shooting her) is more important. I continue packing till JR calls again and says he will come with us and is it alright if the two of them go off alone at nite at the end of the day.  I kill that idea and go off to pick up Melody.

We laughed a lot over Mexican late lunch at Lupe’s where rt 79 meets Oracle Rd and snuck shots of tequila and squirts of sliced lime. She tells me about this boyfriend and that broken promise till ‘drama queen’ looms over her head.

We stop to take photos along the west rim of rt 79 and she seems to be enjoying herself. She keeps mentioning “an adventure”. Then she tells me I look like Cheetch of Cheetch and Chong. Then she tells me in detail about her sex play “with the sickiest drummer” ever she met in Nashville last week after he claims she gave him her number when she was so drunk she couldn’t remember having done so.
It was hard to tell which guy was which so I nodded my head and told her to let me see her tits and she said why do men keep wanting her. All she has to do to find a guy is go somewhere and pick one out, she related.

We shot near some long neck vultures with red becks like from a comic in Cracked magazine and then she asked me if I had ever done nudes! When we got back in the car she gleefully wanted to tell me how she got an upgrade at the Biltmore hotel in Scottsdale.
She told me before she went (she’s from the north) she asked her boyfriend (old new current I couldn’t dysifer) for a lock of his long hair. The nite of the first nite she put it in her bed and called the front desk at 2 am complaining of having found hair in her bed! The upgraded her to a $500 room and compted her breakfast. (I felt a bit sick to my stomach). I asked her if she feared the maid might have gotten fired subsequently. She batted her eyes and said she hadn’t thought of that. Don’t get me wrong. I have stolen my share of cowboy dinner plates, Denny’s sugar packets and many many too many soaps from Motel 6 (I stayed there six times in 2011) but never at risk of someone’s job.

The secret shots of tequila not film increased when we stopped at Casa Denogean. She kept eyeing the young (21 yrs old) Nestor. She asked me to take their photo together then she told me about the 21 yr old who picked her up in Nashville who was someone different than the `sick’ drummer. She had come to Nashville for inspiration to finish her cd. She was a trained singer, besides a Pilates instructress. We took more photos and as we were leaving a police officer drove up and Melody got excited and wanted to be shot with him. He asked us to wait until his partner came since both she and the other officer were from up north.
They asked if we wanted her in handcuffs, Nice idea but not tonight, or at least not yet. The police warned us to watch out for elk on the ridge once we cleared the tunnel.

I saw no elk and headed into Miami, deserted except for the 412 Bar on Live Oak street. Bars are always good to shoot in. She ordered a shot for each of us of patron and went off to the girl’s room. When she came back she was on her smart phone talking to JR back in his hotel room at the Congress (he told me later he didn’t sleep from all the noise). She looked good pacing back and forth in my low cut black Christmas dress with white fur trim, her head framed by the grey ten gallon cowboy hat I had asked her to wear. But I was pissed. I had asked her to stay present while we shot and now she was rattling off her woes to JR (forever the victim). After a time, she came back to the bar and as she was about to hang up said “I’ll call you back”.

The spell was broke I was done. I figured I’d fine a place for us to sleep and I’d drive her back to Tucson the next day. I asked her to change back into her clothes and she gave me that pissed off look and asked if I just wanted my clothes back or was I angry. I said both. She stormed off to the bathroom and came back with my dress in hand. At the truck she demanded I drive us back to Tucson. I told her I wouldn’t since I was exhausted and had been drinking. She grabbed her bag and her Frank Lloyd Wright lamp in a box she had bought at Taliesin as a present and the remaining bottle of tequila and put it all on the sidewalk.

No hug no embrace before driving away. I felt a great sense of relief figuring she had called Hos or JR to come get her. After all, she had her visa card. I had lost mine years ago. JR told me subsequently she had gotten herself to Phoenix.

I drove back giddy but tired as far as a big overhanging tree in the prison town of Florence and fell asleep with my driver’s seat set back. Around two am I was awoken by a text message and read:

“Luckily, I have your license plate asshole. You fucked with the wrong girl”.

Shit! As I drove to find a cop I kept wandering why I hadn’t been stopped. I found one drinking coffee and eating a glazed donut. I went over and was about to ask him what I should do and noticed my license plate was exactly where it should have been! Either she was so drunk she stole the wrong truck’s license plate or she copied down my license which is fine with me. I bought a coffee and drove back alone to Tucson twelve hours after I left.







Epilogue. JR wakes me from my Sunday afternoon siesta and wants to know what happened. I tell him thinking I’m talking with Hos. Then he wants to know how I could leave her in Miami. I think about having been raised by an alcoholic dad. What drunk decisions by an adult (Melody is 39 yrs young) mean to me and tell him I felt fine doing her bidding- leaving her in Miami. If I realize someone is an alcoholic I go away. I drove away. I invited him to a vegetarian brunch but he told me he needs to “chill” by the pool. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

City of Angeles ....Jessica Freebird

When she was younger we had a thing. She was petulant and wild. we first met in a Ralph's parking lot in the valley then went to a `free' party nearby. It began the day after July 4th and ended abruptly Halloween of that same year in San Francisco.
Years later, she's (23) grounded now on her way to college but won't let me reveal where because she still has a stalker from high school days that has sent me death threats. Her young mother drove 90 miles an hour to my house in Silver Lake, climbed my metal spiked 8 ft fence, woke my crazy landlord and made him call the police who came and unlocked my door. Obstensively to find her daughter but her daughter wan't there nor was she with me. I told her she should have made this phone call years before and hung up the phone.
There is something magnificent about her. I picked out a park she had played in when she was 10 yrs old after she had shown me the many tattoos she had gotten after we split. Some were being removed and some would remain.





one of several she is removing





"she's younger than that now"