One of my best friends, of nearly thirteen years, Glo.
Trying to get a better understanding of my editing style… More to come. Had access to some nice studio lights a little while ago.
The moisture eats the air. It’s essential.
Bobbing up, bobbing back. Sinking, falling. Elevated for a moment,
spreading in slow motion.
Crash against the stones. Harder than before.
Spray across the wind.
Soak it in. Soak it all in, reach the greatest diameter.
The fatigue sets and no one’s moving anymore.
No one is swaying, no one is watching. They sweat.
The rolls swell and dip without ever growing smaller.
The body looks at itself for the first time.
In a long time.
She doesn’t see her eyes as they water.
She breathes in the salt as she suffocates.
Canon Rebel Xti
I recently shot the Annual Holiday Party for the Homeless Prenatal Program here in San Francisco. I don’t consider myself good at taking posed photos, and had only a few days to practice using a flash unit my friend Joe gave me, but these are my preferred from the bunch.
iPhone 4, Lightroom
Taken aboard the California Zephyr. Amtrak’s train route goes from San Francisco to Chicago - another route continues from Chicago onto New York City.
October 17th I was driving South on Highway 101 with my younger sister, Mandy, when we decided to pull over for a bathroom break. We’d been driving for about three hours and although I can usually make the whole trip without a stop, Mandy needed to go. I had planned to continue to King City where I knew there were a string of fast food restaurants, but Mandy insisted I pull off at Dean when she saw the Shell gas station sign.
We used the facilities and then I stopped to take a few photos. I wanted to step back and get a shot of the whole station. It’s in an unincorporated community, basically surrounded by agricultural fields, until about 1.25 miles South at the city of Gonzales. When I reached the edge of the parking lot I heard something. There was a loud crying that at first I didn’t recognize, and as I strained my eyes to see where it was coming from I noticed a dark shape amongst the tall weeds.
I walked closer and when I could see it was only a kitten - which hadn’t run away but was still clearly terrified - I picked him up. I was surprised at what I’d found and tried to calm him down. He wasn’t having it. I took him to the car where I hoped he’d stop shaking and might feel more relaxed in an enclosed safe location. But he continued to cry and yelp. The smell of his breath indicated just how dehydrated he was. Mandy sat with him in the passenger seat while I went into the mini-mart asking the attendant if he’d seen other kittens recently.
He said, ”They’re always around, but eventually we stop hearing them.” He seemed to find it kind of funny. I bought a bottle of full fat milk and a Lunchables, thinking he might like a piece of cheese or ham. He refused both. He was too busy trying to escape our hands and our laps. I searched the area for other cats and found nothing. I couldn’t just leave him there.
We continued the drive to Santa Maria, Mandy quickly giving up the passenger seat, frustrated that she couldn’t calm him down. I’ve always been told I have a way with animals, and this time only strengthened that idea. I nudged his forehead roughly as if I was his mother, licking him clean with her barbed tongue and swaddled him to keep warm and content. Soon he was quiet and sleepy. Though he didn’t purr or lick me and still did not eat or drink.
The next day I made a few calls to find someone who would look at him, but hopefully at a discounted rate. I don’t consider myself to be cheap, but I was two weeks out of a job with nothing lined up and limited savings. I wanted him to live, as weak as he looked, and didn’t think it fair he should struggle or die just because I was unemployed. I quickly got emotional and had to hand the phone to my mom in the middle of two calls to continue the questions I was asking. No one wanted to help. Finally, after five calls, someone mentioned that my first visit would be free. We settled him in a dog carrier and hustled over to Arroyo Grande.
The staff was welcoming and amazed that he’d been found near the highway. They all cooed at his small size and big bluish-green eyes. He weighed in at 1.5 pounds and had ringworms, fleas and a large scab on his bottom lip. He also babied his right hind leg. His temperature was good, but he was anemic. They gave him a deworming shot, an antibiotic shot and guessed his age was around 6 weeks. It also took two people to assure me his gender.
Dr. Dennis checked on his lip and leg. The latter was definitely inflamed; he could feel the puffiness around the middle of the limb. The doctor concluded that he’d either been hit by or thrown out of a moving car. His lower lip had been de-gloved. Essentially the webbing between his lip and chin had been separated and his lip hung almost half an inch from its original position, hidden by the scab and dirt he’d collected there.
We decided to have an x-ray done. If he needed leg surgery, I simply would not be able to afford it. When they brought the estimate around, the price had been cut significantly. Not long after, we were looking at the cutest radiology reports I’ve ever seen - from each vertebra in the tail, right down to the tip and to the content of his half-full stomach (that I’d worried was too full after 24+ hours of no bowel movements). Neither the doctor nor we could see any major breaks or fractures. He assured us a technician would look them over the next day, but from what he could tell, the leg would probably heal in its own time. As it goes, kittens tend to be quite resilient.
We were given an estimate for the lip surgery and told to return the next day for a more general deworming medication. That night I was able to get him to eat wet food that I mixed with chicken stock, heated and mashed into a thin layer on a plate. Being that his coordination and overall eye movement was still in development, it was a hilarious five minutes, resulting in the softening and removal of his lip scab revealing exactly how bad the wound was. Originally you could only see a few centimeters. I booked the lip surgery for October 24th (I posted a photo talking about lip enhancement, though I doubt anyone thought I was being serious). He was there from 7am until 4pm and came home looking better than ever and more hyper than he ought to be post-laughing gas (he was too small to be put completely under).
The following days the sutures seemed to loosen and he lost his first baby tooth. He purred for the first time and became very playful. His color looked right and after a slightly scary bath he was much cleaner.
Elijah is about three months old now. His lip didn’t heal as intended but is much better than as I found him. He’s discovered a few hiding places in my apartment and realized how much fun an empty bathtub can be, especially when pushing around shampoo bottles. His favorite toys are pens, hair clips, and my hands – which he’s gnawed on relentlessly. Since picking him up, he’s gone on many road trips: Santa Maria to Sacramento and back, to Santa Barbara, to San Francisco and he’s taken Muni from the Tenderloin to Outer Sunset, and to the Mission to hear the procession of Dia de Los Muertos. He masterfully used the litter box while we were driving in the previous cases. I was impressed.
This is my roommate.