Here's what happens every winter: I look at my calendar with so much empty space and I say "dang, I'm going to be sooooo bored." I then proceed to say "yes" to my every tiny whim. For instance, this winter, I was simultaneously taking classes or self-directing learning in calligraphy, Judaism, ceramics, Java programming, guitar and yoga. In March, I traveled to Charlottesville for a friend, took the Northern Virginia Short Course in Photojournalism, spent a few quality days in NYC, and juggled many things for a styled shoot last week. It feels like it's been crazy and Spring has barely broken through. But, truth be told, I love to be occupied. Gaining new skills makes me feel useful and travel is always on the agenda. I have a really big announcement to make but you're probably going to have to wait quite a while to hear it. My mental energy feels like it's split right in thirds: clients, side projects and enrichment, and "the news". I'm being vague on purpose. You'll have to deal. Or talk to me in person. Without any more rambling, photos from March: Just a quirky wine display in a store in Charlottesville. A friend passed away. Someone I hadn't talked to - really talked to - in years. Someone I was honestly never very close with to begin. But someone who has had a presence in my life for the last seven years - through mutual friendships and stories and memories. Somehow this person is entangled in my life, like when all of your necklaces are at the bottom of a drawer and you can't just fish out the one you want to wear. And somehow it's all related to growing up and living in the real world. (I met him when I first came to DC and lived in a room in his house. I still talk with every person that lived in the house at the same time, and a bunch of related folks to boot.) I didn't really know him, not for a long time anyway, and I can't really say that I miss him, since I didn't talk to him these last years. And even though he was sick, his death was still jarring. I mostly try not to think about it. I turned 31 at the very, very beginning of March (my birthday is Feb. 28). As a present from the Universe and a reminder (as if I needed one!) that I'm getting older, I threw out my neck on said birthday. I spent the next week on the couch and eventually had to get a muscle relaxant from the doctor. I've since gotten back into a daily yoga practice. It feels good, though of course sometimes it's a slog. While my neck was out of commission, my hard drive decided to crap out. When it rains it pours, as they say. I shot this while I waited for a repair at the Pentagon City Mall. Then I spent three days attending the Northern Virginia Short Course in Photojournalism. It was half-good. The other half was a bunch of stuff that just wasn't relevant to me. I spent half of these days mentally pacing thinking I should be getting all my work done. On the other hand, I got really jazzed about video at this conference. So many possibilities... This was a first: an image of mine was selected for a juried photography show. The closing reception for the show is this Saturday. You should come - it's free and there will be a bar and lots of nice photos of DC things to look at. It was really neat to see people talking about my work. George had a big conference in NYC last month. He gave a talk and as far as I can tell, did really well on stage and off. He's going to be a big-shot physicist man and I'm along for the ride. I only stayed in NYC two nights out of the optional four in order to make my Jewish class. That should tell you something about how much I enjoyed the Jewish class - just five lectures / Q&As on Jewish history, culture, spirituality, food. Hebrew always sounds so intimately familiar, even though I have no idea what they're saying. I'm deeply conflicted about my relationship to Judaism. According to the rabbi, that's pretty typical, so I guess I shouldn't feel down about it. Anyway, this dude was playing a huge piano in Washington Square. That's Carrie and this is her partner, David. I have known David for more than a decade. He's a weird dude but I like him. David, Carrie and I spent the whole day doing street photography in the City. New York has a vibrancy that is unparalleled in places I've seen. It's an exciting place with tons of character. Ideal for street, which is why so much street is produced there. Our hotel had one of those weird NYC rooftops whose door is open but you get the feeling you are not meant to be out there. Characters in a Chinese coffee shop. Carrie shoots on film. I find this both admirable and ridiculous. And, as these things go, I didn't pick up my personal-shooting camera again until I hosted the third #DCPhotowalks Photowalk. Shortly after this day, I made up a website and a Facebook group for #DCPhotowalks. I'll be hosting one each month and I hope others will host under the banner. There's a void where camera enthusiasts can get together just to shoot for fun / learning. I hope to grow this group to meet that need. Photowalk #3 took place at the Natural History Museum. It's damn hard to shoot in museums like this - the ambient light is directed at the exhibits, not at the viewer and overall there's just a lot going on. Still, patience is rewarded. So much easier to shoot outside, with a bright sun and throngs of people around Gallery Place. And that wraps up Stray Frames for March. Until next time. (February Stray Frames here).