Monday, November 21, 2005

Lorenzo, Almost 40

Lorenzo, Almost 40
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Almost 40

A year and a day away from the Big 4-O, today I am taking it slow, playing hooky, taking a day off from work to celebrate my birthday a day early with my boys.

I took a few pictures this morning of them and of us together, and then decided to turn the camera on me.

Call it hubris, call it vanity, call it extra-intro spection, call it the man and his camera, that lover I have lived, eaten and practically slept with every day and every night for the last 10 months. It has been a wonderful affair thus far.

So tomorrow is “the birthday,” and a year from then I’ll turn forty. I guess that would officially make me middle-aged. So, what does it all mean? Must I berate myself for not being more accomplished, for not fulfilling all my dreams?

Regardless of these token sentiments that I’m supposed to drag myself through eventually, I actually had an epiphany of the opposite sort last night as I was slowing down and getting ready to go to bed.

Traditionally, much like I recall my father did, I have long belittled my birthday by relaying that I didn’t want to make a fuss. A small dinner with the family has sufficed for the last fifteen years or so. I really can’t remember the last birthday party had for me.

But last night I realized something very important. I was feeling happy to be alive, happy to be thriving on the brink of my middle years, and so it occurred to me that birthdays are much more than just blowing out candles, much more than just breaking open boxes and tearing apart yards of colorful paper, much more than getting drunk and being with family and friends to celebrate your personal holiday.

No, what I realized in full-force last night was that birthdays are meant to acknowledge and toast the birth of another wonderful life, another person who in full bloom, whom as a happy soul, can make the world a better place, if only with a positive attitude and a smile.

Hence, I’ve decided to actually wile away a day by celebrating my birthday this year - if only by making it known, if only by acknowledging how I’ve grown over these almost forty years and how with a bright disposition I’ve tried my best not to let time wear me down.


post-scripte/correction: someone pointed out that i calculated wrong - i'm actually going to be 38, not 39 as i had thought. oh well, guess i am getting old after all.

p.p.s. If only as a note of amusement, this particular foto was taken in the men's room at IHop (The International House of Pancakes). Being a liberal arts major with an unusual major, international cultural studies, i was often tormented with the question, "So what are you going to do with that (degree)?" One of my good friends, Adam, surmised that I would end up working at IHop.

Alas, I never found employement there, but it has long been one of my favorite cheap places to eat.

Anyway, the boys and I went there for my birthday breakfast, we shared multi-grain, buttermilk and pumpkin pancakes all topped with fresh whipped cream and boysenberry syrup. Upon making a trip to the restroom I discovered this exquisite strip of tile and immediately knew I had to take some photos against it.

this foto has been cited at: cleveland rocks. richmond sucks.

for a full list of cited fotos click HERE.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


PhotoTherapy 10


This morning I realized how therapeutic photography can be.

This last week has been somewhat physically trying for me, as I have been slowly nursing myself back to health after consciously subjecting myself to elements that brought on a bout of asthma, and subsequently a weeklong struggle with bronchitis.

My treatment has included allowing myself to sleep 6-7 hours the last couple of days instead of the 3-4 I’ve been holding at steadily for the last month or so; taking extraordinary doses of vitamins in the form of pills and a few bottles of Odwalla a day; and generally thinking positively and laughing at myself for my lack of discipline and resigned laissez faire to indulgence.

And although I consistently tell myself “Never again, never again” whenever I have to wake up in the middle of the night to stand in the bathroom for twenty minutes, hacking up all my congestion until it begins to painfully scrape at my throat, I also find myself dreamily remembering how it was all worth it. It makes me woozy to think that despite my lessons learned, that my devious mind will fool me into this situation again, just as it has many times in the past.

Nonetheless and allthemore, all the medicine I initially took to treat the more serious symptoms severely deadened my senses, and so I’ve been lagging behind in my art work and haven’t been all-too-enthusiastically inclined toward the usual creative toil. And so, as I stepped out the door to head to work this morning, I lamented the stupor I’m in and simply grinned my way to the office.

My usual traversal pulls me across the City from west to east, and in the interim from here to there I have the option and privilege of crossing the wholesale floral district of Manhattan on 28th Street. Thus I did, and in the midst of my crossing I was inspired to take a few photos.

The wet sidewalks, combined with the extraordinary vibrancy and variety of floral color lining them piqued me to no end. Moreover, as I’ve gleefully photographed many times before, I decided to shot from the floor, so that I could also capture the magic motion of pedestrians as they walked by.

I was so ecstatic after reviewing what I had shot then, along with those from last night and the night before, that I suddenly felt this burst of great energy and exuberance rush forth inside me. It felt good to be alive again! and in the mood to do what I love to do, and perhaps do best.

It was at that moment that I realized how therapeutic photography can be.

p.s. After having this epiphany a few blocks from the office, I came in and opened my e-mail to find an invitation by a concrete-and-steel NY Gallery to join as “one of a select number of artists" at an exhibit in March to be called Tripping The Light Fantastic: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography.

As you might imagine, that felt quite therapeutic too…Life certainly is Wonderful.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005



“There’s a truck coming!”

The woman shouted from behind me, as I was taking a photo from the middle of the street.

I thought I had my kinesthetic orientation and risk-reward assessment in check and under control, but her sudden screech threw me off, driving me to scurry forward to the other side.

As a result I bumped into another pedestrian who was crossing from the opposite direction, who likewise seemed to have been rattled, startled, jolted into action by the fear and blurt of this lady’s voice. Of course, bumping midway only abetted our surprise and fear, so we did a fancy sashay around each other, practically tripping over one another in the process.

I continued walking briskly immediately thereafter up Sixth Avenue and didn’t bother to look back to see how close we actually had been to being hit, struck down, crushed by the speeding vehicle that had prompted the concerned stranger to yell Atchung!

Alas, I did once again have to wonder why I put myself in danger so often these days. For I foolishly have convinced myself that I am agile enough to avoid an accident. Yet, at the same time, I always end up questioning the sagacity of this reasoning—close-calls almost always put me in a polemic, so that on one hand, I’m grinning with glee as I narcissistically congratulate myself on being so brave. But on the other hand, I also think, “Boy, you’re really stupid! You’re a real knave mate.”

And almost every time I also find myself convinced that I have to quit this game I am plying with my life, berating both my id and ego with “Now, this is the last time you two! No more monkey business.”

Only problem is that I’m all too human, and boredom follows me everywhere—so that everywhere I go, ennui seems to go there with me. Hence, my futile attempts to shake her by jumping into the middle of traffic, dodging busses and running along skateboards to get some stupid picture.

They say luck is a lady. If that’s true than I love her and I feel that she loves me, but that doesn’t mean that she ain’t going to leave me someday.

On the other hand, I never knew photography could be so fun, so fulfilling, invigorating and utterly—life affirming.

Bless those who might be inspired by these words (just don’t blame me if you get mowed over…)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Subway Dreams

Subway Dreams

One of the great things about living, working, and loving in New York City is the grimy convenience of the subway system. It is fairly reliable and practically gets you anywhere you need to go in the five boroughs. Yet, as with anything that has been around for a hundred years, it could use some aesthetic and practical upgrades. Here are 9 half-serious suggestions on how I’d improve the metro, if I had it my way.

* Offer free iced coffee to passengers while they wait during the summer, and black subway fleece blankets, like the airlines, during the winter.

* Make all the little punks who carelessly toss their gum, candy wrappers and otherwise on the platform perform 100 hours of community service for each piece of litter, making them hand scrape every piece of blackened, hardened gum on every platform of this old grand metro.

* Grant funds for local grammar schools to beautify local platforms with the mosaic, painted and chalk-drawn art of all the brilliant, precocious minds in their care.

* Build gossamer fiberglass sidewalks, so that people from each direction could see silky shadows of those on the other side. For some of these light-shedding projects, I’d use groups of small multi-colored circles that let in streams of various hues.

* Create an exchange program of buskers, musicians and various other artists and performers with other subway systems from all over the world.

* Pump in waves of soothing acoustic, electronica and new age music onto the platforms to calm all the rushing, waiting, weary souls.

* Build free hand sanitizing systems at the sides of station exits that allowed people to swipe their hands over scans of some sort of ultra-violet light or other to promote better health and reduce the pervasive transfer of cold viruses.

* Shoot a laserbeam of light across platforms, a foot away from the edge, in conjunction with campaigns advising people to stand clear, preventing unnecessary accidents and encouraging anxious passengers to let others get off the train first.

* Hand out Atkins diet books, so that overtime more people fit comfortably in the train.

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

Brownstones, water towers, trees, skyscrapers
Writers, prize fighters and Wall Street traders
We come together on the subway cars
Diversity unified, whoever you are
We're doing fine on the One and Nine line
~An Open Letter To NYC, Beastie Boys


this musing and foto are featured as part of 100 NY Stories (High), book sixteen of the lost man chronicles.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Calculating Perspective

I Love New York!

This morning as I exited the house I encountered a sky colored violet like the irises overtaking out garden, and pink much like the cherry blossoms that seem to be falling everywhere as spring matures into summer.

Being in a rush to catch the 5:40 bus, I fumbled as I tried to walk and fetch my camera out of my bag at the same time. Alas, with each step my purview changed radically, for a mere block and minute later the glorious hues of this magnificent horizon were hidden behind the tops of the houses of my beloved suburbia.

Since I live toward the top of a street that slopes downward about 15 degrees, my vista takes in many more miles of the heavens than those of my neighbors that live but a few feet away. There is a world of difference between us when it comes to seeing the sunrise each morning, and for that I feel quite fortunate.

But this privy was not the most important lesson learned for me this morning. It was that a perspective can change from one extreme to another within a minute differential of time and space. Furthermore, the value or impact of the sum of these two variables (time and space) can be exponentially greater than the numerically measurable and “objective” differences that calculations derived therefrom might otherwise indicate.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Words That Last

Words That Last

Words That Last

While pondering over the 400 year old wisdom of contemporaries Shakespeare and Montaigne this morning, I realized another reason why reading the Bard and the Essayist prove so satisfying—there is comfort in the enduring works of others.

For these days solace resides more in the certainty of the past than in the uncertain prospects of a future.

It is so much easier to forget about today and the harrowing possibilities of the morrow when one immerses one self in the universal truths that have long illuminated and motivated man to love, to hate, to harbor and to steal.
There is little to gain from that which heralds otherwise—of evil forces that die to pilfer our lives too, all in the name of the certain unknown. These mongers of fear jeer at the machinations of the heinous mind, but offer little hope in the wake of the alarm.

And so the resounding solace of words that last.

to laugh, in retrospect

to laugh, in retrospect

to laugh, in retrospect

“Everyone who doesn’t live in New York City was issued ‘doomsday’ phones,” he relayed laughing, with a chuckle which we both knew was our sole consolation.
Both of us work in Manhattan for Fortune 100 companies that recently issued memoranda which essentially stated that it was understood if one had to suddenly leave should something occur that called for an unplanned departure.

Both companies also noted that employees should notify management if we were willing to stick around during a crisis to work.

Both of us agreed that ensuring survival far superceded taking advantage of any opportunity for promotion or to demonstrate our mettle, valor, honor, integrity, loyalty or any other so-called virtue. It was far more important and prudent to show such strengths after securing our futures first.

We both chuckled after admitting how depressing and frightening the imminence of it all was, for every city dweller we know consistently remarks how surprised they are that nothing has happened yet.

I took another sip of my Sapporo, my third drink that evening, three times more than what I normally drink on a weekly basis.

What shook me even more was that I could see the genuine fear in my friend’s eyes. He’s an investigative reporter for a major network, so I figured that at least he would be immune to all the hoopla and media hyperbole—to the contrary, I got the impression that being on the inside actually made it worse.

Then again, for all essential purposes we were both drunk and tired. So seeing the harrowing abyss in his eyes through my own dilated pupils surely merely magnified any misperceived anxiety being drummed up between two fools.

I revealed to my good friend that over the last two days I had assembled two backpacks that I kept under my desk at the office, each with equal stores of supplies for survival: flashlights, blankets, beef jerky, cash, potassium iodine (used to block the thyroid in case of a chemical warfare attack), Naproxin and Ibuprofen (should one have to deaden the senses), band-aids, a tourniquet, inflatable pillows, radios, water bottles, masks, and disposable latex gloves.

It all seems so surreal. I once thought I would never subscribe to the paranoia, but here I am practically preparing for the day after Armageddon.

I suppose ultimately such assiduous preparations may not make a bit of a difference, but nonetheless psychologically it stirs hope.

Certainly therapists are reveling in the windfall of work which has come of all this.
And one can only wonder if we will look back and laugh with self-deprecating wit, or if we will remember it all in torment.

i suppose, i should be grateful

October Morn 11

i suppose, i should be grateful


another uneventful day.

i suppose, i should be rather grateful
to feel well and be alive;
to have free will and have made it through the tunnel again;
to not have witnessed disaster (again)
or felt fear when each passing minute
of ignorance feeds the raging fire.

i suppose, here—healthy and whole—today, i should feel grateful,
and happier still, should i be as bored all the morrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stubble Trouble

The Photo Booth

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” ~ Mark Twain

No stubble.

That’s strange. I took a double-take in the mirror because my chin seemed oddly youthful this morning. Almost always, without fail, by 5 AM and 5 PM stubble rears its stubborn head. Around 8 AM at the gym and 8 PM at home, I shave in the shower, which gives my face 9 hours to grow new hair and show that “I am a man” and at least old enough to drive.

But this morning was different.

Eerily, I recalled Dorian Gray and Jitterbug Perfume, and presumed that what I saw was all but an illusion, a perceptual elision of the aging mind, and mainly a matter of not having had my coffee.

A few days ago I was asked, “If the aging process could be reversed what age would I revert to?” I responded with an earnest note, “I don’t play hypotheticals.”
For I usually don’t. I just know that getting all worked up over some fantasy is about as detrimental to one’s health as second-hand smoke. It’s the false hope that motivates millions upon millions of honest folks and hapless souls to whittle away their hard-earned pay upon the lottery everyday.

Of course, on occasion, because I am desperately human, I too will break down and throw a dollar into the pot.

“Why not?” is my usual absent-minded reasoning. For risky and rebellious optimism will always be the rich reserve of youth.

And so, I smiled in the mirror and said to myself, “Why not? I could actually be getting younger…”

It was a wonderful way to start the morning.

“. . . Years steal Fire from the mind, as vigor from the limb; And life's enchanted cut but sparkles near the brim.” ~ Childe Harold (canto III, st. 8), Lord Byron

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Ignorance is not bliss

Ignorance is not bliss

focusing on the taillights in front of us, unconsciously avoiding the string of a thousand lights that illuminate and indicate one is in the tunnel, i realized a small consoling factor, an insight into the mind of terrorism that quiets the anxiety in me driven by the drivel of media hyperbole—the loss of economic welfare is recoverable, the loss of life is not. one is far more valuable than the other.

which is why at 6:15 a.m, stuck in the middle of this underwater thoroughfare, i am more frustrated than frightened. it is much more terrifying to be in the midst of tunnel traffic during rush hour—when the power of these fanatics wields the force of an apocalypse and prospectively the end of the world for a few thousand people who were just vying to get through to toil at an honest day of work.

there long have been many credible pundits who say that it’s not a matter of whether or not something’s going to happen, its just a matter of when.

thus, in this case, Ignorance is not bliss. it is simply an impatient omen of disaster.

Friday, October 21, 2005

the most beautiful day of the year

the most beautiful day of the year
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

This morning, on the radio, I heard the announcer say, “Looks like today is going to be the most beautiful day of the year.”

It really didn’t matter to me “why” it would be, I just loved hearing him say that.

Maybe it’s because quite often the magical colors of the Fall sky, the cool crisp air of autumn, and sometimes the low-hanging gravitating moon—“Oh, you crazy lune!”—just make me feel that way every day of this wonderful season.

But then again it may also be that I’m just inclined to think that way as well—leaning towards making the most of life, bent to find what makes the most lack-luster things glow (Sometimes, you know, you’ve just got to look inside, for that’s where she truly shines!). For it’s the mantra, the holy disposition, the intuition and the exceedingly exuberant, overly-tenacious, unyielding and simply undeniably innate and irrepressibly arousing positive attitude of optimists like me that compels us to feel and say and see with utter conviction that practically any day can and is and will be the most beautiful day of the year.

Hence, I know today will certainly be the most beautiful day of the year, just as tomorrow, rain or shine, will best all the billions of days that have come before it.

So, smile at a stranger today, make someone you love laugh today, even just eat your lunch alone outside (instead of at your desk again) today—Indeed! help me make this the most beautiful day of the year, if just by believing and acting as if it is.

finding my center

Gol! Gol! Gollll!!! 001

I had just come from participating in a few hours of activity with my office colleagues at the Chelsea Piers Sports Complex when I came across these futbol players at the fields located between 11th Avenue and the West Side Highway off of 23rd Street.

After having rock climbed in my dark blue pin-striped suit, hit 90 mile-an-hour balls at the batting cages with my tie still on, and “finding my center” at the golfing range, I was both fired up on a Friday night, as well as ready to just go to sleep after a long day.

Swinging at the range was the highlight of the evening for me. The Company had hired pros to instruct us, after which I realized something that changed my game forever. For years I had long struggled with the fact that the head of the club is angled and not perpendicular to the ground, and so reflexibly I had always twisted my grip just slightly inward so as to correct the manufacturer’s mistake! Well, after asking the pro about this quirk of mine he confirmed my sudden realization that maybe, just maybe “It’s supposed to slope at a 45 degree angle in order to scoop up the ball…duh!” The epiphany and subsequent grip change allowed me to hit about 25 balls straight and to the 250 yard tee. The next morning I excitedly called my father in California, with whom I go golfing once every 2 years or so, about the experience. Hfinding my center

I had just come from participating in a few hours of activity with my office colleagues at the Chelsea Piers Sports Complex when I came across these futbol players at the fields located between 11th Avenue and the West Side Highway off of 23rd Street.

After having rock climbed in my dark blue pin-striped suit, hit 90 mile-an-hour balls at the batting cages with my tie still on, and “finding my center” at the golfing range, I was both fired up on a Friday night, as well as ready to just go to sleep after a long day.

Swinging at the range was the highlight of the evening for me. The Company had hired pros to instruct us, after which I realized something that changed my game forever. For years I had long struggled with the fact that the head of the club is angled and not perpendicular to the ground, and so reflexibly I had always twisted my grip just slightly inward so as to correct the manufacturer’s mistake! Well, after asking the pro about this quirk of mine he confirmed my sudden realization that maybe, just maybe “It’s supposed to slope at a 45 degree angle in order to scoop up the ball…duh!” The epiphany and subsequent grip change allowed me to hit about 25 balls straight and to the 250 yard tee. The next morning I excitedly called my father in California, with whom I go golfing once every 2 years or so, about the experience. He likewise got excited and said, “Well son, maybe its time I got you that new set of clubs for Christmas that I had always wanted to get you!”

Anyway, although being both exhausted and all worked up, when I saw these soccer games going on in the distance and that awesome fluorescent stadium lighting illuminating the action, I knew I had to check it out.

At first, I tried to take a few shots from the fence, because I really just wanted to satisfy the urge with a few quick clicks and then go home. Alas, the chain link got in the way, and so I had to persuade myself to jump right in, “Damn it! Just go in there and take those damned photos of yours!”

Well, I did and I had a lot of fun doing so. Click HERE to see a slideshow of the results.
e likewise got excited and said, “Well son, maybe its time I got you that new set of clubs for Christmas that I had always wanted to get you!”

Anyway, although being both exhausted and all worked up, when I saw these soccer games going on in the distance and that awesome fluorescent stadium lighting illuminating the action, I knew I had to check it out.

At first, I tried to take a few shots from the fence, because I really just wanted to satisfy the urge with a few quick clicks and then go home. Alas, the chain link got in the way, and so I had to persuade myself to jump right in, “Damn it! Just go in there and take those damned photos of yours!”

Well, I did and I had a lot of fun doing so. Click HERE to see a slideshow of the results.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

the spoils of our lives

the spoils of our lives
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

the spoils of our lives (existentially, a happy man)

Wednesday night was amazing.

Although it was a late night at the office
I was thankful for having to linger behind,
for it was just long enough to find
a wet sheet of cool rain covering
the grimy rues of Manhattan
as I left the building.

The gleam reflecting off the city streets
seemed to say, in a glimmering way,
that the laboring grit, the political grime,
the stains of sin, and the sordid crime
all had been wiped away—once again,
swiped clean from the blathering
face of Babylon

And so, I walked on in wonder of how fresh it all felt.
A tingling thunder of ions crackled loosely in the air,
the iridescent effect coloring brightly everywhere
every vibrating, happening hue.

And as I breathed deeply
in the late lush of the evening’s splendor,
I sighed an ode, sweet and tender,
in utter awe.

This pleasantly invigorating passage home was the perfect preface to what was to be a rather musically pleasant evening.

For after stripping away the monkey suit and stripping down to a pair of twilight-blue shorts, hunger drove me to meander to the cutting board where I sliced off a chunky quarter of a round pound of fresh mozzarella and slid it between some smoked Bresaola and two halves of one slice of toasted sourdough, which I drizzled with golden-green extra-virgin olive oil and peppered delicately with a sprinkle of dried chipolte chile. Yum.

The fact that this savory-flavory and fun food was waiting for me in the fridge also pleased me to no end, for I cannot deny that fortune has left little reason for me to complain or claim want of any delectable nourishment.

So, after the meticulous preparation I sat down eager to consume my masterprize of appetizing dried meat and white cheese, and with equal vim put on my headphones to sink into an incredible world of euphony and ever-transient enchantment.

Moreover, I got to watch my favorite moving picture—the undulating, turning, twisting, stasis-defying illusions of the iTunes random-ator, which dives and drives magical swirls of music through cyberspace. Its swath of synchronous aberrations invigorate the soul as red and gold flowers come and go and a techincolor garden blossoms before your bedazzled eyes in insubordinate counts of time that ignore the usual run and rime of the seasons. The variety of visual trickery was ever so delightfully beguiling in its ephemeral way, alternating between psychedelic displays of floral flourishes and surreal portraits of animate fauna—spaghetti bowls of worms whirling and twirling, riding upon waves whorling down white holes to burrow at the center of this sonic mayhem of electronic chaos.

The audible odyssey I was ultimately to sojourn upon for the next few hours was a fantastic journey where I stowawayed en lieu of much needed sleep. Fighting against prudence and existential common sense, in the end whim won, and I stayed up mischievously until midnight.

Oh, and what a delightfully fey truancy it was…

The sweeping, swinging, swaying buzz of compositions orchestrated by Billy May, inviting Dino Dean Martin to sing carols of True Love, and quickly an reverently put me in the mood for the gay melodies and siren calls and pulsating rhythm which were all to come.

Next, Frank tantalized with a croon of “sighing sighs”…and soon my eyes and ears were seeing and hearing and feeling the music in the breeze.

Every song and rap and ballad I played seemed to tease my with devilish guile; and the all the wile of vibrant and soothing sensations filled me with such positive flare and élan, that I got the urge to get on the table and lithely tiptoe a moonlit ode to Fred Astaire.

Elvis soon lit my heart on fire, burning it with a strange desire, as he asked me to Surrender, while the moon shined bright above. And then, with his trademark riveting snarl, he borrowed a little stardust to take this night of magic and make it into a night of love.

Oh, how these earth angels above did sing! And to think that their divining chant was all for me!

Like a Dummy pining aloss, I pulsed in yearning to a Portishead melody, which haunted me like a Stranger wandering wearily in search of his lost dove; in respite, Stereolab invited me to Come and Play in the Milky Night, while Luther pleaded and professed there is Never Too Much love. The Beastie Boys raucously bragged about their Brass Monkey—that funky monkey, chunky, funky monkey—and Stanley Black dotted and dabbed and stabbed a punch of keys into the piano playing Os Quindos del Ya Ya.

For dessert a sweet blurt of Mexican trumpets were followed by a blaze of the amazingly versatile voice of Bobby Darin, whose Splish Splash tossed me catatonically, as I joyously danced in my seat.

And to top it all, Claude Challe offered creamy libations to Buddha, the taste of which made it all seem like the wonderfully sonorous dream that it was.

At intermission I treated myself to a triple-stack of light and gooey, deliciously chewy, Pamelas’ peanut butter all-natural cookies. As I masticated in ecstasy I thought, “Life cannot get any better.”

I continued on my fantastic journey by turning off all the lights, leaving only the stars and candlelight to illuminate my thoughts as I penned them to paper.

In the shadows of my private romance I snuck in a scratch, grating with careless whim, scraping with a sanguine vim that made me feel Alive! Vigorous to the quick, the abrasion made me tick with great eagerness to return to the plush tenor of my headphone-enhanced transitive journey.

At the edge of midnight, a duo made of the majestic romance of Mozart as interpreted by Metha, Perlman, and Stern, and a dulcet set of boleros, those moving Spanish ballads of love and loss that I adore, worked ensemble to lull me into a state fit for a few good hours of slumber.


In retrospect, not only was the night filled with wonder, but Wednesday, all day, actually was quite wonderful in many more ways than one.

For starters, I wrote three new pieces; I participated in a important project with my boss which he has been belly-aching over for a while, and one which I took over while he is out for the high holy days. Positively, as a result he exalted my contributions and was especially satisfied to see that I was so easy-going about having to stay late.

And then, of course, I stayed up late to lounge and listen in the private sanctum of my music library, and what an incredibly satisfying and euphonic experience it was. It was made all the more gratifying when I realized how lucky I was to be conscious of the effort to actually enjoy the spoils of our lives. Because, quite like pirates, many of us never really relish our hoarded troves, as we are always on the go, out and about, sailing the seven seas, searching for more opportunities to plunder and vie for more.

Moreover, I got to sleep alone and wake up alone, undisturbed by anyone.

So let it be known, should suddenly my soul not wake or some menace decides to take me away from this earth, I did not perish in vain, for on Wednesday night I realized how truly happy I existentially am.

“When I am at home, I am more often than not in my library—as fine a one as you will find out in the country. It is situated above my gateway; and beneath me I can see my garden, courtyard, farmyard, and almost every part of the building—in a trice I can overlook all the concerns of my house. There you will find me thumbing one book after another in snatched, without method or plan. Sometimes I muse; sometimes—walking to and fro—I make notes and dictate such reflections as you now may read.

My library is my kingdom, and here I try to make my rule absolute—shutting off this single nook from wife, daughter, and society. Elsewhere I have only a verbal authority, and vague (at that).

We should all of us set apart for ourselves a little back shop, wholly free and out own—there to establish our true library, our solitude and retreat. There we must entertain ourselves with ourselves—to laugh and talk as if without family, goods, train, or attendance; so if it comes to pass that we lose any or all of these, it will mean no new thing to do without them.

Unhappy is the man, in my opinion, who has no spot at home where he can be at home to himself—to court himself and hide away.”

~ Essays, My Library in the Tower,
Michel de Montaigne

Monday, October 17, 2005

the good news, is within us all

the good news, is within us all
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I don’t favor any particular brand of spirituality.

Everyday I rise with the sun—and that is spiritual enough for me.

Watching the roseate radiance ascending reminds me readily that I am sanguine and alive and thriving happily. Gawking in awe at dawn itself, is prayer enough for me.

Actually, there are so many amazing things that I gawk over that living itself is my true religion.
If anything, over time, loving and laughing and crying and sighing and every other expression of positive sentiment that makes us human, cumulatively form the set of sacraments that confirm my association with the divine.

And if there are deities, I walk and talk and run with them everyday, for my fellow man amazes me in so many ways that I do not need myths to inspire or explain the beauty of being—for with great respect I contend that God was made in the image of man his creator.

My holy book is the collection of epistles that I scribe daily by living vigorously and with undaunted optimism in face of all that I may experience otherwise.

My commandments encourage me to be—inspired by my dreams, and to make them more than just seeming; to love and appreciate and give unconditionally, with more vim that modern life might encourage otherwise; to fashion my own rules for life by and break them as I please; and to create, to conceive and believe that there is meaning in everything I do.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Stupid People Tricks

Stupid People Tricks
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes.
It is foolish to fear what you cannot avoid. ~ Publilius Syrus

Restless, I woke up at 2:45 this morning and began my usual routine: four cups of espresso, an apple, and a little photo editing.

After a couple of hours I was so worked up that I decided to relieve the tension by going for a run. So, at 4:45 I set out to go up the block and into the dark park.

I was slightly hesitant to enter because I could barely see where I was running, even with the little head lamp I was wearing lighting, leading the way from atop my baseball cap. Moreover, the caffeine prompted me to worry a little more than I would otherwise, and thus I fret over what I might encounter.

Admittedly, even the mere sound of random pitter-pattering, residual rain drops falling from leaves, spooked me a little. And so, I steered clear of the pitch black trail uphill and proceeded downhill instead, toward the fluorescent similitude of safety given by the glowing green lamps.

As I ran, I was in awe of the visual splendor of green and orange light and sprawling shadows that I saw. At every corner and at every turn I yearned to take a photo. However, I was determined to get a little exercise, and wasn’t about to turn back just to get my camera. Hence, I pushed forward.

Alas, the yearning to capture these incredibly pleasing aesthetic moments only exponentially increased. Thus, I became quite anxious about getting back home; so that I could return on my bike on to take a few shots.

Around the last bend, the looming shadows and the invisible plopping of acorns crashing down upon to the black pavement raised the adrenaline a tad more, prompting me to pick up my heels a little higher in response.


Two nights earlier I had gone for a run in the park at around 9:30 in a similar absence of light and worried much the same about whether or not I was placing myself in peril.

I vividly recall the tall gangly figure I passed, who although I could barely see, offered such a haunting silhouette that I half-imagined that he wore grimy blue jeans, a scruffy beard and a slightly tattered green army fatigue jacket – the congealed stereotype of a serial killer, prompting me to raise my brow and scurry forward a little faster.


Nonetheless and allthemore, I bit the bullet and went running both times regardless of my fears, valid or paranoid as they might have been, because I believe it is vital “to do,” to take action, to be physically active despite the risks you might be taking as a result. One can’t just sit around in an office all day long and then come home to lounge on the couch and expect life to happen – it just won’t. You have to get out there and take charge despite the daunting elements.

Moreover, I think it is crucial when you are a parent to set a good, if not great example.

Hence, I not only try to teach my boys what I believe in, those values that I find make life fulfilling by reading to them or making up stories that exemplify the principles I attempt to convey – adventure, exploration, experimentation, independence, doing it alone if you have to - but more importantly, I also try to teach by actually tackling life and opportunity itself. Because if you really believe in something, you can’t just talk about it, you’ve got to be it, seize it, create and fashion it to make it truly your own.

And if you don’t believe in it, you should remember not to be an example of it either. This seems all too logical and easy to achieve, but I feel it is all too easy to fall into this trap—to give in, to be complacent, to succumb to apathy and the status quo and to be afraid of leaving your comfy, long-established comfort zone. Just don’t Do It.


So, when I got home I frantically ran into the house to fetch my camera, trying not wake everyone up in the process and hoping to retreat to the park before the sun woke up as well.

Since it had been a rather wet morning, I put on the safety helmet that I usually abscond, but knowing that I was about to traverse upon rather slippery and often steeply sloped pavement; knowing that I was venturing on the border of the inane and not simply innocuous; tempting fate while foolishly entertaining the probability of a dangerous spill – I put it on.

For despite all the obvious risks I was taking, there was this internal force that compelled me to ignore them, just so I could take a few stupid pictures. For the beauty I beheld while I was running, simply could not be ignored – indeed it implored me over and over again to “Take my picture!”

Admittedly, at first, I was somewhat perturbed by this compulsion and asked myself “Why me? Why can’t I just roll over and hit the snooze button like most others? What am I doing here? Why am I driven to perform such stupid people tricks?”

This moment of doubt readily disappeared though as I steered and swerved and pedaled and smiled at every turn that I came upon another marvelous match of green street light and tree shadows.

Half way through my trek however the fog turned to light rain and so I had to continually wipe the camera off with my sweatshirt. Needless to say the descending water put a little damper on my picture parade.

I persisted though by taking cover under the thickest foliage I could find and frantically continued to wipe the lens, the casing and the LCD with whatever dry spot of a t-shirt I had left.

However, about three-fourths of the way through the full circle I had planned to ride, it started to pour and I had no choice but to hide the camera, tucking it away for the rest of the ride home.

Click HERE to view a slideshow of the pictures.

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.
~ Cadet maxim, U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Walking With Wei Qi

Walking With Wei Qi
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

When written in Chinese, the word "crisis” – Wei Qi (pronounced Way-Jee) is composed of two characters: one represents danger, the other opportunity

I need to brag.

Well, sort of. I am proud of something I did because it reinforces and reconfirms a lesson I learned a long time ago, one that we need to remind ourselves of time and time again.

I googled my flickr screen name yesterday and came upon a photo of mine that had been posted to someone else’s flickr collection.

My gut reaction was perturbance, bordering on some sort of token anger. Being intimately familiar with the issue of intellectual property rights and piracy, I felt, if only for a moment, that I “should” be angry.

But then, I reminded myself of two things. First, anger is primarily a futile emotion that either usually only makes matters worse or can only be positive if it’s energy is channeled into constructive action. Second, I reminded myself of the old Chinese proverb: in every crisis lies an opportunity.

So, immediately I asked myself, “What am I going to do about this?” I wasn’t all too worried for a few reasons though. The person had at least given me some credit by writing “by lorenzodom” in the caption. However, there was no link to the original photo or to my site, and the photo was entitled differently than what I had originally titled it.

There were a few other elements that threw me off and further intrigued me to think positively about the situation. This included the fact that my photo was the only one he apparently had “borrowed.” The hundred or so other photos were screenshots of a math physics website in Chinese, a language I do not know. Furthermore, the website with the link that led me to his photo album was almost entirely in Chinese, except for the few lines that mentioned “the lost man chronicles” and “by lorenzodom.”

Ultimately, what I decided to do was to post the following message in the photo’s comments section:

Thank you for posting my foto to your site.

For anyone who is interested the original name of the photo is Monk Lets Intuition Be His Tour Guide

You can view the entire set entitled Monk in The City by clicking HERE.

And if you are interested in the lost man chronicles click HERE.


I figured that I would check back later and if my comments were removed and the photo was still there, I would then consider other action.

Subsequently, what actually happened was that the photographer added me to his contacts list, and even designated me as a “friend.” Being that I was his only-lonely contact thus far, I was flattered. Somehow it made me feel special and it made me smile. Smiling is always a good thing.

Hence, once again I felt that by thinking positively, by controlling my emotions and understanding what and why I was feeling (i.e. what is it that really bothered me, not getting angry, staying cool amidst confusion), and by trying to comprehend rather than pretending that I already do (i.e. presumption), I not only made a friend, but perhaps have quietly built that fabled tunnel to the other side of the world where a billion souls eagerly await to exchange information, ancient secrets and a few bits of lost worldly wisdom.

This photo was blogged by Cakue by Yohan Yudanara

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

the sun will rise

I Love You Sunshine 01
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

there’s that sun rising again.

and just when you think the world’s gonna end,
or the weather’s got you down, or that
frown you’re wearin’ ‘s bound to
hang upside-down for some time to come—
here she comes again,
around the mountain here she comes;
not carin’ if you’re broken-hearted
or just too blind-deaf-dumb
to realize everyday’s a new day
and that we can either stay despondent and
succumb to a bad disposition
or just as easily rise with the morning star
by changing the position of our attitude.

and so the sun teaches us that neither
one’s latitude, longitude or ingratitude for
another chance to begin anew with each new
day makes any difference in any way.
for as long as you are livin’
one is given the chance to take solace
in being anchored to this unforgiving earth,
which upon rollin’ back each morning
presents to us the opportunity
to witness once again that—
the sun will rise.


this musing and foto are featured as part of 100 NY Stories (High), book sixteen of the lost man chronicles.


Once again, I went crazy with the camera, taking 1,000 fotos on Sunday, October 2.

I think I'm going to have to see a doctor about this...Is their a shrink in the house?

Most of the photos were in Central Park where I spent an hour within the inner circle of the CP Dance Skaters Association.

Many thanks to Marius Mellebye in Norway who asked me at the start of summer to take photos of the group.

Also thanks to Ken, one of the staff members who led me inside and introduced me to the DJ. And of course much appreciation, respekt and luv goes out to all the skaters who unabashedly let me click away.

a complete list of the subsets in this series:
Rock Your Body, Move Your Body
Let The Sunshine Roll In
Dancing, Dancing, Dancing!
She's A Dancing Machine
I Wonder Wow, He's The Greatest Dancer
Toot, Toot, Beep! Beep!
I Love You Sunshine!

Please Note: Most of the sets are best seen in slide show mode at one-second intervals with your favorite house, techno, disco, electronica or other dance music loudly playing!

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Doctor, Doctor

Doctor, Doctor 902
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Doctor, doctor, give me the news
I've got a bad case of lovin' you,

~ Robert Palmer

Overlooking 69th Street from my friends' Rayner and Angie's apartment, the refrain from Robert Palmer’s catchy tune played over and over in my head, in my heart, and in my soul even.

Apparently, I’m infatuated with my camera because I had another 1000 picture day and was one step closer to driving myself crazy with this creativity drive I'm in.

I think I'm going to have to see a doctor about this.


While looking down into that small pocket of a street between York and 1st, I imagined jumping—a miraculous jump that would allow me to fall gracefully with a lithe landing upon the pavement where I’ve walked before.

Lest anyone misinterpret this little dream, I’ve never-ever even contemplated ending this wonderful life sooner than later, that is, sooner than necessary. Necessity, being wholly subjective of course.

I also fantasized about checking myself into psychiatry ward on the 11th floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering a few skips up the lane. Of course, these contrived delusions would not qualify me as even half-crazy enough to merit an examination by one of the staff members specializing in broken things like heads, hearts and dreams. I imagined the chief resident simply rolling her eyes, and even giving me a bit of a sneer for having wasted her time.

I watched myself drag my feet back to the spot where I had fallen to lie down in the middle of the pavement and close my eyes.



Admittedly, I have this proclivity toward obsession. Ever since I was a child I could focus on one thing until I had exceeded the limits of normal children. I’ve long had this habit of collecting and organizing and knowing everything I could about certain subjects.

Over the years I’ve learned to simply indulge it, rather then attempt to thwart the flow, that deluge of endorphins that overcomes me whenever I am in the throes of something I love.

Today, that proclivity thrives in the form of my writing and photography. Lately, it's been the latter. And lately its motivated me to push my limits more than ever.

I think the only thing that has come close to challenging me in this manner, the only thing that has swayed me so easily was adolescent love. Little apart from loving little Jeanie and the ever-blossoming Janet in seventh grade has prodded me so tenderly, charmingly, swayingly, swooning and woozily into the kind of infatuation that prods me to reach above and beyond what I know to be possible.

Alas, the good doctor has told me straight-up that I’m no longer eligible for such love, that I no longer qualify because I'm too old and strung out and widespread and tied to this web of adult obligation I’m rolled-up in. I guess than, I’ve got no choice but to throw myself into taking pictures.

At least, for now.


I was compelled to go for a run this morning and although I knew I was running around the park, I still wasn’t sure about where I was running to…or was it that I was running from?

When I was back in our backyard I stretched in the crisp morning fog. I yearned to just sit and sway on the swings a while, but I was afraid that once I sat in that saddle that I would not want to leave and that I would undulate in a pendulum of thought for hours.

The mist reminded me of grade school days when I often walked to school by myself through a cool sheet of California fog.

I tend to believe that I had a rather happy childhood—lots of playing in the mud with my cousins, riding my banana-saddled bicycle across dirt and pebble lots without a helmet, climbing about and hanging out under giant trees of wonder that offered baskets of succulent purple figs for the taking, rock fights with the bad boys from the other side of the railroad tracks, and hours of watching orange, black and white caterpillars crawl amongst the fragrant green sprigs of milkweed.

I have equally fond memories of junior high as well: a time rife with the fond memory of reading Steinbeck, Hemmingway, and lots of Shakespeare; lots of computer and science classes with other “special” kids; chess games that seemed to never end, and many adolescent girl crushes that never went beyond spin-the-bottle at birthday parties.

High school also proved to be some of the happiest years of my life, for being at an all-boys prep school allowed me to both focus on my studies and participate in extracurriculars like theater, track, and community service. It was also when I lost my virginity to my first “love.” And perhaps best of all, was that these years sparked an ardent love for literature —Ulysses particularly whet my appetite, for while most of my classmates relied on Cliff Notes, I was compelled to read cover to cover of is this masterful labyrinth—every page, every incomprehensible paragraph and insane enigma of wordplay offered by Mr. James Joyce.


I entered the house via the backdoor and sat on the steps going down to the basement to take off my shoes. Suddenly, I felt haunted and hounded and overwhelmed by a certain unknown force, I placed my face in the security of my palms and hid there with my eyes closed, hoping that whatever I felt would soon pass over me.

After a few minutes the pending gloom still lingered, threatening to overtake my better sensibilities. I persevered and after taking off my sweaty socks I got up to take a shower upstairs.

On my way to work I came to the conclusion that perhaps I’m going through my third life crises. The first was when I turned 30, the second came around 35, and now, ever closer to the sharp edge of 40, I’m feeling the pressure of realizing meaning—of being able to readily answer the question of "What have I done with my life to make it worthy?", of being able to smile and affirmatively answer that "Yes, I have indeed made the right choices" and that I am living the life that I deeply desire to lead.

The unusually overwhelming feeling I’ve had lately is that “I want more.”

Usually, I’m the guy encouraging others to be happy with what they have, and certainly I do have a lot—a great job that challenges me every once in a while, that utilizes my skills in a creative fashion, and that is well compensated as well; there’s also my family that loves me and that I love immensely, and of course there is that handful of friends that have I have maintained through the years; a house, a home, a passion for life, an uber-awareness of my surroundings, a generously giving and supportive wife; so what more could I want from life?

And yet despite all that, I readily recognize and tender, I’m still feeling I should be surrendering to something else, following a different bliss.


On second thought maybe this mild meltdown I’m having is all but the physiological undertow of melancholy caused in the wake of my excesses.

For not only did I stay up a little later than usual to watch another episode of Ali G and put a little in the pipe in his honor, but I also drank Prosecco and Ale earlier at the 7-year-old’s birthday party I was at, overate, and perhaps had a a little too much fun in the sun while I was dancing and taking pictures of the roller skaters and bladers dancing in Central Park.

In fact, I feel that at the close of summer I may have overdosed on sunshine itself. So that now, at the turn of the season, I am reeling from the darkness, feeling a bit woozy from the sudden change.

It could also be that maybe I’m just experiencing camera-withdrawal. For I decided, once again, that I needed to catch up with myself.

This feeling of yearning for my camera especially hit me as I came into the city this morning and there was this awesome display of fog and bright morning light covering the broad bevy of skyscrapers.

And then, as I traversed the metropolis on my walk to work, the gorgeous light coming through the buildings seemed to rub it all in even more. For the benevolent sun was basking the city in a golden hue that made everyone look beautiful

Despite the brilliant passage to the office that should have instantly have lifted my spirits, my gate has reminded slow and contemplative through much of the day.

Admittedly, it also may be that I know exactly what's bothering me, but I am just making excuses to cover it up...Maybe, perhaps, quizas, the world will never know.

Nonetheless and allthemore, I’m confident I’ll get over whatever I’m getting over soon.

Somehow, I always do.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Metrosexuals Unite!

M is for Manhattan!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

“New York State Senator Thomas Duanne (D-Manhattan), who is gay, said he wants to know whether McGreevey abused his office in any way. Because being gay or having an affair would not, by themselves, give someone cause to resign, he said.”

~ He’s Out & Out, AM New York, August 13, 2004


For as good or bad this sudden and surreal emancipation declaration from Jersey’s scandal-ridden governor may be, one thing is for certain (is anything ever?)—this revelation is both a setback and a godsend for the gay community.

It rises to the occasion in terms of the former because, like a true politician, McGreevey announced his candidacy by spinning an association between one’s sexual orientation and one’s patriotism—“I am a gay American,” which essentially gives this once scarlet letter A front-page FDA stamp-of-approval.

And, oh what timing! For being gay, or at least being sensitive, self-aware, and having a keen eye for fashion is seemingly all-the-rave in America now. Today’s new tolerance even rivals the supremacy gay-culture once held during the hey-day of the disco days, because now—its just all in the open.

So darling, loosen those hips, paint those lips and wiggle your toes, because even God knows its okay to be gay(-like) now.

Metrosexuals Unite! (just kidding)

That said, this headlining soap-box announcement from the no-longer-so-honorable Governor James McGreevey also is a setback for the rainbow coalition, because it immediately establishes another less-than complimentary relationship between homosexuality and politics, as if to blatantly say “its NOT okay to be gay and govern.”

Duanne added “Would a heterosexual governor resign on the grounds of having a sexual affair?”

Ask Bubba (or just buy the book).

Thinking sdrawkcaB

Nicky! and the Beautiful Ms. Kate
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Thinking sdrawkcaB

Nicky, the almost-four year old, came running into the kitchen nook this morning where I was working and grabbed at the chess board that was on the table. I noticed that he was completely and care-freely butt-naked, and so I immediately reacted, “Why is your underwear off?”

Startling him, if only because he had not realized he was doing anything wrong, he stuttered and replied, “Because, because I was going to the bathroom upstairs and left them off.”

“Okay,” I answered with the roll of my eyes, adding, “Please go upstairs and put your underwear back on. And then you can come back to get the chessboard.”

In a flash, he had returned and was properly dressed as I had ordered. Except that his briefs were on backwards. So I implied he turn them around by looking at him sternly and pointed out, “Nicky, your pants are on backwards.”

He somewhat-innocently replied, half shyly, half wryly, “But I like it backwards.”

I was intrigued and softened by his earnest reply, and so I pressed, if only because I was questioning my own thoughts on the matter, “Why do you like it backwards?”

“Because it looks funny backwards,” he responded with a slight smile that teetered on the edge of hope and persuasion.

I immediately burst out laughing at this point and was instantly won over to the dark side of juvenile amorality, that special place where impropriety knows better because it doesn’t know any better.

He smiled back and grabbed at the board as I said, “Okay” and ran barefoot away to the living room to play with his older brother.

I really was quite taken aback by how ludicrously bothered I had initially been by the whole incident and amazed at how silly it was for me to hold to my prudent sense of order in response. It is utterly amusing to reflect on how serious we take life as adults sometimes.

As difficult and bothersome it sometimes seems to be a parent, especially when I am trying to focus on “accomplishing” something, I am grateful for moments like these that remind me about how grateful I should be to have children who reveal how inane our rules of behavior and the rickety frames of "mature" thought can truly be.

Monday, September 12, 2005

nothing but my timorous imagination

A Few Hours of A Late Summer Afternoon 124
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

This morning, as we rolled down the elevated eastern bank of the Hudson, I imagined the moment when I would look across the River to a flat Manhattan, a city without an erection, the metropolis of all metropolii castrated spitefully by fanatical fundamentalists who, with bitter gall, decimate the promethean dreams of millions by bringing down the empire state to its knees with a single inimical swath of a scythe that swipes out the proud pinnacle that once touched the sky, piqued the heavens, inspired awe—and instilled a false sense of foolish pride, imperial accomplishment and haughty determination in the horde of the huddled drones that once filed to and fro below, frantically passing at the base of this stalwart monument positioned against the horizon and stealing the fire that was once the sole privy of the gods.

Swerving about the curve of 46 degrees, we eased into the tunnel, the Orphic orifice that once commuted so many of the aspiring to better destinies, but now merely threatens to lead the resigned toward a judgment day imposed before its time. Here at the mouth of the grimy inferno, I closed my eyes, as I do each time I surmise I am entering the end, and consoled my soul in silence as we shuttled through onto toward the light, the salvation of illuminating grace which lies at the other end of this bridge underwater, the photogenic cue that allows us to begin anew as we emerge from bowels of the earth, and allow the sun to give birth to hope once again.

Then, once I’ve scurried across the dirty and pungent streets and back into the steel and concrete trap of the landmark corporate building I work in, I just sit and wait. While colleagues sit and debate where and when, and everyone feeds the fire of nerve-wracking, composure-attacking over-anxiety, of having survived the day we shall not forget, of letting virulent jihads and crusades against manifest destiny and the audacity of western sovereigns vying to maintain their dipsticks in crude oil , siphoning the soul from mother earth to feed the greed in the name of “progress” and the voracious egos of those who populate her surface; while all this is happening we just quack like sitting ducks or like humpty-dumpty waiting upon the wall, awaiting the fall of the evil empire that fissures a crack in its royal head, that push-to-bush that topples the crown to the ground, and shatters the crass righteousness which neither allies nor a brazen attitude can put back together again.

They’re now saying the data that prompted the panic and alert is dated, and thus the enemy’s intentions may be dead. Hence, instead of ushering the doom, let’s hope than that this delusion of impending gloom was thus for naught, and nothing but a wrought of my timorous imagination.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

every living moment (under siege)

The Twin Towers
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

In rememberance of today's 4th year anniversary of the tragedy of that occurred on September 11th four years ago, I am posting a few photographs that will never allow me to forget.

I was here in the city when it happened and it changed me life and had an impact upon me like no other event in my life. In memorial to this tragic day I offer my journal which documents some of what I, and likely many others, went through that day and a long time thereafter.


every living moment (under siege)

“Doubt is a thief that often makes us fear to tread where we might have won.”
~ William Shakespeare
so under psychological siege we can either seize being, frozen in a state of paranoia, imprisoned within the invisible cell of the unknown, or we can continue taking advantage of every minute that is afforded us during what is ultimately a short life anyway.

for regardless of the looming threats which resound with the flutter of helicopters overhead and fighter jet fly-bys, along with the bullying visual reminders which burly special forces with automatic weapons strapped across their shoulders present to us as we pass them on our way to our concrete and steel terrorist traps, we must persevere and continue appreciating every moment and forge on living as if there will be a tomorrow.

don’t get stuck in the muck of fear. granted, one should continue to be aware and prepare, but allowing threats to paralyze our otherwise privileged lives will not change what are unforeseeable or uncontrollable circumstances otherwise.

most of us cannot just upheave and leave the metropolis to escape a fate worse than the threat. we cannot simply say, “i’m not going to work today.” and even if we could, should nothing happen, we still have to face the same threat tomorrow.

so, as woeful as what we cannot see may be, we are still really in charge of our destiny every step of the way. thus, it is vital to continue believing that what you do now paves the way for a better tomorrow. don’t let the public panic and media hyperbole beset you with apprehension that immobilizes you. move on, put those blinders on if you must, but trust in the notion that life is short and we must take advantage of every living moment.

Shakespeare wrote “love is not love which alters when alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove,” likewise living is not life which cowers when death merely looms, or retreats with the evil who evil exact. no, living a worthy life is more courageous than that, for it accepts the inevitable track we are all rolling upon and strives to overcome by determining the course of our ride.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Complimenting The Spice of Life

Complimenting The Spice of Life
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

This morning I came across the recipe for candied pecans that I had stuck in the middle of my current read, Exuberance, while I was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago.

I was utterly enamored with the complement of chili pepper that the hotel restaurant used to make their candied pecans (which I had to complement breakfast and dinner for three days running). And so, I was compelled to ask the chef how to make them.

What occurred to me when I rediscovered the piece of stationary was that I could interminably compliment the world and all the wonderful elements that congeal to create life. Whether it be through photography or via verse or excited essays like this, I realize and reveal how grateful I am to be part of this beautiful and blissful experience we call living.

Life truly is wonderful.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Ceci Est Mon Dieu (This Is My God)

Ceci Est Mon Dieu (This Is My God Take Quatre)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

For the story behind this foto in English, click HERE

Ceci Est Mon Dieu

Je couchais dans la mare de kiddy sur mon dos, admirant le ciel bleu profond, quand j'ai soulevé cette balle avant moi, et, tout de suite, j'ai eu mon épiphanie—peut-être, un des plus grand je jamais ai eu.


Une heure plus tard, Enzo, mon plus vieux fils, me demande, &quot ; le Papa, si vous pourriez avoir trois pouvoirs super, que seraient-ils ? &quot ;

Il a pris tout mais un simple moment pour moi rendre compte ma réponse. &Quot ; bien, premièrement je voudrais le pouvoir à toujours par heureux. Deuxième, j'aimerais que le pouvoir pour ait fait des autres heureux, surtout ceux-là qui sont en apparence souvent fâché, triste ou autrement le mécontentement. &quot ;

Hélas, quand j'ai obtenu ai enfoncé sur pense à une troisième superpuissance, Enzo m'a interrompu et rétorqué, &quot ; Aucun Papa ! Ceux-là sont pouvoirs pas de super ! vous avez à vouloir des pouvoirs comme ‹ volant, › ‹ devenant invisible, › ‹ tirant le feu, › ou ‹ la force super-humain › …"

« Oh, » j'ai répondu, « je je devine ne sait pas alors, » et couché de retour encore pour tremper dans le soleil qui miroitait sur l'eau, pour j'avais décidé que dans la poursuite de santé d'esprit et de sérénité, je n'allais pas commencer une discussion philosophique profonde avec ma six année vieille—pas parce qu'il ne sonderait pas ses profondeurs ténébreuses, mais principalement parce que j'ai su qu'il prendrait probablement D'un intérêt et demande interminablement à "Why?" à chaque virage.


Et ce n'est pas jusqu'à présent, sur ce reflet épistolaire, que je vois que l'élever de ma divinité et ma réponse à l'enquête hypothétique de mon fils était en fait, en effet, connecté.

Parce que, comme j'ai conjecturé avant, je crois (indubitablement je fais) qu'un courant fort de passage d'optimisme me—l'un qui me donne pouvoir croire en la soi-actualisation, la force redoutable de la volonté individuelle, et la conviction qui il y a un petit bon dans presque tout le monde et tout. De plus, si pas plus d'une manière importante, c'est ma conviction et ma volonté pour partager cette énergie positive avec les autres, si seulement s'arrêter beaucoup le même pouvoir dans eux.

But A Number

The Aftermath
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I gather no one will really want to read the following story, but it is part of my reality, and so I relay the following if only for my own good.

Yesterday I realized I’m getting a bit older.

As young as I will my spirit to be, Age still has my number. So far, she’s been pretty good to me. And so, I sincerely cannot complain.

Yet, yesterday I had a minor operation—the surgical removal of a cyst that had been benignly rearing its ugly head just above my left clavicle. It was a tiny thing, no bigger than a bothersome blackhead. Alas, as innocuous and almost inconspicuous as it had been, just sitting there under my skin for the last couple of years, the doctor and I agreed that it was best to have it removed.


The night before, in a shirtless unguarded moment I was letting my belly hang out, and as it protruded over my waistline I thought and sighed out loud, “Oh, boy…”

My eldest son, Enzo, The Precocious Six-Year-Old, immediately jumped upon the opportunity to ask one of the million questions he asks everyday, saying, “What? Papa…”

I hesitated answering, primarily because I was being self-conscious, and by not telling the truth I would not have to face my reality. And so, I just brushed him off with a smile and answered “Oh, nothing.”

Alas, he could detect the deception in my curtly glib answer, and thus prodded again. “Come on Papa, tell me…What were you thinking?”

I pondered for a moment and asked myself, “What are you afraid of? What would be the harm in being honest here? “ So, foolishly I replied, “I was just thinking about how fat I feel.”

And then, as shocked as I should not have been, Enzo shoots point-blank without a blink, a punch straight to the paunch, “Well, Papa, you are fat.”

Yikes. How’s that for a dose of reality? His utterance was pure as could be, merely an innocent and objective observation from a child yet to be tainted by the rules of sensitivity.

Hence, it did not irk and jerk me as a regular insult might, but it did bite me a little nonetheless. And so, as any almost-forty American male might react, I resigned myself to the standard middle-aged resolution—“I’ve got to get back in shape.”

Point being, after the operation and Enzo’s observation I’m felling a little older, not in a bad way though, for I still believe that Age is but a number.

Last night I was with my good friend Robert and during a moment of enlightenment I declared that “My past was all good. Why should I think otherwise. Really, what good would it do me to reflect upon the past with anything less than a positive disposition?”

Regardless of the fact that I was declaring this to someone who was in the middle of earning his doctorate in history, I maintained that looking back must be done with the same attitude that we look forward with—for the victorious write history, and the losers merely dwell upon it.

And so, I must think positively about each day that passes and every telling sign that I am passing with it. For thinking positively equals being positive(ly).

And albeit I possibly, quite plausibly, am being wholly delusional, in that exuberance meets mid-life crisis sort of way, I must say that I am quite happy believing the bullshit anyway…

So, why should I think otherwise?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

the chatoyant charm of baubles and bangles

Even The Sidewalks Are Colorful in New York
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

As I was trying to loop over my chipped cuff buttons this morning, lamenting how the cleaning chemicals the cleaners use readily rot them, I noticed a missewn eyelet adjacent to the outer button. I thought, “No wonder these shirts were such a bargain, they were probably purchased as irregulars by the store.” But then, upon further inspection, for that theory did not fully satisfy my curiosity, I discovered another eyelet on the other half of the same cuff. I then checked the other sleeve—same exact thing.

I then realized that these were made to be both button and French cuffed shirts. Wow. The latter is my preferred style, but I was elated simply to find fitted shirts like these, which are not only trim at the waist but also a neck size not normally available on these shores—a neck size that fits me like no other neck size has ever fit me before.

To celebrate my great discovery, at lunchtime I took a tour of the thrift shops in the neighborhood to look for some vintage cuff links. Alas, Salvation Army, Goodwill, The City Opera Thrift Shop, A Repeat Performance, and The Vintage Thrift Shop all did not offer any under their glass counters. I stopped by the Paparazzi gift shop as well, but they sold all but two pair—one with a pair of golf clubs on it and the other with the scales of justice. Since I am neither a hacker or a crook, I forewent both.

However, at the counter the iridescent glistening of a basket of mood rings caught my eye. I slid one on and instantly fell in love, for it fit perfectly and instantaneously changed from aqua-green into a beautiful deep-sea blue. The chart read “very happy, relaxed at ease, serene, loveable.” And albeit I rarely wear jewelry, I was suddenly compelled to make this small purchase. I figured a few dollars were worth the inner glimmer of momentary enchantment. My only hesitation was that it somehow felt quite “gay.”

But I bought it anyway, and immediately put it on. If anything, I wanted to challenge myself and any underlying homophobic notions I might be harboring.

As I walked it began to change colors rapidly, from midnight blue to dark violet to aquamarine and then back to dark-dark blue again. Just watching it revolve made me dizzy, and admittedly, it felt more and more gay and made me less and less happy by the moment.

After traversing all but two blocks—the magic was gone. I just couldn’t see myself vaunting the rainbow ring. I guess 36 years of machismo had ingrained a perverted sense of masculinity, a gainsay to my virility which was just too much for me to gasconade.

So I tucked it away safely into my vest pocket, believing that I might put it to use in some other way, someday again—perhaps as a party piquer, a charm to bewitch a child with, or just a funky amulet to engender a smile from someone who desperately needs one.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

God Loves Georgia

God Loves Georgia
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

i was in the middle of a meeting with the account managers at lake lanier park in atlanta where i was managing an event for our contingency in alpharetta, when i saw this magnificent display above me.

so i said, "pardon me while i whip this out," and i took out my little canon powershot and snapped this incredibly graceful and awe-inspiring scene of nubulae and light.

the manager of the premises i was with was intrigued and asked "do you like photography?," i beamed somewhat smugly and affectively replied in a coy tone, "why yes, indeed i do."

she was quite enthused for she suddenly started telling me all about the panasonic luminex that she had spent $800 on and justified it because it has a 12x zoom. i feigned an "oh, really" in return, faking a little enthusiasm, if only because i ride on a high-horse about using zooms.

for my position has long been (perhaps stubbornly so, maybe stupidly even more so) that if it ain't close enough, well then...get closer!

Friday, August 19, 2005

What Is Most Appealing

What Is Most Appealing
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I fancy peeled oranges.

Truly peeled oranges, not just those flayed by their flavedos and albedos, but those picked clear of their bitter membranes as well.

It is immeasurably pleasurable to peel off the translucent skin and indulge in pure fresh pulp. Over the years I have learned that mixing what is bitter with what is sweet does neither taste justice.

Hence, the essential ritual of peeling skin from apples and meticulously removing the membrane from each and every orange wedge. I still eat the dull bitter skin that the sweet orange teardrops come wrapped in, but I just chew on them separately. The result is a much greater appreciation for the innards of the orange. If not a greater understanding for how one should palate life itself.

And so for me what is most appealing about this seemingly inane and unnecessary practice is that it puts into practice a good tenet for good and wise living.

For sometimes we ought not mix our penchants and predilections, friends and family, but rather keep them separate but equal; to be enjoyed apart from one another, so that each might get the attention and appreciation it, he, she or they rightly deserve.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The "Stupid" Pictures

The "Stupid" Pictures
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

They say that three times is a charm.

They, whomever they are, are right. For last night I was stopped by a cop for the third time…but this time I received more than merely a reprimand.

Albeit, I actually received less than a citation, my brother-in-law the detective will now know, as well as the entire family for that matter, that I broke the law.

Apparently, as the stern policeman put it, I had “crossed the white line for a ‘stupid picture.’”

It was a quarter before midnight and I was picking up my mother and my aunt from the airport. Their flight was not scheduled to arrive for another twenty minutes, so I decided to kill some time by pulling off to the side of the road in the back roads service area of Newark International to take some pictures, far away from the terminals and pedestrians and any suggestion that I might be posing a threat to national security.

Moreover, there were people parked to the sides of the roads all over the place. With the increased security, no one is allowed to stop for more than a few minutes to immediately pick up passengers in front of the baggage claims, so now people have turned to waiting on the shoulders.

Point being, I thought I would be safe from suspicion or harassment by going away from the real hustle and bustle. Alas, I was wrong again.

Moreover, beyond the boredom, I was also feeling a bit nostalgic. When I was growing up, San Jose (California) was all but a rinky-dinky town (Silicon Valley was all but a twinkle in the eyes of pioneers like Gordon Moore, Steve Jobs, William Hewlett and David Packard) and you could still park directly in front of the end of the single runway that served the airport to watch the planes take off and land, all of them passing closely and loudly directly overhead. It was a cheap form of entertainment, and so my parents would take me on occasion, on a Friday night, and we would just sit there for a while watching the planes go by.

I cherish simple moments like that, and so I was hoping to find a little of that last night. Alas, alas, alas, the world has changed.

Nonetheless, even though I was well aware that my innocent intentions would be suspect, once I spotted the Budweiser Beer Factory glowing in the distance, I figured it might prove a nice backdrop against the streaks of light I would get from the cars on the highway that divided the airport from the brewery.

A few minutes after pulling over however, the patorlman pulled up alongside me and asked what I was doing. I responded in the most obsequious and apologietic tone possible and told him that I was taking time-lapsed photos, immediately showing him via the LCD.

He was neither amused and didn’t buy my story, and so he asked for the camera, my license, insruance card, and car registration. I complied and added the magical get-out-of-jail free card, the blessed PBA card to the mix.

He sternly replied, “Get in your car while I check things out.” I got into my car and placed both hands on the steering wheel and waited.

A few minutes later he stepped up to my window, handed me back everything (almost) and chastised me by saying with a patronizing tone, “Well it all checks out, but I got you for crossing the white line and riding over the sidewalk. And so I’m keeping the PBA card. You shouldn’t have crossed the line for a ‘stupid’ picture.”

I merely nodded tight-lipped and said “thank you” in reply.

After he left, I noted “the white line” on the right side of the road, dividing it from the shoulder. I just took his word for it, but until then I was not aware that crossing such a line was illegal. There were no signs to indicate this and usually the uncrossable white line is in the middle of the road parting traffic. Plus his “sidewalk” looked more like an extra-wide curb along side a long strip of dry yellow grass, which so happened to also dip just like a driveway at the point where I entered.

Anyway, either way, I was busted…and all for a “stupid picture.” I guess what Forrest said is right, “Stupid is, what stupid does.”

Actually, ironically, the truly stupid and irresponsible photos were the few dozen or so snaps I took from the steering wheel while driving 60 miles an hour on the way to the airport.

Once again ennui is to blame. Apparently, being bored and being two hours past my usual bedtime is a bad combination.

Note: the glowing malformed white orb hanging above many of the photos is the crazy-quarter moon. So, maybe it was the moon that made me do it!

“It is fortunate that the muting of exuberance is neither rapid nor absolute. Youth is, after all, a time to fly and fall on enthusiasm, to act with audacity. The world of the young is meant for scuttling about and, as we have seen, nature gives the time and means for this. Evolution invests heavily in the child’s long days of eager adventure, reaping its returns in the adult’s more informed sallyings forth of mind and body. But youth does it first and with greater abandon. This is the time, as Robert Louis Stevenson has it, to go “flashing from on end of the world to the other.” It is a rash and full and delighting time.”

~ Exuberance, The Passion for Life, Kay Redfield Jamison

Saturday, August 13, 2005

deep whiffs of my fingers

Ah, My Nose!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Last night I got stuck between holding my breath for half-an-hour and smelling the appalling odor of a man who was sitting next to me on the bus.

I had to keep pressing my nose against the frigid window in futile refuge, hoping that the cold air seeping out of the AC vents would hold back the horrid smell, but every few minutes a waft would sneak in to whirl me in a tizzy and push me to the verge of sinking into syncope.

I wanted to run away, but his fat ass was wedged between me and the aisle leading to freedom. And as I had taken one of the last seats left, my only recourse was to stew and fantasize a little keen ridicule. I wanted to turn to him and ask point-blank, “Did you wipe your ass today, mister? Jezus Ku-rist!” or at least ring him into a state of self-consciousness with the poignant end of a blunt observation like, “BeJeezuz, you smell awful, almost unlawful man! Don’t you have any dignity?”

He looked like he smelled too. Receding hairline, greasy black and grey curls, small eyeglasses that he peered through to read his comic book with alarming glee. And dull gray polyester pants in sharp contrast to his light, yet loud, faded purple paisley shirt, which, combined, made him look like a cross between Robert R. Crumb and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

For most of the ride I had to resort to taking deep whiffs of my fingers, which happened to have the residual scent of the Ivory soap I had just used prior to embarking upon the bus. “Mmmm,” I thought, “vegetable oils and animal fats have never smelled so good.”

Friday, August 12, 2005


The Priceless Expression of Pure Joy 05
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Recently, one of my fellow photographers disclosed that she had recently lost a finger and wished she had been "smarter." She also added that she had seen some of my photos and was inspired though to see life a little brighter, to step a little lighter despite this recent loss.

I was compelled to reply that she was in "smarter" in spite of, or rather due to this loss. My words were as follows:

You are smarter than most if only because you have had an experience which most others never have to deal with, suffer, understand and make the most of; smarter because loss always moves us to appreciate everything else more; smarter because accidents and mistakes and our proclivity to err (we're only human after all) take us one step forward, even if that step came by way of a fall; smarter because you have allowed a little inspiration to see and feel and experience the exciting and wonderful world about you, one which many, if not most, never really see, hear or sense because they are too caught up in their lofty objectives or are stuck in ennui; smarter, if only, for a moment, you let yourself have fun.

and i can bank that you will grow even smarter with each chance you take to explore and open yourself up further.


(Theodore) Roosevelt’s life in politics was abruptly broken when, on St. Valentine’s Day of 1884, both his wife and his mother died. "You could not talk to him about it,’ said a close friend. He drew a cross in his diary for the date of the fourteenth of February and wrote, "The light has gone out of my life," In a pitch of energy reminiscent of the period following his father’s death, Roosevelt abruptly took off for the Dakota Badlands, where he lived out his conviction that “black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." He hunted, wrote an improbable number of books, and ran a cattle ranch. The hard work ultimately made wide inroads into his grief. "We felt the beat of hardy life in our veins," he wrote later is his autobiography, "and ours was the glory of work and the joy of living." Despite his distress, he said, "I enjoyed life to the full."

~ Kay Redfield Jamison, Exuberance, The Passion for Life