Good morning and greetings, March madness fans. For a fashionable photographer like myself, the season to capture the spectacular comings and goings in the morning and evening skies is shorter than a pair of Danny DeVito’s pants. And that is why during the months of November, December and January, I am constantly on red alert, as much like my proclivity to stay abreast of the goings on in the TV world, I don’t want to miss anything.
As a sunrise specialist, I live by a certain motto-”You snooze, you lose,” which I unfortunately did this past Saturday, when I missed out on an unexpected March show of morning glory when my wife allowed me to stay up past my bedtime Friday night and watch TV. “Dateline” led to dream time, and when I awoke at 6:50, the show was over. I chalk it up to collateral damage from milk and cookies.
On a more positive note, December and January were glorious months for me on the photography and modeling front, as the skies and runways were filled with color and delight. But as the Lord and networks giveth and taketh, it all came to an end quickly for this mild-mannered reporter for a great American website, as February was bleaker than my prospects of doing the backstroke in the fountain of youth. Ah, to feel young again. I believe it was either playwright George Bernard Shaw or the boys from Lynrd Skynrd who said, “It’s a shame to waste youth on Neil Young.” And I just hope Neil remembers, “A southern man don’t need him around anyhow.”
That being said, I captured just one good sunrise and a few sunsets in February, which just goes to show that as a cloud choreographer, you always have to be on top of your game. Much like a finely conditioned athlete, it’s helpful to be able anticipate the play before it happens. Like a Peyton Manning, I try to see the whole field, and avoid those roughing the photographic quarterback penalties.
So another front, it was a tragic week here on the central coast, as two Santa Cruz police officers were gunned down by a psychopath who shouldn’t have been out on the streets. It’s not often that Santa Cruz is mentioned on NBC’s national news, and when it is, I prefer it to be for a spectacular nature event like killer whales surfing the break at Steamers Lane than a senseless double killing that makes everyone in the community feel vulnerable.
After a series of violent crimes in February, folks are wondering, what is happening in our lovely seaside community? The dark side has been driven to the forefront, and what we see is not a pretty picture. Bob Dylan once said, “Democracy don’t rule the world, you’d better get that in your head. This world is ruled by violence, but I guess that’s better left unsaid.” And here all this time, I thought the answer was blowing in the wind.
And there are no easy fixes to these problems. People are asking, “Do you feel safe living here in Santa Cruz.” I feel safe for the moment, but tragedy gives no warning. So I’m grateful at night, when I’m lying in bed in my Don Johnson pajamas with my Direct TV HD DVR by my side for protection, to have made it through another day, week or TV season.
So for today’s photo funhouse, we are returning to last Thursday night, the final day of our shortest month of the year. The place is my favorite sunset shooting location, Natural Bridges State Beach. I’m fond of the most natural of bridges for two reasons. One, I love capturing the intense color of the clouds reflecting on the sand. And two, and more importantly, it is the closest location to my westside abode, and this way I rarely get carsick on the journey.
I had no expectations for any dusk developments, as it had been a few weeks since I shot a meaningful sunset. But then as the day wound down, the clouds hung around in the western sky, setting the stage for some late February magic. This night had most things a digital boy could ask for, except for the last phase of color when we go from outrageous orange to blood red. But for a night when my expectations were lower than my cholesterol and blood pressure, it definitely did the trick.
On to some late night humor. “This horse meat scandal just keeps growing. And it isn’t happening only in Europe. According to a new report, donkey meat has been found in hamburgers in South Africa. Consumers said when they were eating the burgers, they sensed something was wrong but they couldn’t quite pin a tail on it. In fact, in South Africa more than two-thirds of the meat products tested contained undeclared ingredients. Or as we call that in this country, a hot dog. A storm dumped 17 inches of snow on Amarillo, Texas, yesterday. It was really confusing for people sneaking over the border. They thought they’d gone all the way to Canada.” – Jay Leno
“Life of Pi” took home four Oscars. It’s about a young boy trapped at sea on a small boat with a man-eating tiger. Yet with all that, it’s still a better way to travel than a Carnival cruise. According to the new study, women talk almost three times as much as men. Well, you know why? Because they know men aren’t listening the first two times. ” – Jay Leno “Last night a toilet flooded the lobby where the Oscars show was being held. The show won an Oscar for best portrayal of a Carnival cruise. Big winner last night was “Life of Pi,” a story of a young man who wakes up in a lifeboat with a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and tiger, which oddly enough, is also the plot of “The Hangover 3.” – Conan O’Brien
“Big international controversy about the Oscars. When they aired in Iran, the Iranian government digitally added sleeves to Michelle Obama’s gown. They also altered the video so that Jennifer Lawrence is now deliberately tripped by the Israelis.” – Conan O’Brien “The White House officially released portraits of the White House gang. You can all see the portrait of Hillary Clinton. It will be on next month’s cover of the “Sports Illustrated” pants suit issue. Anybody see the Academy Awards last night? The show last night was so long that by the middle of the show the audience was begging Daniel Day-Lewis to free them. Have you seen a movie out there called “Zero Dark Thirty?” It’s about the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his wife Mary Todd bin Laden. Pope Benedict was nominated for an Academy Award. He’s going up against “Lincoln” for best big hat.” – David Letterman
“Officials in Pakistan are complaining that the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” contains a lot of errors. They were like, “The movie makes Pakistan out to be a hellish wasteland of corruption and intolerance — but in real life, it’s WAY worse than that. Manti Te’o was apparently one of the slowest linebackers to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL’s scouting combine yesterday. You can tell he took it to heart because today he spent three hours on an imaginary Stairmaster. Beyoncé has actually designed her own pair of sneakers. The sneakers are made of stingray, ostrich, cat hair, crocodile, and anaconda skins. So if you want a pair of those sneakers, you’d better order it now while species last.” – Jimmy Fallon
So that’s our first blast for March. We’ll catch you being the best shooter in the NBA and ringing up the Knicks for league-high 54 points on Tuesday in Madison Square Garden. Aloha, mahlao and later, Stephen Curry fans.