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TIP: Just because it’s called a Basin doesn’t mean you should wash in it.

13 Apr

© 2013 pithypants

Remember back in the 1980s, when women had their “colors done” and were labeled with a season? As in: “I’m a Fall, so Earth tones look best on me.” Remember that?

Well, if Washington DC were a woman of the 1980s, she would definitely be a Spring. This season is working for her.

I’d be so bold as to claim that there really aren’t any other cities that do spring quite as beautifully as DC. And it’s not just the cherry blossoms – there are the tulips, the daffodils, the  redbuds, the dogwoods, the magnolias, the azaleas. The entire city is awash in bright colors.

Admittedly, the main event is the cherry blossoms. We obsess over them here. People begin forecasting “peak bloom” as early as February, and near the end of March the news provides a daily “bloom update.”

This week they were deemed to be at their peak, so one morning I got up at 5am and walked down to the Tidal Basin, hoping to see them in their full glory before work – and before the area was overrun with tourists.

Apparently I wasn’t the only early bird in the crowd. Some observations, advice, and random thoughts:


I never knew how many people owned tripods. I also don’t know how necessary they are. I’m probably twice as happy with my photos (posted here and snapped with my iPhone) even if they’re half as good as what I could’ve done with a tripod, because I didn’t have to lug a tripod on my back.


To the couple in their seventies who packed a picnic basket and were toasting the sunrise with mimosas: you’re doing it right. To the women with a box of Dunkin’ Donuts and two liters of soda: you are not.

To the Japanese women getting your picture taken as you cup handfuls of petals you’ve scooped from the ground: I’m not sure what you’re doing. To the teenage boy repeatedly performing ballet leaps so your parents can film you with a backdrop of cherry blossoms: Might not want to upload that to YouTube.

Random Thoughts

I’m glad the Park Police didn’t bust the old couple for drinking in a national park. That would be kind of sad. Maybe the Park Police don’t work around the clock – or maybe they slept in today.

Spring is sprung actually makes no sense at all.

Maybe I’ll make a bumper sticker that says, “iPods, not tripods.”

The bank of port-o-johns smells oddly like Wintergreen lifesavers. It kind of makes me regret eating an entire bag of them for lunch yesterday.

I wonder how many people actually fall in love in the springtime? I wonder how many people fall in the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season? Answer: Not enough.

© 2013 pithypants


Three for Thursday: Random Thoughts

21 Mar

Here are three random thoughts from the past few weeks that have no unifying theme and don’t really warrant their own blog posts. But were too ridiculous to not share. Hence, my new feature: Three for Thursday.

Image Source: © 2013 pithypants + CVS PharmacyI stopped by CVS on my way to work one morning last week. Even though I’m a morning person, the time change threw me off, so I was a bit groggy. As I used the self-checkout scanner, the persistent voice asked, “Do you have your Extra Care Card?”

Except my ears were foggy and I heard it as, “Extra HAIR Card.”

And I thought, “Now THAT would be a loyalty program. Hell yeah. Sign me up.”

On that same walk to work, I spotted two cranes in motion, high in the sky. (The construction kind, not the bird kind, but I can see how you might be confused.)

I looked at the little operator booth, some 20+ stories in the air, supported only by the narrow column of scaffolding. I shook my head, thinking, “No way would I ever be a crane operator – I don’t care HOW much the job pays.”

Then I thought, “Do they have to climb down that little ladder every time they have to pee?”

Then I realized they were probably like guys on a roadtrip, priding themselves on being able to pee into any container that had a lid. I shuddered to think of the Mountain Dew bottles the carried back down the ladder with them at the end of the day.

Also? Pretty sure there aren’t any crane operators with Crohn’s.

Image Source: Philosophy. Can we agree that it’s not important to sort loads according to color? And that instead it is preferable to sort loads based on what touches your face vs. your butt?

I’d just feel so much better using a cloth napkin at your house if I knew you hadn’t washed it with your like-colored underwear.

Vandals of a different stripe…

15 Feb

Remember last week when I was kind of excited that some drunk fool had marked all the snow-covered cars in my neighborhood with a juvenile cock-and-balls motif?

Well a friend sent me this to demonstrate that the vandals in Denver are a bit more, um, talented:

No CLUE where this originated - a friend sent it to me from his cell phone. If you're the artist - or the photographer - please let me know so I can properly attribute it to you!

I will admit, I did find it somewhat inspirational.

Until I headed out today for a quick stroll and noticed that someone had altered all of the one-way signs down 16th Street:

© 2013 pithypants

© 2013 pithypants

© 2013 pithypants

I’m guessing it’s left-over from Valentine’s Day (as opposed to the aftermath of a Marley tribute concert), but I hope it stays up for months. This is the kind of graffiti I could get behind.

Score one for my sister…

21 Aug

I shared a sweet photo with my sister on Facebook because I know she likes cats:

And this was her response:

Continue reading

Artomatic: A Photo Essay

24 Jun

One of my favorite DC events is something called Artomatic. It’s a month-long art festival held every 1-3 years (depending on their ability to get organized and secure space) – usually in a building that’s under construction or slated for demolition. This year’s festival occupied ten floors of an old office building in Arlington and featured more than 1,000 artists.

Pretty awesome, right?

The event is not juried, so it’s a mishmash of stuff – some is Art with a capital-A, while other stuff looks like a classroom of kindergarteners could produce it.

Since the building is otherwise vacant, it’s easy to get lost. Fortunately they have bars on almost every floor, so you’re usually well fortified for your wandering. And there’s a stage area for entertainment on each floor – everything from poetry readings, to garage bands to fashion shows.

Last night was this year’s closing night, so my friend Betsy and I went over to check it out. Here are some of the more bizarre highlights:

There almost an entire floor dedicated to dioramas made from Peeps. This was my favorite because it was a fairly accurate portrayal of the Occupy movement in DC:

Peep Show

This was an entire room decorated bizarrely. Kind of what I assume a crack den looks like:

The End Is Near?

Not exactly sure what’s happening here, but it’s the only clown exhibit that didn’t completely terrify me:

Maybe because the hands are more creepy?

I took this mainly to taunt my sister, who offers to knit me things. If you REALLY loved me, you would make me a body-sized glove. Or a mitten. I’m not that picky…

Ain’t no needles large enough…

I’m pretty sure this is some kind of Cat’s Cradle reference, but I named him MC Knittin’ Kitten.

Let’s raise the roof.

I’m not sure what makes this art. Did the guy make Godzilla’s body from scratch? If so, I’ll put a tick in the “art” column. If he simply chopped holes and stuck frightening baby arms out of a dinosaur? Not so much.

How evolution really started…

Um… anyone want to attempt to interpret this one?

At least give her more nipples.

Forget about the goose who lays the golden egg. I want to birth a solid gold baby.

When gold-diggers get pregnant.

I didn’t take this photo for the message, though I do like the “Buy car, kick tires” idea. No. I liked this because the little drip of paint running down from his crown reminded me of the stick that holds up opera glasses. Very delicate for an Abe Lincoln skull.

Kick those tires!

Back on the Peep floor – someone had constructed a Peepmobile for kids to play with. What you may not be able to see – in this photo, it is a large fifty year old man in there driving.

When you can’t afford a corvette for your midlife crisis…

So Artomatic. Aren’t you sad you missed it? I swear – there is also REAL art there. It just didn’t photograph well.

Also? There was a fashion show with legitimate models walking a catwalk in ridiculous shoes. Knowing my obsession with models falling, any guesses what I spent my time doing? Standing with my iPhone filming, hoping I’d get footage for my own YouTube wipeout. Maybe next year.

A girl can hope.