The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts from the “DC” Category

A Farewell Ode to PR

Posted on April 27, 2012

Every Thursday night until 10 pm, I’m in the belly of a dingy basement of a distant exclave university building. It truly is a dismal structure. The walls are a bland off-white and the fluorescent lights flicker ominously. Around the corner, I run into the night custodian, a mysterious man with an eye-patch whom I have developed an elaborate backstory for (let’s just say that a hostage situation with a Kyrgyzstani went horribly wrong). But alas, I’m not in this hellish academic islet by choice, at lease not by direct choice. I’m in a course called Issues and Image Management – basically public relations, not-so-basically how to fix the public image and perception of shitty people and shitty corporations who claim profit and revenue…

On Holi, Constants, and Constant Musings

Posted on April 15, 2012

Objectivity is indicative of a decent war photographer, not necessarily of a decent person. But how to ignore the human instinct to act, to get involved when terror greets you from all directions? To properly document combat, you must maintain the position of a fly on the wall and you must get dirty. During this year’s Holi festivities, I did one of these things well enough to warrant a Pulitzer. I once wrote about my year in 2011. In neat little paragraphs, I talked about what I did each month and what I learned in these thirty-day increments. In April 2011, Holi directly contributed to the musing, “perspective is your shit shield”, a lesson that I now live by.  I once considered getting a…

Spring in DC

Posted on March 27, 2012

Every season has its merits, but spring changes people like no other time. The first substantial snow of winter is comparable to this phenomenon of weather affecting attitudes, but snow isn’t always loved by the masses whereas who doesn’t love sunshine and warm breezes and that distinct fresh spring smell? Pretty girls become even prettier, amicable people even friendlier, and you spend your time wishing that that long walk could be just a little bit longer. People these days wear smiles with their outfits, and it’s incredibly refreshing. To me, warm spring nights are perfection, simply put. Taken with a Nikon FM, 50 mm F1.4

Blossoms and Bitches

Posted on March 23, 2012

It has been 100 years since cherry blossom trees were shipped over from Tokyo as a gesture of peace, amnesty, and friendship between the US and Japan. This was a brilliant motion that energizes the city every spring and makes beautiful blossom petals dance in the wind. The current Cherry Blossom Festival is not without its implications, but the one I lament the most is the crowds of people. Yes, this season is exciting for me in a photography, jogging, and people-watching kind of way, but if people think I will uproot my reading spot on the side of the Jefferson Memorial to make way for their family photo with the expectation that some person won’t purposefully photo-bomb their perfect memory with a hideous…

Look Up

Posted on March 4, 2012

I’m not really sure what art is, but in the famed words of Justice Potter Stewart and his famed colloquialism, I know it when I see it. DC’s art scene is very much underrated, wholly overshadowed by its primary role as the eye of the political storm. As cool and comprehensive as the National Gallery is, I don’t think art has to be hanging on a wall or supported by a marble base. Art can be anywhere, in the people who ride the gallery’s escalators, in the underground tunnels that serve as a link between celebrated eighteenth century collections and modern galleries that were born only last year, and finally, in the dismal yet soothingly symmetric institution known as the DC Metro, where people…

Playing with Lines

Posted on March 1, 2012

Sometimes I dream about this photo, taken in southern Spain. Sometimes I dream I can dive from the highest antennae platform right into the sapphire water, like no distance separates the two, like it is all one horizon, like the world is really a 2D Mario game circa 1993 and no one is bothered by the hassles of 3-dimensionality. Montevideo, Uruguay. Wintertime. The air is thick with exhaust and parilla fumes. I steer clear of this vendor’s display even though I am interested in purchasing oranges, simply because that is always an interest of mine. But I have a tendency to knock things over, and indeed, this has the potential to be the mother of all fuck-ups. Spetses, Greece. There is some local joke…

How to Relax: Tutorial

Posted on February 27, 2012

In this excessively future-oriented society, true relaxation has become a skill that some have forgotten or even intentionally ignored. These are some of the things I do to deflate, destress, and forget about everything even if it’s for a couple minutes. Some of them are DC specific, but they can be adjusted accordingly to any location in the entire universe. This blog, you see, has become a sorta-kinda-roundabout how-to manual for how I believe I should conduct my life, so I think listing some ways to successfully ward off stress is valuable and necessary. Depending on the day, these are also great procrastination techniques which could deter the desired effect. Oh well. 1) Clean your computer!  It’s so gratifying! As you can see, I’m…

Afternoon Delight

Posted on February 18, 2012

Making the perfect burger is a God-given concern. And by perfect, I mean it should be absolutely imperfect thereby confirming its perfection. Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, obviously) oozing and spurting from one side, a grease-laden bun that shines in the sunlight and blinds passers-by, and two malformed steaming beef patties that drip with juicy grease. The buns should act like soft sponges effectively soaking up the last drop of juice. Heavy on the pickles, light on the attitude, this burger – and every good burger – screams: “This is me. Take me as I am or leave me for my flavors to marry until some other deserving individual picks me up and appreciates every bite.” While I’m not one to deny the pleasures of a…

DC via Instagram: Dupont//Adams Morgan

Posted on February 8, 2012

DC is a diverse place but the metro brings us all together. Dupont: The tantalizing Krispy Kreme glow catches your eyes before it catches your nose. Wet benches border the Eye of Dupont. I used to come to these seats to read and to breathe, but all benches, not just these, are uninhabitable for a person on the run. Grass is softer and nicer anyway. Coffee time. Adams Morgan: I grab my books and my music and I come here for triple shot cappuccinos with latte art. Rush hour lights weave through Rock Creek Park. Everyone has somewhere to be. The secret Krispy Kreme glazing process is visible from the store’s window. I stand there hours at a time, hoping to unravel the secrets…