Posts from January, 2007

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

Wedding: Location, Location, Location

Sunday, 28 January 2007


We drove through Scott Circle today — on a journey completely unrelated to the wedding — and noticed that were two “extra” hotels that we had missed previously: the Courtyard Marriott Washington Embassy Row and the Holiday Inn Washington Central/White House.

These, not to mention that our rehersal dinner location is itself attached to the Beacon Hotel and Corportate Quarters.

Up to this point, we had just been thinking we would encourage everyone to stay in our block at the Hilton Doubletree (which owns 15 RIA, which is where the reception is) because we can have as many rooms as we want for $129 a night (which is an abjectly fantastic rate for D.C.).

That being said, we will check with a the other hotels near-by in case you want to use your miles or points or the like. Obviously, if you have rewards with a particular hotel, you will probably want to use those regardless.

Click on the map to the right to poke around the neighborhood, and see where everything is.

wedding in:


dma 2007: Master Class on Your Opt-In Email File

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Presented at a day long “Master Class” on opt-in email lists, organized by a colleague from Convio. My part of the conference was a bit of a rehash from last fall’s presentation at the Convio summit, and again centered on all sorts of acquisition testing (use of premiums, donor database analysis, engagement campaigns and email appends).

Wedding: She Got a Dress

Sunday, 21 January 2007

The headline tells pretty much the whole story. Except we have pictures. And I have permission (dare i say encouragement?) from the missus to post said pictures.

So, as you can probably tell, The Lady Sparkler has kind of turned the full time blogging-reins over to me. She loves blogs, loves to read about blogs, and loves to tell her clients why they need to have blogs … just not so much into the blogging-thing herself.

So, the dress …

The one you see pictured to the right is kind of exactly like the dress, but not exactly. The Lady Sparkler has decided to do off-white instead of white, and the embroidery / beading will be in the same off-white (here the embellishments are shown in silver).

She has also special ordered some straps for the dress in case she doesn’t want to fight with dress-slippage on the happiest day of her life.

The Lady Sparkler’s mom came up from Houston to help, and between the two of them (with a special guest appearance by Melissa for one of the boutique days) plowed through their list of stores and dresses, and had the whole thing wrapped in less than a week.


Needless to say, the dress has amped up the wedding expectations around the Parker-Spindler household a little … almost like the wedding — in the words of one bride who shall remain anonymous — is “really happening” now.

Personally, I will match The Lady Sparkler in that state of euphoria once we get the band and the photographer nailed down. Florists and cake makers can “do” a dozen weddings in one weekend if they have to. It’s pretty tough for a band or a photographer to be in two places at once.

So, on to the next big project … either finding us music and pictures, or finding us a physicist who can bend the space time continuum. Frankly, two weeks ago, in the order of “completion difficulty,” I would have placed music and pictures first, space time continuum bending second, wedding dress purchasing third.

I guess that’s a good sign, huh?

wedding in:


Photos: International Shooting All the Time Day

Saturday, 20 January 2007


For Christmas this year, I got a subscription to “Popular Photography” (thanks Jo-Jo!).

One of the first bits I read (in my premier issue) was about an awkwardly named holiday that they obviously made up the week before the issue went to print: International Shooting All the Time Day.

The general notion is that to be a better photographer, you have to take more photographs. Why this has to happen the third week of January, I will never understand, but maybe it has something to do with self sacrifice and mutilation.

Regardless, the idea behind I.S.A.t.T.D. is that you should take a picture every 5 minutes, all day long (sans 8 hours for sleep, and another hour for the uncomfortably vague “personal” time). This turns out to be 225 pictures in 24 hours.

Ignoring the fact that the whole premise is either weird, shakey, or unfathomable, I decided to give it a go. Trying desperately to keep my new year’s resolution (shoot new places) alive, I started in the northern reaches of DC’s Rock Creek Park, and worked my way down to Georgetown, and over to the National Mall.

To get a better idea of where I went, check out my new-fangled, geo-tagged Flickr map of this day’s photograph locations.

I took more than 325+ pictures in about 9 hours, though only ~130 of them were worth space on my ever-shrinking hard drive. I have until March to pick my five favorites and submit them to the magazine.

Explore the Photo Set:
International Shooting All the Time Day

Photos: FDR at Night

Monday, 15 January 2007


The Lady Sparkler’s mom is in town, helping her pick out a wedding dress, and after dinner one night we decided to drive around a little to get the “monument at night” feel of the city.

I have shot the monuments (and FDR in particular) seemingly hundreds of times, including several times at night. I got some orginal shots, but I am decidedly reaching to get there.

Explore the Photo Set:
FDR at Night

Wedding: Beacon Jumps into the Lead

Thursday, 11 January 2007


So, my parents are up in town to take advantage of the birthday present I gave my mom last November for her birthday: tickets to the Kennedy Center’s production of Copeland’s Rodeo.

With them in town, we decided to have dinner at Local 16 (a current contender for the rehearsal dinner) which was kind of my pick for the one they would like the best. It has a great atmosphere, is a little more old-world and traditional, and it’s been open in some form or the other for nigh on a decade.

Boy, what do I know?

We arrived a couple of minutes before our (early) reservation to find the front doors locked. Peaked inside and people are sitting at the bar drinking, but no one at the host stand and no one seemed to be interested at me peering through the window.

After about 15 minutes of waiting in the Starbucks next door for the restaurant to unlock its doors, we sat down and ordered some drinks and an appetizer. The drinks (mercifully) were strong and helped everyone get through the rest of the meal.

I don’t even remember what was ordered, but whatever my mom wanted was out of stock. The waiter came back, explained the problem, and she picked something he recommended. About five minutes later, the waiter popped back out to say THAT was out of stock too.

When the food finally DID arrive, the fish was small and flat, and the pork looked like it had been pumped with something. To make matters worse, dessert didn’t come within 35 minutes of us placing the order, and we had to flag down the waiter to cancel it.

Now, truth be told, I love Local 16 … love the service, love the food, love the locally-grown mission. And, truth be told, they comped the ENTIRE meal. That being said, if the experience had (pardon my french) sucked even a LITTLE less, it might still be in the running for the rehersal dinner.

I will happily take my chances with the new kid on the block (Beacon Bar & Grill), because after three meals with three different groups of people, we have absolutely zero complaints. Amen.

wedding in:


Photos: Mt. Vernon, near Alexandria, Virginia

Saturday, 6 January 2007


It is hard to believe that I am saying this, but I’m getting bored shooting photographs in the greater metropolitan Washington, DC area. A cursory review of my work and I think it is safe to say I have shot every twig in the North and Central Districts of the Shenandoah National Park.

Accordingly, this year I am going to try and go shooting in some places that I have overlooked in recent years, and not just rely on heading west towards Shenandoah.

As part of this effort (a new years resolution of sorts) I went to Mount Vernon. It is #$%! pricy to get in, but nicely photogenic once you get past the ticket window. The grounds were so photogenic (and the lines to get in the house so long) that we just wandered the estate all day.

Actually, the whole this was so photogenic that we talked about getting season passes … until it was discovered that you had to get your picture taken and laminated on the ID. No amount of money saved is worth carting another photo ID around, much less one as trivial as this.

Explore the Photo Set:
Mt. Vernon, near Alexandria, Virginia