On July 4th, after heading to the Korean market, we stopped by the side of the road to pick wild raspberries.
In the afternoon, Mark and I headed to his house. I nearly killed us both getting onto 495, but eventually we got there.
Welcome to Virginia
After picking out some new shoes at DSW—which was a lot easier than I thought it’d be—Mark’s Lover joined us. And later, Johnny, Ashley, and Liam showed up.
And so I got to meet my nephew for the first time.
Johnny and Liam
The bottle of beer is out of frame.
Liam is a damn adorable child, I tell you.
Liam and Me
And he gets along with Mark’s Lover.
“Don’t Eat the Feet, Liam!”
Then the six of us headed to the Air Force Memorial to watch the fireworks. I brought my tripod and camera, hoping to get some good shots. Unfortunately, it started to rain a bit. That made the air extra humid. So we were able to see the first explosion…then a cloud of smoke hung in the air and we couldn’t see anything else.
People around us were getting so upset. “This is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen,” said one woman in her early twenties. I rolled my eyes and thought, Turn on CNN you idiot. A man complained very loudly, “This is a rip off!” And how much did you pay, exactly???
Fireworks, Sort Of
July 5th, however, the fireworks turned out a lot better. There was a party where I’m staying. We had tons of good food, and lots of good company. My brother’s family showed up, and I got to meet many “Gaysians.” (Mark and Lover are introducing me to all of the Gaysians so Good Man will have a built-in support network already. Ha! As far as Good Man knows, he’s only met one gay person, someone I introduced him to in Korea. Man is my boyfriend in for a shock when he arrives next weekend…)
Ashley and Liam
I ended up talking to one of the Gaysians for a long time because he is half Thai and half Vietnamese. He grew up in Saigon, so we ended up talking about Vietnam. I’ve never been to the south, and he’s never been to the north. He also managed to drop chapjae and his drink at my feet, getting food and beer on my silk pants (bought in Vietnam, actually). I joked that he was trying to get me to take off my pants. He was a nice guy, though.
After several hours of great food and company, the fireworks began.
Mark’s Lover is a volunteer firefighter and friends with various policemen. Someone ended up going to Pennsylvania, where it’s legal to buy fireworks if you’re not a Pennsylvania resident.
We had hundreds of dollars worth of fireworks at this party.
And instead of shooting them off at dusk, they waited until the night was pitch black.
This was my perfect opportunity to get some good photos.
Fireworks are illegal in Maryland. But remember all of the police officer friends? One of the roommates ended up listening to the police radio to make sure we were in the clear. A neighbor called the police about the fireworks and (unknowingly) got a dispatcher who’d been at this party last year.
As you can imagine, nothing came out of the call.
I was able to get some great shots. I ended up exposing the photos at ISO 100, f/11, with six second exposures. I used my remote release cable and set the camera in continuous shooting mode. Fantastic!