Call it FREXIT: The Forster Rothbarts are leaving.
I'll be spending the rest of 2016 in eastern Ukraine, where I'll be documenting the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in Donetsk.
My family will be living in Ivano Frankivsk, in western Ukraine.
Here's how to reach me while abroad:
CURRENT email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Note my old email address is currently inactive).
MY US cell phone 607-267-4893 is active but will go straight to voicemail. I'll check messages rarely.
My office phone 917-387-4952 forwards to me in Ukraine.
My Ukrainian cell number is +38 050 496 3811.
Call it FREXIT: The Forster Rothbarts are leaving.
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Saturday, June 25, 2016
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Friday, March 18, 2016
Maps from the New York Times, Washington Post, RealClearPolitics and Mother Jones
(clockwise from top right), March 2016, don’t show enough information.
- Candidates win delegates, not states. In Democratic primaries, candidates win delegates proportionally, based on vote tallies. In Republican primaries, this is true in some states. Painting all the states a candidate “wins” the same color is misleading.
- Population matters, not geography. The relevant information is the number of voters, not the size of a state. However, traditional maps emphasize a state’s area, not the number of people.
Where did Clinton get more votes? This map doesn’t say.
An Attempt by the New York Times
|(Who knew Noxubee County, Mississippi, which is 72% black, had among the highest percent support for Clinton in the nation? Of course, only 1,531 people voted in the whole county.) Case in point.|
Searching for Better Maps
Next up: four-color, four-candidate maps of the Republican primaries. Will it look interesting or just look like the shades of mud the candidates have been slinging? Check back next week to find out.
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Thursday, March 17, 2016
#black lives matter vs the photojournalists: What I learned from the Missouri protests.
Like a moth to flame, I keep getting pulled to read more about the protests at Missouri this week.
The whole series of events was historic, yes, but what has gotten the most discussion amongst my photojournalist friends is one incident in which Mizzou students and staff tried to keep journalists away from the "safe space" they had created in the middle of a "public space."
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Friday, November 13, 2015
Update, Monday Sept 14, 5:28 pm
Well, at least one thing was easy. I called Air Canada to change my ticket. The agent put me on hold for 15 minutes; while holding I discovered I could change my ticket online myself. She came back and told me it would cost $100 US to change. I told her I had a better offer online - $100 Canadian (that's $75 US). She didn't believe me so I proved it to her. I bought the new ticket while she waited and she confirmed that it worked.
So now I am flying Wednesday. Assuming my passport really does arrive tomorrow.
Update, Monday Sept 14, 3:07 pm
The post office told me to call after 3 to see if my package came in the afternoon shipment. It did not.
When I called, I spoke to Frank the mailman again. He told me tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. My passport could possibly come at 7:30 am but it is scheduled to arrive at 1:30 pm.
Now I need to change my flight. I'm scheduled to leave at 11 am. Air Canada claims I can change it for $100. Let's hope so.
Newsflash! Monday Sept 14 at 2:59 pm
My passport is in Albany. Only an hour away from me. However, it is impossible for me to intervene and get it. Like taming a stray cat or falling in love, I need to wait for it to come to me. Here, kitty, I've got passport kibbles for you...
My friends at USPS.com updated the tracking for my package. Apparently it flew for 37 minutes, from NYC to Albany and now it is just going to sit in the airport for the rest of the day.
I hate long layovers.
Update, Sept. 14, 1:22 pm
No, constantly watching the US Mail tracking page will not get my package here any sooner. I know that. But I keep refreshing the page.
Now the US Postal Service has informed me: yesterday over the course of 7 hours, my passport moved from one side of a midtown Manhattan post office to the other side.
Update, Sept. 14, 8:06 am
WTF?! No, Jacob, that does not stand for the World Tildlife Fund.
It appears that 5 DAYS after the consulate said they put my passport in the mail, someone finally dropped it off at the post office.
Guess I am not going to NYC after all. Now the race is really on but it's between the post office and the clock. I am merely a spectator. The latest I can possibly leave for Montreal is 3:00 tomorrow morning...
Update, Sept. 14, 8:03 am
The rental car is parked in the driveway. I'm ready to head to NYC. Just need to reach the consulate and confirm they do have my passport still. (If not, I'm really screwed...)
Update, Sept. 14, 7:45 am
Is my local post office tired of hearing from me yet? Frank the mailman, Colleen's coworker, answered the phone just now and he knew who I was before I told him. But no, my untracked package did not sneak into the post office with the first morning delivery.
Update, Sept. 12, 3:09 pm
No news is bad news. No envelope, no info in the tracking system.
I'll leave Monday morning, drive to New York, get my passport, drive home, finish packing.
And then, gentle reader, I have news for you. See, I got a great price on my flight to Tokyo. But it flies Tuesday morning from... Montreal. Yes. That one in Canada. So I'll drive north late at night after first driving south in the morning.
Update, Sept. 12, 11:35 am
Just went to the local post office. Colleen, the friendly postal worker at the counter, looked up my package. It still shows no information. She said it would be checked in and out at each facility en route, so this means it's probably still on someone's desk in the consulate.
Or coming in a different envelope.
Colleen says to call after 3 when the afternoon express mail arrives in Oneonta.
Update, Sept. 11, 10:51 pm
This is not good news.
The embassy operator actually called me back! But he said no one will be in the visa department until Monday morning. This means I have no way to know if they still have my passport or not.
I plan to make an emergency run to NYC on Monday morning before I fly on Tuesday.
Worse, he said, they often mail passports on Friday COB. If so my passport is in transit and will definitely not arrive in time.
Update, Sept. 11, 10:17 pm
I did not reach anyone at the embassy. However, I called the after hours emergency number. (My passport is an emergency, right?) And — shocking this is — the operator took all my information and told me he would call the director of the consular office right now, to get an answer for me.
Can you imagine any US government office calling on your behalf in the middle of the night?
Update, Sept. 11, 3:03 pm: My USPS Express Mail with my passport should have arrived yesterday or today from New York. However, the post office says there is no record of my package. Calling the embassy as soon as I get home.
September 8. One week from today, I leave for Japan for a month. I'll be on assignment photographing Fukushima for several magazine articles.
However, I don't have my passport. I called the Japanese consulate today in NYC and they promised to mail it back to me today. Stay tuned...
(Ok, technically the college president has recommended Amy for tenure. Tenure is not official until the trustees vote on it in February, but the trustees always follow the president’s recommendation.)
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Saturday, December 13, 2014
Posts about parenting while Amy was away, continued.
Archived from www.facebook.com/mfrphoto
Week 1 is here: http://mfrphoto.blogspot.com/2014/06/diary-of-solo-parent.html
1. Don't expect to sit down for a full a meal in the next decade.
2. Serve small portions and save some in reserve.
Day 14 of solo parenting. We're eagerly awaiting Amy's arrival. She landed in the US 17 hours ago, but she was too tired to drive home... At least that gave me a last night to vacuum the filthy rugs.
The prodigal mother has returned.
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Saturday, July 05, 2014
Hi blog readers,
My wife is away for 2 weeks and I started writing about it on Facebook. Below are the first few entries and you can find more here: www.facebook.com/mfrphoto
After 2 exciting weeks in Ukraine I came home - and today Amy left for 2 weeks in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Someday we'll travel together again... but for now I'm on dad duty until July 3.
My question is: what should I do to surprise my wife when she returns? What would you want?
Day 1 of solo parenting: the kids begged for a swim and a picnic and I complied, even though it made for late bedtimes.
Day 2 of solo parenting: Natalie likes to make declarative sentences and then feels a need to prove herself right. As in: I don't need to hold hands to cross the street! Or: I don't like this toothpaste [which she has used every night for months], I like yours! Or: I need to wear a diaper! Why does Jacob get one, I need one too!
Day 3 of solo parenting. How do single parents do this? Today I was so busy working that I barely had time to go to Work.
6 pm is not the best time to grocery shop with 2 young kids, but it was the only time it fit. Had I not kept policing Natalie, our cart would have ended up with matzoh ball soup mix, froot loops, honey nut cheerios, 16 hot dog buns, organic multigrain penne, and single-serving cups of cinnamon applesauce in it. As she proudly announced at checkout: "I helped my daddy the WHOLE TIME!"
Day 4 of solo parenting.
Me: Natalie, no more snuggles, you need to go to sleep. It's late, it's 10:30 at night.
I leave, followed by minutes of Natalie screaming and banging on her door.
Natalie: Daddy come back now, I'm really ready, I need a hug, I hitted my head.
Me: I won't come back unless you lay your head on your pillow and stop talking.
Natalie: I don't want daddy's rules, I want mommy's rules.
Confession: I am so cold hearted when Natalie has her meltdowns, which are frequent. But what am I teaching her by refusing her more coddling?
I read an article yesterday about the psychobiology of love, and the "micromoments of connection" that build love up. How important physical contact and eye contact are to feeling loved and teaching lovingkindess.
So at school drop off this morning, I tried asking Natalie to look into my eyes when she was upset and she refused to do it. Too much intimacy for her? She wanted to hug but averted her eyes and then pushed away.
When did you last stare lovingly into your kids' eyes? I am now convinced I do it too rarely.
Day 5 of solo parenting. I was tired all day after Natalie stayed up late and woke up early. Tonight I just decided to fall asleep in her room. I'll stagger off to my own bed now after filing this report.
Week 2 is here:
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Saturday, May 24, 2014
My talk is temporarily online. Check it out while supplies last! (Eventually it will be edited and up on the TED site but I'm not sure when.)
For now, view it here on the livestream page. My talk starts at 53:20.
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Friday, April 11, 2014
Wow! I am honored to be among an amazing group of photographers recognized today by National Press Photographers Association's Best Of Photojournalism 2014.
I can't quite believe I won 3 awards considering how much great work is out there. Really, 1 award would have been plenty!
• Multimedia Tablet/Mobile Category: First Place: Michael Forster Rothbart for ZUMA Press for "Would You Stay?”
• Best Use of Multimedia Category: Third Place: Michael Forster Rothbart and ZUMA Press for "Would You Stay? Life After Chernobyl and Fukushima."
Chang W. Lee, Barry Bearak, and The New York Times won first, and the indomitable Kainaz Amaria from National Public Radio won second.
• Contemporary Issues Category: Honorable Mention: Michael Forster Rothbart of ZUMA Press shooting for TED Books
Congrats also to Smiley Pool, Scott Strazzante, Claire O'Neill, Brian Storm, Josh Haner, James Estrin, Sara Lewkowicz, Corey Perrine, Mark Ovaska and many others for some amazing work which you can check out here: https://nppa.org/news/new-york-times-wins-nppas-best-use-multimedia
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Thursday, March 27, 2014
In case you're wondering: 3 digital projectors as main light sources plus 2 off-camera flashes for sidelight/rim light.
Update: final photos posted here.
Posted by Michael Forster Rothbart on Wednesday, January 29, 2014