Pecha Kucha Night Lights

Last night we went to Pecha Kucha night in Denver for one of my classes and I drug Alex along. It comes from a Japanese term for chit chat, and the idea was developed as a way for architects to show their work in a quick format. There were architects, graphic designers, visual artists, sculptors and writers there last night, so it was a little more broad, but they stuck to the main idea: each presenter gets 20 slides and 20 seconds to talk about each slide. Some of them weren't as prepared or as descriptive as I'd have liked, but there was definitely some cool work. At the end of the night, they took a photo of the crowd from the front of the theater and asked us to spell letters with our cell phones. I like being a part of community art, especially when it ends up looking like this.


me and you and everyone we know

About every other week I assign my students to do a quick research project on a contemporary artist. One student selected Miranda July, who I had previously never heard of. The student was so impressed with Miranda's work that she immediately bought her latest film, and participated in a project listed on her website. Intrigued by my student's intrigue I borrowed the film and listened to a few podcasts where July is being interviewed about her work. Needless, to say, I am going to suggest that you rent the movie and become a fan. I'll warn you it's not a your typical movie, and it includes some very strange parts, but there are also a lot of really beautiful and thought provoking parts. I watched it last week and I'm still chewing on the experience....one of the first signs (to me) that something is great.


Celebrate Leaf Watchers

It's pretty rare for my dad to leave the comfort of his secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere, so when he suggested a drive through the mountains to see the fall colors, I jumped at the chance. Alex and I made a weekend of it and camped the night before with friends Eric + Lara. Since it was all car camping and driving, I brought my camera along, which was pretty exciting because usually when we're doing that sort of thing there's a lot of hiking involved and I hate heavy backpacks, so I'd pretty much have to bring no water or food at all to make lugging my camera with me work at all, and I generally choose food and water over Dottie. The beauty of this weekend was that I could have both.

Camping the night before: (I didn't edit these photos at all because I sort of love the blue light/dusky feel)

What a difference focusing makes! (I sort of like the unfocused version myself).

And from the drive:

We stopped at a tiny little town called Alma for lunch at this old saloon:

I'm assuming that means 'celebrate' and they just ran out of the proper letters.

So fall is definitely here, at least at 10,000 feet. A lot of the trees around town are hanging in there still, but in a few weeks I bet they'll be outta here. I was thinking yesterday how glad I am to live in a place where we have seasons. It's such a rite of passage to experience each season coming and going; a deep-rooted sense of ritual and tradition is part of the whole thing, and I really like that about it.

I'm ready to start breaking out the sweaters and hot tea.


Mickey D's, circa 1996

That's pretty funny that you just did a post about food. . . Because that's exactly what I just signed on to do.

I read 'Fast Food Nation' my freshman year of college and really haven't been able to eat fast food since. Ocasionally I'll get a milkshake or fries (mostly just in the Lima airport, though), but for the most part I steer clear.

If you were ever on the fence about eating fast food, just check this out and then see what you think.

potato smiles

This is going to a short and delicious food themed post.

For starters, one of the best things about living in Palouse is that I am often invited to dinner at the house of James and Jeneve (friends from school). These two are about as good as it gets in the kitchen. Last weekend they made some of the best sushi I have ever had...and I think I ate about as much as you can see on that cutting board.
Yesterday, I was out and about running errands with two other girls from school. By the end we were growing tired and hungry so we stopped for a snack. I went out on a limb and ordered some tater tots, and boy was I happy when I found this bonus smiley potato in my bag.

and I thought he looked a little ridiculous with ketchup smudged all over his face:
well, now I'm hungry. Time for lunch!


The wheels are turning

I just had an idea:


No, I'm not going to upholster the dog. As glorious as that would be, this is the next best thing. Stay tuned.

(Incidentally, if you have any interest in purchasing fabrics for any reason at all, do an Etsy search for them. There are some tempting choices, such as this, this, or this).


being stalked by a mountain lion

Alright, you've made me feel guilty about my blog neglect. I'm often hesitant to post if I don't have a visual element to keep my writing company (which is the case right now), but I will share some recent thoughts anyway.

I spent Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon in Seattle for a quick and fun Colorado reunion. Four folks from Colorado happened to be visiting on the same two days, so I couldn't resist making the drive, even though I had to miss some school (priorities). The first night I spent with a friend that is getting her masters in counseling. I always cherish times with her because I get to delve into topics like God, and love, and the meaning of life, and why we are all crazy...things I don't get to talk about much here at school. On top of that we have a lot of fun, and her three children are those types you were talking about on the DDP blog that make you think, "ok, maybe I DO want some of those someday."
I also got to spend some time with a good friend from home and her husband. We spent Monday night reminiscing, drinking (much to expensive drinks), and disusing the fragile state of the world and politics. While all the passionate conversation was going on I realized that while it stinks that we are in the middle of some terrible issues as a country, it's also exciting to see people sort of come alive in response to it all. Another example...the other day I took my recycling to the recycling center (as you do), and was sort of shocked to find so many other people there, and even further shocked to find most of them had gray hair. Moral of the story, even though these are hard times, it's encouraging to see people that people are trying to counter balance.

Last thought, different topic (sort of). What do you think life would be like if fear didn't exist? Obviously, it protects us quite often from dangerous situations, but it also seems like an un-welcomed visitor a large portion of the time. The other day I was on a hike by myself (that in itself is a battle with fear) and I was taking my time looking at things and enjoying myself, when the thought entered my head, "what if I saw a mountain lion over there on that other ridge?" that thought quickly turned into "I'm probably going to see a mountain lion over there on that ridge any minute," and that thought quickly turned into "holy crap, I am being stalked by a mountain lion and I need to hurry up and get back to my car." How ridiculous is that? As soon as I let those totally illogical bits of fear enter my mind, my experience was totally ruined.

Speaking of fear...good luck with critique tonight champ. I hope you blow their minds.

bad bloggers

We've been bad bloggers.
We should work on that.

But first I need to get through the monstrous day that lays ahead. It looks something like this:
- squish in as much photo editing (blogging) as I can before 8am
- go to school early and try to learn how to put images on my website through coding
- try to follow along through a tech class that's all about coding and layers and tags and ftps and isps and stuff
- meet girls from my old job for lunch
- squish in some more photo editing and editing of freelance design stuff i should've finished ages ago
- tremble in fear as i present the redo of the typography project that crashed and burned on monday
- spend three hours in a design class where we do a lot of nothing except eat vegan mushroom stew
- meet up with a friend who's leaving the country for a year or two this weekend
- drive home
- snuggle with puppy
- snuggle with Alex

(Alex will be admonishing the fact I used the word "snuggle" at all, but especially in relation to him).


where the wild things are

These will be going up on the DDP blog at some poing, but I just can't wait. A sneak preview of my photo field trip to the zoo yesterday afternoon:

Dog climbs 5.11 route

Every morning Alex and I split up the chores; making the bed, letting the dog out, feeding the dog, making coffee. And then we both get on our computers. It's pretty common for me to hear him laughing out loud while he's reading the Backcountry blog or 14ers.com. This morning he was laughing unusually loud + long, and this was why.


c is for CHOP

It's official. I've joined the short hair club. The urge sort of came out of nowhere, and I'm surprised I actually went through with it. But, like you have said before...it's just hair and it will grow back. It's sort of surprising how much we can form an attachment to something like hair. As of now, I actually like it very much, and only panicked slightly when I tried to put it in a pony tail.


H is for House

I came to the library to focus on some reading and a paper I need to write, but I find myself doing a post instead. Oops. In my seminar class last night we watched H is for House, a short film from the 70's by Peter Greenaway. The whole time I was thinking how much a word lover like yourself would enjoy it, but I couldn't find a way to watch it online. So, for now, these stills and a short explanation by Greenaway will have to do. (more info here.)


H is for House is a list of words and pictures that are initialled by the letter H, pointing out the familiar absurdity of sophisticated civilisations that organise their objects, facts and ideas by the arbitrariness of the alphabet. As children, we are instructed to note and remember the alphabetical system carefully, but as adults we no longer regard it as unusual that happiness, hysterectomy, Hampstead, His Holiness, Hitler, Heaven and Hell are gathered up together in homage to their initials.


Mastering the moment

On the first day of class, the soon-to-be infamous Typography professor (we'll call him RG for short) started his introduction of the syllabus by telling us the first project was a 'motherfucker.'  (RG's affection for this family of four letter words is quickly becoming apparent).  He wasn't kidding.  He told us to expect it to take 20 hours; I usually work pretty quickly and it probably took me over 30.  We essentially had to recreate over 320 characters in specific typefaces and specific sizes.  It definitely felt like overkill while I was in the midst of it, but it's one of those projects I'm glad I did after the fact.  Someday I might even frame these; I really do love letters.  And one thing RG said yesterday while we were reviewing these assignments is: "It's not about mastering the action.  It's about mastering the moment," which is so true for so many different things.  You don't have to be an Olympic runner to feel like you're one while you're running. . . That's because you're mastering the moment, not the action.

So here is my work, my mastering of the moment: (definitely not a mastering of the action; there are a thousand little flaws on these that thankfully don't seem to really show up in these photos)


Hummingbird Toes

We'd originally planned to spend the weekend in Breckenridge partying it up at Oktoberfest, but ended up changing our plans last minute. Late last week my dad lost one of his dogs, Rosie (whose puppy photo I recently posted). Rosie was my dog while I was in high school, but stayed with my dad when I went away to college. Without getting too much into loosing Rosie (I'll put a Rosie post up on the Denver Dog Photography blog soon), I'll post a couple Beulah photos. My dad lives in the mountains in Southwestern Colorado in a really lovely little cabin. There is an abundance of photographic opportunities there, so I won't share them all, but I do have to share the hummingbird toes. Photographing the hummingbirds was actually Alex's idea, and I'm glad I gave it a go. It was an entertaining endeavor and I have a new found respect for hummingbirds. They flap their wings so fast but stay so still. Also, I really do love those little, tiny feet.

Dee's garden:

And I like this one Alex took. You'll have to ignore my double chin to appreciate the cuteness, but it reminds me of a photo my mom took when I was a freshman in highschool of me lying on the kitchen floor with my dog at the time, Luna. It's also simultaneously strange to me to see this photo with Roux in it instead of Rosie. It's sort of like a staple of change, that there I am in the exact same position as a photo taken 10 years ago, only with one old poodle and my own dog. I don't think I'm being as articulate here as I could be, but I've gotta rush out the door to SCHOOL, so no time to copy edit.


late night rollerskates

Every year palouse celebrates themselves with a day of festivities, including a car show in the park:
a parade down main street where it seems anyone who wants to participate can, For example, two girls walking a sheep, and "pirate" cameron, who seemed suspiciously young to be driving that vehicle by himself.

Roux's political affiliates.
Folks from the "old west"

and the frosting on the cake....hundreds of ping pong balls dropped from a helicopter onto the crowd filled Main Street, one of the best ideas I have ever heard of.In the evening we joined everyone at the Tavern for some live music and dancing, followed by late night rollerskating on Main Street.

I'm growing increasingly thankful for this chapter of life I am able to spend in such a strange and wonderful little town.


A couple little, tiny surprises for Lauren

This is for you, Lauren.

And really so are these photos I took on Green Mountain. There was a fire about three weeks ago but already it's so green. It's amazing how quickly the black landscape has healed. The metaphor is somewhat encouraging at the moment. More on that at a future date, but for now, just the photos of Green Mountain.


belated reunion

Even though its been a month since I actually went on this trip, a post is better late than never. All this traveling took place during the interim between the death of my Kodak and the birth of my Canon. So, I've been waiting patiently for the photos I took with my parents camera to be sent to me, which they finally were a couple days ago.

We begin with Pacific Grove, CA. This was an interesting family reunion because I was basically meeting these people for the first time, or at least for the first time as an adult. It was really fascinating to see traces of myself in these family members that are so distant. Within the bunch there were a couple professors, a musician, an MFA, a hunter-jumper, and a fashion artist.
On the trip I also had my first real interaction with Alzheimer's. My great Aunt Betty recently started suffering from it, and it truly seems like one of the most unbearable circumstances for everyone involved. The most remarkable thing was that even amongst what must be such terrible confusion she always seemed happy. Maybe that's because she has no other choice but to live purely in the moment. And, Great Uncle Martin is a man of pure patience.

A reunion would not be complete without a fancy overpriced dinner....
I love this photo because there was one solitary baby at the reunion, and there was almost always a camera pointed in her direction.
Monterey Bay:
And the next few are from a life altering trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Look for future influences from this place in my artwork this year.

Alcatraz, San Fransisco.

I took this photo out the window on the train ride from San Fran to Portland. I love how aged it looks. Seems fitting for the mode of transportation.
Mom, at the Portland Rose Gardens.
Last stop, Levanworth, WA. Like traveling to Europe without leaving the country...