a new day, a new idea

Alright, let's be honest...Wonder Net has been less than enthralling lately. Most of the blame can likely be put on the fact that Claire and I are now room mates, and it feels sort of silly to be corresponding in the same fashion that we did when we were states away.

But don't fret, you one, two, maybe three? readers out there. We are not dropping out we are just changing things up. In the event of any sort of major cleaning or moving it's nearly impossible to avoid reading all the old journals and letters (boxes and boxes of letters) you come across in the process. Claire and I have both been doing a bit of that lately and have been surprised at our own thoughts which have been stashed away on paper. Sometimes we are surprised by the hilarity, sometimes we are surprised by a shocking bit of wisdom. So, from day to day we will be posting snippets from these findings.

I'll kick things of with something light-hearted from this past summer in Carbondale:

"At dinner, Scarlett holds a fetal barn swallow in her hand. Yesterday she pooped in the front yard. I rode Stitch bareback during early dusk, trotting through clover up to his belly. True joy. Waldo tags along, and Sopris smiles. These are my days in this place and this summer."


we should proably join the society

The other day I found myself with sometime to kill on the internet so I thought I would see what the latest is with old Cormac. Turns out there is an entire society.Not only can you learn so much about this beefcake from the website, but they even hold retreats dedicated to talking about him and his writing. Maybe we should split the dues and get in on that sh@*t.


if only

....there was this same print for Ridgebacks....

still magic

It's been nearly two weeks since I made the move to 2640, and just as you promised it proves to be a magical little place to live.



I've been resisting the Twitter craze, but this is exactly the kind of thing Twitter was invented for. Man oh man I am definitely going to be completely addicted to checking his updates. He simply records things his 73-year-old dad says, such as:

"Your mother made a batch of meatballs last night. Some are for you, some are for me, but more are for me. Remember that. More. Me."

"Your brother brought his baby over this morning. He told me it could stand. It couldn't stand for shit. Just sat there. Big let down."


Merry Christmas

Thanks for the Christmas present; once I figured out Juliette Lewis was not in fact Cat Power I loved the show. And Chrissie Hynde (lead singer for the Pretenders) is a new favorite persona of mine.

Crazy Juliette Lewis:

Hardcore Chrissie Hynde:

And the lovely Cat Power:


mariachi on the mountain

Before I headed down from the mountains to live in the city, I went on a weekend camping trip with my brother, sister in-law, and her brother. Definite highlight of the trip was the fact that a full mariachi band was camping in the spot adjacent to ours (accordion and all.) It was pretty incredible, and so unbelievably appropriate for a McCleary camp out.


Cloudy Day

It's overcast here today, which is probably the reason Roux and I both slept until 8:30 instead of waking up at our usual 6am. We went for a run in City Park, had breakfast, and now I'm working while she's napping. I've been craving a cloudy day like this. There is something about the grey tones that just makes me feel like thinking about things, something about this house that makes me feel peaceful.

And something about living here that just feels right.


Morning @ 2640

We are lucky to have a house with main windows facing both East and West. And because the house is bite sized, light from these windows in the morning and evenings fills the whole house. 7am and 8pm are my favorite times of day in this little house, but forced to choose one I'd go with the morning. Mornings always hold so much promise.

I love waking up to this.


the benefits of sweeping

I know I have been incredibly absent from the blog this summer, and I apologize for that. On the one hand it has been sort of nice to not have the internet so readily available, but on the other hand I have felt a bit out of loop and am looking forward to having it around 24/7 again.

As it happens, I only have about 2 and a half weeks left living up here in Carbondale. It seems insane that summer has come and gone so quickly. For those of you that read this and aren't aware of (or care about) my next move, here's the update: I will be teaching two classes at my old college (Metro State), hopefully getting my sub license and doing some "pet art" on the side, while living in a charming little house in the city with you and Roux. And. I. Can't. Wait. I'm ready for that change of pace. I am definitely a person who appreciates a small town and easy access to wilderness, but I'm ready to not be so isolated for a while. I'm excited that soon I will be able to hang out with you and Sam, and whoever else, without have to plan it weeks in advance. I am excited to have intellectual and stimulating conversation everyday (with someone besides Waldo, I mean, he's a pretty deep thinker, but he's only 8 months old.) I am excited to make things again. I am excited to get to know the ins and outs of a part of Denver so far unfamiliar to me.

Even though there are a couple of weeks remaining, I'm going to go ahead and make this sort of a wrap up post for life in Carbondale. A few thoughts I will take with me:

1. Any experience is truly what you make of it. Ever since I got here I have been waiting for the moment where I go "ohhhh, this is why I am here." Well, that hasn't really happened yet. For the most part, my time here has been all together un-impactful. That's not to say it hasn't been nice, and fun to live in a beautiful new place, but like I said I haven't felt any sort of deep sense of purpose for my being here. Part of that, or all of that, I'm sure, is due to my own detachment. As soon as I knew I was going to take the teaching job in Denver, I think I halted any efforts to really invest in this place. That's a bad habit I've noticed before. As soon as I know I am about to leave, I detach. And, how can anything ever feel purposeful when you are not fully there?

2. I love sweeping. Silly? Maybe, but I will explain. Three days a week, I ride 4 of the horses and do various other barn chores. My routine is usually to get he hard work done before lunch and then sweep the barn. You'd be amazed at how theraputic it is. One of the things I have really liked about my duties here is that they are pretty black and white, which feels good since I usually live in a world full of grey duty (sorry, couldn't resist that). What I mean is, creative work is sometimes taxing because there is nothing cut and dry about it. There is always the question of whether something is finished or not, or if you are doing it the best way possible. When you are sweeping, there is really only one way to go about it, and when you are done...you are done. So, I think that my brain has been on a nice vacation in that way, and is getting all recharged and ready to head back into the world of ambiguity.

3. I'm tired of doing things alone. I'm glad that I have the ability and feel so comfortable taking things on by myself, it's getting less and less enjoyable. Waldo definitely helps, but really, I'm just tired of doing things alone.

4. I will never cease to be amazed at how beautiful it is here, and how lucky I am to have been surrounded by it for a summer. I've had many of those moments this summer when I feel so overwhelmed by how beautiful it is that I would be perfectly ok just evaporating into it.

I might come up with some more thoughts later on, so stay on the edge of your seat. And, while you're sitting there, maybe you could post some of the photos you took during your visit??


Self Portrait

Recently I've been thinking about how I never, ever appear in any photos. I am about 37 million times more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. But I saw this post of Tara Whitney's and it inspired me to take a self portrait. I sort of hated it, but I can see the merits of making yourself do it every now and again.



...our new shower curtain:

It's a little more turquoise than I thought it'd be, but I say it's a keeper. Whaddya think?


Our Hood

On my way home yesterday afternoon I precariously balanced my camera in the window frame of the driver's window and snapped photos from the time I got off on the highway until I turned onto our street.
Moving here in August is going to be just a little bit of a change of scenery for you. Still, I'd say it's beautiful in its own right.


the big show

As you well know, I was able to go see Bon Iver at the Ogden theater in Denver this past Saturday. My expectations were certainly met, although I did not get to become best friends and creative collaborators with the guys, but perhaps that will happen next time. I was trying to find a good link to share the opening band with you (The Wheel), and I happened upon this blog that does an incredible job of covering the entire evening. Check it out:



The PEN Story

Gosh, I love this.

James Moes

I'm exposed to a lot of different photographers, and probably check about 40 photo blogs on a daily basis. But it's been a long time since I've found someone as inspiring as James Moes. He's right up there with Jerry Yoon on my list.

So unbelievably inspiring.



My favorite shot of your brother (so far):


Dog Friend

Beulah is beautiful.

As I was getting ready for bed last night I was struck by a wave of melancholy. I glanced over at the bed, and realized how powerful having Roux there with me was. So I snapped this photo; a reminder of how this dog most definitely earns her keep.



This reminded me very much of you.


The Land of Enchantment

I loved driving to New Mexico last week just as much as I loved actually being there.

An open road is good for the soul.


Prequel to the Trip Report

I've been letting the intimidation of writing a big post about my trip prevent me from posting at all, and that's just silly.
I would like to write a thoughtful post about the trip, but for the time being I'll just post a few photos from the thousands I've been editing and organizing.
(Rhodes airport)


(Dance Festival in Parma, Italy)


merry christmas!

August 22=me+you+The Pretenders+Cat Power+The Botanic Gardens.

i want to be this kind of teacher


artist of the month (or so): james surls

A couple weekends ago (after recuperating from a bout of the stomach flu) I drove around to check out some of the local artists participating in the Roaring Fork Valley Studio Tour. My favorite of the day happened to be right up the road from here. I'm always a little envious when I come across an artist who seems to have a way with wood, and James Surls certainly has that. The sculptures are large and beautiful with a certain whimsy which always catches my fancy. His blog is good reading to boot.

Find some internet soon ey?


kids say the darndest things

I keep meaning to write down funny things that Scarlet says, and while I haven't actually done that I do remember some dingers off hand that I'd like to share.

1. Yesterday, we walk out of the house to find her umbrella laying in the plant holder and I hear:
"SHIT! My umbrella!" from her little 3 three year old mouth. I respond: "What did you say?"
She responds: "Shhhhhhiiiiiitttttt, my umbrella!"

2. Scarlet commonly slips right into her birthday suit the moment she enters the house and one afternoon she was attempting to sit on my lap. Needless to say, I asked her to please put on some underwear if she would like to sit on my lap. She proceeded to stick her finger between her butt cheeks and reassure me that everything would be just fine because there was no poop.

3. Her version of the alphabet: A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O BUB-BLE-GUM.

4. In a conversation about birds: "That bird is a pigeon because it flies like an eagle."


So Far Away

For the vast majority of this trip I have been a happy camper, despite (or because of?) the fact that I am alone. Every time I moved on to a new destination I'd think, "hell yeah, I can do this; not only can I do this alone, but I like it."

Until this morning when I made the trip from Athens to Rhodes.

Let me preface this by explaining that yesterday I spent fourteen hours getting from Parma, Italy to Athens. I left Parma in the morning, took a train to Milan, took a bus to the Milan airport (an hour's drive), waited in crazy massess of people forever, took a plane to Athens, and got a cab to my hotel. I arrived at 11pm; I had to be up at 3am the next morning to catch my flight to Rhodes. So I was running on about three hours of sleep, which really never ends well.

I arrived in Rhodes and figured I'd just get a cab to my hotel, which is in Old Town Rhodes. The cabbie seemed to understand where I was going and gave me no inclination that it wouldn't be a cinch. When he got to the massive gates of Old Town (Rhodes is a mideival Turkish fortress and village), he stopped the cab and gestured just head, leading me to believe my hotel would be a hop, skip and a jump away. I heaved my ginormous backpack on and headed in the direction he'd motioned.

It was 6:30am and the streets were totally deserted, which would prove to be troublesome when I spent the next two hours completely and utterly lost. Apparently my hotel was not just around the bend, not at all. And the Turks really did not give a damn about laying their fortresses out in a logical way, because the streets are insane. They're about four feet wide in many places, full of potholes, and the entire village is built out of the same kind of rock so there is no way to distinguish one street from the next. It's a maze. And the street names are usually just in Greek. Which, in case you need to be reminded, is not even an alphabet I can remotely begin to understand.

It was already getting hot, and I was hungry and tired to boot. There was no one around to help me, and I got to the point where I seriously considered just sitting down in the middle of one of the winding roads to have a good cry. But I perservered and at long last, by a stroke of pure luck, I found the hotel.

I rang the bell, and nothing happened. I rang again. I was barely holding on to my last shred of dignity, and began pressing the bell like a madwoman, over and over again, holding it down for thirty seconds at a time. Still nothing. It was about that time that I looked down and realized I was standing in a puddle of vomit from the night before.

That was the last straw. By the time the hotel manager finally came the door I had lost every ounce of my ability to be even halfway decent to him. He told me my room wasn't ready yet and that I could wait on the terrace, and without a reply, I rushed past him and onto the terrace. I figured it was better not to reply at all; I think if I'd tried to talk it would've turned into ugly sobbing or crazy yelling.

Slowly I began to regain my composure and realized the terrace was actually really beautiful. And before long my room was ready. I slept for three hours, and spend the rest of the day today giving Rhodes another chance, which it totally deserved.

So I guess the moral of that story is that traveling alone is not a walk in the park. At least if I had been with someone else we could have laughed about it. But being alone, with that many factors working against me, was 100% miserable. The good news is, I think I've fully recovered and am working on an itinerary for the Greek Islands, which should be a boatful of fun.

No dogs here yet, but there is this cat, resident of the Hotel Via Via, who acts like a dog.


Algerian Dance Festival

Ok, I am in a rush to get myself to the train station on my way out of Parma, but I wanted to quickly post this video. The first night in Parma I arrived just in time for this magical dance festival in the town square. I intend to write more about it when I do my monster end-of-the-trip post.

Algerian Dance Festival in Parma, Italy from Claire B on Vimeo.


showering the bride

I headed down from the mountains this weekend for the beginning of wedding madness. My brother gets hitched in just a couple weeks (which will be photographed by the one and only Claire Bow, and I am super jazzed about that.) Things got kicked off Saturday with the bridal shower in my parents' back yard, and then a bachelorette party in Vail that evening. A good time was had by all, but I'll admit that I am sort of envious of the bachelor party that was also held this weekend in San Fransisco. My brother and 10 of his comrades decided it would be extra special to grow mustaches for the occasion, and I'm sure that provided for some pretty comical situations.
A glimpse at the festivities:

Favorite shot of the day: