Botticelli and thoughts on what’s to come

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I’ve had this blog for years…and years…and years. As my friend Cody said, “How does it feel to have your blog be one of your longest relationships?” Thanks dude. It’s awesome. 

In all reality, this blog has been feeling stagnant for a long time. I used to review movies, discuss feminism, talk about art, and generally put up good content! What happened?! Um, my life. Grad school. My love of photography but inability to sit down and create good text.

I’ve been considering taking this blog in several new directions. If you have any feedback leave it here! (I expect the internet version of crickets, but you never know).

-I want to interview people I find interesting, whether they be business owners, friends, academics, artists, or people who just have a certain angle to them that I think is worthwhile. I would like to photograph them and post a bit about their stories and start showcasing humans other than myself and my small, close circle of friends and loved ones.

-I would genuinely like to start posting more food/culture pieces. . I would like to get more into discussing films, art pieces, shows, etc. and other little artistic corners of the earth I love.

-Discuss the realities of grad school, being a woman, etc.- more topical pieces, less a vague visual diary!

Honestly, when you have a blog that’s been around for so long, you’re bound to get frustrated with the content, with the style, etc. but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I want to feel like this is a place for fresh content and good conversation.

We shall see! I need to seriously focus on my thesis but I feel like right now I am surrounded by so many interesting creatures I want to explore and know more about them and share their awesomeness with readers!

Grumpy hiking and lamb lunch

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We parked the car in the two story parking area at the base of Mount Helena. My allergies, vicious as they were, matched Logan’s misery as he was getting over a cold. Two congested, miserable souls, eager for exercise, climbed the dusty, hot 1906 trail. It felt like an odyssey.

“I think they re-did the trail” Logan joked at one point. We were mouth breathing, disgusting creatures who agreed that we’d stop once we reached the cave. Thank god the cave wasn’t very far up the trial. We went back down and ran errands, buying droll things humans need to continue existing, like mascara, carpet cleaner, bleach, allergy pills, and Mario Badescu Silver Powder.

Logan did enter an Ulta with me for a few minutes. I told him it was my version of church, and it was fittingly Sunday. As we entered my particular branch of religious worship, I led him to the cologne section. We went deeper into the store. Shiny displays, lit up shelves of $30 lipsticks, blotting papers, blushes, and makeup in every shade of the world, all hemmed in with massive bottles of shampoo, conditioners. As I asked somebody if the Mario Badescu Silver Powder was all gone, Logan looked around, and from his high angle, surveyed the store. “This is a strange place…” he muttered to himself. Thankfully, they had my powder, and we left, me triumphantly beaming. (What would be the male equivalent of an Ulta? Perhaps one of the reasons I love Ulta/Sephora/etc so much is that they are very feminine spaces, and people who identify as women are welcome and there are very few intrusions of male identified persons. I am, when I walk into an Ulta, free to look at cosmetics, hair products, skin care products, etc. and not be surrounded by curious eyes of people who don’t value makeup or cosmetics in the way that I do. I am surrounded by people who likely share my interests, and I automatically am much calmer in said space.) 

After running errands, we went back to the haus. Logan chopped rosemary, garlic, and parsley, and I got out the little cuts of lamb he’d purchased. Making a little sauce from yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and some other ingredients, we also lit the grill and washed watercress (which I had never had before!).

Logan laid the lamb on the grill with sliced, garlic laden zucchini and we opened some Haufbrauhaus Pilsners, which I learned were very similar to the beers that he drinks when home in Brazil. The lamb and zucchini came off the grill and we devoured our meal with zest. Immediately after, we went and took a nap in the park. Fine day, Sunday.

Saturday in the park

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I had been craving sushi for a few days by Saturday. My coworker had discussed eating a massive amount of it, and after work and watering a massive garden, I convened with my partner in crime while we collected raspberries in a friend’s yard.

We never get a lot of sushi. We could both consume massive amounts of it but that’s not the point. So, getting 3 rolls and some sashimi is usually how it goes. This time, we ate on a spare sheet in the relative coolness of some shade in the park. We both brought books (Aldous Huxley and Amanda Littaeur authoring the works, respectively) and unpacked our to-go order. I was wearing a brand new dress covered in kittens that I was so excited to wear! I always forget how awful it is to wear dresses for picnics though- you cannot truly just relax. Regardless, as we ate in the shade and heard birds flutter in the branches above, I felt really goddamn happy. Later , I posted a picture of our picnic on Instagram with the hashtag #idyllicasfuck and let me tell you that’s pretty accurate as to how all of this felt.

I hope all of you had wondrous weekends!

 

 

Last summer: Iceland nostalgia!

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Rain, rain, and more rain. Waking at 3 am, confused by the lighting, thinking it was breakfast time. Jostling through the crowded grocery store, hearing Icelandic and understanding not a single word. Eating as much skyr as my stomach could handle, and devouring bags of chocolate covered raisins we picked up at the gas stations. We drove and drove, dodging sheep and seeing mist, fog, and soil in colors that didn’t seem natural.

Right now I find myself so engulfed in nostalgia for going elsewhere that my mind is constnatly dredging up memories. How tired, completely wiped out we were, after driving 12 hours all the way from Hafnarfjordur to Hofn and back in one day. We picked up hitchhikers, stopped and saw icebergs, listened to sea birds, sunk our feet in black, warm sand, and escaped a fast coming high tide while wandering in some rocks.

In my dream world I go back for several months, living out of a car, exploring and photographing this magnificent country more.

I wish I could dance and other Folk Fest things

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When we saw Mwenso and the Shakes featuring Brianna Thomas there was a couple dressed in 1940’s garb swing dancing their hearts out, and I thought I really wish I knew how to dance. Thoughts of horrid, hyper self-conscious line dancing in middle and high school gym class came forth- sweaty palms, limited eye contact, and my inability to pass over control to my awkward dance partner. I never, ever have been a decent dance partner for this reason- I cannot let somebody just put their hand on my waist and anticipate their moves.

While I was bemoaning a certain lack in a specific skill set, we watched this incredible group of musicians make exquisite sounds. The Folk Festival is all about several things- running into people on the steep Butte streets, eating at the food stands, catching whisps of different sounds on the air as they travel from the multiple stages, and learning more about the world we live in. The fact that we get to do this in Butte, Montana, is awesome, and somewhat random. If you were to tell me that musicians and artists from all over the world in the 2000’s were going to gather in a former mining town as famous for its copper as it was for its red light district and fill it up with global sounds I would have said you were crazy.

Yet, knowing Butte, it makes sense. Butte reveled in its immigrants- Serbs, Croations, Chinese, Irish, Germans, Russians and Poles all made their lives here. The very foundations of Butte are steeped in multi-faceted cultural exchanges, and the Montana Folk Festival is all about continuing this tradition. What a good weekend! I have multiple rolls of film coming, and I cannot wait to put them up.

 

Double exposures and unsure thoughts

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In one of these frames we were spending a brief few minutes reading in the afternoon before grabbing some pão de queijo in Bozeman; in another we walked on the windy, hot boardwalk, and in another a morning was spent at the farmer’s market. One photograph shows delicate bird feathers caught in the grass after the owner likely met some odd end.

Last night the wind blew in the windows all night and I woke regularly, quietly thanking Montana for sending a cold brisk night our way after nights of relishing the fan. The radio and the news are full of protests, sadness, and violence. Arrests that are questionable, pain and suffering that has simmered for ages, injustices, mistrust, and fear are all saturating every media form I look into. My heart is heavy and my soul is tired. My father and I had a serious discussion about what exactly is going on and it was saddening but good to discuss the blood soaked legacy of being black in America. While I will never understand what it means to live with such a history, I am trying to find ways to be the best ally possible.

We went to the Montana Folk Festival this weekend, drinking soup to stay warm and seeing people we don’t usually see. One of my old swim team mates is now a ranger in Glacier National Park, and loving it. I saw the delightful and gorgeous Caitlin with her radiant smile and wonderfully messy blond mane.  I ate frozen cheesecake on a stick, Logan and Ella shared a massive, salty turkey leg, and we saw musicians from Cuba, New York City, Korea, India, and elsewhere showcase their marvelous sounds. We hiked/trekked/bemoaned the steep, omnipresent hills in Butte, and marveled at the massive, old buildings rife with details made by people long departed from this world. Children played in a massive pile of dirt,  which attracted youths like a magnet. A drone buzzed obnoxiously overhead and I thought Oh right, it is 2016 and this will soon be way more normal to me. A brief discussion about getting a taskforce of people with boomerangs to destroy drones was brought forth, to general agreement. I made 3 rolls of photographs that day, and will see them soon- Logan is headed to Missoula and offered to take them for me. I cannot wait to see what they look like!

Time has sped up. It is already almost mid-July. My mind buzzes with things I need to do:

-Find a room/apartment

-Make significant headway on The Thesis

-Finish applications for TAing

-Spend as much time doing things that are worthwhile

-Take Logan to Glacier

-Get all my general life shit together which will never happen but always goes on these To Do Lists anyway.

I am working a lot, trying to keep from letting quiet anxiety creep into my mind. The next year will be full of challenges and dilemmas, potential for opportunity and failure. I want so very much to be proud of myself and feel accomplished, and this has been lacking as of late, despite the fact that I work, study, and love plenty.

 

To the river!

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Two of the best days I’ve had so far back in Montana were spent 3.5 hours away from home, soaking wet, with damp hair and an intense chill. I feel so lucky to be so close to such an epic place, where you can literally just wade your way to a warm spot in the river at almost any time of the year in Yellowstone National Park.

We brought an underwater film camera and with it documented this glory- including the most hideous, distorted picture of us ever. I am very pleased with it, and cannot wait to return. I am a creature of the water, and water I shall return to.