29 July 2010

summer's life

Totally loving my brief, crazy summer job right now, tutoring the children of the migrant workers who pick cherries around Flathead Lake.
I learned the word for soulmate, "medianaranja"... as in, "you're my half of an orange."  Isn't that the best?
I sat at the end of a dock and watched crazy lightning over dark burgeoning clouds.
I ate cherries and broke the language barrier by somehow agreeing on rules for a game in different languages.
I jumped into the lake in the middle of the night and then watched the moon rise over the mountains from the water.
Now I'm off to a pajama party involving one large blow up mattress, kahlua, and dice games.
Sounds about right to me...
I hope you're all soaking up the abundance that is just everywhere right now!
p.s. official Antarctic countdown: 2 weeks!

23 July 2010

back in the game

[click on this to get the full picture.  it's far away.  very far away.]
Oh my.
If anyone ever tells you that they're going to apply to work in Antarctica, just for fun, just to see if they get hired... laugh at them.
No really, laugh at them.  Because they will have no idea what they're getting themselves into.
I started applying for jobs six months ago, and that was after several months of schmoozing.
Today - after two hour long phone interviews, an infinite (literally, infinite... I still haven't seen the end) stack of paperwork, endless poking and prodding by doctors (and sometimes re-poking when tests are lost in the mail), phone call after phone call, etc, etc - I am finally PQ'd, which means physically qualified, which was the last key to this labyrinth puzzle of being officially hired to work in the most inhospitable place on the planet.  Yippee!
The past few days were especially difficult because I had a couple of medical tests come back that needed further testing.  My job suddenly became uncertain, and my future was an unthinkable haze.  I employed some good old fashioned escapism - floating down the river, delicious and elaborate snacks, and I may or may not have watched the entire first season of Friday Night Lights... Tim Riggins, please let me have my heart back.  But everything of course was fine, and now I'm back in the game!  Let the packing begin!
I officially leave August 11th... the whole hang up pushed me back almost a week, which is fine by me.  I will arrive on the ice on August 17th.  It takes that long to get down there because I do a day of orientation in Denver, I have a day or two in New Zealand getting equipped with my ECW (extreme cold weather gear), and I also lose a day from the time change (crossing the international date line).  I'm headed to the future, bitches.  Oh yeah, and there's also the 25 or so hours of flying. 
Tomorrow I'm heading to the gorgeous Flathead Lake to tutor the children of undocumented migrant workers.  Easily one of the most fun, challenging, heartbreaking, and absurdly rewarding jobs, ever.  I will post about that while I'm there.  For now I'll leave you with a Flathead sunset picture. 
 P.S. The official Antarctic countdown is on!  (19 days...)

20 July 2010

this is a list of noises

This is a list of noises from an abundant summer afternoon, sitting on the porch with my eyes closed, the sunshine on my back like hot heavy hands.  Just in case I forget these sounds while on the bottom of the earth, the least hospitable place on our planet.

- The nervous giggles of mourning doves as they hop back onto tree branches, just out of reach of whatever caught them off guard

- A speeding car of a hummingbird, revving past me in search of the brightest and sweetest

- Infantile groaning of goats down the hill, hot and hungry

- The soft sighs of Zoe's snores as she naps in the porch's shadows below me.

- Scurrying scratches of mating chipmunks; apparently the seemingly infinite population that raids my mother's garden is still not enough

- The hushed hum of wind hurrying through the tops of Ponderosa Pines

- The hideous squeaks of a disgruntled squirrel, its tail jerking wildly with every outburst. 

- Bees slicing through the air, frantic with the endless bounty of purple, pink, orange, yellow possibilities

18 July 2010

baby steps

I've been thinking a lot about this space and what I share here.  Not a lot, as I've realized, scrolling through the past couple months' entries.  And it's funny because the blogs I enjoy the most are the ones where people are really putting themselves out there, sharing moments from their lives, exposing their weaknesses along with all the other great shiny stuff.  But there's this fine line where it turns into exhibitionism, and I don't have the faintest idea of where that line lies.  While this is meant to a be a journal for my creative experiments and explorations, I would also like for it to be a journal of some of my daily realm as well, and it will certainly be taking much more of that essence while I'm in Antarctica.  I think it's possible that one might get a sense of who I am or what I stand for in the photos that I take and post, and the snippets of thoughts I expose from time to time.  But it takes a different brand of bravery to really step out into the blog spotlight, I think.  I've been looking to blogs that I think have really mastered this - For Me, For You, Color Me Katie, The Art of Seeing Things… these lovely women don't put their entire lives out there, but you really get the feel for their personhood, their passions.  So I'm going to start taking more baby steps here, start putting myself out there, stop worrying about what everyone thinks or who reads this. 

A couple of things to share at the moment:

- I just saw Inception.  The concept and the originality completely blew my mind.  Whenever I see or experience something this wildly creative, it always leaves me in a bit of a wake where I feel somewhat miserable, thinking that I can never possibly create something so bold or imaginative.  I'm working on reframing this thought.  Regardles, go see it.  It's one of those films that demands to be seen in the theater.

- I've been thinking about writing a memoir-ish piece based on the lovers I've had in life.  The idea of sexual encounters as markers on a timeline is very fascinating to me.  Just as all people do, I have a very complicated relationship with Love (yes, capital L), and I've been trying to sort through it.  I think I'll write more about this sometime soon.

- There are only two weeks and five days until I am supposed to be going to Antarctica.  I haven't been PQ'd yet (physically qualified) because my labs leaked in the mail (what!? how does that happen?!) and I had to go in last week and do them all over again.  I'm not sure what happens if you don't get PQ'd in time, but I have my fingers crossed that everything gets sorted out quickly.

-It's still too hot for my liking.  But I'm working on embracing it, considering it was -92F with the windchill yesterday at McMurdo Station (where I'll be stationed in Antarctica).  Yikes.

16 July 2010

outtakes

It's wicked hot.
The kind of hot where your eyelids are heavy and it's too much energy to think.
We went tubing down the Bitterroot River, which was glorious and refreshing, but the heat sank back into my bones as soon as we got home.
I have things to say, but for now this heat is holding my mental capacity hostage.
So I'm posting a bunch of miscellaneous pictures from my trip out East.  Outtakes if you will.
Well, the first photo is actually from yesterday, but who's counting.
Since I've been home I've packed up my rental house and moved back in with my parents temporarily, just until I go to my brief summer job next week, and then it's off to Antarctica.  More on that tomorrow.
For now, it's back to ice cubes for me.

12 July 2010

from the sky

I'm back from Boston.
It was a glorious trip, filled with laughter and love.  Perfect in so many ways.
I must say, I forgot how awful humidity is.  And I'm looking forward to forgetting again.
It's always a little bit difficult going from one home to another, because there's the excitement of returning to one, and the sorrow of leaving the other; these feelings are often irreconcilable.  There's so much good in both places, and they are polar opposites.
Luckily I didn't get stuck overnight in Minneapolis this time, but I did get stuck in window seats.  Somehow sitting in the aisle seats helps me feel far less claustrophobic, but I decided to embrace my situation and enjoy the rare view.
The people sitting next to me probably thought I was ridiculous, taking so many photos out of a dirty airplane window.  I just couldn't get enough of that deep rich blue and the white line at the horizon.
 Finally, back to the mountains...

07 July 2010

from the backseat

I've been riding around in the back of a van the past few days, craning my neck to see all of the diverse scenes whizzing by.  The landscape is so drastically different than it is in Montana.  Here are a few shots I've snapped haphazardly from the backseat.

05 July 2010

a summer day in boston

I don't know about you, but it seems that whenever I take a vacation, I feel like I have all the time in the world for the first few days, and then suddenly it's over.  This evening feels like I'm starting to shift into that time warp, so today I am just sharing images - no captions.  Just scenes from a glorious summer day spent in the city of Boston.
Ahh... Now I'm off to savor this before it's over...

03 July 2010

boston, blackberries, bonfires, best friends!

Oh my!  The past few days have been such a whirlwind.  On Wednesday, after watching this gorgeous sunset and experiencing the most insane thunderstorm ever (the lightning was literally like a strobe light), I flew to Boston.  Except for some reason, in Minneapolis, all flights to Denver were canceled.  So there was a sad night spent in a run down motel, watching trashy television.  But finally, I got to Boston.  And basically haven't caught my breath since.  To make up for the quiet here the past few days, I'm posting a whole bunch of photos.  Ready, set, go...
After sleeping in a lonely motel full of restless, noisy people, waking up in the cozy bed in the house of a best friend was such a welcome joy.
Oh, Maine, the way life should be... I visited my old stomping grounds, which feel so different than they did when I was growing up.
I frolicked at the beach with best friends, always mandatory.  And yes, that's me on the right, there is no way I ever get that tan.
Sand is so incredible when you really stop and contemplate it.
The parents of friends who used to drive us to other friends' houses were our designated drivers this time, a funny and slightly awkward new development.
Back at my Dad's house outside of Boston, I raided his blackberry bushes and savored the sweet sunshine taste in between dashes through the sprinkler.
And finally, this evening, I enjoyed a toasty bonfire in the backyard with my Dad and stepmom, planning our next week together.  Organization of our daily activities together has gotten more difficult because a year and a half ago they adopted 9 month old twins.  Now our days revolve around nap schedules, which can be trying, but there are certainly far more giggles these days.  It's been a bizarre transition and I'm never quite sure how to refer to them.  My brother lived here with them for a year, so he feels close enough to call them his siblings, but for me, it feels pretty strange.  So for now, I call them the twins.  It works.
In all of the hubbub, I didn't even realize that the post before this one was my 100th!  A rather un-extraordinary post, but the 100th all the same.  I'm slowly but surely crossing things off of my list of 23!
I'm sure I will have lots more to share with you through the next week's adventures.  I can't wait to catch up on all of the beautiful blogs out there.  I hope everyone has a delicious, sun-filled holiday tomorrow!  Our goals are to swim, eat, relax, and laugh.  I wish the same for all of you, too!