17 December 2011

Antarctic Date Night

It's a quiet week here in McMurdo.  We've been enjoying each other's company after the 10 day, 900 mile separation.  These are a couple of pictures of our date night, which involved Scrumpy, seals, and snuggles - as all good Antarctic date nights do.  Go check out Weird Birds for more pictures.

14 December 2011

Mud Season

The changing of the seasons in McMurdo Station, Antarctica looks a lot different than I had grown used to in New England or Montana.  We're reaching the pinnacle of summer down here, which means one thing: mud.  All of the snow melts for about a month and reveals town as a mud pit.  Janitorial life involves a lot more floor maintenance.  Sweeping away from the sides of the hallways creates a red carpet of dirt for people to walk down.  In this brief period, the puddles still freeze at night, creating beautiful, intricate patterns of ice amid the brown grunge. 

13 December 2011

5 Happy Things

 This glorious bed in a glorious room shared with a glorious man, looking out on glorious Antarctica.
 Making ouchies fun and cute.
 My (very picked over) table at the craft fair.  My friend Gabe was nice enough to provide moral support throughout the ordeal, which was in the middle of my night, since K was out at WAIS Divide.
 While spending our first anniversary 1,000 miles apart was certainly not ideal, finding a scavenger hunt of hand painted clues leading to this amazing note and highly coveted elephant earrings was very, very special.
Time spent with these dudes is always full of adventures and giggles.

I'm feeling pretty content with a big full heart lately.

12 December 2011

South Pole!

How has it been over a month since I last posted anything?  It's been so busy here, with both of us doing a bit of traveling, getting new people situated on the crew, the big craft fair, and celebrating a year spent together.  All very exciting things, which I hope to post about in the coming days.
I got to visit the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station for five days in preparation for the centennial celebrations of Roald Amundsen's arrival at Pole.  I think it's as close as an earthling can get to being on a space station without actually leaving this planet.  K got to spend a week out at the WAIS Divide field camp at the same time.  Go read about these adventures at Weird Birds!

28 October 2011

Apparently I like to sleep, etc.

 We've switched to night shift, which I wasn't very excited about, but it's proven to have a lot of unexpected pro's.  One of which is that the nights are filled with colors like this, as the sun has stopped setting, but rolls sleepily along the horizon every night, setting the sky ablaze.  Station is also quieter, and though we have far less opportunities to hang out with friends, we have more time to do the things that often got pushed by the wayside, like journaling and drawing and reading.  Go check out Weird Birds for a rather amusing post about transitioning to night shift, as we wrote it in the delirium of exhaustion.
Here's a picture of a Valentine's Day card I made while transitioning.  The janitors of Antarctica and zappos.com have struck up a rather hilarious relationship, involving shout-outs on customer service lines, signed books, and now we have sent them a large bundle of homemade cards.  Mail is surprisingly efficient considering we're at the bottom of the world, but just in case, we chose the closest non-religious holiday.  Yeah, that's an interactive card of hearts punching each other :)

Also, I had a revelation while perusing the gorgeous photographs of Lily Stockman's studio.  If I could have one thing beyond the things I already have in life, it would be one little room to make things in.  That's it.

17 October 2011

Ivan and the Sunset

Ivan the Terra Bus zooms along the road to the ice runway in front of Mount Discovery

It's bizarre how cute a 56 passenger vehicle can be.  Lately the sunsets have lasted for hours and are truly spectacular.  Pretty soon the sun will stop dipping below the horizon and it will be as if it is the middle of the day, all the day.  But for now, we're relishing the gorgeous colors cascading across the vast white sea ice.  Go check out a bunch more pictures at Weird Birds!

03 October 2011

my week's collection

My week's collection of skua: the tiniest bottle of Tabasco, a slide of snow covered mountains, a miniature shovel on baker's twine, a clothespin, a very small medallion, a metal cutout of pine trees, and a penis whistle.

Skua is the system in which we give/take items that are no longer wanted by one person, that another person might want.  A lot of people get excited about clothes and food they find in skua, but I always delight in the little, weird things... I mean, somebody took the time and packing space to bring things like this down.

Read more over at Weird Birds!

19 September 2011

Back in Antarctica

[a sun dog on sunday.  a sun dogs is a ring around the sun created by ice crystals in the sky, like a rainbow]

I'm here.  I've been here.  In Antarctica.

All of my blogging energy has been directed towards Weird Birds, my blog with Kevin, but I though I would pop in here and point you in that direction, but also fill you in just a bit.
We've been here just over three weeks, but it felt like we had never left as soon as we arrived, so it already feels like decades.  This season is completely different.  We have our own room, which is most definitely an oasis on Antarctica if I've ever seen one.  Our jobs are the same, but just different enough that they took some getting used to.  Not having to adjust to life on the bottom of the earth has somehow demanded even more adjusting.  Being back has been a good mirror to see how we've grown since last year.

I signed up for the winfly craft fair so I'm working on getting some earrings done.  We did a dance performance which was incredibly fun, and just the right amount of embarrassing, as always.  Mainbody starts in two weeks, which is when the rest of the people get down here, the last stragglers who wintered over leave, and the sun decides to linger in the sky for a few months. 

I guess that's all for now.  Weird Birds has become the blog for serious windows into our life, so this might become more of my creative journal.  We shall see.

Hugs from the bottom.

17 August 2011

Weird Birds

Just a quick note that you should go check out the blog that my boyfriend Kevin and I started today, and will be updating weekly throughout our adventures!   

16 August 2011

tuesday's instax: back to the ice tomorrow

I start the week long journey back to Antarctica tomorrow.

Tomorrow also marks exactly one year since I first stepped foot onto that crazy, coldest, highest, driest, windiest continent. 

Today I'll be oscillating between packing and enjoying things I know I'm going to miss.  Just one last tuna melt with fresh dill and tomatoes.  Just one last stroll up behind the house into the mountains.  Just one last Montana sunset.

Oy.  Summer is over for me.

14 August 2011

some pictures of some really yummy food

Since I'm leaving Montana in two days to start the week long journey to Antarctica, I thought I'd post a few pictures of some the delicious food I've been eating in preparation for seven months of expired, processed crap.  Don't get me wrong, I'll be in Antarctica, where having several choices in a cafeteria type setting is pretty luxurious, I suppose.  But still.  I miss good food more than anything else down there (except for my peoples, of course).
 grilled salmon, quinoa, and farmer's market salad

 balcony barbecue in seattle

 grilled salmon pizza with garlic scapes

 sushi in seattle

 breakfast pizza and a mama-made smoothie


 absolutely, hands-down, one hundred percent to-die-for green chili made by kev

 sometimes an ice cream sandwich beats everything on a hot summer night

 green chili eggs benny (leftovers transformed into a bangin' breakfast)

and last, but not least, my friend emma recently introduced me to the pickles at jimmy john's.  
i am a huge proponent of pickled anythings, and alas in antarctica, there is only the occasional sweet gherkin.
pickles, i will miss you.

11 August 2011

for now: montana skies

I leave for my second season in Antarctica in six days.  Somehow this has completely and utterly snuck up on me, and tonight involved a walk up the mountains behind the house (with some whiny coyotes a little too close for comfort) during which there was some venting and some verbal stressing.  But it's good.

Believe it or not, Antarctica is going to be a chance to settle down for a while after six fantastic months of being on the move.  I haven't consecutively been in one place for over two weeks since... probably Antarctica.  And this year Kev and I will have our own room, a place of our own.  Quite the upgrade from the 6'x6' corner we had last year, divided off from a room shared with three others with sheets.

Things are good, but things are busy.  For now, here are some photos of the glorious Montana sky and its many different faces.

26 July 2011

tuesday's instax: baby buddhas

Little Buddhas - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Not much to say today.  Working furiously on some projects... it feels extraordinarily good to be working in this particular medium again.  It's a gift, so no peeks yet, but sometime soon.

This week is busy.  On Friday I zip over to Seattle for a few days with my brother to meet up with Kevin.  I can't wait!  I haven't been to that magical city in a couple years now.

With that, I leave you with a Shel Silverstein quote that's been bumbling about in my head lately:

"How much good inside a day?  Depends how good you live 'em."

24 July 2011

from a hike with my mother

Sometimes I think that the purpose of life must be to try and get to the white line at the horizon.  I don't know if anything more beautiful exists.

22 July 2011

friday evening: quiet and still

Back home in Montana.  
Enjoying a multitude of quiet, still moments.
Eating delicious Mama-made dinners on the porch overlooking the Bitterroot mountains.
Setting up a makeshift studio for my coming weeks, absolutely burning to create, feeling freshly inspired by this article and this book which I devoured in one sitting.
Tomorrow: farmer's market, thrift stores, a long walk
Tonight: writing letters, sifting through piles, playing dress-up

21 July 2011

out, in, home


I'm headed "home" to Montana today, after more than two months of roaming and visiting on the East Coast.  Perfect timing, because I am in serious need of a mountain fix.

Listen: New Little Dragon
Look: How fun is this?
Love: These crochet portraits

19 July 2011

tuesday's instax: american gothic and the nubble lighthouse

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at this lighthouse.  

Brooding, dreaming, plotting, fretting.  


I never thought that I would be back there, as an "adult", five years after moving away from Maine, doing the American Gothic pose with the man I love.