31 May 2012

summer in new england

Kev has finally joined me in New England and agreed to download the VSCO app on his iphone that I like to pretend is mine.  It's so fun to play with!  Also enjoying: spending time with my 4 year old twin siblings, poaching eggs, riding bikes, rooting for the Celtics (and being disgruntled by the horrible officiating) in the Eastern Conference Finals, picnics, snuggling while watching Carl Sagan be awesome on Cosmos before bed, and dips in the lake.  This weekend we're headed to Maine to see my friends and visit my homeland.  Summer in New England is pretty nice.

28 May 2012

Catching Up: India No. 1

I mentioned a while ago that I wasn't quite ready to start talking about India in this space, but I've finally started exploring India through the written word, so I figured it was time to share a bit here too.  I'm still chewing on a lot of the things I felt while baking in the insanity of the subcontinent, but I can at least describe fragments of the sensory overload.  Here's a segment of what I wrote for our latest post at Weird Birds:
Other days we’d venture out, exploring the inner walls of the legendary Pink City, a title which we quickly learned wasn’t quite accurate, as everything was smothered with beige paint that left some to be desired.  We dashed around the creamy colored Hawa Mahal as snarl toothed monkeys with gnarled broken fingers chased us down ramps and pushed us upstairs out of their way.  We sought respite from the obliterating heat in an old coffee house, where I was begrudgingly allowed to sit with the men rather than in the dingy closets set aside for women.  We giggled as family after family insisted upon us posing for their photographs, their infants shoved into our arms.  While exploring the majestic Amer Fort, we marveled at painted elephants, shook our hips to traditional music, and found our own hidden hallways and towers to have a few moments alone.
K wrote a really moving piece about a lunch we shared with a Rajasthani family in Jaipur in that same post, so go check it out.  The pictures above haven't been shared anywhere else online yet, so kapow!  I'll try to get some more here soon, as the words come.

25 May 2012

bodies of water by tamsyn mystkowski

Lately when it comes to art, I've been feeling really inspired by humor, and heightening the mundane.  These old photographs of various bodies of water are certainly beautiful on their own, but are elevated by the whimsical posteriors added in by Mystkowski (do last names get any better than that?)  I also really enjoy her bums.

23 May 2012

a couple o' struggles

I'm here, in rainy Massachusetts, battling with a freakishly giant ant that seems to want to walk precariously on the ceiling above my bed.  My latest defensive move involved getting it to walk on to a magazine, flinging the magazine out of my room like a frisbee, slamming the door shut, and lining the crack under the door with a towel (as it crawled in the last time I hurled it out).  My stepmother is probably going to be wondering why her various subscriptions are sprawled in heaps in the hallway tomorrow morning.

This is a photograph I took last summer of a pond here, the one just next to Thoreau's, because I am in the midst of another struggle as well.  A large chunk of dust lodged itself into the lens of my camera, and despite my most heroic efforts, it wouldn't budge, but rather sat there, indignantly producing a large blurry splotch in every photo I took.  So my poor little camera got bundled up and sent off to be fixed.  Is it just me, or when you're separated from your camera, does it feel like your three year old is wandering the streets alone, or you forgot your left foot somewhere?  I hate it!  But it is forcing me to take more film photos, so that is good... but it's hard to be without any form of instant photographic gratification.

There are other conflicts going on, big ones, the kind that define lifestyles, futures, relationships, and other Big Stuff.  But seeing as I just got here, have things to do, and choices still to be made, for now I leave you with the cutest picture ever that my Mom sent me.  Because, yep, Kitty had her kittens.  And she's just as affectionate with them as she is with people.  And yes, I am outrageously disappointed that she waited until after I left to pop them out.

21 May 2012

reunited and it feels so good

The winds were so bad coming into Denver that we did brain-bending circles over the city until we ran out of gas, had to land in Colorado Springs, refuel, then try again.  The most turbulent flight of my life yet was punctuated by moments of comic relief as the three year old girl in front of me gave whoops of delight and called out, "We're going wiiiild!"

Kevin was supposedly going to drive up to the sidewalk to get me, but as I came up the escalator, there he was, with a bouquet of pink lilies and yellow tulips.  What a guy.

Denver has been so lovely, but it's off to Boston already.

17 May 2012

sweet kitty

The past two weeks at home were really special for a lot of reasons.  Coming home from India made even the smallest thing like brushing my teeth in the sink seem like the most joyous of occasions.  There was also the gourmet, fresh, local food that my mom always stuns us with.  There were trips to the community garden, long walks in the mountains, sunsets watched on the porch, giggling bouts with my parents.  But something made it extra special - even more special than usual.

And that was kitty.  My parents had offered help at the local animal shelter, and when there was a young pregnant cat who was too stressed out by the shelter environment to stay healthy, we took her in as a foster** cat. On the drive home, this cat howled until I let her out of the carrier, then proceeded to wrap her two front legs around my neck, purring into my hair, holding me tight in a hug.  I died.  And continued to die everyday when all she wanted to do was snuggle.  What a dream cat.  She was given the name Bonnie, which didn't suit her, and she didn't identify with it, so we ended up just calling her Kitty.  Partially because we were trying to guard our hearts a bit from falling too head over heels (futile) and because it suited her.  Sadly (very, very sadly) I didn't get to meet the kittens, and last I heard, they're still poking around in her bowling ball belly, but I'll share a couple photos when they join the world.

**Full disclosure - I REEEEALLY would rather her not be a foster, but a forever.  Currently brainstorming on how to make that work with all the traveling we do.  Hmm...

16 May 2012

here we go again

Off to Denver today to see this guy.  Two weeks apart was two weeks too many.

Today also marks the start of another 2.5 months on the move... New England, North Carolina, a few Denver visits, and a jaunt to Costa Rica, here we go.

15 May 2012

spring in montana !!!

Some glimpses into this past week at my parents' home in Montana:

Blossoms, making jewelry prototypes with power tools, Great Horned owlets, getting back in touch via the usps, a dog at the community garden named Sigh, a damn good tuna melt, and seedlings.

Doesn't a sugar baby watermelon sound just about perfect right now?

14 May 2012

a perfect day in may:

A new summer dress, a big bowl of pho, singing in the car, an ice cream cone by the river, heart to hearts with the brother, and an evening sky full of lace.

11 May 2012

Catching Up: New Zealand No. 5

Now that I've caught you all up on Nepal, it would chronologically make sense to move on to India.  But to be completely honest, I'm not quite ready for that.  India deserves more than I would be able to provide at the moment, and it took more from me than I expected, so yeah, we're skipping it for now.  It will come when it's ready (this means when I'm ready).

On to the joyous weekend that is seen in the collage above.  After 9 collective bouts of traveler's diarrhea, 2 hideous barf-and-blindness-inducing-migraines, and an out-cold-faint in Indian customs (really guys, I've got some stories from India...) we made it back to New Zealand.  Well, also after an overnight in Bangkok and a sunny day in Singapore.

Anyways, we made it to New Zealand, where the infrastructure of a dingy old room at a YMCA hostel made me cry the purest tears of joy.  Due to the nature of the United States Antarctic Program, we have been to Christchurch six times in the past two years, so it was the first stage of homecoming.

We got our first taste of autumn after two years without, we watched saturday morning rugby practices in Hagley Park, we ate soup and brownies from the farmers market in a pile of leaves, we took the bus to the beach and watched chilly surfers, we wandered the botanic gardens in the rain, we delighted over dahlias, we ate sushi that Kev declared to be the best since he was in Japan, and we wrung India out of our hearts, letting our love for one another fill them back up.  We were full, we were happy, and we had escaped (albeit barely).

10 May 2012

Catching Up: Nepal No. 3

The last of my Nepal photos, all of these are from Kathmandu.  The opening guitar notes of Cat Stevens' song bobbed behind me all week as I made my way through these hectic yet charming streets.  Kev and I oscillated between different bouts of traveler's diarrhea and one of the days that he was bed ridden, I braved the streets alone in search of a yak cheese sandwich.  Up until a year and a half ago, I had done all of my traveling alone, and smirked at girls who in my mind were cowering behind their boyfs.  But then I started traveling with my man, and geez louise it's so nice.  The catcalls drastically decrease, you don't peek over your shoulder when entering the dark alley to your guesthouse, and when you have traveler's diarrhea, your honey can go get your yak cheese sandwich for you.  So I repaid the favor, and did myself one too.  There's something very self-assuring about leaving a refuge and facing the streets alone.  There's something wondrous about returning to the smile of a red-headed man, too.

09 May 2012

Catching Up: Nepal No. 2

A few more photos from our Everest Base Camp trek (that we covered extensively at Weird Birds).  It was absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done, but one of those accomplishments that just feels so good to have under the belt. 
I really loved the hand painted signs everywhere, advertising horse rides and apple pie, asking for protection of the endangered musk deer, and lying about how much further we had to go (it was always further than promised). 

08 May 2012

Catching Up: Nepal No. 1

Some photos from our truly epic trek to Everest Base Camp.  We wrote a three part series on our experience over at Weird Birds.

(Second to last photograph by our guide, Nuri Sherpa.  Last photograph by James Milek.)