Saturday, January 30, 2010


Making pillowcases has become an addiction. I'm thinking seriously about an Etsy shop. I don't actually expect to sell any, but that's not really the point.

Here are two I finished today with fabric I got in Sedona. The ones on the left are mine -- you know, with the bright, bold colors. The ones on the left are for T's mother, who is fond of Kokopelli.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Trailhead gets a show

I had breakfast this morning with my friend of longest standing. She's known me since I was an awkward thirteen-year-old. These days, I'm an awkward 39-year old, and she's part owner of a theatre in an artsy town in southern Indiana. The theatre has a lobby, which lobby will soon be featuring some of my photographs, many of which you can find here. (The list of galleries is in the far lower left hand corner.)

As I told T this afternoon, this requires that i re-imagine my imagery, from stock photography to fine art. I'll probably put a combination of Indiana nature images and quirky animal shots.

Okay, I've had imagery bought and published, and now shown in a venue. Now, on to working on getting some travel writing published. Everything in its time, I suppose.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Obama says F*ck it

Love this.

Obama Says F*ck It

SuperNews | MySpace Video

On last meals

I was thinking early this afternoon about last meals, and I had two distinct and unrelated thoughts. First, it seems a curious luxury for our execution-happy system to offer the condemned.

And second is this: I wouldn't even be able to eat a last meal. When I am in the throes of anxiety, as I surely would be if I were facing imminent execution, I cannot eat. (See The Last Year, 65 pounds lost in). The double chocolate layer cake I would order would surely go to waste, in what can only be termed a bitter irony.

And so I wonder. How many condemned can actually even eat their last meals.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Can I not post youtubes without them being huge?

Anyhoo, here's a link to an awesome one. Because the Democrats need a beer recommendation.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The day the blogging died

Sometimes it's easy to forget that I've been separated from my ex-husband for less than two years. It's easy to forget because I recovered fairly quickly, through a combination of lucky circumstances and very hard emotional work in the year after we split up. But the death of a marriage -- especially one of significant duration -- often brings with it the death of an entire life structure. That certainly occurred in my case. A house and land to which I was deeply attached was sold. My entire life was uprooted and relocated back to my hometown. My job moved out of my home office and back to my downtown office.

And my blog died.

By May of 2008 I had created two distinct but vibrant little online communities, one of which I had largely "completed" and was no longer posting on, and one which was very much intact and thriving. I mean, we're not talking anything huge here -- but Mountain Time represents, in my mind, a body of work. Impacts were made. Connections I value deeply were built. And when my life snapped so suddenly, I knew that was over. Mountain Time was about that old life. But beyond that, my ex-husband had the link to that blog, and I knew I wouldn't be working through those issues in a place to which he had any access whatsoever. So, goodbye, Mountain Time.

Ultimately, I simply moved the core part of the community to another site, and then another. Those are still in existence, but locked to everyone but the people who existed in that core. I'm fine with that. The writing I did during that year is some of the best I've ever done, and it's also some of the most vulnerable and raw. And it's not public, at least for now.

But then all that wound down, and I'm in an entirely different place. But in that intervening year, something happened. I got on Facebook. And blogging seemed to have wilted a bit in the interim. And so I tried to post more on Mountain Time, and failing that, started this site. But something's missing -- well, what's missing is a month's worth of posts. I never had a problem posting before -- oh, maybe a week would go by from time to time, and I'd always find myself back, typing away furiously at some thing, real or imagined, that had occurred or that I had read.

Set aside for a moment that, in a world of facebooking and tweeting, blogging seems almost passe. I get that, but while Blogger is a dinosaur, it's my dinosaur. As I pondered the issue this morning, I realized how much time I used to devote to working on those sites. I noted in a comment below that part of it is the difference between the relationships I was in. I had time I needed to fill before. Now, my primary relationship is just more of a constant presence in my daily life. And if I'm honest, we're still early enough on that a small part of me wonders what he might think about some of the things I might write. That worry had remained mostly unconscious until this morning, when I realized it was just part of the backdrop of fear that is, these days, just something I must deal with in a relationship henceforth.

So, as is my inclination now, I just decided to crack it all open for all to see. Sunlight!

In short, I think the solution is an experiment. I'll be hanging out here for awhile instead of so frequently on Facebook. I think I'll see what happens.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A humble request

I've mentioned before that writing doesn't seem to come as easily to me as it used to. It's a knotty problem that is only going to be solved by doing it, whether or not it feels right -- much like exercise, I suppose. I've posted on Facebook that I need rhetorical questions. We'll see what comes up there.

So, give me a topic. What are you just dying to hear me drone on about?

Red rocks, energy vortices and aliens

T's dad and son are tiny specks on the red rocks of Sedona

"This is the most beautiful place on earth.
There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.... [T]here's no limit to the human capacity for homing sentiment."

--Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire.

I'm willing to travel almost anywhere, but not every place is recognizable as home. England felt that way, but not Spain. Montana is my natural habitat, but not northern California. I burrowed into the Adirondacks like a second skin, but south China felt like sandpaper underwear.

I loved Sedona.

Once I'd spent enough time in Montana, I revised my definition of potential homes somewhat radically. I could not, I insisted, ever be happy living long-term in a place lacking grizzly bears. Black bears were insufficient; one required grizzly bears to truly feel raw, exposed, and alive in a place. That was before The Great Unraveling and the associated relocations, of course. But I still held that any place I'd live after Indiana had to have the grizz. That was the litmus test.

There are no grizzly bears in northern Arizona anymore, but no matter. The past lingers so strongly in the red rocks that you can almost feel the grizzly wandering about as it did long ago. And given the intensely colorful, elegant landscape, I probably would have let my bear requirements slide anyway.

But I have to think that what really drew me to the place was, as in Montana, the unapologetic weirdness of its residents. For example, Sedona is home to a strain of New Age thinking holding that the area boasts the largest number of energy vortices in the world.

What the hell is that, you no doubt want to know. I'm pleased you asked. I like this explanation:
What exactly is an energy vortex? There is no convincing answer to that question, the only common thread being that they are spots of increased energy. Some people use terms such as “magnetic,” “electrical,” or “electromagnetic” to refer to this energy, but I have heard of no scientific measurements that indicate any unusual electromagnetic activity in the area. Even if there were, it’s not clear how human beings would be able to sense it directly. Others say it’s nothing of the sort, that it’s psychic energy of some kind, which explains why it can’t be measured. But the energy is nearly always described using the term “subtle,” with the promise that you will feel it “if you are a sensitive person.” In my less charitable moments, I suspect “sensitive” is meant as a euphemism for “credulous,” but you can make up your own mind.
But there's more. Once you've processed the energy vortices, then you must move on to the aliens. And that's not just Sedona -- all of northern Arizona appears to be positively lousy with extraterrestrials. I took this photo in Flagstaff:

I know those are the two most important things I look for in potential lodging.

I do have one lingering concern about living year-round in the red rock desert: the desert fauna I refer to as The Crunchies. Actual conversation:

Me: There's only one problem living here full-time, particularly in the summer.
T: What's that?
Me: The Crunchies.
T: The what?
Me: The Crunchies. You know, the scorpions. The tarantulas. The giant centipedes. I can't deal with those.
T: What about the snakes?
Me: Those are easy. If I find a snake in the shower, I just call you.*
T: Why can't you just call me if you find a scorpion in the shower?
Me [yelping and shuddering]: Oh, God, don't even talk about it.
T: [grinning] I could just step on it! [makes crunching noise as he mimics stepping on something large]
Me: LalalalalalalalaIcan'thearyouLalalalalalala!

Ewww. If I could figure out the Crunchies, I'd be off to Sedona in a flash. Till then, I'll spend winters there when the Crunchies are hiding, perhaps in an energy vortex.

Pics are available here, even if you're not on facebook.

*T is a self-taught herpetologist with extensive knowledge and experience in snake handling. No, really. I'm serious.

Get outta my den, I'm sleeping.

I've been watching Lily the hibernating bear on this webcam for the last couple of days. She's due to have cubs later this week, and she has quite the fan base on the edge of their seats waiting for that event.

Well if you guys are going to keep checking

I should probably keep writing.

I've spent the last few weeks playing catch up. Christmas was it's usual hassle-y self, although very nice once it actually got here. Then I spent a week in Sedona. When I came home from that, a big blob of legal work fell on my head like the piano in the old cartoons. My Christmas tree just came down this past weekend. Only just now was I able to look around the quiet space of the early morning and think hmmmm, there's finally a bit of room here to live my life.

What's everyone been doing?