Pre-departure

001_31A 004_28A 006_26A 007_25A 008_24A 009_23A 010_22A 011_21A 012_20A 013_19A 014_18AJulia and I wore our typical dresses to the typically un-feminine Stockyard.

I attended a magazine launch party in heels armed with a notebook trying to take down quotes from attendees. Found an abandoned beer in the elevator to the party. Admired the string lights, live art, and the typewriter that people were free to use.

I also drove around Bozeman itching for spring to finally stop tempting me and flood everything with live, greenery and sunshine.

 

I have no excuse: A marathon blog post mixed with an apology, but sort of not really.

Alright, so I have no real excuse for not blogging, other than I haven’t felt like blogging.

I think anybody who has blogged for any amount of time has felt this weird plateau of uncaring. It’s not like I don’t want to blog- I DO! I try, I make these posts, and then they just sort of wilt…and then I abandon them for another, skeletal blog post that I’m creating which then also fades into nothing.

Okay, end of that. Basically, I’m alive, I’m still taking photographs, and I’m not in some weird cryogenic state.

Life has been a mix of swimming, running, work, photographs, drawing class, friends, oddities, enigmas, and sporadic moments of joy and delight. Life has been worth living lately, and that might explain my lack of presence online.

 

Summer: Beginning

 

 

Summer is officially here. After winning a 3.86 GPA this semester, and beginning work full time next week, summer seems to hardly be staying with me at all, though!

I’ve been reading Nabokov, Heller, and taking lots of photographs downtown. Meghan left for D.C. yesterday, and Wednesday she and Jackson had a barbecue, complete with potato salad, chips, brownies, cookies, burgers and hot dogs.  I drove down for the day to pick up parking permits and do nothing at all. We drank mimosas, lounged on chairs outdoors, fended off wasps and played various backyard games. The day was almost as perfect as one could hope for.

Bower, the skittish cat, made a few cameos. Mark performed card tricks that left everybody mind boggled. Shelby and Jake didn’t stay long, just long enough to eat food and lament their early departures. We all discussed nothing and everything, and when the sun started dipping low, I hopped back into the car and departed. The 1.5 hour drive yielded some of the most gorgeous clouds I have ever witnessed.

Lately I’ve been running in the evening with Kristin, which has been beyond magnificent. I missed running, and my body is getting back into the rhythm beautifully. It’s like it was just hibernating. I find running to be a total release from everything stressful or confusing, and it smooths out the wrinkles in my life better than most things.

Anyway, enjoy some photographs from my life recently!

May be we will, May be we won’t.

MAY IS HERE! Te gustan los puns, verdad?

These photographs are from late April, but whatever. Deal with it. All of my photographs from May (err…today) are on some film in my camera right now.

I drove back to Helena today to drop off some massive suitcases and trunks, then had lunch mit meiner Mutter.

Last week was a combination of papers, exams, presentations, and celebrations. A party Friday night with some people quite wunderbar, and Saturday and Sunday were a blur of paper writing, socializing, and photographing said socializations. Things around Bozeman are blooming, and I couldn’t be happier.

Also, side note: The cloud formations recently have been amazing. I can’t stop looking up. Not a good thing whilst driving.

Another side note: I love driving in Montana. Fast roads, few police officers, and a light car make for lovely morning and evening drives.

Trying to make it interesting.

(By the way, Meghan isn’t dead, she’s sunbathing. Just in case this looks suspicious.)

Life here has reached the point where if I’m not researching about hyper masculinity for a paper or procrastinating by watching The Departed that I’m not photographing anything.

Which is sad and will change soon.

I miss taking photographs, being around people I love who are energetic enough for the snap of a shutter, but everybody is stressed, and the mood on campus is morbid. I did register to vote (WOO!) and this week I saved myself $7,000 by haggling over transfer credits!

Also, enough of this black and white film. I think I’m going to end up purchasing my standby: Cheap 200 speed Fujifilm.

On a side note: My roommate and I have turned our cramped, third world dorm room (exaggeration alert) into a nursery for plants. We bought packets of seeds, some little pots, and have about 50 little dirt-filled cups lining the windows, waiting for the sun to create life!

Alas, el sol hasn’t been in the “I’ll be out!” mood, especially in the morning when our window gets the light, and so the sprouts haven’t…err…sprouted. Le sigh!

Another side note: TRAINING FOR A 10K IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.

Which thus far I have been quite terrible at. I ran 13 miles this week, a pittance compared to my cross-country days, but hey, this lazybones is working on it!

Anyway, here is some photographic evidence from last weekend that I have a life, albeit the generic kind that probably barely passes for interesting.

Primavera in several forms.

The last few days have been busy with mostly unimportant things like reading about World War II, sun bathing, eating food food, and enjoying being 21, which hasn’t been super exciting but is freeing at the same time.

My photographs will be improving soon, though, as a result of the f/1.4 50mm lens my parents got me for my birthday! I opened it this morning at my favorite breakfast place in Bozeman, the Nova, and am SO excited to shoot with it and experience the gorgeous focus and diffusion! WOO!

Anyway, here are some photographs from my 50mm 1.8 lens of yesterday and some of the days before.

A people post

So, guys, I actually got Sam! The guy I talked about in my previous post! Here he is!

Mi padre. He’s a workaholic and a bad ass.

La hermana.

Kristin and I hiked in the rain up Davis Gulch one morning. It was lovely!

A self portrait.

Meghan attempting to retain her tan. I admire her efforts.

I document my food and surroundings more than the people in them, usually. I am very fortunate to have amazing people in my life, and in the last two rolls of film I got back the photographs are more of people who matter than food or landscapes.

I like it.

So, here’s a post of just people.

If only you’d been there.

Montana weather is notoriously fickle. One moment the sun is shining, the next it’s raining, then it’s hailing, or sometimes Nature even skips the rain and hail and just blizzards out of nowhere.

Well, that’s what happened. I drove home Sunday afternoon into a clear Bozeman. I woke up to a good 8 inches of snow, and there were 4 more inches on top of that by noon. WHAT?! Then, by 3, it got up to about 40 degrees and began melting. Tuesday and Wednesday were warm, about 50 and 60 degrees, respectively, and the snow created huge mud puddles and quagmires everywhere! By Thursday Meghan and I went downtown and got warm enough to stop in the Chocolate Moose (pun, get it?) for a root beer float and a chocolate milkshake.

While we were sipping the refreshments, I was waving my camera around, and this guy who looks rather vagrant-y stops, stands, and says, “Hey, did you take my picture?”

I immediately tell him no, but then he repeats himself- “Hey, would you take my picture?”

Ohhhh, that’s what he was asking. He introduces himself as “Sam, the most produced songwriter in the world!”

I say, “Sure!”, set the focus, and tell him, “One, two…”

“ORGASM!” Sam says as the shutter clicks. Then, Sam the Most Produced Songwriter in the World walks off into the sunny Bozeman midday.

Sadly, his photograph didn’t turn out…it was the end of the roll. 😦

Anyway, here are the photographs from this last week. Just living the dream- school, walks, sunshine, snow, blizzards, and surprises.

The Western Cafe, Bozeman


Yesterday morning Meghan, Alaine and I walked down Main Street, much like every weekend- walking to breakfast. Alaine suggested we go to the Western Cafe, a small, adobe fronted establishment that yielded so much goodness.

The Western Cafe is affordable, delicious, and loud. The waitresses are efficient, your coffee cup will be refilled quickly, and they have strawberry rhubarb pie- an added plus! (You can order it with ice cream at an early hour and not be judged, either.)

I ordered The Deuce- 2 slices of French toast, 2 strips of bacon, and two eggs. It was perfect. On a whim, I also ended up ordering apple pie. I was full for the rest of the day, so this is not a place to go for light portions!

They played 1950’s country music, and the requisite taxidermy and wildlife photographs lined the walls. Overall, it felt really homey, definitely a place I will go again!

Now, I am sitting in the co-op writing outlines for papers, studying for Art History exams galore, and generally gearing up for Spring Break, in which I will escape out of Montana for the first time since November. It has been far too long.

I am in love with the focus of the slight wide-angle lens I’m using here- a weird little Makinon 24mm f/2.8 that my friend’s family gave to me. Apparently they aren’t very highly thought of in the photography world, but it does a glorious job in my opinion!

I’ve been eating, exploring, and living.

Lately I’ve been exploring the culinary wonders of Bozeman, which are surprisingly numerous! Luckily, my roommate Meghan is quite the foodie, and she even pushed me to try a slightly spicy jambalaya at Cafe Zydeco. I trusted her, and the food was delicious.

The next day we took a walk to La Chatelaine Chocolat, a chocolate specialty shop that was started by a two foodies, one actually from Paris, I believe. We had small chocolates with sea salt and caramel. The prices for individual chocolates seemed high- a little over $2.00 per piece- but once trying them, we realized that they were clearly worth it.

In addition, they had amazing brownies and hot chocolate. Both were of a very rich chocolate nature, not light or fakely sweetened. It was definitely a place for those who KNOW they love chocolate!

Other than that, I’ve been writing the script for a podcast on synesthesia as part of an awesome group here on campus, the Corona Group. We get together, brainstorm podcasts, discuss literature and things we want to write about, and plan on how to introduce awesome topics to campus.

After next week, I am heading to Seattle to see the Seattle Art Museum’s exhibit on Paul Gauguin, and also to go shopping and eat some good food with my Mum and Kristin. It will be awesome! Plus, it’s a great opportunity to take photographs that aren’t of Montana.

 

It’s not a dirty word.

(This is how I felt tonight)

Tonight, I attended a “Gentleman’s Panel” in the lobby of my dorm building. The pretense? Three men, behind a screen, would answer questions anonymously about anything- sex, politics, dating, personalities, etc. Multiple questions regarding physical appearances, preferences for physical appearance, and how they prefer women were asked by the girls in my hall.

I asked the question: “Are you a feminist?”

I didn’t know what to expect. Some small part of me hoped that they’d realize that feminism is essentially equality, and that they’d answer yes.

The three answers were as follows (spoiler: none of them were “yes”!):

First guy: No. Right off the bat, no qualms about it.

Second guy: Not really? If feminism is man-hating and anti-male, no.

Third: Sort of? But not really? Confused?

I was honestly horrified. I was also saddened. Clearly, my campus thinks that feminism is a dirty word, or that it’s entirely all about hating men. They were really unsure of what it is, and they also had some negative ideas about women in general.

Here’s a quote from tonight:

“There is always a hidden motive behind everything”, regarding what women say and do.

Then, their biggest problems with relationships were “communication” and “trust”. The two are definitely related if men think that women are constantly full of these ulterior motives with everything they say and do. The correlation is pretty clear to me. If I say I really like taking walks through a park, it means I like walking through the park. If my boyfriend says that he likes ice cream, I’m assuming that means that he enjoys ice cream.  It goes both ways. (Note: this boyfriend is hypothetical. Although I would enjoy a boyfriend who does like ice cream.)

FEMINISM = EQUALITY.

It is not about hating men, being better than men, feeling superior, etc. Feminism is not about taking away masculinity, it’s about creating a world where parity is possible.

Feminism is about equality in voting, representation, reproductive rights, law, etc.- total equality. It’s about breaking gender roles and stereotypes.

It is not a a dirty word. 

I’m not sure what needs to happen here on my campus, but clearly there needs to be some de-mystifying as to what feminism actually is. It’s clearly seen as a noxious, tainted word that carries all sorts of threatening ideas, when in reality, it shouldn’t be threatening at all. I am not personally attacking these young men, but rather frustrated at the lack of clarity as to what feminism is in general here at Montana State University, for both men and women.

Text and image not related.

I’m back in Helena for the weekend, and it is always nice to return temporarily to a place that you know so well. This morning my father and I took a drive to a small, seedy, 1950’s themed cafe, complete with the strangest waffles I have ever eaten (note: they weren’t half bad).

Yesterday, my mother and I went to an estate sale in a Victorian mansion, where 12 hardcover books called my name, all to the astronomical sum of $4.00.

The books in question range from abnormal psychology cases, to a breakdown of the English government (which is truly fascinating), to a collection of poems by some dead guy I’ve never heard of, two biographies of female European monarchs/royal family members, a book about world literature, its beginnings and branches of it, and a book concerning EVERY SINGLE COIN minted or brought to the United States of America from its days as a wee colony to present times (er…1981, when the book was published).

Today, I am spending the day in a rocking chair perusing through the new books, taking pictures of things, and later probably thrifting some hideous clothes or taking a drive down a rural road to admire cloud formations.

This text and the images above are not related, as a side note. They are the black and white data from a day to day existence.

Hasta luego!

 

Nova Cafe, Bozeman, Montana

I finally got two rolls of film developed! YES! Seriously, film is like a present. You don’t always know what you’re going to get. I love not knowing if things are happening or if I angled or focused something correctly.

Some cool light leaks made their way into my film- I was clumsy and didn’t wind up the roll all the way, but I am only human!

Last weekend Emily, Rae and I found ourselves inevitably back at the Nova Cafe- I feel like at least twice a month we meander over there. The food is too good NOT to!

With these photographs I’m using a wide-angle lens that is not as wide-angle-y as the Tamron. I really like the focus on it, much easier to use. I also am getting back into the swing of black and white again!