The red girls

I spent my amazing week in Los Angeles staying with these two girls. I slept in their room, invaded their space, and used their Ibuprofen, and they were very gracious about all of this.

We had a great week-I don’t really have words to describe how much I needed to be somewhere warm and sunny and sit in the grass outside. Montana winters are long, dark, and cold, and every March it seems I feel the need to escape in an almost violent way.

We ate like queens, drank beer like we were raised in breweries, and wore dresses without tights. I was amazed at 80 degree weather, and actually had to apply sunscreen! My freckles popped out, my hair was loose and I felt like a new person.

I’ll be posting more photographs from my trip soon but these are two of my favorite frames. Thanks Chelsea and Comrade Kate for everything!

 

Advertisements

Heading West soon!

00550021 In three weeks or so I’ll be on an airplane again.

Thank goodness!

Without travel I feel as though my soul shrinks. Or is warped, at least a bit.

This time I’m going somewhere I’ve never been: Los Angeles!

My thesis piece is there- a beautiful enconchado that I will do a post on soon!

I’m staying with good friends Chelsea and Comrade Kate and the last time we all were together in a city was a roadtrip through Montana, Idaho, and Washington to Seattle and Olympia. Harlan tagged along and upon getting to Seattle declared, “I hate cities!” at which point we all wondered why he had come along to a trip to a city. Nonetheless, we had a blast, eating our way through seafood and staying with Chelsea’s wonderful grandparents.

I’m excited to see these two soon in an entirely foreign environment to me!

 

I haven’t died!

003_22A 004_21A 011_14A 016_9A 017_8A 018_7A 021_4A

I’m here. STILL! I built a website, but am having a horrid time buying the domain name I want and NEED so…I’ve been doing that.

I finished finals, I’ve been with friends and family. I got 2 rolls of film developed from MONTHS ago, it was very neat to see some of the frames I’d shot that I’d forgotten about!

There’s a few from Chico when I went with Chris and we took a backwoods drive, a few from car camping and eating chili on cold mornings around a fire he built, a few from my sister and I on Thanksgiving, and pie, and dogs. I haven’t been photographing as much but this is changing! I swear!

I hope your holidays were magnificent! I got asked quite a bit yesterday at the bank and at the photo center if I got a good amount of stuff- which felt so odd. I’m not going to pretend I’m the most selfless person ever, but it would be nice to talk about family and the moments, not the stuff! What was your favorite moment over the holiday season? Do you have any glorious plans for New Years?

ALSO: Even though I haven’t been able to get my domain name, here is the link to my current website: http://krop.com/somethingdutch

Please visit- all feedback is welcome! Thank you, lovely readers! I’ve reached over 500 followers with this blog, which means SO MUCH. That number may not seem very large but to me it’s awesome to think that 500 people out there thought enough to follow.

 

 

I’m not a city person but I had a good time in one once.

I am not good at operating in New York. Or Boston. Or most cities. I act like I am- I am merely very skilled at covering up the fact that I am very, very lost. Mostly because once I reach a place with any significant population (i.e. over 50,000) I seem to be consistently bad at figuring out where the hell I am.

My lovely aunts hosted me in Connecticut over spring break this last year and I was able to head into the city several times. Each time was it’s own unique perilous journey. One morning I met Exa at the train station, and I wanted to cry seeing her! Another time I successfully got into the city but was supposed to meet an old friend from high school at a vegan Japanese restaurant.

I was given an address but since at that point I owned no smart phone I merely had to guess. I was almost late, I was confused, and I had spent 90 minutes circling blocks, trying to gauge where I was. Finally, I hailed a taxi and got in. Giving him the address, I expected to feel relief. Upon repeating it though, he says, “Listen, it’s literally two blocks from here dahlin’. I can take you there but you’re pretty much already there.” I refused to walk any further and rode the taxi two blocks.

Another time I went into the city and rode the subway to the Met. However, I was so relieved to finally be on the right line I fell alseep in my giant black rain slicker and woke up in the Bronx some time later after having passed the Met long long ago. Oops. I simply stayed on the train, and waited until I got back down to the Central Park ish area.

New York was lovely. I ate fantastically well- noodles, mimosas, whoopie pies, Italian food, French breakfasts, sushi, you name it! However, my appetite was fueled by the pure ridiculousness and stress of being in New York. I love cities for a jaunt or for a bit but I think I’ve slowly come to realize that heavily populated areas deprive me of the greenery and forests I take for granted. I feel claustrophobic and yet lonelier than ever. I love being able to go into one for a bit to visit museums and hear the multiple languages and see the culturally different but for me there is nothing like getting up and hearing the trees scrape against my window and be surrounded by mountains, or driving for only an hour before I hit pristine streams and campsites rarely visited. I like it when my traffic jam is caused by deer in the road.

 

Topsy turvy curves of life and changes

Fall is officially here. It even snowed a bit- Montana can be so dramatic sometimes. One weekend it’s shorts and sunscreen and the next you’ve got on wool socks and the space heater nearby.

I finally got my film developed, 3 glorious rolls. Some from mid-August forward, almost a month and a half of adventures!

Included is an evening where grouse hunting failed and a sunset was witnessed from a ridge and we ran through a lightning storm and afterwards ate pizza. Another is a pie I ate alone in a small Montana town after I got lost (which seems like it couldn’t happen but did to me). The pie itself was heavenly, the space was quaint and lace-trimmed, and I read a National Geographic from the 1980’s while I consumed the delicious peach-honey pie. A morning hike solo on the first morning of fall is included as well- it was a beautiful morning that I won’t forget for a long time. I took Chris to the Cateye because I have had lovely experiences there but this time it was so sad. My pie was a dry and rather pathetic thing and although Chris got a huge plate of food it wasn’t really that wondrous. Another night bowling happened and I wore a skirt and knee high socks and did a horrible job and laughed a lot.

Not pictured are dinners made with Kristin and Emily, study sessions in coffee houses, the dullness of work, the lovely cloud movements that hang around the mountains, and the other infinite number of moments where I wish I’d lugged around my camera.

 

 

Part 2 of the Washington D.C. adventures

A visual journey through a place I went to almost a whole month ago.  D.C. was full of funky neighborhoods, fantastic eateries, and much more than just touristy sites. I did a lot of the typical stuff, but my roommate is a native of the area, so she took me to her favorite parks, gardens and spaces.

I was so lucky to go with her- Meghan likes things that spark interest and also have an intellectual edge to them. Although, I’m not going to lie- we went to the Portrait Gallery and spent the entire time comparing dead people for their appearance- we were browsing for husbands and lovers among the centuries-deceased. Not our classiest moment, imagining their crooked teeth and smallpox scars and admiring ruffs and lace and double chins.

 

 

Washington D.C. Part 1: Or, how to use three rolls of film in one museum.

Hello readers! I am so sorry for my extended absence. I have been back for over a week, but work has taken a turn towards total chaos, and things like seeing Moonrise Kingdom, writing about Frida Kahlo, and sleeping have become more important to me.

Alright, my adventures on the East Coast! They were mostly either extraordinarily hot or either severely air-conditioned.

The moment I landed in DC, the change from the dry dry heat of Montana has so noticeable, I think my curly hair rose a few inches from all the humidity- it continued to defy gravity for most of the trip. That evening, we drove around the Mall, where I got to meet Einstein, gawk at the tourists on the Segways, and admire D.C. for all its POWER. And yes, that is the word I want. Power in the solid, stoic buildings that convey strength and independence and all those good old American (‘MURICA!) values. You know, all those patriotic things that only Americans value? (Joking: I have a running streak of cynicism with American Special Snowflake Syndrome: that is for another post).

Anyway, the next morning, Meghan and I took the D.C. metro, a creaking but clean form of transportation into the city and went straight to the Museum of Natural History. I could have spent a week exploring each nook and corner of this gorgeous space- the mineral collection alone could have sustained my curiosity for eons, no doubt! Meghan imitated giraffes and turtles, I photographed skeletons with a fever I normally reserve for food, and we spent half the day there- hardly scratching the surface on the beautiful things there!

After that we went to the Hirshhorn Gallery, where we played in 3-D sculptures and imitated Francis Bacon and other modern artists. The security gaurds were wary but amused when I went into a pose like Francis Bacon- I hope we made their day a bit more interesting.

Afterwards we decided to devote our afternoon to the Holocaust Museum. I don’t know if my words are even going to come close to describing the museum and the experience it attempts (and succeeds) in giving- total claustrophobia, darkness, cold, general feelings of being uncomfortable- the museum highlights suffering and tempers it with facts about genocide, racism, and how this managed to occur in Germany (and all over Europe).

I’ve been to both the Dachau and the Auschwitz concentration camps- however, both were in the open, with much of the artifacts largely removed. Auschwitz was another story- a creepy sinister feeling hung over everything, but when we went in April everything was blooming- purple flowers grew close to the brick buildings where women were sexually abused and experimented on, and green grass gave the whole place a fresh smell, when in reality Auschwitz should be plagued forever by the terrible stench of death. It felt too bizarre.

The Holocaust Museum gave me the sinister vibes WITH the artifacts and minus the creepy spring everything-in-bloom-renewal feelings. We left emotionally exhausted, and wandered the streets until we decided we were good to ride the metro.

 

Refrigerator Canyon hike

Kristin and I decided that a hike was much needed in our blood, and decided upon one of the most interesting hikes in our area. After an 85 minute drive, some hairy switchback turns, and getting sunscreen on, we began the hike.

The canyon funnels all the wind into it, so it actually is about 5 to 10 degrees cooler for the first 1/2 mile or so of the hike- the canyon reaches up to 200 feet tall in some places. Kristin and I scrambled over rocks, around trees, jumped over the meandering stream running through the canyon, and made our way through the breezy nature-made wind tunnel.

Montana hikes are often not the greenest. We’ve got fierce heat, not a lot of moisture that hangs out, and wind that takes off top soil like nobody’s business. Refrigerator Canyon’s hike is almost the exact opposite- the humidity is high, every surface is lush and fertile, and greenery takes over. We hiked for about 6 miles through the trail, and admired Western Tanagers, scouted elk prints, and found the leg of a deer. We ate a quick snack at the overlook, where you can see the surrounding hills, and continued on our way.

Overall, the hike was easy, and we went at a good pace. It was a perfect hike for a couple of hours of fun in a gorgeous setting. I need to  hike more around my area, seriously!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend! Now I’m making Cocoa Pebbles marshmallow treats and cleaning my house. Tschüß!

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.

 

Recycled Fashion Show

Again, my posting has been sporadic! Yeesh, I wish I was better at sitting down and seriously committing to making blog posts these days!

This last Tuesday Julia, Chelsea, and I showed off the magical creation we designed from duct tape, foam, an old skirt, and other various recycled things. This year it was sort of Alexander McQueen-y, sort of Christopher Kane, and a whole lot of awesome. Last year we set the bar pretty high by re-making an Alexander McQueen Highland inspired thing, which turned out beautifully!

When Julia walked out, the crowd sort of got a little quiet. Our creations the last two years have always been a little on the avant-garde side, at least as far as Helena goes, and lots of people definitely didn’t know what to do with our work of art!

Afterwards we celebrated at Shellie’s with pie, coffee, and discussions of everything and anything. It was a perfect way to end the successful evening!

I have many more blog posts in my mind! I hope to seriously settle down and record my life recently, bear with me!

 

γνῶθι σεαυτόν (Know thyself)

Alright, so I haven’t posted in quite awhile. My access to a computer and sanity has been limited at best- my job has taken a turn for the hectic, and my schedule is now devoted to working, running, and sleeping. There is not a lot of time for other things, besides occasionally being social (rarity) and perhaps procrastinating by blogging.

I think that as somebody who takes thousands of photographs, I find myself often missing pictures of myself. I either don’t ask others to take pictures of me or they never offer. Of the thousands of photographs I post, I am in hardly any. Unfortunatly, I fear that later in life I will be able to see my world but not be able to see me. How am I aging? How am I transforming? I want to know both the world around me through my images but I also in a strange way desperately want to be able to capture something in photographs of myself that I haven’t quite gotten.

The point of the title is that in Greek it translates to meaning “know thyself” but within that it means “pay no attention to the opinion of the multitude” (source here). Although I probably looked ridiculous pointing the lens to myself, or I possibly looked self centered, it is vital that I know not just the world I photograph with such voracity but also myself and how I am in this world.

Summer gets busy, blah blah blah.

Life is back in a solid schedule.

I’m working at the Forest Service again, only this time as a front desk person! I get to answer phone calls, answer the public’s questions, work on time sheets, and all sorts of miscellaneous tasks. Honestly, I’m stoked to work there- my co-workers are awesome, there are some new people I already find interesting and hope to get to know, and I get to gather a whole new skill set! WOO!

The last week has been a mix of night runs, small gatherings of friends, and general meandering. My life has settled into a routine. I’m really excited because I’m already getting out a lot more than I did last summer. I hang out with Kristin a lot, and she’s really into hiking, biking, and being outside with SPF, which is perfect. Julia is graduating very soon and then jetting off to Deutschland to hang with her mysterious Tanten (aunts),  which I’m quite jealous of.

I’m trying to teach myself German, and the grammar is already destroying my mind. What I’m doing is trying to focus on learning present tense and building myself more of a conversational vocabulary rather than trying to get too deep into grammar, as I know it’s very difficult once you really commit to it.

Anyway, enjoy these images! I’ll try to post more regularly. I got a new computer as the other one finally died yesterday, too, so maybe this’ll be more efficient!

Tschüß, dear readers!

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!

Seattle Art Museum

Any chance to be close to art is a chance I’ll take. I’m an Art History major who loves art to the point that I have cried in front of a  painting. Yup.

The Seattle Art Museum has a rather brilliant collection of art, and they had an ENORMOUS retrospect of Paul Gauguin, the French badass, asshole, and artistic genius. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photographs in the Gauguin exhibit, but trust me: it was awesome! However, it was:

-Very crowded

-Full of babies (WHATTTT?)

-Really really dark

The rest of the museum was super quiet as a result, which was fantastic for me! I was able to take lots of pictures from weird angles and not get judged- I tend to take pictures from the floor, or sit on benches and balance the camera on my head because my hands aren’t stable enough.

My favorite part is the old Italian wing, where they have lots of Byzantine paintings with amazing gold gilding, mostly on wood. The Baroque room is ostentatious and ridiculous, but nonetheless entertaining. The museum has a really great collection of objects and is laid out in a really great way so that you don’t feel crowded by other people or feel like you’ve seen the art before- I always go back and find something new every time I visit.

Seattle

I’m leaving for a metropolis in about 3 days with Kristin and my Mum. Here are some photographs from my last trip there, when it was summer, sunny, and blazing hot. We visited the aquarium, the SAM, went to the massive library, napped on ferries, ate sushi and gelato, wished we were 21, did some shopping, and wandered around a lot.

Naturally, this is not “real” Seattle. This is youth-on-a-road-trip Seattle, hitting up the main places, the tourist traps, and air-conditioned locations.  Emphasis on the air-conditioned.

Seriously excited to eat some good food, take some ferries, and explore this city more!