Worth going outside for.

 

I’m currently sick with a throat that feels like somebody took a cheese grater to it.

This weekend I took Cooper, our aging handsome Labrador, down to the lake to play on the ice.

We run all over the lake, where the wind has whipped the snow into dunes and into interesting shapes. The ice shifts and piles up, groaning underneath our feet/paws. Cooper runs ahead of me, slipping occasionally on the ice, until he runs back to me. We both are breathless, and turn back to go back to the house. I love playing with Coop and being with him outside. He’s getting older and I want to make sure that he has fun and gets outside and gets to smell all the things. He’s such a good old boy, even if he still sneaks around and gets into trouble.

It begins…

It’s not cold here anymore.

After over a week of -20 F with horrible, chilly winds, it has been warm for over 2 weeks. I don’t like it. It’s odd and uncomfortable. I never thought I’d say that I missed the cold, but the regularity of Montana’s bitter chill is comforting.

I began my applications to graduate school recently. Slowly working towards the next step of my life. I am not happy with work at all, so focusing my energy on the future seems like the next best step. I feel under utilized and unchallenged and I am, quite frankly, bored. Attempts to rectify this haven’t succeeded. Working for the government can be very frustrating. In my agency it is very much a “dance of the lemons” where problems, whether they be people or otherwise, are shuffled around rather then dealt with.

I crocheted myself the most enormous scarf that everybody but me despises. It appears to be more like a blanket. I spent 8 hours making it and 4 spools of beautiful yarn. It’s cream and oatmeal and absolutely gorgeous.

It’s December and I cannot wait for it to be 2015 and be that much closer to all that I am working to accomplish. I have started practicing Dutch for our trip. I know that just about every person in the Netherlands most likely speaks beautiful English but my family is from the Netherlands and it makes me feel much better when I travel to be able to read and understand and communicate, even if it’s just a few words.

 

 

 

Winter Break via il telefonino

Break.

Break break break.

It’s technically still happening but it’s almost over and so here’s a photo compilation from my telefonino. We chopped down Christmas trees in the woods, ate a lot of food, I went hunting with my father with my grandfather’s beautiful gun (AND SHOT A GOOSE!!!!) . I met up with my favorite old friends in dark bars, and I may have sung some karaoke. I made Chris pose for a photograph showing his skill at providing food. I was proud. We played on the ice a lot this winter, it was over a foot thick! Cooper had to sit on a mat while we ice fished because his little feet got cold. I rung in the New Year around a fire after a sushi dinner with a lovely soul.

I also worked a lot, slept a lot, and ate a lot. I’ve been lucky to have such a great group of people in my life who make such wonderful photographs and moments possible. There are countless more that weren’t documented because they were cherished at the time they happened.

Alright, this moi has to go and write thank you cards to the famiglia for all the wonderful regalos this year! Off to it!

 

New format and lovely memories

Hello lovely readers! I’ve been ignoring this blog. I’ve been really into cleaner designs and I realized that instead of looking to make a new site when I had loved this one for so long I could literally just find a new theme. 10 minutes later, BOOM! It was done. Without an actual boom sound, of course.

What did I do today? I ate lots of candy. I chopped wood with a hatchet in a cashmere sweater. I took pictures and had a milkshake. I sat in front of a fireplace. I ate pie. It was glorious. I also spent time with a warm sleepy Labrador and my lovely famiglia.

However, since I’m a slave to film (i.e. haven’t invested in a good DSLR/have no money/when I have money it goes to rent and food not cameras), any pictures of pie or candy or whatever else I took pictures of will have to wait. For at least a week. CVS swears they can get it to me in a week. Hmmm….

So, here are pictures of what winter in Montana look like on bitterly cold mornings in backyards and front yards and around town. Things are covered in frost, a frozen sort of fog blankets the valleys, and your world becomes a little more beautiful and brittle. These are from 2010 when I was home from Switzerland for a month. My mother had recently given me her Olympus OM-20 with an f/1.8 lens and I think I made some lovely images.

Basel in the snow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMontana right now is snowy, slick, and miserable. Grey clouds, colorless landscape. Almost three years ago in February, Lexi and I took the SBB from Lugano –> Zurich –> Basel, the whole way gazing out the window at the snowy landscape.

After leaving the flughafen (train station), Lexi and I made our way in the wrong direction from downtown. Past a few sex shops, theatres, and eventually finding ourselves in Swiss suburbia (apartment buildings and parks- something like 70% of the Swiss live in apartments). Eventually we found the Rhine and the more busy areas, and wandered around- it was freezing cold, but luckily it wasn’t snowing any longer. The city was pretty empty, as Carnivale had occurred and many people were probably sleeping off some wicked partying.

Winter woods: New photos!

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Today I called Julia at the absolutely last minute and told her to wear something black.

Julia shows up in blue and grey, which actually turned out perfect. She ignored my request for gloom and we were off to my favorite set of trails near campus. Armed with three rolls of film, the trusty Olympus and my shift lens, we trekked. My “fashion boots” led to my falling on my derriere once or twice, but I expected each fall- I’m naturally clumsy, and the boots only further this. (Julia can tell you this- today I tried on a gorgeous pair of heels that were 4 inches tall, but could barely wobble around the store without tumbling.)

Anyway, Julia and I wandered until we found suitable locations, and the shutter snapped. I showed Julia how to fashion my vintage wolverine stole* into a hat, after which I had to immediately wear it- I didn’t dress properly. Julia is such a good model, she lets me put her hair in tree branches and give her directions and she naturally doesn’t freeze up in front of the lens.

Although we only photographed for about an hour I had a wealth of new images to delight in. I love having photographs to look at and critique and ponder over. And there’s even one of me and my hands (I love hands, I find hands to be one of the most exquisite parts of a human being).

* I do not condone wearing new fur, but I have no problem buying fur from estate sales or at thrift stores that is old and in good condition. It has already been used and the money I spend does not go towards the companies that profit from selling fur, but rather to charities or normal 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.

Snow Frolicks

 

We’ve had massive amounts of snow, and last Thursday night Meghan and I spent the evening building a snow woman (another one, but with the proportions so unrealistic it was ridiculous). We thought an anatomically correct snow man was a little to scandalous for the campus. We threw snowballs, slipped on the ice, knocked snow off of trees and generally had a great time. Winter is here, and it’s not all bad! Of course the streets were so slick from the sudden snow fall we were able to slide on our bellies like penguins!

The Snow and the Vinter

Winter is here. Snow seems to have somehow permanently found its way onto our campus. I loathe it but can do nothing, so sulking does no good. Instead, I put on boots and layer sweaters. Last Saturday morning, Meghan, Andrea and I woke up to not just snow, but perfect snow. The snow that falls at that rare degree set where it packs perfectly. We donned clothing and proceeded to make snow women and a seal. Meghan and I even donned our snow creations in bras to make sure that people thought they were women. Sadly, they had melted by about 2:00 and we found ourselves gathering the clothing they had worn and shuffling back inside.

First snow of the year

I dislike snow. It comes with icy roads, cold hands/noses, frozen boogers (don’t lie, it happens and it’s not fun), and worst of all: snow likes to hang around Montana sort of like how a chill settles in your cold bones and never leaves.

It’s official: winter is here. Unfortunately, it won’t be vacating until sometime in April. Hello, old frenemy, we meet again.

This post is a blasphemous one to any and most of the students here. They are addicted to snow like I am to weird sour gummy candies, and they salivate when the weather report is favorable. I have to say silent about my dislike of the weather, lest the ski bums or snowboarding crazies get word and scalp me or something equally terrible.