Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Well it's 2015

Well it's 2015.
And I'm still in the Pacific Northwest.
I send half my time on the University's campus, and half my time in the back country.
But such is life.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Shape of the Story Changes

For the past few years I've been working on this one particular writing project of mine.  It's a YA book that I've re-written a few dozen different times, and--currently--and doing some deep-edits.

And the thought that has driven me to post today is that it is amazing what little bits of life and the people that are new (or even new-ish) in your life can change the shape of story.

I moved out to Pacific Northwest last year, started graduate school, started exploring my spiritual side and met some incredible new people.  And I have found, as I do this deep-edit, and rewrite portion of the book that all these things are changing the shape of it.

However, I think the new people in my life are re-shaping the most.  While the story has not lost my voice--not by a long shot--I find the voices of my new friends creeping in.

And I don't think that's a bad thing...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DC Times: Checking Up

I admit it. I've been neglectful! Here are some pictures from DC, things that have happened in past month and things I've missed! 

My View From Work!

Kayaking on the Potomac:

The Time the President Waved at Me!

Snow Hike in the Northern Virginia Mountains! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy almost Halloween! Carved a pumpkins tonight, probably the best pumpkin I've ever done and the pattern didn't even come out of a book! Boom!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Being a Tourist

 Most days I don't feel like a tourist when I walk around the city. I know to stand on the right side of the escalator and walk down the left. I have an actual metro card instead of a paper one and I can j-walk across Pennsylvania Ave like a pro. Each day when I go to work I walk past the Capitol, behind the Library of Congress
and behind the Supreme Court of the United States of America. There's something both empowering and scary about it. It's empowering because I feel like I fit-in here. But its scary. When I was in Europe I use to wonder how the people that lived in these great cities could walk by these amazing buildings and sights of history everyday and not even look up. Now. I get it. Every week day I pass the United States Capitol, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States and each day of the week, I don't look up. My focus is on getting to the Metro stop, what I have to do what that day and what upcoming assignments I have. When you walk past something everyday you stop seeing it as it is and it becomes just another building.

Tourists get bad reputations. They stand on the wrong side of the escalator, they slow down the lines in the Metro stations  and they clog up the sidewalks taking pictures and trying to figure out maps. But tourists...they appreciate. They see
these buildings I walk by everyday but they don't just see buildings, they see amazing works of architecture and places of history. 

Maybe it isn't so bad to be a tourist...

There moments when I am dumb-struck. One night I was walking towards the Capitol. It was lit up and it got my attention. And I was stuck by the idea that, "Hey, I live here". And suddenly I'm a tourist stopping to snap a picture with my iPhone. A moment of appreciation caught forever in an iPhone. It happened again when I was on the other side of the mall and I
I happen to turn and looked at the Washington monument on this overcast day.

So maybe being a tourist isn't such a bad thing. In fact going back and looking through my pictures I've realized I've done my share of being a tourist...


 A National's Baseball Game
A  D.C. United Soccer Game
Madam's Organ Blues Bar
Located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood in DC Madam's Organ is a DC landmark. The bar is popular for its nightly live music (especially blues and bluegrass) and happens to be the location of the first annual Interns Night Out. --Madam's Organ features a large outdoor mural, which shows "The Madam", the bar's burlesque mascot.  [[from wikipedia ->]] "The bar's owner, Bill Duggan, says he commissioned the mural as artwork, but the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs ruled it an advertisement because it includes the name of the establishment. In court, the owner refused to remove the wording from the breasts, claiming that to do so would only further expose the madam. Since Madam's Organ did not have a permit for the mural, the bar owner was fined. The case remains in the Court of Appeals". --The history of the bar is pretty cool, the name "Madam's Organ" is just a play on words for "Adams Morgan". Adams Morgan comes from the two schools that used to be located in the area, The Adams School and The Morgan School. In times of segregation, the one school was designated for white and the other for black. The bringing together of the name represents the bringing together of the people. "Now, the Adams Morgan neighborhood is much more than just black and white; it's a thriving and exceptionally harmonious multicultural society".

The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden:
I can't say I understand Modern Art, but it was interesting to walk around and at least pretend to understand.


The Library of Congress National Book Festival (on the Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle)

The H Street Festival:

This man was doing this buffalo wood carving/burning using a magnifying glass on the hood up his black Charger.  
 Funky jaw/teeth wood-carved chair.

 And too finish it all off, a wonderfully tourist like photo of me in front of the Capitol.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Codename: Chasing the Sun (Thailand Day 2-3)

May  12, 2012 (Bangkok)

This morning we headed out fairly early to meet with our students at Rajamangala University. There was an opening ceremony (a few speeches and camp leader introductions) and then we got to meet our students. I have Tip, Beer, EA (pronounced 'A!', Joyz, Love Love, Gift and Toey Toey. They seem to be a super nice group of kids, but shy. But I get that. It's the first day. They were probably trying to figure our what sort of teacher I was going to be. They are all about my age (19-22 age range), which is sort of strange because I really do have this 'kids' mentality stuck in my head. Their majors rang from International Business to Accounting to Culinary Arts. Since today was the very first day we only spent about an hour with them.

After which, we headed over to the super malls to do some shopping. We all found some tank-tops we all really liked from the same vendor. I managed to bargain the price down all the way to almost half-price. Pretty cool if I do say so myself.

That night we took the BTS to the very end of the Mo Chit line, got off, and walked for a mile or so to night market. And I can now mark eating street food off my Thailand to-do list. At the far end of this market there were several food places. I got two chicken feathers (tenders without the breading) covered in a sweet sauce (the Thai equivalent of ketchup) and a Chile sauce, on wood skewers and cooked on a grill. Holy Cabooses Barnaby Tucker, it was amazing! After dinner we walked around this out door market. The majority of it was junk, but they did have some really cool vintage stuff.

May 13, 2012 (Bangkok to Pattaya)

Today we started out really early. We were picked up at the hotel at 6:30. It was an interesting ride. Bangkok is a very big city but it was cool to drive through it and get to see the 'burbs. We also got to see the merest hint of farm land. We made a pit stop at a market and tried this traditional Thai dessert that comes in a bamboo shoot. It's a sticky rice that has purple fruit and sugar in it. It was delicious.

Pattaya is a reasonably big city on the northern gulf-coast of Thailand. It's a huge resort area. And out hotel was really nice with the exception of all the little ants crawling around in the bathroom. But they were in the bathroom and not the bedroom. --There's also a saying here among the group that I'm with, "This is Thailand" and the Thais have a saying (and I don't know how you spell it) that is pronounced Sa-bye Sa-bye. Let it be. Go with the flow. Don't stress. There's a huge concept of Face over here, and making sure you don't loose the figurative sense of the word.

When we got to Pattaya we were immidenetnly thrown into the class room for about a hour. There was no teaching everyone just socialized. We hand lunch and then it was straight on to teaching. I started out with this icebreaker I came up with on the plane ride over. A deck of cards, face down on the table and a bag of questions. If the campers guessed the color of the card correctly then they could ask me any question, not just the ones in the bags. If they guessed the questions incorrectly I got to ask them a question out of the bag. I learned that my kids don't like Rock 'n' Roll or Chocolate Ice cream!After that we played competative hangman. And they rock at competative hangman. If you don't do really long ones as soon a one letter is up ont the board they can guess it. Then they taught us a word game the like to play. Someone would go to the board and right 'October', and then the next person would right, 'Rain' &ct. So you'd end up with a board full of: 'Octoberainamexamplelephantimegguess'. It's pretty cool.

We hit the pool before and after dinner. It's hot but the constant sea-breeze is wonderful.