Yesterday John, Jenna, and I went on a field trip to Ft. Collins to have brunch at the Rainbow Cafe and visit the Alley Cat. At the Alley Cat we all got so, so sleepy and I was worried I would pass out in a food coma in the booth. I decided to make a little mini-comic about it in my moleskine (co-written with J & J).
Later we went to see Prometheus in Loveland (I give it a B-) and when the movie let out it was raining intensely. It turned out the highway was flooded and we ended up having to drive back to Erie on County Road 1.
All in all I realize this is not a super exciting story, but hey! We were tired! It was fun!
written on the plane.
p.s. my hair extensions survived just fine in case you were wondering :D
And I am currently procrastinating at packing up our final stuff for Burning Man (I’ve broken the family pattern of packing neuroticism), drinking beer that was made by Sethotron, and eating grilled cheese sammiches made with bacon and heirloom tomatoes (yum), and kind of just kind of a little tiny lot bit freaking out about leaving for Burning Man in the morning.
I’m putting on my ethnographer hat (er, in this case a pink turban — no, really! I have unfeministy hair to protect!) and I’ll report back in a week, hopefully with some pics of me wearing a tutu and covered in playa dust. Godspeed us Black Rock City!
When John and I were in the woods this week, we spent some time talking about why we like backpacking.
I said that I like the aspect of immersing myself in nature and breaking away from the patterns of normal life. You get to spend some time with yourself, and each other (because J is my awesometrustybackpackingpartner) at a pace that is defined by when the sun sets and rises, and how long it takes to get from one stream to the next. It is really cool to be immersed in a great conversation about math/science/education/philosophy/pine beetles and then all of a sudden you have to go up a big hill so you hike in silence for the next hour, just existing in the rhythms of your footfalls and absorbing the landscape around you. Or maybe it rains (pours) and you are cold so you stay cozy in the tent and fall asleep right at dusk, and that feels really rather natural. Or you wake up early and watch the mountain goats playing on the rocks above the alpine lake (that you swam in yesterday in an act of bravery). You just sit, and observe, and laugh when the fish jump so high out of the water that they catch air.
I also admit that I quite like the survival aspect of being out in the wilderness for multiple days at a time. Everything we need is on our backs, and in an effort to keep those packs light, we pare down to just the necessities. It turns out that human beings do just fine with some food, clean water (katadyne + waterfalls FTW), a method of keeping dry/warm, a way to boil water, and very little else except clean underwear (a definite necessity in my book), and the latest addition to our gear, a bear vault (which only kind of eased my total bear phobia but it was helpful to keep organized and made for a nice chair).
For John, the answer was more simple. It’s about the hiking. Putting one foot in front of the other and letting them take you to super special places you wouldn’t otherwise get to experience. He’s totally right, of course. Hiking is both the reason, and the method, and the excuse for getting to experience all of this:
Everyone is from someplace. Everyone lives someplace. Everyone calls someplace home.
The other day I was talking to someone who had moved to Denver from Minnesota 2 years ago (I took note because I am also from Minnesota. If you could hear me say that word you could tell). He was explaining that he knew he wanted to move someplace less cold, with liberal politics and good schools for his children. He took an online survey that was supposed to let you know where you should live and his matches were Denver, Austin, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Cincinnati.
“Cincinnati??” I said. “Who wants to live in Cincinnati?”
“Do you know anything about Cincinnati?” he responded, pointedly.
Tonight at dinner, my grandpa mentioned how much he likes Colorado and that is a very nice place to be. He moved here two years ago, when my grandma passed away.
“You like where ever you live,” my mom responded.
I think my grandpa is wise.
I went to college in Florida, which is about as far as you can get from Colorado in terms of culture and weather. For the first 2 years, I felt like I was driving around with blinders on because I had no peripheral vision due to the flatness and trees. I also found out that I am allergic to fireants. I spent 4 years lamenting about how Colorado was so great and about how much I missed it and about how people from the east coast _just didn’t understand_ what it was like to live in the West. I think back now and know that this must have been so tiring to the people around me.
Last week, J and I went to Florida to see our supergreatamazing friends. We spent a magical week doing chill chill chill. We also saw amazing birds, animals, and plants, ate beer-battered hotdogs on the key, sunburnt ourselves at the beach, had boat drinks in the tourist quarter, breathed at yoga, and watched good local music. Spending time with them makes me love Florida. Spending time with them makes Florida feel like a second home.
Everyone calls someplace home. Whether it changes 20 times or whether you stay rooted for your life, everyone has their reasons for where they land, where they leave their hearts, and where they want to be. Denver. Sarasota. Taiwan. Santa Barbara. Brooklyn. Maui. Manila. Chicago. Alaska.
This year marked John’s start of grad school at CU and resulting commute into Boulder 5 times per week. He is really awesome and rides his bike to the bus and then from the bus to campus. I am not so tough/brave/willing to wear bike-appropriate clothes as that, but I did ride my bike from Erie to work on Bike To Work Day 2009, which is 14 miles each way.
(If there are any Boulderites reading this and snickering, you can stop now. That is a major ride for me in traffic.) (more…)
One of my favorite things to do when we used to visit Jenna in FoCo was to go to the Alley Cat and discuss philosophical zombies over a pot of Lapsang Souchong. It smells like campfires, mmmmm. She got me some for Christmas last year, and it lasted half the year. I think need me some more tea and some more Jenna, stat.
For my 30th birthday in November, J took me to Tru in Chicago for the most memorable meal of my life. I don’t have any pictures of that night, but suffice to say that it was true experience design from start to finish.
I am going to keep the details and magic of this meal between J and I, but check out this menu: