Friday, August 28, 2009

Hear Me Now and Listen To Me Later!*

The only thing worse than insomnia is insomnia by proxy.


But at 4:00am I wanted to kill him.

I don't do sleep deprivation well. It makes me crazy, frazzled, strung-out, and a fine, frayed thread away from going postal on everyone in my path the next day.

*I know. I'm old.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Subtle (?) Homophobia Is Still Homophobia

Today in the car I happened to hear a promo for a game they play on their syndicated morning show called "Guy, Girl, or Gay?" The premise is that the hosts read the copy from a singles classified ad and the callers have to guess if the writer is a guy, girl, or gay.

Say what?

How gross that "gay" is its own category and that "guy, girl" are the defaults.

Anyway, it's probably something that 95% of the people listening either don't notice or think is funny and would suggest that I should just relax a little and not be so PC, but it had me fuming.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Who You Callin' a Westward Ho?

Last week D. and I took a (much-needed) very short vacation out West. D. had never seen the mountains nor the Southwest. I hadn't been since Stella was a baby. So we (and by "we" I mean "D.") did a TON of driving and left Tuesday night at midnight and drove all night (*cue Cyndi Lauper*). Below is the map of our route:

View Western Vacation in a larger map

It was fantastic and we needed a get-away after the madness of summer and my being gone for 11 days on the bus trip to Washington D.C. It was so good to just have fun together and talk and see new things.

This here is the sun rising over Texas behind us.

Texas tepees at the rest stop on I40.
South of Amarillo.
We drove 30 miles out of our way to see what was billed as "America's 2nd largest canyon" only to get there and be turned away because they were doing road work. We got out to stretch our legs and D. got this one of me. I hadn't slept in 28 hours and I didn't get to see that canyon, so I was mad.
D. got close-up with a bee feeding on a cactus.
This is New Mexico between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The sky is overwhelmingly massive. I love that sense of expanse.
Looking down into the Bandalier area outside of Santa Fe.
More Bandalier.
Looking out from one of the cave dwellings. I could have lived in one. They were insulated from the heat and you can look out them and see for miles.

Performing Arts center in Santa Fe. I needed more time for architectural photography!
The famous St. Francis of Assissi basilica in downtown Santa Fe.
Driving north from Santa Fe to Taos. It was cool, intermittently rainy and unbelievably appreciated after 107 degree heat with 95% humidity in Arkansas.

Wildflower field outside New Mexico. That sky again....sheesh.
We were just driving along and saw a bunch of people pulled over on the side of the road so, of course, we did too. It was the Rio Grande gorge. It just appears out of nowhere. I kept thinking about long-ago explorers and their "holy shit" moment when they would have come upon this and had no way to get across. It's like a crack in the earth.

This is one of the Earthships in the Greater World Community outside Taos. They're futuristic and natural at the same time and now I really, REALLY want to stay in one.
We saw sunflowers everywhere on our drive, from New Mexico to Kansas. Now I have an idea for taking a bag of wildflower seeds and throwing them out the window when I'm driving places. More wildflowers, less fast food bags!
Pink adobe. Love it.
Northern New Mexico, driving into Colorado.
Outside Durango, CO we spotted this incredible rainbow. I haven't seen a full-arc rainbow in several years.
Double rainbow!
Driving north from Durango to Ouray. Probably the most impressive mountain passes I've seen. I had never been to the San Juan mountains, and now we can't wait to go back and spend more time around Durango, where I'm lucky to have several friends from Arkansas.

The wedding (the real reason we were driving out West) was held on a ranch outside Ouray, Colorado. Because of where I grew up, I have a particular soft spot for little, historical towns tucked away in the hills (or mountains in this case). I love this building in tiny downtown Ouray.

The toppers for the wedding cake.
Derek, the groom, pouring some bubbly for Ginny, the bride and my close friend since we were eight years old.
Their perfect son, Granite. He's a little more than three months old here and was so well-behaved and adorable all weekend. Damn those aching ovaries of mine!!!

Hey, looky at my sweetie!
The ceremony was very intimate and sweet. Derek constructed a wreath of Aspen boughs that he and Ginny stood in. The families and close friends who were giving readings stood around them and then the guests in the outer concentric circle. It was lovely.

Ginny is a Gemini and can't speak without using her hands. This picture reminded me of our entire history together and I love it. She's reciting her vows to Derek here.

And then there were three. Beautiful family; lots of love in this photo.
Ginny is hugging her dad, who I hadn't seen in nearly 20 years. He was a second father to me growing up and it was wonderful seeing him again.
Unfortunately, the day after the wedding we had to leave again for the monumental drive home. This is a high-altitude lake somewhere on Highway 50 between Montrose and Gunnison.
In the Monarch Pass area somewhere...

We followed the Arkansas River home, crossing it (as well as the Continental Divide) several times throughout our journey. It's crazy to think the small, bubbling creek we saw in Colorado becomes the wide, dirty, roiling beast that I know from Fort Smith and Little Rock.

We were very happy to come back home and look forward to planning our next adventure. Someone should get married on the beach next time!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reason #702...

...why D. is my favorite guy in the world:

Somewhere in New Mexico, he suddenly says, "Damn! I wish I'd brought my hygrometer with me!"

Because isn't that what everyone should bring on a whirlwind vacation? <--that's along the lines of what I said.

"Well I have four."

Okay, point taken.

Dispatches From the Road

D. and I are in Texas, on our way to Colorado with a brief stop in New Mexico. *cue Cyndi Lauper* We drove all night and are pretending we're not about to collapse from fatigue. We're still young, dammit.

I've got to make this short as I'm composing this entirely from my phone.

D. is a hundred times cuter than normal because he's never been out West before and everything is new to him. We walked through some scrub brush just now and he was convinced that every insect noise was a rattlesnake. I've also learned that at one point in time he owned a pair of black suede cowboy boots. This man is such a mystery, y'all.

We're about to check out Cadillac Ranch.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Don't Mind Me...

One of the highlights of my stay in Washington, D.C. was getting to see my longtime (I'm getting sensitive about using the qualifier "old" to describe friends!) friend, Rachel. She's amazing. She's a Methodist pastor (pastress? Pastrix?) in Maryland and I really enjoyed catching up with her. Her husband and daughter were out of town but that meant that I got to give most of my attention to her 19 month-old son, Graham. MY OVARIES! They're aching and throbbing with a desire to procreate! Sorry. I don't know where that came from. My biological clock has been extra pesky lately. Much to D.'s chagrin, I might add. Take a look at this guy, though. How can anyone NOT want one of these?

I wanted to take a bite out of his little feet. Toddler toes...mmm, what a delicacy.

On the last night in D.C., the conference had a farewell dinner down at the Hard Rock Cafe (barf). We had to wait 30 minutes to be seated so we walked around the neighborhood.

Take a look at this foreboding structure. Take a guess as whose headquarters this building belongs to.*
How can I get a paying gig as an architectural photographer? I could shoot buildings all day.
One of the students kindly offered to take my photo, since I'm usually only behind the camera.
This alleyway is where John Wilkes Booth ran after shooting Lincoln.
Hey, look - assassination-themed photo op!

*FBI building. Doesn't it look exactly like what you'd expect?