Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Man do I feel like a fool and

now is the time to remember some happy things.
(This is not an exhaustive list.)
*bird tracks in the snow
*belly laughs
*sunday nights at Rebar
*bench naps after lunch

It's funny how 3 of the 4 start with "b."

Monday, November 29, 2010

The blur

I'm no fan of cliche, unless, of course, it's intentional and ironic (effing plaid-shirting hipsters).
Like cell phone photos--I mean, come on, we've all seen a zillion too many blurry amateurish pictures of night-time neon and rainy pavement, snapped by effing photo-bombing hipsters.
Okay now I'm shouting.
Anyway I posted some blurry amateurish blackberry photos (like this one of EMP) to BusySmartyPants:Tumblr.
Does this make me a cliche?
Wait, don't answer that. Just take a look.
PS don't miss the Punk Rock Flea Market this Saturday, I will be there fsho.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It snowed a little Sunday and and some more on Monday.
Temperatures dropped. It got windy.
Seattle freaked out.
It's what we do.
A half inch of the white stuff and it's instant gridlock on I-5. A ten minute drive slows into a six hour nightmare commute. Schools close down. Metro chains up. Jim Forman suits up in enough Gore-Tex to outfit a division of Army Rangers.
Me, I stayed calm. Worse comes to worst, I can walk home from work. I stuck around, had drinks with a friend. Caught a bus to the Fortress of Solitude. Wrote for awhile. Waited around for the 30. Walked past a huge sledding party at the bottom of Queen Anne hill. Stopped in for hot toddies at the bar near my place and talked with another pal about art and sex and music. Shivered my way home around 1.30 and fired up the electric blanket. Talked to a tipsy friend on the phone at two a.m. until we were both too sleepy to continue.
A chill, yet cozy evening.
Snomg ht

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writing haps of late

So, one of my stories, "Death, Blood and the Resurrection," was published in Portland Review over the summer.
I only found out last week, and being that Summer 2010 is receding roadkill in our collective rearview mirror, this means that Issue 57 is no longer available at your local newsstand.
But you can click here and read a scanned copy.
I hope you like it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

180 minutes chez Charles de Gaulle

I had a 3-hour layover at Charles de Gaulle airport on my journey home recently. After breakfasting on croissant and cafe au lait, I hit duty free for vodka and limoncello, scored biscuits from Fauchon and some calissons de provence, and had time to wander around snapping pictures.
There are worse ways to spend 180 minutes.
Peep my photos on busysmartypants:tumblr.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Remain calm

Today I ask myself, what have I learned?
The answer is, not much.
I wish I wasn't such a slow learner.
Why do I keep doing stupid shit? Why can't I be chill and generous, always?
What might it feel like if someone carved their declaration of love for me, passionate German cut into a railing at Victoria Falls?
Nina, ich liebe dich, bebi.
There is much to be gained by remaining calm.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seen. Felt.

From Metro the other night.
A bright smeary rainy blur.
I snapped the image with my phone.
A couple of days later, I sent it to a friend.
This photograph has a story, an arc.
It is more emotional than I, but I, I have more texture.
Re: depth, the jury is still out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The triumph of function over elegance

Location: gas station outside of Kaoma, Zambia. It's the only place for miles with a generator (and hence, cold sodas). The power has been out everyplace else for 3 days; an elephant reportedly stepped on a power line somewhere in Kafue National Park.
We send an emissary inside, order. Cold Coca-Colas are handed out. Since the Coke's in bottles, you have to drink it on the premises. This we know.
But alas, the counter guy states, they have no bottle opener. This we didn't know.
So, we prize open the bottles on the door latch, splintered from previous attempts.
Untidy. Not elegant. But, functional.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The one that's everything

I posted some pictures today from my trip. Much as I love looking at photos, I'm a negligent photographer when I'm having fun, but these turned out okay.
It's hard to write much about this trip yet. I'm still in shock, a little. Talking--writing about it--feels like spoiling something. I need to sit with the pleasure of knowing where I went, what I felt, who I met, what I did and ate and smelled.
Oh, and apologize for snoring, apparently.
Anyway, I've been looking for a photo that represents the trip. This one is from Independence Day in Kaoma, Zambia. Our group spent the day in town at a community celebration--a boring political speech at the football pitch (yes, District Commissioner, tell us more about the history of maize agriculture, please!), followed by dancers, a karate demonstration, then football. Four of us stayed later than the rest, reluctant to leave. We goofed around with kids we'd met at the Cheshire Care Center a few days earlier, watched men play gourd xylophones and women in striped t-shirts dance, ducked out of the way when the football strayed and soared our way.
At sunset we started the hot walk back into town, to Auntie Omega's pub for a cold drink and a taxicab. We looked down at our feet and had to laugh. A week ago we'd have been horrified at the state of our dirt-caked appendages, but knowing where we were in the world just then, it felt about right.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Seattle-->Dar es Salaam-->Lusaka-->Seattle

Well, I'm back: tired, dirty, broke, farmer-tanned and missing a suitcase.
Which means it was a great trip.
I met a bunch of cool people, worked hard, played harder, did and saw things I never in my life dreamed I'd ever do or see. This photo is of an East African beach, a quick jog downhill from the $14-a-night YMCA in Pangani, Tanzania, my home for 2 nights in October.
I'm a lucky girl.
More soon.

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em