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27 August 2007 @ 06:54 pm
Today was the fisrt day of classes. Of course, since I had planned my schedule to accomodate future work hours, I had only one course to deal with: printmaking. 

Unfortunately, being a junior-transfer from Northwest I arrived in the upper class being the only outsider. The majority of the class had been with one another before in past years, or knew each other enough in the art buildings to recognize one another on sight. The professor, while he seems to be a very open guy, also favored the people he knows, and when he looked at me to take my name for roll his smile just flickered on his mouth instead of settled in his eyes, as it did with the others. Great. They're not bad people, just clicque-y.

Luckily tomorrow I have more open classes, ones that any art major must take. There will probably be a healthy mix of the under and upper classmen.
Current Mood: blahmeh
26 August 2007 @ 08:57 am

Holeeee crow.

Last night I was siting on my bed at half nine feeling tired, saying aloud to Kathryn: "I feel like I should be doing something. It's Saturday night."

Just then, in a divine stroke of providence, Rachel called. She had some beer that she'd bought when we went to the store the other day, and did I want to come over so we could have some out on the porch? I went over and we sat in the blue-black night, making beer-orange juice cocktails and talking about habits we've picked up over the last few years of college. As we sat there making plans for the upcoming school year we heard this amazing music begin to play.

"It sounds a bit like Counting Crows," I said, as we strained to listen. 

"Good music-- listen to that guitar!" Rachel tilted her head in the direction of the sound. "I think I want to go see what it is... do we?"

Five minutes later we gave into temptation and with the beers finished and clove cigarettes in our hands we set off into the night. We felt safe but also very alert; in a strange town it's easy to get lost in a bad section very quickly.

When we finally found the source of the music we found a small street blocked off, a brewery to one side and a large group of people who were a mixture of college students, people my age, people in their thirties to early fifties, with a few children and dogs running in between. We still were not sure what was going on, so we joined in the dancing to the band's music. I still don't know who was playing.

After a while we each got some of the microbrew's beer (mine was too sharp and immature,) and danced again in front of the stage. Everyone was just having a grand time wiggling around or dancing with a partner. One older fellow asked me to dance, and I said yes --foolishly-- and he proceeded to spin me around too much. (I could lead better than he could.) Coupled with the barley, the no-contrast dim night, and my head still not quite settling from the constant use of the dorm elevators, I felt like I could barely keep on my feet, but I did so. Rachel was impressed. 

At the end of the dance I went to Rachel, the man following me. I grinned and thanked him, sensually trailing a hand down Rachel's back because of a "do you like me?" look in the man's eye. Rachel started, but then smiled at me sweetly and pressed against my side. Clever girl! The man nodded sheepishly and left. Rachel and I giggled and continued to solo-dance with each other to the finale of "Burnadette."

Walking home we stopped behind a bush in someone's lawn, one of us playing lookout while the other hid as far as we could in the shadows; there had been no loos at the street party.

Current Mood: awaketea!
25 August 2007 @ 03:00 pm
I have a betta, a little blue fellow with with deep red shot through the blue fins. His name is Vico, after the Italian astronomer Francesco de Vico, who discovered several comets and who theorized about the gaps in Saturn's rings. 

He's a happy critter, no longer in a cramped little cup. During the last hour he has been touring his bowl, exploring and rubbing up under the plant, springing out when I walk by. He's kind of vain, as the little pearl glasses in the rocks are shiny and he keeps swimming up to them, peering at his reflection and flaring.

A huge thank you to my sister: Thanks for the equipment! He's the happiest fish on this floor.
Current Mood: relievedfish fish fish
25 August 2007 @ 12:08 pm

I am now in Missoula, Montana, typing from my tiny desk in my tiny dorm room with the large window that only opens a tiny eleven inches. It's rather nice, like living in a train berth or a shuttle pod from some Sagan novel. I enjoy it already, with only a very few posessions to take care of and my two sets of dishes and my four tea mugs. 

The last two days have been hectic not in any real sense, but in a mentally and emotionally taxing way. Luckily Rachel-Dutchess from NWC is here, and we joined up to go grocery shopping for her postage stamp of an apartment just as the lonliness was overwhelming us. We also went out to dinner last night and biked over campus to find our classes before the din hoard begins on Monday. 

So many things to say, so I'll break it down, Charlie's Angels style:

  • Roommate Kathryn from Virginia: Cool Boho-punk-indie-hippie-dreamer chick. I like her immensely, and we both can be quiet as well as talk. One of those awesome people who you like to be around. Her hobbies are outdoorsy things and sewing.
  • Dorm Room: Very comfortable with intimate lighting, matching colours, eastern-facing window with a view of Mount Sentinel, which is all gold with summer grass. It feels overwhelmingly like home in Placerville because of the mountain. I haven't felt that way in five years.
  • Campus: Very large, could encompass Powell. I think I already lost four pounds from walking/biking. Rachel's apartment is close by, only a four-minute bike ride.
  • Student Crisis: My loan is still not through, the campus server has died on the very day that we all need it most, and I can't get a job until the computers come back up. AHHHHHH!!!
  • Zen: Even if it turns out that I can't afford school here (and that threat is very real,) I am planning on withdrawing, living here in Missoula, gaining residency, and going back to school next autumn. The shuffle will probably make me both exhausted and fierce, but I am not going to go back to where I was just from. No sir. Am I scared as hell? Yes. Am I still willing to go through with all of this? You bet your ass.

So that's that for now. The plan for today is to get a beta fish, get my resumes sent out when the lines clear (everyone is freaking out,) and to just be.

Current Mood: excitedbring it on
18 August 2007 @ 11:04 pm
Being forced to stay awake because of nerves and indigestion (yes, I really mean that and not as a euphanism...) I have been fangirling over my new fandoms. Scrubs was added earlier this year, and because of an event two nights ago I am also sighing over Gattaca. I found a fandom survey... I'll completely geek out and name Scrubs first, but then add TNG for my fellow fangirl nekarai.

Current Mood: geekygeeky
18 August 2007 @ 10:23 am

Loren came over the day before yesterday. We were planning to go on a hike, but the pre-autumn weather decided not to cooperate and began raining sheets down in the desert. This was just fine, as Yellowstone has been on fire for the past two weeks. The rains put out the fires and cooled the Basin, so I was happy to just enjoy his company in town.

We went over to Cody, as he needed to gather a few more supplies for his return to Korea. I perched in the apex of the Sierra Trading Post, a three-story well-to-do log cabin, while he browsed about for a new bike. There was an amazing storm charging up the canyons to the southwest of Heart Mountain, gauzy sheets of rain colouring the desert blood red on the chugwater formations and a watery grey-yellow in the sage hills. The mountains were slate-coloured and cool. Every now and then Loren's reflection would ghost in the window and I'd admire him for a moment.

"God, I am going to miss this," I thought, looking at the desert. Montana is more prairie and mountain than desert and sage.

We went and ate lunch at the Wyoming Buffalo Company-- when we were stepping out of the trading post he asked me what I wanted to eat and I said that I wanted just a nice, big burger. Loren grinned and made happy noises. (Guys seem to like it when women can pack away the red meat and hefty food. Hmm.) We both had the "Johnny Ringo" buffalo burger. I giggled when ordering a lunch named after a famous outlaw and he cringed when the shiny-faced waitress called us "folks." We found out that we both have a love-hate relationship with Garth Brooks's music, and he said "it's about damn time," with a grin when I told him of my plans to double major with English.

We talked throughout lunch, being frank and making plans for the upcoming year. It is lovely to have someone of the opposite sex with whom you can be so free. Our relationship defies label: siblings, best friends, could-be lovers, muses. None of these quite fit but it takes elements from them all.

"When I'm with you I'm more myself than I am at other times," he said, and grinned sheepishly.

We made our way back to Powell. He left for a while, being very popular and also very short on time. When we met again in the evening he was tired, so we joked over a late dinner, then lounged about and watched the movie Gattaca. He didn't get why I was giggling at the scenes with Jude Law's and Ethan Hawke's characters of Eugene and Vincent living together, but in my mind they were romping through some amber-coloured field in naught but their own skins. (Er, Eugene was rolling, rather.) He fell asleep for a time with his head on my lap.

I woke him the next morning, and we cuddled for a bit in the wide bed that had been mine from marriage. I listened to his healthy heart with my hand covering his chest and said in some small part my last goodbye to Derek. He and I dreamed for an hour, then rose to part.

We didn't say goodbye, only that we'd see one another soon.

10 August 2007 @ 10:29 am
My mother catered a gallery event last night for her friend C., who owns the Big Horn Print Gallery in Cody. The guest of honor was Bev Doolittle. You know, the watercolour prints that contain all of the hidden animals and the pintos who blend into snow or turn into birds? The very same. She's on the level of Tommy Kincade without being so very... shameless, is the word... and someone whom I admire. She toes the line between illustration and art, which is what I am learning to do. For me, she is the premier artist who takes away the stigma of illustration and elevates it to a matter of artfulness.

Still, growing up in an area where celebrities were a dime a dozen, I was not sure how she'd be and hung back, content to watch and help my mother for the first four hours. As it turns out, Ms. Doolittle hasn't let her status go to her head, and we had a conversation about beginning out in art, how to attain our own ground, (something students are oft not encouraged to do, much to the chagrin of Robert Henri,) and how our personality must be allowed to flourish in art so that we do not put on the mask of what the public wants to see. It made me feel a little thrill; these are the exact issues that I have been dealing with in my own life lately, and she herself brought them up in conversation as if she had divined them.

 I left her table feeling like I was walking eight feet off of the ground, and promptly went into a small corkscrew of giddy embarassment. I always am calm, cool, and relatively collected when I am in a moment, but often get girlish and shy once I'm out of it. Luckily Ms. Doolittle didn't seem so sense this; she said that she had noticed me walking around the gallery and that I looked elegant and self-assured. I said to her that I felt like a trembling rabbit in the sage.

My mother got as much kudos as C. and Ms. Doolittle did, funnily enough! Several people requested to meet "the chef," and asked if she was available for two wedding receptions, another gallery opening, a homecoming, and a bridal shower, respectively. We are all trying to get her to rent a small commercial kitchen that's become available, as she does enjoy the art. She has her own unique way of creating something wonderful and I do hope she'll use it!
04 August 2007 @ 10:57 pm
This is just made of win all over: The bibliomulas.

With all of the crud going on in the world we need to stop and enjoy a story like this. It makes one think that in the end, the human race just might make it.
30 July 2007 @ 11:26 pm
Sheridan was lovely indeed!

I drove over Saturday morning, my poor little car groaning in second gear all the way up --and down-- the Bighorns. By the time I got to green little Dayton my Nikki was ready to be put in a garage, but she managed until we got to Sheridan. Then a kid ran a stop sign just as I was about to turn onto the right street so my brakes are probably shot. My nerves were shot for a good ten minutes, but after pacing around the car several times in front of Loren's parents' house I was okay. Walk it off, woman, rise above it...

 Loren is looking slender but damn good, and I love the little mini-mohawk he has. I felt shy at first, but it was more a lingering sadness and tiredness from the day before; Friday was my Derek's birthday and it was the first without him. 

After lunch with Loren's family and friends it came down to just his mother, brother and me. Loren, his brother Derek and I headed out to the Tongue River, north-west of Sheridan. We went up into a little canyon outside of Dayton and swam in a sweet little spot above a foot bridge, complete with a diving rock. 

Since I hadn't jumped into a river for a good eight years it took me five minutes to convince my legs to unlock, but I managed to jump it twice. (At the American River it was a safe thing to have a healthy fear of the current; the river looked deceptively calm but could pull you down by the ankles without notice and keep you there.) I enjoyed the baptism, even as I swallowed water trying to pull up my top. I didn't wear a real swim suit, but a sports bra and shorts, so the trout got a free show. ...In all actuality if it were just Loren and Derek I'd not have qualms about getting to shore before concerning myself with my bosoms, but as there were some down-home boys on the bank swigging Captain Morgan's and Dr. Pepper I thought I'd play prudent. Loren was smirking at me by the time I got to the sand bar but also looked heroically poised, ready to rescue me in my floundering. After that we chilled and smoked clove cigarettes, just enjoying the perfect day.

(Shush. I actually swim very well, but when one's hands are full of one's... tracts of land... one has to just tread water for a moment.)

As we were getting ready to go back I was hoofing Loren's camera and pack while he and Derek swam to the foot bridge. I forgot his damn sun glasses back at the little cove, so I had to go back and deal with the small-town fry. One of the yokels asked me if Loren were my boyfriend. When I answered the negative he invited me out for a beer in the park that night. I gave the universal euphamism for "sod off," by saying I'd think about it before I sheepishly joined Loren and Derek on the bridge, where they were standing looking breathy and sleek and cutely boyish and manly studly all at once. Loren divined that I forgot his "sunnies" and cheekily grinned as he put them back on.

I ended up eating two hamburgers in the course of the weekend-- my stomach is furious with me-- and Loren and I nearly got int a car accident when some dumb bint decided to three-point turn seventy-five yards in front of us. Rather than being scared I got furious and protective because Loren was in the truck, and he got furious and protective because I was there. Luckily he has the reflexes of a fox and a cat all in one and we were in no real danger. But DAMN.

Loren gave an amazing slide show of his travels, and the wander-bug bit me soundly in the ass. I really need to visit him this next year. I do. I do. I do.

He gave me some bottles from his travels, one with an amazing graphic from Thailand, and another with a commie-red label from North Korea. I have to say that despite the cool elephants I like the one from North Korea the best, just because it's so... forbidden. The elephants make me smile, so they'll be coming to Missoula with me.

Here are some photos from Sheridan, with some of the fair in for good measure: Adventures in Wyo.
27 July 2007 @ 06:49 am
Loren's back in Wyoming! He called me yesterday, all bleary-voiced and sleepy, just as he woke up from gettinhg used to the time zone again. Luckily, he caught me on my lunch hour, and we chatted for half an hour before I had to go. He wants me to come to the big family-and-friends pow wow in Sheridan this weekend.

Mountain driving. Love-el-ey.

Yesterday my sister Beth and I went to the county fair. Compared to the one in El Dorado, this fair would fit nicely into just the stock yards and still have room to spare. We went mainly to see the animals; I am starting a series with abstract rabbits and needed some references. When we got there the soft summer rain, what Lopez calls "male rain," was coming down, intermittent and soft. It was warm enough that we were not chilled by the rain but cool enough that we were not uncomfortable. Everyone was happy to walk around in it regardless.

We went through the goat barn first. I love the clean-dirty smell of most barn yard animals, and the warm scent of lanolin and alfalfa mixed with the scent of wood and sawdust making me nostalgic for my days in 4H. We stopped by a high gate where a glossy russet red and a black and tan nubian goat were milling about, waiting to be fed. As we looked in the narrow stall we cooed to the animals, and they approached. They were obviously used to human contact and behaved like a couple of divas, rolling their head as we scratched them so that we could get all of the best spots. The black and tan took a fancy to me, and as his markings were identical to Shelby's I felt as if I were petting a huge, oddly shaped canine.

Next we went to the rabbit barn, where I had a pang of memory when I saw the few castor rex does. I miss my Chocolate Kiss, who had been the reserve grand champion one year and the best castor rex. I took a gabillion photos for my rabbit pen-and-ink series that I'm planning.

I think I'll be one of those little old ladies with a lot of animals on a ranchette in my old age.