Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

at my mom’s behest, an update

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Life is still beautiful:

(that’s my awesome boyfriend’s band, Aporia)

A little more than three weeks later, I am on my way to healing. For awhile life really sucked. I was a moody percocet zombie. I stayed at home feeling sorry for myself a lot of the time. I don’t know what to say. My life has been consumed by recovery until recently. An MRI on my knee revealed only minor muscle tears, and I can walk just fine now. Physical therapy is helping me get back the rest of my knee strength and mobility. Check out my collarbone fracture, though:

For that, I’ve been wearing a figure-of-eight brace around my shoulders, like this:

That’s from a trip out to the Columbia Gorge with Andrew about ten days ago. Things are still up and down, but increasingly up. I hope someday I will be able to explain what I mean when I put these images side-by-side… coming to terms…

(from Be Here Now by Ram Dass)

I started some theatre work last week–just auditions for the show I’m SMing come August. I had a few rehearsals for JAW this weekend, and tomorrow the festival really starts in earnest for me. Andrew and I have been excitedly planning our trip to India (and Nepal!), which is awesome ’cause for awhile looking forward to anything was really hard. So. Yeah. There.

Full healing: three months from injury (so, mid-September)

Riding a road bike: mid-August if I’m lucky

Riding an upright bike, if I can get my hands on one: maybe a couple weeks??

Doc thinks I can ditch the brace in a week or so.  Doc also thinks my collarbone will not interfere with our trip, though I will probably have to figure out some way of padding my collarbone to keep the pressure off the bump (my lovely lady lump) for the purposes of carrying a large backpack. Could be worse!

what’s goin’ on

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

(photo above taken by Kati)

  • I’m stage managing (at least) two shows this coming year and assistant directing one of them as well. I’m excited to be building my life here in Portland. However, November and December are once again free for possible adventures…

  • I’m also set to help out with JAW/West for the third summer in a row–only this time they’re paying me! (A little.)

  • I had a great time at Reed’s big end-of-the-year party, Renn Fayre, two weekends ago. It was great to hang out with my Reedie friends, especially alumni I hadn’t seen or spent much time with since last year’s Renn Fayre. A lot of other recent alumni have, I think, had similarly weird / difficult / awesome / indescribable years, and it was reassuring to feel that together and talk about it a little.

  • I’ve been in a fantastic relationship for about a month and a half with Andrew, who is pictured above. He’s awesome. 
  • 230+ miles in three days

    Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

    (pictures above by my dad)

    Mom has been asking me to write about this here for awhile, and she’s right that I really oughta. In April I biked from my house in Portland to my parent’s house in Sammamish, Washington. I expected the trip to take four days–possibly five. Instead, I biked 90 miles on my first day and made it in three.

    Afterwards, I wrote the following:

    i didn’t take a lot of pictures ’cause i got to be pretty good friends with momentum, but there’s a few.

    first, some background: the longest ride i had ever done before this was a 60-mile ride the summer i turned 17. i wanted to avoid taking PE my senior year of high school, so i trained with my dad for the summer to get an independent PE credit. my dad does a lot of the super-light road bike, full spandex, drive to the start line kind of biking, so that’s what i did with him. dad bought a bike for me at the beginning of the summer, hopeful that i’d get into biking and join him on his long charity rides and such… and sold it at the end of the summer, because i pretty much hated every minute of it. that was the last time i wore spandex bike shorts until this past tuesday. my longest ride since then was, i dunno, 30-something miles.

    basically, before this trip i was riding (heh) on the assumption that if i could ride 30 miles nonstop without feeling too tired afterwards, i could probably ride 30+30 with a break in between.

    so on tuesday morning i got on my fully-loaded bike, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

    and off i rode. i hadn’t bothered with detailed directions for the first part ’cause i thought i knew how to get onto route 30/st helens way, so i ended up calling my dad in confusion when naito turned into front ave and it was intersecting with numbered streets and there was no bike lane and where was nicolai street?? answer: …a block away. embarrassing.

    on i went. basically, i was shocked by how easy the first FIFTY-FIVE MILES were. i finally rode over the bridge into longview, wa, in the early afternoon (okay so i walked some of it… motherfucker was steep, and the shoulder was strewn with wet mulch for some reason), having already biked farther than i expected to on day one.

    i called my mom from longview, where i stopped for lunch, totally high on endorphins and gleeful. “guess where i am? guess how far i’ve biked? guess how many hours of daylight i have left???”

    onwards i rode. i don’t remember the next 20 miles or so; they must have been okay. riding past lots of cows and stuff, probably. somewhere in there i started fantasizing about being able to call my mom that evening from centralia to say i’d ridden a fucking century. endorphins do funny things to your brain. pedal pedal pedal.

    so when i wrote out my directions, i tried to include mileage where the route i was using stated it. i figured i would reset my odometer at the turn onto nicolai mentioned above, so i wrote down the miles of various points from there. but i was distracted when i turned onto nicolai and forgot about it for a few miles. i’m not sure what my odo said before i reset it (i think somewhere between 8 and 12), which is why i’m not exactly sure what my total mileage was. so anyway i started looking for turns five miles or so before they were supposed to come up. ANYWAY.

    so i had a turn coming up at 71.5 miles. when at 68 or so i still hadn’t passed it i was starting to get worried. and tired. and maybe walking up some hills. i learned that it’s possible to ride a bike up a hill at 5 mph without it falling over. i started internally chanting “506 aka 7th st, 506 aka 7th st” over and over.

    so when i crested a hill at 71.7 miles on my odo (so 80ish miles total) and saw this

    (yeah i messed with the saturation, i am trying to express how much it MEANT TO ME)
    (there was also a chorus of angels singing alleluia)

    well. you know. i coasted down into tiny vader, wa…

    …and, because endorphins do funny things to your brain, i coasted right out of town again, and on towards winlock. i could do 100 miles. sure. about four miles down the winlock-vader road, i knew i couldn’t. i called my mom to ask how far it was between vader and winlock. she said “about 7 and a half” and then my phone’s battery died. well, i was more than halfway… i would get to winlock and find a motel and indulge in the unimaginable luxury of a hot shower: if only i could make it to winlock.

    i made it to winlock, where i didn’t find a motel but did find a public library, where, despite my head-to-toe raingear and the fact that even i could smell my stink, a very nice young librarian helped me get in touch with a bed and breakfast a mile or two away. i rode there, walked down their gravel driveway, and was treated almost immediately to a family-style dinner of hot soup and fried clams (yes, i broke my vegetarianism for the night; i didn’t want to be a pain in the ass, i was ravenous and they dug them themselves! i’m cool with this). yeah.

    anyway in case i haven’t stated this clearly:

    next day it was foggy and chilly when i left in the morning, but cleared up into a beautiful day in the afternoon. i stopped in centralia to sit in a coffeeshop for awhile and celebrate the fact that i’d hit the halfway point (of the StP route… not actually of my trip, as it turns out). my muscles, astonishingly enough, were not particularly sore. my knees were. but it wasn’t too bad.

    somewhere during day two i told myself with some happy laughter, “i have reached a zenlike state in which i can transcend minor aches and pains. there is only: the cycle!” endorphins make you think you’re funny. part of that doing weird things to your brain thing.

    i biked part of the day on a multi-use rails-to-trails path, which was pretty cool.

    in yelm, wa, i was passed on a narrow, shoulderless road by eight schoolbuses in rapid succession.

    in roy, wa, i sat on a picnic bench and thought, goddamn, i could just BE there already if i weren’t stubborn. but of course the only reason i was going to sammamish was to bike there. the symbolism of biking from home to home.

    i looked halfheartedly for a place to pitch my tent. i saw signs that referenced green river and couldn’t remember whether they’d ever actually caught the green river killer. you know what i mean? then i biked onward and found myself on a 50 mph highway with lots of traffic and fort lewis (a big army base) on either side with big fences and “no trespassing” signs every ten feet. so when i got to spanaway (70 miles that day), i… got a motel room.

    so yeah i didn’t do too well with the camping part of the trip. i lugged the stuff everywhere and didn’t use it. by the end of the day i didn’t have the courage or energy to find a place to camp, i guess. could i have done it if i knew where campsites were and had them as my end goals? yeah, i think so. would i still like to learn how to make anywhere into a safe campsite? yeah of course. maybe something to learn when i’m not traveling solo. i dunno. i can’t be too disappointed in myself when i biked 230 miles in three days. whatever.

    day three: raining when i left. knees sore again, but again, not too bad. i was pretty excited because i was in area codes i’ve lived in, you know? 253! tacoma!

    20 miles in, my right knee twinged painfully. then it twinged again. and again. fuck fuck fuck fuck. i was on an ugly road through somewhere industrial, south of auburn. i called my dad near tears. he said, calm down, take some advil. worth noting that his advice to me the day before i left was “don’t overdo it on your first day.” 3x farther than i’d ridden in over 5 years isn’t overdoing it, is it? naw…

    so i walked a mile until the advil kicked in, rode a bit further, stopped for coffee, rode on, felt better. i practiced pedaling with mostly just my left leg. i imagined giving up. my parents had already told me they can come get me if i need it. i have already come so far, i told myself. damn my knee hurt. no one could fault me, could they? but i wanted to ride door to door. SYMBOLISM, i kept telling myself, though i hadn’t figured out exactly what it was symbolizing.

    in the meantime, i kept riding.

    puyallup. i love the pacific northwest.


    and then…


    all right. i was gonna make it. okay.

    i was halfway across the i-90 bridge when my knee started hurting again. oh god. my left thigh was starting to burn from the extra effort. i was on a floating bridge, which is, according to the laws of physics, FLAT, and i was struggling along in my granny gears. then i got lost on mercer island. my dad had written out directions for me ’cause i left the StP route when i got on the i-90 bike path, but i managed to misinterpret them or something. i called him and he set me straight. “how much farther is it from here?” i asked. “oh, only another 15 or 20 miles” he told me. i had already ridden 50 miles that day and my knee ached. i couldn’t bike up slopes anymore. i walked. joggers passed me. my speedometer said 3.0 mph. it was, i dunno, 2 or 3… if i walked the whole way, i figured, i could maybe be home for dinner.

    i biked where i could, ate one of the energy bars i’d been carrying the whole way, made slow progress. on the other side of the bridge, though, THERE WERE SO MANY HILLS. OH MY FUCKING GOD. i walked a lot. by this point, when i wasn’t too busy breathing, i was either sobbing or swearing like a sailor. finally there was a long downhill, maybe 10 miles from my house. i actually tried chanting aum. it kind of helped, until the downhill ended and i ran out of breath.

    the last eight miles to my house consisted of five and a half miles along east lake sammamish parkway, which was mostly flat, and then… and then… inglewood hill and some other stuff. the point is inglewood hill. when dad was giving me this route from seattle to home, he said, “well, you’ll have to go up inglewood hill, but i think you can do it.”

    “i dunno…” i’d said doubtfully.

    “well, if you can’t do it, you’ll know you need to work on hills!”

    inglewood hill damn near killed me and i didn’t even try to do it on my bike. it was the hardest half mile of the whole trip. i think i would have given up right there were i not a mere three miles from home.

    goddamn those three miles were hard.

    but then i made it. as i was coasting the last half mile or so, i wondered whether i would manage to smile in those pictures i posted last night [ed: at the top of this entry]. i guess i did okay.

    here’s some other stuff:

    memorial crosses: 6

    wildlife: 2 deer standing in a section of clearcut, 2 herons within 2 minutes of each other, a bunny rabbit, a small snake that i almost ran over, lots of birds including robins and red-winged blackbirds, ducks–including ducks in a used-to-be-pasture still flooded from the december floods in the centralia area

    farms: cows, horses, chickens, llamas!

    dogs: every dog within a 2 block radius at any given moment was barking frantically at me. only one of them chased me and i was completely terrified for a moment before the dog stopped dead at the edge of its property line.

    one person yelled at me from a car; no idea what he was saying. in spanaway i sat outside a dairy queen and some kid driving a huge pick-up (he looked about 12 but i guess he was probably 16) yelled, “you have pink hair! you have pink hair!” “yeah, i know!” i said, and he drove off.

    (one of) the reason(s) i did this ride is ’cause i am going on a supported bike tour in france with my dad and brother next month to celebrate my dad’s 50th birthday (i know, awesome, right?). i was having trouble motivating myself to go on long circular rides around portland to train for it, plus i was reading all this awesome stuff about self-supported bike touring, so i thought maybe it would be awesome to do a mini bike tour down the california coast as long as i’m an unemployed bum and my parents have more frequent flyer miles than they know what to do with. california ’cause i figured the weather would be nice, the scenery would be beautiful, the campsites would be plentiful. my parents were actually not totally opposed to the idea, but my mom said, “maybe you should bike up here first.” so i said, “okay, will do.” and here i am. so will i bike down the california coast now? i dunno. i would still like to but i would also like to spend the next couple weeks in portland (there are some really awesome things goin’ on for me in portland right now, what can i say?). i totally feel like i could do it and i think i have made that point to my parents, though. yes, yesterday was very very hard, but i only pushed so hard because i knew i was so close to home.

    anyway–observable effects–my awesome glasses tan/burn (yeah i packed sunscreen, but i didn’t think to actually use it…):

    ok, that’s all for now. maybe more later when i’ve parsed it or whatever.

    I still haven’t really parsed it, I guess. This Thursday I’m leaving for France. I haven’t been biking a whole lot in the interim–for awhile my knee hurt every time I tried to bike farther than a few miles, and then last week I sprained my ankle. Stepping off of a bus. Pretty brilliant, I know. Obviously I should have been biking instead of riding the bus!

    More general photo update to follow.


    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

    Actually, I have never been so happy.

    march 23:

    this morning in church i kind of zoned out during the sermon (which was a little about jesus, yes, but mostly about darkness and light and acceptance and how waiting can be a heavy, full time*) and i thought about how, yes, it’s totally possible to think oneself into irrelevance and even nonexistence… into tinyness and impotence. there’s this strange balance you have to find between that and solipsism. i dunno. the thing that just keeps coming back to me is: life is about balance!! balancing our recognition of the injustices in the world and our search for contentment in our own small lives. i dunno. i’m klutzy as hell. you know what i mean?

    *we say that the world isn’t dying
    and we pray that the world isn’t dying
    just maybe the world isn’t dying
    maybe she’s heavy with child
    –jason webley

    march 24:

    it’s always clear and beautiful and calm at night and rain rain rain all day. walking home from the pub tonight, singing aloud and smiling to myself, pondering this unquenchable whatever lately… i feel this self-presence that i have never had before. i can’t describe it as balance or an even keel, but those are getting at what i mean. i have been trying for however many sentences now to explain that walking home tonight, i realized that all i feel is… sane. that is what has changed since i graduated. i can still feel sad and lonely and alone, but i know that in my belly somewhere there is me and there is joy in that, real joy. am i making any sense? doesn’t matter. i’m so okay i can’t even tell you. my goodness.

    march 27:

    …he asked me at one point how i spend my days, being unemployed and all, and i had to kind of feel sheepish about that, because some days, yeah, i look back on them and i have no idea what i spent the day doing. but the thing is,

    i have never been so happy. i’m not talking about the insecure “omg i love you so much i can’t even begin to explain” huge overwhelming miserable ecstasy which i have had a time or two. i mean really. it’s funny ’cause if you saw me sometimes i probably look like i’m cracking up. i smile to myself in public about i don’t even know what, HUGE absurd smiles. i sing all the time, i dance and love myself for it. i still feel stupid anxiety about social situations sometimes, but it doesn’t matter. truly–because of this happiness in me. so forgive me if i’m not really missing structured days and all that. what is there to miss? i don’t know what i mean. i have been trying to write about this year and what it’s done to me but i don’t know what did what. being unemployed? breaking up with my depressive ex-boyfriend (both of them)? selling my car? exercising and eating well? learning on my own terms? maybe even, in some way, the outpouring of grief i felt after kari’s death?

    so yeah on the surface i am doing a lot of the same stuff i would be doing if i were depressed: sleeping late, cuddling with my cat, walking around the neighborhood in the middle of the night and listening to music, baking cookies, losing myself in reading. i’m not really sure what to make of that. the fact remains that my hours are totally my own right now and i LOVE that knowledge. i am reluctant to give that up. i know i will have to eventually. i am INCREDIBLY lucky and privileged to have been able to do this so far. i am pretty much infinitely grateful to my parents for gifting me my car for graduation, and accepting my decision to turn around and sell it, because without that i would be up a financial creek right now, and instead i am contemplating a bike tour!! this period i have had for all kinds of self-discovery i haven’t even begun to parse has been… some kind of blessing if you’ll let me use that word. that all the events in my life came together to allow it. i know it will end, but i can’t imagine yet how it will. i hope it’s gentle and good and i can maintain this happiness. i hope i won’t have to feel like i am giving something up, but instead like i am bringing something else into my life.

    we’ll see.

    march 31:

    …it was the first time i realized that my four or so years of terribly off-and-on yoga practice are present in me in EVERY MOMENT… in my deep, even breaths.

    yoga classes (well, yoga classes and megan evans’ theatre warm-ups) were actually the first time it ever really occurred to me that my belly should expand when i breathe in. i spent so long as an incredibly self-conscious late-blooming adolescent, sucking in my gut ALL THE TIME, that breathing all the way down to my belly was a kind of revelation. i still take a lot of pleasure in that really simple thing. my happiness lives there, now, and with every breath i feed it.

    spring is sprung

    Friday, March 21st, 2008

    Well, I think I hoped that by the time I wrote here again I’d be able to say something along the lines of, “life rocks. I have a job I love, my relationships are stable and supportive, and my life is full of love and art.” Life is far from bad, but I’m still figuring stuff out. I stage managed a show that went up at the end of February and ran through last weekend. It was a good experience and I made some new contacts in the Portland theatre community. I still miss Kari every single day, but my brother’s cat Kepler came to live with me awhile ago, and he’s a sweetie, I admit. My friends are still great and I’m even making some new ones. And it is–slowly, slowly–spring. I am pretty excited by the future and trying to be excited about the present. I’m applying for internships in Seattle and Berkeley that would start in the fall, so my future is, once again, kinda up in the air.

    Here’s some pictures from my life the past few months:

    I dyed my hair pink again. It feels better this way, job opportunities be damned.

    Yeah, and then we broke up. Oh well. (That’s Kepler curled up with him.)

    heaven is a city much like san francisco

    Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

    I think I’d rather present these images without commentary:

    in summary

    Monday, December 24th, 2007


    Salisbury, England
    Pennington, England
    Lymington, England
    Cork, Ireland
    Dublin, Ireland
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    Den Haag, the Netherlands
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Brussels, Belgium
    Paris, France
    Barcelona, Spain
    Granada, Spain
    Montpellier, France
    Marseille, France
    Nice, France
    Grasse, France
    Cannes, France
    Villefrance-sur-Mer, France
    Blois, France
    Amboise, France
    St-Germain-en-Laye, France
    Koeln, Germany
    Berlin, Germany
    Prague, the Czech Republic
    Vienna, Austria
    Munich, Germany
    London, England

    My favorite photos from my trip–

    or just view the flickr set here:

    And here’s a quick link to all my Europe photos:

    last europe photos

    Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

    The biggest vending machine I have ever seen (in the Brussels train station).

    Rue Mouffetard in Paris.

    La Grande Arche at La Défense.

    Big huge mirrored ball between the Arche and the Christmas market.

    At Père Lachaise Cemetary:

    (Is that straight out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or what?)

    Jim Morrison’s grave.

    The cat I made friends with hangin’ out near Jim Morrison’s grave.

    I followed the cat to this abandoned sepulture off the beaten track which someone had set up as a little kitty sanctuary. I loved it.

    Oscar Wilde’s grave. There’s a little plaque saying “please respect the memory of Oscar Wilde and do not deface this marker,” but can you imagne Oscar Wilde being anything less than thrilled about all these kisses?

    I gave him a kiss, too; it seemed like the thing to do.

    This little street in London was completely lined with bookshops!

    Brits like their personal space, I guess.

    Three bridges over the Thames.

    The Tate Modern and the Millenium footbridge.

    The spider is a statue called Maman (”mom”) by Louise Bourgeois, who has an exhibit in the museum right now.

    I think these birch trees are actually part of the “World as a Stage” exhibit I mentioned, but I can’t remember how or why.

    The Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, which is the big main entrance hall (and in my opinion a seriously awesome space), is often a site for installation art. This rift in the concrete floor is called Shibboleth and is by Doris Salcedo.

    That’s it, guys. Here’s the view out one of the rear windows of my plane home:

    berlin photos, part 2!

    Saturday, December 15th, 2007

    Christmas market + carnival–

    This was a static display from a little train ride that went past various fairy tales… elsewhere, Cinderella was sweeping ashes, Rumpelstiltskin was spinning gold, etc.

    The Reichstag–

    There’s a restaurant up on the roof; this was one of the windows as seen from the dome.

    This group of people who presumably actually work at the Reichstag were taking a smoke break together. I was up on the roof being sneaky.

    View off the front of the building.

    A group of tourists getting their picture taken on the steps in front of the entrance.

    The Pergamon Museum–

    The steps up to the Pergamon Altar (or what’s left of it, anyway).

    (Part of) the Ishtar Gate (of Babylon). Pretty cool, but Lexi, as far as things to take your breath away, have you seen la Sagrada Familia??

    I found myself taking lots of pictures of lions in the Pergamon…

    Like this one.

    Or this one (who looks to me like he belongs in The Wizard of Oz, though the audioguide that was free with admission said things about his “easy power” or something).

    And today I walked along the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining stretch of Wall (I think), which is covered in murals which are covered in graffiti–

    “we are recording our own history here now and i was here”

    When I went back to Ostbahnhof to get back on the s-bahn, this special Christmas s-bahn train was waiting at the platform, full of adults taking photos of their happy kids–

    But I couldn’t figure out where it was going or what the deal was. Maybe I should’ve hopped on!

    Instead, I wandered into a crafts market and a crazy flea market, and listened to these guys (I saw them last night too, elsewhere)–

    Coolest street musicians ever?? Maybe.


    Now, by the way, I’m in Brook’s cozy apartment in Koeln once again. I was standing in line at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof this morning, hoping to buy a reservation and a couchette or sleeperette supplement for the night train to Paris tonight (the night train from Barcelona to Granada, my only night train experience to date, was enough to convince me that next time I need to be horizontal), and worrying about it being full, and musing on my alternate options: “Well, I could take this other train that leaves at around one this afternoon, which is early, and I’d get to Paris pretty late tonight and not have a place to stay… I guess I take a train tomorrow and try to find a place for tonight… man, the night train is the only direct train, too, all the other ones I’d have to transfer in Koeln… hey waitasec! I don’t need no stinkin’ night train!” So I abandoned my place in line and called Brook, who said “yes, of course you can stay here tonight!” So here I am. She even saved me some dinner.

    Today was the start of going home. Paris tomorrow, London the day after, Seattle/Sammamish two days after that, Portland two days after that! I am gonna have me some fun on my way, though.

    mais oui

    Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

    Today on the train between Vienna and Salzburg I pulled myself back to myself. I thought about all the things I have to look forward to when I get home, and how the future excites me, and how it scares me almost as much. I remembered looking forward to this trip in almost the same way, and I thought about how much I have seen and the lessons I have learned and the lessons I have begun to learn and the lessons I will have to learn a hundred times and the lessons I will probably never learn. I have been sleepwalking a lot lately, thinking about anything other than right now, right here–and that kind of stuff ought to be saved for the kind of 9-to-5 tedium I quit to come here. I’m sorry, guys. I am so fucking lucky–lucky to be here living out my romantic fantasies of lonely wandering down cobblestone streets, and lucky to have my amazing home to look forward to returning to.

    I was thinking these things and suddenly the ground outside the train was dusted with snow. And then there was snow in the air too. And then the snow was gone, and I sunk into my chair and felt homesick. But, you know, epiphanies are there. It snowed on and off, I slept on and off, I dreamed on and off.

    Here in Munich it is raining.

    I realized on the u-bahn a few hours ago that I left my favorite pair of jeans and a black skirt I’ve had for years and years in my hostel room in Vienna, draped over something to get the rest of the way dry. They both had holes in them… I guess you gotta let things go, sometimes.

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