Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dory: "Good feeling gone."

Two in one day!? What's the world coming to? Not much. At least, in the Jeep world.

What's that, you say? "Jeeps are awesome." "I love your Jeep." And from the South African peanut gallery, "Wearing Jeep clothing is so cool." Well, I'm here to tell you that Jeep is no longer awesome. When I was a kid and we two Cherokees, teal and red, it was awesome. Especially when dad managed to flip it on it's side with 3 foot snowbanks on the driveway. To my six-year old mind, that was epic.

In the words of Dory, "good feeling gone". Last night it took Ian and I half an hour to get home because the car could only handle second gear and went from worthy of concern for getting to the city for work to serious doubts about making it home at all. It went like this after the first eight miles:

"Eeee! We're rolling, I have serious doubts about this hill. There's no way to our house without a hill. What if it just starts rolling backwards?" (And in my head, 'Oh, shit. If it stalls, we could die. It could roll backwards, tumble into the dark marsh and we could die. How will I pay for a new transmission? What is the transmission exactly?')

Ian: We're going to make it. [Enter first gear and 5000+rpms]

"Okay, first gear. Come on, baby, COME ON. COME ON."

[Explosive excitement and cheering at the crest of the hill].


[We slowly roll past a driveway with a box spring. A mile from our house.]

"If it dies here, we have a bed for the night. Or rather, a boxspring. Actually, you'd get the boxspring. I have a sleeping bag and slept like a rock in here the other day."

In the end, we made it the whole way by some miracle. To add to the spice of life, I got up a little early this morning to borrow my dad's fancy convertible to get to work and the battery was dead. So I coaxed my useless vehicle as far as it could muster (a whopping seven feet) and jumped my dad's little car to life before making it just as class began.


We've been going over burning and dodging in the Elements of Phoojournalism class I've been a TA for so I did a little practicing of my own. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Archery Practice

This is my brother Ian and his new bow with fifty pounds (a little less than 23 kg) of draw. It's pretty legit. I truly enjoyed the challenge of having to be patient and maneuvering to get the bottom shot. 

Ever so fond of the bottom one. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

it is very important.

It is very important that you only do what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do. Otherwise, you will live your life as a prostitute, you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, and you will never have lived and you will not have a pleasant death. 
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Panic strikes my heart every time someone I don't know super well says the words, "Oh, and I followed your blog..." You WHAT? A) Someone outside Russia actually read that? (Shout out to whoever reads my blog in Russia. I narcissistically check the views on my blog from time to time and you're right up there with the big guns of countries I actually know people in!) 

But seriously. I think, "There was some personal jank in that for a while."

It happened yesterday while I manned the Ugandan Water Project table in Geneseo for a few hours. However, I get the vibe that Siobhan's pretty cool and won't judge because I may have said shit a time or to. Whoops.

At first, I was thinking about it for a couple of days. As in, "I need to mentally be rested and prepared to be sociable and nice to people for at least four hours." Socializing and extrovert activities is decidedly not my strongest area. Honestly. I was concerned. Then after I finished and got home (an extra hour than I'd planned) I tried to figure out why I hadn't been counting the seconds until it was over. Eventually it dawned upon me that it's because I actually was behind the project and interested in it. Now thinking about it, I can't think of anything I like talking about more than Africa. Those who know me are probably thinking how slow I am at realising this. It's a big deal!

I found something I love. Some people spend their entire lives striving to be able to say that! How lucky is this duck? It's great when you meet people who are legitimately interested because most say they're interested but they're really not. It's cool to them but they're more interested if you have another pair of the aluminum earrings or an extra bag. No judgements, I do the same with every other continent. I want to be cool and hip as much as the next person. But when you meet someone who's actually interested about the nerdy, gritty details and relishes them with you- ahhhhhh, it's like standing in the rain in the summer. No other feeling is quite like it and it's outstandingly refreshing.

Not that it's important to anyone else but if you're following my life vicariously, it's been really low-key. I've been hating asking for applications and trying to get a job and yada yada boring. But my friend Vince is back from Argentina for a few days, I've been going to pottery class on Mondays, tearing up the wild greenery along our driveway, trying new recipes among other things to stay interested in life.

 Tonight I did get a call from a professor saying, "I called you for mostly selfish reasons. I'm retiring this year and I need a TA and I'd like you to do it. You're the worst TA I've had because you're smart and get bored. You can do it all year until I finish or whatever, you decide." So I'm going to say yes, even though it's $4 an hour less than the grocery job I've been peddling myself for. I've also been asked a couple of times to consider going to Uganda with the UWP but I think those days are coming- and maybe, hopefully, coming soon.

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. 
If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." 
- Nelson Mandela -

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Golf & Hemingway

Combining a couple of oddities in this one. My brother got it into his head that our whole family needed to go to the driving range and surprisingly, we did. He insisted he's normally really good but today, to his ongoing frustration, he left meteorite trails in the green. 


Yesterday he also suggested I read The Sun Also Rises and Goodwill happened to have a spanking new copy for $2.99. Here's my favourite part yet:

"Listen, Robert, going to another country doesn't make any difference. I've tried all that. You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There's nothing to that."
"But you've never been to South America."
"South America hell! If you went there the way you feel now it would be exactly the same. This is a good town. Why don't you start living your life in Paris?"
- The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

Everyone needs to figure that out on their own. 
I have sacrificed and I've burned
Oh, you gotta live before you learn
And I wanted the truth, but sometimes the truth hurts.
In My Bones, Ron Pope

It's not a waste for most people to learn things for themselves. It's how and what life is. Learning to love, trying to understand pain, and going away for a while and coming back are things it seems people need to learn firsthand. That said, I'd totally hit up South America in a heartbeat. I've learned you can't get away from yourself, but you learn a whole lot more about yourself and other people getting out of your stomping grounds.