Friday, December 30, 2016

Restless Train Syndrome

Despite the fact that I am a self-proclaimed traveler (indeed, I'm writing this while logged into the internet on a train- look at me, all fancy and tech-savvy.  I even packed lunch for the family AND remembered to charge and bring my tiny tablet computer rather than my trusty, overly large MacBook), I am terrible at it.  I mean, truly terrible.  I am horrifying to travel with and even worse to cater to.  I'm pretty sure I'm on some sort of Irksome-Traveler Hit List held secret by flight attendants the world over.

I'm antsy, fretful, panicked and annoying.  I get up to walk around on planes, trains, and boats as much as I can (so far on this 8 hour train journey I'm taking today, Fitbit tells me I've logged just about 2,000 steps).  I bounce my legs in cars and incessantly ask for pit stops.  I try to read to calm myself but then drink water while I'm reading and then have to ask for even more pit stops.  I literally drive everyone around me absolutely nuts.

You may ask my husband about that.  Or my father.

I'm also painfully terrified of planes crashing.  Yes, I know the statistics.  No, I don't care about them.  You are still sitting in what amounts to a very large, winged tin can that has been launched 35,000 feet into the air.  Call me crazy, but when things shake and rattle up there, I begin to do the same.  Whenever I fly I mutter the following prayer:

'Whoever's out there, if you're listening... look if we go down, please let me kick it before the sharks get to me.'

... Even when I'm not flying over any bodies of water (or bodies large or saline enough for sharks).  Because I do.  And because by now it's ritual.  Like coaches before big games- only I just want to get through the moment unscathed and still relatively well-intact.

You see what I'm saying?  I'm terrible.  I have even been guilty of the white knuckle grip upon landing, takeoff, and turbulence.  And of gasping.  And possibly, once or twice, of tears.  And then as soon as it's safe, I'm up again, bouncing around like a children's toy.  If I have a short layover or a long flight delay I crumble into a frenic state most clearly identified by my checking my watch every thirty seconds or so... as if my desperate need for smooth sailing could somehow will the plane to take off or the runway to magically clear or the people walking at a snails pace in front of me to spontaneously disappear.

I also make very loud huffing noises when none of those things happen.

And until next time, I'm off to the bar car.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Magic That Remains.

As children we are allowed to suspend the real world and believe, wholeheartedly, in magic.  We are allowed to believe in Father Christmas, in Tooth Fairies, and in the rightness and inherent presence of good things.

There is some magic, I believe, that remains.  Some things stay with us: how the world is wiped clean in a snow storm; how the night time is the time when the most magic possible can happen; how Christmas lights add just the right touch of fairy dust.  And how looking at a lit Christmas tree can act like a time machine- bringing you right back.

It is right that we should remember this little bit of goodness from time to time.  Especially at this time, when the magic of family is all around and permeating.

And so to all- Merry Christmas.  Let the magic stick.

Friday, December 9, 2016


Sometimes words get stuck between my brain, my fingers, and the rest of the world.  And then I get drafts... long-suffering, purgatorially bound drafts.  Drafts upon drafts upon drafts.  Words that float on the whiteness of a barely-blank page until they are either forgotten, lost, or put to bed as something materialized or something cast aside.

There have been about a hundred drafts of a certain nature since the 8th of November.  The need to be calm and remain rational while the rest of social media melts down prevented them from taking life.  Also, despite my general openness, some things need not be exacerbated.

Some drafts look like this:
Yesterday, while studying for two exams that I'm sure I'll fail, I found myself thinking thoughts that put me squarely in the category of 'moron' or 'simpering fool' or, worst, 'idiot woman.'  I don't particularly like those categories, but I was in them yesterday (may still be today).  Because I found myself doing what I always do: cowering.   
And making excuses. 
I psychologically abuse myself.  I tell myself that I'm not good enough; not important enough; not special enough.  And then I use that to justify the behaviors of others.
What's worse is that I then re-abuse myself and rejustify others with this impossible-to-discard banner of independence.  I made this choice.  I made all of these choices; I chose the qualities that made me not good enough, important enough, special enough.  They are mine and I keep them close to the chest. 
Others look like this:
It is humbling to have your intellect thrown in your face.

It is humbling to have a world of knowledge surrounding you, complicating you, and exhausting you.

It is humbling to be a person who is less than a person- more of a thing.
Or this:
Reading over my previous post for grammar errors (my father instilled in me a rather consuming worry over them), I began to recognize The Other Side, to name it; to give it a real space over there.   I could see it, a little, like a distant  This side is Hope, The Other Side is Acceptance.

I hope, I hang out in Hope, I 
I know what I was thinking about when putting these words in place.  I know who I was responding to (it wasn't my father if that's what you're thinking).  I remember how sure I was about this response and how carefully I began to construct it.  I also remember the fever of writing that kept burning and burning.

There are times when drafts become something more.  But there are many times when drafts are just drafts: there and gone, gentle winds that become nothing; haunting currents.  A consideration of an echo.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Throwback to Childhood: October Obsessions: Halloween

I've been absent a lot lately, I think.   Between traveling and absorbing the world; school and absorbing (or trying to) my studies; and life... I've been engaged but absent.

So in a throwback, I give you my Halloween Obsessions, past and present, this October.

Hocus Pocus.  And scene.

Doing double duty is The Nightmare Before Christmas.  It's half Halloween and half Christmas and all good all the time.  I know that everyone loves it, I know that everyone knows it; but there's something about 'What's This' that gets me every time.... Disney went dark with this one, but in a way that makes perfectly wonderful sense.
The monsters are all missing
And the nightmares can't be found
And in their place there seems to be
Good feeling all around... 
This one is new- but it's eerie enough to make the Halloween list: Twin Peaks.

Also eerie, bloody, and sordid enough to make the list the Halloween? Luther.  Idris Elba is a miracle of modern filmmaking in this series.  His voice is simultaneously lulling and lunging, it's absolutely perfect.  And one or two episodes (I'm being brave here) made me hide behind the pillow... the dude in the mask... Cripes.

Witches.  Been one for a while...

Dia de los Muertos.  I'm desperate to experience this most sacred of celebrations someday.  In Oaxaca if I can manage...

Candy corn.  Oh my yes.  Once a year, every year, this sugary, sweet, tooth-decaying candy hits the shelves and it's like heaven to me.  The orange-white-yellow of the classic corn; the orange-green of the Autumn Mix pumpkins.  If I could eat this and french fries every day for the rest of my life... I might do it.

They did the Mash....  I mean there's a whole litany of perfect Halloween songs- but this is the top of the tip of the iceberg.

Trick or Treat.  Or wine.  Every year, after 21 of course, that I was home for Halloween, mom and I would sit out on the front lawn with our next door neighbor.  And a bottle of wine.  And a basket of candy.

And that's where the magic happened- not the wine- but the front lawn and the candy and the camaraderie.  And the kids who still believe in ghosts and ghouls and the things that go bump in the night.  That's the crux of my October Halloween Obsessions... the magic and the mystery and maintenance of childhood.  And what childhood can keep and hold and bury within us.  The sacred traditions that we keep holy even in our innocence.

Ah Halloween- Happy Day to All.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

To My Recollection- This is the First. Curse. Word.

So lately I've been plotting how to sneak my buddy overseas, into a suitcase, and across borders.  You know, like you do.

I'm thinking about it presently because I'm sitting in the airport through which I'll likely have to change planes- i.e. the airport in which he'll be manhandled and tossed about whilst hiding in a checked bag.  See what I mean?  Like you do.  (Also, this plan is way less nefarious than it actually reads... sort of).  And I'm listening to the artist that unknowingly put the whole plan in action.

Bon Iver.

And here's the thing- he's good enough to break some rules.  He's good enough to break some rules for.

If you've never listened to his jams... I don't actually know what to suggest.  Except to pick one of his albums, stick with it, and enjoy.  And then move to the next and the next.  And then listen to them all again, in different succession, until you get it.  He might not be your cup of tea- but he's something exceptional.  He's a repeat offender on this blog for a reason- his music is conceptual and frequently difficult- emotionally and lyrically.  He's challenging and never pulls a punch twice.  For Emma is vastly different from Bon Iver which is vastly different from his most recent, 22, A Million.  Believe me when I say, he's challenging... But so fucking worth it.

For example: I've talked about some things I've been through- once or twice.  And I've written about what has happened to me because of those things- that thing.   What I let happen to me.  And I've railed about almost everything I can.  I've tried to heal myself.  And there have been days when I could, days when I couldn't.

Enter Bon Iver, Bon Iver.  I heard it the first time years ago- when the album dropped, I feasted on it.  And it dropped right around the time I fell... apart.  There were days when I couldn't heal myself- most of them- and then there were days when I sat down and quieted my brain for a little under an hour, and listened.  And when I listened, there were still days I couldn't rally, but there were moments when I could, because I could break through the fog of my non-existence and seize the rawness of his music.  Front to back, it's stellar- it's strong material.  And then... Holocene.  And that was my rallying cry.  The almost holy track simultaneously broke/breaks my heart and healed/heals my head.  It mended/mends wounds and always reminds me of how blindingly brightly brilliance can shine.  I listen to it like a zealot.  I feast on it like a starving man at a banquet.

It is my drug.

So full round, full circle.  I am sitting in Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.  I'm listening to 22, A Million, but also to 'Holocene'.  I'm considering the cool fall that will shortly be winter in Scandinavia and how every Autumn I've known since Bon Iver has been defined by Bon Iver.

And I'm trying to sort out how to sneak my buddy overseas, into a suitcase, and across borders.  Oh- so that he can come with me to Paris, where I have tickets to see Bon Iver.

And now it's time for the next plane.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Same Mistakes.

Last Thursday I flew back to the US (the flight shenanigans- going and coming- are a different story altogether).  And for the past week I have sat, immersed, with my personal history.

A couple of months ago- actually sometime in the middle of the summer- my parents put my childhood home up for sale.  Not that I can claim such innocent ownership over it, but it was-is- the house in which I more or less grew up.  And in just about a week from today, they will close on it and head onto their next adventure.

And, in order to help them in getting to that next adventure, I decided that it was high time to sort through the 32 years of life that had accumulated there- the 32 years of my stuff that is interspersed and intermingled with theirs.  In the middle of the first morning, I was literally surrounded by myself- as an aside, it's amazing how much stuff one can actually acquire over time.  Little things, signs.  I found the first travel diary I ever seriously wrote (Paris).  I found my first little-girl diary; my first hand written poetry; the treasure trove of letters written back and forth between my college roommate and I when she was in the Peace Corps.

I found the wrenching years of being lost and losing myself- the notes, the photos, the size-in-the-negative jeans (that I still sickly and weirdly want to fit into again).

And especially in those things, I found patterns.  Patterns of mistakes that I have made in the past, and continue to make presently.  And will likely make again, at some point, in the future.  I was astounded by the repetitiveness of how I have maneuvered through this world.  I have done many things, seen many things, traveled many places.  And I came face to face with the evidence of it all-hiding under my bed, in my closet, in the dark recesses of a dresser that has no rhyme or reason to it.  I have hitherto had a full life, no doubt. But I just keep making the same mistakes through all of it.

Some mistakes are bigger than others, some are better than others.  Regardless, I just keep cycling through them.

I suppose there's a lesson in there somewhere.  For now I'm going with "minimalism."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Am I Too Young for a Midlife Crisis?

It's the first day of fall.  And two days before my birthday.

And for whatever reason I can't seem to shake this feeling of stagnant funkyness.  As though something awkward is growing in me, overshadowing what should be the youth and faith of the season.

Normally the fall is my favorite time of year- the world is cooling off and summer is fading into a warm, wistful memory.  The days seem clearer yet stormier; they seem full of potential even while tapering off to earlier and earlier sunsets.  In a witchier calendar, it's the time of collecting, gathering, and internalizing (maybe that's the problem?!?!... errrrr....)  Regardless, the fall is special to me, meaningful.

Except for... well, this one at this moment.

There's something amiss and I suspect it is just me.  Just me being me.  I suspect the stagnant funkyness is a condition to being still for too long and quiet for even longer.  I suspect that my fitfulness and strained reaction to, literally, everything is a form of self destruction.  I am very good at self destructing.  I could almost make a career of it.  It is just me being me: inhaling, exhaling, overthinking.

My ricochet brain is in overdrive because of that cooler weather, those quicker sunsets.  And it's spiraling all around a sense of timelessness- or time standing still.  Me standing still within time, witnessing the passage and power of it, the ultimate passenger.

There's also a chance that I'm having a midlife crisis.

So there's that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Rejection Collection.

You know those moments of abject rejection?  The ones that you just have to let go of?  Or else you'll sit there and stew and stew and stew, and plot and plan and devolve into cartoonlike sinister musings, until two days later you've come up with an equally abject counter-rejection?

Well... I didn't let go.

Instead I crawled into some terrible corner of my mind and considered all the terrible things that live there- and how to use them to exact my sweet rejection machinations.

I have to say... my brain can go to some pretty bad places.

Which should come as a surprise to exactly no one.

I know it's childish.  I know rejection is only as bad as you make it and that really, the whole self-love and appreciation thing should be enough.  Theoretically.  For most people.  Who aren't me.  But sometimes it just stinks.  And evilly, and awfully enough, sometimes it's a little satisfying to stew.

And until next time.

Don't worry- it's not you.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Oddly Enough...

Last night I had a long long overdue Skype chat with my oldest and dearest friend.  We talked about life, about things, about directions.

It cemented something I've been mentally chewing on for the past couple of months.  And then that cemented something plummeted to the bottom of my belly and now sits there, waiting to disintegrate and reintegrate.

I'm the villain and I should confess, I liked you better before... 

Lately I've been thinking about who I am, what I am, and what I was.  And I'm realizing that the path of my development has not quite gone the way I thought it would.  I miss the way that I was- I miss who I was.

Don't freak out.

I don't miss being sick.  I don't miss starvation, self punishment and abasement; I don't miss the constant battery of badness that I let into my brain.  I don't miss what I was.  I miss who I was.  At the very least, I miss what I found in myself when I was nearly sick to death.

In the healing and revitalizing of my body, I seem to have lost some part of my... self.  Does that make any sense?  Probably not.  Let me try again.... When I was ill and having to navigate that illness, I happened upon some well of intuition, cunning even, that drove me to uncover how strong, how capable I was.  How much I could do, the depths I could reach within my own self, was at times alarming, but ultimately reassuring.  Even though physically I dwindled to a frail bag of bones, something in the ether of me grew stronger and stronger.  Something reached out and commanded a connection.

I miss that.  I miss the space inside of me that kept me alive.  I miss the bottomless well of whatever that kept me from permanent failure.

It's capped now, that well.  Cut off, I've been struggling a lot lately with a sense that something fundamental is now lost to me.  Something special is removed, remote.

And maybe I'm not supposed to be able to just dip in any time I want.  Maybe that's not how this works.  Maybe we get what we need when we need it most- in my case when something had to nourish me when I couldn't find the interest, will, or desire, to nourish myself.

Or maybe I'm being punished for wanton excess.

How's that for you daily zen?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Obessions Confessions, Vintage Style.

One way or another, I've confessed to all of these before... well maybe not all of them, but some are just so old school that they count as vintage-style confessions.

A couple of September's ago, Mom and I met in Salem, Mass, to see The Gaslight Anthem at the House of Blues.  It was an early birthday trip- and a worthy one.  I had already developed a longstanding obsession with the band, and their live show did nothing to help it.  They are my go-to fall band (really anytime band)- something about the lyricism and passion and guttural romance of Brian Fallon's voice drives memories, feelings, of youth and youngness.*

And fall is for the young.

And... also for pumpkins.  Definitely for pumpkins.  Some other blogfession revealed that I have a serious seasonal issue with Pumpkin Spice Lattes- specifically the cheap versions you get from the Cumberland Falls gas station retreat (lol) in Windsor, Vermont.  This round, it's all things that can be made of pumpkin puree.  I have already tried this recipe- as a loaf rather than muffins.  De-lish.  I'm excited to try this and this as well...

Which brings me to my next obsession.  Baking.  I forgot how much I loved it.. even with our godforsaken oven that doesn't heat to the correct temperature.  Even with my husband who is not a fan of baked goods.  I love making something from many other somethings else.  And go figure- I'm not terrible at it.  This and this happened the other week, followed by this and the aforementioned loaf.  Yeah, I might also have an obsession with  I've yet to make a bad dish following her recipes.

I recently saw the latest Star Trek incarnation.  It was as good as that genre-slash-redo can be by the third installation.  But it was great when it killed it with one of the best nods to early-90s hip hop I've seen in a Sci-Fi Action flick.  Yeah... raise your hand if you, like me, somehow manage to periodically blank on the awesomeness and cosmic rightness that is the Beastie Boys.  (I am ashamed of myself but it happens).

Come on... you know you love them.

Boots boots boots.  There's no better time for boots than the present (I live in Norway, so, you know...  it's nearly always boot season).  These are my current loves.  There's something super grand about chucking a pair of boots on and being set to go.  Especially in the land of ice and snow... okay, mostly rain.

So that's me with a long Long LONG overdue Obsessions Confession.  It's been a crazy couple of months and my feet are finally starting to find the ground again, so here's to more writing, more exploring, and more...


*Also sometimes they hash it with The Boss.  So, I mean, there's that.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

It's September.

Well.. yeah, for the past three days it's been September.  So this should not come as a surprise.  But it is September, fact.

Which is, for me, the best time of the year.  It's the transition month- in with the fall, out with the summer- when the world gathers itself up in a huge inhale, anticipating it's final exhale before the winter sets in.

It the month when the atmosphere begins to become dense- with learning, with storms, with expectation.  I've chronicled my romance with the fall on many occasions- verbally and in writing.  Over and over again I have spelled out it's nature and it's presence in my life.  Over and over and over again.

This year is no different.  The winds shift (endlessly here in Norway, but more meaningfully this month), the colors change, and life begins to quiet down.  Or, if you're me, life gets a little louder as anthemic music pours from the computer, car, iPod, any place it could possibly come from- because this is my time, my month, and I will celebrate it however I like.  The sounds and the songs remind me of footloose and fancy-free and a time when youth wasn't a thing, it just was.  I just was.

I hear a voice and it tastes like candy corn; it smells like bonfire and smoke.  It feels like a memory come to life- vibrant and fleeting and fast.  It feels good, and strong.  I feel less good, and less strong, but the season is just ramping up.

It's September, and September is my month.

Monday, August 22, 2016

This Nomad Needs to Get a Grip.

Lately I've been in a rut.  Well, several ruts.

I've been in a writing rut; a realization rut; a rough rut.

I know there are many factors at work here, there always are.  I'm a complicated individual with a complicated history and a mighty complicated brain.  But I've got patterns to my world and lately they've been challenged, changed.

Hence the rut.

I spent the better part of a decade in a constant state of motion.  This is well-worn territory on this blog, for sure, but to restate: I never planned my life more than six months out (in advance), and for a very long part of that better part of that decade, I moved every six months or so.  And not, you know, moved to a different side of town.  I'd move states or coasts or countries.

And then even when I did settle down again, for another six months, I'd inevitably leave for some unforeseen adventure and carve time off of that homebase, too.

So the reality is that I built a very solid foundation on very tenuous land.  I taught myself to not think of anywhere as home; to love my friends as family and love my family most of all; to make sure the most important things in the world fit in the back of an older-than-God Jeep; to be mobile, to be bold, to be me.

That's what living on quicksand is like.

And the longer you live there, the better you become at surviving.  The lighter you become.

So here I am today, after having lived in Norway for a little over a year and looking at two more years here, trying to sort out why I feel so... in a rut.  And I come to figure out that even though I have been here a year, and looking at two more, I still don't think of this place as my home (see above).  I still don't see my imprint here because it isn't.  I am so accustomed to the inexorable flee that I haven't actually done anything to combat it.  I haven't done anything other than hang a couple of prints and display a couple of keepsakes- and make a bed for my dog.  Other than that...

It's weird.  When you look around and can leave a place relatively unscathed after six months, that's one thing.  When you can do it after 15 months, that's another thing.  A somewhat unsettling thing.  It raises all manner of questions.

Have I gone too long untethered?  So long that coming back to the same place seems ... out of place?

Will I ever be not nomadic?  Will my mind ever not wander?  Will I?

One rut... clambered.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Machu... Wait, What?

Peru is something else.

It is a vibrant place full of people who are kind and patient, pushy and impatient, loud and lovely.  About an hour after we landed- well maybe more, all taxi rides considered- I realized that we hadn't made nearly enough time for this adventure.

A week?!?  Impossible.

There's too much there- too many people in too many cities.  Too much history and so much color.  Too much to do in just 7 or 8 days.  This is just a taste of all the flavor we could pack into the limited time we had there (including a dude, dressed as a monk, jumping off a cliff):

And then...

Upon arriving at Machu Picchu (this was after a two hour wait in a half-mile long line for a bus that took twenty minutes to get us from Point A to Point Up the Mountain), I was struck by one thought.

How the hell did they find it?

I didn't bother defining 'they' or 'it' to myself.  'They' were the Incas and then the Germans and then Hiram Bingham after them.  'It' was all of it: the space itself; the time it took to do it; the materials; the work force.  All of it.

I just kept wondering how it all happened.

Not to mention the alpacas.

And that's just the beginning..

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It's Been A While.

And in that while... I've done some things.

To date: I've whirlwind-visited Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy again.  I've made enemies of hoteliers and friends with bike tour guides.

I've been "remarried"; reconnected with old friends; returned to old stomping grounds and stomped them again.

I traveled to Peru; saw Machu Picchu.

I've thought a lot about time; and have meditated on space and place and the distance between the two.  I've realized that, much to my ever maturing machinations, everything changes.  Every single thing.

And I've let the fear of that overwhelm me.  Overwhelm me in a way that I am utterly uncomfortable with and in a way that I have not felt in a very long time.  I let the thought of the progression of time and people and places completely overwhelm me.  I let it choke me, stifle me, and render me silent.  It shut me up.

Which is weird, because that's not my normal state- quietude.

And then I started this blog post, called 'About Kings':

Sometimes I forget that I am supposed to be a grown up.

I mean, my combination of physical age and experience seems to suggests that I am, in fact, passing into my adulthood. 

But sometimes I forget that I am supposed to be a grown up... because I seldom actually feel like one.  I joke that I am like the metaphysical Benjamin Button- the older I get, the less mature I seem to get.  I'd like to think that I was onto something... except that lately I can feel it.  I can feel the slow creep of 'acting like an adult'.  I can feel myself thinking adult thoughts and facing adult issues. 

To go forward, let me go back.  For a very long time, I was the King in my Kingdom.  My whim was the sun around which my world orbited.  And I was okay with that.  I wasn't irresponsible (okay, there were a couple of times when I was terribly irresponsible- you know, those one or two times I sort of stopped eating; or those couple of trips I took that I didn't necessarily need to go on; or the shoes- but I'll stop there).  I didn't make decisions that endangered anyone (save for myself), I tried to make decisions that were on the whole good.

I messed up a lot; I cleaned up a lot; I ran a lot.  I was the King- and I did what Kings do.  I ruled.

But I still wasn't a grown up.  Just a King.

Now... now I'm something else entirely. 

And then stopped that blog post... because I couldn't sort out how to finish it.  Because I don't know what I am now, not yet.  And I don't know what to write without saying something that hurts someone.

So there's that.

It's been a while.

And until next time...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In Order...

Venice, Rovinj, Split, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Giardini Naxos (Taormini), (Ana)Capri, Rome.

Those are the places I visited from the 22nd of June through the 5th of July.  Those are the places that caused me to snap over 800 photos; those are some of the places where I swam either in the Adriatic or Mediterranean; where I walked on streets older than civilizations and watched people laugh, drink, and argue.  It was wild and wonderful and overwhelming and nonstop.  It was two weeks of wandering.

And it has taken me nearly as long to sort through all those aforementioned pictures.

Here are some of my favorites (this is a long series and I'd like to apologize ahead of time for that):

Sometimes I take artsy photos.
Deal with it. 

Piazzo San Marco, Venice at sunset.

And sometimes I take photos of flora and fauna. 

On the ferry on the way to the ship. Husband excels at two
photo reactions- laughing at my absurdity (always makes
for a great shot) or ignoring me until I remove the camera
from his face (makes for artsy ones).

There's a son by OneRepublic called "Come Home."
One of the lyrics in the song reads:
I get lost in the beauty of everything I see/
The world ain't half as bad as they paint it to be. 
When you come across the oddball photos (the flowers, the
things), hum that to yourself. 

In Rovinj, Croatia.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm not even a little sure of where exactly
I snapped this photo (I'm boldly assuming Split) .  But the
sun does funny things on the Dalmatian Coast.  It makes the
blues bluer and oranges more tangy.  It floods the world at
sunrise, burns it at mid-day, and releases it at sunset.

Um... some bronze something 
in the middle of Dubrovnik. 
(Which, by the way, is AH-
Dubrovnik, not 
the bronze guy.  He just had a 
funny nose.)

The next two are both from a spot overlooking Dubrovnik.
The sunset there was un... everything.  Unreal,
unbelievable, unstoppable.  Impossibly beautiful.

The oranges more tangy and the golds more graceful.

There are, indeed, a surprising
number of cats in Kotor.  The sort of
deserve a musuem/shop unto

The boys have a smoke break
before the lunch rush.

Mount Etna.  And what a glorious thing it is, to see the
absolute power in a volcano.  To witness the wisps of steam
escaping into cloudy potential. 

In Giardini Naxos... where boats go to die. 

After a day at sea when this was our only company. (There's
something incredible in the solitary boat- something silent
and stoic.) 

Well, the boat and the mountains. 

The Blue Grotto.  Beneath the island of Capri, there are
caverns- carved by the sea out of limestone.  They are magic.
Or, the blue one is anyway.  The others could be utterly

Looking down on Capri.  There are two versions of the same
photo.  This one and another in which the town is in focus
and the flowers out.  This version shines. 

And again... some dude.  Outside of Terminale in Roma.
If you see him from the front, his coat reveals a hollow,
bodiless space beneath.  Welcoming and terrifying at the
same time.

Trevi Fountain.  It took a lot of maneuvering to power
through the immense crowd surrounding this thing. Men and
women, kiddos and creatures all sitting there, enjoying the
summer heat with their feet in the pool and their mouths

Because who doesn't love a sculpture
of severed hands on a spike?

And there you have it... the fewest favorites I could justify.  There are maybe twenty more that I'd happily unleash on this post, but it seems too tedious to put you all through.   So for now-