Sunday, August 28, 2005

So...Yesterday, the 27 of August was my 21st birthday. But the good birthday vibes seemed to have soaked into the entire week. My last trip with the NBTC was amazing. We hiked into the most beautiful glaciated valley I have ever seen. The jagged mountains were laced with snow and glacier remnants. The river was clear, so clear I could not see it. The only evidence that it really existed was the steady rumble of water flowing. The work was fun and challenging but not killer. We secured a floating bridge and did drainage work. On evening MJ and I took off up the steep side of mountain, scaling talus slopes and gaining ridge after endless ridge to finally arrive at the most beautifully juxtaposed barren high alpine lake. We could see for miles and miles including my old Skykomish playing grounds. We hiked home in the dark and the night was so cold and clear you could taste it. In the morning, we had back country baked apple crumble cake with a single candle in it to celebrate my birthday and Rob's anniversary. We worked half the day and took the rest off to play in the mountains. I feel like I could dangle them from a string and bat them about like a cat does with a mouse. We went straight up. I had to schmear. I had to pull myself up with whatever I could grab and when we finally emerged on a talus slope we were below jutting granite cliffs and below was a glacial valley full of morains and rounded boulders and cobbles. The valley looked like a waste land and I stayed there while my boys hiked even farther upward and onward. That evening we played the most incredible game of pinochle and Kyle and I won by the skin of our teeth. It was a roller coaster game with us in the lead and then trailing by a devastating number and then sprinting towards the finish line and barely pushing our chest through the red tape before Chris and MJ. The drive from the trail head takes around 1 and half hours and we rocked to the Killers and George Clinton and I could not have been in a better mood. On Saturday, my birthday, I was assailed with happy birthday wishes from my bunkmates. Willow and I went to the NB farmer's market. I took off for Seattle to meet up with my aunt and uncle who fed me lunch and a lemon drop, which made me dangerously loopy. Then I met up with wonderful friends, Sarah Patrick, Chris, Aaron and Dan. I love my friends, I do. We hung out at Pike Place and Discovery Park. When I walked into the bunkhouse in NB, my entire crew plus some were sitting around the table with 21 small shot bottles full of a variety of drinks. Baileys, Kahluha, Absolute Peach, Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort etc...21 different kinds. We stuffed some in our pockets and purses and headed to the Mount Si tavern to have beers and play horse shoes. A band was playing all the country rock classics like Sweet Home Alabama. The band got word it was my birthday and had me come up on the stage. We all sang happy birthday and then they gave me their pitcher of beer to chug. I didn't though. Not good at that kind of thing. We moved on to the NB bar and grill and I had a birthday cake. Which is some kind of mixed shot that you guzzle and then chase with lemon. It didn't taste good but it smelled just like cake batter. I was very reluctant to drink it. Our last stop was the Pour House, a common hang out for my boys. We had beers and arm wrestled. I didn't win once but what can I expect? The music was spiced with Imagine by John Lennon. I can't help but wonder about that song. It has been played at every keystone point in my life. Paris, Ghana, Birthdays, last days, sad days...I started to get very sleepy around 1:30 so the mile or so walk home was a bit of a challenge. I could walk a straight line, no problem. It was staying awake that was difficult. And as we all looped our way home, laughing and reminiscing, the crescent moon rose over Mount Si. It was all so very ethereal and I felt strangely transcendent (probably just drunk). What a wonderful ending to my season.

Monday, August 22, 2005

it is finished...

the sleepless nights have returned and i once again find myself in a time of transition. for the first time, i am able to identify the changes in my attitude and energy that come with certian types of stressful situations. the real me has been exposed and i'm not sure i like it. i am finally recognizing how self-conscious and critical i am. my physical and mental inferiority on the trail crew has really given me a lot to think about as have recent interactions with my peers. i am passive in certain circumstances and assertive and in control in others. i like that fact that i can interact with a lot of different people but not that i can't be the same person for all of them.

and that was all leading up to this announcement...drumroll please...i will be turning 21 on saturday! no that wasn't the real announcement. i finally decided to move back to missoula and embrace all of the wonderful opportunities that the u of m has to offer. i'll be home sunday.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I have the most bizarre dilemma and it is one that I am most ashamed to admit. Over the course of the past couple of months, I have been trying (but not very hard) to decide whether to attend school at the University of Montana or Seattle Central Community College. Now deadlines are approaching and the shit is about to hit the fan. My dilemma sounds fairly black or white, easy to decide right? WRONG. I have a whole host of factors, pros, cons, desires and fears attached to each school. To summarize, and believe me, this onion is chalk full of layers:

UM has home, family, comfort, personal space, is in state, long term possibilities, friends, personal refocusing possibilities such as getting back into yoga, exercise, guitar, planning Nepal, getting some Ghana projects started and NOLs.

But it also starts earlier, I'm not registered and have a lot of hoops to jump through to become registered.

SCCC has a later starting date(so I could work for the forest service longer and go out on fires) and shorter quarter length, friends, new living arrangements, excitement of a big city where I am no longer a minor, a really cool 18 credit collective learning on Southeast Asia, possibility to work at Great Harvest again, I have already registered and paid and Ghana project options.

But it costs more, would be a lot of intense courses that don't offer much in the way of a career, a dead end, more stress and personal compromise, harder to work on planning Nepal and not home.

Two days ago, I was planning on SCCC but yesterday and this morning I was dead set on going to the UM. Right now, I'm staying in Seattle and just finished paying my tuition at SCCC. I'm playing both sides of the field here folks and I just can't make up my mind. I'm sure everyone is feeling so sorry for the poor little girl who has options and opportunities and the financial capabilities to screw around like this but just for laughs and sympathy and shear curiosity, where do you, dear reader, think I should go and why?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I'm too lazy to write coherently so I'm going to streamline.

Summer So Far
a beginning and an end, school morphed into the woods
an evergreen dish loaded with boys and tools and fireschool
hotspring secrets, bubbling water spilling with a pumpkin breeze
fireworks with family, the queen called for her lemonade
we stirred the lake with long sticks,
magiked fish sizzling in sauce
mud covered, wet and tired, building bridges to Eden
mosquito bites covered in chocolate pudding
bikers and chicks, studs and choppers
blues in the middle of Washington.
others and feet,
music and beats,
German lessons, pensions and religion
leave without pay to I can heal.
long open roads and quiet empty woods,
nights at rest stops and coffee spots,
Safeways and thriftsways
Spicing friends with curry and naan
rooftop performances, the curtain opened
with chocolate and spells.
Undefeated pinochle champ and unsullied swimmer
Biking to the sea and salty tears, letting go
Peppered with salsa and BBQs, I wore a toga
and crowned myself with ivy.