Monday, November 01, 2010

New Website!

Hello All!

I am super excited to direct you over to my new website: www.lostintheecotone.com

I'm still working on it and as of right now it's really only my blog but the format is great, the pictures are huge..and well, I love it! I will be keeping this blog, but mostly for personal writing, and will be linking back and forth if need be.

So pleeeease check out my new site, my new photos and all the stuff you've been missing in the last couple months that I haven't posted :)

Cheers!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

hi!

Remember me? I used to blog here, almost every day! Then I met the most awesomest boy in the whole wide world and he showed me all the things I was missing with my face always buried behind a camera. Then he asked me to marry him, then I quit my job and then...well, now here I am!

I had mentioned that there was some big things coming up that I wasn't able to talk about just yet, but now I am! If you are patient with me in the next few months you will be shown the world through my eyes. After our wedding at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park we will be leaving for a month long trip to Europe. We will be visiting Prague, Munich for the 200th celebration of Oktoberfest, Venice (!!!), Croatia and the Plitvice Lakes, Vienna, Budapest and finally Istanbul.

I am going to be tied up in wedding plans and such until then but I will try to blog before we leave and also try to put up a "leading up to the wedding" post as I've been taking pictures of the process for the last month or so.

I purchased a netbook specifically for this trip and many of our hotels will have wifi so I fully plan on updating everyone while away but also will be spending quite some time when we get back editing photos and putting together informative posts about the different countries we visited.

I hope you stick with me on this! Wish us luck!

Oh, and....a lovely picture of paintbrush from a recent trip to Paradise. The wildflowers are beautiful right now.

paintbrush

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

PRIDE!!

My second annual Big Gay Weekend was not as action packed as the inaugural, but we did make it out to the parade on Sunday. We woke up late and ran to the bus heading for downtown and walked the 6 or so blocks to meet up with friends on the parade route. We did not eat any breakfast, and in fact didn't eat anything until hours later...but it was Pride, so there was vodka and orange juice. Turns out one can live on booze alone...at least for a few hours.

the crew
in motion
on the throne
slave
capped penis
dancing
gay team
flying monkey
belly
checking her out
yay pride
yikes!
polka biker
roller girl
flying spagetti monster
beauty queen
dodi
pride crowd
laughing
playing in the foutain
cheries o face
lucas

...ah yes, the last is the man I'm going to marry :)

HAPPY PRIDE!

Monday, June 28, 2010

the story of the gnome

One afternoon the tall one and I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. We wandered towards Greenlake and I don't remember now which route we took but suddenly the skies opened up and rain began to pour down on us. We made it to Tangle Town for some dinner and yummy beer and on the way back home passed a cute little house that had many little garden gnomes outside on the patio.

We had been discussing our Europe trip over dinner and all the sudden the idea came to me:

"Let's Amelie someone!"

If you've never seen the french film Amelie...well, then you need to run out right now to your local video store (do they still have those?), download from your favorite bit torrent site, or whatever it is that you do to watch movies these days and WATCH IT! Go ahead, I'll wait.


Now for those of you who have seen it you know that the main character Amelie Poulain steals her father's garden gnome and hands it off to her friend who is a stewardess. Her friend takes pictures of the gnome in all the world cities she visits and then sends the polaroid back in the mail addressed to Amelie's father. The point is to get her father to follow his life long dream of travel.

The tall one and I were giddy over the idea and decided that we would give it a trial run with our trip to Hawaii. We went back and forth on deciding if we wanted to borrow a gnome from someone we knew or if we wanted to go back to the original house that gave us the idea and take one of theirs. In the end we decided to go back to the house.

Our idea was this:
*Steal a gnome from a stranger
*Pack it up tightly and take it to Hawaii
*Photograph the gnome with us where ever we go; snorkeling, hiking, etc.
*Send a postcard to the owners, writing as the gnome, with a picture saying "be home soon"
*Return the gnome after a couple weeks, so the postcard has time to get there, and leave pictures of the trip next to him.

For me the idea of doing this to a stranger was very appealing because we would never know how it affected them. I imagined them stepping out onto their porch and noticing the gnome was gone, thinking it's gone for ever, then receiving a postcard in the mail from the gnome postmarked Hawaii, then going crazy asking all their friends if they knew anyone who had traveled there and then suddenly they walk out onto their patio one morning and there the gnome is. It's just such a beautiful thing to do to someone. It brings a sense of adventure to their lives, breaks up the monotony of life, and creates a great story to tell. And the best part is they get to have all of that and we don't share in it. It's all theirs.

gnome

A couple days before our trip to Hawaii we still had not retrieved the gnome and we were slightly worried that we may have misjudged it's size. Finally the tall one headed out after work, dressed in dark clothing and humming special agent music, to grab the gnome. Luckily the little guy was the perfect size, unfortunately he was cracked quite a bit and fragile so we knew right away we couldn't take him on our Europe trip and most likely he wouldn't get out of our hotel room in Hawaii.

gnome

Nonetheless we wrapped him in towels, put him in my suitcase and took the journey to Hawaii. He made it just fine and in true island style we got him leid. He decided to hang out on the patio of the hotel with his bottle of Jack and watch the sun set over Diamond Head or ogle the surfer girls on the beach for the remainder of his vacation.

gnome with jack
post card

I had purchased a POGO printer for my camera and the little prints are actually stickers so we took one of the gnome from the balcony and mailed it off to the owners with a note that said "Couldn't take the rain anymore. Be home soon, aloha!"

We enjoyed the rest of our trip and as the day neared for us to go home we decided that the gnome needed a companion. He needed a hula girl.

new love

Unfortunately we didn't have the time to get him one before we left so we headed home empty handed. The gnome had nothing to show for his trip except a pretty bad hangover and a bunch of pictures of places he couldn't go because he was so fragile. The tall one knew that wouldn't do so he visited the Hawaii store in Wallingford and selected a lovely girl for the gnome. We weren't sure if they would hit it off...but once we introduced them it was love at first sight.

dreaming

We finally returned the gnome and his new girl a few weeks after we returned from our trip. I went with him this time, both of us humming secret agent music, and bid farewell to our new friend and his love.

After telling everyone the story of the gnome we were asked if we had driven by the house after we dropped them off to see what had happened to them. We actually hadn't so one evening we drove by and did not see the gnome. The hula girl was where the tall one had left her, but the gnome was no where to be found.

I was a little sad. Had we gone through all of that for someone who didn't appreciate it? Didn't have a sense of humor? Did we piss them off? Did they think we had put a camera in the gnome? Gah, I didn't know!

I've put off telling this story specifically for those reasons. Because I just didn't know the outcome of the gnome. But then again, wasn't that the point of taking the gnome from a stranger? For it to be their story?

Then today...the tall one sent me this picture:

gnome home

And if you look close you will see the gnome, still wearing his lei, with his love flanking one side of the patio and he on the other. This made my week :) Thank you, tall one, for sharing in my adventurous nature and of course; thank you gnome for giving us our own story to tell.

Monday, June 21, 2010

the reluctant bride

I downloaded the first of the Sookie Stackhouse novels last week. Lately I've been having trouble sleeping so I've downloaded the Kindle app for my iphone and will lay in bed with the lights out so I don't disturb the tall one as I read. My first downloaded novel was "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" (or Men Who Hate Women if you want to literally translate it from Swedish) and although I was still on the fence about not having the actual book in my hands I liked that I could pick up my phone anywhere and lose myself in Mikael Blomkvist's investigation. After finishing the book I laid in bed for a few nights, staring at the ceiling that would be slightly illuminated by the lights from the external hard drive connected next to the bed. I decided to download another book.

I'm a fan of True Blood so as I looked through the top sellers on the Kindle website I noticed the first Sookie Stackhouse novel and decided that would be my next distraction. So far the book has followed the series quite nicely and as I read the words I can hear the strong southern drawl of Anna Paquin and as Sookie describes Bill running his fingers through her hair I  can see the strong jaw cut by long stylish sideburns of Stephen Moyer. It's definitely been quieting the craziness that has been swirling around in my head. Why is there craziness, you ask?

Well, you see my friends, I am engaged. A beautiful, wonderful, never thought it would happen to me kind of thing that has blown my mind wide open and created a hole that, no matter how much wedding porn I throw into it, won't close.  My mind flutters back and forth between the feelings of being totally loved to being totally ignored, to being totally grateful, to being totally annoyed. It's no wonder girls go crazy when the ring is put on their finger. Between friends, family, obligation, tradition, money, time, location, colors, flowers, honeymoon GAH!!!

*breathe*

You get the point.

I'm lucky that the man who put the ring on my finger (well, not exactly just yet...we're having them made specially for us) understands that I get overwhelmed easily, that I did NOT inherit the bride gene and that his family is expecting to be present at any sort of ceremony that occurs, meaning we can't just sign the papers here and get married in Europe...or Vegas...without them being there. At first he wanted a small wedding, one at the courthouse so we could use our trip to Europe as our honeymoon. Then I got the idea of being married outdoors, on a trail or something somewhere...then I started looking at elopement locations...then I started looking at small wedding packages as the guest list grew from all the people finding out about the small wedding...you see where this is going. The blow-off valve broke and we've had to cap it. I think we're at 14 right now, not including me and the tall one.

Our goal is to keep this wedding (including rings) under $2000. Dodi has graciously offered to make my dress, our flowers will be simple daisies from the grocery store, the ceremony will take place (hopefully) at Alexander's Country Inn who will include in the price lodging, dinner for two, a small cake, champagne and a wedding coordinator (the owner of the inn) who will help to pull everything together. My one big sad face in all of this is I want pictures to be taken, and I have a photographer in mind, but I don't think I'll be able to talk her down to our budget.

Ok, maybe that's not the only sad face. I'm totally being selfish and girly..I know...but I kinda expected to be showered with..um...happiness? Like everyone I know would be totally wanting to help and jumping in to...oh I don't know, play with my hair? Is that what girls do? Oh man, I'm hopeless. I'm disappointed in what I don't even know I want?! How is that possible? It doesn't even make sense! Funny thing is the whole situation reminds me of when I lost all my weight. Everyone wants you to get thin when you are fat, they all want you to be "healthy", but once you become thin there is no big YAY YOU party, it's snide looks and comments like "well, yeah, I mean I'm exercising too. What size are you now? Well, I'm a size blah so I guess I'm still one up on you". I mean REALLY?

I've noticed lots of comments from friends after the engagement that border on the "you guys are sickly happy, go get a room". You'd think they'd be jumping for joy! Yet I've actually had people say to me "well, I've seen you go through a lot of guys so I guess it was only a matter of time before this happened."

Again...I MEAN REALLY??

It's so strange. The whole world wants you to be happy but then once you are it's like "ew, get a room, I'm gonna barf".

Sigh. And don't even get me started on my mother...she spends the one day I tell her that I'm getting married crying and calling the whole world to let them know that "her daughter is engaged" and then I don't hear from her again until I call her to tell her the date...and THEN she asks me if I'll give her "me time" when she comes up for the wedding....not "oh, I'll be there to help you with whatever, only daughter that I love" oooooh no... me time. Whatev.

I'm rambling now.

I know I'm going to offend people and I know that there will be feelings hurt, but I wish people would understand that and know that I'm under a lot of pressure to make a lot of people happy when really I just want to smile more than once during this process. Does that make sense? I'm using a lot of run on, poor me sentences aren't I?

If you lasted with me this long you deserve pictures.

Every Tuesday night for seven years Dodi's mom Autumn hosted Pizza Night. It was an open door party for anyone to show up, eat pizza, drink wine/beer/shots, and meet new people. After the 7th year Autumn became tired and asked if anyone would like to take it over. We decided on a few different locations and pizza night is now a roaming event that occurs every Sunday evening. We had the honor of hosting it for the first time a couple weeks ago and I took these pictures of our lovely friends.

sunflowers
fun is in the details
dodirose
sharon and stacy
nipple
sharon and dail
still totally fighting

Friday, June 18, 2010

still alive

my apologies for not being around much lately. some fun things have happened in the last couple weeks that I can't wait to share with you, so stay tuned! a post will be coming next week, I promise!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Barclay Lake, SIFF, Folklife...oh my!

It's been a while since I posted and although there is a good reason as to why I haven't been posting lately I can't really mention it for a couple months. As for today's posting it will be short because I'm injured. I've got a stress injury from work that is making life a bit frustrating so typing is not any fun...

BUT speaking of FUN the tall one and I spend a lovely weekend exploring all that this beautiful state has to offer and like true Seattleites we weren't deterred by a little rain!

This was a special weekend for the tall one and I and he had lofty goals for us over the three day holiday. We began early on Saturday morning with breakfast in bed and then a quick drive over to Pacific Place for the SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) film Turtle: The Incredible Journey. My thoughts: "AWWW TURTLES!!" and the tall one: "I liked it, but the narration was geared a little too much towards children".

We had planned on doing some shoe shopping but hunger stopped us from going any further than the Dr. Marten's store on 2nd. We went on a search for food and decided on Fado as neither of us had ever eaten there and yay irish fare. We passed the SAM (Seattle Art Museum) on the way to the pub and almost stopped in for the Kurt exhibit that is going on, but decided on food first. After what I thought was yummy and the tall one thought was a bit mediocre meal (and my first guiness!! YUM!) we decided that a nap sounded better than the museum so off to home we went. That night the tall one had the boys over for a poker game and I caught up on Top Chef Masters.

always flowing

We wanted to get a hike in and Sunday looked to be the best day. I originally wanted to head out to Ingallis Creek because the wildflowers are blooming but I was a bit worried about the long drive and we had friends coming over that night  so I consulted the books before deciding on Barclay Lake off Highway 2.

broken bells

Barclay Lake hike is a gentle 4 1/2 mile roundtrip hike to a long, deep lake with Baring Mountain towering overhead. It's a nice and easy hike, with lots of kids and puppies running around, but if you're looking for a something a little more challenging this hike can provide. After reaching the north end of the lake look for the flags right after the "toilet" and then proceed directly up..up..UP 1500 feet in less than 2 miles to Eagle Lake. After passing a meadow you come upon the small lake that is accompanied by a small lakeside cabin.

flower and fly at 2.8

Or so I've been told. I made it half way up the mountain before I told the tall one we had to stop. I just couldn't make it. My legs were shaking from the effort and I was worried about getting back down. In tearful defeat he led me back down the Eagle Lake trail to the much flatter Barclay Lake trail and we began the 2 1/2 mile trek back to the car.

baring over barclay

I lead the way and in a break in the conversation I looked up and noticed that I didn't recognize anything. I had missed a turn somewhere. The tall one headed towards the creek to see if he could determine our whereabouts and I went just a little bit further down the trail and noticed someone down by the water bushwacking their way through what was left of the trail. I called to her and relieved she said "Oh thank God! I lost my way and I don't know where I am!" in the most adorable Scottish brogue that we later learned had faded much after having lived in the states for 13 years. Apparently her party was split up and she missed the turn like we did. Luckily I had the boy scout with me and he was able to determine where we missed the main trail (a blatant bridge over the river which I completely missed). The tall one and I, yet again saving a damsel in distress! I'm going to make him a cape, I swear.

squid

Making it home in time to rest and clean up before Dodi, Michael and Michael's friends joined us for dinner, we eagerly awaited their arrival as I had heard that Michael's cooking was not something to be missed. On the menu was lobster, home made gnocchi, home made crab cakes and a yummy salad with fresh squid, which the tall one learned how to clean. Michael out did himself with this meal and I'll never feel comfortable cooking for him again! I swear to you it was one of the best meals I've ever had. I'm going to need to watch a lot more Food Network :)

folklife

My hand is starting to hurt and I've already written more than I thought I would so let me close this out with Folklife. After dim sum we met some friends over at the Seattle Center for the last day of the Folklife festival. We wandered, we listened, we watched a crazy guy dance like no one was watching him, we chatted, we hung out at the Fun House for a birthday party, we ate at Zeeks, we chatted more, we walked more, we went home and watched Brotherhood until we passed out.

dancing

This weekend will always be a special time for the tall one and I and I'm glad we got to spend it with friends.







Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lake 22

A view of the other side of Mt.Pilchuck reflected into an ice cold lake reached by a nice gently graded hike was exactly what we were looking for on last weekend's beautiful Saturday afternoon. We began around 2:30 and although full, the trail head parking lot wasn't overflowing so we figured it wouldn't be too crowded on the trail. 


the path

The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming color green just everywhere. It made me so giddy, I've been waiting for spring for what seems like forever. The second was the water. It was flowing every where. Under the walk ways, sometimes over the trail, and the waterfalls were just running out of control. Quite a few times we ventured off the main trail to catch a look at the multiple waterfalls that we could hear from the trail. 


skunk cabbage


initials on the bridge
log over falls

flowing forest
flowing timber


As we reached the lake, just before I stepped onto the wooden walkway that surrounds the lake I dunked my entire foot in a large pool of melting snow and mud. My foot was soaked, so we picked a spot on the board walk to sit and eat lunch while my sock dried out. 


reflections on 22


The lake still had a sheet of ice on the far end and as we were hiking up we passed a group of four young men who had ski's strapped to their backs, with the exception of one who had an inflatable orca whale attached to a snowboard. Apparently they had hiked to the other side of the lake and skied down the snow into the water and went swimming.

yikes...between the avalanches and the freezing cold water...well, they were nuts. 



shadow flower


Slightly dryer, we decided to head back down. We passed a group of some hipsters (one of which had hiked up in a dress and flip flops) who were digging up a lone skunk cabbage flower. I didn't bother to tell them about the plant they were digging up. Better to let them experience the smell. 


cuuuuute


At the beginning of the talus field we noticed a man carrying a teenaged girl on his back. We lost them on one switchback, but quickly caught up to them and noticed that the girl had her ankle wrapped and elevated. The tall one asked what happened and apparently she twisted her ankle at the top and re-injured it. (she had surgery on it last year). We asked if there was anything we could do to help, but the gentleman (who we found out was the father) told us that some people had stopped (who also had a wrap for his daughters ankle) and went ahead to notify Search and Rescue.

We insisted that we stay to help them, although the dad said he didn't feel comfortable with a stranger carrying his daughter down the mountain. I reassured him that though tall and skinny, my boyfriend is a UPS driver and could probably carry both me and his daughter down the mountain. But he wouldn't budge so we followed them down. After having to stop a few times, and some encouragement from his daughter, he finally let my boyfriend take her on his back and carry her down. The tall one proceeded to book it down the mountain. I'm not kidding, I had to run after the guy and he was carrying someone on his back.

SAR never came, so we're not sure what happened with that, and we were passed by the group of hipsters who did not offer to help, but other than that we didn't see another person on the trail. Strangely enough though, it was a lovely hike and the father and daughter (who is graduating high school this year) were a great team and kept things light and cheerful in the midst of what could have been a scary situation. I'm glad we were able to help them.
 

I highly recommend heading out there and stepping of the beaten path to check out these beautiful waterfalls.