From the banks of the Potomac…

Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial from the banks of the Potomac, Washington, DC (September 29, 2009)

Though I risk slipping too comfortably into the trend of “this day back when” posts, let me just squeeze in this one photograph, taken on the first of two frantic visa-runs to the Korean Embassy in DC, just days before shipping off to Seoul. It was a perfect fall afternoon, not unlike today, with just enough of a breeze coming off the water and just the right buzz of anticipation for the unknown that lay ahead. On the more technical side, it was the first experiment with my newest acquisition– the Sigma 10-20mm lens given as a parting gift from my father under the condition that it be used for beautiful photographs. Two years, ten countries, and thousands of photographs later, I can only hope that I adequately rose to the challenge.

 

 

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Photo of the day(/month?): Mani Walls, Deurali

September 27, 2010: mani walls at the Deurali Pass, Solu-Khumbu, Nepal

This time last year, I was two days into a three week trek from the middle hills of Nepal up through the Himalayas and back again. When I returned, having neither had nor desired internet access for nearly a month, I found myself fielding quite a few questions about my whereabouts. I find myself now in a similar situation, though the adventure is quite different and accessibility is certainly not the issue. My friends, I have embarked on a quest called Grad School, and I’m afraid it has effectively sent me off the grid for awhile… just not in such a literal sense this time. I am pleased to say that after much wandering, I think I’ve ended up where I’m supposed to be after all.

This photograph was taken at the top of the first mountain pass on my trek, traversed on this day last year, which is oddly appropriate having just cleared the first major hump, hurdle, mountain pass, of my academic career. Ah, and like a ripe cheddar, it appears I’ve only gotten cheesier with time. You know you missed me.

I’ll be back.

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Want to be: In Bruges

Prison, death, it didn’t matter. Because at least in prison, and at least in death, you know, I wouldn’t be in fucking Bruges. But then, like a flash, it came to me, and I realized, “Fuck, man, maybe that’s what Hell is. The entire rest of eternity spent in fucking Bruges!” And I really, really hoped I wouldn’t die. I really, really hoped I wouldn’t die. 

-Ray, In Bruges, 2008

Shunning happy hour at one of my new favorite B-more haunts in favor of some lazy, antisocial time at home after finishing a busy two week anatomy and physiology course, I spent a Friday night in, folding laundry and watching one of my favorite movies of the past few years, In Bruges. For those who are not familiar with the film (to whom I recommend renting it)… two hitmen, Ray and Ken (played by a brilliantly sensitive Colin Farrell and the always incredible Brendan Gleeson, respectively), are sent by their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), to hide out in Bruges and await further instructions after a botched job in which Ray accidentally killed a little boy. Ken is eager to take in all of the historic sights of the city, while Ray is wracked by guilt and pissed off that they have been sent to Bruges, of all places. Guilt and morality, drug dealers and dwarf actors, arguments with American (or Canadian?) tourists and Hieronymous Bosch paintings come to life… bizarre hilarity naturally ensues.

Though Ray asserts that hell would be an eternity spent in Bruges, the film has put Bruges (and Belgium as a whole) on my radar, and I tend to side with Ken and Harry in falling hard for the charms of the canal-lined medieval city center- It’s a fairy tale fucking town, isn’t it? How can a fairy tale town not be somebody’s fucking thing?

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Sunday night souvenir: a wooden turtle, mon!

Knowing that I’m fan of all things turtle, my sister, Laura, nabbed this lil’ guy in Jamaica past spring. Truly a product of my Mom-mom, who is always after a good bargain, she was excited to hone her negotiating skills in the Ochos Rios craft market and left with quite a few steals.

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Photo Essay: Chesapeake Bay overnight excursion

As previously mentioned, not long after returning from Ireland, I was crewing a short sailing expedition on the Chesapeake Bay with an overnight in Annapolis and St. Michael’s.

Here are a few shots from the trip:

(1&2 Annapolis City Dock at night; 3&4 a short spinnaker run down the Bay; 5&6 Hooper Straight Lighthouse and a restoration in progress at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s; 7 St. Michael’s Marina; 8 leaving St. Michael’s at sunrise)

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A Midsummer Night’s Inspiration

“3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…..

= a trip of a lifetime.”
 
Thanks to my Swiss Miss for sharing these incredible short films Eat, Learn, and Move (shot by Aussie Rick Mereki… who I keep wanting to call “Rick Moranis”) that make me want to get up off my bum and LIVE.

Oh, and Andrew Lees- call me?

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you know it is going to be a great day when…

…you can see the Himalayas from your window in the middle of monsoon season.

Confession: Today wasn’t a great day… it probably wasn’t even good. Internet service calls, frequent phone calls to the landlord about small but vital tasks that should have been completed weeks ago, staying put for nearly 7 hours to wait for an important UPS delivery that couldn’t be left on an inner city stoop… these are the annoyances of getting settled into new digs. But at least I have electricity without rolling blackouts, hot water, and reliable internet (I think), right? Right?! Those are big important things I should be happy about, yes? (Lindsey, this is Baltimore, not Kathmandu- it’s OK to adjust your standards).

A year ago, I came home from work in the morning to find this magnificent vista visible from the balcony outside my room. During the monsoon season, it is rare to get such a clear view of the Himalayas from Kathmandu (these particular mountains are part of the Langtang range), so catching such a panorama is the sort of moment that instantly brightens days.

With a few monumental, exciting, scary things just around the corner, I have found myself caught up in details, bogged down by small concerns rather than propelled forward by the tiny notions that can make one’s day. I don’t expect to look out my window and see 6000 meter mountains breaking through the clouds, but I know there are little day-makers amongst the daily annoyances. At the very least, it is still Shark Week.

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