Thursday, May 30, 2013

Update and Assisi pictures #200

I've been waiting for a while to post some of the following pictures to this blog.

"Pet me, I'm determined to make you spend at least two hours on the couch and procrastinate using my powers of snuggling!"

I have definitely been busy, but I think the true roadblock is that since deleting my facebook and having my connection to the online world be in this blog, a less structured interface than facebook, I have felt some pressure to come up with some profound writing, some idea or innovative thinking.

He likes getting his paws massaged.

But then I decided that the internet really just is for kitty pictures anyway.

 Really likes it. I mean, don't we all?
It's taking me some time to get used to a new lifestyle - some things are great and other things are challenging. It really hasn't been until the last few months that I have left the sphere of education, despite graduating two years ago now. When you get down to the nuts and bolts, working for the Boy Scouts, working for NAL, living in Bellingham hasn't been all too different of a lifestyle since college.
Fuzzy feet!

I was typically surrounded by young people, enthusiastic and in or fresh out of college, and developing comfortable working environments and social circles was easy. I know, I know, first-world problems, right?

Zeez and I like to play a game I call "Fuzzy Kitty Belly," pronounced "FUZZYKITTYBELLY!!!" He starts it by presenting me with his belly.
 But all of it has got me thinking about how much I appreciate my time in college, the people I have surrounded myself with previously, and how grateful I am for my life experiences in recent years.

I slowly attempt to pet his belly.

 It can make a fella a little lonely, in a way. But I'm going to take it as inspiration to reach out more.

And then he proceeds to attack my arm.

Honestly, when I have the best life partner who goes hiking with me, makes me delicious red chile yam enchiladas, and we have the best lil' kitty together, in this quaint apartment out in the high and dry desert, it's hard to complain.

Tree-hugging in Hyde Park.
This was a dessert of mangoes and cookie dough. Yep, we are a bit weird.

Ok I just had to post this last one.


Saturday, May 18, 2013


Living in a desert climate, you think about water a lot. In a rainy climate, you also think about water a lot, but in a very different way. In Bellingham, water is everywhere, and I will admit that after spending five years there, I took it for granted and even was annoyed by it. To be fair, I never ever got tired of the view of Bellingham Bay from my house, the beautiful running trails along Whatcom Creek, or the lush green landscape. But there were many mornings, especially during the long winter months, where I would hear the rain as soon as I woke up and curse the world, knowing that I would have to plan my outfit and my activities around how much I could tolerate being wet.

In New Mexico, I think about water all the time because I never see any. Okay, that is a slight hyperbole. I definitely recognize the privilege I have to live in a place with running water available hot or cold 24/7. But aside from that, this is the most water I've seen at once:
An especially flowy part of the Santa Fe River.
The fact that this body of water is called a river is kind of a joke because it is so shallow. And it actually dries up less than 10 blocks downstream. So see what I mean about seeing NO water?

To be fair, it has rained a number of times since I've moved here. According to people who have lived in Santa Fe for awhile, this Spring has been rainier than usual. When it rains, the normally blue sky gets dramatically overcast, and Santa Feans will look eagerly to the sky and say, "Looks like it's going to rain!" When it finally does, the raindrops are fat and slow and actually quite refreshing. It rarely rains for more than five minutes; it doesn't even phase all the tourists who walk around downtown in shorts and Hawaiian t-shirts. (Sidenote: Tourists are fascinating.)

Every once in awhile it will get really exciting and hail for five minutes. And five minutes after that, all evidence will have completely evaporated and it will be hot and sunny again. It is weird, folks.

The other day in the newspaper I saw an ad that said, "WASTING WATER IS AGAINST THE LAW," reminding Santa Feans that it is illegal to water your yard during the day. Apparently the city is entering into is third year of drought.

Of course, there are some advantages to living in a hot, dry climate. I don't have to use a hair drier, and even my long, thick hair dries perfectly straight. Mold and mildew are no longer words in my daily vocabulary. At the same time, it definitely doesn't feel sustainable to have so many humans living in a place with so little water.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tent Rocks, Wise Fools, and more!

Eric and I just had a GREAT weekend. Let me tell you about it.

The main reason that it was great is that we both had Saturday and Sunday off, so we got two whole days to adventure together. We decided to set off toward the wilderness on Saturday and get our hiking on. Here is what we saw at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument:
Awesome rock formations
Sweeeeeeet elevated tree roots
Tent rocks!
So you can see why they are called tent rocks. We hiked through a slot canyon around the rocks and had a beautiful view at the top of these unreal geologic miracles. From the top we could also see a beautiful turquoise lake (which we're pretty sure is called Cochiti Lake) and some tree-covered hills.

Our lunch spot! We were a little matchy that day...
The desert landscape is awesome. If anyone wants to check it out in person, come visit us!

Another awesome thing that we did on Saturday: we saw a free circus performance in the park! There's an organization here called Wise Fool that teaches theater and circus arts, and they just started performing a show called See Saw, complete with a custom-made 20-ish feet tall see saw. Bellinghamsters reading this blog know that the Bellingham Circus Guild is pretty great, so Eric and I have high standards in regards to community circus performances. This one blew us out of the park! (Get it, because we were in a park?) Actually, to continue with that pun, it was a really windy evening, and these performers were climbing around on this huge metal sculpture with ropes and fabric billowing out behind them. It was a good taste of the Santa Fe quirkiness that we are learning to know and love.

Our cat is still the best cat in the world.
One of the many hilarious poses he is capable of.
 Can you find the cat in this picture??? Look very closely... (By the way, this is our living room!The murphy bed is behind that red curtain, eagerly awaiting visitors...)

One day Assisi jumped into this nook all by himself, and we decided to make it more comfortable for him. He sleeps there all the time now, which is the cutest/coolest thing in the world. Plus, he gets to chill next to our favorite house decoration, the OC poster.

 Sleepy kitty. 
And just so you don't think that Assisi sleeps and flops around all day, here is one of him being playful and feisty:

And finally, THANK YOU to everyone who has sent us snail mail since we moved here! It is so nice to get postcards and notes from all our great friends and family and makes us feel right at home. Lots of gratitude to all!

Love, Marie and Eric

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Optimist on the offensive

Hey blogoworld,

Eric here. I'm going to get right to the point. Is it just me, or are there more terrible things in the U.S. lately than usual?? Boston, the fertilizer plant in Texas, not a single law to curb gun violence passed, Guantanamo Bay, etc.

Let me tell you it feels more difficult than ever to be an optimist in the deluge of depressing news. And to those of you reading who might remember, this is coming from the guy who got "Most Pessimistic" in my senior year of high school. Needless to say I have radically transformed my worldviews over the last several years. But sometimes, it is unbelievably difficult. 

Weird thing is, I think that terrible news actually inspires my newfound optimism. Humans have terrible potential. But the capacity for love is so much greater. Hearing stories of Gabrielle Giffords refusing to give up to the NRA, marathon runners running straight across the finish line to the hospital to give blood, states working toward marriage equality; it's these things that I pick out through the noise of the relentless news media and hope that others do the same. 

I have been feeling a sense of patriotism that is previously unfamiliar to me, inspired by these stories. It inspires me to get involved, or at least be informed. I have the desire to be politically involved, moreso than I have before. (Though I unfortunately don't really know where to start.) I believe it's time to believe in government, believe in the power of democracy again. 

"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice."

Inspiring words from Theodore Parker. Probably my favorite quote of all time.

Because love trumps bummers.

Now here is a picture of Assisi.