Monday, July 09, 2007

So I am a little behind in updating you on my life, my apologies. Here is a brief summary:

Independence Day

My fourth started out with the scrap exchange, which was helping kids decorate their bikes for a fourth of July bike parade. It was nice, though a bit more yuppie of an affair than I would have prefered. Later Dana and I went to the Eno River festival, a big music festival on the river. The music was great, very blissfest-esque, and all the money made went towards buying more land along the river to preserve it from development.

That afternoon, my roommates and I threw a little BBQ for some friends. Look below! me lighting the grill. It went off without a hitch, and yes, we did move the grill away from this wooden corner, quickly. It was so fun and tasty with our kroger clearance-item condoments: jalopeneo ketchup, artichoke relish, dejion mustered...

We then did sparklers and had strawberry-blueberry shortcake, with neopolitan and mint chocolate chip ice cream. By this time (9:30) I was quite anxious to get to the fireworks-- If I couldn't be in Northport on the fourth, I'd be damned not to at least watch the fireworks in Durham! We heard them start and all piled into one car, chasing down the explosions before they finished. I ended up on a roof garden of sorts, which was a really neat and caught the finale. Overall, a very enjoyable day, although I cant say I thought much about our country's independence. Perhaps more of my own.

Cumberland Gap
a couple weekends ago I went to Kentucky to meet Phil for a hike in Cumberland Gap. We met up in a small coal minning town called Benham, where we stayed the first night in an old school house that was converted into an Inn.

Literally- a school, with a gym and lockers and classrooms/bedrooms. Though everything I have ever learned from all the horror films I have seen told me to turn around and go home-- no cell phone service, creepy little mining town that was accessed by going over a huge mountain, with no signs and stumbling across the town contrarilly to the mapquest directions, creepy old school house with creepy receptionist telling me to park in the back of the building, abandoned mines, getting dark, no sign of Phil-- everything that evening turned out fine. We had a long chat with some of the locals. They were great people, it seemed. For sunset we took a drive up Black Mt, the tallest mountain in KT, and found a fire watch tower mentioned in one of Phil's books. Again, several red flags: not clearly marked; local rough men in big trucks telling us it did not exist; the local math teacher saying that HE would never go up into that mountain, "who knows about those people up in that mountain;" finding it in amongst lots of shady machinary; climbing up it anyway, dispite no tresspassing signs, and the rickity nature of the structure. But it was definetely worth it:

The next morning we decided to sneak around one of the closed mines, which, though we did not see any tresspassing signs, was clearly not for tourists. Still, it was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done. Here are some pictures, I'll tell you the details some time if you would like.

The Hike was really nice and not as hard as the park people said that it was going to be. Of course the fact that I wasn't really carrying anything might have had something to do with that :-). It was beautiful and perfect. Some highlights: hearing a bear in the darkness and not being eaten by it, the White Rocks cliff overlook, cows mooing in the distance, the Sand Cave, which was a cave with an opening about 200 feet in diameter filled with peach colored sand. Again, there is so much to tell, and I promise to have story time with people if they want when we see each other:

Since this trip, went to Boone, NC with intention to see the bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show. Unfortunately, it was sold out, but I still had a great time visiting Julia friend Molly and seeing another part of North Carolina. Tomorrow Julia and I are going to Ashville for a music festival called Bele Cher. Its free, and we know some people there, so it should be a good time. Other than that, trying to work a lot, read (sip) a lot, and enjoy this hot weather and new friends.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

So this is home SWEET home, I love it. the cutest little house on a street full of other houses, secondary in cuteness, but still nice. Looking out my bedroom window, its like I'm in a tree house--or, at least not in the middle of a city:

Since my last post, much has happened. turns out that the landlords, unannounced to us, decided that they did not want animals in the house anymore-- even though it is written in our contract, two cats and one dog. So we had to go to the rescue center, the very day we agreed to pick up the kittens and let them down. But the good news(!) is that they were very nice about it and made us volunteers, which involves going to petsmart whenever we want to go feed, water, change litter and let ALL THE KITTIES OUT to play with for as long as we want. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Anyone who wants a cat but cant, I highly recommend this option.
As far as my canvassing job, which has completely consumed my life, another twist of events. I tried SOOO hard, did everything they said in exactly the same way they said, I was coached and did role plays and everything was fine in practice, but when implemented at the doors, people must have still seen through me--- known that I hate solicitors too, that I think it is sensible not to handle financial matters at the door, to do research into organizations before you throw money at them, that if you already give to other environmental organizations regularly, and volunteer when you can, that you should not be pressured into contributing to another. Whatever the reason, people did NOT want to give me money, and it was mutually decided (between me and the directors) that perhaps I did not have that magic something that it takes to ask people for money. however I loved the org, the people, and the experience.
the next day (yesterday) I went to a Thai restaurant that a friend told me were hiring, and I started instantly. the food is AMAZING and the owner is sooo chill, understanding and reasonable. If you are totally engrossed in my life, and want to check it out:
of course I expect that of no one, save, perhaps, my mother. So, this is one luck situation that fell into my lap, and the stress has lifted, for the moment.

Whats this, you ask?
Another thing I hope to be more involved with this summer is the Scrap Exchange. It is about the coolest organization I have ever seen. They collect bulk scrap items like tubing, foam, zippers, buttons, test tubes... basically anything you can imagine from surrounding industries, and then throw events for kids to make art out of them. It promotes reusing before recycling and creativity in kids (and twenty somethings, apparently--like my hat?).

Other than those things...
Our third roommate arrived last night. Dana, also from Kzoo will be interning at Duke (something to do with primates and infants... yesssss) along side chillaxin' with us! of course. Our basement studio is complete! and I will put up many pictures of the art happenings down there over the course of the summer. Looking forward to the fourth of July, though I must say I am already missing the energy of northport during this holiday season. Have so much fun with out me, folks, nothing really beats Independence day there so don't forget how lucky you are to be in Northport if you are! I will be spending the day at the Eno Festival, with music and fire in the sky-- should be fun, but not the same.