Tuesday, August 29, 2006

pray for rain

Apparently, I've been living under a rock (it's not the first time) and the Dakotas are currently experiencing droughts comparable to the Dust Bowl. Since corn stalks produced so few cobs this year, farmers are actually employing sunflower seeds for feed. With worsening conditions many farmers have been reduced to selling off their herds entirely.

As if things couldn't get any more glum there, the town of Mitchell, SD just announced that they will not be restalking the Corn Palace this year. I happened to visit the Corn Palace this summer and though I was a little disappointed (I had high hopes for an actual palace in a big field made of kernals), the Corn Palace is a really neat attraction and probably the only reason anyone stops in Mitchell. I'm a little worried about how this turn of events will effect the town's economy this year.

Realistically, I should be more worried about the state of agricultural disaster that's being declared in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming and other plains states. It's going to take years for these states to recover agriculturally and economically provided that the rain actually does come eventually.

Is it me or is the weather moving in more extreme directions these days? Global warming anyone?

overeducation leads to ugliness, premature aging and beard growth


Monday, August 28, 2006


In a little over a month I'm planning to attend the Southwestern Wildlife Rehabilitators Symposium which will be held right down the street from where I life. The Symposium is a three day affair, kicked-off with a bluegrass concert, which is open to the public. After completion (including a seminar on necropsy), I'll be eligible to volunteer as a rehabilitator with the state fish and game department.

Each year the Wildlife Center at Adobe Mountain welcomes over 1,000 animals through the doors (and gates) of their modest facility. Most of the animals are reptiles, bats, and birds. They get a lot of owls, hawks, snakes, and even tortoises (!). I love animals in all their shapes and sizes and I'm constantly soaking up useless (some would say) information about diets, gestation periods and habitats. Most of my interest and practice thus far has been for animals of the farm variety so I'm psyched to learn more about desert wildlife.

Hiking around this state I am constantly amazed by the wildlife that thrives in the harshest of conditions. Just this weekend, trompsing around Prescott we saw so many big lizards and birds. We also saw a huge herd of antelope gracefully galloping across the plains. I want to understand how these animals adapt to this environment, I want to know what they eat and how the build their homes. I want to know what makes them ill and how I can help to fix them. I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend or two or a hundred.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Now for an onslaught of more current photos. From this weekend's trip to Prescott, AZ.

If you've got copious amounts of time to waste and want to check out the rest of my AZ pictures, I've uploaded a bunch to my flickr page


These are from the same Slide Rock trip, traveling to and from Sedona...

Slide Rock

I've been on the road for the last couple of weeks visiting with family in NH and working. I'm back and finally posting pictures of a trip up to Slide Rock State Park on August 7th.

It's certainly a challenge to find decent swimming holes in this state and I was so surprised and delighted to find these natural rock slides filled with gushing clear water.

Monday, August 14, 2006

cafe a la glace

I thought reader(s) might be interested to know that brinki-dink is back on the coffee. Back around the time when this blog was first conceived, I stopped drinking coffee. It was a tough transition but I'm a lover of all things tea and so the effort to nix coffee was padded with the sweet caffeine buzz of earl grey.

Lately though, I've found myself gravitating back to coffee. This morning I actually made a pot of Starkbucks Yukon blend and I'm hastily working my way through it. I know I can't keep this up for too long as I can already feel my body rebelling against me. It's fun though to indulge in iced french vanilla and the coveted triple skim latte. Le sigh.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Trampled by Fat Fest, the Minnesota Story

Winona, Minnesota...who would have thought this tiny little town in the south eastern land of many lakes would capture my heart so. Upon arrival, my girls and I weren't quite sure what to think. We rolled up to Fat Fest and found ourselves in the backyard of a bar where two colorfully decorated stages flanked the big lawn.

After we set-up camp, had some dinner, and warmed up our instruments we got down to some excellent music. The highlight musically, for me, was definitely this lovely bluegrass band called Trampled by Turtles (check out their web site, you can listen to songs online). Seriously, they had me at the name. But, even more so with their tight licks and kick-ass, toe-tappin' newgrass jams.

I twirled my buns off! It was fabulous, and so nice to be in a festival environment with such friendly, considerate hippie-folk. People actually thanked us for coming, they laughed and danced without airs of trustifarian snobbery, they welcomed us to the late night campfire where we joined in the jam session on the skin flute and catanets. And, the best part of all...I didn't spot one spun wookie zonked out among the group.

Here's a picture of us ladies, after we stormed the stage...take note of the crazy-eyed tree in the background. The stage design at this place was no joke.

It was with teary eyes and a full heart that we left the little town of Winona, MN. I extend my deepest gratitude to the native Minnesotans who certainly know how to have a fabulous time with excellent music and even more excellent company. Fat Fest 2007, here we come!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


the promise of unlimited potential

Let's talk about the universe here for a minute....

I recently read Deepak Chopra's The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence. While the book was a little too new-agey for me practically, I thought his introductory examination of the universe was really interesting.

Deepak argues that there are three realms of existence. The Physical, the Quantum, and the Nonlocal. The physical realm contains everything we, as human beings, can experience with our 5 senses. Mass, objects, the third dimension...this is all physical. The Quantum Domain contains energy and information. Everything we see in the physical work is a manifestation of the Quantum Domain (think Einstein...energy equals mass times the speed of light). I never really thought much about subatomic particles moving at the speed of light, but it makes sense. The universe is made up of information contained in energy vibrating at different speeds.

This leaves us swimming around in a big bowl of energy; we are all expressions of communal energy and information. This connects everything. When I sit on my couch, it feels solid. We are two distinct bodies of mass, my couch and I. However, the atoms spinning around that make up my couch are not really solid and the atoms spinning around that make up my body aren't solid either. So, when I sit down on the couch, the molecules of energy and information that comprise what I perceive as my ass are actually blending a little bit with the energy and information that I perceive as the couch, flickering in and out of the speed of light.

Our human minds form perceptions about our bodies and the physical world. The mind comes from the third realm, the nonlocal domain. This is where information and energy emerge from possibility. Deepak argues that the most fundamental level of nature is pure potential, existing outside of space and time. The nonlocal intelligence binds quantum particles, it organizes the bowl of energy into entities we recognize. It accounts for the synchronicity that makes my heart pump blood to my toes, that compels geese to fly south for the winter, that moderates the speed at which our planet orbits the sun.

When I was a little girl, I used to lay in bed at the night and think about the construction of the universe. I couldn't wrap my brain around what existed beyond the stars. I understood the concept of the big bang, I understood that a lot of people believed God was the impetus behind the big bang--that part made sense. What I didn't understand was where the big bang took place. What held that spark of energy? If the universe is a thing that exists in space and time, then what's outside of it? Where does the universe reside? This became a source of anxiety for me as a kid and I was obsessed by it for a while. The visual I would conjure-up of black holes and exploding stars still finds it's way into my dreams.

Deepak says, I tend to agree (though I'm certainly no expert on quantum physics), that outside of the physical universe exists a field of unlimited potential, a nonlocal intelligence. This is the closet I've been able to come in understanding and believing a concept of God. This, I think, is a good jumping-off point in trying to figure out the nature of the soul and what our connection to this infinite potential is and can be. These are the things with which I keep my friends up in late-night conversations...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

girl in a box, the Chicago story

One of the first stops on our trip was Chicago, where we stopped to stay with a friend of Megan's in Boy's Town. I loved Boy's Town! You've got to adore a neighborhood where the mannequins are be-decked in leather, the food is delish, and the hospitality is unrivaled. After an amazing dinner at the boys' posh apartment, we had the pleasure of visiting the nightclub they've created.

This place is superfly. If you are in Chicago, you must go. It's called Lakeview Broadcasting Company; it's on N. Halstead street. You'll know you're there when you see the boombox on the door. The bar is beautiful and way hipper than I'll ever pretend to be. One of the most notable features of the main room is this big rectangular, glassed-in box that's been installed in the wall opposite the bar.

It's only about 4 feet tall, carpeted in shag, and lined with bookshelves full of records. On the weekends, hot models hang out in this terrarium-of-sorts, doing hot model type things. Since we were there on a weekday, the box was empty and we were invited to play house.

Following is a photo essay on why I am not model material...

Thank you, Justin and Stephen, for such a fabulous night in Chicago; we could not have asked for more gracious or gorgeous hosts. It's so good to see such wonderful things happening for such wonderful people.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

paper heart

I've finally found it! It took me 9 months of living here and bitching about how young people in this area are vapid and fake to realize that not everyone in Phoenix and the surrounding vicinity is an asshole.

Last night I went to the greatest arts venue I've seen in a long time, The Paper Heart. The ceilings are blood red, the main hall is decked with comfy couches, and the walls are plastered with local art. Every Tuesday night is Paint: Music, Art, and Spoken Expression. It's all going on at the same time and it's totally open to anyone who's interested in participating.

It was so refreshing to be in a place here where people looked like individuals. There, it didn't seem to be about what kind of handbag a woman carried or what kind of car her man was driving. I didn't even spy a set of fake titties in the joint and that's saying a lot for this area. The mc introduces each open mic reader with such care and the audience is complimentary and supportive. And they have a bar! I'm sold. Next week, I've promised myself, I will read something, something new!