Tag Archives: fuck

For God’s sake, go have some fucking fun today.

I love fun. I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person or a shallow person, but I fucking love fun.

Warning: this is one of those entries we do about our lives that has very little to do with photography.
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View from our fire escape in the village

I had fun in New York. I could not possibly recollect all the bars that I went to, or give you any kind of useful guide to drinking in the village, as an outsider. I didn’t even feel like an outsider, I felt at home. I can tell you that a beautiful bartender gave me a drink so strong I was too sick for dinner and had to take a nap. Maybe walking was a problem too, I don’t recall… but I got up and went right back to bar hopping like a champ. It’s the way of KodakKerouacs, we don’t let alcohol bring us down. I drank champagne out of a mason jar. I had the best Mojito of my life. My liver hates me, but it was worth it. Below is a collage that tells the story of my friend finding a furry arm on the ground, and killing all of Manhattan with it, so he could find peace an quiet. We actually don’t know this other guy, but all of us were sloshed and happy, and unified in our delirium of happy drunkenness.

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Oh, an I met a guy on the A-train who I went out to breakfast and later for drinks with. He is fabulously interesting, but got a little freaked out when he figured out our age difference. oops. We talked about how much we love the A-train, the city, and our love for dying mediums. His books are replaced with kindles and my film is replaced with SD cards. He comes to Harlem to go to small bookstores and convenience stores to collect a genre of book he specializes in, pimp fiction, and he says the experience of doing such is so entirely “other” that ordering novels online can never compare. We knew our missions were similar at the core: preservation of a way of life. I played the date out right, I ended it by showing him the view from our rooftop. C’mon, you know that’s romantic! But c’est la vie, it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t hate a girl for trying. It is wonderful to connect to another traveler on the road of life.
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The best thing I did during the trip was going to see “Discovering Columbus” by Tatzu Nishi.

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View from the circle

I guess the idea behind it is that Columbus discovered America, and now we can discover Columbus! You know, that statue that stands 75ft high in the middle of Columbus square. So, you get to experience the statue in a new way, as if you’re in his beautiful NYC penthouse living room (instillation art always sounds silly). It was truly amazing. Not so much for it’s substance, but for the people in the environment, and the stunning view of New York.

UntitledColumbus in the exhibit, 75ft in the air

Visitors to the public work were comfortable and lounging on the furniture, flipping through magazines, and treated the event like a party you go to at a friend of a friend’s house. I have come to feel as if the instillation is more for Columbus than his visitors. He gets to be a true New Yorker for a couple months. You can tell he likes it.

UntitledView from fauxpartment

Of course mistakes were made and drinks were had, but I can’t put my whole life into this blog, as much as I’d like to do so. Every trip invigorates me and inspires me in a different way. This trip inspired me to be more ambitious, work harder, party harder, and flirt with as many boys as possible. These are all noble in their own way.

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Thought Provoking Blog Award

We recently received an email from a fellow blogger who assured me that I should not be worried about saving the baby elephants. He pointed out that if I went traipsing off into the African wilderness, who else would write such clever and amusing blog entries? If that wasn’t enough to cheer me up, which it was, he also nominated our blog for the

Thought Provoking Blog Award

Man, can you imagine how hard buying a hat must be for this guy?

Sounds pretty important and spiffy doesn’t it? Well it is. No, there isn’t a golden statue or fancy after parties (although you best believe Val and I will drink to this)
What’s really cool about this, is that someone out there reads our blog, on purpose, and actually likes it. And continues to read it!

We are very honored to have this wonderful award bestowed on us by the most awesome A Second Cup. Please go check out his blog. It’s amazingly positive and uplifting, and he’s a Cubs fan to boot. Thanks Dave!

Well again, there are rules to this award. It’s pretty much like the others.
1. Write a blog post about it – Check
2. Thank and mention the person who nominated you – Check
3. Share 7 things about yourselves – About to be Checked
4. Pass the award on to 5-7 blogs you enjoy – Where do we begin?

Hmm…only 7 things about us? We’re not very good at this, as there are a million things about us but none that are worthy of a blog entry or a list. But here goes

1. Mary is obsessed with NASA and all things outer space/sci-fi related, and desperately wishes she had the brains or patience to be an astronaut.

2. Valerie LOVES dinosaurs and wanted to be a paleontologist when she was younger. She has seen Jurassic Park too many times for her own good.

3. We both have both developed a freakish fixation on mustaches or “moustaches” as we believe it should be spelled. Blame it on a very red wine night in New Orleans.

4. If we became co-presidents it would rain glitter, garlic bread would be free, and we would turn the White House into a disco-themed roller skating rink.

5. We

6. Love

7. Coffee

And the nominees for the Though Provoking Blog Award are…

1. The Fool’s Journey
2. Daniel Valencia Photography
3. Jackson Burgess
4. Hearth in Hand
5. Molly Hare

Thanks again for the nomination!

 

-M & V


But…I want to save the elephants too!

So, I had a freak out the other day. One of those quarter-life-crisis where I’m just beginning to realize that I’m already an adult.

Things are going slowly here, which is to be expected. You ever read about those one in a million people who went from being a dishwasher to a superstar overnight due to a chance encounter?

Well we’re not those people. We work hard and play harder. We sweat and toil and worry and bicker and scan and develop and hope to God that we’ll find a publisher who is crazy enough to believe in us.
But it’s the waiting in between that gives me too much time to think about me and my life, where its going (or not going) what I’m doing, what I should be doing, what everyone else my age is doing, health insurance, 401ks…..
And that can be kind of depressing.

Thus the elephants.

The other night I watched the news and they had a bit on a woman who has spent the last 30 years of her life living in Africa, saving the elephants from poachers. She invented baby elephant formula, elephant sanctuaries, and the idea that rescued elephants could be saved and nursed back to health. After being incredibly inspired by her, all I could think was
“What the fuck am I doing with my life?!! This woman is saving baby elephants in Africa and all I’m doing is sitting on my butt. I need to help. I NEED TO SAVE BABY ELEPHANTS!”

I ran around thinking that the last 25 years of my life were a waste and I was being too lazy coloring in the third grade, when I should have been out raising awareness for AIDS. Instead of playing barbie dolls with my friends, I should have been going door-to-door getting signatures for green peace petitions. While I was going out on Friday nights, there were other kids who were going to bed early so they could wake up Saturday and march for equal rights.

Sigh.

Watch this amazing video that won’t donate money to poor kids in Zimbabwe, but might make you laugh a little bit. Excuse me, I’ll be downtown protesting for women’s suffrage or equal rights for the koala bears or something like that.

-M


Back where I started

Sometimes you can travel thousands of miles just to get back to where you started. It doesn’t matter how many life-changing moments you have, when you return to your home and your lifestyle, it’s easy to put all those experiences away just as you unpack your suitcase. Once you’re unpacked you find yourself picturing what new furniture you’ll arrange on your patio, or obsessing over the order of your closet.

Looking Back

This is from my very first roll! It’s Fuji Acros 100, and this is the only image that exposed properly and doesn’t have light leaks that warrant pampers for Holgas. I’m looking back at the road we’d just traveled, still in North Carolina. This image is particularly meaningful to me right now because of a very important lesson we learned on the road. You see, we started bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, eager and beaverish.

Mary, at the start

We were of the mindset that we would capture everything we encountered, and if we could not capture it the first time around, we’d go ahead and turn the car around because “that might just be the Pulitzer prize-winning image and I’m pretty sure I just double-exposed it with an image of a piece of gum on the ground, and I really wanted to shoot it with my other camera anyway.” This lasted a few days before we made an agreement that, more than capturing every instance that may lend itself to a great picture, this was a trip about looking forward. We would refuse to look back. We had to keep moving and keep looking ahead to find what’s just up ahead. You might call this a “pillar of salt” syndrome. You might also call it a Pocahontas “just around the river-bend” complex. At any rate, we would either get the picture, or we would not. It was terrifying and thrilling, and I’m appalled to see how backwards-facing I was to take the image of the road already traveled.

But here I am, forced to look back.

I guess I would have turned into a pillar of salt from looking at all my negatives and scanning them in one-by-one, but I’m going on a brand new journey this time. It has the same cast of characters and the same sets, but it’s an all new adventure. Many moments have been lost forever (like the image of a waterfall below that was ruined by having film wound too loosely) but I’m finding that my camera has often found what my eye did not. This requires a new lesson, post-roadtrip. Don’t look back, but take what you have seen and done and learned, and experience it all again with fresh eyes. I’m trying to integrate the places where I have been, into the life that I’m now living. So, I’m back where I started: preparing to take a road trip.

Waterfall, ruined film

-V

PS. My dog just farted audibly. I don’t think the universe takes my life seriously.


Beatniks and Poprocks

San Francisco has been wonderful so far. It’s been a refreshing and invigorating break from the chaos and havoc that is the road. Don’t get me wrong. I love the freedom and escape only the road can bring.
However, it is necessary to pull over sometimes and just breathe.

For any of you who don’t know, here’s a quick (and pretty damn accurate) map of the Bay area.

Totally accurate.

We are staying in the “El Something” part. Val and I arrived Thursday evening and just passed out. I had a lot of fun in LA, but I  knew coming here that we’d be able to drop our stuff and just kind of relax for awhile.
Which I did pretty much all weekend.

Saturday was GREAT. Know why?

I WENT TO A CUBS GAME!

Let me give you some background. I love baseball, and I love the Chicago Cubs. I’ve always been a fan, and always will be
And deep, deep, deep down I believe that someday, hopefully before I die, they will win the World Series. If you are not familiar with their story, I wont go into great, depressing detail, but I’ll just say that they are known in the MLB world as the “Lovable Losers”.

To save the suspense, we did not win. Oh well. Beers, hot dogs and good company was really the reason I went. We’ll get ’em next time. Right guys?? Please?

After drinking for pretty much since we arrived in the East Bay, it was quite difficult to wake up today. Valerie and I had decided that today was the day we tackle San Francisco. Photograph the SHIT out of that city.

And our bodies were like,  BLAAAHHHHH, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Partying+burgers and pizza+5 days straight= No Bueno.

Our bodies were not compliant with getting out of bed early. My stomach was gross and Val’s liver was angry.

But how often are you in San Francisco? Unless you live there and then I guess you’re always here.
We sucked it up, had some coffee and a delicious breakfast, then took the BART into the city. The public transit system in the bay area is wonderful…plus I refuse to pay a ridiculous amount of money to park my car for several hours. It’s like paying for my car to have a nap.

It was a fantastic day. I walked around Chinatown and took in all the colors of the stores, the conversations of the various tourists, the many, many smells of the city. The best part of the day was hands down, the visit to the Jack Kerouac Beat Museum. We didn’t even have that planned. Meandering around the streets of San Francisco, we sort of just stumbled upon it.

The Universe was leading us down the path we were supposed to be on.

The museum was awesome and the people who worked there were just as cool. We met Jerry who hangs out with Neil Cassady’s son and travels the country in the essence of Kerouac. And he was super pumped to meet us too. People of the Beat Generation are a very tight knit community, and in my experience, they are very welcoming and really excited to meet other people who share that love of freedom, creativity, passion, and the philosophy that you can live your life the way you want to.

Reading about Kerouac and being reminded of why I’m taking this journey and why I’m on this mission was something I needed. Its easy when you’re on the road to forget why you’re there; you’re dirty and cranky and haven’t slept in a real bed in a week and can’t wait to just get the fuck out of your car. Thats understandable, however I needed today to be reminded why I’m here and what I want to accomplish.

The day was exceptional and ended with good Chinese food and pop rocks in a chocolate bar. Yes, it does exist.

I’ve taken so many rolls of film and tried desperately to drink up as much of the North Beach Beatniks essence as I can before I have to leave.

I have a few more days to turn into a Beatnik 🙂 Or just a flip-flop wearing, 3 camera toting, liberally swearing, not giving a fuck photographer who just wants to capture the world through her lens.

Maybe I’m already one.

A new breed of beatniks. The poets and writers had their say. Now its the photographers turn.

Watch out.

 

-M


Angry Cows Do Not Make for Happy Milk

So…this is the post I started out writing yesterday.

Ahhhh a little R&R.

We’ve been go go go for a week and a half, which isn’t that long compared to some well-seasoned travelers. But for two girls who are relatively new at this, it was nice this morning to wake up according to my biological clock, rather than the small but very loud and authoritative alarm clock I have.

We’re in Oklahoma, staying with Valerie’s aunt and uncle. They have been so gracious in putting up two smelly, tired, and worn out girls. We arrived ready to rest, and they had many plans and activities that they thought we might want to see and do.

As the smile faded from my face, all I could think was “I just want to use your shower and pass out.”
Which I did.
I’ve spent the day fighting with my negative scanner, praying it will work. (I think its upset with me for taking it on this road trip against its will) Apparently scanners do not like to ride in cars. But I also organized my suitcase and started uploading the photographs I have scanned onto our flickr account. 

I have not been in my car since last night, and I love it. Although I’m excited and ready to get back on the road (we leave tomorrow morning), it is nice to have a day where I don’t have to worry about finding a gas station, figuring out the best playlist to listen to, or debating on where we should eat.

I am super excited for our next stretch because….we will venture onto Route 66! The land of broken down gas stations, abandoned motels, kitschy souvenir shops, and hundreds of townspeople waiting to tell you their story of how they came to be involved with the mother road. I can’t wait.

Oh and I made a new best friend. She’s a horse.

Sorry Val.

Totally good right? We were ready to post…and then the giggles happen. Oh the giggles. They were no ordinary giggles. They were toxic and contagious. Valerie started it. Then it spread to me. Then it spread to facebook. Be thankful that 98% of you are not our friends on facebook. Your feed would have been bombarded by us. It had to do with looking at photos of cats with dumb captions. Nothing good can ever come from that.

Okay, now I’m officially losing you due to the length of this post. Long story short, we are now traveling on Route 66 (yay!) and are headed to New Mexico tomorrow. We’ve already stopped a million times to photograph abandoned buildings, towns folk, and managed to piss off a heard of cows.

-M

 

Today we began our adventure on 66. We made it to a few fun stops: El Reno Fort; Kobel’s place; and Lucille’s. We shot the filling station and ate at the restaurant. We’re slowly making progress through wind and rain, but we’re forced to come to grips with the fact that we can’t see/do/shoot everything. Six weeks is not a very long time when you are trying to cover an entire country.

Driving on 66 brings you face to face with your dreams of freedom and the open road. But it’s sad, far more sad than I anticipated. All the while we’re driving I try to picture what it once looked like, how the stops must have appeared to those who saw them in their heyday, how the neon lights must have glowed from either side of the street, and the chrome must have gleamed. Now it is all rusty, broken, forgotten, and lost behind trees. Much of it is demolished. A sign by the road reads “Pool and Restaurant” but can only direct you to what is currently a field of maize. I see lost jobs. I see towns half empty and drowning in an economy no longer supported by tourism. The big roads take you to big stores and everything else is gone, or only functioning as a shell of what it once was. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful and exciting. There are so many people who are dedicated to reviving the road, and some stops are surging with the hope of a much brighter future. But, as we navigate broken stretches of roads, I can’t help nostalgia for it’s younger days (even if I never saw them).

We came to 66 from my aunt’s home in a small town. I didn’t know her before, so I spent the day and a half we were there trying to get to know her and, naturally, regroup for the next four weeks. She loves to travel. She has photo albums filled with photographs of this and that national park they visited on horseback. She is the first relative I’ve known who really likes to travel and see the things I like to see. My parents are homebodies, though my mother likes to travel to see her family. She doesn’t travel to places because she thinks it might be interesting to see such a place. I enjoyed seeing that in my aunt, and hearing my uncle call her (and all my aunts together) inflexible. They get their way. I like that. I LOVE to get my way. They told stories of my dad when he was younger. It was truly amazing to finally have that contact, I know almost no one in my dad’s family. There’s no dark tale behind it, just your average case of distance and life getting in the way. If it is not enough that we’ve collected amazing pictures and adventures in this trip, I think expanding my family is worth the trip for me.

-V


Kodak is AMAZING.

Sorry we haven’t blogged in about a week. *gasp* It’s like TWO YEARS in the blogging world. It’s a really big deal and we feel pretty guilty about it. But we’re also feeling pretty AWESOME about something else! Watch our video to find out what we’re so happy about! We know that it’s a bit long, we like to talk. This is what it would look like if you met us for coffee (we would love to meet all of you guys, so let us know if we’re driving near you on the road).

Thank you for all your support. 6 more days and we’ll hit the road!!!

-V&M


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