Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I've already posted this on Facebook, but I forgot about people who aren't on there. My chapbook, Sawdust, Sugarcube, is now out from dancing girl press.

If you like poetry, or you just want to support a small, independent press, please consider buying my chapbook! You can order by clicking here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

please watch

Saturday, August 22, 2009

On a different note, an editorial about health care reform by Obama:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What can I say? I'm Canadian...

(click on the picture to make it bigger)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another reason to love Bozeman

This blog has been severely neglected, I know. Summer has kept us busy with travelling, hiking, relaxing, working, taking exams, passing exams, etc.

Anyway, moving on. This past weekend was the Sweet Pea Festival, which was lots of fun (it helps that it's only a couple of blocks away too). Here are excerpts from two great shows.

Taylor 2 dance company from New York:

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca--great Afro-Cuban group:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


It doesn't seem fair or right that tomorrow morning we will leave for Winnipeg for the very same reason we travelled there 1 1/2 years ago: to attend the funeral of an aunt who lost her battle to cancer. The photo of Aunty Louise above is how I remember and know her, even though I know she didn't look like that by the end after cancer had overtaken her body.

I have so many good memories of her: everything from camping and boating in Shuswap in BC, to encountering black bears while camping in Ontario, to her green eyeshadow, to her bubbly laugh, to her vibrancy and passion. Last summer at my brother's wedding in Virginia, she was still her same old self, even though she'd just recently finished her chemo. We had a conversation about how her experience with cancer had made her realize what was most important in life, and that many things she'd worried about before were actually unimportant. "Cancer changes a person," I said. "Yes, it does," she said. What I loved most about her was her openess--she wore her whole emotional self right out in the open. It was a beautiful thing, to never wonder how she felt or where you stood with her.

I can still hear her laugh echoing in my head. It makes it hard to believe that she's gone. To have someone so young (only 59) die from such an awful disease really makes me question a lot of things. I've been thinking a lot about our bodies, and how they carry us through life. How could a part of the body that produced life (her children) turn around and betray her and end up killing her? I know these kinds of experiences should make us treasure what we have and who we love, and I definitely do. But at the same time, I am having to make a conscious effort to notice the beautiful things in the world, because sometimes the ugly, ugly things seem so much more powerful.

Here is Aunty Louise dancing at our wedding with my uncle and one of their granddaughters:

Here is a link to her obituary: http://www.passagesmb.com/obituary_details.cfm?ObitID=147996

Please think of us tomorrow as we head up to Winnipeg. There are winter storms going on right now, not to mention the flooding in North Dakota/Manitoba. We hope to have a safe trip. We already know that it's going to be a sad trip.

Friday, March 06, 2009

big day in Bozeman

I'm not sure if I believe in the idea of a sixth sense, but I definitely did feel anxious yesterday morning. I thought it was because it was snowing pretty heavily and I was nervous about Josh driving to school. Fast-forward to about 8:15 a.m.--I am just out of the shower and making some toast for breakfast. Suddenly all the power goes out and about two seconds later, it feels like something HUGE fell on the roof of our building. The windows rattled and the dishes clanked in the cupboards, and I could even feel it rattle in my chest.

Hmm, I thought. Honestly, I wasn't too scared because we've had so much construction on our building lately that I've gotten used to banging and thudding. And with the snow, I thought maybe something had toppled over on the roof. About half an hour later, the power was back on.

But then I heard on the radio that there was an explosion downtown Bozeman. I turned on the TV and learned more and saw the beginning coverage. Apparently there was a natural gas explosion in a restaurant on Main St that totally levelled 3 buildings and destroyed 6 businesses. Windows were blown out of buildings up to 2 blocks away. There was a car parked in front of the restaurant that was blown into the middle of the street. Some people who live or work a couple of blocks away said the explosion sounded like an airplane crashing into their building, or a cannonball going off, or an earthquake. We live about 4 blocks away from Main St., and I definitely felt it too.

So this is a pretty big deal here. There was a mandatory evacuation for a 2-block radius and Main St. will definitely be closed for several days while they clean up all the debris. The National Guard has been called in. One of the gas lines still hasn't been shut off, which is another reason why no one is allowed to get close. They let the fire keep burning all day yesterday because they weren't able to shut the gas line off. One woman is still missing, and they haven't been able to start searching for her until today because of the debris, gas, and fire. But how amazing that no one else was hurt or killed. It's truly amazing.

So it's kind of sad that part of Main St. is destroyed. A deli that we really liked is gone, as well as a restaurant that I had been hoping to try soon. The picture above is of the fire yesterday morning taken from our apartment building 4 blocks away. We could smell the smoke all the way by our apartment.

Exciting and scary.

Click here for the coverage from our local news. Click on the yellow highlighted "photo gallery" link to see impressive photos of the destruction.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yellowstone, Hyalite, dogs & dragons

We've been having the most beautiful weather here lately. Yesterday I opened the windows in the apartment because it was in the 60's and felt like spring. Nice! I'm definitely not suffering from the same anti-winter feelings that I had last year in South Dakota. Probably because of the abundant sunshine and the lack of wind here.

We've been keeping busy, in a good way. This past weekend we went to our first ball after doing 6 weeks of dancing lessons. As Josh said, it was our "debut," and there is definitely a learning curve! It was PACKED there, so not only were we very focused on doing the right steps, we were also worried about crashing into people. We only know the foxtrot and jitterbug right now, so we couldn't dance to every dance. But it was still fun!

On sunny days, a neighbour on the bottom floor puts out its reptile to bask in the sunshine. Josh calls it an iguana, but I don't think it is? Is it a komodo dragon? I don't know. We aren't allowed to have pets in our building, but... I'm not a tattle-tale. Here it is (click on photo to enlarge):

A couple of weeks ago, we spontaneously jumped in the car and headed down to....
Yes, it's closed in the winter. BUT, one road in the northern part of the park that runs east-west is open all year. So we took that as far east as we could go. I took a lot of pictures, but I won't bore you with all of them. Here are just a few. Here is one of many elk relaxing in the sun:

There's a reason why the park is closed in the winter--the roads aren't very clear.
We saw a couple hundred buffalo. They were all over! They are like 2000-pound snowplows. They just plow through several feet of snow with their snouts, digging around for the grass underneath.

We went as far as the road went. Literally. It's closed at the east end of the park, and there is no way out but back the way you came. Actually, it's right outside of the park, a little town called Cooke City. It's where all the snowmobiles and their riders come. Cooke City was like an old Western town. There was one main street, covered in snow, but instead of horses tied up to hitching posts like in a Western movie, there were snowmobiles parked up and down Main Street.

Obviously we had to turn around at that point. It was getting dark anyway. Because the ground is so hot in Yellowstone (from the volcano underneath it), when the cool night air descended, it got very steamy. We were driving through a fog. (By the way, Josh researched the "super-volcano" in Yellowstone when we got home. There have been more than 1000 little earthquakes in the last 2 months in Yellowstone, but geophysicists say it's nothing to worry about. However, if it did blow, we would be in big trouble! Also, if it blew, it would wipe out half of the U.S., so don't think you're safe just because you don't live as close as we do!)

So that brings us to this past weekend. I had a strong desire to take a nap in the sun, so we drove about 20 minutes out of town up to a place called Hyalite Reservoir. I don't know if you can see it in the pictures, but there were cross-country skiers everywhere. (click on the picture to enlarge it)

We don't have skis, so we couldn't join them. We could have gone hiking, but we didn't bring proper gear for that either (since there was so much snow up there). Anyway, we came to just enjoy the sunshine! So we felt a little weird, but after we sat outside for a while, we hung out in the car where it was still very sunny and warm. Josh brought his model to work on. And I ate refried beans out of a can since that's what I felt like eating for lunch. We joked that we probably looked like we were homeless with all our junk in the back seat, Josh working on his model, and me eating beans from a can. Oh well! It was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Josh wanted me to include this. This is a doggy "hitching post" at the grocery store and it proves that Bozeman is a real dog town:
Congratulations if you made it this far! That's all for now.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Mr. Tax Man

That's what I called Josh this weekend. I married a man who loves to do taxes. How lucky am I? Very, very lucky. Josh and I are similar in many ways when it comes to our personality. But opposites do attract in one spot in our relationship--taxes! He loves to do them, and I hate to do them.

So he spent a good deal of the weekend working on them (after spending several days drooling at the mailbox, hoping all our forms would come). He dragged his computer into the living room and got all cozy on the couch. Once in a while he would take a break and listen to music and get lost in it. It was pretty funny to watch, and awfully cute too.

I got two short videos of Mr. Tax Man during his "breaks." In the first one, he had no idea I was recording him until the end. He was so lost in his music. In the second one, if you listen hard you can hear him singing along, and at the end he says, "Taxes always make me excited."

On a more serious note, one of my aunts who lives in Winnipeg is very sick. She has cancer which reappeared after everyone thought it was gone. And now she also has a very rare and complicated syndrome called paraneoplastic syndrome. From what I understand, her immune system recognizes there is cancer in her body, but while it is fighting the cancer it also is inexplicably attacking her own brain (the cerebellum), causing a lot of neurological damage. It's more complicated than that, but you can do your own research if you want to know more. She is a fun-loving, passionate, sensitive person, and this is very difficult (especially since she's only in her 50's). Any prayers and good wishes are very, very welcomed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

happy days

Happy Martin Luther King Day yesterday!

Happy Inauguration Day today! It's been hard for me to focus on my work today as I have the TV on in the background. It's just so exciting and emotional!

Wow, it's been a long time since I last posted. Christmas came and went. We were blessed with perfect weather all the days we drove between Montana and Iowa--pretty lucky since the weather before, during and after had been kind of treacherous. Christmas was fun and relaxing, but way too fast, as always. It was good to see family again, and it was good to get home to Bozeman.

Honestly, not a lot is going on here lately. Josh has been back at school for a couple of weeks now. I think it was a bit difficult to go back, but it seems mostly smooth now. I started my semester last week--I'm teaching another class online, this time it's creative writing. Starting to work on reading my exam list in earnest.

Josh and I are also taking some dancing lessons, which has been pretty fun. It's just basic ballroom, and so far we've learned the foxtrot. Ballroom dancing is yet one more thing that looks easy, but is actually pretty complicated to carry off well! A lot of men are like limp noodles and don't really direct very well (they're supposed to lead since the woman is always moving backwards and thus can't ever see where she's going). So I've crashed into quite a few people, thanks to the mens' lack of leading. I'm happy to report that Josh is a good leader, and I like dancing with him the best.

I think it's a little funny that we've completely missed all the frigid temperatures that so much of the Midwest has experienced lately. Here we are up in the mountains and we've just been having lovely, sunny weather. We went and did a little more exploring this past weekend. Nothing too thrilling, but maybe pictures are more interesting than my words.

We came across this old elevator in a little canyon:

I just couldn't get enough of that miniature horse on the left side of the picture. Too bad you can't see it better:

Also hard to see--a bunch of deer in the middle of a field:

Tra la la!

This looked like an old mine shaft in the side of a hill:
This is going really far back, all the way to Christmas. I took this picture because Josh and Scott (brother-in-law) were both napping the same way and even wearing the same outfit:
And here they're having a special moment together: