Mountainfilm and Get in Shape Girl: Rehab in Pink

In my mind, it was in the middle of the Miss USA pageant when I first saw the ad. A cadre of young girls in leotards burst through a door and waved ribbons and moved their arms around with weighted wristbands. It was horrifying, even without the music. “Get in shape girl, you know the feeling.” “Get in shape girl, … Read More

Common Denominator

The trouble with having a blog is a sudden desire to take basic elements like your decision to go to Africa with shoes that suddenly feel too small, how to fix the squeak of your van with a wooden spatula, the death of your grandmother, the unexpected appearance of antivenin five months after you needed it, and an utter sense … Read More

Edge Dweller

You might not believe what I’m going to tell you. You might—if you have read things I have written in the past months—think I have some perverse law of attraction with tragedy. But maybe the truth of it is that I am trying to turn the tragedy around. When you find a dead body on your second day of vacation, … Read More

The Poodle Permanent

I’m not a dog person. I never have been. I once knew a woman who returned a dog for its propensity to drool. She is my mother. Two weeks ago, I was talking on the phone with a potential landlord for a summer sublet when he asked if I had a dog. “Me?” I said, “No. I have a poodle.” … Read More

Working Make Believe

It’s 4:34pm on January 31st. I spent the last eight hours working. Today, that work was outside, ice guiding. I know it was work because other people knew I did it, and I got paid for it. Yesterday, I spent the same eight hours in front of my computer. Nothing I did touched another person or was directly revenue producing. … Read More


My mother tells me she would be happiest if I were living down the road from her in Montana. Next best, would be in a city with a major airport as a writer. Next would be a city without an airport. But nowhere in her formulation is me living as I do right now. I don’t really want to hear … Read More

Burley Integration

My senior photo for high school was a shot of me in a Crazy Creek chair on a rock next to a lake in Glacier National Park in Montana. More so than a glammed up version of myself, I wanted to present the rough and ready self to the world. Everyone else’s head took up the whole frame—I was a … Read More

What I Wanted

Two weeks ago I was in New Hampshire. Again. I’d never been to the state until this February, and now I’ve gone on three trips to the North Country. It pulled at me the first time, and I knew it had something to do with the dreams of my younger self. Blanketed evergreens and hidden lakes. Winding roads and maple … Read More

Massaged Kale

One week into a four-week road trip in my van and my homing devices are already firing. Like it or not, I seek out the same things each time I travel: wifi zones, pedicure providers, and… raw food? Yesterday, on the hunt for a quick off the highway snack I end up at Veggie De-Lite. Home of Massaged Kale. Raw … Read More

Snowmobile Drag Race Cancelled

When I was a kid, skiing was more important than anything in the world. I’d wake up and suit up in hand-me-down red racking pants from my cousin Mark and a pink puffy jacket from last year’s sale rack and hit the slopes. I was a terror and learned early that you could win every impromptu race if you were … Read More