Bigger This Time

Believe the hype, drink the cool-aid, make the trip. That’s my motto this month. I didn’t start it. My friend Sara did. Actually, an intuitive did. Or, to be precise, my decision to go see an intuitive. A month ago, while driving through the dark streets of Bozeman, I called Sara in Bend. We’d both lived together in Boulder a … Read More

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

Hoarding the Collection

It takes two people 94 days to use 36 rolls of toilet paper. This is pure science. This is my life. Or it is give-or-take the two half rolls I left behind in North Conway last week. My friends Jim and Sarah came over on my last night in New Hampshire to load my van for me. They each went … Read More

Post Op

Last year, during my first winter in New Hampshire, I made the mistake of asking what one does for culture in North Conway. Not that wanting culture in North Conway is a mistake–you can want it–you’re just not supposed to admit you want it. Especially not to someone like Freddie. When I slipped last winter and inquired about culture, Freddie … Read More

Terminal Effervescence

I started skipping winter without knowing it, a few years back. Today, 1.5-inches of rain into the New Hampshire afternoon, I’m making up for what I missed. The poodle has to go outside to go to the bathroom, and I promised him I’d take him once the rain let up. That was three hours ago. I’d let him out to … Read More

Transitions in Paradox

Three weeks ago I flew from southwestern Ethiopia to central Montana, in six flights. When I arrived at the Bozeman airport, at 11:45 pm. I’d been traveling for thirty-eight hours. It was -5 degrees outside, a 75-degree drop from where I’d started. My van, choked full of a winter’s assortment of climbing gear, files, and poodle food, was waiting in … 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

Vertical Homesteading

–In collaboration with Petzl, check out the good things, and the good people who make that company one of the best– Quick test: What’s the first word that comes to mind when I say the following four places: New Hampshire, Namibia. Spain. Wyoming. Did anyone else answer home? I’ve been in Wyoming for five weeks now, before that it was Europe for three, … Read More

Beyond the Next

I’m at my second tire shop in a week, 408 miles apart. This time, I’m in Bozeman; last time, I was in Salt Lake. But it all started in Provo. 63 mph in the left lane, construction cones ahead, and something sharp enough underneath to land me stopped, rimless, on the shoulder. Five minutes into changing my tire a man … 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