Archive | April, 2011

A New Mexican Drive- A Photo Essay*

30 Apr

Photo Essay – a set or series of photographs that are intended to tell a story or evoke a series of emotions in the viewer. ( Literally cut and pasted from Wikipedia- a fine source for the truth.)

* click on pictures for a more intense emotional experience

Goodbye Clovis, NM Hello Albuquerque

MMM New Mexican Mexican

MMM New Mexican Mexican

Goodbye Albuquerque Hello Santa Fe


Going Back Tomorrow- Note to self: Get Better Pictures

Taos Bound



View from the farm

Home Sweet RV Numero 3


Cattle, and Horses and Zebras? Oh My!

28 Apr

“All good things are wild and free.” Thoreau

Well, only a few days have passed since my last blog post but it seems like a lot has happened. Grace and I are officially blacksmiths, the Easter Bunny does come to Texas, and I saw a Zebra today. Let me start at the beginning- and in list form.

1. After returning from New Jersey Grace and I stayed in Little’s big apartment/house in Austin. As promised I have pictures that I will include at the end of the post. After a long day of work on Saturday, Scott taught Grace and I how to blacksmith. The process is very tedious and humbling- I am not quite as strong as I thought. Our first project was bottle openers- both an easy first project and a useful tool for me! Also, whats better then to take on a project where you have to open beers in order to test your final product.

The Bottle Opener (TM)

2. THE EASTER BUNNY LEFT ME A BASKET!!! I’m pretty sure this Easter Bunny was shorter, less hairy and named Grace. But it was an awesome surprise after such a crappy week. The basket contained a slinky, bubbles!, Cadbury eggs, Peeps and Reeses- all the Easter essentials.

3. Railroad Revival Tour. Last night Grace and I got to witness history in the making. Unfortunately I left my camera at home so I have no proof but it was an incredible performance by Old Crow Medicine Show, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Mumford and Sons-three awesome bands all with really long names and like 30 people in each band. It was a hell of a way to end the Texas part of our adventure.

4. New Mexico! I am currently sitting in a nice Hampton Inn hotel room in Clovis New Mexico. I want to say thank you to Mr. Hockenbeck- I doubt he reads my blog but maybe someone who knows him does and can pass along the message. Grace and I drove 8 and a half hours from Austin this morning and stopped to rest here in random Clovis. Tomorrow we will spend the day in Albuquerque and Santa Fe before making our grand entrance at Talpa Gardens right outside of Taos. Along the trip from Austin we saw mostly cows, abandoned towns, wind turbines, “searching for service” on our cell phones, grain elevators, farms etc. I will say one thing I didn’t expect to see was a zebra- and I saw one. Grace and I were too taken aback to get the camera out in time. Here are some other pics from the drive…

The Mule of Muleshoe Texas

That says "Goat Cook Off"- and no we didn't stay for it

Welcome to New Mexico I think

Sorry for all the pics…here are a few more of our Austin digs.

Never too tired for social commentary

23 Apr

As I sit here listening to Grace listening to Katy Perry, thinking about the last hour and a half of watching Lady Gaga videos with Grace and Scott Little ( see grace’s description of the Scott Little I can’t help but think about what a good friday it has been.

It has been a rough week for me for sure. Excuse me while I vent for a second and re-live the last three days or so… Between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon I was in a funeral home, an E.R., a funeral mass, a cemetery, and an airport. If you can think of one more depressing place to visit please tell me.

Truth is the week was terribly sad for obvious reasons..however, looking past the bad part(s)- it was an opportunity to see my family and reconnect with some family members I haven’t talked to or seen in awhile. I learned a lot about my family this week- good and bad and awesome: like my cousin Matt ( a bouncer at Bamboo in Seaside Heights) threw Pauly D out of the bar in Episode 2/ Season 1 of Jersey Shore. BOOM!

With that said…I would like to comment on air travel in the year 2011.

I have been a seasoned flyer since I was a little kid. I am talking about the days when your relatives could greet you as soon as you got out of the airplane, when mom and I would stock up on snacks and drinks days before the flight, and when one could check unlimited bags for zero dollars. Now pretty much no one without a ticket can get very far in the airport without being tackled, outside snacks are now prohibited and now they even charge for snacks on the plane, and where a bag now costs 23 dollars to check ( was that sentence too long?). Not only are tickets now over 1,000 dollars but you have to pay for the simple conveniences. I guess thats what happens when you live in a culture of fear with a shitty economy.

However, the one thing that doesn’t/hasn’t changed is…..SKYMALL.

I will close with this, the two most disturbing Skymall products:

1. “Go ahead and sleep in this weekend, your dog has a yard of its own.” This was an advertisement for a strip of fake turf- complete with a fire hydrant so your dog can pee in an apartment, condo, or house. I wonder what would happen if you put it in the backyard?

2. “Litter Kwitter”- First of all, I hate when things are spelled incorrectly in order to be cute or creative. It’s usually neither. This is the description that follows : ” Potty train your cats faster than most people can train their kids.” Unfortunately, I don’t have the disturbing picture to accompany this description.

I will now finish my Storm King and go to sleep.

This one isn’t funny

17 Apr

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”- Henry David Thoreau

I am new at this blogging thing- not really sure how I am doing or if it is helpful or engaging to the reader. My mom says its fun to read but thats what mothers are for I think. I am not really sure what is appropriate to write about either…should I hold back how I really feel about issues or situations, should I curse or should I talk about things that are easy to digest? Should I attempt to make everyone feel happy after reading it, how many laughs should I aim to get per blog or should the reader feel how I am feeling through the ups and downs? Since most of you are my close friends or family members this is my attempt at exposing myself- sorry if you find it inappropriate-but it is my blog after all.

You can never prepare yourself for the curve balls that life throws at you. Sometimes you have certain feelings or premonitions about a situation but even those feelings can’t soften the blow. This weekend I experienced an awesome music festival- great music, great weather, and great company (yes Grace’s company is still great after 4 months of seeing her every freakin day- and we made new friends.) Then I received a call from my mother that changed my life and the course of our trip. Nanny, my mom’s mom, my good friend, my grandmother, Elvis’s biggest fan, one of my biggest fans and an all around amazing woman had passed away.

As I sat in shock so many thoughts ran through my head…what was the last thing we talked about? Did we leave it on a good note? did she know how much I loved her? Was she in pain? Is she in a better place? Then of course my thoughts turned to more selfish concerns…how is this going to affect my trip? What happens if I go home to NJ prematurely? This is not the end of the trip and will not force me to stay in NJ. Can you imagine? How selfish the mind can be.

So after much fussing and worrying and putting it off I booked a flight to NJ for tomorrow evening. I am going to pay my respects to one of the kindest, most beautiful woman I have ever known- and I am going to be there for my Grandfather and my mother. Then I am going to fly back out to Texas and continue this amazing journey with my best friend with a new appreciation for life, friendships, new experiences, new places, and living in general.

See for too many reasons to get into I feel that Nanny missed out on living her life to its fullest. She was selfless and wanted to make everyone else happy at the expense of her own happiness. The Thoreau quote above really made sense to me in this situation. It made me so happy to be on this trip and to be really experiencing life and being free. Unfortunately, Nanny never got to do anything like this. So when all is said and done and I am back in Texas I am going to continue my journey in honor of her and all the sacrifices she made for others.

Despite all the cliches and the corny sentimental nature of this blog and the tears that are probably going to ruin my macbook pro, I really want to ask whoever is reading this, if you are out there and willing to listen— enjoy and appreciate your life. Don’t miss out on it for money, or things, or possessions, or work, or obligations.

That is enough preaching for one day. I will leave you with this. One of my best memories with Nanny was when I lived with them for a year. I had just gotten my laptop and discovered the Photo Booth application where you can take crazy pictures of yourself. If anyone knows Nanny you know she hated taking pictures so instead I took pictures of myself. I have never heard the woman laugh so hard and I myself have probably not laughed as hard since. Here were some of her favorites..


Also…my heart and thoughts go out to my parents. April 14th was my little sister Brenna’s birthday…she would have been 22 I believe.

Itinerary Changes and Narcissism

10 Apr

” Lazy day, Sunday afternoon, like to get your feet up watch T.V. Sunday roast is something good to eat, now it’s almost over ’til next week.”- The Moody Blues

Get your itineraries out if they aren’t already…there are changes in our future plans. After Texas we have added a farm to make up for the time we should have been EIEIO-ing. It is called Talpa Gardens- it is right outside of Taos, New Mexico. Here is there website if you want to check out the beauty…

We are supposed to arrive in between 5PM and dark  on April 27th. Let’s hope this is not a sign of micro-managing.

Today is Sunday. Sundays are lazy on the farm…lazy on a farm means you work 4 hours instead of 6. Then there is usually a movie in the afternoon. And there is always time for…. a farm photo shoot!

Shouldn't she be looking at the stakes that are about to hit me?

Anyone wanna go on a hayride? She will be your conductor...?

You take your car to work I'll take my tractor

High Grace!

Thats all for now…

Texas. Chainsaw. Massacre.

9 Apr

I have felt very uninspired to blog these past few days. However, two new events have occurred that I feel are “blogworthy.” 1. We went to San Antonio yesterday with our friends Andy and Stephanie. Before heading into the city we stopped at Guadalupe State Park to lay out on rocks and wade in the ankle deep, yet refreshing water-they called it a river.

You weren't there but I was

….then we headed to San Antonio.

We did the mercado where no one bought anything. Then we did the river walk for dinner and happy hour. This is what that looks like…

Can you find the grasshopper?

Then we saw the Alamo…

Remember the Alamo? How about that guy?

Then we went off the beaten path and found a hipster bar call “The Friendly Place” with good beer and hula hoops.

Today marked the #2 event of “blogworthy” proportions..I massacred some trees with a chainsaw in Texas. BOOM!

I look scarier than leatherface

Since I don’t feel like talking, here are some more pictures for your enjoyment…


4 Apr

Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls I would like to present to you

Check out those proportions...also turn your head

Thats right, the goaties have been born! Unfortunately, Grace and I were not told that Shelly was in labor so instead we were dealing with other animals…Fire Wolf Will (see Grace’s Blog). She started around 10:30 last nightand had the last of the three around 1 am. They are seriously so adorable. In three days we get to bottle feed them!

Not much else to blog about. Lots of weeding, tearing up grass for walkways and beds, planning the future, writing rap songs, drinking Lonestar, being outsmarted by a rodent, planting tomatoes, you know farm things.

I’m going to go hang out with the goats.