Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Worried....

.... I've fallen behind on my booking (it's not very hard to do on the road - when you can go four days at a time without internet)....

On the upside - Zion National Park was amazing. Probably the best park that we've been to on this trip - Matt and I hiked up the Narrows. Which is basically an unmarked hiking trail, up a river, and between these crazy sheer rock canyon walls. They warn you that there are flash floods there all the time. But we took the chance anyways. Hiking up it was a pain - literally, hidden rocks were trying to sprain our ankles at every turn - but getting down it was fun. As all the Chinese tourists stared us down with jealousy (they brought too many cameras to float down it) we just held our breath and let the current take us.

Did you know that Mormons cannot drink coffee? or tea? or beer? They made Matt carry their beer, because they didn't want to be seen by any members of their church.

Now we're in Vegas.... we've been here since Saturday afternoon.... actually packing up and heading towards the Grand Canyon today. Don't know what to tell you about Vegas - it's all plaster and Styrofoam. It's all razzle dazzle, casino bullshit - everywhere you look it's - an Adult Mag store, a liquor store, a tittie bar, a big flashing casino, some fast food, and a smoke shop. It's hot, there really aren't any good parks, and I'm not sure if their water is drinkable....

Shot with a bunch of people this week - most importantly Ransom (the cheese!) We got a lot of great stuff done, should have more to post as I get them..... and sure, this photo's a little risque - but alas, everything's covered.... : ) He's doing a fruit series - I'm his banana hammock girl.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Salt Lake...

Yesterday I got to shoot in an Aspen National Park-thingy with all these tall, boney white trees and soft little ferns..... It was totally mind-shockingly-beautiful. Matthew and I agree, sometimes we just can't help but feel like we're part of the Truman show.... the backdrops look painted and the people are all so out of place. We have a lot of inside jokes about how our show hires half-assed extras.... sometimes they can't afford extras and the use cut-outs.

Oooh, like last night. We figured that since we're only in Salt Lake for a day or two, seeing the actual Great Salt Lake was one of those very "important" must-do things. So we did that....(fyi, the Great Salt Lake actually consists of miles and miles of Salt Flats and very little Lake. Also, it's reallly reallly smelly).

From the flats, we drove through Salt Lake, the actual city - Basically they city was laid out like this - casino, bank, park, casino, bank, park, and then this street full of hundreds of people camping in the road? Matt and I were confused.... tents in the road? So we pulled over and asked a bunch of people sitting on sleeping bags "what's going on?" "What!? Pioneer Days Parade!? Don't you know!! One of the top ten parades in the nation!!!! You have to camp out to get a good spot." Hmmm.... everyone looked like they were having such fun! Grilling outdoors! Campfires on the sidewalk (don't ask how that was legal, who knows)! Drove to WalMart and bought some $4 pillows and $8 sleeping bags - parked the mustang - slept in the park with all the rest of the Utah Parade Lovers.

Ha, now as for the parade... it mostly consisted of floats with mermaids and cops on scooters doing figure 8's. It was really kind of creepy. Also, clowns. In Utah, they still use clowns in their parade - clowns on unicycles.

Half dead from lack of sleep -
and half delirious from watching policemen on scooters
Matt and I packed up and left early.....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Utah is Burning....

Spent most of the day driving from Grand Junction to a small city in Utah - this consisted of driving over a bunch of mountains, around a bunch of rivers, through many square radius of open desert and getting caught in FishLake Park with the top down in a complete torrential rainstorm. Somewhere between here and there - we stopped in Arches National Park..... hours later, we arrived in Utah to see the sky a-blaze (which made for a mind blowing sunset) and ash just drifting down from the heavens...... "Black snow in the desert"

We're staying at a Mom and Pop motel.... our room has real hangers and there is even a fridge (oh, the life of luxury, eh?.... we get so excited for the small things).

Tomorrow is Salt Lake and Mormon half brothers - it's going to be a good time. Stay tuned. I wouldn't want to miss a story about Mormons, that's for sure.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ojo Caliente'....

What's good about Santa Fe? I have no idea. Matt and I didn't spend any time there..... we left Benny's, headed North towards the mountains (8,000 feet about sea level) and stayed with this Hot Cowboy Couch-Surfing Man who was just getting back from Kayaking in the mountains. Rawr, right??!!!!

But other than Kayaking-man's place, Matt and I didn't spend too much time in Santa Fe. We headed to Bandalier National Park - to climb amongst the swiss cheese rocks - without any water - half delirious - on a 100 degree day. Yea, that was quite the hike. We almost knocked down a little eight year old girl skipping around yelling, "Oooh it's so hot, I love water, I love water, water water." pouring her water all over the desert sands. We somehow, someway restrained ourselves.... made it back to the car.... and drove off to Ojo Caliente - a spa in the desert.

Talk about an amazing place. All these hot springs in the desert.... full of healing minerals from underground volcanic flows. Matt and I spend the whole night, hopping from spring to spring. When they closed at 10pm, we found a lone fire lit on the grounds - and sat down to dry off. A bunch of incredibly interesting travelers sat down and kept us company. Sisters reuniting on a cross country trip, professors taking time off from work, a woman from NYC who tastes wine for a living..... we all talked until Midnight, and Matt and I took the drive back to Santa Fe to crash.....

Next morning was Taos.... it was not all I wanted it to be. The Rio Grande area was beautiful and the town was really quaint..... but during a construction route, someone kicked up some rocks at the mustang.... and my windshield cracked. It's about growing by the day - about 15 inches now, Matt wears his glasses all the time, because we're sure it's going to implode on him. We're going to see if we can get it fixed tomorrow.... who knows.

We ate tacos in the mountians..... now we're in Denver.
Hanging out with Kenneth, the photographer, who shot
me in the pin forest in Abq...... he's out here on work or something.
And his hotel is sooooooooooooo beautiful.
There is a hot tub on the roof, overlooking the city.....
That's where we're headed right after this entry
Speaking of..... haha... see you later.

Socorro to Abq.....

These entries are going to be broken up - because it's been awhile since I've had some long-time computer access - therefore, it's a guarantee that these blogs are going to be pretty heavy.....

So first off, couchsurfing....

Before I left on this trip, my Momma told me about this site called "couch surfing.com" I thought it was pretty shady at first, sleeping at people's place that you don't know. Haha... but then I realized, that I do that all the time with photographers.....

So this site, couchsurfing, is basically, dedicated to very interesting people who love to travel... When traveling, they stay on couches all over the world (US, Kenya, Brazil, Spain, ect) When they are not traveling, they open their homes to other travelers... It's a karma thing....

Matt and I decided to give it a try. What the hell, right?.....Save some money, meet some people. Abq stayed with this amazing guy named Benny. We took a chance on him, he took a chance with us (Matt and I had no couchsurfing references to show that we're not people who raid your house and steal your pet poodles). What a great first experience.... Benny is a cross country biker, saving the world by peeing in his compost, eating lots of veggies, and being the nicest guy ever.... First night we got in, he paid for us to see a local ska show... It was great, Matt started dancing like a spaztic thing. Benny was letting Matt tango with him.... We got to listen to some great local music.... Without asking, he gave up his bedroom for us.

We even went to a rare couchsurfing get-together being held in Abq.... Benny, his girlfriend, Matthew and I all attended..... It was a gathering of about 12-14 people. Got to meet characters from all over the state and all their surfers who were staying with them.... It was quite the night, indeed. "Remember, Couchsurfing is a community - it's not a site." Heard that there's going to be a couch surfing party at BurningMan this year..... I want to go reaaaallllly bad.

While in ABQ a photographer named Kenneth took us in his little four-man plane across NM - He let me fly his plane for awhile, and we didn't crash or anything. Kenneth was a really good guide, both on the ground and in the air - we learned a lot about the area. Who knew that NM had the most lava flows in the US a few hundred years ago? We got to see giant lava from the air. And who knew that the Spanish chopped off the Pueblo Indian's ankles because the revolted? We didn't get to see that - kind of happy to miss that portion of history.













After flying, Kenneth and I went out shooting in this GIANT pine woods-place... took a bunch of photos. It was hard to keep Matt in one place, with all that beauty floating around. But I am happy to report that he didn't run into the forest screaming, "I'm in Heaven!! Heaven!!!" like he did in White Sands.... there are a lot more things to run into in a forest, might have found him in a coma or something. : )

What else, shot in a really cool abandoned building.... should have those photos up in a few days.... got some work done... drank a lot of lemonade green teas from Starbucks (if only starbucks had free wifi, right?)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blinded By the Light.... Socorro

Wanted to go check out the Harry Potter movie today... Mostly because.... Socorro, the city that Matt and I are staying in, doesn't have much to look at. We googled the local movie theater here in town - it's a single screen movie theater with only two showings a day. Haha... how cute is that? I guess it's Transformers for the next month or so - so we're are out of luck. Perhaps we'll find some free time in the next week to visit Hogwarts, although it's doubtful - the schedule is picking back up again for the rest of NM.

Woke up at 5am this morning to drive out to White Sands National Park (about 2 hours North of El Paso).... we got there as the park opened, to be told that the Military was practicing missle launching all morning..... "The park will re-open at 10am." Ugh. So I bought a bunch of cheap postcards and I wrote everyone, telling them about the Sand Dune Nazis and how Matt and I sat through a 20 minute tutorial which informed us that, "Sand Dunes are made out of sand. You can find Sand at most beaches and in most Sand Dunes." Hehe, people thought we were crazy... Matt and I were laughing so hard.... half of it was the fact that they mentioned that sand could be found on beaches, I think the other half was just lack of sleep....

When the park did open, we didn't see many missles but we did see lots of sand (which, fyi, can be found on most beaches). I read a book on the Playa and ate a bunch of really yummy cherries - while Matt ran wild across the sands, "This is heaven!!! Heaven!!!" Eventually, he ran so far... and it was SO bright out.... he couldn't figure out where I had parked my car. He had to have been gone for over two hours, he freaked out. I am happy to say, that he did remember to retrace his steps, though.... so he'll be continuing the roadtrip.

We're staying at this really lovely hotel in Socorro - Yay for Econo Lodge!! It was a whopping $40 for the night. Equipt with a wooden sauna, a hot tub (I'll skip the fact that it smells like armpits, but still... it has a hot tub, and motel 6 doesn't offer that?), a leather recliner, a work out center, and a full out- waffle breakfast..... now that is a set up.

Monday, July 9, 2007

"Turkeys in Afganistan"

... orrrr, "Ooooh, the trees are turning into sand."
Driving in my car with the top down, doing 80,
can make it quite hard to hear.

The last night in Dallas,
Matt and I hit up
a rodeo in Ft Worth.
It was just like
watching a movie,
except we were
sitting right
there in the stands.

They called all the
kids under 7
into the ring
and lets them chase
a duo of sheep
around in circles.

Now I am not sure if you've ever seen this? Little kids playing soccer? Yes no? Where they all want to kick the ball, so they just surround it, a big group of them... and the ball never gets anywhere? Yeaaaa..... it was just like that, but there wasn't a soccer ball...just sheep. A bunch of kids kicking a sheep... it was horrifying.

What else has been going on? Ummm..... drove to Pecos, Motel-sixed it, drove to Carlsbad Caverns... watched Matt freak out over rock formations... "Ohhh, that's awesome! Look at that rock! Rock rock!" I think he took over a hundred photos of rock. But seriously, Carlsbad is badass... that place is just magical... if you take the natural entrance, you get to wind down into a cave of bats and beautiful cave walls... They let you explore 3 miles out of 100 miles of the cave. I am happy that place exists.

Matt and I drove from Carlsbad to El Paso.... and because our cameras can't capture this trip the way we see it, we've started to use the videocamera.... : ) That means that there will be a final video someday... and I will post it on Youtube for people to make fun of us. It's funny.... Matt and I on a mountian listening to cheesey Lion King music.... "It's the circleeeeee of lifeeeeee...."

We're now in El Paso - staying with a friend from our Highschool Art class. Her name is Lesley.... she is in the military and married to a sexy military man, they have a baby. I'm not used to staying with people that I know... Not sure if there are more or less expectations. All I know, is that Matt is happier here than any other place we've been.... .... so I guess that's a good thing.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Dallas/Ft Worth

The ride from Austin to Dallas was a good one - longgggg but good. I spent the earlier part of the morning shooting. Managed to shoot my first "cast fetish" shoot.... where the photographer actually used real medical supplies and put both of my legs into knee high casts. We did some content for his site, where I sat around in bed unwrapping bandages and he took photos. Guess some guys get turned on by things like that. Full of stories, he was telling me about how one of his members actually attacked a checkout woman behind the grocery counter.... because she was wearing a cast - he wanted to touch it. He got tossed in jail, got out, and attacked a woman in a parking lot, covering her in cast material......

The world can be quite strange, huh?
Just go with it.... it's all cool. : )

The second shoot was a guy who was torn between launching his new dark chocolate mushroom vitamin drink in stores or starting up a glamour-website...... we got a few samples of each, shot for awhile, and were on our way.....

The ride from Austin to Dallas was beautiful. I remember the first time I came to TX - which was just over a year ago (one of the photos I took) - and all the photos in my camera were photos of the sky - seriously, you have not seen a sunset until you've sat down and watched a TX sunset.....sunsets look even better if the top is down on the convertible. : ) So we did that, and eventually it started raining, we broke out some hoodies and kept driving in the rain.... it was lovely.....

I think we were about 20 minutes from downtown Dallas, when traffic just stopped. I mean, stopped. People were walking around their cars, swearing, sulking with their cell phones pressed to their ears....... completely stuck on an interstate, parked on an overpass bridge, unable to turn around - 300 or so cars. Matt and I cranked some Gwen Stafani and used all our happy dark chocolate mushroom vitamin happiness to enjoy the night....... eventually some police officers started to evacuate the bridge, backwards... as the intersate was closed, we were evacuated without an idea of where to go. We got to see the ghetto and all the homeless dogs of Dallas - it was quite the experiance at 11pm at night.

My sense of direction though - is like a compass... I am like a machiene.
Ha, or not. All depends on who you ask - Matt will tell you that I got lost and wasted about 3 hours yesterday
As if he has any other place he needs to be.... : ) Bah!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Smelly hotel... smelly smelly

ModelMayhem is having a banner contest.... oooooh, better get photoshoppin boys.... : )

Life moves so fast with Matthew around, I don't have quiet time to hang out and type anymore. I am always feeling like I need to be moving around.... doing stuff, seeing things, "ooh Austin, look more Austin, buildings, trees, Austin"..... Downtime is a big-time for me..... I am used to being alone..... I need downtime to stay sane. Right now we're in a cute coffee shop with couches.... if this can last for another two hours without any interuption, I should be ok for a day or two....




















So we've left Tim's place, which is kind of sad... because it's a really nice hole-in-the-wall home. I haven't felt that 'at home' in quite some time. Tim talks to his cats and he likes having people around the house to keep him company all day. Tim let me use all his equiptment the other day to photograph a new-and-upcoming model, Miss Tama... here are some of those photos...

Now we're in Austin, staying at this incredibly smelly Motel 6. Matthew has never stayed in a junkie Motel before.... so as soon as we walked in, he was flipping out. "We're in the ghetto, we're going to get shot, there are people standing around shirtless holding beers in the parking lot!!! The hotel is growing mold, there's no soap, the bed is gross.... " It was SO funny.... he was so freaked out, he made me drive aimlessly around Austin - wasting time and gas, so we wouldn't have to be at our hotel.... we ended up coming back to the hotel, to swim in their pool, during a rain storm.... that part was fun, the rest wasn't.....


Today was more rain, like a downpour kind of rain - Matt still wants to see the city... I've been to Austin 3 times this year. I just want to get some work done.... tomorrow is the 4th, we're watching fireworks on the lake.... or something like that. I need some slow time.... like slimy snail unmoving slow, just for a few hours....

Sunday, July 1, 2007