Thursday, December 24, 2009

dear santa,

i believe.

love, annie

ps. you read blogs, right?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

the nerve

so i went to ALL the trouble of dragging myself to the airport and spending hours in transit only to be abandoned by my family. apparently there's something called work in which some people prefer to indulge. so i'm eating copious amounts of sweets and watching good things utah (and trying not to put a pen through my eye). 

and there's diet coke with lime EVERYWHERE. 

i know. my life is so hard.

it's good to be home.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

i would just like to remind you all...

...that i live in VIRGINIA.

*update: official snowfall measurements
from M. - "lots and lots"  (in inches)
from S. - "a  s***load of snow"
from E. - 16.5" at Reagan National Airport, 7th largest snowstorm in dc history
from me - it's above my knees

Monday, December 14, 2009

you'll never guess...

the sweating began as i started getting ready for church yesterday morning.

i wore this. that's right. green tafetta.* not the greatest fabric OR color when you know you get the nervous sweats. but my roommate said it made my eyes pop (in a good way), so i HAD to wear it.

just walking from closet to bathroom to bedroom and back again in the daily ritual hunt for my keys/lippy stuff/sunglasses/coat/scarf/purse/phone/violin/shoulder rest/music/etc/etc/etc was apparently too much for my system and, well...

maybe it's cool on a rockstar, but when you're supposed to play a rather difficult (for me) solo arrangement of mannheim steamroller's "silent night" in front of a couple hundred people and you're the last number before the bishop's christmas address, pit stains are not ok.

so i did what any girl would do. i put pantyliners** in my armpits.

worked like a charm.

merry christmas everyone!

*i have since been informed that this color is chartreuse. i always wondered what color that was. and now i know. and you do, too.

**apparently pantyliners with wings work even better. thanks, k!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ketchup, catsup, catch-up

lately i've really been wanting to rebuke everyone for not posting more frequently.  i don't think you realize how addicted i am to your blogs. but then i think i can't rebuke without posting myself. and that just requires so much energy! i have to clear space on my hard drive so i can download pictures, download the pictures, photoshop em, upload em, and think of something to write. i know - my life is SO hard. 

also, i have to grade papers. papers are the bane of my existence. but i still love my job. 
test question: what's the difference between sculpture in the round and relief sculpture?
actual student answer: the difference is that they're different.

i digress.

here's a briefing from the last MONTH of my life, according to the pictures i've only just downloaded from my camera...unphotoshopped...and sideways: 

i flew to san jose for a wedding. actually, that was in september. i'm really a behind. wait, i mean, i'm really behind.

we locked the keys in the rental car and spent a good 45 minutes sweating it out before one of the other bridesmaids mentioned casually that she has triple a. oh YOU have triple a?!! why didn't you SAY something?!

no harm, no foul.

we were rescued and managed to make it to the rehearsal dinner, having only missed the rehearsal, which is really a non-event at a mormon wedding anyway.


i ran the ragnar relay and took almost no pictures. i did get this great shot of the sunrise (yes, sunRISE) in the middle of our second legs.

i went to regina spektor with the girls. love regina.

love the girls.

max and perry visited (twice!) and they had a great time on the love sack. and the stairs. and emptying my purse.  

oh yeah, their mother came, too. and we went shopping and got us one o those ones in the middle.

i flew to seattle for my grandpa's funeral which also turned into an impromptu reunion. reuneral! (can't take credit for that brilliance. that was all justin, the eldest, wisest cousin.) i had some thoughts on my sweet and ornery but mostly sweet grandpa, but decided not to be a downer, since it's november. november's a downer month, don't you think? i do.

we surprised our grandmother for her birthday. all of her (living) grandkids, daughters, daughters-in-law, sons and sons-in-law were able to make it to the funeral, which preceded her birthday by 2 days. 

behold the stimpson grands plus a grand-in-law and 2 greats:

(click here for a more better pic by lola)
some of us forgot that we're adults. yes, this is just after i fell out of the swing. yes, i'm 29 years old. 

i love my family. the faces were grandma's idea. 

we stimpson women sure know how to party.

the men on the other hand...

might ACTUALLY know how to party.

i taught a lesson on photography for enrichment, or relief society activity or whatever the official name is now.

i was trinity from the matrix for halloween, complete with morpheus, neo and agent smith. i had boots for the actual party, but not for the pictures, which is sad. the boots really made the costume. that and the leather pants. thank you, wet seal!

speaking of halloween, abby turned 27. wait, what?! they grow up so fast... don't worry, abs, you'll always be 23 to me :)

speaking of birthdays, i finally mailed a gift that i bought for my mother in july 2008 for christmas 2008, forgot that i'd bought it (apple, tree, not far...), decided to give it to her for her birthday, forgot again that i had something already, decided to give it to her for mother's day...see a pattern? mom, didja get it yet? i sent it via usps, so i'm kinda scared.

deette came to visit! so of course the girls got together for drinks. virgins all around! (sigh)

the anniversary of alex's death came again (as anniversaries tend to do), but i figured i was sufficiently depressing on his birthday post, so i'll just let it ride.

mary and i zipped our friend courtney into a suitcase. 

i remembered that autumn is my favorite season and that i like to take pictures and that i love dc because even though november's a downer, it's still warm enough to run outside in shorts and a short-sleeve.

so here's a little preview for the next post...sometime in march...ish.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

my lists will defend me*

today's to do (or this week's...whatevs):
+fight parking tickets, unless i procrastinated too long, then pay them
+prepare emergency lesson plan in case i contract the swine flu (this is an actual department request)
+grade art projects (turned in 3 weeks ago)
+prepare study guide for test 2
+write test 2
+prepare review lecture
+pick up dry cleaning
+exchange camis
+pick up abby's birthday present
+papa's 85th birthday present
+go running
+field trip form
+field trip worksheet
     +tales from the trail pt 2
     +ragnar relay
     +regina spektor
     +deette and brandon's wedding
+prepare study skills and test taking strategies handout? lecture?
+wash car (several months overdue)
+change oil
+photograph art projects
+photograph my new paintings
+update website
+potatoes for ragnar team dinner on sunday
+clean bathroom
+clean/organize room
+tomato soup ingredients for sunday
+read "march" for book club

*"i love to make lists. maybe its my background in beehives and breadmaking, the whole business of being industrious and frugal that a list promotes. or maybe its the power that comes when you can cross something off a list. ... i can see in a very tangible form what i have accomplished in a day. or perhaps it's the democratic nature of lists that i find so attractive. each task is of equal importance on paper. ... it's the line slashed through the words that counts. never mind that the pleasurable items are crossed off by noon and the difficult ones, meant for procrastination anyway, get moved to the net day's agenda. the point is that my intentions are honorable. my lists will defend me. -from terry tempest williams' "refuge: an unnatural history of family and place"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

the stars have not yet aligned

and so i can't post. i have to make sure i have time, my computer, it's power cord, my external hard drive that holds all of my pictures because my computer has zero memory left, it's power cord, it's computer connection, time, something to say (ok i guess that's not ever a problem), space over which to spread all this stuff, and maybe some time. i mean, i know i just quit my job, but seriously, people, i really must catch up with my friends ryan, taylor, seth and summer; jim, pam, dwight, michael, et al; tim gunn; nigel, mary, tyce, and the random people who think they can dance and some who actually CAN dance; and finally, sometimes haley, nathan, brooke, lucas and peyton. and believe you me, it is HARD to catch up on 2 years. i've also made some new friends. in addition to THAT, i have to run because i just have to. and because i'm so righteous, i decided to go to institute this semester to let my light so shine as an example to all those sinners out here in the dc area because teaching sunday school clearly is not influential enough. AND and sometimes i prep my lessons and grade papers. so with that busy schedule, you can see the pickle i'm in here.

stay tuned...i feel the stars love me this month...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

do you ever just want to be sad?

not because anything's wrong or terrible or troublesome, but just because?

like maybe you saw a commercial* for a board game that reminded you of your brother and you thought, i should get that for him for his birthday, and then you remembered that he can't play it and that you miss him?

i don't think the sadness of someone's death ever goes away. it's no longer the crippling sadness that that alternately kept me awake all night and then cringing from the world under the covers come daybreak, but it's still there. sharper and deeper in some ways, or maybe just clearer**, now that i understand it with 29-year-old wisdom instead of whatever passes for wisdom when you're 17-almost-18.

he'd have turned 31 last saturday - still so young. what would his life be like? would he be married? what would his kids be like? where would he live? what career would he have chosen for himself? would he have served our country in iraq or afghanistan? what would he have thought about that (because surely he'd have an opinion)? i worry that i'm forgetting too much. i think about him often, but only mention him in passing because it still has the ability to make my eyes fill no matter where i am - like in my office writing this post, but particularly if i'm doing something he would've loved like this. were he alive today, he'd have been out in front leading our expedition, running down side trails, winning the gallon challenge and generally leaving his own (infamous?) trail behind. like the time he won a contest by eating, legend has it, 12 raw eggs at scout camp.***

my memories become more and more shadowy and are replaced by the frozen pictures from various albums and i feel like this is a kind of betrayal, to myself and to him. curse my mortal memory that saves every exquisite detail of the night he died and the ensuing grief, but fades the sound of his laugh and what his hair looked like and the way his eyes looked when he was up to something. it makes my heart happy (and a little scared for his mother) how much this one reminds me of him, in both look and personality. so alike that grandma kept calling him alex at our last stimpson hoo-rah.

the connections between experience and people and how those things affect a person is the inspiration for much of my artwork. and so, i leave you with this, the artist statement that goes along with these, which i've probably posted before because they're among my favorites:

"she thought of the rain and fire and you"

and this one, too
"the place with the fireflies"

*because you've been watching entirely too much tv lately...

**for those of you that read
this, yes, this post was influenced by her. really i should just ditto what she said and call it good. dear little sister, you are younger in years than i am, but so much wiser.

***for the record, it wasn't that many, but as he said, let the tale-bearers tell their tales...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

yes bonquiqui i have had better days

my shirt clashes with my purse. the hem is falling out of my left pant cuff. i'm getting a blister on my right arch and another on the pad of my left foot and i can't feel my toes anymore.

it's going to be one of those days.


that was yesterday. now i'm in california and life is good.

and actually, yesterday wasn't that bad. more funny than bad.

Monday, September 7, 2009

tales from the trail part 1

after a slight debacle finding a ride to the trail, my buddy jordan agreed to give up his entire morning and shuttle dad and i out to front royal. Ten miles later we made camp at a shelter apparently infested by snakes, according to some southbound boys. we didn't see nuthin', but i also refused to sleep in the shelter and insisted on pitching my tent instead. i like tenting better, anyway and i don't think freddo really likes snakes all that much, either. we woke up the next morning to the pitter patter of a gentle rainstorm. we broke camp in the rain and got on the trail just as it turned to a steady downpour which stopped only about an hour before we made it to the next shelter.

behold the aftermath of hiking in the rain...

what you can't see is the grubs that enjoyed the mud caked on my shoes and took refuge inside during the night. good thing i thought to dump them out before i put them on. ew.

i actually don't mind hiking in the rain, especially in august, which is disgustingly hot and humid. the rain cooled us off and gave me some gorgeous photo opps.

if you look closely, you can see hiker fred in the distance. he's always faster than i am on the downhills.
a few days later we hit the roller coaster, named for its several miles of ascents and descents marking every mile.
it says "hiker notice: warning! you are about to enter the roller coaster!!! built and maintained by the 'trailboss' and his merry crew of volunteers. have a great ride and we will see you at the blackburn trail center (if you survive)" it used all caps but i don't like them cause they look like shouting. i don't like to shout on my blog.

the entrance looks innocent enough, right?

at the top of the first hill. go freddo go! ride that roller coaster!

not sure how i feel about this ride. 

a few bumps and about 8 miles later at bear's den hostel, named for bear's den rocks (in the background).

every now and then the trail crosses a highway or freeway. the experience is a little surreal, going from the woods to the high speed bustle of the "real" world.
for some reason i also really like power lines. dan (who wrote the a.t. thru-hiker's handbook that dad and i like) uses them as milage markers. i also like the openness and rare view from the man-made clearings. AND and they remind me of when alex and i would pretend they were evil transformers (from the old cartoon) when we were on road trips. actually, i think those "road trips" were really the 20 min trips to nana and papa's house. but when you're 4, 20 min is a looooong time.
anyway, i leave you with another lovely view, courtesy of our communications technology.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

finders keepers

i love finding things in unexpected places...under my the refrigerator...the top of the bathroom my pockets.

i've been looking for my driver's license for a good 2 weeks, now. i'm also missing my social security card. if you find one floating around with last four digits...

ha! i'm not THAT stupid.

anyway, after searching high and low and in between,* through several purses, a number of wallets, several skirts, and laundry clean and dirty, i finally found my license in the pocket of a suit jacket that i last wore at my pgcc interview.** it's one of my faves, the same one i got on sale for $4 (i know, right?!) at dillards and wore for my mfa lecture and orals, but i don't often have occasion to wear it unless there are clients in the office. no idea why i put my license in my pocket instead of in my wallet, but there it was, keeping mr. lincoln company. and then i found some washingtons partying in the other pocket.

it was a good day.

*which i often have to do because i don't put (or throw) things away, i put them in piles (or bags or boxes or containers) for later. so i have shopping bags full of old mail to sort, documents to file away, random receipts i felt compelled to save, ticket stubs, pairs of earrings, bracelets that bugged me so i took them off, magazine subscriptions to send off, tickets to pay, etc. etc. etc.

**this interview went VERY well, in my opinion, and i think they agreed since they hired me and i'm now teaching 3 sections of art appreciation.

Monday, August 31, 2009

did i mention...

that i started school today?

that my last day at sidley is october 1?

that i ran a 10 mile race yesterday?

that i hiked 167.7 miles with my pops earlier this month?

that i'm one of the "featured artists" at the studio?

that i'm going to see the killers tonight?

that i'm kind of behind on downloading pictures and posting?

that i'm captain obvious today?

that i like peanut butter on crackers with raisins? and pecans? and almonds and honey?

that the above is pretty much all i have left in my cupboard?

that i'm "going private" and i need your email addresses?

that i'm going to expound on all these topics maybe?

that i need to know which one you want to hear about first?

that i'm starting a new blog?

that i'm in the market for some plastic pants?

i did mention that?
ok just checking.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

why i like the long hike

i'm currently, as you read this, if you're reading it between august 1 and 12, hiking a section of the appalachian trail,* which i've been spelling wrong for the past 2 years. and i love it. the trail, not my spelling problems. like, really really love it. yes, maybe i will marry it, thank you very much.

i don't really know, exactly, why i have this love affair with backpacking. it's a combination of things, i guess. i like the idea that i can carry everything i need to survive (at least for a few days) on my back. it really throws "needs" and "wants" into sharp focus after you've lugged them up and down a few mountains. one outfit. underwear and socks for the number of days you'll be between towns. one set of rain gear. a map. a very lightweight camera. food. water. fire. baggies. duct tape. anything else is added weight. and let me tell you, those ounces add up fast. and they get heavier and heavier.

your worries, too, become a matter of survival. it's no longer, what shall i wear to work today (one outfit, remember?), it's how many miles will i walk. where will i rest. when do i get to eat again? all those daily stressors sluff off and fall by the side of the trail and you realize how silly and unimportant they are, especially if you have eggs to sit on.

it's a good time to sort things out. i come back feeling lighter (literally and figuratively), refreshed and rather smelly.

(my one outfit.)

there's a surprising culture on the trail that i've grown unaccustomed to in the city: hikers are nice. and honest. and take care of each other. even strangers. a small example: on my last trek, i lost a filtration water bottle. not super-expensive, but valuable to a hiker. the next day back on the trail, i discovered it was missing. having walked down a mountain and all around town, i knew it would take too long to retrace my steps, and i was NOT going back to the top of that mountain. i told some friends about it at the next shelter. they'd seen it. someone had found it at the top of the mountain, carried it into town and attempted to find its owner. when it went unclaimed, he left it in a "hiker box," curiously enough at the motel at which i'd stayed and the only place i hadn't checked in my search for it. someone else whipped out a cell phone and called the motel, who shipped the water bottle to my home. nobody asked for compensation.

this year i'll be trying a skirt like this guy, but not plaid.
(he was one of the water-bottle-finder-helper-guys...and his little moose too.)

two words: trail magic, or "assistance from strangers through kind actions, gifts, and other forms of encouragement. trail magic is sometimes done anonymously. in other instances, persons have provided food and cooked for hikers at a campsite." (thanks wikipedia)

these persons are called trail angels. trail angels rock. these two showed up unexpectedly several different times on our last trek with deliciousness: oreos and ice cold coke. mmmm.

it's especially refreshing after you've had to deal with stuff like this.

i know, right?

cleaning house rocks, too. look, mom, no clutter!

and, finally, i like the hike cause i get to hang out with this guy.

my most favorite dad ever. this year, we will try to convince everyone that we are indeed father and daughter, not professor and student posing as father and daughter to cover our sordid love affair.

maybe in a few years i'll post pictures from this year's hike. until then...

*i will not accidentally-on-purpose end up in argentina. stop asking. it wasn't even funny the first time. (stupid governor)