Friday, September 10, 2010

Wedding Flyer

Wedding Flyer, originally uploaded by the woodstove.

New wedding photography flyer:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

While I wholly agree with Casey's sentiments below, I feel like there needs to be some mention, some documentation of the things that went right. To be honest, I have anger about the last two years. I could go on and on about the disappointments, the connections I intended to make with people who weren't available, the rejections, the bafflement, etc., but really, I am just grateful to feel like myself again. To not feel like an outsider anymore, to live in a city where one in four people are foreign-born, and to work (albeit temporarily, but who knows!) in an awesome environment with brilliant people. These are all serious blessings.

Back to my ever elusive point, there were good things about Hagerstown. I met the wives of Casey's friends from his high school days and found that we shared an uncanny number of things in common. Jenni, the gamine creative genius who taught me everything I know about making jewelry, and whose company I miss whenever I'm doing what we do best: making jewelry while watching movies and drinking massive amounts of Earl Grey. She introduced me to Samantha, the proudly West Virginian art teacher who is making a killing selling her whimsical jewelry on Etsy. She told me about a tree stump near her mom's place in WV that if you put a $20 on, will mysteriously produce a bottle of homemade moonshine a couple of hours later. And of course the indomitable Laura Mae, who on our first meeting, burst into friends' apartment after a night of square dancing and sleeping in the back of a pick-up, with twigs and leaves in her long red hair and mud caked on her cowboy boots. A total Southern babe and an old soul, she's someone I can spend hours talking to and never run out of things to say.


I also learned more things about Casey from observing him with his family. His annoying habit of speed walking down airport terminals with me several feet behind? Totally learned behavior from his dad, Terry. His insistence on being at the gate 45 minutes before they start seating the plane? That would be Terry too. His brother, Corey, shares the same good natured distinctive laugh and curious tendency to rub their feet together when watching movies. All Broadwaters love applesauce and pudding. This information is somehow useful to me.

Family Portrait

I miss the spooky summer thunder storms, the fireflies, the wild raspberries and all the old pre-civil war era houses. Back there, roads have actual names, not just numbers. I miss Casey's grandma Marlene, who just loves on people and has a faith that makes my eyes water just hearing her talk about it. Like Casey, she's also a fantastic storyteller. As is her husband, Carroll, who will stoically sit at the table with a toothpick hanging out of his mouth and say the most hilarious (and controversial) things and with the family erupts in laughter and incredulity, he'll look over at me with a sly wink. John, the generous, hardworking grandpa who always keeps a pen in his shirt pocket and has the kindest eyes I've ever seen. And of course, Retha, who bares an uncanny resemblance to Casey and accepted me into her family as a granddaughter. She shares my fascination with traveling and the English Royals. She even gave me her Charles and Di wedding collector dolls for Christmas and would look through my Japanese scrapbooks with me on a regular basis.


These things meant so much.

Our Road

Monday, August 09, 2010

Back in Action, or, Maryland Schmaryland
Us on the Ferry
To compress two years of history into a few sentences, here's what happened: Before leaving Japan, we decided that we'd move to rural western Maryland. No, I don't know what we were thinking either. As it turned out, Maryland was a bad idea. No, worse. A quicksand pit that proved nearly inescapable. Nearly. To put it very bluntly, Julianna and I both wish we could get those two years back. We wish we had had the foresight to come immediately to Seattle after Japan. We cringe at the naivety of some of our decisions. That said, we're done shaking our fists at our regrets, we're finally back on the west coast--feeling like proper people again--and we're beginning to see the good that came out of the two dullest, least productive years of our twenties. We had some good times with great friends. I got to know my grandparents in a way that I never had before. Juli started designing and selling kick-ass jewelry. I wrote my first magazine articles and got a job as a film critic. It wasn't all a total loss.

And now? Now we're back in action.

We've decided to wake this blog up from its electronic dormancy. Things are happening--career advancement, writing projects, music with friends, imminent possibilities. Life is good. We're hungry bears who have just woken up from a long hibernation, and it feels good to stretch and get back into the practice of living.

And so. Yesterday we took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island with Miles and Danielle:
Battening Down the Hatches
Camera Shy
The ferry was slightly creepy in a distinctly Pacific Northwest, Twin Peaks-meets-The Ring kind of way:
Ferry Light
When we got to the island, the rain started and we basically walked around with our hoods up all day, looking like water-logged serial killers. We ate at a little cafe with a confusing men's room--I couldn't figure out how to open the door--and poked into the various shops that lined the main drag in town. Tucked back behind the cafe we found a tiny shop dedicated to local arts and crafts. It looked like a brick and mortar Etsy store. Juli got talking to the owner, and less than five minutes later, they had a consignment deal worked out. Juli's going to mail over a dozen pieces of jewelry sometime this week!

(Oh, and please check out Juli's Etsy shop, Mystery & Manners. She doesn't like to put in plugs for herself, but I'll do it proudly.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back to the Pacific Northwest.

Twin Peaks, originally uploaded by the woodstove.

a.k.a. Twin Peaks country...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This Country Will Know Us By Name

We're back. Maryland has welcomed us into her arms and we are, at present, nestled in the rural bosom of Washington county. The past two months have been an uneasy vacation. A vacation because we're unemployed, and uneasy for the same reason. I've put out my job-hunting tendrils, waving them blindly, but I know I could do better, be more focused. Yesterday, we went out to Chinese with Clint and Jenni, and my fortune cookie read: "You have many opportunities. Try harder." Being nagged by a cookie is something of a new low for me.

I'm not really worried though. I've got high hopes for a few of my cookie's prophesied opportunities. Right now it's just the boredom that's getting to me. I'm not sure what to do with myself. Part of it is geographical I guess. I'm not used to being here, being back in a place that was marginally "mine" eight years ago, a place where I had only lived for two years before heading west. I miss the predictability of a routine. I drift through the day hoping to accomplish something, feeling too lazy to push and too guilty to relax. I never thought I'd pine to wake up early and go to work.

There's so much going on right now--the economy, the elections, the great Hagerstown stinkbug infestation--but it all seems strangely distant, a news broadcast bounced off the atmosphere and down to this little island where I'm camped out, hunting meaning.

It helps that we have friends here. They've all gotten older, gotten married, but they're still the same, cracking wise and making beautiful things to see and hear.

On an administrative note, I'm not sure yet where this blog will go now that we're back from Japan. I do know, though, that we're going to try to live here, in the States, much like we did in Sendai. More adventuring, more exploration, and more nights and weekend trips with friends. I've got a list of places I want to go in the coming months, so I'm sure we'll have lots to report on. Later!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Last Day in Hachiman


Last Day in Hachiman



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Casey sighed from what was not, and dreamed, and rested from his labors.

The floor of our apartment is strewn with photographs, hair ties, ceramic bowls, stray socks and the collected miscellany of the past two years. But other than that, it's empty. If my latest iTunes playlist--which consists solely of Townes Van Zandt and Bonny "Prince" Billy--is any indication (and it is), I'm already mentally back in America, ensconced in Americana, eating comfort food and playing Scrabble with the folks. It's a bit dull and a bit predictable, but I find myself thinking of weathered fenceposts and old barns, the out-of-tune pianos and faded photographs of a past America that pulls at me like a sepia tide. I've always been a Miniver Cheevy for U.S. history ("Casey cursed the marketeers/ And eyed Armani suits with loathing:/ He missed the rustic grace/ Of hobo clothing.").