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Seeing Things

Today marked the end of “summer” break for all the kids – the first day back to school. Tiny legs scampered below their navy and baby blue uniforms. It reminded me of my many ‘first days of school’ – the nervousness, the excitement, the electricity of what is the start of the next few months.

I walked for two hours this morning to attempt to get in a little bit of shape to hike the mountain this weekend. Most people do it in two days. Maria and I are going to attempt the 20 miles in one, beginning around midnight on Sunday morning, expecting to get back sometime around dinner. Headlamps will be key.

As I walked up the mountain this morning, a woman’s song floated into the road. She was wearing a brown vest and a bandana of sorts, and look like a rustic version of the “We Can Do It” woman from iconic poster. She seemed to be gardening and doing some chores around the tiny farm. All sorts of bright tropical flowers surrounded her dark wooden house, creating trellises for her to move about. I didn’t startle her – she looked at me, kept on singing and smiled. She was happy. So was I.

I edited the wedding pictures for four hours earlier this week. It’s been almost two years since I really sat down and spent a chunk of time editing. It was so satisfying. I got the excited feeling I used to get in the darkroom, watching a print come to life and knowing deep down that it’s good. Feeling proud of the finished product. There were sparks yesterday, something I’m trying not to take lightly. Here are a few. More will make their way to Picassa.

Dias Uno

Written Jan 2, but was just now able to get this online…

So, after a good 16 hours of traveling I made it to San Gerardo.  If you count coming back from NYC yesterday, I took every mode of transportation in a 24 hour period, with the exception of boat and horse. Ah, but I did finnish my jounrney in the back of a pickup truck.

I met Maria at the bus station, and being the only other brown-haired, blue-eyed person in the place, it was easy to spot her. We then embarked on a 3.5 hour bus ride on roads so windy that they rival my beloved Rt. 1 in California. Except we were on a huge bus doing about 60 mph around hairpin turns, with a visibility of about 10 feet due to the clouds. Yes, were in in the clouds. And then we came out,  above the clouds, so see the most spectacular rainbow across a deep green valley. The clouds, below us, now looked like snow-covered peaks. Gorgeousity.

And then we got in a cab. And I though we’d go about 20 minutes up the road to our tiny town. But we kept going. And kept going some more. Until the road turned to dirt, and two lanes turned to one, and the street lights ended. A good 45 minutes later and we met Jenny, who runs the school; her dog Copper; and her fiance, Pedro;  and we all  enjoyed some hot tomato soup. My first meal, all day.

And now I am sitting in my bed, above the Hotel Descando, with the hum of Spanish television through the wall.  I briefly met my family tonight but I needed some rest. They do seem sweet. The father, Francisco, is 70 and still runs every day. Their son plays “football” for the largest team in Costa Rica, so it seems like an athletic family.

This is remote. More remote than I was expecting. Maria, who’s been all over Latin America was even shocked. It’s one thing to visit these places, but it’s a whole other thing to reside here. More to come tomorrow. Breakfast at 8, and then an introductory hike through the cloud forest.

Introducing… Me and My 7 Things

I’d like to not completely blame the beginnings of my blog on getting tagged as part of 7 Things, but sadly, it’s a large part of what finally got me to set this up. The other part has to do with the fact that for the past 9 or so months I have worked at the Mozilla Corporation as a member of its public relations team. Given that, and the word ‘public’ in my title, I figure its about time to start communicating with everyone about my contributions to Mozilla and the exciting world of PR.

Those things considered, this post is way overdue. Other members of the marketing team were nice enough to spare a few minutes out of their day to help me get this started, and for that I’d like to say thanks.

Okay, now on to the juicy stuff. My 7 things:

Ground rules:
1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

7 things you may (or may not) know about me:

1. I have a strange and (so-far) life-long obsession with carnivores – particularly big cats and sharks. Ever since I was little I’ve been a sponge for everything having to do with these amazing creatures.  My pink canopy bed was covered in stuffed animal cheetahs, lions, panthers, hammerheads and great whites. Jaws was my favorite movie at the age of five. It hasn’t stopped. Well, okay, the stuffed animals for the MOST part have stopped, but they’ve been replaced by my real, live, terrorizing beast of a black house cat – Shiraz. I scour the Internet for documented shark attacks every day (2008 was a good year for those Pacific Coast sharks BTW).  I hope to go shark diving soon.

SharkSwarm_0001G_JS-DH.jpg

2. In keeping with the animal theme – I used to show sheep. In fact, I won quite a few trophies. Growing up in rural Northern New Jersey, there were a lot of farms. And not much else to do other than play around on those farms. So, I joined the local 4-H, threw on white collared shirt, cowgirl jeans, and showed off those sheep.

sheep1

3. I played the alto sax for 12 years. I was a band geek from 4th grade until college, and was also breaking out into Lisa Simpson-style solos in jazz band. I played the piano for many years as well, and recently have been learning the mandolin. If anyone knows any good teachers in the Bay Area please let me know.

4. Salt. Is my other obsession. I put it on everything. If you put my favorite meal in front on me and it’s not salty enough, I’d rather just go hungry. It annoys me to go to fancy restaurants that think their food “doesn’t need” salt, and therefore don’t keep in on the table. You ALWAYS need salt! I carry around sea salt in the glove compartment of my car in case of emergencies – thank you Will 😉

salt

5. I hate tall buildings and flying. It’s odd, as I’ve been skiing since I was 2 and it’s rare a chairlift freaks me out. I climb all kinds of mountains in my spare time, and that doesn’t bother me. It’s something about the ground under my feet that comforts me. Man-made buildings? No way. I considered it a big accomplishment for me to sleep overnight in the 47th floor of a high-rise in New York for the recent Fashion Your Firefox launch – with only minor anxiety. It’s something I’m working on.

6. My favorite color is green. It makes me happy.

7. I was a busy little kid. Again, there is not much to do in farm country when you’re growing up (see above). I used to show horses – dressage and hunter style. I danced ballet for 10 years. I was a cheerleader – for one day when i was five for the pee-wee football team. As soon as I saw the outfit, I ran home and told my Mom my  cheerleading career was over.

7 People: David Rolnitzky, Sean Alamares, Mary Colvig, Laura Mesa, Jared Finck, Amie Tyrrel and Alix Franquet