Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

Alaska: an ideal escape

Monday, March 7th, 2011

After working basically nonstop for two months over the holidays on my graduate school applications and portfolio, I was completely burnt out. I needed to run away for a while and relax, and luckily Catie and her family were happy to have me come up to Alaska for just that purpose. We did what we always do – eat far too much of Linda’s exquisite cooking, play board games whenever we can find a third player, and play outside with the dog (and the sister, and the sister’s dogs) whenever we can’t. I tried to keep my computer packed away as much as possible, and I am rather proud to say that I did not do more than an hour or two of work the entire three and a half weeks I was there. (I work hard, and I laze hard, I suppose.)

Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)

Photo taken in Anchorage, AK on February 4, 2011.

I’ve had a few people ask me recently what Alaska is like in the winter… I guess I still don’t really know how to answer that question. It is beautiful, above all else. There is always a good deal of fresh snow on the ground, and the mountains absolutely shine. It’s true that there isn’t much daylight, but, being a lifelong night owl, that doesn’t really bother me. Plus, it just means that a good portion of the day is filled with magic-hour light from a recent sunrise or an impending sunset!

Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)

Photos taken in Anchorage, AK on February 2-7, 2011.

Up Fourvière one last time

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Something I loved about Lyon was the fact that no matter where you were in the city, you could almost always see the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière looming above. No matter what we were doing, the basilica was there doing it along with us, like a giant sitting on the hillside, a quiet but prominent and persistent friend, watching us play and laughing at our thoroughly un-French antics. (I admit that this illustration may be somewhat influenced by the fact that I am currently reading The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis.)

Lyon, France (Sep 18, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on September 18, 2010.

So, unsurprisingly, the basilica and the hill upon which it sits was something of a centerpiece of my Lyonnaise life. Due to its general impressiveness and historical and visual allure, as well as my silhouette-inspired interest in the lookout, I visited Fourviere more than any other place in the city. Sadly, since I needed to leave France sometime, there had to be a last trip up the hill for me! Happily though, I was accompanied that last time by Catie and her sister Emma, and the weather we were given was absolutely perfect. We even had a clear view of the alps from the top! (I had practically forgotten those even existed anywhere close to Lyon.)

Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on November 11, 2010.

There isn’t much here in Minnesota (where once again I presently temporarily reside) that could now fill the basilica-shaped hole in my life… The IDS Tower? The Mall of America? The Target Center? (I should quit my mocking for a moment and acknowledge that there is the somewhat impressive Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, but it is definitely not a part of my everyday life like the Notre-Dame de Fourvière was. For one thing, I can not walk thirty yards out my front door in Plymouth and see Saint Mary’s!) I will miss my giant French friend, but for now, when I look up I can be satisfied with the beauty of the snow falling from the cold dark Midwestern sky.

Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 11, 2010.

An update: I want THIS dog

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Recently, I wrote about the self-imposed canine-less torture of Catie’s and my nomadic lifestyle. It seems that the universe is a regular reader of my blog (and that the universe may be a bit of a cruel tease), as just a few days later Catie and I stumbled upon the most beautiful sweet fluffy white Golden Retriever I have ever met.

Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on October 19, 2010.

I was taking a photo of a combination lock on an iron gate (as I often do), and I heard Catie from twenty feet off say very calmly but authoritatively, “Dan, I found a Golden Retriever”. I immediately suspected feared foul play, and responded very sternly, “Catie, do not screw with me. Are you lying?” She was not! There was a very excited dog sitting on a stone ledge next to an old building, wagging its tail and staring at the both of us.

I didn’t stop petting that dog for a good twenty five minutes, despite our walking buddies being long gone and even Catie giving up on me (trying not to let the group dissolve permanently). I have no idea whose dog it is, what its name is, or why it was tied up where it was, but I do know that I loved it with all my heart. It was sooo fluffy! (All-time professionalism high for this blog right there, I think.)

Once Catie came back for a third time and finally successfully dragged me away from the new love of my French life, and after she watched me give no less than four desperate adoring glances back to that dog, she said that the next time I look back at her lovingly at the airport before leaving, she isn’t going to feel so special. I told her that on the contrary, she should know now that she should feel especially so.

Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 19, 2010.

I want a (slightly bigger) dog

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Anyone who knows me is probably aware of my love for obsession with dogs. My childhood dog Muffin was the love of my younger life and my best friend. Getting her was my first memory, and ever since she died (the summer before I went to college), I have had a void inside that almost constantly distresses me to some degree. I have done my best to fill that void with my sister’s black lab Sydney as well as (this past Summer) Catie’s mom’s yellow lab Abbie, not to mention my somewhat ‘complicated’ up-and-down relationship with my parents’ Newfoundland Callie, but it just isn’t the same as having my own dog.

Important dogs in my Life

Composite image of a few important dogs in my life.

The problem is that there is just (quite obviously) no way for Catie and I to even entertain the thought of getting a canine companion of our own while we are still (rather unpredictably) cruising about the globe. I don’t know what to do about it. I love traveling and seeing new places, and I know that we have the rest of our lives to settle down somewhere and make a comfortable home and get a dog (and a cat, and probably a rat and a goat and a bunny as well if Catie gets her way), but it’s just hard. Perhaps I am not a very patient person, after all. I just think I would be such a happier and more successful person with a dog in my life all the time. Ah, well… Someday.

For now, a small collection of photos of what is possibly the smallest dog I have ever seen will have to do. We found it romping about the grass in the Parc de la Tête d’Or, and although I am definitely not a small dog type of person, I will admit it was ridiculously cute. Then again, I am fairly certain it was a very young puppy, so what else is new.

Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 10, 2010.

The type of things I like to look at

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

December 16 was Victory Day in Bangladesh, which is a pretty huge deal. It celebrates the same day in 1971 on which the Pakistani army surrendered, finally granting Bangladesh their hard fought independence. AUW students put on a huge parade around our neighborhood, but I’m leaving photos of that to another post. After the parade, I spent some time with my camera meandering around the neighborhood. I didn’t think it possible, but I was actually even more popular with Bangladeshis that day than usual, due no doubt to my Bengali face paint that one of the students had been nice enough to do for me in the morning.

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)

Photo taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on December 16, 2009.

There wasn’t anything especially spectacular going on outside, but (as is always the case in Bangladesh) there was plenty to see, begging to be made into images. I suppose the title of this post could serve as a (rather lame) subtitle for my entire blog… I’ve just noticed that while I was in South Asia, I predominantly took a large number of just a few types of photos, and I think the sampling in this post is a rather representative slice. I like Bangladeshi men who quietly revel in giving the camera solid inexpressive faces, and I like kids who ask for pictures and then carry on the tradition by imitating those men. I like people at work. I like dogs, and shadows, and I love splashes of bright color.

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 16, 2009)

Photos taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on December 16, 2009.