Captured in Asia: Cascade’s Heart

I seem to notice babies more often when I’m with Cascade, who has a serious soft spot for teeny tinies. When we travelled to Asia together this summer, I tried my hardest to document some of the lil ones who stopped her in her tracks n stole her big ol beatin heart.

Tokyo Tyke on a Bike
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Slushie Slurper in Osaka
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Hot-Dog Kabob-er in Kyoto
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And finally, Cascade w/ some Babes in Hoi An
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Gravediggers and All Sorts

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It wasn’t like the cemetery in Havana: construction workers repairing cracked marble, clearing dead brush, oiling rusted gates etc.  Hurricane Sandy had damaged the majority of graves in Santiago de Cuba and no one was rebuilding or repairing.

I spotted the diggers long before I could smell their boozey sweat.  It was ten AM in the  Santiago de Cuba cemetery and the sun blasted like it was twelve noon.  As they walked up, a grizzled rope and two cigarettes between the trio, I wondered where they were coming from, where they were headed.

It kinda felt like the diggers had been around since the first grave of the entire cemetery was dug.  Something so constant about them.  Like they were always there and always had been and always would be.  Time blending, heat, rain, hurricane, morning, afternoon, evening, digging all the while.

the ALL SORTS

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Shotgun in Havana

I didn’t realize I took so many photographs of cars when I was in Cuba.  When I got home and began looking through my pictures, I noticed a pattern: I’d taken nearly all of my car pictures from a moving car.

Whether riding shotgun through downtown Havana, or in the back seat beside mom, sweating and taking turns fanning the pair of us, I’d try to take decent shots of what we passed.  So I tried to get homes and cubans, land, ocean, propaganda, and most often: cars.

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In Havana 3 buildings collapse each day.  The government repairs government buildings.  No one is there to fix the rest of the buildings.  But the cars, those have been up and running at the hands of the people since they were purchased.

The cars aren’t perfect, but they run — and they’ve got serious personality.  The whole time I was there I kept meaning to make time to watercolor them.  They could have been watercolors on wheels – they were cartoonish in that way.  I didn’t paint when I was there, even though I’d brought all my supplies along, but did once I was home.

The 5 Wheeler that could be a taxi The Car that drove right off the page The Car That got its tail chopped off The Car You Could Drive from Back or Front

To My Bones

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I cannot resist taking photographs from the car when I pass through beautiful land.  The photos are never great quality — they blur, lack sharpness, and are often too dark or too light — but they capture the feeling: forehead pressed to cold window, awe.

We drove six hours from San Antonio to Santa Fe, then continued for 8 hours the next day to Aspen.  We stayed on Highway 285 most of the way and to me the car ride never felt too long; these were the best two days on the road.

We caught Thunder and Lightening the first day, before Santa Fe.  Skies stayed dark the next day as we crossed the rest of New Mexico and part of Colorado.

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IMG_6025In Ojo Caliente – a town with one gas station, one cemetery, and not much more – there was a man named Utimio Lopez.  As I filled my car with diesel, he let me take photographs of his car and then of him.

He pointed his finger the whole time, squinted, and wouldn’t smile wide enough to show his few teeth.  He asked what I thought of his home, New Mexico, but I struggled to come up with words that would make him understand how it had struck me deep, to my Bones.

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Juicy Meaty Brainy

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It’s very upsetting when it happens – the whole gagging in public thing.

It’s revolting.  There is absolutely no way to be gracious about it.  The worst is when someone else gags because it’s so disgusting that it makes me gag, and usually that makes someone else gag, and then it’s one big chain reaction.

(Like when my 5th grade class had a beach party and fed Bruno, my Yorkie, too much cheese and he threw up on my leg/swimsuit and then I threw up on him….)

Thankfully there are not many things that trigger it (I don’t feed Cobalt a lot of cheese), but there is one especially terrible thing that does.  Shell when there should be no shell.

In: Crab cake, seafood soups, scrambles, omelets, hardboiled eggs, etc.

Shells are just DIFFICULT for me.

Which is why I forced myself to come out of mine (hee hee hee) at Big Fisherman Seafood in New Orleans.

I was excited but also dreading lunch because I knew the right way to eat crawfish & shrimp.  I’ve seen people do it.  And I was nervous.  I was fine shelling them myself but was feeling terrified of sucking the juices and brains out of the heads.

So I decided I’d fake it.  I tossed the first few heads in the ‘done’ pile hoping it’d go unnoticed, letting juice dribble down my arms like a pro, not using a napkin, etc.  It went completely unnoticed.

I could get away with it easily – but m’buds were loudly sucking their crustacean heads, oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over each ounce of juicy meaty brainy flavor, and I understood I had to just go for it.  At least once, to see if I was the loon in the dark.

I just was like, “noiii gegging, goi” (aussie accent in my head to help), and I sucked the brains mercilessly (see below).  Thank goodness because those flavors & texturess were 2 die for and did not make me g@g.

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