dead reckon


Q & A

The Fawn

was hiding, not very effectively, on a ski slope turned lush by summer. When I saw it from a distance, it was standing; as we approached, it lay down to await whatever fate we wished to dole out.

It was small and ragged, with no mother deer in sight.

“She probably got lost,” said Doug.

“How can a creature of the forest get lost?” I asked.

“There are good mothers, and there are bad mothers,” said Doug.

I wanted to touch the fawn, or carry it home and bottle-feed it, but knew I couldn’t.

When I was a kid, I’d once found a wild duckling whose family had been eaten by the neighbor’s cat. I brought the duckling home and put it in a cage with food and water. The duckling was panicked and furious, hurling itself against the walls of the cage and trying to bite me whenever I came near. A day or two later, it died from the stress, writhing miserably as I cried and looked on.

To think about the fawn as a separate being, waiting alone and hungry for a mother that might not return, is terribly sad.

I found it more bearable to think of it as a fawn-shaped droplet in a single ocean of energy.

The ocean is the sun, the dandelion puffs, the snow and the fratboy skiers that will blanket the slope in winter, the planet Pluto, and the rocks I trip over as I continue the hike down the mountain, eager for lunch.

——-


EDIT: After weighing the fact that deer commonly leave their fawns alone during the day against the fawn’s scrawny condition and the fact that it didn’t run from us (despite not appearing to be a newborn), I have mentally bestowed a 65% chance of survival upon the fawn, which is much better than previously assumed.

Poverty PigLos Angeles, CA

Poverty Pig

Los Angeles, CA

Forêt de Compiègne, France

Forêt de Compiègne, France

High Noon at the Poppy Corral

Everyone knows that the best time to go on a desert photo hike is right around noon, when it’s 90 degrees, the light quality is as harsh as possible, and the sun is beating down on you like seven hundred hammers.

God, it was hot. The Klimt umbrella was not placed for cuteness; it fell out of my sweaty fumbling hands and rolled away down the trail as if to say: “Let’s get the hell out of here. Please.”


Antelope Valley, CA.

Three Years, 27 Countries, One Hell of a Pair of Boots.They’ve been with me as I tromped through the USA, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, China, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada, England, France, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Time to put them out to pasture… and replace them with an identical pair.

Three Years, 27 Countries, One Hell of a Pair of Boots.

They’ve been with me as I tromped through the USA, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, China, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada, England, France, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Time to put them out to pasture… and replace them with an identical pair.

…And Then I Got Married.

…And Then I Got Married.

Games! Girls! Onions!

Disclaimer: I’ve worked on many projects with over a dozen different studios. None of the following content is meant to implicate any one in particular, and it is not a strictly linear narrative.


There’s been a lot of anger creeping into my corner of the internet:
  Anger about the unequal or insensitive treatment of women and minorities, specifically within the game industry. 

As a woman working in games since 2007, I’ve felt hurt, discouraged, and isolated by various forms of discrimination. Most of it came from people who were in no way intending to be hurtful. Anger does not accurately describe my true feelings, and so I don’t feel angry.

Really, I don’t.

Story time!

image

 

Let’s say you’re a guy who’s just entered the game industry right out of college. People joke about you being all young and fresh-faced, but then after a couple of months they get tired of the joke, or some new blood moves in and you’re not the “young guy” any more.

Read More

The Camargue

Why Fly

…when you can take a 10-hour train ride from Podgorica to Belgrade, packed with natural beauty and friendly, chain-smoking locals?

I’ll Have the Balkan Combo Platter
"The one that comes with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska — can you go light on the consonants? I’m trying to cut back — and Montenegro, above.”

I’ll Have the Balkan Combo Platter

"The one that comes with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska — can you go light on the consonants? I’m trying to cut back — and Montenegro, above.”

Outside of La Sagrada Família,

I’m sitting on a park bench, part of the massive flock of tourists surrounding the cathedral. A huffy French woman approaches, asserts herself on the second half of the bench, and commands her boyfriend to sit in the spot where my bag rests. I take the hint and move the bag. The boyfriend doesn’t sit, despite being instructed to do so a second and third time.

While he stands and snaps a few photos of the park, she delivers a steady stream of brusque concerns about the unfulfilled aspects of their Barcelona itinerary. The boyfriend looks tired.

Eventually she stands again and charges off, her fist full of tourist maps. He trudges behind on an invisible leash.

**

Although it’s been photographed billions of times, I’d never seen the Basilica of the Sagrada Família, and the only info I got ahead of time was that it “looks like a melted sandcastle.” So, before exiting the metro station and getting my first glimpse of it, I was expecting a minor riff on an otherwise standard tromp through a European cathedral.

It does not look like a melted sandcastle. No photograph or panorama can do it justice.

The Basilica looks as if aliens came to Earth and left a structure specifically engineered to surprise me into crying outside of a metro station.

It’s so beautiful and startlingly organic that I imagine Gaudí, like Mozart, had to have been touched by the divine. But, after reading about his rural childhood observing trees, flowers, snails and chickens, I realize that he had merely been paying close attention.

**

In one of the tiny elevators that shuttle people to the spires, I’m crammed next to an equally tiny Chinese couple who look to be in their 70s or 80s. The husband walks with difficulty. His wife shepherds him with care, and sweetly negotiates with the elevator operator.

“He has handicap.”

“The way back down is on foot,” says the elevator man.

“But he cannot walk.”

After protracted discussion, elevator man agrees that they can return later and he’ll take them back to ground level.

“Oh, thank you,” says the wife.

In the cramped stairwell of the spire, she and her husband shuffle to the side.

Her English is simple and carefully pronounced, and I imagine her poring over a phrase book, practicing over and over everything she knew would come in handy.

Her hand on his arm, she smiles and addresses the rest of us:

“Please, go ahead.  Please, you go first. We walk slowly.”