hope week, grad school and compost

this week is hope week here in alamosa. it's a week of homeless outreach and public education and a time for the community to get together and address the issues. last night was a candlelight vigil for all the folks from the community who have passed away over the years. it was a really nice event with a good turnout. tomorrow is open mic night at milagros coffee house. saturday is community gleaning and immigrant issues retreat and the culmination will be the community picnic at the shelter on sunday. pretty much good times all around.

today i am venturing off to denver to pick up kornelia, our volunteer from hungary. i am also going to an info session for the california college of arts mfa program. the thought of grad school both frightens and excites me, but i have a gut feeling so im going with it.

tomorrow night i will be housesitting again at erin's little cabin. the polaroid above is a shot of her compost heap within an outhouse-like structure. pretty much awesome.


polaroidz rewind

a few weeks ago debbie, katie, tavia and i went to chama, new mexico for a little rendezvous. being the messy, often unorganized person that i am i managed to lose the polaroids i had taken that day. but no worries, i found them under a stack of papers. so here they are:

katie sings regina spektor's "a field below" with,
that's right, a field below us as we drive up the
mountains to leave the valley.

our drive to chama brought us through antonito,
a town south of alamosa. these painted silos
sit in the middle of a small park on the main

also in antonito lies a strange and magnificent
home made out of scrap metal and other
recycled goods. the entry way to the home
reads: alcohol and tobacco kills; mary jane
is healing.

once in chama, new mexico we strolled down
the three or four blocks of the town and explored
some of the shops. we met some very handsome
young men who work for arizona conservation
corps. chama is also home to a scenic railroad.
here we are walking along the tracks.

we then stopped for french fries and soda
at a local fast food joint called feliciano's.
i tried to get a family discount but they
didn't seem to recognize our lineage.

and last, monterey house is currently undergoing
some renovations in our mold invested bathroom.
this ladder helps john and eugene, our friendly
maintenance men, get up on the roof.


sweet jamz

i just recently made another sweet mix for a dear friend. this one is for michael, one of my fellow la puente volunteers. track listing below:

1. the unicorns -- i don't wanna die
2. sean lennon -- mystery juice
3. animal collective -- leaf house
4. robert johnson -- love in vain blues
5. johnny cash -- god's gonna cut you down
6. cat power -- (i can't get no) satisfaction
7. tim fite -- toasted rye
8. coco rosie -- by your side
9. grizzly bear -- easier
10. panda bear -- comfy in nautica
11. le tigre -- deceptacon
12. css -- music is my hot hot sex
13. gravy train!!! -- hella nervous
14. rilo kiley -- the moneymaker
15. charlie parker -- koko
16. cat power -- he war
17. ono -- o'oh
18. sean lennon -- photosynthesis
19. the unicorns -- ready to die

a lot of the same jamz i always include cause i love them so. im particularly pleased with this mix cause of the easy flow between songs. i think they go together nicely.

the next few days are going to be quite nice; im house sitting in a cabin nicely tucked away from town. its got a beautiful view and a cozy loft of a bed. im very excited. fotoz to come, of course.


p.s. my birthday is next wednesday. the safari press is, indeed, accepting monetary gifts for the lares feliciano tattoo fund. thank you.


wind is the worst enemy of balloons

apologies for such an overdue post. a long weekend and laziness prevented me from promptly getting to business. but in that time i was able to enjoy some day trip adventures that resulted in a dusty car and some new polaroids. yes, that's right. my awesome mother recently sent me one of my many old polariods i have stored at home in georgia. i wasn't sure if it was going to work but, to my delight it is fully functioning. not without a few quirks, but still much better than no polaroid at all. i'm currently getting adjusted to the way this camera captures light and shadow. so far it doesn't seem as crisp as the whale. let me know what you think.
so nora and i went on a daytime jaunt to del norte, colorado, only thirty minutes or so from alamosa, right here in the san luis valley. below are some shots from our westward journey.

the san luis valley, a high desert, is also home to
some random swamps, like this one above. nora
and i were surprised, but delighted, to find this
marshy land in the middle of the dirty, dry land.

this shot of an afternoon sky is the result of
accidentally squeezing the trigger on my
new(ish) camera

then this past weekend debbie, kate, katie, annie, amy and i ventured to the less than impressive town of snowmass, colorado for the snowmass balloon rally. if you didn't know already i am a big fan of hot air balloon festivals and therefore was eager to make my way to a colorado event. the drive up was amazing. we drove through many passes, constantly being tucked away in the colorado mountains. i had a great time peeing next to a river and participating in sing-alongs in the car. we finally arrived in snowmass, which turned out to be nothing like i had expected. it was a real bourgie (is that how you spell it?) town full of ski lodges and soccer moms. in an attempt to find a cheap lunch we had to settle for ten dollar enchilada plates at a "mexican" restaurant. despite the blown up prices and lack of personality, we had a great time in snowmass. we hung out on the playground and danced vigorously to the sounds of a colorado based bluegrass band. the balloons, however, never emerged. as the announcer put it, "wind in the worst enemy of balloons" and therefore they were unable to let the balloons up. no worries. we still had a great time. and the drive home was beautiful.

after mexican food and margaritas some of
the gang decided to lounge on the local
playground. here debbie and amy nap
on the slides.

the snowmass crew attempted to let one balloon
up even though inclement weather had been
announced. the wind, however, would not
let it rise. here that sad balloon tries to fight it
while a sea of onlookers hope for its success.

i will leave you with this image taken outside the
front of my monterey home. this is where i live.
and i love it.


art & zines

since i've moved to alamosa i've had a lot of time to work on various art projects and explore and experiment creatively. i've got a couple paintings and drawings to share with you folks. comments/critique are appreciated.
also, i'm hoping to put together a small zine to share both online and through the glorious u.s. postal service. while my funds are low and copies cost money i would still like to share it with as many people as i can. if you're interested in receiving the safari press printed zine by mail email me with your address: lares.feliciano@gmail.com. and if you want to send a buck or two my way to help with the costs it would be appreciated.

(click on all images to enlarge)

in vain. watercolor pencils and sharpie markers.
this image is in part inspired by robert johnson's
"love in vain blues", one of my favorite blues jams.

potato man. sharpie on paper.

smokestacks. acrylic, sharpie & magazine cut outs.


creede, colorado

creede, colorado is a small town northwest of alamosa. on saturday a group of us volunteers decided to take a road trip in that direction, stopping in monte vista and driving through del norte and south fork. the weather was beautiful, sunny and cool. we arrived in creede to discover a small festival of sorts complete with an inflatable moonwalk and a classic rock cover band. we ate boca burgers and fries and explored the main street drag which lasted for all of two blocks or so. it was seriously the spittin' image of an old west town.

amy and kate enjoy a greasy summer lunch.
that bare chested man in the background caught us in
conversation and at one point asked if my lip piercings
made sex better. i replied "uh, not so much" and am still
trying to figure out how he imagined so.
people are strange. and i love them for it.

the main drag. see how bumpin it is?

creede is an old mining town where many precious stones
were mined for back in the day. silver being one of the most
common. here is the the end of a small river coming from the old
mining structures.

kate and annie trekking through the hot sun. shortly
thereafter we walked through the ice cold river to climb
up and into a deep, dark cave nestled within the mountain.

some old mining structures in creede. at first we
were wary of venturing up the steep road into the
mountains. but after some assessment we decided we couldn't
pass it up.

a family, also exploring the old mining town, offered
to take a photo of the group. from the left:
charis, katie, kate, me, annie & amy.

on the steep road up we discovered some abandoned
mining structures. dilapidated and ramshackle as they were,
i found them beautiful and haunted with history.

and when i say haunted i really mean haunted. every photo
i tried to take within one of the buildings came out blurry,
no matter how steady i held my camera. coincidence? i think not.

further on up the mountain we came upon a beautiful meadow
overlooking the entirety of creede. an informational plaque
told us we were 10,500 feet in elevation on the site of an old
mining city of 1200 known as bachelor city. bachelor city existed
for a short time between 1882-1893 but bad weather and a poor
economy shut it down. we took a good few minutes to run through
the meadow shouting to hear our own echoes. needless to say,
it was a glorious, beautiful feeling.

on our drive down i had to slam on the brakes to stop
and witness this amazing rainbow curving across the creede sky.
during our stop in the meadow we anticipated some rainy
weather but had no idea what had been brewing east of us.
this rainbow is the brightest and boldest i have ever seen.
and it followed us all the way home to alamosa.

once we were back on flat land we stopped to do a rainbow
dance in excitement and appreciation for the beauty we continued
to see as we drove home. below is another shot of the rainbow
above the colorado mountains.

the whole day was amazing and full of adventure. driving the steep mountains was my favorite part. with the windows down and the jams up it was a picture perfect afternoon. i couldnt have asked for a better day. and what is more exciting is knowing that adventures like that are always right around the corner. the san luis valley itself is full of beauty to be seen. and then there are all the surrounding southwest lands. i am currently planning a day-ish trip to monument valley, utah where john ford filmed many of his westerns. there will, of course be many photos to share then.

keep checking in for alamosa updates. everyday is a new adventure and i am loving my life here.
but i sure do miss YOU. emailz, please: lares.feliciano@gmail.com

another dance party

the past few days here in alamosa have been wild with excitement, activity and good times. last week a work group from colorado college came and helped out at the shelter, the gardens and at rainbow's end thrift store. they were really enthusiastic and quite helpful. then on friday night all the volunteers gathered at the san luis valley brewing company for nachos and beer. after the brew pub we mobilized to monterey house for another impromptu dance party. below are some highlight shots.

although blurry i love this shot of my three
wonderful housemates will, kate & katie dancin
up a storm in our kitchen. katie especially rocked
out in her recently purchased cowboy boots, an
essential for any southwest girl.

these two shots are my faves. on the left kate shows off her
new hat while will, on the right, is smoldering with excitement.
i love these kids. so much.

the next day a group of us journied to creede, colorado, a lovely town northwest of alamosa. it was seriously one of the best days of my life. so much adventure. so much beauty. fotoz to come in the next post.