Ahhh…2014, you snuck up on me. Plus, the real Safari Photo

So, ahem, yeah- what happened to this little blog of mine? I guess I have to get my ass in gear, kinda.

For your viewing pleasure is the actual photo from Roads on Her Face: The Safari Photo. Her very nice note on the back indicates that any of suspicions I had about her were most likely wrong. I mean, I AM usually the one making things up about other people.

Mom let me take it and scan it, barely- I think it’s one of her favorites. Note: Me, perpetually with a book in hand- and Soph with a fistful of dollars from somewhere.

SafariShot SafariNoteTo the Mountzes, if you’re out there- I hope you don’t mind me putting your name on the interwebs.

Love, Alanna



Roads on Her Face: Parade time

Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2007

We made balloons and costumes out of paper bags, then put on a parade….of sad, pathetic poor little children. My siblings were lucky to have me around to come up with these ideas and keep them amused…I can only imagine how hard it was for my parents not to laugh as the 4-person parade marched by throwing candy…

Journal Entry- August 28th, 2011 Fallon, NV

Describing the drive across the Nevada emptiness – something you feel more than think. The comparative busyness of Arizona with its big highways and changeable scenery starts to fade east of Vegas. The bones of the land rise stealthily, underground stone serpents slithering just out of reach of your notice. The shadows become more blue, the sage and scrub brush more pervasive. There are no more trees, as if their entire race was obliterated here. Wait, no, a lonely pair of young cottonwoods have been planted as the wilting guards on either side of the burnt gash of a road leading to the blood-reds and pus-yellows of yet another strip mine. The earth bleeds and cries freely here and there is nothing and no one to comfort her. When there is an end-time, it will mirror this and we can say we saw the portents. Clouds stay high above the flatland, streaming down from a mile overhead, sometimes the rain reaches the ground to be blown violently across the road and fill the washes. The old-timer at the Hard Luck Store in Mina called these “gullywashers.” “We don’t want it to rain too much, not now,” he responded to my “But isn’t this nice?” His bleary blue eyes rolled over me to glare out at the thin freshly-washed strip of blacktop.

The smell of the rain is the smell of the dusty breath of the sagebrush, held for months in anticipation of this brief half-assed blessing. The colors and the light are like nowhere else. It’s as if, in death, the land deserves this heavenly illumination. As if the sky feels sorry for the stones it exposed, and drenches them in forgiving saturated color. If there is a place for the hills to have eyes, it is here. You can feel them on you all the time. You just hope the engine keeps running, and the air conditioner doesn’t give up.

4 p.m.

We just got invited to  a shotgun wedding in the park. She’s about 9 months along, 16 or 17 at the most. I say hell yeah!

Images from the Road – First Diary

I know my family would get a kick out of this, I try to remember the mindset at that age and it’s hard. I think I suffered from the same thing I do now- it’s hard to share what I’m really thinking. Or I always thought of myself as more mature than I actually was…

I’m considering posting some pictures from those years on the road- would those take away or add to the story? I’m not sure yet.

Fifty Shades of Grey- if you read those books, read this

Excellent commentary by writer Roxanne Gay on the big “Twilight for adults” kink erotica  Fifty Shades of Grey series- THIS is why I didn’t like them, THIS is the problem with these control-centered heroes of “romantic fantasy” genre books:


Have you read any of the three books in this series? What did you think of the way BDSM was portrayed? How did you feel about the male lead, Christian Grey? What does this say about our current views on sexuality, if anything?

Time Travel

Art, Burning Man 2007
Photo by P. Alanna Roethle

This time-traveling, it tires me. I am never quite sure when I am, or whether I am moving forward or backward. The lines are drawn most darkly when I have lost something or someone that I tried to anchor to, though I was most aware in this process that it was fruitless and had gone about fastening myself temporarily anyway. We are not allowed anchors in this torrent of time. I am saddened when I am in the middle of joy or pleasure, knowing that it will be only the blink of an eye when I am looking back on this joy from somewhere far away. Standing in five-year-old shoes, I can recall quite clearly fast-forwarding in my head to age 30, and thinking – hmm, so this is it. Yes, this is just as I thought it would be. Yes, it is almost as if I have been here before. In my barefoot 30s, I look ahead to 60 and the losses and the pain I will have seen by then. I look backward, from my future self, and wish for these years that today I might call “now.” I am never stable, never living as much in the now as I would like. It is impossible, because I am never sure where I am.

I have been visited recently, by disconcerting dreams, presences, whatever you feel safe calling them. The medical profession calls it sleep paralysis, hallucinations, night terrors. I like to think I know better. I know that I don’t know everything, and that we can’t explain scientifically everything that occurs. I know that I see things, sometimes, and that I feel very specifically about these things without having a rational explanation. I have dreamed of future places, and later visited them. I have watched from afar, from above and from below.

This thing, lately. It is a buzzing presence that calls my name, off  to the right of my vision. I see it in the gap between asleep and awake, the place that I always recognize and that I can use to control my dreams if I so choose. Often in that place I am distracted by things that are not of me, nor of my imagination. There are other THINGS there that I do not recognize. This one, it has called my name. The other afternoon, when I was drifting in that in-between place (though oddly I could still see everything in the room) it began dragging me out of myself, rocking me, and I felt myself start to disconnect and release. I did not feel pain or fear, and was calm. I also knew instantly that this is not what I wanted, and I pulled myself back. I can’t explain or talk to anyone about this. I am too practical, I understand that it is not believable if you have not experienced it yourself. I marvel at these astral projectors, lucid dreamers, OBE seekers – why would you want to leave this body? We leave so quickly anyway. I do not want to test that silver thread that anchors us to reality.