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Not Mere Cats


I get to do an independent study in ‘experimental bookmaking and screenprinting’ this quarter and while planning it today I had a REVELATION: meerkats. Eggsellent.

I’m way stoked it’s going to be Fun with a capital F.

Family meerkats

Baby meerkats

Congested meerkat

I’m on my spring break at ze moment and I’m spending it going to yoga, planning my ISP, watching Masterpiece Classics on Netflix, and blasting tunes through the empty house. Not a whole lot going on. Ooh wait I did take Scott’s front wheel to the bike hospital this morning to replace it’s crunched axle and skewer, that was exciting. I had to take a nap afterward it was so exciting. I have never been so content to be bored as I am right now. Iz berry nice.

Snippet of soundtrackage: SPRING BREAK 2011 E. MYRTLE GOIN BUCKWILD Leisure Suit edition:

Jovi Rockwell – Rizzla

Das Rascist – You Oughta Know

Delta Spirit – Bushwick Blues

Tennis – Marathon

Naughty By Nature – Feel Me Flow

Those Dancing Days – I’ll Be Yours

'I smiled last time.'

SO. I am happy. I really REALLY hope that you are, too. And I hope your spring is off to a wonderful start! Mine is for sure.

Lots of warm balmy* spring time love from the Belli!


P.S. Did yall see the moon a couple nights ago? HUGE! Totally incredible.

*50 degrees and SUNNAYYYYY babaayyyy


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Chompy Ringos

I have compiled a list. It is the Official Frances Helen Canine Red Cross Certified Dead Week Survival Checklist. Here is the list:

1. Citrus fruits and carrots Orange plant foods.

2. The two couches in the living room that are ideally situated to allow simultaneous recline-age, foot elevation, and homework do-age, and still have enough room to accommodate my very advanced filing system AND multiple coffee cups.

3. Peppy girl pop on repeat:

Oh Land – White Nights

Lykke Li – I Follow Rivers

Kimbra – Settle Down

Oh Land – We Turn It Up

Melanie Safka – I’ve Got A Pair of Brand New Rollerskates

4. This surprisingly awesome apple cinnamon tea I found in the tea pile in the kitch. I don’t know how long it has been on the shelf but it’s hecka tasty and caffeine-free, which means I can have a hot beverage by my side at all times and still go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

5. My blankie.

Also, we are having a potluck tomorrow in my Culture and Ecology of Mesoamerica class so Kelsey and I are making chiles rellenos, jamaica (refreshing pink hibiscus beverage pronounced ha-MY-ka), AND I got these cucumber-chili flavored lollipops called Pica Pepinos that I think will be a hit. I was going to get the Chompy Ringos but they were pina and chamay flavored and I didn’t know what chamay was and also I really needed to know what a cucumber-chili lollipop tasted like. Plus this way I can get my cucumber fix AND my chili fix all in one convenient green lollipop, so I’m really feeding two birds with one cracker. I haven’t actually tried one yet cause I’m not tryin to be that girl that eats her potluck offering before she even walks in the door, but I’ll let you know.

Alright Ima go do something scholarly a.k.a. something that gets me school credit a.k.a. not this blog.

I love you.

-Frances Helen Canine

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Hey look at this animal

Isn’t it incredible?

p.s. thank you Jesse

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Easy Does It

It’s crunch time again! For me, crunch time is any time I’m too busy to go to yoga. This weekend it meant going to bed at 1 two nights in a row and spending more time than usual at school. Booking a few hours in the art department has taught me that what I call crunch time is what most people call EVERY DANG DAY. Seriously. There are people in the computer lab right now gearing up for their 12th all-nighter of the quarter like it’s nothing. Two late-ish nights and I’m exhausted, walking around the art dept. wondering “where am I? what day is it?”. The latest I’ve gone to sleep IN MY LIFE is 3:30 am. I did that like once.

I’ll never make it in this major.

I’m going to bed.

For those of you not in bed, I salute you. Yall got brains of steel (and eyelids of helium). Easy does it, though, please don’t hurt yourselves. Here are some tunes (in order of get stoked-est to sustained focus-est).

Fresh Espresso – Diamond Pistols

Madcon – Beggin’

The Physics – The Let Go ft. Ike James

RJD2 – Ghostwriter

The Noisettes – Sometimes

I hope yall get to sleep soon, you deserve it.

love Franny

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Animal crackers in my soup

And by ‘crackers’ I mean ‘stencils’ and by ‘soup’ I mean ‘that place in my brain where I keep all of the ideas that I’m really excited about’. I’ve been scheming. I’m pretty stoked. That’s all I’m going to say.

ANYHOO. There are 10 gallons of beer in my closet. I thought you might like to know.

'Rasheed-Wallace's-Insatiable-Raging-Thirst-for-Death-and-Destruction' pale ale and DARKNESS black ale

We bottled the pale ale about a week ago, so it’s got another week of conditioning before we can crack one of those babies open, and we’re bottling Darkness this weekend.

Bottling Rasheed Wallace's Insatiable Raging Thirst for Death and Destruction

Bustin a cap on RW's rage. It's tough to contain that much anger but we did it.

48 mini ragers

We’ll see just how raging the pale ale is; at bottling time the gravity was a little lower than we had hoped, but we shall see. I’ll keep you posted on the Rage and Darkness, pretty soon yall can come have a beer with us! No seriously, you totally should. Show up at our door any time it’ll be way fun!

I hope you had a great weekend! This was mine in a nutshell.

4 sleepy Canines (Grover's in there somewhere wrapped in the blue towel thing)

love and light, Franny

p.s. Happy 23rd, big bro! love you lots.

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Cancer the Crab

Cancer is a bummer. It happens, though (as bummers are wont to do).

My mom was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and after 2 months of treatment and 1 month of recovering at home, she is just now beginning to get some of her oomph back. She sounds almost like her old self. Almost. Things are definitely on the up and up, it just takes a while I guess. She’s kicking booty, though- she’s a badass.

I didn’t talk about it much with anyone while it was happening. Cancer is a bit of a bomb to drop on people you don’t know very well, so I just didn’t tell many people. The one time I really talked about it was over winter break with my dear friends Lily and Julian. We were sitting by Julian’s fireplace after a hike with the dogs, lots of rounds of Bananagrams, and gobs of bread, cheese, and tea in our tummies, and I kind of lost it a little bit. I dropped the cancer bomb on them and they accepted it and shared its weight with me. Lily and Julian sat there with me and held my hand and allowed me to completely let go. It helped a lot. Hot tea and a good cry by the fire with your favorite people is incredibly healing.

That was a month and a half ago. About a week ago, Lily’s dad, Michael, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and it has spread to his liver. It’s bad.

The universe is a tricky thing. It does weird stuff. Weird stuff like take the whole cancer thing, flip it around on one of the people that helped you the most, and then give it an awful twist. A ‘HEY there’s cancer in your dad’s liver’ kind of twist.

You’re probably thinking ‘wow, she sounds really bitter and resentful’, and you’re partly right. I do resent cancer. Cancer sucks. Bad shit happens, though, sometimes to the people we love and we have very little control over it. I’m not bitter, just sad.

Lily is 2500 miles away at the moment, so I can’t quite give her the squeeze I would like to yet. Instead I made a list of my top 10 absolute favorite songs of all time because music is nice to listen to when there is no one around to hug. There is no order and no theme. These songs have nothing in common except that they all make my stomach go whoosh and my heart go pitter pat.

Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Beyonce – Halo

The Black Keys – Meet Me In The City

Said The Whale – The Light Is You

Tower of Power – Diggin’ On James Brown

Paul Simon – Graceland

Raphael Saadiq – The Big Easy (feat. The Infamous Young Spodie & The Rebirth Brass Band)

The Black Keys – Tighten Up

India.Arie – I Am Not My Hair

Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over

Alright so I know I said this was a list of my top 10 favorite songs of all time in no particular order, but I was fibbing. I’m sorry. This last song makes my top 10 list into a top 11 list and is also my absolute no question number one favorite song of all time. I think you’ll find it worthwhile.

Taj Mahal – She Rock Me To My Soul

Lily, you make my stomach go whoosh and my heart go pitter pat. I love you SO MUCH. I am thinking of you. See you soon.

Everyone, world, universe, I wish you all love and light.


p.s. Dear all crabs: I apologize for the title of this post. I did not mean to insult you or hurt your feelings. It’s not your fault somebody made a constellation out of you and then named a disease after it. I don’t blame you in the least. You are all great, keep doing your crabby things.

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Manatees, Montana, Bikes, Beer

So here is something new that you didn’t know about me (you can’t have known because I had no idea until 3 days ago): I really like manatees. A lot. I’m writing a paper on them right now for my Culture and Ecology of Mesoamerica class. I could talk about manatees all day. I’m not going to do it here, though, because I’m already doing it in powerpoint and essay form elsewhere. I’ll tell you about them later.

In other news, Myrtle St. Brewhaus is brewing batch #3 today! Toby (the October Ale) was surprisingly AWESOME and we’ve pretty much gone through all of it now, so a few weeks ago we brewed a pale ale, and today we’re re-racking the pale ale from the primary fermenter into the glass carboy so we can start a stout this afternoon. WHICH REMINDS ME: Fellow Hamsters– if you have any empty pop-top bottles laying around, we would love to take them off your hands.

Oh and MORE cool stuff! Check this out: Wild Rockies Field Institute Cycle the Rockies: Energy and Climate Change in Montana

  • Visit facilities using or producing biodiesel, wind energy, solar power, geothermal heating, and biofuels.
  • Examine fossil fuel technologies and impacts at coalfields, power plants, and oil refineries.
  • Tour a hydroelectric dam.
  • Visit ranchers, land managers, and farmers who are facing the impacts of climate change along with various opportunities for energy production.
  • Meet local and state officials working on state energy and climate policy.
  • Explore “green” energy-efficient buildings in Billings and Central Montana.
  • Talk with Glacier National Park scientists about the regional impacts of global warming.
  • Read and discuss a wide selection of current articles on energy issues and climate change.
  • Complete academic assignments designed to integrate our experiences and learning.
  • Present experiences and learning in open forums using electronic media and public presentations.
  • Become competent bicycle travelers.

ALL ON BIKES!!! Can you imagine seeing Montana on a bike? Holy guacamole. Especially if you get to do this:

…after meetings with energy and climate policy experts at the state capitol in Helena, we will turn north along the impressive Rocky Mountain Front to Glacier National Park. We’ll cycle over the Continental Divide, spending time with climate scientists and park managers in Glacier before ending in Whitefish with a public presentation

Drool. Drool drool drool. Ima have to think about this some more. Oh and it’s all for college credit. Mwahahaha.

All of the other courses they offer sound rad, too. I wouldn’t mind kayaking in Alaska. Or backpacking through Yellowstone. Or kayaking and backpacking in Montana. I haven’t been backpacking since freshman year orientation in Prescott, and I’ve been craving another trip for a while now.

Speaking of playing outside, it’s shaping up to be a stunner of a day so I’m gonna go down to the water and maybe run a little bit.

I hope your day is GREAT! Learn something new about animals today if you can, it does wonders for ones heart. If you’re not grinning like a goof after one look at the manatee wikipedia page, clearly something is amuck and you need something stronger. Come find me and we’ll go bounce on the bouncy thing in the park. If that doesn’t work I’ll set you up with some coffee and pictures of adorable animals hugging.

I LOVE YOU ALL A LOT! Love and light,


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