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ItinerArts' Photo Diary--The Year of the Pig

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ItinerArts says:

As I'm in Taiwan, my photo year will begin on February 17th--Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig.
8:41PM, 10 February 2007 PDT (permalink)

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friuduric says:

The crackling and light make them look like metal!

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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ItinerArts says:

September2007 010
9-2: The taxi came out of it worse than the bus, as you can see.
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ItinerArts says:

September2007 012.web
9-3: Good advice in general, I think.
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ItinerArts says:

September2007 015.web
9-4: I went by campus and cleaned out my desk. No turning back now. On the way out I got this shot of the sports field.
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ItinerArts says:

September2007 019.web
9-5: My friend Keiko visited from Japan and brought along her new boyfriend. Helen's belly was, of course, the center of attention.

I've been having connection probelms, so I'm way behind, both on my stream and everyone else's!
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Loca.... says:

I love the DoF in those chinese tiles. So beautiful.

She looks so beautiful, pregnant girls normally are so beautiful, I think.
:))
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CollardGreens says:

Leopard skinned typhoon tiles, thai food and agressive crabs...good stuff here ! Don't come round often enough with comments but do swoop by - oh...the clothes...you'll go through them in about a day !

CollardGreens: Oops!
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RobW_ says:

I couldn't imagine how that taxi driver failed to give lots of space to that garishly-painted bus! Agree with Loca about Helen's maternal glow.
So, are you on your way to Tirana? That means we'll be seeing you in Greece sooner, rather than later.
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ItinerArts says:

Rob, I'll be in Tirana in early October. We probably won't get to have our belated honeymoon in Greece till late March / early April.
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ItinerArts says:

Helen.9.10 084.web
9-10: Never come between a pregnant woman and her milkshake.

I've been dealing with computer issues,cameraissues, life issues... so a not too conscientious about posting lately. I shall endeavor to do better in the future.
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ItinerArts says:

Evening light, ninth month
9-12: Self-explanatory, I think. Less than 2 weeks to go!
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RobW_ says:

Wow! Stunning shot and exceptionally well lit. Ready for the cover of Vanity Fair, I think. Lovely reflective portrait emphasizing the sanctity of new life.
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ReeBeckiSupergirl says:

WOW! That is a beautiful shot and stunningly shot. Fantastic!
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ItinerArts says:


9-13: Another distincive Taiwanese manhole cover.
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Dragonhide says:

beautiful shot of your wife and your baby. I did the same with my wife... and it's something I will forever treasure.

Wonderful photos and posts!

*edit fixed a typo where I said "wide" instead of wife... LOL oops. I've told people I was "dead" when I meant deaf before....*
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ItinerArts says:

My "wide"??? Hahahahaha.... I don't think she'd appreciate that typo!
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ItinerArts says:


9-14: Pink couple.

8 days to baby (estimated)!
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RobW_ says:

Stylish matching couple.
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friuduric says:

Sept 12 is beautiful!

(9/14: was he really wearing a pink shirt, too? Or is that artistic license?)

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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ebilflindas says:

Imperatrix--if he's gonna carry a purse, who's to care about a pink shirt?

Barry--as I was scrolling down and came to Helen & her milkshake, I let out an audible, "Awww..." She looks so cute...

And then I continued down, and BAM! I was struck with the pure sensuality of Motherhood! Thank you, thank Helen, and Thank Goddess!

(Now I can't get the song Milkshake outta my head!)
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CollardGreens says:

Nicely done...
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ItinerArts says:

Imperatrix-- I don't like to take so many liberties with reality-- the shirts are pretty much as I saw them! (As is the light in the pregnancy shot; I was lucky.)

ebilflindas-- Thanks! My feelings exacly.
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Ladybadtiming is a group administrator Ladybadtiming says:

congratulations I guess !

[LadyBadTiming / snapshooting my life away, day after day, after day, after day]
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BellaGaia says:

The 9/12 silhouette is exquisite, hope you have it blown up and displayed. beautiful.....
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RobW_ says:

Absolutely!
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ItinerArts says:


9-16: We rented "Pan's Labyrinth," an odd Spanish film that Helen found disturbing and that sent our baby into an intra-uterine frenzy of kicking, punching and twisting.
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ItinerArts says:

Birthday
9-17: Planet Earth, please welcome the arrival, one week ahead of schedule, of Nicholas Beckett Hall.

Helen's water broke shortly after watching last night's movie, so we got no sleep. She was then in labor for 18 hours before it became clear that Nicholas preferred to stay inside and wasn't cooperating. He was finally born by caesarian at 9:30pm, weighing 3.75 kg (8.25 lbs).
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friuduric says:

Congratulations!!

Welcome to the world, Nicholas!

I hope mama is resting well.

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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Dragonhide says:

Welcome Nicholas!!!!!


Hope everything is going well!

(I edited and fixed a typo above where I said "wide" instead of wife... LOL oops. I've told people I was "dead" when I meant deaf before....)
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ItinerArts says:

One day old
9-18: Nicholas, one day old.

He was born yesterday during a major typhoon, the remnants of which are still blowing outside the hospital. For me, 2 1/2 hours of sleep in the last 2 nights. Helen's doing very well, post-surgery.
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karinga says:

Wow! I think I had a bigger BAM than Ebilflindas, to find out that your beautiful baby arrived earlier thanks to Pan Labyrinth :o) <- BAM even if the movie might have nothing to do with it!
Congratulations!
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Яick Harris says:

Beautiful baby! This is my favourite diary entry. Congratulations!
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Dragonhide says:

awwww beautiful.

a baby during a typhoon.... Oh my!

Sleep is gonna be a serious luxury in the coming months.. GOOD LUCK! :)
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ItinerArts says:

Thanks! We're very happy, if exhausted.
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ragged division [deleted] says:

Congratulations to Nicholas, Helene, and yourself; a very beautiful family :-)
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ItinerArts says:


9-19: Note the dark circles under the eyes.
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ItinerArts says:

Day 4: Tired but happy
9-20: Mother & son on day 4.

Last night we both got a little sleep, which helped. This is actually a lot of WORK.

Maybe I need a new subject for variety. I think everyone here's going to get tired of endless baby photos.
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friuduric says:

This is actually a lot of WORK. -- New parents always crack me up ;-)

I think you should take as many photos of this subject as you like. This is *your* diary, after all! And believe me, Nicholas will love to look at pictures of his days as a baby.

Rest well, and enjoy.

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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Dragonhide says:

tired of babies? as if! Strut around and be a proud Dad, and show off the beautiful family if you like!

Only thing I don't miss is the lack of sleep. I'm tired of that. :)
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ItinerArts says:


9-21: I've been looking at, occupied with, and worried about little besides this baby for the last 4 days. Tomorrow we finally leave the hospital and there's a slight chance I might actually shoot something else.

He's sleeping better now, as seen here. This is a relief.
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ebilflindas says:

It will be just fine if all you shoot for the rest of the year is this darling new human. To watch him develop and take shape would be so excellent! This is a first for our group, no?

Welcome, Nicholas B. Hall! I hope Pan's Labyrinth didn't scare you out of your mama!
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CollardGreens says:

Welcome to the planet master Nicholas B ! Congrats to mother and father...short steps sparky !

CollardGreens: Oops!
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RobW_ says:

Turn your back for 4 or 5 days, and look what you miss! Congrats to both proud, sleep-deprived parents, you have a lovely child, amazing how his appearance is changing and developing in just a few days!
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Natacha.troiscafes says:

oooooh ! welcome on earth little you !
Alles Gute in deinem Leben, Nicholas.
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ItinerArts says:


9-22: Last morning in hospital. Helen and the grandparents finally decided on a Chinese name-- Yi-En. Now we have to get the two passports.

Thanks for the good wishes, everyone!
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sunshinecity says:

Ohhh no, I missed the big event by a few days!!!!
Congratulations Daddy!! Tiny Nicholas looks adorable!! And so does Mommy!!

Your pictures are wonderful... don't worry, I can't wait to see more of that cute little face!

sunshinecity
~ a picture, a story
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ItinerArts says:


9-23: Happy birthday to me....

Helen's mom babysat for a couple of hours so we could go out to dinner, but the high point of my birthday was giving Nicholas his first bath at home.
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RobW_ says:

Happy birthday too; your cup runneth over.
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jelliajamb says:

sleep deprivation never looked so sweet - these pics have many layers of downy sweetness. Big congratulations (and why would you expect you'd be shooting anything else for at LEAST the next two years?!)
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friuduric says:

9/22: Sweet slumber!

9/23: Already rolling his eyes at his parents? ;-)

Nicholas is so alert already!

Oh, and -- happy birthday!

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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Dragonhide says:

Oh my... That's such a sweet picture of his first bath!!

Happy Birthday Proud Papa!

Yi-En, i like the name.
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ItinerArts says:

Thanks! By the way, Yi (1st tone)-En (4th tone), literally translated, means "offspring-blessing."
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sunshinecity says:

Aww what a great way to celebrate your birthday!!
Happy Birthday!!!
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Dragonhide says:

That's awesome, what the name means...!!
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RobW_ says:

That about sums it up!
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ItinerArts says:

Sunset
9-25: It's the Moon Festival in Taiwan-- one of the three biggest holidays of the year. We went to Helen's parents' place for a family gathering (met her grandmother for the first time) and cookout. Nicholas was the center of attention, of course.

Their balcony has a nice view, as you can see. (I used my new wide-angle lens.)
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friuduric says:

Wow. Great shot. I love the blues in the near distance, and just look at that ball of fire!

Happy Moon festival!

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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sunshinecity says:

How wonderful, and what a great way to celebrate with the family and the new baby!
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ItinerArts says:

Nicholas: 9 days old
9-26: A more formal portrait, and a very thoughtful look.
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friuduric says:

ItinerArts -- He totally looks like your buddy picture of you!

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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girlzoot says:

Such an amazing face.
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bunæn says:

He looks noble, royal even. And yes he does look like your icon.
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ItinerArts says:


9-28: Big surprise-- a baby snapshot!

Interesting that you think he looks like me-- all Helen's relatives seem to agree. But his eyes are definitely more Asian in shape.
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ItinerArts says:


9-29: Venturing out.
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ItinerArts says:


9-30: Yawn.

I have to fly to Europe on Tuesday night and won't see Nicholas or Helen for at least two weeks. This does not make me happy.
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sunshinecity says:

I think he has the most perfect mix of asian and american!
I love his tiny little heart shaped lips!
Reminds me of some friends of the family. They too are a mix race couple (Taiwanese mother and Italian father) who have two beautiful children. Their beauty is simply astonishing!
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jelliajamb says:

Wow- two weeks is rough. Thank goodness for camera phones and email. I think his resemblance to you is very strong, but I see the spirit of her face in there too. A happy mingling of both. My three are heavily skewed toward my features, with little of my husband to be found which sometimes makes me happy-greedy, but sometimes I feel a little bad for him.
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friuduric says:

Cute shot caught mid-yawn! Two weeks will suck, but then it'll be over, and you'll be able to snuggle and cuddle all you want.

--Imperatrix
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ItinerArts says:

In good hands?
10-1: In good hands?

Going crazy packing, shipping, tying up loose ends.
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sunshinecity says:

still can't get over how adorable he is!
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Dragonhide says:

Melts my heart every time I visit this thread.

He DOES look like you, especially the 29th.

Two weeks.. ick!!! :( Here's to hoping it speeds by in a blur so you can quickly return to your family.
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ItinerArts says:

Abu Dhabi airport
10-2: Abu Dhabi airport.

I had a 21-hour trip-- Taipei to Abu Dhabi, then Vienna, then changing planes for the final flight toTirana. Jet lag after 2 weeks of newborn baby care has me beyond disoriented.

No Nicholas photos for a while.... :^(
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sunshinecity says:

ouch, that is some trip!!
And check out the crazy airport! The colours alone give me a headache, let alone the jet lag!
LOL
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Dragonhide says:

Oh my goodness, the geometric patterns alone is enough to disorient me... Wow.. crazy.
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BellaGaia says:

I didn't even read the location and in my head was asking is this Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Why is everything so Gaudy there! Do they not understand the concept, even a little, that less is more....

I'm enchanted with the pix of your Nicolas and have posted a few comments in your stream. Simply beautiful.
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ItinerArts says:

Actually, it's Barcelona where they're so gaudi. ;^)
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jelliajamb says:

this is so other-worldly! I can't help, but imagine more fantastical stuff must be outside. love this photo
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ItinerArts says:


10-3: Part of the living room & kitchen of the new apartment. The bright colors are typical here; the Albanians seem especially to love orange and red. After living for years in crowded NYC, Tokyo and Taipei, it's great to have a place with lots of space.
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ItinerArts says:


10-4: In my new office, editing baby photos to send back to Helen for printing. It'scheating, but this ways I DO get to post another Nicholas shot!

Still recovering from jet lag, plus now I have a cold. Figuring out the complexities of life here will have to wait for a few days.
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CollardGreens says:

Albania ! Yow--you get an honorary vagabond medal ! Good stuff here

CollardGreens: Oops!
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ItinerArts says:


10-5: New apartment abstract.

Lazy and sick,so here's an easy shot of my new apartment's molding. Very exciting.
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RobW_ says:

What a two weeks to go missing from your diary. Like others have said, your baby son is absolutely gorgeous, and your pics of him outstanding. He will have changed quite a bit next time you get to take a picture.

Abu Dhabi airport looks like they have gathered together all the left-over decor from the 2006 Football World Cup.

Welcome to the Balkans! That's a nice, colourful apartment. Very different environment from Taiwan, I'm sure, so a bit of culture shock in store.
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sunshinecity says:

oh i love the colours of the new place!!! A great environment for curious baby eyes!!!
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ItinerArts says:

Rob, Albania may be foreign, but from what I've seen of it it almost feels like home after the weirdness of Japan and Taiwan.
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Meelifluous says:

Love the colors in the new apartment.

Congratulations - what a beautiful baby!
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Dragonhide says:

The colors in the new place reminds me of my bedroom when we first moved into the 2nd house of my childhood... leftover of the 1970s (1970 Americana to be specific), and my Mom being the hip forward looking fashion queen hurriedly painted over it and put up awesome Star Wars wallpaper & mural.

Made me homesick.

You know, Itiner- I have no idea where you call your "Home country".. where are you from?
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CollardGreens says:

Albania was a grade school project of mine...of course at the time it was still ruled by the Otoman empire !

CollardGreens: Oops!
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bunæn says:

I tend to have the same look on my face when I venture out these days.

To awaken on a bench in that airport thinking one was trapped in some kind of futuraismic golf ball would be a terrible reckoning.

That's a mighty bad looking refrigerator you have there, my man.
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ItinerArts says:

Jallen, I'm from the U.S.,-- originally Texas, then 10 years in NYC, along with various other places--lately mostly Asia, but I've also spent some time in Errope.

Bun, I agree. It looks like it could hurt someone.
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bunæn says:

The nice thing about Texas is it is situated so conveniently nearby to the U.S.

I've said it before Ted; we must get together to discuss the Spanish American war sometime.
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friuduric says:

Man! I would LOVE to be living in a brightly colored space. (Although I can imagine that it might be a bit rough when you've got a headache!)

And pretty cool that you get a furnished place.

Get well soon.

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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ReeBeckiSupergirl says:

Ohhh! I love the colors in your apartment. Lovely!
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girlzoot says:

Amazing colors in that apartment. I love bright places.
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ItinerArts says:


10-6: The famous mural in the central square.

Busy, busy, busy....trying to catch up here.
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ItinerArts says:


10-7: The view from my new office. The building at center is an elementary school.
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Dragonhide says:

Ohh I already love your new location. Very cool structures!
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ItinerArts says:


10-8: No doubt they have a branch campus in Roswell, New Mexico.
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sunshinecity says:

ahahah UFO university huh?
LMAO...
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friuduric says:

It's intriguing to see such creative architecture in a country like Albania. Or was that elementary school an abnormality? I'll be interested to follow your experiences there. We never hear about the new, capitalist, Albania here in the US.

--Imperatrix
Adventures on Sabbatical
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ItinerArts says:

missing you
10-9: Busy, busy, busy.... Not missing Helen at all....
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