I help edit Flavorwire, geek out on teen TV for the L.A. Times ShowTracker blog, and write about music for a few places. I'm also in the midst of co-editing, with Niina Pollari, a zine and book project called "It's Complicated: Feminist Writers on the Misogynist Art We Love," which you can also follow on Tumblr.
We’re in the Japan Alps now and today we went to the town of Kamikochi where mountains shadow over lush forests and sky blue water. We went for a leisurely two hour trail along the shallow river lined with rocks bleached from the alpine sun. It was a beautiful fall day and the trail was busy with Japanese retirees in their hiking gear and Nikon zoom lenses. Suddenly there was a collective gasp and a crowd gathered around a clearing in the brush from which you could clearly see a spry red-faced monkey jumping rocks just below. Well, that was the first of many monkey spottings that we saw today. These Japanese macaques live in northern Japan and are also known as snow monkeys, for obvious reasons. Apart from rock jumping, they are also known for hot spring lounging (there are lots of adorable videos online). I didn’t expect to see any monkeys on this trip. In fact, I barely noticed the sign featuring a cute monkey head as we came into the park. Suddenly monkeys were confidently criss crossing the trail in front of us and calling out to each other across the forest. Here are my National Geographic moments.