Heidi Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker.

Category Roadtrip Interviews

So You Wanna Be a Model? A Few Tricks of the Trade…..

My fascination with models started at 14. My hair had just outgrown its tightly wound perm and my mother finally allowed me to get contact lenses to replace the hot pink coke bottle glasses that earned me the name ‘four eyed poodle’ in junior high. “Mom if I cannot get contacts I am going to DIE,” I had stated. And then-through Acuvue tinted lenses, my world changed. “I think you

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Lessons on Humanness; Reflecting 1 Year After the Roadtrip

It has been over a year since I traveled across America’s canvas to take down stories of “unconventional’ women.  I’ve re-read, I’ve reflected, and now it’s time to share some thoughts from my journey from its impetus to its end. 13 months ago, well before I knew how to work a GPS, I went to a cocktail party with beautiful women in form fitting couture.  They expressed their desire for

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The Final Interview: One with Myself

Location: San Francisco Mileage: 8,002 Women Interviewed: ~30 (depending upon how one defines an interview) Cities Visited: ~23 (depending upon how one defines a visit) Items lost: Mac powercord, umbrella, jean jacket, gas cap, keys to NYC apartment I set out two months ago with no real expectations for my writing project except to capture voices of inspiration. I knew that I wanted to break down stereotypes and illustrate various

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A Treasure Chest of Vice, Adventure and Love

Location: Portland, Oregon Mileage: 7,386 Music: “Portland, Oregon” by Loretta Lynn and Jack White. Meal: Holladay Plaza Split Pea soup and Buffet Salad The drive from Kennewick to Portland started out as desolate. One must first pass the Umatilla Army depot in Eastern Oregon where a large plot of land has been used to store chemical weapons such as nerve agents and mustard gas.  I held my breath as I

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Montana: Boom and Bust

Location: Billings, Montana Mileage: 6,500 Music: “Dakota” by Stereophonics Meal: Soup and Sandwiches (on Montana Wheat) The highway between Minneapolis and Billings was a 13 hour stretch of hilly lands, badlands, and no man’s land.  Immersed in miles of flat were sudden mounds of earth, positioning themselves around grassy valleys, and deep cut rivers.  It was these buttes of Medora where Billy the Kid hid out and escaped the law.

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From a Barrel Racer to a Sculptor

Location: Chicago Mileage: 5,160 Meal: Spicy kielbasa and rice (I made a worthwhile exception to meatless fare) Music: “Sweet Home Chicago” by the Blues Brothers Driving across Ohio and Illinois requires patience.  The incessant roadwork prohibits speeding, multiple tollbooths deplete wallets, and there is wind so fierce it threatens to steer you off the road.  However, if you can get past the distractions, and take the time to look out

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An interview with Singer/Songwriter Clare Burson

No travel details to display; An interview from a concert past, memories of melody in NYC When a friend in New York suggested I go to Joe’s Pub to see his friend perform, I agreed.  Clare Burson was releasing a new CD, titled Silver and Ash, as a tribute to her grandmother’s escape from Holocaust Germany.  Anyone that dedicated an entire album to such a monumental event, needed to be

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Interview with a Mexican-American, Re-Inventing

Location: New York City Mileage: 4,338 Meal: Rosé Prosecco, courtesy of Carolina Music: “A Kiss to Build a Dream on” by Louis Armstrong Perhaps it was the humidity, or the heat seeping up people’s bodies from the hot sparkly cement, but the hardness of New York City melted away.  People’s eyes softened and their hearts opened.   If you were able to get them to sit still for even a second,

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From a horror flick to a love poem

Location: New York City Mileage: 4,338 (yes, I am still in Manhattan….) Meal: Vegetable Omelet Music: “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles When Melissa first called me telling me that she would love to participate in my project, her voice radiated such a genuine enthusiasm and hospitality that I couldn’t believe that I was still in the overcommitted city of Manhattan. I met Melissa uptown for a healthy

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Interview with a Salsa Dancer

Location: New York City Mileage: 4,338 Meal: Ultra Vegan Salad Music: “Everybody Salsa” by Chocolate Before I discovered Salsa dancing at age 19, I was convinced I was a dance pariah, born with two left feet and rhythm comparable to an eplileptic attack.  Dances in high school mortified me; my awkward body felt much more comfortable plastered to a wall of a gymnasium than pretending to feel graceful in some

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