Thursday, January 31, 2008

With apologies to Roy Orbison.....

Crrryyyyyyying, over yoooouuuu.

Ok. My advisor in college, one Dr. Donald Lynch, observed that I could be the perfect straight man, because sometimes I take things literally when I shouldn't (Tania Clueless, that's me!), and sometimes I take things literally just to be a smart ass and he couldn't tell the difference.

So, when people say that reading something made them cry, I always wonder are they engaging in hyperbole, or were they truly moved to tears?

I can make myself cry, a useful skill for theater work. But actually being moved to tears, doesn't happen that often. Then again, I usually keep a pretty tight rein on my emotions so I don't descend into "Hulk Smash" territory.

Things that make me teary - "You go, I go" in Backdraft, Bagpipes at funerals, Taps at funerals, my husband crying, and NOW THIS. It's the last quarter of the post.

Damn you Wil Wheaton. Damn you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

That word, it does not mean what you think it does.

From a Jezebel comment thread:

"why do men or even women have to grow a plutonic family? I was under the assumption that being born didn't come with a to-do list."

Plutonic. Umm, I'm not sure I want a plutonic family. The first three things that come to mind for me when plutonic is used are:

1) Geologically I think of gabbro
2) Mythologically I think of Pluto
3) Astronomically I think of the former planet

I mean, I don't want a family that could be described as frigid, rocky, or including the overlord of the dead.

Now, I do not doubt that the word the well meaning person meant to type was platonic. Yeah. I don't want a platonic marriage either, unless I'm a beard or arm candy, the pre-nups are signed, and we all know what we're in for. Platonic, not what I'm looking for in a marriage. Not what I have in my marriage. Thank goodness!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Listening to the blues (Hijack Hijinks Post)

The blues isn't about ethnicity, gender, or any of that garbage. It's about your soul, your feelings, and who you are. What you feel and how you connect. That's what I not just think, it's what I believe.

What do you think?

Me, I'll be here listening to some music, I've started off with Hijackin' Love by Johnnie Taylor, and doing my part for Nathan's project.

ETA - oh, yeah. Nathan's Project - Hijack Day

ganked from his post
-Do not respond to me in my own thread. Go to one of the other participant's blogs and respond there.

-Do not respond to other participants in their own threads. Go to one of the other participant's blogs and respond there.

-If you're responding to a comment in a thread, do it somewhere else.

-If one of the participants has failed to put up a Hijack™ Day post, Hijack their most recent thread with your non-sequiter comments. Serves 'em right, I say.

-Post the rules so your readers know what the hell is going on. If you feel like operating by a different set of rules, fine. Just include them in your starting Post.

-You should either include all the links of participating blogs in your post or you can just link my post so that everyone knows who is playing.

-New Rule I just thought of: Creative flaming and name-calling are hereby deemed most welcome during the 24-hour playing period. I think being pissy out of context could be most excellent!

-By all means, invite your own readers to play. Just send them here to sign on.

What's the point of all this. Nothing whatsoever. As someone pointed out, its difficult to organize chaos. So, the hell with organization. Chaos for its own sake. I expect the resulting threads to look like a meeting of Bipolar Disorder meets Tourette's Syndrome suffers.

BTW, any response to this post in this thread will be grounds for disqualification. There's other posts on the subject where you can ask questions or introduce other ideas. Just sayin'.

The players (in no particular order) are:

Random (but not really)
Smug Puppies
The Blog of Siram
Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men
Stonekettle Station
Anne's Public Storage Space
The Brain of Shawn
Snavely's Web Log

Monday, January 21, 2008

I'll take"Potential Humiliation" for $200, Alex

Well, as some of you might know, I have received the call from the trivia mothership, and I am being called home to report for duty on Jeopardy!

When I was a younger squid I was a trivia maven. Captain of my school's College Bowl team. Took the team to nationals with a group of three girls and one guy. Believe me when I say that College Bowl tends to be devoid of women. But I digress...

I am so not on my 'game' trivia-wise, but I'm going to make the best of it. Have fun, hopefully not shame myself. Filming is on the 12th and 13th of February. Air date will be at some point closer to the summer.

I'm reviewing all the usual trivia garbage that one should have in medium-term memory, but for the most part I'm trying to stay calm. I'm used to using a buzzer and being recognized before I can answer. I will need to remember to phrase things in the form of a question. I will need to quit periodically whinging at my husband things like "The show comes on at 4:30 PM, I haven't watched it regularly in over 10 years. I am so hosed." The last time I said that he asked me who popularized the phrase "Take off, hoser". Well, as far as I know it was Bob and Doug McKenzie. Which means that I might be qualified for this thing after all.

Now, off to study!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tolovana Hot Springs 2008

For the last few years John and I have been going out to Tolovana Hot Springs as a nice mid-winter trip. This year we went just after the first of the year. We were joined by John's twin sister Theresa, her daughter Kaija (age 2) and dog Kuma, our friend Casey, and for the first night our friends Ian and Sheri and their dog Canvas.

Day 1:
8 AM - We all met at the intersection of the Steese and Elliott Highways and convoyed the 93 miles to the trailhead. Casey, John, and I were in "The Crummy" (John's 1982 Diesel Suburban), and of course I made John and Casey listen to the CW McCall classics Convoy and 'Round The World With the Rubber Duck because, well, I could. Heh.

10:30 AM - We arrive at the trailhead. When we plan for these trips, I'm in charge of logistics. Did I mention I have a MS in Science/Project Management? Well, I do. It makes me bossy, but really dang organized. Usually. You know how you should always pack your own parachute? Well, it turns out that you should pack your own winter gear too. When John was hauling our bag of winter gear to the car, he moved my coat to get at the handles of the big duffle, and left it behind. At the house. The house that is about 130 miles away. @#$@#$!!! Well, it could be worse. I have my insulated Carhartt bibs (that were with my coat!), and I opened up the gear bag and put on every extra stitch of insulated upper body clothing John and I had packed. Theresa had an extra parka, so I wore John's two jackets over my five shirts, and he wore Theresa's parka. It all worked out fine.

11 AM - On the trail! Sunrise is here, and it is beautiful.

11:30 AM - Casey and Ian have to stop periodically to keep their machines from overheating. While waiting for them to catch up, John discovers a fuel leak on his machine, so we end up repairing it on the trail.

1 PM - We made it to the cabin! We took awhile on the trail. Ian's machine had it's electrical system fry. It was very sad.

Well, Theresa got the fire started, I unloaded the gear sled, and John went back to ferry in Sheri, Canvas, and Ian. If they couldn't get his machine fixed (they didn't). We got the cabin organized, everyone in off the trail, and hot tubs thoroughly explored. We all relaxed and enjoyed the evening.

The next day Ian and Sheri had to leave, they had things to do back in Fairbanks. But not without enjoying some time in the hot tubs! After a morning in the hot tubs, it was time to go. Casey and John warmed up their machines, the gear sled was hitched to John's BearCat, the dogsled was hitched to Casey's Firecat, and they were off to the trailhead. Ian's Skidoo was loaded onto John's gear sled, and it was towed out. Sheri and Canvas rode with John, and Ian rode the dogsled behind Casey's machine. Edited to add: John and Casey realized they forgot to take a picture of Ian's Skidoo being rescued by two Arctic Cats. Boys, toys, etc...

The rest of our time was spent eating, reading, hot tubbing, and enjoying being off the grid and away from everyone and everything. I'm not sure how much relaxing one gets to do with a two-year-old around, but she actually was really good company.

Final Day:
Tania notices it's getting lighter out, announces that it's time for everyone to get up. Because she's bossy that way. Mostly, because she wants to be on the trail during the 4 hours of daylight, in case we have any problems.

11 AM - We're loaded and ready to go. Theresa brought along a funky pull behind carrier for Kaija that she could use if she ended up having to ski out. John packed two sleeping bags and hot water bottles into it, and strapped it on top of the gear so we could easily get to it in case of emergency. Apparently John was taking the "don't kill my grandbaby" phone call we received before heading out to Tolovana very seriously. *grin*

The trip out is the smoothest we have ever had. Maybe because we haven't had much snow this year, maybe I'm more used to the trail. I don't know. The trip out was great. When we got to the trailhead the cars were frosted over, and the wind was blowing. It's always blowing at the trailhead. Theresa's Subaru started right up. John's diesel was not happy, but it eventually started, with some timely assistance from a co-worker that happened to be driving by right when came up to the trailhead. We had a plan ready to get the engine warmed, but thanks to Warren, we didn't have to use it. Theresa and Kaija stayed warm in Warren's truck, Casey and I unloaded gear, and John and Casey and Warren fiddled with the cars and did manly things that manly men do. You could smell the testosterone, even with the strong wind.

As usual, I ended up with a variety of interesting bruises. I'm especially annoyed that I got bonked on the head three times, in completely random and unexpected ways. A week later, my head still kinda hurts when I brush my hair or wear my hat.

So, the important things:

The Food
02 Jan Dinner Chicken Soup with dumplings
03 Jan Breakfast Pancakes and Bacon
03 Jan Dinner Carbonara and Garlic Bread
04 Jan Breakfast Eggs Benedict
04 Jan Dinner Chicken Enchiladas
05 Jan Breakfast Potato and Boursin Frittata
05 Jan Dinner Ham and Bean Soup
06 Jan Breakfast Breakfast Burritos

The Pictures (with more to come, as I round them up. Click on the thumbnail to go to the album)
Tolovana Hot Springs 2008

And most importantly - will we do it again, and with the same people? Of course!!