Friday, December 28, 2007

still ten-fingered and ten-toed

I'm doing some work from here, which means sitting in the living room in front of the wood stove in a pretty cedar-clad house looking out on the snow covered mountains and watching the sun rise very slowly while I tap away on my laptop.

Last night my sister and I were both working, and in the spirit of this great card, we had the following IM conversation while at opposite ends of the same couch.

Goose: you are doing a fine job of chopping and burning wood

Roo: thank you
I am trying
I was really really bad at it at first
you would have laughed today (when you weren't feeling freaked out about me possibly hacking off a toe or driving the axe into my leg)

Goose: did [my boyfriend] help?

Roo: he helped me not cut off my feet or split my shins

Goose: goodie

Her boyfriend is 6'4" and quite large, being also 80% lean muscle the way the rest of us are 80% water. He started me off in the wood-splitting lesson by demonstrating on a log as big around as my torso, which he split into quarters with a light tap, like separating pieces of a Terry's Chocolate Orange. He is gentle and patient, however, (not a single macho bone in his body), and there's no one better to teach you how to split wood.

My first few attempts involved sinking the blade of the axe approximately 1/8th of an inch into the dry cold wood (which should be easy to split), not really anywhere near the center of the log. By the end, I was starting to get the knack of it. There's something very satisfying about splitting wood, that crack as the wood is rent by the axe, that moment when the blade comes down through something solid. There's still a big pile out back - drop by any time and have a go.

Monday, December 24, 2007

visiting my sister is like going to fat camp

Today we went for a 25km (15 mile) ski in the hills and boy, it was great. Here's high noon in Whitehorse, just after the shortest day of the year:

That's the same view where I saw my first sun dogs a few days ago but I didn't have my camera with me so you'll just have to imagine it.

Today my sister and a pal and I made it up to the Copper Haul Road. This photo looks darker than it really was, because my camera freaked out on the glow of northern sunlight on the mountains in the background and then couldn't handle the shadows here:

My sister snapped this one of me as we made our way along the ridge where the tracksetting ended and we had to make our way along ragged snowmobile tracks:

We were out for about three hours, which other than pretty much constantly moving included a few stops to snack and drink, a couple of frozen-bum pees just off the trail, and one very quick stop to re-wax. My arms are so tired that to wash my hair in the shower I had to kind of flick the shampoo up to my head from a feeble semi-raised position, and then I kind of rubbed my head into the shower tiles to build up a lather. I'd love to eat something, but can you raise the fork to my mouth? Thanks.

Happy Christmas everyone! Feed me some pudding.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Flying into Whitehorse on Wednesday night, the sky was black, the land below was black. Only a few stars, and when I looked down as we began our approach, still several miles away from town, there were very few lights below - a close match, in number and distribution, to the visible stars. In the flat air and white noise of the plane, looking out into inky blackness, it suddenly seemed to me that we were floating through space, no up, no down, no particular direction.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

still cranky, blame the fourth coffee today and my delicate nervous system

More things I am sick of hearing/reading:

baby steps! (usually sarcastic) - meaning: "You'll/I'll have to take it slowly, (because you're a/I'm a dork)" or sometimes: "One thing at a time, (spaz/because I'm a spaz)." Example: "I've been trying to launch this website for eight years but I keep getting it redesigned and the technology keeps changing. But you know, baby steps."

golf claps - meaning: "Congratufuckinglations!" Example: "You really shot down those Jehovah's Witnesses at the door. Golf claps."

rocking - meaning: "wearing stylishly" Example: "I was like totally rocking my new belt buckle." (Oh and I was, but can't we all start saying "I had on the best belt buckle in the world" instead?)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I am not so quietly judging you

Due to cutting it a tiny bit close, then followed by unserendipitous conditions - snowfall, idiot drivers, accidents (other people) on the way, I just missed my flight to Whitehorse. The Air Canada lady was stern but civil and arranged another flight for me tomorrow morning. I even made her laugh a bit by the end, a huge victory, partly because I was about to cry. I'm a clown, you know, laughing on the outside...

I just find transitions tricky sometimes, even though I've done a bazillion of them. Change is hard, even good change. I've been to Whitehorse three times already, each time stayed for a month and loved it, but I still get emotionally spazzy just before going, just before leaving (and, some would argue, on either side and during, indefinitely). Whoot.

So getting to the point of this post: My mom (who was kindly giving me a lift to the airport, and then also, unexpectedly, from it as well) and I endured two hours in the car for a trip that should have taken 20 minutes. Just now, home at her place, I observed, "Wow mom, we both got kind of stressed and judgmental on that drive - we criticized everyone, excessively," and she replied, "Yeah, so many asshole drivers out there today." Then we laughed and laughed.

Isn't that great? Now we're pouring (more) wine.*

* the first glasses sipped while our coats were still on

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Tonight's IM with clean-cut grad student friend:

Roo: when I was a kid sleep overs meant:
1) bag of hickory sticks from the bulk food store (special treat)
2) rent a movie!!!
3) sleep in the basement in sleeping bags (where tv was)
4) staying up late doing something douchey like ouija board
5) deep analysis of boys in class
6) donkey punching
ok scratch that last bit

CA: donkey punching

Roo: you know what a donkey punch is right?

CA: yes
worst night of my life