Friday, December 26, 2008

god yule

I made it to the PNW, after a bit of hassle caused by the weird snow storm in Seattle. My flight was canceled, along with several others, but I somehow made it off the huge standby list and onto the first plane that got out. It was a long, exhausting day, but it could have been much worse. I got to see my family and spend Christmas eve (Yule day!) with them.

My uncle finally convinced us to try out double deck pinochle, after years of us only playing the classic game. It was fun, but kind of a mind bender. My cousin Nick and I were partners, and managed to hit 500 first, though we didn't go out because it wasn't our bid that hand. Nick thought that rule was lame, and I told him it was like winning the popular vote but not the electoral college, so we should resign ourselves to being the Al Gores of card games.

I haven't managed to have any glögg yet this holiday, but will try to remedy this before leaving town. At least I'd like to get some to bring back to Laramie. My long-awaited luggage is due to be delivered tomorrow, so I'll finally have something to wear other than the clothes I flew in and the few things I bought the other day. We scrapped the plan to go to the Cascades, so I'll be in town for nearly another week. The whole point was to go play in the snow, and we seem to have plenty of that around here anyway.

Happy Christmas, everybody!

Friday, December 19, 2008

must read?

I agree everybody should read. Reading is good. But lists of stuff everybody simply must read kind of leave me cold, though the lists I just encountered kind of ticked me off. Esquire magazine has a list of the 75 books every woman must read and the 75 books every man must read. I don't know why we need different lists, if we needs lists at all. Here's what I've read from each list.

  • The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson
  • Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  • A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
  • Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  • Possession, A.S. Byatt
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  • Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  • Dubliners, by James Joyce
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
  • Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller.
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  • Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
  • CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, by George Saunders
  • Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
  • Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie
  • Labyrinths, by Jorge Luis Borges
  • Native Son, by Richard Wright
  • The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac
  • Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
  • Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
What's insulting about these is not how predictable they are, but how evidently men need to read books by men only, and women need to read books by women or books by men about messed-up women. Also? I like the dudes list better. Hmph!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

hunting party

I cut down the tree, originally uploaded by Kaijsa.

Rick, Peter, and Elsa came with me to kill a tree to display in my home, as a trophy. I can't believe it only costs $10 to cut a tree in the national forest. What a bargain. We also got in a little snowshoeing, the first of the season. Rick got to test out his brand-new shoes, and I got to take my new-to-me shoes out for a spin. We didn't stay out long, but it was a nice time.

In other news, homemade french dips and a corny Christmas movie (that wasn't at all about Christmas) with friends is a pretty damn nice way to spend an evening.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


When I look at my little weather thingy on my homepage, It makes me sad to see what I'm missing in the land of my birth. Watching the Twilight movie this weekend made me feel this really acutely. All that rain and the lush, green landscapes and muddy yards made me physically crave home. The film wasn't a masterpiece, but I think the setting made me love it. I didn't want it to end because I so miss the sound of rain falling.

Returning to this image, check out the humidity in each city. At 92%, my hair would be curly instead of full of static electricity, I wouldn't wake up with a sore throat and a bloody nose, and my skin wouldn't be itchy and sore less than an hour after moisturizing. Best of all, I probably wouldn't feel like my contacts were sticking to my eyeballs by noon. Suffice it to say that I need some moisture in my life.

You'd think that almost three years into living here I wouldn't miss the gray skies and mist so much. But I really need the water, maybe more than ever. I need to see green grass and trees all year long and smell fresh, wet dirt. I need lakes and rivers and the sound. And most of all, I need to feel some rain.