Before my post: Please, please, please go to BlogHer and leave a comment/vote for the Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard proposed panel for BlogHer '09 in Chicago. I love all of the bloggers putting it on and would hate to see them not get enough votes! Check out this dream team: Jessica from Bernthis.typepad.com, Wendi from Wendi-aarons.blogspot.com, Kelcey from mamabirddiaries.com, Anna from lifejustkeepsgettingweirder.blogspot.com, Marinka from motherhoodinNYC.com, and Christy from christythewriter.com. Don't you want to see them strut their stuff and maybe get some insight into how they can be so damn funny every post? I need some inspiration and I am counting on this panel becoming a reality. :)
If you are going to BlogHer (and even if you're not gonna be there, hey, they're not going to be charging you to leave a comment!), show your support of this great panel and just leave a little comment saying how awesome and totally gorgeous they all are and how you'd rather eat at a White Castle with wretched homeless people than miss out on such an opportunity to hear these women speak. (And I only said that White Castle thing because I once had that happen to me! And the only reason I even stopped there was because my toddler was being such an a**hole and I thought for sure he would eat their tiny cheeseburgers. Instead, he didn't eat anything and then insisted on using the toilet (ew.) and then the smelliest homeless person I've ever encountered in my life came in and stunk up the entire restaurant. Which didn't smell that great to start with. And we all ran/staggered out of the place and then went through a McDonald's drive-through five miles down the road. Jesus, that was a crummy road trip.)
So, I am still wading through the last Twilight book. I won't ruin it for anyone, but holy Hell is it fucking long. Long-winded, that is. Maybe "laborious" is a better word for what it is. At any rate, I feel like I've been reading the book for weeks and still almost nothing has happened! If I was a vampire that could run around at speeds almost too fast to be seen and money was absolutely no object.... You bet your ass I would NOT hang out in only two locations for an entire 400 pages. I guess someone is finally going to be flying to Europe soon, but jeez louise, I am sick of the Cullen house and the goddammed werewolves. Sorry for the rant, but the magic of the first books is not carried through this fourth one. That would be Breaking Dawn, for those of you not ensnared in the series' web of vampiric lustiness. Just goes to show you: Sitcoms are onto something when they keep the romantic tension going for 6 seasons before they finally let the leads get together. Domesticity is rarely entertaining. (Except on my blog, where it is always totally awesome. ;-)
Despite the letdown of the final book, I am still walking around in a bit of a green-ish haze: from the Pacific NorthWest of the book series, from the green rolling countryside of our future home in England, and from my wandering thoughts to my younger years in Alaska.... I think I've mentioned before that I worked in Alaska at some salmon canneries during my college summers. ( No? Well, I did.) I worked in a tiny little town, surrounded by the tundra on one side and the Bristol Bay on the other, and in Ketchikan, which is located on the Inside Passage of Southern Alaska. Two very different locations in Alaska. Two very different work experiences. I'm just going to talk about Ketchikan today because it is a rain forest and one of the most beautiful places on earth. Similar to the areas around Seattle, but wetter and more ancient. And even more magical.
It was my second summer working there and I had somehow managed to make it through the summer without too much mental scarring. The man that I had been so crazy about the first summer I worked there had also returned, you see. And his girlfriend was now my boss. Shudder. Yeah, that would be the girlfriend that had been there the summer before. The one that I didn't know anything about until after that first kiss had dropped me over the cliffs of reason. Actually, I was a goner the first time he looked into my eyes and saw me. We were talking about whatever at the bar and then I said something and we both laughed and then he looked at me, and then the look deepened into something else. And it was like nobody had ever seen me before in my entire life. So weird. I can't believe that almost 20 years later I can still remember his piercing look that made me just ignite. Anyway, you can see how Twilight might bring up all these old feelings.... there is a bit of similarity.
But I'm talking about my second summer there, NOT my first one. I will try and steer away from that trainwreck and point us all in a happier direction.
Near the end of the summer, when the salmon were finishing their run and not many fish were making their way to the canneries, a group of us from the Egg House (where the salmon roe was packed for export to Japan) decided to take off for a day of hiking and recreational drug use in the rainforest. (If anyone asks, I was NOT participating in anything illegal.) We piled into a couple cars and drove down the highway to the Tongass National Forest. The hike through the primeval-feeling rainforest was amazing. The forest is so vividly green it almost pulsates with life. A thousand shades of green cover every surface that isn't being actively trod upon by hiking boots. (This picture, here to the left, is actually a very fair representation of where we were, and may be the actual spot.)
I had managed to get myself involved with another fella that I worked with in the Egg House (somehow I ended up with a new boyfriend each of the five summers I worked there; long-term relationships just never seemed to happen to me before marrying, so the changing cast of characters worked out well ;). His name was Greg and he was just a really sweet, cute, hippy guy that made me laugh. After spending the afternoon lazing about the Falls and exploring the forest we started heading back, to the trailhead, which was all downhill back through the woods. I'm not sure what started it, probably I tripped over a root or stumbled on a rock, but I had to run a few paces to keep up with my falling momentum to avoid a nasty spill. The sensation of running down the mountain felt so good that I just took off, leaping over the next tangle of rocks and roots and flying over the twisted path. Greg was right behind me and clearly (under the same effect) was on the same page. He would occasionally try to catch me and would grab the edge of my jacket as I flew before him and we would both giggle as we flew even faster down the trail, through the trees, over the moss. So fast, feeling so nimble and young and invincible. We ended up getting back to the trailhead in less than ten minutes; on the same path it had taken us an hour to hike up earlier. :)
To this day, that is the closest I've ever gotten to flying.