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Rambling Catch-Up Post

9 October 2007

Oh, my goodness, people! I stay offline for four days (two of which were weekend days), and I come back to 67 new posts! Some of you posted 6 or 7 times in that short span. How on earth am I going to catch up? And what on earth are you all doing posting multiple times over a single day?

[N.B.: This has turned out to be quite a long post. I’ve helpfully highlighted the important asides with italics, so if you’re in a hurry, just skip the blah-blah and read the meat of the story.]

First, about my previous post. Some of you wanted to know what blogs I was referencing. Well, I can tell you about them, but I won’t post links. These are just regular folks with blogs and it wouldn’t be fair to give them traffic just from people checking out how poor their life skills are (plus, I wouldn’t want them to come back at me and kick my pixelated* ass, you know?). One of them is the blog of a woman who just doesn’t seem to be able to look past herself in larger issues, and who has a bit of a problem making mountains into molehills with people she disagrees with. She also is a typical American in that while living in a foreign country, she practically alienated an entire university department by attempting to bully her advisor and other mentors into letting her do things the way *she* wanted to do them for her doctorate, rather than following the method of her adopted country. (Not everyone does things like Americans, you see?) The other blog I have a macabre fascination with is a woman who is clearly working through some issues (healthy), but is in a relationship where they seem to drink a lot (not healthy). She has become used to a child-free life these past two years, which is a fine choice to make, but really wants her kids (currently living with their dad) to come live with her. I don’t think it will work.

Why do I keep checking these blogs out? Probably, I’ve decided, because I am a snoop at heart who is working very hard to break the generational snooping behavior she was exposed to as a child. I’m not doing it to my children, so I’ve redirected my proclivities towards total strangers. I don’t know if this is a good solution, but the Internet makes it so easy!

Some of you thought I was talking about political blogs, but no. I just cannot imagine keeping sane if I were to regularly read conservative backwash. Ugh.

Aside #1: I’ve been trying to read more nonfiction lately, but my choices aren’t inspiring me. Mostly because I know it wouldn’t be healthy for me or my family if I were to read right-wing ulcer-inducing baloney, but the things I am reading aren’t keeping my interest. Examples: I finally read Nickel and Dimed this summer, and I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle right now. I think everyone should read both of these books, and I bet many people would learn a thing or two (in fact, I think Barbara Kingsolver’s book would be a great gift to give out to people [if I ever give in and become a preachy gift-giver]). Problem is, I already know more than the average person about these issues, so I’m not surprised or invigorated to make changes in my life (we already eat local, seasonal, and chemical-free, for example). I also picked up that Mayflower book from the library’s New Books shelf, and after 15 pages I—well, I was bored. Any suggestions?

The reason I was offline was that this was a busy holiday weekend for us. (After 7 years in the midwest, where we never got Columbus Day off [they’d give the kids a 3-day weekend the following week, so it was clear we weren’t celebrating the Beginning of the End of Native North American Independence], it was weird to be getting such an out-of-favor holiday. New Englanders are so … quaint.) We went camping in the White Mountains on Friday (The girls had off on Friday as well as Monday). We learned that Dramamine will not help Impera all that much during a long windy-road drive, and will make her extremely tired for the rest of the day; so any hike we have planned will be difficult for her, especially a super steep hike the likes of which we had never attempted before. But, being a trooper, she will complete the hike (although she’ll make it clear that “views” are not worth doing a hike for). The hike on Saturday was much less steep, Impera wasn’t drugged out, and the Consort and Trixie were able to swim in the pond at the end of the hike. We also enjoyed the smoothed out modernistic rocks of Franconia Falls (I’ll get the pictures up on flickr later this afternoon).

Aside #2: One unpleasant thing about camping is the midnight trek to the lavatory (in this case, a pit toilet in the National Park no-frills campground [no showers, water only at a communal well, and no electricity] where we stayed). I know some of you jumbo-sized bladder people have yet to need a midnight visit, but I’ve been partaking in that particular ritual for years now (the Consort, too, which is why I think it’s you other people who are bizarre, not me). I learned on this trip that, if you stop drinking at 4 pm, you can make it through the night without getting out of your sleeping bag. I made note of this and will definitely be taking advantage of this information at future campouts. What will keep me awake, however, is the Consort mentioning just as we are getting into our sleeping bags that the gorp left over from the day’s hike is still in his small pack, WHICH IS WITH US IN THE TENT. This did not bode well, considering that there are signs everywhere (including RIGHT ON THE CAMPSITE TABLE) that all food should be returned to campers’ cars at night, because of the bears. (The Consort’s response to me that, “The bears here in New England are baby bears,” just didn’t seem to soothe me as much as he thought it would.)

On Sunday, we spent the day with some friends from Boston. We went apple picking, made applesauce and apple crisp, played a great game called Robo-Rally, and had a yummy supper of tomato pesto pasta (with garlic bread).

Yesterday (the notorious Columbus Day), we had planned to do work, veg out, and take it easy, but it was raining in the morning, so we contacted our friends and told them that if they didn’t feel like doing the Fall Foliage thing in the rain, they could come spend some time with us, and there could maybe even be a group adventure completed using our wifi router (they both play World of Warcraft, too). And that’s what the Consort, the girls, and our friends did. For four and a half hours. I made chocolate chip muffins, and knit. Everybody was happy. And we even had time to do the necessary work and homework in the afternoon before supper.

Aside #3: We realized soon after we got to New Hampshire that we had forgotten to pack our winter hats, mittens, and scarves. How stupid was that? So I’m planning to make at least hats for everyone. We’ll see if I get them done in time. The girls want to go camping again this coming weekend (mostly because we said they were old enough to start the fire in the morning if the Consort and I aren’t up yet [we are happy to report that the pyromania that both the Consort and I have was passed down in spades to the girls. You should have seen them scouring the campground for bits of wood and leaves they could burn in the fire]), and it was getting to the point that sleeping with a hat on might be a good idea. Oh, the joys of autumn camping!

Now that I’ve caught up here, I will spend too much time visiting all my regular online haunts, trying to catch up with all of you. Because I take my blogging responsibilities seriously.

*Or should that be pixilated? I leave you** to decide.

**But who has an impish ass to kick, I ask you? Certainly not me.

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