Oh, dear...

So my friends and I are at dinner in the UMF cafeteria, and Ashley says we should have an "I'm fucked" dance. We toss around the idea for a bit, then move on to other topics. Then after a while Leland cocks her head and wonders what an "I'm fucked" dance would look like. I say it would probably involve a lot of pelvic thrusting and we snicker like twelve-year-olds. Except for Ashley, who says rather loudly, "NO, I was thinking it would look something like I looked on the floor the other night!"

Hilarity did, in fact, ensue.

RIP. Edward Woodward

I just got the news of his death. He was a hell of an actor.

I first saw him in the George C. Scott Christmas Carol, although I didn't know it was him until years later. The first time I saw him in a recognizable role was as McCall in The Equalizer, which was an amazingly good show for the period. With another actor, it could have been just another spy show trying to be grim and gritty; Woodward made him a complex, believable character, and most of that was due to his acting more than the scripts. Then I saw "The Wicker Man"- the real version, not the Nicholas Cage crap- and was amazed at how he took the self-righteous prig Sgt. Howie and gave him a backbone. And, of course there was his "appearance" in The Lone Gunmen- as the voice of a chimp. And he managed to be impressive as that, too.

I've never really considered his age, and was surprised to learn that he was 79. He always looked about the same, having reached middle age early and settled in comfortably. He didn't need to look impressive or be handsome; he was good enough that it didn't make a difference. Of course, his voice was a decided asset- he didn't look like an alpha male, but he could sound the part when he wished. Those bright blue eyes helped too, especially since he knew how to use them effectively.

I don't know much about his personal life, other than the fact that he married the girl who played Jane Banks in Mary Poppins. And I don't really care. If he had issues, he didn't make a huge fuss about them. Pity a few more recent celebrities couldn't do the same. They could do worse than learn from him.

Oooo, shiny...

I went camping this weekend. In Gulf Hagas, about three hours from Farmington, and about twenty miles from the nearest collections of humans that could be considered even a smallish village. That would be Greenville, incidentally, population about 1600, on the shores of Moosehead Lake. The weather was almost perfect- highs in the upper 50s, which is great for hiking, but it was quite windy and the temperature at night got down below freezing- not so great when you've got a 30-year-old kiddie sleeping bag. Luckily, I packed extra blankets, and I layered, but it was still damn cold.

The drive up was gorgeous, and our first view of Moosehead was coming down a hill into Greenville. The water was so dark that I didn't realize it was the lake at first- it was the whitecaps, visible at a fair distance, that tipped us off. Seriously, the water was blue-black; I've never seen a lake so dark in the daytime. I could happily live in Greenville, I think.

To get to the camp, we had to drive over mostly dirt roads, and there were wooden bridges involved. Our campsite was right on the river, with a covered picnic table and a firepit. Just for the record, it is not a good idea to walk around a metal firepit while you're barefoot. We did tell him he was a little too close, and there may have been some mocking afterwards. (No, he wasn't really hurt.)

I didn't know how long the Gulf Hagas hiking trail was, and I'm glad I didn't. The book I've got here says 8.2 miles for the loop, but if you add in the extra distance caused by going up and down, I suspect you could almost double it. And if I'd known we had to wade across the damn river coming and going, I'd have packed my swim shoes. That water was COLD. It was bad enough going over, but coming back after sunset, it was so painful I damn near hyperventilated.

But you know something? Totally worth it. Gulf Hagas has to be seen to be believed. Some of the cliffs are over 100 feet tall, and the waterfalls are amazing. I can't believe the actually drove logs through this thing- even at high water, it can't have been easy. I did take pictures, but there is no way they can do this place justice. The name "Grand Canyon of the East" is more than justified; it is not as wide as many canyons, but that makes it even more impressive.

That same night, back at camp, I noticed that it was very clear, there was no moon, and we were miles and miles from any source of light pollution. We didn't have a large clearing anywhere around, but we had crossed a good-sized bridge (still wooden), to get to our site. So I walked out onto the bridge and saw more stars than I have ever seen in my life. They were so thick and so bright it was hard to pick out constellations, and the Milky Way was as clear as I have ever seen it. I wasn't able to get anybody else to join me out there, but a bunch of us did walk down to the riverside and just look up for a while.

We headed home in the morning, and we all agreed that it was worth doing again, although perhaps it might be better in slightly warmer weather. So we got back, all of us a bit stiff and sore and reeking of smoke from the campfire, and all of us planning to do it again at some point.

Although next time, I'm packing an air mattress.

Seriously, Gaia, what the fuck?

It's not enough to give us rain for most of June and July, with temperatures more suitable to April. And it's not enough to pack all the summer we should have had into a couple of weeks worth of extreme suck with weather that I'm sure was meant for Georgia or Florida. Having record-breaking heat when the rivers are still too high to swim in safely does, in fact, suck donkey dick, thank you. And with the weather we've had this week, I more or less expected thunderstorms, even some bad ones. But a tornado? Here?

Seriously, hon, what's up with that? That's, what, the third, fourth this year? I realize the human race is enough to drive anybody to drink, but I'm comfortably certain you're not supposed to operate planets while under the influence.

I also need to speak to you about your choice of targets. You wiped out Young's Greenhouse but left that Fred Phelps-wannabe Bob Celeste alone. Come on, Gaia, I don't think aiming the Wrath of God(dess) at the right targets is too much to ask.

I've seen the forecast for next week and it looks like you're getting your act together again. I hope so; this sort of behavior on the job is simply unacceptable.

Your aggravated servant,


Random updates

1) I'm home for the summer, and net access is only guaranteed when I can get to the library.

2) I got wifi at home last night, but I'm not sure how often that will happen, or why it happened in the first place.

3) Mom has a new dog. 8 months old, cute as all hell, Lhasa/Shi Tzu mix, named Molly.

4) No Canada for fall semester. Will try again for spring, which means graduating from a different college, I think.

5) Will be house-sitting for Mom for two-three weeks starting tomorrow, which means that if last night's wifi was indeed a fluke, I won't be around for a while.

6) People who tell you you have a job, and then change their minds two weeks later and hire two other people instead, suck donkey dick.

7) No Reservations kicks ass, and Tony Bourdain is my latest celebrity crush.

There are other things I should mention, but brain not work now. I messed up my back again and between going "ow" and being woken up at an ungodly hour by a pooch poking her head over the side of the bed to lick my face, I'm doing good just walking semi-upright, much less thinking.
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