04 December 2007

7 Random Facts Meme

I was tagged by EcoGeoFemme over at The Happy Scientist for 7 Random facts meme. Not long after I started this blog I posted 10 Random Facts about me as sort of an introduction and I will try not to duplicate the results here. (Click on that link if you want to see what I posted then.)

A Beach in Newfoundland (2005)

1. My high school diploma is on rawhide. Yep. And no, I don't have a paper copy. It was a requirement at my school to climb the highest local mountain in order to graduate. And our school mascot? Rocky Mountain Oysters.

Rock with Coral in Newfoundland (2005)

2. I am notorious for blistered feet. I always joke that if I haven't worn a pair of slippers in two days I would blister in them but the sad thing is, it's probably true. As a result I go nowhere without my niffty little blister kit and have been wrangelled into treating other peoples blisters on more hiking trips then I can remember. When I was doing field work in Utah we used to entertain ourselves by guessing how many new blisters WS got at the end of the day. Believe me, I have tried absolutely everything when it comes to preventing blisters and can say that I have happily figured the magic formula for making particularly painful blisters still walkable. And yes, duct tape travels as part of my blister kit (when in Scotland recently my friend S said "no! you didn't! you brought that duct tape just for C!" and C said "you can take the girl out of Alaska but you can't take Alaska out of the girl" in a delighted tone).

Humpack Whale, Russian Far East (2006)

3. I had surgey on my right hip in 2000. This year is the first time post surgery that I have been able to run on it! Wheeee! Unfortunately, I still have residual problems with a pinched sciatica on the left side as a result of the problem in the hip and so I really have to restrain myself. And? Standing for long periods of time is extremely painful so I have tendency to lean against things when standing around chatting at any gathering or finding myself the only person in the room sitting down.

Shell with Lichen on Prince Edward Island Beach (2005)
4. I've been shot at while working more often then a friend of mine who is a cop. Seriously. In Washington, Montana, Utah, and Alaska. The last time I was shot at I was defending sonar equipment on a sandbar somewhere north of the arctic circle from some lovely local blokes who had taken their firefighting pay to the only non-dry town in the area (via boat mind, as we were way beyond the reach of roads) and gotten sodden with drink & smoke. They came back full of piss and vinegar in the middle of the night determineed to either a) steal the Disreputable Dog or b) wreck vengenace on the US government for all of the wrongs ever commited against Native Americans (this was a US Fish & Wildlife Project). Luckily they were too pissed to have any decent aim and luckily the Direseputable Dog was having absolutely nothing to do with getting in their boat despite the newly dead moose lying in the bottom of the boat (shot, before drinking I believe). I was understandably cranky about getting out of my sleeping bag at 2am and was none to understanding with being shot at but nonetheless managed to talk them into dropping their weapons (and staying out of camp because once there they would be there for a LONG time and we had work to do) and collapsing in tears on the riverbank. Needless to say I also refused the offer of an awesome pair of firefighting pants in return for marriage to one of the blokes. But you know, it was tempting.

Beach grass, Prince Edward Island (2005)

5. Once upon a time I actually danced for a professional ballet company. I know, I can hardly believe it either! I wasn't particulary good (read, I was never prima donna/ solo, material) but there you are. On a daily basis people wrote up everybody's thigh circumferences on the wall for comparison and near performances we would get locked in the theatre between rehersals so no one would sneak out and eat anything. My least favorite director came from Russia and would put her cigarettes out on our legs when she was displeased with something. I still cannot bear to watch the Nutcracker Suite and everytime I hear the music (which is daily this time of year) I have a little reel of characters running through my head practicing for the big show.

Kelp, Newfoundland (2005)

6. One of the questions that comes up with my funding ending is whether or not to leave AK. I am really torn about whether or not to leave Alaska more permanently after the holidays. I was talking to a friend here about this over a glass of wine and she feels the same way. It's not that we are ambivalent, in fact, we feel passionately about both staying and leaving. What is it about Alaska that does this? Then looking around the blogosphere I found this post from an aquaintence (Ben Huff) agonizing over the question of 'When are we Alaskan?" . And it seems part of the problem is that Alaska does take root in your heart; it feels as if the identity of being an Alaskan is something that you sweated blood and tears for; it's as if it is it's own country. And there's a feeling that if you leave for the realtively cush life in the lower 48 that you're just not tough enough, that you failed somehow. I have lived in many different US States & Canadian Provinces over the years and yet Alaska is the only one that I ever claimed as a home when people ask where I'm from. How does one go back to not being an Alaskan? And yet, there are such wonderful things about living in a place where there is more regular daylight, where life isn't so tough, where dating isn't a game of Russian roulette. But do I want to live in a place where people find so much to be busy about nothing? Where they forget that so much of what we do are to fufill our basic requirements of food, water, and shelter? Where people are always talking and yet always lonely? So you see... my mind goes round and round.

Autumn grass (2007)

7. My master's thesis advisor was very upset when the University banned guns from the campus. He could be heard complaining to the secretary in loud cursing tones and I quote "How am I supposed to defend myself if one of my graduate students decides to come in and shoot me?". He never seemed to realize that perhaps the fact that he thought this was a likely possibility was disturbing in itself. Unfortunately, he wasn't the type to inspire people to go after him but rather to attempt to take their own lives.

Whale vertebrae & driftwood, Bering Island, Russia (2006)

7 people who's blogs I enjoy and who may consider themselves tagged if they wish. If you're listed & you've done it please just ignore.

(again, going with the theme of people I haven't yet mentioned in my blog)

Liv of Madness, Maddnes, I say
QT of Can we Kick the Bar Here
Trousers of The Trouser Press
Crazymumma of Crazymumma
Mad Hatter of A Mad Tea Party
Mad of Under the Mad Hat

Rules: Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.2- Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.4- Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


  1. hmm...i have done this post before, but maybe i'll tweak it for seasonal appeal! xoxo

  2. Did you? Sorry about that...i'ts hard to keep track. A seasonal tweak could be fun.

  3. I think I did it, but since I don't remember, I will play along.

    Also? I have never been shot at - or danced for a professional ballet company. Yikes!

  4. Wow...what a life you've had! I'd better get started thinking about my seven things....

  5. I am so glad you discovered my blog, so I could discover yours. What a fascinating life you have led. I am looking forward to getting to know you better.

  6. I am nototious for not doing meme's....but I will try.

    She put her cigs out on your legs? Weird and wonderful world of dance...

  7. Another big wow at your crazy life!

    I've already done something very similar to this, and ecogeofemme tagged me with a big one earlier this week, so unfortunately I'll pass this time. Don't be shy to send any future memes my way though!

  8. Oops it was Mad Hatter, not ecogeofemme. My bad!

  9. I just want to swim around in your world a little

  10. OK, I can say I was shot once, by some idiot shooting rats with a BB gun. The BB nicked me near my right eyebrow. This was during college and happended on campus, so all the idiot got was suspension.

    My husband and dog would love AK. Sadly, I have RA and would have a tough time. Of couse, sometimes I wonder if my neck of the woods is just like yours!

  11. Found you from Julie's site...

    How did you manage the dancing with the propensity for blistering?

  12. I think i liked the pictures as much as the facts.

    Can't believe that woman put cigarettes out on your legs and lived.

  13. all, well just as I was starting to think I've bored you all by my lengthy answers you give me all these compliments. I just hope I haven't used up all my good stories!

    qt, well, there's always time for the dancer part but I'd recommend avoiding the shooting part if you have the option. That said I had a look at your old "Seven" list and guess what? I pull my eyelashes too! But when stressed not bored.

    mad hatter, looking forward to your answers.

    mary joan, yay! I'm looking forward to getting to know you better too. Welcome.

    crazymumma, well, no pressure! And yeah, she did. I didn't think it was all that wonderful. She scared the crap out of me.

    cae, laugh! yeah, it does sound pretty crazy when you jumble it altogether randomly like that doesn't it?

    flutter, awww...thanks.

    solace, BB guns hurt! And we should compare our neck of the woods sometimes! I do think that lake effect area is actually much grayer then here...perhaps less cold but grayer.

    melissa, welcome! Glad to meet you. The blisters alone were definately reason enough to quit. I did everything, soaked my feet in tea, painted them with iodine, taped and bandaged, and stuffed the toes with lambswool of every imaginable configuration. And I NEVER let anyone outside of the dance world see my bare feet! It wasn't fun but a happy side effect is that I think I shot all the nerves in my toes so now when I get blisters there I only notice them when I take my socks off.

    meno, thanks! I love those pics. As for that woman, I was a lot younger then... if that were to happen now, she'd be in trouble! (Of course, if I'd told my parents she probably would have been too.)

  14. Wow, I never had you down for a ballet dancing kind of gal!! LOL!

  15. oh, lawsy gill! I don't think I am or even was!

  16. Hi wayf, I loved these facts, thanks for sharing them. It's taken me a while to come over and look since I've been rather quiet lately, blogwise, but fascinating stuff nonetheless.

    Amazing (so to speak), the one about being shot at!

    Now as mentioned over at the press, I've done a tag like this more than once, so I hope you don't mind me passing on this one?

  17. wow. scary russian ballet director. so glad my italian opera director wasn't like that! ;) eek. glad you got out of there.

    and being shot at AND proposed to in one night? you lucky gal.

    (that other meme you tagged me for? I'm working on it. slowly. I swear.)

  18. I love your answers.

    I hate that you got shot at, I am so relieved that you and the disr. dog are ok.

    I am surprised and delighted and sympathetic for you that you were a ballerina... I worked at Colorado Ballet for enough time that I have seen ALL sides of the art/business and it ain't that pretty. I'm good friends with many dancers, and I know exactly what you mean about the Nutcracker, but I still love it.

    I love your photos. LOVE them.
    They make me wistful.

    I want you to post about Scotland.
    I just put up a birthday post about my 15th great-grandfather; his birthday is today. He's 613 years old. He's got a bit o' history in Scotland.


    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  19. trousers, no problem at all on passing on the tag! Also, I'm glad to see you, whenever you visit.

    maypole, well, of course you are! In between rehersals :)

    Scarlett, did you read my existing post about Scotland? There is one in November(the Highlands/lights of Scotland) or did you mean you wanted me to post more? I'll be over to read about your grandfather shortly! As for the Nutcracker, my mother agrees with you - it's a must do.

  20. Yes, both please! Off to read November now...

    S & V

  21. #5 has me sitting here with my jaw open. I work for a ballet company, but it's not ANYTHING like what you describe. Wow.

    (Came over from Mad, BTW).

  22. scarlett, I'll consider it. But after moving!

    magpie, welcome! glad to see you here. And I am very glad that the company you work for is nothing like the one I worked for.


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