Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Laura Ingalls Wilder meets Sweet Valley High

I thought this exchange I had on 1Bruce1 about the Sweet Valley sequel would amuse my Laura friends.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One Life to Live

I spend most days working around the house; looking for a job, cleaning, etc. Usually while I do this, I have the tv on. And not to be the unemployed person who spends her day watching the soaps, but yes, I do have them on while I'm going about my day. One of the ones I watch is One Life to Live, so I thought I'd break down my thoughts on the characters and what should happen next or should stop.

Vicki, Charlie, Echo, Dorian - Vickie needs to find out that Charlie slept with Echo, pronto. Yes, she has a lot to deal with right now with Jessica, but that should be wrapped up soon. We need to know if Echo will be a long term character or if she is just passing through. If she's not just passing through, maybe she would like a job at the Sun? Working for Todd, would allow her to stick her nose in everyone's business. Dorian needs her own plot, possibly taking a page from Sami and Lucas's book on Days and planning a green wedding to David. I heard that Charlie has been fired, so I assume he's going to leave town with his tail between his legs.

Shane, Jack - I'd like this to end before something big happens like a suicide attempt by Shane. I can just see how it's going to reach that point and then we are going to have an Afterschool Special about how bullying is wrong. However, what if Jack would realize the problem before then? His sister's boyfriend was punched out by his father at Thanksgiving. His father was abused by his father. What if they both opened up to him about how bad it is, and Jack realized his problem before it became an Afterschool special and mined into the shows history.

Todd, Blair, Tomas & Tea - What are truly the odds that One Life is going to bring back the original Todd? I don't believe it. Roger Howarth had been quite insistant that Todd not have love scenes and that is a basis for Todd and Tea's relationship, so I don't see that happening. I don't see Tomas as a long term character - he's the new version of Elijah Clarke. Here now, to be arrested/killed during November sweeps.

Langston, Robert, Jessica, Brody, Star, James, new girl, Nate, Dani, Inez - I assume Langston is going to go out of town to college or to Paris with Arianna because the writers writers want Robert to be the hero. I don't want Jessica and Robert to be the new Nash and Jessica. Boring. I'd put back with Brody, but I, also, think that Brody could be interesting with Star. I do think James is cute, so I'd like him to stay on the show. Maybe the new girl will be interesting and they can get together. I'd like to see Brody be the hero cop, or develop some male buddies. I remember how much a disliked the Rappaports when they came on and took over the town. The Fords are quickly reaching that point. OTOH, maybe Robert could get a job on Access Llanview, and Inez could go simper at someone far away. Nate and Dani - please don't let them have sex, and please don't let them be the new Star and Cole. I do know think Dani may be onto Jack. That would be a good use of her to build a relationship with her brothers.

Destiny, Darren, Matthew - Matthew needs to realize some truths about his uncle and quickly. How long can he be clueless? Maybe have a love triangle between him Darren and Destiny. It would be interesting if it pulled Shaun and Theo in while they help Brody investigate, say Tomas.

Marty - have her transferred to an insane asylum away from Saint Ann's and let me never see her whine onscreen again while I'm being told how strong of a character she is. No, she's not she has never moved out of the past, and she's easily the character I would gladly sacrifice to a serial killer.

Rex, Gigi, Christian - Rex and Gigi need to find out about Shaun again before it turns into an Afterschool special. They need to plan a wedding, but perhaps in the meantime, Christian and Gigi should move closer together - possibly having an affair themselves. Christian needs a woman though I'd like to explore him and Blair after he helps Brody bring down Tomas - he comforts her and they grow closer.

David, Nigel - David is going to leave soon, but using him to help knock some sense into Matthew might be interesting. Nigel needs to learn that he's a long lost Buchanan or maybe that Kutter is his long lost son. Yeah, I like the second one better. It could bring him into an actual plot rather than just serving the brandy.

Kutter, Aubrey, Joey, Kelly, Kevin, Natalie, Clint - I do agree with bringing Kevin back. It might be interesting to see him come back as Aubrey reforms. We know she's going to really fall for Joey. I assume right before he finds out the truth. Joey gets back together with Kelly. Kevin comes back to Llanview to take over BE as Clint has to step down to solve his problems. He falls for Aubrey. Natalie comes back to BE as she doesn't want to keep working along side John after he realizes he will always hold a grudge about Liam. Natalie is drawn to Kutter as he reminds her some of Jared. He has to struggle between working Dorian over for money while being drawn to the strong single mother.

John - becomes the skeptical cop, goes over the top on something and has to take a leave of absence. Possibly opens a PI agency with Rex. Maybe has a one night stand with Blair before she ends up with Christian, and has to be the one with a broken heart for once.

Austin Peck/Roxi - It's not been announced who he will be playing, though the last preview showed him talking to Rex. I assume they don't want Joey to look like the dumbest guy on the show. Maybe he's related to Roxi and together they will have the brainpower to tie a pair of shoelaces. I know a lot of people like Roxi, but I have a low tolerance for people who are that stupid. Maybe it's because she's drunk a lot. Have her and Echo bond at AA, and then Roxi can not be an idiot because she's sober and previously she must have been drunk 24/7.

Renee - BTW, where is she? Maybe Renee and Nigel could fall in love and end up running the Palace together. That could be fun. Afterall, Victor and Maggie are the most popular couple on Days right now.

Bo, Nora, Vimal and spouse - Bo and Nora must nail Clint for something, though he escapes jail time by stepping down from BE. They deal with issues stemming from Matthew's conception, which we saw aren't really over. Bo decides to run against Dorian for mayor.

Do you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Count Down to the Iditarod: My experience with Dog Sled Racing

I put several childhood pictures on Facebook the other day.

My friend, Gwen, asked me about my experiences with dogsledding. With the Iditarod starting on Saturday, I thought this would be a good time to share mine.
My Dad worked nights when my parents were first married. My Mom decided she wanted a dog to keep her company and to frighten away any noises. She saw an ad for free Cocker Spaniels in the paper. My Dad went to work and a friend convinced him that he wanted a Siberian Husky. The question why might be asked since the first thing about Siberians is that they are not guard dogs, but I guess my parents were naive back then. They bought Sabra. The following year, my parents bought Koly, and Jim, a friend of my Dad's, bought Amy. In the top picture above, Sabra is the white dog, and Koly is the black and white. My Dad had enough for a three dog team! We bought Spitzi when I was three. She was my dog. I think my Dad ran a four dog team a few times, but Sabra did NOT appreciate being expected to pull someone and gave up her career.
I was born the following year. I remember more general impressions of dogsled races as a three and four year old. My Dad gave it up when I started school and trips to Cleveland or Michigan were practical. Generally when we went on vacation, and I'm showing my age here, I had a pad to lay down or play in the back of the Pinto stationwagon. This, children, was before kids were required to stay in some kind of safety seat in the back seat for the first decade of their lives, and I have to add I'm extremely grateful that I was born then. I like to stretch out and sleep while we drove. When we went to races, we had to pull the dog trailer. Because of that we took the Torino. The water jug was in the backseat as well. I couldn't stretch out as much.
We would get to the race. It would involve a lot of waiting around in the cold, and the dogs were tied to the trailer. Lesson #2 Huskies will run like crazy and have no idea where they are when they stop, so a fenced in yard and leash are mandatory. The second picture shows me "helping" harness. Koly had to be the last harnessed and the first harnessed, or he would unharness himself. Mom learned harness repair. The dogs and my Dad would take off. My Mom, I, and sometimes Sabra would would wait for their return. He was running only 3-7 miles, and I know huskies can run 15 mph. I don't remember how long it would take. It seemed a long time in the cold. I know he was at a disadvantage. He at 6'5", 200+ lbs was competing against 16 year olds a foot shorter and 100 lbs lighter on the dogs. He was never the first person to cross the finish line.
He would take the dogsled across the street to the elementary school and the 5th graders would race the dogs. I'm not sure how it started or how often he did it. We moved away from that school (though still in the district) after I finished first grade. We had All-About-Me week in kindergarten. On Friday, we could do something big! I brought in the sled and Spitzi. Spitzi didn't get along with dogs, but she was good with kids. We still have the sled in the barn. I'd love to hitch Blitzen and Koti up to it and take some pictures. We had a "rig", a type of sled on wheels that my Dad could use to train when there wasn't snow. I remember playing on it in the backyard.
I knew my "Gee" from my "Haw". I, also, knew enough to know that "Mush" is rarely to never used to get a team started. An upbeat work is used. Dad used "Hike" Imagine yelling "HI!-K" with a really hard "k". Now imagine yelling "Muuuusssshhh", yeah which gets your attention?
My Dad was then interested in the Iditarod Race. The 1,049 mile race across Alaska. We have VHS copies of the Wide World of Sports footage going back to the early 80s. Sometimes the Enquirer would publish the top ten standings during the two weeks of the race. I think my Dad liked me following the race as it truly is a sport where men and women compete equally. In most sports some sort of adjustment is given to the women. In dogsledding, the dogs are the atheletes so no advantage is given to the women. In fact if you read about it, the dogs in the race are equally males and females.
When I got to college, the Internet was just getting started. I found the Iditarod's webpage. OMG, they had near live updates. It was so addictive! There was a dog who wrote journal entries as well. I loved Zuma! One day a few years ago, I was surfing their page. I found one woman who runs purebred Siberians. I joined her mailing list. From there, I joined several others and made friends. We've never been to the race start, but a group from one list meets after the race ceremonial start every year for dinner. Last year, they collected a list of those who couldn't be there. Dad and I were among those toasted. The Iditarod offers an Insider package so that the ceremonial and official start,as well as all the finishes can be watched live along with daily updates. The race takes around 9 days for the winner to finish and around 14 days for the Red Lantern winner to finish. This is my version of March Madness to check who is currently in the lead.
The race starts on Saturday. I plan to hook my laptop up to the television and sit back and enjoy the show.