Monday, November 14, 2011


I spend a lot of time with books.  It's my day job.

A few years ago there was a lot of fuss about a book called Twilight.  It looked teeny-bopperish and dumb.  Vampires?  Please.

I was heading home from someplace far away and realized I didn't have a book.  I caved at the airport bookstore and purchased a copy of Twilight. 

I can hear you scoffing.  But let me tell you something;  I couldn't put the dang thing down.  It's kind of embarrassing to admit, but I inhaled it.  The author was no Jane Austin, but there was just something compelling about the story line.  I'll give you a quick synopsis...

Girl meets boy.  They are inexplicably attracted to each other, but he fights it knowing it's not what's best for her. Girl discovers boy is a vampire...a good vampire who only dines on animal blood.  Bad vampire tries to kill girl.  Good vampire risks everything to save her because she is his one true love.

Hey, it worked for me.

Next thing I knew, Twilight became a movie.  I convinced my girlfriend we needed to see it...I pretty much had to drag her there kicking and screaming.  At first the movie seemed dumb and I felt a little sheepish.  But then the story progressed and, well, eventually I leaned over to my friend and asked, "Is it hot in here?" 

By the time it was over, we were both scrunched down in our seats like a couple of junior highers.  We looked at each other and said, "Wow. That was really good!"

No, it wasn't because there were a bunch of inappropriate love scenes.  It was because there wasn't.  

I know there are millions of opinions out there about Twilight, and my intent is not to disrespect those with opposing views about the books or movies.  But I do want to say I get why they are so popular.

I totally get it.

I'm not sure there is a girl out there who hasn't dreamed of finding the one man, the only man who has waited for only her, who will love only her his entire life, who will protect her...and her virtue...with his life.

The chivalry is the main draw, folks.  Duh, it's fiction and it's not real.  But there are a bunch of girls out there who want to believe chivalry isn't dead. 

I'm one of them. 

And if my one true love shows up with ice cold skin and pointy teeth?

I'm thinking that would work for me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I didn't know much about cold weather when I moved to Alaska thirty years ago.

That's kind of an understatement.

One of my favorite family activities when I was growing up was driving "to the snow". We would leave our warm San Diego neighborhood and drive a couple of hours into the mountains.  When we came across a hill, we'd stop and slide down it.  We only went when it was sunny outside.  I don't remember ever owning any official snow gear; we wore jeans and gloves and tennis shoes.  And when we got cold, we went home.

It doesn't work like that here in Alaska.  You don't play in the snow, and then go home and mow the yard.

I've learned a lot about living in the cold.  In celebration of the -2 degree temp I woke up to this morning, I've decided to share some cold wheather wisdom with you.  If you live in Alaska, you could probably add something to my list.  If you don't, I think you might learn a little something-something.

1.  Cars need to be plugged in when it's cold outside.  Those plug-ins hanging out of our hoods aren't just for looks.  They help our cars start.

2.  The best gloves are the ones you can find.  They don't need to match to keep your hands warm.

3.  If you walk outside and your snot freezes, it's below -10.

4.  Don't spit your gum out and throw it in the front yard.  If you do, it'll be there waiting for you in the spring.

5.  Flip flops really aren't the best choice of foot wear.

6.  It's a good idea to make sure your hair is dry before you go outside.

7.  It's best to unplug your car from the extension cord connected to your house before you drive away.

8.  No need to make room in the freezer for the Thanksgiving turkey.  Just set it on the back porch.

9.  Roads are much safer in -30 than they are in +30.

10.  A stud is not a 2x4 or a hot guy.  It's a little metal thing that sticks out of a snow tire.

I wasn't really prepared for winter this year, it kind of caught me by surprise.  I'm glad it was dark outside when I hiked through two feet of snow in my flannel pajamas and polar fleece robe to retrieve the snow shovel.  I wouldn't want the neighbors to see.

I'm glad it's dark now; I have to go outside in my pajamas to untangle my extension cord and plug my car in.

Obviously there's something I still have yet to learn about the cold.

It's best to prepare for it when it's warm.