Playing with 15 lines

One of my favorite rainy day activities in grade school was a simple art project.

The teacher would take white sheets of construction paper and make one scribble with a black magic marker on each, then hand the papers over to us to create something using her wavy line as a starting place. One look at that mark, and off I'd go with my imagination! Whales and Dr. Seuss-type character and flowers galore.

I've needed something like that lately; the well is running a bit dry at the moment. 

So, thank goodness for Distracted by Shiny Objects who tagged me with a meme that has 15 "lines" I can play with! Thank you, my dear. You spared me from the dreaded blank-screen syndrome!

Here's how it works:

respond and rework
answer questions on your blog
replace one question
tag eight other people.

I'm tagging the following delightful bloggers:

1. What is your current obsession?
One? Seriously? Surely you jest. Besides figuring out how to not stay up so late blogging, I'm obsessed with trying to figure out if I can get myself to the 2010 Iditarod or Yukon Quest to volunteer as a handler. I want to be somewhere in the middle--and get a little mushing in, too. Anyone want to carpool?

Iditarod image by Mike (Picassa)

Yukon Quest image by Yukon White Light

2. Which item of clothing do you wear most?
During the spring and summer: my red Keens sandals. They've hiked through Arizona and kept my toes out of the muck (and away from frogs) when I went kayaking in northern Minnesota last summer. So, how did I ever walk in non-Keens shoes before?

During the winter: my warm, comfy, tromp-through-anything Steger mukluks. (I have the white ones.)

3. What's the funniest knock-knock joke you know?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Sam and Janet.
Sam and Janet who?

4. Last thing you  bought?
A brownie on a stick (It's a Minnesota thing)

5. What are you listening to?
Grrrrr . . . ringing in my left ear. Started up when I slipped on an icy sidewalk this winter and bonked my head. 

6. If you were a God or Goddess, who would you be?
Cupid. (How fun to make people fall in love!)

Image from chicks57

7. Favourite holiday spots?
  • Wintermoon Summersun -- 40 Alaskan huskies, 300 gorgeous acres of boreal forest and dogsledding trails, Finnish sauna, and so remote you can't even get a cell phone signal there! )

Image of Gabby inside a Wintermoon Summersun cabin by Kathleen Anderson

Islander East  - Galveston -- sand dunes, memories, a new treasure every day

Image from Islander East Condominiums

8. Reading right now?
Fledgling by Octavia Butler. I'm on page 74 and still interested! YES!

9. Okay . . . what were you thinking just then?
Vampires, nice ones with morals and such.

10. Who's your hero/heroine
I can only narrow down to 2.

Victor Frankl: I could read the first half Man's Search for Meaning every year for the rest of my life and still be inspired. I got to hear him speak once -- amazing. I happened to have a copy of his book from the library and was able to his autograph. The "lost" fee on that puppy was $25 and worth every penny!

Thich Nhat Hahn: His very voice lulls me into tranquility and his gentle book, the Miracle of Mindfulness, helped me learn so much about the beauty of meditation.

11. First spring thing?
Looking for weeping willows branches to turn first gold, then chartreuse

Image by birdfarm

12. Funniest thing you saw in your life?
Silly faces Mr. B makes when talking about his adventure as a substitute teacher. He has what I call a flex-face. And there are some movie scenes I can't show, particularly from My Cousin Vinny and a Fish Called Wanda. But for good, clean fun, I've always loved Simon's cat animations. This one got to me tonight!

13. Favourite film?
Oh, that's just impossible. I've been going to movies for a VERY long time. So, in the order that I recall having seen them (which probably isn't accurate but if I research the actual dates, I may never get this posted!), here are a few:

  • Gone with the Wind
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The African Queen
  • The Pink Panther
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Charade
  • 2001
  • Star Wars (the original!)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Bladerunner
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Gladiator
  • Nowhere in Africa
  • Up (just saw it last night--fabulous!)
14. Share some wisdom?
If you ask, "how could things get any worse?" chances are you'll get the answer!

15. If you could be a tree, what tree would you be and why?
Two-way tie.

Up north: A white oak because they're so beautiful, dramatic, frothy, and tall
Tile by Sporck Tileart

Down south: A saguaro (which isn't technically a tree, though they call a bunch of them a forest) because I'd live so long, be home to so many interesting critters, and sport a funny-looking crown of flowers in the spring.
Image by poweron

16. Fictitious character who made a lasting impression on you?
Two-way tie, again!

Captain James T. Kirk -- I had one crazy adolescent crush on the guy and even arranged my college schedule such that I could catch 4 pm reruns with my trekkie friends. (And, yes, I am pleased with the new younger version of him.)

Image from Wikipedia

Anne Edwards -- (from The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell) because she's everything I've always dreamed of being: a physician, wickedly funny, compassionate, a gracious hostess, friends with a Jesuit priest, tall, lean, and a space traveler.  

Image from Wikipedia

So there you have it! And if anyone wants to give this meme a go, have at it! 


Rudee said…
1. I loved Captain Kirk too.
2. My keens are black, but only because the dog chewed my really cute orange pair.
Elizabeth said…
Kathleen - It's always fun to be tagged, but in this case, I beat you to the meme!
This must be one of the earlier reworkings.
Great answers and thanks for playing along:>) Now I have new things to look for and try out.

I just finished Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell and was wondering about her other books. I'll look for The Sparrow.

We have a new Trekkie convert in HoneyHaired Grrrrl after she saw the latest movie. She's watching the old shows now which are out somewhere on the internet. Saw one with the new captain--Picard(??)...Not impressed. She's a James T. Kirk kinda gal, though I believe Spock warms the cockles of her heart more:>)

Oh, and Charade and The Pink Panther. Love them.
Even better, love to imitate Clousseau and repeat lines from the movie while I'm at work and no one there knows what the hell I'm talking about. I am so sorry but I think, "Does your dooouuuuggg bite?" should be kept in the cultural conversation:>)
Animal lovers hope Rotary isn't promoting the Iditarod. For the dogs, the race is a bottomless pit of suffering. Six dogs died in the 2009 Iditarod. Two dogs on Dr. Lou Packer's team froze to death in the brutally cold winds. What happens to the dogs during the race includes death, paralysis, frostbite (where it hurts the most!), bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. At least 142 dogs have died in the race. No one knows how many dogs die after this tortuous ordeal or during training. For more facts about the Iditarod, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website, .

On average, 52 percent of the dogs who start the race do not make it across the finish line. According to a report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those who do finish, 81 percent have lung damage. A report published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine said that 61 percent of the dogs who complete the Iditarod have ulcers versus zero percent pre-race.

Iditarod dog kennels are puppy mills. Mushers breed large numbers of dogs and routinely kill unwanted ones, including puppies. Many dogs who are permanently disabled in the Iditarod, or who are unwanted for any reason, including those who have outlived their usefulness, are killed with a shot to the head, dragged, drowned or clubbed to death. "Dogs are clubbed with baseball bats and if they don't pull are dragged to death in harnesses......" wrote former Iditarod dog handler Mike Cranford in an article for Alaska's Bush Blade Newspaper.

Dog beatings and whippings are common. During the 2007 Iditarod, eyewitnesses reported that musher Ramy Brooks kicked, punched and beat his dogs with a ski pole and a chain. Jim Welch says in his book Speed Mushing Manual, "Nagging a dog team is cruel and ineffective...A training device such as a whip is not cruel at all but is effective." "It is a common training device in use among dog mushers..."

Jon Saraceno wrote in his March 3, 2000 column in USA Today, "He [Colonel Tom Classen] confirmed dog beatings and far worse. Like starving dogs to maintain their most advantageous racing weight. Skinning them to make mittens.. Or dragging them to their death."

During the race, veterinarians do not give the dogs physical exams at every checkpoint. Mushers speed through many checkpoints, so the dogs get the briefest visual checks, if that. Instead of pulling sick dogs from the race, veterinarians frequently give them massive doses of antibiotics to keep them running.

Most Iditarod dogs are forced to live at the end of a chain when they aren't hauling people around. It has been reported that dogs who don't make the main team are never taken off-chain. Chained dogs have been attacked by wolves, bears and other animals. Old and arthritic dogs suffer terrible pain in the blistering cold.

Margery Glickman
Sled Dog Action Coalition,
Kathleen said…
Rudee: yay, another keen kirk fan! ~;^)

DBSO: Man, that meme took some brain power! But fun it was. I am SO glad to hear about your trekkie convert. You raised a fine young'un there! I wish I'd had as much sense to fall for Spock.

Couldn't agree with you more about Clouseau and does your dooouugh bite? We got our kids going early on the moldie oldie movies and it's paid off handsomely in the quotage factor. Odd, now that I think about it I do believe I speak in movie lines at times!

If you read the Sparrow, let me know what you think of Anne. She's not the central character by any means, but she's a fabulous one. What did you think of Dreamers of the Day. Worth a read?
Kathleen said…
Elizabeth: I'll shall head over to your blog asap and read your answers.!
Joycee said…
My computer has been on the "BLINK" but as soon as I can I'll join in and blog my answers!
joy c. at grannymountain
Victoria said…
Kathleen - I just stumbled on your blog while searching for Wintermoon's website. I used to volunteer with Kathleen Anderson when I lived in Duluth about 4-5 years ago. I can't believe you have my favorite sled dog, Gabby, in your photo! Other points in common - Keens - they rock! All terrain, All the time! And mukluks - my pair is over 10 years old now, with no signs of wearing out. And Wild Women - like Kathleen and Chris Heetter. Thanks for the smiles - Victoria
Kathleen said…
Joy: Can't wait to read your answers!

Victoria: That's absolutely amazing! I love volunteering at Kathleen's-- and now we have 3 weeks of Peltos. Have you been on a Chris Heeter trip? Feel free to email Have you talked to Kathleen lately? She's acquiring more land and it's gorgeous!

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