February 2006

Well thankfully my yellow Labrador, Jera, isn’t going to get the boot! Nope I’m allergic to smaller nastier things that you can barely see like… Mites! Yuck Have you ever seen how ugly those critters are?And totally microscopic… Best suggestion was to start by buying these tightly woven pillow case covers to go over my down pillows so next stop is Linens and Things. Hopefully it will give me some relief without having to pull out the big guns..like regular allergy shots or bathroom cupboards full of Claritin. I may need to get a cover for our duvet too but the technician recommended I wait till I’ve tried the pillowcase covers for a bit before shelling out even bigger bucks for it.

Mites were the winner with a score of 11, then a couple of moulds but nothing too severe,8’s I think,a pine mix at 7…which I’ll need to greater clarification with that one. Anything 7 or higher is considered troublesome. I believe that is the size of the welt that forms on my arm after being injected with the allergen….in millimetres.

I wasn’t tested for any foods and will have to decide if that is necessary further down the road.

Tomorrow Joe and I are heading to Anaheim California where Hannah,Chris, Blake and Ethan are meeting us Saturday morning to take Disneyland by storm for the following three days. I’m pretty excited. I’ve never been and I am totally pumped to see Ethan and Blake’s expressions as we tour around the two parks,Disneyland and California Adventure. We opted to stay just outside the maingate and I hope that is a good decision. It’s going to be a learning experience for sure.

We’ve made reservations to have dinner at the Blue Bayou restaurant which is inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I can’t believe I’ve fallen for the whole nine yards…American Consumerism at it’s best…. but how often do you get to have this kind of fun with your three year old grandson. I suspect Blake at nine might be a bit more subdued but hopefully not! I’m excited to be going with the two of them,just to experience it through their eyes will make it all worth while.

So see you next week!


So I saw the doctor on Valentine’s day and she is quite pleased with my progress thus far. The only thing she noted was an appearance of allergies which curiously enough presents itself as a pale interior nostril with clear discharge as opposed to red skinned with a nasty discharge.
So I going in for allergy testing this week to determine what/who/where/when. It’s the kind of testing where they skin prick you to see what hives may or may not develop,plus I suppose the level of sensitivity to the antigen. One comment the doctor made that caused my neck to snap to attention was the mention of a possible reaction of anaphylactic shock when exposed to each substance.

Allergy testing…it sounds so benign but in reality…we’ll see.


I probably should have done it years ago. I must say I feel a whole lot better since the surgery and am glad I did it.

Well I’m finally back at it. The skiing was so good the Thursday I went. Sunshine and fresh snow in spots. I never got to catch up with my friend Mark because he had to teach a class,but it was fun to be back on the boards again after a nearly two year hiatus. I loved the freedom of exploring the mountain without any real preconceived notions of where I should be or what was the best run. I managed to roam from one end of the resort to another in half a day which was pretty good,considering Deer Valley’s size.
Friday I went over to the Eccles which,for those who have never been there, is the largest screening space in Park City. It’s attached to the high school and is used for all sorts of theatrical presentations and assemblies. It holds over twelve hundred people and screens all the big premieres with the huge entourages. I usually try to see atleast one film there through the festival. Out of the ten possible theatres screening films this year in PC I made it to eight of them. Of course three of those theatres are at our venue while another two of them were press and industry venues. So in reality I was only at three other physical buildings.
I saw two films that day at the Eccles, “Wristcutters:A Love Story”, and “Little Miss Sunshine”, the three o’clock TBA.
Wristcutters was a quirky look at the world of suicide where everything is grey and no one smiles. The protagonist finds himself hooked up with a wacky Russian whose whole family has ended up in this odd universe,and a young woman who is convinced she is there by mistake and needs only to find the guys in ‘white coats’ to get things straightened out. They set out on a road trip in a beat up station wagon with a black hole under it’s front passenger seat,discovering a few things about themselves along the way,not to mention a miracle or two instigated by Tom Waits’ character,Kneller.
Little Miss Sunshine follows the antics of a dysfunctional family under pressure to get its youngest member,Olive, to a LMS beauty pagent in Los Angeles in time for the registration and competition that Sunday afternoon. Climbing into their battered VW van,Saturday morning, they travel from New Mexico through Arizona to California. There’s grandpa who was kicked out of the retirement home because of his penchant for heroin,Olive’s 16 year old brother, Dwayne who has taken a vow of silence until he can become a fighter pilot,her uncle Frank, a leading Proust scholar,just out of the hospital after an attempted suicide with no place to go but his sister’s,Olive’s dad a motivational speaker with a nine step program that noone wants to really hear about,and her mom stalwart and calm(sort of) supporting Olive all the way.There are predictable moments but overall it was a sweet study of a family thrown together unwillingly,then pulling together for one of their own.

Saturday the 27th I actually managed to drag myself out of bed after about four hours sleep to take in two more documentaries,and despite my exhaustion I was really glad that I had.

The first one called “American Blackout” was about the historical disenfranchisement of the black vote,zeroing in on in particular the 2000 and 2004 elections in both Florida and Ohio. Woven into the film is the story about Cynthia McKinney, an African American Democratic Congress woman from Georgia. She is someone who asked difficult questions about the election irregularities in Florida, 9/11, and the handling of it by the Administration,wondering out loud how much was known before the strike, not to mention what connections it had to Iraq before the war started. She paid dearly for those questions…losing her primary in 2002…then regaining her seat through hard work and grass roots organizing in 2004.

Her aim has always been to get at the truth, something the Bush Administration has been loathe to provide.

I think every eligible voter black,white,latino,whomever,but especially the young voting public, should see this film, mostly to be reminded of the importance of our right to vote and how easily it can become derailed by a few well placed people willing to subvert the democratic process.

The second film I saw that day was called an “An Inconvenient Truth”. An equally powerful and disturbing film about global warming and the inconvenient truth that science presents regarding its existence.

The film follows Al Gore in his round the world powerpoint presentation of the global warming crisis. One of the reasons I really liked this film was despite his obvious Democratic connections it was a non partisan film. It was strictly presenting the facts as he and most of today’s scientists see them. He lays them out in a calm ,cool, collected,manner but with an understanding that there is an underlying urgency to change the way people think about global warming. He is  ultimately persuasive,outlining the indisputable correlation between CO2 emissions with exponentially rising temperatures, which in turn are wrecking climatic havoc around the world.

It’s ” activist cinema at its best,for it serves to popularize and demythologize a problem long obscured by those most threatened by the solution….inaction is no longer an option – in fact, it is immoral.”(Caroline Libresco)

Truely this is a film that needs to be seen or better yet, get your high school, church, university,community centre, local chamber of commerce,city council,state or provincial government,etc. to sponser Gore and his presentation in your neck of the woods. From what the director said after the film Gore is constantly updating and adding the latest facts and figures to his presentation. That means you are getting the most relevant and recent information available not something that is stagnant or stale. Go for it..I mean it…
Another thing… if we could all become carbon neutral,ie., expend the same amount of carbon we produce we could have a huge impact on the environment….for the better.

Saturday night after our shift a few of us ended up back at our condo where we imbibed and laughed and took photos and were generally silly until very late or should I say early in the morning….Oh my aching head the next day when housekeeping came bright and early to boot us out.

I met up with my sister and a friend and after getting organized and out of the condo we headed over to Powder Mountain about an hour north west of Park City, very near Snow Basin where some of the skiing for the 2002 Olympics were held.

We rendezvoused with more Colorado gal pals and had three fabulous days of powder skiing..untracked runs until the lifts closed at four pm. Our signal that the day was over was when the signs would go up in the liftie’s booths…. “Ski back to the lodge”…which we dutifully did…I happily, as I am a mere flatlander! But boy oh boy I was feeling pretty chuffed by the end of the three days…good food,good wine, awesome female company….Joe called us the middle aged women’s Olympic ski team. Thirteen hot mamma’s going for the steep and deep.

Skiing under a lift on day two someone going up the lift recognized us and yelled out wondering where all thirteen of us were? How did our reputation get so far so fast? Especially since none of us knew who he was…. Needless to say we were amused:)

We had over two feet of snow dump on us over the three days which meant the heli- skiing enthusiasist’s were thwarted but we managed to have good days anyway…cough cough.

Going up Lightening Ridge behind a Snowcat was an experience and a half. Two or three ropes about fifty or sixty feet long with loops spaced at five foot intervals  dragged behind the cat. We were instructed to slide our poles through the loops and then sit on them(more like lean against) like a T Bar while the cat pulled us up the ridge. It was very cool. Snowboarders would just hang onto the loops flipping their boards back and forth if they got tired.

It took quite a while to dig out my car before heading home Thursday morning. Thankfully the conditions were much clearer this trip and it was an easy drive to Boise where I met Joe. We spent the night in Baker City,then drove through Pendleton where he and Kathy lived for several years before they moved to Portland. I met some of his old neighbours and visited an old favourite haunt where I met another old friend. Luckily for me he drove most of the way home…while I got to snooze.