A lot A LOT has been going on. Franklin got horribly sick and we went to the vet ER 3 times and it was awful. He took so many pills and had so many tests and was in so much pain. Finally they put him on steroids and he got immediately better (on Day 9. 9 days of very little sleep and a lot of anguish). Now we are tapering him off the steroids to see if his symptoms come back. If they do, he has autoimmune disease. If they don’t, he is fine. It has been awful. Least relaxing Christmas break of all time! Plus a lot has been going on in my career that I will tell you about when it’s all over. I have been running on high speed and have been wound very tight for several weeks but it will mellow out soon one way or the other.
During the time of Frank’s illness the old man and I took turns leaving the house (snoop had to be monitored constantly and also we needed to take his temperature every couple of hours, as he had a fever for 6 straight days that was always right on the cusp of being high enough to be an emergency) so we could try to get work done and relax. One on of my turns I went to Steve’s house where we revisited my childhood by watching ski videos. Remember how I grew up in a small ski resort and spent my entire youth skiing seriously and competitively four days a week, all winter long? Honestly so much time has passed that at this point I do forget, and when I am reminded of it I am baffled. “How could this have been a part of my life?” I wondered while watching videos of people competitively going off huge jumps and doing flips and stuff. I never did flips (in my town it was illegal to go inverted during aerials) but I went off those jumps and I did “ballet skiing,” which I don’t think is a thing anymore and which is sincerely lame, like figure skating if the skates are 3 feet long and unwieldy.
One of my ballet routines at a competition was choreographed to just the piano solo in the Derek and the Dominoes version of “Layla,” which I just recorded over and over again on a cassette. I am sure video exists somewhere of this happening and I would give all my money to find it. Or I could just lose a week of my life hunting through my parents’ horrible attic.
I broke my jaw ballet skiing. The combination of me being small and not having normal-sized skis on to weigh me down, plus it being 1990 and no one wearing helmets yet, plus colliding with a gigantic full-grown man at full speed, led to a shattered face and terrible amnesia and blood jetting out every which way and me screaming WHERE AM I, WHO AM I while my ski coaches, no doubt stoned and intensely freaked out, went to fetch ski patrol. Also it was Valentine’s Day. Two weeks later I was back at ski practice with my jaw wired shut and when I said it was too cold and I wanted to go home, my coach called me “a pussy.” Not hatefully! Just pointing it out. And really, he wasn’t wrong. This is the milieu in which I grew up, if you can even imagine. My brother broke his femur doing a flip off a random snow pile and landing on sheer ice directly on his hip, though, so I had it easy, plus he LIKES skiing.
It is weird to grow up in a very small town (pop. roughly 800-1000 when I lived there) in which there isn’t a single resident who doesn’t care SOLELY about skiing. There were no other interests or pursuits worth having. All summer long you had to do “dry land training” to get ready for when it snowed again. This, as I recall, mostly involved running up and down mountain trails while carrying logs. In spite of the fact that I skiied constantly for my entire childhood I never got any good at it and I never came to like it. Every single Saturday and Sunday for 10 years I would try to get out of going to practice and my parents would make me go, because every single year when it came time to pay my team dues they’d ask me “are you sure you want to be on the team again? It seems like you don’t like it” and I’d be like “DUH mom of COURSE I want to be on the ski team GOD”
I think I am a great skier compared to people who didn’t grow up skiing, but I was the laughingstock of my town. It was so embarrassing. I remember one moguls competition where I did the most epic yard sale the world has ever seen, with literally every piece of my external clothing strewn across a 300 yard swath of the competition run and I had to hike back up the hill slowly gathering up a ski here, a pole here, goggles here, a hat here, while the entire huge crowd of onlookers waited in silence for me to finish so that the next person could do their run.
The people I grew up with went on to be on World Cup teams and Olympic teams. The second I went away to school I told my mom to sell all my skis and to never tell me I had to go skiing again. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth–free skiing at one of the world’s greatest mountains (residents in K-12 public school there got FREE SEASON PASSES every year) and I was just like “aw nuts, I never get to do anything fun.”
Here’s a kid from my hometown doing something that would be considered normal there:
And I reviewed that new Mitt Romney doc on I Saw That, so have fun with that unless you are a Mitt Romney fan I guess in which case you will send me poorly-spelled death threats.