Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald

Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior. Because of the Gordon Lightfoot song, this has always been a haunting story to me. But I also have a lot of family in Duluth, I used to vacation on Lake Superior as a kid, and I have several friends that worked in the taconite mines in the Iron Range of Minnesota (which is the material that freighter carried). So the tragedy piques my interest on a lot of levels.

This year, instead of just revisiting and poring over the wikipedia entry, I found out the National Weather Service’s Marquette outpost was tweeting updates from the day of the wreck, in ‘real time.’ Starting several days ago, on November 8, they have been giving background information on the Fitzgerald, and are currently posting weather and radio communication updates at nearly the exact times they were given in 1975.

It is chilling to watch these updates come in. (The name of the ship has been hashtagged for Twitter.)

“NE of Caribou Island, Captain McSorley radioed the Anderson and indicated the #EdmundFitz1975 had developed a list and lost a couple vents.” 3:30 PM – 10 Nov 2014

“Captain McSorley reported to the Anderson that both of its radars were out and it would need them to help them navigate. #EdmundFitz1975″ 4:10 PM – 10 Nov 2014

“#EdmundFitz1975 communicated with the northbound Swedish freighter Avafors and indicated that it was taking heavy seas across the deck.” 5:15 PM – 10 Nov 2014

And on it goes, no changing course, again and again the same ending. The last communication with the SS Arthur M. Anderson was at 7:10 PM: “We are holding our own.” All 29 on board died when the ship sunk a few minutes later.

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Nebraska: A Review

In my aforementioned reading break, I finally watched the movie Nebraska, seven months after Netflix delivered it.

It’s shot in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska – in black and white. I adored seeing my native landscape and landmarks in a movie. They captured the feel of the plains, and the dying little towns* in them, perfectly. I could also totally relate to the stoic men and the way the families interacted with each other. I laughed throughout the movie, but have been informed by an east coaster that it was not, in fact, as funny as I thought it was. I think he just didn’t understand our humor!

I recommend it. Definitely worth a watch.

*Not all the towns there are dying, but this accurately depicted the ones that are.

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Worst drought of my life

This Artist’s Way program asked us to take a week off from reading – like, anything – in order to focus our energy on our own creative pursuits.

Well, it was torture. TORTURE. I read constantly. Everything I do revolves around reading something. I bring two books every time I leave the house. I have a million magazine subscriptions. It is, by far, my most favorite thing in the entire world. Everything about it. I also always fancied myself some kind of quasi-intellectual, a notch above the huddled masses, because I read instead of watch TV.

This book assured me that they were both a method of tuning out, and I was no better than anyone else when it came to using diversions to not face reality. To pay homage to someone else’s art without creating any of my own. This was quite a blow.

I did some writing instead, and watched a couple of pretty good movies, but I did NOT like my forced reading exile. I’m not sure it did any good anyway. And, frankly, I still feel superior to television watchers.

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The Worst Sin

Must surely to be boring. I WILL walk away from you, I have no manners anyway.

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I have become painfully contrary

A friend of mine recently said, in the course of conversation, “to me, it seems like you don’t like or care about anything. You think everything is stupid and everyone’s a lemming.”

Is that true? Have I really become so cynical and jaded that that’s how I come off?

But seriously, what DO I care about? Nothing riles me up anymore because ALL news being fed to you is someone else’s agenda. And just because someone says I should get bent about some issue doesn’t mean it’s valid. I’m not going to let some hysterical social media trend, or supposed new medical discovery, or talking head tell me what’s important and what I should get up in arms about. Most of it is completely irrational. So yeah, I guess I don’t care about anything. Except not caring.

I really need a cabin alone in Montana. I really, really do.

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Could be fun for Christmas?

My cousin’s husband’s brother’s wife just posted a recipe for Christmas ornament dough on her Facebook page. It looks really cute and easy, so I thought I’d repost it, and maybe do it myself for a holiday craft this year.

From The Imagination Tree website:

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup corn starch

3/4 cup of warm water

silver glitter

Mix the dry ingredients (except glitter) in the pan then stir through the warm water. Mix over a medium heat, stirring as it starts to bubble and come away from the sides of the pan. When it has started to dry and resemble a soft play dough consistency, take it off the heat and leave it to cool for a few minutes. Turn it out onto the counter and knead it for a couple of minutes to make it super soft and pliable.

Then roll them and cut them out with cookie cutters. Use a drinking straw to poke a hole for the ribbon. You can sprinkle the glitter on them, or stick little gems and stuff in them while they’re still wet, and then bake them for an hour in a 200 degree oven.

I will try them out soon and post pictures.

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Halloween Dogs

I dressed up the cuteskis and walked them around the neighborhood on Halloween. My neighborhood is so cute, they close off the street all night and everyone decorates their yard and house and there are tons of people milling around. The dogs were a hit, although people wondered why one was a reindeer… He only has one costume and it has to work for every holiday!

Dogs in costumes
They loved it!

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Stop Hashtagging Your Events

If I see one more wedding hashtagged with some ridiculous combination of the bride and groom’s last name, I’m going to vom. Your nuptials are not trending. Unless you’re George Clooney, and you didn’t see him hastagging anything. #no

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On Blogging

My dad was pestering me for not calling as much as I used to and how he has no idea what’s going on in my life. I said, “Dad! I started blogging again more regularly, just check there!” He said, “Newsflash, it’s not 1998, nobody fricken blogs anymore.” I am so behind the times. :( But I have so much more to say than could ever fit on twitter or instagram! Pictures are NOT worth a thousand words, I need to SAY all of those words!

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She lyin

On my walk this morning, I saw a surly teenager storm out of her house. After a couple of steps, she yells back at the door, “WHAT? No. Why, because you found something that wasn’t mine in my bag that you shouldn’t have been going through anyway? Whatever.” And she stomped off.

First of all, whatever Mom found was definitely Daughter’s. That beloved, well-used line, “I was holding onto it for a friend” makes me laugh every time. No. It’s hers.

However, I would be so upset, now and as a teenager, if someone went through my bag. I wonder what the appropriate thing to do there is. I’m not sure about human development, but I know there has to be a trust relationship between parents and teenagers. But parents also need to be aware when their kids are doing self-destructive stuff. Being involved is super important, they say. I’d have to look that one up. But I probably won’t, cos what do I care? I don’t have kids.

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