Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I thought it was Yo-Se-Might

Even at a young age, I was pretty clever with language, aside from the stutter. I've got it down to one word now, and only when I think there's something important to say: "So," as in: Su-su-su-su-su-so.

Su-su-su-su-su-so, our government is about to shut down state parks and fire half the park rangers.

As a kid, my family was a bundle of nerves most of the year. That only changed when we hit the great outdoors for two weeks of camping. Something about trekking through the pine forests and peeing in the wild brought us to our senses.

My parents were never ones to throw money away on planes or hotels. We traveled to the Sierras, Smokies, or Rockies by car, often driving 24 hours. We’d eat liverwurst sandwiches packed in the cooler, and, on a long trip, stay in motels with broken magic-finger beds. It was travel on a shoe-string. I remember one long drive through the desert. I must have whined a lot, something regarding lack of water. My sister said, "Let's all spit in a cup and make her drink it." That was so great -- one of the few times she got in trouble and I didn't. See, I suffered from chronic car-sickness, and my parent feared the image would make me barf.

We would pitch a tent in 110 degrees, or pouring rain. And love it. Eat – what the hell did we eat? – maybe half-baked pancakes on the Coleman stove, or beef jerky. And love it. If we were lucky, milky coffee or watered down wine. And love, well, you know. Then the family would hike together; my dad with his rucksack from the Norwegian days (he never replaced anything for the sake of fashion), my mom with her hands on her hips, my brother and sister trailing somewhere behind. I was always at my father’s side; I’d do two, maybe three steps to his one.

And then, there was always a time when my mom would stay back at the campsite, cleaning things up, reading, maybe. And so would brother and sister. And Dad and I would take a 10-mile hike to some destination he had planned. We would sit on the edge of a cliff and eat our sandwiches. I never let him know I was afraid of heights, because I was so proud to be there.

Su-su-su-su-su-so, our government is about to shut down state parks and fire half the park rangers.


  1. I'd love to hone the stutter down to just one word...which is why I have a large vocabulary...pick a different word is usually my solution, or just don't talk at all.

    yeah, I love the solution---close the parks and "save money". Great idea. I've been FB'ing several state congresspersons...am not amused at this mess.

    We were in yosey-mighty two months ago...G-d's country. I say close down other stuff, keep the parks open, fire some of the congress folk.

  2. Trish! That's what helped me develop a vocabulary. To this day, I believe I disguised the whole problem (but probably didn't).

    Of greater importance, there is everything wrong, wrong, wrong, with choosing this way to save money. It will prove devastating in so many other ways.

  3. I su-su-su-su-su-su-sooo...pose, that's better than shutting down half of the medical & emergency services.

    I have a better idea! Is there anything wrong with cutting the pay of, "our govt representatives", in half! Seems like a bright idea since they don't achieve much. But, I so-so-so-so-so-su-sue-pose the weak powers that be wouldn't go for that.

    Looks like CA will have no choice but to depend on some bailout dough from DC.

    kB, u should run 4 political office! You'll get the blogger-mom (and dog) vote!

    btw, those dumplings were heavenly. Thank God it was dog friendly.

  4. I used to work for the Australian Stuttering Research Centre which is part of The University of Sydney.

  5. Our government is freeking crazy. Just as the news media is on Micheal Jackson (but that's another topic).

    I love the image of you "in step" 1 to 3 with your dad. Some of my favorite memories from childhood are of walking about (but NEVER 10 miles!) and napping with my dad.

  6. Are you long legged? As a child I can image skinny knobbley knees and fragile sticks trying to keep up with a big Nordic bloke. But now ... ?

    I think I told you when we first met that I was not in the least competitive ... whereas you were, from memory. I did not go for exercise walks, but for exploring walks ... jumping over logs and down rocks type of walks. Running down gullies and whooping at the top of my voice type walks ...

  7. This is lovely, Karin.
    Far greater stature to be Daddy's girl than a Mama's boy.
    Little Pete next door has quite a stutter, except when we listen patiently and help him to forget it.

  8. After I read your e-mail I discovered another exact same letter from our dearly beloved Rubbernor. It made me feel so special.

    yes, magic fingers! 25 cents a pop. I still to this day look for the cheapest and most gaudy place I can find when on the road. The Salton Sea was the very worst. Run by a half wit, I think it served part time as a drop off point for illegal workers. Everytime I walked out the door people scattered. (I also bring my own sheets).

  9. Julie, we'll have to go on a walk someday because that sounds wonderful. Especially the whooping at the top of the voice part.

    Bandit, such a good point. How come daddy's girl has all the cache?

    PA, Arnold doesn't care. He'll just fly to Austria if he wants a little mountain climbing. I just can't believe this is even being considered, much less likely passed.

  10. In the talk of budget cuts it's always schools, medical funding, parks and of course making underling state employees work for nothing...are these the only programs state money pays for? Why are these our only choices?

    I would definitely like to fire a few legislator. No--a lot of legislators. Or make *them* work a few free days until this thing is solved. I'd also like to see a list of what our taxes pay for, because I don't think we've cut their graft and corruption money quite enough.

  11. Petrea, dear, up here in your frozen sister state, Moneysota,
    Land of 10,000 Laws, the threat is always trotted out that, "We'll have to cut the police force and education!" Then they raise property taxes and everything else.

    Sure, John Lennon's imagined musing on a socialist nirvana is
    endearing, but when we're all on the dole,(I'm applying tomorrow)who's gonna pay for all this shit?

  12. I thought it was pronounced Yose-might (just two syllables).

    Intriguing about the cache of being a "daddy's girl." It's the only combination that has bragging rights. Too bad that being a "momma's boy" has so many bad connotations.

    And, yes, I was definitely "daddy's girl."

  13. I love the photo and the post, and I love our state parks. I hope the budget crisis does not result in park closure.--and I'm glad I'm not the one figuring out what to cut.

  14. I get ya, bandit. And I don't mind paying for things. Taxes is how we pay for the privilege of living free. But we already pay high taxes in California (sales tax--our property taxes are pretty low, I gotta admit--maybe that's the problem).

    Hey bandit, congratulations on finally getting a senator.

  15. If property taxes were to rise you can add some more people to the lost their homes roll.

    "Taxes are how we pay for the privilege to be free." Oh my, P, I gotta sink my big dog teeth & chew on that for a long bit!

  16. I got a bi-bi-bi-bi-BIG scare this morning when I saw our loco Pasadena Star News:

    Hiker falls to death in Eaton Canyon!!

  17. My sister has a pronounced stutter so it's normal to me. I made friends with someone who had a stutter so it seemed normal to me but I had to convince him of it. One day the two of them went out on job interviews together and that just made me smile, I thought it was very sweet that they felt so comfortable with each other.

    PA, I'm glad you bring your own linens, you had me worried for a sec.

    Everything I've heard about not taking care of parks, on whatever level, is that it invites in a lot of bad juju in that's really hard to eradicate and is very very bad for the environment.

    I guess prisons must make money for government cuz that's where the financially strapped and ignorant end up. I've volunteered at the county prison. It's a treadmill.

    wv vizin
    Ahnold's vizin is short-sighted.

  18. As though nature were an amusement park and could opened or closed at will.

  19. "Tommy Haas claimed his first spot in the Wimbledon semifinal, where he will meet Roger Federer," goes the NYTimes headline....Roddick will be lucky to last out the week, I agree. Every year the Times does the obligatory "Roddick wants to Win" story..and he never does!

  20. These are hard times. My dad was a big camper. We actually had one of those campers that you hitched to the car. Camping was the only time we were allowed to drink soda. That's what I remember.

  21. Um..we have a glut of cops
    the jails are full of dangerous and threatening pot smokers
    and I'd like to see Arnold keep me away from my favorite campsites (not possible)

    And property taxes are through the roof in Pasadena if you bought at peak market.

    sussusssusssussssosoooos your old man!

  22. They can't close the parks, I haven't been to them all yet!

  23. No offense but from what I can remember, it's the first time they haven't suggested cutting the teacher's salaries to save money, or maybe the schools that are falling in , or maybe the textbook money. Whatever. I"m all for cutting the bastards' pay in Congress. Maybe they won't have so much money to throw to their mistresses. And sleaze bag governors are included in my rant!

    I loved going along on your family vacations. My you have such a gift. I could taste the liverwurst.

  24. Try this


  25. I ran 21 miles this week. Yay. Pulled a ham string tonight. Boo. That means drugs. Yay. Don't have any. Boo.

  26. "Yo-Se-Might." Probably the first gazillion times, I read the Ohio town's name as Tolldew. In fact now, as a mock, expletive, I'll sometimes say, "Holy Tolldew!" A wonderful, funny, touching post, Karin. Growing up, my family never took even these basic [and glorious sounding] vacations. So when I was grown and the womenfolk I took up with wanted to take vacations, I was blindsided by the whole idea. I've since come to accept and even enjoy the notion, but I'm still always at least a tiny bit surprised.

  27. If u really need drugs, KB, I hear MJackson' doc(s) are suddenly available to see new patients.

  28. Where exactly is the string on a ham?

  29. Thank you, Petrea.
    Yes, first a pro wrestler for Govenor (he beat out Uncle Norm, formally Mayor of my town)and now a comedian for Senator (who beat Norm Coleman on a disputed vote).
    A couple of clowns beat out an ex-hippie.
    What could be better?

  30. I don't mind paying taxes, but I sure would like to have a job first.

    The "savings" achieved by closing the parks are so miniscule that they are only half a drop in the bucket, and the losses to local economies in tourism related income will be far larger. It's like cutting off your left hand to save money on hand lotion.

  31. I thought it was: Yo-Might-See-it-if-it-were-in-focus.

    Moving on.

    There are a lot if bright people here. Pretend your a legislator (and you don't give a fuck about your future electability) for a minute or two what would you do?


    First: I'd cut government fat from the politicians diet.

    Second: I'd add a CA deficit relief tax to petrol (gas and diesel) at the pump to the tune of 10 cents a gallon. If you drove a car that attained milage better the 35 MPG you would get a full refund on state tax; that would do two thing IMHO, close the tax gap and encourage people to drive more fuel efficient vehicles.

    Just to much complaining here. Put on your thinking caps. What would you do?

    Also this in: Yesterday on NP-R, KPC-C, KCR-W, or KPF-K (I don't remember) I heard that the U-S National Forest/Parks System would RECLAIM and MAINTAIN the National parks that were given to the state of CA if the state of CA actually closes them.

    I can't decide if this is a good thing or not, and I don't have time to research it at the moment. Anyone have an opinion on this proposed move?

    (most of this posted on two of the blogs I regularly visit)

    WV halersy

  32. Don't get me started about the federal level. Obama's Bush-era Corporate retreads regarding the environment, public lands and endangered species are a frighteningly familiar bunch as far as anti-green philosophy. This is one area where supposed "progressives" are completely silent. Ken Salazar, heading the Dept. of Interior, is a classic example of Obama's policy on natural resources. The guy was Alberto Gonzales' pal, was despised in Colorado, backed all of Bush's attacks on the environment, promoted weakining the endangered species act and most environmental laws. His dept. now looks like an oil-loving hive of like-minded anti-greens. Salazar nominated Sam Hamilton to head Fish and Wildlife -- Hamilton's bleak record is easily googled, but lets just say the guy favors golf courses and gated communities over parks and preservation. Yup, change we can believe in.

    Sorry. But this goes beyond California and it infuriates me. MSNBC and the bloated gasbags there have conveniently avoided mentioning Obama's developing environmental policies taking shape but they'll waste ten minutes on Obama's stupid White House organic garden.

    But I digress. As usual.

    Great post, KB.

  33. Laurie, now that your motor's running, keep driving.

  34. Here's the thing. (I love using that phrase. It implies there is actually one single thing, and that I know what it is.)

    Once the fed seizes land, we in California have no say in how it is used or leased or drilled or deforested. There is very specific legal language as to how california must manage and protect its state parks and forests. The fed I THINK has much greater latitude, and doesn't have to listen to us at all.

  35. Mid Town GrenadeJuly 2, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    That sounds really bad AH, time to terminate the Term-inator-- gota run... back later

  36. is wimbledon on espn or nbc? I haven't been able to find it. And yes, Venus is my girl! (and Roddick is doing better than we thought he would...)

  37. I ran 26 miles this week. Yay.

  38. wandering off course:


    Coleman "won" the election before a
    recount applying prejudicial rules.
    But I guess I don't care anymore.
    Coleman was for an illegal amnesty bill which means corporations can continue to exploit slave labor while posing as humanitarians, Minnesota goes as broke as California has been depleted, and, I'm out of work and penniless and homeless.
    So, how do you like me now?
    Probably not very much, but that's just your white guilt kicking in.
    But, take heed! The *prime* loan foreclosures are only beginning. You'll catch on soon enough.

    wv: sated

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Oh, I see the Laurie I know best is still around...
    I thought she had gone back to old WLA. I was thinking maybe someone calling herself "Laurie" had taken over her old So Pasa photo blog. But I guess I was wrong.

    & KB, you mean states rights.
    Really hungry now.

  41. As an over-arching principle CO? Not at all.

  42. I'm sorry, bandit. I was being jolly and I suppose jollity becomes unwelcome at a certain point. I'm very sorry for your situation. I don't know if you were referring to my "white guilt" specifically or generally, but if you knew me you wouldn't use the phrase. (You might use others, but not that one.)

  43. Oh, sweetheart, I'm just touchy from being spit on for ten years, ignored, labeled racist, (although my illegal amigos know the score-how else would I know what's going on?) stifled, villified, and had threats placed on my life.
    That's what happens to logic in the face of racketeering backed by BILLIONS in lobbyist dollars.

  44. 's okay, bandit. Under those circumstances, I'd be touchy too.

  45. So very sad, I can't imagine the treasures I haven't discovered all around the state...

    The idgits. I have no idea how to spell idgits.

    Hoping to head to Yo-Se-Might this weekend!