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While I was sleeping, I got tagged

Well, I haven’t been off sleeping, but while I wasn’t actively blogging, I got tagged from waaay down under. Thanks, Rhonda – I think?

Now I need to find 8 things to say about myself that few people know about. Hmmm.

  1. I once spent the night on a mountain top in Nepal. Two friends and I followed some villagers up the mountain near our parked bus, probably about 50 km west of Katmandu. We were invited to follow, but when we realized it was getting late, we thought we should head back down the mountain before it got too dark. We knew there was a slippery trail that had a nasty drop to a tiny river with big rocks… We didn’t make it. Back down the hill, that is. The villagers had not wanted us to leave because they knew we wouldn’t make it in time before dark. So we spent the night curled up against each other for warmth, having left the bus in thin t-shirts and shorts. Because we were so cold, our bladders woke us every hour. I do remember the fantastic night sky over us. Pin pricks of light every where. The stars were so densely packed that you couldn’t make out any familiar constellations. A few brain cells were thawed enough to record that memory.
  2. I love stacks of fresh paper and notebooks and pens in stationery stores. I remember visiting Edinburgh last February and drooling over a shop there called Paperchase. I think that was one of the great things about starting back to school when I was a child. All that new, fresh paper to write on. What adventures were ready to pop off the pages? So exciting! When I went to Vienna a few years ago to attend an STC conference, I had to buy a notebook, a fresh notebook, go sit in Café Sacher across from the State Opera, and write while drinking café mélange and eating a sachertorte. Lovely! I am sure I felt the literary atmosphere of the past all around me. But don’t hold your breath waiting for my novel. I’m still savoring the paper. 🙂
  3. I am very proud of my alma mater (my college): Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. It is famous for many things – including streaking. According to legend, and I don’t have a link, the first streakers – people who run naked in the snow – came from Carleton. It happened at some football game. Only in Minnesota – where temperatures can get down to minus 40 degrees – and that is the same in both Fahrenheit and Celcius! Carls don’t just streak. It is a fine academic school, and we consider ourselves (at least in my day!) the Harvard of the Midwest.
  4. My mother despised – and despises – television, which meant I loved watching it when she wasn’t around. The Monkees, Gilligan’s Island, Dark Shadows, Star Trek, and so on. Not the most intellectual of shows, but I loved them!
  5. I can’t really talk with my mom about that now. She has vascular dementia. That is the reason for my hiatus from blogging. My mom was wise and prepared paperwork 10 years ago that made it very easy for me to step in and help her out. Word to the wise: there are some very serious rites of passages in life. Take care of them while you are healthy and alert. You will do yourself and your family a huge favor. I plan to blog about a number of experiences I had while getting care for my mom, all of which are actually related to technical communication. Look for them in the near future.
  6. I am much taller than Robert Redford. I discovered this when I nearly ran into him getting on a plane in Nairobi, Kenya. The rich and famous people are the last to get on planes. The poor and tired can also manage to get on last. My family was leaving Kenya after living there for 5 years. I don’t remember why we were not yet on the plane, but perhaps the reason had to do with my 7-week old daughter. Sometimes, you learn useless facts when you are late.
  7. I have wondered whether I could call up George Clooney and tell him we are almost related. When my dad was alive, he was actually stopped and asked whether he was George Clooney’s father. There was a strong resemblance, I am told. I then reasoned to one of my female friends that that almost makes me and George family. Whereupon, she immediately asked whether she could date my brother. That got too complicated, so I have postponed the call.
  8. Last, but not least, I have a reverence for books. I have a huge respect for people publishing books. Wow! They got all those thoughts in their head laid out beautifully on all that lovely paper. That impresses and awes me. The older the book, the more impressed I get in most cases. I think of the effort to get things published, the political impact of some simple words, the craftsmanship of the bookbinding, the worn pages that show years of reading pleasure. There are countless stories to be told bound up in volumes around the world. The physical presence of the book is the start of the adventure for me. Perhaps there will be a future with very few books, if any. Books will become exotic things collected by Starship captains who boldly explore space. Fortunately, we will always have our stories – at least 8 of them each! 🙂

And now to the tagging!

Some of the following blogs could end up writing in Danish, so English readers are forewarned!

I look forward to reading all your posts.


  1. Lisa Risager
    Lisa Risager 11 October 2007

    Thanks, Karen 🙂
    I’ll let you know when I start blogging again – it seems that I’m the one that’s sleeping now…

  2. Fooh Ling
    Fooh Ling 20 October 2007

    That’s pretty good writing – generates several thoughts, that remains my secret 😉
    I feel tempted to write a post, as a SecondLife avatar, but there’s no room in Secondlife for me to do that.
    K – I’m on a visit in RealLife right now, you would perhaps say, so why not post it here in RealLife?
    But that wouldn’t be true to your idea of tagging a SecondLifeAvatar 😉

    About 2 and 8 – could they be lifted up to full scale posts? Please! Something in 2 and 8 are perfect comments on “The Gum Thief”, which I read during my visits in RealLife.

  3. Judith Herr
    Judith Herr 21 October 2007

    Funny thing is that the more I learn about you, Karen, the more I discover we have in common. We got stuck twice outside of Katmandu — once when we were trying to go in a Land Rover up higher so we could see the mountains– fog was making them invisible. Rover broke — we ended up walking up to a hut of some sort — where there was of all things a film crew from Hong Kong having dinner — they were doing a Bruce Lee there. They fed us, then gave us a ride back down to Katmandu.

    Second time we were still trying to see Everest — went by bus to Pokkra (sp.), then got stuck — roads were washed out so we stayed for more than a week. Suddently late one afternoon, the sky cleared, and there they were — right there all the time… Amazing grace indeed.

  4. Karen
    Karen 22 October 2007

    @ Fooh Ling – I will keep your idea about 2 and 8 in mind. Nice idea. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    @ Judith – it is indeed a small world. Later on, when we were trekking near Machapuchare (, we ran into a friend of someone in our group. They hadn’t seen each other in years. Both lived in Denmark, so running into each other in Nepal was the last thing they expected.

  5. Rhonda
    Rhonda 22 October 2007

    Wow! 1, 2, and 8 are close matches for me!!

    Nepal was such an amazing experience – even the 8 hour bus-rides-from-hell to and from Pokhara! We were only meant to go by bus there, then fly back to Kathmandu after the trek. But Kathmandu was fogged in so we waited, and waited, and waited some more before they gave up and bussed us back… in the dark. It was a hellish ride in the daytime, and even worse at night when we *knew* what was on either side but couldn’t see it. Gives me chills just thinking about it now, some 20 years later.

    I *love* stationery stores. When I first saw an Office Depot in the US, it was like an addiction. Like you, I loved those first days of school when all the paper and books and pens were new. My parents ended up owning a stationery store when I was a teenager – it was never arduous going to work there in my school holidays.

    And books. Well, I was a librarian. I don’t need to say anymore, really.

  6. AnetQ
    AnetQ 9 November 2007

    Thanks for the tag, didn’t see it ’till now, ’cause my wordpress-backend has gone something weird to the “indkommende links”-thingy, so I get the same 5 old things (maybe I should update… again!), anyhow, I’ll get right on it.

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