Thursday, May 10, 2007


I am sure that most of you may know the wonders of google stalking people. Some of you may do it more than others. If you say you have never looked up anyone you once knew on a search engine you are probably lying. I am a moderate google stalker. I occasionally think of someone I have lost track of and wonder if they are doing anything interesting. Are these people doing anything of note? Most of the time they are not. That’s ok because I am not doing anything of note either.

Today, however, I found an awesome exception to the rule. Sr. year of high school, I had English with a crazy cat named Tollef. He was a lot of fun to make jokes about Hamlet with and to carry on generally insane conversations. I was planning to ask him to prom because he was a fun person to be around and we would have had a crazy time. My best friend Emily ended up asking him instead. Emily got her second prom and I got my second no prom. It caused some problems between us because I told her about my idea and then a few days later she said she had the same idea and I conceded because I thought the friendship was more important. Today I really don’t care. Tollef later said if he had known he would have stayed his butt at home. I thought that was a good answer.

Anyway, in the almost ten years since high school, Tollef has moved to Alaska. Not only is he a salmon fisherman, which is pretty freaking awesome, but he is also an Iditarod racer. To top that off he finished in 10th place in the 2007 race and won an award for the most improved musher from 44th place in 2006. How freaking awesome is that?

What is even funnier is that this makes the second person I know who has gone to Alaska to mush dogs. Tony and I have an impossible to reach friend Will who tends to pop up suddenly for great times and then never returns a call or email for months also took some time away in Alaska. I think he was training and maintaining a pack of mushing dogs rather than racing them but it is still a coincidence. I wonder if they know each other. I would ask Will but I can’t get in touch with him.

The point is that it got me thinking of what kind of crazy man vs. nature thing I would chose to do if I were going to do some crazy man vs. nature type of thing, which I am not. That is certainly not my cup of tea. However, if it were, what would I do.? Alaska is certainly out of the question, far too cold. Therefore, any pole exploration also follows plus since that 79yr old woman became the first African- American to reach the North Pole all the glory is gone. Kidding of course but, damn, what a woman. Climbing mountains is certainly out, it’s also cold and the air is thin so my asthma would be a big detractor. I think I will go with exploring the upper canopy of the redwood forests. I saw this guy on The Colbert Report talking about it the other day and it seemed pretty cool. Not too cold, friendly squirrels and other wildlife that doesn’t know they should be afraid of humans, and lots and lots of ropes.

What would you do?

1. Love/ Used to be a stranger to me/ Love/ was so disappointing/ I was waiting for a sign/ I was looking for some company/ So I took a walk outside/ MMMM what a lucky day

2. Through the warmest cord of care/ Your love was sent to me/ I’m not sure/ What to do with it/ or where to put it

3. I’ve been living to see you/ Dying to see you but it shouldn’t be like this/ This was unexpected/ What do I do now/ Could we start again please. Could We Start Again, Jesus Christ Superstar Soundtrack. Identified by Brooke.

4. Tears on the sleeve of a man/ Don’t wanna be a boy today/ Heard the eternal footman/ Bought himself a bike to race. Pretty Good Year, Tori Amos. Identified by Brooke.

5. I am the voice inside your head/ And I control you/ I am the lover in your bed/ And I control you/ I am the sex that you provide/ And I control you/ I am the hate you try to hide/ And I control you. Mr. Self Destruct, Nine Inch Nails. Identified by Brooke.


Monica said...

I know THREE people who went to Alaska to fish. Why is that?

Jeff Roberts said...

I assume I get to accumulate whatever skills are needed first? I would choose to sail some great distance.

Brooke said...

Oh man,the Redwood Forest is spectacular. I'm totally with you on that one. I'm most fascinated by the wonders of the deep, but certain phobias would prevent me from ever going there.

3. Could We Start Again Please - JC Superstar

4. Pretty Good Year - Tori Amos

5. Mr. Self Destruct - Nine Inch Nails. Wow, does that take me back.

Mom said...

I used to work with a guy whose son fishes for salmon and pilots planes to take other people to fish for salmon. I don't think he mushes dogs though.

I also worked on an educational software simulation for kids, Dogsled Ambassadors (for the Apple //e), that was inspired by the Iditarod. The most fun part of the game, in my opinion, was picking your dog team.

Killer said...

I started SCUBA diving a few years back, and that is about as Man Vs. Nature as I am willing to get.

If I was just going to put my life aside and move to the wilds, I would probably go to Africa and live with a pack of monkeys. I love to throw my poop around so it is a great mix.

RastaManErn said...

Google stalking is fun...sometimes. I found an old friend using only a comment they posted to a message board about some obscure band 3 years ago. Found a partial photo too, but DAMN, some people really don't age gracefully. Just gonna let them fade back into obscurity...

Blondie said...

OK, so I hate cold, too. But if I had the balls, I would totally climb Everest.

The Doc said...

I'd take a swing at Antarctica. I'd want more than just me, of course, because after you get over the initial shock of seeing a smattering of penguins, it's pretty much just ice everywhere. But then you can come back and say "I went camping in THE ANTARCTIC," and when people look at you like you're crazy, you'll have a self-satisfied smile on your face.

Natalie said...

Monica- They make good money and can be dirty?

Jeff- sailing would be pretty cool, until there was a huge storm. That would then suck.

Brooke- The first huge teeth lightbulb fish i saw would cause me to fall over dead. I ended up listening to The Downward Spiral on my way home because of that random play. I enjoyed it *hangs head in shame*

Mom- I think I remember that game, it was no Oregon Trail. However, picking your family in Oregon Trail was always very fun.

Killer- Nice choice. I never would have thought of throwing poo but it sounds fun.

Ern- My friend was no longer the blond fro having soccer player of high school, he looked like he mushed dogs and fished for salmon....

Blondie- a lofty goal to be sure.

Doc- I agree that the smug factor would be worth it. Penguins are pretty cool too.

Grant Miller said...

The people I google search usually are convicted of something.

kim said...


My friend who was born in Jersey City, NJ and wrote about county corruption and mob crime for years left and went to Nome Alaska for a year and worked as a radio person up in that tiny town.

She covered the Iditorod and she got lucky with one of the racers!

She's back in NY now.

dmarks said...

I've got a friend who is kind of Google savant who can find stuff nobody else can find.

Yeah, you found Tollef. This guy would be able to find out one or two of Tollef's past girlfriends, and the color of his car. Well, maybe not exactly, but this guy can be that scary.

CS said...

I read an article about the redwood canopy - I would love to do that. Does lying on a beach under a tree and sleeping in a hammock count as man against nature? Because that would be my niche.