Monday, May 24, 2010

who names a dog larry...

I have a new television show I'm very excited about, and I'd really appreciate it if you'd start watching. New television shows are best integrated into your schedule if you can watch 3 or 4 episodes to get yourself going. Which is what I've done with:
This Discovery Channel show can be watched on Netflix on Demand (which incidentally is worth Netflix in and of itself) and follows 9 "teams" on the 2008 Iditarod dogsled race in Alaksa. I put "teams" in quotes because teams consist of a "musher" and 16 or so dogs. I'm not counting the dogs as teammates. My favorite teams so far are:
DeeDee: breast cancer survivor who has decked her entire sled, dogs and snow-dress in pink. This is DeeDee's 26th Iditarod.
Rick the Diabetes Guy: Rick has diabetes and keeps losing his medicine.
Cocky Jeff: Jeff King is the Tiger Woods of dog sledding. I bet he gets the same amount of ass. You should see this guy sign autographs.
Martin and Rohn: Martin and Rohn are a father-son duo who are racing against each other. It's very sweet. Also, Rohn's hot in a Levi Johnston kind of way.
And finally, Lance: Lance is like spindly, straight-shootin', faux-wood paneling man. He's in it for the belt buckle, regarded as the Grand Prize of the Iditerod, even though the winner also gets $69,000 and a pick-up truck.
All of these people are huge Alaskan celebrities, but it's all about Jeff and Lance. These two talk like you, me and everyone we know have spent our entire lives dreaming of one day being Iditerod champions. Like the Iditerod is part of every American's life since birth, like the Superbowl but important.
I've always thought, "What's the big deal about the Iditerod? It's a sled ride. I could totally do that."
Now that I'm an Iditerod expert and enthusiast (thank you once again, Discovery Channel), I will admit this shit is really hard. It's 1,000 miles and one has to like dogs. So I'm out right there. But watching these people is fascinating in 43-minute increments. They all have complex recipes of gruel they feed their "team", they've all got these devoted families who work and train year round so that dear old mom or dad probably WON'T bring home $69,000 and a pick-up truck, and they're all sponsored.
By Taco Bell. And Wells Fargo.
Plus, they go through unrelenting parts of the Alaskan wilderness with names like "the Buffalo's rib cage" and "Widow's Gorge."
Also, not to go all Into the Wild or anything, but I really do love Alaska. I could live there, in boots and hats and rustic furniture.
"What ever happened to Beth?"
"Oh, you didn't hear? She moved. To Alaska."
"Shut up!"
"No, I'm serious. She lives in Ketichican and has a show on public access. She also runs Bingo Night at the Kiwanis Club and is training for something. The Idea-race or something."
Quote of the race thus far, which I can't stop saying much to the confusion of my co-workers:
"Larry's my brains, Hobo's my speed."
-Jeff Mackey, re: his dogs...


Seana said...

I want to watch TV with you. It would be so much more engaging...

Anonymous said...

HBO Sports has a series called "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel", and despite my dislike for that dweeb, the show is very good with fantastic correspondents who cover a wide variety of sports and topics therein. Bryant Gumbel is clearly the weakest link.

This week they profiled Lance Mackey and he has one hell of a back story. His dad was an original founder of the modern Iditarod and won it back in the 70s. He also neglected his family so Lance became a drunk and speed head, dropping away from his family due to the crimes he was committing to fund his habits.

He also found out he had a huge tumor in his neck after one Iditarod race and was in the advance stages of cancer. The surgery almost killed him and even to this day, the artery in his neck is near the skin's surface so any kind of accident could kill the guy.

Anyway, he also has 14 dogs (not including his sled dogs) and one cat so you would not be able to shack up with him if you moved to Alaska.

BTW, Rohn is from Wasilla so he may actually be a friend of Levi Johnston.

Melissa Griffin said...

I still think about our Ketchikan fantasy of being the gals who know all the locals who hang out at the restaurant where you can smoke inside. We'll hang out with Rain.

Beth said...

@Seana Anytime!

@Anon: I knew about the throat thing, as his super gross recovery photos were featured on "Iditarod: The Toughest Race on Earth. But the criminal stuff fits beautifully! Thanks for the history. Also, agreed on the Gumbel=kinda douchey.

@Mel Me too! I think about it whenever I see I really great anorak. Or on weeks like this one when I think, it wouldn't cost that much. We could get weird, easy jobs. I could really be happy in Ketchican, with my weathered, leathery skin and home-highlights. We'd be all involved in everyone's shit, which would fulfill any need for drama. I sell my place, you empty your savings account, we could live like queens! With bush pilots. And some type of shared, off-road vehicle. I'll do it tomorrow, just say the word...

Beth said...

And Melissa, his name is Wind. Our native Alaskan guide's name was Wind. Not Rain.

Wind, Rain, Sleet, Snow, Mist. Fog. Drizzle...sounds like a DJ.

Actually, I think Wind would be down with Rain. He'd have some fable about salmon and then a pun...

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

I had a dog named, Bob. We rescued him from a crazy lady on CL who named him after her dead father because the dog looked like him.

I always say that if I get another dog, I'll name him Jim.

Anonymous said...

OK ladies, let's get real. You and Melissa can fanticize all you want, but you both are too whiny, spoiled and soft to make your way up in Alska. Mel is a vegetarian for christ's sake. How far will that take her. Plus, everyone drinks up there, meaning Beth you are SOL.

Although I can only imagine snuggling up with the two of you in an igloo (at the same time).

Best Wishes and champagne kisses!

Beth Spotswood said...

Property found:

Also, Melissa could live off salt water taffy, and I could lead AA meetings. AT OUR LODGE.