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SoreNovember 5, 2006

SOAR is like nothing I've ever been to. Two hundred and fifty people, mostly women, sitting around talking really seriously about fiber. It was kind of unnerving and crazy and so, so wonderful. I guess I thought it was going to be something like a fiber festival, Stitches, or Maryland Sheep & Wool, but it was nothing like that.

It was more like winter camp (but roughing it meant having to wait a minute for them to bring out more filet mignon -- really) with classes, and a couple of small rooms filled with fiber and wheels, should you feel like shopping in between learning. It was intimate, and now Judith MacKenzie McCuin knows who I am (I have such a crush), and I told Alden Amos to XYZ. Heh.

The only unfortunate incident was caused by ice. Ice, unless it is in my bourbon, is stupid, people (actually, that's disingenuous. I don't even like bourbon and ice. I like bourbon and WATER. Hold the ice. See?). Ice on the ground is just ridiculous, and people from the Pacific Coast have NO idea what to do with it. I know neither how to walk on it, nor how to drive upon it. Lordy.

Yesterday morning, while leaving my room (I stayed offsite), I fell. I didn't just fall, but I did that feet skating back and forth wildly thing until both legs flew UP and I landed on my back and the back of my head. I was holding my laptop at the time, so it flew five feet up in the air and hit the ice on its corner. I remember thinking as I was going down, "The novvvvvelllllllllll......."

When I caught my breath, I got up and checked the computer -- bashed and cracked, but it still works! God bless my little Apple PowerBook G4. I then got in the car and took a small curve a few minutes later in the lowest gear, less than 10 miles per hour and totally skidded out, losing control of the car for a few seconds. Hairy, but I turned into the skid, and all was right, but I was shook up all sorts of ways. Stupid ice.

But besides a wicked case of whiplash today (dude, you have muscles in the FRONT of your neck, did you know that?), I am SO good. It was one of the most fun times I've had in memory, and that's saying a lot. Every single person I spoke to was interesting, kind, and talented. Isn't that amazing?

Hey, you want some pics?

    On the road

    My little travel buddies

    A Joy-ful row (that 3rd one's mine)

    Feral Janine

    Alden's Big Ass Flyer and Bobbin (ABAFAB)

    How Stephanie felt about ABAFAB

    Ready to rumble

    I won! (A gorgeous Forester Spindle and carrying bag)

    My peeps, Brooke, Greg, Janine and Marilyn

    Lake Tahoe, across the street from my hotel

    Still cold, but not icy today

    A Very Happy Spinner

I have lots more pictures, but if I post some of the ones I want to, Stephanie will yell at me for making her look rabid (and/or drunk, we went for a beer run, and not only did they let us drink it at dinner, they brought us an ice bucket -- okay, that's good ice). I have other pics of other people that I really like, but my camera kept adding things like chins and jaundice, so I will leave the post be and go have a little lie-down for my neck. Although I just want to spin.


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Aw, it's so cute when native Californians freak out about ice. (As long as their not freaking out on the road in front of me on the way home from Tahoe)
Thats some gathering. It does sound intense-- i bet if I went I would have wanted to run around outdoors and would have felt like I didnt love wool ENOUGH. And I love wool a lot!! Glad you had fun and especially glad your laptop survived-- I sadly laid one to rest this august after a fall.

I'm glad you're ok! And it looks like it was a fantastic time. I'm almost jealous. Almost. Except, you know, at least I got the Seattle thingie :)

Rachael! Dear, darling Rachael. I don't want to yell at you -- really, I don't! -- but I'm going to have to do so: BACK UP YOUR HARD DRIVE EVERY SINGLE MONTH!! Back up anything you can't re-create (like...the novel?!?!?). Back it up onto CDs and then STORE THE CDS SOMEWHERE THE COMPUTER IS NOT, so that if one is destroyed in a fire you won't also lose the backup. Maybe there's an easier way (can you buy hard-drive space somewhere that will back up for you?) but this "old-fashioned" way will work for you.

Ok? Remember: I yell because I care. :-)

Hey! We were in the same Judith class -- I recognize the Ashford Joy row.

Judith is just fabulous - I learn something new every time I take a class from her.

Your friendly ice-infested east-coast dwelling techie stopping by to say one thing: backups.

OK, two things: glad you're OK and that you had a good time. XOX

Ditto Emily on the cute native Californians and ice thing. Damn that looks like a fun weekend! Road ice aside - I may have lived in VT for 40+ years, I'm used to it but I NEVER liked it.

BTW, nice to meet you last weekend at the Dulaan knit-in!

OK, I'm the only knitter left who isn't really interested in spinning. I just want to say that I love your roots! You look fabulous.

As far as backups are concerned: .mac

So sorry about the ice incidents. Even us northern folk fall and skid once in awhile.

Eek! I hope your achy parts feel better soon. I'm all achy from raking leaves, but I can't blame that on anything but my own lack of exercise. (And, um, trees?)

Rest assured that even those who grew up in icy climates still have mishaps. Last Thanksgiving, we did almost a full 180 on the highway while trying to exit. It was not fun. Also, we had no doughnuts with us. That would have made it marginally better. Well, that and a spinning wheel. And a trunk full of fiber. And a laptop with part of a novel on it. (In other words, you are too cool for words. The ice is just jealous.)

Ouch. I hate that sickening sound my head makes when I hit things with it. Ouch.

Besides the nogginthwacking, I'm totally jealous.

So many things to say...
Glad to hear you didn't hurt yourself or your computer too badly (although you are going to be so sore for a while)
Love the way your hair color is growing out - fabulous!
So excited for you that you went to SOAR. I went once about 10 years ago (pre children, back when I still had a well paying job...) I had so much fun, I swore I would do it again someday. Well, someday hasn't arrived yet, but it will, someday.
So excited that you got a wheel, now the only question is how to balance the time spent knitting and the time spent spinning...
So funny to see you comment about people not driving well in icy conditions - I'm from the East Coast, and you people out here don't know how to drive in anything other than sunny weather!
Okay, I'll stop now.

Slipping on ice sucks, dude. I have a full-on phobia about it. Relates to a fall when I was three and a parental overreaction and trip to emergency room, and well...

And I'm sick with SOAR jealousy.

Glad the Mac is okay. That would have been a sad, sad thing.

Is your head OK? Fall down go boom - bad.

Other than that - still with the jealousy. Love the picture of S with the serious learning face.

Dude, the roots? Very hot.
The ice fall? Clearly, not so much. Living in a hilly city right on a (large, angry) lake, I have learned the best possible personal defense system against ice: Try your best not to fall. When you do, try to use your body to cushion the blow to any important packages, like, say, heirloom crystal or laptops. Then lie on the ground in a stunned stupor for a minimum of three seconds, but not more than seven (the ice, it starts to melt and gets you soggy!). Begin to laugh uproariously while you picture how hilarious you must have looked windmilling your arms and doing the splits. Graciously accept a hand up from a passer-by, trying not to drag them down in the process. Avoid looking around hastily in a fashion which might suggest that you are *embarassed* about this incident which clearly bears no relation to your ability to walk on a flat, textured surface. (That would give you away as a newbie immediately, or suggest that you care what other people thought of your windmilling)
Repeat, ad nauseam, from the months of November through March.
Glad to hear that SOAR was such an amazing, positive experience!

Please oh please post more pictures! As a bribe, I must say you're looking lovely in the last piccie!

Looks like you had a great time at SOAR. Hope your neck feels better soon and I am soooo glad you didn't lose the NOVEL!!!

I had that same ice-while-driving experience, except it caused me to head straight toward another car. The other guy and I locked eyes with expressions of complete helplessness (I was going so slowly, we had time to stare at each other). Then, my brakes suddenly worked for me, and the helpless looks turned to relief. I'll never forget the look on that man's face.

And, I wasn't so lucky with the laptop (G3, I think). My disaster was caused by a toddler wanting to bring Mommy her computer. Dropped it twice and had to replace the hard drive.

What Juno said. Especially with the jealously. But what exactly did you tell Alden Amos to do?

And please post the pictures you want to. Tell Stephanie it's my fault. Because it is. Here you were all ready to be kind and not post the goofy, and here I am, not so kind and shamelessly begging you, Rach to Rach, to post the goofy. Please. To soothe my poor blogless soul for the times she's posted the goofy of me. I love her and truly only do wish good things for her, but I want the goofy.

And I was on the other side of Lake Tahoe getting married. :)

Sigh. I'd like to back now, pleasethankyou.

Oh - and if you can ever get to the East Coast in February, SOAR sounds quite similar to SPA, which happens in Portland, ME. Good and fun times.

zipped over from the Harlot... love the page! You've got a great sense of humor and I'd love to see your book; keep writing! Thanks for the rec on Yes Man too. I'm going to add it to my list (sans spoiler).

How the HELL did I miss all this. I live 35 miles from Tahoe. 35 MILES!!!! Ok, I am not a spinner so can I use that as an excuse?

Not to mention that I saw a picture of you with my fav beer in the world.....Fat Tire, well I call it Flat Tire but shit, it still tastes the same.

Really, HOW did I miss this. Good thing I already have a hotel room booked for Stitches in Feb or I would miss that too!

Sure looks like you had a great time!

I'm a longtime reader/lurker, but I had to comment to say that your skin looks fabulous in these pictures! You have a real glow about you.

Just look at that beautiful, happy face...and now I'm going to want to see the results of what you're going to do on your Forrester, because I bought that very spindle at Rhinebeck. I love mine...it spins elegantly, believe it or not. And lately, I'm a total klutz, so I'll take all the elegance I can get :-)

Umm...long-time lurker, first-time poster (feel like I'm calling into a radio show - Hi, Rachel, I'm a long-time listener, and I just felt I had to call in and comment on this...) I was on Stephanie's site and saw her crowd pic of SOAR, and it was so funny to see you in the crowd and recognize you from your blog! For some reason that just struck me, and I had to comment!

Sorry to hear about your slip and fall. Having grown up in the Northeast, ice is a constant winter companion, ick. Ice as in "on the rocks" is good, ice on the ground is bad, you're right!

Oh, and you've inspired me to knit Central Park! As soon as Christmas knitting is done, it's on the needles! And Venice...wow, I never had the urge to go until I read your posts and saw your pics! Ok, before I post in one long comment about everything I read recently on your blog, I'll stop! Oh, but so jealous of SOAR! Hope someday I can be in some of those pics, double-chinned and all! Ta!

Heh, looks like you had a fabulous time, and I'm glad both you and laptop are ok even after the Perilous Ice Incident.Yikes.
I do not do ice well and we get these AWFUL ice storms in Portland, about once a winter. It coats everything, and it's impossible to even leave the house unless you just slide on your derriere down the steps.

*sigh* I'm so jealous. Sounds like a wonderful time.

I once did the ice-dance with accompanying butt-land while holding a big box-o-liquor - almost as scary as doing with a laptop. (Fear not - no alcohol was harmed, so I could drink enough to numb the pain in my ass.)

Love you. Love the roots, love the spinning, love everything. Love spotting you in Stephanie's pix of the crowd.

May I advise you never to visit Minnesota in the winter.

I'm glad you enjoyed SOAR and your time in Tahoe. I grew up on the south shore; my parents are still there. I escape Oakland as often as I can--especially in the summer, when it is so nice to spin on their deck.

Take Ottawa off your winter list if you want to avoid the ice rain capital of the world.

But our 'world's longest skating rink' is a real nice bit of ice. And the beavertails are to die for. Yum.

Yep, you better come. grace

Well this native Californian is scared sh*tless of ice so I'm with you chicken. Glad you're ok despite finding new muscles in your neck. SOAR look Fab (capital F deliberate) and I don't even spin.

Hehe... SOAR is in my part of the country next year and I now can't wait to go.

I just have to admit that it's been FAR too long since I've knitted anything! When I read your first paragraph, I thought, why is she talking to other women about fiber? Is it some gastrointestinal support group? Then I whacked myself in the head, hard.

Oh dear...

hey - i'm glad you got to meet Brooke! i haven't seen her in forever, but glad to see a pic of her. Thanks. Catch up soon? you bet.... xoxo!

Growing up in the Northeast doesn't necessarily imbue one with an innate ability to navigate ice, lemme tell ya. I have had spills like yours more than once (though usually not involving laptops, and I tend to get more dinner-plate sized bruises than whiplash). Glad to know you had such a blast at SOAR--sounds truly amazing!

Hey Rachel, I heard about your fall, but I didn't realize it was you. Glad you're ok. I'm having fun re-living SOAR through your post... it really was fun wasn't it! I've got pics on my blog too.

You are just so darned CUTE. Glad your neck is better.

Looks like a WONDERFUL event!
Thanks for sharing!

Aw...proud to be one of Rachel's peeps!

Great fun to read about your take on SOAR, Rachel. Even more fun to dance with you Saturday night!

Hope your neck is all better.

I love all of the pictures, especially the last one - very beautiful!!!

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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