Sunday, July 31, 2005

I'm Damn Good Company

I know people who refuse to go eat dinner by themselves.

Preposterous, sez me. Why are people so afraid to be by themselves?

I went out for a nice Mexican sit-down dinner this evening, all by myself. I didn't die. No one pointed and laughed and called me a friendless loser. I wasn't even bored. I used to bring a book if I wanted to go out to eat by myself, or limit myself to non-sit-down restaurants, but why? I'm not bad company.

I think tomorrow I'll go to a movie.

When the Hell Am I?

It's noon, and I just woke up. Damn these Alaskans and their tendency to put very heavy curtains in hotel rooms.

In my defense, I flew into Anchorage on the red-eye last night. After an hour delay on the ground in Seattle and a three hour flight in a non-window/non-aisle seat, I got in at 2:30 AM and proceeded to wait a half hour for our luggage to burp itself out into the little turnthingy. I then waited 15 minutes for the airport shuttle, rode in said shuttle for 10 minutes, and arrived at the hotel ready to tip over at 3:30AM. A quick shower to remove that icky traveling feeling and I was in bed.

4am to noon is eight hours. I'm not lazy, just off-schedule. Tonight I'm going to attempt to go to bed at a decent hour, Alaska-wise, to see if I can force by body back into the time zone. Right now it's a little confused.

I KNOW WHAT WILL MAKE IT BETTER! A bath in the nice bathtub that fills up to the neck. Nice hotels are fun every once in a while.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


So it's finally cool enough to make regular (non-iced) coffee. And what do I do? BREAK THE F-ING CARAFE!

Guess I'll go to the coffee shop. :-(


1. Little sister who sat through hurricane finally got through to my parents and is indeed fine, just fine. So that's good news.

2. I fly back to AK on Saturday. Who the hell stole my summer? And more importantly, how much beer can I drink before I go back?

3. Going back to the village will be good for my wallet and waistline. I ate out too much and consumed just a wee bit too much beer this summer. I had finally started getting back in shape and putting money in savings, and then WHAM Minnesota happened. At least I didn't spend any of my savings or gain any weight, but certainly didn't make any progress.

4. I started biting my nails again. I had a good solid two weeks nibble-free.

5. It FINALLY cooled down. Two weeks above 90 with high humidity and no air conditioning was not my idea of fun. There's a reason Alaska appealed to me, and it wasn't the bears. I'm wearing jeans for what is probably the first time this summer and am pretty happy about it, thankyouverymuch.

6. What else should I do before leaving civilization?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Bitten by the Bug

Somehow I got bitten by the home-buying bug. I came to the somewhat surprising conclusion that I could, by this time next year, have enough for an adequate down-payment (god willing and the creek don' rise, inshallah, etc, etc, etc) on a starter (emphasis on starter... more on that later) home somewhere in Alaska. I guess I am 26 years old, it's about damn time, huh?

However, it would kinda force me into a position where I'd have to make decisions about my life. Since I can't own a home in the village (me being all non-native and stuff), if I WERE to buy a home, it would be a summer home only for at least a few years. Kinda seems bass ackwards to buy a summer home before buying a regular home, but there you have it.

Seriously, though, the stuff I'm looking at is pretty... quirky. I don't need or want a large house. I really think that a lot of my generation has some pretty lofty expectations when it comes to first-home-buying. I don't... and it makes the whole experience a little less stressful. I can actually picture myself paying off the numbers I'm looking at in some kind of forseeable future.

But really, it's all theoretical at this point. Who knows what'll happen in the next year? My job is pretty secure... they can't cut positions and make one teacher do half time at two schools as is so frequently the case in education because the nearest school is like 30 miles away. But still... don't wanna count the ptarmigan before they're hatched.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


I'm not sure what happened last night, but one of my housemates and I were just sitting around, watching bad Saturday evening TV, when all the sudden, the humidity just spiked to gross heights. We decided that rather than the sit-at-home-drink-some-wine idea we had previously endorsed as "plan for the evening," we needed to be somewhere air conditioned... so off to the bar we went.

Creative problem solving at its best.

Quick example of how repulsively sticky it was... I walked into an airconditioned store. I shopped in sweet climate-controlled comfort. When I exited the store, bag in hand, my glasses fogged up. The difference in temperature and humidity was THAT great.

Yahoo! weather says high of 94 today. Blah. However, tomorrow's highs, and the days after that, are supposed to be at least ten degrees lower, so that's good at least.

A week from yesterday I fly back to AK!

Saturday, July 23, 2005


So, Pa Mac can't come back to AK with me as planned for a little visit when I go back for the school year. I'm seriously bummed out, as is he. It was going to be fun. Waaaaaaaaaaaaah.


I decided, what the hell, I'll just take a little vacation by myself. Not a luxury vacation, but a room in a decent hotel in Anchorage, perhaps a train or bus ride up to Denali National Park, a last chance to drink some beer before a semester of alcoholic chastity, and just some general alone time.

I'm social, I've loved living with good friends and an incredibly cute baby for the summer, but then again, I can overdose on social interaction and need some time to myself. I'm a Gemini; I'm allowed to be a little split-personalitied.

And then... back to work.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Beer + Friend with scissors = Surprisingly good haircut.

OK, That's It...

Who the hell took my summer?

Where did it go?

I can't believe it's only eight days until I head back... then I have another two weeks until school starts... then it's back to the daily grind of educating our nation's youth...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


My little sister is small-town famous...

Hurricane Story

Monday, July 18, 2005

How 'Bout That Harry Potter, Huh? (no spoilers)

Just finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I know, I know, I'm getting slow in my old age... it took me a day and a half to finish it! But really, I didn't get THAT much reading time in, what with social obligations that had to be tended to. And in my defense, I didn't get it on Saturday (bastards put it in the mailbox, and I didn't find it. Since when does UPS put stuff in MAILBOXES? Honestly), so I didn't really start seriously reading until about 10am on Sunday.

Anyway, holy shit. The last few chapters are killa'. Another LONG book with a seeming overabundance of (probably necessary) exposition, but I think (hope?) it'll all come together quite nicely in Book 7, whenever that hits shelves. I was wrong about a few characters, I'll state that honestly and openly. I was also right about a few.

Hurricane update: Cozumel (nearest town to Little Sister's place of summer employment) got slammed, but all appears to be OK. Hopefully we'll hear from her soon!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Power of Nature

So my little sister's working down in Mexico this summer at a resort. The resort is located on the Yucatan Peninsula. Just so happens, they're expecting a Class 4 hurricane (whatever that means, I'm a Wisconsin/Minnesota/Alaska girl and while tornado classes mean something to me, I'm not up on hurricane lingo) at around 11pm Central Time tonight.

They've been evacuated to a nice concrete building on higher ground.

I'd be soiling myself in fear and anticipation... wonder how she's doing.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Happy Harry Potter Day

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, after months of anticipation, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince comes out at midnight tonight. Mine should be delivered to my parents' house by the fairy sometime tomorrow. I'm not a stand-in-line-at-midnight kind of person, honestly. I just don't like crowds that much, and besides, I've got better things to do on a Friday night... most of which don't involve standing in a line unless it's crowded up at the bar.

Crotchetyness aside, though, YAY! New Harry Potter Book! If you really, seriously think you're too cool or old for it, bah. I passed up the reading level required for a Harry Potter book sometime around the age of ten, and I still love 'em. And not just because I'm a teacher and intend to use them as read-aloud material next year. Still trying to figure out how I'm going to deal with all the Britishisms while reading to kids who have difficulty with standard AMERICAN English, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Speaking of coming to that bridge, I guess I'll be crossing it pretty soon, huh? I fly out of Minneapolis and into Anchorage on the 30th of this month. I'll probably still bum around Anchorage for a few days, even though my Dad can't visit like he had planned, because I've had so little "me" time this summer. I love my friends and it was great staying with a house full of great people and a hella-cute baby, but I'm somewhat antisocial at times and I think the alone time will do me good. So much to do before then... visit yarn store and stock up on fun yarn for the winter... drink enough beer so that I don't miss it for the first few months... I'd better get crackin', huh?

So, um, yeah. Tangent. Anyway, read Harry Potter. If you're not sure, read the first book... it's short, easy-to-read, and if you hate it, you haven't killed as much time as if you had read, say, the 5th book.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Rove leaking classified information, huh?

Dude is sleeeeeeeeeeazy.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Damn Dirty Filthy Hippies

That's what we were this weekend. Seriously. Filthy.

We attended the Winnipeg Folk Festival this weekend. Since we left on Wednesday and returned today, I have a lot of stories, but since none of them are all that interesting, I'll just give you the quick version:

Wednesday: Left Minneapolis; stayed overnight in a KOA in Moorhead, MN. Just a note: If you dislike mosquitoes, DON'T stay at the KOA in Moorhead, MN. Seriously. It was nasty.

Thursday: Arrived at Birds Hill Park just northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. We unpacked, set up the camper, and then went to see the evening acts, but got rainstormed out.

Friday: Arrived back at the festival grounds to find them transformed into a glorious maze of mud and water and muddy water. This was the last day I wore shoes or sandals... they were totally pointless. Saw some great music, got a million skeeter bites... and...

Got a massive, very localized, sun burn. Now normally, I'm a very responsible person when it comes to sun care. I like to get a little color, but am NOT a fan of the sunburn. I have slowly built up a little tan over the summer, mostly taking baby for walks and stuff like that.

I thouht to myself, "I'll be fine sans sunscreen for one afternoon; after that I'll have to wear it." WHICH I WOULD HAVE BEEN. BUT. I forgot that I got a little burned last weekend wearing my halter-top-style swimsuit having been outside in regular tank tops. Little burn where my tank top straps had been. Wore halter top outside. Forgot that I had peeled and was now sporting fresh, white, Alaskan skin.


Owwwwwwwwwww. Melanoma, here I come.

Saturday: More of the same, with sunscreen. Still managed to blister a little more.

Sunday: Wore sarong over shoulders all day. Friend's family decided to leave early (the mosquitoes only got worse with all the rain and mud), so we packed up and drove to Grand Forks, ND, where we stayed in two hotel rooms and trashed their bathtubs with our filthy, hippie, mud-encrusted feet. Left the cleaning person a swell tip.

Monday: Awoke to find blister replaced by scrape-like scab. Ewwwwwwwwwwww, but significantly less painful. Drove home to the lovely Twin Cities. Relaxed.

Overall... more skeeter bites than I can count, blistering sunburn, utter exhaustion, and ankle-deep mud. Yep. Great vacation. I'm not being sarcastic. It was awesome. I'm so marking my calendar for next year! Maybe I'll stay in the "fun" campground rather than the "quiet family" campground, though. Those people looked like they were having a very, very good time.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

If there was any doubt that I'm a big effin' nerd...

Warning: If you're going to watch the Tour de France coverage tonight after work, DON'T click on this link. Spoilerage. Thou hast been warn-ed.

Team Time Trial

Think El Lance-o can take a SEVENTH Tour? There's still a LOT of race left...

First time all summer I've been tortured not having cable. Well, I've missed the Daily Show with Jon "I'll have your lovechild, just ask me" Stewart, but I'd LOVE to be able to watch the Tour coverage. There's something about people who are just SUCH incredible athletes... I can't even imagine.