I can still hear the lady's voice on the automated time-and-temp in Stevens Point, WI. "Good morning, Wisconsin Bell thanks you for calling. The time is ____; temperature ____." But anyhoo...
First single-digit temperature morning.
Our kitchen thermometer (yet another wonderful leave-behind from Former Roomie) read 9 degrees, but when I got into school, the my Firefox weather thingy said 17. I'm more inclined to belive the kitchen thermometer, however, since it's actually reading the temperature in Quinhagak. Firefox pulls its weather from the National Weather Service, who measure weather in Bethel.
So maybe it's 8 degrees warmer in Bethel. Or maybe my thermometer is whacked.
As you can see in the picture, winter has arrived.
I'm not talking about the snow.
I'm talking about all the 4-wheelers parked outside our school on a Saturday.
You see, today is the date of our first community basketball tournament of the winter. This, more than weather, marks the start of winter for me.
Some of the women here are trying to get me to play on their team. Do I have any special talent? Have I shown any sort of extreme athletic prowess? No. I'm just tall. I'm the tallest woman in Quinhagak, Alaska, actually. It's quite an honor, and I'm reminded at least once a week by one student or another suddenly looking up and me and saying, "So tall."
So... every tournament someone asks me if I want to play on their team.
Never mind that I can't play worth a damn.
Never mind that I've never played beyond casually shooting around with other non-players.
Never mind that I don't really know the rules or positions.
So glad it arrived before I left. RIGHT before I left.
It's nice to be able to carry everything around in one bag, rather than the one-bag-for-clothes- one-bag-for-computer-and-other-stuff system I had before a coworker brought a box containing the new backpack from the post office.
So, yeah. New backpack being put to good use. So far it's held up well to the strain. I'm quite proud of it, really. It seems to be a quality backpack.
I am a filthy beast. Or I will be for the next few minutes.
Allow me to explain.
Friday evening, the first-year teachers and I (the lone 2nd year teacher at my site) flew into Bethel for first- and second-year teacher inservice... which is supposed to take one day, therefore requiring one change of clothes. Being (a) lazy and (b) not a clothes horse to start with, I packed underwear, socks, jammies, and a change of shirt. I'm the kind of girl who can wear the same pants two days in a row and not give a flying f***.
And, as always, there's a but.
But, I'm STILL HERE. I'm STILL HERE and will be until Thursday. You see, I was supposed to arrive back in the village on Sunday, teach Monday (also known as today), and fly out on Tuesday morning with the junior high speech team.
But noooooooooooooooooooo. Mother Nature hates my guts. So, weather permitting, my speech team will meet me here in Bethel tomorrow. Now let's do the math... I have one pair of jeans, two shirts, two pairs of underwear, and two pairs of socks. To last me until Thursday when the speech contest is over... unless it gets cancelled because no one can make it into town... in which case I'm still kinda screwed because if no one can get in, I can't get out.
It's nice to have a friend who lets you use her washing machines.
Ooh, they're dry now... excuse me while I bask in cleanliness for the first time in two days.
Also, got drunk Saturday night, but that seems so long ago that I don't feel like talking about it. Read http://jleeody.blogspot.com for full details.
Seriously, ever had one of those days? Where you can't find your keys and it makes you cry and you know in some part of your mind that it's no big deal; your keys have to be around somewhere because you needed them to get in and haven't gone anywhere since using them, but you're still really upset about it and the fact that you're upset about it makes you even more frustrated with the whole situation?
Or is it just me?
So, after an inexplicably crabby day followed by a SIX (yes, 6, seis, five-plus-one) hour delay getting out of the village, let's just say I wasn't the happiest camper ever to hit Bethel, Alaska.
So I walked from the airport. It took like an hour and a half. I felt much better.
Just in case you're wondering, if you watch an episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and then read some Harry Potter RIGHT before going to sleep when you're VERY tired, you will have dreams in which you can do magic and kick some major ass.
I woke up this morning kind of disappointed that I didn't have fun powers.
So last night, I'm sitting comfortably in the recliner, watching an episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (yes, I'm a big geek, but you already knew that) on DVD last night, when I hear a curious giggling.
Thought some kids were just walking by... my driveway area kind of serves as a shortcut sometimes.
Then I realized that the giggling was coming from under my house.
Muttering words and phrases that would make the saltiest sailor blush like a schoolgirl, I slid on my shoes, walked out the door, and pointed a flashlight under my house. I could see the heels of adolescent-sized tennis shoes running away on the other side of the house.
I ran around the house as fast as I could (not fast considering I am not in peak form and my shoes weren't on properly) to find that they had run across the little wet, pond-y, marsh-y area that separates my house from the main road. I could only see one (and it was no shock who it was), and he was laughing and running. This, of course, further incensed me.
Little shi- er- misguided darlings were SMOKING under my house.
If my house burns down, I'm going to be a little pissed.
And if you've got a new camera, apparently, everythings an opportunity for a photograph. Prepare to suffer through useless pictures... I'm on a roll here.
Just some cranberries and crowberries (known locally as blackberries, although I have trouble calling them that because when I think blackberries I think of wisconsin blackberries, which are a totally different animal) I picked on Saturday. Made cranberry bread on Sunday. So domestic, I know.
This is the picture taken without the flash... I took one with the flash, and it came out well, but the cranberries came out too red and not maroon enough... so you get the dark version.