Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Where have all the cool chicks gone?

Guys have asked me this before. Where are the cool chicks? You know, the ones who are just... cool? The elusive low-maintenance-but-not-butch girls that guys supposedly find attractive?

Having spent a weekend with some VERY cool chicks, I can tell you where at least a small pack of them can be found: Teaching in the Alaskan Bush.

The kind of girls that cut their own hair but still shave their legs.

The kind of girls that browse both Pier 1 Imports and Sportsmen's Warehouse.

The kind of girls who land a silver salmon, gut it, filet it (OK, maybe not happily or skillfully, but it's part of catching the fish), then go home, wash up, and give their hair a hot oil treatment.

The kind of girls who can carry on equally competent conversations about both national affairs and the merits of lining your honey bucket with a plastic bag.

Dude, we rock.

OK, I'm better now

I had strep, apparently.

But that was some serious strep.


I'm feeling better now, though... and kinda happy. However, I'm back in Anchorage. I know, dear reader, you're thinking "but she just got back two days ago." This is the literal and honest truth. This time, however, I'm back for work purposes. We're touring a couple different immersion schools to pick up ideas for either changing our language model at our school or just ideas in general for helping out students who are struggling in BOTH of the languages they speak...

Monday, November 28, 2005


Anchorage was very, very fun.


However, I am now very, very sick. It kinda sucks, actually. The good feeling left over from the weekend is somewhat dampered by the fact that I have to brace myself in order to swallow, and that I alternate between sweating buckets and shivering.

I'm going home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

You Guys are Good

Whatever beasts sacrificed their lives for my travel pleasure did not die in vain.


If You're the Goat-Sacrificing Type...

Now would be a good time to appease the little known god Arregula, the deity who controls the maintenance and repair of airport runway lights.

Apparently the runway lights are (still, as they were when I was there last FRIDAY) not working. Guess who's scheduled on an evening flight into Anchorage tomorrow? That would be me.

Seriously, you'd think that in WINTER, in ALASKA, when daylight is not known to be in excessive overabundance, they'd, you know, find runway lights to be some kind of priority. Especially right before THANKSGIVING MOTHERF---ING WEEKEND when everybody and his fourteen coworkers are trying to get to Anchorage.

I'm slightly pissed off at the moment.

So yeah, appease a few maintenance gods. Even if barnyard animal sacrifice isn't your thing... a tiny altar and some incense can't hurt, right? ;-)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

Well, it may not be by the time I actually get around to posting this, since I’m typing it into a Word document at home where I have no internet (STILL… long story).

But yeah, it’s snowing.


My father my hang me from the rafters for saying this, but winter without snow sucks. We had a week and a half of temperatures that scarcely rose above a big, round, fatty zero (Fahrenheit), but no snow to make the tundra a little less poopy-brown. It had gone from too warm to snow to too cold to snow very, very abruptly. So it was freezing cold with nothing to play in.

Bethel had snow, but not Quinhagak. A pox on Bethel and their snow-having.

As we speak (or, more accurately, as I type and you likely sleep, it being 10pm AK time and all), however, it’s snowing. And it’s almost 10 degrees, which has to be a record for the month of November 2005.

There are at least three inches on the ground (more in drifts and piles, obviously), up from an inch yesterday and a negligible dusting for the two weeks before that.

I heard snow machines roaring to life this evening. The men have been itching to get out and go hunting… patiently (or not really patiently) waiting for enough snow to fall to bust out the snowmachines.

The weather had better shape the *censored for family viewing* up, though, because it’s almost Thanksgiving. The most loyal of loyal readers who have for some reason suffered through an entire year of this drivel will remember that last year I got a little to excited about Thanksgiving, and the deities-that-be decided to knock me down a few steps by throwing various weather- and travel-related hilarities my way.

So this year I’ll not be nearly as cocky. I mean, due to a side-splitting mix-up involving me, a school van, a wrestling team, and two separate incidences of bad weather, my backpack traveled back from Bethel with me (after an extra day marooned at the high school with 4 high school girls), only to be loaded back onto a plane to Bethel by an overzealous wrestling team headed to their final meet. So the whole get-all-my-clothes-washed-on-Saturday-so-I-don’t-have-to-stress-out-later-this-week thing just didn’t happen, since my bag and everything in it (mostly clothes and toiletries) is not currently in my presence.

Not that I’m complaining. What did I need a toothbrush for, anyway?

Thursday, November 17, 2005


We may or may not be weathered in today. Yup, me and four high school girls.

If I had to guess I'd say "may."

Hooray for gusting blowing snow!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


In a previous life, for about a year, I worked as an AmeriCorps member at a wonderful organization called Admission Possible. My year there was a wonderful learning experience, and I felt, for the first time in my life, like I was helping to pass on all the good stuff I somehow managed to absorb during my youth.

Today, the organization is profiled in the New York Times. That very much rocks.

If you have spare change burning a hole in your pocket, donating to A.P. will make you feel hella-good about yourself!

Mass Chaos

The scene from above at the Lower Kuskokwim School District's speech contest.

We have to keep all of our stuff with us all day long because we sleep in high school classrooms, and can't have our stuff sitting in someone's classroom all day long.

So yay.

100 high school students and their bags of books, clothing, and sleeping bags.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lookit My New Wheels

You know, the moment in a young professional's life when she buys a new vehicle is supposedly a big one. You know... you didn't have a nice car through college or whatever because you just didn't have the cash. But when you finally get the dough, you buy a new car.

Except I didn't buy a car.

A car here is far beyond my needs and budget at the moment.

So I did what everyone here does. I bought a 4-wheeler, as you have no doubt figured out from the picture, it being worth a thousand words and all.

Also, notice the nice layer of ice on our driveway. See, our neighbors' water (shower, sinks, etc) drains under their house... then flows downhill onto our driveway. Great fun.

Monday, November 14, 2005


4-wheeler arrived last week, just in time for me to head out of town and not use it.

I'll post a picture when (a) it gets light, and (b) I have time to run home and get my camera, which I conveniently left on my living room couch.

Friday, November 11, 2005


We arrived safely in Nunapitchuk (another village in our district). I am chaperoning... one... person... for a wrestling meet. We have ONE female competitor, so she needs a chaperone, and since I've got friends in Nunap, I volunteered.

I took some really great pictures on the flight here. The air was clear, and I had a front seat in a Navajo, so I could take a picture out the window without the wing being the way.


I forgot camera cord in Quinhagak.

So I'll have to post them when I get back... sorry! Just pretend there's a really cool picture right here:


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Void in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico

I want to win this couch, but can't.


I want that couch.

Comedy Central and their Lower48-ist legal policies can kiss my shiny kass'aq behind.

Who wants to enter for me? You can have the trip to NYC to see the Daily Show (much as I would envy you), but I want the couch. Please dear Lord, I want that couch.

I just do.

Because Jon Stewart is my hero.

And he's hot.

In a middle-aged Jewish man kind of way.

EDIT: It has been pointed out to me that the offer is NOT void in American Samoa. This is a travesty. I mean, any asshole can find Alaska on a map (even really dumb assholes), but I bet the idiots who wrote their legal policy couldn't find American Samoa without the help of Google. That is all.


My classroom temperature is above 60 degrees! Time to bust out the swimsuit!

On a more annoying note, I had to turn on "comment verification" to help cut down on spam comments. Grr.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We Have a New Record!

My classroom was 46 degrees this morning.

I said I didn't care if everyone else was sweating and wearing bathing suits at work because they turned the heat up... 46 degrees is just not within my "comfortable indoor work temperature" zone.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Garlic Toast

It's amazing the things that can trigger memories.

The other day, I decided to make myself a piece of toast. Now, we don't always have bread here in the village, so this isn't as common for me as it used to be.

As I was buttering the toast after it popped up out of the toaster, I looked up into an (open; I was in the process of making soup) cupboard and spied the garlic powder. You know, cheap store-brand garlic powder.

I sprinkled some on my buttered toast.

The smell of it, toast and butter and garlic, sent me rocketing back. You see, my family isn't what you call fancy, food-wise. Growing up, parmesan cheese comes in a green plastic jar, and garlic came in powder form. We'd have spaghetti on a fairly regular basis, and we'd ALWAYS have garlic toast to go with it. Not fancy, french-bread with freshly crushed garlic garlic toast. Nope... plain old bread with butter and garlic powder sprinkeled on it. One of us kids usually had the job of standing by the toaster, inserting, and buttering the toast.

I ate those two slices of garlic toast and felt a sudden craving for spaghetti. They say that smell is one of the strongest memory triggers, and I guess I believe them.

I made myself another two pieces of toast.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Beautiful, Beautiful Friday

Well, if your definition of "beautiful" is below zero, then today is beautiful.

Me? The fact that it's Friday is enough to make it beautiful.

It's been a long week... caught a bit of a cold and just couldn't shake it. Teaching oral language is difficult when you have half a voice.





Which means tomorrow is Saturday.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

So... November, huh?

Where is this school year going?

Am I the only one who has no idea what happened to August, September, and October?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Biting the Bullet...

On the phone buying a 4-wheeler.

I'm gonna be a grown-up, complete with my own set of wheels for toodling around town.

I won't have to ask the principal for the keys to the van, which will be nice, because it felt a whole lot like being a teenager, asking ma and pa for the keys to the car. Actually, even worse than that. I had my own car, the LOVE MAZDA, in high school, so I didn't have to ask for the keys like we do now.

Besides, the van hasn't started for two weeks, so at the moment there's nothing to ask permission to use.