Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Rise and Fall of This

I was just looking at the stats over on the righthand side of my blog. My yearly post totals caught my eye...

* ► 2007 (48)
* ► 2006 (162)
* ► 2005 (197)
* ► 2004 (99) [note: I started blogging in August of 2004]

Have I really become so boring? So lazy? So... no, I think boring and lazy pretty much sum things up quite nicely.

2007 has been a pretty eventful year. I got married and knocked up. I'm sure many other, smaller, yet equally blog-able things have happened to me as well, but I have neglected to record them for the ages. I guess that's the ages' loss. Well, the ages and me, since I also promptly forgot everything that I didn't write down. Guess that best-selling life story I was planning on writing just won't be happening. Darn.

For the moment, I'll just go back to gestating this baby. I might even post about it, or something.


Yup, it's a boy.

Shaun posted ultrasound pics. I'd blame the fact that my computer has gone to the land of dead technological things (which is HAS), but let's face facts here, even if my computer were not kaput, he's just more on top of these things than I am. I didn't even know they were going to do the creepy 4-D ultrasound... it seems pretty unnecessary, so I didn't think it was something they just did without asking. All the sudden the tech just switched over to 4-D and started printing out pics! One profile shot would have been MORE than enough of a keepsake for me (and really... a keepsake is not a reason to have a medical procedure... but I digress...), but I guess I'm just kind of weird like that. Also, the 4-D shots really kind of creep me out.

So, yeah. Baby. Has "outdoor plumbing" and is normal, or as normal as the offspring of Shaun and myself could ever possibly hope to be.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gobble Gobble

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner for those in Teacher Housing who weren't going elsewhere. We had nine people gathered around our table (and couches in the living room). Turkey was consumed, as were stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the usual trappings... plus a whole lot of dessert. All told, to be split among nine people, we had three pies (pumpkin, cherry, and apple), two cakes (one spice and one white with salmonberries on top), and a pan of apple crisp. There was also a loaf of pumpkin bread that, while served with dinner, was probably more dessert-like than entree-like.

And the lasting (for an hour or so, anyway) proof of this soiree... the dishes.

Edited to add... Shaun didn't do all the dishes. We split them in half. We also made turkey stock with the carcass (which can be seen in the stock pot on the stove). Nummmmmmmmmy...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Apologies in Advance

Wow, I had a whole long post, but my computer crashed and it disappeared. So, I'll re-create, but I've lost some of my writing gusto, so it's probably not as exciting as the original. Here goes...

I don't want to turn this into an All-Baby-All-The-Time blog. I really don't. In spite of that, it may just happen... against my will, I swear.

I'll try to blog about other things, but it's hard to FIND other things to blog about. I'm in a comfortable pattern up here, and comfortable patterns, while comfortable, are not particularly blog-worthy.

So... yeah. Baby post. I made a blanket. It's for next winter, really, but I felt the sewing itch now and scratched it. Notice the lack of pastel pink, blue, green, and yellow.

Monday, October 22, 2007


OK, boys and girls. Since we've got no school today (river is half frozen, so we didn't have enough kids to call it a school day), and I'm feeling teacherly, I'm going to administer a pop quiz. Please study the picture below, and answer the question that follows.

In this photograph, Sara is barefoot and _________ in the kitchen.
a. a man
b. pregnant
c. picking her nose
d. not wearing underpants

If you chose option *b*, you are correct. Due May 1. Shaun wrote a very nice post all about our trip to Anchorage for my appointment. No ultrasound pic to show off, though; they were fresh out of paper for the printer.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Now, I can usually spot concealed homosexuality in fiction and film with the best of them. In fact, I spot it where it doesn't even exist. My literary gay-dar, it seems, is on overdrive.

But I totally missed this one. I mean, jeez, I ONLY read that book how many times this summer?

I like that Dumbledore's gay. It makes sense. He certainly does have a sense of flair beyond that of your average hetero wizard.

***Shaun came up with the title for this post***

Thursday, October 11, 2007


When it rains it pours, apparently... at least when it comes to first graders saying inappropriate things in cute ways and me just not understanding their intent.

So, the other day, I was just doing my thing, being a teacher. Being educational, and stuff.

Suddenly, a little darling tugged on my shirt. "My boob hurts," she said, then just kind of wanders away without further comment.

I was more than a little dumbstruck.

"Student," I called, "come back here." She kind of bounced back towards me. In a private-conversation-voice, I asked her, "What did you say hurts?"

"My boob," she replied, as if I were asking her a very, very dumb question.

"Your... huh?"

She held up a grubby first grade forefinger. "My BOOB! My THIS KIND" she huffed, pointing to a small cut on aforementioned digit.

Comprehension at last. "Oh," I said, "your BOO-BOO?"

"Yeah. That's what our baby calls them. Boo-boos."

Better than boobs, I guess.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


First graders are precious.

Every day, my students take their own attendance. It takes the first graders a little while to find their name on the chart, trace over to the correct day, and make an "X." They're getting faster, but it's still a bit more of a process than I'd like.

They're allowed to talk quietly while waiting their turn.

Yesterday, they were busily marking Xs and quietly chattering about... who knows. First grade things. I was arranging things for the day's lesson.

Suddenly, I hear "Asshole. Asshole. Asshole."

It was directed at no one in particular, and was coming from a nice, sweet, non-swearing kind of kid. He's also a strong Yup'ik speaker, and not as fluent in English, so I thought it a possibility that he just had no idea what he was saying.

I walked over and asked, "What did you say, student?"

"Asshole," he replied. Or so I thought. He was saying it funny. It actually sounded more like "Essole."

So I asked for clarification. "Essole," he repeated.

Then he pointed at my flashlight, which I keep close by because the power goes out semi-regularly and my classroom has no windows. It had "ESL" written on the side in permanent marker.

First graders are just learning to sound out words around this time of the year. He was quite proud of himself. "Essole!"

I had to think of a way to at the same time congratulate him on his great word-detective skills and also inform him that it kind of sounded like he was swearing at someone.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Put me in, Coach

We bought a nice sled from some students last year. We can now bring back more groceries and other assorted goodies than we can carry in our backpacks when we go to Bethel.

Right now, it just needs some snow. :D

Nice Rack!

When you move into Teacher Housing in bush Alaska, you often inherit the possessions left behind by decades (or, OK, years) of previous occupants. I've scored some sweet stuff in the past few years... dishes, silverware, cookware, shampoo (thanks, Christina), board games and pillows. It tends towards the kitchen-item range of the household item spectrum, but anything is possible. You just never know, when you move into a strangely numbered Teacher Housing unit, what you're going to find. You could score big, you could get skunked.

As housing units go, our current house (which is definitely a step up from last year's apartment) was pretty castoff-free. It did, however, come equipped with a stellar clothes-drying rack:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I know, I've been lax.

But, in my defense, I've tried. Every time I try to download more than, say, one picture to my computer at a time, it throws a royal two-year-old conniption hissyfit. It shuts down.

So I'm not very photo-friendly right now.

I've been thinking about getting a non-school-owned computer of my very own, but it seems like such a waste of money when they just let us use these machines for free.

Oh, and welcome to the blogging world, baby sister.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pretty Muffins!

Left to right: Kelly, Mom, Me, Dad, Melissa.

This picture was taken when the hem of my dress was still clean (well, it's clean again, thanks to $135 and the wonders of dry cleaning), and the bridesmaids' dresses were still un-ripped. Also, all the women were wearing shoes at this point. This was, in true wedding tradition, not true later in the evening.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

60 Degrees and Drizzling

Best. Weather. Ever.

OK, maybe not. But after nearly a month of 90-degrees-and-humid, I'll take Southwest Alaskan weather with very minimal grousing.

Sure, a few weeks from now, it will have become a bit... monotonous, but for now, we're enjoying walking around wearing sweatshirts, being able to drink hot coffee, and performing basic household tasks without ending up a sweaty mess.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dude, Weak doesn't ship for free to Alaska anymore.

They can bite me.

Move Over, New York City...

Cab Capital of the U.S.? That would be Bethel, Alaska.

Side note: I promise I'll get wedding pics up, one of these days. Probably after we're back in Alaska, because our internet at home is sketchy, making picture-uploading a dicey proposition.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just One, More to Come

102 bobby pins, two rubber bands, and 13 hair pins holding fake pearls into my hair. It took me a good 45 minutes last night to hunt them out of the pretty knot of hair that the stylist made for me. The not-so-romantic side of the wedding night.
We woke up early this morning (hooray for NOT getting drunk at our own wedding), and while Shaun ran a few errands, I made this pretty little picture out of the shrapnel I pulled out of my hair at the end of last night.
My scalp still hurts.
More later, including (hopefully) more pictures.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wasn't There Something I'm Supposed to be Doing This Weekend?

Oh, right. Wedding.

Kinda snuck right up on me, but I think we're ready. Not that I haven't dragged my feet the whole time, but various "helpers" kept me in line.

Friday, July 06, 2007

"I've got 18 sticks of dynamite and I'm gonna blow up the cul de sac"

Sara's moving tip #1: It's good to get to know your new neighbors.

Specifically, it's good to get to know which of your neighbors are insane drunks.

He didn't blow anything up, as far as we could tell. The other (un-insane and no more drunk than I was) neighbors set off some doozies, but Dynamite Man was all talk, as far as we could tell.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


We're in a house. No duplex for us.

And the bonus... fenced backyard! It's not a "secure" fence, but it's enough of a psychological deterrent that we can play with Loki off-leash. He's found doggy nirvana... I don't think he's ever had daily access to a fenced yard. Several fetch-playings a day make a happy puppy.

Pictures... eventually.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Can I get a Collective Finger Crossing?

Our house is supposed to be ready for move-in on Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Buffering... Buffering... Buffering...

Welcome to my holding pattern. We're in housing purgatory right now. We had a great plan for summer... rent a house! Stevens Point is a college town, so there are always summer rentals a-plenty. We get cheap (if slightly college-ghetto) housing, they get to not have their house sit empty... win-win situation!

Through Shaun's mom, we found a house (two bedroom, close to downtown and therefore bars, not an apartment so we don't have to worry about Loki bothering neighbors) that seemed to suit our needs... and it was set to be available just as we got home. Good, Great, GRAND!

But... you know... shit happens. Shit, in this case, involved the house's former occupant being, shall we say, slightly hesitant to leave. We were supposed to be able to move in on the June 2nd, but the landlord called and said that she wouldn't be out for a few extra days, so they'd give us an apartment to live in, rent-free, until she moved out.

Well... it's the 19th. Apparently she JUST moved out, but left the house in such a state that they feel the need to go through and document/photograph because it could become a legal issue.

Good news... we're living rent-free.

Bad news... we haven't unpacked yet. We call it "indoor camping." We didn't bring any pots or pans over, so we're pretty much living on sandwiches (which suits me just fine since I LOVES me a good sammich) and other foods that don't require cooking. Honestly, it's not as unhealthy as you'd imagine. I haven't gained any weight thus far, at least.

I'm not complaining, I swear. I've lived without flush plumbing. Last year, Shaun and I lived with scary mold in the ceiling of our a smaller-than-one-room apartment. For two weeks, our heat was stuck on, and we only had one window that actually opened. We've become pretty roll-with-the-punches, really.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

To all the dads, but especially mine, enjoy the day!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Um, Swimming is Hard, and Stuff

I hooked myself up with a YMCA membership for the summer. We live close to the Y, and I'd like to get back into some semblance of athletic shape now that I've dropped the weight down to a reasonable level.

Having not done so in three years or so, I went swimming yesterday. Swimming as in swimming laps. I donned my gay swimming apparel, and hopped in. Pushed off with a nice clean streamline and started swimming.

"Geez," I thought, "I've still got it. My stroke feels good!"

And pride, as we all know, cometh before the fall.

After 50 yards, I slowed down somewhat. Still pretty smooth, but definitely slow.

After 200 yards, it ceased to be pretty. I was still making forward progress, and probably not doing as poorly as I thought, but it felt choppy and awkward compared to what I remember from my in-shape swimming days.

I swam 600 or 700 yards. A mere warm-up, back in the day.

And the sad part? I'm a little sore today.

But, I'm heading back in about 15 minutes. I've discovered that the 10:30AM laps swim is pretty unpopulated. Too late for the before-work crowd, and too early for the lunch crowd. And all the old people like to use the warmer pool. My only obstacle? WATER AEROBICS. Those ladies may not look like athletic powerhouses, but they can get a good whirlpool effect going. Tuesdays and Thursdays, they will be using half of the pool. I will persevere despite their choppy-water-inducing ways.

My goal is to swim 4 days a week, and do some light weights two days a week. Whee!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just Go See It

Go see the movie "Knocked Up." Just do it.

We got back a half hour ago and I'm still giggling at stuff.

I mean, pardon the naughty language, and the exorbitant illegal drug use, and the sexual promiscuity... ah, who am I kidding? That's what made it such a great movie. I needed a good laugh, and I got one. Despite the rampant humor, it had soul. Jewish Canadian White Boy Soul. Jewish Canadian White Boy Soul and a moderately graphic delivery room scene. We're talking crowning heads here, people.

Side note: I may or may not have a crush on Seth Rogan. Weird, huh? He's so not a muffin and yet...

Friday, June 08, 2007


I have a challenge for you all.

And by "you all," I mean whoever actually reads this drivel during the summers.

The challenge, should you choose to accept it, involves internet research. Figure out what happened to my favorite variety of pickles. Now, after my mother's secret pickle recipe (Ma, can we make pickles this summer? I want to learn!), I had a favorite pickle. The company Milwaukee's Pickles made a variety called Polski Wyrob. I'm assuming that's Polish for "Awesome Pickle That is Better Than All Other Pickles." All the rest of the Milwaukee's Pickles have the white label with green writing... these had an orange and yellow label for some reason. They were only find-able at one grocery store in my hometown (Copp's in Stevens Point), but they've since disappeared.

First person to track down the fate of the Milwaukee's Pickles Polski Wyrob variety wins a poem, written by me about him or her. What can I say, I'm a cheap bastard.

I Haven't Bored You in a While

So, it's time for... DOG PICS! Loki's a dock diver now. He doesn't catch them in midair or anything (YET!), but he sure likes to jump.

But, since I'm too lazy to fire up Shaun's computer, transfer pics over to my own, and post them, I'm going to do this:


Now, wasn't that lazy? Most of you probably already saw these, since Shaun was on the ball and posted them, you know, when they were actually relevant. Me? I prefer to wait until they're historical. Who needs current events? Certainly not my tiny but moderately faithful reading public! We're all about the past here.

Oh, and do you like the ill-fitting clothing and sexy rubber boots? I call it Tundra Chic. It's going to be the next thing to hit Paris, Milan, and Other Pretentious Fashion Cities, I swear.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Trees, Cattle, and a Wedding Dress

I am back in the land of tall, tall trees. Not sequoia-tall, but decidedly larger than a bush. I kind of miss trees when I'm up on the tundra.

Wisconsin is nice. Alaska is nice. Plane rides from Alaska to Wisconsin are decidedly un-nice. Well, Alaska to Illinois, but we all know the only nice thing about Illinois is its proximity to Wisconsin. O'Hare is one of the nastiest airports I've ever experienced. It's dingy, windowless, and the people who work there somehow missed the memo that went around about Midwesterners being nice people. After dutifully lining up with the other cattle and spending six wakeful hours smushed into a seat inside a flying metal tube, I'd like a smile and a little customer service. Instead, I'm greeted by a bunch of jerks who leave my dog (and other passengers' dogs) sitting back on a luggage cart while they unload ALL the rest of the luggage. These poor animals had to pee, for chrissake! Last I checked, my suitcase doesn't care if it stays in back for an extra minute, but my dog was sure as hell raising a ruckus about it. Thanks to my dad for asking them in a polite but firm-and-I'm-a-big-guy manner to please bring the dogs out.

I tried on my wedding dress today. It fits (I was worried because I had lost some more weight after buying it)... mostly. My bazongas are just not big enough to fill it out, so it'll need alterations. Either that or, as my mother so delicately put it, two boxes of Kleenex.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Six school days to go.

Each day seems to stretch to infinity.

Six times infinity is what?

Monday, May 07, 2007


I have been bitten by the productiveness bug. After a winter of barely dragging myself through a minimum of chores, I have become one of those annoying always-picking-up people.

Well, at home, anyway. My desk at work still looks like a monster ate an elementary classroom and puked it all up.

The only problem with my current chore-mania is... well... Loki. He's a Labrador Retriever. If the Greeks had had Labs, Sisyphus may have been tasked with keeping my kitchen floor dog-hair free, rather than pushing that silly rock around for all eternity. Our poor Roomba (OOH! DID I MENTION WE GOT A ROOMBA?! I'm not a gadget-y person, but with Loki's prodigious shedding capabilities, we thought it was worth a shot)It makes me pine away for the vacu-suck hair-cutting device showcased on Wayne's World. Just the sucking part... wouldn't it be convenient to just vacuum out all his shedded hair? "It certainly does suck," indeed!

Fear not, fair readers, I will not be vacuuming the dog this evening. My mania has limits, and vacuuming the dog lies well outside of those limits.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007


It's been a while, huh?

How is it May already? I've been swamped. Well, not swamped in the all-day-every-day busy kind of swamped, but whenever I'm at school, which is my internetting location, I'm busy. Henceforth and hitherto, no new blog posts in quite a while.

Hmm, a summary. We're planning to use up all our leftover scrap paper to make homemade paper (a way fun process) next week, my team took 10th place for Trivia (our first top 10 finish), the river is starting to break up (a friend's dog fell through the ice yesterday while we were out ice fishing), 17 school days remain until we're released for the summer, I've read a few good books lately, but nothing mind-blowing, and we finished our marriage prep at the Catholic church in Bethel. Each of these incidents COULD have been a separate post, but alas, that time has passed. Now is the time for brief summaries.

I'll post some ice fishing pics when I get them (they're on Shaun's computer right now)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

You CAN go Home Again

Allow me to present a photographic summary of my trip to Quinhagak. For those in the unknow, Quinhagak is the village in which I taught last year and the previous year.

Funkypunk likes planes. Funkypunk was my travel buddy. Funkypunk is not this shadowy in real life. Funkpunk is merely a victim of poor photography and slothfulness when it comes to editing aforementioned sub-par photography.

Quinhagak is pretty much snow-free at this point. Nunapitchuk is not. This picture is also crappy. It's crooked. Again, too lazy to edit.

We saw two eagles at the beach! One flew away, and this one wouldn't let me get any closer before it, too, fled. I hopped over some seriously slimy, muddy beach ice just to get THIS close.

Ate several Easter meals with various groups of people. Not as many as Funkypunk, but she's more social than I am.

What's Easter without an egg hunt for the wee ones?

Quinhagak has this zany ability to be both dusty and muddy at the same time.

Overall, it was quite the good weekend. It was great to see old friends and students, and we even managed to come back with a few frozen trout, a gift from a friend. Good times were had by all.

Sweatin' to the Moldies, Static-style

It's really, really hot in our apartment right now. Or, anyway, it was this morning. You see, the heat went off last week, so it got fixed. However, it got TOO fixed. It was just 100% on. All-go-no-stop heat. We slept in the living room with the one open-able window open.

It's also moldy in our apartment right now. But really, It's been moldy all year, so that's not such a big deal. It's probably been moldy all decade, bare minimum. It's in the ceiling. Our house, if we don't air it out, takes on delicate nasal hues of musty goodness.

Don't let the musty smell fool you, though. The humidity hovered around 20% all winter. For one stretch there, Loki would squint a little when we went to pet him because he KNEW the shock was coming.

All in all, our apartment is a very special place. That is why I'm glad to announce we won't be living there next year. With a little poking and prodding and a goodly amount of luck, we've procured a much nicer house... one that was never, ever, in its entire existence, a Bureau of Indian Affairs school. No middle-aged adults will say, "Man, I remember having school there." It's just a house.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hey Spring... Spring Already!

Who ordered the snow?

Sorry for the low quality of the photograph, but I was too lazy to put on a coat and I was being pelted with snow the whole time I took the picture.

A former colleague was reported missing out on the tundra last night, but rumor has it he's been found. So that's good. Hopefully rumor has it right.

As for me, I'm just patiently awaiting warmer temps.

Or maybe not-so patiently.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Awkward Announcement

So, I hesitate to even post this.

Mostly because I'm embarrassed that I even had to do it. Partly because I don't like to brag. But sometimes bragging is OK.

I've lost weight. I won't say how much and I won't say how much I have left, but I realized that I'd really been on a downward (well, upward, if we're talking about poundage) slide for the past few years and I did what I needed to do to correct it. I might even throw in a few short-distance triathlons this summer, but we'll see if I have the time. Right now the temp is hovering around zero and that kind of makes me lean in the stay-inside-and-do-inside-type-things direction for the time being.

So there you have it. There's less of me now.

But I'm still just as obnoxious.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Winter? Spring? None of the Above?

It's 9:30 and still light out. Daylight Savings Time has arrived. The sun was making plenty of progress into the evening hours on its own, but we had to go and help it out, didn't we? Wouldn't want to be going to bed in darkness for an extra couple weeks, would we?

As Jody commented (and she'd know better than I, being way ups in da nort'), it's a little crazy right now. The sun is returning. It LOOKS so nice out there! Alas, Pa Winter retains his grip on the temperatures, even if he has cut us some slack in the daylight department.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I'm Learnding!

Things I learned today:

-What to do about a snowmachine with a frozen gasline
-That sometimes new spark plugs can just be "duds"
-How to change a snowmachine drive belt
-That sitting for 45 minutes along the trail from Bethel to Nunapitchuk is kinda boring.

Yesterday, I went by snowmachine into Bethel for a doctor's appointment. FunkyPunk and I rode in, and she carried another teacher as a passenger. I spent the night last night because the weather looked iffy and the sun was starting to set by the time I was ready... and I was just feeling lazy. While she wanted to stay until Saturday, I was ready to head out Friday morning. I had visions of getting back to school by 10am and putting in pretty much a full school day.

After MUCH drama this morning (involving a frozen gas line, and the subsequent cab ride to and from the store to get gas line antifreeze, followed by an issue involving a spark plug change... even though the spark plug was new and fine), I got on my way about 11am. Like a good girl, I called my destination to let them know I was on my way, and to expect me in about an hour and a half. I gave myself extra time because I wasn't sure I'd find the trail out of Bethel easily. I found it on my first try.

So... I left Bethel, 26 miles of tundra trail in front of me. I enjoyed being out on the machine by myself for the first few miles. I was just riding along, minding my own business (and taking some sweet jumps, if I can quote Napoleon Dynamite), when I started hearing a funny noise.

"Self," I thought, "You should head back to Bethel. That doesn't sound good."

"But self," I whined back, "You are like 1/3 of the way there!"

"DO IT!" I mentally shouted at myself. "TURN BACK!"

Fiiiiiiiiine. I turned back. Or I tried... the moment I started slowing down, I heard a most distressing KERCHUNK, followed by the sound of my machine, um, not going. Hmm. Tried to start machine, knowing it to be futile. Bad noises and no starting. I freaked out for about 30 seconds (usually I'm rendered useless for at least an hour and a half by any semblance of stress), then realized that freaking out on the trail was maybe not the most healthy choice I could make.

I could still see the Bethel airport tower in the distance, so I wasn't out of town by more than 5 or 10 miles (I had a GPS with me, but didn't turn it on at this point, although I did move it to my inside pocket so it would be warmer and the batteries would last longer if I turned it on). People at my destination knew when to expect me. Also in my favor was the fact that I was on a fairly busy trail, and wearing two pairs of snowpants and two winter coats (my light one under my fluffy down one), but still... I was out on the tundra and the windchill was hovering around a balmy -30F, I think.

And so, I waited. Several planes flew over, but alas, no snowmachines happened by. I waited more. I paced back and forth. I sat on my backpack, sheltered from the wind by my snowmachine. I paced. I sat. I sang a little song. Either someone would happen by, or someone in Nunapitchuk would get worried about me and come looking. I hoped for the former, but would have happily settled for the latter.

After 45 minutes of worry and boredom, a nice man happened by. Also heading to Nunapitchuk, he is uncle to several of my students. He showed me how to change the belt that had broken (apparently a common thing in the world of snowmachines), and I got on my merry way.

I returned home around 1:45 (should have been home around 12:30 at the latest) to a worried fiancee and typically obnoxious Labrador Retriever.

Maybe next time I'll spend the night rather than coming back by myself. Live and learn, I guess.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Answer: Not a Damn One

Question: How many pictures did I take of the cool stuff that went on every afternoon this week in our school?

Honestly, I meant to. We're celebrating Lunar New Year as a school, and it was good fun. We made sushi in my classroom, which was both cool and messy. Kids were doing all sorts of projects in multi-age groups, rotating around from room to room, lah-dee-dah. I could have taken some really cool pictures, but I didn't.

I had one opportunity to take pictures. Yesterday, I got a break and thought, "I'm going to take this opportunity to snap some photos of what's going down!" The fates had other plans.

Dead, my camera battery was. Foiled, my plan for photographic domination was. Talking like Yoda, I am.

So use your imagination. Imagine ten Eskimo kids rolling sushi. Imagine them eating won ton soup. Imagine them making kites and masks and Chinese yo-yos. Work up a good mental image, because you won't be getting a digital one.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Deification of Stacy

My friend Stacy is now officially a member of my personal pantheon of deities. She is now Stacius, Crunchy Goddess of Boxed Vegetables.

She sent me vegetables. A whole box of fresh vegetables. Or rather, she had them sent from the Lower 48, as her village is as woefully lacking in fresh produce as Nunapitchuk.

I was drooling at school just looking at the box, and have eaten more vegetables in the past two days than I have in the past month. And I have only begun to munch.

I've discovered one interesting thing so far... my dog really likes radish tops. Whodathunkit?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dead Arm

I took a nap this afternoon.

Weekend naps are one of the great pleasures in life if you ask me. I love a good nap.

I woke up from this little siesta to a most distressing situation. My right arm, the arm with which I do pretty much everything, was dead. Not just asleep... totally without feeling, and all floppy. I had had it up over my head (our house has no doors, and our walls don't go all the way up to the ceiling, and Shaun was watching TV), and apparently cut off all contact between my arm and the rest of my body.

It was kinda cool, actually. It was totally limp and floppy. No feeling whatsoever.

Eventually, the feeling came back. Holy crap did that hurt.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Testing the fun out of Them

It's that time of year, boys and girls. L.E.P testing time! We have to test every L.E.P. (limited English Proficient) student at our school to determine whether their English proficiency is truly still limited. Great fun.

I'm currently testing first graders. I am their introduction to the fantastic world of bubble-filling, standardized test-taking, and "remain quietly in your seat if you finish early."

I kind of hate myself for that. First grade should be all about reading, adding, and Play Dough. Bubble filling takes the joy out of all three.*

I tested two exuberant, can't-keep-their-mouths-shut students this afternoon. Normally right on the brink of shouting out, when put in such a limiting situation, they step over the brink into the talking-out-of-turn oblivion beyond. My jaw sets itself in a grumpty frown, my eyebrows crinkle down over my eyes, and I give them the *LOOK*.

Of course, when faced with such unencumbered joy for hearing the sound of one's own voice, the *LOOK* is seldom enough. In an hour, I was forced to move one student to a corner desk all by himself, place a pencil in the hand of another student while pointing to her next unanswered question, and just generally pull out all my "mean teacher" tricks.

By the end of the hour, I was sick of the test, the students, and most of all myself. If I'm going to be the grumpy teacher, let me at least do it in the name of teaching them something.

Thank you and good night.**

*I'm not sure how bubble-filling takes the joy out of Play Dough, but I'm certain it must. It has unmeasurable first grade joy-stealing power that we can only begin to comprehend.
**It's not night yet, but it might be when you read this.

Friday, February 02, 2007

For CP

A certain person (who never updates HER blog because... oh, right, she doesn't have one) gave me a haughty "Ahem" while checking my blog, indicating that I was not nearly diligent enough in my updates.

And she may be right.

So here's an update. I'm in Kasigluk-Akiuk for basketball. The trail was very slushy riding over. Shaun got wet because he didn't wear snowpants. I ate two hotdogs for dinner, but I feel like that's OK since I never got a lunch today. I currently have bleacher butt, both from sitting on a bleacher, and from sitting on the floor after sitting on the bleacher.

Feeling in-touch with my life now? ;-)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I Think This Post's Mostly Filler

Just in case you weren't totally completely, irrevocably convinced that I am a gigantic nerdy moron with somewhat obsessive, overly-focused tendencies, I just want to clear things up.

I am.

My latest obsession? The musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Once More with Feeling."

The episode is not new to me. It was actually my introduction to the escapist world of Buffy. CP (currently my coworker and, back in the day, my roommate, and always the Goddess of All Things Pop Culture) introduced me to the show through the musical episode two years ago. It has recently come back into my life and I am grateful. Aforementioned CP has loaned me seasons 5-7 on DVD. Since I rarely watch TV on TV (or, rather, I can't be troubled to remember what day of the week things are on), TV on DVD comes in handy when my brain needs to be liquidated of thought for 45 minutes or so and an episode of Iron Chef: America just won't cut the mustard.

I have listened to the soundtrack twice tonight. I think Shaun is going to start throwing things soon should this blip turn into a long-term trend.

Someday I will have a "current favorite" that does not up my dork quotient.

Who am I kidding? No, I won't. Love me, love the fact that I will never, ever, in a million years be cool.

Monday, January 15, 2007

As Promised... NYE pics!

Therese clearly loves her country. ;)

Oh, so pretty... I'm the non-pretty one on the right. :D

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rides Like a Dream

The descent into Anchorage is always an experience. I don't know if it's the mountains-on-three-sides-water-on-the-other factor or what, but I don't think I've ever had a smooth ride into the Anchorage Bowl. Today was no exception. A nice finale to an otherwise less-than-emotionally-scarring flight.

Well, not emotionally scarring for everyone else. I am usually filled with such guilt at putting Loki on the plane that I have at least one nervous breakdown. Again, today (or yesterday, as it were) was no exception.

But getting beyond that, the ride was pretty pleasant. Shaun and I had a row to ourselves (we started out with a passenger on the aisle, but he hopped across aforementioned aisle because there was only one person there. So we had... An empty seat! Oh, joy of joys! Few things can bring more elation to the heart of a coach traveler than an empty seat. We stretched out, and slept probably two hours out of the six available to us... probably a new record for da bot' of us. We're not adept at plane-sleeping. A friend was on the flight, and she had some kind of tranqs... I'm not a use-drugs-to-cure-all kind of person, but she did look mighty relaxed. By relaxed I mean unconscious. It looked, to quote one of the great minds of American cartoon culture, freakin' sweet.

So that's that. I sit at Ted "The Internet is a Series of Tubes" Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It's 1am Alaska time, 4am Wisconsin-and-therefore-my-internal-clock time. My two hours of sleep was clearly excessive; I'm not sleepy at all.

OH! One more tiny little detail... we figured out where we're going to be getting hitched. We found a Catholic church that will marry us. We shall be tying the knot at St. Bart's in Mill Creek, WI. Should be a hoot. :D

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Vacation winds to a close. Friday we head north, north, and more north (also west). Back to Alaska, back to the village, back to work. My wallet is lighter and my suitcases are heavier. Or they would be, were they packed, which they, of course, are not.

Am I leaving real life and going back up to fantasyland, or is it the other way around? Distinctions get a little fuzzy at 1am.

Monday, January 01, 2007


"Here's to the New Year. May she be a damn sight better than the old one..."

I guess 2006 wasn't that bad. Can't complain, really. But there's something very hopeful about ringing in the new year. It hasn't yet been messed up by death, destruction, or other sundry calamity. There's always the possibility that this year will be the year in which humanity finally pulls its shit together. At 12am on 1/1, we haven't had the chance to mess things TOO badly. Hopefully this won't be the year we nuke ourselves into oblivion.

I'm not being morbid or fatalistic, honestly. I like the freshness of the new year. Infinite possibilities, good and bad.

I'll post party pics soon, I promise. There are some goodies.