Friday, December 30, 2011

Wounded Knee

If you know me in real life, you know that i am passionate about justice, about raising a voice for those who have been silenced, about fighting white privilege. Yesterday i couldn't find the words to talk about this subject----the massacre at wounded knee--because my heart was heavy, full, laden with grief over the hatred of those who conquered the americas.

Here are some Lakota stories of this incident: http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/resources/archives/eight/wklakota.htm

My friend Layli wrote a brief blog about this as well: http://samimi-extremie.blogspot.com/2011/12/and-about-wounded-knee.html

As always, history is written by those in power---and the truth so rarely is reflected in these histories. For example:
"There is nothing to conceal or apologize for in the Wounded Knee Battle - beyond the killing of a wounded buck by a hysterical recruit. The firing was begun by the Indians and continued until they stopped - with the one exception noted above."
"That women and children were casualties was unfortunate but unavoidable, and most must have been [killed] from Indian bullets...The Indians at Wounded Knee brought their own destruction as surely as any people ever did. Their attack on the troops was as treacherous as any in the history of Indian warfare, and that they were under a strange religious hallucination is only an explanation not an excuse."

...excerpts from an official investigation of Wounded Knee initiated at the behest of Congress, written by General E. D. Scott

So today i ask you all to do what our forefathers could not bring themselves to do in the first place: honor our Indian brothers and sisters, send prayers for the souls of those who have gone before, those who lost their lives to the racism of the descendants of Europeans, those who were stripped of their culture, placed in boarding schools, beaten for speaking their native tongue and lost their heritage, and those who continue to battle the ramifications of alcoholism and racism on the reservations and throughout this land they so honor and cherish.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

a non-whiny post about the dog

Neah was gifted two wonderful toys over the xmas holidays. It took her 1.5 hours to destroy each of them.

The first was a tennis ball with arms and legs---like the one on the right of this photo. She grabbed it by the foot, shook it furiously, smacking herself in the head with its various appendages.  It took her no time at all to dismantle the tennis ball in the middle. Then she devoured a foot, dismantled the string legs and got the rest confiscated.

Dismembering toys....oh my!

The second was from her grandparents and was a different color version of the ball on the left. She loved it. Shook it, threw it, pounced on it, and was protectively hiding it when i went to bed last night. However, this morning, there was a heap of felt pieces where the ball used to be and a slightly shamed but mostly proud looking Neah standing over the carnage pile. Oye Vey!

So, Neah thanks you for the presents. She doesn't apologize for destroying them, but is grateful she had something new to tear up because the gutted raccoon and skunk are getting boring.

Mostly though, this is a post about how crappily dog toys are made. Some we have literally have not survived for more than a few minutes. As it turns out, Maya (Raina's doggie) destroyed her version of the first toy in no time, too. I've come to the conclusion that either dog toy makers are brilliant capitalists---they know we can't resist and purchase pretty fun things for our dogs who destroy them, instantly requiring new toys--or they are evil brilliant capitalists--deliberately making crappy toys that fall apart instantaneously for the sake of being brilliant capitalists.

Either way, if one of you knows something my little shredder can't destroy, please please send along its name and i will buy like 50 of them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

whirlwind tours

Note to self: if there are people around who remember BWC phone pass codes, your cell is not safe and you may end up with pictures of a bendy doll version of a famous female Alaskan as your background. I can't post it here, but if you want it, let me know and i will email it to you.

Our whirlwind tour to Seattle was just that. Adam at one point joked that clearly this trip we were going for quantity rather than quality---since an hour and a half seemed to be the longest bonding time we got with anyone. As we ran up and down from Auburn to La Conner, WA, we were grateful for many things. Here is a small list of our gratitude-s:

  1. Wonderful parents who shower us with love and drive us to the airport on no notice.
  2. Adam's grandparents (3 of 4 are still with us), who share such love, great stories, family history and jokes!
  3. Cousins.
  4. Rooein, his car and his apartment, and Kara for kidnapping him so we could have his car and apartment.
  5. Getting to spend time with A's siblings and fabulous nephew and nieces.
  6. Party mix (aka Chex mix, aka Adam's favorite part of xmas)
  7. Amazing friends who we miss terribly. Please move to alaska. please.
  8. Will the Corgi.
meanwhile---if anyone is a travel agent who can swing sweet deals.....hit me up.

Friday, December 23, 2011

an ongoing series of unfortunate events--pt.1

my mom loves lemmonysnikets (sp). and i kind of feel like that line is how our house hunting is going. this is a story about me not being the grumpier of the two of us. also, i think it might be part of a series.

we started looking in earnest last weekend, driving along icy roads with our hopes clinging to the hood of the car. we found two properties we really liked...and quite a few that would not be worth getting out of 480 sq feet for. one was a cute stand alone house with slate floors in the kitchen and bathroom, an immaculately landscaped back yard and general feeling of awesomeness (aside from the fact that there was a giant pair of antlers in it and the skin that must have come from the antler's owner over the edge of the bed). it had a regulation horseshoe pit, established veggie plantings, and a greenhouse

The other was a larger zero lot line, read: townhouse, with a huge backyard and separate laundry room and spacious bathroom. it's open floor plan made you feel like it was a proper house.

After getting excited, we lost a bidding war for house number one on monday (see the post about the mortgage). we turned around and offered on the other one. After what felt like an interminable amount of time (12 hrs), i noticed the status had gone to pending on the website. anticipation filled my heart....were we really home owners!

nope. the other one was already pending sale. that meant we had seen a house with a bid already on it. at this point, somehow, i became the calmer of the two of us as adam became very frustrated. having both we really liked slip through our fingers was painful at best. last night it snowed seven inches. i'm thinking that the housing gods were trying to bury our disappointment.

not to be melo-dramatic (i see you all snickering out there) but it is really exhausting putting so much emotional energy into finding a house. looking to see if you can make compromises, decide if it is really what you want, and then lose it from between your fingers. well, that and having to look at houses where tenants leave half eaten food all over and dirty underwear on the floor.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Moose versus Dog


Stolen off youtube....obviously.

It was late in the evening last night and i heard a distinct barking, the kind of bark that only means one thing: moose. I ran to the window and peered out to see. The wet snow had been falling pretty hard for about half an hour and the parking lot looked like it had a fresh coating.....except for where the moose and the dog were. Because i can't remember the boxer/pitt/lab mix's name, we are going to call him "Dog" for ease. Moose shall henceforth be known as "Big Girl". The owner, who will eventually appear, shall be called....nevermind i can't come up with an appropriate name that isn't sarcastic, rude or foul.

Dog and Big Girl were in the middle of the parking lot. Big Girl stood at least 8 feet tall and dog is a Medium large creature about 45-50lbs, We have met Dog before and Neah played with him. Dog is about the same age as Neah. So Dog was barking and puffing, acting tough and charging the moose. I watched this dance between Big Girl and Dog for a good 60 seconds before I began to wonder where on earth Dog's owner was. There's was no one calling for Dog. (Neah by this point had smelled the moose and begun to flip her ish in solidarity with Dog). I watched as Dog chased Big Girl across the parking lot and into the trees, a sort of two steps/bounds/hops forward three back affair, until they eventually disappeared into the yard that leads to the illegal gambling ring house.

Realizing i had stuck gold for the blog, i stayed at the window....still wondering where the hell owner was. Finally, about a minute or two after Dog chased Big Girl into the trees (they weren't far because i could still clearly hear the barking), owner sauntered up the sidewalk and strolled over to see where Dog had gone. Mind you, Dog is snarling and barking and clearly moving farther away. Owner yelled "Come" repeatedly---which i assume in dog language means "you go get that moose Dog!!" before yelling DAMMIT DOG COME HERE, tying his shoes and trekking into the woods after them--all of this in a truly laisse faire, i am sure the dog will mind me and come back here, non-chalant kind of way.

What ensued was 15 minutes of yelling, barking, and the sound of the yelling and barking getting more distant.

I began to fret that there would be no ending for this epic story---i mean, clearly i had to figure out what was going to happen so i would have a decent story to tell all of you. i remained glued to the window, peering between the slats like the creepy old lady who spies on the neighborhood children. Another 15 minutes of relative silence and then i saw a shadow come down the street.....holding its hat and muttering. It was owner and owner was NOT followed, although he kept lookin over his shoulder like he thought it would magically be there, by either Big Girl or Dog.

So far, no lost dog listing on craigslist...so i am hoping they found him.

Monday, December 19, 2011

one revolution around the sun

a year ago, i had just graduated from law school. i was in my sweatpants, chatting with early guests, watching heidi save the cupcakes, loving how layli took such good care of me as i got ready, hugging mona for the first time that weekend, fighting back tears because my whole tribe was in one place--coming from as far away as london, beijing, and kuwait.

it was the only sunny day in december, perfect and peaceful.

it is hard for me to realize i have been away from the people i adore for a year. i am a nostalgic creature by nature---and i find myself rolling around in the pictures of that day, lost, wading, searching for hugs from two dimensional arms and listening to silent laughter.

i've learned a lot this last year.
here are ten things i don't mind sharing publicly.

  1. think twice about a pet when you have only been married a week.
  2. think twice about staying in a 500sq ft apt for an entire year.
  3. think twice about not getting snow tires....it might result in both cars getting into accidents in the same week.
  4. i am not a patient person....and that is no one's fault or responsibility but mine.
  5. my overplanning causes underplanning by my spouse....conversely, when i refuse to plan, he gets super organized....hmmmm.
  6. the secret to happiness may just be not going to bed at the same time....or getting another xbox remote....or adam being able to shoot things. choose your own best answer.
  7. no marriage is perfect, but if you chose the perfect partner you always keep growing.and love each other at least equally with how crazy the other person drives you and that matters most. :)
  8. think twice about a pet when you have only been married a week
  9. if one of you is a nomad, living at the end of the universe might not be the best plan ever....or make sure you have a large travel fund.
  10. heidi's mom was right-----kindness is always better than rightness.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

fishy fishy.

when we were little kids, we always had a tropical fish tank. i think this was the parental solution/prevention of more gerbils (read: rapidly procreating rodents). invariably, there was always at least one fish that had "ick" which is apparently a technical term for some kind of fish-sickness. we each had our designated fish, the most notable of which was a silver dollar fish named "silvery" that belonged to Anna. Silvery, much like neah the dog, was afraid of everything. now, i'm going to ask you to put your psycho-analysis of what kind of horrible person i am for doing this on hold, but.....i decided that it was really funny to flail my hands at the tank and watch this flat silver fish swim with all its might to the opposite corner and bang into the edge of the aquarium. needless to say anna was not impressed with her older sibling's antics.

anyways, that whole, long story was just to tell you we had fish that we were attached to as kids and didn't eat much fish. They had faces. Nemo can't be eaten. Silvery didn't deserve panic attacks. what that meant was that i have been struggling for the last 20 something years to learn to like consume fish. at this point, i've gotten to where i am okay with white fish (you know the flounder, tilapia and halibut of the world) because they don't taste like fish and i can convince myself its something else.

in an effort to broaden our diet, i've been trying to make more fish. this week's attempt was a success, however!! Creamed leek and tilapia over brown rice with corn bread. Also...not at all related to fish, i've started making my own chili seasonings, which are much better than McCormicks if i do say so myself. a light kind of went off in the last week and i stopped really adhering to recipes and started just throwing stuff in and tasting.

adam, of course, is taking full advantage of telling me how amazing my cooking is---not because he actually likes it but because he doesn't want to have to cook. i guess i told him the ill fated story of how my father ended up doing all the cooking in our house and he's trying to avoid it like the plague.

so, to all the fishys of the universe....i will cook you. beware.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

another martha's a big girl story.

I'm about to tell you another martha-teresa-big-girl story. you know, the ones where i attempt to assert myself on the universe Adam is either epically embarrased by whatever it isi have done or completely oblivious. This time it is the former and not the latter.

we went to meet with a mortgage broker yesterday. i was scared. let me rephrase, i was overly optimistic prior to hearing her go "i think the best i can do for you is $$$", which truly might as well have been $5 because it sure wasn't the cool million i was thinking it would be in my head. anyways, i had created a magical delusion in my head by which school loans would be in some other mythical category than other debt. i had tricked myself into believing they would see "attorney-at-law" and allow us to have up to what we thought we could afford rather than what THEY think we can afford. hah. my jedi mind tricks don't work on mortgage brokers.

She politely told us something about the magic debt-to-income ratio for a mortgage and i really should not have picked up the credit report because the combination of the two and the uncomfortable chair created a magic portal into the twilight zone, where Adam's credit score ended up higher than mine. anyone who knows us knows that only ONE of us is a planner, is meticulous about HER credit, and pays all bills in advance just to make sure that there is absolutely no bad things on HER credit report. Where the hell was the Chesire Cat, because clearly we were down the rabbit hole here.
and there it was, not only did adam have better credit than me (by like 20 points on one out of three reports, not that i'm counting), but my dream of instantly moving into a colassal alaskan home with southern exposure, scenic mountain views, a sauna, wood paneling and moose that roam freely between the master house and the adjoining smaller in-law/parent house dissapated. Well, figuring that out sent me from quietly in shock to creeping toward hell hath no fury like the women in my family.  I could have sworn i thought about escaping, but when i came back to i was sitting in front of a very kind lady who surely did not deserve my surliness.

apparently adam thought about kicking me, when i said "are you serious" in that tone that means, "screw you." I managed to get it back together eventually, but there's an important lesson here for future forays to funders: keep m&ms nearby in case of emergency.
you see, sometimes my heart just feels too full--like a dementor attack--hence the chocolate. as the nice showed adam all the cardboard boxes under bridges we could get for the $$$, i had a flashback to a conversation with Heidi over the weekend, where i found myself repeatedly saying that this growing up thing REALLY is for the birds (in words that can't be repeated on this blog). The realities of adulthood snuck up on me this week---friends and acquaintances losing children, concern for parental well-being, the attempt to buy a house, etc. At the same time, there is such joy too.  New babies, watching pee-wee hockey and laughing for half an hour, the unconditional love of a pet, stolen glances with spouses, the creation of dreams, new marriages, and love letters from far away.

for a moment i felt like Q, needing speed to slow down. and then it was over. we stood, shook hands, smiled politely, and walked out into the snow on the hunt for the perfect cardboard box--with me mulling over my bad behavior, equally confused between what happened to me and how adam turned into the planner about this house thing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

my own FAIL blog

I was having a good morning, mostly, for like ten minutes.
It started off a little rough---i took a shower and came back to find this:

Yup. evicted from my own spot on the bed. at least it is her head and not her other end on my pillow.


 
Instill in dog a sense of Mar's space on bed = FAIL



Then i went out to the car. Seems the ice might have hurt the plastic underneath the car a little last night. Read: the ice almost acted like a fulcrum. i tried kicking the ice first with my boots, but that only managed to hurt my foot. So i thought i would wack at it with the ice scraper to try and break down the ice-wall preventing me from backing out of the parking spot. this seemed like a genius plan---surely my industrial Alaskan ice scraper was up to the challenge. and, for a moment, i was a hacking diva, little chards of ice flying away from the car until....
I broke the scraper in half--yes.
Remove Ice by hitting ice wall with scraper like hitting a hoe in dirt = FAIL. 

then i got to work---where for a second i thought i had a monster stroke of genius and solved the problem that has been perplexing me for weeks. At least, i was sure enough that i went around telling everyone i am a genius. I drafted pages on the theory---and then as if on cue at 3pm, I discovered the legislature thwarted me with its wording. Read: i can't read english right.

Solve complicated contract/elections law question (aka read english) = FAIL

i'm thinking maybe no cooking dinner tonight.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

please confiscate the internet

...from my possession because clearly i cannot be trusted. I surf aimlessly while i rework wording in my head---flip through celebrity sites when i am trying to put arguments together.

I keep looking at craigslist pets, looking at cute puppies i want to bring home. Lord knows, i should know better, afterall that's how we ended up with this:

she came to us 11 months ago. It's crazy to think how much bigger she's gotten, but how she's still as playful, nippy, and skittish as she was then.

i keep looking at this picture reminding myself that the ones in the ads are super cute too and we don't need another neurotic mess on our hands---clearly three of us is enough!!

despite my constant bitching about the dog, she is seriously a sweetheart, very obedient and very protective of her herd. All of which are wonderful qualities. She never bites in anger or frusteration, likes to cuddle in the mornings, and is very funny.

all of which, i try to forget when i go back to switching back and forth between the puppies who need homes and the work i am running in the background.

Chinook winds did not materialize. Yet another reminder not to pay attention to the weathermen in Alaska.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chinook Winds

Neah was going ballistic....and then i realized,
she was defending the house from this moose,
who was looking for her because she's so loud.
The other week my girl Amelia was dissapointed when we started talking about the weather. I didn't know how to explain its central role in my existence, that each day is determined by what's brewing, and that i never know for sure what lies in my future because the weathermen are less right here than they are in seattle---which is to say NEVER.


However, there's a storm a brewin in the Gulf of Alaska--set to bring blizzard conditions to some areas (not ANC) and perhaps (hold your breath for it) warm up the weather enough for RAIN.  i know. there are two burning questions in your mind:

  1. Mar, you said it was like 6 degrees, how on earth is some storm in the GULF of ALASKA going to warm it up enough to make it rain.
  2. Rain on top of that 31.4 inches of snow this month you've been whining about--how does that work?

Well, good points my wise friends!  A Chinook wind is a very strong and brings with it warm winds. It can dissapate up to a foot of snow a day by causing evaporation and blowing it away. Also, it can change temperatures by up to 30 degrees in a matter of hours, although not usually that extreme. It can also cause blizzards in places that don't get warm enough. here's the wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinook_wind .

Apparently this happens here sometimes in like January---looks like we are in for a long winter and makes me think of Chris and Leili out in Ft. Smith and wonder about their weather. Point being, no one likes when this happens---because, in answer to number 2, it invariably turns all roads/surfaces/etc into ice skating rinks.

Yuck. On a brighter note, it warmed up to 21F yesterday and i was so excited that my nose hair wasn't freezing that Neah and I played outside for 45 minutes. Small victories.

Friday, November 25, 2011

on why static electricity is not my friend.

the post is about more than that, clearly, but i think the proper story to start with is a little about static cling. winters here are really, really dry--like my lips have been chapped for three weeks and i use chapstick constantly and drink lots of water to no avail--dry. humidity in the house can get down to single digits. for the last week or so, it's been hovering around 30% and so we weren't using the humidifier, relying on the rice cooker and my incessant steaming up of the bathroom to keep the humidity high enough that a cactus wouldn't die from drought. this created two distinct problems.
The problems with no humidity:
  1. my fine hair stands more or less straight up, like i stuck my finger in the light socket or had a bad day with a crimp iron, unless i grease it down. then i look like a homeless bum.
  2. the extra comforter on the bed, a fuzzy velour thing in moss green, in combo with neah ootz-ing around, causes sparks. seriously. at night, with the lights out, when the dog moves you can watch her get zapped by electricity from the blanket. sort of funny, sort of think the aspca might come take her away.
Yesterday, we were thankful for good friends, great food, and a DOPE sledding hill. Best sledding hill ever. We spent two hours sledding on various and sundry sliding devices. Adam and Matt tried every variation of two person intertubing possible to get down the hill going over massive bumps without falling off. The one resulting in sucess involved Adam sitting on Matt's lap. LOTS OF FUN, but very frozen hands.  I think we are somewhere around 6 inches of fresh snow in the last 24 hours...helllllo powder. Which is a good thing, because Adam and I accidently ran into Daniel, over Sarah, and then all fell over one run...four adults lying in various stages of upsidedownness in the snow cackling like 6 year olds.

And we got this yummy treat from the parentals who live in humidity heaven--USVI.

Happy day of rememberance for the things we are grateful for, remembrance of the things we took from others to get here, and honor and respect to those who came before us.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

seester

of the 6 pictures of people in my office, she is in 3. i miss her alot, but don't tell her often enough. mostly, i would like to sit on our old sofa, eating popcorn, bickering, poking, doing seester things.

she's a bad ass, working on a ph.d, likes to swim in monster sized fish tanks, and i suspect likes coral more than than other living thing on the planet. 

She's pithy, funny, charming, and beautiful. And today is her birthday.

Happy Birthday to the Best Sister a girl could ask for. I LOVE YOU.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

us.

Here's what we were up to this weekend:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

keep on rollin, rollin...

i spent an entire night going up and down escalators. i HATE escalators.

another whole night getting on and off the DC metro.

the one that started it all involved going up and down elevators nonstop.

last night was seven hours of cab touring the rural israeli countryside looking for a village i had been to but couldn't seem to remember the name of.

three nights before that, i was on planes flying around for no apparent reason.

in the last week and a bit there have been boats, snowboards, motorcycles, walking and trains...always a different place, always a different reason/underlying story: vacation, searching for something, a wedding, adventure, visiting friends.

I'm starting to run out of new modes of transportation....and am not excited about the prospect of hours of camel riding, donkey carts or tricycles.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

more cabin lust.

There are only a few months of the year it actually gets dark out at night. In the summer it is because of the perpetual twilight. In the winter, the snow reflects the lights and everything is bathed in an orangy haze. I can tell it is winter deep in my bones not only because there's a good foot plus of the white stuff out there but because the scent of wood fire places fills the air in the evening.

it always makes me think of sitting wrapped in a blanket in front of a hearth----spelled too close to heart to not notice that the heat is what warms our souls. This in turn leads to my decision that if we buy a house here, it damn well better be a log-cabin kinda house because that's really the only acceptable kind in Alaska. which in turn leads to searching for pictures of cabins and finding this beautiful creation in Idaho.
Alright, now everyone bow your heads in prayer to the log-cabin God and repeat after me: O Log cabin God! God of all that is wooden and warm and beautiful.  Please grant that mar can have a house she loves in the 49th State. Thou art the generous and kind and the merciful and the bearer of all beautiful houses. Ah-men.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

trivial things.

i really like this picture...the light is great, sky is blue, there's an incredible museum in the background, and really, who doesn't love missiles. I like to look at it and let the warm calm come over me.

yesterday at bedtime, while a "brrrricane" was hitting the west coast of Alaska, the temperature was a nose hair freezing 6F at our house. Luckily, and for reasons completely unknown, it had warmed up to 14F by the time i headed off to work this morning. i clobber into work wearing my huge snowboots, parka and eight hoodies. i pile it all in a corner like the little kid who turns up at kindergarden with too many clothes on.

the other day the mailbox froze shut, as in lock will turn but metal door will not open--at all. after hitting it with everything i could think of to no avail and being told my the apt complex manager that maybe using a blowdryer (until she realized there was no plug) or hot water (until she realized all my mail would get wet) would work, i eventually got one of those flamethrower lighters for fireplaces and a hunting knife and pried it open after heating up the edges of the box. Let's add that one to the list of #thingsineverthoughtiddo. Seriously, if anyone had been watching i would have looked like the craziest person on the block trying to break into or torch my mailbox.

When i relayed this story to Adam---expecting him to be impressed with my ingenuity and prowess at getting ish open--i got a "that's nice, next time can you use the screwdriver instead of the good knife." Harumph. Genius is lost on mortals.

Oh, and the dog has started doing this thing where she jumps up at 2:30 the morning and takes over the entire bottom third of the bed. i drew you a diagram because i am sure you care. NO CRITIQUING the fact that i drew stick beings or that i am the same size as adam and the bed. she also needs to fluff her space on the comforter before she lies down. I'm plotting running netting around the bed to thwart her.

Monday, November 7, 2011

East-siiiiiide

Ok Left coast....i gotta tell you i miss home. home being the generic word i use for anywhere i like better than somewhere else at any moment in time.

i told adam people were nicer on the east coast and he said it was just because i am nicer on the east coast. that might be a fair assessment.

We were on the east coast because we went to the wedding of my dear sister from another mother, Ilissa. She married her blushing bride Lisa amidst 30 foot high stuffed pink poodles at the Visionary Art Muesum in Baltimore and they set off into Eurpoean honeymoonness.

Since i had been banned from bringing my camera and someone *ahem* forgot to bring his to the wedding, i have only this one picture. Thank you, Orlando.

Strangely, it snowed in Baltimore the same day we got our first snow here in Anchorage. It was 1972 the last time that area (the east side one) had snow before halloween.

Undaunted, we trekked out to Gettysburg. Adam is a big revolutionary war buff; and thus, the rented Mustang convertible learned more about the battle than it wanted.

Here we are at stop number two....where Adam is unimpressed i have somehow obtained the camera and am snapping away photos....mostly artsy ones, which seem to have been deleted before i got to upload them.

Then we headed into DC. All i can really say is that if i never see another Smithsonian it might be too soon and I LOVE MY FRIENDS.

My heart got soooo filled up with love and light and hugs and multiculturalism and good food that I don't know what to do with myself. Sometimes i forget that i am blessed with people in my life who i don't have to speak with for years at a time and it feels like just yesterday, with magical strings that tie our hearts together. Karine, i'm talking about you babe. CONGRATS TO BAHIE AND IAN---love you two sooooo MUCH. xoxo.

Neah update: she has now decided PetSmart is her territory as well and that the people there are her herd...so now she barks there too. Oh yeah, we came back to a foot of snow in the last 48 hrs. She LOVES the snow....bounding like a crazy dog. the pic below was taken at 6 inches. We got another 6 overnight last night.

Diggin out the car in foot high snow drifts does not equal fun.

Friday, November 4, 2011

concise summary

I love DC.

Yeah, i said it, begrudgingly. We spent the last week roaming around Balitmore/Gettysburg/DC. I intend to put up some pics and tell better stories once i sort through Adam's photos.

In the meantime, here's a list of things i am beyond thankful for over the last week:
  1. For Adam's excitement to see the Nation's capitol....our night walk to the monuments and his willingness to drive like an aggressive east-coaster.
  2. For getting to be a part of the wedding of two stunning brides, Ilissa and Lisa, in a venue with 30 foot stuffed pink poodles and sooo much love.
  3. For the fact that the freak snowstorm didn't prevent any adventures.
  4. For the kind hospitality of Elizabeth and Shane.
  5. For Scott and Karine, such amazing friends even when i go into radio silence for years.
  6. For the American History Museum's section on the historical portrayl of African Americans in the US media.
  7. For getting to spend precious hours with one of my three BFFs....love you Derick.
  8. For getting to meet Kristie....and understanding the "popcorn" story ;)
  9. For getting a great hotel rate (haha--seriously a DC miracle).
  10. For remembering what it felt like to feel at peace in a city (and be warm both physically and mentally/emotionally).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

morning routine

It is 6:30 in the morning and it is pitch black out except for the faint orange of the halogen lights in the apartment complex. For most of the night, Neah decided that the humidifier on Adam's side was not her friend and was thus streched like superman on the floor next to my side of bed. Much like you and I would turn our pillows to feel the cool side on our faces, Neah shifts rug area periodically to get a cool spot.

For some reason completely unbeknownst to me, the alarm went off at 6:30, pulling me out of a dream where i was packing for a backpacking trip with Derick to South America. Neah, knowing the alarm means at least one of us is vaguely awake, lept onto the bed and situated herself in the crook of my knees between Adam and I. Adam has learned to stay as still as possible once she is on the bed because as soon as he speaks she pounces on his head, licking his neck and face furiously--attempting to clean the sweat of night and sleepiness from him. Me, she doesn't care about so much. i can talk and she just wants to be petted.....but Adam, oh no!  Once she has forced him to get out of bed to avoid the smelly Neah shower, she licks the sheets where he was, trying to lap up the last tastes of him before she curls into a ball and looks depressed we are getting ready to leave.

This is my morning. Every morning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Adam's old.

In honor of Adam's birthday this weekend, here's a list of his loot and two videos of his adventures.
Loot:
  1. Snowshoes and accompanying trekking poles
  2. Snowboard magazine
  3. Hat that turns into a Balaclava
  4. Blue Fox t-shirt
  5. Dinner out
  6. Assorted cards/love from parents, grandparents, and in-laws
  7. FB birthday shout outs from far and wide
We were at a bar that is going to have the Anchorage Hells Angels Halloween party. No, i didn't see any bikers while we were there. For the first hour or so, there was blaring country music and the only food i could find was stale popcorn. I was pretty sure that i was in hell. After a round of darts, Adam decided to change up the music---which also livened up the bar quite a bit. This is what happens when Adam and Matt get dancey:

We finally had to flee when the music went back to country and Matt couldn't stop singing along. Dia and I held our heads in shame---feeling the onset of "dog ran off with my ex-wife" headaches.
Big thanks and love again to Dia, Jake and Matt for coming out to play for the birfday!! Much love to Neah, who slept in until 10am on Sunday with us.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

snow?

8 am bore an uncanny resemblance to 3am this morning--dark, cold, cloudy. The air is getting drier and i think the humidifier may have to come out from wherever we managed to stash it last spring.

As we headed for doggie day care (the once a week sojourn where neah learns that she is in fact a D-O-G), i realized i didn't have my glasses on. Oh well, technically i don't need them to drive, it is just a preference thing....but i could swear that i kept seeing precip falling out the sky. it was sporadic--i couldn't prove to myself i wasn't seeing something.

The windshield had tiny microscopic wet spots; but, there was no freezing rain sound and i was suspicious of the way the mysterious precip was falling. After dropping Neah off--(for her grandowners: she couldn't get in there fast enough or be more excited)--i called Adam who confirmed my suspicion:

Mystery Precip: World's tiniest snowpellets. And so it is....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sunrise: 9am

It is our 10 month anniversary. Yes. i'm counting the months for the first year--giving us a little pat on the back until we cross the magic hurdle of year down, check. Its strange to think that we have been together for around 3 years now--feels longer and shorter all in one.

It also seems so short a time ago that my folks were here, stalking moose and being awoken at 3am by the sun coming up. Now, the sun doesn't rise until 9ish---even the dog sleeps in. we have agreed to turn on the bedroom lights when the second alarm goes off, since oversleeping is way too easy. The darkness seems to have an exponential relationship to my consumption of these:
 











Nom nom nom. Thank you Mona, for the Hot Cocoa. Thank you Costco for the mangoes. Thank you heater under the desk for keeping me warm and at a pleasant 76 in my office.

Monday, October 17, 2011

An Adam update....

Since a lot of the people who kindly read this blog are originally friends of Sado....this blog is about what he's up to. I know you usually glean this vicariously from what me and the dog are doing....but here's one all about him. Today, he's out in King Salmon...see the map. It is just to the west of the Katmai Reserve (you know, where all the pictures of millions of grizzly bears fishing are taken).
He's at this: http://www.adn.com/2011/10/17/2124678/results-are-due-later-today-for.html

Adam's been working on the Save our Salmon Initiative about Pebble Mine. Today, the ballots will be counted, since out in that Borough all voting is done by mail. And so, he has gone to watch the counting.

While it's pretty cool for him, it means that i get to go to Yogurtland (think Seattle Red Mango) in the airport when i go to pick Adam and Scott up later. a-mah-zing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blustery

Today is an Eeyore day. It's blustery and dark...like the universe is screaming that i should have stayed in bed. Can't say i want to argue with it.  So, i figured the way to make is better is a couple of little vignettes.

1. When i was 17 or 18, i made a pen pal friend named Emma. Emma is my tall, blond, california girl. She and I would write long letters back and forth---epic novellas of our lives, with pictures, postcards, and trinkets. it was the kind of friendship every one dreams of---you have your adventurous, crazy friend who spends winter holidays in Thailand and writes you marvellous stories--just like the movies.  Our chances to see each other are always too brief--business trips extended by a day, weekends in NYC. We've gotten slack in our old age with the letters, but i am determined to resuscitate them. At any rate, for our wedding, Emma (and her handsome Aric) gave us the two most used appliances in the kitchen--a coffee/spice grinder and this griddle. Since i am presently on a pancake addiction--eating nothing but pancakes on weekends--i spend a lot of time thinking about Emma, her mix tapes, and how much i adore her. Jayet Khalee--your place is empty my dear.

2. Adam called on his way home from work last night insisting it was snowing lightly. So far, he's the only one that saw it.

3. i am scared of the dark. seriously. mostly because i'm scared there's something that can see me that i can't see that wants to eat me. flashback to the cougar in the woods in high school. this is probably why i prefer large urban environments. so last night, when i take the dog out....there's a weird rain/leaves falling/give me the heebeejeebees noise. i freaked, the dog freaked, i think we thought we were both going to be part of some x-files episode.

Also, if anyone can tell me why laundry bags don't seem as well made as i remember them being like a decade ago (with an answer that doesn't involve a reference to an Asian country) i would be grateful.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

southern churches

I haven't had the need to tell you that it gets into the 20s here during the night, or that the dog is apparently a favorite at day camp, where she gives kisses and loves on everyone. I haven't told you that i have mastered the length of time the car must warm up to get all the frost off the windows or that it is starting to be dark when i arrive at work in the morning. I haven't told you that i managed to polish off an entire bag of dried mango (like 3lbs) in 4 days. I haven't told you how overwhelmingly excited i am that Suzanne is coming for a quick visit on her way back to Seattle from Juneau (yes i know its the wrong direction). And, i haven't told you that we are beginning our countdown to Ilissa's wedding/DC/some of our east coast besties, that i stare at my closet not knowing what to bring or wear, and that 60s sound like sunbathing weather.

Instead, i will tell you that my sister lives across the street from a church in GA. Feel free to insert your own comments about how that could be any corner in the state. The one across from her however has produced this plethora of funnyness over the last couple months:
  1. Church is having a hash sale. I think they mean the potato side dish, but it's funny nonetheless. [anna]
  2. "Live so that they don't have to lie at your funeral"
  3. "Sign broken. Message inside."
  4. "Forgive your enemies, it messes with their heads."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Big long exhale

First--thank you all for the suggestions of hobbies and things to shoot. Clearly, i need to be more specific. There were some great ideas in there---and i am going to try to learn to do some of these things. Sadly, however, all things with string are out because the Neah dog likes to tear anything with thread to smithereens.

This weekend Mona was here....I stole this picture from her and love it even though her eyes are squinted shut from the sun:
We had a glorious weekend of nothingness, skyping with our third, playing with the Neah, buying presents and getting back some good medical test results for me. It's wonderful to spend time with people who have known you in strange situations--wars, food poisoning, addictions to the West Wing, deep tans, chain smoking nonsense, etc, and who still appreciate just who you are for the sake of you. I am very blessed she was willing to brave this morning's frigid 28F to come play with me while Adam tried not to camp near an enormous grizzly bear.


The moonrise from the apartment
 In the land of random facts, i didn't realize that porcupines hibernate. I mean, i can't blame them--i'd go hibernate too if i could. Anyways, on the boys backpacking trip on the Kenai they came across a groggy porki who saw them, then slowly, grumblingly, turned around and stuck its butt in the air to quill them if needed.

Seeing the grizz didn't make Adam think it was a good thing Neah didn't come, but the porki did---as he figures she would have ended up with a mouth full of quills.....No doubt.

Also, a quick note to say that my sister, Anna, is basically the most thoughtful and sweetest woman ever. yesterday was a bit of a rough morning for me and i came home in the afternoon to find a beautiful flower arrangement and stash of chocolates. <3s the sister.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

low pressure light

Truth be told, i have relatively little goin on. i work normal hours, go home and play with a dog who loves me and who everyone thinks is the sweetest thing (when i'm not around), get to have visits with friends every half year or so, attend Baha'i things when i can, and contemplate the fate of the leaves outside. in comparison with the last 5 years (war, moving, crazy schedule, moving, bar) this is kind of a breeze.

So, i found it ironic when it finally got really cold yesterday mornng, the air shrunk (compressed, whatever) and the low pressure light popped on in the Tuscon's dash. First, i didn't know what it was. i took me a long time to realize that it was a picture of a slightly squished tire. which led me to contemplating how i function much more effectively under high pressure. then i thought about my wedding ring...and how the stone setting is baseless, held in place by the pressure from two sides. seems my ring is more me than i initially realized.

which leads me to today...lunch. eating dried mangoes from a bag that assures me are "naturally delicious", remembering how my hair was once the same color as these mangoes, and mulling over all time low mortgage interest rates.

I need some indoor hobby suggestions---ones that do NOT require space (ie painting). Please comment suggestions below. Also, please remember that i do not own a gun, so shooting things...moose, artic squirrels, etc is not a valid hobby.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

3 sleeps

Until i get to squeeze Monza to death...i'm antsy and giddy and all kinds of wound up. and I'm kicking the boy out of the house so he gets at least one backpacking trip in this year. it almsot makes me forget there was frost on the INSIDE of the car today.

also, in the land of things that make me happy is this amazing woman:

finally, my dreams have been weird lately. Strange combinations of old faces (like people i have known for long time) in places they have never been. i'm constantly moving in the dream, always travelling on cars, planes and trains, always searching for something. people who haven't haunted my dreams in in a long time have been turning up--luckily none of them are angry or upset. everyone in the dreams is on the move...a couple have included bus stations and connection hubs. i wake tired and my calves are sore like i have been walking all night in my sleep. i'm sure there is some elusive meaning...but i'm too sleepy to figure it out ;)

Monday, October 3, 2011

always late to the party...

From Adam, Matt and Jake's hike on Sunday
alternative title: how we spent 5 hrs in Costco.

in another life, i was a trendsetter, a fashionista, an 80s child diva turned 90s spiral perm princess. i wore color coordinated outfits with matching scrunchies. i rocked my pink sweatsuit and red boots at my third birthday party and cried when the snow touched them (good little southern girl). i was rainbow-brite hair color queen for a decade or so in my 20s. i love huge shiny jewelry and i still love my pointy toed stilletos, even if i can't walk in them in the snow.

part of me wants to burn all those photos, and part of me wants to keep them for when i'm 80 and no one believes i was ever cool.

while my shoe collection has been holding its own pretty well over the years, i've been slow to keep up with the technological trends. i refuse to buy a book without pages, held out against cameras that didn't need film, waited as long as possible to avoid getting a touch screen phone. i still don't have an iphone or an ipad and can't tell you how to turn my contraptions into mobile wifi hotspots.

Matt and Jake
 i've been slow to keep up wtih store trends too....it took me four years longer than everyone else to get around to sauntering into the Swedish heaven known as IKEA.

So this weekend, after feeling productive about getting the chips in the windshield on Adam's car replaced, we snuck ourselves into Costco to peer around at prices. i whimpered, discovering fancy scales for cheaper than the ugly one we just got, and nectarines at literally a third the price of the grocery store.  five hours and an executive membership later, we found our new winter happy place...replete with peanut butter filled pretzels and jumbo bags of m&ms. The amount of money we will save on Coke alone will pay for the membership. alright america, i know---i'm late, but i get the obsession with Costco now.

oh, and the pictures are because it snowed heavily on the boys when they went hiking on sunday, while i napped :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I've been waiting....

Not just for Mona to arrive in 8 days, but for this to show up on the forecast.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

afternoon pickme up

stolen from Sjona....me encanta.

Monday, September 26, 2011

why my husband might die in his sleep tonight.

it is dark out when i wake up now. while i like it on one hand because i can sleep past 4 am without waking up, the dark and cold mean i do not want to get out of bed. i swapped out the beautiful quilts for a qualifill comforter this weekend--another month or two and i will add the Chilean wool blanked i acquired almost a decade ago on Chiloe.

this morning, we did the dog/shower shuffle. i take the dog out while adam jumps in the shower--he's the slower of us, so he has to go first. i stumbled towards the lights, flipping on every light in the house i could find, and then wandered over to stare at the temperature gauge. it is remote sensored to outside, so i know what temperature it is by number and because the little man puts on more or less clothes depending on how warm it is out. 37F. i shuffled to the closet and found my parka. Neah spazzed out, chasing something imaginary---might have been a vole, but i didn't see it--and smelling the frost. yup, first frosting. i remember thinking how frost meant freezing and 37 wasn't freezing, but with a coffee deprived brain all that thinking sounds a lot like COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD and Crunchy.

i dutifully informed Adam it was 37 outside when he emerged from the steamy bathroom. But, when i got out he clarified---it wasn't 37, he said.....it was 31 and i should have put my glasses on. i almost cried, but responded with---how the did we get somewhere where it is below freezing in September??? to which, let me preface by saying i managed not to scream in response, adam retorted, "no idea...i wanted to move to Florida."

ARGGGGGGGGGGGGH. Grrrr. Hissss.

Friday, September 23, 2011

40F....

happy friday.when we were off on that camping trip, i took a bunch of pictures of weird mushrooms....and today is the day you get to see the one that looks like a cracked egg.
Weeping egg mushroom

this morning was a whomping 40 degrees at our little apartment. i should probably remember that the next time i pull on my hoodie over my t-shirt, slide feet into flip flops and head out the door to convince the dog to do her business and not to try to play or eat the leash at 745 in the morning.  Let's be real though, the coffee hasn't worked its magic at that time of morning and i, therefore, cannot be held accountable for whatever stupidity ensues. also, for the record, i haven't broken out the winter jacket yet, just the vest....and i've only worn that once.

tastes like pig ear?
also, in tribute to football season, neah tried to bite the football. alas, her mouth isn't big enough. adam did rescue it before she managed to remove the laces....she was working hard on them.  it bounces and moves differently than her tennis or baseballs....so it took some getting used to.

And last but not least is the start of dinner the other night...quinoa, chard, and my favorite hand towel. while one of the ladies i work with will ACTUALLY be making moose in the kitchen (slicing up a kill from last weekend) i will stick with the moose/mess theme on the hand towel.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

two weeks and one day

in two weeks and one day i get to do this again:

I am beyond excited that Mona is coming to visit for the long weekend. I cannot wait to squeeze her, hear about all her adventures, and watch West Wing. We will go walking, not hiking, sit in yummy restaurants and laze about.

In other news, i think i am the dog's problem. when Adam drops her off at day camp, she just whines and acts sad he is leaving her. when i drop her off all hell breaks loose and she barks like a nutjob.

also in other news, when it is like 47 F in the morning and i go out in my hoodie with wonder dog, i'm not actually cold. i take her out in the morning because i am scared of the dark...i have no idea why....and refuse to take her out at night. about the cold thing--i'm not sure if that means i'm slowly adapting to anchorage or if i have a really good hoodie or if the part of my body that acknowledges cold has just thrown in the towel out of frusteration at the permanent state of affairs.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Termination Dust

"Termination Dust" is an Alaskan phrase for the first time the snow falls on the mountains....terminating summer (and effectively for me, fall) and announcing the beginning of snow tires and winter. my fearless co-workers gave me advice today on how to not get killed driving the first time it snows and it sticks (expected in roughly a month). per ususal, i stole the shot from the local webcams at borealisbroadband.net. Here's what to do, click on the photo so it becomes giant and look at the mountains for the "dust".

Monday, September 19, 2011

hello, fall. now go away.

When Anna and I were little, sometimes in the fall we would go driving in the Appalachain mountains with Bob and Lissa to see the leaves. Beautiful oranges, reds, yellows and greens in the Great Smoky Mountain mist. the leaves are one of the things i miss most about the east coast. it was like someone's paint brush exploded and covered the world in rich colors.

In the last two weeks, the area around anchorage has completely changed colors. it went from a lovely, rich green to a shade i would rather not admit is yellow and falling off. yup. fall comes the second week of September and stays for about two weeks. this time next month, there should be snow. afterall, we are above the 60th and snowtires are legal again.

This is the webcam from between our house and my office. there are three important things about this photo.
  1. at about 3 o clock, there is a drive through----it's a 24 hour doughnut place.
  2. this is the start of rush hour. oooooh the traffic. (evil cackle thinking of other's traffic)
  3. if you make it big you can see all the leaves are turning.

Friday, September 16, 2011

habitat to call our own.

One day, neah, adam and i will have a home. until then, i will spend free moments looking for pictures of homes i love and dreaming of winning the lottery. here's today's collection:


68 mil anyone?
bali?

heaven
 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

a bear-tale.

You know the saying about something being a fish tale...you know, it was THISSSSSS big (with arms dramatically outstretched). so forget fishtales, this is Alaska!!  Let's change that to a bear-tale.

This week was my last Ruhi Book 8 Unit 1 class. It has been a real joy both to me and to Adam who gets to go hiking the night I am at class. He jokingly calls it God-class, but really, we both get to do magic for our souls---me through Ruhi and him through nature.

So this week i get home at 930, its dark outside and there's no sign of adam, neah or matt. i know they've gone to an area that's supposed to be closed because of a bear running over some guy (literally...not maiming) a couple weeks ago. when they finally appear at like 1015, they start telling me in excited voices how neah chased off two bears with her ferocious barking. i asked, "seriously?" like 8 times before they finally admitted that no, in fact, they didn't see any bears, although she did bark at some phantom in the bush that could have been a bear. or it could have been nothing. with her both are about equally plausible.

gullable, folks.  also, you would think i should have figured out when my spouse is not speaking the full truth....gullable.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Booties, bike, and a bear??

Sadly, this is going to be epically less dramatic than watching her prance, highstepping down the stairs. Here's Neah's first time running in the booties with the bike. Adam only had to run over her a couple times today ;) It does give you a good idea of the pulling that caused those damn blisters.

Oh, and the crazy neighbor downstairs says there was a good sized black bear in the back yard two days ago.....

Friday, September 9, 2011

pawgress report.

Here's Neah's Day Camp Report card:

Too bad Domino (her friend from last week, too) is the world's most slobbery English Sheep Dog EVER. Also, apparently Neah dominated the slide...because there's a window to the kitchen and she wanted attention from the humans.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

two

my weekend can be summed up in two pictures:
This is mostly what we did all weekend. The boys stuck things in the fire to see if they would burn. We learned that pennies evaporate, bottles melt, so do marbles, and bottle caps don't change. Then they argued about who messed up the fire and tried to find ways to dry out damp wood.


Believe it not, within three minutes of getting her bone, the dog began to dig and promptly buried it. I had never seen a dog actually do that....god only knows where she learned it. But instinct is everything, so there was a massive pit that had to be filled in at the end of the weekend from repeated bone protecting.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

southernisms

it may surprise those of you who didn't know me as a child or adolescent to discover i have a rather thick southern accent. it creeps up at inopportune times like when i lose my voice, am terribly sleepy or have been yelling at concerts. it is thick. my whole cadence changes and i sound like an entirely different person.

the first time (apart from "fixin to", numbers, southern states and naming single objects at a time) where i noticed i had picked up a weird word habit because of the accent was grilled cheese sandwiches---which until i was 13 i thought were GIRL-Led cheeses because little girls ate them. in my accent it always came out GRLLED cheese....so i never knew where the I went. ah the embarassement of high school lunches.

the monotone bland accent nonsense from nowadays was cultivated over years of practice at boarding school, where i systematically taught myself to speak without the accent--it drove my bff crazy. most of the time, i have no problem jumping back and forth between the two (southern and bland) and can occasionally throw in a third that sounds like english is my second language. i speak spanish with a chilean accent, depsite my best efforts otherwise.

anyways, this weekend i discovered another of my southernisms, which i am documenting here to prove i was right. our campsite (see blog posts later this week) was covered in granddaddy long-legged spiders. of course, when i called them that Adam and Matt immediately announced i had the name wrong and that they were called daddy long legs. nor did they let me live it down for three days.

because i do not like being wrong, i looked it up.
Tahdow.
No. I didn't get it wrong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pholcidae and http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_130290.asp both agree with my name choice. so there.

Friday, September 2, 2011

how to embarrass your pet 101



Heh. Adam and I were DYING laughing in pet smart when we first put them on her. Here's to my dressage dog.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

first day of day camp

this morning i got up, went through the morning routine and hustled neah out to the car, bringing along some food and treats. she clearly thought i had lost my mind since she never goes anywhere this early. we walked into pet smart where neah anxiously relieved herself on the floor (yeah, great way to start the morning). she then proceeded to bark and shy away from the people at puppy day camp. finally, the nice girl there asked if she was better when i wasn't around--that they had another dog who is overprotective of its "father", but is fine as soon as dad goes away. i replied i didn't actually know, but i was more than willing to wander away.

forgive the crummy phone picture.

i headed up the aisle and the barking stopped. lo and behold, as soon as i was out of sight neah the ferocious turned into neah the love bug, kissing the pet smart people and wanting to be petted. it seems I am the problem.

i called (like all anxious pet parents) to check up on her a couple hours later. They said she was busy herding an english sheepdog, wrestling and playing and doing great.

i figure this feeling must be just the slightest akin to all those parent friends of mine who dropped their children off for the first day at school---you hope they do well, make friends and don't pee on the wrong things. Often they freak out until mom dissappears, then no worries.

anyone want to share their first day of preschool stories to make me feel less crazy?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

punching bears

there are techniques to preventing yourself from getting eaten and they vary by types of bear. did you know this? here's my summary (ahead of our weekend camping trip):
  1. Brown Bear: Play dead.
  2. Black Bear: Fight hard
  3. Polar Bear: S*&^ Out of Luck
last night adam and matt came home from their hike to announce that they had seen an entire herd of moose (aka 3) and that they had wrestled them bare handed. clearly these guys are going to have great "fish" tales to tell one day. then they decided to tell me it was right before adam punched a grizz in the nose. Like KAPOW.

uh-huh. right.

then, today i find this article, where homegirl seriously punched a bear in the nose:
http://www.adn.com/2011/08/31/2041534/juneau-woman-saves-her-dog-by.html

Adam says the only reason it didn't eat her was because "...the bear thought she was feeding it and then she took the snack away and it was confused."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

in the fields of Tar-Jeh

Once upon a time....in a far away land called Alyeska, there lived a young man. The young man was a handsome fellow, with green eyes, a fetish for Sanuk shoes, and a compulsive need to smell things.

One day the young man and his bashful bride went wandering in the aisles of the field of Tar-Jeh, in search of new cleaning product for their millions of loads of laundry.

As if pulled by a magnet, the young man found himself in front of the natural "green" detergents (you can tell because they put a big green leaf there to make sure you know), compulsively smelling each in turn and demanding that the bashful bride do the same until, after what seemed like the better part of the afternoon, he finally settled on an acceptable scent.

Ladies and Gents, i am honored to introduce Adam, the king of compulsive smelling. Believe me, the only place worse than the detergent aisle is the hand soap aisle.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Alaska State Fair


Since i didn't die of cancer last week, we decided to celebrate by going to the Alaska State Fair. Firstly, these chickens freak me out. Especially the one with the gross head.
Now, with that said, i was surprised by the fair. The fair, which is out in Palmer, is of course considerably smaller than the one i was used to from North Carolina. I expected acres of livestock and produce, miles of games and ride after ride of goodness. instead there were 5 rides, mostly tea cup variations/ferris wheels, about 100 yards of games, and enough stands selling hot tubs to last all of Alaska.

High points were definitely that we went to a lumberjack show and checked out the huge veggies:

Rumor has it that there is a world record setting pumpkin coming in this week---1800lbs or something.

 


Thursday, August 25, 2011

on drugs and dying.

This week was not so fun, but judging from other people's facebook statuses i don't think i was alone in my illness this week. mine perhaps more than others turned me into a crazy drama queen. thus in an attempt to garner sympathy for Adam, i am telling you all this overly personal story.

Tuesday morning i awoke feeling weak, but didn't feel like i was running a fever. Thinking it was too early in the morning to be a complete woos, I went to get my cavity filled/repaired and came to work. this tooth has been the bane of my existence for a year now--it has taken 5 trips to 2 dentists in 2 states to get it properly done. love the new dentist in alaska--in and out in under 30 minutes, no pain, no Novocaine face.

By noon. i had chills and the lymphnodes on the right side of my body were large and weirdly sore. i've been on antibiotics for another thing, so it seemed strange to be sick on them. i had turned the heater on and off more times than i knew was possible to try and compensate for my constantly changing temperature. A quick search of webmd, coupled with my rash and bruising, left only one option--i was clearly dying of stage 4 cancer of any one of all equally horrid types. Since this was the case, there must only be hours left on earth and i should definitely spend it in bed reading Alice in Wonderland rather than staring at a computer screen having problems subtracting 3.5 from 5.

As i pulled into the parking lot at home i called my PA, Rachel, to ask if she thought i needed to come in. i got an appointment for 7:10 that night...tuesday is late night at the clinic, thank god. Neah looked thoroughly confused at my reappearance midday but clearly understood something was wrong because she promptly laid down and didn't get up again after i took her out and dramatically collapsed on the bed declaring to her in no dog-uncertain terms that i was dying.

By 6, when Adam came home to take Neah hiking, I had chills and everything ached. i informed him i was pretty sure it was cancer and he had better hurry home from his hike. as you can imagine, he doesn't believe in my powers of webmd.com, either. So, after muttering about ruing the day my husband left me dying to go on a hike with Matt, I packed myself into the car and arrived at the clinic about 20 minutes early. Fortuitously, they had been about to call me because of a cancelled appt before mine.

The first indication i wasn't crazy came from my blood pressure 129 over 86. Tachycardia. i am always 110 over 68-72. second was the fever...100.8. i am usually around low 98.something. We worked our way through everything....could this be mono? could this be strep? Rachel was 90% certain that all this might be a bad allergic reaction to the Septra i had been taking. Either that or it was the strangest virus ever. I told her i was still pretty certain that my Internet searching was right and i was dying of cancer.

However, after thorough inspection and a throat swab, the Septra was confiscated and off i headed toward the grocery store with a new prescription for Gatorade. i clumsily stumbled my feverish incoherent self around the grocery store, certain that if i was not dying of cancer then i was at least infecting everyone with the plague, searching for gatorade, a thermometer, and the chocolate almond milk Adam had made a point of mentioning i should get when i said i would have to go to the store after the doctor.

Armed with all this i went home, curled up on the sofa, compulsively checked my temperature and prepared for imminent demise.

Then, the long wait for the end of life began.

Apparently, it is going to be a really really long wait because yesterday morning i was a blissful 98 degrees. The huge lymphnode and rash were still there, but my head didn't feel like someone was sitting on it anymore. I stayed home, playing it safe and diligently checking my temperature until i levelled off at 98.4. Today, the lymphnode is still tender, but decreasing along with the rash.

Turns out I'm allergic to Septra. Who knew!!