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:

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 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, 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!!

music. no vale la pena.

so, an unanticipated result of living out here is the lack of new good music. Alright, i admit that Mos Def is in town tonight playing a concert at Mooses Tooth and i am not going, but it's been a minute since i got ahold of some jamz before they hit the airways and got beaten down because of repeat replay. D, Freda, Nedz, feel me??

brace yourself. thus, the heavy rotation play list looks like this:
Moment for Life- Ms. Minaj
Roll-up Whiz Khalifa
Cosmic Love--Florence and the Machine
Good Life--One Republic
How to Love--Lil Wayne
Best Thing I Never Had--Beyonce

if you think this looks a little sad, because i ain't disagreeing wit'cha, then you should be helping a sista out.

Monday, August 22, 2011

bells, bears, bwahah

Yesterday around lunch time there was a major bickering match going on in our tiny little apartment. Not involving me. I know---you are in shock it wasn't with me. Adam and Matt (our newly moved to Alaska from iowa/ohio friend--just kidding, kansas) were gearing up to go backpacking when Matt hoisted his backpack on. The tiny apartment filled with the sound of a herd of Santa's Reindeer at Christmas. If you are thinking jingle bells, good guess.

Neah looked at him strangely (i think it was the first time she's heard bells) and Adam started practically yelling about how ineffective and annoying bells are. And how Matt better take the bells off or they weren't hiking. Ok, truthfully I can't really remember what they said, but the point is that since loudly arguing is Adam and Matt's favorite sport, said bickering match ensued regarding the bells....and continued out the door with them as they left for the great wild yonder.

For anyone not from the north or the woods, the bells are "to alert the bears you are coming." Except they don't work: This is yesterday on the trail Adam and Neah hike often. It is about 10 minutes from our abode.

Then again, maybe the bells just get you run over and not eaten, in which case--jingle on Matt!! Personally, i think the snarling australian shepherd will be a bigger deterrent to the bears--she definitely makes more noise than bells, but who am i to deny safety precautions and prevent sharing the holiday spirit 4 months early.

Friday, August 19, 2011

rainy friday

it has been a rainy week and i can feel it affecting my mood. i slink around a little more, slump lower in my work chair, pull the heater closer and eat more fruit. in general, i have felt really blessed by the sunniness of Anchorage in comparison with Seattle. but the sun is setting now by 10:30 and as the days grow shorter my desire to wrap up in a blanket, drink tea quddus makes, and nap or watch endless episodes of West Wing with Mona dramatically increases.

last weekend, neah and i spent quite a bit of time hanging out at the University Lake dog park. i had been really nervous about taking her by myself--convinced she was going to run away or acost a biker. there are no fences around any of the Anchorage dog parks, which added to the concern about her running abilities. At any rate, i put on her zap-collar, took her to play frisbee for 30 minutes and then off we went. lo and behold. my dog actually comes to the command "come" when she's off leash!! she made lots of puppy friends and only tried to eat one biker, who started to say mean things to her at which point i literally yelled "dude, you just rode through a dog park--are you kidding me??". actually, i think that section is multi-use, but you kinda have to know that if you ride a bicycle through an off-leash area, it's potentially bad news bears. anyways, she sprinted through the woods, went swimming with some lab puppies and a spaniel and had a blast bounding around until her paws got blisters from the fast turns to change direction. in return, i got a good walk, peace of mind about her not being mean, and a calm dog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Sometimes I feel a lot like this guy. Photo credits: Bob Tansik.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

to the 8 legged creatures...

Dear Spiders.

I am not pleased to have to acknowledge your existence. However, there seems to be a striking increase in the number of you who are lurking in the last week. Please remember that circa 1984 we developed an understanding, wherein i would search every room before bedtime and kill all of you or have someone else kill you. while i recognize that you may now think you are safe because the other human in my home doesn't like to kill living things, i would like to remind you i have no such qualms. this reminder notice covers not only the home, but also extends to the work place, the car and anywhere else i find you within death distance.

Please consider yourselves on notice that i will kill you, yo mama, and yo cousin, too, if you decide to come visit me again.

Worst wishes,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Neighborhood watch

It's the neighborhood watch sign. We've all (at least in the US and Canada) seen it. Usually it means that the little old ladies in the hood will sit around peering from behind curtains not updated since the 1980s and call the cops when hoodlum teenagers prowl around with skateboards.

(BTW, I do think there is an illegal gambling establishment in a creepy building just past our apartment turn off...but that's beside the point. At first, i thought maybe it was an NA/AA thing, but Adam thinks its a gambling op based on some cryptic comments from a taxi driver one time.)

Anyways, in our neighborhood it means that this:

Lissa's ridiculously cute pic of Neah
has discovered that a window or door was left open and is ferociously announcing the presence of anything that moves within a 500 yd radius of our apartment. Day, night, rain, snow, sun, anytime. Seriously, ANYTHING and perhaps even somethings that aren't there. Who needs little old ladies when you can have this??
So, i'm willing to pimp her out. Who needs a watchdog?? Small fee, house trained, responds to cheese and carrots, will probably bark at you, too....