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: .

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


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


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


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 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 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).