Aug 31, 2006

The Jello Belt

You know the bible belt? It goes through the majority of the southern states and is comprised of the Praise Jesus type. You know it. I thought it was the only "belt".

I was so wrong. Did you also know that there is a Jello Belt? I'm not even kidding. It was even written in the internet scripture! Apparently, the great basiners love the crushed and boiled bones of animals that we so affectionately refer to as gelatin. They also love to make different salads and cakes out of it.

My friend makes this "killer Jell-o cake". Sorry, sweetie, but there is no such thing. A killer cake must have tons of chocolate in it to qualify. Or it should be pineapple upside down cake. But Jello? Save it for the bowl with marshmallows. And don't even get me started on lime jello with carrots.
Jell-o is also the official snack food of Utah. How did that happen? That is probably one of the biggest reasons I never felt comfortable as a resident of Utah. Also, something interesting is that the offical vegetable of Utah is the Spanish Sweet Onion. What the hell is that? I know I only lived there for a few years, but still.

I also was unaware that most states have their own "state food" and "state drink". Here are some that I found to be completely normal:

Alabama: Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey
Georgia: Grits
Idaho: Potato (clearly)
Massachusetts: Boston Cream Pie
New York: Apple
Oklahoma: Cornbread
Texas: Chili
Wisconsin: Milk

Here are some that are stretching it a little:

Washington: Blueberry Muffin
Pennsylvania: Chocolate Chip Cookie
Delaware: Milk
Michigan: Tart Cherries

Here are some that makes me think "this is why America is failing as a country":

Maine: Moxie. Moxie? What?
Illinois: Popcorn. What a lame ass excuse for a state food. Popcorn is every zipcodes food
Missouri: Toasted Ravioli. I actually ate this when I went to Missouri. A friend and I asked what was the missouri state food and he answered with the T.R. We thought we were being scammed. I guess not.
New Mexico: Bizcochito Right. What else would it be? What about a taco?
Rhode Island: Coffee Milk. Is it like 2 parts coffee, 1 part milk? Or 3 parts milk, 1/3 part coffee?
South Dakota: Kucken. Again, what?

Come on guys, get it together. Whatever happened to good ol French Fries and Bologna Sandwiches?

I must confess...this is gross

Afficionado of all things white trash?
Want to secure your dedication to Hollywood's golden couple?

Someone has been so sweet to share this little piece of Mr. and Mrs. Spears with everyone.

That'll teach 'em

Remember how I told you about me being the token office bitch?
I still hold that title. But before you start feeling bad for me (which isn't really necessary--I do that enough for everyone involved as it is), you should know that I have really been making the most of things here in the old paper pushing department:

1. I was asked to make a cover sheet for a packet on the subject of managers dealing with casualties, aka death. But on the little post-it, the person asked for me to be creative. Oh, boy, this is where I shine. So I searched online and found a good joke, slapped it on the cover and turned it in to my supervisor. Luckily, I had made a backup cover without the joke, which she didn't think was appropriate for a packet about death. If this doesn't make you want to die laughing, then what will. Really.

2. I get to work 12 hour days, every day! While this would be tiring to the normal office person, I am charged from listening to tracks on my iPod and walking around without shoes on. After everyone leaves it's me, the papers, and my hot dance moves.

3. I am really good at walking around during the day and talking to people about
a) Gardens -- Wow, your swiss chard is so sweet. How do you grow such a lovely chard?
b) Vacations -- Really? You say you have a cabin in Glenallen? Do you let friends and coworkers stay at their leisure?
c)Fashion -- No, I'm not wearing a hospital gown. This is actually a shirt.
d)Gossiping about all the firefighters --
Did you see that _____ was in a hotel room with another person last week?
Yes, he called yesterday and told me it was actually 2 extra people. Both girls.

4. I have successfully trained the vending machine man to give me all of the mangled/expired vended treats. This has included 2 cokes, a diet coke, 10 bags of ranch flavored chips, and a cookie. Just so we're clear, office people are like vultures when it comes to treats. I have secured many friends and cohorts with these free treats.

5. I get to say fun office things like:
Is it Friday yet?
I'm up to neck in papers!
I'm working through lunch today!

6. I get to use the intercom to page people. Sometimes I like to play around and say things like:
a) There is an old, rusty truck in the parking lot with its lights on. (Which pretty much counts for everyone)
b) Kelly, please dial ___(I click out before the number is said. They love to guess the 4 digit extension.)
c) Happy birthday, Janna! Hey everyone, don't forget to wish Janna a happy birthday! And come down for cake and the spank train later today!

I love offices.

Aug 29, 2006

There and back again.

Where were you this weekend? Maybe you took a trip to the lake? Or camped out in the warm summer night? Or maybe you stayed indoors all weekend enjoying the AC because it was Just too hot to venture outside. While all of you were enjoying the sweltering heat wave, I was buried in layers and layers of clothing, clinging to dear life in an effort to sleep comfortably through the night and survive the frigid windy day. That's right, while all of you were enjoying this kind of summer day:

I was more playing like this:

Who signed me up for this kind of August weather? Well...I did.
Some friends and I decided it would be a great idea to go up north driving on the Dalton Highway this past weekend. The Dalton goes to the very top of Alaska, to the Arctic Ocean. From Fairbanks, it is about a 450 mile journey. If you were to think that the drive would only be abour 7 hours, you would be very wrong. Because at the beginning of the highway, there was this sign:

The roads are treacherous with potholes everywhere and bumps and dips that would send our heads to the ceiling of the truck on more than one occasion. But that didn't stop Sam from driving sometimes speeds up to 100mph. Apparently we were all sleeping. It took us about 9 hours. That is very fast, Sam.

We decided to drive up to Toolik lake, pronounced like Two Lick Lake. So, dubbed Team Toolik, five friends journeyed up to camp out at Toolik. We arrived at 2 in the morning after crossing this:

And tried to set up our tent in the 20 degree weather. We realized in the morning we had slept on rocks, even though there were fields of tundra grass all around us. We may have been tired and/or delirious from the cold.
Notice the rock holding the pole on the left side on the tent. It's because we couldn't find duct tape.
2:30 AM logic? Not the best.
The next day we went hiking. It was beautiful!

We collected tons of sheds from caribou.
Ryan found two that he thought really helped him blend in.

I was lucky to find a big one. It had some moss growing on it because it was so old, but I didn't care. I was too tough to care.

When I wasn't carrying the gun, Sam carried the gun "just in case". I was a little worried when we would see any animal because Sam always said "Gimmee my gun". We saw a grizzly on the side of the road with her cub and Sam pulled over the truck and said "Gimmee my gun". The bear was probably rolling his eyes thinking, "man, this guy is such a silly redneck". And the bear was right.

After our tundra hike, which if you have never hiked on the tundra, all you have to do is douse a couch with water and then try and walk on it. Squishy wetness. So after the hike we drove up another 115 miles to Prudhoe Bay. It is as far as the road will take you in the USA.
We saw lots of animals on the way, like these furry musk ox frolicking by the pipeline

The entire town of Prudhoe was built up to capitalize on the oil industry up there. Everyone around you is either an oil guy or an elderly person on a tour bus looking for the arctic ocean. Very odd dynamic. But it felt amazing to be at the top of everything!

Aug 24, 2006

office fun

So maybe I am Pam.

But here's the fun part of being Pam. I discovered the laminator today. I'm thinking posters...recipe books...weeds...what else can you shove through a laminating machine? Help me out here, I've got 3 months worth of laminating catch up to do in the next 4 weeks!

And this one goes out to Mike, who once uttered these profound words:

"I'd like to cover everything important in my life with plastic."

Those autumn leaves

The sun in shining and it's going to be in the mid-sixties if we're lucky. Thats right, autumn is upon us here in Fairbanks, Alaska. And it is August 24th! In my past, August is a month of heat, humidity, late night lake dips, slurpee runs, and camping outside without need for a 0° sleeping bag.
Now that I'm in Alaska, all this has changed. We are going camping this weekend to the North Slope. There is obviously snow on the mountains already and I'm hoping that the tundra has frozen so I won't sink down with every step I take. We are camping in -20° bags and we'll be suited up in down coats, thermals, and bunny boots. I love this weather. You think I'm joking?

Feeling knotty?

One of the great things about Alaska is its propensity for nature themed attractions. It's a pretty secure investment, given that there is an abundance of land for all to enjoy (until we completely ravage it as we have most other places...but I digress). In addition to being nature themed, there are often clever and witty guises for these attractions which further draw in the crowds. You may remember my account with the giant Santa Claus in North Pole

I recently took a trip further down the Richardson Highway only to discover this little roadside gem:

The Knotty Shop is built with the "burls" from the forest trees. Burls are the large disfiguration "knots" that form in the trees and are extremely valuable to the keen eyed furniture maker. Burls also make lovely gifts in form of large insects.

This elk has severe arthritis and inflammation. Poor thing.

I also found a new little friend. It's nice because he can keep me company, and I never have to worry about where he went. I pretty much always know.

After the fun at the knotty shop, we realized that we were very hungry. So of course, we walked over to the nearby forest to have a tea party with some animals. We were worried that nobody might be there to meet us, but fortunately everyone had gathered with excitement.

We all gorged ourselves on cucumber sanwiches and scones. After that, I felt very knotty, indeed.

Aug 23, 2006

Facing your fears

When I was a child, my father had the brilliant idea to let me watch a scary movie with him. His effects from his bravado can still be seen today. I only watched about an hour of the movie, but it was enough view time to stick with me for over 15 years.


Does anyone recall this movie? I had reoccuring nightmares for years and years. I swear even the bad dreams I have now in my adult years have their root in this frightening tale. This movie conjures up images of green men, day-glo safeboxes, women with marge simpson hair floating in the sky...I don't even know if these things all came from the movie, but I associate them together.

So the other night I went to watch a movie with some friends and what did they choose? The NEW Boogeyman movie! I had no desire to see this new movie because of all aforementioned fears, much like I would never ever ever see Arachnaphobia. Ick. However, I was outvoted and Bogeyman it was.
Much to my chagrin, I popped down on the couch and got in Scary Movie Position, knees hugged to chest with one arm, as the other arm was being utilized with my hand covering my eyes, fingers spread to look through.
As I watched the movie, I was scared of course, but the fright was superceeded with a realization of where my nightmares came from.

I used to have this reoccuring nightmare that the basement door was glowing. The glow would draw my family in like a moth to a flame and one by one, I looked out the window to see everyone floating away to their death. Sometimes in the dream, I would be sitting in my room crying and one of my family members would pop out from under the covers and admit that they were "just joking". They didn't float away, after all. Though, everyone else actually had. But at that point, I was just happy to have somebody back in my life. Scary, right?
Well I realized that I was having this dream because in the Bogeyman movie, everyone floats away when the Bogeyman gets them. Thats pretty scary for a little kid to think about!

So I guess I am glad that I faced my childhood fear. I played Freud, and I won.
Next movie I want to watch that pushed me into one of the kids whose afraid of the basement is The Huggabunch Movie. Sounds innocent enough, but trust me when I tell you to surround yourself with friends and loved ones while watching this. You'll need the support.

Click here to read an extremely raw review of the huggabunch. This guy pretty much echoes my sentiments.

Aug 21, 2006

the red scare

create your own visited states map

This map just screams "I travel the I-80 and I-70 all the time". I need to make it up to the northeast, and down south. I'll hit up North Dakota as a last resort kinda thing.
Anybody up for a road trip?

Aug 19, 2006

That flesh picture was really grossing me out everytime I logged on, so I figure I should post again. With nothing too interesting going on, I guess I will write about the irkiest thing that happened to me last night.
Was it the fact that I didn't have dinner? No, I call dinner my "health shake" followed by a healthy dose of lucky charms.
Maybe that I spent the entire night in my room watching movies by myself? No, I made a conscious decision to be alone and have "J movie night". You could only come if you had the same name as myself. And let me tell you, it was really nice to be alone for awhile. After spending days at work forced to have one mindless conversation after the next, its nice to clear your head from time to time.
Was it the fact that Jon called me a cowboy in his text? No. That was fine with me, its a nice change from the term of endearment usually reserved for me. Oh, hi Jon. I'll text you back when I stop being so elusive. Please don't trample me.
So what was the irkiest thing? It was that when I got the embarrassing Angelina Jolie movie (that took some courage to walk up to the checkout area), I opened the case at home, only to find a movie starring not large lipped Angelina, but male inspired suit wearing hat donning, Diane Keaton!!
Movies in the wrong case...not funny.

Aug 17, 2006

Eric, the vegetarian viking

This post is especially for people who believe that hell is not hot, but cold rather.
While browsing pictures at the bbc, I came upon this rather disturbing photograph.

Something about the way the body is haphazardly placed, or maybe the "blood" at the edge of the plastic makes this person's protest very creepy.

But more importantly, I'm wondering: Is she really naked under there? I mean, that sticker thing. Is it...conveniently placed for tactical reasons? Or is it only to draw the attention of an innocent passing meateater? Not to mention, if this protest took place in the UK, where the temperatures have been busting thermometers everywhere, how is she surviving in the greenhouse-effect-like-plastic-container?

Peta really tickles my funny bone.

I remember when I was living in SLC and the fur protestors were ALWAYS out. They would stand outside temple square, almost as if they meant to target all the mormons walking between the square and crossroads mall. I don't feel like that should have been their target focus group. For maximum effectiveness, they should have headed over to Cal Ranch or Cabela's. Straight to the source, right?

Note to self: Think twice before eating tiny little women. It doesn't bode well for all the tiny little men.

Aug 16, 2006 there anybody out there?

I have recently reembraced exercise.
For the past week or so I have been a running fool. Work, run, sleep. Work, run, sleep. I go home after work, tie on the tennies, and it's heavy breathing and feet pounding the pavement for the next 45 minutes or so. I feel great afterwards and I already have been able to run an 8 minute mile, which is really saying something considering this:

I could hardly do this in 7th grade when I was on track. In fact, I think my best time as a professional runner was around 7:30.
That. Sucks.

So with this newfound sense of fitness and muscle-ly awakening I have been racking my brain as to how I can continue this streak of inspiration. Call me completely narcissistic, but I did the unthinkable. I prayed that I could keep up the running. I admit it, ok? I'm vain and I need help from a higher power.
Little did I know how well my prayers would work.

I got lost in the tundra earlier this week and ended up running an extra mile or two.

Yesterday I drove to the gym, only to lock my keys (along with my phone and all my IDs and money) in the car I had borrowed. So I had to run 3 1/2 miles back to the barracks to get help. 3 1/2 miles!!!

Thats a total of about 5 extra miles that I would not have run otherwise.
Ok, I get it. Prayer works, I stay fit, faith grows, everybody wins. Except my shins. They hate me right now.

Aug 15, 2006

Link rescues Princess Zelda from the synthesizing stylings of progressive british rock band

Forever Autumn, the Moody Blues.

Does anybody else think that the electronica part of the song sounds frighteningly similar to The Legend of Zelda?

you, too can move here!!

Remember that Simpsons episode where the family takes a trip to Australia? Bart and the rest of the gang are so fascinated by all the differences that the other hemisphere promotes.
I have been having a similar experience here in Alaska. There are some things that are just...different. I have been making an effort lately to really notice these things in order to share them all with my friends and family and whoever else may be passing through.

1. Rather than having a 7-11 on every corner like in Manassas, or an LDS church in Utah, there are bars everywhere.
You cannot walk more than 2 blocks without seeing one or usually two bars beckoning your presence. They all have such clever names like the Midnite Mine or Kodiak Jacks. There is also a great small little bar by the smelly Chena River, which is actually named "Boatel Sleazy Waterfront Bar". We walked in once looking for pizza, hearing rumors of a pizza oven there. There was no oven, but the bartender had just ordered pizza for the 5 resident drunks and we were invited to partake. We politely declined, but looking back it could've been a real growing experience.

2. Everything is the "Farthest North _____".
There is the Farthest North Bowling League (which is absolutely comparable to any other bowling league in the lower 48. Why is it that anywhere you go the bowling alleys are all filled with the same people? Is there some spiky mullet or baby-toting-beer-guzzling-mother prerequiste?)
There is also the Farthest North Masonic Temple. They open on Tuesdays to visitors. I have yet to put my circle to the square, but it will happen before I leave.
The Farthest North Square Dance Center, Farthest North Glow-in-the-dark mini golf course, and I'm assuming(according to #1) the Farthest North Highest Per Capita Number Of Drunks Roaming The Streets.

3. The toilets all contain extremely cold water.
Upon sitting on the abode, there is a rush of arctic air felt from the frigid water beneath. It's strangely uncomforting, but also refreshing.

4. You've heard of Mormon Standard Time(MST)? Well here in Fairbanks, we have NST, or Native Standard Time.
Apparently there is a 15-30 minute late gene in the native alaskans, probably a symptom of weather and/or overconsumption of alcohol*.

5. Recycling does not exist.
And neither does keeping a tidy fron yard. Homeowners throw everything into the front yard and I suppose it gets frozen there every winter in the -50 degree weather, never to be moved. My friends and I were driving around one Saturday looking for a yard sale that we ended up never finding. But the joke was that everybodys house looked like they were maybe having a yard sale. "Is that a yard sale or just your yard?" became the question of the day.

6. Fairbanks= not a home for animal lovers.
Unless by animal lover I mean they like to shoot 'em, stuff 'em, and grill 'em. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Fairbanks-ians really do love animals, just not in the "I want to protect them from harm" kind of way.

7. Muck-tuck.
It's whale blubber. It's disgusting. It gives me that "urge to purge" feeling. The Fairbanks people love their muck tuck. I see it as a definitive alternate fuel source.

8. The tundra ground.
You're out trail hiking, just walking around on the ground. All of the sudden it becomes painfully obvious that the ground 8 inches deeper than you thought. The tundra is a spongey-water-filled haven of mud, mosquitos, and an overall boreal quicksand.

9. Blues.
There is an abundance of finger lickin good bluesy rock (think Allman Brothers Band) being played in the local bars and venues here. It gets the feet tappin and all the inebriated movin and shaking. I may or may not have tried to grab the scarf off the harmonica player everytime he starts jamming.

*This phenomena is clearly not limited to Natives. In fact, I'd venture to say that its an overall sensation thats sweeping the Fairbanks nation.

Aug 14, 2006

oh, right.

It has been raining since Friday. FRIDAY!! It's Monday, and I know that is only 3 days, 4 days if you wanna push it, but wow I feel waterlogged.
Rain started pouring from the heavens when I was going running Friday. It was actually very nice and refreshing to run in the rain, when it was light and unobstructing to my vision, that is.
Then I woke up early saturday for work and it was absolutely pouring. I drove my car to work, thats how much of I wuss I apparently am. I even went to the gym after work instead of the normal outside bikeride/run.
Sunday, same thing. Rain coat, rain coat, umbrella. Soggy feet.

I've been wanting to go to University of Washington in Seattle for years now. I don't know if I could live through sogginess that my life would be sure to become. 4 days of rain and I'm spent.
On a good note, however, my hair has been holding up amazingly through all the downpour. I'm glad we're friends, coiff.

Aug 11, 2006

Girls night, finally.

Have I told you how the ratio of boy:girl in Alaska is seriously like 8:1? Well, in Fairbanks and especially on a military base with a full stock of firefighters, the ratio is more like 30:1.

I'm not kidding even a little bit. If anything, I'm underestimating.

So nary is there a chance that there is a gathering of just girls, especially cause there are only about 4 other girls my age and they are constantly on detail or out in the field. The chance is slim, but not immpossible! We had the first and last girls night of Summer 2006 last night! I forgot how nice and sweet girls can be. I also forgot how catty and bitchy they can be to each other, even when joking. And I really like that about girls. And also how when you put any group of girls together, the conversation will always find itself in giggly hysterics talking about boys.

We went to Jen's new cabin to say goodbye to Nicole, celebrate the securing of the cabin for Jen, and to enjoy merriment and gossipy fun. For any of you who ever saw that Mormonad "Gossip: Don't spread it around" with all the black goo on everyones hands, I have to say that I always thought that looked like fun. And that is probably why I enjoy US Weekly so very much.

We took off from the barracks on a sunny day

And headed to the store to stock up on essentials. Natasha got some cherry tomatoes

And Jodi bought snap peas. And two pints of Peach Sorbet. One for her and one for Jen. What a sweeter! She was really excited about the Sorbet.

We arrived at Jens cabin in high fashion, but her cabin was cuter than we were. Serious style, cabin. I'm jealous.

So we all got inside and feasted on chips, yummy avocado (it's hard to get good avocados in Alaska!), tomatoes, and went to work grilling fresh Salmon and I think Moose meat? Or maybe buffalo. Anyway here is the slab of flesh. It's so bloody. Jen is so proud of her kill.

Yay, I love my girls! Miss you all!


For those of you in the unawares, I recently became the recipient of yet another fish. On to fish #3. This fish is much larger than Stan or Neil could have ever hoped to be. Upon receiving Veechnya, my friend told me that he(my fish) would be my friend forever and I only had to take care of him.
So imagine my suprise when I came home to my bloated Veechnya swimming around his bowl amidst a flurry of floaties. did he get his bowl dirty so fast?, I thought. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that it wasn't dirt at all! In fact, there were about 13 little guppies swimming around Veechnya, who is a girl fish!
I've been had.

But the story continues. Overnight, sadly (but to be expected) most of the babies died. The mom corraled them into a little pile and swam around with the remaining 5. I decided now would be a good time to transfer them from the filth and stench of death into a clean, spring watered bowl of freshness. So I did.

5 minutes later I check back on them to see if they look hungry. As I was pondering how you go about feeding baby fish, I peered closer into the fish bowl.
Where did all the babies go?

Then I saw it. Veechnya was chasing the last remaining baby with lips pursed, mouth open, and a murderous gleam of infanticide in her eyes. It was like a twisted Survivor episode. Luckily, I was on my toes and quickly grabbed a cup to scoop out the guppy. I've heard of maternal instincts, but seriously--why would the mom eat all her babies? Is this normal? Am I doomed to have suicidal/infanticidal/neurotic fish for the remainder of my life? And more importantly, what do I do to keep the last survivor alive?

Aug 10, 2006

A Fairly Good Day

I am a girl that despises certain things.
1.Pebbles in my shoe.
2.Creed and anything having to do with the singer, and the genre in general.
3.Black Jeans.Icky.

4.Tapping noises or beeping noises. I simply cannot handle them. I sold my car because it beeped entirely too much for someone in my condition.

5.The Fair. Despite the fact that I am an avid people watcher, cannot get past the fact that there are sad animals in cages, acne ridden teenagers groping each other on the ferris wheel, vats of grease waiting to erode stomach linings, and a various assortment of "local talent".

Sometimes I don't even have a reason for hating these things, except they encroach upon my life in such a way as to make me uncomfortable. People have called me a snob, but I don't think that's too accurate. Except that I do, and I am.

So imagine my surprise when I agreed to go the Tanana Valley State Fair! Me! The girl who is an openly admitted fair-basher! However, I received a free ticket from Nate, who understood my brazen hatred for all-things-fair, and was willing to walk me through it.

After bypassing the front gate, we entered The Fair. Panic, Shortness of Breath, and Wobbly Knees ensued. Then I heard loud banging and tapping sounds. Don't worry, it wasn't in my head, it was The Percussionists.

They probably drove their mothers crazy, but I guess it all paid off in the end! The guy in the corner is thinking "I wish I were a percussionist". The apple on the wall is thinking "Hmm...what would I look like with a sweet fade haircut like him?"

So then we decided we should go look at the poor animals in cages. Nate told me they were well cared for, and the only reason they were in cages is so people could come pick them out to take them home. How sweet! They wanted little animals of their own to care for. They were all in a barn, packed together like the variety packs of granola bars you can buy at the food store.

But then he told me that the animals were judged by how meaty they were, and the closer to first place, the higher the price. Because the buyers kill them and eat them! I don't think this little guy suspects a thing.

Because he started canoodling with his girlfriend when he thought nobody was looking.

This prize winning cow was so shocked at the blantant display of PDA, that he piddled a bit in front of everyone. There is a look a shame in his eyes.

I think I will just stick with these 2 puppies for my choice of animal. And they are just too cute to eat.

After animal farm, we decided that it would be a good idea to ride on of the rides. The hurricane promised to send us on a whirlwind of adventure. Look at all those people in line!

But, then we saw the old standard. The Bumper Cars. Yay! This sounds like salvation to me!

So, bumper cars it was going to be. That is until we saw The Ride We Had Been Waiting For.

The Gravitron. It had unknowingly been calling me since my short lived relationship with The Time Shaft at Kings Dominion, a favorite ride from my childhood. These kids had ridden it many times and told me that everything was cool. There was nothing to be worried about cause it was just some big time fun.

Nate tried to be cool, but he was seriously nervous.
He's thinking, Julie, this better not be one of those things you promise to be the Best Thing Ever and then is the complete opposite.

Then when we got stuck to the wall and couldn't even lift our heads up, we knew we'd been Gravitroned. This is what is feels like to be Gravitroned:

Luckily my face only stayed like that for about 5 1/2 hours, but I didn't mind. I kept getting compliments on my botox treatment.

So, maybe the fair isn't all bad. I got to hold puppies, oogle farm animals, and go on the most exciting ride this side of Canada. Oh, did I mention I bought this lovely ensemble? You know, just in case I want to go to a sporting event, I'm pretty much covered.

Aug 7, 2006

what would you do if i sang out tune?

I feel incredulously ancient. High school was only 6 years ago and I've graduated college, moved several times, worked my way through one crappy job after the next, but I didn't realize how old I actually was until I stumbled upon this little nugget of shock:

Kevin and his wife just birthed a child! Kevin Arnold, longtime lover of Winnie Cooper, best friend geeky Paul with the coke bottle glasses, yes, that Kevin Arnold. I don't know how he found time to get married what with all his nintendo networking and vacations in monster world. Whenever I hear When a Man Loves a Woman I still scrounge up memories of Kevin and Winnie's first kiss.

One of my favorite memories of The Wonder Years was when Older Brother became the recipient of a fresh fling of mashed potatoes on the face, via Kevin. To which Older Brother promptly reciprocated with an appropriate Stink Eye, and this:
"Tonight...while you sleep...pow"*

I should start collecting the DVD's and reimmerse myself in the brilliance that is The Wonder Years.

But it's not only that show that makes me love the Fred Savage. I think it's the entire Savage family, or atleast the male counterpart. Boy meets World is another favorite of mine. Why? Not sure, really. It has all the makings of incredibly bad TV. Overpowering girl seduces the innocent boy, turning his life upside down, meddling in friendship with Self-professed ladies man Best Friend. Who actually had a serious relationship when they were 13? Or 23 for that matter? I would like to have one good solid TV relationship in my life where each "episode" ends happily or atleast with genuine promise of reconciliation. I would need a best friend, preferably gay, who loves to shop and gossip. I would also need a downtrodden, narcissistic friend whose uniform was a surly scowl and a black sweater. Yes, yes I see this shaping up brilliantly.

But getting back to the subject at hand, Kevin Arnold, I guess I secretly am disappointed that we never ended up together. I look remarkably like Winnie. I mean we are both females and we both have brown hair. We both secretly love or have loved Kevin Arnold in our lifetimes. Whenever I watched The Wonder Years, I always felt like Kevin and I had a special connection. He spoke not at me but to me.** He understood the hardships of being a kid in the scary world of adults and older siblings. He understood what True Love was. I marveled at his intensity and his tendencies to find himself in the midst of many an altercation, and pull through A Winner. I wanted him to be my boyfriend. Kevin, just so you know you still can be my boyfriend. I'm not mad about the Other Girl. I can quickly dispose of my Other Half and we can begin the journey of the real Years of Wonder.

*Index finger and thumb form a 90 degree angle as index finger points towards head in gun fashion.
**He did speak directly to me. In the episodes I watched, he always prefeced his ramblings with my name and occasionally would gaze longingly into my eyes through the grainy 13" television set.

Aug 4, 2006

The northern lights were turned off early tonight

You know those times in life where you think,

"Man, that Indian man hates me."?

Today is one of those days. Here's why. Actually, here's the necessary pre-story to why. Then you'll get the real why.
Fairbanks has no Indian restaurant. Or, so everyone would have you believe. Fairbanks actually DOES have an Indian restaurant and I only know this because I am a master of both the internet and food networking. Not like the Food Network, because I don't watch that really. Rather, asking people.
"hey, so what about Indian food? Are there any good places to go around town?"
" Navajo tacos?"
"no" *sigh*

"I've heard there's an indian place in town."
"oh yeah, it's at a pizza place. I'm not sure which one, but i've heard it's really good."


After three attempts, I finally stumbled upon the Indian restaurant of Fairbanks, Alaska!! In the Pizza4Less (of which there are two, be sure to go to the correct location after ordering), there is a Monday thru Friday serving of Indian food from only 4-8. I went three weeks ago and it was heaven. I had some yummy vegetable byrani and channa masala. So I was telling my friend about this delicious restaurant. He, being a connoisseur of fine Indian food himself, was delighted at this new option which stood before him. He then suggested we go together sometime. To which my heart lept out of my chest and did a little dance on the couch between us. I don't know if his did the same, that is yet to be determined.

So are you ready for the story now?

OK. So my friend, on whom I am harboring an embarrassingly large crush, asked me last night to go get Indian food. We made plans for tonight and I proceeded to think about the Indian food outing that would take place in less than 24 hours.

Awesome food that is like Christmas everytime I eat it AND a hang out with large crush? "Yes, please".

So here's the thing about the Indian food. You must call ahead to order, and apparently, as I discovered tonight, sometimes the Indian man decides he doesn't feel like making Indian food for anybody. Even if that anybody happens to be a honey voiced sweet little lady. And even if she's slightly enamored with someone else who would be eating that Indian food next to her. It just doesn't matter.

Hmm. What should the girl do, given the present circumstances? She will probably go home and call her mommy. Because mommy's always know just how to kiss ow-ies, whether they be physical or emotional, to make you feel warm and snuggly.
Thanks mom.

Aug 3, 2006

blissed irony or secret sabotage

The Alaska Village of Hooper Bay recently sent 20 of its finest firefighters to the Lower 48 to fight fires in California and Nevada. Recently as in 5 days ago. They are only there for two weeks.
In an unfortunate turn of events, the school in Hooper Bay caught fire this morning and burned to the ground, no firefighters around to suppress.

Suspicious, no?

and now for the mass skinning of the seals

Did I ever tell you about the time I was in the olympics?

Actually, I have been in the olympics twice now. A two time olympian participant. One more time and I will be thrice as olympified as a majority of my peers. Not that I'm bragging or anything.*

So Olympic experience #1 involves:
a) group choreography
b) Donny Osmond
c) MoTab
So there we were. My awesome college choir was invited to sing in the opening ceremonies at the salt lake olympics 2002! We sang the star spangled banner to open up the festivities, then (dressed in white coats and hats borrowed from MoTab) we sang back up for Donny Osmond. I forget the song. I forget the choreography. All I remember was afterwards, I saw him driving away on a little golf cart and I yelled after him.

me: Donny!
D: stops and looks back.
me: great job out there tonight
D: flashes a winning crest smile, and winks with what appears to be a mascara-ed eye. Thanks, you too.
Followed up by what would've been bliss had i been a 13 year old girl from 1976.
Did I mention it was the paralympics? Way to go, D.O.

Olympic experience #2
Sitting around on a friday night, shuffling back and forth, looking in the local "goings-on" paper, we stumble upon a little nugget of delight:
The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (WEIO).
For a mere 10 dollar entry fee we can experience everything eskimo. This includes many things:

the two foot high kick, where the olympian jumps off both feet, kicks both feet up as high as 7 feet to hit a ball, and lands on two feet.

Other sporting events like seal skinning (shudder), the ear pull, and the knuckle hop.

An "ice cream treat" that consists of 1/15th fruit, 3/15ths sugar and 11/15ths crisco. Along with this treat, one can purchase a piece of eskimo fry bread for an additional dollar and dip the fried treat into the fruit lard. One bite will send you into cardiac arrest. Or diabetic shock. You may as well pull out a gun and shoot yourself. But I digress.

The highlight of WEIO for me was when they called "big, strong able bodies" from the audience to assist in the nalukatak, or blanket toss.
My friends and I volunteered to grab hold of the large caribou hide and pop up an eskimo into the sky, watching him flip, spin, and generally soar through the night air. Except for the eskimo man next to me who kept telling me I was holding the blanket wrong, it was an overall successful Friday night.

Thanks be to the Greeks who started the friendly competition of sporting events, ANY sporting event, betwixt friends and cohorts.

*except that I am

Aug 2, 2006

Can we all take a moment for my dear lost friend, Neil?

He passed onto his nautical Eden today, after a short, albeit blissfully happy life.
There was a short burial at the jumper garden, where he was surrounded by peas, squash, and a few small guardian spiders.
After I came back to work, "Bridge over troubled water" appropriately played on the radio.

Neil, I'm sorry I couldn't help you to live longer. But maybe you're reunited with your bro, Stan. And maybe you guys can work out your differences.

And maybe I can stop worrying whether or not your water is fresh enough. Honestly.

ard to tell

"We are now on a good path to hand over provincial control of Basra some time in the first part of next year," Sir Jock Stirrup, chief of Britain's defense staff, told British Broadcasting Corp.

This is a real name?
Not only that, but it's the name of a high powered political figure in the UK?

Shouldn't he be donning chaps over at west sussex gearing up for the derby? Or beating up some english bloke in the locker room?

gnawing on wood

here's how it goes.

I wake up at 7:15, hit snooze, unaware that i have to work in 45 minutes.
7:25, hit snooze, thinking 'why am i setting my alarm again?'
7:35, hit snooze, stretch my legs, feel the stretch through my pointed toes, think about getting up and eating breakfast, but instead fall back asleep.
7:45, realize it's too late to eat breakfast or do anything other than throw on my clothes, wash my face, and brush my teeth.
I throw everything into my backpack and scurry to my borrowed bike, where I proceed to swiftly pedal through the parking lot, over the deserted gravel expanse, across the sidewalk, to the headshed.
While on the morning ride, I check out the weather, experience the muscles in my legs waking up, feel the tears running down my face from the wind in my eyes (due to my lightning speed bicycle abilities), and dismount the bike, 2 legs swinging over one side, as would an experienced equestrian.

It is here, at the headshed, where I quickly hang up the flag, turn on the phones, and sit at my reception desk. Then I do a mixture of the following:
1. check email
2. eat breakfast (today oatmeal and raisins, mmm...)
3. read newest US weekly blogs
4. staple someones project
5. research grad schools
6. doodle
7. shuffle papers when someone passes by
8. shop online

I do this over and over again for 9 hours. Will someone else please call me and give me a real job?

i hate the point...

When sugar snap peas become real peas. Then you can't eat the skin anymore. At that point the peas are no longer sweet, instead they taste like mushy pea yuckiness that used to plague your school lunch plate and unassumingly sneak into your mashed potatos. And you never realized it until the mush was already in your mouth, by that time it was too late. You couldn't spit it out because school is a dangerous social ground on which not to open yourself to unnecessary brutal self-esteem attacks.

Aug 1, 2006


Here are some of my current favorite tunes, in no particular order or thematic genre:

1.Martin Sexton - My angel told me so
2.Neil Finn - She will have her way
3.Bob Dylan - Just like a woman
4.Martha Wainwright - TV Show
5.Red House Painters - Silly love songs
6.Manu Chao - Bongo Bong
7.Goldfrapp - Utopia (sunroom mix)
8.Iron and Wine - Love Vigilantes
9.The Dears - 22-The death of all the romance
10.Bob Dylan - I want you
11.Muse - Glorious
12.Allman Brothers Band - Melissa
13.The Cox Family - I am weary
14.Skip James - Devil got my woman
15.Neko Case - Hold on, hold on
16.Margot and the Nuclear So-and-So's - Talking in code

If you listen to any of the above & don't like it...then i must inform you, as a wise man(who once kicked me out of his house) once said, "apparently, your taste is only in your mouth".

172nd stryker brigade

After last weeks shock of the extenstion of 172nd stryker brigade, I went down to the section of Ft. Wainwright where wives and families had put up welcome home signs. There were once atleast 200 signs, now stripped down to about 50. The words from loving families break your heart.