Friday, February 24, 2006

After wanting to read it for 3 years, I've finally finished "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy. Made me think about the globalism of culture and Love Laws (not just the caste kind). Some of my favorite descriptions: "fatly baffled" and "not a black cat, but a black-cat shaped Hole in the Universe".

Person 1: But you have a boyfriend!
Person 2: Of course I have a boyfriend. When have I ever not had a boyfriend? That's like saying, 'I have a face.' But it doesn't always mean I like it.

Today, I am hearing all kinds of things that stop me in my tracks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bowl for Kids Sake

As you may already know, I work for Big Brothers Big Sisters in SE Alaska. Now, I'm also a team captain for our annual major fundraising event, Bowl for Kids' Sake, this April! Which means that not only do I have to induce 5 other people to bowl for donations with me, but I am setting a lofty goal of raising $500 personally. That's not going to put me in the contention of highest fundraiser (which, by the way, wins a 7-day Caribbean cruise for 2) or probably even the top 5 (round trip tickets on Alaska Airlines), but what I am gunning hardcore for is the prize for a donation from the most unique place. I'm talking to you Uzbekistan. Madagascar, stop hiding behind Mozambique.

Follow This Link to visit my donor web page and help me in my efforts to support BBBS of Alaska.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"they say you're crazy, pushing north"

Come and sit in the Ice Museum... a year-round structure built entirely of ice by an award-winning Italian ice architect. Rooms are $200/night; there are 4, each with unique beds with included blankets and bear skins.

Or just tour the museum, like we did, for a lot less wallet damage, and see gorgeous detailed works like this. This is part of 2 life-sized statues of knights on horses.

And relax at the Stoli martini bar and have a cocktail poured in the sculpted fish luge into a handcarved ice martini glass you can keep as a souvenir (at least for the day or two you're staying in Chena unless you'd like to unpack a nugget of ice in a pool of water when you get back home).

After throwing back enough martinis to stay warm in this 20-degree building, you may be drunk enough to get married.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Chena Hot Springs

My roommate & I are at Chena Hot Springs this weekend, and I forgot that it's a good weekend for Valentine's celebrations, but here to remind me are couples galore. They are everywhere. Holding hands while enjoying a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the picturesque white nature trail with trees festooned with clumps of snow that look like Turkish doughnuts. Making out at dinner and yelling at the poor servers because the fireplace isn't romantic-y enough for their proposal. Or best yet, having sex in the corner of the hot spring where it's foggiest and leaving used condoms on the rocks like tiny beached jellyfish. Cris and I are accidentally posing as a lesbian couple ourselves, and I don't help the misconception by remarking to another truly lesbian couple, "It was so hot in our cabin last night that we just slept in our bras and panties!" I wasn't lying. It really was that hot, and we really did sleep in our skivvies.

Because I am broke, we have been limited to free or mandatory activities such as walking and eating. Today I thought it'd be funny to take pictures of us in the Rock Lake lounging in our bikinis with the snow and ice in the background. It started off really well with Cristina posing it up like the best 1950s pinup girl. But then it was my turn, and I was on my stomach on the boulder trying to get back down in the water by sliding backwards into unseen territory. I slipped off and banged the crap out of my knee on a rock underwater, which left a nice little hole and multiple cuts where knee skin used to be. Mysteriously, Cris handed me the camera at this exact opportune time, and just as enigmatically, I took it and immediately submerged it under water to grab my aching knee. So now all those pictures and $9 are down the drain, damnit. Well, maybe I saved myself future embarassment for when those photos developed, and I realize that me in a bikini is only good in theory, or steam-clouded fog.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

friendly insults

Realtime Overheard Gym Conversation:
Me: Hi!
Couple: Hi.
Woman: (to partner) Did you find my stuff?
Man: No, I didn't look for it.
Woman: You're so selfish!
Man: You're a f-ing terrible person. Grow up.
Woman: You need to grow up too. I f-ing hate you.
(They storm off in opposite directions.)

Umm. That was awkward. I'm 3 feet away waiting for them to sign in and did not expect that coming.

So has anyone else been avidly watching the Olympics? Daniel and I have a friendly rivalry going on between US & Austria:
Me: Oh look, we got another gold medal in snowboarding!
D: Who cares about that? Alpine skiing is classic. Austria is the global dream team of skiing.
Me: Is that why Watlzhofenburger or whatever his name lost the gold to a French guy?
D: That guy came from nowhere! No one's heard of him!
Me: Oooh, we got bronze in moguls.
D: That sport is shit!
Me: You're a f-ing terrible person! Grow up.
D: You need to grow up too. I f-ing hate you.
We storm off in opposite directions.*

*This actually does not happen. What I usually say is, You're just sore Hitler came from Austria. And he says, But you guys are still stuck with Bush & Cheney. And then we both cry in shame.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

just shut your eyes and burn the past away

Yesterday was my best birthday in memory :o)

My favorite part was when I wanted to have a bonfire at the beach. Neither my best friend nor I knew how to make those things, so he Googled it, and I trusted him. He ended up just buying a (singular) Duralog from the grocery store, and we walked half a mile trying to find some sort of grate thing to burn it on like it said in the instructions because otherwise, it warned we could combust or something crazy like that. All we found was that styrofoam rafty device again. (How in the hell does that keep popping up everywhere?!) So, we dropped the log on the sand anyway, crossed our fingers, and lit it. Only one side caught, and there was only the one log, so it warmed about 2 square inches immediately surrounding the flame and was virtually useless any farther away than that. And the funny thing was, there was already another group there about 50 yards off enjoying a roaring bonfire, but I was too chicken to walk over and be like the oblivious nerd who brings his mom's green jello to a Spin the Bottle party. Hey guys, look what I brought, a Duralog! Let's get this party started in here!

So D and I huddled and made do with our piddly sparks, and he gave me my present: a poster-sized collage of different pictures of us since we've known each other, set against the backdrop of a satellite view of the earth. It was really thoughtful and creative, and I'm sure it took a long time to prepare, so I was really touched. And there were photos on there I'd totally forgotten about, like the first picture he ever took of me when we met at the scam nonprofit in Etna, CA, back when I was doe-eyed with the idealism of youth instead of liver-poisoned with the alcoholism of adulthood.

When we got home, a few other friends came over with a homemade strawberry chocolate cake, and I made a 4th wish because I like to steal them in when I can get them. We ate and talked about Cheney 'accidentally' shooting someone and wondered if we were heartless desensitized bastards for laughing about our country's vice-president pelleting a poor 78-year-old in the face.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Skiing with Orca at Eaglecrest

I'm giving this look because having spent all morning on the bunny hill where you hold onto something that pulls you up a little slope, I am freaking out about chair lift procedures. And it didn't help that I had to board alone because Daniel had to ride with the woman from the group.

At Eaglecrest, it is totally okay to say, "I went up Hooter" because that is the name of this lift.

I may be smiling there but 5 minutes earlier, I had just eaten snow after a spectacular crash worthy of America's Funniest Videos or some other show where people getting hurt are laughed about.

"Look at me. I'm Mr. Ski Expert. I'm so cool I don't even need a jacket because I haven't fallen in 10 years."

The Shrine Pictures

The path to the chapel.

The clean version.

What happened to the kid? ...

...Ahh, must have abandoned the trikey to run around at 5mph.

Savikko Park Pictures

I have no idea what this is, but it's from HJ. Booth & Co. from 1851.

Mining ruins strewn about on the "beach".

One of the old abandoned mining buildings on Treadwell Trail. It's kinda creepy in there; one room has a noose hanging in it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

To hell and back

Today was an Alaskan adventure bonanza. I woke up to clear skies and knew immediately that whatever I had planned (and most assuredly, there was a lot) would have to wait until I took full advantage of the rare weather. So basically, I disregarded my usual mentality and tried on the Alaskan laidback work ethic. And I think I like how it fits.

I took my best friend and the 2 housesit dogs to Sandy Beach on Douglas and explored the mining ruins on Treadwell trail. We found this home-made raft thingy which was basically just a long sheet of wood glued (?) on top of styrofoam. Since we were too heavy, we tried to sail the dogs away on it, but the smart buggers wouldn't have any of that and refused to stay on the contraption. Determined to cast something off, my friend tried to get on it again and half fell in the water losing his balance.

Our stomachs were grumbling for nourishment, but the sun was still out, the clouds were still gone, so we sacrificed yet another obligation and drove to Mendenhall Glacier. The snow and ice allowed us to walk closer to it than what was possible last summer when my sister and her husband visited. We went from beach frolicking in the Channel to rolling around in the snow (okay not we, the dogs) next to the icefield. Then since we were already out that far anyway, we went to the Shrine of St. Therese and had another ocean view. Daniel took a picture of a sign there that says, "Entering sacred grounds. Act accordingly." He was joking around and saying how I should take the shot while he's next to it flicking the camera off when someone's parents drove by to pick up their kids from a retreat and saw him exhibiting the middle finger. On sacred grounds. Acting very un-accordingly. They slowed... the driver's door opened... I braced myself. I thought (very, very) fleetingly of an excuse that Austrians use their middle finger for pointing, that he was merely showing off the sign in his appropriate cultural gesture, and I'm an anthropologist and needed the picture for research purposes. But I suppose he realized we didn't need his lecture when we have eternal damnation in brimstone to face, so he closed the door and kept driving.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

This month=Nose to the Grind. Next month=Balls to the Wall

What the... I just noticed it's been a week since my last post. I was waylaid by stress assassins hired by the research project cartel. But I survived the ordeal due to my extraordinary ninja procrastination skills with a specialty in last-minute breakthroughs. (I have no idea what is going on with this shogun prose theme?!?)

Good Things/Not so Good Results
* My best friend arrived this morning / I skipped out on most of my work day
* I learned how to ski Sunday to train for ORCA volunteering / I woke up the next day with my lips being the only painless part of my body
* The floodgates have opened on my research project & I have numerous avenues to pursue / I am now a crack addict in order to stay awake all day

So, what are everyone's plans for Valentine's Day? It's my birthday, and the only plan I have so far is to bring pizza for my Little Sister and her friends at lunchtime. The planetarium is holding a "Watch the Stars" event where you bring a blanket and loved one and lay out, which sounds quite nice, but I don't want to deal with hearing my CHOICE kids groping each other in the dark next to me.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Simultaneous... Workout

Oh my God. I'm working at the gym, and this woman right in front of me is using a leg machine. She's staring at the ceiling with her eyes closed, and she's moving her legs apart and together so slowly like she is concentrating on an orgasm. There's a guy next to her on the same machine, and he's doing his rough and regular. This is hilarious. They just finished at the same time. That's sweet. Don't you love it when it works out that way?? My own exercises are more like, "This sure would be more fun with a buddy."