Saturday, May 26, 2007

back on the horse

thank really great naps for me not writing in awhile. i dragged two down comforters and 5 pillows to the living room and have been vegging out watching dvds ever since last weekend. sinking into this heavenly feather bedding has been more satisfying than my carb overload after a failed two day atkins diet attempt. i don't even know why i told my sister i'd endure the voluntary food torture with her. i took an anthropology of food class in college that lambasted the atkins, south beach, and zone diets. my sis wanted to do it in preparation for jamaica. as if getting in bikini body shape isn't hard enough - she wants to check out the nude beach too.

i keep telling myself i deserve all this slothfulness after working really hard last week in the final lap to yakutat's first ever bowl for kids sake, which i coordinated. it exceeded our revenue goal by $1000, and the community really enjoyed the event and even started talking about purchasing bowling lanes and equipment for themselves. i also organized an end-of-school year party for our School Program, which turned semi-mutinous when the pinata suffered enthusiastic beatings but refused to break. eventually, a kid just pulled it off the rope and absconded with it while the other children chased him around the gym; all the while, chocolate bars were dropping all over the place. it was pretty funny, and the parents got to snag some candy too.

another fun thing last week was our agency volunteering at project playground for an afternoon. the project is this huge endeavor to build a playground at twin lakes with donated materials, labor, and food. the guy who started it was the same person who brought big brothers big sisters to southeast alaska in 1979. for 3 hours, my coworker and i just shlepped 2x4s and 2x6s to piles while the safety coordinator with the anger problem yelled and watched suspiciously, but in the last hour, i got to work with power tools!

food news (what else?): i tried my oaxacan hot chocolate with a bit of ancho chile powder, mmm. i made lumpia shanghai (filipino egg rolls) for our donor/sponsor thank-you event this week, and despite competing with taquitos donated from a mexican place and pulled pork rolls from wild spice, mine was the only one in the fried rolls department that was all gone, yay. for dinner tonight, homemade wild salmon cakes cajun style served on a bed of greens with red onion, corn, and cilantro; roasted potatoes & garlic; and green chile cheddar soup.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

taku flightseeing tour

last year, i was one of the highest bowl for kids sake fundraisers, so i won a flightseeing tour + salmon feast at taku lodge with wings airways. i was finally able to redeem it today, and it was really fun. some pictures on the way to the lodge:

hole in the wall glacier, one of the 2 glaciers in the juneau icefield that's advancing.

glazed wild chinook, cole slaw, beans, apple cranberry compote, and herb biscuits


Friday, May 11, 2007

emotions that flood my heart in rivulets of silver

my older sister is going through a really rough time, and i wish i could fly to columbus to support her right now. she came home from work a few days ago to find that her jackass of a husband had left her without warning. rather than a tearfully created dear john letter, she gets a message on the machine which said he didn't want a divorce but then got cut off before he could tell her his new number. apparently, he'd been deceiving her for months while he plotted in secret to scope out apartments in cincinnati, sign a one year lease, and rent the UHaul required to abscond with all his furniture.

when she first told me about this unexpected turn of events, my initial reaction was inflammatory. i seethed at his gall for abandoning her, at his utter avoidist attitude for not even communicating about this extreme decision. we rallied in anger, and i said i always thought she deserved better. she's gorgeous, smart, generous, and funny. it doesn't hurt that she's rich and kind of a monogamous nympho too. he was a loafer, too conservative, too judgmental, and immature. he was an ostrich with his head in a hole pretending bad things didn't exist. so much for through thick and thin. even if he doesn't want a divorce, divorce his ass anyway i said, and she passionately agreed.

then that evening, when the sensational nature of it had subsided, the depressing reality of it took over. she wasn't given the chance to fight for their relationship because he never talked to her about his issues, and after this abrupt disappearance, how could she trust him again to try to make things work if he does call? she would swallow suffering and doubt if she let him move back in, constantly wonder if he'd turn tail and run again when faced with uncomfortable problems. my sister and i endured all kinds of abandonment in the past as it is, and the person she trusted the most fell through in the most spectacular way. after ten years of marriage, after they both resisted temptations and both made certain career and life decisions so they could stay together, after building a home and planning a mutual future, it just screams of unfairness and betrayal to come home to a suddenly half empty house without a decent explanation.

despite my low opinion of him since their wedding day, i always took it at face value when my sister said they were in a happy union, happier than most relationships she saw. she counted herself lucky to be with him, defended all his suspiciously unsupportive behavior in the past, told me i just didn't know him and how he was with her. and they did used to be happy. i would see him be thoughtful and affectionate and loving, and even i was beginning to give him the benefit of the doubt, albeit begrudgingly. i thought about how much she believed in him, and it broke my heart to imagine how she must feel now. i felt rotten about saying all the things i said the day before about him. i don't want her to feel foolish or angry with herself. i don't want to say, "i knew he wasn't right for you since day one", and help make her feel like an idiot who wasted a decade with an obviously wrong guy. who am i, with my limited interactions with him/them, to feel i was privy to more knowledge than she and inadvertently lord it over her and make her feel even worse in an already terrible situation that no one saw coming? because we never know the future, and sometimes those presently perfect things end up shitting on you after all. she thought she was in a good thing, doing a good thing, and the last thing she should do is blame herself for putting so much faith in it.

so i called her again today, and our conversation was more subdued. she was going through the embarrassment of telling all her friends about being left because her and her husband were supposed to attend a friend's wedding next week, and she knew they'd all ask her about it when he didn't show. she told me they had already bought a non-refundable vacation package to stay at an all-inclusive resort in jamaica next month and attend their friends' vow renewal. she fished a bit to see if i could take off work, and i said immediately i would make it happen and go with her. the travel agent couldn't change anything about the plane ticket with his name on it so i'll be purchasing one tomorrow, but whatever. i actually used to fantasize about buying my sister a cruise for her birthday, sans her husband, so she could see how much fun it was without him, so i'm just getting my wish and i get to participate.

Friday, May 04, 2007

decisions, decisions

my coworker is leaving for a few months' bike ride from prince rupert to minnesota on saturday, after which she'll be joining a buddhist monastery in nova scotia for 9 months. g is embarking on a 2 year peace corps stint in bolivia any day now probably. eve is crewing a tall ship that will sail from london to africa. my good friend is moving to kentucky in 2 weeks. (ok, KY's not really cool, but it's still new for her, and she's moving in with the love of her life.) my life used to be exciting and filled with anticipation for the next journey; now, i wet my pants over a new garlic press. how depressing. how domestic. i was wondering earlier today about the feasibility of living with my best friend in vienna for a few months, or until the visa people kick me out. i could still take the gre there, and i could work on writing that story i said i'd publish before i graduated college.

my move to alaska was based on the lure of adventure. the last frontier kinda stuff. glaciers and whales and a rainforest. it was only supposed to be a temporary experience, and here i am 9 months past my original departure date because i love the community and my job and the connections. i stare at the thought of another year, and it doesn't seem quite right. not that i don't love it here ... when it's sunny and dry, and you can appreciate the dramatic scenery and myriad outdoor opportunities; it's almost a feeling of reverence. that happens like maybe 30 days the entire year. in those brief periods, i still bask in awe that i'm lucky enough to call this place home. but i'm just not the kinda gal who'll hike around in the other 300 days of rain because i love nature that much. wish i could be, but i'm not. and while everything i have done here has been more than fulfilling and worthwhile, there's still so much more i want to do. the measure of a person's determination doesn't come from what they choose when the choices are easy. any of my friends who still want free housing for your trip to alaska better call me soon.

back to what i've been cooking, because i am such a foodie and it makes me happy, i made chicken tandoori (indian bbq) and nilagang baka (filipino beef stew) in the last 2 days. 1 serving of the tandoori is 300 calories, mm, healthy. a serving of the beef stew has 1000 calories, mm, fat. good thing i did join that gym.