Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy and safe New Year's Eve everyone!

Last night's Indigo Girls concert was quite something. After I sucked it up about having to stand (but seriously, I am not a stander!) I was very glad I was there. Emily and Amy are amazing. Powerful in voice, instrumentation, and lyric they were true to every note for two hours straight. What generous performers.

Amy and I went cross country skiing with Jeff this morning. It is incredibly convenient that there is a park and trail five doors down from their place. One full loop is about 40 minutes or so (at our current beginners' pace). I know Jeff can do it much more quickly. In fact, he took half an additional loop in the time it took Amy and I to finish the original. We're thinking by the time we're competent and quick enough to do two loops it might be time to try Kincaid Park. They have a groomed trail that is open and lit 24/7. We're having a particularly warm day today though, nearly 40 right now. So it'll be interesting to see where that leaves our skiing for tomorrow.

We're having a bonfire at Renee and Mark's down next to the lake. But this warm temperature has turned our precipitation from snow to rain. The city of Anchorage has okayed fireworks for tonight which will be awesome--if it ain't raining. Wish us and the weather gods luck : )

Hope you all have a dandy evening. Talk to you next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I cross country skiid and lived to tell the tale.

Amy and I got up and made some delicious oatmeal and coffee and then went on my first and Amy's third cross country ski adventure. Adventure may be an overstatement. It makes it sound so grand. Actually, we only went out for about 40 minutes. But I only fell once and only mildly twisted one ankle and one wrist. It was very exciting and we are going to go again tomorrow morning with Jeff.

After skiing, we went to the best bakery ever, Great Harvest Baking Company (also perhaps the most expensive . . .) and picked up some sandwiches. They are delicious and not overpriced. They are however, mighty proud of their bread: $7.50+ a loaf. That being said, I bought some and felt it entirely worth the price. But here is where their genius lies: You walk in the door and a woman with 8-10 varieties of breads in front of her invites you to come over and have a sample. And these are not little candy-assed sample bites. These samples are very nearly meal sized and d e l i c i o u s! I went there for the first time yesterday, after not dying on a remote wilderness hike. Can you imagine being rewarded for your survival with a huge piece of delicious, free, (and if you want, smeared with fresh butter) bread? Wait. It gets better. After that, I went to Barnes & Noble to check in with Jill and I got pull-through parking! It was really a very good day.

Today, too has been a good day. After skiing and sandwiches, Amy and I made use of some of the Aura Cacia foam bath Jeff gave me for Christmas and had baths at Mark & Renee's (we have an awesome shower at the AHfWWG but no tub). Now I'm going to have a giant nap so I can be ready to enjoy tonight's Indigo Girl's concert at the Bear Tooth. Yep. Indigo Girls in the flesh at the Bear Tooth (1100 seat theater). I'm going all by myself like a grown up lady. It's going to be awesome.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"The odds are good . . .but the goods are odd."

Okay. I've taken the leap and have decided to explore the notion of unrelated adult male company (besides Smitty). On that note, I had coffee with a nice fellow by the name of Gary. He does have all his teeth, does not dress in camouflage (though he does like to hunt) and I have discerned that he voted for Obama. The preceding criteria having been met, he has qualified for a second meeting. He is a fourth grade teacher at a Title I school (and I know this to be true for two reasons: 1. I saw his staff picture on the school website, and 2. Really, you can't make up this kind of teacher talk if you're not actually a teacher. You all would have been riveted!)

He seems like a very nice fellow. What remains to be seen is if perhaps he is too nice. And by too nice, I mean well-mannered, proper, and consistently appropriate. I was, of course, all those things, too. Because to bring on the entire real me (bag of fun though I am) upon first meeting could/should send a feller runnin. So it will be interesting to see if he lets his hair down a bit (entirely figurative as he is quite bald).

The anti-shopper shopped today.

I bought two new pair of jeans at Old Navy today for $34 dollars. That's a heck of a sale, my friends. They fit really well and I'm glad to finally have some regular jeans (as I had to finally stop wearing my last round of Chico jeans. It's one thing to have to lie down to zip them up when they're out of the dryer. Quite another to have lie down every time. Super inconvenient in public restrooms. . .) But don't you worry, I am turning this weight train around.

On that note, I'd better hit the hay. That wacky Smitty likes to go early and I am so much better at being consistent about walking with a partner than when I'm left to my own devices.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I feel for the folks on the eastern seaboard. . .

because what they're experiencing could be characterized as too much of a good thing. Dang.

We've been blessed, thus far, with just the right amount of snow and it does, indeed, make Christmas time more magical. Many of the lights are under a layer of snow and they glow and sparkle in a peaceful, muted way. Over the ground is a mantel of white. A heaven of diamonds shines down through the night. Our hearts are thrillin in spite of the chill in the weather. (Our temps are still hovering around zero.)

At Thanksgiving time, Jill, Jeff, Mel, Amy, and I decided that we would draw names and just shop (with a limited budget) for just our one person--Jeff and Mel, of course, reserving the right to buy additionally for each other. We agreed that stress-free family time would be much more important and appreciated than gifts. We were right! It was awesome. We had a lovely extended family dinner at Mark and Renee's on Christmas Eve. Then Jeff, Mel, and Brock came over and spent the night. We each went out and got fun things to put in each others' stockings and that was fun, too. Everybody received a handful of lovely, thoughtful gifts and then we spent the whole day in each others' company: eating, watching movies (What About Bob?), eating, playing games (Frog Juice), napping, eating, playing games (Loaded Questions), watching movies (Love, Actually), and eating. It's possible there was too much eating but otherwise it was pretty perfect.

We missed all of you though and hope that you had a good holiday, too. We suspect that it is possible that you all ate too much as well. I don't know about those fatty kids of mine but this momma is heading back to the track at the Dome tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, Jeff and I are going shopping in my friend Smitty's garage for some cross country ski gear. Then we'll finish up what we need at the used sporting goods store. We hope to actually be on a trail, trying it out by Wednesday. Smitty was AK cross country skiing champ about a million years ago so he knows stuff and is going to be kind enough to teach us the fundamentals. Jeff and I figure that once we get going, we'll do round two and get these girls set up. Smitty's a good sport but I don't think he knows what he'd be getting himself into to try to instruct all of us at once. I believe the Dowling girls may be more concerned about their outfits (yeah, I said it) and it's just going to be a good trick for Jill to carve out some time from her two (yes, I said two) jobs. But if we can get the hang of it, it will be very good for all of us. I've been on skis just once in my life and that was in 1979. I don't recall a great deal of upright time during that experience. I'm sure it'll be way better now that I'm older and fatter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sorry this is going to be anticlimactic . . .

After making you wait so long for an update, I should really deliver a gem. Sorry. No can do. Too tired. So here's the nutshell version of the last week and a half:

  • I had a whirlwind but very good trip home to Washington last weekend.
  • We had a beautiful dinner gathering at Orso's downtown for Jilli's 24th birthday. They even heated the toilet seats in her honor. And the foot food was delicious.
  • I worked 8+ hour shifts at the Pit Tues - Fri. (A handful of interesting experiences within those days that I may report on at a later date.)
  • The kids and I got a beautiful Christmas tree on Saturday. Only $67.00. Yes, I almost pooped. 
  • I've started walking again regularly, at the Dome (an indoor track and football field that costs $50 a month). I thought it was appallingly overpriced in September but now fully understand its value and appeal.
  • Went to Costco today to buy a pair of travel mugs for a Christmas gift. Came out with a rotisserie chicken and some Killer Dave's bread but totally forgot the travel mugs.
  • Watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox with Jilli while she hung up her pictures and other fun things on her wall. She shared her Yoda/Chewbacca BFF painting with me. So now I have at least one thing adorning my bedroom walls.
  • Mel and Jeff came over and Mel made copious amounts of spritzer cookies while Jeff and I played a highly competitive game of hand and foot. Jeff ended up the victor.
  • Meanwhile, back home, Jon LaFrance is preparing to leave for his teaching job in South Korea, Mandi Laxson has moved into Casa Phinney Bay, and Teresa and Daryl are still smitten. 
  • After several days of temperatures below zero, it is presently a balmy 16 degrees and snowing. We're hoping for another bit of frigid temps tomorrow because that means clear skies, the better to watch the full lunar eclipse tomorrow night.
That's all for now. Except for this charming tidbit: If the temperature is single digit or below and the humidity is near zero, when you go outside you get insta boogers. The little bit of moisture that is ever present in normal nostrils freezes instantly and gives you the feeling of perpetually needing a booger check. I know: gross. But pretty interesting. . .

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Did I mention my friends Roger and Brian are kind of assy?

Funny though.

Y'all don't see the comments that I receive on my blog postings. Regarding my ode to the sweet potato, Brian Swanson suggested that perhaps I was "simply baked" when I wrote that. Well! I never! (Insert feigned indignation here.) I'm going to take it as a compliment and understand him to mean that he thought my words were magical and creative. Thank you Brian.

Now as for Roger: In response to ""it is 5 degrees here he wrote, "It is a chilly 70 degrees here this evening. I have to wear my gloves when I ride my bike." J.C. on a bicycle Rog, way to rub it in. Ooh. That reminds me though: I saw a dude riding his bike across Jewel Lake a couple of weeks ago. That was pretty cool. I bet Roger can't ride his bike across the lake . . .

Yesterday was Bob's birthday. Jeff, Jill and I spent the whole day together. It was nice.  Normally, falling on a Saturday, it would have been the day we would have all gone out to Hubert's. We'd start with a good hot breakfast out somewhere. Then, right when we got to the tree farm, we would've seen a tree we liked in the first half dozen we looked at. Then we would have slogged around out there for another hour or so (at least), hemming and ha-ing. Then we would have gone back and cut down that tree we saw in the first three minutes. I miss the runny noses, the apple cider house, that beautiful view of the Olympics, those little candy canes on the way out. But mostly, I miss how Bob and I always knew that that was exactly how it would go and we would just look at each other and grin and do it anyway. We had a very good gig, he and I.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Did I mention I'm a fan of the sweet potato?

An Ode

    by Mary McKenzie

Sweet potato, my sweet, sweet, sweet potato.

What have we done to you?
We have candied you and turned you into pie.
We have marshmallowed and brown sugared you beyond recognition.
We have taken your perfection and in unique American tradition.
Spoiled it.

Why? Why? WHY?!
Is it because it was Grandma's specialty and it makes us feel warm and loved?
Is it because our tastedbuds are spoiled and we require only sweets?
Or is it because all of us don't have diabetes yet?

Or more simply, is it that outside of the holidays,
It has not occurred to us to taste your natural goodness,
To benefit from your superior nutritional stores?

Of all vegetables, simply baked, you are #1.
With a score of 184, you have smoked your nearest vegetable competitor by 100 points.
Your protein sustains, your fiber regulates,
Your vitamins A (nearly twice the RDA) and C are joined by bodybuilders calcium and iron.
Your naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates are friend to the diabetic,
and comfort to the hungry dieter.

You, my delicious friend, are an effing rock star.

Have I thanked you yet for being so delicious?
Simply baked
I eat your delicious peel knowing that oatmeal ain't got nothin on you.
Sometimes I sprinkle you with a little ground pepper and sea salt.
I admit, sometimes I even add a little bit of real buttah.
But mostly, I marvel at you au naturale.
In the pale, lumpy body the creator gave you,
Lovingly housing so many nutritional gifts.

And on Thanksgiving and every other day,
I am thankful for you,

My sweet, sweet potato.

P.S. At present, it is 5 degrees outside. I'm not even shitting you. It is possible that tomorrow's Ode will be to our gas furnace.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Does anybody else wonder how the term "Black Friday" came into being and why we have allowed such a thing to happen?

Black Friday is anathema to Thanksgiving. Usually, I get a kick out of a good juxtaposition. But this one bums me out. So I'm going to pretend that on Friday, millions of people did not become the worst of who they are in the name of Christmas acquisitions.

Thanksgiving was awesome. We made a nice breakfast here at the AHfWWG. My friend Smitty had made mention of an extra toaster the week before when I was shopping for the this and thats to flesh out our kitchen acoutrements. Jill and I agreed that we like toast, so we took him up on his promise of a toaster only to be disappointed day after day. Apparently, Thanksgiving breakfast was the required bribe. Amy and her friend Brandon were here and joined us and it was quite yummy. Then we were quite surprised when it was time to make the spinach salad and get going and we had left ourselves no time for a nap. Dammit. Cindy and Dale hosted all of us for dinner. Everything was very delicious and the company was wonderful. Around 8:00 or so, we (the younger generation, and I) went midtown to the Buckaroo, a not terribly classy bar, which is just about right for the likes of us. The main draw: A regulation shuffleboard table.

Friday, I worked a very slow day at the BBQ Pit but still always appreciate at least the hourly wage. Then Amy and I watched the Princess Bride. Awww. I love that movie. Today was laaazzzyy--in my jam jams til 4:00pm. I feel quite accomplished.

Actually, T-giving breakfast, Smitty also brought along a turkey someone had gifted him. He said, "It's not that I don't know how to cook a turkey, it's just that I'm not gonna." So today has been all about making turkey soup from the carcass we brought home from Dale and Cindy's and tomorrow I will be cooking a turkey dinner for me, Jeff, Mel, Jill, and Amy. Then we will play games and be a family. It has been a wonderful holiday for us thus far. Hope it has been good for you, too.

P.S. I achieved my Thanksgiving Day food goal of only eating until I was uncomfortable but not miserable. Good job me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Funny joke, weather gods.

So. It's snowing in Bremerton.

In Anchorage, it's icing. Yup. Ice. Falling from the sky in the form of frozen rain and turning every surface into a skating rink. And me without my skates.

This morning, I scooted out to get my car warmed up on this icy day. Unfortunately, I was looking at how icy the car was and the ground around it and had no notion of the ice under my feet. Boy howdy, did I hit the deck. I laid on the ground long enough to curse and cry (just a little bit) and ascertain that I was not critically wounded. Then I picked myself up, tried to regain my composure, and figure out how I was going to get to my car in one piece. Several attempts told me it was folly in any footwear I have but then I had a MacGyver moment. No duct tap, chewing gum, or paper clips but it did occur to me that I may be able to get a good enough grip if I laid a bath towel across the ice to my car door. And it worked! I am so tickled when I actually have notions that work out. So I managed to get myself on down the road. I was late, but at least I made it safely.

Tomorrow, I'm going to get up earlier and go to the store to get something called "Ice Melt" and also some of those spiky attachments for the bottoms of my shoes. I do not wish a repeat performance. Now it's two more Aleve and hope for a decent night's sleep. I've gotta believe I'm gonna be might sore tomorrow. . .

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alaska's Home for Wayward Washington Girls now open . . .

Tonight is our second night in our groovy new bachelorette pad. It has been a bit of piecemeal moving for all of us as we all have very full and very different work schedules. But we've got it pretty well knocked out. The kitchen, bathrooms, and our bedrooms are all fairly well settled. The living room furniture looks like it has landed in the middle after the tornado. But we'll have some time to get that squared up on Saturday.

It is very curious being all grown up but feeling like I'm just starting again. I must say, I quite rather like it. I like my small, neatly appointed room. I like hanging out with Jill and Amy. And I like having to work and struggle a bit to get by. It helps me better prioritize how I spend my time and money. It turns out I can do with quite a lot less than I had become accustomed to. It's not exactly Walden Pond but it is likely as close as I'mma gonna get.

It has not snowed measureably since the first big snow. But it is quite rather cold. In the teens. I've been giving some thought to changing my blog name to holyshitskyitscold but I've decided I'll only do that if we get below zero.

Got my car winterized today. My gas mileage was woeful so I thought a block warmer might be helpful. Also, I was due for a tune up. But most compelling, and likely most impactful, is that I had my spark plugs changed--apparently for the first time. Ever. So 144,243 miles is longer than recommended for spark plugs. Who knew?

I'd best be hitting the hay. I have an 8 hour wait shift tomorrow. Now, most folks work 8 hour shifts and don't really blink. But working 8 hours, on your feet, waiting tables, when you're 51 and moderately out of shape is a bit like dog years: it'll be like working 56 hours.

I know. You feel like a candy ass now, don't you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy weekend . . .

It was great to have the weekend off but it was ever so busy. I started my Saturday morning by hunting all over my room and the house for my car keys. Don't worry. I found them . . .locked in my car. Boo. AAA. Yay. So while I waited, I got to have a nice visit with Connie and Patricia. Then Amy and I went to the Burlington Coat Factory (where they have way more than coats) and picked up some essentials for our new Alaska Home for Wayward Washington Girls.

In the evening we went to a going away party for cousin Michael. He's getting ready to start his new life as a fireman in Kansas. The party was hosted by his fiancee's folks in their home up in Hillside. Holy shitsky what a place! It's like a Street of Dreams home. I have very mixed feelings about a place like that. On the one hand, it was spectacularly beautiful. On the other hand, there are people who don't eat. . . That's actually what I think about when I have my peanut butter toast for breakfast and a sandwich for dinner for the 4th or 5th day running. I really am making significant adjustments on my current wage. But I think it's good for me. It makes me so appreciate what I do have.

Today, after enjoying the Seahawks game with Jeff, I went over to the duplex. Mark and Renee were putting the final touches on the remodel and doing clean up work. I worked my magic on a bathroom that was very much in need. It took three hours but when I was done, that baby sparkled. Ooh and the best part: the new shower head has the best water pressure. Ever. I loves me my water pressure. Very exciting.

This week will be very busy. I'm working every day and attempting to move in my off time. But our AHfWWG is waiting for us. Woo hoo!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Worst waitress dream. Ever.

So I get up and go into the kitchen (which is like our kitchen, only not) and most of one wall holds all the glasses and cups in shallow shelves. Only they're put away haphazardly. And then I realize they were put away dirty. And the dishwasher is full of clean dishes that have no place to go, what with the shelves being full of dirty dishes. And then I realize that I have this baby boy and I think, "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH AN INFANT!? THIS BABY IS NOT GOING TO GET THE KIND OF ATTENTION HE NEEDS! GOOD GOD, HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN!? Then I went out of the kitchen and into what turned out to be a very full restaurant. The only tables empty were those that needed to be bussed and there were people going to sit down at those as well. I already had a number of large parties who were waiting on their food, which was not forthcoming and there was no one to help. Also, there was this one guy, "a personal friend of the owner" who inserted himself into the middle of the rush, insisted that I bring him a filet mignon and lobster and then left it untouched because, as it turned out, it was not really what he was in the mood for. P.S. "I don't ever pay for my meals. Bill will take care of that." Some of my customers were very gracious and actually semi-bussed their table themselves. I mentioned to them that I had had many waitress nightmares over the years but this was worse than any of those. (This is definitely the first time I recall referencing my dreams within my dream.)

Then I woke up. Repeatedly. And each and every time, I knew it had been a dream and I endeavored to redirect my dreams to something else. Bob could actually do that. I, alas, cannot. So I dreamed that stupid dream ALL NIGHT LONG.

Now let me show you a trick I learned from that one time I taught AP Psych: The manifest content of my dream is that I was overwhelmed by my work situation. One could surmise that the latent content suggests that I am unsure, overwhelmed, or lacking in competence. One might guess that we've been slammed at the restaurant and I'm having trouble keeping up.(We haven't been and I'm not.) I believe the truth is quite simple: I am old and overtired. I went from 0 to 60 in terms of leisure to work and it is kicking my ass.

That being said, I am enjoying it thoroughly, making decent money, and very relieved to have found gainful employment. Also, I really enjoyed my sub teaching gig yesterday at South Anchorage High. I'll be working pretty full time at the restaurant until they hire one more server. Then I hope to settle into 3 or 4 days a week serving so I can still substitute teach. It really is nice being in classrooms with kids and also getting the vibe and the lay of the land in Anchorage High Schools.

I gotsta go to bed. Snoop Dogg was just on Letterman singing "Get the Funk Outta My Face." I believe that is my cue.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't you love that extra hour?!

Normally, I'm pissy about getting our bonus hour in the fall because typically, I need it something fierce in the spring. But I must say, I enjoyed it very much. I got to spend the evening with Jeff. While Jill and Mel watched many episodes of True Blood, Jeff and I played crib and poker and Wii bowling. I brought a bag and sacked out there last night so I could hit the Fellowhip in Midtown and get back to catch the Seahawks game. Woof, they were woeful! But it sure was fun to have time with my Jeppy.

In the course of yesterday, I finally got to talk to Kris. We had a good long talk. It was not without pain but it was really good. We figured some things out and feel like we'll be able to navigate each other in the best possible way. He's a good man.

I asked Amy what I should write about in my blog. She said, "That it is snowing and it is very beautiful." Yep. There may come a time when the snow loses its luster for Amy and I but that time is definitely not now. We are in awe every day of the beauty that is Alaska.

I better head to bed because I have to work tomorrow. Just sayin'. Oh yeah, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday. I'm feeling very grown up now. We get to move into our groovy bachelorette pad this weekend. We should probably buy some silverware.

Friday, November 5, 2010

You only hurt the ones you love.

That's kind of a no brainer. If you didn't love them, it wouldn't hurt.

I can't keep posting these breezy little updates about my Alaska adventure without speaking to a significant change. I have broken up with Kris. I feel lousy because I know I've hurt him. And I miss him. But those things said, I still know it is what I needed to do. I'm just hoping that at some point, he may want to be my friend. These things are tricky, I know. And while I get to decide what I want and what to do about it, Kris will figure out how he wants to proceed and I will honor whatever that is.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gainful employment is good.

Yay tips. Boo being on one's feet all day. But then again, yay tips. So I'm going to make renewed acquaintance with my old friend Aleve and some regular hot, soaking baths. Come to think of it, a busy night at Tony's pretty well kicked my butt and THAT WAS ELEVEN YEARS AGO! But you know what else comes with this old body? Know how, work ethic, and the ability to make folks feels entirely welcome and cared for. I am enjoying that very much.

I don't speak Korean yet, so communication with the owners/cook can be a bit tricky still but overall, they seem to be pleased with me. And my manager/coworker tells me that I will most certainly know it if they are not.

I've started reading my new book group book, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. If I were Jill, Zeitoun would be underlined because it would be a link to tell you all about the book. But because I'm me, you're gonna have to hit Amazon or B&N and look it up your ownself.  I like it very much so far. That's good because I think I'm supposed to have it read by next Tuesday

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some fun changes happening here.

We had our first measurable snowfall last night. Jewel Lake is starting to freeze, so that's fun to watch. This afternoon, the sky is blue and the sun is shining on the freshly snow laden mountains. It really is quite lovely. (Made much lovelier by the fact that I was ready with my studded tires so I could drive with confidence.)

Where would I need to go in the snow, you're wondering? To work. That's where. I started today at the BBQ Pit (just three miles from Renee & Mark's and less than two from the duplex). It's nothing fancy but it is totally doable. I'll be working Mondays plus one other weekday TBD (I'll work a split shift to cover both lunch and dinner) and every other weekend. Which is really quite perfect. This way, I'll still have the opportunity to sub several days a week and continue to attend the AUU Fellowship every other week.
I wasn't in panic mode just yet but I am definitely breathing a bit easier.

It was an interesting first lunch shift though. I went in at 10:30 to train with the opener. She didn't show up 'til almost 11:00 so the owner told me some of the basics to get things started. He was apparently neither pleased nor impressed with her excuse when she got there and SENT HER HOME!   So he handed me an order pad and showed me how to unlock the front door to let our first customers in. So much for training. English is not his first language and he is not particularly communicative and it appeared I was going to be on my own. Holy shitsky!  I was much relieved when Vicki, the gal who hired me, showed up about 20 minutes later. It was moderately stressful but went well generally and I have already tasted the golden nectar that is cash money tips. Yum. I do remember how lovely that is. I actually made enough money in today's lunch shift to fill my very empty gas tank. Super cool.

Jill, Mel, Amy and I went to the Bear Tooth to see "Reel Injun". It was entertaining, educational, and insightful. I totally recommend it. The director, Neil Diamond (no, not that Neil Diamond) was there for questions after the film. That was pretty cool. Later, I played poker with Jeff and some fellas. It was super fun. It is really great to find a good outlet for my poker habit with a maximum outlay of $10. I took 2nd so I actually got my original $5 buy-in back.  Good job, me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Awkward. . .

Jilli and I watched "I Love You, Man" last night. Paul Rudd's real trick is that his character Peter is genuinely a lovely, decent guy who is competent and confident around women friends but has zero idea how to navigate men in friendship. It is quite an hysterical study. I highly recommend it for a fun evening. (Advisory: Naughty language and sexual references and one super gross vomit scene.)

Feeling better about not being called to work over the last three days . . .what with Parent/Teacher Conferences Wed/Thurs and an Inservice day Friday. Ner. I'm really going to have to start paying better attention to the district calender. Now the subbing dam should be bursting any minute. . .

Enjoy your Seahawk Sunday!

Friday, October 29, 2010

This time, no news is just no news . . .

I'd like to report that I've not been posting because I've been busy working every day. But no. No calls. Argghhh. The good news is that I've had a chance to fully recover from my lousy cold. Airborne did not head the cold off but it did shave it from the customary 7-10 days down to 5, so that's a win.

I've been spending my time resting, cooking (believe it or not), occasionally bowling, reading, and lots of thinking. I did also get another restaurant resume dropped off. Besides being a bit frustrated about not working, I get annoyed because I just don't understand what's wrong with these people for not hiring me!      I don't believe myself to be delusional, I just have a very strong self concept. But consistent rejection can wear on the most confident of individuals. . . I may need to visit Jessica for some affirmations.

I'm hoping my proximity to the high school will be helpful with the upcoming change in weather. Bring it on!

Tonight     Tomorrow        Sunday          Monday    Tuesday

Rain/Snow  Snow Showers  Snow Showers  Sunny      Snow Showers
High: 40°
Low: 25°
    High: 37°         
    Low: 25°
High: 33°       
Low: 22°
High: 30°
Low: 23°
  High: 32°
  Low: 23°


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Apparently I was a day late and a dollar short with the Airborne. I do believe, however, that my cold is at about 70% of what it might've been. That being said, I am about to take a giant nap.

But before I do that I have three four five things to report:

1. I got my studded tires installed this morning and it seems to be in the nick of
    time. There is a beautiful layer of snow in them thar hills and the vibe is that
    snow is coming to the basin very shortly.
2. I just landed a sub gig for Nov. 9. Why so far in advance, you ask? Because I
    was requested. That's right. My intro e-mail to South has paid off. Whew!
    Things are looking up.
3. Because I feel kind of poopy, I limited my physical exertion to two games of
    bowling today:
         Game 1: 123
         Game 2: 200
    I'm not even kidding you. Two hundred. I haven't broken two hundred in a 
    couple of decades.
4. I got to see Jeff for a bit today and that was awesome. He had a very productive
    trip to the Seattle area for business and time with friends plus he got to go to
    Sunday's Seahawks game. It's good I waited to see him until today as he just
    started to recover his voice ; )
5. Jilli got home late last night from her Seattle trip to help John Olson celebrate
    his birthday. She had a very good time but was uber tired. She's going to take  
    a giant nap also. THEN we will be in full form for tonight's Rocky Horror
    Picture Show GLEE. Whoo hoo! (And then in bed by 9:00 cuz Imma gonna get
    up at 5:30 just like I have a real job already so that if Madonna from Dimond
    calls me, I will be all over it! I know. It's a good plan.)

Nighty night.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Winter sniffles . . .

Last night, I went downtown to see a show all by myself. Just like a big girl! There is a local improv theatre group called Scared Scriptless that shows the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. It was a little uneven but mostly pretty good. I'm glad I went. And I'm glad I'm sticking with my philosophy of getting out and doing things even if it means that sometimes I'm entirely by myself in new environs. Because I'm pretty social, you may think that's no big deal. But the truth of the matter is, that outside known entities and experiences, I am accompanied by some degree of anxiety. But it wasn't just getting on a plane and transplanting that makes this an adventure, right?

I laid low today as my first winter cold showed itself yesterday and is attempting to harsh my mellow. Airborne, do your thang! Tomorrow it's snow tires and introducing myself to Madonna, the secretary at Dimond High School. Hopefully, I will make an impression sufficient to put my name on her list and get me in the loop there. Cross your fingers.

Good Monday to you all!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Amy and I went bowling for funsies today: 153, 173, 184, 159. Just sayin'.

And more bowling: I subbed on my friend Smitty's league tonight and established a 152. Now based on my bowling earlier in the day, that should be no problem. Based on the last 25 years, I'm a bit concerned. OR maybe bowling is like my golf game--I'm just getting better. Either way, it was fun getting out and meeting new folks.

My final accomplishment for the evening is that I was up for several hours after I got home and managed not to eat any junk before going to bed. I'm even a little bit hungry but I'm reminding myself that just as tears are gifts during grief (did you know that? They don't always seem like a gift but they totally are. . .), so are hunger pangs when one is attempting to lose weight.

Too many deep thoughts. . . must      sleep     now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Half caff is still too much caff after 7:00pm

The rest of y'all probably already knew that. I became acutely aware of it at 2:15 this morning. That's when I almost started to get tired. The good news is that the Jill, Amy, and I are all caught up on Project Runway and Glee. OH NO! Except that our DVR did not record last night's Rocky Horror episode and it is not carried on our On Demand server. Woe is us.

I was fixin to head out for a walk this morning but instead exercised some professional discipline. Yesterday, I e-mailed each member of the Dimond High School English and Social Studies staff with an introductory e-mail. (Dimond is within walking distance, so that would definitely be my preferred site--especially during inclement weather.) Today, I sent the same intro to the folks at South High (about a 15min drive). I'm hoping that this will improve the sub request flow. Somethin's gotta give. If not opened floodgates, a trickle would be nice.

I did get a couple of server resumes dropped off yesterday. I was thinking about applying at Spenard Roadhouse. They have a shift that includes weekend brunches. That is right up my alley but I have started attending the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and really think I have found a place in that community. I'd hate to have to cross it off the list because I work every Sunday.  Hmm, gainful employment or spiritual and social connectedness? Seriously, this is a tough one. Maslow's hierarchy of needs would suggest employment but tending to my spiritual and social well-being in a new place is pretty big stuff. Maybe I'll get some other gig and it'll be a moo point.

I gave you this picture because it makes me feel happy to look at it. I believe it is one of my better pensive poses. Plus, John Olson's birthday is coming up so my gift to him long distance is at least the memory of fun times with his Jilli and the Momma.

Happy Birthday John!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Still no gig, still gotta play . . .

Whenever I click on Sub Positions Available it says no jobs. I find myself obsessive/compulsively standing over the enter button with a "how 'bout now . . .how 'bout now. . . how 'bout now, infinity kind of behavior. That ain't no good. So I called the District Sub Dispatch number. Got voicemail and no response yet again on how a sistah can hook up (and no, I didn't ask it like that). Aargh. But I did get my waitress resume shined up so I'm going to hit the bricks again tomorrow.

Now about yesterday's bowling. I was incensed and insulted when Smitty asked if I wanted to take advantage of Monday's senior rate. . .right up until I found out that meant one buck per game. Heck yeah! So I put a crisp fiver on the counter and bowled as follows: 116, 166, 131, 115, 193. I'm not even kidding.        I know, I'm quite something aren't I? My bowling scores could often be used as good practice in a math or stats class studying mean, median, and mode.

Now as for the Sound of Music singalong event: Totally fun! It was pretty funny when Julie Andrews started singing "the hills are alive." I think we collectively realized that we could not come close to her vocal prowess but a few brave souls warbled along while many others giggled. After that, we got to sing with the Von Trapp children so theater voices grew stronger and less tentative. Sometimes it was fun to sing along, other times it was very cool just to quietly listen to all the other voices. I'm quite sure I never saw the movie on the big screen before, just in VHS format on my then huge 19 inch TV. With digital remastering of color and sound and on the big screen, it was fantastic. And it really is quite timeless in its subject matter, humor, and charm. If you have a chance to attend a singalong Sound of Music, you should totally do it.

Relatively mild temperatures here. It looks like y'all are in for some halfway decent weather for the next couple of days. Get out and play in it if you can. If you can't go out and play, you should totally youtube Bjork, Triumph of a Heart video. Honest to Pete. Goodness gracious. For the love of Kelly. That whacky Icelander will make you smile at least once. (P.S. We believe her faceplant to be the real deal. It was awesome.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Since I don't have a gig today, I may as well play . . .

There's gotta be a better way to access sub jobs. Arghh.

Silver lining: it is a beautiful day. So I'mma (Jill speak for "I'm going to" as near as I can tell) walk to the bowling alley, bowl four games (when you bowl four games in a row, by yourself, you can actually get your heart rate up . . . if you're not in great shape) and then stroll home. Good job me.

I will however, continue work on my electronic resume when I get home so I can more easily respond to the server gigs that present themselves. Tonight, I'mma hit the Beartooth for a $3 movie: Life During Wartime. I think the wartime in question is family stuff. But it has been fairly well reviewed and has Allison Janney, Ally Sheedy, and Paul Reubens. I will report later.

Super exciting news: Tomorrow night there is a Sound of Music SING ALONG EVENT! I know, right?! If were any more excited I would just pooh! Hopefully, I will be enjoying it after having worked somewhere. . .

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jack Handy ain't got nothin' on Jessica

Sometimes a daily affirmation is helpful. I have hired Jessica to share her pearls  of wisdom. (Jill has advised me that when something is underlined and in color it means it will take you directly to a link. She was mildly condescending when she advised that simply making it blue is not sufficient in reference to my very first ever blog post. I hope she sees this link so that she can learn from Jessica, too.)

You're welcome.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hi my name is Mary and I'm a first time blogger.

Yep. There's a lot of pressure to trying things for the first time. While blogging may not be a Twelve Step Program, I think it will help me manage my time and communication better. I miss all my peeps back home but I'm also busy enjoying the kids and making new peeps up here. A girl only has so much time! So I'm going to leach, I mean learn, from following Jill's blogspot example. (Though I find that kind of intimidating because I think that she is very clever and hilarious.) That way y'all can keep up with my general goings on. So I thought I'd start by taking a page from Jilli's url: averychillywinter.blogspot. com. I'm old and my bones are creaky so I thought I'd just leap straight to dangnabitscold.blogspot. com for my url.  I know, I'm like a genius, only different. (Thus concludes my lengthy preamble.)

So here's my moderately recent haps: Night before last, Jill, Amy, and I walked up to the park on Jewel Lake to watch more of the filming of Everybody Loves Whales. (Check it out on It has been interesting watching Hollywood turn our little lake into a scene from the Arctic. It was a beautiful evening for a stroll. Apparently, the meese (plural for moose, duh) agreed. We were a block away from home when we saw a juvenile moose between us and the house. Then on the other side of the street we saw its momma. Conventional wisdom says "Never get between a momma moose and her mouse (mouse is to moose as fawn is to deer, duh). And these two were going nowhere. So we called Renee and she got in the car to drive an entire block away to pick us up. It is actually true that a fairly common reason for being late to work in Anchorage is "I can't come in yet, there's a moose between me and my car." (This actually happened to Jill once last winter. It only made her about five minutes late, though.)

Speaking of work, I had my very first sub gig yesterday. Yay! Gainful employment makes me feel waaay better. I am so very good at goofing off. I was worried I would forget how to work. Also, I had not yet fired up my maximum brain capacity since the big IQ dump of 2010 (I lose 12-20 points the day after school is out every year). Normally, I recover most of them by mid-August when I start thinking school-like thoughts again but I'm late this year and it has been a bit scary.  Yesterday, in the middle of a fairly lofty explication on job security in the AP Economics class I was teaching, I found myself struggling for just the right word when explaining how rather than working for just one company for 30+ years and then retiring, their generation is likely to work for 8-10 different companies, even wthin the same, uh, uh, the word, what is the word?--don't worry a student filled it in for me: field. I know, right?!

But I digress. I believe that after one day in the classroom, I have already recovered two of the aforementioned lost IQ points. The day went very well (though my teacher taught all six classes with no prep and the day ended with a PE class! What?! I've never supervised PE!), my sub report ranged from excellent all the way down to very good, and as is consistent with my motto, "No one was injured and some learning occurred." I'm very glad to have the first one under my belt. I had a wicked case of night before insomnia, waking at 1:49--thank you digital precision : ( and did not get back to sleep 'til 4:30. Boo. No matter how old or experienced I get generally, I always have some measure of anxiety when approaching new experiences and it typically presents in my sleep patterns (or lack thereof). I trust next time shouldn't be as big a deal.

As it happens, there is a beautiful golf course offering late season rates right on my way home from Chugiak H.S. The weather has been very cold but very beautiful this last week. So I decided to take advantage of one last opportunity for a round of golf. Smitty, the nice fella who works the desk at Jewel Lake Bowl (where I substitute on leagues) is also a golfer, of sorts, so he joined me for the round. In the interest of daylight we decided to do a scramble format (where we both hit but then take the next shot from the best of the two). We finished the front with a very respectable 42 and the back with a lyin', cheatin' 46. It was great fun. As I left the course, the sun was just dipping into the horizon and the temperature was 26 degrees. Yep. I'm pretty sure that's it for golf this year.

Stayed up late last night with Jilli getting caught up on the first season of Glee (thanks to the good people at Netflix). So with today being a teacher prep day,
I am having a pajama day which is the very reason you are being blessed with this rather lengthy update. My future blog postings will be of varied length and will most certainly not appear daily (it has taken me much of the day just to decide whether or not it is really appropriate to bathe on a pajama day. . . I admit I'm having some gumption issues).  So tune in here from time to time. And if you want to talk to me, call me up! (There's a 94% chance I'll call you back but only 37% that it'll be in a timely manner. . .) Also, once I figure out how to take and or get pictures and make them be here, I will. (I know, my use of technological jargon is quite impressive.)

I love and miss you all and hope that you are well.