Monday, January 31, 2011

Old guy bowling scores today: 141 (yay, finally my average), 92 (WtF?!), and 188 (woo hoo!). I gave some consideration to doing some housework after bowling today but opted instead for a nap. A giant nap. A really awesome, 2 1/2 hour nap. Now I should be in excellent form for tonight's $5 poker game and still be able to boost for my 4:00am walk.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dating is not as exciting as it might sound ; (

Okay. So Amy may have been right. Black Swan may not have been a good choice for a date movie.  Particularly when you have not so much as "bumped fingers" as Aunt Leenie would say (in reference to that awkward place in a new relationship where no one has made a single move).  So should I have gently reached over and taken his hand after the Nina/Lily bedroom scene? Or during one of her bloody, violent hallucinations? Hmmm. A conundrum. Don't worry, dinner included lots of awkward silences and our parting physical contact was a handshake. Yes. A handshake. Not a lingering, meaningful holding. More of a business handshake. If I were meeting him for the first time, I would have been duly impressed with it. On a fifth date, not so much.

So I went over to Smitty's to commiserate and debrief. He was very helpful. We watched South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut and had great fun. What a good guy that Smitty is. I think next Saturday, we're going to scope out the Over 35 Singles Dance Club. They have a weekly Saturday dance from 7-12 with lessons from 7 to 8. And next Sunday, I've been invited to my bowling teammate Diane's for a Super Bowl party. She is a lone Steelers fan in a house that will be full of Green Bay fans. I don't actually give a shit, so I'm going to throw in with Diane and root for the Steelers. She is a great gal who reminds me quite a lot of my friend silly Linda (from the Twinkie Store) minus the crazy hair and make up. But like Linda, she has a great sense of humor and play, and knows her mind and speaks it, always. I really like that about her.

Heading to a late breakfast with Ames. Then I'm meeting up with Jeff for XC skiing at Kincaid. Then it's on to Chocolate Dwellers to join Catherine Ellis and her sweetheart Lee Burmbaugh's combo birthday party and then to the closing concert at the Folk Festival with Smitty. I love a leisurely Sunday . . .

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Let me tell you about my BnBe (Best not-Boyfriend, Ever.) Oh yeah, and then maybe the one I'm dating.

Tommy Thomas McSmitterson Smith or, as Jill calls him Smithers, is better known to you as Smitty. It turns out that he is a great and wonderful friend and if it is at all possible, I should want you all to meet him. Guess you'll have to come to Alaska. Every single woman needs a wing man and since Teresa lives 2500 miles away, that job in Alaska has gone to Smitty. He takes it quite seriously and is loaded with good advice.Here's one: "You should probably have two or three boyfriends. No one man can meet all of any one woman's needs. Maybe you should have four." He is boyfriend number one. The one that doesn't put out. So he's not really boyfriend number one but rather, the un-boyfriend. But he does provide: an arm in the snow, great companionship, good counsel, honey-do attitude, and honest perspective. Let me just say that the load of boyfriend numbers 2, 3, & 4 will be pretty light work.

Speaking of which, I do have another date with Gary this Saturday. We're going to Komagoro, a Japanese restaurant downtown and then we're going to see Black Swan. I'm just trying to think of what fun, light movie I want to have at the ready for when I get home. I'm pretty sure the content of Black Swan is not what I want to ingest immediately before bedtime.

I finally got a call to work at Dimond High yesterday but alas, had already committed to working lunch at the Pit for a big once-a-month gathering. But, I left a message on my voice mail to that extent and Madonna, the Dimond High secretary, appreciated the message and it sounds like she will certainly call me again. So I'm feeling like subbing is about to bust wide open. And by wide open I mean probably a day or so a week.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Brian Swanson was high scorer. . .

at tonight's Alaska Aces hockey game. He had one goal and three assists. You didn't know he played hockey, too, didjya? Okay, maybe it's a different Brian Swanson. Sure was fun tonight. They whomped Victoria, 6-1. The kids got to go to the game last night on some tickets Renee passed to them. They enjoyed the game but our Aces lost 4-1 last night.

I couldn't go last night because I was committed to bowling badly, as is my habit on Friday nights. The good news is that my bowling team consists of four people who endeavor to bowl their level best but don't get too worked up when it doesn't come to pass. So we have a pretty great time even though we stink. After bowling, we all went to Spenard's for Halfy Appy and to hunker down and await for a jam session. Anchorage hosts a free folk music festival for two weekends running. Last night's opening act was an Irish band and after the gig, they rolled on over to the Roadhouse to be joined by another 15 or so local musicians to jam. In one corner there was traditional Irish music. At the other end of the restaurant it was more bluegrass influenced, complete with stand up bass. All this while big fatty flakes of snow were drifting past the big windows. I'm tellin ya, this is a pretty cool town. There's lots to do and if you pay attention, a fair amount of it is free or cheap.

I picked up my skis today and Jeff, Amy, and I hit Russian Jack (one of a number of parks in town) for cross country. I'm still fairly tentative but I went down an actual hill (after standing at the precipice for quite sometime) and did not fall. Phewf! I'm anxious to go again soon but there is football to be watched tomorrow and some folk music festival to be woven in as well. So if I don't get called into teach on Monday
I just may go old guy bowling (Monday is Senior day--only $1 a game) and cross country skiing.

Holy shitsky! I almost forgot to tell you. My bff/wing man Teresa is coming up for a visit! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! We are going to have some kind of fun. Oh yes. Anchorage won't know what hit it. . .

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hope you've had a good MLK Day.

Among many of his words to ponder and endeavor to live by: 
"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Warning: This blogpost may contain some information regarding my very boring and moderately painful dating life. Read on at your own peril.

First let me just say: It is very cold in Alaska. Even the Alaskans are commenting on it. It is presently -9. Right here in town. Not on Hillside or in the outlying areas. Right here. (I'm sure those place are double digit minus.) But we are expecting a warming trend to the teens later this week that is supposed to bring snow with it. A fresh round of snow would be loverly! And the teens are a much more palatable temperature for being out in it, working on our fledgling cross country ski skills.

I am much relieved that starting this week, I will be working just two days a week at the BBQ Pit (Tuesdays and Thursdays). This is just enough to cover my rent and utilities and frees me up to more actively pursue substitute teaching. I can't solicit gigs when I'm waitressing 5 days a week. Plus, that is way too many 8 hour waitress shifts for this 51 year-old who does not have a bath tub for soaking tired old bones.

We had a great time helping Amy celebrate her 26th birthday Friday night. Jeff, Mel, Jill, Amy's friends Phil, Tiffany, Chris, and I had a great time at Benihana's for her birthday dinner. I had never been before and it really is a fun celebratory experience. Then Smitty joined us all at the Buckaroo Club in Midtown where we (our collective) owned one of the pool tables for a couple of hours. I keep forgetting that I don't hate these places anymore (now that they are all smoke free). It's pretty fun hanging out with people you enjoy and shooting pool. Makes me miss the Grable's gang and shuffleboard something fierce, though : (  It worked out nicely, too, so I could be the driver for the youngsters who partook fairly heavily of the Buckaroo's libations. But we were back home by 1:00 for a fairly low-key after party at the AHfWWG.

So the quick update on the dating scene is that I took Gary out for a nice lunch downtown. I thought I was taking him to the Snow Goose, which has a beautiful view and pretty decent micro-brew/restaurant food. But alas, they are closed on Sundays. So we hit a place called Sal's that was very good, but no view. Thus far, meals with Gary are moderately awkward. The conversation just    does    not           flow. But then we went to the Dome and had a nice walk and a good visit. I don't know if it just takes him that long to warm up his conversational chops or if we should simply never eat together again. Hmmm. It was still nice getting out though. Smitty wants me to invite him out bowling with us so he can adequately scrutinize him. I told him that would be a great idea because things aren't quite awkward enough already.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Attention Lary Grable and Roger Thomas:

(and anyone else who has a fondness for all things bacon):

I have four words for you:  Bacon maple ice cream. Yes, it is delicious. What? If only it were served like a giant cream puff, in a puff pastry shell with bourbon sauce?!  Spenard Roadhouse's dessert chef, Melanie (YES--our Melanie) has created it for January's Bacon of the Month Dessert, so you can!

I guess this means you're gonna half to come to Alaska right away.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Episode 12: The one where my date drops me off in the parking lot . . .

and leaves. Drives off. Just as I am putting my key in the door. Did I mention it was 10:00 at night? Or the minor detail that it was 10 degrees? Gary gets 50 demerits. (I have yet to determine the total merit system. I'm working on it.)

It actually was a pretty nice date, overall. We had an entirely mediocre dinner with fairly awkward conversation. I know. Sounds good so far, huh? But it really did get better. We went to Sullivan Arena for the Aces hockey game. There was lots of time for visiting which we somehow managed to loosen up a bit and get better at. The game was really fun. The Aces are a top notch minor league team with a good record, there were some penalties, of course, but none of that gross fighting for sport stuff that I don't like, and the score was 5-3, good guys. So that was fun.

Because Gary was otherwise fairly thoughtful, I'm gonna give him grace and decide he just brain farted (he still gets the demerits, though). He did follow up with a nice e-mail thanking me for a fun evening and inviting me out again next weekend. So while I seriously doubt my destiny lies with Gary, I'll surely give it another shot. Pancho Villa's and a movie TBD. Perhaps I'll drive this time . . .

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The warming trend is over for now.

We're back to being in the 20s and spectacularly clear and beautiful. Downside: all that mush stuff has turned to ice. Yes. I am wearing my spikes faithfully. Thanks for asking.

I've watched an introductory video on cross country skiing. So despite the lack of replacement boots for my skis, Jeff, Mel, and I are going to Kincaid Park tomorrow. Apparently, that is a world class cross country trail that is actually groomed daily. So despite variations in the air temp, the trails at Kincaid are supposed to be good. So I'm going to rent equipment tomorrow and then shop more fully later. (I struck out at the thrift stores so I may need to break down and spend real money. Boo.)

Jill and I saw True Grit today. We recommend it. Tomorrow I'm going to a matinee of The King's Speech.

Tomorrow is my first night bowling as a member of my team. Smitty and I practiced today in preparation. I was woeful. Didn't even make my average once. Hopefully that means I'm saving up my greatness for league play. Then Saturday is my big date with Gary the teacher. We're going to dinner and then an Anchorage Aces game. They are a minor league hockey team that is presently on a winning streak.  I had suggested going to a UAA game instead as I am not fond of the blood-sport nature that seems pervasive in hockey. But apparently minor league play has cleaned up considerably in the last several years, so I'm a gamer. It should be great fun.

I will report on these and other happenings later. (Oh good. It's after 9:00. I can go to bed now. . .)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 is flying by already!

I hope and trust that you had a safe and happy New Year's celebration. It warmed up sufficiently to be fairly comfortable outside and the rains stayed away. It wasn't quite as spectacular as a Samish Island firework show but it was pretty good. I've gotta believe it made for a much better display than what they do for the 4th, what with very little darkness. Mark and Renee hosted us at their lovely lakefront home. We had a bonfire down by the lake and most folks exercised moderation pretty well --some drinking and perhaps a little bit of pot smoking--with the exception of "drunk neighbor lady." She managed not to get burned despite reaching her hand repeatedly into the bonfire in search of something with which to light her cigarette. Wow.

Jeff, Mel, and Brock came over for another slumber party. We had cinnamon swirl from Great Harvest bakery which can be best described as a giant, unfrosted cinnamon roll. But don't worry, it's made from wheat flour so it's good for us. Plus, we had scrambled eggs and bacon. And played Frog Juice. It was a fun morning. Then all the kids had to scoot to work so I did housework and was all manner of accomplished. Later, Smitty came over and we had some delicious leftover homemade chicken noodle soup (I made it my veryownself) and then we watched Whale Rider on the AHfWWG giant 19" TV screen. It's amazing how we can adapt back and actually still enjoy a movie despite it not being on a big, plasma screen. Good dang thing, since it is what we have and what we can afford. . .

We had a fun taco soup and guacamole party at Mark & Renee's for tonight's Seahawks game. It is quite something feeling like the 12th Man as we cheered them on to their unique NFL record: First losing team to make it to the playoffs. It'll be interesting to see what they do with it.

P.S. Cross country skiing was poopy today. The conditions were crazy slick and my $5.00 ski boots fell apart before I even got around the corner. Harumph. I may have to go to the used sporting goods store and spend $20. Dang it. Should be lousy skiing for a few days. We'll just wait for some fresh snow and cold temps again. Back to the Dome I go.