Saturday, December 27, 2008

Letting Time Pass You By

Maybe it isn't awkward because it is comfortable. Maybe it is comfortable because it is typical. Maybe the problem is that it was never good enough before.

I have never had the greatest relationship with my bio-dad. Obviously, right? It's been a solid five years since I saw him, a solid ten since I went to visit. Here I am, age 23, with a lot of living under my belt since the last reunion. Still, he is sitting around watching sports. I don't think he's said more than 20 words to me since I've been here. Not that I've said a ton to him, but I hope we don't both feel we've done our part.

I gave up a grudge, he doled out several hundred dollars. Where does that leave us? The same place we've ever been. With no relationship. Meanwhile, I've bonded with my half-siblings and my step-mom, plus relatives of my step-mom.

Still, there is a part of my that wants to walk up to him and say, "So? Haven't you got anything to ask me? Anything to say to me? Any paternal advice to pass on? Anything you'd like to know?"

I've never been particularly good at communicating with men, I've always related to other women much better. Most of my relationships with men have had a lot to do with being attracted to each other - not the type of tender, touching, father-daughter relationship that is supposed to happen here or with my step-dad. Apparently neither of us know how to address this non-existent relationship, so as the days go by, I still don't feel I've necessarily gotten that much out of the trip in terms of familial relations.

Maybe that's it. Maybe this is all we'll ever have. Maybe being able to occupy the same space is the most we can ever hope for.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas in California

I don't know that I've shared much of my personal history in this blog, that anyone who doesn't know me personally knows my family structure or where they live or what sort of relationship I have with my family. Right now, I am sitting in the home of my biological father in California. The last time I saw him? High School Graduation. Briefly.

My mom and my bio-dad got divorced when I was pretty young, after having my schwesterlein and me. Both my mom and bio-dad remarried and had more kids. That makes me the oldest daughter of 7 children total. Five sisters. One brother. Until this morning, I had never even met my baby brother.

Because of various circumstances, I became estranged from one side of the family, enough to the point that I had a 7 year old brother I had never met. As a matter of fact, the last time I saw anyone but the bio-dad and the grandma was 10 years ago, when I was 13.

I was a sassy teen and the last time I visited the paternal side of the family was fairly traumatizing. When my maternal immediate family moved to Oregon when I was 12, my mom "to make things easier" changed our last name to my stepdad's last name. Looking back, this made things easier for my mom only. She and my stepdad wouldn't have to explain that there had been a previous marriage which had produced some children (technically though, I'm a bastard) or that there was anything imperfect about our family and its structure. My sister and I went to California to visit and go to Disneyland and at some point my stepmom (who for years after I would consider EVIL) was missing her sunglasses and searched through my suitcase (why I was a suspect is beyond me still). She discovered my student ID card which gave the last name of my stepdad. She made a big deal out of it, as I recall, and so did my bio-dad. I was really upset and ran to the hotel lobby and called my mom collect. Looking at this, I would like to point out that it was really silly for anyone to think that my sister or I could have had any control over this name situation.

Basically - all the parents involved were behaving ridiculously. Every last one. My schwesterlein and I suffered through all sorts of drama between the parents and it made me pretty resentful. Because I lived with my mom and stepdad, the paternal side of the family got the worst of my teen angst. My mom and stepdad got some.

Recently, my schwesterlein decided to reconnect, even taking a trip to visit the paternal family on a road trip with a friend of hers. She, perhaps only through her actions, inspired me to do the same. Another inspiration was talking with a friend of mine who is a family law attorney. We discussed some matters about my parental relationships and upbringing and I determined that I was pretty much a pawn. I had to deal with being part of a lot of stupid grown up games and all the side effects and consequences thereof.

I'm not mad though. I realize that I was the first child to two people who were barely ready to have children, and obviously weren't meant to be together. My mom was two days shy of being 20 when I was born, after all. Upon coming to the realization that, in some ways, we were all victims and we were all clueless as it unfolded, I decided to drop the grudge I had begun to foster as a pre-teen...

And here I am. Sitting in the family room with the albino plastic Christmas tree, while my paternal family continues to function. It's less awkward than I would have imagined and has been pleasant overall. I haven't had a big heart to heart with the bio-dad, I haven't had a huge heart to heart with anyone yet. But I can say that nobody is evil, least of all the step-mom, and everyone who remembers me is happy to see me. The two sisters barely remember me and the baby brother never met me. He is a funny, adorable little kid, who is mildly autistic. It's this whole other life to which I am in some ways very connected and in other ways not at all.

I was nervous coming into this, but I am pretty happy that I was brave enough to make the trip and connect with my other family.

Happy holidays. I hope that they are spent with family or loved ones.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If this is karma...

If this is karma, I say "No fair!"

What have I done to deserve this? Broken a few hearts? That's life. Partied too hard? That's youth. Committed genocide? Wait, no. Come on, I'm not such a bad person!

Just so you know the score:

Weather - 2
Melissa - 0

Weather - 3-5
Melissa - 0

This morning I hit the snooze button for an hour, yes, an hour. I then got up and while listening to WTF-up with Jessie on the radio I was informed that it was finally snowing in Alaska. I was actually sort of jealous of my Washingtonian and Oregonian friends who have been trudging through inches to feet of snow. I mean, I moved to Alaska, I should be the one who gets to whine about the frustrations of snowfall, not those wimps "down South." Well, now we're getting ours. But wait, I want to fly out of here. Please?

Here is where the weather gained its points against me though:

I can't recall whether or not I've complained about the ice. I'm sure in the past I have, but I will complain right now. Right by the Fisherman's building there is a big patch of ice, nay, a miniature glacier. The miniature glacier is something I do my best to avoid everyday because it, unlike our real glaciers, has not been receding. Today was no different. Except today, there was snow on our Fisherman's Glacier (not its official name) and today there was another person on the sidewalk. This had me absent-mindedly walking directly on the Fisherman's Glacier. And when I say walking I really mean slipping. I fell. I fell hard. It was jarring and I think my spine compressed. I am probably an inch shorter now. It also hurt. I had this nice older lady stop to ask if I was ok - after a moment of moaning and assessing the pain in my back I mumbled that I would be fine and accepted her helping hand in standing up. That's one.

I hobbled to work, considering it a miracle that, while my back hurts, my ankle was not re-injured. I grabbed my coffee from Heritage and I walked across the street, up to the office, and I got settled in. Now, don't ask me why, but I happened to feel my butt. Ok, I think I was just pulling up my pants. Anyway, my fingers grazed a texture that was unfamiliar to me. 'What is this texture,' I thought, 'it feels like strings laid over cotton.' Oh, right, because it is. That's right, dear friends, I split my friggin' pants. Right down the seam. That strange texture, definitely strings on cotton. I am just thankful I did laundry recently so I wasn't stuck going commando. And in case you weren't counting: That's two.

Luckily, I am the type of person who can find humor in splitting her pants after a fall. I can also find consolation in the fact that, when telling my hilarious and fresh anecdote to my co-worker, he shared that he slipped and fell in the exact same spot. We also both commented that we knew of the existence of the Fisherman's Glacier and felt pretty stupid for having slipped on it.

I am projecting that the weather will get at least one to three more points on me, as it is only 9:30am. I'm dreading flight delays and cancellations, preparing myself mentally to spend Christmas in Juneau instead of heading to the Bay Area to visit family, see my friend visiting from China, and spend some time with the infamous Mountain Man of the summer.

I am also projecting the following statistics:

Likelihood of Melissa slipping and falling again: 76.3%
Likelihood of Melissa getting frostbite walking between office and home: 2.1%
Likelihood of Melissa being lost in a blizzard: 3.4%
Likelihood of Melissa freezing to death in her sleep because of a cracked window: 5.8%
Likelihood of Melissa consuming whiskey if her flight is cancelled: 51.0%
Likelihood of Melissa loudly and publicly cursing the weather: 89.3%

The margin of error is +/- 4.2%
My credentials as a statistician: I took Statistics in college. I got an A.

I guess maybe the bum luck today is just balancing out the great joy I felt last night upon receiving an e-mail telling me that I would receive a bonus from the campaign job. Yeah, winning! That should ensure my survival for the next X days while I am under-employed, since today is my last day saving the oceans (for now). Since I finally came to terms with the fact that I would be under-employed and that I can't assume I'll get a DC job with Mark B, the other enviro-job, or a job with the state legislature, I went on last night and applied for 6 different awesome jobs all over the country. Yes, I know, I love Juneau, but the top jobs listed on the Empire's site were not up to par and the state's job site, AlexSys kept kicking me back to the same page in an exercise in perpetual repetition. I wanted to make a nice metaphor here, but after twenty minutes of browsing through wikipedia articles on string theory and wormhole physics, my brain told me to give it up.

Today, I may have to do something really nice for someone else, hoping to improve my karma. Did you know that if you donate to the HRC before January 20th you get a nifty scarf? Or if you buy these really ugly shoes, some kid in a third world country will also get a pair of really ugly shoes. Or maybe I'll just give the bums free pizza again.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sex and the Frontier

Friday night, you could see four ladies sitting together, talking about life over cocktails (or actually Black Fang, Haines Brewery's amazing porter). Someone pointed out it was like Sex and the City, only we're in friggin' Alaska. As usual, I get dubbed the Miranda.

Friday night was a lot of fun, one of the nights when Miss C declares that she's sleeping on my couch, one of those nights when everyone and everything is fun. The whole day was fun, even. We had kids in the office to learn about humpback whales, then we went to the Hangar for appetizers and drinks. I have great co-workers! Too bad tomorrow is my last day.

I thought I would be working at the Bergmann, but after going home to change into something sassy, I showed up to discover dude-man working the shift again. Again, it's not dude-man's fault, it is the owner's fault. Apparently I'll be working the Friday shift again in two weeks. Not sure if it will continue. In any case, I called up the girlfriends and Miss C, Miss A, and Miss B and I met up at the Hangar later in the evening. We spent most of the night at the Alaskan, where I was asked to dance(!) and where we drank more beer instead of cosmos. We even hit up the Imperial to bust some moves. Eventually Miss A and Miss C crashed at my house. Sometime during the night we planned a wine & cheese night for Saturday.

I made pancakes for Miss A and me on Saturday morning and we watched The Princess Bride, which will never get old, and The Nightmare before Christmas, which will also never get old. It was a really lazy day, but very nice. We all got together again at 8pm at my house. We had the following bottles of wine: A 2001 Penfold's Shiraz, valued at $280; a Rodney Strong Cab, valued at $60, a Cover Drive Cab, value unknown, and a Parker Station Pinot, value unknown. The first three were fantastic. The Pinot, my contribution, had turned. I had never dealt with a bad wine before, I mean, I've had my share of two-buck-chuck, but this was spoiled. Luckily that was the last bottle we opened and it didn't ruin the night of wine drinking, cheese and fruit eating, and never have I ever playing. Once we hit the last bottle (it smelled like farts! I swear!) we decided to go out.

We stopped at the Alaskan, found it to be an awkward crowd, definitely a holiday party spill-over... we witnessed what has been described as a 45+ three-way kiss. Ick. Once we got tired of watching the mature adult content, we tried the Rendezvous, where the pop-punk was just a little too loud. Upon determining that the 'Vous was not our scene, we tried the Imperial, which was obviously appealing to a lot of people that night, but for us, it felt off. Finally, we decided to "slum it" and went to the Viking. To its credit, the Viking is consistent. They consistently play good dance music (better than the Imperial), they consistently pour strong drinks, and they consistently have kind of a sketchy crowd. It was just what the doctor ordered. We went out there, danced like mad, even braving the cage. We danced until we could dance no more, and then we went home. In small doses, the Viking is apparently wonderful. It was nice because it lacked the familiar faces and the pressures of the other bars, we were able to let loose and be a little silly. I guess it's kind of stupid that we can't do that at the other locations, maybe it's time for some small-scale gentrification - maybe it's time to take over the Viking...

Now, I am sure you all laugh about me and my silly ways, but if you find me and my ways hilarious, I urge you to read Stuff White People Like, if you don't already. Seriously.

Well, this time I mean it!

Remember when Mr. CPP said, "We should just be friends" and then didn't act like just friends? Well, apparently we are just friends NOW. For the sake of my sanity, I'm not going to let "just friends" be a "gray" sort of state. It's going to be a black and white sort of state. We are not "just friends" anymore, we are just friends. Or we'll be friends when I'm done being pissed off at the conditionality of the terms.

I'd like to point out that Christmas parties with open bars may be the best and worst idea ever. I woke up this morning on my couch, barely covered in a blanket, with my purse open in the middle of the room, and my phone on hand and a glass of water on the table. For being drunk enough to pass out on the couch, I am impressed that I was smart enough to ensure hydration and a wakeup call for the morning. The Hangar party was quite the affair. Most people were pretty dressed up and the spread was rather amazing, though definitely not meant for vegetarians, as Noah's Ark had been laid out on the tables. I think I ate ostrich.

I lost track of how many vodka-tonics I consumed, but I'm sure it was enough to kill a small horse, or at the very least, to tranquilize it for a good number of hours. That is probably why I was stupid enough to have a talk with Mr. CPP which led to the reiteration of our FRIENDship. Definitely why I was stupid enough to try to convince him that we should continue with the not really just friends thing. Sometimes I'm such a stupid girl.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I wish you weren't a liar.

Lies. We all do it. Including me.

Well, I mean, I guess what I am referring to is not a lie. I bailed on plans yesterday. I bailed because I wanted to be productive. I said specifically that it was because I wanted to prepare for an interview, but whether I lied to myself or my friend, I did no such thing.

Instead, I continued the domestic spree and cleaned. A lot. I also made soup from (nearly) scratch - hand picking every ingredient, right down to which herbs and spices. The fennel - a good idea!

In cleaning our apartment, I have generated no fewer than 5 bags of garbage. Ick. I have found things long forgotten, gotten rid of things which should soon be forgotten, and I have discovered counter space I never knew existed. Possibly also a new species of mold. I've worked really hard on the kitchen, bathroom, and living room - I even cleared out the hallway, which proves to be a treacherous path. And, in doing laundry, I've also been working on my own room. The house is almost presentable enough that I might invite people over. Though it won't be until the time I leave, then the roommate comes home first and I can only hope that she will treat the newly cleaned house a little more gently than the old dirty house.

I have also been doing a bunch more art, as I have mentioned. I busted out the paints, have been using mixed media and I have been doing lots of self portraits. I love and hate self portraits.

Oh, but about lying. I'll tell you who really did lie. A boy. Told me he was leaving town, so I told him he could go ahead and stop by, even though I smelled of bleach and looked like hell. Turns out he's not leaving town, at all. Just busted in on my domestic spree. Being the congenial hostess that I am, I didn't send him away, but adjusted and we watched a movie on the couch. After the movie I went to bed, but it was already absurdly late.

This morning was one of those mornings when everything goes wrong and my reaction time to simple decisions facing me was atrocious. Examples: Situation, Option, Option:

1) Alarm goes off: Get up, stare, hit snooze: I chose hit snooze. Twice. Bad idea.
2) Dryer did not dry clothing you want to wear: Stare, choose something else, wear wet clothing: I chose stare. Then choose something else. Sort of a time waster.
3) Pants missing button: Find thread, needle, button and sew, wear without button, choose other pants: I chose the first, failed, and then wore the pants sans button.
4) You are already running late, oh shit!: Get out the door ASAP, do other things that aren't necessary before leaving: I chose to get some soup that I had made and choose the right scarf for the outfit.
5) It's cold outside: Find socks and wear boots, wear shoes that will not keep your feet warm: After some searching and contemplating, I chose the latter.

Obviously, I ought to work on my decision making skills. All I have to say is it is a damn good thing I don't drink in the mornings. Bad decision making times a zillion.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Schadenfreude, regular Freude, and Freud.

So, I think that the English definition of the German word Schadenfreude is: Taking pleasure in the misfortune/misery of others... something like that. I am sure this isn't the best example, but my reaction to seeing a 60% off going-out-of-business-sale sign on a local business is somewhat bittersweet.

Even though it is not entirely altruistic (the only grocery stores within walking distance just happen to be locally owned), I take pride in patronizing local businesses. I try to eat my lunch at Silverbow or Valentine's rather than Subway, I try to buy my clothing from locally owned boutiques rather than - well, I guess I could go to Gottschalk's, and I definitely only get my coffee at the local places like Heritage. I like that there are thriving small businesses, that my money is helping people in my community, and that I'm not feeding corporate giants. So, when I see a small local business shutting down due to financial hardship, I'm a little sad.

Until I see the prices lower than Walmart on everything in the store. Then I can be seen dropping a hundred bucks at a store I only rarely patronized before. Seriously though, I was like a kid in a candy store when I realized that I could get art supplies at a 60% discount. I bought brushes, paint, an exacto knife, a ruler, more paint, decorative paper, a sketchbook, ink, a quill pen, and a couple prints by a local artist. I wanted to feel sad, but I was thrilled.

Now, on many occasions I will be found out and about at the bars, hanging out with friends and drinking. Not necessarily the most productive way to spend a night, especially when my house could still use some cleaning, the laundry could use a little washing, and perhaps my bills could use some paying... Well, last night I didn't do any of these listed productive or non-productive things. Instead, I did something that has always made me happy, and that was making art! I sketched, I inked, I doodled, I painted, I crafted... I turned down hanging out with a few friends for the sake of art.

And, finally, I've decided that I've been directing my energy toward the wrong pursuits... I've been so caught up in dating and quasi-relationships and silly things like that. I stress myself out, I complicate my life, and I waste a lot of time. This isn't saying that I am going to give up on the idea of dating, but I'd rather channel my energy into art than into pursuing the menfolk in my life. If they want to spend time with me, they can give me a call... meanwhile, I'll be making comics for all my lovely readers on the internet, painting, and crafting.

I mean, seriously, fuck dating. I'm gonna be an artist.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Judging!

1. I updated the comics. You remember how on Monday I posted a zillion and one blogs? Well, because I know you like the comics more anyway, I've done the same with them. Yesterday I posted at least six. Go to them!

2. I brought the little Tab-PC to the Silverbow with me, where I had soup and a bagel while I updated. I chatted with one of the employees who is back to help for Christmas break, he is going to school to be an astronaut or something, ok, maybe not exactly that. He goes to Embry Riddle, I think. I also had the joy of being joined by Mr. TB/the Crush. Last interactions were a bit on the super awkward side, but this dalliance proved to be much better. Back to his mellower state, he came to join me (at my invitation) and we chatted a little while I updated and shared with him my comics. He happened to be reading a copy of Persepolis and offered to let me borrow it. These are the times when my heart is aflutter with nerd-love. He requested the address for the comics site and the phone number (finally, jeez). I had to go back to work, but I'm glad we had a nice time together after the camping trip with its craziness.

3. While updating further after work and sipping on tea, I was joined by Miss B. We sat there for a long time catching up on the last two weeks worth of news and "the Juneau Drama" before heading back to my apartment to avoid interrupting the kiddie Christmas movie about to show. We did a lot of catching up, and then we did something I pretty much NEVER do. I may have toked up. I try to avoid it, I did it some in college, but at a point I realized that it makes my mind think crazy-stupid things. Thinking crazy-stupid things is fine except when you don't want to say these crazy-stupid things and sound crazy-stupid around people who you are convinced will judge you based on the things you say while crazy-stupid. I stopped doing it entirely after listening to group conversation recorded by Miss L in which I rambled about the Cote d'Ivoire and its different translations for a solid 5 minutes. Elfenbein K├╝ste? Awesome. So, when I say entirely, what I mean is regularly, frequently, or with any but a select few. It had been a long, long time, but I trust that Miss B, in any state, would not judge me for being crazy-stupid.

First the night started with just saying stupid things and doing some stupid things, all of which were insanely hilarious, of course. Then we discovered a pack of four touch lights (you remember the trend) and we had a touch light rave. Then we discovered that you could see the reflection in the television set, so we choreographed a touch light dance. Then we moved them slowly and steadily forward like headlights, had them rise parallel to each other and made rocket noises, and we covered them partly with our fingers and considered ourselves to be Darth Vader and a Furnace. I was a furnace. Now, this all sounds incredibly stupid, and let me tell you why: It is stupid. But it was also very fun. When Miss B left me, I decided it would be a great idea to watch a movie. In a box of VHS tapes recently donated to the Miss-J-Resists-Technology-Trust, I discovered a copy of The Meaning of Life, you know, Monty Python... It was a life changing experience. Until I fell asleep.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A little self control is advisable...

Hope everyone survived the blog attack yesterday. If any of you get as bored as I do at the office, maybe you appreciated the bombardment.

Today I have only a quick update. An update to announce that I have an interview at the end of this week.

I talk about jobs and job hunts a lot, partially because, since April, I have worked a lot of temporary positions. I also talk about applying to do things and I come up with elaborate if/then statements and create drama over job offers that are still non-existent.

Well, here is a real step toward the future: An interview. This is an interview for another non-profit sector job with an environmental group. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The VIP Lounge

The holiday season is not complete without holiday parties. A holiday party is not complete without an open bar.

The 'Vous Holiday Party was last night. It opened to the select attendees at 7pm and was rumored to potentially go late into the night or early into the morning, depending on how you like to look at it.

I got gussied up and showed up a little after 8pm. Overall, the party was pretty fun. It was a good crowd, lots of drinking - though many of us had paced ourselves for a longer night than we'd have. I had three dates, Mr. HS, Mr. HJ, and Mr. CPP. They showed up later in the night than I did.

There isn't much to note about the party, it was your typical night of drinking and debauchery, surprisingly less dramatic for me than other nights, despite the open bar.

Word on the street is that the night was not drama-free for everyone, but luckily I had nothing to do with that.

The party closed down at bar close, much to the displeasure of those of us who had hoped for a wild and crazy night. I had it all planned out that we would party late into the night, then the not-boyfriend and I would stumble back to my apartment and have a sleepover. Alas, he was sober enough to drive home and I was drunk enough to go to an "after party" that I was too tired to stay at.

I guess you could say it was kind of disappointing. It's okay though, I've still got another holiday party to attend. Next Monday, I will hopefully be sharing the tales of the Hangar party and who knows what other debauchery.

Domestic Duties

Miss J and I are both stubborn people. Determined people? That sounds nicer.

Miss J and I both hate doing dishes, or really, any sort of domestic duties.

The consequences are dire. The apartment had become an eyesore, an embarrassment, and possibly a health hazard?

My stubbornness lapsed and I determined that I would clean the place, even if the dishes weren't my doing.

When I discovered my Friday shift at the Bergmann had been high-jacked, I went home and was encouraged to do something about the awful mess by a wise and benevolent Miss C. Once I got started, the process wasn't as bad as I had feared, but trust me when I say, IT WAS BAD.

I donned the yellow rubbery gloves and an iron will when I took to the task. I braced myself and I poked at the dishes in the sink. When I wasn't attacked by anything evolved from the mold, I began the process.

I washed three months worth of dishes, it took hours. I even sent a warning text message to Miss J, reading "If it is cheap plastic or has at least one inch of mold, it is being thrown away." I really did throw away dishes, glassware, and creatures from the black lagoon (new nickname for the sink?). I thought one particular pot was salvageable, but when I dry heaved from the vapors rising from the disturbed muck, I dropped it unceremoniously into the trash can.

On a roll, I decided to clean out our overstuffed refrigerator as well. It is now bare. It contains various condiments, plus groceries I bought the day following, excited at the prospect of using our kitchen for its intended purpose (cooking) rather than farming mold. The trophy toss-away? A bottle of mustard with an expiration date of March of 2006. Amazing.

Now, I am often frugal (but not stingy) and green (so frugal isn't as easy as it sounds), so don't think I didn't balk at the idea of throwing away recyclables and reusables and perfectly good pots and dishes and glasses. What it comes down to is this: I will not submit myself to deadly molds and vomiting over the environment. Sorry, earth. At least I work for a non-profit saving your oceans.

Once More, With Twang!

I've had the good fortune of becoming acquainted with a lot of wonderful people. A more recent addition to the greater circle of friends is Miss EH. Miss EH is dating a member of the Great Alaska Bluegrass Band (GABB) formerly known as Bluegrass 101. They recently moved into a new place, a spot in a really nice set of apartments, full of fantastic people. I was invited to the housewarming party.

I didn't know too many people in attendance, but that ceased to matter when the instruments came out. What started as two men with guitars eventually became a group of musicians with guitars, a mandolin, a banjo, a fiddle, a small case of harmonicas and some twangy vocals. I found myself sitting between some local celebrities listening to some improvised bluegrass and folk playing. Too my left was Sean Tracy, Juneau's king of honky tonk. To my right was Jeremy "JR" Kane of GABB. Sean had with him a wondrous case of harmonicas, the case itself covered in stickers representing an array of bands, some local, some now defunct. I had to pay more attention to the man to my right, however, if only to avoid getting a face full of banjo. I wasn't really terribly concerned and I was promised that all necessary care would be taken to avoid such a tragedy. My response: "What do you even say if you lose teeth in a banjo accident?" His response: "You make something else up."

Though the music was enjoyable and the company, though unfamiliar, was pleasant, I left the party to head downtown. Perhaps I should have stayed (see the awkward post)?

Awkward Blog Du Jour

What's a weekend in Juneau without some awkwardness?

Though I had every intention of taking it easy during the weekend, in honor of the holiday party on Sunday, I did manage to go out on Friday night (read head over heels) and on Saturday night.

Some other notes on Friday night: Started the night at Miss P's place, holding a dance party with Miss SN, Miss JK, and Mr. BM. Post dance party we took the show on the road, hitting the bars. The head-over-heels thing was one of many reasons why I was not upset to have discovered my shift at the Bergmann high-jacked by another, possibly needier bartender. Not the bartender's fault. Definitely the fault of everyone's favorite drama-addled lawyer/property & business owner. It's ok. All is forgiven.

Saturday night was a very nice night, indeed. I went to a housewarming party (see future entry about banjos) and had dinner with Miss A. It was nice to get out after having spent much of the day listening to the same Christmas CD on repeat while accepting donations for a charity and watching children piled onto Santa's lap for photos and material wishes. I was especially thrilled to hear from a child, old enough for material wants, but young enough to not be limited in wishes by the media advertising world. He wanted a Thomas the Train table. His mom looked exasperated.

As I walked downtown, after taking leave from the housewarming party, I was overtaken by Miss P in the family car packed full with Texans. This isn't as strange as it sounds. I was picked up and went with Miss P to her house, which we left, as we had just dropped off the car. We went to the Imperial, which is not usually the place to find me on a weekend night, excepting Sundays, which are really week nights in their own right. Upon arriving, I discovered plenty of people I liked were there. Here is where it gets awkward though, here is the purpose for this particular blog entry:

Mr. CPP is there, and whether I have mentioned it here or not - I tend to be fairly vague for the sake of myself and those mentioned - Mr. CPP has a child. Consequently, Mr. CPP also has a baby-mama. He and baby-mama are still friends, which is great, because being friends with people is great. It was baby-mama's birthday, so she and various friends had dressed up (but with Xtra-Tufs) and gone out to dinner and then to the Imperial. Baby-mama is a friend of Miss P, of Mr. CPP, and undoubtedly many other people I know, but baby-mama is a name and a concept and a face but not a friend of mine. Miss P asked if I had met her, if I wanted to meet her, and if it would be ok if she introduced us right now even though baby-mama is chatting with Mr. CPP/baby-daddy. I said, "sure?" It was the most enthusiastic response you could get out of the current not-girlfriend of the ex/baby-daddy, Mr. CPP, of the intended introductee. Miss P bounded up to baby-mama, while I followed meekly. Miss P rattled off an introduction. An introduction that was followed not with any sort of recognition of my person but with excited chatter about something completely unrelated. I'm guessing baby-mama didn't particularly want to meet the not-girlfriend of baby-daddy/Mr. CPP. Can I blame her? Not really.

And now, to continue down the slippery slope of awkwardness, we were at a bar and consuming alcohol. The affection we show each other grows exponentially with alcohol. When sober, you may not know we are more than acquaintances. When drunk, we get to a point where it might be considered obvious that we are not just friends. Perhaps it was awkwardness at baby-mama and not-girlfriend existing in the same (not big enough to contain the awkwardness) bar that triggered the progressed rate of drinking. Perhaps it was that drinking that made us slightly affectionate toward each other (did I kiss him on the cheek? Oh, I think I did). Perhaps it was us showing affection that made the presence of baby-mama and me that much more awkward. Oh, it's a slippery, slippery slope.

When bar-close was called, we playfully pushed each other around as we walked up the hill to my now cleaner abode (see entry about cleaning). When we made it home, I stopped at the bathroom and upon reaching my room, discovered Mr. CPP in bed and buried in blankets. Not feeling quite so well as on the walk home, he announced it was time to just go to sleep, so we did. Awkward evening ended in fighting over the one pillow on my bed while slumbering (I have another, it was just on the couch). We slept off the effects of the alcohol and then parted ways for work come (late) morning.

Head Over Heels

Every few weeks, without fail, I fall head over heels for someone. I guess it says something nice about the world that there could be so many people who might strike my fancy. Or it could say something about me and my fickle nature. Regardless, here is a little love story to fawn over:

Approximately one year ago:

Getting a bagel for breakfast, I discover a tall, dark, handsome new stranger. He toasts my bagel and makes me my latte.

Approximately six months ago:

I'm working at the bar, slinging drinks, or more likely detail cleaning behind the bar while a regular systematically pours and drinks his daily pitcher of the beer on special. Mr. TDH walks in and orders a Bloody Mary (I make a good one!), it's a shift drink taken post-shift-ly. I discover that Mr. TDH is now a co-worker.

Approximately two weeks ago:

I'm hanging out with Miss A, who may possibly have (had?) a crush on Mr. TDH. She invites him to join us for dinner. We, Mr. TDH and I, discover that we grew up in the same place in Oregon and we spend much of the evening trading stories from youth.

Approximately two days ago:

I'm at the 'Vous with Miss P, we are chatting with Miss HS and Mr. TDH, we decide to go on an adventure. Usually the adventures are just me and Miss P and they are lovely. Once I had an adventure with someone else, he and I sat on the docks and drank beer and smoked cigarettes, chatting about communes and personas, that was another one of those head-over-heels things. The four of us walk to Marine Park, look out over the channel at the mountains on Douglas, then up at the sky, clear enough that one could actually see the stars were it not for the impossibly bright moon. We four huddle together on the waterfront, star gazing, shivering less with the shared warmth. Despite there being four, I felt like I shared the moment with Mr. TDH alone. Miss P may be right when she calls me a romantic.

As the evening progressed I socialized properly, flitting from group to group as I tend to do, but at the end found myself walking across the street to the Alaskan Hotel with Mr. TDH for an after party in the suite (no, you dirty minded reader, not for scandals). We walked in to find the door opened and a handful of friends inebriated and philosophizing. We climbed out the window onto the roof, quietly so as not to disturb the owner or manager or whoever. We stood in the cold, clear air and looked down on the night time world and up at the night time sky. Through out the night I never got to see a shooting star, but the night was still lovely. When we climbed back into the suite, the room renter was fast asleep on the couch. We covered him in a blanket and someone removed his shoes and we showed ourselves out. Mr. TDH announced his intentions to walk me home.

Walking a lady home is a nice gesture. It is entirely unnecessary for me, as the walk is short, my legs work just fine, and Juneau is not a particularly dangerous town. It's particularly nice when the intention is not to walk her home and then directly to her bed, or at least when the gentleman is good enough at hiding disappointment when the bed is not the destination.

We walked through the biting cold air, he less prepared for the longer walk than I, talking about life and the view from the hillside. When we arrived at my apartment, I invited him in for water. We sat on the couch for a little while talking some more. When he announced his departure we had a nice long hug and I felt that the night was not wasted, even though I never got my star.

There Will Be Blogs!

So, blogging only on weekdays means Mondays are hell day for my reader(s). Most of my life is lived during those two days between blogs. Today is no exception. There will be blogs.

I've decided I'll break it down into bite-sized entries, entries which will hopefully encapsulate one theme or day or something. Otherwise there would be this daunting novel of a blog entry that even those who have braved Tolstoy might balk at.

Are you ready for this?

Well, you don't have a choice.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


When I got off work last night I went straight to the bar. I needed to do it.

No, silly, not because I was desperate for a drink, but because Miss P was working. The Bergmann was quiet last night and I got to have Miss P's undivided attention as we dove into yet another of those deep and meaningful conversations we so often have.

We talked about work and careers and jobs and the future. We talked about love and lust and relationships. We talked about the very nature of advice.

I put it out there to everyone that I wanted advice. "Please," I asked, "tell me what to do!" Yet when I received the advice I found myself frustrated and saying, "No, no, no, no, no." Here I am, begging for advice, and then I hate it, I reject it, I say, "la-la-la-la-la-not-listening-la-la-la-la-la" to the generous advisers and givers of wisdom or, at the very least, the answer they got when they flipped the coin. Well, luckily for me, Miss P was wise enough to share with me her theory on advice. What her theory did for me was to realize that asking for advice is fine and great, but pay attention to your reaction to the advice, more than the advice itself... therein lies your answer.

After yesterday's post and yesterday's discussions, it has become pretty obvious to me what the right decision for me is. Though I had never wanted to get "stuck" someplace, though I had wanted to move to some big exciting city, there is no denying that I am in a very good place right now and that I am not crazy to want to stick with it. The opportunities I am afforded in Juneau are greater than the opportunities I could have in DC. DC as a legislative aide would be a great opportunity, sure, but in a different way than I really want. If I wanted to rub elbows with big politicians and be a staffer for a zillion years, that would be my opportunity. If I want to make some change and see myself challenged and move up in a field, my best bet is to stick around here.

Miss P and I didn't just figure out my life though, we also played pool, concocted new and exciting drinks, and rocked out to music.

Since the Bergmann was so slow that night, we decided to take the last hour of bar time to go to another bar. We headed to the 'Vous, where some of our friends were spending their night, and we had an enjoyable final 45 minutes. Some notable interactions from midnight to 1am:

-The whirlwind relationship with a writer, a relationship which never began, but ended at least three times, and included a tender farewell, complete with a forehead kiss.

-Mr. WE discovering that he has been, when attempting to call me, calling someone else entirely, possibly leaving drunken messages.

-Vowing to have an Xtra-Tuf decorating party to avoid problems like the camping trip when one had to find his/her own boots out of 5 pairs. Now, if only Xtra-Tufs had a color other than Copper/Tan....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Too much time, too much thinking...

Just now, as I started this post, intending to lament the lack of things there are to do (while I'm at work) I realized that there are plenty of things I could have been doing, and now I feel like an ass. Just the other day I was telling Miss T about my non-exhaustive list of things to do in Juneau and asserting that anyone who said there is nothing to do in Juneau must be trying to ignore the opportunities.

Alas, at the office, things are a little different. I cannot hike, or row, or do anything outside the office. I also have basically no work to do at the office. I've been reassured on multiple occasions that even if I'm just sitting here on my ass, doing nothing, my presence is both necessary and appreciated. The things I determined I could have been doing include: Reading (I keep a book in my over-sized purse), keeping up with news, drawing things, or writing a novel.

Instead I spent my day trying to shuffle around papers to discover if there was something left to be done, using g-chat (which now includes AIM!) and Windows messenger (MSN), pondering my "love" life, and trying to twist my foot around so I can be sure that I maintain the same range of motion in my bum ankle.

Lately, I've been faced with a lot of decisions... not immediate decisions or even life-alteringly important decisions, but decisions nonetheless. I've been asking the advice of my friends and I get overwhelmingly the same responses from the friends. The thing is, I might sort of be leaning in the other direction.

I know I should want to go to DC and do all that exciting stuff, but I kind of want to stay in Juneau and maybe work with the Ocean Legacy project.

I know I should want things to go further with the crush since in so many ways he is a better match for me, but I kind of want to continue with my non-relationship with Mr. CPP.

That's why I'm so torn. I know what I should do and should want, but there is definitely something in me that says, "Stop. You are the happiest you have ever been. Are these things going to make you happier?"

Here are some specifics:

I love Juneau. I mean, I've lived in a lot of places, places with fewer than 60 inches of rain a year, places with castles, places with family, places with roads... Somehow, Juneau has been the place where I have felt most at home and most connected. It feels like I have found a nice place in the community, that I have lots of opportunities, and that I could be happy here for as long as I stay here. That isn't to say that I will stay forever, I still plan to leave, but maybe not just yet.

I really love feeling like what I am doing is making a difference. I know that with the organization I'm with now, even though I've just been whining about having nothing to do, we are consistently doing things that make big changes. We have petitioned the EPA, we have done research and provided input on issues like Arctic Climate Change and Fisheries Management, etc. The input provided will make a noticeable difference. I know that with the Ocean Legacy project, I would have a stable and solid job, I would be working on interesting and stimulating projects, and that within a few years we will have accomplished what we set out to do. I don't know if I would get quite the same satisfaction out of (most likely) doing correspondence and filing or whatever sort of terrible position one starts with in a US Senate staff.

I have dealt with relationship before in which I was completely enamored with the person because he was smart, well read, thoughtful, and had something to say about everything. Because we liked the same sorts of music and movies and similarly wanted to do great things for the world. Because he was intense and passionate and interesting. I got hurt. Emotional baggage like depression and insecurity made me suffer along with the bearer of the traits. It scares me to think of jumping into something like that again. Maybe the current situation I have isn't ideal - we aren't in love and we won't be, we don't fulfill every need the other has, but for the time being, I have some companionship, affection, and a little fun.

I don't see any of this as necessarily permanent, but are the suggestions I'm receiving, are the things I think I should want, are those really the right decisions? Or do they just seem like it? Of course we should all want the most prestigious jobs, the most exciting cities, and the most passionate love stories. Right? Is that happiness?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advise me!

So, I've been looking ahead to the future, and here are my potential options:

IF I get a job offer with Mark B's office (US Senate, hollerrrrrr!) I would go to DC. That would be my big next step toward a career in politics and a big change in living situation.

I also have an option (much more likely, I think) to take a position as a sort of office manager/projects assistant for a non-profit environmental group here in Juneau. This would be a big step toward a career in non-profit environmental groups.

Both are big next steps toward career paths which interest me.

Both would be exciting and somewhat prestigious.

Both would probably fulfill my dream of having a business card.

One is in Juneau, a city I love. One is in DC, a city I've never visited but could potentially love.

One is here with friends I adore, a quasi relationship, and a community that has really encouraged me and helped me to grow. One is in a place where I have some friends from college, but is so big that a tightly knit community is not guaranteed.

One is probably only moderately well paying and somewhat stressful. One is likely better playing and not all that stressful.

One caters to a dream I had starting in high school. The other caters to an interest I've cultivated only recently.

One will have me brushing elbows with politicians and meeting loads of new people. One will have me brushing elbows with scientists and keeping the same friends I've had.

Both have a potential to bring about change and go along with my life goal to save the world. One would involve facilitating slow change through the process of the federal government. One would involve facilitating faster change on one particular project.

I'm so torn. Please, tell me what the right answer is.

Camping is intense (in tents) (except when in cabins).

The camping trip that almost wasn't:

I had told Mr. M that I would go camping for his birthday a long time ago. Then I twisted my ankle. Limping around all Friday I told our friend Miss CA that I may not be able to go. Some hours later, several milligrams of ibuprofen later, and a lot of pondering later I opted to be an adventurer and go.

Saturday I discovered that I was feeling pretty good, I ran around a bit and determined that I could definitely go camping. So long as I could find a way to get out there. Miss CA wasn't planning on going, and even if she were going, she wasn't driving so we still faced a dilemma. Miss TG was MIA, not answering her phone or calling back. I did get in touch with Miss T, however, who decided that she definitely did want to go.

We left my apartment at around 7:15, drove out past Amalga Harbor, by the Herbert River, almost to the Herbert Glacier trail. We parked next to the other campers' cars and began our trek to the cabin. Mr. M chose the particular cabin mostly for the ease of the trail. It is mostly pretty flat and a lot of the trail is board, so even more flat. It's also not that long, at an estimated 4 miles. Felt like less.

We almost started out the trail wrong, but eventually found the fairly obvious trailhead. We were making pretty good time, wearing our very sexy head lamps and our extra-tuffs. I was keeping our pace a little on the slow side, due to my bum ankle, but overall it was going well. Then I slipped. Ouch!

Panic ensued because my leg went off in weird directions and I definitely did not help my ankle by re-twisting it. I sat down for a moment, took some more ibuprofen, and then walked it off. Part of me thought that at only mile 1 of the hike, it might be a better idea to turn back and give up, but the adventurer in me knew that as long as I didn't slip again and further injure myself, I'd be fine and turning back would be a regret.

We made it to the cabin eventually and we were planning on scaring the boys, but Mr. TB/The Crush was out peeing and spotted us. He yelled hello and actually ended up surprising us.

When we arrived, we almost immediately began playing Kings' Cup. They boys were happy to have us because they had had to alter the rules from "4's are for whores" to "social" because of the lack of ladies in the place. It was Mr. M, Mr. CT, and Mr. TB. And lots of beer. And some whiskey. The game was fun and after we finished game one, we got more company. Mr. MT and Miss FT arrived. We started another game, but that is when things started to get a little less fun.

Mr. TB was, for every sip any of us would take, taking a gulp. For every "waterfall," he would chug the entire beer. He started to get a little obnoxious and became a lot different than the usually mellow Mr. TB that we all know and love. We quit the game of Kings' Cup (my second, his third) and were just hanging out and trying to eventually get to bed (and by bed I mean wood slabs). Eventually Mr. MT pulled Mr. TB and Miss FT inside from their argument and I took it upon myself to take care of the drunken Mr. TB.

I zipped him up in his sleeping bag and got him to lie down on the bunk and then I cooed soothingly at him to be quiet. "Shhh, it's time to go to sleep. Let's go to sleep." I had to fend off some grabby hands and whatnot, but eventually, perhaps lulled by the continuing string of questions from Mr. TB, I was able to fall asleep. Apparently, as soon as I fell asleep, he was up and searching for cigarettes and had to be put to bed again by Mr. M, but by this time it was probably more like 8 or 9 in the morning.

Now, so that nobody gets the wrong idea, as people so often tend to do, I adore Mr. TB when he is anywhere from sober up until the belligerent state, he's generally a very intelligent, thoughtful, creative and fairly intense but calm person. Everyone agrees that he is usually wonderful.

After a leisurely morning of sleeping in late, hanging out on the lakefront, and recalling the night for Mr. TB, Miss T and I headed back. The hike back started in daylight, though it got dark less than a half hour into our return hike. The return hike went a little quicker, or so it felt, and we spent it mostly in silence, both of us pondering life, no doubt. I almost slipped this time, doing one of those comical near-falls with legs flailing. I managed to make it through the hike back with no more damage to the bum ankle. The trip was a success.

Sunday night was a special "church" because we brought food! As anticipated, most people didn't actually bring things. An unanticipated but not negative turn of events was that most people didn't even show up. It turned out to be me, Miss T, Miss J, Miss A, and Miss CT. We had chicken and dumplings courtesy of Miss A, bread and cheese courtesy of Miss J and me, and drinks poured courtesy of Miss CT. It was a nice night. I think it may turn into a regular thing.

Tonight I may be going to see Twilight. Miss J has convinced me. It is also Mr. SA's last night in town, so a trip to the Alaskan to say goodbye is in order.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I wish I had good news... and I do!

Well, the good news is for you. That's right, you who read this and wish that instead of blogging a bunch I would actually make more web comics and actually post them. Well, I have.

The other news is rather mundane.

Thursday I went to a reception for my man Mark B. I was in the right place at the right time because I was the first person there when he walked in with the right hand man JV. I got to be in the spotlight a bit because, as the only remaining staff member, I got pointed out a couple times and thanked for all the work I had done. Made me blush, just a little.

Once again I was brushing shoulders with the big D's again. Good times. Mark B. acknowledged that I had put in my resume (oh hey) and mentioned that they'd probably be getting in touch with people in a couple weeks. Cross your fingers! Unless you are hoping I'll stay in Juneau instead, in which case... don't?

The event had a hosted bar, which meant that I had a solid three glasses of wine. That isn't enough to make me misbehave in front of all sorts of important people, but that is enough that I didn't feel like calling it quits post reception.

I went out with some girlfriends and drank some more wine at the Hangar, where I was well behaved because I was paying for it.

Later though, we went to the 'Vous and the Alaskan. At the 'Vous I was again treated to free drinks courtesy of the resident sketchster Ivan the incorrigible. Oh well, free drinks!

Uh oh. I didn't make it out of there in any good state. I had to be poured into a cab at the end of the night and when I woke up I discovered that I had received many a text message and phone call and my ankle hurt like hell. I was probably still somewhat drunk when I woke up (late) to go to work. I wanted to die in the shower so I called in to say I'd be pulling a half day at work. I slept on the couch until I felt mostly better, then limped down the hill to work.

My ankle hurt the entire afternoon and I could have been seen at some point hopping on one foot to get to the ringing phone in time. Despite my injury, I was determined to live a normal life. I walked to Paradise Cafe for lunch and the guy who is running it is always so sweet, he gave me some snickerdoodles for free, claiming that they were medically proven to make me feel better. Later in the evening I opted to go to on the Gallery Walk with Miss C. For me it was a gallery hobble, but the results were the same. I got another Christmas gift and got to sample lots of chocolates and snacks and such. It's one of the biggest event of the year.

Post gallery hobble, Miss C and I went to the Alaskan where we had one drink and continued to talk about stuff. I saw Mr. I who mentioned that I would still be needed at the Bergmann, but luckily Mr. JBB has an on-call guy so I was able to just go home after that. I was in bed by 11:30 and all text messages and calls were ignored, except for a call from Miss P, with whom I had a nice conversation.

Today I've mostly done nothing, but it is of note that I will be (if all goes well) going camping tonight at a cabin with friends. Included in this group of friends is Mr. M, probably Mr. E, the crush, and definitely Miss T. Perhaps also Miss TG and her mystery boyfriend who shares a name with one of the former flames - that's scary - I hope she's not bringing that one and that this mystery dude is someone I've never met. Juneau is a small and nearly incestuous dating pool though. Some think it is crazy for me to want to go camping with my bum leg and it being already dark, but I am bound and determined to not miss out on another adventure...

Miss L called me with Skype today! It was great to talk with her a little, because she's someone I always think to call when I have these little issues or problems that I believe only she would really understand. Of course, I didn't have any of those when she called, but hearing her voice and some of her stories was nice.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

...but the fire is so... No. Heater. No. Lights. No. Damn.

This morning, while blow drying my hair, the power went out. I was enshrouded in darkness. My hair was damp. I had no makeup on. I was already running late.

By the light of my blackberry, I stumbled around my apartment and all the obstacles it houses. I gathered my makeup, my purse, my phone, my coat, and I stepped out into a solid six inches of snow.

I showed up to work about 15 minutes late, damp haired, hungry, and covered in melting snow. Still, I had arrived first.

The power was still on at the office when I arrived. I started working on my tasks for the day. Then, approximately a half hour later, the power went off at the office as well.

At least an hour of the day was spent sitting in the office doing almost nothing, waiting for the power to return so we could have our staff meeting, waiting for the power to come on so we could go get our coffee, waiting for the power to go on so we could resume our lives.

Once the power returned, we had the longest staff meeting known to man. From 11am until well past the one o'clock hour, we were in the conference room talking about turtles and tuna and the arctic. I picked at my cuticles, admired the way the English scientist says "turtle," and managed to contribute an insider tip here and there.

I got stuck taking a late lunch today, due to the late start on everything. I finished my morning routine during this time - straightening my hair, putting on makeup, and making sure I looked presentable for tonight's reception for the US Senate Elect.

I had been e-mailing back and forth with the Finance Director regarding the when and where and what of the trip. Being an important person, as I am, I get to walk Mark to his car on his way to the airport. Hey, at least I get a half a minute from the door of the reception to the door of the car.


Last night the Rotaract meeting was held at the Canton House. I once again ordered the delicious Twee roll and had a rather dull time. It's hard for me to be there sometimes. Sometimes I wonder how everyone can be so mature and responsible and how people can stand to talk about work or mundane events. We avoid most things that are really interesting because those things aren't safe. We rarely plan anything fun. Half the time I feel like people are being really insincere, trying to sell the club to outsiders. Listening to Mr. S explain how much he loves being able to help out all the clubs in town made me want to throw up my sushi. Mr. AS and Miss CS were great company though. After a group trip to check out the new Dodge Challenger (I'm not a car person and I'll admit it was pretty cool), I accompanied those two to Fred Meyer and was delighted with their humor and friendliness. There are definitely some people I like a lot, but the dynamic of the group is somewhat disappointing.

I am so close to being finished with Cat's Cradle - I had to stop two pages from the finish because my eyes were getting blurry and I wasn't comprehending it all that well. That's what happens when I read until sleep overtakes me.

Should be able to finish after the reception tonight, unless Miss MJB calls about plans.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No rest for the weary


I browsed through my own blog to uncover the truth as to when the last night I stayed in was. I kept going through, linked to 'older posts' and I eventually gave up. Last night I commented that my friend Miss J in Mexico didn't seem to go out and do things that much, but it isn't that she is anti-social, it is that I am hyper-social.


Yesterday was Mr. M's birthday. There was an obligation to go out. I went home and relaxed for a bit after work. I drew on the tablet PC and grimaced at our kitchen in disdain. I immortalized the mounds of dirty dishes in a comic - I swear, I'll post them soon. I've made a solid 10 since I got the thing, but I haven't been posting. After lying about, drawing, reading a trashy mag, and trying to warm my toes to a positive temperature I joined the roommate in heading over to Miss P and Mr. M's house. We joined a couple of friends and were joined by still more, as we drank cheap beer and participated in an array of activities, from simple conversations to throwing darts.

Miss P and I got a little antsy and decided to go on an adventure. "How long had it been since our last adventure?" we pondered. Too long. We filled Miss P's metal water bottle with a concoction of cheap Canadian whiskey, peppermint schnapps (not our favorite Rumpleminze), half 'n' half and creme de cacao which tasted like a peppermint patty. We then set out to peek into bars, wander the streets, and sit in Pel'meni like punk kids. It wasn't the most adventurous adventure we've undertaken, but it got us out into the cold winter night, just as in our first adventure on the docks with Jose (Cuervo).

As we walked to our respective homes, we stopped at the intersection that would be our parting point to have a little heart to heart. In this heart to heart talk, we referred, metaphorically, to a butterfly and imitated a butterfly flapping its wings, with arms outstretched behind us, wagging awkwardly. At the time I was thankful nobody had been there to witness one of our weirder moments, but now I am publicly admitting to being a total crazy person via the web. Awesome.

This morning we had a surprise baby shower for a co-worker who is becoming a dad. He e-mailed this morning saying he'd be stopping in only briefly to pick up his laptop and go. The plan was that we'd all be ready at 10am when he would arrive. Except he arrived at 9:50 and two people were in a teleconference, the others were out running errands or in the "science wing" and I was thrust into the role of distraction. "So, how was the appointment?" "Boy or girl?" "Got a name yet?" "Got some airborne or emergen-C?" were just some of the inane questions I managed to spew out in an attempt to buy time, obviously a source of exasperation as he shuffled papers and packed things. Finally, the two in the teleconference finished and we managed to lead him into the conference room. Gifts of note? A mini hockey set and a six-pack of LaBatt Blue. Could you guess? He's Canadian, plays hockey, and is having a boy...

Tonight is a Rotaract meeting. We're going to Canton house so I think it is time for me to have another Twee roll! Should be another fun time with the 20-something-but-overly-mature crowd. After that meeting though, I swear, I will take a night in. I will request to be dropped off at home, I will instantly wash my face, put on sweats, turn off my phone, and snuggle up with some Vonnegut.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Never ti(red), inspi(red)!

Yesterday was World AIDS Day. I went to the AAAA's event at the Baranof. It was interesting to hear the different opinions and ideas on the matter. I tend to run with a more intellectual and/or open minded crowd, so there are some opinions and ideas that I don't hear. To hear someone speak plainly and simply about what he thought would be beneficial, without any sort of qualifiers like "according to (theory)" or "as I read in (publication)" this is the reason and this is what we should do. And whether it pained me or not, even hearing people say horrible stereotypes about "the homosexuals" and "the blacks" is pretty important. It is good to know what people think, not just people with the same educational background as mine, not just people with a similarly open mind as mine. It was also important to note that we got some actual numbers. How many people in the US have been diagnosed? How many people in Alaska? How many people in Southeast Alaska? Here, the attitude seems to be that AIDS or HIV aren't an issue. We feel isolated here, we live in small communities, we know everyone, and we often know everyone's business. Statistically speaking, yes, someone in Southeast Alaska would have AIDS or HIV. But it wasn't something I really considered until I actually saw a number, not just a percentage that one would assume. In Southeast Alaska there are 67 living with HIV/AIDS. Could be your neighbor, could be your friend, could be an acquaintance, could be anyone. It's here, and it's good to be aware.

The person at the event I couldn't really stand was Cowboy-boots Magee, sitting two seats down from a black transsexual woman, talking about AIDS in homosexuals and blacks and using a condescending tone of voice. It made me uncomfortable hearing him spout off ignorant stereotypes, I can't imagine how it may have felt to be in one or more of the stereotyped groups, sitting two seats away, wondering "can he not see me?"

After the event, which included a candle lighting, some speeches, and a discussion, Mr. CC and I went to grab a pint. We hit the 'Vous first and Ivan was there. Ivan is a crazy one, but he signaled that he'd be buying our drinks. We had our pints and then hit up the Alaskan, leaving a tip behind. At the Alaskan, we sampled some beers and then, having received the last of the keg of snowcap, I got my 3/4 of a beer free. While we were sitting here sipping on drinks, this short, rotund gentleman starts waving profusely at Mr. CC. Mr. CC asks, "Do I know you?" and Roland runs over and starts chattering away with a thick philipino accent about being in the Marine Corps "Pow pow pow" while holding his hands in such a way that it imitated holding a machine gun. He asked to buy a bottle of Patron Tequila and received an incredulous look from the bar tender. I took it upon myself to explain the "no more than two drinks" rule. He ordered the three of us shots of tequila. We drank. After more time than was necessary dealing with the heavily accented chatter, high fives, and back pats from Roland, we went out for some air and there met interesting character number two. This was no formal introduction, no, this was possibly more awkward than our interactions with Roland. This one, he was drunk and nigh incoherent. He asked repeatedly, since we couldn't understand, "How long have you been paid attraction?" and I still do not know what he meant. He tried to push Mr. CC and me together, at which point we had decided that we'd had enough fresh air.

Upon returning, we were again joined by Roland who now had it in his mind that Mr. CC and I were an item. Mr. CC and I looked at each other and I responded that "I claim no ownership of him." Mr. CC decided to play along with it and started telling Roland that I was his girlfriend, that I was a wildcat in bed, that I was a librarian and that he had to wear long sleeves to cover the scratches all over his body... Roland asked me if it was true, looking at me genuinely interested and looking surprised. Once we finished our drinks, Mr. CC and I decided to go join Miss HB and the other Americorps kids at the Americorps house. We had birthday cake and talked about life in Juneau. Small town, for sure, as one of the Americorps girls was talking about hanging out with Mr. JPB. After a bit, we left and I turned down an adventure. Miss HB had been told that it is prime planet watching time - Jupiter and Uranus are both close enough to be visible on a clear night. Miss HB, Mr. CC, and Mr. AA dropped me off at home and then headed to the Glacier to do some star gazing. Why did I choose last night to behave semi-responsibly? I could have gone star gazing at the Glacier.

Now I'm at work and I've been spacey all day. Overlooking little things, making little mistakes, and having nothing much to contribute. I went home on lunch and discovered the invitation to Miss MM and Mr. MM's wedding. It was exciting. It was addressed to Melissa & Guest. Like I'd have a date to a wedding... I can't even get Mr. CPP to actually commit to go do something with me because it is too much of a commitment (assumption). Oh well, I will rock that wedding single and in style. Even though I have to wear pale blue.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh, the horror!

At the moment, the horror is that the church bells are now ringing Christmas songs. Minutes of bell ringing to the tune of Noel.

But really. Horror. We had a horror movie night on Saturday. Miss P was the hostess, the attendees included Miss B, Mr. PD, Mr. JPB, Miss JK, and the puppy (Va)Jengo. We watched 2.25 movies. One was a French psychological thriller/slasher film. One was Cabin Fever, which featured Rider Strong of Boy Meets World fame. The .25 was The Devil's Rejects, for which we turned out to be a tad too sensitive. Rob Zombie is one unabashedly perverted man. We drank beer, which added to the character of the audience commentary. (Va)Jengo was a gassy pup and regularly contributed to the horror of the night. Not only could you see and hear the horror, you could smell it. Smell-o-vision is not the future.

Despite a night of blood and gore, I maintain a squeamishness for real violence and blood as evidenced by my repulsion at later events. Once the majority concluded that The Devil's Rejects was a bit much for our taste, some of us went downtown to hit the bars. At my request, we skipped out on two of my usual favorite bars due to poor company. Didn't want to deal with Mr. HG who may now be categorized under "Ew, why did I do that?" or Miss Formerly Known as Shrek. We headed to the Imperial after this process of elimination occurred.

There I ran into Mr. CPP, Mr. HS, and Mr. HJ. While Miss P and Miss JK played some pool, I chatted with these gentlemen about numerous things, including exchanging lectures with Mr. HJ about the following topics: "Believe it or not, girls don't always dress for guys" and "Just so you know, guys are simple and don't really care how a girl is dressed, they will still want to do her." That being said, nobody in my group wanted to "do" the girl who inspired these topics, she was kind of a nasty, mean girl and I guess threatened to have guys beat up Mr. HS, who proclaimed that he could take them both. I'm guessing he could take both, assuming they aren't as large as he is. To me, he is like a big teddy bear. To a foe, he is likely more a ferocious bear that will leave you feeling a little less than whole.

Not long after joining these gentlemen for conversation, a ruckus arose. Ruckus, in this case, is synonymous with fight. The fight, which started between two people (Miss P's account from the dance floor) very swiftly became a bar room brawl reminiscent, no doubt, of the old Alaska of the mining days. People who assumedly rushed in (after the longest 30 seconds ever) to break up the fight, became engulfed by the fight until sprawling, punching, lurching bodies broke like a wave at my feet. A shirtless native fellow had blood streaming down his face in vertical stripes, a natural war paint, while he yelled and waved his arms to welcome more attacks. I was horrified and repulsed by the whole scene. I was appalled that the situation had accelerated so quickly and that the response to this was so seemingly slow and insufficient. After I excused myself from the scene, I waved down a cop, yelling at him to come in and do something about the fight. I peered in the window to see if the boys were coming out. Mr. CPP exited and we exchanged words. Mr. HS and Mr. HJ remained inside, and as things began to clear up, I noted that they were being questioned by the police. I felt bad about walking away with friends still inside and dealing with the aftermath, but I could contribute nothing and it wouldn't really benefit me to be tied to some brawl in any way. I walked part of the way home with Mr. CPP, then parted ways. He texted once he got home and we discussed the situation somewhat before going to bed.

Yes, we discussed via text message, that boy is the reason I had to upgrade to a larger text package.

Disregarding, once again, chronological order in favor of order of excitement or immediacy or whatever drives me to write the way I do, here are other events from the weekend:

Friday night at the Bergmann was slow. I walked away with less than half the amount I made the previous week and less than a third of what I made my first night there. It wasn't bad though, as I had friends come in and I was able to sit with people and chat. Mr. JBH returned at some point with Mr. ER and Miss D, and later Miss M and the crush showed up, as did a new character, Mr. CL. I had every intention of devoting all my attention to the crush, but Mr. CL insisted that I dance with him (think foxtrot or waltz) to a couple songs. Then he instigated a debate, despite the fact that all those involved were in agreement about most things. As the time for me to go home and sleep approached and passed, I said my goodbyes, disappointed that the crush and I barely exchanged a word.

I went to the Public Market this year! It is a large fair full of vendors of crafts and foods and various holiday sundries. I bought some Christmas gifts for some family members and won a cedar carved feather with a decal. Had it been hand painted, I may have paid for one, but the decal was a little tacky. Alas, it shall be gifted. What I really had wanted was a Chilton bracelet, looks like I'll just have to save up some money and buy one. They are really cool for a couple reasons, including the fact that I know some of the Chiltons personally. One is the husband of a former co-worker, the other was a fellow Obama delegate at the State Democratic Convention (I was totally part of history!). I am having a really tough time choosing a design because, not being of Tlingit descent, there is no obvious choice based on house or such things. One of the brothers, the one I know better, suggested love birds (Eagle and Raven, representing the two houses) but since I'm not in love... I guess I overanalyze even jewelry choice. No wonder I suck at dating. And how did I ever choose a tattoo?

I preceded the Public Market with Breakfast with Miss A, with whom I attended the market, and we later did dinner at her place with the company of Mr. AR. Mr. AR and I bonded over a similar life journey. The journey North, that is. He started life in Central California, then lived in Central Oregon (we attended the same high school at different times), and is now (obviously) here in Juneau, Alaska.

Then horror night. See above.

Sunday I worked at the boutique and at closing, while taking out the trash, I ran into Miss HB, the GF of Mr. AK, who works for the PCT. So many acronyms! One of their employees, the wife/girlfriend of one of my current co-workers, has been accepted to grad school in NZ, and she mentioned the position opening up sometime in January. Hint hint, wink wink. I told her I'd bring my resume, should the DC thing not pan out. This sort of thing is pretty typical Juneau. There are so many connections. Relationships, both personal and professional, can be so interwoven. Since my first job here, the majority of jobs I have held have been achieved through such connections rather than the typical search and apply method.

Post work and chat with Miss HB, I went to Miss P's house, where we spent yet another evening talking about life and love and larger issues. Mr. JPB stopped by for a bit and Mr. M returned from his trip to the FBX. Miss P and I headed out to "church" at the Imperial later in the evening, and we sipped on drinks, munched on cupcakes from a Public Market vendor, and talked about dating. Earlier I had been discussing with Miss P a "tactic" which seems like it may be similar to what is in this book a fellow blogger wrote about today. probably should have consumed slightly less alcohol, since I had to work early this morning, but I did make it on-time-ish though I look sort of scrubby. I determined at around 5am that if I got up to go get my cell phone for an alarm, I'd wake up too much to finish out my sleep. Instead I fumbled with my crappy alarm clock which shows the wrong time and trills obnoxiously. I don't actually know how to use it, so I woke up 15 minutes later than intended. Oh well. Drunk logic and technology and me. Don't you love it?

And you don't have to read this part, but if you are curious, I will be mapping out my connections in terms of getting jobs:

A complete history of getting jobs through connections:

Job # 1: A Pizza Parlor where my best friend worked.
Job # 2: An internship with a lobbying firm which had hired nothing but Delta Gammas for years. One of my favorite seniors clued me into the opening when she accepted a promotion to Receptionist/Assistant and started getting paid reasonable money.
Job # 3: I knew a lot of people who worked in the admissions office and didn't realize I was given the job until an e-mail later that day. Oh, thanks!
Job # 4: Cartoonist for the paper - my BFF who convinced me to move to Juneau was the editor - one day I drew an example comic and was instantly hired.
Job # 5: Possibly the only search and apply job I've ever had. Working at the CU introduced me to lots of people in Juneau, so from then on, it was back to working the connections.
Job # 6: I built a relationship with the owner of the boutique through shopping.
Job # 7: As a friend of many of the bartenders and acquaintance of one of the owners, asking if I could work there was all it took to get my job at the 'Vous.
Job # 8: I went through a temp agency, but the woman who works there knows me and would take extra special care to tell me about all the best jobs first and most likely pushed for me to get the position.
Job # 9: The sister of a "sister" was looking for field organizers, an e-mail was sent to the (then current) pres, a close friend of mine, who told me about the campaign job opening.
Job # 10: A friend who I met partially through knowing her sister and close friends, partially through a fellow Germanophile, suggested I apply for the current 8-to-5.
Job # 11: The owner is an acquaintance and asked me if I wanted to work one day. It continues on a weekly basis. Every Friday night, the Bergmann is the place to be.

Potential Jobs:

The environmental job: As I said, an acquaintance who works for the organization on this really cool international project mentioned the opening, undoubtedly as an invitation to apply.

The political job: Former field organizers were encouraged to apply, after spending much time and effort on a cover letter, I was told that we needn't worry about such formalities. Oh well.

The other political job: If I get a job in the state legislature it would be because I know some of the legislators, some of the legislators staffers, and even some big names like the US Senate Elect.

Some people suffer unemployment, lately I suffer from opportunity overload. I've got three jobs when some have none. I've got job opportunities that I don't know if I need. I am apparently very employable. Now, having accomplished that employability thing, I must attempt to learn to say 'No' every once in a while.