Apr 30, 2009


Posted by Mary |

I had to get some blood taken last week. This involved an early morning drive across town and two attempts to find a vein that worked. It left me with a tiny red mark on each arm. However, the clinic did not give my blood to the FedEx guy who came by later that morning, which meant another early morning drive across town. This time the nurse found a vein on the first try. And as a bonus, I do not have a tiny red mark on my arm. Nope. Not this time.

I look like a junkie. My arm is beat to hell for two vials of blood. What happened? I feel like my father is just going to laugh at this post, because his entire body pretty much looked like this after last summer. But I have a performance Friday night. I'm going to have to put makeup on my freaking arm. Lovely. I'm going to a party this weekend, where every eligible man I meet will assume I enjoy red wine, long walks on the beach and heroin. Brilliant.

Apr 28, 2009


Posted by Mary |

So now you can imbed YouTube videos directly into Gmail chat? Cool new feature that I've heard nothing about.

Despite the fact that he works in an open office, I like sending my friend videos and links that he must visit. It makes him a bad employee but makes me a very good friend.

Apr 27, 2009


Posted by Mary |

I asked Tom if anyone was going to sing the song from the Star Wars Holiday Special at Bea Arthur's funeral. He said it was thematically appropriate, but probably not. So instead I'll post the clip here for your enjoyment.

And no, the quality really doesn't get much better than this. Ah, Star Wars Holiday Special, how you haunt me!

another week begins

Posted by Mary |

I was not feeling the swimming mojo this morning, which is unfortunate for a few reasons.

  1. I am getting some henna done today for a performance this weekend. Chlorine kills the henna pretty quickly, so that makes today my last swim of the week.
  2. No one had said anything yet, but the pool is closing next week. I really wish UAF would give us notice about these things. I'm sure by Thursday someone will have scrawled a note and stuck it on the locker room doors, but that's about all the warning we ever get that our pool is going out of commission.
Spring might actually be here. It was in the high 60s yesterday. That's driving-with-the-window-open weather. It made the dance studio rather warm for rehearsal, but I'll gladly suffer that for now.

Apr 24, 2009

frakkity frak

Posted by Mary |

May is cursed. And it's snowing in April.

When I signed up for the triathlon, I stayed up until midnight so that I could get in. I got myself a volunteer spot in the pool, which means I can run early. The volunteer coordinator has told me that too many people signed up for the pool and I can get moved to parking. I understand too many people signed up. I saw that it went to -18 before they closed. But there were still pool spots available after my registration was completed, so why am I getting bumped?

Also, the tattoo plans are not coming along so well. I couldn't convince the artist to come in on her day off, so instead I decided to stay a few extra days in Anchorage. I asked her if she had any spots that day, and she said she was open. I replied precisely 6 minutes later to tell her that I wanted the spot and asking if she needed a deposit. Two days later she replied to tell me it had been booked and I really needed to come in to put down a deposit. Sorry, but I'm not going to spend 12 hours on the road to give you a deposit. I've asked about the first weekend in July, when I've got a four-day weekend. If she can't do it then, I'm not going with her. Yes, her work is beautiful, but I don't need to deal with any more flaky artists. I've got a backup plan that's actually located in Fairbanks.

My friend told me she found the perfect man for me. Except he lives in another country. How is that perfect, exactly??

Apr 20, 2009

uh oh

Posted by Mary |

I brought my new running shoes to work today. But I'd forgotten that I washed my running clothes at home before I went to Anchorage. I had my swimsuit, but didn't have my shower stuff.

As a result, I tried to do a brick after work. A mini brick. Very mini. About 5 miles of biking and a mile of running. And it kicked my ass. You just can't train for that in a gym. A stationary bike or treadmill or track are not the same. I've got less than a month to get ready for the triathlon. I'll do it, but right now it worries me.

Apr 19, 2009

civilization vs. home

Posted by Mary |

I'm back from an extended trip south. The drive down Thursday was mostly uneventful except for a double trailer truck suddenly deciding to pass when I was already halfway up his side. I met up with Adam for Himalayan food. He's very familiar and comfortable, but I'm pretty certain we never actually hung out in Mystic together. John and Joanna were delighted to see me, even more so when I brought in a container of brownies.

The Adobe workshops were somewhat helpful. They didn't expand my knowledge for InDesign or Photoshop, but helped a bit with Illustrator and a lot with Fireworks and Flash. I bought new running shoes while in town, since my last pair date from 2006. I also forced Joanna to leave the baby, get dressed up and go have sushi with me. When packing the next morning, I liberated the most delightful polka dot dress from the confines of her closet.

The Palmer workshop was fun. Most of the people seemed pretty new to ATS dance, and we were called upon to demonstrate changing the lead at one point. The evening performance was a casual hafla at a restaurant. Anyone could hop up and dance, which led Liz and I to spontaneously revisit our bhangra. Joanna and Melissa showed up and joined us in a 5-person ATS formation. This proved the point that ATS dancers can share the same stage without practice, as we all managed to follow each other's lead.

My return trip home was boring. I hadn't tightened my gas cap properly, so my cruise control wasn't working, which annoyed me mildly. When I got to Hindi class, I found that Joyce and Liz had broken down outside of Nenana. They were in the process of being rescued by Michael and thus did not make class.

While I was in Anchorage, Joanna took me tattoo shopping, and I think I've found the artist for my next piece. The only sticking point here is that she is 350 miles away and doesn't work on any of the days that I'm going to be there. I plan to break her will and make her come in on her day off to tattoo me. My friends are confident that I will win this battle.

Apr 16, 2009

big lights, medium city

Posted by Mary |

I'm off to Anchorage today. Because I'm a genius, I'm combining both a work trip (Adobe conference) and a pleasure trip (visiting with Jo, eating Indian food, a dance workshop).

I think I am starting to understand the Alaskan psyche. If you grew up in Fairbanks, you are from a small town masquerading as a city. It's 350 miles of emptiness to get to the next largest place. Anchorage isn't bad, but neither is it good. Somehow all Fairbanksans end up making a trip to Mecca (aka Portland) in their 20s and decide that it is the finest city to ever grace this earth and no other city shall do. I've got the opposite view. I grew up on the East Coast halfway between New York and Boston. I know of cities and civilization. Without being hampered by the perspective of an isolated childhood, I have chosen Fairbanks.

With that being said, I do still enjoy my occasional trips to Anchorage. And I'm really looking forward to Joyce's reaction, as it will be her first trip there. Specifically, I want to see how she handles the empty road. Imagine driving from Washington D.C. to New York. Only there is nothing on the road between the two. No towns. No rest areas. Not really any houses. I plan to crank up the iPod and try to avoid any bathroom breaks.

I do have a few errands to accomplish in Anchorage.

  • Get new running shoes. I just discovered that mine are about 3 years old. Time to hit up Skinny Raven for a new pair.
  • Check out the portfolios at Anchorage Tattoo. I need someone who can do good line work.
  • Eat at Yak and Yeti, the new Himalayan restaurant. I'm going to meet a man there who I haven't seen in about 14 years, if that. We ran in the same crowd when I was a teenager in Mystic, and he apparently has been living in Anchorage for many years now.
  • General shopping and/or eating that I can't get in Fairbanks.

Apr 5, 2009

trying to be difficult

Posted by Mary |

I'm surprised that no one bitched me out over the use of kevadväsimus in a previous post. I know you all had to look it up. I only became familiar with the word because I follow an Estonian blogger.

Friday night was kick ass, to say the least. The Marlin was full of strangers (very rare) and rumor has it that we raised more than half of the money we need to put on Clucking Blossom. Saturday began strangely. I decided to make cookies and got frightened by the fact that it really only takes about 10 minutes to put together cookie batter. The recipe will need to withstand further experimentation, but it was still a quick batch. I later realized that there was a method to my madness when a good friend called with some good news. I can't share their news yet, but we met for dinner and I handed over a dozen blueberry chocolate chip cookies. Dinner (Thai, of course) was followed by drinks at a bar swanky enough to support both the desire for martinis and the desire for scotch.

Saturday night was spent in the most shameful manner possible. I am now a pseudo-master of the following: two-step, cha cha, waltz, polka and swing. And you can cross "doing the two-step to a country cover of Bon Jovi" off my life list. Deep, deep shame! But I love the dancing! My friends and dance partners call me a dancing savant.

Apr 4, 2009


Posted by Mary |

As the possibility of building a house grows stronger and stronger, I'm moving into the dreaming stage. You know, the part where you plan a million different iterations of the same thing. I imagine it's what some girls do with their weddings. But since I don't know if I'll ever get married, I've funneled all my what-color-should-my-bridesmaids-wear, what-should-our-first-dance-be energies into creating the most perfect house for me possible.

Here's what I do know: It's going to be small and energy efficient. The entire reason behind building instead of buying is that I want it to be just right for me. I want one bedroom. One glorious bedroom with clothing and shoe storage beyond Imelda Marcos' wildest dreams. Why do I need two bedrooms? People tell me I need a guest bedroom. I've had guests approximately 3 times since I moved to Alaska. And almost always in the summer. I'll just build a guest yurt. People have also cited resale value. I'm not building a house with the plan to sell it in a few years. Or possibly ever. If I just wanted to own something with the intention of eventually leaving it, I would buy some hideous little 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom ranch house.

My priorities for house extras seem to go in the following order:

  1. sauna
  2. hot tub
  3. garage
Yeah, garage is last on the list. Wait, put "guest yurt" somewhere above it.

So with a basic design in mind, I've started wondering recently about my kitchen needs. This is very important to me. I lovelovelove to cook. I need to have enough space and storage in my kitchen without going overboard. And lately I've been pondering the double oven. Out of everyone I know, I'm the most likely to ever actually make use of a double oven. But what is really the point? Sure, I can cut my baking time in half with two ovens, but isn't there sort of a zen to baking? My parents have double ovens and I can think of only a few occasions throughout the year when both are in use. Those are usually the big holiday family dinners. I'm single and will live alone. I will not be having those dinners. Perhaps it's better to forego spending the money for a double oven and instead get one really kick-ass stove/oven. I don't mean a professional-quality one with 27 burners. Again, how often is that necessary? I just mean brand new, fully functional. Maybe even with an oven that maintains a proper temperature without my constant monitoring. Oh, and I think I'm finally going to go to gas. I've never had a gas stove. They kind of scare me. It's my shameful cooking secret.

Apr 3, 2009

Thursday wrap-up

Posted by Mary |

No one told me The Reader had that much sex. I knew that there was sex in it, but not quite so graphic. And yet there I was. Sitting in the dark. Next to my ex-boyfriend. Oy vey.

Lost is getting absurd. I couldn't even begin to sum it up with one of my breathless monologues. And yet it's still some of the best television out there today. What other show can make me scream "No!!!" and Yes!!!" within 20 seconds???

I am officially signed up for the Gold Nugget Triathlon. I got back in the pool mere hours after signing up. It turns out I'm still kind of good at swimming. Shit, I did not use "and yet" in this paragraph.

Maja brought some sort of raspberry, cream cheese, cake concoction to the Clucking Blossom meeting today. It was delicious and put me in a mind to experiment. How do you think chocolate whoopie pies with lemon and raspberry filling would taste?

Apr 1, 2009


Posted by Mary |

Up late. The registration opened for the Gold Nugget Triathlon at 12:01 a.m. I stayed up to register both myself and my coworker Oralee. Across town, Hailey should be registering herself and Liz. The race is on. And I'm going to dig out my swimsuit and go to sleep. It's time to start training.