May 31, 2009

heard on the stairs

Posted by Mary |

Oh yeah, there have been a few earthquakes recently.
Uh, yeah.
--Roommate, who had asked me what
was new when he got back to Alaska

The reports have varied from 3.75 to 3.98, and are currently reading at 3.8. I think I'm ready for the earthquakes to end and the fire season to begin.

May 30, 2009

extra extra

Posted by Mary |

Here's a lede you won't see in tomorrow's paper.

Although she's lived in her Rosie Creek house for two years, Mary Haley said she never felt any quakes until last week. "I was in bed the morning after my birthday, and I wasn't sure if it was News-Miner reporter Amanda Bohman, who was laying next to me, or if it was seismic activity, but I felt the earth move," Haley said.

The ground has been shaking again which is weird, because I really never feel earthquakes here. I was at the Loon waiting for a concert to start last night when I felt a small tremor, which Marmian pegged as a small quake. It was a 3.5, and the aftershocks were mostly small with the exception of a 1.86, which we didn't really feel anyway because Greg Brown rocks!

Since it was my birthday, I was forcing people to drive me around and I insisted we go to the Marlin after the show. Chris Juhlin was playing there, so it was another good time that involved numerous shots. Hey, it was my birthday! Although I'm used to seeing one coworker there, I was startled when another showed up. I've never seen him out in public before, let alone dancing and possibly drinking.

Since Amanda was my designated driver and had to go to the airport for a story in the morning, she just spent the night at my place. She had expressed a little jealousy over the earthquake a few weeks ago, since she didn't feel it out at her place. We went to sleep, and that's when the action started.
6:16 ..... 3.23
6:20 ..... 2.35
6:23 ..... 1.59
7:29 ..... 2.93
9:07 ..... 2.14
We woke up for the 6 a.m. ones, drifted back to sleep and woke up again for the 7:30 quake. At 9 we were up and getting ready for a run to Lulu's Bagels. It's been quiet since then, and I'm wondering if these little earthquakes are releasing the energy or are building up to something bigger.

May 29, 2009

insult, meet injury

Posted by Mary |

On my birthday, xkcd? Really?

No, fuck you.

It's 11:30. The champagne is gone. I should be cleaning. I should be packing. I should be finishing choreography to teach on Sunday. I should be getting ready for Clucking Blossom tomorrow. I should be doing lots of things. But, as I mentioned, it's 11:30 a.m. and I have finished a bottle of champagne.

My nerdy coworkers pointed out that I'm only 20 if you count in hexdecimal. I like this plan. I hope I get carded tonight, since I'm only 20. This is already shaping up to be a much better year than last year.


Posted by Mary |

That makes two years in a row that I've been woken up at 8:30 a.m. on my birthday. Someone has to pay. And it's time to start drinking a bottle of champagne.

May 28, 2009

heard (read?) on chat

Posted by Mary |

A friend and I were discussing Facebook when I came up with a brilliant plan. My goal is to be the first person to comment on every person's status update. I shall use the following eloquent prose: First!

so ... you're going to rape everyone's status, basically?
they had it coming

Shortly thereafter, Christi was my first first. I'm pretty sure she'll get annoyed before I get bored.

May 25, 2009

heard on the phone

Posted by Mary |

Are you my friend?
--Prank calling kid
--Prank calling kid
Do you have any friends?
--Prank calling kid
Maybe you should try another number then.
--Prank calling kid
Good luck.

I resisted the urge to psychoanalyze the kid any further. Y'know - probing questions about why he/she doesn't have any friends, sympathetic comments that it must be hard to not have friends, the sort of stuff that would linger in his/her mind for years.

I survived kayaking yesterday. Normally I wouldn't put it in such dire terms, but this was no simple paddling trip. Our guides began the day by asking us what we were scared of. So I mentioned my fears of tipping the kayak. Brilliant idea. That's exactly what they made us do. Crap. Those boats felt a lot tippier than the ones we used on Doubtful Sound in New Zealand, too. Case in point: Joyce tipped while we were playing sponge tag. Then we all had to practice water rescues after the guides demonstrated with her. I think she and I will continue to enjoy the water together, including a possible booze cruise down the Chena sometime soon.

The weather has been glorious for the holiday weekend. Very sunny and warm. It makes me sad to stay inside and clean and sort through stuff to get rid of before I move. On the bright side, I only have to work 3 days, and then I'm off for another long weekend. I refuse to work on my birthday.

May 23, 2009

let's get ready to rumble

Posted by Mary |

I went to bed at 4 a.m. today. Not for any lascivious reasons - I just wasn't tired since I took a nap after work. The time I chose to go to bed is key, because it means I was not very far into my sleep cycle and not yet at my deep REM sleep when an earthquake hit at 5:30.

It wasn't particularly big - current reports have it at about 3.59 and about 8 miles down. The center was approximately 1 mile from my house (if you can trust Google maps and GPS coordinates), which explains why I felt this one and a few aftershocks. It should be noted that there are many, many earthquakes in Alaska, but it's a very big state. Check it out. I woke up about a minute before this one hit, and then had to comfort a freaked-out Nibbles.

Growing up in Connecticut, I never really had to deal with earthquakes. It just wasn't our thing. Hurricanes, blizzards, ferocious thunderstorms? I'm used to all of those (and my, how I miss thunderstorms). So the first quake really surprised me. I timed my move to Alaska perfectly and arrived a few months AFTER the big quake in Denali in 2002. I was working the night shift at the News-Miner's copy desk when I felt my first earthquake. It wasn't bad in retrospect, but I'm just not used to the feeling of buildings moving. I'm sure I've slept through many quakes since then. Still, it's a nice start to a long weekend.

May 20, 2009


Posted by Mary |

Surprisingly, I don't think I made my injury any worse by running the triathlon. Even more surprisingly (and not to digress, but this is why we need comparative and superlative adverbs - "surprisinglier"), I finished the race in 2:02:15. In 2006, I ran a slightly longer course in 2:02:06. The surpisingliest thing of all is that it took me 00:01:25 longer to do a 3 mile run on crutches than it did for me to do a 4 mile run with non-broken feet.

Oralee seems upset that I beat her swim time with a broken foot. For me, the more relevant facts are these:

  • I did not finish last overall.
  • I did not finish last in my age group.
  • I did not finish last in any of the legs or in the splits.
Seriously, I was on crutches, and I still beat people in the run. It was quite fun to watch the walkers as they noticed my crutch and began to reluctantly jog. Slackers!

Liz and I are feeling super-motivated now and may very well run the Chena Lakes Triathlon in July. Outdoor swim - brr!

I started dancing again yesterday. Well, I started moving to the music. My footwork is awful because I still can't put too much weight on my left foot, which is where most of the weight goes in both ATS and bhangra.

Both of my roommates are away for a while. And though I should be working on burlesque choreography, I think I'm just going to send out some e-mails, fire up the sauna on Saturday and see who shows up. I crave a nice night at home with friends, and it may be one of the last times I use the sauna before moving. I hate moving.

May 17, 2009

don’t tell mom

Posted by Mary |

I’ve done some foolish things in my life. When I was 7 or 8, an abandoned barn in the field behind our house collapsed at one end. As soon as the first snow fell, my sister and I decided to use the rickety structure as a makeshift sledding hill, climbing up the roof to the standing end, then zipping down to the bottom. I’m only bringing this up so my actions of today seem less foolish in comparison.

I tried training for the Gold Nugget Triathlon. It was on one of those training runs two weeks ago that I broke my foot. Stress fracture, left foot. And I didn’t really discuss this much because I didn’t want any lectures, but I decided that I was going to do the triathlon anyway.

It seemed like a logical plan when I was up in Fairbanks. It even still made some sense when I got to Anchorage. But as the bus pulled up to the race site this morning, I started to doubt the wisdom of this plan. It didn’t help that some of the top athletes were still on the course, zipping in on bikes, heading out for the run. Suddenly the course seemed awfully … long.

After getting my chip and a warm-up swim, I began the long process of waiting in line. With the regular race site closed for construction this year, 1,400 racers had to go through one 6-lane pool for the swim. It was complicated to say the least. Someone took my crutch at the start and was holding it for me when I got out of the pool. The swim is usually my best part, though it was abysmal this year trying to get around the doggy paddlers and do a snake swim. I still managed to pass a lot of people in the pool.

I don’t want to think about my T1 time, since I had to use the crutch to get out to my bike, then sit down to wrap my ankle and hop my bike across the mat. Someone told me the bike course was flat this year, but someone lied. I did some passing, did a lot of getting passed. At one point the pain in my foot was too much, so I hopped off the bike on the big hill. I snagged a road bike at a bike sale after I broke my foot, so I hadn’t really trained with it at all. I just kept reminding myself that at least I didn’t have to run.

Just when I was thinking about taking another break, I turned the corner and saw the race site again. I parked my bike, grabbed my crutch and headed out for the “run.” Do you know what pain is? Pain is using a crutch to hobble through the run section of a triathlon. I did no passing here. I’d like to think I took the slow, monastic approach. At my slow rate, I had a chance to see everyone else on the course and to cheer them on. And they had the chance to tell me how much I rock. No, seriously. Among the many things I heard were:

  • You’re amazing.
  • You’re my hero.
  • You get major badass points for that.
Not once did anyone hit on the truth: I am stubborn.

I kept switching the crutch from arm to arm. It sort of helped, in the sense that the chafing and bruising was spread evenly along both sides of my body. And while I can’t deny that it was nice to hear everyone cheering me on and to see groups stand up to clap for me as I came back from the run course, I don’t think I’d do it again. I don’t think I need ego boosting if it comes coupled with exhaustion like I feel right now. Between finishing the race and the drive home, I’m beat. I showered. I ate cake. And now I’m watching a Nazi zombie movie and getting ready for hours of blissful sleep.

May 6, 2009

heard at the dance studio

Posted by Mary |

I won't be able to wear high heels!
Yes, that's the real tragedy in all of this.

Yes, it seems that I have broken my foot. Just in time for the triathlon. The "no refunds" triathlon. The "T-shirts for finishers only" triathlon. I'm still mulling my options.

May 4, 2009

aging gracefully

Posted by Mary |

My car is getting older, as evidenced by its increasing mileage. Of course, I just took the picture because of the coincidental odometer readings.

It's spring. I have my first mosquito bites and on Saturday I watched a beautiful parade of ice floating by on the river. The weather has been unseasonably warm lately, and everything is melting at once. I suspect that the hills will start to turn green sometime soon.

The warm weather also means that it's time to go looking for land. I'm meeting with a potential builder on Saturday to suss out a two-acre plot and talk about house designs. I spent some time eyeballing a friend's house at a party on Saturday, trying to get an idea for how my plans might work.

In dance news: The show on Friday went well. It was not our show, but we were the coolest act there. I also managed the impossible: a complete costume change backstage in 12 seconds. Yes, someone was timing it! In addition, there will be another burlesque show this summer. It will be a 3-week run in July. Stay tuned for more.

May 1, 2009

i'm a liar

Posted by Mary |

After I stretched my ears to a 4, I said I'd never stretch my second ear piercings. I lied. I just moved them to 14. What can I say?

Tattoo plans are moving slowly. The artist in Anchorage does really great work, but it takes her up to a week to reply to my e-mails, and then the response is sometimes, "Sorry, that time got booked." Joyce and I might be taking a special trip down just for tattoos. However, I still want to go look at the portfolios at Body Piercing Unlimited.

I've got a performance tonight. My solo is going to be improv. Super duper improv. It's a sword piece, and I just got a new sword video in the mail last night, which has thrown off my game plan. Too many new moves to try!

I know my plan is to build a house next summer, but I've recently seen ads for two cute places that are already built. Why did the mortgage industry have to collapse? I want one of those low-money-down loans! Patience. Patience. It will all be worth it in the end when I have the perfect place.