May 28

I know I was upset about the making of “The Phantom Of The Opera” into a movie. But I finally saw it last weekend.

And. I. Loved. It.

I was pleasantly surprised. The movie didn’t stray from the actually play at all. Everything was almost exactly the same. Then I read the credits and saw that Andrew Lloyd Weber produced it and that explained it all.

And let me just say, that phantom was hot! If he’d pulled me into his candle-lit lair and wooed me like that, I’d have been like …”um sweetie, where do I sign?” Roaul, love you and you’re sweet and all but I’ve always been attracted to dark, tragic characters. My mother-in-law agrees with me on this too.

I’m glad I watched it now and will now go eat crow for dinner.

May 28

Jean and Pam made it back to NC just fine, though Pam is still trying to get past the jet lag that comes with traveling through 4 different time zones. Hey, she was the one who insisted on coming, right? I do miss them though. Pam made some interesting observations of us while she was here, prompting us to make more decisions about our current situation. It will all come out eventually, I promise.

Which brings me to my next point. Why is it now that I’m in my thirties, and have been married almost 12 years, everyone expects any kind of big news to be that I’m pregnant? For example:

Me:”Hey, guess what? I’ve got something really important to tell you.”

Any family member or good friend: “You’re pregnant, aren’t you?”

SO now I immediately follow up an announcement with..
“Hey guess what?…and NO I’m not pregnant.”

Jesus Christ, anyone who knows me knows my problems with fertility and the fact that I cannot carry children, so get off it already, okay? I guess the only way to get them to shut up, is if I go ahead and have a hysterectomy, but guess what? The doctor says I’m too young, so for now, stop and think before you ask dumb questions mmmkay? Oh. And incidently, I love you all more than anything in the world.

Which brings me to my next point, and I don’t want to get into the details because well they’d bore you but I had an enlightening conversation with a friend a few weeks ago. This friend thinks I am insane for living in Alaska, or even having chased this dream of mine. This friend thinks I should be living back in North Carolina, with a house, a hefty mortgage and a two cars. He thinks I am abnormal for even coming to Alaska. I asked him if that meant that every person who up and moves to Alaska is stupid and abnormal? He never answered. I do agree with him on some levels, I really do but what is it with people who think there is a standardized way to live a life? Is there a manual somewhere that says before you are thirty or by the time you are thirty, you should be settled permanently, have x amount of children and be in debt out the wazoo? And by the way, I am insane and abnormal anyway, so how does that argument even hold water? He says all my other friends just aren’t being honest with me and he’s sure they all feel the same way. So, let me ask you friends, do you think I’m nuts for having the guts to chase a dream? Also, let me say that if you do believe like my friend (who in spite of his narrow minded points of view, I do love in a “If I had to pick an annoying big brother, it surely would be you!”), you are not wrong either. I just believe people live their lives in different ways, pursue different forms of happiness, etc. If you choose to have the house, the family, etc, and that makes you happy, then that is your right way to live. If I choose to pack up everything I own, and move to Alaska to do something crazy, and that makes me happy, (minus current depression of course) isn’t that my right way? I didn’t break any laws, or do anything that might make me go straight to hell. Okay, I’ll stop now. But I am interested in hearing your feedback. And please don’t placate me on this, okay? All opinions are valid and will not offend me, I just want to see what you all really think.

I’m out ya’ll…have a safe and superfun weekend! The sun is actually shining here and the river is finally breaking up…I may even get out of the house on my day off.

May 24

Star Wars Horoscope for Libra

You are on a lifelong pursuit of justice and determined to succeed.
You convey the art of persuasion through force.
You always display your supreme intelligence.
You have a great talent in obtaining balance between yourself and your surroundings.

Star wars character you are most like: Obi Wan Kenobie

May 23

WE INTERRUPT THESE RAMBLINGS FOR AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT…

THE NEW AND FINAL SEASON OF SIX FEET UNDER WILL BEGIN ON JUNE 6th. THAT’S A MONDAY, NOT A SUNDAY. SET YOUR DVR’S.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONTACT CHRIS IN ANY WAY DURING THE HOURS OF 8:00PM AND 10:00PM ALASKA TIME ON THIS PARTICULAR DATE, BECAUSE SHE WILL NOT BE REACHABLE. (UNLESS OF COURSE, YOU ARE ALLAN BALL AND YOU WANT TO NEGOTIATE ANOTHER SEASON)

May 21

I know I’ve been on a country music kick lately but I’m homesick for the south, especially with family and friends visiting.
This song is my anthem to Howard, and everytime we drive to our favorite spot out on Buffalo Cove (back in NC mountains) and dream of building a house there, we have to play this song. Corny no?
And because Jason, Eddie and Anne also love it and belt it out with me whenever we’re together. We’re weird, we know but we have a damn good time. Enjoy!

Cowboy Take Me Away

I said I wanna touch the earth
I wanna break it in my hands
I wanna grow something wild and unruly

I wanna sleep on the hard ground
In the comfort of your arms
On a pillow of bluebonnets
In a blanket made of stars

Oh it sounds good to me I said

Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can
Into the wild blue
Set me free oh I pray
Closer to heaven above and
Closer to you closer to you

I wanna walk and not run
I wanna skip and not fall
I wanna look at the horizon
And not see a building standing tall

I wanna be the only one
For miles and miles
Except for maybe you
And your simple smile

Oh it sounds good to me
Yes it sounds so good to me

Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can
Into the wild blue
Set me free oh I pray
Closer to heaven above and
Closer to you closer to you

I said I wanna touch the earth
I wanna break it in my hands
I wanna grow something wild and unruly
Oh it sounds so good to me

Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can
Into the wild blue
Set me free oh I pray
Closer to heaven above and
Closer to you closer to you
Closer to you
Cowboy take me away.
Closer to you

May 19

I got a call from Tess today, which is the first time we’ve talked, since receiving our respective gold pan awards last week. Angel that she is, just wanted to call me and tell me she loved me and hoped that I was having a good day. Could you die? I did. Love that girl. Of course, I’m always the shit that has to rush off the phone because there is always a customer glaring at me, like “how dare you talk on the phone?!…do you NOT SEE I’VE BEEN STANDING HERE FOR 15 FULL SECONDS???” Customer Service. Gotta love it. But Tess? I LOVE YOU and am so glad you think of things like that, cause Lord knows, I am the world’s worst. What would I do without you?

Pam and Howard’s mom (Jean) are having a great time, at least that’s what they are telling me. They’re not doing much, because well, there isn’t a whole lot to do. I mean. It’s Nuiqsut. There is still two feet of snow on the ground, but the ice road is not longer driveable. So, they watch a lot of movies,(Did I mention this time of year, because of the constant daylight, the satellite signals get thrown all out of whack…therefore making TV watching very difficult?) walk to the store and hang out with us a while, balk at the high price of green beans and half gallons of milk, meet some of the friendlier locals and just take it all in. I’m always worried that they are bored, but they assure me they are having a great time. I hope so. Howard and I are DEFINITELY enjoying all the southern food they are cooking. Holy heart attacks! But it is soooo damn good. My ass will be hating me by the time they leave, I promise you.

People have asked what movies I saw in Anchorage and well sadly, I only saw one in the theatre (Kingdom of Heaven, which is amazing despite its so so review in People magazine) and one we paid 9.95 for in our hotel room (Robots, which I fell in asleep in the middle of..I’m hoping it’s because I was tired.) Howard took me to Club Paris, which was rumored to have the best steak in Alaska and let me tell you, it is true. Second only to Argentine, that was the best piece of steak, I’ve ever eaten. Club Paris, ya’ll. Go if you are ever in Anchorage. We tried a Napa Valley Syrah too, which pretty much sucked and tasted a lot like coffee. Ugh. I mean, I’m not a fan of sweet wines but this was just too bitter for my pallet. Maybe it wasn’t the right choice to go with my steak. Who cares? After a few glasses, it all tastes the same anyway, right? Oh. I forgot, it’s only because we’re drunk. hee hee.

And one more thing, what’s with Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise? Yes, I am one of the thousands of people who feel really awkward about their union as well. I don’t know, I’m just not feelin’ it. We’re probably all wrong, they’ll probably get married and stay married for 40 years. Picturing the two of them in bed is tough though. I keep seeing Katie and Joey and Tom as Maverick and well, you just think about it okay? And get back to me and let me know what you think.

May 14

…and lo I am tired!

It was a surprisingly fun week. The meetings weren’t too painful, I got to see all my fellow managers and a few of my very favorites and of course, Tess.

Speaking of: I have been so smug the last few weeks because I knew she was going to get the MVP award and could NOT wait for her to get her long awaited due. In fact, on the phone several times, she mentioned not wanting to go…and of course, not wanting to give anything away…I would just say “Aw honey, come on, I’ll be there, it’ll be fun, I’ll save you a seat.” She got the award and I beamed. I mean, when the applause rose up from the room, there were several “Woo hoos!” and that just made my heart burst with joy. She deserved it. Tess is loved by way more than just me in this company and never gives herself enough credit. She got a beautiful plaque, and a wad of dough to spend however she wants.

However.

It turns out, Tess was holding out on me. I was awarded the HR Development Award and the Rookie Manager of The Year award, as well. This was all overwhelming, especially with our recent disenchantment for the past few weeks. Tess, looked over at me with a “ha ha ha ha ha…I’ve had a secret too!” Plus, Howard’s mom and my friend Pam had just arrived and attended so it was all very teary and weepy. So a good night was had by all. And I guess Tess and I realize we’re not as clever as we thought but who cares? Well worth it.

So I’m tired because after the banquet, a whole bunch of co-workers and a few of the Anchorage staff decided to go out and celebrate and boy did we ever. Knowing full well that most of us had to be up by 5:00am, to catch early flights back to our villages, we decided to push the envelope and we all stayed in the hotel bar drinking until 2:00am.

But like I said. Well worth it. The “break” was a good thing, Jean and Pam are here, we’ve already laughed so much that my tummy muscles are sore and I’m looking forward to nine more days of this.

More later, we’re off to enlighten them.

May 5

I would like to retract the statement I made about Lucky being a spoiled little shit, and about him taking advantage of Howard, because ya’ll. I’m 99% sure he’s going deaf.

Deaf. My poor puppy.

He’s 12 years old, holy shit, actually 12 and half!

I noticed it when he pulled a replay of what happened on Monday morning, of me, having to run around the neighbor’s house to find him already sitting on the front porch waiting for me. I came up to him, talking to him, and noticed he was completely ignoring me. Finally when I was within two feet of him, he turned around and looked confused and startled. He never looks confused and startled around me, unless there are gun shots or fireworks going off, and that’s a rare occasion. In hindsight, when I yelled for him to come back both mornings, he never once looked back to acknowledge me. And Lucky always acknowledges me. I’m not bragging, he just always has. I’m his person, his mama, he’s very co-dependent on me. So Howard and I tested him the rest of the day with things like banging pots and pans, saying his name (to which at least his ears will always perk up) and for the most part, he couldn’t hear us unless we were within one or two feet of him and with raised voices. I am so sad for him, but it doesn’t appear to be affecting him too much. Except for being a bit confused sometimes, he’s still spry and pleasantly neurotic. But I have to say, the most devastating thing was not having him waiting for me when we came home from work tonight. Not in 12 years has he not always greeted me with the old “Boston” spring! Jumping up into the air, with a big dumb smile (yes dogs do smile) and running to grab his raw hide bone hoping I’ll play fetch with him. Tonight, I came into the house, was greeted by Katie like always but when I called Lucky, he was nowhere to be found. Katie, being the intelligent cat (and protective little sister to Lucky) she is, “meowed” and led me to the bedroom where I had to walk all the way around the bed before Lucky looked up at me from his favorite pillow on the floor. He immediately got excited to see me and went into his whole “Mommy’s HOME!” routine. I wanted to cry but he seemed okay and nonplussed about the whole deaf issue. He also just sat calmly on the couch tonight while Howard ran the vacuum cleaner, and he usually sits but also shakes violently at the loud noise. Maybe his deafness is sort of a blessing to him, but it’s a sign to me, that my puppy is getting older. We’re making sure his ears are clean and have gone back to putting antiobiotic drops in his ears to see if it makes a difference over the next few days. I guess there’s not a whole lot that I can do as long as he seems comfortable.

In other news, we are leaving for Anchorage tomorrow for the annual manager’s meeting. I’ll be in civilization for an entire week. The meetings will be long and boring, I’m sure, but I won’t be dealing with asshats and assholes! Woo hoo!

I will also get to drink heavily and SHOP! (but not at the same time) Mostly at Barnes and Noble so I can buy more books that will take me a year to read. I will also get to see Tess and at the end of the week, my friend Pam and Howard’s mom are meeting us in Anchorage and then flying back to Nuiqsut with us, because they are insane? No, because they want to hang out with us and don’t mind battling the cold and boredom to do so. So you see I am very excited about all this.

So peace out for a while, and pray that my poor dog can still hear my voice by the time we get back.

May 4

Tonight, we had to meet the plane because in addition to running the village store, we are also airline agents (it’s all part of the work contract and trust me, it sucks).

We already had a truckload of musical equipment that had to get on the plane because it was bumped yesterday afternoon. However, there were at least 10 schoolkids waiting to board because they were on their way to Anchorage. In addition, the principal was there, and well, he’s not a very friendly principal at all. And we’re fans of principals, trust me, so it takes a lot for me to say that.

No sooner than we’re out of the truck than the principal begins berating the pilot,

“LOOK MAN, THIS IS A CHARTER, I PAID 9 GRAND FOR THIS FLIGHT, WE TAKE PRECEDENCE AND I’M GOING TO BE INSISTENT ON THIS.”

He was up in the pilot’s face, being all rude and beligerant. The pilot obviously wasn’t amused but was also shocked at the guy’s behavior.

Howard came to the pilot’s rescue, looked calmly at the principal and said:

“Look man, don’t be an asshole.”

I thought the pilot was going to jump into Howard’s arms and kiss him.

The principal, however, got in Howard’s face and said “EXCUSE ME?”

Howard, once again, calmy said “Don’t be an asshole, these pilots know what they’re doing.”

The principal attempted to get in Howard’s face and Howard gave it right back to him. Of course, the redneck in me came out and I piped up and said “Look, the airline never informed us that this was a charter flight, they told us to be at the airport to meet the plane like we always do. Do you honestly think we would have wasted our time coming up here if this was just a damn charter?”

Howard and he were still in each other’s faces. Finally, the asshole principal, realizing he wouldn’t win this battle, stammered and immediately apologized.

And you think he honestly paid 9grand for that charter? Um, I don’t think so and if he did, it didn’t come out of his own pocket.

And to the pilot’s credit, they loaded all the band equipment AND all the children’s luggage onto the plane.

Okay, so maybe Howard shouldn’t have said “asshole” but the guys was being one! And trust me, these kids hear way worse nowadays, and they thought it was pretty damn funny too.

I love that Howard feels comfortable speaking his mind and standing up for the underdog, at all costs, and never makes apologies for it, I envy that as I’m just codependent enough to want everyone to like me. I don’t want to make waves or press anyone’s buttons, but instead let it all fester inside when I see an injustice being done, and then look completely psychotic when it finally does come out. It isn’t healthy and I’m so glad at least one of us, has the courage to not care what other people think.

May 3

This morning, just as I was about to hit the snooze button at 8:00am, Howard sleepily reminded me that we were supposed to be at work by 8:30 to meet our last freight truck of the season (the ice road is being blown up tomorrow night…read a few more blogs earlier if you’re wondering what I’m talking about). Realizing, I only had a half hour to get ready, I immediately jumped out of bed and into the shower. Howard tried to help by walking the dog (well, more like, stand on the front porch and watch him do his business) but as the half hour approached, he realized Lucky had vanished and the freight truck wouldn’t wait. Lucky is stubborn for Howard because he knows he’s a spoiled little shit, and that he can milk this time to spend a few extra minutes outside. I shooed him out the door and told him I’d walk to work and to go ahead and take the truck.

I poked my head out the door and yelled for Lucky several times. I try not to yell too loud because this village is neatly packed together and our neighbor’s house is barely 100 feet away. There’s also nothing to absorb the sound, so every shout is echoed. Anyway. I must have yelled for him for ten minutes. My yelling began to consist of “LUCKY GET YOUR ASS IN THE HOUSE NOW!” I began to get worried when I didn’t see him or hear his collar jingling.

I came back into the house, put my shoes on and proceeded to walk outside and look for him. There I was, wet, frozen hair, tennis shoes with no socks and I’m screaming and cussing at my dog. My anger turning into worry that maybe he’s fallen into a deep snow drift and can’t get out. While I myself am sinking knee deep in some areas. I am frantic by the time I round the neighbor’s house and look back at the house…to see my damn dog sitting on the front porch waiting for someone to open the door and let him back in the house. My worry turned back into anger quickly. Lucky merely looked at me as if to say…”What?..you didn’t think I was coming back or something?”

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