Jul 31

I may or may not have found a beautiful pink Chanel Cambon purse on sale on a well known internet auctions site.

I may or may not have paid the equivalent to a college class at UAF.

I may or may not look so damn sassy carrying it.

I may or may  not open up the package and exhale a sultry “Hhhheellloooo Lovah!”

Howard definitely needs to come home soon because ya’ll the retail therapy is working overtime.

The muse is still on vacation so that’s all I can write for right now.

Jul 29

Who’da thunk it?  Me in pink.  I guess now that I’m back to my natural color (brown) and no longer a red head (which I’m still getting used to), I can pull it off.

Well at least in blogging form anyway.

Thank you much to Pete Holiday for setting this up and to ETS for giving me this as a gift for Christmas.

(Yes I know, Christmas was seven months ago, but the Pete has been busy studying and you all know how I feel about higher education, so give the guy a break.)

And can I just say that I am loving Word Press?  I am now seeing the error of my ways with Blogger.  Wow, it’s like that time I stopped being a Baptist.

Man, that post would take up all my bandwidth and who wants to talk about religion when there are much better things to talk about?   Like how bored I am and Howard hasn’t even been gone for a whole day.

And how I just watched the Series Finale from Six Feet Under on my Season Five DVD, and cried JUST as hard as I did when I first saw it.  Holy shit ya’ll.  I will never love a show as much as I loved that one.

But I won’t bore you with how I’ve been in my pajamas since I came back home from dropping Howard off at the airport, and just how much popcorn I’ve consumed because I’m just too lazy to cook for myself.  You think if I subsist just on that for two weeks, I’ll get rickets or gain weight?  I sure hope not because that shit is good.  Oh well, it just means I’ll have to dance around (burning off calories) with my ipod blasting because no one is here to watch.

For that?  I’m sure Howard is grateful.

Jul 29

I just put Howard on a plane bound for King Salmon.

I received a panicked phone call from my boss yesterday morning begging one of us to fly down there. Apparantly the couple they hired backed out at the last minute, and a skeleton crew is running the store and since Howard and I are familiar with that market, they wanted one of us to go down and help out.

Summertime in King Salmon is not the time to be backing out of anything. There are tourists, commercial fishing, sport fishing, and canneries at their peak of business.

Of course any mention of sport fishing and Howard’s chomping at the bit to go. So he packed up two suitcases (one was filled with JUST fishing tackle), his rod and reel, and gave me a big kiss goodbye this morning.

I have no idea how long he will be gone. My boss said it will only be for a couple of weeks… I hope so.

Last night at our usual Friday night haunt, all the women were making Howard dance with them and kept gushing on how much they are going to miss him. I’m telling you, those dimples of his are lethal. Howard was reluctant to leave this morning. He too, is beginning to feel like this village is his “home.”

But he’s looking forward to seeing all our old friends there and of course catching some of that world famous salmon.

I am not looking forward to sleeping without him and running our store by myself. I miss him already and can’t wait for him to get back here.

Jul 25

Dear Chris,

I am on vacation. I’ve found it increasingly difficult to drag myself indoors when we only have a month or so of really nice weather.

You’re getting a tan because of it though. Though you’re gaining some water weight due to all the beer you’ve been consuming.

Which by the way, could you maybe drink a little more? Because MAN I really wax when you drink that stuff.

Aaaaanyway, I’m not sure when I’ll be back, perhaps when the weather begins to feel like fall, but I hear your blog is getting a makeover finally! Thank GOD, because when you share my inspirations, you could use a little more zing.

Don’t worry sweetie, you’ve got plenty of meme and who knows? I might come back sooner than anticipated.

Hang in there. Wish you were here.

Love,
Your Muse

Jul 24
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNIFER ELLEN!

HAVE A CAPTAIN AND COKE FOR ME TONIGHT!

WISH I COULD BE THERE TO CELEBRATE WITH YOU BUT I TRUST YOU’LL HAVE A GOOD TIME FOR ME.

I LOVE YOU!

Jul 18

Thank you Amy.

IF A MOVIE WAS MADE OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?

- - - - - - - Your Life: The Soundtrack - - - - - - - -
So, here’s how it works:
Open your music player (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, etc).
Put it on shuffle.
Press play.
For every question type the song that’s playing.
When you go to a new question press the next button.
Some songs fit perfectly.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Opening Credits: “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey

Waking Up: “Calling All Angels” by Jane Sidberry/KD Lang

Falling in Love: “Babygirl” by Sugarland

Fight scene: “Love Is A Battlefield” by Pat Benatar

Breaking up: “New Moon On Monday” by Duran Duran

Getting back together: “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi

Secret Love: “Boondocks” by Little Big Town

Life’s okay: “Lay Your Hands On Me” by Bon Jovi

Mental breakdown: “Everybody’s Fool” by Evanescence

Driving Flashback: “If I Was The One” by Ruff Endz

Partying: “Love Of A Lifetime” by Firehouse

Happy dance: “Just Friends” by Gavin DeGraw

Regretting: “Heaven” by Bryan Adams

Final Battle: “I Won’t Forget You” by Poison

Death Scene: “Understanding” by Xscape

Jul 16

The boss’s visit went very well. He kept asking me to “Wait for your next P&L results.” And I kept wondering why.

Then on Friday I got my statement. Well not my statement but the statement that reflects the monthly and yearly revenue of the business I run.

And there were huge gains. HUGE. Apparantly even though the store isn’t meeting its targeted sales goals, our profits are doing very well. My boss even said “THIS is all you should be concerned about. Who cares if you blow the budget out of the water if you’re not making any money? Sure you’re down for the year in targeted sales but look at your bottom line! This store is making more money than it has in years. It means you’re selling more than you’re buying and that’s the point.” I wanted to hug his neck. But he’s not very huggable. Though he is very nice.

Turns out, he flew out basically to boost our morale. And to give us an inside look at how the store is really doing. Then he told us we could stay here as long as we wanted. “If you guys love it here, I’ll make sure nothing changes.”

I did tell him EVERYTHING I thought of how we’ve been treated since the departure of our good friends. And I didn’t leave anything out. I knew there was a risk of serious reprimands but I figured at that point, I had nothing to lose. He was shocked that Howard and I both were that candid but he respected our points of view and listened to everything we had to say. I felt much better and he left on a positive note.

I am very relieved. Not that anything will change corporate wise, but I’m glad we were able to speak our minds. And I’m glad we’re doing better than we thought we were.

I might even quit the Prozac, but don’t hold your breath.

Jul 10

Did I mention that I’m no longer a redhead?

I didn’t?

Well. Let me take care of that right now.

Wait. I guess I just did.

But let me explain first.

Last Saturday, a hairdresser flew into town to do hair (they do this on a regular basis, and if you lived in the bush with no hair salon, you would appreciate it too), and I was her second appt.

Well let me back up here. She flew in on Thursday with the intention of doing everyone’s hair until Saturday morning. But all of her supplies were bumped. It’s fire season and anyone’s luggage can be bumped off the flight if it means that important supplies need to be flown in. Which kind of sucks. But oh well. Then Friday came and it was bumped again. Then Saturday morning and once again, no supplies. They finally flew in an afternoon flight so that all the people whose luggage was bumped wouldn’t burn down the terminal of this particular airline. She decided to fly out on Monday morning. So, after re-scheduling appts, she asked me if I would like a late appt, say 8:00pm on Saturday night? For my hair? You better believe it.

That’s neither here nor there but I just HAD to tell you that story because honestly. Bumped three times? With a reservation? Just ridiculous.

So, before she started on my hair, she mixed my color and showed me the bottle (we’d had a phone consultation while she was in the supply store the week before). It looked exactly like what I always use on my hair.

But after ten minutes, she looked worried and said “We should probably go ahead and rinse your hair, it’s really soaking up the color.” Not really worried, we went to the sink and rinsed. Being we had to use the industrial sink of the Bed and Breakfast, I was bent over, which also meant, I could see the color of my hair. And it was dark. Very dark.

I started to worry. So did she. In fact, I think she was on the verge of tears.

I wrapped the towel around my head while she finished a haircut for a customer. I avoided looking in the mirror. Finally, she unwrapped my head. My hair looked black. I nearly fainted but tried to keep my composure. (I had a really bad experience with black hair dye a long time ago, and it was something I deeply regretted) She went ahead and cut it because my hair was screaming to be trimmed. Then she began to dry it and style it. And it was much lighter dry than when it was dark. It was the color of milk chocolate, with some red undertones. Which is, if anyone remembers me before I started religiously dying my hair, pretty much my natural color. And oddly enough? I started to really like it. It was almost like a reverse dye job. Like she’d dyed my hair to match my roots instead of vice versa. It’s been over 13 years since I’ve been my natural color. And I realized how much I missed it. She styled it and kept apologizing even though I was trying to convince her that I really did like it. She was finally convinced when another customer walked in and gasped, then told me, I looked “stunning!” “Why did you ever dye your hair red?” the woman asked. “I guess I hated my natural color, and got so used to being a redhead.” I replied. “Well you look beautiful dear, I hope you’ll stay natural.”

It took Howard about 10 seconds to pop his eyeballs back in his head and shut his mouth. He wasn’t sure what to make of it when I walked through the door. I started dying my hair right after we moved in together. Which was over 13 years ago. He’s always been married to the girl with red hair. “You look so different…I just need some time to adjust.”

I was hurt. I was hoping for a different reaction. But before we went to bed, he told me my new color was very “becoming” and he was shocked because of “how young” it made me look. He got some that night.

So, the red hair is gone except for the lowlights that shine when I’m out in the sun. I feel like I found an old friend. I’m still getting used to looking in the mirror. And I did have one person tell me that they liked the red better because it brought out my blue eyes. But you know what? I like it and that’s all that matters.

Jul 9



We put Mama Jean on the plane to Anchorage this morning. Amongst choked back tears and tight hugs.

I really am sad that she’s gone. She’s been with us for a month. The house has never been cleaner. She says she’s never had such a relaxing vacation in her life.

To have a mother-in-law that I really love and consider my friend means that I’m really lucky. She’s so easy to co-habitate with. She’s not overbearing or pushy. She’s laid-back and accepting. I’ve always loved that about her. She’s made friends here too. We had a nice farewell dinner for her last night. I made Japanese. She insisted on cleaning up afterwards. That’s just how she is. She wanted to stay longer, possibly forever, but she fosters our other dog and had to get back to him. If we could tranquilize him, I’d move the both of them up here. But his (Zeus, our dog) experiences with confinement have been traumatic. We have this vision of him, waking up in mid flight, and chewing his way out of his crate. And believe me, he could. So unless he’s tranq’ed like an elephant, he’ll be grounded for the rest of his life. But there’s always hope.

Dusty was really smitten with Mama Jean. He offered to chip in on her plane ticket so she could come back during the holidays or during the Iditarod. He met us at the airport this morning to see her off. He wants her to move here too. And our dogs? Have been no less than spoiled rotten. Lucky got a belly rub everyday, which is his very favorite thing, and she played endless games of fetch with Pepper. They are going to be so lonely while we’re at work now.

We took her fishing, boating, to lots of barbeques, to the bar, and on walks. She caught her first Shee-fish, which was the largest fish she’s ever caught. She says her health was the best it’s been in months. She was basically med-free while here.

It seems that everyone who comes to visit us falls in love with this enchanting little village, and its people. And this enchanting little village seems to love everyone right back.

Mama Jean will spend her day in Anchorage. We stuffed wads of cash in her purse so she can catch a cab from the airport and do whatever she wants until her flight leaves at 9:45pm tonight. We miss her so much already. And can’t wait until she comes back.

Jul 5

Dusty called me at work this morning.

“Chrissy?” His voice sounded hesitant.

“Dusty?” I replied.

“How are you?” He said

“I’m good, thanks, how are you?” I replied, curiously.

“I’m good. (pause) I had a nightmare about you last night.” He finally said. “I dreamed you got transferred to King Salmon.”

“Well that wouldn’t be as bad as being fired.” I replied

“But you’re not leaving McGrath.” This was not a question he posed. It was a statement.

Recently, I’ve been fretting about my job, hating it but at the same time, fearing failing at it, and possibly getting “the boot.” It’s associated with other personal issues which amplify the Paranoia, but my fears are not un-founded. After a certain event that happened a few months ago concerning two of our friends who no longer work for the company, we’ve been treated differently. Phone calls don’t get returned as often. Requests aren’t being met like they used to be. Certain “higher ups”, just don’t want to hear anything we have to say. (Except for Tess because she knows us better than that) They are convinced that we had something to do with our friends suddenly up and quitting (and believe me they had very good reasons). How that could possibly be? I have no idea. But the VP’s who once adored us and gave us their unfailing support, now scrutinize everything we do. It’s been stressful. It has not been fun. They have also suddenly raised their expectations of us. Expectations that I might add are very unreasonable. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear they were setting us up to fail. Dare I say it? Giving them a reason to get rid of us. (yes, I know that’s terrible for a well established company to treat employees that way, believe me, we’re appalled.) But we keep defying the odds. We keep doing a good job. And I think it’s pissing them off. My boss is visiting this week. It was on very short notice. I voiced my concerns to Dusty. He worried and fretted with us. But the entire time, telling us that if we were ever “transferred against our will” or fired, the community would have A LOT to say about it. Dusty has sworn to find jobs for us here, a place to live, etc. All just to keep us here where we were. Even though Howard could easily go back to teaching and I could just go back to school full time.

In the phone call this morning, he talked about how we were missed during the 4th of July festivities. (We spent yesterday at work, even though we were closed, because that’s what good fucking employees we are.) How everyone thought we had gotten the boot. He said that in a matter of hours, he’d rallied a huge number of people together who made a vow to boycott our company if we were “moved” or “let go” for any reason. He said that the people appreciate what we do here, we are a “very good fit” for this community. And believe me. In rural Alaska? In my line of work? You have to be a “good fit.” He said that people offered money out of their own pockets to keep us here, even if we got fired. “You and Howard are well-loved, Chrissy.”

I didn’t know what to say. I honestly choked up. I stammered a “oh my gosh, thank you so much, that’s so sweet!” I managed not to turn into a blubbering slob.

“You know, you’re not leaving. You’re going to stay here forever.” Dusty is always telling us.

I don’t know how long we will stay but I have to say that part of the reason why I think I’m so “job scared” right now is because I have fallen in love with this town. For me to find a place I could actually picture myself staying in for more than a few years? Is a huge feat. Just ask the people who know how many times we’ve relocated. Granted, our entire time in Alaska, we’ve been moved because our company required it but it’s been relatively easy for me since I finished high school. I’m an “odd duck”, you might say. For me to feel like I fit in anywhere? Is huge. And I feel like I fit here. I’m so scared because I feel like it’s too good to be true. I keep expecting something bad to happen. I’m terrified to have to leave this place I now consider “home.”

I said a little prayer last night. I talked to my boss this morning. He couldn’t make the flight out today, because he wasn’t feeling well. He’ll come tomorrow morning and just stay overnight and leave on Friday. He sounded very positive and reassured me that he thinks we’re doing a great job, that this is just a routine visit that he has to make at least once a year and it made me feel better.

Because I’m not ready to leave this place. I don’t know if I ever will.

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