May 30

Dear Dusty,

Where do I begin? We met almost two years ago and had an instant connection. That night we sat in my living room and talked until 3 in the morning and shared our deepest secrets with each other, we became convinced that our meeting was destiny. We also became convinced that we knew each other in a past life. I gained a “brother”, another “best friend”…

Howard often jokes about you being my “other husband” and in a lot of ways you are. If Howard can’t get something done for me, I’m calling you. Sometimes I feel like I ask a lot of you, but you always do it without complaint. I feel guilty because you have so many responsibilities to this community, but you always tell me to “shut up!”

I love how we spar with each other, just like siblings. Hurling insults back and forth so much that it probably makes people wonder what the hell our deal is. Only to see us hug and laugh about it moments later.

I love how we can communicate without even talking. I can just give you a look or you can give me a look and we know something’s up. I love how our lives have paralleled from our childhoods (it’s downright uncanny) to our adulthoods.  I love it because we understand each other and when we share stories about ourselves the other one can always relate. We mirror each other so much personally that I’m surprised Howard even gets my name right.

There is one big difference between us though: First you’re a boy. Second and most importantly: you’re a better person than I am. I’m the first one to want to run away from my problems and you’re the first person who wants to stay and face yours. I’m the one who moved 3000 miles away from her family because she feels like she doesn’t belong there. You’re the one who made a life with his in spite of it. When I shake my head and say “God Dusty, you’re a better person than I am”, I mean it. I admire you so much.

You have accomplished so much in your 27 years. (If you make one more comment about you being old, when I’m already in my 30’s? I’m so going to kick your ass and we both know I could too) I am beyond proud to call you my friend. You are an amazing person. God put you here on Earth for a reason Dusin Trevor, don’t you ever forget that. (and it wasn’t just to serve me either, I know, right? that’s a shocker) My only criticism of you is that you don’t put yourself first, near enough. I wish you would realize that it’s okay to say “no” at times.
I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve brought to my life, for all you’ve done for me, for my husband…

Words are beginning to escape me now so I’ll just end it here.

Just know that on your birthday, I wish you nothing but all the happiness you can hold in your heart. I love you so much, my brother, my best friend, my other husband, and of course “Miranda”.

Happy Birthday you “old bitch!”

That’s All!

Love,

Chrissy aka “An-dre-ah” and also “the brat” (I saw that on my fax machine yesterday you turd)

May 29

I forgot to mention that I have new favorite “must see” television show.

Howard and I have been big fans of The Deadliest Catch since the show’s inception last year.  Of course, we watch it because it’s based and filmed in our beloved state of Alaska, and also because we once lived right on the edge of the Bering Sea.  We know how rough it can get and how it feels to be in 100 mph winds.  True, we were never in a boat but we know what it’s like to wonder if you’re going to wake up tossed to sea.

I swear every time I watch the show, I sit in awe of these guys.  I mean, crab fishing is the number one job for fatalities. It’s the “deadliest” job in the world.  These guys are bad asses.  Hands down.  They keep going out there and doing it.  Oh my God, they are my heroes.  Makes me think of Gnarls Barkley and the line from the song “Crazy”:

“My Heroes Had the Heart To Lose Their Lives Out On The Limb….And All I Remember Is Thinkin’ I want to Be Like Them.”

Years ago, Howard and I toyed with the idea of applying to work on a crab fishing boat.  Sure, we heard it was dangerous, but we were crazy (still are), and ready for a challenge.  Then life got in the way and we never did it.  I always regretted it too.

But after watching the show, I know now that I don’t and frankly never did; have it in me to do what these guys do.   I mean sure, I’ve got moxie and I’m all for adventure, and even risking life and limb at times.  But I have to admit, I don’t think Howard and I would have survived a season.    And if we did, I don’t know that I would have done it a second time.  These boat captains have been doing it for generations.  They’ve seen men die doing this work, they’ve lost friends, family members, and dammit they cry about it openly.   These big strong men, bad asses of the sea, willingly showing their emotions at losing their comrades.  It takes a lot of strength to be able to pull all of that together.

Oh my God.  I officially have crushes on all of them.  Good thing I’m married.

Anyway.  If you haven’t checked out this show, you should.  Even if it’s not what you’re really in to, I challenge you to try and change the channel while watching.

May 27

And even though I love my “Kitteh” very much, let’s face it, I can do better than that.

Right now, my mind is all jumbled. I have so much say, so much to talk about. But I’m not sure how to put it here.

Some things are going really well in my life right now, some things are on shaky ground, I’m still really angry at that family member. And that family member thinks that calling or emailing me and pretending nothing is going on, will just make everything better and that really annoys me.

And makes me feel like a bad person for feeling like I do.

Even though I probably shouldn’t be so angry, I shouldn’t just settle for “no answers” either.

Howard and I are embarking on a new chapter in our lives. A chapter that will mean a huge commitment from us. That commitment still isn’t something I can talk about right now. I’ll tell you a few things that are definite though:

We’re NOT pregnant or adopting a child. (I feel the need to clarify that since that seems to always be what everyone thinks) We’re not becoming parents to anything besides the four legged children we already have.

We’re NOT moving anywhere anytime in the near future.

We’re NOT getting new jobs.

But it’s still a big deal. It’s a big deal because doing this means a lot of other things changing in our lives. A lot of factors. One thing will certainly affect another.

I can’t talk about it right now. BUT! I will hopefully be able to talk about it soon.

And I know that’s not fair to put that out there but that’s really the big reason why I’ve been so distracted lately. Besides of course all the other things going on, like our upcoming inventory (ARGH! I’ve got my Prozac re-filled), getting our boat in the water and preparing for Mama Jean.

Yep, that’s right, my wonderful mother in law is coming to visit us again and this time she’s staying until August. We can’t wait to see her. She’s my voice of reason a lot of times and that’s always a good thing for me.

Speaking of sanity, family, and voices of reason: Have you ever been friends with someone for a long time and suddenly realize that person isn’t who you thought they were? Or have you ever been in denial over what that person is all about because you wanted to salvage the friendship? Well, that’s kind of what’s been happening to me for a while about this particular friend.

I think I finally tore the wool from my eyes when I received an email from this friend who finally said one offensive things too many.

This friend is a homophobe (who we all know are just uptight closet cases, am I right?), a racist, a know-it-all. And you know what? That’s okay, you’re entitled to your opinion! But when you and I sit down and debate these things, if you make me sit through your dogma, sit through mine, hear me out too. Instead this friend thinks anyone who doesn’t live their lives according to this friend’s particular beliefs….is just plain crazy and more importantly wrong.

Now don’t mistake me: I’m all for tolerance of other people. God knows I have tons of friends who believe different things than I do. Hell, I’m all for diversity, otherwise a person like me just gets bored.

But the moment you begin making judgements against me and making criticisms of my lifestyle is the moment I start building a wall between the two of us.

I know that, in and of itself, is a contradiction to my belief of everyone just “being who they are.”

However; you’ll never hear me saying that just because you choose to live your life differently (as long as you’re not hurting anyone else or yourself), you’re wrong. You’ll never hear me saying anything disrespectful about your life. And if you did, I was probably drunk.

In fact, if you choose to live on the streets, max out your credit cards, buy the biggest house on the block, be a miser with your money, or never leave the confines of the town you live in, I really don’t care. What matters to me, in spite of our differences in lifestyles; is do we really like each other? Do I like the person you are? Do I like your heart? do you make me laugh? do we have the basic fundamentals of loving our neighbors and generally trying to be good people? Because if we do, let’s be friends.

And if we are friends, let’s not judge each other. Let’s support each other, through thick and thin.

Now, I am amazingly blessed with friends who are exactly that way. Seriously. I have friends who live their lives way different than I do. And I admire all of them for their choices. Mainly, I admire them because they respect mine as well. These are the same friends I’ve had for years. Not once have they ever criticized me or looked down at me simply because we had a simple difference of opinion. In fact, because we have differences, they mean even more to me.

This so-called “friend” is the exception.

And I’ve finally realized that I don’t like having this person in my life anymore. I do draw the line when they become negative and judgmental. When everytime I talk to them, they have something terrible to say about something positive that’s happening in my life. They offer no support whatsoever. No “hey girl, that’s great for you, I’m glad you’re living your dream”. Cause you know what? That’s how I feel when this person or any of my other friends live theirs.

I just want that back in return. The minute we stop supporting each other is when we need to re-evaluate the friendship.

And it’s sad because at one time in my life, this person was one of my best friends.

But life is too short and the negativity this person brings in to my life isn’t worth the hassle. Not when I can share my time with friends who are positive and who I know I can be honest with and know that I won’t have something negative thrown back at me.

This friends says that’s because my other friends aren’t being honest with me. I can guarantee you that all of my friends are honest with me.

I think it’s because that friend is jealous because I’m living a life they don’t have the courage for. I think this friend is ungrateful for all they are blessed wtih, this friend will never be satisified with just having what they have, which, by the way is nothing to sneeze at.

So, that’s been my life and drama lately. I’m getting too old to settle anymore. Luckily, I don’t have to make that choice very often.

My cup runneth over in my real friends.

Hopefully, the next post will be the next installment of the vacation recap. Right now, I’ve got a hot bath, and an iPod with my name on it.

No really. My name is ingraved on the back. Seriously!

And if you guys happen to see my muse anywhere, tell that bitch I need her back.

May 24

This morning, I awoke to the sound of Katie meowing rhythmically.

“Meow.”  “Meow.” “Meow.” “Meow.”

In my foggy haze, I swear to God, I thought my iPod was somehow skipping.

I opened my eyes and peeked out from under the covers and looked over Howard’s shoulder to find her meowing right in his face.  She was glaring at him.  It was as if she was saying:

“Dad.” “Dad.” “Dad.” “Dad.”

Amazingly enough, he was snoring right through it.  As soon as she saw I was up, she meowed at me, over and over again.  I got up with her as she bolted off the bed and led me in to the arctic entryway where her litter box and food bowls are located.

Now Katie is a little princess.  She’s very particular about her surroundings and how she eats her food and drinks her water.  She will not drink out of a half-full/half-empty water bowl.  It must be filled to the top and she must get first dibs (she shares with the dogs) or else it is no good.

Now, you’re all going “Well DUH, give her her own water bowl.”

We’ve done that.  Katie will only drink out of the bowl that is shared with the dogs.  BUT she must get first dibs or she won’t drink.  Or if she does, she doesn’t do it in front of us.  It’s even okay if Lucky and Pepper join her after she’s taken a drink but she MUST drink first or she’ll turn her nose up at the bowl.

Also, when she eats, she takes dainty little bites of her dry cat food, never eating a full morsel.  This means that she may nibble the entire bowl but there will always be a bowl full of broken morsels or crumbs.  This is unacceptable to her.  She will meow and whine until we throw out the crumbs and give her fresh, full-sized morsels to chew.

(This cat also samples any new dog food that gets brought in to the house.  What’s worse is the damn dogs let her!  They just stand patiently until she’s finished.)

I’m telling you:  this cat is really the boss.

Now throw in a dirty litter box?  And she won’t sleep until that thing is cleaned out.  She’s actually pretty good.  She doesn’t demand that everything be scooped out, but when it’s  time to be changed, you don’t have to wait for the box to start stinking (not that we ever do that).  No, Katie will let you know.  She’ll meow at you and beckon you to follow her and then she’ll sit right by the box (It’s covered) and stare up at you with her big round eyes.

And that’s exactly what she wanted this morning.  Apparantly sometime in the night, it had become too dirty for her and it would not wait until we got up.  oh no.  I figured this out after I dumped her bowl, filled it with fresh food, topped off the water bowl, and picked her up to give her a snuggle.  (she couldn’t possibly be whining because she wants attention)

Being she’s a “daddy’s girl”, she always goes to him first.  She’ll start by head-butting him  and if he doesn’t wake up and help her, she’ll start bitching.  She NEVER asks me for help.  For this, I’m somewhat grateful, but being I sleep right next to her precious daddy, she may as well be bitching at me.

I thought he was faking sleep this morning when her meowing pierced my blissful slumber, then he grumbled later that she woke him up every ten minutes throughout the night.

Now, why he didn’t just get up to see what she wanted is beyond me.

And that bitch loves her daddy more than me?

This cat is clearly confused on who the better parent is, and she’d better start giving me more loving nudges and snuggles, if she wants to keep a clean litter box and fresh food in her bowl.

She’d better be more grateful from now on, is all I’m sayin’.

May 20

This morning we set our alarm clock so we could get up and see Julie off at the plane.

This never get easier.  Saying goodbye to our friends knowing that in all reality, seeing them again might take a very very long time.

Julie came here just three months after we did and we were immediate friends.  We’ve shared our experiences in seeing the world.  She wants to do a stint in Antarctica like we do.  We’re going to try and swing it so we can do a season all together (Howard, myself and Julie).

Julie nurtured my love of medicine and has helped me go in a different direction with it.  She’s babysat my animals, we’ve babysat hers, we’ve shared many meals, and lord knows, we’ve laughed a lot.  She loves to act goofy and silly.  This of course, makes her a kindred spirit to me.  Once, she and I flew back to our village at the same time and we sat together and talked the entire flight, no doubt, annoying all the passengers who were trying to sleep. (it’s an early morning flight)  We were actually disappointed when the flight was over.  She and I agree that was probably our favorite memory of our times here.

Friday night, we threw her and Joe a going away party.  We played this game called “Fruit Basket”, where everyone sits in a circle on chairs and someone assigns a fruit to each person.  Then, that person stands in the middle and calls out a fruit.  Whoever was assigned that fruit has to get up and run to another chair.  The person who doesn’t get a chair has to stand in the middle and call out another fruit and then it happens all over again.  That same person can also call “fruit basket” and everyone has to get up and go to another chair.  It makes for chaos.  Hilarious chaos.  Julie threw in some frantic shouting and yelling just because.  And it was one of the best parties I think I’ve ever been to.  That is probably our second favorite memory.

After the party, we all wandered over to the bar where we of course, drank, danced in front of the jukebox until we couldn’t anymore, and reminisced.

We all avoided the topic of her actual departure like the plague.

Until this morning.

There was a whole entourage there to see her off as well.  We hugged her dog, Shiloh and when the boarding call was announced, we all lined up to hug her.  I was fine until she got to me.  Luckily, I was wearing sunglasses.  I held her extra tight and at the same time we promised: “We are doing Antarctica together.”

And we are.

Joe leaves tomorrow morning.  He’ll be the last of our friends who are leaving permanently.  We said “goodbye” to his wife, Hoi and their daughter Yuki just over a month ago.  Howard and Joe have become like brothers.  It’s going to be tough to say “goodbye” to him too.

But as I hug them and wish them well, I am happy for them.  I am happy that I have friends who are into adventure just as we are.  Who understand the wanderlust that dictates how and where we live our lives…  Friends who aren’t afraid to take risks.

And I’m thankful all over again for living where I do.

May 17

Well I must say, the play went almost flawlessly tonight.

We had a first run through with an audience (the student body) yesterday and boy was I worried.  We were missing lines left and right.  We got through it but with a lot of disappointment and a lot of parts to work on.  We had one more final dress rehearsal last night and I was so tired, I acted like a big baby.

A big baby who needs a nap.

I actually snapped at Dusty AND Sharon (the director), so harshly that Howard looked at me like I’d grown another head.  I came home last night, brushed my teeth, and fell in to bed without so much as a “goodnight”.

Today, I called Dusty and Sharon to apologize, and because they are better people than I am, I was assured that they thought nothing of it.  I also went over and OVER my lines with Howard whenever we got a free moment at work and by the time the curtain opened, my nerves subsided and it all came back to me.

In fact, I think it came back to everyone.  I think we all just needed some damn sleep already.

Howard’s performance in just that one scene blew me away.  Who knew I was married to such an amazing actor?  And Dusty did well too, we were able to look at each other, without so much as a smirk.

We got a standing ovation.  And I remembered why I love theatre so much.

Why I miss it so much.

And why it is perfectly fine to sing broadway showtunes at the top of my lungs any damn time I want to.

May 15

It seems as though last week’s hectic schedule didn’t end with something as mind boggling as say…Oh…THE END OF THE WEEK!

Nope, the chaos has carried over into this week and is in fact gracing me with even more chaos.

Yesterday, my skin felt like it was crawling.  When I say I’m stressed out, I mean it.  I’m stressed to the point of hitting a ceiling.  It’s just impossible to be any more stressed.

(We get it bitch, you’re stressed.)

Dusty is too, he’s got a lot going on.  We had a conversation Sunday night and it was one of those weird conversations you might have if you’re a twin.  We were so loopy and tired, we were just reading each other’s thoughts and finishing each others’ sentences.  It’s scary.  If we all really are here from a previous life, then he and I were definitely brother and sister in another one.  Also, he’s going through a stressful time right now too.

Oh my God, I just want to curl up in a corner and cry.

Today, Tess and I were playing phone tag over various and sundry work things and I swear, in mid-sentence, I just forgot what the hell we were talking about.  I’m lucky she loves me anyway and looks beyond my craziness.

My eyes are bloodshot, my blood pressure is high, and the week isn’t even halfway over.

Did I mention the play opens Thursday night?  Did I tell you that tomorrow we have our first run through with a small audience?  Did I also mention that just tonight, I was still on stage with a script in my hand.

And Dusty and I can’t even look at each other on stage while acting without wanting to crack up.  That’s not like me either.

I’ve done a lot of theatre.  I shouldn’t be acting that way.

Last night, during a dress rehearsal, I got a case of the giggles so bad, it held up the rehearsal for a good ten minutes. Oh well, it’s gotta come out sometime right?  Better it be in rehearsal.

Aaaanyway, I have lots of things going on right now, things that I can’t talk about right now.  Not that I don’t love you and don’t want to share it with you. (NO PEOPLE I AM STILL NOT PREGNANT AND AM NOT ADOPTING A BABY)  Because I do.  I really do.  But I just can’t.  Not right now.

Suffice it to say that when all of this is done, I’ll be a happy HAPPY girl.

Meanwhile I’ll start drinking in the mornings and double up on the Prozac.

May 14

So far today:

Some random teenager: “OHMIGOD, I LOVE your HAIR!”

Quasi-son: “Hey, you changed your hair, it looks HOT!…*makes growling sound*”

More random people: “Your hair looks great!”

I’m beginning to think my hair must have looked pretty damn crappy before because I’ve never had so much damn attention based solely on my new haircut and color. I think the best was:

“Hi Chris, your hair looks beautiful”

“Thank you”

“What are you doing tonight?”

Yeah. I’m thinking I did the right thing in taking that advice on my hair.

May 13

Well, we made it back to our village this morning after a week of nearly non-stop coming and going all made better by the gorgeous weather in Anchorage.

Of course it was snowing when we landed and is still snowing two hours later.

I just got off the phone with Dusty giving him my recap of the week.  Of course I don’t have hours and hours to recap the details here (especially since my slack ass hasn’t even finished the vacation 2007 recap) but here’s a bullet summation of things I purchased:

1.  6 new pairs of shoes (it’s a sickness, I know)

2.  4 different kinds of medication for Lucky.  (Because he is old but still my baby)

3.  an over-priced steak at Sully’s because I mainly just wanted one of their famous “Knockout” martinis.

4.  an obscene amount of clothing for just one person.  (that person being myself because I’m a clothes whore)

5.  Blonde highlights and bangs.  (I was sober, my stylist suggested it promising me I would look “gorgeous” and according to Howard who is brutally honest, I am “HOT!” which is a good thing, though…I’ve never had blonde highlights, but, I have to admit: I do like my new hair)

6.  An obscene amount of books because I don’t have enough unread books lying around the house already, right?

The flight in with Brian went very well except when we got caught in the wake of an Alaska Airlines Jet who landed right before we did.  I never knew that happened;  A wake of air.  Brian and Howard both looked at me like “DUH!” but after I put my heart back in to my chest and forced my mouth shut again, I realized that I had heard about it but had never actually experienced one.

Trust me.  It wasn’t fun.  The plane jerked sideways and I bumped my head on the ceiling of the plane, Lucky fell out of the seat in front of me, and Pepper nearly had a heart attack as well.  Of course, Howard and Brian just sat up front laughing about it and I wanted to scratch their eyeballs out.

I got over it though when Brian suggested we go for some Sushi and Sake after we were on the ground.  Hey, I’m a crisis eater, nothing a good meal can’t fix, right?

The next night, we met up with Billy and Alpha because they were coming through town on their way to their new home in New Mexico, and in the spirit, we ate Mexican.  We hugged and kissed them goodbye afterwards as they went to meet their red-eye flight and Howard, Brian, and myself decided to take a cab downtown and do a traditional “bar-crawl”.

By 3:30am the following morning, Brian and I were convinced that though we disagree on a lot of things, we are very much alike.  Of course, this conclusion came over a span of many many MANY Malibu Pine’s and Gin and Tonic’s.  Howard was the mediator who did shots of tequila in between our banter and debates.  It was fun to do though because we haven’t done one of those since before we moved to the village we live in now.

Though:  after we woke up sometime Sunday afternoon, we realized why we haven’t done that in a long time.  But oh well.  Nothing a good meal can’t fix right?

The rest of the week was a blur.  Meetings, mini-sessions, etc highlighted by getting to see Tess and give her big hugs (Amy and April, we received your hugs and reciprocated!), We did get to go to a hockey game with our company which turned out to be a blast, and we met a few more friends in Anchorage for dinner dates over the span of the week.

All in all, it was a productive and fun week.

And now I need a nap.

I hope all of you mothers out there have a wonderful Mother’s Day and I also want to give a shout out to my gorgeous niece, Jordan Blake.  She is 16 years old today.

Happy Birthday beautiful girl, you are truly one of the most loving, sweet, funniest kids I know.  I am proud to be your aunt.  Enjoy your day baby.  We all love you very much.

May 3

So baby Pauline’s caretaker returned from town yesterday and was eager to get her back into her care.  So I kissed those fat, chunky, rosy cheeks goodbye and really missed not rocking her to sleep last night.

But another part of me was happy to have a “baby-free” night to just chill out and relax in a hot bath with my iPod.

Tomorrow we’re catching a plane to Anchorage for the annual conference we attend every year.  We transferred our tickets to Brian’s airline so we could leave Friday night versus Saturday morning and Dusty, his mom, Brian, our dogs and ourselves are all flying in to town together so we can spend Cinco De Mayo weekend carousing the streets of Anchorage.

Of course, I’m also excited about going to the movies, going shopping, eating at Sullivan’s, and most importantly seeing and hugging Tess.

Last year I didn’t get to see her at all because we never got an opportunity to actually go to the office.  (Our conference is held at the hotel we stay in)  But this year, I’m dragging her out with our drunk and foolish asses and buying her a Margarita.

Pepper and Lucky are going with us because Lucky hasn’t had a check up since we moved here almost two years ago and Pepper is in bad need of a grooming.  I know I promised Lucky I’d never put him on a plane again but let’s get real, the little guy needs routine vet car and with Brian’s plane, he can ride on my lap the entire lap thus minimizing any trauma to his poor mind.

That also means that I won’t be posting here for a good week so you all take care, have a great weekend and upcoming week and I’ll see you on the flip side!

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