"When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky"
-Guatama Siddharta

Over and under and up and down...sunshine and thunder...a laugh and a frown!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What a lovely piece of ivory...

10/22/10

So it's been a while since my last post, but this one promises to be nothing short of entertaining! I apologize in advance for the mix of information that you are about to consume. I'll refer to this post as ambrosia...no one really knows what all the ingredients are, but there sure are a lot of them...kind of what this post will be like!

On to my favorite...I don't know if that's really the best choice of words but hey

AFN (Alaska Federation of Natives) is in town for the annual conference/event/hoopla which means over 4000 Natives in from various villages throughout Alaska, most of whom happen to be staying where I am so things have been loud and rowdy at night...louder and rowdier. I went to the crafts portion of AFN last night and saw some really amazing things (most of which I couldn't afford and really had no purpose for)...this brings me to the "lovely ivory carving" that a man had proudly displayed on the front of his table with other various ivory carvings.
This is not the item that I saw, but an example of the item. The one I saw had a whole scene carved into it with such intricate detail that you couldn't help but be impressed.

Someone called the piece a "baculum" and instead of saying what is that, I just pretended to be impressed and have full knowledge of this item. I honestly thought it was a back scratcher or a fire poker. Let me enlighten you so you don't make the same mistake. A baculum is a penis bone. This particular piece that I was "admiring" happened to be a walrus penis bone. I've searched Wikipedia for some images, and found one to appropriately demonstrate the size.
Yes, it's seriously that big. Now imagine that carved with a beautiful native scene with such detail that you couldn't imagine it possible. You'd touch it too...oh wait did I leave the part out about how I touched this item. My bad!

I definitely learned some very valuable lessons at AFN: Look don't touch, If it looks like a back scratcher it isn't a back scratcher, and NEVER assume you know what a baculum is!

Now that we are all fully educated on these important things, we can move on...that's right, it's WTF Alaska time!!!

WTF Alaska:

  • Man running down the road with an orange reflective vest and a bike helmet on (with a light on the front powerful enough for some spelunking) with no bike in sight, literally he was jogging like this
  • Man walking down the street wearing a fox/hat on his head (it had everything but the legs) the tail was long and bushy and flowing off the back
  • Woman at McDonalds who didn't have room for one more facial piercing examining my debit card (that has photo id on it) and then saying "you look better now than in this picture"...Thanks, I think?
So with that plate full of ambrosia, I bid you adieu

**Forgot an important educational fact: the fossilized genitalia mentioned above is called an Oosik, this would be the appropriate Native American terminology...but I hardly see how anything about the thing is appropriate!**

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Escape (pronounced: escap-ay)



Pink accent lighting
Ice scraper/snow brush





Laquer and pink light


10/14/10


So today was the day that I had to switch my prized car in for an suv with 4wd. Or so I thought. It wouldn't be my life if something didn't go off course! What did I end up with? Oh let me tell you! I got a Ford Escape. It's gold, which is why I started calling it escape (pronounced with a spanish accent: escap-ay). The fun doesn't stop here though. To compliment the gold exterior  I have a lovely tan leather interior that is accented with black laquer. Would you have put something different with tan I think not! It also has a button in the center console that allows me to change the color of the accent lights (in the cup holder and the change holder (?)) there are several choices. I currently have it set on pink...which goes nicely with the tan and laquer. duh.


So on to the kicker. This lovely suv, is not 4wd. its got none of that business so it's essentially a lifted up version of what I was driving before (with laquer and colored lighting).
There is a glimmer of light (pink light), I do have heated seats again, so in my laquer paradise I will have toasty buns!

I was equipped with a "snow brush" that looks like no snow brush I've ever seen, and an extension cord for when it gets really cold and I have to plug my car in (it's not really cold yet?)
So escape and I are ready to endure the final half of our stay here, we may end up stuck on the road somewhere (thank you Hertz for no 4wd in ALASKA during the winter) but at least we will be stuck in style, with warm buns, admiring the laquer and pink accent lighting.

Back to the snow brush for a moment...first of all, it looks home made. Second, I'm pretty sure part or all of it went through a wood chipper either pre or post fabrication. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Game day nachos (that don't leave you looking like a linebacker!)

10/10/10

I've decided to start sharing some of my "Gourmet on the Go" recipes on my blog. I've done my share of traveling and living in hotels, but this doesn't mean that I (or you) have to eat like I'm on the road all of the time!

Game Day Nachos

Ingredients:

  • baked tortilla chips
  • 2% shredded cheese 
  • 1/2 red onion
  • fat free sour cream or a great substitute is fat free plain yogurt (I prefer Greek yogurt)
  • ground turkey (I get the most lean thats available)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • black beans (I just get the canned kind because it's quick and easy)
  • foil (i prefer the non-stick kind)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if you don't have an oven or would like a quicker route you can use a microwave)
  • brown the ground turkey and drain any fat (there isn't much with turkey)
  • mix in the taco seasoning and required amount of water, simmer as directions indicate and drain excess liquids, set aside
  • I use foil to make a pan because I rarely have access to one when I'm on the road (this is where non-stick is great, and cleanup is a breeze!) fold up the sides and voila!
  • Put some chips on the bottom and sprinkle cheese, then the design is up to you. I prefer to put a lot of the good stuff in the middle and then cover it up with another layer of chips and cheese 
  • bake for 15-20 minutes
  • plot a big heap of sour cream/yogurt on top and ENJOY!

Forgive me Santa...for I have sinned!

10/10/10

Cakes 
Cookies
So in honor of such a nifty date today I decided that I would go to Alaska Coffee Roasters for a lovely morning cup of coffee (see I can justify anything!). But it happened, I totally got lured in my the case-o-deliciousness. I forgot all previously set rules and went crazy! Totally disregarding the Ginger Molasses cookie that I had yesterday I got not only one but two items! How could I resist after all, I got there just after they opened (insomnia has it's perks) so the baked goodies were still warm! Could you resist this?

I chose something that you can't see in either picture. I should rephrase that, I chose two somethings! I went with a Maple Almond Scone because lets face it it looked irresistible and what the heck, I'm pretty sure I've never had a scone so let's give it a whirl! What is a scone anyways, like a dry flavored biscuit? If scones all taste like this Maple Almond treat then count me in on scones, I'm a huge fan!
Maple Almond Scone
Next up is a treat that I have actually had before and was left almost speechless! The Caramel Walnut Roll. More amazing than any cinnamon roll in existence, I know this! I think I'll save that one for tomorrow morning, because who doesn't need a little pick me up on a Monday morning?!
Caramel Walnut Roll
I will now spend the rest of the day fighting not only a sugar coma but also obesity!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This can't be good

10/9/10

Ice on the trees, and the sun just starting to hit the top
There are a couple of things that have happened today that give me the impression that things are not well in the universe. First, I woke up to a car that was encased in ice. Literally. I sat there for 15 minutes with the heat blasting from all possible vents to try to melt the stuff (because do you really think I'm going to get out and scrap (I don't have a scraper here but thats besides the point) in 20 degrees?!). Aside from my car being covered, everything else was covered too, which was actually pretty swell.

Recession cookie
Second indicator that things are not well...my tastey treat from Alaska Coffee Roasters this morning. I went for a repeat, the Ginger Molasses cookie that I so fondly enjoyed last weekend (I only allow myself one trip per week, including weekends due to the lack of self-control that I have).  Last week my cookie was approximately the size of a frisbee (standard frisbee, not the fancy aerobie type!) Today, the cookie is still large yes, but definitely not the size of any frisbee I've ever seen, probably closer to the size of a small plate, you know the ones that go under fancy coffee cups! I've decided that this is my recession cookie. I was however happy to see that they did not decrease the size of the cinnamon rolls and other sweets that they offer.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just another day in the neighborhood

10/7/10

Here is a small sampling of my day...yes this all happened in one day...in fact, less than 12 hours.


  • I found a large bone in my tuna lunch kit from a bit name in the Tuna biz that I wont mention, probably one that kills dolphins which I'm hoping is not why I had a bone in my tuna lunch kit/meal
  • When I opened Amazon's shopping page (on my lunch of course) it thought I was shopping from Canada
  • I got stuck behind a backhoe. On the "express"way. On the way home from work. I use the term "backhoe" liberally because to me all of that "farming" equipment is the same. It had a big digger thing on the back and and a big bucket thing on the front. Oh yeah and it didn't go over 5mph. On the expressway
Alas, things are looking up now though, I'm home. In a cozy pair of long underwear, with my snuggly Berkshire Blanket that Julie sent me, and a spicy black bean burger calling my name. All is well in Alaskanada

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Snow!

10/6/10

Well, it's here. As I look out my window I see snowflakes falling down. This means one thing and one thing only...

That it's finally acceptable to watch The Grinch!

In other news, it's becoming insanely dark in the mornings which sometimes lasts well into the day. This makes it VERY difficult to get up and leave the warm confines of my dwelling to get into my freezing car...until of course my heated seats kick in.

The forecast called for snow all week, but at the rate that I'm currently seeing, it would take a year for me to get enough snow to make a proper snow angel!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

WTF Alaska

10/2/10

Here it is, the long awaited WTF Alaska listed. Ok so maybe only BRad has been waiting for it, just bear with me while I build suspense! Since arriving in the "frontier" I have seen some rather interesting, entertaining, special, and blog worthy things. I've been compiling a list appropriately titled "WTF Alaska" for a day like today...the big reveal...

(these are not in order of special-ness, just in order of how they occurred)

1. A motorcycle with a side car, with two grown men respectively riding on and in

2. A man walking barefoot down the street in 37 degrees

3. A pickup truck with a gun rack that not only blocked his view through the back window, but also had a very extensive collection of guns in it

4. A girl with her mom (?) at the grocery store, sitting in the car in their parking lot (conveniently parked right next to mine) and the girl starts to take her clothes off

5. Man walking shirtless (he had no shirt in his possession so he apparently shopped shirtless) out of a grocery store with a vat of potato salad that he was eating with chopsticks (same day as WTF post #4)

6. Man wearing a skirt made out of Carharts at the Farmer's Market

7. Perverts Need Love bumper sticker on a truck's driver's side door. What I also did not notice until uploading the picture to the blog that the pervert also apparently needs his gold bond powder while driving

I will be updating these throughout my stay because I have faith that this is not the end of this list! Just thought I would share my "finds" thus far!

Insanity Workout, 2am wake up, The Social Network, and any other randomness I can throw in here!

10/1/10-10/2/10

What a hectic couple of days! I woke up Friday morning. At 2:30 am to some sort of domestic violence occurring in my building. Correction, I woke up to a woman screaming. When I looked outside she was with hotel staff (and her small child) so I figured it was OK for me to sit and watch rather than try to help. I'm pretty sure I would have scared her more running outside in my long underwear, mismatched shirt, and hair that stuck out in every direction! I watched for about an hour. That's right, this whole scene took that long. I couldn't hear everything that was going on, but the general gist of things are that the guy had been drinking and then had become violent with her. In front of the small child who couldn't have been more than 2. The police arrived...did some obligatory questioning. The man became loud and adamantly denied doing what he was accused of. Another hotel guest came out and provided some information to the police that seemed to seal the deal because the man was quickly cuffed and stuffed and whisked away. Needless to say after being awake from 2:30am on, I was less than chipper for the remainder of the day. I also felt sick, partly due to lack of sleep but probably more due to the fact that I was completely horrified, startled out of my sleep by a terrified woman. I hope that this isn't going to be the norm, especially when winter sets in.

Moving on. Since today is Saturday, I feel that I can in good conscience (ha) say that I have officially made it through 2 weeks of the Insanity Workout! Please pause while I throw a small celebration in honor of...me! OK done! This workout is intense, nothing that I say to describe it will make you a believer until you try it yourself! I'm already seeing results in the way of muscle definition, especially in my legs. So consider this your warning. I'm pretty sure that these suckers could not be considered deadly weapons!

Moving on again. I think that it would be fair to diagnose me with ADD after reading this blog post! Friday night I went to see The Social Network with a friend. Normally movies based on books are an utter disappointment compared to the book (The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich) I would almost venture to say that this was the opposite. The movie was fantastic, the characters were great. I have this affinity toward the main character (the brains behind the machine) Mark Zuckerberg. Perhaps it's because he is brutally straightforward, sarcastic, and a bit of a prick.  The movie tries to make him very un-likable, but I found that it had the opposite effect on me. Probably because the characteristics that I find rather hilarious and entertaining in him, are the ones that I treasure most about myself. Substitute bitch/honest for prick! Alas, it was a good solid movie, that probably lacks a good dose of reality, because that doesn't sell/entertain as well as the BS!

Another tidbit of randomness, I went to Alaska Coffee Roasters for a nice tall coffee and walked out with an entire meal (and coffee). I'm on to your marketing scheme...and it's genius! This place is always busy, always a line, and you have to wait in line directly in front of the display of baked goods and yumminess. A test of self-control that I fail EVERY SINGLE TIME! This time was no different, my major score was a cookie, the size of a frisbee, Ginger Molasses cookie. It was the most amazing cookie that I have ever had (sorry mom, I do love your homemade cookies, but this was like nothing I've ever had before!)