Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fuckity, fuck, fuck!

My iPod broke over Xmas and my dad, being the super awesome individual that he is, gave me his Mini to use until I could afford to replace mine. I am incapable of going to the gym without an iPod. Running is bad enough, but to do it without the aid of any music is completely intolerable. So, Friday, apparently I felt that my dad's generosity wasn't too important because I left his iPod sitting on the counter in the women's locker room at the gym! I never do anything like that. And - BIG SHOCKER! - no one turned it in to the lost and found. (And really, why would they? Not only did they just score an iPod, but I also have impeccable taste in music, no matter what Dwizzy says about Nirvana.) I can't tell my dad. I cannot do it. And considering I have $19 in my checking account right now, I don't think I can afford to replace it either. I am going to puke. I am not exaggerating. FUCK!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Smells Like...

I some how managed to convince my parents to let me go to a Nirvana concert on a school night when I was in 8th grade. So I would have been, what? 13? I'm pretty sure it was the first and last time Kurt Cobain ever set foot in Milwaukee and it was my first non-Summerfest concert.

(On a side note here - Summerfest rocks. Growing up a few miles from Summerfest was awesome. For those of you not in the know, Summerfest is the world's largest music festival, I shit you not. Summerfest is 11-stages of non-stop music surrounded by beer tents and food stands that goes on for a week and a half every summer along the lakefront in Milwaukee. Artists that have graced the Summerfest grounds include: The Doors, The Jackson Five, Johnny Cash, R.E.M., Tom Petty, Weezer, The Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Run DMC, Jimmy Buffet, Pearl Jam, Tina Turner, and Lauryn Hill, just to name a few. Growing up, $8 would get you in for the day. The price has sky rocketed to $15, but whatever. When I moved away from Milwaukee and had to shell out real money for a concert for the first time in my life, I was in complete and utter shock.)
Anyway, I was talking about Nirvana...
I used to love telling people that I met Cobain backstage at that concert, which is a total lie, but makes for a good story. But I realized that just seeing Nirvana in concert is a good story. I was already way into Nirvana by the time I saw them in concert. But it cemented my high school identity. Up until that concert, I fluctuated between a wannabe gangsta rapper and being the girl that stands timidly on the outskirts of mosh pits. Nirvana pretty much sealed the deal though. I still like to bust out with Eazy-E and Tupac in the car sometimes, but I stopped buying Cross Colours and using massive amounts of hair spray. Nirvana spoke to me. At least, it spoke to me a lot more than songs about life on the streets of Compton did. By sophomore year, I was going to concerts daily and dying my hair vibrant shades of red, blue, purple – pretty much anything except green. (I swam competitively for years and found out the hard way that too much chlorine turns blond hair green, so I have a pretty strong aversion to green hair.) Anyway, I liked the red best. And I am quite proud to say that I was the first white girl at Rufus King High School to rock ruby red hair. And I owe it all to my close, personal friend Kurt.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Vroom, Vroom

Two years ago, I was on an ultimate road trip from Orlando, Florida back to Juneau, Alaska with my friend Julie. Julie is cool beans. She’s one of those friends you don’t have to talk to every week, but when you finally do connect, it feels like no time has past. Julie and I worked together briefly in Alaska. I’ve only known her for a few years but she is my favorite traveling cohort. She was my roulette teacher on another Alaskan escape to Vegas, and I partied it up with her extended family in southern Virginia last summer. There are just some people it is fun to travel with and Julie is definitely one of those people. Our road trip came to be because Julie wanted some company on her quest to get her car back to the land of the midnight sun unharmed, and I happily tagged along. We hit up all the cities where we had couches to crash on: Atlanta, Milwaukee, Mankato (MN), and Missoula. We were planning on just blowing through everything between Minnesota and Missoula, but then a funny thing happened. Just after crossing into South Dakota, we stopped at a small gas station and there, taped to the front door, was an 8x11 piece of white office paper that someone had written on with black magic marker.

‘300 miles to Sturgis’

I just about crapped my pants. Julie had never heard of Sturgis, but I grew up in Milwaukee and one of my life’s ambitions is to some day own a Harley. I’ve ridden on the back of a few motorcycles and driven even fewer, but I will feel like I have really made it the day I own a bike. (Along with a hot tub, a pool table, and a HDTV.)

So I proceeded to tell Julie about the biggest, baddest motorcycle rally in all the land. I wasn’t sure how we’d fit in riding up in an Accord, but I knew damn well that I was going to have to go back to South Dakota some other time to visit Mt. Rushmore.

Sturgis is one helluva party. We paid some random couple $10 apiece to pitch our tents on their front lawn and traipse through their house at 4am to use the bathroom, and headed off for the nearest beer tent – about one block away. At one point, I vaguely remember trying to talk myself into buying a pair of $200 chaps but I managed to leave the next afternoon with nothing more than a wicked hangover. Missoula and Banff were also awesome stops on our trip, but Sturgis was by far the best surprise.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


When I was 19, I worked at a gas station and dated one of my co-workers, Scott Reynolds. He was 24 and a total player and I fell for him hard. In hindsight, he could have been a great fling, but at that age I didn’t know how not to get attached. I am still working on that one actually. 98% of the time it’s not a problem, but it has happened in the past where I’ve been minding my own business, having fun and not taking anything too seriously, when all of a sudden – WHAM! – I care about someone and they dump me for a 41-year old named Cookie and I whine about it on my blog for months. Anyway, Scott would have been a perfect fling. I am sure my wide-eyed innocence is probably what he was attracted to and if I met him again today, we’d probably both be thinking, ‘What the hell did I see in that person?!’.

But Scott has remained one of the greatest mysteries in my life. I stopped hanging out with him when I left to study abroad. We didn’t really talk about our relationship before I left but we didn’t part on a sour note either. We said that whatever happened while I was gone happened and that we’d see where things were when I got back into town. Good plan, right? Well, when I got home, I tried to get in contact with him but he had dropped off the face of the Earth. And I know right now you are probably thinking that he just didn’t want to be contacted. Maybe. But when I went to my old job they told me he’d gotten shit-faced a week after I left and as a result fell down a flight of stairs and broke his arm, which meant he couldn’t work on cars and he got fired and no one had heard from him since. His phone and his pager were not in service anymore. (1999 remember - people still used pagers then.) I hung out with my other friends from the gas station and Scott really had dropped off the radar. It would have been an awful lot of effort just to avoid me. Still, if that is how the story ended, it would have just been a, ‘Huh, I guess he moved on,’ kind of experience.

But a few months later, my roommates were out of town and it was wicked hot and I was bored and on a whim I tried his phone number to see if it had been reconnected and he answered. Not only did he answer, he seemed really glad to hear from me and asked where my new apartment was and came over within an hour. Then he did something I will never, ever forget. He fixed my air conditioner. It was sweltering out and I was dying and I will be forever in his debt for getting the air conditioner up and running again. (Granted, he only had to reset a fuse, but I had just moved in and didn’t even know where the fuse box was. I can assure you, my technical/mechanical skills have greatly improved since then.) We spent hours talking that night. He looked at all my pictures from studying abroad. He spent more time looking at them then both of my parents combined! We ended up falling asleep together on the couch. No sex, we just talked the entire night. In the morning, he hugged me, said it was good to see me, said that he’d missed me, and then he said that he’d call me later. He left and I never heard from him again. Ever. End of story.

So my question to the opposite sex is – what the fuck? I don’t get it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Way to go Teddy!

I never, ever, ever thought I'd say it, but I am proud of Senator Ted Stevens. He recently introduced legislation that would require automakers to increase gas mileage over the next decade. And he is doing it to reduce greenhouse gases!! This is the same Senator that has been one of the biggest skeptics on climate change in Congress. I've gotta say, it takes balls to change your mind when you work with the public and have been so outspoken in the past. Hopefully, Bush will also surprise me next week in his State of the Union address. (Tuesday, January 23 at 9pm EST.)

Working in the environmental field, specifically, working on global warming issues every day can get very depressing. I fluctuate between hopeless despair and driven passion daily. How people can ignore scientists and look the other way is beyond me. When I was living in Alaska, global warming was in your face every day. Which is probably why Alaskans are becoming so outspoken about climate change. In a matter of months, high school students in Alaska Youth for Environmental Action were able to visit over 100 Alaskan communities and get the majority of high school students in the entire state to sign a global warming petition last year. Because those kids are seeing unprecedented interior forest fires, melting glaciers, and coastal erosion. Hearing about people like Senator Stevens makes my day and gives me motivation to keep coming in to work. And after my awesome vacation, I really needed to hear something like that, because I sure as hell didn't want to come back to work this week...