Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Srsly, I'm not 80...

Since I can't stand having a super depressing post up for very long, I'm added pictures of my newest knitting project. I started following a pattern but stopped because 1) I realized I was doing it wrong, and 2) I liked the way it was knitting up. Plus, it's a bunch of bright, warm colors and that's exactly what this blog needs after a cancer post.Up next, I'm knitting these mittens (hopefully), which were the whole reason I learned how to knit in the first place. My cables are still a little wobbly, but they'll never get any better if I don't practice, right?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Get That Pink Ribbon Out of My Face

Yesterday I got this update from my mentor about his cancer:

"I had a drastic turn about in how I was feeling and ended up going into the emergency room. They kept me there for two days and stabilized my "stats" so that I could fly home on Tuesday. What I experienced on Sunday was a severe case of expressive aphasia, due to a combination of complications caused by the chemo drugs I was taking. I am still experiencing some of the aphasia but am working through that.

The cancer is progressing- however slowly- into new territory and is effecting my ability to hold onto the words I need to describe my thoughts and pass them on to others."

I joined Ravelry, a knitting website, a few months ago because of my new obsession and I thought I would see if there are any brain cancer groups I could join. There are a lot of 'charity' groups you can join where you knit things for a cause - everything from hats for troops to dolls for kids in Africa. Anyway, once again, there are about 200 groups dedicated to breast cancer and there was ONE about brain cancer, and it's not even a general group - it's dedicated to one particular boy with brain cancer.

I did a little research awhile ago to see if brain cancer had a certain colored ribbon. It's gray. Seriously? Did they run out of 'happy' colors? Or any color for that matter?

I know I've already complained about this, but sometimes you just need to vent, you know?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I can't breath, I'm so excited!!

Have you seen the lineup for this year’s Lollapalooza? Holy crap is it good! The headliners are, eh, not really that much to get excited about. The Killers, Depeche Mode, Snoop, Kings of Leon, Beastie Boys... I mean, they’re good bands, but nothing I’m going to freak out over.

Then there are the ‘side’ bands. Santigold (formerly Santogold)! Love, love, love her.

Silversun Pickups! I’m going to wet myself.

Band of Horses! I will throw my underwear at them.

Neko Case! I’m shaking.

Vampire Weekend! Gotta love anything with vampire in the title!

I could go on and on. The lineup is practically orgasmic. And I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how I can get there.

Then it hit me. DUH!! I work at a radio station!! And there is this wonderful invention called the press pass. I applied for one today and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the novelty of being from Alaska will be enough to get me in. I’m almost positive that none of the other public radio stations up here are asking for press passes. So if they have like, geographical preference or something, I’m as good as there. Keep your fingers crossed because not only would I get to go, I could potentially meet.the.artists. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!! This is so much more awesome than the time I got to go to Live Earth for work!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm still Folked Up!

Back in the early 2000’s, I was slightly obsessed with David Gray and Elliot Smith. And last year I went on a huge Joshua Radin kick. (<---It helps that he is pretty, I mean, just look at him!). But I don’t normally listen to folk music and I almost never listen to bluegrass, unless you count Alison Krauss. So logically, I shouldn’t be a huge fan of the Alaska Folk Fest, but I’ve never been very logical. Folk Fest rocks. I was completely surprised by how much I loved it the first year I was up here, and now it’s something that I look forward to every spring. Musicians from all over the state and Canada come up to perform and every year there is one ‘headliner’. This year, the main band was De Temps Antan from Quebec. If you ever get a chance to see them live, I highly recommend it. I doubt I will rock out to their music on my next road trip, but they were fantastic. And the violin player was amazing. AMAZING. I played violin for 14 years and I’d have to play for about 100 more if I ever want to sound that good.

Folk Fest marks the beginning of spring for me. And this year, Folk Fest coincided with a week of sunny, warmer weather and my first mountain goat sighting. Nothing says spring like mountain goats! Oh sure, I saw my first robins this week too, but that’s not as cool to say.

My parents were also visiting this week and we went on a helicopter ride, out to the fish hatchery, and I took them trap shooting. We also got to see the Coast Guard shoot a howitzer into the mountains as part of the city's avalanche control. Guns and fish, nothing is more Alaskan than that!

The helicopter ride was so friggin' awesome. My favorite photos from the ride:

I like to call this my 'Lord of the Rings' shot.

Here's what it looks like to look down from a helicopter.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Time to get Folked Up!

It's Folk Fest time! My parents were also here this week so I've been too busy to blog, but stay tuned next week for the recap!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thank God for Spring

The snow is finally turning to rain and the mercury is slowly climbing up the thermometer. This winter was the fourth snowiest on record for Juneau. Actually, we might have moved up to 3rd place, but I am not sure about that so don't quote me. We've definitely had snow this month, so it certainly wouldn't surprise me. We only had a few avalanches though (knock on wood), so that was a good thing.

I love spring time in Alaska. And I'm relieved to have that first winter under my belt again. I think it might have been even harder this time around since I was coming from DC. The first time around I had moved up from Wisconsin so it wasn't as big of an adjustment. But DC winters are mild, so this winter was probably one of the most shocking of my life.

I'm ready for flowers and (hopefully) sunshine and hiking and fishing. The smell of Juneau in the spring and summer is truly amazing. It makes up for the almost 200 inches of snow. Sort of.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A squared plus B squared = Awesome First Hat!

Finished knitting my first hat last night! It had a bunch of triangles in the pattern, hence the title of this post. Yes, it's not perfect, but I heart it.
PS - I'm at work right now and my door is open. My co-worker was just talking on the phone and I heard her say, 'that's what she said'. I can't wait for season 5 of the Office to come out on dvd...

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Kite Runner

This weekend, keeping up with my current Afghanistan fascination and my current trend of reading books a few years later than most people, I read The Kite Runner. I absolutely cannot believe that this was Khaled Hosseini’s first novel. Did I mention that Mr. Hosseini didn’t go to school to be a writer? No, he went to med school. The man is a doctor. But apparently he had some free time so he decided to whip out one of the best novels I have read in a very long time. I bet he also speaks twelve different languages and was the captain of the soccer team.

The movie is now in my Netflix queue, but I have mixed feeling about watching it. Much like the recently released Slumdog Millionaire, there was an incredible amount of media coverage surrounding The Kite Runner movie. It actually makes my brain hurt to think about films like Kite Runner and Slumdog. On one hand, of course you want movie producers to hire local actors. But the firestorm that follows successful movies often sounds like a nightmare. Exploitation, relocation, harassment, and then finally abandonment. I mean, has anyone heard about the kids from The Kite Runner since its release? I haven’t seen anything about the Slumdog actors since the Oscars either. I hope they are settling in to their new lives and adjusting to all the changes they have dealt with. Part of me argues that kids are resilient and that they are just fine. But the other part of me can’t help but think about how hard it must be to be a ‘media darling’ at such a young age and then end up being forgotten 15 minutes later. I could argue back and forth. So I guess I should just stop now.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Weekend Update

Just so that I am not leaving you on a sour note for the weekend. Enjoy!

Circus show continues...

I really didn’t want to have another political post so soon after the last one, but I live in an ass backwards state where Sarah Palin reigns, so obviously there’s always plenty for a liberal to complain about. And I couldn’t help but share a few doozies with my four faithful readers. It’s just too hard to resist.

As I previously mentioned, Palin decided not to accept the Democratic nomination for the open state senate seat and instead picked some guy who until recently wasn’t even a registered Democrat (srsly, did you think no one would notice that?) and is best known for losing his campaign bid for a state representative seat back in 2002. Palin’s pick had to be approved by the House, which obviously didn’t happen but then Palin tried to reject their rejection. That is pure horseshit, seeing as she has never had a problem with this process when it’s gone her way. What a ridunculous way to handle this situation.

Another great Palin decision? Appointing Wayne Anthony Ross as Attorney General for the state. OMFG, are you kidding me?! This douchebag needs to crawl back under the rock he came from. I can’t believe this guy went to Marquette University. Way to taint their reputation! He opposes Native subsistence laws, has called gays ‘degenerates’, and has said that he’d have the golden ticket into heaven if he ever managed to overturn Roe v. Wade. Yes, I am serious. The abortion stance I expect from a Republican, and honestly, the degenerate comment doesn’t really surprise me although it does make me incredibly sad, but for an Alaskan politician to argue against Native subsistence living is really, really interesting. Major Native federations are in an uproar over this pick and I don’t think the pressure over this move is going to go away anytime soon. Personally, I understand where he is coming from. He's basically arguing that everyone should have the right to subsistence living here. Currently there is Native and rural preference, but still, it's not a smart move to go around saying that in the state with the largest Native population in the United States. He really needs to work on his wording at the bare minimum.

Then of course there’s the Ted Stevens debacle that just won’t go away. Alaska republicans are calling for Mark Begich to resign to make way for a special election that would allow Stevens to run. Again. Have they not realized yet that Stevens is like, 5,000-years old? Give it a rest. (And yes, I am aware of the fact that if Stevens was in office and died, Palin would just appoint a new Senator and there wouldn't be a special election. But for the love of Pete, let the man enjoy a retirement and develop a new candidate for your party!) I actually like Mr. Stevens. I do not agree with most of the things that come out of his mouth, but you’ve got to give him credit for the pork he brought into Alaska and the sheer amount of time he stayed in the game. But come on. The jig is up. Seriously.

And finally, there's the new Fish and Game regulations regarding black bears. I admit, I'm behind on this one, but it's so disgusting I can't just ignore it. New tactics include using snares and helicopters. Alaska is now the only state that allows either. And it's bullshit. These bears are in remote areas that are ecologically sound. There is plently of game to support our bear populations. And there is no way to keep grizzly bears or moose out of snares set for black bears. It's supposedly to help caribou and moose populations, but it's a crock and a horrible way to 'maintain' populations. I just don't understand how anyone claiming to love the outdoors or claiming to be an ethical hunter could ever support these measures. It's wrong, wrong, wrong.

Okay, rant over. I’ll try to go back to vampires and book reviews now.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


This was the ad I had to deal with when I went to read the paper online this morning:

Sorry, but if you're a Jew, you're not really 'for' Jesus. The entire concept of Jews for Jesus really irks me. For example, take this little ditty directly off their website:

"Jewish people around the world have celebrated Passover for thousands of years; however, most do not understand the ultimate significance of the festival."

Oh really, J4J? I'm sure that an evangelical organization really grasps the significance of Passover much more complexly than most Jews. I mean, Jews are just so relieved that they don't have to be slaves anymore that it's too hard to think about anything else.

I bet Jesus just about pukes when he sees all the blatant bullshit associated with him name. He's too holy to actually smite these sanctimonious antisemites down, but I bet he's sure thinking about it. Way to give all Christians a bad name, assholes!