Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Officially Temporarily Unemployed

One of the surprising things about the last few weeks has been all the little signs that keep reminding me how lucky I am. On Christmas morning my neighbors invited me up to their apartment for breakfast. They made me a stocking too, exactly like the stockings I used to get as a kid. I really felt like part of their family, like I was being included not out of pity or obligation, but because I belonged there. And that truly is a peaceful feeling. I don't know how else to describe it.

In the afternoon I went to another friend’s house where it has become a custom for all us Christmas orphans to congregate around a gigantic pot of gumbo and watch movies. A few inches of snow, a few great friends, a ton of great food – without my family around, it was about as good as it could have been.

I am nervous about leaving my job. I have basically accepted an internship position that will only last for the next four months. I am not sure what I will do after that yet. It’s a bit unsettling. My former boss didn’t even bother to say goodbye, but I had other coworkers that took me out to lunch and out for a drink and they told me how much they’d miss me and that made my last few days a little less scary.

I have friends in Alaska and Wisconsin that have offered me a place to stay if I ever need it and I have been given a heads up on countless jobs, whether they are a good fit or not. But it makes me happy to know that there are people out there that are watching out for me. I've pretty much decided not to look at jobs up here anymore. If a great job falls in my lap, that would be wonderful, but otherwise I am on the May 24 ferry out of town, which coincidentally will be exactly three years to the day after I moved back. Juneau has a weird way of getting under your skin. But I am getting really sick of cross-country moves, so I have a feeling that if I do leave, I will only be back for visits. The thought of leaving the amazing people that have basically become my family terrifies me. But who knows what tomorrow will bring? All I am focusing on right now is how amazing my support system is and I know that no matter where I end up, there are people in my corner and that is enough right now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 By the Numbers

Trips out of Alaska: 2

Miles flown: 12,992

Beeramids made: 2

Games of Bejeweled Blitz: 1,276 and counting

Layoffs: 1

Jobs applied to: 18
Job interviews: 6
New job offers: 2

Faceplants: 1

Pounds lost: Let's round to 30

Christmas cards mailed: 20

Christmas cards received: 3

Sexual partners: 2

Pregnancies/STD's: 0

Bottles of rum consumed: 3 (At home, doesn't count drinking in bars...)
Plants killed: 1
Books read: 18
Knitting projects completed: 5
Knitting projects started: 11
Cabins visited: 2
Trails hiked: 6 (hiked several of them more than once)
Trails biked: 2
Flat tires changed: 2
Weddings attended: 3

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brrr!

Let's say you own a gas station in Alaska. And let's also say that it is winter. Why on Earth would you stock warm weather windshield washer fluid that freezes in temperatures below 20 degrees? Yeah, you wouldn't. Apparently the person who does the ordering at the gas station near my house didn't get that memo though. And now I get to deal with a very dirty windshield and a huge block of frozen windshield wiper fluid.

At least it was a really beautiful weekend.
Skier at sunset.
Sunset at Mendenhall Lake. I am still not used to skating/skiing/walking on frozen bodies of water but I'm glad I sucked it up and went out!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Last Chance

It's down to the waiting game for the last potential job that could save me from my current uninsured, under-paid fate. I am not holding my breath. I am very sick of rejection at this point. And every time I get that 'sorry-but-we-hired-someone-else' call, I ask if there is anything I could do to improve my interview or my resume. I have never once gotten any helpful feedback from asking, so I don't know why I even bother any more. I keep hearing about how great my interview was and how enthusiastic I am - some have gone as far as actually telling me I was the second choice. They always encourage me to "keep plugging away" because eventually someone will "be lucky to get you". I understand that they just want to get the phone call over with and no one wants to be the bearer of bad news, and even though I am sure it would sting, just once I would like to hear the real reason I wasn't hired. Am I too old? Young? Too fat? White? Sure, some of those reasons would be illegal so I know I will never hear them, but hell, even if it was something like my breath smells - at least I would have something to work on.

Next week is going to suck. I am training for a new job that I am not excited about, and I still have to clean up some stuff at my old job. And now that all my disposable income is gone, I can't go out to eat or drink to try to take my mind off of how miserable my life has become. So, four readers, keep your fingers crossed for me. The odds of me getting this last job are slim to none, but I guess nothing is impossible, right?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scratch that

So, filling out paperwork for the new job this morning I realized that I was wrong and they do not, in fact, offer health insurance. Um, seriously? I thought that was the only thing non-profits had going for them. Crappy pay, but at least you get basic benefits. This job pays crap and doesn't have health or any type of retirement benefits. I no longer feel bad about setting up another job interview this week and I sure don't feel bad about leaving at any point in the near future. Ugh.

Funemployment

Looking over my unemployment ‘benefits’, I realized that my COBRA health insurance is going to be $608 a month. How on Earth is someone supposed to be able to afford that? Between that and rent, unemployment benefits gone. Bam. Seriously, what do you do if you have kids?

Anyway, I don’t actually have to worry about COBRA because I accepted a job offer. You read that right - I have to stop bitching about being laid off now. But don’t you worry, four readers, because I know you only come here to read my venting. Now you will get to hear all about a new job that I’m not really excited about. It’s a pretty significant pay cut, but it is waaaay better than having to ask my parents for help. I don’t really know what I’ll be doing yet so I am not being vague on purpose.

It’s obviously a huge relief to have something figured and I am trying not to think too far beyond that. I feel a little bit guilty because I am pretty sure that I am still going to move back home next fall, so I am taking this job knowing full well that I won’t be there very long. But that is thinking way down the road, which is exactly what I am trying not to do. Besides, knowing me I will have about 50 different plans before the Superbowl, so holding on to one plan all the way until next fall is about as likely as the Lions winning the Superbowl this year. (And I don't want to see any gd comments about the Lions beating the Packers yesterday. I didn't say the Packers were going to win either so just shut it.)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

2010 in Review

Aside from the last month and a half, 2010 has been a pretty damn good year. And even though I have no idea what 2011 is going to bring, I'm kind of excited about it. Hopefully it will be even better.
In March, I went to Maui and by the time I got back to Juneau, I even had a bit of a tan!
This summer I saw a ton of orca. I hate to say that I don't get as excited about humpbacks anymore, but they are just so common around here. It's like getting excited about seeing a deer in Wisconsin. But I still get a rush when I see killer whales. And I saw plenty of them this year. If I end up back in the Midwest in 2011, at least I got to see a lot of whales.
And of course, my sister got married this fall, which was awesome. Best wedding I've been to in a long time. Of course, it helped that I knew pretty much everyone there and got kinda wasted.
Anyway, I've been dwelling on the negative way too much lately and it's time to stop. It is not a resolution because resolutions are stupid, but it's definitely time to move on. I mean, don't get me wrong - I'll still complain about things because that's just the way I roll, but I think there is a difference between wallowing and complaining.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

If you are what you eat...

Then on Sunday, I was a McDonald's breakfast, bar nachos and a foot-long sub made by a guy who was so stoned out of his mind that my sub ended up weighing at least 2-pounds. The healthiest thing I consumed all day was the four Bloody Mary's I had at the bar. I've never been so close to becoming bulimic in my life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Piss Off

It seems like everyone has been having a crappy fall, but I have to admit I am sick of hearing about other peoples problems. Don't get me wrong, I care about my friends and I want them to be happy but I've got my own shit to deal with right now and I am sick of taking care of other people. Why does your break-up or your shitty day at work or your homework or your flat tire or even your birthday denial always require something from me? And how do you not help someone without looking like a total asshole? I want to tell everyone to piss off, but I still care enough to know that I don't want all my friends mad at me.

But I feel like I am getting close to my breaking point. I went out on Saturday night and was nice as pie to random strangers and those friends you have that you only see every once in awhile. The people that never call you if they are in trouble. The ones you don't expect anything from. But I was definitely bordering on bitch with my close friends. I don't want to be that person. I feel like things aren't really that bad for me, but I can't shake this funk I'm in. And I hate that. Normally I overreact initally but then get over things pretty fast. Not having a game plan is messing that all up.

I had a gift certificate for a local hotel this weekend and last night I just sat in the hotel room to be alone. I didn't watch tv or read. I literally just sat there looking out the window being alone. And I didn't think about anything or anyone. And it was fantastic.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When life hands you lemons, go camping

I decided last minute to go camping this weekend and I am super happy I did. It might have been wet and muddy, but it was worth it. Good food, good company, good times.
There wasn't much elevation gain, which made me think it wouldn't be too difficult but the trail wasn't in great shape and it pretty much kicked my ass.
The trail was soaking wet and probably one of the muddiest hikes I've ever been on.
This guy didn't seem to mind being around people at all.
I love the public cabin system in Alaska.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mr. Prudey

Leave it to me to find the one recently divorced prude in Juneau. My date was... basically it wasn't even a date. I was going to say it was a bust, but it wasn't even that. We were supposed to go see a movie, but when he hadn't called and the movie was supposed to start in 30 minutes, I went out with my friends instead. I was completely fine with that because all my friends were having a lot of fun and I didn't want to miss out. Anyway, he finally called about five minutes before the movie started. I told him we should meet up for a drink at some point that evening since we missed the movie. I should have just blown him off.

We texted a back and forth all evening, which is what we have been doing for weeks. I fully admit that I was a bit tipsy but at this point I wanted to either get the ball rolling or figure out now if this whole thing wasn't going to go anywhere. Let me just say that I have no idea where I am going to be six months from now and I am not looking for anything serious. But this guy got divorced this past summer so I assumed that he couldn't really be looking for a huge commitment either. We met for a drink, had mediocre conversation and fooled around a bit. No big deal, right?

Fast forward to the next day. I get a facebook message that says I am "cool" but he feels like I am using him and it feels like a one night stand and this "relationship" is something we will both end up regretting. Um, seriously? Know what makes it feel like a one night stand? You ending it after one night, that's what. And you know what I regret, douchebag? I regret not getting off at all when you seemed pretty damn happy by the time I got out of your stupid Volkswagen. I regret the fact that I picked the one prude in Juneau when for the first time in a really long time I was not looking for anything more than a booty call. Seriously, why do I always pick the losers?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Hazy daze...

Today, like most days recently, I spent the majority of my time staring off into space vaguely wondering what I should do with my life. There are just so many directions I could go right now and none of them seem to be the ‘right’ way. Normally in this situation I would make a pro/con list, albeit a mental one, but that only works when I have option A and option B. Right now I am trying to decide where I want to live, where I want to work and whether I want to go back to school, and there are a lot of combinations of those three things.

Also, my dog is starting to slow down. Unless you know me you don’t realize how much that is impacting all of my decisions. I have been trying to ignore that fact that she is having more trouble with the stairs and her back legs are starting to give out more often, but there is only so much longer I can deny what I am seeing. I hate, hate, hate that she is old. I hate that she doesn’t want to cuddle with me more. I feel like Lennie from Of Mice and Men, I just want to keep petting her all day. I pray every night that when the time comes she will just die in her sleep because I am not sure I am strong enough to let her go when her time comes.

So, that is what I have been thinking about these days. I have not really been thinking about the fact that I have a date tonight. I thought it would be a good distraction, but I have to admit I have not put much thought into it other than to acknowledge that I have to be ready to go around 7ish. I have absolutely nothing in common with this guy. Honestly, I just thought he would be a good winter pastime. And if that makes me slutty, good. I’ve been a prude for way too long.

This blog, like my life right now, is pretty disjointed. But sometimes it just feels good to write.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Well, that's just great.

So, instead of rallying it up in DC all weekend, I caught a cold and got a $457 doctor bill, which is what I get for going to the doctor at all. It's been so long since I went to the doctor even for routine preventive stuff that I completely forgot you have to pay for everything until you hit your deductible. If I had remembered that, I probably wouldn't have opted for so many of the stupid blood panels.

Anyway, at least I stopped drinking so much. This week I am going to start hitting the classifieds big time. I am trying to decide how desperate I am at this point. I don't think I'm bank teller desperate just yet, but I also don't know how long that is going to last. I have been trying not to think about my work situation much, but when I do stop to think about it I can't help but feel angry. I hate being mad about things and I hate holding grudges but I am not sure how to get over something like this. Probably the same way I get over men. I won't be completely over it until I have moved on to another job. I seriously hope that a new job shows up soon...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Evolution of Acceptance

Monday
9:07 a.m. - Go in for a ‘quick meeting’ and end up getting laid off. It was such a surprise to me that I didn’t cry or yell, which in hindsight is a good thing.

10:48 a.m. – Surprise! My boss sends out an all staff email letting everyone know. I really appreciated the whooping 101 minutes they gave me to absorb what was going on and let me process it.

Noonish – Decided I didn’t need to be at work anymore that day.

1:37 p.m. – Cried when I told my mom what happened.

3:02 p.m. – Read about 500 pages of The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which is really good.

5ish – Went for a 3-mile run. Not my fastest time ever, but it felt good.

7ish – Went out for a burger/MNF.

10:15 p.m. – My friend, Jorge, is in a hockey league and had a late game. I decided to go watch. He took a weird hit from the puck and fractured his foot, which took my mind off my day for about 30 minutes.

Tuesday

Slept until almost 10 a.m. Went out and bought a pack of cigarettes, a fifth of rum and a Papa Murphy’s pizza. Finished off all three. Got drunk enough to send this text message:

I know we haven’t really clicked, but it’s winter in Juneau so if you ever want to get together and just make out or whatever, let me know.

It totally worked.

Wednesday

Hungover and facing a trip to my office to box shit up, I have one of the vicodin Jorge got for his foot. I can see why Brett Pervre, er Favre, was addicted to that shit. It’s amazing.

Thursday

At some point in the day, I decide that Corn Nuts and Halloween candy are the way to go and eat nothing else all day. By the second commercial break during Grey’s Anatomy I have abused myself so completely that I throw up.

Friday

Wake up late, throw some shit in a bag and get to the airport just in time to board my flight to DC for the Rally! I think it is interested to note that my former employers sent out an email to all employees saying that they were forbidden to attend the Rally. What a bunch of douchebags. Thank God I am no longer working for them!


Update: Goddamnit motherfucking assmuching cocksucking sonofabitch! I knew this was going to happen. The piece of shit weather in Juneau sucks today and my flight was cancelled and I am not going to make the rally because I live in the shittiest fucking place on the planet. I cannot wait to get the fuck out of Juneau. New plan for the day: took a vicodin, ate some jalapeno poppers, bought enough rum, vodka and beer to supply an army and if I can remember my name by the end of the day then my whole life has lost it's meaning.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More NFL Look-Alikes

Because I have nothing better to do:
Once again, I am starting off easy. Former Chicago Bears quarterback and current major Broncos disappointment Kyle Orton. I'm sure you know where I am going with this one. That's right, he's a dead ringer for Foo Fighters/Nirvana Dave Grohl.
Jets QB Mark Sanchez. Yum. He was a tough one.
I couldn't decide if he looked more like Fez from That 70's Show:
Or Adrian Grenier:
I finally decided on Adrian only because I think he is hotter. And Sanchez is most definitely hot.

And finally, Jim Fassel.
Did you guess this one? He totally reminds me of Robin Williams.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pink Slip

So, when I said that I put in my notice at work, I was exaggerating a bit. My boss was on vacation, so I didn't officially give written notice. On Monday morning, with my boss back we had a "quick" meeting at 9am, which I thought was going to be about a few of our upcoming projects. Instead, I got laid off. I didn't realize how much of a difference there would be between choosing to leave on your own terms in your own time and being told you are done. They handled the whole situation really poorly too.

On the plus side, since I am not quitting, I get unemployment. The down side of that is that unemployment benefits suck and will not cover my monthly expenses even after I have cancelled my gym membership, my farm share, my Internet connection and my Netflix account. I'll still be short $96/month and that is assuming I never spend money on any form of entertainment. Thank God I don't have a kid to support.

I wasn't planning on starting off my week by becoming a statistic.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thoughts of the day

Not at all surprising of the day: Alaska gives every person that lives here oil money each year. This year they sent out just under $1,300. I decided to pay off my car with the money. So on Monday, I was driving behind a douchey SUV when they kicked up a rock that cracked my windshield. When I took it in to get fixed, I was told it was ‘gnarly’ and unfixable. Great. Then, at the gas station another douchey monster truck decided to test his turning radius by ‘bumping’ into my car while I was at the pump. And by ‘bumping’, I mean he rammed into the back hard enough to dent it while leaving his vehicle without a scratch. Then he told me it was my fault for buying foreign. My corolla probably has more parts made in the US than his stupid Dodge Ram, but whatever. That’s pretty much what I get for paying off my car early.

Rally of the day: Only a week until I’m DC bound and I can.not.wait!!! I think Obama is going to be there. I still don’t have a sign idea. Too bad nobody reads this blog anymore to help me out...

Advice of the day: Don’t bring up someone else’s weight loss. Seriously, it’s none of your business. Would you go up to someone and tell them they look like they’ve gained weight? No. I’m sure you think it’s a compliment, but not everyone is going to take it that way. “Wow! You look fantastic, how much weight have you lost?!” Seriously? Fuck you. Now, not only do I feel like I looked like shit before but I also feel like I was as big as a house. I haven’t even lost enough weight to warrant a new pair of pants and you are making such a big ass deal out of 15 pounds that you’d think I just won the Biggest Loser. Shut up.

Oh yeah of the day: My roommate is gone for a few months and she was either going to move out or she needed to get someone to sublet. I didn’t want to lose her as a roommate so for the next four weeks I am living with a guy who is in town from Anchorage. I forgot how much easier it is to live with a boy. It has been a long time since I lived with a guy and I don’t mean to stereotype because I am sure there are exceptions, but it seems like they are in general more chill than females. I have absolutely nothing against my roommate - I’m looking forward to having her come back. But this guy is pretty awesome.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More NFL Doppelgangers

Last year, I blogged about all the doppelgangers there are in the NFL. Perhaps it's because I am hungover and unable to get off the couch today, or maybe it's because that last post still generates most of my blog traffic, but I decided to revisit the topic.

First up, Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. I decided to start with an easy one, so sue me.
I recently saw Alias for the first time, which is probably why I never noticed before how much he looks like Michael Vartan.
Clay Matthews:

He looks like Chris Jericho. Or maybe a roided out Spicoli...
But the one I really noticed today was Miami kicker Dan Carpenter. I don't really know much about the Dolphins, so I have never paid attention to him before.
But he totally looks like a happy little Boromir from Lord of the Rings! It's adorable.
And now that I brought it up, I am going to go watch the Fellowship of the Ring. The perfect cure for a wicked hangover.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Random Thoughts

The weather has been really crappy for weeks now, which is making me realize that I am cutting it really close to get to DC in time for the rally. One plane delay and I could miss the whole thing. I am slightly stressing out about my poor planning.

Recently, I have been shedding way more hair than normal. There is no male or female baldness in my family and I just went to the doctor and I know I don’t have any thyroid issues. (Side note: I also learned that I have, and I quote, “Great cholesterol.”) I am stressing out more than just a little because I don’t have much hair to begin with and I will seriously freak the fuck out if I am going bald. I can’t think of what else could be causing my hair to fall out at such an alarming rate. Every test they did came back normal. And most disturbing of all is the fact that when I google hair loss, there is nothing that can really be done about it. I look stupid in hats. I cannot be a baldie.

I have a super secret job interview! Okay, it’s not really a secret, but I am not telling anyone about it because I am never going to get the job. (Hint: I would be way more likely to be hired for this particular job if I looked more like Jenn Sterger.)

Monday is Alaska Day, which means I have a 3-day weekend. So do state employees. It’s nice living somewhere that just randomly throws in extra paid holidays. (Yes plural, I also get Seward’s Day off.) I will miss that when I am back down south.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Change Will Do You Good

Ok, I did something huge today. I do not have a new job lined up. I don’t have a clue what I am going to do next year. Grad school, move back to Wisconsin without a job, move back with a job, stay in Alaska - who knows?? But I DO know that I cannot stay at my current job. My friend and former blogger, Jorge, can’t understand why I complain about a job that pays me to do nothing. I think he’d last six months tops sitting around sucking at his job every day. No one wants to feel useless at work.

Anyway, I have been complaining about this for awhile and today I got offered a job in Wisconsin. A job I don’t particularly want. A job that would not be a step up or pay anymore than what I make now. A job that would keep me chained to a desk for another few years while I slowly lose interest and look for something ‘better’. I did not accept the job offer.

But I did put in my notice at work.

I know I should be freaking out right now. I basically quit my job - even though I gave plenty of notice and will stick around until the end of the year. I should really be freaking out though. I have no idea what I am going to do next. The economy sucks and I’ve been looking for a job without any success for months. I’m crazy to be quitting a job that gives me health insurance and doesn’t care if I don’t show up until 10 am.

But the only emotion I can drum up right now is relief. I am FINALLY doing something about being unhappy. Yes, maybe I will regret it in March when I have to resort to asking my parents for a loan, but I just have a feeling this is the right thing to do. It’s exciting not knowing what’s in store for the future. Sure, it’s a little nerve-racking but honestly, it’s about time.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hello, October. Now please go away.

...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM AKDT THIS EVENING...
TODAY...RAIN. VERY WINDY. HIGHS AROUND 51. SOUTHEAST WIND
20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 55 MPH.”


Let’s see, rain? Yes. Power outage? Check. Wind? Small craft advisory? You got it. Yep, it’s officially fall. In Wisconsin, you get crisp, clear nights and crunchy leaves to walk through and apple picking. In Juneau, you get cold and wet. Why did I think it would be a good idea to wait until next spring to get out of here again?

Monday, October 04, 2010

I'd like to apologize

For all Alaskan politicians. They all suck. I don't know who to vote for this year. Joe Miller is a horrible, horrible person. The fact that the people of Alaska are dumb enough to push him through a primary makes me angry. And sad. But I don't think Scott McAdams, our 'Alaskan democrat', which basically means he'd be a Republican anywhere else, has a chance in hell of winning. He might have had a chance, but Lisa Murkowski had to become the Ralph Nader of Alaska this year. And while I don't like her, I don't hate her either. And I think she has a better chance of winning that McAdams. I'm sick of voting for the lesser of two evils.

And I cannot believe Feingold might not win Wisconsin. What the hell is going on in this country?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time to Rally!

So, it's almost October in Juneau and it is raining and starting to get dark and you have been in a funk for over a week now.

So what's a girl to do? That's right, I just blew all my frequent flier miles on a ticket to DC for the Stewart/Colbert RALLY TO RESTORE SANITY! (Or, as some prefer to call it, the MARCH TO KEEP FEAR ALIVE!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sparks

It has been really hard for me to get back into the swing of things after my vacation. The days are getting shorter and winter is looming. Once again, I am determined to make the best of winter this year and I'm hoping to get better at skiing, blah, blah, blah. But it is not my favorite time of year so even if I hadn’t just gotten back from a fabulous vacation, I’d probably be a bit depressed.

While I was home, I subjected myself to a blind date. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't date much. In the last two years, I have forced myself to go out with exactly two guys. And I knew going into those dates that I wasn't really interested, but it gets lonely not being in a relationship and you get to the point where you tell yourself that anyone is better than being alone. Then you go out with someone you have no interest in and you decide being alone isn't so bad. I haven't had a spark with anyone since I dated the guy who pretty much broke my heart way back when I still lived in Wisconsin. Honestly, I think I'd forgotten that there even could be a spark. But I started talking to Blind Date Guy about a week before I went home. He seemed like a nice guy. We seemed to have a similar sense of humor. I would go so far as to say that I was actually cautiously optimistic about meeting him. Anyway, in person, we clicked. And now I miss him even though I'm sure it only worked because I was only in town for a few weeks. But it reminded me of what dating can be like. And it made coming back to Juneau that much harder.

I don't know where to even begin meeting someone here. I don't want to meet someone in a bar. I feel like I am always trying to stay busy and try new things, but I never meet any eligible guys. I've tried art classes and I joined a trap team and a book club and a pool (billiards) league. Nothing. I know a pity party doesn't help matters any, but that's about all I've been able to manage this week.

The other thing that was hard to come back to was my job. I have not been happy with my job for awhile now and getting a break made me realize that I really need to do something. I can't sit at a desk in a dead end job for the rest of my life. I have no room to grow and I simply don't like what I am doing right now. I have been talking about doing something different for years, but it's so easy to get complacent. I love Juneau and I love my friends here, but every week is the exact same thing. There is no where for me to go in my job and there are no other jobs in town. I've been looking for over a year now and I know that if I stay here, I am going to do mindless office work for the rest of my life.

My whole point is that I am thinking about leaving Juneau whether I find a job back home or not. I’m toying with the idea of applying for jobs that I never would have considered in the past. Like retail. Store managers at Target or REI or whatever make bank after a few years. And you aren’t chained to a desk all day - you are constantly on the move. I’m sure I’d get sick of that some days, but I’d rather be busy than sitting around with nothing to do. I also started a grad school application. If I don’t find a job, next fall I just might go back to school.

I make plans and then change them ALL the time, but this decision just feels right, you know? Moving back to Wisconsin next year for a job or for school just seems like what I should be doing right now. There are a lot of variables and I know my plans could change but for now, just having a plan is enough. It's far enough in the future that it gives me time to wrap my head around leaving Alaska again. So I can make sure that I do everything I want to do while I am here. It also makes the thought of spending yet another winter here and another holiday away from my family more tolerable. And it gives me time to accept the fact that I am going to have to pack up all my shit for another cross country move. Moving blows.

I guess I have always in the back of my mind considered Alaska a temporary stop. Leaving Juneau the first time around was hard. This time won't be any different. All my friends are here. It is easily the most beautiful place I have ever lived. But when I think about what I want to be doing with my life, it's not playing bejeweled all day at a desk. When I think about my sister having kids, I know that I don't want to be the aunt that lives 3,000 miles away and only sees nieces or nephews once a year.

Basically, I want to put a spark back in my life. My whole life. And this is the first time in a long time that I have been even remotely excited about doing anything. Now I just have to figure out how I am going to get through one last winter here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh crap.

Over three weeks of unlimited fast food, cheese curds and beer, coupled with the fact that I didn't really run the entire time I was home means that I did NOT meet my goal of gaining less than 4 pounds while on vacation... I'd like to say that Taco Bell was worth it, but that is, in fact, a lie. Sigh.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I finally get a brother-in-law!

It's finally time for the wedding and I'm actually really excited about it. Plus, there's a hot tub at the hotel and I've been looking forward to that since July. I realized today that I don't have my speech done though, so I am pretty much just going to wing it. Oops. I am the worst maid of honor ever. Oh well, I really don't think that my sister is going to care. I mean, seriously, who even remembers the toasts anyway?
The bachelorette party was a big success! The cookies turned out awesome and the bride & groom really seemed to like their hats...
I can't believe my vacation is almost over. Apparently, I missed absolutely gorgeous weather for the last week and a half in Juneau. I am a little bummed out about that, but it's been amazing here too, so it's hard to complain. (You're shocked, I know. But that's what happens when I go on vacation. Don't worry, I'll be back to my old bitchy self in no time!)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Summer fling, don't mean a thing...

Vacation is going well. Maybe a bit too well. I don't want to go home. I can't and don't want to wrap my head around everything that has been going on. And I am not even going to try until I'm back home and I've had time to process... everything. For now, I am going to go back to my lazy day of reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest in the hammock in the backyard. With a cocktail.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peace Out, Bitches!

I met all my personal goals for the 5k I ran on Saturday and I have to admit, it felt great. There’s another one in October and I am going to sign up for it just because I know the next few weeks are going to be filled with eating lots of fast food and sitting on my ass. But after that one, I think I either need to move up to a 10k or find a triathlon I can enter.

Anyway, now that the race is over, I am pretty much ready for vacation! In what I am sure will be a humiliating decision I will regret forever, I agreed to go out with a guy I do not know while I’m home. I don’t want to call my ex-boyfriend and I thought hanging out with someone else seemed like a good way to keep my mind off him. I’ve talked with this blind date guy and I was honest with him about the fact that I live in Alaska and I’m leaving at the end of the month. He seems nice. But is there ever anything that isn’t awkward about set ups? I’m already sort of dreading it. I’m sure it will make a fantastic blog post at least. Sigh.

I’m as ready as I’m going to be for this trip. I have the weddings covered and I already got tickets for a Brewers game. Unfortunately, it’s a game against the Cubbies, so the odds are it is going to be a painful game, but at least there will be racing sausages. I don’t think I’ll get too bored and it looks like the weather is going to cool off a bit right when I get there so I won’t die. Basically, I’m totally ready. Check you all on the flip side.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Run, Forrest!

I am a horrible runner. I don’t even think you would technically classify what I do as ‘running’ - it’s more of a jog. I have been very slowly getting the teensiest bit better this summer but I’m never going to win any races. That’s actually what I like about running though, I don’t have to beat anyone else and I can still win if I improve my time. I’m running a 5K next Saturday. I ran my very first 5K ever back in June and it wasn’t pretty. I had to walk for part of it and it took over 39 minutes. Ugh. I’m not sure what my goal is this time. Originally I wanted to get below 35 minutes, but I ran 3.1 miles at the gym last night in under 34. Yes that was a treadmill, but I usually go faster outside as long as it’s not too steep and this course is super flat. Considering I only signed up for this as something to keep my mind off my vacation, I think I am going to not set a goal and just run for the ‘fun’ of it. Also, don't tell George Lucas, because he is a copyright Nazi, but the Star Wars bachelorette party invites are pretty much done. BOOYA!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Epic Sun Days!

Juneau is nestled between mountains right along the ocean. I have never lived anywhere more beautiful and when it is sunny out, I think it's almost a sin to stay inside. This weekend was epic. Not a cloud in the sky and temperatures reaching close to 80. While most of the town was out on the water for the Salmon Derby, I decided to fit in a few last hikes of this summer. It's not often we get this much sun this late in the season and I wasn't about to waste it!
Devils Club is a bitch to hike through. It's covered in brittle spines that leave crazy welts if you don't watch where you are going. It makes good syrup though...
Starting up Mt. Juneau, a trail that eventually kicked our ass. I have never been so overwhelmed by bugs in my life...
Looking out at Douglas Island and Spuhn Island from John Muir cabin. I can't believe how lucky I am to live here sometimes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Less than 36 hours to go...

As a going away present, they went 24 hours without one accident. Hallelujah. I can't wait to get my life back.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Pugatory

Accident count to date: I lost count on day 4. There was one day with only a single accident, but they are averaging around three each day. I actually hope for poop because it's a lot easier to clean up. It is sick and sad and wrong that I actually hope there is shit on the floor when I go home. Sigh. I had to trim one of the pug's nails (or are they claws?) because they were so long they were starting to curl under and make it hard for him to walk. I don’t get how people who spent thousands of dollars on doggie chemo can ignore the simple stuff like that. Now that I am getting to know the dogs better, it is getting a bit easier. They are sweet dogs, I just want to sleep for more than 3 hours at a time.

The plus side of this dog sit is their DVD collection. We have the same taste in books and movies, which I am basing solely on the fact that they have a bunch of Guy Gavriel Kay books and all of Battlestar Galactica. If I have to be stuck inside hovering over a pair of decrepit pugs, at least I can have The West Wing on in the background.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Only You Could Be So Bold

I know it is stating the obvious, but I am all kinds of awesome. I am especially awesome these days to anyone who likes Star Wars. My sister is not the kind of girl to dress up and go bar hopping wearing a fake tiara for a bachelorette party. In fact, I am quite positive that she does not own a single dress. She is borrowing a wedding dress and the fact that she won’t be wearing pants is sort of freaking me out. Anyway, her friends wanted to throw her a Star Wars themed bachelorette party. Sure, why not?So, instead of a tiara, she gets to rock this bad boy all night long. Unless it’s warm out because the hat is hella hot.

I didn’t want her fiancĂ© to feel left out, since we’re meeting up with the boys at some point, so I went ahead and made him a little something something too. Behold, R2D2! Apparently there is a competition to see who comes up with the better party, the boys or the girls. Rumor has it their plan involves a stripper dressed up like a clown and a meat packing plant. They are definitely going to win for the most terrifying experience ever. I hate horror movies and if I ever came across a stripper dressed up like a clown in real life, I am pretty sure I would shoot him. And I am pretty sure that is legal. I’ve never heard of a more clear case of self defense. Just the thought of it makes my skin crawl.

Instead of giving my sister nightmares for the rest of her life, we’re just having a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt. I’m sure there will be some debate over who ‘won’. I just want my sister to have a good time. I don’t see how she could possibly have a bad time wearing Princess Leia buns.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

F*&$ing Rant of the Day

Admittedly, I am in a bad mood. I was woken up at 3am and then again at 5am by the ancient pugs I am dog sitting, and yet I still had a fresh pile of shit to deal with when my alarm finally went off. I’ve been going home every day at lunch time to let them out and there has been an accident every.single.time. My life for the next two weeks is going to consist of cleaning up dog pee and smelling like dog pee. I have pretty much accepted this fate. I mean, they are old. They can’t help it. I just have to keep reminding myself that I need new brakes. Plus, I mean, I am doing it already – it’s not like I can back out at this point.

BUT, everyone in Juneau is acting like an asshole today. I HATE driving downtown during the summer. Tourists are the dumbest pieces of shit sometimes. Note to my three readers: if you are ever on vacation try to keep in mind that people actually live there. No matter how beautiful the place may be, unless you are actually in Disneyland, it is not fucking Disney! Sidewalks are there for a reason, the street is not just a really wide wheelchair accessible walkway for you to mosey along at your own pace. Yes, some people may even drive there!

And there must be something in the water today because Juneau drivers were out in spades to compete for the title of biggest douche. I already know that most people born and raised in Juneau can’t drive worth shit. (My theory is that people who live in rural areas never learn how to drive.) Downtown Juneau is teeming with one way streets, no left turn intersections and dead ends. Today, everywhere I went some asshole was going the wrong way down a one way, illegally parked blocking the entire fucking street or blowing through a stop sign like the extra three seconds you gain from that might actually matter. It’s Juneau, for fucks sake. There are 40 miles of road total and virtually nothing out passed mile 20. What’s the damn rush?

Tonight all I have to look forward to is going back to a dirty-ass housesit and cleaning up dog poop, which means I am going to stay in this bad mood for the foreseeable future. (Seriously, I am messy, but there is a big difference between messy and dirty and if I’d rather shower at the gym than at your house, it’s dirty, not messy. Also, who leaves a house sitter dirty dishes, a full trash can and piles of junk all over every available surface? I had to wash a plate for dinner. There are even stacks of stuff on the stove top. I had to move them to turn on the burner. And it wasn’t a potholder or something, it was Ziploc baggies and a phone book. Really?) Maybe tonight I’ll get more than 5 hours of sleep at least…

Friday, July 23, 2010

I now own a dress!

I just bought a dress for wedding #2 of the summer. Wedding #1 was a Juneau affair, so I wore rubber shoes and jeans. Yes, I'm serious. That's just how we roll up here. And it's awesome. I haven't owned a dress since, um... OH! I remember. I had to buy a dress for a wedding two summers ago, but then I spilled bleach on it and it got ruined. Every wedding since then I've just worn a skirt or whatever. I am not exactly what anyone would call a fashionista. Actually, why does anyone use that word? It's stupid.

Now that I have a snazzy new dress. I am ready to DANCE! Know who else likes to dance? My friend, Miz Bitch. It wouldn't surprise me if he knew the entire Napoleon Dynamite dance. In fact, I think Miz Bitch needs to accompany me some where we could show off our impressive moves. You know, since we are going to be in the same part of the country and I am awesome and only an idiot would pass up the chance to hang out with KaDonk. Think about it, Miz.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Smarty Pants

I was having dinner with some friends the other night and I can’t remember how the topic came up but at some point we began talking about what we’d do if we had one wish. And I said that sometimes I think I would wish to be dumber. Sure, there are times – plenty of times – when I wish I had more money, or that I weighed less. There are times when I am less selfish and would use a wish on peace, or better universal health care. I’m sure that if I was ever actually granted a wish I’d use it on the environment, but that’s not the point of those kinds of conversations. ‘What-would-you-wish-for’ conversations are to indulge in a fantasy world and be completely selfish.

And I wish I were dumber.

Everyone looked at me like I was crazy and as the conversation continued, it because clear that I was the only one that had ever thought that before. I know I am smart when I choose to be but I can be incredibly lazy. I’ve heard about my ‘potential’ my entire life. Sometimes I feel the weight of that wasted potential crashing down on me. I think about how if I had applied myself at all, I could have been a biologist or a CIA agent or an epidemiologist. I could have been making a difference. Instead, I spent yesterday watching Up at work. (Super adorable movie. I said I wouldn’t cry but was crying less than 12 minutes into it. Thank God I have my own office.)I don’t mean to sound conceited, but I am too damn smart to be wasting my life mailing out membership reminders and writing $5,000 grants. It just seems so daunting at this point to go back to school, especially since I have to pay for car repairs by dog sitting. I thought that by this point in my life I would have accomplished something. At least if I had an IQ of 75, I probably wouldn’t be aiming any higher.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Heart Pugs

When I first got to Juneau, I was an AmeriCorps volunteer, which means I was always broke. Like, way more broke than I am now. Although, food stamps almost made it worth it. Anyway, being an AmeriCorps member also meant that six of us lived in a 3-bedroom house to keep rent costs down. My ‘bedroom’ was a closet. A large one, but a closet nonetheless. My mother greatly enjoyed telling people all year that I was ‘in the closet’. She’s a funny lady. The year I was doing AmeriCorps, I was willing to housesit for anyone and everyone. The chance to have an entire apartment /house all to myself was not something I took for granted. I house sat for a family with chickens, I took care of dogs and cats and some parrots (or parakeets or something). There was pretty much nothing I would turn down.

But now I have an apartment that I really like in my favorite part of town. House sitting has lost all of its appeal. Unfortunately, I still never have much money, so when I was offered $300 to watch two old pugs for 13 days, I didn’t say no. Hell, this dog sit is going to cover the cost of my new rotors. Well, it’s going to cover part of the cost anyway. Man, I love being a grown up!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Long story short: I made tacos.

Driving back up to Juneau with Pint as my copilot, I relied on several books on tape to keep me awake. I normally don’t like books on tape. The act of physically holding a book and sitting with a book and becoming completely absorbed in the story… you just don’t get the same overall experience with a book on tape. But I did discover that books on tape are a great way to pass the time when you are driving. I listened to Water for Elephants, which I really enjoyed (and might have even made me cry). Of course, now it is being made into a movie with the Twilight vampire and Reese Witherspoon, which means there is a very good chance the movie is going to blow so much that I will never think fondly of the book again. The other books I listened to were Charlie Wilson’s War (liked) and Julie & Julia. Julie & Julia, hmmm.

Having very little to do at work in the summer, lately I've been watching instant movies on Netflix and Julie & Julia was one of my Netflix recommendations. Having "read" the book, and thinking it was only so-so, I didn’t really plan on watching the movie, but it just kind of happened. I think it’s a rare instance of the movie actually being better than the book. I am not a chef and the book was bogged down with cooking specifics, which I am sure some people absolutely loved, but it made it hard for me to get in to.

Because of obvious time constraints, the movie glossed over most of the actual cooking. And Amy Adams was able to make even Enchanted almost watchable. I ended up actually enjoying the movie. So of course, I had to look and see if Julie Powell had written anything else since J&J. She has. It’s called Cleaving: A story of marriage, meat, and obsession. After signing her book deal, Mrs. Powell had a two-year affair and became a butcher. Whoa. That’s pretty badass. And she had the balls to write about her affair. It almost makes me want to read her new book. Almost. Until I picture the epic mental struggle she writes about in excruciating detail. If she can churn out an entire chapter on a single piece of beef, imagine what she can do with the guilt of cheating on her ‘saintly’ husband. No, thank you.

However, after watching the movie and then reading a bit about Julia Child online I did get the itch to cook something. (And can I just say that I really think Julia Child and I would have been great friends. She sounds like a hoot. Yes, I said hoot. Deal with it.) So last night I made blackened halibut tacos with a yummy cabbage cole slaw thing. And they were good. Damn good, if I do say so. And I had fun making them. I also made soup last week and banana bread. I’m beginning to see what all the fuss is about.