Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Even my henchmen think I'm crazy, so I can see why you would too."

As early as it is, autumn seems to be in full swing around here. I came to the conclusion last year that Alaska forces people to live in a squirrely kind of way. Everyone up here has a "get-it-while-you-can" attitude, because for so much of the year it's either not possible to get something or it's just too expensive. So I've started my yearly stockpile of goods. Blueberries have actually been in season so I've bought several flats of them at the grocery store. After eating our fill (and making ourselves sick) I've frozen the rest. I've also been freezing as much of my zucchini as possible so that we don't have to pay the outlandish prices for these during the winter. Shane's family will be here this week and they'll bring up more fish and rhubarb for us, which is a little more exciting to me than by rights it should be. Oh well. I think that next summer I want to try canning things, and I may at some point look into how to make cheese. (I've heard that soft cheeses are actually really easy.)
Because of the new season, things are actually gearing up around here. Fairbanks is a true college town, with a large portion of the city depending in some way on the University. Classes start this coming week and students are showing up. At my library, we're going to have to gear up to register new patrons and deal with plenty of questions. Plus, I'll have to start taking a lunch so the portion of my day spent away from home will be an hour longer. I feel bad for my animals because they get really bored in my apartment. At least they have each other. They might ignore each other when we're home, but if I surprise them when I come home they're almost always snuggled up with each other.
The new semester also means that my guy's little brother will be crashing on our couch at least a few nights a week. He'll pay a small amount of rent and help out with utilities and food and chores. And he's a really sweet guy, so it'll be very fun to have him around. I'm looking forward to it.
The guys are planning a moose hunting trip for sometime in late September. Shane invited me, but I told him to go have a guys' weekend. He looked a little relieved, and that amused me. I really hope they get something, both because the meat would be fantastic and because I know it would make them really happy.
I'm going to stay up way too late tonight because the U's gym is having an all-nighter, which includes broomball. Since we haven't gotten to play in over four months, we'll all be rusty but it will be so much fun! I'm excited for it. I enjoy winter, and broomball seems to be the icing on the cake. I've missed it. Say what you will about how long and cold winters are around here. We've found ways to make them enjoyable.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Can you get STDs from a vampire?"

It's been months since I kept a blog or a diary or something, and I missed it. So, this.
Where to start, though? It's been such an up-and-down year. Mostly up, and I don't want to dwell on the down.
I moved out of the dry cabin in Febuary, and I actually miss it sometimes. Mostly when it's my turn to clean the bathroom, but at other times too. I have to remind myself how hard it was in January when the temperature outside was -50 for over a week and the cabin's heater couldn't even keep the inside temp to +60 because it was so poorly insulated. Shane was gone, too, which didn't help. The dog and I huddled under blankets for warmth and there were several nights that I cried myself to sleep. When it's that cold and almost constantly dark, everything seems pretty hopeless.
But now that we're in a nice, warm apartment (with running water!) I can remember the good things about the cabin. And as much as I like my roommate, I did very much enjoy that Shane and I had our own place. The only downside to our current place is that we don't have as much room or as much alone time. Oh well. I remind myself that we now have a dishwasher and I feel better again.
I graduated in May, which was exciting. I was so happy to have (most of) my family here for about a week. My brothers crashed in my living room and we all had a blast. I had a hard time coming up with family-friendly things to do in town, which amused me. But my parents enjoyed driving around and seeing what had changed in the 21 years since they moved away.
I found out soon after graduation that I got a job. A good job. It's actually, at least in my mind, my first grown-up job with benefits and all. Now that the newness has worn off, though, I'm a little disappointed. There's not so much for me to do right now (I get the feeling they're not used to people working as quickly as I habitually do) so I've been doing a lot of busy work, like making spreadsheets of different data about the library. I'm hoping it all picks up a lot when the new semester starts in a couple of weeks.
There have been some amazing moments this summer, though. I went to Hawaii in June for a wedding and that was incredible. If you've never been, go to the island of Kauai. It was gorgeous. There are chickens and cats running free all over the island. (The chickens were brought in originally for cock fighting, while the cats were brought in to try to control the rats that were brought in by whaling ships. None of them has any natural predators on the island.) On the island we got to go ziplining (I can't believe I've never done that before!) and skydiving, which I've wanted to do for years. It was amazing. For weeks afterward, whenever I thought about it, I got the sensation in my chest that I had when we jumped out of the plane. (My first thought was, "No! Wait! Put me back! I don't want to anymore!") When I told my mom about it, she shocked me by saying that she always thought it would be fun. I would never have guessed that about her. So I told her that one day we'll go skydiving together. I think that would be great.
So there you have it. My year up to this point.