Sunday, September 27, 2009

"When you love 'em, they drive you crazy because they know they can."

So much has happened this last week, and yet so little that I'm not sure what to say, really. I was invited by my brother's fiance to be one of her bridesmaids, which I'm really excited about. Not only have I never gotten to do that before, but it kind of makes the wedding seem more real. Now it's not just something that I have to get to, it's something that I get to plan for and be a part of. It's going to be really fun, I can tell.
It was also the first time I've ever spoken to said fiance, so that was cool too. She said she wanted to ask me in person, but that's kind of tough since we live so far apart. We'll meet each other at Christmas but she didn't want to wait that long to ask me.
It's been snowing here the last couple of days, but it's not really sticking. I'm not really a fan of this in-between weather because it just makes everything wet. I don't like wet. I'd rather get the first real snowfall of the year out of the way. It's much easier to dress for because then I'll know I can definitely pull out my boots. I'd feel a little silly doing it now when there's no snow.
I started catching the bus this last week in preparation for snow, too. It was sleeting last Tuesday, and when I was going home I discovered that the brakes on my bike don't work so well when they're frozen. They moved just fine, but couldn't grip the metal. That's kind of scary to discover when going downhill at a fast clip with a car behind. Especially when there's a roundabout at the bottom. I had to make a really sharp turn, and luckily didn't crash. But I decided to put the bike away for the winter. And the bus is really nice. I was so nervous the first day (I've never caught a bus in Fairbanks before), but it stops two blocks away from my apartment and drops me off right across the street from my building. Even better: the University got a grant that makes the buses free for anyone affiliated with the U. All I have to do is show my University card and I don't have to pay. Yay! I hope the grant holds out at least as long as I'm working here.
I've also been trying to figure out car stuff, too, though. I don't want a car so that I can start driving to work, but it's nice to have reliable transportation for the winter around here. Especially for those days when I'll have appointments away from campus, like for the dentist and the eye doctor. (BTW, saw the eye doctor on Friday, which was really nice. Yay, insurance!) Plus, when it's -50, will I really want to hang around for the bus? Even with a full set of longjohns on, it's cold to stand in weather like that. I could do what Brad does and just take vacation time and stay home when it's that cold, but I don't really want to have that as my main plan. I think, though, I'll probably just try to get my car running and use that through this winter so that I can build up some savings before buying a car, which would be another used one, anyway, but one that's, you know, newer than 16 years old.
On the other hand, if I bought one before Thanksgiving, we wouldn't have to rent another vehicle to get down to Shane's parents' house....
Last night was Starvation Gulch. So much fun, but it felt colder this year. Maybe the fires weren't as big? Groups of people go around town for weeks before this event begging or stealing pallets from businesses, gathering the giant cable spools if they can find them, and just generally getting wood that is great for a bonfire. Then, the day of, they build structures with them and at 10:00 that night, they get doused in gasoline and lit on fire. The fire department's bonfire this year was just a tower of pallets, but with a wooden replica of a fire truck and ladder that also caught on fire. The engineering department's had a tree on top that was supposed to be part of a catapult. I didn't hear if it was successful or not. I thought I saw something, but I was in the crowd and not able to see the fire very well. The one fraternity on campus made one in the shape of a boat that said "Tradition", which is kind of lame because of what they did. Years and years ago, the campus went dry. (Was this in the sixties or seventies?) Anyway, someone encased a beer can in concrete and wrote on it, "Here lies tradition." So it's the tradition stone, which traditionally makes an appearance at Starvation Gulch (it's hidden the rest of the year) and there's a big chase with people trying to steal it. Very fun, especially since the thing weighs hundreds of pounds and you need a truck just to cart it around. Well, the frat has it now and they only brought it to the fire for about ten minutes before the fires were even lit. People were pissed about this, because that's going against the tradition of trying to lure people into stealing it. The girl they stole it from is a friend of mine who graduated in May, as well, so she was fine passing the stone along to someone else. But, she said, she was tempted to go steal it back from them since they weren't doing it properly.
Yeah. Really it's just a big chance to celebrate, see friends you haven't seen all summer, and enjoy the beginning of the winter. Because it always snows for Starvation Gulch. I enjoyed it.
The other big thing that happened this past week feels kind of funny to just say. My dad had heart surgery to correct a collapsed artery. They put a stent in, and he says he's feeling much better. Which is the point. It's just weird because my parents, while they are definitely Old People in some ways, I really don't think of them as being old or having old people health problems. I told my dad that he at least has to live to be as old as my grandfather (who is nearing 90, despite what doctors have said in the past about how long he has to live) and my dad said, "Don't worry, your mom and I have plans for our hundredth wedding anniversary. We're going dancing." That would put them both at 121. I approve, as long as they can still dance. If my dad ever gets to be more machine than man (as he jokingly assured us he isn't yet), I'm pulling the plug. = )

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Put a little Blaine in it!"

They didn't get a moose. Oh well. We still have some moose meat in the freezer, so hopefully we won't run out by next hunting season.
And Shane is home! I called around 6:00 to see when he'd be home, and he said at least two hours. I bugged him to see if he was bringing home pizza from The Moose's Tooth (great pizza, and he and James were talking about stopping there for weeks before this trip). He wouldn't give me a straight answer, so I figured he was and I just had a piece of toast instead of dinner. Then, from about 8:00 onwards, I kept running to the window whenever a big truck drove onto our street. That animals knew that something was up and were very on edge. The kitten finally camped out on the table by the window, whereas Pepper jumped up every time I did to run to the window. Shane had warned me that they might end up going straight to our volleyball game, so his return was actually a surprise to me. I'd given up and gone to get changed when I heard the door open. Of course I ran out and tackled him. It even took a few minutes for him to give me my dinner--not pizza, something better. A Jersey Sub. Yum. I had just enough time to eat half of it and for us to catch up really quickly before we raced off to volleyball. Where we lost both games. But we scored in the double digits both games, and that's certainly a plus for our team. We're so bad, and it's so funny.
It was sleeting today while I was at work. And they still haven't turned on the heat in my building because of the renovations. My boss called and they said Friday. Friday! The weather report calls for sleet and snow all week and they want to wait until friggin' Friday to heat the building that was cold when it was 90 degrees outside this summer? Grr! We've been freezing.
We've been working on cleaning up some of the cataloging stuff, which confused Shane when I tried to explain all of it and would probably be boring to read about. But the short of it is, we've actually had some work to do so it's not so boring. This afternoon actually passed pretty quickly, so I was pleased.
None of the snow has stuck yet, but I'm thinking that tomorrow I should start trying to catch the bus. The biggest problem is, I don't actually know where the bus stop on my road is. I should look that up, but last time I tried the website wasn't really clear. Oh well. Trial and error it is.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"There you go, that's for you darling."

We made pie for dinner. Cherry pie. Lucy didn't know how to make pie, and that was one of the things she wanted to do this weekend so we did. And then I didn't feel like making an actual dinner (what's the fun in cooking just for myself? Lucy didn't want food either) so we just had pie for dinner. Ruth, Lucy's sister-in-law, came over for pie as well. We watched the movie "Chocolat" (and promptly wished we'd made something chocolate for dinner instead) and had our pie.
I also managed to dig up my potatoes this morning. Yay! While I was doing it, I thought that maybe I should re-name this weekend as the hunter-gatherer weekend. I got a decent amount of potatoes, though, considering the fact that I only planted I think fifteen plants. And next year I'll have the whole garden plot to myself, I think, so I can plant more. It's cool, though, because I did red and blue potatoes. The red ones produced more and bigger potatoes, so I'll concentrate on those next year. But the blue ones make great chips so Shane will be happy.
I was also thinking, while digging up the potatoes (it's like a surprise, not knowing how many you'll get or how big they'll be!) how crazy it would be to do that and wonder if you'd have enough to feed your family through the winter. Can you imagine? I have so much respect for the pioneers. That would have been so tough.
I also gathered my tiny carrots, since there is a snow advisory out for this week. (Starvation Gulch is next weekend, and it always snows, at the latest, the night of Starvation Gulch so this is fully expected.) I do mean tiny carrots, too. I told my mom they were one- to two-bite carrots. But tiny carrots is better than no carrots. And if the guys get a moose, we can celebrate next weekend with a moose roast with my vegetables. (Actually, we'll probably do that anyway.)
And I haven't heard yet if they got a moose today. They didn't yesterday. Shane called me to ask if I was all right (different story, hold on) and said they saw plenty of cows with babies, but no legal moose yet. I'm hoping the silence today is because of all the hard work in cutting up the moose meat. (No, it's not callous. Moose live as well as any animal could expect, and hunting them is better than slaughter houses.)
Anyway, yesterday Lucy and I went for our 15 mile bike ride around Farmer's Loop. We were going to start going swimming, but decided that it would be better to bike while we can and move into the (indoor) pool when it gets too cold and snowy to bike. Since we had to stop biking earlier this summer due to smoke, and then Lucy getting married and all that entailed, this is the first time in about 2 months that we've been able to do this ride. Neither of us remembered it being as difficult as it is. The whole first eight miles is in a generally uphill direction, until finally there's one giant downhill that's so much fun and it gets way easier from there on out.
After the bike ride we watched "Cold Mountain" (so sad), then went grocery shopping and finally went back to my place to watch more chick flicks. ("Moonstruck"--so bad, I kept having to remind Lucy that it's from the 80's, because "what's with the hair??!"--and "Confessions of a Shopaholic".) I also made plum jam, for which I'm rather proud of myself. I've never made jam by myself, and haven't made it at all since about middle school, maybe earlier. I was slightly injured, though, because I had to sterilize the jars and when I was trying to get them out, boiling hot water splashed up and hit the right side of my face around my eye. Not fun. I had to ice my eyelid and cheek for most of the evening after that. It's better today, though, just slightly tender and hardly red at all. And now I have jam! I kind of feel like a hausfrau with my accomplishments for the weekend: dug up potatoes and carrots; made bread; made jam. But it was fun. I have no idea if the jam will be good at all, but I'll give some to Hannah and to Lucy if it is. (Hannah couldn't come over for pie today because she had massive amounts of homework, plus work tonight.)
Now if only I could get my animals to stop pouting because Shane is gone, all would be well.
Actually, when Shane comes back, then all will be well. I have bizarre dreams when he's not around. Like the one that woke me up yesterday morning in which he nearly got arrested for car theft and I stole toilet paper from someone who wanted to charge me $10.50 to use a bathroom. This morning was much better because I don't remember what dream woke me up, but once I woke up it was nice to snuggle with the dog. And then the kitty came in to purr at me and allow me to pet him and I got to just lie there, very content. I wish every morning could be like that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"You shat on my music!"

Lucy and I kicked off our Weekend Without Boys (they're off moose hunting until Monday) tonight by watching "27 Dresses". And loving it. What else we have planned for the weekend: tomorrow night I'm cheating by playing softball with guys; Saturday we're going for a bike ride (since we still can) and then watching girl movies the rest of the day; Sunday we're making plum jam, pies with Hannah, and probably watching more movies. Oh, and at some point this weekend I want to harvest my potatoes.
Lucy also found out two days ago that she can officially work in the U.S. again. Yay! She's looked so much happier. And she doesn't even have to job hunt, because the guy who owned the coffee shop she worked at told her that he'd keep a place for her. So as soon as they can work her into the schedule she'll be going to work.
I am hating work lately. It's boring, and I feel like I'm wasting my time. Part of it is because the people before me and Katherine apparently did NOTHING (literally, I've been told that several of them did nothing but watch T.V. shows online) and part of it is because of budget cuts, so we don't have as many journals to check in or as many books to add to the collection. *sigh* At least it's given me time to catch up on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Even that couldn't keep me entertained, although they were very funny.
And the animals, or at least one of them, have/has started pooing on things. It's hard to tell which one. I actually think it might be Zap because a) Pepper has started ringing the bells to be let out, b) there's not much poo in the litter box and c) after I discovered poo on my music tonight, Zap tried to scratch the carpet to cover it up. I'm really not happy about this development.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"My couch pulls out, but I don't."

Yep, it was Trivia night again. Only it wasn't as fun this week, because I can't stand the guy who was running it. He's just egotistical and conceited. He'll ask general knowledge questions, but give the wrong answer. One of his questions tonight was something like, "Who was the eighth president of our nation?" The answer he gave was George Washington, based on I don't know what, but his wording was supposed to be the hint. Also, half of his questions are about Scotland because his family is Scottish, but they'll be stupid questions! "What symbol is on my family's coat of arms?" One of my favorites of all time was when he asked, "Which of these animals have I NOT eaten?" Yeah, those kinds of questions are bullshit, as far as I'm concerned. Luckily, Donald will be back to lead next week (I heart Donald!) and after that there will be the Symphony to keep me busy on Tuesday nights.
Speaking of which, despite my good intentions, I have only practiced once since our last rehearsal. !!!! It was a good practice, but, you know, these things take time.
I finally got a new battery for my car this last weekend. I biked over to a parts store nearby and when the girl at the counter saw what I was buying she said, "Wait, you didn't walk here, did you?" I said, "No, I biked." She gave me rather a funny look for that one, but I thought it was easy enough to strap the battery to the thingy (yes, thingy) on the back of my bike and get it home. It was heavy, but that didn't take long to get used to.
And now I have a running car for the first time since June! Sort of! A couple of times when I've gone out to start it, it hasn't actually started. Both times Shane has started it, it's been perfect. He keeps asking me what I'm doing wrong when I start it, and I'm wondering how it's possible to start a car wrong. We almost had an actual argument about this the other night. But the two times I've driven it, it's seemed a little funny and jumpy to me, so I really don't think it's something I'm doing. Probably it's just because it's been sitting there for three months, it's low on oil, and I should probably top off the gas tank just to be sure. On the plus side, I don't have to rely on it this winter for work. I was planning to walk over to campus and take the shuttle, but that fell through because of budget cuts and them taking away the only convenient bus routes. So I can catch a city bus. The downside to this is that I have to get up about 20 minutes earlier, and I am so not looking forward to it. I have a hard enough time getting out the door as it is. And I don't think Shane realizes that I was content to let my car be dead all summer because that forces me to bike, or use public transport. When my car runs, it's easy to be lazy. I'll just have to keep reminding myself that I'm saving over $400 by not buying a parking pass for campus, not to mention all that gas money.
Shane and I have been talking lately about what we'll do if our roommate doesn't want to keep living with us after the lease is up in Feb. He really doesn't seem to enjoy the pets that much. When we took off for the fair that weekend, I don't think he paid attention to them beyond giving Pepper some food. (Zap had plenty of food, and I asked Lucy to come over to let Pepper out.) The response: Zap used the bathtub as a litter box all weekend. Which pissed Chris off. And I can understand that, they're not his pets. But we still have to think about what we're going to do. He certainly makes enough (in the military) to live on his own, someplace more convenient to where he works (about 45 minutes away from here), and I wouldn't be surprised. He's been acting pretty oddly for the past few months, never coming out with us on weekends or anything. Actually, he doesn't really go out with anyone. He locks himself in his room and talks to his long-distance pseudo-girlfriend. Someone asked if he's depressed, and I don't think so, but I've been trying to keep an eye on him anyway.
The other big news is that Shane's computer had a meltdown. Isn't it lucky that I have a new one? Which he has basically commandeered? With my permission, but still. He's changed things around! That's why it's been so long since I've posted, I haven't really had the use of my computer. And it would still feel weird to me to spend work time blogging. Even though we have nothing else to do. I went to the Chancellor's Convocation today, and loved that it took about two hours. He had some really good things to say, too, about the goals for the University. I guess the theme for this year is sustainability. One of Shane's coworkers got to talk about her project in the greenhouses, growing vegetables for the eateries on campus, which is very cool. And one professor who spoke talked about how we're on the forefront of things like global warming. I really liked one thing he had to say: that the earth has always changed, and so we can't make our planning for the future static. We have to be adaptable to what will be, not what we want it to be. And we need to change our actions so that things change in good ways, which is why a lot of the research done on campus is so important because all of the fields of study are being integrated so that knowledge can be put to practical application. I think that's cool.
And speaking of practical application, the Borough has decided that they're going to impose a 5 cent bag tax on all plastic bags given out by companies making over 1 million/year. I actually think it's pretty cool, and am hoping that this will make me remember to bring my reusable bags more often. The money will go to fund recycling programs in the area.
Anyway, on the way back up to the office (after getting some of the free Hot Licks ice cream, of course; flavor: Nanook Nosh) I checked my mail. Shane had told me that his mom was sending me a thank you card, but he wasn't sure what for. Turns out, it's basically a thank you to me for dating him, and putting up with him. I laughed so hard. She even put in an Old Navy gift card so that I can buy something "frivolous". When I got home, of course I showed Shane. He read it and said, "Wow, thanks Mom. Glad I've got your vote of confidence." But he laughed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"They're just for convenience. Like hookers."

Yes, all of the blog titles are either from conversations I've had recently or are relevant to what's been happening in my life. How sad is that?
Pub Trivia started up again! And our team (Revenge of the Nerd Herd) rocked this week. We beat the next closest team by 20 points, which is especially great because usually people only win by a few points. Spencer and Hannah came with a bunch of their friends (so excited to be 21 now) to make their own team. It was a funny atmosphere, though, because we were the only one of last year's regular teams to show up, so no one else quite got our jokes. Donald was running Trivia, and we had spent an entire random evening last spring shouting, "Happy birthday, Donald!" every time we saw him, even got the band to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, and it wasn't his birthday. So one team named themselves Happy Birthday Donald, and no one else but our team got the joke. Maybe they're all too young. It's been really funny to see all the newbies, because they look so young and so excited by their new privileges. Spencer, the econ major, can't seem to wrap his head around the fact that the Pub isn't a for-profit venture but simply a safe place for people to hang out and drink if they wish to. (They had free root beer for Trivia!) All of the money they make goes to pay wages, buy more alcohol (no hard liquor), or pay for bands to play--Gangly Moose and Sweatin' Honey, hell yes!
For only the second time this summer, I missed Shane's softball game last night. Lucy and I went swimming instead, which was fun. The pool was super crowded, but Lucy reminded me, "Three weeks from now, it'll be empty. Everyone starts off strong before they get too busy." I think we're going to try to go swimming every Wednesday.
But because I missed softball, I missed Shane getting his chin split open. He called me after the second game (apparently they all played like trash and I didn't miss anything else) to tell me what had happened. It's a two inch gash right along his chin from a ball that bounced funny and just missed hitting him in the mouth. When I asked if he was going to get stitches he said, "No, we're going to the movie '9'. But if Mitch can find his stuff, he might stitch me up." Mitch is not a doctor. Mitch is going to be a doctor, but Mitch is not a doctor yet. Sometimes Shane tries my patience. And actually, having Mitch stitch him up would be better than what's happened instead, which is Shane just taping his chin closed because "you're not getting a doctor or a needle anywhere near my face". Apparently Mitch couldn't find his suture kit or whatever he was going to use. *Sigh*
I ended up mostly waiting up for Shane last night. I think I fell asleep about 20 minutes before he got home, on his side of the bed so that he'd have to wake me up and I could see the damage he'd done to himself. It doesn't look too bad, and he did have a scar there anyway. But I would feel better if he'd gotten stitched up.
Because I stayed up late, I was exhausted this morning and stopped at the Wood Center to get tea on my way to work. A friend held the bus for me, so I didn't miss my usual one, but we were later getting to my building than usual. Apparently my boss was late, too, and someone was waiting when she got there. I was only six minutes late, so she couldn't have been more than three or four minutes late, but it was enough that Katherine and I were reminded during our meeting today that we all need to be on time because otherwise we'll have patrons waiting and we don't want that. Am I allowed to be irritated by this? I'm biking further in the mornings now because the U changed the schedule of buses, making the only convenient buses run at very inconvenient times. She knows this, and also knows that I usually get to work before she does. So why am I getting scolded?
Other than that, work has just been work. I'm finding ways to stay busy, but not as busy as I'd like. I'm actually kind of worried that this job is going to put me into a pattern of doing nothing but busy work and wasting time, because there really isn't enough to do. I hope these habits don't stick, because I don't actually like wasting time. I know I should be thankful that I have a decent job (although I am starting to realize how little I get paid; it's a lot for me, but in the overall scheme of things it's not that much) but I wish we were busier. And we won't be busier until the economy recovers, which means we'll get more grant money and more donations.
The leaves are very definitely starting to fall and the air is a bit chillier today. I hope this doesn't mean that our Indian summer is over, but it probably is. In the last week the leaves have gone from slightly yellowish to falling off. Blink and you'll miss a Fairbanks autumn. They're gorgeous while they last, though. And at least the cooler weather means the bugs will be dying off soon. The gnats were horrible this year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Chainsaw fight!"

We had such a great weekend. Not to brag or anything, but it was fantastic. We roadtripped down to Palmer to the state fair with Shane's family. The ride down was great and fairly uneventful. We were in the motor home, so I got to learn how to play cribbage on the way down. It's actually a pretty fun game. Out of five matches, after I picked up the game, I whooped Shane twice. Once I beat him before he'd even made the turn, which made me feel pretty good.
We also got to see Denali on the way down. Not only was the mountain out in all of its glory, it was a gorgeous day. We're getting a bit of an Indian summer here, so the weather has been warm and the skies have been clear while the trees turn golden and orange. Which they do in about two days around here. So naturally I got plenty of pictures of the mountain. This is the first time since moving up here that I've really been able to see it like that. And who doesn't want to say they've seen the highest peak in North America?
When we got to Palmer that night, we were all quite tired. I don't know what it is about sitting all day that takes it out of you, but it really does. And since we'd had ready access to food all day, I wasn't particularly hungry. (Not that I ate too much, but at that point I was just done eating. Saving up for the fair.) After Shane and Steve ate (I still cannot believe how much they ate, and Shane had been eating pretty much all day) we got out the motorcycles and cruised around looking for a video store. We finally had to stop at Safeway to look in the phone book. There was a cork board right next to the pay phone with a bunch of ads and stuff, and one was for black and white cocker spaniel puppies. Shane and I stared at those pictures for so long, joking about going to get one. We both kind of wished to, but it just wasn't going to happen. So we finally found a video store and everyone agreed on a movie. "Duplicity".
When we took it back to the motor home we made up the beds. Shane and I grabbed the one Spencer had claimed for him and Hannah (it's about eight inches wider) because it had better sight of the TV. Spencer and Hannah had driven all the way to Anchorage to see the Lion King, so when they got back we told them we'd give them the big bed the next night.
After the movie turned off, the guys each took about three seconds to fall asleep. (Give or take a few.) I took only slightly longer, but poor Hannah couldn't sleep because of Shane's snoring. The next morning she told me, "I don't know how you can sleep through that!" She ended up going back to the motor home in the middle of the day to take a nap.
But we got up pretty early and, considering that there were six people, we didn't take too long to get to the fair. Sally, Steve, Shane and I rode the motorcycles while Spencer and Hannah walked. (They could have taken her car, but decided they'd rather walk.) The first order of business was to get coffee and tea for those who wished it. I was confused by the "spiced chai" they had at the coffee stand (isn't that the point of chai? to be spicy?) but it was really good. Several times during the day I said that I wanted to get more, but there was so much other good fair food that I never did. I did try rhubarb lemonade, though, at the Alaska Grown stand. That was quite delicious. Spencer said he wanted a 10,000 calorie day and just might have succeeded. (He's a skinny 21-year-old, don't worry. Eating like that won't kill him yet.) I don't think I was ever really not full all day, but it was so good! And not all of it was bad. I had two veggie gyros, not deep-fried.
We only went on a few rides, but they were fun. Except the Gravitron. Four of us went on that (Shane, Spencer, Tony, and me) and when we got off we all felt dizzy and nauseous. Shane and I came to the same conclusion: not as fun as it had been when we were younger.
We spent most of the day just walking around. The guys went to play mini golf so we girls went to go look at the livestock. Before we left Hannah said, "Whoever wins between Spencer and Shane gets the big bed." Shane took the bet, even though Spencer golfs all the time, because what did he have to lose? Poor Hannah thought she was betting on a sure thing and it turns out Shane kicked Spencer's butt. It was hilarious. And of course, Shane rubbed it in that night. "Hey Spencer, how does that small bed feel again? What? You don't get to stretch out like this?"
The livestock was neat. There was a pregnant cow, who was absolutely enormous and looked incredibly uncomfortable lying there with her stomach moving as the calf did. We all made some sort of comment to her, about how she had our respect. I mean, even if/when I have a kid someday, it's not going to come out with hooves and it won't be as proportionately as large as a calf is.
There was also a 950 pound pig who had given birth to ten piglets during the fair. They were so cute! I love watching litters of things, the way they all sleep tangled up and when they wake up to eat they stomp all over each other. So funny.
We went to a woodsman show, which was corny but entertaining. The jokes were scripted, but the skills were real and that was the fun part. That and when they wanted to settle a supposed argument about one guy stealing another's girlfriend the announcer said, "Oh we'll have to settle this the good old-fashioned way." The "wronged" guy said, "All right. Chainsaw fight!" The idea of that was thoroughly amusing. When they did the climb up the two posts, one of the guys got a 2/3 lead, and the other guy still won. Some guy in front of us said, "Holy crap, he's like a spider monkey!"
Finally, in the evening, we went to the Sluice Box (the beer tent) to see Hobo Jim playing. He's the Alaska State Bard, and he's incredible to watch. Really funny and fun. I love seeing him perform.
The perfect ending to the perfect day, however, was our romantic ferris wheel ride. I dragged Shane (with much protesting) away from Hobo Jim to go get on the ferris wheel before the fair closed. We ran to the bathrooms first, and while we were in there Shane watched some four-year-old kid pull the fire alarm. (His dad had been washing his hands and saying, "Don't you do that. Don't you touch that. Dammit!") Great start to our romantic ride, right? It gets better. We waited in line for two full rides, and finally got on. Now, I'm terrified of ferris wheels simply because they don't feel that stable to me. So Shane was making fun of me for this, a lot. And rocking the car, and just generally being a pain in the butt so I was wondering why I had ever thought it would be a good idea. But I wanted a picture of the fair all lit up at night, and I got it. Beautiful. And the moon was up, making it even prettier.
The real fun was when we were about to get off. Somebody threw up, and then threw up on the operator when he was getting off. So the operator ran off to the bathroom and the guy who replaced him obviously had no clue what to do. So we went around, and stopped, and went around some more, and waited more.... It took about half an hour to get off the ride. And we were freezing! Now matter how pretty the day is, it's still autumn in Alaska and the temperature was probably only in the forties. So it was so cold, and Shane's parents were waiting for us (not only did they have my helmet for the motorcycle, but Shane only has a permit so he has to be within a certain distance of a licensed motorcycle driver), and we really just wanted to get off. We were laughing so hard at our horrible luck, because it was so awful.
On the ride home today, there was one moment that did seem like the perfect ending to the weekend that I'd been looking for. I was tired on the ride, but not sleepy, so I laid down in the back seat with my head on Shane's thigh. We had good music playing, and I could feel the sunshine on my face, and Shane was running his fingers through my hair, and it just felt like everything was right. It was a great weekend.