Friday, May 28, 2010

"See? I am romantic! Just at high speeds."

All I want to do today is crawl back into bed. It's a good thing this is a three day weekend, because I need it. (And because paid holidays are the best thing ever invented.) It's summertime in Fairbanks, and there's everything to do. On top of all of the usual life things (chores, work, etc.) there's something going on pretty much every evening. There have been about five birthdays in the last week amongst our circle of friends, plus BBQs, going out to restaurants for dinner, movies, etc. And softball. Shane and I are playing on two separate nights (his are on Thursdays, mine are on Fridays) with two games each night. That adds a lot to the week. And when we're not doing all of this? Frolf. They've set up a frisbee golf course on campus that's actually pretty nice. So we'll grab the dog and go with friends. I don't play (I'm terrible and it just gets frustrating), but I hold onto the dog and she loves the walk and the people. (I sometimes wonder if this is the kind of thing she thinks we do all day while we're gone.) We get home and she's absolutely exhausted and overheated, but very happy.
It's been such a nice, early summer so far. We've had several days already when it's gotten up to at least 75. I planted my garden last weekend, and realized that it was over three weeks earlier than I planted last year. Not only that, but it's warm enough that I felt comfortable enough to plant everything outside, not just in boxes to bring them in at night if it gets cold. Because it's not getting that cold. Crazy. It was almost July last year before I stopped brining my zucchinis inside at night.
Of course, the bad part of all of this is that we're getting eaten by mosquitoes. I am a slayer of bugs, but there are just too many of them. The other night I slept poorly because I was so itchy, and I finally woke up because there were some that were getting me in my sleep. Ick.
Also, there's the constant threat of wildfires. Last year we had over 3 million acres of the state catch fire, most of it around Fairbanks. (It actually surrounded the town, so whatever way the wind blew it blew smoke into town. Miserable.) We're hoping it won't be so smoky this summer, but it's been such a dry year that it could be even worse. It's dry enough that Noyes Slough has grass growing in it, and people who've lived here all their lives say they've never seen that before. The fire that was in Nenana last summer also was never fully extinguished, it just smoldered under the snow in the bogs all winter. As soon as everything warmed up, it popped out again. I'm hoping that because we've had some summer thunder showers (short ones--yesterday's lasted maybe ten minutes) it will keep the threat of fires down. I just want these little storms to keep coming.
Last night we saw "Prince of Persia", the midnight showing. Of course, this morning I'm paying for only having gotten five and a half hours of sleep, but I'm thinking it was worth it. I was expecting a movie that wasn't so great, but I liked it. There were a few parts that were simply silly ("The shit has hit the fan, but this is the perfect moment for a long lean-in for a kiss that doesn't happen!") but for the most part it was fun. Shane got annoyed with some of the cheesy one-liners, but he enjoyed it too.
As a group, a bunch of us decided to go out to dinner on Wednesday nights. The deal is, we draw a name from a hat, and then that person chooses a restaurant in Fairbanks that they have never been to, and we all go there. And dress up for it, no matter where we go. Ricky was the first one chosen, and he picked The Vallata. It's one of the pricier restaurants in town, and I'd never been there either. Probably won't go there again. The food was good, don't get me wrong. But a basic plate of pasta (with just butter and parmesan cheese) was $13. I got fettucini alfredo with chicken and garlic and it was over $20. Yowza! When we all sat down (and there were twelve of us--missing a few people who couldn't make it) everyone opened the menu and sucked in a breath, trying to figure out what would be good but wouldn't hurt the wallet too much. (People were joking, "Yeah, um, I've never been to Carl's Jr. ...") With such a big party, the waitress got an auto gratuity, and she used that. Poor Adam got the worst service I've ever seen anyone get. Apparently, he was her RA one year when she lived in the dorms. He didn't remember her, and he couldn't think of anything he had done to deserve such animosity, but she was a bitch to him. She almost "forgot" to take his order (and interrupted him to say sarcastically that when he was an RA he'd been a delight), didn't put croutons on his salad, and when he asked for bread she said, "No, it's in the oven so you'll have to wait." It came 20 minutes later, cold. Wow. He really should have spoken to the manager about that, because that's ridiculous that she was taking advantage of the auto grat to be so mean. We left her exactly the amount on the bill, right down to the $.20. And seriously? He was an RA over five years go. Get over it, whatever it was. Shane and I were not his biggest fans for a long time, but he's grown up a lot and he's a really nice, funny guy now. I felt so bad for him. Eric's suggestion was, "You know what you should do? Wait until she gets off work, and then kill her." Lol.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"There's cheese on my comb!"

I had the craziest, most vivid dream the other night. About vampires. It started off with the view looking over the garage roof at my parents' house, and there was a dark, man-sized shape on the roof, which creeped me out even though, somehow, I knew he couldn't get inside and wasn't even looking at me.
Anyway (and mind you, the dream was about vampires) I met this girl vampire and ended up telling her about the creepy guy who was around my house every night. She said that he was a vampire and that he was part of a group who was trying to steal my cat because he's a magical cat. Makes sense, right? So I had to guard my cat with my life. I'm unclear why it would have been so bad for them to get my cat, except that my cat would be in the hands of vampires. I kind of trusted this woman, as far as you could trust a vampire. (Not further than you can throw them! And no, they didn't glitter and couldn't be alive during the day.)
Anyway, sometime later I ended up inviting this chick into my house, and then realized that she was the one after my cat, and the guy had been there guarding my house. She chased me all over the place, but slowly and menacingly. Monologuing, like any decent villain does. I kept her chatting because I saw the guy outside and knew that if I could get him inside without her knowing, he'd kill her. (I did not start thinking about, what do I do about the second vampire in my house.) The problem was, he hadn't been invited in and if I said something out loud, she'd know he was there and the element of surprise would be gone.
That's about when I woke up. To discover my cat curled up in Shane's computer chair, watching me. As if he knew I'd been dreaming about him. But it wasn't creepy at all. I really wanted to find out what happens next in my dream! Maybe I could turn it into a book. Worked for the Twilight chick, right? Since that night, though, I've been calling Zap my magical cat. "How's my magical kitten today?" Shane said, "Um, you know he's not really magical, right?" Yeah, yeah.
I got a new bike! I'm so excited. My old one really was a piece of garbage, and last week the chain fell off for no apparent reason. (Shane told me, "Shift up," and I stared at him like he was a lunatic and an idiot and finally said, "I'm in the highest gear." I was really frustrated, even though it was only a couple of blocks to home.) So I bought a new bike. It's sort of a hybrid, with a light frame, and thin tires that have tread on them. I was told that, in Fairbanks, true road bikes aren't that great because neither are our roads. It's not hard to skid out on them with all the cracks, potholes and gravel. But it's such a nice bike! It felt so weird when I was testing it out, because I was actually getting to ride the bike, rather than fighting against it. And I biked to work today. I wasn't going to bike the whole way, just take the bus, but I got to the bus stop and realized that not only had I planned it poorly (riding with a heavy purse on one arm= bad), I had forgotten my bike lock. So I went back, strapped my purse to the back (I got a rack and a basket--which can easily come off for long rides--so that I can do little grocery shopping trips), changed into a tank top, stuffed my work shirt in my purse, and left again. (Hey, that hill his hard and I didn't want to show up at work all gross!)
Work has been pretty chaotic. Last week, Katherine got sick and then so did I. I thought I'd caught her thing, because we were both sick to our stomachs, but she's pretty sure hers was food poisoning from bad sushi. Mine was also much quicker. She was out all week. Anne left on Friday for a conference, so it's a good thing I was feeling better by then. Monday morning, I forgot my keys and also forgot that Katherine was scheduled to be out that day, first for a dentist appointment and then to study for her one final Tuesday morning. So I called campus security, and it turns out I'm not on their list of people to be let into this office. The only reason they did let me in is because my name is on the directory board in the hallway. I ended up opening up the library, half an hour late on the first day of finals. Great. I had several people waiting with me and I felt terrible. Once we all got in, my computer crashed first thing and took forever to start up, so it was even longer they had to wait to turn in reserves (which accrue fines that I had to forgive, since it was my fault they were there) and check out books to study with. Ick.
Katherine came in yesterday morning after her final and said that she'd caught a cold from her sister over the weekend (probably because she was so weak after the food poisoning, I bet) and would I mind if she stayed home another day? Of course. She said she'd used up all her sick leave and was now into vacation time, so she really wanted to be in today. This morning, her mom called to say that not only has she lost her voice, but she's now got a fever of 101. I hope she feels better! This sucks for her. The only thing that sucked for me was how boring it was to work 9 hours yesterday. And since we don't really have the budget for overtime, I'll get to go home early on Friday, so it's really not bad at all. I just hope she gets better! Anne gets back to work either Friday or Monday, I can't remember.
The other work craziness is caused by an e-mail that was sent out by the administration last Friday to tell us all that the dean has been put on administrative leave indefinitely. It did not explain why, but apparently he had a performance review a few weeks ago and there was a survey sent out to library staff and faculty about what kind of job we feel he's doing. So we don't know right now if he's going to get fired or what. Ouch. I feel bad. I know at least one person who is cheering, but since I only ever saw the dean at the coffee hours he held every month to informally let people know what's going on administratively, I suppose I don't really care about it. He was very nice at the meetings, but that really wasn't enough for me to form an opinion about him professionally. I just feel bad for him personally.
We're supposed to have a meeting with the provost's office next week and they'll explain everything.