Monday, September 28, 2009

Back doctor

Today I went to the chiropractor for the first time in many years. He said that my lower back is more or less fine (a little surprisingly), although it needed a few minor adjustments. Normal wear and tear. One vertebra wasn't rotating properly or something, so he jerked it loose. My neck and shoulders, on the other hand, freaked him out. He said he hasn't seen anyone with muscles as tense as mine in anyone under the age of maybe 50 unless they'd been in a traffic accident or some other traumatic incident. Try as I might, I can't think of any specific trauma I've been through. I've just had really tense shoulders for very many years. Either I'm just naturally tense (and maybe a little paranoid), or I've completely blocked it from my memory. I'm inclined to believe I'm just tense. Or maybe it's from when I electrocuted myself. (Actually, probably not, because when I was 14 or so--years before I electrocuted myself--I remember a guy I used to dance with who told me I was so tense he felt like he was dancing with a wall.) Who knows. Either way, he says he can fix my headaches and help me loosen up my shoulders, so I'm pretty excited. I don't even know what it feels like to be able to relax those muscles.

Starvation Gulch

Starvation Gulch was a lot of fun. The bonfires didn't seem as hot as last year. I'm not sure if it was due to the snow, or if they were set a little further back, or if the wind happened to be blowing in a better direction or something, but either way, I was grateful not to be dying of heat stroke.







Afterward, the juggling club went out to Denny's. A fun time was had by all. We had a lot of non-jugglers tag along with us, and ended up with a party of probably ten or so, all of whom got up and moved around a lot. I left our poor waitresses a few bucks extra for a tip.

Most of us got a few minor battle scars from the Gulch. I got a few nicks because
I spent most of the show with the machetes (we had enough jugglers there that almost all the fire stuff was in use almost all the time), and I caught the blades a few times. Okay, maybe several times. Becca singed some hair off her arms, Christian singed some hair off his head, and poor Hannah burnt her mouth from eating fire. (She closed her mouth all the way around the metal rod. The rods get hot.) Nobody got anything serious. Except maybe a little traumatized when two dorks thought it would be funny to take off their clothes and go streaking in front of the bonfires. The ran and danced around for a bit and then took off into the woods. I happened to be standing next to one of the people in charge, who smirked and informed me that they had run straight toward a cop on a four-wheeler.

Life is funny.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Update

I'm sitting by the heater in the cabin. The heater says it's set to 80 and the room is 86. Consequently, it's blowing hot air on me. Isn't there something wrong with that?

Oh well. I don't mind for now. There's snow on the ground. Not much--maybe a half inch or so. But there's still snow.

It's been an interesting last few days. Two of my roommates came down with swine flu. I think I started to get it a few days ago, but I definitely don't seem to be sick now. Hopefully I fought it off without even hardly feeling the effects of it.

A friend of mine asked me to come fix his computer. It used to run Oregon Trail (the original 16-color version, with the black background and the typed commands), but after he reformatted, now it doesn't. I worked on it for a while, even went home to redownload the Applewin program for him, to no avail. When it didn't work, he shot me with his BB gun. At point blank range. In the neck. Jerk.

At juggling practice, I was practicing with a fire poi that had too short of a string and burned my hand pretty nice. It's a little infected and won't heal for a while, but it doesn't hurt too bad, and it looks kind of cool.

I got my six-page research paper about Shakespeare's history play Richard III done on time. Of course, I wrote it in the wee hours of the morning (I'm a college student--that's how I'm supposed to do it), so it came out a little weird. But so do most of my papers. I guess we'll see how much a sense of humor my professor has. I suspect he won't mark off too much for being silly, but he may mark off because I didn't use enough sources.

Yesterday, I had the most horrible nightmare! I dreamed I went back to the Resort because they were having a donut party. There were hundreds and hundreds of donuts of all kinds... except they didn't have my favorite kind with the whipped cream-ish filling. I went through all of them, and finally thought I had found one, except it ended up only having like a half a teaspoon of the filling in the entire inside of the donut, and I couldn't even taste it. Also, the donut itself tasted like sand. It was awful!!!

I bet that dream was sparked by the fact that I haven't had my favorite kind of donut in years, since Safeway stopped MAKING them!!! In fact, their selection's been crap lately. And by "lately," I mean for a really long time. It's depressing. I wish there were a Krispy Kreme in Fairbanks. Or even a Dunkin Donuts. But nooooo!

Last night, I dreamed I was at the Resort again, and Mom and Dad were working there and I was living in the barracks with them, only I wasn't allowed to work there. I drove down to the docks every day and worked there instead, driving people around in a little speedboat. So one day, I went in to see the housekeepers, and it was just Mom and Maggy cleaning a room, and then Housekeeper Mike walked in, and I started seeing red, I got so angry, just from his presence. I think I have residue anger issues over that. Then Dad gave me a big long angry lecture and sent me downtown and demanded I stay off Resort property until I could control my actions because I was behaving like a child. I was glad to wake up.

I need to go see a chiropractor. My back doesn't hurt, but I messed it up really bad several years ago and never got it fixed. I don't know if it's going to complicate things in the future or not. Basically, I was at a church activity where they were teaching self-defense. We were practicing throws, and the girl I was partnered up with was throwing me, so I decided to be obstinate and resist. She threw all her weight into it and finally flung me to the ground. Really hard. Only, she had her foot on the ground with her heel down and her toe pointing pretty far up because her muscles were all tensed. My spine went right over her toe. I couldn't even move for what felt like several minutes. It definitely took a while to get up. Now if you run your fingers down my spine, when you get a third of the way down, the disks get alarmingly close together, then a few start touching, and then suddenly, they get so far apart it almost feels like I'm missing one. And yet, it doesn't hurt. Weird.

So bottom line is, I don't even really have extra money, but I think I'm going to go see a chiropractor anyway. But first, I want to ask around and see if anyone knows a particularly good one, or even a particularly bad one to stay away from.

Hmm, what else? Oh yes, I also applied to get my editing job back. We have a new boss this year. I don't really know him that well. He seems much more stolid than Kortnie (last year's boss).

Juggling club is doing well. We have several regulars now. I'm a little frustrated that Casey's decided that since I commented once that I didn't really know what I was doing being president and he would probably be better at it than me, this means I was trying to say, "I want you to be president." So he said, "Okay, I'll be president," and now I'm having trouble making him let go of this idea. I want to be president because I need the experience of having a leadership role, and because when I first started coming here, I took it upon myself to rebuild this club. I'm finally starting to get somewhere, and I really don't want someone to say, "Well, I'm better at this than you, so I'll just take over now." I guess it's a pride thing. Also, the more I get to know him, the more I think maybe he wouldn't be all that good. Sure, he's charismatic. I want him to emcee at shows, definitely. But he's also a little self-centered--as in, he keeps claiming club stuff and saying, "this is mine; I'm keeping it," or "this should be for officer use only because it's nice." I need to learn to get up the guts to say, "No! Bad boy! Put it down!"

So there's my update. We're juggling fire at Starvation Gulch tonight. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back to the lovely cold north :)

After a 21-hour trip, I'm really glad to be back in Fairbanks. My eight-hour layover in Seattle was all kinds of miserable. I did a little homework, finished reading one of the books I brought along, started the other book I brought, finished the other book I brought, juggled a little, did a little more homework, and ended up just falling asleep on one of the benches. A lady woke me up about an hour and a half later. "Excuse me, but are you on the flight to Fairbanks? It's boarding right now." I jumped to my feet faster than if someone were to stand in my bedroom doorway and shake a glass of ice water. I tried to thank her profusely, but she had disappeared and I didn't see her again. I don't know if she worked for the airline or was just another passenger, but she had disappeared completely. I guess I'll just tell myself she was a guardian angel.

I was welcomed back to Fairbanks by the first snow of the year. I'm thoroughly enjoying the cool weather up here, as opposed to the 90-degree, 100% humidity weather in Florida, where every time I stepped outside, my glasses would fog up. One of my Australian friends was complaining that it's not winter yet, so it's not allowed to be this cold. I refrained from telling her that it's probably going to get 80 degrees colder than this before it's really winter. She'll figure it out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Family Pictures

Florida is an even hotter, buggier, humider place than I remembered it. No, seriously, breathing feels strangely like drowning. Every time I step outside, my glasses fog up. And the weather? Haha! This morning, my brother bought donuts and brought them to the parents' hotel room, which is in the next building over from the room the kids are all staying in. Maybe thirty seconds later, I showed up, soaked head to toe because it had been dumping rain. Nobody believed me because when Allen walked in, it was totally dry. We opened the curtain so I could prove it was pouring, and the sun was shining! At least the ground was as wet as I was, or they would REALLY think I'm crazy!

It's fun having all my siblings here. We spent hours this morning telling "Hey remember that time when..." stories (except ours were cool because they usually involved either something getting broken, someone getting hurt, someone getting away with something stupid, or someone making Dianna take the blame for something we did). We were all laughing so hard that Dad told us to stop being so loud many times.

We don't really get to spend all that much time with the grandparents because they apparently tire out easily, and it seems like it takes only two or three hours before we've "overstayed our welcome." It's nice to see them anyway, though, especially now that we're old enough to join in the conversations they have. It's a little alarming, though, to see Grandpa take four steps and start wheezing like he's just run a marathon. It makes me feel bad, because I want to help, but I don't think there's anything I can do.



Today was the only full day that we had the whole family together, so of course, Dad insisted on pictures (although everyone else did too, so for once we didn't mind). But the parents decided my ripped Carhartt's and t-shirt weren't appropriate for the occasion, and I pretty much refused to wear a skirt (sorry, family), so Mom dragged me to Old Navy and insisted I get some "decent" clothing, which meant basically something I didn't get to pick out. For the record, almost every article of clothing in Old Navy (at least in the women's section) was made of material so ridiculously thin that it seemed like it would fall apart if you washed it. The shirt I ended up getting was so thin you could literally see through it, so it was mandatory to wear another shirt underneath it. Now what's the point of wearing a shirt if you just have to wear another underneath? There is none!

I guess it looked pretty good, though, even if the sleeves were a little poofier than I would like, and the only shirt I could find thick enough to wear underneath it was so ridiculously tight that I had to keep the outer shirt buttoned or show off my boobs or lack thereof. I really like the way the pants look, though. Wish the pockets were a little bigger, but hey, I'm not perfect either.

I was really good, though, and didn't complain about having to dress up all day. We took many nice pictures with various arrangements of kids and grandparents, kids and parents, kids and kids, and... well, you get the idea.



We were really good and did what we were told and smiled pretty.

And then we took a few pictures that showed what we're all REALLY like.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rawr?

It almost looked like this was going to be a perfect semester, but of course, the gods refuse to allow me to have a simple life. Family drama in almost all directions, the largest of which is going to have me take three days off of classes to go to Florida. Missing so much class isn't ideal, but at least I'll get to see family and learn more about my grandpa's astronomy ideas. He's a genius, and he has these amazing ideas and a fascinating way of looking at the world. I only ever saw him really light up and come to life one time, and that was when I got him talking about science.

This will be the first time in three and a half years, I think, that my whole family (mom, dad, brothers, and sister) will be in one place at the same time. At least, I'm hoping so. Apparently, my second brother may not be able to make it. We'll see. Knock on wood. It's really fun having all four of us kids together--it's more awesome than you would know what to do with.

The last two nights have been beautiful. We can see a zillion stars from our cabin, and the aurora has come out and danced across the sky. It was only green, no red or orange or anything, but beautiful nonetheless. I thought at first that it was a cloud, lit up by the moon or something, but while I watched, it swooped slowly across the sky, curling and flaring and dancing and fading and then lighting back up again in another part of the sky, blocking out a few twinkling stars that cheerfully slipped out of sight behind it, knowing their turn to shine would come back after the star of the show had finished its dance.

Hmmm, it feels weird trying to be poetic. I don't think I did a very good job. Oh well. Anyway, it was pretty. I've heard that if the aurora is intense enough and get well away from city sounds, you can hear the aurora sing. The natives used to say it was the spirits playing games or trying to talk to the living.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dr Seuss

Casey has this book called "The Art of Living." Any time someone's annoyed or stressed or frustrated or sad, he pulls it out and makes them flip to a random page and read it. The funny thing is, most of the time, the page you flip to is immediately relevant to what you're upset about.

I was looking through some Dr. Seuss quotes. I love Dr. Seuss. Someday when I'm rich, I'm going to collect everything he's ever written. For now, I'm going to settle with compiling a few of his better quotes here.

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."

"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Slacking off, just like you said...

Playing Magic: the Gathering, I got my butt kicked twice in a row--and by "butt kicked," I mean I seriously got it handed to me. The first time, I couldn't do anything. I was playing an aggro deck against two control decks, and they prevented me from doing anything at all. The second time, I was playing the dragons deck, but I got one land in my first hand and then didn't get another within five turns, by which time the other two players realized I had the dragons deck, which is massively powerful... if you have land. So one of the players one-shotted me for 28 points (you start with 20). The third game was a Chaos game, where something random happens every turn. The decks were fairly evenly matched, and I was playing a deck that had a lot of cards that would give me life. I started out doing terribly, but by the end, I was totally whooping up. If Tony hadn't conceded, I probably would have had over a thousand health within four turns, and then stomped on him with forty or so 1/1 elves, all with a +2/+8 modifier.

I have high hopes for juggling club. My goal is to have ten active members by the end of the year and enough money for a pizza party. When I signed us up to juggle fire at Starvation Gulch, the lady in charge said they'll buy us some new fire gear. I'm pretty stoked!

Got a new shelf installed by my bed today. Now I have a place to put my glasses or the book I'm reading when I go to sleep without having to climb down from my bunk.

I'm getting to know every pothole in the road I live on. They're really deep potholes, and there are like eleventy billion of them. One reason I look forward to winter: the snow and ice will kind of fill them in.

Oh yeah, playing my "fantasyland make-believe game" Friday night was awesome too. The story was awesome, the characters were fun, except I didn't like mine as much. They wouldn't let me play my hyper pixie character. I tried playing one that was a little loose, but unfortunately, I couldn't pull it off. The first time I tried hitting on someone, I ended up hiding my face and saying, "Never mind, I can't do this!" She was a human swordmaster, and she was a kind of lame character. I couldn't figure out a good personality for her, for one thing, but for another, the dice hated me. It seemed like I didn't roll higher than five all night. Chad, on the other hand, managed to deal 42 damage in one blow with a crossbow bolt--at level one! He shot it straight through a river drake's neck, felling it in one blow! Tony's cat-character rolled a 33 dexterity check to dive-bomb 150 feet onto an air-ship to trigger an air grenade. My character, in contrast, jumped onto the ship later, when they were like twenty feet apart, fell on her face, got up, swung her broadsword, missed, took twelve points of damage, fell, got up, tried to stab with her sword, missed... well, slight exaggeration. She did take one guy down, somehow. But yeah. Anyway, it was cool. The best part was when she went in the bar to get drunk, and the male human in the group said he would come supervise, and the cat-man who she had befriended said he would come to protect her honor and to make sure the male didn't take advantage of her drunkenness. They chilled by the bar while my character got drunk. It cost three silver, and she had a hangover the next day, which meant a negative one step to my dice rolls until noon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Squirrel!

I'm sore all over from canoeing/kayaking for like six hours yesterday. It was unquestionably the awesomest Labor Day ever! We had a barbecue, played Epic Frisbee (the Ultimate Frisbee in canoes game) for hours, played Badminton, played more Epic Frisbee, and then, when everyone was too tired to even paddle calmly across the lake anymore, we went inside and role-played until eleven. It was way fun!

Today, my arms and legs and butt all ached, and sitting in class for nine hours was pretty close to torture. I successfully failed my first quiz of the semester, too. Yay. (By "failed," I'm talking like 20%. Stupid ADHD... I did the readings, twice! I just didn't assimilate them as well as I should have.) Didn't have time to eat during my lunch hour because I was doing club stuff. Turns out not only have I been given command of a club with only two members, but the club also has a few hundred dollars in debt. But I WILL get this club back on its feet!

I started falling asleep in my third class. After class ended, I approached the teacher and asked if he would mind if I got up halfway through the class period to stretch for a minute, and he said, "Actually, that's a wonderful idea! I'm going to start doing that in all my classes, having everyone get up and stretch! That's great!" So that should help. I was falling asleep for most of my Shakespeare class too, until I finally got up for a drink of water. But the water fountain was broken, so I went to the soda machine and got a Coke instead, which helped a lot.

But I was in kind of a bleh mood when I came home. I wanted to just go to sleep and not have to think about anything for a while, but Casey wouldn't let me because he said it would throw off my sleep schedule. So he grabbed two of his eight guns and took me out shooting instead. We used a 9mm carbine rifle and .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. Before we had actually fired off a shot, I heard a rustling in the trees. Seeing my nervous look, Casey said, "It doesn't matter if we get charged by a moose or a bear, Cat. We have big guns."

"Oh yeah!" So I edged over to the trees and looked around for the source of the noise. It didn't take long to spot it. "Oh, it's just a squirrel," I said.

"Where?" Casey asked.

I pointed at it without thinking, and the next thing I knew, Casey had the rifle up, and BLAM!!! The squirrel was skittering all around the ground, and I thought, 'Geez! Glad he missed! Poor squirrel!' Then I realized it wasn't running away... it was flailing around! He'd hit it--sent the bullet right through its middle, and its stomach was protruding from its back! I forgot, Casey's an Alaskan boy. He doesn't miss. I just about cried, but at the same time, I was struck by this morbid fascination.

It was very soft. I made a bunch of bad jokes about chopping off its head and sending it to my sister just to freak her out. In fact, I chopped off its tail so I could cure it and put it on a keychain. I kind of feel like a monster.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Awesome weekend!

It's already been a freaking awesome weekend! Friday night, I went out to North Pole and played Earthdawn with my geeky role-playing friends. It was freaking awesome! The group is actually really cool, and has more fun coming up with weird ways to solve problems than trying to come up with a dramatic past for their emo half-elf characters. Plus, I play it with six guys, and they're all cute. Not necessarily all single, but so what? I can look!

So we played that until about two in the morning, and then on Saturday, I went out around six in the evening to practice canoeing. We were originally going to play Ultimate Frisbee again, but nobody showed up except, of course, Tony, because he lives there. I didn't mind, though, because it gave me a chance to get the hang of canoeing. So we did that for a few hours, and his wife and kids and dogs came out and paddled around, and then people started showing up to play Magic: the Gathering. It was pretty fun, though not as much as role-playing the night before. Toward the end of the last game (in which I got my butt kicked), my ADD started kicking in, and I started looking at some of the books that filled the room. (Tony has a bigger collection of fantasy and science fiction books than several book stores I've seen!) Tony pointed at one and said it was really good, so I started reading it and ended up with my nose stuck in the book. After the third game ended, Tony and I started talking books, and I ended up helping him alphabetize his books, which took until about five in the morning!

Then today, I woke up at eleven and brought Peter out to Cindy and Mike's to help get some hay for the horses. We were originally going to get 100 bundles, but they were all damp, so we only ended up getting 26. Then Mike grilled some pork and Cindy picked some fresh vegetables from the garden and cooked them up and it tasted AMAZING! Mike put in a movie called Ran, which is a Japanese movie based on King Lear, I guess. I thought it was a little meh, mainly because it's not quite my style movie. I prefer comedies, personally.

Oh yeah, and Peter gave me a really cool knife for the knife collection I'm going to start when I actually have money! :D

Friday, September 4, 2009

Torture

I hate the sun. But here I am, sitting outside in the bright, hot, miserable sunlight, simply because a) the breeze feels nice, and b) I should probably get at least a little sun this summer before it disappears for months. Be proud. I'm facing my fears. Except it's not really a fear so much as a loathing. A simmering hatred that burns like old Spaghettios, put on the stove to cook and then forgotten until the stench of burnt tomato sauce permeates through the building, bringing pained tears to the eyes of anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity.

Yesterday, I was in my Alaska Native Languages class in the mining and engineering building--I have no idea why theywould schedule a linguistics course in a mining and engineering building, but whatever works--and my stomach started making weird noises. All through the class, it rumbled and whined and squeaked and made pretty much every other noise imaginable, which was rather embarrassing, particularly because the class only had about six students, so it was a small room and everyone kept smirking at me, but then remembering that they were too polite to just laugh it off so I could laugh too. I must remember never to eat at Taco Bell again.

Anyway, as soon as class ended, I wandered down the hall to find a restroom. For some reason, the architect who had designed the building had decided it would be a good idea to have the men's restroom in one corner of the building, and the women's in the other corner. (This was particularly surprising given that it was an engineering building, and I thought engineers were supposed to have a little more foresight than that. Doesn't having the bathrooms next to each other save a pretty good amount on piping and stuff when you build the building?) I eventually found the lady's room, which was blocked by a neat metal fire door which two stripes down the middle, like racing stripes. I'm not sure what purpose the stripes served, but I'm not really one to complain about something like that. I pushed the door open and walked in.

It was quite easily the most hideous and terrifying room I have ever been in. The room was trapezoidal, not quite rectangular. When you opened the door, which was somewhat narrow, you immediately found yourself facing a wall. The tiny passageway to the left narrowed distressingly, to the point where I could see it terrifying someone who was claustrophobic. The room was somewhat dim, but the worst part was the color. The stalls were the most horrendous shade of pink I had ever seen. It was like a pink that thought it might have dreams of being orange, but it couldn't quite figure out how to go about it, and it strained so hard that it vomited all over itself. The floor was a white and gray and pink tile pattern, with tiles maybe a half inch wide. The pink tiles came up just often enough to make it look like the floor was spattered with blood. Seriously, if someone were to design a torture chamber, one designed like this bathroom would be considerably more terrifying than a dark stone dungeon with sharp bloody objects all over the room and one or two ominously flickering torches bracketed to the wall.

I can't decide why someone would intentionally design a bathroom like that. The thought crossed my mind that maybe they just wanted to make sure people wouldn't try to cut class by hiding in the bathroom. But then I remembered that this is a university, not a middle school. If someone wanted to cut class, they would just leave. You don't HAVE to go to class. You just have to accept the consequences, which is usually just a worse grade in a class you paid several hundred dollars to take. The teachers aren't going to track you down, drag you to class, or send you to the principal, so seriously, what would be the point of cutting class by hiding in the bathroom? No, that can't be it. Maybe the room was originally used as a torture chamber by particularly sadistic teachers such as my public speaking teacher from last fall. I banished that idea from my mind too, simply because it wasn't a comforting thought to think while I was using it. I finally settled on the idea that maybe the architect was either a sadist or a masochist and simply wanted to terrify people. Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fun times!!! :D

School hasn't even started yet and I've got homework! But if I do this homework, then there's a possibility that I have a couple fewer classes to take before I graduate, which means a) easier semesters, and b) time in which I could potentially get another job and earn a little money. Homework worth doing, huh?

So I was sitting in the living room looking stuff up and making charts and comparing classes I took at BYU with classes they offer here and so on and so forth, when Casey walked in and said, "Hey, I'm going to go play ultimate frisbee in canoes. Want to come?"

And would you believe, my first instinct was to say thanks, but no. I was in the middle of something and feeling a little lazy. But then I thought, 'You know what, Lint Monkey? If you don't do this, you're going to kick yourself later. Get off your lazy butt and go do something cool!' So I got off my lazy butt and went over to the house of a guy named Tony to play Ultimate Frisbee... in canoes! Only there were three kayaks too. I stuck with canoes, because those are what I'm familiar with. Actually, that's a lie. I wanted to try a kayak, but everybody loves the kayaks because they're faster and more maneuverable, which is a HUGE advantage, so they got taken really darn quick. I was one of the last ones in the water because Eric had a son and daughter about Kamryn and Noah's ages, and they decided I was their best friend as soon as they figured out I was a girl. Seriously, the little girl's first words were, "Oh, she's a girl!" and then she came up to me, tugged on my fingers, and said, "Hey, um, excuse me... um, do you want to come see my room?"

There were nine people there, and our team had five people, but we lost, partly because I was a hindrance to both sides. It took me a while to remember how to canoe, since I haven't been in one since I was about fifteen years old. I eventually more or less remembered, but was still out of practice. And I'm downright awful at Frisbee to begin with. After the first few points, in which I mostly stayed back and played "defense," which consisted mostly of practicing canoeing in circles, they decided to make sure I got to join in and had me throw the kick-off. My first throw landed maybe ten yards away. My second throw was a little better--closer to fifteen yards. I did have a proud moment, where I blocked a guy's canoe and kept him at bay for the whole round and refused to let him past me. But this guy on my team, Gerrit (Gerritt? Garret? Garrit? Garrote? I don't know how he spells it!), poor guy, every time I turned around, it seemed I accidentally blocked him. He was in a kayak, and one time, I accidentally rammed into him head-on, and the point of my canoe dug straight into his collarbone. I was seriously scared I had killed him for a second! I'm pretty sure it didn't feel any good at all!

The best part was when I was racing Tony, who was by far the fastest, strongest, and best at the game, to get the Frisbee, but he got there just ahead of me, so I reached out with my paddle as far as I could to pull the Frisbee in to me while he was still paddling... but I overbalanced and the canoe toppled over. It was great fun! I got so disoriented, though. When I first surfaced, I had no idea what was happening. I thought for a second I had surfaced under the canoe and wasn't sure if there was air, or if it was safe to breathe, or which direction I was facing, or what. There was water in my eyes, and I couldn't wipe it out because I was wearing glasses and anyway, I needed my hands to swim. But in retrospect, I probably didn't really. I was wearing a life jacket and no shoes to drag me down. But yeah, it was awesome! Out of the nine people there, FOUR of us fell in before we stopped playing at sunset. We lost, but we had so much fun it didn't matter!

So as we headed out, I was thanking them for the game and saying I'd had a lot of fun, congratulating people on some of the smooth moves and such, and I asked how often they play. "Well, this is probably our last game of the year unless the weather's nice next week. But we're always doing stuff here! I don't know why I can't people to show up," Tony said.

"Yeah, it's hard motivating people in Alaska to do stuff, it seems like," I said. "What sort of stuff do you do?"

"Well, every Saturday we play Magic: the Gathering," he said. "Do you play that?"

"I did, a loooong time ago."

"And then on Fridays, we do role-playing, with--"

"OH MY GOSH ROLE-PLAYING CAN I JOIN????"

So we went inside, and dried off and changed into clean clothes (I was SO glad Casey had told me to bring a change of clothes just in case I fell in!), and he showed me his gaming room, which is basically the greatest room I've ever been in!!! Fantasy and role-playing books all over the place, computers, fridges full of soda and junk food for role-playing nights, anime posters and wall hangings... I pointed to a Ranma wall hanging and said, "Oh hey, I love Ranma! One of the best animes ever!" and the guy brought out a silk Ranma outfit and wig and said, "Here's your Halloween costume! We've decided for you!"

It was SO COOL!!!

So yeah, I already have my Halloween costume (I put on the wig and Casey said, "Wow, Cat, you actually look like a REAL girl!"), and I'm going to start role-playing on Friday nights, and this year looks like it's going to be a blast!!!

Casey and Dylan (the two of my roommates that I've met so far) both play WoW, so we all started some troll characters and were totally geeking it up last night. They have a massive surround sound system in the living room, and every gaming system I can name. Dylan hooked his laptop up to the big TV to play, and afterward, we watched a bunch of funny youtube videos.

I dropped by to see my professor, Cindy Hardy, today. She gave me a big hug and told the person she was on the phone with that she had to go because one of her "favorite students" had dropped by. Hehe. I walked with her up to Burns Cooper's office (he's head of the English department), and talked with him for a little while, and as I left, I called him by his first name like Cindy does, then corrected myself, "Sorry, I mean Dr. Cooper," and he shrugged and grinned and said, "Eh, call me Burns." Mwaha! I got away with informality! I like Dr. Cooper. He taught one of my classes last semester. He's really smart, and is one of those professors that will actually admit when he doesn't know something, and then he'll go look it up and tell you the answer in the next class. He went off on tangents a lot, too, and my friend Jeremy and I used to have contests to see who could get him off on the longest tangent.

So yeah. That's that. And I should get to sleep here pretty soon, because I have classes from 9:45 tomorrow morning until 9:00 tomorrow night, except for an hour lunch break and then an hour and a half dinner break. And I'm really tired from canoeing.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Time to go...

It's been a pretty cool last few days. Mary brought me flowers and a card on my last day of work, which was the day before my birthday. Woody tried to kill me, for reals. I took my birthday off and was very glad I did. The Packs made me homemade enchiladas and a birthday cake, which would mark the first time I've had a birthday cake on my birthday in about six years! Cindy even got me a little present--a few pictures of the family so I won't forget them, as if I ever could. Those pictures are going to be like my flag of Sri Lanka: they'll go with me everywhere I go and hang in every place I ever live. (The only exception to the flag is living here, because I got moved from room to room so often. I've slept in the spare bedroom, on the couch, in the camper, on the floor of the kids' room, and even in Cindy and Rob's room.)

I invited over five friends from the resort for dinner and a game and maybe a movie, but things never go as planned. To be more specific, not one of the people I invited showed up or called. But that's all right. I had fun with the Packs and the neighbor girl, Rebecca, anyway. The kids even helped me load up my car, which was nice, although I had to unpack it and repack it afterwards. (Maybe I'm too particular about where and how things go, but I like to be able to see out my back window if possible, and I like to minimize the chance of things breaking if I hit a bump in the road.)

We went down to visit a friend from church--the Korean girl I gave piano lessons to a few years ago--because she had acquired a second keyboard and wanted to sell it. Cindy wanted to buy it for Kamryn but wanted me to check it out and make sure it was a good deal. It wasn't anything fancy--had six different voices, 88 working keys, and a pedal. As far as I'm concerned, if Kamryn is serious about wanting to learn piano, that would be perfect for her because she'll never have problems with not having enough keys or not having a sustaining pedal. Or is it called a damper pedal? I can never remember the term; I just know I use it almost constantly when I play. I want to say the damper is on the left and the sustaining on the right….

Well, whatever.

Oh yeah, there was also a black bear in the yard, passed close enough to the house for us to see its teeth in the early dawn. (We woke up at six in the morning on the 31st to say good-bye to Rob, who left for a hunting trip, and the bear showed up about two minutes after Rob left.)


So now I'm in Fairbanks, about to eat dinner. The drive was long and uneventful. I passed a few cars. And I saw a reindeer. That's about it. In a 476-mile drive.