Monday, April 5, 2010

Report

I didn't even know when Easter was until two days ago. Needless to say, I did nothing in the way of celebrating it. Didn't even see any celebrations. Interestingly enough, I don't really care. I just bothered mentioning it to make my sister feel better about the fact that she didn't do anything elaborate.

On the other hand, I've spent a fair amount of the last two weekends with the branch president of the church here, learning how to make a knife. Jack's making one out of elk antler. Mine's being made out of ziricote wood. In fact, the knife itself is pretty much finished--all I need to do now is make the sheath for it. When I finish, I'll put pictures up. I'm so excited about it! It's a really nice-looking knife. The handle's nice and thick. It's not very rounded, but I like it that way because it gives me more to grip. The blade's a little small because it's a skinning knife kind of designed for precision work. I may make another, slightly bigger hunting knife after I'm done. And an ulu. I really like it. President Olsen's enjoying it too--he's almost more excited about this than I am!

The snow's melting fairly quickly as the weather warms up. It's nice being able to go outside without a jacket, finally. I was going to go outside and shoot my bow a bit today, but just as I set up the target, I got a call from Jack asking for a ride home because he was sick. Awww, poor Jack! I would say I nursed him back to health, but he'd pretty much gotten it all out of his system by the time I got there. I made him some chicken noodle soup and then made him help me with the dishes because I'm so mean. Now he's upstairs sleeping with the dog while I'm "finishing my homework."

Actually, I really am finishing it. I finished my entire political science course last week, and I'm finishing my Linguistics 101 course when I take the final, which I plan to take tomorrow. With about six weeks left in the semester, after tomorrow, my workload will have dropped from 18 credit hours to 12 (because of finishing the two independent study courses). And yes, believe it or not, I'm EXCITED! I can't believe I'm FINALLY graduating! Speaking of which, I guess I ought to look into getting a cap and gown and sending in that form saying I'll be at graduation. Blah, formal ceremonies. Part of me doesn't even really want to bother going to the ceremony. The other part says that if I don't, I'll regret it. After all, I never graduated from high school, so I've never been in a graduation ceremony. Well, I've played Pomp and Circumstance with the band before....

The aurora for the last few nights has been unbelievable. Tonight in particular, I stood outside and watched for a while and nearly freaked out. I've never seen it like this--normally the aurora slowly waltzes across the sky. Tonight the aurora only had one color, but it was like it had been force-fed excessive amounts of caffeine or something. It was practically dancing the tarantella, not just swooping, swirling and streaking, but EXPLODING! Seriously, when the sky grew dark, I thought for a disappointed moment that the light show was over. Then a spot in the middle of the sky started to light up, streaks shot out of it, and moments later, half the sky was glowing nearly bright enough to read by!

I LOVE Alaska!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good song

I have a new favorite song for the week. I think my mom especially will like this one (assuming she can forgive the fact that it's country).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Exercise

The weather's getting nice enough to actually go outside and do stuff now. So today I decided to take my dog for a run around the block. I don't really go for that kind of jogging that's slower than walking, so it's basically just walking while bouncing up and down a little more. When I run, I actually RUN. When I jog, it's halfway between walking speed and running speed.

Akela, of course, loved the run, which is good, because I didn't even make it a quarter of the way around the block before I had to partly rely on her pulling me along. We didn't make it all the way around the block before I had to turn back. I hate that. I know I could run several times as far as I do except that whenever I run, the back of my throat starts burning, my saliva gets really thick--too thick to swallow well--and I have so much mucus in my throat that I can hardly breathe (not that I'm out of breath like I used to be when I was younger, but like I can't breathe because the airway's obstructed).

I googled my problem, which is apparently pretty normal and only goes away over time. Something to do with your throat not liking cold air (but it's above freezing today!). Silly. That's silly. I want to work my muscles, which are antsy from being stuck inside all winter, but I can't because my throat's a sissy. Silly sissy throat.

I miss playing tennis and basketball. It was easier to exercise then. I get bored when I'm just running for the sake of stretching muscles. It's easier when there's something like a ball to focus on.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mid-night announcement

Okay, by popular request, here's news on the pending hitching.

Um... I'm getting married. To the greatest person on the planet. And I don't want to write much more because I'm not really the type to gush.

Details are we're getting married on May 15, which is the day before my graduation. So we get married in the temple in Anchorage, then drive the six hours back to Fairbanks that evening so we can go to graduation on the 16th. Then in June, we're leaving for a 30-day trip across the country because Jack's getting sent to Georgia. Ew, Georgia. That's not Alaska at all! Puppy isn't going to like it. Fortunately, we're only there for six months, and then we get to move again. Heh, yay.

That said, it's 2:30 in the morning. I'm going back to sleep. I don't know why I even got up to type this, but maybe I'll be able to sleep better now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Follow-up

It warmed up to above 40 a day or two ago, but now it's down to about 15, and it's snowing again. The roads are atrocious. Times like this, I almost wish I still lived on campus.


Last week, Monday was a nice "normal" day, but Tuesday, I was on campus for thirteen hours. Wednesday, I was on campus for ten hours. Thursday, I got lucky and was only there for six, and Friday, I went to campus for morning classes, and then Jack, Josi, Fingers, and I left to go to Anchorage for a temple trip.



Part of the reason I was so busy last week was because the juggling club got kicked out of its normal practice area. I'd like to blame the guy who decided to bring a gigantic pogo stick and use it inside even after he was asked to stop, but it's not ENTIRELY his fault. I had missed every practice for over a week, largely because of my wreck, and then got a frantic phone call from my vice president saying we'd been kicked out of the Wood Center and he didn't know what to do. So now I'm trying to find us another practice location, but so far, it's not going well. In the meantime, juggling practice is becoming somewhat spontaneous.


I managed to acquire a new car within 24 hours of wrecking my old one. There's a guy in town who owns seven acres, entirely covered in wrecked Subarus. I traded in my old car plus two thousand bucks, and he gave me a working car of the exact same make and model, but four years older. Also, it runs. That's all I really need for now. I've named the new car Serenity after the spaceship in the TV show Firefly. Good show. Unfortunately, I haven't seen it in ages. My friends love to quote it, and half the time, I don't remember what they're talking about.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ah, crap

Today, I was driving downtown to pay some bills. It was five in the evening, and I was running later than I had wanted to (the places closed at six). It was warm today--right around zero--and I was enjoying the radio, the fact that the sun had set, et cetera. I guess I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have, because I noticed way too late that there was a car in front of me stopped in the lane (left lane) waiting to turn left. I hit the brakes, skidded, began fishtailing, and rear-ended the car in front of me going about 40 mph, then spun into the car to our right (thank goodness I didn't spin left into oncoming traffic).

I saw it coming and didn't honk like I guess I should've to let the lady know I was about to rear-end her. Oops. Funny enough, instead of thinking, "Oh no, this is going to hurt," I was thinking, "Oh no, this is going to mess up my car." Or maybe just, "I don't want to deal with the repercussions of this."

I've never seen air bags deploy before. Is that the right word? Deploy? Well, I definitely got a close-up view this time. I didn't even realize that was what happened at first. I guess I just thought the soft thing my face smashed into was what it felt like when you were in shock. Or dead. And I inhaled a lot of dust. Why is there so much dust in with the airbags? Blech.

You know, the Check Airbag light has been on ever since I bought that car. I'm kind of glad now that it was a faulty light instead of faulty airbags. I never got them checked because I never thought I'd need them.

So there I was, sitting in my crumpled car. I don't know how long it took me to recover from the shock of the wreck enough to open my eyes. By the time I did, there were a couple of cars--including the ones I had hit, of course--pulled into the parking lot there on the right and people were standing around talking. Genius that I am, I tried to drive my car over there. It wasn't budging. I tried restarting it. Oh yeah. Duh. Should I be able to see my front license plate from the driver's seat? Probably not. Maybe that was why my car wasn't starting.

Then I realized I was having trouble breathing because the car was so filled with the dust from the airbags. So I rolled down my window. Then it occurred to me that since my car wasn't moving, it might, maybe, be more effective to just get out of the car and walk over there. I don't think I even looked both ways before getting out and staggering over to the parking lot to where people were standing around talking on phones and exchanging information. I took one look at them, said shakily, "I'm really really really sorry..." and then darn near passed out. I was shaking so bad I could hardly stand up.

Since I know you're all wondering: no, nobody got hurt. Well, the lady I rear-ended said she "thought" she was okay, and that she didn't want to be the one to complain. She didn't seem to be in any pain or to have trouble moving around, so I expect she's probably about as shaken and generally sore as I am, but with no real injuries. As for me, well, I got a bruise on the knuckle of my left hand. No idea where that came from. The lady I side-swiped said that although I had knocked off her back bumper, she was fine--her car just got pushed to the side a bit, so nothing too bad there. She was very nice, and let me sit in her car to keep warm (it had gotten down to -10. Go figure).

It took me several minutes to stop shaking enough to call someone. Since one of the ladies had already called the police, I opted to call Jack, who was at work. He had to work a 24-hour shift today, and I had promised to bring him dinner that evening. So I called him to tell him that I wouldn't be able to make it... you know, what with no longer having a working car and all. He went straight to his commander, told him about the situation, and left work to come help me. We also called up Kitty, Fingers, and Josi, since Jack had to go back to work as soon as he made sure I was okay and got me home.

The lady I rear-ended was really frustrated. Apparently, she got rear-ended by someone just four days ago (presumably in another car).

Both the other cars will need the bumpers and lights fixed. Not too terrible, though. The rear of my car was a bit dented and battered from swiping the second lady, and the engine had folded like an accordion. I guess you could say that now the engine is "Fun Size!" The windshield cracked (looked like a bullethole right... well, right where my head would have hit it if I hadn't been wearing a seatbelt and hadn't had airbags), and there was some kind of liquid all over the road. No idea if it was coolant or oil or what. Basically, though, my car is dead. Almost the entire thing would have to be rebuilt if I wanted to put the money into it to fix it. Well, at least I don't have to fix the CV joints anymore.

Naturally, I got cited, but the officer was really nice, and gave me as few points as possible (two) since I've never had a moving violation before. He also said if I go in to court and say I want to take a defensive driving class, the two points will be taken off. Of course, there are still the problems I have to throw money and paperwork at--calling the insurance companies, getting the other two cars fixed, and of course, my ticket. Not to mention I need a vehicle for the next three months. Blah.

Oh yeah, so I was telling the officer my phone number, and he recognized 540 as a Virginia number. I was surprised, and he said, "Yeah, I'm from Lynchburg." Heh. Cool.

After an hour of standing around outside in -10 degree weather, we finally finished all the paperwork and everything, and the officer let Jack and me go. Jack took me to his apartment, where Kitty, Fingers, and Josi were waiting. Josi and Kitty pounced on me and hugged me. They pulled away, and I wordlessly held up the broken rear-view mirror, which Jack had apparently picked up from the seat of my car when he jumped in to grab whatever he thought I might need.

"Is that all that's left?" Josi asked. It doesn't seem as funny now that I'm writing it, but at the time, it was pretty much the funniest thing in the world.

So here I am, sitting at home, wishing I hadn't ever gone downtown to pay those stupid bills. I hate bills. And now I have more reason than you do to hate them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Running late

This morning, I ignored my alarm for an hour and a half. At 9:30, I suddenly snapped awake with the sudden horrible realization, "Oh crap, I'm going to be late for my 10:00 class!" I rocketed out of bed (to Stormy's chagrin) and flew around in a whirlwind, shoving everything into my backpack before flying into my car and speeding down the road. I skidded into the parking lot, gliding perfectly into a conveniently empty parking space, and sprinted up the icy hill to class while my lungs protested, "I don't like breathing -30 degree air this fast! Make it stop!" So I stopped breathing as I ran. I practically flew up six flights of stairs and ran down the hall, reaching the classroom door with thirty seconds left before 10:00. I flung the door open so I could scramble over a couple desks to get to my seat... and a bunch of Asian kids turned and stared at me like I was insane. I froze. They kept staring. I looked at the teacher. He was a short little Asian guy. He might have been 20 or 60. I can never tell with Asians. But he was definitely giving me a "look." It said, "Who are you and what are you doing in my classroom?" His hand was still holding a marker, frozen in the act of writing an unfinished equation on the whiteboard. I crawled into my jacket to try and hide, then wormed my way out of the room, quietly pulling the door closed behind me. I heard another two seconds of awkward silence in the room before class started right back up where it had left off, as if I had never been there.

But it was now past time for class to start. What were a bunch of Asian geniuses doing in my English classroom? What on Earth? Where was the teacher? Where was Natay, the girl who covers for me when I have to miss class to save the world? Had I done my homework for nothing?

And then realization dawned.

It's Friday. Class doesn't start until ten thirty.

...Dangit.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Awww, puppy!

Some idiot let my dog off her run a few days ago while I was gone. I came back to find my dog missing and five bags of garbage strewn all over the yard. In cleaning it up, I came to realize that she had eaten about two cups of old Halloween candy, which had been individually wrapped in tin foil kind of like Hershey's kisses.

Yes, I know chocolate's bad for dogs. I don't try to give it to her. But she's had enough so far that hasn't affected her that I don't worry too much if she gets a hold of it. The tin foil, on the other hand, I worry about.

Stormy showed up on the doorstep about half an hour after I got home. Her leash was gone, so I ended up having to get her a new one. The following night, around three in the morning, she vomited on my bed. As I cleaned it up, I noticed there was tin foil in it. "Good," I thought, "that's done with, then." I went back to bed. I think I fell asleep in about ten seconds, because according to the clock, it was only two minutes later that I was woken up to the sound of Stormy throwing up again. I got up, went downstairs to get the paper towels and cleaner and trash can, came back up to find her vomiting a third time, so I took her outside and put her on the run so she could throw up all she needed while I cleaned up.

When I went upstairs and turned on the light, I noticed that the vomit on the floor was a funny color. Red. Red? I cleaned it up and went outside to check on Stormy. She was vomiting again. Within ten minutes of the first time she vomited, she threw up six times. Two of the vomit piles had tin foil and were about the size of a dinner plate. The others were smaller--about the size of a softball. All but the first were pretty bloody.

Needless to say, I kind of freaked out. Especially as she was throwing up the sixth time, because I wasn't sure how long she would keep going. Did I have to rush her to an animal hospital? Could it wait till morning? Was she dying? In a bit of a panic, I called my mom (fortunately, with the time difference, she was already awake) and asked for her advice. She called her farmer friends to ask for advice and went to some website called JustAnswer, I think? By the time she called back (only minutes later), Stormy was happy and perky and alert and looking at me like I was crazy for standing outside with her if we weren't playing.

I ended up going to the store to get a few loaves of bread and feeding her just bread and water for the next two or three days. Bread is soft on the stomach, and also, theoretically, it would wrap around any remaining pieces of tin foil that she was having trouble getting through her system and would get it through easier. She seemed to like the bread. I would rip it up in pieces and hand-feed it to her a piece at a time. She liked the game of jumping up and catching it.

The following day, we hung out with David, Joslyn, and the two kids Josy's babysitting, Syrus (who's five) and Anisha (who's six). The kids loved the game of feeding bread to the dog. I told them only one piece each every few hours, but by the end of the evening, without my noticing, they had fed the dog an entire loaf and a half of bread.

Stormy's doing fine now. She just made it through one of the rawhide chews Mom sent her, and is now asleep with her head on my lap. Awwww!

She really is a pretty dog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here ya go

Know what's fun? Driving down the river. I mean that literally, driving down the river. To get to my friend David's house, the quickest (and most fun) way to get there is to literally drive your car onto the frozen river and go down the river. It's so cool! We took Joslyn and the two kids she was babysitting that way. The kids probably wouldn't have even noticed we were driving on the river if we hadn't told them. I tried to make it exciting, but when I told them we were on the river, they were terrified! Oh well. Not like the river's all that deep. It's probably more ice than water right now.

By the way, know what's funny? Watching two men who are really trying to win the new Super Mario Brothers for the Wii play with two five-year-old kids who run around trying to get everyone killed and throwing tantrums when something goes wrong or they die or they don't get the pink Yoshi. It was going to be me, Jack, David, and Joslyn playing, but Josy gave her controller to Syrus, and if I hadn't let Nisha play with my controller, she would have had a tantrum. After dinner, Josy and I played on the kids' controllers, and the kids ran around causing trouble and fighting and making messes. Go figure. Don't get me wrong, I love kids, but trying to do anything for yourself when they're around is freaking impossible!

I spent all day yesterday cleaning my cabin because school starts soon, and I find I can focus better if I'm in a clean place. I haven't cleaned it in kind of a long time because I spent almost my entire break with Jack. As in, I would wake up to a phone call from him, hang out with him all day long until like three in the morning, then sleep for a few hours before waking up to another phone call from him. But he's finally back at work full time, and school starts tomorrow for me, so now we're going back to a more normal schedule, meaning I'll see him maybe four hours a day... and in a few weeks, I'll probably be doing homework for those four hours.

Speaking of which, I spent like a hundred dollars on textbooks for my four classes excluding the independent study ones. Yesterday, I bought the textbooks for the independent study classes (which have to be bought at the independent study bookstore because UAF makes no sense), and just for the last two classes, the books cost $315. Stupid political science class.

Know what? My dog has no respect for my face. When I'm lying down, she's all over it. Paws, tongue, whatever. "You're not paying enough attention to me, so I will fix this problem by sitting on your face!" she says.

Okay, well, I'm going to go because I have some studying I want to do. Look at this: school hasn't even STARTED yet and I'm already studying. Sheesh! What's this world coming to?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fun times

I guess I ought to update more often. I used to write here every day, maybe every other, and now I'm lucky to write once a week.

This last Sunday was a ton of fun. Normally, I go out to visit my adopted family in North Pole for dinner on Sunday evenings, but this Sunday, I kind of skipped out on that. Instead, I invited over a couple of friends from church to my cabin to play Apples to Apples and eat frozen pizza. Well, not frozen. I mean, we cooked it before we ate it.

Anyway, since no one but Jack knew how to get there, we decided I would drive David, and Jack would ride with Joslyn and Chris and direct them to the cabin. First, though, everyone wanted to drop by their houses to change. Joslyn and Jack live in the same apartment building, so we stopped at Jack's first. Thus began the promotion of David.

See, Jack's roommate, Dave, collects swords, which he stores right by the front door of the apartment. David started toying with the swords while Jack and I changed (Jack in his bedroom and I in the bathroom, because I had left a change of clothes there because I had taken a shower there that morning because I don't have running water at my cabin). Partway through, I heard David call something about needing a Band-aid because he had cut his finger on one of the swords. I snickered a little to myself, but didn't really think much of it. I finished changing and brought my shower bag out to the living room, where I saw David scrubbing ineffectively at the wall with a dry paper towel while two of his fingers practically spurted blood, which was dripping down past his wrist. The top quarter inch of skin on those two fingers were darn near sliced off. Holy crap!

"How did you do this?"

"I was just trying to open it!"

"You don't OPEN a sword! That's your problem!"

"It was sharper than I thought."

"You don't test a sword by drawing it with your fingers on the blade!"

Jack led him to the bathroom while I cleaned the blood off the wall... and counter... and floor... and sword... and more of the floor... and then Joslyn and Chris showed up. After I finished cleaning, I looked down the hall to the bathroom and saw David practically passed out on the floor while Chris and Jack made fun of him for nearly killing himself trying to "open" a sword. Joslyn was bandaging his fingers and calling for scissors. In the end, I went in and helped her bandage and clean him up (he was woozy from the sight of blood, not from lack of it, don't worry) while the other guys stood out of the way and laughed.

To me, the funniest part was that the guy who cut himself was an Eagle scout, the other two guys were also Eagle scouts, and the girls, who, obviously, were NOT scouts, ended up being the ones to administer the first aid. (Actually, I just did what Josi directed, but I still helped!) Scouts are so useful. ;)

David seemed okay after drinking some orange juice, and after that, we headed over to the cabin and had a blast playing Apples to Apples and eating pizza. When we finished, Chris drove Joslyn home, and I took Jack and David out to Fox so they could help me haul some more water to my cabin. I've never had help hauling water before. It went WAY faster that way! Also, the well was really darn cold, almost completely iced over, and the ceiling had something that looked like fluffy icicles hanging about six inches down. It turned out to be snowcicles. I wish I'd had my camera, because it was AWESOME! I've never seen anything like it.

My mom sent my dog two squeaky toys for Christmas. They lasted her about ten minutes before she ripped them apart. I'm a little glad, really. I was a little worried that I would never get any sleep ever again. It was so funny watching it, though.

Fortunately, I got a video of her enjoying them. Later, I was playing one of the videos on my computer, and Stormy went nuts because she knew the sound, but she couldn't figure out where it was coming from! Silly puppy.