Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I've decided to start a new blog.  If you want to keep readying my adventures, you can find me here:


Monday, August 27, 2012

So long, and thanks for all the fish

I think that mostly I exist to have the opportunity to quote books, movies, make obscure pop culture references, and sing songs.  So few things make me happier than when the title of a post falls neatly within that category AND is actually relevant to what I'm saying.

(Mischief Managed??  Possibly.  I may or may not have more shenanigans up my sleeve.  But I always loved the overt Harry Potter reference on the boat that often parked outside my window at work.)

This is my last day in Alaska.  Tomorrow is the first day of a brand new adventure, one wherein I plan to have more fun than basically ever.  I'll spend more time with my family, more time with friends, be better at my job, better at being spiritual... overall just more better.  I won't lose my temper, I'll start sleeping like a proper adult, and I'll acquire all those other skills that everyone thinks they'll automatically gain when looking forward to a new future.  It's called being hopelessly optimistic... and sometimes hopelessly deluded.

(The friendly neighborhood moose who liked to munch outside my window at work.  I have a very exciting window.  All the cool kids go there.)

But for now, I'm still here Alaska, and I'm surprised to find myself sad to leave.  After all, getting a job in the center of Seattle has basically been my goal in life for years.  Not to mention how much warmer it will be in the winter, and how much closer to family.

(McHugh Creek.  My favorite stretch of abandoned highway.)

But.  But, but, but.

(Fireweed.  When the blooms at the top blossom, you know summer is over and pre-winter is right around the corner.  Not fall.  There is no fall.)

This is the end of my fourth summer here, and I find that I've adapted neatly to all the bizarre little quirks such a remote location has.  I drive a lot more calmly than I used too.. I do a lot of things more calmly.  Don't get me wrong.  I still get excited, and I still worry, and I'll even lose my patience on occasion.  But I know how to rely on myself.  I know how to solve my own problems and make my own decisions.  I know I can make it on my own--even in The Last Frontier.  I know I can make friends and fall in love, and I know I can make mistakes too.  But just because a mistake happens, doesn't mean the world will end.  Quite to the contrary.  The world keeps happening, and I keep happening too.  I'm surprised to find that even though I avoided it like the plague, I did put down roots.  I didn't have a long-term apartment, and I didn't buy furniture, but I have friends.  I have surrogate families.  I have routines and activities.  Responsibilities even.  Favorite restaurants and coffee stands.  I have places I like to go to think.  I know which spots in the road to avoid because of potholes, and how to get places the back way to avoid construction.  I know that Simon's has the best key lime pie in the city, and no one makes better garlic-cilantro fries than Bears Tooth.  Moose's Tooth probably has the most exciting and delicious varieties of pizza ever.  And I'll miss eating at a place called Taco King (they deliver).  Taco King of all places!  

(This is what I always order at Bear's Tooth.  Rosemary Chicken Burger.  The garlic cilantro fries are a given.)

The best part about Alaska is I don't regret anything.  I went on the adventures.  I explored.  Saw the Iditarod and the Northern Lights.  Saw Denali and Seward.  Went to North Pole.  Camped, biked, fished, hiked, kayaked, canoed, flew and skiied over every inch I possibly could.  And it was beautiful.

(Not instagram.  Just a roadtrip-dirty windshield.  See.  That's how cool Alaska is.  You can take pictures like this through the dirty windshield of a moving car.)

So thank you Alaska, really.  And also for the fish.  It was rather delicious.

Douglas Adams, in case you're wondering.  From when the earth was going to be blown up in "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", and the dolphins left the planet, telling humans, "so long, and thanks for all the fish."

Friday, August 24, 2012

By Popular Demand

For Michelle.  Who requested it. The extended edition featuring deleted scenes. Hope this is what you were looking for!


"I don't want this anymore.

I want to wake up in the morning and help my kids get off to school.  I want to watch Good Morning America and take the dog on a walk, clean the house, do the laundry, make a million phone calls.  I want to call my mom in the middle of the day to chat just because I can.  I want to decide on dinner and bake things in the afternoon so the house smells delicious when people get home.  I want to be there when my other half walks through the door.  I want to sit down and have dinner with my family and talk to my kids.  Even when they're surly teenagers.  Because they'll be MY surly teenagers.  And at night when the kids have gone to bed, I want to curl up on the couch and snuggle with the love of my life.  And I want to sigh because even though it's difficult, life is so impossibly wonderful.

That's what I want.  Not this.  Not anymore."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Constantly Changing

Well.  Actually just math.  Which is lucky because I am a disaster in a science lab.  Just ask C.  So hold on to your turkeys kids, this one's going to be wild.

I'm not sure if I thought math made more sense when I compared it to life, or if life made more sense when I compared it to math, but either way helps me understand things better.

Every equation in math has factors, sometimes they are variables, sometimes constants, but an equation can't balance out unless the variable and constants agree on the answer.  Barring weird versions of math that don't count (hah! math counts :) ... yeah), when 2x=10 then the variable x is 5 based on the constants of 2 and 10.  But an equation with too many variables and not enough constants becomes difficult to solve for.  You can't arrive at numerical values for your variables in 2x+y=z.  Not enough known values.  So you end up with things like x=(y-z)/2 and y=z-2x.  No matter what they affect each other and the results, but you need more information to arrive at a numerical answer.

Life is the same way.  Some things in life are constant.  My family, my belief in God, the fact that I'm moving to Seattle next week, and knowing that I can still be friends with a handful of people that I don't live close to.  Right now, pretty much everything else is variables.  Am I going to like my apartment, will I make friends, will I like my new job, am I going to date someone in WA, am I going to date someone from AK, when will I have a dog, is my new company going to decide I am the worst designer ever and they shouldn't have hired me?  So many variables to solve for, and not enough constants.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Covet

But sometimes I do.  Especially when it's the world's most adorable giraffe bangle that I've been lusting after for the better part of a year and is finally now on sale.

I think I'm going to finally buy my giraffe bangle.  I think it will match every outfit in my wardrobe, solve every problem in my life.  And cure world hunger.  And possibly even cancer.  It might even write the great American novel.  There's no telling how ambitious my bangle will be feeling, but it would definitely win all the cool tiles in the game of Life.  Even if I do have to pay for shipping and sales tax.  Which I think is bogus.  I mean, I'm going to have to just swallow the tax pill and get used to it I suppose... but paying for shipping is probably one of the lamest things in the world, especially when you do your purchasing from a shop that grossly inflates their prices anyway.  They can pay for their own shipping.

And as C says, you shouldn't have to pay shipping to end world hunger.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A serious case of the Wishy-Washies

While I have incredibly decided opinions about some things, with others I just completely fail.  For instance, A and I can never decide what we want to eat.  Ever.  And the situation only gets worse when we try to eat somewhere together.  We have created a bag full of restaurants that we like so when we need food we can just draw an option instead of having to decide on our own.  Which was a nice idea in theory--but in actual practice I think we end up often going through the entire bag before we find something that sounds good.

But the madness neither starts nor ends with food.  I think I've decided that from now on, 2012 should be referred to as 'The Year of the Wishy-Washies'.  Let's review the past 8 months, shall we:

I'm getting Married!

These are my colors.

Buy things.

Actually.  These are my colors.

Tell everyone I know.

10 versions of announcements.

Found the most perfect set of dishes ever.

Paper.  The linen textured kind in co-ordinating shades.

Actually--turns out I'm not getting married.

I should move to Washington.

Do I want those dishes, or do I like other ones more?

Definitely Washington.

New.  Friends???

I should stay in Alaska.



I should date three boys at the same time.

Maybe actually none boys.

Okay, maybe one.

Or not?  Stupid triangles.


Yes.  Washington.

What kind of dishes do I like?

Which is really the question, isn't it?  And if we're talking about dinnerware, we can't just look at 2012, sadly this saga has been going on since I started seriously looking at plate patterns in 1998.  When we were high schoolish ages, my parents would start buying things for us that we would need later on.  Dinnerware, pots and pans, silverware, etc.  So I started looking.  In fact.  I have looked at plate patterns at Corelle so many times, that I could not only tell you what new patterns were available and which had been dis-continued, but I can also refer to most of their patterns by name.

After putting it off for about 8 years, my mom finally gave me an ultimatum where-in I had two weeks to pick a plate pattern.  No more changing my mind.  Up til this point, the issue wasn't changing my mind so much as it was finding something I actually liked.  Now, my taste in material things has stayed rather consistent over the years even as styles change, which simply means that sometimes its easier than others for me to find things that I like.  Unfortunately--the creators of casual dinnerware didn't really catch up to my taste until about 3 years ago.  So I spent a really, really long time looking at floral, vine-y patterns that I < a fan of.  Regardless, I picked a pattern, and I have plates, and they're perfectly serviceable, and really not that bad compared to all the other plate patterns that were available.
(see? really not so bad.  Just a bit... floral. And pastel.)

But I still had a hand in the game, so to speak.  Every so often I would do the rounds, look at patterns, see what was available.  And when I was starting to register for things I found it.  The holy grail.  The most quintessential 'Stephanie' pattern that there could ever possibly be.

(Blue and white. Pattern mixing.  Perfect.)

But then Mom reminded me that I had never seen it in person, which laid the seed of doubt.  I started to wonder if they had the right weight and heft, if the picture was true to actual colors, and most of all if it would start to irritate me to have super pattern-y dishes.  I love patterns.  I am in love with color.  But I don't necessarily like for my colors and patterns to compete with my food.  It can only lead to a stomach ache.

So I thought.  And thought.  And thought and thought and thought.  And then I started thinking about how Mom has been pointing out fiesta-ware to me for years.  Literally.  Everytime we go through a dinnerware section in a store, either she or I will point it out.  For years.  Which led me to find this pattern.  It's not fiesta-ware, I think it's a more elegant answer to the question though.
(Noritake Colorwave.  In Turquoise, yellow, and grey.)

I particularly like how it's neutral where the food goes, and the exterior is matte instead of glossy.

Although it might be nice with some fun pattern-y things mixed in... just so it doesn't get boring.

Which I think actually makes me the wishy-washiest plate pattern picker in the history of dinnerware.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I'm starting something new.  Things About Me That Not Everyone Knows.  It's pretty self-explanatory.  Mostly I'm doing this because I've been thinking about blogging again, and the only thing I never run out of things to say about is myself.  So lets call this an insight into an incurable narcissist.

Everyone knows that I am obsessed with music.  I love knowing the words, titles, tunes, artists, and back stories.  I love being able to sing along with just about anything from any decade.  I'll listen to just about anything, but I will almost always default to 80s, country, or 60s music.  Someone once decided to start calling me a jukebox.  I suppose it's not an incorrect comparison.

Some of you know that I love Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Journey and Heart, but not everyone knows that secretly I'm obsessed with Enya, David Bowie and Def Lepperd.  Or that L-S has gotten me fixed on the adorableness of One Direction.

(see... pretty adorable.  And British.  Which never hurts.)

I love to awkwardly dance, and I love to rock out.  One of my specialties is shoulder-dancing.  Super fun to do while holding the steering wheel.  Did you know that you use different muscles if you're going to shoulder-dance while keeping your steering straight?  It's a nice challenge.

My theory on listening to a song that I like (I came by it honestly) is if it was good once, it will be even better twice.  At full blast.  But no more than twice or you'll get sick of it.  But sometimes if it's really good I'll listen a third time :)

I think one of the best features of music is that in a truly good song you're communicating in emotion.  The words are already written, so for someone like me who fails at verbal expression, music is wonderful.  It's my way of proving to the world that Yes!  I do have emotions.  Even if you have to catch me listening to 'Nothing Compares 2 U' by Sinead O Connor to witness them.