Friday, February 26, 2010

ahhh snap!

Cold snap that is.  Just when I was getting used those positive temperatures we plunged right down to 20 below.  I know, I know, I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and I should learn to suck it up but I think I'll whine about it for a while first.

Every morning my radio turns on at 6:30 and I listen to NPR as I drift in and out of consciousness until I persuade myself to get out of bed.  It's funny, sometimes my dreams and the news get oddly mixed up - like I can't remember if I heard it on the radio or dreamed it and if I heard it, did I hear it right. Anyway, I listen for temperature so that I plan my day accordingly.  On mornings that it is 20 below I am inclined to roll over and pull the covers over my head until I remember that just because it's cold outside doesn't mean that I don't have to go to work.  It's a sad reality some mornings and it requires some special planning in the wardrobe department.  I pull out the wool socks and forgo my cute wool coat for my ginormous michellan man coat (a.k.a. the sleeping bag with sleeves). A good hat, mittens and a scarf are a must. If it's any colder than negative 20, I might put on leggings under my pants.  All this so that I can walk from my house to my heated garage, drive into town and walk to blocks two the court house.  

I had just gotten used to heading off to work in my wool coat and some mittens.  The last few days I hadn't even needed to plug in my car.  But most of all I love being able to go outside and breathe without icicle forming in my nose and not feel like my skull is going to crack open from the cold. 

Alas, winter isn't done quite yet.  Here's to hoping that this cold snap doesn't last long.

Monday, February 22, 2010

a little bit of culture

Today I went to the symphony - "what?" you say, "does Fairbanks have a symphony?"  Why yes it does.  My dear friend Eva plays in the Fairbanks Symphony and asked me earlier this week if I'd like to come see their upcoming concert (today).  I decided to go because a) I could use a little culture and b) Eva is super awesome and it's always more interesting when there is someone you know performing.      

So like I said I went to support a friend and take in some local culture and I was totally blown away - totally overwhelmed. It was amazing! The concert hall is beautiful. The musicians were brilliant and they had this guest performer, Cellist - Zuill Bailey, who was beyond awesome. Words can't explain, so if you're curious check out his website.

And to answer your questions: yes, he played this piece (btw - one of my favorites, I think I cried) AND yes, he is even more gorgeous in person - you should see him play it was QUITE the experience!  If you can't tell, I'm a little bit in love. 

Thank you Eva! I had an awesome experience.

Monday, February 15, 2010

it's no snopocolypse but...

Alas, I will never be the type of blogger with a never ending stream of fabulous pictures.  I just can't be bothered to bring my camera with me all the time and truth be told, my life isn't all that photogenic.  That being said, I went for a walk today after church and decided to bring my camera along.  It was a beautiful sunny day here and Fairbanks and this is what my neighborhood looks like these days.  These were taken around 4:30 - check out how light it is.

We haven't seen much snow this year.  They say we're near record lows but what we have gotten has stuck.  Also, a lot of white snowy looking stuff allover the trees and stuff is actually frost.  

So as you can see, it's still pretty wintry up here.  

And yeah, I tweaked these pictures a bit - I loves to play up the colors and contrast and stuff even though I don't really know what I'm doing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

is it the cold or the darkness?

Here in Fairbanks, people will tell you that it isn't so much the cold that makes it miserable but the darkness.  I respectfully disagree.  It's both.  Now that January is in the past, and it has gotten a smidge warmer and as of today, we have 8+ hours of daylight, I'd like to take a moment to bash on January.  (Sorry January, you got a RAW deal but at least you're popular down under.)

January was plain awful (you can say that again*).  January was plain awful for 2 obvious reasons: 1) the days were miserably short, which means it was dark A LOT and 2) those fleeting moments of glorious sunlight were tainted by the bitter cold, making it impossible to enjoy the dazzling sunshine when it made a rare appearance.

Now that we are well into February, it has indeed gotten lighter AND warmer - such is my joy.  This is the 3rd day in a row that we have been in the positives and I can confirm that positive numbers are aptly named, as they are indeed positive.

To celebrate this recent improvement, I think I'll go for a walk at lunch and RELISH the return of positive numbers and sunshine.

* did you catch that Annie reference? - together at last, together forever, we're tying a knot, that no one can sever..... (now I'm just getting carried away)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

a memoir in 6 words

I was reading an article the other day on the npr website about a new book of 6 word memoirs.

6 words isn't much to work with but I started working on mine and this is what I came up with:

I underwhelm myself; wiser for it.  

What's yours?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

birthday season

I've always liked Groundhogs Day - it's so unabashedly pagan, what's not to love. But what I like best about Groundhogs Day is that it marks exactly 1 month from my birthday and because February is a freakish 28 days, that means it's 4 weeks to the day. I like to think that Groundhogs Day is to my birthday, what Thanksgiving is to Christmas - once it's over, it's time to start planning for the next holiday.  

Back when I was planning on moving to Fairbanks, I fretted about the idea of turning 30 alone in the frigid cold. In response to my fear, I planned on taking a trip to Hawaii for my birthday and spending it on the beach.  Unfortunately, I used up too much vacation time on my trip home for Christmas that I can't take the time off.  Also, my pesky student loans finally went into repayment and I am feeling the sting. So my grand birthday plans have been postponed until I can save up some more vacation days and I can get my loans consolidated.

I'm not so worried about spending my 30th here in Fairbanks anymore. It might even be fun, while it will most certainly be some degree of frigid outside, it won't be lonely.

Monday, February 1, 2010

my inner competitor

I went to a roller derby on Saturday night and I think I'm hooked. This may be the most exciting sport that I have ever watched. Sports just aren't my thing - I like baseball which some people say isn't even a sport. I'm okay with that, all I know is I love watching the Sox play at Fenway. I've been to quite a few hockey games since I moved up her to Fairbanks and they're pretty fun but so far I've been rather disappointed because I haven't seen a fight yet.

Roller Derby sorta blew my mind - it was so exciting. I pretty much cheered my guts out. The whole time I kept thinking, I wish I were that kind of girl. I wish I were hardcore, ruthless, tough.... Sadly I am not that kind of girl. I am uncoordinated, I don't like getting hurt and I don't know if I could ever knock anyone over. I had a pair of roller skates when I was probably about 10 - I loved them but even then I was no good at skating. I somehow doubt that I have improved much in the past 20 years. 

I was reminded of my competitive side earlier this week.  I was at a church activity at which there was a cake decorating contest. Our teams challenge was to make a "Daniel and the Lions Den" cake - I was ruthless. Out of nowhere I took charge and ordered my team around. I sort of realized how bossy I was being and tried really hard to tune back a bit so as to avoid being a total jerk. In the end it was a team effort and my team definitely made a lot of great contributions but I surprised myself with my own competitiveness.  Btw, we totally won! - who saw that coming? well I did of coarse. Don't mess with this cake decorator!

Last night I stayed up way too late watching "Whip it" with my roommate. It's a movie about roller derby (like I said, I'm kind of obsessed) and I can't stop wishing I was that kind of girl. For now I think maybe I'll focus my hardcore competitive nature on confections and maybe weaving.

(more about weaving later.)