Monday, December 24, 2007

Mewwy Kissmoose!

Lucy was right. Snow comes up!

I'm serious! It looks like the snow is coming up instead of falling down, just like she said. "The wind blows it around so it looks like it's coming down, but actually it comes up out of the ground like grass. It comes up, Charlie Brown. Snow comes up!"

We got some snow the night before, so it is a white Christmas after all. And now the wind is blowing hard and while it isn't actually snowing, it looks like it is because the snow is the dry, powdery kind.

And nothing says Christmas like a nice zombie video game!

That's what Logan is doing right now. Playing a zombie video game on his new Xbox 360 Elite. I hope I get to try out my new Dance Dance Revolutions pad and game soon.

Logan gave me an iPod for Christmas and I've been filling it with as much karaoke as I can find that I already know. I've got about 40 songs on there already, and two of them are not karaoke. I finally got Wicked karaoke! Woohoo!

Today was hell at work. What happened to the days when people stayed home with their families Christmas Eve? All the employees were itching to get out the door, but all the customers where still packing in like we were going to be open til midnight. We finally started kicking people out at 4:30. And people were still calling an hour later to see if we were still open! Geeze Louise!

Logan's been sick the last couple of days, the poor dear. My boss finally had to tell him to GO HOME yesterday. He doesn't listen to me, so I'm glad Bossman laid down the law. Then he sent me home a few hours early to take care of my ailing husband. I went, but when he told me to go home early today, I said I'll think about it and promptly forgot. I'm sure he's glad I did that because we were slammed until we shut the doors.

One of my old coworkers at the kennel sent me a picture of the kennel kitty, Henry. I forgot how positively adorable he is, especially in his necktie!

I love all my family and friends and I miss you terribly. I hope you're all having a merry Christmas and that you all got your packages in the mail safe and sound. If you didn't get a package from us, don't worry. I'll probably be sending a lot of Amish Friendship bread soon!

Love you all and God/dess bless.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Internet deprived yet again...

Sorry, my adoring fans. We were once more deprived of our internet capabilities for about a week there. Finally got it fixed this afternoon.

You know, customer service in this state is seriously lacking. Or maybe I'm just spoiled by the company I work for. Customer Service is one of our most important factors.

But we were screwed over multiple times by the Toyota up here, and we were nearly screwed over by the internet/cable provider (but they have redeemed themselves by getting me back to my blog.)

The temperature has been dropping. No snow for a while, so what's left is frozen and crunchy (like kitty litter). It was -9 degrees last night on our way home! Our windows get frozen shut. (We try to keep them open a crack when we're gone to let the moisture out so we don't have the mold issues we had in our last place. But then our windows get frozen open, which is, if you'll excuse the pun, not cool.)

Logan got me my very first I-pod for Christmas! Now if only I had time to download the songs I want to put on it. At least now I have the internet connection to do it with.

We mailed boxes of presents to my parents, Logan's parents, and our friends a few days ago. I hope everything arrives safely and that you all get a kick out of your touristy Alaska gifts. We got a kick out of picking them out!

Okay, it's past 11. I gotta sleep. It's good to be back!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Only in Alaska!

Get a load of the excuses we got from a couple of our cashiers yesterday. You'd only find this creativity in Alaska!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas, Christmas Time Is Near...

In chipmunk voice, of course. Quickly followed by All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.

On the work front, people have finally started chucking me out the door at a normal time recently. Today, since Logan was scheduled a different shift than me and he has the "rental", one of the managers offered to drop me off at home. I was just going to stay there from open to close and go home with Logan. It's just too easy to stay at work as long as I have work to do, which I always do. But this is good. I should start leaving after a normal manager shift, anyway. I want to do theater. And I'm getting fat, so maybe we'll be able to join the local club soon.

And don't roll your eyes at me, those who know my skinny butt. It ain't skinny no more. For the first time, I'm having trouble zipping up one of my favorite pairs of pants. I look mostly the same when covered in clothes, but if you saw my underneath (short of being shocked that I'm baring that much flesh, ha ha), you'd see what I mean. I think my body is reacting to the cold weather and the fact that I have a sit-down job without time to work out regularly. I feel like the contents of a dump truck.

But enough about my butt. Let's talk about your butt!

Just kidding.

So I was asked what should a person who is moving to Alaska bring with them. From my own experience, here's a few things:

#1 - Bring thermals. Bring thermal underwear. It makes all the difference when your warmest days are in the single digits. (We haven't reached that mark yet, but it's rapidly approaching, since most days are in the teens and 20s now. The winter has yet to truly begin!) Underarmor is a blessing, give those a try!

#2 - Bring a taste for dried, freeze dried, and frozen fruits and veggies. I've had a few of the fruits here and they aren't very good, rather bland and tough. I've been snacking on bags of dried apples and frozen strawberries from the Costco here (it's called Three Bears and you don't need a card for it! But it is smaller.). I have yet to get into frozen veggies yet because I hate vegetables in the first place and only like them raw and fresh. But I know I must do something about that.

#3 - Bring money. As much as you can. Especially if you did what we did and got rid of a lot of stuff to make it easier to get here. Also, food can be more expensive as well, though gas and utilities are about the same. And you'll have to winterize your vehicle every year. Not to mention if you change your mind or decide you don't like it here, it costs an awful lot to go back!

4# - Bring a good vehicle. Trucks seem to have the most difficult time in the snow here. SUVs and front wheel drive cars seem best. Our Yaris is doing just dandy since we got the studded tires.

5# - Bring a sense of humor. Things can seem very weird here at times, with the tweakers and the greater freedom to be, well, strange. There are lots of characters, probably because they can't, or won't, fit in anywhere else.

6# - Bring everything you love. You may not find it here. I gave away my oils, incense, candles, and other things thinking there'd be a store like my favorite one in California, but there isn't. I'll have to replenish my supply by mail order, looks like. Don't count on there being certain stores or certain brands here.

7# - Bring a ton of patience. There are very few roads getting into and out of Anchorage, so when there's an accident, things back up for hours and there's no way of getting around. People will do and say strange things that you aren't used to. Weather can certainly screw with your plans. We were having 80 mile an hour winds just a couple of days ago, and then it was freezing, and now it's mild again. Still hoping for a white Christmas, for crying out loud! If I can't get it in Alaska, where can I?!

Um, I guess I'll stop there. Can't really think of anything else right now. Feel free to pepper my blog with questions, I love to give advice! (Not so great at taking it, though. Gotta work on that, right, Myn?)

Oh, about the hair thing. I'll keep it long for now. Logan likes it and I've started putting it up again, which helps. I've tried a few different spray in things to keep the static down, but so far, nothing is working. May try dryer sheets next.

What I need now are all natural, tried and true methods for clearing up acne. Mine's raging out of control now that I'm off birth control. I'd forgotten how bad it gets. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Great Hair Debate

This happens all the time. I can hear my friends moaning, "Here we go again."

I can never make up my mind about my hair.

I promised my best friend I would grow out my hair as long as hers so that whenever we go shopping, I can tie our braids together so she won't get lost.

She's the type that squeals, "Ooh, shiny pretty!" and disappears.

I find myself saying, "Hey, Myn, look at this neat shirt... Myn? Myndi?"

So my hair is finally reaching my shoulder blades. Well, half if it is. The hair in front is still just below my chin. Old layers from the first really really really short hair cut I got a few years ago.

It was great, except that I couldn't style it most of the time. We lived an hour away from everything, including work, and I couldn't use a blow dryer because it would cause a power outage (we were off grid and getting power from a generator at the time I had my last short haircut.)

It looked really good styled. It was horrible when it wasn't.

But long hair is its own misery, particularly mine. Because it's so fine, it breaks easily. Every shower, I have a fistful of hair in my hand from all the strands that break. I have to condition it every day because my snarls can withstand the most expensive detangler. And when it's dry, no amount of hairspray can keep it from getting static clingy and rising up like that electric ball they have you touch in grade school.

I can't really use most of the hair things I've bought for various reasons, such as my hair slips right out of them or they hurt my head, blah, blah, blah.

Id love to perm it, but that's ungodly expensive and it usually just causes more breakage anyway. I don't want to end up bald.

I love the way my hair looks when it's first blow dried and brushed. It never stays that way, though.

And then there's another reason, the one that keeps being rudely dragged to my attention.

A girl I know was recently sexually assaulted.

One thing that makes it easy to control a woman is her long hair.

I know, some are saying the chances of that happening to me are not that great.

Except it was right here in town.

Being a martial artist, this sort of thing is very important to me.

So this always brings up the question of : To chop or not to chop.

More to add to the debate: Long hair covers my ears and neck and keeps them warmer. But short hair fits better under hats and scarves are a great addition to my winter wardrobe. (Particularly the green one you made me, Myn.)

Long hair is better for theater because of the different styles you can do with it. But short hair fits better under wigs.

My husband likes it both ways. What he doesn't like is when it's in between. Not short, not long, just ... yuck.

What do I like best? I like how I look with long hair, but short hair makes me feel sassier. My hair feels healthier when it's short and I use less shampoo, conditioner, and time in the shower.

Of course, I'd get a kick out of growing it really long and then chopping it off to donate to charity, like Locks of Love or whatever it's called.

Okay, enough about my hair. What do you guys think? I'm going to sleep on it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holy Hopping Hamburgers!

Was it really November 2nd that I posted last? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

Oh, yeah. It's a serious disease called overworked. Still trying to find a cure. Maybe it's karaoke.

I still don't have a real normal schedule. I'm still mostly working open to close most days of the week. There have been numerous personal problems abound amongst my coworkers and I'm doing my best to keep things running smoothly.

So I still haven't had much experience with the Alaska that everyone brags about.

Here's some of the odd things I've encountered.

A few days ago it was regularly in the 20s during the day. As we were going home from work, we could see the big electric billboard that displays the temp and the time and it said it was 18 degrees out.

The next day we wake up and the temperature has shot up about 20 degrees. It's been over 40 for a couple of days, just now starting to drop down to the mid 30s again.

My first thought was: Did I hibernate and miss winter? Is this the spring thaw? All the snow was melting and there was no longer any ice on the ground! This is a place that is not supposed to see dirt from November through April!

The other weird thing is the panhandlers. No one told me they were mean!

In Anchorage, I was approached by a lady who talked very fast, but I got the gist that she was asking for spare change. I took quick stock of my situation. My money was in my wallet in my back pocket under a thick jacket and a couple of shirts. There were several other individuals around, mostly guys, and there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell I was taking my wallet out when someone could just snatch it away and take off.

So I very politely told her I had nothing to give her and she moved on.

I guess I've mostly lived in places that were so large, you never run into the same person at random again.

A few hours later as we were coming out a restaurant, here comes that same panhandler. She's waving her fist in the air and shouting, "You didn't give me any change!" When she reaches me, she punches me in the arm and walks on.

Logan and I stared after with our jaws wagging. I couldn't believe the nerve of this woman.

So I know what most people are thinking. What good is your second degree black belt if you let mean little panhandlers get a whack at you?

Well, it was a sad punch, kind of like what you see little kids do to each other to annoy each other before they go running off, crying for mama.

When Logan and I finally started off down the street, I said, "I hope it made her feel better."

And I truly hope it did. At least I was able to do something for her, even if it was only to be a punching bag.

If I ever go to Anchorage again, I'll make sure I keep some change in my pocket.

My coworkers joked that I should have given her one of our $10 off coupons. You have to spend $50 to be able to use it.

I'm not that cold.

Thanksgiving was so strange without the family. We spent it with the boss man and his wife and a few other managers from work. It was good food, though I missed my mother's gravy over rice. And the company was friendly and cheerful enough, but I still nearly busted out in tears when a song my father sings came on the Dish Network music channel that was playing.

I missed Nino's huge bear hugs that lift me off the floor, discussing Tamora Pierce's books with Alex, swapping jokes with my cousins, playing guitar with my dad, making fun of my mother's failed science experiments in the kitchen (though I heard the gravy was fine this year. How boring is that?)

And I have to figure out what to do for a Christmas tree this year. I can't buy a potted one because I'd have to ship it to mom and dad's to be planted. Do I want to cut one down or buy a cheesy plastic tree? Are there Christmas tree farms here? Or is the whole state a Christmas tree farm?

It's getting toward midnight here, which means close to one in California. I want to say thank you to the people I don't know who are reading this blog. You're the reason why I'm posting tonight.

Yes, Mom, Dad, Myndi-bunny, Matthew, and Tiffy. I'm posting for you, too. But the nice comment left on the previous post by someone I've never met stoked my spirit for writing again.

Thank you, thank you, thank you readers. I appreciate you so much.

Karaoke, anyone?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ah, the sweet, sultry sound...

... of zombies eating people in the background.

My hubby is watching a horror movie as I type.

I am soooooooo very tired. I'm looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, but I think my light is a tiny tea candle sitting in a very playful breeze.

My job was an absolute nightmare yesterday. I know we all talk about wanting to scream with frustration, throw our hands up in the air, and kiss it all goodbye, dodging the door before it hits us in our proverbial arse on the way out.

There were several moments when I was so overwhelmed, I couldn't focus to save my life. It was a total sensory meltdown as I have never experienced before. I am so amazed I didn't lose it and start sobbing all over the keyboard.

People warn you. They try to tell you what to expect so that you'll be ready for it. But sometimes, you just aren't.

I feel bad for asking lots of questions. Apparently, I didn't ask enough. On top of that, I had to take my car to the shop and squeeze in a huge shopping trip to Office Depot to get the supplies for the store.

I've learned things about Alaska in that time, things that no one thinks to mention because that's just the way it is there.

1) There's no such thing as overnight mail. The quickest mail will get anywhere to the lower 48 is two days.

2)We are an hour behind California, which means we are farther behind all the other stores across the lower 48, including the main hub in the midwest. So when someone says they need something done by noon, they mean by 9 or 10 am for us.

3)Everything is farther away from everything else here. A trip to Office Depot in California means a few blocks down the road. Or even a short jaunt next door (damn you, Rocklin). For us, everything that isn't Walmart, Fred Meyer, and a collection of small businesses is an hour's drive away. And that's when the traffic is good.

4)Speaking of traffic, here I thought we were getting away from congestion and irritated drivers. Lordy, drivers here are worse than anywhere else I've been. And the traffic getting into Anchorage is five times worse than Sacramento. Especially when it starts snowing and accidents start happening. J (a coworker) and I were stuck in a traffic jam that took us three hours to get through.

It's hard working with people in other states. At least they are all polite and helpful, but sometimes they give you lectures that are really a waste of air because there ain't shit you can do about what they want. I'm in Alaska, dude. You talk to the postman and make him wave his sparkly wand to get the paperwork to you in one day.

November and there's still not a lot of snow on the ground. There were snow flurries today, but everything melted before night fell.

I know this post makes it sound like Alaska's a real drag, but it's not. Really, if it weren't for the job, I wouldn't notice these things half as much as I do now.

I'm hooked on the karaoke bar, but I can't go because Logan and I have one car and I'm not going to force him to go with me. He'll only want to go if other people from work do, and right now no one else wants to. Sigh. Once we get another vehicle, I'm going alone. Maybe I'll turn it into a night job or something.

Dream a little dream, twirl in a circle, and flop on the bed. Sleep is bliss. Good night, y'all. Kisses!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ahhh... Internet at last!

I can't believe it. You can actually have withdrawal symptoms when you are deprived of your Internet access. I can personally vouch for that. (Urp.)

I'm back, folks! Back and better than ever! Or is that bitchier than ever? I guess we'll see by the end of this post, eh!

Mama Mia, I miss everyone so much. We've been sooooo busy, it's inconceivable. And yes, that word means what I think it means.

We've been putting in at least 12 hours a day at the new store, getting it ready. We're so tired, we still haven't hardly unpacked anything. I long to make a real dinner.

Okay, so you probably want to hear about Alaska, since that is what this blog is about.

Yes, it's as cold as the deepest winter in Northern California and it's only October. But actually, as long as you dress right, you don't really feel it all that much.

Unless it's windy, like today. Ye Gods, that wind slices right through your clothes no matter what you're wearing.

But it's gorgeous here. Snow covered mountains, lots of lakes and creeks everywhere we go (can't wait for them to freeze so I can go skating!)

When I got to Wasilla, all I saw was ...

Drum roll, please.

A big sign that said "If you lived here, you'd be home now!"

Just kidding. But it does feel like home.

And besides, I may get a real underground following here. Last night after the employee dinner, a bunch of people, including corporate higher-ups and several of the store managers, went to a local bar for karaoke night. I was a bit worried because I hadn't sung in public for a while and I was afraid my voice would crack.

One of the footwear employees got up and sang Hanky Panky, which cracked me up. She had a very strong alto voice that would be perfect for theater belting.

So what song did I choose for my first? My Immortal by Evanescence. The footwear girl started bowing before I even got all the way up there when they announced what I chose. "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"

Holy crapola, what have gotten myself into?

Apparently I have a reputation for being a quiet, straight laced girl. No drinking, no smoking, no chew (very popular here), hardly eat red meat, aways working.

So my going up to the stage garnered some extra attention.

Since this is my blog, I'm going to be completely honest about what happened. No inhibitions.

I kicked ass.

The part of the song where it crescendos into the heavy guitars and crashing drums and then goes into the chorus, they all started cheering and whistling and stomping their feet.

Afterwards, I got so many compliments, I wondered if I'd been replaced with someone else. I mean, I've gotten compliments on my voice before, but nothing like this!

One of the higher-ups shook my hand and said, "I don't get it. We've been working in the same building for a week and I've heard maybe five words out of you. And then you get up there and do that?! Where did that come from?"

People were still talking about me all day today. One lady I didn't even know came up and said, "I heard you were the karaoke queen last night!"

I'm still aglow. The ham got some time in the spotlight and I desperately needed it.

I wish my theater friends could have been there to sing with me. I sure do miss you guys.

And my mom and dad. I finally got my guitar back, though I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet.

Well, the spouse creature is pacing, so I better go. Now that we got Internet again, I'll try to post more regularly and paint pictures of the Alaska adventure we're having.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We're here because we're here because we're here...

Just wanted to let all my faithful readers, the throngs of people waiting with fish breath for my every typed word (okay, so I'm just dreaming again. It's my blog!), that we have arrived in Alaska, we are well and happy, though we'll be much happier once we get our stuff, and it has snowed twice already, though just a dusting.

We have no Internet access at home yet. I am at this moment sitting in a cute little Internet cafe where the guy behind the counter plays the guitar between concocting coffee drinks for the patrons. This is the only Internet access we've had for a week, and are we feeling the withdrawal pangs, man!

Anywho, Logan's coming back, so I guess I'd better wrap this up. More news and pics coming later on when we get our own Internet at home, which should be around the 26th.

In the meantime, let the manual labor of setting up a brand new store continue! Hopefully we'll be getting our stuff very soon. Maybe then the spouse creature will stop whining.

Hee hee! He's reading this over my shoulder right now! I'm a wicked duck, I am!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The last day cometh...

Auuuuuuugh! This is it! This is the last day! Help me, help me! This is the last day! Auuuuuuugh!

(Clearly, some philosophies aren't for all people.)

Auuuugh! It's already halfway over!!! It's past noon!! Where is the day going?!

Auuuugh! It's 10 minutes later than it was 10 minutes ago! It's slipping through my fingers!!! Auuugh!

Okay, I'm good. It's all cool.

Yeah right. More like an emotional roller coaster, but you keep it all inside.

A lot of things I'm really excited about. A lot of things I'm really sad about.

Sad that I didn't get to do a lot of things I would have loved to do. Sad that the last two days had to be spent working rather than trying to see people I love and will miss terribly (Mellybean, Matthew, Tiffy, various family members, etc. Oh, everybody!)

Today Logan is driving Mustange Sally over to his parents house. My mom and I are going to see Mellybean's Halloween show at Olde Coloma Theatre. Then I'm borrowing mom's car and going to pick Logan up so I can visit his parents, too. May squeeze in dinner with Tiffy in the in-between time.

Tomorrow morning my parents are driving me, Logan, Dusty and Asuka, and a bunch of baggage to the airport. Gods, I hope the sedatives work so that the cats can stay quietly with us in the cabin.

I though perhaps I'd sit down and write a deeply moving and philosophical post about leaving 30 years of life behind you and looking forward to the next 30 years with great dreams and hopes.


I'm just wondering if I can get through the day without sobbing uncontrollably. Maybe I'll settle for sobbing controllably.

I just won't control it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A great rush of wind...

That's just my sigh of relief at the whole interview weekend being over.

Of course, now an opposite breeze is blowing because I'm sucking in air as I get ready to go through our stack of people to call and say yes, you made it through the meat grinder and are being offered a job!

And that's just for the front end. You should see the stack of "no" people from ALL the departments that I have to send letters of "thanks, but no thanks" to. It's huge. Barely stays upright. Think of all the envelopes I'll have to address. At least I'll have plenty to do when we're back in town.

I learned a lot through the interviews I conducted this weekend. Especially of what not to do when you are interviewing for a job! I'll share my newfound wisdom and hope that none of these people are reading this.

1. Don't wear shirts that say things like Genius by Birth, Slacker by Choice.

2. Don't wear your baseball cap sideways.

3. Don't walk into the interview in a manner that says, "I'm into depressing music and sitting in the dark contemplating my pathetic existence" or "My daddy's making me do this." It doesn't matter how you're dressed when we see a gait like that.

4. Don't plop down in a chair and demand a lead position or management position in your department of choice. You may find that's the person you're talking to.

5. Please leave God out of it. It's totally cool if you're religious, but if we think you may start harassing customers and asking if they've been saved, you won't have a snowball's chance in... Well, you know.

6. Don't try to dig yourself out of that grave you've found yourself in. You'll probably just make it worse.

7. Don't try to speak around that foot in your mouth. By that time, it would probably be best just to nod and smile and get the heck out. We may admire your grace in dashing around the long tables as you fly out the door. Or for humor's sake, try adding the other foot. Or someone else's foot.

Okay, I've run out of witticisms for now. I'm going to go to bed and dream about the stack of "no hires" falling on top of me and smothering me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Impending doom...

Tomorrow, all insanity busts out as the interviewing begins. We've probably got over 200 people planning to drop by tomorrow. Apparently this new store is a big excitement in this area.

Since we've secured our apartment, we're back to work, running around and buying a lot of stuff for the new store, making things, preparing for the interviews, etc. I'm tired.

Our stay has been extended as well. Instead of coming back to California this Monday, we're coming back Wednesday. And instead of leaving for good on Wednesday the 17th, we're leaving on Monday the 15th. This also means that we'll be frantically moving everything into the container in one day instead of two and a half days. That's going to be hell, since we haven't even repacked a lot of the stuff we had unpacked while living at my Mums and Daddums' house.

Hmm. I guess we'll be packing Wednesday night immediately upon arrival! Won't that be fun.

Can't you just smell the odor of sarcasm fairly wafting from your computer right now?

We've been eating a lot of food the last few days. I know restaurants give way too much food, but I didn't really notice it until I was eating out every single meal. At least we're not paying for it (except for a bloated tummy, perhaps.)

Haven't been able to see or experience much of Alaska. But I heard that the lake right here in town is used for ice skating in the winter! I can't wait to see that!

It's been pretty cold, but it's amazing how warm 45 degrees can feel when the sun is out. It was wet and cloudy for half of the day today, but the sun broke through in the afternoon. The morning before yesterday there was frost on the car. I bet there will be frost on the car tomorrow, too! Wonder when it will snow. I think I need to get some ear muffs.

Logan and I got new cell phones. The plan we got with these allows us to make calls throughout the United States, and we still get things like anytime night and weekend minutes, etc.

Sorry, Melly Bean. That was one of the reasons I had to get off the phone so quick today. That and the fact that our plan is prorated right now, so we didn't have very many minutes to use in the first place before we get our first bill. And my time got seriously screwed with today as well.

Oy. I'm totally turned around in my head. Whose life is this? Did someone trade with me and not tell me?! Going dark.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We're here because we're here because we're here!

So here's what we did today. We got up and had breakfast at IHOP before going to the apartment complex we'd decided on applying for. We didn't see the apartment itself, but it's the same as the landlady's office, so we know what we're getting. They were still doing some repairs on the one we'd be getting.

So we're just waiting on the word of our background check. If there's any problem there, I'm going to check and make sure our hotel isn't the Wonderland Inn or Hell Froze Motel. (Actually, that latter one may exist here!)

So then we checked out the local stores and stuff. They have such huge stores!!! The Walmart is so giganticus I actually lost my sense of direction somewhere out in the middle of it.

And whoever said "what sense of direction?" out there, I know where you live. (I hope.)

Melly Bean, guess what? (Enter sing-song li'l kid taunting voice.) There's a JoAnne not more than three minutes from where our apartment is!

We got the guided tour for the local health and fitness club. Great facility, lots of neat classes and amenities and whatnot.

I nearly gagged when she told us what the enrollment fee was. 600 smackers for a couple.

I'm not kidding. $600!!!! Do you know how many different exercise videos and other equipment I can get for my home with that? And then it's nearly $100 a month for the pair of us.

I don't think I can bring myself to pay for the luxury. It's just too much.

Then we went to our boss' house and visited with his wife for a few hours. I'm so jealous. They've got a creek in their backyard. I took pictures of it, but I can't find the cord to hook up the camera to the computer, so those will have to wait.

Then we went to check out the new store. The boss man took us around the inside, which is still under construction. It looks just like the Rocklin store, but a tad smaller. Our office is smaller, too, which means we won't be able to ignore each other as we may like. When he told me it was small, I said, "We're not sharing a desk, are we? I'm anal about my organization."

After that we went to a couple more stores, then met with some of the other managers for dinner. Great food, except they brought me the wrong sandwich. I ordered a Chix sandwich and they brought me a California Chix, which was the same grilled chicken sandwich, but with bacon and a huge chunk of avocado on it. I can't stand avocado.

But I've been pulling stuff I didn't like off pizza for years, so this wasn't any different. Maybe I should have tried to get a free dessert, though.

When we got back to the hotel, we decided to do laundry to clean the clothes that got soaked and smelly from the airline flight and use the workout room in the meantime.

I will never buy a treadmill. I used one for about 20 minutes. I forgot about my inner ear problem.

When I got off the treadmill, I nearly fell flat on my ass because it felt like the floor was still moving! My feet were trying to run with a moving floor that was actually stationary. Not a steady combination. I had to put my hands on the wall for several minutes until the feeling subsided.

Who needs drugs?!

Okay, I need to go fetch the laundry before someone steals it. I miss all my family and friends tremendously. Hugs and kisses to you all!

A Taurus has found her wings...

... and wants to give them right back.

I don't fly well!

No, I didn't puke, thank goddess for small favors. But I sure did get a huge headache for most of the longer part of the trip.

Okay, so since I didn't take any pictures, this blog entry will concentrate on the flight itself. After all, I've never flown commercial, so this was a milestone experience for me.

Besides, I'm sure Logan has some great descriptions of my facial expressions during take off and turbulence!

It's hard to find your way around an airport when you've never flown before. We finally figured out where to park and took a shuttle over to the terminal. We found where to check our baggage immediately after (we checked in on the internet at my parents' house). And then it was time to face...

(Bum, bum, bum, bum)

The Airport Security.


I'd heard so many horror stories about security after 9/11 that I was sure we'd be dragged off for a full body cavity search.

Apparently we were so paranoid that we did everything right. The longest part was putting our shoes back on!

We had to hang around for a while when we finally located our gate. Logan disappeared and came back with a king sized Twix bar for me.

Does that man know me or what? Even if I'm so freaked that I don't want to eat, I'll still eat chocolate. Sheesh.

We also shared a bottle of water and a couple of Airborne tablets. Appropriate, non?

So we get on the plane and are delighted to see that we have two seats together with no one else next to us. Logan lets me sit next to the window. This was a good thing and a bad thing. The sights were incredible, but watching the ground slip away beneath my feet during take off rattled me quite a bit. Here's where you'll want to ask Logan about the facial expressions!

After I got over myself, I was able to look through the window without much fear. I could see the three faces of the Goddess in the land beneath me; the blue waters that the maiden is born in, the thick brown and green earth tones of the mother, and the wrinkles and cracks of the hag when passing over mountains.

I also noticed that much of the land in California was checkered brown and yellow, sliced in various directions by highways and rivers. It reminded me of Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Anyway, as we got closer to Seattle, the clouds below us thickened until it resembled a sea of marshmallow creme (I was getting hungry at this point, I think.) Of course, it was pouring rain down below, so we went into a couple of holding patterns and landed half an hour late, which put the next flight off later. At least we didn't have to wait too long.

Problem with this second flight was that we had to share a trio of seats with another lady, who had the window. Ratsafrats. I was hoping to be able to see Canada and Alaska as we went over, but no such luck. I don't think I even caught a glimpse of Canada because I didn't bother looking towards the window until the descent into Anchorage.

I couldn't see much, but what I did see took my breath away. And I'm not saying that to be cliche. (I'm rhyming again. Somebody make me stop!) Snow covered mountains, vast lakes... It was love at first sight for us both.

Well, that's about all I can remember to tell about right now. Tomorrow I'll describe Anchorage and Wasilla, with pictures this time, I hope!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Eek! It's coming!

Today was our last day at work before we leave for Wasilla. Yes, I know, we're coming back for a week and a half in the middle of October, but still. This is the big start! Eek, squeal, shriek!

And guess what? We've already found an apartment! We did some calling around to some complexes in the area and talked to one lady who sent us pictures through the email of one of her available apartments. All hardwood floors and very clean. Only things that aren't nice about it; no covered parking and no washer/dryer in the apartment itself. There are coin ops on site, though, which won't be too bad, I guess.

We've faxed her an application and we're going to see it first thing the morning after we arrive. I can't wait!

We'll be leaving around 8:30 am Tuesday morning. First we'll be dropping off the cats at the kennel, then we'll be heading for the airport. We're going to leave our car there so we have the luxury of leaving the moment we get back. Our plane leaves around 12:30 or so. We change planes in Seattle and should arrive in Anchorage around 5:30 pm (which I'm guessing will be 4:30 for them). Then an hour to Wasilla.

The apartment complex we're applying for is about a five minute drive from where the new store is going to be. Wow, that won't even be enough time for the heater to get going in the car before we get home from work!

We'll be returning late on October 8th, probably around 10 or 11 pm, judging from the time change. We'll be packing our container through the 11th, then leave again for good on the 17th.

Boy, this month is going to just zip by. I hope I notice some of it.

Bet your boots that we'll be posting pictures of Wasilla during this first week.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hippo birdie two ewe!!

Though she was dragged kicking and screaming into her 3rd decade of life, my bestest buddy held herself with quiet dignity and grace as we sang the Hippo Birdie song in celebration.

Too true, it was a small party, but it was huge in significance. I loved her expression when she saw what I had put on her cake to replace the age old torment of candles to be put out by an extinguisher:

Firefly figurines that my brother had found. Mal, Jayne, and River in her Reaver ass-kicking pose. One for each decade. Bwah!

Many happy returns of the day, Melly Bean. I love you so much, I'll never be able to express it, even in a million blog posts. Gods all bless and may you be forever surrounded by idiots.

I just can't look...

Facing reality is like seeing a 90 year old woman pretending to be Marilyn standing over the sidewalk grate as the subway goes by; you wish you had been looking the other way.

I've noticed something as we get closer and closer to the send-off date and it leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth. I've hardly gotten the opportunity to spend time with the people I love and I'm fully aware that this may be the last time I see some of them for a very long time, and yet I have the same problem with all of them:

I can't really look them in the eye.

Why is that? I find myself looking in a non-direction most of my recent waking hours, even when talking with customers at work. I wonder if it comes off as rude or weak or whatever, like I'm too self-absorbed or wrapped up in my own pathetic woes that I can't focus on any one person. When I do look someone in the eye, it's very brief and uncomfortable for me.

Is it that I don't want to face the reality of leaving, like witnessing Grandma Marilyn's dress floating around her nose?

Am I a subversive snob just now coming to the forefront because I have "authorit-ay" over people in my new job? There's a dreadful thought.

Is it that I know I'll miss some people so painfully much that I simply can't stomach meeting their gaze because I'll burst into tears and blubber like a baby whale?

I'm betting the last one is pretty accurate (because who wants to admit she might be a snob?!)

Here's another thing I've noticed as we roll on toward the Alaskan cliff. I've gotten real tired of people asking me if I'm excited about going to Alaska. It's gotten to the point that no, I'm no longer excited. This new job sucks up so much time and energy that all I want is to have the move finished and be settled into my soothing routine rhythm. I want all my stuff to be spread out in my own space in my own special psychotic way.

Logan and I have discovered recently that we have forgotten how to have fun. The things we used to do we can't really justify anymore, so they no longer sound fun (going shopping and just buying stuff to buy stuff, for example). We don't have enough time to do the things we think we'd still enjoy (like camping, hiking, bike riding, etc.) And the traditional stuff that most people do for fun hold no interest for us (going to clubs and bars, partying with alcohol, etc.)

I actually miss the old arcades that were so popular in the '80s. Sure, it's a big waste of money, especially with home video game systems all the rage now. But they always had other interesting things, like prizes you could exchange tickets for, old fashioned candy, the old psychic lady in the booth.

And feeding quarters into a machine made the game all that more precious because you had to make that quarter (or quarters) last as long as you could possibly manage. Air hockey was my particular favorite because if you and your opponent were well matched, one game could last an entire afternoon!

Sigh. What a gripe fest. Maybe I am that self-absorbed snob after all.

Hey, it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.

I'm going to get some cheese to go with it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What is it with the water bowl?!

I'm sitting here watching my cat Dusty paw at the water bowl. He always has to move it an inch or two before he'll drink out of it. Logan says it's because he can't see the water when it's still, so he moves the bowl to move the water and then he can see it to drink it.

Guess he's too diginified to stick his nose in there and get it wet. Does the word "dignified" belong in any sentence discussing Dusty?!

Finally finished my week of intensive training. I learned a lot and I had to learn it real fast because I only had my trainer for five days, which turned into four days because the Reno store is having a few problems that she needed to bail them out of. Besides, we were pretty much done.

It's wonderful being trained by someone who acts like she has so much confidence in you. Heather commented that with the reams of paper I covered in notes during that time, she has no worries about my ability to handle the job.

Yes, her name is Heather. We also wear the same kind of glasses. And if my hair was as short as it was a few years ago, that would be another thing we have in common, as well as body type. Our styles are different. (Do I even have a style? My mother buys my clothes, for the love of [enter chosen deity here]!)

On rambles the Heather Train. Hop aboard for a trip to nowhere!

Anyway, now I'm making my own schedule (well, sort of) and trying to learn other things, like opening and closing procedures, ordering name tags, making tabs for the files in my imaginary filing cabinets, which will be reality come the end of October.

I'm more confortable with this idea of being a manager now, but it'll be so much better when I get to my own store. Right now I feel like a shadow or an intruder.

The taste of fall in the air yesterday prompted me to put on a sweater before leaving the house. I left it on at work all day. If I hear one more person comment on what the weather will be like where I'm going, I shall utter a piercing shriek as I plunge a Sharpie pen into his or her eye socket.

Let's do the Big Damn Shindig on your actual birthday, Melly Bean, if you aren't all booked up with rehearsal. That is the start of your Hell Week, isn't it? Are you guys having Sunday matinees? Are you having one the last weekend in September? I need a theater fix. All this corporate-ness has sucked away my creativity.

I can't even find my special fountain pen that I use for writing novels. Grrr.

And why the heck won't my spell check work?!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Time flies when you're working your ass off

Wow, I can't believe a whole week has zipped by since my last post. I've just been working, eating, and sleeping for the most part.

A few more details are stepping into the light as we roll along to our big Leaving California date. We'll be leaving in the afternoon on October 2nd for a week in Alaska to find an apartment and conduct the interviews and whatnot. We'll be coming back on October 8th, probably in the evening. We've decided to board the cats at the kennel I used to work at instead of taking them with us. We don't want to put them through more than one plane flight.

Then we'll be staying in California until October 17th. The pod for shipping all our stuff and our car will be delivered to the store's parking lot around the 10th or so. We'll be working the rest of the time.

I'm very frustrated with how much time we've been putting into working. I was wanting to do all kinds of things and see all kinds of people before we leave, and right now it looks like none of that is going to be happening. We spend too much time working and commuting to do much else. We have to plan to take the cats to the vet, reorganize all our stuff and repack it so it can travel in the pod safely, and to top it all off, the last weekend in September will be spent working because they're having some big weekend celebration at the store and will require every employee to be there.

I miss my friends so much, and I haven't even left yet. Does that seem right to you?

Tomorrow kicks off the intensive training for me. I only get today off and then work for the next five days. No telling how many hours I'll be putting in, since the lady training me is only going to be in town those five days and I want to learn as much as possible before she leaves.

Got my first paycheck finally. It's more than I've ever made on my own before. Too tired to really appreciate it, though.

Let's have a party next Saturday. We can celebrate Melly Bean's 29.95 birthday and have a mighty fine big damn shindig. That's the only day off I know I'll be having next. Or maybe we could wait and hope I have the Sunday after that off, since that's Melly Bean's actual birthday. If someone can plan things, I can supply the money for the supplies! We can watch Firefly and Serenity and repeat all the best lines right along with our favorite characters.

Did you ever have the feeling that you wanted to go... and still have the feeling that you wanted to stay?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Interview with a ... Blonde Blogger!

Just completed an email interview with another blogger who ran across mine and wanted to ask me some questions about my career (such as it is) in Customer Service. I happily agreed since I love talking about myself. Didn't feel comfortable giving my picture though, even though I have one on my own blog.

But then again, how do you know it's really me? I could be just be a piece of bad shrimp coming back to haunt you in the night! Wah-hah-hah!

Okay, so my evil laugh come out sounding like a puppy playing a kazoo. Keep you smart comments to yourself, peanut gallery.

Anyway, I checked out this other blog, called Payscale. It's chock full of interesting info and interviews for all kinds of different careers. Here's the link:

I kind of felt sheepish because these people all seemed to love their careers and I don't. In fact, I'm only promising to stick with it for the contract year, but you know I'll be checking out the local colleges for teaching positions the minute I'm up in Alaska. In all brutal honesty, this job is just a method of getting to a place we've always wanted to live in, but didn't have the means to get there.

In a nutshell, it's a career for Logan, but a means to an end for me. My real career is teaching martial arts.

Though sometimes I still think I want to be a performer. Singing, dancing, etc. I'm just too scared I'll either fail or lose the good things in my life if I try to pursue that too much.

Um, maybe I'm getting a little too deep into my own psychosis right now. Hit the backup beeps.

Also, I felt like my own personal journey towards Office Manager was rather odd, though I was able to give a little bit of info about Customer Service itself. But I have a six month chunk missing from that particular "career" before being offered management, and that kind of thing just won't happen for a lot of people. Oh, well. I hope someone finds my experiences helpful.

Anyway, thanks to Michael for catching my blog and showing interest in my currently lackluster life. Can't wait to see how my entry turns out!

My training in Office Management is getting stepped up a bit more. I've spent some more time up in the office learning new things rather than down in the Customer Service area. I also got my first taste of what it's like working a 12 hour day. That's simply crazy.

What happened was that the counting of cash drawers for the first shift of cashiers ending their day got dragged way out of control. I was the last one to get counted out and that was an hour and a half past the time I was supposed to have left. It was the day before dove season opened, so the Customer Service line was very long and stayed that way.

When I came out, I saw that the two in Customer Service were never going to get a chance to sit down and have lunch if I didn't stay, so I did. I covered their lunches and their tens and helped keep the cashiers on their schedules as well as we could.

I could not in good conscience leave with that kind of insanity. What kind of manager would I be? The worst part of it was that Logan is still hourly, so those extra five hours of work that he put in while I covered my team were unpaid. But he didn't complain (well, not about that, anyway.)

Wow, this entry got a lot longer than I had thought it would. G'night folks!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Corporate phone tag...

.. is a lousy game. I don't recommend it to anyone, no matter how bored you may be.

That's what we're doing right now. We're trying to hammer out what we're supposed to do on all aspects of the move; the shipping container, the flight, whether we have to come back to the lower 48 between interview weekend and store set, et cet-ah-rah, et cet-ah-rah, et cet-ah-rah. (It's good to be the king!)

We're told okay, you need to talk to this person, then this person, then this person. The next person says oh, you need to talk to this person and this person. Then we're told oh, you're not supposed to be handling this, so-and-so is. So on and so forth, ad nauseum.

Can't wait to run out of persons!

So I'll talk about Serenity to make everything all better!

Here's another reason to buy the Collector's Edition: You'll learn about space hickeys! Gods, this cast enjoyed each other's company so much, the documentary-type footage is as funny as the outtakes!

One bummer: no easter eggs as far as we can tell. The easter egg on the original Serenity is now a standard on the Collector's Edition.

We found the full comic book at Fry's. Would have bought it, but it was a little munched up along the bottom. Wanted to see if I could find another copy somewhere else. Thought I'd try going to some comics shops and see if they sell the figurines, too!

More good news: Our boss in Alaska called to let Logan know that they bought a house and that right down the street, about five houses down, another home that seems to fit the description of what we're looking for, has just gone up for sale by owner. He's going to take pictures and email them to us. Who knows, if we like what we see, maybe Logan will fly up and check it out. Maybe we'll have a home before we even get there! Wouldn't that be totally SMOKIN'! (Ooops, I broke the law. Oh wait. You can still smoke in your home, so I'm not breaking the law at all. For now.)

Okay. Goin' dark. Good night, y'all.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


It's gone.

We spent Sunday showing the dome to a nice couple interested in buying it. We settled on $4,650, but gave it to them for $4,500. There were a few issues with the dome, such as a lot of dirt and some peeling of the outer coating from the heat, so we knocked the price down a bit. Then we spent the rest of the day breaking it down, including the floor, piling the pieces into the couple's car and U-Haul van.

We were sad to see it drive off. We hugged each other tight.

Logan was a riot to watch, clambering around at the top of the structure like a monkey as he and Ben took the canopy covering off. And he wanted to put the money in the freezer for a while to have "cold, hard cash". It didn't get hard, but it sure was cold!

The girlfriend and I drove to Mt Aukum to get the U-Haul. We drove past a lot of vineyards and black and yellow tractor crossing signs. One showed a tractor popping a wheelie and the driver chugging from a wine bottle.

Fantastic. Drunk tractor drivers. I think I prefer the soup thing. It's always a hoot and we don't all die from it!

The dome was a big thud of reality for us. It basically screamed we really are moving to Alaska. Maybe someday we'll buy another one. They're making them better and stronger now, so maybe it's all for the best. (Cue Godspell music.)

On a cheerier note, if you haven't bought the Collector's Edition of Serenity yet, you are missing out. The box art is utterly gorgeous and mine came with a comic book to boot! I've got some nifty new ideas for birthday present ideas for a certain soon to be 30 year old I know. Big Damn Shindig, anyone?

Friday, August 24, 2007

If nothing else solidifies the move to Alaska...

... this certainly seals the deal.

We've sold the dome.

We are releasing our Earth Muffin status (yes, I know we'll always be earth muffins) and selling the dome to a couple that has been looking for the exact same dome package that we got at a great price. They're coming up this Sunday to check it out and help us take it down. At this point, they've agreed to $5,000 dollars.

But I have to admit that we both feel sad about it. This dome was like our sanctuary. We had so many plans for this dome, even plans on living in it with a trailer for the bathroom and kitchen, but none of them panned out.

Now we're afraid it may get damaged in Alaska. Also, we'd have to spend a lot of money to get it insulated so that it could even be possibly usable during the winter. It just seems better to have the money.

At any rate, the people buying the dome sound very satisfied with our description of it and we think they will love it as much as we did and get a lot out more out of it than we were able to.

(Pausing to wipe away a tear before it short circuits the laptop)

Aw, hell.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Make the signal go farther...

The Collector's Edition of Serenity is coming out tomorrow. It has a much more appropriate cover picture this time. The last one drove me crazy; that wasn't River on the front, it was Summer Glau with all her model-ness on. This one actually looks like River. Has all sorts of neat additions that other countries got to see, but we didn't, from what I've seen of other websites discussing this momentous occasion.

So run right out there into the 'verse and buy one, even if you already have several copies of the first one!

I got a great idea for when we move to Alaska. I'll just pretend I'm on one of the border planets, one of the colder, snowy ones like the one Tracey's parents lived on when they carried his body home. That'll appeal to my Firefly imagination, eh?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Too tired to think of a nifty title

Wow, I'm so wiped out, it's not even funny. I'm trying to find a funny way to express it, though.

Second day of my new job. Spent the last two days in Customer Service relearning everything that I used to do. I'm picking it up pretty fast, but I keep forgetting the small things and it makes me, well, aggravated with myself. Even the girl training me said she knew she was throwing a lot at me in a short amount of time, but the sooner I have all the front end stuff down the sooner I can start learning Office Manager stuff.

My trainer, E., cracks me up. She's a lot smarter than she looks. (I know, it's real crappy of me to base an opinion on how someone looks, but sometimes it's hard not to, ya know?) She's invented all these little systems which are rather ingenious. I'm sure I'll steal a few to take up with me. But she made me my name tag today and called it my "ghetto tag". It was one that used to belong to a girl in CS who just got the Footwear Manager position. She just slapped a sticker with my name over hers.

I wish she hadn't put Office Manager on it, though. I'm still trying to learn the old stuff. I'm just making manager pay and working manager hours. It might give people the impression that I know what I'm doing. Gawd Forbid!

They have a neat new machine that counts the money for the cashiers when they're counting down their drawers at the end of the shift. You put the pile of bills into this little tray and it tells you how much is there by its weight! I couldn't believe it! I didn't think it could possibly be working correctly, so I counted a few of the smaller piles and sure enough. I don't think we'll have one in Alaska, though. I heard the store manager doesn't want one. Fooey.

I'm so tired when I get home, I almost head straight to bed. Except that my tummy won't let me sleep since it wants to be fed. Bothersome to have to eat and drink, isn't it?

Pardon my weird way of writing. If it doesn't make sense, just remember to read this when you're half asleep and maybe it will make sense then.

That's all, folks!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back with the Parental Units

Well, we've completely moved out of our apartment and in with my parents for the next month and a half before we make the final move to Alaska. The yard sale is already a dim memory, having been scrubbed away by the pain in my legs and feet and arms and hands moving all our stuff out in just a couple of days. Well, evenings, really. Last night we got back around 12:30 am and the night before we got home closer to 2 am. I'm sure the neighbors in our building were glad to see us go.

We didn't get much of our deposit back, but talking with our landlady about the whole thing, we're not upset with that. She was able to spell everything out to us, she gave us the material that shows what she has to do by law, and she listed everything being deducted from our deposit and gave us a copy, so we understand all that's being deducted and why. At least she didn't walk in and say, "It's a dump. You get nothing." I've heard of landlords that have done that, no matter how diligently the tenants worked to clean the place.

And my cats seem to be doing just fine. They're a bit shook up by all the barking dogs here at Mums and Daddums' house, but they're fascinated by the view out the window.

We're cramped, but grateful to Mums and Daddums for taking us in and giving us a break in our rent before we leave the lower 48.

I was so happy to be done with this whole phase of the "Moving to Alaska" plan that I took my best friend and her sister out to lunch today just for the pleasure of sharing food with them. It was short, but so much fun.

I start work tomorrow at my new management position. I work in Customer Service for a couple of weeks until the lady who is going to train me for Office Manager arrives and trains me for two weeks. Then I just work until we leave. I'm going to be very busy, but we'll be packing some money away before we move, so that's good.

I'm still really nervous, though. Worried that since I haven't been working at this place for six months that people will think I'm a lousy manager. At least I'm already familiar with most of the people and the workings. I just have to remember how everything works!

All right, enough of that stream of consciousness. That about catches up on the currentness of me.

Now, if only I could find my left shoe in this mess...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Don't ever let me do that again.

If you ever hear me talking about having another yard sale, please drag me around the house by my hair, douse me with kerosene, and threaten me with a pretty, engraved lighter. Or let some terrifying space monkeys loose in my teddy bear making supplies.

It was a great experience. I'd never had a yard sale before and I learned about public relations, haggling, and other things like that. Got to meet all my parents' neighbors and got a little money for some of the stuff that was going to go to hospice anyway.

I also learned that my parents' house was a little too far away from traffic, so the second day was really boring, and most of our stuff other people are not interested in because the five people that showed up in four hours walked around the yard sale in less than 30 seconds and left without touching a thing. Not worth the sunburn.

I finally gave up around two o'clock and started packing things up and taking the signs down. In those last three hours one car pulled up and asked to take a peek at what was left and I explained that most of the good stuff was gone, but I let them in anyway. And my friend Matthew showed up as well.

By the way, a gigantic thank you to my best friend Melly Bean, her sister the Queen of Geeks, and Matthew for coming to the yard sale. You guys were the highlight of my weekend. I'm so blessed with friends.

And thank you to my mom, my aunt Paulette, and Melly Bean for buying the most stuff on the second day!

My aunt was so adorable. She arrived while I had a customer first thing in the morning. She had her dog with her, so she kept him in the car while she waited for the customer to leave. She wandered over to the dinette set and sat down in one of the chairs. She looked at the table for a few moments and then announced, "You have my table."

I said, "What?"

"You have my table."

We had gotten the set from my in-laws, so I was trying to figure out how the table set got from her to them to us when I was positive she'd only met my in-laws at our wedding six years ago.

"I've been looking for a table and chairs like this for a long time. I want to buy them from you."


She also bought the bar stool because it matched her furniture.

Mom bought the cupboard and also took a lot of books to be donated to the Friends of the Library. She might be taking the office desk, too.

Melly Bean and the Queen of Geeks took the cat tree, the Furby, the Karaoke machine, and a bunch of my books. Queen of Geeks talked Melly Bean out of several more items, which she is still welcome to take if she wants them (HA HA!)

So overall, I was glad I did the yard sale.

But please, please, please don't ever let me do that again.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

I almost forgot. It's our sixth anniversary today! Last night we had a few squares of dark chocolate (it's got more beneficial stuff in it then regular chocolate) and organic vanilla ice cream in celebration. We like to keep things simple. Besides, we're always so busy during our anniversary, I'm surprised we found time to get married at all!

So happy anniversary, Honey Bear! I love you!

This day kicked my...

... Grandmother! (High Society reference!)

I've never had a yard sale before. What a mind screw. You want to sell things for as much money as you can get away with, but I love getting things for dirt cheap at yard sales myself, and I love watching the little ones' faces when I give them free toys. Even my dad said I was great at giving away things, but I'm not much of a salesperson.

How true.

I was hoping more things would get sold, but I'm happy with what did. There was one dresser that had been moved so many times and was such a heavy, awkward pain in the grandmother to move that a piece of wood on the bottom got broken off. But someone bought the thing for $20 today and tossed it into the back of his truck with practiced ease. "How we wept as we launched him and so tearfully we cheered." Well, except without the tears.

There was one long lull that lasted about an hour and a half in the afternoon. At least three-quarters of the customers were Spanish speakers. It made communicating that much more... entertaining. I need to learn Spanish. If for no other reason than I'll know if someone is making fun of me.

It'll be interesting to see how tomorrow goes. I think around 3 pm I'll start telling people take what you want and put a donation in my can for our Moving to Alaska fund. Thank you and have a nice day.

I don't think people in that area are used to seeing yard sales along that road. Several times I'd see cars cruising on by and screech to a halt to turn around in the middle of the road. Not everybody bought something, but most people left with at least one or two items. One old Spanish speaking gentleman found my case of gel pens and I brought him some paper to test them on. I was a little surprised that he bought them! I had thought only kids would be interested in those!

This is definitely an experience I'll not soon forget. Not even after my full body sunburn goes away. Ouch-i-wawah!

More tomorrow after the final day of the famous Moving to Alaska Yard Sale epic!

Yard Sale Day!!!!

Come one, come all! Hurry, hurry, here's your chance. See the mystery and romance!

Oops, sorry. Slipped into a little Disney there. At least I know one person will appreciate it! Hi Matthew!

Well, this is it. We start the yard sale today at 9 AM. Well, technically 8:45. One of my father's neighbors asked if they could come a bit early. Since he was offering to let people park across the street near his road, how could I refuse?

So if you have the time, please drop in. We have an ad in the Gold Panner, but I expect both days to be filled with stretches of boredom. A little distraction would be most welcome. It's being held at my parents' house. See ad in the Yard Sale section of the Gold Panner for the address.

(A la Cal Worthington) See ya here!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

More ch-ch-changes...

I just got a call informing me that I won't be starting work until the 1st of September. I guess that's all right, but I hadn't planned on being unemployed for so long. And already there may be trouble about me and Logan having the same schedules so that we can take the same car, especially since I'm going to have to sell Mustang Sally pretty soon.

Sheesh, why is it so hard for people in large businesses to communicate with each other? With all this technology it shouldn't be this difficult!

I've reached that point in my apartment packing where it's hard to decide what to do next because I have to keep the yard sale stuff separate until after this weekend and I have lots of random things strewn everywhere. I look at the mess and want to throw my hands up in exasperation.

I've taken all the stuff out of the different pieces of furniture that we're going to sell, but now most of that stuff is sitting on those pieces of furniture! And poor Logan is still going back and forth about what he wants to sell of his stuff at the yard sale. And we only have two days left to prepare!

When in danger or in doubt,
Run in circles, scream and shout.

Oh, and I just added a poll to the sidebar there for fun! In case no one noticed it without me adding a huge blinking neon arrow sign pointing right to it. Not that the people I know need such obvious effects! ;>

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

This is a morality tale about the evils of sake...

... except I don't drink. So why the #^%@ do I feel like I have a hangover?!

I've got one of those headaches that won't go away.

No, I don't mean my spouse creature.

I've had a headache off and on for a whole week now. Yesterday it totally waylaid me by turning into a migraine and dropping my fluffy white cotton tail into bed. And it still hasn't relinquished me.

My appetite is still good, so I know I'm not sick.

Exercising helped for a while, but it's starting to loom over me yet again.

Usually sleeping nips it in the bud, but that hasn't been working, and I already wasted one whole day to that. I don't have any more time to waste. I've got to get this place packed up and get my yard sale stuff over to my parents' house. We plan to be out of the apartment by Monday so I can clean it up before the 15th.

Does anybody know of any all natural remedies for the headache that wouldn't die?!

Friday, August 3, 2007

In case you need a laugh...

Now, it could be I only found this high-larious because I've done transcription for a lot of parole hearings for life inmates who have usually committed murder or kidnapping or whatever, but this really triggered the giggles for me. And these guys are doing the Thriller dance a lot better than the group in "13 Going on 30"!;amp;cache=1

I couldn't sit still while watching it, since I know the dance, too!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

More Moving News!

All the managers going to Alaska had a meeting last night and we learned some more about when and how we're moving.

We are going up there on October 1st. There was some iffiness about whether we'd be coming back for a couple weeks after the interviews, but Logan and I are thinking we may stay up there instead. It would be easier on the cats for one thing. But also, we may be looking for a house right off the bat.

The store manager told us about a real estate agent who could set up a deal for all the managers who are interested in buying a house and save us a bunch of money. And he told us that we are moving at the best time to buy a house in the Wasilla area. Housing prices are going to be crashing soon and October to May is the best time to buy. So we are considering forgoing an apartment altogether and looking for a house as soon as we get up there. I'm so excited!

We discussed how our stuff is going to get moved. Basically our car and all our stuff will be put into a 40 foot "pod", or shipping container, which will take about five days to sail up to Alaska and will then be placed at the store site. Then we will rent a U-haul and take our stuff to wherever we're going to be living. The store will be paying for a hotel until we secure a place to live.

I had thought that when I started working, I was going to be bundled off to Reno for my training and that I'd be started at an hourly wage until we got to Alaska. Actually what's happening is I'll be working in Customer Service for a week, starting August 20th, then getting trained for two weeks, then working for the rest of the time until we leave, all right here in California. And I'll be starting off with my salary, too, so we'll be able to save a good chunk of money before we go.


We're moving the yard sale to the weekend of August 11th and 12th. Once again, we will be too busy to celebrate our anniversary on the 11th, but that's okay. It's been that way ever since we got married.

With all the information we got last night, this has changed how we are viewing what we'll take with us and we want some time to ponder it. Also, I simply haven't had enough time to get it all sorted out, anyway. I'll email this to all my friends and family so they'll know. This way, moving all the yard sale stuff to my parents' house will coincide with moving out of the apartment, so we'll do it all in one fell swoop.

All right, I've hit a roadblock in my mind, so I must be out of things to say.

Oh! Roadblock is cleared! Melly Bean, I think I may be able to swing March for your happy little event. I talked to the store manager and he said we should be able to arrange something in that time. Yea!

Blessed be, y'all!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A few steps closer to Spamalot... I mean, Alaska!

Yes, O Queen of Geeks, I am finally listening to Spamalot. And it's cracking me up. I'm going to have to learn a couple of these songs for the next time I audition for something!

We've moved one or two baby steps closer to Alaska. I was offered a rather low salary, but I took it on the promise of a raise around December. At least it gets us up there.

Also, today was my last day at my current job. I didn't say the "G" word, but promised W. I'd keep in touch. That should be pretty easy for most of us because my email will be the same, this blog will be in this same spot, and we are very likely to have the same phone numbers as we do now, since Cingular bought out the Alaska cell phone system.

So I now have time to devote completely to the yard sale happening this weekend. There's a small possibility we may move it to the next weekend, but I really think this weekend is best, since we have to move everything else out the week after that.

I seem to have run out of witticisms today. I spent a lot of time stuck in the gridlock of Cameron Park and Shingle Springs. (A CHP was struck when he was putting out the spikes to stop a guy fleeing arrest. My heart and sympathy goes out the cop's family) My car nearly overheated because it was mostly standstill and it was really hot this afternoon. When I went to visit my parents, normally a five minute drive, I had to go the Wine Country Scenic Route. I took Salmon Falls out to Coloma and through Placerville to get to Shingle Springs from the other direction. Wow, that's a long loop!

Anyway, I'm exhausted and my clothes are still sticking to my body. So I'll try for more Whitty humor later.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Send in the storms

I was just looking at the weather in Wasilla, noticing that it's raining most of the week with temps in the high 60s and low 70s.

Then I remembered how the Northern California weather people are always talking about storms coming down from Alaska.

So I had this cute little scenario run through my head:

Me picking up the phone and dialing my mother's number.

"Hello, Mom? Yeah, it's your daughter. I'm sending you a gift wrapped storm straight from Alaska for your garden!"

And now for something completely different...

I know this is totally off the Alaska subject, but I felt the deep, dividing need to blog today. So I'll share this totally off the subject random stream of consciousness because I'm totally off my nut (cashews, please.)

If you could meet one celebrity face to face, who would it be? What would you say? What would you do?

I never really contemplated this until the last few years, though I've had my favorites. I've always wanted to sing a duet with Billy Joel. I had the biggest crush on Keanu Reeves in high school. In junior high it was Fred Savage from the Wonder Years. (He's still as cute as a penguin's ear.)

But I never really considered the reality of meeting a celebrity in some totally normal every day place and having a totally normal conversation with them like we could be really good friends.

So I can hear you saying wow, I wonder which celebrity has got her thinking about normal, boring, sitting-round-the-cafe-table-like-they-do-in-France conversational things? Don't people usually just lust for the ultimate unattainable one-night-stand with their current flash in-the-pan fantasy?

And when will she stop hyphenating and get to the point!

Anyone want to guess who it is? Anyone? Anyone?

Melly bean, stop waving your arms in the air and jumping up and down like you have to go to the toilet. You'll give yourself a black eye.

Okay, here it is:

Nathan Fillion.

I'm sure plenty of people would be saying WTF? Who's that?

Hello. Firefly freak. Serenity psycho here!

For some reason, I have this raging urge to meet this guy. Not just because he looks great in his Captain Tightpants.

When I see the outtakes on Firefly and Serenity, I see what a funny, friendly guy he is. The kind of guy you'd have three pages of inside jokes with. The kind of guy who'd make Dr. Pepper shoot out your nose and ears like a fondue fountain. Makes my brain fizzle just to think about it.

Also, I recognize how human he is. You can tell he's a total attention hog because whenever he's on camera, he grabs center stage for himself. And stage left. And stage right. And upstage and downstage. Heck, he's got the whole backstage and greenroom right along for the ride as well.

But at least he makes it well worth our time to put up with a bit of performance ego.

I've got problems whenever I envision meeting him though. I read other people's blogs who talk about going to the conventions and meeting him, playing the Serenity RPGs with him, getting autographs and pictures with him.

But I don't want any of that stuff, really (well, except playing RPGs with him.)

However, whenever I try to picture what I would say to him or how I would behave, everything comes off as being psycho-stalker-one-woman-obsession-club. How could someone like me ever be interesting to someone who has more than 30,000 friends on his myspace page? I've never even attempted to try to be one of his myspace friends because he doesn't need one more drooling female begging for a few words and a scattering of largess. What could I possibly say or do that would make me stand out as someone Nathan Fillion, aka Malcolm Reynolds, aka Captain Tightpants would be interested in getting to know more about?

It sounds weird, I know. but I would just like to be his friend. Truly.

Goddess help me. This entire blog entry sounds psycho-stalker-one-woman-obsession-club to me. I'm totally hopeless.

Oh, well. Gods all bless, cast and crew of Firefly. And all the people out there who get as much of a kick out of them as I do.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Afterthought Burn

Yeah, you can tell I'm bored because I'm already posting again.

I forgot to mention that my sweet older brother gave me a web cam a day or two ago! Logan had promised we would get one so that people can still see me even all the way in Alaska. Well, Roy had one that came with his laptop and he'd never used it, so he gave it to me! Woohoo! I can't wait to play with it. I hope it works with our laptop.

Also, I think I may get a new weather button. This one doesn't seem to be changing! I'm avoiding the possibility that Wasilla weather is always like that, so don't burst my bubble!

Okay. I'm going away to figure out the Firefly Theme on my guitar now. Melly Bean promised me that I could play it on the last night of our show and I still don't know the chords! Arrgh!

A drop of refreshing rain...

Yeah, it actually sprinkled on my car today. Amazing.

Well, we've gotten a couple more drops of information about our grand and glorious move. Logan got a salary offer yesterday. He wasn't totally happy with it and will be renegotiating, I'm sure, but he's definitely going to be Floor Manager in Wasilla.

Supposedly I'm going to hear something today myself, but so far nothing, zero, zip, zilch. But I'm definitely ready to negotiate my salary offer when I get it. After all, I've been told having a Masters Degree in anything is worth bragging about.

And even more confidence inspiring is the fact that I will always have the transcription job to fall back on, even up there in Alaska. Thank you, W.

Anyway, now it looks like official "Moving to Alaska" day will be October 1st. We'll be conducting interviews by our first weekend there. Wow -- Me interviewing people. That boggles my mind, it does.

So I'll still be here for a particular 30th birthday bash at the end of September! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!

Boy, I need to get new comedy writers. I think my blog is starting to repeat itself! (Or maybe it's an alcoholic blog.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Searching other blogs and new cars...

When I'm taking short breaks from my work, I like to search and discover other blogs written by people who live in or visit Alaska. This one cracked me up. I hope the link works.

His description of regular Americans versus Alaskan Americans makes me think Logan and I will be right at home.

Also, his description of different animal poo is quite informative, not to mention high-larious.

And as usual, I haven't got anything new to tell you about as far as moving. I did have some fun comparing general costs of living for Placerville, CA and Wasilla, AK. Alaska was actually cheaper in most areas (though not by much) and had less crime. (Is that what happens when everyone is packing? You never know when the person you rob is going to have a bigger gun than you!)

What really tickled me was when I checked out the prices for two bed, one bath homes. Not only were the homes in Placerville a bit shabbier, but they were at least $100,000 more than the same size homes in Wasilla. And the homes in Wasilla were nicer looking. That's a very weak way of putting it, too.

Now Logan and I are sunk in the debate of what kind of vehicle do we want after we move up there? Do we want to sell the Yaris, even though it would mean losing all the money we put into it? Do we want to get an older used truck or by a new SUV? Do we want two vehicles or just make do with one, since we'll be working at the same place and it will be pretty close to home?

We're looking at the Toyota FJ Cruiser for a four wheel drive new SUV choice. It looks goofy, but it is supposedly one of the best new off-roading SUVs on the market right now. We watched videos of people taking them rock crawling and stuff.

Too many choices, too many decisions, not enough direct and specific knowledge to do anything!

All we know is that we're moving out of our apartment August 15th and in with my parents for the last couple of months before we actually move to Alaska. Since I'll be training in Reno for a big part of that time, there seemed to be little point to shelling out nearly $2,000 for one person to live in a two bed, two bath apartment for two months.

And we're holding our yard sale first weekend in August, which I've already mentioned several times.

I guess I should stop all this playing around and get back to work. I have a show tonight.

Wowza, last night's audience was crazy! They were having a blast and the actors were eating it up. A couple of characters were doing things they've never done before, such as chasing each other across the stage when they weren't even supposed to be onstage in the first place, and I turned to Melly Bean and said, "This show is officially out of control."

If people were that nuts last night, I can't wait to see what antics occur on closing night!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Weather Button!

I added a tiny weather button to this blog so I have a daily reminder of what the weather is like in Wasilla!

Also so my friends and family can poke fun at me about how long the sun is out right now and how often it rains.

Why is it the first thing people say when I tell them where we're moving is, "It's cold up there"?

Don't you think I know that by now?!?!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yard Sale Weeding Continues

We finally had to move one of the cat trees out of the corner to make room for all the things we're weeding out for our yard sale.

Wow. I'd swear we're getting rid of almost half our stuff. True, a lot of it is old clothes that probably no one would want for free, let alone buy, but still. It's a ton of stuff!

As I was glancing through it all, something dawned on this blonde marble head of mine. I want to lay it out flat to all our friends and family members in case they end up coming to the yard sale and seeing certain things with price tags on them.

Yes, it's true. Unfortunately we are selling off some things that people have given us in the recent past for birthdays and Christmas presents. I beg you please, please, please don't be offended. It's just a necessity for this move that we're making. We want to make it as simple as possible.

Some things I'm worried will not make it up to Alaska to begin with. I'd rather have someone else here enjoy them intact than have to throw them away up north because it got broken.

We're planning to start off really small, as in a studio apartment. We're still debating on if we even want to take the bed because it's so huge. Sleeping bags take up less room (and Logan has collected so many over the years). So we won't have room for a lot of stuff.

Also, I've got to tell you how liberating it is to pull out all the things that don't get used or worn and give them to people who will use or wear them. There were a few large items that got put in the closet when we moved into the apartment in Cameron Park that have not budged since then. I know I can live without them.

We're going to see how close we can get to putting all our stuff that's going to Alaska into Rubbermaid totes.

And by the way, all our friends are invited to come root through the stuff and take whatever they want for free. Like if you gave me something that you thought was really neat and want it back, now's the time!

Melly Bean, I have a hatbox you may like.

Yes, Tiffy, you're still getting the round chair.

Matthew, I will get your birthday bear done before we leave for Alaska, I promise!

The yard sale will be held first weekend in August, the 4th and 5th, at my parents' house in Shingle Springs. For those who want directions, please email me or post to this blog entry and I will email them to you.

We're selling a lot of clothes, furniture, craft fabrics (I cleaned out my teddy bear making supplies), and a bunch of odds and ends.

Well, that's about all that I've got to write about. Nothing new about when we're leaving or when my training starts or anything like that. My posts are starting to spread out now because if it. Even my closest friends will stop reading since my blog is getting boring.

Maybe I need to spice it up a bit...

"Dear Diary, today I was pompous and my sister was crazy."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I need a good rant...

Do you ever feel like you're the only one who likes to plan things out in advance so you're not rushing to get things done at the last minute?

I want to plan out this whole going to Alaska thing. I want to know when I'm leaving for Reno to train for my management position so that we can figure out when to move out of the apartment. I want to know when the best time to hold the yard sale will be. I want to be able to plan some time to go to Alder Creek with my family, celebrate my best friend's "29.95 plus shipping and handling" birthday (at least she's creative about the horrifying fact that SHE'S TURNING 30 THIS YEAR! HAHAHA!), and have a last hoorah in California party to say goodbye to all the people I'll love and miss.

I like to know things ahead of time so I can be ready when the fit hits the shan. Then I can duck and let Logan take it in the face.

Wait, I have to kiss him, though. Maybe not such a hot idea.

I'm so agitated by this not being able to plan snit of mine that I'm biting my nails again. Most of you know that I've spent three-quarters of my life trying to knock that off, but it sneaks back up on me every once in a while when I get stressed.

I think I'm beyond stressed. My brain is bulging through the seams of my skull. I'd make a neat Anime movie. Something creepy like Akira.

Spouse creature is home and wants the computer. So... I'm going to bed. Blessed be!

Friday, July 13, 2007

I may be a Taurus, but this is ridiculous...

Okay, totally unrelated to moving to Alaska, but as there's nothing new to report on that front, I simply couldn't leave this one alone.

Did you see those pics of the guys getting gored during the running of the bulls?! It's enough to turn the stomach of the strongest among us. I got this pic from the Drudge Report where they're calling it "The Day the Bulls Won."

"I just got back from running with the bulls. I tell you, those bulls aren't running away, they're running around looking for people. Growl, snort, snort. I had a close call, I almost got gored in my frijoles. Oh, the pain in Spain!"

"I could help, big Al!"

Couldn't resist the Laugh-In reference. It's too, too perfect.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled chaos.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Told my boss... and lived

Today I told my boss that I was going to be quitting soon. I'd been dreading it for about a week. She has such a fiery temper, you never know what parts of you will be singed in her presence. I didn't know whether to pray that she was in a good mood (my news would ruin the good mood) or a bad one (she'd bite my head off, chew it up, and spit it into a herd of stampeding cattle.)

Not only was she cool about it, she told me that even in Alaska I would still have a job with her if I needed one. She said I could send and pick up work over the email. Wow, she really is a nice lady, though she tries to prove that wrong most of the time.

Just kidding. You know I love you, W.

Other than that, no new developments. I looked at cat carriers today with airline regulations in mind, took some pictures of Dusty curled up with his head on one of the sneakers, and generally wasted the afternoon.

I know, I know, W. I should be working. Sigh.

But first, some adorable Dusty photos, just for the halibut.

Okay, we'll settle for one photo. It's past my bedtime. Yawn.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

All dressed up and Alaska to go...

So I had mentioned earlier that I picked up a pair of harnesses for the cats so that, in the event that we drive up to Alaska, they will be able to go outside on leashes at rest stops. Asuka hated the harness, but loves going outside. She sits at the door and meows to go out now instead of gazing longingly out the windows.

That's Asuka above, aka Pretty Girl, sporting her stylish nap time look to complement the hot pink harness.

And here she is fully awake and snubbing the camera in true feline fashion.

This is Dusty, aka Tubby Kitty. I was so relieved that the blue harness fit him even with that huge belly of his. He didn't even notice the harness, but he's more freaked about being outside than Asuka is. He'll wander by the door for a second, then dash back inside the moment the door opens. Logan says Dusty knows a good thing.

Don't blame me for how fat Dusty is. He came to us that way. He arrived at the dinner table with the other cats, announcing himself with a huge thud as he landed on the porch. With all that fur, I couldn't tell if he was a boy or a girl, so we thought he might be pregnant. We took him to vet to get fixed and shots and the vet called a few hours later.

"Uh, yeah, he's a boy and he's already been fixed."

I blushed red as a stop light. All those years working in a kennel and I still have trouble with the really fluffy neutered boys. And now I'm sharing it with the world.

I need to get my head readjusted.

Anyway, Asuka was much quieter. My mother-in-law Beth said, "There's this cat on the back porch railing I've never seen before."

I peeked out the back door window. There she was stretched out on the railing as if she'd lived there all her life. I expected her to bolt when I opened the door. She started, but then she looked right at me with those greeny-blue eyes and mewed at me. I picked her up, took her inside, and she spent the next few hours curled on my lap.

Now you see why we will not give these guys up for anything. They chose us, so I'll brave post-9/11 airline flights to make things easier on them.