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!