Friday, August 31, 2007

All alaska pics now online

Current mood: accomplished

Hey guys,
thanks for waiting, we now have all alaska pics online and in our very fancy iWeb.
There's lots of great stuff. Click on the link below, and then click on "Alaska" for
lots of enjoyment and pretty scenery.
Let us know if you liked em!

-melissa & damon

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Croc of shit

Current mood: aggravated

You've seen em. Everybody and their grandmother are wearing these ridiculous shoes.
They're ugly and rubber and make you look like a moron.
If you wear these, you are a moron. These are women's geriatric gardening shoes. Some asshat stole their grandma's gardening shoes and thought, "damn, ugly but comfortable" I bet asshats across America would pay money to wear this shit.
If you aren't over 70 years old and you are wearing these shoes
you need to be slapped.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This one time, I was in New York City and ended up at a gay club

Current mood: dirty

Oh yeah, that was today! We (me, Joe and her friend Nicole) started out the night searching for this place that supposedly had free drinks. That did not pan out, the place we found was some club with a velvet rope, a man at the door and a woman with a list. Not our kind of place. So, then we met up with other people's friends Becky and Katie and went to this other club, that was sort of a cave really, and smelled of marijuana and lots of money. It cost me seven dollars just to get a Corona and the cocktail drinks were more.
We ended up moving on from there, and parted with Becky and Katie and met up with this girl Sara, and her roommate Dave. From here, we go to Sara's place and get a headstart on some drinking - because drinking in a club is expensive!
This is apparerntly how nights go in NYC, you pre-drink then go from place, to place to place. From Sara's apartment around 52nd street we then go to this club called "The Ritz" and I don't even know where it is. We go in and I'm looking around and I come to the obvious conclusion that it is a gay club. New for me, but no big deal, pretty men, and it's crowded. I'm always up for anything once. The drinks are tiny and $8 but it's okay - I don't need any because I'm already pretty buzzed from the apartment pit-stop. After a while standing upstairs, my brother drags me and Nicole downstairs, come on!
I see this drag queen dancing in the back on some stairs and in this basement room it is PACKED. It is a total sausage fest, so we just jump in and start dancing. They're playing "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse and the room is just fucking hopping. It's crowded and dirty and dark and loud and god damn fun. I got dudes pointing at me and singing along and shaking their stuff. and I'm thinking, fuck yeah, I'm in!
So we just get into it, me, Joe & Nicole - all shaking our stuff and wiggling and dancing. It gets hotter and sweatier and the music gets louder and it gets later - all the while we are dancing and grooving and drinking and moving. It is actually - seriously - the best time I have ever had in a club. I'm usually not much of a club girl. I have dudes rubbing on me from all sides and you know what? Mostly because it's crowded. I'm not creeped out at all. I'm having a fucking blast. Because you know why? They aren't trying to bang their junk on me like dudes do at straight clubs. In straight clubs you have to wonder, why are they banging on you? What do they want? Is this creepy? Do they want this to go somewhere? What is the agenda here? The gay guys are just looking to jiggle a bit, flirt with some dudes and have fun. I actually realized that in this packed dance floor - Nicole and I are the only girls, but it really doesn't seem to matter all that much, everybody is being very friendly. Sure, it's a little bit weird seeing dudes rub on other dudes and here and there make out with other dudes, but it's all in good fun so I don't worry about that. Mostly just enjoy the company of all the queens and the sweaty dirty dancing of it all.
I must admit it was a tad uncomfortable going to the bathroom, because there isn't exactly a "ladies room" in a gay mens club - so I go in there and there's one stall (occupied) and a trough. I'm waiting for the stall and meanwhile there's guys walking in - going to the trough and I'm finding something else to look at... the ceiling in the opposite direction... look up and over somewhere else... new experience being in a bathroom while dudes are stepping up to the trough. Oh well, all for the sake of new experiences, right? I'm a bit more deaf than I was earlier today because the music was loud but I really had a fucking fantastic time. We didn't leave til well after 3am, and that's really late for me.
At one point, I even had a guy walk up to me, pet my head and say very tenderly, "I love your hair" and then he walked away.
There's something nice about getting a compliment like that. Even if he was drunk.
I got beer or something spilled on my feet a few times and ended up with dirt marks head to toe- not exactly sure how, but overall definitely a fan of the gay clubs. And you know what? In general, gay dudes smell better than straight dudes do. I don't know if they have to try harder, or if they're just a little metrosexual but that sweaty room smelled tasty. I like me some guilt free dirrty dirrty sweaty gay dancing. So it's 5am now and I should sleep. But I just had to share. Enjoy.

PS. If you're a straight dude looking to rub on some chicks, go to a gay club. You'll have to thwart the advances from men, but the chicks will be all over you. You can't be too forward, or they'll know you're not gay.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hot in the City

On Thursday I wake up before the ass-crack of dawn for Joe to pick me up and then head to the rental place. Today he's moving to NYC. (I'm tired so my tense is going to be off. Get used to it.)
We show up to pick up the pre-requested minivan to take all Joe's things, and they say no. They have a ford freestyle, which is a station wagon, only stupider.
Um, no that really is not going to work, so tool-boy says he can give us a Yukon. So I say, what the hell is a Yukon? Oh. That thing. Damn. That thing is huge. So, we take the Yukon. I've got to drive this back to Joe's house and it's terrifying. I. do. not. drive. big. vehicles. I own a Jetta people. This is a GMC Yukon XL. I can park my car in it. I get in this big bitch and the driver's area is like a cockpit. I don't know how to turn off the A/C. I can't adjust the mirror. I hit a button and the seat begins to move forward by itself and does not stop. I hit the button again and the seat stops. I decide to stop pressing buttons and just drive away.
We get to the parents house and miracle of all miracles - everything he wanted to bring does fit. Joe and I seem to be the only ones loading everything. Most everybody else is standing in the way. I yell at my sister a few times and grumble that there's an awful lot of people standing around in the way but not an awful lot of people helping out.. Anyway, we load it all in.We can't see out the back window but it fits. Now is the time for the horrid goodbye which I had not anticipated. Mom is just bawling, and of course my sister is crying and I guess her husband is crying too and then Joe starts crying and then my dad starts crying, so I'm standing with five people, all who are crying, so I start crying. My mom goes to hug me and I say I'm fine. It's just human reaction. You are all crying so I cry. You yawn, I yawn. You cry, I cry. Stop crying so I can stop! I'm fine! I'm happy for him! Egad!
So we get out and leave. About an hour into the journey we hear this squeee squeak noise. We hear it again. And again. We start guessing. Is there something with batteries that is dying? Did you bring a mouse? What is in your shit that is squeaking? I timed it. It is every 28 seconds. We stop to investigage and as it turns out it's the rear wiper. Morons. We just couldn't see the back window that it was on. Duh.
So we get back in and decide to determine what the remaining buttons are. We figure out how to work the mirrors and the air and the radio. But there's several buttons left. One with a shoe and two arrows, one with a car and an "I", one with a check mark. Turns out we can move the pedals, get info on everything this crazy car does, including mileage used, fuel used, fuel remaining, miles remaining based on current fuel levels, estimated range, miles per gallon, and I'm pretty sure that if I tried hard enough I'd find a button to make it do my laundry. I think it has wi-fi too. I just can't find the button.
My mom calls us after 2 hours to check how we're doing. I answer Joe's phone and tell her we're still in Ohio. She's crying again "I just miss him so much!"
Thanks mom, yep, thanks a lot.
They call his phone again and again. We're in Pennsylvania. Still in Pennsylvania.
Still in Pennsylvania.
We make it to Manhattan in the Mega-Yukon earth destroyer. Scary is defined as riding as a passenger while your brother drives in Manhattan. Eek.
We even parallel park the bitch. Score one point for me on this one. I got out to help navigate. Go go go, turn turn stop. Okay!
We get the items moved in, have a beer and call it a day. Step 1, get mailbox. Step 2, find Joe a place to live. Step 3, profit.
Joe's phone rings all day. I walk around with him while he's on the phone.
We get some things accomplished on Friday and go back to his friends apartment to watch Closer, which happens to be a fantastic movie if you haven't seen it. Just outstanding. All the dialogue is so perfect and deliberate. It's beautiful.
Today I get up and it is Vietnam swamp-ass hot. Seventeen buckets filled with nasty. Uck. I stumble around the city while Joe takes more phone calls.
We check out potential room for rent in Weehawken and that seems to be the one to go for. He's going to keep working on getting that secured. Then we got tickets to 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee and it was cute. Met some of the cast afterward - a couple of them were UM students. Some dinner and some ice cream and some air-conditioning and I'd say this day was pretty good!
We walked all over the city, and saw lots of people. Some of the people look like they could be famous and what I wonder is, do ordinary people sometimes look famous, or is it that famous people just look ordinary?
Time to wash this city off. I smell like burnt hot dogs and broken dreams.
Good night and see you soon.

Alaska finale

So, I left off in Anchorage. (I had forgotten to mention that on our flight to Fairbanks we sat next to a man who looked like he ate babies, and when he talked as it turned out his voice sounded like a guy that would eat babies. Damn big dude. And Norwegian, so he definitely eats babies.)
Anyway, we arrived and stayed at the Historic Anchorage Hilton. We got in at about 8pm so the next day we hung out with David & his kids, Blaine & Talilah. Not much exciting things this day, we wandered around downtown and the mall and that was about it. Then the next day we were going to go to the zoo, which would have been nice. I actually don't like zoos but I was willing to give it a shot. The day turned out to be really rainy and nasty and I talked everyone into seeing Ratatouille. The movie turned out to be surprisingly good - well written, and the animation was great, overall just really cute. Had some dinner at Davids and then back to the hotel. On Thursday we got up early and rented a car and drove to Seward. Of course with any rental company they never have what you want so we got stuck with a fucking minivan. I hate minivans. Anyway. Seward.
We show up early and call our friend Eric (who we know from EMU) he's my myspace friend "Eric the Red" and his photos are great and you should look at them. Anyway, he's happy to see us and I can tell we're gonna have a great time. We go on a day cruise of the Kenai Fjords National park and right up to the Aialik Glacier. Most of the day is rainy, and cold and drizzly but we're in a temperate rainforest so that's what we get. We saw puffins and sea lions and little penguin like birds and then.. a pod of orca whales passes directly in front of our boat. It was amazing. I even got lucky and snapped a photo of one of them breaching. Damn! We saw a ton of stuff.
The boat had about 100 people and we were next to this stupid family that had about 8 kids with them. I think it was a group of stupid families. Anyway there's this kid that I think is a little girl for about 4 hours and then I realize it's actually a little boy, but the kid whistled non-stop for 8 hours. And not a song or anything. Just whistling noise and it was horribly annoying. Oh wait. He did stop whistling for a while. When his mom put the portable DVD player on the table and turned it on. They fed these kids crap all day - cookies, candy, pop and then plopped them in front of a DVD player.
Seriously!? You pay how much money to take a sightseeing day cruise of kenai fjords national park and your stupid children watch dvd's all day?? You are a moron.
So after that we hang out and wait for Eric and his girlfriend Katie (who is a firecracker - she's fun) and have dinner and then back to their place. They work in Alaska in the summer and then somewhere in the winter. This winter it might be Hawaii. With that kind of moving going on they don't own anything. The living room is a beanbag chair and a small tv on a couple milk crates. It's awesome. Sometimes I really miss owning nothing.
Next day we get up early and we drive down to Lowell Point for our kayaking trip. Turns out we are the only 2 people who have signed up so we have our own private 8-hour kayak trip today. We get in our boats and go out and start paddling. I forget how stiff and horrid things feel when you make the same motions hundreds of times. I had some pretty stiff wrists and some pretty awful knots in my shoulders. We kayaked out to Caines Head and in the meantime saw sea otters from far off and seals in the water, and we cruised by this bald eagle on the shore, from about 15 feet away. It was pretty amazing, just coasting by while the eagle is staring at us and we are staring at him, and they are huge. It was so cool I couldn't even get a photo. I just stared.
And the fish! It was salmon spawning season and literally every 5 seconds one was jumping out of the water near us. Jump, plop. Jump, plop, Jump, plop. It was really funny. Just seeing fish popping out of the water all over the place. One even hit our guides kayak. I'm lucky one didn't land in our kayak because I would have screamed and there would have been flailing limbs involved. Among the many things I have issues about - another is fish touching me. Especially flying at me from a river. I would have ended up in the water most likely.
We get to Caines Head and hike up to this old WWII fort used to secure the area from invading Japanese (they had captured two Aleutian Islands) and Seward was a place to protect because it's a deep-water port that never freezes.
So the fort was creepy, but the hike was pretty sweet. Then we hop in the kayaks and paddle back to Lowell Point. It was a hard day but beautiful.
That night, we are treated by Eric and Katie to salmon burgers. Yum. And I do not eat fish. Correction! I only eat fish in Alaska. I had salmon and then halibut and then more halibut and then salmon burgers. And Katie makes this kick-ass guacomole dip. We just sat around and bullshitted and had some alaskan ambers and alaskan oatmeal stouts and it was great. We had a fantastic time in Seward.
Next morning is the 18th and time to go home. We are pretty sore and tired so we take our time driving back. We visit exit glacier - the only glacier you can walk right up to (which was pretty cool) and we also visited Portage Glacier area. The drive back is beautiful, going around all these amazing mountains. There's gates all along the way to close the road for avalanches, but as it was August there was no snow! No worries with driving through "the pass."
We make it back to the airport and return the car, check the bags and we're good to go! Overall it was a fanfuckingtastic time!
Soon I'll have a link to view all our photos on iWeb.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

So you want to hear about Alaska?

This isn't it.
I'll get to it.

So, my little (well, younger) brother is moving to Manhattan. Joe Joe's all grown up now and moving on to big and better things. He actually got himself an internship in the theater sound & tech department at Juilliard. (JUILLIARD people! My brother is going to fucking Juilliard!)
Today I go over to the parents house helping him sort through things and he's tossing everything and we're sorting through stuff and separating. This is going with us, this we hope will fit, this is going into storage.
My parents were supposed to help move, but the dad had knee replacement surgery a few weeks ago so I'm driving with him to NYC tomorrow to help with the "big move." I'm excited for him, and I'll miss him, but I'm mostly excited for him. Living in New York! I haven't really lived with my brother in 11 years - and I've already got a plane ticket to visit in October. I'll see him. I'm not worried.
My mother, on the other hand, is a different story. She's wandering around the house - watching my aunt Cathy make dinner, an alternately appearing in Joe's doorway to stand there looking at us cleaning/sorting and then she'll start crying and she'll wander away and then repeat it over again. She's a mother hen kind of mom - she likes to keep them in the nest.
He's 25. He's supposed to move out.
And my sisters demon kids keep running around and screaming. The big one doesn't like me much and the little one just murmurs at everyone. I'm sure she think's she's talking but it just comes out as "muh muh muh nuh nuh muh nuh aaah bbb"
Then more screaming. Augh, fuck that noise.
So, if you want to see Joe, stop by. Everyone's been popping in and out to say goodbye. Better do it now, van leaves his place at 8am! (well I have to get up at 6am, but we hope to be on the road 8ish...)
Anyway, time to pack and do bills...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Alaska Part Deuce!

Current mood: busy

Coming soon.
I really want to write it. I need my brain to do it. I'm still at work and its... 9pm? Yep, 9pm. No brains left. So, I plan to go home, eat dinner, and then play video games. After 11 hours of work I'm going to sit and let my brain rot while I play Tetris. Yep, I'm really exciting. Work. Tetris. Sleep. Repeat. I guess I can get away with this for now since I kicked my ass in Alaska. I'll tell you all about it. Soon.

One more thing

I watched Hot Fuzz last night and if you've ever seen Point Break or Bad Boys 1 or II or Die Hard, or any more cop movies, you'll think this is awesome.
I thought it was pretty fucking funny and I've never seen Die Hard or Bad Boys but every obvious cop movie cliches ever invented is in there. Watch for them. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I once lost a contact and 17 men died

Current mood: ecstatic

Hello from Anchorage!
Seriously enjoying the abundance of Alaskan sunlight and wildlife here.
I (we) took off for AK on Wednesday and arrived in Fairbanks, land of the midnight sun, where our enthusiastic Hungarian taxi driver immediately started swearing up a storm in his story about some stranded passengers. He took us to our B&B (Minnie Street B&B) and the guy drove and rarely looked away from me, which is scary because I was sitting BEHIND him. So we arrive alright and the B&B is cute and it has a sweet kitty and the largest wind chime I've ever seen. (It was taller than me. If you know me, that's fucking tall.)
Fairbanks was nice, we wandered around downtown and Pioneer Park and rented bikes and went on a 30-mile trek. Got a little too warm but we saw a lot of Fairbanks. We did not see much of this midnight sun, as everything we do we have to get up early for, so we're in bed by 10pm. Too bad!

Then off by train and whisked away (well, I guess I wouldn't say whisked... the trains aren't exactly Japanese technology if you know what I'm sayin, it was more of a mosey) to Denali National Park. Absofriggin gorgeous. This park is huge and beautiful. Huge, like size of Massachusetts huge. Seriously.
I know you know this but Alaska is bigger than California, Texas, and Nevada... combined. Really. You have to let that sink in. It. Is. Fucking. Huge. It's big like adding up all the length of my arms and legs. And that's a lot. Hey, love me, love my limbs. It's obnoxious and entirely unnecessary.
And! In all that space, it's number of roads are equal to that of Rhode Island.
Crazy, right?
So, we are met in Denali and ride on a bus to our next locale, the North Face Lodge. Located 87 miles into the center of the park, it takes about 5 hours to get there. Eight if you stop to look at wildlife. We saw bears and glaciers and moose and caribou and it was spectacular.
We arrive around 8pm and call it a night. The next day we embark for our hikes - after our superb breakfast (veggie omlettes, yum!) and head out into the spongy tundra. The hikes here are trailless hikes. You aren't allowed to walk on anything that looks like a trail and the ground is like walking on a lumpy mattress and it's really uneven. It's crazy walking but if you fall down it doesn't hurt! Oh and there's blueberries growing so when you fall down you have something to nibble on.
And wow, was Mt. McKinley was in it's full glory view. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and this big bitch is impressive. The day before it was a little cloudy and you look over to see the mountain and you see a peak and you think - oh, that's tall. But then you look higher, higher, basically halfway up in the sky and you see another peak and holy shit, you realize that is actually the top. This mountain is huge and pictures just don't give the same effect as being there in person.
Our hike was fantastic, it was hot and it was sunny, the only downside is that the little flying bugs were out in mega force so I was pretty quiet. If I ate a bug I was going to freak the fuck out so I kept my mouth shut.
I get all freakin sunburned, which I had not expected, but whatever, right? A little sun on my arms and face just give me a nice pink glow. It was a great hike.
That night we're all sitting around chit chatting about stuff and somehow we end up talking about losing contact lenses and I tell this story that I once found a hard contact lens for a friend, on a dock, at the lake, at night. The old guy in our group starts talking (I call him stinky pipe guy cause he's always smoking his stinky pipe) and he turns and dead seriously says, " I once lost a contact in Vietnam and 17 men died."
We all just stopped talking and slowly walked away. I mean, if he was serious, what the hell, and if not, What the hell? How do you follow that up? Yeah, wow, woo. Sorry about that dude. That's pretty rough. Hey? Oh? I gotta go...

Day 2 hike: We wake up and it is the complete polar opposite weather of the day before. It was sun, now there is none. It was dry, now it is raining, the sky was clear, now it is solid clouds and fog. We put on layers and gear and rain wear and hats and more crap and head out. (no new camera today : ( do not want to soak new toy!)
I am wearing braids in my hair, baseball cap, a hat under that to cover my ears, a tank top, long sleeve shirt, and jacket and 2 pairs of pants and over the ankle hiking boots. I'm layered.
So, Damon points and laughs and says I look like a softball coach. I say what? Are you saying I look like a lesbian in my hiking gear? He says to me, "Are your shoes comfortable?" and I say, point taken. After all, lesbians do wear comfortable shoes. Oh well.

The hike was great. We got soaked. Absolutely soaked. I get back to the bus after our 4 hour trek and squeeze puddles of water out of my braids and my pants and our naturalist guide Dan just laughs at me. You squeezed that much water out of your hair?!

We drive out the next day to a much improved weather situation and I get some great photos from the bus. I'm still so excited. We saw this fox that had just killed a duck and he was trotting down the road with his prize, and I got him looking right at the camera with his prize meal in his mouth. Priceless.
And I got some good moose shots and bear and caribou. Gosh what a great toy. I love my new camera. Big thanks to my friend Andrew for recommending image stabilization. Ever tried to take a non-blurry photo from a bus going 25-miles per hour on a dirt road? I have several. Bah ha ha to you.

After another long bus ride and an even longer train ride we're in Anchorage. After a beer and some dinner I'm feeling pretty happy. Only halfway done with vacation so there's much more excitement to come. I'm super excited to hang out with my friend David the next 2 days. It's all that's on the plan until Seward on Thursday so we'll see what we do!

More Alaskan shenanigan updates to come later.... tune in later for more!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I think I may have been hit by lightning?

Current mood: stressed

I'm having issues.

I noticed Monday morning that my watch had stopped working. Seriously inconvenient.
I noticed Monday night that the ticket printer at work is broken. This is an essential piece of equipment people, and it is broken.
Today, I woke up with a bitch-nasty headache and after a while I get up and get going... I pick up my cell phone to go out the door and it is dead. It was dead the night before when I plugged it in. Still dead? Not charging!?! Major inconvenient.

I'm getting on a plane soon, this may be cause for concern.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Flesh and Bone

I heard the phrase this morning, "Flesh and Bone," and I was thinking about it and I really like this phrase. I like the dark and twisty images it conjures up in my head - something soft and pliable mixed with something hard and unbending and the sounds of popping, crunching, twisting and squishing that I imagine Flesh and Bone would make. It's a very satisfying phrase. Like in the movie Donnie Darko, where the Drew Barrymore character picks her favorite, "Cellar Door." Now cellar door I'm sure doesn't have the same effect on me as it does her, but I'm sure we all have our Flesh and Bone and Cellar Doors don't we?

I like that it so simply describes all living things (well, except plants, bugs and fish). Simply flesh and bone.

Another great one is this line from a Nine Inch Nails song, "Wrenching, dragging, shaking me." Paints a nice picture doesn't it?

I should be at home today. I should be at the beach today. It's beautiful outside. I have a sore throat and I think I might be getting sick (although I hope not!) But I got that uh-oh icky-wanna-lay-down-everything-hurts feeling going on. But I have to work. Have to train new girl. Have things that have to be done. I am going on vacation soon. Think of vacation. Where the hell did I get this ridiculous work ethic? Why can't I blow off the day guilt-free? What is wrong with me?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August equals Sunday

Go with me on this thought process, will you?
If you took the summer and equated it to a long weekend it would work out like this.

June is like Friday.
You are just getting started, it's awesome. You got the whole weekend ahead of you. Plenty of time to just sit and relax and enjoy because, hey, it's only Friday!

July is like Saturday.
Getting into the weekend but don't need to worry yet. There's still time for screwing around and being lazy and just enjoying it, you might have to start thinking about things to come - ha but not really!

August is like Sunday.
You know it's awesome, but all the same, you know it just won't last. You try to enjoy every last minute of it, cause when it's gone, man it's gone. But you have to do stupid things like laundry and dishes (or painting or mowing) because the fun is almost over. It's like being a little kid again and you know bedtime is coming. The streetlights are coming on and it's time to go inside.

Suck it up folks, it's August.
At least it's HOT outside! Thank you!
I'm holding out hope that September will be just like the Monday of a 4-day weekend.