Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cheese Cloth

So I’m at the grocery store last night, looking for Cheese Cloth.

I looked all over the Kitchen Accessories isle, multiple times, and did not find it. So then I went to the Baking isle and looked all over multiple times, and did not find it there either.

Eventually, I gave up and actually asked somebody.

You want to guess where they put Cheese Cloth? 

In the Freezer Section, right alongside the TV dinners and the Ice Cream!

Yeah, that’s a logical place to put Cheese Cloth.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Remedies in Your Own Back Yard

Bryan and I took a class the other night at Zucchini’s Cooking Store, in South Anchorage. They periodically hold classes on anything from Pasta Making to Hors-d'oeuvres to Fermenting Vegetables.

This class was on Alaskan Herbs and was presented by a Lithuanian woman named Gdaiva Gaulyte.  Gdaiva ia a Certified Nutritionist who owns and operates Alaska Island Retreat on Kalgin Island, where she teaches people (in her own words) “how to eat to be healthy using local whole natural foods; fermented vegetables, fish and bone broths, teas from the forest, and more.”

The class was a good one. We learned about natural teas, tinctures, infused oils, shampoos and tonics with a focus on local Alaskan herbs such as goldenrod, nettle, horsetail, dandelion, clover, elderberry, devil’s club, bluebell, yarrow and more. She explained how to collect, prepare and how to store what we’ve gathered. She offered us samples to taste and/or smell. We even got to make our own herbal tea using herbs she brought with her.

I do have to admit to some familiarity with the subject – but it was still a very interesting class.

Cirque du Soleil: Dralion

Well, that was certainly worth the price of the tickets: wow, what a show!

It was so exciting I quickly forgot that the seats were too close together and were hard plastic (not even remotely comfortable). I also forgot that the music was really loud, the lights were bright and flashing, and the acoustics were pretty much non-existent.

But wow, what a show!

Parts of it, I have to admit, were a bit of a let-down. There were a lot of people running around stage just waving their hands in the air (artistically dancing, you might say). I mean, give me an incredible costume and even I can do that!

The people actually doing the acts more than made up for the ones who were there to support them, however. There were truly some fantastic feats of aerial acrobatics. The troupe certainly lived up to their reputation, and then some.

A few of my favorites:
- The lady in red who came down from the ceiling on a metal hoop and then proceeded to swing around by her toes, hang from her neck, or “fly” through the air.
- The guys jumping through a series of hoops which were attached to a circular base that was rotating in a circular motion.
- The juggler who danced around stage keeping up to 10 (at least) balls flying through the air.

At one point, they had this guy standing on top of two “dragons” (the dragons were made up of two people in costume) and the dragons were each walking on a large ball about 4 feet in diameter. So, they had two large balls, each with a dragon on top, with a guy standing on top of them straddling the dragons. All walking across stage!

It was pretty amazing. I only wish I could have gotten closer in to see the costumes: they looked pretty amazing, even from up on the balcony where we sat.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

And this is a paperless job!

Typical Office Procedure:
- A submittal comes in for review
- The Architect reviews it and accepts/rejects it
- We fill out the paperwork
- We keep one copy and send the rest back to the client, both electronically and physically

However, there’s been so many changes of key personnel on this particular job that the current person in charge asked us to give him a copy of everything that’s been done so far.

So, I spent two days making copies and organizing them so that they are all in the same order as our originals are. Then I made file folders for them (I even made rainbows using red-orange-yellow-green-blue file folders, alternating in that order until I got to the end of the submittals) with labels and everything, and put them into a Banker’s Box.

That was last week. 

This week, he wants us to send him a copy (both electronically AGAIN [for like the third time] and physically) of the form that states what the status of each submittal is. So I have to go back through every submittal I just put away – unstaple everything – copy the top sheet – then restaple everything back together again.

So now – somewhere over there across town, they have close to 4 complete sets of every submittal (going on 42 of them so far) that has to do with this project.



I calmly walked up to the ticket counter and said “I’d like two tickets to Antarctica, please.”

I was the very picture of Cool as I handed the lady my credit card – but all the while, that little voice inside my head was jumping up and down with excitement, shouting “Antarctica! Antarctica! Antarctica!”

Actually, if you think about it – that’s a little strange. I mean, how can the voice inside your head jump up and down, anyway? It’s a voice, right? 

No body…

To be quite honest though, the “Antarctica” I was speaking of was a movie and the ticket counter I was standing at The Bear’s Tooth.

Still, it was pretty darned exciting. The movie’s full name is “Antarctia: a Year on Ice” and is a documentary about the every-day people who work down there (as opposed to the scientists who go down to study their science).

But just think how amazing it would be to ACTUALLY buy two tickets to the ACTUAL Antarctica!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rovers of the Red Planet

I have to admit I was not all that excited about the lecture. It was to be on the Mars Rovers, and I’ve been to about 5 of them prior to this one. I figured I was pretty much Rover’d Out, you might say. But it was part of a series so, since we had the tickets anyway, I pretty much had to go.

Turns out, it was really good: I am so glad we went! The presenter was very engaging, clearly excited about the topic, and was a good speaker, too.

The series is a new one for Anchorage: the museum has partnered with National Geographic to bring “dynamic and proven speakers, considered among the best in their fields. Using award-winning photographs and video, these modern storytellers share amazing adventures from the field, reporting on a wide range of human-interest and conservation topics.”

Acting as a personal guide, photographer and biologist Paul Nicklen takes audiences to the vast polar regions of our planet. Nicklen shares the stories of his work capturing images of life in fragile, frozen ecosystems. His book, Polar Obsession, is a pictorial celebration of the polar ecosystems where Nicklen has spent his life.

Hiking for miles laden with gear, trusting rigging on sheer vertical faces, and paddling waterfalls with a camera between his legs are all part of filmmaker Bryan Smith's adventures. While the footage he captures makes your heart race, the story behind the camera takes your breath away.

A dynamic young engineer at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Kobie Boykins is on the front line of Mars exploration. Boykins designed the solar arrays that power the Mars exploration rovers, Spirit and Opportunity landing on Mars on January 25, 2004. Boykins shares his passion for space exploration by recounting the design and construction of the rovers and the story of their successful missions.

Known for her sensitive nature and ability to bridge the divide that sometimes exists between people of disparate cultures and beliefs, Griffiths has been connecting with her subjects for nearly three decades. Journey alongside her as she finds common ground in uncommon places.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Voo-Doo Doll is a website I go to quite frequently. It has good information and enlightening blog posts by people like me who are afflicted by the little bastards. 

Sometimes it’s just nice to know I’m not alone, you know?

So the other day, somebody posed a question: 
If you could make one symptom magically disappear, which one would it be?

I've been thinking about this; not obsessively or anything, it’s just been in the back of my mind, quietly simmering and stewing. 

Finally, the other day, the answer just popped into my head: 
I would make my Voo-Doo Doll disappear.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about: there are times where I could swear somebody has a voo-doo doll of me, and they’re taking out their frustrations by randomly jabbing me with a needle. The pain is amplified by the time it reaches my body so that it now feels like a spear has been thrust into various locations all over me and not just in the head. It’s very random and can strike with no warning, and then vanish again for no apparent reason only to return again when I least expect it.

Yeah, that’s the one I’d choose to magically disappear.

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Oh-So-Exciting Life

Okay, so I’ve already modified my resolutions for the year. But I did not remove one – I actually added one!

The original four are:
     1. Loose as much weight as possible
     2. Write at least 4 letters each month
     3. Cook at least one new recipe each month
     4. Renew contact with lost friendships

To which I have added the following:
     5. Write at least one new blog post a week

I will do my best to make sure they are “fun” and/or exciting posts – but quite honestly, you may end up with a lot of boring so-so posts.

To start off the year, I’ll just do a recap of the first few weeks. (yup, you guessed it: this is going to be one of those boring ones!)

2015 started off with a bang (no pun intended) because my Guy cooked me a King Crab Dinner! I haven’t had King Crab in over a year, and boy was it good. We ate so much we had no room for desert. A few hours later, though, we went ahead and ate our Lemon Mousse along with a nice shot of Whiskey.

The following day, he again cooked for me – this time making an omelet by cooking the eggs in a Mickey-Mouse Waffle Maker! It was really simple and easy to do: mix up the eggs as you would for “normal” omelets (red & green bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and lots of cheese) then pour it on to the waffle maker as if it were batter. Not 5 minutes later, you have waffle-omelets! The Mickey Mouse design is not required, but is rather a bonus.

That was pretty much the highlight of the past two weeks. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for my hip (a swollen SI joint is quite painful, let me assure you). I work out at the gym as much as I can. I’m reading some really good books. I’m making my cards, as always.

You know: life.

The next few weeks, however – now, those posts will be much more exciting!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Happy New Year!

One of my goals – or resolutions, if you will – for 2015 is to write at least 4 letters a month. I make so many cards; I really do need to start using more of them. Plus, as an added benefit I get to renew some friendships I’ve let fall by the wayside.

One can only hope they return the favor!

Speaking of resolutions: do you do them each year? What sort of goals do you have? Do they tend to be the same ones over and over again each time? Do you ever actually achieve your goals?

For me, the New Year is a time of reflection; a time to review the year gone by and take stock of where I’m at as compared to where I hoped I would be.

Well, actually no – that's not true. I try not to focus on any sort of negative, as in “Oh, I wish I had done that…” or “Darn, I’m not as as BLANK I wanted to be.”

Instead, I simply take stock: this is who I am, this is what I accomplished, and this is what I think I’d like to try this year. Sometimes it is the same thing over and over again. Sometimes I realize that I no longer want that old thing and have instead set my sights on a whole new thing.

The rest of my goals for the year are as follows:
1. Loose as much weight as possible
2. Cook at least one new recipe each month
3. Renew contact with lost friendships

Granted; if I do write my 4 letters a month, that pretty much guarantees that I achieve item number 3. But that’s the beauty of this list: Simply by doing one item I get to knock two items off!

It’s my own little BOGO event, you might say.