Sunday, October 29, 2006


There is something strange that always occurs in the laundry room.

I am not talking about the whole sock mystery. It is widely known by now that there are sock stealing gnomes in the back of every dryer that take them for their own selfish aims.

I mean the moment that you load up your arms with all your fresh, clean, but still wet, clothing to transfer them to the dryer. And as you carry this moist merchandise something falls.
Something always falls.

What piece of precious clothing is always the one to fall first onto the perpetually polluted apartment floor? Always right into the grimiest ick?

It’s always the undies.
The cutest nicest undies.

While doing my weekend chores I dropped no less that 4 pair of panties on the floor.
I need a laundry service.
Or a maid.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Tingling Taste Buds

My foot does not taste good.
Toe jam is not as jammy as the name implies.
There is a sweet and sour taste to my heal after a long a on my feet.

And you should savor the insole.

Therefore, I have decided to refrain from putting my foot into mouth in the future.

No more mid morning toe treats by the copy machine.

There have been interesting things occurring at my place of employment, and since I have no internal control over what comes hurling from my vocal cords, I have decided to disallow anything from coming out.

I think it is the best course of action.

I think that I will be exploding within the month.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Head Bangin'

I have a student that makes my brain dribble out my ears.
He is a bright kid. When the lights are on upstairs he can answer questions correctly and is occasionally amazingly insightful.

But when the lights are off, it is a dark dark day.
Or few days.
Or week.

Sometimes I just want to bang my head against a wall in hope of normalizing the world.
Sometimes I do it. But then there is the dizziness and the confusion that follows a concussion. Not always a good thing.

Though meeting the wall with my forehead is a cheaper change of mindset than can be achieved by drugs or alcohol.

Today there was an incident with a bottle of Elmer’s glue.
He seemed to think that the table looked better white.
And sticky.

The cleaning process involved a 2 inch thick layer of soap bubbles and the splashing of water everywhere.

He also seemed to think that the entire class desperately needed to know the state of his bowels. And upon returning from the restroom, he graced us with a description of what he managed to produce.

He is the type of child that makes me think longingly about the 1940’s.
Makes me wish for a different profession.
Makes me wish for vast amounts of chocolate.

I think it’s time to assume the fetal position under my desk.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hoops and Hardware

We had our first basketball game. And through no fault of my own, we won.
The score was quite close, yet still a victory.

However, it opened my eyes to something rather unsettling.
There is a lot more to this coaching thing than I had first thought.

After the first and second practice I was feeling good about the whole thing. We were running drills and throwing baskets like pros.

I had coaching under wraps.
There was nothing to be nervous about.
Or scared shitless of.

It was just coaching. Simple leadership. Shouting out some encouraging words. Cheering on the home team.

But you know what I learned, you actually have to know the rules the game.

And not just in the “get points and keep them from getting points” kind of way.

There are all kinds of things that are vital for a game.
When to pull players out and put players in.
What the zones are.
Setting up plays and strategies.

Knowing what happens after a foul.

This is bad. This is very bad.

There was a fair bit of staring into the headlights.

And now, a significant amount of research about the in’s and out’s of the game.

Anyone with sport-like background have any advice for a terrified pseudo-coach?

Now, on a not at all related issue, tomorrow is the day that opens up a new generation of educational, stuff.

Tomorrow is the Apple Computer Roll Out.
At 7 AM tomorrow morning skiffs of laptops will be pushed into my school and handed out to every Middle School Student.

Tomorrow everything will take on a much more technological feeling.
Needless to say, I am a bit nervous about this too. All of a sudden all of the age-old book-learnin’ will be thrown out the window, leaving only the cold gleam of shiny-tech.

My fear is a little weird. I am and have always been an advocate of computers and all that is electronic. I love the tech.
I am actually a bit fanatical about the tech.

But something about thrusting all this new-fangled thing-a mi-jigs on a student population gives me a slightly queezy feeling.

How many computers will crash tomorrow?
How many slimy kiddo fingers will slip and slide a laptop down to the ground?
How long will it take for a young hacker type to break through the proxy?
How many of the short and goofy will I need to talk to about appropriate computer usage.

How many other teachers will be knocking on my door with computer questions a-plenty.

It’s going to be a long day.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My strengths

It has finally happened.
Someone has recognized my inherent athletic ability. My grace. My strength.

My hand eye coordination.

They have seen within me what so many have looked past.

I am a coach.

That’s right boys and girls. I am coaching a girl’s basketball team.

I am sure, by now you have realized that I have about as much grace as a drunk giraffe on roller skates.
And I have just enough athletic ability to participate in the Special Olymics. (not the one for people, those contestants are hard core and could kick my butt at most sports. I am talking about the Special Olymics for blind three legged puppies.)

As far as coordination, well, lets just say it’s all fun and games until I poke someone in the eye.

And now I am a basketball coach.

My team is a little concerned.

“Coach*, do you even know anything about basketball?”

“That’s the sport with the bouncy bright yellow balls and little little rackets, right?”

“No! Coach! Oh no…” they groaned in unison.

“Wait, no, it’s the one with the baskets,” I correct as they nod excitedly. “And the orange ball about the size of my head.” Their eyes are bright. “And the running and jumping and bouncing and the scoring of points.”

“Yeah! You were just foolin’, you know how to play, don’t ya!”

“Nope, never played a game in my life. I saw it once, for four seconds while flipping channels… back years ago before I gave up TV, while I was recovering from eye surgery and couldn’t see but for a foot and a half I front of me.”
They all just stared.

I had to wonder, were they staring because they were trying to work out whether I was serious or because they only understood every third word I said.

“So you know how to play…?” One of the taller ones asked, her voice full of uncertinaty,

“Nah, but I know how it should sound,” I shrugged.

It turned out to be a decent practice. We ran, and jumped, and dribbled, and threw the ball, and even scored points.

But, the girls are still fearful of my questions.

“How many players on the court at one time?”
“What does double dribble mean?”
“How many points do you get if you make a basket?”

But little academic problems aside, I think we’re going to be just fine. Peachy keen. Wonderbar.

The first game is Saturday.
Help me! Help me Help me Help me!

*I love it when they call me coach.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bursting Bubbles

So, moms out of the house. She flew out yesterday and arrived back home this morning.
10 days sharing my apartment was not all that long, but when you consider the fact that my apartment is not that large, it becomes more of an issue.

This has nothing to do with my mother herself, but to do with sharing space*. Having mom in town was great fun, we were able to just hang more than we have in quite awhile.
But there is something to be said for living alone.

I am not good at sharing space. I like to have my things in their places. I have my things around my chair. In my quirky OCD way.
Think of a personal bubble, except mine is about 12 feet in all directions.
Much of my apartment includes oddly placed things but they are very logical in my odd-ish mind. People have a tendency to move and touch my things when they are in my space.

They seem to think that Nutella should not be on the end table. Or that the lone spoon on a stack of books is in need of moving.

Or repeatedly question my lack of salt.

Anyway, space.
As soon as her taxi sped off I sunk into my recliner, feet up, enjoying silence in the room. Then, in one swift motion I kicked off my pants and turned on a movie.

There is nothing better than laying in front of the tube in your skivvies.
So I sat. I sat without so much as a twitch of motion for several peaceful hours.

Then I remembered the fact that though it was the weekend, it was the end of the weekend. And I actually had to work.
Damn lesson planning, ruining my fun.

Well at least I could lay on the floor in those same skivvies, lesson planning while eating rice pudding direct from the carton.
With that sad lone spoon.

* Though, note about my mother… mom spent much of her time here cleaning and straitening my place, just to leave it trashed in the wake of her packing. Clothing strewn, dirty plates in the sink, paperwork on the floor. The usual thing that I abhor and avoid, cleaning.**

** Don’t worry mom, I’ll leave the dishes for if/when you come back in the spring.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mom's Away

Today is that day that mom gets on a plane and heads back to her own home.
Though it will be great to have my apartment back to myself, it has been fun having her here.

What does a mother do in the land of ice and snow?
Well, she walked on the beach several time, collecting rocks and bits of bone.
She went to the grocery store nearly every day.
She taught health class one afternoon.
She meandered around town doing much shopping.
She took me to many of the village’s restaurants.

And she tasted muktuk.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Here's your sign

Sometimes I am forced to question what kind of a place I am living in.
This weekend I had one of those moments.

I walked into the restroom in one of the very few resturants in my village.
As I prepared to pee I noticed a sign hanging on the back of the door.

This was that sign.

Was I the only one that got creepy shivers upon reading this poster?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bum Bum

The wind has died.
All is mostly calm in the great white wilderness.

However, upon waking to the still and/or gentle breeze a new danger was found.


A thick, solid, totally smooth pane of ice had covered everything over night. The world took on a shiny glow.
A dangerously slick shiny glow.

I walk to school everyday. It’s only about 4 blocks. Short enough to be labeled as a pansy if you bitch and long enough to hurt like hell when the wind is blowing and the temperature is dropping.
Or if you are forced to shuffle along to stay steady on brand new ice.

I walked. I stepped lightly and carefully at first.
Each footstep stuck to the ground like glue.
I can’t fall! I’m like a super hero.


As my self-assurance grew my steps became wider and quicker. I was nearly walking like a normal humanoid.

Then, as you probably have foreseen, my confidence came crashing down. I hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. Or like a blonde-type person with no balance attempting to pretend that ice has no power over them.

When you flip to the ground. Sprawling arse first to the earth. Spread eagle and in minor pain, what is the first thing you do?

Do you nurse your wounds?
Pick up the shattered pieces of your pride?
Stand up?

No. None of the above.
The first thing you do is scour the area to see if anyone saw your swan dive to humiliation.

As luck would have it, only one van was in the vicinity. And it had passed just before my graceful lunge for the turf.

But as MY luck would have it, that van full of guys did, in fact, see the whole nosedive and were laughing heartily as they turned their van around and opened the door.

Through fits of giggles and guffaws they asked, “Lady, you alright? You fell funny.”

My face turned a violent shade of red. “Yeah, it’s slick out here.”

“Come on, get in before you fall again,” still laughing, “We’ll give you ride. You fall funny.”

These guys are like my knights in rusty armor.

They did not stop laughing the entire trip to the school.

My arse and pride are both quite bruised.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Just another post about the weather

It’s windy.
Really quite windy.

Projected winds are to blow 70 miles an hour.

The ocean is all choppy and crazy.
Telephone polls and lampposts are bending and swaying.

The sky is looking down in an all-together threatening manner.

Some teachers are even making serious comments about how school should have been canceled today. The wind could pick up one of the littlest or even medium sized hooligans and carry them off.
Which would be bad. Right?

There is currently a power line, torn free from the house, whipping around in this blustery day.

They have canceled after school activities for the weather.

One of my students woke up this morning and looked out her window. Imagine her surprise when she saw a large mattress on her front porch.
Yeah, it’s a little windy,

Maybe I'll just get an umbrella and fly away in a Poppins-like fashion.

Friday, October 06, 2006


This one is about my momma.

Later today my mother comes into town.
And will be staying for just over a week.

She has never been to a place such as this and I am a little worried about her.
Last night we talked on the phone. She was packing and had many packing related questions.
Like what clothing to bring, what shoes to wear.

We currently have one 1 inch to 3 inches of snow on the ground. She wants to bring her cute little clogs.

The mean income up here is what she spends on her car payments.
And she wants to bring her diamonds and gold.

She thinks I am not going to make her eat muktuk. (remember kids, this is whale blubber)

I think my mom is going to have a good time in the frigid north. She’s flying up from the 80-degree heat in Tucson to cool off in the high 20’s.

She is currently on one plane or another flying far from civilization.

Should be interesting.

And on a related note, the weather reports are calling for blizzard conditions this weekend.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Tomorrow is the day.
Tomorrow has been talked about all afternoon.
Tomorrow can mean a lot of good things and a lot of bad.

Tomorrow the PFD checks come out.
(That’s Permant Fund Dividend to you non-Alaskan folk.)

Every year the Alaskan government gives a check to every resident of this great state. From the smallest baby to the oldest elder. This is a day that is hotly anticipated.
The problem is what some people choose to do with this check.

One of my students has big plans of new trumpets and a fix for his 4-wheeler.
One believes he will be able to buy a plane ticket to visit his mother in Anchorage.

The adults however often set heir sights on other things.

The bootleggers will be out in force this weekend. You can already see evidence of their presence.
The past few days have been marked by more and more alcoholic disturbances. Shouting fights in the streets. Drunk drivers.
That killed who died in a 4-wheeler crash a few days ago. (He was not sober at the time of the accident)

I have yet to see PDF time in a “big city” such as this. I have heard rumors of the problems that can and will occur.

Tomorrow is coming.
Tomorrow should be fun.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Signs of Winter

Quick note.

A few moments ago I saw my first snow-go out on the road.

That’s right, there is currently enough snow on the ground to warrant the usage of many snow-go’s out and about.

Instead of the low roar of 4-wheelers careening to and fro at all hours of the night we have the high whine of snow mobiles.

Not that I’m complaining. That high whine is comforting, almost making me giddy.

Of all the types of transportation I have tried, snow-go’s are the most fun to drive.
Now I just have to find someone to toss me the keys.

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