Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Thoughts


I miss smoking. I quit three years ago, and now they cost $9.17 per pack at the chain gas station. Alaska has one of the highest cigarette taxes in the country. Alaska sucks.


So, I sort of had an issue two weeks ago. Simply put, I couldn't take another bite of the pre-packaged food. I just couldn't. The food itself is fine, I just reached my saturation point. I got a bit hysterical when my consultant called, and I was ready to give her the "I can't do this anymore" speech. Thankfully, she adjusted Bill's and my program, and now we can eat real food that I cook without feeling guilty. All in all, I've lost about 10 pounds, so that's something.*sigh* I haven't been mall-walking since April, so we're going to start again on Monday. New month, new start...yeah...

Speaking of new month and new start, I think I might start participating on Sig Showcase again. I still make sigs and blinkies, but don't post to the social threads. I'll start with the next Roll Call.


I'm wicked fast on a 10-key calculator. Every February there's a 10-key contest as part of our Fur Rendezvous. Is it sad that I'm thinking about entering?


I don't think the NBA playoffs will ever be over. Really.


This is Mt. Susitna, otherwise known as the Sleeping Lady. Can you see her sleeping? She's lying down in profile, with her head on the left. She's a very popular sight in Anchorage. I've lived in Anchorage my entire life, but never knew the legend. Here is what I found

Native Alaskan Folk Tale

The story of Sleeping Lady has traveled by word of mouth throughout the region since at least the 1930's. The source of the original story is unknown. Here is the folktale retold by Ann Dixon, a librarian at the Willow Public Library in Willow, Alaska.

Once, long ago in Alaska, there lived a race of giant people along the shores of Cook Inlet.

The land then was warm and covered with fruit trees of every kind.

Woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers roamed the forests and beaches but did not harm the gentle Inlet people.

Peace and happiness ruled the land.

Especially happy were a young man named Nekatla and a young woman named Susitna, for they were in love and soon to be married.

As the wedding day neared, the Inlet people eagerly prepared for the celebration. But the day before the wedding a stranger burst into the village. "Danger!" he cried. "Warriors from the north are coming! They roam from village to village, killing people, stealing from them, and burning their homes!" "Stranger, how do you know this?" someone asked. The man's face clouded with pain. "They have destroyed my village, my family...everything," he answered. "Only I escaped. Beware, these people are cruel and crazed for blood!"

All plans for the wedding were forgotten.

The villagers gathered in council. First one person spoke then another. Some thought they should quickly fashion weapons and attack the warriors. Others thought they should prepare to fight the warriors when they came to the village. Still others wanted to hide in the forest until the warriors passed them by.

Nekatla and Susitna listened in silence their hearts deeply troubled.

After everyone had spoken, Nekatla rose. "I, too, have an idea," he began. "But I do not know if there are people here brave enough to go with me. I say this: I will not fight these people and neither should you. We have few weapons, for we gave up the ways of war long ago. We've learned a better way, which is peace."

Many of the people nodded their heads in agreement. "Continue," the elders encouraged him. "I will not run away from this danger, for then the warriors will kill many more. This is my proposal: we travel north to meet them. We convince them to lay down their weapons and live in peace. We will carry gifts rather than weapons so they'll have no reason to attack us. "And I am willing to go first." It was a bold plan but the people agreed to it. All the men of the vilage would go. Immediately everyone began preparing for the dangerous journey north. By morning the men were ready to leave. Sadly, Susitna and Nekatla said goodbye on a hill above the village where they had spent many hours together.

"We will be married as soon as I return." promised Nekatla. "I will wait for you at this very spot," answered Susitna.

Susitna watched thoughtfully, hopefully, until the forms of the men disappeared into the forested mountains.

Susitna made ready to wait. She ran back to the village for her needles, knife, and baskets, then busied herself gathering nuts and berries.

On the second day she tired of gathering fruit, so she cut roots and grasses to weave into baskets. This task amused her for many hours, but eventually she tired of making baskets, too.

Susitna spent the third day sewing, for she was too weary to gather fruit and cut grasses. Yet she could not sleep, wondering if the men had succeeded in their mission.

Perhaps Nekatla would return at any moment!

But many days and nights went by, each more slowly than the last. Finally Susitna could no longer pick berries, weave baskets, or even sew. "I will lie down just for a moment," she said finally. And she fell fast asleep. While Susitna slept, word of a terrible battle reached her village. "Nekatla was brave." reported a boy who had escaped. "He led our men to meet with the warriors. But as he and their leader were about to speak, someone threw a spear! Their men set upon ours and we fought until all our men were dead or dying, and many of theirs, too." The women and children wept to hear the names of the fathers, sons, and brothers they had lost.

When the women went to tell Susitna the terrible news, they couldn't bear to wake her from such peaceful sleep. Let her rest, they decided. Why break her heart any sooner than we must? And they wove a blanket of soft grasses and wildflower blossom, which they gently laid over her. May Susitna always dream of her lover, they prayed.

That night all warmth and joy left the village. As the air grew colder and colder, Susitna settled more deeply into sleep.

All around her, the fruit trees froze and died, falling like the men in battle.

The tears of the villagers gathered into clouds and, in the chill air, returned to earth as Alaska's first snowfall.

The snow fell slowly at first, one flake at a time, but soon it filled the sky, spreading thickly across the entire land.

For seven days and nights the snow fell, until Susitna and all her people lay beneath a blanket of shimmering white.

Days passed into years, and years into hundreds and thousands of years.

For a few months each summer, warmth returned to the land, allowing birch trees and spruce and willow to grow.

Grizzly bears, moose, and other new animals appeared, taking the place of the old. After a long time a new race of humans, smaller than the first, came to stay. Today Susitna still sleeps through the seasons, dreaming of Nekatla.

If you look across Cook Inlet in the winter, you can see her covered by a snowy quilt.

In summer, you see her resting beneath a green and flowered blanket.

It is said that when the people of war change their ways peace rules the earth, Nekatla will return.

Then Susitna, the Sleeping Lady, will awake.


The new season started a couple of weeks ago *yay*. I usually only watch the auditions, but maybe I'll make it through the whole season. Like other performance reality shows, once it gets to the meat of the show, there's too much talking and not enough performing. I don't care about everyone's background, inspiration, blah blah blah. Just show the dancing!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Time to Brag

I don't normally brag about Cassandra, but since this is my blog, I get to brag. Some of you may know that she goes to a private school. To get an A, she has to get 94 or above. I don't expect her to get all A's. I only expect her to do her best, and ask for help if she needs it. In the previous three quarters, she's needed the final exam grade to boost her score to above 94 in a couple of classes. This quarter, she managed to pull out all A's without the final exam! This means she won't have to take the finals, and she won't even have to go to school the last three days! I'm so so proud of her. She only asked for help a couple of times with Algebra, but she did her English Research paper 99.9% on her own.

English - 97
Science - 96
Bible - 99
History - 98
Math - 98
Band - checkmark (whatever that means?)
Study Hall (checkmark)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is Mother's Day. At its most basic intent, it's a day for the child to acknowledge all the love and caring the child receives from his/her mother. That seems pretty simple, yes? Please don't turn it into a track and field meet...

The 100 yard dash - Dad suddenly remembers it's Mother's Day, and scoops up the kids to get to Target before they close.

The High Jump - What the aforementioned dad has to do to reach the last box of Godiva chocolates on the top shelf. If he comes home without chocolate, he will have to dodge the....

Discus Throw - This is what will be thrown at hubby by an angry chocolate-less mom. Usually the discus takes the form of grandma's china, which is also the husband's fault. (Look what you made me do!)

The Shot Put - This is the shape and consistency of mom's breakfast when she decides she needs it prepared by the Others in the house, and presented to her in bed.

Folks, you're putting far too much dependence on the man-guy for your so-called special day. For some women, this is their first Mother's Day. That means their child is less than a year old, and unable to contribute to the festivities. The woman then turns all her expectations on her poor husband. He has to make her first Mother's Day a special one. Why this is I don't know, but if it's not special, heads will roll. Anyone who reads IVillage Pregnancy and Parenting boards knows what I'm talking about.

I'm pretty sure the mom is a mom only to her child(ren), not her husband. Sure, some men act like children and can be the biggest babies on earth, but that's beside the point. She's not her husband's mother, and I don't think he should be expected to make anything "special". Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's fair if the husband expects his wife to remind him to call his own mother, or make sure a card/gift gets sent out. It goes both ways. My point is that (finally, right?) we shouldn't depend on someone else to magically make us happy. Meaning, if we want our Mother's Day to be special, we should be prepared to make it known what we want. Most men aren't mind readers, they need to be told what we want, and they're usually more than willing to do it.

By the same token, if you're not already reasonably happy with your family, then the fact that it's the second Sunday in May won't change that.


A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example, if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she's menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected :D