Posts tagged Alaska

Things that make Mark Sanford happy

After thoroughly ignoring Alaska since last August, save for some senate/AG debacles, Sarah Palin has officially announced her resignation. After 30 months in office.

This naturally begs the question: Is Sarah Palin choosing to  resign (and Andrea Mitchell’s sources say ‘out of politics for good’) at this particular time to take even more of the limelight off of Mark Sanford?

Did the two play rock-paper-scissors to see who would be the less-crazy-more-viable Republican candidate for president in 2012, and Sarah stupidly chose scissors?

Was MJ’s death not enough to divert from the insanity coming out of SC? Had to get more buzz going? We’ve already realized she’s a media-molding-afficianado, and really, what’s one more ploy?

Do I really think this is the reason for the timing of this announcement? No, I think it’s because she’s nuts and realizes she’s been screwing Alaska over since she declared herself Queen of All that is Holy and Red last August.

On the other hand… always choose rock, Sarah.


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How to become a sexual predator without even trying

There’s a simple solution if you’re interested in how to become a sexual predator without even trying:  Move to Juneau, Alaska.

Everyone in Juneau, as a general rule, tends to look approximately 7-15 years younger than they actually are.  Attribute the phenomenon to youthful living or lack of sun damage if you want, but it’s a frightening – and well acknowledged – occurrence.

5 years old... or 25?

5 years old... or 20?

Case in point: my first night in Juneau last year, my roommates and I played a board game with an older couple and their 14-year old son who was a freshman in high school.  A friend of the family came over to play, and we assumed he was a friend of the son’s from school.

Later in the evening we discovered the friend had actually just graduated. From college.

Carrying on.  This past weekend I was at the Folk Festival in Juneau, listening to the most horrific version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” I’ve ever heard. We’re talking physically painful here. In order to avoid stabbing myself in the ear, I was desperately searching around the room for distractions when I happen to notice that this guy standing next to me is actually fairly attractive.  Now, I’m not a particularly girl-y person. This generally isn’t something I stop to take note of, but at Folk Fest 93.8% of all males tend to look more or less like they just left their Vermont commune and traveled across the continent via hitchhike, rickshaw, and mule.

Noting this, I take another quick glance… and I realize that the guy looks 17. Naturally, I immediately censor my thoughts and internally note, “Okay, that’s icky and wrong.”

But 2 minutes later I remember previously told stories about how everyone in Juneau looks 12 when they’re actually 38. So I decide it’s okay.

But then I realize that he might ACTUALLY be 17.


So I awkwardly try to stare/not stare and decide whether or not it’s FUCKING ILLEGAL FOR ME TO BE OGLING HIM.

And he totally catches me staring at him. ‘Cuz… uh, you know… Hi. I am standing right damn next to him. Subtle.

But he’s sort of checking me out too a tiny bit, and just as my itty bitty ego is getting a boost, I come to the disturbing realization that I ALSO LOOK 17.

Eventually, after a few more awkward minutes of staring while simultaneously doing age math, I just walk out, and never figure out his real age, due to the fact that in addition to the age-math-confusion, I tend to have absolutely no guts when [soberly] talking to those of a male persuasion.

But now, with this all dissolving unconcluded, I feel a little bit icky for pseudo-lusting-after this guy who could potentially be 17 goddamn years old. Or he could be 26. BUT HOW THE HELL DO YOU FIGURE IT OUT IN JUNEAU?!?!?

Damn you, Juneau. I’m going to end up arrested one day for involuntary statutory rape and it’ll be all your fault.

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Things that make me angry #3

A few days ago I noticed that an acquaintance from a past life had recently changed her picture on Facebook to be a “Sara Feigenholtz for Congress” picture.  Now, knowing this girl as I did/do (read: solely Facebook since July ’06, and co-volunteers for 4 months before that), I am aware that she considers herself a huge advocate for women’s issues, and especially women in politics.  I am also aware (via the book of face) that during the election season she worked for the Hilary campaign.

Now, that being said, according to my highly honed stalking skills, she is also currently living in Massachusetts.  Therefore, being that the IL-05 is not really garnering a whole lot of attention nationally, I was curious as to what she knew about Sara F.  Thus began a series of exchanges (again, via stalkerweb), that went something like this:

Me: As someone who lives in the IL-05 and attended the candidate forum in January, and has done a lot of research, I’m interested as to why (other than the fact that she’s a woman, which I agree is bad ass and I want more women in congress) Sara F?

I’m curious as to your take, because there’s actually several progressive (and you could argue more progressive) candidates in this race. I do like Sara a lot, but I’m not sold on her.

And thus began our multi-day internet discussion.  She responded as thus to my inquiry (names changed to protect the whateverandsoforth):

Katie: I like what she’s done, what she’s worked on for women and gay rights. Also that she’s endorsed by Emily’s [sic] List . . .

Who do you think is better?

Me: Honestly, I don’t have a clear preference yet (which is part of the reason I was curious on your thoughts). My top three are probably Sara, Tom Geoghegan, and Mike Quigley. Sara and Mike both scare me a little because they’ve been involved in Chicago politics for a while, which usually denotes bad things. Tom has an amazing labor record and is pretty much identified as the most politically progressive candidate. Also, I want Mike to stay where on the Cook County Board and fight Todd Stroger.

Katie: Hmm. . well I don’t know Chicago politics that well so I can’t say how I feel about it, but usually an endorsement from Emily’s List is good enough for me.

I mean, Obama is Chicago politics . . . did you support him in the election? (just curious).

Interjection here: Please note that Katie – who does not live in Chicago – admits to knowing, oh, nothing, about Chicago politics.  And EMILY’s List is an acronym and should be in all caps, but that’s just a grammar thing because I’m really cool and not anal at all. Carry on.

A few hours later, another post:

Katie : I also like this:

Illinois’ GLBT community has had no stronger ally in Springfield than Sara. She sponsored the Human Rights Law, which protects against unfair discrimination based on sexual orientation. She has also consistently supported hate crimes legislation.

Sara also secured funding for ADAP, a program designed to make sure life-saving drugs are available to those who need them. She worked to clarify existing legislation regarding the Illinois Cares Rx prescription drug program to help Illinois residents reap the full benefits of the ADAP program.

Please note also that this is copy/paste off of Sara F’s website.  Um.  Hurrh?  Not that I don’t like Sara (as previously stated, I do, and I’m all for more women in politics), but… if you wanted an opinion of what Sara has done… shouldn’t you look for, oh, I don’t know, a slightly less biased source than her campaign website?

My sister, having read her comment on Obama responded:

Sister: Obama is NOT Chicago politics. I disagree strongly with that statement.

Me: Indeed, hells yes I supported Barack. Obama was also never really involved in the political machine in Chicago, which is the problem with a lot of Chicago – most people end up more or less under Daley’s/Machine’s thumb. That’s why this election is pretty bad assed – no one is technically being endorsed by the Machine (although Fritchey = machine). It’s actually got a chance to have a progressive candidate win the election (of which, yes, I do count Sara F.).

And Katie’s reply to the comments on Chicago politics and the Chicago Machine was naturally about Chicago politics and the Chicago Machine. Right?

Katie: Ha Ha ok well. . . I was for Hillary obviously so my opinion is slanted but . .

Obama not involved in the machine? How about how he ran his Senate campaign and how he stabbed his mentor in the back? How about shipping in 11,000 people from out of state to caucus in TX illegally? How about my brother and all his friends who caucused illegally in Washington? How about the people I met who caucused in IA and then voted in other states (for him again)? What about what happened in Lake County the night of the Indiana primary? What about my volunteers that got hassled and attacked (literally) by Obama supporters?

Anyways, this primary made me realize that in politics everyone cheats, Obama just cheated the best and the smartest. And that’s what wins . . .

Uuuuhhhh…. Huuurrrrhhhh?  Duuurrr??

So. Here’s the thing. I legitimately asked this girl her opinion, despite the fact that she was a little fanatical during primary season on Facebook, and to be honest, I was in Alaska in my little bubble sans-cable, sans-internet, sans-cell phone for a year, and I missed a lot of the ground action for the primaries.  Besides, I already knew with whom my vote lay, and the most politics I was around during my tenure in Alaska  was debating the valid points of BO v. HC’s health care stances with my coworkers at the women’s shelter.

Despite this fanatical vibe I got from her, I decided that perhaps in this election, with her background in feminism, politics, and activism, she might have some special insight into this election.

But no. Her entire basis is that EMILY’s List endorses her, which again, huzzah, I like EMILY’s List (side note: whose founder, Ellen Moran was appointed White House Communications Director FuckYEAH!), but if that’s your only reason… and you don’t know anything about the other candidates… um… maybe you should learn why EMILY’s List likes her in the first place?

But what is possibly most irritating  in this is that in response to my comment about the CHICAGO Machine and CHICAGO politics she responds with… the bitter writings of a spurned Hilary supporter?  She ends up attacking me and Obama because, uh, I don’t fully support her candidate in a district that I LIVE IN and she doesn’t and admits to knowing NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT??

Jigga. What. Now.


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Why am I not in Juneau?

Peter came up to me today and started telling me about how he saw Slumdog Millionaire this weekend.  In doing so he played one of those extremely condescending my most favoritest communication games that some people do of trying to SHOCK AND DISTURB you by TELLING YOU HORRIBLE THINGS! and described to me how horrible the slums in India can be.

Dude?  Hi. I went to volunteer in Kolkata, India. Twice. In fact, I led one of the trips. Doubly, at one point I wrote and asked the company and any employees if they’d be willing to donate money.  Good thing there’s not slums in Kolkata.  Wait…

Oh, and I worked for 6 months in townships in Cape Town discussing housing and health issues, and interviewed people while sitting on dilapidated couches in their 1 room shacks.

And I’m trying to go back to school to get my Masters in Public Health, concentrating in Global Health, so I can go work in slums.

But thanks.

The economy sucks. For a week straight, work has made me want to throw bunny rabbits. My landlord won’t let me have a dog. Karl Rove is a conniving assbag. Roland Burris is a giant nutbagGlobal warming is slowly rotting the earthRepublicans in general are driving me to drink. I’ve been in the same place for 6 months.

All of these things compounded read to me as one simple question: Why am I not in Juneau right now? I mean, the world would still be rotting, Republicans would still be asinine, but at least I’d have this in my corner:

The most beautiful day in Juneau

The most beautiful day in Juneau

Because running away from life is way easier than trying to fix it, right?  Le sigh.
FINE logic, you win.  Asshat.

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Alaska Digitel STILL HATES ME

So remember how Alaska Digitel hates me?

They still hate me.

Well, either that or after a week of withdrawal, Carmen misses me.

Exactly two days after Carmen assured me that “there will be a zero balance on the account, and please disregard any past bills,” AK Digitel printed and sent yet another bill.  It turns out that by “zero balance” she meant “remove $4.80 but leave $4.73 due.” (And, yes I’m fighting about less than $10.)

Seriously though, Alaska Digitel. Time for a Come To Jesus talk.  You charged me a disconnect fee of $2.10, and then credited it. Within a single invoice.  Ergo, since obviously you have the mental capability to credit inane charges, one would think you would be able to credit the entire $9.53 due, resulting in a zero balance (see above).  And yet?  You credit the arbitrary figure of $4.80.


So cue another call to AK Digitel where I am placed on the unrepentant FUZZ-MUSIC-FUZZ hold for another 7 minutes after which I am told that Carmen has the day off, but Chris is more than willing to help me.  I – one. more. time. – explain the situation, and Chris places me on evilfuzzworldhold yet again.  When he graces me with his vocal presence again he assures me that he is emailing their accounting department and the whole thing will be taken care of in 3 days.

And I will have a zero balance.

Sure. Bull Shit.

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That’s right. It’s WAR.

Well… at least, as non-violent a war with as low a mortality rate as possible can be WAR.

As many people know, I do not like mice.  I have, with the exception of college, never lived anyplace which is mouse-free, and I happen to have a small-to-medium sized phobia of them.  Yes, I realize they are tiny, cannot hurt me, and are far more afraid of me than I am of them.  Yes, it’s irrational. Yes. Thanks.  That’s why it’s a PHOBIA, folks.

Now, despite my utter fear and hatred of invading mice, I have a slight  problem with killing them.  In that, well… I don’t like to do it.  If someone else kills them and disposes of them, and I play very little of a first person role then I have no problem.  If the matter falls to me to actually, uh, dispose of the item… well, then I’m not so good.  Last year living in Juneau, we had a slight problem we dubbed, “The Mighty Mouse Saga.”  Long story short, it involved sleeping on the couch at work, glue traps, six mice dead in 24 hours, one trip to the emergency room, and Sunday mass to make amends for the murder of the mouse family.

Suffice it to say that Shannon and I have been living in relative harmony with our apartment since August.  In early October we had one mouse incident, but it went away very shortly, so I figured (as the hopelessly optimistic will), that meant: Problem Solved!

Unfortunately, no.  In the past 48 hours we have not only found a large trail of mouse droppings in our kitchen, but also managed to have two separate first hand mouse sightings.  Sigh.

Unwilling to immediately buy glue traps again (the horrible, horrible, yet terribly effective things), this time we’ve decided to try something else: 100% Peppermint Oil.  It sounds a little like a myth to me, but I’ve read several testimonies on the world wide interweb that swear by it.

So it sounds hokey… but I’m willing to give it a try.  As long as the mice understand that PEPPERMINT MEANS WAR!!!

In the meantime though, I’m taking one totally legitimate indulgently whiny moment:


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I’m fairly certain Alaska Digitel hates me.

Alaska Digitel and I are in a fight. Not a smack-down, pudding-throwing, carnival-style tickle fight, but one where I would enjoy taking Alaska Digitel’s entire customer service department and personally rocketshipping them to Pluto, and stomping on their collective face while screaming, “EAT IT, FUCKTARDS!”

Or something slightly wittier. And eloquent. And pertinent.

I had this brilliant inspiration last March while I was in Juneau to sign up for a Lifeline $1-a-month cell phone. For a mere $1 a month, I would no longer be tethered to the weakling landline in our house, but could instead bring my partners in conversation with me on vast journeys.  Naturally, being Alaska, I’d still have to use a calling card to call long distance, but… well, at least I was freed from the confines of the dark indoors.

I know, it seems a shame to pay any money to have the ability to walk outside, but those who question my logic have never been to Juneau on a sunny day. The idea of being stuck inside while the world taunts you in one of its few moments of glory is sadistic.  Masochistic. It’s just cruel to have to choose between taking advantage of the few moments your schedule allots you with friends and loved ones or the few moments Mother Nature allots you with natural sunlight in a temporal rain forest.

Hence the choice to spend precious dollars of my $80/month towards a cell phone that doesn’t naturally dial long distance.


Fast forward to January, where I’ve now been fighting with Alaska Digitel for 4 months, trying to cancel my service. I have spoken with Carmen – who I am convinced is 1 of only 2 people who work in Customer Service at AK Digitel – no less than 5 times. I have faxed a copy of my Chicago lease to prove that I no longer am eligible for this service 3 times. I have even sent THEM a copy of their! own! bill! which they sent to me. And yet, still, I receive a notice informing me that I not only have a balance due, but it is now more than 30 days overdue and will soon be sent to collections.

Ergo, as the non-saga drags on, I melodramatically call Carmen once more to inform her of the situation, and to actually beg her to disconnect my service (which doesn’t work Down South anyhow), and remove any traces of charges from my account. Naturally, when Carmen answers the CS Dept. phone this time, she puts me on hold to check out my story, so that I can enjoy the blissful music of elevators for a full 10 minutes.

And this is when I decide that:

a) AK Digitel hates me, and

b) AK Digitel has developed a brilliant plan.

Because not only does AK Digitel have elevator music on their Hold station, but they have it on a station which IS NOT PROPERLY TUNED. I don’t know what is wrong with this station, or if the AK Digitel headquarters is perhaps on some sort of moving van that goes in and out of radio service which makes the music on said elevator station not so much ‘discernible’ as it is actually ‘half-to-three-fourths ear-wrenching fuzz.’   Which is fun. Like Chinese water torture.

On the other hand, while sitting with the phone as far away from my ear as possible whilst still close enough that I would hear the sultry tones of Carmen’s voice, I realized the brilliance of this solution: If AK Digitel can keep people on Chinese-music-torture hold for an indefinite period of time, eventually customers will become so enraged or ill at the music-fuzz that they will break and hang up the phone, deciding that sacrificing a few dollars a month was worth it to maintain their sanity.

In this case though, I called their bluff, and like the patient who pesters the squeaky Insurance Company to approve their claim, I persevered in the end. Righteousness Triumphs!  Mwahahaandallthat.

Perhaps this is Sarah Palin’s way of torturing me for moving down south and removing my meager monetary value from Alaska.

In other news, perhaps I have been reading too much about Gitmo lately….

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