Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Been Awhile

So I'm sure some of you have been clamoring for a new blog post of mine. Not that my life is super exciting. Nothing much is new lately. I'm still in New York but there's a light at the end of the tunnel to end my monotonous past 6 months. I'm leaving in about a week to go home to DC!! I will be in DC for about 2 weeks, and will then fly to Utah. I will be in Utah to visit Abby and Trent (even though they're coming to AK also) for a couple days and will then ride on the company buses to Seattle. Then it's only a short 3 hours flying to Skagway!! Woo-who!! 

I did have a bit of bad new today though. My friend Helen was going to come up after she found out she wasn't getting this internship she applied for. So I was all excited, but then she tells me today that she did get the internship after all, and will be doing that instead. Now don't get me wrong, I am super excited for her to have this opportunity (and it's in Germany!) but I was so disappointed to put it mildly. But then I remembered my other friend Amber who is coming up! I've known her for 8 years from middle school. A couple months ago out of the blue, she asked about Alaska and said she'd be interested in coming up this summer. So I sent her a bunch of links to jobs in Skagway and she was hired by one last week! So as much as I'll miss Helen, it'll be fun to hang with Amber (who I also haven't seen in a good 2-3 years).

So right now I'm just working on getting ready to go. I need to start a packing list of stuff to bring, which I think will mostly be clothing. I thought about bringing beauty/personal stuff, but figured I can get most everything in Skagway or have it shipped so why waste the luggage space? OH! And I got a matching rolling duffel bag that goes with this cute plaid duffel I got in AK last summer so now I have matching luggage!! I know that's super dorky, but it's cute and I don't have to tie some stupid ribbon on my suitcases cause they're so individual! 

So if you go back in my blog about a year, you might find a post on weight loss. Well needless to say I caved and quit the diet before I went to Alaska. Well since I've been in New York and have had nothing else to do, I started my own program in February and have since lost 15 pounds! I basically just count calories, nothing fancy. I use the WebMD website for help and reference and it's been going really well! I realized today that my conviction towards being healthy has been helped along by the fact that I don't do much besides babysitting my niece so all my energy goes into this diet. I've been exercising more, and feeling so much better. The only downfall (which is actually a good thing also) is that all my clothing has gotten to big and I've had to buy new stuff. And this leads me into my secret that...

I am going to allot some of my Alaska earnings and go on a shopping spree after I get home in the Fall!! I'm going to need new jeans, and all sorts of things. Plus I would like to buy a little bit of jewelry and want to get a couple things from Tiffanys. Yea I know, I'm splurging lol. My goal right now is to lose about 6-8 more pounds before I leave for AK, and then continue my goal once I get there. So cross your fingers for real this time! Cause I might need it!

This year in AK is going to be so much more fun I think. My friends and I have plans to go camping (among the bears and moose) and I want to go to Whitehorse more often. And my goal this year is to see those elusive Aurora!! Three of my friends are going to have cars, so I think we'll have to make trips up to Dawson City more often. That's where the lights are mostly seen. I really need to see them this year! I'm also toying with the idea to visit Juneau more often. At least go down once. It's a 3-hour ferry ride and they do whale watching there. That's also something I'd like to see one of these days.

So there you go. A basic summary of what's going on. I don't feel like sharing anymore, so go away. Thanks!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Indie Wears Salomon Hiking Boots

Far away from any major civilization in Southeast Alaska, lies the small town of Skaguay. Skagway was a famous port town during the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush, which supposedly is quite well known (though I had never heard about it). Hundreds of thousands of men came up to this remote place to find the supposed gold that lay hidden 500 miles north in the deserted Yukon Territory. Only a few found wealth, the rest died on the treacherous trail, or came back empty handed.

That was then, this is now. Today, Skaguay is a bustling tourist town. Visited daily by cruise ships sailing around the better ports in Alaska, toting old fogies around who have saved all their lives on order to take this trip. Coming to Alaska is said to be the adventure of a lifetime. About 500,000 people come each season, and it is quite the unique place. Which brings me to my purpose.

One day, I was off work, hanging out, minding my own business when my friend Bethany tells me that apparently Harrison Ford was visiting the town. With him was longtime girlfriend Calista Flockheart and her son. I was a little intrigued. I'd heard about famous people coming to Skaguay to visit, for example Kevin Bacon, but I never thought I would be here when some random celeb showed up. Bethany however, wanted to search for Mr. Ford, and I agreed just out of curiosity to see if we could actually find him. All we knew was that he had flown his own plane into town, and was out and about. We found out that he had ridden the White Pass and Yukon Route train, but had since gone on his merry way. We hoped maybe he would pop into some of the shops, and since downtown Skaggs isn't that large (one street about 1
0 blocks long), it seemed we'd be able to find him easily. So we went up one side of the street, then down the other with no luck. Bethany had the idea that maybe he had stopped in the Skagway Brewing Company for a drink (or to try their famous Spruce Tip Ale), so we went in that direction. We arrived at the Brew Co. and got a drink, and looked around the room, but saw nothing. After about an hour of searching for the elusive man, we gave up and headed home. 

After arriving home, my other friend Donald said he wanted to buy some rock climbing gear, and so I decided to go with him. By now I'm pretty sure every person who lived in Skaguay had heard he was in town, and a few people had gotten pictures of him, but I doubted I would run into him. So Donnie and I went over to The Mountain Shop which sells more rugged camping and outdoor gear, including rock climbing harnesses and shoes. After looking at their selection, I was wandering around the store, when who should walk in, but Mr. Indiana Jones himself!! I couldn't believe it! It took me a second to realize it was him, he was sporting a beard and sunglasses as well as one of those hats with the big brim around it, one would wear in the sun or for water activities (see below):
Once I had gotten over the shock of seeing Harrison Ford in this little town, I immediately sent a message to Bethany to get her butt over to The Mountain Shop ASAP! Donnie and I continued to watch him covertly, and overheard he was in the store looking for socks. The ones he had on were giving him blisters or something. So we watched as he went into the dressing room at the store and started trying them on. The sales guy asked him what kind of boots he wore and Indie said they were Salomon. I was kinda surprised because I never thought Salomon's were all that good of a brand. But to each his own I guess. Bethany arrived and joined us. At one point, I was standing in line to purchase something and Mr. Indiana Jones himself was right in front of me making his purchase of socks. I really wanted his credit card receipt but couldn't get it of course. I never got the courage to talk to him, partially because I didn't want to annoy him, but I wish I had said something. After he left, everyone was just like "Um did Harrison Ford really just come in here?".

The next day, I had to work and we heard that Harrison was still in town, but that it was his last day. I didn't expect to see him again, but just as I was driving out of town with a tour group, who should I see walking on the sidewalk was Mr. Ford (with Calista) yet again! I really wanted to say something to my group, but by the time I realized it was him we had already gone past and it was too late. And then that was that. He flew out that evening to who knows where. And that my friends is my brush with a major celeb. 

Monday, February 2, 2009


So once every two years, I get the exciting opportunity to pick out a new cell phone. With all the abundance of new models, I often have a hard time choosing which one to get. Do I go for something more stylish? Something with more function? Blackberry? LG? Samsung? What to do?

It all started when I was about 14 years old. The cell phone was just starting to become mainstream, in that the normal person could get a cellular phone instead of just corporate big-wigs. A few of my friends had gotten them, and I wanted one soooooo bad!! I would search constantly on Amazon for cool phones I wanted. I knew my parents would never let me do one with a contract, and it was then I discovered the pay-as-you-go plans. I think it was AT&T who first cam up with the GO Phone, where you could pay as little as $10 for a card with 30 minutes of talk time. At 14, I knew I would never use a lot of minutes, I would mainly use the phone for emergencies or incase I needed to stay after school for some reason. So I saved my money and I began to prepare a list of the pros to having a cell phone to convince my parents. Then luck struck! Amazon was running a deal where I could get a prepaid phone for free with rebates!! It was a few weeks before my birthday, so that in addition with my "pros" list, my parents went ahead and ordered the phone for me as a present. I was so excited the day it arrived! I assembled everything and the next morning my mom called AT&T to get it activated! I was the proud new owner of a cell phone!

Then, a couple years later when my sister left for college, my parents decided to get cell phones for us all on a family plan on Verizon Wireless. I got the popular Motorola "bean" phone. It was so awesome. I discovered how to text and I didn't have to do the silly prepaid thing any more. After a year though I started to get bored with it, my sister having gotten a COLOR screen phone (that was the new technology then), and I decided I wanted to upgrade too. My sister had somehow convinced the Verizon guys to let her upgrade early. I wasn't so lucky and had to buy mine on Ebay (the LG VX6000) for a lot of money. But I was content to have one of the coolest phones on the market, and I loved it. Then a year after that I left for college and got to upgrade again. This time it was an Audiovox flip phone. I liked it for two weeks, then I hated it. It was super bulky and not really any better than my LG, so I got another new phone on Ebay which was also an Audiovox, but much more streamlined. It was a good phone. Even more technology advances were made over that time in phones like the addition of MP3 players, higher megapixel cameras, and improved internet. I was excellent at texting, people were always commenting on how fast my fingers flew around the key pad. I began researching the phones I would get to replace my Audiovox and I really wanted to stick with LG. LG had already served me well, their phones are good quality and hold up well. It was still a hard choice since most phones all had the same features. But I ended up with the LG VX8700 which I've kept the whole two years. I've never had any complaints with it, and never got bored which was a problem with phones I had before.

So now the time has arrived for me to get another new phone. Now the technology is focusing around touch screens. The hot phone of the moment was the Apple iPhone which was an iPod, phone and internet device rolled into one. I wouldn't mind getting and iPhone, but I hate AT&T so until Verizon carries it I won't get it. But I liked the idea of a touch screen, and was all set on trying out the LG Dare, which was definitely not at the same level as the iPhone, but seemed pretty cool anyway. I'd always wanted to get a Blackberry also, but didn't want to spend an extra $30 a month for the higher plan. But then news reached my ears about this new Blackberry coming out that was a touch screen phone, the Blackberry Storm. I was super excited to see it. The touch screen was different than any other phone. Instead of tapping the screen, you actually pushed down on it, which sounded really cool to me. It was said to be the iPhone killer, which while it competes there will always be those diehard loyal fanatics who will never let the iPhone die anyway. But after reading's review and user reviews I wasn't sure about the Storm. It was released to early in order to make the Christmas market and therefore had/has some bugs. But reading more and more reviews it seems like the bugs have been worked out. Apparently it has a slow accelerometer and the camera sucks. Fortunately, though Verizon has a 30 day policy to choose a phone, so if I don't like it I'll get the LG Dare. But I think it'll really be useful in Alaska with internet. I pay $60/month for limited megabyte, slow as molasses internet. With a Blackberry I'll pay $30 extra on my phone bill with almost full browsing capabilities. 

But the point of this blog isn't really a review of the Storm, just mainly a chronicle of people's enthusiasm for new technology. And if you think I'm bad, remember there are millions that are a million times worse! Those weird "techies" who constantly have to have the most current hot electronic toy. I remember when portable CD players were all the rage and when the iPod came out I thought it was stupid. I figured, what's the big deal about carrying around a folder of CD's? HA! How wrong I was! It's amazing to see my 100+ selection of CD's shrunk down into a pocket size device! I currently have 1,951 songs, which averages out to over 150 CD's! And now we have cell phones that take pictures, shoot video, play music, browse the internet, give us directions, look up nearby restaurants, and more. Amazing isn't it?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Photo Contest

So if you hadn't heard, I recently won a photo contest! The contest was from the White Pass and Yukon Route train company. The WPYR is the train in Skagway, AK where I work in the summer. So basically they have this contest that runs to the end of each year and anyone can submit photos of the train or having to do with the train. There are 10 winners each year and the winning photos are used in publications and advertisement for the company. So I submitted a few photos and low and behold one of them was chosen as a winner(see picture above)!! The link to the winner page is below, as well as a link to a page where they are already using my photo(it's pretty easy to spot)!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gripe Session

It has been brought to my attention that I need to write something new in my blog. Apparently people are tired of reading about my hair fiasco (you know who you are). So in an attempt to keep things fresh I am going to tell you all about my recent escapades.

Really though, my life isn't super exciting. Yes I am still in New York City where I plan on staying until a couple weeks before I go to Alaska in April. I'm still babysitting a few days a week for my sister and I have also added one day a week babysitting for someone else. The real excitement came in December when I found a job in a photo store on Craig's List. I got a call the next day after emailing my resume, and went in for the interview. It went well, the guy said when I got back into the city after Christmas, to call him and he'd have me come in. So after the holidays I called him up and oddly, he hardly even remembered me. After sort of an awkward convo, he said he'd call me when they needed someone, and so a week later I was happy to get a call from him. I went in a few days later and began to train for the job. It was a lot to remember at first, but I got the hang of it after the first day. The job didn't seem so bad, until the owner of the store came back from vacation. The owner is Hungarian and apparently doesn't like it when people stand around...ever. You constantly have to be doing something, otherwise he'll yell at you for not doing anything. I learned that I needed to look busy every time he came around and when he was occupied with something else I could relax. I took to hiding in the basement, anally reorganizing all the printer inks just so I wasn't in his overly watchful eye. After the third day working there however, my manager (the guy who originally interviewed me) hadn't given me any sort of schedule, he just said to call the following week and we'd talk. So I called, and they didn't need me during the week, but might need me Saturday. So I called again on Friday (today) and was told they were covered and to call back Monday. Well needless to say, I've gotten pretty fed up with it all. I realize I'm in a "trial" period, but if they really need someone, wouldn't they want to use me? So I'm honestly debating whether or not to even call back on Monday or just focus on getting another job. It's hard though because since I work most of the week babysitting, I really just need a job on the weekends and it's hard to find such a job. So my best bet right now is to work on getting a couple extra babysitting jobs to fill in a little. I mean this whole ordeal with the camera store has just been odd. The manager dude hasn't trained me in anything(some fellow employees have shown me some of what I need to know), hasn't told me any store protocol, rules, or told me what the pay periods are. Yes I should ask (especially after all this time has gone by), but I shouldn't have to ask, as proper training should go over that kind of thing. But no, I get nothing, nada, zip. Maybe deep down, I don't want to work there. It is rather stressful with that Hungarian dude running around. And to be honest the only thing I've missed from this job is the money I could be making. 

Moving on, I just want to say how happy I am to finally have a competent president in office!! Woo! I had tears in my eyes the whole time (which reminds me of something else I need to talk about...more below). I feel so much more positive about our country and where we will end up after Obama makes positive changes. I think the whole country is happier (well the Dems at least). Although, the 'pubes probably aren't happy anyway. It's so pathetic that people are still complaining about Obama being president. GET OVER IT!! He's president whether you like him or not. Unless he screws up big time and gets impeached, he's not going anywhere! I for one am excited to see that he's already making changes (tax breaks anyone?). I honestly don't get the logic that conservatives have for being conservative. It just doesn't make sense to me. Even celebrities who make tons of money, and pay more in taxes under liberal reigns support him. For example, Oprah will be paying about $9 million more in taxes than she does now with Obama, but if McCain had won, she'd be paying like $8 million LESS. So obviously, Obama's got some pretty good views for our country if people are willing to pay that much more in taxes (even though $9 million is probably pocket change to Oprah). Oh and while I'm on the subject of politics, can I just say how much I hate Ann Coulter? Seriously, if you've ever listened to her speak, you come out of it with no understanding of what she was talking about. She has this new book basically saying that single-motherhood is the main cause of people to commit crimes. I was watching a clip of her on The View a few days ago, and basically if you argue with her, she just shouts over you and you can never get a word in. I'm pretty sure that's her tactic. That's probably how she gets book deals, she'll just talk over the publisher until they give in. I mean, what dumbo actually buys her books and agrees with her? Like that one she wrote called "Godless" about the women of 9/11 who lost husbands, and Miss Ugly 'Pube claims they're exploiting their loss to make money? Well what are you doing Miss Coulter, if not exploiting 9/11?

And last but not least, remember when I said I was teary eyed during the Inauguration? Well it reminded me of something. I've been thinking about this for some time, but the last few years I get all misty-eyed over everything. And I wondered what is different that all of a sudden I'm all emotional all the time? Well I just chalk it up to hormones and stupid puberty that even makes my eyes water at some cheesy, tug-at-your-heart-strings commercial. Hormones that make me cry like a baby at the end of the 4th and 5th Harry potter movies (and the 6th and 7th books). Seriously, wtf? For Pete's sake, don't mention anything sad to me, ever!! HAHA

So that, my friends is the end of my random blog. If I remember, I will try to post something a little more thought out and interesting. But now it's late, and I'm going to bed!!