Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chicago 2012: June 13

[caption id="attachment_2880" align="aligncenter" width="433" caption="Making tacos"][/caption]

I believe I woke up around 8am or so Wednesday morning. C had stayed up all night playing his scheduled game, so I settled in to watch it for a while.

I went outside for a few minutes to wander around the garden and take some photos of the flowers. It was so wonderful to see some blooms, as most of the flowers back home were just barely getting started when we left.
C and I went for a Walmart run. I bought a $5 tank top to sleep in that was surprisingly nice, that I will wear again! Bought some cheap candy bars too, since they are way more expensive up here. The main reason for the trip was to buy food. C and I bought taco fixings, as well as ingredients to make a couple other dishes.
That afternoon, C and I made tacos for everyone. While we were upstairs, I heard a funny sound and realized it was the ice cream truck! Turns out the truck never comes down this street and we were lucky. I yelled for everyone and we all poured out of the house to buy ice cream. :) I expected the ice cream man to come back the next night but he didn't =/

[caption id="attachment_2884" align="aligncenter" width="433" caption="Ice cream!!!"][/caption]

So, we made tacos. And they were a big hit. However, one thing that we had not considered was how the food situation would go in general. When we had planned for this, I was thinking that 8 guys would be eating so much food. What we hadn't counted on was that everyone was laying around, not doing physical activity at all. I usually eat 4 - 5 small meals a day, and I was eating an average of 2..... So, it was unfortunate, but no one was eating much food, so we had lots of leftovers. We made another meal later in the week and it was the same way, sadly.
That evening, things became way more lively. We had several events planned for the evening and it just got more and more fun.

[caption id="attachment_2888" align="aligncenter" width="433" caption="Trevor, our fearless camera man!"][/caption]

Most people in the chat who had been watching were having fits about me not playing in any games. Some seemed to be quite vehement about it too, which I thought was strange. Once we met our next donation goal, we were going to play the Zelda board game, but only announced that we would be doing something special. We were waiting and waiting, and finally, I said, "if you donate, I will be play the next game!!" and the donations immediately went crazy - 3 or 4 75 dollar donations in like 2 minutes, and we met the deadline! It was hilarious! I ended up playing two rounds of the game and it was a fun experience, though the game itself was a bit mindless!
I mentioned in a previous post that Mases had a massive afro. He'd been growing it for months, and only right before the marathon did he decide to shave it. When we hit $2500 in donations, he had another guy shave it off on camera, while he was playing a game! The crowd in the chat loved it! It was fun to watch the transformation for sure. I helped finish it off and that's when we started the board game.

[caption id="attachment_2890" align="aligncenter" width="433" caption="Josh's Spongebob ice cream"][/caption]

C went to bed, since he had a lot less sleep than I had and he was out of it. I stayed up, and I'm glad that I did.

I'd been posting photo's to ZD's facebook page throughout the day, and one of the guys brought to our attention that fans had been making memes out of them! There were some really, really good and clever ones, so I shared them on FB and twitter and with everyone in the room. It was a hysterical time. I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time and postponed going to bed because it was so fun. I think I went to bed at 2:30, and slept until 9:30.

[caption id="attachment_2892" align="aligncenter" width="650" caption="Tacos :)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2893" align="aligncenter" width="432" caption="C looking a bit tired..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2894" align="aligncenter" width="433" caption="Mases, before the afro was shaved"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2895" align="aligncenter" width="650" caption="Finishing up the haircut"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2896" align="aligncenter" width="650" caption="Playing the board game"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2897" align="aligncenter" width="650" caption="The board game"][/caption]


I just want to pop in and say that I may be scarce for a while. Life is back to the busy busy busy routine. This week, I have been outside for several hours a day and the weather has been glorious. I've gone shooting nearly every night as well and my "to edit" backlog is quite large now. But the main thing is that we have been continuing with our outside house repairs for the past week. We need to get it done and summer is already on its way out at this point. C has been working on it just about every day and I've been doing quite a bit as well. I can't justify coming inside to edit photos when he is slaving away out there :) I hope to do a long post explaining what has taken us 2 summers to do when it is all finished!!

Photos to Share for the Middle of July

You know it is finally summertime when the Poot's Peak Panda starts to lose its snowy face. It is completely gone now.

How many people have this amazing view going down their street? :)

This is Reggie-star, the newest worker at work :) A paper star!

This is 71F at 7:36 pm :) Glorious!

Saw a hairstyle on Pinterest and made my own version. <3

Lastly, these are the pajamas my parents got me for my birthday (St. Patrick's Day) and I finally got around to taking a photo of them :)

Thoughts from my Weekend in Retail

Ahh life. Today is officially what my boss calls "the halfway point" of the summer season at work. May 1 to July 15 to September 30. Seems much farther along than that, but it feels good to be half done!

Working with the public tends to make a lot of workers cynical and jaded, as well as easily annoyed. I, unfortunately, count myself into this group. But every once in a while, you encounter customers that really make your day great. Yesterday morning, I had two separate, older tourist couples in the same few minute time period that I really enjoyed talking to. They asked intelligent questions and also had a lot of interesting things to say. When one of them came back an hour later, we continued our discussion. Those are the times that I love working retail!

And then you get the weird questions/comments. Here are some from this weekend.

"Is there a deli nearby to get a cup of soup?" The man was genuinely disappointed at the thought of traveling a ways to get to the grocery store, and at the lack of restaurants open nearby. Welcome to small town living :)

Fireweed, our lovely pink weed, can be made into jelly and honey, and both are very good. Apparently there is a plant in the Lower 48 also called fireweed that is named because it burns the skin or something. Completely different plant. But I have had many customers shy away from the fireweed products because they expect that it will be hot and it could not be further from the truth. Fireweed is a very sweet, light tasting flavor. I had someone today decide against trying fireweed because they thought it would be "hot".

There is a caribou head mounted onto the wall in the store and I had a man this morning call out to his friend, "Have you seen this moos?" I suppose it could be an easily made mistake...

"Are the pretzels salt free?" No...isn't that what makes pretzels taste good? And if you are going to eat chocolate, something that isn't super healthy for you, why bother with lower salt content?

On a similar note, if you see chocolate covered bacon, why on earth would you assume it is low fat bacon?

My favorite from yesterday: A customer was asking about food caches, and was curious if they were houses for bald eagles. Funny thought right there!

I noticed a man sitting on one our many "husband" benches around the store, but paid no attention. Several minutes later, I walked by and realized his baseball cap was over his eyes and he was taking a nap :) No one bothered him, and he woke up a while later, and I overheard him telling his family that it was refreshing :)

A saying seen today: "Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?"

I get asked countless questions every day, but there are couple that people continue to ask me and I am almost dumbfounded sometimes by them.

I tell people where the restroom is many, many times a day. Most of the time, it is a generic, "Where is your restroom?" but every once in a while, usually kids but not always, I get, "Do you know where the bathroom is?" To which I sarcastically want to reply with, "No, I just work here."

Along similar lines....I have gotten asked more times that I can count, the genius question of: "Do you work here?" No...I just like to wear this uniform and stand behind this counter for entertainment!!

In other news, apparently this is the coldest July on record so far, at least for Anchorage. Upon reflection, it HAS been a cold summer so far, and pretty dreary. This morning, the clouds were quite oppressive and it looked like a winter morning outside since it was so dark. It poured rain all day and eventually lightened up a bit, but it was depressing for a while!

Twilight Boxer's Puppies

On Tuesday, I shot the most adorable photo shoot I have ever done! Twilight Boxer's six puppies!

Each of the puppies has a distinct personality, and so my host had arranged some fun props to include in some of the photos. Puppies don't really cooperate, for the most part, but it was still a blast!

I ended up sitting and laying on the grass for most of the shoot to get up close and personal with the pups. I finished the afternoon with grass stains on my jeans, but lots of fun shots!

The puppies have an impressive parentage, and the breeder has obviously taken excellent care of both the mother and the puppies.

Unfortunately for all of you that are interested in them, all of the puppies have homes lined up!

They loved to run up to me and several of them climbed all over me while I was on the ground! So fun!

These darlings were a blast to shoot! I am open to the idea of pet photography now! It was a great time for sure!

Chicago 2012: June 19: Coming Home

We woke up around 7am and finished packing up. Mases took us to the airport and we said goodbye. We got through the long line of security no problem and then bought really expensive breakfast at one of those little stands, because the only other option was McD's.
We got on the plane and I ended up dozing off and on for 3 hours. When the flight attendant gave out drinks, I asked for orange juice and promptly fell back to sleep. When I finally woke up for real, I had a watered down orange juice cup on my tray....and it was disgusting. The lady sitting next to me gave me a weird look when I handed a full glass to the flight attendant, but after trying it, it was disgusting.
I was a bit peeved, because the flight was overbooked, and C and I's seats ended up being separate...both middle seats, he right in front of me. It was dumb, because no one wants to trade for a middle seat. There was no way to reassign the seats, even though I checked in for the flight right as soon as I could. They kept trying to get people to take vouchers to get bumped, and I even was asked about it as I boarded the plane. We could have technically done it, but the next flight would not be for several hours. If we only had to wait a couple hours, we likely would have taken the offer, but we both wanted to get home.
Stayed awake for the rest of the flight. The lady on the aisle seat next to me was a bit...large and kept invading my tiny space, which was annoying. But the flight was uneventful otherwise. It was faster than it was supposed to be, so that was a blessing.
We arrived and waited for C's brother to pick us up. We waited outside, and it was 68F there...but it felt like 50 to me. It took a little bit of time, but I was soon reacclimated and happy to be back.
C's brother had his daughters visiting, and he wanted some photos. We went to the Alaska Botanical Gardens, which I have wanted to go to for several years. I was unfortunately not impressed at all. It was very spread out, and there was hardly anything to see. The mosquitoes were awful, making photo taking a pain because someone was always slapping themselves when the other two looked perfect. *sigh*
We didn't last long due to the mosquitoes, but it was still fun. By the time we were finished, it officially felt hot outside to me :P We decided to leave town soon after and stopped at Subway for food for the road. It was exactly 5pm when we finally started down the freeway to come home. Traffic was heavy until Girdwood, and then it mercifully stopped. We got home after 9pm and it was so nice to be back!