28 June 2009

A Drive With Becky

The light turned green and I turned left onto Route 114. I've always hated driving with someone from my immediate family in the passenger's seat--call it a fear of being judged, but I just crumble under the pressure. Accordingly, my left hand turn was a rather ginger one, full of thoughts of Driver's Ed and several unnecessary head checks to all of my blind spots. Once safely on the road, I resumed the conversation I'd been having with Becky, my older sister.

"So, you and Scott are trying to start a family?"
"Well, we're at the 'if something happens, cool, if not, okay' stage"
"Are you okay with that?"
"I want it more than him right now I guess. I dunno." I caught her shrugging her shoulders and staring out the window in my peripheral vision. We drove along in silence, she thinking the loudest thoughts I'd ever heard and I paying careful attention to the speedometer, making sure not to go too fast on the straight, flat road. The whooshing of trees passing by the car was the only sound until Becky broke the silence again, "I do have some names I'd like though," she said with a sparkle in her eye.
"Oooo, tell me!"
"Well, we were thinking Charlie for a boy, for Grampa, you know..."
"And for a girl?"
"Ali Sophia. Scott's grandmother's name was Ali, but do you think it would be confusing with the spelling? Should it be one 'l' or two? Cause I don't want her going through school and everyone thinking it's pronounced 'Al-eee'."
I continued to speed down the road, my thoughts now focused more on thoughts of little baby girls and all the hypothetical doting I would do on Becky and Scott's hypothetical daughter. "Ha, like in 'Aladdin'. No, I think they'll get the idea whatever way you spell it. It's a rite of passage to have your name scrutinized in school anyways. How did Scott's grandmother spell it?"
"I don't know...are you going to stop for this light?"

My thoughts drifted back from the land of pink tu-tus and hair ribbons to focus on the light which had once been green, was now yellow, and was currently threatening to turn red at any second. I slammed on the brake pedal, the anti-lock brake system kicked in and Becky braced herself against the dashboard while I muttered some rather un-Christian terms under my breath. The car skidded to a stop directly under the traffic light, halfway out into the three-way intersection. I looked to my left and met eyes with the driver of a blue pickup truck who held a Dunkin Donuts cup in his hand and a look of unbelief in his eyes. "Uhhh....." I sputtered (seriously, it's the pressure...I'd never missed a yellow light in my life up until that point).
"Ugh, just go, it's pointless to stop now!" Becky scolded.
I picked up what was left of my pride and continued down the road, leaving some rubber on the pavement as a memento of our distracting conversation.

Partly out of curiosity and partly out of the need to change the subject from the lecture that would have ensued if I hadn't, I asked the only question I knew would distract Becky from what had just happened, "So, when do you think you'll actually start this family?..."

Two years later: Alli Christine Hanson was born on June 27th at 7:52pm Eastern time, coming in at a hearty 8lbs 10oz. Mother, Baby, and new Father are all doing well, and the new Auntie (who is perched safely in front of a computer and not behind a steering wheel) can think once more of bows and dresses.


27 June 2009

Friday Photo Shoot-Out: Colors of the Rainbow

Inspired by Barry's passion for his community, I've decided to take part in the Friday Photo Shoot-Out, a project started in part by Reggie Girl to get bloggers into their communities and to show them off to each other as well. I figure there's no better way to get to know my new home of Juneau, Alaska, so here we go!

This week's theme was "Colors of the Rainbow". In a past Friday Photo Shoot-Out, I commented on how Juneau is so uniformly green. Juneau's seemingly interminable verdigris did nothing to stop me trying to find the colors of the rainbow in our little town, however!

The Mendenhall Glacier is one of Juneau's most colorful attractions--in part because of the diverse crowds that it attracts, and in part because glacier ice is inherently blue. Geologists can think of no better explanation for this phenomenon than "the ice absorbs all colors other than blue"...which is really the reason why anything is the color it is, isn't it? Either way, the pure ice peeking out from behind the dirt is a startling sort of blue that makes me thirsty every time I see it. The coolest part about blue glacier ice? The fact that the color doesn't stop at the ice--the glacier water runoff is a translucent slate-blue hue that clearly marks the difference between the rivers in town that come from the mountains, those that come from the channel, and those that come from the glacier.

Alaskans are constantly reminded of their heritage in the names of towns (try saying "Unalakleet" ten times fast), the high native populations, the constant cultural festivals, and by the transformation of seemingly everyday stores into culturally-marked territory. Case in point: our neighborhood box store, Fred Meyer, which has a drive-thru pharmacy adorned with colorful totem poles.

My favorite intersection: red light, green sign, grey pavement, green mountains, white mist.

If I'm craving a color other than green, the best place to go is to the fabric store for its own interpretations of the colors of the rainbow.

...Or perhaps the fabric store isn't the best place to go. Maybe it's just outside when there's a beautiful sunset. The one high point to living in a constantly overcast town is that the sunsets are consistently the one time of day when the sun peeks out from the clouds as if to say, "It's okay, Citizens, I'm still here!" and gives us hope that maybe, maybe tomorrow will be sunny. The sunsets here are without parallel--reds and oranges and yellows in shades the mind can't imagine and the eye can't fathom. My favorite view of the Juneau sunset is this one, driving past Aurora Harbor with the sunset in my sideview mirror and its reflection on the boats and water and mountains and even the summit snow beyond.

24 June 2009

Friends Don't Let Friends Read Bart Ehrman

During my sojourns into the world of independent bookstore sales associating, I've seen lots of books. I mean lots. Some, like The Ugly American and Siddhartha were welcome sights for my poor, required-college-reading eyes. I ran across books in my first few weeks that I hadn't seen in years but which I'd loved like good friends--David Copperfield, The Great Gatsby, the poems of T.S. Eliot. I reintroduced myself to each of these friends in turn, reminding myself of characters I'd known and plot twists I'd forgotten. Reunited...and it felt so good!

And then, a few weeks into the job, I came across some old foes. In my years at college, and therefore my years outside of reading for pleasure, I'd also forgotten the many books that aren't so good. Books that are poorly researched and badly written. Books that have probably caught on and sit interminably on bestseller lists despite their idiocy. After trying--unsuccessfully--to Jedi mind-trick a few people out of buying Bart Ehrman (a feat which consists of staring at them intently, thinking things like Please don't become a heretic by reading that book, and making passive aggressive comments like "Sorry, I just don't like Bart Ehrman"), I realized that if I'm going to discourage one book, I need to encourage another. In that spirit (and in the spirit of the diet book "Eat This, NotThat!", which I also found at work) I present the following list of substitutions:

Don't Read
Ehrman's manifesto on why the inconsistencies in the Bible contradict everything in it is the classic secular cry against Biblical authority. What it doesn't realize, however, is that instead of attacking the legitimacy of the Bible, it only really attacks the legitimacy of Ehrman's understanding of the culture in which the Bible was written. Had Ehrman stopped and looked at the different genres of Biblical books as well as the different times, situations and authors for each of them, he might have realized why there are differences between accounts. In other words, if he used a little something called hermaneutics, he might have thought differently before he wrote this unfortunate best-seller.
Do Read

Instead of Ehrman's Jesus, Interrupted, I heartily encourage Richard A. Burridge's Four Gospels, One Jesus? He starts out with the same (completely legitimate) question as Ehrman--how on earth are we supposed to get an authoritative person (Jesus) and an authoritative text (the Bible) out of four different accounts that are so varying?--and looks at it from the Bible's cultural context, as well as through the lens of Church History and systematic theology. What he comes up with is a book that actually made me comfortable with the divinity of Christ. Seriously. This book is a big deal.

Don't Read

I promise I'll be done with the Ehrman-bashing soon, I promise.

No, Bart, the Bible doesn't answer the eternal question of theodicy ("why do people suffer if God is just?"). But neither does your book. Deal with it.

Do Read
To be completely honest, I haven't read Yours, Jack yet. But, I love C.S. Lewis, and pretty much anything he's ever written would answer the question of theodicy better than Ehrman's scribbles. This book is a collection of C.S. Lewis' personal letters throughout the years. If you want faith and suffering put into better perspective, he's the man to go to--when his wife was dying in a hospital bed and he stepped outside for a drink of water, a reporter asked, "What do you think of prayer now that your wife is dying?" His response: "Prayer is not telling God what to do, but aligning your will with His." That one sentence doesn't explain why we suffer, but it does explain what to do with it, how to get through it, and shows God's empathy for it.

Don't Read

Truth: I don't really have any problems with the idea of a book about a farting dog. And this popular series does have a redeeming moral: don't let anyone make you think you're worthless, even your faults can help you succeed! In the interest of manners, however, I found a children's book that is much more worth the ten dollars...

Do Read

Jackie French's Diary of a Wombat is without a doubt the most adorable children's book I have ever--or probably will ever--read. It tells the story of a wombat who makes some new friends, and some humans who gain a new pet. This book is so great that I bought it at work, not so I can give it to my future niece or nephew (who is due to arrive literally any second now!), but so I can keep it around whenever I need a pick-me-up. I read it to Kip and he loved it too!

20 June 2009

Rogue Rubber Bands and Humanoid Polar Bears

Let me begin by saying that working at a bookstore is nothing like working at a library. There is no shushing. There is no storytime. There are absolutely no frumpy brown "Mister Rogers"-type sweaters, nor are there large and outdated reading glasses with a chain on the back to keep them around one's neck. As a matter of fact, I try to look decently cute when I work, which has resulted in no less than one proposal for a date and three other complimentary situations.

Why couldn't this happen to me when I was single? I digress.

There are a plethora of other occupational hazards. Just the other day, I was standing behind the registers calling customers who had special ordered books that had arrived. Yippee! Hurrah! Your book is in! As I pulled a rubber band back around a book (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I believe) to hold its special order slip in place, it snapped. At that exact moment, I also felt a little tickle in my throat and started to cough. And then the tickle turned into the feeling of something being stuck. Interminably. Dyllon stopped his work at a nearby register and turned around, "Are you okay?" A customer in the Travel section looked over and raised an eyebrow. I looked up at them, red-faced from coughing and my hand on my throat, "I think I just swallowed a rubber band." They stared back.
"How did you do that?"
"I don't know."
Mary, the toys manager, suggested sticking my finger down my throat to work it out. Dyllon, a nursing student, suggested letting it go through my system ("You'll find it later" he said with a wink). I chose the latter and was therefore acutely aware of the feeling of something traveling down my esophagus for the next hour or so.

About the time I stopped feeling the effect of the Rogue Rubber Band, I was finishing up my special order phone calls and placing another rubber band on another book (ever, ever so gingerly) when a large shadow cast by a large subject covered my work surface. I looked over to the other side of the counter to see the gargantuan customer that needed help and beheld a man in his sixties shaped like a rugby ball with a thick white beard and a large, flat nose.
"Lars the Polar Bear." he said.
My mouth opened a little. Is he introducing himself? I wondered. He did look exactly like a polar bear in human form--extremely pale, extremely large, with almost disconcertingly dark eyes. I could easily imagine him lumbering through a snowstorm, his hand over his nose to hide his only non-camouflaged bit. "Uh......" I mumbled, wondering what exactly he was looking for.
"Lars the Polar Bear, you know, the children's series. I got one for my granddaughter here a few years ago and I want to get her another book in the series. Do you have it?"
She probably liked it because it reminded her of Grandpa, I thought, before I responded with an "Oh!" that contained probably a bit too much excitement and skipped over to a computer, searching for the book in question. Once it was found, he lumbered off into the direction of Juvenile Series, his Levis showing a hint of a tail.

Welcome to the only independent bookstore in Juneau.

For the goodness of your soul...

Please oh please read Kasey's incredible post about her first week as a camp director at the Chicago Botanical Gardens. She meets the most interesting people, but what's more, she allows herself to be influenced and shaped by them. In your honor, Kase-face, I will be on the lookout for interesting people today at work. And I will allow myself to be shaped as you have.

19 June 2009

In Which I Confess My True Intentions and Get Really Excited About Mail

I bounced down the driveway on my way to Fred Meyer for some thank you notes when red lettering in my peripheral vision caught my eye.  In between the storm door and the side door of my landlord's house there lay a UPS package.  "Extremely Urgent!" it declared for all the world to see.

Exeunt all thoughts of thank you notes.  My curiosity was peaked.

I tilted my head to read the address, hoping that maybe something was "extremely urgent" for me.  A secret Swiss bank account that needed emptying perhaps?  A letter from Oxford begging me to join them across The Pond, all expenses paid?  A really uppity wedding gift giver? A complete and total accident that would leave me sitting on the couch with a tub of Ben 'n Jerry's, depressed at my exciting-less life?  Imagine my surprise, then, when the address read "Cynthia Lambert".  Something WAS "extremely urgent" for me!!!  I launched through the door and grabbed the envelope, scanning the return address to see who might possibly send me something with so much excitement attached.  "Zondervan Publishing House/Grand Rapids, Michigan".  My stomach dropped.  And then, completely ignoring that "Extremely Urgent!" business, I stowed the package in my bag and set off in search of thank you notes for our recent wedding presents--poorly named and otherwise.  

Here is where I insert my confession:  I'm not just blogging for the sake of blogging here.  True, "Just Alaska" started as "Bolaskoxfordia", a travel blog meant to inform my family about how my summer in Bolivia, Alaska, and Oxford was going.  It turned into "Chicaskashireland" when I decided to keep it up back at school in Chicago, and it was therefore renamed "Just Alaska" when I stopped globetrotting and settled down in Juneau.  Somewhere in between posts about Bolivian orphans and wedding presents, though, I got bit by the writing bug.  My degree is in Biblical and Theological Studies, but that doesn't mean that I'm necessarily going into the clergy. After discerning that idea a few years ago, I realized that I'm meant for academics.  Specifically, writing academic level books on Biblical Studies for ordinary Joes who happen to be interested in the topic.  It's not fair that I learned more about the Bible in half of a semester of my freshman Intro to the Bible course than I had in 18 years of going to church.  The truth is that there isn't much of a middle ground between "Jesus loves me" kind of devotionals and high academic monographs that use words like "eschatology" in Christian literature, so I want to write to fill that void.  I want to explain about the things I learned at school and why they're important and how they actually relate to daily faith--all in a way that the average Sunday church-goer can understand.  And until I have enough smarts to write those sorts of books (and perhaps even when I finally do), I blog.  
      There was a turning point, however, about a month and a half ago.  One of my professors, Dr. Mary Veeneman, emailed me and five other students saying that she and Dr. Brad Nassif were inviting us to each write a few articles for the new Zondervan Dictionary of Christian Spirituality under their supervision.  To put this invitation into perspective, this is the Biblical and Theological Studies equivalent of President Obama calling me up and saying, "You've studied a bit of history, why don't you help write that new amendment to the Constitution?"

This. Never. Happens.

Naturally, we all jumped at the chance and the honor.  And so, when I saw that fantastic envelope of joy sitting in the door today, I knew that it was something exciting.  Not just the monthly Zondervan catalog.  And so I had to wait to open it.  I couldn't just rip it open in the driveway, jumping up and down like a six-year-old.  It was like senior year of high school when I had to wait for both parents to be present to open any college mail that slightly resembled an acceptance letter.  Here was my very first unsolicited letter--maybe even a contract!--from a major publishing house (the major publishing house for Christian publications, in fact) and I wanted to share its Grand Opening with someone.  Seeing as my closest family members were approximately 3,000 miles away, I decided to wait until Kip and I could open it together.  

And quite the opening it was:
For the record, Kip wanted me to state that he hadn't been awake for very long when this video was taken, so that's why he looks so out of it.  

There you have it.  My very first set of contracts from Zondervan, just begging to be signed.  While skimming through the fine print, Kip and I did some quick math and realized that my professors neglected to inform me that I'd be paid for my contribution--a whopping 7 cents per word, that is.  Altogether, that means that I'll make about $73.50 for my efforts, just enough for a celebratory splurge on something without feeling too terribly guilty about it.  I'm thinking a Vera Bradley duffel.  Any other ideas are greatly encouraged. 

And, as if this spectacular type of mail weren't enough, a FedEx guy came stomping up my stairs moments later with three huge Crate and Barrel boxes, all of which were marked with one of Kip's correct names (I believe they chose Daniel this time), and one of which misspelled my name as "Cyndi".  Kip was very happy to have the score slightly evened out.  What a day for mail!

17 June 2009

The Funny Thing About Wedding Presents

You know your wedding is getting close when you have to designate a corner for the white-wrapped boxes that are suddenly arriving in droves.  

It's a curious thing, wedding presents.  Kip and I both feel incredibly blessed to be showered with gifts purely because we've fallen in love and are pledging to be with one another until death.  The problem, however, is that I now know--thanks to a few ill-placed packing slips--that the 4-canister set and the super spiffy blender we registered for are now sitting in my bedroom. 


No, not beckoning, taunting.  "I know you have popcorn kernels sitting in an old ricotta cheese cup," it says with more sinisterness than any inanimate object should have, "and I've seen that Prego jar that's holding your brown sugar, too.  Don't you just want to open me?  Wouldn't it just be easier and more effective for your dry goods?"  
My mother's voice answers back from the same room, "You can't open the gifts before the wedding!  You don't open birthday gifts before your birthday, do you?"
The fruit I have sitting on my kitchen counter chimes in, "Juice me!  Juice me!  You know you've been wanting to try that 'juice' setting on the blender ever since you saw it!"

It is getting (understandably) difficult to sleep, what with all that commotion.

The other problem is that no less than three sets of gifts or salutations have arrived addressed to "Cindy and Skip" or "Cynthia and Phillip".  Kip is starting to get jealous of these mystery men.  

So here I sit, a headache between my eyes from all the conflicting voices, juiceless, my brown sugar drying in its Prego jar, and with a disgruntled fiance on my hands.  Somewhere from that blessed corner in the bedroom, I hear my grandmother's voice, "You know, there are starving children in Africa who don't even have a Prego jar, or brown sugar to put in it and they probably don't even know what juice is, so you should count your blessings..."

Oy ve.  

16 June 2009

Le Premier Mariage

After an evening consisting of maybe (maybe) an hour of sleep, Tina, I, and the rest of the bridesmaids finally admitted defeat to Mr. Sandman and got up...at 5:15 am.  We killed some time until our hair appointments by watching childhood classics on PBS--Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and Curious George.  Conclusion:  Abby Cadabby is a little jerk for singing a song pointing out that she has fairy wings and a wand while we dreaming little girls didn't.  Come along, Dreamers, let's cry together.

The room was not engineered for proper makeup application.

Feats of hair-doing.  I think they might have used polyurethane on mine.

We finally all tumbled into the limo (whoever thought it was the proper mode of transportation for a wedding party clearly never tried to enter one with a floor-length dress and a bouquet).  Tina just sort of landed and stayed where she was, in all her white, puffy glory.

Father Marc, Casey, and Kip waiting at the front of the church.  I'll admit, I did think of the fact that the same three will be waiting in the front of the same church in about seven weeks' time.  Hey, it was motivation to smile during my trip down the aisle with the rest of the 'maids.

The brothers and (future) sisters-in-law.  Tina and I concluded that Cheshires are good looking and only marry other good looking people based on this picture.  

Mr. and Mrs. Cheshire...yay!

If you compare the picture of Casey, Kip, Tina, and I with this one, you'll notice one essential difference in the bridesmaid garb:  whereas there were straps on our dresses pre-reception, there are none here, a good hour into in the festivities.  We all declared mutiny and removed them after too many of us either had the snaps malfunction or they just kept falling down.  

Does anyone know how the garter tradition started?  Crazy Americans...

Mama and Papa Cheshire busting a move.  After 31 years of marriage, they can still break it down!

The next day, the six of us went out for lobster.  Kip and I promptly decided that we really are Alaskans at heart, because we like crab much better.  
That, and it's just sad when your food looks at you...accusingly.

One Cheshire wedding down, one to go!

Welcome Back to New England...Now Get a Move On!

Ah, family weddings.  A time for tears of joy, parties that last through the night and.....unbelievably hectic schedules, evidently.

I flew into Boston on the Red Eye from Seattle to find New England much the same as when I left.  Living on the West Coast has opened my eyes to just how different the two sides of the country really are--even the buildings in Boston looked more serious, like businessmen stuffed into a shirt and tie far too uncomfortable for their liking.  "Welcome back, Cindy," the city seemed to say on behalf of all of New England, "I'm happy to see you, but let's not get too emotional about it, must stay proper...."  In a move more to do with my 6 am arrival, but which ended up making me sweetly nostalgic for Oxford, I hopped a bus up to New Hampshire, crocheting all the way.  Sleeping on the "No, we don't have blankets or pillows, but we'll keep the cabin at a balmy 35-degrees" flight was dismal to say the least, so in lieu of rest, I had worked my way through four out of the five skeins of yarn I'd brought with me.  It was quite a beginning.

I took the bus to North Londonderry, where I met up with Michelle, a great family friend from our days in the 'Shire.  She (mercifully) let me take a nap and then it was off for wedding preparations (mine and Kip's, not Casey and Tina's).  We went to a flower shop for centerpiece branches and, finding that far too expensive, dug around in her backyard until we found some Birch branches to fit the bill.  Tina called and together we decided that I shouldn't necessarily go to the bachelorette party that night due to the fact that I had caught whatever mysterious illness Kip had been battling for the past week.  The next day I awoke at noon to my Fritz Wetherbee ringtone ("You have a phone call...I hope it's someone from New Hampsha' ") and Ms. Nick, my high school orchestra and band director, asking when we would meet up that day.  I don't say "I answered the phone" because what I did wasn't quite "answering", it was more like.....whooping.  What voice I had left was leaving the building along with Elvis.  And they were in a hurry.  

But what's a little thing like the Swine Flu to stop me?  I headed off to Michael's to get more yarn, bounced over to Panera to meet Ms. Nick, met up with my friend Janie, went to her house for dinner with the fam, then oozed on over to the Strange Brew Tavern in Manchester where I had a satisfyingly sinister run-in with the middle school Ms. Perfect who is, suffice it to say, now not so perfect anymore.  Score.

The next day, I woke up without a voice.  Evidently it had gone on vacation and had appointed searing chest pain to take over in its absence.  I was personally offended by this evil-intentioned illness and took action with two different kinds of medication while Janie and I ran around even more--bridal fittings, bridesmaid fittings, Panera again, climbing the tree in Janie's front yard and talking religion, laying on a blanket in the backyard when that got cold, giving Kip directions from Nashua, figuring out what exactly he and I were to do that night in the way of housing, thinking of ways to stop my cello from being delivered to my rainy apartment in Juneau after its accidental cross-country trip while I was gone.  My mom's response to my barely existent voice was the most fitting sentence I heard that day:  "Oh. My. God."


We schmoozed.  We bachelor/ette partied.  We drove up and down I-83 about a million times.  We planned.  We found out that not just one, but two of Kip's groomsmen dropped out of our wedding in August.  We met with old friends who begged to see us.  We tried to spend enough time with various family members who had flown in.  By the end of the week, it was time for the Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner and Best Man Kip and Bridesmaid Cindy were running on Empty, and it wasn't even the main event yet!

Luckily, it was Cheshires to the rescue!  Since Tina and Casey met at school in the theater program, the theme for their rehearsal dinner was theatre--complete with boas and hats for everyone to dress up in, and signed pictures from famous actors (Dame Judi Dench and Kenneth Branaugh among them!!!) wishing Casey and Tina good luck.  Here's Casey and Kip in their fine haberdashery.

The bride-to-be was resplendent.

My hat got in the way of romance.  

And that...was just the beginning.  I need a vacation after this vacation!

05 June 2009

Friday Shoot-Out: Random

Inspired by Barry's passion for his community, I've decided to take part in the Friday Photo Shoot-Out, a project started by Reggie Girl to get bloggers into their communities and to show them off to each other as well.  I figure there's no greater way to get to know my new home of Juneau, Alaska, so here we go!

This week's theme is "Random".  I considered shooting this week with a randomly chosen theme--clocks, churches, favorite places to eat--and then the week got busy and I caught whatever mysterious illness Kip has been battling, and I settled for posting some of the random shots that I tend to take on a daily basis anyways, thanks to my spiffy camera phone.

A random but excited shot of my new Alaska driver's license.  I am official!  You can't get rid of me now, Alaska!

This is the same stretch of road pictured in the last Friday Shoot-Out--water.  Because Juneau is such a high latitude, the difference in the tides is markedly noticeable.  This stretch of the Gastineau Channel runs completely dry at low tide and completely flooded at high tide.  I find it utterly fascinating and--ahem--don't take pictures of it while I'm driving by.

I went out with a few new friends to the Alaskan Bar, a historic slice of Juneau nightlife.  A bluegrass band from Haines was playing, stomping on the worn wooden floor as locals and tourists all enjoyed a pitcher or two or three of our locally brewed ale.  It was an IPA brew for my table, which I choked down to be polite.  Personally, I prefer the Amber or Summer Ale brews, but then again, I am a newbie.

I found the juxtaposition of the sign to the litter in the downtown tourist district utterly ironic and hilarious.

One of the things that made this week so busy was getting ready to fly to New Hampshire for Casey--my future brother-in-law--and Tina's--my future sister-in-law--wedding.  Since I'll be gone for over a week, I asked Father Thomas to take care of Sparky.  Kip and I drove him up to church (me getting very wet pants from the tank in my lap sloshing over on some very bumpy roads and the fact that Jeeps aren't marketed for their smoothness of driving) but couldn't find FT anywhere!  So we left Sparky in the narthex.  We looked for a St. Francis of Assisi statue, as it would have been more appropriate to leave him there, but no luck. 

The moon hung between some of the many mountain peaks of Juneau as I drove home last night.  Fun fact about Juneau mountain summits:  the ones that are craggy and sharp were the ones that weren't covered by glaciers thousands of years ago.  The ones that are smooth and rounded were.

I drove to the airport at 6:00 this morning (the sun had been up for three hours already!) and was beguiled by this gate, which reads "Snow Gate!  Do Not Block!"  I think it's funny that a) we have snow gates in parking lots and b) they're up year 'round.

Only in Alaska do you actually need a sign like this at security.

I was given a free upgrade to First Class (thank you, thank you, THANK YOU God!), made my way through security, and currently sit at Gate 4 (out of 6...Juneau airport is a far way from O'Hare) enjoying my free wireless access (thank you GCI!) and drawing strange looks from passersby thanks to the presence of my bridal bouquet.  I found the silk flowers at a craft store here and grabbed them because they were so perfect.  Then again, the strange looks might also be because I'm sitting in a phone booth with my laptop propped up on the shelf.  Maybe they think I'll change into SuperWoman...or maybe just Super Blogging Woman.  I'll take that identity.  On to Boston, Super Blogging Woman, they're in need of witty banter!

Up, up, and awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!

June Posting

In the irony of posting about not posting category:  I'm flapping my wings and flying back to the East Coast for the wedding of my future brother- and sister-in-law (Kip's brother's wedding), so I'll be posting sporadically for the next week or two.  Apologies abounding.  I promise I'll think of something witty to post.