Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

tatqiaġik | for the moon to shine brightly

We've had some beautiful moonlight lately.

The streetlights make everything look yellow.

The ice formations on the wood are really quite interesting. It looks like some sort of white growth.

See my nice little tree? I put it up the day after Halloween.

Quya has been having play dates with Gracie, a practically hairless Weimaraner with Herculean strength. It's good for both of them to get their energy out indoors because it's starting to get too cold for them to go out for long periods of time, especially Gracie.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Yes, Virginia, there really are igloos in Alaska.

Every year there is a family that builds a giant snowman and igloo. You can't tell from the picture, but there are neon lights flashing on them. Also, since the time of this picture, they've built a seat into the front of the snowman so that you can sit and have your picture taken. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

middelfart visitor.

You... You visitor from Middelfart, Denmark...

The name of your city is so cool.

Come back to my blog again sometime.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Knife-Wielding Eskimo Girl

Who is this knife wielding Eskimo girl
Cutting the frozen chunk of maktak before her?
She sharpens her ulu,
And jokes of cutting her finger.
Her hair is as black and fluid
as the oil that is extracted from the land her ancestors are buried in.
She pops a piece of whale blubber into her mouth,
Like a piece of bubble gum,
And says:
This is lunch
Caught from last spring.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

the minutiae of a mundane life in the Arctic

I suppose it's time for an update, yet lately, I've really been questioning the value of an online presence. I deleted my Facebook account, in case you were wondering what happened. Lately I've been wondering the future of this blog and whether it will continue.... 

But I digress.

So, what's new?

1. I ordered the wrong size rawhide bone. Quya loves it.

2. Unfortunately, Quya loves anything she can put in her mouth. She destroyed a $40 leather leash that a friend was letting me borrow. Way to go, Quya.

3. My daily walks are not so daily anymore. It's starting to get really cold and dark. It's usually pitch black outside by 4:00 p.m. now.

4. HOWEVER, the coolest thing about going outside now is that Quya and I can finally go walk on the lagoon. It's a large wide open space for her to run, and I don't have to worry about cars or bears. Well, at least, that not much. I do have to make sure she stays away from the snowmachines that cross our path. Anyway, it's a great place for her to run, run, run, run, run! She's a Siberian Husky, so that's what she was born to do.

5. A few weeks ago, several teachers from Scotland came to Barrow! I became friends with girl around my age named Chloe. If I visit Aberdeen, you can bet your bum that I'm going to be hanging out with my new Scottish friend. Well, what does this have to do with the above picture? Well, Chloe, two other teachers, and I drove way out of town where some of the camp sites are, and we looked for polar bears through binoculars. A friend of a friend is a polar bear expert and told us there was one around this particular lagoon. Only one of the teachers actually sighted it because the bear was really quite far away. Still, at least we can say we were in the general vicinity of a bear, which the Scottish people thought was "quite brilliant." Anyway, the picture above is of aforementioned frozen lagoon.

6. My friends Leslie and Stephanie brave the cold after lunch at Sam-n-Lee's, the best restaurant in town.

7. Whaling season ended in late September / early October, and I'm hoping to post more about that soon. My friend Amy was here for whaling season, and she got some amazing pictures.

Anyway, the teachers were relieved because that meant school attendance would improve. Unfortunately, dividend checks just came out, so now a bunch of students have left for Hawaiian vacations.

8. Sunday nights are for The Walking Dead. Quya and I go over to another teacher's house to watch it since I don't have cable or a TV. Here is Quya as a zombie. Ain't it the most precious thing ya ever did see....?

9. I could probably count on two hands how many days we've had of clear skies. So, if I see even a patch of blue (or even black) of REAL sky, I'm a happy camper.

10. The AC (the main store) got new shopping buggies (or shopping carts, if you're not from the South). THIS IS BIG NEWS. I jokes... I was just excited because they are pretty and shiny.

11. Yes, I put my Christmas tree up.
No, you may not judge me. 
Quyanaqpak, Father, for...
sincere apologies from students
bacon & eggs on Saturday mornings
philosophical children's stories (I recently read The Little Prince!)
my low students remembering what a thesis statement is
"Grandma's Kitchen" candle
the darkness making Quya sleepy and therefore less psycho
postcards from around the world
homemade iced coffee

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A beautiful day to be alone.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sky was blue, and the sun was shining. Heck, it was freaking summer time. Okay, just because the sun is shining doesn't mean it's summer, and the litmus test for that is the temperature. It's been cold lately... not utterly cold, just cold. On Friday it was -4ish, yesterday was 5-above-ish, and today it's 9-ish.

Yesterday though... was beautiful. It was a metaphorical summer.
It was a beautiful day to be alone.

I stayed in. Worked. Read. Thought. Cooked. 

Yep, a beautiful day to be alone.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Homesick for Fall Colors

I am missing the fall colors of Tennessee. Barrow is either summer or winter. Summer means 40 degrees, and winter means -40 degrees. I took the pictures above in November 2006. I sure wish I could go home just for awhile to see the fall colors again.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

iḷauraaq | a dear friend

Here are more pictures from Amy's visit!

Amy & moi!

A full rainbow! Beautiful, no?

Amy and I celebrated our Ukrainian heritage with borscht!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

pikiaġaq | to jump in and out of water, or how to be completely awesome

A few weeks ago, my college friend Amy visited all the way from Taiwan, where she teaches English. She was returning to the states for the first time in a year and a half, and her first stop was Barrow. So, of course, since she was at the top of the world, she had to do the polar bear plunge!

Let's just say that it was CRAZY cold, and it probably wasn't the wisest idea doing the polar bear plunge without any nearby medical help available.

But hey, now she can say she's done it. :)

More later...