Summer’s here and there’s so much going on, also it’s not raining. Time to crash some parties. I’m fearless when it comes to social events. An ultra-extravert, I ‘m an extreme sports, Olympic level party crasher. I know my worth. No one has ever kicked me out of a party because I took up too much room. I always add more than I take in terms of entertainment value. I’m kind of an old lady Owen Wilson.
Although most people hate Anchorage and love the rest of Alaska, I can’t think of any place I would rather be. Anchorage summer means parties, road construction, road races, lots of tourists and new summer workers, some of them male! It’s a town where improvisation and disregarding most rules of etiquette will do you well socially. It certainly helps me.
Last night I biked the coastal trail in a pink skirt with pink shoes. I met some people I knew and some people I did not know who thought I looked just great. Then I found myself at Ship Creek where the Slammin’ Salmon Derby is on as a benefit for The Anchorage Soup Kitchen. There were tourist and locals signing up for the multitude of prizes – daily high weight, overall heaviest, new category closest to 811, (some sponsorship thingy) and a prize that you could win without even fishing. Since they are a soup kitchen some volunteers had cooked up fresh Alaska King Crab salad, pasta and chowder which I ate with gusto chatting with the workers about employment training for people with criminal justice backgrounds. I know that doesn’t sound much like a party but imagine being a single person going out to eat. You wind up at a table all by yourself when all you wanted to do was be around other people. On the way home I saw an eagle and a kid with a snout and ears sticking out of her bike helmet. I wondered if the eagle would make a go for what really looked like a piglet from a bird’s eye view. I thought back on the line of folks I saw on my way back from work. There were about 10 kids on summer vacation and a teen who seemed to be dressed like an old fashioned nun. They were looking miserable, standing outside of Planned Parenthood. I wonder if the eagle would be tempted by their maudlin stillness, perhaps pick the teen up by the wimple. I don’t think anyone wears those anymore. By this thought, it had cooled down about 10 degrees and started to rain, but no problem as the sun came out a half hour later, (8 pm) and stayed out until about 10:30. My social agenda was met for the evening.
Today I did some serious party crashing. Around the corner from my house there was a crowd of ordinary looking people in the street. Maybe a yard sale, maybe a party, let’s check it out. Luckily, I was dressed in my red bandana skirt and matching Star Trek tee. When I got closer I noticed that the people were not so ordinary. They looked very union, a little alternative, but working class and just my age. The age made me think funeral and I was kind of right. They waved me in immediately so I guess I wasn’t really crashing and gave me a cup full of either Tequila or Jamesons.Being an incompetent drinker, I can not tell the difference .
We toasted the passing of a member of the stagehand union, Gary, whose last possessions were being given away along with fried chicken, cookies and alcohol. Apparently, Gary was a triathlete which is cool because I am a terrible triathlete and he had some books which I took for a small donation to his grandkid’s college fund. I talked to folks about their favorite theatrical shows and found someone who likes Star Trek which is always good for a long conversation. He had been to a convention and had several autographs and some light up Enterprise ornaments that he puts in his window. I do not have anything as splashy, but then I am female.
The fried chicken was absolutely delicious. It’s something I would never make for myself but I do love and am thin enough to eat with abandon. Someone spoke about naming their new son after a skateboard brand because a relative died skateboarding. I like these kinds of conversations. It’s not that I hate being out in nature with the mosquitoes and bear attacks which are always on the front page of the paper. It’s just that I find human animals the most interesting. There are plenty of flowers and pollen in town to remind me that I’m in the most beautiful state in the union. If I were camping, I would just be roaming the other camp sites looking for single men.
Here is the planter I bought from the Master gardeners at last week’s festival of flowers. It makes my house look like a little party. I keep it in my driveway to make me smile when I pull in after work for my 5 stunning hours of daylight vacation each day.
For some perspective, here is my neighbor’s planter which they must get from some crazy millionaire greenhouse.
Yes, it is almost as tall as their car!
In case you are visiting Anchorage this year. Remember every party is your party. Just walk over and grab a beer, Bud Light Margarita in a can or a Red Bull.Why hike way out in the wilderness when you can get attacked by a bear just by standing near some local garbage? I didn’t mean the people, I mean refuse. Here is a photo of my favorite urban trail, right near the railroad where I used to work and Ship Creek, the big salmon stream in town. All the trails are good but some are being torn up this year for improvement. Anchorage is big on improvement, as if you could improve on nature.
I figure I’m just crashing God’s party. Come join me!