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Season’s Greetings from Quake Town U.S.A

I propose that Anchorage, Alaska change its name to Quake Town, U . S. A. Our current slogan is “Big, Wild, Life.”  In truth, “Big Moose/Many Gift Shoppes” would be more appropriate. “Quake Town” would capture the peril and uncertainty which most adventure travelers are seeking. Could we meet their expectations? If we have learned anything from the last earthquake I would say YES!  We could provide certificates authenticating quakes which occurred during your visit, conduct bracing earthquake drills at each hotel. auction off broken dinnerware or create desserts of ice cream with broken pieces of chocolate bark to illustrate the effects of seismic upheaval.

Perhaps this appeals to me because it is late and I can’t sleep, not because of earthquakes but because it is nearing the winter solstice.  My mind and body struggle to keep up with the increasing loss of daylight and the greyness of global warming. Yet I persist in attempting to create Christmas cheer. Behold my new lawn display:

pen 2

These exquisite creatures arrived in my driveway anonymously last week in response to my post searching for a light up snowman. Now that is the true holiday spirit! I did not know I needed penguins but now that there are three people living here and a need for both humor and earthquake detection I am convinced that there is a God.  I am the tipped over one. The sheet over the chairs is supposed to be a glacier since they looked a bit sad in the globally warmed greenery of my yard.  Here is a photo of them on active alert – triggered by the motion sensor I have them plugged into!


I also have a special aftershock detector installed in my bedroom which allows me to travel in time to a place of aliens, Time Lords and Daleks where earthquakes are the least of my worries.


This suspended Tardis, also a gift, responds to settling tremors by absorbing the energy waves and swaying peacefully to transport my consciousness to another level. I enjoy the new Doctor very much and continued to be surprised how the writers get me to cry at the end of almost every episode.

I have tried some not so successful methods of cheering myself such as commenting on controversial posts on the internet. I do not advocate this unless you just want to wish them “Merry Christmas.” This is what I will be doing from now on so that when I receive emails telling me to “Shut up!” I will assume I have offended their religious beliefs and will apologize profusely instead of continuing an argument.

Also I attempted to make a holiday skirt out of a Christmas tree skirt which is now lying crumpled on my bedroom carpet.IMG_20181204_211620608

Although my waist is closer to 30 inches than 34, I cut the hole in the center to the latter dimension so that the skirt would hang longer and thus created a cascade of unraveling destruction. I may try to use my mini sewing machine to reconstruct the damage much as one might do after an earthquake.

Alas another fail, I attended a party yesterday and in my unbridled enthusiasm ate a wide variety of delicious foods, ignoring my previous experiences only to soil myself on the way home. Too much information?  May you all grow old a bit more graceful than I!

Here are a couple of more successful attempts at cheer.


My new hat has met with nothing but compliments. $6 at Walmart well spent. I also purchased an outfit for my car which is modest but

I hope this will bring cheer to little children and those who are children at heart as they see it parked on the icy streets of Anchorage. ’til we meet again, take it one quake at a time!

Brace yourself!

Yikes! Storm surge from the blizzard of 1978

Unpredictable earthquakes, hurricanes whipping down urban corridors, why am I up in Alaska when my anxiety could be used much better elsewhere? Alaska is not as spectacular weatherwise as I thought. In the summer it rains a bit everyday and in the winter it snows a bit everyday which is good for skiing and making the place look very holiday like. There just aren’t many surprises. We expect earthquakes.

I like drama.  I could have stayed right in my own backyard,  Dorothy. Now while everyone else is out hoarding food and hunkering down, I’m making blueberry muffins.  Sure the sunlight all the time and lack of it in winter is extreme but very predictable. You can set your clock to it!

My only claim to weather disaster was that big blizzard in 1978. I remember army vehicles cruising past Brandeis telling people to stay off the road. Then some of us decided to walk to Boston since there was no traffic. This euphoric energy was cut short by a flu epidemic which took down most of the campus. I like to think I rise to the occasion in catastrophe. I can’t imagine myself looting. Where would I put all the stuff? My apartment isn’t that big and I share the fridge with two other people. I guess I am a bit British in my disaster sentiments. I’m always looking chipper searching for someway to help out my community to take my mind off my incredible loneliness. I use bad situations to bolster my mood!

I might  have a more natural set of teeth if I were British. Some people think British people have “bad” teeth. I think they look comfortingly human. My teeth are supernatural like a powerfully perfect vampiress. Sherlock Holmes could tell I was American just by my teeth. They have been straightened to protect from the deleterious effects of deviation from the norm.

I don’t know why I gave in. I protested teeth straightening through my early twenties, through my mother begging on her death bed for me to get my teeth straightened (this was also the woman who wanted me to take anti-growth hormones so I wouldn’t be too tall.) Bless her heart she just wanted a “normal” child. Luckily she was not successful. I am a freak like most of you but with such scary perfect teeth that sometimes my fellow freaks write me off. I can see why. I am a traitor to my freak flag.  I knew better than to believe the lies but they caught me during a low point in the above mentioned mood issues.

Whenever I went to the dentist I would hear the exaggerations – your bite is off, you’ll lose your teeth because you won’t be able to brush them when they’re all over each other like that. Then there was the orthodontist who told me, “You’re a beautiful woman, too bad the first thing people notice about you is your teeth.” What a  bunch of crap! I’m  a bit over 6’1″, my eyes look like I come from wolves, I dress like a clown and have several mental health issues. Do you think that line would work in Great Britain? That’s a place where actors are more talented than they are beautiful. Maybe since they don’t get so many hurricanes there they can actually worry about how badly they fared in their last military escapade. They have, of course their own share of tabloid scandals. They are, after all, the original home of The Puritans, the people who thought that rules would fix everything. In Alaska the weather appears to be following the rules but not anywhere else.

Why bring up the braces at my age? Just so happens I got my retainer off yesterday. That’s right, almost 25 years after they put it in.  I got the braces because I was incredibly lonely. I thought they might solve my problems. It took me about 24 hours after having the braces removed to figure out I was still depressed.  But I kept the retainer in. It was one of those soldered on permanent jobs. It actually gave me a sense of confidence, like having lots of insurance on your car.Not confidence in myself, just security that my teeth were safe. I figured that if I fell off my bike I might get a brain injury but my teeth would still be in the same place.

I went in the other day and asked an orthodontist to take finally take the damn thing out. It’s been coming undone the last few years. Usually, I just break the wire off but my tongue was getting all bloody when I didn’t break it off cleanly and I started to lisp to avoid the burrs. You know what the guy said? “You’ll want to get a new one or a temporary one to wear at night.” If the damn teeth are going to move after almost a quarter of a century let them move!  Mr. Dental salesman finally admitted he doesn’t wear his nightly retainer. That’s why I didn’t get one of those in the first place. Also I believe I was having some sort of sexual relations at the time and was not sure I wanted a retainer to be part of the fun and games.

Since I paid off my school loans recently I had no excuse to keep this cage of conformity in my mouth. When he took it off, it sprung out. My teeth ached because they had been restrained so long. I almost expected them to be hiding under my pillow when I woke up. For some reason they decided to stick with me, and stay in their straight line. Perhaps they are afraid I’ll torture them for another quarter century like Mr. Nelson Mandela.

It is silly to complain about having the benefit of straight teeth or being tall, beautiful, intelligent. That’s just who I am. Ha! Now we’re getting somewhere. I’ve got it all, and I’m still not incredibly happy, although a tropical storm might temporarily help. You can’t buy an insurance policy for happiness. I remember Paul McCartney said the only thing that his wealth really did for him was to be able to provide the best medical care for his family. That was before Linda died of cancer. My goodness, I really am a downer today.  I get distracted pretty easily from the important things in life which are hiding behind  things like a perfect smile. Maybe I’ll start investing in some friends who have crooked teeth. I could also train to become a weather reporter.