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Summer in Alaska Bucketlist

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Do you envision a list involving salmon, moose, bear, mountain summits, through hikes, single track bike descents, canning and preserving goals, maybe a triathlon thrown in for good measure?

Not I. I need to relax. I don’t relax in the wilderness. I’m on constant bear alert, either that or getting shot by a random bear hunter alert. Here are some of my ideas for a perfect Alaskan summer. You may find you can follow them wherever you might find yourself. After all, Alaska is mostly a state of mind.

  1. Spend as much time as possible in the hammock. This will require a good supply of insect repellant but it is much more rewarding than actually accomplishing anything after a long day of work.
  2. Share my tandem with as many people as possible. I’ve started calling friends to ride with me and  put an ad up to capture strangers. It’s an enormous bike, definitely as long as a horse but slightly lighter. What’s the point of waiting around for someone to announce that they vaguely remember I have a two seater hanging up in my shed? A tandem is the perfect excuse to advertise the need for companionship but in a sporty, retro, non-threatening manner.  I’ll try not to coerce people to wear costumes until the 2nd or third ride.tandemThis is a Gary Fisher Gemini Mountain bike tandem from the 1980’s. It is appropriate to sing 1980’s music while riding. The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, (David Lee Roth years), Duran Duran, Blondie,  and The Bangles are all acceptable. This is not a Madonna bike. It is also okay to sing this old gem on this particular bike especially when wearing dark sunglasses.
  3. I would like to watch more of the hundred best War movies. I like the old ones best and just finished “To Be or Not To Be” with Jack Benny on You Tube.   I don’t love war but I am desperate to understand it and how it reflects the internal wars with which humans struggle.
  4. Read more books about The South. I love visiting my friend Rose Anne in Louisiana. It is as much another world as visiting my sister in Paris.  I finished reading this excellent book   and am now reading this one.  Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads  These help me understand why there is a large movement in America to reclaim “glory days” of the past.  This is a force to be reckoned with, not to be ignored.
  5. I need to write more and laugh more. I believe I am singing as much as I can without being murdered.
  6. It wouldn’t hurt to see some new movies. I don’t see many first run films but I would be willing to purchase a ticket to Bohemian Rhapsody or BlackKklansman.
  7. More raspberry ice tea. More raspberry everything. Alaska has great raspberries!
  8. Donald Trump protest art show anyone?  I bet it could be fun or would we be giving him too much attention?
  9. I guess I could go camping one time but that is my goal every summer and each time I come back not having slept and I have a backache but a few funny stories.
  10. Stay in the moment, smell the air as it changes with each bloom of the season – lilacs, roses, clover, fireweed.



My life as a snob

Yes, I am lonely at times but I will die with my unspoken standards held high.  We all have unreasonable expectations, some of us are just more unreasonable than others.  Let us speak of our discerning palate before we die of emotional hunger.


I would love to be a humor omnivore but alas I am not. I have been known to laugh at talking animals but that is an unhealthy weakness. Here is an example of the level of humor I would like my friends and I to share, were it possible, on a daily basis.

I will never be so funny.  Maybe I would if I were undead, or surrounded by like minded people or undead people. It is a shame to have such high standards. I don’t know what I would do if a person did not find this film funny. I might shed a tear at their shallow sensitivities and allow for their simple delight in Transformers. I might have to move very far away from them before I barfed.

I also find comedy that addresses racial and political issues funny as long as it is not on a fake news show. Please stop this trite setup. I know it is a money maker which is loved by millions as was Mad Magazine and The Three Stooges. I confess that this dislike might arise because I would prefer anyone but a white man to deliver my comedy. Now my prejudices are revealed and my advice will be discredited and discarded. Oops, it almost always is anyway.


I hate boxed brownie mix. It’s the Pringles of dessert.  I have met brownies that were overpriced, salty, gritty, hard and then there are the unfathomable “cake like” brownies.  No one loves a hybrid. Eat cake if you want cake!  There are many good brownies in Anchorage. George and Deb at Side Street Café have a good gluten free one. If you want to be sure of quality I instruct you to look for The Illusions label. Illusions is a wholesale bakery in Spenard which sells the highest quality of moist brownie-ness to retailers in the Anchorage area.

So you don’t live in Anchorage? How about this?

It was enormous!

It was enormous!

This I had in Paris. I shared it with my sister but just barely.  Giant raspberry macarons have not hit Alaska yet but there are many ripe berries poking out in the alley up the street from me. They are fair game as far as I am concerned. Raspberries look like little crowns because they are the king of berries. Strawberries and blueberries are so weirdly large and bland when cultivated. I suppose fresh home grown ones are okay. Even a frozen raspberry is a gift from God. If you doubt what I say, visit The Holocaust Memorial in Boston where you will find this.

A tribute to love and to life

A tribute to love and to life

and to a raspberry.

I don’t care for dark chocolate. I am not that kind of a snob. I am a shaky snob and the higher the cacao content, the more I shake and the less I sleep. I don’t like coffee for the same reason. Drink whatever beer you want. I do not judge as it means nothing to me.


I enjoy the occasional Viking in Ireland novel or Icelandic murder mystery but really one can not beat existential or post-apocalyptic fiction. I can not fathom why The Road was an Oprah’s book club choice. Was she high? I don’t believe Oprah and I read the same books.  She may have some choices that were not necessarily mass marketed. We may actually have more in common than our love of bright colors and lack of desire for matrimony.

I do not like fancy decorative writing about birds or the desert. I want something that is less fine and detailed, something that has character not bouquet.  I may have a mediocre mind but I want to see some angst sans literary musings on anything less than the suffering of humanity. Do not try to uplift me with your American Sniper or your Unbroken heroes.  They are just that, heroes. I want to hear about you and me and the other broken snobs of the world.  That should be my new name for a book club.


I get lonelier by the minute. I like theatre, but I can’t see plays for which I auditioned  and did not get cast. Sorry, I am an actor and I am insane.  I have given up on  ever seeing Wicked but still embrace the possibility of seeing Hamilton. As a mediocre actor, I am accepting of mediocre acting. I can not stand poor direction.  I figure a good cook should be able to produce a good meal even If they have slightly withered produce or a tough piece of meat. If you put yourself in charge then don’t blame the vegetables! I do not care to see Arsenic and Old Lace again or even hear its name spoken, please.


I prefer popular music that is not about love. I despise love unless it is broken. I am single. I like broken people. I don’t trust unbroken ones. But I repeat myself. I like happy songs as long as the people aren’t in love. If you like love songs, I look down on you. You believe in magic and probably have visited Disneyland. I will not. I am a vampire who can not tolerate the sun and has many roommates. We have turned away from and are turned away from Disneyland.  These people I live with are men. They  force me at times to listen to their musical choices which I can not fathom without a shot of testosterone to ease the translation. They let their musical tastes define them. I let my distaste for all define me. I embrace diversity of taste only because I find it  so entertaining and challenging. I like real drag queens but I can not enjoy The Rocky Horror Picture Show no matter how hard I try. Its sad. They have auditions so often.

I’m sure you’re a snob about something if not about everything like I am. Let me know in the comments so I can laugh with/at you.

Some silly questions about the Grammys


1.  It’s not called “Mexican Lucky?” That’s how I found it on Youtube!

2.   Did the Olympics start early? Is this why Pink was doing gymastics rather than singing?

3.  Why does everyone look like they’re suffering so much? My guess is it’s really not as much fun to perform for money as it is for pleasure.

4.  Can Daft  Punk wear their headgear at the airport?

5. I don’t want to be royal or be your queen bee, I just want to be a middle class yellow jacket. I guess that’s not a question, just a comment.

 6. The way people talk about Beyonce, doesn’t it sound like her voice is the last thing on people’s minds?

7.  How come I’m younger than everyone in Black Sabbath, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr by more than a decade yet my hair is so much greyer?  Isn’t there a line in Photograph –“ as the years go by and we turn old and grey?”

8.  At my age, if I know the lyrics, shouldn’t the song be excluded from the new artists category?

9. I like how Madonna chose a lilac girdle, fitting a woman of my age. Will the Norwegian Curling Team be following this trend?

10.  When someone says “I feel it in my bones”, do you think radioactive or  arthritis?

11.  Don’t Christmas lights on tuxedos and cowboy boots remind you of disco?

12. I was so impressed that Taylor Swift played the piano as well as sang. Does that mean that my expectations for musicianship have sunk lower than the Grammy’s?

13. Reverend Moon, wouldn’t he have been proud?