Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Alaska Day Three - Why People Really Come Here

Drove from Anchorage to Portage Glacier today - along Prince William Sound. 40 miles of mountains. And you see those mudflats in some of the pictures? yeah, you step in them, bad stuff happens. Those ain't your New England mudflats. They're glacial silt, which is basically arctic quicksand. You step in one, your leg gets locked in, the tide comes's weird to be in a place where you're neither at the top of the food chain nor safe from the deadly...mud. So here's the pics...

More Alaska - Day Three

Perhaps the very last thing you want on the screen of your Garmin Nuvi:

So Garmin told me I was driving on "road," I was at the end of it, and there was water in front of me. Uh, Mr. Garmin? I could have figured that out without the GPS device! It was all good, though. Just funny.

Alaska - Day Three

Quick quiz: Alaska or New Jersey?

Yeah, yeah, the title of the post (and the "Gold Rush Liquor") give it away, I know, but it's funny how wherever you go in America...there you are, at the mall. I wish I could say I were one of those folk who turn up their noses at the "sameness" of everywhere, but (whispers) I kinda like it. It's comforting somehow; I like the familar touchstones that make me feel like I'm somewhere not so different after all. I admit it: I even liked it when I saw a McDonalds in Venice, Italy last year. I didn't eat there or anything (ok, I did eat at the one in Florence), but it was a touch of home. Some might call it cultural homogeneity. Yeah, whatever. Now gimme my Big Mac and let me whip out my Sam's Club card and get a gross of toilet paper.

Alaska - Day Two

So you know the kind of jetlag that makes you say "I'm just going to hang in my dorm all day"? Yeah, that kind. I had it.

You know the kind of clients who say, "My lawyer is on vacation; first thing I'm going to do is ask her to work?"

Yeah, that kind. I have one of them (hint: touring productions!) I guess it can't be helped when you're a solo practitioner. The bright side of that is that I can now spend the weekend not in the dorm, but in a resort in the mountains...where it is supposed to rain. Because that is what it does in the Pacific Northwest.

You know the kind of students who say, "I've just been placed on academic suspension because I can't get my act together, can you please write a letter to Academic Standing to get me re-admitted NOW because I forgot to tell you about this six weeks ago?"

Yeah, that kind. I have them too. No upside there.

I did manage to get myself up and out for a few mo' today, whereupon I saw this:

For those of you without x-ray vision, that's a sign reading "Hollis French for Governor." Hollis French was my law school classmate. Dude is running for governor of the state in which I am currently residing in a dorm. I'm trying to look for some equalizer here to make me feel a bit better about my career path...oh, yeah, I don't get chased by moose.

Alaska - Day One

Got here after two flights which were supposed to take nine hours, but both were delayed so it took eleven. Delta has a bad habit of sharing TMI when a flight is delayed - first flight they were telling us "mechanical issues" and second flight was "sick first officer" which I immediately translated as "engine falling off" and "punk drilot," making for a lot of sweet, sweet anxiety without which I could not get through the day.

First thing I saw when I got off the plane in Anchorage? A Starbucks, a McDonalds, and a Chili's.'s good to be home on Long Island. I mean, in Alaska.

First thing I saw from my dorm room? (Yes, I am 30something and staying in a dorm. Stop snickering. If you saw the prices on the hotels up here and saw the size of the bears in the campgrounds, you'd be choosing to dorm too). First thing I saw from my dorm was these guys:

Clearly I am no longer on Long Island, as these are MOOSE. Ugliest. Animals. Alive. And not just one moose, you see, but a mother moose with her baby moose. Meese. Meeses. Mooses. And mama moose are not too happy when humans are around the moose calves. Signs up all over the campus saying "Beware of Moose" and telling you what to do in case of a moose charging you. In case you were wondering: (1) Run. Moose will generally only chase you for a short time. (2) Go behind a tree or rock to give yourself more time to outrun moose. Moose, like Hummers or large SUVs, have a fairly large turn radius. (3) Get under a car. Moose, like large humans, cannot fit under cars.

I've always thought blogging was ridiculously narcissistic... what the heck took me so long to join this parade?

Anyway, because my facebook account is filled with people who really aren't interested in my vacation (Marc Shaiman, do you care I'm in Alaska? No? Didn't think so!), and because my parents couldn't see my photos from my last vacation as I warned them away from joining the evil, evil Facebook, I thought I'd start a blog so that my nearest and dearest could see whatever. And by whatever I mean -- at the moment, anyway -- photos and random thoughts from Alaska this week. And next week I may just abandon this endeavor because I have other things to write, things that, you know, are less narcissistic.