Evan's Eyes

Web Log Entry #0023, Saturday, December 7, 2002: Day 19

Wed 12/4 Anchorage Sunrise: 9:50am Sunset: 3:47pm High Temp: 47° Low Temp: 35°
Thu 12/5 Anchorage Sunrise: 9:52am Sunset: 3:46pm High Temp: 46° Low Temp: 31°
Fri 12/6 Anchorage Sunrise: 9:54am Sunset: 3:45pm High Temp: 36° Low Temp: 30°
Sat 12/7 Anchorage Sunrise: 9:56am Sunset: 3:44pm High Temp: 34° Low Temp: 31°

Yes, I missed a few days. Not because I didn't have interesting things to say, but I've been too tired to write coherently. For some reason I've been waking up at 4:00am and having a hard time getting back to sleep. So I have enough brains to make it through a nine-hour work day, but not enough overhead afterward to do anything more than fix dinner and watch TV. I'm not saying there's anything WRONG with the Work-Eat-TV-Sleep lifestyle, just that it doesn't generate log entries.

So THIS morning, I'm asleep from 4:00 to 5:00, which I'm thinking is good, but at 5:10 I'm woken up by the upstairs neighbor drinkin' and shootin' pool with friends (I admit I'm ASSUMING that they're drinkin', based on the laughter and the choice of music, and being awake at 5:00am). So, dilemma. As far as we knew, nobody lived in that condo, so who are these people? Do I knock on the door of drunken Alaskan strangers to ask them to quiet down? Call the police? Ignore the problem and hope it corrects itself? As I pondered, they finally left, fell asleep, or died, and I went back to sleep. Stan slept right through it, since his bedroom isn't right under the neighbor's pool room.

Today was clear and sunny. I took some pictures of sunrise from our back deck, and called Gilead about post-Christmas travel plans. He was getting lunch as I was admiring the sunrise.

The roads were clearing off, it wasn't raining, so what should I go do? I spent almost an hour with the newspaper "events" section, three guide books, and a map. I decided to go downtown. I went to the "Alaska Experience" theater. I figured this could be a short-cut alternative to running about actually experiencing it for myself. Based on what I saw, Alaska is a great deal of summer wilderness fun, except the jumpy bits make us a little queasy. The omni-screen is like a smaller version of an omni-max, except instead of being inside a giant ping-pong ball, you face a large, curved screen. If they projected an image of the pupil, iris, and white part of someone's eye (the "albumen") onto the screen, it would just about match the shape exactly. So it isn't as overwhelming as an omni-max, but enough to make us motion-sensitive people close our eyes during the bouncy rafting segment. And the shaky train segment. But we liked the flying-through-the-mountains parts, and even the educational bits about the ancient people coming across the Bering strait when it was frozen (turns out it was on a dare. Two guys going "I dare you to walk out on the ice THAT far!", "Okay, now I dare YOU to walk out THAT far!"* alternately all the way across, and the crowd watching and betting on which idiot would fall through the ice first, just followed).

I needed a walk afterward to settle everything, which was good, if a bit chilly. Despite the number of cars around, I saw very few people. In Portland, if the sky is blue, people come outside, even in the middle of winter. With only twenty-five sunny days a year, you don't waste them. Apparently Alaskans are more blasť. I did find where the people were, though. In the mall. To be fair, Christmas is coming, but IT WAS SUNNY! You'd think when you're down to only six hours of daylight nobody would want to miss any of it. They must be like camels; they store it up internally during the summer and ride through the winter on their reserves. That would explain the spitting.

* This is not completely accurate. They would have been speaking Russian.

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© 2002 Evan M. Nichols