Evan's Eyes

The Alaska Journal

In November, 2002, I was given a choice: Stay in Portland and face the uncertainties of unemployment in an unstable economy, or accept a six-month assignment in Anchorage, Alaska. I thought of the gorgeous, snow-capped mountains, the Northern Lights, and Anchorage, a city perched on the edge of boundless wilderness, and I immediately tried to weasel out of going. When that failed, I decided to treat it as an adventure, to seek out the exciting Life Experiences it will bring and then exploit them for all their worth. To this end, I'm recording my activities, thoughts, and observations in this log. With any luck, I'll have some spectacular adventures in the rugged northern frontier to report. If not, I'll just make stuff up.

Latest Entry:
#0094 Day 392
December 15, 2003

Just a couple days left, and it's starting to feel like it's really over....


#0093 Day 388
December 11, 2003

Vindication! After a year of diligent pursuit of the truth about carnivorous moose....

#0092 Day 379
December 2, 2003

Cold. Damn cold. But I'm counting the days, which helps....

#0091 Day 378
December 1, 2003

November is over, and I've written a novel! I'm a winner!

#0090 Day 374
November 27, 2003

The lack of snow last year is being counterbalanced by a plentitude this year....

#0089 Day 350
November 3, 2003

Hey, November is National Novel Writing Month! You know what that means!

#0088 Day 334
October 18, 2003

It's Alaska Day! Here's what they're doing in Anchorage to celebrate: Nothing....

#0087 Day 331
October 15, 2003

Today, I got The Call....

#0086 Day 329
October 13, 2003

I went to Portland, I came back, and it was COLD....

#0085 Day 319
October 3, 2003

It's been raining. Not the gentle, innocuous drizzle so often found in the Northwest, but a no-nonsense, economy-sized cold rain....

#0084 Day 312
September 26, 2003

It's been almost two weeks since the end of the contract was announced, but I still don't know exactly what it will mean to me....

#0083 Day 269
August 14, 2003

I did it! I finally went to the Fly By Night Club! "The what?" you may ask....

#0082 Day 302
September 16, 2003

Just as I was mentally preparing to wind down my work here and head home, it happened....

#0081 Day 278
August 21, 2003

I knew it was imperative that I go to the Alaska State Fair when I realized that my birthday, May 25th, is shared by Jeanne Crain....

#0080 Day 252
Jul7 28, 2003

My picture appeared in the Anchorage Daily News again today....

#0079 Day 209
June 15, 2003

Stan and I HAD to go to the Anchorage Renaissance Faire....

#0078 Day 258
August 3, 2003

I was in tremendous pain when I went to the Hospital Monday morning. (A Hospital? What is it?...)

#0077 Day 243
July 19, 2003

It's rare that I have TWO interesting events happen in the same day, but today I did!

#0076 Day 243
July 19, 2003

I had a very Alaskan encounter during my morning walk....

#0075 Day 225
June 30, 2003

When one lives in Alaska, one must go fishing. I think it's a law....

#0074 Day 200
June 6, 2003

Day 200! I feel I should do something to mark the event, but it's raining and cold, so I'll postpone the festivities....

#0073 Day 198
June 4, 2003

I was going to tell you about a tedious part of my job, a simple process I've repeated over a thousand times at a rate of about fifty times a day, but I'm not allowed....

#0072 Day 196
June 2, 2003

I don't mean to obsess about transportation, but lately my thoughts have been very car-oriented....

#0071 Day 193
May 30, 2003

Even though this was a short week, I'm exhausted....

#0070 Day 190
May 27, 2003

I'm back! Over the Memorial Day weekend, I spent 87 grand, wonderful hours in Portland....

#0069 Day 183
May 20, 2003

Although recent events have strengthened my claim of being "Only A Little Less Reliable Than the New York Times"....

#0068 Day 181
May 18, 2003

On Friday afternoon, Stan asked "Do you want to go to Soldotna this weekend?"

#0067 Day 168
May 5, 2003

Cinco De Mayo came and went with little fanfare....

#0066 Day 167
May 4, 2003

My log's been quiet lately, not because nothing's happening, but because I've been writing movies....

#0065 Day 157
April 24, 2003

In preparation for the May 1st deadline, I had the snow tires taken off my car....

#0064 Day 156
April 23, 2003

Today I saw Alaska license plate "CGJ 750". Most of you may be thinking "Well, BFD 000!"

#0063 Day 155
April 22, 2003

I saw a moose during my morning commute, and I wasn't going to make a big deal about it.

#0062 Day 152
April 19, 2003

Today is notable because it is the first day I've been outside here WITHOUT A COAT.

#0061 Day 148
April 15, 2003

I opened the door to head for work, and the parking area was white with snow....

#0060 Day 146
April 13, 2003

When one thinks of Alaskan culture, images of fur trapping, dog-sled racing, and drinking come to mind....

#0059 Day 145
April 12, 2003

I just had to go to the "Intuitive Arts Festival!"

#0058 Day 141
April 8, 2003

Today I go to my first Pilates class....

#0057 Day 134
April 1, 2003

I have stumbled onto one of the best-kept Alaskan secrets: Seward's Day....

#0056 Day 128
March 26, 2003

I had lunch with a moose! Well, he probably didn't think so....

#0055 Day 125
March 23, 2003

You may have noticed that I like movies. I like watching movies and reviewing movies and talking about the movie-making industry. ...

#0054 Day 122
March 20, 2003

It's Spring! We celebrated the final night of Winter with a light layer of snow, the first in several weeks...

#0053 Day 117
March 15, 2003

Well, actually, it was a bear in a bear suit. I don't know why. I'm still not giving him cigarettes.

#0052 Day 116
March 14, 2003

Turns out it's a guy in a bear suit. I saw the zipper.

#0051 Day 115
March 13, 2003

The cold and wind from the weekend persist. We've finally hit sub-zero temperatures this winter...

#0050 Day 111
March 9, 2003

This was a very quiet week. It took me until Wednesday to feel like I was catching up on sleep....

#0049 Day 105
March 3, 2003

I'm exhausted. I got home at 1:30 last night, after a whirlwind trip to Portland and the Oregon Coast....

#0048 Day 100
February 26, 2003

Today marks 100 days since I arrived in Anchorage. It seems appropriate to review....

#0047 Day 93
February 19, 2003

I don't swear very much. Not because I'm prudish about it. It's not like I flinch whenever someone says....

#0046 Day 91
February 17, 2003

I didn't know if President's Day was a company holiday. ....

#0045 Day 89
February 15, 2003

Below is a picture of the 2003 Fur Rondy Parade.....

#0044 Day 88
February 14, 2003

Hey, I'm in the paper! Okay, just the "Anchorage Daily News"....

#0043 Day 83
February 9, 2003

People often ask me "So, Evan, you've been single for a while, have you been dating anyone?"

#0042 Day 83
February 9, 2003

Stan and I drove to a ski resort to not ski. That's not as Zen as it sounds....

#0041 Day 81
February 7, 2003

On the first Friday of every month, Anchorage has the logically-named "First Friday" Art event....

#0040 Day 79
February 5, 2003

What do you get when you put a bunch of Alaskan technical professionals in a room together?

#0039 Day 75
February 1, 2003

This morning the space shuttle Columbia broke up as it descended through the atmosphere....

#0038 Day 72
January 29, 2003

From my Eat/Work/TV/Sleep lifestyle, I can't talk about the interesting parts of work and I won't drone on about the boring bits...

#0037 Day 69
January 26, 2003

Today, I saw "The Foreigner." No, not the recent Steven Seagal movie...

#0036 Day 66
January 23, 2003

Okay, I get a lot of comments like "Ha ha! That Evan, always going on about being eaten! What a joker!"

#0035 Day 63
January 20, 2003

On the way to Seward and back when I wasn't helping Stan by staring at the road and willing the car to stay on it...

#0034 Day 61
January 18, 2003

Today, Stan and I drove to Seward to watch people throw themselves into the ocean....

#0033 Day 58
January 15, 2003

Today, we moved. "We" as in the 20+ people on the project team moved from the main building...

#0032 Day 55
January 12, 2003

I was re-reading Wednesday's entry, and realized that I had wanted to note the sunset time...

#0031 Day 51
January 8, 2003

I'm sick. Flu. I thought I had made it safely past the holidays, including four plane flights....

#0030 Day 48
January 5, 2003

When one walks around outside in Anchorage, you're supposed to watch for animals. I forget to look....

#0029 Day 46
January 3, 2003

Many years ago, I first saw a car with an electric plug hanging from the front grill...

#0028 Day 44
January 1, 2003

I have returned. Anchorage is the way I left it, but colder...

#0027 Day 29
December 17, 2002

The day before I flew home, the Anchorage high temperature was in the low 20s, with light snow...

#0026 Day 26
December 14, 2002

Here's Part II...

#0025 Day 26
December 14, 2002

What a day! There's way too much to tell in just one entry. So here's Part I...

#0024 Day 23
December 11, 2002

SNOW! We have SNOW! My grace period is over, the weather has reverted to local standard...

#0023 Day 19
December 7, 2002

Yes, I missed a few days. Not because I didn't have interesting things to say...

#0022 Day 15
December 3, 2002

Had sort of a Dilbert meeting (I know, more "Dilbert" references!)...

#0021 Day 14
December 2, 2002

I drive a car with spiked tires. That is so cool!

#0020 Day 13
December 1, 2002

I went to see "Somewhere In Between", a world-premiere play at University of Alaska...

#0019 Day 12
November 30, 2002

We're having problems with Mr. Cable Modem. He only works about half the time...

#0018 Day 11
November 29, 2002

So. What's there to do in Alaska on the Friday after Thanksgiving?

#0017 Day 10
November 28, 2002

Happy Thanksgiving! I spent the morning working on this web log....

#0016 Day 9
November 27, 2002

I head out the door this morning to drizzly rain....

#0015 Day 8
November 26, 2002

Three highlights for the day....

#0014 Day 7
November 25, 2002

First workday commute from new place. The drive was DRY. I guess I was wrong....

#0013 Day 6
November 24, 2002

First, I took my life into my hands by going for a swim 28½ minutes after eating breakfast....

#0012 Day 5
November 23, 2002

I have to apologize to the snow-loving citizens of Anchorage and surrounding areas....

#0011 Day 4
November 22, 2002


#0010 Day 3
November 21, 2002

It's starting to feel routine. Wake up, shower, dress, breakfast, commute, work...

#0009 Day 2
November 20, 2002

The roads were clearer this morning, but still mucked. I suspect that they'll be like this from now until June....

#0008 Day 1
November 19, 2002

While I slept the restless sleep of someone near an airport's flight path, it snowed....

#0007 Day 0
November 18, 2002

What a day! I woke up at 4:00am to be ready to head to the airport at 4:30....

#0006 Day -4
November 14, 2002

I hope this is not indicative of how things are going to be on this journey....

#0005 Day -6
November 12, 2002

Had coffee with Tim, mostly just to talk. I confessed to pre-travel anxiety...

#0004 Day -7
November 11, 2002

Barely thought about Alaska yesterday. I spent much of the day preparing Jocelyn's boxes for shipping...

#0003 Day -9
November 9, 2002

Made a huge list of things to do before I go. Cancel the newspaper. Suspend my cell phone service...

#0002 Day -10
November 8, 2002

Talked with Tim today. Tim is the president, CEO, and admin assistant for WISDOM Consulting...

#0001 Day -11
November 7, 2002

Today I got "The Call." It wasn't a complete surprise. There had been talk, but there was talk last July...


Last revised: December 15, 2003
© 2002 Evan M. Nichols