A Slice of Fried Gold

The Weekend Edition (Version Kim.0)

Monday, June 28, 2010
My dear friend Kim came into town over the past weekend, which led this weekend to be extra ridiculous and extra packed as well as extra long. I took Friday off to hang out with her, much to her (and my) delight. What went down?
  • Breakfast at Middle Way with Kim
  • Hiking Flat Top with Kim
  • Lunch at Dish and making it rain golf balls at the driving range with Kim and Colver
  • Crazy times in Anchorage bars with Kim, Lorna, Colver, Amy, Justin, Eric, and Chris (AND GALLAGHER!)
  • Being saddened by the US Soccer team losing to Ghana in the knockout rounds at Humpy's
  • Knight and Day with Joanne and Kim (awesomely entertaining!)
  • Going to play Bingo with Colver, Joanne and Kim (ridiculous, but entertaining)
  • Hanging out with Joanne, watching movies and eating home made ice cream sandwiches
  • Talkeetna adventure with Colver, Lorna and Kim!
Over the past few years, a number of people have moved out of my life, but perhaps none have been sadder departures than Kim. Her move to Portland left me with one less partner-in-crime, as I could always rely on Kim to do pretty much damn near everything I wanted to do so long as I gave her a little warning. I mean, this weekend kind of showed that: a hike, bingo, road trips, delicious meals, a movie, and more. It was a fantastic weekend, even if Anchorage didn't give her much more than Portland had recently in the weather department. It was fantastic having her back.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that Friday night while at the bars, we hung out with Gallagher. As in THE Gallagher, of comedy and smashing watermelons fame. It was surreal, as he was just hanging out at the bar meeting people in downtown Anchorage. How weird is that? Just another odd highlight of a top weekend filled with all kinds of ridiculousness. Just the way I like it.

Burger Me

Travel Channel's Man vs. Food isn't a favorite show of mine, but when I watch it on the occasions that I do I'm instantly hooked. I mean, it's about food and food is pretty much my favorite thing on the planet, so there is a natural connection. Last season, Adam Richman came up to Alaska for a food challenge and to visit a few of our local dining establishments. Of course I went and watched the build up for the main challenge at Humpy's, but I had no idea what exactly he did for his other two meals.

Then the show premiered and I saw something glorious...a burger of destiny. This burger - the Seward's Folly - was from West Rib Pub & Grill in Talkeetna, and it was 4 pounds of pure, unadultered intensity. Two one pound caribou patties, a pound of ham, 12 strips of bacon, 12 slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, fatass sauce (bacon, mayo, raspberry vinaigrette, sauerkraut), and three buns...this burger does not mess around.

Given that I pride myself on my eating prowess, Joanne, Eric, Darren, Cate and I ventured up to Talkeetna so I could try the burger. And I...got dominated. I made it through half of the burger and half the fries, but I just couldn't eat any more. To this day, I claim that it had nothing to do with me being full and everything to do with being completely done with the flavor. It wore me out and beat me down - it was just too much burger for me, but not in the way I thought it would be.

This past weekend with Kim in town, the two of us and Colver and Lorna went to Talkeetna just to hang out. While there, we had lunch at the same restaurant. This time I actually was able to order my burger instead of having to torturously work my way through it - I just got to enjoy it. It was a ridiculously delicious burger, but one that was mitigated in its awesomeness midway through by a horrible site: someone else going after the Seward's Folly.

I sat and watched as this man who looked like he had wandered in from the woods took the burger to pieces, eating everything but the middle bun and the fruit/veggies, and even taking down the fries. The waiter (who a month previously had jokingly shamed me) walked by him and simply stated "wow." This genuinely affected me, as the only thing that had consoled my defeat by the burger was that only one person had finished the burger previously. Then the wild woodsman came in and took me to pieces.

This just motivated me, as I now need to begin my vigorous training to get in game shape to take this burger out. It's going to happen!

The Weekend Edition (TGAASH2KX Edition)

Monday, June 21, 2010
I've gotten back to slacking at the good ol' blog, but I'm returning with another glorious entry in my "Weekend Edition" series in which I recap my life on the weekends. This weekend...was a particularly good one. I've discovered that I almost never have remotely bad ones, but this one? This one was a gem. Why is that?
  • Dinner at Bear Tooth with Gen and Eric (and eventually Colver and Joanne)
  • Buckaroo Club with Gen, Eric, Colver, Joanne, Amy, Olivia and JT - yeah!
  • Gathering the troops with Joanne
  • The meet up at Middle Way Cafe for The Great Alaska Awesome Scavenger Hunt 2010!
  • The Great Alaska Awesome Scavenger Hunt 2010! with Joanne, Steph and Gen
  • Father's Day BBQ at my parents
  • Toy Story 3 with my family - amazing!
  • Bike ride from my apartment to Point Woronzof - surprisingly exhausting
  • Catching Bravo's Work of Art with Amy

The highlight had to be The Great Alaska Awesome Scavenger Hunt 2010 (aka TGAASH2KX). The only reason I didn't mention this on my blog before was because of purely slackerness (a new word trademarked to me exclusively), but this was an event I had randomly came up with when wanting to sing karaoke as I drove along blaring music and singing along as per usual. Then, I proposed the idea to Joanne and we came up with a laundry list of activities for teams of 2 to do together. Thus...TGAASH2KX was born.

Eventually it expanded a bit, as our founding team became Joanne, Stephanie, Gen and myself. We ended up with four teams who had from noon until midnight to check as many things off on the list as humanly possible. This list included tiers of possible scoring activities, from things as simple as "take a picture with a police officer" to things as intense as "zipline from Flat Top to the Sheraton Hotel". Our team rocked the house and had an AMAZING day doing so. I couldn't possibly have had a better team, as we drove around singing along to glorious tunes, learning a lot about each other, and having the best day ever together. It was just..sublime.

Hopefully this ends up being the first of many of these events. We've already casually discussed what we'll do if we end up moving away from each other...getting back together for a new event yearly? Meeting at a new place? Who knows, but I do know that this event had to have been one of the best days ever.

I'll post videos of some of the more ridiculous events (getting naked in Chilkoot Charlie's Birdhouse and falling into Westchester Lagoon had to be the clubhouse leaders for "most ridiculous"), but trust me when I say it was one of the most ridiculous days ever.

At Home

Monday, June 14, 2010

As I may have mentioned on these pages before, Iceland's Sigur Rós (regardless of my inability to properly pronounce their name) have long been one of my favorite bands - if not my absolute favorite. All of their albums pack an incredible punch with me, heightening whatever emotions I'm feeling at any given moment no matter what. It doesn't matter what emotion it is, they have the amazing ability to fit anything I feel and make that emotion all the more textured and assured.

One of my favorite movies has to be the documentary about their travels through Iceland as they put together a free, unannounced tour through all parts of the country no matter how small. This journey in 2006 was one of uncertainty (as the band says in the film, they never knew if anyone would actually show up), but it ended up being a uniting point of pure positivity for a country that has seen troubling times befall them. This documentary is called Heima ("at home" in Icelandic) and is alternately the world's greatest advertisement for Iceland and perhaps my favorite performance/music film ever. I find myself being compelled to watch it on a nearly monthly basis (strangely almost always combined with Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, which makes sense from a Rob Gordon of High Fidelity organization sort of way as I purchased them on the same day), always finding new and enriching reasons to fall in love with it once again.

If you're a fan of Sigur Rós and you haven't seen it yet, shame on you. It's a beautiful film and something that should be experienced. If you aren't a fan of Sigur Rós, even bigger shame on you and I highly suggest you get on that right now because they are one of the most remarkably talented bands I've ever heard.

If you need convincing, watch the video above. It's from Heima and is of "Sé Lest", one of their standout tracks from 2005's remarkable album Takk...


Given that I've been outside a whole lot, it makes sense that I missed this. But really, I cannot believe this commercial exists.

I am also very glad that it exists.

Drinking from the World Cup

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I don't know what it is about it, but with every passing World Cup I become more and more excited about the event as a whole. Ever since 1996 I've been excited about it, but this year's event that is starting Friday morning in South Africa is generating the most from me yet. I'm not sure if it is the passing resemblance of a good team that Team USA has in 2010 (ranked 15th in the world!) or if it is just budding interest in soccer, but man, I am jacked.

This is of course being realized in simple things, like listening to podcasts about the World Cup, quickly distinguishing simple things like the difference between the best of the best and whether or not they're going to play (is Drogba in or out?! I have to know!), and playing more FIFA Soccer 2010 than I have since I purchased it online. I even reupped with my X-Box Live Gold account so I could go online and get absolutely annihilated by the people are actually talented at it. Alas, it is still strangely fun, and it just gets me more excited to see the range of players on Man U's roster who will get taken out by Team USA on Saturday morning (USA! USA!).

Given that I'm out at Cate's cabin Friday evening, you would think that I wouldn't be so buzzed about the USA/England match on Saturday morning, but that is where you're mistaken. That morning I'm going on radio silence and not even checking my phone until I get back and watch the DVR'd version with Eric and Amy. I want to take it all in as we deliver the worst defeat of the British since the Revolutionary War.

Here's hoping I'm note eating my words come 12:30 PM Alaska Standard Time.

In Your Face, Knee!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
To follow up on my previous post about my injured knee, I met with the doctor finally to talk about its status and what he thinks I should do. Thankfully, he is a firm believer in the idea that he can fix everything arthroscopically and that I won't need to have microfracture surgery.

Yes, if you heard an epic sigh of relief at 9:30 AM Alaska Standard Time, that was me.

Basically what that means for me is instead of having a four to eight month recovery time and a reasonable chance of everything going awry, the doctor said I could be playing basketball again within a month of the procedure. In addition, I can keep hiking and doing everything I'm doing until September, at which point I can have my surgery and still leave the country for vacation in November as planned.

If it was physically possible for me to do it without pain, this is the point where I would be hammer dancing across my apartment.

The Weekend Edition

Monday, June 7, 2010
After a weekend that had even more awesome because of the extra day in its midst, it would have taken a lot to keep everything going as strong. Given that it's summer in Alaska and the world is my oyster though it was still a phenomenal time even with the slightly shorter weekend than the holiday provided. Why is that?
  • Party down! with Amy, Eric, Cate, and a ton more characters (see picture below)
  • Relaxed day chilling at Amy's watching movies
  • Get Him to the Greek with Colver and Lorna
  • Mexican night at Amy's!
  • Biscuits and Gravy with Cate and Darren (Bear Tooth ftw!)
  • Hiking False Falls Peak with Amy, Stephanie and Olivia (sliding down the mountain!)
  • Frisbee golf with Amy and Emily
  • Garden party with Amy, Puff Daddy, Cornershop, and a lot, lot more
  • Frisbee on the park strip

Another near perfect weekend in the books found me entertained from all types of things provided by the diversity Anchorage offers. While I frequently complain about Alaska during the winter, you rarely see me say anything negative about it in the summertime. Why is that?

Because it's freaking awesome.

Perpetual sunlight and warm weather. The ability to get on the water, get to the mountains, and do anything in between within the city. People that are constantly up for anything because they know winter is always around the corner. Really, you combine those things and you get one hell of a recipe for an awesome time.

Expect many, many more very positive Weekend Editions going forward, assuming we don't have a random snowpocalypse or something of that sort in the near future. *knocks on wood*

Broken Down

Friday, June 4, 2010

One of the things I didn't update my fair readers on in my month long absence from blogging was a health condition change. Generally speaking, I don't go to the doctor because I hate spending money to find out I'm a big hypochondriac. I always feel like that's my experience.

Me: Something is wrong with my knee.
Doctor: Ha. Nothing is wrong with your knee.
Me: Well crap...really?
Doctor: I don't know, I was counting your money, I didn't even look at it. Stop being a girl.

Needless to say, my opinion of Alaskan doctoring is not strong. However, after my last hypochondriac fest, I decided to go in and get an MRI on my continuously pained right knee. I haven't played basketball in 3 months (which is the longest I've taken off from basketball since...birth?) so I figured it was time to take care of business. The MRI revealed that I have a partially torn meniscus (which happen all of the time) and an osteochondral lesion (which happen...less often).

What does that mean for me? Well, let's think of this in basketball terms. I'm going to have to have Brandon Roy surgery (shave off part of my meniscus) AND Greg Oden surgery (microfracture surgery). For those that follow basketball, I'm sure you shuddered at the latter part because it is notoriously difficult to recover from. The good news is that from what I understand I can still do pretty much anything besides play basketball and I can wait until the end of the summer to have the surgery. This means I've been biking, hiking and enjoying the sun as much as humanly possible, and will continue to do so until it is medically impossible for me to.

Of course, I go into the doctor on June 7th for the real confirmation, so there's a chance he'll be like "you're an idiot" and tell me "surgery now or you're gonna die!" Crossing my fingers for not that, as Alaska in the summer is way more fun when I'm not walking around with an unintentional gangster limp.

The Weekend Edition (V. Memorial Day Weekend)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This is coming in late because it turns out Memorial Day Weekend is long, sun-filled, and crazy fun in Alaska circa 2010. It was a weekend that was filled to the brim with 80's dance films, POW camps, BBQ's, hiking, camping, and even a man named Dollface. What all went down this past weekend?
  • Sleeping through the Celtics/Magic on Friday at Colver's (turns out it didn't with a bang)
  • Intense foosball over at Colver's with Amy, Eric and Colver
  • Kick-Ass! (very entertaining, but not a great movie)
  • Camping adventure to Crescent Creek with Colver, Amy, Eric, Jason and Becca
  • Random biking adventures on the Coastal Trail solo style
  • Hiking towards Hidden Lake with Amy and Eric (as well as a bit of solo run around Wolverine)
  • Impromptu bad movie night while eating BBQ at Cate and Darren's (Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Flashdance)
  • Dinner party over at _ _ _ _ _'s place
  • Other randomness throughout
This weekend was important for many reasons. The biggest of those reasons had to be the fact that I finally escaped from a POW camp that I'd been in for years (see top of the page) and that Eric finally made the leap from "Padawan Learner" to full out "Jedi." Way to go Dollface!

Really though, it wasn't important, it was just a ton of fun. The greatness of Memorial Day Weekend is always multiplied by how sunny and warm it is out, and this weekend was sunny the whole time and warm as all get out. Memorial Day Weekend was a flawless victory of awesome. Amy's return upped the ante even more, leading to many outdoor ventures including a most triumphant camping trip to Crescent Creek and some outstanding hikes.

Her return combined with the beautiful summer has led me to also basically live outside, slowly but surely transitioning me into a skin tone that I can only describe as "Farmer's Adonis" (in my mind, Adonis was really tan. I am extremely tan, but only in a farmer's tan sort of way. Hence, Farmer's Adonis...it works, I swears it). This weekend was a superb representation of that, turning my strong tan into an intense, potentially-indicative-of-George-Hamilton-style-efforts one.

While this has led me to completely abandon my blog (my bad guys!), it's totally worth it as May was full of fantastic in every way, culminating in a ridiculously great Memorial Day Weekend. Here's hoping the rest of the summer matches up. One way or another, you'll be able to find out here, as The Weekend Edition is now back in action.

Happy Birthday Amy Steele!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Today Amy Steele turns 26, much to the excitement of friends and family of Amy Steele (and less so to herself). While she may call me "Fat Mute" and nearly everything that comes from her mouth may come across as sarcastic, I still miss her musk when she's not around. Happy birthday Amy, and congrats on being old as all get out.

As far as the blog is concerned, May was a lost month, but I feel strongly in the idea that I'm going to get back into blogging now. I'm going to call it now - 30 posts, 30 days in June!