Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Three months in! At least I’m doing better than the car

Phew! It’s been three months since I arrived in Juneau. Honestly, it feels a lot longer. Even just thinking back to some travelling last summer, it feels like forever ago. I suppose that is because so much has happened. I remember this strange sensation during the journey from Boston to Juneau back in October of not having any expectations for what was going to happen. I truly felt like I was on the edge of a giant abyss. If someone had really pressed me to predict where I’d be in three months, I doubt that I would have described my current status. I’m already 2+ months into my job, going back to school for a masters degree, already playing trombone in two different ensembles, got ski equipment and most of my personal details (license, phone, etc) switched to Alaska. I think that’s all very cool. Of course, I’m making friends. I always do. I’ve been meeting people through my cousins and also hanging out quite a bit with people from work.

I’d say I’m on a pretty good trajectory. Of course, I continue to receive the support of my aunt and uncle. I’m not going to rush into getting my own place. As I told them the other night, I’m going to milk the rent-free situation just as long as possible.   

My cat is doing great, too. While she continues to be just as skittish as ever, I can tell that she has really settled in. We’re off onto our third housesitting gig this weekend, and she seems to easily adapt to the new living situations.

I'm ready for my evening meal, hoomin.

 I can’t say so many great things about my car, though. Poor Dent. You may have read about Dent in a former post, but she is my 2000 Toyota Avalon. She carried me, Kameko and all of my belongings to Alaska. She was dubbed “Dent” because of the hideous dent in her trunk- courtesy of some college students in a rental truck many moons ago. Dent currently is operating with one windshield wiper and something is up with her power steering. I will spare you the gory details from the other night, but she received yet another blow while parked in the driveway.  Now she’s really earning her moniker. I can’t even open that passenger door. Sad story. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mikey- it's pretty much all your fault

Today is my Uncle Michael's birthday. Uncle Michael is on my mother's side of the family. He is the brother of my mother and my Aunt Sue- whom I'm living with in Juneau. Tonight we Skyped with Michael, my beautiful Grandma Helen, and my parents who are visiting them in southern California for the week.

I could argue that without Michael's decisions in the 1970s, I wouldn't be here in Juneau today.

This subject probably needs a whole other post with a lot more detail than I currently know, but what I do know is Michael moved to Juneau in the 1970s, convinced Sue to follow suit a few years later, and 30 years later... here I am- following in their footsteps. Michael has wised up and now spends most of his time between San Diego and the beach in Baja California instead of enduring the Juneau "snain" (that's the crappy half snow/half rain that's been falling from the sky for the past 4 days). He still knows many folks here in Juneau- he and Sue were reminiscing tonight about a fellow lawyer who suddenly passed away a few weeks ago.

I'll interrogate Sue for more family history to understand better the circumstances surrounding their migrations north from California all those years ago sometime, but until then, Happy Birthday, Michael. Thanks for nothing.

Alaska-California Happy Birthday Song

Me and Mikey on Mount Roberts in Juneau 2008

Uncle Mikey overlooking the Gastineau Channel and Douglas 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Katy Tweets!

Even though I've been a long time Twitter user (I've been more of a Twitter voyeur than tweeter), I've only just created a Katy Goes North twitter account. @katygoesnorth

Follow me! I'd love to see you there!!

Katy Goes to the DMV

I do declare. The Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles in Juneau provided me with very fast and friendly service today! Despite having several business transactions to take care of (I needed a new drivers license- for which I had to take a knowledge test, vehicle registration, a title change, new plates and a new state employee ID), I was in and out in a jiff. Also, everyone was friendly! What a departure from what I'm used to back east!

With all my spare time afterwards, I stopped by the glacier for a little stroll. We're having great weather in Juneau today after a long stretch of crap.

Now I'm official! However, I may still qualify as a cheechacko for a while. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013


One of the first days I was in Juneau, we were at Superbear food market, and there were young kids selling raffle tickets- a fundraiser for their soccer team, I think. Aunt Sue didn't hesitate to buy a couple. The youth sports teams in Juneau need to raise a lot of money to travel- they almost always have to fly out if they want to play a team outside of Juneau. Sue used to do a lot of fundraising for my cousins' teams when they were growing up so she supports these teams whenever she can. Even more than that,  I think Sue bought tickets because there's a giving culture here in Juneau. We're all stuck on this "island" of 32,000 people, and we support each other- especially the youngsters who need the resources to get out once in a while. I've already attended one gala fundraiser for the local trails improvement organization, Trail Mix, and I buy raffle tickets whenever I'm asked to. It's just what you do in Juneau.

In addition to fundraising, I've also been experience a lot generosity from people as a new Juneau-ite. Folks have wanted to make sure I'm meeting people and have the right winter gear. Also, I've found that if someone has something to share, they share it!

Just yesterday, a friend of mine realized that we are the same size for skis and boots, and she straight-up GAVE me her downhill skis, boots and poles! She tore her ACL skiing a few years back, and she said she'll never downhill ski again. The skis had been collecting dust in the garage, and Timi knew I was just starting to get into skiing. "Have them! They're yours!" Man, am I lucky!? My big-time skiing cousin saw them when I got home and confirmed what I already knew- they are really nice skis and in great condition. Oh, and they fit perfectly. :)

My "new" Dynastar Outland skis & boots
I feel like I've always been a very generous person (to a fault at times), but perhaps this is more than the Juneau culture. Perhaps karma is paying me back a little right now. I'll take it.