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Stories From Our Life Together

The canoe minutes after mortal peril.

Yesterday was Jennifer and my 11th anniversary. Eleven years! In celebration here’s some random stories from our life together:

Our first kiss: Out in the gravel flats by a winding river I waited an hour for a kiss. With a steering wheel in my side. It was worth it.

Driving to Anchorage:
We used to live in Fairbanks. In the summer every so often one of us would say ‘Let’s go to Anchorage this weekend!’. (For those who don’t live in Alaska, Anchorage is about 360 miles from Fairbanks.) And so Friday night after work we would jump in the rickety old grey car with $50 and head to Anchorage. That’s $50 for everything…gas, food, etc. round trip.

At night we’d sleep in the car either at ‘safe’ parks or at rest stops outside of the city. During the day we’d wander Anchorage or the areas around it. Usually not doing anything in particular just seeing what we could see and getting into long conversations.

Of Course: Next to the Tanana River Jennifer asked me to marry her. We had only been dating for a month or so but there was no hesitation in my answer ‘Of course!’.

Mortal Peril: While exploring new territory our canoe got caught in a strong current that was headed towards a waterfall. We paddled and paddled but couldn’t fight it so I steered us towards shallower water and jumped out so that I could pull the canoe to shore. Jennifer immediately shouted ‘What are you doing?? Don’t leave me!’ She thought that I was abandoning ship and leaving her to float helplessly away.

Homeless On Weekdays: We were teenagers. I was homeless, Jennifer lived in a different town with her mother, and neither of us had a car. This meant that we’d only be able to see each other at most a couple times a month.

The solution? Jennifer decided to stay in the town I lived in during the week (because I had to work) and then I’d stay in the town she lived in on the weekends. Being homeless on weekdays means finding the best and warmest out of the way place to sleep every night. In our area that was the woods in the middle of town, the log cabin type structure sheltering picnic tables in a park, or the dugout in a little league baseball field.

Gollum: Saw Gollum scampering in the woods outside of Juneau one night.

Things we throw when we fight:

Anita -drinks, spaghetti, curry chicken tv dinner, porcelain wizard statue

Jennifer -boot, books, stuffed giraffes, cat (just kidding)

Multicolored Moose: After driving for hundreds of miles on practically no sleep, we started to see multicolored moose shortly before arriving in Anchorage.

Not Like in Alaska: On a trip to Seattle we saw bums fighting in an alley. Then we saw a bunch of crazy people protesting on a streetcorner and yelling ‘Jeeeeesus!!’ and other strange things at random folks passing by. It was awesome. (Blog coming soon.)

Unnerving: In Denali we camped next to a colony of pee eating rabbits.

More Unnerving:
We once lived in a house that was taken over by spiders. You didn’t dare sleep without pulling the blanket over your head because in the dark you never knew when a spider was dangling just centimeters from your face, until it landed on you.

Opposite Shifts: During one period early in our relationship Jennifer and I worked jobs with opposite shifts. We hardly ever got to see each other and it started to feel like we were leading seperate lives. So too stay close we got in the habit of writing letters every day and taping them to the door for the other person to find.

A picture from one of my letters to Jennifer.

An excerpt from a letter Jennifer wrote.

Counting Down: It’s been…

11 years

10 weeks apart (total)

9 charity events

8 plane trips

7 computers

6 rings

5 houses

4 cars

3 towns

2 tents

1 porcelain wizard statue

Thanks to Jennifer for helping me write all this. I love you Darling, it’s been an amazing 11 years!

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Michael Jackson Vs. Janitor (Funny)

A Michael Jackson impersonator auditioning on Britain’s Got Talent is interrupted when a janitor walks on stage…


The Song -Listen to the entire song ‘Nachna Onda Nei’ by Tigerstyle.

The Album -Download ‘The Rising’ from Amazon.

The Dancers -More about Suleman Mirza and Madhu Singh, who call their dance group ‘Signature’.

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So you have insomnia and need something to do…

What's going on inside your brain when you have insomnia.

You can’t sleep. And now you’re wandering the internet like some kind of digital zombie. I’m there all the time so I know how it is…better find something to do quick before you completely lose your mind:

Stumbleupon -Tell Stumbleupon a few of your interests, push a button, and get sent to something interesting. The more you stumble the more it learns what you like. It’s a great way to see parts of the internet that you would have never seen otherwise.

Reddit -Random interesting news, blogs, videos, and pictures.

Wikipedia Hitler Game -Go to Wikipedia and click on the random article link. The goal is to find your way to the Adolf Hitler page by clicking on links in the article.

Normal Mode: Click on any links. Limit of five clicks.

Hard mode: Clicking on dates and/or place names is not allowed. Limit of four clicks.

General notes: The back button counts as a click. This isn’t simply about finding the quickest route, but figuring it out as you go.

43Things -So you can’t sleep because your life kind of sucks and you aren’t anywhere near where you wanted to be at this point? Well get out off the couch and do something about it. Or at least make a list.

43Things is like a cross between a personal to-do list and a community blog. That might sound only slightly more interesting than a regular to-do list unusual but it works pretty well. And you can read posts from other people who are going through the same things you are. For example: insomnia.

We Feel Fine -A pshychedelic interactive trip through human feelings harvested from blog posts around the world. Yes really. And you can change the parameters for things like location, age, gender, weather, etc.

Fail Blog -Pictures and videos of random FAIL moments.

Stumble Video -The video only section of Stumbleupon. You’ll see some crazy shit.

Pixdaus -All kinds of beautiful/interesting/strange pictures.

Make a YouTube video -Make a video, upload it, then obsessively check your stats to see how many people have watched it.

Twitter Search -Spend some time eavesdropping on other people’s thoughts and conversations. Just punch in a random keyword and see what you get. For example: insomnia.

PalinAsPresident -No need to miss out on nightmares just because you can’t sleep. Step into and interact with a possible future world where Sarah Palin President.

The Onion -Sometimes fake news is more true than real news. -Stare into the eyes of people who lived 100 years ago.

Internet Memes Timeline -Take a trip down memory lane and see all those memes you worked so hard to forget.

DesktopNexus -Find a new wallpaper for your desktop. If you’re picky like me then this will kill a good two hours or so.

Scariest Infomercial Ever -Got an infomercial on in the background? Those people selling the secrets to real estate millions or hawking the amazing no-sit-up situp machine have got nothing on The Rejuvenique Electric Facial Mask. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the scariest infomercial known to man:

Musicmesh -Bored with what you’re listening to? This is a great way to find new music, just surf from album to album. It runs off of YouTube so you get to see the videos too.

Wilderness Wiki -Learn how to do all kinds of outdoors-y stuff. Lots of pictures.

FFFFound! -Satisfy your inner graphic artist.

Defrag Your Brain -If you have an hour to spare (well if you’re reading this then yes) this video will change your life. Probably. Jon Kabat-Zinn leads a session on mindfulness with a focus on creativity and technology:

One Sentence -True stories told in one sentence.

World Sunlight Map -The last resort. Watch as the sun slowly makes its way around the globe to wherever you’re at. You can count on getting sleepy as soon as those rays of light start to come in through your window. Because nothing cures insomnia like the sun coming up.