Thursday, February 28, 2008
Rondy started for me at the Gathering of the Tribes at the Egan Center on Saturday morning. I watched the native dancing and enjoyed the singing, drumming, costumes and humorous introduction of Lord and Lady Trapper (Ken Stout and Maria Downey). After getting hungry and having a tasty breakfast at the Snow Goose, I went to Darwin's Theory and met up with some of my favorite folks including Darwin, who was dressed up in a Bolero outfit, sipping beer and surveying his bar full of costumed characters. My friend Sean met me at Darwin's, then we went to see the Snow Sculptures and watch Dog Weight Pulling at Ship Creek next to the Comfort Inn. The day was warm and the events were well attended by people who were thrilled that the day was a brilliant blue. Sean and I met up with friends at The Captain Cook Crow's Nest and ran into Darwin again who had dressed down in sports wear and was enjoying the sunset from the best perch in Anchorage. The rest of the evening was filled with fireworks, drinking, mexican food and endless discussion deciding where to go and what to do. Sunday broke beautifully and Sean and I began day two at the Peanut Farm where we watched Ice Bowling. We made sure to make it to the Running of the Reindeer at 4th and D Street in the afternoon. The Reindeer Run was hysterically funny and we hope to participate next year. After the Run, we went to the 5:15 Club for cocktails and to get the full experience of one the last old time bars in downtown Anchorage. The city must be happy with the first weekend of Rondy. I'm thinking of going to the Reindeer Sausage Eating Challenge at Humpy's tonight. I'll report on how it goes.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I've promised to cover Rondy 2008 and I've attended almost every event with enthusiasm. Right now, I struggle with getting out of bed and I'm deep into the study of the Civil War. I can tell you that this Fur Rondy is amazing and I will describe the highlights soon, but today I meditate on love and long to go home. The only hitch is I don't have a home. This image of the dog in the Dodge speaks volumes about where I'm at.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Fur Rendezvous! Anchorage's new motto is "Big. Wild. Life." I can certainly attest to that. Today the 2008 Fur Rendezvous begins and I'm looking forward to the experience and plan on writing about it. Vern Johnson is called the father of Fur Rendezvous. He's described as a popular, outgoing Anchorage citizen with a deep understanding of social conditions. He decided to establish a festival that coincided with the time the trappers and miners returned to Anchorage with their winter's yield. It started in 1935 as a three-day tournament in February and featured hockey, basketball, boxing and a children's dog sled race down Fourth Avenue. Legend has it that almost the entire population of Anchorage turned out for the bonfire and torchlight parade. This is actually the second Rondy I've attended. The first one was in 2006 when I held up in the Westmark Hotel and watched the parade from my hotel room. Many things have happened since then and I believe I'm a happier person today. Alaska has taught me many things and the next two weeks will be no exception. www.Anchorage.net/events
Monday, February 18, 2008
I'm back in Anchorage and on the advice of a somewhat trusted friend, I'm relaxing and having the cocktail of my choice. This week the choice is a Makers Mark Manhattan. Done well, it takes the edge off. I recently read that the Manhattan is a Martini for whiskey drinkers. The cocktail was first served at a party at the Manhattan Club in 1874. Legend has it that Lady Randolph Churchill (Winston's mother) took the first sip and lifted her glass, toasting, "To the Manhattan." I'm working on the Broadway show 'Hairspray' which is at the Atwood Concert Hall here in Anchorage for one week. Yes, there are many wigs and I'm happy to be working. Alaska is still under my skin, but I do feel change in the wind.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I do not know how long it will take for me to absorb all that has come to pass in the last two weeks, but I know that somehow I've changed. In the subtlest of ways I've begun to understand that I've chosen all this and if it does not work out to my liking, I will not falter. I'll feel the the sadness or loss, but I will not be destroyed. I find that the boundaries are set and the limit has been understood and I go forward knowing I've followed my heart and the journey is the reward. What a wild ride!
I met Ichabod the painter at a coffee shop in New Orleans. He was like a shinning star. Our eyes met and the converstation started easily. We chatted about our art and families and immediately understood one another. He was such a refreshing sight. I loved his work that hung all over the coffee shop. He posed for me and we just coo coo'd each other until it was time for me to go. We may never meet again, but his spirit lingers in my heart.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
The streets are already clean and people are making haste back to their lives. Everyone can be a child in New Orleans. It's the wildest and craziest place I've seen. You really have to be here to get the full experience. Hotel Monteleone does not disappoint and I will come back at some point. The effects of the storm are still on people's minds and the city desperately needed a successful celebration to keep hope alive. The weather was magnificient and I couldn't really keep up. I had one too many oysters and I will not miss King Cake, but I do understand so much more about survival and the spirit of a great people.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
I went to four parades and became a bead whore! The Muses was my favorite parade so far. 'The Second Line' beats throughout the city and the people of New Orleans are some of the best in the world. The feeling of Madi Gras is infectious and tonight we keep on going.