Tag Archives: tourists

Is that a Hose in Your Pocket? The Continuation.

Again:  Names have been changed to protect the guilty.  I still love you and don’t be angry.

 

All good things to me include:

Long walks on the beach.

Drinks at sunset.

Slow dancing in the moonlight.

Dancing on table tops.

And oddly enough….

Poking things with a stick…..that don’t need to be poked.

Sometimes, I can’t help myself….

 

Sound the alarm!  Sound the alarm!

 

URGENT!

 

URGENT!

 

The Nose has returned to the Martini Bar!

 

Yes, boys and girls, get you’re sticks out cause we’re going to go poking around.

Sit down.

Strap in.

Hold on.

Order up two shots cause we’re going for a ride and it’s going to be rough.

M E O W.

(Better make that a double M E OW and get out the hand sanitizer.)

 

THE PREVIOUS evening The Nose and I spoke for a bit and should you need the details, you’ll need to consult my previous blog.

Back in the saddle and looking for love, The Nose was deploying his creepy muskrat of the ocean moves and prowling the throat of one middle aged woman sitting at the bar.  This was off-putting, yet quite intriguing as The Nose was a vile and filthy creature who was very obviously an openly gay man and this was a public place.

Have I fallen down that damn rabbit hole….yet again?  I’m down this hole so often you’d think I’d have frequent flyer privileges at this point.  Upgrades?  Why yes, thank you.

Well, how is this going to turn out?

Popcorn anyone?

Immediately, this little spit-fire (that would be me for those of you who are ADD or ADHDA or whatever and can’t follow along) has sounded the alarm The Nose from last night has returned and he is making out with a woman!

Every single person I alerted had the same response:  WHAT?!  Are you sure?  Where?  How can that be?  Making out with a woman?

All eyes were plastered to what is now a FOURSOME at the end of the bar.  Please, let me introduce to you the players, who will become oh so important for you to know:

The Nose.  The Middle Aged Woman.  The Other Man.  The Younger Girl.

Cue the mystery music….

Time marches on and we’re all having fun.  Of course, this is how it always starts right?  I look down the bar…towards the Fab Four.  The Nose…..is kissing the neck of The Other Man.  Up his neck.  His ear.  Biting his ear lobe.  Back down his neck.  They’re laughing.  Okay.  I can handle this.  It’s fine.  Two lovers.  Okay, they’re together.  Well then, who the hell are these two ladies? The Nose is now all over The Middle Aged Woman again.  The Younger Girl is giggling and laughing.  The Other Man is clearly entertained.  I’m so confused.  Maybe the four of them are traveling together?

I have no idea.

I don’t care.

I’m going back to my drinks and enjoying the evening.  Minding my own business.

Suddenly Bernice motions for me to come and join her and our friend Cece from Alaska.  Both of them look like they’ve been told they’ll have to repeat eighth grade and the teachers only speak Latin.  WTF?  Bernice grabs my arm and tells me in a very German like manner to:    S I T.    SIT   DOWN!

Like an obedient petite Pitbull, cause I’d like to think that’s what I would be if I were to be a dog, if there were such a breed, …with rhinestone studded PINK collar of course – duh – I sit immediately.

WHAT?!  WHAT?!

Bernice and Cece both without saying a word just point to the bar.  I turn my head to the left.

HOLY FUCK!  ARE YOU?!  MOTHER!  *&^%^$  *#&)!  !!!  &^%$^$!!!

Let’s just say, I don’t need to see such things….. at EYE LEVEL.

The Nose…..

I can’t.

My eyeballs have been scorched out of their sockets.

The Nose has….

I mean really….

Eye level.

My tear ducts have shriveled up into twigs.

The Nose.

The Other Man.

At MY eye level.

The Other Man….has his hand down The Nose’s jeans…..fondling his ass!

Now they’re going to switch!  Let me put my hand down the back of your jeans.

R E A L L Y….

It’s porn right in front of my eyes.  (Now if it were a hot couple, okay.  But not this.)

>>>> time out <<<<<<

>>>>> I have to put my head between my knees <<<<<<<

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Okay, so I’m all for going down the front of the pants.  Yes, I said it.  I’ll give you that.  It’s fun for you and me….especially if you can get away with it in public…..There’s all kinds of fun things to be found in the frontal regions.

M E O W to the tenth degree.

But your ass….in public?  Really?  O M G.  Did you smell that?  What was that odor?

Behind closed doors, ride that ass like it’s a fucking bucking bronco boys.   I don’t need to see this display at the bar.

Smelling salts anyone?

Oh for fuck’s sake.

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.

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Immediately, I launch myself out of my seat…..and land about 40 feet away, hyperventilating and leaving Bernice and Cece to deal with this performance which continued for quite some time.  I ordered another martini, downed it and enjoyed yet another.

About ten, fifteen, twenty minutes later…..Bernice and Cece managed to pry themselves away from their seats (I don’t know how they lasted so long in their spectator box seats – ahem) but they eventually joined the rest of us.

This is when I learned another friend of ours, having discovered The Fabulous Foursome….wanted to “push the envelope” with The Nose.

WHAT?  I mean who fucking does that?

Randy.

He can’t help himself.

He decided he wanted to see if he could he convince The Nose to buy him a drink.  Yeah sure and if The Nose says yes, Randy becomes a sex slave for the night.  THEN what the hell do you do – OMG!  The night would have lead to wild acrobatics in front of floor to ceiling mirrors and a swing above the bed.  Double bends and feet behind heads.  Hold this while I bend this over that.

Images gone wild in my head…..one moment please…..

Randy no doubt, sauntered up in his expertly designed and detailed blue suit and asked if The Nose would buy him a drink…..looking oh so cute and batting his baby-blues as only Randy can do…..making your knees go weak.

Survey says:  DENIED.

It’s okay Randy, we still love you and still think you’re cute.

Next drink is on me.

After hearing this story we turn around to see Cece at the bar chatting up The Middle Aged Woman.  Good god people, leave The Fabulous Foursome alone!  Clearly they are only into themselves and do not want our involvement into their torrid love affairs!  I mean really, do we want to be involved?  I don’t and I’ve even had my tetanus shots thank you!

Cece is chatting away, chatting away.  I mean truly, it could be the Alaskan thing.  I spent 18 years in Alaska and we do some weird shit in the winters.  So this may be some kind of weird calling…..on the high seas….but come on…..I HIGHLY doubt it…these are strangers.  We don’t swing with strangers.

Our little group by this time has broken out into a full on Super Bowl sweat.   We’ve ordered another round of martinis and are now actually patting the sweat away from under our armpits and upper lips with the tiny cocktail napkins.  WHAT is she doing?  Our imaginations are clearly getting the best of us.

When it’s gets to this point there is only one thing to do….send in The Minxy.

I march right up to the bar and lean in to hear what she’s saying.  I lean in so close I push her and her hand bag out of the way. All under the guise of trying to get the bartender’s attention.  (Now you know my trick incase I’m listening to your conversation.)

It’s a partial relief that she isn’t asking to join them.  On the other hand…..what is she promoting?  Safe sex?  I’m only catching bits and pieces:

“Just saying.  For your own good.  Of course.”

Staying just long enough to realize she isn’t making a pack to sell herself into an evening of bondage I walk back to the group and give the all clear sign:  SHE’S FINE!

Cece returns to tell us what her conversation was all about.

Apparently, Miss Manners aka Cece felt compelled to share peace and love with The Middle Aged Woman and advise her of the historical antics of The Nose from the prior evening.  Cece told her, “If you’re not careful, THIS could turn into a foursome.”

The Middle Aged Woman greatly appreciated all of Cece’s concerns and took each and every one of them to heart.  This resolved Cece of her resolve for doing the right thing and for sounding the alarm to a complete stranger.  Which by all means is the right thing to do….if you have a conscience. The MIddle Aged Woman told her there was certainly nothing to worry about.  Although they were having a great evening together – THIS is where the buck stops.

There will be NO Foursome, I am traveling with my daughter.

I do believe the next words out of Cece’s mouth were, “Another Fresca Martini Please!”

The rest of us looked at one another.  Nodded and said in unison, “to the disco!”

This was the last we saw of  The Nose

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Strangers and Pixie Dust

Please note: All names have been changed to protect the guilty. Don’t worry, I still love you.

Strangers.

They’re everywhere.

We grew up being told not to talk to them and look what happens! We grow up and start talking to them.  Just throw that spray can called CAUTION right out the window.  While you’re at it, you might as well dump COMMON SENSE down the drain and flush SELF PRESERVATION right down the toilette with your daily dump.

I mean really, it’s quite obvious.  Mr. Rodgers kicks the bucket and we’re all going to Hell in a hand basket.  Talking to strangers as if they’re as common as the pickles on our plate.  Really?  Do you know who handled that pickle?  I think not.

The Beaver would be horrified as would Big Bird if they had any inkling the kind of people we were associating with on a daily basis.  Next time you’re on line at the grocery – take a gander at your local strangers.

Creepers.

Yet, we’re addicted.

It’s no different than being told, “don’t touch that!” You simply can’t help yourself so you do it. Just to see what happens. Nine times out of ten – nothing exciting occurs. But that tenth time- yowzers!

They come in all shapes and sizes.

There are ones you wouldn’t touch with a four foot pole, while riding past them on your Orange County Chopper while going to work.

There are others you certainly wouldn’t mind being trapped on a desert island for several days with before help arrived.

Lastly there are others you routinely have to pick your lower mandible up off the floor by and can’t help but think one thing: WTF is wrong with you?!

This past week I was sailing on a cruise liner for work and had such an encounter. Seemed harmless enough at first. Similar to if a mosquito landed on you and you had no clue what it was until it poked it’s giant beak into your virgin skin to suck your blood to give itself life. THEN, you realize….this is a problem.

SMACK…..no, that’s not the sound of you ending the life of the blood-sucking mosquito.  That’s the sound of you thinking….WTF have I gotten myself into and who the hell is going to get me out of this?

Nobody.  Buck up and carry on.  You are in it.  Now get out of it.

It happened at the Martini Bar.

Enter the swaggering Johnny Boy who saunters up to me and begins to chat me up at the bar.

Great.

First thing I notice?

This man has a beak on him that I don’t think he could get inside a coffee mug if he tried.  It may be handy for dialing on iPhones.  Wow.  That’s quite the pointer you got there.  Does it act like a compass as well?  Or wait, do you do search and rescue missions?  That can’t be right, you don’t have a barrel of whiskey under your chin, but then again we aren’t in the Alps.  What the hell do I know, we’re in the Caribbean.

He begins to ask how my evening is going and how lovely I look in my dress.   Did I enjoy dinner.  Was I enjoying the cruise?  Oh the questions of common chat.

Shoot me.

Yatta.  Yatta.  Yatta.  Insert nice comments.

Then he hits me with, “So the guy you’re with….” nodding to the guy to my right…. “is that your husband?”

(Note:  said man in question is large bald man to my right)

I quietly pick up my velvet sledge hammer and casually position it above my head….ready, aim…release:

No, he’s my boss.  And that guy over there…..(and I point to a gentleman across the bar…(another larger muscled man) that’s my VP.  I’m surrounded by men who own me.  Sorry.

Blink.  Blink.  Bambi smile.  Blink.

>>>>  awkward moment goes here <<<<<

Oh, that’s too bad, the pointy nose man says.  Did I forget to mention he was baked to a crispy bacon color?  And wearing a lovely tank top by the way.  Oh yes, he was also a good stiff breeze into his Long Island Teas by now, which made the interaction all the more entertaining as we launched into Act Two:

Blink.  Blink.

He then turns to his other side and asks about the ladies sitting to our left side.

“Who are these lovely ladies?  From Sex in the City?”  Obviously, I am seeing my out approaching as quickly as the Lexington Avenue stop on the NY Metro when you’ve dozed off unexpectedly.  SNAP….got to go.

WHY, yes, aren’t they lovely ladies?  And you know what?  They’re also with me!  Don’t they look FABULOUS?

He had a name for each of the ladies and as he figured who was who, I was gathering my hand bag and martini….positioning my stilettos for lift off and preparing for a pole vault from my seated position.

He was simply amazed and at a loss for words as he approached my friend Bernice.  With the quickness of a forest mouse on crack, I hop from my bar stool and quickly join friends at the back of the bar.  Just a simple three steps away from Bernice, we’re anxiously watching the drama unfold.

From our vantage point, the Pointer was very interested.

From Bernice’s vantage point, it was quite a different engagement.

Pats on her purse.  Comments on her earrings.  Here a pat, there a comment, every where a pat ‘n comment.

Old McNose had a pat ‘n comment….e i e i o……and on this pat he had an drunken comment!  E I E I O.

Alas, we weren’t too concerned.

I, all 5’1 and filled with Pixie glitter was able to survive the brief moments of stranger commentary of The Nose.  The spectator crowd in the back figured Bernice could do the same…..and we were quite enjoying the several minutes of conversational exchange between strangers.   Actually hoping to snap a photo if possible.

Fact or fiction you decide:  It all came to a screeching halt and we were later discovered to our horror…. he wanted to sell her Boy Scout Popcorn but the deal was only good if she could trade with her stash  Ginsu Knives.  You know they cut through cans AND then tomatoes.   The Nose said he didn’t swing that way so the deal was off on the Ginsu Knives.but wait until I tell you about the Pocket Hoses he was ready to deal on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pissing Me Off

I am having one of those days.

I’m pissed off at nothing and everything.

For now, just stay out of my way.

Please.

Which gives me good motivation to write about things that piss me off, no matter if I’m having a good day or not.  For some, fingernails going down a black board can send you to insanity.  That doesn’t bother me, but this does…..I started to pull together thoughts for this blog yesterday when we were at Home Depot.

I needed to purchase a new toilet seat and wanted to get in and out of the store.  Heading in I start towards the bathroom fixture area.  Down the aisle I go and I hear following me:

smack

smack

smack

smack.

I turn my head just enough to get a good peripheral look at the target.  Just shoot me. If you don’t know how to properly wear your shoes, I suggest duct taping them on.  (Can you get any lazier? Only if paired with your pajama pants.)  We’re in Home Depot, they have an entire aisle devoted to adhesives, certainly I could find something to help keep your damn shoes on your feet.

Smack.

Smack.

Smack.

Smack.

They were slip on shoes, worn like fucking flip flops.  If I don’t get away from you, I am going to beat you with your shoe.  She was walking around like some dazed and confused twenty something….wondering where the designer jean aisle was located.   Wrong store, you have to go to Seattle to find that aisle.  In the meanwhile she was dazzled by all the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and certainly wondering to herself where the DJ was located.

Needless to say I hurried along, leaving my better half behind.  I don’t have time for this today.  Which leads me to when men don’t tie their hiking boots.  A completely different sound:

clomp

clomp

clomp

clomp.

Note: If you’re wearing the hiking boots for ankle support you are missing the mark.  In high school it may have been cool to wear those yellow construction boots with the laces undone, but that was the past.

Hey!

Welcome to the present!

You are impressing nobody but yourself.

The other thing that does me in every time I hear it are the shufflers.  You know what I’m talking about.  At least the smackers and clompers are some what picking up their feet.  Although, as history has proven, this is not always the case.  The shufflers aren’t doing anything but just that…shuffling.  Dragging their feet across the ground.

Oh, they’re so heavy, these feet of mine.

If you can’t keep the flip flops or slip on shoes on your feet and walk like a proper homo-sapien, I suggest you purchase different shoes.  Let me guess, when they showed you how to tie shoes in kindergarten you were out sick….well guess what?  Velcro.  Buy shoes with Velcro straps and do us all a favor.

The only thing worse than a flip flop shuffler is one wearing those idiotic Nike flip flops that look like shower shoes while wearing socks.  It’s snowing outside, invest in some boots or sneakers (with Velcro).  If it’s summer and you’re wearing socks with your flip flops, then I suggest you go see your doctor as it’s obvious you have a circulation issue in your extremities.

If there was any way for feet to look stupid….all of the above would be it.

After Home Depot, I had to exchange some glue at JoAnn’s Fabric.  One cashier working and about six people in line.  Sigh.  Another cashier comes up and says she can help the next person in line at the register to the left.

Done.

A third cashier comes up and walks up to me and says she can assist the next person (that would be ME) at the register to the right. Wouldn’t you know it the woman behind me thought she meant HER?!

Okay, I admit it…. I am short.  On a good day, I can stretch out to a 5’2.  Don’t think my height disadvantage means you are going to walk on me.  I will hip check you into the magazine rack.  Not to mention my sharp, pointy elbows can be weapons.  When necessary, I will bite your ankles, no doubt about it.

I immediately blocked Ms. I’m Next with my full featherweight division self and proceeded to exchange my glue.

Ms. I’m Next is a gum chewer.

Like a cow chewing it’s cud.

Or Mrs. Pickles licking her coochie.

It’s still there and I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.  Keep it to yourself.  I am not a willing participant.  Christ.

Chew with your mouth closed.  I don’t care what you’re eating.  Nor do I need to see it.  My better half chews gum like he’s a lion with peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth.  Every time he starts I look at him and say the same thing:

“You’re killing me with the gum.”

Needless to say he knows to get rid of it.  Immediately.

Smart boy.

Last, but not least,  one thing that has baffled me for years….

My office has been in a building with public restroom on the same floor as our office.  It’s a restroom that quite a few tourists visit during the summer season.  The women’s room has three stalls.

I can understand if you have had to pee so bad your back teeth are floating.  When you finally hit the pot you let out a “whhhhewwwww.”  What a relief.  A near miss of an accident.  I’ve been there myself.  With a bladder the size of a lima bean, you can’t help but have to visit the Water Closet on a regular basis.  So I completely understand that concept.

What kills me is the obvious problem women are having with pulling pants up or down, tearing off toilet paper, wiping butts and putting on coats.  The sounds associated with those activities are unbelievable.  You would think they’re at the gym and told to do ten sets of leg presses with 200 pound weights.  Or they just missed seeing a baby in a stroller go by on the sidewalk.  Better yet they were told to hold their breath for as long as they could and it’s now coming out like a burst balloon.

You get a woman in each of those stalls and it’s like a 3 part harmony.  Good grief.

Once the summer season returns, I don’t even bother with the restroom on our floor, I go up one flight of stairs and use that one.  Not only is it quiet but thankfully…there’s never a paper towel stuck to the door handle, water left running in the sink or trash on the floor.

People, you’re exhausting me.  I think this could be a form of torture.

With that being said, I need to return the toilet seat to Home Depot – heaven help the poor soul who has to assist me.  Just let me do the exchange and be on my way.  After that, I’m stopping at Costco.  If I want two of those cheese samples today, you best just hand them over lady.

Trust me.

Back away from the cheese samples…and nobody will get hurt.

Really, This Is Dressed Up!

The other day I was walking through our grocery store, Fred Meyers.  If you aren’t familiar with the store, you can literally walk in one side and buy your produce and deli items….exit out the other side with your new firearm and ammo.

I would say “fresh” produce but that would be a big fat lie.  Due to the travel time to Juneau, Alaska nothing arrives fresh.   Recently I’ve started to use asparagus as bows on gift bags….bendy and decorative… yet can be recycled into the evening’s meal.  You mean peppers aren’t supposed to be wrinkled up?

Anyhow, I pass by a guy talking on his cell phone and hear him say:

“I’m tired of dating girls that dress like men.”

Welcome to life in Juneau, Alaska.

I smiled to myself and reflected on all the cute clothes I have in my closet.  Strike that.  Closets….multiple.  God bless Macy’s and my dear friend Ginny….who keep me looking cute.  Big relief to know I’m not in the, “dresses like a man” category.  Then I realized, I was wearing my Carhartt jacket.    Well hell.  It’s warm.  It’s purple.  At least I wasn’t wearing my Carhartt pants at the same time.

In Juneau, dressing up means wearing your freshest flannel shirt, cleanest Carhartt jeans and newest pair of Xtra Tuff boots.  By newest, I mean the ones without the duct tape.  You could walk into any wedding, funeral or religious service wearing a combination of the above and fit in perfectly.

Sometimes, I can’t help myself.  Just have to do it….be a normal local.  Please note, my humorous foot attire for a winter ball I attended a few years ago.  Don’t worry, I did bring my heels and changed into them after the photo.  Only in Alaska…  And yes, quite a few Alaskan brides have had their photos snapped wearing these oh so attractive boots.

Honestly, you could walk into the fanciest restaurant in town and nobody would blink an eye.  Actually, that’s a lie.  Some people would blink an eye and would be shocked.  Those would be…

Tourists.

They’d be wondering what the hell was wrong with you.

Certainly they came to dinner in their linen pants (because it’s summer and doesn’t Juneau have summers like everywhere else in the world….warm?) and breezy resort shirt while reviewing travel guides and local tour brochures.  Here you come with your lover and look like you just got off a fishing boat.  The tourists are dumbfounded while sitting there all prim and proper, looking down their noses at you…. saying under their breath: This is a linen table cloth restaurant and they let anyone in here – can you believe it?  Those people look like they just hiked in from the back woods.  Must be a homeless sympathy meal.

I’m serious.

Recently, I was talking with a friend who had visited Alaska for the first time this year.  They commented on all the reality shows featuring Alaska now.  You name it, there’s a show about it.  Yep, people still mine for gold, fish for crab, drive on ice, get arrested, mush dogs and survive on the bounty of Mother Nature.  My friend commented how apparently some of the people in Juneau were obviously living off the land.  Because they resembled the people in the reality show:

Tough.

Scary.

Hard-core.

Only in town to stock up on supplies before heading back out to their cabin hidden away inside the forest or out into the sea for the next big catch.

Hate to break it to you my friend, those are just the regular locals.  Scruffy around the edges.  Yes, it’s true, even the women are scruffy.

I didn’t think much about the attire of our locals until I overheard that guy’s phone conversation.  Then I began to seriously look around at the people near me.  For example the other evening we went to a concert in town.  “Break of Reality.”  They were exceptional by the way.  Before departing the house, we both changed into nicer attire.

He wore a nice sweater and jeans.  I had on a cute top with jeans and heels.  As we sat in our seats, enjoying our glasses of wine I took a moment to survey the fashion scene.

What color flannel did you need?  We’ve got it all covered.  It was a virtual sea of flannel shirts.  Red.  Green.  Blue.  Mustard.  Black.  Amazing.  Quite a few women were dressed in what you’d normally wear to participate in outdoor sports.  Fleece tops and black cotton exercise pants.  Really?

On the other hand, there are people that show up to business functions and you can’t make up what they’re wearing for professional attire.  Recently I attended a function where a lady, who I was unfamiliar with, arrived wearing:

Purple sparkly sweater.

Sparkly black stocking.

Mid-calf black boots.

>> drum roll please <<

Black spandex exercise shorts.

Crap, now we must have an Alaska reality show about “What the Hell NOT to Wear.”

Yes, I will take that glass of wine now, thank you.  Did she even pass a mirror on her way out of the house?  What magazine said that was the new look for the 2012 winter season?  That’s at the polar opposite of wearing your pajama pants out into public.  And by public, I’m saying you’re where other people can see you, not just on your front porch waiting for your dog to piddle in the morning.

Since we don’t have a mall – there are no make up counters.  The concept of enhancing your features is akin to suggesting you reuse toilet paper. WTF?  Luckily, the salon where I get my hair cut has a great make up line and my hair stylist did my make up on my last visit, while my hair was “processing.”

There was another lady getting her make up done next to me.  She was amazed at what a little eyebrow definition can do.  I told her, the one thing I never leave the house without are my eyebrows!  Thank you colored powder and pencils!

Note:  It is the one facial feature I can choose to create every day.  Angry eyes.  Crazy eyes.  Shocked eyes.  Thin, thick, inverted V shape….endless personalities to choose from every day.

At the salon, I bought new foundation, eye shadow, eye liner and lip gloss.  The lady next to me was paralyzed with fear about the idea of purchasing an eye brow pencil.  “It’s just so dramatic.”  No, it’s just enhancing what you’ve got already.  Just like if we lived in a warmer climate, I’d be wearing tank tops that show off my boobs.  Similar, but different.

I am a girlie girl.  I like to get manicures and pedicures.  I like my hair to be done.  I like the color pink, fluffy things, glittery things and sparkly things (which could also qualify me to be a magpie…)  I enjoy dressing up and was probably living back in the day when corsets were a regular fashion necessity and Marie Antoinette was eating too much cake.

I’d wear giant dresses with crinolines and trains, silk stockings, button boots, powdered wigs and painted lips every day if I could.  Ruffles, pleats, layers and layers….oh my.  I’d need a separate carriage just for my dress when going out on the town.  Which leads me to the Wearable Art Show.  It’s the biggest fundraiser for our local arts council, raising tens of thousands of dollars.  For the last 5 years I have designed and modeled an outfit on stage.

Each year, my outfit gets bigger and bigger.

And let’s not forget my love of huge fake eyelashes, wigs and the 6 inch acrylic hooker heels.  Yes, I did purchase my last pair in a porn shop in Vegas.  They’re perfect!

Needless to say, it is that time of year where I have to start creating my next fashion statement.  So many people want to know the who, what, how, why….about this process, I thought I’d share my process with you through my blog.

I have a few videos of my performance from the previous years on You Tube – hope you’ll check them out and see what a great treat is coming up this February!  I can’t wait.

http://www.youtube.com/user/littleminxyAlaska/videos?view=0

Currently, I’m pondering my design.  As always, it will be a dress.  As always, made from throw away items.  And I’m thinking Marie Antoinette will be making a come back this year.  As for the style, I’ve got my history of fashion books down and tabbed…ideas are swirling around in my head like a vodka and tonic……

Put on your seat belt….we’re ready for the countdown!

It’s Either This or That.

Most people, on their days off, prefer to escape and relax by enjoying the outdoors, shopping, being creative, cheering on their favorite sports team or who knows what.  It offers a break from reality and a chance to let go and be yourself.

If you want to dress up like a Storm Trooper and pretend your fighting the Empire – knock yourself out.

If you want to dress up like a Forest Fairy and save the dying Elm Trees – have at it.

If you want to pretend you are the next James Bond, looking for the drop at your local Starbucks – why not.

I, however, enjoy something completely different.  On Wednesdays this summer, instead of doing the obligatory household chores and warding off the evil empire of dust bunnies…I chose to work at Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau, Alaska.

Located right on the docks, next to the parking garage and library…Tracy’s little crab shack  services thousands from May thru September.  Having known Tracy for years, I thought it would be fun to work one day a week for her.  I wasn’t wrong.  This is my second year as the beer wench…..and I love it!

There are two shacks….I’m in shack one.  I’ll take your order, your money and provide your beverages…beer, wine or soda.  Shack two cooks up your crab and brings it out to you.

 

How do I describe Alaskan King Crab?  Nom, nom, nom…..that pretty much covers it.

What’s on the menu?  King crab of course!  Her award winning crab bisque….

Yes, I did say award winning.  Her bisque won third place in the Rhode Island Chowder Cook Off and is the People’s Choice of Seattle and Anchorage.  HA!  Take that Food Network Iron Chefs!  I am of the mindset that you could just cover me in the bisque…I’d be content to lick it off myself.  It’s amazingly good.

There’s also silver dollar sized crab cakes.  Regular or coconut.  You could have Snow Crab, Dungeness (when in season), Alaskan prawns or scallops.  Each and every item is delicious.  You can’t go wrong.

What’s great about The Shack is the reputation.  People come from all over.  “Friends of ours from Belgium said we had to come here.”  Or “The Captain of the ship said this was a must have lunch.”  It’s fantastic.  Of course, you also never know what to expect…

I found it’s best to show up to work each Wednesday as frisky as a feline on premium catnip.  It came in especially handy when the husband, with his camera in hand, couldn’t stop looking at me while his wife was ordering.  Finally, he broke down and said:

“Do you mind if I take a picture of your chest?”

Sure!  I thrust my oranges out there and he snaps a photo of me.  Why?  Well, duh.  My shirt says, “Best Legs in Town!”  Of course, he wasn’t taking a picture of my legs was he?  Hummmm, weird.  Chalk that up to the strangest moment yet in life.

Tracy’s is so popular, we get HUGE lines.  I am talking enormous.  You would think the latest Tickle Me Elmo was being released at the shack – that’s how big the lines are.  If you don’t believe me, check out my photo below.   Yes, it’s definitely worth the wait. Someone could offer fortune telling services while folks wait in line to get to me….they could make a coke dealer’s bank roll in 30 minutes of searching the tourists’ future.

The beauty of a line, is it gives you ages to decide what you want to eat.  Would you like:

A King Crab leg?

Half a Snow Crab?

Dungeness – if in season?

Bucket of King Crab?

Bisque?

Crab cakes?

Scallops?

Prawns?

The menu, is very easy.  However, I’ll be damned if people don’t wait until they get up to me before they even look at the menu.  One of three things occurs when they reach the front of the line:

1.  They know exactly what they want and rattle it off like a Drill Sargent.

2.  They want to know what I recommend.

3.  They haven’t looked at anything and can’t make up their mind.

Those who are in the first group are fabulous.  Ring them in, get their beverage and off they go.  If ordering their meal was an Olympic event, they’d get gold.  No messing around.  Straight to the point.

Those who need recommendations come in two groups.  Those who, after hearing your recommendation say, “Perfect!  We’ll go with that.”  And the doubters.  You make your recommendation, based on their group size, how hungry they are and your gut instinct.

Their response?

“Is it good?”

Okay. Seriously?  I mean really?

I’m looking at you now out of the corner of my eye.  Did you just ask me for a recommendation and then ask if it was good?  No, I’m suggesting you eat crap. Are you kidding me?  Why ask for a recommendation and then doubt what I recommend?

Let’s take a moment here and ponder which one of us is the professional?

Uh, right.

I am…so listen up.

However, it is the third group of people that absolutely, positively, without a doubt, drive me insane.  I’m talking like crazy Norman from The Bates Motel….nuts.  These are the ones that cause me to drink, chew my nails, roll my eyes and curse silently under my breath.

“We just don’t know what to order.”

Alright.  Let’s do this.

You’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes and you still don’t know what to order?  It’s a one page menu for crying out loud!  There’s fewer items on our menu than on a McDonald’s lunch special.

Well, I hope you’re hungry for crab, cause that’s what we’ve got!  (Note: It’s helpful when you can flip a little bit of shit their way as part of the ambiance.)  This declaration only leads to one question:

What kind of crab do you have?

We have King, Snow and Dungeness – explaining the differences between the three along the way.

Huh.  (Imagine far off gaze, as if I suggested marshmallows tasted like motor oil….really?)

I don’t know what to get.  What do you suggest?

And there’s a big speech I could bore you with about Combo Number 1 and Combo Number 2 – but I won’t do that.  Most people decide the Combo 1 is perfect for what they’re looking for and we’re off and running….god bless them.

Still, there’s others that are completely in a stupor.  These folks tend to travel in groups.  Which is probably smart as I don’t know how they’d survive otherwise.  The conversation usually goes something like this ….when dealing with a gaggle of clueless and bewildered diners:

“What do you recommend?”

Well, it depends on how hungry you are.  The number 1 combo is very popular, it’s like a sampler.  You get a King Crab leg, some bisque and 4 crab cakes.

“Does anything come with it?”

No, but you can order a side of rice or cole slaw.

“You have french fries?”

No, just rice or cole slaw.

“What about the bisque.  Anything come with that?”

A roll and butter.

“What kind of roll?”

A dinner roll.

“Anything else?”

No.  But you can order a side of rice or cole slaw.

“Ah huh.”

>> silence <<

“I can order a single King Crab Leg.  Is that the same as the King Crab Leg in the number 1 combo?”

Yep!  Same kind of leg.

“You just get extra stuff in the combo?”

Yep.

“Do you have chicken burgers?”

No.

“Anything other than crab?”

Well we have prawns and scallops.

“I don’t like seafood.”

Okay, well there’s a few other food options along the pier here that may interest you then.

A few weeks ago I had a group of four little ladies who were traveling together.  OMG.  Just shoot me.  This isn’t rocket science – it’s crab.  There’s like 12 options on the menu.  PICK ONE!

“What does the bisque come with?”

It comes with a roll.

“Nothing else?”

No.

“What about the crab cakes.  What do they come with?”

Just the cakes.  You can order rice or slaw on the side.

“Well if I get the crab leg, what comes with that?”

A roll.

“No fries or anything?”

No.

“But the combo comes with 1 King leg, bisque and cakes.  Does it come with anything else?”

No.

“Fries? Or anything?”

Still no.

“Well, if I order the bisque and the crab roll sandwich, what comes with that?”

A dinner roll.

“Oh.  Nothing else?”

No.

At this point I am taking a pencil and slowly carving out my third eyeball.  JUST PICK SOMETHING PEOPLE!  This isn’t rocket science.  It’s crab. What don’t you get?

Tracy’s

King

Crab

Shack

Then the topper are the ones that run you through the 1001 questions and then say,

“You know, I’ll just get a burger and fries.”

We don’t serve those.

“WHAT? You don’t sell burgers and fries?”

No.  It’s a crab shack.

“You mean you only serve seafood?  I don’t like seafood.”

Okay.

That’s it.

Put a fork in me.  I’m done.

I patiently ask  if they see a rock on the counter where they’re standing.  Of course, they don’t.  Oh, damn.  I’ve lost the rock I like to beat my head against.

NEXT!

They’re Baaack! Here Come the Tourists!

Oh the joys of summer in southeast Alaska.

Rain.  Clouds.  Rain.  Bears.  Clouds.  Cruise ships.  Rain.  Tourists.  Rain.

The first cruise ship of the season arrived into Juneau today.  I have worked in tourism since cell phones were non-existent and am in love with this industry.  Where else can you work and experience the feelings of happiness, envy, exasperation, shock and awe all in one afternoon?  Some days those feelings, and much more, are experienced within just an hour of trying to dispatch tours on the pier.

Tourists.

They’re a breed on to their own.  Not so much Homo sapiens but more like an alien life form.  How many times has someone asked me what port they’re in, what city, what country….too many times to count.  Really, they should have an inkling of where they’re going before they take off from the home port.  It amazes me how often people are stunned to learn Alaska is cold.

Really?

Yes, you see a majority of our guests believe Alaska is right off the coast of California and Mexico.  No, I’m not kidding.  Have you looked at a map of the United States over the last decade?  Here, I’ll share my bottle of Tums with you.

The flip side is they’re surprised to see we don’t live in igloos and actually have electricity.  But then are disappointed to learn there’s no gift shop on the glacier.

Have you ever argued with a tourist? Let me tell you, as a local, I know what I’m talking about.  Let’s see, I’ve lived in this town for the last 17 years and can guarantee you that really IS downtown Juneau across the street.  Nope, we’re not hiding a sprawling metropolis somewhere under the glacier – this is it.

One of the things I tell my guests, when I have to drive a 40′ motor coach, is first of all pick your jaws up off the floor.  I know I’m short but I’m big enough to ride the rides at Disney World, therefore I’m tall enough to drive the bus.  Second, really….you’re giving me a complex with taking my picture as I stand here talking to you.  Lastly, whatever you do, don’t blink as we leave town. If you blink you will miss downtown Juneau – guaranteed.

I was walking down the pier this afternoon and the gentleman in front of me did a double take when the police officer walked past.  He stopped so short I nearly walked right up his back side.  Yep.  We’ve got walking police officers – crazy isn’t it?

Since I’m a people watcher, I love tourists.  The outfits.  The families.  The upset couples.  The crew members coming off the ship.  The outfits.  I love our guests who are trying to blend in with the locals.  Wearing snowsuits and ski suits does not make you a local.  Not kidding – I’ve seen it.  Whole families bundled up like they’re headed out into the Antarctic wilderness.  Or the fur coats and high heels.  No, you can’t wear those heels on the glacier.  While you think they’ll act like an ice axe, I’m here to tell you they’re going to break your ankle.  Both of them.

It’s 65 degrees out.  The ear muffs, scarfs, gloves and downy coat makes me sweat.  The brand new hiking boots kill me – cause apparently we’re all about rugged dirt roads and mud puddles.

The other thing that gets me are the picture takers.  Have you ever wondered what people are taking a photo of?  I do.  I’ve stood behind people trying to figure out what they’re taking photos of and have given up.  Is it an eagle?  Nope.  The tram-car?  No.  A waterfall?  Notta.  What the heck is it then?  An old semi trailer and trees.  Really?  And what’s with the license plate photos?  I never understood this and yet see it all the time.  Yep.  It says Alaska.  They’re not even fabulous looking.  I guarantee you walk through a parking lot and you’ll see someone bending over to snap a photo of our blue and yellow plates.  Weird, but it takes all kinds.

Cheers to another season of fun and head scratching moments.  I can’t wait!

 

 

 

A Rant on Tourists

I live in a tourist town.  We have tourists from May thru September.  Most of them arrive on giant floating cities.  Some arrive via metal tubes that shoot through the air.

It doesn’t matter how they get here.

Either way they arrive….

Some where.

Some how.

They’ve lost all their smarts and have become clueless.

Is there an alien space craft that hoovers over these crowds of people and sucks out their abilities to think reasonably before they land?  Or is it something in the water served on board?  Don’t eat the tiny bag of peanuts, it’s contaminated with brain enzymes that will eat away your sense of logic for the next 7 days….

Here’s my list of current concerns with the tourists.  I thought about putting it in a David Letterman style of list, but they’re all just as equally aggravating to me.  It doesn’t matter where you’re at, all tourists are the same, the blind leading the blind.  Remember, when you go on vacation – don’t forget to pack your brain – I’d put it in my carry on if I were you.

1.  Know where you’re going.  Alaska, is not part of Canada.  Nor, are we part of Russia.  Alaska is not off the California coastline, near Hawaii.  Responding to a question with “I don’t know.  My spouse arranged the trip.  Where are we today?  Kansas?”  No, Dorothy, not Kansas….and don’t make me break out my flying monkeys….they haven’t had breakfast yet today.”

1.  What’s with the shoes?  Next time you go on a vacation, check out the shoes.  90% of the people on vacation buy new shoes to wear on the trip.  For Alaska, that means they buy big, chunky, heavy soled hiking boots.   After all, they’re coming to Alaska where there’s only dirt trails, igloos and wild native people running around.

Apparently, there’s a lot of hiking to be done between the diamond store and the tanzanite store and the gold nugget shop and the t-shirt store and the trinket shop and the kettle corn stand and the opal store and the bus tour excursion and the restaurant and the….

When you go on vacation, don’t you want your feet to be happy?  Why wear something that’s going to make you miserable.  Oh, wait!  I get it!  You’re trying to fit in with the locals!  Ah ha.  Right.

(I do have to share one story where I had a couple sitting in the front seat of the bus who were going on a tour, that I was driving the transfer for.  Both the husband and wife were decked out in the latest hiking clothing, freshly pressed, brand new hiking boots and jungle hats.  Each was frantically tapping away on their iPhones.  When I announced the parking area we’d be stopping in for their tour would be muddy, they both instantly looked up at me and curled their lips back in disgust.  I nearly said something – but held back.  Isn’t that the reason you’re dressed the way you are?  To experience a true Alaskan adventure?  Apparently not.)

1.  Make a Decision!  I work in a building, that has several small retail shops on the first two floors.  Tourists, always, always, always stop in front of the door in a far off daze….confused as to what to do next.  Here’s a hint:  either you’re in or your out.  Which one is it?  There’s not revolving door here like at the Trump Tower so you only have to choose a direction….are you going inside to shop or continuing on the sidewalk?  Either way, make a decision and move it!

1.  Share the Sidewalk.  Without fail, daily walks up and down the street outside my office have become a battle ground that would be worthy of a competition.  People are lolly-gaging around, looking every which way but where they’re going.  If you’re a party of three and see someone approaching you – move over and share the sidewalk.  If you’ve just run into Marge and Steve and want to talk about tonight’s dinner options, then move over to the side so other folks can pass by you easily!

Why is it people feel the need to own it all?  Then they’re annoyed when you go around them by saying, “excuse me.”

Note to yourself:  Rude is  not sharing the sidewalk.  Especially with the locals.

1.  Watch the Umbrella!  The primary use of an umbrella is to keep you dry.  The secondary use of an umbrella is to gouge out people’s eye balls.  Note:  when raining and you’re walking under blocks of canopied sidewalk – an umbrella is unnecessary.  Secondary note:  It’s all fun and games until someone looses an eyeball.

If you did your vacation destination research, you’d already know southeast Alaska is part of the Tongass National RAINFOREST.  Which means…it rains….a lot.  Showing up unprepared and either having to wear a cheap trash bag rain poncho or better yet, tying a plastic bag over your head is inexcusable.  Did you know, you can actually purchase rain jackets?  Complete with a hood!  At a decent price!  They come in any color to match your hair/eye/lipstick color? Better yet, guess what?  You can by these in your home town and even online!  Shocking, isn’t it?!  Choose the rain jacket – forget the trash bag.

Note to yourself:  Yes, you can even get matching his and her’s rain jackets!  Amazing what clothing manufactures have thought of these days.  You say your husband will only wear this one men’s style?  Easy fix for you! Just get the man’s version in a smaller size for yourself.  Problem solved.

1.  Picture Taking.   Although there may be 4 giant cruise ships in town on the day you are visiting.  Although the sidewalks may be packed with tourists carrying souvenir bags.  Although people are stopping left and right to take pictures of our quaint town.  This town is still a fully functioning city.  Complete with people who work full time jobs.  The cars, going down the road…guess what…they’re real!

Stopping to take a picture in the middle of the street is stupid.  This isn’t Disneyland.  When you turn around and realize there’s a 2 ton pick up truck waiting patiently to continue down the street, don’t look annoyed – they could have run you down.  Did they honk the horn at you?  Oh, wait, they did….because you had to take more than one picture from that spot….and you’re holding up local traffic!

1.  Crosswalks.  We have a multitude of cross walks and two situations commonly occur at these locations.  Either, people think the crosswalk automatically forces cars to stop immediately – or they believe it’s a great spot to take a picture.  In either case, the visitor isn’t looking – they step right off the sidewalk….into the middle of oncoming traffic, completely unaware of the car that had to come to a screaming halt to avoid hitting them.

Note to yourself:  When at a crosswalk, you still have to stop and look both ways before crossing.  There’s not an invisible barrier shield in place to protect you.

Second note to yourself:  When you are 3/4 of the way across the street – KEEP GOING!  Stopping 5 feet from the other sidewalk – is not the sidewalk!  You are still IN THE STREET and likely to get hit.

1.  Did you know?   When you step off the curb, you are in the street?  Did you know cars go back and forth on the street?  Did you know you can get killed or hit by a car when you blindly step off the curb, into the street, in front of a car?

Note to yourself:  When planning to step off the curb, into the street, you might want to see what kind of vehicle is about to pass you.  You know, to avoid that run down feeling.

1. P’s & Q’s.   Kindness matters.  People will go out of their way to help a person who shows a hint of common courtesy and good manners.  Did it every occur to you to say thank you to your tour bus driver?  How about offering your front seat to the lady with a walking disability?  Or waving to the local who kindly stopped for you in the middle of the street – as you darted out from between parked cars?  The local who explained to you how to get to a particular restaurant – did you say thanks?  Or just turn around and walk away?  Right.

1.  You Know What They Say About Assuming.  Just because someone is driving a tour bus, working as a crossing guard, serving patrons in a bar or volunteering in a visitor center….doesn’t mean they are the uneducated and low-life people you are assuming they are…since that is the job they are doing.  On the contrary my friend.  Chances are those people are company managers, business owners, office managers, retired military, school teachers and other respected community members.  Even if they weren’t, it doesn’t give you the right to think any less of them – and disregard their kindness when they assist you.

We do these jobs because we enjoy them.  We enjoy sharing our love for Alaska with visitors every day.  We don’t expect much, but an occasional thank you and appreciative nod goes along way.

Note to yourself:  Hey!  Saying thank you, please or just hello – it won’t hurt me and might even brighten my day a bit!

1.  Don’t Insult the Locals.  I work in tourism.  I deal with tourists on a regular basis.  Nothing aggravates me more than when someone who thinks I can’t hear them says: “Who would want to live here?  I could never live here.  I wouldn’t be caught dead living here.”

Good news!

You don’t have to worry about living in my community!

We only let people with a positive attitude, sparkling personality,  witty sense of humor, appreciation for the beauty of Mother Nature, the easy going attitude of whatever Mother Nature throws at us, we can handle, the ability to handle hurricane force winds on a seasonal basis without blinking an eye, common sense when driving in the snow, adjustment to living with wild animals such as bears – knowing they can rip our heads off therefore approaching to pet them is not a smart move, cook a mean dinner and throw a good right hook when necessary…. into this state.

Don’t worry! You are safe.  We have already voted you off the island.  See ya!

1.  Can You Hear Me Now?  My number one pet peeve of all time is “don’t waste my time.”  Hate it.  Drives me insane.  It’s simple.  My time is just as valuable as your time.   When I explain to you, in great detail, how to get back to your ship using the city shuttle.  I’m actually, literally, POINTING out where you need to go — and you turn around 3 minutes later to ask me the same question – you’re an idiot and shouldn’t have gotten off the ship.  Don’t worry, I’ll contact the village and let them know you’re okay.