Posted by: SisuGirl | July 5, 2008

Box of Chocolates

This post is going to have a bit of everything in it.  Some bites you will love and wish there was more, other bites will make you screw up your lips and want to spit.  Please dont spit 🙂

#1)  Anchorage.  I am here and I pretty much like it.  It is, of course, a much bigger city than I have lived in in quite some time and there is always the learning curve of finding your way around, not to mention finding where things are and where they are not.  My first full day here was spent walking down a main road looking for a natural foods grocery store that I ‘knew’ was there.  So said the website.  5 hours and about 10 miles later, I was back at home, the proud owner of a new bike, bought at the furthest point in my journey at a bike sale at REI.  No, I didnt find the grocery store that day.  I found it the day after thankingyouverymuch and it wasnt where the site said by a long shot.  About half a mile down a different road but I had been relatively close.  AND right across the street is an Asian market where I found kim, go chi jang, kalbi meat, nang muen noodles, even sushi…the only thing missing was the panchan (side dishes) to end my Korean food fast.  Lucky for me, I met someone in the store while I was looking around who asked me if I knew what to do with the go chi jang (hot pepper paste) and the kalbi meat.  When I told them yes, I did but I was still looking for duk (rice paste cakes cut on the bias) for duk gook and panchan to complete my meal, her face lit up and she told me to go to this different market about 4 miles away.  Today I went and I found everything that I was missing, along with some Korean squash, tofu and a few of my favorite panchan and of course, some excellent kimchi.

Anchorage is fantastic for bikers.  EVERY intersection that I have come to and seen has had a ramp in the pavement to allow for smooth crossing.  Every one.  At all big roads there is a pedestrian crossing sign and the buttons to push are right there for bikers to get to easily.  Both bikers and pedestrians are good to each other and people treat the sidewalk just like a street-pass on the left, walk on the right side of the ‘road’ and look out for others.  Now, I am usually not an advocate for riding on the sidewalk.  A bike is a vehicle and there needs to be a safe place for people to walk.  That said, I have never lived in Anchorage where there are a LOT of cars and more than enough room on the sidewalks for pedestrians AND bikers alike.  There needs to also be a safe place for people to cycle and considering the daylight hours in the winter time and all the snow, this is a great compromise on the part of all people who use it.

I’ve probably put 30 miles on my bike already and I haven’t had to move into the street once.  A good thing too because some of the drivers here need to go back to drivers ed.  Its not fair to say that its an Alaskan thing or an Anchorage thing…all drivers need to be reminded once in a while that they are not the most important thing out there.  For example, I have seen 3 firetrucks and ambulances going out and all 3 times I have seen people staying right where they were, driving as if they could neither here the sirens nor seen the flashing lights.  MOVE OVER PEOPLE!!!  One guy and yes, it was a guy, stayed right in his lane and kept right on going like nothing was happening.  If you were in the back of the ambulance or if your house was on fire, you would want the emergency service people to get there ASAP so move your rear so they can get there for someone else!!  Also, look for bikes.  I look out for you, you have to look for me too.  I have the right of way when crossing the street, just like a person walking and even if you know you are bigger and trust me, I know you are too, I still have the right of way!  Getting off the phone helps too, especially you, the idiot in the explorer with your bass up, tinted windows and your one hand on the wheel while holding the phone…LOOKING  AT IT TO DIAL AND THEN TALKING.  People like you make me scared for humanity.  Everyone one else who cut me off or tried to, you all can wait for me to get out of your way before making a right turn, trust me, I’m faster than you think and you will still get wherever you are going faster and without helmet hair or fashionable bike shorts.  Unless you like that kind of thing on purpose.

I finished my first sock from the Otter, my own colourway and I love them!  There is very little striping/pooling and I couldnt be happier with the yarn and how it all knit up.  So soft and pretty…I want the 2nd sock NOW.  I will cast on for them tonight while having a movie marathon and Korean food feast 🙂

Pictures…Yes, I took some and yes I have them…just not on the computer yet.  I think that I left my USB cable in Pelican and have to get a new one on Monday.  And I will, I swear because I want  you all to see what I have done, where I live, what I am eating and what I bought too.

Speaking of buying things…Thursday was a, um, shopping spree day for me.  Ok, I haven’t bought clothes in 4 years and had nothing, seriously NOTHING, that I could wear as professional gear and nothing that wasn’t jeans, long sleeve t-shirt or sweatshirts.  So I went to JC Penneys and, get this, HAD FUN SHOPPING.  Really.  Truly, I did, I swear I did.  For the first time ever.  I loved the way everything fit, the colours, the styles.  Part of the fun of the fitting is that I was buying size 12 and looking very good but also was that they style was very me and very perfect.  A-line skirt that hits right below my knee with a fitted top and whatever shoes that I want…perfect.  So I got a few skirts in more neutral colours and black and white so I can wear any top too.  Shoe wise, well, I needed a dress pair that would go with everything and I know what I like…so I bought a new pair of Danskos that look like a pair of Mary-Janes in a deep-wine leather and I LOVE them.  To keep myself in my size 12 and hopefully a bit smaller 🙂  I bought a pair of running shoes that give me great support for my heel and arches and in just 2 days of wearing them to break them in walking around the dog park with Sisu, my heels dont hurt and it feels like my plantar faciia is beginning to heal.  Its going to take a bit of time to heal all the way but I miss running a lot and I know that Sisu does too.

Sisu is being spoilt though and, lucky dog her, we have a off-leash dog park across the street that is a much loved place for all dogs in the community.  Yesterday was the first time she was off-leash and she did so well playing with other dogs…but that was never a concern for me.  My big concern was getting her to come back!  She is fantastic with recall (coming when called) when it is just her and I out somewhere but add in another dog and her ‘listening’ button switches to OFF for the most part.  Yesterday was a bit of a heart flutter at first but then she came without bribery at first but then, lucky for me, when I went to get her back on the leash when we got near the construction area, she only wanted to play.  She went up to visit another dog and their owner and was standing right next to the owner and I called for them to grab her for me.  She laughed and said sure, catching her collar with ease (because she was standing so nicely right there!).  Today, I stopped my Freddies and stocked up on Sisu-treats as the perfect bribes and they were!  She came to almost every call and only after an hour and a half did she start to get tired.  Tomorrow we will go again and since she did so well today, I really hope that she does well tomorrow too.



  1. I’m glad you’re getting settled in and liking it up there…so sad our timing turned out the way it did though. 😦 Do you have any idea if you’ll be down to Pelican for Thanksgiving or Christmas?

  2. Welcome to Anchorage! I just realized I don’t have a direct email address for you. Send me an email if you will and I will connect you with my wife for the info on her knitting meetup and such on Wedensday.

  3. The “not” hearing emergency vehicles is everywhere. Come to the DC area and you think Alsaka drivers are good.

  4. Heya! It was great “meeting” you last night. From the sound of this post, you’re going to LOVE Alaska. Be sure to start shopping for your winter bike tires now; probably better deals on them this time of year.

    Take care of Am for me. She’s good people. Yeah, Joe, you, too. 🙂 ::sniff, sniff::

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