Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm a slacker who misses poking dead things

The year following such a remarkable one, to me, feels rather pathetic. At least so far this seems to be the case. I am biding my time in an office job, plunking away data entry in what to me seems like a pointless task. I am not made to sit behind a desk for 8 hours a day!

The end of winter is so close I can taste it. But mother nature likes to dangle that carrot just out of reach as long as possible. While we enjoyed some wonderful weeks of 20, even 30 (F) above, the weather has turned back to bitter negative 30s at night and warming to about 5 above during the day. And wind, something we so rarely experience in the interior, has been blasting through Fairbanks, chilling us to 50 below.

The thought of summer is the only thing that keeps me going. Yet I have to remind myself it could be worse. In 2007 during this time of year it was still a constant 20-30 below during the day. I was volunteering at Fish and Game and since the freezer was stocked full of all sorts of dead treasures (my favorite being a bag full of bird strikes, a random assortment of all things feathered), we were storing our frozen wolf carcasses outside in black garbage bags sealed tight.

While tedious, I seriously would take counting wolf lice over my desk job, hands down. Even though they were dead, I was working around the one animal I had always dreamed of working with. The wolves smelled like corn chips, or like 'fresh baked corn muffins' as Mark Doty describes the scent of his favored dog's ears in Dog Years. Sierra's smells much the same way on a good day.

I have been waiting, more than likely over anxiously, for a phone call from Ft. Wainwright. I applied for a forestry job there for the summer. A four day work week outside sounds like heaven to me right now. I attribute it to the current state of our economy, but all the jobs I've applied to thus far have had a huge pool of applicants. While I feel I have a fare amount of experience, the competition has been tough. My location may also be a large factor when applying to lower 48 jobs. It is frustrating for me, however to hear that I'm in a pool of 70+ other applicants for a low end technician job.

So I have been thinking of alternatives. The front runner currently is taking the training to become an observer on fishing boats. This entails recording data on what is caught in said fishing boats. The pay is great, the contracts are 90 days long, and all room and board are provided. Until I can get my debts paid, Peace Corps are on the back burner, but I think this job will be a quick way to get those debts handled.

I want to get back to Portland so bad, but with the job market I doubt I could stay afloat for very long (a curse upon you Oregon and your high unemployment rate!). At least with this observer job, I could take the months between contracts and live it up with family and friends for a little while. I'm hoping Matthew will find work back in the NW, but as it looks, he may just end up in some small fishing town in BFE, Alaska programing for small town radio stations. The foot in the door to public radio would be a huge score for him though. I hope it works out well.

I think I have let my ranting run its course. I promise you friends, family, random internet passerby, that I will try very hard to update this blog with some sort of regularity. Sadly I feel I have nothing too terribly exciting to share!

Though if you're lonely on a Tuesday night, hop online and listen to our (Matthew and myself) radio show (, Nerd Love at 6:30pm - 8:30pm AKST. It would be great to know you're listening! Miss and love you all.