Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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01/30/2004: "The Ravens Stole Me Meatballs, and other tales"

A lot has happened since my last entry. It all started on Saturday, the day I carried through on my first New Years Resolution to be more social. I went to the store to get party supplies and picked up a plastic to-go container of meatballs from the deli. In the parking lot, as I started to put my groceries in my tracker, I watched two ravens eyeing my meatballs. Then, the two of them swooped down and working together, used their claws to lift the container of out of my shopping cart and carry it off about a hundred yards where they dropped it in the middle of the parking lot. Then, several other ravens joined them in pecking a hole in the lid of the container. Within a minute, all the meatballs were gone! It was truely amazing.

The party ended up being a lot of fun. Almost everyone I invited showed up. Mike and Karen brought a keg of barley wine from the Alaskan Brewing Company.

(From their website) "Soon after gold was discovered in 1881, breweries in the new town of Juneau began quenching the thirst of hardy Alaskan miners. By 1903 at least four breweries had begun operation in the twin cities of Juneau and Douglas. Between 1899 and 1907, local residents enjoyed a particularly fine brew created by the Douglas City Brewing Company. Almost 100 years later, Alaskan Amber Beer, based on that same historic recipe, has started a small gold rush of its own."

Alaskan Amber is THE beer around these parts. I bought a case of it for those that don't like cocktails but the keg was a great suprise. I used to do a lot of home brewing when I lived in Anchorage but I haven't done as much of it since I moved to South East Alaska. For one thing, after one batch I had filled my skanky carboy with water and planned to clean it out later. I left it in the garage where it froze and then later exploded funk and nastiness all over the place. I have all the equipment I need including clean bottles, caps, etc. I just need a new 5 gallon carboy but it's among the 1000 other things I keep planning to do one of these going on the tour of the brewery.

The Taku Winds (see entry from 12/04/03) were back in full force, starting on the night of the party and gaining in force for the next four days. Tuesday I went in for my gallbladder surgery which was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The surgeon and nursing staff etc. were all great. My friends from work dropped me off and picked me up and my friend Jen stayed with me for a couple days in the guest bedroom and cooked me some great chicken soup.

But back to the winds, they were up to 80mph here in Douglas, my entire house was shaking again, and if it weren't for the pain killers, I wouldn't have gotten any sleep at all.

On Tuesday night, Jen noticed that the wind had broken my mailbox again. The white box was hanging limply down the side of the post with the mailbox door hanging wide open. I had two days worth of mail in there that blew away. On Wednesday, I found a manila envelope under the grill of my barbque pit that was weighted down by a big bag of salt. The envelope was from Kira in Rhode Island. It was a CD for my mixed CD project. (See entry for 01/01/04.) I wasn't sure how it got there, then today a neighbor from up the street stopped by to tell me he had found the envelope in his yard and wanted to make sure I had found it in my bbq pit. If he hadn't found it, I never would have known about it. By the way, this was an excellent CD from someone I've never met or even spoken to. She said her husband claims she has bad taste in music but I would have to disagree. I loved the CD and found it comforting to listen to while I was recuperating from my surgery.

If anyone else has sent a CD recently and hasn't heard from me yet, please let me know. It could have accidentally blown away. If anyone is wondering why they haven't received a mix from me yet, well, I promise you will get one. First I was waiting on a CD to arrive that I wanted to use a song from, then the wrong package came from Amazon (instead of a CD by "Jump Little Children" I got two large volumes on World War II German artillery). So they had to resend the original order. That didn't come in until the night of the party, and then I had my surgery and now I'm just starting to feel somewhat better.

I had my stiches (staples actually) taken out this afternoon. I have four incisions about an inch or so long. My friend Lynn drove me to the surgeon's office so I wouldn't have to drive a clutch. She is such a wonderful person, always doing nice things for me like shoveling my driveway when I hurt my back awhile ago. People here are so nice and friendly. I've had my trash can returned to me after blowing away more times than I can remember. It's my favorite thing about living here...the wonderful people who will bend over backwards to help you out when you need it.

Anyway, I have a lot of catching up to do this weekend but I promise to finish the CDs and get them in the mail soon.By the way, Holly Keen, a friend here in Juneau, brought here mixed CD for me to my party and although I wasn't familiar with any of the bands, other guests were impressed with the selections. I played a couple of the CDs (from Thomas in London) for the party. Overall, I've been very excited by the music I have received. Both from friends and family, but also from total strangers who have taken the time to expand my musical horizens. Again, anyone else wanting to take part in this can send me a mixed CD of the songs you're currently listening to, to Elise Tomlinson, 309 D Street, Douglas AK 99824.

If I'm feeling up to it this weekend I'm going to fix my mailbox so it should be safe to mail things to me again soon.

I probably won't be back to painting for awhile. I had to move all my studio supplies downstairs for the party and now I'm not feeling up to doing any heavy lifting. I do have ideas spinning about in my head, as always though.

Also, a friend Alexis Easley, who is also a poet, is getting a poem published in a feminist journal titled "Women in Performance" which is doing an entire issue on the theme of "falling". They asked her to send an image to accompany her poem on the reverse page of the journal and she asked me to do a painting based on the poem. I'm going to do that this weekend too. It's an excellent poem by the way. Though, I'm not sure the journal is going to go for the idea or not. If they don't like the painting I'm just going to give it to Alexis. It was nice of her to ask me.

OK, I'm feeling a bit dizzy, better get back on the couch, I'm sortof watching "Witness" that I TIVOd earlier tonight. It's a great movie but man, the musical score sucks. It's very 80s, lots of scary sythesizers.

Thanks again to all the emails of well wishes in the past week, if I haven't written you back, you'll know why. I have a huge backlog to go through, I do plan to go through them as soon as I'm feeling up to it.

By the way, I also got my Blink II digital camera in the mail yesterday. I'm going to use it to take more photos for this blog, of works in progress and other interesting things I see around town. Stay tuned...