Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Thursday, August 28th

Obamamania and Agrizoophobia

All I can say is WOW!

Did anyone catch Obama's acceptance speech tonight? I was in tears...I couldn't believe how excited and hopeful I felt. I don't dislike McCain at all; I think he's a good guy...but holy crap! I can't believe how much I suddenly want Obama to win!

In other news, I think a bear was right outside our open bedroom window last night. Earlier in the day the bar owner next door asked if I'd seen the bear that had been hanging out behind our house. I said that we'd heard some heavy breathing awhile back and he said that was probably him (or her). He said to watch out, that our bedroom window wouldn't stop the bear if he wanted to get in. I know *a lot* of people who've had bears come into there homes through doors and windows so I knew he was right but I have one of those stick locks so you can keep the window open a bit for fresh air.

So at 3:00am a noise woke me up and coming back from the bathroom I heard a really loud animal growly noise right outside our bedroom window. I froze still, my heart was POUNDING! I wanted to run away but I couldn't leave Aaron there asleep to be eaten so I just stood there frozen for over 5 minutes, which is a *really* long time. Finally I got up the courage to go check outside and the bear had gone so I fully closed and locked the window and got back into bed.

I whispered "are you awake" and he mumbled that he was. I said "did you hear that?" (My heart was still hammering away) and he said "I guess I'm not awake".

I on the other hand, laid there for hours wondering if it would come back. The funny thing is that I've seen lots of bears out in the wild and even had one come and sniff around our tent when I was camping with Rick and my sister, and nothing has freaked me out as much as this encounter last night.

Tomorrow I may pick up some pepper spray to keep next to the bed. Just in case. I may also pick up a couple of Obama/Biden yard signs. Just in case! Hey, DARE TO DREAM!

One other thing, I could'nt find a name for the phobia for fear of bears! Agrizoophobia is the fear of wild animals, that's the closest I could get. I mean, there's a word for fear of flutes, (Aulophobia)- fear of books (Bibliophobia) - Fear of blushing (Ereuthrophobia) - Fear of ideas (Ideophobia) - Fear of stooping (Kyphophobia) - and Fear of returning home (Nostrophobia)....but no word for a fear of huge man-eating bears! At least that I could find.

Elise on 08.28.08 @ 09:12 PM AK [link]

Friday, August 22nd

Welcome Back

Wednesday was the Chancellor's welcome back BBQ here at the University of Alaska Southeast (best place to go to college *ever*)...

Last night my friend Cody Bennett's Facebook feed had photos from the BBQ and I found these two of my honey in a drumming circle. Aaron had stayed a little longer than I did yet never mentioned the dancing to me! Anyway, I liked the photos so I thought I'd share even though he had reservations about being seen with a Raven drum when his adopted Tlingit family is of the Eagle moiety.

aaron-drumming2 (47k image)

aaron-drumming (62k image)

In other news, I'M PAINTING AGAIN! Yes folks, that's right...actually painting! It feels wonderful. Also, Patrick McGonagal the AWESOME photographer who took our wedding photos, is back from Mexico and we picked up the DVD yesterday.

The shots are incredible. He did amazing work and I can't wait to post some here this weekend. It was such a fun wedding. I wish you all could have been there with us to celebrate the big day. Being married is a lot nicer than I ever imagined.

Speaking of which, at the Welcome Back BBQ a woman I'd never met who works at the university came up to me and asked me about fantasexuality, something I wrote about on my 100 things about me page:

"My gay best friend Rick and I coined a phrase to describe ourselves in college ' fantasexuals”. Fantasexulas are people who hold long-term, meaningful relationships with people who do not know they exist. Now he's in a healthy long-term relationship but I'm still going strong... Fantasexuals unite and take over!"

It's funny, because (embarrassed as I was by the exchange) it made me go back and read my list again, I hadn't updated it since November 20th 2006...I had already removed several items from the list (notice the gaps in numbering) but even still, I feel so different today than I did even a couple years ago.

Oh, another blog related note. During our faculty convocation the new Dean of Arts and Sciences came and sat next to me. Since I'd never met him, I said "hi, my name's Elise" and he said "Tomlinson, right?"...and I thought maybe he'd heard about my great efforts on campus but no, he had read my blog prior to accepting the position in Juneau! He seems like a great guy but it was a little reminder that when we choose to "share" we don't really know who is out there on the receiving end.

Elise on 08.22.08 @ 10:09 AM AK [link]

Sunday, August 10th

Why I live here...

Well, still no photos from the wedding. I'm waiting until I get the professional ones from my friend Patrick who is getting back from Mexico next week.

I just had to post some photos of the sunset from last night though. Aaron noticed it out the window and I grabbed my camera and went tearing down the street to the beach to get better shots. These haven't been manipulated in PhotoShop or anything, the color was *way* intense but only lasted like that for a few minutes.


alaska-august-sunset-cruise-ships (43k image)

The light looked beautiful against the cruise ships docked downtown.

alaska-juneau-cruise-ship-pink-sunset2 (52k image)

Close up of one of the cruise ships.

alaska-august-sunset-downto (46k image)

alaska-august-sunset-juneau-to-douglas-bridge (46k image)

A neighbor with a house on stilts let me onto their porch to get some shots up the channel towards the Douglas Bridge.

alaska-august-sunset-misty-trees (43k image)

Here's a close up of how the trees on the mountainside looked with the bright colored mist floating around them. It almost looked like a forest fire.

alaska-august-sunset-pink-m (38k image)

But it only lasted a minute or two, then the colors started changing to light pink.

alaska-fishing-boat-triple-rainbow (36k image)

Aaron noticed this triple rainbow heading down the channel in the opposite direction. The anchored fishing boat was a nice addition.

Elise on 08.10.08 @ 01:02 PM AK [link]

Monday, August 4th

Get Your Geek On!

So, I've been away in San Diego at the ACRL Immersion Institute, where I was working on an action plan for my university to embed information literacy assessment into the curriculum. Everything was about learning outcomes...this was the first email I sent to my new husband:

"One of the things I'm working on here is an action plan for assessing programmatic learning outcomes (relating to Info lit) but it got me excited about the possibility of doing something similar for the two of us in our new marriage. It's hard to explain, there are 5 steps in which you try to do something in order to get a specific outcome. You list the criteria by which you'll judge whether or not you were successful in meeting the outcome. You will assess how successful you were, and find ways to improve. And based on the feedback, make changes to create improvements. It's something I think we already do rather naturally as a couple, but I think the librarian in me would enjoy creating our own first year (of marriage) action plan."

Romantic or what?

At the institute we did a lot of brainstorming exercises etc. that really helped me tap into my creative "Source" for lack of a better word.

Right now I have so many ideas and so much energy that I feel like I'm going to explode. Sure, some call it "Mania"...but I call it Awesome Goodness!

I am going to start painting tonight. I don't have any specific images in mind yet, but I know they are there. It's strange, but I know this super high voltage feeling and what will come next. I've always wanted to tap into it at will, it has been a looooooooooong time since the last time I felt it.

It's been frustrating in fact, I've always felt I'd never really make it as a professional artist because I couldn't be consistent. I either had the joo joo or I didn't. If it wasn't there, there was nothing on Earth I could do to force it. Some artists are machines and they can just churn it out day after day, but for me, not so much.

Now I'm wondering if all it takes to tap into those stores is brainstorming with a group of creative people, even if it's on a topic totally unrelated to art. Maybe it's getting your thoughts out of their normal patterns that alters our brain chemistry and brings on The Change. I call it, my Chemical Muse. Not drugs, mind you...but if bi-polar or whatever is a chemical "problem" then perhaps there are behaviours we can do to encourage them?

Well, I'm going to look into that more. Maybe in biofeedback or cognitive behavioral therapy. Maybe there are applications for artists?

Elise on 08.04.08 @ 03:17 PM AK [link]