Thursday, March 22, 2007

You Know You Live in Anchorage, Alaska When . . .

Anchorage, AlaskaIf everything you know about the Last Frontier comes from watching Northern Exposure here are a few things to get you on the right track: You know you're a real Alaskan when . . .

1. Your winter gear rips and your first thought is "Where's the duct tape?"

2. You think antlers are a legitimate decorating option.

3. You see the dirt on your car as a camouflage feature.

4. You own more than one pair of Carharts.

5. You plan your summer around the salmon runs and your winter around Hawaiian Airlines.

6. You've come to appreciate the smell of break-up season and that lovely rotting-putrid smell that means spring is coming.

7. You have at least one neighbor who owns more than three dogs.

8. You think formal wear includes, but is not limited to, denim and flannel.

9. Democrat or Republican, you'd open ANWR with your own backhoe if they'd just give you a chance.

10. You're praying for global warming.

11. Fall cleaning means changing the aluminum foil out of the windows.

12. You can identify fifteen different varieties of mosquitoes and their mating calls.

13. You've eaten any of the following: moose, caribou, bear or beaver. Extra points if you killed it yourself.

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39 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, I'm appreciating life West of Mars tonight, Michelle. The foil in the windows?? I can't even begin to imagine, but like everywhere else, I'm sure I'd adapt.

Happy TT!

MC Milker said...

Amusing as always- but some vocabulary issues for we southerners

Carharts?

ANWR?

Maybe it’s just me….

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Oh, great list. My SIL is dying to move to Alaska. I'll forward your link to her. :-) Happy TT!

Maria said...

Two questions: what's the tin foil in the windows for? And why unanimous opinions in favor of opening ANWR?

kim said...

boy am I not cut out for Alaska.

Northern Michigan shares a few of those things.

But I guess I better not venture any farther north. I'm about at my limit - maybe just past it - here.

JennyMcB said...

Found a site on ANWR- and Maria has a good question about it.

So when does the snow melt? May? June?

I mentioned you in my 13 this week, love stopping by and reading yours.

scribbit said...

Questions, questions, let's see . . .

ANWR is Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. The place where all the debate about drilling for oil is centered. Oil talks here and all public officials and politicians favor opening it. To do otherwise is political suicide. The only ones who oppose it are transplants from out of state who move here. :)

Aluminum foil blocks the daylight during the summer. And it looks HORRIBLE as a decorating device. Unfortunately it's a common sight.

Carharts are industrial-strength working man gear that are popular. Made of canvas they can be as simple as a pair of overalls or as thick as Arctic gear for outdoors.

Snow melts when it warms up. :)

Any day now . . . I hope . . . I pray . . . so far no sign of it.

Southern Girl said...

Very funny! And just what does beaver taste like? Surely not chicken? ;)

Happy TT!

Lisa said...

This is so funny. You make me want to visit Alaska. Mainly so I could meet you.

And that mini golf game? That is awesome. Genius.

Leslie said...

Oh so funny!

I loved Northern Exposure, by the way.

Mom of three said...

I'm sorry, I don't know what "Carharts" are. I guess that means I am not from Alaska! By the way, the antlers as decor item are pretty big here in the Arizona mountain country too. Plus, people go way overboard with chainsaw carved bears!

jen said...

you are very funny, woman.

very.

my4kids said...

Hey I can relate to some of those already. Those would be 3,4,7 and 8. Our vehicles always look "camoflaughed", the hubby loves his carharts and always wears denim or flannel shirts. I could go on but I will leave you with that.

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

Part of me is desperate to experience the Alaskan Life - the other part of me is very happy where I am.

One day, I will come. I think you've just sold me, actually

Coco said...

Makes me wonder how it feels like to live in Alaska. I like winter and cold temperature, but I guess you'd feel different if you experience it day after day after day after day...

Happy TT! :)

nicole said...

So true. So true. I'm only missing the antlers and the foil. I hang blankets over the blinds. I wore my Carhartt parka to the ice park the other day and my husband wore a down jacket with duct tape on it. Does that make us models for Alaskan wedding formal wear?

A sign of being a real Fairbanksan is thinking a 30 degree day in March is a sign to break out the shorts. Unfortunately, we haven't seen 30 yet.

Thank you for a great laugh today. You're wonderful.

Chris said...

My friend of 35 years lives in Soldotna and I just had to forward this TT to her. If anyone will appreciate it, it's her. Great list!

Robin said...

Umm, wouldn't room darkening shades work instead of tinfoil?

I'd love to visit Alaska someday (my folks will actually be up there in a few months in fact), but give me a good hot Mediterranean climate any day! We're actually thinking of taking the kids to the beach tomorrow (ducking now).

Happy TT.

PS Mine's up too but not yet listed. Apparently using the word Turkey in a title is subversive and sends you off into the void of comment moderation... I'm feeling very lonely over there without my link.

Author Mom DogNut said...

I could almost do all of it --except the no sun in the winter.

jchevais said...

As a Canadian, I can proudly say that I've eaten Moose... and once I ate bear.

In France, the other meat is horses. Doesn't taste too bad.

Kim said...

Great list! I'm such a wimp with the cold (strange since I was born in Minnesota), but I hope to visit some day. Thanks for the insite! Happy TT!

Viscountess said...

Well, all of these apply to me, except I've never eaten beaver, so I guess those of us from Northern B.C./Alberta really are honorary Alaskans. I'd vote for an annex. :-)

Babystepper said...

Funny stuff, scribbit. We lived in Gunnison CO for awhile, and some of these apply there, too.

chelle said...

hehe got to love the generalizations!

Hmmm never ate beaver before :)

Lisa Milton said...

I always love hearing about local flair. Whenever I watch a movie set in Seattle/Portland, I always have to count how many times the characters mention the rain. I don't know anyone that really chats up the obvious rain here. Oh well.

Here are my two funny memories about Anchorage (I was a camp counselor/college recruiter one summer): that there were many folks (transplants) that had a southern accent, hailing from Texas, AND the houses I saw were enormous, with very tall ceilings.

Love reading your blog.

Undercover Angel said...

LOL!
I love denim and flannel, and I've eaten both deer and moose, so I guess I'm suited to being an Alaskan. I always said I'd never live there because it's so cold - but then I heard about the land they were giving away somewhere in Alaska to try to lure people to move, and I would have gotten in on that, but unfortunately I didn't hear about it until all of the land had been given away.

Why the foil on the windows??? Does it make it warmer? I'm just wondering because it's the first I"ve heard of that...

TW said...

Okay, I've seen most of MY original questions were answered. But what's with the rotting smell? what's that about?

I live in Texas and have always been curious about Alaska.

Shalee said...

"10. You're praying for global warming."

That's a good one!

PortraitofPeter said...

That was a really fascinating post.

Educational too.

Blessings from Scotland.

Ni Yachen said...

To answer tw's question about the rotting smell:
All the leaves, dead salmon, and other such things don't have time to decompose prior to the winter freeze up. There is also all the moose and doggy surprises that accumulates during winter. So when the spring breakup (thaw) comes all the decomposition happens all at once. It can smell fragrant until the first really good rain storm washes everything.

I remember the first time was wife when out to a salmon stream and her surprise at the rooting salmon smell. I had not noticed having grown up here. To me it smelled like the outdoors and fishing.

Jen said...

Please help: Carharts?
Flannel and denim are formalwear here in Denver. Don't believe me? Go to the Symphony.
Love duct tape. :)

Wylie Kinson said...

LOL! Number 10 was the best

natural redhead said...

Michelle, I'll bet you're still a cheechako, right?

Not all Alaskans use foil; we use room-darkening shades. We don't always eat meat or fish. And, most importantly, not all of us favor ruining the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Far from it, but I think you mentioned in a previous post that your husband is in the oil industry.

A lot of us love the climate. That's why we live here. Since adn.com has linked to you several times, please don't generalize. You do not speak for all Alaskans. (Except about breakup. Snow mold adds to that odor. And it's just around the corner.)

Jenn in Holland said...

Love it! And by all means, generalize all you want. Stereotypes exist because there are models to build upon. Listen not to the nay-sayers!
I totally choked at the "fall cleaning" reference. We did the same in AZ, using foil to block out light AND heat. I can't imagine what my Dutch neighbors would say to such a window decoration. :)
Also, wanted to express condolences about the church building. I thought I had you pegged as LDS. I am surely sorry for the loss on a personal and community level. Bless you as you salvage and grieve.

Dana said...

We moved from Alaska 8 months ago and never thought that I would miss it but do sometimes. You can really only understand your "you know your Alaskan if..." if you have lived there. As far as the church goes it made me feel kinda sick to my stomach and very sad.

kingavshar said...

interesting.:) I will come alaska anchoraga for the summer as a work and travel student. I think I will really enjoy it. is it still that cold in the summer?

Jenny said...

LOL! I can totally relate. One of these years we've got to visit Alaska. We're so close...

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, this could make Letterman's top ten.

Anonymous said...

My Mom uses alluminum foil to "keep the heat out". I keep trying to tell her it actually warms the house...and this from a woman who lived in Alaska for six years!