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Is it weird to feel like a loser for flying back to the east coast, so soon? … Probably is weird, seeing as how I’m not staying there, or anything. But, I dunno, I got so lonely for people and things I knew, a while back, that I still feel a little, you know, sheepish.

I’m not dressing up as much for this ALA as I have for previous ones. I intend to be recognized by my awesome monkey hat (which is my icon on Twitter and Facebook), so it seems silly to be dressed to the nines. I’ll wear denim skirts, most of the weekend. I figure nobody trusts an over-dressed systems librarian from Alaska, anyway. It’ll technically be my second ALA after employment, but since all I had was the verbal offer, last ALA, it’s very different. So, I’m looking forward to that. And since most of the networking activities are in the evenings, I can segment my days really nicely, leaving Dale to his own devices for most of the daylight hours and dragging him along to socials and the like at night. (I do sort of wish there were a little more open time on my birthday proper. I may declare it a week or two late, this year, to celebrate on my own terms. :))

My most excellent bird sitter is more or less trained. She is (reasonably, I think) afraid to let them out of the cage, so they’ll be cooped up for a week and a half. Since their wing feathers are growing back, and even I have trouble with them when they’re re-learning to fly, this is really for the best. To stave off boredom and anger, I got them some toys to destroy, so they should stay reasonably entertained. Even Francis has a new toy, despite being quite happy inside his cage all the time. He’s delightedly tearing it apart now. (Didn’t want to wait until I left to introduce them, in case they freak out at them. Every other toy terrifies the cockatiels, when I first put it in.) Anyway, she’s stopping by again tomorrow, to get them more used to her, which I think shows really awesome dedication. I’m super glad and grateful that she was willing to watch them!

Still not sure what I’m doing with the car. Since the plow sometimes comes through our parking lot, and also my bird sitter needs a place to park, using my own spot is no good. A coworker says she has a large driveway, and I can store it there. I’m definitely tempted to take her up on that! And a friend said he could give me a ride to the airport, though I have to check and see if that’s still true. (He also said he could give us a ride back from, but given how much stuff we’ll have with us, including a chinchilla, I think we’ll cab that part.)

But, yeah. I’m a little behind on packing, but not miserably so. I’m dreading the flight (Alaska’s one big down side is that you almost have to fly to get out), but looking forward to the trip as a whole. It’s weird that I’ll be, you know, legally married when I get back up here. But not nearly as weird as Dale, getting married and then moving to Alaska in a matter of 2 days…

Anyway, this blog should be pretty quiet for a couple of weeks. But I’ll (or maybe he’ll) post when we get back.


That’s how long until the move is “over,” for all intents and purposes. In reality, it’ll probably drag on a bit past that, as more boxes come in and Dale gets a job and we find new digs. But it’s as good a line as any, right? … Not that I really plan for the blog to stop then. I think there’s probably value in posting about the first year here, for people who might be thinking of moving up here and for friends and family who wonder what it’s like, since Alaskan summer is just as weird as Alaskan winter. (Then again, it’s become a little more about life and a little less about life in Anchorage, in a lot of ways, so maybe it’s only of value to friends and family, anymore. Maybe we’ll refocus, once ALA is done and Dale is here. I’m all full of thoughts and stuff, with everything that’s coming up in the next two weeks! … And, hey, maybe Dale will post what he thinks. Moving in the middle of winter is a very different thing than moving in early autumn, right?)

More important than the number 17 is the number 8. That’s how many days it is until I see Dale. … Not going to get gushy, here; I try not to be that type of gal. But, seriously, moving–nay, driving across a continent–to a new place without my SO of [roughly] 5 years, and then waiting 4 and a half months for him to join me up here? Not one of my most brilliant plans. I was correct in my early assessment of what the pros and cons would be–briefly, pros: less social inertia and more flexibility in finances, cons: loneliness and lack of a spare set of hands/shoulder to cry on/roommate/etc.–though I misjudged which of the difficult parts would be most difficult. I knew I’d miss him, in a general sense, and that I might even get downright miserable, now and then–I don’t think I’ve spent much time “downright miserable,” honestly, but instead had this kind of constant, pretty low grade thing going on–but I didn’t know how hard it would be to hang up the phone/Skype each time I talked to him. (I think he hesitates to answer the phone, now, a little, actually; I’ve gotten noticeably worse over the last week or two.) I knew the holidays would be a little tough, but I blew them out of proportion, compared to, for instance, wanting to have someone around during bird crises.* These are weird things to admit; I’ve always fancied myself a loner, albeit a chatty one. I guess that changed, somewhere along the way.

That’s sort of weird.

And I think I misjudged what to worry about with him, too. I flatter myself that he might have missed me a bit, yes. But I was all worried that he’d be housebound, except for work and D&D games, and that definitely didn’t happen. He socialized a whole lot. (Enough that I suspect Pittsburgh thinks I’m the anti-social one, of the two of us. But, I’m telling you, inertia! It’s easy to stay home when you have someone to talk to, there. And it’s easy to let yourself be dragged out, if you don’t. Though I really want to be easier to drag out, as a couple, moving forward. Fingers crossed.) He socialized so much that it was a real push to finish packing and shipping and the like. So, you know, that was kind of a relief. … Except for the whole “not having a vacuum cleaner yet” thing, which is less good, but, on the scale of things, a small price to pay.

But, yeah, anyway, I’m impatient to get to see him. And I feel kind of bad that I have filled my ALA schedule up to the brim with activities–beyond what’s realistic, honestly, though I did do myself the favor of not agreeing to attend anything before 10am [which is my 6am, something maybe east coast conference organizers might think about, ahem]–and am kind of leaving him hanging for 4-6 hours, minimum, on Saturday and Sunday, even though it’s my birthday. (I’m taking him to the NMRT Social and other activities like that, despite his having an “Exhibits Plus” badge, rather than a full registration. And I’m crossing my fingers that that’s OK. … In the meantime, he’ll kill time on the Exhibit Hall floor and around Boston. And, hey, who knows, he could meet a vendor he likes who wants an employee with computer programming skills and doesn’t care where he lives.) But we get Thursday evening–jet-lagged joy that I’ll be–and Friday morning for random Boston shenanigans; I think we’ll maybe go to the Science Museum or Aquarium or something, if I’m conscious. :)

On a whole other topic… “Why,” you might ask, “are you up at 1am on a weeknight when you’ve been sick?” Just couldn’t sleep. Thought maybe I could empty my head of some of the thoughts buzzing around, and the others would lose momentum. … Also, I’m waiting for cold medicine to kick in. (Cold’s gone. Fighting bronchitis.)

*Bird thing, btw: going well. I may have found a system that works. I’m surprisingly unworried about the week and a half I’ll be gone, since they’ll have more than their usual amount of light, the whole time. I’m more worried about loneliness/boredom/feather picking, due to the small amount of human contact they’ll have, than I am about night frights.

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