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November 23, 2006

Angela asked that I point out that she is not responsible for any of the piles of shit at Rancho Spenardo. So I'm letting it be known that all of the piles are mine and she has been a most patient roommate while I turn the house into something resembling a swap meet. But it won't be long now until the remaining piles are packed into my car, assembled on a pallet for shipping or hauled off somewhere to be sold.


My final days in Anchorage have been full of such great food - the likes of which I will not be seeing in east central Alabama.

Last Friday, me and the boss went to a party downtown at the Conoco-Phillips atrium. The oil giant was throwing a bash to celebrate the defeat of Prop. 2 on election day. I actually voted for Prop. 2, but the studio did a lot of work on the "No On 2" campaign so I had an invite to the party. I've never been one to turn down an open bar.

Upon entering the building, I was handed a badge with my name on it and a glass of champagne. I walked past buffet tables heaped high with roast beef, turkey, salmon mousse, cheeses, breads and hummus, making a beeline for the table with the immense pile of crab legs. I mean, this was a HUGE pile - a couple feet high. And right next to that were the two biggest sushi boats I've ever seen in my life.

I filled my belly with crab legs and sushi, washing it all down with a few more  glasses of complimentary champagne. Then, I discovered the dessert table on the other side of the lobby. I found room for a piece of cheesecake and couple chocolate-dipped strawberries - and, of course, one more glass of champagne.

Warmed with a sparkling buzz, I donned my coat and leisurely walked the few blocks to Cyrano's Off-Center Playhouse where I had tickets for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Of course, I bought a couple beers at the theater - it's just that kind of play.

The long gastronomical goodbye to Anchorage continued Monday night with a (dare I say it?) romantic dinner at the Crow's Nest atop the Captain Cook Hotel. Some of you know who he is. We thought we were keeping it quiet, but it seems as though everybody knows. We all know how people tend to talk. But I'm not talking about romance today. Today I'm talking about food.

And what food! Venison, pork, duck, shrimp ceviche, pumpkin brulee... All beautifully presented and paired with incredible wines. And all of this was enjoyed with a 180-degree view of the city lights. *contented sigh*


The next evening I was treated to dinner at one of my favorite neighborhood spots - the Bear Tooth. My friends, Heather & Jason, were on their way to the airport to spend Thanksgiving in the Lower 48.  They kindly left their van with me while they're gone. This makes easier to haul my piles of stuff around in these final days. Also, I can put the Mitsubishi in the shop for a tune-up and still have something to drive.

The next day (which was yesterday), before I'd even had a chance to finish my leftover Bear Tooth ranch chicken wrap, I was treated to lunch at Kinley's - Anchorage's newest fine dining establishment. While everything on the menu looked good, I could not resist trying the Rueben sandwich.

See, the Rueben is my all-time favorite sandwich. I don't eat them very often because, when done properly, a Rueben will shave a couple hours off your life. But it's worth it see, because Ruebens just taste so damn good!

There are many different ways to make a Rueben and I have my own ideas about what makes a great one. Kinley's came damn close to creating the very same Rueben that I would - right down to the marbled rye bread. I personally like a side of Russian dressing for dipping but was so hungry that I forgot to ask for one. I was halfway through the sandwich before I even thought of it.


Last night I came back to Dawn's apartment and had my Bear Tooth and Kinley's leftovers for dinner. I briefly talked to Dawn last night on the phone. He's doing as well as can be expected. He should be back in Anchorage at the end of the month.


This all brings us to today - Thanksgiving. That means more food! I am getting ready to head over to Sean Patrick & Sarah Whalen's house for dinner. Mmmmmm....hope I get leftovers.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!


November 17, 2006

I'm at Dawn McKenzie's apartment. I'm house sitting his place while he's in Florida having doctors cut his head open to fix his brain.

I'm ever so grateful for the keys to his apartment on the outskirts of downtown. It has proved to be the one place in my life not dominated by piles of shit. I have piles of shit at the house: Shit I'm going to keep and shit I'm going to toss. I have piles of shit at work: Shit I kept putting off until later and shit left over from summer's remodeling.

After seven years at the same house and the same desk, my office is full of personal shit and my house is full of work shit. Even my car is full of piles: Shit I'm ferrying from home to work, work to home, home to the pawnshop, home to the recycling center, Office Depot to work, etc...

Dawn's apartment is my vacation from piles of shit. He's lived here no more than two months. Compared to my packrat room, this is a monk's quarters - except that  there's high-speed DSL and cable TV (luxuries unknown to Rancho Spenardo).

Dawn's mom called today and left a message saying his surgery went well and that we'd get another update soon.

Tomorrow: A party thrown by Big Oil to celebrate the defeat of a proposition I voted for and an evening at the theater.


November 14, 2006

Thanks to Lila, more party pics!


November 13, 2006

Many thanks and hugs to Camille for putting on an awesome bon voyage party for me Saturday night. It felt good to be surrounded by so many friends, my belly full of wine, reminiscing about the last 13 years I've spent in this amazing place.


Just in time for the party, I got a fabulous new haircut at Allure Day Spa from master stylist, Brian Rowcroft-Ivy. Turns out he's been reading this site since my ugly break-up made the front page of Cruel.com. He invited me to Allure and gave me a wonderful new 'do to start my journey.

Recently named one of the top five salons in the nation by Salon Today magazine,   Allure definitely lives up to the hype. A couple years ago, I went in for a Vichy massage and French manicure. Ah.....just the memory of that pampering session relaxes me.

I'm so pleased with the results. Thank you, Brian!

So something good has finally come from being dumped (aside from finally being free of that lying, manipulative shitbag I used to call my man).


November 8, 2006

Whew! Another election season over. It's been busy at the office for the last few weeks with a constant parade of candidates recording TV and radio commercials. Election season is one of my favorite times at work. It's busy as hell, but never boring. I enjoy the chance to watch politicos when they're not in front of an audience.

But it's fun to watch them in front of an audience too, which is why I went downtown to watch the returns at 'Election Central' last night. It's a wonderful frenzy of news crews, reporters, winners, losers, mover and shakers - all thrown together in the Egan Center. You can't swing a lame duck in that place without hitting somebody of note. How often do you get Loren Leman, Theresa Obermeyer, Mike Doogan, Mr. Whitekeys and Diane Benson all in the same room together?

I left before the new GILF-elect, Sarah Palin, gave a speech to her fans. Nah...I didn't really want to see that. Instead, I took a slow contemplative walk though downtown back to the Pioneer Bar where I had one last drink before grabbing a cab back to Spenard.


I still haven't updated my links page but I wanted to share a new site with you. A long-time friend of Rancho Spenardo, Dawn McKenzie, is facing major brain surgery later this month and he's chronicling the countdown in his blog Untethering Seventeen Days:

The Procedure [a symbol if I ever saw one...they always call these things Procedures, I would have more respect for them if they called it something honest, like a Fucking Traumatic Event, they could even jargonize it and call it an FTE. Of course, I will experience discomfort during this, not excruciating pain.] is called a posterior fossa decompression, or an Untethering.

Basically, and sparing a few details, Dr. Green will remove a portion of the back of my skull, the top of some vertebrae and then open the first cover of my brain, called the dura. The idea is to add a patch of dura (more on this later) to create more space in my cerebellum, to allow for better flow of CSF.

The reason for all of this is a malformation of the brain call Arnold-Chiari. I have been in its grip since May of '05; well, that's when it got bad at least...headaches, vertigo, nausea, ataxia, insomnia...blah blah blah. Seems like that's all I talk about anymore: symptoms, surgery, related whining.

I didn't think of myself as a whiner before this happened. Now I wonder. Maybe? Who knows. we project an image of ourselves onto the screen of the world and believe that everyone else is seeing the same movie that we are. We never question that we are the protagonist and will live to the see the credits roll. Does it make a person better to taste the humility of realizing our place in the Cosmic Cast, of realizing we might be an extra, doomed to die in the second reel.


November 6, 2006

Brrrr... It was two degrees when I left the house this morning. I had to scrape the inside AND outside of the windshield. Why didn't I ever get one of those automatic starters for the car? Oh well, kinda late now.

The big move is only a couple weeks away. I look around at all the piles of stuff I still have to sort and pack and wonder how I will possibly be ready in a couple weeks. 

I also can't help but wonder if this is actually a good idea. I mean, seriously....farming? What the hell? 

And driving the Alaskan Highway alone in the winter? Didn't I vow to never do that again as long as I lived? I'm pretty sure I did.

Sigh....I can't believe I'm really going through with this.







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