Tag Archives: Fairbanks

Last Night …

In Big, Sweeping, Wild, Dancing Brush Strokes,

God Painted The Sky. (I'm pretty sure Van Gogh was along for the ride).

One Moment it would look as if a Giant Radioactive Jelly Fish was Orbing Upon Us.

And then in a snap, the Jellyfish would break into spokes of a wheel and dive toward the horizon and back up again.

It was unreal.

WILD.  Untamed.  Like a Modern Dance Light Show across the entire sky. Crazy Beautiful. Certainly the most active night sky I’ve ever seen.

A week ago I told Mitch I was over the Northern Lights.  Last night put me back in my place.

The best parts?  (There are two.)

1. I wished on a shooting star that I had a way of capturing the show on film.   Then, when I woke up this morning Todd Paris, my favorite Fairbanks photographer, had posted these pics on his face book page! Thank you Todd for your talents and for sharing your photos!

2. Tonight?  The forecast (which is based on solar activity levles) calls for an even greater showing of color and movement.  I think I may actually be more excited to see the sky tonight than I am to see next week’s episode of the Bachelor (and that is pretty darn excited, I mean, it IS the final rose…)

In a good place right now,



World Ice Championships


N'ice Abs.

Save me.


Run?! Did you say run? I can't run! I'm frozen!


This one is titled "Unexpected Grace."

Just another night in the ice park.

The World Ice Art Championships took my breath away.  (And not just because it is – still – THAT cold.)  These photos are just a few of my favorites from the “single block” portion of the competition.  We’ve been three times for a few hours each time, and still have yet to see all the sculptures.

The level of detail, grandeur, imagination, and the end product — it’s enchanting.

But to me, the most beautiful and inspiring aspect of the event is that artists from all around the world come to Fairbanks in February to freeze their buns (and finger tips) off in a dedicated, intense, furry of tractors, ice axes, and chiseling tools.  They spend the entire year planning, and then toil for three days and nights to create something so beautiful — and so fleeting.

All this for something that will melt in a month (or two).

Such a selfless art.

The whole idea of giving everything you have to make the world more beautiful, even if only for a moment? It makes my anatomically-correct-heart frozen in a tear drop melt.

I’m inspired by people who use their gifts to make the world more beautiful.  Even if the beauty lasts only for a few magical moments in time, it sustains.

In awe,


PS – These pictures are thanks to Mitch, Deb, and Nick who went out on a FROSTY, ice, cold, night and literally had to take the pictures while holding their breath.

Did you breathe?

600 Dollar Night in the Ice Hotel?

Who wants to spend the night in one of the only running ice hotels in the world?!?

Housekeeping?  Can you please bring us ten thousand thick fur blankets and a set of down filled sheets?  YES!  That, and …

the entire hotel lobby,

An Open Bar,

All the Appletinis on ice you can handle,

hotel art you never imagined,

A fire to warm up by,

A little bitty ice-out-house,

And three seperate ice hotel room fantasy suites...

All under the light of ice chandeliers and back lit by ice orbs.

This entire ice palace can be all yours for one solid, frozen, ice-filled night of debauchery. The price? Just 600 smackers.

So does anyone actually do this?  Yes. Yes. They do.  Just not me.  I haven’t completely lost my mind (yet).

But, you know who did?  A Safeway cashier.  She saved her pennies up for a year, and then spent the entire night alone in the palace walking around and singing.

The first thing she asked the concierge the next morning?  “Has anyone booked it for tonight?”  And she payed to do it all over again!

I think she may be my new hero.

Would you spend the night in an ice hotel?

Because I’m thinkin, maybe we could split it?




With enough Appletinis things could get pretty crazy.

All The Single Ladies?

Hey Ladies? If you’re single and lookin’ …

Hot. Hot. Hot.

And, if you like the rugged kinda guy, if you’re into a man who can chop wood for the fire, and has big hands, and rugged skin… the kinda guy who will warm the car up before you get in and bring you coffee from the coffee hut …

I know a place.

At first I thought, “Damn, I must be lookin’ good!” Because every time I’m out by myself in this town guys are opening doors and offering to carry my groceries and giving me that look that makes me look at my feet …

But then I  realized, it’s now how I’m looking!  (For God’s sake, I’m wrapped in a tsunami of down parka so intense I can hardly walk).    It’s just that they’re all looking.

Like 100:1.  That’s what the mountain man to woman ratio feels like in Fairbanks.

SO, ladies, if you’re into (really, really, really) long nights in the log cabin cuddled up next to the fire with a rugged mountain man … Or, maybe you’re just lookin to boost your “Damn, I’m hot!” confidence …

I know a place.  (It just requires you to move a million miles from home and toss out all your sundresses and tanktops for long johns and flannel.  And, your skin will never, ever look the same again … and the only place to “shop” is the grocery store … and it’s a wee bit chilly … and there aren’t a lot of teeth … )

Maybe that’s why the ratio remains 100:1.

But if you want a mountain man, I do know a place you can find one or a hundred. Just in case you wanted to know.

This PSA brought to you by,

Alaskarella (mountanaire matchmaker)

Could I be a Derby Girl?

Saturday night is Derby night in this ice town.

I walked into the Carlson Center expecting something a la “Whip It.”  (Fantastic movie if you haven’t yet indulged.)

"Whip It"

Alas, neither Smashley Simpson (Drew Berrymore), Babe Ruthless (Ellen Page),  nor Iron Maven (Julliette Lewis)  were skating circles, trash talking, and hip checking in their “Hurl Scouts” or “Holy Rollers” uni’s.

It was so much better than that. Dead serious.

The bout  between Fairbanks’ “Roller Borealis” and Seattle’s “Reign of Terror” included lots of skating in circles;

Oh No, Lead Jammer! Watch out for Tower Puss (left elbow check) and Shacka Khan! (far right)

an endless slew of underwear as outterwear atop fishnets and glittery hoes  (no pun intented);

glittery hoes

major derby carnage;


and, hands down, my favorite aspect of derby … killer derby girl names.

Salmon Ella! Brilliant.

Namely, Salmon Ella; MuffStache (jersey number 69); Deadliest Snatch; Shaka Khan (jersey number 2 N 1 and she had “shacka” icons on each of her butt cheeks); Yoko Ono’youdidn’t, JENeticly Evil … even the refs had names like Tiger Woody, who wore jersey number 911.

It all got me thinking ...

I can skate in circles.  Maybe my friend Katie (yes! I have a friend!) and I should strap on the skates and see what we got?

or ...

maybe not.

But the halftime show?  Well, I think there may be a place for me right here:

In one and two and three and four ... and don't forget to smile ..

Lady Gaga “Telephone” + some smooth moves?  My high school dreams might, just might, be about to come true in this little ice town on a Saturday night.

Hip Checks & Gaga Beats (because that’s how I roll).

Psycho sKatie
Qu’est-ce que c’est
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
Run run run run run run run skate skate skate skate skate skate away

** If you’re ready to try out (or just iron your name onto your jersey)  … check out the roller girl name generator.

PPS – my camera battery was dead on arrival (rxn to the cold, cold, so cold car), so these FAB photos are all from John Nyman http://www.johnnyman.net – isn’t he great with the camera?  He’s my brand new facebook friend from Anchorage.  Isn’t FB the best?!

Is Fairbanks always Dark?

Solstice Day Sun in Fairbanks (photo by Todd Paris)

On Solstice Day, the sun was out for about an hour.  With about a half-hour or so of twilight before it arrived and after it’s departure.

3:30 sunset January in Fairbanks

These days (and for most of December and January) the sun is rising around 10:30 and going down around 3:30.  Also with a half-hour of so of twilight on either side.   I’ve noticed it’s trajectory between where it rises and sets is getting wider! And the midday sun is climbing higher and higher into the sky.   Longer days are on their way.

So, it isn’t exactly dark all the time.  Stars are out and you have to turn your overhead light on in your car to find your gloves from about 4pm – 9 am. Otherwise, the sky is often pink.  And brand, smack, in the middle of the day it’s blue.

Happy Saturday.  Hope you’re having fun out there today and enjoying some pretty skies overhead.



Would you …

(See the marked ones?) Timberrrrr?

Cut down the neighbors trees to install a sattelite dish on a DIFFERENT neighbors property so that you could have access to television?  Would you?

What if you really, really missed Tim Gunn and had a better relationship with him than either set of neighbors?

What if one of your neighbors, the ones who don’t actually live on the cut-down-the-trees “TIMBER!!!” property  (because they live in … LANIKAI on Oahu) say, “Go ahead and chop ’em.  We don’t mind, bro.” ?

What if the other neighbor, the one who you need to borrow a three-foot, street-side, corner pocket of his property; the one who invited you to “project night” at his house  every Monday and offered to teach you to whittle wood and help you build a swing set, says, “Cutting down trees for TV seems a little backwards to me.”  (And, Carl, I agree).

Because when you live in  a place where it is too cold for cable, and the sattelites that are directly above the earth in most of the world hover at just 15 degrees in the sky, that is what you have to do to clear the tree line and get a clear shot of the satellite.

Would you do all that?  Just wondering.

What’s on TV tonight?