No More Waiting With Baited Breasts

BaitedBreastsWhere’s the Well Seasoned Woman?  Word on the docks ranged from marriage to witness relocation program, and even the ever-popular death by misadventure.  The truth, however, being mundane by its very nature,  is that this WSW took an unforeseen hiatus from dang near everything for a spell.

When I wasn’t driving through tourist-infested streets of Sitka – trying very, very hard NOT to, oops, make a Geriatric Hood Ornament out of every dang codger that confuses our main traffic thoroughfare with a Disneyland boardwalk, I was busy sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, and discovering a cure for cancer.  Okay, most of that last part was a big, fat (though impressively ambitious) l-i-e.

Here’s what really, really happened: I quit smoking, ramped up my fitness regime, caught up on years of lost sleep, and spent countless hours contemplating the meaning of life.

I know: Yawn.

The rest of the story is that I ran out of things to comfortably share with such an anonymous audience.  I was hoarding my little anecdotes and two-cent commentaries for The Book.  What book, you ask?  The one I have been threatening to finish for decades.  The Next Great American Novel that somehow got eclipsed by living life – which I reckon is cool because, according to John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while youre busy making other plans.”  (Yup.  Exactly what you might expect from a dead guy.)  So, no more excuses.  WSW is back.  Had no choice:  Waiting with bait on your breasts will just make ’em sag – and I’m too dang proud for that.

Sitka-by-the-Sea, meanwhile, continues to astound with nearly unprecedented weather that includes consecutive stretches of ridiculously HOT temps, an absence of RAIN, and most horrifying: a Big Orb in the Sky that won’t stop shining every day.  For those of us that have lived here too long, the recent run of  robin’s egg blue skies and bosomy-warm weather ironically hints of Apocalyptic warning that ultimately is producing (are you ready for this?) stress and tension.  True.

The Upside of Ominous Weather: Naked Shipwrights
The Upside of Ominous Weather: Naked Shipwrights

Why?  Because the other boot is gonna fall: And when it does, everyone will know who doesn’t shave her halibut-belly white gams.  This sort of thing never turns out well. I am suggesting that we need to focus, people; it may be time to build that ark, mend those groovy galoshes, and by golly gosh, you got to rustle up a warm body that you can tolerate for say, 40 days and nights.  At sea.  And, I daresay, it’s not even winter yet!

I recently attended an incredible seminar led by internationally-renowned Stress Management expert, Brian “Luke” Seaward, that focused on holistic health, stress reduction, addressing latent anger, and a bevy of mind-body-spirit topics.  It was not so much enlightening, as it was validating and inspiring.  Sort of like being reminded to brush and floss between meals by your dental hygienist.  On the same token, while most everybody innately comprehends the fight-or-flight response, not everyone understands how to manage it to their best advantage, i.e., to live a happy, healthy life.  It was a rare treat for Sitkans to experience this utterly engaging guide who shared his vast pearls of wisdom seamlessly laced with humor and eloquence.  I encourage you to check out his website and his blog, Stressfully Speaking, to partake in some of this common sense sagacity.  Even if you aren’t into all the positivity and wellness, I assure you that his nature photography is well worth the effort.

Meanwhile, the current forecast threatens more of the same damn nice weather.  Reckon I should go find some gopher wood before too long.  Or maybe… here’s a novel thought:  Just enjoy it while it lasts.

* One more thing, to everyone that wrote asking on my whereabouts and well-being, THANKS for reminding me that YOU are out there!  YOU are simply amazing!

* Big thanks to Ray Troll for the Baited Breasts pic!  Check out more of his ingenious insanity at http://www.trollart.com

Easter and The Island

Sac Roe Mountain
These eggs you cannot dye. I tried.

Here it is, Easter Sunday, and there are upwards of thirty miles of herring spawn on the beaches around Sitka Sound and no evidence that the tide is turning anytime soon.  This is fine, and even dandy, because the curiously wonderful stench of rotting roe is authentically indicative of the statement that, around here, “Spring is in the air.”  Finally.

Whales and sea lions, otters and eagles enjoy the bounty right alongside the fishermen and children that are snagging up abundant herring that will continue to loiter about the surrounding waters throughout the spawn time and into the next month or so.  Inland, the skunk cabbage is a-blooming in muskegs and roadside trenches, the rambling alder and rhododendron bushes sporting taut buds, and even the chickadees and wrens are beginning to sing their unique odes to joy.

Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson
Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson

The herring fleet of recent memory has since moved on and my chick posse has shifted their focus to other conquests… things that include peeling back the layers of winter wear to expose the ravages of time spent, perhaps, a bit too well (read: must join gym) in and on the lounges about town.  Enough commiserating, my peeps, we must lace up our sneakers and step out into the light to explore the island in the name of revitalization and hope, which is precisely what the promise of Spring implies: a whole new opportunity to fine-tune the rest of our lives.  Once again.

Here is a poem called “The Island,” that simply and eloquently sums up why we live the way we do:

If ever you’ve lived on an island
if ever you’ve lived by the sea;
You’ll never return to the mainland
once your spirit has been set free.

If ever you’ve smelled the ocean
or tasted the salt in the air;
You’ll know you’ve discovered a hatch
that is uncommon, precious and rare.

If you’ve ever seen the whales play
or watched the eagles in flight;
You’ll remember, again, why you live here
and why it feels so right.

If you’ve ever seen the sun set
as the ferry passed the shore;
You’ve seen the beauty of the island
that will be with you forever more.

If you’ve heard the seagulls
the waves, a foghorn, the winds;
Then you’ve heard the song of the island
and the peaceful message it sends.

Indeed, if you live on an island
if you’ve lucky to live by the sea;
You’ll never return to the mainland
as your spirit has been set free.

-J. Earnhart © ’92

To my peepsAnd there you have it, my blessings to step away from the computer, to leave cyberspace and go play outside.  Meanwhile, WSW wishes you a happy Easter and a dangerously adventurous Spring!  Here’s a fun link to a guy that loves his peeps in an entirely different way!

*Photo cred to James Poulson at the Daily Sitka Sentinel.  Click here for some of his amazing pics from Sac Roe Herring Season 2009!

*Big thanks to Dan Littlefield for the spawned-on branches photo!

*Thanks to Mara S. for the poem!

Closing the Purse

pinching the purse (seine)Alas, the fifth and final fishery of the Sac Roe Herring season occurred this afternoon as the purse closes on another year of the annual derby here in Sitka.  Harvesters targeted the remaining 930 tons of silvery sac roe containers in the Silver Bay area, south of town, in a typically competitive opening which essentially entailed 15 delicious minutes of hot seine-on-seine action.

To fully appreciate what this means, short of being on location, here are two videos to wet your chops:

As viewed from the beach:

As viewed from the sky:

For anyone wondering about the first four openings, here are the vital stats:

  • March 22                      2,560 tons                Hayward Strait
  • March 24                      4,750 tons                Hayward Strait
  • March 28                      3,800 tons                Starrigavin Area
  • March 31                       2,500 tons               Starrigavin/Katlian

So, what happens next?  Both fishers and fish will glide out of here spawn on kelpincrementally over a span of hours to weeks.  While I can’t guarantee the whereabouts of the fish, I can state with confidence that some vessels will point their bows towards the various spawn-on-kelp pounds while others will simply fade into the horizon with, perhaps, loftier ambitions.

And what becomes of the babes left on the beach?   After the glitter fades and all that remains are a few tender memories, some broken hearts, and perhaps a handful of chicks that might exercise their right to plead the Fifth, I get to debrief every teary-eyed posse pal out there.  Why me?  Because in the Land of BeenThereDoneThat, I am Queen.

We will congregate and commiserate over lonesome booths at various establishments and try to imagine life before the 2009 Man Herring Season.  We will bolster each other with tales of love and loss as we strategically analyze the hidden nuances of every wink and drink over the past weeks.  We will make heros out of herrings.

And then Spring will come, and with it the smell of rotting spawn to pervade our senses reminding us that all things in nature are amazingly cyclic.  That there is an entire year to savor what was and what may never be.  And at the very least, we can get back to the business of drinking ourselves pretty as we ever were!

**Thanks to this chickee for the vintage purse pic!

Spawn Alert!

SITKA SAC ROE Armpit AphroditeHERRING SEASON is in full swing.  Approximately 5,000 tons of the slippery little silver dollars were netted on the second opening held Thursday, March 26, 2009, which means that roughly half the quota of 14,504 tons remains to be scooped up before the season ends.  Immediate rumours of herring spawn lacing the beaches in the Middle Island vicinity is essentially the equivalent of a code red warning at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, signifying that that everyone else should be getting their spawn on by now.

Normally, I would advise ladies and gentlemen, both, to keep shaving yer backs and shining yer teeth.  It is, afterall, Springtime in Sitka – despite the intermittent bouts of Winter -and that means all the upright critters congregating ’round the watering holes are habitually pairing up to get their spawn on.  As for me, this year, ahem, may very well be the first herring season in history that the WSW opts to participate merely as an observer.

I conspiratorially shared this tidbit of seemingly epic implication to my number one critic, the fruit of my womb, Miz Calamity Jr. (CJ), recently in an exchange that went something like this:

CJ:  Are you in the thick of another big herring season, momma?  Enjoying all your options?

WSW:  Sure, why not?  I always enjoy options… Though, be advised, Jo Mama is swearing off fishermen this year.

CJ: Whatever.  You always say that!  What makes you so sure this is the year that you are going to dodge the boyfriend bullet?

WSW: Because this is the year I quit bathing.  And shaving.  For all intents and purposes, you can color me invisible.  Herring honey non grata.

CJ:  Yeah right! So essentially you are using hygiene as an aesthetic prophylactic?

WSW: Well, lack of hygiene is more like it.  Some ploy, huh?

CJ:  Sheesh.  I thought men liked dirty girls.

WSW: Different dirty, honey, different dirty.

Prior to a couple of husbands ago, I would have never contemplated the implications of utilizing aesthetics as a form of birth control, however, times have changed and so have I.  There comes a day when a gal simply cannot afford to hazard a sloppy peccadillo with any three-legged critter that drags his knuckles across her hearth.  Not even if it’s for the betterment of the environment, the economy, or merely the scratching of certain itches, bitches.

Oh yes, there comes a moment when the smoke clears, the dust settles, and the epic hangover some folks refersilvery dollars to as their lost youth finally wears off.  While your momma might claim that “you’ve finally grown up,” I can assure you that my momma would beg to differ…  Nonetheless, time waits for no one and besides, here’s the thing about Man Herring Season: It isn’t only about harvesting tons of silvery fish worth millions of exvessel dollars.  It is not even about the sudden cavalcade of intriguing skippers, crewmen, permit-holders, and seafood processors that steadily drift into town like so much flotsam and jetsam after a big blow.

What Herring Season most certainly is about for us chickee-babes is the annual reconnection of girlfriends on the heels of a long winter lull.  For while we claim to gather in order to time our menstrual cycles, design quilts, or discuss the latest antics of our collective children, in truth we convene for one simple mission:  to tantalize, scrutinize, anesthetize, and occasionally traumatize, the invasion of fresh meat.

My ladies come together for regular recon missions about town, ceaselessly amused and amazed by the vast array of alpha males, posers, and still-wet-behind-the-ears scooby snacks.   While some of the veteran fleet seem comfortable enough in their skin, the newbies are ever-entertaining in their efforts to appear as gnarly and seasoned as the fishermen of so-called reality television.  Regardless of whatever niche these blokes aim to claim, they are no match for the well-seasoned women of my posse! Out of sheer vanity, in conjunction with the ever-looming realization that several of us are sniffing up the butt of midlife mediocrity, we permit them audience (which is to say, we shamelessly flirt ’em up).

All of this seasonally-enhanced optimism and intrigue, further intensified by the deadly combination of charitable lighting and stiff drinks, combine to yield the ingredients for, either A Perfect Storm – or in the best scenario, some really good fish stories to deny in mixed company.

Water Haul Ladies, I think you know what I’m talking about here:   Your standards dropping faster than the Dow Jones on the heels of the AIG bailout.  It’s about that sort of man that promises his world to you on a silver platter, knowing full well all he has is a boatload of paper plates.  It’s about Springtime in Sitka, where the Official Perfume of the Sitka Sac Roe Herring Season is Eau du’ Me (read: Oh! Do ME!).  The message here is to proceed with caution.

Better a water haul than a sloppy last call.

Oh, I still believe in love.  And fishing.  I am, however, for all intents and purposes, taking this herring season o-f-f.  Perhaps it is time to change the name of this blog from “Well Seasoned Woman” to “Stick a Fork in Her, Boys, I Think She’s Done.”  But only until salmon season starts.  After that, I am all rigged for trolling.

Fishing Buddies of Mine

**Photo cred post-script:  I have no idea who to credit the seine-puppies pic with, however, if it appears a bit grainy, that’s only because I spent an entire winter licking it.

Thanks to The Canooks at Fisheries and Oceans for the water haul pic.

No Fish Shall Spawn Before It’s Time

Just say NO to PrilosecOn Sunday, March 22, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) issued a 15-minute sac roe herring fishery in Hayward Straits for a season opener that produced approximately one-fifth of the allotted quota for 2009. This is, after all, what all those pretty play-ahz really came to town for, right?!

Prior to any fishery being called, the Department weighs the factors that determine whether to call a fishery or not.  The bulk of this burden rests squarely on the shoulders of the Area Management Biologist (AMB), who, right about now, must be popping Prilosec like they are Pez.

One of the primary considerations that the AMB assesses in making the ultimate call to fish is to determine precisely where the best selection of biomass is dispersed with regard to depth and area (in order to preclude a duplication of last year’s snafu wherein approximately 2/3 of the quota was taken in one area in one hour).  In this context, best selection refers to the percentage of roe to percentage of body weight.  As of this writing, today’s test sets yielded roe percentages as high as 12.3%, far surpassing the industry standard of 10%. In other words, these are money fish.

Sitka Herring 2008An additional feature of this opening encompasses record numbers of early-season humpback whales in the vicinity.  As the skittish herring come gushing into the Sound, these great leviathans irreverently glide through the schools with gaping big mouths and little regard for seine nets.  An abundance of whales only increases the odds of injudicious encounters in an already precarious scenario.

Some of the other elements that must be factored into the AMB making the final call include gauging prevailing and upcoming weather patterns; skillfully assessing the consequences of pissing off subsistence-area users by calling a fishery too close to traditional usage areas; weighing the wiles of the Japanese market; and finally, pondering the daily freezing capacity of area processors.

Essentially, what the AMB has to do is a juggling act of colossal proportions before an audience of itinerant and feisty fishermen, pesky processors, crafty buyers, eagle-eyed tribal councils, ambitious biologists, and the various ever-vigilant enforcement agencies that lurk in the shallows.  That said, WSW recommends that should you wish to pay tribute to this Hero of Herring, forget the antacid.  Send a fruit basket or a subscription to Palm Springs Life.

*Photo of mondo herring set compliments of Alchemist Seafoods.  Thanks, Dave!

Make Mine Kelpy Green

Stepping away from the epicenter of the really big holiday unfolding here in Sitka this month, we have to insert a shout out to another high profile event:  The Drinking O’ TooMuch holiday:  St. Patrick’s Day.

riverdance chickees
yippee skippee! here comes the fleet!

Let me preface this little piece by telling you that the WSW is Irish by insemination only.  That said, there is only one logical direction to proceed, and that is down the path of depravity (or what some of us fondly refer to as just quartering into the homeward stretch.)

Here in Sitka, because of the steady influx of herring boys, our humble grog shops are unceasingly packed to the gills with thirsty fishermen, spunky women, curiousity seekers, ne’er-do-wells, and every other flavor of otherwise-unaffiliated description. 

Who sez ya can't put Lipstick on a pig?
Last call, my pretty

Having spent countless St. Paddy’s working both sides of the bar in nearly all of the finer local saloon-type establishments, I can assure you of two things that I know to be true:  First, the disproportionate amount of pure testosterone in conjunction with the promise of forthcoming makin’ o’ the green assures that the bells of St. BuyTheHouseaRound are clanging at regular intervals at every gin joint on the island.   In other words, much of the bell-ringers booze purchased for you on St. Patrick’s Day is seemingly gratis, but more accurately it is graft:  Think of it as a Ponzi scheme for your panties… 

Second, it turns out that you can put lipstick on a pig. I shit you not on this one, my friend, and here’s why:  The WSW’s catch and release boyfriend program works!  It’s a win-win proposition whereby some smarmy five-to-two’er named Dick Du Jour steps into your crosshairs moments after you’ve slammed your umpteenth Irish Car Bomb and readjusted the trusty ol’  beer goggles, whereupon ya find yourself on a oneway trip to the land of HoldStill,I’mTryingToCare.   

Now here’s the really good part:  The next morning, after you finish chewing somebody’s arm off, you tippee-toe into the galley and fix yourself that requisite Bloody Mary, embellished with a hearty splash of Dirty Sue

And. then. you. call. a. cab.  In some cultures that is referred to as a happy ending

Savvy babes always call a cab!
Savvy babes always call a cab!

*WSW Bonus*       

Babes that are seriously trolling for a prom-date on March 17 might also consider the benefits of a Guinness bath and hair conditioning treatment.   If you are sincerly aiming to impress that important someone, you might try whipping up a batch of these decadent cupcakes before you find out whether or not that is a shillelagh in his pocket…

* Thanks to http://www.everyculture.com/ for the riverdance babes

Almost ROEdeo Season

Saddle up your skiffs, buckaroos!  Word on the docks is that the herring fleet is sneaking into the harbors, and they are here to get their spawn on!

For anyone not familiar with the annual Sitka Sac Roe Herring fishery, you can stand to learn a little sumpin’ sumpin’ by checking out the one-hour program, “Cowboys of the Sea: Combat Fishing” documentary that is scheduled to air Sunday March 15 at 9 p.m. (AST) on the National Geographic channel.  (as if these goldenboys need yet another reason to be cocky!)

According to the Daily Sitka Sentinel, “The one-hour program […] depicts the competitive seine fishery, where the nets can be hauled in empty or so full that it takes days to offload a single day’s catch.”

Alexander Archipelago
Alexander Archipelago

If that doesn’t quench your curiosity, you can rest assured that the WSW will be providing insider highlights and tippage galore in upcoming posts.  All you need to know right now are these facts:

  • Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasi) are small, silvery fish that travel in enormous schools which historically arrive in the vicinity of Sitka Sound every Spring to procreate, proliferate and propagate all over the intertidal and subtidal zones of the Alexander archipelago. In lay terminology (yes, I am aware of the pun):  An orgy of epic proportions occurs.
  • How the spawn works:  The female herring release sticky roe and, predictably, the male herring come along (oops! I did it again) and release their milt into the general area that the eggs are hanging around and eating chocolate at.  If you don’t know how this story ends, you should ask your mother.
  • How the rodeo goes down:  The objective of the sac roe herring fishery is to capture the females immediately before they go into labor.  Using pregnancy as an analogy: think NINE CENTIMETERS, not ten.  For those of you that can’t fathom that comparison, let’s use preteen sex as an example instead:  The herring arrive horny and twitterpated, but not entirely motivated…  Naturally, the herring
    The Golden Eggs
    The Golden Eggs

    fishermen aim to take advantage of that small window.  Now, think back to when you were still a virgin… yeah, it’s something like that.  Meanwhile, topside are a group of 50 elitist permit-holders and their chronically hung over crewmen waiting for permission to drop seine nets into the water.  They bide their time by having secret meetings, going to bars, and trying to scoop up as many land-dwelling pre-spawned out females as possible.  When the gun finally does go off,  the seine boat crews attempt to repeat this scenario with the fish, only this time there is a very strict allotted time frame.  This lucrative window typically remains open for a minimum of 15 minutes to several hours, and for the fishers, unlike the fish, there is no wiggle room: the fishery tends to occur in very tight locations with an inordinate amount of action, sudden weather changes, and human participation on all levels.  The herring rodeo is closely monitored by biologists from ADF&G, Sitka Tribe of Alaska and affiliated enforcement agencies so that all regulations are adhered to and that the environmental/stewardship considerations are observed .

  • Other characters include spotter pilots who, when not trying to seduce young girls into having sex at high altitudes, fly above the fishing grounds to locate schools of herring for their contractors. There are often upwards of ten spotter planes flying in tight little circles over the herring 05herring schools prior to and during the fishery, making for some very dangerous and exciting action.  I have been up there and it truly was one of those times a gal might rediscover religion.  The only other thing I know for certain about spotter aircraft is that Sarah Palin has some children named after them.
  • The tender fleet consists of approximately 75 bigger boats (most of which do double-duty in the Bering Sea crab fisheries) with significant storage capacity that participate as herring transporters.  The tender crew works together to pump the fish out of the nets and into several large holding tanks that recirculate chilled sea water in order to maintain top quality product until the fish are taken to a processor where the roe is skillfully extracted, packaged, frozen and ultimately transported to their final destinations.
  • Because nearly all of the sac roe herring is not used in this country, buyers from Japan and other predominantly Asian locales fly to Sitka and personally analyze the roe content to determine whether the percentage of ripe roe is to their standards.  I have seen many big hauls let loose because the roe samples were less than desirable, which is understandable considering that the market has been known to pay over $500/ton.  These pivotal players are generally ferried around in skiffs with big outboards and several busty babes on deck.  (Actually, I don’t know if that’s entirely true.  Some of the skiffs I was on only acted like they had big outboards…)

the gauntlet 2005

This little primer is intended to get you warmed up for the actual upcoming rodeo.   Also, a WSW  bonus announcement: according to my own personal tide book, the 2009 Sitka Sound Sac Roe Herring Fishery will not be in full swing until the very end of March.

In compliance with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Guideline Harvest Limit (GHL) for the 2008 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is 14,723 tons (29,446,000 lbs.)  For those of you that can’t mentally visualize what that number represents, let’s just say it’s a whole lot of boyfriends.

*Shout out to NASA for the archipelago pic

When Life Hands Ya Lemons…

lemonade_award

This blog has just received the LEMONADE blogger award! Am told that it is bestowed on blogs that show great attitude and/or gratitude.  Yer guess is as good as mine as to how the WSW might have earned this honor… What I mean is that I don’t remember going home with any judges last night….

All the same, here’s a big thank you to Naturelady at Borealkraut for the nomination.  Be sure and check out her newest blog, Borealkitchen, for a Euro-flavored gastronomical adventure.  Just seeing the homemade spaetzle recipe made my eyes and mouth water!

Next, in the spirit of paying it forward, I nominate the following bloggers for the LEMONADE award in recognition of their inspirational, controversial, and downright educational bloggage:

(1) Ishmael at Kodiak Konfidential for continuously managing to find the humor in bad situations.  Thelemon-syrup icing being his perpetually cranky, curmudgeon-y, blogalicious attitude that keeps me riveted every time I pop the lid on my laptop.  And most importantly, because Ish (and his illegitimate twin, El Sando) are the bona fide baby-daddies of the WSW blog.  No schitt, Sandman. Ish, ya knew it all along… the rabbit died.

(2) Joe the Homeless at Bums Jungle News for his profile quote, “I don’t answer to nobody, I don’t owe nobody nothing, I don’t dance to nobody’s tune and if you don’t like it you can kiss my ass.”  Also, because I know that he will hit me with a steaming torrent of f-bombs and other poetic missiles simply for nominating him, and for some reason, that gets me kinda hot.

(3) Writing Raven at Alaska Real for being incredibly talented, forthright, insightful, and OMG! she’s like twenty-something.  If this chickee is the future of Alaska’s women and men, I think the Palin machine is gonna rust up just fine.

(4) Black Hockey Jesus at The Wind in Your Vagina for having a blog called “The Wind in Your Vagina.”  This one is a Daddy Blog, a genre I have only recently come in contact with: a hilariously plucky perspective that continues to rock my world while simultaneously reminding me of how much I love children (with lemon pepper and salt, of course.)

(5) This last spot is a menage-a-tie between We’re Not That Stupid, Fiery Blazing Handbasket, and The Immoral Minority.   These three little blogs are written by four savvy Alaskan quasi-political pundits that  fearlessly research, report, elucidate and pontificate on all the stuff that makes my brain itchy.   These writers bring to mind a quote by Napoleon Bonaparte, “I fear three newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets.” Well Mr. B., around these parts, that is just foreplay.

To the winners:  I thank each and every one of you for making me laugh, cry, and yearn to dedicate fiesty lemon libations in your honor.

Now, one more thing.  If you want to pay it forward, here are the rules:
1. Put the lemonade stand logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude.
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link this post to the person from whom you received your award.

lemony-beverage

To everyone else, remember this:  When life hands ya lemons, grab the ice, the salt, some tequila, and by all means, a friend!

A Toast to the Oscars

It’s still February, and with nary a major holiday in sight for weeks, utterly depressing world news, and darkness still winning the battle against daylight for a while, I think there is at least of glimmer of mind-numbing respite underway this weekend.  Yes, this is the night of something BIG:  the 81st Academy Awards airs Sunday at 4 pm in Alaska/8 pm way back East.

Oscars by the buttloadLet me preface this bit by telling you all conspiratorial-like that, prior to last year, for too many reasons to expound on, the WSW had never watched the gay olympics…  It’s true!  However, last year, while living abroad in Kodiak, I wanted to experience the flavour of the community and thus attended a bona fide Oscar Party with genuine locals.  Forget everything you have heard about them wild and crazy Kodiak kids, this was the event of the year!

Our elegant bling-encrusted hostess wore a fabulous non-designer frock while serving up a decadent spread that included hors d’œuvres and aperitifs aplenty.  C0nversation throughout the program was witty and stimulating and there was just enough alcohol flowing to give the illusion that I understood what the hell all the technical terms and awards represented.  In retrospect, I myself should have been nominated for “Best Clueless Actress at an Awards Party.” Alas, hindsight is, um, hard on my hind eyes.

Point being, I lived through the event and even went so far as to participate in an Oscar Pool this year, despite the fact that I have not seen any of the nominated films.  I am, however, seriously considering participating in an Oscar Night Drinking Game which is perfectly acceptable to play whether you are home alone or bellied up at the local watering hole.

In the spirit of the season, I am offering my own scientifically-derived Oscar predictions… based predominantly on prevailing whims and/or winds.  No shit.

Best Oscar Madison: Walter Matthau

Walter Matthau

Best Actor in a Trash Can: Oscar da Grouch

F*uck the Academy Awards
"E" is for eff the Academy Awards

Best Slam-Dunk: Oscar Robertson

Cincinnati's Hoopster 1958
Cincinnati's Hoopster 1958

Achievement in Lewd & Lascivious Living: Oscar Wilde

Putting the "gay" in Gaelic
Dublin's finest

Best Dancing Wiener: Oscar Meyer

Oh I Wish I Were An Oscar Meyer Wiener
Oh I Wish I Were blah blah blah

Best Runner with No Legs: Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius, The Blade Runner
The Blade Runner

Best Oscars in a Tank: Astronotus ocellatus

Oscar Sea Kittens
Oscar Sea Kittens

Best Deceased Jazz-man named Oscar: Oscar Peterson

Late Great Jazzman, Oscar Peterson

Achievement in Costume Design: Oscar Wiener-mobile

Oscar Wienermobile

Achievement in Pissing Off PETA by Continuing to Design Fur-Based Fashions

Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta

Don’t over-think this… just enjoy.  Remember, for most folks the Oscar Awards are just a one-night stand, an escape into fantasy before reality rears its ugly head in the morning!

Oh, and by the way, you’d best be gone by then.  Can I call you a cab?

Gotta get him outta here before my husband gets home!
Gotta get him outta here before the boys get back to town!

*Pictures are courtesy of the following:  Sports Illustrated Vault, The Oscar Spot, Life in the Fast Lane, Tom Marcello, LA Times Blog, and rediff:india abroad.

The Calm Before the Fleet

Mid-February.  Yawn.  Here in coastal Southeast it is that quintessential mean low plateau that nestles quietly between the winter holidays and herring season.  Sitka in February: a time and place where the word zen falls between holidays and herring….  It’s the calm before the fleet.

For many of us, funds are low, business is slow, and significant others (including children and animals) are starting to get moldy and/or annoying.  Way too much time is spent updating your status on Facebook, and not enough time is given to routine housekeeping and maintenance.  While the coastal environment continues to eat itself, and the perpetual Palin debacle persists ad nauseaum, I am resigned to enjoying the remaining days of winter by utilizing the least amount of energy necessary.  Usually….

winter-in-sitka-2009-004

The other night, however, we enjoyed a feast of tarted-up cornish game hens replete with all the fixings.  Instead of doing the beer can-chicken on the grill, Mr. BBQ stuffed apple juice cans up their miniature posteriors and I dressed them up in Chictoria’s Dirty Little Secret Foil Fashions for a decadent meal of unprecendented sumptiousness.  In this case, the picture tells the story.

To read about fowl that left a different legacy, check out Mike the Headless Chicken.  As for me, I am going back to sleep.  It’s only about four more weeks until all hell breaks loose and the spawn is on. By golly, a girl needs her rest.

*Thanks to Cyn for the pic!  And to Scott for the grub!