As much as we whine and complain about the cultural wasteland that is Fairbanks, the truth is that we hardly ever get out the map and go explore it. The reality is that we are simply more apt to buy a pizza and stay home with Netflix than shell out for tickets to a real performance or beer and a cover for good music around town. This weekend is a shining exception to our homebody ways. We'll see if the exception sticks, or proves the rule.
Last night we went to see Sarah Vowell read and answer questions about her writing and life (favorite place in her adopted hometown of NYC: a SoHo loft full of dirt.) Considering that Peter is currently unemployed and my hours this week barely added up to part time, we decided that a Vowell reading was too good to pass up, even at $27 a ticket. I don't regret it. My introduction to Vowell was in college, when I happened upon her Goth Makeover piece on This American Life. I've been a fan ever since, and the audio tapes of her books (read by the author, and so much better for it) kept us in stitches on the longer stretches of the Long Trip North in 2006.
The thing that I loved about her reading and subsequent Q&A time was the low-brow/ high-brow nature of what she does. She talks about going to some of the campiest American history based tourist traps, yet her jokes and nuance would be lost on anyone without a decent grasp of the whole of US history from Plymouth on. (I will pause here to admit that I missed a few. My grasp of US history has never been stellar, but I was relieved to follow most of it.) I resonate with her essay style, and her sardonic view of this country amidst an obvious love for it is refreshing.
Tonight we are going to see our neighbor Holly, who is starring in A Thousand Clowns, a second night out on the town in as many days. Last weekend, there was a Retro Ski-Wear themed wedding inside the Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs (much warmer inside than out, this time of year.) In the mean time, I am tackling laundry and Peter is taking a fly-fishing class in anticipation of the ice melting out of the rivers sometime in the next three months. I hope. I am pretty much over winter at this point (since we still don't have sled dogs) but at least daytime temperatures are hovering around freezing even if the snow will be around for awhile. The real test: Nyssa was out on the porch chewing a bone for an hour this afternoon with narry a whimper at the door. Spring is just around the corner, and we are emerging from social hibernation alongside the equally cranky bears.