Gabby’s Halloween 11/1/17

Gabby Fringette

Gabby’s Halloween poem
by Gabby Fringette

Oh how blows the wind ‘oer this Hallow’s Eve
Coldly moaning like witch’s breath,
flickers candles what glow in jolly carved men.

Darkly shines the night sky
A roof overhead a million sleepy roofs,
velvet wrap keeping us trapped ‘pon comforted ground.

Little scuff of children’s shoes
Little whisper of little voices,
of many futures of the making

Now here we are up in the waking
Weaving darkness, tales creating
for the Halloween which will sate for another 364 days

So come this eve this month this year
Sit listen close to a tale so dear,
your grandmother’s story or one shiny new

Where’er you bring your story from
Tell to others to grow it like a weed
then be set in stone.

Gabby Goes Costuming 10/25/17

by Gabby Fringette

Tis the season to get SPOOKY. Now, there are many different types of costume, each has different pros and cons depending how much money you have, your age, the company you will keep on the day, and where you are located. Let us go through them.

Sexy anything, for both men and women. These costumes look good on some people. Yeah, if you have a model’s body you can totally pull off a Sailor Moon costume, or if you’re ripped go for that sexy shirtless fireman. These costumes have some caveats, though. They are impractical or inappropriate if:
1. you will be around children, the very elderly, your heavily ashamed mother.
2. if it’s cold. You’ll freeze. Your corpse will be all the more seasonable, but you’ll still be frozen.
3. If you are younger than 18. Yes, Suzi, you may have your ta-tas now, but you can’t be sexy Red Ridinghood. You are underaged. Also, I feel that people who are older or ungroomed will come off as wearing the costume more as a joke.

Th next one can take many shapes and forms, and is good for (almost) all ages. The legitimately scary costume. This one is a crafted masterpiece. You spent a long time getting the scab blood just right, and now you really DO look like the risen dead. This costume isn’t sexual, it’s scary. You can add on as much clothing as you need to (in most cases) in order to be warm. But this may not be for you if:
1. you are around little kids. Don’t be the insensitive prick who goes to an event with little kids who is dressed as something scary.
2. you don’t know what you’re doing. Sure, it looked easy in the youtube tutorial. But if you are clumsy, you could mess everything else up, including your face if you’re working with something like hot gelatin.
3. are going to have to do anything strenuous. Dancing, running, bobbing for apples, they could all mess up your wax scars.

The funny costume. These are great, they are often puns. Like if you were to stick toy chickens and magnets to yourself you would be a ‘chick magnet’. These costumes are great, and even if people don’t get it, who cares they are ignorant swine. However…
1. Don’t be the person who thinks a funny couple’s costume is Anne Frank and Hitler. You will be kicked out of a lot of places.
2.Keep it clean, you may go as some form of dirty joke (a bloody tampon, or have a big fake snake coming out of your zipper and calling yourself a ‘snake charmer’.
3. They may not come out as good as they were supposed to, but with a little work they can be great.

Then there’s the ‘normie’ costumes. These are the cheap skeleton costumes made with sheer, uncomfortable fabric. These are good if you’re pressed for time. But:
2. they can be expensive, especially if you are buying a costume to dress up as a popular character from a recent movie. A Harley Quinn (see costume class 1) costs $60 easily.
3. They can be as dangerous as hot gelatin in the eye. The fabric these costumes are made from are often either highly flammable and/or treated with toxic chemicals.

Then we have the homemade costumes, which all of these but the ‘normie’ can fall into. They can range from simple to complex. They are a great outlet for creativity and can be cheaper than a ‘normie’ costume that won’t kill you. But
1. they can be more expensive. Don’t go overboard.
2. They are time consuming.
3. ???? I really can’t think of a third thing.

Stay spooky, all.

Gabby’s Bump Typos 10/11/17

Typo phobia   –  by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

You may or may not have heard this term (usually accompanied by the term ‘TRIGGERED’). Basically, it is a ‘phobia’ of irregular patterns of bumps or small holes. Before we start off, I’m going to tell you the psychological definition of a phobia. You may be adverse to something, grossed out or made uncomfortable by it, but it may not be a phobia.
Phobia: Noun. a continual and non-sensical fear of a particular scenario, item, or act, that is consequently either strenuously abstained from or endured with characterized distress. With regard to the DSM-IV-TR the multiple kinds of individual are categorized under the heading specific phobia.

I’d also like to point out at the moment that typophobia is not officially recognized as a phobia. That doesn’t mean that trypophobia isn’t real. People can have a phobia to almost anything. But it likely isn’t very common, especially as common as people make it seem.

Many of the ‘triggering’ images are images of honeycombs (which aren’t really in an irregular pattern) or lotus seed pods or other small holes photoshopped into people’s skin. The issue here may not be that there are small irregular holes, but that they are in a context that disgusts and scares people. They aren’t reacting to the holes themselves, but rather seeing the holes in someone’s skin.

Unless you have a severe reaction to seeing the bubbles in pancakes or in soda, you likely aren’t trypophobic, you’re just grossed out by gross things.

I feel like the trypophobia epidemic is just one of mass-hysteria. BuzzFeed and the like post ‘articles’ showing the disgusting images, or innocent bubble patters (pancakes, swiss cheese) in creepy lighting or in such closeups they look sinister, and then tell you that if you felt creeped out, you’re trypophobic. This isn’t good. Self diagnosis of illness needs to stop. People want to climb onto the victim wagon and be triggered, because pity is fast becoming the drug of the 21st century. Just be glad nothing is wrong with you.
Unless of course you have an actual phobia of small holes, but this is unlikely because it’s such an outlier phobia.

Gabby’s Homonym 9/6/17

Buy Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

Did ewe no their is a word,
It sounds like another word,
butt is spelled differently then it.

Well, will fell in the well,
I hope he gets well.
Then Betty bat the black
bat away with a baseball bat.

There is a word that means
Ill goes with well,
which goes with Will,
who fell down the well,
anyway, don’t ewe no
this word is a
mixed with a 
and some

Do you object to this object?


Gabby Legal Fringette 8/16/17

Gabby’s Top Ten Stupid Laws  – by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

Nobody likes being told what to do, even if there’s a penalty. But most of you probably wouldn’t willfully break the law. But, I’ve come across a couple of really, really stupid laws, that probably nobody pays attention to anyway. I’ve done one like this before, but there are just so many, we need a refresher.

1. Let’s start where federal laws are spawned. Everyone knows Washington D.C loves to screw us, and does it in many creative ways. However, it’s illegal to get creative with screwing in D.C! All positions except for Missionary are banned in the country’s capital.

2. It is illegal country-wide for a minor to sext, even if they are the age of consent in their state. It’s counted as child pornography. So a 17-year old in my state could totally get laid, but not talk dirty over Messenger. Solid logic.

3. This one, I don’t even want to know why this is even a law, but in Minnesota, it’s illegal to have sex with a live fish. Dead ones are fine. But not live ones. Why is this even a thing?

4. In Alaska, it’s illegal to push a live moose out of a moving airplane. First off, when did this happen, why was a live moose on the plane in this first place, and DO YOU HAVE PICTURES?

5. Another one from Alaska. In Juneau, you can’t let your pet flamingo into a barbershop. Yes, you read that right. If you have a pet flamingo, it is not allowed into a barbershop. It’s illegal within city lines. Again, I wonder how this happened. Why is this freakishly specific law a thing? But the good news is, your pet flamingo is welcome in any barbershop in the state so long as it’s outside of Juneau.

6. I’m going to attack California right now. As you can guess, the list is as long as your arm. But, one town in particular caught my attention: in the city of Carmel, it is illegal for men to wear pants and a jacket that do not match, and women cannot wear high heels within city limits. For awhile it was illegal to eat ice cream while standing on the sidewalk, but this was repealed when Clint Eastwood was mayor.

7. In Chico, if you detonate a nuclear bomb you must pay a $500 dollar fine.

8. In Eureka, near where my family lived for awhile, it’s illegal for a man with a mustache to kiss a woman.

9. Sex toys are illegal in Reno Nevada.

10. One list I saw put Alabama’s 5-minute vote limit as their #1 stupid law. For Alabama I’d put their legal incestuous marriages. This isn’t English Monarchy and this isn’t Game of Thrones. Go meet people outside your family.

There are heaps more. I swear I’m not making this up, these are just my top ten or so.

Gabby and TriPaw 8/9/17

An Update on Claire  –  by Gabby Fringette

You’ll all probably be happy to hear that Claire, my black kelpie who recently lost her left front leg, is doing very well. She was never super bold, and now she’s even more inclined to stay home (and away from the road) so she mostly stays in the immediate yard with my new chickens (I have 20).
She has mastered the stairs, both coming up them and going down, especially if I happen to be eating potato chips on the porch. Alas her efforts are wasted, because it would be smart to keep her from becoming a chunky little lump of dog, which is the direction she was headed anyway. Sorry Claire, I don’t think dogs are supposed to have potatoes anyway.

Her mood has recovered quite a bit, she’s now very happy and energetic, and no less paranoid of strangers. The outlook is good, we think she’ll live out her days as a happy little tri-paw.

Gabby and Fashion 8/2/17

52 Seasons of Fashion – by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

Did you know that there’s supposedly fifty two seasons of fashion nowadays? You read that right. The fashion industry want us to buy new clothes every week to keep up with these ‘seasons’. It’s pretty freaking stupid. There used to be four seasons of fashion, roughly coinciding with winter, spring, summer, and fall, which makes a lot more sense. Winter, you wanted your fashion to be a little practical, warm sweaters, bright jackets. Spring you could loosen up a little, clothes could be thinner and cover a little less. It’s hot now during summer, the clothes can shrink down and be really light, and during fall you bring light sweaters and earthy tones back in. It made sense. And it was a whole lot less wasteful.
Another change is the durability. Clothes would last a long time if you took care of them. And the fashion didn’t change that much, you could keep the clothes and wear them and still not look out of style. But today, they are actually designed to fall apart after a few wears. This is called planned obsolescence. The cute brand-name blouse you splurged on was designed to fall apart quickly.
Why would they do this? It’s simple, of course. To make you spend more. To make you think you need to buy new clothes every week. I’m talking the big boys here, the major players in the fashion industry. Pretty much, the days of quality assurance when you spent the extra on a big name label are gone. The cheaply made clothes and week long fashion seasons are designed to make you, the consumer, spend more, consume more, give them more money. One consequence of this is horrible waste. Another is the maltreatment of people in the industry.
Let’s start with the designing phase. The people in charge don’t design anymore. In the past, the brand may have been built off of one great designer, sold primarily their designs, but not anymore! They use countless designers, and before they even hire them, most companies will order a massive range of samples in a very small amount of time. This is before they even hire the designer. They may keep the designs and not hire the designer.
Then we get to the assembly line. Some brands still do pridefully make their clothes or shoes in Italy or in the U.S., but most go to China or Taiwan. The factories are dangerous, and mostly employ girls and young women. They work horrible hours for little pay, and though sewing may sound pretty safe, it isn’t. There are actually a lot of chemicals put into the fabric. Some are fire retardants. Others are to make sure the shirt lasts for its whole shelf life. Yes, they have a shelf life.
Then, these chemical soaked, poorly made clothes, are sent to stores, where you, the consumer, will pay a lot of money, and if you think I’m kidding, listen to these prices I pulled directly from Glamour magazine’s August edition. Tory Sport sweater: $228. ATM tank top: $98. You see where I’m going here? You might pay a stupid amount of money to bring home a flimsy, chemical soaked shirt. Then it quickly goes out of fashion, or even falls apart, and it ends up in the garbage.
We know we live in a consumption driven society, it’s just incredibly sad and pathetic to look at the cycle, and the effects. It may seem like you’re throwing away a shirt, but think about all of the carbon, and all of the chemicals it took to make the materials for the shirt, transport them, to make the shirt, to transport it from Asia to wherever you bought it from, and then to transport it to you.

Gabby Electric Fringette 7/26/17

The Body Electric – by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

No, I’m not doing a review of the famous Whitman poem, the human body really does produce electricity. Actually, all animals do. A tiny electrical current runs out body, it carries signals from point A to B, so to speak. That’s why being electrocuted is so dangerous, it basically fries our circuits.

Now, how our body produces this electricity, that’s interesting. It’s a process called the sodium-potassium gate. When you cells are ‘resting’, and doing nothing, there’s more potassium inside the cells than sodium. Sodium ions are positive so the area outside the cell is positively charged. Potassium is negatively charged so the area inside the cell is negatively charged, and if you know just a little bit about how atoms work, atoms want to be balanced, so the sodium wants to be where the negative charge is, and the potassium where the positive charge is. When the cell sends a message , it ‘opens the gate’ and the ions change places. This rapid switch in negative and positive makes and electrical impulse.

The less technical version? The cells make the electricity. This is how your whole body operates, it’s how your brain operates, and if you over-think how incredible it is that this exists, you’ll give yourself an existential crisis. And you will be using these impulses the entire time!

All animals do this, electric eels do it far more in order to stun prey. But how much do humans make? Could we really be used as batteries?
Nope! We produce between 10 and 100 millivolts. Millivolts are one thousandth of a volt. We are incapable of making more. Even so, pretty cool!

Gabby’s Language Lesson 7/19/17

Phrases I Think Should be Used  – by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

As we all know, I’m pretty quick with words, already ready with a quip or a bit of snark for any situation. I’ve come up with some good lines and there are some I think everyone should use, not just one mouthy teen. So here are my top five phrases I think we should all employ. Please, spread them around in your daily conversations and on social media.

1. Catching the harpy’s breath. Harpies are shrill and bitchy part-woman part-vultures from Greek mythology. They are very judgmental, and like to yell at people. Catching the harpy’s breath would basically mean getting the full brunt of someone’s yelling, insulting, or criticism. Example: ‘she’s going to catch the harpy’s breath if she wears those shoes with that skirt.’
2. Waiting seconds. Basically, waiting seconds feel longer than regular ones. When you have to wait for something, time sure drags on and takes is own, well, sweet time to pass. Example, ‘soon the waiting seconds were about an hour long each. In real time five minutes had passed.’
3. Sourings of imagination. When you imagine something over and over and build it up and reality is a major disappointment. Example: ‘because of the sourings of imagination, the chocolate wasn’t as good as I’d thought it would be.’
4. Friend-in-law. This is basically the close friend of one of your loved ones who you put up with because you are attempting to be a decent person. Example: ‘though they spent time together, it was only because of Sally. They didn’t actually like each other, but Jackie and Steve were friend-in-laws so they tolerated each other.’
5. Mixing like water and olive oil. Water and olive oil don’t mix. It means it’s a terrible match. Example: ‘the teacher had assigned Quinn and Marisol together. The girls mixed like water and olive oil.’

These are just a few of my favorite phrases from my daily conversations and other things I’ve written. At least the ones I could remember. Feel free to use them.

Claire & Gabby 7/12/17

Claire – by Gabby Fringette

Claire with Cooter before she became Tridog

You may or may not know Claire, the black Australian Kelpie, and Cooter’s ‘little sister’. Well, she’s a smart doggy, a very suspicious, paranoid and independent hound. She’s a medium sized dog with a foxish, expressive face. It’s one of the many things I like about her. However along with her very strong sense of independence, comes her sense of rebellion. Our new house doesn’t have a fenced yard, and the driveway opens onto a semi-busy road where people speed. Just three days after moving up, even though we were already trying to train the dogs not to go on the road, Claire got it. She tends to be indecisive, and because of her inky black coat, she’s hard to see in the shadows.

Eight in the morning, someone comes to the door. Dad answers it, I’m just minding my own beeswax. I assume it’s probably another neighbor come to welcome us and compare us with the old residents. But I heard the man at the door say he hit our dog. Well, crap.
I went into the kitchen, assuming that it had been Cooter, who is not a bright dog. Claire was standing on the porch next to the guy, and she was holding her paw funny. She came inside, and lay down on the floor by my feet. I started to gently pet her down, trying to see if she had broken ribs. The only thing that seemed to be wrong with her was her injured paw. Dad thanked the guy for coming to the door and telling us, and then he went to call the vet and tell them we were coming.
Claire was freaking out a little. She kept trying to stand but I wouldn’t let her. We were on the landing for the front door, and for the stairs to the downstairs where the dogs slept. Claire decided she absolutely needed to be with Cooter, but I wouldn’t let her go down the stairs because it would probably get her hurt. She did get up and go to the door. I thought she had to pee, so I unlocked the door. The front door’s deadbolt sticks, so you have to really manhandle it. Claire used this opportunity to bolt down the stairs, and slide the last three stairs. Cooter wasn’t downstairs, and she howled until I let him in.

We got her to the vet in town, they took her blood pressure, her temperature, examined her, and x-rayed her. She had a compound fracture of her left front leg. They kept her overnight to put the cast on her. When we came to get her the next day, she wouldn’t come out of the kennel until the vet tech left the room and the rest of the family moved out of her line of sight. I crawled into the kennel with her, and only then was she comfortable enough to sort of bounce out. They had me put a muzzle on her so they would remove the I.V. Though they said she wasn’t being ‘mean’, she was aggressive and thoroughly sick of them. They gave us pills to give her twice daily, and we took her home.

She quickly adapted, and became a little addicted to getting cheese twice a day. She’d bounce around, hobble around outside, but was afraid to go near the road. Obviously.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there. When we brought her back a week later for a checkup, and the vet found that the leg was infected. They would have to amputate. We’d be leaving her overnight again.
By the time they actually called us to come and get her, she’d been in their care for more than 24 hours. They almost decided to keep her yet another night for observation, but we discussed it and decided that she’d be more comfortable at home.
She was still very, very drugged when we brought her home. Her leg had been amputated to the shoulder, and she had an ugly, oversized doggy tank-top on to cover the bandage. Under the tanktop, most of her left side had been shaved.
At 2:30 am, she became more lucid, and very obviously distressed as to the loss of her leg, and began whimpering. I came and hung out with her to reassure her. Then again at 5:30. By 8:00, she was able to eat her pills. We got her to drink water.
It wasn’t too long after that she was hobbling around on her three legs. She was eating and drinking. By day three, she’d managed to remove her bandage. The wound extended far above where the leg had been, there was a long, eight or ten inch cut where they’d removed the muscles that would have connected to her leg. It was sutured up with blue plastic sutures. I re-bandaged it. For the next week, I gave her her pills, took her outside to walk around, bandaged her wound, watched for infection.

But as almost always happens, we were most worried about her mental state. She was very reserved, and hid. A lot. Keeping in mind that you cannot see her if she’s in the shadows. I eventually learned where all of her hiding spots were. She’s still recovering, it was a traumatic event. But so far, at least, she’s been very resilient.

By the time the sutures were removed, she was able to go up and down stairs with ease, and though still timid and shocked, she was recovering well. It’s been about five weeks since the accident.

Chicks Get Picked by Gabby 7/5/17

How to Pick Up Chicks – by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

Maybe you see a chick all alone away from the others. Maybe you see one that is just so adorable. Maybe you need to practice your showmanship. There are many reasons why you need to pick up a chick.
It is important to realize they are delicate, they are young and their structure is small and very light. They’re fast, too, and if they don’t want you to practice fair showmanship on them, they will flap their little wings and try to escape. So here’s how to safely pick them up:

The ‘cuddles’ approach. For this one, you use both of your hands and you gently cup the chick and pick it up. This will create a safe cocoon one your hands, and also give you lots of skin-to-feathers contact. Remember to be very gentle. Their legs will either be folded up under them or sticking out between your fingers. This can also work one handed if the chick is very small.

The showmanship approach. This one is used on older birds who you are going to practice your showmanship on for fairs or even larger professional shows. You will want to place your middle finger directly under the bird, with your pointer on the outside of her right leg and your ring finger on the outside of her left leg. You will use your thumb and your pinkie to hold her wings in place. If using a large adults bird, you will be allowed to use your other hand for control. When I was eleven I tried showing a Buff Orpington. Orpingtons commonly weight between 8-10. Try being tiny and controlling ten pounds of angry with claws.

The trust method. This is where you don’t hold the chick, you let the little fluff perch on your hand. This gives them more freedom. They may try to escape, but if they associate you with food and security, they likely won’t. So, that’s how to pick up chicks, everyone. There would be pictures, but my lovely assistant wouldn’t stop moving long enough to take a picture.

Gabby’s Mooses 6/21/17

M is for Moose – by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

Now that I live in Alaska, I have to deal with the very real problem that is the moose. Essentially a cow on stilts, this huge brown beast tends to be everywhere. For the first week, there was one who lived in our back yard, the house and land having been empty for a month, she grew quite used to coming and going whenever she liked.
After about a week of smelling our dogs, and the Fringe yelling at her at ten at night, she left. I’m serious, at ten at night I hear him yelling, “Hey! SHOO! Get out of the yard, moose!”.

Nuisance moose aren’t uncommon. Though moose hunting is legal here, there are a lot of restrictions. You can’t just up and shoot a moose in your back yard. You have to go to special areas during hunting season. The moose who are just around, you have to deal with.
They aren’t too bad until they pair up with squirrels and get into shenanigans.

Believe it or not, they are dangerous. If they feel threatened, if there’s a mama and a calf, if it’s mating season and you’re in their territory, you’re in danger. Just because it eats plants doesn’t mean it’s all nice and friendly. It just means it’ll kick you instead of bite you. Although they probably would bite. An important note about moose: they can kick sideways. Hard. So stay clear. Even though it literally looks like Bambi, NOT BAMBI. Dangerous wild animal. Don’t get out of your car to try and sneak up and take a picture. If they see you sneaking, walking, running, hiding, or anything they think a wolf might do (and keep in mind, if you’re a food source to wolves, everything anything does will remind you of a wolf) then you are in danger.

They do kill people. In most cases, that’s because somebody hits a moose with a car. They dart across the road, or walk slowly on the road. They’re the world’s worst slow drivers. They will even charge cars. If a moose is hit and killed, you must notify the police or the Alaska State Troopers. There is actually a list of people who are called, a list of regular Alaska citizens, who when a moose is hit by a vehicle and killed, are called, and they come and butcher the animal and take it home for food. Waste not want not.

Now let’s talk about dogs. Dogs look and act like wolves. Moose hate wolves. People with dogs have actually been attacked by moose. Moose with attack dogs, and will even go after and kill dogs tied up on leashes. I am not making this up. If you doubt me, look it up. So if you have dogs, be careful.

Moose and bicycles. They’ve been known to steal bikes. Okay, this is made up. But they have attacked cyclists, because they move fast. Like a wolf. Not too long ago, at a ski resort, a moose was put down because it was being aggressive towards skiers. They were coming out of nowhere and whizzing by quickly, like wolves. If they had halted the skiers for a little while, the moose would have left. However, since people paid good money to go skiing, and god forbid nature get in the way of the WASPy, upper-middle-class vacation at the ski resort, so the moose met bullet. There were already people on the sidelines standing by with small chainsaws for ease of butchering.

So there you have it, everything I’ve learned about moose in the last three weeks.

Gabby Travelin’ Fringette 6/14/17

As promised, collages of my trip. I ended up with nearly 600 pics of the trip. Most suck as they were taken in motion. Some are not as interesting as I thought they would be. But here are some goodies. Considering I took so many and the trip was so long I winnowed it down well. (Click photos to enlarge and read captions.)

Gabby Fringette at Sea 6/7/17

Gabby Goes to Sea/ the Clampets go to Alaska
By Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

Well then. The captain of the Kennicott just announced we were in for our first open ocean crossing. He said, in his polite and even tone, that we would be buffered by the Pacific ocean’s waves. He said we’d feel the boat’s movements. We’ve already been feeling it for the last fifteen minutes, and while it felt like a roller coaster, fun at first, try being on a roller coaster for more that ten minutes.

First, let me explain how I got to this point. As many of our county’s most avid gossip listeners know, my family is moving to the last frontier, Alaska. Alaska is 3,000 miles from California. This massive place does not actually touch the lower 48 in any place. We opted to drive 880 miles from our town in the Sierra Nevadas, through the sweltering 103 degree heat of Redding, through the demented hamster nest that is Oregon, then Washington up to Bellingham.

While the drive was an adventure in it’s own right, me snapping pics on my little pink Sanyo camera (nicknamed San-San) which thinks the year is 2010, while navigating for both the lead car, and the unique Topkick-homemade trailer combo in which we have our stuff.

What made the drive up more interesting, is we were going slowly because of the shoddy brakes, weren’t going to make any of the campsite reservations we had, so I, using our old trusty semi-reliable aircard modem, had to find campsites for us, and communicate this information to the Topkick. As it turns out, the walkie-talkies we bought for this purpose weren’t cutting it, so I used a cellphone. There was an often amount of screaming and  missed exits.  But still, the drive was breathtaking. From the Plumas-Sierra area along the gorgeous river, steep green mountains, I really am a sucker for mountains.

Camping wasn’t so bad. The campsites themselves were all very nice. I’m a fairly pretty lass, so it isn’t difficult to find a young guy to help me. At one site a young employee opened the store an hour early and got me ice. At a convenience store near one site, I received excellent customer service just for being polite. I swear, I’m not going out of my way to flirt. I’m just being polite, I’m a little surprised by their reactions, considering I’ve been so busy the past few weeks and then on the road, my personal hygiene has been a bit lax. Still, I suppose it’s a perk of being a girl.

But, very long story short, now I’m on a rocking ship out at sea. I’m sitting in the front viewing room, at the prow, and watching the mist. While we went though the Salish sea, there were dozens of islands and breathtaking mountain views. Now, on the open ocean, everything is obscured by mist. On the windy prow, you can see how legends of spirits and monsters can take hold. The chill of the wind sneaks up into your shirt looking for warmth, the boat rocks up and down, causing the weak to curl up on the seat next to you. My little brother, on the seat next to me, verifies this.

I took the other two little sibs to see the movie showing in the theater, and the seasick one went and laid down in the middle of the boat. Eventually the worst of the rocking stopped, and we were able to resume life as normal.

Getting on the boat was the tricky part. The vet didn’t give the beloved Cooter and Claire the right health papers, so we had to run around to three different people to get authorization, we had to cross a railroad and wind through gates and walls of other vehicles in the Topkick, and finally, driving onto the boat. The MV Kennicott is a passenger ship with a small but very loyal and dependent clientele. We were assigned our cabin by a very friendly purser, and we unloaded our stuff. Then the good part began. We took a slew of pictures of Bellingham, ate the delicious food in the cafe, and walked around. The Kennicott runs on Alaska time, even when in port at Bellingham.

Now, the boat is lovely. It has observation decks, a solarium, elevators, a cafe with great, reasonably priced food, a cheerful crew, a wide selection of movies playing in the theaters, vending machines, and the cabins are fantastic. The beds are comfortable, and if you pay extra for a bathroom, which I suggest, the shower is heaven. Every eight hours, we’re allowed onto the vehicle deck to care for our animals. Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to have them on deck or in our cabins, we have to leave them in the car or in carriers on the vehicle deck. Claire and Cooter were dismayed at this. Claire was freaking out the first time, and wouldn’t even touch any of the big straps that held our cars down in case of emergency. She treated everything with suspicion. Cooter peed on the tire of the Alaska Marine Ferry truck. It is the only place he’ll pee. Since the first deck call, Claire has become much more comfortable.

I cannot describe the scenery. There are mountains. Maybe it’s just me, because I am a sucker for a good mountain, the colossal, near immortal nature of it. The sheer calmness and contrast, how huge and still it is even though it was born out of a huge, violent clash between the plates of the Earth. But we go through narrow channels, and around dozens and dozens of island, uninhabited, tree covered islands. Some are steep and rocky, little mountains, others are flat, and only just above the water. And then there’s the open ocean. If you stray too far from the canals, the boat rocks. Even seemingly tiny swells rock it. The best thing to do then is to lay down and take a nap. Motion Eaze can be had for $20.00.
I haven’t even talked about the whales! The first day, a few minutes out of dock, we saw a seal. And that was it for quite awhile. The little brown critter, flipped around in the waves, and waved to us, before disappearing in the waves. I suppose it might be used to people throwing treats overboard or off the dock. It’s a bad idea to feed wild animals, because it increases their dependance on humans, and they hang around us more. And while it was nice to see it in the water, I don’t want it harassing humans. So it found no treats from me.

We saw orcas. On San-San I got a mediocre picture. On TV you see pristine, crystal-clear pictures of animals. But in real life, seeing the animals just off the prow of your ship, even though it’s just glimpses of the orcas as they arch out of the water, it hits so much harder. It’s more impressive. They move so fast, they’re so large and sleek. I saw a baby swimming by its mother. It was fantastic.
But since then I’ve seen humpback whales, just the spouts and the humps, and sometimes a fluke.

I’ve also seen an absurd number of Bald Eagles. They’re everywhere. It was low tide when we went into Ketchikan, where I saw in the shallows more than a dozen starfish, and a number of crabs. Two crabs were squaring off. When you see these things on nature shows, it just doesn’t seem so impressive. You don’t have to work for it. But when you see just a glimpse of an orca from a windy, cool deck, it is so much more rewarding. You have to be patient, you have to be whipped around a little by the constant sea breeze.

One thing about Alaska, even the southernmost part, is it stays light very late. It stays likes until 10 at night, which can disrupt your sleeping patterns. It disrupts my saintly mom’s sleep patter and makes her as irritable as a regular human.
I met a very interesting woman, who for the sake of anonymity we’ll call Ruth. Ruth is an older woman, maybe 70, who is a cultural anthropologist. She works mainly with native tribes in the northwest part of the U.S and Canada. We talked for a long time about life, school, herbal medicine, and of course, culture. She had a friend we’ll call Todd, who works for the Forest Service. We talked about the rising pH of the oceans, and how it was spelling disaster for the planet. I’ve met a few other interesting characters, Beth, a woman here with her husband and granddaughter. They were going to get off in Ketchikan and drive around, stay in a yurt, and then go back to Kansas. She had a massive flock of mixed breed bantam chickens in the seventies, something that I, a crazy chicken lady, found interesting. But she was also knowledgeable about the climate and the health of the world. She spoke with The Fringe for a long time about it.

We went to Ketchikan the next day, it was a Monday and everything was closed except for a big gift shop. We stopped and bought a bunch of hats and some shirts that said ‘Alaska’ on them, which I thought was a really touresty thing to do, especially now that we technically live here. However, the mandatory hats kept the sun from our eyes as we walked Cooter and Claire. To describe Ketchikan isn’t easy. Quirky. Cool. Downieville. Though on the ocean and way bigger, Ketchikan reminded me of Downieville. Lush green vegetation on every sliver of exposed rock, grass, and even out of the buildings themselves. Built on stilts right up to the water, houses built on rocks and backed up to cliffs, the whole town forever in danger of high water. None of the buildings could be built in California, at least not today. Downieville only stands today because it was built when California was a little more like Alaska. We got back on the boat and bade it farewell.

Some of the people who got onto the boat at Ketchikan was a mother and her two daughters. One was a sweet, shy little girl of six or seven. The other was a very smart little girl of nine, who asked me lots of questions about the sun and solar system. They played with my little sister. When I say played, I mean they threw big foam blocks at each other, me, and the girls’ mom. Their stop was Juneau.

The girls and their mom, and Todd, the forester, got off on Juneau. We went ashore for a visit. Well, we didn’t actually see Juneau, because it was twelve miles from the dock, and our car was boatlocked by a bunch of other cars. We could have walked the twelve miles, but we didn’t have much time to do it in, and if you don’t come back in time, they won’t wait. It’s a looooong walk between Juneau and Homer. But still, what we did see reminded me very much of the coast in Humboldt county. It was lush and cool and there was so much green.

A few more interesting characters got on. An old man, originally from south of the Caspain sea, and his great-nephews were going to Yaketat, to go surfing. Alaska isn’t the place where you’d think of to go surfing, but people come from all around the world to go surfing there. They were living in Juneau. They’d been surfing there before, and according the the fifteen-year-old nephew, ‘it was fun.’

On Wednesday morning, we visited Yaketat. We slept in, and only had 45 minutes to do so, much of which was taken up with trying to get the dogs off the boat, deciding they were too much trouble, and then putting them back on. When we only had fifteen minutes left, ‘we’ decided to go and try and find a grocery store. Well, eventually, I figured we were cutting it too close, and fled back to the boat. I spent the run going between, ‘oh my god I’ve deserted my family,’ and ‘well I told those idiots we were cutting it too close, now when I get to Homer, how am I going to get in the house?’. I actually nearly ran by the Purser who was supposed to check my boarding pass. Well, as it turned out, I am not going to be living on my own until my family finds some transport between this tiny little town and our house, far, far away. As per usual, I overthought the situation, jumped to conclusions, overreacted, and they did, indeed, get back to the boat on time. I know as a teen I’m supposed to like the thrill of cutting it close and all of that trash, but it isn’t like Homer and Yaketat are neighboring towns. Actually, the Kennicott is the only of the Alaska Marine Ferry boats which goes there. So.

After that, we hit swells. Though, as I learned from people who took the ferry often, the sea was smooth as a lady’s mirror that trip, it still sent my brother and mother to sleep. They are so much alike, looking very similar and both having the same demeanor, it would almost be odd if he didn’t get seasick when she did.

Thursday went to Whittier. Whittier is an odd place, today it survives only on the fishing industry, it was originally a secret military base during WWII. There are two massive buildings from it’s early days, one has been painted a multitude of colors, and much of the population lives there. The other is far larger, and lives on a hill. It is dark and abandoned, each window broken out and it’s gray face leaked with black residue from each windowsill, it is a many-eyes beast who cries black blood from gouged sockets. It is, to say the least, foreboding. I had no interest to go near it, or even for a picture.

Whittier is a city of tunnels. To get to the town from the dock, you must go under the railroad in this even today semi-hidden tunnel. It has lights all down the roof, but it is still dark, cold, and the perfect place to ambush. The only think I liked about Whittier was, you guessed it, the mountains. They are huge, and mostly covered in snow. There are still banks of filthy snow on the ground. Whittier, though by the sea, is very dry. It is a gray place, and I didn’t much care for it. Except for the mountains.

We got back on the boat. Another arrival onto the boat was a girl named Mia (not her real name, of course). Mia is two years younger than me, and we have many things in common, from our hair, to our love of salt and vinegar Kettle chips. We exchanged contact information, and hopefully we’ll be friends outside of the boat. Though she’s tall and I’m short (shorter than her, at least, I’m actually average height), I have the feeling we’ll be able to get into very mild mischief. That is, if she can teach me to do my makeup over email and Facebook.

Mia stayed on the boat a very short time, because her stop was Chenega bay. She was on the boat for only a few hours. Chenega bay is a tiny place. The boat stayed for an hour and a half. Somewhere beyond the bay, there is an airport. We tried to walk down the long, long gravel road to find it, but to no avail. We ran out of time. We watched planes taking off and landing the whole walk. Chenega bay is charming. Tiny, but cool. There’s a church with a dome, and across the street was an older model of the dome, obviously having been changed out.

More swells as we began to cross the Cook Inlet to Kodiak. Not Kodiak camera, but the second largest island in the U.S.A, falling behind the Big Island of Hawaii. There are 13,000 people living on the island, and some Grizzly Bears. The Kodiak bears are renown for their size. But as we puttered around town, trying to find a grocery store. Kodiak was unremarkable, to me, at least. It looked like most towns in Humboldt county. Windy, wet, and on the sea. It was obviously crowded, something I’m not a fan of. One thing I adored were the little houses. They were built up on the sides of hills, and though packed like sardines, they looked like a nice place to live in. They were, oh how I hate this word, but they were quaint.
Maybe Kodiak was just overshadowed by my mounting excitement. It was Friday. The day we’d pull into port at Homer, my new home. I spent until eight that night absolutely pumped, we cleaned up our little cabin, I took one more run-around the ship, we said goodbye to our favorite purser, and at eight, we climbed into our vehicles. Mom, and my two youngest siblings and I, were in the Suburban. The Fringe and my other, still seasick brother, climbed into our Topkick. I’d like to say we just drove off, but of course, that’s never how anything goes. There were a lot of other cars getting off at Homer from Kodiak. I only say one get-up that rivaled ours in uniqueness. It was a homemade red-and-black trailer which looked a bit like a barn. It was just pulled by a pickup, unlike ours which was pulled by an ugly Topkick and painted white with mint-green 50’s ice cream parlor trim. Now, it’s safe to say we have the best realtor in the state of Alaska, probably the whole U.S.A. He was waiting for us up on shore to show us to our house, because it was a bit hard to find.
But it would be an hour and a half until the Suburban saw the light of day. For an hour and a half, I sat in the back, comforting Claire, who was freaking out beyond belief. She knew happenings were afoot. She also knew she’d spent the last ten days with heart-of-gold, raising-of-brain Cooter. And though they are best buds and like siblings, that’s too much even for Claire. However, she’d managed to untie herself enough that it looked like she was tied to the casual observer (like the Fringe) but that she had enough slack that she could get into the back seat and eat a bag of chips, four bags of instant potatoes, and part of a bulk bag of instant soup. That’ll be fun for me to clean. Eventually, we were lifted up on the huge elevator with four other cars. We drove onto the shore, parked, and wandered around looking for Martin. Eventually we found him.
“Where’s the others and the truck? I saw a u-haul and thought it was you, but I was wrong.” he said. At this I laughed.
“No, you’ll know it when you see it.” I said.
“I also saw a trailer that looked like a barn, and thought it might be you, but it was from Kodiak and had Alaska plates.”
“Yeah. Ours looks like an ice cream parlor.”
We then got a call from the Fringe, telling us that the R.V before them had been dropped off the elevator, and it would be an undetermined amount of time before they got it back on. So we went to the grocery store. The prices at the Homer Safe-way aren’t that different from the Quincy one. Supposedly it was supposed to be more expensive in Alaska. We came back from the grocery store, and the Topkick wasn’t up yet.

It was well on the way to midnight at this point, and though still light, it was getting colder. Mom and the sibs huddled together, but I was waiting as patiently as I could for the truck. I have been working the last year and a half for this moment. I said as much to my family as Martin let them into his warm car. I declined, I was actually plenty warm in my jeans and thin coat. For two weeks in the middle of the trip, I’d worn shorts and a tee. I ran out onto the deck to look at the mountains and watch the wave in the wind, and people were surprised. Now, at past midnight, long after when this princess should have been home, the R.V had been driven up off the elevator, and the Topkick took it’s place. I saw them, in the dark maw of the vehicle deck, the bike tired from the bikes on the trailer roof poking up just over the Topkick, as it drove out.

Martin lead the way, and we followed him up out of town, up a long hill and down a long hill, until we turned off. After the turnoff, we drove down the little road a ways more until we came to it. Our house. Our home. I ran around, and even though at nearly one in the morning it was just barely getting dark, the house was dark and quiet. We ate our late dinner, or early breakfast, threw our bedding down on the living-room floor, and fell to sleep. We were excited, but exhausted. We were planning on sleeping in really late the next morning. Or rather, that morning.

7:30 the next morning, we’re all awake.

Gabby Makes Up 5/10/17

Gabby Fringette

Gabby Does Makeup by Gabby Fringette

There should be a video for this, or at least a few pictures. There aren’t. But here are a few pointers and step-by-steps for makeup!

Step one: the foundation. According to a magazine I read, foundation is out now. Go bare. This is good because I’m lazy, and I touch my face. A lot. Instead, you should have a facial routine. Washing your face with either some store bought product with a lot of words you can’t pronounce in the ingredients list, or you could use baking soda in the shower, or diluted apple cider vinegar. The ACV may sting a little, wash it off after a minute, make sure you dilute it well. This routine will keep your skin nice and clean and glowy. Also, moisturize. If you have wrinkles, accept it. The foundation and cover up wouldn’t help, frankly, it might make you look desperate. Instead, take solace that foundation and all the other products girls put on their skin clogs the pores and can actually speed aging. Yes, not only are the little hotties getting old, but they are getting older faster.

Step two: eyeliner. Do the eyeliner before the eyeshadow, that way, if you mess up on the liner, you don’t have to erase the eyeshadow. If you want to look subtle, use a lighter colored liner, instead of the black. There are three kinds of eyeliners: pencil, used mostly for doing ’emo’ or ‘punk’ eyes, or for coloring in the water line. This is the little delicate bit of skin behind your eyelashes, close to your eye. This part, can be painful. This part of the body shouldn’t actually have anything on it, ever. But if you must do your waterline, use the pencil instead of a liquid liner or a gel, because if you get that in your eyes, not only will it hurt and you will cry, you’ll have pigmented so you’ll cry black tears and be shunned by humans as the vain demon you are. The next kind of liner is the gel. This one sucks because you have to keep the tiny little specialized brush clean, which means washing it and thoroughly drying it. And it’s small. So if you lose it, you’re doomed. You are going to lose it. Then there’s liquid liner, in both pen and paint form. This is good for doing the wicked sharp cat or winged eyeliner. That is, if you want to look like an edgy tumblr hoe. The most important thing to remember about eyeliner is: it is difficult, you’re holding pointy things by your eye, you need to be patient and precise, and if you put on just a little bit too much, you look like a prostitute. If you are lazy, have shaky hands, or are already content with your appearance, I’d say skip this step.

Step three: eyeshadow. This goes on after the eyeliner, if you so choose to do eyeliner. Always start with a light base color that is near your own skin color. If you have a crease in your eyelid, then line it with a slightly darker shade. Remember: lots of bright colors make you look like a street-walker, or worse yet, a model for Glamour. Don’t do smoky eye. It just make your look simultaneously like you are exhausted and you’ve been beaten.

Step four: eyelashes. You could do fake eyelashes. But it feels like a caterpillar is holding onto your eye for dear life. You can probably get away with some mascara. Easy to do. Just don’t put too much on. And if you do, you can’t just take a little off. You have to take all of it off. Also, don’t poke yourself in the eye.

Step five: the lips. Some people say line your lips, fill it in with a brush, blah blah. But I say, just go for it. Use the tube, apply your shade, blot, and you’re good. Now, what shade should you use? Just use one that is two shades darker than your actual lip color. Red is hard to pull off, but if you can it, go for it. Or just use lipgloss, it’s easy to apply, it’s usually scented and has a flowery package because lots of tweens use it. It’s fun.
Now, there are a few lipstick trends out there that are utter crap. Lollipop lips. This is where you smudge the lipstick outside of your lips to ‘make it look like you just had a lollipop.’ Now, I don’t know many people who fellate their lollipops, maybe I’m missing something, but this, of all makeup trends, will make you look like a 2-dolla hooker. Don’t do lollipop lips. There are a few others, ombre lips, glitter lips, etc, that are difficult to do, and you can’t wear ’em. Not if you want to eat, talk, drink anything, or move your mouth. Because they will smear, they will look bad.

Step six: enjoy. The best way to enjoy makeup, is to stay home, avoiding other humans. This is best done with a pet of some kind. You can actually skip the makeup to do this.

So, that’s pretty much it. Everything you need to know about makeup. Or at least everything I know. Which is good enough.

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