Monday, March 28, 2016

Nomeward Bound... Not so fast!

I woke up this morning thinking I was going to Nome. I received a text message around 7 am telling me that my flight had been delayed 5 minutes. I thought a 5-minute delay several hours before the flight was scheduled to depart was odd, but what could I do about it? Then, at about 7:30 I received an email from Alaska Airlines telling me that Mt. Pavlof erupted yesterday and to watch the flight status. I continued to get ready while watching the flight status. Everything appeared to be fine. Grandma took me to the airport, I checked in and made it through security without a problem. About the time my flight should have started boarding they announced that the flight had been canceled due to weather. I thought the weather in Nome must have been bad because the weather in Anchorage was just fine. The announcement told us to see either a gate agent or a customer service agent (there is a customer service desk right beside the gate we were scheduled to depart from) in order to rebook our flights.
While I was waiting to rebook my flight the pilot came on the intercom and told us that the problem was the ash cloud from Mt. Palvof. She said that the ash cloud was traveling at 50 mph and that they had been told we could probably fly around the cloud and land in Nome, but the plane wouldn't be able to take off again. For those of you not familiar with flying in bush Alaska the planes turn around in towns like Nome and come back to Anchorage. There are no mechanics in Nome or other services (they do of course have a de-icer). When I got to the front of the line, the customer service agent asked me if I wanted to rebook for this afternoon or tomorrow morning. I didn't want to go through the airport mess again this afternoon and I thought if the ash cloud was headed toward Nome, but hadn't yet gotten there, there was a good chance this afternoon's flight would be canceled as well. I made the right choice. This afternoon's flight was in fact canceled.
I'm a little concerned about tomorrow's flight. On Tuesday's flight 151 (the first flight of 2 flights each day to Nome) is much earlier than it is other days. On the news tonight, they were talking about all the flights canceled (43, I believe. Not a lot for other places, but a lot for Alaska. There are 6 communities that currently are not being served) and said that the decision about whether or not tomorrow's flights would be canceled couldn't be made until after sunrise. My flight is scheduled to leave before sunrise. Tomorrow may be an interesting day. We'll have to wait and see.
I talked to my mom today after my flight was canceled, and we were talking about how it was better that I got stuck in Anchorage rather than in Nome. We were both thinking about how my colleagues in California would probably laugh if I got stuck and say something along the lines of, "Of course Kristin is the one to get stuck because of a volcano."
I'll have to wait and see whether I go to Nome at all. Mt. Pavlof is still erupting.
These photos are from

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The start of third trimester

It's rather hard to believe that I have already finished 2/3 of my first school year in Los Angeles, but today marked the first day of the third trimester. After 1st trimester grades were completed my colleagues got me a cake, but since it said, "congratulations on your first trimester," a lot of people thought I was pregnant (I'm not!!). When I posted a picture of the cake on Facebook even though I put a caption explaining, I still got such comments. I've included the picture here for your enjoyment. Now, we have finished another trimester and there's only one left.

In the seven months that I have been here I've done a variety of things (after all this blog isn't called Kristin's Kapers for no reason).
Early in the school year the Head of School had tickets to see the LA Philharmonic play at the Hollywood Bowl. She asked for people who were interested to e-mail her and she'd put their names into a hat for a drawing. I won, but I felt a little bad for two reasons. 1)Everyone was so excited for me because they were sure it was my first trip to the Hollywood Bowl, but it wasn't (I went back in 2002 when I was in Pasadena for training) and 2) there were two tickets, but I was so new and it was such short notice (and on a Thursday night) that I couldn't find anyone for the second ticket. I ended up wasting that one.
The Hollywood Bowl
I also started going to television tapings. I remember as a kid I would watch the Cosby Show and you would always hear them say, "the Cosby show was filmed in front of a live studio audience." Other shows would give indications about being filmed in front of an audience, but I never really thought about what that meant or how you could be in the audience. Shortly before my first day of work I stumbled across how to get free tickets to television tapings and went to see a Tim Allen sitcom called Last Man Standing. I had watched some of the show back when I was living in Kobuk (the origins of this blog) and so I watched everything that was available on Netflix in preparation and then went to the show not knowing what to expect. It was awesome! There was a warm-up whose job it was to entertain the crowds throughout the numerous pauses between takes and a DJ and overall it was just a lot of fun. So I looked into it and found what else I could go to. With work a lot things became very difficult to attend because even if they film in the evenings Los Angeles traffic is a nightmare and so getting to the studios (which could be just about anywhere) can be a real challenge!
One Saturday I went to America's Funniest Home Videos. That one films in Manhattan Beach within walking distance of work. Unfortunately, I did not have a good time so I will not be going back to that. We had a couple of Jewish holidays off and since I'm not Jewish I used those opportunities to attend some filmings. I was on the Price is Right (it aired January 6th, I didn't see it), but I wasn't called down. I was on camera when I attended Jimmy Kimmel Live (my parents recorded it and I saw myself when I visited them at Christmas). JKL was fun because James Taylor was a guest on the show and afterwards the studio audience all went out to the parking lot and after the first two songs (which were recorded for the show) they allowed people to take pictures and film (many of these tapings don't even allow your phone on the lot so I don't have pictures).

My name tag from the Price is Right
James Taylor on the concert stage at Jimmy Kimmel Live
What I have really taken to doing though is going to the filmings for the show Baby Daddy. This films on Friday evenings and school ends earlier on Fridays and we're allowed to leave earlier (although traffic also backs up earlier) and of course I have Saturday to rest after a somewhat late night. I have become enough of a regular that when I went last Friday with a co-worker I had to point out to the woman checking me in that there were two of us this week and she replied, "woah," and later commented that I had surprised her. It's fun though because I know the warm-up and a number of the pages and so forth (often we don't know each other by name, but by face). However, there are some guests who are much more regular (seasons-long) and they got some special privileges last Friday. My co-worker told me I just have to become even more regular so that next time I could get us those privileges.

Now, before you think Kristin has gone all Hollywood (after all my previous post was nearly 7 months ago and it was about going to Hollywood) let me leave you with pictures of some of the other things I've done in California. Maybe if you're lucky my next post won't take 7 months...
The space shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center
Venice Beach
A rainbow as viewed from my balcony
My advisory group's door for the door decorating contest was so creative they actually added the category of most creative so that we could win it.
Years ago in China I had heard that Little Sheep (my favorite Mongolian Hot Pot Chain) had opened a restaurant in LA. Currently they have several around LA and even some in other parts of the country. I had to try it out and it did not disappoint. 
Me on the USS Midway (in San Diego)
USS Midway