Being from Alaska is a great conversation starter. I've become almost smugly expectant when I tell people where I'm from and if I don't get the requisite "YOUR FROM WHERE!?!" I am almost disappointed. As Joe from Toledo put it one night: "Gee, I wish I could score points with girls just by being from somewhere."
They say that every coin has two sides, and I suppose mine does too. The one thing I CANNOT avoid is the "Alaska Questions" that anyone from my fair state is all too familiar with. For those of you who don't hail from the land of ice and unlimited oil (here is my sole political pitch: opening ANWR = good thing), here is a compendium of the FAQs about the state.
1. "Is it always cold there?"
- No, it's not. In the summer the temp. skyrockets to a comfortable mid-60s, sometimes even high 70s. The coldest it ever really gets in Anchorage is about -5, and that certainly doesn't happen often.
- No, in fact, half of the year its "always" light. Winter solstice is Dec. 21 and yes, that day sucks and has only a couple of hours of sunlight. Summer solstice is June 21 and yes, that day rocks and has tons of sunshine.
- I'm always tempted to say: "Well, I don't really have much time for fun, what with hunting, gathering, shelter building, and learning to speak Russian to trade furs with Victor." I live in a city of 300,000...I do pretty much the same stuff everyone my age does. The only real uniqueness might be that I ski, bike, hike, and camp a bit more than some other people.
- Yes to all of them. Except polar bear (in the wild...I saw Aupon at the zoo). I've seen moose and black bear a bit closer than I would care to as well...
- Thank you Tina Fey...this one NEVER gets old...
- Yes, I've met Sarah...twice. Once at school, once at a breakfast I attended. I actually saw her ultrasound when she was pregnant with Trig...how is that for weird? As for liking her...eh...I could take her or leave her.
- That'd be a yes...thank god for the Permanent Fund Dividend.
- To be clear, I only got this one once but it is by far the best question I've ever gotten. Yes, we do.