Friday, January 30, 2009

Photos from Fairbanks

The first two photos are of the cabin we are renting/buying in Fairbanks.  Emmy is standing in the dormer of the loft in Photo number 2.  In Photo 3 she is admiring herself, as you can probably tell.  In the last photo, after I flew down to Anchorage for my training, Jeremy and Emmy had a bonfire in the yard to get rid of some cardboard.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Amateur Radio 1964

This morning Alberta showed me some CDs that the Oral History program at UAF had sent our Grandma. Apparently they had some recordings of our grandfather on them and related to the 1964 earthquake and tidal wave. She hadn't listened to them yet, so we put in the first one, called "Amateur Radio" It was a specal about the ham radio operators who made contact with eachother and the outside world right after the earthquake. I remembered my Grandpa (Nick Laktonen)'s handle (KL7APH) and we were listening to the special. they had people from Cordova, Anchorage and Valdez. And then, suddenly, we heard our Grandpa saying his handle and reporting from the top of Pillar Mountain, where we know he had fled to after the quake. He said "We are mobile." and also said a tidal wave was 20 miles away. Both of our jaws dropped to hear his voice from so long ago, 15 years before I was born! It almost brought tears to my eyes. And it proved for me how involved and central he was in his communications with the outside after the quake and tidal wave. Many people in the lower 48 had thought Kodiak was completely swept into the sea. Now I am excited to listen to all of the other historical audio we have on these 6 CDs.

So, I want to post this 10 minute audio clip, but don't know how to do it, as I have only posted videos. If you want to hear it perhaps you can tell me how?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

From the Photo Vault: Festival 2008

Emmy was so afraid of the chicken! Can you believe this was less than 8 months ago?

I am now in Anchorage for the ANA grant writing workshop. As soon as I got here I met Alberta, John, LaRita and Ravenna at BOMBAY DELUXE which was delicious! I haven't gotten to go there in so long.

Emmy is with her Daddy, and they will be flying down to meet me in Kodiak on Thursday. She cried when I went into the airport. So heartbreaking!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Passed!

I passed the exam! We're going out to Silvergulch tonight to celebrate...More later this weekend.

My Oral comprehensive exam

I am about to head over to take my exam. This will determine if I am eligible to advance to candidacy, so wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Off the Rock, headed to Fairbanks

In the morning Emmy and I head to Fairbanks for a few days.  I am taking my oral comprehensive exams.  Then I fly to Anchorage for a conference and leave Emmy with Jeremy for a few days before we all meet back up here.  It will be good for the two of them to get caught up - Emmy has missed her Daddy terribly.  Today Paty (Emmy's new daycare lady) asked her "Are you going to fly on a plane?"  "Are you going to see your Daddy?"  And Emmy thought Jeremy was here, so she got all excited, only to be let down by the fact it was just me picking her up...

In other news, "Toe Man" still stands, due to our recent cooler, drier weather.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Toe Man"

Since Emmy says "Tony" for Snowy, our little snowman we made today was "Toe Man." Emmy loves him and makes me hold her up to the window to admire him.  Problem is, he will probably be gone by morning, since it is pouring rain, and the poor little guy was made from mostly slush in the first place.

Pics of Baby Jed

Here are some pictures of baby Jed. Parents Julie and Paul, and brother Henry are so happy he has finally arrived. And we are so delighted with our new nephew! Jeremy and Emmy will be flying over to Juneau to see him in a few weeks.

Special thanks to Erin for photo distribution...

Jeremy in Fairbanks, Isiik Sun'ami

Jeremy left for Fairbanks on Thursday, after getting stuck here in Wednesday. I have not been posting much because I am still adjusting to the idea that every two weeks my life will be like this. Emmy keeps asking about him and pretends to talk to him on her pretend cell phone. She's getting better at speaking to him on the real phone too - it's almost starting to sound like a real conversation. At least this first trip is broken up by Emmy and I flying up to Fairbanks next week.

Emmy used the potty for the first time yesterday. We got her an Elmo's Potty Time video for Christmas (more of a gift for ourselves to be honest) And she has been watching it lately. I don't understand what kind of draw Elmo as, but she's just obsessed, even though we don't have TV for her to watch any other Elmo besides the DVD we have. I had just gotten off the phne with Wanda (Jeremy's mom) telling her we weren't going to try thepotty training right now because of all the moving we just did and the traveling coming up. Then She started talking about "potty" so ...well we don't need to go into details. She'll be embarrassed enough in 10 years to know these moments were published on the web.

Life has been pretty stressful lately. We are trying to hire for two positions in the Alutiiq language program, I am moving into new offices (which is great, but will be lonely until we get the new staff). I am preparing to take my oral exams so I can advance to candidacy. I was late in filing my request for an outside examiner to the graduate school, so now I don't even know if my exam will happen when I fly up to Fairbanks. I also have one more paper to write for the comprehensive exam, which has to be of publishable quality. I am going to write about the representation of Alutiiq people by anthropologists and social scientists, and how Alutiiq communities and scholars need to have more control over our own representations in the scholarly literature due to the history (long ago and recent) of inaccurate portrayals and analysis of our culture. I am sure this issue is true for many Indigenous communities, but I see this problem becoming more discussed now that Native people are entering the academy in higher numbers. Did you know that UAF, where I am seeking my doctorate, has only graduated 4 Native Ph.D's in its whole history? BUt there are now more than a handful of current doctoral students, and they are starting up an Indigenous Ph.D. program.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Famous Relations (Pretty far removed!)

My sister Alberta has been continually updating our page on, and has gotten back to the 1600s for some branches of our family. has a cool feature where you can find the famous people you are related to and how far removed they are.  Here is a small selection of my famous "relations":

Georgia O'Keefe (1887-1986)
American Painter
Georgia O'Keefe is well-known for her abstract and close-up paintings of flowers.
Relationship: 7th Cousin 2 times removed

Orville Wright (1871-1948)
American Inventor
Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first people to create a working flying machine, which first flew in 1903. They are also credited with many other aviation inventions.
Relationship: 6th Cousin 4 times removed

 Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
26th President of the United States
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. With the assassination of President McKinley he became the youngest president in the nation's history. He brought new excitement and power to the presidency as he vigorously led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy. His popular presidency had many accomplishments, but he personally considered his greatest accomplishment to be the creation of the Panama Canal. The "Teddy" Bear got its name from President Roosevelt.
Relationship: 8th Cousin 4 times removed

John Wayne (1907-1979)
American Actor
John Wayne, a western film icon, was named Marion Robert Morrison at birth. His parents later changed his name to Marion Michael Morrison. He starred in many different movies including True Grit, The Alamo, and The Green Berets.
Relationship: 8th Cousin 5 times removed

Anna of Russia (1693-1740)
Empress of Russia
Anna Ivanovna reigned as Duchess of Courland from 1711 to 1730 and as Empress of Russia from 1730 to 1740. She strongly disliked and distrusted Russian nobles and created a special police force to intimidate those who opposed her.
Relationship: 15th Cousin 6 times removed

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)
Dutch Painter
Known for his incredible use of light, Johannes Vermeer is second only to Rembrandt in fame and critical appraise among Dutch artists. His paintings most often depict the action of everyday domestic tasks.
Relationship: 2nd Cousin 38 times removed

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Humanitarian Crisis, Close to Home

Other Alaskan blogs are talking a lot the past few days about the village of Emmonak, where people are having to choose between heating fuel and food.  How many other of our rural communities are facing the exact same problem?  Why is this not getting more attention at the State and National level?  There is an article from the Bristol Bay Times that helped get the word out, that you can read for more information about the problem.  There was a link to a document describing how you can help, which I copied for the sidebar of my page. You can also call Village Aid at (907) 348-2413. If you can help, please do.  Spring is still many months away.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We have a new Nephew!

Our new nephew Jed was born to Julie and Paul in Juneau last night! Only hours before his grandpa Dave's birthday.  We don't have many details yet, but we'll post them when we do. Congratulations!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fairbanks Warming Up?

I have been following closely the temps in Fairbanks and it is finally looking like it is thawing out. Well, not thawing out, but the single digits below zero is a huge relief I am sure. Jeremy is headed up on Wednesday, so the "warm" temperatures will make being temporarily homeless in Fairbanks a bit less painful. I will be up there also for a few days next week. And what do I look forward to most? The veggie breakfast pockets at the Alaska Coffee Roasting Company. Or is it the artisan cheese plate at Silver Gulch Brewery...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snow and Ice in Kodiak

It has been snowy and wet, and snowy again. Traditional winter weather for Kodiak. Quite slippery going up and down the trail. Emmy calls it "tony." It has been beautiful though.

Photo 1: View from front window of our cabin. Note broken willow at bottom from the weight of the snow. That was my favorite willow, but it is not going to stand back up on its own.
Photo 2: View near Bells Flats yesterday. The color of the water was amazing. The camera didn't even capture it, so I boosted the saturation, but it is still not quite the full effect we saw.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Taylor Lautner will be playing Jacob Black in New Moon

There was a lot of speculation among Twilight fans whether Taylor Lautner, who played Jacob in Twilight would be cast in the second movie of the series.  Well, Stephenie Meyer just announced that he WILL be reprising his role as Jacob.  I don't have anything against the actor rumored to have been the replacement, but he wasn't Native American, and we had all been happy with Lautner's performance in the first one.  The yet-to-be-determined Vancouver casting company is also going to be looking for other Native Americans to play tribal members in the new film, so if you fit the requirements and are near Vancouver, you should check it out.

Our Move back to Kodiak

I haven't really sat down and done a REAL post to say how things have been since we got back here.  As you may know, we moved back into our cabin until our friends/tenants Liz and Patty get their new house completed.  The biggest difference living here this time is trying to make this a family cabin for little Emmy rather than a newlywed cabin like it was when we lived here before.  We did get a good fire gate from Kelly and Pete that goes around the wood stove area, so now we don't have to worry as much about her tripping and falling against anything hot.  This weekend my goal is to try to find somewhere to put the contents of all these boxes.

Work has been intense, since we now have new Language Program offices, but I am the sole occupant until we get new staff (interested?).  I also lack daycare for Emmy so far, so I have been piecing together days with her being cared for by family, at her old daycare when there is room, and even coming with me to the office.  I remember bringing her to the office when she was just a few months old and laying her in a plastic tote by my desk while she serenely looked around and smiled at people.  Now she is so curious, getting into anything, pushing buttons on office equipment and hitting her forehead on the corner of the desk. Ay'aa.

It has been so nice getting back together with my language masters, Nick and Florence, as well as all of the other great people I encounter in my work.  Now I need to start focusing on completing my research and get that dissertation going.

Jeremy will probably be headed back to Fairbanks soon to start his "2 weeks on, 2 weeks off" work schedule we are trying out.  It is going to be hard on Emmy when he is gone, but hopefully when he is back 2 weeks at a time they will be able to make up for lost time.  No comment on how I am going to deal with this. I don't really know but I do know it won't be easy.

The weather has been lovely, lots of sun and one blizzard.  No Rain...Yet.  I will try to post some pretty pictures soon.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Sisters & The Cousins

Emmy, Melody, Ravenna

La Rita with Ravenna, Melissa with Melody, April with Emmy

We finally got the cousins together. Here are the Laktonen girls' girls! You can tell we are sisters, but would you guess they are cousins?

Note: Melody's eyes look a little funny in the second picture, because the red-eye reducer didn't quite do the job. they don't look that way usually!

Not pictured: Alberta and Rowdy Dude :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Report: Gathering at Moss Hill

Last night we had a very nice gathering with crab dip, deep fried cod, smoked salmon dip, and much more on the appetizer front. We also had a bonfire as you can appreciate from the pictures. It has been a while since we had a party, but in typical form, I was in bed LONG before the last people left.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Housewarming at Moss Hill

Tonight we are having some friends and family over for a little housewarming get together at the cabin.  We are still mostly living out of boxes, so this may be a bit premature, but I doubt people will mind, if they even notice.

Moving back in to the cabin has brought back a lot of memories.  Jeremy and I were just newlyweds when we (meaning he) built it in early 2003.  There is still the boomerang over the door with our names carved into it, even though a number of people have lived here since we moved out in 2005.  Emmy thinks it is pretty cool so far, even though getting her up and down the trail has been a bit of a challenge.

Will post photos later...

Monday, January 5, 2009

We made it!

We are in Kodiak. Just got the internet hooked up. More soon...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Halfway there (distance)/90% there (time)

We are at Alberta and John's house in Anchorage. They were kind enough to let us stay here even though Alberta has to stay in the hospital an extra night after her thyroid operation. Get well soon Alberta!


Packing the car at 52 below last night was not fun for poor Jeremy. His nose has not turned black yet, so I think the frostbite is mild, if any. Even Dave was up late last night doing dishes and scrubbing the stove. I was mopping the kitchen at one point while Jeremy was cleaning the fridge, and looked up and noticed it was 12:04. We celebrated new years by continuing to clean (after our belated New Years kiss). We woke up an hour before our 6:15 am alarm this morning by Siska who was so stressed that we might leave him he was pacing all through the house. that was followed by more last-minute packing at at least 50 below, and about 8 hours of driving. We got so excited when the temperature got warmer than 20 below zero on the drive south.

Now I have to get reorganized for Emmy and my flight to Kodiak at 7 am tomorrow. Due to my MVP status we got first class down to Kodiak. Aaaaahhh. 45 minutes of pure luxury. I think I will go for the coffee AND the water.