And now I have an irrational fear of bears being where they're not supposed to be.
  1. Once in elementary school, recess was canceled because there was a bear on the playground.
    The next day we saw scary claw marks ripped through the chain link fence.
  2. I came within about six feet of trying to pet a black bear which I mistook for someone's big doggy, just hanging out licking their BBQ grill.
    I was a bit hungover.
  3. After earthquake preparedness and fire drills, we also had to learn moose safety, bear safety, avalanche survival, snow plow safety, and a dance about making Eskimo Ice Cream out of Crisco and blueberries.
  4. I know how to pee in the woods.
    Not in the school curriculum but has come in surprisingly handy throughout my life.
  5. I threw a world class tantrum in a shoe store in the late 80s because my mom would not buy me white leather boots with fringe like Debbie Gibson wore.
    That is NOT practical for winter in Alaska, she insisted, which unfortunately continued to inform my fashion decisions for many years.
  6. Speaking of fashion, I received an UNREASONABLE amount of shit for drawing these Alaskan Party Animals a few years ago. UGH HIPSTERS! cried all the diaper babies who have no idea what actual moose and bears dress like.
    Flannels, Carhartts, Xtratuffs, puffy vests, shit made out of blue tarps? We call that functional, practical clothing for doing legit Alaskan stuff.
  7. You really might need sunglasses at night in the summer! Also, if possible, go sea kayaking at 1am on the summer solstice.
    But no matter how cute your kayaking guides are, do not go back to their hot tub afterwards.
  8. Yes, Northern Exposure is pretty realistic.
    But please don't talk to me about Jewel or Sarah Palin.
  9. Hardly any bands would tour up there so we'd go to every single concert because who knew when you would get another one?
    We felt collective joy at being mentioned on Pop-Up Video as the place where Steven Tyler tore his ACL.
  10. I feel like we didn't have any chain stores until the mid 90s.
    When the Gap opened at the mall, front page of the Daily News was a girl who showed up with red eyes from crying all night because she had a nightmare they sold out of khakis before she arrived.
  11. Yes, I saw the episode of Insomniac where Dave Attel is in Anchorage.
    I'm on it! Can you spot me?