The You We Were

October 12, 2018

I was in the upstairs mezzanine of the Anchorage Airport for another over night, when I saw somebody’s thought dry-erase marker-ed on a TSA office window. Which is weird cuz I haven’t gotten a big humor-vibe from TSA organizationally lately- but thats another essay topic.

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The Night I Looked in the Janitor's Eyes

October 12, 2018

therealianfoster

Last night, I slept under a bench in the upper mezzanine of the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. I planned this. I brought an air mattress and a sleeping bag. Ear plugs. Eye shades. I took my shoes off. And socks. I carabiner-clipped my bags together around the park bench leg- no ne’re-do-well would be able to walk off with my rolling bag or pack.

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Uh-Dic-Shun

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

I have a problem. I have an addiction. Sure, I can show up to a job, and cloth myself like a “functioning” human being. I shower occasionally. I have reasonably good oral hygiene. But today, when my phone died...

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Pursuit of Happiness

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

I remember the first time I saw the movie, “Pursuit of Happiness”, feeling dissatisfied. I felt like they hadn’t actually captured the spirit of the phrase. The phrase that was intrinsically linked to life and liberty and property. The phrase that was the culmination of man’s understanding of mankind- its badness, its goodness, its possibilities and how to ensure certain rights through government.

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On the Water

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

We don’t care about the weather. We care about the wind. We look at the clouds, we feel energy in the air, and FEEL information. We make decisions based on that feel, based on the thousands of tides and winds and waves we’ve already experienced in our dance with the water. We put our lives and our equipment in the maelstrom every time we go out. If our equipment fails, so will our lives, and so we value both equally.

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Growing Up

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

There are many people in my life that say, “Hey Ian, how come you’re always cool, calm, and collected? Where’d you learn that?” I have a two word answer for them. Driver’s Ed.

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Stepping In Should

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

“They should know better.” “I shouldn’t do that.” “He should do something about it.” Should is a stronger word than we give it credit for.

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Falling In Love With Alaska. Again.

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

I remember when I first got to Alaska. It was the culmination of a lot of idealistic dreams of a mythical place where certain things happened a certain way. And I wasn’t disappointed. I took pictures of everything, many of which I still refer to fondly. Somewhere along the way, the salmon runs, the gold, the extreme weather, the $500 one hour plane ride to Anchorage, the post-reality-TV-stardom- all became a yawn.

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A Day in the Bush

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

Nome is a hub to which people come for higher level medical care, and from which flows food and goods from the outside world to the surrounding villages. There are no roads to Nome, and Teller is the only village connected by a road to Nome. The isolation is complete. When weather is bad, it can be days or weeks before a village will have any transportation in or out. Internet works like an optimistic friend giving advice they know won’t be taken. This life in bush Alaska.

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I Got My Pride

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

I was talking with the gym attendant the other morning, and we ended up talking about anti-theft devices businesses use so people don’t steal pens. I mentioned how the gym used to have a jump rope, and he mentioned that the good ones don’t stick around long.

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Finger Food or Forks? International Lessons in Etiquette

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

A veteran of countless culture classes, given at the hands of churches, non-profits, tribes and states, I can tell you that nothing can prepare you for first contact. For that first feel of 80 degree humidity at midnight. For no English speakers in sight. For people breathing on the back or your neck in line. For being the only person on a crowded bus that wears deodorant. Nothing.

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Why Shouldn't I Be?

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

There is an incredible account of a flight attendant named Vesna Vulovic, who’s plane exploded mid-flight, killing all but her as the fuselage plunged 33,000 feet* until trees and a snowy hillside caught what was left. But a story that’s seldom told is about why she was on the plane in the first place.

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Rethinking vacations

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

Vacate- verb- to exit the premises Not sure if that’s really the definition, but who is Webster anyway? Why should he have the monopoly on meaning of english characters arranged in the form of “V-A-C-A-T-E”. He shouldn’t. Webster’s long gone. I’m taking the dictionary back. So, how did “exiting the premises” become synonymous with relaxation and rejuvenation?

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Beard-dom

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

Having had a beard since way before it was cool to have a beard, I can tell you there have been some highs and lows.

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Can We Separate People From Their Choices?

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

There is a principle in human interactions of separating a person from their behavior as a tool for understanding. We all have to make this distinction in many of our relationships, or the relationship with our job/spouse/friends, would be intolerable at times. Without a clear distinction between the present discomfort and the bigger picture of meaning of the relationship, we would be nothing more than a bunch of three-year olds in the sandbox, bonking each other on the heads every time there was a property dispute over the red plastic shovel.

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Thirst

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

I’ve never felt complete, or whole, or as if I was exactly where I needed to be. I’ve always felt a wanderlust, and little of it has had to do with geography. I want to see the world as well, but it's my mind that wanders, and my heart that has never been satisfied. It's led to a quarter-life crisis that has become a mid-life crisis- a status quo of questions. I was explaining this to a friend, and she said, “We’re supposed to thirst.”

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The Real Ian Foster

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

Early on in my reality tv stardom, mostly out of curiosity, and maybe a little pretentiousness (like 60/40), I Googled my name to see what came up. And wouldn't you know it, there were a few, non-me Ian Fosters.

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Radical Islam

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

As attack after attack is wrought, both on our soil and the soil of our neighbors and friends across the globe, and as these attacks are clearly linked to terrorists with some sort of affiliation with Islam, it makes a person wonder what about Islam makes this possible? Why can a branch of Islam justify this sort of thing?

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The Darkness, and the Light

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

Have you ever experienced utter darkness?

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Is Social Media, Actually, Like, Social?

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

Society. Social gathering. Social drinking. Social Media? Is there a difference between in-the-flesh sociality and digital sociality?

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Identification Crisis

August 2, 2018

therealianfoster

What's wrong with America? Well, for starters, a unilateral focus on the problem, particularly, the problems of other people.

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