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By: Melissa Griffiths on December 2, 2013 - 10:45pm - Add new comment

Is this a wish list? Not exactly. I have on many occasions had people ask me, "Wow, where did you get that (article of clothing/pair of shoes/necklace/useful item)?" — usually, I can respond that I bought the item locally (and mostly downtown), which surprises some people. More than a wish list, it is a guide on how to shop locally for most anything you need, with special attention to small businesses and locally-made goods. It's not a complete list of places to shop in town, it's more a list of places I frequent.

By: Melissa Griffiths on October 9, 2013 - 11:44am - Add new comment

October has become a bittersweet month for me. Halloween is my favorite holiday (one point for October), I had a hard time falling asleep last night because the whole town had that haunted feeling with rattling window panes and howling wind (minus one), Juneau is all ours again (plus one), and it's PINKWASHING MONTH (minus 50). 

By: Melissa Griffiths on October 1, 2013 - 6:04pm - Add new comment

Though the biggest debate seems to be over whether the potential Vista Drive development is in North Douglas, West Juneau or Douglas — it is quite confusing for someone fresh to Juneau, or anyone who hasn't lived on the Island, so let's give our new City and Education reporter a break — the debate raging in my head was whether or not to call out the concern trolls. 

By: Melissa Griffiths on August 25, 2013 - 6:59pm - Add new comment

Sometimes nice guys aren't as nice as they think.

This weekend, a friend and I went out to dance at a local bar, accompanied by a couple male friends. We were content to dance amongst ourselves, but both my friend and I accepted invitations to dance with another patron, a friend of a friend. His actions that night reminded me that identifying as a 'nice guy' is not the same as being a nice guy.

By: Melissa Griffiths on August 20, 2013 - 7:07pm - Add new comment

For better or for worse, I don't imagine many people can go to a reunion without comparing it to Romy and Michele's — or is that just me?

My reunion probably wasn't as fancy as in the movie, the lighting wasn't as dramatic and I'll admit that music from the late '90s and early '00s was mostly worse than Cindy Lauper's Time After Time.

By: Melissa Griffiths on August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - Add new comment

Actually, I'm a good sport in the sense that I'm a very graceful loser when I fail miserably in a sport (and then quit it), because I have discovered that I have no natural talent for sports and getting upset when I fall, miss, trip, go too slow or otherwise fail would lead to much unhappiness.

Proof of my poor abilities, despite my desire to be one of those sporty and fit types, is in the abandoned athletic gear that has cluttered my homes. 

By: Melissa Griffiths on July 24, 2013 - 3:54pm - Add new comment

I want to clone Michael Penn and make the clone work nights and weekends so I'm never pressed to take a photo again. When Michael's not available, I often find myself toting a DSLR camera to events and hoping I'll get lucky, that I'll have the right shutter speed, the right f-stop, the right white balance — if it sounds like I know what I'm doing, I've fooled you. Fancy cameras with all those different settings continue to befuddle me. I should probably take a proper photography class instead of this fake it 'til you make it style of taking as many photos as time and an SD card will allow.

By: Melissa Griffiths on July 18, 2013 - 10:29pm - Add new comment

I could name many reasons for liking our new publisher, Rustan, but I would be lying if I didn't say a big factor was his decision to let me bring my dog to work. Is that selfish? Nah, I've had a lot of co-workers express happiness at having Beau the Dog in the office. I think this decision is indicative of a desire to foster job satisfaction and a community feel at the Empire. 

Why is having Beau the Dog at work positive?

By: Melissa Griffiths on July 10, 2013 - 7:47pm - Add new comment

I've worked many jobs over the last decade, a little more if you count slinging pizzas in high school or feeding animals and babysitting, and this is definitely the most interesting job. It also, as it turns out, best uses my skills and talents. It also allows me to sleep in late most days. 

I guess I've had jobs in the past that allowed me to pull in some of my talents in ways outside the scope of my job description, but it's super fun to get to do the occasional illustration for the paper. It's cool to be at my desk painting a little picture for my job.

By: Melissa Griffiths on July 2, 2013 - 4:48pm - Add new comment

Late this spring, when we were first having that summery weather, I decided to weed out and garden a patch in my back yard. I had helped my mom garden in the past and I've written an article or two (three, actually) about other people gardening, so I figured it was something I could handle.

After one day of grueling weeding and turning over of soil with a shovel, I had cleared about a quarter of the yard. Let's call it good.

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