I can remember my grandfather grousing about the price of cigarettes. He swore he would quit when it went up past 35 cents a pack.

It did, and he did.

Now I know how he felt, although my particular vice is brown and fizzy and gives me reward points. At an Anchorage supermarket I was shocked to find Diet Coke selling for $8.19 per 12-pack. Thank goodness there’s no sales tax here.

That works out to 68 cents a can. It won’t break the bank. But really? More than eight dollars for a 12-pack? For something that I can’t even get drunk off of?


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I love animals, but I don’t want any pets. It’s probably because I don’t want to be responsible for another living being.

Or to be responsible for torturing another living being.

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If so, ask South County Girl — she has an extra ticket, now that she’s been declared the winner of the AMC movie giveaway.

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My $1 tax refund.

It’s a little nervous-making to get a letter from the Internal Revenue Service. My first reaction is always, OMG I’m being audited.

Nope. “We changed your 2010 Form 1040 to match our record of your estimated tax payments, credits applied from another year, and/or payments received with an extension to file,” the letter read. “As a result, you are due a refund of $1.”

Some people might think, “A buck? Not worth the gas to take it to the bank.”

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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 50 million people in this country are “food insecure,” i.e., they do not have regular access to adequate nutrition. More than 17 million of them are children.

You can help, at least a little.

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