Crude Conversations
Chatter Marks EP 024 What food tells us about love, identity and culture with Julia O’Malley

Chatter Marks EP 024 What food tells us about love, identity and culture with Julia O’Malley

October 18, 2021

Journalism has been part of Julia O’Malley’s life since elementary school, where she remembers carrying around a notebook to keep track of what her classmates were doing. Then, in high school, she wrote for her school newspaper. But her love for cooking goes back even further. In fact, one of her first memories is of being 2 or 3 years old and mixing blueberries and milk in her toy kitchen.

The dinner table was a sacred place in Julia’s household. Sitting down and sharing a meal was important and everyone had a role, be it cooking the meal, setting the table or clearing the table. That affection for food also extended outside of home cooked meals. Growing up in Anchorage in the 1980s, there wasn’t a big variety of restaurants and what was cooked in homes. Ingredients were scarce then. So, when they were available, new meals were an experience that Julia cherished. When she thinks about food today, she says that it’s more than just sustenance, it expresses love, culture, care, identity and nostalgia.

Chatter Marks is a podcast of the Anchorage Museum, and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts. Just search "Chatter Marks."

 

EP 097 A lifetime of exploring Alaska’s natural world with Roman Dial

EP 097 A lifetime of exploring Alaska’s natural world with Roman Dial

October 15, 2021

In this one, Cody talks with Roman Dial, an academic and a long-time explorer of Alaska’s natural world. Since the 1970s, he’s been out there—in the backcountry and in the wilderness—in search of that next thrill or moment in nature. He actually says that there’s a difference between the backcountry and the wilderness. While the backcountry has trails and is near a road or a town, the wilderness has no trails except for those made by animals and is three days or more from civilization. In the wilderness, you’re surrounded by nature unaffected by humans and you can drink from freshwater streams. This is the world that Roman has always been attracted to. One that is still wild and full of possibilities—there’s always another mountain to climb or a valley to explore. He’s 60 now and that excitement and passion for the outdoors hasn’t subsided.

In 2014, Roman’s son, Cody-Roman, was on an exploration in Costa Rica when he went missing. Over the course of the next two years, Roman traveled to Costa Rica in search of his son. He says that he felt it was his duty and that he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he hadn’t. Then, in 2016, Cody-Roman’s body was found and it was determined that he had been killed after a tree had fallen on his campsite. In the aftermath of all this, Roman had a realization: That all the adventuring he’d been doing was selfish. That he’d been doing dangerous things because he got a thrill out of it. So, he started to back away from the activity of scaring himself. Today, when he goes to nature, he’s more conscious of his mortality and how his death might affect his loved ones, and there isn’t a day that goes by where he doesn’t think of his son.

EP 096 A leukemia diagnosis at 32 and the power of a strong support system with Mitch Kitter

EP 096 A leukemia diagnosis at 32 and the power of a strong support system with Mitch Kitter

September 30, 2021

In this one, I talk to Mitch Kitter, the co-owner of The Studio, a photography studio in Anchorage, Alaska that specializes in high school senior photos. He also works in cybersecurity and recently completed his MBA at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He’s 34 years old, and in the winter of 2019 he was diagnosed with leukemia. The only indication that something wasn’t right were frequent nosebleeds that ran for about an hour or two each day for a month. After visiting a doctor to get his blood tested, there were signs of blood cancer and because of the aggressive type, he needed to be medivaced to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Mitch says that he’s still not sure how to categorize his cancer diagnosis and everything that followed it. He experienced a mixture of emotions. In the beginning there was denial, followed by shock, then exhaustion and guilt. There were moments of despair and ones of overwhelming gratitude. It’s a story that he hopes has the potential to help other people going through a similar experience, but he also doesn’t want being a cancer survivor to define his life and his identity.

Chatter Marks EP 023 Cultural burning and Indigenous knowledge with Dr. Amy Christianson and Matthew Kristoff

Chatter Marks EP 023 Cultural burning and Indigenous knowledge with Dr. Amy Christianson and Matthew Kristoff

September 20, 2021

Dr. Amy Christianson is the host of Good Fire, a podcast that explores the social, cultural and ecological importance of fires. For thousands of years, Indigenous people have used fire to improve their environment and their community. More recently, however, because of colonialism and the centralization of power, many of those traditional practices have been made illegal, forcing them to stop or suffer legal repercussions. Today, governmental agencies want to integrate cultural burning into their systems, but Indigenous people are only asking for the autonomy to continue doing what they’ve done for thousands of years.

Matthew Kristoff also joins the conversation. He works on Good Fire with Dr. Christianson. He’s also the host of YourForest, a podcast that explores the natural world through conversations about environmental issues.

Chatter Marks is a podcast of the Anchorage Museum, and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts. Just search "Chatter Marks."

EP 095 Young Madison would be so stoked on adult Madison, with Madison Blackley

EP 095 Young Madison would be so stoked on adult Madison, with Madison Blackley

September 12, 2021

In this episode of GLOSS, or the Gorgeous Ladies of Snowboarding and Skiing—an ongoing series between Crude and Blower Media—I talk with professional snowboarder Madison Blackley.

Madison found her way into snowboarding by way of Volcom’s Peanut Butter and Rail Jam competition. Fresh out of high school, she won the competition at Brighton in 2007. From there, she made it to the finals, where she got 3rd place and Best Trick. It was a formative moment in her career—it put her riding in front of industry people and it introduced her to other riders who have continued to be part of her life.

These free competitions, with gear and prize money, are few and far between now, making it difficult for many newcomers to enter the sport as aspiring professionals. The elimination of them has bottlenecked the industry into invite-only competitions, where only certain riders are chosen. And if this trend continues, then less and less new riders are able to enter the industry.

Madison has an encyclopedic knowledge of women in snowboarding. She collects their stats like baseball cards—the spots they’ve hit and the tricks they’ve done. This helps her understand her peers as well as her place in snowboarding. As a woman, she says that in order for there to be more equity in the sport, the industry needs to stop marginalizing women. For example, she says that all-female videos have the potential to alienate them from the larger culture of snowboarding rather than allowing them to be part of established projects that feature both men and women.

Chatter Marks EP 022 How language influences identity and culture with Kirk Gallardo

Chatter Marks EP 022 How language influences identity and culture with Kirk Gallardo

August 27, 2021

Kirk Gallardo is the Education Interpretation Manager at the Anchorage Museum. His job has many aspects, including outreach, research and curriculum creation. His education is in linguistics, and that also comes into play. He says that understanding language is an ongoing endeavor that involves considering how it influences identity and culture. Being able to speak and communicate with one another... and convey our thoughts and desires is so embedded within our understanding of the human experience that it can sometimes be forgotten how much it affects. It shapes our entire world view. It’s a cyclical concept Kirk describes as one that influences our culture by the word choices we have and then our culture influences the language that we use to describe it.

Chatter Marks is a podcast of the Anchorage Museum, and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts. Just search "Chatter Marks."

EP 094 The power of comedy with Jessica Singleton

EP 094 The power of comedy with Jessica Singleton

August 20, 2021

In this episode, Cody talks with stand-up comedian Jessica Singleton. She’s always been funny, even as a kid. That’s something her mom recently reinforced—that she’s always had comedic timing and that she could always find the humor in everything, regardless of how traumatic it got. When her family moved from Mississippi to Alaska, she was in 6th grade. She was forced to leave her friends behind for a place she knew nothing about. She also hated the cold, and her parents continued to struggle with addiction. She says that she lived in a state of fear most of her life. She was abused, neglected and abandoned. There was a lot going on that was hard to process. So, she used humor to shield and heal herself. Her self-deprecating, stream-of-consciousness humor comes from those experiences. So does her empathy. It’s what continues to draw her to comedy—her set is successful if she can, even for a moment, take someone away from their troubles.

It’s taken her a while to get to where she is now—being a regular at the Comedy Store, performing on sold out tours, working on her next comedy album and she just released a country song. It took a lot of self-reflection and recognition of self-worth. She says it’s about shifting your perspective and setting goals. That it’s about being present. And comedy is where she feels most present. On a stage in front of a bunch of strangers, making them feel like they’re not so alone. This is her calling, and she believes that when you find the thing that you’re meant to be, it’ll happen. That when you direct energy and perseverance in a certain direction, the doors will continue to open.

Chatter Marks EP 021 Destroying art, compassion for nature and the impermanence of us with John Grade

Chatter Marks EP 021 Destroying art, compassion for nature and the impermanence of us with John Grade

August 12, 2021

Artist and sculptor John Grade's work exists in the intersection of art, education and advocacy. Influenced by the environment and human impact on it, there’s a specific attention paid to the idea of impermanence. He often destroys his art as part of its showing or exhibition because art, like life, is temporary. Both are a journey that rarely turns out how you’d expect. So, it’s important to embrace change. To achieve this vision, John believes in the power of collaboration—that the inclusion of different perspectives always benefits and improves a project. That more people involved means more minds thinking through complex issues and ideas. 

Chatter Marks is a podcast of the Anchorage Museum, and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts. Just search "Chatter Marks."

Chatter Marks EP 020 Living intentionally with Jovell Rennie

Chatter Marks EP 020 Living intentionally with Jovell Rennie

August 3, 2021

Photographer Jovell Rennie's ingenuity and talent continues to define both his personal and professional ambitions. His drive is influenced by his parents and his upbringing. When he was young, his mom passed away suddenly, leaving him and his dad to navigate life without their cornerstone. Jovell was a quiet, independent kid and his dad had a hands-off parenting approach—he was very present, but allowed his son to learn through experience. They both made it work and even thrived. 

Jovell holds many of his formative experiences close. He considers them often and applies them to his life and work. When taking photos, for instance, he believes in staying out of the way and not being a burden. His mom remains a constant presence in his life, and his dad is his biggest supporter. He says that, above all, his motivation is making them proud by always conducting himself with integrity.

Chatter Marks is a podcast of the Anchorage Museum, and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts. Just search "Chatter Marks."

EP 093 A history of bucking stereotypes in the snowboard industry with Tina Basich

EP 093 A history of bucking stereotypes in the snowboard industry with Tina Basich

July 25, 2021

In this episode of GLOSS, or the Gorgeous Ladies of Snowboarding and Skiing—an ongoing series between Crude and Blower Media—Cody talks with snowboard pioneer Tina Basich.

Tina was among the first women in snowboarding who redefined what it meant to be a female pro-snowboarder. This meant making constant decisions to push against conforming to a man’s world. Because what you do in the present determines the future. It meant bucking stereotypes—taking the same lines and riding the same courses as the guys did. It meant creating a lane where women were respected for their abilities rather than overlooked or talked down to. Snowboard gear was a big piece of this. Back then, all the clothing and the gear were made for men—the clothing was too baggy and the boards were too wide for women. So, for things to fit somewhat properly, they had to modify everything. But once snowboard brands began making gear specifically for women, Tina says that their abilities and skills improved drastically. Another big move toward equity in snowboarding was the freedom to be herself—to be that girl on the mountain with a DayGlo orange scrunchie and snow pants.

These days, Tina says she’s narrowing down her responsibilities, preferring to focus on the simpler things in life. There’s her business—a gift line of designs called My Favorite Things—her art and she helps her daughter Addison navigate the medical and social aspects of having scoliosis. It’s a diagnosis that requires as much support as possible. For this, Tina draws courage and inspiration from many facets of her life, including snowboarding.

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