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December 2004 Archives


December 31, 2004

I leave in two hours to join up with my brother in Anchroage for a must-have-fun-at-all-costs weekend that will probably involve a lot of sitting around and staring at each other. He left, like, 300 messages on my machine yesterday listing the verious stores he passes and the items available for purchase.

And while this may sound like a very dull string of messages, it was done in this great accent and left me giggling for a whole ten minutes.

Hum·mus. Hummus.

I will be travelling with my husband's cell phone; if you need to get ahold of me, you will no doubt already be in possession of that number.

Let me leave you with a plug for my sister-in-law: Klondike Kate now has a blog.

Now to get my mother to start blogging...

keep this boy

December 30, 2004

It was ninth grade biology class, and my partner and I shared a lab table with his partner and him. While my partner and his partner flirted, he and I did all of the work. I only remember two specific moments that involve him: having a friendly race to see which of us could skin our fetal pig the fastest and cleanest (which I totally won), and a friend teasing me in class that he liked me. The latter incident was probably what prompted me to black out his face in the yearbook (something I did not remember until my Senior year).

In tenth grade, I again became aware of him through a junior friend who sang in the swing choir with, and then briefly dated, him. I recall sitting with Katy Stephens (Katy, where have you gone?) in the hallway and him plopping down next to us; the very edges of our separate social circles were brushing. I also had a car and became best friends with many of my classmates, so thought little of it.

In the eleventh grade, our social circles overlapped quite a bit as he dated a younger, but closer, friend of mine. They went together all year and into the summer; she really wasn't ready for a relationship and didn't enjoy spending time alone with him. Consequently, we spent a lot of time together as a group, and most of that time was in my parents' basement. That spring I took a class trip to Paris and came back with a new idea of style that he couldn't help but notice.

The summer after eleventh grade found him and his then girlfriend having separately decided to break up, yet neither wanting to be the one to initiate the process. I helped her say what she needed to say and helped him cope with that. He spent more and more time in my parents' basement without her or the group. My mother made several comments about the two of us, comments that I dismissed as quite unfounded.

Twelfth grade threw him and I into Calculus class together, and I helped him float through it. Our first kiss was on my parents' back porch like the clich� that it must be. The group survived the transition, but we did less and less with the group. My mother's most famous comment was made that fall (and yes, Mom, I know your eyes are widening at the prospect of me sharing this with the entire world), "If you do not keep this boy, I will."

fourth anniversary photo

I am so very glad I kept him.
Happy fourth anniversary, sweetheart.

three for the price of one!

December 29, 2004

and since you probably thought i was kidding about the embedded photo of the dog, here is what santa brings to good little puppy boys and girls.

lacey santa rawhide

autocomplete alphabet

December 29, 2004

a content-filler-meme that takes up 40% of my front page real estate? yes please!

play along at home: type each letter of the alphabet into your browser address bar and post which url comes up, thereby letting the entire world know your (possibly embarassing) browsing habits. (the only one i dont recognize)

[via {via (via [via {via (via [via {via (via [via {via (via)}])}])}])}]

cream of the crop

December 29, 2004

i finally decided on a photo to represent the 'best of 2004,' and it wasnt any of the photos you sweet people chose.

see how i am? i ask for your opinion and then do my own thing anyway. dont take it personally - ive been this way for years: just ask my mother.

instead, i chose Golden Days Bonnet.

it was one of my first attempts at photographing people in public, and during which i gained more comfort in doing so.

i also love this photo because of its deceptiveness. it has a sense of peace and nostalgia that did not surround the entire experience: being jam-packed on a sidewalk with 80% of fairbanks on a hot summer day during a parade. and while the viewer of the photograph may not know that, i do.

content filler

December 27, 2004

snarky bit on how the stores are filled with morons.
im-getting-old sentence on the darn weather.
eloquent paragraph on loving four day weekends.
embedded picture of the dog.

lather, rinse, repeat.

on christmas day

December 27, 2004

Five Things I Learned On Christmas Day

  1. if it squeaks, the dog will unwrap her own present thankyouverymuch
  2. setting the chocolate pie on top of the car while you grab the bag with the ice cream and chocolate peanut butter balls will cause the pie to slide, and though you may have caught it with a giant hand print in the chocolate, it will still taste good
  3. if you offer to drive someone home from the party, make sure you know how to get back to the party
  4. my digital music collection is embarrassingly small yet contains some awesome songs i either didnt remember having or have still no idea from where they came
  5. my husband will forever spend too much money on me at christmas, but i do love my new ipod

christmas sugar

December 25, 2004

chcolate peanut butter balls
snowflake cookies
chocolate pie
apple cranberry crisp

these four sugary items are the limit of my responsibilities for tomorrow. three of them i just finished 10 minutes ago; all that is left is the crisp, and i will do that tomorrow morning after the presents.

happy christmas.
baby Jesus loves you.
and my chocolate peanut butter balls.

alliteration at its finest

December 22, 2004

it feels like friday today.
a nice, quiet friday.
not like the two past fridays.

to the new year

December 22, 2004

i have made numerous trips to the alaskan City Of Some Lights, anchorage, though considerably fewer now that i live in fairbanks than when i lived in homer.

while the roads from anchorage to either city are terrible in their own personal way, there are fewer living breathing creatures north towards fairbanks and, therefore, a greater chance of the car breaking down in a blizzard and freezing to death on the side of the road at -45°F after my pretty toes fall off and i eat two of my loved ones.

and even with that knowledge firmly planted in my brain (and coming dangerously close to that scenario being played out a few times), i have rarely considered flying.

why spend $200-$300 for a round trip flight when i could risk my life and the lives of others on a treacherous road with no hope of civilization for hundreds of miles?

the delicate item that is my husbands peace of mind is why i am spending $200 flying to anchorage for an extended new years weekend with a brother (or three) who thinks i am a "riot."

i will be without a vehicle, sure: but at least i will keep my pretty toes.

solstice sun

December 21, 2004

after my mood lifted dramatically with joats awesometastic suggestion for recovering my lost pictures, i took some pictures on my lunch break to catch the solstice sun.

i cant really call it a sunrise or a sunset; with only 3.6 hours of total daylight, the rising and the setting pretty much blend together. the two pictures were taken between 11:40 and 11:50 this morning.

solstice sun 1

solstice sun 2

its all uphill from here.

we dont believe in that

December 21, 2004

by the looks of the office kitchen, the concept of skinny Christians is against our religion.

monday positives

December 20, 2004

i want to end my day with some positives, with the few good things that did happen today:

  • after nearly two months, b went back to work today and had a blast
  • the coworker who sorted letters alphabetically and then spent over an hour stuffing envelopes with me
  • the paper folding machine did not eat even one piece of paper: everything folded perfectly
  • long, hot showers
  • having the dog fall asleep in my lap
  • an invitation to Christmas dinner at a friends that i know will be a lot of fun
  • its only a four day week, and then a great four day weekend

bad day again

December 20, 2004

ive been away from my desk from 8am until 4pm doing a huge bulk mailer all by myself because my supervisor was home sick. the only break i took was to go stand in line at the post office for a half hour to mail some packages to my family. i did get some lunch that a coworker sweetly ran and got for me even though she wasnt planning on going anywhere, but i hardly tasted it i ate it so fast. when i did get back to my desk, i had to answer 25 voicemail messages and enter a stack of donations into the database. i wanted to grab the 110+ pictures from my camera that i have taken in the past few days, and in the process managed to lose over 100 of them. pictures of the alaska night and pictures of our cute new fish and pictures of the garland and pictures i loved.

its enough to make me want to cry.

friday afternoons

December 17, 2004

i used to love friday afternoons - so quiet and calm. i could catch up on the little stuff i didnt get done during the week, stuff both personal and work related.

i also could clean off my desks and office floor space so that i could start the next week with a fresh slate (there is nothing worse than walking into the office after a relaxing weekend and seeing piles of stuff that told me, "you are soo behind. slacker.").

but today? i hardly got a moment to check my favorite blogs, let alone get to any little work related things.

my office is a mess, and i can hardly stand in it with the seven computers (only two plugged in because i only have two ports) piled willy-nilly. i feel like im having trouble breathing or focusing or sitting still. last friday left me feeling the same way.

you have no idea how glad i am that i get the next two fridays off.

one and one is three

December 17, 2004

We had a little baby girl
Made from San Francisco light
We called her Dharma
'Cause the truth was plain to see
The miracle of life
One and one is three


current weather

December 16, 2004

thanks to christopher swingley at the international arctic research center at the university of alaska fairbanks for the handy dandy new 'current weather' bit on the sidebar of the main page that i am including directly from his site (with his permission, of course). it will update hourly.

he has also shared with me some neat perl scripts to pull my own data from the weather service and upload my own content without having to shamelessly steal his. i may be bugging some of you for help in how to alter it for my own picky needs.

but really, all of this is just another way of saying the scientists at uaf rock.

of olives

December 15, 2004

lets say that i do not eat olives.
because i dont.
eat olives that is.
i do say that i dont eat olives.
which is why we need to have this little talk.

i do not eat olives. i hate them.
hate hate hate hate.
hate olives.

lets say, for the sake of argument (because i know you would never, ever do such a thing), when i go to the store you might casually call after me, "would you pick up some green and black olives while youre at it?"

remember clause #1?
that i do not eat olives?

that means you have forfeited all previously retained rights regarding your definition of 'proper' or 'correct' or 'yummy' or 'stuffed properly' olives and should just eat the damn olives i bought you.

best of squeegie

December 15, 2004

rannie is asking for submissions for his best of photoblogs 2004, and i am considering submitting a photo. it's not a contest, but a showcase of what photologs had to offer in 2004.

i have been looking back through the year (over 300 counting the galleries!) and am having a hard time choosing just one.

so, for those of you who have been following along at home, do you have a favorite photograph?

needs less pepper

December 14, 2004

you want to know why i never update my work website?
really want to know?

its because i built it with tables.
yes, tables.
tables for layout purposes.
back before i sang the glories of CSS.

also, also, it is in pure HTML.
not 'pure' as in 'valid.' oh, no.
'pure' as in solely and only.
no fancy php or includes or templates.

i must crawl through lines of cruddy tag soup.
i must change EVERY PAGE to change the navigation.
i must remember my way of thinking three years ago.
i get depressed every time i think about it.

avoidance is easier than redoing it in php and css.
but oh, the possibilities.

do not use while prickly

December 14, 2004

against what one of my friend stubbornly believes, devils club is a real plant that grows in south central alaska with very thorny stalks and leaves. the thorns burrow their way through soft flesh like there is no tomorrow.

i bought some devils club massage oil from a vendor at the state fair who made it himself. it is great for relieving sore muscles and joints, plus it makes the dog want to eat you you smell so yummy.

i gave b a nice long back massage around 9pm last night with the devils club oil, during which he fell asleep on the couch. when i was finished i covered him with a blanket partly to keep him warm and partly to keep the dog from licking his back.

he was in the same place when i dropped the dog on him first thing this morning.

did i say dropped? i meant dropped.

as in, i was carrying her and leaned over the couch the place her in the crook of his warm knees before i went to work and dropped her. well, not so much dropped her as she freaked out and tried to jump and then i dropped her right onto his shoulder.

morning, honey.

the perfect tree

December 13, 2004

some of my favorite christmas memories from my childhood surround getting a christmas tree.

because we lived in rural alaska, i thought the concept of buying a christmas tree was made up by some stupid hollywood executive who had never seen a pine tree in the wild. i also thought that fake christmas trees were for the elderly and nature-phobic.

every year in the middle of december we would all pile into my dads pickup and go hunt for the perfect tree.

my sister, mother, father, and myself squished into the trucks cab while the boys rode in the back as we drove up the mountain road known as East Hill Road.

it would take an entire saturday afternoon of traipsing through feet of heavy snow inspecting this tree and that tree and periodically considering the pretty top of that really really tall tree and why wont you climb it, dad?

after the required chopping, we would throw our choice into the back of the truck with the boys and bring it back home. only then would we notice the gigantic bald spot on the side.

that is why God made walls, son: to lean the bald side against.

this is the second year i have put up a fake tree in our apartment, and golly, does it ever look fake. if only it werent so... wide at the bottom. and if only it smelled like a spruce tree. a real spruce tree.

sadly, the trees surrounding fairbanks are as skinny and scraggly as they come. as long as we live here, this fake tree will have to do.

htaccess should wear a cape

December 12, 2004

i just implemented the fancy pants htaccess hotlinking protection lynne showed me, though i do not think that it is working right.

for instance, i know that meaniepunk is still hotlinking my cupcake photo, but the page is not showing the new herpes graphic that my rewrite rule is pointing it to. perhaps its something wrong with my cache?

in any case, please let me know if anything is different for you. like you cant see any of my graphics. because that would suck.

gollum impression

December 12, 2004

To Anyone Still Doing Gollum Impressions And Hissing 'My Precious' Every Chance You Get,

Knock it off. Seriously.

Thank you,

bullets for friday

December 10, 2004

because i can only think in bullet points:

  • 4pm on a friday is the perfect time to contact technical support because who wants to contact technical support at 4pm on a friday?
  • doing secret santas in the office is the best, especially when my secret santa gives me a ton of toys and lollipops that blink and spongebob stickers.
  • why would you file an invoice or bill from, say, waste management into the misc. account payables file if there is an accounts payable file already clearly marked WASTE MANAGEMENT?
  • i am taking monday off because, jiminy cricket: i need a day off.

happy birthday, steve

December 8, 2004

ohay - i almost forgot it was steves birthday today!

good thing he posted about it, otherwise i would have completely forgotten.

wish list

December 8, 2004

i just signed up for secret santa, and you should too.

or, rather, you could just buy me something from one of my wishlists, which i have conveniently listed on my front page. have you listed your wishlist on your website?

open letter to software makers

December 7, 2004

dear software makers,

when updating very important information and upgrades in your software, please do not force me to restart my computer. it makes me never want to update your software, or even just uninstall the bugger and be done with it.

please give me the option of restarting now or restarting at my convenience. and yes, my convenience may be in five minutes or it may be tomorrow, but give me that option.


i hate hotlinkers

December 6, 2004

Beautifull_Letdown has herpes

sprint111 has herpes, too

meaniepunk has herpes as well

and even kiss2039 has herpes

its a hotlinking herpes epidemic!

like a tupperware party, only different

December 4, 2004

last night i attended a sex toy party.

and while both my husband and the friend i invited initially thought it was a great joke, ha-ha-too-funny, there was indeed a sex toy party that i did indeed attend and did, indeed, enjoy.

at first i didnt understand what the purpose was behind direct-marketing sex toys: wouldnt people be more comfortable buying their sex toys like the rest of civilization? on the internet where their guilt and shame can be seen by only their solitary pet cat?

but i soon came to understand. the comfortable atmosphere of a friends house (whom i had never before met) and wine (which i did not drink) helped many women ask otherwise potentially embarrassing questions.

where does it go?
and how do you... oh. oh!
what does it feel like? much is it?

the party was filled with things that glowed in the dark, things that tingled, things that tasted like toothpaste or cinnamon or raspberry or cotton candy, and things that took batteries.

and i apparently surprised at least one of the ladies i had just met by 'how much i knew.' i am a good christian wife, and good christian wives arent supposed to have any fun in the marriage bed. didnt you know that?

i sure shattered that perception, right quick and in a hurry. i turned everything the women said into an innuendo (and how could i not!?), and blurted out the obscene words the woman in charge kept trying to euphemise. call it like it is, i say.

this was a sex toy party, after all.

i may or may not have ordered anything, and i may or may not have won a door prize, an edible massage lotion that screams NOT FOR INTERNAL USE.

but the woman in charge of the party made sure to suggest that i have a similar party at my home and make sure to invite my mother. my mother!

could you even imagine my mother sitting in a rocking chair holding a glass of cranberry tea before a table replete with dildos and vibrators of every size, shape, animal likeness (why, by the way, would i ever want a dolphin or bunny or ELEPHANT down there?), and color known to man?

thanks to my mothers good training, i politely declined. and then, against my mothers good training, i snickered.

this was a sex toy party, after all.

santa has a shipping budget

December 3, 2004

you want to know the reason why santa doesnt shop online?

shipping to the north pole is OUTRAGEOUS.

ups does not do ground shipping to alaska, so the only shipping options left are Stupefyingly Expensive and Stupefyingly Expensive Plus Your Arm, Leg, And Firstborn Child.

i would gladly fight an old lady for the last [insert gift of choice here] in a real live brick-and-mortar store (are they even made of brick any more?) in town than give up my arm and leg. my elbows are sharp, and im young: i can outrun and out power any grandma.

except maybe my mother, but she lives so far away that i do not have to worry about fighting her for the last [insert gift of choice here]. thank God.

winter vehicle tips

December 2, 2004

Four Winter-Vehicular-Related Tips That Should Be Obvious Yet Some People Need To Learn The Hard Way

  • do not hold your car keys between your teeth while fiddling in your bag or attempting to select the right one: those puppies are METAL and your teeth will hate you for hours
  • do not rely on cruise control through white-out conditions: you are an idiot
  • do not believe that the car only needs to warm up for two minutes and you dont really need to scrape the windshield: you will be rendered virtually blind as the windshield fogs and then ices over a block away from home
  • do not keep your foot hard on the gas while your tires keep spinning: more speed will not help in a low friction environment

bye bye macro

December 1, 2004

it would seem that the moment i am asked to photograph some jewelry for a friend, all of my macro skills flew right out the window.

whats up with that?

Additional Content

Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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