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January 2005 Archives

Non Sequitur

January 31, 2005

If you were allergic to spandex, you would probably have to wear underwear that tied on. Which would be about the funniest thing ever.

One last piece

January 30, 2005

The prospect of eating one more piece of birthday cake with a scoop of birthday ice cream builds and builds such that the thought becomes more important than driving home safely, then comes crashing down with a deadly thump upon discovering that your husband ate the very last one even though he had one the day before, bringing his total to three and yours still at only one even though you were the one who had the birthday in the first place, and its a good thing there's still five gallons of ice cream filling the freezer or his ass would be sleeping on the couch tonight.

An Open Letter to My Sewing Machine Power Chord

January 29, 2005

An Open Letter to My Sewing Machine Power Chord:
(not as good as McSweeney's Open Letters)

I thought we had a good thing going, you, me, and the sewing machine. But now you are gone, and I am left abandoned and confused, not knowing what exactly went wrong.

I never left you plugged in longer than strictly necessary, and always folded you gently and tenderly when putting you away.

Did you feel used? Neglected? Jealous of the seemingly deeper relationship I had with the sewing machine?

Why didn't you say something? Anything? You just sat there, dark, silent, and passive. You never gave any indication that you were unhappy with our arrangement, or that you expected more.

Maybe if you had been more open, maybe if I had been more attentive, it would have never come to this.

But we miss you, the sewing machine and I. Our creativity is dampened without you. There has been no hemming, mending, darning, or creating without you. Things are not the same between us, either. You were the glue the held our trio together.

Please come home.

What it's all about

January 28, 2005

In honor of my 24th birthday today, I want you, dear Internet of My Heart, to do the Hokey Pokey. Take pictures, and post them to your website.

For me.
Come on, buy my love.

You say it's my birthday

January 28, 2005

While it may seem a trifle unfair that I am hosting the party tonight (you are coming, aren't you?), I worked my knuckles to the bone doing all the preparations last night so that all I have to do tonight is sit back and be showered with love and expensive gifts (you are bringing a gift, aren't you?).

The cake is made, though I have yet to convince anyone to jump out of it. The dog is too hairy, and I can hardly be expected to take on that role: it's my birthday!

I was going to put the gigantic bowl of ice cream outside for the night (it's the largest freezer I know of at this time of the year), but B knew that ruffians would run off with it or he and the dog would split it or some other equally horrifying thing would happen and the party would be ice cream-less.

No ice cream and no stripper. What kind of party would that be? The ice cream has displaced 64% of my freezer, but I don't think a stripper would fit in there. Too much ice cream, you know.


January 26, 2005

Happiness is playing pretend with a five year old who suddenly becomes very serious when I invite her to my birthday party.

Numero Uno

January 25, 2005

The number one most requested file on my server?

A file that doesn't even exist because I renamed it months ago. Look at all the spam opportunities I have been missing.

Fight for your right

January 25, 2005

The Birthday Party of Your Dreams is happening this Friday night at Kaleidoscope Billiards. The best home made ice cream and goofy cake you have ever tasted to follow. And you, my precious Internet, are invited.

Techno Mix

January 24, 2005

After Melissa died, I got to keep a whole stack of her CDs.

Some of them were so severely scratched that I cannot listen to them, yet I can not bring myself to throw them away. Some of them were integrated seamlessly into my music collection and quickly memorized. And some of them were just as quickly forgotten.

As I converted a huge chunk of my CD collection to MP3s this weekend, I came across some previously forgotten gems that have the name "melissa" written on the front in black sharpie. Whether these CDs were selected from the store by my sister personally or they were 'adopted' into her music collection from a friend's collection mattered not: they have her name on them and thus belonged to her.

I found one CD-R on which was written only, in her handwriting, "Techno Mix." Some of the songs I recognized, but because they have no lyrics per se Google is no help. They remain a mystery to me.

I would love to know what they are.

If you would like to help me identify the songs, or would like to listen to a random techno mix by and/or for my sister, the songs are located in my media directory. I will rename the songs on the server as I know them.

Myth Buster

January 23, 2005

There seems to be a general misunderstanding with different members of both sexes in regards to select body parts and their sizes, so, everyone, please repeat after me:

Groping myself will not make it bigger.
Groping myself will not make it bigger.
Groping myself will not make it bigger.

Thank you.


January 22, 2005

I am officially a wuss.
Addendum: officially.

IM addict

January 22, 2005

Why do I keep opening my IM program if I close it the moment someone who may actually talk to me pops online?

If I really do not want to chat to anyone, why open the program in the first place?


January 20, 2005

I have 64 ounces of water inside of me that is needing to get out approximately every 20 minutes and the bathroom is completely out of service due to another flood (the third in about two years) in the basement and the nearest pseudo-public toilet is three blocks away but it is too cold to walk and my car hasn't been running all day so would need to warm up for at least 20 minutes and by that time I may as well go home for the day and use my own bathroom.

Falling into country

January 20, 2005

Most po-dunk hippie towns, like the one in which I grew up, have atrocious selections when it comes to the radio. In the late 90s, when I was in high school, Homer offered the following options:

  • the locally run public station,
  • the Christian station that played funeral-esque chanting every Sunday morning before church to pump everyone up,
  • the 'rock' station that played the same four songs for as long as I could remember,
  • and the country station.
The country station's main appeal was that it played a different four songs than the 'rock' station.

B introduced me to more and more country music, better stuff than what was playing on the radio. He liked to make compilations to describe how he was feeling about certain people and situations, mostly about me. 'Our song' is a country song, even though we haven't listened to it in forever.

The super spiffy thing about my new portable MP3 player is that I am listening to my digital music collection almost as much as when I was in college and living with a T1 connection on perpetual download from Napster.

I love to randomize my entire collection. I never know if it will throw some Johnny Cash between a Christmas song by Frank Sinatra and Our Lady Peace; it keeps me on my toes.

This morning It served me two country songs back to back. Not just country songs, but sappy romantic country songs. Which threw me back into a nice and warm reminiscence of falling in love with B during the last years of high school.

Like the Rain, Where the Green Grass Grows, God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You, We Danced Anyway, ad nauseum.

It's been the perfect mood-lifter.

Reason not necessary

January 19, 2005

Two reasons to wash that pretty purple scarf you bought at the thrift store the other day:

1// You bought it at a thrift store; it needs to be treated as if midgets have urinated on it. You should dunk it in a 100% solution of bleach.

2// Its previous owner most likely owned a clowder of cats. You will spend most of the morning sneezing and blaming your not-healthy coworker for passing you this sinus infection thing so quickly.


January 18, 2005

"Would you pick up some soda on your way home"
"The green sperm-reducing kind?"
"No, the cherry stuff."
"Good. Because I like your sperms spunky."

the results are skewed

January 18, 2005

Anyone else think it odd that not only did the PhotoFriday noteworthy photos for last week's theme (silhouette) omit my stellar Lit Ice photo, but four out of the six have trees for their subjects?

Just me, then?

Hasselhoff, how I love thee

January 18, 2005

Hasslehoff recursion.
It deserves no less than a main post.


What we gonna do

January 17, 2005

We can use him as a footstool
Or a table to play Scrabble on
Then tie him up
And beat him up
and throw him out of Babylon

peanut butter mystery

January 16, 2005

My computer desk smells like peanut butter cookies.

Which is all well and good, but I haven't bought, made, or eaten peanut butter cookies in, oh, a year or two. And B doesn't like peanut butter cookies.

This ghost of peanut butter past, why does it haunt me so?

Favorite Firefox extensions

January 14, 2005

Without further (was there any to begin with?) ado, my favorite Firefox extensions:

  • Foxy Tunes
    I love being able to control my music program through the tiny controls in the status bar. Most of my time is spent in the browser doing work- or non-work-related activities, and this cuts down on a lot of back-and-forth time.
  • ChatZilla
    Too convenient to load up an irc channel through the address bar.
  • Gmail Notifier
    Keeps me from missing any discussion board mailings.
  • Web Developer Toolbar
    A no-brainer for any web developer or designer.
  • SpellBound
    Spell check the words in any form.
  • Download Statusbar
    I hate pop-ups, and that includes the download manager. This lines up the file downloads in a nice little row above the status bar.
  • Adblock
    Blocks blinky, annoying, ugly ads and lets me leave the tasteful text ads.
  • Tabbrowser Extensions
    I know this one is supposed to be really bad for my Firefox installation, but I have not found any other extension combination that lets me have the amount of control over my tabs that this one does. Until then, they can pry this extension out of my cold, dead, frostbitten fingers.
What are your favorite extensions?

Ice and frost: a girl's best friends

January 14, 2005

While I spent Wednesday at home, I got in the habit of peeking out the curtains to assess the progress on the Ice Fog That Would Not Go Away. During one such peek, I noticed that the sun was coming up (this would have been around 11:30, then) to my left.

I wanted to get a better view so I opened the curtains all the way - a silly notion in such weather. -45°F calls for notions such as hibernation.

I immediately saw that three inches of ice had accumulated at the bottom of the window, while the middle and top of said window was covered in a thin layer of water. The first thing I do? Start snapping pictures, of course.

Down on my hands and knees by the cold, cold window and the warm register, the dog trying her best to find something, anything, to bark at in the ice fog, I pulled the curtain back more to get a better angle.

That's when I saw it.

frosted plug

And I instantly knew our computer was plugged into it.

rhapsodic nation

January 12, 2005

We are now an error-free MYSQL nation running Movable Type 3.14.

Due to one huge-ass error during the entry export step (note to self: make sure to wait until the exportation process is fully completed before copying it into a text file for importing after you delete everything), I had to manually enter around 300 of my dreams.

Thankfully the error was on my dream journal - there were no comments to dig out of a horribly mangled .db file - and I had not deleted any of the static HTML files, which made it a 'simple' process of copy-n-paste. Three fields, three hundred times each.

The normal caveat applies: if I inadvertently screwed something major up and haven't noticed, please email me to point and laugh.

warm your rhapsodic hungry heart

January 11, 2005

The ever lovely Peter just informed me that my comments are Borked Beyond All Recognition (BOBAR?). And here I thought nobody loved me enough this past week to leave a comment.

I've also noticed some other parts of the site throwing me some 500 Server Errors.

Seeing as how I have tomorrow off from work due to the cold, I will be doing a whole host of things to the site including, but not limited to:

  • deleting EVERYTHING and installing Movable Type 3.whatever;
  • converting the back-end to MYSQL because, really, it's about freaking time;
  • making some slight changes to my archive templates;
  • and maybe moving all of my websites into one consolidated MT installation.
If you happen to see this or any of my other sites down for a bit tomorrow, that will be why. If things become even more BOBAR during the process, I will manually add an update to the main page here (yes, I still know how to do that).

I also plan on getting to an electronic time and temperature sign tomorrow to grab a picture of -50°F.

I love you like ice fog

January 11, 2005

Ice fog in Fairbanks

The camera does surprisingly well at -40°.

Ice fog in Fairbanks

My lungs, however, do not.

Dreaming of a White Ice Fog

January 11, 2005
  • Forty below zero is the same temperature in Fahrenheit as it is in Celcius.
  • It doesn't snow around -40° or less.
  • Temperatures colder than -30°F result in ice fog.
  • Ice fog: shiny ice particles formed when water vapor meets bitter cold air that can't hold any more water.
  • -30°F is the magic temperature: getting above that after a stretch of colder temperatures is like a heat wave.
I'm going to do what I can to get some pictures today at lunch; hopefully it won't warm up before then. And hopefully my camera can handle it.

of reticence and mysteriousness

January 10, 2005
From: Al P. Stuart
Sent: Friday, January 7, 2005 3:52 pm
Subject: of reticence and mysteriousness

I kept glancing at the message in my Inbox, knowing full well that it was spam and I needed to delete it. And yet the subject line was so incredibly compelling that I also knew I would open it and read it.

For knowing a spammer will have gotten to me, gotten past my last line of spam defense (my common sense), I despised the email.

I couldn't look at it. No, of course I wouldn't.

But at the same time, I could not delete it. I needed to keep it, hold it in my Inbox with the grip of a protective mother who does not love her child. No matter how ugly and nasty and horrid that child may be, we still have a connection.

This spam enigma mocked me with every ounce of its existence. It sat there through the weekend, pointing and laughing at my weakness. Its very subject line proclaimed that my moment of reluctance would break my resolve.

And then, I opened it.

It's spiel for low mortgage rates severed the hold it had on me. I deleted it.

Nauyans Make the Playoffs

January 7, 2005

Nanwalek NauyansWins: 10
Losses: 11
Ties: 1
Fifths: lost count

John Kvasnikoff, coach and goaltender for the Nanwalek Nauyans, came out of his whiskey- and SAD-induced hibernation to find that his team had made it into the BHL 2004 playoffs.

After holding an emergency team meeting, it became clear that only the mother of Seth Vasilii, right defenseman, recalled any of the season's games.

"I've had Shirley's green bean casserole, so I would trust that woman with my life," Coach Kvasnikoff declared. "If she says we played those games, then by God, we played them and we played them well. How else would you explain us getting into the playoffs?"

The team is very excited at their pairing with the Anchorage Rockhoppers. The new rumour going around the village claims that the new members of the Rockhoppers are even pansier than the original team.

The men's spirits are high as they look toward the first game in the Striped Division, starting January 15.

2004 in pictures

January 6, 2005


What not to do

January 6, 2005

Quick pop quiz that everyone and their dog should know.

What is the one thing you never do when your car is stuck/lost in a snowstorm?


The perfect font prgram

January 6, 2005

The perfect font displaying program will:

  • Read fonts in my system font directory as well as any non-system directory to which I direct it,
  • List every font with my personalized text; don't make me click on the font before I can see what '' looks like in it,
  • Have customizable meta-data fields so I can sort by font type, weight, mood, etc.,
  • Have the option to show only the fonts I have selected (flagged?) for comparison purposes,
  • Let me save font comparison groupings without printing or writing them down on a sticky note,
  • Show the available character map for the selected font.
I have one freeware program that does numbers 2, 4, and 6 really well, but not any of the others at all. I have another one that does number 1 perfectly, but none of the others. And I don't think I have ever seen a program that does meta-data.

Does any one program exist that does all of these? I would pay good money for a program like that.

Why do you have to be so rotten?

January 6, 2005

I tossed four mandarin oranges (the only remains from the three boxes bought around Christmas), still in their burnt orange paper wrappings, into my coat pocket this morning for a nice citrusy breakfast at work.

It was only when I got to work and pulled them out of my pocket did I find that one was completely rotten and leaked inside my pocket.

Nothing like that rotten orange aroma first thing in the morning.

fireworks by Alaska

January 4, 2005

My brother and I hung out in downtown Anchorage (there is a town square! Who knew!?) for a few hours for the parade of lights and fireworks show.

The parade of lights didn't really parade around or move at all; a bit more movement would have been nice, and I'm not talking about the one fire juggler who just waved the fire sticks around in a circle and then bowed every 30 seconds.

And since ringing in the new year with layers of alcohol is a must for this season's Alaskan the fireworks went off at 6 leaving plenty of time to get to your bar of choice or that bottle of sakke you have stashed at home.


The group in charge of the fireworks apparently didn't have enough money to hire a designer. Consequently, the fireworks went off in color groups: all of the red fireworks first, then all of the gold, then all of the green, and last the white.

Ooh. Ahh.

I kept my finger pretty much on my shutter until it got too smokey to catch any good pictures. Take a look at the cream of the crop.

risking death

January 4, 2005

Hot diggity.
I'm glad I decided to not drive this weekend.

bringing in the new year

January 2, 2005

I've got a bunch of spare time as well as a spare computer this afternoon, which means quality time with the internet.

Internet, I <3 you.

The weekend has been going pretty good. Friday I popped in on Steve at work to meet him for the first time.

He is now officially the first online friend I have met in real life. People don't just 'happen' to be in or driving through Alaska, so I don't often get that opportunity. It was pretty awkward and we didn't have much time to stare at each other.

But what he doesn't know (not until he reads this, anyway) is that my brother and I stood across the way staring into GameSchtuff for a good twenty minutes working up my nerve. He, on the other hand, had no time to prepare.

Knocking others down always boosts my self-esteem.

I do have more facial features than one eye and half an ear, and though Steve is most definitely not a gaggle of pre-teen girls in pink, I cannot vouch for what and/or who he may have working overtime in his home.

That night I caught the Parade of Lights (which, incidentally, was no parade) and a crappy color-coded fireworks display downtown. We were planning on checking out an alcohol-free dance, but decided to pass.

How much fun would an event be if we kept referring to it as "a dance with grumpy people who wished they were drinking?"

Reminder to self: Buy a silver flask to tuck into a garter belt to tease the grumpy ex-drunks.

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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