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April 2005 Archives

Spring Orzo Salad

April 29, 2005

Since it was a big hit with the staff, I wanted to spread the wealth.

Spring Orzo Salad: Makes 2 servings

2/3 c orzo pasta, cooked per package directions
1/3 c finely chopped red bell pepper
1/3 c finely chopped orange bell pepper
1/3 c finely chopped and seeded tomatoes
1/4 c chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 c chopped scallions
1/4 c chopped watercress
1/3 c crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Per serving: 343 calories, 14g protein, 53g carbohydrates, 9g fat, 7mg cholesterol, 4g fiber

What to do

April 29, 2005

Should I spend my lunch break

  • seeing if my work scanner is still operational and seeing if I can acceptably scan a bunch of film,
  • walking around sunny downtown searching for tourists to shove in front of my camera,
  • or making one more batch of orzo salad to eat and possibly share with the staff during the staff meeting?

May cause drowsiness

April 28, 2005

I send myself email.
I also leave myself voice mail messages.
I know it's only a few steps from mumbling incoherently to myself while shuffling down the street, but I'm sure you do too if only you would let down your cool guard for two seconds to admit it.

Anyway.
I sent an email from my Evening Home Self last night to my Morning Work Self with a big fat reminder to pay a specific bill:

From: valette@rhapsodic.org
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 10:10 PM
To: Valette Work
Subject: Pay that bill, girlie!

My God, you're lazy.

It worked great and the bill got paid.

But my Morning Work Self, still half asleep as she usually is before ten, read that subject line as though my mother was speaking it.

And then spent a good ten minutes wondering how my mom knew I needed to pay a bill and why she called me lazy. It just isn't like her. Her emails are very sweet and usually end with a big fat 'I love you' and 500 exclamation points.

Which is all to say that not only is my Morning Work Self lazy, but she's pretty confused and needs to not operate heavy machinery like email.

Doo dee doo doo

April 27, 2005

We have been having nearly a week with temperatures in the 60s, and whatever snow remains is clumped in small shaded areas and large piles at far ends of parking lots, so I figure it's finally time to get my tires change. Legally they must be changed by the first of May.

I dropped my car off at the shop first thing this morning and decided to walk the eight blocks to work. I left the shop at ten till eight. There were so few vehicles on the road I figured I was running much later than I had thought.

I was the first one at the office, which was weird enough if I really was running late. Even weirder was that the clocks in my office read 7:50 when I unlocked the doors.

Either my summer of bike riding buffed me up enough to be able to walk faster than a speeding minute hand, the whole of downtown is involved in an episode of The Twilight Zone where life continues at a slower pace than the rest of the world, or the clocks at the shop were wrong.

I'm betting on the Twilight Zone, because it explains the lack of traffic at ten till eight on a workday. And also because I haven't seen an episode in forever.

Also, had I known it was a mere 32°F outside I probably would have wore a jacket or a shirt with, you know, sleeves on my morning walk.

I still would have wore my sandals, however: bare feet are the requirement once temperatures get over 20° and the threat of frostbite is (mostly) gone. Here comes spring!

Pregnancy Envy

April 25, 2005

Last Wednesday it was determined that my hormone levels were at an all time low of 3. Read 'em and weep, gentlemen: THREE! Which means the shot completely worked and my pregnancy is over.

This is a good thing because Little Johnny Fuck-All (the baby's Christian name) will not be killing his mother after all. I'm in charge because I'm the Mother, that's why, you little snot. And this is a bad thing because I am no longer pregnant.

I have heard that every woman goes through a phase (or two or ten) in her life where it seems every other woman on the planet is either bursting with Baby On Board or holding a newborn. Let us call this Pregnancy Envy.

My first round of Pregnancy Envy is now. It probably started when I and the doctors thought this might be a normal pregnancy after all. Every woman of child-bearing age at church, work, the store, and on television is holding a small child in her arms or uterus.

Every woman of child-bearing age, of course, except me.

Hopefully, with the end of this pregnancy, this phase is passing, bringing us into the next phase: the Age Of Lots Of Sex Under The Guise Of Getting Pregnant. Let it be known that there will be much less information posted here about that phase.

Acronym hell

April 25, 2005

Unless you are the government, you cannot get away with using a plethora of acronyms on your website. I'm sorry, but no.

The AMC is a charter member of The Association of Lutheran Missionary Agencies (ALMA), a program of the BFMS of the LCMS which organizes independent mission agencies, like the AMC, for mutual support.

Cantankerous

April 24, 2005

Mechanical trauma: check. Bit my lip a few days ago.
Emotional stress: check. Losing a baby is a wee bit stressful.
Nutritional deficiencies: check. The methotrexate shot acted much like an anti-folate.
Hormonal changes: check. Abnormal pregnancy to an abrupt termination of said pregnancy.
Genetics: check. I can blame my father for everything, and his mother before him.

Verdict: a giant canker sore just inside my lower lip, in a prime location for my canines to rub it every time I move and breathe.

Pile-Up

April 22, 2005

This is a great picture of one of my brothers and his pets, a picture he sure will hate that I have alerted My Internet to. Which is exactly why I am alerting My Internet. That rottweiler is one of the most cuddly dogs I have ever seen.

A girl and her (husband's) guitars

April 20, 2005

Last night, as I am periodically prone to do, I grabbed Melissa's old cheap acoustic guitar and demanded of B, "Show me a chord or something."

You see, I know just about nothing about guitars. I can tune them to a pitch fork or a piano or another guitar because I have pretty good pitch. And I understand quite a bit about music in general: 14 years of piano and a continued interest in percussion helps immensely. But actually getting them to make beautiful music? Forget it.

He showed me a chord or two or twelve. Johnny Cash's Hurt came on and B tried to show me how to switch from one chord to another.

I realized that my fingers are girly and wusses. Not only were they complaining about the thin wire digging further and further into their tender flesh, but they also decided they were not going to bend into the contorted positions known as chords.

And then there was the G chord. Blessed G major. I became the Master of Disaster of the G chord, and sat around waiting for Johnny-boy to get to it, which was hardly ever. But once he did, I rocked along with the best of them.

B kept doing a whole bunch of fancy sexy stuff, like C chords and A minor, and I got lost. Quickly. Instead of giving up completely, I grabbed our bass.

Anyone know why we own a guitar that neither of us knows how to play? Me neither. I have tried off and on to learn it, but the books are silly and boring and as bad as piano theory books.

But the beauty of a bass guitar is that you only play one note at a time, and the strings are bigger so they don't dig into your prissy fingertips. Watching B's hand, I was able to figure out the song he was playing.

And then we jammed. We played through Hurt and Glycerin and a few others that he knows and I don't. It was euphoric, it was awesome. And I fell in love with him again.

Squeegie redesign

April 20, 2005

My photolog is wearing some new spring fashions with some fancy new accessories, including a style switcher so you can choose your favorite shade of grey, larger images to help stand out in the crowd, and peek-a-boo comments and comment form - no more unsightly pop-ups!

Welcome to Tuesday

April 19, 2005

I came out of a dream five minutes before my alarm sounded and immeidatly thought the weekend to have been entirely too short. I could distinctly remember what I had done on Saturday, Sunday too, and yet that all felt very far away.

While stubbornly keeping my lids closed, I wondered if B turned the alarm on for me the night previous. I remember asking him and his affirmative answer, but I couldn't remember if that happened last night or last weekend. Obviously troubled, I drifted back towards my dream world when my alarm went off.

I was halfway through my shower before I realized today was Tuesday, not Monday.

Now I've got a software problem, one where QuickBooks will flash the opening screen at me and then dissapear forever. One where trying to 'change/remove' from the control panel brings up an installation screen, not the uninstall program. One where the installation refuses both of the only two possible installation codes. And I'm half wishing it were Monday again.

One track mind

April 18, 2005

I never knew Walium, C1ALlS, and Vi-agra had so much in common.

15 spam email subject lines have thus set me straight.
Good morning, Monday.

HTTP in the house

April 15, 2005

title its
plugin that may work blitz
a landlord who
anti spam plugin that may cebu
suggestion of bryce
of a bad mood p
heavy handed editing tendency
at the ungodly guy

http www moorstation org
got my a href http lee
at the ungodly hour of
is still living in the
p p
p i was pee
wikipedia public domain image
i recall both dogs make see

RHAPSODIC DOT ORG IN THA HOUSE
RHAPSODIC DOT ORG IN THA HOUSE
RHAPSODIC DOT ORG IN THA HOUSE
RHAPSODIC DOT ORG

HTTP in tha house takes content from a scraped URL, and, utilizing a rhyming dictionary, spits out some MAD RHYMZ.

[via]

Beware the Ides of April

April 15, 2005

Happy IRS Appreciation Day!

Everyone remembered to send them a sweet little thank you note with optional gift?

Schnauzer puppy

April 14, 2005

schnauzer pup

From my mother-in-law's schnauzer's last litter.
How can you not fall in love with a puppy?

Soundtrack of Life 2

April 13, 2005

The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony

Flying home from a class trip to Paris, 20 million hours spent on an airplane, personal televisions with channel options and radio options. Bitter Sweet Symphony seemed to play on the radio every three minutes, but in reality it may have only played a handful of times during the flight.

I had become closer friends with Bryce, a boy before which I hadn't paid much attention. He was fun and as sarcastic and witty as I could be. The instructor made passing suggestion of Bryce and I going to a dance, immediately making me realize that I was flirting. And, more importantly, he may also be flirting.

We had arranged it to sit next to each other on the flight home. I started to do my nails when Jon, sitting in the row behind me, asked about all the tools in my manicure kit. I showed him what they all did and he wanted me to give him a manicure.

You stick 20 teenagers on an airplane for 20 hours after spending ten days together in a foreign country, and they can do some pretty weird stuff.

For this manly manicure, Jon needed to sit next to me. He asked Bryce to move, but Bryce refused. He punched the back of Bryce's seat until Bryce finally switched seats with him.

I felt bad that Jon had treated Bryce so badly, but I felt oddly happy that Jon wanted me to do his nails. Jon was a year older, a senior, and while I didn't like him I knew a few of the other girls did.

On the rest of the connecting flights, Bryce sat next to me either sleeping or in silence. Whatever friendship we had created on French soil would stay there; we rarely spoke again.

Editing Marks

April 12, 2005

You will probably never see me more focused than when I am holding an editing pen making someone's essay nearly incomprehensible through all the red.

I always forget how much I love editing until a staff member asks me to edit through some copy for them. Before I start, I must remember to warn them of my heavy-handed editing tendency. But then after the first or second paper I edit for them, they come to appreciate it.

I'm kind of sad this last one was only four pages.

You want to be next?

April 11, 2005

Today finds me mainly pissed off.

I could very well blame the weekend for carrying over its crapfest into my weekday, but really sole blame belongs on my horrid neighbor who is still living in the apartment above me.

Her dogs are still barking, I have a giant headache from being woken at the ungodly hour of 5:30 BARKBARKBARK, and her laundry is still running at all ungodly hours.

But not only that, she deigned to, disgusting cigarette in hand, pound on my door early Saturday morning to throw obscenities and racial slurs into my face for stopping her laundry the midnight previous. Thank goodness, because how was I to know white people shouldn't live on the south side of town? Also, what is her skinny white self doing on the south side of town?

(We later found out that her tires had also been slashed [for the second time] that night. I can understand her being angry, but I cannot tolerate her taking it out on me.)

I am getting fed up with my landlords who have made numerous promises to deal with this woman that turn out to be empty bluffs.

"She'll be out by 22 March." Well, she's still here.
"She got rid of the one dog that was making all the noise." And then got him back. Besides, as I recall, both dogs make an equal amount of noise.
"If she doesn't get rid of both dogs, she's out." Sure.

I'm considering relocating to a more "white side" of town (anyone know what side that is?) to be with "my people" and hopefully under a landlord who has a bit of backbone and cares about losing clean, quiet, friendly tenants.

On top of all this, B has been home sick since Wednesday, every possible second of which has been spent playing that damn computer game. I want to wring his coughing throat and throw out his game CD.

So yeah. Maybe a little bit of a bad mood.

Adagio Comes Through

April 10, 2005

I got my free tea and individual teapot (their gift for a link from a pagerank 5 site [at least now I know what my pagerank it {not that I need to know (or care)}]) from Adagio Teas on Saturday.

I was eager to try my requested sample herbal tea, so you might understand my dissapointment to find I had gotten 4 ounces of peach tea. Which, I know I shouldn't complain because it's free and all, but the only peach stuff I like are actual fuzzy peaches.

So now I don't know what to do with it. What should I do with it?

Looking for you my entire life

April 9, 2005

Conor is Lacey's soul mate.

On Friday

April 8, 2005

Having informed my supervisor I would be late this morning, I zoomed off to the laboratory to give the vein in my left arm yet more abuse and donate blood to a worthy cause: my health.

I show up and the lab technician, all of whom have become my bestest buds (we have a secret password and handshake and everything) these past weeks, looks at me and says, "You're not supposed to be here today."

My OB/GYN told me that I needed blood work done on FRIDAY because my little vial of methotrexate, the only vial left in the entire universe, is sitting in her refrigerator and will only keep for one week. 01 April + one week = 08 April = today = FRIDAY.

But the lab order she wrote says 09 April. And 09 April ≠ FRIDAY. And she wrote it in blood, in her own handwriting, so there is no possibility of it being a typo.

The technician suggested we abuse my vein more by getting my blood drawn today (FRIDAY) and then, if the doctor's note was indeed correct, on the 9th (NOTFRIDAY) get poked by another needle. No thank you. So I went back to work and planned on calling my doctor after lunch.

Four minutes after I stepped out of the office for lunch, my doctor called and left a message so sorry about the mix-up need to get the blood work done on FRIDAY not the 9th oh so sorry please if you can get off work as soon as you can and get the work done today on FRIDAY. Then I ran the sample to the hospital laboratory, and the results should take an hour.

So here I sit, pretending to not count the minutes until my clock says 3pm.

Addendum: Okay. My hormone levels dropped more than 15%, which is good. It's what the doctor was looking for, not zero like I had originally thought. So no shot, but I do get to get more blood work next Friday, and every Friday therafter until my hormone levels reach zero and I am in the clear. Until I get pregnant for reals. So everyone hold your breath.

Sesame Street Sketches

April 7, 2005

All of this talk (in the fragments, at least) about Sesame Street goodness got me reminiscing about my favorite sketches.

  • Bert doing 'The Pigeon'Bert doing "The Pigeon." Melissa would dance that until her neck fell off.
  • Ernie's "If I Could Imagine" song where he pretends to be a knight in shining armor and a sailor. He would save the day and then tip his hat.
  • Cookie monster taking a rocket to the moon to find it's made of a cookie, then eating the entire thing until the night is completely dark.
  • W-W-Wilamena!
  • Super Grover trying to help a little girl work her computer. Wubba-wubba-wubba-wubba.
  • Sesame Street News Flash. Kermit T. Frog here...
  • The yip-yip-yip-yip-uh-huh-uh-huh aliens.
  • Luis and Maria in full formal wear singing a rendition of "let's call the whole thing off" in an art gallery, and then ballroom dancing.
What were your favorites?

Just might be

April 6, 2005

Yes, it might be the combination of the sunshine, caffeine, and empty office.

But it also might be my depression lifting.

Funny how it's possible to not even notice depression until there is a definite lack thereof.

Ice Rage

April 6, 2005

If you freeze a mocha Ice Rage and then, putting it in the refrigerator, forget about it for 24 hours, not only with it still have a few ice chips in it, but all of the mocha will settle onto the bottom, making for a very dangerous first sip.

The super concentration of mocha has combined with the bright sunshine to give me a huge case of cabin fever. I need to get outside with my flip flops (it's 45 degrees! woo!) and my cameras. There's the issue of work, yeah, but the only other person in the building right now has her door closed and her music blared (much like me). I don't think I'd be missed.

Speaking of which, it has been forever since I have used a 35mm camera. If I accidentally hit the button that opens the back of the camera and then snap it closed almost as quickly, have I ruined the entire roll, or just the few frames directly exposed to the light? I suppose I'll find out when I get it developed.

Satellite view of Homer, Alaska

April 5, 2005


Satellite view of Homer, Alaska
Originally uploaded by Valette.

Satellite capabilities were recently added to Google Maps. This is my home town as viewed by a satellite. There are others in the Flickr pool.

This is also the first time I have put anything on Flickr. I like the ability to add notes like I did in this satellite photo, but I really rather prefer to host the photos on my own server.

Needles

April 5, 2005

A normally-pregnant woman's hormones (not to mean a woman who is normally pregnant, or always pregnant) double every two days. Hormone levels are determined by analyzing the blood in the magic way of lab technicians, ways involving sharp pointy needles.

Now, I have no problem with needles. When I had my tonsils out in second grade, the anesthesiologist told me to not watch as the IV needle went into place. Of course I looked. I was volunteering at the public health office when there was a measles scare during my senior year of high school, and was allowed to administer my own shot. To myself, by myself.

I have had blood samples taken seven times in the past month, and apparently my left vein is starting to show some of the abuse. On Monday, the lab tech said she could feel all the bumps where each of the previous six needles had excavated. She is the only one who decided to go ahead and try my right arm, but the vein is apparently too deep and she ended up hitting a nerve.

So back to the left arm we went, only this time with a baby needle: a teeny tiny thing that was smaller than most of my sewing needles. A little trickle of blood stopped halfway down the tiny plastic tube. "Looks like the vein collapsed for a bit there," the tech said, and changed the collection tube to a smaller one.

I have no problems with needles. The vein in my left arm, however, is starting to.

Ectopic Pregnancy

April 4, 2005

I have gone back and forth about whether to write about this here or not. At the moment of typing this, one could say that I have decided to tell my internet family, as it were. But really, I may not post it. Or I may wait a few more days and see if I swing back to the decision that I may not want you to know.

This post is about pain. Yes, that pain, the pain that caused me to actually see a doctor.

  • March 7: Hormone levels detected. Pregnant, but probably ectopic.
  • March 9: Hormone levels double. Pregnant, but with a burst ovarian cyst.
  • March 12: Hormone levels plummet. Pregnant, but failing. Or, miscarriage.
  • March 29: Hormone levels plateau, then slightly increase. Pregnant, but definitely ectopic.
Ectopic pregnancies can be deadly if not dealt with. The fetus can grow larger than the tube, which can burst, and I could bleed to death.

Dealing with it involves either surgery or, if caught soon enough, a quick injection of methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug to stop the growth of the fetal cells. Which my body would reabsorb.

On Friday morning I picked up this vial of poison (which seems to be on perpetual shortage) from the hospital pharmacy: $18 ($2.36 after insurance). And they let me just walk out with it, didn't even check my ID. Chemotherapy, and I could have sold it on the black market. Or something.

Into the doctors' office and the nurse administered the shot to my hip. After a quick chat with the doctor, I was sent on my way. And so I have been nauseated and very, very tired off and on all weekend.

If my hormone levels don't return to zero by this Friday, I get another shot. If still not zero in another week, then maybe surgery.

This huge roller coaster has involved: over 35 days of bleeding; feet squirming from the pain that engulfed my ovary, hip, and knee; shock; tears; false hope; stress; very real letdowns; and a lot of holding B's hand.

I don't tell you all of this to gain your sympathy, nor do I tell you this to justify my lack of attention to the site.

I tell you because this isn't something of which to be ashamed.

Sickening

April 3, 2005

Nausea.

It's a funny word, really, with a funny sound and a funny spelling, and the more I say it, the less of a word it becomes.

Naw-zha.
Noh-shahh.
Na-ja.

Too bad it doesn't feel as funny as it sounds or looks.

Adagio Teas

April 2, 2005

Adagio Teas is offering a link reward for linking to their site. It's pretty much a googlebomb on the word tea, but it's a worthy cause: free tea for me!

[via]

Take it to the man on the street

April 1, 2005

Group poll:

Two (moderated) comments on an ollld post made within four minutes of each other, each with an email, and URL different from the other, but the same IP. The content of each ocomment is on topic, though reads as though both were written by the same person. The first URL is for a fetis/porn site, the second is not even registered.

Regard both as spam and delete?
Remove the URLs and publish?
Publish as-is?

You say it's your birthday

April 1, 2005

Everyone go wish Damon a happy birthday.

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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