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October 2005 Archives

Her Shoes

October 28, 2005

A story on In Her Shoes, the book, and why I probably will not see the movie despite Cameron Diaz rumored being basically naked the entire 130 minutes:

The weekend in September three years ago that Damon, Beth and I drove to Anchorage to see Melissa safely onto a plane to Minnesota, we did all sorts of things around the Big City™ that prevented us from going to dinner with the family, including stopping by Barnes and Noble.

There is no such store in Fairbanks, see, and I have a love affair with bookstores; a love affair that is wholly supported and encouraged by my husband; a love affair that my husband likes to enjoy with me, a happy threesome of his dreams.

We spent many hours in there, and I picked a PHP book, yet another dream interpretation book, and a copy of In Her Shoes. It's a book about two sisters that are very different in every aspect of their lives except two: their shoe size and their love of shoes. The plot hit a chord with me, especially since my only sister was moving far away.

They day after we returned to Fairbanks, we got the horrible news.

The book sat on my bookshelf for over a year, maybe even two. I could not bring myself to read it, this book about the bond between sisters. And still I could not bring myself to get rid of it, this book about sisterly hate and love.

Not reading it helped me avoid the thoughts of her that were always in my head. I knew that I would cry the entire way through it's words because the part of me that I hated and loved so very passionately had been violently torn from my life.

Not getting rid of it helped me honor her memory. It served as an icon of the hole left in my heart.

And I know that this movie will sever that feeling. Though I did finally read the book and, months afterward, donate it to the Literacy Council, it still represents the grief I went through. The grief I still occasionally feel. And I know that the movie will ruin all of that.

I wear a 9.5 sized shoe; Melissa wore a size 7.

Open Letter

October 27, 2005

Dear People Who Wish To Chat Me Up:

Do not make me do all of the work. In fact, do not make me do any work. If you want me to chat with you, to at least mess with your tiny intarweb brain, you must be proactive. Not passive aggressive.

Thank You,
Hot Librarian-Type, Now With Instant Sex-Appeal Without The Glasses


October 27, 2005

It's like bugs, people.
Bugs crawling, oozing, wiggling across my eyeball.
Bugs ON my EYE.


October 26, 2005

I am severely near-sighted. Without my glasses, my hand needs to be within six inches of my face before I can make out any creases or lines. Without my glasses, I can see big blobs of color all around me, but nothing takes definitive shape.

I've worn glasses since I was seven. My parents and siblings all need corrective lenses of some sort, even if it did take some longer to admit it.

I've never been able to see my face without my glasses on. To apply makeup, my nose needed to be within six inches of the mirror. But when I stood back up, I would need to put the glasses back on before I could see anything with any sort of clarity.

Now with these contacts, I am able to see my face spectacle-less for the first time. I have removed my most distinctive facial feature, and not only does my face feel naked, but it looks naked too.

I hadn't expected this.

The Word is Mightier Than the Eye

October 25, 2005

I don't think I have mentioned my creepy eye thing here.

I have a creepy eye thing.

It's not that something about my eyes that are creepy, they are just extremely... empathetic. And there is something about everyone elses' eyes that are Really. [EXPLETIVE]. Creepy.

Watching someone mess with their eye? My eyes tear up. Thinking of someone messing with their eye? My eyes tear up. Listening to someone talk about the one time three hundred years ago when they messed with their eye? My eyes tear up.

Those who know and love me love to exploit this weakness of mine with much humor and laughter and tears and fists planted into soft bellies. My husband has a long list of Favorite Ways To Bug Valette, and 99% of those are eye related.

Like a story of getting one of my long hairs stuck to his eyeball and feeling it as he pulls it off ever so slowly. I would get him back by kneeing him in the 'nads, but I do want children by him some day, something that he lords over me every time I mention pain via family jewels.

There's a scene in Pitch Black where that dude injects some happy juice into the corner of his tear duct? Dear Lord, I didn't have enough time to shut my eyes in the theatre. But you had better believe that I do every other time I have seen it.

And I know, intellectually I understand that it's all in my head. My eyes don't really hurt when I see someone trying to get an eyelash from their own eye. If it's all in my head, then surely I can overcome that. I can force my body to react differently. Surely.

I just paid somebody a whole bunch of money to poke things at my eyes. And then teach me to poke things at my eyes. At the end of the two hour process I had gathered my own little cheering squad behind me, telling me I was doing good. I knew they were lying, but it still helped.

Contacts. In my eyes.
Holy mother of God.

Oh Noes

October 23, 2005

Any advice on how to get Revlon Raisin Rage nail enamel out of Gap Old Stone colored Double Button Trouser Cords?

Note to self: stupid stupid stupid!


October 23, 2005

Whenever a recipe says to "tear [chicken] into bite-sized pieces," I get a mental flash of a conservative housewife in an apron tearing chicken meet from the bones with her teeth.


October 21, 2005

Fairbanks is hosting this year's Alaska Federation of Natives conference this weekend, and I'm finding myself wanting desperately to grab tickets to Quyana Alaska tonight, a celebration of native Alaskan traditional dances.

The only problem with this desire is that I know I will probably not be terribly interested in it. The only reason I want to go is because I know that it would be a perfect photographic opportunity.

The dances are fun and spectacular, yes, but it's a bit like a native New Yorker never visiting the Statue of Liberty; I'm well aware I've taken it for granted, and I don't much care.

The three Quyana performances always sell out, so I am sure there is no chance of even getting a ticket. But, oh, the possibilities.

iPod use #327

October 20, 2005
In a quiet corner of the office, an eBayer possessed, I measured my hips with my ipod earphones and a ruler against the numbers they suggested.

World o' Nylon, Kingdom of Lycra


October 20, 2005

As I waited for the waiter to bring my to-go box, he walked into the restaurant with confidence and purpose. In a denim shirt tucked into denim jeans, I briefly recognized his goatee and happy go lucky eyes. I noticed the small brunette by his side and quickly dismissed the lanky, graying man trailing them.

The brunette made me pause and take a second look. Moments before they sat three tables away it hit me. My eyes bulged, my heart raced, and my companion demanded an explanation. There was only one explanation, and only two words to describe it: Billie Sauer.

The Sauer family had grown up with my family. We all attended the same church in a small town, and all of the children played together. Billie was the youngest of the Sauer clan, though a handful of years older than me.

My friends and I would sit near the back of the church in the "high school row," designed to get us away from our parents and distract each other as much as possible. On the opposite side of the aisle and three rows back we would flush and swoon at his presence.

He had once brought his van to a fund raising car wash. Not only did he jump out and help us scrub his vehicle, he expedited the process by using a wire bristle brush.

He was the cutest thing to ever enter that church, hands down.

I had not seen him in years, but I could tell that time had not changed him much even as I ogled the back of his head. I stood, excited, and walked up to his table. I passed by with nary a glance, knowing I may never see him again.


October 19, 2005

I think everyone likes hockey, even if they must keep it a secret. Who wouldn't like hockey men, anyway? I mean, yeah they may be missing a tooth or ten, but do you see how they can handle a little tiny puck with their big long stick? What's not to love?

The Blogospheric Hockey League 2005 season is officially open, and I request, nay, demand, that you sign your team up. You can do some extra training for your team, but you will not regret the little extra preparation.

If you are not interested in running a team, then I am willing to recruit busty cheerleaders for my team: send me naked pictures. Do it for the team game [via].

Stream of Consciousness As Movie Reviews To Avoid The Slacking Content

October 18, 2005

Transporter 2: I refused to see this without seeing the first one. I'm funny that way, apparently, because B can read a series of books in COMPLETELY the wrong order and still be okay with it. So we rented The Transporter and enjoyed it; not stellar OH YEAH BABY, but pleasant enough of a don't-think movie. The second installation of an explosion and stunts movie was also good, but I could tell the creators didn't expect anyone to watch the first one so soon before watching the second, if they expected anyone to watch the first at all, because they reused many of the main character's stunts and moves. Beyond that, it wasn't too memorable so we should move on to...

Corpse Bride: It felt too short, and was not as good as The Nightmare Before Christmas, but your mileage may vary. Also, I wasn't sure which busty supporting (heh) lady I was supposed to root for: the dead one who has been wronged and let down time and time again yet shows a lot of leg? or the living one with the stuffy parents but who still has breeding capability? Tough one.

Lord of War: I had hoped for more explosions and shapely girls and guns doing what they do best, more of a testosterone flick. Spoiler: the brother dies. I could feel it only a few minutes before it happened, and then I burst into tears.

Serenity: I hadn't seen one lick of Firefly, the axed TV show on which the movie was based. But if the TV show was anything like the movie, then I want to rub it all over my naked body and call it 'daddy.' Going into it I didn't know what to expect, only that it had gotten spectacular recommendations from two trustworthy sources. The plot is a little crazy to explain to others, so I will just tell everyone to SEE IT.

Domino: I love knowing that Keira Knightley will not be "stuck in a corset [her] entire career," as she said in an interview for The Jacket. It was grimy and dirty and just right, despite having to leave at a PIVOTAL MOMENT to empty my bladder (note to self: if your bladder feels tight and you are 'sure the movie is almost over' you should most definitely ask your husband the time, else you will have to hold it for 60 full minutes more). The cast was a very weird mix that surprisingly worked, though I will admit that it was the first time ever that I did not want to claw Mo'Nique's eyes out with her own fingernails.

A Headline

October 16, 2005
Brandon Duncan, 22 months, of Fairbanks died on impact after his mother's pickup truck smashed into a utility pole on the Alaska Highway and the roof collapsed on him, according to a trooper report. The boy was buckled in a car seat.

The mother, Milissa A. Delia of Fairbanks, was thrown from the vehicle. Another passenger, Rachael L. Hayton, 19, of Fairbanks was also hurt, the report stated.

Toddler Dies in Crash

Milissa A. Delia was my upstairs neighbor, the one who pulled out the vacuum at odd hours and whose apartment was broken into last weekend. Everyone called her Missy.

Rachael L. Hayton was her cousin and supposed roommate, though I had never seen her until this past Thursday morning when she rang my doorbell and we got into a shouting match at 1am because the Door. Needs. To. Stay. Locked.

I found out about the accident this afternoon when my landlord told me through teary eyes. The two women will survive physically, but their emotions will be a different story. Missy has since been arrested for manslaughter.

I do not know why this whole story is important, I only know that it is.

God bless the easily amused

October 14, 2005

Said to me by a coworker while troubleshooting why an intranet application ceased working: "I really don't envy your job; you are always in crisis mode with every staff member's and volunteer's crises."

And so, an anecdotal interruption to our regularly scheduled crisis:

We had decided to introduce my husband's parents to Thai cuisine while they were in town visiting because they had been eating a "great deal more stir-fry" with their youngest now off to college.

They were so excited to try something very new and very different than anything they could get in Homer that my mother-in-law immediately declared that we were to all order a different dish so that they could sample a little of everything. They did not try any noodle dishes, but were extremely pleased with the food.

After I sent my Personal Water Glass Refiller Boy away (boy, was that handy) and our dishes were cleared, she expressed interest in B's watch. This watch is neither fancy nor expensive, but that did not stop them from being thoroughly enthralled by its numerous moving time indicators.

"Did you see that? The little dot disappeared!"
"It sure did."
"Watch, it will do it again."
"Maybe it won't."
"Well... now it's filling up again!"
"But what is it for?"
"Ooh! There it went!"

For a full ten minutes.


October 12, 2005

It is physically impossible for me to recommend MyMonthlyCycles too much. This is the most complete, feature-rich online tracking service I have been able to find. I can track my menstrual cycle, my weight, my symptoms, AND some basic fertility information. All for free! As in beer!

I have been keeping track of my cycle on a paper (yes! arcane!) calender, and my weight and my temperature in a clunky Excel system, but this is much smoother and nicer and more convenient.

I have even paid them for some more skookum fertility tracking and charting capabilities, things I could keep track of in Excel but, people, let's face it: I am inherently lazy down in my very bones. But the free services are possibly the best thing since sliced bread.

This is all sounding like one giant advert, I know, but I promise they are not paying me; I am actually truly madly deeply in love with MyMonthlyCycles.

If this website were a person I would smother it with kisses, bring it home with me, and sell the video on the internet. Even the pastel color scheme makes me want to snuggle with it. Only thing to make it better were if it served me cinnamon toast (light on the butter, heavy on the cinnamon) each and every morning.


October 11, 2005

I'm pretty sure Rob Thomas' I Am An Illusion has Oompa Loompas (from the Johnny Depp remake, not the original) singing backup.

That is all.

No Touching

October 11, 2005

If you had been at a new job for only a few weeks and, while poking around in the basement, came across a computer station all set up and running in an obviously unused corner, would you: [a] ask the computer person what's up with the weird lonely station in the basement, [b] as your supervisor what's up with the weird lonely station in the basement, [c] ask to put a volunteer on it, or [d] turn the monitor on and start poking around to see what you can find?

Seriously, new people: stop touching our server!

The Stars Are Not In Alignment

October 10, 2005

Someone broke into the apartment directly above mine this weekend, tore the door completely off its hinges.

The main door lock had broken the previous night, probably by the same people, which rendered our "secure" building no longer so.

B and I had seen the two men suspected in the crime just the day before as we hugged his parents goodbye. They sat on our porch and asked us for gas money, or if we needed gas money, or something along those lines. We denied brusquely and shut the door behind us.

I was able to give a completely awful description to the police while my husband, trained in such matters when he was an armed guard, was able to describe them perfectly, down to their height plus/minus two inches and their weight plus/minus ten pounds.

He even used the word "swarthy" when describing their complexions. How hot is that? I wanted to jump him right there in the hallway in front of our two landlords, three other neighbors, and four police officers.


We kept waking every half hour during the night, our nerves on alert for any noise or smell or pressure change or star alignment out of the ordinary. The dog, however, slept like a baby.

Go Fight Win

October 8, 2005

In a football match this afternoon between Homer High Mariners and Ben Eielson High Ravens, there hung a spirit sign on the fence opposite the stands which read, in alternating blue and gold:


Way to reinforce that Homer, Alaska is filled with nothing but illiterate bohemian rednecks. Go Team.

No excuses

October 6, 2005

I cannot seem to get any of these thousands of newsletters out of the building, or even out of my office.

Damon's site broke this morning, just in time for his gallery opening in Homer.

Plus, my in-laws will be in town Friday night and most of Saturday to celebrate B's birthday. I have a concert to attend tonight, severely cutting into my Cleaning Frenzy Crazy Time, and I may have to resign myself to letting my mother-in-law see how I neglect her precious little boy.

I sell his body on the street corner, and I make him eat dog food, yeah, but did you see the grime on this fork I don't think it was cleaned properly letmeshowyouhowtodoit.

Should be fun!


October 5, 2005

Am feeling a bit weepy this morning. No, this week.

Maybe it has to do with my Womanly Cycle of All Things Holy And Good. Maybe it has to do with some new medication (!) (I have medication! That a doctor is making me take regularly! This has never happened to me before!). Maybe it has to do with my having to wake before 7am so I can bum a ride to work while my car is getting prettified. Maybe it's the time of year. How convenient that I could blame it on the decreasing amount of light each day and vegetation dying.

But I do know that my pastor mentioned death on Sunday and I almost lost control of my tears. And every single character that I grew to love in my book died last night: the mother, the maid, the husband, the sister.

And I cannot stop thinking how each and every person on this earth with suffer the death of a loved one. We will each look upon the body of someone we once held close, someone who shared our laughter and tears, and instinctively know that whatever semblance of a person, a personality, is no longer present.

Maybe I'm feeling the need to grieve in every human's stead. To grieve for all those who will be forced to grieve. To grieve for the unfairness of our world.

And Be Cleansed

October 4, 2005

A few confessions:

I left the scrubber in the bottom of the five gallon bucket I filled with dirty fish tank water, so dirty that I could not see the bright green scrubber at its bottom. I then plunged my arm into the nasty, scummy water well past my elbow to retrieve the scrubber that I ended up throwing out anyway.

As a child I loved the feeling of my tongue on a screened window or door, and to this day feel sad that, as an "ad-ult," I cannot kneel down and push my taste buds through a screen's tiny holes.

I do not like hot vegetables or hot fruit. There are exceptions, like homemade apple crisp (though better the next day after it's been in the refrigerator) but they are few and far between.

I was listening to Rammstein while driving through falling snow in the dark. And I was happy about it snowing. I am excited for the winter to come, cannot wait for the pure white to cover our naked trees and brown ground. If I hated winter, I would have moved my ass to California already.

I "borrowed" my mother's razor when I was 12 and in a very passive aggressive manner thanked her for "getting me a razor to shave my legs" knowing full well the blame would land on my sister.


October 3, 2005

More bastardizations of my first name (as heard over the telephone just this morning):

  • Lynnette
  • Walette
  • Celeste
  • Allan

A Prophecy

October 1, 2005

I was touched by His Noodly Appendage last night in a prophetic dream.

Pastafarians will be persecuted more as the time draws near for His triumphant return. We must keep on guard, for no one know the hour of His coming.

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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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