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January 2006 Archives

SAD Puppy Ennui

January 30, 2006

Oh, the SADness is unbearable.

The Cake is on Fire

January 29, 2006

Post Birthday Wrap-Up

  • Well-wishing family members who called via cell phone while travelling: 5
  • Accidents caused by said conversations: 0
  • Birthday spankings received: 0 (but I have hope)
  • Miles driven to experience cold temperatures, high winds, and scalding hot springs: 128, round trip
  • People at the hot springs who did not know me: 10
  • People at the hot springs who did not know me but stared at my boobs anyway: 4
  • People at the hot springs who did know me and still stared at my boobs: 3
  • Times my iPod hard drive clicked before I realized it was probably dead: 3
  • Times my iPod came back from the dead: 2
  • Times I used the words "sexy" and "licking" and their variants while attempting to convince B to buy me an iPod Nano black: 12


January 27, 2006

I am fifth result in a Google search for wank fest. I should not be as proud of this as I am.

Also, I managed to venture out into the ice fog and hit a few stores that were surprisingly more busy than they should have been at -40°F. It wasn't too bad, but I was already getting cabin fever on my second day at home.

I am very glad I got my block heater replaced this week, because otherwise the engine would have been frozen and not started after sitting for just over 24 hours.

In other news, I think the dog may be suffering from some sort of SAD because she keeps lying on the pillows perched on the armrest of the love seat, which happens to be directly under a lamp. It doesn't look comfortable at all, yet there she is.

School's Out Forever

January 27, 2006

I get to play hooky again today, bringing the total to a four-day weekend. It's not like your usual four-day weekend in that it's Really Freaking Cold and no one wants to leave the building let alone their beds, but it will do for my birthday.

Oh, did I not mention?
I have a birthday tomorrow.

I am considering a trip to the hot springs because there is nothing like steaming hot waters outside in -50°F temperatures. Everyone has to try it if they ever get the chance. Only deterrent for the trip is that it is Really Freaking Cold and it's a long drive out there but a longer drive back after everyone gets all warm and happy and sleepy.

Or maybe I will make brownies and french vanilla ice cream from scratch. But that would necessitate a trip to the store, away from my apartment and away from my bed.

Better yet, why doesn't everyone come over and bring me ice cream and gifts and I will provide the warm brownies and games and witty company. And the blankets.

Keeping Occupied

January 26, 2006

Since I can't convince the dog she doesn't want to go outside right now and really wants to just hold it, I will ignore her stares and take part in a meme. I blame Lynne.


This is Cold

January 26, 2006

It is officially Too Cold For Non-Profits* and I have the day off from work. Which is a great thing because I, the dog, and the car all had great difficulties waking this morning.

Interesting fahrenheit/celcius fact: -40°F is the same as -40°C.

Now I must go back outside to shut off my car and then I will be crawling under my down comforter for the rest of the sleeping I left there. And you, dear Innernet, is welcomed to join me.

*My organization officially closes at -45°F (at 7am). As far as B knows, his shop has no closing temperature. The schools close at -55°F, from what I hear; I wouldn't be surprised if we had some temperatures in the negative 50s this year.

Forecast: Bleak

January 25, 2006

45 Below and Ice Fog

Take that.


January 24, 2006

What does it say about me that I will try to append /blog/ to the end of any URL just to see?

And am I comfortable with what that says about me?


January 24, 2006

Yesterday morning my car almost didn't want to start. It did that chug-ughing and then belt-whining thing that cars do when they have been sitting overnight in the -30°F temperatures without the block heater being plugged in. And then this morning it started and died twice from the cold. We had ruled out the extension cord and the outlet, so I called the shop to make sure they could get it in this morning.

A coworker's son was supposed to follow me to the shop and give me a ride home, but he ended up following a different little silver car to the shop on the other side of town and giving that woman a ride to her home. Who this woman was, we will never know, but I'm sure she was glad for the ride.

But after a half hour of waiting and asking Clay, the guy behind the counter, why no one was at their desks at 8:45am, I decided that I would either need to walk or call my husband.

The shop isn't that far from my office. I've walked the distance many times, and often willingly: it's a short trip through downtown (as much of a downtown as Alaska can have, anyway). And I would have walked this morning had I remembered to bring my hat.

I'm not too fond of frostbitten ears.

Were anyone considering it, let me just be the first to say that waking to a frozen car and then being abandoned at the mechanic's shop is not a great way to start the morning.

Things You May Not Have Considered

January 22, 2006
  • When it's late and I'm tired, I drive very, very slowly. Like, old lady slow. I can be doing 30mph on the highway and feel like I'm speeding.
  • The old lady driving usually comes an hour after the giggling fits.
  • If there is a Plan, we must stick to the Plan. Deviations from the Plan are not acceptable.
  • I'm not as anal as that makes me sound.
  • Not always.
  • But really, why have a Plan if no one is going to follow it?
  • I eat grapefruit more like an orange: I peel it and then eat the pulp out of each section, discarding the sections' skins.
  • It's messier but freaks people out.
  • I love freaking people out.
  • I will go out of my way to do something completely contrary just so I can freak someone out.
  • Willing someone to pop online never works, and I have spent way too much time doing just that.

Mamma Wants A New Pair of Shoes

January 20, 2006

I repeatedly hit redial, praying that my call would get through. Busy signal after busy signal, I wondered what I could do if the line did not open. Start my car? Sure, that would be fine. But shower? Probably not.

Finally, it was ringing. "Good morning! At 6 am the..."
I hung up.

I didn't need to know what it was at 6am. Like the rest of Fairbanks, I held my breath to hear what it was at 7am. Seven is the magic number, the number that decided our daily fate.

I sat in my kitchen wondering how many minutes I should let pass before trying again. Two? Five? Ten?

I dialed again, chanting my number, my precious 45, like I was sitting at a craps table.

"At 7am, the temperature at the airport is negative 41 degrees and..."

And so, with the rest of Fairbanks, I headed to work grumbling that the temperature was not cold enough to close the office (even though others have to work in even colder temperatures). Maybe there will be some nice ice fog around lunch to save the day.

Bat Girl Haunts My Dreams

January 19, 2006

I was finally able to explain this Bat Girl obsession (mine, in any case) in a manner that did not further frighten my listener.

There is no doubt that Barbara Gordon, Bat Girl, is hot. Even when she's wheelchair bound in Birds of Prey, she's still hot. Like when she put on those robo-legs at the end of that one television season and, in stiletto boots, kicked ass and saved the day? Yeah, hot.

But this Everyone Is Drawing Bat Girl this is not really about Bat Girl. Not for me. It's about the quick spread of the meme.

As of right now, there are over nine hundred people who have jumped onto the Bat Girl bandwagon. They have drawn her young, old, sexy, masculine, kicking ass, eating popcorn. And all of this exploded in under a week.

Maybe that it's a meme for the artistically inclined is why it gets to me. But still, what prompted nine hundred people to draw Bat Girl (besides sisterly peer pressure (which totally didn't work on Damon, even after I told him that John was doing one for me (even though it was, at that point in time, technically a lie (and here I thought little sisters could get away with anything))))? Why did they feel the need to become part of the cool kids' clique?

Are they handing out free cookies and juice and "I Drew Bat Girl" stickers?

Blanket of Snow

January 19, 2006

There's something about a night's snowfall that I just love.

I know it sounds weird, but I can hear the fresh snow before I see it. The snow blankets the city with it's clean, white fluff, and the city burrows under it, purring and happy.

Just like I would be under a down comforter in my bed, were I able to tear myself from the sound of the fresh covering snow.

Bat Girl

January 15, 2006

Once upon a time a man drew Bat Girl. He forgot about Bat Girl for nine years, and then he posted the sketch to his LiveJournal, which inspired others to post their sketches.

And now over 600 people have drawn their own versions of Bat Girl, and I am completely floored by the awesomeness this has become. Six hundred Bat Girls!

Everyone is doing it, people! Why aren't you doing it, too? I'm not because, well, I cannot draw for anything. Give me Bat Girl herself or even an action figure and I would photo shoot the heck out of her, but my sketching prowess is weak. Weak, I tell you.


January 13, 2006

There has been this huge scandal, if you would, in the non-profit circles here in Fairbanks today. An organization was served with three warrants by thirty different federal agents yesterday in hopes of busting them for misused grant money.

The worst part about this is that the organization's name is eerily similar to the name of the organization where I work, and even a few stations have reported that it was our organization in hot water instead of this other organization.

A coworker glimpsed a bit of the news coverage on TV last night and hurriedly messaged me about it, but I didn't see anything until the front page spread in the paper this morning.

Since then we have been super busy and stressed at the office attempting to distance the name of our organization from the name of theirs. There have been calls to radio stations, television stations, and the newspaper. Press releases sent and ad space bought for this weekend. Retractions and apologies have been made on air.

It paints other social service organizations, not to mention the entire Christianity religion, in a bad light. And it has created a lot more work for me today. This whole thing has be unbelievably stressed. I'm just glad it is Friday.

The Year In Cities

January 11, 2006

I was wanting to do this Year In Cities meme, but then I remembered how dull my life is and how few cities would actually be on it:

Fairbanks, AK*
Wasilla, AK*
Anchorage, AK*
Anchor Point, AK*
Homer, AK*

Lame, lame, lame, lame, lame. Maybe in 2006 I can get Cantwell, AK, Alaska's very own Bermuda Triangle, added to the list.

New Router

January 11, 2006

I've replaced the router at work, and now everyone is happy with the state of the internet (which hints at the staff using the internet far more than anyone would be willing to admit).

Everyone, that is, except my direct supervisor and the bookkeeper (edit: it now looks like a few others as well) who can get the internet and the email and even the IP of our Linux box running Apache, but cannot reach the filedump computer on the network. Their Network Places are very lonely indeed.

I don't understand this.
Do you understand this?

Bloody Norton Internet Security firewall should have been smart enough to figure out this change. Apparently not.

All Filler

January 10, 2006

Looking at all that white space on my front page is making me 1. Nervous, and 2. Slackerish.

I can blame my lack of content on a broken network at the office, which not only prevents Valette from updating during work hours, but also requires that Valette be in bed by 8 or 9pm each night to dream about broken connections and red dry-erase markers.

And if that doesn't sound like a whole lot of partying fun, I don't know what does.

Overheard while in a day-long office calendaring meeting yesterday:
"When are we going to do that pirate game again? Can we do that again?"

After which proceeded an embarrassingly-long tirade about burning out the Fun Coordinator by staff participation and the lack thereof.

Hm. This space filler is failing at filling up the space. Let's steal something from a meme!

4 Places I'd Rather Be Right Now

  • The bed
  • The bath
  • The couch
  • Chena Hot Springs

Caught On

January 10, 2006

Dear Fairbanks Coffee Shops And Stands:

Quit watering down your Jet Tea mix. It is totally bringing my mojo down.

I'm on to you.

Most Grumpy,

A pinch to grow an inch

January 9, 2006

Happy happy birthday to April!

Alaska Mall

January 7, 2006

Yes, it is that difficult to find a mall in Alaska.

Without the Glasses

January 5, 2006

I'm still not 100% used to being without glasses, but I am getting there. The contacts only feel like bugs wiggling on my eyeballs for maybe the first half hour of a fresh new pair. That is progress, people.

Probably the weirdest things are the phantom feelings of having my glasses on. I'll feel them pinching the bridge of my nose or behind my right ear, and I'll reach up to adjust them. The glasses that are no longer on my face. And I'll smack my temple or poke myself in the eye and look like a complete fool, because I can never do these sort of things while in the privacy of my own home.

Cool things about not wearing glasses:

  • Putting on makeup is a breeze now that I don't have to have my nose pressed against the mirror.
  • Pink sunglasses.
  • I don't have to remove my glasses to put on a hooded sweatshirt, but that doesn't stop me from trying and poking myself in the eye.
  • My eyes are so pretty!
  • Falling asleep while reading no longer forcefully and painfully pushes my glasses into my face.
  • And I don't have to spend fifteen minutes after a nap searching for the glasses B kindly took off my face but I can't see where they are because I don't have my glasses on.
  • No noseprints from the dog or the husband.
  • My brothers can no longer lick their thumbs and rub saliva on my lenses; now they will just get it in my eye.

WFM Patch

January 3, 2006

This new Windows metafile vulnerability is a pretty nasty one. And while Microsoft has at least acknowledged the problem, they haven't really done much about it.

Sure, you can unregister the bad .dll file, but that is only a band aid. And not a cool Snoopy band aid, either. An individual has come up with a patch for the problem that gets rid of the vulnerability for good.

And while this vulnerability does effect every Windows operating system since Jesus, the patch and unregistering the .dll doesn't really work for Windows 98 or ME systems. Those users need to cross their fingers and pray. Or, alternatively, not get online.

I knew I should have grabbed the patch this weekend for the office because the original site appears to be down, but Weekend Valette doesn't like to do Work Valette's job. I've got the patch mirrored.

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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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