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March 2006 Archives

The In Bed Game

March 31, 2006

Last night I signed away my entire savings account, first born child, and left knee cap to a guy named Robert.

Robert remarked that he is "Three months and two days older than B! What a small world! Ha ha!" right before he sunk his teeth into my neck and sucked all of the blood from my body.

But we were forced to deal with him because he had something we desperately needed.

The water bed sprung a leak the night before causing me to wake at 2am dripping wet. B woke in a similar predicament two hours later (because, lest anyone forget, I am a Bad Wife and didn't inform him my reason for moving to the couch so that he may choose a similar course of action, but instead I left him in the leaking bed).

Instead of patching the previous patch that now has a nice hole in it, we cursed the wind and became broke for a real adult mattress. Did you know real adult mattresses cost a friggin' arm and a leg OH MY GOD I AM SO SERIOUS.

This may be a huge source of stress for me in the coming, oh, years.

We walked away from Robert without any savings, but we brought with us a memory foam bed the size of Texas. I don't even have to look at my husband all night if I so desired, the thing is so big.

Lacey boycotted the new huge bed until everyone was asleep and she realized her kennel was lonely and cold and didn't snuggle as well as her humans. Who aren't touching each other anyway, and may never snuggle again.

Small price to pay for not being so...
I mean, waking up not dripping...

Yeah, you try to not make a being-wet-in-bed sex joke.

Oh Man

March 30, 2006


My father, Homer City Councilman, is going to be on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Monday night April 17 April 18 about this feeding eagles ordinance ban thing he got passed in Homer.

Considering my father's short fuse and argumentative lifestyle, this is going to be good.
I can just feel it in my bones.

Not How To Not Spend Money

March 29, 2006

I hear that sometimes the best way to get out of a writing slump (I dare not call it writer's block because that would be claiming to be something I am not, namely, a writer) is to just do it. Just sit down and vomit something out onto the page/screen, knowing full well that it will be crap.

And so, as a forewarning, ahead lie some vomitous crap. Stream of consciousness crap akin to the kind of stuff I posted back when nobody read my site. Not that anyone currently reads my site. The lack of content might have something to do with that. Not to mention the lack of boobies.

My iPod is dead (how about that smooth segue!).

For really real this time, I'm pretty sure. It's been dying for a while, but has always jumped back from the brink of death. No longer. If not plugged into anything, it will turn on and pretend to play. But when plugged into the computer it will charge, or at least it tells me it is charging, the computer refuses to recognize it, and it clicks every five seconds.

Plus? There's this rattling piece inside, even when the thing is off. I think I might pry open the case and find whatever is rattling to see if I can, I don't know, super glue it back on and give it a stern lecture in hopes of it working again.

My husband is adamant I need to get myself a new 60GB iPod, even though its $400 price tag gives me a small aneurysm every time I think of it.

And even though the black Nanos are the sexiest things to hit the market EVAR, I don't think my husband is comfortable with me licking one in public all the time. He would be pretty embarrassed were I arrested for Public Vulgarity With A Nano.

I, on the other hand, would be pretty damn proud and would probably make myself a t-shirt about it.

Plus they only hold 4GB of music, which would require that I make some sort of decision of what music I put on it rather than carrying my entire music collection wherever I go. And I don't know if it would withstand all of the licking I would force on it.

I'm also out of space on my home computer, so I've ordered a new 250GB drive and a DVD burner for backing up everything (read: my music collection now that I have a dead iPod which is useless for backing up anything) before I plop in a new hard drive and use the old ones as target practice.

The last few weeks I have been in Frantic Cleaning Mode. You might think this has something to do with the onset of spring, but I can assure you this is not the case. Because even though the sun is shining and it's a whopping 17°F out right now, it was below zero this morning. Like, -15°F. I hadn't plugged my car in last night, and the car was not happy about the starting.

So while, yes, technically it is springtime, it is not even close to shorts weather. Or sandals weather. Or even down vest over long sleeves weather. I'm still wearing a scarf, people.

(As an aside, my mother is the coolest person on the planet. Proof: she knit me an awesome black scarf and mailed it to me mere days after I whined publicly on the internets.)

Spring or no spring, I have been cleaning frantically and repetitively and, as a result, my vacuum Could Not Take It Anymore and threw a hissy fit.

By which I mean black smoke.
All over my bedroom.

B poked and prodded at it, declared it Fucked Up, and took it to a nice spacious farm where it can run and play with all of the other hissy-fit-throwing vacuum cleaner. While I search for another. And, really, I don't even know how to choose a new one. So I've decided to not decide, while we live our vacuum-cleaner-less existence.

But the kitchen has never been cleaner, the bathroom literally sparkles, and you could eat off of my floors. Maybe not the floor in the bedroom, but why would you have food in there. Unless it was for, you, uh, know? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

In which case it shouldn't be on the floor anyway.

Goodbye, Uncle Dave

March 23, 2006

One of the problems with relying on electronic communication to pass on vital family information is that not everyone gets said information.

The whole family isn't addicted to the internet (by the size of my family blog list in the sidebar you may think I'm lying, but honey, that isn't even the immediate family), and the whole family doesn't check their email every day. And some of us don't check some of our myriad email addresses as often as other addresses.

I found out about very important, very vital piece of information hours after it was available online, which was hours and hours after it was available from my email inbox. An email I usually don't check at work, but I had been because I was expecting this news for a few days. Just not today.

A blog is a shitty way to find out that a close family friend has died.

Since leaving work early, I cannot stop thinking about death and funerals and food and annual shopping trips and the tree swing and playing in Uncle Dave's shop while he made dental crowns and bridges and the giant gold ring he gave to Aunt Judy and his huge mustache and how he was so different when I saw him in September, his body betraying him by falling apart.

To counteract that, I give you three things that have caused me to laugh, actually laugh with an audible sound, today since I got home, in order by which I came across them:

Butt: Kicked

March 21, 2006

A stapler kicked my butt at the office today. It would staple the air just fine, spreading a fan of neatly folded staples all over my desk and floor. But bring it within sight of (gasp) a bit of paper and it was all constipated with the staples.

I did the most logical thing, which was to pace around my small office—made smaller by the recent change in duties and responsibilities—holding my stapler at arm's length and lecturing it loud enough to worry volunteers at the other side of the building that Valette had seriously lost her shit.

"Why are you being retarded?"
"I am the Office Manager and you must obey me!"
"Just do what you were meant to do and staple for me!"
"Why do you hate me so much?"

"If you don't get your act in shape and start stapling for me this very minute there is going to be hell to pay. Oh yes. I will trade you in for a newer sleeker ergonomic model and then you will see." *cue crazy cackling*

And this week is going better than last!
And I know you don't believe me!

Not much better, granted, but better enough that I haven't had to hide in my office with a "Going Into Survival Mode Please Do Not Disturb KTHXBYE" sign on my door like I did last Thursday.

I am learning that it is more than okay for me to hide in my office and close the door more than I have in the past (which has been, well, almost never), but I did take the sign down. I don't necessarily need everyone to know when I am in the process of losing my shit.

I'll just tell the internet about it afterwards anyway.

Number 241

March 18, 2006

Note to Self: Before walking the 12 blocks from the office to the river for the Open North American Championship, before entwining the iPod earbuds perfectly between the sweatshirt and the jacket, before pulling on layers and layers of clothes and thermals and gear, it might be wise to insure the three camera batteries always in the camera bag are fully charged from your multiple trips to Ice Alaska.


March 17, 2006

Now I'm faced with a possible trip to Homer for an imminent funeral.

Everyone say a prayer for Aunt Judy, as Uncle Dave likely will not survive the weekend.

Why can't this week be over yet?


March 16, 2006

It would seem that I have been promoted at work. It was slipped into yesterday afternoon's meeting and couched between office jargon such as 'restructuring' and 'refocusing' and 'increasing efficiency.'

Once my Jargon Translator kicked in, I realized what was really being said, and holy crap! My supervisor is going to be doing something completely different than supervising me and I'm supposed to just step in and take over her job while still doing my old job too.

Pair this with a really difficult personal decision recently made, and I have become Super Stressed And Overwhelmed And Sad Valette.

I went to the store late last night for socks. I hate socks, hate that Alaska requires me to wear socks, hate that my toes get cold because I was stupid and once almost frostbit them all.

I also dislike shopping, so one can imagine the fun time I had standing in the socks aisle last night. I stared at all the options, wondering how I would know that I wouldn't hate hate them. It took me a half hour, thirty minutes, to select one tiny pack of socks from a meager selection.

This is not a fun Valette to be. This is a Valette who is so overwhelmed she is paralyzed and unable to do one single productive thing. A Valette who cannot make the tiniest decisions. A Valette who wants to just crawl in bed and cry herself to sleep.

A Valette who cannot stop referring to herself in the third person.

Maybe they should add that to the list of "Signs your teenager needs HELP" commercials: Poor Performance in School; Substance Abuse; Thoughts of Suicide; Speaking in Third Person.

Happy Pi Day

March 14, 2006

Sine! Sine!
Cosine! Sine!
Three point one four one five nine!

The Schmoozing Plan

March 13, 2006

I nearly froze my butt off at Ice Alaska on Saturday. The temperature hovered around -15°F all day long; B and I only lasted an hour at the park Saturday afternoon, while Beth and I only lasted an hour Saturday night. And that included a warm-up break.

Governor Murkowski was in town this weekend for the multi-block awards ceremony Saturday night. He came into the warm-up hut after the ceremony and his speech Saturday.

The governor stood in one corner, flanked by security, looking important and waiting for someone to come shake his hand. As he stood there, a mere feet from my own warming up, everyone else went about their business of Drinking Cocoa And Warming Up. Murkowski got frustrated his plan, the Schmoozing Plan, was not being taken seriously and disappeared into a back room to pout.

Fast forward to Sunday night when the governor is joined by John Leguizamo for the official Ice Age - The Meltdown kid's park opening. The ice ribbon is cut with big ass propane torches and Mr. Leguizamo accompanies Governor Murkowski into the warm-up hut and is accosted by handshakes.

One couldn't get into the warm-up hut without tripping over Alaskans wide-eyed over this Real Live Celebrity! See, we usually only get the Real Dead Celebrities this far north, as celebrities have delicate constitutions and Alaska isn't for the delicate. The governor stood behind Mr. Leguizama and his attention being very surly.

You have to love Alaskans.

I also want to point out publicly that I did not break any sculpture, and that photographic evidence will prove that it is still in tact. But really, wouldn't you want to see if the whole thing turned?

I added a few more photos to my Flickr set and will be posting others on my photolog as the week stretches on. I hope to get back some other evening and beat my tripod into submission for some better night shots.

Damn the Man

March 12, 2006

This kind of injustice cannot stand.
We must band together to not let the Establishment win.
Stand up for what is good, and noble, and true.

Won't somebody think of the children?

Internet Love

March 10, 2006

Three offers for scarves, and only one from my mother!

Internet! I kiss you!
Are you doing anything later? Want to come over tonight and have a sleepover?

All I really wanted to find in town was a simple warm scarf that I can wrap around my neck twice. Not too long, no pockets, no tassels, no pom-poms, no sparkles, no cutesiness, no rectangle of fleece cut straight from the bolt.

And did I mention that it needs to be warm? My neck is not happy. Do you want to know why my neck is not happy? Because people, it is -30°F today.

If the Internet wishes to send me scarves, then who am I to politely decline? My mother will be knitting me a nice black scarf, she probably started it moments after she called me. I would like a pink one to match my cute knit pink Gap Kids mittens that have a big black button on each cuff. And maybe a grey one to match my grey gangsta hat with a white stripe. Or a red one to match my red shoes.

Apparently a girl should have more than one. Like shoes.

The Tundra Requires Scarves

March 9, 2006

I live in the tundra. I mean, technically, Fairbanks isn't located on tundra. But I don't have to go far to see tundra.

You people with your sun and sandy beaches and shopping malls and civilization, what do you know of the tundra? Of permafrost and frost heaves and polar bears and penguins? Yes, the interweb may know, but I am talking to you. You there with the funny glasses and the lackluster gaze. That's what I thought.

So. The arctic tundra is a cold place. Think really cold, and then subtract about a bajillion degrees. I understand this and, as living where I do is a choice, I am pretty much okay with it.

Until I lose an article of warm gear. Like the scarf I haven't seen since Friday at the ice park. The scarf I haven't seen since I said goodbye to Steve. And maybe I dropped it in the parking lot. Maybe I lost it on the ice slide.

But if Steve is sniffing it in the comfort of his own bed right this moment with a wild look in his eyes, then I am glad all he took is my scarf. And also, seriously, knock it off with the creepiness, Steve.

I searched all over town today to get a brand new scarf, a scarf that will undoubtedly cost money unlike my lost scarf that I rescued from a FREE box at a garage sale a few years ago. But! It could be a scarf that matched something I owned! A scarf that framed my cuteness! A scarf that I fell in love with!

Only, all of the Fairbanks commerce scene is sure that March Means Spring, Dammit! And, as such, winter gear is OUT and the flip flops are IN. No one has scarves? How can this be?

I had my choice of a pepto-pink scarf with awful pom-poms in the clearance bin of one store or shelling out $40 for some piece of fleece with "Columbia" printed delicately on one end.

Two options. In all of town. In all of the arctic tundra that was ten below zero today.

I managed to snag one from the thrift store, the only one in the entire store. While it doesn't match a thing I own, it doesn't necessarily clash. And it should keep me warm.

At least until some internet creep steals it from me.

Single Block

March 7, 2006

When Steve told me he was planning a trip to the wonderful winterland that is the Alaskan Interior and asked me what kinds of things there are to do here, I laughed at him.

When my laughter quieted down enough to notice he wasn't joking, I told him that there are only three things people in Fairbanks do for fun during the winter: get drunk, make babies, and go to Hawaii.

And while he was free to do any of those three things, I would not be participating with him in any of them. But if he wanted something to do between the drunken baby making, like, uh, being inappropriate in public while sipping a root beer float, then I would be up for it.

How that offer turned me into Chauffeur Valette I will never know, but it was a great excuse to take Friday off from work.

We spent a good chunk of Friday wandering through Ice Alaska and the 2006 World Ice Art Championships playing on the ice slides in the kid's section and looking at the single block competition.

ice park incognito

I hadn't been to the ice park since I went with Melissa the March before she died. It was nice to be back. Difficult, but nice. For a brief moment when the friction of my jeans stopped me halfway down the ice slide I felt very Adult-like. But then Steve pointed and laughed just like Melissa would have. It's nice to have friends.

After the ice park we (meaning Chauffeur Valette with her cute little driver's hat and subservient downcast gaze) drove out to Chena Hot Springs to see whose hands would prune up the fastest. Steve came away from the hot springs disappointed that we saw neither monkeys nor Japanese tourists, both of which usually abound at the rock pool.

I know what you are thinking, Mother. About my heading miles from civilization with a strange man I hardly know and met on the internet. But let me put your mind to rest by saying that I am much stranger then any boy who plays on the internet.

And also I had complete control of the vehicle, the destination, and the rope and duct tape in my trunk. You should be worried for the poor man's safety, not mine.

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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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