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June 2006 Archives

Works For Me

June 30, 2006

"See, sometimes you're not really lying. You're just being prophetic."

Shopping 'Till I Drop Won't Take Long

June 29, 2006

B's youngest sister is getting married in two weeks down in Anchor Point.

If you think that Homer is too small with it's 5,000 residents, then Anchor Point isn't even worth your time or energy. But I have to be careful with the Anchor Point bashing because my in-laws live there, as do Heidi's family. And while I'm not too terribly afraid of B's family, Heidi's family scares me.

I've known about this wedding for ages now. I've requested the appropriate time off from work, scribbled and added it to my digital and wall calendars, but that is all of the thinking I had done with it.

Until two short days ago when I realized I didn't have a thing to wear.

I had pulled out the nice dress I wore to a wedding last year, and the dress? Totally didn't fit. I knew I had lost weight, have been continuing to lose weight, but I just assumed... what, that my body was still the same size? That the dress would magically shrink as I did?

One cannot apply logic to the subjects of weight and body image and dress sizes. It is unpossible.

I tossed the dress into a bag bound for the Salvation Army and forced myself into a Real Live Store for some shopping.

Because, see, when God made me he mixed up a few things with my genetics. Or maybe there was too much testosterone from my four older brothers soaked into every molecule of my parents' house when they brought me home from the hospital.

Whatever cause might be to blame, the effects are unavoidable: I hate shopping.

But I forced myself to go out and look for something that most likely had a skirt and wasn't too dressy or formal because, hello? An Anchor Point wedding in my in-laws' back yard does not require an evening gown.

I was overdressed at my uncle's funeral in black slacks and a tailored black button down shirt. I could probably show up in clean Carhartts and a wife beater and not be out of place.

I eased into this shopping foray by starting at the thrift store, knowing ahead of time it was not the place to start, and found absolutely nothing that didn't make me laugh or cringe (or both) at myself.

Dark brown velvet with bell sleeves and a rope belt from the 70s! Loudly printed thick, suffocating polyester from the 60s! Teal ruffles from the 80s! Some of the pieces would be better served as pillows and purses than dresses.

After years of thrift store and garage sale shopping with Beth, she has beaten me into adopting the motto that It Can't Hurt To Try It On Yes, I Know It Is Has Pink Lace And Tassels And Is Dog Ugly On The Rack But You Don't Have To Buy It.

Which, in the practical world of clothing racks and skinny sales associates who have to unlock the dressing room door five times for me because I'm only allowed to take three items in at a time, means I try on 15 different dresses and skirts and tops and don't like a single thing.

That Carhartts and wife beater idea doesn't sound too bad.

It's in the fine print at the bottom

June 26, 2006



No. I'm not going to complain any more. Not today.

How can this be? You can't break the Best Friends In Complaining™ pact. You cannot let me down!


I have a half hour left of work that begs to be filled with complaining. I just need to strangle someone, press my fingers into the soft flesh of their throat until they kick and flail and their face turns blue and then sweet sweet silence. And at this point I don't really care who it is because everyone? (raises voice to insure it carries through most of the building) Everyone is equally deserving of painful, ugly death.

Is that why you just elbowed me in the face to get to the pens sitting on my desk?

Oh, what, are you talking about my pens? The pens you borrowed over a week ago and promised to have them back to me last Friday? You just might deserve death too, pact or no pact.

Alaskan Summers: Rebar and Sunburns

June 23, 2006

I just this afternoon sunburnt my forehead because of all the driving I did today with my sunroof open. Our next mini-newsletter is DONE and OUT of the office which is GREAT and I can BREATHE for three seconds before starting the process all over again. Also need to redo the work website, not to mention the hundreds of other things on my desk and in my inbox and my todo lists.

But! It is Friday! And on Friday afternoons one is not allowed to think of such things.

Also I am pretty sure my blood sugar levels are astronomical right now because of the Mt. Dew and the smoothie I downed to keep myself from exploding over office politics and, really, Valette, you just need to calm down RIGHT THIS SECOND.

So have some sugar. That will help. Yes, quite.

All of the driving and getting out of the office helped quite a bit with that too. Only the sunburn didn't help.

Neither did the tiny Alaskan dirt roads without names and buildings without signs or numbers. And the phone book giving me wrong addresses.

Phone company? I disown you.

If you haven't already figured out, there is no point to this entry. Which is a great thing to throw out into the Great White Internet.

But I am waiting for a coworker to get back so we can go buy brownies for this semi-work BBQ tonight. Otherwise I would leave and never look back. Until Monday when I need my paycheck.

And, for no reason, I leave you with 9-year-old building brick sculptures at the new office construction site only to knock them down with a scrap of rebar (turns out the stuff doesn't actually come all rusty! who knew!).

Brick Sculptures

This is the kind of Friday afternoon I can happily endorse.

Running with the Midnight Sun

June 19, 2006

The Midnight Sun Run took place on Saturday night and I had a blast watching from the blanket on my lawn.

There were three definitive groups of participants:

  • the serious runners out front with beautiful bodies who were sweating but hardly laboring and completely ignored me and my friends and our catcalls,
  • the here-to-have-fun sometimes-runners sometimes-walkers in the middle, some of whom smiled and waved and did little performances and requested mardi gras beads for our catcalls,
  • and the families with strollers near the back who weren't worthy of our catcalls.

And then the old guy who insistently stopped to take our picture and I'm pretty sure he zoomed right in on my rack.

Midnight Sun Run

Trying to take pictures during the race was frustrating because my camera wouldn't cooperate as fast as I needed it to. But Damon just told me Friday that he bought me a new Rebel. Because he loves me so much.

(See, he's in San Diego for one more day yet which means I might get away with that for only, oh, eight hours or so. But I'm totally going down there to beat him up and steal his new Rebel.)

Nothing to do with anything

June 16, 2006

Bloglines was down all day and it drove me to irrational fears such as, "What if they never come back up and they take my feeds with them to the dirty grave?"

Because I haven't backed up my feeds in, oh, ever. And the thought of losing all that was just... awful.

But! Not to worry! Because Bloglines is back up! And I have my OPML export saved! All the world can once again rejoice!

I think the Chocolate Juniors and the mocha I had this afternoon went straight to my brain. Am feeling a bit melodramatic and run-on sentence-y.

Also, if you happened to be driving around downtown and saw the crazy girl with the long braid in blue shorts and grey tshirt watering dirt and planting flowers and seeds in the middle of the pouring rain this afternoon, you should have waved at me. It was more fun than it looked, I promise you that.

Titles that honor man

June 16, 2006

So, yes, titles.

I've been using titles here for some time, since I started using them in the entry permalinks in fact.

And for some reason the other day I decided that the titles needed to be shown at the top of every entry. Need to be shown. Absolutely need.

More likely it was a fleeting thought that I latched on to as a way to procrastinate some Really Important Thing I should have been doing instead. Which is the best kind of productivity.

But now, seeing them everywhere demanding attention, I must admit that they intimidate me. I feel forced to come up with some witty title that everyone will see and judge.

Should it be title case or sentence case? Long? Succinct? Does it matter?

And then I feel silly for being intimidated by silly little titles. I can remember a few times I was proud of the title I had come up with and sad that likely no one else would see it. I can't point out those times, but I'm sure they exist. Sure of it.

But still, titles. Weird. I know.

Can't see the dog for the forest

June 15, 2006

There is a well-established routine that our small household goes through every morning:

  • B is up at the ungodly 4:30a, putters about and does... whatever until he leaves at 6:30, kissing me on whatever bit of me is poking out of the covers. Usually the forehead, maybe the nose.
  • I roll over, lift up the covers and Lacey burrows under, collapsing at the precise point my body curves so that optimal spoonage can commence.
  • My alarm sounds at 7:00a. I shower, dress, and then take the dog out to empty her bladder (unless it's the dead of winter, then I take her out first, start my car, and then shower).
  • She gets fed, then goes straight to her kennel to await my final preparations until I can lock her in and tell her I love her before leaving.

It's easy, it's well established, it's routine. It's how mornings should be.

But this morning there were Complications around step three, complications involving giant wild grass, sap, and the entire forest sticking to Lacey's coat when we came back inside.

I have no idea how she got so much sap on her. Did she stand on her hind legs and roll around the trunk of the spruce tree without my noticing? I know I'm pretty out of it in the mornings, but I think I would have noticed. But she was sticky from the tips of her huge ears to the pads of her tiny feet. And none too happy with my pulling leaves and grass and sticks and whatever else off of her sticky body.

But she was even less happy with the bath. The bath that is not part of The Routine. I couldn't let her get in her kennel so sticky, knowing that when she emerged this evening her blanket would be stuck to the side of her face and her kennel stuck to her butt.

She flailed about in the tub, refusing to stand where I needed her to stand, refusing to let me prop her up so I could wash her belly, refusing to shake the water out of her coat when I instructed.

She instead just glared at me.
And then made me late for work.

Thanks, dog.

Tree Huggin', Bunny Thumpin', Granola Crunchin'

June 13, 2006

10c rolled oats
1c wheat germ
½lb shredded unsweetened coconut
2c shelled sunflower seeds
1c sesame seeds
3c chopped assorted nuts (almonds and cashews)
3c assorted dried fruit (cranberries and apples)

Combine above ingredients in large bowl. A really giant bowl, bigger than my all-purpose stainless steel mixing bowl because otherwise half of it will end up on the floor. We're talking over 20 cups of dry goods here. Set aside.

1½c packed brown sugar
1½c water
1½c vegetable oil
½c honey
½c molasses
½t salt
2t powdered cinnamon
3t vanilla (plus some extra for good luck)

Heat slowly in a sauce pan until the sugar dissolves completely. Do not boil. Get impatient and scoop out the hardened brown sugar chunks that may never dissolve and replace them with the soft stuff from the bag by guessing how many spoonfuls to add. Scoop a hardened chunk from the bag and plop into mouth. Smile and hum to yourself.

Set aside to cool and preheat oven to 400°F.

Pour cooled liquid over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Taste test it. Three or four times, just to be certain.

Spread granola on edged cookie sheets or glass baking dishes. Maybe both, if you only have one of each. Bake 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Get impatient once again and put the cookie sheet and the glass baking dish in the oven together. Forget to stir it and forget to switch racks and burn a fourth of your yummy granola. Yell at your husband to open the door in hopes of getting the smoke out, then open the door yourself when he doesn't understand which door you mean because the balcony door is already open, isn't it?

Let unburnt granola cool completely, stirring periodically, before storing in air-tight ziplock bags and tupperware. Assign your husband to have a bowl of the burnt batch so as to determine whether suitable for human consumption.

Enjoy it mid-morning at the office with milk making coworkers jealous.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean

June 9, 2006

I am in a purging mood tonight.

I got rid of shoes that I know I will never ever wear again even if I have the perfect outfit to go with them but really I don't think I like them much any more and besides I recall the last time I wore them they hurt. Shoes that hurt are forgivable if they are Really Sexy. Or cost more than a car payment (which had better be Really Sexy, else why bother?).

I halved my wardrobe, tossing too-large and too-ugly and too-blah shirts and skirts and shorts and tank tops and pants into bags bound for the thrift store.

And I sliced and diced at my feeds, even if I was more conservative than with my clothing.

Yes! I do need to follow the progress of over 100 blogs! What's it to you?

If this mood had struck me this afternoon while still at work I would have thrown away oodles of random boxes my old supervisor hoards, piles of crap that no one knows why we keep but no one wants to throw away, and the basement. Oh, I would have tackled the basement.

This is what happens when friends leave town for the weekend (or longer) and husbands get grumpy and go to sleep before 9pm and brothers direct musicals into all hours of the night and Valette has no one to talk to in person or over the phone or online.

The weekend looms ahead, devoid of human contact.
Think of all the stuff I can throw away.

Forest Fire Festival

June 8, 2006

I've never been to a folk festival. I had plenty of opportunity in Homer with the KBBI Concert on the Lawn, but paying money to spend and entire afternoon listening to local "talent" with unwashed Spit Rats and aging hippies wasn't my teenage idea of fun. Even if there was Nothing Better to do.

And in a town like Homer, there is always Nothing Better to do.

Now that my voice has finally returned to me I have started making Grand Plans that do not involved cartoons or bendy straws, but indeed things like Going Outside and Standing Up and Not Dying.

There is a folk fest going on this weekend, and I had planned on attending, if only for a short time. What better opportunity to photograph hippies in their natural surroundings? Oh, and, also, the music might be good too. With a lot of emphasis on might.

But! A-ha! No one counted on the season's first forest fire to burst to life last night. It has closed down the highway to Anchorage and has filled my lovely blue breathing air with smoke.

Smoke on top of my already unhappy throat and sinuses. Smoke that makes me close all of windows and doors tight, attempt convincing the dog to take her own self out, shun my bicycle, and not want to go to outdoor folk festivals.

I hate smoke and fire season and wish all of those pesky lightning strikes and illegal fire starters would knock it off already so I can properly enjoy a summer.

Please, just this summer, let there be no more fires and no more smoke. Just one summer, this is all I ask.

For now.
Until next summer.


June 7, 2006


June 6, 2006

Someone needs to make a sex position flip calendar and I would so put one on my desk at work just to freak people out.

I would also buy one for each and every one of my brothers.
And friends. And coworkers.

This could be a serious money maker.

Lost Voice

June 6, 2006

I seem to have lost my voice this morning.
Have you seen it?

Until it is returned to me, I will be constantly filling the place it once was with hot tea in hopes of luring my voice back and laughing at my ridiculous squeaking.

Perhaps I was a bit too hasty in getting back to work.

Where have all the flowers gone?

June 5, 2006

Dear Mother Nature,

I know it was pretty sad with me sickly and stuck inside on the couch and all.

Don't get me wrong, I love my couch, especially when it has pillows and blankets and snoring dogs and saltine crackers and bendy straws and a cartoon playing on the television, not one of them demanding anything from me, least of which that I stay awake and pay attention to them.

For all of the wonderful offerings of my couch, I have missed the sunshine and the breeze and the attempts at deciphering cloud shapes and, yes, even my bicycle.

But speaking of sunshine, what's up? Where has it gone?

I took the dog out this morning only to be confronted with my breath. "Hello breath," I said, "haven't seen you around these parts for quite some time."

Come to find out it has been frosting at night and has not yet gotten over 40°F this morning.

I am so glad that I did not plant any flowers on Memorial Day. I know you have missed my smiling face, but come on! it is June! June!

Since I am back among the walking and talking and living, I demand that you be too. I demand there be no more frost or hail or snow (!) or visible breath. Demand it, I say.

Sinus Camp

June 2, 2006

This scratchy illness thing has decided to camp out in my sinuses, complete wtih pressure, sneezing, and loud bumping bass lines. A really fun party.

Which I think is great.

At least I have a plan for my weekend.

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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