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November 2006 Archives

Pardon the Cobwebs

November 29, 2006

My office just moved this week into a larger facility on the other side of town, and that coupled with all of the personal moving I just did, I get home and promptly fall into zombie mode on the couch. Sometimes there is a movie playing, sometimes not.

I am sick of boxes and sick of moving. Sick, I tell you!

I made another trip to Fairbanks last weekend to get the rest of my stuff and my furniture. I kicked myself the entire way for not planning a little better and getting all of my crap in one trip.

But after the drive to Fairbanks with John's truck and a trailer, someone had the idea of heading out to Chena Hot Springs. And as I started the extra hour drive out to Chena, I realized not only was this the Most Stupidest Idea evAR, but it was made even more stupider considering we only had a half hour to enjoy the yumminess of Chena.

And then? And THEN after only 5 hours of sleep? The trailer we took off the truck for the stupid trip to Chena? Decided it didn't want to fit onto the truck hitch.

Seriously. Whose stupid idea was this trip?

Uhaul was all, "Oh noes! You broke it! We'll have to send a mechanic who will charge you three times!" and then we were all, "Aw hell no. Thanks for nothin'."

And then the brain wave: metals can do some crazy things at -26°F. Crazy things like trailer tongues shrinking and latches freezing in place. A little hot water solved that problem, only to create a whole new problem when dropping the trailer back off.

Apparently water freezes in cold temperatures? Just in case you weren't aware, water freezes around things like bolts. Bolts that attach trailers to trucks. Bolts that need to turn so I can get rid of the stupid trailer already and go home for a hot bath and sleepy time.

Honestly? Not the smartest weekend of my life. But at least its over and I have all of my stuff.

I'll just need a few more weeks of zombification before I feel more settled in.

Thanksgiving

November 24, 2006

I am thankful that the chocolate pie froze well enough to eat since it didn't really set as it ought because I used soy milk instead of 2%.

I am thankful that my armies were overthrown early into Risk so I wasn't in the middle of the ensuing battles and instead could doze on the couch in front of The Lord of the Rings.

I am thankful that I had near-crippling cramps because... wait, scratch that one.

I am thankful that I finally unpacked my three pieces of luggage, getting all of my clothes folded onto shelves or hung into the closet, making the new apartment feel more like home.

Partly Moved

November 20, 2006

The internet might be tired of staring at my dog, but I am tired of staring at boxes. So I think it is really a fair trade, yes?

I had made plans for my brother Rodney, his pickup, and his trailer to go to Fairbanks with me this past weekend to grab my things. I got Friday off from work for the special weekend trip to fully maximize packing time (the drive alone would cut 12+ hours out of the weekend), only to find out Rodney got an unheard of five-day long shoring job in the middle of November.

And $35 an hour is worth ditching one's little sister.
At least that's what I am told.

Instead of Rodney going to Fairbanks with me this past weekend, Heidi volunteered my brother John and his pickup for the job.

Half of the trip John acted like a goofy tourist. "Ooh, mountains! Ooh, frosty tundra! I'm stopping for a picture" and nearly getting us killed by turning around to head back into Cantwell after we had made it through without being eaten alive by inbred mutants or pieces of the truck exploding just to take a picture of a wolf standing by the road.

Half the trip he acted like a teenager seeing how fast he could push his mom's minivan (98mph) (stupid governor).

Half of the trip John consumed two Guinnesses more than he should have and became quite de-motivated and useless. I'm glad he was so chatty and happy, it's just that boxes don't get packed with another story about your teenage daughter breaking up with her boyfriend.

And half of the trip he became Truck Bed Packer Extraordinaire and managed to fit approximately three million boxes into the bed of his pickup, PLUS the all-important ice cream maker. If it had come down to a choice between the ice cream maker and the Kitchen Aid mixer, I would have made John hitch hike back to Anchorage.

Heidi: Where's John?
Valette: Left him on the side of the road to freeze.
Heidi: Oh noes! How could you?!
Valette: Want some warm homemade brownies and homemade ice cream?
Heidi: *droolz* Best not to dwell in the past.

I now have most of my stuff in my new apartment in Anchorage. At least I think it's most of my stuff; it all just looks like boxes labeled, "KITCHEN: random shit" (which, thank you Beth for your eloquent labeling skillz).

I'm still going to make Rodney go back to Fairbanks with me this weekend after Thanksgiving (Three day work week! Woo!) to get my furniture. Maybe I will bribe him with a secret trip out to Chena Hot Springs.

It will have to be a secret trip because otherwise his wife will want to go. And so will my entire family and perhaps the entire internet. And I don't want the internet thinking I will buy them a ticket to Chena Hot Springs and hotel rooms because there are too many people to sleep on the floor in my empty Fairbanks apartment.

That just isn't going to happen because I am too cheap and too broke and besides, who would watch my dog while my family and the internet is goofing off in Fairbanks?

Have a picture of my dog

November 11, 2006

Possibly one of the stupidest things one can do during an Alaskan winter is take a road trip at night. Especially the evening after one's destination received 8 inches of snow.

But when have silly things like "weather" and "snow" and "common sense" stopped me from ending up in a snow berm somewhere?

Exactly.

I left Anchorage right after signing an apartment rental agreement, and am in Homer this weekend to pick up my dog before my mother kidnapped her off to some farm in the country where she can run and play in the great outdoors as much as she likes, not to mention all of the rodents and birds she can chase.

And it wouldn't be an euphemism, either. I have full confidence that if I had given my mother more than a few days' worth of warning, she would have ran off with my dog because Lacey "loves Grandma's house!" and never wants to go back to any stinky city EVAR.

It took her a bit to warm back up to me. I had expected her to be super excited to see me for the first two minutes and then super ticked at me for abandoning her.

Abandoning her with terrible people who let her outside as many times as she asks, people with the abundance of dogs who don't scarf their food down all at once leaving plenty of leftovers, people who sneak her food off of their plates and don't even try to deny it, Dad, because my dog was not this chunky when I left.

What I hadn't expected, however, was her shyness, her reluctance to crawl in my lap and snuggle. I've been gone almost three weeks, and I feel terrible for having left without her.

But as awkward as she may feel with me, she has made it very clear that I am not to leave again without her. And this time, I'll make sure she comes with me.

After three weeks at Grandma's house

Only she will definitely need a bath before spending four hours locked in a small car with me. Because while the country side might be fun with all of the space and trees and moose poop? That stuff reeks.

UPDATE: Haircut! And a bath!

The Chain Gang

November 9, 2006

Right. So.
Work.

Going good and everything. Really like the people I am working with. I'm not sure how... challenged I will be there, but it is far too early to tell.

It isn't too early, however, to see the myriad things I can do for making with the efficiency. And I mean simple things, like, "Hello position of mine, this is Mr. Word Template and Ms. Excel Template. You should be working closely with them."

Mostly I'm just beat.
Having a month off? Totally recommended.
Having to get up at 6.30am for a job? Not so much.

The Chiefest Part

November 6, 2006

Two Most Awesome Things About My First Day At Work:

  • Standard Operating Procedure Policy A7: Format and Development of Standard Operating Procedures and Policies
  • Standard Operating Procedure Policy A8: Policy and Procedure Approval and Review

Honestly? Reading procedural manuals does not top my list of Most Awesome Things To Do. It's even ranked much, much lower than watching people play poker. Which, you know. So much fun and all.

But really, let's try that again and make it all positive and shit.

Three Most Awesome Things About My First Day At Work:

  • "The water cooler doesn't really cool water anymore. We had to unplug it because it kept catching on fire."
  • Inadvertently making a coworker blush.
  • #9 on the Must-Do-to-have-a-happy-Admin list: Talk to Jeff's plants.

Besides not getting a computer logon and having to spend AT LEAST half of my day reading* procedural manuals, and despite a little bit of heart-thumping anxiety before answering my first phone call (I mean, OMG, I don't even know everyone's name yet; what if someone calls for Jane and I page Jane except Jane is standing right in front of me?), it was an all right day.

The nerves that kept me up much too late last night and then kept me tossing and turning once I did get to sleep have me beat. But the journey of a thousand miles, and all that. Yay for first steps.

* By which I mean skimming**.
** By which I mean staring blankly at the pages until enough time had passed that I felt comfortable turning them.

No more sleeping in

November 6, 2006

In about 20 minutes I leave for this new job. I have this knot in my stomach and I couldn't sleep last night and I swear it's like the first day of school.

But my lunch is packed and I'm trying to force down a few bites of breakfast as I type, hoping it won't conspire with my knotted stomach to make me sick.

I'm not sure I'm ready for this, but at this point I realize my state of readiness doesn't really matter a whole lot.

Everyone knows about the red caps

November 2, 2006

If you find yourself in the little exam room at the eye doctor's office, the small and dark room with the giant chair and its horror-movie-esque attachments, if you find yourself there and needing to remove one or both of your contacts, and if you ask the doctor if there is any saline solution you could use to assist with getting said contacts out and she points vaguely to the bottles sitting right next to the sink, do not, I repeat, do not pick up the bottle with the red cap.

The one with the blue cap? Just fine. The one with the white cap? Even better. But do not pick up the bottle with the red cap, do not unscrew the cap, and for all that is holy and pure DO NOT squeeze a few drops from the bottle with the red cap into your eyeball.

Valette: Ow! Owowowowowow! Should I not have used this one? Owww!
Doctor: Um, no. That's soap.
Valette: Ow ow owowow!
Doctor: Didn't you see it has a red cap? That means it should never ever go into your eye.
Valette: Ow!
Doctor: Now let's put this new contact in and see if that makes your vision any better.
Valette: *tears running down face and eyeball not cooperating* Owww!

That was almost too easy

November 1, 2006

I got the job.
I start Monday.

Holy crap.

How many interview outfits is too many?

November 1, 2006

I was all prepared yesterday to write about how overwhelmed and a little depressed I'm feeling, what with Major Life Changes and all. New city, new friends, new people, and searching for a new apartment and a new job was just bringing me down.

I called my mom Monday night to check in, give her an update and see how my dog is doing. My mom could hear the sadness in my voice immediately. I swear, there is no hiding anything from that woman.

(Another reason to be sad: I've left Lacey with my mom in Homer while I find an apartment in Anchorage, and my mom is trying to convince me to let her stay there permanently: "But, Valette! She gets to run free! She's not really a city dog at all, is she? She loves Grandma's house!")

I was going to write about all of that, see, but then something wonderful happened. An hour after faxing in yet another resume and job application, the company called for an interview.

I had two hours' notice to iron my interview outfit and fill out an absurdly long interview questionnaire, leaving almost no time for this being nervous nonsense.

See, I've not had a lot of jobs. I've had two summer jobs, a part-time job that I could do as my schedule permitted, and then my most recent one which I just left. Granted, I was at my last job for almost five years, which looks great to a prospective employer, especially considering my age.

Those other times I had family or a church member get me the job or at least an interview; this is the first time I'm completely on my own looking for a job, and I'm a bit low in the confidence levels.

But the interview went great yesterday, so great that my interviewer talked more than asked me questions. So great that I'm going back for a second interview today with more of the staff.

(Egad, I need to iron my backup interview outfit.)

But it is still overwhelming, all of the newness and changes. Maybe if I had a place to live and my dog with me things would be much better. Oh, and a job that pays real money. I could use some money.

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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