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January 2007 Archives

Speak It

January 31, 2007

So there's this Speak n Spell emulator? Online?

And I was going to link to it, see?
And related a funny childhood story?
Involving a late car trip home from Anchorage, a brother, and aliens?

But I had this nagging suspicion that I had told it before?
Because it's the kind of story that I like telling?

So I searched my archives? Right?

And discovered I had already linked to it.


It must be one of the signs of bloggity old age: repeating stories over and over until my readers' eyes glaze over and they stare out the window wishing I'd just shut up already so they can go outside and play with the new kites and yeah thanks for the quarter Gramma I'll make sure to buy something nice.

Birfday Weekend

January 29, 2007

Has anybody seen my weekend? Because I seem to have misplaced it.

It's a very special weekend, you see, because it was a Birthday Weekend.

And Birthday Weekends are the most special weekends of all, except maybe Christmas weekend. Or Four Day Weekends. Or Three Day Weekends. Or Vacation Weekends. Or Warm And Sunny Weekends.

The last time I saw my Birthday Weekend it was Friday night and I was fantasizing about all the time I would spend cuddled up with it, loving it, treating it right.

I set it down so I could do a ton of laundry at the laundromat (Dear Obviously Pregnant Woman: Do you really need that extra chair to hold your calculator? I know your lap is non-existent at this point, but I do not think that your calculator really could appreciate a chair at the laundromat more than my behind would appreciate it.).

I vaguely remember something with a movie theatre and the end-slash-beginning of the world, and there was a bit of birthday cake and ice cream and dice. Beyond that, I have no idea.

Did I leave it at the laundromat, you think? Or was it stolen by the Obviously Pregnant Woman, whose stomach held the Weekends of all her victims and not an unborn child as she leads everyone to believe?

I know for a fact that alcohol did not play a factor in the losing of my weekend, because I don't roll like that. Unless it was the OPEN CONTAINER of vodka Steve had while I was driving. (Everyone go tsk Steve for that.)

Maybe I dropped it on the floor at my brother's and one of the dogs ate it, thinking it was chocolate birthday cake?

But I'm back at work now, staring at an empty, slow, and dragging week's calendar, sad to have lost my weekend. Maybe it will run ahead and join forces with next weekend. Yes, that must be it.

Twenty Five and A Half

January 24, 2007

My dear, sweet mother has this terrible habit of asking me what I want for Christmas. And for my birthday. And then again for Christmas. Twice a year she asks, and twice a year I have no answer.

Which, to be fair, is the more terrible bit of our exchange: my half-hearted "Iunno" and shrug, causing her exasperated look and sigh.

Even though I completely didn't have an answer for my mother this year, just like last year and the year previous, and even though my birthday is a mere four days away, it's not like I'd pimp my Amazon wishlist or anything.

I have more class than that.

And in decidedly not doing so, I'm noticing the thing is terribly out of date. It's full of random kitchen doodads, some camera that no one in their right minds will ever buy me, and some books and albums I don't recall ever wanting.

The Reason It's Better in the Shower

January 23, 2007

Does anyone else have problems with water running down your forearms and dripping off your elbows, tickling every single microscopic arm hair within a three-mile radius as well as getting the bathroom floor all wet, while washing your face?

So it's just me, then?

The Internet Has No Fifth Amendment

January 22, 2007

Valette: what did you do to my dog last weekend?
John: meaning?
Valette: she's been sleeping nonstop since we got home
John: we played hard
Valette: sleep deprivation games?
Valette: she crashed in the car ride across town
John: 'ello, Tay here im acting as his lawyer, we have the right to remain silent until directed otherwise by law.
Valette: hello Miss Tay
Valette: I'm on to you
Valette: I have my own legal representation here
Valette: she says you guys are SO TOTALLY BUSTED
John: my people say we need some hard evidence or the accusations should desist
Valette: Evidence The First: doggie coma
Valette: Evidence The Second: she's too tired to even EAT
John: ...maybe the rabbit WAS poisoned...
John: OH! The balloon she ate!...
John: We still must remain silent.... we plead 5th ammendment
Valette: whatever you say will be exploited on the internets

Polar Bear Jump Off

January 21, 2007

Alaskans like to pretend that we love winter.

We like to pretend that we love winter more than our neighbors, making us the better Alaskan.

Our pride and our stupidness and our cabin fever lead to crazy things like dressing in costume jumping into the ocean in the middle of winter.

I spent the weekend in Seward (not the most happening locale for a weekend getaway, I know) to point, laugh, and take a few pictures of the crazy people willingly taking a dip into the freezing water.

Belly Dancer

We had the lucky opportunity to stand next to two guys who reeked of liver failure and had either started the celebration at 10am, or were continuing it from the previous weekend.

Alcoholism is just as much an Alaskan tradition as the Polar Bear Jump.


I've been known to swim in the Alaskan ocean, it is true. But only on summer afternoons, and when I can find one reason why that is so different I will let you know. Until then you'll just have to trust me that it is. Much different. Much.

And apparently, the entire town of Seward closes down at 4pm.

There are a few bars and restaurants still open, but otherwise? Absolutely nothing to do but take photos of your (teeny) hotel room and applaud the couple next door rhythmically banging their brass bed into the wall.

The rest of my Polar Bear Jump Off photos can be found on Flickr.

Renewed License To Kill

January 19, 2007

Hypothetically, if I left half of a deli sandwich, upon which may have been written, "Valette really needs to take this home tonight," in the office refrigerator this afternoon, a refrigerator that is religiously cleaned out every Friday afternoon to the point of throwing even tupperware away, do you think it might still be there an hour and a half after the office closed? Do you think it might still be there Monday?

UPDATE: The sandwich would probably still be there, but you might discover that the security code you were given upon employment with the company wouldn't actually disable the security alarms AT ALL causing you to call all sorts of people, bosses and security companies and answering services alike. Next time? I recommend getting the stupid sandwich out of the refrigerator before leaving for the weekend.

In other news, I have discovered the most perfect time to tackle the DMV: Friday afternoon, 4pm.

I was halfway through filling out my form before I grabbed a numbered ticket, and my number was called right as I was signing the form.

The surly woman took my form, took my money, and sent me to another line to have my picture taken. Before I reached the new line the woman behind that counter called my name.

I had just barely enough time between having my picture taken and being handed my new license to fill out my voter registration address update.

Anchorage DMV, I heart you!

Renewed License

Are you an organ donor?

Happy Feet

January 16, 2007

Thanks for all of the concern about my eye-rot. Because of the nature of my job and the shelves full of donated corneas, I was able to get myself a replacement eye without any red puffiness similar to pink eye but wasn't actually pink eye at all.

My eye is all better.
Just like that.

But in celebration of renewed vision, I bought shoes. Because I think there is a perfect correlation between happy eyeballs and happy feet.

And plus it's been forevah since I bought shoes, a month at the very least, and that time doesn't even count because I didn't buy pretty impractical shoes.

Which is what the shoe buying is ALL ABOUT. The more impractical, the better.

The Internet is the Best Place To Seek Medical Advice

January 12, 2007

What is wrong with my eye, people?

eye owwie 1

It's been hurting a little bit today, I noticed it at dinner and thought it was "probably another stye or something."

But this is nothing like the last stye I had.

eye owwie 2

Maybe it's pink eye? Where would I have gotten pink eye?

I can't see a doctor about it until Tuesday because of lovely Martin Luther King, Jr. (I get Monday off as well! Yay!). But even if I could, I don't know of any doctors in town. Where do I find a doctor in this place?

More importantly, what's wrong with my eye? How can I make the hurty stop?

More Cowbell

January 11, 2007

I'm not a big fan of sports.

I have a hate-hate relationship with playing sports, and an even slightly less hateful relationship with watching sports.

My family didn't grow up with sports: we were too busy killing ourselves on ATVs and the fishing boat. My grandfather was known to watch a football game now and then, but he always did so alone in his den, ostracized from the rest of the civilized family.

Turn on the television to a game and I will promptly find something else to occupy my time. I don't loathe it; I'm just not interested.

But sit me in front of a live game, answer my rule-clarifying questions, and give me someone to cheer for, and I will have a blast.

Despite my dearth of knowledge portrayed in the BHL, I've never been to a hockey game. Which is silly because Fairbanks is ALL ABOUT the university's team, but I didn't hang around people who were interested in it and so I didn't go.

I went to the Aces game last Saturday night (Alaska has a sports team? That doesn't involve fishing in any way? What?) with Steve and his brother's family. And they gave me a cowbell. To ring. Quite loudly. In the ear of the kid sitting next to me.

Sorry bout that, kid. Next time convince your dad to get you a cowbell so we can duel it out. Because oh yes, there will be a duel. And I will be Queen of the Cowbells. There will be a parade. You will see.

In Traction

January 9, 2007

I know it's Tuesday, but Tuesday is not being interesting today. Tuesday is being cold and lethargic. Instead, let's talk about last Friday.

My Friday was punctuated with the purchasing of tires.

Yes! Brand new tires with tread and even studs! It set me back an absurd amount of money, but that absurd amount come from a Christmas gift and not my paycheck.

Three cheers for tires that were all flat by Monday morning! Oh, wait. That was actually pretty crappy, causing me to worry about denting my blingalicious rims. And also to be late to work.

"Maybe the guy didn't put enough beading on, or maybe he didn't put any on at all." Um, thanks tire guy who took all of my money and in return gave me no confidence in your skills.

Great Things Lie Ahead

January 9, 2007

It's -15°F in Anchorage this morning, and the internet tells me it's -44°F in Fairbanks.

This morning I got out of bed, let the dog out, showered, started the car (which I had neglected to plug in, whoops), got dressed, and then decided to "cuddle with the dog" on the bed. That's the story I'm sticking to, even though when I woke ten minutes later the dog had kenneled herself. I pulled the towel off of my head and, in the process of dragging a brush through my hair, realized that there was still an awful lot of conditioner still in my hair.

What a great start to what will surely be a great day.

Don't Be Jealous

January 4, 2007

Dear Internet of my Heart,

You know that I love you more than words can ever express.
And I don't want you to be upset.

Now that you're old enough to figure quite a bit out on your own, you really should hear it from me that I've been seeing the Internet's False Prophet of Choice.

And by seeing, I mean seeing.

And by seeing I mean making him shovel my car out of the snow when I get it (repeatedly) stuck because if he doesn't then I'm not making him dinner.

I know you're probably feeling confused and angry and most of all utterly jealous at my mighty good fortune, but I'm sure you'll snap out of it just long enough to be squicked out.


The Downside

January 3, 2007

So now we have all of this beautiful and wonderfully clean and white and fluffy snow covering the ground and my bicycle and every square inch of Alaska. And the snow, it is lovely and fluffy and yes sure, fine, winter wonderland-y.


Have I mentioned that my car has non-studded winter tires that have been driven on for two years straight, winters and summers alike?

Have I mentioned that my car is cute with a sunroof and has a great engine with the power of many horses? That it has low-profile tire on big bling rims? That does crap in soft snow with no tread on its tires?

The office let us go a half hour early today so we could get a jump start on the traffic with the un-plowed roads and the white-out-like conditions of the blowing snow.

Out in the parking lot the door of my car pushed snow when I opened it. I was wading in the snow trying to dig out my car. Apparently it "hasn't snowed like this in years." Yay, and everything.

Time for some math.

Hawt low profile tires
- any semblance of tread
+ fifteen feet of fresh powder
+ a parking lot with not much traffic

What do you think the answer is? Anyone?

Right. Stuckage. Major stuckage. In a parking lot.

Two coworkers pushed valiantly, but I couldn't grab any traction. It took four men to push me out of my parking space just so I could get home and promptly get stuck before even getting into my driveway.

I honestly don't think I will be able to get out of my driveway tomorrow morning.

I know that I would love to get a washer and dryer for my apartment (it has hookups, you see, and the closest laundromat isn't how I prefer to spend my time), but I need to get tires first. Studded tires. So I can be more properly Alaskan instead of getting myself stuck everywhere.

Happy New Year

January 1, 2007

The year 2006 went out like a giant sinus infection, and I for one am glad it's gone.

I didn't do anything special this weekend due to the giant sinus infection that kept me home from work one day this past week.

The sinus infection that threatened to puff up my entire skull until my gray matter asploded all over the apartment.

The sinus infection that kept me napping all day today, letting me wake only in time to watch Dick Clark's out-of-sync countdown to 2007.

Here's hoping 2007 is filled with less snot.

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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