Diet Dr. Pepper does not, in fact, taste like regular Dr. Pepper, despite what commercials and coworkers might claim. It does, however, contain caffeine, a sometimes crucial ingredient in Getting Valette Through The Last Two Hours Of Work.
Someone put mouthwash and tiny paper cups into the bathrooms at work. This someone is very awesome and thoughtful, if maybe a tad passive-aggressive. "Dang, everyone stinks after lunch. Maybe if I bring in mouthwash and discreetly put it in the bathrooms, everyone will use it and stop being so smelly!" Surprisingly, no one is owning up to it.
The sled dog races happened to go right my by office, so I had a great view of them on my lunch break Friday. I love watching sled dogs run; they are so bouncy and antsy right before the race, wanting to get on with it already. And the dogs that get left in the trucks, oh the whining and howling.
It got its start as a big fur trade -- trappers from all over the state would gather and sell their goods. There's still fur auctions that take place, and the smell around them is special and heartwarming at the same time.
Steve and I went downtown on Saturday to check out the festivities because I had never been in Anchorage for the Rendezvous. We watched part of the dog weight pulls (dogs! pulling 400 pounds on a sled! crazy!) while sipping tepid cocoa.
The snow sculptures were still in progress, and the sculptors were fun to watch. They weren't as impressive as the ice sculptures in Fairbanks (blah blah blah Fairbanks is better / Anchorage is better), but still very cool.
I didn't take a lot of pictures: it was really too cold and I wasn't dressed for it like I would have been in Fairbanks. It's not that big of a problem taking photos in -30°F weather if I'm prepared and dressed for it. But taking photos at 0°F when dressed for 15°F (see all the photos)? Results in frozen fingers on top of the ferris wheel.
And that's the real meaning of the Fur Rondy: carcass smells and frostbitten fingers.
—Exsanguinated. I love that word.
—You know, "bleeding out" is a perfectly acceptable cause of death.
—Huh. That's a weird reason for a medical rule out.
—I don't even want to think about where the infection was.
—It's like a Stephen King novel.
—Or what it smelled like.
—Could you imagine? Cracking open a chest cavity and finding black oozing fungus?
—I shouldn't have asked.
Beat in chocolate mixture on low speed. Beat in flour until just blended. Stir in walnuts and RUIN IT FOREVER TAKE YOUR HAND OFF THE NUTS THESE ARE GIRL BROWNIES.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or just until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. No, bake 30 minutes, tops, so that the center pieces are still gooey and the corners have just started to burn.
While waiting for the oven to work its magic, lick the spatula, the whisk, and the bowl, using your fingers to get to the gooey happiness at the bottom of the bowl, because using a spatula is cheating.
Cool on wire rack until you don't burn your fingers trying to pry a piece out. Serve with two scoops of melty vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.
Every single conversation Steve and I have had since I moved to Anchorage has been some variation of:
Steve: Some person did something awesome yesterday!
Steve: Oh you know, it's the person who did that thing with the other person who is even more awesome.
Valette: Right, but I don't know who he is, either.
Steve: He was in that movie with the other guy, remember?
Valette: Never even heard of it.
Steve: Something involving a very strong opinion. But everyone thinks that.
Valette: Not me.
Steve: That is completely the worstest thing evAR. No one even liked it.
Valette: I loved it.
Steve: Who likes this crap, anyway?
Valette: Um. *raises hand*
Steve: Blah blah blah doesn't matter what we're talking about really. But everyone knows that.
Valette: By now you surely must mean "everybody but Valette."
But it has been postulated that I have some "strange shit" on my iPod. And since I've never done that "first ten random songs on your iPod" meme, let's see if the world really asplodes from all of the strangeness.
2// Peace by Third Day
I was a member of one of those CD clubs back in high school, but for Christian groups. Third Day was one of the albums I randomly selected and ordered, knowing nothing of the group or their sound. And it is the only album selected in that manner that I loved. Other than that, I don't have anything special to say about the song.
3// Good Morning Beautiful by Steve Holy
A week or so before my sister died, she sent me a mix CD request, and this was one of the songs on it. I downloaded all of the songs and burned her a CD that I put in her casket.
4// Sylvia by John P. Strohm
Finally, some Indie-Pop makes it to the list. And I have nothing to say about it.
5// Psycho Killer (Talking Heads Cover) by The Faint
I don't know if I've ever heard the original. Oh wait! I do have it in my collection (see, I have no idea what I even have)! The cover is crap! Why do I even keep this in my collection!?
6// Remarkably Dirty Animals by The Mae Shi
I have this terrible habit of trolling through Myspace and mp3 blogs downloading everything in sight and plopping it on my iPod no matter how good (or "good") it is. And I never get around to deleting them because I'd have to wade through all of the ones I've downloaded and listen to them all again to determine if it's good enough to keep when I could just leave it alone and always skip it? Like this one, for instance.
7// Click Click Click Click by Bishop Allen
They released a new EP every month of last year; this one is from July, and it makes me giggle. You should love Bishop Allen.
8// No Love In Your Heart by The Earlies
Psychedelic Pop always makes me wonder if I'm missing something awesome by staying sober. Maybe some nice illegal substances would make this stuff awesome? iTunes tells me I've listened to this one precisely five times. Which isn't surprising.
9// Brand New You're Retro by Tricky
I have the entire Maxinquaye album. Why? Why did I get the urge to procure trip-hop? I have no answers.
10// l'Amour by Carla Bruni
I love this entire album and want to snuggle with it all night long. It's in French and, as such, sounds 300% more sophisticated than most everything else I own.
New office building remodel completed: $hundreds of thousands in grant money
Appetizers and wine: $hundreds
New outfit which gained quite a bit of attention: $hawtness - $skank + $professionalism
Staying an hour and a half later than clock-out-time out of the goodness of my heart (read: No Overtime Approved): $suckage
Sore toes from pretty pretty shoes;
unnecessarily freaking out at a guest serving alcohol and appearing as a douchebag as I did so; and "acquiring" (aka "making off with") (okay, yes, Mom, I stole it) a bouquet larger than my dog: