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November 2007 Archives

Mission NaBloPoMo: Accomplished

November 30, 2007

I wasn't really 100% sure I would post something every day for the month of November, but I totally did it. Go me.

It was kind of nice to fall back into the routine of posting more frequently here. I may actually kind of like putting my thoughts on the interwebs. Crazy, I know.

In other news, my pinkeye is clearing up rather nicely, and my eyeballs don't feel nearly as boogery or as swollen as they very much were yesterday.

This is a very good thing indeed, because although I have been feeling healthy and energetic, I have been stuck in my apartment lest I rub my infectious eyeballs all over strangers at the store. Which I have the urge to do about five times a day.

Question: can dogs get conjunctivitis?

What Pretty Pink Eyes

November 29, 2007

Never to let one of my brothers show me up, I saw his gritty eye scratch and raised him one conjunctivitis.

Here is the part of the show where I blast you with an ugly picture that you will wish you never saw, and yet you won't be able to stop looking at it:


You're welcome.

It started as a scratchy-itchy-dry sensation late yesterday afternoon which turned into a leaking-yellowy-boogers last night. My eye had yellow boogers.

It was possibly one of the grossest things I have ever experienced, and I am a woman and bleed from my vagina every month, which is pretty gross in and of itself.

I had a terrible time sleeping last night, and woke at 3.30am with my eye mask stuck to my face, which I promptly threw into the laundry. The combination of not having my eye mask, feeling every heart beat in my eyeball, and Steve's awful snoring kept me at or near Awake Mode until it was time to call my supervisor and tell her I wasn't coming in.

But by that time, my eyelids had completely vacuum-sealed themselves shut from the rest of the world. And the infection had started to spread into my other eye.

The only way I was able to pry them open was with a hot shower. Have you ever tried to pee and then prepare a shower without the use of your eyes? It's pretty difficult, but doable.

There was a silly conversation with the appointment-maker at the doctor's office that I thought was going to go on for ten minutes: "How about 3.45?" "Do you have anything earlier?" "What time do you need?" "I don't need anything specific, just wondering if that was all you had." "What time do you want?" "Something earlier than 3.45?" "Like what time?"

The doctor took one look at me, said, "It looks like you have conjunctivitis," and wrote me a prescription.

It's not exactly how I wanted to obtain another 4-day weekend, but I guess I'll take it.

You Have No Idea

November 28, 2007

My sinuses and my left eyeball are excreting substances I'd rather not talk about, companies charge way too much for personalized greeting cards, and my internets are dragging and impossibly frustratingly slow.

I'm hereby shunning the internet for the rest of howeverlong.

Still Not Feeling Good

November 27, 2007

When I stepped out of the shower this morning and had a hard time standing up long enough to towel off my hair, when I pondered if the work required to put in my contacts was worth it since I'd probably be coming home at noon anyway, I decided to just stay home.

Why spend all of that energy putting my legs into pants and running a brush through my hair and dealing with rush hour traffic and sitting at a desk for a few hours when I could just put my pounding head back on my pillow and curl my body around a snoring dog and dream about teeth falling out of my head?

Exactly. Exactly.

Save the Internet

November 26, 2007

If you don't recognize any of these internet superstars, you are missing out on a wonderful world of awesome.

Pretty Pathetic

November 25, 2007

Was just now lying in bed falling asleep when I remembered I hadn't posted anything today. How pathetic is that.

I haven't posted anything because I've spend 90% of my day on the couch in pajamas with my dog and a blanket and 27 cups of hot tea trying to soothe my sore throat that just won't go away.


My head is disconnected from anything going on in the real world, and my neck is having a heck of a time holding it up.

Five more days of November and then I can resume my non-posting schedule.

I Really Have Not Much To Say

November 24, 2007

Except maybe that I might have a wee sore throat.

Surprise! I Have Body Issues!

November 23, 2007

I've been having "issues" with working out since the weather turned cold-ish and riding my bicycle was no longer an option.

(The "ish" exists because temperatures in the 40s and all of the rain took all of my lovely snow away. No snow for Thanksgiving makes me sad.)

"Issues" could be described as not really working out at all. Or sometimes if I have the apartment to myself. Which is Friday nights, and some Sunday mornings.

Steve would describe these issues as "completely freaking out for no reason whatsoever and not allowing" him "to be in the apartment when she works out because she is crazy." Which would be true, except for the crazy part.

There's just something about flailing my body about in the comfort of my own living room that brings out every insecurity in me. No one is allowed to watch me and I so mean it kthx.

I had gotten some coupons for free week trials to a few gyms in the area, but I wouldn't go try them because of similar "issues". My Physical Education experiences in school were... less than stellar. And I imagined a gym exactly like my PE classes only without a weekly scheduled mile to run that I never did faster than 12 minutes.

I imagined gym-goers as svelte, tan, and snobby.

I imagined disapproving looks toward my non-size-4 self getting non-size-4 sweat all over their fancy equipment.

I imagined the svelte being annoyed that I didn't know how to use any of the equipment, and being pushed out of the way so the svelte could use it.

I imagined, and I imagined, and lo! Anxiety doth darken the step of thy door!

But tonight, Steve and I signed up for a gym. We gave them our souls, they gave us locker assignments. We worked out, and I survived.

The best part about this gym is that absolutely no one there is svelte. And so far no one has shot disapproving glances my direction, but I haven't yet tried the strength training equipment.

Full of Turkey and Sparkling Cider

November 22, 2007

Seven minutes till midnight, and I have the hiccups.

Today I am thankful for Guitar Hero playoffs that I was uninvolved in, the ability to humiliate my dog, Lacey's boyfriend, juicy turkey, and gallons of sparkling cider.

Originally uploaded by Ray Fenwick

Dear People who Use Caller ID,

November 21, 2007

When you see that you have missed a call, and you see an unfamiliar number associated with that call, please do not call it, the number unknown to you, and tell the poor person on the other end: "Someone from there called me?"

Please. I implore you.

As someone who has been known to answer phone calls for an organization, your Pain In the Ass quotient is right up there with the cold-call salesman who cannot get the name of our CEO correct. Suuuuuure you're old friends that go waaaaaay back. If you don't even know his name, I'm not going to let you talk to him. No matter how many times you call back.

Do you know what the receptionist has to do if you tell him/her that "someone from there called" you? The receptionist has to read your mind. And receptionists just love doing that.

Or the receptionist has to ask you a bunch of questions about who you are and how you might be relevant to the organization, questions that you are always hesitant in answering. Then the receptionist gets to call every single department and ask if anyone called you.

Probably? It wasn't all that important.
Or more probably? It was a misdialed number.

Seriously, if it was important? They would have left a message. Or you would have been expecting the call.

The next time you call and tell me that "someone from there called" you, I am going to say no. No we did not. Now please go away.

Steal My Product Idea!

November 20, 2007

A Kirby vacuum salesman came to my home tonight and sucked up every bit of dirt deposited in my carpets over the last 30 years the carpets have lived in my apartment.

Yes, I'm 120% convinced the carpets are as old as I am.

He pulled out filter after filter covered in thick muckety-muck, dirt and grime and even dirty dirt. It was gross. I was amazed.

Then he did his whole what-can-I-do-to-get-you-into-this-machine spiel, and I laughed at the vacuum's $2,000 price tag.

Seriously? Two thousand dollars? Does it make me a sandwich? Give me an orgasm? There are existing machines that do both of those things for much, much less money (though admitedly not at the same time) (Japanese: please make that device, a sammich-orgasmatron) (I would love you forever) (although, knowing the Japanese, this machine already exists with Hello Kitty's visage).

The Best Way to End the Day

November 19, 2007

One part fresh sheets
One part hot bath
One razor
One tube of lotion
One good novel
One miniature schnauzer

Stir the hot bath until legs are hairless and silky smooth.
Apply lotion liberally until completely smooth.
Wrap in the fresh sheets, add book and a warm dog for about 15-20 minutes.

Tell Me on a Sunday

November 18, 2007

We went to see the Rocky Horror Show last night, guests of a wonderful friend who spent the night dancing in fishnets in the cage.

There is still rice in the pockets of my coat and on the bathroom floor where it fell when I was disrobing to use the facilities.

In other words, the show was this much awesome. That right there? Is more awesome than you ever have the chance of being.

We didn't get home until 2am, didn't get up until after 11 when the dog started being Super Serious I Mean It So Help Me God about needing to be let outside.

I spent 80% of my Sunday in pajamas and never put my contacts in. I did brush my hair, but only twice.

Got all of the laundry done, swept up most of the rice in the bathroom (there's still one or two kernels I keep stepping on but otherwise can't find), made pizza from scratch on my fancy pizza stone.

The kind of Sunday I love.

Dammit, Janet

November 17, 2007

Have two comp tickets to Rocky Horror STOP
Am all tarted up my mother would die STOP
No time for blog posts STOP
Doing the Time Warp Again STOP

UPDATE: When you have to dump rice out of your underwear when you get home, you know it's been a good show.

Dear Oldies Station,

November 16, 2007

I'm not really comfortable with the new direction our relationship has suddenly taken.

I know this is a bad time of year for this kind of talk, but I do really care about you and I want this to last for quite a while. I want to keep this relationship open and honest.

In that spirit, I must ask: are you smoking crack?

I like my quiet time with you in the mornings, driving to work. I like that you are full of empty music calories and that I know your every move. But this morning you threw a wrench into our routine.

Sleigh bells.
How could you?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It is a wonderful holiday and provides a great four-day weekend full of tryptophan and pie.

And yet you are wanting to skip right over it, pretend it isn't even going to happen. I think you'd even prefer to pretend the whole month of December doesn't exist until the 24th.

Sitting at yet another red light, I started at the radio dial in disbelief. Surely you weren't. You couldn't. Not Christmas music this early in the year.

But the jingle-jingling of the sleigh bells gave you away, and I immediately mashed my hand on the programmed buttons for something, anything other than Christmas music. I ended up on the Crappy Pop And Ella Ella Ella station and I left it there. I was too shocked and hurt by your betrayal to hunt down something better.

I'm going to get back into my car after work and will have to make a very important decision: Will I switch the radio over to you, will I leave it on the Current Crap station, or will I plug in my iPod?

And I'm going to let you know right up front. In the spirt of not the holidays, but of being open and honest. If I so much as hear one sleigh bell jingle. That is it.

I need some time to myself anyway, I've become too dependant on you.

You should spend some time finding your true self, figuring out if this sleigh bell impostor is who you really are. I'll check back in with you around January and... well, maybe we'll see.


Poor Little Kitten

November 15, 2007

I think I may have lost a mitten today.

I stepped into the grocery store after work and pulled a mitten from my coat pocket. And it was all alone. I went back to the car, but its partner wasn't there.

Pink Mittens

UPDATE 16 November 3.30pm: The stray mitten has been found by some kind stranger at my office building and placed lovingly through the door handle.

Adult Impostor

November 14, 2007

I had a meeting with this guy who showed up in a very nice striped tie that I wanted to rub with my thumb because it looked that soft.

I managed to keep myself from leaning across the table to fondle his tie while he showed me numerous papers with full-color pie graphs and bar charts splattered with percentages and acronyms. I needed to look like I was paying attention, nodding and mm-hmming at all the right spots, and rubbing his tie would shatter that illusion into, quite probably, some stunned silence.

There was no stunned silence, however, just a lot of head nodding and mm-hmming and comparing this chart to that chart, the number of colors on each chart, this percentage to that and see here? How this one is 0.023% lower? Mm-hmm.

Then there were a bunch of forms, sign there and there. Initial here, here, and here. Shake his hand, thanks so much, have a safe drive home.

And just like that, I'm the proud owner of a "diversified" retirement account.

It sounds all very adult-like, as will the reports look when I get them every quarter. If I look at them. Which I will, because that's what adults do, even if they don't understand it all.

And I will mm-hmm and nod my head and file it with my filing system in a folder marked "403b" and then when I am old I will have gobs of money for a handsome and toned pool boy of my very own.

My New Love

November 13, 2007

I bought a new camera lens from Some Guy on craigslist last night: a Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro lens.

I had seen Some Guy list this particular lens a few different times and was able to talk him down a bit. I made Steve go with me to pick it up just in case Some Guy was more interested in tying me up in his basement and taking macro shots of my eyelashes than intaking my cold hard cash. If Steve was with me, he would at least make sure Some Guy got my better side.

I didn't get a chance to play with it much when I got home last night, but I was able to whip it out today at the office. Because I have nothing better to do, really no work at all like planning holiday parties and designing invitations with cute little snowflakes and cold birds.

Purple Pen Fluff

And let me tell you. This lens is awesome. If I were any happier with this lens, I would ask it to marry me and have my sweet macro babies. And we would be a happy macro family for many, many years.

Don't Get Any Closer or the Boss Gets It

One great thing about this lens is that it makes a pretty sweet portrait lens. No matter how many nasty looks your coworker gives you because you won't get that pretty pretty camera out of his face so he can do some work already.


I'd say he's just jealous.

Our Lives on Holiday

November 12, 2007

So apparently today was Veteran's Day? Some kind of national holiday? Which apparently means that places like banks and post offices and other state offices are closed.

And these places remain closed, all day long, no matter how many times you ask me why the postal carrier hasn't yet arrived. Or why the parking lot is empty.

Or is the whole bank really closed? All of the bank? Why so early? Why didn't they schedule the holiday with advance warning?

(Can you tell I have no topic for today?)

Weekend Getaway

November 11, 2007

Steve and I drove to Homer this weekend where I showed him around the town I grew up in. Which meant that I was completely in charge of the entire weekend.

Which is just like every other weekend, only we were in Homer.

I showed him Kachemak Bay and promised to take him across the bay next summer despite his fear of angry ocean monsters that will eat him.

I showed him my dad's fishing boat, unused and unmoved for years. While Steve was taking this shot in the harbor, one of the other boat owners asked if we were looking to buy it. HA. Ha-ha. Ohhh no.

I showed him that yes, some Alaskan beaches do have sand, even if it's not the same as California sand. And Lacey showed him how to chase seagulls, because it's a very important skill to have when visiting grandma's house in Homer.

I made him bed jump for photos with me at the hotel, and that is a whole lot less dirty than you are imagining. I also made him remove and replace the cover on the outdoor hot tub for me.

I made him have dinner with my parents. At their house. With lovely lasagna. Filled with peas.

And then we drove home on roads that looked like this.

And he survived.

Keep Them at Bay

November 10, 2007

I'm out of town this weekend. But if I was at home, I'd be killing zombies.

Which, incidentally, was just like my dream Friday night.

Edited to add: Apparently this didn't post right while I was out of town. Not sure if that means I've cheated at the daily-posting-for-November thing.

Schnauzer Aliens

November 9, 2007

Lacey's Upset Tummy

Her tummy was talking so loud last night I half expected a tiny alien to burst from it and try to eat me.

She wouldn't touch her food, she wouldn't touch a treat. All she wanted to do was lay in my lap and be pet while her stomach did acrobatic flips and turns and gurgles.

That should teach her to eat things in the back yard this late in the year.

Toffee Bars

November 8, 2007

1- Finish a load of dishes and see that it is 8.30pm.

2- Remember the potluck at work tomorrow and you have nothing to bring.

3- Whine about not wanting to go to the store.

4- Pull out your Betty Crocker cookbook and flip aimlessly.

5- Stop on a page entitled: "Toffee Bars".

Toffee Bars


Trading Some Things for Others

November 7, 2007

Yesterday was my one-year anniversary at my job, and today my supervisor took me out to lunch to celebrate.

We went to the Marx Brothers Cafe in the museum, and it was fabulous. We sat right by the fountain and had some really good baked pasta that was listed as having a cheese crust.

Which does not mean the cheese is crispy and crunchy, like I thought it would be. Instead, it was a layer of cheese about 7 inches thick on top of my pasta.

I ate almost all of it.
And then had an italian soda.
And a cannoli for dessert.

What does all this mean to my current losing weight mode of living?

It means I don't get dinner.

Which I knew as I was devouring every inch of the cheesey goodness of yum on the plate in front of me.

I knew that I was giving up dinner when I ordered the italian soda and sucked it down while looking at some very odd and disturbing digital art. And I knew it when I ordered the cannoli.

Some things are just worth the sacrifice.

Even Though My Mom Hasn't Yet Asked, She Will

November 6, 2007

Do you know what Valette wants for Christmas?
Do you?
Because if you do, you should tell me.

People (read: my mother) always start asking me these annoying questions about Christmas gifts and presents and what do you want what do you want. And I never know what to tell them.

But I've recently gotten into this terrible habit of online shopping. Not the kind where I give out money and pay astronomical shipping to Alaska ("Sorry, we can't ship USPS to a third world country that doesn't even speak American") only to find out my boobs are too big for the sweater, or their idea of a size 12 is not my idea of a size 12.

No, the kind of online shopping where I've added a handful of shopping blogs to my feed reader and I collect links of things I love. Clothes, cards, jewelry, trinkets, art.

I had tried a few central wishlist websites to collect all of my shopping forays, but frankly? They all sucked. Nothing was as easy or as fast as using a basic bookmarking utility, like

If you want to a) stalk my online window shopping habits, or b) find some cute thing to get me for Christmas, something that I've already seen and liked, here is how you can do that:

You could look at all of my bookmarks tagged with shopping on Mom, you can filter these 25 (!) pages by clicking on one of the "related tags".

Yes, there are a bunch of bras and girly things in that list.
I am a girl. I wear bras and girly things.

I also have a few wishlists at Amazon that you could look at, were you inclined. May I highly recommend something expensive from my camera goodies list? Or how about something for my kitchen?

Or some really girly things like hardback Stephen King novels?

Let Us Eat Cake

November 5, 2007

30 Days of No Fact-Checking

November 4, 2007

Things the movie 30 Days of Night taught me about vampires, Alaska, and nature that I previously did not know:

  • Crude oil burns at the flick of a match
  • Vampires are messy and inefficient food gatherers; no wonder they wouldn't get on in a populated city
  • People care about what happens to Point Hope and Wainwright (hint: not even Wikipedia cares about them)
  • Blood doesn't dry or freeze when it's caked on the face of a vampire
  • Food and supplies can be rationed even when no one thought to grab any
  • The Trans-Alaska Pipeline travels through Barrow despite it being 200+ miles from Prudhoe Bay
  • Barrow gets as cold as -10°F in December (um, Fairbanks sees -30s by Thanksgiving)
  • Although made up almost completely of water, snow doesn't melt when near fire
  • Skill with a newly acquired weapon increases the further along one is on a quest
(Steve has a Condensed Dialog Review up that includes a vampire theme song)

One Committment is Never Enough

November 3, 2007

The same day that I agreed to write one post a day for the month of November, I decided I would also sign up for the 365 Days project on Flickr. This requires me take one self-portrait a day and post it to Flickr.

So not only do I have to come up with a topic for the blog, but I also have to come up with a shot of myself. Every. Single. Day.

No, I have no idea what I was thinking.

But now that I'm committed to both, I might as well use one to fulfill the other.


Day Two and Already Resorting to Memes

November 2, 2007

I'm not able to install iTunes on my work computer, so I have plugged my speakers directly into my iPod. This not only gives me sweet, sweet music all day long to drown out Jeff's CD of the week/month, but also keeps all of those annoying BINGs and BOOPs from Windows interfering with my concentration.

The downside of not using iTunes to manage my daily music selection is that I can't easily filter and find what music I have. I have to remember the name of the artist or album in order to play something.

With 9000 songs, it's all a little hard to remember. Which means I either resort to Shuffle All or I play the same handful of albums all the time.

I have started keeping a list that I email to myself of the recent albums I have added to my collection just so I can remember what new stuff I have. And that helps a lot. If I remember to look at it.

Top 5 albums I just can't seem to stop playing:

  • The Killers -- Hot Fuss
  • Feist -- The Reminder
  • Franz Ferdinand -- Franz Ferdinand
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Show Your Bones
  • No, Really -- Rust
Courtesy The Music Memoirs.

Steve is really awesome

November 1, 2007

Have I mentioned how awesome Steve is? Because, if Steve had access to my Moveable Type control panel, I'm sure he would post about how awesome he is. But, since he doesn't, I'll do it for him.

Steve is awesome.

Okay, Yes. Fine.

November 1, 2007

I don't know why or how. Well, I do know how, since I pressed the buttons and filled in my name.

I definitely don't know why. Or what I was thinking.

That doesn't change the fact that I somehow somewhere somewhy signed up for this silly NaBloPoMoRamaLamaDingDong thinger.

It's the slacker's version of NaNoWriMo, where you write a novel in one month. Ha! Ha-HA! Hahahaha, no. I will not be doing that. I couldn't write a novel if I had five years.

The only love I have for creative writing is when someone else does it and puts it into my grubby hands for reading. The type of writing I enjoy doing is the writing of lists: Things That Need To Be Done Before Four Or I Will Kill Myself. Pls Do KthxBye. Ye Olde Foode List of Yore.

So why I think I am going to post to this blog every single day this month, I just do not know. I even have a scheduled trip out of town next weekend. That's at least one whole calendar day with no internet access. And yet that did not deter me.

This has to count for post #1. Only 29 to go.

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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