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March 2008 Archives


March 23, 2008

Sopapias became a favorite when a Mexican restaurant opened in Homer and started serving them. My mom discovered just how easy it was to make them and I have never loved her more. See the whole recipe with step-by-step pictures here.

1c flour
½tsp baking powder
¼tsp salt
1 Tbsp shortening
1/3c warm water

How to make Sopapias - Step 1

I halved the recipe because Steved didn't want any. Which I think may be a cardinal sin. And even though I could really eat an entire recipe by myself, I have my new skinny pants to think of, so halvsies it is. I still only ate half of what I made.

Into a glass bowl, dump ½cup of flour, ¼tsp of baking powder, and 1/8 tsp of salt. Completely guess on what a half of ¼tsp looks like because you don't have a 1/8 tsp measuring spoon.

To the dry ingredients, add ½ Tbsp shortening and 1/6c of warm tap water.

Again, completely guess on ½Tbsp of shortening looks like in a 1Tbsp measuring spoon, but this time it's because you're too lazy to pull out a different set of measuring spoons.

Mush all of ingredients until they hold together, then knead for a few minutes until the dough is elastic-y.

Spray the bowl with cooking spray, or drizzle with olive oil, and rotate the dough a few times so it's coated. Set it aside while you dump all of the fishy-smelling oil from the deep fat fryer, wonder how long it's been since you've use the fryer, refill it with clean oil and heat that baby up. Curse God for making hot oil smell so heavenly.

Once the oil in the deep fryer is hot, roll out the dough until it is really quite thin. Slice the dough into squares or triangles or really whatever shape you like. I prefer squares because it's faster and that means I can have them in my belly sooner.

Drop the dough pieces into the hot oil for 20 seconds or so. The dough will puff up with a pocket of air inside. For crispier sopapias, fry them longer. But I like mine a little chewy. Remove them with a slotted spoon (is here where I admit to having a spoon specifically for deep-frying? no?) and place them on a paper towel lined plate.

While still hot, drop a bunch of sopapias into a bowl with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with honey and chocolate sauce, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Die a little bit inside.

How to make Sopapias - Step 7

Pools and Miles, Miles and Pools

March 21, 2008

We had a little pool going on in the office to guess when 50% of Alaska's population (335,000 people) have signed up to be an organ and tissue donor.

The whole staff was given statistics for the previous year complete with fancy graphs illustrating sign-up numbers and opt-out numbers, and then we set out to do some guesstimating.

I guessed at what would probably be the daily change in registrants, and made that number smaller because the first quarter of the year is always slower at the DMV (tip for anyone needing to do anything at the DMV: January is totally your month because there are no lines).

When everybody guessed their dates and the list was posted, I saw that my date was much, much later than everyone else's. There was more than a month between the earliest guess and the last.

So for the last month we have been posting the number each day, crossing people off the list and publicly shaming them with a company-side email. You lose, you suck, better luck next time but you'll probably suck then, too.

My guess was 1,000 registrants too early, but much like the $1 bid on the Price is Right, I won by nature of being the last contestant with a valid date.

People, I am now in possession of 20,000 miles with Alaska Airlines.

I am so excited about this, about the sheer possibilities of this, I don't even know how to behave.

Jeff has been humming the Rocky theme song all morning and I have responded by throwing things at him all morning. He thinks he's being cute, but I know he's just jealous.

What should I do with all of these delicious miles? I'll need to use them within the year, and really. I could go anywhere. Do anything.

Visit a friend? Damon in San Francisco? Rachael in Las Vegas? April in Richmond? Nathalie in Calgary?

Go someplace warm and sunny next winter with a pool and a beach? Hawaii? Los Cabos? Miami for the start of a cruise?

Go to, um, Fairbanks? A weekend in Seattle?

Where would you go with a free airline ticket?

Taking it Seriously

March 15, 2008

One of the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year was to start taking my photography more seriously. While this includes not saying, "YES, mother," and rolling my eyes when my mom suggests ways to promote my photography, it also includes printing some of my stuff out to hang up. Treating it not like "art," but like Art.

The only real progress I've made with this goal (sorry, mom, but at least you can't see me rolling my eyes) is a gallery opening for a group of us Flickr nerds.

It wasn't my idea, I didn't set anything up, really. I just attended a planning meeting where I snuck into the kid's room for mischief, tried to steal Jamie's dog and Matt's iPhone. I don't remember much planning going on, but something happened and venues were booked and now the date is just around the corner.

First Friday at Kinley's Restaurant

What this means! Is that I will have one or two pieces hanging in actual frames behind actual glass on the wall of Kinley's for the month of April. I'll be there for the reception on April 4th with all of the rest of the photographers displaying their art.

There are some fantastically talented people in the group that will be showing at Kinley's, and I'm honored to be showing with them.

I mean, I don't have the actual frames or the actual glass. Or the actual print. Yet. But I will have something to show.

If you're in the area on the 4th, stop in and say hi! If not, I hear the food at Kinley's is good, and what is better than good food with good art?

I'm pretty nervous about all of this, but it's a step in the right direction. I just have to work up to not rolling my eyes at my mother any more.


March 12, 2008

I'd like to go take my mid-morning break by sitting in the break room with today's crossword puzzle and see just how unfuntional my brain is this morning, but I saw a coworker going into the restroom with that very section of the newspaper.

And I'm a little bit grossed out by that.

Woke Up and Hated Everything

March 9, 2008

I refuse to tell you how long this design has been 80% completed and waiting to be implemented. Just know that it's been long enough that Steve commented today, "Haven't you already used that design?" Um, no. I just showed it to him FOREVER AGO.

Let's take a little tour, shall we?

Up above the gerber daisy is my latest Twitter message. I love Twitter because it's just like IM away messages for the rest of the internet. Now that I have it at the top of every page, I'll remember to update it more often with something witty. You can click the little "More" link to follow me on Twitter, if that's your thing.

On your right there's a brief explanation of what the hell is going on here and who I am. Clicking through "More About Valette" should bring you to my full About page that also needs updated, but considering how long it took me to get the new design up, I'll probably get around to it sometime in 2013.

There is also an accompanying photo of me that will change every day, because I'm doing a self-portrait every day at least through November. Which is CRAZY EGOTISTICAL, I know, but it's really helping me with my photography. Think about photographing the same subject 365 different ways, a subject that is critical about everything you do and has lumpy thighs and a pudgy belly and who won't let you Photoshop any fat out. Sounds fun, no?

Under that are some of my recent photos, but instead of linking to the photo's page on Squeegie, they link through to Flickr. I take more photos than I will be displaying here, but if you want to comment on anything you need to have a Flickr account. Mom, I'm looking right at you.

My interweb-surfing quick-links are still there, as are my "latest" dreams and the weather report for Anchorage, even though the weather in Fairbanks is so much more interesting.

I've moved the rest of my old sidebar content to the footer at the very bottom of the page. It's bright green, you can't miss it.

Everything else is really basically the same.

Here are a list of things I see are not working well/at all:

  • yearly archive page is cramped and fugly
  • two-lined post titles aren't doing it for me
  • the about page has rejected all kinds of formatting
  • the list of recent archives in the footer is still pointing to the dummy site
  • that favicon is from 2004, blech ick
  • forgot about blockquotes
  • weird white margin on the right side of the footer sometimes
  • all archives listing page is too spread out
  • the three flickr shots isn't the three most recent in the set
  • #speak anchor is MIA
  • twitter link is empty

Let me know if something else is broken, but if you hate it terribly I just don't want to know because I'm not putting anything else up for another 10 years.

Melting Snow Reveals More Than Just Secrets

March 8, 2008

Were I to come into a large sum of money, the amount of money where I would start hiring People for things, the very top of my list would be for someone to scoop my dog's poop.

If I were to advertise for such a person, perhaps to clean the back yard four times a year, how much should I offer to pay? What amount could I dangle that would convince someone to do this horrible job for me, yet not so much that I would go broke hiring them? Would I pay this person hourly or for the entire job?

Barring that, how do I convince Lacey to stop pooping?

Reasons I Love Reading My Hometown's Newspaper

March 4, 2008
Feb. 25
A woman at 11 a.m. turned in a pair of prescription glasses found at Bishop's Beach the previous day.

A caller at 11:26 p.m. reported a female walking in traffic and acting strangely in a local business.

Feb. 26
A caller at 5:40 p.m. reported a young male jumping off the roof of a local business and into the snow.

Police at 11:42 p.m. advised a couple parked in a suspicious area to move on.

Day in the Life

March 1, 2008

A Day in the Life: 06:57

In honor of Leap Day, I took a photo every hour yesterday.
You can look at all 19 shots over on Flickr.

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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