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April 2008 Archives

100 Things Worth Doing

April 23, 2008

Inspired by Mighty Girl, I've been thinking about the moments in my life that have been so fantastic that I want others to experience the same thing. I'm trying to come up with 100 of them, but it's proving more difficult than I thought it would be. There might only be 60 items in my 100 Things Worth Doing list, but then I can claim that I'm saving the last 40 slots for the awesomeness to come.

  1. Throwing rocks at seagulls on the beach
  2. Wading in the ocean, convincing tourists to get into the cold water
  3. Sky full of the aurora borealis on the evening of 9/11/01
  4. Singing Sunday school songs at the top of my lungs on hour 9 or a road trip
  5. My first niece on my arms, so tiny and attached to a heart monitor
  6. Backing over my brother's mailbox, twice
  7. Trying to communicate with German tourists in a Parisian hostel
  8. Hot springs at -20°F, steam so thick I can't see the stars
  9. Climbing on top of the Alyeska Pipeline despite the "no climbing" signs
  10. Midnight baseball under a full Solstice sun
  11. That first kiss
  12. Teeny tiny puppy choosing my armpit as a bed for the night, afraid I'd crush him
  13. Mixing chocolate chip cookie dough with my bare hands
  14. Fresh, hot crepes from a corner stand in Paris
  15. Bed time stories about an annoying, spoiled, bratty princess named Melissa
  16. Standing on the Arctic Circle
  17. The slip and slide in the front lawn on a summer afternoon
  18. Apple core. Baltimore. Who's your friend?
  19. Zip line on the beach
  20. 3am giggle fits
  21. Shared green tea ice cream
  22. 7up and bendy straws
  23. Being lulled to sleep by the sound of waves lapping against the boat
  24. Giving a boy I barely knew a manicure on a trans-Atlantic flight
  25. The smell of homemade bread

What things have you done that are worth doing?

Unphotographable

April 15, 2008

This is a photo I did not take of a Native Alaskan man with bright silver hair and bushy mustache, wearing a winter jacket, backpack, white tennis shoes, white socks, and the shortest of denim cutoff shorts, standing at a bus stop on this 34-degree morning while rubbing his bare legs together, looking at once like a child who needs to use the potty and Richard Simmons.

The Beat Is On

April 11, 2008

Kottke listed his most-played songs this afternoon, and it got me thinking about mine.

I do most of my music-listening while I'm at work. Some days I meticulously pick album after album, sometimes I have to hear a specific song that has bore itself into my brain all morning. Other days I set my entire collection on random and hear some Liszt after Garth Brooks after Queen. I also have a playlist of the songs I've downloaded from free mp3 blogs and then rated favorably; this playlist, currently 307 songs long, I listen to most often.

So it doesn't surprise me that my most-played songs are from indie artists:

  • The Format - The Lottery Song (117 plays)
  • Erik Ostrom - I Am Tempted (101 plays)
  • Iron & Wine - Naked As We Came (101 plays)
  • Matt Costa - Sunshine (99 plays)
  • The Bicycles - Paris Be Mine (96 plays)
  • Muse - Map of the Problematique (95 plays)

100 songs in my library have been played 50 times or more; 348 have been played 30 times or more.

Alternatively, 7151 songs have been played fewer than 5 times, and 3059 songs have been played only once.

Some of these rarely-played tracks are Christmas songs, but a lot of them are either albums I've had forever and just have grown tired of, or songs that I downloaded from mp3 blogs that didn't make an impression on me the first time I listened to them. I probably should get rid of them, but maybe I stepped away from my desk or answered the phone when it played? And maybe it's really good I just missed it?

I don't know when I would ever go back through them to find out, though. Maybe when I finally run out of room on my iPod I will get rid of all of those duds.

What are your most-played songs?

Heaven in a Matzo

April 10, 2008

Last night I made Spring Orzo Salad for today's potluck, despite (or maybe because of?) the city being an April Winter Wonderland. And it was all I could do to not eat spoonfulls of it.

I also decided that I had to try this Matzo Crack recipe that was posted on The Kitchn yesterday. It was an easy decision to make because it involved toffee and chocolate, and I had all of the ingredients already except the matzo. The only thing more fun than saying, "MATZO!" is eating it.

And if you've never done much baking, let me show you one important piece of life you are missing:

Chocolate Toffee Matzo Candy - Step 3

This, this right here, is compressed heaven.

I mean, technically, yes, some moisture got into the bag of brown sugar and it clupmed into a large brown sugar rock, but whatever. It is perfection, it is heaven, and it is begging to be plopped into my mouth (well, not this clump; I already ate this one last night).

Brown sugar clumps are everything that is right about baking, about love, about life. And I always find myself wondering how I can make it clump faster.

Lookin' For A Good Time

April 5, 2008

Last night's First Friday went awesomely.

I was concerned that I would be standing there bored for three hours feeling like I was in the way of all the wonderful photographs. But early in the evening Matt offered me the opportunity to play with one of his flashes. And then he offered the other flash and his Pocket Wizards - antennas that fire a flash from across the room. How could I refuse?

So I spent most of the evening blinding people unnecessarily with equipment that was too much for me. In other words, I had the bestest time evAR and didn't want to give the equipment back.

You can see all of the photos I took during the show on Flickr.

But I had fun, and I met a bunch of really great people through the show, even one who introduced herself by admitting to stalking me all over the world-wide webs. But by the end of the evening she had completely won me over and I wanted to drag her home with me for entertainment.

First Friday at Kinley's - John

John and Heidi even swung by to say hi and coo over the photos (I threatened them with blackmail and also they owed me for standing me up at a party a few weekends ago). Heidi was quicker at dodging my camera than John was, but whatever. I'll get her back.

The photos will be hanging at Kinley's for the entire month of April. If you do get a chance to swing by, I'd love to hear your opinion on the show and how you think my photos are the best ones there.

First Friday at Kinley's

April 3, 2008

I'm about to leave the house to go help set up for the show tomorrow.

I'll be at Kinley's Friday night from 5pm until after 8; if you're in the Anchorage area, I'd love for you to stop by and say hi. As long as you don't say something about wanting to sniff my lovely toes.

First Friday at Kinley's Restaurant

Dry Heaves and Bendy Straws

April 1, 2008

My least favorite kind of illness symptom is the dry heaves. They make every molecule in my body ache and I end up in tears because I really just need to vomit but my body isn't going for it.

Which pretty much describes my yesterday morning, only that all happened while I was at work and was combined with hot and cold flashes.

I spent yesterday afternoon on the couch with a muppet movie, some chicken noodle soup, ginger ale, and no bendy straws. I considered calling Steve and demanding he bring me bendy straws, but remembered that he, too, was having hot and cold flashes and couldn't leave the office. So instead I fell asleep.

I slept all afternoon, woke for dinner that I had no problems keeping down, and was back asleep by 10.30.

By 1.30a, the dog needed out. Which, okay, with my being sick her schedule has been off so fine. Out she went. At 2.30 she wanted out again and I tried to dissuade her. Her whining started at 3.00 and on the way to let her out I nearly stepped in a vomit pile the size of my dog. Lovely.

A few times she came in and didn't even make it to the bed before decided she really needed to go back out. Around 4.30 she stayed out for over 20 minutes while I tried to not fall back asleep. At 6.00, she cornered a white cat in the back yard and forgot about her need to vomit.

Neither of us have vomited, or felt the need to vomit, since.

What's your least favorite minor-illness symptom?

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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