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May 2010 Archives

Feet and Phalluses

May 27, 2010

I grabbed The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P at the library book sale, intrigued by the premise of waking up with a penis for a big toe.

As one character puts it, "If you change your body, your state of mind changes." This theme is repeated through many characters: the main character with her new toe penis, a M-to-F transgender, a man with an extra penis, and a blind man. The story challenges traditional sexual and gender roles and preconceptions.

But instead of demonstrating this through the story, the majority of the book takes place inside the main character's analytical brain as she compares her feelings about a situation (homosexual sex, for example) to how she might have felt without her toe penis, how a man might feel, and how she should feel. Her over-thinking every interaction was tiring.

The main character doesn't make any decisions on her own and merely goes with what others have decided for her, a trait that made me angry with her and the supporting characters, and a big reason I disliked the book so much. Her toe penis and her hospitality is repeatedly taken advantage of, yet she finds a way to analyze why she is or should be okay with the situations.

New Experience: Highlights

May 25, 2010

I had a bad experience as a child with hair-enhancing chemicals reacting unfavorably with my parents' well water, and ever since I've been very leery of trying any new thing when it came to my hair. And by leery I mean "avoided like the plague."

And "new thing" included haircuts, but I found a stylist that I liked and a few years ago had 20 inches cut off. It was traumatic at the time but I'm so glad I did it.

I've stuck with that stylist and have come to trust her. Last time I saw her she asked if I had ever considered highlights - something very subtle to make my hair look more sun-kissed. My eyes widened in terror as I explained my bad experience from my childhood (sewer-orange hair! that took yeeeears to grow out!), and she nodded her head in sympathy. Then gave me a 20% coupon for my next visit, and asked me to just think about it.

But I didn't want to think about it, so I avoided making an appointment. But then my hair got a bit longer and there were split ends everywhere and I just had to get a trim. After giving approximately zero thought to it, I also scheduled highlights.

Apparently when scheduling highlights, the clerk wants to know a lot of different information like: type? all over? or just the top? Every answer was "I have no idea, she talked me into it."

I find it's good to go into changes completely prepared.


I was so worried that I only looked in the mirror once to take a photo. I kept asking the stylist what would happen if I didn't like them, will I have giant roots, am I going to never see her again for my hair needs?

But the stylist did a great job and the only time anyone can tell that I obviously have highlights is when I straighten my hair. Which is just about never. They look natural and I love them.

Toy Camera Thursday

May 20, 2010

Downtown with Diana

Downtown with Diana

Oh man, I shouldn't have sat down. #merightnow #sunshine

Somebody please buy this dress

May 17, 2010

Beer Bread Biscuit French Toast

May 16, 2010

1. Make beer bread for dinner (pre-heat oven to 375F; combine 3c flour, 1T sugar, 1tsp salt, and 1T baking powder in a large mixing bowl; slowly stir in 12oz of warm, flat beer and mix just until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread in a greased loaf pan, and bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes), except (a) use a Guinness, (b) pour into a greased muffin tin, and (c) only bake about 20 minutes.

2. Laugh when they rise very strangely. Repeatedly tell Steve that they are not beer muffins. Eat a few with dinner, throw the rest in the fridge.

3. The next day, crave French toast. Your taste buds want it, your body needs it. Lightly whisk 2 eggs with some cream and cinnamon. Pull out the beer bread biscuits and slice them into 1/2-inch rounds. Dunk the rounds into the egg mixture and slap them onto a hot, buttered cast-iron skillet.

4. Slather each round in peanut butter, it's the only way to do it. Stack the rounds precariously and drizzle with syrup*.

5. Realize it's incredibly difficult to eat while stacked three inches tall, but do your best.

Beer bread biscuit french toast

*For all of my food snobbery of homemade this and fresh ingredients that, I really can't stand real maple syrup. It's a personal failing that I'm well aware of. I've made peace with it, and so should Steve.

Hot Soft Light

May 12, 2010

"I'm not really full but I don't want any more crab cakes."
"Something else? Like... ice cream?"
"It's like you were reading my mind."
"Do we have sprinkles?
"Ice cream with chocolate sauce and jimmies."
"No jimmies, only sprinkles. This is not the East Coast."
"Do we even have any chocolate sauce?"
"Probably not."
"I'll have to make some."

Hot Fudge

"You're just going to pour it over your ice cream?"
"Uh, yes. That's what it's for."
"But! It's hot!"
"... right. It's hot fudge."
"I just don't understand you."
"You don't have to eat it."

New Experiences: Tasty

May 4, 2010

Oatmeal is one of those foods that I hated as a child. Which isn't surprising, because I hated a lot of foods as a child; I suppose this is a common trait among all children. Melissa liked it and ate it all the time, so Mom made sure to keep the pantry well stocked with oatmeal.

Then last weekend I was standing in the breakfast aisle of the grocery store and eyed the oatmeal. The thought of oatmeal was so appealing that I could almost taste the sweet chewy oats in my mouth. Remembering my childhood taste buds, I restrained myself from buying any. But I had a tub of oats in the cupboard at home, and Friday night I made oatmeal.

I probably hadn't tried oatmeal since I was 7 or so, and then only the instant kind. I followed directions on the tub and added in some brown sugar and real maple syrup. It was gooey, goopy, and not good. So I added more brown sugar and more maple syrup, with not much affect. I dumped in more sugar and syrup to override the glue flavor, only to end up with a sugary goop of yuck.

I still don't like oatmeal. Good to know.

In other tasty news, two weeks ago I started an online small-business course, the BAKERY’s Half-Dozen: Six Weeks to a Tastier Business.

So far it has all kinds of great information about business plans and marketing plans and media kits and PR, breaking down important, scary business-type necessities into manageable chunks with pretty templates.

And, uh, I now have a business plan.

Sure, it's in penciled fragments and arrows, but it's on paper. It's there. A plan for starting my photography business. Hello, #1 on my Thirty Before 30 list!

Connor Lake

May 1, 2010

It was a beautiful evening at the dog park tonight, warm and sunny and mostly empty. The lake was still covered in ice and the path around the lake was very much mud. Olive and I walked through the woods for a while, it was very peaceful.

Connor Lake Dog Park

Connor Lake Dog Park

Connor Lake Dog Park

Connor Lake Dog Park

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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