Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snow Day: Part 2

I just shoveled snow for the first time in seven years (except for maybe some minor shoveling here and there). Our yard is small, which may deceive one into thinking that not much maintenance would be required. This is not so. Our yard is long and skinny, which means there wasn't much shoveling of the city sidewalk to do, but we have sidewalk all up the length of our yard, in front and back, and a concrete parking area in back.

This was not necessarily a bad thing--I like being outside, and but for the scraping of shovel on cement, it was quiet and peaceful (except for one runner, who made me glad I had just finished up our portion of the city sidewalk). When I came inside, the wood in the floors and on the cabinets looked bright and beautiful (my eyes had become accustomed to staring at snow, I guess). Plus, when I went to see if I could log any calories burned on SparkPeople, I found out that 45 minutes of shoveling = 432 calories burned! Yay for snow!

I suspect my noodley arms will pay the price tomorrow.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

What do you do...

...when you're home alone, it's snowing and your plans have changed so that you won't even need to leave the house today? Apparently playing "Outta My Head" by Ashlee Simpson over and over while dancing around like a maniac, knowing no one can see you (which is probably good if your signature dance move is waddling like a penguin), is the thing to do. I concede that the song is hardly a masterpiece, but I dare you to listen to it without wanting to dance too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Who doesn't love weekends?

Here are some cool things about this weekend:

1. Since I'm counting Thursday night as part of the weekend, I'll start here. I got to see Melancholy Play at the Bryant Lake Bowl with Alexis, Amanda and Whitney and it was GREAT! I'm lucky to have friends that get me out to see excellent plays (even better, including ones they are in!).

2. Friday night Chester and I vegged and caught up on a few of our favorite shows (The Office, Ugly Betty and 30 Rock [bonus: they played a snippet of Werewolf Bar Mitzvah in this episode, and if you don't know what I'm talking about...too bad so sad]). For free! I won't spoil this by dwelling on the fact that the WGA strike, while needed, will make me sad. I will dwell instead on the fact that the (hopefully temporary) ceasement of some of my favorite shows will free up some of my time for blogging.

3. Saturday I geeked out and graduated to a level 2 half-orc barbarian. Plus I got to eat brownies. Then we went and saw Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo, which I barely stayed awake due to the fact that I woke up, excited as I used to get for Christmas but this time for a bike ride that has been long-anticipated, at 8:00 am. Sadly, bike ride did not happen Saturday....

4. ....but it DID happen today! Eight miles, no less! We rode up the West River Parkway in Minneapolis, crossed the Lake Street bridge into St. Paul and rode down the arguably more affluent East River Parkway. We enjoyed being sandwiched with views of the Mississippi (afforded us by the lack of leaves) and giant mansions. The weather couldn't have been better.

5. I skipped ahead a bit. Our friends Carl and Mel stopped by this morning with their most excellent dogs, Izzy and Lucy, and we went to the Triple Rock for breakfast. It doesn't get much better than good company, sugar that's in the pour-containers (you know, versus having to tear open teaspoon-sized packages when your sugar allotment is measured in tablespoons) and good people-watching.

6. I fixed Chester's bike! He had tried to raise his handlebars a week or so ago and couldn't get them to tighten back down. I tipped his bike upside down, extracted a loose piece, and not only fixed what was thought to be a lost cause, but managed to raise his handlebars in the process. Not the biggest accomplishment, but I'll take what I can get.

7. Meet the Robinsons and Aladdin, mix with pizza, rinse and repeat. I think Kingdom Hearts has put us in the mood for Disney.

Hope your weekends were just as good!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Spooky, Scary or Oh, Life in the City!

Exciting happenings here at work—although the word "exciting" is misleading because it often implies something positive.

I was attending to the happy business of relieving a client’s file of non-necessities, due his recent obtaining of a patent, when one of the other secretaries asked if I got the "spooky e-mail". I replied that I had not, but was understandably intrigued and promptly opened said e-mail. I was met with an unpleasant surprise when I discovered that an attorney was apprising us of a situation where he met with someone this morning, and the person turned out to be Not of Stable Mind. This guy apparently was full of delusions, including his belief that he was owed money by Paris Hilton and The Mafia, and set warning bells off with his general threat to "pull a Matrix", which he clarified as gunning down his enemies. Also disturbing was the fact that the guy believed he had a meeting with a certain famous pro-wrestling chairman scheduled in our office at 1:00 today.

Afflicted as I was at that moment with my caffeine-induced jangling nerves and already vivid imagination when it comes to such things (not to mention the vivid imaginations of the other secretaries encouraging mine), this information was not well received. Not helping much was the mixture of caffeine and copious amounts of water requiring a trip outside the office into suddenly-unknown and possibly-containing-crazy-person space. I was standing, perplexed and motionless, next to the door going out of our office and into the hallway (and not far beyond, the land of the bathroom) when the receptionist asked if I would accompany her to the second floor to see if we could discreetly spot Mr. Not Stable. We bravely scoped out the area and, upon not finding him, returned to the office feeling a bit more secure.

No worries: we had a quick staff meeting in the conference room and were informed that building security would be turning our elevators on lockdown (where you have to enter a code in the elevator to even get on our floor) and keeping an eye out for this fellow. Things are pretty much back to business as usual, but then again, it’s nearly 1:00…

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weeds Schmeeds

Ok, so I pulled a weed or two (out of the entire colony of millions that have taken residence around our house and that we've ignored until they reached gigantor proportions) and now I'm quite proud. Right now, Chester is painting the hallway (of which he learned to do from Karate Kid, he says) and telling me about how if I had gone to the Pride Parade like he did this morning (he was in it, figure that one out) I would have had plenty to blog about. Apparently Al Franken made an appearance, as did some candy.

My brother and his lovely girlfriend were in town this weekend, so we (Chester, me and little brother Casey) took them on a Minneapolis adventure before we headed to the 'burbs for a ValleyFair extravaganza. I put on my decidedly uncool purple Nikes and we trekked (on foot, like hobbits) to and hopped on the light rail to the mysterious Cedar/Riverside stop. We walked again to the Triple Rock Social Club for their legendary breakfast (incidentally, this was not our first trip with David to the Triple Rock--we'd already seen the Real McKenzies' lead singer's sub-kilt, sans-undies buttocks there). People-watching was most excellent (I have not yet stumbled across another place where I can sip coffee and admire mohawks, von Dutch neck tattoos and quite fancy handlebar moustaches).

We also checked out some stores (Savers and Target, wow) on Lake/Hiawatha. I unwisely contemplated purchasing a coat tree and lugging it on the light rail and walking it the 8 blocks from the light rail home. We found Casey some fabulous 80s garb for a party he was going to later that night and I found some t-shirts that will help encourage my attractive farmer's tan (as well as some books to encourage my attractive brain).

I have pinned back my bangs so that I and my prominent (but lovely) forehead can once again wage war on the renegade weeds. Over and out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Zoo Mania

Holy moly! I have an interview on Monday for a summer volunteer position at the Como Zoo. As some of you know, I volunteer there every other weekend cleaning the feeder mouse cages, which I've been doing for a year and a half. Sounds not too exciting, but I love it. Mice are more interesting than you might think. Anyhow, this position is for the summer only, and it's in the aquatics (think: seals and penguins and polar bears, not just fish!), and it's more time-intensive than what I do now. It would be every Sunday from 8:30-2:30. And it must be sort of a big deal and that's why they're having interviews. Like I said, holy moly. It has to do with the Sparky (seal) show, mostly, but experience has taught me that volunteering gets you into cool places there. Here's a list of the duties for interested parties:

• Weigh designated diet items into assigned containers.

• Make record of weights where stipulated and refer to chart for quantities.

• Disinfect and wash counter, scale, and all emptied containers.

• Pick up litter and trash in and around the stage and pool area.

• Hose down stage.

• Remove litter and dirt from pool using pool net and vacuum.

• Field questions from the public about the Sparky Show.

• Activate and monitor the audio system prior to, during, and after Sparky show.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

And so it was done.

Well, after a day full of ups and downs, I'm proud to say that Chester and I are co-owners of an adorable little Nokomis-area house in Minneapolis. It has taken quite the interesting set of roads to get to this point, and for a heart-wrenching couple of hours we were so unsure that it was going to happen that we actually went to an Edina Realty office nearby and looked at other prospective houses (and finding a house that is person-owned versus foreclosure where the tenants would be willing to move within, oh, five minutes is a lot tougher than it might sound). Luckily the mechanic's lien was cleared up (turns out the sump pump-installing contractor wasn't willing to waive payment from the previous owner--who would've thought he'd want his money?) due to the listing agent giving up her commission in favor of getting things taken care of.

Although it was a tricky day, I was reminded of the definite goodness in some people (like the poor commissionless agent). I've talked to our loan officer so much over the phone that when I finally got to meet him today, it was like greeting an old friend. Our realtor has been fantastic from the beginning, and we were reminded of that when we watched her tenaciously make arrangements with aforementioned loan officer to get the large and looming pile of junk out of our brand new driveway (apparently Previous Owner thought "remove personal items" meant "move them to the driveway and let someone else deal with them"). Needless to say, if you need to buy or sell a house in the Twin Cities, I know just the people for the job. I should also thank the people who (maybe) read this and have already helped us (Dad, CJ, Mom, Casey!) and those who have sent their offers of help and wishes of goodwill.

I have also been reminded of some things and had to make some changes in thinking I had just a few days ago. For one, the saltwater tank that has been the subject of many a post has got to go. My tank is being overrun by disgusting bristle worms and I think my starfish may be meeting his maker at this very moment. If he makes it through the night, he's going back to the pet store in hopes of finding a more suitable home and I'm converting my tank to a haven for some pretty little freshwater fish. Much easier.

Another change I've had to make is with my project planning. After a few more expenses popped up (titles and appraisals and insurance, oh my!) and we watched our savings dwindle substantially, the weird blue carpet upstairs began to look lovely indeed. Now the project I'm looking forward to is the time-consuming (read: April-busying) and money-saving endeavor of stripping our cabinets and kitchen-trim and staining them a darker color.

The American dream? We shall see. For now I'm content with the thought of a warm and inviting little waterless (but only till Friday) abode across the metro that is currently keeping vigil over a good part of our belongings, patiently waiting our permanent arrival.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mr. Nelson Indeed!

I just received a fax related to our house-buying process (which has been postponed due to a very unsavory mechanic’s lien) that was sent to me but had to do with Chester, and in the fax, much to my amusement, he was referred to as Mr. Nelson. Even more delightful is the fact that this has happened before, on Chester’s YMCA membership card. As the last couple of days have not been what I would call amusing in the least, this gave me a welcome reason to giggle. I doubt, however, that Chester will be quite as pleased.

Friday, April 13, 2007

R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut

I know you were 84 and enjoyed a long and eventful (and what I gather from what little I know about you, at least amusing) life. But that didn't stop me from tearing up a little when I heard the radio talking about you post-mortem (although this is not surprising considering the weakness in my heart for clever, sweet old men, even though I know that's not always what you were, and not even the best thing about you). I know I've only read one of your books, but I was taken with the personality (your tendency towards humor, kindness and best of all, wisdom) that showed through in your writing, and you're someone I sure would have liked to know: one of the good ones, and you will be missed.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Reflections on a Compliment

I had an interesting experience yesterday at the bank where I take the daily deposit for work. There is a manager (around my age, pretty run-of-the-mill fellow) that works there that sometimes engages in what I cautiously call teasing flirtations. Personally, I think it’s because he helped me with a deposit one day and asked if I was new person in charge of delivering the deposit. Not only was I not, but I had been doing it nearly three years. Any attentions I have received from him since I attribute to his embarrassment/guilt over not noticing me before.

Anyway, yesterday he was teasing me that he “didn’t want to help me anyway” when a lady cut in front of me. I’m never sure what to do when people I’m not familiar with do this, which results in less-than-eloquent responses. He made me even more uncomfortable by commenting on my “pretty smile”. Not wanting to lead him on (after all, my man possesses unsurpassed hunkiness) or admit that I found his compliment quite genuine indeed, I shrugged and smiled. He asked if I disagreed. No, I said, I guess I just don’t get the pleasure of seeing my own smile very often (which is untrue because I’m always trying out new faces in the mirror). He was impressed with my response and continued to comment on the exchange until I very gladly went on my way.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My Resolution to start out the year not ragging on the things I should change (there's no shortage of those), but to celebrate the fact that I can upload a picture to this magical site and feel gorgeous in an instant. I encourage you all to try as well.