Thursday, September 30, 2010

Merry Postseason To You

Guess where I am, bitches?

I'm sorry that was inappropriate. You're not bitches. I'm just excited because I'm at the baseball game, and it's the last day of September and we've got a hell of a lot of baseball to play yet this year.

It also doesn't hurt that it's 73 degrees out on the last day of September.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Steve and I went to see little baby Jackson over the weekend.  He was two weeks and two days old when we saw him and, sweet Jesus, is he cute.  He doesn't really do a lot.  He squirms quite a bit.  Makes funny faces.  Sleeps.  That's about it.  He pooped every time I held him.  He's a little, tiny baby and about one third of everything he does is poop so I tried not to take it personally.  He's also exceptionally cute so I'm pretty sure I forgive him.

Which brings me to:

Baby feet!  Holy crap is that not the cutest freaking thing you've ever seen.  Little itty, bitty, tiny baby toes.  Damn, that's just adorable.

We got the chance to give him (well, his parents) his baby blanket.  My teddy bear, Sleepy Tired, has been kind of enough to model for me:

The blanket itself is about 4 feet by 5 feet (give or take, depending on pull and such) and made out of organic cotton yarn.  Specifically it's from the Lion Brand Nature's Choice collection in Almond and Blueberry.  (Sounds like a tasty cereal combination.)  Note:  I have not been paid to promote Lion Brand Yarn, it's products, or knitting in any way.  Their yarn is readily available in most craft stores which makes it easy to gauge the weight, texture and color of the yarn and therefore decide if you want to use it.  I've used a number of their yarns over the years, some of them are great, some of them are terrible, some of them are so-so.  The yarn I used for this project is VERY soft, very easy to work with, and while it's pretty light overall it makes for a very cuddly blanket.  I would absolutely recommend this yarn if you're looking for a warm, cuddly project for fall/winter.  

Okay so that was me geeking out about yarn.  Yeah... I'm not without my... well let's just settle on I'm an odd duck okay?  Odd duck it is.

I used a five to two ratio for the stripes and an over-all diamond pattern to give the blanket just a little more texture and interest.  Here is a close-up:

And here's a wider shot that really shows the diamond pattern nicely.  

Jon and Kelly seemed to like it a lot, which is awesome.  (It may have been suggested at one point that it will end up being Kelly's blanket, that's cool too.)  Jackson kind of looked at it a little bit, which is really all you ask for from an infant.  I know the comfort a good blankie myself so I hope it'll be a good one form him.  And it was really a fun blanket to make.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What Ho, Wench!



Err... Fortnight!

Ummm.... Jousting, yeah!

Uhh... Shakespeare?

I went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival over the weekend.  Loads of fun was had and lots (and lots, and lots) of food was eaten.  I have some more pretty cool pictures, but I wanted to show a couple before I went too long without a new post.  (Steve might have been giving me a hard time about being a bad blogger yesterday.  I respond to peer pressure.  The DARE program completely failed me in that way.)  So more on the way!  (Mom, there is additional blue pottery just for you!)

And yes - that was me trying to think of Renaissance-y type words.  As you can see, I ran out of those quickly.  If you want to talk about the art I can go on for days... but words from the era, not so much.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Damn The Man, Save The Empire!

So my workplace has this really unfortunate habit of basically falling apart on Fridays.  It's like everyone's just trying to hold it together for the whole week and just run out of steam at the end of the day Thursday and take it out on everyone else the next day.  Seriously about three weeks in a row Friday has been just terrible, crazy-ass days at work.  Today was no exception.  It became apparent around 8:12 am that today was going to be... well, a day.  And by that I mean "a day" and in "oh my freaking god, why is today so terrible?  Why won't it end?  Is this punishment for something I did in a past life?  Did I think about committing a crime in the future and this is me serving my sentence after Tom Cruise arrested me?  Why am I thinking about Minority Report?  What the hell is going on?"

That kind of day.

So around 9 am a friend of mine at work and I were talking (and walking back and forth around the office, trying to remember where we left out brains and such) and talking about how today was just... a day.  It had already been a day.  And there was so much left.

And then we decided to call an unofficial Rex Manning Day in the office.

Because seriously?  What the fuck is with today today?

There weren't really a whole lot of shenanigans involved and I'm fairly certain no one had intercourse of any kind near the copier.  Though someone did ask me if there's a policy about inter-company relationships, so who knows.  A few of us did have a contest of sorts to see who could find the most today-appropriate demotivational poster.  And we did at one point have a discussion about which 19th century industrialist/super rich person we would have liked to be.  (We're a strange bunch.)

Unfortunately - calling it Rex Manning Day didn't really do much to make the day go any better.  So I'm going to show you a couple of pretty pictures, watch the Twins game, knit a little bit and go to bed.  Also going to eat the burger Steve's making me for dinner.  He makes really good burgers.

On to the pictures!

This is the top of the faceplate of the doorknob (if there's an actual word for that, please let me know because I really feel like I'm just rambling) at the Lutheran church whose lamps were featured yesterday. How freakin' badass is that?  (I apologize for calling anything involved with a church "badass" it strikes me now that that's probably irreverent and offensive.  I'm sorry.  I'm not taking it back, but I am sorry.)  I'm pretty sure I would really love to have doorknob faceplate thingy (seriously there has to be a word for that) like this on my house someday.  That's probably going to have to be the house I get after I somehow become a super rich 19th century industrialist, because I don't think it would fit in very well on, you know, a regular house.  It would look really silly on my apartment door, I can say that for sure.

Here's another shot that, I don't know, I just really like that picture.  I didn't think that much of it while I was taking it but when I got home and actually looked at my pictures this became one of my favorite shots of the day (more than 100 involved in that pool).  I just really like the shape and texture of it.  There's something almost... calm about it.  I like it!

Alright I'm out.  I only have one more thing to say to today - Stop calling me Warren!  My name isn't fucking Warren!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Avenue Q

Okay... so I can't really promise that this week has been super, fantastic fun.  It has not, in fact, been more fun than a barrel of monkeys.  Well I don't think it was anyway.  I haven't ever experienced a barrel of monkeys, so I don't know maybe it's less fun that people say.  (Speaking of - I sent a news story about an escaped monkey wreaking havoc in a suburb somewhere to a group of some of the people I would classify as most likely to utter "I want a monkey" this week and it was an epic fail.  It was the fail sauce.  It was very sad.)  However, I was instructed by my father to have a better week this week.  I do try to make my daddy proud whenever possible so here I am, if nothing else, having a better week than last week.

One of my co-workers walked up to my desk on Monday morning and said "is it going to be a better week for Caitlyn?"  I responded by saying "Well, it kind of has to be or I'm toast."

For one thing - my alarm clock has not had to go off at 4:30 am at any point this week.  That has to make a week better right?  Right.  So to make this as much the antithesis of my last post as possible (because apparently lists of things that suck offend my mom and I try to make her proud too - hi, Mom!) here is a list of things that are pretty cool.

q)  I'm starting my lists with point q now.  It's pretty cool.  I'm not telling you why.  But I know someone just laughed out loud at me.  So there.

2) I get to wear jeans to work tomorrow.  My life has sadly gotten to a point where that is pretty cool if you're me.

3)  I made some pretty awesome gnocchi for dinner tonight.  It tasted gooooood.

4)  I exercised twice this week after being lazy for, like three weeks strait.  It's pretty cool but, oh my gosh, my body hurts.

5)  Laughing out load at your personal email at work - because you know some awesome, hilarious people who send you email. 

6)  Finding news stories about monkeys.  Even if I know a bunch of people who don't appreciate them.  (I'm looking at you, Josh.  Okay I'm not.  I'm looking at my laptop.  Which is nowhere near you and I'm not even sure if it's pointing in your general direction.  Still.)

7)  I've gotten no fewer than three separate and independent compliments on my shoes this week.  Two of which were from fully grown men who, by all accounts, have never noticed that people wear shoes, let alone badass shoes.  (Yes I was told I was wearing some badass shoes yesterday.  It was awesome.)

8)  I totally complimented my boss yesterday because I told her about this really bad dream I had on Tuesday where she quit her job and life at work just spiraled into this just terrible place to be and everyone was acting crazy - even the people who normally act mostly sane.

9)  Bubble Tea.  A large, cold, black tea with passion fruit and raspberry and pearls.  Oh my god that was fantastic.  I'm actually hoping that I dream about it tonight.  That's how good it was.

10)  Joe Mauer got his 1,000th hit on Tuesday.  Super Awesome.

11)  It's officially fall in Minnesota and I get to wear scarves without looking ridiculous again.  Fantastico.  (That is not a word, but I bet you know what I mean.)

12) I'm knitting myself a new scarf with some just stunning yarn.  I plan to take some pictures and throw them up here, so I'm not going to say too much more about it.  But I think I might be in love with some yarn.  I have a feeling this will be a complicated relationship.

 Right so this is where the antithesis thing ends.  Because last time I had a list of things that suck and pictures of things that don't.  I'm going to stick with the pictures of things that don't suck.  Because I don't like to take pictures of things that suck.  And I generally think things that suck are situations, which are tough to capture on film without people noticing.

So here are some more lamps that I shot while I was out on my walk a few weeks ago.  (I'm not even going to tell you about the typo I just fixed.  I need to talk about these photos and go to bed.)

These first two were flanking the doors to an Episcopalian church near Grand Avenue.  There was tons of carving and intricacy around the door and all along the facade so I really like the relative simplicity of these.

I especially liked this shot with orangey-yellow stonework behind it.

This set was on either side of the doors of a Lutheran church on Dale Avenue just south of I94.  I want to say it's Grace Lutheran church, but I might be making that up.  You know, it's not like I drive past it every day on my way home or anything.

These, conversely were very intricate - Particularly at their tops on what was really a fairly simple facade.  This second one was more weathered than the first and, though one of the glass panes is broken, was really, really cool looking.

I almost didn't include this one.  It's a pretty standard lamp and all that.  But the shadow convinced me.  (The Shadow knows!)  I love how you can see the shadow of that swirled part of the lamp that you can't see on the lamp itself from this angle. 

I loved, loved, LOVED the glass in this lamp.  The structure itself is cool too, but that glass just makes it.  That is just so cool.

Okay - no births to announce today and, as mentioned, this kid needs to get to bed in a big old way.  So I'm off.  I only have one more thing to add to my list of things that are pretty cool.
r) (still not telling) Earlier this week a guy at work was trying to describe how one of my co-workers and I are pretty good friends.  He expressed this by saying "you know, you two are downtown Julie Browns and all."  Yep.  Downtown Julie Brown.  That's me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sometimes... Things Just Suck.

So here's a list of things that suck.

1) Work.
2) Driving more than 20 damn miles to get to work well before 7 in the morning.
3) Mornings.
4) EARLY mornings.
5) Absolutely every fucking thing that happened yesterday.  (Except for the steak Steve made me for dinner, that was awesome and so is he.)
6) Finally deciding what movie you want to watch when you go to bed and then realizing you can't watch it in the bedroom (this one may be specific to me.)
7) The Great Black Tablecloth Debacle of 2010, Parts 1 and 2.  (Pretty much going to have to trust me.)
8) Microsoft Exchange.
9) Every damn day this week.
10) Yesterday's Vikings game.
11) Today's Twins game
12) The fact that both of those teams have confusing esses at the end of their names that make me not believe I have apostrophes correctly placed.
13) Attempting to grill chicken in the dark while it's raining.  (though the results were still tasty)
14) Headaches.
15) Being blamed for not knowing something that literally NO ONE actually knows.
16) Having to be the bigger person when you are so not the asshole in the situation.

You've probably caught on but it's been a pretty crappy couple of days.  The primary cause of this, I won't lie, is work.  It would have been an exceptionally hard week this week even if we had all five days.  It was no doubt at least 7 days worth of work this week packed into 4 and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to do a fair deal work this weekend.  It's all a lot of stressful stuff that, even when I have gotten done working for the night, I continue to think about, worry about and, indeed, dream about.  This makes me crabby which makes me write lists of things that suck.

There is one thing that completely and totally does not suck in any way whatsoever.

Hurray!  Congratulations to the parents (you guys rock) and welcome to the world, Jackson!  I totally dig that your first birthday is going to be 09/10/11.  That's super cool.  I will totally get you a present.  I'm very excited to meet you and I hope you don't think I'm scary.  And just because you decided to make your appearance today I'm going to put aside my crabbiness for a bit and show you a couple things that don't totally suck about the world.  Pay attention, I might test you later.  ... When you've grown and learned to do things like sit up, and talk and read.  So you've got some prep time anyway.

There are only two things that suck about that.  One is that is was taken from the parking lot at my work.  Really that doesn't suck, it's just kind of sad.  The other is that it was taken around 6:15 am.  That sucks. Big time.

Gotta tell you, though, it's awfully hard to remember the parts that suck when you're looking at that picture.  

Some day a long, long time from now I'll tell you all about whiskey sours with two cherries.  Because, believe me there is absolutely nothing about those that sucks.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wonderin' If She'd Changed At All, If Her Hair Was Still Red

Sooo... cut my hair yesterday.

Kind of happened like this:  I've been overly annoyed with my hair at least four times per day for the last three weeks.  Which generally means I should probably cut my hair.  (I base this on the like four years that I've actually been cutting my hair, rather than just keeping it long.)  And oh goodness, I had a good experience and that made me so happy.

I'm very lucky in some ways because my hair is very straight and it is capable of being very low maintenance.  This is good because as I've mentioned I don't "do" my hair so much as my hair continues to exist on my head and I wash it and that's about it.  But I've had some really bad haircuts in my day.  I also have a really bad hair memory.  Like I've tried to have bangs roughly 72 times and this is what happens (in 11 easy steps!):

Step 1)  Bangs come "back into style" (for the fifth time that year) and I start thinking to myself "man, everybody looks so cute with bangs, I wish I looked cute like that."
Step 2) Brain turns off.
Step 3) Hair envy sets in.
Step 4) I start thinking "I would be cute if I had bangs."
Step 5) Repeat step 4 roughly 807 times.
Step 6) Completely overlook everything I have ever known about my hair and my ability to maintain it.
Step 7) Get bangs
Step 8) Bask in the cute bangs glow until my hair dries after the first time I wash it post-salon
Step 9) Watch as the cowlick at the top of my forehead points 3/4 of my new bangs to one side and the rest all over the place.
Step 10) Realize I'm going to have to learn how to do my hair in order to fix this.
Step 11) Spend next 4-6 months berating myself daily for falling for bangs again until they grow out.

The bangs trend is starting to have a new, related cousin too - the bob.  See this one is dangerous because at first bobs do actually look pretty cute on me.  And they can be kind of low maintenance.  Except for the part where you have to get them recut every six weeks (at most) and the second my hair starts to grow out from a bob even in the slightest little bit I have a pronounced duck tail sticking out of the back of my head and it appears as though I've grown myself a hair-textured helmet.  Not cute.  But I keep getting lured by those first few minutes right as I leave the salon going "wow, I look cute."

Aside from all of that I'm also frequently very intimidated when I go get my haircut because they all the girls in the salon have super cute hair and look like they actually put some effort into it and all that.  Me not so much.  Pretty much whatever happened naturally after I got out of the shower.  Plus I rarely have any idea how to talk about my hair or what I want done with it.  Particularly I'm usually so fed up by the time I actually go get my hair cut that I end up just sitting down in the chair and saying the hair equivalent of "I don't know, you deal with it."  I.E. "Just make it cute."  Which they do.  By cutting and styling it, and I've neglected to mention that I don't do that styling part and it just goes back to normal.

So I actually looked at some pictures before I went last night and tried to be honest with myself about how my hair works ("look away from the girls with the pretty wavy hair, it's just not going to happen.  Do not use this as a guideline.") and did actually have some things to say when I got to the salon.  I also went to a different salon than I have been going to for awhile.  (My stylist at that place was very nice, but very quiet and kind of overpriced for using my chin as a guideline and cutting all my hair to the same length.) My new stylist was, again, very nice and also very talkative.  This is a great quality in a stylist in my opinion because they do a lot of the work in the conversation and that makes it easier for me to be talkative too.  Also that's the stereotype and when I get a quiet stylist I get all nervous and start thinking "Am I doing this wrong?"  So it was like "well it sort of naturally parts down the middle, but I'd like to do something a little to the side - I do have this cowlick and a little bit of added body would be kind of nice."  "I had a bob, but I was pretty bored of it and I just got engaged so, even though I'm not getting married for quite awhile yet, I don't want to cut it all off again."  (Note:  No, we don't have a date set yet.)  "I wash my hair and let it air dry.  Sometimes I add in some mousse.  I've used a blow dryer twice this year and they were both for weddings.  I'm sure you'll style it before I leave and it will look lovely.  It will never look that good again, so I would really like something that looks decent as is."  And she sort of looked at me and was like "Totally.  We can do that."

And well, long story... upon review of all of the above, vaguely less long - then she did.

New hair, new hair.  La la la la la la.  (BTW, in my head that was to the tune of the "no king" chant by the hyenas in The Lion King.  Don't pretend you have no idea what I'm talking about, you know you do.)  Apologies for looking less than... bubbly here but the whole taking a picture without looking thing is a lot harder than it... looks.  Damn, that just didn't work out did it?

A slightly more side view:

Also pictured:  my new(ish) shower curtain (replacing the one that was officially more brown than it was when we bought it.)  (Upon reflection - that is very close to my "what the hell are you doing" face.  Which makes sense since I was trying to hit the button correctly backward - mirrors are hard!)

Even today it was still cute by my standards - way less volume due to my utter bewilderment at the sight of a round brush and all - but still cute!

By the way - the title today has a little bit of a story.  One of my secret joys of going to get my hair cut is because I know one or all of the following phrases will be uttered by my stylist at some point (and I'm a total sucker for any kind of praise.)
1) Your hair is so healthy!
2) This color is so pretty - do you color it?  No?  This is natural?  Wow.
3) Your hair is so pretty, I wish I had your hair.
I realize they probably say this to every single person they see.  I don't care.
Also - I almost went with simply "Tangled Up In Blue" as the title.  But then I was all like "Get it? Tangled.  Like hair gets tangled." in my head over and over and suddenly realized I was going to have to make that part of the title too and that would kind of kill the joke.  And even in my head the joke wasn't that funny.  Yet here I am, typing it out anyway.  Clearly time to stop.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Can't Think of a Bob Dylan lyric about Fireworks...

Happy Labor Day!  I hope everyone enjoys their... laboring?  Reprieve from laboring?  I hope you all enjoy your picnics, BBQs, and day off of work!  As I have previously mentioned, here, I loves me some fireworks.  I feel all holidays (and most days in general) should have fireworks.

So here are some fireworks!  (Taken on the 4th of July and unintentionally not posted until Labor Day!  Seems like a good way to celebrate Labor Day to me - especially since I don't really know what I should be celebrating.  I'm pretty sure it has to do with the military, so I apologize to any military members or officials I just offended.  Here, have some fireworks!)






Zap! (Wait, no.  That's Batman.)

Anyone else humming a Sousa march right now?  Just me?  Fine.


UPDATE:  Steve looked it up on Wikipedia and if they're to be believed Labor Day is essentially a peace offering from the military for killing a bunch of laborers who were striking.  So... I'm no longer ashamed of myself for celebrating by going grocery shopping, playing video games and having tacos for dinner.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Live at the Gaslight*

One of the cool things about living in St. Paul is the history of the place.  It's a very old city and there are historic buildings and neighborhoods aplenty.  I've been reminded of this lately since I've change my route on my way home from work.  The technically shortest (least amount of miles) way for me to get home is to simply stay on the freeway until I get to my street.  A few months ago, tired of sitting at a complete stop for twenty minutes everyday, I tried an alternate route that turned out to be much faster.  Rather than staying on the freeway and dealing with everyone pouring out of downtown St. Paul, I'm getting off at Grand Avenue and sort of veering around downtown on surface streets.  I get off of Grand almost immediately but the area is very old, and gorgeous.  Every day for the past several months I've been driving past the intersection of Dale St. and Summit Ave. and looking at the buildings on all four of the corners thinking "man, I'd like to take a picture of that."

I've found taking pictures while waiting for a light to change is not an easy thing to do.  Especially at that intersection.  I once got honked at for not moving for the green light quickly enough at that intersection.  I thought it was reasonable to wait for the person who ran the yellow light waaaaaaaaaaay too late to finish turning left in front of me, rather than voluntarily getting into an accident.  The luxury sedan that was behind me (and had been forcibly inserting that BMW logo into my exhaust pipe for several blocks) apparently felt differently about the situation.  All I can really say about that is unless that guy really, really had to poop, he's pretty much a d-bag.  Anyhow, the overall point here is that I haven't attempted to take pictures of that intersection from the car.

Yesterday I finally headed down there with the specific intent of walking around and taking some pictures.  Let me tell you, it was a good idea.  I've been feeling kind of burned out lately.  Between getting sick (and convincing myself in a fever state that the mosquito bites on my legs was actually the Chicken Pox - that's a story for another time), work sucking, a killer three-day migraine, work sucking some more, and some old emotional shit that's been reared up again I just haven't really been feeling good about myself or anything I do.  Which of course makes it harder to put up something here and be like "Hey, look at this, isn't it neat?  Except I don't really think so and, Jesus, I'm a fraud, why even bother.  Etc. Etc. Etc."  ... Kay, that just got a lot heavier than originally intended.  The point, anyway, was that I was feeling very inspired yesterday while I was out taking pictures of pretty houses.  I felt calm and happy and even a little creative.  I really only covered about a mile and a half of Summit Avenue, but I took more than a hundred photos on my regular camera and also hauled out my analog 35mm camera and shot up a roll of real live film.

And I discovered I have no fewer than two new obsessions.  Wrought iron and lamps.  Perhaps they're unusual obsessions, maybe not.  Either way, I'm very excited about them and I'm pretty excited to go out again and find more.  And I'm excited by what I came away with yesterday.  I'm most excited by this pair of door lamps (I don't know - are they still sconces if they're outside?  They're those lights that you see on either side of a door on a house, building, etc.) that were actually on the outside of an otherwise not very remarkable (comparatively, anyway) apartment building.

I don't know these are copper or iron that has naturally acquired that patina or if they've just been painted that way, but I'm absolutely in love with that color.  It's just absolutely amazing.  Furthermore I've always loved any kind of swirling pattern/scroll work.  So I just adore the shape and the flow of these.  I'm not normally a fan of yellow (and especially yellow glass) but it fits with the greenish color of the metal so well that I'm kind of in love with that too.

Lets take a closer look, shall we?

(We shall because I say we shall and I'm the one putting up the pictures.  But I like to be polite about it.)

I should mention that I found these right after I totally got nailed by a condo owner.  The building right before this one - I was taking a picture of the door and this lady walked up and said "thinking about buying that unit?"  "Oh no, just taking pictures of architecture."  Yeah, she kept watching me for a good three or four minutes.  I'm pretty sure she was calling the cops by the time I finally got out of sight.  Downside of taking pictures of houses people are living in I guess.  But isn't that scrolling on top of the glass just kind of... peaceful.  For being a seriously busy piece here it's just so elegant.  Guh, just love it.  I think I would marry these lamps if that were possible.  And if I weren't already engaged to a real, live person and such.  

A closer look at the scrolling closer to the wall.  Man I hope that's natural patina because that's just so much cooler.

Finally what I feel is a real cool angle shot.

This one just does it for me.  I can't say for absolutely certain but I'm pretty sure this is a photo that's going to be on my wall very soon.  (That means I like it a lot.  And I'm proud of it.  Not something that actually happens very often.)

I have loads of other pictures to share.  A whole collection of other lamps.  Tons of wrought iron that totally knock my socks off (but I hate socks, so it's definitely a good thing) and just bunches and bunches or really cool architectural details.  I'm pretty excited about a lot of them, I even have a whole bunch of pictures from two different churches (risking lighting strikes and brimstone just for a cool photo) and, of course, a couple flowers and animals from my walk.  Stay tuned! 

I might even stop mentioning Bob Dylan all the time.  I kind of doubt it though.

*This is also not a Bob Dylan lyric.  But it is the name of a Bob Dylan album.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stillwater At Night*

Going backward in time a bit - Steve and I spent most of the 4th of July out at his aunt and uncle's house enjoying the (incredibly) hot weather, great food, and some 4 square (the game you played at recess when you were 8.)

Later in the evening we headed in to Stillwater to watch the fireworks.  We've done this before so we knew it was going to be ridiculously crowded.  To try to avoid some of that hassle, we parked on the Wisconsin side of the river and walked down from there.  We found a pretty sweet spot right on the Stillwater lift bridge that ended up being near enough to where they were setting off fireworks that they were exploding almost directly above us.  It was awesome.

We also got a really cool view of Stillwater at sunset, that just happened to be a really dramatic sunset that day.

*This is not a Bob Dylan lyric

Friday, September 3, 2010

Early One Morning the Sun Was Shining

I have to wake up very early in the morning.  So far as I have been able to tell, there have been no worms.  I do not see the benefit of being an early bird.  I like night time.  Night time is nice.  I'm productive at night.  In the morning I'm a crabby person.  I HATE waking up early.  I also get the added fun of driving in a Eastward direction for a good portion of my commute.  This is not generally a reality I'm pleased with.  The odds are quite good that I'll be doing a fair amount of squinting in the morning anyway, sun not required.  Sun just exacerbates the situation to the where I feel like I'm trying to drive with, like, half of one eye or something.  

I like cloudy mornings.  They suit my mood in the morning and also make it easier to see while driving.  (I am exaggerating this whole driving tangent at this point, please don't worry about me and those who share the road with me.)  

Once and awhile I break out of my curmudgeon morning mood to appreciate that morning skies can be very pretty.

This is not a picture of my street this morning.  It is a picture of my street some morning about a week ago or so.  (I'm now trying to remember why on earth I would have taken my camera to work with me last week.  I have no answers for myself.  I am now annoyed.  damn.)  I thought it was a very cool mixture of sunny and cloudy.  I also liked the variation of cloud types happening that morning.  This is the kind of morning I don't mind.  It don't make me all squinty, which is nice.

I'd like more of this kind, please.

I did warn you (if you're here via Facebook anyway) that the Bob Dylan references were likely to continue.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stuck - Not Inside Mobile, Though I May Have the Memphis Blues Again

So, I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person.  (Thank God I just spelled intelligent correctly on the first try.  Whew.)  I mean, I'm no genius or anything.  But I believe I am not an idiot.  I can do math and read a map and I have a stunning aptitude for remembering details from movies and TV shows and repeating those details later on.  That aptitude for remembering details also came in pretty darn handy when I had to memorizes 200 pieces of art in order to pass my midterms in college.  It's also a pretty handy trait when my boss walks out of his office and says, in a French accent, what amounts to "do you remember that thing I mentioned, not to you, but in your presence about 3 weeks ago and I haven't mentioned since then?  Tell me everything you know about that."

(This is an aside.  I so, so, so wish that I could blog about work.  I so wish that that was kosher.  I'm not kidding, I couldn't make this shit up.  I'm not that crazy.  Crazy yes, but not that crazy.  It has been brought to my attention that if I were to simply transcribe my days at work I could probably sell it as a spin-off/sequel or something to The Office.  It's disturbing.  It would also probably be therapeutic to blog about it.  But it's WAY not kosher or smart in any way to blog about your work.  I know this both because I'm not a total idiot and because I'm in HR and it would be really, super, extra bad for me to blog about my co-workers.  Let me leave it at this - the biggest understatement I can think of right now would be to say "I work with some characters."  This is the end of my aside.)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I'm reasonably sure I'm not a total moron.  So I get frustrated when I find myself confused by things like... weather.  Look I live in Minnesota.  I deal with a fair amount of severe weather situations in the average year.  I have a healthy respect for weather.  I know that it's not really personal but based on where I live Mother Nature is pretty much trying to kill me most of the time.  This is more or less reasonable if you're me.  But today... today was just confusing.  At one point this afternoon I was at work in Eagan, talking on the phone to Steve who was in St. Paul roughly 8 miles away.  It was raining where he was and sunny and clear where I was.  About a half hour later, the sun still shining as if there wasn't a cloud to be found, the sky opened up and there was a downpour.  What the hell?

It started raining while I was driving home from work today.  I was about three blocks from home.  It transitioned from a few drops to yet another downpour.  I had to wear my sunglasses the entire way home.  By the time I parked my car there were pounds of thunder every few seconds, it was still raining like crazy, it was hailing and it was STILL SUNNY.  I don't understand.

I do understand though.  Logically I know how and kind of why these things happen.  All the same while I was trying to figure out how I was going to get from the car to the apartment with the least amount of hurting and/or soaking myself possible I couldn't help but shake my head and think "these aren't all supposed to happen at the same time!"

This is a stunning example of how my day went in general, by the way.

Anyway one thing I will say about weird-ass weather, It makes for some pretty cool light.

This was while it was taking a break from raining.  Note the sun.  It starting raining again roughly 5.8 seconds later.

But I mean, come on, that's just in my courtyard.  I can say with some authority (because I see these things while I drive home) that, for example, downtown St. Paul looked pretty freaking cool this afternoon.  Let's take a look at a close-up shall we?  Just for chuckles (this is what actually got me to take the pictures in the first place so it seems fair to include it.)

Maybe (probably) it's just me, but that's a pretty cool looking tree for being a tree that is otherwise not that interesting.  That was the worse sentence ever.  Wow.  Going to go rethink that whole I'm not a moron thing...

By the way, the title of this post came about by trying to describe to myself how I was feeling about this whole weather situation and eventually I just decided I was stuck between knowing what was going on and accepting what was going on as possible while I'm awake.  I say I may have the Memphis Blues again because I don't really know what, specifically, the Memphis Blues are.  I have my guesses, but who really knows what Bob Dylan is talking about right?  So without proof that I don't have the Memphis Blues, it is always possible that I might have them.  You stopped reading this awhile ago, didn't you?  That's cool, I get it.