Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Don't Call It A Countdown - Day 8 - Bestest Santa Ever

We have quite a few Santas on our tree.  Most of them are pretty alright.  One of them is kind of creepy.  He's got these knobby white legs sticking out of shorts and stuff.  But he's playing baseball so we keep him.  (That's pretty much all it takes around these parts.)  One of them is super cool and made of hand blown glass.  Except each of his limbs was made separately and they're all held together with little o-rings and, yeah, that doesn't photograph well.  Looks super cool in person.  In pictures looks like the Frankenstein of Santa Clauses.

My absolute favorite Santa ornament, though, is this one:

D'aww!  Isn't he the cutest thing?!  Lookit his little beard!  And his teeny hat!  And he has little, bitty bells for feet!  He's just the cutest little guy.  Plus his whole body is only like an inch squared.  So when I say he's a tiny little guy, he really is a tiny little guy.

He's the bestest little Santa ever.

He has a little gumdrop/snowman companion but apparently that one is camera shy because seriously - I tried like seven times and the damn thing just would not focus.  So I'm stickin' with Santa tonight.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Don't Call It A Countdown - Day 7 - Luck 'O The Irish Edition

So... obviously I have an Irish Christmas tree ornament right?  Know what I really like about this?  It's actually three or four different colors of green and it has glitter.  Perfect storm of Irish ornament.  

Also, yep, that's totally a penguin in the background.

That's not the point.  But it's solid all the same.

Um, yeah.  I made a wonderfully poor decision last night.  I stayed up way later than normal hanging out with Steve and a couple of his cousins, who were over to watch the hockey game.  It was delightful because they're cool dudes and funny and all.  It was an awful decision because that led to me being very tired and grumpy all day.  Not super.

So... I'm going to sleep now.  And I'm going to dream about glittery green tree ornaments.

Okay, probably not.  But so long as they're not part of the zombie apocalypse (which I've legitimately dreamt about, by the way) it'd probably be a pretty cool dream.  Glittery anyway.  Zombies might be better if there's glitter involved.  It might help their public image.  It's all about PR.  Or so I hear.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Don't Call It A Countdown - Day 6 - For Realsies This Time

I just had the most baffling conversation with Steve in which it became clear that he doesn't even know if he reads my blog or not.

So that's neat.  I guess that means I can complain about him then.  Cool.

Also my power cord for my laptop is totally fucked right now.  So I'm trying to type this one-handed (and doing a fairly good job at that, if i do say so myself) while trying to hold the cord in just right so that my whole freaking computer won't shut down.  I'm trying to stay positive (because apparently my mom doesn''t remember that I'm a smartass by nature while simultaneously being entertained by that) but seriously, this kind of sucks.  But since this is already my second or third power cord for this laptop (and they're damn expensive) I really don't want to get another one.  ugh.

Anyway, lately, I sort of feel like everything's breaking on me lately.  My car broke.  my computer's kind of jacked.  Our TV broke (though, bright spot there, it fixed itself - but that seems shady to me.  I'm assuming it's going to break again) two of my favorite pairs of shoes have heels are worn down to the nubs.  I kind of feel like I need a hug.

Which makes me happy we have this little guy who's just waiting to give out hugs.  Isn't he cute?  He's all string and top hat and hugs.  And he's got a little scarf!  He's so cute!  I just love him.

I just wish he was full sized so I could have a full sized hug.  Boo.

Don't Call It A Countdown - Day 4.5 (Cause I Forgot Edition)

I got carried away with the Ghost of Christmas Present... and a sea of dirty dishes last night and by the time we got home from dinner with Steve's parents and grandparents I had just enough time to fold a load of laundry and go to bed.

... And I sort of forgot to do a blog post.


I thought about it.  I said to myself "Self, you need to do a blog post."  And then I went to sleep instead.

That's the problem with me.  Given the choice between sleep and other stuff, I'm generally inclined to pick sleep.  I'm a bum.

You know what else tends to get forgotten?  All the other reindeer.  Don't get me wrong, Rudolph's great an all.  But some times I feel bad for, like Blitzen and the boys.  Sure they made fun of Rudy a few times when they were kids, but they were kids.  We all did things we regret when we were kids.  And adolescent reindeer will be adolescent reindeer after all.  I'm sure they're not bad people, er, reindeer.  They just got carried away by the mob mentality of the moment.  I especially feel bad for Donner.  Because Rudolph is his son in the movie and, man, he does not get portrayed well at all.  Straight up jerk right there.  And that's probably not true.  Donner's probably an alright deer.  He's just misunderstood, that's all.


I'll be back again later for full non-countdown coverage!

UPDATE:  I forgot to say:  The thing I like best about this ornament is that, simply by living with the other ornaments in a box for the rest of the year, he now has glitter-butt.  And that's awesome.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Don't Call It A Countdown - Day 4 - Hockey Edition

Steve and I just watched the first episode of this season's 24/7.  The Flyers/Rangers road to the Winter Classic.  (Aside:  I find the commercial for the winter classic with the little song and the cameos and whatnot insanely entertaining.  And catchy.)  Since Steve and I have been together I've become a hockey fan so these things interest me now.  And frankly I'm sorely disappointed in the Twins right now.  I mean seriously.  You couldn't do better than 30 million.  Really?  I mean honestly you could have done a telethon and probably gotten half of that.  Fail, Twins.  Fail.  But honestly, I'm kind of so upset about that I don't even want to talk about it.

What I learned about this episode of 24/7 is:  I probably shouldn't watch it.  For the same reason it's bad for me to watch Planet Earth.  Yes it's awesome.  Yes I really enjoy it.  But every time I start to think "awww, that animal is so cute" it gets eaten by a wolf or something.  And then I'm sad.  I root for the wrong animals.  It's very disappointing.  

Tonight 24/7 started, some hockey player started talking and I said "he's kind of cute."  Then Steve said "yeah, he's out with a concussion now."  


Then later on they were talking about some dude on the Flyers who's apparently, like, really good at hockey.  Sweet.  Then he talked for a while and he was pretty modest and fairly well spoken and I thought to myself "he's got a nice smile and a cool accent.  I like him."  Then they showed the footage of him getting hit in the head and getting a concussion.  

It's like the animals in Planet Earth.  When I start liking somebody in 24/7, they get a concussion.  This is not cool.

I know what you're thinking - the likelihood of hockey players getting concussions is pretty high.  I say this: The likelihood of animals getting eaten is pretty high too, it still sucks.

Extreme close up of the vase filled with ornaments that won't fit on our tree!  (In my head that was in the Wayne's World voice.)  I like the colors.  Plus! Glitter.  So, you know, that makes a mess out of everything.  Anyhow, I like it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Call It A Countdown You Mustn't - Day 3 - Geek Girl Edition

One of the things I like best about myself (stick with me here, I'm pretty sure this turns out way better than it sounds) is that I'm just a gigantic nerd.  Seriously.  Big.  Fat.  Nerd.

I am a geek girl.  (I watched a video a few weeks ago about calling yourself a geek woman rather than girl and, wow, it made totally awesome, valid points that I totally agreed with.  Geek girl just rolls off the tongue so much better though.)

And that kicks ass.  Like I said, probably the coolest thing about me.  Super big nerd.  It's where a lot of my humor comes from and I'm also kinda smart so that's cool too.  Pretty sweet package overall, the nerdiness.

Settle in for a long-ass story - because there's bonus Christmas nonsense today!  (Man I hope that's incentive.)

Awhile back Steve and I were in the car on the way home from somewhere and - searching for something we hadn't talked about already that day - I said:

"I was reading Wil Wheaton's Blog the other day and -"

"Whoa, wait," he interrupted, "you were reading Wil Wheaton's blog?"


"You were?"

"Yeeeees." (This seemed pretty obvious to me, as I had just said so.)


"Because it's funny?"  (Again, these are the things that seem obvious to me.)

"But you don't like Wil Wheaton."

"Why wouldn't I like Whil Wheaton?!" (Seriously, we kept saying his full name.  What's up with that?)

"You've never watched Star Trek.  You're not into that.  What reason would you have to be a fan of Wil Wheaton?"

"Stand by Me."

"Are you kidding?"

"And Toy Soldiers."  (Seriously - Toy Soldiers was, and remains, part of my reasoning.)

"... I... what... that doesn't even make sense, Hun."

"Sure it does.  He's the kid from Stand by Me.  Which I love.  So I love him.  Then he was in Toy Soldiers.  Which I also love.  For some reason.  So I keep loving him.  Now he has a really funny blog which I read and love.  And he guest stars on stuff I usually watch and enjoy.  So I love him."

"But he's best known for a role on Star Trek, which you don't and never have watched."


"So that's why people know him."

"But that's not why I know him."

"But that's not why everyone else knows him."

"I don't see how that's a reason why I shouldn't read his blog."

"... I guess.  Go on."

I proceeded to tell him whatever I'd read on Wil Wheaton's blog that had made me giggle and, as we were getting out of the car a few minutes later Steve said to me:

"Seriously, Hun, you should just watch Star Trek already.  You're so close to you're black belt in nerd, Hun, just go for it already."

...And that was hilarious.

A few days later I sent him an email that said:
"So I've been meaning to ask:  If I do watch Star Trek, do I get an actual black belt?  And if so, what does a black belt in nerd look like exactly?  Does it have decals?  (I personally think it should have decals.)  Does it come with a holster for a light saber?  It seems like any sort of belt for a nerd should come with holsters for various weapons - swords, stakes, phasers, light sabers, etc.  Is there a ceremony of some kind involved?  Like a crowning, but with a belt instead of a crown?  A belting, if you will?

Also, inquiring minds want to know (okay, well one inquiring mind wants to know): does nerdery follow the standard levels of belting:  i.e. white, yellow, orange, green, purple, red, brown, black?  What does one have to do to attain the various lever?  Am I really a brown belt nerd?  I know I'm nerdy, I like my nerdiness, still."

His response was:  "ummm... sure?  I don't know, Hun, it was just a joke.  But I this this conversation proves your a nerd already."

And because I'm unwilling to let things go:
"Well I'm not denying that I'm a nerd, sweetie.  I think that's been pretty blatantly obvious for quite some time now.  But... it was a good joke, and now I want a black belt in nerd.  I could do it, if I train hard enough... I can do the crane like Daniel-Son!  Sweep the leg!  Wait, no.  That was Johnny, dammit.  Wouldn't it be cool?  My black belt in nerd with like a little Nintendo controller on it, and - I don't know, like a Lego brick or something, and... a little TARDIS! and it could have a little holster for my blaster (cause hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side and all.)  It would be my nerdy badge of honor."

... And then Steve stopped talking to me about this topic.  That was probably the right plan of action for his sanity.  But we don't value sanity that much in our house.

I'm sharing all of this because tonight the super huge geek girl inside me had a very exciting night.  Why?

See that?
And that?

I made those.


I made paper snowflakes that look like Yoda and Boba Fett!  Hee!

I have more that look like Darth Vader, C3PO, a Storm Trooper and a Clone Trooper.  (When I showed them to Steve he said to me "You know it's seriously hot that you know the difference, on sight, between a storm trooper and a clone trooper, right?"  Which made me laugh.  Because, yeah, I kinda do know that.)

Now before we get too crazy I didn't just make these up.  I made them from templates.  Which I originally read about on EPBOT (which I love to pieces) but the TARDIS one looked way too complicated for me to attempt.  Then I saw them again, specifically the Star Wars ones, on Geeks are Sexy, which I check several times a day and may be the site I look at more than any other actually.  It's awesome sauce.  Plus - completely accurate title.  The Star Wars designs got me much more interested and once Boba Fett got into the mix (via Anthony Herrera Designs, which is also included in the GaS article) I was hooked.  It was tricky, especially Yoda.  There are some really teeny cuts in there.  But so, so cool.

When I finished Yoda, I said to Steve "Hunny, you have to come and look at this.  It's so cool!"  I'm not kidding, I was literally bouncing.
Steve loves the Fett.  So I knew I could get him on board with this.

I had decided earlier today to post a picture of our Yoda tree ornament tonight:
Because of course we have a Yoda Christmas tree ornament.  It may not be the first thing that occurs to you, but once you start thinking about it - you don't want to live in a world where we don't.  I don't want to live in a world where we don't anyway.  I mean seriously.  Yoda ornaments should be the new pickles (you know? the Christmas pickle tradition?) - and that's as someone who totally loves pickles too.

That reminds me - I have a pretty great story about standing up for the awesomeness of Yoda as a, like, 8-year-old that I'm not sure I've ever actually told anyone.  Once upon a time I joined some friends who were playing in the school yard by our house.  They were talking about Star Wars, which I had recently seen for the first time, and which characters were their favorites.  They asked me who I liked best and I told them - Yoda.  Because Yoda was, and is, the shit.  What I didn't know or particularly understand at the time was that they weren't necessarily talking about who was the best character (Yoda) they were talking about who was the cutest.  This was the Han Vs. Luke conversation.  (The answer is Han, by the way.)  So their response to me was a fairly incredulous "Yoda?  Ew.  He has ear hair."  No joke, this was like 20 years ago and I remember specifically that they pointed out ear hair.  I gotta tell you they teased me pretty hard for probably 10, 15 minutes or so and the whole time I was like "Whatever, Yoda is way better than Luke." (Which is totally true, by the way.)  And they kind of made me feel like crap.  It's not really their fault either, I didn't get what that conversation was really about until I reflected on it many years later.  And not even that I wasn't aware of boys being cute at that point or anything - I just wasn't there for the beginning.  Anyway - the point of the story:  Even at 8 years old, Yoda was freaking awesome.  And even now, faced with the question "Who's better: Han or Luke?"  I'm probably just as likely to say Yoda as I was then.  Because Yoda's still the best character.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Don't Call It A Countdown - Day Two - First World Problems

This post will henceforth be known as "the one where she complained about sunshine" or "Stupid Sun" or, more probably "Seriously, What is She On"?

The good news is my mom thinks I'm funny.  So there.  

A little bit of back story here – We have had, like, four days of rain here in Minnesota.  Just your typical December weather.  You know, plus roughly 30 degrees.  But whatever.  Nothing is wrong with the environment!  Mind your business.  (That was my impression of... dumb, I guess.)  My point being, it’s been pretty dark and gloomy for about a week.  I’m not kidding.  It got cloudy on Sunday afternoon and that was that.

Earlier today I wasn’t thinking I was going to have anything to ramble on about.  Because I was neck deep into a spreadsheet that is generally the bane of my existence and just, oh my god, the stupidity.  The complete, abject and total stupidity of this spreadsheet.  And how incredibly manual everything is and seriously, what the hell just, why?  (To put this into perspective I normally have a fair amount of patience with the spreadsheets that are my working life.  No seriously, I do.  However - I've spent the last three full days at work fighting with Microsoft Access and so now, basically, everything is just incredibly dumb.  So the things that were just kind of dumb before are horrifying stupid.  And the things that were face-palm worthy before induce the above rant.)

So yeah, I was thinking about that most of the day.

This afternoon, still working on the same spreadsheet, the sun just came from nowhere and blinded the shit out of me.  But then it went away.  So I was still sitting there in my chair being all like "what is that bright ball of gas in the sky?" when it got cloudy and normal again, so I went back to work.  This proceeded to happen over and over again for the next two hours.  Basically I kept thinking about closing the blinds but every time it was like "well, now it's cloudy again, oh well.  Problem solved."  Then ten minutes later "holy crap, what the?  Why can't I see anything?"

Anyway - my overall points are these:
1) Man, the sun is annoying.
2) This is not rambling, this is free association run amok.  My mom said so.  So there.  Neener neener.

Since I started out yesterday with a penguin, I thought it was only fair to have a monkey today - for steve.  This one is make of blown glass, so it's an annual Christmas miracle that we don't break it.  I also really dig his little Santa hat and the fact that he hangs from his legs.  It's a pretty cool ornaments and easily one of my favorites.  ... It actually just occurred to me that I don't if Steve really likes this ornament or not.  I hope he does, cuz I think it's super cool.  Plus it's a monkey.  So come on, it's a monkey.  What else do you need?  A penguin with it maybe?  That would make it better, come to think of it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Don’t Call it a Countdown – Day 1

I don’t really like all the countdown type of things various… well mostly television channels do at Christmas time.  In my opinion, no matter what particular carols or ABC Family will tell you there aren’t “days” of Christmas.  There’s Christmas.  There’s Christmas Eve.  If you want to get super technical (and/or you live in Britain and/or Canada) there’s Boxing Day.  That’s about it.  This whole 12, 15, 25 Days of Christmas thing bugs me.

Don’t get me wrong I like to put up our tree as soon as possible.  If Steve would let me it would go up the day after Thanksgiving.  He doesn’t though so I usually have to wait until the first weekend in December.  If I further had my way it would stay up until February.  I don’t get my way then either, though, and so it gets taken down shortly after New Years.  Apparently it’s “more special” this way.  I don’t think he understands – the Christmas tree is awesome and length of display does not dispel from said awesomeness.  Duh.

Anyway… I like our decorations and I have a tendency to take pictures of them.

It has also come to my attention recently that I don’t really have much to “say” exactly, but I do seem to ramble a lot.  And some people find that entertaining.  And by “some people” I mean “mostly me.”
And finally, I recently came upon the need to – metaphorically – say “suck it – I like my pictures” to particular people.  Which… I can’t really talk more about to the whole internet, because I’m not a moron.  
But it made me think of something that, historically, Kris Kristofferson is known for saying; more personally, my dad is known to quote; and more recently, The Bloggess made into a card in her shop (Don't let the bastards get you down) – which is making me giggle.  A lot.  I especially like the Winnie the Pooh-esque balloons.  Very festive.

Anyhoodle – I’m thinking that for every day between now and Christmas (which, incidentally, is 12 days so I guess that makes this a partridge in a pear tree) I’m going to post a picture of one of our decorations and something – possibly about that decoration or possibly just me rambling about how I don’t like ABC Family very much.  

Just don’t call it a countdown.  I don’t like that.
I can't see any better way to start something off than with a penguin.  Obviously.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tiny Little Lights

Psst... you wanna know a secret?

I really like Christmas lights.

They may be one of my most favorite things actually.

I mean... I know they're basically pointless and a drain of energy and may possibly make people who don't celebrate Christmas feel uncomfortable or lonely or sad or something.

I'm mostly guessing at that last bit because I do celebrate Christmas so I really have no idea how the lights make people who don't celebrate Christmas feel.  I'm basing this guess primarily on a song a fictional 8-year-old made of construction paper sang once.  I'm realizing this might not be the best basis for a guess ever.  Unless I'm playing some kind of game about beliefs held by the characters on South Park.  That would be a really hard game - those kids change their damn minds a lot.

That was what we in the biz refer to as a "tangent."  By "biz" I mean... uhhh rambling professionally.  Only not professionally.  Because I don't make money doing this.  Amateur rambling.  Olympic qualifiable rambling.  Yeah.  That "biz."

So, anyway.  Back to Christmas lights.  Despite their possibly less desirable qualities, I really like them.  They're just neat.  In my humble opinion.

They just make me feel... good inside.  I'm not so sure I'd go so far as to say they specifically make me happy.  But damn I love Christmas lights.  They're just great.

...And now that I've written all of that and spent a lot of time looking at these pictures I realize they kind of look like little penises.

UPDATED:  Oh man... I just realized that I only took pictures of our outdoor lights which are all white, because I like white lights outside and the multi-colored ones on the tree.  But the ones inside weren't focusing correctly and eventually I gave up and didn't save any pictures of them.  So now my Christmas lights might be racist as well as insensitive to other religions.  Before I was just suddenly worried my lights were those jerks who insist on saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays because they know it makes some people uncomfortable and/or sad.  Now I'm worried my lights might be part of the Klan or something.  Which, you know, way worse.  I mean, those people suck but they're not the klan.... oh jeeze.

FURTHER UPDATED: Just to be clear: I'm joking.  And trying to be funny.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sir Moves A Lot (I Like Big Boxes, And I Can Not Lie...)

So hey, you know what sucks?

Moving.  Moving sucks a lot.  Like, a lot.  More than a lot.  Movie bites the big one.  Moving is the suck that created sucking.  You know what sucks worse than moving?  Moving and trying to work a full time job at the same time.  Yeah.  That's really dumb.  People shouldn't do that.  There should be some kind of special leave you get where you just get a couple weeks off when you move.  Like maternity leave only with a domicile instead of a child.

To my friends who just had children: I apologize for that and take it back.  Sorry.

Anyway, yeah.  The last... long time life has pretty much just been get up, go to work, go home *either pack or unpack, depending on how far back you go* then go to sleep and start all over again.

Aside from the night Steve took me out to get shoved into a coffin and licked by a stranger (not kidding) we haven't really had too much opportunity for fun.  And, come to think of it, the Haunted Basement at the Soap Factory - though highly effective at being quite scary - wasn't really, uh, "fun" in my book.  Yeah, in case you missed it there - I was licked by a stranger and then put in a coffin.  Woo freakin hoo.

So, uh, yeah... life's been a little busy lately.  There's a room in my house right now that's pretty much just dedicated to clothes and... piles of things.  They don't even have to be things that are eventually going to go in that room.  No, no.  Those are things that are totally going to go on a completely different floor than where they are now.  But are currently in a pile in that room.  Because that's what that room is for right now.  Not stressful at all.

On the other hand - I live somewhere new now.  Which means there's some new... stuff around for me to take pictures of when I stop and take pictures of... stuff.  And thus! I give you:

A pretty wicked picture of a raindrop on a branch of the tree that's by my deck:

What I like most about it?  That you can see part of the tree reflected in the raindrop.  I don't like to get braggy.  But in my opinion, that's pretty badass.  Thinking about putting that one on a wall someplace.  Except at the end of the day it's a picture of a stick.  So I'm having a hard time getting around that.

Other upside to the move?  Wrote this on my lunch break.  That's pretty awesome.

Back to work now, though.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maybe This is Heaven

It's been suggested that Heaven may be located in Iowa.  It's been suggested that Heaven may be, based on picture books, a partly cloudy place.  Some people may try to tell you that there's no such thing as Heaven. I may be one of those people.  It kind of depends on my mood, honestly.

Well I've been to Iowa.  And I know some damn fine Iowans.  But I'm fairly certain it's no paradise.

I'm not one for too much certainty in life so maybe I'm down with the partly cloudy description.  The picture books do seem to suggest it.

And again, I'm not one who's too big on certainty.  I don't really know what's going to happen tomorrow much less in the hereafter.  I very nearly minored in theology in college and really all that taught me was that religion is messed up.  If there is a god - that's one seriously confused supreme being we've got ourselves.  That or one incredibly certain supreme being who's just being dick for fun.  Or something else entirely.  I really don't know.  I prefer the confused route.  Anyway...

There's this other thing

I don't often "name" my pictures.  Because that seems too much like thinking they're actual like "art" or something.  It's taking myself entirely too seriously.  I'm not really down with that.  I start... I don't know, it gets weird, I don't like it.

However... If I did name my pictures, I would probably call these "Heaven One through Five"

Because seriously - if I got to pick.  If I were the supreme being (confused, certain and just being a dick for fun, or whatever) and I got to make the call.  This is exactly what it would look like.  Baseball fields with corn in the outfield are nice.  You know I like a catch with my dad.  Gates made of pearl sound really nice too.  Hell, I even like harp music most of the time.  Give me the lake any day of the week.  I'll take it.  That's fuckin Heaven.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The other day I sat down to transfer some pictures from my camera to my computer.  I had taken a few in the couple of days beforehand and thought I had a few others as well.

Turns out I hadn't transferred pictures since early May.  Whoops.

I don't know, it's like I was getting ready to bike from Duluth to White Bear Lake or something.  WEIRD.

So yeah, I don't really have much to talk about.  I tried for a while today to try to think of something interesting or funny to write about and well... I've got bubkis.

In other news, I like that word.

Anyhow... the whole reason I transferred pictures in the first place is because I wanted to play with some photos of gummi bears I took.

Yeah... you read that.

But you're kind of smiling now right?  I mean... they're gummi bears.  They sort of make you giggle right?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Picture Me Rollin'

In roughly four hours I'm leaving to go participate in the MS 150.  Which means today I will be riding a bus to a small town just outside of Duluth, MN, tomorrow I will wake up, get on a bike and ride 75 miles to Hinkley, MN.  Then on Sunday I will get up again, get on a bike, and ride another 75 miles to White Bear Lake.

Or that's the plan anyway.  I would say the odds are pretty good through the end of Saturday.  The whole getting up again on Sunday thing, I think that's where I'm going to run into problems.

Oh right, and the biking part.  That's... that's going to be a challenge.

Up until a few weeks ago I had not been on a bike since I was 15 years old.  I haven't really participated in regular physical activity since I was... 13.  I am not an athletic person.  I don't enjoy sweat.  I like reading.  And knitting.  And movies.  Things I can sit still for I'm just really, really good at.

So deciding I'm going to ride a bike for one hundred and fifty miles in a weekend is probably the dumbest thing I've ever done in my whole life.  And let me tell you, that is beating out some just really, really poor decisions.

I can honestly say that training for this has been the hardest thing I've ever done.  I can also say that in like 72 hours that will no longer be true.  I have wanted to quit.  Every single day.  Somewhere in the middle of the ride, every time I got on my bike something in my head has gone "you know this is ridiculous.  Just give up already."  The good news is I haven't listened to that voice.  I have not given up, I have kept going.  I have kept training and today I'm getting on a bus and I'm going to try my damnedest to do this thing.  I am proud of myself for that.

I'm not going to lie - I am scared.  I really have very little belief that I will actually finish.  And I am - illogically - worried that if I don't finish I will be letting people, and myself, down.  I know that that's not true.  And I am trying really hard to keep telling myself that, and to believe that.  I know that a lot of people are proud of me for just making it this far, and nothing will change that.  Still.  I am scared.

I WANT to finish and I'm going to work really, really hard to finish.  But if I can't I'm going to stop and be safe and be fine with that reality.

Now... the sarcastic brat in me wants to make fun of myself for a little bit and... well, I do sort of like the sarcastic brat in me so I'm going to go with that.  There's a solid chance that I will actually die trying to do this this weekend so if you want any of my stuff, now's probably a good time to call dibs.  Okay.  I got that out.  feels better now.

Here are some pictures I've taken while out biking the last couple weeks.  Enjoy.

Ir... Irises... Irie... screw it - Many an Iris growing on the St. Kate's campus

The Gateway Trail.  From this vantage point 35E is about 30 feet to the right.  You'd never know it.

Down by St. Anthony Falls

Smoke stacks that I thought looks pretty cool in Minneapolis
A random little lighthouse that I didn't know existed but thought was cool anyway

 One of my favorite Twin Cities landmarks

 Bridges all lined up.  (you can see the Hennepin Ave bridge, 3rd Ave bridge and if you look REALLY close, the Stone Arch bridge in the distance.)

That's my city.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ice Trip

A little over a week ago I went and got myself a car wash.  I was thinking about it anyway because after a winter of salt and grime and what not my car was looking more beige than silver.  Even when it's clean it's really in-between the two.  Still, it looked really, really beige.

Then when I was getting gas the auto fill thingy didn't stop when it was supposed to and ended up dumping what I'm estimating was about a dollar fifty worth of gas (so really not that much.  Ha! Topical sarcasm!) on to the ground.  So then my car also smelled like gas.  Car wash was a must.

Part of the wash was some kind of Rain-X sealer thing at the end.  So when it snowed a few days later (of course) and then more or less immediately melted there was still water in little pools all over my car.  it ended up getting cold enough to frost overnight and it created some of the coolest, weirdest looking frost I've ever seen.

The trunk of my car all looked like this.  These were the bigger of the puddles really.  The roof and the hood of my car was covered in much smaller puddles that had some really funky frost crystals developing on and between them.

This was on the back window of my car.  I like how the tinting on the window gives the edges a light blue effect.

This is a close-up of one of the bigger puddles on the trunk.  I'm not saying, I'm just saying - that's a freaking cool picture in my opinion. One of the things I really like about all of these is that they look black and white, but really they're just white and grey on other grey.

This is on the hood of the car.  How cool is that?  It's like there were hundreds of little mohawks all over my car.

 No seriously.  I get that it's ice and by all accounts I should have just been annoyed with it (and I kind of was, I hate scraping my windows with a passion) but it just looked so freaking cool.

Come on.  Ice crystals.  Growing upward.  On my car.  Okay... so maybe that's really only enough explanation for me to be fascinated with it... That's fair.  But the point it I was fascinated by it.  

Then while I was playing around with a couple of these in Photoshop I started noticing that maybe, if I started playing around with some filters and colors, messed around with the contrast a little bit...

These could be seriously trippy.

And well... I like trippy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 20 - Or Why Yesterday Was Bound To Be Terrible.

I would like to start this by pointing out that roughly a week ago it was around 80 degrees outside and I seriously considered buying a pair of shorts.  (Then I remembered I hate shorts so decided against it.)

This is what waited when I walked out the door yesterday morning:

Now they say a picture is worth a thousand words so maybe this goes without saying, but I made it about two steps out the door and said, out loud, "son of a BITCH."

Like seriously - I'm not sure whatever allowed this to happen understands... It was gone.  It was all gone.  There was no more snow.  The snow all went away.  The grass was green.  We had a bonafide thunderstorm.  NOT thundersnow.  No, no.  A real, normal, not totally weird thunderstorm.  It was lovely.  

Don't get me wrong, I knew a lot of girls in high school who had to wear snow boots to their prom in May.  This is not the latest-in-the-season snow storm I've ever dealt with.

That doesn't make it less annoying.

So if it hadn't been so damn pretty I would have been really pissed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


So this morning on my way to work (early.  again.) I wasn't able to swerve out of the way of a pot hole and blew out a tire.  In -4 degree weather on March 2nd.  I had to wake Steve up to come and help me and we still couldn't get the lug nuts loose.  So I got to pay for a tow in addition to two new tires.  Joy.  On my way home from work I was thinking of how nice it was that Steve did come out and help me and then let me use his car all day and how I put way more miles on it than he would have.  So I decided it'd be nice if I filled up his tank for him and stopped at the gas station on the corner to do so.  I promptly locked myself out of the car.  So I had to walk over to the building, shadow some stranger inside and beg the caretaker (who has moved since the last time I had to talk to them) to let me in my apartment to get my spare set of keys.

I have this to say:

Fuck it.


I give.

I want a do-over.

Today is just not going correctly.

I'm doing it wrong.

I give up.

The end.

I was going to say I don't have a photograph for this.  But as it turns out I do.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Is This Too Sappy?

I feel like it's too sappy.

Happy Valentine's Day :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Open Love Letter To My Mommy On Her Birthday

Once upon a time my big brother told me his main goal in life was to be even half as cool as my dad.  This is completely understandable.  My dad is pretty much the coolest person who ever lived.  (Still, this statement made me a little sad since my main goal in life is to be maybe one tenth as cool as my big brother.)  The great tragedy of my dad being the coolest person, living or dead, ever is that we sometimes overlook how completely and totally awesome my mom is.  Where my dad is the mellow that keeps us all truckin' (so to speak) as a family, my mom is... just everything else we need to keep us going along the way.  She is our cruise director, our teacher, our domestic goddess, our moral compass, our cultural attache, our historian, our cheerleader, and our support pillar.

Make no mistake, my dad does all of those things as well.  But I'm confident in saying he will be the first to tell you, my mom is one hell of a lady.  One who deserves any and every nice thing anyone has to say about her.

Let me paint a picture for you.

When I was just weeks old my mom took me to my first political convention.  She put signs up on my play pen and I lobbied for better day care.

There's this totally awesome picture of my brother when he was little.  He's wearing a tee shirt that says "nuclear war would totally ruin my day."

My brother and I used to tease my mom that we were going to buy her a leash for Mother's Day so we could stop her from going to nurseries (the flower kind) all the time.  Related:  my brother and I are kind of buttheads.

Every year on Christmas Eve my family watches Lethal Weapon.  This easily one of the top ten weirdest traditions I've ever heard of, and therefore one of the best.  It exists because of my mom.

I love this:

And these:



And these:

because of my mom.

My mom will never let anyone say anything bad about themselves.  She will encourage you to be the very, absolute best that you can be.  She can bake at least 30 different kinds of cookies, occasionally will encourage you to have ice cream cake for dinner, and makes the best spaghetti ever.  She can sew, quilt, knit, and read (I'm guessing) one thousand words a minute.  She can make homemade Halloween costumes, design a set, manage a stage and play the violin and tympani (though probably not at the same time.)  She loves the Rolling Stones and taught me to love Janis Joplin and the Allman Brothers.  She also taught me to love Tchaikovsky, Handel, and musical theater.

My mom is a tooth and nail feminist who let me love Disney princesses.  She taught me that the princesses weren't just pretty - they are smart, kind, warm, occasionally head-strong, optimistic, and generous.

Last night I happened upon a clip from It Happened One Night.  Netflix failed me as they don't have it on their instant cue.  I decided to watch Arsenic and Old Lace instead.  When I was young, though I don't remember how old I was exactly, my mom took me with her to see a performance of the play.  I think it was at the local college.  Nothing major or anything, but a performance all the same.  But that's my mom, she always wanted to show us something cool.  I can certainly say that without her, I'm sure I wouldn't randomly decide to watch movies like that on Saturday nights.

I love my mommy very much.  And I don't think she gets told enough that she's freaking awesome.  Mom, you're freaking awesome.  Here are some pictures I think you'll like.

And if you do that's bully.  Just bully!  (Happy Birthday)