Saturday, September 30, 2006

I Should Get a Prize Just for Mentioning This

I have been using this new site, Blingo, instead of Google for the last few weeks when I do internet searches, and I really like it. Blingo is exactly the same as Google, it actually uses Google to do searches, but you have the chance to win prizes every time you search. And if you sign up for Blingo by using the link below, if you win, I will win a prize too! Some of the prizes are Visa gift cards ($25, $50, and $100 values) and iPods.


Plus, I love the picture on this link. What do you think it is? My first thought was ice skater, but maybe it is a breakdancer? I picked it just because it was the oddest option, in my opinion. Plus, hello, jazz hands!


We went to the Twins game last night with some of H's coworkers. I thought I was the Twins good luck charm, but apparently not because the Twins lost last night. If the Twins win the next few games and the Tigers lose, the Twins could win their division and play the A's in the playoffs. If the Tigers end up with a better record than the Twins, the Twins will have to play the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.

The Twin Cities get really crazy around baseball playoff season. It is really fun. When I was up here interviewing a few years ago, the Twins had a playoff game, so people were handing out free donuts to downtown drivers during morning rush hour. I have no idea what donuts have to do with baseball, but I'll take a free donut any time.

Yeah, so that is really boring for all of you to read but oh well.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Come and Knock On My Door

(We'll be waiting for you)

1. On Saturday, two young men from the Church of LDS knocked on my door. I talked with them for a few minutes because although I do not want to join their church, they were very nice. I asked them lots of questions about where they have been on their mission so far (Twin Cities only), where they are going on the rest of their mission (all over MN and up to Canada), and where they are from (Georgia and Utah).

2. I think they were kind of scared that I was asking them so many questions. They seemed pretty happy to give me their card and get out of there. Oh well! I was happy to keep the conversation away from any attempt at conversion.

3. Some different Mormon missionaries came to our house in the winter when H was outside shoveling.

4. Well, first they went to the house across the street, and our neighbor lady yelled, "Get away from my house!" at them.

5. Then they came and talked to H and offered to help him finish shoveling our driveway. He declined their offer.

6. Mostly because we only had one shovel at the time.

7. I don't like our neighbor lady, mostly because the woman who used to live in our house told me that the neighbor lady was wonderful and they were good friends, and the woman who used to live in our house was crazy and super snobby.

8. So really, I don't know neighbor lady at all but have decided not to like her.

9. My mom is biased against Jehovah's Witnesses because she claims that when she was growing up, some JWs came to her house and tried to convert them, and as the JWs were driving out of the neighborhood, they hit my mom's dog and then didn't stop.

10. Probably not the best way to try to convert people.

11. One time in college, I came home from class, and my roommate and some guy I had never seen before were hanging out in our living room.

12. When I realized the guy was a door-to-door magazine salesman, I announced, "We're not buying any magazines, so it's time for you to leave." Then I opened the front door and stared at him until he got off the couch and left.

13. My roommate was annoyed that I was rude. I thought it was rude to invite a possible robber and/or murderer into our apartment, but she did not agree. She also wanted to go to an abandoned factory one Saturday night around midnight to see if we could meet some junkees, so she was probably not the best person with whom to reason.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Did You Miss Me?

Hello! I have been out of town on a business trip. The travel wasn't that hard, the work we did on the trip wasn't that difficult, but spending 18 hours a day with coworkers gets old quickly. Even though they were nice coworkers and the trip was relatively fun, I am not used to being on my best behavior for 48+ straight hours.

So where did we go? I think this picture really explains it all.

What? That doesn't help? According to the reception people at the hotel, that is a view of the Arch. I went out onto the balcony and leaned precariously in all different directions, but I am pretty sure that the Arch cannot be seen from my room. Yes, even in the daylight.

And yet, I was able to survive a room with an Arch-less view. Our hotel was pretty swanky.

Growing up, my parents actually had a phone like this in the master bathroom. I hope they never used it though.

Anyway, it was actually a swanky hotel.

So swanky that the directions to use the freaking alarm clock were a whole page long.

I was able to set the alarm clock the first day, but after that, I had to get a wake up call because it was really too complicated for me.

And I will leave you with a swanky picture of myself in the swanky hotel room in my swanky pajamas.

(Blurry is the new swanky.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ice Cream, the Circus, North Korea- You Know, the Usual

I was trying to come up with something quick to blog about, so I did a search for some questions to answer. My favorite list of questions is the following:

1. Have you ever had an addiction?
2. Are you afraid of the dark?
3. What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
4. Have you ever been to the circus?
5. What do you think of North Korea testing nuclear weapons?

WTF? Who came up with these questions? Whose mind works like this? Addiction - scared of the dark - ice cream - circus- NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Awesome.

So do I have to answer the questions now? I will anyway.

1. I don't think I have ever had an addiction. In college, I smoked a few times and really started to like it, so I stopped before I could get addicted. It scared me that I started to crave cigarettes.

2. No, I am not afraid of the dark. Unless I have just watched a scary movie. And I have a very low tolerance for scary. If there is any suspense at all, I deem the whole movie scary.

3. My standard answer for favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip. I also love anything super chocolatey and rich.

4. I went to the circus when I was in maybe 1st grade. I remember being scared that the trapeze artists would fall. That's about it. Do you guys remember that show in the 80s when stars would compete in circus acts? That was a quality show.

5. I am not a fan of North Korea testing nuclear weapons.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Don't Be Scared Away by the Title

Thirteen Things About Being Sick

1. Yesterday, I took four packets of these. Two pills per packet = me loopy on drugs.

While loopy, I determined that this product should really be called Pseudo-Sudafed. Get it? Pseudo and Suda? I am a genius.

2. I also drank four mugs of this.

Please let it be noted that I don't like tea, nor do I Love Lemon. But when that is what is free at work, that is what I will try to make myself feel better. (It didn't work, but I did survive until I left early at 4.)

3. I came up with a brilliant marketing idea for the I Love Lemon tea.

I think it should say "I Love Lemon" with an exclamation point, and the bottom part of the exclamation point should be a heart. Don't you agree? Wouldn't you much rather buy the product with my label?

4. Seriously, you guys, I am a marketing genius.

5. Here is a product that my marketing genius cannot help.

You walk by some lady's desk and see peanut butter cups in the bowl, so you think, "Score! I love peanut butter cups! Look, they have white packaging for Halloween!" And then you open the wrapper and are horrified to see white chocolate on your peanut butter cup. "This is a travesty!" you think. But you eat it anyway. And it is not good.

6. Today I was still sick so I stayed home.

7. I happened to tune into the last 15 minutes of that celebrity poker showdown show, and guess who was on it and was totally beating everyone? Dule Hill. (I don't know how to make the accent above the e.)

8. Then guess what was on Bravo? A marathon of Season 2 of Project Runway. Yes! I had already seen it, but I watched it again anyway.

9. Oh, I almost forgot that I saw some of The View! I thought Rosie O'Donnell did a really good job. I know you were curious about my opinion on The View.

10. That pretty much summarizes my entire day.

11. I didn't get any sleep last night, but I am not tired today. It is kind of freaking me out that I am not tired because I always need at least 8 hours of sleep to feel normal. (So basically I never feel normal.)

12. Did you guys watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on Monday night? What did you think of it? I am annoyed that some people watched it just because Matthew Perry was in it. Yet I would watch anything that had Dule Hill, Allison Janney, or Zach Braff in it. So I am a huge hypocrite. And my husband's hatred for Friends has apparently worn off on me. So anyway, I thought Studio 60 was decent. I will definitely keep watching. I almost just went off on a big tangent comparing Studio 60 to West Wing, but then I decided to calm myself the heck down.

13. Did you notice that 12 wasn't about me being sick? Well, when you are home by yourself all day and then your husband only comes home to get his jiu jitsu outfit, there is not a lot to talk about.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Blame This Post on the Meds

My post today was going to revolve completely around some uploaded pictures, but Blogger does not want me to have any pictures on my post today! Arrrrrr!

I didn't talk to anyone today because my throat hurts so much. I am sick. It sucks. I am high on Claritin right now. Plus 6 Sudafeds. And 100 cough drops. Woo hoo! Umm, yeah, by "high" I mean that my nose is a tiny, tiny, miniscule amount less runny.

So, what else is going on? My law school friend who just moved to Minnesota and I played an awesome game on Friday. The Incredible H assisted. The game is called, "List the 3 weirdest people in our law school class." It is a very fun game and led to much debate. There were some strong contestants. I think we all decided on a winner though. I don't want to tell you his name, so let us call the winner "Jack." The first time I remember seeing Jack was at a final that all first-year students had to take. Jack had twisted one end of a paper clip around his glasses and one end around his pencil. So his pencil was sticking up from his glasses like an antenna. Let me repeat, this was in LAW SCHOOL. Not first grade.

My friend and I had to compete against Jack in an intraschool mock trial competition. The judge of our mock trial was a very conservative, Mormon professor. I think I made the opening statement for our side, and it went well. Then Jack stood up. He started off with an extremely graphic joke about a little kid walking in on his sister and some strange guy "doing it" in a barn. My friend passed me a note that said, "We just won."

I am not sure that these two examples fully illustrate the freakiness of this kid. You should realize just how weird he is when I tell you that second place in our game was the girl who worked at a haunted house during our first year of law school and showed up for class one day with her Halloween makeup still on - her face painted white with fake blood dripping out of the side of her mouth. When asked why she had not washed her face, she just shrugged.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saturday Night's All Right (For Fighting)

Saturday morning, H and I participated in our walk to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and to raise money for research. It was amazing to see so many people there, and all the t-shirts and signs with the pictures and names of lost loved ones were really touching. There were also so many survivors there and women currently battling ovarian cancer. I may or may not have cried a little bit. And I may or may not have seen a woman light up her cigarette while standing next to a woman who was obviously currently undergoing chemo, who gave the smoker a dirty look before moving a good distance away from her.* The survival rate five years after diagnosis for women with ovarian cancer is only 53 percent. One of the key problems is that ovarian cancer often goes diagnosed until it is already in the late stages. Symptoms of ovarian cancer and more information can be found here.

*It's ok if you smoke, but in front of everyone else at an anti-cancer walk is probably not the best place for it.

Saturday afternoon, H and I attended a wedding. To be honest, I was hoping that the bride would have a super bridezilla freakout in front of everyone. The bride has been kind of rude when I have met her before and was rude at my wedding to H.

H and I actually had a nice time. We sat at a table with an aunt and uncle of H's that neither of us knew very well, and they are really fun people. One of their daughters is ranked in the top five in the United States in a certain sport and is hoping to go to the Olympics in 2012. The aunt and uncle also have a lake house that they offered us free use of whenever they aren't there. So despite no public bridezilla freakouts, the wedding was a definite success!

The one embarassing moment: I figured that since the whole point of the wedding was for the bride to show off how much better and richer she is than everyone else (her words, not mine) that there would be an open bar. So H and I went to the bar, and I ordered a glass of pinot grigio. The bartended uncorked a bottle and as he was about to start pouring said, "That will be six dollars." H and I had exactly one dollar in cash. So in slow motion, I said, "Noooooooooooooooo" as the first drop of wine was about to pour into the glass. Just in time, the bartender turned the bottle upright, and I ordered a water instead.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How Did I End Up Like This?

Thursday Thirteen Things! Again! Are you tired of these yet? It is kind of nice to have something I have to write about in the middle of the week, but I am afraid that my Thursday Thirteen Things are getting kind of lame. (Because my posts about gas stations are so much cooler?)

So for this week, I present

Thirteen Ways My Life Is Different Than the Five-Year-Old Me Imagined It Would Be

1. I thought I would be blonde.

2. I thought I would drive a convertible.

3. I thought I would look like Barbie.

4. I thought I would be a teacher, not a lawyer.

5. I thought I would have miraculously become graceful.

6. I thought I would be married to Scott, who lived across the street from me.

7. I never thought I would live somewhere with such freaking cold winters. (The cold winters would prevent me from getting the perfect Barbie tan and driving my convertible around with the top down, obviously.)

8. I never thought I would actually have to clean up after myself. Well, I don't really clean up after myself, but I should.

9. Despite the fact that I was always one of the tiniest kids in my class, I thought I would grow up to be tall.

10. I never thought I would ask for things like patio furniture for my birthday.

11. I thought I would have published several books.

12. I never thought that I would enjoy shopping. Ew.

13. I thought I would be a famous singer. Unfortunately, all the training I did, which consisted of singing and dancing to my mom's Beatles and Beach Boys records, did not pan out into a fabulous career... yet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Prepare To Be Impressed

I was minding my own business, pumping some gas, when a Monte Carlo sped into the parking lot. How can I be sure it was a Monte Carlo, you ask? Well, my first clue was the phrase "MONTE CARLO" written in pink letters on the top section of the front windshield. The driver of the Monte Carlo misjudged the location of the giant gas pumps, and drove right into the U-shaped protector bar in front of the gas pumps.

This is the protector bar I am talking about.

There was the distinct screeching of metal (Monte Carlo) on metal (protector bar). It was not pleasant, but it was LOUD. I was really embarassed for the driver, so I looked to make sure she was ok, and then went back to staring at my gas pump. The driver backed up her car (screeeeeeeech) and then successfully parked in front of the gas pump. She ran into the convenience store, bought something, and came back out, leaving me to wonder why she had just ruined her car by trying to park in front of a gas pump when she didn't even need gas.

I thought, "Now she will at least drive slowly to leave." Ha! Good one, -R-. This driver got in her car, slammed on the gas, and peeled out of the parking lot. Awesome. I got a good look at her car as she left.

Most expensive pack of cigarettes ever.

PS Try not to be too jealous of my mad artistic skillz.

Monday, September 11, 2006

That Is All

Everything I have tried to write tonight has just come out as, "Oh, poor me," which is sooo pathetic, especially on September 11th. Yeah, I'm tired, and stupid office politics are stressing me out to no end, and my husband is sick, and the husband of someone I used to work with died today, but I am fine and I have a good job and a good husband and a nice home and I'm safe.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Baby, It's Cold Outside

So I was on a healthy-eating plan for a while, as you may remember. If eating all the cake that is offered to me at work and not working out at all are part of the healthy-eating plan, then I am definitely still on it. Oops. I have been eating better for the most part, so that is good. I will start being serious about the HEP soon. Maybe.

H, on the other hand, is doing fantastic with his HEP. He has lost so much weight that this afternoon, he was walking from the kitchen to the living room, and he literally walked right out of his pants. I think the neighbors playing basketball across the street really enjoyed it.

We had our BBQ last night, and I think it was moderately successful. Only two of H's friends came, but one left early (as in about 5 minutes after it started). We still managed to have a good turnout though. Unfortunately, Minnesota apparently decided to skip straight to October and it was really chilly outside. Yes, I am discussing the weather because that is how interesting I am. Don't you wish you had been at my BBQ? I made sangria, H made margaritas, and we had lots of beer, so it couldn't have been that bad. Also, one-third of our guests were Nebraskan, so you know we had a good party.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I Should Be On The Show "Big Love"

Wow! I am so glad we don't have to pretend that last post never happened. Also, I have great recipes AND a date lined up with Jim (and possibly Pam), so I am all set.

And, more importantly, my sincerest thanks to everyone who contributed to my run/walk or the American Cancer Society. I don't know why I keep calling it that because H and I will be doing the walk only. No running involved. But it makes me feel better to call it a run/walk. Anyway, I didn't expect anyone to actually donate, but I am so glad you did. It is really a worthy cause, and I will walk my very best for you!

Finally, not importantly at all, the following list includes some of the things I have said this week that I want to marry:

1. my bridal bouquet
2. Jim from The Office
3. The West Wing (the show, not the actual part of the White House)
4. Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

And For My Next Trick...

Today for my Thursday Thirteen Things*, I am going to attempt a new trick. This shall be an interactive entry! I am going to ask thirteen questions. It is your job to pick THREE questions and ANSWER them in the comments. I realize this may not go well, but darn it, I am going to try! If it does not go well, we will just pretend this didn't happen. OK? OK.

* At about 5 today, I thought, "Oh no! It is Wednesday! I thought it was Tuesday! I forgot to post my Wednesday Thirteen!" What is wrong with me? Don't answer that. It is not one of the the thirteen questions. The thirteen questions are below.

1. What is the best present you have ever given someone?

2. What is the best present you have ever received?

3. If you could meet one blogger, who would it be?

4. If you could have one dessert right now, what would it be?

5. What should I serve as a side dish at my BBQ on Saturday?

6. Have you ever e-mailed a blogger you didn't know in real life?

7. Who do you want to win Project Runway?

8. What is your favorite book?

9. What is your favorite movie?

10. Are you in love with Jim from The Office? (Correct answer for both males and females: Yes.)

11. What is the worst present you have ever received?

12. If you could go on an all-expenses-paid, one-week vacation, where would you go?

13. a)Did you know that in Minnesota, some people play "Duck duck grey duck" instead of "Duck duck goose"?
b) Seriously, isn't that really weird? (Correct answer: Yes.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Easter Times

When I grow up, I want to be like my Aunt Wanda.

She and my uncle were childhood sweethearts who always treated each other with such tenderness and spoke of each other with a great amount of love.

She got a two-year teaching degree and started teaching first grade. Later, she went back to school, while teach full-time and raising two kids, and got a four-year degree. A few years later, she got her Masters in Education.

She raised two sons, who are two of the nicest men you could probably ever meet.

She was my dad's sister, but she and my mom became close friends. Every time we saw my aunt, she and my mom would trade grocery bags full of paperback books.

She never forgot a birthday of any of her nieces or nephews and always sent a card or gift on time.

She attended my high school and law school graduation and my sister's high school graduation.

She taught first grade for thirty years at the same elementary school and was friends with everyone from the custodian to the principal.

She sang in the church choir, cooked and organized receptions for all the funerals, organized the volunteers who did maintenance and landscaping, and ran the whole Sunday school program.

When she came to my law school graduation, she brought a newspaper I had made at a family Easter celebration that she had laminated and saved for 14 years.

When my parents got divorced, she stayed close to both my parents and even drove three hours to help my mom move.

H and I had to attend marriage preparation classes before we got married, and we had to pick one couple whose marriage we wanted to emulate. H and I both picked my aunt and uncle.

My aunt went in for outpatient surgery about five years ago, and the doctors unexpectedly found ovarian cancer.

She went through two rounds of chemo and wore a wig that looked exactly like the hairdo she had been sporting since I was born.

She took a couple of trips to the Mayo Clinic.

During her battle with cancer, she continued to substitute teach (she was retired so just subbed a few days a week "for fun," as she said) and do a ton of volunteer work.

After fighting for three years, she passed away almost exactly two years ago.

At her funeral, the church was so full that they put closed-circuit televisions in the basement to accomodate everyone.

On September 16, I will be participating in a walk/run to honor my aunt, to support other women and families dealing with ovarian cancer, to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, and to raise money for research to help fight ovarian cancer. If you would like to help support me, you can click here to donate. Or if you would like to give money to support general cancer research, H and I are big supporters of the American Cancer Society.

Please don't feel any pressure to donate anything. I really just wanted to write this to hopefully raise some awareness for ovarian cancer and to remember my aunt.

Monday, September 04, 2006

September 3, 2006

We decided for our anniversary we would spend the weekend at a B&B in Red Wing. But the owner fell, broke her back, and ended up in a full body cast! So we are going to stay there another weekend instead, and the owner offered us one night free, which was a tremendously generous offer, considering that she is the one in the full body cast.

H surprised me by getting us a room in a local hotel instead. I am really glad we stayed at a hotel because then our focus was on spending time together instead of doing lawn work or cleaning or other regular household tasks.

We started our anniversary by going to Mass together. The church we went to was very sweet. And the church band was awesome and had a rock flute. H called it a jazz flute, but I think it was most definitely a rock flute.

Then we went to brunch at the place where we had our wedding reception last year. The food was really good, but the weather was not much better than it was last year. At least this year there were no tornado warnings.

Because it was cold and rainy, we headed over to the nearby casino after brunch.

Apparently, some people have had luck there. Us? Not so much.

We had a fantastic dinner for our anniversary at a new-ish, semi-swanky restaurant that we have been wanting to try out. The food was amazing, and our waiter even brought us free dessert since it was our anniversary.

It was really a great first anniversary, celebrating a wonderful first year of marriage.

September 3, 2005

It was just a little rainy...

but we still managed to enjoy the day.