Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Chance Summer

Today is the last day of summer. Not technically according to the calendar, but in my book it's the last day. Sadness ensues. Even though I love fall, I abhor winter. Fall is too close to winter to ever get really excited about it.

However, I will relish the things that I did accomplish this summer of 2011. Here are some highlights.

1. Accomplishing my goal of reading 5 books this summer and then blowing it out of the water by reading 8. That's right 8! Booyah. I think my favorite was Under the Banner of Heaven.
2. I went to some great concerts. David Gray, Ray LaMontagne and U2. All outdoors.
3. I turned 30. Which actually sucks, but I'm looking at the positive.
4. Went to some of my favorite restaurants. Forepaugh's, WA Frost, Sea Salt, Barbette...just to name a few.
5. Celebrated some very cute new arrivals. Three good friends had adorable little babies. I can't wait to spend more time with the little ones!
6. Spent some great time with friends at birthday parties, baby showers, backyard BBQ's and lawn game nights. I know these will continue into fall, but it won't be the same as the summer nights.
7. A short trip to Cleveland got me one state closer to my goal of stepping foot in all 50 states as well as one monument closer to seeing over half of the Thousand Places to See Before You Die.
8. Went on a fun day trip to the MN Landscape Arboretum with my mom.
9. Went on plenty of long walks with Kirby.

Still, as this weather cools down, I always get a little bit down. I'll miss you summertime. Until we meet again next year. XOXO!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Random Acts of Douchebaggery

Good sushi is hard to come by. So are good sushi restaurants. I'm sure there's going to be a bunch of people who are like "What?! No! This sushi place is the best." But, you would be wrong. Sushi restaurants are on my list of repeat douche offenders. Here's why...

I'm sick of sushi rolls being so large that there is no respectable way to eat them in one bite. I'm not really big into the nigiri or the sashimi, I prefer eating my raw fish with plenty of other tastes surrounding it. If I wanted to bite into raw salmon or tuna, I'd just order a piece of it. I would say 90% of sushi places go with the assumption that bigger is better and create a roll that could be used as a wheel on a children's tricycle. I'm sorry, but is Hagrid the half giant dining at your establishment? Or who is coming in here that can down that shit in one bite?

Another pet peeve is the drink situation. Wasabi and soy sauce are not good combinations for a parched mouth. That means the waitresses might have to ear their tips by at the very least refilling my water glass. You see, tips are earned peeps. Empty glasses = no dough.

And let's talk about the wait. Are actually rolling the sushi in Japan and that's why it takes over an hour to get to my table? Since I actually see the sushi chefs working at the sushi bar, I'm assuming that is in fact not the case. So, I'll just give them a little tip. The fish doesn't get fresher the longer it waits to jump into those rolls. Perhaps you could speed it up a bit.

My last complaint is about the current overuse of fish eggs. I normally don't mind them. You barely notice that it's there and the orange and green vibrancy gives the sushi a pop of color. However, I seem to notice a trend lately where the fish eggs are just piled on top of the roll. Not a good taste, not a good texture and it makes me want to puke. The only thing worse than raw fish is raw fish mixed with vomit. Just saying.

There is no sushi restaurant that I've been to that doesn't violate at least one of these things. Shape up assholes, you've been RAD'd.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You Know You're Old When...

...10:00 P.M. rolls around and all you can think about is sleeping.

For the last few years I've been fighting this. However, I've recently realized that I can't fight it anymore. I'm old and 10:00 is my bedtime.

I should start this off by saying that I have always been someone that can thrive on a small amount of sleep. Sure I'd love to get more, but I don't need it. That being said, I used to be a night owl. In my teens and early twenties, I would consistently get a burst of energy around 11:00 P.M. and thrive on the nightlife. Whether it was dancing, studying, movie-watching, cooking, partying, I could be energetic doing it.

Then my late twenties rolled around and suddenly it was all "If I am staying out past midnight, I need to be drinking things with diet coke in them." It was literally like once 27.5 hit me, my night owl days (ha...oxymoron) were done for. I was officially a loser.

Now that I'm 30, I'm owning it. At 10:00 P.M. I am effing tired and I want to go to bed. Since society tells me that I'm totally old and lame, I'm just going to do it and not feel shame. Luckily I really lived it up in my early to mid-twenties.

To all those of you under 27, listen to your elders. Enjoy those moments in between 10:00 P.M. and 5:00 A.M. when you can be awake and lively...they don't last forever. One day you will wake up and realize that you can no longer enjoy ice cream because a moment on the lips means a lifetime on your fupa and that the most exciting thing you can do on a Friday night is get buzzed on 3 glasses of wine and fall asleep watching Problem Child 2 on your netflix instant queue while your dog humps his face on your couch. Sound pathetic, well, welcome to your thirties.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Please Get in My House

Have you all heard about the Target Missoni collaboration taking place this fall? That's pretty big. I love Target, LOVE IT. Mike says it's my favorite place in the world and he's right. Where else can you get a wedding gift, new baby gift, DVD, tampons and chicken all in the same place? Plus, how much cheaper are Target's groceries??? It's amazeballs.

Anyhow, I just glanced through the lookbook for the Missoni for Target collection and it's pretty fabulous. The clothes are very Missoni. I don't know that Missoni clothes are really my thing. I love looking at them, but I'm not a pattern wearer. However, the home accessories in the line are unreal. They are so me.

And I need that pillow on the right. I need it bad. Mike will hate it. He doesn't like pillows with things on them and there's a lot of hot pink going on. But this pillow needs to be in my house. And not hidden on a chair in a room where no one goes. This pillow needs to be displayed. But displayed in a place where Kirby can't reach because he will love it. He won't love it in the way that I love it. Kirby will love it because he thinks it will taste good.

Dog Days

No, this is not another post about my dog. But I couldn't resist the picture. And just for the record, this is my dog sleeping. Sometimes he sleeps with his legs in the air. I don't ask questions.

Anyhow, I'm talking about the dog days of summer. They are here. Summer was off to a really slow start this year. June never really took off, then July was steamy and now August has been so pleasant. Yet, here we are with the nights getting a little more crisp and the sun going down far too early.

I didn't take advantage of this summer. Does anyone else feel like this? Before the summer even started, most of my weekends had at least one big event scheduled on them. I had fun at all of these events, but it also left me unable to have a weekend where I do nothing but enjoy the summer. There was always something that had to be done. I was just looking at my calendar for the fall and realized that aside from a vacation, I have nothing on the books. NOTHING. It's glorious. I just hope the weather holds out so I can enjoy it.

Enjoy the dog days everyone. I think the fall has a lot in store!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fruits of My Labor

Has it occurred to anyone else that summer is over. There's only two more weekends of summer and technically I don't count Labor Day Weekend because that's September and gosh darnit, September ain't the summertime.

This summer I grew things. It was the first year that I had my very own area to garden with. I had a basil plant, a mint plant, a rosemary plant, banana peppers, jalapenos and green peppers. Plus there are several raspberry bushes that I saved from a wild axeman last summer. The raspberries have been lackluster, but it just got all of it's fall buds on it, so I'm hoping the fall berries are better.

Anyhow, we were plum full of peppers this summer, so I'm calling me a gardening genius. I literally have not had to buy a hot pepper all summer which is saying something because we cook hot peppers in everything. I also have not had to buy any basil, which is another huge lifesaver. Basil is so expensive and I haven't had to buy any since May.

The green peppers never came in, which is really weird since the other pepper plants thrived.

I'm already planning a larger garden for next year with tomatoes, green beans, more peppers and more herbs. You know it's the end of summer when you are already planning activities for next summer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Flights of Wonder

Flights of Wonder isn't a ride, but a bird show at the Animal Kingdom. I know what you are thinking. A bird show? WTF? I do not want to go to a bird show. And I never really do either, but then I get there and I laugh hysterically at all of the jokes about birds pooping on you, so I guess I really like bird shows. And jokes about poop.

This bird show is actually pretty neat. There's a lot of gags and actually quite a few birds. I'm not really a bird person, but I don't mind seeing a parrot like the one above on occasion. One thing that I hate about the show is that a lot of birds fly around the audience area and they tell you in the show that the birds are trained to hover over the audience members heads, so if you duck, they only fly lower. It freaks me out. They literally fly right at your head. Yes, Napoleon, they have large talons. And what if they had to poop???

But, no one worries about the pooping. They are too busy oohhing and aahhing over the damn birds. I am worried about birds crapping on me, so it's hard for me to relax during the show.

One thing I have noticed is that kids really love Flights of Wonder. I guess they don't know about birds defecating on your head either.

At the end of the show, they do something really neat and bring out the grand poobah, a real bald eagle! Can you hear the fanfares? It is actually spectacular. You never get to see a bald eagle up close and they are so regal looking and beautiful. The best is that the last time we were at the show, the bald eagle was crapping all over the place. America, here's our symbol of freedom!

Despite all of my anxiety, I really love this show. They have it various times throughout the day, so you can pick your time and cop a squat out of the heat to watch birds fly around and not crap on you. It's brilliant. 4/5 or 7/10 stars.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Confession time. I have never been confronted by a Jehovah's Witness. Which I feel really lucky about. Although, at my first job out of college I worked with someone who was an actual Jehovah's Witness. She was really fun except you were told to never talk to her about birthdays. She also never participated in the Christmas activities even though we called them holiday parties. She did, however, always accept the Christmas bonus check.

I feel like my time to be confronted by a Jehovah's Witness is coming close. A few months ago I was accosted by some LDSers (that's Mormon's for those of you not in the loop) while walking Ramsey. It was raining and these three girls on bikes rode up to me and surrounded me and asked me questions about my faith and what I knew about the Church of Latter Day Saints. They kept handing me pamphlets and they were not giving up. I finally had to say I'm a Catholic and that's not changing and then push my way through their bicycle blockade.

Right now I'm reading the book Under the Banner of Heaven and I wish that I had the knowledge of the LDS church back then. Because when they asked me the question: "What do you know about the Church of Latter Day Saints?" I could have opened up a litany about all of the things that I knew. I'll be prepared next time.

Then last week, I went home at lunchtime to let Kirby out and found this flyer stuck in the door. I love how the flyer is all fire and brimstone that us dumb, non Jehovah's humans are going to ruin this earth and then says "You are warmly invited to come and listen to the answer."

Gee, thanks! I'm glad that you won't tar and feather me at the door. You'll just damn me to hell for not joining your church. Which is an awesome way to welcome somebody. When these people next come to my door and I'm there, I'm going to allow Kirby to have his way. A 65-pound puppy who can jump up on a large male adult and look them square in the eye while humping their leg is the best way to say "Get the eff off of my property" without actually saying it. Don't you agree?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things I Don't Understand: Hollister Models

Has anyone ever walked by the Hollister store at the mall and been totally icked out by the 14-year-old half naked models they have just standing at the store front. I mean totally ICKED OUT. Like, so icked out that you have a need to avert your eyes and run the other direction so that Paul Blart doesn't come arrest you for being a pedo.

Hollister is something I will never really get. It's beyond my time. Let's just get that out there. Hollister is the poor teen's Abercrombie and Abercrombie has been in hot water for their racy ads since my heyday. So, I do kind of get the ads. Sex sells. And whether we like it or not, teens want to be sexy.

However, I was totally horrified by Hollister's decision to put young kids out in front of their stores in their bathing suits. Now, I'm all for sexy ads, but this crosses a line. How easy do we need to make it for pedophiles? Maybe Hollister should just serve teens up on silver platters to the creeps who get their kicks from looking at half naked kids.

I don't think I'm being preachy or old either. I was so uncomfortable walking past that store. The boy who was out there modeling could not have been more than 16. And he was shirtless and in short, tight swimming trunks. And he was just standing there like a piece of meat while older people were trying to look away.

I have seen this happen twice since that first horrific encounter. All of the times, I noticed that there was no one going into the store or even near the store who wasn't 18 or younger. So, maybe that's the goal. It's like old people repellent. Just stick an almost naked teenager on your store front and the respectable old people will go running. But, I guarantee that there's some questionable older people who aren't running and are instead taking mental photographs to use in ways that we do not want to know about.

Plus, it creeps me out. I don't go to the mall to be creeped out. So, please, Hollister, put the pre-pubescent kids back inside the store and let them learn how to make a dollar the old-fashioned clothes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

I think this book was a case of Stieg Larsson didn't finish editing before he mysteriously died and the publisher decided that instead of finishing the editing job, he'd just let it go. Mistake.

I flew through the first two books in this series and then got to this one last December and it was snore city. I'm not kidding you. I slogged through the first 200 pages wondering "WTF?!" It was boring. Salander's in the hospital doing almost nothing, then there's this subplot of Berger getting a new job and "The Section" is trying to cover their arses and it just went on and on. Who cares! Some of it was interesting, but for the most part, I would read 20 pages and fall asleep. It didn't keep my interest like the other books.

The book does pick up speed after Salander's trial when she goes hunting for her half-brother and finds him in that creepy old factory. I won't go into it more, but the beginning of this book is a goose egg and the end is good. So, maybe just read the end. However, the thing that I hate about the series is that there are many loose ends that they don't really tie up. Remember all of that stuff at the beginning of The Girl Who Played with Fire where Salander is in the Caribbean (or is it the Bahamas). What happened to that storyline? Or at the end of this book they opened up this can of worms that is Salander's twin sister and it appears that we will never know the ending of that one. Who is Camilla and what's this bad blood she has with her twin?

So, I really hope that they end up being able to ghostwrite the rest of the books that were meant to be in this series. And I hope they tie up the loose ends. And I hope they stop Larsson's annoying habit of making the first 100 pages of all of his books be about things that are not actually related to the story.

On a side note, have you seen the trailers for the Hollywood movie version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Because the trailers look awesome. Let's hope the rest of the movie is awesome.