Friday, December 7, 2012

Me No Spell Good

I was at an awards banquet recently and this cracked me up.  Obviously this wasn't a Spelling Bee.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kali River Rapids

 I'm going to do something kind of unethical today.  I'm going to review a Disney ride that I've never been on before.  How do you feel about that?  I feel fine.

Kali River Rapids is a water ride at Animal Kingdom.  I just don't feel the water rides, something about them doesn't appeal to me.  Plus, I've seen the people coming off of Kali River Rapids and they are SOAKED.  Dripping wet and having to try to dry off their clothes with the hand dryers in the rest room.  So, even on the hottest days I've passed.  Although, in 90 degree Florida weather, it's awfully tempting and would probably feel refreshing.

I've always been curious what it's like inside there.  This guy looks like he's having fun:

The ladies in the blue, however, seem miserable.  Where are your ponchos girls?  Maybe I'd try this one out if I was wearing a dorky poncho.  MAYBE.

I guess this isn't so much of a review as a warning.  Do not go on this ride if you don't like having wet underwear.  That is all. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Do You See What I See?

Weirdest Christmas decoration EVER.  What the eff is going on here?  How does this stuff pass through quality control?  Because this decoration was actually found at a very upscale store where snowman fellatio does not fly.

I would be great at quality control because I can spot innuendo a mile away.  You can't tell me that the creator of this piece didn't know what they were doing.  They always know.  Besides, what is the alternative here?  That someone created a sculpture of a snowman making another snowman?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Quote of the Day

Here's one of my favorites from court recently...

Q: What do you think of your wife's diagnosis?
A: You know, she's 60, so she's kind of done anyways.
Q: But do you know what her diagnosis is?
A: She's just too old.
Q: The doctors said she has dementia, does she?
A: Well, she don't cook me dinner no more.

There you have it, when a woman stops cooking her husband dinner, it must mean she has dementia.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wedding Paper Love

When I started planning things for the wedding, I knew that I wanted to do some of the paper products on my own.  I got ideas from blogs (I swear I have looked at every wedding ever posted on Style Me Pretty) and tried to come up with the templates for things early on.  The really difficult thing about the paper products is getting the right color of paper.  Sometimes I would find an awesome color, but it would be way too expensive.  Other times, I would find a color online that looked perfect and then the sample piece would be way too dark or way too bright.  It was frustrating.  I finally settled on the above blue.  It wasn't exactly the shade I wanted, but it was close and had a very pretty shimmer to it. 

Making programs is a lot more complicated that I thought it would be.  First, if you want to do a book style, you have to print the pages out of order and on both sides of a piece of paper so that when it folds, all of the pages are in the proper order.  This turned out to be a lot tougher than I thought.  I guess it wasn't hard to figure out, just time consuming.  Secondly, the text was maddening.  I obsessed and obsessed about the punctuation and grammar.  Like, obsessed to the point where I couldn't even see obvious mistakes anymore.  It was bad.  I kept having visions of people in the church pews snickering about my bad grammar.  It was awful.  At the end of the day, I had to let it go. 
The programs were very simple.  There was just a list of the people in the wedding, the order of the ceremony and thank yous.  I also included my favorite love quote.  Have you read Rilke's essay On Love?  You should.  It's divine.
We also opted for the guest libs instead of doing a formal guest book.  I actually made the template on the computer and again obsessed and obsessed about the grammar.  This one I know there were some mistakes and people definitely pointed them out to us.  Thanks people!  I need a refresher on what a proper adverb is.  Creating a template for these was actually really simple.  It was the cutting of them that was tricky.
I knew that I needed to jazz them up so that it wasn't just a boring piece of ivory card stock.  I got a paper punch with a polka dot pattern from the lovely Martha Stewart and thought it would be smooth sailing.  It was not.  After punching through a hundred or more pieces of card stock, the paper punch was not as sharp and not punching holes quite as cleanly.  It was a lot of work and my elbows were aching afterwards.  I think I gave myself tennis elbow.  After the punches, we decided to put a thin piece of ribbon through the top holes to give it a bit more color. 

A side note about the guest libs.  I love the idea, but I think my execution was off.  A few people suggested putting them at every place setting and I went against that thinking more people would complete them if they were in the cocktail room.  I was wrong.  They definitely should go at every place setting.  Live and learn...always listen to your wedding planner. (sorry Steph!)  We did get about 70 back and they were funny...although some of them were extremely naughty. 
My last big paper project was the table numbers.  This was one of those things that my mom and Mike were both against.  I am stubborn and forged ahead.  This project took a TON of time.  Each crystal was added to the number with my own two hands.  First I printed out the word "Table" on a bunch of sheets of card stock.  Then I took a pencil and drew in the number.  I then filled in the pencil marking with the crystals.  I would say each one took at least an hour of time.  However, they looked so cool.  The little crystals caught the candle light and kind of glowed all pretty.  It was just the look that I wanted.  Now I need to think of a way to re-purpose the numbers.   
Overall, I definitely agree with people that you should not take on too many DIY projects for a wedding.  It just gets to be a lot of time and I'm not convinced that you can always do it on the cheap...unless you want it to look cheap.  These few projects were just enough (and maybe a little bit too much) for us.

I also have to say that I had a LOT of help.  My mom put in a lot of time crafting with me as did Mike and his mother.  I am lucky because my mom is really good at getting things precise, where I am not quite as good at that skill.  Mike was kind of a special helper in that I know he doesn't really get crafting, but he knew it was important to me and so not only helped me, but also worked really hard to make sure it all looked nice.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winter Pucker

I am really hating dry, winter skin right now.  My legs, arms, nails, fingers, lips and hair feels brittle and rough.  I've mostly been noticing it in my lips and nail beds.  I have a dream product that I swear by to alleviate dry skin.  Allow me to introduce Smith's Rosebud Salve.  Does anyone use this gem?

A little back story on dry lips.  When I was a kid, I hated using chap stick and so my lips would become horribly dry and cracked.  My mom would often wait until I had fallen asleep and then carefully rub Vaseline or Carmex on my lips.  I would wake up so upset because I hated the smell and the feeling of Vaseline/Carmex.  I'm not sure why I hated smooth lips. 

When I got into high school, I would get really embarrassed when my lips would be so dry and cracked, so I started carrying around Lip Smackers wherever I went.  Seriously, I thought Lip Smackers were chap stick.  My favorite flavor was pink lemonade.  Once I realized that Lip Smackers did very little to heal chapped lips, I started using the Bath and Body Works chap stick.  It was probably only marginally better, but it felt good and smelled even better.

I'm not sure when, but at some point I read an article about Anne Hathaway's favorite beauty products and she mentioned Smith's Rosebud Salve for amazingly smooth lips.  I decided to try it out.  My life changed.

I always carry at least two tins of the salve on my person at ALL TIMES.  Why two, you ask?  Well, there have been times when one of the tins has been taken out at work and left there or in the opposite taken out at home and left there and if I keep at least two in my bag, then I'm always guaranteed to have one when I'm out and about. 

This stuff is the best.  If my lips are feeling the slightest bit chapped, I put a little of this on and within minutes everything is smooth and hydrated for hours.  During the driest parts of the year, I re-apply maybe once every few hours.  It always leaves my lips feeling soft and well-cared for.  It also smells faintly flowery and gives a little pinkish tint to your lips.  Nothing overpowering, just a little subtle something.

As if that wasn't enough, the salve can be applied to any area of your body affected by dry skin.  I've found that it works especially well on dry cuticle beds, hang nails and paper cuts.  When my nails are at their best, it is because I have been applying this salve to my nail beds once or twice a day.  Sometimes, if I'm in a dry-hand jam (does that sound dirty to anyone?), and don't have any lotion (okay, yes, it sounds dirty), I apply this to the affected area and it works okay.  Not as good as lotion, though.  The tin also says that it works for diaper rash.

One major downside is that if you are outside in the heat, the salve will melt in the tins and become a gooey mess.  This is why I also love the little tube for the summer.  No muss, no fuss.  Although, I don't like the quality of the salve in the tube as much as in the tins.  In the tube, you tend to get too much on your lips at one time.

Have I sold you on my favorite winter savior?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jealous of the Tanners

Was anyone else super jealous of the Full House girls?  When I was a kid, I wanted DJ and Stephanie Tanner's room so bad!  Then remember when Danny's interior designing girlfriend came in and re-did the rooms so that DJ got Michelle's old room and then Stephanie and Michelle had to room together.  The room re-dos were pretty sweet as well.  Although, Danny was very worried that when DJ was alone in her room she would totally have sex with Aladdin in there.  And you know she did.  At least it wasn't that skeezy Viper guy.

One of the things that I was the most excited about seeing in San Francisco was the Victorian architecture.  The houses and buildings in the city are so beautiful and charming that you can have a fabulous just wandering the streets and taking in all of the homes.  We were in SF right around Halloween and the SF peeps go all out in decorating their houses for Halloween.  There were ghosts and cobwebs and mummies around every corner.  I loved it. 

Here are some of my favorites:

I loved the bright and sunny colors of this house.  Even on a dreary and rainy SF day, this would make my day more cheery. 

I also loved the colors here.  I'm not sure that I could ever be so bold as to paint my own house this bright blue, but the blue and gold together were so pretty and fun.  That's one of the things that I love the most about Victorian homes.  You can be a little bit whacky, without being tacky.  Also, the picture doesn't do the gold justice, it was truly a glittery, shimmery gold.

Here are the famous painted ladies with the downtown skyline in the background.  These houses were perfect, every detail is exact and they are meticulously taken care of.  The park across the street, Alamo Square, is such a cute park.  No wonder the Tanners wanted to picnic here.

A lot of the houses had these cool doorway gates.  This was my favorite and was on one of the painted lady homes.  I've never seen anything like it.  I wanted to go in this house so bad.  If the doorway is this awesome, I can't imagine the rest of the house.

Here's a cute Halloween house.  Lots of ghouls and goblins.

This was my favorite decoration.  Nothing to see here, just a skeleton in the garden. 

There were a million more houses that I wanted to move into.  San Francisco definitely sets the bar high in real estate.  One cautionary tale is that most of these houses are on a hill, so when doing a walking tour of beautiful homes, try to avoid ones that are at the top of the hill. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The American Idol Experience

The American Idol Experience is one of the newer attractions at Hollywood Studios.  It replaces the live game shows of Let's Make A Deal and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.  While I don't hate it, a lot of the reason why I like it is because it's so, so, so, so terrible.  Which isn't a positive thing for Disney.

Everyday at Hollywood Studios they have their own mini singing competition.  First, you have to audition at the park sometime in the morning to early-afternoon hours.  They have one show every hour during the day which features 3 "singers" who have passed the audition phase.  During the day shows, the audience chooses one "winner" from the 3 "singers" and that person gets to go to the finale event that evening.  Every night, the finale event allows all of the day's "winners" to "sing" and the audience chooses the best "singer."  That person wins a dream ticket which allows them to bypass the line at any of the actual American Idol auditions.  I would argue that this was an awesome prize a few years ago, but how is American Idol relevant anymore? 

Here is the real deal with this show.  You go into the theatre, which is set up to look like the American Idol stage.  They even have a judging table with the Coca-Cola cups.

Once you get into the theatre, they really try to pump you up and tell you when to cheer and when to boo.  It's super hokey, but I'm sure it's exactly what they do at real live TV tapings.  Then this guy comes out who is doing his best Ryan Seacrest impersonation.  This is where the show is really lame to me.  It would be fun if they would allow the people to have their own personalities, but the people are literally just doing a caricature impersonation of the real American Idol people.  It's so dumb you can't even stand it. 

Then they introduce the "singers."  You will notice I am using this word in quotes because even though I've seen this show 3 times at Hollywood Studios, I have yet to see someone who can actually carry a tune.  After the "singers," they bring out the judges.  This is another terrible part.  The first guy is the "Simon."  He will say mean things and we are told to boo him.  He even speaks with a British accent.  As if all Brits are de facto douchebags.  Then they introduce the crazy woman who may or may not have an alcohol and pain killer mixture in her Coke cup.  Finally is the black guy who says things like "Yo, yo, yo" and "what's up, dog."  At this point, I'm just super offended at Disney for thinking that we are too stupid to recognize that we aren't actually looking at Simon, Paula and Randy.  And, side note, Simon and Paula aren't even on American Idol anymore, so maybe you need to get with the times and hire some JLo's and Steven Tylers.

Finally the people "sing" and it's the worst thing you've ever seen.  The people are uncomfortable, dancing really awkwardly, singing terrible songs and singing them terribly.  You end up being really embarassed for them because they are really close to you.  So close that you can make eye contact if you are brave.  Often times their family members are sitting near you in the audience, so you feel like you have to smile and dance, but at the same time your eardrums are breaking and you have to fight the urge in your body to make that "what the eff is going on here" face.  Folks, it's really, really, really bad.  But, so good at the same time. 

After everyone sings comes the most insufferable part of the entire show.  They have this video that plays featuring Jordin Sparks singing some ridiculous song about dancing together and they want the audience to get up out of their seats and DANCE!  Then they show video on the big screen of the audience members in their Mickey Mouse ears moving and grooving.  Soooooooo awkward and gross.  I live in fear of them putting me up on that screen, so usually I just stand there like an asshole daring them to put my picture up.

I've never been to the finale, but I would say 9 times out of 10 it's going to be a terrible show.  Probably even more so than the day time shows because you have to sit through 7 terrible "singers" instead of 3. 

I give this attraction a 4 out of 10 stars or a 1 out of 5.  I think Disney really needs to rethink this one.  It's poorly done, culturally irrelevant, probably expensive and showcases extremely mediocre talent.  Disney, please, bring back the goofy game shows to this space.  Family Feud anyone?  How awesome would a big game of Family Feud be?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I'm sort of on a major Sherlock Holmes kick right now.  I loved both of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movies.  Guy Ritchie has made some of my favorite movies (Snatch, Rocknrolla) and I loved how he modernized Sherlock Holmes while still keeping the story in the late 1800's England.  I decided that I wanted to read some of the stories so that I could know a little more about Holmes and Watson and how their characters were developed in the literary world. 

I started with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which is a collection of short Holmes stories.  If you enjoyed the movies, or the BBC show Sherlock, or the new TV series Elementary I really recommend that you read these short stories.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is amazingly good at the twist.  In every one of the short stories I was carefully reading so that I could find that one little nugget that he would dangle at you and then at the end of the story smash in your face as the critical evidence.  Alas, I was always wrong.  So, either I'm an idiot or Doyle's a genius.  I think it's probably that Doyle's a genius.

It's easy to see why the character of Sherlock Holmes has become so iconic.  Sherlock Holmes is almost a super hero.  His super ability is a keen sense of observation.  Which could be really boring, except he's such a whackadoo that it's extremely entertaining.  And he does drugs like a fiend.  It's crazy, they just talk about him doing cocaine like it's normal.  Maybe it was normal in the 1890's?  

As I said before, what draws me into the story is the twist.  I love a good mystery where the whole time you think you know who did it or where the missing items are or who is causing all the mischief and then in the last two paragraphs having all of that turned on its head.  Then I like to reread the story to find out what key detail I missed. 

Sherlock Holmes is a classic that has withstand the time test.  The stories still seem fresh and relevant.  I'd give this a 4/5 or 8/10 stars.   

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sparkle, Sparkle

I would be totally remiss to start posting things about the wedding without first talking about the most awesomest bachelorette party that my girlfriends threw for me.  The night started out on a high note.  The girls surprised me with tarot card readings!
The tarot card reader was pretty awesome and so far has predicted some things right (Congrats Kara on winning your school board election!)  I love tarot card readings.  I think they are a good tool to clear your head and get you thinking about things.  I actually do my own tarot card readings sometimes just to bring back clarity to murkier situations.  So, this was such a fun and unexpected thing for the girls to put together. 

After my tarot card reading, there was lots of fun drinks and game playing. 

First was the Bridallini Bar, with different prosecco mixers.    My favorite was the Raspberry, but I also loved the Blackberry.  The little one in front was actually ground cherries and not ground tomatoes. 

We started a spirited game of homemade Headbanz.  Have you guys played that game?  So fun.  This one was specially made, so it was all famous couples. 
My couple was Mike and Molly and I did manage to guess it.  There was also a Blind Soda Taste Test between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.  No question should be asked here, I nailed it.  I could tell the difference based on taste alone and I'm pretty sure that I could also tell the difference between DC and Diet Pepsi based on the sound of the carbonation as you pour the drink.  The girls also decorated a shirt for me to wear on the wedding day during my hair and makeup session.  It was such a cute idea and I did, in fact, wear the shirt with pride.

After the fun games, we moved to dinner.  The party was held at Ginger Hop in Northeast Minneapolis.  Love, love, love.  I have eaten at almost every thai restaurant in the TC area and this is one of the better ones.  Everything was perfect.  Look how adorable the table was set!

After dinner, we had even more fun with cupcakes from Cupcake.  These were the perfect treat and we were lucky to have some leftover for the hotel room after we left the dance clubs.  Nothing tastes quite as good as a cupcake at 2:00 A.M.  We also did a gift opening and my favorite gift of the evening was a can of Spotted Dick. 

Here's a picture of all the ladies. 

Okay, so once dinner was over, we headed to a few hotspots in NE Mpls.  It was such a fun and lovely evening filled with laughing, dancing and bubbly.  It was the best way to celebrate with all of my favorite girls. 

The next morning, we all woke up and went over to the Nicollet Island Inn for a delicious 5-course tasting brunch.  Holy Hannah, deliciousness does not begin to cover it.  For each course, you could choose between a few options.  Here was what I had:

Course one: muffin and mimosa

Course two: Eggs Benedict

Course three: lobster bruschetta (my favorite)

Course four: salmon and brussel sprouts

Course five: warm apple crisp

The meal was so good and so filling that I didn't eat for the rest of the day.  Which is something for me because I am hungry a lot.  If you ever get a chance to do the five course brunch at Nicollet Island Inn, do it!  It's an indulgent experience, but very fun and the food is top notch.

The weekend was perfect and I was sad that it had to come to an end.  Thanks to my girlfriends for putting on a spectacular party.  Love you girls.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Things I Don't Understand

  • Amish people on planes.  The above photo is snapped at an airport baggage carousel.  Wouldn't flying on a plane be everything that the Amish are against?  I mean, I can't imagine they are driving around those buggies for the fun of it.  Did this lady not get the memo that the Amish are opposed to anything that powers itself with an engine?  I've actually seen a lot of "Amish" people on planes.  I always wonder where they are going and if they would be thrown from the village if it was ever discovered that they were on a plane.  I also wonder if there is a lot of shame in being on that plane.  I bet this woman had shame.  Especially if she was seated anywhere near the girl in the VS sweats with the word "Pink" written across her ass. 
  • Rachel Ray.  In some ways, I like her.  Homegirl does what she wants and she's made millions on the idea that you can make an amazing dinner in 30 minutes (you cannot).  However, I often watch her cooking show (I've never seen the talk show) and can't imagine how people don't get that what she's selling isn't real.  Try to make one of her meals in 30 minutes.  It's not possible AND your kitchen is a disaster and a half afterwards.  She uses at least 3 pots/pans/baking dishes for every meal.  I also don't think her food tastes all that great.  She always uses one ingredient too many and her food is overly flavorful.  Blurgh.  Yes, something can be overly flavorful.
  • Auto turn-on sinks.  Where exactly do you have to place your hands to get these bastards to turn on?
  • Low fat cheese.  Do not try to argue with me about this.  Low fat cheese is gross.  The only thing more vile is no fat cheese.  Plus, I think when they take the fat out of the cheese they just replace it with plastic.  Have you seen melted low fat cheese?  If that's not plastic, then I don't know what plastic is.
  • Microwave TV dinners.  I know a ton of people bring these to work for lunch, but I don't get it.  They taste terrible and they are not filling.  Plus, you are basically microwaving the food in a flimsy plastic container with a sheet of plastic on top.  Have you guys not read about plastic in our food?  Not that I never heat up anything in a plastic container, but that plastic film really grosses me out.  Why don't we just start microwaving things in saran wrap. 
Wow, I'm extra cranky today.  I better go find a Diet Coke to help cheer me up.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Blumpkin

The last few weeks have been a blur.  First, Mike and I had the best time at our wedding.  We have been so happy and celebratory lately as we are still riding the high from that night.  Everyone says the day goes by so fast, and in a lot of ways it did.  However, everything went so perfect and there was absolutely no stress from sun up until sun down that I was the most peaceful I have been in a long time.  I have so many people to thank for that, but I'll save it for another day. 

Second, we went on our honeymoon.  San Francisco is such an awesome city.  Sonoma is pretty fun too.  I can't wait to update on all of the things that we saw and ate.  Holy goodness.  There is so much good food in San Francisco.  Mike and I definitely overate. 

Since we have been back, we've been trying to slow life down and just relish in the newlywed glow.  I think I'll relish it a lot more once the house is put back in order and the thank you cards are written. 

Last night, we partook in one of my favorite activities...pumpkin carving.  I actually don't love carving pumpkins, but I love pumpkin seeds, so I insist on pumpkins every year.  This year we just did one.  Isn't she lovely?  We named her Allison Blumpkin, the country pumpkin.  I can't wait to put her out tonight.  I didn't want to put her out last night because I was afraid that squirrels would eat her.  What is that anyways?  This year more than others I've noticed squirrels eating pumpkins.  Is there a nut shortage that I don't know about?

I will update a lot on the wedding stuff, but for now, just one picture...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

That Hit Show That I Hope Y'all Have Heard Of

I got this flyer in the mail for the local Costco World Market.  They were having some kind of store event that I was not in a million years going to go to.  However, the big draw was Maksim Chmerkovskiy!!!!  Oh Lord help me with those abs.  I just thought it was a little strange that they could use Maksim's name, but not use the name of the show that he's made famous for (hint, hint the show is Dancing with the Has-Been Stars).

How do we know that it's really the Maks that will be appearing at the store and not some creepy impersonator?  Or is this one of those things where they pretend that it's the Maks from Dancing with the Has-Beens, but they've changed one letter in the spelling of the name and really it's some Maksim from a hit TV dance show in the Ukraine that no one watches.  How much would you hate getting down to World Market and finding that you'd been duped? 

This is another perfect example of terrible marketing.  If you can't use the name "Dancing with the G-List Stars", then why even bother using the name Maksim?  I guarantee that the name Maksim means almost nothing without saying what the hit TV dance show is.  Yes, Maks is cute and has that bad-boy attitude that makes the ladies wet their drawers, but is he so cute that he can get my ass out to World Market.  Probs not. 

I guess the marketing point that I'm trying to make is that Maksim is not a special guest unless he is coming as Maksim of Dancing with the Has-Been and Never-Will-Be-Again Stars.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Back Fat

You might wonder why a post titled back fat has photos of puppies on it.  It's because I feel like when you are talking about something as upsetting as back fat, it's nice to look at puppies. 

See...I have back fat.  OMG I HAVE BACK FAT.  I'M FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT.  AHHHHH.  Oh wait, puppies.
Okay that's better.  Except, I seriously have back fat.  Or at least haunches that resemble back fat in strapless dresses and some ill-fitting bras.  OMG.  I CAN'T HAVE BACK FAT.  MY WEDDING DRESS IS STRAPLESS AND IT SQUEEZES MY BACK TOGETHER SO THAT IT SHOWS MY BACK FAT.  I'm seriously freaking out about it.  Holy holiness, I'm so upset.  Oh, look at that, puppies.
Nothing helps as much as puppies. 

But seriously, I am a petite person.  I weigh a little more than I like, but generally speaking when I look at myself in the mirror undressed, I am not unhappy.  However, sometimes I see photos of myself from the backside and I'm like what the frick is that jiggly jiggliness? 

Lately I've noticed it more and more.  In wedding preparation, I bought a set of five pound weights and have been working really hard, but it's mostly my arms that you can see the difference in.  That back fat still lingers.  Wow, does that back fat linger. 

I guess all I'm here to say is that getting rid of your jiggly jigglebits in the back end is really difficult.  I think the secret is in the pilates swimming stroke, but I do that for a few seconds and I'm in agony and I'm bored.  So, don't judge my back fat.  Now I'm off to look at lots more pictures of puppies.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Working is More Fun With Cupcakes

There are some really great perks to working with your almost spouse.  Some days, Mike and I work in the same building, but we rarely see each other.  So, it doesn't feel like we really work together.  Every now and again we will run into each other in the hall and it brightens my day.  The last couple of weeks at work have been busy and stressful.  I have my mind on other things, like this wedding I'm planning, so I have zero concentration.  Mike's been doing everything he can to minimize the stress for me.

About a week ago, there was a knock on my office door.  I went to the door, but there was no one there.  Annoyed, I went back to my desk.  A minute later...another knock.  I go to the door and there was again not a soul in sight.  My blood pressure was raging.  I was trying to concentrate on reading some reports for a brief I was writing and this distraction was more than I could handle. 

A few minutes later, my phone rang.  It was Mike.  "Will you go into the hallway please?"  I was beyond pissed at him.  "Have you been knocking on my door and running away?"  He pleaded, "Just go into the hall."  I begrudgingly went only to find a small white paper bag right outside my door.  I felt like Alice in Wonderland.  Inside was one Black Bottom cupcake from the awesome Minnesota bakery Cupcake.  Moist chocolate cake mixed with cheesecake and chocolate chips and drizzled with ganache.  Oh Lord, it made my entire week.

These are the moments when working with loved ones is the best.  The second best thing is being able to gossip about your coworkers. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Enchanted Tiki Room

When I was a kid and was planning my first trip to Walt Disney World, my mom got this book called Birnbaum's Guide to Walt Disney World.  This guy, Birnbaum, was an expert at Walt Disney World and the book had all of these helpful tips and tricks on how to navigate the parks.  I loved that book and used to study it religiously.  I truly believe that I missed my calling as a travel book writer and trip planner.

Anyhow, one of Birnbaum's tips that I still use when I go to The Magic Kingdom park is always go to Adventureland first and work your way around to Tomorrowland.  I think the logic here is that people tend to go to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland first (those are directly behind and to the right of Cinderella's castle), so if you go first to Adventureland (which is to the left of the castle) you will miss the crowds.  I'm not sure that this is the truth anymore, but to this day, I have to go to Adventureland first.

One attraction in Adventureland that I often overlook is the Enchanted Tiki Room.  On my last trip there, I realized that I had totally forgotten what happened at this weird little bird show and so my mom and I jumped in line.  I'm really glad that we did because I forgot how funny and cute the Enchanged Tiki Room can be. 

The Tiki Room is really a show where audioanimatronic birds sing to you.  It sounds hokey, and ultimately it is hokey, but it's also pretty cute.  Also, you are at Disneyworld, so don't worry so much about's all a little hokey.  How many more times can I say hokey?  There are birds from France, birds from Spain, birds from the rain forest and the are all gathering to sing rooms that will be stuck in your head all day.  "In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room, in the tiki, tik, tiki, tiki, tiki room..."  That's the only line I remember.

Alright, so you are seated in this round theatre and the show begins.  The one thing that I don't like is that some of the birds voices are more annoying than others and the show is pretty long, so if you are stuck next to a terrible sounding bird it can be unnerving.  Other than that, just sit back and enjoy the show.  Again, this is one of those attractions that is good for a little rest and air-conditioning.  Mind your necks, though, staring up at the birds can give you near paralysis.  Also, if you are going to use this time to take a nap do not snore.  It's just really rude to the birds.

3/5 or 7/10 stars.  It's not the most fun or the most relevant, but it's a Disney classic and has some cute moments.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Do you all remember that feeling you'd get in school right before the holidays?  That crazy,wild abandonment where you couldn't actually do any learning because you were so excited for vacation and presents and all the candy you could eat.  I loved how the teachers surrendered to the fact that no one was paying attention and did Christmas arts and crafts or extra story time or secret santa stuff. 

I'm feeling like that times a million-bajillion because I'm getting married in 2.5 weeks.  And I'm not paying attention to anyone or anything.  I just can't wait.  I can't wait for the wedding, I can't wait to see how all of the planning has turned out, I can't wait to dance the night away with friends, I can't wait for people to see my dress, I can't wait to be Mike's wife.  Mostly the last one.  Mike and I are so excited to be married, we can hardly contain ourselves.  Unfortunately, work isn't giving me a pass like my school teachers did.  Concentrating these next two weeks is going to be difficult.

Which is why this morning was so weird.  First off this morning, I looked in the front pocket of my work bag and didn't see my work keycard or office keys.  Panic!  I looked in my bag and there they were, safe and sound.  I grabbed them to deposit into the front pocket where they belong.  Next, I get to work and am walking up the bridge to my building when I hear this loud screaming man say: "STOP THE TRUCK!  STOP THE TRUCK!  I'M STILL FUCKING BACK HERE!"  It was this really panicked voice too.  So, I turn to my right and notice that this semi-truck is barreling up the bridge with the back gate open and a man leaning out trying to get the driver's attention.  He was literally screaming at him all the way up the bridge.  It was so scary. 

When I finally get to the crosswalk at the top of the bridge, the semi-truck was nowhere to be seen.  I start fishing in my front pocket to find my keys and can't find them.  Which was impossible because they had to be there!  But, they were not.  They weren't in my bag anywhere.  I have no idea what I did with them this morning.  Organization fail.  Luckily, I knew the deputy that was working the front door and he let me in without my keys. 

When I got up to my desk, I put my lunch and can of diet coke into the refrigerator that is in the hallway outside my workspace.  I do this every day.  At lunchtime, I went to retrieve my goodies and someone had stolen my diet coke.  That is shameful.  Honestly, downright terrible.  I wrote a note to the person about how I am a woman on the edge and they just stole the last bit of my sanity.  It made me feel better, but I didn't put it on the fridge, I just threw it away.

So, yes, today has been a random day.  And nothing has helped my insane wedding fever.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To Market, To Market

One of the things that I tend to take for granted about working in downtown St. Paul is the farmer's market.  St. Paul has a large farmer's market open on the weekends, but during the summer they have a small market open Tuesday and Thursdays during the lunch hour.  It's my absolute favorite.  They line Seventh Place with vendors selling anything from raspberries to sweet corn to onions and flowers.  I love watching the evolution of the growing season.  In the spring you can get some snap peas, raspberries and radishes.  Then you start seeing rhubarb and herbs and a few green onions and leeks.  The height of the season you get a huge variety of vegetables and then it winds down with apples and squash and pumpkins. 

While the market is currently in the wind down phase, I was still able to get some goods yesterday.  Tons of small red onions, roma tomatoes, green beans and yukon gold potatoes all for $9.  The onions will last us at least a week (Mike loves his onions), the tomatoes will be good for 3 batches of salsa, the green beans will make for 2 dinners and the potatoes should be available for at least 4 dinners.  I know it's dorky, but I love being able to support local farmers, I love eating vegetables that are straight from the ground and I love the fact that it's so much cheaper than in the grocery store. 

In Minnesota, it's tough to be able to eat healthy fruits and vegetables all year round.  Not much grows here in February, so everything you can get is shipped in and probably sprayed with a billion chemicals.  Plus, I get so sick of the winter fruits.  There's only so many oranges and grapefruits and pears that I can eat before I get bitter.  I can feel winter coming in the air and the farmer's market is one of those things that I will really miss when the snow starts flying.  For now, I'm going to relish in my vegetables and think of spring.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Under the Banner of Heaven

I know I have told this story before, but it bears repeating here.  I was once stopped by door-to-door Mormons and it was a terrifying experience.  I was walking my dad's dog Ramsey on a cool spring afternoon.  It had just started raining and I was about 4 blocks from my house.  I was turning from a busy road onto a more private residential street when 3 young women on bikes started racing towards me.  I just thought they were biking so quickly so that they could get out of the rain, but they were actually ambushing me.  So, there I was in the rain, walking a dog and suddenly surrounded by 3 women asking me questions about my faith.  They literally blocked my path on the sidewalk and surrounded us.  It was unnerving and they did not let me go very easily.  They asked me what religion I was and I responded "Roman Catholic" and they asked me why I believed in Catholocism.  Not exactly the conversation that I want to have in the rain ladies.  Also, one thing that most people should know is that you should never box in a person on a walk with their dog.  Dogs don't take to that kindly.

Anyhow, Under the Banner of Heaven is an extremely intriguing book.  I knew nothing of the history of Mormons and this gave a good understanding of who they are and where they came from.  It also tells the story of modern day Mormons and how there are really two factions, the Church of Latter Day Saints and the fundamentalist Mormons.  Krakauer actually starts the book with a horrific murder committed by fundamentalist Mormons who were acting in the name of God.  Which is something that I've never understood.  How do we get from religion to murder?

Another topic that the book discusses quite a bit is the Mormon belief of polygamy.  The Church of Latter Day Saints officially denounces polygamy, however, fundamentalist Mormons still practice it and are apparently very out in the open with their multiple wivery in small town Utah.  I don't like to criticize people for their religion, but polygamy is a terrible thing.  Like so terrible that I can't even believe it still happens in modern day society.  The problem with multiple wives is that it's a sign of male dominance over women and, as the book shows, often results in women being sexually assaulted and thinking that it ain't nothing.  Women truly believe they are the property of their husbands.  As in "She's not my wife, she's my property."  Gross.

The book is very informative and I especially enjoyed learning more about the beginnings of Mormonism and how quickly the religion became mainstream.  If you don't know the story of Mormonism and it's founder Joseph Smith, you really should read this book (or at the very least google that shit) because it's pretty unbelievable. 

I would say 4/5 or 8/10 stars. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Do This, Don't Do That

I'm starting a new thing here on the blog.  I've seen some really weird signs lately, so let's talk about them.  Here's the first one:

I received this brochure in the mail.  It made me laugh...and cringe.  This really screams "Rich People Problems", doesn't it?  Because, obviously, everyone has a maid.  So, the question isn't whether you are happy with the cleanliness of your home, it's whether you are happy with your maid.  And the only thing worse than being mad at your maid is being pissed at your butler.

Okay, I'll let you in on a secret.  I am my own maid (and to be fair, Mike does his share of cleaning the house).  I know, it's pretty shocking.  If I don't scrub the toilets, they don't get scrubbed.  There are some days that I really want to fire myself.  Like today, I noticed a lot of dust on the blinds (cleaning the blinds is the worst) and thought hot damn I need to fire my maid.  But, I can't bring myself to fire myself.

So, I threw the weird brochure in the trash.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Maybe I'm being overly dramatic, but I've been sick.  AND I FEEL SOOOOOOOO SICK.  I hate being such a baby, but I do not take the sniffles well.  So, I took a couple of days off of work because my boss is on vacation and I thought laying on my couch would make me feel infinitely better.  But, it did not!  I just felt lazy and stressed and depressed.

I watched a lot of TV.  The Food Channel cracks me up.  Have y'all ever watched the show $10 Dollar Dinners?  What the eff is going on with that show?  First, the lady host talks about her rice cooker in every episode.  I've seen the show only 3-4 times, but in every show she's made rice, dressed it up by adding onions, and mentioned that she loves her rice cooker and got it for $5 at a drugstore.  First, why are you talking about this in every episode?  Also, why would you buy a rice cooker at a drugstore?  Finally, I would have to disagree with her on buying cheap appliances.  I will give a good rule of thumb, an appliance should cost more than $20.  Cheap appliances are cheap for a reason.

But at least the $10 Dollar Dinners lady pretends to cook.  Unlike Sandra Lee, who totally enjoys doing as little cooking as possible.  Her show makes me cringe worse than Paula Deen's voice.  Yesterday she was making fish tacos and had come up with a decoration for your platter.  She suggested taking Post-It notes in various colors, shredding the ends with a scissor so it looked like fringe and then sticking it to the platter.  It looked like crizzap.  Plus, the taco recipe was to fry tilapia chunks, warm up tortillas, put cabbage on the tortillas, put the fish on the tacos and put a sour cream mix on top.  Folks, come to my kitchen every week and I will show you a better taco recipe than this.  Then she was making tamales, but didn't want to spend the money on the cornhusks, so was just wrapping up beans and corn mixture into parchment paper.  Bobby Flay would probably die if he saw that.  

I also had the privilege of watching most of the first season of Gossip Girl.  Oh Lord, was that show great.  The tragedy of Gossip Girl is that it had really bad timing.  For example, they didn't introduce Vanessa at the right time which killed her whole character.  Vanessa was introduced in the 6th or 7th episode, right after Dan and Serena got together.  She was a buzzkill and had nothing compelling to offer except being a thorn in Dan and Serena's relationship.  They should have introduced her in episode 1 or in Season 2.  

Anyways, I feel better and am hoping to get back on track the next few days.  Does anyone know a fool proof way of keeping colds away?  I have one month until the wedding and need to stay a healthy bee until then.   

Friday, September 14, 2012

Almost Famous

The other day, my dear, sweet Michael was anonymously featured in an opinion column in the St. Paul newspaper.  Here's the link:

Mike and I have similar views on bicyclists.  Anyhow, at the end of the column there's a funny story about a golfer (that would be Mike) calling the newspaper writer a !@#$%^& idiot because he was riding his scooter around town.  Oh Lord, we laughed when we read this.

This is not, however, the first time that Mike has insulted a local St. Paul celebrity.  One time, he called Garrison Keillor a douchebag right to his face.

I love him.