All images and content are Copyright © by the owner of Football, Sushi, and The Pursuit of Happiness (unless otherwise stated); please do not use or copy without permission.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Random - Vol. 8.22

My eyes are cross from looking at the computer so much this weekend, but what the hell... you guys are ready for another, right?

Where to start?  How was your Thanksgiving?  Mine was just peachy... nothing outrageous and spectacular but always a good time when family is around!

So... as you may recall, I am cutting and donating my hair soon, after the holidays are over.  I can't wait and I really want to do it sooner.  I've decided to spice things up a bit with some hair styles starting on Thanksgiving.  I used to do a lot of fun random shit with my hair back in the day... I've gotten away from it because of the length... make its hard.  I've decided I'm going to photo journal the styles and post a blog of them, should prove to be interesting.  I'm not sure if I should gather the photos and post them all at once, or if I should post the blog now and just update it as I go.  Oh well, I have time to decide still... just be looking for it, cause it's gonna be BOMB!

My Birthday is coming up; December 16th.  You would normally find me NE at The Palace, but I'm kind of sick of going down there... it's my birthday and I want to stay close to home.  I want to sleep in my own bed [or someone elses bed near mine ;)].  Seriously though... I just found out I'm going to be out of town the weekend after my birthday, so it has to be the weekend before.  I'm really not even sure if I want to go out at all, I'm over the whole birthday and getting older thing... but I do love the attention, so I'll probably do something.  My actual birthday is on a Tuesday... I'm thinking someone needs to take me out to sushi; anyone up for the task?  I'll let you buy!

I got a phone call today from a guy who was interested in looking at my van; he asked where is was located and I told him Andover area.  He was calling from Shakopee and didn't seem all that excited to drive all that way, so I told him I'd be willing to drive and meet him somewhere.  He called me at 2pm and said he had a meeting until 230 and he'd start driving North and that I should start driving South now and we'd meet in the middle... well I wasn't keen on the idea of driving 30 minutes before hearing from him and I wasn't willing to drive that far in general (he wants the van he can drive to it, but I also want to sell it, so I was willing to make an exception).  I decided it was best to wait for his call before making the drive... good thing I did.  3pm rolls around and I'm over waiting, I have shit to do.  I leave for Target only to get a call from him around 315 (45 minutes after he said he would be done and an hour 15 minutes from when he told me to start driving!), and he asks me where I am.. I kindly tell him I hadn't left yet and I was waiting to hear from him first... he sounds disappointed and says "oh... well, it's getting to be almost 330 now, so I guess we'll have to do this another time".  YA THINK?! doh-head... if I would have started driving when he told me to, I would have been past where he lives!

Anyhow - My eyes hurt (I may have been staring at my banner all day), so I'm done for now.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend and GO VIKINGS!  We play The Bears tomorrow night, both teams have a record of 6-5; should be interesting!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Banner 11.28.08

Here is it folks:

I found this picture of the Oak Tree in Napa... pretty much fell in love with it; had to make something out of it!  Here is what I came up with; what do you think?
I didn't very much like the last banner... but this one I hope to keep around for awhile as I'm kind of in love with it.

Hope you enjoy it :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday - FoOd!

First, Happy Thanksgiving to all... I hope your day finds you full, happy and surrounded by those you love.
In the semi-spirit of Thanksgiving and assuming that EVERYONE is going to post about Thanksgiving and what they are thankful for... I've already done that.

So... my TFT is about food, not solely Thanksgiving food, but food in general.  I have a feeling there won't be many posts or many readers today... so I'm keeping it simple and real, with almost no expectation of reply.

I was making myself dinner last night, wait'll ya hear this... Fried Egg Sandwich!  yum :)  How I make mine is to take 2 slices of (fresh and soft) bread, slab some ketchup on it, fry an egg or two and throw that on.. cut it in half and voilĂ !  Instant success!  Then I gots to thinkin' - because I know everyone makes a fried egg sandwich different - How would someone else make it?
Then my thinkin' went further into... TFT... food, what kinds of food do people like?!  It really is a topic for everyone; isn't it?  No matter who you are, where you are from or what you believe... FOOD is universal!  In all honesty, who wouldn't love to talk about food; Especially today!

My thoughts... I love food!  As you may know, I love sushi and pretty much anything that ends in seafood (fish, lobster, crab legs, scallops, etc.).
You may also recall my small random rant about my love of bananas and all things fruit.  How about this post the other day... Do I talk too much about food?
I love it, so why shouldn't I talk about it?  It's my damn blog!

What else do I like?  I love PB&J sandwiches as long as they are on fresh soft bread, especially tasty when dipped into Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup (don't knock it 'til you try it).  I'm slowly growing a taste for more spicy things... I've recently upgraded my sauce of choice at B-dubs; I now order the Parmesan Garlic, which is still a bit spicy to me.. but in a good way.  I love Chex Mix!
One of my favorite meals is a pot roast!  Slowly cooked all day in the crock with onion, carrots, and potatoes... YUM-O!  I could eat that for days.  Pasta is, chicken rocks my socks, Chinese food is new to me but amazing!  I also really enjoy trying new things!!

The other thing I need to touch on is leftovers; I love leftovers!  I can't think of a thing I wouldn't eat as a leftover... I live for leftovers!  Most times I find food being better the next day, especially pasta when the sauce has been soaking on it over night!  mmmMMMmmmm....

Ok... moving on, cause I could go on for days:
Thoughts for Thursday - Tell me about your favorite foods.  Is there one that stands above the rest?  Do you (still) have something that you've loved since you were a kid?
I only want to hear about things you like here... (maybe another TFT will be foods you don't like).

Ready? Set? GO!!!

I'll post other TFT's if I get the chance today...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Random - Vol. 8.21

Is it right to let girls be in a band/group because they are sexy if they have no talent?  Don't get me wrong, I love a sexy girl as much as the next guy, but seriously... The Pussycat Dolls were on the AMA's the other night (which I finished watching last night) and I'm not impressed with their talent as much as I was impressed with their sexy outfits!
I'm just sayin'... 
I guess the same goes for Britney.. sexy sure, but pretty much talentless.  HOWEVER, Christina... the body and the voice, that lady is pretty dope.  Never thought I'd see a day where I favored Xtina over Brit!  

Interesting Story - I heard Mischke mention it yesterday on his show (I owe a blog in dedication to him... he's one of my favorite people).

A Great Site!  Here is the full list; my favorites include: Facebook, WineCanadaRecyclingBreakfast, and Coffee.

On that same site you will find Sushi, you may have assumed my love flows deep for the stuff, while I've not written about it, I do jump at every chance to try a new sushi place.  I should start writing about it!  
Anyhow, my point here is after reading the page linked to sushi I've come to discover I'm a borderline sushi snob!  I want to just express to all of you, if you have not tried sushi because you are scared to order it or scared of it in general... see me!  If you take me out to a sushi dinner I will sit there with you and explain everything I know (which is a lot, but not all), help you understand, and even order your meal for you!  I know the good things to order for a beginner... I'm that good!  I'm just saying... don't be scared, it's just another food really.

Last random topic involves you, the reader.  This is Random - Vol. 8.21, as you may or may not have noticed, in 2008 I have titled all of my random blogs this way, with the last number increasing.  Basically, you have random, which explains what the blog post is about, then you have the volume number, in this case it's 8.21, which means it's year 2008 (8) and post number 21 in that year (8.21).  I thought about continuing to post this way in 2009, so it'd be 9.1 through 9.21 [or whatever number I get up to], but I'm not sure if I really want to continue like that. 
As a reader I'm sure you don't really care how I label my posts... but in the off chance you do, I'd like to hear from you.  I'm looking for creative ways to title posts in 2009, some way that allows me to keep track of how many random blogs I've posted.  I'm not sure how to best do that, different from what I'm already doing.  Anyone have thoughts... (even if you think it's silly, it may spark something in my head... so please let me hear it)... ??

As I haven't signed off for quite some time, I will leave you with this:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chicken Florentine is BACK!

I don't care how many calories it has [Edit 12.1.08 - it has 530 calories], I don't care how expensive it is, hell I don't even care if it's real chicken or not!  The Chicken Florentine has come back into my life and for that I am extremely happy!  Subway is now offering the Chicken Florentine Flatbread Sandwich.  I had to have it for lunch today; I've been craving it since I first saw the commercial for it days ago!
You see... way back when they offered the Chicken Florentine Ciabatta sandwich I ate it way too much because it was absolutely delicious!  The flat bread is just the same in way of deliciousness!
Take a flatbread, put a creamy spinach artichoke spread on it, add seasoned chicken, olives, tomato, and onions and you have yourself a delicious mix of yummy-ness.  Yes folks, that's right, YUMMY-NESS!

I think I wrote last year in one of my random blogs about it... but I don't recall which one.

Go eat one today (or tomorrow, if you have already had lunch).  I'm going to be so broke as it's a limited time offer (again)... :(

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Movie Review: Wall-E

When I first watched the trailer for this movie, I knew I had to see it.  Wall-E closely resembled Johnny Number 5 from the movie Short Circuit, as a kid I loved the movie!

All in all I give the movie a big A+... but any Disney/Pixar movie is a sure sale for me.

A little about it and why I liked it so much.  Basically the movie in a nutshell is about Wall-E, a trash compactor, who remains on Earth after all the humans have been sent into space; the humans have filled the Earth with trash and it is no long inhabitable.  Wall-E rolls around with his little bug friend and compacts trash while he collects little things he wants to save and spare parts for himself.  One day there is a EVE probe put on Earth from the Humans ship to search for any signs of life to prove Earth is capable of supporting life.  Wall-E and EVE become friends and he shows her the plant he found one day...
It goes further into EVE being picked up by the humans ship with proof of photosynthesis and the humans (who have become extremely fat, lazy, and brainwashed) try to determine if they should and can return to Earth.

I'll save the little details because it's just such a cute movie.  There is not a lot of talking in the movie, especially in the beginning, but it's made up for with robot noises and plain curiosity.  I love how they built on the relationship between Wall-E and EVE, with no talking.  I just think all of these Pixar movies are put together with such creativity and thought... it's amazing to me.  This movie fits in with those standards and I would recommend it to any and all of you, especially if you have kids!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Knitted Hat with Pockets

Well, as it turns out, JoeY got his hat yesterday (that was quick, huh?).  I can finally post pictures and a pattern :)

First of all, I started the hat last Friday; I have Friday's off of work so I had plenty of time to knit.  I got  a little farther than this picture shows:
Then Saturday, I had my knitting day... I decided I needed a break from knitting in the round, so I would make the pocket pieces.  I was able to get the pocket pieces finished, buy the buttons, plus get a little bit more of the hat done:
On Sunday, I had a trip up to my dad's planned... knitting supplies in car, I left for the hour drive.  Once at my dads the knitting bag came out and I started back at it.  I was committed to getting this hat done!  I knitted and knitted... but with Jordan and other people around it was hard to stay focused.  I was able to start the decreasing to form the top.  No Pictures of my progress that day.

I went to work Monday and all I could think about was getting home to finish this... I knew I didn't have that much work left.  After work I came right home and hit the needles :)
I finished knitting the hat!!!
Now to add the pockets... the pockets are in 4 pieces, two pockets and two flaps, plus the buttons had to be added to the pocket pieces.  I started with adding the buttons, then attached the pocket pieces to the hat, then I attached the pocket flaps.  It took a lot more time to add those pockets then I expected!

Here is the finished product... scroll past the pattern to see the hat on it's new owner:

Pattern here : 

You'll need:
*3 to 4 oz. of worsted weight yarn
*Size 8 - 16" circular needle (whatever gives you gauge)
*yarn needle for weaving in ends and sewing on your pocket.
*one stitch marker

For an adult cast on 80, child 72, toddler 64 stitches . Being careful not to twist your stitches, join.
Knit all rows until piece measures 7" adult, 6" child, 5 " toddler.  
(If you are making this for a boy, add four rows of Knit one row, purl next row or 4 rows of your choice of ribbing so the bottom doesn't roll.)
To complete top of hat (for knitting on the on circular or 4 double points):
Row 1: Knit 6 , K 2 tog around
Row 2 and all even: Knit
Row 3: Knit 5, Knit 2 tog
Row 5: Knit 4, K 2 tog
Row 7: Knit 3, K2 tog
Row  9: Knit 2, K 2 tog
Row 11: Knit 1, K 2 tog
Row 13: Knit 2 tog
Break off leaving a 12" tail. Run yarn through stitches and fasten off. Weave in ends

For knitting on straights, work same as above but purl on your even rows.   Fasten off top, same as above then weave your side seam using a mattress stitch.

Pockets:  Make 2
pockets are done in seed stitch . I've used size 8 needles and cast on 12 stitches.
Row 1: K1 , P1 across
Row 2: P1, K1, across
repeat those two rows for 3" . Work 2 more rows in Knit only
Bind off as if to knit.  Leave a tail long enough for sewing on the pocket

top of the pocket (2) is worked as follows:
Cast on 12 stitches (leaving a long enough tail for sewing)
work 6 rows of seed stitch.
Decrease rows.
Keeping in pattern knit or purl 2 together at the end of each row until only 3 stitches remains. Work about 1" of I-cord. Form into a button hole loop.  Fasten off. 

Dividing hat in half, pin a pocket on each side up about 2" from the bottom..  Sew on using a mattress stitch.  Match pocket top directly above and sew across the top seam.  Add a cute button to the pocket bottom and you are all done.

Here is JoeY and his new hat :)
He loves it, obviously :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday - Fill in the Blank

I'm done worrying about people commenting; if you don't want to have input on the blog then fine, I don't want your input.  Feel free to not comment on this one :)
To those of you who do comment and who do enjoy reading and interaction, this is for you.

I don't have any huge, deep, or even insightful blog to give you today; what I do have is the ability to express myself.  I'm drawing a blank on a topic though... How about you give me one?  You list a topic and from the suggestions I get, I will post a TFT by the end of the day on the topic of my choice.  I will warn you, if I don't know anything about something... it might not make sense, but I'm hoping that will make it fun!  If I get no comments, then I won't post; if I get one then I will write about whatever that person wants.
This is me opening up to you...even if it's just a quick Q/A, I'll talk about anything... I actually look forward to off the wall suggestions, and I will fully embrace them.  Maybe, if there are a few topics I like I will post about them in the coming weeks... or maybe even 2 TFT's in one day?!  Has it ever been done?
So come on people... show me what you've got!

I will still post other TFT's here: Kristi, Michelle, Helmet, Jenny

(Is there a blogging term I should be using here to let people know this blog has been edited or updated?)
I'm going to post my replies here as well...

To Dawn:
I do believe racism is alive in America... however I don't believe it's well.  It was a huge step for our nation to elect a President of color, a step that was very much surprising to me.  It shows how we've grown as a nation; the fact that we are viewing him as a man of color also shows we haven't fully moved past race as an issue.  He should just be the President Elect, not Black President Elect.
As for your local problem, I have no idea what to say about that.  Personally, I don't understand why you wouldn't bring in anyone who could get the job done... wherever they may live.  Sounds to me like the council members should be evaluated as well... should people like that really be deciding what is best for your community?  It also points out why you are having problems finding officers that qualify... it's all politics (which you may know I don't fully understand).
This of course is coming from me, a girl who grew up in a city where  race was never really mentioned.  I went to High School with tons of cultures and ethnicity, so I just simply don't understand how race can be an issue anywhere.
I think we all still have a long way to go... but I don't know if we'll ever get there.

To Lovi:
I probably will post something about Thanksgiving next week, but since you brought it up I'll talk briefly about it now.  First of all, we generally always go around the table on Thanksgiving and say what we are thankful for.  This year our family has some drama, so things will be a lot different, but I am looking forward to hearing what those involved in the drama have to say they are thankful for.  I think we should all live our lives and think daily of what we are thankful for.  For me, I'm thankful for my family (drama and all), my mom, dad, brother, SIL, my niece... and I have 3 grandparents still living!  I'm thankful for my job and the fact that, in times of economic crisis, we still have work to do.  I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head, a hot shower every night, and money to feed myself.  I'm thankful for some of the most amazing friends a girl could ask for, even though at times I feel I don't deserve to still have some of them.  I'm thankful for the ability to be free and  live my life with freedom.
I don't know how to be not thankful for something, but I do know that I'm not thankful our nation is in crisis and that it is affecting so many.

To Robyn:
Here is a list of ponderables, pick one of them and post your thoughts on it, then ask for others to pick a different one and tell their thoughts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random - Vol. 8.20

I love bananas!  Apples are delicious as well... Oh My God... all fruit is the bomb, really.  Think about it... Kiwi (makes my mouth water thinking about it), raspberries, blackberries (no Dawn, NOT the phone!!).  Have you ever tried a Pomegranate ?  I ate them before it was cool.  I remember sitting with my dad as a kid watching him clean them so I could grub!  They are the bomb, if you've never had one, go buy one.. they are in peak season right now - I can teach you how to clean them.
hmmm... grapes, blueberries, strawberries, lemons, limes... and I'm pretty sure the avocado is a fruit as well (I LOVE me some avocado)!  In all honesty though... bananas are the business!

It's amazing to me how people find my blog, my counter tracks the links people are coming from.. like if someone searches a phrase on Google and end up at my blog from it... I can see the words they used to search. I'm pretty sure there are some sicko's out there... searching for girls - after I posted the blog titled Girls Night , it got a lot of hits, once from someone searching "Myspace Girls"... icky.  It really boggles my mind the words people use to search; I bet they'd get a lot better results if they searched different words!  Just sayin'.
It tells me where people are coming from... location wise.  I've had hits all around the world, it's so neat to me!
I can also see if someone clicks on a link in a blog I post... there are only a few of you that do.  Are those links pointless?  Should I stop using them?  You tell me... in the end it saves me time to not have to find a website for whatever I'm talking about... but I do it for you, in case you need to know what the hell I'm talking about.
I've had a lot of hits on my blog talking about donating my hair...

Which brings me to my next point.. I've decided I'm cutting it.  I've been talking with Cianna, she cuts my hair and is the wife of my buddy, and she said start by just cutting the bare minimum to donate... then my hair will still be long and if I want to go shorter, I can.  Going from as long as mine is to super short... that would be a hard thing to do... she's a smart lady.

I finished knitting my hat this weekend... I'll post pictures as soon as Joey has it (I don't want to ruin the surprise)!  I started Friday and finished Monday evening - that's kind of neat :)

Oh yeah, real quick, I wanted to give you the link to my friends blog, her name is Kristi, yes I have mentioned her before, but she writes for another blog as well... for those from the Twin Cities, you may find it helpful the next time you want a new place to eat.  Here is the link.  Check Check Check it out!

So, now it's time to get interactive - tell me something about you.. anything you want; something random, something funny, something embarrassing, ANYTHING!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Banner 11.17.08

Playing around with some stuff... came up with this:
I liked it when it was in Photoshop... but don't really care for it on the blog itself.  Which sucks.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll change it soon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Would You Do With a Brain if You Had One?

So we went to see Wicked last night and, just like the first time, I was blown away.  Tears in my eyes, chills up my spine... all over tingling.  I don't want to ruin the story for those who want to see or read it, so I won't talk about it, other than saying I had a wonderful night.
The group of us who went:

This morning, as I type, I am watching The Wizard of Oz... see, Wicked really changes how to view the rest of the story; I wanted to watch while it was still fresh in my head.  As I sit here watching this movie, not only do I find myself picking up on new things that I never understood as a child, but I'm also remembering all sorts of things from my childhood.
I remember this movie used to be on TV once a year and it was a huge event, at my house anyhow.  We would all sit down and watch it together.  I, like all little girls, loved the Ruby Slippers.  I went to Washington DC a couple years ago and was able to see one of the actual pairs of Ruby Slippers Judy Garland wore in the filming of the movie.  That was such a treat for me :)
I loved singing along to all the songs (still do), especially the beginning lines when Lion sings... If I were King of the Forrrrreeeeeesssttt... Follow the Yellow Brick Road, We're Off to See The Wizard... I love them all.

I have always loved the scene when Dorothy walks out of her house and everything is in color, the poppies, the Horse of a different color - such vivid colors throughout the entire movie!  I just absolutely love watching this movie and really could never get sick of it.  I always get tears in my eyes at the end when she must say good-bye to everyone :(

Watching it now... after seeing Wicked, I still love all this stuff, but I know a lot more about whats going on than I did before.  Just makes me feel so good inside watching it!

Remember... There's No Place Like Home.

Knock Knock, Who's There?

Call me inappropriate if you must, but there is a reason this blog is posting at midnight hours...  it's for those of you who have a sense of humor, a naughty mind, and a little bit of a child left in you.  Oh hell, who am I kidding?  I'm hoping you are wasted when watching this, I'm hoping this is as funny to you as it was to me the first time I watched it.  I've been wanting to post these videos for a LONG time now...
I highly recommend taking a shot and letting it kick in before you watch ... and make sure the kiddos are in bed or far far away and have your volume up.

First, give it some time... it's hilarious and if you hate it, try the second video... it's my favorite:


I hope you enjoyed them....  Pretty sure they are amazing and amazingly funny :)  If all else fails, come back when you're drunk.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Excited for the weekend!

I'm so stoked for this upcoming weekend.  Starting tonight; I'm going to see Wicked!!!!  Back when tickets went on sale I bought 8 of them, with the intent to bring my mother and sell the other tickets on eBay (hoping to profit, of course).  Since then, my mom has asked 2 of her friends to join, I've asked Pam and Nick to join, and the other week offered the last 2 tickets to my aunt Jayne and cousin Shannon.  We have dinner reservations at Manhattans, right across the street from The Orpheum.  I'm so excited!
I went to see Wicked once in Chicago; I absolutely loved it!  The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie and has been since I was a kid.  In short, for those who don't follow links, Wicked is the story of the Witches of Oz, before Dorothy landed there.  It shows them growing up and in school.  I've been trying to read the book for a long time but I find myself getting stuck in the same spot over and over.  I recently discovered a few people in the same situation as me, getting stuck in the same spot.
Either way, I can't wait!

Saturday, I have a day planned full of knitting!  The group of ladies I took my knitting class with last January and I try to get together once a month or so, for a few hours one night.  This month we are making it more of a day.  We will have many hours to knit and I'm anxious.  I've been trying to knit a blanket for my niece for MONTHS... literally months.  I wanted to have it finished for her birthday in July, but failed.  I'm no further now than I was then.  I'm hoping to put in a few hours on that, but I do have a new project... My friend Joey, who lives in St. Louis, asked me to knit him a hat.  I made myself a hat last year (I think I have pics on both FB and MS), so I thought I should try another one.  I'm going to add a few things and use different colors to make it better for a boy and add my own personal touch.  If all goes well, I can finish that on Saturday!  I'm excited to start something new... the blanket is a very boring pattern, but will look neat in the end (I'll get pics up soon of what I have so far).

Then on Sunday I am hoping to overcome the small 'bump in the road' in going up to my dads.  I'll be going up early so we can watch the game and then have dinner with enough time to make it home at a decent hour.

I'm sure I'll have pics and lots to say about this weekend, so be expecting that soon!  Yay for me... fun weekends are dope!

Also, I wanted to introduce you to a friend of mine from High School, Lovi .  She is new to the blogging world, so give her a read and show her some love!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thoughts For Thursday - Seat Belts

It's pretty cut and dry for me; I wear my seat belt every time I am in a car, period.  When I turned 16, before I went to get my drivers license, my dad said to me "I'll make a deal with you; If you promise to always wear your seat belt, I will promise to always wear mine."

Seemed like a no-brainer to me.  I agreed.
I went to take my drivers test on my 16th birthday, I passed with a score of 98 (getting docked 2 points because I turned my wheels the wrong way on an uphill park... ugh!).  I have worn my seat belt every time I'm in a car ever since, and so has my father.  I also make my passengers wear their seat belt.

In April of 1998 my seat belt saved my life.  I was in Wisconsin with my friend, Pam, visiting her family, we were driving back from picking up one of her friends, approaching a stop light driving the speed limit of, I think, 45 MPH.  The light turned yellow as I was almost to the crosswalk and, going 45 MPH, I obviously didn't have time to stop at that point.  There was a pick-up truck coming the opposite direction, waiting to make a left hand turn, she decided to turn when the light turned yellow.  I swerved to the left trying to avoid hitting her, and I end up smashing the front end of my Ford Bronco II and smashing the box of her pick-up truck.  If we had not been wearing our seat belts, we would have been seriously injured.

(sorry for the cut-out pictures... they were the only ones I could find to scan)

I'm thankful for the agreement I made with my father and still to this day we both wear our seat belts.  As a 16 year old, it's easy to think wearing your seat belt isn't 'cool'... I was never that kid.
Not only do I encourage you to wear your seat belt if you don't already, but I encourage you to encourage those around you to wear it.  Make sure your children and family are wearing theirs.

So... Thoughts For Thursday: Do you wear your seat belt? Have you always?  Was there a reason you started?  Has your seat belt ever saved your life?  If so, tell me your story.  Have you ever been injured by not wearing your seat belt?  Tell me your story.

~Other TFT Posts Today~
Kristi on Renting & Ordering Movies 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Some of you know I have this situation with my father.  I'm going to his house on Sunday, for the first time since I found out some very interesting news, which was a year ago this December 16th, I haven't stayed away because of my dad but his wife.
The topic of this blog is not so much family or the situation itself (which, if you don't already know, please forgive me for not going into detail with it right now), but forgiveness.  This specific situation has caused me to ask one of life's biggest questions: How do you truly forgive someone?  From what I understand, forgiving doesn't mean forgetting.  Great, easy enough.  I don't have to forget.. but how do I begin the forgiving?  This would be a great TFT.
I don't even know where to begin.  I am a person that generally speaks with emotion, causing me to not necessarily think before I speak.  From as far back as I can remember I have always lived believing that once my trust is broken, someone must prove they are worthy of being trusted again.  How can you truly move on, not forgetting, to successfully forgive.  When you know someone has wronged and you are personally affected by it and can't seem to move past it... it makes it extremely difficult.  Even if I knew in my heart that I was open to 100% completely trying to forgive, I would have no idea where to begin.  
I was told that one way of knowing you have forgiven someone is if you have no ill feeling towards them.  I think that is a great beginning and a sure sign that time has begun to heal, I don't believe that it means you have truly forgiven.  
The other thing I am struggling with at this moment is the difference between forgiving and accepting.  For example, when my dad left and decided to divorce my mom I was angry and full of hate.  I wasn't ready to even begin to forgive; I got to a certain point where, if I wanted to have my dad in my life ever again, I had to at least accept the situation for what it was and just kind of 'suck it up'.  I don't think that necessarily means I have (or had) forgiven him, but I think acceptance comes with time, eventually leading to forgiveness.  Sound right?
Speaking specifically of the situation now, she doesn't know everything that I've been told.  So, in turn, is it really her fault that I can't forgive her?  Doesn't healing come with openly being able to express how you are feeling (which, for me is something I need to do quite often, in any situation)?  So my support system has become my dad, who is quite defensive of the entire situation, my sister-in-law, who feels the same as me and means forgiveness probably won't come out of talking to her, and my mother, who has her own fucked up outlook on everything and drives me up the wall whenever I attempt to talk about it.  
Last, do I even want to forgive her to begin with?  I think the only way to figure that out is to bring the situation to a head and hear what she has to say.
Follow up to that is: How do I bring this up without putting my dad in a situation he doesn't want to be in?
I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense, I just needed to try and get some thoughts out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Girls Night (11.8.08)

I have to post!!!  It's a good thing the hangover of the century doesn't factor into girls night, because it would have made it the worst girls night ever!

For months now my little group of girls, who try to get together every month for dinner (or started out as once and month and now it's more like once every 2 months), have been planning this night.  We usually plan to meet up at someones house for dinner, each bring something, make memories, and go home.  This dinner was to be hosted by Pam, who lives in Chanhassen; none of us wanted to make the trek there and back in the same night, so we planned a sleep over.  All the boys in Pam's house are hunters, so they were all being boys and trying to shoot deer this weekend.

Pam made stuffed shells and we all brought things to go along with that... 6 of us total... and we ended up with 6 bottles of wine, a semi-fully stocked liquor cabinet, and beer.  The night started with dinner prep and great conversation... then dinner was served:
(from L-R: Kelley, Jenny, Michelle, Ang, Amanda, Pam)
The wine seemed to disappear pretty quickly... Kelley wasn't planning to stay the night, so she didn't drink much, but what she didn't drink the rest of us made up for!
As girls tend to do... we got gossiping and decided to take some pictures of us in a more whoreish fashion... in honor of a mutual friend who couldn't join us (this will make no sense to many, but is HILARIOUS to us):
By this time in the evening we are all super giggly and just acting plain silly!  With most cameras having some sort of self timer, we always try and set it up to get a group shot on a couch or something... so we always remember our times together.  As we were doing this, Amanda came up with the idea to set the timer while all of us are out of the shot... then as we hear the beeps getting faster, we run into the shot and see what comes out!  It was the best idea ever!!
Here are a few during that process:
And then one of the good ones:
(I have such hot friends!)
I expect a few more of these goofy shots in my inbox soon from Kelley and some more pictures from Pam's camera as well.

We finished off all the wine, and I started drinking Vokda sodas with lime... turns out mixing the wine with vodka wasn't a good idea.  I ended up passing out on top of the covers with my arm around a garbage can because the room started to spin.  Sunday was not a good day.

As always, you can find more pictures on facebook (and hopefully soon on myspace as well) and keep watching, I'll be posting more from other cameras as they come in (I know there is a good video out there as well)!

Working Hard For My Money

Let me first start of by telling you a little bit about the company I work for.  I work for a manufacturing company, Matrix Manufacturing Co., we are a plastic thermoformer.  We have a proprietary line of products which include small cargo trailers to tow behind motorcycles and small vehicles along with a line of trailer accessories for snowmobile trailers and landscaper trailers (we obviously design our own website too...).

Matrix is also a custom job shop, so any company can call us and we can make any part for them, as long as it's a vacuum formed part.

Let me explain briefly what Plastic thermoforming is (aka vacuum forming).  Not to be confused with injection molding, plastic thermoforming is a process where we take a flat sheet of plastic, clamp it into a frame and it goes into a huge oven on our machine.  Different parts have different requirements, so it can be in the oven for 60 seconds up to several minutes (depending on the size of the sheet and thickness of the material).  Once it comes out it gets paired with a mold that has tons of tiny little holes in it and the vacuum begins to run, sucking the plastic to the mold and forming a part.  It then cools for the required amount of time, comes off the mold and out of the machine, where our machine operators take it out of the clamp frame and route it, drill it, cut it, etc. depending on the specifications of the part being made.  It is then stacked on a pallet and shipped out to our customer.  

Without getting too far into detail and completely losing you here... I digress.

Over the last couple months we have been extremely busy with a custom project.  We were contacted by an advertising agency, who was working with a health care company, who in turn is placing this product in one of those very well known discount department stores (think the competition of Target), asking us if we could make a kiosk for them. We generally don't do assembly as a whole... we run the parts and, as mentioned above, route, drill, etc. ... but not actually assemble; that is what this company needed us to do.  Matrix generally runs one shift and we generally have about 11 employees.  For this project we were, at one point, running 3 shifts (which means 24 hours a day people were working this), and had up to 20 employees.  It was a crazy mess of chaos around the entire building.  We were making upward of 900 Kiosks for this company (Hundreds of Thousands of dollars in invoices for these things)!!  In all, we formed around 22 pieces out of plastic for one kiosk, then assembled each piece together, then assembled the kiosk in whole, which included adding the customer supplied parts and boxing it for shipping.  We hand loaded each kiosk into a truck to be taken to a different warehouse and stored until they were ready to be delivered to those discount department stores.  

We've never really had critical deadlines at my job... generally speaking we make a couple hundred parts for any of our customers and have a day or two give with a due date.  This project had to be done and all of those kiosks had to be out our door by Monday, October 27th, 2008.  We met the deadline!  

Here is a picture of the finished kiosk in the store ready to be used: 

The chairs were provided along with the signs, brochures, and a few other little parts.  It's a pretty neat little thing; the top and the front of the Kiosk open up to store the signs and chairs, the table you see folds down so it is flush with the side.  When all is said and done this Kiosk is completely portable as one little box!

Things are finally getting back to normal around work.  We just ended our 3rd shift (which was 10p-7a), we're back down to a manageable number of employees, and we've made all the Kiosks we have to make... for now.  There is rumored to be another order in the making, hopefully the deadline won't be as crucial, and we are in the process of quoting another kiosk type project for them.  So, for a small company in an economic crisis, we are extremely busy!
It's nice to have the job security, but those crazy times make it hard.

Anyhow - a small glimpse into what my company does, I work in the office; my job is to do whatever it takes to get the machine operators everything they need to do their job, along with some other things like AP, AR, Payroll, etc.  This project was one of those things that you can't wait for it to be over, but it's so huge for our company that you also want to remember it.  I'm posting this blog not only to give those reading some background on what I do, but so that I can remember it for years to come.  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The City Across The River...

I'm a week behind on what I've been doing, but with the gloomy weather we are having this weekend, I thought it was appropriate to recap last weekend when it was beautiful outside (plus I just took pictures off my camera).
The main highlights happened Saturday.  We planned to go to St. Paul for the Duluth vs St. Cloud State Hockey game.  Jeff suggested we go over earlier and get some lunch and check out the city.  It was amazing weather!  Having grown up in Minneapolis, St. Paul was never really a city I ever understood.  It's confusing, boring, and not home to me (no offense to anyone who lives there).  I felt like a tourist.

First of all we went to Cossetta's for lunch; I had been there before and thought it was fantastic, so I suggested we eat there.  We all ate too much!  Afterwards walking was a must... we walked across the street to buy tickets to the game, which was set to begin at 4pm.
None of us knowing where we were going, we just started to walk.  We eventually found ourselves at I-94 with the Capital in sight.  I had never been inside the Capital, so we keep walking with that being our goal.  We finally make it:
What a beautiful site; inside and out!  We walked around the entire building and went into every room we were allowed to.  
We, unfortunately, made our way into the basement and found a portrait of Jesse Ventura (Steve and Jeff got way too excited):
Moving on... we decide to walk to the St. Paul Cathedral :
Walking inside kind of took my breath away... what a beautiful place!  I felt it was inappropriate taking pictures inside, not to mention my camera doesn't do justice to how amazing it is.  Here is one though:
It was time to walk back to the Excel for the game, we make it with enough time to stop for a shot and a beer.  Once inside the Excel we had to go in search of a jersey for Jeff, as we were walking some lady stopped Steve, who was wearing a St. Cloud State jersey, and asked if he wanted to ride on the Zamboni!!  He said no... JUST KIDDING (we got to hear about it the entire rest of the weekend)!  We got to go down by the ice and it was all pretty exciting... 
(It was dark and my camera sucks, so the quality of that picture blows... sorry.)
Anyhow it was a pretty sweet afternoon is St. Paul.  We went to Majors in Blaine that night, for a Halloween party.. you've already seen my costume so I'm not going to post any pictures.  I will tell you that I dressed up in that damn costume 3 different nights over 2 weekends.  I never want to wear it again!
A few other highlights from my weekend:
Friday (Halloween), I got to babysit my niece for a few hours, and see her dressed up as a cute little ladybug:
Friday night I dressed up and went NE to the annual 'Pauloween' party... here is a picture of me and Mark, who was dressed up as G.I. Joe:
Thats about all I've got today.  I'm hoping to post again tomorrow as I have a girls dinner tonight and it's a sleep over :) so I'm sure I'll have a few shots to share.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baseball and Taxes

Have you heard?  Get this... Agents of baseball players all around the country have demands.  You have a baseball player who already is being promised X amount of millions each year and then there is a signing bonus.  The agents are asking that they players be paid their signing bonuses before the end of 2008 or that it be increased by a certain percent.  Why, you ask?  So that when the highest tax bracket of 35% goes up to 39.6%, they are not taking a hit.
If they are paid the bonus this year, the taxes are still 'low', so they get what they thought they would get.  If they increase the bonus by whatever percent, then they will still pocket the same amount when they file taxes next year at, what we assume will be, a higher tax rate.
Next year's minimum annual pay, for a major league player, is $400,000.

So, the way the system works... in the end we will all be paying higher prices for our game tickets, hot dogs, beers; and if you don't know.. the price of those things are already outrageous!

Baseball Commish, Bud Selig, is encouraging all ballparks, new and old, to "keep those $10 tickets!"  He knows things need to move forward, business as usual, but wants all to remain cognizant of our economy.
I know myself, that if the Twins were to get rid of the cheap seats when the new ballpark opens, I won't be making it to many games.  Right now the 'cheap seats' are $7-$12, that's a great price for several hours of fun and sports!!

It's a moot point.  I just don't understand how agents can justify the advance or increase of the bonus... millions of dollars are already being paid out, does a couple hundred thousand  really make a difference?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Auricular Treatment: Part Two

At this point I'm going to start out by telling you what Auricular Treatment is; basically it's acupuncture without the insertion of a needle.  It's alternative medicine's belief that the ear is a microsystem with the entire body.
The type I am talking about today is Electroacupunture.  

When I walked into the Chiropractor on that Friday I had no idea what to expect.  All Chiropractors do things differently and at that point I just needed relief, no matter how it came to me.  

First he took me into the exam room and tested a few things (reflexes, blood pressure, spots of pain, etc.) as per normal.  He did some manual adjusting, he did some adjusting using an activator and I was still feeling the pain.  
Finally he took me into a different room and said he wanted to try something on me, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what he was calling it; "Auricular Treatment, it's like acupuncture without the needle".  We go into this room and he has me hold a little metal rod that is hooked to a machine with a few frequency needles on it and another device coming out of it that he is going to use.  

So I'm a little freaked out.  I have never been a believer in alternative medicine, though some would argue that just seeing a Chiropractor is a form of alternative medicine.  
I give in and try to relax.

He takes his device, which looks similar to a needle, and starts running it around on my ear as he is looking at a diagram of an ear.  The frequency needles are jumping all around and when it reaches a certain point he stops and concentrates on that spot.  Every time he does this he asks if I still feel the pain.  I did.  He keeps going.  
After about 5-7 minutes of this, he says sometimes it can take awhile to make a difference.  He sends me off with his home phone number and tells me he does not want me driving home if I'm still in pain and to call him if it's not better by the next day.  I'd like to stop and  point out that he was willing to come in on his day off, a weekend, and try to fix me!  

As I go about my day I feel the pain of the pinched nerve slowly going away.  Amazing!  Throughout the entire weekend I felt great!  Mission accomplished.  

Now, being almost 3 weeks later, I have not had ANY back pain at all!!!  I am absolutely baffled by this.  I can still crack my back if and when I start to feel a little bit uncomfortable, but the pain doesn't come back!  I was living in pain for 7 years; everyday, same old annoying back pains... 5 minutes with a needle up to my ear and I'm cured?  I'm a believer!

After further researching this process, I've come to discover that people use it as a way to quit smoking, diet, fix hormonal problems and all sorts of other stuff; not just pain relief!  As I mentioned above, I've never been a believer in alternative forms of medicine and I don't know that I believe it can help you quit smoking - but if you have pain, if you have tried a million things and want to try something new, I would suggest finding someone who does this and see if they can help.  I'm absolutely blown away (and pain free)!!

I do have information on a person to call and I do plan to contact them.. I'm hoping to find someone around here that does it, I've got a million little things I could want to fix (Hey, if you find something that works, stick with it right?).  If you are looking and interested, let me know.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Auricular Treatment: Part One - My History

I have to tell ya... with all the political blogs today, I'm feeling the need to talk about something different.

I try real hard not to preach my beliefs on people or preach about anything, for that matter.  However I do have to share something that has me out of my wits excited.  Here I mention, in brief, a pinched nerve in my back during my drive down to Missouri.  It made the drive down quite uncomfortable and it caused me to have an unbelievably horrible first night sleep.  I had to see a Chiropractor and I had to see one before I took the 10 hour drive back to Minnesota.

Let me first give you my history with back problems, injuries, and Chiropractic experience:

It all started back in about 2001 when I went on vacation to Cancun.  The last day of our vacation my brother and I decided we wanted to take some wave runners out in the ocean; I was too scared to drive one alone, so I rode with him.  The waves in the ocean are HUGE (fyi) and we were having a blast!  All of the sudden we see this huge wave growing bigger and bigger as we approach it.... he looks back at me and says "you ready?" Hell yes I'm ready!!!  I grab on super tight and we 'floor' it.
Now, when riding a wave runner there are certain things you must know, especially as a passenger.  First and foremost: when you ride up on a huge wave you have to stand and brace yourself for the landing.
We ride up on this HUGE wave and stand as we are flying through the air - an unbelievable rush if you've never experienced it - we are coming down... down... down (which takes forever cause we are so high)... we land, my feet slip on the wet floor and the entire impact of landing has now been transfered from my knees/legs to my tail bone/back.  I'm not exactly sure what happened, but the way I can explain it to you from experiencing it is: it felt like my entire spine compressed into my lower back.  I screamed so loud my brother said he thought I was dying.
We, obviously, rode very slowly back to shore.  I sent my brother out in search of a 'black market' buy of some pain killers... remember we are in Mexico and have to leave for the airport shortly.  What he came back with didn't really do me much good.  The plane ride was not fun.

Once back home I decided the Chiropractor was going to be my first visit.  It was my first time going to one, so I was pretty nervous.  She did X-Rays and finally adjusted me... I didn't feel like a million bucks, but I did feel some relief.  I continued to see her for awhile but finally got to a point where I was only feeling better for a day or two, so I stopped going.  I have had chronic lower back pain ever since.

Fast forward to Autumn 2007... I went sky-diving last October, we pulled the cord and I felt my spine pop from the lower back all the way up to just below my neck.  I suffered with upper back pain (and was unable to tip my head back successfully) for about 2 months.  After seeing a Chiropractor a few times and going to the Doctor only to have him tell me it seemed like I had sprained muscles in my upper back and I needed to stop the Chiropractor and just let them heal,  they finally did.

Fast forward again to Summer 2008... out of nowhere, or at least nothing sparks in my head that I did, I have this huge knot, or what feels like a knot, in the center of my spine.  I went to see my Chiropractor again... she adjusted me and I felt fine.  The pain came back the next day.  My Chiropractor is in NE Mpls and I live in Andover, so the 25-30 minute drive is not ideal if this pain is going to be bothering me every day, especially with the price of gas then being up around $3.50/gallon.  It was time to search out a new Chiropractor!

I finally find a (hot) Chiropractor in my 'hood and pay him a visit.  He adjusts me in ways I've never been adjusted before and I fall a little bit in love with him for it.  I continue to see him for a few weeks, I'm feeling great, the knot in the middle of my back is less, and my entire body is a million time looser!  Just as I'm prepared to continue a regular treatment plan with him he tells me that my insurance has contacted him and if we are to continue there is an ass load of paperwork to be filled out.  He said they are more than happy to do it, but asks me if I feel it's necessary.  I told him that I felt any further treatment would be simply maintenance as my back wasn't in pain anymore than it had been for the past 7 years.  We both agreed to stop treatment unless the knot returned.
The knot did come back, but I was loose enough to pop it out myself for a very long time.  I never returned and the knot stayed away for the most part.

Now you might say: "Ang, you have huge boobs; don't you think that plays a roll in your back pain?"  I used to believe that it played a small role... until I took this trip to Missouri and was seen by Willard Chiropractic.  

Stay Tuned for Part Two of this blog where I will tell you all about what I had done to me and why I've changed my whole perspective on shit!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The 'F' in Football

Football, Vikings specifically.  We have a 4-4 record so far, with 8 more games to go in the regular season.  I feel empty!  I generally NEVER miss a Vikings game and follow the team daily.  Let me give you a recap of my watching history this season:

  • Week One: Viking @ Packers - a Monday night game, we go to B-dubs to watch, an interesting night to say the least.  We end up losing and because I'm at the bar I don't pay as much attention as I normally would.
  • Week Two: Vikings vs. Colts - I don't have a clue what I did for this game, but I know we lost and that sucked.
  • Week Three: Vikings vs. Panthers - I went to this game.  I drank WAY too much.. so I remember almost none of it.  This was the game we benched TJack; we won bringing our record up to 1-2.
  • Week Four: Vikings @ Titans - I watched this game at home.  This was the game I first found serious hatred in my body for our coach, Chilly.  I wasn't the happiest person after our coach decided to punt with less than 2 minutes left in the game.
  • Week Five: Vikings @ Saints - The second of our Monday night games this year... we won.  I had a class that night so I missed the first half of the game and barely watched the rest when I got home.  We returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown and we had Chester Taylor throw a TD pass; all was okay in the world that night.
  • Week Six: Vikings vs. Lions - I went to this game.  We tailgated before hand.. I had been having a rough week and I didn't get good sleep the night before, so drinking hit me right away.  In all honesty, I don't remember much of this game either; I do know I had fun!  This was the game where the entire crowd started chanting "FIRE CHILLY"... and he laughed it off.
  • Week Seven: Vikings @ Bears - I was in Missouri for this game and at first I fought with the idea of spending the day away from a TV, I gave in as I wasn't impressed with the team and figured missing a game wasn't the end of the world.  I had people texting me all day updating me with scores and whatnot.  I went into a cave and came out to find out we lost.  I'm glad I didn't watch.
  • Week Eight: Vikings Bye Week
  • Week Nine: Vikings vs. Texans - This was yesterday.  I was golfing.  I went into the weekend and woke up Sunday morning knowing I had no interest in watching the game.  I actually planned to NOT watch the game.  We won bringing us up to 4-4.
Which brings us to today; Monday, November 3rd, 2008, and I've missed more football than I've watched... back to my emptiness.  Sounds silly, but I'm not a fair-weather fan and I never have been.  I have never given up on a team, especially this early in the season.  I was on board with TJack and thought he was going to do something good for us; I still have faith in him.  It's hard to support a team and disagree with the coaching.  While I'm not hopeful for a Super Bowl appearance, I am going to become a loyal fan again, starting Sunday when we play the Packers (who dominated us back in Week One).  I have a couple rough weekends coming up and it may not allow me to watch, but I'm going to do my best!



Related Posts with Thumbnails