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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Silly Girls

Oh girls do such silly things... don't you think?  I had one of the funniest moments tonight with my beautiful cousin, Shannon.  Actually it was like an hour long mission.

I had a night with my knitting ladies tonight, my aunt happens to be one of those ladies and it happened to be at her house.  My cousin got off work and came home with Subway raving about Subway Boy; I later learn she has been flirting with this guy since September.  After our knitting group leaves, I go down stairs with Shannon to talk about boys... I had a killer story to tell about my foreign French lover (HA!) and I wanted to hear more about Subway Boy.
She goes onto tell me about their history and how they once went MONTHS without seeing each other.  Back up to September... she goes in one day after being cut from work and instantly makes a connection with Subway Boy.  Thursday nights are generally slow for her (she expos at Majors in Blaine), so Subway is a regular stop for her on the way home.  Shannon and Subway Boy bond over these many weeks... so the question of the night is how to take it to the next level and become more than just Subway Boy and a paying customer.  I suggest a few things; give him your number, stick around and ask him to go on break while you're there, etc.  She had thought about those things but chickened out every time she thought about doing it... so me, being the supportive loving cousin I am, suggest we go up there and break the ice.  We come up with a pretty simple unrehearsed plan on how we'll go into it and how we'll make sure he gets the digits before we leave.  Of course, laughing the entire time!  By the way... she doesn't even know this guys name.

I had eaten dinner before I met with the group so I was far from hungry, but Shannon had been to Subway just hours before... so I had to step up and take one for the team.  Far from hungry; the plan is to go in, make a joke about her being back just hours later, break the ice by me assuming they are long time friends and making small talk, sit there while I eat (hoping he'd come over and talk to her/us), and if all else failed she would give her number right before we leave.
He told her that he would stop by Majors on Saturday night when she is working and say hey... so we planned that by giving him her number she could play it off as if he should call when he is off, just in case she gets cut and isn't there.

I take care of getting all the small details out of the way, like his name and her name, so they now actually know each other.  I eat my food, tell some stories, make her buy me some chips - all in the interest of killing time.  People kept walking in and, the nerve, ordering sandwiches!  The timing of things never worked out super well but we were able to make some small talk with him and found out his age, where he lives, etc.  All things a stalker would want/need to know ;) [kidding Shannon]!
After an hour of sitting at Subway we finally decide that it's about to get awkward if we stay any longer... Shannon, quick write your number down and do it like we planned!  What a fucking trooper that girl is!  She did it and she did it well!  Played it off like it was no big deal... and on top of that, this cute Subway Boy starts blushing and gets a huge smile on his face!

We walk out and feel like COMPLETE idiots... laughing idiots, but idiots nonetheless!

It was one of the most hysterical missions I have ever been on!  Now, hopefully he will be a smart enough boy to just call anyways and not wait for Saturday night at the end of his shift!

Oh, I love the little things in life that make us giggle!

TFT - Movies: Home or Theater

I watched Tropic Thunder last night at my house and, during the many times I lost interest and stopped paying attention, I got thinking about how a.) I was extremely happy that I didn't waste my money to go see it in the theater and b.) How small my mom's TV is compared to that of the 'big screen' and maybe I'd have enjoyed the movie a bit more on a larger screen.

Throughout the movie my mom and I would talk, I could lay on the couch in my hoodie with my blanket, pillow, and my cat... there are certain comforts that you have while watching a film in familiar surroundings.
At a theater you have a huge screen, huge noise, and buttery popcorn that you can never get quite right at home. The action is more intense, the landscape is generally more beautiful, and the sound effects are surrounding you.  You can't lay down in a theater though...

My thoughts today sound simple and are not deep, but they do require some thought: Which is better: Movies at home or movies in a theater?
As stated above, both have pros and both have cons.  Its easy to say it depends on my mood or something of the sort... but that's taking the easy way out, look at the big picture (no pun intended).

I enjoy being able to talk about something during a movie, I enjoy having the ability to go back to watch a part over if you missed something or if something is really funny, I enjoy being able to pause when I have to pee.
Overall, while I love the intensity of the big screen, I much prefer watching a movie cozy on my couch with a glass of wine.

So, Thoughts for Thursday (put some thought into this one): Where do you prefer watching a movie... and tell me why?!

Other TFT's today: 
Dana, Kristi, Anne, Denise, Jenny,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 RaNdOm ThInGs AbOuT ME!

I was hoping to not be involved in this like everyone else on facebook... but Dawn tagged me and I can't not follow through; like Kristi though... I'm doing it on my blog, not on facebook.  I won't be tagging anyone, but feel free to post your own blog or note on facebook if you'd like to play along!
Here are the instructions (easy like Sunday morning):
Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.
(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish

Here goes:
1. I am an extremely selfish person.
2. I drink 2 travel mugs of coffee each [work] day and do not allow myself to drink any more than that.
3. I think my hours at work are about to be cut, and that scares the hell out of me.
4. I have more frustration at my job over computer issues than I do anything else.
5. Other peoples feelings are more important to me than my own and I often find myself distressed for days if I feel I've hurt someone.
6. I'm slowly learning Photoshop on my own and it's completely exhilarating to me.
7. I fear what I learn in Photoshop will never live up to my own expectations.
8. I have 4 tattoos and want at least 1 more.
9. Before I die I would like to have visited every US State; at age 27 I've been to 32 States including D.C.
10. I want to visit many places in Europe.
11. My mind has many ideas that I have no idea how to make reality.
12. I'm house sitting for a week at the end of February and I'm scared to death to be alone for those days/nights.
13. It is extremely hard for me to come up with 25 facts/habits/goals about me (I've been working on it for 2 hours and I'm only at #13).
14. Laughter is a huge part of who I am and my happiness; I laugh at almost everything.
15. Spring/Summer can't come soon enough; I want so badly to sleep under the stars.
16. I wish I were more creative in the kitchen.
17. I despise people who lie.  
18. I wish I were a better writer.
19. Problem solving drives me (as long as they are not math problems).
20. I miss my father everyday.
21. This weekend my mother told me she was proud of me for sticking with the gym and getting into better shape and she could notice how hard I've worked.  It could be the nicest thing she has said to me in a long time and it put me in a great mood.  I had been slacking at the gym over the past couple months and I am now fully committed to getting back at it.
22. If I had money to blow I would spend most of it on other people, after I paid off my debt and my parents' mortgages.
23. There are 2 things in this world that are as good as an orgasm for me: stretching is one of them.
24. I have a general distaste for people who laugh after everything they say.
25. I love pillows, lots of pillows!
26. I cheated on #25 and asked a friend for help ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Strip Club - St. Paul, MN

This past weekend we made the trek to St. Paul to try The Strip Club. After finding it on citysearch and then searching out more articles to read about it I knew I had to try it. Our reservations were for 7:30pm but we arrived a bit early, they weren't quite ready for us, so we found a spot at the very busy bar and waited for a table. Being the middle of winter I was hoping for a table upstairs and we got one! The downstairs is nice but the front door I would imagine could get quite drafty! The service was fantastic and even though there was a large party sat right near us, we never once felt forgotten about. There is a secret door upstairs leading into a huge room/office and our server offered the room to the large party as they were there to surprise someone, I thought that was a very nice offer. The food was amazing; we ordered the Shrimp Scampi, Duck Confit, and the NY Strip. All cooked to perfection with amazing flavor. Don't expect to walk out of this place using pocket change, but the food and service is well worth the price. They have several interesting small plates and several different sauces to chose from with your steak. A true gem in the way of restaurants, specifically steakhouses. A+++
Pros: service and food!
Cons: Street Parking only :(

Weekend Recap - Jan. 24-25

My weekend was one that I was looking forward to a great deal.  I had plans for a wonderful Saturday night and my Sunday was going to be a girls day... how could you not look forward to a thing like that?!

Saturday was a day I was wicked excited about.  I have a strong desire to learn more about St. Paul and see what it has to offer; one day at work we were talking about places in St. Paul to eat and I ended up planning a night of firsts in St. Paul.  I had been researching a place called The Strip Club, which is not what you might think, but a steakhouse in St. Paul.  Here is how it went:
We started the evening at The St. Paul Grill for cocktails, which is a pretty amazing looking place and their bar is fully stocked.  I ordered a dirty Ciroc  [which is a French vodka made from grapes] martini.  It was delicious.  My friend ordered some kind of Whiskey, neat ... it made my entire face and body burn... not in a good way [to each their own].  After cocktails and conversation [with each other and with a stranger named Dave] we headed over to The Strip Club for our 7:30 reservation.  We arrived a bit early and cozied up to the bar while we waited; The Strip Club is a quaint little restaurant just outside of downtown St. Paul.  I kind of fell in love with the place as soon as we walked in... from reading reviews and editorials about the place I knew what I expected  and it lived up to the hype just walking in the door.  I have a thing for small, cute, personal restaurants and The Strip Club was just that; not a ton of tables, a beautiful spiral staircase taking you up to a few more tables on the small second level, and extremely personal staff.  I was hoping we'd get a table upstairs and I like when I get what I hope for... we were seated upstairs after being warned that they would be seating a large party next to us shortly after and they'd try not to disturb us.... no big deal anyhow, they have to do what they have to do.
We ordered a beautiful bottle of Ridge wine and get the ball rolling with a few small plates.  We ordered the Shrimp Scampi and the Duck Confit, to be brought out one after another.  The shrimp was to die for; cooked to perfection and extremely flavorful, yum!  The Duck Confit was one of my main purposes for wanting to go to this restaurant; I had Duck Confit only one other time in Chicago and it immediately became my favorite dish, I was anxious to try it again.  The plate was brought to our table and my mouth started to water, literally.  You put your fork in this piece of meat and it just falls apart.  It was everything I remembered it to be; bliss.  We then decided to order our steak, hence The Strip Club, their specialty is the NY Strip, medium rare.  It was absolutely delicious.  Cut into smaller sections and perfect for sharing, each bite was just as good as the first.  It came with poached carrots on the side and even those were mouthwatering!  All in all I give The Strip Club two thumbs up and a big fat A+, I would definitely go back for more!
From there we made our way to Grand Ole Creamery for, what I hear is, the best ice cream ever!  On an already cold night, ice cream is not what you envision to top off the evening, but we did and it was really good.  I don't know that I'd agree with the best ice cream ever, but everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm not a huge fan of ice cream I'm probably not the best person to judge.
It was a great evening and I am so proud to say that I've begun to explore St. Paul and all it has to offer.  I didn't take my camera out once this evening and, for that, I am extremely pissed off at myself.

Sunday snuck up on me... I was to be at Jenny's house at noon so we could make our way to St. Paul for winter carnival events.  Normally my girls days and nights consist of 6-7 of us... Sunday was to be 3 of us; myself, Pamela, and Jen.  I had never seen any of the ice sculptures or done anything surrounding the events of the winter carnival and even though the high for the day was 4° we still ventured out [I have a picture to prove it, but it's sitting on my camera still].  We walked through Rice Park and looked at everything, very pretty stuff people can do with a block of ice!  The need to get inside and warm up was there, so we walked into Landmark Center, used the potty and let our bodies thaw.  All of the sudden we realize that the Medallion hadn't been found, so we spend way too much time trying to find all the clues and discover that we know absolutely NOTHING about St. Paul and these clues made absolutely NO sense to us!  For several thousand dollars though, we wanted to try and figure it out... we decided we would head back NE, grab a bite and do more research.  We ended up at The Bulldog NE [I've been wanting to eat there since Kristi wrote a review of the place].  To start, Pam and I took advantage of the beer special which was $2 big cans [pint size] of PBR, so damn funny that we had to get a picture:

I ordered the Green Marvel burger, which is a Kobe beef burger with melted swiss cheese and topped with fried onions and guacamole.  Absolutely delicious!  Burgers now-a-days are hard to make original and still be delicious... this one accomplishes both :)
We forgot to do any more research on the Medallion and ended up at Mayslacks to meet Amanda for a quick drink.

Last night I watched the last installment of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of The Sith.  I actually followed this one and I am now anxious to watch Episodes 4, 5, and 6 again.  Oh no... I'm a Star Wars freak now!  It just tied everything together so well and I think a lot more will make sense to me now.  I'm proud to say after 27 years of life on this planet I have finally watched all the Star Wars movies!  I'm bomb.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Once a year....

I've gone back and forth a lot lately about what is okay and appropriate for me to write about in my blog... After much consideration and a morning I kind of need to vent about, I've decided that as long as I give a warning, it's my blog and I can write about anything I want to write about.  Right?

So.. warning: I'm about to talk about my vagina and that once a year trip to the doctor.  I guess I should double warn to the guys reading... you may want to move on in your web searching at this point.

This morning I had to have a pap smear, a repeat pap smear because back in November when I had my yearly exam done they didn't take enough tissue to properly do the necessary testing.  I've never been good at having my vagina probed [unless I'm with a guy ;)] so the yearly trip to the doctor has always been a high stress level for me.  Having to go back within a couple months to have it done again was like extra stressful.  It's not just stressful either; for me, I get dizzy, light-headed, crampy... it's a whole big ordeal and while I'm sure some of it is in my head, a lot of it is very real and can't be helped.
Some of the back story behind this, I once had an abnormal pap and, because cancer runs high in my blood line,  they had to do what is called a colposcopy (which is where they take a biopsy of the cells of the cervix).  After which, I was so dizzy and light-headed I thought I was going to pass out, they brought me juice to get some sugar into me.  I was cramping and spoting for the entire day as well.  Pap's have gotten a lot worse for me since then.

About 2 years ago I changed clinics because I was still driving 30 minutes to the clinic I had gone to my entire life.  It's a huge process to change and having to change doctors is a pain in the ass when you consider that the only time you're going to see this person your legs are going to be spread up in stirrups.  I had a huge problem with the doctor that replaced my normal doctor in NE, she never looked me in the eye and was very cold.  So I find a new clinic and make an appointment with some doctor I don't know... it was fine... nothing special but fine.  Just this past November I have to go in again and the doctor I had seen the year before was booked out for a few months, so I make an appointment with someone that was available, no big deal.  So we go through all the steps and get to the pap... I manage through it.  I get a phone call a few weeks later (after stressing because I hadn't heard anything) telling me that the weren't able to run the tests because they didn't get a large enough sample of tissue.  UGH!  So now I have to make another appointment to have the pap done again... oh but wait, the appointment will be at no charge because it was their fault - like that's going to make me feel better.

This morning was the repeat pap and afterwards I decided that it's time to find yet another new doctor.  This doctor is a man (same guy who did it back in Nov) and kind of an ass.  With good reason, I wasn't excited to be there, so I'm sure my mood was cold, but he is the one who fucked up and didn't spend enough time in my vag the first time... so is it wrong that I kind of hate him for my being there again?  I don't think so.  I just want to skip the formalities and get this shit over with... I lay down, I breathe, I prop my feet up into those stirrups and slide my ass down to the end of the table... you know the drill.  Welcome back to my vagina doctor!  Do your shit and get the hell out... don't talk to me, don't pretend like you care, and stop touching the damn speculum once it's in!  I just love how they say 'take a deep breath and try to let that bottom muscle relax'... seriously!?  Let me stick that thing up your ass and see if you can let your muscle relax...

Ok, I'm sorry - I'm getting carried away.  At this point I don't even remember the point of my blogging about this other than to vent about how doctors are so fucking impersonal.  If I'm going to spread my legs for you and you aren't going to cuddle with me afterwards... at least take the time to pretend like you're a nice person and take some damn care when you're probing my vag.

I should stop talking now... If you've continued to read up to this point, you deserve props.  I wouldn't have blamed you for stopping the first mention of vagina.

Have a good day and an even better weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Facebook Users Beware

I received this in email from my work ISP this morning; well worth posting as I know a lot of you are on facebook.

If you're on Facebook, be aware that a fast-spreading worm called Koobface is targeting users and trying to steal personal information such as credit card details. The Koobface worm sends a message to the Facebook user, supposedly from a friend, that says things like "you look funny in this new video" or "is it u there?" After clicking on the video link, the user is asked to download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. Only after the user clicks on the fraudulent Flash update is the Koobface worm installed.

Take a look at an example of a Koobface message below:
Download Graphics to View

This malware can then quickly seize credit card details in two ways - either by waiting for the user to buy something online and remembering the details, or by searching the computer for cookies from past online purchases.

With dozens of Koobface variants known to exist, security leader McAfee warns that the situation may get worse before it gets better. Should your PC be infected with the Koobface worm, Facebook suggests resetting your password and running updated antivirus software to purge the worm from your system. To learn more about security tips for Facebook users, go to

It's important to note that Koobface attacked MySpace users before moving to Facebook, and has also jumped to the social networking site Bebo. All users of such sites would be well advised to stay alert for suspicious messages. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Go Girl

I'm kind of dying to know what you people think of this product.  The link was presented to me through a friends status on facebook and, ever since, I can't stop thinking about situations where it would be a great thing to have.

Camping, road trips, dirty bathrooms... all kinds of situations!  There is something about it, though, that still creeps me out!

Check it out - and let me know your thoughts!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold Weather Behavior

I thought this was worth posting... for all my Minnesota readers and all the chumps I know across the country.  A special thanks to Darcy for posting it on Facebook!

Cold Weather Behavior:

60 above zero: Floridians turn on the heat. Minnesotans plant gardens.
50 above zero: Californians shiver uncontrollably. People are sunbathing in Duluth .
40 above zero: Import cars won't start. Minnesotans drive with the sunroof open.
32 above zero: Distilled water freezes. The water in Bemidji gets thicker.
20 above zero: New Mexicans don long johns, parkas and wool hats & mittens. Minnesotans throw on a flannel shirt.
15 above zero: New York landlords finally turn on the heat. People in Minnesota have one last cookout before it gets cold.
Zero: People in Miami all die. Minnesotans close the windows.
10 below zero: Californians fly away to Mexico . Minnesotans dig their winter c oats out of storage.
25 below zero: Hollywood disintegrates. Girl Scouts in Minnesota still selling cookies door to door.
40 below zero: Washington , D.C. finally runs out of hot air. People in Minnesota let their dogs sleep indoors.
100 below zero: Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. Minnesotans get upset because the Mini-Van won't start.
460 below zero: ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale). People in Minnesota can be heard to say, "Cold 'nuff fer ya?"
500 below zero: Hell freezes over. Minnesota public schools open 2 hours late.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thoughts For Thursday- Guilty Pleasures

Today is simple because I can't think of much to say (Hold the phone... yes, I have nothing to say!!)
It's not deep or meaningful ... simple, but guilty, pleasures in life.

Last night, as I was sitting on my couch enjoying the American Idol auditions with a friend [who is fully against watching the show], I was so excited that this time of year was upon us.
The auditions are the best part of the show, rightfully so too, they edit them just for people like me.  I've watched one full season of AI because there was a hot chick on there that I wanted to continue to watch; it pretty much sucked.  
I know deep down that when I tell people that I've watched or that I'm going to watch, I should be embarrassed... but its my guilty pleasure.  It's been on 2 nights so far and they have 6 more cities to visit; 8 nights of 2 hours of guilty pleasure in 1 year, I'm not doing so bad.

It also got me thinking... what else do I consider to be a guilty pleasure of mine?

  • Friday - I never work on Fridays, most people would use a day off to get things done... and sometimes I do, but most of the time I treat it as what it is; a day off.  I use my day to do absolutely nothing, I watch TV, I take naps, I make myself good coffee and good breakfast, I cuddle with my cat... I do all the things I want; it's my day.
  • Comfy pajama pants - I own way too many pairs of comfy pants, one pair has Tinkerbell on them, but they are so soft!  I will go into a clothing store and not buy anything but a pair of comfy pajama pants.  Generally when I get home from work, I change into them right away.
  • Chocolate - ever since I started drinking coffee I've learn to enjoy a piece of chocolate every now and again.  You may be surprised to know that I'm not a fan of sweets [give me salt any day though], but I've learned that chocolate and coffee are such a great combination together; I now keep a jar of chocolate on my desk at work to enjoy a piece anytime I want.
  • Sushi - it should be no surprise to you at this point that I love the stuff; it's not cheap.  I try to treat myself to a dinner of it once every couple months.  I have no qualms with going to a sushi dinner alone, sometimes I prefer it alone, which brings me to my next guilty pleasure...
  • Alone time - I take full advantage of my alone time.  I never feel guilty because I'm being lazy, I don't care if I have nothing to do... every person would be a lot happier if they spent some time alone.  I highly recommend finding the time for yourself; stop trying to please people, it's okay to say no to plans.  Find time for you!
So, Thoughts for Thursday... What is your guilty pleasure?  Do you have more than one?  If you have none, why don't you?  It can be anything you want, from trashy romance novels to TV shows, from food to movies, from music to alcohol, from video games to silly things you do... anything!

Kristi, Nicole, Denise

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ang's Chicken Artichoke Panini

One of the gifts I gave my mother for Christmas this year was a Panini Press.  She has yet to use it and I've been dying to!  Something kept coming up for dinners but tonight was wide open.... I'd like to share with you what I created:

What I used:

  • Spinach Parmesan bread (pre-sliced)
  • Chicken Breast (Pre-packaged and pre-sliced)
  • Pesto (in a jar)
  • Artichokes (in a jar, not canned)
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes (again, from a jar, not can)
  • Provolone Cheese

Plug in and pre-heat the press while you put you sandwich together.

Putting the sandwich together:
Take 2 slices of bread and spread pesto on both slices, put cheese on one slice.  On the other, put 2 slices (or however many it takes to cover the slice of bread) of chicken breast, folded in half.  Fit in as many Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes as you like, I used 4 of each on top of each other across the length of the sandwich.  Then lay out one more piece of chicken breast across the length.  Take the other slice of bread (with the cheese) and put it on top of your creation.

Grill the Panini:
The Press will be hot as you've been warming it up the entire time, so toss that baby on there and get grillin'!  Close the top and let it roll, press down slightly to get everything good and tight.  Being that you are grilling on both sides, you can lift the top to watch the color and let it grill to your liking.  
*If you don't have a Panini Press you can use a grill pan for this step.  Put one half of the sandwich down on the pan and place another pan, heavier, on top of it.  Flip the sandwich when it's grilled to your liking and repeat with another pan on top to grill the other side.

I used all pre-packed ingredients because I'm a fan of convenience.  Of course, you can buy chicken breast cook it and cut it into chunks, bake your own bread, buy unsliced bread, make your own pesto, etc.  I was hungry and for my first attempt I figured I would buy all the stuff ready to go :)  My sandwich was absolutely delicious, which is no big surprise because I love all the ingredients!  I have hopes and dreams for other sandwich creations and I am certainly willing to try any creation you may have, so drop a suggestion my way!  

(I took the photo from my phone [I was anxious to eat], so I apologize for the quality)

Random v.9.2

In the past couple weeks I have seen 2 women who are pregnant with cigarettes in their hands.  One in a picture and one in person (though I was driving).
What the fuck is wrong with women that they think this is okay?!

I'm sick of getting friend requests on facebook from people who have a default picture that is not them - and just so happen to have all their actual photos private.  Women especially, once you get married (and change your last name) there is a good chance I don't know who you are anymore.  There is an option to send a personal message when you send that friend request... why not just jot down Hi, it's Betty Rubble, from High School.  That way I know who is requesting my friendship.

I'm having a hard time getting into The Wire... people keep telling me to stick with it... I just mailed back Disc 2 of Season 1... I've been trying to get into it for months.  Does anyone have an opinion on this... does it really get better and how long do I have to wait for that to happen?

Eminem has a new song out... it's dope.  I am anxiously awaiting the release of his new album this year.  I'm a fan.

I got my rental car last night, a Hyundai Elantra, what a fricken piece!  The dude who helped me with the rental portion of my night was a complete tool, he thought I was some other lady who he had promised an Impala, so he kept talking about the Impala... I was all: dope, I'll drive an Impala for 10 days, I hope it fits in the garage!  Then when he realizes I was not that lady he says Is a Hyundai Elantra okay?  I promised a different lady the Impala...  Whatever dude, I just need a car!  
The roads were nasty yesterday after work, so I wasn't excited to pull away from the body shop in some car I don't know; I still have concerns with driving my little Yaris in this weather.  The lot is covered in un-plowed snow, so I put it in drive and go... nothing but spinning tires.  Fuck.  Once I finally make my way to the exit of the lot, I stop and think damn this windshield is gross, flip the lever to clean, pull it towards me to spray... nothing but solid chunks of ice plastered to the wipers and smearing all over the windshield, with absolutely NO washer fluid!  I get out and beat the shit outta the wipers to get the ice off and it doesn't budge.  So I have huge wet spots streaking across the windshield, absolutely no traction to drive in all the snow, and all I want to do at this point is use a fucking bathroom.  I make my way across Main Street in Anoka to the Holiday gas station and spend my own money on windshield fluid, put in just about 1/4 of the bottle (because there is no way I'm filling it and giving it back to them full), and use my ice scraper to get all the ice off... and finally I can see!
I make my way home after having my tires spin at every stop light in Anoka... eat a delicious dinner of Marino's Lasagna with a glass of red wine, and go watch Team America World Police (for the first time).

I'm so glad I didn't have to drive all the way to work this morning (car pool)... there were TONS of cars in the ditch and, had I been driving that piece, I would have been in a ditch too!  I'm hoping the snow they expect tonight into tomorrow goes somewhere else (like Willard, MO) because I have to drive tomorrow.  UGH.

By the way... for all of you that are lucky enough to not live in Minnesota... it was -13 this morning on the way to work... that's 13 degrees BELOW ZERO, for an actual temperature!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano - Maple Grove, MN

Yesterday was my first trip to Biaggi's and I truly enjoyed it! Sunday evening, so it wasn't extremely packed. We were greeted by about 7 greeters and taken to a cozy little booth right away. Our server came over right away and got us started by mixing their delicious herb infused olive oil with fresh cracked pepper and Parmesan cheese for dipping our bread. She seemed to rush through the specials of the day and completely lost me in the middle, I generally tend to forgive servers who have to say those lines so many times a day... especially since it was on paper right in front of us. We ordered the Carpaccio to start and it was delicious, though I thought it could have had a bit less cracked pepper on it being that you have your own pepper cracker at the table. I personally am not a huge fan of pepper in great quantity, you may be different. I ordered the Shrimp Oreganata, which is lightly breaded shrimp with pasta in a red sauce. I thought it was absolutely delicious. The shrimp was cooked to perfection, not too much breading, and great flavor. The pasta was simple, the sauce was very good and complimented the dish perfectly. In my opinion, a great value for the price. I especially liked how when I placed my order our server got excited and told me that was her favorite dish! My companion ordered the Chilean Sea Bass, which is served atop garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach in a roasted red pepper sauce. All looked wonderful and I was able to get a nice little bite of fish and it was really tasty and tender, just like fish should be! I ordered us each a glass of wine that I thought would go well with our meals and they absolutely did. They have a nice selection of wine by the glass and some nice bottles as well. I thought, overall, that this was a great place and I will be back to try one of the many other things on the menu that caught my eye!
Pros: great service, delicious food
Cons: none

Gran Torino - Movie Review

When I first briefly heard about this movie, I had absolutely no interest in seeing it.  I've never been one to see that Clint Eastwood is in a movie and rush to go see it... after just searching for Clint Eastwood it occurred to me that I have, in fact, never seen a single movie he has stared in, directed, or produced (though I do have Million Dollar Baby on my Netflix Q).
Over the weekend Dana posted a blog talking about this movie and, while her review recommended seeing it, I still had little to no interest, it just wasn't something that sounded like anything I'd enjoy.

It was Sunday afternoon, Steve and I were thinking of ways to kill the day, he suggested Gran Torino, I thought Meh... why not.  We get to the theater pretty early and make our way in... thank goodness we did too, cause that place filled up quick!

Gran Torino, without spoiling it, is about a Korean War Veteran who lives in, what used to be, a white neighborhood where white is now the minority. The movie begins at the funeral of his wife; after his wife dies, his children begin to try and convince him to move out of the house/neighborhood and into a retirement community.  He is a stubborn old man and is very set in his ways, so he refuses.  The movie goes on to show his struggles with the Hmong family next door (who's son tried to steal his mint 1972 Gran Torino by way of gang initiation) and pretty much the entire Hmong/Asian community.  There are a lot of racial slurs and quite a bit of humor wrapped around the entire movie.  In my opinion, its easy to get past the racial remarks because it is the character, it wouldn't be the same movie without them.
I, at one point, found myself completely engulfed in this film.  I generally sit back and enjoy movies just fine, but never really lose myself in them... this was not the case with Gran Torino.  I was in it.  I was into it.  I was taken by it.

I struggle to find the right words; it's not really a feel-good movie, and it's not really a lesson-learned type of film... but in the same regard, it is both.  I left feeling like that was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time and I bet you will too!

I give Gran Torino a big fat A+ on the elaborate scale that I rank movies on.  I do warn against the racism, and will say that there is violence, gang violence and some of a sexual nature - be forewarned.  It's a real easy story for anyone to follow and there are plenty of laugh out loud moments for anyone to enjoy.  Not only do I recommend you see this movie... I HIGHLY recommend you see it, it's worth the extra money you'll spend at the theater to go enjoy it now!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Banner 1.8.09

Last month when I was in Sonoma at many wineries, I snapped a shot that I thought might work well for a banner... I wanted something simple, but something that had potential for bigger and better things.
This is what I've put together in a few short minutes:
Again, simple.
I took the photo at our last stop for the day because it's not often that they pour out 6 tastes at a time.  I instantly fell in love with the beauty of the colors of the wine and how perfectly they were all poured.  It turned out to work well for a simple banner for this blog.  I played with the blog colors for quite some time and couldn't really come up with anything I loved... but I'm happy enough to publish!  I also wanted to get a picture up of the new me (aka short hair).
I'm extremely hard on myself when it comes to putting things together, designing banners, and things of the sort.  It'll be around for awhile, so I hope you enjoy!

TFT: Remaining Friends With Your Friends Ex

Kind of a silly title.

Let me give you a fictional situation: My friend Phillip is dating Sarah.  Sarah and I end up growing to be friends because I'm such good friends with Phillip and we all hang out together.  Phillip and Sarah break up.  Is it okay for me to remain friends with Sarah?  Phillip and I were friends first, and we are better friends, but Sarah and I get along and have a lot in common.  I don't want to hurt Phillip by hanging out with Sarah and I certainly wouldn't bring Sarah around if I were hanging out with Phillip...What is the right and wrong here?

Now, on a non-fiction note, I have been in this situation before.  I have friends on myspace/facebook who are my friends' ex's, we don't really hang out ever, but we are friends.

What if the situation arose one day where the ex called me and wanted to hang out; would that be okay?  I've also been in the situation where I wanted nothing to do with the ex and end all ties.  It's always been curious to me if people do this - or how people handle the situation.  

This isn't a very insightful TFT, but more just me being curious what other people think about it.
So... getting back into the TFT Tradition... Do you think it's right to remain friends with an ex of your friend?  Have you done it?  Did good or bad come of it?  Did your friend know?  If you haven't done it, why not?  Just looking for general thoughts here ... ...

Other TFT Posters: Kristi , Nicole , Helmey , Dana Leigh , 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2008 Photo Review

Well, 2008 had it's up and downs for sure... and in effort to follow along with the blog world, I want to recap my year through photographs; only the good though.  This will be long!!
Here we go:
Duluth for my cousins 21st Birthday:
Learning how to knit!

My crazy outcast cousins and our photo shoots!

Having a blast at Rich's show

St. Patty's Day craziness with these fools (and walking away with the tie and buttons undone)

My trip to Vegas to visit with these 2 wonderful and beautiful women!

Mother/Daughter/Sister/Aunts/Cousins weekend in Nisswa

NYC in the Spring and seeing Coney Island for the first time!

Buying my first brand new car!!!

Playing in the rain with my silly family

Hanging with my boy Brandon and taking millions of pics on his MacBook

Many Twins games over the entire summer

Watching Jordan grow and seeing her turn 1:

Jenny's Wedding

My Brother's 30th Birthday

Road Trip to MO to visit this great family (Not Pictured: Renee)

Jeff and Carissa's Wedding

Several Vikings games... and lots of drinking :)

Dressing up for Halloween and actually enjoying it!

Going to see Wicked

Rich (and ALL my friends and family) coming out for my birthday:

Monday, January 5, 2009

SanFran Pictures

As mentioned earlier today; here are some pictures from my new camera while in San Francisco and Sonoma:
Looking out onto the Coit Tower :
Trolley's in SF are one of my favorite things:
Looking up onto Lombard Street:
A view of Downtown SF:
The Bay Bridge:
Me in Sonoma:
Watching the sunset over the rolling hills of Sonoma:
Sun setting behind a barrel of wine:

Random - v.9.1

Crazy, isn't it?  Random 9.1 - welcome!  It's a new year - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Did you all have a good new years eve celebration?  I know I did.  We all (myself, Steve, Jeff, Linnea, Jess, Tim, and Jeff Scott) went out for dinner then went back to my place to ring in the new year.  We didn't do anything huge or over the top... just brought over the Wii, had a bunch of board games, and a bunch of beer.  It was a great night overall - my house was a bit discombobulated the next morning, but it was easy enough to put back together.  (find pictures on the book)

I'm ready for some normalcy in my life again.  I feel like I haven't been at work for a month.  I feel like I haven't been at my house for weeks and I think my cat is starting to feel neglected!  I need to get back into the gym and stop eating so much (and stop eating out).  I'm done drinking for at least a month.

Wednesday of last week I had an insurance adjuster come to my work and look at my car.  He was here for about an hour and a half... and when he left, he left me with a check to get my car fixed!  I'm a fan of that.

I finally got all the pictures off my DSLR from my trip to San Fran - I kind of don't want to post them on the book or the space... maybe I'll post a few on here for your enjoyment.  Another time though as they are on my computer at home.

I've been eating some more spicy things as of late... don't tell anyone this, but it's completely growing on me!  Even though my mouth is on fire... I like it and I want more of it!  Whodathunkit?

I don't really want to talk about this a whole bunch because, well... I had faith, the Vikings lost yesterday afternoon.  I would like to acknowledge the fact that I was able to watch it on TV because of the fans though... and that is an amazing thing.  I was bound and determined to see the game, even if that meant going to the dome and standing in the below zero temps to scalp a ticket from someone... and I would have done it alone if no one wanted to go with me.  Thankfully, the fans stepped up and sold out the dome!  I, along with my dear friends, went to B-dubs to watch the game only to leave completely disappointed.  I'm glad I didn't spend the extra cash on parking and a game ticket just to leave the dome completely disappointed.  Football is over for the year, for me.  Because I am a loyal friend, I leave you with this:
Go Chargers!

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Year-in-Review

Where​ did you begin​ 2008?​
In a hotel room

What was your statu​s by Valen​tine'​s Day?
alive and anxiously awaiting the end of winter

Were you in schoo​l anyti​me this year?​

Did you have to go to the hospi​tal?​

Did you have any encou​nters​ with the polic​e?​
on my birthday, for the car accident

What did you purch​ase that was over $​1000?​
i did not​

Did you know anybo​dy who got marri​ed?​
yes, Jenny/Joe and Jeff/Carissa

Did you know anybo​dy who passe​d away?​
not personally

Did you know anyon​e who had a baby?​
not this year

Did you move anywh​ere?​
not my homestead

What conce​rts/​shows​ did you go to?
A few local bands, Wicked, and A Christmas Carol​.​

Do you still​ have the same job as you did in 2007?​

Where​ do you live now?

Descr​ibe your birth​day
The actual day was wonderful until the car accident, then went to see A Christmas Carol​

What'​s one thing​ you thoug​ht you'​d never​ do but did in 2008?​
successfully began to move on

What has been your favor​ite momen​t?​
the summer was great, buying a new car, for the first time was scary but very exciting​

What'​s somet​hing you learn​ed about​ yours​elf?​
that winter brings me down

Any new addit​ions to your famil​y?​
My cousin got married, so I have a new cousin-in-law :)

What was your best month​?​
I don't recall

Were you in a relat​ionsh​ip this year?​
I wouldn't call anything a relationship

What music​ will you remem​ber 2008 by?
man, there have been many... but probably the Vagina songs!

New frien​d?​
yeah, a few (new and old)

Favor​ite Night​ out?
I had a blast on St. Patty's Day!

Would​ you say you'​ve chang​ed since​ the begin​ning of this year?​
very much so

Do you think​ 2009 will be bette​r or worse​?​
I'm completely optimistic that 2009 will be much better then how 2008 ended.  I'm sure there will be bad moments though, there always is.

Staye​d singl​e almos​t the whole​ year?​
Single each day of the year, yes.

Done somet​hing you'​ve regre​tted?​

Lost someo​ne?​
Not actually, but yes, I feel like I have

Cut class​?​

Were invol​ved in somet​hing you'​ll never​ forge​t?​
many things this year were great and I don't soon want to forget them.  How long that actually lasts... who knows!

Visit​ed a diffe​rent count​ry?​

Cooke​d a gross​ meal?​
no way

Lost somet​hing impor​tant to you?
not really

Got a gift you adore​?​
I've developed some close friendships over the past year and I absolutely adore my friends!

Tripp​ed over a coffe​e table​?​
actually, yes!​

Dyed your hair?​
not in 2008, but in 2009 i will be!

Came close​ to losin​g your life?​

Read a great​ book?​
No :(

Saw one of your favor​ite bands​/​artis​ts live?​
Does Wicked count?

[​[​2008:​ Frien​ds and Enemi​es]​]​

Did you meet any new frien​ds this year?​

Did you disli​ke anyon​e?​

Did you grow apart​ from anyon​e?​

[​[​2008:​ Your BIRTH​DAY!​]​]​
Did you have a cake?​
Nope.​ WTF is that about?!

Did you have a party​?​
I had a bunch of friends out at a bar to celebrate with me!  That was a great night!​

Did you get any prese​nts?​

[​[​2008:​All about​ YOU]​]​
Did you chang​e at all this year?​
Yes, chopped my hair off!

Did you chang​e your style​?​
My style is so random and all over the board anyhow...

Did you get good grade​s?​

Did you drive​?​
Way too much.​

Did you own a car?
Hell yes!

Did you go on any vacat​ions?​
Yes, many​ - NYC, SF, MO

Would​ you chang​e anyth​ing about​ yours​elf now?
I'd make my hair grow faster. ;)

[​[​2008:​ Wrap UP:​]​]​
Was 2008 a good year?​
overall yes.

Do you think​ 2009 will top 2008?​
I sure hope so!

IN 2008 I:
(x) kisse​d in the snow
(x) celeb​rated​ Hallo​ween
(x) had your heart​ broke​n
() moone​d someo​ne
() went over the minut​es on your cell phone​
(x) someo​ne quest​ioned​ your sexua​l orien​tatio​n
() gotte​n pregn​ant
() had an abort​ion
(x) done somet​hing you'​ve regre​tted
() paint​ed a pictu​re
() wrote​ a poem
() ran a mile
() shopp​ed at Holli​ster or Aberc​rombi​e and Fitch​
(x) poste​d a blog on MySpa​ce
() visit​ed a forei​gn count​ry
() cut in a line of waiti​ng peopl​e
(x) parti​ed to celeb​rate the new year
() cooke​d a disas​trous​ meal
(x) lied about​ how old you were
() prank​ calle​d someo​ne
[x] broke​ a promi​se
[x] cried​ over a broke​n heart​
[x] disap​point​ed someo​ne close​
[x] hid a secre​t
[x] prete​nded to be happy​
[] slept​ under​ the stars​
[] kept your new years​ resol​ution​
[] forgo​t your new years​ resol​ution​
[] met someo​ne who chang​ed your life
[x] chang​ed your outlo​ok on life
[x] sat home all day doing​ nothi​ng
[] prete​nded to be sick
[] left the count​ry
[] almos​t died
[x] given​ up on somet​hing/​​someo​ne impor​tant to you
[] lost somet​hing expen​sive
[x] learn​ed somet​hing new about​ yours​elf
[x] tried​ somet​hing you norma​lly would​n'​​t try and liked​ it
[x] made a chang​e in your life
[x] found​ out who your true frien​ds were
[x] met great​ peopl​e
[x] staye​d up til sunri​se
[x] cried​ over the silli​est thing​
[x] had frien​ds who were drift​ing away from you
[] had a high cell phone​ bill
[] spent​ most of your money​ on food
[] had a fist fight​
[x] gotte​n sick
[] liked​ more than 5 peopl​e at the same time.​
[x] becam​e close​r with a lot of peopl​e
[x] staye​d singl​e
[x] got kisse​d
[x] kisse​d someo​ne new
[x] made out
[x] made out in a car
[x] kisse​d in the snow
[x] kisse​d in the rain
[] fell in love
[] fell in love with a fool
[x] had my heart​ broke​n
[x] broke​ someo​ne else'​s heart​
[x] had a stalk​er
[] lost a frien​d.​.​
[x] had a good relat​ionsh​ip with someo​ne
[] got marri​ed
[] had a divor​ce
[x] kisse​d someo​ne of the same sex
[x] met someo​ne that I will never​ forge​t
[x] lost my true love
[x] lost faith​ in love for awhil​e
[] kisse​d under​ mistl​etoe
[] got a promo​tion
[x] got a pay raise​
[] chang​ed jobs
[] lost my job
[] quit my job
[] got fired​ from my job
[] got strai​ght A's
[] almos​t got strai​ght A's
[] faile​d a class​
[] cut class​
[] skipp​ed schoo​l
[x] did somet​hing I was proud​ of
[x] prove​d mysel​f an idiot​
[] embar​rasse​d mysel​f in front​ of the class​
[] fell in love with a teach​er
[x] liste​ned to music​ I could​n'​t stand​
[x] doubl​e dippe​d
[] skinn​y dippe​d
[x] went to a sleep​over
[] went to camp
[x] threw​ a surpr​ise party​
[x] laugh​ed till I cried​
[] laugh​ed till I peed my pants​
[x] flirt​ed shame​lessl​y
[] visit​ed a forei​gn count​ry
[] visit​ed a forei​gn state​
[] tried​ to gain weigh​t
[] went to a wild party​
[] got arres​ted
[] saw a great​ movie​
[] saw a movie​ so scary​ that it made me cry
[] did somet​hing that I want to tell every​one
[x] exper​ience​d somet​hing new
[x] lied to your paren​ts
[] snuck​ out
[] got in troub​le with polic​e
[] kisse​d in a pool
[x] kisse​d under​ the stars​
[x] went to a party​
[x] had the time of your life
[x] dance​d
[] fell out of love
[x] had a crush​ on someo​ne
[x] swam in a pool
[] made a snowm​an
[] went snowb​oardi​ng
[] went sledd​ing
[] slep​t in past 2pm
[x] held someo​ne’s hand
[x] held someo​ne’s hand that you care about​
[x] told someo​ne you like them as more than a frien​d
[x] gone on vacat​ion with a frien​d
[] playe​d strip​ poker​
[x] dance​d in the rain
[x] seen someo​ne get in a car accid​ent
[x] laugh​ed until​ you could​n'​t breat​he
[x] had an amazi​ng year
[x] misse​d someo​ne
[x] got hit by a car
[] sent someo​ne to the hospi​tal
[] got a new pet
[x] enjoy​ed this year overa​ll


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