In numbers…

Hours spent doing homework: four billion (OK, it’s actually more like 10-12, but it was a lot: two papers, five chapters read, 3 outlines written, four hours of CNN documentary watched, and no studying for Wednesday’s exam)

Miles driven: approximately 280, give or take

House showings: at least 2

Hours spent thinking keys were lost: 12

Number of times bobbin had to be re-threaded because it was empty: 3

New commenters on this blog: 1

Pictures from the weekend (some taken by , some by me):

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(a few more in my Flickr photostream [link removed], if you’re interested)

Wednesday Mind Hump

  1. What’s the longest distance you’ve ever traveled? I flew from Chicago to Romania (via Austria) in 2000 just after graduating for a mission trip. Within the states, I’m not sure which was worse – driving to Atlanta from the Twin Cities, or driving to Arizona from the Twin Cities. Both were freaking long trips.
  2. What’s the longest distance you’ve ever walked? That would have to be the time this summer that Prince Charming and I walked from his house (or relatively nearby) to the MOA and back. Actually, that’s not true at all. The summer after my freshman year of high school, I went on a camping trip at my church camp that was actually a hiking and biking trip. We spent the first week hiking along 12-mile beach in the Upper Peninsula, about 6-10 miles per day with 50+ pound packs. The second week was spent biking back to camp, about 60 miles per day (at least, that’s what they told us – what did I know, I was only 14).
  3. How far away is the friend/relative who lives the longest distance from you? Sarah lives in Boston, and that’s pretty far away. Mentally running through the list of other far-off friends, is in Wisconsin, and Betsy are in Illinois (as well as a slew of other people), my grandma lives in Florida, and my aunt and uncle and some cousins live in Michigan. So, yeah, Sarah wins.

Tuesday Twosome

Goodbye summer…

  1. Did you go on vacation? If so, where? If not, where do you wish you had gone? I actually went on 3 vacations this year, which was amazing! Camping twice (Scenic State Park and Tettagouchee State Park) and an actual vacation on a lake shore in a condo in Grand Marais. I can’t remember the last time I was this well-traveled, or well-relaxed.
  2. How many times did you swim in a pool? How many times did you go to a beach or lake? I swam in a pool exactly once, at the birthday celebration for Liz and myself. I was at a lake many times… Scenic had one, and Tettagouchee and Grand Marais are both on Lake Superior, as well as Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls.
  3. What are the two best things about summer? Explain: I love the long days of sunlight, when the sun doesn’t set until almost 10, and I love that, because of the nature of my workplace, summer is really quite relaxed and not much is expected to be accomplished.
  4. What are the two worst things about summer? Explain: It ends just as I’m beginning to catch my stride, and while I love the sun, it exhausts me, and turns me the color of lobsters.
  5. Recall the two best memories you are going to remember about this past summer (2006): Can I just lump all my time spent with Prince Charming into one? (Highlight: this past weekend’s trip to Grand Marais, and yes, photos are coming – be patient!) Also, maybe a tie between Mom moving here, time spent in my hammock, and Prince Charming’s dad buying me a bike.
  6. I’m adding a question: Two least-favorite memories of this summer: All the moving that people did, in and out of my house, Amanda… at least I didn’t have to move furniture for Mom! Also, saying goodbye to Romeo was heart-breaking, and a relief.

Take a deep breath and cough…

(No, the doctor’s never told me to do that.)

So I woke up this morning congested. Have I mentioned it’s the middle of July and it’s… 86* outside, and has been for the past week? Regardless, I am stuffy (notice I didn’t say sick), and it’s one more reason to be excited about going camping (in 4 hours and 40 minutes). I’m always just the slightest bit congested, but I never notice it until I’m out in the middle of nowhere for a prolonged period of time breathing absolutely clear air. Traveling is the worst – spend half a day in an airport and a plane, or in any other small confined space with recycled air… how do people with allergies survive? I’m such a wuss. And poor Alison, who’s allergic to cats (that’s not a big deal, since she doesn’t have any – she just can’t visit me right now) and dust (um, that’s unavoidable), and then has this skin condition where any little scratch gets inflamed… well, she can’t take her medication for that because she’s pregnant. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

I got distracted… and have nowhere to go with this post.

Dreams

I had a whole slew of dreams last night – I kept waking up and realizing that I’d dreamt about yet another weird subject. I dreamt about… Prince Charming, and Dawson’s Creek (I was actually in that world and one of the characters, though I couldn’t tell you who), and wasabi, and… other weird things. Clearly, Chubby Hubby right before bed can be harmful to your sleep. (Yes, I’m sure there’s a “your mom” joke in there somewhere, and I’m sure it’s dirtier than anyone wants to put into writing.)

Everything that needed to be done to get ready for camping has been. I did a bit of laundry last night, cleaned out the fridge, made up trail mix, pulled the rest of the stuff that’s at my house together in a nice pile at the end of my bed… I even remembered to turn off the alarm clock feature of my TV, and my speakers, and my computer. Wow.

Matea was fully of whoring-goodness this morning. If I could bring her camping, I would. But I think the quantity of “strangers” and dogs, as well as the long car trip, makes that impossible. Oh, but she was trying hard to be cute and make me feel guilty for leaving her. At least with kids, you can explain to them that you’re coming back and they’ll understand, so even if they give you the puppy dog eyes and the pout or even cry, you can reassure them and it’s all good. Cats, not so much.

I think its going to be a long, boring day at work. Again. But I get to leave a tiny bit early, to catch a bus to Minneapolis, to meet Prince Charming & co. for dinner and a movie. And then it’s sleep and grocery shopping at Cub and off for camping! I don’t feel like I desperately need a vacation (like I did a few weeks ago), but maybe that’s just because it’s all planned and almost here. I like the idea of being on vacation and not feeling… so desperately needy about the relaxation aspect. Kinda like a bonus. Maybe it’s the hammock – every night I get a mini-vacation.

Speaking of which – has anyone ever given themselves a pedicure while in a hammock? Once you get past the awkwardness… it’s actually quite luxurious. You should try it.

Spoiled

It’s 71* outside, and while I was out on my break, I was freezing. I’m wearing long pants and a short-sleeved shirt, and I was actually shaking. I think a week of 90+ temperatures has affected what my body’s able to tolerate.

OK, I’m going to the co-op tonight to get a few things for our camping trip. In the next… two hours, if you have any suggestions of things to put into trail mix, leave a comment. No raisins, though – Prince Charming might cry, or vomit. Not exactly sure which.

Did anyone…

…smell the rain this morning? It smelled like childhood and camping and Saturday afternoons spent on the couch, and a little like locker room and wet dog. All in all, not the greatest smelling rain, but still quite… sensory. I enjoyed it, while walking to work this morning. Arguably, not the best morning to walk to work, but the bus didn’t pass me until the Xcel Center, so I didn’t lose much time.

Thankfully, last night I finally finished the bottle of White Merlot that has been kicking my butt for a week now. I thought that maybe I’d like White Merlot, or tolerate it, since I hate Merlot. But no, this is bad too. Oh well. Won’t know unless I try, right?

Miles walked since 6/1: 43.3
Peeve of the moment: Co-workers (what else?)
What I’m wondering: if we’ll actually be able to cook with a fire this weekend while camping… 🙂

My weekend

Might not actually warrant an entire post. Let me see if I can make it sound exciting (not that I’m complaining – Prince Charming and I manage to balance our busy and not-busy weekends well, and this one happened to be a not-busy one)….

The most important thing about this weekend was that it was hot. Luckily, he has air conditioning, so we didn’t completely die. We had brunch on Saturday with friends at Hell’s Kitchen, and it was practically that hot in there. Either they didn’t have air conditioning, or it was just too hot out and to many people inside for it to make much of a difference. We went to Home Depot to get the materials needed to make a spit. We… went to Target. Prince Charming worked on the spit, but not all of the materials were correct, so it didn’t get finished Saturday. We set up the tent and I started to seal the seams, but ran out of sealant. Um… we watched TV and ate dinner and tried some Robert Mondovi vino blanco (I forget their fancy name for it), which I didn’t like all that much.

Sunday we slept in, hurrah! And then after lunch got the rest of the stuff for the spit and that’s what Prince Charming worked on for the afternoon. I made biscuits, which didn’t turn out bad, but weren’t fabulous as well. Good for a first attempt, though. If anyone has a recipe they’d like to pass on, that’d be great. Prince Charming requests nothing too flaky or croissant-like. And we had a steak salad for dinner. And… watched more TV. And packed up the tent and made a menu for camping and shopping list and… you get the idea.

The important thing about Sunday was that Prince Charming finished the spit. Wanna see?

Spit
Turning mechanism

So theoretically there’ll be a slab of meat on that and it’ll sit over the fire pit and cook and we’ll have a yummy dinner Saturday night. If not, we’ll be eating Clif bars with our corn-on-the-cob. The legs are attached so that the height is adjustable, and the skewers can turn freely to allow for even cooking of the meat. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Speaking of which, we’re going camping Friday morning, so there’ll be a tiny bit of blog silence, but not much. I’ll be back at work on Tuesday. I can’t tell exactly from Cingular’s site, but I don’t think we’ll have any cell service, which is fantastic, just the way a vacation should be.

I’ve got a boring afternoon to get through, and then a few things to do to get ready to go camping. But basically this week should be slow. My goal is to not be tired or want to sleep in on Friday, so we can get on the road at a decent time. If I could sleep at work when I didn’t have anything to do, I could definitely get this accomplished.

How Time Flies

First of all, normal 2-day weekends just seem like a cruel joke after a 4-day holiday weekend.

So, due to my not having a car and the way things would work out easiest for scheduling, even though our camping trip isn’t for another 2 weeks, I realized this morning that I have to basically be done preparing by Thursday night. This means getting all my camping supplies ready, checking to make sure everything that needs to be purchased has been, washing dishes, refilling the salt & pepper, that sort of thing. It also means that my duffel bag for the weekend – clothes, shower stuff, etc – needs to be packed, because they’re all going back to Prince Charming’s house with him when he drops me off on Sunday night. That way, Thursday after work I can bus to his house, we can do our grocery shopping Friday morning, pack the cooler, and be off.

Yesterday, we set up the tent for the first time, and once we figured it out, it was pretty easy. It’s a nice little tent. I say little because it’s a lot smaller than my old one. It’s a 3-4 man (or maybe it was 2-3 man), instead of the solid 4-man I used to have. But, it’s got a rain fly, and pockets (for keys to not get lost), and won’t leak like my old one. And for $20, what do you expect? It’ll be interesting to see the queen-sized air mattress inside of it.

So we were watching some Eddie Murphy comedy act from Netflix this weekend, and he does this bit about women saying to their men, “What have you done for me lately?” (Trust me, it’s funny, circa mid 1980’s.) So we got to thinking, and the list of things Prince Charming has done for me lately was ridiculously long. Gosh, you’d almost think he liked me or something.

We helped Amanda move this weekend – her new place is sweet, and so much closer to my house. Very exciting. What else? We did a lot of running around to different stores, trying to find a spit for camping, a new purse for me, other camping supplies…. Saturday we got home, showered and changed out of our sweaty clothes (it was a bit warm for moving) into pajamas, and vegged the entire night. Sunday we attempted to watch the World Cup, until we realized we didn’t care who won, or didn’t care as much as we should have (and have about previous games). So we turned it off and went shopping instead. In case you wanted to know, the Pomegranate Frappuccino at Starbucks (no coffee, no cream, just tea and fruit juice) is pretty good, if you like pomegranate.

There’s nothing to do at work today. At least Blogger can publish again.

Four For Friday

[Editor’s Note: I’m dying here. Someone make it stop. Or make the clock move faster. Or something.]

  1. Toothpaste: If you were asked by a toothpaste manufacturer to come up with a new flavor, what would be your top three suggestions? I really like my “Citrus” flavored toothpaste, so I’m sticking with that. Anything sweeter would make me feel like I hadn’t just brushed (I was thinking about chocolate, or marshmallow, or cotton candy, but obviously that would at least seem counterproductive).
  2. Food: What’s the absolute strangest food you’ve ever tried? While not terribly exciting, I think calamari is pretty strange. Very, very yummy though. Oh, and the time I cooked mussels, that was weird. Throwing living things into boiling water with the express purpose of consuming them with a creamy sauce over noodles – just seems… odd.
  3. Gasoline: Economists are predicting that gasoline prices in the U.S. will reach $3.00 per gallon within the next three months. How will this summer’s gas prices impact your travel plans? I have no summer travel plans. Well, I hope to go camping a few times, but since I wouldn’t go alone and couldn’t, not owning a car, I assume that the group will just all split the costs, and so that’s not really all that bad. I’m not, however, planning a trip to Illinois, or out of state, any time soon. (Though a friend from college just got in touch with me to tell me he’s getting married, and he lives in California, and he asked for my address, so I’m kinda hoping that I’m getting an invite to the wedding, which would be a cool excuse to go to California, but that’s probably not this summer, and I’d never drive to California, so I guess it’s all irrelevant.)
  4. Health Insurance: Do you think all employers should be required by law to pay some or all of the costs associated with their employees’ health insurance? Yes. I love my health insurance. I think everyone should be so lucky as to have at least basic protection. Call me communist, whatever.
  5. September 11th: How do you feel about movies that attempt to portray what happened onboard commercial airplanes that were downed on 9/11? Do have an interest in watching these movies? I have no interest in watching them whatsoever. My recollection of that day is still crystal clear. But I think movies are fine, as long as they’re done tastefully, since they are probably proving to be therapeutic and cathartic to those creating and/or watching them.
  6. Taxes: Did you file your 2005 taxes yourself or did you enlist the services of a professional tax preparer? In either event, did you file online or by hand? I did them myself. Well, kinda, because I ended up using an online program that saved me… hundreds of dollars. And I submitted online.
  7. Hey You: When you’re on a horse farm and you want to get a horse’s attention, you make a clicking sound with your mouth. What sort of sound would I need to make to get your attention? Please don’t. Whatever you pick will annoy me.

3x Thursday

  1. Name 3 projects you’d like to accomplish (they could be anything). At the moment, find new roommate, move into Melissa’s room, and… get this website done that I’m working on for work.
  2. If you could plan a lengthy trip/vacation, where would you go and what would you do? Amanda reminded me Tuesday night about the Apostle Islands, where I’d love to go camping this summer. I think it’d be cool to go to the Bay of Fundy, but it’s in Canada and that’s kinda far away. And there’s always Paris with Mom. And, really, anywhere I haven’t been before.
  3. If you could start (and keep up) 3 hobbies, what would they be? Why? 3 new hobbies? Why in the world? OK, if I have to… crocheting (because, according to Mom, every knitter needs to know how to crochet a little bit), hammock-sitting, and… underwater basket weaving. Seriously. I don’t need new hobbies. I’m quite happy with the ones I have (and can’t seem to find the time to complete the projects I’ve got started as it is).

Monday’s a B*tch

What was the worst…

  1. Date you’ve ever been on? Senior year of high school I went on a date with this guy (Daryl, and yes it was always joked, “and his other brother Darrell” by my youth pastor and the youth group guys). It was our first date, and I was really excited about it because I’d been crushing on him for a while but he was really shy. So anyways, he picked me up and we went to a movie (James Bond: Goldeneye, which had way too much sexual content for my comfort) and then for ice cream and then back to my house, where we sat on the living room couch (no TV in there) and talked (boringly). I suppose it doesn’t sound that bad, but he just wouldn’t go home and wouldn’t get the hint. By this time it’d been seven hours long, and I mentioned something about him being late for his curfew and he didn’t care and it was all just… too much. No kiss good night, no second date (though he did call me four months later, after I’d been basically ignoring his existence, and ask me to prom, and I turned him down to go with girlfriends, and then he said, “well, let me know if you change your mind,” which just sealed his fate with me, because that kind of… neediness or loserness or whatever you want to call it when someone doesn’t get it after you keep rejecting them… is really unattractive and unacceptable in my book).
  2. Embarrassing high school moment? Early freshman year I tripped up a flight of stairs on my way to French class and there were some juniors and seniors nearby. They might have laughed (I don’t remember). That’s not the most embarrassing thing that happened to me between 1992 and 1996, but it’s the only one I can think of that happened at high school.
  3. Party you’ve ever been to? I don’t really go to parties because I don’t like them, so without sounding too rude, most of them would fit in the category of “worst party.” I only like the ones I throw (because then I know everyone that’s invited and feel completely comfortable in my surroundings).
  4. Lie you ever told? The one I can think of (because I lied to my parents a ton in junior and senior high, and I just can’t remember it all) is the summer after freshman year of college when I dated this older guy and didn’t tell my parents specifically because I knew they wouldn’t let me but he had the same name as a friend of mine so I just sort of implied I was going out with him instead.
  5. Vacation you ever went on? I’m going to throw out there the camping trip that Amanda and I went on this fall, with the rain storm and soaked tent/sleeping bag and sleeping in the car and losing the car keys and generally lots of not-fun-things. I want a re-do.

Sunday Morning

This morning’s weather is the kind that often falls on Sunday mornings. I used to find myself making the drive up to church, stressed or frustrated or just tired, and all I’d know was that I really didn’t want to spend my morning that way. The sun shining, a gentle breeze, whether crisp and cold or pleasantly warm, I knew the day shouldn’t involve work. A leisurely drive to places I hadn’t yet explored, a cup of coffee and a walk in a peaceful neighborhood, resting on a hammock with a good book. On really cold or rainy days, curled up with a cat, an old blanket, and a bad movie on TV (or another book). A phone call to an old friend in the afternoon. A good church service wasn’t out of the question, so long as it was a choice.

Today has been pleasantly leisurely. It has actually been four months of laid-back Sundays, but today I consciously noted the calm and peace and happiness. Matea sits on my lap, curled up on the blanket to stay warm and because I haven’t been home much lately, and every once in a while she just looks up and stares at me. I can’t tell exactly what she’s thinking, but its somewhere in the happiness-gratitude-love genre. A slice of toasted bread made fresh earlier this week, with a few slices of Havarti, sits next to me. Viggo Mortensen prances about on my TV screen talking to his horse in Hidalgo (where for most of the movie his lips are so horribly chapped that its distracting). There’s a hot mocha on my bedside table atop a stack of books that all beckon to be read (“this afternoon,” I tell them).

After I finish my breakfast, I have plans to clean the tub and finish painting the edging in the bathroom. Then maybe some laundry or taking care of camping supplies or a nap or reading. Who knows. Its a choice I can make later, and I can’t really make the wrong choice.

Sign: “Children under 7 only. No biking. No ball playing.” From yesterday’s walk with Prince Charming

My Weekend (in short)

I don’t have tons of time today to blog, but I thought I’d put up a little bit about my weekend. Friday Prince Charming  and I went to the Minnesota Orchestra. I was a bit afraid I’d find it boring, but it was really good. It was especially fun to find those musicians who really enjoyed what they were doing. The guest violinist was one of those people, but there were some others as well, where it was fabulous to watch their facial expressions and movements. Time to go for violin lessons, I believe.

Saturday, Amanda and Liz and I went to Sponsels for our annual apple orchard trip. I’m still working on the photo page, and I’ll post the link there later. Here’s my two favorite pictures from the day:

Shiny red apple
Windmill

I’ll try to post the stories of the day along with the pictures by the end of today (no promises, though, with the “big meeting” this afternoon where we find out who’s positions are being eliminated – no worries, theoretically, since all those who are affected have already been told).

Sunday, after sleeping in (I was soooooo tired), cleaning around the house, and a wonderful turkey & Havarti sandwich inspired by my time in San Francisco and trips to the Sourdough Bread Company aka Boudin (a great restaurant if you’re ever there), Prince Charming picked me up and we drove to charming Mendota, population 197, and visited a historical marker there that referenced Minnesota’s first governor.

Historical marker
Path in the woods

We also took a nice long walk through part of Fort Snelling State Park (located quite inconveniently underneath the ascent-path of the airport), attempted to skip rocks, and generally enjoyed nature. Here’s my favorite picture from the day (OK, my only picture, and it didn’t turn out nearly as nicely as it looked in my experience of it):

Tunnel

There were times when the breeze would hit the river just right and the smell would hit me, and I still can’t place exactly where I know that from, but I know it was familiar and important somehow. Our sense of smell is linked closely with memory, but that doesn’t mean my memory functions all that well. Then there was a delightful trip to Cold Stone, and if you count that as a meal, I had three of them yesterday, which I think you should, since it has clearly enough calories to be a meal and contained three of the four food groups (no meat products). There was some fabulous music playing in the store, and the combination of things made me quite happy.

I also had a lovely trip to Target later that night that involved purchasing some large Rubbermaid containers and then taking them home with me on the bus. Always an adventure. But hopefully the camping stuff can get taken care of and stored away neatly soon.

This morning started out quite poorly, truthfully. The key statement being made by my roommate Melissa when she commented on how she was running late. Of course, her running late meant that I got in the shower about an hour after I should have and ten minutes before I should have been on the bus. Needless to say, I was later to work than preferable (though my boss isn’t coming in until 1pm, so that made it a little better). Then the bus was about 6 minutes late, and the driver thought that in the umpteen-blocks into downtown St Paul he could make up those 6 minutes by hurtling as fast as possible down the street and stopping quite abruptly. At one point I feared for the senior citizen standing in the aisle waiting for his stop. The bus: also always an adventure.

I really must go and do some work. Or get coffee. Something, at least.