29 June 2009

Oh, here we fucking go again.

Dearest neighbors,

Today is Monday, June 29. The day with which we traditionally associate the shooting off of fireworks is July 4. That's Saturday. I couldn't help but notice the rather loud pop I just heard while making my oatmeal for the rest of the week's breakfast at work.

That's right! Despite the dire economic straits in which our country finds itself, some of us do still have jobs; regular 9 to 5ish jobs, even. This means we have to get up at a fairly early hour. It also means we can't stay up all night. I know, I know. It's totally unfair.

You may also have noticed the return of lovely, temperate weather after that hot-as-balls stretch we had last week. This means I'm not running my air conditioner and I will keep my windows open to enjoy the beautiful night air.

What I'm trying to say is this: Please refrain from shooting off your stupid fucking fireworks at 3:00 in the morning, you motherfucking assbags. At least until Thursday night when I don't have to go to work the next day. Look, I understand your enthusiasm. Our country rules. But if we want to keep it ruling, some of us need to keep going to work. And we need sleep to do that.

If you don't knock that shit off, I can't promise I won't wish you do something like this.

Yours in Christ,
Jess

Sometimes I hate myself.

I'm not talking self-loathing. This time. I'm angry at my body, I guess. I'd punch myself in the face if I thought it might do any good.

Saturday, I bailed on Little Sawatdee/Pornld's baby shower because I was wiped out and feeling generally not great. I spent the bulk of the day on the couch. I was in bed early, because apparently, I'd had a taxing day laying on the couch, reading comic books and watching TV. But I slept horribly. I didn't lay awake for that long, but I kept waking up all night. I'm not even sure I actually slept that much -- it might have been mostly dozing.

Wouldn't you know it, I was up at 7:20 Sunday morning. FUCK. My attempts at working out were thwarted, because after about 40 minutes, I couldn't take the dizziness any longer. Sometimes I feel very dizzy and light-headed when I'm really tired. I don't like it. Fortunately, I was fairly productive the rest of the day. But sleep was once again a fickle bitch. Why on Earth would I possibly want to fall asleep before 1:00? I finally gave in and took some Benadryl to knock my ass out and here I am today, all zombie-like and cranky.

I really thought I'd get plenty of sleep this weekend. The Boy I Currently Like was camping with a couple of friends (I had to cook my own damn bacon yesterday. BOO!), so there would be no staying up until 5:00 a.m., playing video games and screwing around. No fucking dice, though. I missed him, I think. And I was sleeping without the very loud white noise of the AC for the first time in several days. Oh, and PMS tends to give me a touch of insomnia. Something of a perfect storm for shitty sleeping, I guess.

Nothing a little outdoor yoga can't fix, I hope.

26 June 2009

Dear City of Minneapolis Water Works.

Thanks so much for coming out and hooking our water back up after the construction (which is still ongoing). Funny, I could flush my toilet before you came out, but now I can't. Oddly enough, my water pressure has slowed to a trickle in the ... well, you said you were here about 10 minutes ago? Fancy that.

And you're going to tell me, first lady I talked to, that there is nothing you can do about it? Can I bring my bucket of shit to your office Monday morning, then? Now I have to go and talk to my neighbors and then call you back? FUCK. OFF.

I'm supposed to be getting drunk at the Pride block party right now, you motherfucking dicks. Instead, I'm sitting here waiting for you to come back and fix whatever you fucked up.

Wishing you nothing but sunshine and a case of crabs!

All my love,
Jess

UPDATE: It took about 10 minutes for the guys to come back out. They were very nice and figured out the problem pretty quickly -- they hadn't actually turned the water back on. Once that was done, everything worked fine. No pooping into a bucket all weekend necessary.

25 June 2009

Draft night!

I meant to post this way earlier today, before the draft, and then update during. However, there was all kinds of shit distracting me at work today. Like work. And Stephanie and I were trying to work out a time to meet so I could give her a bag Sizzlin' Bacon sunflower seeds. I mean, she writes Bacon Wednesday, for Christ's sake. Alas, she had to miss yogilates (and my side ponytail). So there was some wrangling going on there.

Yeah, so I had to go to yogilates and I missed the start of the draft. In fact, here it is, 8:15 and I'm just at the eighth pick. OH MY GOD. There is a kid cheering this Jordan Hill pick who has some kind of updated high-top fade and he's wearing a vest. AWESOME. It's like, some kind of high-top fade/fauxhawk hybrid. I think I love him. WAIT, what are these highlights of Brandon Jennings with a fucking high-top fade, too? WHY WERE YOU DOING THIS IN ITALY WHERE I CAN'T SEE IT?

Anyway, this is the first Wolves draft in years about which I've been intrigued. I wanted to say excited, but my interest just didn't reach that level. There have been so many years of disappointment. I mean, the last draft I was happy about was when the Wolves drafted Kevin Garnett, for fuck's sake. Clearly, shit was going to happen this year. My interest only grew after the trade earlier in the week. And the trade sending Shaq to Cleveland? Very interesting. Man, that fucker just always lands on his feet, doesn't he?

So, I guess I'm happy with Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn. Getting Hasheem Thabeet would have been totally fucking sweet. But you can't get everything you want in life, right? I listened to The Boy I Currently Like go on and on about how Jonny Flynn is a bad motherfucker (he's a Georgetown fan, so he's well-versed on the Big East. And college hoops in general. God, he is so fucking dreamy, y'all). And I managed to see a good bit of Syracuse this year and I do have to agree that Flynn is a bad motherfucker. He also has an infectious smile. God, I'm such a sucker for an adorable little thing like that. I already want to pinch his cheeks and put him in my pocket.

(Note to ESPN: Please stop showing Rick Pitino. I fucking hate him, number one, and number two -- he ain't lookin' so good at the moment. Put some makeup on him or something.)

Oh, and fuck Tyler Hansbrough. I was really, really hoping he'd drop and end up sitting there, just like Brady Quinn did a few years ago in the NFL draft. And I would laugh and laugh and laugh. The Garden crowd didn't let me down, though. Overrated, indeed.

Sweet! It's time for our first Jesus freak tonight! Jrue Holiday, come on down. Okay, that may or may not be true. I've fast-forwarded through quite a bit of stuff since the Wolves picked Flynn. But Holiday is the first I heard thanking Jesus for making him a good basketball player. Well done, sir.

Ty Lawson, Timberwolves? He fucking better be trade bait. We already have that Ken-Griffey-overdosed-on-brain-tonic-looking Shelden Williams on our team. Don't we have our share of hated Carolina/Dookies? And it turns out he is trade bait. Thank you Jebus.

Alright, I'm caught up now and I'm certainly not live-blogging this shit. I need to eat dinner before I get drunk and I need to take a shower. I can always come back and update if something terribly interesting happens. One huge disappointment tonight, though -- not a single ostentatious suit (though, I was delighted by James Harden's bowtie) or ridiculously-attired family member. Is the economy to blame?

Final point: Yes, I know Michael Jackson died today. But honestly, the Michael Jackson I love died a long, long time ago.

24 June 2009

How do they always know?

Do I have "Save me!" written on my forehead in ink only freaky religious people can see?

As I was approaching my car after work today, I saw something stuck in my window. I thought, "Oh, god dammit. What is that? Did some fucking asshole hit my fucking car? I will be so goddamn pissed!" When I got closer, I could see it was a card. Maybe someone saw Yoda on the dash and had to tell me how much I ruled.

It was not a note exactly. It was not about hitting Barbie or how totally fucking tits Yoda on the dash is. No, it was a card from a Jesus freak. There is a prayer on one side: "SAY this prayer if you mean to be truly saved (God weights the heart & cannot be mocked)." I'm not reprinting the prayer.

However, something in the prayer caught my eye. It said, "I surrender my everything to You." Let me tell you, Jesus person, the only thing to which I surrender my everything would be booze. And cheese. Yes, booze and cheese have my heart and soul. After the prayer, the card says, "Now get a Bible and get baptized in full immersion!" What does that even mean? I was already baptized. And I'm not getting my hair wet, assholes.

The other side is red and says some more bible-y, Jebus-y shit about being saved or us all being sinners or some shit I've probably heard before. The really bizarre thing, though, was that when I looked around, I didn't see a single car with that fucking card anywhere on it.

This is absolutely not the first time I've been the sole person in a group singled out for an attempt at conversion or redemption or something. If I'm walking with a group of people and someone is passing out tiny Bibles or Scripture booklets, I will be the one at the end of their beeline. The people on a college campus recruiting for their cult/fellowship group? It's like they only had eyes for me. It was so bad when I was at the U in undergrad, I would tell them I worshipped Satan. That barely worked.

Can they see the devilish gleam in my eye? Do they know I'm cursing them as I see them walk toward me, because I know they're going to come to talk to me? WHAT IS IT?

23 June 2009

It's good to live alone.

The idea for this post actually came to me a couple of weeks ago, as I was standing in my kitchen, juice dripping down my chin, over the decimated corpse of a mango.

I loves me some mango, y'all. They seem so decadent. I'm not entirely sure why. They're delicious, for sure. They're also a little expensive. They're kind of the epitome of a tropical fruit. Whenever I eat them, it kind of feels like a special occasion to me.

Because I love them so much, I'm very intent on getting every last morsel of flesh; every last drop of juice. When I'm finished cutting them up for whatever reason (most recently it was for a two bean and mango salad -- delicious!), I go to work on the remains. There is always some sweet, yielding flesh left attached to the skin. And you can't possibly get everything off of that tough, fibrous seed. So I will scrape away at the skin to get every last bit. Then I turn my attention to the seed, gnawing and sucking until I can't get anything else.

Let me tell y'all something: this is not a pretty sight. In addition to the juice dripping down my face, I end up with the spaces between my teeth jammed with bits of tough fiber from around the seed. But it doesn't matter, because I live alone.

There are all the other standard reasons I enjoy living alone -- I can come and go as I please, stay up as late as I want, don't have to worry about other people's messes, I can make noise when I get up in the morning ...

Tonight, however, I was reminded of another not-so-standard reason. I had some spinach from my mom's garden and crimini mushrooms that I desperately needed to use. I'd found a recipe for a baked pasta dish using the spinach, so I decided to make that. Excellent idea on a hot-as-balls day. I was not only using the stove, but I had to bake it for 45 minutes after that.

No huge deal, though. I'd be doing it after the gym when I'd be all sweaty anyway. However, by the time I got to the dishes, I just couldn't take it any longer. My air conditioner was likely working overtime and the ceiling fan wasn't pushing enough air into the kitchen. So, I just whipped off my shirt and cleaned up shirtless. Klassy!

And at least I waited until I was done cooking before I took my shirt off. Then again, I wasn't cooking bacon, so I probably would have been okay.

22 June 2009

Excellent advice.

Or not. I mean, if I followed Cosmo's advice, I'd have tricked some poor sucker into marrying me by now -- and I would have him trained like a zoo animal. (I found this nugget o' joy via Jezebel, of course.)

Sweet buttery Christ. Okay, before I completely shit on the list, I think positive reinforcement is a good thing when you're dealing with anyone or anything. That's where my benevolence ends, however. I'd hope no grown-ass, adult woman would possibly think these are good ideas. Cosmo readers are all teenagers, right? I know I was awful young when I stopped reading it. But you know they are out there. I feel deeply for their husbands/boyfriends/pets.

I love sharing these things with The Boy I Currently Like. Keeps him on his toes. Some months ago, I informed him I was totally judging his cuddling techniques. Color me delighted to discover I could analyze the way he sleeps, too. Because, you know, when people are sleeping, they are totally doing things intentionally. Where's the piece about his habit of scratching my head in his sleep, or his "wrap you up like a monkey" sleeping style? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT THOSE MEAN, COSMO.

Honestly. Perhaps it's meant to be hilarious -- Cosmo is running a big joke on all of us. What else would you call suggesting using a scrunchie as a makeshift cock ring?

21 June 2009

Shockingly, no one got hurt.

Ah, home sweet home. I wasn't even gone for three days, but it felt longer. Actually, I was only home for about 45 minutes yesterday to take a quick shower and pack my stuff up to spend the night with The Boy I Currently Like. So really, I was gone for three days.

My mom and sister weren't too bad. I tried very hard to be patient, but it didn't work all that well sometimes. My mom asked what I was mad about because I apparently was a little snappy. However, in my defense, I was reading and she was asking ridiculous questions.

We were the last to arrive on Thursday, and we basically dropped our stuff in our room and headed straight to one of my uncle's rooms for happy hour. After several hours, we decided it was time to get something to eat, so we went to one of the many bars and restaurants on the premises and had pizza. We were a little surprised we didn't kicked out, as we got a little rowdy.

Oh, but the night was not over yet. Most of us went back to my uncle's room for more drinking after dinner. Another aunt and uncle showed up (the parents of my cousin who was getting married), and then the soon-to-be-wed couple showed up. Not five minutes later, we got a visit from hotel security. Apparently, the 16-18 of us in the room who had been drinking for ... oh, a while, were being a little too loud.

I don't really think we quieted down all that much, but security didn't come back before my sister, cousin and I left. None of us had a clue as to what time it was when we went to bed and no one could tell us, either. Maybe you'd expect such behavior from a bunch of young people, but my aunts and uncles are in their 50s and 60s. They outlasted the three of us "youngsters" both nights we were there. I'm a little ashamed, to be honest.

There wasn't much time to do anything except take a nap and do a little walking around on Saturday. Because, of course, we had to go to happy hour before the wedding. Unfortunately, it rained all afternoon and well into the evening, so the ceremony had to be moved indoors. It was short and sweet and we got to have drinks. Turns out they'd gotten married in Massachusetts before they moved back to Portland. That's totally fucking awesome.

News of our run-in with hotel security the night before was the talk of the reception. I kept overhearing people talking about that, and it would morph into a discussion of how they were astounded by our family in general. Yes, there are a lot of us. And it was maybe half of the family; two brothers were missing, as were spouses and most of the cousins. So we're a little overwhelming. At least we like to have a good time.

The flight home seemed to take forever. I just wanted to be back in Minneapolis. And more importantly, I really wanted to see The Boy. Finally, after months and months of him luring me to his place with promises of playing Rock Band, we finally played last night. I even sang. For whatever reason, despite the fact that I have been singing in front of people since I was a little kid and I know I have a decent voice, I was terribly nervous to sing in front of him. I'm not entirely sure why -- I couldn't have done any worse than I did playing MLB '09. Oh my God, I was THE SUCK.

While I very much like to sleep next to The Boy, I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed all by myself tonight. The two nights previous, I was in a room with three other people, also sharing a bed. And I'm not going to cuddle with my mom. I would have been totally wiped out had I come straight home yesterday. So, of course, I was up until around 5:00 this morning. I've given up on trying to get us to bed at a reasonable hour. There's just too damn much fun stuff to do at his house. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

19 June 2009

Best wedding ever?

It's too early to say, of course, because it doesn't start for a couple of hours yet. But since we can apparently bring drinks to the ceremony, I think the answer is looking like a resounding "Yes."

17 June 2009

Totally Bitchcakes.

I'm edging ever closer to completely losing it and going bitchcakes. Tomorrow, I leave for my cousin's commitment ceremony in Portland. I'm going with my mom and sister. Just the idea of being in close quarters with them for more than 48 hours is enough to drive me mad.

There's a wrinkle to the situation, too. My sister just got back from 10 days in Europe with a bunch of high school kids. So she's exhausted and jet-lagged. Meanwhile, I've been dealing with mom's e-mails and calls and questions about what can go in the carry-on, how big can my suitcase be, here's the weather forecast your uncle sent, here's the new one, your aunt says the ground is really soft so don't wear heels to the ceremony, I can buy you a pair of sandals, just tell me what size and what color and what brand fits you best, is it a commitment ceremony or a wedding AND OH MY GOD, MAKE IT STOP.

Of course, I just now got another lecture from my sister about being patient with mom. And I told her again, you can't be a crabby bitch, either. You made this stupid decision and you have no one to blame but yourself for being jet-lagged and exhausted.

My big plan to hit the gym before I go tomorrow, so as to work out some of my aggression, has been fucked. It's my own fault. I agreed to do a scoping call for a project at 9:00. Things are so fucking busy at work, though, I didn't really feel like I could say no. However, I have more work than I can do, so maybe I should have said no. Either way, my decision to go to the gym after happy hour last night isn't looking so stupid now.

There is the promise of much, much, much drinking when we arrive. This is the fun, drinking side of the family, you see. And another uncle is on our flight and driving us to the airport and will almost certainly drive the rental car to the resort, so I could drink on the flight if I so choose. Or, you know, if I desperately need a drink so I don't punch someone in the face.

That's not the end of the buffer, either. My cousin is staying in our room. Really, my mom is the crasher here. I booked the room a year ago for me and my sister. At the time, mom was being all wishy-washy. She was totally going to go, despite dad's objections. Then she wasn't. Once I made my decision not to go, she decided to go and pay for everything but our flights. So then I had to go. I'm still broke, by the way, and I think my brakes are going. This is why I didn't want to go, dammit!

Anyway, I'm sad my dad and brother aren't going. Nor are several other family members -- because they don't approve. I'm thinking this might be the most emotional I ever get at a wedding. It means so much beyond just my cousin and her partner. That seems shitty to me, that my cousin's wedding would be this BIG THING for any reason other than just being one of my dear cousins marrying someone they love (who I also think rocks pretty hard). But that's the world in which we live, I guess.

So, I think I've talked myself into all the good reasons I'm going and all the good things that will happen. And I am excited; it's overpowering the dread at this point, even. I will try so hard to be calm and patient. If nothing else, I have the Twins, Tekken and drinking with The Boy I Currently Like to look forward to when I get back on Saturday. Screw Rock the Garden! (But totally have fun if you're going.)

Maybe I should think about packing at some point.

16 June 2009

I know it's not about me, but I hate that it feels like it could be.

I love that Stephanie also writes letters to people at the gym. See, we go to the same gym. Well, the same chain. We don't always go to the same location. However, we've started taking a Thursday yoga/pilates (dubbed "yogilates" by Stephanie) class together at SLP, so we're at least in the same place that day.

Stephanie has mentioned this super-annoying, super-bendy yoga lady to me, if not directly on her blog, before. I thought I knew who it was, but now I'm not sure. I know it's not about me because I've not been at the classes she's talking about. Also, there was no mention of my super-awesome side ponytail. At the same time, though, I can't help but see myself a little in the lady to whom she's writing her letter.

Blergh. I don't want to be that girl. But I do talk to the instructor. In my defense, I've been taking her classes for well more than two years pretty consistently. I actually took her classes before, but she went on maternity leave, just not on a very regular basis. When she started back up though, I did as well and I rarely miss a class.

As generally antisocial as I am at the gym, I have started to talk to people occasionally, as well -- Judgy McJudgerson is unfortunately one of them. (She does not like the smell of my new package of lavender mat wipes. She can fuck off.) Again, since I spend so much time there every week, it kind of becomes inevitable.

So, I talk to classmates and other people around the gym. I talk to my yoga instructor. She's getting a better idea of what I can do and when I need to be challenged, and she's gone so far as to help me and only me do something when she thinks I can do it. Don't get me wrong, I think it's awesome, but I also feel like a little bit of an asshole.

Add to that the lady who had taken up the space next to me last night in class saying to me as I gathered up my stuff to leave, "You're really good at this. I like to stand next to you in hopes that some of it bounces off you to me. I hope you don't mind." And I'm really feeling that while I'm not that douchey lady in Stephanie's class, I absolutely fucking could be. It kinda makes me hate myself a little bit.

Gah.

15 June 2009

Oh my god, sweating!

I cannot hear or think of the statement above without seeing my friend Emily trudging into the Murphy Hall auditorium for one of our Journalism classes. She's unwinding her scarf from her around her neck, unzipping her coat to reveal her snow pants and fanning her face as she says, "Sweating!"

Something has happened to me since I turned 35. Well, it seemed to start a bit before the actual birthday, but it was close. I have turned into a sweaty fucking bitch. Maybe it's that I'm working harder at the gym than I used to. Or maybe there's something in my old-ass body chemistry that's changed. But dammit, do I fucking sweat when I'm at the gym.

I routinely come home from yoga (okay, I do a good half hour of hard cardio before) with my hair soaking wet. Like, I have to blow dry it after my shower; but I don't get my hair wet in the shower.

This had put a crimp in my plan to move toward going no 'poo. When my head is so gross and sweaty five, six, seven days a week, how can I shampoo less? But my hair was dry this winter, so I gave it a shot anyway.

The last time I got my hair done, I was telling The Stylist about my mission to put an extra day between hair washes. And I finally broke down and told someone about the whole sweaty head phenomenon. She's experiencing the same thing -- and our birthdays are about a month apart. The thing about her is, though, she never used to sweat. It was odd. In high school, I played sports with her, we lifeguarded together and nothing. Not a drop of sweat. Now, she says she sweats like she spent an hour in spin class when she does anything remotely exercise-related. We figure it has to be something about getting older. What else could it be?

Man, getting old sucks. But on the other hand, I really feel like I'm doing something at the gym. The fact that my tight jeans are falling off my ass really helps, too. I'm bummed that I will have to buy new work pants and jeans soon, but what are you gonna do?

Incidentally, the move toward no 'poo is going pretty well. I'm not at the washing-with-baking-soda-and-conditioning-with-vinegar-phase or anything, but I only wash my hair twice a week. My hair is not at all dry and it's very soft. It only took a couple of weeks for me to figure out the products that work and after that time, I've not had a problem with an itchy scalp or my hair smelling dirty. I guess it's no wonder that my hair is being fondled by random drunks.

14 June 2009

More whoring for free stuff.

Okay, so that title is a bit misleading. I'm not whoring to get anything free. I got some free stuff that's an extension of that fateful blog post I wrote the day the mailman delivered the Bacon Salt I'd ordered.

It turns out that the Bacon Salt empire is expanding at an impressive clip. They've teamed up with the folks at Bigs to produce Bacon Salt-flavored sunflower seeds. I'm sorry. The flavor is actually called "Sizzlin' Bacon."

So, in the course of exchanging e-mails with Justin and Erin, the marketing manager for Bigs, I found out that there are other flavors of sunflower seeds -- including dill pickle. WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED? They've got to be good, right? I mean, I loves me some dill pickle potato chips. I made a note to check out these other flavors of sunflower seeds.

I'd kind of forgotten that I was expecting a package, so when I got home on Friday and saw the box on the stoop, it was a delightful surprise. But the surprises didn't end there -- I didn't just get a bag or two of the Bacon Salt sunflower seeds. Oh no. There were SIX bags of sunflower seeds in the box -- two Bacon Salt and one each of the other flavors: dill pickle (YAY!), zesty ranch, plain (salted and roasted, actually) and buffalo wing. Needless to say, I am intrigued.

The Sizzlin' Bacon flavor is delightful. I thought I'd just have a few, to try them out. However, I quickly became addicted. Fortunately, I'm somewhat inept at eating sunflower seeds in the shell, so I was forced to give up. Plus, all the salt will destroy the inside of my mouth if I eat too many. My restraint is admirable. I dove into them again last night for a bit. I was sitting on the deck, reading comics, drinking wine and eating sunflower seeds. Since I was outside, I didn't really have to worry about the shells. It was awesome.

I've not yet tried the other flavors. I toyed with the idea of opening each package and trying them all, but I don't want them to go rancid (probably not as much of a problem for nuts that have been processed and are still in the shell ... still) and my freezer is fairly packed full. Honestly, I don't see how they can't be good. Well, maybe not the ranch. That's just a personal taste thing, though.

Erin sent along some marketing-type stuff, including a press release. Ah, it feels good to be back on the receiving end of those. Also, since I'm no longer a journalist and needn't maintain the appearance of objectivity, I can totally accept a box of free sunflower seeds. I have tried to keep the cursing to a minimum in this blog post. Something about the officialness of the accompanying press materials has me in a mind to stay in line. And yet, I use the word "whoring" in the title of the post. I'm a complicated woman, y'all.

Anyway, the sunflower seeds, they are good. I'm going to break down and try the dill pickle ones sooner rather than later. My mouth is already watering.

11 June 2009

Variety.

My work today took me from dairy products to breast implants. This is what keeps me interested.

I was telling The Boy I Currently Like about what I was doing and he asked what boobies had to do with dairy, aside from the obvious. It made me think of the guy with whom I was briefly involved who called me "Milkshake."

Man, I've never had a good nickname.

10 June 2009

Is there something I don't know about St. Louis Park?

Did the city of St. Louis Park pass an ordinance making it legal to openly drink while walking down the street?

Tonight, while driving through the roundabout at Excelsior & Grand (that's the name of the development, right? Jesus, I'm through there almost every day. You'd think it would stick with me after all this time), I saw a guy walking down the street carrying what looked to be a beer bottle. Coors Light, to be precise. This is the second time this week, driving through the same area, I've seen people walking down the street carrying beer bottles (looked like Leinie's Summer ... something on Monday or Tuesday).

Is the SLP angling to be the loose liquor law capital of the metro? They had the 9:00 and now 9:30 liquor store closing time awfully early. Someone should be reporting on this. PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW. Especially when you have puritanical places like Edina, where you can't have more than one giant margarita at some shitty mall restaurant after your eight-hour shift working a 13-hour sale at Dayton's, because of their uber-restrictive liquor laws. Jesus. As if working retail wasn't bad enough.

Seeing all the people drinking outside made me think perhaps I should put out a call to see if anyone wants to come over and drink on the deck with me on Friday. My original plan was to go to the gym straight from work. However, there have been signs around the Hennepin and Lake area about a bike race and road closings, and now today, there are "No parking this block" signs fucking everywhere. Wait! The Interwebs might be able to tell me more. "Some blocks around 31st and Hennepin will be closed from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday night. Two lanes of Lake Street will remain open to cars."

Um, yeah. No gym Friday night. One of these days, I'll figure out an alternate route to the gym that doesn't involve going miles out of my way. Probably no one will want to come over and drink with me, even though I have all that beer leftover from the beer tasting party. But that doesn't mean I can't drink on the deck by myself. Plus, then I won't have to tidy up 'round here. Oh, how I love silver linings.

09 June 2009

Meaningless milestones.

As of today, I've officially been at my job for a year. Hooray. Wait. That's not strong enough. Hooray! I mean, I should be happy I have a job, right? God, I long for the day when we don't have to say that every time we mention something about our jobs. But, I have a job. I survived a round of layoffs, even.

I was pretty excited to start this job. Granted, much of the excitement was due to the fact that I'd been working at a horrible, horrible place. You know things aren't going to go well when you get yelled at on your second day. That our office was infested with rodents and a mouse died in my computer was just garnish, really. I still wonder if that was better than the two months of unemployment that preceded it.

But this new job, it was doing research and writing and I got to spend a week in Manhattan for training. How could it not be awesome, right?

My first few months there were fucking horrible. I've never, ever felt so stupid in my entire life. I've since told my coworkers that it felt as if I was being hazed almost, except there was no excessive drinking, nudity or spanking. So, what's the point? I'm convinced they make it as awful as possible to see if you can handle the job. They tear you down to build you back up again. When it was all over, everyone said I had done such a great job. Oh, well then all those tears in the bathroom were worth it.

I suppose it's good I went through that. I have a unique perspective in our office, as I'm the only person who has done the New York training. My coworkers weren't sure I was going to stay. They were convinced I was going to quit. Had the economy not already been in a shit state, I might very well have quit. Of course, things changed shortly after I finished. I'm glad I report to the Minneapolis office. It makes me feel like a part of the group.

Now I'm pretty well settled in. My boss loves me. I get tons of compliments on my work from colleagues, superiors and clients. I get to write every day. I'm doing some interviewing. I'm busy and I actually have to use my brain. And Lord almighty, am I learning about a wide variety of subjects. Also, I get to do trivia for like, a half hour every afternoon. It is the highlight of my day (other highlights of the work day: e-mails from The Boy I Currently Like and quitting time). I swear, it was one of the bigger selling points of the job.

Working in corporate America still feels weird. I do not like having to worry about my billable time. I hate saying things like "cross-selling." It all makes me feel so dirty. And while I'm doing good quality work, I'm not doing good work. Coming from the government and nonprofit sectors ... that's still hard for me to accept. Maybe I'll get used to it. Who knows? Maybe if I start making some money my tune will change.

08 June 2009

Dirty mirror watch: June edition.

It's been a little more than a month since we did feet-on-the-wall handstands in yoga and our footprints stayed on the mirrored walls of the studio for close to a week. We did them again tonight. I wonder if they'll remain as long. Or longer?

God, I was so fucking crabby when class started tonight. That's not terribly odd, as anyone who reads this blog knows all too well. However, I couldn't recall the last time I'd been that angry when class started. I couldn't really remember the last time I'd been terribly cranky or upset or sad or anything. Well, other than while being forced to watch Kobe in slow-mo on an endless goddamn loop.

The crabbiness was for the usual reasons -- that dick Pat ran his class long again and I had to clean up not one, but two toilets today where someone had somehow managed to piss all over the back of the toilet seat and beyond. I really don't even want to think about how that happens.

Whatever the reason(s) I've not been down lately, it feels good. I have some theories as to why I've been feeling generally happy, but who knows if I'm right. Could have just been the third of three consecutive cool, gray days that finally got to me. Yay for the rain, but Jesus, do we really need the temperature to be in the 50s? I want me some damn thunderstorms.

06 June 2009

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I decided to give myself the day off today, so to speak. No gym, I cleaned my apartment last night and I'm doing laundry tomorrow. All I had to do was bake the buns when I got up.

Of course, I got up a full hour earlier than I had hoped I would. The buns are almost done baking. Sadly, half of them fell during the overnight rise. Guess I shouldn't have put the tea towels over the pans? (Update: the flat buns taste just fine. Though, I still prefer the look of the nicely rounded ones.) They seem a wee bit tough, but I've already eaten two (make that three), so I think they turned out. Not bad for a first try.

So, I have to wash dishes and shower. And then ... what the hell am I going to do the rest of the day? I have comics to read, and a couple of books. There are shows on the DVR and a Dirty Jobs marathon on Discovery. I could give myself a pedicure. The Twins play at 3:00 and I might hang out with The Boy I Currently Like later on today.

I guess that seems like enough to keep me busy. If I had more butter, I'd probably do some more baking. Why can't I just be lazy on a gray, rainy Saturday? There's something about a full day of nothing to do that makes laziness seem unappealing. There's something wrong with me, I think.

05 June 2009

Urge to kill rising ... rising ... rising!

Dear ESPN,

Your insistence on showing what seems like hours, if not days, of nothing but Kobe Bryant footage during SportsCenter is going to drive me to homicide in very short order. I'm amazed I've resisted the urge to hurl myself at the TV at home and the gym during those endless and constant slow-motion montages of Kobe footage.

Do you really want to be responsible for a murder? Or a killing spree? I don't think so. Please make it stop.

Yours in Christ,
Jess

P.S.: For the love of all that is good in the world, will someone PLEASE take Shelley Smith's blush away? How can she have been on TV this long and not a single person has taken her aside to say, "Hey, you're not creating the illusion of cheekbones sister. Give it a rest."

04 June 2009

There is a perfectly valid reason for that pound of lard in my purse.

It was fairly warm out today. I couldn't very well leave it in my car while I'm at the gym. Can you imagine the mess it would make if it melted? Egads!

What's that? Oh, you're wondering what on Earth would possess me to buy lard in the first place? Well, I can't blame you for wondering that. I never in a million years imagined I would buy, much less cook with, lard. I was grossed out by the idea of it fairly early on. But I grew up on a hog farm. So, my mom often cooked with it. That was years ago, though.

So, why am I buying and cooking with lard? This weekend, I plan to make my Grandma's overnight buns. They were such a treat for us when she made them. To this day, I've not had any sort of bread product as good as Grandma's buns. I'm drooling a little just thinking about them.

My mom sent me the recipe not that long ago, and I'm finally getting around to making them. They're fairly involved. First of all, I had to buy the lard. I could have used shortening, but a) I never saw a can of Crisco in my Grandma's house, and b) lard was almost a full dollar cheaper. Secondly, they are overnight buns. They require an overnight rise -- and that's after the initial four-hour rise. You have to punch down the dough every hour for four hours and then form the buns and put them on pans to rise overnight.

Oh, and one other thing: the recipe makes 90 buns. Yes, you read that right -- nine-zero. Obviously, I'm going to halve it. Still, that's four dozen buns. I will be using every flat surface and pan I own to get these made. As for the "warm" part of letting them rise overnight ... well, I'll probably end up letting them rise longer. My stove is minuscule and that's really the only warm place in the kitchen. Maybe on top of the fridge.

Grandma would start them at 4:00 in the afternoon and start baking at 6:00 a.m. As does my mom. I'll be mixing the dough when I get home from the gym. It means I'll have to stay up fairly late -- I can't imagine making all of those buns will go quickly. But I'm really hoping it will all be worth it and I will have a taste of home and my childhood. My grandma would be proud of me, I think.

03 June 2009

That smell cannot be normal.

Sometimes I'm so dumb, I get a little worried about myself. I've been having a few of those moments this week. On Sunday, I bought a big ol' bundle of asparagus at Rainbow. Seriously, it was enormous; over two pounds worth.

Naturally, I've been eating asparagus every day this week. And I will continue to do so. Probably, I'll buy another bundle on Saturday, before the sale is over. Since it's in season, I've been eating a lot of asparagus in recent weeks. The crop I brought from the farm was especially delightful.

Because I've been eating it so much, you would think that by now, I'd be ready for the awful, awful smell of my pee after I eat it. You'd think that, wouldn't you? Well, you'd be wrong. That first or second pee after lunch always puts me in a momentary panic. OH MY GOD. What is that smell? It smells like dying. Of course, a minute or two later, I recall the asparagus I just finished eating for lunch.

At least this has been happening during the day when I'm slightly more with it. When I have asparagus at night, I'm always on the verge of a breakdown in that middle-of-the-night pee. I'm usually back in bed by the time I remember I'm not suffering from some horrible disease.

I'd probably hold off on buying more asparagus if I was going to get some in my very first CSA box next week. But we got an e-mail today from Driftless Organics about our first box. We're to get:

Arugula
Radishes
Spinach
Potatoes
Green Garlic
Kohlrabi
Rosemary
Green Leaf Lettuce

You have no idea how excited I am about this. My excitement is tempered by knowing I will miss out on our second box, as I will be in Portland. However, the coworker with whom I am splitting a share will be gone for a July box, so I'll get all of that one. SCORE. I should probably eat up the potatoes I have sitting around before I get new CSA potatoes.

And the a few of the herbs I planted have sprouted. I'll be able to transplant them to larger pots and put them out on the deck soon. Then the squirrels will inevitably destroy them. But at least I'm trying. Maybe the squirrels will eat the hot peppers and learn their lesson. Bastards. I hate squirrels so fucking much.

02 June 2009

Joke of the day.

Q: How many hipsters does it take to change a light bulb?

A: I could tell you, but the number is so obscure you've probably never heard of it.

*rimshot*

Thank you! I'll be here all week.

01 June 2009

I don't think I really thought this through.

At some point tonight, while hanging out in Downward Facing Dog, a thought occurred to me. I'm changing. When I got home from work, I was all stoked to see my first issue of Eating Well magazine waiting in my mailbox. And yesterday, I was perusing my second issue of Yoga Journal while The Boy I Currently Like made us breakfast.

I've not had a single magazine subscription in years. I canceled my subscription to Spin in a fit of rage when I read an interview conducted entirely in text-speak. But for some reason, I decided to subscribe to Eating Well and Yoga Journal because I got both for like $20 or something. It probably ends up being about a buck an issue.

Obviously, I enjoy yoga. That explains Yoga Journal. As for Eating Well, I'm trying to eat better, but I don't always want to rely on store-bought veggie burgers and light yogurt and other processed foods. I like to cook, but I want it to be healthy. Makes sense, yes? Also, Yoga Journal has had some pretty kick-ass recipes, too. Bonus!

So what is the big deal, you ask? I think this means I'm turning into a Grup/Yipster/Yindie/Alterna-Yuppie. FUCK. At least I don't have kids. Or money. That'll be helpful in keepin' it real.

Dammit.