Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fine, Thank You

It was a good weekend. (Incidentally, "weekend," according to Amber and Eric's Post-Collegiate Dictionary, is defined as roughly Saturday evening through Monday.) The first half was spent with people: On Friday night Eric's youngest brother and his wife drove down from Fargo to sleep on our living room floor for a couple of nights, and Eric's oldest brother and our friend Nils joined most of the attendant festivities. I made simple but fantastic chicken on Friday (Thank you, Tyler Florence, for being both hot and genius.), and on Saturday we discovered a bar within walking distance of our apartment that has good food, good beer, good happy hour specials, a good jukebox, pool tables, and was not obnoxiously crowded or noisy. On a Saturday night. Impossible, but true. On Sunday we had the most amazing Chinese lunch ever, and then everyone left. And we proceeded to do nothing. Unless you count watching TV (Apocalypse Now, Gilmore Girls, and The Sopranos), reading, and napping as doing something. I actually don't.

So now I'm all peopled out and rested up for the hard work and diligence of the next two days, when I intend to do a lot of cleaning and writing and maybe even some writing about cleaning. And then I'll go to Barnes & Noble for a couple of days and do a little work in between social time with my coworkers and the customers.

I'm not sure this is really adulthood, but for the moment it's working for me.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not For Sissies

I just got a tattoo. Ow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don't Read This, Mom

There was a break-in at our apartment building this morning. I don't know any of the details because when a neighbor told me about it, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask the normal questions. Such as: "Was anything stolen?" "Was anyone hurt?" and "What?!" I do know (because I just recently went up to get the mail) that the door to the apartment directly above ours is being repaired. I've never felt even vaguely unsafe here before, but I kind of do now.

The details: Would-be thieves pried open the alley door with a crowbar, then made their way to the apartment directly upstairs. Tried to pry open that door, but a neighbor heard "some goofy stuff in the hall" (probably the same noises that made me lock my door this morning) and walked out of his apartment to check it out. Found two guys standing in the front vestibule, one holding a gym bag, who claimed to be waiting for a cab. He talked to them for a while, until they left (not in a cab), then called the police. The property manager has already been here, and the doors have been fixed. The residents of the apartment building across the street seem somewhat less savory than the ones here, and the neighbor thinks some of them were able to see from there into the upstairs neighbor's apartment (her blinds are always wide open at night). They didn't get into her apartment because they were interrupted, but that was lucky, and I'm feeling pretty vulnerable.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Prose Poem for the Weather

From an apartment in the basement of a building embedded in a hill in a city, it's hard to tell if it's still snowing. Especially when the wind comes up, lifting blizzards from the ground. Swirling clouds of snow buffet each other in midair, and cars drive through them as if nature is no big deal.

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The Best Part of Waking Up

My bowl of Cheerios was at that annoying stage where there is so little cereal floating in the milk that the spoon refuses to capture more than a few Cheerios at a time. Because I didn't want to spend the next 45 minutes eating, I drank a mouthful of cereal straight from the bowl. I should be an expert at this thing I've been doing for more than twenty years, but today one Cheerio went farther back in my throat than I was comfortable with, and--bonus!--I sucked up a small piece of banana that I didn't know was still in the bowl. This combination made my gag reflex very excited while my mouth was very full. So I tried to gently clear my throat to loosen the rogue Cheerio.

It didn't work.

Unless by "work," you mean that all the milk in my mouth, and a couple of Cheerios too, suddenly spewed from my mouth and nose with surprising velocity. The cat was so freaked out she jumped off my lap, and I haven't seen her since.

All I have to say for myself now is that I'm glad I was planning on cleaning this room today anyway. I was sitting at the computer desk when it happened, and everything--everything--on the desk got milked. Of course I wiped it up with a paper towel already, but this is milk. Milk scoffs at paper towels. In fact, since our calendar hangs on the wall behind the desk, I'm kind of looking forward to it not being February anymore.


Monday, February 04, 2008


Today was our eighth anniversary, and we celebrated by climbing a steep, icy hill behind the library while snow fell around us, then sledding down it until we were tired and sore. Afterward, we went to a great local restaurant and had a decadent lunch with good dark beer. Everything that happened after that was the stuff of a pretty normal day, but that didn't keep me from remembering how much I'm still in love with Eric.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Good Idea, Batman

I listened to public radio while cleaning my kitchen and bathroom this morning, and caught this little gem of programming: A Candidate Blind Taste Test. It briefly states the remaining presidential candidates' positions on the major issues, but it gives the candidates pseudonyms so you can evaluate their views without being distracted by their personalities, reputations, or affiliations. It's by no means a comprehensive guide to choosing the next president, but it's a nice little step in the process. It's available online; check it out.