This Bodum Travel Press

So gerg bought a Bodum travel press for me for the holiday season...I know the travel presses have been around for awhile (we've always had the standard french press for coffee), but I won't mask how thrilled I am about this little travel press just because I've discovered it late. Better than never!!

Bodum Travel Press!!

I've been using it for tea more than coffee, I admit.

gerg scooped up some mango green tea from Clicquot Club Cafe, which I've been sipping for a week or so...I toss a tablespoon of loose tea or coffee grounds in the cup, add the hot water, and have instant fresh pressed tea or coffee.

It holds 12 oz, and the double walled action provides fairly adequate insulation - the stainless varietal surely keeps it hotter longer (that's not a huge concern for me). The neato drinking lid has a cool flippy thingy that prevent spills. It fits in the cupholder in my car and it's dishwasher safe.

Great gift!

These Boots Were Made for...EVERYTHING!

I bought these boots by Report that I absolutely ADORE.

I've been rokking them for more than a year now, and they ain't going anywhere, my friends.

I'm rokking them in this photo where I'm giving it my all in order to hail a taxi outside the Gay 90s at bartime. The cabbie loved us; he got out of his car and gave us hugs when we arrived.

As I was polishing them last night to prepare for our week-long trip to Wisconsin, I realized, yet again, how much I love these boots, and thought about all the places they've been!

They've travelled with me routinely for the past year, even when I had to wear them to the airport cuz they wouldn't fit in my bag. I simply couldn't travel without them. Once, some dude at the airport said, "Not the best shoes for the airport," as I was lacing them up after security. I snapped, "I wouldn't travel without them."

They got worn out this summer, and I was blue. One of the heels had worn down. I took them to George's Skate and Shoe Repair to have the heel replaced. The cobbler lamented, "the heel won't look identical to the other heel." Said I, "I don't care, as long as it's close. I have to have these boots."

Two days later I go back to pick up my boots. I'm not kidding you when I say they looked better than when I bought them new!! The folks at George's were brilliant enough to shave down the other heel to the same height as the worn down heel, and then built up both heels with identical materials. They lacquered and polished them until they sparkled, heel to toe. The suede was treated to remove all the salt and other crap from bars, zoos, trains, planes, etc. - all for a VERY reasonable price. I was so shocked by the price, I gave the tattoo guy who worked on my boots a $10 tip. And then he said something I will never forget, "These are great boots!"

George's Shoe and Skate Repair
672 1/2 Grand Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105
(651) 227-8258

Playboy knows more than Private Parts

photo grabbed from here.

Big ups to First Ave for being named one of Playboys' 10 Best Rock Clubs in America!

Thus sayeth Playboy:
"This former Greyhound bus depot has endured numerous name changes, shifts in ownership and even a bankruptcy since holding its first concert in 1970. But its permanent place on the historic register of American rock clubs has never been in doubt. This place is a temple to Minneapolis rock, and not just because the spacious, circular room and stellar views make good shows seem transcendent. It's been a testing ground and steady supporter since the '80s, when locals like the Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Prince became national stars. Twenty years later, the club hasn't atrophied. The Entry Stage is just that for today's younger, inexperienced bands. And many current Minnesota acts -- like the Hold Steady, Tapes 'n Tapes and the rappers on powerhouse label Rhymesayers -- rose through the ranks via some well-received shows at First Ave."

My first show at First Ave was shortly after I moved here. I saw Built to Spill. I walked around the venue before the show started and thought of Purple Rain. I had heard "First Ave" so frequently, that the place had a kind of mythic reputation for me. Things I really love about First Ave (aside from the killer acts): giant bottles of beer, intimacy, hanging out in front with the smokers, the neato stars painted on the building.

My Material Belongs in Reader's Digest

According to this, Reetsyburger's Refuge requires that its readers obtain about 8 years of schooling in order to comprehend it. My fog index number (8) is equivalent to Reader's Digests', and slightly less than most common novels'. They use algorithms to determine this crap. Sweet!

Other facts:
Tragically, about 9.28% of my blog has 3 or more syllables.

Reetsyburger's Refuge is a good read, apparently. Authors are encouraged to aim for a score of approximately 60 to 70 for the Flesch Reading Ease readability test. Reetsyburger's Refuge comes in at 74.86.

Overall, I'd like to improve. Government coverup documents come in at around 30 on the Fog Index. That's totally where I want to head with this blog! Coverups!

Anywho, algorithms are cool, but the word always reminds me of the one and only final exam I had to retake in highschool.

This is the Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) test equation.
Ouch! My noggin!

Imogen Heap and the Holidaze...AND a lil surprise for Reetsy!!

It's not everyday that I get to shamelessly self promote. HA! As if! xoxox - from me to me.

On Friday, Dec. 15, my blog was named Minnesota Blog of the Day by CityPages. Thanks CityPages! BOO YEAH!

Click here to view the announcement.


So that was a perfect way to start Friday!! The best way to end it was checking into the Graves 601 with my boo for a complimentary visit thanks to a raffle I won at Iron Fork!

We checked in to the hotel, and couldn't have been more impressed with the accomodations and we loved our view. We stayed in a gorgeous king corner suite on the 12th floor. Quiet, private, sophisticated...this place had all the charm of Fred Rogers with the modernity of, well, a modern hotel. Thanks to a great staff who treated us like royalty. Thanks also to that front desk girl who commented on my crucial pink hat from Suzy. The getaway was divine! So was the breakfast in bed -mmmmmm Mango creme fraiche! Didn't bother to eat in the restaurant. I heard a rumor that chef Seth Bixby's last day at Cosmos (the restaurant at the Graves) was Dec. 14, so I didn't know who in the world would be cooking on the 15th.

We didn't stay long after we checked in because we had to head to the Imogen Heap show at First Ave.

So we literally had to walk across the street to get to the Imogen Heap show, which was amazing. She wore a black corset with a bouncy pink skirt, reminiscent of a square dancing skirt in terms of its flouncy-ness. Kid Beyond beat-boxed with her, and I was really impressed - he accompanied her, just as a drummer would. Her piano appeared to be made of plexiglass and stuffed with big flowers and sparkly lights. 3 laterns shaped like corsets hung from her keyboard rig. She wore feathers in her hair. The music was out of sight. I laughed, I sobbed like a 2-year-old, I danced, I stood absolutely still. It was an experience. Thank you, gerg, for the tickets. Great birthday gift!! Highlights: "Hide and Seek" played on the keytar, a french horn soloist, losing gerg and finding him again with big smiles.

For more images from the Graves and the Imogen Heap show, click here.

Listen and watch her perform my favorite song, "Hide and Seek" by clicking here. She makes the sound with a KEYTAR!


Saturday night was very very at Mike and Sarah's for their annual holiday bash. First, we headed to the Town Talk with paula and john for some din din. I had the chopped salad with cured, smoked salmon. DELIGHTFUL! gerg ordered the risotto again. It's THAT good. It's prepared with a vegetable stock, squash, and pumpkin seed oil, and it tastes like heaven would taste this time of year. Thanks to paula and John for watching kota-dog while we kicked it downtown on Friday night!

After dinner, we headed to the party.

We brought banana bread that I whipped up. Secret ingredients: coconut, chopped peanuts, and chopped butterscotch chips. It was great to sip Tom and Jerry's and laugh a lot. Highlights: viewing Dre's episode of the Family Feud (she's the one in green), gerg learning how to roll his "Rs", and singing showtunes .

For more photos of the Holiday party at Mike and Sarah's place, click here.

Looking forward to David's bday party at Punk Rock bowling at Memory Lanes, wrapping holiday gifts - silver and gold!!, and a holiday party and Jana's house on Thursday. Also, we've got a new Greek restaurant on 27th Ave S in our neighborhood that we're excited to nibble on.

Imogen tonight!

I remember the first time I heard Imogen Heap. It was a snowy morning in South Minneapolis. I was cuddled up in my boo's bed while he was getting ready for work; I flew up from Appleton to spend the weekend with him. I heard the song, "Hide and Seek" on the morning show on The Current. I was, and still am, SO enamoured with The Current. Listen to it, like, all the time. My poor Ipod misses me!

Anywho, gerg and I are going to First Ave tonight to see Imogen! He gave me the tix for my birthday way back in October, and I've been counting the days! I stored the tix safely in a Bailey's tin in the closet. Then we're off for a secret little getaway (check in next week for a review of the getaway)!!

This is me contemplating the show after having received the tix on my birthday.

So, we're off tonight to see the show and I know when I hear her sing "crop circles in the carpet" I'm gonna faint.

Also looking forward to Sarah and Mike's holiday bash accompanied by Tom and Jerry's, writing out holiday cards with my boo, and Punk Rock Bowling on Monday night to honor David's 30th year on earth!

Blind Folks Hunting

My boo sent me these links.

Texas wants it to happen.

It's already happening in Minnesota!

Brent seems like a cool guy, the kind of guy who just wants to continue doing something he's done his whole life.

But I just can't seem to reconcile the topic in my head.

Conversation with myself:

Me: "Okay, the visually impaired folks are accompanied by hunter with sight. See, reetsy? That makes it ok!"

Myself: "Dude, if you can't see what you're shooting at, you probably shouldn't shoot."

Me: "Someone who CAN see is helping you out."

Myself: "What if the blind hunter shoots the sighted hunter?"

Me: "Dude, blind hunter would be totally screwed."

Myself: "I'm gonna eat an apple and think about it some more."

Believe in Something that cannot be Proven? You're not the only one.

Jim Walsh shared the following bit with CityPage's readers today. asked a bunch of scientists: "What do you believe is true even though you can't prove it?""target="new"

Some of my favorite answers:

James O'Donnell: "Everything...all the things I 'know' are only propositions that I have not yet falsified."

TOR NØRRETRANDERS: "I believe in belief—or rather: I have faith in having faith. Yet, I am an atheist (or a "bright" as some would have it). How can that be?"

David Buss: "I've studied mate poachers, obsessed stalkers, sexual predators, and spouse murderers. But throughout this exploration of the dark dimensions of human mating, I've remained unwavering in my belief in true love."

Do you believe in something that cannot be proven? Please share!

Vern's trip to MPLS and the Great Holidazzle Parade

Monday-Friday was projects galore! The house is looking better everyday! gerg and I are both stoked with how much progress we've made. Thanks gerg and dad!! I'm sure Home Depot was very happy to be of service to you all week. A measuring cup that mysteriously disappeared revealed itself on Monday night under the dresser! Either we have ghosts, or dad left it there, cuz gerg and I have no idea how it got there.

Also, I'm sure my dad still hasn't removed all the paint from his hands!

Dad and gerg got a ton of stuff done on the house, but we made sure to take the opportunity to take both of our dads out to the Glockenspiel Restaurant in St Paul. It's a great dads-meeting-each-other-for-the-first-time restaurant. Plus, gerg's dad got to check out his new saw. My pops even got to check out the Town Talk Diner while he was in town. I sampled gerg's risotto from the Town Talk and I almost fainted in ecstacy. Try Town Talk's risotto. I mean it!! Also, on Friday night the piano arrived! Jon and I have been playing quite a few tunes. I think it will like living with us for awhile.

We had a nice visit from Bobbi, Brad and Lotus on Wednesday. Ate some clam chowder and nibbled on cookies with coffee and Bailey's. Played with Lotus. Such a cutie!! Check out my crockpot blog for the clam chowder recipe!

Saturday was a great Minneapolis day. Thanks to Ma Nature for sending us 40 degree weather! We headed to the Woodcraft store in Bloomington. What especially appealed to me about this store was the unique variety of tools and products for woodoworkers. It's definitely a specialty store. I fondled a Dozuki "Z" saw while gerg selected a portable stand for his table saw and my dad searched for a hold fast for his saw horse. We watched through a window as some adults sprayed themselves in sawdust attempting to carve wooden bowls.

Woodcraft (for the woodworker in you)
9125 Lyndale Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55420
Phone: (952) 884-3634

Drove back with hungry tummies so we stopped at the Midtown Global Market. Dad and gerg grabbed a gordiata and burrito from A la Salsa and I had a hoagie (portobello, artichoke hearts and gouda cheese) from Jakeeno's Trattoria. Also, I enjoyed my customary green tea flavored bubble tea from Pham's Deli. We bought some coffee beans from the Produce Exchange that are a departure from our regular Peace Coffee beans (they've garnered a significant amount of press for "bike delivering" their beans across town).

The Midtown Global Market is an indoor, olafactortorious ADVENTURE!
Lake St and Chicago Ave
(612) 872-4041
(free parking)

After our lunch trip, we hopped on the lightrail and headed to the Mall of America to check out the Largest Gingerbread House in the World.

It was pretty f-ing big! Highlights - dad and I posing with elves, dad and gerg posing as faeries, the walls made of Hershey bars and Pearson's Nut Rolls. Lowlights - people ripping bits off the house for later and the very short indoor tour of the house (I would have like to see more on how the thing was constructed. Was that caulk or frosting?!?) The Mall of America was a great place to visit for 45 minutes. Then, we grabbed coffees and ran out of there as fast as we could cuz we were getting run down by strollers. We stopped for a bit to check out the Apostolic Bible Institute Choir in the Rotunda. I liked the loudness and a capella vocal stylings. It was festive.

Hopped back on the lightrail and headed down to the Nicollet stop for the
Holidazzle Parade.

BOY OH BOY!! I underestimated the dazzle and fun of this parade. We exited the train and made a beeline for the nearest parking ramp. We jumped the elevator to the 7th floor and watched the whole event without obstruction! The streets were flooded with people! Highlights - the lightbulb brigade, the University Alumni band in lighted uniforms, and SANTA, of course! Lowlights - NONE! The whole area was swarming after the parade, so we made our way to the nearest establishment to wait for a less crowded train to take us home. We found $1 cocktails from 7pm-8pm. Perfect!

Headed back home to play some euchre with Jon on Saturday night. Jon and dad kicked our butts. Lesson learned.

Check out photos from dad's week in Minneapolis, the arrival of the piano, the Hollidazzle parade, and the World's Largest Gingerbread House.

Let's Talk about Home Improvement, Sauerkraut, and Cookies!

Sunday night after returning from our trip out east, gerg finished installing the new GE garbage disposal. I'm lovin it! Thanks gerg! It even eats chicken bones! FOR REAL!

Seems like our project list keeps getting longer and longer! The good news is that my dad is in Minneapolis this week to lend a hand to home improvement for the Flanaganartins! Thanks dad and gerg! Thanks also goes out to cBass, who picked dad up in Madison and brought him to MPLS. Saved us 8 hours in the car on Sunday.

Last Tuesday, paula and I played bingo in White Bear Lake at Bentley's Pub and Grille. It was a fund raiser for her ski team. I won $27! It was fun driving out to the burbs to play bingo, and not at all what I imagined. I thought of bingo as something that's played in town halls with lots of square folk sitting quietly at long folding tables with crappy florescent lighting. Not the case! Bentley's had 80s music playing, and most of the crowd was having fun and chatting, even giving the guy calling the numbers some grief. We sat at cocktail tables and even had a cocktail waitress serve us 2-4-1s. They have food too. It was a rousing good time for a good cause, which is Paula's water skiing team. She loves it!

Bentley's Grille and Pub
1460 County Road E E
Saint Paul MN 55110-5230
(651) 484-4300

Wednesday, gerg and I made it our goal to not spend any money. After work, we finally set up my treadmill! Woo hoo! Haven't had a chance to use it yet, but that will change starting next week! (It's stored in the room where my dad is staying). Then, we headed to Barnes and Noble to sift through books and magazines. I read some books about paint matching and Vondervort's Curb Appeal and gerg pored over an issue of Make magazine. We both love Make magazine, but it costs $15 per issue! Ouch! I also took a look at some piano music because we have a new piano arriving at our house this weekend!! My favorite song books are the Reader's Digest song book collections. I've got one, but am looking to find a few more around town, especially the Best Loved Treasury.

So this weekend we were determined to sell some stuff to make room for the piano cBass is temporarily donating to our living room. We posted some items on craigslist, and within hours, we received offers on a couple of items. We sold 4 items for a profit of about $350! Not bad! We took pics and posted stuff on Friday, people stopped by throughout the weekend to pick the stuff up. SO EASY!

Still, we managed to get out of the house on Friday night for some cocktails at Psycho Suzi's with Dan and Rachelle. We sampled the Suzi Quattro (spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic and mozzarella with
white-wine sauce), creatively named after the 70's rokker, aka Leather Tuscadero. The crust was thin, not super thin, and crunchy. I liked it a lot. Not leathery, like its namesake.

On Saturday, we set up our fiberoptic Christmas Tree and drank boozey hot chocolate.
It was fun to turn off all the lights and take a peek at the tree from the front, I mean, AREAWAY. This will be our first Christmas under the same roof. It was fun to set up our first tree together.

Caught the terrible Packer game at the Herkimer on Sunday. What a disappointment, Green Bay!! Still, I got to see my favorite, Donny Driver, make a few decent plays, and I ate some nachos, served with a tangy pico de gallo. All together, among 7 people, our table consumed just about two plates of nachos, two burgers, two brats, two pretzels, and a fried egg sandwich, plus a bunch of drinks. We like this place, really. Although, the brat lovers complain that there's no sauerkraut. Bring on the kraut, Herkimer!! We must have local kraut makers, but if not, Frank's will do! And what about some brown mustard for the brats too? Can't the pretzels share their delicious mustard with the brats?? PLEASE? "That stuff is actually really good," said one mustard aficionado.

Sunday afternoon was a lot of fun at paula and john's house, making cookies and sipping cocktails. I made white chocolate covered pretzels and some bark with peanuts, pretzel pieces, and red and green sprinkles. But the other girls totally went over the top! Peanut butter balls, kiss cookies, cut outs, macaroons, and a bunch of other awesome treats. Sampled a peanut butter ball this evening and it was better than Reese's FOR REAL.

This week I'm looking forward to supper with both of our dads (they haven't met yet), the new piano, and a visit to the Mall Of America for a look at the World's Largest Gingerbread House!

I woke up in Newark, which is close to the city that doesn't sleep....

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Thanksgiving weekend was a blast! Thanks to gerg for showing me a great time in NYC and thanks to Brian and Suzy for their hospitality.

I hit 4 new states this past holiday: New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

We took off from the Minneapolis airport at about 6:30am on Wednesday, which meant an EARLY morning for us, we left the house around 4am-ish. Landed in Newark, New Jersey at the International Airport at about 10:30 and boarded the AirTrain to Penn Station. Penn Station was pretty cool, but we needed to head to Grand Central Station where we were going to leave our backpacks during the day while we toured. MISTAKE! Since 9/11, you can't leave bags anywhere in NYC, so we ended up toting our backpacks around the city as we toured. A little pain in the shoulders at first, but nothing a few Tylenol couldn't cure. Grand Central Station is gorgeous. I loved it, and could have spent more time investigating its nooks and crannies.

We departed Grand Central station and hopped a cab to the Empire State Building, which was gerg's pick for the day. The line was about 45 minutes long (time-wise). I spied on the couple in front of us with LV bags and ridiculous mink coats. They looked surprisingly unhappy, despite their lavish lifestyle. Continuing, we finally reached the observation deck, and oh how we observed, despite the wind. NYC is great from below (I love the subways (yes it was my FIRST subway experience - in MPLS we have a lightrail)), but it's also spectacular from above. As you can see, I got to see my favorite lady sculpture from afar. A cool chic snapped a photo of gerg and I from the observation deck. If you look closely, you can see the Chrysler building between us. NICE. It was insanely windy up there, and our hair took a beating. Mine got all whirled into a frenzy. gerg's got poofy-feathered, like 80s hair.

Headed out for lunch after the Empire State Building tour, and selected NY style pizza. It was my first piece of NY style pizza ever and I loved it! The joint we hit was called Pizza Pete's. Nothing fancy about this joint, but it was close and seemed like the real deal. Gerg had pepperoni and sausage, I enjoyed spinach, mushroom, and garlic.

Pizza Pete's
314 Fifth Avenue

Grabbed a coffee at one of the 8 million Starbuck's in NYC, and headed out to find a subway station. Along the way, we passed Macy's, and the hub-bub was pretty brilliant. Macy's Day Parade preparation was underway and we even caught a glimpse of Snoopy!

Caught the subway to down to Battery Park, where we caught great views and photos of me with the girl of my dreams, the Staten Island Ferry, and the salvaged Sphere sculpture from the World Trade Centers. Apparently, this sculpture was salvaged during recovery operations and placed in the park as a memorial. A never-ending flame burns at the base.

It started to drizzle, so we hot-footed it to the nearest local establishment, The Blarney Stone. Helped ourselves to a Stella Artois and a Guinness for gerg. Of course, shots of Jameson were imminent. Feeling rested and noting the rain stoppage, we headed out again to take the subway to Grand Central Station. Exited the train to catch our next train and stumbled upon Ground Zero.

The Ground Zero memorial currently in place is well done, IMO. No politics there, no talk of terrorists, fear, hate, revenge...Spectacular photos and a timeline commemorate the tragedy without sentimentalizing it. A polite sign reminded visitors to not cheapen the area by buying crap from people. I thought that was a good point, and really, we were only approached by one man selling photographs. We declined. We took a few photos through the fence of the area.

Realizing the urgent need to use the bathroom, and the lack of public bathrooms in NYC, we found another pizza joint, nibbled some breadsticks, and used the facilities. Buon Appetito! This joint was just up the street from St. Paul's Chapel. The cemetery of the Chapel seemed in shocking disrepair until I realized how OLD the place is....Washington visited the chapel after his inauguration in 1789!!

We had hoped to meet up with some friends for dinner at Grand Central Station, so we headed back in that direction via the subway. Grabbed a glass of Pitron at Tequilaville and accidentally left the earrings I bought at Grand Central on the bar. BOO!!! That was the only souvenir we purchased, so I brought nothing home except photos, which are rad. The restaurant kind of reminded me of a Mexican style TGI Fridays, but we had a nice spot at the bar and a great view of a fire on Vanderbilt (not that we saw flames or anything...just fire trucks and NYFD!).

12-14 Vanderbilt Avenue bet. 42nd & 43rd St.
New York, NY
Phone: (212)681-8441

Ran out to check out the NYFD, who were heroic and handsome as usual. Walked around to look for a dinner spot. Our friends never made it for dinner, but we still enjoyed a fabulous dinner a Ammos, a Mediterranean restaurant. We enjoyed veggies in a dazzling vinaigrette and some snappy snapper with capers. Also a broccoli dish with garlic and feta was delish. We were very happy with this joint just around the corner from Grand Central Station.

52 Vanderbilt Ave
New York, NY 10017
(212) 922-9999

Our hope was to meet up with Dave and Dre at Grand Central Station to take the train to Massachusetts. They were delayed and missed the train, so we departed without them. Grabbed some Holla bread from Zaro's Bread Basket at Grand Central, and a couple Amstel Lights, and boarded our train. A two-hour ride took us to a parking lot in Wassaic, where Brian and Suzy left their Volvo wagon for us. We hopped in, put on our disguises (left in the car for us by Suzy), and took our 2 hour drive to North Adams, where friends and beer awaited us. Finally crashed at about 4am, so a 24 day started in MPLS and ended in North Adams by way of NYC.


Thanksgiving in North Adams!

Thursday was a whirlwind of people cooking and preparing tasty bits. Eric, Brian, and Tim worked on the turkey. Tiffany made rolls and a tofurkey, Ashley made a cornbread dressing, Katie made another type of bread n' onion dressing and cranberry sauce, IIII made smashed sweet potatoes, Eric made smashed potatoes with garlic and sharp cheddar cheese, gerg and Dre made apple crisp, Tim and Brian made turkey gravy, I made green bean casserole and brought the holla bread, and Ferris made a mess with sweet potatoes in his hair.

Dinner was consumed, dishes were scrubbed, and the drink began to flow. Not surprisingly a dance party followed. Also, a fuzzy game of Celebrity. I sukked at this game, honestly.

On Friday, gerg and I took a walk around North Adams and checked out some of the local architecture. New England knows how to build gigantic homes!! We really did love the buildings there. Stopped at the Cup and Saucer for sammiches and soda pops. The food was really tasty...lots of locally grown stuff and organic stuff. Definitely veggie friendly. The bagels looked dreamy. Walked over to the local bakery at the Big Y for some fresh bagels (the Cup and Saucer looked low on bagels), and headed back to Brian and Suzy's house.

Friday night was all about candlepin bowling and Coors Light at Valley Park Lanes! Such fun! There are only about a dozen candlepin bowling joints in the US, mostly in MA, truth be told. I even won the second round with a 94. Big ups to me. The Arcade was fun too! Brian and gerg played an amusing round of Dance Dance Revolution. With the tickets we won at the arcade, I got a sweet jelly bracelet and a temporary tattoo of a Archaeopteryx. SWEET.

The rest of the guests departed on Saturday after breakfast, so Brian, Suzy, Ferris, gerg and I spent time lounging and watching movies. Suzy and I took Ferris to the park for fun slide action, and gerg and Brian formed new band with Ferris. Suzy made pumpkin pie for dinner! What a great idea! So we ate pumpkin pie and watched LA Story. A great wrapup to a great trip.

Headed back EARLY Sunday morning to catch the 6:23 train from Wassaic to Grand Central Station. Took a cabride from Grand Central to Newark and flew home to MPLS. Landed around 2pm.

For a more comprehensive set of our photos, click here.

Once again, a BIG UP YOURSELF goes out to Sarah and Reed, Brad, and Paula for taking care of kota-dog while we travelled. *smooches*

November Nights

I started my weekend off on the wrong foot! Too bad for me because, to put it bluntly, I was the MONSTER of my own destiny this weekend. That's not to say I didn't have fun times, cuz I did, and I'm about to review the haps. The bottom line this weekend was the two-way street of trust and honesty. I'd rather know the truth than assume. Honesty is a bigger expectation than I realized. I give a lot of people credit for trying to be as honest as they can be. I know this much: I love my friends and I love gerg.

Enough introspection and onto the events! Friday night gerg and I met up with Sarah and Reed at the Bulldog to discuss arrangements for dog-sitting over the Thanksgiving holiday. Big ups to Brad, Reed and Sarah, and Paula and John for helping us out. We certainly appreciate it. I skipped food and opted for 2 glasses of Stella Artois. The Bulldog has big burgers and tater tots by the basket. Check this place out for drinks and good bar chow. Reed munched a Reuben, Sarah a cheeseburger, and gerg opted for a Caesar salad (with tots, of course).

401 E. Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 378-2855

Late night activity included a lightrail ride downtown to check out the Terry Mullan event at Foundation. I lifted this photo from IIII cuz unfortunately, our camera died, so no photos from us. The event was a blast. Some highlights for me included the girl we affectionately referred to as "hooker dancer" who was all over the dancefloor, pinkpanther's rainbow striped sweater, the VIP area scored by jana, somebody's crunk cup, the striped sisters (one in a tube top), the green lasers, and naturally THE MUSIC. Terry Mullan!!! At one point the fire alarms were sounding, prolly due to too much fog. Gerg pointed it out to me, and at first I assumed they were just strobe lights since the alarm sound was practically identical to the track that was playing.

Saturday morning, gerg and I discussed the camera situation and decided we needed a new one after discovering ours would run about $200 to repair. We headed to National Camera and were pleased with the service and deal we received. We chose the Nikon Coolpix L5. It's small enough to fit in the pocket, but has a 5x zoom. Also, it uses double As rather than lithium, which works for us, since our previous camera used double As. So far, so good. A cool feature of this camera is the vibration reduction, which makes a huge difference in low light.

Our sexy, new camera.

Saturday night, Dave and Dre, pinkpanther and Deedot, and gerg and I settled down at our house for a night of "not spending money". All brought booze and made some food to share, and ended up with feast! I was especially fond of gerg's blueberry and peach crisp. Then played some Beyond Balderdash ,sipped cocktails, and played with our cameras and pinkpanther's new Mac. A brief appearance was made by seville, brandi, and cBass. I was little tipsy by this point, but it seemed they were only at the party for a minute! (Friends! Next time, stay longer! Party harder! We love having guests!)

Sunday was punctuated by a disappointing Packer loss. Managed to catch a rerun of the BET Hip Hop awards, and didn't see any of the performances I was hoping to catch: Snoop, Stevie Wonder, etc. I guess they cut out the stuff I wanted to see for the shortened rerun? Who knows. I did, however, get to see Delicious's mermaid dress! Pretty disappointed by the lack of female representation on the awards. Missy Elliot should never be ignored. Believe dat!

Looking forward to a short work week, and then we board our plane at 6am on Wednesday! I'm gonna wake up in the city that doesn't sleep!!!

Drat. I missed Hip Hop for a New Shower Head!

Wednesday night I stopped to pick up red and yellow bell peppers for surprise fajitas; gerg had chicken fajitas, I had shrimp. I used our red Kitchenaid divided skillet to separate our fajitas fixins. Chicken on one side, shrimp on the other! fantastic pan!

As I walked back to my car with peppers in hand, I distinctly heard "Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!" in a Santa voice. I whipped around to see if Santa was hanging in the Lake Street Rainbow parking lot, or sumpin. I looked all around. No sign of Santa anywhere! Not at Wendy's, not at that Chinese Restaurant, not at Denney's, not at the Schooner (well, it might have been someone INSIDE the the Schooner). Help! I'm hearing Santa voices!

After fajitas, gerg and I headed to Home Depot to search for a new shower surround and fixtures. We had intended to buy tiles, but the price wasn't right for nice tiles, and the surrounds were cooler than we thought they'd be. I love our new shower head! Then we used that closet design program to determine the layout for the bedroom closets. I fell asleep on his shoulder while he worked on the design. Shower should be complete by the time we head to NYC next week.

In a land of indie rokkers, techno freaks, and granola music lovers, I am a rhymes, rap, Hip Hop Countdown girl. Now, that's not to say that there aren't a lot of legitimate hip hop/rap lovers here, cuz there are, but I don't know many of them. I'm the girl who loves the bling, fashion, talk, walk, hair, grillz, and everything that goes along with hip pop culture, even MTV2 style. I'm even interested in Flav's love life. Some "legitimate" rap lovers would call me a fool. Screw them! Anywho, every year I look forward to the variety of hip hop awards shows. I just caught some of the Hip Hop Honors on VH1 on Tuesday. They honored Eazy-E. Bumming cuz I missed the Hip Hop Awards on BET Wednesday night, which kind of bummed me out. I'll catch a rerun, I'm sure cuz I just gotta see the Prince/Stevie Wonder/India.Arie/Yolanda Adams/Chaka Khan, Snoop, and Luda performances.

Thursday night was a hoot and the King & I thai joint on LaSalle. They have tasty food, and a great bar menu. Even mock duck egg rolls for the veggies out there! Liz and I had arranged a date to meet there. Turned out to be a small gathering, as each of us invited others to join without having consulted one another. Needless to say, niether of us were disappointed with the AWXUM turnout of D+D, Deedot and pinkpanther (photo swiped from the Hermans), and Liz and her entourage. DJ Croix (?) laid some smoov beats, jazzy/FUNKy stuff perfect for sipping cocktails and reminiscing about the "old days" when rave parties lasted 4 days, and sleep was a waste of time. Remember when Daft Punk played at Even Furthur in 1996? Nuts!

Go talk about the good times!
King and I Thai
1346 LaSalle Ave
Mpls, MN

PS - Actually, sometimes I still resent having to sleep.

Looking forward to a replay of the Hip Hop Awards and Terry Mullan at Foundation Friday night and another PACKER VICTORY this weekend!

Here's the scoop on the Foundation event.


It's not often that I post links completely unrelated to my life, but this pool is so cool, I just had to share it.

Comfort Food and Whoopee Cushions

This past week was full of crockpot madness! And a ton of laughter! Did you know they made self-inflating Whoopee Cushions?!?! Constant guffawing on Saturday night.

Friday night, we took the first step in the bedroom redo. After much contemplation, we've decided on "a look" and headed downtown to buy new bedding and a rug. Window treatments are in the works, and my dad will be in town soon to help paint and max out our closets. Can't wait to have killer closets!! After shopping, we grabbed some chow at the Minneapolis Chatterbox with cBass and Aimee. My service was crappier than it usually is there. I think they screwed up my order 3 times, along with the bill. Guess the gang didn't have it all together for me. I'll let it slide, cuz they're usually on top of it. Watched some chick play SuperMario Bros for awhile. The joint was 4/5 packed with hipsters playing games and slamming beers, as usual. Check out the Chatterbox for nights filled with sitting in your living room in a public place.

MPLS Chatterbox
2229 E 35th St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 728-9871

Beat it, and headed to Psycho Suzi's to visit Brad and the gang. Ran into this chic I knew from high school named Molly. Discovered she works at one of our fav hangouts, the Town Talk Diner! Enjoyed some Tiki drinks, along with shots of my fav Tequila, Corralejo, Anejo. They have the Anejo, which I haven't seen in the Twin Cities so far. I'll be back for more, believe dat! Psycho Suzi's has a kickbutt set of tiki drinks which will drive you to drunkenness. They've also got decent chow. I must be from Wisconsin, cuz the first thing that comes to mind is the fried cheese. Yummy!

Psycho Suzi's
2922 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 821-0101

On Saturday, while we finished battening down the hatches outside to prepare for winter, we made crockpot baked mac n' cheese for a "comfort food party" hosted by one of gerg's colleagues, Jessica. The party was in Northville, maybe 20 miles from here. We did our yard work in the brisk autumn air, cleaned out gutters, raked, burned stuff, covered the AC unit, etc. Showered, grabbed the crock, and headed to the party! Northville was covered by almost 8" of snow!! Who knew the seasons could change in 20 miles?!?! Anywho, the party was fun, and my highlight was receiving a hand-drawn turkey from Jessica's daughter, Bella - she named the turkey Wiga. That's right. Wiga. LOVED IT! She was also a huge fan of one of my favorite toys. The Whoopee Cushion! She set up this great obstacle course where she'd do a front roll, jump on an ottoman, and then land on the chair (which had a Whoopee Cushion on the seat). We laughed at how gross the chair was.

Sunday, we hit the Packer party at the Herkimer. What a blast! We were all about Donald Driver's 191 yards receiving on Sunday! Our server spilled a little beer on gerg and gifted him with a leather cuff bracelet. Very very!! gerg couldn't see keeping it, so he returned it as he paid our tab. Other highlights included Deanna Favre quaffing a huge glass of beer on National TV, the red-haired chick who cheered for the Packers by imitating Gonzo's' long lost sister, and the JELLO SHOTS!! Woo hoo! Thank you, Brett, for not throwing a single fuggin TURNOVER!! gerg was all about you, Brett!

Practically skipped back to the car after the victory over the Vikings. Got home and set up the crockpot for yet another outing. This time, we fixed up some chili cheese dip for Bobbi's birthday party.

While it did its thing, we took a nap to recover from the PACK attack while watching DIY programming; I've been battling a doozie of a headache on and off for a couple of weeks - I think it's related to a pain in my neck/shoulder. It means a little more resting than usual, which isn't bad, but has contributed to me acting like a total baby at times.

Smith's party was a good reunion. Nice to see all the folks out and about on a Sunday night. With Lotus and the Lodahl twins in the house, and a pregnant mom, lots of childtalk ensued. Also, something bad happened to gerg's camera at the party. The flash made a cracking sound, like something shattered, and I repeatedly received an E18 error. BUMMER! We need the camera for our trip to NYC next week!!

Monday night, after walking kota dog, gerg and I headed to St. Paul to the Mann Highland I & II to check out Borat the Movie. Before the movie, we grabbed sups at the St. Paul Chatterbox Pub nearby. It's got a similar menu, with the addition of a breakfast menu, and the same nostalgic vibe as the Minneapolis Chatterbox, except everything was newer and cleaner. Fewer hipsters and more grups (a term I lifted from NYmag) in the crowd. I ordered the fondue from the appetizer menu, but was somewhat disappointed by the more like con queso dip that I received. It's not that it tasted bad, but I expected something more similar to fondue and less like con queso dip. gerg had the chicken quesadilla, which was tasty, as ususal, according to him. Service was great.

St Paul Chatterbox
800 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116
(651) 699-1149

Borat the Movie was hilarious. The whole crowd at the Highland wasn't just laughing, but roaring at Borat. I've been a fan of Sacha Cohen since I first saw a video of Ali G, Innit back in 1999. Borat the Movie is goofy and takes necessary satirical stabs at America's sometimes hypcritical and often ridiculous cultures while being totally offensive.

Highland I&II
760 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116
(651) 698-3085

Iron Fork Review and Other Bits

Okay, I'm not posting my latest in chronological order. I really want to address Iron Fork first (held on Nov. 9, 2006 in Minneapolis). IT WAS FUN! The bad news is that I forgot my camera!!

The Highlights!

Sarah and Reed and I met up at O'Donnovan's for a cocktail before heading to the event at the Grave's Hotel. O'Donnovan's has a great selection of Irish whiskey, I helped myself to a glass of Bushmill's neat. Then Sarah and I headed over to the hotel. They had advance tix, but I couldn't get one. The line was LONG to purchase tickets, but it gave me a chance to check out the lobby of the Graves, which is contemporary and clean. Jeers to the line-butters! What happened to "Minnesota friendly?" (Hey, if you're a line-butter, and you know if you are, you SUKK.) Good news is that I got a ticket. The event was sold out, so I heard from other guests. Tickets at the door were $30, with proceeds going to Second Harvest.

So we all piled in an elevator (couldn't find the stairs), and headed to the 5th floor ballroom. Checked our coats, and walked through the cash bar area to the ball room, where 8 cooking stations were set up in a oval around a table piled with an assortment of fruits, veggies, broths, Amstel light, and meats. "Amstel light?" you ask; they were a major sponsor of the event.

Around the perimeter of the room, guest vendors set up their stations, and handed out gobs of free samples. Some highlights: the Legacy Chocolates samples (99% chocolate truffles!), the folks from the Birchwood with a cheese and cherry chutney appetizer, Ichiban brought 1000s of sushi rolls and enough wasabi to launch a rocket, the Melting Pot people brought a refreshing salad with greens and currants, and Lunds made mini-grilled ham and cheese sammiches with tomato soup. Bottom line: If you left hungry, you were lazy. All the vendors I approached were so friendly and generous with their goodies!

On to the competition! I grabbed a spot early. I parked myself directly in front of the Fugaise cooking area. I hogged that front row position for the entire competition. Throughout the event, I spoke briefly with chef Don Saunders. Such a baby face! Fortunately, Sarah brought me samples to keep my energy flowing during the battle! Directly to the right of the Fugaise prep area was executive chef, Steven Brown, from Restaurant Levain. So, I was in a pretty good position to catch some crucial cooking, along with stellar views of City Pages food critic Dara Moskowitz's sexiness *meow*. (The closest thing I could find to a photo of Dara was an undownloadable pic on The Voice website here). Seth Bixby Daugherty, Executive Chef at Cosmos, briefly introduced the competitors and welcomed the guests, then the revealed the secret ingredient. Lobster!

Don from Fugaise went to town with a parsnip/cream/vanilla puree, which they served with seared lobster tails and a cabbage roll stuffed with sauteed mushrooms, fois gras and lobster knuckle meat. The claws were boiled and served on the top on the cabbage roll with a spicy paprika sauce.

The Winner!!!

Chef Steve from Restaurant Levain prepared a lobster/chorizo/truffle oil dish with shashimi-style beef (couldn't determine the cut), which smelled heavenly, and must have tasted heavenly as well, because he was the big winner of Iron Fork. His look was goofy and fun, tossled salt and pepper hair, tight-rolled chef pants, and chartreuse Crocs. His style was fun to watch. Very methodical and meticulous, but relaxed and cheery. He's the kind of guy you wish would invite you to his house for Thanksgiving, just so you could sip champagne and watch him cook.

The Lowlights: 1) More advance tickets would have been nice. 2) Each cooking station should be labeled with the represented restaurant name and chefs; it was difficult to remember who was at what station. 3) A better sound system for annoucements and on-the-spot interviews; we could barely hear Dara!! 4) Stairs; the jampacked elevators were frightening. 5) The tarragon provided for the chefs was crappy.

Lowlights aside, the event was awesome to watch and attend. I'll definitely be attending next year!


I came home after the Iron Fork event to a basement set up with gerg's drums. Dallas Orbiter was recording him in the basement, as they were all about the reverb from the staircase. I love to watch him play; it was a nice treat. gerg, you are so HAWT.

Also, I came home to a new compound mitre saw in the basement. It has a laser and a florescent light and a very cool transport stand! It was not purchased at that bad manners hardware store; it was purchased at Home Depot. gerg saved the first cut of wood for me and wrote "MARIE" on the block. It's fuggin adorable.

Other highlights from the week:

After voting on Tuesday night, gerg at I hit El Norteno. He had the steak fajitas. I had shrimp rancheros. Apparently, their Horchatas are fanstastic, but we had limonade. The beans and rice were a little bland, but the entrees were tasty. They offer a variety of traditional dishes, like, 8-10 versions of tacos. Definitely family friendly. Definitely not fancy. Atmosphere is bland, so bring interesting company. Come and eat a taco, and then buy a blessed virgin Mary devotional candle from their little shop.

4000 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 722-6888

Wednesday night, I prepared a new crockpot recipe. Check out the recipe and comments here! We visited our friend Brad with the recipe, and then headed down to the Town Talk Diner with my brother, MarkMartin, and our former roomie cBass. MarkMartin (visiting from Oshkosh, Wisconsin) tried out the Kitchen Sink burger, cBass had the grilled cheese. gerg and I shared some fried cheese curds and drank booze. I tried an adult malt concocted with pumpkin pie flavored ice cream, honey, and brandy. gerg stuck to the Jameson, as usual.

Looking forward to heading to a Comfort Food party tomorrow and another sort of party on Sunday. Also, raking leaves and cleaning gutters are in our future.

One more bit: today I received the first proof for my forthcoming poetry book, called Fresh Breath. We should be able to send the complete design to the publisher by December! Woohoo!!!

Weekend highlights that bleed into Monday


Saturday was the big moving day for former roomie, cBass. Kind of sad to see him go, but his new apartment in South Minneapolis is great. Plus, he's got a killer organ there - an old Hammond in mint condition. cBass was a nice roomie. Doesn't he look nice? Anywho, after walking to the Birchwood Cafe for coffees and gigantic early morning treats (I had an apple/date bar that set my head spinnin'), Dan, seville, gerg, cBass, and I moved all of cBass's stuff from our place in one trip. Not bad! (I don't think I need to mention how AWXUM the Birchwood is, what with all the good press they've received. Still, in case you haven't noticed, the Seward Neighborhood is LOVING this little cafe.)

After the big move and a PBR, around 4, gerg and I headed to Chipotle, where I sampled my first burrito from there. I liked it better than Burrito Loco. Might have been the guacamole or maybe the corn salsa. Just something about it tasted better. Sorry seville, I know it's your fav! Saturday night we were homebodies, enjoying a full moon evening, playing in the yard with a leafblower and a firepit, moving furniture around, smooching! I SO should have taken photos of the firepit. It was like a tornado of fire and brimstone.

On Sunday, we headed to the Herkimer with most of the gang for the Packer game. The Packers were a total disappointment, but the veggie burger was tasty, except it didn't come with mustard! What gives? Check out the Herkimer if you're into the Packers. They have TVs all over the place, so you don't miss plays, even if you step outside. They have a scaled-down Packer menu, and lots of beers brewed on location, veggie burgers and baked pretzels for the veggies out there. Next Sunday, they're hosting an event for the Vikings/Packers battle. Sounds like it will be a lil' bit of tailgating at Lambeau in MPLS.

After the big disappointment, we were off to Kowalski's, where we sampled some of their Cilantro Dip. Try it. Love it. Seriously, even if you usually think cilatro is overbearing and nasty, try this dip. Also, the cranberry walnut cheese ball should not be overlooked, nor should the continued abundance of Honeycrisps!

Sorted through my old tapes on Sunday after letting them dry out from the Hold the Water Please flood. Found some classics: Paul Johnson (I Need Another Plan), James Christian, Boo Williams...oh man, I loved raving! Even some old garage band tapes: Dazy Skulz and HMMC. We listened to my "Hits from 1996" and danced.

After walking Kota Dog, on Monday night gerg and I headed to Memory Lanes! Punk Rock Bowling on Monday nights is totally FUN! $2 tallboys of PBR and $2.50 shots of Jameson will totally kill the Monday blues! Plus, 3-4 bands every week, and they set up right over the lanes so you knock roll while you ROKK OUT. We tried some grub at the attached Flashback Cafe. Gerg liked his burger, and the onion rings were HUGE! They serve sammiches, pizza, appetizers, gourment popcorn, and even a few "dinners" (walley, shrimp, pork chops). For veg-heads, there are veggie burgers, pizza, and grilled cheese. Vegans might struggle at this joint.

Memory Lanes
2520 26th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 721-6211

We bowled 2 games and gerg dominated. The round of Jameson was on me! - $5 for two shots! We left before the rokk started cuz I had a Flickr lesson scheduled with gerg and he wanted to catch Kill Bill 2, since he hadn't seen it.

Birthdays, anniversaries, and headphones! Oh my!

Three cheers for the gorgeous weather in Minneapolis this weekend. I'd like to thank Ma Nature for that! Big up yerself, ma!

gerg and I celebrated ourselves this weekend with a grand outing.

First, we headed into St. Paul, without a destination for food, but stopped at a joint called the Glockenspiel Restaurant. The Old World charm of this place was as welcoming as the bartender, who was pleased to host our lunchtime date. The menu was packed full of all kinds of pork and beef dishes that I couldn't pronounce. I noted one (of two) vegetarian items on the menu: Spargelbread. It was a hug hunk of toast topped with asparagus, and a Swiss-cheese sauce with tomatoes, red onions, and other veggies in a vinaigrette. Sounds peculiar, tastes spectacular. gerg ordered his FIRST EVER Reuben sandwich and he loved it! We each sampled an adorable lil' mug of Applekorn for dessert. Our server is a star in St. Paul's hit show, We Gotta Bingo at the Lowry Theatre. We enjoyed sitting in the sunny spot at the front of the restaurant, but were busted for smooching there by our server.

605 Seventh St W
St Paul, MN 55102-3043
(651) 292-9421

After lunch, we hit a Starbuck's that was conveniently located next to the neighborhood hardware store. gerg's been looking for a portable compound mitre saw. One of the gentlemen working the showroom showed me the bad side of his manners, so gerg didn't buy the saw he liked. We'll go back and buy it from someone polite.

I was slightly soured by the hardware store experience, and even got teary eyed, but gerg (in his typical fashion) cheered me right up by steering the truck towards the Cathedral of St. Paul. We walked in as the Minnesota Orchestra was wrapping up an afternoon rehearsal. We witnessed a quick tete-a-tete between Osmo Vanaska and a first chair violinist. Then, we were lucky enough to witness a lovely violin solo in the cathedral. Simply gorgeous. Check out the Cathedral. Tours are available, or you can just walk around if you show up at the right time. We found a video booth, where we took our official anniversary photo.

After that magical experience I was definitely more chipper, and we bopped over to the St. Paul Curling Club . A nice lady with a stressed out arch in her left foot gave me the skinny on curling. gerg filled in the gaps with what he knows from subbing last year. Seems like a fun past time. I'm gonna give it a go this year, if I get the chance, by acting as a sub for the team at gerg's office.

The curling club was fun, but Keegan's was even more fun! The crew assembled there to surprise Dre for her 28th birthday - happy b-day Dre-Dre! I sampled two jager bombs and some kind of tasty beer (not stout). I had fun photographing friends' excellent shoes. They had some great Happy Hour specials there, as far as beer and fried foods go. We didn't eat, but some others did. I heard Deedot say the fish was good. Plus, some babes were walking around with free Jameson (tainted with white soda pop). I forced myself to only taste the Jameson. By this point, gerg and I were truly enjoying our anniversary outing. Thanks to those who noted our anniversary!

16 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 252-0880

The icing on the cake! gerg and I headed to Origami for a romantic sushi dinner. Origami was the first place we visited for a date in Minneapolis. It is a romantic spot for us. We had some Yo Yo Maki rolls, a specialty of the sushi chef at origami. SO GOOD!! Of course, I had the Miso soup, and we tried the vegetable tempura (the squash was awxum). gerg sipped green tea (which was smart of him). I ordered a golden haze which was a combination of sake and Grand Marnier. Not as smart of a beverage choice as gerg's, but definitely TASTY. We love this place. I NEED to start taking gerg's libation recommendations seriously.

30 N 1st St
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 333-8430

Unfortunately, the golden haze was enough for me, and I started acting "goofy", so I cut our evening short (at 11:30pm). We had an additional plan for more fun out with friends, but that fun can be had another time. It was a great day, and gerg was a great date.

This week:
Looking forward to attending Minneapolis' Iron Fork with Reed and Sarah on Thursday. 8 chefs, 3 judges, 1 secret ingredient!

Also looking forward to the Packer/Viking event at the Herkimer next Sunday.

Herkimer Pub & Brewery
2922 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Ph: (612) 821-0101

Do you know what today is?

One year ago, I was sitting at my desk in Oshkosh when a bouquet arrived at my desk. The card read, "Will you be my girl friend? from gerg" Obviously, I said, "hell yeah!" Today I received another bouquet, and the card reads, "Happy anniversary! Will you be my girlfriend again? Love, gerg bot." Yes, gerg. I love being your girlfriend and living in your neck of the non-woods. Happy Anniversary, gerg! Let's stay together! *smooch*

Last night we performed our weekly hair removal ritual. It's not what you think. Lakota is a fuzz demon, and so, we must battle the hair that attacks our house. The process is layered. First, we sweep. Next, vacuum or mop. Next, use a canister vac to get the corners. Next, use the Dirt Devil on the furniture (even though he's not allowed on the furniture, his hair magically appears there). Finally, we dry AND wet Swiffer to collect the rest. Now, most of you know I'm goofy about cleaning (as in, I love a clean house). The tiered levels devoted to hair eradication were developed by gerg, and seem to do the trick.

After our weekly fuzz bust, we headed to Sweet Lorraine's. Greasy Spoon, good french fries, don't even think about trying to look for fancy stuff. Just come here for 2 eggs and toast for $2.95. Also, they have American-style Mexican food. And big plates of nachos.

Sweet Lorraine's
2403 E 38th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 728-0426
I'm not surprised that I couldn't find an url or an online pic. I did find a couple of reviews though.

Liz bopped over to work with gerg and I on her film project. She needed robot noises, so we headed down to Love Field , and made some noise. cBass was solicited for a robot-like sound track, which he accomplished toute suite. We drank red wine during the process.

Jerome, are you for real??? gerg and Marie's Halloween weekend

First of all, congrats to the Packers! I'm a sconnie bitch. Therefore, I represent for the Pack.

The weekend was packed full of goofy bits of shenanigans. On Friday night, gerg and I dolled ourselves up as Mork & Mindy and headed to a haunted house in St. Paul. Unfortunately, the haunted house failed to haunt us. The good news is that seville and wife Brandi joined us for the adventure. Seville's costume was a cinch, since he's probably the long lost twin of Project Runway's JAY!

After the not-so-haunted haunting, we beelined for the Town Talk Diner...we skipped supper to costume ourselves. Gerg devoured most of the Kitchen Sink burger and I delighted in the tempeh sandwich, seville smiled at himself with the grilled cheese, and Brandi nibbled on frickles and a beet salad. Thumbs up around that table. Seriously, folks, if you haven't sampled something at this joint, you've gotta check it out. The cocktail menu is expansive, and the bartenders delight in inventing customized cocktails. gerg is an old fashioned man; the bartenders whipped up an "old fashioned" martini for him not too long ago that was delightful and BOOZEY. Don't ignore the Adult Malts or the champagne service for 40's of High Life.

Another neighborhood gem!

(photo lifted from Bo Darville's beautiful collection of online images)

Town Talk Diner: 2707 1/2 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-722-1312

Headed back to Wisco for a cousin's wedding on Saturday. In Halloween-style, the groom was a swashbuckling musketeer, and the bride was a perfect princess. My family was good to gerg, and so he was good to them. Mission, "gerg meets more of my family" was totally successful. Thanks to my sis, Mary, for the crucial hospitality!

On the drive back, we stopped at Castle Rock for a break and some climbing around. Didn't spot any wildlife, but noted that this leftover island from the ice age was pretty fuggin cool, and strange.

Got a hankering for soup on the way home, stopped at the Longfellow Grill for eats. Both of us sampled a cup of the curried carrot soup, which was very tasty, and fun, since it was served with Goldfish crackers. Gerg ate the cajun chicken apple salad, and I devoured my tilapia tacos (best fish tacos I've had next to my fav fish tacos sold at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market). In warm weather, we sit outside and take advantage of the direct view of the Ol' Mississippi. It's got neighborhood charm with a contemporary atmosphere. Anywho, last night, gerg and I took a spot at the end of the bar, and in walks Jerome, a 49 year-old character....

Jerome proceeds to tell us the following, with just a bit of prodding:
1) His "better half" recently died from West Nile after being bit by a mosquito after hurricane Katrina. In an attempt to spare him any pain, she embarked on a cruise with a friend after she discovered she was infected. 10 days later, she died. He was informed by a relative of her death. As a tribute to her, he purchased her house in Longfellow, and had just finished constructing a gigantic heart-shaped inspired terrace out of red granite, and had planted more than 500 daisy and tulip bulbs. We've got the address, so we're gonna check it out.

2) His father worked for the Queen of England, and was entitled to diplomatic passports; likewise was Jerome, who spent 20 years in Europe, spoke 19 languages/dialects, and had a diplomatic passport in association with his father. His training began at a young age at an international school.

3) He has the fourth largest collection of nomadic Arabic textiles in the world.

4) For nine years he worked as a sound engineer for bands such as AC/DC, Hall and Oates, and Jackson Brown.

5) He was contacted by the CIA due to his fluency in Arabic and French.

Hey Jerome, are you for real? Worldly stories that were too amazing and detailed not to be true, yet too fantastical to ever be! Coulda make a living sharing/spinning yarns, and ended up at the Longfellow, sipping curried carrot soup and chewing on fried cheese, sharing stories with two kids from Wisconsin. Not annoying, not pretentious, just sharing his adventures cuz we asked. We like our Southside neighborhood joint, despite some less-than-favorable reflections by other humans.

We sat here:

Longfellow Grill:
2990 West River Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55406 (612)721-2711

Broke the news to my family that I would be missing my first family Thanksgiving EVER to head out east to celebrate with human friends (including David and Dre) and visit gerg's human godson, Ferris (he's the monster in green). Family was okay with the news, and said, "Have fun in New York!" We're pumped!

"4 spicy polish, please!"

Last night, gerg and I headed over to Elliot Ave off of East 38th Street to feed Susan, the cat, for Paula and John during their scuba-diving escapade in South America.

On our way there, we passed a little market called "Everett's Foods - Meats" on E 38th St. The window had large, round, hand-made signs advertising "Lefse and Lingonberries!", "Smoked Salmon!", "Pumpkins - many sizes!" Since I wanted to buy some more carving pumpkins for a late night carve session, I asked gerg if we could stop at Everett's on the way back to our place. Plus, it was right next to this old-fashioned candy shop, but I'll get to that later.

Even upon getting out of the car in front of the store (parking was TOO easy), I could smell smoked pork chop wafting from the shop. Once we entered the small market, it became apparent that these folks knew meat. The aroma was of spicy sausages and bacon. We were looking for some fresh Italian pork sausage for a ragu I was fixin' to whip up for gerg's spaghetti dinner. We asked a butcher behind the counter (Jack?), who was very pleased with our request, "Oh, we just put some in the freezer, but it's very fresh, probably not even frozen yet!" The 6'3" blond, moutached, butcher-apron clad gentleman walked us over to the freezer case and proclaimed, "This will be perfect for your sauce. See, it has barely begun to freeze yet. Very fresh!"

Sausages, brisket, thick cut New York strip with the bone in, and every kind of sliced meat loaf and wurst you could want. Now, some of you will scoff, knowing that the only meat I eat is seafood and fish. I enjoy cooking meat; I cook meat for friends and family routinely, and I inquire about texture, consistency, moisture and flavor. Gerg said the Italian pork sausage was out of site, and I have no reason to doubt it. The people who walked up to that butcher knew the place and knew what they wanted. "4 spicy polish, please!" By-the-by, the pumpkins I bought were easy to carve and packed full of seeds, which Dre will be salting and baking soon.

Great service. Great-lookin meats. Great-tastin', according to gerg.
Everett's Foods - Meats 1833 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (612) 729-6626
I looked for an url, but found only a couple of ">reviews of Everett's.

I like this one: "Everett's certainly did us right. We got a 10 lb brisket @ 3.98/lb and I can't complain. It was perfect. If you want to talk meat, be sure to speak to Jack. The young pups don't know 'deckle' from 'schmeckle'. I have yet to have a bad cut of meat from these folks - and I am uberpicky." by teamkitty


Now, about that candy!! Right next to Everett's, The Candy Jar, specializing in the hand-made stuff, enticed us with a billboard about coconut haystacks and caramel apples. We skipped in and purchased some treats for later, mostly from the chocolate case. Plus, we enjoyed free samples of fudge and jelly bellies while we waited for the adorable, wish-she-was-your-grandma, sweetie behind the counter to fill our order. We didn't spot any caramel apples, to my dismay, and then witnessed a interesting interaction.

She: "No caramel apples today?"
wish-she-was-your-grandma: "No, they're all gone and the new ones didn't come in yet."
She: "Awe NUTS!"
wish-she-was-your-grandma: "Tomorrow, they should be ready."

Apparently, they can't keep their caramel apples on the shelf! My dark chocolate dipped fairy food melted in my mouth. Gerg got a "grizzly" , which was basically a turtle turned inside out. A little messy, but very tasty, and the caramel must have been made with pure butter.

Candy Jar - (612) 721-3741
3805 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
sorry, no url for this place either!

Two great shops on E 38th Street. Two more reasons South Minneapolis RULZ!

Hold the Water Blog

I want to start this post by acknowledging gerg's awxum handyman skilz. He can build and fix almost anything, it seems, and he's hot while he's doing it.

However, we have been battling with our new fridge all week! We can't seem to get the icemaker to make ice! gerg hooked up the plumbing whatnots, and still no ice. So, imagine my surprise when I came home yesterday to a flooded kitchen that resembled a murder scene.

I frantically called gerg to find out how to turn off the hose that was shooting water out from under our sink. I twisted every knob back and forth and managed to get the water to stop geysering. Then, I took the dogs outside and almost started sobbing. However, I kept my cool.
The water in the kitchen was red, due to a "bleeding" red rag rug that we keep in front of the sink. After hauling the rug out, dripping red water behind me, I mopped up the floor.

I then proceeded to the basement, where I surveyed a pile of water-logged boxes (mostly mine). The water was still draining from the ceiling, so I thought I'd let it subside before I went to work moving stuff. By the by, gerg came home; when I saw him I started crying. He gave me big hugs and assured me we'd get everything dried out.

We hauled the boxes out one-by-one and salvaged almost everything. My major concern is my coolio treadmill. It was waterlogged. Waiting to turn it on again until it dries out. My rare nude Madonna poster was RUINED. My awxum Herb Ritz poster is waterlogged. It wasn't destined to mount a wall in our house anyway...three next-to-nude men collecting seaweed.

We weren't in the mood to cook after all that, so gerg ordered Pizza Luce's new Ruby Rae pizza. We ordered half with veggie sausage for me, and half with the real stuff for the meat-eating man. I'm a big fan of "sauce on the top" styles of pizzas, so this one is a winner for me. I shall sample the leftovers for an upcoming lunch.

So, my stick shift driving lessons were postponed (scheduled for the Roosevelt School parking lot). Big ups to cBass, a local rokker and mathematician, who grabbed some extra paper towels for us. And a visit from our wacky pal, Liz, got me laughing again. She hates Kwan's new white loafers.

My old skool rave tapes are scattered around the garage drying. I hope the Dazy Skullz tape survives. I gotta hear it again!

A cool weekend in October

Weekend recap:

gerg and I headed to the Walker with a+d for the Heart of Darkness afterhours preview party. Althoff’s Solo für eine befallen Trompete was the highlight of the exhibit - gory, sexy, titillating, and unappetizing installation of bourgeois gone berserker. Target provided rad martinis called Targetinis. We watched some of Cameron Jamie's filmy work. I wish I could remember the name of the piece about the murderous marionette....headed home after that. Dre's feet were a mess, and a dinner of Lurcat french fries was tasty, but hurt my tummy. Silly me!

Saturday gerg and I hit the Leinenkugel Brewery Tour in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with my sis and her new booty call. Sampled their new Apple Spice beer. Found out later it was the Honey Weiss flavored with apple and cinnamon. Think I'll pass this one up in the future. Some stuff I noted: at one point, Leinie's made ICE beer!?!?! Big Butt season is Jan.-March. Also, they had summer sausages shaped like beer bottles and flavored with beer. Headed to Sloopy's for a sammich before heading home. Ditched the joint during the second playing of "Friends in Low Places." Ouch! My ears!

Saturday night is detailed below. gerg killed me. It was the awxum.

Sunday, a rare Packer victory! Then, off to Fat Lorenzo's for stromboli, hoagies, and gelato. Good thing it was our only meal of the day. Tasty, but naughty!! Headed to Kowalski's for the necessities and noted thier Olive Oil sale. Not bad olive oil for a great price. Then bopped by the Lodahl's to visit the 6-month old twins and their parents. Their home will soon become a drool factory. Seriously, adorable though, and we got to check out Eric's new scooter. This all white, OLD Honda scooter is in primo condition. gerg took it for a test drive and came back smiling. Then gerg and I headed to the Acadia Cafe to check out Finnegan. Free parking at the Acadia, and tasty beers. Finnegan played lovely acoustic guitar. gerg enjoyed one of the Acadia's seasonal Bells beers. I helped myself to a Rogue Dead Guy Ale. NICE.

Monday night was punctuated by a visit to Home Depot where gerg and I collected everything necessary to hook up the icemaker in our new refrigerator. Neither of us being experts at plumbing, the chore took up the majority of the rest of the night. We had hoped to install our new garbage disposal as well, but that must come latron. We were pooped after hours of climbing in cabinets and connecting pipes.