Hot Holiday Shots with She-Ra

Sure, you could cuddle up and watch Frosty, the Snowman, or sip hot chocolate while Rudolph or the Peanuts entertain you, but why not spice up the routine this year?

Enjoy holiday shots with 6-packs and sexy red boots compliments of He-Man and She-Ra!

Here is the hour-long He-Man and She-Ra Holiday Special, presented to you in 5 contiguous episodes, each about 10 minutes long.

Watch them all in one sitting, or pop back in throughout the holiday week for your daily DOSE of SHE-RA, PRINCESS OF POWER.

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He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special, Part 1


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He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special, Part 2


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He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special, Part 3


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He-man and She-ra Christmas Special, Part 4


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He-man and She-ra Christmas Special, Part 5

Happy Fiberoptic Holidaze

Happy holiday times!

Two years ago, I wanted a fiber optic Christmas tree. I realized that dream at Target. Our fiber optic tree is featured above in this holiday photo.

Here's a video of a fiber optic tree in action.

Until last year, my philosophy regarding Christmas trees was simple: killing trees to decorate their carcasses in your home for 2 weeks is practically a sin. Why kill a tree when you can have a fiber optic one?

Thankfully, I expressed this rationale this to my boss, who set me straight.

My boss, paraphrased:
"Well Marie, cutting down your own tree can be a sustainable choice. Most Christmas trees are harvested from tree farms, and a lot of them are owned by families."

Here's the rationale from Balanced Living Magazine: "These farms plant about two trees for every one cut, and often they use rocky soil that does not support other types of agriculture. This means that instead of barren land, the farm hosts trees that provide oxygen and combat global warming.

However, many of these farms use pesticides to protect the trees from insects and disease. Many of these pesticides contaminate groundwater and harm wildlife. The trees also can pose a danger to your family. According to a study by the Cooperative Extension Service of North Carolina, most Christmas trees are treated with the pesticide chlorpyriforus, a suspected neurotoxin. A cut tree may still be laden with this chemical and others when it reaches your home.

To keep the chemicals out of your house – and the environment – look for an organic tree. Organic Christmas trees are rising in popularity. A search on the website for the non-profit Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org) turns up several online pages of listings for organic and almost-organic tree farms across the U.S. If there is not an organic tree farm near you, ask local growers whether they take steps to reduce chemical inputs.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation recommends artificial trees to sufferers of severe allergies because live trees can harbor pollens and molds. While artificial trees are reusable, they are also made from non-renewable resources such as plastic, steel and aluminum. Once thrown away, your artificial tree will spend centuries in your local landfill. Also, three out of every four artificial trees sold in the U.S. come from factories in China where most workers make only about $125 a month in sweatshop conditions. If you opt for an artificial tree, purchase one made in the U.S. under fair-labor conditions. Christmas Depot (877-ELF-LAND, www.christmasdepot.com) sells trees made in New Jersey under fair conditions.

Use your tree for as many years as you can. Most recycling programs do not accept artificial trees. If you must get rid of it, check with local charities, shelters and churches to see if they need your old tree for the holidays."

Eventually, this little, fiber optic tree will stop working and will find it's place in a landfill, where it will probably never decompose. Until then, I will enjoy it, and do dances to celebrate how cool fiber optics look.

When it comes time to replace it, we'll look for an organic tree.




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NOROC! Tozai Junmai Nigori









You know, considering Tozai Junmai Nigori sake springs from the "snow maiden," I can say with utmost certainty that we were wikked smart to order it at King and I Thai during this winterly month o' December.

First of all, just look at it. The bottle LOOKS divine.

After you look, taste. It is soft, fruity, slightly nutty, and has the most DIVINE, dulcet flavor. It's not particularly sweet, and despite its creaminess, it's dry. Very easy to drink. Very inviting.

Pair it with a creamy curry or a sizzling sautée, and you will be loving life.

Add to the mix some rad company, and you've got yerself a grand old time.

And since we're talking about booziness, what better way to impress your HAWT New Year's Eve date than with exotic toasts?!

English - Cheers!
Albanian - Gezuar
Armenian - Genatzt
Austrian - Prosit
Belgian - Op uw gezonheid
Brazilian - Saude, Viva
Chinese - Nien Nien nu e. Kong Chien
Czechoslovakian - Na Zdravi, Nazdar
Danish - Skal
Dutch - Proost. Geluch
Egyptian - Fee sihetak
Estonian - Tervist
Finnish - Kippis. Maljanne
French - A vortre sante
German - Prosit. Auf ihr wohl
Greek - Eis Igian
Hawaiian - Okole malune
Hebrew - L'Chaim
Hungarian - Kedves egeszsegere
Indian - A la sature
Japanese - Kampai. Banzai
Korean - Kong gang ul wi ha yo
Lithuanian - I sveikas
Mexican - Salud
New Zealander - Kia ora
Norwegian - Skal
Philippine - Mabuhay
Polish - Na zdrowie. Vivat
Portuguese - A sia saide
Romanian - Noroc
Russian - Na zdorovia
Spanish - Salud, amor y
Swedish - Skal
Welsh - Iechyd da

I think I'll rock "NOROC" this year!

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Festival of Lights in My Neck of the Non-Woods

Remember when Aaron Landry posted about that house that played music and had a light show? In case you don't remember that, there's a house in our neighborhood that has a crazy LED light display set to music.

Gerg and I drove by last night, and captured this beauty of a video on his cell phone.
The sound is terrible. FO SHO.
However, it's hilarious.
Yes, you should check it out at 41st Ave S and 32nd.

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Liz is THE BIZ

Do you like this ensemble?






















In the spirit of fashion fun, vote for Liz's cute outfit AND for Minneapolis!

She's the first person pictured: "MINNEAPOLIS - THE MINNEAPOLINE"

PS - That's my vintage Coach handbag. I feel so proud.

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Warm Toes, Warm Heart

A broken furnace in December is practically cliché. Until it happens to you. Then it totally sukks.

With our furnace on my shit list, and me wrapped up in a zebra blanket (referred to as the zeburrito), December wasn't shaping up to be particularly cozy..........

UNTIL THESE GUYS SHOWED UP FROM ST. NICK ON THURSDAY MORNING!!!

























TEN MINUTES LATER ONE OF THESE SHOWED UP AS WELL!!!!




















Thanks Saint Nick!!!

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,
you are friggin sweet!
Rainbow socks and a furnace,
heat my chilly feet!
Please come back tonight again
if you've got the nerve.
You passed o'er the red stocking
that we hung for Gerg.

















UPDATE: St Nick did show up the next night, and brought gerg a Harry and David Moose Munch Bar, and two DVDs: Clue and Fargo. HUZZAH!


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Scandalous Photos!!

Someone I know is getting one of these bad boys for Christmas.





















Sure, the film is expensive, but sometimes, a Polaroid is just worth it.

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I *heart* Bots


I *heart* bots of all kinds.

I really want to get one of those vacuum cleaning bots to chase our dog around the house. If you have one, please tell me how well it works on cleaning up disgusting animal fur.






Anyhoo, with bots on the brain, on Saturday gerg and I took a snowy field trip to FoamCarver USA.

Why? The friendly folks at FoamCarver USA have a ShopBot PRSalpha - Personal Robotic System.

Personal Robotic System??? YES!!! With a little imagination and some software skilz, a person can make just about anything out of foam, wood, or metal with a high performance router such as the ShopBot.




















So basically, you develop a plan using Shopbot's software, or some other comparable software, and the machine reads the plan and carves the pieces of the plan out using a router. Things like signs or flat wooden pieces for furniture are a breeze. You can take it to the next level by designing and carving out layers in order to create an entire sculpture.

The folks at FoamCarver USA are responsible for all kinds of projects around the Twin Cities, including some of the giant animal carvings at the RainForest Cafe. And they use the ShopBot for most of their projects. The machine itself costs about $10k, which ain't bad considering the versatility and maintenance package available.

The router itself is WAY quieter than gerg and I imagined it would be. It's about the size of a queen-sized bed, so you could easily take naps at work (smaller models are available). And it's a lot more versatile than I imagined. After we watched the machine in action, we spent the rest of the day imagining potential projects. I also made up a song about the ShopBot to the melody of Love Shack because I'm lame.

We also decorated our Christmas tree. So Saturday was a totally RAD day.

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HOT HOT HOT Bridges


Did you hear that the Kickapoo River bridge in Wisconsin is a broken structure with a small price tag? Yep, one buck.

I've got a buck, but I don't need no stinkin' bridge. I do need my weekly She-Ra fix though, and all the Kickapoo Bridge hub-bub has me thinking of one episode in particular.

In fact, it reminds me of my favorite She-Ra episode, "Just Like Me."
Check out the awesome video clip!

Basically, She-Ra has to rescue the screeching brat, Leena,from a broken bridge while walking a tightrope made of dental floss.

Naturally, her makeup is fuggin flawless and she does the whole act in heels. POWER.

She-Ra Princess o' Power, I, Reetsy, dare not ask for you, lest you come....because I don't think I could handle your glory. Although, I would like to kick Bow in the knee.



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I'm Gonna Wake up in the City that Doesn't Sleep!

Last year when we went out east for Thanksgiving, we had a blast!
We saw Ground Zero, and I had my first slice of NY Style pizza.

It was super windy on top of the Empire State Building.


It was also fun heading to the Berkshires for the feast of all feasts.

I brought the Hollah!!!

We couldn't figure out a way to top that feast, but Suzy came up with a brilliant idea!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Project Runway: Wayside on the HWY to Hell

Project Runway!!!!!!

My favorite reality TV is BACK! Tim Gunn is back! Heidi Klum is back! Michael Kors is back! Nina Garcia?? Back!!

I'll spend the next several weeks fooling myself into thinking I know something about fashion and wishing I had Nina Garcia's hair.

I'll gossip about fashion with people who wear jeans and hoodies 75% of the time. Apparently, the show somehow manipulates its viewers into thinking we are fashion experts.

Yes, it's back, which also means my favorite reality TV blog is back.


Project Rungay: They Sew: We Rip

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3 Degrees of Federal Separation

I work for a federal program.
It's cool. I love my work. I'm totally committed to our cause and our mission.

However, sometimes I'm an idiot. Sometimes when my communications colleagues make a little joke over email about whether I'm strong enough to hold my own during a food fight, I spend 15 minutes of my lunch break PhotoShopping a muscle onto my arm and emailing it back to them. Sometimes the National Communications Director and the National Program Director are cc'd on those emails.

"For the record, I have a great arm!"

As the Communications Director for our region, I need to make a presentation in Des Moines on Monday to my National Communications Director to let her know what's going on in our region. She will report back to her boss, the National Program Director.

Makes sense. I can handle that. This is a natural chain of command in the bureaucracy.

And then someone tells me this: "That National Program Director reports to the President."

me: "which President?"

Someone: "The President of the United States."

me: "WHOA. I just sent her an email with a muscle PhotoShopped to my arm."

At least he can't say that I lack enthusiasm!

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99.9% is Close. Very Close

I got an email today from my designer.

Designer? Yes, the person who's designing the layout of my poetry book.
Poetry book? Yes, the one I've been working on for about a year now.

Says she:
"I spent bout 5 hours working on your book last night and am about 99.9% done!

I had some colors that I was concerned about and had to switch some pantones to cmyk, resize things, et cetera.....when you switch em they never look the same on screen.

Since you like the cover as is, I left it .... the only thing I did was a color adjustment so that it didn't look so washed out. I did a black/white curve on it to make it pop more.

I was gonna do a bunch of fancy stuff to it, but instead I did some changes on it for the contents page so it is an extension of the cover. So the contents page is changed....... I really wasn't sold on that page and I like this better but you let me know.

I will send that to you asap. Of course you have the final say!!!"

Sometimes when you get an email, you think, "thank gawd".


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2 Years and Going Strong!!


Some flowers arrived at my office on Friday afternoon.

Our receptionist called me out front.

As I was walking by she asked, "Girl, what did you do?"
And I said, "I told gerg I'd be his girlfriend 2 years ago."

That was a good decision for me to make.

Thanks for the flowers, gerg!


btw, are you supposed to tip flower delivery people? I never have, and today it dawned on me that I might be expected to do so.


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10 Little Vamped Up Piggies


I am loving Chanel's fall colors! On a little trip to Macy's this weekend, I picked up a crucial new nail polish: Chanel's Vamp. And I couldn't resist Chanel's new Lip Glossimer pictured above: Hibiscus.

Apparently, Vamp nail polish reached insane popularity in the 1990s, and Chanel couldn't keep it stocked. The shade reached a sort of iconic level of nail polish notoriety.

The dude behind the Chanel counter at Macy's was trying to convince me on the Black Satin nail polish, which is "the rage" this season, but black nail polish looks pretty ridiculous on my fingers. Vamp was a great dark alternative POUR MOI. BTW, the same dude also tried to convince me to spend $120 on a makeup case, which was a failed effort on his part.

Usually, I'm a Sally Hansen or OPI gal, but I couldn't resist the Chanel polish, and I'm glad. The polish is super glossy, and I dig that.

I took a stupid, artistic photo with my mobile so you could see the color in real-ish life.



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Let's Go All the Way....to the Merge Point


I AM ONE OF THEM. I AM A BAD MERGER.

I have aggressively straddled two lanes with my car in order to block late merges in construction zones. I get pissed when people fly by me in the other lane AFTER I've already merged.

I have shook my fist fiercely at people who refuse to merge with everyone else a 1/2 mile before the merge zone....those a*&holes!!!

LO AND BEHOLD. I was WRONG. And some people I met from California and Pennsylvania were laughing at me as they tried to explain that people in Minnesota and Wisconsin simply don't know how to merge. They blamed it on Minnesota nice....We see a sign that says the lane is going to end, and we move over immediately cuz it's the polite thing to do. RIGHT?

WRONG. I am changing my ways, henceforth, even though I know the early mergers are going to get pissed.

From the Minnesota Department of Transportation:

"ST. PAUL, Minn. — Fifteen percent of drivers admitted to straddling lanes in order to block late merges in construction zones, according to a recent study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

To address the more than 2,700 crashes and 18 fatalities occurring in highway construction zones last year, Mn/DOT commissioned a study to better understand the behaviors and attitudes that trigger driving decisions in merging situations as drivers enter a work zone.

'Our goal is to increase safety in work zones by reducing the confusion and frustration drivers often experience when merging,' said William Servatius, Mn/DOT's Office of Construction. 'Many times crashes occur due to aggressive driving, abrupt lane changes or sudden stops, so we want to help drivers make good choices while traveling through our work zones.'

In an attempt to minimize the problems discovered in the research, Mn/DOT also conducted a month-long field study on Highway 10 in Anoka to assess a new Dynamic Late Merge System, a traffic control strategy to improve merging at lane closures.

'The fully automated system using remote traffic microwave sensors and a Doppler radar provides instructions to drivers via changeable message signs on when to merge and how to merge according to the current state of traffic,' said Craig Mittelstadt, Mn/DOT's workzone safety specialist. 'For example, if traffic is heavy, the system will instruct motorists to use both lanes and take turns once they've reached the defined merge point just before the lane closure.'

This strategy often referred to as the 'zipper' improves traffic flow, reduces conflicts and hopefully will decrease the number of crashes when traffic demand exceeds the capacity of a single lane closure.

'Basically, we want drivers to know that under normal traffic speeds, they should try to merge early to avoid unsafe merging maneuvers; however, when traffic is congested, drivers should use both lanes all the way to the definite merge point,' said Servatius.

'We can't completely rid the roads from congestion in a workzone, but data from the study revealed this method shortened queue lengths by 35 percent and reduced lane changing conflicts,' said Mittelstadt. 'We also hope for a decline in crashes and aggressive driving behavior.'

Minnesota is one of the first states to use the Dynamic Late Merge System and plans are to continue this research in the upcoming construction season.

'People have been trying for years to research the proper way to merge, but there are so many factors to consider,' said Servatius. 'It's difficult to say what's the right way - instead we're looking for the best way.'

So if you see me flying by on the Lake Street bridge, early mergers, and you get IRRATIONALLY PISSED OFF believe me, I understand.

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Poems about Collegues

I wrote this poem about a colleague, and now every time I talk to her, I think about her waking up in the morning in a seersucker nightgown.


She has pot-bellied pigs for pets,
and with each sunrise she rises
out under a quilt from her mother.
There’s a red rag rug in her bathroom.

She dabs Oil of Olay
under her watery eyes
because her grandmother did.
She wears a seersucker nightgown.

An inherited plain and simple routine.
She’s got her ladylike
mapped out, a crossword.
Do this, this way.

I killed my pet fish,
and rise from a man’s bed
long after sunrise.
My neighbors could watch me pee.

I’ve used hand lotion on my face
cuz it's all just lard and wax,
and my mom never used nothing.
I curse and wince while brushing my hair.

My grandmother had no ways.
One year it was manure in the garden,
the next, dead carp.
Unclear routines, gigantic tomatoes.

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Melikalikimaka is the Thing to Say on My 30th Birthday

October 15, 1977: a little Reetsy was born amidst tragedy.

When I think back to the day I was born, I remember how discouraged I felt when I saw Rosemary Clooney and Bob Hope clutching one another and sobbing on TV. As the nurses spanked my bottom and shoved tubes down my throat trying to keep me alive, I had a hard time finding a reason to hold on.

I just couldn't celebrate because Bing Crosby's death was SO awful.

Bing and I shared so many interests: booze, Ireland, Count Basie, crooning, and playing golf, among others. My closest friends and family know that I have a secret passion for playing the piano and crooning songs from the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Perhaps with my first gasp of air I inhaled some of Crosby's blessed pipe smoke and was made an instant crooner.

Bing Crosby (died October 15, 1977)

RIP and Melikalikimaka, Bing.

Thanks for the laughter. Thanks for the tears. Thanks for my birthday. OH, and thanks for your HAWT daughter, Denise, aka Tasha Yar.

------------------------------------------------------------

PS - That little cabin in the woods was the RAD. A big thanks to all who attended, and to gerg for planning the best birthday party ever!

30 year-old me.


gerg as Moose


Sunset at the Lodge


Thumbs up for being 30!


Jon's first (ever) shotgun. Awe...

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OUR CELEBRATION SHALL BE MIGHTY


Behold Little Cabin in the Woods,

PREPARE THEE, little cabin. PREPARE THEE.
OUR WAY IS SWIFT AND OUR CELEBRATION SHALL BE MIGHTY.

Prepare thee a party, tune the chords; prepare a party for Reetsyburger: she that dwells among the river, age 30 is round about her, whose dominion is the Passat. Minneapolis is her strength, and Wisconsin; and there is no limit of the flight of her partygoers.

And they shalt be drunken, and shalt not be overlooked; and thou shalt seek for thyself strength, cabin, because of thine partygoers. All thy strong-holds are as fig-trees having watchers: if they be shaken, they shall fall into the mouth of the partygoers. The gates of thy land shall surely be opened to thine partygoers: their fire shall devour thy bars.

From The Burden of Grand Marais: the book of the vision of Reetsy the Burger.


Note: Some predetermined partygoers are heading to HUNGRY JACK LODGE to greet my 30th birthday head-on. We are prepared.


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When Squash Attacks


What with all of my recent raving about butternut squash risotto, I decided it was about time for me to make my own version at home.

I had a crucial squash hanging around the kitchen, so the decision was simple. RISOTTO!! However, I never anticipated the squash attack of '07!


First, I tell you my BOSS recipe:

Ingredients:
2 pounds diced Butternut squash
2 cups of chopped crimini mushrooms
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon Minced garlic
2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
7 cups vegetable stock (more if needed)
1 1/2 cup Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon Freshly-grated nutmeg
Salt --to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper --to taste

***Garnish***
Nutmeg
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

-Peel the squash and remove seeds. I used a vegetable peeler (don't do that-see below). Cut into small 1/4-inch dice. Set aside.
-Heat the butter and oil together in a deep saucepan and saute the onions, red pepper, and garlic until soft but not browned.
-Add the squash and rice and continue to saute and stir for 2 to 3 minutes longer. -Add stock in 1/2-cup increments stirring until absorbed. Continue adding stock and stirring until rice is creamy on outside but has some texture to it.
-Stir in the mushrooms
-Gently stir in cheese, zest, nutmeg and correct seasoning with salt and pepper. -Serve immediately in warm bowls garnished with nutmeg, additional Parmesan and black pepper.

AND THEN MY HANDS STARTED FALLING OFF.

Ok, so not quite falling off, but I noticed my skin started tightening on my fingers and then peeling. It was wikked gross. I showed gerg. He asked "Did you wash your hands?" I had washed them several times, and yet, something was not right.

I really didn't care that much, and I wanted to eat the risotto! We ate our super delicious dinner, and afterwards, gerg decided to surf the ol' world wide web to see if my hand situation was legit.

LO AND BEHOLD!!! I AM NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE! OTHERS HAVE BEEN ATTACKED BY BUTTERNUT SQUASH.

"After cutting up some butternut squash for soup, I noticed that the skin on my left hand became dry and tight. What's going on?

No matter how much I wash my hand, it doesn't seem to alleviate the problem, so I don't think it's a residue. Lotion doesn't seem to help, either. I've noticed it before when cutting up butternut squash, but never thought too much about it. (It's not on my right hand, but I assume that's because I was holding it with my left hand and cutting with my right hand, so there wasn't as much contact.)"

CUCURBITA MOSCHATA DERMATITIS!!!

As noted above, I rokked a vegetable peeler to peel the butternut. Here's why you shouldn't do that, according to noted professional "MonkeySaltedNuts".

"I hope you are not using a vegetable peeler to peel your squash because that will release a lot of whatever the substance is. The fastest and easiest way to peel a butternut is with a large kitchen knife. First cut it in half where the bulb meets the shaft. This gives a good flat support surface. Also slice off the top. Next set the top half on its cut surface on a cutting board. Use the large kitchen knife to vertically cut strips of peel from the sides. I often cut maybe 12 strips. (prepping the bottom half is similar but more difficult because your knife has to follow a curved surface)."

TIPS: Make the BOSS risotto. Don't use a peeler.




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Celebration of Republican Activities in Minneapolis

This is my commemorative art piece that celebrates Republican activities in Minneapolis.



Inspired by IIII.
Created by Reetsyburger.


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Terrence Howard: Insane



Did you read this
Elle interview with Terrence Howard!?!















Just in case you'd rather not spend your relatively sane luncheon break with a wingnut, I'll give you highlights:

ELLE: What one item could you find in a woman's house that would prove that you weren't compatible?

TH: Toilet paper—and no baby wipes—in her bathroom. (editor's note: huh?)

ELLE: Wait. I don't think I understand.

TH: If they're using dry paper, they aren't washing all of themselves. It's just unclean. So if I go inside a woman's house and see the toilet paper there, I'll explain this. And if she doesn't make the adjustment to baby wipes, I'll know she's not completely clean. (editor's note: WTF?!?)

Hey Terrence! You CrAzY into cleanliness!!!


Continuing....


ELLE: You were married very young, got divorced, and then spent years trying to get your ex back, got together again a few years ago, but are now apart. What happened?

TH: I realized why she divorced me in the first place. I was in love with her, but she was not in love with me. I can't be upset because she doesn't find me the most beautiful thing on the planet. But I don't look much like her, so I understand that.

editor's note: That makes sense, Terrence. She didn't leave you cuz you're bat-shit CrAzY. She left cuz you don't look like her.


To shed some additional light on the subject, I offer you some unsubstantiated crap from the interwebs:

-"Press reports have since noted that Howard is "trying to reunite" with his wife, and that he has stated that he is "chasing after" her." (wikipedia)

-When NY Mag interviewed Terrence, they couldn't resist asking about baby wipes in the bathroom. Terrence offered more insight: "You know, my views and focus never change. They remain the same, about trying to find a cleaner way to live, and to be safer, you know? And maybe we should be a little more careful about social mores instead of this loose living that everybody’s gotten caught up in. We’ve lost our moral values a little bit. That’s what I was touching on.That’s what I was touching on. I believe as an artist, my nature is to speak. Do I think we need to readdress how we clean ourselves? Yeah. It took a long time for soap to catch on. Now everyone uses soap. So let’s be a little more clean, you guys. Let’s not be germophobic, but let’s be clean when we can." (editor's note: Thank you Terrence. I now understand. Baby wipes will cure loose living. BTW, I was completely in the dark about soap "catching on". )

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I'm a Two-Timing So and So

I've started another blog.

http://eatsustainable.blogspot.com/

You Are Where You Eat.

On my other blog, you can find "Reetsy Reviews" of restaurants and other food vendors. My reviews talk about how food tastes to me, but they also talk about producers and sustainable practices....from the garden to the table.

I believe sustainable choices both on the farm and in the restaurant can make the food I eat better.

The purpose of this other blog is to open a dialog on the many complex issues surrounding the concept of sustainability in food production and preparation....from the garden to the table.

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An Oldie, But a Goodie

About 2 1/2 years ago, I drank a lot of bertas with Gundie. We would regularly drink cocktails and dance all night long to Amerie, Beyonce, and Rush, etc. Aaron snapped this photograph of Gundie and I after a good dance session, and my broham, MarkMartin, doctored it.

It's an oldie, but it's a goodie.



Gundie's shirt is pink. It says "Tough Guys Wear Pink"










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Deck, Deck Baby

Earlier this summer we installed a sliding patio door off the kitchen and into the backyard.

The patio door rules, and we are totally loving it.

We are nearing completion on our deck! Kegger and Trombone party is getting closer!! I can hear it!! It sounds like progged out John Phillips Sousa marches with double bass drum pedals.

Also, I have deck-building notes!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!





























Note: I finally found the love of a lifetime. Yes, he WAS a member of the Krispy Kreme foosball team.





























Note: Trex decking looks great and Trex is a good "green" choice.

However, it can't be used for framing. If you use it for framing, you will call customer service and they will tell you to rip it all down and start over. *ahem*


















Note: Building a deck requires a lot of screws. Composite decking requires special composite screws. We didn't learn that the hard way either *ahem*.




























Note: Battery powered drills are essential. We used three. Each of these hanging brackets requires 8 screws (4 on each side). I spent most of my weekend crawling around on the ground drilling 400+ screws into brackets.


















Note: It's hip to be square. Square everything. Every single joint.


















Note: Even though your betrothed's dog makes you feel insane sometimes, sometimes he can be pretty cute.





























Note: Dirty knees done dirt cheap.


















Note (from gerg):
"Hey, baby, if you're feelin' down,
I know whats good for you all day!
Are you worried what your friends see?
Will it ruin your reputation lovin' me?

Cuz I'm a dirty white boy!
Yeah a dirty white boy!
A dirty white boy!"

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the pants makes the shoes

Earlier this week, I ran across the pants' blog by way of Hedy De Vine's blog.

Turns out the pants can make the shoes I've been after.....

A pair of Vans with this Kozyndan print painted on them!



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I Chewed the Meat and Swallowed it

After 13 years of imbibing various non-meats and fish, I ate both bird and beast on Monday night at the People Serving People event in Minneapolis. Yes, I did it. 11 of 13 polled people agreed that I'd be crazy not to. PLUS, I wanted to give it a whirl.



The mammal I ate was a cow. The cut was a ribeye. At first when it was served to me, I wasn't sure if I would try it. Fortunately, my friends at the table were far too tempted by their own delicious plates to worry about me, so it was a low pressure situation.

With no one looking, I cut a tiny bit off the very edge and nibbled it. I didn't get sick. The flavor reminded me of a steak that I ate at the Old Courthouse Inn in West Bend, WI when I was 15. The texture was slightly overwhelming, since I hadn't experienced it in quite some time, so I gave the rest of my portion to gerg.

I've been waiting to receive clarification regarding the producer of the beef, and am in the midst of phone calls with La Belle Vie's beef distributor. When I get the info, I'll post it here.

--------------------------

The fowl was a duck. The cut was breast. I had never eaten duck before, and therefore could not compare it to previous experiences. I cut a tiny bit off the very edge and nibbled it. It was crispy and flavorful.

La Belle Vie's duck producer is located in Southern Minnesota. Although Sous Chef Mike Camp prepared our dinner, Chef-Owner Tim McKee gave me the information about the duck, and explained that he was "proud of the supplier". And I told him I'd mention that.

When we got home after eating on Monday night, I was more ticklish than usual. Other than that, I felt foine.

Just like that, I'm no longer a pescetarian (good thing too because I LOATHE that term). I know my fowl and mammal intake will be limited as I make the leap back to land. It's cool though, cuz, you know, I got it like that.

PS - kisses to shortcake

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The Honor is all Mine!

I'm honored, TRULY honored, to be able to attend this amazing event.

The opportunity for a private cooking demonstration featuring Sous Chef Mike Camp from La Belle Vie isn't something that passes by my table any day of the week. The dinner includes: cooking demonstration, five-course dinner and wine pairing.

The menu:

* Smoked Salmon Carpaccio with Citrus Vinaigrette and Candied Lemon
* Sauteed Skate Wing with Jerusalem Artichoke, Trout Roe and Cipollini Onion
* Roasted Duck Breast with Duck Confit, Porcini and Sweet Corn
* Grilled Ribeye with Lyonaisse Potato Cake, Baby Turnips and Carrot
* Gianduja Rice-Crispy with Hazelnut Nougatine and Avocado

Now, as some of you may have read, I am currently a pescetarian who is considering eating land animals again....so I'm wondering if this is the time and place.I've vowed that my land animal consumption will reflect my belief in the sustainable production of meat. What say you?




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Adventure Commences



Gathering addresses. Reviewing our budget. Thinking about a wedding near water. Smiling at one another...

The wedding will be fun. The marriage will be a BLAST.

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When the Pack Attacks, I'll Chow a Brat

Anybody who reads or listens in Minneapolis knows that the Vikings are having SCADS of trouble selling their tix for this weekend's game.

Coming from Wisconsin, and being a generalized Packer supporter (albeit, not as die hard as some of my friends/family/fellow Wisconsinites), I found the situation shocking at first. This would never happen in Green Bay.

Evidence of my Packer Backing. This photo was taken at the Herkimer during the Packers vs. Vikings game last season.




















Because I've been a fair weather Packer Backer in the past, and because I have never subscribed to the belief that I can't change, I vow that WHEN the Packers make it to the playoffs this year, I will eat a bratwurst with brat mustard and sauerkraut. During Brett Favre's entire career with the Packers, I have not consumed a brat. This is possibly sacrilegious. But it's about to become sacrilicious! I'm not promising where or when, but I will consume one...with a frosty mug of beer.

I figure if I'm gonna wade out of the delicious waters of fish and seafood, finding my way back to eating land animals again, I might as well start with what my ancestors ate. BRATS.


gerg feels good about the Packers and brats.













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I Saw a Picket Line, but I Didn't Cross it

There is a strike taking place on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus today.
Read all about it here.

In regards to what I've seen so far, there hasn't been a ton of action on the campus today in regards to the strike. Then again, I might have missed something.

I did drive past the picket line on my drive to my office. I was following a private company's electrical service truck. All the picketers were waving at him and whooping. I wondered if he was a scab electrician coming to cover for someone striking.

Out of nowhere, last week, one of my colleagues said to me, "My grandmother was a communist. My mother was a socialist. I don't know what I am, but I know you don't cross a picket line."

And I almost said, but I checked myself "Your grandmother was a COMMUNIST?!"

Anywho, I'm glad I didn't have to cross a picket line today.


















photo lifted from WorkDay Minnesota
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An Unscheduled Engagement

Some engagements aren't scheduled...not penciled in on your refrigerator calendar...not set to send you email reminders.

A particular engagement this past Friday sent my head spinning.

I've been smiling for 3 days!

Even though I had no idea it was coming, I'm STOKED that this engagement happened on Friday.

I'm so grateful and so happy that gerg proposed; I love him so much, and I love this sparkle-y ring.

















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Sneaking Around

My new sneakers make me smile. I think they're sneak-tastic. I picked them up at Robert's Shoe Store on E Lake Street.

photo by Neil Coleman














The shoes were released in June 2007, as part of Nike's new Air Force 1 City Series. I bought them cuz they are awesome and perfect for sneaking.

Details:
Nike Air Force 1
Lowtop Supreme - New York City Edition [ Rosie's Dry Goods ]







































From citysole.com

Item Description: Rosie’s Dry Goods

The basketball footwear in the New York collection evince the flash and showmanship of the Big Apple’s best ballers and its courts. For these athletes, Nike created AF1s as sophisticated as they are strong, and as smooth as they are sturdy. To symbolize this combination, the NYC shoes draw upon the inspiration of Patterson Square, Rosie’s Dry Goods and the Gauchos. Graphic highlights celebrate these New York institutions with roses and a thorn ball signifying Rosie’s, CHOZ ’78 commemorates the Gauchos’ inaugural year in the AAU program and a design pulled straight from the Patterson Square backboard is a tribute to that legendary court. The XXVth Anniversary AF1 Box is Neutral-Grey with white accents(swoosh and AF1 logo). The lace medallion has been updated as well. And we can't forget the Air Force One XXVth anniversary card of authenticity a collectors dream!

Features:

* Alligator Swoosh
* Rosie Dry Goods Crocs
* Air Force One 25th Anniversary card of authenticity
* New Medallion
* Soft Leather

The shoes came with a medallion, which was a little OTT...even for ME! I put the medallion in my jewelry box.

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365 Days Later

1 year ago today, I moved to Minneapolis.
In the Corsica jam-packed with plants, shoes, and books, I made my way to Longfellow.

1 year later, I am grateful.

I love living with gerg.
I love my new career.
I love my new Passat.
I love chatting with band guys in our garage and drinking PBR.
I love cookouts with Sarah and Reed.
I love all outings involving art/plants/booze/music with IIII and Dre.
I love motorcycle rides on the Lake Road.
I love Deedot's blondness. I love Michelle's sass.
I love cocktails with Liz and I love her red jeans.
I love paula's ever-changing hair.
I love Wednesday dinners with Bobbi, Lotus, and crew.
I love using power tools.
I love wandering around my neighborhood while talking on my cell phone.
I love the shoe section at Macy's.

Even though I am grateful, there are some things I miss about living in Wisco.

I miss chopping vegetables with Alicia.
I miss sunbathing with Shanny.
I miss prowling for *anything* with Crystal.
I miss playing golf with joshherman.
I miss checking out DJ Hecubus at the Lounge.
I miss Thursday night dates with crowhead.
I miss the JazzOrgy.
I miss being introduced as MarkMartin's sister.
I miss eating Mexican food with Kurt.
I miss watching ALL the Packer games, and I miss the Packer parties.
I miss shopping at TJMax with Sarah.
I miss cheap drinks.
I miss the EAA Fly In.

The good news is that in the scheme of things, the commute home is short, and so I still can experience the things I miss about Wisco without living there.

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Jay's Cafe Rokked the French Toast















photo lifted from www.nodinpress.com/macaroni/spring06_food.htm

gerg and I ate a late breakfast at Jay's Cafe in St. Paul on Saturday.

I drive past Jay's Cafe almost everyday and was all about checking it out.

Apparently, Karl Gerstenberger is wild for locally-sourced ingredients, which is a reason for a sustainability gal like me to give myself whiplash every time I drive by Jay's...I'm always trying to peep the menu on the board outside.

So on Saturday, we darted between raindrops and grabbed a little table. Peace coffee (of course) and comics were our appetizers as we scanned the brief and reasonably priced breakfast menu. The atmosphere was unremarkable and definitely unpretentious.

We ordered the "Surfer" Burritos - a burrito with eggs, avocados, salsa, cheese, and tomatoes. Savory and acceptable.

But the home run, out of the ballpark, knock you on your ass and until you scream "uncle" dish was the Apple-Carmel French Toast - we're talkin thickly sliced Ciabatta bread french toast served with diced apples, drizzled with caramel, and then topped with real whipped cream and maple syrup. A big up yourself to the Gods who looked down upon Jay's Cafe when this was served to us. I thank ye.

We made sure to check out the art. Since we spend 1/3 of our free time in hardware stores, the photographs of Noll Hardware were pretty interesting to us.

I chatted up our server before we departed, and she indicated that the most locally sourced menu at Jay's was the dinner menu.

You know I'm all about trying the Organic Cantaloupe Soup with ricotta dumpling and scallion oil for $6.

Jay's Cafe

791 Raymond Av
Saint Paul, MN 55115
Phone: (651) 641-1446

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