Friday, November 27, 2015

O Holy Night.

Happy Christmas Season, everyone!

Yesterday you cooked your turkeys and baked your pies and, if you were in my family, apparently had a mimosa (I'm bummed I missed out). You've also probably worked your way through about one eighth of your leftovers today and possibly fought hundred or thousands of other people for good deals on presents to give to your loved ones, so the Christmas season is now upon us!

I'm writing this blog post as I continue to procrastinate the novel I'm supposed to be finishing in the next three days. (HA. In case you were wondering, I've written 28,000/50,000 words. So, more than halfway, but not anywhere near completion. We'll see how far I end up getting...)

I'm house/cat-sitting for my boss Gretchen tonight, and as I sat here in a completely silent house in an attempt to do some writing (Not actually an ideal writing situation for me. As an extrovert, it's a lot harder for me to get things done when I'm alone in a silent place. Go figure.) I decided that I needed a Christmas music playlist.

Now, my absolute favorite Christmas songs are from this band called Beta Radio that I discovered completely by chance through their free downloads. Each year for the past four years they've put out a free EP of Christmas music. This year they recorded the last edition and you can buy the entire album on iTunes, so you should totally go do that if you at all like folk music and Christmas songs. They're fantastic.

 **Warning: this post will get rant-y. If you want to enjoy this holiday season without feeling convicted about consumerism, stop reading now. I won't judge you. I'll maybe be a little disappointed, but I'll understand. You can even click the play button on that song and enjoy that first. It's all very happy for a couple more paragraphs. But after that, all bets are off. Although, I will say, I have a very important message about it all if you keep reading.

Anyway, the first song that came on was "O Holy Night". This song gets me every time. Call me predictable. It's not even my favorite Christmas song (I usually go with "The Little Drummer Boy" or sometimes "O Come O Come Emmanuel") and it never comes to mind when I think of Christmas songs I like. But every time I listen to it, there's that one stanza. Can you guess the one? Here's the song, have a listen. I'll wait.

I'll help you out. It starts "Truly, He told us to love one another/ His law is love and His gospel is peace." Now, that's really beautiful to think about. Love and peace. How nice and Christmas-y, right? I completely agree. But those aren't the lines that get me. It's the next:

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease

Because, like, that's what Christmas is really about. Not presents, not family time (as awful as that sounds. Because I do love my family and spending time with them.), but about Jesus. A guy whose purpose here was to set us free. All of us. To save us. And yet, it is 2015 and guess what? Lots of people in this world aren't free.

I'm not even going to touch the direct violence we inflict on each other that impedes the whole world peace thing. Paris, Palestine, Beirut, whatever place you care about that has been attacked recently--I'm not even talking about peace and love for those people. Pray for Paris if you want, don't pray for Paris if you don't want. I don't really care whom you pray for. Obviously, peace in those places would be awesome. But that's not why this song gets to me.

I'm also not even going to touch the oppression that's here in our "civilized" and "free" country. Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, right here in Minneapolis, people are protesting because police brutality is completely racist and nobody has really spoken up about it, like, ever. The Black Lives Matter movement is nauseating because why the hell do we have to have a movement to remind people that other people are people? That's sick. That's really and truly sickening. But I'm not even talking about that either.

It's the slavery thing, guys. It is 2015 and -SURPRISE- there's still slavery in this world. Lots of it, in fact. Did you know that? I won't fault you if you didn't; lots of people don't know that. It's kind of sad, particularly since slavery is the biggest industry in the world. Does that blow your mind or what?? You probably thought it was cars or gasoline or alcohol or illegal drugs or something fun and exciting like that. But nope, it's humans.

Some of that, probably a majority, is sex workers. And don't think that people choose to get into sex work. Because they really don't. Even the people who are doing it "by choice" in America probably started because they felt it was their only option. But in other countries (actually, it also happens in America, just less often) very young girls are taken from their families, or given away by their families, or even- god forbid- sold by their families into the sex industry. Barf. And then there's little to nothing they can do to save themselves once they are there.

But some of the slavery is just plain old slavery. None of us are surprised that the crappy toys stamped with "made in china" are probably made in sweat shops. But have you thought about where your food comes from? Coffee is a big one-- most coffee is grown by people who can't afford to feed themselves. Or makeup. Forget animal testing-- did you know that the sparkles in most of our makeup (eyeshadow, lipstick, nailpolish, etc.) come from mica that is mined by small children who are barely paid for it and who are actually risking their lives to fit in the dangerous caves where it can be harvested? Cool. And I'm totally guilty of wearing/using/consuming it, too.

People are forcing other people to make the random shit we're buying each other for Christmas without even paying them. If you don't know who made it, chances are a slave did. Or, at the very best, someone working in conditions and for pay that are very nearly slavery, even if they are technically being paid. Merry freaking Christmas, everyone.

I didn't actually set out to write an angry rant blog post here. So...sorry about that. Mostly, I'm just really sad that it's been nearly two thousand years since Jesus was alive and we're all still doing it wrong. And "O Holy Night" reminds me of that every. time. I. hear. it.

This year I decided I wanted to try make all my Christmas presents. Mostly because I can't really afford to buy things for people this year, and because I think it's kind of nice to do handmade gifts. But also because, when you really look at it, is that present you (or I) bought worth the slave labor it took to make? Are the hours-- or even, in some cases, minutes-- of enjoyment it will bring to the person who receives it worth the hours-- or, in some cases, weeks-- of work it took someone to make it when all they could think about was how hungry they were or how they were going to feed their family?

Is it really worth it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Big Things.

Big things have been happening in my life lately, and I haven't had time to write about them because I've been trying (and failing? ...unclear.) to write a novel. (To update on that, I'm about a week behind schedule. Things aren't looking great, but I'm still hoping I might get back on track. Obviously writing this blog post isn't actually helping me at all.)

First off, I got accepted into and offered a position with AmeriCorps! Woohoo!
 Unfortunately, the position they offered me was at the Maryland location, which is one of the two that I've said right from the beginning that I didn't want to do. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to do AmeriCorps was to explore an area of the country that I hadn't been to yet, and the "Atlantic Region" is where I spent the first twenty two years of my life. So yesterday I officially declined their offer. Gulp.

Part of me really wanted to accept anyway, because I really do want to do AmeriCorps. And this was my only option for it. But the other part of me, the part that won, is extremely stubborn and refused to accept a position that I didn't really want just because it was the only option. "I am better than settling!" that part of me screamed silently. And I listened. So now I'm going to stay in Minneapolis for the next year or so, which I'm equally excited about (minus the next five months of frozen-tundra-hell).

In other news, (part of) my family came to visit me for 36 hours. It was really wonderful to see them. My incredibly generous and thoughtful bosses let us stay in their house since they were out of town and their house had ten empty beds (though Jon still chose to sleep on the couch, of course). I got them all up at four in the morning and dragged them to work at the coffee shop with me and then we did fun things like get breakfast/early lunch with Kendra at Groundswell, visit some stores that I've always wanted to take my mom to, and walk across the Stone Arch Bridge. Then we headed back to my house where my mom took a nap (understandable- I usually take one myself), I straightened Britt's hair, and Jon listened to music in headphones so loudly that we all thought his ears would start bleeding.

We then headed over to Psycho Suzi's, everyone's favorite Minneapolis tiki-bar, where Britt and I split a tiki drink and we enjoyed some cheese curds (classic!) and pizza. Then we headed back to the Johnsons' house and we girls watched Silver Linings Playbook while Jon stubbornly sat downstairs alone because he refused to watch it after we ignored his selection input (classic!).

Overall, it was a really enjoyable 36 hours. I'm really glad that my family spent 48 hours in the car just to make it here for that short amount of time. Here are some pictures of us being cute and stuff.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Novel Writing, An Update.

I'm on the last day of my first week of NaNoWriMo. As I write this blog post, I have 8561 words of my novel completed. My goal is to write 2,500 every weekday in November so that I have weekends off from writing (since I either work all weekend or took work off because I have actual plans). I didn't finish yesterday's writing goal, so I'm starting today about 1,500 words behind where I should. Sigh. This novel writing thing is hard work!

As I just got home from my first job of the day, my plan is as follows:
1. Spend half an hour tidying up my room (it gets messy real fast, especially when I'm in chaotic creating mode for all my non-work hours).
2. Head to the laundromat to run some large items through the commercial washers.
3. Write at the laundromat while my wash is running.
4. Write some more, possibly at home.
5. Go to my second job.

Pretty exciting stuff, huh? I'm so darn glamorous.

In other news, on Monday I used my boss's power tools and screwed legs into the printing tray that I got from Architectural Antiques last week. I made a writing desk! Here's a picture.

Okay, off to work on my to do list! Have a nice weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fair Warning.

Primarily, this post is a heads up for those of you who reach my blog through Facebook (or who are just friends with me on Facebook in general anyway)- I will soon be deactivating my Facebook page. Anyone who has known me for more than a year or two knows that I do this periodically. And it's time to deactivate again. Beyond time, actually, as I've been wanting/meaning to since about May. First I wanted to be tagged in all my sister's wedding pictures, then I wanted to post pictures from all the other weddings I had film photos of, then I had all sorts of film from all summer long that I was waiting to develop and post...basically, I've kept my account active this long exclusively for pictures. And I've now developed and posted everything I have from this Spring and Summer, and it's finally time to be done for a season (or two).

In an ideal world, I'll be posting here regularly as a way for my family to know I'm still alive (Hi, Mama and Daddy...), but we all know how unreliable I am with that. Not to mention that in three days NaNoWriMo will have started and I'll be trying to write a whole novel (okay, only 50,000 words, so not really an entire novel...) in thirty days. Chances are good I won't post much in November. But we'll see.

As some of you may remember, completing NaNoWriMo was one of the goals for this Autumn that I listed in this post. I'm in the process of putting together a writing area in my room to maximize my writing ability--I figured if I try to write a novel from my bed, it will end badly. Otherwise, I've completed seven out of my twelve goals, and have a few others under way (NaNoWriMo, Halloween costume, etc.) so it's looking good. I'll post an update (with pictures!) when I've completed more of my goals.

Til then, I'll see you. Maybe. But I won't be seeing you on Facebook anymore starting a couple days from now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn Aspirations.

First of all, happy first day of fall!

Isn't the word "aspiration" interesting? It means both "a hope or ambition of achieving something" and "the action or process of drawing breath." Originally, I intended this blog post title to mean the former, but then I thought about how one of the best parts of fall is breathing in lungfuls of tangy, crisp, air tinged with the scent of mouldering, trodden on foliage. Sigh. So I decided I like it both ways.

Anyway, I was inspired by this post on A Beautiful Mess to make a sort of bucket list for the Autumn of 2015. I am facing the distinct possibility that this could be my last full season in Minneapolis (I said POSSIBILITY, everyone. It's all very undecided still. So nobody needs to either get their hopes up or get their knickers in a twist, as the case may be) which makes me want to take full advantage of my time here.

So, with no further ado, the list of things I wish to accomplish before going home for Christmas (regardless of whether it is a move or just a visit):

1. Pick apples. I learned the other day that the family I work for won't be going to their family friend's farm to pick wild apples this year, so I figured I'd try to get to an orchard myself.

2. Knit something. I haven't really knit anything since moving to Minnesota. Whoops.

3. Bake lots of pies. I don't even eat them all that much, but I used to bake pies quite often and I've gotten out of the habit-- now that I spend five mornings a week baking at a coffeeshop, I do rather less baking on my own time.

4. Bake other things, too. I'm looking at you, anadama bread and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

5. Go on an adventure. (I'm dearly hoping to make it to North Dakota before I move away from Minnesota.)

6. Dress up for Halloween (I've already got the bones of two separate costumes...neither of them are a skeleton. *ba dum cha*)  Maybe go to a party. Maybe go out dancing. We'll see what happens.

7. Make a leaf crown. I used to do this sometimes, and I miss it.

8. Complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. In a way, this has been a goal of mine for like a decade now. It hasn't happened yet. It's on my 25 before 25 list and this is the last November before I hit a quarter century.

9. Go to a concert. Minneapolis has a great music scene and I need to keep my eyes open more for bands I like coming to town.

10. Drink apple cider. Because duh.

11. Have a Friendsgiving.

12. Work on making Christmas presents instead of buying them. We'll see.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


As you all may or may not know, I was in Maine over Labor Day weekend. This trip home came about because one of my oldest friends from school, Natasha, texted me in the wee hours one morning months ago and said that she'd bought us tickets to see Death Cab for Cutie in Portland and that now I just needed to get myself home for it.

That might seem a bit random, but if you understood the fact that Death Cab has been my favorite band since Natasha introduced me to them about ten years ago, it might start to make more sense. In fact, we've been trying to see them in concert for almost that entire decade. Now, I use the term "trying" pretty loosely here to mean "we actually tried once about seven years ago, and want to see them together but haven't lived in the same state since high school so haven't really tried since." You know, the usual meaning of the word "trying."

So anyway, Natasha bought us tickets and I bought a plane ticket and we made our way to Portland last Friday night. Now, I think possibly it would have been better to see them seven years ago when I was actually up to date on their music (I hadn't really listened to their two most recent albums until two weeks ago in preparation for the show), but this show didn't disappoint. They played a really excellent selection of songs from all of their albums throughout the years, so I there were plenty of songs that I know and love in the set that night. And as I frantically listened to "Codes and Keys" and "Kintsugi" (the two most recent albums) over the past couple weeks, I realized that I actually do like them a lot. And the concert reminded me how much I love all the classic songs that I have always liked.

Which brings me to the realization/remembrance of how dearly I love Death Cab for Cutie's music. It's just so special. All of it. So I wanted to share that with all of you. Because chances are, if you take the time to read my blog, I think you're special too.

Above is the song "Passenger Seat," which they performed at the concert and might just be my favorite of all their songs.  (It's hard to choose just one with Death Cab...) The words go:
I roll the window down and then begin to breathe in
The darkest country road and the strong scent of evergreen
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.
Then looking upwards, I strain my eyes and try
To tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites 
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.
"Do they collide?" I ask and you smile.
With my feet on the dash the world doesn't matter.
When you feel embarrassed, I'll be your pride.
When you need directions then I'll be the guide.
For all time. For all time.

Lovely, right? Anyway, here are some recordings of a few of my other favorite Death Cab songs. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Note of Update.

Gosh, it's been a while, huh? And I was doing so well there for a spell. Oh well.

The past two months have kept me busy! From three weddings all over the country in June, to my car finally biting the dust in early July and navigating the car-buying process for the first time, this summer has sure been an adventure.

I promise to be back soon (and with pictures!) to write about some of the details from my adventures (or misadventures, as the case may be...) since last I posted. But for now, I'm going to fold my laundry and hit the hay.

Goodnight, humans!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

So Here's the Thing...

I've been living in Minneapolis for nearly a year now (I lived in Roseville, a suburb, for the first nine months after moving to Minnesota. The house I live in now is right in Minneapolis- only a couple neighborhoods away from downtown.), and I love it.

I know, I know,  I complain all the time about never getting out of the city.  And it's true that city life absolutely does get old for me when I haven't left the metro area in months, but I honestly really enjoy living in a city most of the time. I think it helps that the street I live on is pretty quiet and always has plenty of street parking available so it's never stressful to get home. Since moving to a city though, I've come to realize why so many people love it. Yes, cities can be scary and yes, navigating cities in cars can be seriously distressing, but it's really cool to live in a place where there is always somewhere to go and something to do. I just didn't have that growing up.

Now that I've realized I enjoy living in a city (small though Minneapolis is), it's hard to imagine living somewhere as quiet as Hallowell, Maine again. I just can't see myself settling back into the nothingness very well. Don't get me wrong, I still want to move back to Maine, but I'll probably head the Portland direction pretty quickly when I do.

Anyways, here is some evidence that I actually do like living here.

There's this one block in downtown where all the food trucks go during lunch time so that all the cubicle dwellers can go eat at them. It's only a 25 minute walk from my house, so a few times this Spring I've walked Liam's dog downtown to grab lunch from my favorite food truck, The Moral Omnivore.

This is the sun setting over the city as seen from the Stone Arch Bridge, which is only for pedestrians and cyclists. So beautiful.

This is the view of the skyline from a walking bridge over the highways about a 15 minute walk from my house. It's pretty great.

This was my lunch at Birchwood Cafe a few weeks ago. It was really delicious. It's two miles from my house, which isn't always "walkable," but on that particular day it was beautiful and sunny and breezy and I did walk there and it was glorious. Their food is  all locally sourced, so their menu is highly variable depending on what season it is, but it's all really really delicious!

Sometimes I get to meet up with Kendra for tasty foods. We recently went to Glam Doll Donuts. I couldn't decide which one I wanted and ended up with two...whoops.

Sometimes I get to meet up with Sarah and drink ciders. This week was Minneapolis Cider Week and one of our favorite restaurants was doing fancy cider flights so we got to try a bunch of European ciders. Delish!

Maybe you noticed that most of these things are about the view, food, friends, or being able to walk places. And yeah, I guess those are mostly the reasons why I like living in a city. But I think they're pretty great reasons.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

People, LISTEN UP.

If you have at all enjoyed the popularization/revival of folk music in recent years then I am about to tell you about the best thing that you maybe already know about because it started ten years ago!! Get ready...

This morning at the coffee shop a song came on that I've heard a few times before. It was "Yellow" by Coldplay, but it was a bluegrass version. It plays on the Pandora there sometimes and I think I've even heard it elsewhere, too. It's part of a "Pickin' on Coldplay" album, and a coworker and I had a conversation about how there are actually a few different "Pickin' on..." albums; I was pretty sure there was one for Bob Dylan and maybe Tom Petty?

So we looked it up.


Turns out... there are a BAZILLION "Pickin' on..." or "Bluegrass Tribute to..." albums out there! There's one for Relient K (Whaaat?!?), Jewel, Beck, and on and on. There's even one for Nickelback. There are a bunch of country music compilations (which seems a little silly, but hey I guess if they wanna they can) and classic rock and modern hits and just EVERYTHING you could imagine.

So when I got home I scrolled through the extent of Spotify's "Pickin' on.." series' and made a playlist of all the songs I know/like. It's six hours long. Guess what I'll be listening to as I clean the house today? Just so you can check out a song, I'm putting one here for you all.


And here's a link to "Yellow" in case you were interested in hearing that too. (Although if you enjoyed the R. Kelly one, I strongly suggest investigating this glorious sub-genre of music on your own.)

Apparently Wednesdays are "share music with the world" days. I don't hate it. I hope you don't either.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Have a Listen.

The coffee shop where I work has ad free Pandora and sometimes I make stations on it. Occasionally the songs that I like are ones that my bosses hate; I like them because they remind me of my early childhood and Rachel and Gretchen (who might be reading this since we're facebook friends now...HI GUYS!) hate them because they remind them of their high school and college years. Pretty funny.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I made a James Taylor station but Pandora decided to take it an awful country music-themed direction and I promptly changed the station. Today I came back to it and spent some time "thumbs up" and "thumbs down"-ing the songs that came on so that it played songs from the genre I actually wanted to hear.

And it was a good morning. Full of James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills and Nash, a smattering of The Beatles, etc. I danced in the kitchen a little. It was nice. So then I came home and continued with my own (unfortunately, not ad free) Pandora. I really love this song. I thought I'd send it out into the world for you all. Take a few minutes and enjoy some Simon and Garfunkel. Sing along. Get dancey. It's a beautiful day. You're welcome.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Baby Steps Toward Adulthood.

Yesterday I changed the password on the loan account that my mom has been paying for me for the past several years. When it came time for my federal loan grace period to end last spring I signed into my account and figured out how much I'd be paying each month, cringing at how expensive it is to go to college. My grandma paid off one of the two private loans I took out to cover costs after federal aid, and my mom has been taking care of the monthly payments on the remaining one. I am so incredibly grateful to have such generous women helping me out! But yesterday, when I tried to sign in to my private loan account (as I totaled how many dollars in the negative I am worth--and let me tell you, the result wasn't pretty) and accidentally locked myself out necessitating a password reset, I decided that I wouldn't tell my mother the new password. This is my loan and I'm going to own it from now on. All by myself.

Now, I was always planning on taking this debt onto myself, I was just planning on giving myself a few months (to make it through my wedding-filled June) to get more financially stable first. But when the opportunity presented itself yesterday, it seemed like a sign that I should just bite the bullet and take the step toward adulthood now.

As silly as it sounds for this one loan to make that big of a deal to me, it feels pretty symbolic of my independence. I've "been meaning to" take this burden off my mom for a while, and kept putting it off because it sucks to have more bills to pay. (Actually, truth be told I love paying bills! Not that I love spending 90% of a paycheck within an hour of its direct deposit, but the feeling of success that I get from taking care of my finances myself is not insignificant.) But there comes a point when it feels really silly to keep making someone take care of me. I work hard, spend more time at work than anywhere else, make my own money, pay (most of...still on the family phone plan) my own bills, and if that doesn't make me an adult then I don't know what will!

There's the obvious sadness that comes with the knowledge of even less savings/disposable income, but otherwise, I'm feeling pretty thrilled about finally taking charge. It is a good feel, my friends. Since moving to Minnesota, I've been gradually learning that I can do things on my own. I can take care of myself. You don't really realize how much you let people do for you until you've removed yourself from the range of their (non-monetary) assistance. Maybe I'm alone in this among twentysomethings (though I don't think I am...), but every step toward self-sufficiency seems like an amazing accomplishment.

Last year, when I wondered aloud whether my ecstatic pride about adulting was an indication that I'm not actually that much of a grownup, my boss assured me, "That's not true--you'll continue to have that feeling for decades!" I hope he's right, because it sure does feel good to feel good about my accomplishments, insignificant though they may be.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter Weekend.

Last weekend was Easter, my second in Minnesota and away from my family. Last year, my brother Jon visited me here during his April vacation which overlapped with Easter, so I had one member of my family with me. Not so this year, but it was a pretty good weekend all the same! 

Saturday was my first full day off since January (three entire months)! I slept in (kind of. More like I slept til 6:30 and then got things done from the comfort of my own bed until about 8:30-- a luxury that I hadn't had in three months. So in my opinion it still counts as sleeping in.) and then walked to grab a late breakfast at a nearby restaurant. None of my friends were available--Easter weekend, family obligations, blahblahblah-- so I went by myself, but it was still nice. 

In the afternoon I went to the woods. I'd planned to go to a state park, but life happened and when I got there I didn't have any cash to get in so I went elsewhere instead. It meant lots of time in the car, but I was okay with that as it meant I got to finish the audiobook on cd I was listening to in my car (Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer. I have mixed feelings about it). I ended up at Whitetail Woods Regional Park, which is in a place called Farmington. Go figure! 

It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but there were trees and that's all that really mattered to me. I've greatly missed walking through the woods since I moved here. My life in Minnesota is pretty grounded in the Twin Cities metro area (technically the Johnsons live out of the city in a suburb, but it's not the same as a rural town. Not at all.) and I haven't been out of the city/suburbs since I was home for Christmas. Yikes! That can get kind of old for a country mouse like me! I do love it here, but I wish I had more opportunities to get into the countryside. 

When I got home I finally got a chance to hang the curtains that I got at IKEA recently. When I moved into the Blueplex ten months ago, one of the few things that I really didn't like about my room was the existence of horrible Venetian blinds suspended a foot down from the top of the window. Ugh. Every time I see them it bums me out. I finally picked up some long curtains in March but hadn't had a chance to hang them until my day off. I'm so pleased with them! When I get home from the coffee shop in the mornings and they're still pulled shut from the night before, soft glowy light radiates from them and fills my room with pretty peacefulness. And they don't bum me out or make me say "Ugh." Could I ask for more? I think not.

Which brings us to Easter day! I got to spend it with this gal. Technically I was supposed to be working with Katrina, but she slept the entire day after being pretty heavily medicated for a seizure the day before. Poor kid! Luckily Emma was awake and we hung out. She's pretty cute, huh? 

Easter with the Johnsons was surprisingly chill; the egg hunting didn't happen until after lunch, so there wasn't too much insanity first thing in the morning. And I was so glad that lent was finally over and I was able to eat all the delicious components of Easter dinner and a few pieces of Easter candy. (HA! As if I lasted the duration of lent! I actually gave up on it about two and a half weeks in. Whoops.)

 My siblings sent me this photo in the morning as well. They missed me. Apparently it snowed it Maine on Easter? Sucks to suck, guys.

(In other news, today happens to be National Siblings Day. I'm really glad that these humans are my siblings even though I did move halfway across the country to get away from them.)

And there you have it, folks. My second Easter in Minnesota and my first day off in three months. Overall it was a pretty solid weekend.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


It has been about six months since my last post which was about the fact that I'd lived in Minnesota for one year. Whoops. It seems that I'm always starting posts with an apology for their tardiness. It seems kind of lame, but what to do? 

Things haven't really slowed down since I became insanely busy after taking on a second job last July. I work seven days a week for months on end. I do have a FULL DAY OFF coming up soon- April 4th- the first of those since January. I've been planning some things that I want to do during that time. 

Otherwise, life has been the same old, same old. I wake up distressingly early and bake food items. I have a few hours of down time before driving to the suburbs to help the Johnson crew with their day-to-day. I spend most Friday afternoons through Sunday nights there as well. It's starting to get exhausting. I'm looking forward to this summer when I'll get one (or possibly even two!?) full day(s) off every week. It'll come soon enough. Before that, I'll be flying to the East coast for two weddings and road tripping Southwest for a third. It's going to be a busy Spring! 

Meanwhile, I've been reading lots of books. (You can check out what I'm currently reading here.) I sometimes discuss them with others, particularly three of the four former Minnows, who have joined me for a Harry Potter Book Club that meets weekly via Skype. 

Harry Potter Book Club members (excluding the second from right) c. 2010.
It's been interesting. I've been listening to the books on cd in my car, which I'd never done before. I've found that when I pick up the physical book and start reading where Jim Dale's narration had left off, I get much more "into it." I like audiobooks just fine, but I think that my deep connection with the Harry Potter books is dependent on the narration my brain has provided for the past fifteen years without Dale's inflection.

I've been talking with some people lately about blogs, blogging, writing, etc. and have concluded that I really want a blogging constancy that I've never managed to maintain. My daily grind is still daunting, and shows few signs of lessening in the next few months, but I hope to be back soon. At the very least I should be able to post when the wedding rush is over. Here's hoping!