the quotable Y

The scene: I’m writing my grocery list to make my very first Minnesota hot dish:

Me: Can you just buy tater tots?

Y: Of course you can buy tater tots. This is AMERICA! Do you think all of the obese people in this country MAKE their own tater tots?

The scene: we’re playing trivial pursuit with some friends at a bar/bakery (can we all agree that that combo is the best idea ever?) 

Y asks a question.

Y: What does a pineapple not do after it’s picked?

Me + another friend: Ripens!

Y: That is the correct answer, but I also would have taken “murder someone” or “attend church.”

The scene: I’m climbing in to bed. Y is [mostly] asleep after a long day in the ER:

Me: You’re warm!
Y: That’s because I’m not hooked up to an oxygen tank like the rest of these idiots.

The scene: we’re walking Ike and a rabbit runs across the street:

Me: I want to see some baby animals. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen in spring? I want to see a baby rabbit. Or a baby lamb.

Y: A baby lamb?

Me: Yes. I want it to be just born, not about to become a sheep. When does a lamb become a sheep, anyway?

Y: After its baaaaaaa mitzvah, obviously. 

The scene: I’m playing with Ike and his stuffed snake, and speaking in my best high pitched baby voice. Y is tying his shoes on the other side of the room.

Me: Ike! Go get your snake! What’s its name? Is it Mr. Snakey??


Huh. I guess it is Jerome…

For a few more Y quotables that might be slightly TMI, check out Medicine: A Love Story today.

weekend lessons v 12

01. If you have sand, they will come. We inherited a sandbox with our new house, and after nearly an entire year went by and we didn’t play in it like we thought we would, we realized maybe we didn’t need it. (okay fine, we always knew we didn’t need the sand box, we just procrastinated).

So Y put up an ad for free sand on Craiglist and, suddenly he is, like, eighteen people’s Sand Guy. As in, “Oh, you need sand? We know A Guy.” When I get frustrated that he’s looking at his phone while we’re supposed to be hanging out, he gets all defensive and says, “I’m talking to someone who wants some sand.” 

We’ve met all kind of interesting people who need sand. A girl who owns a crossfit gym fills duffel bags with sand that her clients have to run around with. A different woman reassured us that she was bringing a “friend” to help her carry the 300 pounds of sand she was taking, and showed up with her 7 year old son. What I’ve learned from this experience is a) never, ever, EVER do crossfit and b) kids are maybe more useful than you think they are. 

02. This can happen in just a few days:

03. There are benefits to winter. So as you can see above, it recently broke 60 degrees — for the first time since October. The city is rejoicing. You can practically feel the happiness oozing out of people. But I was a little disappointed when I realized that I couldn’t go grocery shopping before work and just leave my groceries in the refrigerator-temperatured car. See? There are a few good things about winter.

04. On a related note, if you decide to go to a seasonal patio restaurant on the first warm day of the year, you’ll wait in a long, long line. But it will be so, so worth it when you end up eating seafood and drinking cider next to a rushing waterfall.

04. David Sedaris is a treasure. Okay, maybe I already knew that — I’ve been a fan of his for years. But I got his latest book Friday night and settled in for a weekend of reading outside. Other than the fact that Y said “you’re whiter than the pages of that book”, it’s been great.

05. I know how to cure road rage: a soothing southern accent reading to you. I’m listening to the audiobook Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. The narrator has the most soothing southern accent (if any of you listened to The Help, it’s the same actor that read Skeeter’s voice) and it’s made traffic kind of the best part of my day. 

on yesterday

Yesterday, my friend A ran into my office excitedly. “What day is it?” she asked.

It was Monday, of course, but I had a better answer. Last week, I was searching for a calendar that would tell me what “theme” each month of the year had. Breast cancer month, black history month, etc. We were creating an editorial calendar of sorts at work, and I offered to put this piece of it together.

In the process, I came across my new favorite website, Days of the Year. You know how you’ll randomly hear about it being, I don’t know, “national hot dog day”? This website is where you go to be in the know.

Once we discovered that every single day had a theme (we just missed National Tweed Day and National Be Nice to a Lawyer Day), A and I decided it was imperative that we recognize every. single. day. We went out for grilled cheese on National Grilled Cheese Day, and serenaded our co-worker with a sloppily harmonized goodbye on National Barbershop Quartet Day. (Yes, I am probably as obnoxious at work as I sound.)

But yesterday, as A sat expectantly in my office while I pulled up the site, I made a face. “This one is stupid,” I said. “It’s That Sucks Day.” I read her the description.

Historically, a lot of bad things happen on That Sucks Day, not least of which is that it’s income tax pay day (this is also the day the Titanic sank and Abraham Lincoln died).

We both rolled our eyes and went about our days. 

And then, well, you know.

I was listening to a live stream of the footage for an hour and a half,breath caught in my throat, before I put the two together. That unfortunately, the “holiday” had been recognized. 

That no one will soon stop thinking about how much April 15th sucks. 

Minnesota driving: what am I doing wrong?

My car, a 2004 Toyota, has 133,000 miles on it.

I’ve driven it across the country multiple times. I’ve been from Louisiana to Toronto and back. I’ve driven to the Pacific Ocean, turned around, and navigated tourists on the Las Vegas strip before driving all the way back to Louisiana.

I’ve suffered through notorious Houston and Atlanta rush hours. I’ve been on the New Jersey Turnpike and in Downtown Boston and on the 405 in California. 

I’ve navigated post-Katrina New Orleans, where the streets literally had no name after the hurricane destroyed street signs. 

Y helped with a lot of that driving (although I think he’ll agree that I logged most of the hours), and has the added experience of successfully driving on the left side of two foot wide roads in Ireland while being barricaded by sheep.

All of that driving, and we’ve never had a problem.

And then we decided to take our talents to Minneapolis.

We’ve noticed it since our very first day in this city, when we were driving that rental Kia Soul I told you about. Suddenly, I can no longer count the number of people who have flipped me off. I’ve had to miss my exit because there isn’t a single inch of space for me to merge. People have sarcastically applauded me and mouthed things that may or may not have included expletives.

I’m not alone here. Other Twin Cities transplants have nodded in enthusiastic agreement when I complain about my commute. 

So what’s the deal? Please advise, thanks.

PS: here’s how we handled those sheep. No rude hand gestures necessary. 

pink slip

Well, the big news around here is that Y has been fired…

…from ever taking a photo of me again. 

I don’t get it. Y is good at literally everything else. Re-wiring lamps. Trivia. Debating. Cooking. Making things out of wood. Gymnastics. Pulling my car out when it’s stuck in ice. Fixing anything that could ever need fixing. Baking bread. Doctoring.

But, while he might be excelling at saving other people’s lives, he can’t take a photo of me to save his life. 

Last weekend, we went to a real winner of a coffeeshop. The staff was rude, the wi-fi sucked, my chai tasted like milk. Its one saving grace was a neon green mural of Minneapolis. Like any good blogger would, I asked Y to take a photo of me in front of it. How could I possibly deny my faithful readers a good Minneapolis photo op?

You can guess how it turned out. But let me pause at this point in the story to tell you that everyone else who has taken my picture has been successful. 

Like my nurse friend, who hadn’t slept all night and took this picture of me wrangling an adorable squirming baby at 8 am:

Or a random stranger at a dimly lit bar with a Paleolithic Era cell phone (That might be a tad dramatic. It was an iphone 3. But Siri wasn’t around in the Paleolithic Era OR the iphone 3 era, which leads me to believe they are the same…)

Or the self timer on my camera, which, need I remind you, IS AN INANIMATE OBJECT:

 And then Y tries to snap a photo of me.

Sweet, simple, Y. Who is probably wishing we were married in Paleolithic times, where self expression was limited to cave walls (and no one acted all high and mighty for eating Paleo). 

I’m so thankful for this memory of that subpar coffeeshop with the awesome mural.

weekend lessons v.11

A few lessons I learned this weekend —

01. When I tell people that I studied abroad in college, I feel like their respect level toward me goes up a  smidgen. In fact, when I was applying for internships during college, my future boss accidentally included me in the recipients when she forwarded my resume to her colleagues. “Let’s go with her,” it said. “Worldly. Studied abroad.”

Sometimes I even feel proud of myself when I say I studied in London and Scotland for a summer.

But this weekend, I found my journal from that trip. 

It’s from Claire’s (or — even worse — The Icing. I can’t remember). It is studded with fake rhinestones. In my 21-year-old’s handwriting, it says things like: 

Notting Hill has so many bookstores — just like the movie! Now if only I could find Hugh Grant. 🙂” and 

And then we peed in the bushes in front of the Eiffel Tower with some Finnish girls.”

So worldly. 

02. Something is wrong with the people of Minneapolis. 

Y and I have been to 3 shows together, and something obnoxious has happened at each.

In December, we went to the Dakota Jazz Club for a concert. By concert, I  mean a guy and his guitar sitting amongst tables with white tablecloths that had recently been cleared of a fancy meal. It was nice. Until a group of guys started screaming at the artist to sing their favorite songs and had to be thrown out.

In February, we saw Nick Offerman(aka Ron Swanson, for those not in the know)’s comedy show. A woman with a screechy voice was yelling at him the entire first half of the night. (To give you a better example of her distinct voice, Y initially thought it was Megan Mullaly – aka Nick Offerman’s wife, aka Tammy 2 on Parks & Rec, aka Karen from Will and Grace) “This is the first time I’ve ever had a drunk heckler,” said Offerman. She was soon escorted out. 

And last night we saw Aziz Ansari’s latest stand up special, and I don’t know what was going on with the audience. There was a NONSTOP FLOW of people walking out to the lobby. Some people went out two or three times, including a girl who practiced her catwalk strut down the aisle, and a guy who mooned us every time he stood up. It was distracting and weird and gross. 

Minneapolites, what is the deal? Why can’t you behave normally during performances?

03. Speaking of Aziz Ansari, Moshe Kasher opened for him and I recommend you watch his stand up special on Netflix immediately. He was hilarious. 

04. Ike appreciates a good West Elm sale rug as much as I do. 

05. Go to Maria’s Cafe in South Minneapolis. Order the corn pancakes. Put syrup on them. And then put cheese on them. Trust me. 

music for hibernating

Y comes home from work completely miserable sometimes. “I hate this rotation,” he says, and then gives me some reason why. (Too stressful, too much poop, etc..)

As soon as he’s on his next rotation, though, he’s waxing nostalgic about the one he supposedly hated. “That was such a good month,” he’ll say, “I think I want to do that for the rest of my life.”

I always call him out on it, but I kind of get it. When we first moved here, there were a few miserable days where we sat in our empty house, exhausted after a day of trips back and forth to Home Depot. We inhaled Chipotle on the floor while watching Girls and wondered whether we had made the right decision to move across the country. I started listening to unfamiliar music (via MPR’s The Current) on my endless parking lot of a commute.

Now, whenever I hear my Minneapolis Summer playlist, I smile, thinking of those uncertain days that were so scary at the time. In hindsight, they seem full of adventure and the unknown, and I kind of miss feeling so lost.

Our first winter was a harsh one — it’s still going, in fact. Although the hope of warmer weather is all-consuming, I have a feeling that come July, after a particularly sweaty run or in the midst of a painful sunburn, I’ll close my eyes and think about how invigorating it felt when a rush of -10 degree air hit me in the face. And this is the music that will trigger those memories, my soundtrack of winter 2012-2013: