a long story about a short dress

On Friday night, Minneapolis’s hottest club was Forever Young Prom.

This club had everything: bananas wearing fanny packs, the music of the late, great Aaliyah, hundreds of 20-somethings simultaneously singing along to Blink 182’s What’s My Age Again and crying because they used to think the song’s 23 year old protagonist was SO OLD. (or was that just me crying?)

Before I could be among the hundreds of people jumping along to Bye Bye Bye, I had to decide what to wear. 

It was a tough call: scrunchies, overalls, floppy Blossom hats, sunflowers — the 90s had so much amazing fashion. But before I bought a pack of $5 scrunchies at Target (yes, they still sell them, and is it just me, or is that WAY too expensive for an extinct trend?), I realized I had the perfect outfit. 

I’m a bit of a clothes hoarder, and stuffed behind a shirt from my trip to Israel in 2000, a Guster t-shirt, and the dress I was wearing when Y proposed, was the ONLY thing I could possibly wear to this event: the dress I wore to my bat mitzvah, purchased at The Limited Too in 1997. 

If this dress could talk, it would tell you about how I invited my Girl Scout troop and my Sunday School class to my big bat mitzvah party at a hotel, and then begged them to invite anyone they knew, because they were my only friends. 

It would tell you how all of these people slow danced along to the Spice Girls and Toni Braxton, while I played on the floor with my niece (it would be awhile — like, 300 years in teenage girl time — before anyone slow danced with me). 

And it would tell you how one girl from my Girl Scout troop got to my party really, really early and we wandered around the hotel aimlessly — a bonding experience that would be the beginning of a 15+ year friendship. 

And then the dress would tell you how it was stuffed into a closet, doomed for obscurity, until the fateful day in 2013 when it became the perfect costume for a 28 year old acting like a 13 year old. 

(girl power.)

designer mini golf

The differences between Louisiana and Minnesota can be summed up in a lot of ways: the weather, the stance on gay marriage, the target employees, the mini golf.

If you had asked me to play mini golf in Louisiana, I would have looked at you like you had three heads. No way would I spend my free time at the 50 year old Celebration Station, a half-abandoned place run by stoned teenagers. Not only was the place dirty and crusty, but I also found Celebration Station pretty darn cool as a kid, and I didn’t want to ruin my former child-like wonder of the place. 

For this reason, I will never go to a Chuck E Cheese. (That and the fact that I would prefer not to be shot.) 

But last Friday I asked Y if he wanted to play mini golf. Because around here, it’s an art. 

The Walker Art Center is Minneapolis’s modern art museum, and we’ve been there three times: to take a picture with the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, to watch an internet cat video film festival, and to play putt putt. We’re so cultured. 

For their putt putt course (open through September 8), the Walker commissioned artists and architects to dream up each hole. And although it was a lot of fun, and neither crusty nor dirty, let’s just say I left more inspired to be creative than to play golf (I got a 35 on a par 4. Sorry, dad).

For this hole, you had to putt your ball up the long white PVC pipe, at the end of which it fell out onto a labyrinth. From there, the ball was controlled by your tilting of the labyrinth.

This is the hole that took me 35 tries. Y, of course, got it in two.

This hole was an overlay of all the greens at Augusta

This hole was centered around a miniature version of the Walker Art Center, but inside of a giant golf ball. INCEPTION. Or something.

To finish this hole, you had to play foosball with giant lawn gnomes. 

I blogged every day in May! (no I didn’t.)

Dear readers,

The idea of sitting down at my computer makes me want to scream.

In fact, sometimes it does elicit really loud noises of frustration. And every time, without fail,  Ike comes running and puts his paws on my lap to make me feel better.

It’s cute, but it doesn’t help.

A few weeks ago– probably around May 8, the last time I blogged — it took me 45 seconds (I counted, while cursing at the computer and trying to push Ike off my lap) to close a browser tab. That was IT. I  barely opened my laptop for the next few weeks, and as a result managed to have the blood pressure of a healthy 28 year old. I ignored the images in my head of Jenni (of Blog Every Day in May fame) wagging her finger at me for failing her challenge. I was free!

Then I realized I was sad that I couldn’t tell you guys about the 10 mile bike ride I took to visit the house where F. Scott Fitzgerald was born, or the fact that I wore my bat mitzvah dress out to a bar, or that time I saw a crow attack a bald eagle from my office window.

So I faced my fears, opened my computer, and moved 25 gigs worth of pictures off of my computer.

It helped. A little. I can now close a tab in a record-setting FIFTEEN seconds.

But it’s enough for me, so here I am on a Sunday morning blogging and I haven’t raised my voice at my laptop once. Progress, right? 

All that to say, hello again. I think I’m back.

a moment in my day

Last night Mindy Kaling said something that made me think about my dog, Ike.

She was talking to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, and Jon Stewart asked her when she found time to sleep.

Mindy said, “I have this thing where I don’t want to be sleeping because when I’m awake it’s so much more fun than when I’m sleeping.”

Besides making my heart just about burst because this fabulously normal girl who is just an admittedly awkward comedy geek is living her dream, Mindy’s comment made me think about one of the reliably great moments of every single one of my mornings.

It happens just after I wake up (which is usually on the 8th rendition of my iPhone alarm playing Suit and Tie, which is intended to pump me up in the mornings and just isn’t really getting the job done). As I drift into consciousness, my bed is shaking a little bit, and it always takes me a few groggy seconds to figure out why.

And then I remember that I have a 55 pound dog with a powerful tail on my bed, and he. is. excited. about. life.

Finally! We’re awake! I like to imagine Ike is thinking. Everything is more fun when everyone’s awake! Think of all the adventures we can have today! 

(of course, I usually narrate this made up thought process out loud, most likely making Y wish I would go back to sleep and stop conversing with our animal.)

Ike’s enthusiasm inspires me every morning as I reach over to hit snooze for the ninth time, thinking that even Justin Timberlake isn’t worth waking up for. But then I think, duh, yes he is WHY CAN’T I BE MORE LIKE MY DOG? I should be so happy to wake up every morning. Getting the chance to experience a new day is a privilege, dammit. 

And then I usually hit snooze again. But making me think between snoozes eight and nine? That’s quite a feat, dog. Well done.

Anyway, I think we can all learn something from Mindy and Ike. For example: Best friend is a tier, not a person (Mindy). Run away from your poop as fast as possible  — preferably in circles around the yard (Ike). Why waste time sleeping when you could be awake, experiencing life? (Mindy and Ike, separately, although I imagine they would collaborate well together)

space & hamburgers

Today’s topic in the Blog Every Day in May Challenge: What is your greatest fear?

I hate to be ordinary, but I’m afraid of heights. 

I know I’ve been this way since I was 6, and had my birthday at a McDonald’s in Holland. (We lived in Holland, I didn’t get some fancy trip to Europe for my 6th birthday. Don’t be ridiculous, I’m not Suri Cruise.)

 The theme of my party was space. And hamburgers.

The party room was on the third floor, but as you might expect from McDonald’s employees, they went above and beyond. The staff convinced all of us 6 year olds that by going to the third floor, we weren’t just going to the party room… we were going to SPACE.

Yeah, no. Five year old me was not having any of that. 

And neither is 28 year old me. I won’t even go on a water slide.

(PS I’m also terrified of loud noises)

i write run-on sentences

today’s prompt: what do you do?

writing a blog post in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland

For today’s topic, I started writing a list of all of the fascinating things I do, like press snooze eight times! or sing in my car! and then I thought, I just really wish I could go to sleep right now, and then I was all NO! JENNI IS COUNTING ON ME TO BLOG EVERY DAY IN MAY! and then I realized how pathetic I sounded, and then I thought, what is the point of this dumb challenge, and then I was like, NO, I must prove to myself that I can blog every day and then I got sad because I really, really wanted to go to sleep and then I thought to myself, SELF, you idiot, what were you doing for the last hour you were at work today? You were writing a blog post for your job, and in that blog post, you actually explained what it is that you do!

She was right (she being me). I had already completed today’s prompt — and gotten paid to do it, for that matter. As part of my job writing for a Jewish non profit, I post bi-weekly about being new to Minneapolis for a local Jewish blog. Here’s a sneak peek of the post I wrote today:

I’ve had a little Russian boy on my mind for the past few weeks.
Let me explain: Part of my job is telling the stories of the people who benefit from our donors’ generous gifts. I’ve been able to tell a lot of inspiring stories in my nearly one year at Federation – stories of hope after disaster. Stories of eye-opening experiences. Stories of finding the strength to face another day.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty cool job.

(want to know why I’ve been thinking about a little Russian boy? Click here.)

the sunday currently & being creepy

Today, Jenni’s prompt was to show some love to a blog friend. 

To that I say, what exactly do you mean by friend?

Because this blogger that I’m loving right now, Fran, well, we’re not friends per se. We have conversed on twitter and instagram — is that what makes a friend these days? — and we apparently share a love of the movie Center Stage (but, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love that movie and reference it as often as possible?). 

Fran is a flight attendant, and basically I’m asking if by friend, you mean someone that I don’t know, but would chase through the largest airport maze possible (think Hartsfield-Jackson*) to say hi. 

I’m not going to post a picture of Fran, because that would just be creepy, so instead I’ll post pictures of that time Ike and I went to the park to watch the planes.

I may or may not be extra alert in airports, hoping for a Fran sighting. 

(Okay, that’s not true. I’m really looking for celebrities. I WILL see Justin Timberlake in the Memphis airport one day. **)

Anyway, Fran is funny in a way that you can tell she’s not even trying, a talent I would love to have. She makes me laugh in every post and tweet — even when she’s trying to be serious. Also, I think we both understand the art of using caps to convey excitement. In this world of communication by typing, finding someone who has a compatible caps to non caps balance IS A HUGE DEAL, PEOPLE. 


Well now that I’ve creeped Fran out to the point that she will never, ever blog again, I’m going to join my other friend (REAL friend, we’ve made pizza together) Lauren, whose blog I also adore, for the Sunday currently. If you need another link up after May is over and you realize you just can’t blog without a prompt, this is one you don’t want to miss:

reading Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,  by David Sedaris. On deck: The Round House, Beautiful Ruins, In the Garden of Beasts, The World’s Strongest Librarian, and I’ve secretly been dying to read this. Also, Curtis Sittenfeld has a new book coming out soon! I adored Prep and American Wife. 

writing every day in May. What’s great about it is that usually the prompt will make me think of of two or three things, so I’ve got post ideas stockpiled for miles. 

listening to — even though I feel like a giant cliche saying this — the Great Gatsby soundtrack streaming on NPR’s first listen. I CAN’T HELP IT, OKAY. I just want Baz Luhrmann to direct my life and create its soundtrack. That would be a really great contest, by the way, which I would totally enter: send Baz Luhrmann the story of your life, best one gets to have him create its soundtrack. If it ended up being The Elephant Love Medley over and over, I would be okay with that. 

thinking about how my best friend and I actually stood in front of Moulin Rouge and sang The Elephant Love Medley. I was that kind of tourist in Paris. See?

smelling granola. For some reason I decided to bake three kinds of granola yesterday. Don’t tell me you’ve never had that kind of Saturday.

wishing that the state of Minnesota took their medical licenses just a bit more seriously. Y will CERTAINLY not be hanging this up in any office of his:

 hoping that I win that imaginary contest I just made up. 

loving the new addition to our bar. Our next door neighbors disassembled an old piano and put it out by the trash. We grabbed a piece and now we have ourselves a piano bar.

wanting to read outside on our new little setup. It’s 39 degrees right now, but rumor has it we’ll hit 70 today!

feeling grateful that my friend Sarah sent me this scarf she knit just in time for the TWO snowfalls we’ve had so far in May. They’re over, though…right?!?!

clicking These blogs I found through Jenni’s challenge: The Dirt Life, The Nectar Collective, Big Mario Life. Shay’s video about Grey’s Anatomy cracked me up. And this gif is my new favorite gif in the history of gifs. And as always, Lauren! Share your sunday currentlies over at siddathornton. 

*Fran, totally trying to impress you with my knowledge of airport names. 
**I don’t know the official name of the Memphis airport, but it’s gross so I don’t think it deserves my knowledge.