Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blog Retired

This will probably come as little surprise considering the absence of new posts this past month, but I am retiring the blog. This is for the best. The blog was a critical player in retaining my sanity during the job search last winter and has been a great resource for keeping in touch from afar. At this point though, Adam and I feel very settled and happy here in Minneapolis and our day-to-day routines are no longer blog-worthy.

As proof, we threw a party last Saturday, and I'd guess we had at least 30 people in attendance throughout the night. That's 30 people we didn't know a year ago.

If I find I miss blogging, I may change direction and report on the mishaps and joy of planning a wedding. Ha! Not that the wedding blog is an original idea- there's practically an industry for it!

Thank you for reading. Happy Holidays. See you in 2010.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In happier news

I got my first "Happy Thanksgiving" from a co-worker!! (He's part-time and won't be in the office again until the end of the month.) I LOVE Thanksgiving. We'll be on the road to Pittsburgh this time next week, and I had the Nelson's lunch special today of a hot turkey sandwich with a side of stuffing.

I also found out that a friend's dad is a head balloonist for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and there is a chance that, with those connections, come 2010 I can be a balloon holder in the parade. [Too giddy to finish typing.]

No house...

It's for the best. It was ours for the taking, if we wanted it, and I think that was what pushed us to finally make a decison. Not about do we want this house but do we want a house at all?

Yes, it would still be a smart investment. Yes, the $8000 tax credit and low interest rates make it unbelievably irresistible for first-time home owners to buy. But, when it came down to the wire, we weren't ready. We don't NEED a house. And, that was it. Cold feet- the timing wasn't right. Sure, there will be other houses, and sure, we'll find a great one someday. Adam says he won't regret passing this one up, but I'm saying goodbye to the dream that I'll see ALL my wishlist items again in one house.

Thanks to everyone who gave us support along the emotional rollercoaster ride of the last 4 days! (I'll rephrase: it was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I've been informed Adam doesn't get "nervous" or "devastated." Lucky for me that he balances me out!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We put in an offer...

Who in their right mind buys the first house they see?! I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach, not so much from cold feet, but nerves about what will happen.Will she accept our offer? Will we get out-bid? Or what happens if all of a sudden we find ourselves home-owners and then-ohmygod-we bought a house?!

I'll report soon if a congratulations is in order. ;-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Milestones: First Engaged and Now First Time Home-Buyers!

Ok, ok, I know I can't get carried away or emotionally attached to the first house we see BUT I am falling in love with the idea of becoming a home-owner! We looked at this house in the Uptown neighborhood, where we live now, for only $150,000 at 1,600 SF. When I first saw the listing online, I thought "too good to be true," so Adam and I swung by for the open house today.

Once we began chatting with the agent, we realized she actually owns the house. She is a full-time real estate agent who also specializes in flipping properties. I was totally buying into her pitch: she lives in the neighborhood and cares passionately about saving old homes from disrepair by restoring them. She did a wonderful job with the house and retained so much of the great character and craftsmanship in the period details that Adam and I are looking for. The house even has a fireplace!! [non-working :-(]

The price reflects the agent/owner's desire to have a quick turn over and that it is located in somewhat of a "transitional" neighborhood. It's by no means rough, but the block has a little ways to go before we could see a huge appreciation. Either way, this house is not staying on the market for long.

Timing-wise, we are about 4-6 months from really wanting to make a move pending our current lease on the apartment. Although, we do have the aritificial deadline of April 30 because we'd love to take advantage of the extended $8000 tax credit. I'm going to give myself tonight to "sleep on it" but I'm already planning where the furniture will go!

Reality check time: we applied online for a loan pre-approval.

I love when we win!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

How is it already mid-November?!

I'm woefully far behind in my blogging, and since no one's been banging down my door to beg for more, I'll just provide an update. (The alternative being post-dating all my past blog-worthy musings. Ugh, back log.)

  • The holidays have started! We kicked it off, unknowingly, at a comedy show at the Brave New Workshop. I thought we were seeing improv when, in fact, it was the previews for their Christmas Spectacular, Brett Favre: The Immaculate Interception show. Even though they made jokes about the audience attending a Christmas show the week after Halloween, it was seriously funny and made me want to dust off the Christmas records. Johnny Mathis, anyone?

  • Weather-wise, November has been better than October! Adam and I first visited Minneapolis a year ago this weekend (crazy, right?) and I remember it being a bitter 20 degrees. And, no, I don't think it "felt like" 20--there is a thermometer in the car.

  • The movie An Education is a must-see. Much more than a coming of age piece set in 1960s England, the movie was sensational. The acting, in particular, was terrific. I won't say more except that I highly recommend it!

  • We are driving to Pittsburgh in less than two weeks... turkey, here I come! Adam and I agree: it's our favorite holiday. The 30 hour round trip drive should be plenty of time to write new blog posts.

  • I'm going to Atlanta for Christmas and DC for New Year's. SO. EXCITED.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eeeek! I think I found my wedding dress!

On a lark, my mom and I made an appointment in a bridal shop in this old house that was once one of my mom and dad's favorite restaurants.

Sort of serendipitous then that I think I found my wedding dress on the first outing! The shop was so cute, the staff was so friendly and helpful, and for goodness sake they had all dressed up for Halloween in old, re-purposed bridesmaid dresses!

I can't describe the dress here in case Adam should read it, but contact me for a link to the bridal shop's web site!

Now that I've found the dress, we ought to set the date, right?

Steelers Love: I'm not alone.

A love story at Heinz Field
Steelers show appreciation for female fans
Monday, November 02, 2009
It's Ladies' Night

Some drove for hours and rearranged schedules to be part of it. Some left the children at home in the care of their spouses. Wearing team colors was the order of the day, and none seemed to mind waiting in line under drizzly skies well before Heinz Field opened its doors.

This was not, however, a queue of men showing up for a football game. The line was part of the record turnout for the fifth annual Ladies Night Out sponsored by the Steelers as a way of catering to the NFL's largest female fan base.

In one group of eight that motored by van from St. Clairsville, Ohio, was Cindy Broadwater, undeterred at having to use crutches because of a fractured bone in her right foot.

"I wasn't going to let it stop me," she said.

To which Carol Jones, also in the party and wearing a Steelers tiara, chimed in: "Broken foot? You would have had to embalm me to keep me from being here. I was so excited I didn't sleep all night."

This type of passion was evident throughout the Wednesday night affair at Heinz Field. For $95, nearly 500 women of all ages and from all walks of life got the chance to eat dinner, ask questions of Steelers, visit the inner sanctum of the locker room and attempt field goals while their images were shown on the scoreboard.

In a figurative sense, it was a Cinderella-like outing. But instead of dancing at a ball with a handsome prince, they got to kick a ball and become immersed in football. And a Steelerella never has to worry about glass slippers.

Speakers for the evening were rookie defensive lineman Ziggy Hood and backup quarterback Charlie Batch. They fielded questions ranging from the adjustment from college to pro ball and why the Steelers don't use the wildcat formation more ("It would take our best player off the field," Batch noted, referring to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.)

But there also were questions never asked by the football writers, like this inquiry from Devona Edmond of the North Side.

"Ziggy, do you have a girlfriend?"

"Yes, she's seated right over there."

"Do you want another one?"

The exchange produced a playful laugh, but it also showed the depth of passion by a segment of the fan base that brings its own unique charm to following the Steelers.

Ms. Edmond has the team logo tattooed on her back along with her date of birth -- June 2, 1986.

"I have literally been a Steelers fan since birth. I'm a die-hard," she laughed. "I watch games with my great-grandmother. We're all part of the same family. It's in our blood."

That the Steelers have women fans is hardly news. When the franchise adopted its name in 1940, one of the 21 winning contest entries was submitted by Margaret O'Donnell. Yes, a woman named the Steelers.

Two years ago, a survey by Scarborough Sports Marketing noted that the Steelers have a larger female fan base than any other NFL city.

Women love the Steelers for a variety of reasons. Everybody loves a winner. Families get together to watch and talk football. The uniforms and the color scheme make a bold fashion statement. Team loyalty spans generations, and offspring are born into it. Hines Ward has an infectious smile, and Troy Polamalu has a magnetic personality. And the Steelers are all about football, not the sizzle.

"The Steelers officially don't have cheerleaders. They don't need them," said Robin Thomas of St. Clairsville. "They have a million of them."

As a quick aside, she is formerly from Texas and had an epiphany about the Steelers when her relationship with a Pittsburgh fan started to get serious.

"He said his mother had a problem with us getting married because I wasn't a Catholic. He didn't have a problem with that, but he did have a problem with me wearing a Cowboys jersey. Once I took that thing off and converted to being a Steelers fan, things worked out fine. That was over 20 years ago," Ms. Thomas said.

Of course, every sports team in the area has its female side. The Penguins have Hockey 'n Heels events for their fans, the Pirates have ladies nights and the Pitt Panthers have a Football University for Women with Jan Wannstedt. The late Howard Cosell captured the essence of the sports following here when he noted that when you play Pittsburgh, you play the entire community. He said it nearly 30 years ago, and he didn't make any gender distinctions.

There were a few of the pink jerseys in the audience, but the overwhelming majority of women prefer to wear black and gold.

Not surprisingly, however, support of the Steelers is inextricably linked to family and relationships.

Cindy Molinick of the Johnstown area was at the event with two of her four daughters.

"My husband got me interested in the Steelers during the '70s, and I passed it on to my daughters," she said. "He's home by himself tonight."

Some franchises might have football widows. With the Steelers, there are football widowers.

Two Greensburg women whose husbands have passed away keep up their friendship through the Steelers.

"My daughter got me a ticket for my first Ladies Night Out as a birthday gift, and this year, I bought my friend a ticket as a birthday present. We went to Tampa for the Super Bowl," said Maryann Popovich, 69.

Her friend, Rae Martchek, was having a grand time.

"Why do women love the Steelers? It's fun. How many things in life do you get to do that are fun? When the Steelers lose, everybody's in a bad mood. When they win, everybody wins with them. I can't explain it."

There was more than one mother/daughter team in attendance.

Cheryl and Allison Reinhard of Charleroi wore matching Troy Polamalu jerseys.

"Being a Steeler fan truly does span generations," Mrs. Reinhard said. "It's bred into you."

Kasey West, who was with her mother in the St. Clairsville group, explained how the Steelers keep families together even if some members are thousands of miles away.

"My dad works for U.S. Steel in Kosice, Slovakia, so I text message him with the highlights during the games so he knows what's going on. I watch every game religiously," she said. "Some Slovakian kids don't know how to speak English, but they wear Steelers stuff."

Steelermania also has the ability to overcome.

Consider the plight of Lynn Kelley, originally from Upper St. Clair. She married a man from Sandusky, Ohio, and they had two sons. But when the marriage soured, he wanted the boys to follow the Browns. To rescue them from such a bleak future, she sought the intercession of Ziggy Hood.

"Would you autograph these two Steeler hats so my sons won't have to follow the Browns?" she said.

Having secured the healing objects, she later explained, half-jokingly: "We got divorced around the time of Super Bowl in Detroit. It was then that the boys began to see the error of their dad's ways, because he was a Cleveland fan. I want them to grow up with the Steelers."

On the other hand, the Steelers can help identify a suitable life partner.

Cori Cheairs, who drove in with two friends from Frederick, Md., was studying architecture at the University of Houston when she spotted a man in a Steelers jersey in a Texas bar.

"I said to myself, 'I'm going to marry that guy.' I did, and he took my three kids to the dentist today so I could be here," she laughed.

"I grew up in Morgantown. And my dad and my uncles raised me to watch the Steelers on Sunday. We were watching together when the Steelers won their first Super Bowl, and my dad told me that if they could win a championship, I could do anything. I want my kids to have that, too," said Mrs. Cheairs, who is president of a consulting company.

"We go to an informal church, so on Sundays, we wear our Steelers clothes to church before we go to watch the games," she added. "The Steelers are a Sunday religion."

Read more:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Sounds like a joke. Sounds like they devised an acronym for depression and then thought about what the S, A, and D should stand for. My link to the description of symptoms and treatments is, appropriately, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

It's October, and already we've skipped fall and plunged into winter. Granted, it's not -20 degrees yet, but so far we've had temperatures that, in Atlanta, would be the coldest days of the year. Worse: I haven't seen the sun all week. Gray skies are a nice backdrop to colorful fall leaves. But in November. When the calendar finally permits you to start daydreaming about turkey, stuffing, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Already, in my mind, I'm planning a Hanukkah party but time really needs to catch up with the weather.

Sigh. So far my remedies have been homemade chicken soup, tea, and casseroles. I even got a new (well, replacement) winter coat to allow retail therapy to work its magic. Maybe I'll just carve a pumpkin and enjoy the 40 degrees... because we know that even this "bad" weather won't last...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Engaged? Jewish?

I'm told you must read this book. Just trying to pass on the good word. Apparently, Anita Diamant, author of The Red Tent, has written the bible (mixed metaphor?) for planning a Jewish wedding.

On the back jacket, the book is recommended as "Complete, authoritative, and indispensable, The New Jewish Wedding is a must-have resource for anyone who wants a wedding that combines spiritual meaning and joyous celebration."

Considering I've never attended a Jewish wedding and likely won't before my own, I'm a proud new owner of Adam's and my copy. I'm going to take to it with a highlighter!

Want to purchase your own online?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh, yeah, remember that time it snowed on Oct. 12?

Ordinarily, Oct. 12 is meant to commemorate Columbus Day.
Or my parent's anniversary.
In 2009, October 12 will mark the first significant, measurable snow in the Twin Cities.

Let me do some quick math by counting on my fingers... so we're going to have winter for the next six months??!

(And, yes, I'll admit I took that picture from my iPhizzle while driving to work. I'm that girl.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More on Minnesota from the Washington Post

I'm always stealing articles! This one is an interesting piece by a Jewish man from St. Louis Park, MN commenting on the rich talent that has emerged from this accomplished, quirky, close-knit Jewish Minneapolis suburb.

Linking is better than paraphrasing:

Fall in Minnesota

Notice the brilliant orange leaves juxtaposed to the dusting of snow on the ground.
And now, they're calling for 2-4 inches on Monday. Sheesh! October? More like Octobrrrrrr!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I've been anonymously published in The Washington Post

I had two questions answered in today's online Q&A discussion about "Destination Weddings"!!! I'm the author "Minneapolis, MN."

In terms of distinction, this is really no more impressive an honor than writing copy for a year and a half at The Post with all those classified ads and yet... cool, huh?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Serious Man

Adam, a friend, and I waited on a line that circled the block of Lake & Hennepin to see the premiere of the new Coen brothers' movie A Serious Man. Set in St. Louis Park where the Coen bros. grew up, they shot the film locally and cast many no-name Mpls people for support roles. What was especially cool for us is the Coen brothers made an arrangement for the Uptown Theater to have exclusive privileges for the movie's first weekend release. As a part of the fanfare, they invited many people who had participated in the making of the film to be in the audience. Seated in front of me was the makeup woman. Other "Jewish-looking" extras were also in attendance. It was interesting to think I was seeing this movie with others who were seeing themselves IN the movie.

A Serious Man is being reviewed as the kind of personal film that you can only make once you already have all the awards and acclaim in your back pocket. The film touches on issues of faith and doubt à la the human condition. Specifically Jewish faith. And the film doesn't educate you. If you're not a Jew and you don't get the joke--that's it. You don't get the joke.

While I enjoyed the movie and the characteristic dark humor of the Coen bros. repertoire, I would only selectively recommend it. The film is not incredibly plot driven: just one ordinary man's crisis with faith as his life falls apart around him.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"This synagogue is 'very' Reform."

"This synagogue is 'very' Reform." But as the Rabbi said, this is meant as a judgment but, with the right attitude and for the right person, it can also be a good thing.

The Jewish high holidays have come and gone, and while it's certainly a time for reflection on the past year and what's ahead, I did most of my thinking about what type of synagogue I want to join. First, I saw my own temple in Atlanta through Adam's eyes when he was astonished by how much music was incorporated into the service and how few prayers are sung in Hebrew. An organ in a synagogue? What is this? Church?

I don't blame him. My Jewish identity was primarily cultivated at the religious summer camps I went to year after year starting at age 8. Where "pluralist" really meant "Conservative." I recited prayers every morning and before and after meals. And, yes, I do mean "recited." While I learned to read Hebrew for my Bat Mitzvah, I cannot read and understand word for word the Hebrew prayers. Does it bother me that I cannot translate them? No, most importantly, I understand the gist and I find meaning in the recitation of time worn Hebrew prayers.

Interestingly, in Atlanta, one of the rabbi's sermons focused on the history and contemporary role of the Reform movement. An ever modernizing and evolving (reforming) sect of Judaism, I admire the social action and political inspirations to affect Tikun Olam through practice of Jewish values and ethics. However, my sense of spirituality doesn't agree with reading English translations of prayers that read more like shmaltzy poetry than religious evokations.

Would a Conservative synagogue be a better fit for me? That raises my concerns of being raised a Reform Jew feeling "lesser than" to other Jews who are "more Jewish." I don't agree with what I put in quotation marks--I've actually heard people say these things. In a Conservative synagogue, I struggle to feel as if I belong when I don't know a prayer everyone else knows by heart. But what do I really have to apologize for, be embarrassed about?

What's a happy medium? How will Adam and I want to raise our kids? And how did we get here? I believe that the history of the Jewish American experience is one that has been a constant back and forth, from one generation to the next. Our parents are reacting to what their parents did, and now it's our turn. Assimilated as ever, I reach out and embrace Hebrew prayers as a stamp of what makes Judaism Jewish. I want to have Shabbat dinner in my home, so my children will appreciate being raised in a Jewish household. And will they reject that?

Anyway, so long as I'm asking questions, my Jewish identity is intact. ;-)

La Belle Vie

You know how some restaurants can suffer from too much hype? Not La Belle Vie, my friends. The instant Open Table sent me an email announcing Restaurant Week, I made reservations at La Belle Vie. For $30, we had an amazing three course prix fixe tasting menu at THE BEST RESTAURANT in the Twin Cities. There's nothing I can write that scores of restaurant reviewers haven't already covered, but since you may not have read them I'll say: the servers glide around and effortlessly anticipate every finished plate and next course, and every.single.bite. of food is perfection.

Restaurant Week only comes twice a year, but otherwise, if you can afford it, this is absolutely your go-to "special occasion" dining experience.

Fall Comfort Food

Brr! It's official, folks, Minnesota had its first frost advisory of the season so it must be fall. As Adam will be the first to tell you, I probably comment on the weather at least once out of every 10 statements that leave my mouth. Sigh. There's no denying it so I might as well own up to it and provide you with this awesome comfort food recipe clip.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wrapping Paper

You know when you're an adult if...
you buy wrapping paper from your boss's kids!

Not so many years ago, I, myself was a young whippersnapper sending my mom and dad off to work with my catalogs and ordering sheets to solicit coworkers to help me win those awful prizes.

All things considered though, I didn't just buy something to "give back." Honest to goodness, I thought to myself, "Why yes, I will need Chanukah wrapping paper, and where else in Minnesota will I find it?" Done and done!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Accidentally Drunk in Madison

Adam and I planned a weekend trip to Madison to visit Adam's and my friends Matt and Carly, who, oh yeah, happen to live near the New Glarus Brewery. New Glarus makes Adam's favorite beer, Spotted Cow (henceforth just "Cow" the way the locals say it), and it's only sold in the state of Wisconsin. The beer is good--delicious, even--but the fact you have to cross state lines to get its sweet nectar must add to the allure.

We left Friday evening and drove through pounding rain the entire way. The lousy driving conditions only enhanced our appreciation for the brisk, dry fall day we had on Saturday. We started off by going downtown, where the capitol is, to sample the farmer's market. Delta's September Sky magazine featured Madison's farmer's market as one of the 10 Best in the World, so naturally I was curious. While it was good, not actually shopping for fresh food left me to be distracted by other things, such as singing Mennonites and ooooooh, pumpkins! Downtown Madison is truly charming. It reminded me of the town square in Gilmore Girls on just a slightly larger scale. People look colorful, friendly and happy.

Next, we drove out to the brewery. It was a bit of a drive, but we took scenic country roads that really impress upon you why Midwesterners feel so prideful. The countryside, especially now that the fall colors are beginning to pop, is gorgeous.

The brewery itself was a lot of fun--although the education on the self-guided tour was provided by a mulleted man in head-to-toe denim. Luckily for us our visit coincided with Oktoberfest (that's right-on the last weekend in September) so everything was particularly lively. We left with our souvenir pint glasses, which honestly made me more happy than the beer itself.

In New Glarus, the Oktoberfest was hosted in a small Swiss village that felt a little hokey in the Disney Epcot style. We enjoyed beer, polka, and cheese, and more beer. Then again, 3 Heffe Weisse later, I was down for the count the rest of the day. A tipsy afternoon can be one of the best ways to enjoy a Saturday but I didn't plan for Oktoberfest-level activities.

Oktoberfest montage.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wedding Shmedding: an Update

Doodle and I are making progress. Even the most bridezilla resistant of us can still get stressed out. Over nothing. That's what Adam and I have so far: nothing. I'm anxious about "setting the date" so we can have an answer when people ask. And I don't blame people for asking the most obvious question for a newly engaged couple, but I can't always trust myself to not roll my eyes.

So, rather than fret, I do research! After initial lukewarm feelings, I latched on to the idea of having the wedding in Atlanta, my hometown. My inclination grew as I realized what a tremendous help having my parents' time and resources would be. Adam, however, was just not feeling it. Adam was raised in a Conservative congregation, and a trip to my "very" Reform synagogue cemented Adam's anti-Atlanta sentiments. I don't hold it against him, but if we're not even going to get married in my temple, why be in Atlanta?

One thing that was beneficial about our trip to Atlanta was the opportunity to visit a reception site that my sister actually used for a different event. The venue was a converted mill and had a big, open multi-purpose space. There was a lot to like about it, but it wasn't for us. It's true with so much in life: it's still an important lesson to find out what you don't like.

So, after waffling and being all over the emotional spectrum, I'm returning (this time with gusto!) to the idea of having a wedding in DC. I feel vulnerable committing this to my blog considering the number of times I've changed my mind. But, miracle of miracles, I found a reception site in DC that really--for the first time--got me excited about the day we'll be getting married.

All of a sudden, rather than feeling like I was forced to plan an expensive party, I began to feel like I deserve, and can have, a truly special, meaningful and memorable event.

Here is a glimpse at Dumbarton House, in the Georgetown/Embassy Row neighborhood of DC:

My guess is the place is too small for the number of guests we want to invite, but I view this discovery as a great sign. Sometimes I look at Adam and just radiate happiness: we have so many good things to look forward to. (OK, I apologize if that was over the top.)

Sounds like it's time to plan a wedding venue shopping trip to DC!

Happy 70th Birthday!

Big shout out to my dad who turned 70 on September 8, 2009. This past weekend, Adam and I flew down to Atlanta (pre-floods) to celebrate. We had a big 50+ person party for dad, and I think it's fair to say that everyone had a really really nice time.

Here's a picture of Dad with his five kids. We haven't all been together since Thanksgiving 2008, so it was special for us to all make an effort to come for the party. (3 of us traveled from as far as Orlando, Tuscon, and Minneapolis.)

We were also home for Rosh Hashanah, which was nice because the Jewish holidays always make me homesick for tradition. For Yom Kippur, we've been invited to join our adoptive Minnesota family—and so I'm also excited for new traditions!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Football 4 Days of the Week: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Ever since the Steelers won the Super Bowl back on February 1, I've been waiting for football season to return. Football is the #1 reminder of why I'm glad to be out of school: you can watch football, literally, ALL weekend with no regret about procrastinating on homework. But when you finally do watch football ALL weekend, you might be disappointed to find yourself becoming a little... bored.

What is it they say? Everything in moderation!

Well, I don't mean to be a total pooper. Thursday's Steelers game was awesome!

I'm sad about Polamalu's injury but this catch was truly amazing.

And we had the great pleaure of going to the first Gophers home game of the season at their brand spanking new stadium. The Gophers won. Barely. But thank goodness. Otherwise, it would bring terrible karma to the new stadium.


This article is so dead-on. Granted, the author is 26 when she got married (not 23) but I still find it to ring so, so true.
Re-posted, without WaPo permission, below:

The Marriage Divide
Was I too young to get married or too old? Depends on whom you ask

By Monica Hesse
Sunday, September 6, 2009

The two responses I received last year when, at 26, I announced I had gotten engaged:

a) Oh, God, finally!

b) Oh, God, already?

Followed by:

a) Have you chosen your canape platter yet?

b) Is this because of a tax break or something?

And then possibly by:

a) Where are you registered?

b) Wait, are you sure you haven't been drinking?

Whether my friends answered a's or b's depended entirely on which time zone -- which side of the International Wedding Date Line -- they lived in. The IWDL is a complex concept that can be explained only by me (because I just made it up), but it comes down to this: On the East Coast where I live now, at least among most of my friends, getting married is something you do after college, after grad school, after your 30th birthday, after your second solo climb of Mount Everest, after you successfully balance your checkbook for 16 months straight, after, after, after. In other words, getting married at 26 is pretty much like getting married as a fetus.

In the Midwest, at least in the rural Illinois town where I grew up, getting married is something that you do before you begin to think of buying property, before your single-person routines make you stubborn and inflexible, before your metabolism slows enough that a white wedding dress would make you look like a rhinoceros. Optimal marriage age: 20 to 23. Getting married at 26 is like filing your tax returns on April 16.

So the Midwest friends were supportive, as if they were welcoming me into their club, while the D.C., Philadelphia and Boston friends were just dubious, as if the club I wanted to join was for insane people. When I broke the news to my New York buddy Jo, I sheepishly tried to hide it in casual conversation: " 'Real Housewives' was beyond ridiculous; Simon's pants are horri -- I'm-getting-married-do-you-want-to-be-a-bridesmaid -- fying, and did you see Alex's hair?" Then I called my Illinois friend Jeanne and went, "Eeeeeeeeeeee!"

Neither of my deliveries felt completely honest, probably because I still wasn't sure how I felt about it. I was like the answer to a riddle.

Q: Who is both too old and too young to be married?

A: Someone who doesn't know where her home is.

As melodramatic as it sounds, all of this kind of felt like admitting some sort of geographical allegiance: East Coast friends? Fooled you! It might seem like I belong out here, but in private I'm talking like a "Fargo" extra and making a wide variety of Campbell's soup casseroles.

In the end it didn't matter. You can't choose the age you are when you meet the person you want to spend your life with; my husband and I ended up getting married last September. My Midwestern friends waited until after the ceremony to ask when we'd be having kids, and my East Coast friends danced until 3, carried all the good booze back to their rooms for a continued after-party, then fell asleep in their clothes.

But it turns out that getting married still left me in a state of between-ness. While I was busy planning a wedding, some of my friends in Illinois had been busy having kids. I would log on to Facebook and see status updates that read something like: "is making cupcakes for her son's preschool class. No peanuts!" From the friends of the East, it was more like: "is thinking cupcakes and tequila are a good 4 a.m. snack." No one seemed to be doing what I was doing: "is going to Ikea, then watching three 'Wire' DVDs in a row, then considering the big step of getting a plant."

In the past few months, though, I've been feeling better about my placement. It's nice to have friends who can offer advice in matters marital and domestic, even if that friend is my new sister-in-law, who married my brother at 23 and already owns way more cutting boards than I do.

Recently, one of my most vehemently single friends phoned to tell me that she'd met someone. The romantic pearls of semi-wisdom that I'd saved up during the three years that I was dating my husband and she was occasionally hooking up with a yoga instructor were suddenly, actually, useful.

I'm still the first married friend. And the last married friend. My own time zone on the IWDL.

Which now feels:

a) Weird.

b) Kinda neat.

Would anyone who reads this blog...

...stop reading if I renamed it Engaged in Minneapolis? Apparently that's what all my posts are about lately.

Although, get ready because I have one post coming up that's not engagement or wedding related at all. And, really, I'm not obsessed.

Bridezilla, I am not. Bridezilla, I am not. (New mantra.)

Although technology may catch up with me...

... and email may go the way of the Walkmans by the time Adam and I legally wed, I decided to go ahead and claim a Rachael Rosen gmail account as my own.

I won't start using it but if you really want to, you can reach me at

Too soon? you ask. Well, the fact that rachael.rosen was no longer available indicates to me that, no, in fact, it was not too soon.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Autum in August


The most persuasive argument I've *felt* for climate change is the current temperatures in Minneapolis. It's unseasonably cold, so they say, but I think it's safe to assume summer is over.

Out come the sweatshirts. Maybe this year I'll get a maroon Gophers one. Or a Brett Favre Vikings jersey.

I have a feeling it's going to snow the last week in October... You heard it here first.

At last, the Minnesota State Fair

I'll start with the disappointments: the two foods I wanted to find eluded me. Fried pickles, also known as frickles, and the innovative (non-fried) caprese salad on a stick. Secondly, I somehow missed the agriculture area where the oversize, gargantuan produce was on display. The fair was huge and overwhelming, so I'll go next year with a smarter game plan.

But here's what made it all worthwhile: the Miracle of Life birthing barn where, if you're lucky, you can witness the birth of baby animals. 3 day old piglets were the cutest. Why we don't have them all as pets is beyond me. Next came the tub of legendary Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies. And $1 all you can drink fresh milk. Divine.

The grease from the fried food made me nauseous but I still couldn't resist a fried cheese curd or two.

Lastly, the Ye Olde Mill fair ride. It's a log flume ride that is literally 93 years old. It's no Disney World Splash Mountain. You are seriously in pitch black darkness 80% of the 2 1/2 minute ride. I quickly surmised it wasn't about the thrill of the ride but an opportunity for young couples to share a first kiss at the state fair. Appropriately, Adam groped me. ( HA! Totally kidding!)

Groping on the Ye Olde Mill

fried cheese curds

pronto pups- the famous non-corndog corndog that's a "banquet on a stick"


Australian fried potatoes

4 hour old baby calf. aka veal.

crowds. if it were up to me, strollers would be banned at this event.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Am I a changed woman?

So it's been a whirlwind of a week. I've experienced every cliche in the book. Yes, I still look at my ring and smile. Yes, I move my hand ever so slightly to let the diamond sparkle as it catches the light. And, yes, my hand gestures have gotten more emphatic to ensure others take notice.

Just kidding. No I'm not. I wish I were.

It doesn't end there. Whenever I say the word "our," it's now with a newfound delight at the promise of our shared future. It's suddenly permissible to discuss once taboo subjects, such as which neighborhood we may want to someday buy our first home. As for our kids' names, this is still taboo, since Adam doesn't like the one name I suggested. (Jonah.)

Wedding plans will gradually come along. I--dare I admit this--registered online with the knot, ( a social networking site for bride-to-be's. I haven't mined the site yet for wedding planning secrets or tips for how to choose a gown (oh yeah! I get to buy a dress!!) but I am looking forward to writing Adam's and my meet cute story. No shock there to anyone who reads this blog. Cough. Online diary.

One thing we haven't adjusted to is the word fiancé. It's one thing to write it, but so far it's been weird to refer to him as "my fiancé" aloud. Adam just despises anything French, so he's recommended this alternative: freedom friend. Hmm... If everyone knew its meaning, I would refer to Adam as "my bashert." Bashert is a Yiddish word that means destiny, as in he is my soulmate, we were meant to be.

That's all the engagement updates I got for now. Thank you for your support and well wishes--hearing from all our friends in all corners of our lives has been the greatest blessing of our engagement so far!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're Engaged!!!!!!!

Adam proposed to me on my birthday yesterday, and we're engaged! Here's the story:

My birthday did not start out that well... let's just say it's smarter to celebrate your birthday on your birthday and not the night before. This way, you don't risk feeling ill on the day of. Anyhow, I'd been in Orlando and Adam had been in Hilton Head, so we reunited yesterday afternoon at the Minneapolis airport. We rested in the afternoon and went out for a late dinner at a neighborhood French restaurant we've both been wanting to try. We had a delicious meal, sharing all the dishes. After we finished eating, Adam suggested we walk home by the lake. Lake Calhoun is a special place to us because we're always there, and it's the number 1 reason we've learned to love our Minneapolis neighborhood.

Shortly after we got to the lake walking path, Adam pulled me over near a street lamp and started getting down on one knee. I knew what that indicated and yet the surprise sent my head spinning. I concentrated on what he was saying so I'd remember forever. "Rachael Baird, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" Somehow, in my overwhelmed, flustered state, I managed to say yes!

Isn't it perfect?!? The first pictures of the ring:

So, obviously, we're in the very early stages of planning anything but an engagement party will be in the works soon. We're both so excited and eager to celebrate with our family and friends back on the east coast. Perhaps an engagement party in DC is in order! As for a wedding date, well, haha don't ask but do stay tuned!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blogging from 30,000 feet

That's right, I'm using Delta's wi-fi on the airplane as we fly for the first leg of our trip from Mpls to Atlanta. So close to home, and yet so far. Then we're off to Savannah for the night before joining Adam's family in Hilton Head tomorrow!

Although I'm excited, I can't say that I've needed a vacation. Work has been busy preparing for the conference I'm attending later next week in Orlando (Disney World) Florida. What I most wish is that we could flip the timing around and I could go to the beach after the conference. It's my first business trip and I expect it will be exhausting.

I've brought along my camera and hope to share pictures and stories soon!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bye Justin!

Our friend Justin from GW is departing tomorrow to move back to DC. Having grown up here, he's been our Minneapolis ambassador, and he's introduced us to our adoptive family, who have thankfully made sure we're never without somewhere to go on a Jewish holiday.

We'll miss him. As happy as I am for Justin, who finally got a job after months of deadend temping here, I'm sad to see him go. Partly I'm sad to see Adam's and my third wheel social network crumble, but I'm also sad to admit I'm jealous because he's getting to return to DC.

Adam and I have this joke that, for Hanukkah '09, I'm going to make a t-shirt for him with a picture of his goofy smiling face surrounded by dogs and the words "Bitches love me" beneath. In return, I've asked for a twist on that classic I ♥NY t-shirt. Instead, I want mine to say:
I ♥
more than
I ♥

It's no secret I'm infatuated with New York (see below) but it's all a joke. The real truth is my heart belongs to DC. I know life in DC has changed post-college, and I can't confuse college nostalgia with longing for life in DC. But if I'm honest with myself, the jealousy that tightens in my heart when I think of friends in DC makes me discontent with Minneapolis... an unsettling feeling.

Bottom line is we signed a 12-month lease here in Minneapolis on July 1, and who knows what the future holds. DC? San Diego? Austin? Albuquerque? (Notice what comes to mind are all warm places!) Best of luck to you, though, Justin!

So, I loved Paris Je T'aime... Come on! What Francophile romantic didn't??? And now we have New York, I Love You to look forward to. I think I just wet myself.

P.S. "Francophile romantic." Is that redundant?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer Reading

Reading, like writing blog posts, requires practice. It's not like shooting freethrows where practice makes perfect--so much as you need practice in order to create a routine. If I get out of the practice of thinking about what to write next for my blog, weeks go by before I remember faithful readers will be missing me. Similarly, unless I'm reading consistently, I forget to make time to read. The cure? Salacious books I can't put down!

First it was Middlesex. A book so commanding in its force and imaginative story telling, I didn't want it to end because I cared too much about the characters to say goodbye. Three or four summers ago, everyone was walking around with a copy (Thanks, Oprah!) but if you somehow missed the boat, I implore you to read this book. [And, sidenote, if you haven't read Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, we can't be friends again until you do.]

Now, looking for a light escape in contrast to Middlesex, I took the Twilight plunge. How I wish I hadn't... I'm already on book 2 of the series and I know there will be no rest until I have completed book 4. For shame. The writing style and literary quality are lacking and yet there's an adrenaline rush from speeding through 150 pages of the book in one hour. Tsk tsk me if you must, but honestly what can be better than the epic, dangerous romance between a girl and her LOHL (love of her life) vampire? Not TV, that's for sure.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I already miss the Hamptons

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Food Tour of New York

The last weekend in July, Adam and I took a much-needed trip to the East Coast. We reunited with friends and family and (forgive me, but) it felt so good.

It's no secret that I'm post-dating this blog post, so I'll just give you the highlights. The food highlights:

Friday, Manhattan
Katz's deli for bagels, shmear and lox
Chinatown for bubble tea
Midtown for people watching at gourmet deli where sandwiches cost $12
Pinkberry for yogurt under 200 calories
One of Ray's Original Pizzerias for a slice
Shabbos dinner with Pearl & Meyer, Adam's gparents

Saturday, The Hamptons
breakfast: bagels, fresh OJ
lunch: crabcakes, fresh guacamole, clams, shrimp
dinner: surf & turf on the beach, s'mores at the beach campfire

Sunday, The Hamptons & Manhattan
breakfast: bagels, fresh OJ
lunch: more crabcakes, more fresh guacamole, more shrimp, and the best french toast EV-ER [I've decided french toast not made from challah bread is a waste of time.]
dinner: CAN WE CONSUME ANYMORE? yes, sushi. New Yorkers are the reason the tuna supply is dwindling.

P.S. It took a week for my normal eating and digestive routine to return, lending credence to the theory that your stomach does, in fact, expand.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Facebook pics

Check out my new album.

Summer Blockbusters: Bruno vs. Harry


In the last week, I've seen two of this summer's most widely anticipated movies. For me, Harry comes out on top.

First, Bruno. The sequel to Borat was "eh, good I guess, not great." Beware of the gratuitous male full frontal nudity, and the thin plot made it difficult to accept that you had paid to see this movie as opposed to watching clips from the Ali G. show on your computer at home. Also, the Bruno character wasn't as likable as Borat, so the gag jokes were just for shock without any character development to redeem or substantiate it.

The best part about the Bruno movie? I thought the guerrilla marketing was hysterical. An assless chaps clad Bruno landing balls-first in Eminem's face at the MTV Movie Awards? Vundervul. ("Wonderful" with my German accent.)

For me, Harry takes the cake. Maybe I'm biased. (Ok, I'm biased.) But I thought the sixth installment was really fun, entertaining, and maintained the integrity of the series. A lot of the reviews have focused on the teenage romances portrayed in the film, and I thought it was a bit much as a major theme, and yet I totally enjoyed it.

It's also just a delight to watch the characters age on the screen. Hermione is hot! Ginny Weasley, not so hot. It's fascinating to think these were once kids who were cast at age 11 without anyone really knowing how they'd turn out as actors or looks-wise. And, to the best of my knowledge as only a casual Potterite, none of the actors have been re-cast. For the first time, there were moments in this movie when Daniel Radcliffe produced some really good acting bits.

From a Washington Post review, which I couldn't agree with more:

It's hard to blame "Half-Blood Prince" screenwriter Steve Kloves or director David Yates for focusing on the romance. After all, as young-adult adventures go, the sixth book in the Harry Potter series is awfully light on the adventure, offering only one action sequence at the end of its exposition-packed 652 pages. It must have seemed a daunting challenge to adapt for an audience of casual moviegoers who don't know a quaffle from a bezoar. The film's sacrifice of Horcruxes in favor of hormones yields some comic highlights: The three leads, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Emma Watson (Hermione), give their most charming performances to date. Ron is particularly funny under the addling effects of a love potion, and Hermione is sad and sweet in a moment of romantic disillusionment, sitting at the bottom of a set of stone stairs, conjuring a flock of twittering birds to circle above her head.

All of which is to say that "Half-Blood Prince," with its romantic triangle (square? pentagon?), its Quidditch high jinks, its gorgeous production design and its bang-up final action sequence, might be the most enjoyable Harry Potter movie yet for people who don't particularly care about Harry Potter movies.

Monday, July 13, 2009

We've been going to a lot of concerts lately

Saturday night, Adam, new friends, and I went to the Minneapolis music festival, Basilica Block Party. If Rock the Garden was for hipsters, Basilica Block Party was for high schoolers. Judging by the amount of kids in braces without wristbands, I'm guessing the median age in attendance was 16. Although, considering Matt Nathanson was performing, I'm not sure why I felt surprised to feel so old. After all, I saw Matt Nathanson when I was 16!

The concert headliner was Counting Crows, who I actually do like. Their song "Anna Begins" makes me want to have a little cry and then exclaim about the beauty and pain and selflessness of love.

Snap her up in a butterfly net and pin her down on a photograph album.
I am not worried cause I've done this sort of thing before.
But then I start to think about the consequences,
And I don't get no sleep in a quiet room and

This time when kindness falls like rain
It washes me away. And Anna begins to change my mind.
And everytime she sneezes I believe it's love and,
Oh lord, I'm not ready for this sort of thing.

In fact, (forgive me Adam) the whole concert was quasi-romantic despite the crushing crowds. Between Matt Nathanson and the Counting Crows, I was in a total music vortex of Rachael's Taste in Music circa 2003. The music that--as a high school girl, who only had crushes on guys and was dreaming of her own Adam--made me believe that love was out there and would someday happen to me. And then, here I was in 2009, listening to that same music with my boo!

Reverse Telecommuting

This is a clever phrase that refers to when you do stuff you should do at home while you're at work. I balance my bank account, call the dentist, renew my library book, and YES write blog posts. See above.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Boo Northwest Airlines!!!!

Today's the kind of day where you feel like nothing goes your way. I don't know how many guys can relate to this, but girls, you know the feeling where you're on the cusp of crying all day and you almost wish you'd stub your toe or something just to finally burst out in tears? Maybe blame it on PMS? Ugh. Today, that is me.

So even though I should just be quietly taking deep breaths, I want to make a bit of a public service announcement to hopefully save someone else the trouble I currently find myself facing.

Scenario: I'm going on a business trip in August to a big conference in Orlando. I was also invited to go on vacation with Adam's family that same week, so I am splitting my time between Hilton Head and Orlando. My company had already booked my roundtrip airfare from Minneapolis to Orlando when I got the green light to take my vacation, so I planned to go directly from Hilton Head to Orlando rather than return to Minneapolis for my original flight to Orlando.

Here is the problem: If I skip my first flight from Minneapolis to Orlando, Northwest will cancel my return flight from Orlando back home. To "cancel" would mean owing them at least $250 in fees! I know I'm upset, but is this not outrageous?? They want to charge me a fee to change my flight, a fee to reprocess my ticket, and the difference to pay for whatever a one-way ticket costs. All that for me to not! even! fly! with them!!! Wow, writing this, I am still angry.

What you should learn from my mistakes: Don't plan on skipping a flight if you also plan to catch your return flight. The thought didn't even cross my mind, and now I will pay dearly for my assumptions.

Please send happy thoughts.

A Prairie Home Companion

We went there. We did this. It was grand. It was quintessential Minnesota. And, most importantly, after long waiting, disappointment, chasing, elbowing out other patrons, and paying $7, I performed the ultimate daughterly duty by procuring for my dad a slice of famous beepop a reebop rhubarb pie.

Family for the Fourth

Monday, June 29, 2009

White Rabbits

If you get the chance, you MUST see this band in concert. So AWESOME. See for yourself!

I just got home from the concert, and I'm still smiling.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just Booked a Flight to Hilton Head

I love summer!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My First Race

I've been running for my exercise for the past couple years, and I've always thought it would be fun to run in a race. Well, today, I popped my 5K cherry. I'd expressed my nervousness about running in races to a co-worker who suggested today's race: a 5K fun run as part of Pride Weekend. Donations from my registration fee go to an organization called District 202 that sponsors LBGT youth. They host events like a gay-friendly prom for high schoolers, which sounds fun, and I want to go.

When I woke up early this morning, it was raining. By the 9 AM race start time, the humidity was thick. I knew the race would be a struggle considering I was drenched in sweat and dehydrated after the first half mile. Nevertheless, Adam and Justin ran with and pushed me the whole way and helped me to keep pace. The friendly gays cheered me on too! I finished 31:18... not bad. I'll take it. I'd have liked to clock in under half an hour, but I *won* because I crossed the finish line without stopping to walk at any point. I also *won* because I totally earned the breakfast burrito I scarfed down an hour later.



Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As I mentioned in the post below, I checked out one of Garrison Keillor's novels from the library yesterday. Famous for being a Minnesotan and inventing the fictitious Lake Woebegone in prose and on his radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor's book does not disappoint. On every page, I have a "yes!" moment as he describes some aspect of Minnesota life that is so spot on. He names places that I have now been to and I now have a firsthand understanding of the rift between Minneapolis and St. Paul. (For the record for all you East Coasters, St. Paul is the neighborhood of Minneapolis that happens to contain the state capitol.)

And the Minnesota attitude. The cold is good for you!

Here is a paragraph about the State Fair. It is the most highly anticipated event of the year, and best as I can tell you fall into one of two camps. LOVE it or HATE it. I'm totally expecting to love it. Here, in Garrison's words:

On the last Saturday in August we put on our shorts and Gopher t-shirts and went to the Minnesota State Fair for the ritual trek through the Swine, Cattle, Horse and Sheep Barns, the Chicken Pavilion, to the Tilt-a-Whirl, Big Jiggle, the Giant Slide, the John Deere exhibit, blue-ribbon preserves and cakes in the Home Activities Building, the fine art show, and we bought four corn dogs with mustard and a bag of miniature doughnuts, which we ate on the double Ferris wheel, and then went home, satisfied, foot-sore, smelling of grease.

-Garrison Keillor, Love Me
I have no desire for summer to pass by quickly. In fact, I mourn at every sunset. Every day of summer is one day closer to winter. But, at the end, I have the State Fair to look forward to... and then there's football.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I officially live in Minnesota

Here's why: I got my library card. And I borrowed a Garrison Keillor novel. Doesn't get much more Minnesota than that.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Love you, Dad!

We Rocked the Garden

Yesterday we went to the Current & the Walker Art Center's music festival, Rock the Garden. For me, it was a seasonal milestone. We first purchased our tickets back in April where June 20 just held the promise of summer. And sure enough, yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, and we all sat on blankets in our tank tops and shorts and sweat through our clothes. Cold beer and a slight breeze, our only refreshment. It was magnificent. The music was good too.

The Decemberists were the headliners, and they played their new album straight through. It's a narrative about star-crossed lovers and killing children. The band wore costumes. No idea? They performed during beer 4, and I was in my happy place. (Incidentally, I am not happy about having drank 4 beers this morning...)

Here are some pictures.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The thermostat in my apartment says it's 84 degrees...

Just saying. When, in January, I never believed summer was possible again, I also never imagined my apartment would become a sauna. Despite my frizzy hair and the fact I haven't stopped sweating since stepping out of a cold shower, I am not complaining. (If I tell myself this enough, is it true?) NO, I am not complaining. I am documenting this so I can read it NEXT January.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Trouble with Dressing for Minnesota Summers

Now don't get me wrong: I'm not really complaining. But it is so freaking over-air-conditioned everywhere I go! I'm overjoyed for the heat and yet still must dress for winter. Harrumph!

Enjoy the heat! Embrace the heat! Don't get A/C, but, yes, do buy a fan. Otherwise, you will wake up in a pool of your own sweat every morning when the sun rises at 6. As you may have guessed, I have learned this the sticky way.

How does one dress for a Minnesota summer? In addition to the constantly fluctuating temperatures, there's also the blessing/curse of Minnesota being a teensy bit behind in fashion. (Someone I work with had never heard of H&M!) You know, even as I'm writing this, "behind" is not the best way to describe people's attitudes about clothes. Maybe ambivalence is more true to the point?

I'll admit that I am not the queen of fashion, but I did pick up a bit of materialism during my time at GW. And being image and label-conscious. I'm glad I can begin ignoring these things again, which leads me to the whole point of this post. (If I ever said I enjoyed brevity, I was lying.)
I imagine these shoes are so comfortable for the summer. Half sneaker... half sandal! But I cannot- will not- let myself buy them. I am not a mom and I have 8 more years til I turn 30. Damnit why can't I fully morph into a Minnesotan? Then I would SO have bought them already.

P.S. In my Zappo's hunt, I found Ugg boots on sale. Might as well snap those up-- I'll need them by September!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Adam Has a Rival Blog

It's really no competition. You either like sarcasm (me) or potty humor (Adam). Enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Penguins win the Stanley Cup! A great year for Pittsburgh-- it seems only fitting that the Pirates will go on to win the World Series. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Adam and I were in Pittsburgh last weekend celebrating his brother Daniel's graduation from high school. Adam's parents generously flew us in rather last minute, but we had our plans long before we had dreams of Pittsburgh competing in the Stanley Cup. So we were in Pittsburgh for Game 5, and we were so pumped to experience the city buzzing with Stanley Cup pride. Too bad Fleury had his worst game ever that night and squashed our dreams of dancing in the streets. (Incidentally, we went to a new South Side hotspot, Hofbrauhaus, an imitation German beer garden, where we instead danced on the tables.)

Anyway, so we were in Pittsburgh last weekend for Daniel's graduation party. His ceremony is actually this weekend and, at the time, I joked that I was glad we got to go to the best part of the festivities. Not anymore! I so badly wanted to have been in Pittsburgh last night when I watched this video.

LET'S GO PENS! Now, so excited for football season!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Adam, why did you ever leave?

From Yahoo's Best Places to Live 2009. Link to article.

Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania

For a quiet residential option, consider Upper St. Clair, Pa. This quaint town of fewer than 20,000 residents is located in the hilly woodlands outside Pittsburgh, where the Whiskey Rebellion of the late 1700s was centered. The median home price of this family-oriented community was $240,000 in 2008. And its school system is superb: Ninety-eight percent of its high school graduates go on to college, and the Upper St. Clair school district currently boasts 10 federal government blue-ribbon "Excellence in Education" awards.

After the spring thaw, residents head outside to enjoy the region's abundant greenery. "Pennsylvania is a fairly robust and rich place in terms of resources, if you just look a little bit," says Ed Di Gangi, the president of the Upper St. Clair Fly Fishing Club. In addition to fishing, popular outdoor activities include hiking, cycling, golf, and bocce. And with Pittsburgh about 10 miles away, residents of this small town are never too far removed from big-city comforts. "From here to a Pirates [baseball] game or here to a Penguins [hockey] game, it's 30 minutes or less," Di Gangi says.

Bathing Suit Fun!

When asked if we wanted to go to the lake two weeks ago, my first thought was Yes! My second thought was, Shoot! All my bathing suits are in Atlanta!

What to do in a last-minute bathing suit pinch? Well, you could let your boyfriend who works at Target volunteer to buy you one. For a girl, this is crazy for several reasons: 1. bathing suits are hard to fit just right (you don't want too much/little coverage). 2. what does a boy know about buying a bikini? 3. WHAT DOES A BOY KNOW ABOUT BUYING A BIKINI?

Here's what Adam chose for me> I'll leave it to you to decide if he really deep down hates me or if he has interesting taste and style. Either way, I've already worn it.

Note: that is NOT me in the picture.

Note 2: The top reverses to cheetah print.