Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Punch Pizza

We have eaten there 3 times in the last 5 days. I'm pretty sure that's against the coupon rules even though it wasn't specifically stated... "One per customer" probably means "one per customer ever." Not "one per customer this meal." Such gluttons for a good deal and the best pizza in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What To Do About Swine Flu?

Originally posted as a note on the FISDAP Facebook page.

What To Do About Swine Flu?
May 1 is Friday, but here in Minnesota, summer and hot weather couldn’t feel farther away. By extension, tropical Mexico feels really, really far away. And yet the swine flu, which has killed 20 people in Mexico and is the suspected cause of 150 more deaths, feels threateningly close. Fears of an international pandemic are being sensationalized by the media, along with op-eds that cry out “don’t panic!”

As a community of paramedics, how do we respond to concerns that this flu virus is becoming increasingly widespread and doesn’t spare the young and healthy? I don’t have a professional medical opinion about this—I still come from a perspective of the general public. How do I protect myself? When do I start to worry about my own health?

To stay calm, I educate myself. I’ve read that the CDC and WHO are working tirelessly to learn as much as they can about this particular virus strain. I’ve also read that while there have been a handful of cases reported in the US, no one has died and the first people infected are already beginning to recover. While we can’t contain Minnesota, I put trust in the fact that even in a worst case scenario situation, if I get sick, I can be treated.

And then I don’t worry about that sneeze—it must be allergies.

For a comic approach to swine flu precautions, I recommend this Washington Post humor piece.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Playing Catch Up

So, with the exception of life-changing events, here's the rundown on what's been happening in the LoR (Life of Rachael):
  • I went to my first dome baseball game at the Minneapolis Metrodome. The Twins won, but I felt no connection to them in the cavernous indoor stadium. From the cheap seats, I could only see through intense squinting, so I just relaxed, sipped my $6 beer and talked my way through the game. The Twins are getting a new outdoor stadium spring 2010, and I can see why everyone's excited. Since I now pay taxes in MN, I feel like I can have an opinion on the decision to NOT build a retractable roof. Where else will baseball games be canceled because of snow?
  • I quit my job at PBK. They finally came a'callin' and I had no choice but to agree to resign. It was peaceful, and I left as a "rehireable," but it was still somewhat sad to instantly regret all the things I did not buy with my discount.
  • This is a four-day week for me as I am officially jetsetting to Tucson this weekend. Abby, my gracious host, has planned a busy two days for me that include an early morning desert hike. Although it will be a shock to my system to be in 90 degree heat, I fully intend to spend as much time outdoors as possible. POOL, here I come.
  • The end of this week also marks a full 2 months at FISDAP. The job is going well, and everyday I am grateful to be wearing jeans and showing up to work at 10 AM. Occasionally, we drink beer at work. Don't worry there are rules: no beer til after 3 and once they've had more than one, the programmers can no longer program.
  • Minneapolis has experienced some teaser spring weather. The trees appear to have blossomed, but I'm not convinced yet that the "blossoms" aren't just pollen globs. I'm told it won't be til June when you can expect consistently warm days. May 1 is within the scope of the 10 day forecast, and the projected temp is 57. But sunny! Kill me. Thank goodness I'll be in Tucson.
  • Adam's family is coming to visit the following weekend. I'm excited to have visitors for whom we can show off our new city. This feeling of anticipation reminds me of when they came to visit us in Beijing, and it completely turned around my attitude for the better. Yay!
  • What else? I heard wind of coupons for $3 Punch pizza (an ah-may-zing deal), so of course we tried it. I think I like it better than LucĂ©. I know you've been waiting for that update.
  • Plans to go to Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend. I've been warned it's pretty underwhelming, so with low expectations, I think I'm all set. Should still be a fun road trip and solid camping. The boys want to rock climb for real outdoors. I'm thinking a nature walk sounds more my speed.
  • Lastly, I'm beginning to like hockey. The penguins are in the playoffs, and of course I've now adopted every Pittsburgh team. I think it's a combination of living with a diehard fan and being in hockey country that's done me in.
I already have my next blog post topic churning in my head, so I hope to avoid another month-long round up. Cheers!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chag Sameach

Happy Holidays! It's easy to miss home around the holidays, but I'm lucky that I just saw my family two weeks ago, and we now have an adoptive family here in Minneapolis. Justin's family has been very generous to us, and we were grateful to be invited to his house for Passover. The seder topped out at 19 guests and I'm amazed by how much of his extensive family lives in Minneapolis. It's just one of those things I'm realizing about this town. People don't leave. And if they do, they come back.

Passover is one of my favorite holidays, and I always wonder why I feel this way when it's the middle of the week and I'm sick of matzah and have indigestion. Although, I will admit to being lax about keeping kosher for Passover when it comes to beer and ice cream. This past weekend was perfect. 55 degrees still doesn't quite feel like spring to me, but if it's 55 and sunny, you can't stay indoors!

We began the weekend by being Minneapolis trendsters because we a.) went to a concert b.) of this cool local band that c.) I found through listening to my radio station, The Current. Naturally, I felt very hip. And what's a cool concert without craft beers on tap?

On Saturday, we walked around the greater Uptown neighborhood and finally went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I was surprised by the impressive size of the museum and the breadth of their collection. In fact, it was so big that we saw only 50% of all there is to see. And what better way to cap a perfect afternoon at the museum than to eat ice cream? In a cone... Oops!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm Published!

Alive Magazine, a publication for women under 25, decided to publish one of my poems. I worked on a few revisions recommended to me by the editor, and you can find that version of my poem "Roadtrip Relationship" on page 52. Also, look for my cheesy bio in the "Contributors" section!

My very first time in print... I'm thrilled!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tucson Bound

It's not official yet, but I hope to request the time off on Monday then pronto book my flight. I NEED to get out of here! I'm attributing this NEED to it being April, imminent snow tonight and tomorrow, and the slow realization that life in the real world doesn't include spring or summer breaks. I'm at this point where I just need to be hot! I want to sweat! And regain some color so my skin doesn't look translucent!

Last weekend, Adam and I traveled to Nashville for my grandfather's memorial service. All things considered, we had a really nice time and I was glad for Adam to have the opportunity to meet that side of my family. But, sadly, our trip south yielded no warm weather! Sure, it was warmer but we stayed indoors due to tornado warnings the first day, and the front brought in MN temps for the next day. Needless to say, it did not provide me with the relief I'd been hoping for.

So! On to Tucson! Abby & Zane, here I come!

A picture from after the service: