Posts filed under ‘Rants’

RNC woes

Before I launch into a full-fledged recap of my life the past month that you don’t want to hear, but I can’t resist sharing, I need you to know that the Republicans have come to town.  And the press.  And the protesters.

And I wish they’d go away.

It’s a little reminiscent of Christmas Fest at St. Olaf…  We’d curse Christmas Fest for bringing the flocks of people and the smell of Lutefisk to our lovely campus.  “Go away people!” we’d whine amongst ourselves, and one year we even officially blacklisted Christmas Fest.  Who wants to hear a bunch of choirs sing Christmas tunes anyways?  (Okay, I’m guilty.  I’ve been to Christmas Fest.)

Anyways.  Back to the present day action in the lovely little metropolis that is Minneapolis-St. Paul.  The convention?  In St. Paul.  So why has my bus (which only goes through Minneapolis) been 30 minutes late the last 2 days?  And protesters?  Don’t even get me started.  I appreciate our right to freedom of speech.  But, PLEASE, don’t come to my city with buckets of urine and smoke bombs with the intent to harm.  And don’t steal the signs in my city.  Boys and girls, my taxes are paying for the damage you create.  So, enough!  I don’t visit your hometown carrying excrement and explosives, and it would be nice if you could return the favor.  Can’t you just march in a little circle with some signs like good little protesters?  Thanks.  Then maybe I won’t count down the days until you leave and bar close returns to 2 am.

And while I’m making pleas and complaints, I have one more plea to John McCain.  Please, Senator McCain, make an effort to be a little nicer to my best friend.  Okay?  I’m not saying you have to be BFFs on the Straight Talk Express, but how about no more of this?



September 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm 2 comments

cow shoes

Let’s be honest: this week was tough!

I’ve got a huge to-do list at work that doesn’t seem to be shrinking by itself. The truth is, many of the things on the to-do list are things that I’ve needed to do since I left Kentucky — 9 months ago. But papers take time to write, new experiments at my current job have been started, and I’ve taken on a little lot more than I can handle.

Not to mention, there is this little event called MY WEDDING that is taking place in exactly 11 weeks and 2 days. When it was 3 months away, it sounded like I had a whole bunch of time. But 11 weeks does not sound like a whole lot of time to put together the biggest party I’ll ever throw. Panic ensued. Only, I’m not sure why, because in all honesty, I think I am pretty on top of most things wedding-related. Our next task will be putting together and sending out invites. We’ve made the parts of the invites that we needed to make (I only have a little cutting to do – we printed 4 sets of directions/sheet and need to cut them apart). It’s not going to be an easy task – there’s about 150 to send out, and in an ideal world, I’d like the time to do calligraphy on each one. But still, I think we are on top of things – we’ve still got at least 2 weeks before they need to be sent out.

And I think that having the house in Kentucky is really starting to wear on me. I mean, I am trying to be patient since I really have no control over the situation, but let’s be honest: I am not always very patient. I just wish it would go away so that we can move on with our life here.

Jeez. Now that I list all that out, it doesn’t seem that bad. We should talk more often, blog friends.

But, these things have kind of worn me ragged this week and I’ve been cranky and generally no fun to hang out with.

But then! These showed up with the mail:

The note reads: Hi Jen! Thought these were fun and would brighten your day.  Love, Mom

I have the BEST. MOM. EVER.

July 17, 2008 at 10:09 pm 2 comments

gas and graduation

Sorry to have left you all hanging for the weekend… as I may have mentioned before, I was in Milwaukee for the weekend to get some wedding-related things done and to see my little brother graduate from high school. Unfortunately, I had to do the entire 5-hour drive myself, which I am not used to at all. Also, I had to purchase gas, which I haven’t done in months (it’s a boy job, and frankly, I just don’t want to know what it’s costing us). So I pretty much threw a tempertantrum at the pump when it cost me $63.45 to fill up the Camry on Friday. -sob- Gone are the days when I could get a full tank for less than $30. -sniffle-

Anyways. Today it cost me $67.92, which caused me to have a stroke right there at the pump. But you’ll be happy to hear I was revived quick enough to head into work for the afternoon.  Oh, and I want to know: if I followed someone really closely (not that I ever do this), would I save on fuel?  And, if it meant I had to speed a little to follow someone, what speed would I effectively break even and the increased fuel usage of the over-55 speed would cancel out the decreased fuel usage of tailing another car?  I’m hoping the answer is 72, but I’m not sure how or why I came up with that number.  Note that I had 5 hours of alone time to do nothing but think.  And drive.  And this is what I come up with.  Yikes.

All this “the economy is in the crapper” talk recently is a little hard to swallow when you’re young, getting married, ready to start your own family. It’s like, “HOW ARE WE EVER GOING TO MAKE IT!?” And really, I have not a lot of reasons to be concerned, we’ve both got jobs, we are both able to meet our financial obligations each month, and we’re able to even save. But it just sucks (sorry dad, I know you hate that word.) having the deflated economy and high food and gas prices rubbed in your face when you’re working on developing a reasonable budget and future plans and all that.

I heard this really great report on WPR today as I was driving through Wisconsin. (Wait. Did I imply I was young in the above paragraph? Scratch that, I guess. Do young people even listen to public radio?). The gist of the report was that people ARE spending money and some areas of the economy ARE flourishing. Yes! NPR, keep those sweet reports coming. Hope! Apparently, the story is that consumers are finally changing their behavior, buying bikes and kayaks instead of cars and far away vacations. Some jobs are coming back to the US because the cost of shipping things from abroad has increased so much. Thank you, consumers. I have definitely seen a change in the number of people riding the bus, and MetroTransit has practically doubled service on the bus route that I normally take (as well as extending the route a few miles south). And, JT plans to start riding his bike to work now that the weather is warmer (he’s already calculated that he saves $4 every time he rides to work). So, I think this is good. And I hope we’re on the upswing (but my guess is that it will be a bit longer before we’re on the upswing).

Alright. That’s my two cents on the economy. [Disclaimer: I did get an A in college economics, but I think the tests were open book.]

Anyways. The real reason behind this post: MY LITTLE BROTHER GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL.

Can you believe this kid:

Is now this faux adult?*:

(the best part of living 1 state away is that I can spread this crap all over the internet, and he can’t do much about it. hee.)

*faux adult = someone who is over the age of 18 but still dependent on parents, etc for financial support. This is in contrast with a REAL adult, which is someone who is over the age of 18 and self-supporting. It’s an important distinction in my family… although, I secretly suspect that all of us may technically still be faux adults.

June 9, 2008 at 10:51 pm 9 comments

doggy school dunces

The adventure at doggy school continued tonight. The good news is that we didn’t get kicked out OR sent to the $100/hour behaviorist. Only minimal growling was involved. Phew. No urine or vomit was excreted from Barley dogg tonight. Yes! And, Barley PAID ATTENTION TO ME. I mean, at first he was all, “hey! there’s a dog over there. and another dog there! and wait! I see the teacher… oh hey teacher! I know you have treats – I want TREATS! oh, but look there, check out that dog. and hey. that dog is really cool looking.” And I was all, “hey doooggggggggyyyy! Pay attention to me! Look at me! I am as exciting as those dogs!” And he was not having it. Not interested at all.

But then, a miracle happened, and that miracle was chicken. The substitute teacher handed me a few pieces of chicken, and Barley was like, “YOU ARE THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN! I JUST WANT TO LOOK AT YOU! I WILL DO ANYTHING YOU ASK! I WILL TOUCH THAT METAL SPOON WITH MY NOSE! LAY DOWN? NO PROBLEM! JUMP THROUGH A RING OF FLAMES? ANYTHING FOR YOU AS LONG AS YOU’VE GOT CHICKEN IN YOUR DORK POUCH!” And then, I was playing it cool. I was all, “Yeah, I’m in charge, doggy. Whatever.” And it was amazing. Please send your chicken leftovers to us. They will be put to good use.

The bad news? We had to go do our training activities in the corner. Jason was kind enough to take a picture.

(note the dunce caps.  and Barley’s attentiveness – I must have had chicken in my dork pouch.  Also, I thought I would mention that I made this using – it’s a free site that lets you mess with photos and is a million times easier than photoshop.)

May 19, 2008 at 11:02 pm 1 comment

sometimes life is like that bird at the san fran zoo that crapped on jason’s head

I need to write a post in which I describe reasons I should not complain as much as I do. This will not be that post.

Once upon a time, we went to the San Francisco zoo. Jason spent much of the day hating on the birds, and as we left, a bird pooped on his head… and jacket… and backpack. I think the moral of the story is: don’t hate on the birds, or they’ll poop on your head.

Anyways, back to the present day. Life is being kind of like that bird. Only, I don’t think we did too much hating on life. I mean, we’re generally happy up in here (despite my usual whining about this life of privilege that we lead). But after yesterday’s letter from the City, today’s one-month notice notice from the tenants in our KY house kind of felt like life was taking a crap on my head. Add the tenant’s one-month notice to last month’s “we’re raising your monthly mortgage payment” notice from the bank, and life might as well have crapped on our head and our brand-new LL Bean backpack.

This is what it looked like when the bird crapped on JT’s head.  Note that I am attempting to clean it up with a wet wipe.

Now, all we have to do is find life’s wet wipe and we’ll be back on track.

May 8, 2008 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

please stop.

Dear City of Minneapolis,

I really appreciate your proactive efforts to keep the city clean and wonderful for all of its residents.  But, please, for the love of God, stop sending inspectors past my house.  It can only bring me pain.

Sincerely Yours,


Yep.  They did it again.  For the second time in 2 months, some sort of city inspection has revealed some sort of issue on my property.  The first time, it was a broken window.  Fine!  I repaired broken window like a champ, even though it was too cold for the glazing compound to dry properly.  That escapade only required 2 trips to the home depot, $3.56 worth of plexiglas, and some glazing compound.

But now?  Today we received a letter informing us that our sidewalk is unsafe!?!  And needs to be fixed!?!  AND IT WILL COST US BETWEEN $950 and $1400 FOR THEM TO FIX.  This is a PUBLIC sidewalk, friends.  And, to be quite honest, it is the prettiest piece of pavement on our property (not to mention one of the only pieces of pavement since we’ve ripped up the rest of it…).  I would post a picture, but it’s too dark out there to take one now.  So you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that the sidewalk is perfectly aligned, flat, walkable, whatever.  I have my suspicions that the City is out to get us.

May 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm Leave a comment

support group needed

Last night, JT was feeling a bit tired from our weekend activities and mentioned that he’d like to stay home from doggy school for the evening. “Sure” I said, “no big deal.”

Look at the attention I command when I wear my training pouch! The pouch has 2 functions: it holds Barley’s training treats and makes me look like a complete dork. I didn’t want to get one, but Barley complained that he was embarrassed in front of the other kids in school when I walked around with his treats in a plastic baggy.

So I rounded up my dork pouch, treats for Barley, and Barley’s leash, and Barley and I headed to doggy school. We got there early and Barley was pretty good… he just sat and watched the other dogs while they finished up their lessons. One of last session’s instructors, Ken, was there with his dog and we let the dogs sniff each other. No problem.

At the beginning of class, Barley was a good boy – again sitting and watching the other dogs. We marched around in front of the other dogs again this week, and even that went better than last week (no tripping or puking). All was excellent. Until we started doing an exercise where we had to walk dogs in a circle around cones, posts, and chairs. Barley decided he needed to mark every. single. cone. and. post. we walked around. Uggh. I had to simultaneously hold the dog, mop up urine, and warn other dog owners to avoid the area. Three different times! In 3 minutes!

After we got over that, things were going smoothly. Barley was super-attentive last night, and was catching on to all of the commands really quickly. I was so impressed. We learned a new hand gesture for sit, and the first few times Barley thought I was telling him to lay down, because he plopped right down and looked up at me like, “I did it! Give me a treat!” He was all proud of himself. And it made me giggle. But, after a few tries, he even caught on to that. I was so proud!

But then… Enter Loverboy and Mrs. Loverboy. In previous weeks, Barley had taken an interest in Loverboy and tracked his every move. So I had been trying to avoid Loverboy and the Mrs. during class to keep Barley focused on me, and not the other dog. But, similar to other weeks, Mrs. Loverboy brings Loverboy over and positions herself and her dog right next to Barley and I. For a while, Barley successfully ignored the Loverboys. But then! Mrs. Loverboy leans over and sneaks Barley some treats, then asks him to smooch her. “Pitties are such sweethearts!” she mentions, and she should know since she has previously fostered several of them. THEN, SHE CURSES US: “Barley doesn’t seem at all interested in Loverboy tonight!” OH CRAP. “Yeah, he’s been really focused tonight, he’s really paying attention to me.” I reply. “But I shouldn’t say that, because I’m probably cursing myself.” Not even 2 minutes later, we’re standing and receiving instruction from the teacher when Barley looks over and starts barking at Loverboy. Suddenly, he wants to play with Loverboy more than anything else in the whole world. And I am trying with all my might to keep him from playing. The teacher even has to intervene at one point to get him to quiet down, which is a good thing, because at this point I look ridiculous struggling with my big old barking dog.

This is hugely embarrassing on several levels. First, at this obedience school, dogs DO NOT bark. Or make noise. Period. I haven’t figured out why that is… but when your dog starts barking, all eyes are on you. I could feel the stares. And it wasn’t great. Second, my dog is the only mutt in the class. He’s already like a second-class citizen. Because not only will my dog ever be entered in a dog show, he certainly did not come with papers describing his lineage. (We were informed when we adopted him, though, that he is a “status symbol” – so take that AKC-registered dog owners). And, third, he’s part pitbull. And we all know what a bad rap pitbulls have. So even though I know he’s playing (his tail was wagging!), I’m not sure everyone else did, and I can only imagine that their thoughts were, “oh look! another rowdy pitbull.” And Barley and I are very sensitive about sentiments like that. Poor doggy.

After that excitement, the rest of the class went smoothly, and his teacher even used him as an example. But I’m really starting to feel like between the vomit, urine, and barking, that it might be time for an obedience school support group. Either that or a stiff drink.

May 6, 2008 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment

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