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Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Citti Girls!

Well, it's official! Jill & I will be downtown ladies in October!

We're going to lease from Stone Arch Aparments - a new development on Riverplace in downtown Minneapolis.

We fell in love with the place as soon as we stepped foot inside. They're gorgeous. 10 foot ceilings, 7 foot windows, hardwood floors, oak cabinets, stainless steel appliances and they're brand spanking new. The patio was the real selling point though. It's about 100 sq feet! Plus you can grill out there! I can even have a garden next summer.

We'll be right across from the Stone Arch bridge (under which was voted the best kissing spot in Minneapolis) and the Stone Arch trails. They're also building a park right across the street that should be done next spring I think.

Someday, I'll buy a house. For now, I'm going to have the time of my life being a downtown girl again. Just in time for football season and Pizza Luce delivery - life doesn't get much better than that!!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Fantasy Football

I had 8th pick of 12. By the time I was up, all of the top-notch running backs were gone. I had Marvin Harrison queued up but the guy before me grabbed him. Terrell Owens was next on my list but I went with Moss to stay true to the purple. More running backs went and TO was still available 2nd round so I drafted him. I picked up Peyton Manning in the 4th round. That's ridiculous! I didn't really need a QB since one of my keepers is Chad Pennington in round 12, but Manning is an absolute steal in round 4. Overall I feel good about my team. My running back squad isn't going to carry any weight although Amos Zeroue could produce some big numbers. At least I have some good trade options if they really tank.

14 days until kick-off!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Sports Slacker

For leaving the Saints game early because the Jägermeister put me in a 'downtown' mood.

Also for not being prepared for my fantasy football draft. I should be on top of this stuff - after all, you do have to pay to play!

Local News Worthy

After the Friday night softball game was won, Mom and I headed to Hudson. We stopped for dinner at the IHOP - their Country Griddle Pancakes have got to be illegal. I'm not allowed to run races anymore. I'm a total bottomless pit the day before. It's ridiculous! I got up at 6am, had a bowl of cereal and we headed to the races. It was hot. The worst kind - not only was there no breeze but it was incredibly humid. I didn't drink enough water - in fact I didn't have any water the night before or in the morning - I won't make that mistake again! After the first mile I didn't think I was going to make it! I actually considered walking after 2 miles. Even with the heat and the hills, I ended up improving by about a minute - 24:37! I made top 20 overall and was the 11th female. I was 5th in my age group. The best part of the whole thing was breakfast? the race director recommended San Pedros. It was unbelievable! Cool building, excellent food, awesome service. The whole 9 yards. I'd even make the trip just to eat there again!

Jill, Mandy, Scot, Ryan and I met up at Gabe's at 3:30. We headed up to the Saints game at 6 - in plenty of time for us to get our Randy Moss hood ornaments. Instead of everyone carrying their prize, I asked for a bag at the souvenir stand. They handed over a bright red bag that said BIOHAZARD all over it. That's strangely appropriate. We had fun heckling the players and beer always tastes great in the ball park! Channel 5 news interviewed me about the hood ornaments. For about 5 minutes I'm not kidding. I'm not even sure what all I said other than making some digs on Moss. When I came into work on Monday, one of the guys remodeling our building stopped me and asked me if the Saints won on Saturday? yeah I think it's bad when complete strangers recognize you. Worse yet, one of our VP's came by and quipped, "Should I be asking you for your autograph?" He left saying that it looked like I was having a good time. Tell me, does that mean I sounded drunk??? I should have been more prepared to take some heat for this as Ryan & I left the game early and headed downtown. We were hanging out at Brother's with his friends and saw me, in living color, on the big screen. Now I wish it would have had sound so at least I'd know what ridiculous things they used! We eventually made our way to Rosen's and heated up the dance floor the rest of the night. After such a workout we replenished ourselves with Pizza Luce. Ryan's a lot of fun. We have a lot in common such as volleyball (how we met), running and fantasy football. He makes me laugh and well, he's hot.

Sunday was Hoosier Daddy's first game. We played on turf!! We lost by 5 but we played well considering we didn't get a chance to practice! I went up to BeBops after the game - we lost our games but we had a good time playing for fun afterwards. It's amazing how much the play improves when there's no pressure and everyone's relaxed and having fun.

Yesterday was my student orientation at St. Scholastica. I got a laptop and my schedule - I'll be taking C++ and Psychology in 2 weeks! I'm excited to get back to it, but not so thrilled about the time sacrifice. I'm worried about finding time to study in between 2 softball leagues, 2 bowling, volleyball, basket class and 2 nights of school. Hmm, more activities than there are days in a week. This ought to be interesting.

Tonight is my fantasy football draft. I still haven't gotten together my player rankings but I have a good idea of what's going on so I think I'll be OK. I can't do much worse than last year so there isn't too much pressure! Wish me luck...

Hope you're all having a good week! I'm busy as usual as you might have guessed by yet another super long post - this one only took me 2 days to write though so I'm improving :) Somebody sleep for me!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Tire Tester

Not only for not buying an air filter as I'd publicly promised, but for driving on going-flat tire long enough to force rubber off of it completely. Am lucky said tire stayed on long enough to protect rim from damage.

Also for gaining possession of scotch in less than ideal fashion.

And for eating ice cream 3 times this week.

Week In Review

Friday, August 8th

Warm Reception

Danielle and Ben's wedding celebration was wonderful. Their ballroom at Rush Creek had a gorgeous view of the golf course over which the sun set in brilliant shades of pinks and purples. We enjoyed champagne and hors d'oeuvres while they played a photo slide-show set to music and a video of the exchange of their vows in Las Vegas on February 8th of this year. The omnipresent strength of the adoration between those two warms your heart and brings tears to your eyes. I wish them a lifetime of happiness as their love grows stronger every day.

Brian (Tuesday night volleyball league) and I went to the Sunshine Factory before the reception with light appetizers on the mind. We ordered a beer, chicken strips and nachos talked about the younger years. 40 minutes pass. The 4 tables that were seated 20 minutes after us already had their meals. Finally our waitress comes back around and I asked if she knew where our appetizers were. She checked with the kitchen and then informed us that they made the wrong type of nachos so they were now rushing the order. We had to get going or else risk being late to the reception so we cancelled the order. When she came back a minute later with the bill, I said, "We have a tab?" To this she coarsely said, thank you and walked away. No apology, no manager, no tip. We shouldn't have even paid the bill. I mailed them a strongly worded letter on Monday.

Saturday, August 9th

More Wedding Bliss

Wendy and her bridesmaids met at David's Bridal at Har Mar at noon. We all fell in love with the dress she picked out! It flattered all of us and even the yellow worked with my gold undertones! Wendy tried on her wedding gown for us - it's breathtaking on her. Seriously - it's just HER! It's gorgeous! It helps that SHE'S gorgeous, but well, the combination is fabulous. Emily & I split a calzone at Old Chicago afterwards. They brought it out on 2 plates and instead of being one large calzone cut in half, it's like we each got our own small one! Quite tasty.

Afterwards, I headed out to Danielle's for her after-wedding-barbecue. Her Mom really out did herself! There was fruit, salsa, salads, burgers, cheddarwursts, every beer imaginable - delightfully sinful! We played volleyball and adored the little ones ranging from 3 weeks to 6 years. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect afternoon!

Baysides Blunders?

Jill and I went to Sunsets for dinner. Was fantastic. We went back to her place for a few cocktails and then out to Baysides. The same people go there seemingly every day and sit in the same places. By this I mean that the Betsy guys were there as well as the really cute guy we've seen there 3 times now. We've only been there 3 times. It's too bad he's obnoxious because he is really easy on the eyes. In true Baysides form, there were a few notable happenings:

  • It's important to note that I've run into Ryan several times at these bars even though I'd really rather not and that he's wearing a visor 99% of the time. Jill was teasing me about my visor-loving-traits since about 33% of the guys were sporting them. Of course after she pointed this out to me, every single guy in the bar looked exactly like Ryan. Talk about paranoia. Sheesh.
  • Miller light was having a contest wherein you pulled a label from a very tired-of-this-gig girl in a bikini. I pulled one and won? a visor. Not a t-shirt. Not a hat. Not a beer. A visor. Jill didn't win anything but nobody's a loser as she got a good hearty laugh out of the sight of me and my miller light visor.
  • We're approached by a 5'6-something red-head. He opens conversation by asking, "So, how much do you girls need to make tonight?" I said, "What?!" He explains that they're on this boat and are looking for some girls-gone-wild type stuff and how they can pay our car payment and our house payment. We're laughing at him while letting him go on with his spiel, but finally I interrupted him saying we didn't need any money, thanks anyway. He says, so you already have a pool? I said, yeah, at which house!? I'm laughing pretty hard now and he's getting angry. I look at the guys behind us and say, do you hear this guy?!? They say, yeah, he's with us! More hysterics follow and now the red-head is really getting mad. Jill pulls me away as I'm seriously paralyzed with laughter. The sad thing is that this probably has worked in the past and likely will again. Unreal.
  • Enter Guy. Not just any guy, a guy named Guy. He's cute in that dude-from-Scream kind of way. The typical frat-boy. We end up hanging out with his group. They're a lot of fun at first. They notice that Jill resembles Sarah Jessica Parker right away. Everything is great until that guy, Guy, tells Jill that she hides behind that Sarah Jessica thing and that she likes it. She doesn't. I got mad they were dissing my girl and we left. We returned to her house, ate our Sunsets left-overs and I went home.

    Sunday, August 10th

    Breakfast with Becky

    After about an hour of sleep, I met Becky at IHOP for breakfast. She's due next month. She's the most adorable pregnant gal on the planet! I really miss her. I wish she didn't live 5 hours away! They moved into their new place now and are really excited about it. It's a 2 level with a loft and plenty of room for baby and them. Thank God for old friends. I just love her.

    Bowling Badly

    The On-track Pro Shop Invitational (bowling tournament) started at 10am in Eden Prairie. You bowl 2 games at 5 venues and take the total of the best 4 of 5 + handicap for a chance at $2,000. I arrived full of IHOP pancakes and just a tad hung-over. I should add that I had my ball re-drilled on Friday as my thumb shrunk. 2nd game - 8th frame: I bowl, the ball fails to come off my hand. I fall. I somehow managed to save my left knee from being pummeled by 14 lb. ball. Some people are finished bowling and I've drawn quite the crowd. My ball was stuck so badly I had to put it in the ball return and literally rip my fingers out of it. When they say "be one with the ball," I don't think that's what they meant. I wasn't able to recover from that. Both games were under my average, but I still had a chance if I did well at New Hope at 2. I can blame to guy who was hitting on me relentlessly the entire time. I answered his advances with, "It's Sunday morning!" Anyway? I didn't do any better at New Hope.

    I was so full from IHOP and so tired from my all-nighter that I couldn't even finish my first plate at the Great Mandarin! As we were leaving, the waiter said to me, "You don't eat much do you?" I explained I didn't feel well and usually can finish 2 plates and expressed my true and utter sadness that I wasn't even able to go back up for that fried sugar roll that I love so dearly. Oh the travesty!

    Volley Follies

    I went to Be-bops at 6 to play volleyball with the Buffalo Wild Wings team. Imagine my surprise when I opened my trunk to retrieve my volleyball and found a mysterious bottle of scotch. Apparently, I ended up with that guy, Guy's bottle of scotch. Nice that I've gone the route of thievery and that I didn't recall so much until I saw the bottle. <kicking self in head> We lost all 3 unfortunately, but it was fun anyway. I'm finding it's pretty impossible not to have fun playing volleyball. Jill and Jill S. came up to see us play since we usually stay after and play for a few hours. Wouldn't you know it's the first night since June that nobody wanted to stay to play! Jill, Jill, Ryan and I had fun anyway sharing stories. Well, I didn't actually manage to get any telling stories out of him, but he's coming to the Saints game on Saturday so I'll have my chance then! The scotch tale made it out on the table and we decided it has become my first trophy and from now on will have to buy a hutch to store them in so that later I can reflect on all of the boys who managed to piss me off. So if you make me mad, you might want to lock up the whiskey.

    Monday, August 11th

    Running Route

    Accomplishment: Longest run I've ever completed straight through. I took the Cedar Lake Trail from its starting point (Northwest Athletic Club on Highway 100 and 394) all the way to the Target Center and back. According to my map it was about 4 miles to the city so I was thinking 8 miles would take me about an hour and 10 minutes. It had to be more like 10 miles because it took me almost 90 minutes and I'm positive I was running at the very least a 9 minute-mile pace. Anyway, I love the trail but it's definitely a day-run. The sun started to set and I started to get nervous.

    Tuesday, August 12th

    Bad Tire

    I've been having to put air in my rear-passenger tire for about a month. Not to be outdone, my front tires went bald. But the prospect of 4 new tires is out of my financial bounds at the moment. You can probably guess what's coming? Jill and I had a 4:45 appointment at One Ten Grant to view an apartment. I was planning on getting to her work at 4:15. I'm cruising along 35W when I start to smell something. Remembering my tire, I turned my radio off and assessed the smoothness of the ride. All seemed well even swerving slightly to test the water. There was a semi next to me so I decided it must be him. I resumed singing along to my radio. About 1/2 mile later there's this white van right on my tail and he flashes his brights on me. I stand corrected, the smell must be my tire. I immediately pull off on the next exit and off to the side. I pull my e-brake, look up and there goes the meat of my tire bouncing and rolling its merry way up the off ramp. I called Jill and let her know I'd be late and asked her to call the apartment and let them know. I went into NASCAR mode and unpacked the 50 zillion pieces of sports equipment from my trunk and prepared the spare. I got the tire changed in a record 16 minutes! I got to Jill's work at 4:30 and arrived at One Ten Grant not a second late. The apartment was very nice - small rooms and closets but a breathtaking view of Loring Park. Also a 100 square foot balcony from which you can grill. The pool area is fantastic as well because they install a dome over it during the winter for year-long enjoyment. Afterwards we had Thai food at The King and I which is right downstairs. We plotted all the times we'd end up getting take-out and how dangerous that would be! She stayed for volleyball and then to Rosen's for some we-won-all-three cocktails. We stopped at the Hopkins Dairy Queen on the way to the park-n-ride. Mud Pie Blizzards are quite possibly the perfect food!

    I got 4 new tires yesterday. I'm also $672 poorer. That hurts! It likely means I won't be able to go to Vegas for Debby's wedding in September. #&$*@! The only good news is that I thought I had engine issues - hesitation, etc. Turns out it was just the bald tires. Why don't they make rogaine for wheels??

    Th-th-that's All Folks!

    So that's really the excitement for the past week although you might agree that it's really plenty. I hope things slow down soon but I doubt it since softball's just starting and school starts in less than 3 weeks. Tomorrow's my first softball game in Apple Valley and Saturday morning is the Gopher vs. Badger 5K - wish me luck! Mom is staying in Hudson with me and we're having lunch after the race. I can't wait! For the lunch, not the race :) Saturday night Mandy, Scot, Jill, Ryan and I plus possibly JJ are going to the Saints game - will be mad fun. Sunday is Hoosier Daddy's first game! We haven't practiced so it might be interesting but fun none-the-less.

    Hope you have a great weekend! Thanks for those of you who've been checking the site lately and sorry for my lack of updating. I'll try to do better for several reasons: A) I don't want you to get bored of seeing the same post and decide never to come back; B) It's really hard to remember what happened yesterday much less 6 days ago; and C) According to Microsoft Word I've just typed the 2,199th word. That's ridiculous.

  • Power Outage

    I'm working on the last week's updates...

    But in the meantime check this out. There has been a major simultaneous power outage in several major cities. Confirmed: New York, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, and Ottawa.

    Friday, August 08, 2003

    What Happened to Wednesday and Thursday??

    Holy crap I've been busy. And I'm always busy so it's more like manic.

    I let Sam know over the weekend that it was her choice for lunch on Tuesday. Heather tried to call me to warn me about Sam's decision, but I hadn't heard my phone ring en route to the house... When I got there, she explained that Jeremy & Mitchell suggested Red Lobster. Sam thought that sounded good, but wasn't sure if that was in our price range. So she came up with Old Country Buffet. I don't have anything against buffets - in fact I'm excited to be in a bowling tournament on Sunday in Eden Prairie not because of the chance at the $2,000, but because that means lunch at the Great Mandarin buffet afterwards. The problem with OCB, is that well, it's not chinese food. It's also not seafood. And so in the end, I (we) decided it was worth the extra cash for crab legs. We were not disappointed!

    I think I may have to have a shellfish lunch every Tuesday as the volleyball courts treated me quite well. Afterwards, we had wings and beer at Rosen's as promised. There were 4 of us drinking and we managed to drain 5 pitchers. Also, it was my fault as for some reason beer was going down like water. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the ball playing or Scott's joke telling talents. Nor our Magic Stick duet. Seriously that guy is a riot. Ben administered his famous, possibly recently retired, sobriety test. It consists of a swift smack to the forehead to gauge the person's reaction time and coordination. I passed the test, but due to the minor whiplash I'd acquired while diving for a ball, it hurt my neck bad enough to cause tears to well up. I got ice and felt better about 20 minutes later. Looking back on it, it's a good thing he did said test as surely it had sobered me up and after consuming a pitcher of beer myself, I probably needed the jolt. Managed to get to work shortly after 9 which is good considering the pitcher of beer and late late night watching Monty Python.

    I went to the Team in Training meeting on Thursday. It's kind of a cool program and would be a great help in training for a marathon, but you have to raise $4700 in order to go to Hawaii for the race. The thing is, if you don't raise that much, you lose out on the whole deal and they get to keep the money. It's for a great cause, but I have too much on my plate as it is without having to fundraise like a mad woman and train for the 26.2 miles in December. Also, I'm not sure if I'm really wanting to be that "good" during the holidays. The most intense training would be happening over Thanksgiving. Plus, I think I'd rather train on my own which would really make the accomplishment mine. I can always do Hawaii next year.

    After the meeting I went to Jill's and had her Mom's spaghetti and margaritas. It was so good! I even got leftovers!!! We made a pre-trip bitch fight... note to self: next time do the mixing after adding the ice - holy crap they were strong. We went to Baysides and enjoyed the perfect weather by the water.

    Notable exchanges:

  • Guy who insisted I was Betsy - who was the reason his friend and his wife wouldn't come out that night. Seemed he was implying something happened between this "Betsy" and his "friend". I'm using quotes because I'm pretty sure neither existed. The guy's friend was looking at him disapprovingly. He introduces himself and I shook his hand saying, "I'm Betsy." The joke was wasted on him as he actually became defensive and put out. It's amazing this guy's single! I'll bet there are Betsy's everywhere in search of a guy with awful pick up lines and no sense of humor.
  • We escape the Betsy guys and find a table. Guy asks if he can sit with us for 1 beer of which he has a full one. There are 6 chairs, 2 of us, we say sure. He explains he is a former carpenter, current set designer of some sort. He's quite consumed with himself, even more than he is with Jill. He still hasn't taken even a sip of his beer. I start to devise a plan to knock over said beer to rescue friend in need.
  • He no later leaves when another guy introduces himself and starts up a conversation. That is if you can call it that. It seemed we spoke another language. He left after a few minutes.
  • Jill and I were consumed in conversation when this 30-something gal sits down and explains that she has a cute friend who would really like to talk to us, would it be OK for him to sit down. It was guy #3. So he sits down and asks us what we're doing there. We explain we came for a cocktail. He counters saying that everybody comes for some reason and inquires again. I explained in no uncertain terms that not everyone is looking for something or has ulterior motives. He tries to say that's not what he meant but he manages to ask the question again. And again. He was such a bonehead he even made Jill want to go and that's pretty rare.

    We escaped, laughed all the way home and expressed our excitement to get our place downtown. We're looking at the first one on Tuesday!

    Tonight is Danielle and Ben's reception at Rush Creek. It's going to be a great time! Tomorrow I see Becky and Amy Rorvick (yay!) and then an afternoon of bridesmaids' dress shopping with Wendy and her girls. Jill & I will be hanging out by the lake again into the wee hours of the morning I'm sure. Sunday begins the bowling tournament - wish me luck! It starts at 10am in Eden Prairie so I talked my Mom into meeting me at the Great Mandarin for the best Chinese Buffet since LeeAnn Chin's Bonaventure. Then it's 2pm at New Hope! Wish me luck! I'm playing volleyball at Be-bops again on Sunday night. This time I will try not to stay out quite so late.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Tuesday, August 05, 2003

    Apathetic Auto Owner

    For driving on bald, flat tires. Also for general auto maintenance neglect.

    I will buy a new air filter for my car by this weekend
    I will buy a new air filter for my car by this weekend
    I will buy a new air filter for my car by this weekend

    Spark plugs and brakes would be great too. I'm SO looking forward to my 60K tune-up.

    Just Good Clean Fun

    I didn't quite make it to my 10 beer quota on Friday, but it was close. We played darts at Danielle & Ben's and headed to Famous Dave's for some live entertainment and BBQ. On the way back to their place I noticed there are several large signs that depict a person riding a bicycle with a bold red line through it. In gigantic letters it says, "Absolutely No Bike Riding on Sidewalk." We laughed. I figure they put those signs up after the infamous biking adventure :) We watched Super Troopers and I made it half-way through Office Space. I've tried watching that movie about 100 times. It's not that it's not as hilarious as it promises to be, it's just that I keep attempting it at 3am.

    I had to leave bright & early to pick up Jill and head out to Fergus Falls. It was fun to spend time with Brad & Becky. Adam and his girlfriend were there - it's a good thing he's a good sport because he makes himself an easy target :) The weather was kind of crappy - cloudy and breezy but the food was excellent! Also we stopped at Chipotle in St. Cloud our our return trip. Everything's better laced with their hot sauce! We had a blast singing along with the radio and just being girls. I played volleyball until all hours of the night on Sunday and met Steph & Martos for Steph's birthday dinner yesterday. Jayden is getting so big! He's got the most beautiful eyes and he's such a good baby. They got a minivan - it's a Honda - it's beautiful too. Yep, they're a full-on family now!

    Today, I'm taking Samantha out for lunch for her birthday and tonight is volleyball downtown! I'm looking forward to celebrating our W's at Rosen's with beer and chicken wings. Seriously, they beat out Champps wings.

    On the work front, I resolved the server issues and have managed to avoid public humiliation for rebooting the customer servers on Friday.

    Life is good.

    Friday, August 01, 2003


    I've been so incredibly busy today. Multi-tasking has gotten the best of me.

    I was finishing a memo while dialing in to check my voicemails. When the voicemail picked up, I said, "Hello?"

    I have been charged with applying hotfixes to our Windows servers to resolve a security vulnerability announced a couple of weeks ago. I carefully applied said patch to our Terminal Server expecting it to ask me if I wanted to reboot after installation. I was going to say "no" since it's scheduled to reboot tomorrow morning. After installing the patch, a message box popped up that said, "Installation Successful. Click OK to restart the system." There were no other options. I tried clicking the "X" on the pop-up but the darn thing rebooted. Repercussions were minimal, however, as you can imagine this wasn't my idea of a good time.

    At about 8:45 I was asked if I could configure one of our customer's server groups to gracefully shut-down in case of power failure. They're cutting power to an adjacent building and there's speculation that it might inadvertently affect us. I'm in charge of the scripting/programs in which to do this so I said no problem. I was thinking there might be 4-5 servers. There are 24. The most important are the UNIX servers as the NT boxes generally come back up without a problem. Cold crashed UNIX boxes are more likely to come up with hardware/config issues. So I started at it. It took me about 90 minutes to work through the scripting and then it was time to test. I was to invoke the powerdown script, verify it was working and then invoke the powerreturn script which would cancel the shutdown process. The powerdown script worked beautifully. Unfortunately, the powerreturn script calls for PKILL to cancel the shutdown. PKILL is a feature of Solaris 7 - they're on Solaris 2.6. Yeah, I rebooted the production server without warning.

    I've managed to reboot 2 production servers by mistake today.

    I'm going to require 5X that number of beers tonight.

    Good thing I'm going out with Danielle, Ben and Brian! Calhoun may never be the same.

    Have an excellent weekend. Mine will be fantastic if not just because it will be a thousand times better than today! Tomorrow AM Jill and I are heading up to Brad & Becky's cabin for some jet-skiing/skiing/pontooning/floating/sunning action. We're becoming cabin junkies!

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