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My goal was not to become famous. But it's kind of fun.

Jill's aunt Luann threw her 50th birthday party at Gasthof's on Thursday. The tent was in full swing for Maifest and Luann rented the whole thing out, security, bartenders, snuff, shots, Mario, the whole ball of wax. Jill and her cousins handed out tokens while I shot 330 pictures. Bill Koncar and his band put on a great show as always. Not only did we get to help Luann celebrate with her family and friends, but we got to know the staff. Jill was quick to tell them about Saturday's birthday bash and they all promised to help us celebrate, even Bill Koncar.

In between Gasthof's outings, I met Susie and Emily out for a couple drinks at the Bird. Craig and Kevin enrolled us in Silver Strike Bowling. I'm awful! Kevin and Craig were going to be at the Race for the Cure on Sunday too, so we joked about finding each other in the sea of tens of thousands.

Saturday arrived and the morning light woke me hours too soon. Even still Jill and I got ready to rock out with Baja Sol. We headed out to Maifest at 5:30. Security escorted us promptly to the bar where the bartender had 5 Jägermeister shots waiting. He then led me to the beer-man and instructed him to "take care of [me] all night". He proceeded to fill my huge "Norm" beer mug to the top and refused my money. Mario then gave me a bag of tokens and ordered me and my friends to have a fun night. Shortly after finding a table, the other bartender arrived with apple shots for everyone. I told Sandra I'd probably end up face down on the ground by the end of the night! She promised to hold my hair. I love her.

I chatted with the Hammer-Schlagen couple as they were setting up the game. I've always wanted to know what the scoop is and the usual crowd was missing so I took the opportunity to get educated. I failed my first lesson miserably. After at least 12 tries without even grazing the nail, I flipped the hammer around and pounded the nail in with the flat side.

Jill's sister Pam arrived with CJ and Katie. Landon soonafter. Andy brought a friend and I lost track of time between the Jäger and the polka! I think I went outside to use the bathroom or take a phone call and in fact, may have, but inevitably, I was drawn to the Hammer-Schlagen. It's a force not to be reckoned with. The gal running the show saw me and stopped the game already in progress. She said, "Wait, wait! It's her birthday, you gotta let her in!" The guys looked less than enthused but obliged. When the hammer came to me I lined it up carefully next to the fresh nail placed just for me, pursed my lips, closed my eyes and took my best shot. And like magic, the pointed end of that awkward hammer drove that nail flush with the trunk! Everyone was in disbelief. I turned excitedly, ready to showcase my trophy to my friends but was greeted with a familiar face. At first we weren't sure why, but it didn't take long to realize we played volleyball at Fletchers on opposing teams. Meet Josh and his bachelor party. He's marrying Becky in 2 days did marry Becky on 5/14. We talked, I met some of his friends and it turns out they need a female volleyball player. I jumped at the chance to play at Fletchers again, it's so great when it's sunny. Russ promised to call and he did. I just hope I can live up to their expectations (I was drunk. OK, very drunk. I wanted to play so badly. They asked if I was any good. I'm sure I told them I was). Hopefully they won't hold me to it. Or maybe I should start practicing.

Finally, I reconnect with Jill. By now, everyone but Landon has gone home. We went inside for maybe 5 minutes before deciding to hit the road. After all, I had to get up at 5:45 to catch the train to the Mall of America. I was asleep before midnight.

Sunday morning's Race for the Cure was rough! Somehow, I maneuvered my way out of bed, into my running gear and ran to the station to barely catch the 6:10 train. I sleepwalked through the mall, got some breakfast, picked up my shirt and stopped by the main entrance trying to shake the cobwebs. Who is standing right in front of me? Kevin. Unbelievable! We chatted for awhile and headed out to the start line. The 5K itself went surprisingly well considering - I finished in 26:06. Running hard in humidity after drinking heavily and not drinking enough water is bad. Not only did I think I was going to pass out while waiting for the gun start, but I pulled my IT band - the muscle that runs down the outside of your thigh. It turns into a tendon which attaches to your knee. The pain in my knee was so awful I thought I had seriously injured the joint. I'm thankful it's only a pulled muscle as it will heal with proper rest. As I was limping back to the train station, I hear "Cari, why are you gimping around?!" It was Craig. How can this be? I'd overheard someone say that some 40,000 people were there and I randomly run into both people I'd just met 2 days prior?? I limped myself home just in time to take a shower before my Mom got to my place. We went to Vic's and had a great brunch. Then we watched the entire 1st season of Sex and the City. It was a great Mother's Day!

I've been writing the above for 2 weeks now. To prevent this post from taking over the entire website, I will attempt to keep the rest brief.

Mom, Jill and I went to the Sunshine Factory for my birthday dinner Tuesday. Mom spoiled me as always. I have a full length mirror now - no more standing on a stool to assess the outfit situation! Also a Yoga mat, new running clothes, lithium batteries and a polarized filter for my camera.

I drove down to Fletchers after work Wednesday for a team practice which consisted of Russ, his friend Gina and I. I don't know if I was just nervous or feeling the pressure to perform, but I couldn't set to save my life. Gina left us for dinner plans after 15-20 minutes. The good news? I didn't have the chance to make too much of a fool out of myself. Bad news? I'd driven an hour to get there. Russ sympathized and we went inside to have a couple of beers. Which turned into 4 hours. The only thing I know for sure is that they're going to have me drinking nothing but Budweiser products by the end of the season.

My Dad, Nancy and I had my birthday dinner at Chino Latino Thursday. I had sushi. I was in heaven! Nancy gave me a great necklace and my Dad a gift certificate to National Camera Exchange, my new favorite store.

I met Mandy though Jill. Met Mandy's brother a couple of summers ago at Mandy's parents' annual volleyball tournament weekend. Ran into Brad at the 22 of all places last October. Brad calls Thursday at about 8 from Legends in Northeast. On the rare occasion that he was in the area, I went to meet him for a beer. It was a work function. The conversation was interesting, especially considering everyone started drinking at 3pm. Started talking to Bill about his relationship, life, etc. when he interjected, "You know, you really look familiar. I'm from Wayzata, do you go out there often?" To which I explained that I used to go to Fletchers a couple of years ago but haven't been there much since. He queried, "Do you know Russ [insert last name]?" I was dumbstruck. Perfect randomness. Out with the brother of a friend's friend and I would meet someone who knows the person I'd just met a week ago/saw the day before and had plans with the day after and they would spontaneously bring up his name as someone I may know. Turns out he's a friend of the family. He tried to give me stories, but I had to stop him. I wanted to find out for myself and definitely am not that girl!

Russ and I saw the Twins take on the Rangers Friday night. It was a great game, lots of scoring and the Twins were up 6-2 until they let Texas tie in the 7th. We left in extra innings when MN gave up 2 runs. Finished the night off at Nochee. I didn't even know this place existed and it's very close to home. And it's nice. Russ knows the bartender. I think he knows everyone. Perhaps he's even more famous than I! When we walked up to the bar, I told Russ I knew the guy sitting there but I couldn't place from where. After a couple of beers I realized I'd met him while I was living in Dallas. He was hosting a friend of mine so when we all went out, we started from his place. He reminded me that we went tubing down the Apple River the next day. It's always interesting how paths cross.

I spent Saturday with my Mom, did laundry and had Sawatdee's for lunch. They actually make their Pad Thai hot! Went bowling with Trevor who happens to be a very good bowler. I did get him 1 game though - I actually pulled out a 210 vs. his 204. I was picking up ridiculous splits. Anything to avoid the 3 splits missed = you doing the splits rule!

What a great weekend. I want to wash, rinse and repeat that one over and over again.

Monday = happy hour = shots = drunk phone calls = memory loss = oops. Just thank God for a sense-of-humor.

Part of the work team went to the Original Sports Bar at the MOA for dinner and basketball on Tuesday night. We've got such a great team - I just hope we get to go to California next time. I'll bet they wouldn't mind - I don't think MN is their favorite place to travel to!

Wednesday was our first game. We decided to get off of work early and hang out for awhile. This allowed me to avoid rush hour traffic and time to unwind before the big game which was rained out but not before we were out on the court soaking wet! We stuck around the bar to dry off a bit. It was fun to meet the team. They're a great bunch of people. I feel pretty lucky to have met them.

I actually got to see Jill Hyser on Thursday! She thought I was never going to be home ever again, even thought about sending out a search party. We watched Sex and the City and caught up. We definitely don't get enough girl time.

OK, that's all for now. So much for being concise! Have a great week! I just hope it's warm and sunny - at least on Tuesday and Wednesday! And I'm going to try to even stay home a few nights this week. As if.


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