Monday, December 31, 2007

The New Year

I always get to New Year's Eve with such a feeling of anticipation, of expectation and wonder for the new year to come. A whole new year. There is something relaxing and invigorating about that, particularly for me, a person who frequently operates in very specific segments of time. I try not to read too much into it all, not letting the way I spend my New Year's Eve color my outlook in the upcoming year, but for once not being able to do that has turned out to be a good thing. At least I think it will turn out that way.
I went to the Minnesota Wild hockey game tonight with my good friend Matthew. We did this last year as well, although the difference this year was that he had to leave and drive back to Iowa to catch a plane in the morning. It was a very fun day, replete with ice skating this morning, but the fact that his visit ended before midnight seems telling to me. I hope to leave "him" in 2007, and look forward rather than backwards in 2008. It's probably something that should have happened earlier, something that didn't need a new year to usher in, but sometimes things just take longer than I expect (or want) them to take. And realizing that too is as much of a new beginning as anything.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Elizabeth, the Inspector

Well, I was thinking of things I wanted to write about, for which I have photos on my work computer (which is where I am composing this post), so that folks don't have to be bored stiff with the lack o pictures from Lizzie.
So here's one that, I'm told, is particularly amusing.
This is usually what I look like at work, tromping out to some construction sites to make sure that they are keeping sediment from washing into the streams and storm sewers. Sometimes, it is sucky, like when it's cold and cloudy. But lots of times it's really cool, like when it's nice and sunny, and contractors are doing what they are supposed to be doing. :) I'm probably not going to do this for the rest of my life, but for the near future I am. I like it. I like the experience I am getting from it, and all of the different things I'm learning being part of such a small organization where everyone has to pitch in all the time. I feel like I am getting good "street cred" too.
Can you tell I like yellow?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

cameras, computers, Christmas

Well, I finally got my camera fixed (for free!) and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a computer that's pretty much crapped out on me. So I'll work on getting some new pictures up, although there are all these other ones stuck on my computer that I wanted to use in posts. Oh well, guess there will be another small delay. :)
I'm spending a wonderful sunny, but chilly, Saturday cleaning my apartment, preparing for my 2nd Annual Apartment Building Christmas Party! It's tomorrow evening. So festive!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Fitting Tribute

In the beginning of November, I was so happy to be able to travel to New York state to celebrate my Grandpa with family and friends.
The trip didn't start out so well though. The last thing I had to do before leaving for the airport was meet with a permit holder to discuss his project. He was none too happy about things and he parted on fairly heated terms. I really hate that, when people are grumpy with me. And I also fester. So it was frustrating to start off that way.
But by the time I got on the plane, I had calmed down and I was (miraculously) able to put work out of my mind almost entirely that weekend. I was quite happy with that, because I had been pushing pretty hard and didn't realize I needed the break. I spent the weekend just being with family, helping out as needed, but not really having a schedule or plan myself. I liked that feeling, being able to jump in wherever I was needed at a moment's notice. It was also nice to just wander around the house, being reminded of my grandparents in the most mundane objects, like the paper cups in the bathroom and refrigerator magnets. It was very calming and comforting.
We held a memorial service for Grandpa on Saturday and a lunch reception following. I was struck by what an appropriate gathering it was, the whole day actually. Much of the remembrance revolved around the extended family gatherings, bridge club, church groups, golf outings, etc. that both of my grandparents liked and did frequently. I could just picture Grandpa making his rounds to see everyone and making jokes with the catering staff. It was quite a fitting event and tribute, if you ask me. And I was soooooo glad that I got to go. Not that I wouldn't have gone, but it just worked out, and that was certainly very nice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I know, I know

Yeah, I know, ain't seen much of me lately. I'll have to fill you in sometime soon! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

successfully donated

I successfully donated blood this morning!! This is a big thing for me, considering the times I've been turned away for low iron and most recently stopping in the middle of the donation. (Seriously, the blood just stopped coming out!) I really feel productive and helpful when I give blood, and I feel very strongly that I (and everyone) should donate. That's why it is so frustrating when it doesn't work out that way. I have to stock up on iron-rich foods and lift weights and drink lots of water before donating. I call it my "training" to donate. And it worked this time, so YAY for me!!

Interestingly enough, the last time before today that I was able to successfully donate was October 20, 2006. October 20th must be my day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Grandpa Muller

He was 94 years and 1 month old when he passed away yesterday late afternoon. In my last conversation with him this past Saturday he told me to make sure that I wipe my feet before I get into my car. He's always been taking care of me through my car, and he still does.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


A pirate walked into a bar with a steering wheel sticking out of the front of his pants.
The barkeeper said "Sir, do you realize that you have a steering wheel sticking out of the front of your pants?"
The pirate said "Arrr, it's drivin' me nuts!"

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day everyone! :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

shopping list: rubber gloves

I got a bunch of chili peppers at the farmers market today, to make a big thing of salsa. I decided to cut up everything this evening to make it tomorrow. I didn't use any gloves. I am seriously paying for it now, and wondering how the heck I will be able to fall asleep with these burning hands... I will be buying rubber gloves post haste.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

a thought

I was just thinking, I kind of like being in an industry that is predominantly male. Lots of male attention, and although it's not THAT kind of attention, it is still nice to be interacting. I sometimes think I do better in those situations, where the majority of members are men. It's a good competition factor for me, enough but not too much to be personally destructive.
But then again, I most definitely DO NOT do well in fantasy football draft situations where I am the ONLY female having an unclear concept of my job as draft coordinator where ALL the other people are men, men who have a clear understanding of the whole fantasy football thing. That was an interesting scene for sure. I was the auctioneer at a co-worker's fantasy football draft on Thursday night. It was not horrible I guess, but it was definitely weird. At least I made $50 so I have cash to spend at the Minnesota state fair today. Yessss! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

plan confirmation

I'd just like to expound a bit on the concept of plans. When one makes plans, whether they be personal activities or professional meetings, it is incumbent upon those involved to be aware of these plans. That's the reason plans are made in the first place, no? This whole concept of confirmation is ok when both parties connect, but some people take it a little too far, particularly when they call to confirm within say a few hours of said appointment. I am particularly frustrated with one such occurrence which has me twiddling my thumbs for 20 minutes til a friend/date/who-knows-who arrives. I had left my phone in the car and he called 15 minutes before we were supposed to meet, saying "call me back." I thought there was some reason he was calling, like he couldn't make it, or he would be late or something, and being the one who left my phone in the car, was fully prepared for that. It turns out he was just waiting to hear that I was here, that I was still wanting to get together (for dinner mind you, and you know what I get like when I am hungry). Why did we make plans in the first place if you are just going to base it on whether it is confirmed immediately before?? What if one is out doing other things, structured around the plan of being somewhere to meet someone at a certain time?? It is my responsibility to let you know if I am going to be late or whatever, a responsibility that I fully accept, and hold dear as part of my anal retentive side for that matter. Let's not overlook the reality that I rushed through the end of my day, saving things til tomorrow that I could have done today, to be home in time for 5:30.
This has happened to people I know with job interviews and work meetings too, as if those people didn't have anything better to do than sit around waiting for the plans to be confirmed.
It just gets under my skin, and like I said before, doing that at a time when I am hungry? Not a good move.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

safe at home

Just in case folks are seeing the news about the bridge collapse in the Twin Cities, I am safe and sound at my apartment. The part of the bridge that fell is just after my exit, so I normally am not on that stretch, thankfully today. It's absolutely amazing to watch though. The whole bridge, both north and south bound lanes just dropped into the Mississippi...

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Aline is my freshman year college roommate. Matched together by the amazing powers of country music (we speculate), we ended up rooming together during the entire time we were at Bucknell. "Joined at the hip" doesn't even scratch the surface. :) This summer she is being all fancy and European, working in the French wine industry, which is of course, across a major ocean. We don't get to talk as much now as we did when she was still in the U.S. and although we still write and email, it's just not the same. We got to talk this past Friday on the phone though, and it was so nice. She is really a great friend (and a great talker as anyone who knows her can attest), but one of the coolest things about her is how she can give the perfect advice without even knowing she is doing it. She may be talking about one thing but later on I'll realize how appropriate and true it is for another situation, frequently one that has been on my mind a lot.
So, here's to Aline: tri-lingual MBA dork extraordinaire! :)

Oh yeah, and she LOVES ferris wheels, as you can tell from this picture. :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

car flirting

So I'm driving home from work, as I do every day, checking out my fellow drivers, as I do every day, and I came to realize a phenomenon I will henceforth refer to as car flirting. Now, I don't mean making eyes at the hottie beside you at a stop light or any overt forms of flirting. I am talking about the cars actually flirting, with a slight bit of involvement on the part of the driver. So I see a cute guy in my rear-view, his car passes me. My car catches up with him at the next slow spot, and we get off at the same exit. Then we get off at the same exit again. Obviously our cars have a thing going on...can I help it if I am loving the veil of secrecy my sunglasses and rear-view mirrors provide me? :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Interesting factoid and photo shortage

1. Did you know that the inside of a blueberry is white? Who knew? I mean, who bites into a blueberry to find that out?

2. My camera is on the blink so the photo part of this blog will be slightly diminished until I can figure that out.

Monday, July 02, 2007

surprise visits

I just watched a sappy romantic comedy and so I KNOW this post will be colored by the neat perfection of that all, but is it so wrong to enjoy that once in a while? It is making me think about the possibility of taking a trip somewhere and just showing up on someone's doorstep without calling first. That sounds fun, in a way. Of course, there are many possible disastrous eventualities that might come of it, but like I said, being colored by the perfection of the movies. And that is making me feel all cozy and smiley, which is always a good comforting feeling regardless.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I am not crazy!! Men just suck. Not all men, mind you, there are certainly very non-sucky men in this world, but there is something about making that blanket statement that releases the necessary energy.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I carried a watermelon.

(I just got home and had to write this before the details were slept away...more on the rest of the day is forthcoming, including some photos, to be sure.)
So as a great conclusion to one of the best birthdays ever, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go with my co-worker Maria and her friends to a club that has latin music every Saturday night. I was, of course, one of maybe 5 non-latino people in the place, so as the blond-haired, blue-eyed American that I am, I already stood out like a sore thumb. I was driving, so I wasn't able to have the drink that would have loosened me up the requisite amount. Combine those factors with not having ANY knowledge of latin dancing, other than "lots of hips," and you get me, faltering through a merengue, a rhumba, a salsa, and something else that was just lots of twirling. At the end of the night, I proudly proclaimed "I carried a watermelon" and accepted the fact that I don't know how to dance but I can laugh at myself just enough to not let myself spoil my good time. It is my birthday after all. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Random movie musings

So instead of going to sleep like a good little girl when I got home from volleyball last night, I made popcorn and watched "My Cousin Vinny." I got on this netflix trial and am getting movies out the wazoo! It was so worth the loss of sleep though. Having not ever seen this one before, I luuurved it! So funny and totally spoke to the mystery/suspence buff in me. I highly recommend it to the three people in the world left who haven't seen it.
But what I am completely amazed about is that Ralph Macchio (who is in My Cousin Vinny as well as the Karate Kid movies) is FORTY FIVE YEARS OLD! I am by no means saying that 45 is old, but my image of Ralph is teenager, you know?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Happy Place

This past weekend was my 5th college reunion, and although photos have yet to be downloaded and edited, I felt the need to write a preliminary post. I have blisters on my feet from going so many places, I am exhausted from staying up late, I have a suitcase that still needs to be unpacked, but I am so relaxed, confident, and entirely happy because of this trip. I was reminded that I do have friends, that I have the ability to have meaningful conversations with people I don't know all that well...yet, and that I am not the complete hopeless case of a person I was starting to think I was. This weekend was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. These people are some of the best things that have ever happened to me.

More details and photos once I get my act together for that. :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

This was kinda neat...

Happy Memorial Day!

I have enjoyed this long holiday weekend so much! It has been so nice to have that extra day to feel relaxed and do things on my own time. The bummer part was that today I was all pumped to go to a park that has some paved biking trails and get some use out of my newly refurbished bike. So I struggle to get the bike out of the basement and to the car, where I continue the struggle trying to get the bike in my car! I have done it before, I know it will fit in the back seat, but I just couldn't remember how. It was so frustrating. So I went and bought a bike rack. :) I did that after I went to the park anyway and did some hiking, but it still was a bit of a let down.
So that was the excitement of the day. How was yours?

Monday, May 14, 2007


Abby is a friend I met through a friend when I moved to Bloomington Indiana. The first time I met her, she had made a pizza that was too big and needed someone to help eat it. Well, not being one to turn down food (ever!), I happily tagged along and have been reveling in her food creations ever since (see below). Abby is one of my biggest food inspiration people. She is always trying new things and is a superb chef. (Plus she has really neato ice cream sundae glasses.) She is the foodie I aspire to be. :)

In recent months, it appears that Abby and I have gone through pretty similar transitions in our lives. We've both moved to new places for new adventures. This is not an easy thing to do, especially when things don't necessarily work out the way we think they should or are going to. We go through crap. We will inevitably go through more crap in the future. But if anyone can tackle it with enthusiasm and verve, it is my dear Abby.

I miss not living in the same place as Abby. It seemed like there was always a party wherever she went; a party with Upland, fun dips, Indian food, and karaoke. We need more of Abby in Minnesota. Lucky other state.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Yesterday marked 6 months that I have been employed as a real live working stiff. Amazing!

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Vicki is a friend from high school, whom I have barely seen since we 1998!! (There was one evening when I got back from Botswana in 2000, but that was ever so brief because I got kicked out of the bar for not being 21...I know...there's more of a story, but I won't get into that here. :) But recently we have come back in touch with each other and, although we are in very different life stages and parts of the country, it is so nice to reconnect with people.
One of the things I am most grateful for in reconnecting with Vicki is for her wisdom and caring. I've been struggling a bit lately with the fact that all my friends (well most of them) are getting married, or are in relationships headed for marriage and I am still trying to get a guy to give me a second glance. Vicki said something wonderfully reassuring that I definintely don't remember enough: that guy is out there, he is just still being prepared for me, as I am for him. It will happen in good time and there is no need (or use) in stressing about it now.
I don't have a picture for this post, because all of the ones I have are at least 9 years old and at my parents house, but still, Vicki, you're the best!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Lizzie's first Idli

Not the most fluffy, more on the dense side, but I don't think they looked horrible. Not bad for a first try, eh?

Friday, April 20, 2007


My parents rock. I know that as a child I am supposed to have a certain amount of feeling like they are old and don't get me. Well, at least they do get me. :) Just kidding guys!
My parents came to visit me in Minnesota two weeks ago. They stayed for almost an entire week, which made the visit even better! We got to do sooooo many cool things, things that I hadn't yet done in my short time living here. I have been feeling pretty lonely here, what with the cold and not knowing many people yet, so having them here sort of gave me that renewed energy and strength that they are so good at promoting in me.
Plus they are my parents so they pay for everything. :) And we sure did eat our way through the week! It was such a wonderful week. I'm sorry to see it end, but looking forward to the next time!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Mia is a college friend from good ole Bucknell. We lived next door to each other freshman year, and, as with many of the folks from this hall, became one of my best friends. We ended up living together in the best Gateway ever (Roser 130!) during our senior year and have managed to keep in touch during the five years following graduation. A feat a certain parent didn't think would happen... :)
Here's a photo of us on Martha's Vineyard in July of 2002, me with longer hair and Mia with shorter. Hmmm, interesting.

Mia is in the midst of making major career and life decisions, and even with all that going on, she is still able to care for me as her friend. She is kind, opinionated, easy to share a giggle or a fun memory with, tells it like it is, and a wonderful friend. It's cool is that we have that sort of mutual support thing going on, which is particularly important during what appears to be one of those good quarter-life crisis moments.
Keep the faith Mia, and remember "the pen is reeeeeee---royal blue." :)

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Helen is a friend from England, who I met in the spring of 1996 when my high school decathalon team went to visit their high school. I was randomly paired up with Helen and her family to stay with while we were there for the week. We became good friends during the course of that week, although it is amazing to think that it was such a short period of time! The following fall, their academic team came to visit our high school in Erie, PA and so Helen was able to stay with my family then. It was a wonderful exchange, for many reasons, including the wonderful friend I found in Helen. As she pointed out in a recent comment, it has been over 10 years since we have seen each other (and photos of each other it seems). We have kept sporadic contact, via letters and email, and although it was entirely possible to lose touch, we haven't. It is quite wonderful and amazing. No Helen, YOU are fab! :)

Here's us in 1996 for some context.


As I've been struggling with former friends who have been less than I had hoped, my inner "Pollyanna" is coming out. Recently, I've been incredibly supported by numerous other friends who have been much MORE than their distance should define. So, I am deciding to share them with each other.

I am going to dedicate posts in the next few weeks to my wonderful friends. Not all posts will be in this vein, but many of them will. I have completely wonderful people, and don't I know it!!

(Disclaimer: Notice that I said numerous before. This means that I will most likely be writing til the cows come home to get everyone in. If it takes a while, don't be discouraged; I love you too!)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

April showers

This isn't going to be the most happy post, just some advance warning.
I have come to the realization that some friendships just aren't meant to last...and that there is nothing I can do about it. One person can't keep making all the effort and expect that to be enough. One can prolong the inevitable for a while by doing that, quite a while sometimes, but eventually, it is ok for people to go their own ways. This is an uber-difficult realization, particularly in the life stage I am currently in. I am supposed to be making friends, not severing ties! I don't understand what about me makes me stick it out for so long, giving benefit after benefit of the doubt, upon numerous second chances. Even now, there is a part of me thinking "does it have to be this way?" Another thing that makes this particularly difficult is the close friendship we have felt, as recently as a week ago. The sudden nature of it all, that's REALLY hard. I have had friendships that have just sort of faded, which, although not fun either, are somewhat easier to handle, easing into them as it happens and then realizing one day that it already happened some time ago. This is the first real time when I have felt the need to (and carried out!) make an active change.
Do I expect too much? Are my expectations too high, and if they are, is this a bad thing?

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Emerging from the cold in MN

I have internet at home now!! It is such a luxury now, being somewhat used to not having it except at work.
I have been bad about keeping everyone up-to-date, so here's to a new leaf.
Life has been hectic lately, to say the least. I am somewhere inbetween settled and totally out of my element. Starting in a new place, with a new job, doing new things, with no close friends in the state...well, I think it's hard. I am chugging through, but if this doesn't kill me, it BETTER make me stronger. :)