Saturday, December 13, 2008


I've got a new life motto, courtesy of Abby and the awesome birthday present that she got.

"Hey, let's go do fun stuff!"

I love it! I also love doing fun stuff. I love the possibility of doing fun stuff, and of stuff being fun. Sometimes stuff isn't all that much fun, but that's ok. At least it helps me realize that next time I can try something else and possibly have more fun.

I think I've always had this motto, but only just now realized how to put it into words. Such fitting words. It was this motto that's taken me to so many cool places in this country, in this world, and even just around town. My co-workers seem to marvel at all of the trips I take during the year, the places that are far enough away that I have to fly. They wonder how I can afford this "jet-set" habit. Those questions have made me realize that the reason I can take so many trips (at least 6 in the past year, including one to Kenya) is that I have made it a priority in my life. Also, I don't have a family to support. That helps. :) But most of my family and closest friends live in other places. So in order to maintain my sanity and those friendships, I've got to travel. Of course, I can't travel everywhere and surely there is a longer list of places I WANT to go than places I've actually been, but I do what I can.
And it's so worth it. It's definitely fun stuff.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Just call me Doctor...

After much toil and aggravation, my beloved Sunitha has successfully defended her dissertation. That means that she's a Ph.D. now!!! Way to go Sunitha! You rock! :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks

Waiting for the turkey...

Quite the beautiful table.

Hey! Who ate that pie??

Mmm, mmm, MMMM!

See? There were actual people at this gathering,
although I know it's difficult to tell from the photos I took...
(This is Chris and his sister Joan in the background.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I love power tools.

Look what I built! With a bit of help... My favorite part is how it leans to the left a little. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jenafer and I are bowling on 11/1!

Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl For Kids' Sake is in the beginning of November. Jenafer and I (or at least Jenafer) will be kicking some serious bum! Anyone want to help us do that?? :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


In the past, oh, about 2 years, I've found myself becoming increasingly interested in sports. I've always had a certain amount of interest in the goings on of the athletic field (no pun intended), as well as a certain degree of interest in participating in sports. But about 2 years ago, I really got into watching and following, particularly, football. I attribute this growth to my dear friend Andrea, who is a die-hard Indianapolis Colts fan. I believe that it was her wonderful influence that boosted my interest from that of casual observer to excited follower. This is not to say that I'm a crazy fan, such as Jimmy Fallon modeled in "Fever Pitch" or as Chris (the bf) models with his love for the Vikings. But it is to say that I have an interest and knowledge to participate in sports related conversations with some degree of authority and don't feel totally in the dark about what's being said.
My professional sporting attendance has been primarily contained within baseball. I think I've been to 5 major league ballparks, and games too numerous to count on two hands. I've been to professional hockey games (two, to be exact), and I've seen two professional basketball games in two different cities. I've even seen an international soccer match. But I had never seen a pro football game...until a week ago.
The Colts were coming to town, and I bought tickets. I went to the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN, I bought a dome dog, I wore my blue and white. :) It was a very fun time. Quite different from other sporting events I've gone to. Vikings fans are die-hard. They filled the dome with a deafening roar, to make Peyton unable to call plays very well and to cheer on the scoring. They also filled the dome with booing at the drop of a hat though, for a bad play call or a fumbled ball. They can turn on their own like that!
And the end of the story is that the Colts won, 18-15, and that Chris and I are still speaking.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Aline and I have lamented this fact before, many times, but it keeps coming up. I need to vent a little bit I guess...
Why does it seem like I am the only person in the world who is able to be flexible with my schedule and re-arrange things to fit with other people's schedules? Is it just that I am an organizer and a planner, and therefore have the ability to do so? Is it that I am so much of a pushover that I let people dictate how I spend my time? Do I want to please everyone so much that I do so to my own detriment? I don't understand it. I do recognize that plans change and one has to be flexible. It is frustrating when such well crafted plans get thrown out the window, though. I can't help but feel a little disappointed when that happens.
Best laid plans of mice and men... C'est la vie...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

donors and patience

Two of my wonderful former co-workers have undergone some pretty amazing feats of medical activity in the past short while. They are so amazing and I felt the need to share them.

Mark had a bone marrow transplant last June. He's now home with his family, almost completely recovered. AMAZING! So wonderful and inspiring, his story, his strugggle, his strength. He's now "in talks" with his donor, which I can't even fathom. Here's the website that he's been using to communicate with all of his fans. You can see for yourself how great things are going for him!

Another co-worker, Gregg, had a kidney transplant just this past Sunday! It was a super last-minute dealy-bobber, but it went well and he is recovering now for the next couple of weeks. (Yes, dealy-bobber IS the technical medical term, actually...) Since this was a fairly recent thing, there aren't a lot of details as Gregg continues to recuperate, but I've heard that he is "doing great!"

As difficult as it is to go through a transplant or other major medical procedure (thankfully I've not had occassion to experience either yet), I am continually amazed
at the strength and patience of people in that situation. It's humbling, particularly as someone who has been basically in good health for their whole life. But more than that, it's inspiring. Their grace and gratitude should be an example to us all.

On a related note:
During the period of September 7-22, the National Bone Marrow Registry ONLINE is going to have the $52 fee waived, it will be sponsored by the NASCAR Foundation.

So if you ever thought about it, but were not sure, this is the best time to check out the entire process! Actually, joining online is the easier way to do it, you just fill up a registration form and they sent you a kit containing a cheek swab. It is that simple, no blood test! And then nothing will happen unless there is a specific patient that matches your genetic profile. Only then you will be contacted, and an additional high resolution blood test will be run, to see if that you are indeed a match. Also, at any time during the entire process you have the right to opt-out. If you need more information about the donation process, you can check out this link.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I love going on vacation. And I love my family. Despite my odd face in this photo.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

the batman

If there is anyone out there like myself, who, until yesterday, had not yet seen "The Dark Knight" yet, you MUST go see it. I saw it yesterday, and even though I had to pee for pretty much the entire movie, it was still excellent. I laughed, I cried, I did NOT wet my pants... Anyway, it's really good. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Overwhelmed. That pretty much sums up my life at the moment. That, and exhausted. Work is just a huge bunch of stuff that seems to be pulling me in a million different directions at once, more than usual. I'm still trying to figure out why and how this happens, but it certainly does it in August, so that's a start. I am also mentally and physically exhausted, which means that most of my defenses to be dealing with stress are weakened. I need some reinforcements!

Monday, August 18, 2008

thought of the afternoon

Cause: I ate too much lunch.
Effect: I'm very full.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

lack o' posting

Yes, it's true, I haven't posted in a while. I still have pictures and stories to post from Kenya, and my canoe trip with Jenafer, but I haven't gotten all of those pictures compiled yet, so it's going to be a little bit longer.
My philosophy on blogging, and being online, is complicated. While I am a self-proclaimed email addict, I also have been coming to realize that I don't want to spend all of my time on the computer writing about things I'm doing; I want to be doing those things! :) Go figure, huh? Sometimes it's tough to find that balance, to feel like I'm doing well at juggling all of the balls I've got in the air, of which there are certainly a lot.
Lately, I've been doing a lot of traveling/exploring, trying to keep on top of the busy season at work, and spending lots of time with Chris. All of those have combined to lead me to somewhat neglect my posting. I've not forgotten about it entirely, but some times are just more sparse than others. Oh and another thing, it's summer and really nice weather, and I am wanting to spend as much time outside as I can enjoying it.
So please pardon the lack of posting about my life...I've been quite busy living it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


A few weeks ago, I went to the Como Zoo to see this Butterfly exhibit... It was a big long room with plants and flowers and fresh fruit and BUTTERFLIES! They were flying around all over the place, so we had to be careful where we stepped and what we bumped into. The cocoons were also in one area so we could see some emerging, which was beautiful.

Paper Kite, Julia, Giant Swallowtail

Julia and unidentified, Unidentified, Giant Swallowtail

Malachite, Lacewing or Queen

Look at the bottom of the tree trunk... it's an Owl Butterfly!

So then, quite appropriately, I encountered a similar exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London, although they didn't have the handy identification card there so I don't know the kinds. Notice the friend that came to visit my head...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Slow Down Lizzie!

Well, it appears that I needed a knock over the head, or in the back in this case, to tell me to slow down the frenzied pace of my life lately. Saturday afternoon at precisely 2:57pm, I did something to my back that has kept me from being able to put on non-slip-on shoes until almost 2 days later. I feel old. But I am also coming to more appreciate the little things in being able to tie one's own shoes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

international ads

I was in London's Heathrow airport earlier this month (further details to come as to the reason I was there) and I saw two things in the shopping area that made me sit up and take notice. The first was that the duty free alcohol section was giving away free samples of booze, just like they do at the grocery store for meatballs and pita chips. I found this very amusing.
Secondly, I saw these signs on the cigarette boxes... no beating around the bush there!

Friday, June 27, 2008


How is it that the city of Ramsey, Minnesota is not located in Ramsey County, but the city of Anoka, Minnesota IS located in Anoka County?? It seems like this is just asking for confusion on the part of non-natives like myself...

Monday, June 23, 2008

I like pie...

What's that I see?

Oh yes, that's what's left of my birthday rhubarb pie after my co-workers got into it. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

changes, part deux

Sometimes it's funny to me how much things change. I know that change is inevitable and should be expected, but it becomes more obvious as I get older. I can see much more of the change with this larger history over which to look back over. Friends change, I grow away from them, we come back together and try to re-establish things with our new breadth of experience and "wisdom." Sometimes it's easy to fall back into friendship, sometimes it's not so simple. Even friends I've connected with relatively recently...I can see these changes more vividly somehow. I know that it's all for the best in the end, but it sure is scary as all get out to realize that things you thought were so solid might be changing phase.
That's my introspective philosophizing quota for the day. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

mmmm, food

Rhubarb pie

Potatoes with chives

with cheeseburgers and watermelon salad

A good team effort (thanks to Chris)...and a most excellent meal!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Elizabeth and her stomach go to White Castle

A few weeks ago, my co-workers decided that they wanted to eat from White Castle for lunch. Knowing that this was a mid-western cultural phenomenon I had yet to experience, I decided to join them. I'm not really sure if you could technically call what I ate "a hamburger" but it was some sort of meat smothered in onions and cheese. Thankfully it was small, and I had the good sense to only eat one. It was completely disgusting if you thought about it for too long, but on the other hand it's some pretty good junky junk food.
I'm probably not going back, but it was a positive first experience, and I feel more geographically adjusted for it. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

40 minutes: bed to plane

As some of you may know, I recently took a trip to Bloomington, Indiana to experience the greatest college weekend ... the Little 500 bike race. While the race and the visit in B-town were fun and exciting and a great time visiting with old friends, that's not the topic of this post. At the moment, I'd like to share with you all the tale of getting to Bloomington.
I had planned to fly out of Minnesota on Friday morning at 6am. This would, theoretically enable me to get into town in time to have lunch with my former co-workers and get to the women's race by 4:00 pm. My plan was to get up at 3:15 am to catch the bus and train that would take me to the airport, arriving around 5am, plenty of time to get to the gate and make a last minute potty stop. I have to believe that this plan would have worked brilliantly had it not been for one tiny detail: I set my alarm for 3:15 am, but I did not turn it on. So instead of getting up at the appointed time, I awoke at 5:01 am. It took me about 5 seconds to realize what was going on. Then it took another 2 seconds to realize that I needed to kick it into serious high gear! I was able to roust my friend Chris, who thankfully does not live far from my apartment, to come drive me to the airport, which is also thankfully not too far from my apartment. I was heading out the door at 5:13 am. I was racing out of the car into the airport at 5:29 am. 31 minutes before the plane was scheduled to have lift-off.
It was at this point that I realized that the huge long line I saw upon entering the terminal a was not, as I had hoped, the line for ticketing (I had thankfully printed off my boarding pass before arriving), but was in fact the line to get through security. Crap. Another 2 seconds and I realized that there was no way I was going to have made it this far only to miss the plane because of a line. So I plucked up my courage and started from the end of the line, one by one, politely requesting to go ahead of each person. I got within about 6 people from the front and was denied passing, but at that point I needed time to untie my shoes and remove my coat in preparation for the scanners anyway. I arrived at the gate and got right into line. And by 5:41 am, a mere 40 minutes after I'd gotten out of my bed, I was sitting in my seat on a plane that would eventually take me to Indiana.
Now, the fact that the plane did not leave for another 50 minutes is a detail that can be ignored at the moment. I like to revel in the fact that I was able to get it together enough to make my plane, even if it was primarily motivated by the fact that I'd be out a considerable chunk of change if I missed the flight.
"Aww yeah, I made it here baby!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day everyone! :)

Monday, March 17, 2008


Have you ever been caught singing along to hold music on the phone? Well, I'm not sure how much this woman actually heard me, but I was definitely humming along to "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Lionel Richie. What, it's a good song! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

responding to a comment

A comment made by my Aunt Maggie in the last entry has prompted me to respond for all the world to see/read. "Since when am I Lizzie?" Good question. Although a more appropriate question to me is "Since WHERE am I Lizzie?"
In my life, I have had many nicknames, for-shorts, or name taunts. One of these names is Lizzie. I found that Lizzie came out in full force when I was studying abroad in Botswana. I can't recall if it was my fellow American students or the Batswana who decided that Lizzie was what they were going to call me, but somehow it stuck. I kind of liked it, actually. When I was 13, I definitely would NOT have liked it, but then, at a mature 20 years old, it was catchy. I think it was a bit homey feeling, so I liked it in that it made me feel comforted being so far away from my home. So Lizzie is associated with Botswana, for me.
So I sometimes refer to myself as Lizzie, when it feels like Elizabeth or Liz is just too pedestrian for the moment. Overall though, I refer to myself as Elizabeth, and probably alway will. I like my name. I don't mind when people call me other things, but I'm content with Elizabeth too.
My family calls me Elizabeth too, as do my co-workers mostly. I find that unless someone has a strong urge to shorten names, they usually end up calling me the name I am first are introduced with.
In high school, Liz started to become more and more popular (the name, not the person!). My fellow band members called me Beth, and my volleyball teammates called me Mikey (thanks to the clever imagination of one when she found out my middle name was Michael). I could very easily narrow down who was calling me from across the hall by the name they used.
In college, there were four Elizabeths on my hall alone, so I very quickly became Liz (as different from Liz K. and Lizzie B. and the other Elizabeth who never made it in the first place).
In elementary school, some silly boys in the neighborhood called me Lizard-breath, and to that I say "very creative boys, never heard that one before."
Another nickname I've gotten from family, mainly my mother is a bit of a progression. Elizabeth, Elizabean, Beans, Beanie, Beano.
So I pretty much respond to whatever name. And I enjoy the variety. One of my current co-workers even proposed calling me Betty, but that doesn't seem to have stuck.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, I had to spend my Valentine's Day staying late at work (not too late)...but it was all ok in the end because I was wearing my Valentine's Day socks. :)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

reverse chronology

St. Paul Winter Carnival.

Twins Fest.

Indiana Hoosiers v. Minnesota Gophers men's basketball.

Fall in IN.

Fall in MN.

Lizzie's first Twins game.