christmas 2010

Snowing Joy Christmas
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2 weeks from now...

it's camping time!!

planning with the set of friends we're heading to ely with tomorrow night.

this week it's time to try and set up that $30 (originally $200) screen tent I got at REI at their scratch n dent sale on new years day. i know it has a small hole. fixable. but it's always wise to do a test run of the tent set up before heading out to the wilds (yo ally, this was not a slam atcha. honest. you are queen of adventure :) but mostly i just want to see what it looks like set up..

i heart camping.

here's to the summer's adventures ahead...

sunday night. 7-9pm...


the first time ALL WEEKEND i have gotten to sit down and do NOTHING.

true story.

i love to be busy. i strive to get schtuff done.

this weekend was a ton of working, running, running around, erranding, planting, seeing a musical and biking my keester off today. 41.5 miles off. only counting because the 150 mile 2 day ride is just over a month away...

i swallowed dinner in about 10 bites total tonight.

and i can't believe i'm looking forward to going to work for 3 days this week as *rest*. i'll shelve or put carts in order or check in and help patrons like a worker bee. but most of it? will feel like a break from the training season i am fully submerged in...not complaining. really. just striving for some kind of balance..

4 days til i get a REAL vacation to florida with ms. gail. can. not. wait. the last time we took a girls only trip?


now to pray the oil stays away from the florida coast near ft myers :( such a horrendously sad story...

have a great first week of may.

happy 33rd birthday to my little bro, the firefighter in bensonville, IL...


the past few weeks...

a few things and goings on:

*learning to bike. a lot. miles and miles. longest ride was today. 40 miles. we're about 6 weeks from the MS 150 event...150 miles in 2 days. (and one good long rest day off on the 3rd day..) thank you to mr ryan for all he's done to help get a wonderful loaner bike ship shape and road ready for the miles i'm going to put on it...(and after a series of unforunate events and weekends, this day going really well was so welcome!)

*learning to swim. last week i swam the length of the pool for the first time. 4 times. here's to more of that.

*putting a sizable amount (most) of our tax refund (and home equity loan) into the big chore of new windows in the whole house. with one more year of tax refund credits, we really feel this is pretty important. so by the end of may? we'll have a shiny glass, no more down the screens/up the storms in the fall, and most importantly, our heating/cooling bills will DROP. thank goodness.

*libraryland is soon to be on the move again. back to the big digs. i have pictures but after a super long day i'm too lazy to go hook the camera up to download right now. believe me. it's a big building. but i think the staffing challenges of our library system completely rival the size of the building. or at least it sure feels that way right now. work has been more fun in the past. but this is just a roller coaster time and i'm looking forward to the big changes ahead. in the near and not so distant future..

*best way to end the weekend? borrowing the newly minted 4 year old maddie next door and taking her for a birthday treat at izzy's. her first trip. since i'm fresh out of kiddos here in my house? it's nice that stacy and travis are willing to give me a loaner for a little while :) they rock.

*may 22nd. my first co-race directorial debut at the Book It! 5K, proceeds going to the library. if you haven't signed up yet? just do it!

so so tired. guten nacht...

what makes a great weekend?

saturday: my first double digit run since late january in phoenix (sat 4.3.10, 10 miles at 10:25 pace) that went *really* well....

(runners will know, but for those that don't, sometimes runs go fabulously and sometimes they go horribly. and sometimes they're just okay. you can do the same prep before the run and it's literally a roll of the dice as to how it'll go. so when the GOOD ones happen? you love it and it instills in you why you do it to begin with...)

sunday: everyone is hunting eggs or giving baskets to kiddos, and the rest are with family or friends, or both. mark and i? decide that once the breakfast burritos and a little bit of work for me are done, it's time to explore by bike! we start with a vague plan, & wind up riding in to some of the flooded mississippi river trails (mud, water, logs and all), find the higher ground routes, more trails, and lots of exploring! 21.5 miles later? an awesome tour of st paul has happened and despite the saddles being a little sore, we'll take the 2 hour workout adventure that was more fun than feeling like work...

end the night with some homemade pasta and a long overdue (like *years*) dinner date with friends and that? is a great weekend!

up this week? work work swim run bon jovi work & riding. the new challenge is riding 150 miles in 2 days in june. the bike and i? best get to it on being bff's....

i lost my faith a little bit today..

in humanity.

a patron comes in. super regular nice awesome family.

kids are kids however.

5 1/2 year old melts down. hard. boneless. sobbing. the works.

(noted: she has a 14 month old and 9 year old with her too; including books to check out and a stroller to deal with).

patrons on the internet 10 feet away flip out. FLIP. OUT.

so much so that this poor mother is not only subjected to a man coming all the way out from the internet cave to my desk to loudly complain 'HOW MUCH LONGER DO WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS???' to 5 min later having a lady *herself* verbally confront and yell at the mom in telling her to "LEAVE. NOW. Take him home!". only to have added people at other terminals echo out loud 'yeah! we've had enough!' (really people?? REALLY??)

yeah, that makes the situation better on all fronts. (and like the mom wasn't trying to do that with above mentioned things she had to wrestle with).

i totally defended (she's doing the best she can! this is a public place...) and tried to physically help the mom out. the lack of humanity i witnessed from the mean people made me so frustrated at how soul-less and heartless some people are.

thankfully i believe there to be less of them than the good eggs.

not surprisingly it's full moon in 2 days. may they crawl back under their crabby rocks anytime now...

there are some days...

the tequila, mix, salt & lime can't hit the glass fast enough.


was one of those days....

not used to the 'norm'...

this whole one job thing.

on one hand? it's great!

on the other? it sucks. not just the lack of money. i miss seeing my other work friends. working with grown ups. serving people. having my boss teach me how to make a latte. the *right* way. feeling challenged. learning new beers. foods. everything.

so gail? i am really lost today. this is the first weekend since the fire that i have a 3 day weekend with no library work, and no blackbird. no meetings about fundraisers. no happy hours. and i'm a little lost.

so i cleaned the house. had lunch with mark at a fantastic cuban joint in mpls. we haven't really seen each other in a full week. his schedule has been all kinds of dysfunctional lately...

on the flip side, the year long planned trip with my other gail (bff of 30 years) to florida in may is booked! woot!

happy weekend, whatever may come your way...

melting time and mud...

minnesota is officially in the downslide of winter.

the back yard has lost about 6 inches or more of snowpack in the past week.

swamp season (where the yard is just one soupy disgusting mess) is upon us.

which means it's time to walk the dog again. just one. cora lived for walks. quinn really doesn't care one way or the other. he's happy to go on a walk, but cora *lived* for that. as it gets warmer, the folks who's houses we passed every morning will start asking where the other one is. :(

library construction is on track, and i hope to scoot in in the coming weeks to see the new digs. the last time i saw it was about 2 months ago. so much has happened in the interior since then...

aiming for a july 10 huge grand opening soiree...and may 22nd is the Book It! Library 5K. i hope all of my local folks can take part! it's family friendly and it gives the public a sneak peek of the new building if they take part :)

running season has started, which is good as i took to eating too many donuts and sweets over the winter and officially have some pants i can't fit into :( damn.

still bummed that i have no 2nd job, but at the same time, i'm rather enjoying the life of just one job, and one big time hobby that takes up much time in itself. if i can do without a 2nd job til blackbird reopens (i definitely want to go back..but it's way too early to see when that might be), then i'll have to scrimp even more in budget and just figure out how to get by. quite honestly? i don't want to start over at a new place. working only 1 or 2 shifts a week makes it very hard to fit into a small restaurant, so i'm hoping the bird reopens sooner than later. we'll see. they were well insured, but there's a ton of paperwork and procedures and decisions the owners have to make before i'll have any sense (or for that matter, they too) before we know what's what and when they'll be cooking for their fans again.

right now, i have many responsibilities to take care of winding up the final 2 months in our temporary library home, and ordering a bunch of shiny happy books for the new digs.

life moves on. just a bumpy road sometimes...

you never know...

when the 'last' of something might happen until it's over.

today was that day.

i last went to work at blackbird on tuesday night. it was a veeeeeery slow evening tending bar with laura and anathea. left around 8pm. took my spicy peanut noodles to go, and had a night at home watching more olympics coverage.

monday, the library was closed. i worked my first (and for now, last) lunch shift. the same shift that crossed over today's tragic events.

today at 2pm i went to lunch from libraryland with a friend. left my cell at work. (unknowingly).

came back 45 min later to find 2 people looking for me with urgent messages.

my blackbird cafe was on fire.

tonight? it's a total loss.

the staff, most of them, gathered at another local mpls restaurant to mourn. and memorize (yes, i made that up). and be together.

i'm not sure what my next gig will be while the owners consider and hopefully do rebuild, but right now the numbness and surreal fact that i will never walk into blackbird again like i knew it is going to take time to grieve.

no one was hurt. everyone's okay. and things can be rebuilt. but it's still sucky to know my friends are out of jobs (their ONLY jobs) and everything they put into their little amazing hole in the wall is gone.

for now.

hi david! and other news

my one faithful blog reader :)

well, maybe not, but he wondered aloud what was up.

yes, i've been absent. apparently running is all i seem to talk about when i want to write.

or dying dogs.

(ps i still miss her like mad. she was incredible. she *was* my dog. quinn is SO mark's dog. which is great for those two...)

anywho. none of those topics are timely right now...

quinn is healthy as a horse (well he's going to need a serious dental cleaning once that tax refund comes through...) and still loveable but still hates the floors without carpet (scaaaaary slippery!) and still has a head full of white noise i think. he *is* different without his sis around. which we try to compensate for by snuggling on the couch more. (um, can we say retired?) but we're staying at a 1 dog house for now...

running is in Super Taper. that could be the newest marvel member.

i am running. just not much in terms of mileage. which is okay. i did finally sign up for chicago's marathon. it's on october 10th.

for those at home, that date would be 10-10-10. like the 07-07-07 3 years ago when every engaged couple felt they should marry. (and also on that july date a set of rockin' friends gave up the 'what you should do' and went for their dream of being your own boss. their little venture took flight on 07-07-07 as well. so this year, 10-10-10 just seems to be the date i should do my one marathon. back in the sweet home chicago way. (oh, i can almost taste the chicago dog and cheese fries now...)

other than that, i've been snowshoeing around the area when i can, and last weekend learned to cross country ski for the very first time. not sure why it took 36 years to learn, but i loved it and now covet my own skis and want to find trails near and far in the woods to explore...

swimming. that's up next. lessons start at the end of march. (have to register but that's the plan). taking them with a friend at a local pool...and this past weekend, i worked out with 2 friends at different gym location and did an hour in the pool. the deep end. running. (i had a belt on that kept me afloat). but still. running?? in water where you can't touch for almost an hour? solid core/ab workout. i feel it today.

summer 2010 is looking big.

2 Ragnar relays (200 miles, 12 runners, 2 vans of 6, handing off the slap bracelet). one in the wasatch back mountains near salt lake city, and one on the mississippi river side of wisconsin that ends at boom island in mpls. Ragnar = an amazing 30 hours or so. it's crazy. it's tiring. and it's 1000% a blast. i wouldn't have any reason to lie. one of those 'it takes one to know one' situations...

oh, also? directing (with help from 2 other awesome librarians) my first 5K walk/run on may 22, 2010. if you're local, i'd name my first born after you if you took part...all of those who take part get to see the new library FIRST. and of course there's a free t-shirt. jerry says you do races for the free t-shirt. and to support your local library. and it's kids reading garden. follow this yellow brick road if you can actually be there that day.

opening the big huge awesome sparkling jewel of a library on july 10. soft opening a few weeks prior.

and hopefully traveling out to the canadian rockies with my beloved (it's that or a possible back up plan) for a 10 day road/camping trip. we have never had such an adventure, so i'm extremely excited about the possibilities and the pictures i've been finding online...

up next? almost imminently, i'm heading to the north shore in 5 days for 3 nights (with mark and 2 other awesome friends), and then coming home for 3 nights, before driving *back* up with david. i haven't been to the shoreland in 8 months. for me? that's EONS. it's time. and the woods & lake are just as phenomenal in winter as in summer. the bonus? a fraction of the people up there. BLISS i tell you. i'll share my wilderness, but the idiots who are disrespectful and loud with mother nature do nothing but irk me. so having a peaceful quiet but awesome setting to almost myself and my loved ones? it can't be the weekends soon enough!

thanks to ally & her tri-man and his beautiful red dog i still haven't met for taking care of our remaining critters...they make leaving town be okay. we love that trust.

david? you rock. have a fantastic day. and thank you for really 'getting it'. there are few that do the way you do...

happy end to the month. pictures to come in a few weeks...

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