The Day I Graduated from Yale


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Downtown living has been fun this past year and so was having a commute that rivaled a walk to the farm. After a couple layup attempts this spring and early summer, I finally landed a slam dunk  in my house search in mid June.

Today, movers packed and delivered my furniture to the new house, so it will be my first night sleeping under a roof with which I’m (hopefully) building equity. (If nothing else, it will at least someday fit my future piano…which is how I bought my SUV (it fits a keyboard & case), which is my new commute.)

A year ago, I attended a Cubs game with my Chicago friends on the last night before my moving company packed for Minneapolis. In a coincidentally similar fashion, I went to a Twins game tonight with a Minneapolis friend who is from Chicago, on the evening of my big move, and I’ll remember today as…the Day I Graduated from Yale. 😉

Staging


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Staging is an important step for homeowners putting their house on the market so that potential buyers get the best impression. I’m obviously not selling my apartment, but instead was thinking about staging and how new renters might perceive my unit. Full disclosure: my apartment looked this clean probably fewer than 10 times. And ironically, one of those times is the night before I’m moving out.

P.S. Why yes, my Christmas tree (poinsettia) has been out since December. Maybe I can finally have a respectable Christmas tree in my house…stay tuned on that one. On a related note, I’m already getting some TV upgrades!

 

State Fair


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Known as the “Great Minnesota Get Together,” the Minnesota State Fair also can be the Olympics of fried food eating. As always, there were some new entrants to the menu lineup this year. The International Bazaar wasn’t yet selling the camel burger and Mark and I didn’t look too hard for the lamb fries (which are actually testicles).

I tried Mouth Trap cheese curds, 1919 root beer, a stuffed green pepper with beef & rice, Sweet Martha’s cookies and all-you-can-drink milk for $1, Turkey to Go sandwich, and Tom Thumb mini donuts.

Sweet Martha’s will mark its 34th year at the fair. The cookie booth produces more than ten million cookies during the run of the fair…about 100,000 cookies an hour! According to 2010 State Fair records, the Sweet Martha’s stands grossed nearly $2.4 million dollars, roughly three times the amount of Fresh French Fries and Mouth Trap Cheese Curds, Sweet Martha’s two closest competitors. How sweet it is to sell a cookie.

Mural


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I tried to get a pretty-in-pink photo today of a pedal pub party of pink bachelorettes. After seeing the party and parking my car, I was trailing the pedal pub for about 10 blocks and by the time I got close enough to ask them to smile, they disembarked for Kieran’s Irish Pub. In fact, the only “girls” I got close enough to photograph was a group of drag queens on a smoke break. That’s life. And no photo.

On the way back to my apartment, I saw this mural on the Downtown Journal building which features eight Minnesotans, among them Kirby Puckett, Amy Klobuchar, Judy Garland and Garrison Keillor. It was created last fall by graffiti artist JAWSH.

 

White Sands


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The glistening White Sands National Monument of New Mexico engulfs 275 square miles of desert creating the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. The active dunefield moves from west to east as much as thirty feet per year. The wind moves small sand grains by bouncing them along the surface in a process called “saltation.” Saltating sand grains create a beautiful pattern of ripples on the dune surface.

From Wikipedia: Gypsum is rarely found in the form of sand because it is water-soluble. Normally, rain would dissolve the gypsum and carry it to the sea. The Tularosa Basin is enclosed and water either sinks into the ground or forms shallow pools which subsequently dry out and leave gypsum in a crystalline form, called selenite, on the surface.

It was the first time my friend Steph and I had gone sledding in the desert! And what inspired today’s post, you ask? I was thinking about this August 2010 vacation and my impending move, and like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives.

 

 

KILZ


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Tonight, I fully appreciated how much KILZ painting my mom and uncle did for me last week. It’s not all that exciting. That is, until I ended up on top of the refrigerator and decided it could be a fun photo. I set up my trusty tripod with a 10-second delay, scrambled up the ladder (out of the frame) and leaped into position with my paint roller and posed for a continuous shutter of 10 pictures at a time.

I don’t know who was more difficult to work with: the photographer or the model. An experienced photographer can set up the shot right away. Well…  I probably shouldn’t admit to how many times I climbed that ladder to pose for the camera. It was at least 10 times, and I say “at least” because quite frankly, that’s when I stopped counting. By the time I got the shot I wanted, I hardly even needed a ladder. I practically high jumped into position, like a cat being chased up a tree.