May 30, 2006

Changing the Situation

Well, kids, I know I said it would be three more weeks before I could tell you what I gave myself for my birthday, but I have since changed what I gave myself, making it possible to talk about it here.

I am going to "on-call" status at my night job. This does not mean that they can call me in the dark of the night, and I have to rush right in. No, it means that I might be willing to come in if they have a big project and I have the time. Might. And they might be willing to take me when my day job won't let me work. Might. I had given notice with my last day being the 15th of June, but I was a little nervous, and they really wanted me to stay, so this is the solution to both of those problems for the time being. My plan is that I will not even think about going in until late August, maybe September. I need a break. I will be getting off at 4:30 in the afternoon, now, and I can't wait.

Also, in other changes, I bought a computer this weekend. Thank you all for all of your input. It made my decision a lot easier, especially the advice that the dual core processor was probably more power than I needed. In the end, I went with cheap, light, and fairly reliable as my priorities, especially when I learned that most of the software I thought I might want to buy for a grad school program I haven't even applied to yet is upwards of $600. My desktop is an HP that my good friends Carl and Jill gave me, and it's been a tough little computer. And it giggles when it shuts down. I've been very happy with it, so I went with HP on the laptop. Special thanks to Jon G. for finding the compy and to his wife Erin for putting up with us looking at a similar model in BestBuy and getting all geeky about it. Apparently I bought it just in time, too, because it is now sold out. It is red-ish metalic and shiny, and I like it.

With any luck, I will be taking a graduate course at Metro State this fall. I have to wait until everybody else registers before I can, and I still want to see if I can borrow some money for it, but employee development will re-imburse me, and the co-chair of the department said he'd probably sign me into his course if I get really stuck. So, yay! I'm looking at Advanced Writing, so hopefully that will still be open. And I'm just taking a class. One. That's singular for all you out there who are trying to get me to drop everything and go full time.

On the whole, I'm very excited about having my evenings back. I plan to spend many of them in other people's backyards. (You know who you are.) Yay!

Other than that, the weekend was fantastic. The sis is moved home, and yes, I do miss her, despite my previous entry. I got to have family birthday lunch at the Macaroni Grill, which is a fantastic place to eat. I watched a little of the Indie 500. Then I spent quality time with Carl and Jill playing games in the air conditioning. Then I went to Mel and Danika's for a fantastic evening of smores. Then I spent Monday doing my grant writing work, and since the washing machine was broken, I didn't have to do the laundry, so instead I went back to Mel and Danika's. I got to ride in her stepdad's BMW convertible. That was pretty bitchin. We got hollared at in the hood. Also, Tony Stewart did not win the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday because he injured his shoulder and he has dropped to 20th in the Nextel Cup Series point standings. That's a shame. NOT!

So, on the whole, the weekend was great, the situation is about to change, and I hate Tony Stewart. Pretty good summary, considering how disjointed the whole thing was so far, huh? ;)

Posted by LoWriter at 08:57 AM | Comments (11)

May 26, 2006

Freedom Friday

I don't know about you all, but I have never been happier to see a Friday.

All week, particularly during the last half, my brain has felt like it's full of mashed potatoes. It's very difficult to think this way because mashed potatoes are not very good conductors of electrical impulses such as brain waves.

Now, Fridays are always the slowest days to get here, and then they're in such a rush to leave you don't know what's happened and they're gone. They're a lot like pizza that way. It takes three years for the delivery man to bring pizza, and then when it finally gets there, everybody is so starved that the fumes make them inhale the pizza and it's gone. Fridays are like delivery pizza. It's true.

And this Friday has been particularly slow in arriving. Do you know why? Oh, that's right. Because this is my official start of summer, my friends. Today is the day we move the sis out of the dorm, and I no longer have to spend at least one night a week wading through freshmen to either pick her up or drop her off at Bethel.

Why did I have to do so in the first place? Well, because Bethel doesn't consider 300 miles a significant enough distance from home to need a car, so I had to talk to my building super and store her car at my appartment building. And shuttle her back and forth all year. Because there was no way to get her home during college breaks because ours don't line up.

Freshmen at Bethel are the worst, too. Apparently wealthy people don't tell their children not to play in the street, so every time I come onto "Freshmen Hill" to pick up/drop off the sis, people are throwing things at each other across the road. They're a little like geese, too, because they think they own the road and won't get off regardless of the fact that my car is clearly bigger than they are. One of them lost a frisbee under my car. I made them crawl under to get it. (I'm not a bitch, I'm the bitch. Get it right.) They have several acres of un-constructed areas on that campus, and these idiots need to play in the street. Hell, they could go behind the dorm or next to the dorm and toss frisbees there, but no. It's much more fun if you can look at cars like they have no business being on your frisbee field. I managed to avoid the hill for much of my college experience, but not this year. Oh, no.

Additionally, somehow I became the mother figure this year. I'm not maternal! I had to break out the spiked collar just to feel unlike a soccer mom. And when I say I became the mother figure, I mean that no less than two people on my sister's floor saw me there helping her carry in and out so often that they said, "Hi, K's Mom!" That was the end of my newsanchor haircut, regardless of how much less lip it got me from students at my day job.


At any rate, today is move out day. And then she goes back to Small Town USA, and I am, once again, a free woman. Don't get me wrong. I love her very much, and we had a lot of fun, particularly once we established that I was not there to take care of her and that spending all of Sunday afternoon on my couch was not an effective way to study. (I wouldn't stand for it anyway, jealous woman like me. Me and my couch have something special, and no one is going to come between us.) We had a good time.

But she worries me and needs me and insists that I have hidden stores of alcohol in my house. I wish I had hidden stores of alcohol, but alas, alack. There is no alcohol. If I had alcohol, I would drink the alcohol, and then there wouldn't be any, either. This is a concept she can't quite seem to grasp. You have no idea how disappointed she will be when she is alone in my house one day, raids the place, and discovers that I have been telling the truth all this time. She doesn't believe me because I can't keep from laughing at her when she suggests it.

And I think it's the needing me thing that bothers me the most. No one has needed me in a very long time, and I like it that way. It's weird, suddenly, to have someone depending on me for things and expecting me to show up and spend time with her and take care of her. And I know I shouldn't resent this because it's cute and she'll outgrow it and become like the middle one who only pretends to like me because she needs a place to sleep, but I can't help it. I moved here for freedom, I'm single for freedom, and gosh darn it, freedom is what I'm going to have. In approximately 7 more hours.

Someone remind me of this when I'm heartbroken about the fact that she's not here next week, will ya?

Posted by LoWriter at 08:39 AM | Comments (2)

May 22, 2006

A Very Birthday Weekend

As many of you know, it is my b-day today. And, as I told my sister, I like attention, so I am posting an entry. There will be some restaurants mentioned/rated and probably some DVDs, too.

First off, I gave myself a fabulous birthday present last week, but I can't talk about it for three more weeks. Then I will tell you all about it.

Thursday, my sisters and I went to Red Robbin. If you have not tried this place, their burgers are to die for, and they offer all you can eat fries. That's right. All you can eat fries at no extra charge. Mmmm. There's one on Lexington and 694, but the servers are never very friendly there.

Friday, a friend and I had a joint birthday. We went to Bryant and Lake Bowl and bowled a couple games. (My goal was to break 50, and I scored 84 and 86, which were good games for me!) It's a fantastic little bowling alley, and I think we got there at just the right time. It reminded me a little of being a punk. It's got a little theater in it, and it only has about eight or nine lanes, so I totally felt like I was home. The chicken quesadillas are to die for. I reccommend this little place, but if you go, you should definitely call to reserve a lane beforehand, and you should probably go kinda early. We had a pile of people there. Then we went back to my friends' house and had a fire in her new firepit for the first toasted marshmallows of the season. It was pretty awesome.

On Saturday, I played games with my friends C and J, and it was excellent. Then they gave me an introduction to another totally fantastic show by one of the guys who worked on Firefly. This one is also only 13 episodes long because Fox killed it. It's called Wonderfalls, and it was so awesome that that's pretty much all I did yesterday. It's very pretty visually, and they did a lot of fun camera tricks. To understate things, I liked it a ton.

Then I got home and found out a friend of mine was in town from Chicago, so I met her and some friends down at Sweenie's. Then we went bar hopping all down to the Tavern on Grand.

Another movie I got this weekend that is fabulous is Amelie. If you have not seen this, you need to. It's just such a great film. It's French with subtitles, but it's not dark and depressing like so many subtitled fims. I have really enjoyed it over the years.

I also got a bunch of gift cards, which are some my favorite things on earth, so there will be more movies and books coming in the future months, too.

Well, that's pretty much it. There was much food and merriment this weekend, and I liked it a lot. Today, I am working like usual, and then I will probably have a pretty low-key night of Medium Season Finale. The 'rents are coming into town to help the sis move home this weekend, so if I've been really very good, I may just get a red cake, which is this cake my mom makes with amazing frosting, but I don't know that I will. I haven't been overly good this year. ;) At the very least, there will probably be ice cream.

So on the whole, I have now turned 26. And I'm starting the year off with some good (I think) changes. This may just be a banner year.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:07 AM | Comments (4)

May 17, 2006


After a weekend with my family in which my dad argued with me, yet again, about why Democrats are evil and Republicans are the salvation and light of the world, I have determined that our approaches to NASCAR sum up our approaches to politics.

You see, my dad is all about a certain brand of car. All he wants is for a Chevy to win the race. It doesn't matter how craptastic Chevies become or what assholes might be driving them. So long as Chevy wins, he's happy.

I, on the other hand, am only concerned about the drivers. I don't care what pile of crap they drive, so long as I can get behind them as a person. As long as the driver is nice and personable and humble, the car could be a demo derby car, and I'm satisfied if the driver wins. And I'll admit it, often, I'm satisfied so long as anybody but Tony Stewart wins the race.

This is very similar to our attitudes about politics. My dad is a Republican. He will vote Republican no matter who is running for office or how that person has distorted the platform. He will stick with Republican until the bitter end.

I am a Democrat, but only in the loosest sense of the term. I won't vote for anybody I don't like, and I don't care how much good they might stand for. If I don't like somebody, I won't vote for that person. If I do like somebody, I will vote for them regardless of whether or not we disagree on a few crucial issues because I don't really think they can do much about the things we disagree about, anyway. So often, I vote Democrat or Green.

It's interesting to me that our approaches are so different, but it makes me recognize the fact that we will probably never agree on NASCAR or politics, and that's OK. Even if he doesn't think so.

Posted by LoWriter at 07:38 AM | Comments (6)

May 13, 2006

Suggestions Welcome

I am taking a survey. Here is my question:

What kind of computer should I buy? I want a laptop, and I despise Macs. Hate them with the fire of a thousand suns. You will not change my mind about this. I know all about how "wonderful" they suposedly are for any manner of things, including the fact that fewer/no viruses are designed for them. But I hate them. I prefer PCs. Also, I am highly skeptical of Dell these days since nearly every person I know who has a Dell hates their Dell.

I will be using it for graduate school (assuming I am able/willing to go this fall) and for grant writing work. It doesn't have to do anything too fancy, but I would like enough memory to be able to download some music. I'm planning to go for tech writing, so I'm assuming it's going to have to have some powerpoint and publisher, etc. capabilities. (Maybe this whole conversation is mute if they use Macs at the school I'm looking at.) Also, I want a floppy drive, but that can be external. And I want a bigger screen than what I have now.

Other than that, I have no idea. I haven't purchased a new computer since 1998, so I have no clue. I'm pretty sure I want the intel pentium processor, but I don't know the benefits/drawbacks to having/not having that feature versus a Celleron or if those two are the same thing and I just don't know it.

Also, I am really hoping to keep this purchase under $2,000.

Fire away with your suggestions in the comments.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:21 PM | Comments (9)

May 09, 2006

Why I Can't Quit

Many of you have spoken about how I need to quit my night job. Well, every time I get close, something happens to prevent me. I.e. the f-ing engine light in my car. Which is on again. And I hate it.

Granted, this is an ideal time for it to happen. The sis is still in the cities, so I can swipe her car tomorrow morning and (hopefully) still get to work on time. I am going to see the folks this weekend, so it is also good that it decided to break down now before I am out driving through the Reservation where I get no cell phone signal and there's nothing but slough as far as the eyes can see.

HOWEVER. Nearly every spring this happens, and I am a complete idiot because every spring, I pay them to hook it up to the computer and decide that my emmissions settings are set too high. It's always on a day like today when it's been cold and/or rainy, and then it warms up (i.e. Saturday, which was the first offense and today, which was the second), and then it gets humid. And then I drive to White Bear Lake, and on the same damn stretch of road (between White Bear Ave. and Century Ave.) every damn year the damn light goes off.

And I hate it.

But there's always the possibility that it's something major, which will then mean I have to decide to either trade it off or fix it or fix it and then trade it off and then I will either have a repair bill or car payments again or both. Booo.

This is why I have a night job. This is why I will be working at said night job until I am a very old woman. No matter how sweet freedom looks, no matter how close it is, I am always pulled back by something new and exciting happening.

That is all.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:25 AM | Comments (8)

May 04, 2006

April Books

Without further ado, here is the April book list:

Anne's House of Dreams: I enjoyed this book. It's all about Anne and Gilbert's first years as a married couple. Anne is charming as always, but the end is a little sad. I liked it because she gets a little sorrow, so she's more believable. On the whole, good chick book.

Tricked: This is a graphic novel about a former rock star falling in love with an average girl and how his whole life is changed. And it's about the waitress who waits on his table. And it's about the guy she falls in love with. And it's about the guy in the office who's rapidly going crazy. It's about a lot of people and how their stories all come together at one point. I liked it. The artwork was fantastic.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: I would say this is the best book I have read all year. A friend accurately described it as "A fairy tale for grown-ups." I would say this is true. It is about England's two foremost magicians and how they are attempting to bring magic back. It's fantastic. It's everything I like in a book--adventure, mystery, suspense, fantasy, love, and a killer ending--, and it is exceptionally well-written.

The Astonishing X-Men "Dangerous": This is the second volume graphic novel of the X-Men that Joss Whedon is working on. It was pretty awesome, too. I don't really remember what happened in the first volume, so I was a little lost, but it has all the great one-liners that we know and love Whedon for. I enjoyed it even though some of the humor fell flat at times. (Some of Whedon's stuff is just better in the medium of motion pictures.) On the whole, I love the new artwork, and I love the story line. And I don't hate Kitty Pride in this one, either, which helps. :)

Well, that's it, kids. Pretty slim pickings, but seriously, I read like two pages a night before falling asleep all month. It's all I had time for. Feel free to share your own picks in the comments.

Posted by LoWriter at 07:59 AM | Comments (4)

May 01, 2006


I have been tagged by my friend at Fragmented Continuity to answer the following:

Four jobs I've had in my life:

Grocery store clerk
Food service at Bethel U
Office assistant
Writing Center tutor

Four movies I would watch over and over:

Office Space
Sliding Doors

Four places I have lived:

Brooks, MN
Bethel University dorms/apartments
New Brighton, MN (for all of three weeks)
St. Paul, MN

Four TV shows I love to watch:

My Name Is Earl

Four places I've been on vacation:

San Diego
LA (and all points between here and there)
New York City

Four websites I visit daily:

Star Tribune
friends' blogs

Four of my favorite foods:

Buttered toasted raisin bagel
grape tomatoes
chips and salsa

Four places I'd rather be right now:

In my parents' backyard (on the deck)
YMCA of the Rockies
On my couch
At the library

Four memorable restaurants:

Granite City
The fabulous little St. Paul Italian restaurant whose name I never remember
The Highland Grill
Little T's

Four friends whom I've tagged that I think will respond:

Dr. Gonzo

Posted by LoWriter at 08:53 AM | Comments (9)