Friday, December 21, 2007

the restaurant experience

my parents are visting this weekend. today is also my mom's birthday. to celebrate the occasion, i gathered opinions on restaurants to find the perfect place for dinner. when people at work suggested i drop the magazine connection to secure a table i decided it wasn't a bad idea. i made reservations at centro vinoteca, a west village restaurant i heard good things about.

i mentioned to my parents that it would be great if they seated us in a nice section because of the name drop. sure enough, they led us upstairs to the more private dining area, took our coats, sat us down, and gave us the menus. we decided amongst ourselves that we'd try two of the piccolini before our entrees: the truffled deviled eggs (which i'd heard great things about) and the eggplant cakes. i was unsure whether or not the portions would be big enough or if we had to order a dish from each course.

but before we could say cipolline, they had placed four dishes of piccolini in front of us: truffled deviled eggs, pate, arancine, pumpin cakes with goat cheese, and a gorgonzola cake (i think). all compliments of chef anne burrell. it was then i realized "oh shit i hope they don't think i'm that important." we ate everything and placed our orders. my dad decided to get the oxtail cake as an appetizer after i mentioned the rave reviews i'd heard about them. in addition to the cake, they brought the seppioline salad. i'm not huge on seppioline, but the squash, pumpkin seeds, and salad underneath were amazing.

as if that wasn't enough, after clearing the antipasti, they brought two first course dishes: ravioli with sage butter (by far the best thing i've had in a long time) and pici pasta with sweet and spicy sausage ragu.

finally, FINALLY, after finishing the pasta, we had something we actually ordered-- my dad the rabbit involtino, my mom the rosemary crusted baby chicken, and i the tortellini (though i think it's funny i didn't order anything from the secondi menu).

we all agreed that, while we consumed a lot, none of us were stuffed. enough room for dessert. my dad had the hazelnut cake with nutella mousse, i had the green apple and crystallized ginger prosecco float, and my mom had some flavored gelatti (complete with a birthday candle).

i will most definitely send the chef a nice thank you note on magazine letterhead come monday.

and the funny part is, i can't even begin to tell you how much i had to reference the online menu while writing this to get the terminology right and to figure out what i was eating.

Monday, December 17, 2007

dear subway gods

why is it that 9 times out of 10, when i sit on the subway, the person next to me decides that it's nap time and i make a perfectly good pillow? the awkward game ensues: do i tap this person on the shoulder? move abruptly? or just go with it, hoping the next stop will jerk them awake?

i thought this was normal, but apparently this has never happened to melissa and jude. should i take it personally? am i that boring of a person?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

eat, drink, and be merry

(insert oh-so-typical "i haven't written in my blog for so long" comment here).

yes, it's been a while. time here in new york city has been a paradox of fast and slow. the days are flying by, but i still feel like i haven't been here for very long. my internship is almost over. it's been difficult, but i can say that i'm learning a lot about the magazine industry and my strengths and weaknesses. truth be told, financially, i'll be very happy when it is finished and i can seek a higher paying job. working for p.b.loco full-time, or even part-time along with another part-time job, will be a welcome change.

i'm extremely excited that it's december. i've been looking forward to this month more so than any other year. my month has been booked right through, though it hasn't exactly gone according to plan. last weekend i went to dc to do some p.b.loco demos. the days were long, though, and the only dc/friend time i had was in the form of meeting kate and the clarks for lunch. unfortunately, the timing was off yet again and i only ended up with about 10 minutes... just enough time to order my food to go and take it back to the bus.

celeste and chris were supposed to visit this weekend, but the snow ultimately got the better of us and they stayed home. luckily, when celeste told me on friday morning that they weren't going to make it, i was too hungover to fully process and it didn't hit me as hard. thank you, sales day party, for getting me drunk enough to numb the pain of my sister not visiting.

this weekend instead was spent wandering around the west village, consuming irish cream and egg nog, and reading. i haven't had a weekend with no plans in a while, so it was a nice change of pace. i also purchased the snl christmas special and a random christmas movie (noel) to watch in the living room, all nice and cozy with my fiber optic tree.

as for next weekend, my parents are finally visiting. i'm excited to show them around park slope (not to mention my apartment). this weekend won't come fast enough.

after their visit, i will work half a day on christmas eve, take the greyhound home, spend the night/day with my family, and take the bus back on christmas night. definitely a short visit, but i opted to work on christmas eve so i could take off...

...NEW YEAR'S EVE. this is the most excited i've been about new year's since... well, ever. a bunch of people are coming to visit including, but not limited to (in alphabetical order), alex, arthur, deb, katherine, kevin (?), jeni, joe, margaret, matt, and phil. some people have yet to determine whether or not they will be there, but we will hope for the best.

the evening will commence with a cocktails soiree hosted by my apartment. afterwards, jeni, joe, and matt will remain behind with jude, and they will cook dinner and play games. the rest of us will proceed to dinner and drinks in park slope. at midnight, we will watch fireworks at grand army plaza. and who knows what the rest of the night will have in store.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

city of brotherly love

last weekend marked my first visit to philadelphia. kate was planning on visiting katherine, and we thought it would be a good idea for me to surprise her. the plan worked out rather well, despite the fact that i accidentally got on the chinatown bus an hour early. kate's bus got in an hour late, and katherine, who is working in dc (don't ask) got in right on time. since i was early, i headed to a restaurant to get some dinner. kate told katherine to meet her there, little did she know she was meeting me instead. then i got on one knee and popped the question-- can i crash on your couch tonight?

but the joke was on me, because katherine doesn't even have a couch.

it was a lot of fun, even though we didn't get to see the rocky steps. it's always really refreshing to see college friends. whenever i see one, i go home feeling sad that we don't live in the same city anymore. in a perfect world, my friends and i would all be in the same area and getting together would be no problem. the weekend was too short, but i left feeling good about the realization that visits to dc and philly are really easy and cheap (just like me. wait...). i will throw out this invitation to whoever is reading right now: you are cordially invited to crash on my couch/bed/mattress/floor for new year's eve. no birthday presents necessary - hosting a bunch of people on my first four-day new year's weekend in a while is a gift in itself. katherine for one is already signed up.

and now for the apartment situation. the heat and hot water were a false alarm. we have a mess of wires downstairs at the gas tank in the basement and still no electricity in the basement to run the crappy old boiler. to remedy that, the construction worker and broker had the brilliant idea to run a cord from our apartment all the way down stairs via a bunch of exension cords. it's amazing we haven't had a fire yet.

we filed a complaint to the housing preservation department last week and someone came last night to check it out. for once i feel like the apartment heavens aligned, because all three of us were there and the inspector was the first person we've encountered in a long while that actually listened and didn't seem in a hurry. according to him, people like him are few and far between. he said his coworkers all do their visits in a rush... which explains why, when no one answered after ringing our broken doorbell after the first two visit attempts, the inspectors left. we couldn't have asked for a better examiner- this one had the brains to wait a few seconds and then tap on the window. apparently, after the third visit attempt, the case is thrown out if no one answers. we were lucky. he was very thorough, took the time to answer our questions, and understood what a crappy situation it was. he had a sense of humor and felt for us. when he left, we felt like he had taken pieces of our hearts with him. robert, wherever you may be, we will miss you.

in reality, it was a nice change of pace to have someone empathize with us. between our landlord, construction worker, broker, electric company, and gas company, it's been hell. he cited four emergency violations to be repaired immediately, plus smaller things to be fixed. we also sent a certified letter to the landlord. we shall see what comes of it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

squatter's rights

life in the apartment has been less than ideal. we just got hot water two days ago. we have yet to get heat. since when are heat and hot water considered luxuries? the construction still hasn't been finished. melissa is still staying at her friend's because her bathroom still has no shower wall or toilet seat. after having a pow wow tonight, the roommates decided they are banding together to pursue some sort of landlord ultimatum. wish us luck.

on the bright side, we did get a new refrigerator (a huge step up from the unusable old one with a cut cord and mold growing inside). my room is coming along, i got a 5-shelf bookcase (taller than me) at target for only $30. let me remind you that a bookcase has been on my wish list since minneapolis. this is a big deal for me.

also on the noteworthy list is my $200 brand-spankin-new couch. i'm sure that anyone who has ever been in a crummy apartment situation can testify that having a couch is a serious silver lining. even more, we got it delivered for cheap that very same day (not to mention a free ride back in the delivery truck).

i've also ordered a new bedspread (no more country quilt motif) and some curtains for the giant living room window. i'm determined to make this a real place, as opposed to a cheaply-furnished apartment, because really, an awesome home may be the only thing to keep me from deciding to do tokyo or korea again at the end of the internship.

i'm really looking forward to being settled. in all, it will be a great place to live - it will be a nice apartment once everything is finished. and prospect park is amazing.

in my previous post, i failed to mention what i had been up to outside of work and the place. celeste visited two weekends ago, and it was more fun than i'd had in a long time. we walked all over the city and even stumbled upon bon jovi's new video shoot. we got some food with melissa that night in korea town. that sunday we drove back upstate for my cousin dylan's wedding. it was a lot of fun and we danced a lot. and by "a lot," i mean we danced the first two songs and realized it was time to get me back to the bus station. we won't talk about the buses running late and me not getting home until 3:30 am.

the weekend before that i also went home to gather the rest of my things and drive back in a huge u-haul (side note: successfully driving this into brooklyn is definitely one of my prouder moments in life). i also got a new tattoo. my mom, celeste, and i thought it would be a good idea to get one on the same day while i was home. my mom got a celtic band around her ankle with a (prepare yourself) scottish deerhound profile in the center and thistle at either side. celeste got the mackenzie clan coat of arms on her hip. i got a lotus flower on my back/left shoulder. thank god for needlewurks, because they really do an amazing job. all three of the tattoos turned out incredible. eventually i want the artist to get the flowers going all the way down the left side of my back. the colors and design are perfect and i'm glad i finally got a korea-inspired tattoo, considering i had been waiting about two years to get one.

with that said, it is time to unload more books onto my bookcase.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

live from new york

guess it's time for an update. life has had its ups and downs lately, to say the least. i'm writing from my apartment, but we are far from settled. miraculously, jude and i discovered that we have a wireless signal and are both currently lost in internetland. it's especially amazing considering the fact that we don't have power.

that's right. when we moved in, i was aware that the apartment would still be under construction. i was aware that i would have to call to have the electricity set up. i WASN'T aware of the fact that we don't even have a meter. apparently, according to the electric company, the last tenants were so behind on bills that the marshall ordered the meter to be removed. it isn't just a simple matter of flipping a switch and turning the power back on. i had to fax some paperwork, which they have to review to make sure we have nothing to do with the previous tenants. after that, they will send someone to install a meter. the lady on sunday told me that because cases like this aren't common, we would be given priority.

this in itself has been an endeavor. after trying to fax the paperwork last night (not to mention a whirlwind of phone calls and meetings with the broker to get the lease to fax), the fax machine failed. i arrived to work early this morning to try again and called the electric company to check if any of the faxes were received. more tears ensued after the lady this time told me that they can only track back to faxes received on 10/9, because those were the cases currently being handled. she claimed she couldn't even get into the files to see if my fax was successfully sent. having a hard time believing that this was the answer, that i would have to wait days for a fax that may not have even gotten there to be reviewed, i called celeste in tears. she took it upon herself to call the company saying it's ludicrous for three young girls to be living in brooklyn without power. the guy she talked to this time said he found the fax and would expedite it, and maybe they would be able to install a meter tomorrow. keep your fingers crossed.

that being said, life has been stressful and i feel drained in every way, shape, and form. there has been one problem after another and i'm getting to the point where i'm just ready for everything to be done and settled.

in the meantime, jude, kimchi, and i are staying here while melissa stays with a friend. jude and i decided it's just easier to stay here, construction, no hot water, darkness, and all, so we just go to her friend's to shower. the broker did bring a cord connecting to the basement along with a power strip, so we are able to charge things, hook up our lamps, and watch tv. and the internet is a nice little surprise.

my job is getting there. basically i have two bosses so things can get kind of hectic, which is what i expected from a magazine job. i feel in over my head sometimes, but that goes with all new jobs. it's definitely a nice environment to work in, and i'm learning a lot about publishing, food, and (you guessed it) wine.

i think i'm spent for the night. time to turn out the light(no s).

Friday, September 28, 2007

c'mon life...

this blog's previous post was definitely of the "high on life" variety. today i'm feeling a bit more helpless and am just waiting for everything to come together... or at least flash forward a week when i will have the first few days of my job over and done with and a place of my own to stay.

we're trying to negotiate rent, and i found out yesterday that the apartment won't be ready for move in until the following weekend because of renovations. not to mention the fact that we still haven't gotten an ok for the lease. thinking "ok, i'll find someone to stay with in the meantime," i asked lesley if i could stay with her for a few days and possibly someone else for the rest of the week. lesley won't be home and will be busy with auditions at the beginning of the week. i'm still waiting to hear back from other people.

all the while, i still hadn't heard anything about the clearance of my background check for work. i emailed my supervisor to see if we were still planning on monday as the start date and she told me to call the employment company. i called them and they said it could possibly be cleared later today, but definitely by monnday so she suggested a tuesday start date.

so this leaves me at starting my job on tuesday and still no place to stay at during the beginning of the week. on the positive side, at least i have an extra day to figure everything out. but, i'm sitting here stressed on a friday night and there's not a damn thing i can do about it until i hear from all parties involved.

perhaps someday i will be enjoying my new job in my own apartment. until then i will wallow in my sorrows with an ice cold magic hat.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

somebody pinch me

have you ever had a moment in your life when you realize you're doing exactly what you want to be doing? have you ever wanted to tap dance gleefully down the street a la gene kelley? i had one of those moments yesterday.

i was in nyc, sitting in bryant park. it was a gorgeous day and i was enjoying a soy latte and the free wireless the park was providing me. i decided to check my phone messages and discovered that the magazine had called. i called them back and found out that i GOT THE INTERNSHIP. i really don't think i've been more ecstatic in my life... there was of course nobody around to celebrate wtih, and i really considered waking up the guy sleeping two tables away from me just to be able to tell someone. it's like everything i've ever dreamed for in my life is happening. i'm now moving to nyc to work for one of my favorite magazines in one of the best sections of manhattan. bryant park is the next block over. times square is in front of me. i get my own id badge and have to walk into one of those big buildings because i work there.

the job sounds amazing too. i'll be working with the promotion and marketing department, researching premiums, sitting in on sales meetings, handling inventory, controlling event guest lists and making travel arrangements. i've got a lot on my plate, seeing how i'll still be doing up to 15 hours a week with p.b.loco. that's a fifty-five hour work week. yikes.

i was in the city yesterday looking for an apartment. i found an amazing one in brooklyn and we're in the process of applying for it. i've been up to my ears in paperwork today, working from eight to four making sure i had all of my apartment and work forms in order. hopefully everything will come together because i start my job monday. as in this monday. i hope i'm ready.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

i want to be a part of it

so far my time has been, to say the least, busy. i think i've actually been in my house for a total of five days. not having any down time really puts a strain on new york planning.

mentally, i'm consumed by three and only three things: selling my car, finding a job, and finding an apartment. i feel like i'm finally getting closer to two of the three - as luck would have it, jeni and joe decided to buy my car, but it will be even nicer to have that check in my account. i must have patience, as they are paying me this week. i am heading down to the city tomorrow night where i will crash at lesley's (who i haven't seen in over a year) for a job interview tuesday morning. keep your fingers crossed, it's for a paid internship with a magazine, which is my dream job. i've probably jinxed myself by mentioning it on here, but i'm still hopeful.

as for the apartment, we're still trying to figure it out. melissa, jude, and i are going to live together, but finding an apartment when you're not in the city is tricky. especially when most posted apartments are available immediately and we're looking for a lease starting in october. jude and i went kind of for fun, kind of to look around, last monday to no avail. we did find a decent one, but bedford-stuyvesant isn't exactly the ideal location.

as for the rest of life, i've been in and out of schaghticoke quite a bit. i came back today from a trip to horseheads, where i took a wine tour in the finger lakes. it was pretty awesome, and i didn't realize how many wineries there really are in that area. we only made it to five on seneca lake before we'd had our fill and had a considerable dent in our wallets. it might just be a little life-long mission of mine to visit every winery on the lakes.

for now, i must relax before my big day tomorrow: looking up directions, making sure everything for my trip is in order, and getting a new outfit that says "you must hire me." much luck is needed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ohio!

it has come to my attention that this blog is in drastic need of an update. for starters, i am currently writing from a hotel room in milan, oh. i've completed more than half of my scheduled roadtrip back to good ol' upstate ny.

what else is new? oh, not much except for the fact that it is more than likely that salsa and i will be moving to nyc instead of seoul. turns out when melissa told p.b.loco of her korea plans, they used nyc as a tool of persuasion to stay with the company. and somehow i got into the deal. they've offered me to start 15 hours/week and hopefully as the company brings in more money (maybe winter?) i could be working full-time. so i would have to find a part-time job to supplement my income, but that is a small price to pay considering how madly in love i am with ny.

it's still not 100% definite because salsa hasn't told the bosses she'd do it, but the odds are definitely in america's favor.

and soon the headache of finding affordable housing around the city shall begin.

on the agenda for my first week home: camping out at the altamont fairgrounds in the family's new camper for the scottish games (lots of guinness and no driving = inebriated tanya) and then a week with celeste where we will do girly sister things.

in terms of minneapolis, i am sure i will miss it. i've become close with a lot of people there that i never quite expected, but sadly enough it was only in the past month.

but my last month has been a great one, consisting of many nights spent stooping in the front yard and chatting with the neighbors until 2. or 3. or 4.

also i've been thinking a lot about things i never expected my time in minnesota to bring me, such as:

1) renting a giant inflatable jumper which fit perfectly in the front yard.
2) sleeping in the jumper.
3) managing a store in the mall of america.
4) working for a peanut butter company.
5) having such "colorful" neighbors.
6) the decision to move back to korea.
7) changing my mind and deciding to move to nyc.
8) meeting al franken.
9) doing a photo shoot for a magazine ad.

i was going to round it out to an even ten, but i can't think of anything else and "don't tell mom the babysitter's dead" is on tv. could the night be any more perfect?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

alive and well

for anyone who's watching the news, i want to assure you that i am alive and breathing. in case you don't know what i'm talking about, the bridge on interstate 35 west collapsed, which is the same interstate that i take every day. i honestly think there was some divine interference on my behalf because, while i usually don't travel on that section of the highway, i just so happened to be working from diamonds cafe in northeast minneapolis.

i generally know how to get back home, but i missed the exit because it was a few lanes over. i continued to drive through downtown, all the way to the metrodome thinking "eh, i may be going the long way and out of the way, but i kind of like exploring." it was when i hit downtown that police cars and ambulances and fire trucks were racing by all around me and i thought "wow, it must be a really big accident or fire."

i finally got home and had literally just stepped into my apartment when melissa called and said "thank god you're alive!" i had to ask what was going on and it was then that she told me that the entire bridge had collapsed. she knew that i was leaving the cafe right around that time and would be taking 35 so she called to make sure i wasn't there. i turned on the tv and sure enough every channel was featuring the story. while i was on the phone with her, celeste called on the other line and i thought, "wow i wonder if this has already gotten on the news back home."

instead, celeste started talking my ear off about an upcoming trip to nyc and i had to interrupt to tell her that my lack of direction could possibly have prevented me from serious injury. of course, celeste started freaking out and saying over and over that if anything ever happened to me or my mom she wouldn't know what to do with herself. i left her to call my mom so i could make other calls, and celeste proceeded to be hysterical. my mom had to tell her to stop because i was fine. it's nice to know she cares, though.

i made a call to chris, who was supposed to be meeting alisun, to make sure they were both ok. chris had apparently just crossed the bridge a minute or two before it happened and got stuck in traffic afterwards, wondering why there was a ton of smoke coming from behind him. alisun was still safe at work. the immediate people i care for here in minneapolis are all present and accounted for, thankfully. overall, it seems pretty amazing that there aren't more severe injuries/fatalities, though it's still kind of early. so there you are, my version of the story and proof that i am well.

Friday, July 20, 2007

hooray for friday

it's always nice to not leave for work until 11 only to get there and find that there are no orders to pack because there's a problem with the computer. yes, it sucks, but at least i got to leave at 2:30. that most definitely makes up for yesterday's hungover work day.

you may be asking yourself "why on earth would tanya be hungover on a thursday?"

it happened unexpectedly, that's for sure.

alisun and i took our last $10 and bought a very large bottle of merlot for a leisurely wednesday night consumption. but of course, we forgot that a night spent sitting at the picnic table in our yard can never be a solo endeavor. before we knew it, we were in a neighborhood block party of sorts.

so i was up until 4 am sitting in our neighbor's amazing backyard garden/oasis, playing the "if..." game and enjoying the unexpected company. i finally decided it was time to sleep when my neighbors put in stand by me and i knew that i wouldn't be able to last for another two hours. no matter how much i love that movie, sleep was a bigger priority.

and man, i could tell the next day was going to be rough when i went into our bathroom only to find alisun sleeping away in the bathtub (full of water, naturally). sure enough, i woke up at 7:30 and thought "hmm, i'll call salsa to see if she wants to pick me up before she goes into pbhq at noon, instead of meeting her to work on the project." luckily, that worked out and i got three more hours to sleep off a large portion of the hangover. alisun wasn't so lucky and was still hurting when we got home from work.

anyway, i've been keeping myself busy and enjoying work and am generally happy to be living stree-free. last night was another good night, consisting of molly's birthday party, some live music at bunkers, and then back to greg and mike's, where, even though i was exhausted, i stuck around for an hour or so while they jammed away in the basement.

and i am now the biggest loser because my boss jodene asked about my weekend plans and i said i had a hot date with a wizard. but at least there are a few of us planning on going to the release party and i won't be doing it alone.

oh weekends, it's nice to have you back. <3

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

work work work

or not really. i started working at pbhq (nerdspeak for peanut butter headquarters) thursday night and so far so good. i'm not even doing any project-y type work with melissa yet. they are one person short in the office, so i'm basically handling online orders/customer service right now. although i wouldn't exactly say i'm doing what i love, it's really nice to not be doing what i hate. really, i've been enjoying myself and a nine hour day today barely even phased me.

tomorrow salsa and i are supposed to meet at my place to get the project started, so we'll see how everything continues.

no korea job lined up, but i have a few prospects. i've decided to go against my first job offer. sounds like a potentially easy job, but a few things don't sit well with me: i don't want to be in the total northern end of seoul, i don't really dig the calling students every day thing, and i'm not too sure how i feel about the director pretty much leaving it all up to the current teacher to get in contact with me (not to mention the fact that said teacher wasn't even aware they weren't renewing his contract and they were looking for a replacement.) anyway, he called today and kind of gave the "if you don't call back soon we're gonna find someone else" vibe. it's probably time i send the recruiter an email to say that the job isn't really a good match.

i'm specifically looking for a sinchon/hongdae or kangnam position, so that's pretty much what i'm focusing on in my search for now.

ok i have to stop because i'm majorly distracted by trash tv.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

you know you're a wino when...

...you walk into the liquor store, throw down your twelve pack of beer, and the liquor store guy says "what, no wine today?"

then he went on to tell me that my haircut looks really nice. i didn't have the heart to tell him that i haven't had a haircut in two months, i think it's just because the last few times i've beeen in i've been wearing a headband. but his intentions were much appreciated.

beware: dork post below.

i've been thoroughly enjoying my time off by doing a whole lot of nothing. the best part of it all is that i no longer feel like a permanently on-call babysitter.

yesterday i was able indulge in one of my guilty pleasures: going to the movies by myself. i decided on once after hearing a glowing radio review. it's an irish indie "musical" of sorts. i was kind of thinking it would be along the lines of rent, but i was pleasantly surprised. it was a very low-key story- a gifted irish musician meets a czech flower girl and they work together on an album so the guy can go to london, get back together with his girlfriend, and sign a record deal. sounds like the recipe for a cheesy hollywood romance, but, fortunately for the film, it was handled in a much better way. i was really surprised to see that the movie was rated 'r,' because other than a few dropped f-bombs, there wasn't much indecency for the eyes or ears.

in all honesty, i wasn't sure how i felt about the movie until it was over, and it was then that i decided that i really liked it, because:

a) they didn't exactly follow a "typical" storyline (one could almost argue that there was no storyline)
b) there were many routes the film could have taken, but the storytellers were very crafty to not sell out for the sake of "appealing" to a certain crowd
c) the music was great. scratch that, the musicians were great. honestly, i haven't seen anyone perform with as much emotion as glen hansard in a long time. and, much to my surprise, i found out in staying for the credits, that the actors actually wrote their own music.

all in all, it was enjoyable. i don't necessarily know that i'd want to watch it again, but it's definitely worth a viewing.

in light of my positive movie experience, i decided to make it 2 for 2, and today i went to see harry potter and the order of the phoenix.



if memory serves, i wasn't all too impressed with number four (which happened to be my favorite book), and wasn't expecting much more than to be slightly entertained by number five. i couldn't have been more wrong. my favorite of the movies so far has been the first one, if only for the "la di da, magic is great and this is a wonderful new experience" feeling. the movie had a comforting, home-y feel to it, and it really is the only one i like to watch over and over. the second and third were ok, but the storylines weren't my favorite. and by this point, and especially with number four, a lot of the story elements were outright cheesy. the fourth one was the worst, because in reality it is the first "dark" storyline and they tried to lighten it up with things that just didn't work. i remember the film finishing with an eye roll on my part- harry soaring through the air on his broom was too much for my stomach to handle.

the latest movie turned me into one giant goosebump. maybe it's because of the final book coming out, maybe it's because of the tragic turns books 5 and 6 take, but really i think it's because they didn't try too hard to make it emotional. this particular story deals with some great issues, and i love the prominent topic of good vs. evil (not to mention non-conformity and some other underlying political ideas). i particularly liked what david yates did with it and for the most part, he did his best to avoid cheesiness. it felt a bit more real and as a result i felt much more emotionally connected. admittedly, i was kind of weepy throughout a lot of it. and daniel radcliffe gets better and better with every movie.

i vowed to myself that i will not go to see the sixth movie at the theaters, only because i would be reduced to a puddle of tears and they would have to scrape me off of the floor afterwards. call me a sap, but i cried for hours after reading the book. i can only imagine how i would react to the movie.

finally, the book comes out a week from tomorrow. i already have mine ordered, so expect me to be completely unavailable for the entire weekend.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

777

while the rest of the twin cities were busy catching one of three prince shows, we decided to throw a barbeque shindig for those of us who were too unfortunate to get those golden tickets.

mais le barbeque... c'est magnifique!

it's amazing how a simple idea can snowball into a grand fiesta. originally al, rick, and i were on our way to the wedge to get some fixins to make a meal. we stopped along the way to molly's new cafe's party and invited mike and molly over. mike came to the wedge with us, and we ran into stephanie, the girlfriend of greg's brother, dan. we invited them over as well, and went to town on finding kebob fixin's. two shopping bags later, we swung by the french meadow to extend invitations.

and then the work began. the result? pure awesomeness- homemade bruschetta, a bean and corn dip, roasted potatoes, marinated mushrooms, and the most amazing veggie kebobs (complete with pineapple) i've had in a long while. our neighbors even ended up joining us, and good fun was had by all. nothing beats a hot (borderline unbearable) summer night like good beer, good barbeque, and good company.




pure bliss.



mike and stephanie, barbeque-style.



time for some eats: l-r and front-back: stephanie, molly, mike, greg, (ben, dominic, and ben in back), sarah, me, dan



dan and greg being posers



rick and kimchi



greg and me... and attempt one million and one for a decent picture



and this is what happens when our neighbors get a hold of my camera.



left to right (pardon the possible name misspellings:) sarah, molly, mike, me, claude, kaylen, greg, al

Friday, July 06, 2007

i'm on vacation

i have to admit it, my family is the best group of people to vacation with. ever. we're all naturally goofy people, and the release of stress and responsibility makes us even weirder. my dad, in particular, likes to justify his actions- extra ice cream, kahlua in his coffee, speeding a little in his car, by declaring in a hick-y voice "i'm on vacation!" it may not be funny to you, but it makes great memories for me.

i'm on a little vacation of my own, and life is good right now. in other words, i just finished my last day at p.b.loco. i have a wide open schedule until thursday, when i start working again. at the moment, i am enjoying a chipotle veggie burrito and a czech lager (the name of which escapes me). i'm in communication-mode with three schools in seoul. i think one's a no go because it invoves teaching kindergarten. translation: morning work, and possibly split-shifts. the other two are on opposite ends of the city- one in bangbaedong (in the south) and the other in banghak-dong (in the north). the first location would probably more ideal and centrally located, but i'm sure the second would be much more peaceful, as it's more residential.

i have a good feeling that by the end of this week, i will have a job in seoul and the visa process will begin.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

botox: the review

i got my hands on minneapolis star tribune gossip columnist c.j.'s review of the previously mentioned botox party. if you click on the link, it's about halfway down, but if you want a shortcut (or to avoid registration), here's the short version:

"Care for some botox?

PR diva Stacy Bee threw herself a house-warming party billed as "Sex & the City" meets "Entourage" meets "Dr. 90210."

It wasn't as naughty as all that, as most of the action was above the neck with Dr. Mark Rawson of Aesthetics MD providing the Botox.

Somebody broke the news to the owner of EsBee PR, whose new home is super fab, that this was not the Twin Cities' first Botox party. Participation was not required, and the people who were partaking didn't want their names mentioned.

Khay Outhonsack wasn't really considering getting an injection, but she texted the "admirer" who had purchased the dress she was wearing to ask whether she should have the toxin injected into her face. "Botox is not necessary for someone who is already beautiful," Outhonsack's "admirer" texted in reply.

There was talk about me having my scowl relaxed. I declined on the grounds that I liked my scowl because it scares people.

Underwater Adventure's Todd Peterson, a client of EsBee's, wasn't trying to get me to buy into Botox.

"You need one of these," he said, tugging as something on a rawhide necklace. "It's a shark tooth."

Aren't we both too old for this, I asked the Osmond family look-alike?

"You're never too old for this when you own an aquarium," Peterson said.

When the party announcement came about Botox injections being available on the patio, Peterson said, "I'm going to need some wine for this."

Just when you thought there was no way to distinguish Peterson from the Osmonds, here are two: The Osmonds don't drink, and they probably don't attend Botox parties, either."

the rest of life

two nights ago was the police concert. they were ah. may. zing. in seeing a legendary band reunited, you must keep your expectations low in order to avoid being disappointed. i know they have the tendency to get experimental and jazzy, but they flat-out rocked. they did all the great songs (my personal favorite was "synchronicity II," the second song in the set). although sting doesn't quite hit the high notes anymore, they sound remarkably like they did in their prime. there certainly were some cheesy moments, though. case in point: the skeletal dinosaur feet constantly walking on the mega-screen during "walking in your footsteps." a bit contrived, i must say. but no matter how cheesy things got, the fact that they are three incredibly talented musicians (way above the rock star sense) cannot be denied. stewart copeland is something else entirely. when i was younger, i fantasized about sitting down to a dinner with sting. i was certain we would be able to have deep, meaningful conversations. by comparison, i imagine meeting stewart copeland would be a whole lot more intimidating. he's got a lot going on in that brain of his. i would probably make a fool out of myself.

not to leave the fourth of july out, it was rather relaxing. al, chris, and i went to pepitos where i enjoyed a margarita and nachos. after that we went for a swim in lake calhoun as the sun set and we waited for fireworks. it was a pleasant experience, despite the pesky mosquitos using me as their own personal blood bank. after the fireworks i went home and peacefully drifted away to slumberland. wait, no i didn't. instead, i laid in my bed until 5 am because my neighbors were letting off fireworks of their own until about 3:30 in the morning. haven't they learned anything from those "i've been blinded by fireworks" news stories?

i shall return

it's official, i've decided to move back to korea this october. destination: seoul. i am going to take korea by storm and kick its ass this time around.

i've got a list of goals brewing, including: trips to japan, china, thailand, vietnam, and singapore; intensive korean studies; taekwondo classes; saving for grad school; and lots of inner-country hikes and sightseeing. i'm excited at the notion of living and getting lost in a huge city- minneapolis is nice, but small and not at all intimidating. seoul will be the perfect setting. to my surprise, i also found out that some old pals from korea will be returning (most likely to daejeon) around the same time.

things seem to be naturally working out. i was worried about finding pay in between leaving the cafe and leaving home for new york, but p.b.loco took me on for an aggressive wholesales campaign where i'll be working with salsa for a month. it will definitely be fun to learn some new aspects of business life, not to mention work and scheme with salsa and get paid for it.

i worked up the nerve to tell my family and al, and it went over well in both regards. my mom i'm sure isn't exactly thrilled about it but knows i'll probably always feel the need to travel and she gave me her blessings. my dad is thrilled that i really want to save money this time around. celeste said she figured she'd get that phone call sooner or later. although i feel bad about backing out on living with alisun, she says she's glad that i know what will make me happy and that i'm actually going for it. she knows i haven't exactly been happy here, for lack of really trying to make friends (like i said, i never fully felt like myself) and her not being fully available as a friend and roommate- and that's tough when you feel like you only have one friend in a city.

tomorrow is my last p.b.loco day, and luckily it's only for a short while- i just have to go in to make sure that shantel is fully comfortable resuming her role as manager. i have today off and it's been relaxing at that. i've surfed around looking for jobs and reading korean blogs and i went to the midtown global market. i have to remind myself that seoul is very much an international city, because i was kind of feeling like i had to relish in the range of diversity of the shoppers and international foods while shopping. but it's nice that i'll be in a city where most of the comforts of home will still be available to a certain (albeit more expensive) extent.

after tomorrow, i will have saturday-wednesday off, and i don't know what to do with myself! i'm imagining long runs, swimming in the lakes, and lots of korean research. i was spoiled by my school the first time around, and i would love to find a school in seoul with a similar working situation.

already, october seems far away when i start to daydream about returning to meals of kimchi dopbap, alcohol runs to 7-11 at any hour of the night, adorable students, anonymity, catchy commercial jingles, obsessing over cute fellow foreign boys, and the ultimate sense of freedom.

and so, kimchi will return to his motherland. i'm hoping he will have a complete 180 and become the sweet chihuahua he once was. maybe all he needs is a familiar setting: ondol floors, a cozy apartment, and just the two of us. maybe.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

bitten again?

that damn travel bug. time for some honesty: all i can think about is korea.

to be honest, i feel like i've never exactly felt at home in minneapolis. it's a great place and people are nice, but from day one i for some reason don't feel like myself here. i'm generally a pretty positive person, but between work and lack of community, i've been feeling downright negative and depressed lately.

and in some thorough life evaluations and help from some angel cards, i've realized that my happiest time in life (aside from college) was korea. i felt the most comfortable, most on top of life, most adventurous there. and not that i live by what cards predict, but the angels and fairies have constantly been telling me new location, safe travels, new opportunity, retreat, and stress management. at first i thought it was because of my job, but now i'm realizing i just may to relocate myself.

there, now two people and the blogging community know my secret.

still not sure what will come of it.

Friday, June 29, 2007

in and around the apartment part 2








in and around the apartment






worth a thousand words

my life here in minneapolis will no longer be illustrated with mere words. i've finally gotten a cord to upload my pictures to my computer.

we'll start with last week's trip to duluth. al and i left on saturday night, and the first stop was toby's for a famous caramel cinnamon roll.



we stopped at fitgers upon arrival where i was finally able to try the wild rice burger al had been raving about since, well, forever. and it was amazing, moist, perfection. my apricot brew washed everything down nicely.

after the food, we found the secluded beach area to call it a night. i wasn't sure what "sleeping on the beach" would really entail, but i was picturing looking like a sand monster in the morning. in reality, the beach was a bunch of flat rocks, perfect for laying down a blanket and hitting snoozeville. unfortunately, i had to tie kimchi to me because he refused to sleep soundly in his crate. a chihuahua attached to my waist makes for a hard night's sleep.

we spent most of the morning after reading, sunning, drinking coffee, and painting rocks. when noon came around we realized we were starved for some good beer. unfortunately it was sunday and all of the liquor stores were closed. a wisconsin beer run was the only option. we brought our beers in an ice bucket to another beach where we continued to bake away in the sun. note to self: when using 15 spf, you still must reapply like you would with 8 spf.

hours later and hungry for dinner, we picked up some sandwiches and iced coffee and went to a creek. we tried to enjoy the rest of our time as much as we could, but alas 5 o'clock rolled around and we had to head on back.

my impression of duluth? it's definitely nice but surprisingly industrial. really, nothing beats the adirondacks or the east coast beaches.








Friday, June 22, 2007

new directions

today, june 22nd, marks the day that i put in my two weeks notice. in two weeks i may or not be a bum living on the streets, which is completely dependant on my finding a new job. overall, i'm feeling good about it. i wasn't passionate about the job like i should be. the mall isn't my kind of environment to work in, and it will be nice to not have to stress anymore over the things i shouldn't have to stress about in the first place... snooty customers, stolen money, missed shifts, etc., etc., etc...

i am thankful for how smooth the job made my transition to minnesota, and i still love the company, but it just isn't for me. i don't think i'll be getting the financial aid that i need for hamline, but in worrying over this i've come to the conclusion that i'm not so sure it would be worth throwing down thousands of dollars for a degree in something that isn't my life goal. i still love the idea of teaching esl, but i've said from day one that i don't think i would want to do it forever. i think the right path for me is to pursue journalism and get into the fields of publishing, copyediting, and eventually perhaps become a travel journalist. i desperately want to have our cookbook published and see where things go from there. i think leaving p.b.loco and pursuing journalism will open up doors to what i really want to do... namely working with words and writing and traveling.

if by some strange chance anyone associated with the university of minnesota is reading this, what i really want to do is get a job with the u and take a free class or two. that way i can get the official journalism and computer training i need to branch out and make this work. i'd also be able to save money and hopefully get my master's sooner or later. keep your fingers crossed. ah, the quarter-life crisis. it sucks.

and now for something completely different...

p.b.loco was featured on thepalestra.com as a stop on their college tour. watch the video below and see me in my natural state of dorkiness. thanks to tori, arthur, and steph for pointing out my resemblance to smalls from the sandlot wearing my hat. i really appreciate it. i do. the good news is i only have to don it for two more weeks!

http://www.thepalestra.com/summer_tour2007.php#

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

minnesota strange

i'd heard about "minnesota nice" before my midwestern move, but no one had warned me about minnesota strange. over the past week i've encountered a few situations that i can't help but chalk up to being just plain weird.

situation 1: party of the century.

i went to a party thrown by al's boss. the theme? sex and the city meets entourage meets dr. 90210. not knowing what to expect, i showed up in my sunday best. of course we showed up just in time for the botox demo! i wasn't entirely interested in seeing what all the fuss was about, so while everyone scurried away to watch the volunteer youth away before their very eyes, i opted to stay inside and check out the wines brought by the south african wine distributors. but the fun doesn't stop there... after the demo people were encouraged to get botox of their own. who woulda thunk that you could get a little slice of los angeles right here in good ol' minneapolis?

situation 2: banana hammock on wheels.

after the botox party, al and i needed a bit of sanity, so we headed over to grumpy's for a few bloody marys. picture this: two girls wearing nice cocktail dresses walk into a bar full of people wearing nothing but underwear. "you guys look way overdressed" was a severe understatement. but thank you for noticing anyway, mr. thong man. upon al's explaination, i discovered that there is a bicycle group in the twin cities that arranges to go out once a month(?) and ride around in nothing but their underwear. and apparently grumpy's was a spot along the way. of course, it definitely made for some good eye candy and conversation pieces. and alisun and i couldn't help but wonder what we would be wearing if we were brave enough to join the group. but alas, before you could say "hanes her way," the group was off and cycling to their next party spot.

situation 3: stop or i'll shoot.

the day following botox and nearly-naked biking proved to be no-less interesting. after i opened the store, a group of five men came walking in. and these men looked like they were on a mission. i almost wanted to make a joke that they looked like a group out of the sopranos, but caught myself before i realized that they were in fact four bodyguards protecting one unidentifiable man. the four men spread out along the store and took their positions looking out into the mall while their client tasted some peanut butter. i still can't figure out who it was, but i am assuming it was some sort of politician because he definitely didn't look like an actor. so if anyone can help me identify who it was by the following description, i'd be really grateful. he was middle-aged, balding, brown hair, short/average height, sort of chubby. kind of generic, don't you think?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

those dang fairies

i've been playing a lot with those fairy cards, courtesy of al. yesterday and today i've done a lot of "soul searching" and continuously came up with the same card, but until now i didn't have the booklet behind the meaning. i won't reveal my specific question, but i can safely say that many times i had a question with the same result: "problem resolved." i couldn't help but find myself wondering "what does that even mean?" to the card. after looking the meaning up, i discovered the following:

"you're on the cusp of experiencing welcome relief from a problem that's been bothering you. the fairies want you to know that you have reason to smile, as heaven is working on a solution that is so creative that you'll chuckle with delight at God's sense of humor. basically, it's a win-win for everyone.

you'll soon be receiving good news, such as the healing of a strained relationship, an unexpected financial resource, a resolved health issue, a happy addition to your home, a new career opportunity, or a romantic proposal. please don't strain to figure out "how" this solution will be achieved, or in what form it will manifest. instead, let yourself enjoy feelings of excitement and gratitude as you allow heaven to help you."

we shall see, fairies. we shall see.

and all i got was this lousy sunburn

enough said.

in other news, i finally got around to watching oldboy. only about a month and a half after i received it from netflix. amazing, as expected. amazing photography, amazing twists and turns (which, unfortunately, came as no surprise because i had heard about them), and an altogether amazing storyline.

in other news, i think i'm finally realizing more specifics on what i want from a job and what i want in a job. that's good, right?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

and continuing right along...

i am *trying* to relax right now by watching so you think you can dance. i get sharp pangs of nostalgia when i watch this because i was watching it last year in korea. in fact, this day last year, i vividly remember having a nice meal of kimchi jjigae and then meeting salsa to see the omen. after that we met al and walked around the park by her apartment. and the night before was rika's last meal, when we hiked that abandoned building. oh how simple life was.

strange note, i talked to salsa on the phone the other day, after her trip to ny. i told her about how at one point last sunday, while handing a customer a sandwich, a jolt rode through me and i thought specifically about how i'd be spending my sunday in korea, probably walking to emart to get cheese and wine, then meeting salsa or al for a movie or downloaded tv or a trip to the mountain or whatever we really felt like, and i missed it like no other time before. not to sound like we're reading too much into it, but i had mentioned it to al earlier and she said she got that same feeling on sunday, and even more strangely, salsa said she got it at a specific time on sunday on the plane. she thought about how she'd meet me at a corner to see a movie and maybe just wander around the city. i like to think some entity made us all feel that pang at the same time. a korean god, perhaps?

oh how i wish i could go back in time.

things i like

red wine
lazy mornings with coffee and the news
finishing a long run
feeling connected with a book
a good cry
time with my family
beach days
dinner in a nice restaurant
ordering in
laughing while laying on my back
thunderstorms
exchanging hellos on a neighborhood walk
flying
coming home to a dog
accomplishing goals
little kids being goofy
fresh cilantro
exploring a new part of a city
french movies


things i don't like:
customers who say "give me"
i am too diplomatic to write the rest

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

just keep truckin' on

summer is fast approaching and work is largely unnotable, aside from staying until midnight removing paint from the tiles last night by order of the health inspector. not fun, and i think i now harbor a hatred for paint remover. i'm finding myself living for my days off, and in general, they've been largely productive so far. my running is getting easier and easier and i'm pretty much in the same shape i was in last summer- i was going to take it easy today and just do a three mile run, but as i started going i felt the need to keep going and explore the city a little more. i found lake nokomis, which is beautiful and crammed with beach-goers. i'm excited at the prospect of a new lake to run around (according to wikipedia, which is *always* reliable, the distance around is about three miles). not too far off from a lake calhoun run. that three mile run turned into a six mile run, which is good because i've fallen behind with my trip home and everything.

speaking of productive days, i failed to mention my day off last thursday, where i cleaned the apartment top to bottom (something that hasn't been done since moving in here because of the lack of a broom and floor polish). after that, i painted the kitchen chairs, so they finally match the yellow table. still feeling inspired, i took the broken red window just sitting in the basement, cleaned it up, knocked out the broken glass, and hung it in my bedroom. finally, i treated myself to veggie sushi and sake with rick. all in all, i felt very accomplished.

as for today, i grabbed some lunch at turtle bread, bought some bottles of wine (10% off on tuesdays!), and am relaxing for the rest of the day. i wish everyday was a day off.

Friday, June 01, 2007

back again

and i'm back in the great state of mn after a long but all-too-brief weekend home. i flew in on friday morning to surprise celeste for her graduation from ccc. she wasn't completely surprised due to some slips of the tongue, but it was still a great present (not to toot my own horn) from my parents nonetheless.

more importantly, it was my first full weekend off since starting work here. and it was much needed. so i flew in on friday, went straight to celeste's, played some guitar hero, went to her graduation, and slept the best night's sleep i'd had in a while (thanks to the absence of the air mattress i'd been sleeping on since february.) saturday we went to diane's for the graduation party. played the ladder game, drank dad's home brew, and taught the parents how to play guitar hero. got back to celeste's to play more guitar hero while celeste and chris counted out $300 and some odd dollars in change from chris' coin jar. on sunday celeste and i lounged around a bit, went to barnes and noble for some grub, and then headed over to bainbridge to meet my parents at the dog races. i drove back home with my parents, got some good ol' richie's pizza, and met up with jeni, jude, matt, and joe. we played some games, chatted for a few hours, and i was back in slumberland only to wake up bright and early, say goodbye to my parents, and head to the airport. i arrived back in mpls monday night and wasn't feeling quite ready to be back.

and now some random thoughts:

i love minneapolis pizza delivery guys.
river phoenix in stand by me still gives me chills.
i need a legit vacation.

ok, i suppose that's all i have from the thought department for now.

Monday, May 21, 2007

week one

today officially marked week one in my marathon training. i was supposed to run 3 miles, and was originally planning on going to the lake, but instead i opted for a neighborhood run. like i said before, my running lately hasn't been so great, but today's run definitely helped me get back into the swing of things by realizing a number of things:

1) i have much better concentration/overall sense of pleasure when listening to slower music on my ipod. my past few runs have been set to my specially designed "running mix." today i ran, oddly enough, to my "sleep mix." with this mix, it is so much easier to get lost in my thoughts. therefore, i don't focus too much on how much distance is left. faster music is just too stressful for me.

2) i hate loops. running around the lake is beautiful, but again i find myself constantly glancing to see how much further i have left. my runs go by much quicker when i don't run a pre-determined course.

3) night runs are better than morning runs. this didn't use to be the case with me. i used to be good to go after waking up and downing a quick cup of coffee. doing that lately just leaves me feeling shaky. running later in the day, when it's cooler and after i've gotten a good amount of food in me is definitely the way to go.

4) i definitely need my pedometer. i forgot it at home and it will be very helpful in the future. like i said, my original goal for the day was three miles. i got home surprised to see that i had been gone for almost an hour. granted, i walked quite a bit for my cooldown, but i was gone about twenty minutes longer than anticipated. i mapquested (is that the proper verb?) my route and discovered i ran about 4.5 miles. not a huge distance, but i really don't want to get ahead of myself in the training.

5) i need new running shoes. i'm long overdue.

all in all, i'm feeling rather good about this whole thing.

i really have nothing else of importance to write about. i have the feeling this blog is soon going to become purely about running. exciting, i know, but aside from work, not much else is going on in my life. still waiting to hear about financial aid for hamline. maybe my life will become interesting when i start school. maybe.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

funniest. day. ever.

i thought today would be another boring tuesday. not so! i walked into the mall this morning to open the store, and there was a very loud soundcheck. keep in mind tuesdays at the moa are usually toddler tuesdays, so the stage right outside of the store is used for kiddie entertainment. i heard a girl warming up and thought "hmm, she's got a nice voice. who the heck is she?"

i checked the calendar and saw that american idol season five's paris bennett was having her cd release party. i pretty much thought that was the funniest thing ever, but i haven't even gotten to the funny part yet. i proceeded to open the store, and then stood in the entrance, peering over to the stage to see if i could catch a glimpse of her. she was standing right at the roped off section, speaking with a few people. they left, and she was by herself. i took it upon myself to grab a jar each of white chocolate, dark chocolate, and banana peanut butter, threw them into a gift box, and ran over to her.

the following conversation ensued:

me: hi, i work at this store. i have some peanut butter for you in different flavors.
princess p: thank you!
me: i have to tell you, i was in korea last year and watched the show from there. i'm a big fan.
princess p: thanks! i love peanut butter!

and then i scurried away.

pure improv right there, ladies and gentlemen. i don't know why i thought it necessary to bring up the korea part, i guess i thought she would think it was cool that i was watching american idol halfway around the world. but i spewed that line out so quickly that i don't think she caught it. plus being a big fan was a slight exaggeration. i love the show, but she wasn't necessarily my favorite.

what do you think the odds are that she'll actually eat it? oh, the things i encounter at the mall of america.

Monday, May 07, 2007

let the sunshine in

or lack thereof. last week was beautiful. this week, not so much. i registered for the marathon last week. it's extremely hard to get motivated when the weather is so dreary. cinco de mayo didn't seem so festive with all. instead, al, salsa, chris, and i found ourselves getting breakfast at turtle bread, getting rained out of a garage sale, and loafing around the apartment with nothing to do before heading in to work.

i have this morning off, and got up to drink a pre-run cup of coffee. instead, i find myself craigslisting away for cape cod vacation rentals. not that i'm planning a trip to the cape. wishful thinking, i suppose. but i was really shocked to find some GREAT homes for rent, in good locations, for $1500-$2000/month. that's less than we spent for the week last year. it would be nice to have the dillas and the job that would allow me a month off to bask away in the sun.

this marathon is starting to scare me a bit. october seems far enough away, but i know the time will fly by. for some reason i seem to be struggling in my running. i get winded a lot quicker than i used to. must be the lingering side-effects of getting older.

in regards to my last post about lusting for a camera memory card, i finally got one, but realized i still don't have my cord to upload the pictures to my computer. d'oh! someday, i promise you faithful readers, you will be able to see my new hair, my bed-less bedroom, my rockin' kitchen, and the shabby-chic furniture we have picked up roadside along the way.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

oh camera, i miss you

if anyone has been reading this regularly (i know i have a huge fan base out there), it has probably been noted that there is an overall lack of pictures, pretty much since the summer. part of me keeps this blog going to preserve memories, because i really enjoy looking back on what i was doing a year ago and thinking "oh, what a great time." pictures are even better because they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

i still have my camera, but for some reason i'm seriously unmotivated to get a new memory card for it. the contents of the card that i had all along were erased sometime after my cape cod vacation, and i wasn't able to take pictures on it anymore. i never quite figured out what happened. i religiously cleared the card after uploading the pictures on my computer. that is, aside from the videos i took on it. long story short, i lost some good videos, including the one on rika's last night where i sat with her, kevin, and tom, in the back of a taxi and "walk on the wild side" miraculously played on the radio and we all jammed to it. and i know it isn't that difficult to buy a new memory card, but for some reason i never do it. all in all, a lot of memories have been created, especially of late, that i wish were caught on film.

pay day is tomorrow. maybe i'll find myself on my day off actually putting forth that effort so i'll be able to take pictures of minneapolis life to share with everyone.

life has been enjoyable this past week. the weather has been fantastic, so i've been able to get out a lot. like today, for example, when al and i went to greg and mike's to have an impromptu brunch- waffles, salad of the fruit and veggie varieties, and hash browns. all before i rolled on over to p.b.loco for a closing shift. so i have tomorrow off and i find myself with three netflix selections: harold and maude, all about my mother, and venus beauty institute. i'm also hoping to hit up the weisman art museum to see that bob dylan exhibit i've been planning on seeing since february. it's sure to be a great day. maybe even a kodak moment.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

lucky #135

whew, this marks 135 post for me. honestly i wouldn't notice these things if it wasn't blatantly pointed out when i sign on.

it's GORGEOUS here in minneapolis. i almost feel guilty about the crappy ny weather they've been going through. my sister got a foot of snow on monday. funny because my monday morning was spent eating outside at a raw restaurant, working on a sunburn. for the record, ecopolitan is an awesome place for feel-good food.

guess i'm in a good mood overall. it's amazing how weather can affect a person so much. i got out of work 2-3 hours early both yesterday and today, which meant it was still nice and sunny upon leaving and i got a good run in both days. plus i have tomorrow off, so the goodness just doesn't stop.

i just got back from going to pi, a gay bar, for karaoke night with al and mike. it was entertaining, to say the least. we got there pretty late due to navigational errors, so none of us had the time to sing. but that didn't stop us from consuming $3 cocktails, nachos, and tots,

side note: i have my first saturday off here, which is quite exciting. also exciting: sanjaya got the boot. sad part is i almost felt sorry for him. almost.

Monday, April 09, 2007

happy easter

even if it's a day late, happy easter. i had a surprisingly pleasant one. it helps when i don't really think about what i'm doing on holidays until the day comes. that way there are no expectations to live up to.

the mall was fairly busy on saturday, but for some reason p.b.loco wasn't, aside from a few rushes. thus, a nice, stress-free day. after that i took the liberty of getting a new outfit to go straight to an easter vigil mass. sunday morning alisun and i got up bright and early to pick up greg and surprise mike, who is a choir director/organ player, at his easter service. it ended up being a bit different than we were expecting. for some reason i thought we were going to a big baptist or evangelical service, but it was episcopalian and very quiet.

after that alisun and i stopped at the wedge to get some cheese and bread to take to her mom's for an easter lunch/dinner. i finally got to meet al's famous grandmother, who was pretty damn funny. it was a bit too much seeing al's whole family together. when you get used to one person's mannerisms, it's always funny to see them in their family setting and realize there's an entire group of people EXACTLY the same.

time was limited because al had to work, so we set out at 3:30. i came home, made some family phone calls, and then met salsa and her friend andrew for wine at the french meadow. somehow during that time i consumed an entire sesame salad, a glass of wine, and half a beer. and this was on top of the feast i just had at al's.

i hung around there until greg got off, where we went to yet ANOTHER easter dinner, this one prepared by mike. and it was amazing. the french meadow desserts we brought didn't hurt either. after a lot of games of guitar hero and some random japanese drumming game, we peaced out at 2:15-ish. and i slept, my little stomach full of easter goodness and my little mind dreaming of cadbury cream eggs.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

je gagne

i win at life... or shopping. i took my $75 federal tax refund (big money) and invested it wisely. with it i got:
1) an awesome bedside lamp
2) a ridiculous skull-and-crossbones-pirate-motif lamp shade
3) a bathroom rug
4) a shower curtain
5) a coffee maker
6) coffee
7) coffee filters
8) light bulbs
9) a pillow for the couch
10) a shower curtain rod
11) a mirror
12) a bathroom garbage can

"why tanya," you may be asking, "how on earth did you get such great deals?"

thrifting, i tell you. there's a pretty cool salvation army here that sells overstock/past season/sample target items, so i got a good deal there. to be fair, the shower curtain, rug, and rod were from the real target and the coffee was from t.j.maxx. alisun went in on a few items, as well. but even the people at the second salvation army were impressed with the coffee maker and mirror still in original packaging that i found for $12.

i'm beginning to feel much more content with the apartment. we're slowly adding pieces of furniture. not all pictures are hung, we still have a way to go with decorating, and we need to paint the table and chairs and some other furniture. but at least the bathroom is good now.

i should probably go now and rearrange my room a bit. i never really liked the way i hung my pictures, and i have a few more to put up, so that should keep me busy until american idol starts.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

screw the system

i have the day off, and already at the ripe hour of 10 am i have my previous day off beat in terms of overall goodness. in other words, though i'm $260 and some change down, at least i have my car.

let me bring you back to monday night, 11 pm. i'm laying on the couch watching the station agent through my eyelids. pajamas on, face washed, contacts out. alisun calls and says i have to come meet them for a drink at bar abilene. i decline, saying i'm in for the night. somewhere between realizing i have the next day off and that greg and mike are back from playing new york, i decide to go out.

i circle around the block, unable to find a parking lot. then i realize, "why not park in the cheapo parking lot, seeing how they're closed?" i park my car and go enjoy a margarita.

fast forward about an hour or two, and we're standing in the same parking lot, minus one chevy lumina. alisun calls gopher towing and makes up a story about how we were paying customers and we just ran to talk to someone and now the car is gone. they say there's nothing they can do and we'd have to take it up with cheapo. then alisun decides to run around to the front of the store and dig through the trash to find a receipt. not only did she find a receipt, but she found one for midnight, the latest possible time. keep in mind the time frame that my car was towed at 12:30.

by this point i had abandoned hope and knew that i would be owing a considerable chunk of change. i went to greg and mike's where we proceeded to have a hardcore jam session. humorous as the early 90s songs were, all i kept thinking was "this sucks."

we stayed there till about 6 am or so and came home and crashed. alisun called cheapo and they said they'd call us back after they talked to the night manager. hours later i got a call saying there was nothing they could do, so grudgingly i picked up my car at 11:30 pm. the ultimate irony is that i talked to someone just that night about towing and ticketing in minneapolis. little did i know what was around the corner. dun dun dun...

otherwise, life hasn't been too terrible lately. i'm giving myself today to catch up on lost and netflix. i watched lost last night, and i felt like i was watching some sort of scooby doo mystery. it was pretty entertaining. i missed last week's, however, and really would like to find out how locke ended up in that dang wheelchair. i also have a theory going that the "real" sawyer, who sawyer is so desperately trying to find, is really locke's father. think about it. locke's dad is a con man who messes around with women all the time. there's got to be some sort of connection there. besides, i totally called that claire was jack's sister. i win.

i've also got le diner de cons and antonia's line to watch. i've already watched part of the first one, which was pretty amusing, so i'm looking forward to the rest. and i've got happy feet due to arrive tomorrow. i'll hold jude responsible if i don't like it, considering she was the one who talked it up so much. and after that i'm getting grizzly man, which i just saw listed just this morning and moved to the top of my queue on a whim. i'm pretty interested in seeing that one because i've read so many articles about timothy treadwell. what a creepy situation.

time to watch lost.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

a hot date

...with lake calhoun. today's weather was g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s. sunny, warm, perfection. i finally got out to lake calhoun, where al, mr. kim, and i took a nice stroll around. i was extremely excited to find out the pedestrian path around the lake measures 3.1 miles. perfect for running. twice around the lake and i'll be good to go- no need for measuring or mapping or pedometers. come saturday morning the lake won't know what hit it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

finally...

a chance to update. really all i've been doing is working. and dreaming about going to school, which would definitely get my mind off of work when i'm not working. it's been crazy there lately with backed up food orders and busy weekends and missed shifts. i worked a 6 day week last week, which royally sucked. i was planning on going in on sunday, my day off, to help sell jars of peanut butter at a booth upstairs from the store. a little part of me was even looking forward to it. when i got to the store there was only one person working, so i had to join him behind the counter. thank god i didn't wear the skirt/boots i was originally planning on wearing, they would have been covered in peanut butter by the end of the day.

all in all i got extremely keyed up this weekend with lack of staff and crazy customers and lots of running around not being able to get everything done. and it's times like this when i think korea is just a plane ride away and i could be making a lot more and working a lot less. thank god grad school is in the near future.

speaking of excitement over school, a major congratulations goes to celeste, who was accepted to oregon state university to get her masters in environmental science. she'll be taking the online courses and might even move in the near future. she mentioned moving to northern california to work in the national parks or to san diego to work for the zoo. i said i would definitely move there if she did. that's all it would take to get me out west in the permanent warmth. plus there's a huge esl need out there. overall it feels good to have someone in the same boat. we're both moaning and groaning over our jobs because we know there are better jobs out there that we will soon have with diplomas in hand. plus we're both waiting to hear about fafsa and loans and such. paying for school blows.

alas, i have tomorrow off.

it hasn't been *all* work no play the past week or two, though work has definitely been occupying most of my time. i have enjoyed some thrifting around and some nights out that may or may not end in a long jam session where i can practice my mad tambourine skills and then sleep in a bed with three other people (none of whom own the bed).

i've been having a grand ol' time with netflix, also. i just got around to watching tsotsi and babel. both were good, not exactly my favorite, but worth watching. i'm getting into a huge french kick and have happenstance and the dinner game coming next. thumbsucker, ma vie en rose, and the science of sleep are definitely my wisest selections thus far. i may or may not have illegally watched volver, also. i had to throw that in for a recommendation. it was surprisingly not very dark for an almodovar film. more reviews to come.

but for now i must enjoy my smithwicks and watch american idol.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

coming up roses

today was one of those surprisingly good days. this morning al, melissa, and i headed over to the minneapolis nbc affiliate's station to help keri set up for the segment on showcase minnesota. the morning was interesting to say the least. overall the segment went very well and it was fun to be doing something a bit different for the company. not to mention i met some interesting people. rob hudson, the male anchor, was quite the character. ironically he kind of reminded me of ted baxter from the mary tyler moore show. and corbin seitz, the female anchor, reminded me of a martha stewart wannabe.

there was a lot going on in the studio, and we got to stick around to watch a lot of the show, including a creepy visit from dora the explorer, her cousin(?), and disney on ice. quote of the day belongs to the intern who was helping me with food and suddenly left, saying, "i have to go get the disney princesses." and somehow that was supposed to be normal.

michael york was also in the studio because he's on tour for camelot. rob hudson was a tool on air saying that his favorite michael york film was austin powers... pure class right there. michael york being there was a strange coincidence, because lesley was touring with this show up until december. it's too bad she didn't continue with it after their break because it would've been awesome if we could have met up here in minneapolis.

finally, i got accepted to hamline! i was really surprised to hear about it so early, but i got a voicemail from the head of the esl department. i figured it was just a message to say my application was complete, because they just got the last recommendation letter yesterday. strange to hear an acceptance over the phone. i'm feeling really good about this because they've been so on top of getting in contact with me this whole time. i might even be starting a bit earlier with summer classes, depending on how much i can get in student loans. my mind is mush right now because i've spent the past two hours filing my taxes and filling out my fafsa application. and i'm sure somewhere in there i made a mistake, but we shall see.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

je travaille

i am working now. i also need to be at work in less than an hour. i feel like i've entered the twilight zone.

i've been sitting in a cafe since 11 am, plunking away on the sales spreadsheet, coming up with sales goals for the following months. my brain is starting to melt, and somehow, i have to trek over to the mall and continue to work until 10 pm. when did my life start to revolve around peanut butter and when did i become ok with this?

i actually met keri here, but she just ran up to her apartment while i continue to plunk away. hopefully she gets back in time with those dang quesadillas.

i doubt anyone from minnesota is reading this, but just in case you are, be sure to watch showcase minnesota tomorrow morning. p.b.loco will be on and al, salsa, and i are going over to help set up.

time to eat. and run.

Monday, March 05, 2007

i'll be watching you

not much time to write, but i definitely just got tickets to see the police. my bank account will surely be hurting. thank god i get paid this friday.

Friday, March 02, 2007

do it all

oh, catholic university, i am teeming with pride. really, i had no idea that antonella barba is a fellow student. her best friend is, too. i just know how the school LOVES when their name is connected with controversial pictures and ideas. according to kate, the school was loving the free advertising until her pictures came out. i wonder what their reaction will be now.

i'm sure they'll react in the same crappy way they have with everything else controversial... pretend it never happened. remember when stanley tucci came to speak at the italian film fest? no? oh that's because he was DISinvited after it was found out that he indirectly supported the pro-choice movement.

really, i'm over it.

i was surprised though, upon getting an email from mr. burns which said (and i quote) "so did you know this skank antonella barba when you went to catholic?" i had absolutely no idea what he was talking about until kate emailed about her. i personally find it hilarious.

in other news, we were hit by a snow storm AGAIN. i ended up not even going in to work yesterday because keri called and said we were best off just shutting the store down. which was fine by me, but it got a little boring after a while, having no internet, radio, or tv. at least the book i'm reading is good.

i ended up coming in early to work because, as it turns out, my neighbor works at the moa too. she couldn't get her car out of the parking lot so i offered to drive her in. which worked out well because i ended up with time to get a french press, coffee, and use my computer. let's hope the store isn't completely dead. for the sake of my own sanity. it's been a slow week.

finally, i just found out that the police are coming here in july. that would be the third and final thing on my list of life goals to cross off. tickets go on sale monday. i'm there.

Monday, February 26, 2007

quack

my neighbors are bastards. they put up a password on their wireless account AND somebody keeps parking in our spots, leaving us to the streets. which royally sucks when there are snow banks where our cars should be. now i have to resort to internet at cafes, which isn't too bad now that i have a car. though i can't download music and movies at my leisure anymore. at least i got the new modest mouse in time.

i have an extreme sugar high. after not eating, i found that i'm a bottomless pit again, and my rate of sugar consumption has skyrocketed. i already had split a scone and cranberry bread for breakfast and i'm eating a giant cookie as i type. and i might throw up any second from eating so much. i know these things are very important for you to know.

i lived through my first snowstorm of the year. seems i'd been dodging them, leaving new york and all, but winter finally caught up with me. it wasn't too bad, but the mall was completely dead on sunday and the day was really boring.

we did venture out on saturday night to go to the opening of the shamrock in st. paul. good ol' college fun... a classic rock cover band playing bar staples, wall to wall people, drunken girls stumbling out of the toilet stalls thinking everyone is either their new best friend of their worst enemy. oh man, that took me right back to my college days and going out with kate. she never failed to make the night interesting.

on the way back we decided to go to mickey's diner. i'd never heard of it, but apparently it's an important st. paul landmark, as seen in the classic film "the mighty ducks." hence, the quacking. small, cozy, and greasy. perfection.

in the parental update department, my mom ended up throwing up on the plane ride to austin. though i'm glad it didn't happen to me and it sucks that it happened, you have to admit it makes for a funny story. she ended up feeling a lot better (sooner than i did even) and enjoyed the visit with amber.

still waiting for my hamline application to be 100% complete. i shot an email to mr. burns asking when i could expect his letter of recommendation to be sent, because that's all i need. he responded by saying he sent one the week i asked for it. which means hamline never got it. i hope he gets it sent again soon, because i'm getting kind of anxious to see what's going to happen with everything.

my mind is completely melting. i think it's time to check out of bob's java hut.