Tuesday, September 30, 2008


You may recall from earlier posts that I've been trying to reduce the using my car while commuting. I'm still at it. I did not do as well in September; I used my car five times to commute.

With school back in session I do not have the time to wait until the next bus. I need to leave work on time to get to class on time. This is really a bad excuse, and I should be at taking the bus on the days that I drive.

Getting up to bike is much harder now than it is dark when I leave. The colder temperature does not help either. Luckily I have a bike commuting buddy who harasses me if I sleep in instead of riding in. I splurged on some cold weather biking gear to get myself motivated to get out there.

It is not going to get any easier to use alternative transportation to get to work. If I ride I have about 25 minutes of being out in the elements. If I take the bus I have a 5 minute walk and a wait of up to ten minutes for the bus. That does not sound so bad now, but when the temp dips below freezing a warm heater and seat warmers will surely be calling my name.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Last night I headed downtown to celebrate Oktoberfest. It was held in the parking lot of Sec Taylor. There were a lot of people there, including a surprising number of people in costume. I had no idea how many women owned beer wench outfits.

I ran into Shelly, who I had not seen in a year. She agreed to join my book club (currently under construction), so I'll be able to see her more often.

I ran into my co-worker Chris and his wife Becky. Chris was feeling chatty and kept cracking me up. It was nice to see him outside of work.

On the way out I ran into Ellen. We did not get much of a chance to talk, but we're meeting at AK's tonight so we'll catch up then.

Oktoberfest was a lot of fun. I'll defiantly be back next year, but I won't be wearing a beer wench costume.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I love fall. The crisp weather. Apple picking. Football. Sleeping with the window open. It is no longer too hot to drink red wine. There are just so many reasons to love it. One of the main reasons I love fall so much is Beaverfest.

On Saturday night I enjoyed all that Beaverfest has to offer (other than the parade, carnival rides, fireworks, and 5K). Stimmel and I arrived in time to hear a band play a lot of Elton John covers. While chatting in the parking lot of Michael's and listening to the band I ran into Suzanne.

Suzanne is so much fun. We worked together when I was in underwriting. Suzanne always has good stories to share. I was excited to get caught up with her. We're planning on having lunch soon to get fully caught up.

After Suzanne returned to her friends I went back to talking to Stimmel, Justin, and Neal. We toasted to the Panther's winning their football game.

After grabbing some delicious Michael's pizza we decided to check out what was going on over by the carnival rides. Along the way we found a Boulevard truck. As Stimmel and I were both wearing Boulevard shirts we took the opportunity to pose for a picture.

It was a great Saturday night. Next weekend should be fun too, it's Oktoberfest. The weekend after that I'm hoping for a nice, quiet weekend. Something tells me that won't be happening. I'm sure something fun will head my way.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Mary-Claire!

Last weekend I headed to Chicago to help Mary-Claire celebrate her birthday. It was a quick trip, so I didn't get a chance to see everyone in Chicago that I would have liked. I got into Chicago about 1:30 AM Saturday morning and left before 9 AM on Sunday. It was a lot of car time for not much time with Mary-Claire, but it was worth it!

After sleeping in a bit on Saturday we headed to the coffee shop to grab coffee and bagels. After we carb loaded for the action packed day ahead of us we headed to Jen's. The three of us headed to a bar to watch the Hawkeye game.

The bar was crowded. Crazy crowded. New Years Eve in downtown Des Moines crowded. It was not a pleasant experience. We finished our beers and left. Kathleen was kind enough to call us with score updates, so we were able to celebrate the Hawkeye win.

We did not let the lack of football get us down. We hopped on the train and headed downtown to H&M. We didn't find anything worth buying, so we headed over to Macy's. At Macy's we got our eye makeup done and had false eyelashes put on. It was in preparation for what was coming next: wig purchasing.

It was my first trip to a wig store, but I don't think it will be my last. Mary-Claire and I both got long wigs. After picking them out we headed back to her apartment to get ready.

For dinner we opted for sushi. We both love sushi, so it seemed like a great choice. We got a table in the front window and were able to people watch as we waited for the food.

Unfortunately the sushi was not very good. Fortunately, we were meeting her friends at Small Bar for drinks after dinner. Small Bar has the best cheese curds I have ever had. I'm not normally a cheese curd fan, but just the thought of these cheese curds is enough to get me drooling.

After Small Bar we headed to another bar where an arm wrestling tournament broke out. Todd and Jen were both excellent arm wrestlers. I found out first hand that Jen does not know her own strength. While arm wrestling her she said "are you even trying?" My arm wrestling championship dreams were crashed.

After arm wrestling it was time to split a burrito. Todd took this picture while we waited for our burrito. If we ever record a country album I think this will be the cover.

It was a fun weekend in Chicago. I encourage all of you to go buy a wig. They are incredibly fun to wear out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sunday Funday

I had a great weekend. On Saturday night I learned how to make the best pie crust I've ever had (and I'm not one to shy away from pie). After grilling out and watching some CNN I called it a night before midnight. It was a fun Saturday, but not a wild and crazy one by any means. Which is good, because Sunday was jam packed.

On Sunday morning I had a group meeting for school at 9. The guy that was only able to meet before 10 showed up a half hour late. Luckily he's so much of a pain that we were able to get most of the work done before he showed up. The meeting was at Panera, so I had a lot of coffee. Normally I would have gone for a bagel, but I knew what was coming next.....brunch.

After my meeting I picked up Stimmel and headed to the Drake Diner for mediocre coffee. The food, coffee, and service at the Drake Diner are not exactly top notch - with the notable exception of pumpkin pancakes. The pancakes are so amazing I insist on returning to the diner, even though the Waveland Cafe has much better coffee, service, and non-pumpkin pancake food.

6 cups of coffee induced one heck of a caffeine high. I knew to keep going I needed to push through the impending crash.

I called Aunt Kathy and we headed to the Happy Apple Orchard for our yearly apple picking expedition. As we picked a peck I tried to snap pictures. Aunt Kathy was happy to take pictures of me, but was a little camera shy this year. I included my favorite picture of her from last year, because everyone deserves to see the "Super Butt" picture.

After picking apples I walked to AK's to meet Ellen. We've been pretty busy, so we hadn't been there in a while. Things seem to be slowing down a bit, so we should be able to meet there more often,. I always enjoy catching up with Ellen.

After AK's it was time to celebrate Andrew's birthday. Monica, Nikki, and I talked books, and discussed starting a book club. I hope we find the time to do it.

Just thinking about all that I did on Sunday makes me tired. I think I'll head to bed now.

Join My Team

I've set up a team for the Power Climb. The team name is Stop Stairing (Stimmel gets the credit for coming up with the name). You can just click on this link to join. If you don't want to join, you can donate and I will stop harassing you about joining my team.

801 Power Climb

Last year I participated in the 801 Power Climb. I climbed 41 floors, 85 flights of stairs, and almost 1000 steps to get to the top of 801 Grand. It has exhausting and fun. The worst part was doing it alone. Lori was supposed to climb with me, but she was injured and couldn't make it.

I'm climbing again in 2009, but I don't want to do it alone. I want to form a team. If you're interested let me know. If we get enough people on the team we could even get t shirts. Who doesn't love t shirts?

If you would like to join, but you are worried about the difficulty, relax; climbing 41 floors sounds much harder than it is. I didn't train much, and it took me about 12 1/2 minutes. You should take a chance and give it a shot.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Falling Off the Face of the Earth

Labor Day weekend wore me out. I had a wonderful time, but it left me exhausted. Last week I felt like I was coming down with something so I took the week off socially.

I don't usually take a week off from social activity. Most of my nights are packed with dinners, walks, cocktails, and rides. I love staying busy, but every once in a while I need to take some time to bond with my couch and knitting needles.

By Friday night I was ready to go again, but I sure did enjoy being lazy for a few days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lawnmower Party

Saturday was a big day. It was the annual lawnmower party. Crusher turned seven this year, and 100 people turned out to wish Mom & Dad's riding mower a happy birthday.

Before the party started I taught Bailey how to pour beer. She was having trouble with pumping & pouring, so Conor helped with the pouring. Working together paid off, after a few very foamy beers they got the hang of it. It was nice having someone offer to pour me a beer all night.

Not only did Bailey offer to pour beers, she also delivered them. I think the lawnmower party should always have a full service bar.

When Bailey was busy playing Johnny helped out. He was kind enough to deliver an entire tray of beer to the porch.

After dark there was a bonfire. Bailey roasted a marshmallow for me. Having beer and marshmallows delivered to me was great. I probably should have tipped her.

We sat around the fire until after midnight. It was nice to get to know Fanny-Pack and his wife Jodi, as well as catch up with Johnny. It made me want to go camping. I hate the idea of camping when it's hot out, but once it starts to get cold at night I want to be around a campfire.

It was the best party for a seven year old I've ever been to. I wish I would have had more time to talk to everyone. I guess I'll have to remember to stay off of the porch for a bit next year so I can catch up with the people I only see once a year.