Monday, March 30, 2009

Robot Insurance

Behold: my favorite fake insurance commercial.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Knitting with Amanda

Today I met Amanda at Iowa Bakery Cafe for some coffee and knitting. It was great fun. I love knitting with Amanda. We get a lot of knitting done and we get to talk.

Amanda was kind enough to fill me in on what happens at the conclusion of book 3 and what happens in book 4 of Twilight. I loved the first Twilight book, and enjoyed the second book. The third book is another story. I got so frustrated with the author I put it down and couldn't finish it. I can buy into vampires and werewolves - but when 17 year olds get engaged you lose me. Luckily Amanda filled me in, so I was able to find out what happened without actually reading them.

One of my favorite things about Amanda is that she has no idea how cool she is. Sure, she's a big geek, but once you reach 25 being geeky is pretty darn cool. She is one of the smartest people I know, as well as one of the funniest. She has a dorky sense of humor, like me, so our chats are punctuated with laughs. I love spending time with her.

I've been a knitting slacker lately. School has been keeping me busy this semester. I'll be done soon, and I plan to spend a lot of time knitting. I hope to get back to DM Metro Knitters again soon. It's a fun group, and I haven't been able to go in a long time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Great Day in Des Moines

Today was a great day.  It was sunny and warm out.  The perfect day to get outside and enjoy being with friends.  

I started the day at Gray's Lake.  Allyson and I walk there a lot in the summer.  It was the first day warm enough to do a few laps.  We were just finishing our first loop when we ran into Justin H.  At that point Allyson decided she wanted to go for a run too (this is in no way related to Justin showing up, she had mentioned that she might run when we got there).   It was fine with me, I just convinced Justin to take a recovery lap to talk with me.  After two laps I decided it was time to get some coffee in me, so I headed home to check out CBS Sunday Morning on the DVR.

After downing a few cups of coffee and discovering the wacky stuff that Bill Geist was up to last week, it was time to head out again.  I have really been enjoying my new bike.  On Friday I was out for 25 miles, so today I decided to up it.  I rode to Cumming and back, which is about 35 miles if you go through downtown (which we did).  I got up to 26 MPH on the downhill and 22 on a flat (OK, OK, a very slight slope down).  It was great.  Well, it was great except for heading up Sherman Hill.  Luckily I had Stimmel coaching me through the ride and feeding me Shot Bloks when I started to bonk.  

After a 4 mile walk and 35 mile ride I'm ready for some knitting before heading to bed early.  I haven't been at work since last Monday.  I hope I still remember my passwords.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Love Ben Folds

Tonight I went to a wonderful concert.  I went to see Ben Folds.  I've been obsessing over Ben Folds for over a year now.  He can rock a piano & his lyrics are so much fun to sing along to.  If I'm having a bad day at work I listen to one of the six CDs of his I have there.  He really captures white middle class angst.  It was the first time I have been to a show where they rocked a French horn, dulcimer, and piano.  It's hard to pull off that combination, but Ben did it.

The opening band, Jukebox the Ghost was a delightful surprise.  I had never heard of them, but I left with their CD and a desire to learn all of their songs.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day.   I usually make it to St. Paul to march in the parade, but I wasn't able to go this year.  Luckily I was able to keep busy here in Des Moines.

Most of my friends had to work, but Zack was able to meet me for lunch at F&O's before he went in to work.  Some pizza and NTN trivia got the day started off right.

After lunch I got my hair cut and went for a quick ride.  Later I met up with Stimmel, Ellen, and Justin for some St. Patrick's Day beers.

We met at Good Sons, a place in Beaverdale that opened up this winter.  It was my first trip there.  I wasn't a fan of their paninis or their lack of a beer list, but I do love the chalkboard tables.  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Des Moines Loves Mary-Claire Bar Crawl

Last weekend Mary-Claire was in town from Chicago.  She doesn't get to Des Moines much, so I decided to show her some of my favorite spots.

When she got into town we walked to AK's to have some beers.  Todd and Stimmel met us there. AK's was full, as usual, so Mary-Claire was able to witness what an odd mix of patrons AK's has.  

Saturday morning Mary-Claire and I headed to breakfast at Gateway Market.  We had brunch there, but we didn't need to, as there were so many samples at the store.  We picked up some cheese made in Iowa by a guy with a huge unibrow, some salsa made in Cumming, and some sweet chibatta.  Full of samples and needing to get our grocery's home we headed back to my house and played some cribbage while we waited for Kathleen.

Once Kathleen arrived we chatted a bit and then headed to Costco.  By the time we got back it was time for dinner.  We headed down to Court Ave. for some food and to start the evenings festivities.

After CABCo we went to Fong's Chinese Pizza so that Mary-Claire could have a kamakazi.  As you can tell by the picture, she missed her calling.  Mary-Claire clearly should have been a fighter pilot.

Following Fong's we walked to El Bait Shop to try some of the 100+ beers on tap.  While Mary-Claire tried to pick her favorite beer from the Iowa beer flight (6 beer samples from Iowa), Carnahan showed us her talent of molding broken jewelry into hearts.  It was a crazy night.
After all of that excitement we headed home to bed.  We needed to get up early to make it to breakfast at the Waveland before Mary-Claire hit the road.

It was a wonderful visit, and I hope Mary-Claire comes back soon.  I can't wait to see her in a helmet again.