Stop Touching Things

"Miss! you can't touch the artwork..."
"He means you, too, G-ma"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

All this nice weather is exhausting.

As any native Minnesotan knows, weather is a crap shoot.  In fact, it will consume our conversations until we are 90 years old. 

"Can you believe this weather?? 97° in May! I haven't felt this kind of heat so early in the year since.. aught 9!" 

Really it amuses us to no end to regal outsiders with "Oh! Yeah, that's nothin' stories" when they complain about the cold.  How no child would even dream of putting their tongue on a flag pole when their lips freeze shut just from walking outside without their scarf fully covering their face mask! Indeed, it is a mark of a true Minnesotan to have a weather related horror story, and the cold bitter winters aren't the only source of our outward ire and inward glee.  We are a state of four seasons!  We have the mind numbingly cold winters, the spring blizzards or floods depending on the temperature that morning when the storm began, the summer humidity and thunderstorms, when combined with the winds cause dozens of tornados. Early frosts, and late thunderstorms fell trees in the fall and there are countless snowed in by halloween or thanksgiving stories to be told. 

I am constantly amazed that a) any one chooses to live here on purpose or b) that we can even survive given the unpredictability of the weather.  We plant our corn year after year, we build our towns next to the rivers, and we still eat, sleep, and recreate in relative peace.

My first question was answered this weekend by the perfect... I mean PERFECT day that I had on Sunday.  We all watched the weather closely prior in the week making plans and counter plans in case of a weather 'event'. It looked like rain all weekend at first, and as the week approached Friday, the forecast was getting better and better. 

Saturday started out cloudy and humid, but by 3 o'clock it was gorgeous, and it stayed that way until this morning, when the clouds rolled in.  Two and half days of perfect weather? What is a Minnesotan to do? What all Minnesotans must; spend every available minute outdoors.  

Sunday morning I awoke to sunshine and bird singing as I headed to the kitchen to prepare a light lunch that I was fairly certain was going to be part of a picnic feast. If there is one thing I know about Howktown, is that if the Queen Mother doesn't have to work and weather is perfect, a picnic will be had.   

As she walked in on me preparing egg salad, she replied "Oh good, I was just thinking of making that!"  she went upstairs to change out of her church clothes and as she returned I was pulling out the strawberries to be hulled. "Oh! I was going to do that next, I guess we are thinking alike today!"  Of course we are, dear mother, of course we are.   I prepared a chicken salad, cheese and crackers, and assembled containers of buns, brownies, cookies, and kool-aide. My mother retrieved the wine slush drink she had made and my father attached the boat to the back of the truck.   Czarina Kylie called to see if we were interested in having a picnic (see, she knows, too) and I told her the picnicking would commence in 20 minutes at the park.

Grammy and Grampy took the kids out on the "fun" boat and Kylie and I reveled in the chance to lay in the sun in the grass and talk about boys. 

When we returned home, grilling of brats and sitting on the patio commenced. Not to be outdone by the picnic, the evening required a bike ride to the dairy freeze for a junior cone of chocolate peppermint twist.. the flavor of the day.  We took the long way home on our bikes and  followed it by sitting by the fire in Saarisburg.

I fell asleep fully understanding the draw to this state. Even in the southwestern corner amidst the pig farms and cornfields, with the constant wind, dust, and small town politics, a day like that is perfect.  

The next day, I woke up and did it all again, and man am I exhausted.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Joint Venture on Breakfast brings Agreement in State Approvals

Saarisburg and Howktown approve of breakfast and coffee coffee coffee COFFEE!

Dateline: 1st street 8:30am

The Ladies Who Lunch in the respective communities of Howktown and Saarisburg decide that breakfast would be more suited to their tastes. 

The Queen of Howktown, missing the proflic dinning establishments called "diners", convinces Czarina Kylie to check out a family tradition known as Edie's.  "Plus there'll be coffee"

The first approached looked promising, as all the seats near the window were filled with Octogenarians playing dice and drinking coffee.  "This is the real thing." says the Queen. " I just hope they let us young whippersnappers in with out too much trouble"

"Indeed" agreed the Czarina.

Easily seating theirselves in the aisle tables they take a gander at the mixed generational decor. Is that art deco counter bar original? The countertops were definitely redone in the fifties with the boomerang design in green, black, and pink. Needless to say, the coffee was fresh.

Eggs, OE, Bac, and WT was ordered and coffee was abundantly provided and consumed.  The conversation was picking up pace by the end of the meal, and the duo decided that if Yoga was to be adequately performed by at lunch time, a departure may be necessary.  Luckily further work to be that day would be achieved quickly after this mornings caffeine consumption. 

Czarina Kylie works as she walks after Edie's

The Queen of Howktown then departs to mow the lawn, dig up oregano, plant strawberries,transplant flowers, and then ride her bike to Yoga. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yay! 90° What?

I'm feeling kind a lazy... still. I have not been to YogAWESOME since the first time.

I still have silver shoes. They are like Superhero Shoes.

I have been waking up too early, but not getting out of bed.

Now, it's 90° in May and I've pretty much consumed all the iced tea available at the house. Time to make more! Yum Yum. Howktown is a major consumer of iced tea. Some neighborhoods in Howktown prefer only unsweetened, but I myself can be persuadedto a little honey (mmmm honey honey don't you know it!)

I haven't done anything good in a couple days.

However I did have an application for the Ambassador of Mustache. Mr. Trey Hatesyourapps
His qualifications include the following:

Is a member of several fake bands (Including Wesley Crusher's Secret Lovers and his own creation Mustache Emergency). Drives a Miata in the Mountains. Used to have long hair, but thankfully cut it all off now that he's in his thirties, and thinks mustaches are awesome. Yet oddly, he doesn't sport one. I feel that takes a certain aplomb, to support what you cannot yourself have.

Yet, he also mocks me in the winter with is South Carolina weather. It could be a shoe in, but I'm not going to say either way at this moment. The suspense will be good for you.

If you have any other nominees or reasons to consider good 'ol Trey for the job, feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I like Silver Things - Like Toothpaste, oh and I'm Lazy.

I have silver shoes. They are like super shoes. More on that later.

Anyway, I was thinking about, you know, stuff and invariably I started to think about the state of the universe. I do it quite often and I'm often flummoxed at the importance of cultural and material things in our lives when you compare them to the expanse of our entire existence. I don't get mad, mostly curious.

Considering I am required to function in society on a daily basis, I try to not get all I <3 Huckabees (awesome movie) about it. In my profession I run across a lot of things that cause you to think about things... which reminded me of a post that I wrote about this very thing 4 years ago.

So I'm completely broke and near jobless walking around target like a diabetic in a candy store. So many things I need... paper towels, cat litter, a new toilet scrubbing brush... and so many things I want... Diet Coke. I would kill for a diet coke with lime. But none of it is for me, I am there with a friend.

"So, hey if you need anything let me know" he says. If there's anything I need? I'll tell you what I need. I need Miracle Max to make me a magic pill, that's what I need. I settle for toothpaste.

Walking down the toothpaste/brush aisle heading for my usual brand of Colgate Total (I somehow believe that this toothpaste has the power to be the Total Tooth Solution) I notice a new toothpaste on the shelves... I stop to check it out... mostly because of the slick silver box. Aquafresh E X T R E M E. My first thought. Give me a freakin' break. Extreme toothpaste? Okay, you had me with Cologate TOTAL... but Aquafresh EXTREME! Come on! But wait... there is more.

Underneath the name is the 'flavor' name of the is new member of Extreme products given to this world thanks to skate boarders worldwide (and other X-treme sports)...




This toothpaste not only claimed to be EXTREME, but it also was flavored with EmpowerMINT? What kind of crazy god like claims was this tooth polish claiming? Could it change the world? Change your out look on life? Get you that promotion to head dog washer?


I had to know. because not only that, but it claimed to have micro cleaning action! THis is way too much! Buy me the damn toothpaste! I want to have extreme teeth! I want feel this micro-foaming-cleaning action! But most of all... I want to be EMPOWERMINTED!

{this is the part about me being lazy... seeing as I just reposted an old post I think is funny instead of writing a new one.}

The funny thing is about a week after I started using this toothpaste, I got a call back on a job interview. I ultimately didn't end up getting the job, but I did decide from that point on not to wait for toothpaste to change my life and to just do it myself... So in a way, I was empowerminted.

Did I mention that I have TWO pairs of silver shoes?

Friday, May 8, 2009

The 5th most F'd Up 5 Minutes of My Life, or so..

Do you ever get that feeling that you've crossed that multidimensional rift into a strange reality which doesn't include things such as dark chocolate and humor blogs? It can happen in a split second and leave you feeling like you don't even know your name.

Last night, after working a busy day at the massage studio, I piled up my laundry, pulled on my hoodie, threw my laptop and purse over the same shoulder, and attempted to make my way out the door. As I was walking out, I noticed my phone lying on the desk, so I snatched it up and threw in the pocket of my sweatshirt, that's what I planned on doing anyway.

Sometimes in the gathering of things to carry out the door in one haul, (I do not do the industry credit with good habits in this measure. I am loathe to make more than one trip, even if it means threading my arms through a dozen grocery bags to make my way into the house) I remember I need to do something, but forget to do it.

I walk up the hill to where my car is parked and load everything in. I coast down the road in a slight different direction from the office and head home. It's one of the rolling hills next to the lake in this prairie land, and my office is in the middle of it, so I get to go up and down it in multiple directions. I grab my dinner, netflix, and head towards the recliner downstairs to watch Get Smart with my parents. Dave (the Prince of Howktown, and Top Feline), curls up in my lap and we enjoy the show. After the movie, I decide I'm going to call Doug. I walk up stairs, get nice and ready for mushy bf/gf conversation, and grab for my phone in my pocket.

Empty. huh. maybe I threw it my purse. I try to only put my phone and keys in certain places to avoid such disasters as losing something you should keep track of. Not there either. Okay, I'm going to call the phone from the landline... nothing. Check the car. Nope. The drive way? Uh ah. ::sigh:: I must of left it on the desk.

I jump in The Shark (official transportation of Howktown) and head over to the office and park on top of the hill on the other side of the street from where I was parked before. It's about ten after 10 and it's dark. The frogs are chirping by the lake at the bottom of the hill and an eerie yellow glow from the street lamp illuminates the grass... but no phone is to be found. I look around the area I was parked in before quickly before I decide to run down the hill and check the desk in the office. It won't take long, 2 minutes tops. I scan the sidewalk as I trot towards the door. Nope. Turn on the lights, glance at the desk... NO. What? I check my pocket and purse again, just to be thorough. Nothing. Well, I guess I'll have to wait until it is morning and it is light out. I try calling the phone again in case it is on the floor somewhere, of if someone found it they will answer it. I was even smart enough to leave myself a message, so that it will beep annoyingly until I find it or the battery dies.

Trudging back up the hill I look in the grass again and crawl on the ground to look underneath the car parked in my old spot. I walk over the other side of the street thinking maybe I really parked on that side of the street. I look up and notice the only thing on the other side of the street is that purple thing that was there earlier in the day. Huh. Well... wait.


I feel as if I've crossed the line into another dimension. The dimension where I don't have a car and I have always been standing in the middle of the road at 10:12 PM listening to frogs creek and feeling the warm breeze blow my hair to the side. Maybe I didn't drive here I contemplate as I consider the reality of a new dimension. No.. that I know is not true. Maybe I parked on the other side of the street and the car I just crawled underneath is not a strangers, but my own. Slowly I turn and stare at the the Ford Taurus willinging it to turn into my Hyundai Tiberoun. "You are a black sports coupe. You are a black sports coupe."

As I turn to look at the empty space and purple thing in the road once again I see a street lamp down the hill, whose lamp is broken and hanging. The arm which once spread over the street casting light is dangling limp and dark. Underneath the post, half on the curb in the new spring grass is a car... my car... alone and vulnerable. I close my eyes and the beating of my heart proves to me that I am alive, and I am not having an out of body experience. I felt as if I awoke to a fatal car crash, but the crash should have been me, yet I'm standing in the middle of the road alive.

A needling of reality pokes itself into my brain "Did you set the parking brake?" Ummm. No. I did not. I was in such a hurry to find my phone that I neglected basic parking on the hill practices. My car was in first, but I did not turn the wheels toward the curb, nor did I pull the brake as I almost always do when I'm parking.

I step back down to earth knowing that all that happened was the car popped out of gear, the brake was off, and the wheels were turned out toward the middle of the street. In the 2 minutes that I ran down to the office. The Shark and Gravity had a battle, and Gravity won. It slowly rolled into the middle of the street and down the hill. It missed all the parked cars between where it started and the curb where it landed. With trepidation I walk toward the The Shark praying that it is not wrecked. I can practically see the steam rolling out of the radiator and the v shaped dent that is going to be there. My heart is in my throat as I look at the lamp post, asking the universe to not drop the handing arm from it's precarious position onto my beloved Tiberuon or myself.

I approach the curb and look without breathing... The shark is a good foot and half away from the lamppost. I did not hit it. My car is not wrecked. I do not owe the city thousands of dollars in damages. I have avoided disaster. I open the door, crawl into the seat, start the car and hope that I'm not stuck in the rain soaked grassy curb. Without trouble I back up and remove myself and the shark from the scene of multidimensional rifts.

I drive home. Enter the house. Walk down the stairs. Sit in the chair. Place my hand at my side and pick up the phone that had slipped out of my pocket whist watching a movie with my parents.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Visitation for St. Nick.

Originally uploaded by Higgety
Aside from learning that no one wants to learn German anymore... I have conclusive evidence that there is no Santa... anymore.

His funeral was attended by other men and women of the Red Fur Cloak and Floppy Hat Order of Gift Givers at a Garage in Southern Minnesota.

I meandered upon the ceremony whilst on my evening constitutional on garage sale day.... so so sad... A day of mourning in Howktown.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Nobody wants to learn German

This last weekend was a beautiful, near perfect weekend. The temp was in the the seventies, there was a slight breeze, the sun was shining, and it was the city wide garage sale day.

Considering the amount of windmills wind turbines in this area, a 'slight breeze' is something to be rejoiced by the townies out to enjoy their weekend. I haven't canoed in 4 years because the wind never blows below my arm strength on a nice day. Anywho. I digress. It was a near perfect weekend.

In fact, I was one of the fools trying to sell my stuff on my driveway. I grew up in a garage saleing family. We didn't go to yard sales, rummage sales, or jumble sales. No we went garage saleing. If we went with The G-Ma, we were there half an hour before the sale opened knocking on the garage door seeing if they would be opening early so we could get first pick. Maybe when I reach my mid sixties, I won't be totally mortified by this behavior, but then as now I hung my head below the car window until 9 am when all the sales were guaranteed to be open and hopefully no one would recognize us as the early knockers.

The acting Mayor of Ingvaldia is a supreme garage saler. At 38, she hasn't reached "early knocker' stage, nor has she started mapping her routes like the Queen Mother of the Mental State of Hilarity, my mother. However, she does visit several surrounding cities on their city-wide days and brings home quite the haul.

Czarina Kylie garage sales out of necessity. She looks for things that would make her family life easier... like the kid kart for the back of her bike, that any normal person couldn't reasonably afford brand new, but it quite a deal on the asphalt of the car park.

I, on the other hand, love to HAVE garage sales. I love sitting outside in the sun chatting with my sister or friends. I love the hustle and bustle of getting rid of stuff and getting quarters in return. The problem is, I don't own that much stuff in the first place (though the boxes of crap I have in storage are trying to prove otherwise) and the stuff I do have, isn't really sellable. Unless you want someone you don't know's 30 year old drawing from preschool... not quite the same affect as your own child's artwork.

This year is the third year in a row that I didn't have a dang thing to sell and had to convince friends and family to participate. I was in luck because Megan had just moved into her new house (yay!) and had lots to sell. Kylie always has tons of kids stuff to sell, and I had a few paltry Knick Knacks and DVDs that I didn't need to get rid of, but wasn't really watching any more. I also had a cd/book "How to Learn German" course that was "equivalent to 2 years of College German!" "Fast and Easy" that for some reason I purchased after I had years of German in highschool and a semester or two in college. I guess I thought I would become fluent and travel to Germany again and this time pronounce it correctly. That didn't happen. I still know how to say
"Tag Stephan! Was ist los?" "Schau FLori, es regnent!" "Was machts du jetz denn?" "Hast du eine party in deiner hose?"*
and so on.

At the end of the sale, when I had accumulated a whopping $20 for my efforts I started pushing this language course on people. "Hey, how's it goin'? Wanna learn German?" To which almost every single person replied "If it was Spanish, I'd be all over that".

Huh. Who knew? Nobody wants to learn German anymore. Sure, it's practically English, not very pretty, and hasn't been extremely useful in southern MN since all of our German grandparents died out taking their language with them. They left the potato salad and the sauerkraut, so that's somethin'.

Oh well, what are you going to do? Aside from gorge yourself in Sauerkraut Hotdish, you've just got to roll with the punches I guess. I passed the course along to Sara and she's going to try and sell it at her friends garage sale in "The Cities"

Anyway, later we liberated our earnings as well toasted Stella at The Saloon... but that is a completely different story.

Howktown Approves:

Having Garage Sales
Toasting Stella
Sauer Kraut!

*oh, you'd like to know what that says, don't you. Well, I have a beginner German course for REAL CHEAP, that I'm sure would help you out with that.