Saturday, June 28, 2008


I'm up at the farm this weekend - visiting an old friend who's moving away. It so happens that my parents are away, so I'm the only one staying at the house.

At times, I've had considerable doubts about my decision to move back to Minnesota. I was really angry and miserable the first three months - mostly at the weather but also through sheer exhaustion. Now that the weather has gotten warmer, it's easier to appreciate the lower cost of living and pollen-and-excessive population-free environment.

But I'm only truly grateful for my move when I make the drive north, to my parents farm and my childhood home. I'm grateful that I have the chance to visit with my favorite uncle, kiss my beautiful, sassy and rapidly ageing aunt and visit with my best friend's parents. I enjoy a walk on the prairie, for no reason other than that I'm HOME. I am grateful that my childhood room is basically unchanged, the well-water still tastes sweet and that basically, things change very slowly in rural America.

I am so. grateful. to have these things.

Of course, I'm fortunate (and sometimes unfortunate) that my mother instilled a proper amount of nostalgia and empathy in me, so that I crave being around things that remind me of my past. Also, this draw really only works for places that you've never moved from - places that your parents chose, settled and stayed in for over 40 years. And places where the memories ARE sweet, or atleast bittersweet, so that you want to relive those feelings again.

Tonight, I'll be home along in my folk's place, but this doesn't creep me out. I love the silence here. I love this kooky old place. (I love they have cable!) And if Iget into trouble, I know where the shot guns are...

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I love, love, love days like today.

1) Saturday
2) Sunny and gorgeous (if, a little stuffy in my apt).
3) waking up to the sun on my face
4) whole weekend in front of me
5) did I mention the weather is gorgeous?
6) having time to clean my apartment
7) coffee shop round the corner
8) library opening at 10 - my book on hold is here!
9) shopping with my sister
10) clean laundry

I am a ridiculous nerd, I know. But there is something about being wide awake early on a sunny Saturday morning, with the weekend stretched before you that just.....sigh. Puts me in a good mood.

Now I'm going to go enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Look, there's no reason for me to feel like an enormous crab today, but I just do. OK?

I woke up this morning to a beautiful day - and I was psyched because today was the day I promised I was going to bike to work! Hooray!

Normally, I love biking. I mean, ridiculously, love biking. I should've drawn this conclusion, when, even as a second-grader, I biked the five miles from my farm into Megan's house just for fun. Without telling my mom. Barefoot.

So, for all intents and purposes, I should've been in an awesome mood today. Save the fact that I just wasn't.

The bike ride wasn't the greatest - uphill most of the 10 miles - and I had woken up stiff and sore from my new "latin-hip-hop" dance class anyway (I can see you cringing now, Kate, and you'd be right to do so). Not only that, but I had a bunch of crap to deal with at work today that I didn't really want to do, which didn't exactly make the ride zip by.

That, and I'm just kind of.......blurrrghhh.

I don't know if it was the shitty coffee, the so-so bike ride, the middling work, PMS or what-EVER, but today is just one of those days where I shouldn't have gotten out of bed.

I am a lump. A lump of luke-warm human fleshwad that slips through your fingers and melts in your lap - probably in between your thighs and the couch, leaving a nice brown stain where you need it most (it's chocolate - I swear!)

Luckily, Scarlett O'Hara said it best - "Tomorrow is another day". Therefore, I'm officially pressing the re-set button and going to bed.

Good night.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baby-Ho's are a No-No

After spending some time roaming around the internet on this one, I'm not sure that I have much to add. However, I recently picked up a book at the library called "The Lolita Effect: the Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It." I'm only a couple of chapters in, but so far, it's a fairly interesting read. (I can't wait to get to the part on what we can do about it - lock them in the basement? Poke their eyes and ears out? Subscribe only to Highlights?)

If you haven't seen a magazine cover, television show - or even the morning cartoons - in the past ten years, then you probably won't understand the premise. But for the rest of you, it's pretty cut and dried: the media sends mixed messages. Young girls wear hip-huggers, lipstick and tube-tops at younger and younger ages. Pre-pubescence is the new hotness.

I'm on board with the messages in this book, especially since I was in Pamida this weekend, wasting time (god bless small towns and their thriving five-and-dimes..) and I wandered down the toy aisle to come face-to-navel with THIS:

Yes, that is an enormous "baby" doll, wearing a string bikini and a BJ face. I can't find the photo at the moment, but there was another doll that advertised having "designer diapers."


If you're curious, there's already alot of angry mom vomit all over the internet about these things, which is why I say I really don't have anything more to add. (If you're really interested, check out these postings: Is it Just Me, Or is Everything SHIT?, Her Bad Mother, and this is the best one because it's an open letter to Target and it made my laugh till my sides hurt: Mama Drama)

One thing I like about the book I'm reading, is that it doesn't deny that everyone - yes, even children - have sexuality. While admittedly, the idea of putting the words of child and sexuality together in the same sentence makes me feel gross, I do agree with this premise. However, (and admittedly, I'm only a few chapters in), I'd argue that a child's sexuality is just that - childlike. Underdeveloped. So densely fogged that these seemingly overt messages are blunted by their own minds.

Sigh. There are so many things to be afraid of for my (future) daughter. So many things I'd like to tell her to watch out for, to be strong for and laugh at. I want her to know right off the bat - something that took me years to understand - that no matter what you use on your face, you'll never look like Alicia Silverstone, and that's ok.

Also, I want her to know that sex is not a toy.

But, while I would argue that letting kids play with sexy babies is not the _best_ way to encourage their personal growth, it also isn't the end of the world. So rather than get up in arms, I'm going to have faith in the literalness of my (yet forthcoming) children:

Sometimes a doll is just a doll.

......Here's hoping.

Screw You, Citibank

I've been sitting on this for a few weeks now. I just can't seem to get myself to spend _more_ time in front of a computer after I get home from work. However, I feel others should be forewarned.

I called Citibank a few weeks ago. I happen to have quite a bit in student loans from them, and I was following up on a phone call I made back in January, wherein they told me to call back in May.

Interest rates are low low LOW right now. I've been lying in wait, trying to capitalize on these low rates by consolidating the few loans I have left that are unconsolidated (which are now at a whopping 7.22%). The current student loan rate is 3.5%.

So yes, that's quite a savings.

I call them up and say "Hey, I'd like to consolidate these loans!"
And they say, "No can-do, Ma'am."

I'm sorry, - wha?

I get the manager on the phone, who tells me the same thing. "I'm sorry ma'am, but as of May 1, we no longer offer that service."

Not only was I TOLD to call back in May (fed rates usually change July 1, so I wanted to call closer to that date) but I was NOT informed that Citibank would "no longer be offering this service as of May 1."

How come I wasn't notified?

"We're not required by law to do that, ma'am."


This makes me so angry. It's not my fault that Citibank stock is languishing; that for a bank that manages money, they're not so good at managing their own. I think the thing that makes me the most angry is that, while they take liberties to inform me of just about every other g__d__m service they DO provide, my legal friend (who writes BOOKs on this stuff) believes that they are not legally required to inform me when they stop.

How. Aggravating.

Now, my master plan is to find another lending institution that will buy out my current loan and replace my interest rates with something, shall we say, more favorable. However, easier said than done. I may talk a big game, but I'm thus far only ankle deep in my adult finances and I suspect this will take longer for me to figure out that just a ranty blog post. Although I have faith in my ability to figure it out, this might be a tough one to do alone.

Anyway, consider yourself notified.

And SCREW YOU, Citibank.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's Over Already?

It's tough to come off a weekend like this one. The HMF was here and we had a FANTASTIC time. On Friday evening, we saw The Fall - a cinematic smorgesborg of color, texture and imagination that was filling, but not overwhelmig. If I could paint that film and do it justice, I would.

Saturday it was supposed to rain, so imagine our surprise when it was sunny and humid. We were going to check out the MN History museum, but the weather was so unbelieveable, that we had brunch with friends and left immediately for outside. We borrowed a bike from my co-worker and biked across Ford bridge to Minnehaha park, down to Lake Nokomis, to the bandstand at Lake Harriet where we listened to big bands and ran into old friends, had ice-cream on Lake Calhoun (where we ran into MORE people we knew!) and then home via the newly paved Midtown Greenway bikepath on 27th street (which I didn't even know existed! Talk about a magic discovery!). We arrived home four hours later, pooped, but smiling.

After that, we showered and headed to Punch in Highland park. By that time, it'd been 6.5 hours since we'd last ate, so the pizza and wine were terrific! We got ambitious and rented a movie for the couch, where we promptly fell asleep after the first 15 minutes.

Needless to say, there's a void to fill today - and every day until I see him over the 4th of July. It's nice that we've traded our day-to-day errands for only fun stuff when we see each other, but it's like having ice cream for every meal.

Anyway, I'm glad the weather cooperated. This week, I'm excited to have volunteering and volleyball to look forward to, otherwise it would be bleak.