Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I want to go to there. [Winter to-do list]

Happy December! Can you EVEN BELIEVE IT? There isn't a ton of snow, but the bit we do have came just in time! So, in spirit of that, here is my winter to do list:

1. Snowshoe.
2. Ice skate.
3. Cross-country ski.
4. Build a snowman.
5. Throw snowballs for my puppy to go fetch. (It's pretty hilarious to watch).
6. Make a snow angel.
7. Ice fish.
8. Watch the following: Elf, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, The Year Without a Santa Claus...
9. Consume the following(preferably separately): Peppermint mochas, Jessica's mom's cabbage rolls, something Carrie baked.
10. Make chicken and dumplings, as taught by Jessica's mom.
11. Scrapbook like a maniac; make holiday cards and presents.
12. Go to a craft fair.
13. See a musical.
14. Hang out in Rice Park.
15. Play Christmas songs on the piano. 
So if you’re willing to contribute to the checking-off of any of the aforementioned items, please get in contact with me. Ha! But really, is there something I am missing? What’s on YOUR winter to-do list?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Merry Monday

Happy Monday! (Is that an oxymoron? Heh.) Unlike about 78.1% of my weekends, this one seemed to last forever, in a very, very good way. Thanksgiving started perfectly with a Turkey Day 5k (an easy-breezy-fun-run), Friday was a very long day at work (mainly because I was thinking about the people who weren’t at work), but I ended it with a couple of games of pool and Big Buck Hunter (yep) in Uptown. 

Saturday was the loveliest day of all! It started out with a breakfast at Grandview Grill (my new favorite breakfast joint) to reunite with my friends from high school. Then my sister and I headed over to the new Anthropologie on Grand and did a bit of damage. Afterwards, we had dinner at Punch Pizza (also a favorite spot) before buying macarons at Surdyk’s (sub-par) and heading to First Ave. to catch The Pines and Mason Jennings. Mason was amazing, as always. He played a good mix of songs from his latest album, Minnesota, some from the album before that, and some from the 7 albums before that. He threw in a couple of covers too, which I was all for. After the show, we headed a block or two over to Kieran’s to meet my friend David who I studied with in Hong Kong three long years ago. And you know, I might have stayed up until 4am getting beat at card games. 

Sunday I headed to the mall with some girlies to do a bit of birthday shopping (thanks family for having holiday birthdays) and then bolted out of there to go to yet another Thanksgiving dinner, complete with cribbage and football.

Okay, so you might not care about the ins and outs of my weekend, but when I write about what I did, it not only serves as a little bit of a record, but also a moment at least to reflect on it and appreciate it before moving on. Sooner or later though, I’m going to be reflecting on something a minute or two after it happens…hmm…

Anyway, I’m super glad I had a couple of reunions this past weekend and can’t wait to have more over Christmas! But for now, it’s Monday, there’s a LOT to do this week at work (not so much socially), and I am, as usual, tired. 

What should I think about today?
1. Cyber Monday. Some might say I like to dabble in shopping. 
2. Running. I did surprisingly well at both Thanksgiving dinners, only eating one plate, minimal desert, and barely anything else those days. Still, I feel a bit guilty and am going to go running after work.
3. Connecting. Sometimes when I have reunions, I get addicted to the idea of them. Especially because David wants to go to Toronto together to visit all of our HK friends. So now I'm thinking about every possible reunion I can muster up.

Was your weekend long or short? Was it hard getting up for work today? (Yes over here!) Anyway, I hope your Monday is super-cali-frag-i-listic! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am so thankful.

Obviously I was going to post today. There are so many things to be thankful for, and since a lot of this blog is dedicated to recognizing and appreciating those things, it's only natural that I write about them today!

Where do I even begin?

For starters, there are things that I am thankful for every day and while I don't discount them, they go into a short list here:

1. Health.
2. My five senses. 
3. Freedom.
4. Shelter, food, clothing, a car, a job.
5. Love and happiness.

Now on to the main event: people. None of the aforementioned blessings would matter at all if it wasn't for great people in my life. And here they are:

Family. I love my family! This year we have the addition of Mr. Kevin and it's pretty exciting to have a new brother. At the end of this year, we'll have yet another addition in the form of an itty bitty baby!

Boyfran. See this post. (Also his awesome, welcoming family!)

The girls. I’ve known these ladies since I was 9 or 10 years old. Enough said.

The girls. These are the people who made college so exciting. We shared school, parties, and Stinkytown Dinkytown. I even got to live with…all of them.

Show-goers. Music is the air I breathe and since I have the need to go to a bazillion shows, it’s been awesome to have accomplices.

HK boyz. These are the people who I spent almost every day of my time abroad with. They are all hilarious and insanely smart. I’ve gotten to see some of them since we’ve been back, but I’m still waiting for a reunion with the international ones.

HK penpals. After three years, these girls still write to me! You don’t know how great it is to get mail from them, adorned with silly Hello Kitty stickers. 

HK people in general. Reunions are my faaavorite and it's super fun to have friends around the world.

Bookclub. My fellow nerds literary aficionados keep my brain sharp and are fun to meet for dinner every month. Still waiting on that magnum bottle of wine.

You. Whoever you are.

Every person has added to my life in such a special way, and I really am grateful for each and every one. (Also the ones not featured here, who I maybe haven't seen in a while). Here is to more communication, more reunions, and remembering the awesome times we’ve shared. Happy Thanksgiving people, you rock my world. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Merry Monday

Ahh, this weekend was so full of activity that I can barely stay awake today. I guess I still need to master the art of sleeping with my eyes open at work. Heehee.

Friday was the boyfran’s birthday celebration, Saturday was dinner downtown and the Jerry Seinfeld show, and Sunday rounded it out with dinner (also downtown) and the Mat Kearney concert. I feel like I was either running around or laying on the couch watching reruns of 30 Rock. (So excited for its return!)

How am I going to get through today?
1. Being productive: I have a lot of work to do today and by golly, I am doing it.
2. Short work week: Only three days! Then a day off! Then back to work for a day! Then two off!
3. Thanksgiving: I’m going to teach some of my family (the willing and eager ones) a fun card game I played all Saturday night after the show. Plus, it’s le B-I-L’s birthday celebration so that will be fun too.

That’s all I can muster up right now. My other b-l-o-g is getting a makeover as we speak, so that’s kind of exciting too. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Boyfran Birthday!

Today is a very special day - the day my boyfran! was born. I am very lucky to have this guy in my life, so I thought I'd write a post to tell you why.

Why he's cool in general:
1. He cares a lot for his family. He makes it a point to spend time with them and go on trips with them, even his extended family.
2. He cares a lot for his friends and is always there, especially in times of need.
3. He cares a lot for strangers. Just kidding. But he can become friends with almost anyone within five minutes of meeting them. 
4. He's rugged and manly. He does physical things all day, plays basketball, kayaks, camps, hunts, catches fish with his teeth...okay, maybe some of that is untrue. Heeeheee. 
5. He's an "old soul."
6. Despite the love for brew and "za," he cares about his health.
7. He ran a marathon because he wanted to and had the discipline for it; and then he decided not to run one again because he didn't enjoy it that much and it took a toll on his body. I like that he recognizes what he likes and doesn't like and does what he wants to do.
8. He's really friggen cool, but he doesn't act like he knows he's really friggen cool.
9. He's silly.
10. He's extremely fun to be around.

Why he's cool with me:
1. The boyfran is chivalrous. Even after three years, he still opens my doors, holds heavy things, walks me to my car, and puts my jacket on for me. I like to think of myself as pretty independent, but even I can't turn these gestures down.
2. He knows how to change it up and takes me on dates to see funny comedians, will stay in for a game night, go to a musical, a sporting event, a day trip, a shopping trip, anything!
3. He gives thoughtful and creative presents. (Ice skates, running kit, handmade cribbage board...)
4. He has an impeccable taste in music and is the best concert buddy even though our heights make it odd to position ourselves in a room.
5. He doesn't mind that I extended this list to 5 to meet the needs of my OCD.

And he makes things like this for me:

And best of all: he loves me! :P There are about 80 billion other things, but we'll save those for another day. So boyfran, today is your day. I love you (and so do all of my family and friends, which kind of makes things awkward).


Happy birthday!

Gee golly shucks, it's cold.

I think you know the whole go-to-work-when-it's-dark and leave-work-when-it's-dark situation. (If you don't I loathe envy you). Since I work in a cube that is far away from any sort of window and the windows we have are tinted, I make it a point to go outside for at least one of my breaks. And when I do, it's kind of cold. And then I'm like "Aw, gee golly shucks, it's cold, why did I leave my den?" So it's getting cold but I think that Minnesota is having a fairly-mild November given our history, so that's kind of nice too. And the other thing I think is that having four seasons and harsh winters and brutal summers makes for a tough, well-rounded person. Or at least one who knows how to complain. Harhar.

That's all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Merry Monday [Work Edition]

Doesn't it sometimes feel like we go through the week to get to the weekend, only to have it flash by us and drop us at the door of Monday again? Rinse and repeat?

Well that has happened once again and my friends, we're back at day 1 of the work week. I spilled coffee on my boots, had to lug ten-thousand things to work and got here late. But once I got here, everything turned around.

So now I'm a happy Monday Camper, or Mamper:
1. Just kidding I don't like the world Mamper.
2. More time. I found out a HUGE audit at work has been postponed from the end of November to the beginning of January. Having an extra month to work is EPIC, and this time we won't procrastinate, but keep at our schedule like our audit is still early.
3. Coworker morale boosts. Last week my coworker told me I'd be good at a new lead position I will be transitioning into because I'm intelligent and people value what I have to say. That made me really happy, because it's easy to feel exactly the opposite.
4. Enjoying work and the people who surround you. Most of us spend at least 40 hours of our week at work. It helps to enjoy the tasks you're involved in and the company you keep. I used to not care about being friends with people at work...(sounds mean, I know) but then I realized I will see these people the most out of anyone I know so I might as well like them!
5. Noah and the Whale. Even though I'm a little peeved with them, I am excited to hear them tonight. They were pretty-darn-good at Lollapalooza last summer and I'd like to see what the show is like when I'm not sweating in blaring sun and fearing skin-sizzle.

I hope your Mondays are equally good or better! It can be hard to get up and do it all over again, but when you actually want to, it's a nice change of pace.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Celebrate 11-11-11!

If you know me in real life, you know that I love numbers and nerdy things. That is precisely why today, 11-11-11 is the coolest day of the year or maybe my life! And it's on a Friday! I seriously need to have a party and I'm a little bit sad I already have plans. But the plans are to meet a friend I studied abroad in HK with who moved from Michigan to Minnesota a while ago, whom I have not seen since 2008. (You all know how I love reconnecting, right?) So this is exciting! 

And so is 11-11-11, especially the two times of day when it's 11:11. I think I'll switch my phone from military time, just so I can experience 11:11 two times rather than one. (Why is it on military time? To keep my brain sharp!)

Maybe I have a cake for my work frans that says "11-11-11!" Maybe.

That is all. I hope you'll still be my friend.

Also, thank you to all the veterans who have given so much. You're pretty cool in my book.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


My name is Jennifer, and I have been a slothopotamus. Seriously, if a sloth and a hippo had a child, that would be me. It's sort of mean, but I need a little bit of encouragement to get myself the H to the gym.

So, in an effort to get off the couch (actually, the computer chair), I am going to do something new with my work out plan by scheduling classes and gym times and runs on my calendar, as if they were dinner dates with friends or appointments I couldn't miss. Last week I looked up yoga classes ahead of time (at all the places I have vouchers/groupons/existing memberships), found times that worked, and "penciled" them in. 

It at least worked for last Sunday; I had scheduled a yoga class at Core Power and by golly, I went! (For the first time in three months...) But even on Tuesday, I am still le sore. Last night I had thirty-thousand-four-hundred-and-nine cavities filled, so to make the numbness wear off faster, I walked on the treadmill for over an hour. It helps when Modern Family is in front of me too.

Today I'm heading back to the gym. I need to tell you guys so I can feel at least a little bit accountable to keep going. No more slothopotamus! I have found a hefty (haha) correlation between weight gain and unhappiness. (And yes, in this case, it's correlation AND causation). I refuse to gain weight during the holiday season.  Who is with me? 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Merry Monday

Hey youuu guyyyyyys. That time of week has come once again, dreaded Monday. This monday is UBER exciting because I have an appointment, have to renew my library card to get my book club's book, then...drumroll, please...not one, not-a two, but three cavity fillings! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! 

But the weekend was great and relaxing and there's another one coming up in four days. So there's that.

Things to make me happy:
1. My room is finally clean-ish. It's taken some time and a lot of work, but the end result is a lot less stressful than the beginning one was.
2. Giving. I, along with many of you readers, attended a benefit breakfast on Saturday and donated to a worthy cause. More on this later.
3. Not going out. I didn't really "go out" either Friday or Saturday, and it felt a lot healthier, a lot less tiring, and maybe less fun, but it was good nonetheless.

Does anyone have ideas on how to seize the day? I am seriously struggling this November 7th. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Whole Living Challenge: Ditch the To Do

This might seem easier than it actually is. I have a habit of stuffing my entire weekend full until it's about to explode. This weekend, however, the boyfran will be hunting from Friday-Sunday and since we see each other most of the weekend, every weekend, my weekend is a little more free this time around. (Can I say "weekend" a little more?) (Weekend, weekend, weekend).

So try this. But also you should maybe hang out with me. Kthxbye.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are we too connected to be connected?

Well obviously today is special because I like numbers and 11-1-11 is pretty neat. Just wait for ten more days and I might throw a party for the date! (At least in my head I will). 

Anyway, I've been thinking. Is social media bringing us closer together or further apart? Let me explain.

Today I saw that I had some new followers on Instagram. I was instantly excited and thought, now we can share our little moments with each other via photographs. But then I thought, well why not show each other things in person? Why not talk in person? Why not call each other instead of rely on each other's blogs or social media sites to find out what's been happening? 

Well there could be some reasons:
1. It's easier to check for updates on your phone than to schedule a date and block out hours of your night to hang out during the week.
2. With the internet, you can see (at once) what many people are doing rather than one person or a small group of people. 
3. With blogs, you get a larger sense of what is going on at a particular time. When you meet someone in person, you don't talk about all the little things that go through your head when things happen. 
4. You get to see another side of a person that sometimes is difficult to capture in real life.
5. You are essentially still having alone time, while being sort of social.

But then again...
1. We hermit ourselves.
2. Internet can be impersonal and you miss the body language, tone, pitch, everything that physical, real communication gives.
3. You read things so you already know what's going on, so you don't feel as much need to ask.
4. Sometimes people don't sound like themselves in writing and you wonder what the deal is. This is why I particularly enjoy reading  blogs where I can hear the person saying things out loud. (She's pretty good at sound effects).
5. It's a double life. In my case, a triple life. (This one, the other one, the real life). But I try to be genuine in all of them. I keep thinking of merging my blogs so I don't have so many selves, but then I couldn't go deep into thought like I do on this one, and I couldn't focus so much on fashion and music as the other one. So there. I gotta keep 'em separated. 

In any case, I obviously enjoy being online and getting the inside scoop on people I know, and sometimes people I don't. (The people I don't have a lot to offer in terms of style, projects, insight).  Who knew that you didn't need experts to tell you everything, but instead, real people who do things and see things and write about them?

Whatever you do, make sure you step out of the virtual life and into the one you've led up until before you had all of these technologies. And then go sit down at your computer and keep on reading. :)