Thursday, April 30, 2009
I am a lover of lists. Especially to-do lists. I get this from my mom. We host Thanksgiving for her side of the family nearly every year. Sometimes it's a big crowd - like 38 people - so it requires alot of planning. My mom usually has a day by day list - I can vividly picture it in my mind. It always seemed to be on a yellow legal pad. I sort of dreaded the list when I was younger, but now that I am older and more fully understand the amount of work that goes into planning a holiday, I appreciate my mom's list making abilities. And I wish I could go back in time and tell my snotty, teenage self to stop rolling my eyes and complaining and just pitch in!
Right now my to-do list consists of many things, such as writing a letter to NWA, grocery shopping for ingredients to make Spanish Rice this weekend, and finish my last MBA Derivatives assignment (woot, woot!).
It's great to have practical lists, but I love lists like these that remind you of the important stuff in life. Because following this whimsical to-do list is certainly going to make you a more happy person and will lead to a much more fulfilling life.
What's on your to-do list these days?
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Every time April 28th rolls around each year, I always seem to take a little walk down memory lane.
I think about the cake I baked for Brian for his 17th birthday. Oh, who am I kidding. I think of the cake my mom baked for Brian... which I passed off as something I made, when all I really did was stand in the kitchen, twiddling my thumbs, wondering when I was going to take over from my mom...
I think about the date I planned for Ryan. We got dressed up and went downtown to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner. The picture we took that night ended up in the family Christmas Card.
I don't get sad on the 28th... I just sort of roll my eyes at the date and will it to pass by swiftly.
And I vow to NEVER, EVER date a guy with a birthday of April 28th. Seriously. Obviously I'm not compatible with people born on this date.
So every time I do go on a date, I somehow work the, 'so... when is your birthday?' question into the conversation. And guess what - one of the guys I went on a date with this spring was born on 4/28...
So seriously, God, stop sending Tauruses my way. It's time for me to date a guy that was born on a different day of the year!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
3. The Pure and Simple Truth
4. your wishcake
5. Project Subrosa
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Really? Oh, thank you. That is so reassuring. It just reflects how much NWA cares about my so called 'stuff'.
Luckily, the person's whose bag I have called me and gave me his baggage claim info so I confirmed my bag is in fact in Mexico City. How I will get it back is a whole other story. I bought an international calling card & called Mexico City, but of course no one speaks English and my 1 semester of Spanish in college wasn't much help. And NWA is standing by their policy of not calling international airports.
So yah. At this point, I've accepted the fact that the bag isn't going to get to me during my trip. So now I am just hoping and praying that I see it eventually and that it has all of my 'stuff'.
I am enjoying NYC, though. I've walked through lots of different areas & ate at great restaurants. Yesterday I saw South Pacific, which was amazing! The MN girl who played the lead was amazing! Today we took the subway to Brooklyn & walked back across the Brooklyn Bridge.
I have one more day in Manhattan. Tomorrow I head up to see my friend Ali on the northern tip of Manhattan, and then head south to Long Island on Saturday morning. My time is flying by, especially since I have spent at least 2 hours each day trying to find my bag... But nonetheless, it's been a great trip!
And seriously - mark my words, I will never fly NWA/Delta again. And I will somehow learn how to pack more efficiently and will never check luggage again.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I landed at JFK yesterday morning to find that my luggage did not arrive with me. I was pretty proud of myself - I handled it pretty calmly. I kind of had a bad feeling when I left Minneapolis because the person who checked me in was super confused - she thought I had 2 bags to check but then realized she was looking at a different person's baggage ticket and not mine. I am kicking myself for not looking down at my suitcase to see what 3 digit code was on my baggage ticket. But I trusted the NWA employee, and headed to my gate.
Last night, the JFK lost baggage person told me that my bag had been found & was being sent to my friend's apartment. It arrived at midnight & Alissa's fiance went down to get it. I freaked out when I opened the door and saw that he was holding this small little duffle bag. It had my baggage claim ticket on it, so the person that checked me in must have put my baggage tag on this bag, and put some random dude's ticket on my bag.
I'll spare you the details of the 15+ calls I've made to various people at NWA's lost luggage department, but suffice it to say it has not been a pleasant experience. I was starting to feel rather hopeless so Alissa & I decided to do some investigation of our own. The duffle bag didn't have any identification, so Alissa handed me some surgical latex gloves and we started exploring the contents of the duffle bag. We found some Medtronic polo's with a division name on them, so Alissa googled the division, found a phone number, and called and left a message. We knew it was a long shot, but at this point, I was willing to try anything.
Miraculously, two extremely helpful Medtronic people called me back. The 2nd person was able to tell me whose bag I had in my position and told me where he was flying to - aka, where my bag most likely is.
Ladies & gentleman, my bag is in Mexico City. Great. Not exactly the kind of place I want my bag sitting around, unattended. Not that I have anything against Mexico City, but I'd feel a heck of a lot better knowing it was sitting in a place like Cleveland, OH or something like that.
So yah. Vacation is really not off to a great start. Despite the luggage debacle, I am having a great time. I just really hope that someone can help me tomorrow - the person I spoke to tonight at NWA said she can't call Mexico City because it's International & she doesn't have their phone number. WTF??
So yah, lessons learned:
1. Don't fly NWA.
2. If you have to fly NWA, don't check your luggage.
3. If you do check your luggage, check the tag they put on your bag.
I promise all further blog posts, which will happen upon my return, will be of a positive nature.
Time to drink a glass of wine. It's been a bit of a stressful/tense day.
Monday, April 20, 2009
And so begins the novel, Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult. I've only read one other book by Picoult. I read The Pact back when I was working a part-time job at Barnes & Noble when I first moved to Minneapolis. Picoult was an author that one of the managers recommended. While I enjoyed The Pact, I wasn't totally sold on Picoult's writing. This book, however, has changed my mind about Picoult. I thought it was really well-written and was such a page turner.
The book is about a school shooting that happens in a small town in New Hampshire. The shooter, Peter Houghton, was bullied while growing up. After years of torment, he decides to seek revenge. He comes to school, armed with many weapons, and kills 10 of his classmates.
The book was really interesting. It gave you a glimpse into the life of the shooter - throughout the book Picoult flashes back to various moments in Peter's life when he was alienated and bullied by his classmates. The bullying in no way excused Peter's terrible actions, but it definitely makes you think about bullying and how it should be handled in schools. My cousin is a school counselor & is reading this right now so I can't wait to talk to her about it & see what she thinks.
Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the Columbine shootings, so I figured today was a good day to review this book - I just finished it on Friday and didn't even realize how close I was to the date of the Columbine shooting. I still vividly remember that day - it was spring of my senior year and I was just months from graduating. The 2 shooters killed 12 students and 1 teacher before turning the guns on themselves. I think Columbine really woke up the nation and changed the sense of safety that students & teachers felt in a school.
This book is not light reading since it deals with a heavy subject, but I would recommend it.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Yah, not this trip. Maybe it is because I am visiting a city where 5 of my friends live. Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited to see the city & check out the sites, but I am more excited to re-connect with the ladies that live there.
These 5 friends represent 3 different periods of my life.
I met Alissa & Jen through Delta Gamma. Alissa moved to MSP the same summer I did, so has been part of most of the memories I've made over the past 6 years I've lived here (side note: I can't believe I've been out of college for 6 years! Oy!) Alissa moved to NYC this past November - she is definitely missed by my group of girlfriends. She's been back a few times since moving, but I am looking forward to catching up with her on her turf!!
Then there's Ali. I met Ali when I spent the summer of 2001 working out in Steamboat Springs, CO (my little slice of heaven here in the US, by the way). We both worked together at a hotel and quickly bonded. We were both studying abroad that next year - she was going to Spain & I was going to Australia, so we were both so so excited for our upcoming international adventures!! Flash forward 5 years, I visited Ali while she was working with the Peace Corp in the Dominican Republic. That trip was 3 years ago and that was the last time I saw her, so I can't wait to see her again and get all caught up. Neither one of us are phone people, so aside from exchanging emails or texting occasionally, we've spoken very little over the last 3 years - but we have the kind of friendship where you pick up right where you left off!
Last, but not least, are the Amandas. Yep, that is plural. I met these 2 girls when I studied abroad in Australia. They are from Long Island and were the first New Yorkers I had ever met. We also clicked right away when we met & did lots of traveling together. Our most notable trip was the week we spent in New Zealand in April of 2002. That was probably one of the best weeks of my life! One of the Amandas is getting married this summer, but unfortunately she's getting married on the same day as Abby, so I have to miss her wedding. :(
So yah, I have lots of catching up to do with these 5 fabulous ladies! In addition to all the chatting we'll be doing, I plan on seeing South Pacific (the lead female is from MN & my aunt was her choir teacher!!), checking out Ellis Island, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, shopping at this store which sells this scent, and going to the NY Public Library on 5th Ave where there is an exhibit on the French Occupation. Oh, and that's also where Big & Carrie were supposed to get married in the SATC movie!
I fly out at 7 am on Tuesday morning so am trying to pack tonight since I won't get home from class until around 10 tomorrow night. I am sort of kicking myself for picking the 7 am flight... because the airport shuttle is picking me up between 4:15-30. Ouch. I guess that probably means I won't have trouble sleeping on the flight...
Have a great week! I'll be sure to post a trip re-cap when I get back!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
After that, we got ready to head over to my brother's for my nephew's Birthday party. Little Matthew turned one last week. It's hard to believe he is already one - the last year has just flown by.
He's gone from looking like this
Back to the party. Julie, my sister-in-law, did a great job with the cake. The pictures don't do it justice!Matthew even had his own little teddy bear cake.
After eating some birthday cake, the kids got to dye Easter Eggs. They had a great time and managed to stay pretty clean. Which is impressive for a 3 and 4 year old!
After the party we headed back to the hotel. I hadn't planned on going swimming but everyone else in the family was going so I figured I better suit up and join them. I had a great time playing in the water with the kids!
And that was our Saturday! I'll post about Easter day later this week! Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland
Boston Copley Public Library, Boston
Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-Generaal Den Haag, the Hague, Netherlands
Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Ok, I'll stop there, but of course I could go on and on. I need to start visiting libraries when I travel! And later this month when I am NYC, I am going to try to make it to this perfume store to check out their "In the Library" scent. My friends jokingly refer to me as the librarian, so I think this just might need to be my signature scent!!
Oh, and if/when I get married, I think this would be the perfect reception site for a booklover like me.
It's the James J. Hill library in St. Paul. Doesn't it look like the coolest reception site?
* Sigh* Time to return to reality and get back to pouring over numbers in an excel spreadsheet. I totally should have majored in Library Science. Too bad I've sworn myself off of getting anymore degrees...
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir - I haven't watched Gran Torino, but have heard nothing but great things about that film. The people I've spoken to have said they walked away walking to know more about the Hmong culture. This book would be a great way to learn more about that culture. The author, Kao Kalia Yang, chronicles their move from the jungles of Thailand to St. Paul, Minnesota. It sounds like an amazing book. I was suprised to learn that Yang was born in 1980 - which makes her only one year older than me! Our Diversity Committee at work just purchased this book; I am hoping to read it this month!
A Fine Balance - I also have yet to see Slumdog Millionaire. It's in my Netflix queue, so hopefully I will see it soon. This novel, by Rohinton Mistry, tells the story of 4 individuals who are living in India and struggling to "maintain a fine balance between hope and dispair." I see this is an Oprah book club selection.
Those Who Save Us - This is the debut novel of author Jenna Blum. The novel alternates between the story of Trudy, a history professor at a Minneapolis university collecting oral histories of WWII survivors, and Trudy's German mother, Anna, who left her war torn country during WWII by marrying a US soldier. Anna tells the story of her past which includes a relationship with a Jewish doctor and an abusive relationship with a high-ranking Nazi officer.
These books are all a little on the heavy side, but all sound very interesting! I am going to try to do a post like this once a month - there are at least 150 books in my to-read list, so I definitely have plenty of books to feature!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I love Molly's voice - it really shines through in her writing, both in the book and on her blog. Which is probably why her blog attracted the man who is now her husband! It's such an unconventional love story, but a great one.
Oh, and it certainly doesn't hurt that Molly also loves Paris. She traveled there as a child and returned to the City of Lights to compile research for her dissertation. For a Francophile like me, it was wonderful reading about her time in Paris and how it has shaped her relationship with food.
I definitely recommend this book. Hopefully you''ll love Molly and her writing as much as I do!