Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Something to see: Lars and the Real Girl.

We watched "Lars and the Real Girl" Monday night.

Nate fell asleep, as I knew he would. He is not big on the indy films. I love indy films. And I really love Ryan Gosling. Kind of a win-win for me.

Needless to say, I thought it was wonderful. It's just one of those movies that makes you smile every time you think about it.

So, go. Rent it. Enjoy. :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sonic watch 2008: It's coming!

As many people in my life will tell you, I have a deep and abiding love for Sonic. I blame this entirely on my friend Heidi - she took me there no less than four times in a three day period while visiting her in Houston two years ago. I've been a little obsessed ever since.

About a year a half ago, the mean folks over at Sonic started airing commercials in Minnesota. There is no Sonic in Minnesota. The nearest one is about 200 miles away in Iowa. Tempting, but - no.

So, it's been tough. Those commericals air ALL THE TIME. They are funny, and the drinks look good. It makes me sad and mad and very thirsty.


About three months ago, Nate sent me a link to a Star Tribune article saying Sonic would be opening three locations in Minnesota! And one of them would be in St. Paul! Needless to say, I was way more excited than any normal person should be about a new fast food restaurant. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for more information, but all I could find was a story saying one of them would open on or around May 15. And since May 15 has come and gone, I was starting to wonder if it was all a cruel joke - kind of like those commercials.

But yesterday I saw it. It's in St. Paul, about five miles from my house. It's not open yet, but it's there and they are hiring.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Garden girl.

Nate and I had yet another productive weekend. I'm not sure why, but we are super motivated to get things done around the house right now. I wish this motivation extended to other areas of my life. Like diet and exercise.

Saturday we had a garage sale with Nate's parents and their neighbors. While it wasn't our highest-grossing sale, we got rid of a ton. And everything that didn't sell was immediately carted off to Goodwill — all but the mini Christmas tree (garbage) and Nate's ab roller. They don't take ab rollers. Probably because it would gather as much dust on their shelves as it did in our basement. So we left that curbside with my in-laws' NordicTrack.

(Yes, that's right — an outdated, mostly unused set of exercise equipment for free! Let me know if you want their address.)

Yesterday we spent most of the day on our hands and knees in the yard, digging out a particularly ferocious type of ornamental grass. Actually, Nate was hopping up and down on a shovel, and I was on my hands and knees. I was on the shovel first, but quickly realized I was probably going to end up with a broken leg, or a head injury. I am not coordinated enough to hop on a shovel near a pile of rocks and a big hole.


The previous owners planted a tiny patch of this grass around the pond a few years ago. I think their goal was to plant something that looked natural — but as I pointed out to Nate yesterday, there is nothing natural about a man-made pond in the middle of a city lot. Especially one with a plug-in waterfall.

The grass was okay, but when it got wet it got floppy and started to smell. And it pretty much doubled in size since last year...it even smothered one of my salvia plants. So it had to go. We just didn't realize removing it would be such a production. That stuff is nasty; it was like a woven rug of roots underneath. It took us hours to pull out. We are both sore and a little cranky today.

But now we have an empty flower bed to work with! Which is equal parts exciting and frightening. I am just learning how to garden...I love it, but I have no idea what I'm doing. And there is a real art to selecting the right plants — you need varying heights, textures and colors. I know it will take time to get things right, but I want it to be right RIGHT NOW. (Stomp.)

We spent an hour or so wandering around my beloved Gerten's last night — looking at plants, getting ideas and taking notes. Nate's mom brought me the Minnesota Gardener's Guide, which is an incredibly helpful resource. (She is also an incredibly helpful resource; her yard is stunning.) I want everything. I don't know what to pick, it's all a bit overwhelming. But I have to figure it out, because this is the weekend I've set aside to get everything planted. So, tonight — between watching last night's episode of Desperate Housewives and tonight's season finale of Gossip Girl (yay!) — I am going to flip through my book, review my notes and make a plan. I am not going back to Gerten's without a list...otherwise there's no telling what we'll end up with.

Pictures of the grass early last summer (before we edged the flower beds), yesterday's little project, and the end result (that last picture is a little dingy, sorry.).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

American Idle.


This season of American Idol is putting me to sleep.

I have been a die-hard fan for three seasons. I missed the Kelly/Fantasia/Rueben years, but fell hard for Carrie Underwood (her performance of "Alone" is still one of my very favorites on the show), Elliot Yamin, Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks. These four (and their mostly talented competitors) made the show worth watching.

I even went to the concert last summer with my friend Carrie. It was fun. The drink lines were short. Sanjaya wasn't as appalling as I'd feared. And (bonus!) they handed out free Pop-Tarts.

But this year has been boring from the start. There were tiny glimmers of hope here and there — and I still think David Archuleta is very cute — but I am just not invested in this season. And I'm not the only one who feels this way: last week's episode had the lowest number of votes since 2003. Everyone knew Jason would get kicked off last week. And no one will be surprised by Syesha's elimination tonight. So, why bother voting? Or watching?

I'm not sure what went wrong this year. Is the concept just getting old? Or is the talent lacking? My guess is that it's a combination of both. But the one thing that's really been bothering me is that none of the contestants seem to care either. They can't even be bothered to learn all the lyrics to their songs. Last night David Archuleta flubbed the lyrics for the second time this season — and he's in the top three (and will probably win). There have been more ho-hum performances and missed lyrics and poor song choices this season than I care to count.

Even writing this is kind of boring me.

I will dutifully watch tonight's elimination and next week's finale, but unlike years past, I will probably breathe a sigh of relief when it's over.

And I am definitely not going to the concert this year. I can buy my own friggin' Pop-Tarts.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A practical purchase.

My friend Jo and I went shoe shopping on Sunday. She's been on maternity leave for 10 weeks and is going a little stir crazy, so we escaped for a few hours of fun. After a quick lunch at Panera, we headed over to DSW.

I love shoes.

There were at least 15 pairs of shoes calling my name. Loudly. Most were high heels or wedges in hot pink, banana yellow, grass green or royal blue — or some combination of those colors. I am loving the bright 80s color palette right now. I know it won't last (and really shouldn't), but I think it's cheerful and fun for summer. It's also kind of great to see things I wore as a kid back in style. (Although I did see 10 different pairs of jelly shoes. Yuck. Some trends are best left in their decade of origin.)

Despite my excitement over the huge selection of brilliantly colored shoes, I'm trying to be a little more responsible about money. I can't just buy any shoe that catches my eye — it has to be something I will wear. I already have too many pairs of extremely cute, extremely unwearable shoes in my closet. (Hello sky-high pink floral canvas stacked heel ankle strap Nine West shoes I've owned for 7 years and still haven't worn.)

So after nearly an hour of shopping, I ended up with two pairs of shoes any grandmother would be proud to own: black flats and brown flats.

Woo hoo.

Yes, they are cute. And comfortable. And versatile. And reasonably priced. But they are also black and brown. Sigh. While perfect for casual days at work, neither pair is a good fit for my 80s revival. So, I think I will have to hit up a few of my favorite discount retailers (Target, Payless, TJ Maxx) to see if I can find cheap, chic 80s shoes to rock all summer and discard this fall. After all, fashion this rad can't last long. I'll probably be in the market for Doc Martens and flannel shirts come spring 2009.

Dollhouse Prima Ballet Flat
Palladium Palau

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