Sunday, January 27, 2013

easy like a sunday morning


25 january
you have never heard more squealing, from women and men alike, then when an 11 week old corgi named zelly comes to visit the office. tiny body, tiny head, and giant ears are irresistible to all genders. our receptionist, becky, drove with her husband last week to lancaster, pennsylvania where a mennonite family raised zelly from birth. zelly now happily resides with becky and her family in minnetonka. i highly recommend a corgi puppy fix for anyone needing a lift!



26 january
maria and i did some catching up about her awesome new job at an architecture firm. first we made a visit to maxwell's for some of our favorite nachos and then she gave me a tour of her new office. the nachos were divine, all full of spiced chicken and jalapenos, and her office was stunning. located in the historic grain belt brewery building, they didn't miss a beat. here is the lobby, where a fire crackled in the fireplace where folks wait to meet with staff. i could wait there all day!


27 january
it snowed for the first time in a long time today. it's super pretty outside, though i only ventured out a few feet! i stopped to take a photo of the snow out my living room window just as a north star light rail train sped by. i love the brash, colorful metal bursting through the gray placidness.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

india + africa + china + bali + paris


23 january
whenever i'm fortunate enough to go to an indian restaurant, i have to order a kingfisher beer, just like i did on many occasions in india. kingfisher is not a craft brew, it's not impossibly stuffed with hops, it's just light and easy to drink like a beer should be in a hot country like india. it's easy like a sunday morning, or in this case, like a wednesday night. doug and i took advantage of a groupon that was close to expiring to check out himalayan restaurant in the seward neighborhood, and we were not disappointed. goat curry, chicken tikka masala, mango lassi, and some pakora to start made for a wonderful meal. can't wait to return.


24 january
i've made an executive decision to leave my ipad at home when i go to mexico next week. that means paperback books will be coming with me. i'm compiling a stack of books that i've been meaning to read and will decide the night before i leave which will make the trip. here's the pile so far. i guess i shouldn't be surprised that all these books are memoirs about people living or spending time in other countries. it wasn't intentional at all, these are just the books that pique my interest when i'm perusing amazon.com. i can't wait to figure out which books are going with me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

flat tire and pinot noir



22 january
today started out not so hot. literally. we're enduring subzero temperatures of the negative 10 degrees variety and i got a flat tire. but i'm luckier than most in that i live right by an auto shop where my brother works. can't get much more convenient than that! the day ended on a much better note with a pinot noir wine class held by surdyk's. it was my christmas gift to my dad so we went and learned about the different parts of the world where the grapes grow and that all french wines labeled burgundy are pinot noirs and we sampled lots of different kinds of pinots and cheese. i love learning stuff.

Monday, January 21, 2013

i can see clearly now


21 january
the eye doctor was late today, making me wait, which naturally meant i had to start snapping photos from the crazy eye seat. at least i had some fun stuff to look at. a simple chair, two mirrors and some giant phantom E's. ok, so not really that fun.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

another busy week in photos


16 january
so i took a day off from work and recruited my dad to go to ikea with me so that i could pick up a new dresser. i told him i needed his help and van to get the boxes back to my place. i didn't implicitly state that i would also like for him to put it together, but he's been a dad a long time and he just knew. eighty thousand nuts and bolts and three hours later, and my dresser was born. it's a beaut, thanks to this guy.


17 january
i found a recipe online for a dessert shooter that i wanted to make for doug's 50th birthday party, but it used an ingredient called mango puree. this is not something i typically see at byerly's and, indeed, cub didn't have it, either. but quickly i thought about the fine folks of india who share a love for mangoes with me, and i knew a stop at the indian grocery down the street would do the trick. indeed, about one foot inside the door as the smell of curry filled my nose, there was a giant display of sweet mango pulp that would do the trick. thank u, india.


18 january
exhausted from a long week of work and preparing for doug's birthday party, friday night doug suggested dinner at zen box izakaya and i jumped at the chance. i love this place and the owners are super nice and the food is fresh and light. three asahi beers and several small plates later, including these dishes of squid and octopus, and the weight of the week lifted from my shoulders.


19 january
doug turned 50 today. a half century, and nary a single gray or thinning hair. he's quite fortunate and handsome. i've been waiting for months to give him his gift. during our visit to japan last year, we were lucky enough to stay at the gorgeous grand hyatt tokyo, where we fell in love with just about every aspect of the hotel. top on his list (next to the amazing soaking tub and japanese toilet!) was the in-room robe, a kimono style that fit him perfectly. we discussed that we should buy one before going back to hong kong but forgot before we left. luckily, my friend lisa, who we were visiting in asia, stays at the grand hyatt tokyo relatively frequently so last summer i asked her if she could pick one up for me during one of her business trips and bring it home to minnesota with her during a visit. she did so in august and i've been waiting ever since to give it to him, along with the matching slippers! doesn't he look cute?


20 january
this is the worst advertising campaign ever and it seems to get worse every day. three times now i've seen this person standing on the corner of lowry and central in front of the bowling supply store, wearing a cheap statue of liberty costume. the first time i saw her (or him, i'm not sure), she was waving a hand-painted sign that said "instant refunds." the second time, in the same costume in front of the same store, was another vague sign about tax refunds but still without the name or location of the business. today she simply stood on the corner in our sub-zero temperatures, which really made me feel bad for her, kind of swaying in a quasi-dance and she held no sign at all. doug and i surmised that she's trying to convince folks to come on down to liberty tax, about three quarters of the block down on central, but who knows? there's also a jackson hewitt tax shop on the block. i'm no marketing genius, but i just want to stop her and mention that perhaps the name of the tax preparation shop somewhere on her person wouldn't be a bad idea. 





Wednesday, January 16, 2013

bat crazy



15 january
random things like this rubber bat hanging from the ceiling at my office are what make me love working there. let me tell you, there were no rubber bats suspended in mid-flight when i worked at the behemoth banking empire. fun was not allowed there. you never walked by a blow up doll dressed up like an art director. you never opened the kitchen cabinet and found a bottle of sour apple pucker. and you certainly never freaked out when walking into the storage room and finding a human sized mannequin wearing an m&m costume. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

beauty is pain


14 january
sporting an alien vibe at the salon tonight, my head covered in pieces of tin foil, waiting for the highlights to soak in. i like how i look all angry. you wouldn't believe the full view of what's going on from my neck up, so i didn't photograph the whole thing. this is really more than enough. trust me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

it's been a hungry week!


jesus, it's easy to get behind on anything you vow to do daily! of course, somehow i always manage to shower, brush my teeth, and eat daily. but the rest all goes to hell amongst long hours at work, pug sitting, and general merriment. sheesh. and i just noticed that every single photo i'm posting for this entry involves food. absolutely unintentional.


9 january
invited over for "kitten & kocktails" to a friend's home to get to know her new kitten better and make sure the sweet little feline gets properly socialized with humans, i had no clue we'd be served such absolutely divine asian appetizers! i knew the food would be good, but it was phenomenal. homemade shrimp spring rolls, chicken satay with four dipping sauces, and pork lettuce wraps. insanely delicious. and the kitten melted our hearts. not a bad gig for a wednesday.


10 january
roberto the pug went home to his real mom tonight, it was unbelievably heartwarming to see how excited he was once he realized she was back! i will miss that little guy, but i know he's happier at home. after the hand off, my mom made the family some chili and popovers for dinner. my teenaged nephew george noticed that his looked a lot like the sydney opera house. he was so right.


11 january
long, stressful day, which is weird for a friday. what better way to get the weekend started than happy hour at the 1029 bar? we ordered bacon mac & cheese, fries, and a shrimp basket and washed them all down with nordeast beers. oddly, this was the only photo i took all day on friday. i'm just glad i didn't completely forget. yet.


12 january
birthday party fun time for doug tonight with his life long group of friends. while doug gathered up all the sushi ingredients he was preparing, i baked up some all-butter puff pastry into little circles and filled them with a mascarpone, yogurt, ginger and orange cream. then i topped them with blueberries and a little strip of orange zest. i've made other variations of these before, they're delicate and fairly addictive.


13 january
we needed to move a pretty big wardrobe from my place to doug's storage space today, so we enlisted the help of one of my favorite ranch hands, my nephew george. to pay him and his dad for their time and effort, we bought them breakfast at our neighborhood joint, the spring street tavern, where the breakfast burrito weighs just a tiny bit less than george himself. he almost ate the whole thing. he could have finished it, but that basket of tater tots right next to him proved to be too much for him and did him in.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

of oceans and sunrises


i have more photos of the pug if you'd like to see them. ha! of course you would love to see them, everyone adores roberto. but i felt i was getting too dependent on him for daily photo opps and since our time together is destined to end soon, i dug deep and took photos of other parts of my life. it's nothing personal, roberto.


7 january
i'm enchanted by this light up globe we have in our office at work. i love looking at all of the countries in the world that i've visited and all the ones i haven't and the ones i hope to and the ones i never will (jamaica, i'm looking at you. really, that's probably not fair because there was a time i had no interest in visiting japan and now that i've been there - yowza! - i can't wait to go back. life is funny that way). but the only country i can currently see when i glance over at that lit up orb is beautiful, sunny, historic mexico. i'm just a few weeks out from another trip there (my tenth? twelfth? not quite sure) and already i can feel the warm pacific waves rolling over my shoulders as i float in the sea, my skin flecked with gold rays from the setting sun. 




8 january
on days when i find it difficult to get out of bed, i allow myself to lay there and think of at least one good reason to pull myself from the warm flannel sheets. too often, i can't think of a good reason, other than that whole paying-the-mortgage deal. often times i am able to convince myself that the view of the sun rising over the lake during my commute into work will make getting out of bed worth it. while i didn't have to talk myself out of the blankets this morning due to knowing i had to get up to take care of a certain stout pug, i was nevertheless rewarded with a stunning sunrise over cedar lake. i had to drive out of my way and pull over so that i could snap this shot, which still didn't capture the majesty of the moment. i'm really fortunate to have such a dazzling commute.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

victory 44


i want to love victory 44, the little restaurant that could in north minneapolis. and for the most part i always enjoy the food. but our server this morning left more than a little to be desired. he couldn't have been less interested in us. coffee not refilled, checking on our experience not done, and then just forgetting to come back with an answer to a simple question we had about the food. ugh. i hate bad service. but i love a good mocha.


6 january
sunday morning breakfast at victory 44. salmon eggs benedict. french toast. and this beautiful, rich cup of chocolatey, caffeinated goodness. yes, please.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

oh, that pug!


hmm...i have some concerns about what i'm going to photograph every single day once this stout little pug is no longer rooming with me. i mean, look at him, he's quite irresistible. i've been taking him to my work, to my brother's work, and to my parents' house at christmas. once he goes back to his owners next week, will my life be empty? void of photo opportunities? probably not, but it won't be a sure thing any longer.



3 january
roberto and i went for a short walk over to my brother dave's auto shop. i took all sorts of shots of the pug around the different equipment, and then my brother volunteered to take him up on the hydraulic lift that took them up towards the ceiling. roberto took it all very much in stride.



4 january
roberto's last day at the office during his visit with me. several coworkers fell in love with the little guy, but few with the fervor demonstrated by anita, who nuzzled him every chance she had. 



5 january
we took a little break from the pug (or perhaps he felt he got a break from us!) and went to the saturday noon meat raffle at the knight cap bar. maria and i were skunked and doug only won a free drink. this is the official meat raffle wheel and the various meats - hams, turkey breasts, bacon, ground beef, pork roasts, and more - displayed for all to admire. and, apparently, for everyone else to win.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

a photo a day


well, hello. how've you been? not sure if you remember me, but i'm deb. i used to write this blog, but i lost the love. blogs became old school, a ridiculous outlet for folks with too much to say. if you can't say it in 140 characters or less, it's not worth saying, right? not right. but that's been the prevailing thought. well, too bad.

i was just reading an article about taking a photo every day. this wouldn't be too much of a challenge for moi because, as anyone who knows me can attest, i pretty much take photos all of the time, wherever i go. of whatever strikes my fancy. not necessarily photos of anything anyone cares about, but photos nonetheless. ah, that's funny. i still love the word 'nonetheless' almost a year after writing about it. see? some things never change.

but taking a photo every day, while admirable and creative, holds a little less meaning if not shared. and, there's something to be said for accountability. so, here i am, preparing to share a photo a day, every day, this year. dear reader (and i do mean that in the singular), please do not expect a post a day, but rather posts with several photos in them. it will all even out in the end. promise.

i just hope i can remember to take a photo every day.



1 january
i'm taking care of my friends' pug, roberto. i've probably taken a thousand pictures of him in just a couple of weeks because he is unbearably handsome. some say he's so ugly that he's cute, but i think he's just cute. here i came into the living room and found him passed out on the couch, using my pillow just like a human does. so creepy. and cute.



2 january
i took this shot at the request of my coworker, clarice, who wanted a photo to show to her husband, a lover of pugs. roberto's a good egg and even though it looks like he was trying to fly away, he loved it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nonetheless


Turns out the iPhone 4S has a pretty amazing camera in it. This is a shot looking up inside of the government center in downtown Minneapolis. I daresay I won't download music to the iPhone for want of saving space for photos. Probably not a well-rounded use of my phone, but I love it nonetheless. And I love the word nonetheless, because it's three words in one.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Teardrop on the Face of Eternity




I found this photo I took as we walked into the Taj Mahal complex earlier this year. I don't know why I didn't notice it sooner, I guess it's because we took over 1,300 images. But I really like this one.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DO it.



Ok, I'm back. Haven't really been anywhere, just living my life. Haven't really been working this very hard, just living my life. Haven't really lost any pounds, just living my life. I really should do better at living my life. It would be different, I think, if the way I've just been living my life brought me some sort of supreme satisfaction, but it really hasn't. I mean, there are definitely high points, but overall, nothing great. So I'm writing here that I'm re-dedicating myself to this task, to do better and live better.

Egads. Here I go.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Voices Carry


Whew! I'm just back from a long walk. And before that, a long week of eating and drinking everything that came within ten feet of my head. Why, you don't ask? Well, that's an excellent question that I'm pretending you've inquired about. You're very astute, you. One would think that large enticements of money and the chance to gloat would propel one into a nonstop world of smart eating and daily exercise. But that hasn't exactly been the case. It's been more like "Well, the state fair only comes once a year so I should be able to eat whatever I want because it's just once" followed by "I don't get to spend weekends with my friends/cousins/self very often so I should be able to eat whatever I want." These infamous refrains dovetail nicely with my midweek excuses, such as "I worked a long day and it was stressful so I should be able to eat whatever I want" and "I'm so tired from not sleeping well that I can't possibly be expected to not eat whatever I want." Yes, astute reader, I understand how terribly irrational this all sounds, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit hearing these things from somewhere on some level sometimes. My problem - well, one of my problems - is that I don't challenge the voices in my head.* I don't dig deep to figure out why those voices take precedent over the more reasonable voices that are, admittedly, quieter, but are there nonetheless. I just take the loudest voices at face value and go with them because it's the easiest thing to do at the time. It requires no effort, it requires little time. But, of course, that laziness will ultimately always bite me in the butt, like it did this week at my weigh-in with Aaron. Not only did I not lose any weight, but I gained a couple of pounds. I know, I know, astute reader, you're right. I need to start listening harder to the quieter voices inside. I should know that if the loud mouths in my real life are almost always the complete jackasses, chances are it goes the same in my head.

*Note: I don't actually hear voices in my head. This is for dramatic clarity only.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Failure



This pig did not help me this week. It was a challenging week, what with a pig roast and the Great Minnesota Get Together - the state fair - on my agenda. I did well in the exercise department but was clearly a failure on the food side of the equation. Aaron and I got on the scale tonight and the numbers didn't move. To be positive, my number didn't go up, but it certainly didn't go down. I wasn't remotely perfect this week, but I thought the good had outweighed the bad a teensy bit. Guess not. Guess I'll have to stretch last week's 8.4 pound loss over a few weeks!

I ate more than I needed to at the pig roast, mostly that guy in the photo above. He was absolutely delicious. And the cole slaw was amazing. The beers, as light as they may have been, were still beers. Too much of anything is too much. Last night at the fair wasn't a big success either. I have trouble getting upset about that, though, since it comes by but once a year. Guess I'll just have to accept that I didn't work it as hard as I could have and get back on that horse, instead of eating like a horse. Hardy har.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Walk in Time or Finding Time to Walk





It was another challenging weekend for eating well! Actually, Friday night was easy because Doug made us a super delicious and light creation of his own for dinner, buckwheat soba noodles in a flavorful broth with grape tomatoes sauteed in ginger, garlic and black sesame seeds, seaweed, and crabmeat. He went very light on the oil to help me out and the result was really great. Yup, I'm a lucky lady. On Saturday morning we hit the farmer's market where I fought the urge to buy my usual Indian Spiced Mini Donuts from the Chef Shack. It wasn't easy because those donuts are about the tastiest things on earth. Since the farmer's market is winding down for the season, there's a good chance next weekend I will buy some, but I figured if I could pass them up at the time, I would. They'll be there again next weekend. I picked up some apples (and a couple of bites of Doug's Cinnamon Apple Donut!) along with my usual tomatoes and eggs from the Wisconsin Amish kids. Is it wrong that part of me thinks the Amish kids are faking it? That the girls are wearing those long, heavy dresses and delicate white bonnets over their hair, pulled back in a bun, and the boys their wide-brimmed hats and suspenders and it's not real? It just seems too Witness with Harrison Ford for me. But, as Doug pointed out, they probably are the real thing because the kids can never do the simplest math, even with a calculator. It's weird. After the market, Doug dropped me off so that I could hit the sidewalk for a walk before the weekend festivities began while he ran errands.

I had about a million things to do in a short time so told myself a twenty minute brisk walk was going to have to do, but once out I told myself that another ten minutes wasn't going to put us behind too badly and would also do me a world of good. I was really glad I went the extra ten. Doug and I then got a quick breakfast at the Spring Street, where we go almost every weekend but because of the summer agenda we have not visited in about a month. Usually I choose a fat-laden and totally delicious breakfast like hash browns topped with cheese and eggs, but for once I went with just two eggs over easy and a piece of wheat toast to soak up the yolk. You know what? It wasn't disappointing in the least, and no one could be more surprised to say that than me! I didn't miss the bacon and potatoes as much as I thought I would. I hope I remember this in the future!

Finally, Doug and I got on the road to attend my cousin's wedding reception, a pig roast and camping event in beautiful central Minnesota. It was SO much fun, hanging out with cousins and eating fresh roasted pork and drinking beer. Light beer, that is! It was tough not to eat about forty pork sandwiches with all of the sides and maybe fifty cupcakes, but I was pretty good. Not perfect, but that's not my goal. Perfection is tough. So I held back just enough to not feel deprived. This morning I woke up before most of the others and decided that I would be lucky to go for an hour long walk in this beautiful country location, so I suited up (and by that I mean I put on a sports bra), grabbed my camera bag, and headed out on the main road, rumored to be haunted. Don't worry, I came back alive, the ghost didn't get me this time. I'm especially glad because if she had, I wouldn't have seen the gorgeous horses down the road from the lodge in the photo above. It's nice to be reminded that there are benefits to walking beyond the healthy kind.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Getting Very Sleepy...






I was so excited to eat healthy food and to add regular exercise to my daily routine because I've read so many stories of folks who've changed their habits for the better and they all express their amazement at how much energy they have now that they're eating right. I couldn't wait to have that sort of energy! So I've been eating apples and peppers and protein as well as biking and walking and for the last week not only do I not have renewed energy, I'm exhausted! I've fallen asleep by 8:00pm several nights in the past week and I've needed my alarm clock to wake me most mornings, not something I'm accustomed to.

Watching as much Mystery Diagnosis as I do, and living with an unhealthy case of cyberchondria (I have every disease I read about on the internet) that has led Doug to forbid me to watch Mystery Diagnosis (which I clearly defy when he's not around), I naturally chalked up my exhaustion to an unusual, obscure, and highly fatal disease. Worried, I told my coworker about my newfound need to constantly sleep and expressed dismay at a regimen I thought was going to bring me boundless energy. This particular coworker knows a thing or two about fitness and health, so I was quite relieved to hear her tell me that it's not uncommon at all for your body to be so tired while it's adjusting to a new lifestyle and that I should probably give it more than a week. Color me impatient! Guess I'll wait it out, most likely under a blanket on the couch.

On a super cool note, Aaron and I had our first week weigh in and we were both superstars. I lost 8.4 pounds and he lost 9.4! No, my pounds probably aren't all (any?) fat, there's some water in there and whatever, but I'll take it! And even though it is my goal to beat Aaron in this contest, I was very happy for him as well, so I kept the gloating to a minimum - this week!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Success.




I think I did a good job this weekend. It was an amazingly fun girl's day at the race track with lots of opportunity for food and drink but I, for the most part, chose wisely. Oh, there was the occasional small handful of potato chips and dip, but I concentrated most of my eating on turkey, ham, shrimp, and these amazing dates stuffed with savory goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto that my friend Treva made. Truth be told, I could have eaten fifty of those, but I held back to four or five. For the most part I'm tracking my food daily, but on a day like yesterday I was content to just know I was making wise choices and keeping a mental tick sheet in my head. It was tough not to drink more, but I kept asking myself if that next bottle of beer would be worth it, and most of the time it wasn't. A couple of times it was, but mostly it wasn't. And I still had an awesome time.

The awesome time continued into this morning when we all went to breakfast together and then got back to Minneapolis. Once home, I put everything away and, due to being up a tad late last night, felt like a nap was in order. But it was beautiful outside and I was afraid if I didn't take advantage of the opportunity right there and then, I wouldn't fit in any exercise later. So I donned my comfy clothes and an iPod and off I went for a really great one hour long brisk walk along the river where I saw a barge entering the St. Anthony Falls lock. I love it when I catch that happening. My first weekend is over and it was a good one, I can only look forward to many more of the same.