P.S. I've also included a picture of what I get gussied up in to take Harper out of one of these excursions.
Video #1: A very shapely man performs a very lively and accurate rendition in Fairbanks, Alaska (in 2 degree weather, in snow). I think the Minnesotan in me appreciates the personal sacrifice exhibited here.
Video #2: This video is so obviously where the inspiration for Beyonce's video came from. These ladies are so ahead of their time (the 60's) it's amazing. And if you're still hankering for more from these ladies (doing this same dance to a different song), click here. Trust me, it's worth it.
Anyone care to contribute their own version?
For those in need of a pick-me-up or something to bond over, click here. Happy Friday!
In 2004 I put more of my time and energy talking to people I didn't know about a change I felt we so desperately needed in this country. And I was heartbroken by the outcome. The drive home from volunteering in Denver with my husband and my mother-in-law was eight hours and it was dead silent.
This time around I didn't really do much in the way of talking to strangers, even though I would have loved to. I am proud that at least my husband got the chance to. But what I did do was talk to EVERY person I came in contact with about my feelings, my views. I had some really amazing discussions. I feel I grew closer to some members of my family - not because they felt like me, but because we were able to have such great conversations about it.
And so my hope is that this shiny feeling I have won't fade with the coming weeks, or even years. My hope is that we'll be able to take this magnificent opportunity we've been given and once again become the nation that our forefathers envisioned. A bastion of hope and an example of justice. And we have a leader who can lead us there, reminding us what is possible if we do what we know is right and then fight for it. Yes. We. Can.
I was astounded. The painting she was pointing to was indeed a Diego Rivera painting. How could she have known? Were we in the midst of a child genius? We all sat dumbfounded for a minute before my sister busted up laughing.
Something Diego Rivera (1886-1957) could never have guessed was that this painting of Ignacio Sanchez resembles a certain lovable cartoon character - Diego of Dora and Diego, a show popular with the kiddies. A show popular with my niece.
Happy 2nd Birthday Madelaine.
Who are these Fleet Foxes, you might ask? Well, they describe themselves as playing "baroque harmonic pop jams" which I happen to think is pretty cool. And watching the lead singer, Robin Pecknold, felt like watching a legend in the making. At times he reminded me of one of my all time favorite artists, Jeff Buckley, which is definitely a good thing. Besides being deathly hot in the small, cramped auditorium, it was just about perfect. And for those of you who are still wondering what a baroque harmonic pop jam sounds like, check out the video below.
Curiously enough, Eric stumbled upon a woman who attempted to do just that, much to my delight. For those who grammar junkies, as I am, click here for the whole article. But if you aren't, no need to worry, because you don't need to be a english major to appreciate the wonderousness of this example posted below. Enjoy!
P.S. I'll be watching the debate tonight and let's hope she's taken a crash course in sentence construction. I'll keep you posted.
The exhibit featured mischievous and playful otters, trout, squealing wild boars, leopards, tigers, and of course, the grizzlies. The grizzly part is brilliant because they have it set up so the bears actually get to hunt for trout in a pond - the pond runs up against the glass where the spectators are watching. So essentially, you get to see the bears up close trying their damnedest to catch a fish, as well as lounge by the pool and if you're lucky engage in a friendly game of bear-tag. I could have watched them for hours.
The other highlight of the excursion was the snow monkey exhibit. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am more than a little obsessed with monkeys, and these monkeys didn't disappoint. Inevitably, people in their fascinated state drop things into the open monkey pit and it takes the monkeys all of 2 seconds to claim it as their own. When we first passed by the monkeys we spied an adorable baby monkey cradling what appeared to be a small Dalmatian toy. On our way out of the zoo we passed by again and much to our surprise saw one of the monkeys with a cell phone! All of the monkeys were vying for a chance to hold the new pink thing, and although a lot of gnawing on the phone took place it also appeared as though the monkeys were at times using the phone. I imagine the resulting cell phone bill will include some calls to China.
It was a great trip and enlightening to see that when animals are given ample space and a little stimulation, they are marvelous to watch.
For Eric's 30th birthday we went to Itasca State Park for the weekend. It was the perfect time of year where the night feels crisp and the days refreshing. It was the perfect way to celebrate my wonderful husband embarking on a new decade. We walked across the Mississippi River at it's very root and wondered at the magnificence of the stars. Besides the invasion by the raccoons, it was a perfect trip. Happy Birthday darling.
We only had a few precious hours to spend at the Minnesota State Fair, but we figured we'd do it up right. We started with the "Miracle of Life" barn, where we saw a chick hatch out of its shell, day-old baby sheep, tiny piglets, a 5-day-old calf, and a very large cow attempting to give birth. (And for those like us who couldn't squeeze in to see it up close, there were video monitors all over the place giving an up close and personal view of the happenings.)
Feeling hungry after that display, as can be expected, we went in search of cheese curds. Now it has just come to my attention that not everyone is familiar with this drool-worthy food, so I'll offer a brief explanation. Cheese curd: a dense piece of glorious cheese battered and deep fried until it becomes crisp awesomeness on the outside and gooey wonderfulness on the inner. We were NOT disappointed. The curds were followed by a couple of pronto pups (battered and fried hot dogs) and a giant cone of freshly baked mini chocolate chip cookies, all washed down by some cold milk.
Bellies full and happy, we thought what better thing to do than to go on some fair rides? Me and seven other children happily rode my personal old-school favorite "The Swings", while Eric laughed looking on from solid ground. A few rides later I was happy I had resisted the 1-pound caramel-covered bacon on a stick stand we had passed earlier.
We ended the night with an intimate concert by one of our favorite artists, Brandi Carlile. It was a very small venue and I sang along at the top of my lungs, like my life depended on it. It was perfect.
Our long overdue fair experience was everything that we could have hoped. See you next year.
So I grabbed my camera and ran out of the cafe, leaving Eric and the rest of our friends wondering what had gotten into me. I hurried into the square and turned my camera on. By the time I had noticed and processed the scene and gotten outside, they were nearly gone. But I did manage to get one good shot of the Semana Santa observers before they disappeared across the bridge and down another street. I later posted this photo on my Flickr account.
The reason I mention this is because not too long ago a woman contacted me from Schmap Guides to ask for permission to use it in their interactive map of Bilbao (giving me credit of course). Flattered, I obliged and thought nothing more of it. Well, today I got another email letting me know that Schmap Guides were just released to iPhone to iPod touch. And my photo will be included.
So if any of you happen to be going to Bilbao, Spain, and also happen to be using the Schmap Guides, you will get to see my photo. For everyone else, you can see what it looks like here. For a larger version, just click on the photo and it will take you to the source.
Isn't he the most adorable sheered sheep you ever saw?
I hope your Memorial Day was enjoyable as mine. Besides sheering Harper, Eric and I went to our favorite divy deli for some 'doner kabob' style gyros and then enjoyed a walk in the park (despite the blistery weather). It made me think back on last year and helped remind me that our European lifestyle is still possible - we just have to remember to experience it.
Eric and I went to the Malpractice Ball, as a final farewell to law school. Eric has less than a month left before he graduates!! Here we are, all gussied up:
I came out in support of all my law school friends for the 'Race for Justice.' It was an unusually sunny and beautiful day in Minneapolis, and the runners were incredible. The cheering was too:
Here's Eric finishing the last stretch:
In addition, there have been a few concerts, a lot of working, some lovely walks with Harper and a new committment to physical fitness. Life is good, albeit busy, and I'm looking forward to Spring (finally!!!). I hope this finds you all enjoying some sunshine somewhere.