Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mike's Visit Recap


Mike arrived.
Drove him around St. Paul
Ordered Wongs Chinese take-out
Watched Dr. Who and Graham Norton


Went to the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis
It is the site of the former Gold Medal Flour Factory
The Pillsbury factory is right across the river
The Mill blew up once, was rebuilt, closed, and then burned down
Surprisingly a flour museum is a very cool way to spend an afternoon
Even got to see an explosion – what happens when you mix flour, air, and a spark.
Damn – who’d have thunk

Stopped at Surdyks to get some wine
Porky’s for really good burger, onion rings, and shakes
Then on to Como Conservatory and Zoo
Beautiful, green, and warm
Lasagna for dinner
Then we watched Beowulf


Mall of America with Girl J

A grad party
Then a night of chatty craftiness
That ended up being pretty much devoted to watching Eureka


I had to go into work
So Mike watched more Eureka (he’s addicted)
Then I got off work early, picked him up and off we went
First stop: Mickey’s diner.

Dad wanted me to take him there for the experience
It's quite common for a state senator to be sitting next to a homeless person at Mickey's
In other words, the whole world goes there
And the people watching, the interaction, and the "life" is totally awesome
Very yummy lunch
On the way out we got stopped by a woman in the street
It went something like this

Woman: Are you going to the west side?
Newt: No
Woman: Can you go to the west side?
(note: it’s about 40 degrees and she is in a thin cotton dress and flip flops)
Newt: Sure
Woman: Thanks

She gets in – she smells of pot

I need to go see my counselor
I have to get meds for my schizophrenia
You guys must be vampires
Cause you are nice
I am going to start a website about vampires
And I’m going to make lots of money
And I’m going to fast for 70 days
Like Jesus
And I’m going to take a picture of myself every day
I don’t know why meds have to have side effects
I mean, they might cure what you have but then they make you sick
You know, like cancer
Your hair falls out and stuff
They could cure everything with herbs
And if I could only take two medicines at once I could get better
But my doctor says no
He’s lying
Ok, maybe he’s not lying but I really want this other medication
But herbs are just as good
And there are Mexican werewolves
They are moving into the area
Which is good
Because they are going to take care of the black werewolves
And the white and Asian ones
It’s good that we are getting more Mexican werewolves
We need them to take care of the bad black werewolves
And the Asian and white ones
But you guys are vampires
And I’m going to start a website really soon about vampires.

About a mile later we dropped her off at her clinic. She said Thank you and went inside.
We drove for a bit before we cracked up
I swear the poor woman never took a breath from the moment she sat down
And I barely got a word in edgewise while trying to get directions from her

And all Mike and I could think was Blog Fodder Blog Fodder
And I know Dad will be proud because we have one more story for "Adventures at Mickey's"

After that we went to the Cathedral of St. Paul

Then some shopping on Grand Ave
Then dinner with The Mutt Princess and Grasshopper
Which was totally awesome
Best three and a half hour dinner I have had in YEARS!

authors note: Please don't send hatemail about making fun of the mentally ill and homeless. If I was an ass I wouldn't have picked her up in the first place. It was obvious she was staying at the shelter across the street. I gave her a ride because she was cold and it is a pretty long walk. So get off your high horse and just enjoy the humor in the situation. It's not every day I get called a vampire.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


We got the wrong kind of water on Friday
Just ask Socs, he's NOT happy about this type of water this late in the spring

Water on leaf
Water in reflection
Water - too cold
Learning about water a Bromeliad "vase" filled with water
looks like baby chicks doesn't it?

tubular water

Playing with water -
a museum exhibit let you play around with little table top cities

Their recipe was number one

Number one cook

Step 1
One bunny can eat a lot of flowers

Tomorrow: Weekend recap and I get called a vampire.........................

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sunday Funday

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Happy Dance

Happy Friday!

Mike arrives any time now. Yippee!

A whole weekend of chatty crafty fun! Some exploring Minnesota, and just some all around fun.

Of course when we planned this we were a month post go-live at work. And yes, you guessed it, we got delayed so this weekend they are turning on SAP at work. So, basically I am on call 24/7 for the next three weeks. Sheesh. But, since I am a lowly trainer and can't really do anything at this point I don't anticipate a whole lot of middle of the night phone calls. All of the end users just have to practice practice practice. All the training in the world won't help them now. They just have to do it. Some times it's good to be a complete nobody in the great scheme of things.

It's raining here. And they said we might get snow tonight. And there is snow in the forecast for the next week. What's up with that? I mean seriously. It's not funny anymore. Not funny at all.
I have plant growing for goodness sake. And trees budding. It's just not right. Not at all. No!
Oh well. Life goes on. Right? What's another week of cold and snow?
I'm gonna go cry quietly in a corner now.
I'm such a drama queen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008



Five Newts
5 Puppies, one cat, and one human

absence of 55 blades to move Wind
Feathers in the Wind
Makes very stinky Wind

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday etc.

You know you are a geek when:

You email a co-worker to add a trainer to the database:

Newt: Please add Jack Burton to the list of trainers

Co-worker: We don't have a Jack Burton

Newt: Oh, I mean _________ __________

Co-worker: Oh, ok, that is what I thought you meant

Newt starts to giggle. And think how proud the hubster would be at this moment. And how much geekier does it get?? My team mate at the next desk starts quoting lines from the movie.


So, how big a geek are you? Without looking it up, what film has a character named Jack Burton?
I shared my PFC's with my dad. He called and told me they were wonderful. And that he actually got a little teary eyed. He was very proud of his daughter. And wanted to read more of them to see what other people had come up with. He was getting a kick out of the whole thing.
And he thought it was a really cool idea. He's already enjoying the WWC and always wants to know what the words are and what photographs I take. And then what other people have come up with. He's too funny. I really have to get him blogging.
And, lastly, a long promised picture of the chaos:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Funny Father

Conversation with dad:

Dad: Hi, I got some new sandals today.

Newt: Good for you dad.

Dad: Well, I needed some advice so I figured I would call my shoe expert.

Newt: Ok, ask away.

Dad: If I have on jean shorts do I wear black socks or navy blue socks with my sandals?

***dead silence***

Dad: Cause I don't want to embarrass myself.

Newt: Well, actually dad, do you have a pair of grey and blue striped socks?

Dad: I might, should I wear those?

Newt: Yeah, or wait, wait, do you have argyles?

Dad: I might, but if not should I get some?

Newt: Yeah, argyles would be perfect. And if you have those little bands you can put those on so your socks stay up.

Dad: Oh, I don't think I need those, the socks I have stay up pretty good.

Newt: Dad, don't ever have this conversation with Nettie. She will hyperventilate.

Dad: Oh, don't worry ***giggle giggle*** I wouldn't do that to her.

Newt: So it's just me you torture?

Dad: Yeah, and it's kinda fun.

Newt: No socks dad, please no socks. If you put on socks I'll have to personally fly out there and take your sandals away.

Dad: Well in that case I'm wearing black knee high socks with my sandals.

Newt: **sigh** I love ya dad.

Dad: Me too, River pooped so I gotta go clean up the you know what.


Newt then calls up Nettie

Newt: Hey, so, how do parents give their kids heart attacks?

Netttie: Do you want the list alphabetically or numerically

Newt: Dad just called to see if he should wear black socks or navy blue socks with his new sandals.

**Sounds of hyperventilation coming from the phone***

Nettie: What???? What???? Oh god tell me he's kidding

Newt: He was, as soon as he didn't ask me black socks or white socks I knew he was actually messing me with.

Nettie; Oh good, I wasn't breathing there for a moment.

Newt: I told him that was how you would react.

Nettie; Oh, that dad of yours............

Authors note: Nettie isn't my sister but my parents have always considered my close friends their kids. So to Dad she is a daughter.

And River is my dad's dog. And he calls me when he is out walking the dogs. Our conversations always end as soon as one of the dogs poops.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

PFC #3

A little bit longer this time around. PFC is brought to you by the madman! If you haven't tried it you should. Makes your brain hurt. In a good way. Hope you enjoy my interpretation of the pictures.
Taking her home
You try to be hard, distant, you can’t start to care. You do that and before you know it you find yourself looking down the barrel of your own gun. It’s one of the first things they teach you. But every once in a while one of them gets in. She did.

It was Billy, her drummer, that called me. Rule 1 of being an inner city cop; make some connections, give the good ones a break and they’ll trust you. They will tell it to ya straight. SO when Billy called me I listened. He said she missed the gig; she’s never missed one before.

I knew where she lived. I’d helped Billy get her home before. These kids were small time, a little dope, a lot of booze, and late nights screaming out their music to other wasted kids. My interest was in their dealers, not in them. I did what I could to keep them safe, helped them out once in a while with a burger, or pizza. In her case I called in a favor and took her to a good rehab clinic just a little north of the city. But three weeks into treatment she checked herself out. Some things not even god can fix.

My hand hesitated at the door and that’s when I knew I had broken the golden rule. I actually cared about this kid. And I hated like hell the idea of finding her in there. A deep breath, a half hearted prayer and then I knocked.

The lock was a simple one. I had it open in seconds. No chain on the door. Damn her, I always told her to use that chain. A sweet kid like her in this neighborhood, a run down part of town that contained too many guys that thought they had a right to get in her pants. A chain wouldn’t stop the really determined, but it would deter a few at least.

The place smelled of sweat, grease, and cigarettes. But it was tidy. Looking around I could almost see the little girl she once was. Smatterings of flowers, the color pink, and a few stuffed animals told me that once she was someone’s daughter.

The bedroom door was ajar. I nudged it with my foot. And there she was. The needle still in her arm. Damn her. God Damn Her.

I blinked, once, twice, and took deep breaths. I called it in. I took the needle out of her arm. Brushed her hair back and said a silent farewell.

John Morley, the coroner asked me about next of kin. I didn’t know what to say. I checked her purse but it gave me no clues. I dug through the desk, nothing. As I scanned the room for any sort of clue I noticed a picture on her dresser. The photo was of a much happier, healthier girl smiling and holding up a fish. A man, with similar features, was hugging her. The pride so evident in his face. I opened up the drawers and there they were, tied with ribbon, letters from home.

I don’t know what made me say it, but I told John I would take her home. It was out of my mouth before I had time to think. He shook his head as he zipped the bag. I asked him to clean her up a bit. He patted me on the back as he followed the stretcher out of the apartment.

Before I left I took the picture and a funny little sock puppet she had sitting right next to the frame. I don’t know why I grabbed them both. But something told me they both meant something to her. That they should go home as well.

Two days later I was on the road and heading north. I was out of the city and into unfamiliar territory. Peace, green hills, and kindly neighbors. I was out of my element and my comfort zone. These were folks with families, history, who gathered for celebrations, for births, and deaths. These were people that brought sick neighbors dinner. This wasn’t my world. My world was dark, ugly, violent. Where neighbors would rob you rather than look at you. Where no one seemed to celebrate life and everyone seemed to glory in death.

The road was long. But the hills were pretty. I’ll never forget the silence of that trip. Just me and her and miles of road. What I wouldn’t have given for her to be carrying on some sort of conversation. Even if she was arguing and fighting the return home, at least she would be doing something.

I pulled into the town her folks lived in. I spoke with the Sheriff and he directed me to the funeral home. He said he would go with me out to the farm. That the news shouldn’t come from a stranger but from a friend.

Her dad was leaning against the fence watching the horses run. He waved at us as we pulled in. The sheriff took off his hat and told him we had some news.

“She’s gone ain’t she”

“’Fraid so Harvey”

The father stared off toward the pasture. He seemed to follow the flight of a little yellow warbler across the field.

“She was my little song bird that one”

I handed him the photograph and the sock puppet. He nodded and a smiled touched his face.

“Funny you should bring this son. I guess that means she got the last laugh.”

I guess I must have looked a little funny because he chuckled again and continued,

“See, I got this silly thing at a craft fair, you know the kind that have nothing but old lady stuff. Anyway, I got it for her and she said it was really ugly and that I must not love her very much if that was the best thing I could think to give her. Well, father’s day rolled around and she gave me that same little sock puppet and a pack of lures. And from then on, everything we ever gave each other always included this silly thing. But I never expected to be the one stuck with it in the end. Man’s not supposed to outlive his baby girl. Nope, that’s not how it’s supposed to happen.”

We stood there in silence for a while and then he said his thanks and headed back inside. The sheriff told me he would do what he could to help the family and that they appreciated what I had done.

As I headed back to my car the sheriff called out to me, “Ya know, if you ever want a change of scenery I could use a good man like yourself.”

I nodded to him, got in my car, and headed home. The city is where I belong. I understand the city. I understand the people that move within it and they understand me. And besides, what would I do with all that quiet, that peace, the greenery, and the stars in the sky?

Maybe some day I’ll remove one too many needles and I’ll take that sheriff up on his offer. But for now, the city is my home and there will be other kids that will get under my skin. And maybe someday I’ll even be able to save one of them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WWC and Speaking of shoes............

So, Dianne asked if these were my reading on the couch with Lily shoes. And now that it is spring they will be on my feet a lot. These little sneakers I picked up last year because of the cute gold/pink, floral patches all over them. Not to mention they are hella comfy.

But I digress. I actually always wear sneakers, winter boots, flip flops, or whatever is comfy to work. I don't wear my spectacular shoe collection to or from work. I always change my shoes when I get to my desk. I do this for a few reasons. 1. I don't get my dress shoes wet, muddy or snowy that way. 2. It cuts down on the discomfort pumps can cause. 3. I tend to bend/twist, destroy my ankles less if I don't have to traverse parking lots, cobble stones, and grass.

Anywhoodle. Life is good. They are telling us we might hit 70 today. I plan to be outside as much as possible.

The temps go back down after today - sigh................

But, the good news is, the tulips are peaking out. As are the daffodils. And our big maple is starting to bud. It's a spring showing tree, so we get these yellow/green flower like things on it in spring. It's not impressive in fall. But spring, it's just a beautiful tree.

And, for those that asked, Nature of Monsters is good so far. But a little uncomfortable. I am worried about where the story will go. The monsters in the book are 18th century men. Not monster monsters. But according to reviews it is a beautiful book. Well written, historically researched, and very vivid in the telling. So far so good. Though I hate reading about scientific research during that time since so many cruelties were committed against dogs, cats, farm animals, and even humans all in the name of "science". I often find it hard to stomach the thought that it was acceptable to do the things they did. And being the sensitive animal lover I am, well, I don't do very well when I have to read about it.

But, I'll let ya'll know how it turns out in the end.



You almost don't notice the chainlink fence in the background


I love to take photographs of flowers close-up