Monday, December 1, 2014

Fall and Winter

This is my longest reprieve from blogging so I thought I'd write a little something. I've been told "save it for the Christmas card" but I will try to avoid major Christmas card-y topics, I guess.

I think the last time I wrote was the end of July so I'll quickly try to summarize what has happened since then: weddings, summer, pool time, bike rides, Gopher football game, two week California trip, Charlotte, Halloween with some naps, movies and work sprinkled in for fun.

I am going to briefly write about the California trip because despite a highlight in the potential upcoming Christmas card I wanted to sprinkle in a summary and a picture. We started the trip off with a bang in San Diego by going to the San Diego zoo. After the zoo, Shawn acted nervous and took me to watch the sunset over some cliffs and proposed. It was very nice and a moment we'll remember forever. We celebrated with steak and champagne like bosses. The rest of the trip couldn't touch that moment but we tried to come close. We stayed in San Diego, Carlsbad, LA (Hollywood), LA (Hermosa Beach), Santa Barbara, Carmel, Santa Cruz, San Francisco,
Emeryville, and two nights in Napa. Some highlights were being creepy celebrity spotters in LA, hiking Runyon Canyon, going to Jay Leno and Upright Citizen Brigade comedy shows, doing a tour of Paramount Studios, eating brunch in Manhattan Beach, hiking the botanical gardens in Santa Barbara, touring the Hearst Castle entertainment rooms, eating at Nepenthe in Big Sur, hiking Point Lobos, eating at Clint Eastwood's former restaurant in Carmel, all around hating Santa Cruz, eating a huge lobster roll in Half Moon Bay, exploring Muir Woods National park, shopping in Sausalito, birthday dinner and San Francisco Giants win related police intervention/2+ mile run for the bus in dress clothes, Alcatraz, Haight Ashbury, Delores Park, enjoying ice cream at Bi-Rite, walking around with hippies in Berkeley, wine tours in Napa, and finally In N Out. A lot of other stuff happened but that is my quick(ish) and dirty list.

Between the food, the beverages, the views and weather, I think I could handle living in California. One of the best trips I'll ever have, that is certain.

I am skipping ahead to present day partially due to a lack of memory as to what has happened recently. Since returning, Thanksgiving has already come and gone and now we are on to preparing for Christmas. I did my first "Black Friday" (which was really Thanksgiving night) in years. I think it may have only been my second ever. I am not too into shopping in massive crowds where individuals are known to trample and kill over big screen TVs. We came away with a Star Wars tshirt, a video game and a vacuum cleaner for my mom so she doesn't have to drag one of them up the stairs. I consider that to be a success. No one was trampled, but my sister did shoot three people to get her hands on the video game.

When we came back from our respective family's homes, we went to White Christmas at the Orpheum. I've told certain somebodys at work that I went to this play when asked what I did this weekend and received many responses of blank-ish stares or comments that they have not seen it. World, do yourself a huge favor and power up that Netflix account and watch White Christmas. It's a real classic Christmas film. For god sakes, it has Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Also Rosemary Clooney and that anorexic lady whose name is escaping me. I'd seen the play
once before, but the second time was even better and it put me in the Christmas spirit. I forced Shawn to listen to Christmas music with me on the way home. Next on the agenda, I'm making him watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Yes dear friends, he's never seen that one either. In the words of LeeAnn Rimes "How do I live...... without It's a Wonderful Life?" I think she said that anyway... You haven't lived if you haven't seen Jimmy Stewart teach you not to take life for granted. I just wish I worked at an old school Savings and Loan.

Finally, I'll summarize with the thing I love best and that is food... Tonight a friend of mine and I went to the much anticipated new restaurant in Minneapolis called "Spoon and Stable." If you are unfamiliar with the restaurant, it just opened a few weeks ago and has been booked solid for a bit. I went on to make reservations the day that they opened them up to the public and this was the first day that I could get. The wait/pandemonium is worth it. I began with what was called "Nancy's Cosmo," it was a fancy specialty cocktail in a cute little 1950s looking glass. It was like a normal cocktail but made with love
evidently? From there, we had bison tartare which is always a winner. My my my I love tartare. For the entree, I ordered the risotto with mushrooms, parmesan, port wine and a white egg yolk. It was perfect, melt in your mouth and the port had a nice sweetness to it without being overwhelming. For sides, we ordered crispy potatoes with garlic and rosemary and cheese curd creamed spinach. I have to say I was way more excited for the potatoes, but the spinach was my favorite part of the meal. Whoever decided to put creamed spinach with cheese curds is a damned genius. Finally, for dessert we had an olive oil cake with cream apple topping and coconut sorbet. It was a play on an apple crisp. Everything was top notch. I plan to go back, but likely won't be able to do so until 2017 based on how hard it is to get a table. GET THAT SPINACH.

That's all she wrote. Home Alone 2 just came on and my attention span for writing this is waning. Catch you on the flip.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Denying August

I cannot believe it is already almost the end of the summer....gasp. Maybe I'm alone in this but September reminds me of a winter and that is too damn soon. But alas, we must bask in the time that we have left.

So far this summer has brought a lot of bilking and eating. I feel better about myself when I burn 100 calories on the way to a 1500 calorie meal. Oh there is frozen yogurt on the way home, pull on over, let's load up cake batter ice cream and peanut butter sauce with Reeses Pieces. Oh what's that, a cupcake store? Grab the bike lock!

Since I haven't blogged since early summer, I'll do a rundown of the highlights.

A trip to Milwaukee/Waukesha for a friend's wedding was a fun little mini adventure. While I only
understood Wisconsin folks as loving beer, cheese and Packers, there is really so much more. They also love custard, baseball and KFC buffets. Needless to say they are my kindred spirits. Shawn and I had a lovely dinner over looking the river in Milwaukee and enjoyed Miller Park followed by custard that tasted like cold whipped/sweetened butter cream. I absolutely love exploring new cities and visiting our neighbor to the East was just great.

The 4th of July was spent attending a Twins game with the family and also the much anticipated West Union parade. The parade begins and has to wait until the back passed the front due to the fact that the parade basically goes in a square. Hot dogs were
served to all attendees for free. We also learned how to wake surf (I'm not sure if that is what it is called, but close enough). Shawn is naturally very talented at these types of sports and while I was able to get up on my first try I do not have the flair of my significant other when it comes to water sports.

Valleyfair is an activity that I have done not once but twice this summer. It had been a few years since I'd been on a rollercoaster/thrill ride. Let me tell you, I definitely felt my age. The first trip to V-Fair was sort of a bust in that it was like a Miami level hurricane/monsoon. We did Steel Venom twice as it down poured. That ride goes fast so to take huge bullet like raindrops to the face is incredibly painful. As the day wore on, they close most of the rides due to the excessive winds. Round II at Valleyfair brought rides in Wild Thing, Renegade, Thunder Canyon, Power Tower, etc. I found myself checking all safety harnesses a lot more than I would have 10 year ago. Basically, the rides are scariest where I feel the most likely to die. Power Tower is really scary not because it is herky jerky, but because if the hydraulics failed....dead.Wild Thing is getting old and feels like it is about to come off the tracks on turns, therefore that first drop is no longer as scary but the turns are insane because I was thinking about us plummeting to our respective deaths. So while I had a great time, I ended up with an insane headache and needed a two hour nap that required two human wake up calls to bring me out of my stupor.

No major trips have been planned this summer because of the big trip we have scheduled to celebrate our October birthdays by driving from San Diego to Napa Valley for 11 or 12 days. That being said, Shawn has been a world traveler for his job going to Mexico and France. (Twice to each location). While he is away, I hold down the fort by eating brats and Sour Patch Kids
for every meal. The movie theaters in the area probably appreciate when Mr. Tischer is away as since he's been gone I've seen "Begin Again," "Obvious Child" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." I actually loved them all in unique ways. It'll be good that Shawn returns before I rot my teeth, my mind and so I can start dressing like an adult again. It's been a steady wardrobe of Iron Man and Star Wars t-shirts.

No blog is complete without restaurant updates:

I went to Cheeky Monkey today and HIGHLY recommend their delectable sandwiches. I had a ham and brie sandwich with apricot jam. I believe it may have also had horseradish sauce in it as it completely shocked the sinuses. Also, the best salt and pepper/olive oil chips ever. Can't say that I've had those before, but they I just assume they are the best. Ended the meal with Red Velvet Whoopie Pie and Tres Leches cake. In the words of Awwwnawwwd, "I'll be back."

I also have to give major props to Ted Cook's 19th Hole. I have absolutely no clue why it is called this. I assume it is some golf reference, possibly with reference to the golf course by Nokomis. At least, I think there is a golf course by Nokomis... Anyway, this place is all take out and you enter by way of screen door. It is hot in here and the employee who helped me had the dirtiest tshirt on ever. With that, I had what I imagine to be two pounds of rib tips. Because I biked her I put the bag in my backpack so I could eat it at Sibley Park. When I arrived at the park, my backpack was filled with BBQ sauce and grease. The grease made it's way through the packaging and paper bag onto my magazine, keys, bike lock. While that's gross, oh boy were those rib tips amazing. Juicy with some tasty barbecue
sauce. I also ate a vanilla cupcake and washed it all down with a coke. I basically biked home in a coma. So worth it.

Well, that's all folks. Hope you had a nice weekend.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hipster Fun

Aloha! So much exciting information to share. As Minnesotans, collectively we are emerging from our abodes to be social and to have fun again and it is a great feeling. From bike rides to softball to sporting playoffs, I love this time of year. The hipster title is in relation to the new glasses that I bought the other day along with Shawn's new hipster haircut. If you truly want to see the hipster mecca, I recommend that you check out "Modern Times" south of Lake Street on Chicago. Showering is optional. You will be more welcome if you wear ear lobe spacers and order tofu.
Yes, they have tofu. In the words of whatever the name of that band on the show Doug was called "ahhh eee ooo, killer tofu." Wait, it came to me.... "The Beets." Great show, great band name. I digress... New glasses make me feel like a new woman. My old glasses are likely from the early 2000s when Hoobastank and rollerblading were cool. So basically.... ancient. I wore my new spectacles to work and was told to find a PBR to drink so obviously I am pulling it off as planned. Anyway, 2014 = summer of cool kid glasses.

Another major highlight was Wizard World Comic Con. I talked Shawn into dressing like Wolverine even though he is not a comic book/super hero fan. I went as Rogue, who many thought was Storm. Shawn was slow to feel comfortable in his tank top and adamantium claws, but soon embowered Logan in mind and spirit.
We took a lot of great pictires with other "cosplayers", children, onlookers,
Dr. Who fans, etc. The whole thing was a total blast. We gawked at Ralph Macchio, William Shatner, Lou Ferrigno and quite a few other B/C listers. At one point, I waved at Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and he waved back at me. Can you say that? I didn't think so. We came home richer a few souvenirs and a drone plane that Shawn landed in my mashed potatoes and has nearly driven into my head 15 times. My new thing is to pick up the remote and pretend to swat it out of the sky like King Kong. Gotta protect ya neck. We also met Minneapolis Mayor Betsey Hodges at the con. Evidently she is a big Wonder Woman fan. She told us how she has Wonder Woman art work in her office. I highly recommend checking this event out if it comes back in 2015.

Another fun adventure that I participated in with some friends from wor
k was a 5k called "Hit and Run." It was basically a 5k built
around "Wipeout" obstacles. Running is terrible as I remember it being, but jumping on bouncy castle moving parts is a pretty good time. We all wore Teen Wolf t-shirts that said "Beast Mode" that got quite a few looks. I think I said I've never do a 5k again after the dreaded Monster Dash of 2011, but I think I can manage these types of 5ks where activities are placed amongst the course. Next up, Mud Factor with Shawn at the end of May. He's already been warned that I'll likely need help climbing straight up walls.

To celebrate the beginning of Spring, we went to the May Day parade in the Powderhorn neighborhood. It was extremely hippy dippy but also a blast. I believe it was the 40th year of this parade, I would have loved to be there in the 70s to see the less modern version of this. Today, it rangers from bugs and plants and cute things to children dressed in gas masks with large fake syringes and cannisters that say DDT and Flouride. Note: I didn't know Flouride was such a bad thing, didn't they put it on our teeth as children? A quick Google could probably clear this up, but oh well, I'd rather wonder forever.

I feel like I'm failing you from a restaurant review perspective. I was trying to figure out why I haven't written about restaurants lately, but I'm thinking that it's because I've written so infrequently so between each time that I write I eat at 10 - 12 restaurants and then don't focus on just one in the blog. I will quickly focus on one dive-ish place. Shawn and I went to the Rail Station in Southeast MPLS and had a steak and walleye dinner with au gratin potatoes and soup/salad with a drink for like $25 with a Groupon. If you see this Groupon, I highly recommend it. They even have french onion soup. Not only that BUT I won a huge t-shirt that says "Whiskey" on it along with a flask. I gave the flask to a group of men but we have a new rag at the Joppa apartment. I like to think that the flask is being shared amongst the group of the men equally.

This is a random thought, but as I was driving yesterday I was thinking about the type of adults that call into the radio to talk about their weekends, where they are going, what they are doing, etc. This concept is so foreign to me. I remember as a child calling KCLD and requesting songs from Weird Al's "Bad Hair Day" over and over again, but can't imagine calling now to be like "hey radio DJ, I am heading to a barbecue. Me and my friends gon' get wild." I think that about 60% of callers say they are going out with their "boys" or "girls" respectively. I fully appreciate calling a radio station and say winning tickets to a St. Cloud Riverbats game or all you can eat ribs to Space Aliens in St. Cloud, but don't support general small talk with random radio hosts. This is unimportant and judgey but I'll stick with it.

Alright, that's enough out of me for one night. I'm on the edge of my seat with this Wild game so I am going to devote all of my time to that for the rest of the evening. Have a lovely rest of your Tuesday evening. Such an underrated and enchanting evening.

Also, another shout out to my mother after Mother's Day. She is a wonderful lady who tries to help me find coupons to a store online and ends up signing me up for a spam email from a deals website. (Don't be mad, I'm just kidding). Love you, Julie! Seriously, you are the best! :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Viva Grand Canyon

Hi! After a terribly long winter, I escaped to Las Vegas with some fabulous company. Money was won and lost, buffets were eaten, yards were drunk. Since we've been to Vegas three times in the last year, we decided to do a more nontraditional activity in going to the Grand Canyon (non traditional for Vegas anyway). The last time I had been to the Grand Canyon was when I was in 7th or 8th grade. This was pre 9/11 and you were able to venture much further into the rock of the canyon and they opened a little door so that you could look up at the glorious concrete. Now, you basically take two elevator rides for 20 minutes with 50 other people. The views were wonderful but the tour lacked "damn dam" references. On the way to the dam we took a scenic route and almost made it to the California/Nevada border due to a navigating error by someone who will remain nameless. (Rhymes with Lawn). Now I can say that I
ate Krispy Kremes in the middle of the desert at a gas station that had some of the dirtiest t-shirts I've ever seen. Anyway, Vegas was a real hoot.

March Madness is in full swing. I love it because I can spend all day watching sports on the weekend from when I wake up to when I go to bed. My adopted team (Kansas) has lost out so from here on out I'm rooting for random underdogs and Fred Hoiberg. I am in first
in two of three brackets, but I don't really expect to win either. Glass is half empty or be devastated by the cruel basketball gods. I hope your school does awesome if they are still in the tournament (unless you went to Wisconsin, j/k... sort of).

I'm trying to cut down on my shamrock shake intake this year, I think I've probably had about 5 thus far. I'd imagine my normal average is 13 or so for the shamrock shake season.

Happy 86th Birthday Grandma! We went to eat at a restaurant in Osakis and a picture was hanging up in the bar of her from high school. She is in the second row, second from the left hand side with the glasses and cardigan. Local celeb!


What's over there?

This may have been the single most disjointed blog post ever. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Illness to End All Illnesses

I made it. Survived through the most vile stomach flu in years. We had a fabulous dinner on Friday night at Sparks in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood consisting of a prime rib feast with mashed potatoes, beer cheese soup, salad, flourless brownie with pistachio gelato and a bottle of wine. I awoke in the middle of the night to lose this meal to the porcelain gods. I then went back to bed and had a nice little Saturday attending Cabaret at the Pantages Theater. No illness, seemed like a fluke. AND THEN I awoke early Sunday morning with the death flu. Hot, cold, hot, cold, aches pains and then losing stomach contents faster than I could take them in. Shawn was my distant but dutiful helper. I basically spent the day laying on my back unable to read or digest any media whatsoever. I would fall in and out of consciousness which were my only reprieves from the harsh truth of reality. Monday came and things were not much better, I was much weaker and could barely make it down the hallway of our apartment. I had to take breaks by laying on the floor and when I went to take baths I had to set my clothes out on the bed so I could quickly put them on when I made my staggering walks from the bathroom to the bedroom. My good pal, Lindsay Ashburn, came to assist me by bringing me a smorgasbord of delicious soups, liquids, crackers, puddings, etc. I credit her with saving my life. Lindsay, please call me first if you get sick, I will nurse you back to health. Tuesday was garbage too but through the rest of the week I have slowly regained my strength and am feeling really great this weekend. It's amazing how wonderful you feel after bumping that up against five days of sickness. I don't wish that isht on my worst enemies.

As I said earlier, I went to Cabaret last weekend. Somehow I had not seen the movie or the play before. It was a bit different than I expected, but very, very good. I had heard some of the songs but didn't know the subject matter was so dark, i.e. Nazis. I've now seen two Theatre Latte Da shows in the last two years, this one and Aida and have been thoroughly impressed both times. This weekend, I went to Evita at the Orpheum and was also very pleased. I had seen the Madonna version of the movie, which I enjoyed despite Madonna. The music is really great, as is the dancing. I'd highly recommend it. My mom said Patty Lupone played the original Evita, which is pretty awesome. She does no wrong. So if you have nothing to do in the upcoming week and want some culture in your life, I recommend both of these plays.

Another big update is that we recently returned from Mexico! As always, this trip was great. To provide a few highlights: paddleboarding around a cruise liner, our taxi driver purposely hitting a pedestrian due to said pedestrian standing in his path and expecting that we would not survive the cab ride, a minor and temporary henna tattoo addiction, Shawn's losing and breaking electronics in the ocean, Sara's domination of the ocean, a group cheering section for the Kansas J
ayhawks at a sports bar, unreal lobster risotto, TONS OF SUN, and most importantly a great time spent with cherished loved ones.

I'm going on another mini vacation next weekend to sunny Lawrence, Kansas. My dad and I are embarking on Lawrence in order to spend time with my sister and to see a Jayhawks game in the flesh. Evidently, there will be a trip to a local KU brewery and many other fun food stops. The team plays Bob Huggin's West Virginia and will be televised on ESPN. Watch for us. We'll be the ones wearing the skin tight neon suits.

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl! I don't feel super strongly about one team or the other (slight edge to Seattle), but I have to gripe about how these companies are releasing their commercials before the Super Bowl. If I have already seen the commercials, the best part of the game will be minimized. I keep seeing them all over Facebook and am trying to avoid them. I did see the Budweiser ones with the little yellow lab and the horse, while I loved it, no more spoilers please.

Note: One of the members of the couple that live above us are playing their recorder (yes, you heard that right, an F'ing recorder) as they do most nights between about 9 pm and 10:30 pm. To that I say, find a more adult appropriate instrument. It is usually just a random song with random notes.
No "Hot Crossed Buns" in this B. I just imagine a man coming home from work and saying "I'm going to blow off steam, I'll be in the second bedroom playing some really deep whimsical tunes." C'mon man.

Hope you are surviving this terrible cold and snowy hell that we are living in. Winter wouldn't be so terrible if we could go outside once in awhile but no we are trapped like rats. Cannot wait until May.